Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Don't Take "NO" for an Answer

Another lesson in resiliency on display by one of the stars on the "Shark", Barbara Corcoran. In an article on Walletpop.com Barbara talks about how she fought for the spot on the show and did not accept No from mega producer Mark Burnett. The actual email she wrote to Burnett can be found here http://www.walletpop.com/blog/2009/10/06/barbara-corcoran-on-not-taking-no-for-an-answer/?icid=mainmaindl2link7http%3A%2F%2Fwww.walletpop.com%2Fblog%2F2009%2F10%2F06%2Fbarbara-corcoran-on-not-taking-no-for-an-answer%2F

Her letter highlighted her accomplishments and why she was the better choice for the position. She acknowledged Burnett's position then highlighted her past experiences and completed the email with a "call to action". Excellent solution based response to the initial denial which eventually won her the position.

Moral of the story in a sales model, don't take No for an answer if you truly believe that your solution is the better choice. Even if she did not win this spot, she still professionally gave it all she could. During this economy we are all experiencing many "No's" from proposals but need to fight for what we believe in. When I receive a "No" I still stay in contact offering the potential client to continue to follow my blog, Twitter, Facebook and Website to receive current tabs on my success and to educate on this Seismic shift going on in Business and Marketing.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Quote of the week

"The learning is that we are in very tough economic times, where price has become more of an objective to us than it ever has been, and we are using this strategy to drive traffic during this time," Ambercrombie Chief executive Mike Jeffries said during a recent conference call with analyst.

Okay, we are a year into the worst recession ever recorded in history and now he is admitting that the company is learning! Could this be one of the reasons that sales for the retailer have plummeted down 30% and they posted a net loss of $26.7 million for the second quarter? Analyst also site the fact that A&F has not offered discounts or price cutting along with missing the mark in fashion offerings.

Maybe A&F should listen more to their customers. A 23 year old male at a mall was interviewed says he prefers A&F to other brands but cannot afford them. Female 25 stated she would shop more frequently at A&F if prices were lower. Hello, is anybody listening?

I completely understand protecting a brands current and long term brand value but also understand that if sales are down strategy must be evaluated for effectiveness. Most businesses are in survival and sustain mode creating cost effective operational and marketing activities. Next time you are in your local mall, take a look at the traffic in A&F and if bags are leaving the store.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Never loose touch with your Customers

This is a lesson from a recent Wall Street Journal article about Toyota Motor Corp
heres the link http://tinyurl.com/melvfz

North American Chief of Toyota, Yoshimi Inaba stated that we got "a little bit lost" in our North American strategy. A little lost, not sure I understand what that means. According to reports, Toyota is ranking number 2 (Camry 150,000 units) and 5 (Toyota Corolla/Matrix 121,000 units) for 09 sales to only be beat by Ford F series trucks (179,000 units).
see link http://editorial.autos.msn.com/slideshow.aspx?cp-documentid=1079595&topart=utes
Yes, the Prius had received fame when the gas prices were high but with the un-attractive body styling and back order log, it did not make the top ten list.

Sales are down for all auto makers and the ultimate test is coming which is why (maybe) Mr. Inaba is rallying the troops because market share is now ready for the taking. But, standing in front of the media and stating that you have lost touch with your customers does not send a warm feeling back to your customers or your staff.

Quickly doing a Google search for Toyota did not bring many "marketing communications" on the first page but the second page had their Newsroom page listed. Upon exploring the Toyota Newsroom page it was filled with generous amounts of Social Media and ways to connect with the target market. Yes, it still is a little corporate looking/feeling but that can be corrected. Toyota Twitter page has over 6,000 followers, Youtube with over 600 subscribers and 78 videos with the top video receiving over 160,000 views (30 second sport commercial for Prius). Not bad at all, in fact Toyota has done a decent job of stepping on to the Superhighway of Social Media.

What is lacking is the engagement and connection with their marketing. The videos, even the most viewed video, was not engaging. Viewers to the video commented more on the song than the car itself. Toyota should have over 100k in Twitter followers but need to loosen up in order to not look down upon your customers. Treat them like family and they will always come back to eat. I know for me, one of the best cars I ever had was my first Toyota truck. Never had a problem, ran like a pro and was dependable for all my commuting and travel adventures.
Note - I bought this truck used from a Nissan dealer.

Recommendation to Toyota, stop the corporate, un-authentic/transparent strategy and become a company that your customers can celebrate together. Have fun with your social media, create some promotions that stimulate interest and re-launch your Experiential Marketing program that connects with consumers.