Make Being Local Work for You

market 1

market 1 (Photo credit: tim caynes)

Today’s guest blog is written by Mindy Jeffries of Stealth Marketing. She will be writing a series of blogs that will appear here occasionally. If you want to contact Mindy you can call her at (314) 880-5570. Tell her you saw her here!

I look at small telephone companies and as a marketer I see tremendous marketing potential due to their advantage of being local. I would have a blast with marketing in these markets. Here are the questions I would ask myself and my team:

  • What is going on local in my community?
  • Can I create something that would be a resource to my community?
  • What could I do to bring my community together in the new virtual world? What could you do that is useful from the customer’s perspective?

I would find something the community needs, such as listing of local events and get it on the web. Then, using social media you have to advertise news of the local application that you have created and the content within.  This will start bringing people to your site to check out the latest news on what to do around town or the weather or whatever you choose.

Once you get your current and potential customers coming to your website or social media site for useful information, then the next step is to ask them for their email addresses. At this point, you don’t care if these people are customers or not, just provide each person with useful information. As you create value, your prospects and potential prospects will give you their information including email addresses because they want to interact with you.

Then you start housing this information in a database application that can automate, score and deliver very customer-specific news and offers to your prospects and current customers.  Your prospects get offers for new services, and your current customers get retention offers, or news on programing or movies or VOD coupons.

Start simple, but there are lots of ways to take a program like this to the next level.  You can incorporate your advertising clients and distribute their offers as well. This could be your retention program!  Some examples might be coupons for the pizza provider in town or coupons for the local theater.

Your imagination can run wild, but today digital environment exists to help you organize and filter messages and marketing.  Social media have changed the world.  Instead of always talking about you and your services, you need to look at the world through a customer/potential customer lens and asking the question from their perspective – what can I do through the resources I have, to make myself useful to them?

It’s an exciting times to be a marketer!

 

The (Business) Field of Dreams

English: Panorama of Busch Stadium.

English: Panorama of Busch Stadium. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today’s guest blog is written by Mindy Jeffries of Stealth Marketing. She will be writing a series of blogs that will appear here occasionally. If you want to contact Mindy you can call her at (314) 880-5570. Tell her you saw her here!

I love the St. Louis Cardinals and they are going to the World Series!  That’s great news for a lot of us in the central United States, especially for our office just down the road from Busch Stadium.

All this World Series hype has me asking: Why am I such a fan? What is it about baseball in October that makes it so different? I realized one of the major reasons is the Cardinals’ approach to teamwork.

If you look up the definition of teamwork it’s this: the combined action of a group of people, esp. when effective and efficient.

I think a lot of people give lip service to the word “teamwork”, but few achieve it. If you Google “How can I get my team to work more efficiently and effectively together”, this is what you get:

  • Pick the right people
  • Understand their strengths and weaknesses
  • Align goals
  • Don’t allow anyone in that is subversive
  • And get everyone to communicate

But if you look at the Cardinals it’s so much more than that.  Here are some of my favorite examples of how they work as a team:

  • Trust – Not only do they trust that everyone will do their job and that no one will fail, they back each other up to make sure no one fails.
    • Example: The opposing team hits a fly ball to center field and the pitcher begins his walk to the dugout.  He knows Jon Jay will make the catch and if he doesn’t, Holliday will cover from left.
    • Business Translation:  Make sure everyone has a back up and is cross trained.  We have partnerships at Stealth, with everyone double checking everyone else’s work.
  • Mentoring- Senior Birds mentor the younger players.
    • Example:  Senior players are matched with more junior players to teach them the ropes, invest in their success.
    • Business translation:  Match new employees to more senior players for learning and sheep dogging.  Works every time.
  • In it for the team!
    • Example:  Teamwork trumps high payrolls as evidenced in the Cardinals /Dodgers series.
    • Business translation: Teamwork makes your junior players play like high-profile business executives—without the grandstanding.    Everyone is in it for the team.
  • Keeping Score and Analyzing
    • Baseball is a very statistical game, with the flurry of numbers affecting the most important thing—the score.  But baseball is a slow game with plenty of time to reflect and analyze what just happened.  Somebody once told me that baseball is a cerebral sport because of all the statistics, to which my football cronies say, “That’s (insert your favorite expletive) incredulous!”
    • Business translation:  Take time to reflect.  Think about what’s going well so you can do more of it. More importantly, be honest with yourself about what’s not going so well and start moving the curve in a more positive direction.

That’s why I love baseball and especially my beloved St. Louis Cardinals.  They have the teamwork I idolize and seek to emulate as a business owner.

Branding your Company and Products

Just FYI, no blogs last week due to flu bug. Funny how you can’t write when you can’t sit up.

Today’s guest blog is written by Mindy Jeffries of Stealth Marketing. She will be writing a series of blogs that will appear here occasionally. If you want to contact Mindy you can call her at 314 880-5570. Tell her you saw her here!

In my last blog, I talked about branding things – things with which your customers interact! “Things” is a little vague, so let’s clarify – your branded assets include things like: your office, trucks, people (uniforms), website.  What about branding your product?  What are the stepping-stones of branding your service that you’ll be delivering to your customers?  This gets complicated really quickly, so how can we simplify it?

Let’s begin with the strategic analysis of the brand.

The first step is a customer analysis.

Here are questions you have to ask yourself:  what are the current trends in the telecommunications industry? What is affecting your business?  We all know some of those major trends; landline disconnections, and streaming TV, for example. But now let’s add motivation questions.  Which customers are motivated to use cell phones in which parts your geographic footprint?  What are the unmet needs of your customers?   Brainstorm these questions with your team and figure out answers relevant to your brand. In the end you’re shooting for stellar customer service, making each customer happy beyond expectations.

The second step: Competitor analysis.

What are your strengths compared to all competitors including these new Internet competitors?  What are your answers to the “cell phone problem”?  What are the strategies to attack the segments we have previously identified? And last but not least, what are your vulnerabilities?  Examining your vulnerabilities is hard, you have to strip away your bias, take a step back and look at the big picture. Be honest with yourself. Analyze yourself like you would your competitors. Which leads nicely into…

The third step: Self-analysis. 

Ask yourselves and your customers: what is the current image of the brand?  What is the brand’s heritage?  What does your product provide? What are its strengths?

The last step: Determine your organizational values.  

What are the positive attributes of your leader or leadership team? It might be something as simple as: “we always go the extra mile!” or “We’ll make sure the customer is always satisfied.”

Still not sure what organizational values look like?

Here are the Stealth values to give you an idea!  We exist to help others, we are passionate about what we believe in, we are perpetual students, we love challenge, we like to stretch boundaries and evolve to the next level of everything.  We are driven by relationships because relationships drive communication and good communication drives success.  We work to achieve success.