4 Retro Ways to Connect with Modern Audiences

Everywhere we look lately, from entertainment to business, what’s old is new again. Well established franchises are selling out movie theaters, the toy aisle is straight out of the eighties and businesses everywhere are turning back the clock to stand out in this fast-paced, digital world.

Clearly Conveyed Communications -- We give you a voice.

How can you go retro to connect with customers and grow your business today?

Make it personal with a handwritten note. When you receive a handwritten note, card or letter, it feels more personal. The recipient will appreciate that you took the time to put your thoughts on paper. The next time you want to thank a loyal customer or employee, don’t send an email. Jot down why you appreciate the recipient and how much you value the relationship, job he’s doing, etc. A little writing will go a long way!

How House of Cards is Winning the Marketing Game

Develop long-term relationships. Relationship marketing is a buzzword today, but the concept is straight out of a bygone era. Take the time to get to know your clients and employees, business partners and vendors. Let them know you’re in it for the long haul, not just a short-term sale. People want to do business with people they trust and that takes time to develop.

Give your audience your undivided attention. Viewers loved the alcohol carts in offices on Mad Men, but many of them missed the point. The ad men (and few women) would sit down and spend time with their clients when they stopped in. They weren’t too busy running from meeting to meeting to listen to their clients’ challenges and concerns. Many creative solutions were born over Old Fashioneds with no outside interruptions.

Mad Men: Master Storytelling In Any Era

Embrace paper in the digital age. In an age of email and the cloud, using paper is one way to grab recipients’ waning attention. Feature direct mail in your next marketing campaign, and reorder your physical business cards. In fact, go old school — embossing, engraving, bold lettering and colors set off with white space — to stand out from your competition. Going all digital removes your audience’s sense of touch, which limits their sensory experience while interacting with your brand.

In Summary

Handwritten notes, developing long-term relationships, giving your undivided attention and embracing paper will help you connect with today’s audiences. Don’t be afraid to be different, even if that means being inspired by a bygone era.

We’re grabbing our fedoras to head out for Old Fashioneds and Vodka Martinis with clients. Care to join us?

Embracing the future with help from the past,
Jaime

Let’s chat (about building relationships, your communications needs or otherwise):
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Evaluating Feedback: How to Listen to What’s Not Being Said

In our last post, we talked about how the gift-giving process makes you a better marketer. The final similarity discussed was evaluating your feedback, which is crucial to your success in marketing.

Local Call by Wes Peck via CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Local Call by Wes Peck via CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The problem is that it can be difficult to evaluate your feedback. Prospects and customers are human, so they’re complex. Perhaps they fit your buyer persona except for one crucial aspect, which is causing your marketing to miss the mark.

Another issue is that human beings want to position themselves in the best light possible. Said another way, peer pressure never goes away. Focus groups can lie, surveys can mislead and customers can tell you they want things that they really don’t.

How can you evaluate feedback from prospects and customers?

  • Develop Buyer Personas, Not Stereotypes — Buyer personas are a fantastic (and necessary) way to attract the right leads, but don’t rely on stereotypes. Research, research, research. You may find subtle differences between members of a persona, so you can adjust your message accordingly.

Why Consumer Intent Is More Powerful Than Demographics

  • Know Your Customers —  Once someone becomes your customer, go beyond the persona. Get to know your customer as much as possible. What keeps her up at night? How does she go about her day? Knowing her hobbies, personality and routine can be the difference between servicing a customer and creating a loyal client.

The Art of Follow-Up

  • Listen (and Pay Attention) — When you’re talking to a customer, listen to what he has to say. Don’t check email or mentally prepare your to-do list for the next day. Focus on your customer. If you’re meeting face-to-face, take in non-verbal clues, such as body language and facial expressions. Listening is an art form that can strengthen relationships and develop trust.

Trust is the most powerful currency in business

  •  Study Psychology — Don’t worry, you don’t need a degree. But understanding basic psychological concepts can help you develop relationships, business or otherwise. Learn about the different types of personalities, how the human brain processes various types of information and how emotions play into our decision-making process.

5 Quirks of the Human Brain Every Marketer Should Understand

Evaluating feedback can be difficult but is a necessary part of the marketing process, especially during the Close and Delight phases. (Huh?) So remember to stay away from stereotypes, get to know your customers, listen and pay attention to them and understand the psychology that drives how human beings think and act. You (and your customers) will be glad you did.

What tips would you add on evaluating feedback?

How do you get to know your customers?

Do you use psychology to do your job?

W’d love to hear your feedback!
Jaime

Let’s chat (about evaluating feedback, your marketing needs or otherwise):
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The Soundtrack of Life

Recently I began taking sign language classes to better communicate with the hearing impaired. During the first session, the instructor asked us to think about sounds that we associate with waking up in the morning. While members of the class chimed in with a variety of answers, I thought about how strange it would be to live in a silent world.

boy covering ears

In today’s society, we are flooded with noise – car radios, traffic sounds, birds chirping, construction equipment, lawn mowers, people talking, public address announcements and more. We often block out as much of this noise as we can in order to stay focused on the day’s goals. But maintaining our tunnel vision has its costs. Are we missing the soundtrack of life?

While I’m often visually inspired (despite being visually impaired — go figure), I make a point to not forget about my other senses. We have five (touch, sight, taste, smell, hearing) for a reason; they all contribute to our life experiences.

Our sense of hearing opens a whole new world to us. Helen Keller, the renowned American author, political activist and lecturer who was both blind and deaf, thought deafness to be even more of a setback than blindness due to the power of sound.

“…[Deafness] means the loss of the most vital stimulus–the sound of the voice that brings language, sets thoughts astir and keeps us in the intellectual company of man.”

Have you ever stopped to think about not being able to have a verbal discussion with a colleague or client? About not being able to listen to that song that takes you back to a memorable moment in your life? Not being able to take in the sounds of nature to soothe your soul?

 

Our sense of hearing is a vital part of communication. It allows us to listen to others, hear their concerns and ideas, and react accordingly. Is it any surprise that the ability to listen has become a rare, sought after skill in today’s drowned out world?

The next time you’re tempted to stick your head in the sand, stop and listen. Listen to the world around you and what it has to say. Listen to a friend or colleague during lunch instead of burying yourself in your phone. Listen to the person on the other end of the phone — across town or the world — instead of checking email or watching TV. Listen to the birds chirping. Listen to your inner voice. Listen.

You just might be amazed at what you hear.

Your Turn — I’m Listening

What song or sound takes you back to ‘that’ moment?

What sounds make you smile?

What’s the most annoying sound in the world?

Who’s someone you love to talk –and listen — to when you’re stuck?

Do poor listeners turn you off?

When’s the last time you’ve just stopped and listened to what’s around you?

Photo courtesy of Luis Miguel Bugallo Sánchez via a Creative Commons License
Helen Keller quoted from Helen Keller in Scotland: a personal record written by herself, edited by James Kerr Love (London: Methuen & Co., 1933). 

Always listening,
Jaime

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