Compassion in Business

In today’s polarized political and social climate, people are often unkind and sometimes downright nasty to each other, if you ever doubt this, just spend some time reading the comment section on most news articles or social media posts. It’s probably prudent to note that at least a small percentage of the unkindness online is generated by bots and trolls who simply want a reaction from people.

All too often businesses see their customers or clients merely as numbers on their financial statements or fractions of their profit margins, this is a big mistake. If 80% of customers returning are needed for a business to thrive, it would serve any proprietor(s) or board of directors to think of their clients as Human Beings, as people. Empathy and compassion not only make the world a better place but can pay dividends in the world of commerce. Something as simple as remembering a customer’s name can mean a great deal to them and it may end up being what makes them choose your business over a competitor’s the next time they intend to spend money on a  product or service that you offer. Remembering a small detail of a conversation with them, whether it be something about their job, their family, a medical issue, a philanthropic cause important to them, a hobby, a political or social position they hold, an opinion expressed about a current world event, a pop culture reference etc.. could end up being a what endears them to your company and ultimately earns their loyalty. With top economists projecting an impending recession the likes of which will make The Great Depression pale in comparison, great customer service may be what keeps you in business when the bottom drops out of the economy.

Over the last 15 years and 16,000+ clients, we’ve learned of our customer’s engagements, marriages, births of children, divorces, bankruptcies, arrests, convictions (1 for murder) graduations, career achievements, personal growth/milestones, surgeries, health-related struggles, legal woes and victories, tragic losses of loved ones and yes, even their deaths. Many of our representatives have had clients share deeply personal things, both good and bad and many of have formed long-lasting and deep Human connections with them. Obviously, making money is the ultimate goal in business, but if you can make friends, connect with people emotionally, intellectually, impact someone’s life or just make someone’s day with a kind word, why not? We are all just people, life can be wonderful and life can be hard but a little kindness goes a long way.

Digital Marketing For The Layperson

By this point I shouldn’t be surprised but, these days I often find myself dumbfounded by some people’s struggle to comprehend the simple nature of our industry. Fear of the unknown seems to be driving much of the confusion and I suppose a lot of it comes from generations with little to no exposure to computers in their youths but, it amazes me nonetheless.

I am a “Gen X’er” so, I was a part of the very first generation to have computers in the classroom and the first to have video game consoles in the home. Growing up in what is now the Silicon Valley might have given us an advantage over other schools throughout the country but I am grateful for the early start.

I know some very intelligent, capable, successful people who simply cannot wrap their heads around digital marketing and, I know some folks with below average intelligence who oversimplify what we do and as a result, are equally impossible to talk to. Even though there are plenty of books, blogs and video tutorials dumbing down what we do for mass consumption, I am going to attempt to explain the basics of what we do, in my own words. Bear with me.

Search Engines

Unless you’ve been in solitary confinement at a C.I.A. black site, you’ve probably heard of Google so, let’s start there.

Think of Google like an interactive phone book but, instead of flipping through pages, you type in keywords (relevant to what you’re looking for), into a search bar. After you click the search button, you’re going to see a list of results, some consisting of names, numbers, and locations of either people or businesses (non-business related searches will also pull up the appropriate results). If the information you are seeking displays on the page(a business’ phone # and/or address) you’re golden, if not, you may have to click on links to be taken to a page that has the information you’re looking for. It’s really that simple. On most search engine result pages there are 3 sections: Sponsored ads, local results and organic results, to the untrained eye, they are all the same but there are some important differences.

Sponsored Ads:

These are PAID ads but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t click on them. I have heard countless people say something to the effect of “everyone knows those are paid ads so I don’t click on them”. Really? That is one of the most absurd arguments I have ever heard. Do you also refuse to buy anything you see in a tv commercial, radio ad or print ad because the advertisements are paid for? I didn’t think so. Nobody is trying to “trick or deceive you”, sponsored ads are clearly marked and they are placed in positions on the page that search engines know to get the most activity.

According to the Securities and Exchange Commission, Google makes 97% of its revenue from sponsored ads (Billions) so, they are going to position those ads in most strategically advantageous places, the same way advertisers choose certain audiences, programming, publications, markets and time slots when advertising on T.V., radio, and print.

Example:

Local Results:

The “Map Section” as it’s commonly referred to, usually only consists of local results based on a geo modifier used in a search query (name of a town, city, county, state, province, country or continent) or based off the users location, as it’s perceived by the device being used to search with (laptop, tablet, phone. etc). Improve your ranking in this section with a service called Local SEO, a valuable and affordable service we offer. Listings in this section are not pay per click.

Example:

 Organic or “Natural” Results:

These results are not paid for and appear where they do through a number of factors, mostly outside of your control. Google’s always changing algorithm ultimately decides how the results are ranked but there are things you can do that will help over time. Keeping the same URL helps, having updated, relevant content, blogging regularly and having a current, mobile and user-friendly site will go a long way. Although usability is far more important than appearances, good aesthetics certainly don’t hurt.

 

Display Ads:

Google Display Network is a group of more than 2 million websites, videos, blogs and apps where your ads can appear. Display Network sites reach over 90% of Internet users worldwide*. With the Display Network, you can use targeting to show your ads in particular contexts (like “outdoor lifestyles” or “cnn.com”), to particular audiences (like “young moms” or “people shopping for a new sedan”), in particular locations, and more.

 Here are some examples of ad shapes you might recognize:

Large Rectangle 336×280

 

 

 

160×600 Skyscraper


 728×90 Banner

 

 

 

Feel free to email us with any questions about digital marketing.

 

Cheesy marketing joke of the week:


A SEO copywriter walks into a bar, bars, tavern, pub, pubs, public house, Irish, bartender, drinks, beer, wine, liquor…

Sorry, that was not fair to SEO professionals My apologies, apology, apologize, best apology, how to apologize, really sorry…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

15 Minutes

 

 There are many things one can do in 15 minutes like, make a grilled cheese sandwich, change a tire, brew a pot of coffee, troll your least favorite celebrity on social media or, dissolve a dead human body in a large, schedule 2 plastic tub full of hydrochloric acid. Personally, I prefer a shallow grave and a bag of Lye but, I digress.

For business owners, 15 minutes of free time can be hard to find but, by taking a few minutes each day, you can help improve your company’s online presence and, without spending a dime.

 Your Website: Updating specials, sales, events, products, employees, services, charitable endeavors, changes in contact info and/or any other relevant information doesn’t take long and can be very helpful to visitors on your site. If you do not have the ability to make changes to your site, I recommend getting a CMS(Content Management System) like WordPress that allows you to make edits without the need for a web developer. If you are in the market for a new site, give us a call, we build in WordPress.

Facebook: With over 2 Billion users, Facebook has become a valuable platform for businesses and whether or not you spend money on FB ads, updating your company’s page regularly is a great way generate awareness, interest, and revenue. Just like with your website, updating specials, sales, events, products, employees, services, charitable endeavors, changes in contact info and/or any other relevant information is a good practice to be in.

Yelp and Google reviews: I cannot overstress the importance of responding to online reviews, the good and the bad alike. Thanking happy clients/customers who took the time to write a positive review is just good business and responding to bad reviews is equally, if not more important. Any PR professional will tell you that you must respond to damaging allegations, accusations or public criticism, simply put, if you don’t tell your side of the story, somebody else will tell it for you. Bad reviews can hurt your bottom line, and many times they are embellished or outright fabricated so, telling your truth is crucial. If you are dealing with a reasonable person and you are willing to work through their grievance, sometimes you can get them to remove or update the review. Make time to regularly check and respond to reviews. Many businesses have unclaimed Yelp listings but taking control of your page is not difficult, you cannot respond if you don’t have administrative access to your listing.

Check Your Local Listings: If you Google your company name and location, you should see relevant results going down the first page, click on any company listing and make sure the information is correct, many times it is not. Incorrect information like hours of operation, contact info and location can cost you money. Your business is listed hundreds of places around the internet, if you don’t have the time or the desire to monitor them all, I recommend taking advantage of our Local SEO service, it’s more than affordable and incredibly valuable for any business.

If you are so busy that you cannot find the time for any of these suggested tasks, you are a perfect candidate for our services and you should give us a call @ 866-609-3483

Until next week……

 

Cheesy marketing joke of the week:

How do you get people to notice you online?

 

You have to really make an impression.

 

The Best Medicine

 

When I am asked what I do for a living, I often see people’s eyes glaze over when I answer with “digital marketing”. “Oh, you’re a computer guy”, I’ll hear right before they quickly try to change the subject but, as someone who doesn’t enjoy talking about myself, I am usually all too happy to move on to another topic.

Aside from the obvious boring aspects of our industry, the confusion, frustration, and fear exhibited by some clients (usually from generations that had little to no exposure to computers in their youth) sometimes just makes the whole experience unenjoyable, I imagine that dentists, accountants, and proctologists see similar responses to their professions.

Since this company’s inception, we have had over 16,000 clients so you can only imagine the variety of conversations our employees have had with clients and prospects alike. Here are some of our favorite funny stories(that we can share) from the past 14 years:

While cold calling years ago, I contacted a woman with a deep, raspy voice, who didn’t hear me identify the company I was calling from so she asked me again, “What’s the name of your company”? I replied, “Ideal Positions”. There was a silent pause for a few seconds to which she followed up with “Oooooooo, I’ll take TWO of those”.

The name of our company was intended to be provocative and continues to elicit a variety of responses.

Then, there’s the client who called me while sitting on the toilet and another time while he was in the shower, both times he felt the need to tell me exactly what he was doing.

Another time I called a client in Arizona to discuss her account and when I asked her how she was, she said (paraphrasing) “I’m good, just been running around my house in my underwear, high on Vicodin for the last 3 days”.

We once had the wife of client call us after seeing a $1000 charge on her husband’s credit card statement from “Ideal Positions”. Apparently, she thought we were an escort service but was relieved to learn that we are a marketing company. One gets the impression that hubby dearest may have previously been caught in a less than ideal position with a consultant that “handled” more than his marketing and a company that drove traffic to his hotel room instead of his website.

And finally, a funny internal story about our own Ian “Baby Girl” Davis:

The Ideal Positions office is lucky enough to be surrounded by fields, filled with grass, wild strawberries, and beautiful wildlife so, it’s no wonder that a lot of employees like to talk a walk outside during the day.

One day, while walking through one of the fields that surround the office, our Operations and Innovation Director Mara Grow found a small brown paper bag in the tall grass. Her curiosity piqued, she opened the bag to see what was inside, to her amazement she found a sandwich, a bottle of apple juice, a small bag of chips, and a napkin.  Obviously, someone had lost their lunch. About a block away from the office is a school bus stop, so it was safe to guess that a child had lost their lunch bag while walking to the bus stop.  Further confirming this was a handwritten note on the napkin, which read, “I love you baby girl!”

Mara returned to the office with the note, and showed it to several staff members – we all hoped that the intended recipient of the lunch was OK.  This prompted Mara to play a joke on Ian so, she left the apple juice and note on his desk.  Ian was puzzled about who had left him the note, but was (too) excited about getting the apple juice, and proceeded to drink it.  He then put the note in a prominent place on the shelves behind his desk, to remind him to find out who had left the items on his desk.

Other staff members saw the note and decided that “baby girl” would be a great nickname for him.  Ian, having the great sense of humor that he does, took the title and ran with it.  He is now affectionately known as Ian “Baby Girl” Davis around the office.

More shenanigans, tomfoolery, high jinks and monkey business to come.

 

Cheesy marketing joke of the week:

What’s the personality of a bad digital marketer?

Answer: Anti-social