Friday, June 18, 2010

To social media or not

I was asked by a potential small business client to explain what this twittering and social media is all about and how it can help his business.

He has a number of corporate retail stores in the health industry.

He also has no website.

To explain social media is putting the cart before the horse.

Social media is work and time consuming.

Chris Brogan is an eleven year veteran of using social media and both web and mobile technologies to build digital relationships for businesses, organizations, and individuals. His take on social media is worth repeating.

Tony Mariani

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Before you go for the free email marketing program

Here is a list of points to consider:

1. Does the program allow you to customize your newsletter?
2. Because its free, is there 3rd party advertising on your newsletter?
3. Are you limited in the number of subscribers you can send out or is it unlimited?
4. Will you be able to measure all the analytics? Some questions to ask are:
how many emails were opened, not opened, how many forwarded the email, how
many didn't make it through firewalls, were emails no longer valid addresses
removed from the list? Click-thru rates. This information is crucial to your
5. If your email list is growing make sure the free program can handle expansion.
6. And if something is going wrong, will you have the ability for tech support?

Remember there is no such thing as a free lunch.

Tony Mariani

Monday, June 7, 2010

Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion and Purpose

Is the title of Zappos CEO, Tony Hsieh's book out today.

You have to admire the entrepreneur mind of Hsieh who at a young age was making money from his business ventures. Barely out of Harvard and at his first job, Hsieh is bored working for someone else. So he quits and not long after he would sell his company, LinkExchange,to Yahoo for $265 million dollars.

So what does a guy in his mid twenties with a pocket full of cash do? Whatever he wants! He dabbles in day trading, invests in a movie and sets up a company to provide financing to start up companies. He soon finds himself spending more time with one of those investment companies, Zappos, an online company that sells shoes. Not the greatest model for a business. People need to try shoes on!

And the early years are tough on Zappos and Hsieh finds his nest egg quickly dwindling and Zappos needs a cash infusion. So Hsieh sells his condo at a loss to keep Zappos going. Blind faith perhaps.

Zappos is an unorthodox company. Where else do they offer new hires a $2000 bonus to quit if they haven't bought into the Zappos culture. Hsieh put company culture above all else. He invested in the personal development of his employees and gave his customer service reps more freedom than at a typical call center.

As Hseih puts it, "they are not in the shoe and accessory business, they are in the customer service business". And better service would translate into lots of repeat customers, which would mean low marketing expenses, long-term profits, and fast growth.

The proof is in the pudding. Zappos was sold to Amazon this year for a billion dollars.

And when you read the 10 core values that make up the Zappos culture, you know they practice what they preach.

1. Deliver WOW through service
2. Embrace and drive change
3. Create Fun and a little weirdness
4. Be adventurous, creative and open-minded
5. Pursue growth and learning
6. Build open and honest relationships with communication
7. Build a positive team and family spirit
8. Be more with less
9. Be passionate and determined
10. Be humble

What would your business look like if you embraced those 10 principals? Click here to learn more about Delivering Happiness.

Tony Mariani

Friday, June 4, 2010

Free or is there a hook

You see them on websites. Enter your name and email and you can download a white paper.

Is it the best way to capture emails to build your data base? I am not a fan and agree with David Meerman Scott. Scott prefers ebooks. And he knows what he is talking about. He figures his ebook, "What Matters Now", has been downloaded a million times.

Tony Mariani