Social Media ROI Baptism

Baptism-imageSocial Media ROI Baptism (with apologies to clergy everywhere)

There’s an old joke about a man whose pastor decided that it was time for him to be baptized into the faith. So the pastor took the man down to the river and, after saying the appropriate words, dunked the man’s head into the river for a few seconds. When the man’s head was out of the water and he had shaken the water off his face, the pastor asked him if he believed. The man said that he wasn’t sure.

So the pastor said some more words and dunked the man’s head into the river for several tens of seconds. When the man’s head came out of the water for the second time and he had caught his breath and shaken the water off, the pastor asked him again if he believed. And again the man said he wasn’t sure.

Getting frustrated, this time the pastor regaled him with a full sermon on why he needed to believe and held the man’s head in the river for a full minute. When the man’s head was finally released and he spluttered and shook the water off and took several deep breaths, the pastor asked for a third time if the man believed. And this time the man said that he did indeed believe.

Just to make sure that the baptism had really been effective, the pastor asked the man what he believed. And the man replied that he believed that the pastor was trying to drown him.

With so much emphasis on social media these days, one could wonder how much of the blog postings and social media content to believe. This is especially true now with the focus on social media return on investment (ROI).

Do you believe that social media has value in building your relationships with your prospects and customers? I certainly do. Do you believe that you need to post interesting and relevant content in order to nurture those relationships? I certainly do. Do you believe that you need to interact with your customers, sometimes in almost real time, via social media? I certainly do.

Do you believe that you can put absolute numbers, in dollars and cents terms, on the results you are gaining from your social media efforts? I certainly don’t. And you can immerse me in words and arguments and articles and posts until day turns into night and I think then that I’ll only believe that you are trying to drown me in “facts” until I acquiesce to believing something.

Don’t get me wrong here. I do believe that our social media efforts, properly directed and executed, are important. And that they do provide a return on our investment in both tangible and intangible ways. But when I’m asked to prove it with debits and credits and dollars and cents I’m afraid that I have to revert to faith alone. Because I don’t believe anyone has yet to come up with a proof that an accurate equation exists.

I’d love to have your opinions on this viewpoint. And thanks for reading.

Elements of a Marketing Plan — 3

Elements of a Marketing Plan — 3

I’m going to continue posting the materials from my online course entitled The Marketing Plan Seminar in 2013 so that my followers can get a feel for the kind of work that I can do for them on a consulting basis. If you can’t wait for the installments to be posted you can order the complete course at at any time. In the mean time, I hope you will enjoy each small installment and please do give me a call if doing so triggers something for you where I can be of help with an Instant Strategy Session or working with you longer term with the Monthly Mentoring Mode.  Enjoy!

Elements of a Marketing Plan -- 3 - Slide8
This image goes with the accompanying video that is part of the online Marketing Plan Seminar. This is slide number 8.

While we need to answer the first three questions on this slide, we really need to think about the fourth bullet — how will we convert leads to prospects to (new) customers and how will be both retain and convert new customers to repeat customers.

Elements of a Marketing Plan — 3

We’re really asking three questions here. Who are the real target markets we’re trying to reach, what messages that hopefully will resonate with these target markets are we trying to convey, and what is the best media to use to get those messages to those target markets in the best and most cost effective way.

Order the complete course today so that you’ll be ready for 2013 and won’t have to wait for the next twelve slides!

The Marketing Plan Development Process Flow

I’m going to continue posting the materials from my online course entitled The Marketing Plan Seminar so that my followers can get a feel for the kind of work that I can do for them on a consulting basis. If you can’t wait for the installments to be posted you can order the complete course at at any time. In the mean time, I hope you will enjoy each small installment and please do give me a call if doing so triggers something for you where I can be of help with an Instant Strategy Session or working with you longer term with the Monthly Mentoring Mode.  Enjoy!

The Marketing Plan Development Process Flow

The Marketing Plan Seminar - Slide5
This image goes with the accompanying video that is part of the online Marketing Plan Seminar. This is slide number 5.

This slide illustrates the seven major steps in developing your overall marketing plan. There may be intermediate or sub-steps required during plan development but these are the major ones. Have a good look and a good listen to this one. It is critical to your marketing planning success.

As you can see from the diagram, it’s important to consider both external input — from customers and market and competitive research — as well as your own internal constraints. But don’t let internal constraints alone limit your thinking. There may be ways around them that you’ll come up with as you develop your initial thoughts and plans.

Once the preliminary analysis is complete it is time to kick around the pros and cons of each idea and home in on the actual recommendations that will be implemented as tactics in your overall marketing plan. And don’t forget to include the mechanisms to periodically measure the results of your strategy so that you can continously adjust and fine-tune it based on what’s working and what’s not working as well as you’d planned.

Why, How and What

Why, how, what imageI had the opportunity recently to view a TEDx talk by Simon Sinek on the topic of how great leaders inspire action and it really got me to thinking about why I do what I do and how the approach Simon describes might work for you as well.

His premise is that most marketing messages describe the “what” of a product — its feature and benefits. The message may also contain information on how the product provides what it provides. And it may even delve into why you are offering that product (or service) but by this time you’ve lost the attention of your audience and actually never really connected to their emotions in the first place.

I’ve often mentioned the need for messages that resonate. By this I mean messages that connect with the target audience on an emotional level. If you follow Cathey Armillos at all, you’ll recognize that she says the same thing. Purchases are driven by emotion and rationalized by logic. So it makes sense, doesn’t it, to start at the center and work outward if we want to be most successful.

Why don’t we do that? Because we weren’t trained that way. Marketing 101 gets us to convert features to benefits, of course, but it doesn’t get us to why we are offering this product or service in the first place or, more importantly, why a prospective customer should care about it.

Simon uses Apple and TIVO as examples of great successes and failures in his talk (which you can find here). Apple inspires enough people to be early adopters of its products to convince the early majority to buy them as well, even though it makes them out of the same materials that any other computer company uses. But it’s purpose is to change the way people interact with technology and it thus positions itself almost as a cause or a movement instead of as a commodity product manufacturer. Whereas TIVO, which arguably produces the highest quality video recording device, has never taken off because people didn’t believe that they needed it. It didn’t cause them to feel special through owing one.

I found that Simon’s remarks resonated with me and, if you watch the video of his talk I hope they’ll resonate with you as well. I know that I’ll think twice about whether my work with clients on markets, messages and media is helping them focus on working from the inside out — why first, then how and finally what — so that they can connect best with their prospective clients and customers.

As always, I’d love to have your remarks and opinions.  Thanks for reading.

The Marketing Seminar/Workshop – Encore Edition

The Marketing Seminar/Workshop – Table of Contents

A live encore presentation of The Marketing Seminar/Workshop will be held on January 24, 2013, in Northeast Portland. It has been produced and will be presented by Jon Turino, an award-winning speaker and one of Portland’s premier marketing strategy consultants. Here’s the Table of Contents for the session:

Helping Businesses Grow Through Better Marketing Strategies

Jon Turino Marketing Strategy Consultant Portland, OR

  • Our Agenda for Today
    • A short presentation by Jon
    • Workshop session
  • Where Is Your Marketing Plan?
  • Why a Plan?
  • The Process Flow
  • Elements of a Marketing Plan – 1
  • Elements of a Marketing Plan – 2
  • Elements of a Marketing Plan – 3
  • Who Are We Trying to Reach?
  • What Message(s) Are We Sending?
  • What Message(s) Are We Sending?
  • What Media Should We Use?
  • Social Media Considerations
  • Converting Leads to Customers
  • Other Elements to Consider
  • Other Tools in Your Arsenal
  • Your Networking World
  • Some Networking Tips
  • What’s In It For You?
  • Let’s Get You A Plan! – Workshop Session

Registration information will be forthcoming soon.

Marketing Seminar Workshop Large Flyer - Dec 6 2012 Session















Link to Event Page with PayPal Registration Here.


The Power of “Why?”

Woodblocks Image WhyI’m prompted by reading a recent post on LinkedIn about what to do when clients ask you to do something wrong to offer some simple advice as to how to get that client to reach his or her own “Aha” moment and abandon their folly.

Simply ask “Why?”  And continue to ask “Why?” until you get the same answer a minimum of three times in a row. You may, at this point, be fairly confident that you’ve discovered the root cause of the clients’ need, want or desire.  And the client may, by this time, achieved the desired state of realization.

If you are a parent you know just how aggravating the constant “Why?” question from your young children can be. “Why is the sky blue?,” when asked by a 5-year-old, can’t reasonably be answered with an explanation of the layers of the atmosphere and the behavior of light in that atmosphere. Because the child won’t understand that answer and thus you will be faced with an innumerable and unending series of “why”s which will only beget another innumerable and unending series of additional “why” questions.

Far better to say something like “Because that’s the color Mother Nature wanted it to be.” If you get another “why” to this answer you’ll have to come up with some simple reason why Mother Nature would do such a thing, but you are not, in this case, constrained by reality or facts. You can use whatever it takes to end the questions, including distracting the child from that train of thought altogether. By asking, for example, “Why do you like brown (or pink or green or yellow) ice cream the best?  Shall we go get some?”

When dealing in the real world of business with presumably educated and intelligent adults, however, the above example won’t work very well. You’ll want to have the client come up with real answers to your “why” questions so that you can eliminate the superficial or fallacious reasons that led to the request in the first place. You might ask “Why do you want to paint the delivery van chartreuse when the company logo colors are orange and brown?” If you get an answer like “Because my new girlfriend thinks it would be cute.” you can ask “And why do you think cute will be better than businesslike?” or something to that effect.

You can, and usually without upsetting the client too badly, get to a good solution using this powerful technique.  Give it a try the next time you are faced with a demand that seems unreasonable. And please share with us the results. Why? Because I’ll bet they’ll be enlightening and humorous at the same time.

You can see some examples of wrongheadedness at 15 Question Silent Marketing Test, which also includes a video. Thanks for reading.

Just Because You Can Doesn’t Mean You Should

Smartpnone with QR Code on ScreenDoes the word oxymoron resonate with you? An oxymoron, for those of you not familiar with the term, refers to a concept that doesn’t really make sense.

Military intelligence is one of the favorites. So is jumbo shrimp. How about clean dirt? Or how about open secret, original copy, paid volunteer or vegetarian meatballs?

Two words that just don’t make sense when placed together.  The illustration with this post showing a QR code on the screen is another interesting example that could be put into that category. Why would you send a QR code to a mobile device when the camera that could capture and process the QR code is on the back of the device? Because you can? Why would you include a QR code on your website then the person viewing it is already there?

Just because you can doesn’t mean you should!

I had the opportunity to hear Scott Stratten, president of Un-marketing, talk about these kinds of things on a webinar earlier today. Or maybe it was a rant. Or some combination of both. In any case it was very informative and entertaining and I encourage you to check him out at on the web or at @unmarketing on Twitter. Because there’s more.

There were a lot of examples presented during the hour long presentation, many reminiscent of my blog post about businesses with “Please Use Other Door” signs on them. Scott didn’t mention them, but he did mention billboards containing QR codes that advised people not to text while driving. But trying to photograph QR codes while driving is OK? “Stop it!,” says Scott. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should!

How about putting together what ended up being an “award winning” advertising campaign using QR codes in subway stations where there were no signals for the smartphones to connect? What fools dreamed up and implemented such a campaign? And what batch of greater fools actually gave the company an award for a campaign that didn’t work?

Now I’m not ranting against QR codes in this post. They certainly have their place and can be valuable adjuncts to your messaging if used properly. What I’m trying to illustrate is that just because we have the technology to do these kinds of marketing “tactics of the day” doesn’t mean that we should do them. Especially if they don’t work!

Give some real thought to what you are trying to accomplish with your marketing tactics.  Make sure that they fit with your overall marketing strategy. Double check them for soundness and examine them for functionality.  Because you can spend inordinate amounts of time and money doing things that make absolutely no sense from an overall marketing standpoint and can even damage your brand or image.

Guess what happens when people try to use a QR code and it doesn’t work. They are much less likely to try it again. Guess what happens if they have a bad experience with your web site, your store entrance or your employees. They are much less likely to patronize your business again. So you are sabotaging yourself.

Think about it. Get third-party reviews from focus groups, advisory boards, consumer panels or marketing consultants before you implement a marketing tactic. And please don’t execute one just because you can, especially if you shouldn’t.

Your comment on my opinions are, as always, welcome. I’d love to hear from you and will share your comments with your permission.

Some Revealing Information

CVI Image for Jon Turino
This diagram highlights my Innovator and Merchant characteristics.

Some revealing information has recently come to light about yours truly.

A while back I took an assessment called the Core Values Index (CVI) assessment. This assessment is unlike strengths assessments or current personality assessments that can be colored by current or recent past events. The CVI looks at just what it says it does: my core values.

I am old enough to own up to being who I am. So I’ve included the link to the complete CVI results on my About Jon page. But I want to share some highlights with you.  Here’s what it says:

“Jon Turino,

54% of your core value energy comes from Wisdom and Love.

Jon, the CVI assessment found you are an INNOVATOR-MERCHANT.

What does this mean? This means your primary core value is Innovator – An Innovator’s core value energy is Wisdom. Wisdom is the ability to see the way things are, and discern what to do about it. You accurately assess situations and provide solutions. Your secondary core value is Merchant – A Merchant’s core value energy is Love. Love in this sense is working toward an inspired vision of what can be, by nurturing the core values in one’s self and in others. You thrive at building relationships and providing an inspired vision for those around you.”

It goes on to say: “Your scores indicate you have INNOVATOR/MERCHANT tendencies.  When you enter a room there is more wisdom and love energy suddenly in that room. You are the presence of loving wisdom. This is your assignment, to be the effective presence of loving wisdom. You look at the circumstances and situations around you through the eyes of compassion and truth. You operate from reason and intuition, seeing the way things are. Asking questions and deriving the right responses, best strategies and most workable solutions. This is balanced by your intuitive and reasoning capacity to see who people really are. You try to understanding their needs and wants. You work to nurture and support them and yourself. Your highest and best contribution can only be made in situations in which there is a significant and constant need for loving wisdom

There is much more explanation, and some examination of the negative traits associated with my “exquisite wonderfulness” — a phrase that was coined many years ago and who’s origin and meaning will never be revealed here!  In any case, I found the CVI results to be truly fascinating information and I like to think they are pretty darned accurate.

How about you? Do you think it fits me? I’d love to hear from you. And if you’d like your own assessment, just click on Taylor Protocols.


A Marketing Sandwich

Monte Cristo Sliced ham. Sliced turkey. Sliced Swiss cheese.  Sliced bread. Scrambled eggs mixed with a tablespoon or two of milk, some cinnamon and some vanilla extract. Butter and a hot  skillet. What are we making?

The list of ingredients isn’t very fancy now, is it? Some pretty basic ingredients to work with.  We could make  a variety of things with our ingredients. A ham, cheese and turkey sandwich, for instance. Some scrambled eggs and some cinnamon toast. How about some French toast? Or how about a Monte Cristo sandwich? Doesn’t  that sound tasty?

And what does all of this have to do with marketing?  Think about the list of ingredients as the raw materials of your product or services. Think about the recipe as the packaging and the finished product as the presentation.

How different is your  ham, turkey and cheese sandwich from those supplied by your competition? Or your scrambled eggs? Or even  your French toast?  Ah, but a Monte Cristo sandwich? How many of your competitors offer one of those? How many restaurants for that matter?

Messages, media, markets. Monte Cristo sandwiches. It’s what’s for brunch today. Make sense?

Enjoy the sandwich. Add some syrup or jam if you like it with something sweet. Call me or take one of my courses if you’d like help cooking up your own better marketing strategies.

And please leave your comments. I will respond to them.

Chef’s Note: Mix the eggs, cinnamon, milk and vanilla together with a fork or a whisk. Soak the bread on both sides and cook on buttered skillet until golden brown on one side. Flip to cook 2nd side and add turkey, ham and cheese to sides already cooked. Then fold together to make into a complete sandwich. Flip as needed until cheese is melted and serve immediately with fruit, jam/jelly or syrup. Makes a very tasty meal!


How Much Is An Idea Worth?

Golden Egg Illustration for a New IdeaIt doesn’t look like much, does it? An egg made of metal. OK, a nice metal. Gold. How much is it worth?

The answer, of course, is: “It depends.”  The same answer you’ll get when you ask “What’s the right marketing strategy for my business?”

What is your business? Who are your target markets? What messages are you using to create buying actions from the members of those markets? What media are you using to deliver those messages? Are they working as well as you’d like them to?

What if you took an hour to just talk to someone about some new ideas for improving your marketing strategies? What if you discovered that there were things you weren’t doing anymore that you used to do that used to bring in a consistent stream of business? What if you, or the other person, or the two of you together, came up with some new ideas for penetrating new markets, or doing a better job of converting leads to customers in your current markets, or developing more compelling messages or finding new ways to deliver those messages?

How much is that worth? Is it worth an hour of your time? Is it worth a few hundred dollars to have that discussion with someone who’s not buried in your day-to-day issues and problems and who might provide, or trigger within you, some new ideas that could dramatically, or maybe even only marginally improve your top line? Take just a moment to imagine the possibilities. It could be worth a heck of a lot more than an hour of your time and a few hundred dollars in consulting fees now, couldn’t it?

Of course you could be too busy putting out fires and chasing the next sale to make time to spend that hour. And money is tight, isn’t it? But things won’t get better if you keep doing the same things you are doing now, will they?

New ways to deliver your messages. New messages. Better messages. Maybe new markets. Maybe new ways to approach those markets. What might those ideas be worth? Give that some thought an let me know what you think.

Thanks for reading and best of luck in valuing that egg. And call or write me if you want some help with that.