Selling with big data

Got good data? Here’s how you get great marketing

Jori Messer, Regus

Customer’s first, you see that emblazoned on lots of signs. How many companies really put their customers first though? A customer centric, data driven approach really is the only way to ensure that you’re consistently improving retention and staying ahead of the competition.

Understanding how your customers feel about your services is more than just a touchy feely HR excersize, it’s essential to your strategy. “I think it comes back to the essential reason as to why we want the data. To improve our business decisions. Too many decisions get made on intuition and gut feeling, rather than numbers, research and facts.” says Jori (Director APAC, Regus)

Using customer insights to create more relevant messaging

After running a survey with Survey Monkey, using an audience panel of 1000, they discovered that there were a lot of people that weren’t familiar with the brand. The survey delved into what influenced their choice of workspace. “That data helped us translate and change the messaging to specifically mention those aspects. What ‘they were looking for needed to be in the messaging, so that we could create that ‘click’.” Jori emphatically says “Knowing what your customer is looking for is critical to getting your messaging right.”

“The survey highlighted that we need to be heavily localized. Locally relevant.” Whilst many brands have a global identity, knowing who you’re serving in each local market, what their needs are, and how you can adjust your messaging to them, is very important.

As an example of how their messaging has changed, their previous (Google AdWords) campaigns had language that was focused on their global network. That has since been changed to talk about their local branch network first and only mention their global network at the end. The exercise paid off, with the localized advert content driving measurably more leads and better conversions.

The insights from the survey, and positive results from their initial localization efforts – have had an impact on their marketing across the board. There’s been change in everything from their marketing photography (using local models), to the text copy (local emphasis, local place names), right down to the keywords and core messages (why their customers buy their services in a particular country).

Your customers already know what they want

Customer feedback can have an impact well beyond just your messaging though. Your customer feedback can be leveraged to drive improvement across your business. Don’t just use one customers fancy ideas though – real insights are grounded in solid data from thousands of clients. It should hopefully feature helpful data points like “percentage of customers interested”, and weighted opinions on “would probably buy”. Which is why asking the right questions, and conducting a proper analysis on the traditional ‘feedback form’ is more important than ever before.

Customer feedback is a mountain of wealth. Use it not just to improve existing services, but as a key driver to introduce entirely new products. “It’s why we decided to partner with WiFi hotspot & airline lounge providers.”

So what does this mean for your marketing & your business?

Do not underestimate the value of data. Investigate. Even if you have an instinct, and a wealth of industry experience. Your investigation doesn’t need to be complicated, just ask a few hundred people and look for clear trends. A bigger audience is better, but a clear trend doesn’t really change with varying sample sizes. Good customer data will give your marketing clear direction, if you’re start-up it might even give you clear business direction. As Jori says “Before you build a product, build customers. Be product minded. We see a lot of startups build products, assuming that once they launch they’ll acquire customers – only to realize that they have a product no one wants. I think its essential that you know who your customers are, and those customers that you test how they respond to the product ideas, whether they’ll purchase, and whether your product solves the customers problem.”

Creating content people care about

3 Steps to creating content people care about

No matter what business you’re in, an essential part of your marketing plan needs to be creating great content. Most organizations are struggling to create content, let alone “great” content though. The incredible flood of low quality content, and “curated” content, is part of the effort to satisfy the constant banging of the content drums. Or as Eli puts it “Content is king, and now everyone is king”. So how do you make great content?

Step 1. Creating content, what should you write about?

Discovering article ideas, and finding relevant things to write about doesn’t need to be hard. There’s a good change that your customers already know what your next article title should be, you just need to ask them for it.

Surveying them is an easy way to get lots of great article ideas, directly and indirectly. When you run your survey “Instead of asking boring questions like ‘How many units of alcohol will you consume in December?’ ask ‘Are you going to get drunk over the Christmas holidays?’. It gets you the same information, but makes the user think ‘What’s the next question going to be?’”, it puts a smile on their faces and entertains them as they give you insight – which you can use to create your next article title – such as “70% of men are going to get drunk this December”.

Step 2. Make sure it’s relevant to your audience

Just because it’s funny doesn’t mean it’s going to have an impact, your content needs to be highly relevant to your audience. That’s what’s keeps them reading.  “Writing about America’s knowledge of Indonesia was really popular in Indonesia, they’re curious and interested to know what American’s know about them. The same article wouldn’t generate any interest America, they didn’t even know that Obama had been to Indonesia.”

Get the right content to the right audience or it’ll fall flat.

Step 3. Test, check if your audience is going to like it

Don’t make any assumptions, check and make sure your article ideas are of interest to your audience. “If it’s interesting and relevant enough for a dinner table conversation, it’s ok.” says Eli. Drop a few article titles as conversation topics in idle conversation with a few of your readers. If they seem interested in the conversation that’s a good sign that they’ll read about it or share it.

Wrapping up. How do I know my post was successful?

If done well, a good post can get great back links and maybe even media coverage, whilst that’s a reasonable measure for content success, Eli believes you need to push yourself further.

How do you know that you’ve made truly great content? Read the full interview here and find out.

Full interview: http://www.socialmediatoday.com/social-business/exclusive-interview-creating-content-people-actually-care-about

 

Jason Cambell Presentation Socks

3 tips to captivate your audience

Stand out from the crowd, be memorable, be yourself – sound familiar? That advice your mum gave you on how to cope as a teenager (read: how to talk to the opposite sex), is still true when it comes to making an impression on your customers. Here’s how one speaker dominated an entire one day conference in less than 20 minutes, and some tips on how you can replicate his formula for success.

HubSpot held it’s first official event in Singapore (Grow), with speakers from their various regional offices. Interestingly the most talked about speaker wasn’t a Hubspotter, it was an external speaker, Jason Campbell from Mind Valley. His on stage presence was nothing short of mesmorizing. There’s plenty to be said for practicing to present, natural aptitude, and plenty of sales experience – however he did three things that stood out. Three things that you can incorporate into your next presentation:

  1. Dress with personality

He was wearing regular on-stage business attire, the waist coat was a nice touch, but the big impact came from his socks. It took a few moments to notice that he (intentionally) wasn’t wearing shoes, and then just a few seconds more for people to start taking photos. After his session lots of people were curious enough to ask him about it, and he has a great story to share about why he wears socks.

The fact that he was dressed a little unusually made him immediately memorable as “that-guy-wearing-socks-on-stage”, and the story he’ll tell you about why he wears them, ensures that you won’t forget him. Except for “business attire”, I don’t specifically remember what any of the other speakers were wearing. What do you remember about the last speaker you saw?

  1. Speaking to your audience with passion & belief

For most presenters it felt like they were moving through pre-prepared sales decks – albeit, very nicely. They didn’t have a single powerful message, one they really believed in, that they were communicating. Jason did, it was clear & obvious. Ignoring his skill as a speaker, his presentation used analogies everyone could relate to, and his whole presentation reinforced the same fundamental concept. Like a good comedian, he directly engaged members of the audience making his points easily relatable.

The end result was that you felt that Jason really believed what he was telling you. Which made it much easier to agree with him.

  1. Be educational, but more importantly be inspirational

Unlike many presentations which try to technically convince people that a particular product is worth buying (which might be appropriate for some audiences), he seemed focused on evoking a specific set of emotions. Most people quite quickly forget the specifics of a presentation, especially if there’s several they have to watch, or they have other things to do. Very few people forget how they feel about something though. Think about the most recent comedy show you’ve seen…. It’s hard to remember more than one or two specific jokes, but it’s easy to remember whether you enjoyed it or came out feeling a bit “meh”…

When you’re designing your next sales pitch, presentation, or campaign, think about how you might be able to leverage some of these tips to leave your audience with a lasting impression. If you’ve got a few tricks of your own, let me know!