E-Mail Overload

Email Overload
E-mail Overload

E-Mail overload is why many in the business community are resisting Social Media….True or False?

Well, I can start with my own email box and tell you that I receive on average about 200 emails per day.  I can also tell you that about 75% of them border on spam because most are advertisements or newsletters that I do not have time to read.  In some industries, there are businesses that want to develop an awareness of a particularly new product or special pricing.  Problem is they are duplicating their efforts and this information can be gathered through other programs.  Perhaps they were told by an email marketing expert that this was a valuable tool, but when you have thousands of other businesses doing the same thing, everyone suffers.

The key email time guzzler is in-house email.  There seems to be a “cover yourself” philosophy adopted by many  in that when some are sending an email, they just copy whoever they feel may, potentially, possibly, hopefully be important to copy.  AND THEN there are the “Reply to All” people.

So I am going to take a stab here to give some tips on ways we all can free up our email box which in turn should reap many extra minutes of every day.  Let’s tackle in-house first.

  1. Develop a formal in-house policy for email lists; i.e. who can email to whom.  If you are emailing your immediate Supervisor, it could be up to the immediate Supervisor who may need to get a copy of that email.

  2. No “Reply to All” is allowed in-house.

  3. If you ask to be taken off an email list, get a formal reply back that it will be done.

  4. No streaming emails .

  5. No “got it”, “yes”, “Thanks”, one word emails.  We know you got it and we know you are thankful.

  6. Policy must be strictly enforced.

  7. Emails that require ACTION should state that upfront.

  8. Follow up to whether you received an email should not be done for 24 hours.  No explanation points please!!!!!!!!

  9. Remembering that your email is most likely being viewed on a mobile phone…try to be as brief as possible.  If that is not possible because of content, send a brief email first about subject and then advise the recipient to expect a content driven email.  This allows the recipient to get quick info and then it prepares them for the more indepth email.

  10. If you have any options at all, get off email lists that you are not interested in receiving.

We all have our email address on our business cards, on our websites, just about everywhere we can think of.  Here are some tips to control emails coming from the outside community.

  1. When attending an event or meeting, we give out our business card so that potential clients will have our contact info.  This in itself will generate emails.  Take the time to really digest who contacts you by email.  Is it someone you wish to do business with, have lunch, etc.  If not at the present time or near future, do not respond to it yourself but forward it to a receptionist, intern, temp to respond for you with a standard reply.  Your staff person should then establish a follow up system to ask you at some future date, if you wish to contact this person again.

  2. If you start to get newsletters from acquaintenances that you have met at meetings and they are not of interest to you, you are more than likely given the opporutnity to “unsubscribe”.

  3. Remember the same courtesies apply to you when sending emails.  If you are exchanging a lot of emails with a particular person, make them aware of your preferences.

  4. Communicate what is important for you to know and what isn’t.

  5. Make a phone call when the emails go back and forth more than 3 times.  This will be a time-saver and it is more courteous.

There is so much to be gained here and if you are bogged down with emails you are going to be extremely resistent to growth, change, and (you had to know it was coming) Social Media.  Don’t get left behind and more importantly, missing opportunities that are available to you for FREE that will lead you to further successes.  Emails have a place in our businesses but that are not to consume us.

Social Media Overwhelming to Execs

Marketing by DM QR Code

Get it? Share it!

 

This past Saturday evening was super-great get together with friends that took the occasion of the  “SuperMoon” to have a nice relaxing evening together….maybe even a little March Madness as well.  We got the importance of the super moon, so we shared it.  These pictures shown here depict a more impressive picture than what we saw in Lancaster, PA, however, the affect was real….just to some more than others. 

I am going to take this opportunity to compare Social Media affect on the business community with what happened the other evening.  Comments regarding the SuperMoon were that it was not all that it was hyped up to be, I’ll wait another 18 years, perhaps it was brighter but not larger, etc.  Unless it was positively “super” to our eye right where we stood, it really wasn’t “super”. 

So now we get to Social Media affect or impact on business and where I am going with this.  First I must tell you that this was a gathering of varied professionals; a prominent Lawyer, V. P. of Finance, Teacher, Controller, Doctor, School Principal, Purchasing Manager, Engineer, Judge plus a 17, 16, and 11 year old.  NOTE:  The 11 year old was the only one that knew what a QR Code was!    Not only that but he had an iPad2 and scanned a QR Code to show the adults how it was done.  They all had Smart Phones but no QR Reader….nor were they interested to go to www.scanlife.com and get the app.   

For a couple years these friends have heard me enthusiastically touting the positive results I have experienced in my Marketing business through Social Media.  They have politely asked me and others come into their business to give a presentation to some of their employees.  Some of the presenters have been what most would believe are the “experts” in the community.  WE GET IT, SO WE SHARE IT!!  My point is that there is not enough of us getting out in the business community and sharing it.  We share it between ourselves because we are thirsty to learn more and more.  We are living in our own little Social Media world which, personally, I happen to love but we are missing a communication method that works.  Similar to the “SuperMoon” not being so SUPER where we were viewing it, the same holds true for Social Media expectations.  We are telling them how huge SM is, but they are not impressed.

Finally, these friends really opened up to me and what I got from them was that they truly cannot deal with the amount of emails they get.  Most are getting about 200 per day.  Many are complaining that half of these emails are in-house and there is a tendency for staff to send out an email to everyone and anyone so that they are covered.  It was generally said that they are begging to get off email lists but to no avail.  Reply to all is a huge issue.  Email newsletters are a greater issue….they can’t read them….no time.  They do not want to add anything else that will cause them to communicate or reply!!  Therefore….NO SM. 

How are they to move on to Social Media platforms that may propel their business to great success when they have lost control of email?  If we get it and want to share it, we have to help them solve this problem.  Until we have solutions and ones other than “file the emails” we are not going to get the business community engaged in SM.  We should all care because the more sucessful all businesses are, the better it is for our economy and for our own businesses.   

If you have meetups or tweetups or attending a SM meeting, bring with you a business colleague that may be interested in learning more.  We do plenty of sharing with each other and that is great so we stay up to speed but we need to devote more energies to educating the skeptics….they outnumber us. 

What are your email solutions?  How have you shared your SM knowledge?

Expert’s Expertise Must Equal Your Needs

 
Experts Are Many But What Are Your Needs
Choose Your Expert Wisely
   
There are many, many experts out there and friends among us that are experts, but what are their specific strengths.  I often think of something I heard years ago, that being humble isn’t denying what your are really good at but sincerely uncomfortable about praises in areas where your expertise is lacking.  Many times when we are seeking information we want through a “one person shop” discussion and tend to ask directives from Experts….yes but perhaps not in the area that you need the best possible guidance toward a successful outcome.
 
We are so fortunate in the 21st Century to have access to numerous CEO’s, CMO’s, CFO’s, Marketing Directors, PR Leaders, etc. but there is no need to assume that let’s say the “expert” CFO will naturally also be able to lead you in the right direction when it comes to Advertising, Marketing or PR.  A successful leader, yes, but why would you not even attempt to get the best advice when it is so available today.  Connecting on varied Social Media platforms offers that opportunity and it goes without saying that you should be well aware of who you would go to based on the results you seek. 
 
Most times it is not that the Expert is purposefully sharing guidance advice beyond their expertise.  They may truly believe they know, however, if they don’t monitor, attend forums, meet with peers within the parameters of your question, you more than likely are not going to get the best advice.  As an example, lots of discussions have occurred recently about PR vs Marketing  connection.  Because of Marketing Mix decisions companies are making in 2011 and probably from now on, PR and Marketing have become more intertwined than ever.  If you are advising your clients regarding Marketing decisions, you had better be Social Media savvy as well.  Personally, I still see separate experts except if you are an  @AnneDGallaher  or a @HowellMarketing …..  true talent and expertise here.    There are many others as well #BA75.  
 
 When seeking experts, the same is true in my industry, Promotional Products.  Unless the expert you are consulting with deals with vendors day in and day out, you  are not making the wisest, time-saving decision.   There are so many variables in all professions, that you are doing yourself a disservice by not going directly to the person who understands the missteps, results oriented procedures, etc.  Another for instance would be if you were having some plumbing work done and that expert also knows quite a bit about electrical work and you have a desire to rewire your entire home.  Maybe, just maybe, you should consult with the electrical expert.
 
Striving for excellence in everything we do that affects our business is a goal we all work to achieve.  Excellent job  is preceded  by your choice of expert consulting. Don’t waste your time or the experts!
 
Excellence isn't such a puzzle
 
Is it getting more confusing?
 

Marketing Professionals Always Alert to Teachable Moments

 
Marketing Teachable Moments
When to Teach and When Not to Teach

Do we know when to take a step back? 

 

It is very easy for us marketing professionals to observe every and any opportunity to teach those that have come to us for guidance and direction.  After all, most of us have been asked to speak at organization sales meetings, Chamber events, business conferences and other events to help attendees understand Marketing, Advertising, Social Media and how a well thoughtout Marketing Strategy could have a positive impact in the success of their business.

OK….so we are the experts.  Most marketing professionals I know are positive, enthusiastic, passionate, we-can-do kind of leaders.  Everyone must want to hear what we have to say if they want to propel their business way ahead of everyone else.  They wouldn’t have hired us if they weren’t going to listen to us, so all we have to do is keep insisting, making them feel inadequate and discounting any objections because we know better… right?   WRONG!

These days most of the smaller companies and some large corporations still do not have marketing personnels in place and have assigned a VP of Finance, Purchasing Manager, top Sales Person or Executive Assistant to handle marketing responsiblities.  Be mindful that all those in business at any level believe they understand marketing and what works and what does not.  There is a danger here of viewing our being hired as a Consultant as an open invitation to treat every question, objection, and misconcepton as a Teachable Moment. 

Understand that if you are talking to a financial executive about their Marketing Mix, he or she sees dollar signs regarding every wonderful suggestion you believe you have made.  Remember…..they just cut their entire marketing, advertising, PR and social media staff.  They’ll listen but they don’t hear exactly what you are saying.  All that positive talk just seems to them like you are not being realistic.  Tailoring your ideas and strategy in accordance to the background and personality of the person you are meeting with, will have a better chance of being heard than believing that we know what we are talking about so listen to what I have to say.

Respect for Marketing, Advertising, PR and now Social Media has always been an uphill challenge but thank goodness for the optimistic type of personality, in most cases, that is attracted to the profession.  I can recall years back when the VP of Finance where I was employed didn’t understand why we needed a Marketing Department because all we had to do was open the doors and people would come.  We smiled and did our job.  People came but our efforts brought in thousands more. 

Social Media is such an important addition to the Marketing Mix BUT it is just another opportunity for us to think that it is a Teachable Moment and everyone wants to hear us.  Oh they are listening to us all right, but they are not hearing what we have to say. 

Teachable Moment ~ Is there really one?

Is there really a question here?

Don’t want this blog to come off as my moment of teaching but more as a reminder to myself as well as others that many questions asked aren’t questions at all.  Maybe no one asked us anything at all but we are assuming that there are all these teachable moments out there.  Energy and positive approach is a great way to live your life.  If others can’t be convinced of a best strategy, at least what you believe to be best, know when to take a step back.

Love to know your thoughts.

 

If I “Get” Social Media, Why Don’t I “Get”…..

Why do that to an Ice Cream Cone?

"I thought I asked for an ice cream cone!"

 

 

Every once in awhile it is good to take stock in what we believe we understand or as we say today “GET” and what still puzzles us.

I thought since I seem to GET Social Media, I must now have developed my mind so much so that I am no longer puzzled by the following.  Well I am here to tell you that I still DO NOT GET…

 

 

  1. Why don’t they raise the basketball hoop?
  2. What happened to the jump rope?
  3. What came first…the chicken or the egg?
  4. Why are snowplow drivers so mean?
  5. Ball and Jacks….is that gone too?
  6. Children not outside on a beautiful day?
  7. Where are the honey bees?
  8. Why families are not sitting down together at dinner?
  9.  You never forget how to ride a bike?

Others that I am perplexed about are:

  • Employee health reward…parking spot closest to the door!
  • Someone advising that “You are taking it personally!”
  • Silver Christmas Trees?
  • Speeding up to a red light!
  • Why aren’t there any predators for stink bugs?
  • Cutting back on Marketing/PR/Advertising during economic downturn?
  •  

    As you can see, I have a lot of questions that perhaps some of you can help me GET and if I in turn can help you get Social Media, I definitely would like to try and also introduce you to my friends at Harrisburg Social Media Club.

    Social Media Platforms Are SBNBF

    Social Media Small Business New Best Friend

    Social Media Platforms ~ Small Business New Best Friend

    Lately we have been hearing from the media, business analysts, Wall Street experts and the like that the corporate sector is still hesitant to hire so therefore the economy continues to be very slow to recover.  So that being the case, why do Small Business owners, who are engaged in Social Media, hear of growth, success, and establishing business relationships we would not have ordinarily if we were not engaged in SM platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and/or LinkedIn. 

    Could it be that Small Business has truly embraced their New Best Friend, whereas big business for the most part is still out of touch with the 21st Century?  It is not that most of these corporations have realized a loss this last quarter so why should we still not see job creation.  Still scared?  Afraid of change? Same old, same old?  Likely. 

    Small business, Sole Proprietorships, Start-up businesses do not have the luxury of sitting back and accepting scared, afraid and same old business as usual.  In fact, we are the ones hiring.  Unfortunately, we are only in a position to hire a few people.  Point is…..is the economy slow to recover or is big business not willing to accept they must listen, learn, understand, engage, connect, and give various Social Media Platforms a place in their Marketing Strategy. 

    Social Media has given small business the “thinking outside the box” capability by utilization of numerous customizable applications…most of which are FREE.  Just to mention one….Foursquare….at the very least is a tremendous value to any retail establishment.  Connecting on the various platforms opens up communication lines that has many “fingers” that can give you the warmest handshake you have ever experienced.  

    Difficult decisions come from strong leadership.  If, in fact, implementing Social Media into your Marketeing Plan is a difficult decision, why not take the opportunity to exhibit your leadership skills and move your company forward. 

    Let me know your thoughts.  Is Small Business the leader in utilitzation of Social Media?

    Social Media Positive Impact

    Marketing by DM TV Interview on Social Networking

    Social Media ~ It's All Good!!

    Marketing by DM recent TV Interview  ~ I was recently asked to share my experiences with Social Media and how it impacted my business.  This TV interview is in 3 segments of approximately 7 minutes each.     

    The breakdown is as follows:    

    Segment 1 ~ My initial introduction to Social Media, in particular Twitter.  Click Here     Segment 2 ~ Marketing by DM beginning to engage on Twitter.  This segment  Click Here    make references to  Jamie Crager , Anne Deeter Gallaher, Deeter Gallaher Group  , Ford , Howell Marketing , and others.    

    Segment 3 ~ Some of Social Media’s most recent impact on a small business such as Marketing by DM and the effects of truly being engaged.  Click Here .  Recommendations made to listeners regarding SMMmagazine   and Harrisburg Social Media Club.     

    I was delighted to tell my story and in the end perhaps help others to view Social Media in a positive light.  It is worth the time investment….everything else will come.    

    Love to hear your story.    

    Fleece Embraces Social Media

    Numerous pockets to carry Social Media devices

    What would #Ford do?   Or…..as most of you know I should probably say,

    What would Scott Monty do?

    Can you blame me?  Here I am a Branding | Promotions Director who really, really…I mean really gets Social Media, so why wouldn’t Scott Monty come to mind when I come across a tech savvy wearable!!

    Thinking like one of the best Marketers in the business is a little presumptuous on my part but I am sure going to try because if I stumble it just means that I am moving forward.

    Now mind you, for a Social Media enthusiast like myself, these new fleece jackets that the vendors are putting out there are innovative and current.  Let me tell you what they have taken into consideration:

    Numerous Pockets

    Different Size Pockets

    Different Weight of Fleece Dependent Upon Use

    Can you imazine even a year ago consideration being given to iPod, Blackberry and YES…even the iPad by the Apparel Industry.

    My guess is if this were a new Ford Fusion  Scott Monty would mention how neatly tucked into the inside as well as the outside of the jacket these useful compartments are to carry varied sized Social Media devices without taking away from the beauty of the design.  Also, that the lighter weight of some of these jackets get far more mileage than past years because of the freedom of movement not enjoyed previously.  He would also proudly state that all these updates have been made without sacrificing warmth and comfort. Ladies versions have even trimmer lines.

    Sorry, but I am hooked and Social Media comes into play now with everything I do.  BUT….I really wanted to share this because I am so delighted that there is a lot of vendors out there who are now understanding their customer is deciding the product they want.  The buyer is driving the market not the seller convincing us that we need a certain product.

    Let me know your comments.  Love to hear from you.

    Afternoon “T”ea With Twitter

            

    Twitter Presentation

    www.twitter.com/MarketingbyDM

    The goal for this upcoming session will be to “elevate Social Media, in particular Twitter, from a ‘neat’ toy to a serious business tool.”  (Quote via/ @CEB_MLC)

     

    This presentation is geared toward the Twitter 101 individual.

    • Hear from a business professional who is successfully engaged on Twitter
    • Learn from a Small Business Leader who has benefited from Social Media
    • Leave with practical applications & step-by-step guidelines on how to apply Twitter

    YOU ARE INVITED TO “T”EA with TWITTER

    Presented by   DIANE MEYER   (@MarketingbyDM)

    Date:  Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

    Time:  3:00 pm – 4:30 pm

    Place:  Perfect Settings  (@Perfect Settings)

    Address:  200 Locust St., Columbia, PA  17512

    Parking:  Private Parking Lot just steps away

    Refreshments:  Tea  and Tastykakes (@TastyBakingCo)

    FOCUS:  TWITTER

    Cost:  $40.00

    Preferred Attendance:  Maximum 40   (Register Early)

    Registration Deadline:  Wednesday, August 11th, 2010 by email Diane@marketingbyDM.com

    • Follow-up session (optional) will be offered Tuesday, October 26th, 2010, same time/same place for a cost of $30.00 so that questions can be answered and next steps discussed.  
    • All attendees will receive materials at the presentation that will assist them with refreshing subject matter discussed, guide to applications, terms to know and general information to be  helpful in the learning process.

     

    Twitter is the Cashew

        

    Cashew and entire fruit

    Twitter is the Cashew and Social Media is the Entire Fruit

    This is the last of my 5th Anniversary posts.  I will discuss here my 4th and 5th lessons I have learned throughout my five years in business.

    4th Lesson:  Always be open to change.  Your Business Plan must be in the NOW. 

    5th Lesson:  Position yourself around positive, energetic, enthusiastic business leaders that are going to give you motivational feedback. 

    Both these lessons lead me to Social Media and Twitter which is my “cashew”.  Don’t get me wrong.  The entire plant is ALL GOOD but you have to decide which of the Social Media platforms are best for your business.  However, do not discard any of them because just like the Cashew plant here…..whoever may like the nut, would be making a huge mistake not to try the remainder of the delicious plant.

    Last year, if I would have listened to most in the Promotional Product industry, who saw no value at all in Twitter, I would have denied myself the pleasure of  connecting with some of the most professional, knowledgeable, sharing, caring, intelligent, authentic business leaders in the Nation.  We must get past the hard sell, what is the immediate ROI in dollars, what’s in it for me in dollar compensation. 

    Relationships create an energy that can’t be obtained more effectively than from each other.  Information sharing on Twitter cannot be matched by any other medium out there.  As an example, just recently @SocialNetDaily shared the following on blogging… http://ow.ly/1CB15.  This is packed with valuable information.   Just by this example should we understand what an impact Social Media can have on our business.

    I am glad I didn’t get stuck in the 90′s and fortunate that I surrounded myself with leaders who understood the importance of adapting to the fast changing technology world.  Let’s help some of our clients, business colleagues, and entreprenneurs who are still hesitant about getting a taste of Social Media or at least taking a bite of the Cashew.

    Have you had some resistance by executives?  What are some of their issues?