Mel, the buxom blonde barmaid gets a lot of tips and it’s not just because she looks great. Customers very quickly discard the looks if the service fails to deliver.
Mel knows that Bernie the builder drinks VB, she started pouring his beer when she saw his car drive into the car-park “data is the new black” she says “it’s all about knowing your customers’ needs, behaviour and predicting their needs”. The moment Bernie gets to the bar and sits at his corner chair his cold beer is served with a welcoming smile.
Every shift Mel gets 20-30% more tips than anyone else, she knows the drinking and social habits of hundreds of her customers, but there’s more to her success then just knowing and delivering a service, there’s a lot more that goes into getting Bernie in the door in the first place.
Bernie has hundreds of other beer options available and there are other factors that influence his purchasing decisions - prices, friends; the quality of the product and service; location, the feel and atmosphere of the pub and the event - is it drinks with his mates or dinner with his wife or boss?
Why would Bernie buy from you?
As we know Marketing's role in business is about making sales easier and whether you like it or not, today, the greatest influence on your business, group, brand or your own personal career is via online social media. People you may not even know are talking about you and your business in social media. This information fore-ever indexed by search engines - now in real time.
Today, when we're looking for anything we begin at search - a new employee, a customer, a new car, camera, or cafe - the first thing we do is Google.
So what are people saying about you? What’s your brand reputation? How do you stand out from the crowd and influence the conversation?
In many ways your website or application is a bit like a pub - it needs to be well designed, quickly deliver what you’re looking for, easy to transact, the sentiment positive and easy to share with your friends but it also needs to be different, engaging, relevant to your audience for your message to spread.
In the old days you could buy and own the media conversation, today, you, I, the consumer are in control and our advocacy has to be earned.
So what differentiates you for the hundred and thousands of similar businesses? What’s your Seth Godin’s Purple Cow combined with Mike Prasad’s Shiny Circle social media model?
We’re iIn Melbourne, about 250 Digital Media types from across Oz and NZ are gathered for the I-strategy conference, we all want to know where the future is headed, to hear digital strategy and social media keynotes from industry heavy weights such as Google, Facebook, Microsoft, LinkedIn, MTV, ESPN and local case studies from Cudo, Tourism Australia, Coles, NAB, Telstra, CCA, and Lonely Planet. There’s also some thought leaders in recruitment with Firebrand and predictive targeting presentations from Exact Media.
For our company, these type of events are a very important litmus test to constantly check we are heading the the right strategic direction with our clients.
You see, like never before, what is hot and new today in digital is old news tomorrow - this mornings hot off the press complete Digital Strategy 101 course book is already out of date.
I look across the aisle - thirty heads down, they’re not sleeping, they’re on their i-pads and i-phones tweeting and blogging.
The “Ah ha” moments - that is, anything learned and new, are quickly absorbed, transmuted and spread out as a rapid rippled tweet into the global collective pond of knowledge - the speed of light insight dispersion.
There are two conversations going on - one offline at the event and the other online Twitter - this convergence - this “inline media”.
For the uninitiated twitter newbie it is quite a surreal environment, an uncensored real time feedback loop in play. You can understand why presenters get nervous checking the twitter stream before their presentation - for most people presenting is not the easiest thing to do at the best of times but especially talking digital strategy to the twitter powered digerati - “they’re ruthless”. Shameless plug - see CLIVE Presenter Coaching.
Hence the Presenter and event organiser challenge, is the content relevant to the audience?
I’m not going to review every presentation - my #istrategy twitter stream and other blogs already serve that purpose but to say the content was very rich and engaging - so much information that unless your there it’s difficult to determine what information would be most relevant to you.
For some people starting off it’s all new ground and overwhelming, for others it’s the 1% of deep new insights gained.
My personal theory on these type of information rich events is that you need to act, implement, share your leanings quickly while they are still close to top of mind. You see, the major difference today is speed, it’s real time, it’s now.
People and companies that have already invested and are building a digitally savvy culture can quickly absorb, assimilate, implement, evaluate, new technology trends - it’s this real time process of constant improvement culture.
In conclusion, when it comes to social media, the reality is that there is not much difference between now and BG/ BF (Before Google/ Before Facebook). Anywhere where people meet and chat is social - the pub, parents picking up their kids from school, the office water-cooler, the country club. Word of mouth marketing from a relevant trusted source has and always will be the most effective form of marketing - your reputation proceeds you - a referred potential customer is already qualified. The only major difference today is the speed and reach of technology.
As good mate Mahei (iconic88) reminds us “it’s the last mile that matters most” - our family, friends, people we trust and inspire us, that have the most influence on what we do.
“You’ll love these new chilli crisps” says Mel, Bernie takes a bit and smiles without needing to say a word.