As the internet replaces analog methods of communication such as telephone books and actual phone calls, it’s more important than ever that businesses prepare their website to accommodate customers with a disability. Dunkin’ Donuts is the latest company to learn this lesson the hard way. (Read the case here.)
A friend of mine began purchasing coffee from the company that manufactured and sold the coffee maker she uses. After proving herself a loyal customer by purchasing several months in a row, the company began to include her in on special offers and testing groups. They also asked questions such as “if we could detect when you start to run low on your favorite coffee and automatically sent a refill, would that interest you?”
In 2012, Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, stepped out in a pair of Marks and Spencers caramel court shoes. Following her appearance, M&S sold one pair of the shoes every two minutes for at least seven days. That’s over 5,000 pairs of shoes.
The Duchess isn’t the only one whose fashion choices matter to brands. Whether it’s a Super Bowl commercial or a SnapChat take-over, major brands turn to celebrities to promote their products and services. Celebrities aren’t just royalty or the Hollywood elite, sometimes they reign over online kingdoms with successful blogs, YouTube channels or social media profiles.
The one constant with digital marketing is that it’s always changing. Google once answered searches with results that contained the exact phrase searchers used. As search queries have changed and Google’s algorithm has become more sophisticated search results have become more reliable and more targeted.
Journalistic integrity. In this digital age where everyone believes they’re a journalist thanks to the power of social media, and fake news is preferred over factual stories, journalistic integrity -- a standard that was once the most important quality a news outlet could possess -- appears to be pretty low on the priority list.
One of my goals this year is to read one business book every month. My selections so far have centered a lot around culture. I’m also listening to a lot of podcasts and again the topic always comes back to culture. We often think about the culture of a business in relation to a large corporation. Creating an effective company culture is easier, however, before you scale to the thousands of employees spread all over the globe.
So what does culture mean?
Mark Zuckerberg has always been about community building. If you’ve ever listened to the story of Facebook’s founding, he’s clear Facebook was intended as a way of building community. A full hour interview of Zuck on Master’s of Scale podcast reveals how deep his connection to community goes. About fifty minutes into the full interview he talks about meeting with church ministers in Texas who provide connection opportunities for their community. Zuck brought back some ideas about the importance of real connection to Facebook.
Almost ten years I launched Momentum Consulting to fill the need of small and mid-sized companies for a consistent marketing and advertising strategy. Originally, the digital marketing company consisted of me, my laptop and our family’s dining room table. The company eventually grew out of my house and beyond what I could do alone.
I waffled between limiting the company to my own capabilities or expanding and hiring staff. About that time I read the E-Myth by Michael Gerber. Gerber spelled out my two choices:
- Be a technician. A technician is hands on doing all the work. This business model allows you to only expand to the amount of work you can physically handle yourself.
- Be a manager. A manager delegates the actual work of the company to other technicians while they dedicate themselves to the business of the business.
This week I sat down with a Mississippi small business to talk about 2018 goals. We started working with this relatively new company just over a year ago and set some specific, measurable and reasonable goals.
Every month in our marketing meeting we reviewed the numbers and for the most part they exceeded their objectives almost every month. In fact, if we averaged out their monthly KPIs, they exceeded their goals by over 17%!
And yet, morale is down and turn over is high.
This month we re-evaluated those goals. I asked their team three questions: