Archive for the ‘Direct Marketing’ Category

Microsoft, LinkedIn and the Personal Touch?

December 8, 2016

Microsoft buys LinkedIn

Today I received a really nice personalised email from Mike.

Mike is an important guy in LinkedIn (I’m guessing) and clearly he and his communications team felt it would be appropriate to reach out ‘personally’ to communicate some messages about some rather important news.

The problem is I don’t know Mike, I’ve never had correspondence from him and in truth he is attempting to communicate to an audience (me and God knows how many others) who are cynical and probably won’t connect with his message because we know it is a giant company who just don’t communicate like that to customers.

I totally get why the email was sent and all of the logic behind the “personal” touch BUT when you do this you must be tuned into your audience and what they are thinking so that your message will connect instead of having the opposite effect.

I’m not sure if you think like me about these things but I’ll try to share my thoughts (I’ll put these in brackets) to highlight what happens when you get the communication wrong..

Mikes email:

Dear Greg, (do I know you?)

Today, Microsoft completed its acquisition of LinkedIn.

This is a major milestone for the technology industry and for our two companies (good for you!), and I wanted to reach out to you, (that’s lovely!) a valued customer of LinkedIn, (quite honestly I’ve never quite felt like that) to reaffirm our commitment to you and your business. (Yeah right..)

As we said in June, when Microsoft announced its intent to acquire LinkedIn, LinkedIn’s vision — to create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce (what workshop came up with his one – are you taking the p#ss?) — is not changing (I can now sleep at night).

Additionally, LinkedIn will retain its distinct brand, culture and autonomy as a company (how long will this last?).

Finally, we remain committed to innovating with our partners to ensure LinkedIn’s products work with the tools and systems you use every day, from Applicant Tracking Systems, to Customer Relationship Management platforms, to Learning Management Systems, and more. (I’m breaking out the champagne!)

With the completion of this acquisition, you can continue to expect the great products and service to which you’re accustomed from LinkedIn. (if you say so yourself!)

You can find more details about today’s news here. If you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your account team or a representative here at LinkedIn. (Seeing as you emailed me Mike maybe I could email you directly? …nah, I know it doesn’t work like that)

We sincerely appreciate our partnership (hmmm- when did that happen?) with you and look forward to the successes we will share in the future. (this makes no sense whatsoever – even more champagne?)

Thanks,
Mike (from one first name to another)
Mike Gamson
Senior Vice President, Global Solutions (I bet you have a nice car!!)

Communication Breakdown..

I apologise for the sarcasm and maybe its just my mood today but was that email a whole pile of self serving me, me me rubbish?

You have to wonder if there is any point when communicating trying to pretend you have a relationship that you clearly don’t have and then smother this with cliche, marketing jargon that has been spat out of meaningless workshops where there wasn’t a genuine ‘customer’ in sight.

The purchase price was supposed to be in the region of $26 Billion – what happened with the communications plan?

Maybe just keep it easy? – issue a simple press release that says the sale has gone through

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion who offer Strategic Communications, Marketing, PR, Graphic Design services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

 

 

To whom it may concern…

March 29, 2016

Caysi Deviant Art

I’m busy clearing down a mountain of emails after a long weekend.

Each of these emails was sent with some purpose .. a work request, keeping me in the loop of something, providing me with valuable information or hoping that I will be prompted to do something.

Each of these emails was sent with a plan..someone decided on the content and the format and hit that ‘send’ button.

In the middle of all of this I get a “to whom it may concern” email from someone who is looking for Fuzion or one of our clients to sponsor their event in some way.

Technically they have done their job.. they compiled a list of people/companies to target, they gathered their email list, they worked on the ‘copy’ for their email and pressed ‘send‘.

When I get a ‘to whom it may concern‘ it makes it really easy to hit the ‘delete’ button.

Hi Greg‘ will work much better..go on… I’ve said it before, personalise – it” easy!

(the cool image I found online is by Caysi)

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion who offer Marketing, PR and Graphic Design services from our offices in Dublin and Cork

 

Searching for Gold in the world of Glamour

March 22, 2014

Panning for Gold

Is there one thing that you can do can that can help you find gold for your business?

Back in 2001 I had this crazy idea for an event – how about getting the best models in Ireland, with the best fashion brands, adding in a beauty exhibition area, spicing it up with some entertainment and then taking this on tour to the best hotels in the country in major locations?

I woke in the early hours of the morning with this crazy idea, insisted that I explained it to Dee before I forgot it and then I turned around and went back to sleep.

Soon after that we met Michael Doherty the owner of VIP magazine who liked the idea – if we went ahead with the event he would come on board as a Media Partner.

That was the last piece of encouragement we needed and from that conversation “Catwalks” was born. Both Dee and I had the job of bringing Ireland’s most glamourous fashion and beauty event on tour around the country.

Blossom Hill CatwalksWe met model agencies, we chose models, we chose a fashion show producer, we met staging companies, we booked hotels, we chose menus. we set up a lo-call number, we developed a brand and we sold the idea to top national brands and before we knew it we had six dates booked around Ireland – all we needed now was to sell tickets to the women around the country. Simple!

We went back to Michael Doherty and sure enough as promised he agreed to be our media partner. He believed in our event but he also agreed that it was a great fit for VIP magazine and it’s readers. He boldly predicted that the very first double page advert in VIP magazine, would effectively sell out the event.

When we heard this we were delighted – if that was the case our events would be a huge success, we would make money and there would be little need for all the other planned promotional activity.

The day that issue of VIP magazine hit the shelves across the country we braced ourselves. Our phone was manned and we waited for the avalanche of women booking tickets for this first of it’s kind event. We’ll never forget the name Marie Carroll, a hairdresser from Tralee who rang and booked two tickets – Yes, we were up and running!

And that was it ….nothing for another two weeks.

Panic started to set in big time. Was this great idea such a great idea after all?

Our other advertising started including local radio and newspapers. We ran competitions, we managed to get media coverage through Dee’s PR skills including a great piece on TV. We sent flyers and posters to each of the participating hotels who promised to distribute them.

Slowly but surely we started to get bookings but not enough to take away that awful sense of panic.

Tony Hadley - Catwalks

We made a decision to hit the road and visit each of the locations where we were holding our events. When we went to a town we distributed large quantities of flyers and posters – we went into the boutiques, the hair salons, the beauty salons and any place where we felt we could grab the attention  of our target audience.

We handed out our flyers and posters and we could see the reaction of the women we handed these to. What was this event all about? We stopped and we chatted and we explained what it was all about. Boutiques asked could they participate – “If you buy a table at the event we will give you a segment of the fashion show” was our response. We shifted a lot of tickets through this simple mechanism.

We got a call from our girl manning the phones. “Where are you?” she asked “I’m getting lots of calls for tickets from Limerick“. We had just spent four hours hard slog in Limerick and were totally exhausted. My shoulder was nearly broken from the weight of the promotional material I had been carrying around the place.

This was the day we learnt some big lessons:

There is no one thing that will make the promotion of your event, initiative, product or service a success – It is the combination of everything.

The one absolutely essential ingredient for success was us working our socks off!

The events turned out to be a huge success and in total over a four year period we ran 72 separate shows with our final event being in Killarney with Tony Hadley of Spandau Ballet fame closing it with an incredible version of “Gold“.

Gold….it is never easy to find!

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion are a Marketing, PR and Graphic Design agency in Ireland with offices in Cork and Dublin

Support Beam Advice

January 13, 2014

Support Beam Advice

I know you don’t like that big beam and you want to remove it but you can’t – It’s a support beam. Take it away and the building falls down

That’s black and white advice you just wouldn’t ignore and you would have to accept.

When advice like that comes with such a critical consequence you just have to follow it, and in a way it makes it really simple to take on board.

Often we give specific advice to clients, which we believe is critical to the success of their projects or business.

It’s really problematic when the person you are advising just won’t take the advice on board. Because no building is falling down as a consequence sometimes they ignore it because they feel they know better, they have a strong resistance for some reason, someone somewhere told them to do something else, they want to save money or they just have some other reason for digging in and not taking what you say on board. Often a course of action might simply take them out of their comfort zone.

In our case it could be advice around one or more of these elements:

  • A business name change
  • Branding refresh
  • Merchandising and POS
  • A new website
  • Optimisation of the website so you will be found on Google searches
  • Engaging on social media regularly
  • Dealing pro-actively with a  crisis PR situation
  • PR for successful initiatives or good news
  • Commissioning professional photos
  • Creating an event to generate interest
  • Profiling the individuals as well as the business
  • Supporting  campaigns with advertising
  • Allocating sufficient budget to campaigns

I found myself chatting to a new client recently and we were reviewing their proposal.

The client was very reluctant about one really important element in the plan, which I felt was critical to the success of the campaign. For me if we didn’t do this element the plan would definitely not work.

After a long conversation and some unsuccessful persuasion I had to change my approach.

Imagine I am your engineer and this is your house we are talking about. This element that you don’t want to go with is a support beam. If we take it away your house will fall down. Do you get my point?

The penny drops …

If your client won’t take your “support beam” advice then maybe you should just walk away – you don’t want to watch a house falling down!

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion are a Marketing, PR and Graphic Design agency in Ireland with offices in Cork and Dublin

Amazon – Lessons in knowing your customer

September 16, 2013

Music Store

It’s Friday afternoon, I’m  up the walls after a really busy but great week.

Before the afternoon closes out I’m determined to clear down my emails..

There is an email from Amazon in the middle of all my other emails …before I hit “delete” the nice image catches my attention and I give the contents of the email a quick glance:

Reprave: Volcano Choir – BON IVER, new 2013 album from his collaborative side-project with fellow Wisconsin crew..

hmmm… I love Bon Iver, which of course Amazon will know from my previous transactions.

Click …it’s a new album

Click …the reviews are good

Click …buy (they have my credit card and delivery address already)

Bought in under 30 seconds!

AmazonI’ll avoid clicking or looking any more because they have recommendations for me, which are always so spot on that I end up buying more. They also show me some of the other music people have purchased who also bought this album – even more temptation.

Amazon must have the best, most intelligent database management system for e-commerce ever – ask my credit card!

Know your customer, understand what they like, write to them and remind them you exist, make recommendations,  make it easy for them to buy, update your database and start the cycle all over again.

Where was I?… Back to my emails

Note in diary: Send out an email to my database on Monday

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion are a Marketing, PR and Graphic Design firm in Ireland with offices in Cork and Dublin

Go on – Personalise

August 5, 2013

I Love GregHi there!

Wouldn’t it be a lot better if “Hi Greg” had appeared on the email instead of the words “Hi there”?

Dear Customer,

Wouldn’t it be a lot better if “Dear Greg” appeared on the invitation to attend the launch event instead of “Dear Customer”?

The Manager

Wouldn’t it be a lot better if “Greg Canty” had appeared on the envelope and letter that accompanied the brochure instead of “The Manager”?

Price List

Wouldn’t it be a lot better if  “Fuzion price list” had appeared on the quote instead of a generic price list?

Reserved

Wouldn’t it be a lot better to see “Reserved for Fuzion” on the restaurant table instead of a plain “reserved” sign.

It does take time to customise and personalise, it does take a little extra effort but your communication will resonate so much more when you can avoid being generic. (Personalising has never been so easy with the tools that are now available).

Often being generic can even have a negative effect and can have your customer feeling very “not so special“.

  1. If you can’t personalise think twice about communicating
  2. If you can personalise get it right – double check the spelling of people and company names
  3. Where personalising isn’t expected …personalise!

I received a CD in the post from an Amazon affiliate supplier and the docket had “thanks Greg” marked across it in marker – Wow!

Sometimes it’s really easy to stand out by doing just a little thing.

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion are a Marketing, PR and Graphic Firm in Ireland with offices in Cork and Dublin

Those Days are well and truly gone

January 11, 2013
Apple Umbrellas

Handy brand ?

Those days are well and truly gone” she said with a nod that demonstrated clarity and conviction around the topic. Around the table everyone nodded their heads agreeing with the wise statement and more importantly the sentiment.

We were working on an event with some very high profile, weighty organisations. This was a planning meeting and the marketing representatives from each organisation were in attendance. The event was very progressive and was targeting attendees that were perfect for each of the participating organisations.

It sounded like a blast from the past when someone around the table suggested a “goodie bag” for the attendees. I hate that description – I immediately think of a branded plastic bag with some literature and a few bits. However I always saw the absolute sense in the “right” branded item that helps make your brand connect with the attendees.

If it is the right item and is useful and durable your brand could appear in all sorts of places being used over and over by your target audience – how bad?

The big danger is that we sit and discuss and because of the “economic climate” we too easily reject things that could make total sense without thinking properly about our objectives.

Why did we do this “stuff” before – was it because we had loads of money and we wanted to chuck it away or was it because it was simply a great idea ?

It”s pouring outside and I grab my really decent umbrella with that “logo” on it ….that brand has done a lot of travelling since the event I got it at!

A lot of what we did before made sense – those days may not be gone after all!

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion are a Marketing & PR firm with offices in Dublin and Cork

Undoing the good …. the over sell.

October 31, 2012
Pushy salesman

How about it?

Another phone call ..

Last week I attended a really good seminar that was hosted by a company from Dublin that we had never had dealings with before – I’m not really sure how I ended up on their invitation list but somehow I did.

They were obviously touting for business in the Cork area and looking for new leads.

The seminar was “free” for all attendees and I must admit that it was very useful and it was run in a very professional manner. It was well attended and judging by the level of interaction during the session the topic was of huge interest.

The two speakers on the day represented the company well and went a long way to convincing the attendees that they had considerable expertise on the subject matter – it turned out to be a really strong “showcase” for their talents and sitting there I reckoned they would definitely pick up business as a result.

I left the enjoyable session with some promotional literature and a really strong impression of the company who presented.

When people registered for the event we were asked for various contact details, which I guess is fair enough if they want to send out further literature or even add me to a newsletter. I was interested in the topic after all.

Since the event I have received a few emails and a few phone calls from the company. The calls have come directly to my mobile and also through to the office phone. After one of the calls I received an email and I politely responded thanking them for the useful session and explaining clearly that if we needed their services I would definitely consider them.

A few days later I am still getting calls and emails ….enough!

Do the seminar, showcase your talents, leave me with an information pack and maybe a polite follow up call/email a week later.

Instead you’ve turned me off and now all I want to do is avoid you!!

We all need to be careful not to undo the good by pushing too hard for the sale ..

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Facebook – Targeting your posts

October 21, 2012
Bra fitting service

It won’t fit everyone!

Maybe you don’t want every post from your Facebook business page reach every single viewer.

A great feature has just come on stream with Facebook which gives you the ability to control exactly this scenario.

Why might you do this?

With a particular post you might want to limit it to fans of your page who live locally or who are in a particular age group. Sometimes you may want to just target your post at members of a particular sex or with a particular personal status.

A department store who are running a special promotion on bra fitting may not want to interrupt their male audience with such a message, running the risk of them deciding to unlike the page.

A restaurant may not want to annoy viewers who are single when they are promoting specials on Valentines day – it might just annoy them!

How does it work?

Target post on Facebook

Who do you want to see this post?

When you are writing your post before you publish it you can choose to target the audience for this post be clicking on the “target” button, which can be seen on the bottom left corner of the post window alongside the timing button. (you must first enable this feature in your page settings – see below)

From here you can make your audience selection, which gives you a wide range of choices enabling you to limit the reach of your post.  Once you decide to publish, the post will only appear in the newsfeed of those fans that match your selected criteria.

The criteria includes gender, location, age, relationship status, education and interests.

If your fans choose to share that post it will only appear in the newsfeed of their friends that match that criteria.

The post will appear on your wall as normal visible to everyone who visits your page.

Enabling the Post Targeting feature

If your want to use this feature you must first enable the post privacy gating feature for your Facebook page – what a terrible name for the feature!

To do this you must go to the edit page menu that appears at the top of your admin panel. From here click into the manage permissions menu and you will see the “post privacy gating” option towards the end of the page, which you enable by just clicking the box.

Once you have done this the “target” feature\icon will appear as an option in the post comment window as already described.

Well done Facebook !! – its a great new feature.

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion offer Social Media Consultancy and Training from our offices in Cork and Dublin.

Celebrate those individuals making it happen for themselves

May 14, 2012
Beata

Making it Happen

On our usual Sunday walk with the four legged one (Bing for those who haven’t seen previous posts!) a little poster caught my eye on the pole of a housing estate we walk through on the way to the park.

It was placed on a pole where you might expect a picture of a missing dog but when I peeped a little closer it was an advert for someone advertising their house cleaning services.

The poster was typed up with a simple cartoon graphic of a cleaning lady and housed inside a sheet of plastic to protect it from the elements and it had the contact phone number repeated on little vertical strips for those who wanted to tear them off to make an enquiry later.

I’m sure this simple poster with a clear message “A completely clean home – my cleaning services are thorough, consistent and customised. If you want to change your cleaning routine, Call me” will bring Beata the customers she is looking for.

I started thinking about Beata on the rest of my walk whoever she is.. I pictured her deciding to start her cleaning business to earn money, drafting up her posters, printing them, cutting the phone number strips, housing them in plastic covers and then walking around finding poles in the housing estates she was targeting. She had her mini campaign for her house cleaning service well thought out and there was a real honesty to how it was delivered.

Often we celebrate the big companies with the big job numbers and the vital role they are playing in our economy but we should also celebrate those out there who are digging deep, making things happen for themselves instead of sitting back and waiting on someone else or the state to look after them.

Beata and all the other startups , I Salute you!

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion