Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Corporate Blogging - Yes or No? You tell me

Over on SEOMoz, there's an article on Corporate Blogging and whether it's a good idea or not.

I've been pushing for a corporate blog for ages. I've read all the blogs on the subject and the books. I know the value of doing it, but I'm still hanging on. There are lots of issues I need to settle first.

  1. Who will blog?
    Most people in the business don't see the value of a company blog. They don't have that much interaction with websites and can't see the advantage. So getting buy in is an issue.
  2. Who'll maintain and edit it?
    Our site currently gets nearly 100K unique visitors per day and we have a team working constantly on the site to keep it going. Can I justify the extra work involved?
  3. What will be the ROI?
    This is the killer. How can I measure the Return on Investment?
  4. How to keep the momentum going?
    Lots of people will be enthusiastic at the beginning, but how can I keep that up?

There are loads more questions than just these, but these are the main stumbling blocks. Overcome these and I'm off and running.

One more issue is the company is very busy anyway can we afford a distraction like this. Or on the other hand can we not afford to miss the opportunity!

I'd love to know if anyone else has had these dilemmas and how they've over come them, or even decided against a blog altogether.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Are all cutomers created the same?

I've just completed our marketing plan for 2007 and presented it to our sales team. These things are always a bit tricky, until you've finished you never really know how they'll go. This went OK, a few blank looks but most people got the idea and took it on board.

In simple terms I segmented the database of customers based on spend and frequency. Pretty basic stuff.

One question stuck out though.

"Shouldn't we treat all our customers the same, though?" one of the sales team asked.

She had a point of sorts.

Yes we should treat all our customers as friends and be as courteous and helpful as possible. After all without customers we have no business.

But, not all customers are created the same. Some are worth a lot to the company and some aren't. The value of our service varies wildly from orders of £6 right up to orders in the millions or pounds. This is great because we've worked out how to work in the long tail.

But to achieve this we've automated our services. If you have a small order then you can pay online, you still get the same professional delivering the service but we have less admin and we make a decent profit. The customers are happy because they got what the wanted and we're happy we supplied it at a decent profit.

Were some people get stuck, is that they have been brain washed about customer service, which is great, but they forget to put that into perspective. They are quite happy to spend an hour with a customer with a job for £40, and basically oversell the service.

How would you feel if every time you ordered a Big Mac the counter staff went into a depth about how they made the burger, the bun the sauce, what McDonald's over all strategy was on everything in the world? You'd just say, "give the burger!"

Not all customers are the same, sorry. Some are worth more, it's capitalism.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

How to rank high using link bait

I use link bait on my site www.appliedlanguage.com it has loads of articles, map, fonts, free translation tools. Unfortunately I'm not using it as much as I could this this blog on link baiting will be my bible an should be yours too. There are no clever bit of code or complex algos to learn just common sense advice.

Wok This Way - Chinese Delight in Sheffield

Wouldn't you love your Chinese take-away to entertain you as well as feed you. Wok This Way in Walkley in Sheffield manages it at every point.

First the name, I defy you not to smile when you say it. It's the perfect name, it's probably not unique but I don't care.

The shop front has a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory feel, you walk in and the place is empty other than the lady at the counter. You place your order and suddenly the two chefs appear. They fire up the Woks and flames and pots and ladles begin to fly. Again that smile creeps across your face.

Then it's all over, the foods freshly packaged and off you go. I'm sure they deliver too, but that way you miss the entertainment and the whole feel of it.

If you visit Sheffield, then you need to Wok This Way.

They just need a website. I'll add the phone number and address when I get home tonight.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Bad PowerPoint

I'm currently evangelising good PowerPoint at my company. We run by the Beyond Bullet Points and Presentation Zen rules of visualising points and telling a story rather than the standard Look and Read school.

If you are still part of the Look and Read school then you need to read this post but great post by Seth Godin on Bad PowerPoint.

Read, learn, ingest ...stop boring people to death!