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Tim Peter Thinks

Tim Peter

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October 14, 2013

Can Your Customers Really Trust You?

October 14, 2013 | By | No Comments

Trust me...I knew a girl in college who always dated “bad boys.” You know the type. Guys who lived dangerously, excited her—and occasionally scared her. So I was surprised when I ran into her not long ago and found she’d married a classmate of ours we’d always thought of as, frankly, kind of boring (actually, he used to say the same about himself). I asked her how married life was treating her and she responded, “Awesome! He’s such a good man and a great father. He treats me and the kids right, every day.”

What’s that got to do with marketing? Well, consider the following:

I get how actions like these might help these companies, at least in the short term. But, seriously, what benefit do these actions provide customers?

Peter Drucker’s “The Essential Drucker”
—one of my favorite books and an essential part of any business leader’s library—states as one of its core concepts that the primary function of a business is to create a customer.

Not exploit the customer.

Not deceive the customer.

And certainly not impersonate the customer to confuse others into thinking that customer thinks more highly of you than they might actually do.

Obviously, you want to make money from your customers. That’s OK. I like making money and highly recommend it to all my clients, too. But I mentioned last week that your customer really is king (or, if she prefers, queen). And the traditional response from kings and queens who feel they’re not being treated well usually goes something like, “Off with their heads!”

Trust plays a central role in any customer relationship, regardless of whether your value proposition focuses on customer service, technical leadership, or price. Customers don’t give their money to companies they don’t trust. Full stop.

Google dominates search activity among Internet users. But the AGFAM companies (Apple, Facebook, Amazon, and Microsoft, along with Google) offer potential alternatives, as do offerings from IBM, Foursquare, Yelp, TripAdvisor and countless others. ComicCon attracts a passionate group of attendees, deeply engaged with their “fandoms.” But so do DragonCon, Otakon, and many smaller venues.

But being on top today guarantees nothing about the future.

The Internet changes customer behavior and mobile accelerates that change. Customers can find whatever they want, whenever they want, buy from whomever they want and can share that information with their friends, family, fans and followers, pretty much always.

So go ahead and impersonate your customers, use their private information as you will, spread messages in their name whether they want you to or not. The may enjoy the excitement you provide and may want a walk on the wild side, at least for a while. But, just like my college friend, no matter how much they might like dating the dangerous ones, their long-term relationships always will gravitate towards the ones who treat them right.

If you’re interested in learning more about the future of e-commerce and marketing via the social, local, mobile web, register to receive a special report I’ve produced in conjunction with hotel marketing firm Vizergy, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World.” While it’s targeted specifically at hotel and resort marketers, the lessons apply to just about any business. You can get your free copy of the report here.

You might also enjoy some of our past coverage of the social, local, mobile web and what it means for your business, including:

Tim Peter

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August 16, 2013

Facebook Isn't Offering a Mobile Payments Platform. But What They Are Offering is Far More Interesting.

August 16, 2013 | By | No Comments

Facebook moving into commerceOn yesterday’s podcast, I mentioned that Facebook was launching a PayPal competitor as reported by AllThingsD. Turns out, not so much.

But, what they are doing is really interesting all the same.

TechCrunch clears up the confusion noting Facebook’s payments test is a companion that fills in billing info. Key story highlight:

” The feature pre-fills credit card and billing info for making easier purchases through PayPal, Stripe, Braintree or other payment processors in third-party mobile apps. It’s not a payment processor itself, but could help Facebook prove the ROI of its ads.” [Emphasis mine]

Now, clearly there’s a need for this kind of app. I’ve mentioned before how poor usability hurts the growth of mobile.

But the bigger trend, one I’ve mentioned in the past is that “he who owns the data, owns the customer.” (You can read more about that in my presentation on where marketing and online distribution are headed below):

Companies like Facebook, and its AGFAM brethren—Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft, plus eBay who deserves an honorable mention—recognize the value of customer data.

You’d think Facebook would love to get a piece of the highly profitable payments pie. But this move shows where they believe the real value lies.

If you’re interested in learning more about the future of marketing on the social, local, mobile web, register to receive a special report I’ve produced in conjunction with hotel marketing firm Vizergy, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World.” While it’s targeted specifically at hotel and resort marketers, the lessons apply to just about any business. You can get your free copy of the report here.

You might also enjoy some of our past coverage of the social, local, mobile web and what it means for your business, including:

Tim Peter

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August 1, 2013

The Web is Maturing. Shouldn't Your Digital Marketing? Thinks Out Loud Episode 37

August 1, 2013 | By | No Comments

Mobile in app advertising

Headlines

And, as promised in the podcast, you can register to receive a free copy of my special report, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World,” produced in conjunction with Vizergy, here. While it’s targeted to the hospitality industry specifically, most of the lessons apply across verticals.

Contact information for the podcast: podcast@timpeter.com

Technical details: Recorded using a Shure SM57 microphone
through a Mackie Onyx Blackjack USB recording interface into Logic Express 9 for the Mac.

Running time: 13m 54s

You can subscribe to Thinks Out Loud in iTunes [iTunes link], subscribe via our dedicated podcast RSS feed (or better yet, given that Google has now killed Reader, sign up for our free newsletter). You can also download/listen to the podcast here on Thinks using the player below:

Tim Peter

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July 25, 2013

Facebook's Mobile Money and the Streisand Effect: Thinks Out Loud Episode 36

July 25, 2013 | By | No Comments

Facebook in stream ad

Headlines

And, as promised in the podcast, you can register to receive a free copy of my special report, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World,” produced in conjunction with Vizergy, here. While it’s targeted to the hospitality industry specifically, most of the lessons apply across verticals.

Contact information for the podcast: podcast@timpeter.com

Technical details: Recorded using a Shure SM57 microphone
through a Mackie Onyx Blackjack USB recording interface into Logic Express 9 for the Mac.

Running time: 14m 05s

You can subscribe to Thinks Out Loud in iTunes [iTunes link], subscribe via our dedicated podcast RSS feed (or better yet, given that Google has now killed Reader, sign up for our free newsletter). You can also download/listen to the podcast here on Thinks using the player below:

Tim Peter

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June 27, 2013

Tim Peter

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April 23, 2013

The Key to Social Media Success

April 23, 2013 | By | One Comment

Social media successFew businesses have faced as much competitive pressure over the last decade as travel agents. Those who’ve survived have done so by connecting effectively with their customers, addressing real needs, and providing excellent service.

But the growth of social media has introduced a new variable to travel agents’ relationships with their clients, one that many struggle to navigate. The latest issue of Travel Agent Magazine features a cover story, “Social Media Tips From the Experts,” all about how travel agents — and anyone in the travel space, really — can use social media to connect with their clients in ever more effective ways. The piece features tips from a number of leading social media marketing experts, including our own Tim Peter.

Among the tips Tim shared with the magazine was this advice:

“Think about what’s of value to your customers,” Peter says. “Travel agents should be better at this than a lot of other people because you talk to customers every day. What are the things your clients ask you all the time? That’s great info to share.”

Content marketing — itself core to any social media marketing efforts — challenges marketers to continually generate new content. But any business person, travel agent or otherwise, who talks to customers regularly knows what really matters to those customers. Or should.

Creating deep relationships with customers depends on first listening to what your customers say and working to understand what customers actually need. Of course, the understanding is as important as the listening. Henry Ford famously said, “If I’d asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” Ford translated “faster horses” into serving a real need: providing reliable, inexpensive, and, yes, faster transportation.

Your social media efforts should aim for the same goal. First, listen to what your customers and clients say, on social channels as well as offline. Then understand what those customers need. Then, finally, engage with customers to address those needs.

By the way, the article as a whole is filled with a ton of tips you can use, regardless of your industry or occupation. Check it out if you get the chance.

And, if you’re interested in more, sign up for our free newsletter to get more information on how to build your social, local, mobile marketing strategy. You might also enjoy some of our past coverage of social, including:

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April 11, 2013

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March 7, 2013

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February 6, 2013

Can Facebook Deliver Sales?

February 6, 2013 | By | No Comments

Can Facebook deliver sales? Zappos says yesMashable looks at Zappos Facebook activity over 2 months and finds it drives 85,000 website visits. Money quote:

“Overall, each status update during the period had a conversion rate of 1.75%, meaning that roughly one person in 50 clicked from the update to buy something. Bryan Eisenberg, a marketing ROI expert, says Zappos’ results are decent since the average conversion rate for retail is 2% to 3%.”

So, Zappos isn’t just getting traffic from their Facebook marketing, they’re also getting sales (though I would caution most people from reading too much into “industry average conversion rates”).

Again, the key point is that they’re getting sales. Today. Right now.

Social commerce (much like mobile) maybe something you’re looking at “in the future.” Just remember that the future’s already here.

Interested in more? Sign up for our free newsletter and get more information on how to build your social, local, mobile marketing strategy.

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Tim Peter

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January 25, 2013