Does It Really Matter What You, Or Anyone, Thinks Of Chick-fil-A?

I ask this purely from a marketing perspective.

Here’s why: Chick-fil-A takes in more than $4 billion each year by aligning perfectly with the community it serves: traditional, family-oriented people of all ages, races and creeds.

Chick-fil-A has raving fans

Meanwhile, they’re extraordinarily efficient about not expending resources elsewhere. They’ve targeted exceptionally well, just by being who they are.

If you’re not a part of their extended community, you may be unfamiliar with how the company became so successful. It’s more than just tasty sandwiches and lemonade, or cool ads from The Richards Group.

No matter where you stand on Chick-fil-A’s values, or the size of your business, or what markets you serve, you can take lessons from their success.

The secrets of Chick-fil-A’s brand power Continue reading

Why I love inbound marketing

Inbound marketing is kind of the opposite of Mad Men advertising

We were the Mad Men of the 80s and 90s. Kind of.

At a large ad agency where I worked in the early 90s, many of the copywriters and art directors would show up late each day. Then they’d spend an hour or so visiting, as if they hadn’t seen each other in months. Then they’d attend a “meeting” – to view directors’ reels with a production company sales rep bearing free pastries. Most attendees weren’t even working on TV projects.

After an hour of this vital work, many would go out for a Jamba Juice.

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How not to engage in social media: A personal story

Coca-Cola North America does more marketing in a day than most of us do in years. And judging by the record, they do it extremely well. At the risk of seeming picayune, here’s some constructive criticism. Continue reading

The first job in email marketing: Build your list!

Do you have any tips for growing an email list? Please share them with us in the comments below.

A few days ago, I promised to talk about growing your email list. I think most businesses and organizations aren’t nearly as seriously as they should be about growing their list.Grow your email list

When I talk to clients who are considering email marketing, they’re so enthusiastic. And why not?  They imagine the professional look and branding, the efficiency, the easy tracking of opens and clicked links, the measurability – and all at such an unbelievably low price for the potential value.

But then the inconvenient question

What shape is your email list in?  Generally, I get blank stares.

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HootSuite: The Twitter user’s essential tool

I wouldn’t call myself a Twitter guru, or even a fanatic. But I like it quite a bit, especially for promoting your content, networking and doing research. I don’t know how many times I’ve tweeted something like, “Any recommendations on a CRM system for a construction contractor? PLEASE RETWEET”, and gotten back tons of thoughtful responses.

So I always recommend small and midsize businesses give Twitter a try. Like anything else, it requires an investment in time (to do it yourself) or money (to pay your people to do it). Some people have money, some have time, some have neither. So you prioritize. Maybe Twitter isn’t a high priority with the time it requires.

But Twitter doesn’t have to take too much time, if you use a great tool like HootSuite.

I rarely go to Twitter.com anymore. I use HootSuite to review my lists and messages; and to compose, schedule and send tweets.

And now (drumroll please…): It looks like HootSuite just got better. Check out their new “Hootlet” auto-scheduling extension for Chrome and add-on for Firefox. It resides up there next to your address bar, and lets you quickly schedule link-share tweets, which are among the most retweeted. I think I’m going to like this.

Email marketing: Is it a part of Inbound marketing?

Like a lot of us who began marketing careers in the pre-Internet era, I try to avoid traditional marketing whenever I can. Frankly, I’m sick of it. I don’t like 99% of commercials, print ads, billboards or direct mail. I’m disgusted by telemarketing. I’m not a big fan of most email advertising, either.

Is email part of Inbound Marketing?

And yet, I recommend that almost every business develop an email marketing program. What gives? How can email marketing, which is generally fodder for the trash or junk box, be included in the Inbound marketing strategies I support?

It depends on two criteria.

One: Do you have permission to email?

Permission takes what would otherwise be a disruptive, unwelcome marketing technique, and makes it welcome. The only difference is that instead of the prospect actively reaching out to your website, they’ve asked you to send them information. They’re still coming to you – you’ve just made it more convenient for them. Continue reading