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Marketing Eye blog topic: Small Business Marketing - page 11

Small Business Marketing

How do you become someone's favourite restaurant?

The food needs to be delicioius. Mouth watering. Something that your customer thinks about without even being there and tasting it. They need to sit around chatting to their friends, and at the same time be dreaming that they are eating a meal at your restaurant.

Your restaurant needs to be convenient. Not necessarily around the corner, but in close enough proximity to not be a hassle to get to.
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If you are anything like me, Sunday morning, I always go down to my local cafe at 7am with my dog to buy a coffee and a fresh croissant. It gets rid of two things; my need for a coffee in the morning and my dog needing to 'do her business'.

Then, I come home, shower, and turn on my computer. Mainly I write, but at least for an hour or so, I work.

Unlike most people, I rarely go into my emails. That to me is a Monday to Friday, 9 to 5 job. Instead I look at the Marketing Eye website and think of ways to market our business.

I am THE SUNDAY MARKETER.

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Have you ever thought about what your website is really used for? Why people are visiting it in the hundreds, thousands, ten's of thousands?

One of my clients yesterday said to me that they Google searched an obscure term, and Marketing Eye came up. He was surprised, but I guess, not as surprised as I was.

A website, if it is search engine optimised, comes up on search engines. That is the purpose. Right? You invest all of this money, time and effort into ensuring that your website comes up trumps when prospects, clients and stakeholders are looking for your company or a company that provides your products or services.

But who else visits your website and why?
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There were 9.66m tweet in the first day of the London 2012 Olympics, surpassing the Beijing 2008 Olympics total in just 24 hours.

In fairness, Twitter was just a startup then, so our timelines were not flooded as they are today and there was no colossal 340 million tweet per day. But this microblogging site is mammoth when it comes to bringing us the news faster and and more efficiently than any other medium in sound bites that most of us can understand. It also gives us choice as to whether we wish to read more or not.
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Ever wondered why people soak up every word that a truly successful person says? Or why, they seem to do less talking than the person engaging with them in conversation?

Successful people are unique. They don't need to buy a Ferrari (or any other car like this - if you get my gist)  to show that they have money, nor will they order the most expensive wine in a restaurant. They typically do not wear obvious designer briefs and they never tell you how good they are or what accomplishments they have made.

Instead, they listen attentively, ask questions and put the spotlight on others.

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Someone who is successful and I am talking in the upper echelons of success (i.e. billionaires or at least with 50 million bucks in the bank), are bespoke. Instead of telling you how great they are, they are happy to find out about you and what makes you unique or special.

In my time as an entrepreneur, I have met some of the most amazing people from every imaginable walk of life. I have been fascinated by success and revolted by people who are flashy (and tacky) or who desperately are looking for people to notice them. I always wonder why some people behave like they do and yet the people who really have a few notches on their belts in the success department, stand tall and say very little.

I learnt early on when I first met some seriously successful people that I would walk out of a room and know nothing about them, but somehow I spilled the beans on every aspect of my life. They have an art for asking the right questions, making you feel very comfortable with them and almost familiar rather than a stranger they met five minutes ago.

Successful people also talk slowly. Have you ever noticed that? I am not sure whether that is good education, or that they process what they say and choose their words more wisely.

I have also observed that successful people never put others down. Instead, they support, encourage and promote people that they believe in or have crossed their paths. They happily give up time to speak to people they deem worthy of a conversation, not based on how successful or important they are, but because they are worthy of their time.

Another thing that I have noted about successful people of all ages and that is that they never check their mobile phones when they are talking to you and they don't have facebook accounts. In fact, they don't waste time on things that are not conducive to giving them a better life or improving their knowledge or status quo.

And last but not least, many of the people that I have met that are successful are charismatic. They have an inner confidence and exude strength and positioning. But it is funny that when you actually get to know these people, this intimidating factor is diminished through familiarity and they become just like you and me.
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Retailers that have not adopted a strategic social media strategy that has as much weighing in their marketing budget as their traditional media spend, are at risk of not only losing marketshare but also staying alive as a business.

Retailers were slower to discover the benefits of using bloggers and affiliate sites to reach their target audience, but those who have taken seriously the trend that has absorbed the world in the past five years of social media engagement are seeing a lower cost marketing platform that is complemented by a more loyal and trusted customer base.
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I have a conspiracy theory relating to the latest blockbuster novel "50 Shades of Grey".

If you have spent any time at all reading any of the three novels in the series, you would realize that other than a basic storyline, it is all about porn. Albeit soft.

1.5 million people have already read this book. I have read it. My friends have read it. It is addictive and completely trashy, but let's face it - women love this type of stuff. Look at how successful Mills and Boons was and still is.

My theory though, having read two of the New York Times Bestseller Trilogy series, that the book was commissioned by a large chain or perhaps online sex store. Bare with me as I explain...
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There is little storyline other than the fact that there is three families in the Trilogy and the main characters are Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele. At least nine-tenths of each book is just about sex and in particular, S&M.

50 Shades of Grey Trilogy

The books are not even particularly well written but their descriptive blows on sex with whips, blind folds, kinky toys and alike is like opening a window for housewives around the world to get excited about sex again and go out and try a few different positions with the aid of a few toys.

Adultshop.com has recorded a 40 percent increase in sales. Any shop selling grey ties, has without doubt, sold out. And sex shops around the globe are selling out of any props or toys discussed in the 50 Shades of Grey. This, I believe, is no accident. On top of that, the twitter accounts for Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey are followed by millions and if you follow them, they will follow you back. If you ask them a question, they will answer in character.

It's marketing. Now, I could be wrong, and a genius marketer may not be behind it, but I really doubt that that is the case.

No different to episodes in sex in the city about the "rabbit" or any other shoe or dress design that Carrie saw fit to wear, a product can sell out just by a sheer mention on television, in a movie, online and in books.

Do you think that 50 Shades of Grey is a commission or a naughty author obsessed in S&M?
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Success means different things to different people. I have said this before in my marketing blogs and I will say it again. To some, it means having a happy and healthy life. Others, it means how much money they make or how the world views their achievements. For me, it is something that I am completely unsure of.

To be honest, I am told often that "I am successful". But the reality is that I don't feel successful. It's a benchmark that for me, I am yet to achieve.
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It's been a windy road to get to where I am today. Sitting in front of my computer, going through literally hundreds of emails and sending off replies like I am in some kind of maniac rush.

Expansion isn't easy. Don't get me wrong - everyone has been supportive, but I have had to pull inner strength from places I never knew existed. You see, when you start a business at 25, there is no such thing as fear. You have nothing to lose. I had nothing to lose to be more precise. Blessed with a wonderful partner at home at the time, I was fully supported and encouraged to go out there and give it my best. And that I did.
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A moment to spare between meeetings and a laptop in hand, there is only one place to go.

Caribou Coffee Shop on Peachtree Street in Buckhead Atlanta.

As I ask for a coffee with skim milk, they ask my name. Not too dissimilar to a Starbucks Coffee shop but for some reason, I like the coffee more and I love that it is conveniently located near where I am staying.
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After a highly successful trip to AT & T for a new mobile phone, I ventured towards the car through the shopping mall Lennox in Buckhead Atlanta.

My eyes were captivated by the lights and colours that shine so brightly from Victoria Secret that my one year ban from going into the store, became a distant memory.

I didn't really want to make a purchase, but I was totally mesmerized when I walked past the store that I felt compelled to walk in.
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What started out as a trip to meet some friends of mine to celebrate the Fourth of July in Dana Point, has ended in one of the most inspiring 24 hours that I have had in a long time.

You never know who you may meet, just by turning up.

While I love to catch up with good friends and share experiences, I am a believer that 'everything happens for a reason' and if you open yourself up to possibilities, then you will enrich your life in more ways than you have ever imagined.
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A goal for Marketing Eye is to improve customer satisfaction in the next 12 months.

It takes so much effort and money to acquire a customer, that by investing back in their satisfaction, we will automatically improve our bottom line and create greater brand loyalty.

To do this though, you need to create a "shift" in the way people think in your organisation. That is easier said than done.

Randall Stephenson became CEO of AT&T in 2007 and his first port of call was to create a shift in thinking across the entire organisation.In the past the company had been focused on their wireline business, but he wanted everyone to shift their thinking to the future, which was wireless. "That's where the growth is," he said. The new strategy was to "Mobilize everything" and so he went about communicating this shift to all the employees, stakeholders and customers.
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Katie Holmes files for a divorce from Tom Cruise! Who is surprised? Was it more a case of when rather than if?

While no-one seems overly surprised that a divorce is imminent for Hollywood royalty Tom Cruise and his young wife Katie Holmes, the world has all of a sudden gone mad over the fact that in her divorce application she did not mention pre-nuptial agreement. Is this because there is a legal contract in place?
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