- Excellent quality, high performance and reliable describe Santa’s line of presents year after year.
His reputation twinkles.
- Santa has a full, up-to-date line of presents -always on-the-shelf, and broad in scope.
- Never does Santa forget anyone.All of his customers, big and small, rich and poor, boy and girl, get the same great care and service by Santa and the Elves.
- Shipping is not a problem for Santa.He delivers the smallest parcel on time, carefully packaged, and to the correct address, whether it be land or sea, America or Asia.
- Santa makes no mistakes.No returned merchandise.Zero defects. No dissatisfied customers.
- Requests for “special” presents are treated the same as standard requests.Santa’s Elves respond quickly, accurately and joyfully - even if a last minute bicycle request is for lime-green fenders.
- There is a positive, service-oriented attitude at the North Pole.Santa creates a “can do” spirit; and the Elves are happy to work on his team.
- Santa listens more than he talks.He asks his customers to tell him what they want.Then, he gives them exactly that
- The customer is the most important person in Santa’s life. He never takes even one for granted.
Santa remembers that without his customers, there would be no Santa.
- With this philosophy, Santa will be in business for a long, long time...
Whether you are a profit or non-profit, the media is an important element in shaping your image. So it is in your best interest to be proactive in forging a solid relationship. Here are some tips for developing an effective relationship with the media:
*Return calls from reporters as soon as you can, and give your home phone number or cell so that you can be reached after business hours.
*Do not bluff the answer; find out and call back. Always be truthful.
*Do not go off the record with a reporter unless you know and trust him or her.
*Do not tell a reporter how to write the story.
*Avoid industry-specific jargon or acronyms that only limit what audiences can understand.
*Give documentation or information packets to supplement what the reporter is covering.
*Never cover up. It will be seen as dishonest and will permanently affect future credibility.
*Correct any inaccuracies in a story, but do not object to the tone. That is the writer’s prerogative.
*Do not assume you can review articles. If needed, try to check facts over the phone. Reporters do not have the time to have a reviewer outside of their own offices.
*Give compliments when they are due by writing to a reporter’s supervisor.
*Be aware that any report or survey developed with public tax dollars is public information.
*Help reporters to do their job better. Post your news releases into a “media room” on your website. Include a media archive to help reporters to do their research. Make sure that the reporters get your RSS feeds.
A little “schmoozing” does not hurt either. Why not invite reporters to a continental breakfast when you don’t need to have a story told, and then when you do, they might be more willing to give you an ear.
Fishing season will be upon us soon. There is a lesson to be learned from that sport. A good day of fishing means you have dropped your line in waters where there are fish. One of the keys to successful marketing of any product or service is based on the same principle called target segmentation.
With target segmentation you first have to acknowledge that not everyone is your potential customer. (This is hard on our egos.) You must therefore break your total market into smaller segments that share the same characteristics. From those, select the segments that appear to be your best bets for a "catch." This will make optimal use of your marketing dollars. Target markets can be shaped and refined by demographics (age, income, education, geographic location, gender, marital status), by industry (pharmaceutical, energy, financial services, technology, industrial) or by psychographics (lifestyle, attitudes, values, perceptions).
For example, a local retailer may position itself as "discount" to attract the frugal customer while one up the street offers "premium" goods hoping the affluent customer will drop in. This way you are aligning your product or services with the target market segment. You get more " hits" than "misses" if you practice this type of thinking - before developing advertising and promotional campaigns.
Smart market-driven companies (and non-profits) practice target segmentation for one reason: it works. So the next time your company or organization initiates marketing plans, remember the lesson from fishing. The kind of bait you use, the length of time you sit by your pole, and even your ability to cast will not matter if you drop your line in waters where there are few fish.
In the 1980's, an outstanding trade magazine called American Demographics was published to help businesses and organizations target their customers or clients. Editors Peter Francese and Cheryl Russell, identified key market segments and named them. Some included Baby Boomers, Gen X and Gen Y. Members in these cohorts represented opportunities to sell products and services, capture donors or volunteers, or accomplish whatever strategic goal your company or organization set for itself.
In the 1960's Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964) were eager customers for VW bugs and VW wagons. Now, you might try to sell them a Subaru, Volvo or Lexus as they enter retirement years. Gen X (born between 1965 and 1976) was a smaller cohort than the Boomers. These kids were the reasons towns and cities closed neighborhood schools. Now, they are a market for deals on family vacations and college savings accounts.
Gen Y (born from 1977 to1994) is largely the group that makes up the Millennials. These are the babies of the Baby Boomers and so very large. When the schools were closed due to Gen X, they were overcrowded with Gen Y - and hence portable classrooms. This cohort is optimal for first time home purchases and baby strollers.
If you think like a marketer, demographics becomes an essential element. Counting the customers in the key market segments that American Demographics highlighted has provided and continues to provide the crystal ball. You can predict needs and wants as cohorts pass through life stages. It all comes down to when you born.
March 08th, 2017
Typical branding campaigns focus on the fluff and not the substance. Graphic identity - logos, taglines, fonts, colors and other design aspects - is the focus of many branding campaigns as well as the effort to "refresh" the brand. Ask yourself. Do you ever make a customer or client choice based on a logo or because your hospital, insurance company or non-profit changed their logo? Not likely. Unfortunately, much time and money is spent on applying the makeup and avoiding the grunt work. Brands are built and sustained by how you treat your customers, their interactions with you, the products and services you offer, and the points of contact with your employees. Relationship building shapes and fortifies your brand. This is challenging and never-ending work. And why the easier road to 'brand" building through graphic identity is travelled more often and with disappointing results.
The discipline of marketing is often oversimplified and misunderstood. Many leaders in corporations and organizations have limited experience with marketing as a discipline. They may define marketing by its most visible components advertising and publicity. When someone equates marketing with a logo or tagline, a website or blog, collateral materials, print or online ads, the strength of marketing as a workhorse for market share and retention is lost. Marketing is about thinking - strategic thinking and then execution. Marketing can be compared to management, which involves planning, budgeting, decision making and evaluation. You need all components, working together, to achieve good management. Likewise, the key components of marketing—research, development, promotion, pricing, placement and assessment—must be integrated for optimal effectiveness. If you undertake all components of marketing, you will be putting the odds in your favor for a successful outcome - whether you are launching a new product or service, attracting and retaining customers or clients or spurring donors to give. Marketing is a sum of the parts and no one part can wield as much power as the process does together.
Planning a party and then wondering if anyone will come is the same feeling researchers have when a survey is launched online or by mail. What if no one responds! We have found at Words & Numbers Research that the quality of the questionnaire stimulates a good return rate. Here are a few tips that work. First, use different formats of questions and varied response scales on the questionnaire. This will be more interesting to the respondent than having 50 agreement scales for sentence-long items, one after the other. Second, provide a specific set of directions throughout about what you want the respondent to do. Confusion is a reason to toss the questionnaire or click off the site. Third, pay attention to the visual appearance of the questionnaire. It should be easy to read which means your choice of type face and use of color should be with that goal in mind. This is not an artistic exercise. Fourth, number all sections and number all items within a section. It is easy for a respondent to skip a question accidentally, and missing data are costly to your analyses. These pointers make a difference and are easy to implement. It just takes a little time and care, but the payoff is great.
Susan R. Carroll, PhD is president of Words & Numbers Research in Torrington, CT.