We all go through giant shifts in life and work and it changes the way we perceive the world. I've had a big year of learning and change and it's given me some fantastic perspective about the world I live in and the people I love. If I were a classical artist, art historians would call this my "Humor and Grace" period.
Here are some big takeaways that I felt were worth sharing:
Ok. That's what I have. It's been a marvelous year. And by that, I mean, I marvel at this year and all of its change. I marvel at you, my clients, for being brave enough to run your own businesses and I'm so chuffed to be a part of it.
Happy New Year!
I live in a suburb of Seattle. That hasn’t always been the case, however. At one time, when I was young and full new sass, I lived in downtown Seattle. It’s been a long time since I’ve cruised my old haunts and it's really grown! I was admiring all the change as I walked to meet a friend for happy hour. There were a few things the businesses were doing that I thought might be helpful to you!
Keep it beautiful – beautiful logos on dangling signs beckon to patrons to come in and browse goods. It’s almost too much to resist during this holiday season. Make sure that your outward appearance is harmonious, clean and beautiful.
Keep it simple – outdoor dining options are simple rustic benches on sidewalks surrounded by twinkling string lights. A perfect environment to catch up with a close friend or meet someone new. Make sure that the experience you offer tells a clear story and provides a clear call to action.
Execute well – beautifully honed bars and delicious cocktails are what’s promised as you walk into a downtown Seattle bar. Make sure that the experience your promise is the experience you deliver. Ensure that the needs are exceeded with every transaction.
This post sponsored by a few glasses of the bubbly stuff, delicious cheese, and gracious company.
Hi retailers, it’s time to talk. This is hard to say and I’m struggling with the right way to tell you this. And it…it might be a little difficult to hear.
The New Search Engine
Amazon isn’t just the world’s biggest retailer. It’s also one of the foremost search engines for retailers. When you want to be found by people you ensure you show up in Google with search engine optimization, you start networking to ensure people know that you’ve got a shop, and you might put an ad in your local newspaper. You do all of this to ensure you’re maximizing your traffic.
But, let’s just be frank here. When you need to buy something, you and your customers start at Amazon. And if they don’t start on amazon and they go to Google, Amazon will likely be high up in the search engine results. What’s a retailer to do?
Get in on the Action
Whether you sell art, honey, books, lip balm, or electronics, Amazon is an incredible resource for you to extend your reach into a larger market. Two million other vendors are making money there, why wouldn’t you take advantage of that? Amazon has 244 million active customers purchasing, in some cases, daily.
Get your piece of the pie. Get a marketplace account. Go do it. It’s going to raise your SEO, your product’s profile and ensure that you’re being found in the world’s largest retail search engine.
As you start to consider your marketing plans, you’ll likely want a short a sexy way to communicate your value to your customers. But this project can be intimidating. I can honestly say that I’ve been paralyzed by the notion of coming up with a compelling value proposition. In fact, the words “value proposition” make me freeze up because it sounds so… HARD.
A friend came to me asking for some guidance on how to create a value proposition. And because I do marketing for a living he assumed I could help him. Little did he know, this is a source of anxiety for many marketers. But, as with most things, when you break down a problem into smaller parts it becomes approachable and solvable.
So, here’s what I came up with: a value proposition is made up of three core elements. First, you need to understand your customer. Learn what industry they’re in, what customers they serve. Next you need to understand and articulate the problem they’re trying to solve. Start really digging into the issues from the customer’s perspective and figure out how you can make their lives easier. Finally, understand your competitor and what you offer or can offer that makes you unique.
Now you can put it all together:
Helping [CUSTOMER TYPE] solve [CUSTOMER PROBLEM] by [COMPETITIVE DIFFERENTIATION].
Although this might not create a perfect value proposition, it can function as a stand in until you have more insight into your customer, customer challenges and competition for further refinement.
I'm a veteran digital marketer whose career has grown up with the Internet.