Author Archives: knowledgence associates

Hey, Get off of My Property!

I am amazed at some of the shenanigans that businesses that should know better try to pull.

Today, I received an email from Don Draper.  You know, the studly advertising exec on AMC’s TV hit, Mad Men.  But the email didn’t originate from AMC.  It came from MarketingProfs, an otherwise great resource for marketing and social media content and information.  It was somewhat clever, in that Mr. Draper, who is known as an old-school ad man grappling with the changes in the world occurring in the early to mid-1960’s, stating his reasons for NOT attending MarketingProf’s B2B Forum 2012.  You know, because this forum will be touting new ideas for marketing, and Don is a dyed-in-the-wool (or grey flannel) old school marketer.  Get it?

But to me, this kind of thing does HUGE damage to MarketingProf’s reputation!  I mean, is this what we’re supposed to do now?  Just help ourselves to other business’ intellectual property, because the fame of another business’ creation might somehow boost our own sales?

You know, it’s one thing if a small, bootstrapping organization does something like this out of ignorant exuberance.  But when a business that makes its money by providing marketing advice and services does it, it just blows my mind.  I am no intellectual property expert, but I did spend a good portion of my career in a business that provided IP research to law firms and businesses interested in protecting their IP rights.  There is the concept of Public Domain, where creative works are open to use after a certain period following the death of the work’s creator.  But Don Draper is a current – and hugely popular – work of fiction, and it seems to me that use of his name and persona should be the exclusive right of the business that created him, and made him so popular.  I would have been a lot more comfortable with this zippy little email if it had “The character Don Draper is owned by AMC, Inc. and is used with permission” written at the bottom, even in the tiniest type.

— Chuck Dennis

Devil in the Details

This morning, I received an automated business email from an organization that a colleague had once referred me to, as a source of a potential project.  After reaching out to the CEO – a good friend of my colleague’s –  several times about this opportunity and never hearing back from him, I simply dismissed the whole thing as something that was just not meant to be.  No harm, no foul.

However, I had been placed on the company’s mailing list, but since I get roughly 8 zillion emails a day, I didn’t bother to remove myself from it.  Who knows, maybe the project opportunity I was seeking might rear its head again.

So this morning, I noticed the email from this company.  They recently modified their business name, and started utilizing a spiffy new email application to communicate with their audience.  Since email marketing is one of the services I provide, I opened the email to see what how they were doing with it.

Now, the whole reason that email marketing applications like Constant Contact, MailChimp, etc. have a process for “personalizing” the email greeting is that, on a psychological level, recipients feel a little more comfortable receiving and reading an email when it is addressed to them by name.  It gives the impression, or illusion, that there is a relationship of sorts between the emailer and the emailee.

However, this warm & fuzzy illusion is completely blown, right from the get-go, when your email begins “Dear Dennis, Chuck,”.  My name is not Dennis, Chuck.  No one calls me Dennis, Chuck – at least not anyone who knows me.  Certainly, our mutual friend does not refer to me as Dennis, Chuck.  If this sounds like I am just being grumpy about having my name messed up, that misses the point.  I really don’t care about that.  But as a businessperson who has chosen to utilize electronic communications to engage his customers and prospects, this CEO should care a lot about this.  And you should, too.

Too many businesses shoot themselves in the foot by overlooking or dismissing details like this.  Your mailing list is one of your business’ most precious assets; it warrants your attention to detail.  It should be reviewed for accuracy and formatting.  If it is not, it sends the message, loud and clear, that your business does not care OR it is simply incompetent when it comes to communicating with its intended audience.  Neither impression inspires customer confidence.

— Chuck Dennis

Relationship with Innovators

Looking at customer lifetime value is an important metric in applying and measuring the success of relationship marketing efforts for a key account.  Vetting those accounts to see which perform better than others when relationship marketing is applied can help you hone your strategies and tactics.

Taking it one step further – if you look at the highest stage of a relationship, one that I will call “Innovator,” you should consider applying the same life-time value principle with a twist.  When a relationship is at the Innovator stage, that means they are literally co-creating with your organization and building each other into each respective company’s strategy.   Check out this blog post by Braden Kelley of Innovation Excellence: http://www.innovationexcellence.com/blog/2012/07/22/innovator-lifetime-value/

Being able to measure the performance of innovator-lifetime-value makes sense so you can gauge and manage these crucial high-end customers and give them the right kind of attention so you can keep and deepen that relationship your company worked so hard to gain.

Lisa Dennis

The point of the relationship generating

Regarding Keith Ferrazi’s article How to Turn a Relationship Into a Sale, the point of the relationship generating sales relies securely on Ferrazi’s point of “packets of generosity” and making sure that ultimately, when the time is right, to do the ask.

If you are truly building a real relationship – the ask is part of it, not an interruption, not a push, but an opportunity to extend the generosity to provide more help, guidance, insights, tools, etc.

I was recently asked, “how many emails do I have to send in order for this to become a relationship?” The question exemplifies the misunderstanding of what marketing and selling relationship-style is all about.

— Lisa Dennis


Knowledgence Associates wishes you and y

Knowledgence Associates wishes you and yours a happy & safe Independence Day!

Three challenges facing today’s Chief Marketing and Sales officers – Forbes

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Marketers and Data Scientists: A Love Story – Business 2 Community

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How to Tell If IT and Marketing Have a Good Relationship .

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