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Tim Peter

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October 28, 2011

Social Success, Succinctly Stated (Small Business E-commerce Link Digest – October 28, 2011)

October 28, 2011 | By | No Comments

Earlier this week, we looked at yet another reason why social media marketing is a good idea and how social commerce hides in plain sight. So, today, we’re rounding up links all about social commerce and social marketing success.

On with the links:

And, finally, if you’ve ever wondered why your customers don’t buy from you online, check out this video. See if it feels familiar.

Hat tip to Rescue Marketing for the video link.

Have a great weekend everybody. See you right back here next week.


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Tim Peter & Associates helps companies from startups to the Fortune 500 use the web to reach more customers, more effectively every day. Take a look and see how we can help you.

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Tim Peter

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June 5, 2009

How creative are you? (Small Business E-commerce Link Digest – June 5, 2009)

June 5, 2009 | By | No Comments

Since reviewing Hugh MacLeod’s “Ignore Everybody”, I’ve been giving lots of thought to the nature of creativity. Why does creativity matter? Because, as Bryan Eisenberg points out, most marketers suffer from impotence. And not because they have bad ideas for how to promote their product, but because they don’t have enough ideas on how to have a different product. It reminds me of the story in Harry Beckwith’s “Selling the Invisible”
– one of thinks’ 12 most important books of the last 10 years – about Beckwith wasting 3 days trying to write copy advertising a new product. A flawed product as it turns out. As Beckwith’s boss noted, “If it’s that hard to write the ad, fix the product.”

Is your product or service equally flawed? What can you do about it? Read on, Big Thinkers. Read on:

Hope this stir your creative juices, Big Thinkers. Use ‘em to hit the ground running next week.



Are you getting enough value out of your small business website? Want to make sure your business makes the most of the local, mobile, social web? thinks helps you understand how to grow your business via the web, every day. Get more than just news. Get understanding. Add thinks to your feed reader today.

Or subscribe via email.

And while you’re at it, don’t forget to follow Tim on Twitter.

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Tim Peter

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September 11, 2008

What?!? You mean there's more to customer service than social tools?

September 11, 2008 | By | No Comments

David Armano is a rock star blogger, big thinker and bastion bonhomie. I’d originally planned to include David’s recent experience dealing with Comcast in my roundup of social tools yesterday. But, I, um… forgot. I’m glad I did. Because when re-reading David’s excellent post I found the even more excellent comment from Alan Wolk I’d missed the first time through. To wit:

David: While I agree with your points on this, I can’t help wondering why the non-Twitter/Frank customer service experience has to be so awful. I mean if they’d put you through to a live person (versus an endless phone chain) or given you accurate information in the first place, would Franks’ intervention have seemed so magical?

It can’t be a good thing for a brand to have such wildly divergent customer service experiences. I’d suggest they look at the benefits of what Frank is doing on Twitter and build from there.

Oh, Mr. Wolk. You, sir, receive highest marks. While so many of us wrapped up in the Interwebs sometimes forget it, online is only part of the total customer experience.

Once, in a past life, I was confronted by a young brand manager and asked why our e-commerce site didn’t better reflect “the brand experience.” I asked the young manager to describe the brand experience. HIs answer: a blank stare. Looking to your website – or a social media channel, or an on online campaign, or what-have-you – to sell an experience that doesn’t exist is like using Kleenex as an umbrella. You might get away with it once. But it won’t last.

Obviously, the Web is a critical component of the overall customer experience. And social tools play an increasingly strong role, especially, as David’s post illustrates, in the area of customer loyalty. Failing to address these in the long-run will cost you dearly.

But, what Alan Wolk reminds us is customer experience is the sum of your customer’s interactions with your business. Sure, you might do well in some areas. But each failed interaction provides your competitors an opportunity, a toehold, a beachhead towards providing your customers a better experience. It’s great Comcast gave David an alternative way to get help. But it would be better altogether if they didn’t need it.



Are you getting enough value out of your small business website? Want to make sure your business makes the most of the local, mobile, social web? thinks helps you understand how to grow your business via the web, every day. Get more than just news. Get understanding. Add thinks to your feed reader today.

Or subscribe via email.

And while you’re at it, don’t forget to follow Tim on Twitter.

Tim Peter

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April 14, 2008

The fine line between connecting with customers and Spam.

April 14, 2008 | By | No Comments

Spam is in the mind of the receiverHow you connect with customers matters.

Connecting with customers needs to serve your customers’ needs, not yours. When you only use it to serve yours, it’s spam.

Even though all of these companies are using the Internet to connect with customers, which one would you rather be?

Tim Peter

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December 13, 2007

How can marketers hit a moving target?

December 13, 2007 | By | No Comments

David Armano thinks 2008 will be the year of the mobile internet. I completely agree. The way consumers interact with the web is changing dramatically, even though most customers don’t realize it themselves. Worse, most businesses don’t either. The mobile web looks like the PC-based web did in 1998-1999, with business and consumer benefits set to explode. Improved devices and networks (iPhone/Android), increased options and flexibility (Verizon’s bring your own device), interesting applications and interactions (Twitter/Pownce/Safari). All very cool.

So how do marketers get onboard?

  1. Understand that your customers have mobile devices and are starting to use them
  2. Learn what mobile services matter to your customers – primarily search, email, voice
  3. Cover the basics – make sure your site can be found, browsed and contacted via mobile. It doesn’t require huge IT investment to make sure your site scans on mobile devices.
  4. Explore the fringes – Set up a twitter account and encourage your customers to follow you or offer SMS contacts

This “core and explore” method is the best way to ensure that once your customers go mobile, you can find them, reach them, and help them without driving yourself crazy.

Tim Peter

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October 3, 2007

David Armano on developing a “whole new mind”

October 3, 2007 | By | No Comments

I genuinely admire David Armano. After reading Daniel Pink’s “A Whole New Mind,” I now have a greater appreciation why. Armano’s “lessons learned in design school” post applies to most anything you aspire to in life and help develop your right-brain, too. Well worth the read.