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Date: Thursday, 24 Oct 2013 18:58

ThePassionConversation_200Robbin Phillips, Greg Cordell, Geno Church, and John Moore, authors of Brains on Fire and executives from Brains on Fire, a word of mouth marketing and "movement igniting" company, are out with a new book, The Passion Conversation: Understanding, Sparking, and Sustaining Word of Mouth Marketing. The book focuses on the marketing business as a people business. It asserts that once you as a marketer fall passionately in love with your business and start solving people problems, then your customers will spread your message through word of mouth. I sat down with John Moore for a Q&A to better understand the authors' passion for word of mouth marketing:

Q. What do you mean when you say “Every marketing problem is a people problem”?

A. Companies face all sorts of marketing problems. If a business would reframe those issues as people problems, perspective and focus would change dramatically. For example, a company suffers from sluggish sales growth because not enough people are buying. A brand reeling from poorly conceived products and programs doesn’t have enough people interested.

If every marketing problem is a people problem, then every marketing solution must be people-based. The reasons are obvious…people buy products and use services. People make an unknown brand known. People work together to turn causes into crusades. People form communities to talk and share. People fuel the engine of business. People have the mouths word of mouth refers to.

Marketers wanting to spark and sustain conversations with customers must not lose sight that: It’s about the people, stupid.

Q. Tell me about the “passion conversation” and one way brands can get it started.

A. A line from the first Brains on Fire book is the starting point for this book: It’s not about the product conversation; it’s about the passion conversation. We profile Anytime Fitness in the book and the conversation we highlight isn’t about the product they sell, gym memberships. Instead, we highlight the passion conversation people have about improving their self-esteem as result of working out at Anytime Fitness.

Businesses need to realize the passion conversation isn’t about getting people to talk about YOU, the brand. It’s about getting people to talk about themselves. Encourage others talk about themselves, their lives, their hopes, and their dreams. Create platforms, online and offline, for the people you serve to share their own stories. Give them opportunities to talk and be willing to listen.

Every business has a story about why it was founded. Doesn’t matter if we’re talking B2C or B2B, every business was founded for a reason. In the talks I’m giving about the book I tell people they can start finding their passion conversation by learning the “Founder’s Story” of why they started the business. I then ask people to take it one step further and learn when their business knew it was onto something special.

 The Whole Foods Market we know today began in 1980. That’s when John Mackey and few friends opened up a health food store. At the time, the founders didn’t have dreams of building a great brand. Instead, they had dreams of selling healthy food to people. That was their passion. However, a year after the first Whole Foods Market store opened a massive flood in Austin, TX wrecked the store. The founders thought all was lost. During the long cleanup process something special happened. Customers came to help cleanup. It was at that point the founders of Whole Foods knew they were onto something special. When their customers took time out of their personal lives to assist in cleaning up all the mud and debris, the founders realized they had created something far more than a grocery store. They had fostered a passionate community of people.

This story has become Whole Foods Market folklore. I’m sure other successful businesses have a similar story of a specific moment in time when the founders realized they were onto to something special. If you do not know the story of why your business was founded and when it knew it truly connected with customers, then I suggest you find that story. Once you find it, you’re certain to tap into a passion conversation.

Q. Why is word of mouth (WOM) marketing so important right now?

A. It’s important because of this irrefutable fact: Recommendations from family, friends, and friends of friends have greater influencer over our purchase decisions than any other form of marketing.

Study after study confirms this irrefutable fact such as this one from Experian. In its 2011 Digital Marketer report, Experian found…“Despite consumer reliance on digital devices and Internet-provided information, the most influential element driving purchase decisions today is still word of mouth, followed by information from a Website.” A Harris Interactive study from 2010 reveals, 71% of us say comments from friends and family exert a “great deal” or “fair amount” of influence over our purchase decisions.

 It doesn’t take an MBA to understand…it’s meaningful to become a talkable brand.

Q. You wrote, “We believe sparking word of mouth is a problem of know-how, not knowledge.” What's the difference?

A. A knowing-doing gap exists about how to make word of mouth happen. The knowledge of what gets customers talking exists. However, the know-how to apply that knowledge is missing.

Marketers today are confusing hindsight with foresight and leaving out the insight as they develop word of mouth activities. Businesses are too fixated on mimicking best practices from other companies to become their company’s next practice. In other words, they’ve fallen victim to check-the-box marketing. Must get on Pinterest. CHECK. Must use Facebook to engage with customers. CHECK. Must tweet fast and furious. CHECK.

Marketers are putting the WHAT before the WHY as they execute the HOW. They want to spark word of mouth with all their check-the-box marketing activities, but these conversations are not happening because of the missing ingredient—PASSION. 

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This book is a must-read for marketers to want to create a brand people love and are talking about. I highly recommend it.

Author: "Jackie Huba" Tags: "Books, Jackie Huba, Word of mouth"
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Date: Thursday, 05 Sep 2013 18:47

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"What does Outbox do?

This is the question I asked the uniformed person that just got out of this crazy looking car in front of my condo building recently. The Outbox employee explained that it is a service that picks up your physical mail, scans it, and allows you to access the digital scans from a computer. It's great for people who travel alot and who don't want to miss important mail. 

But what I love about Outbox is the design of the car that gets people talking. I couldn't help but wonder what the heck this car was affiliated with and thus my question to the friendly Outbox employee. And oh by the way, this conversation happened in my condo lobby so the other three neighbors I was talking with also got to hear this conversation. Word of mouth marketing at its finest!

Good job Outbox.

Author: "Jackie Huba"
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Date: Wednesday, 28 Aug 2013 04:58

"What the heck are these blue balls in Lady Gaga's MTV Music Video Awards peformance Sunday night?"

That's the question I got emailed this week from a friend of mine. Since I wrote a book about how Lady Gaga built her loyal fan base, he thought I would know. Well, this confusion from my friend is a classic Gaga technique for building loyalty and is one of the lessons in my book. 

The idea here is to create and use symbols that only your community of loyalists will understand.

In history, studies of cultures and societies often show an emergence of shared symbols. We can all visualize many symbols we share with others as members of a given group, city, or country. These shared symbols are tangible vehicles through which some meaning is expressed. The symbols could be gestural, pictorial, object-oriented, linguistic, or some combination of these. Through the repeated process of rituals, symbols are given significance in the group. Shared symbols also have the ability to be exclusionary. Those who can recognize and understand the meaning of these symbols feel part of the group, like they be long, while outsiders will not understand the meaning and turn away, sometimes mocking the symbols. Gaga and the Little Monsters use many symbols to communicate with each other, with the most well known one being the "monster paw." By using these symbols that only her loyal fans understand, she is speaking to them in a special language. Fans feel a strong bond to the community, and to Gaga, because they feel part of a special club of people who understand what the symbolism represents, while outsiders do not.

This is exactly what Gaga was doing with the VMA performance of her new single, "Applause," from her upcoming album ARTPOP. The concept of the album is that Gaga wants to bringing art back into pop culture. The 4:51 minute performance was chock full of costume changes (three in all), blue metallic balls and face painting.

You may not have understood all the imagery or references, but Gaga doesn't care. She want to create an entertaing performance for everyone but she includes these special symbols that she knows only her diehard fans will understand. Here's what most Little Monsters recognized:

Screen Shot 2013-08-27 at 11.09.01 PM
1.  The opening white outfit was inspired by the floating dress worn during the Born This Way album tour for the song "Bloody Mary." The white board around her head was meant to portray a blank canvas for the artist.

2. The opening few lines that Gaga sings a cappella are not on ARTPOP but were written especially for this performance.

3. The boos and shouts of "Lady Gaga is over!" as Gaga floated down the stage in the white outfit were not from the live audience but were part of the soundtrack to symbolize that artists must deal with harsh criticism.

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4. The first costume change into the sparkly blue, heavily shoulder-padded jacket and skirt with a platinum bob wig was a nod to the looks she sported during "Just Dance" days from her first album, The Fame.

 
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5. The second costume change to the bright yellow wig was reminiscent of her "Telephone" video with Beyonce.

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6. Special metallic blue balls the size of cantaloupes are carried by dancers at one point in the performance and even Gaga grabs one  and throws it across the stage. The balls are a reference to pop artist Jeff Koons "Gazing Balls" exhibition from earlier this year. Gaga is a big fan of the artist and he is mentioned in the lyrics to "Applause."

Screen Shot 2013-08-27 at 10.55.57 PM
7. The third costume change, into a just barely-there seashell bikini, is a reference Botticelli's famous painting, the Birth of Venus.

Note: all photos are credited to Kevin Mazure/WireImage

Organizations other than Gaga use symbols too. Sport teams like the Pittsburgh Steelers have the Terrible Towel. Apple fans plaster stickers of the Apple logo on their cars. 

The key to shared symbols, like the Terrible Towel and the Apple logo, is not the symbol itself. What is important is how the meaning of the symbols binds a community together. People who are part of the community truly understand its meaning and are moved by it. For Steelers fans, we wave the Towel to rally our players when they need our help to accomplish a crucial first down. No matter that the players are on TV and they can’t hear or see us. We know they can feel us. Yes, I know that may seem ridiculous to non-fans, but die-hard fans understand the power of the Towel. When Apple fans see other sporting the Apple logo, it says that that person "thinks different" just like they do. 

What symbols do you have for your business that your only your best customers understand? Have your fans created their own symbols that they use online? Try building symbolism into your marketing to help engender more loyalty and emotional connections to customers.

 

Author: "Jackie Huba" Tags: "Customer evangelism, Jackie Huba"
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Date: Tuesday, 20 Aug 2013 21:26

Marketers are looking to get more word of mouth for their products and services and are investigating building influencer and advocate programs. Before you do this, it's imperative to know the difference between influencers and advocates as I find they are often confused by marketers.

Influencer campaigns can be good for short term buzz. But don't ignore the fact that brand advocates, or customer evangelists as I would call them, are an investment in loyalty that pays dividends in the long term. 

Here's a terrific infographic from the good folks at Zuberance and Convince and Covert on the difference between influencers and brand advocates. 

Influencersvsbrandadvocates1




Author: "Jackie Huba" Tags: "Customer evangelism, Jackie Huba"
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Date: Wednesday, 24 Jul 2013 20:29
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Billed as the "first ever Instagram music video made by YOU!" Bruno Mars is featuring fans dancing to his hit "Treasure" in a new website called TreasureDance.com. The site looks for videos posted with the hashtag #TreasureDance on Instagram, takes the newest 100 videos and places them in a random sequence alongside Bruno Mars's preexisting music video for Treasure, according to OKFocus, the agency who developed the site.

This is a great way to connect with loyal Bruno Mars fans would are loving the possibility of being part of the video. Also this is terrific word-of-mouth marketing as the fans now are telling lots of other people about being part of the site.

Oh and BTW, watch the video at your own risk. "Treasure" will be stuck in your head all day.

[Hat tip: Craig Fleishman]

Author: "Jackie Huba" Tags: "Customer evangelism, Jackie Huba"
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Date: Monday, 08 Jul 2013 15:32

The following is a guest post from my friend Jay Baer, based on his new book, Youtility: Why Smart Marketing is About Help not Hype.

Consumers are being subjected to an invitation avalanche, with every company of every size, shape, and description asking people to like them, follow them, friend them, click, share, and +1 them. This is in addition to the interruption marketing tactics and findability campaigns already in existence. At best, it wears thin. At worst, it does more harm than good to brand equity and contributes to the rampant distrust of business. There are only two ways companies can differentiate themselves within this din and derive meaningful business results.

The first is to be disproportionately amazing, interesting, human, wacky, irreverent, or timely. This is where advice to “humanize” using social and new media stems from. It’s also the wellspring that feeds the quest to deliver knockout customer experiences—doing so creates “buzzworthy moments” that boost awareness and loyalty. It’s where real-time “newsjacking” (as David Meerman Scott calls it in his book by the same name) comes into play—where you listen to the zeitgeist so aggressively, and where your organization is tuned so perfectly, that you can capitalize on opportunities in an instant. It’s at the heart of the pitch-perfect and real-time Oreo response to the Super Bowl blackout, whereby the brand created an image of a lone cookie in shadows and the headline “You Can Still Dunk in the Dark.” The image captured the moment perfectly, and immediately went viral, with tens of thousands of shares on Facebook, Twitter, and beyond.

All of that makes you smile, and it can create a psychological bond of kinship and recognition that yields loyalty and advocacy among consumers. I believe in the premise of amazing, interesting, human, wacky, irreverent, or timely so much that I co-wrote a book in 2010 that is partially devoted to it—especially the human and timely components. But here’s the truth: I’ve worked with more than seven hundred companies as a marketing consultant, and I’ve come to realize that while “be amazing” can work, it’s also extraordinarily difficult.

Telling someone to be amazing is like telling someone to make a viral video. There’s no such thing as a “viral video.” There are videos that become viral, but they are few and far between. The marketing of “be amazing” is the marketing of the swing-for-the-fences home run hitter. There are two by-products of that approach: an occasional home run, and many strikeouts You can do better. You can break through the noise and the clutter and grab the attention of your customers by employing a different approach that is reliable, scalable, functional, and effective.

It’s simply this: stop trying to be amazing and start being useful. I don’t mean this in a Trojan-horse, “infomercial that pretends to be useful but is actually a sales pitch” way. I mean a genuine, “how can we actually help you?” way. This is Youtility, and, quite simply, companies that practice it are followed, subscribed to, bookmarked, and kept on the home screen of mobile devices. Companies that don’t... aren’t. Not because they are worse companies, but because they are trying to create customer connections based on product and price, and customers are both tired of it and able to filter through it more than ever. Youtility is marketing upside down. Instead of marketing that’s needed by companies, Youtility is marketing that’s wanted by customers. Youtility is massively useful information, provided for free, that creates long term trust and kinship between your company and your customers.

My family is useful. My friends are useful. Companies can be useful, too. Will yours?

Author: "Jackie Huba" Tags: "Jackie Huba, Marketing"
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Date: Thursday, 04 Jul 2013 03:30

Just wanted to let you know about two July book tour events for my new book, Monster Loyalty: How Lady Gaga Turns Followers into Fanatics. Monster-Loyalty-3D-cover_smFor both events, I will be doing a 60-minute presentation on the book concepts and all attendees will get a signed copy of the book.

Hope to see you!

Author: "Jackie Huba" Tags: "Books, Jackie Huba"
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Date: Tuesday, 04 Jun 2013 16:22
130520.womma_


Even today, marketers are still trying to control the conversation customers have about their brand. Give it up. With social media acting as a word-of-mouth jetstream, it's impossible to make sure people are on "brand message" when they talk about you to friends and family. We can only hope to create products and brands that people want to evangelize and then join in the conversation.

I love this cartoon from my friend and "marketoonist" Tom Fishburne. Click here for his post on what happened when the Kentucky Department of Tourism tried to control the message about their brand.

Author: "Jackie Huba" Tags: "Jackie Huba, Word of mouth"
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Date: Monday, 20 May 2013 21:52
Nordstrom-Nordstrom_Anniversary_Sal-20000000002779706-500x375


I am huge fan of Nordstrom. They have famed customer service and that is one of the reasons why I shop there. But even I was surprised by this.

Last week I was shopping at Nordstrom and bought merchadise at a few departments. The strip on my Nordstrom VISA card had apparently stopped working because each cashier had trouble swiping the card and had to resort to typing in the numbers into the register. I made an offhand comment to one of the cashieres that I would have to call in to the card customer service later and request a new card.

Of course that became just one more thing on my to-do list and I didn't call in. To my surprise, I opened my mail on Saturday and there was a brand new shiny silver Nordstrom VISA card. Apparently one of the cashiers took it upon themselves to order a new one for me. Awesome.

I didn't ask for a new card but one of the cashiers took the initiative to delight this customer. And that is customer service worth talking about. 

 

Author: "Jackie Huba" Tags: "Customer evangelism, Jackie Huba"
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Date: Monday, 13 May 2013 20:27

Hi there!  

Here's my speaking schedule including book tour events. If you live in one these cities, I looking forward to seeing you!!

  • May 8: Austin - book tour event (private)
  • May 10: Orlando - book tour event (private)
  • May 21: Chicago - WOMMA WOMM-U Conference. Use my discount code WUSpeak50 to get $50 off registration.
  • Jun 2: Orlando - book tour event (private)
  • Jun 12: Milan, Italy - private event
  • Jun 20: Salt Lake City - book tour event (public) sponsored by SoulSalt. Get tickets here
  • Jun 27: Las Vegas - Confirmit Conference
  • Jul 11: Chicago - book tour event (public), details TBD
  • Juy 16: Portland - book tour event (public). Get tickets here.
  • Sept 17: Las Vegas: Brand ManageCamp conference

 

Author: "Jackie Huba" Tags: "Jackie Huba, Presentations"
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Date: Monday, 06 May 2013 16:19

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I love the Pittsburgh Steelers. I was born near Pittsburgh and watched them win 4 four Super Bowls as I was growing up in the '70's. I run the Steelers fan club here in Austin. I own six Terrible Towels and went to the Super Bowl in 2011 to see the Steelers play. When I was considering getting a tattoo -- almost all Austin, Texas residents have one -- I knew getting the Steelers logo was a safe bet because I knew I would love them for life.

I am a Steelers "One Percenter," one of the die-hard super fans that make up about 1% of a customer base. This One Percenter concept is based on research from my previous book, Citizen Marketers. My coauthor and I discovered that the most highly engaged particpants in a community make up a tiny percentage of the overall customer base but are vocal passionate evangelists who bring new customers into the fold through word of mouth.

In my upcoming book Monster Loyalty: How Lady Gaga Turns Followers into Fanatics, I discuss how Lady Gaga has built a following numbering in the millions worldwide but focuses most of her efforts on engaging her One Percenters, her "Little Monsters." In my four years of research, I've been amazed at the depth of "monster loyalty" that these fans show for Gaga.

In consulting with companies over the years, I find that many companies and brands don't know who their One Percenters are, or even if they have any. So let's find out how much monster loyalty is out there for products and brands.

What product/company/brand/non-profit do YOU have monster loyalty for? What is the craziest thing you have ever done to show your love for a brand? Maybe not a tattoo but I would love to hear about how much you love this product or brand and have you share your loyalty for the world to see.

Share your story in a blog post, upload an Instagram picture, or write a tweet about your fanaticism for a brand/product/company and tag it #monsterloyalty. The amazing folks at FeedMagnet are aggregating all of the social content based on the #monsterloyalty hashtag for all to see. Check it out here!

Author: "Jackie Huba" Tags: "Customer evangelism, Jackie Huba"
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Date: Thursday, 02 May 2013 23:24

Thanks to all who participated in the Monster Loyalty pre-order giveaway by purchasing a book before launch. The winners are:

 

1st PRIZE:  Joey Coleman, Chief Experience Composer at Design Symphony

  • 5 copies of Monster Loyalty: How Lady Gaga Turns Followers into Fanatics
  • 2 Lady Gaga art prints by rock and roll pop artist Kii Arens, signed and numbered
2nd PRIZE: Shep Hyken, New York Times and WSJ best selling author of The Amazement Revolution: Seven Customer Service Strategies to Create an Amazing Customer Experience
  • 5 copies of Monster Loyalty: How Lady Gaga Turns Followers into Fanatics
  • 3 Lady Gaga prints designed by Kii Arens (unsigned)


3rd PRIZE: Lori Magno, DIGITAS

  • 5 copies of Monster Loyalty: How Lady Gaga Turns Followers into Fanatics

 

Congratulations everyone!

 

Author: "Jackie Huba"
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Date: Thursday, 02 May 2013 15:52

Monster-Loyalty-3D-cover_smI am excited to announce that Monster Loyalty is now available!

This is a book that I am extremely excited about because it argues that Lady Gaga didn’t become the success she is today based solely on her talent. She did so by engendering immense loyalty from her fans – not just through her music – but through the message she embodies and the community she has built around that message.  In four short years, Lady Gaga has built an army of passionate fans that numbers in the tens of millions around the globe. My book explores how she did it, uncovering seven loyalty lessons and providing a playbook for building this kind of loyalty in any organization.

I’m big on inspiring examples and this book is no exception. With examples from businesses such as MINI, Fiskars, and Maker’s Mark, Monster Loyalty offers a complete case study that can be modeled in companies large and small to build, maintain, and expand the core customer base central to their success.

My hope is that by studying and employing Lady Gaga’s intuitive customer strategies, readers will be equipped to improve their customer loyalty.

Monster Loyalty is available on AmazonB&N800-CEO-READ and anywhere books are sold.

For those who read the book and enjoy it, I would so appreciate it if you would consider writing a review for the book on Amazon and sharing your thoughts via social media.

In addition, I’d love for you to consider a simple question: when have you either exhibited profound customer loyalty? I’d love for you to share an anecdote about the time (and why it occurred) on your blog, Twitter or even Instagram. Tag the post #monsterloyalty (My post is here.

Thanks for sharing in the excitement of this launch—I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the book!

 

Author: "Jackie Huba" Tags: "Books, Jackie Huba"
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Date: Monday, 29 Apr 2013 15:50

BallFlyer

If you live in Austin, Texas, or will be here on May 1, I hope you will join me for the launch party for my new book, Monster Loyalty. The Gaga-themed party is also a benefit with 100% of ticket sales going to Equality Texas which educates and advocates on behalf of LGBT Texans, a non-profit doing amazing work to fight for a cause that I, and Lady Gaga, believe in.

We will also have:

If you can't make it to the party, please consider making a contribution to Equality Texas by purchasing a "Money Honey" ticket and giving what you can. 

G E T   T I C K E T S   H E R E.

Thanks to our sponsors for making this fundraiser possible:

Logo for online invite.001

 

Author: "Jackie Huba" Tags: "Jackie Huba"
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Date: Thursday, 18 Apr 2013 23:05

Collier_cvr_alt-200x300Mack Collier is a social media strategist, trainer, and speaker who specializes in helping companies better connect with their customers and cultivate fans for their brands. His brand new book, "Think Like a Rock Star," examines the marketing and social media strategies of actual rock stars like Taylor Swift, Johnny Cash, Jewel, Amanda Palmer and others and shares how any company can learn from them to create emotional connections with customers. Here's a Q&A I did with Mack about the book: 

Q. What does it mean to '"Think Like a Rock Star?"
A. If you look at any number of studies and surveys designed to assess the top marketing goals for most companies, 'Acquire New Customers' is usually the top priority. This is where most companies spend the majority of their marketing dollars, and expanding the customer base is what they focus most of their efforts on.

The difference with rock stars is that they focus on connecting with their fans.  And not just their fans, but they purposely seek out their biggest and most passionate fans, and look for ways to create amazing experiences for them, and to create deeper connections with them. Of course you know this from studying how Lady Gaga has created a special bond with her Little Monsters (I have already pre-ordered Monster Loyalty, can't wait to read it!).

The rock stars' approach is so interesting because they are connecting with their biggest fan with the understanding that those fans will acquire new customers for them. They aren't spending millions on crappy marketing designed to get the attention of people (new customers) that have little to no affinity for them. Instead rock stars understand that their ability to acquire new customers tomorrow depends on how they delight their existing fans today.

Q. What was the biggest surprise in writing this book?
A. Really the main reason why I wanted to write this book was to learn how rock stars can so easily create and cultivate fans, so that companies could then apply that same process, and more easily cultivate fans themselves. I assumed there was some "secret sauce" and a "trick" that rock stars did that simply made it easier for them to cultivate fans.

Instead, I learned that rock stars relentless communicate two very important messages to their fans:  1 - "I appreciate you"  2 - "I love you".  That's it. And as a result, their biggest fans appreciate them and love them right back. Rock stars also thrive off connecting with their most passionate customers, whereas most companies want to keep their customers at arm's length. Rock stars look for ways to embrace their fans, and that makes it much easier for their fans to trust them, which makes it easier for their fans to advocate on the rock star's behalf.

Q. And that makes it easier for fans to buy from that rock star right?
A. Exactly. I think most companies strive to have a transactional relationship with their customers. They want to create a product, and sell it to their customers. That's it. I think most rock stars want to have an emotional relationship with their fans. As Kathy Sierra said in the foreword of the book, rock stars want to make their fans better. They honestly do love their fans, and they want that emotional relationship with their fans, because they understand that it will lead to sales. Rock stars understand that customers buy from brands that they love and trust. And they tell others to buy from that brand as well. It doesn't matter if that brand is a company or a rock star.

Rock stars have always understand the value of connecting directly with their customers, whereas thanks to new social media tools, companies are having to learn these lessons the hard way. The future of successful marketing lies with the companies that learn to speak in the same voice as their customer. Think Like a Rock Star was written to help companies get to that place where they not only understand their customers, but actually cultivate fans that love them.

Author: "Jackie Huba" Tags: "Customer evangelism, Jackie Huba"
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Date: Monday, 08 Apr 2013 15:50

Monster-Loyalty-3D-cover_smWith more than 35 million Twitter followers and 56 million Facebook fans, the woman previously known as Stefani Germanotta is now one of most well-known pop stars in the world. Without a day of business school, Lady Gaga has cultivated the kind of passionate following that businesses dream about.

Now you can learn exactly what it is that Gaga does to build her following, and learn how to apply those lessons to your own goals. On May 2nd, you’ll be able to buy my book Monster Loyalty: How Lady Gaga Turns Followers into Fanatics and read the 7 concepts that any customer-focused industry needs to know.

But, if you pre-order 20 copies or more before April 29th, you’ll have access to an exclusive, one-time-only, online conference with me on April 29th at 1pm CT where I’ll discuss what I learned while writing this book. Plus, you can ask me any questions you have about customer loyalty or Gaga’s business savvy. I’ll try to get to as many as I can. 

What You Need to Do:

1. Go to your favorite bookseller’s website (some links below).

2. Order 20 copies or more of my upcoming book, Monster Loyalty: How Lady Gaga Turns Followers into Fanatics before 2 AM CT on April 29th.

3. E-mail your receipt to IWantMonsterLoyalty@gmail.com. We’ll send you an invite to the web conference shortly after that, along with instructions for joining the chat.

4. Clear your calendar for April 29th at 1pm CT for your exclusive early-access web conference with me.

Questions? E-mail IWantMonsterLoyalty@gmail.com.

 

 

Author: "Jackie Huba" Tags: "Books, Jackie Huba"
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Date: Monday, 08 Apr 2013 15:30

This contest is especially for all the Lady Gaga fans out there!

There are a million reasons to remain a loyal fan to Mother Monster, and I want to hear yours. Pre-order my upcoming book Monster Loyalty: How Lady Gaga Turns Followers into Fanatics (Portfolio, May 2) and send your receipt to monsterloyalty@gmail.com, along with the reason you’re an unwavering Gaga fanatic, and you could win one of these prizes:

1st PRIZE:

  • 5 copies of Monster Loyalty: How Lady Gaga Turns Followers into Fanatics
  • 2 Lady Gaga art prints by rock and roll pop artist Kii Arens, signed and numbered 

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2nd PRIZE:

  • 5 copies of Monster Loyalty: How Lady Gaga Turns Followers into Fanatics
  • 3 Lady Gaga prints designed by Kii Arens (unsigned)

Pre-order campaigns.002

3rd PRIZE:

  • 5 copies of Monster Loyalty: How Lady Gaga Turns Followers into Fanatics

Monster-Loyalty-3D-cover_sm


The contest ends Tuesday, April 30th at midnight PST*. The winners will be e-mailed individually and announced on May 2nd on this blog  

Good luck and paws up, little monsters! #monsterloyalty

Suggested retailers: 

* One entry per person.

Author: "Jackie Huba" Tags: "Books, Jackie Huba"
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Date: Thursday, 28 Mar 2013 15:27

It's Lady Gaga's 27th birthday today. Her passionately loyal, worldwide fan base is sending her birthday wishes today but also sharing how she has changed their world for the better, through her music and actions. Her message of kindness, acceptance and tolerance is making a difference. Skeptical? Watch this video from Indonesian Little Monsters.

Happy birthday Mother Monster. Paws up!

Author: "Jackie Huba" Tags: "Customer evangelism, Jackie Huba"
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Date: Thursday, 21 Mar 2013 15:29

Forrester

[Click image to see a bigger version]

A new study from Forrester shows that online content in the form of product or brands reviews is trusted by 70% of U.S. consumers. Not suprising but it adds to the voluminous set of resarch showing that word of mouth continues to be the most trusted form of advertising.

Least trusted? Text messages from brands. Only 9% of people believe what is being sent to their iPhones. Time to rethink your mobile strategy? 

Author: "Jackie Huba" Tags: "Jackie Huba, Word of mouth"
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Date: Monday, 18 Feb 2013 07:55

Screen Shot 2013-02-17 at 4.50.47 PM
Almost one week ago, Bill Samuels Jr., son of the founder of Marker's Mark bourbon, told customers he had made a giant mistake. He failed to forsee a worldwide surge in demand for premium bourbon when he was in charge of the brand six years ago. He said, as a result, Maker's Mark was going to be diluted to 42 percent alcohol by volume, from 45 percent, so more of the whiskey can be bottled to meet demand. That's a cut from 90 proof to 84 proof. He embarrassly admitted, "I was the forecaster in chief around here. ... I must have been asleep at the wheel.” He, and his son Rob, the CEO of Marker's Mark, assured customers that they wouldn't notice the change. Even Maker's Mark professional taste testers couldn't tell the difference, Rob Samuels said.

However, customers were pissed. Comments like this one began pouring in on the company's Facebook page:

"so now you're saying no will notice because you ASSUME your customers use [Maker's Mark] in mixed drinks instead of neat??? wow not only are you cheapening your product you are insulting your customers...count me out, time to try some other bourbons who still value quality"

After a week of listening to customers' negative comments about the change on their social media sites and through email, Maker's Mark management changed course. Today Rob and Bill Samuels told fans in a letter on their website and Facebook page: 

We’re humbled by your overwhelming response and passion for Maker’s Mark. While we thought we were doing what’s right, this is your brand – and you told us in large numbers to change our decision.

You spoke. We listened. And we’re sincerely sorry we let you down.

So effective immediately, we are reversing our decision to lower the ABV of Maker’s Mark, and resuming production at 45% alcohol by volume (90 proof). Just like we’ve made it since the very beginning.

Read the entire letter here. 

Every company makes mistakes. The way Makers Mark's handled this situation -- by listening to customers concerns and quickly changing course -- is a model for other companies to follow. With their Ambassadors program, Maker's Mark has long been a company that understands loyalty. Today they showed that that loyalty goes both ways.

Author: "Jackie Huba" Tags: "Customer evangelism, Jackie Huba, Word o..."
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