Selling the Invisible Thumbnail

Selling the Invisible

What are your invisibles and how can making them visible give your customers a great buying experience?

To illustrate what we mean by invisibles, here is a story about one of our own buying experiences about a year ago:

Our youngest daughter, Tamarah, had just moved out and “lonely nest syndrome” was officially a fact.

Our house wasn’t as messy as before with 4 people living here, but we had lost our last little housekeeper since Cornelia (our oldest daughter) had moved out a couple of years before.

So, the hunt for a great cleaning company began!

We went online and searched for: pricing, reviews, problems, reliability, quality and then compared several cleaning companies. We ended up at company called Freska.

Their website was amazing!!

Every single question we had, was answered – in detail. And for every answer we got, our trust in Freska increased. After soaking up all the information they had given us, they elegantly led us to the page where we easily entered the size of our house, checked off which services we wanted included, picked a time and date from their digital availability calendar, entered our credit card details and boom! We had just booked and paid our first cleaning.

Without talking to anyone.

What did Freska do, to create that kind of trust?

They used content on their website, to make THE INVISIBLE – VISIBLE.

When searching their website, we not only found relevant, engaging and educating content about their products and services, but they also made visible to us their skills, expertise and knowledge. They did this so well, we felt

  • They were experts in cleaning private homes
  • We knew them.
  • We could TRUST them.
  • They could add value to the product we wanted to buy, because they showed us their other areas of expertise and knowledge that could help us.

They had convinced us that they would deliver as promised – and they did.

How did we as customers FEEL?

Happy we not only found a great trustworthy supplier but once we were customers, we wanted to stick around and see what they had in store for us next!

How can YOU give YOUR customers the same experience?

Your products and services need to be visible, but so does all the experience and added knowledge you have, that could potentially be useful to your customers.

That kind of visibility creates great customer experiences!

Making your invisibles – visible, creates TRUST and will not only attract visitors to your site but will turn them in to long lasting, loyal customers!

Think about it. The last time you bought a product or a service, what made you WANT to give that company your money? They shared knowledge you needed and by doing that, created

TRUST.

We all buy from companies we TRUST.

USE YOUR BEST EMPLOYEE

If we were to ask you: Who is your best employee? Would it surprise you that we know the answer?!  Your best employee:

  • Talks to your customers 24/7
  • Never asks for a raise.
  • Is never sick.
  • Works day and night and through the weekends.
  • Never asks for a day off.
  • And will never leave unless you decide it’s time to go…..

?

YOUR WEBSITE – is your best employee Click To Tweet

Your website “talks” day and night.  (even when you and the rest of your team are sound asleep!)

So please – think about your own website and imagine you are a customer looking at it.

Now being honest, would you see information about your products and services, answers to all your questions and at the same time be educated in all the areas where your company has knowledge and can be of help? Or is there so little information, that you quickly moved on to another website?

Customers, in general, complete 70% of their customer journey, alone, searching online.  BEFORE contacting a supplier. They use that time, looking for information and help.  You can make your invisibles – visible, by publishing relevant, trustworthy and educational content.

So, back to your website, your best employee.

Is there room for improvement?

DEFINING YOUR INVISIBLES 

Your industry might differ from Freskas, but the principles are the same, regardless of industry. Your invisibles are:

  •  Your company’s skills, subject expert areas and values.
  • Areas that aren’t necessarily main parts of your products or services but are areas where you have knowledge you know can help your customers.
  • Knowledge you have that makes your company stand out from your competition.

Most of our customers are Microsoft Partners, in the technology industry. So, let’s use that industry as an example.  Let’s say you are an IT supplier and on your website, you clearly sell MS 365-packages or other plug-and-play products or services for a monthly fee.

But, are you in addition, building your customers trust by making ALL the expertise you have as an IT supplier, visible to them?  Knowledge they not only need, but are willing to pay for?

For example, due to covid-19 there is an enormous need for new knowledge in areas like

  • Webinars – both participating in and creating
  • Secure remote working environments
  • Online meeting tools
  • Increasing digital presence
  • Increasing website content

And the list goes on and on……

Do you have knowledge in any of these areas?

Show it on your website!

This will not only increase your customers TRUST in you as an expert in your field, but can potentially lead to INCREASED REVENUE because you are offering help your customers need and will want to buy.

After defining your invisibles, you can use several ways to make them visible.

  • Articles
  • Video/Audio
  • Social Media
  • Video emails/campaigns
  • Webinars

We all love a great customer experience and how good we feel about ourselves when we increase our knowledge and get the help we need by making a great buying decision with a company we trust.

Your visitors and customers deserve the same experience, every time they interact with you and especially when landing on your best “employee”😊

P.S: Even though we at times miss our girls – lonely nest syndrome is a part of our past, we now focus 100% on each other and our cat Larsen, and our apartment is clean!

//KOGGER

#BTCT

KOGGER_Why we love the power of question

Why we love the power of questions!

What can help us to listen more, talk less,  create better customer journeys and relationships,  engage our audience and make sure our knowledge is shared and finds it’s way to new owners and new ideas?

Questions.

The art of communication

We all know the feeling….

We are prepared and know the customer well.

We’ve got this.

We did our homework and have our message mapped out.

Goal in sight.

But when the meeting ends, disappointment hits us.

The knowledge we so intensely wanted to share with them – stayed with us and didn’t seem to have any effect, even though we had been talking and talking.

What went wrong?

With all that practice, communicating should be easy, right?

Yes – and no.

Talking is easy but creating a dialog where we talk, listen, give relevant responses and share knowledge that is interesting and useful, now that is a challenge – but not impossible.

Learning and perfecting the art of communication is important to all of us. Click To Tweet

Increase customers talk time

By talking less and listening more.

Our goal is for our customers to feel understood and talk to us about what they need, based on their trust in our products, services and solutions.

Do people in general really talk too much?  In an article from Nov 22, 2016 written by Chris Orlob at Gong, he refers to a survey that shows the talk/listen ratio of an average sales person.  Using AI, they “analyzed recordings of 25.537 business-to-business sales conversations, averaging at 43 minutes per call.

Here are some of the results: the average B2B sales rep spends between 65-75% of a call talking, leaving only 25-35% of the call for listening. In fact, increasing the prospect’s talk time from 22% to 33% significantly boosts win-rates.”

 How can we increase a customer’s talk time?

By using questions and giving them time to answer.

Prepared, insightful questions help us define our customers’ needs or challenges, build relationships with them and give us valuable knowledge. By asking instead of telling, we help our customers to reason and own the knowledge we share.

KOGGER

Verbal “gold miners”

We might tend to think: “the way I talk – is the way I talk, and my results are pretty good” and we might be right. But “pretty good”?

Our goal should be: Great!

Using questions is verbal “gold mining”. Click To Tweet

We might have to ask a lot of questions and “dig” before we find “gold” – the answers we’re looking for. By giving others a chance to share their thoughts, there is a greater chance they will remember our conversation, act on it and based on the knowledge they acquire – trust us as a reliable supplier.

Verbally “gold mining” may take longer than just doing most of the talking ourselves but when we hit “gold,” it’s worth it!

Preparation is key

The key to asking more questions and better questions, is preparation.

  • Who will we be talking to?
  • What kind of help do they need?
  • How are they using the tools they have today?
  • How can they achieve more with what they have?
  • What challenges do they have?
  • Which questions will engage them?
  • How can we use questions to address worries or objections we predict they have, even before they express these themselves? (Marcus Sheridan calls this to vanguard)

Does this mean we should just prepare a long list of questions before having a conversation with a lead or at a customer meeting and plow through them one by one?

No.

It goes without saying that asking a question that only needs a yes or a no as an answer, won’t get the customer talking more.  Phrasing questions that demand a longer answer ensures that we talk less, the other person talks more so that valuable information and knowledge can be exchanged.

  • What do you feel makes your company stand out from others?
  • Can you help me understand the challenge you are having with….
  • In which important areas can we help your company?

 

Question

The high-jacking effect

Today more than ever, customers are searching intensely for knowledge because they want to own details about what they are buying. Why they are buying it, where the best supplier is and what others are saying about what, where and when to buy. So how can we do this?

  • How can we explain complicated and technical subjects and be sure they are understood?

Ask questions

  • What is the quickest way to identify your customers pains?

Ask questions.

  • What is the customers vision and culture?

Ask questions.

  • How can we get customers to remember and «own» the knowledge we share?

Ask questions.

  • How can we personalize communication with each customer?

Ask questions.

  • How can we build trust with customers?

Ask questions.

  • How can we ensure that our content and services are always relevant and useful to our customers?

Ask questions.

By asking questions when communicating we show sincere interest in meeting our customers where they are. We help them and at the same time increase our chances of them choosing us as their trusted supplier. We love questions and dig for “gold”!

Need some inspiration and help to communicate better to your customers? Feel free to look at our Conductor Workshop or even better, contact us!

//KOGGER

#BTCT!

KOGGER_6 Success Factors for SMB

6 Success Factors for SMB

“Seriously?! Another article about digital transformation?!” Yes, we know… But we also know that there is a lot of talk about changes that need to be done when digitally transforming but that it isn’t always easy to implement them.  How far along the way is your company? What do you predict  will happen with those that aren’t keeping up with development? As an SMB ourselves, we feel the stress of daily decisions on what we should or should not change, in order to succeed. Along with us, you can probably relate to the feelings in this quote by Arthur Burtme:

«Nothing happens until the pain of remaining the same outweighs the pain of change.”

There is no doubt that digital transformation means changes and investments and even a certain amount of “pain” but a lot can be done:

By choosing to do the right things at the right time and optimizing what we already have. 

An Isaca journal states that: “Digital transformation efforts fail or underperform when they make technology the sole focus. Initiatives are doomed if an organization does not transform people to properly operate and maintain the equipment and/or fails to change processes to best leverage the technology.”

During our over 200 workshops, we have had the privilege of helping around 1500 decision makers see what changes are necessary in order to “push” their digital transformation forward.  When cooperating with them we have seen one thing common for all of them:

Digital transformation is about people and personal transition

When people in your organisation understand the market, the company’s vision for the future and why changes need to be made – they will want to cooperate.  With personal transition we mean, altering or completely redefining a mindset in order to be prepared and willing to adapt – expecting and even embracing change and learning new skills.

This change or transition occurs, when you fully understand that a successful digital transformation of the company – depends on your personal transition.

Here are six major areas affected by the digital transformation and where personal transition is at the heart of success:

  1. Leading Digital Transformation
  2. The Customer Journey
  3. Content Awareness
  4. The Revenue Team
  5. The Digital Talent Gap
  6. Team Players

1 – Leading Digital Transformation: Starts with people not technology

Digital Transformation

Digital Transformation with its “go to” companion, personal transition – starts at top management. If you want your organisation to transform digitally, you need to have leaders that are agile, creative and continuously seeking new knowledge.

A ISACA survey shows that companies that have engaged, digital-savvy leaders taking the lead in embracing, leveraging and implementing digital innovation and showing that they enjoy leading the way to new company cultures, are much more likely to succeed in digitally transforming and having employees that feel confident and happy about following their lead – and these leaders encounter much less resistance.

People – not technology – are the heart of a successful digital transformation

As we all have experienced, helping our customers become successful isn’t always about selling them something new but about teaching them how to get the most out of what they already have, and the same goes for people in our organization.

When your organisation focuses on customer engagement, successful customer journeys and the whole organisation is encouraged to personally transition and align skills when needed  – you will experience success in your digital transformation, and in addition have satisfied customers and happy employees:)

2 – The Customer Journey: Making THEIR journey our journey

For anyone going on a trip, there are usually a few questions we want answers to when we begin searching:

  • How do we get there in the shortest possible time and at the lowest cost?
  • How do we get there as safely and ensure we get what we paid for?
  • How have others done this same trip and what was their experience?
  • Where can we find user friendly websites with prices and relevant information, using the least possible number of clicks?
  • Where can we find reliable suppliers that deliver quality – quickly?
  • Can we find reviews from others reassuring us that this supplier is the best match for us, and the most trustworthy?

Customers want to find answers to these questions – themselves.

According to this article in Forbes  “even technical buyers in B2B product categories, are gathering information about products and services online and on their own.  In 2017, the percentage of customers expressing – don’t call me, I’ll call you – preference was 68%.  Only 16% said that they find interacting with a sales rep better than self-service research”

This development shows how important it is that everyone in your organization needs to understand that customers have to be able to quickly find relevant, helpful content on your website, that answers all their questions.

By doing this you ensure a smooth, useful customer journey that ends up with them wanting to take the last 30% of their buying journey – with your company.

Customer Experience Officer (CEO) A dedicated Customer Experience Officer ‘CEO’ that has customer experience as their main responsibility, will ensure that improving the customer journey is an ongoing process based on feedback and customer experience. Even though you have a dedicated CEO, everyone in your company should contribute and be responsible for all interactions with customers across all channels and touch points, resulting in customers having a relevant, positive and engaging and smooth customer experience.

Having customer journey “top-of-mind awareness,”is an important success factor. But how can you, at all times, keep track of your company’s customer journey?  A customer journey map is a powerful tool for identifying gaps, “pain” areas or the need for adding valuable content during the customer journey. Here are some examples of things you can find out:

  • Gaps between devices when a user moves from one device to another
  • Gaps between departments where users might get frustrated and where their experience isn’t smooth
  • Gaps between channels – for example where going from social media to the website or vice versa.
  • New FAQs that need to be addressed.

By mapping out your customers’ journey, you are putting your customers at the center of your focus and gathering your whole organization to have a “customer first” attitude.

To find out how your customers experience a customer journey with your organization, you have to take the same journey yourself – find the bumps and smooth them out!

3 – Content Awareness: Touching our customers hearts

Content Awareness is when everyone feels their knowledge and expertise can touch customer hearts. They feel appreciated and more willing to learn new skills and contribute. Click To Tweet

Many still think of content as just the written word so we need to welcome them into the diverse world of content!

Showing this can be done in many ways but here are a few ideas:

  • Internal content workshops – What questions are you getting every day that can be used on the website as FAQs, an article, a video, a podcast?
  • Content happenings
  • Content contests – with prizes:)

 Everyone in an organization has stories to tell – they just need somewhere to tell them!

  • Video
  • Podcasts
  • Webinars
  • Articles
  • Social Media

Multi Media Culture – sounds fancy, right? But today, it’s possible to have a multimedia culture so you connect closer with your audience, by using simple but effective tools and methods. As an SMB you can create a multimedia culture, just by using technology, skills and expertise you already have or investing in low cost but effective equipment.

Letting your customers hear and see you, in addition to the written word, humanizes your company and pulls your customers closer to you by giving them personalized experiences – where you can touch their hearts!

Let them see you before we you see them, hear you before you hear them and get to know you before you get to know them.

You can quickly establish a multimedia culture in your company, by taking video and audio enthusiasts within your organization who understand how important these tools are and encourage them to be creative and inspire others across departments.

Encourage them to share their knowledge and experiences and influence others to step out of their “comfort zone. If they show how simply it can be done, what great results they can get and how effective this is for connecting with customers, when used in the right way and at the right amount – people will want to contribute!

Social Media – Encourage the use of social media to make your company, products, services and skills known, and contribute to improving customer experiences by

  • Having leaders that lead the way and post on social platforms the company has defined as important.
  • Connecting with new people, posting, re-posting and commenting on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram etc.
  • Joining, engaging and learning through social media groups related to the company business. Acquiring new knowledge about your customer base today and the one you can have in the future.
  • Having “Company Influencers”. These are employees that love social media and can create social media awareness throughout the organization and show the effects it can have on customer relationships
  • Developing a “listening strategy” and gather feedback from all platforms. Gathering information on company related comments, complaints or praise posted on social media, can be used to improve the customer journey or encourage your organization and tell them what a great job they are doing!

4 – The Revenue Team: One big happy family!

smarketing

In a world where customers expect seamless, friction free, user friendly experiences, Marketing can no longer be just Marketing and Sales can no longer be just Sales, but should be a harmonious combination

SMARKETING – The Revenue Team

This totally makes sense since sales and marketing have the same goals: Creating revenue by finding, nurturing and serving customers so they are satisfied and keep coming back. But often, Marketing and Sales find it hard to agree on methods and strategies, and by doing this – you can push your customers over to competition.

The foundation of a revenue team is SMARKETING – the process of integrating the Sales and Marketing processes where the objective is for both of their functions to have a common integrated approach.

It takes communication, personal transition and focus on customer experience to get Marketing and Sales to cooperate smoothly and evolve into a revenue team.

It’s so important that you get this to work because as Mary Shea, Ph.D., principal analyst at Forrester Research, puts it:

“If you are doing Sales and Marketing the same way you did 3-5 years ago, you won’t survive.”

SMARKETING:

  • Sales and Marketing communicate and align leads, customers and strategy
  • Have mutual KPIs
  • Implement Cross-functional planning processes between the two teams
  • Define together what a lead is, how and when it should be nurtured
  • Be mutually responsible for all leads, customer experiences and their results.
  • Share data in order to prioritize leads and act on them faster
  • Measure the effects of SMARKETING in order to “push” and develop it further

This can be challenging but as a SMB you are in a unique position to create a SMARKETING environment/Revenue Team, since your organization is often more agile and used to communicating across departments.

It’s a smart move to  apply the advice of Jay Baer, one of SMARKETINGs most powerful advocates: “Every time there is a Social customer care or Sales team meeting, someone from the Marketing team needs to be involved. Every time there is a Marketing meeting, someone from the Sales and Social team should be present. This can have a massive impact on inter divisional understanding, on cooperation, and on synergy in the organization.”

5 – The Digital Talent Gap: Slowing down the pace

As an SMB, one of your greatest assets in the digital transformation is – your employees.  At the same time research shows that one of the biggest threats to your company’s successful digital transformation is – your employees.  They call it:

The Digital Talent Gap

A survey of 1200 people, both employees and leaders, done by Capgemini and LinkedIn put some numbers on the table to look at – and learn from:

  • The digital talent gap is widening: Over 54% of organizations agreed that the digital talent gap is hampering their transformation programs and that their organization has lost business due to lack of digital talent
  • A fear of not having the right future skills: 29% believed that their skills were redundant right now or would be in the next one to two years. 38% believe that their skill set will be redundant in the next four to five years
  • Soft digital skills are most in demand: The report identified that people with soft digital skills such as customer awareness and a passion for learning are an increasingly important characteristics of a well-rounded digital professional.

This report shows that many employees fear they will lose their job in the future and are unsure how to avoid it. Another report by Gartner shows that 70% of employees have not mastered the skills they need for their jobs today and 80% lack the skills needed for both their current role and their future career.

Scary numbers but how can you avoid this being the case in your organization?

  • Identify skills – As leaders you should identify broader skill areas in order to determine the most important skill sets employees will need
  • Motivate – Choose digital tools that align with your business objectives and then motivate and even reward the ones using them and embracing them
  • Learning Solutions – Be explicit about the personal benefit that comes from learning new skills. Support learning initiatives by supplying in-house and external courses and workshops, workbooks, looking at the possibility for follow-up studies etc

You want to inspire your organization to have a digital culture where you focus on reaching your customers and giving them a journey, they will never forget!

By having a digital culture, you will meet less digital resistance and your employees will take pride in helping the company to digitally transform. You end up with happy employees that are willing to personally transition – and enjoy doing it!

By filling the digital talent gap, you create a team player spirit.

6 – Team Player Employees:  One organisation, one culture

Why is it so important, especially for the digital transformation process, that your organization has team player employees? Because, like this citation from Andrew Carnegie so wisely puts it:

“Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.”

To succeed with the digital transformation in your organization, you need to create a common vision. Having a team player culture, will pull everyone in the same direction – not just defining ourselves as working in a certain department or skill area, but seeing themselves as one team with one mission – Customer satisfaction.

Here is some advice that, both we and many of the organizations we have worked with, have found useful:

  • Motivate your organization by including everyone in the digital transformation process. They need to know the why’s and how’s behind the tools they are using and be encouraged to improve their skills
  • The WHOLE organization needs to have focus on and understand the WHOLE customer journey and by doing this see that they can detect leads at an earlier stage, improve the customer experience and reach customers hearts
  • Help everyone find a certain level of comfort in the unexpected and embrace change as part of their job description. The digital transformation can be exciting and awesome – get their dopamine flowing! In other words, people in your organization are willing to do more and learn more – if they feel it’s fun and exciting
  • Make it worth their while. Create leader stars and reward employees that, even though they feel they have too much to do and don’t have the time or energy to learn a new skill or change their routines, choose to do it anyway. These are “the cool kids in the class” – they understand that success in personal transition is the company’s success in digital transformation

Digital Transformation – is about focusing on your opportunities

You might be an SMB, born digital and have a digital culture, or an SMB that has to transform in a way you never dreamed about doing of when you started the company.

Regardless of which of these groups you are in, you deserve recognition for what you already are achieving because as a SMB ourselves, we know how it feels to have to handle and overcome many of the same challenges larger companies face, but with fewer human and economic resources. You have to really know how to multitask! Focusing on customers, hiring, retaining, educating employees, keeping up with tools for digital transformation and other key needs, and all at the same time trying to make sure your business runs smoothly and prospers. Can you relate to these feelings? If yes, remember:

Digital transformation is filled with challenges – and opportunities. 

To see all the possibilities and solve challenges, it can sometimes be of help to have someone come in from outside your organization.  Based on them understanding your company vision, they can give you tailored, cost efficient advice that suits your organizational structure and culture.

Our wish is that your company is a success now, and in the future!

//KOGGER

#BTCT

KOGGER_Marketfeeling vs Marketing

5 Ways to Improve Your Website

For years many marketers thought traditional advertising was the right way to reach customers. Telling them how fantastic a product or service was and how they were the best ones to buy from.  Showing them this again and again, in magazines, flyers, commercials and on billboards.  The idea was that if they did that, they could

  • Create a need they didn’t know they had
  • Force them into remembering who they are because we flooded their space with advertising
  • Convince them by repetition that this product was the best and there was no need to look further
  • Make them curious enough that they would contact them to ask for pricing (since they up until that point hid it from them)

Customers could get the impression marketers were thinking:

  • Customers don’t know what they need
  • Customers have short memories
  • Customers don’t care about what other customers think about a product or a service – all they need is a company’s word for it and their convincing
  • Customers don’t care about pricing – so they don’t mind that it’s hidden from them

No wonder Mark Schaeffer talks about customer rebellions!

A lot has changed – but not everything

Years ago, long before TripAdvisor, our family arrived at a hotel in Spain after booking a 2 week stay at a «5 star» hotel, and to our surprise found a whole family of cock roaches that had booked the same room…and loved it here.  We finally got another room, after half of our vacation was ruined – and had no way of warning others not to book here and risk meeting the same cockroach family.

Today that scene has changed. Even though some companies feel tempted to hang on to “the way we have always done it,” our customers are now in charge and want to feel great about every single buying decision.  As organizations we have a unique possibility to add to this feeling by using technology to connect, help, build trust, long-lasting great relationships with our customers and amazing customer journeys.

With new technology the buying process has drastically changed, and we are investing in changing with it.  But is there anything that hasn’t changed? Yes!

Feelings!

Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, said in an interview that his “success lies in basing his company on what isn’t going to change in the next 10 years.  Because when you have something that you know is true over the long term, you can afford to put a lot of energy into it.”

Our company culture should be based on what we know our customers will still want in 10-15 or even in 20 years.

  • Low prices, quick delivery, excellent service and a vast variety to choose from (Jeff Bezos)
  • Doing business with companies that have customer empathy, are transparent, helpful and trustworthy, have extensive knowledge and a smooth, useful customer journey.

These are criteria’s and feelings we can relate and respond to during the whole buying process – even during the first 70% when it’s usually just the customer and search engines.

Search engines don’t have feelings – but they can lead them to websites that do.

How websites can show feelings

Chat function: Shows we are available and easy to get a hold of – a feeling of “Welcome! We are here to help”

Published prices:  By publishing prices we show customers that we know and respect that they are looking for prices – We don’t hide anything because we want to gain their trust in us and give them the opportunity to compare our prices to others.

FAQs: Shows we know them well because they can easily find answers to most of their questions or worries and this gives them a feeling of being in control of their own customer journey.

References: Positive references or ratings from our other customers give them reassurance that our company is trustworthy – it always feels better to see someone else that bought and was happy with their decision!

Video: Shows them who we are and gives them a personal connection to us.  Seeing a person makes our company more human and personal and our customers get a stronger feeling about who we are.

We want to increase our customers emotional engagement and investment in our company. To achieve that, every kind of technical tool or social media we use to communicate with them, should be used in a way that will improve and strengthen our customer relationships. When they then get to the point where they contact us – they will already know who we are, how we can help them, what others think about us, what our prices are and have most of their questions already answered.

The more transparent we are and the more information we make easily available – the more trust we can build with customers that are unknown to us but that are taking a customer journey at our website.  Being transparent and useful is the move from Marketing to Marketfeeling.

 

Jay Baer, Marketing Keynote Speaker,  sums it up beautifully:

“Instead of being amazing – be useful!”

KOGGER has the knowledge, experience and workshops to help you structure and publish content and we want to help you to reach your customers hearts!

//KOGGER

#BTCT

 

 

 

KOGGER_BTCT

A Little Acronyme Goes A Long Way

Most of us are familiar with acronyms. Using few letters, they can be powerful little messages, easy to understand, remember and meaningful. But how can they be effective in highlighting our company?

When our customers need a product/service or help in solving a problem, we want them to choose our company. To make that happen – we often need to differentiate ourselves. There are numerous ways of doing this, and communication is one of them.

We communicate with our customers daily. Chat, email, sms, video, LinkedIn etc. One of the reasons for communicating on several digital platforms is to create presence, customer relationships and ensure company visibility. This in turn results in our customers getting to know us better – who we are, what we do and how we can help them.

But can just a few letters represent all of that and in addition, inspire our customers and help them to remember us when they need a product, service or help?

Acronyms and acronym mnemonics

Research shows that targeted training,  like the use of acronyms or what is also called acronym mnemonics, can improve memory. So, by using a company acronym again and again whenever communicating with our customers on digital platforms we can remind them of who we are.

Here are some examples:

TGI FRIDAY

#TGIF – Thank Goodness It’s Friday

Just by looking at those 4 letters, we smile, get the weekend feeling and even maybe dream about sleeping in tomorrow. At the same time, these 4 letters could have another effect.We could start visualizing juicy buffalo wings and perfectly salted fries or a big chocolate milkshake with whipped cream, served by waiters with red and white striped shirts. We can thank Alan Stilman for that visualization. In 1965 he started a new restaurant in New York and gave it a name using an acronym that gave most people a great weekend feeling – TGIFridays. According to Wikipedia, « his first restaurant and all future ones are focused on “casual dining” – restaurants that serve moderately-priced food in a casual atmosphere. »  He wanted his customers to have that relaxed «Friday at home » feeling, even though they were eating out.  Stilman not only thought of a company acronym that would capture his company’s values, he even implemented it into the company name he created.

Smart man.

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#DFTBA – Don’t Forget To Be Amazing

 Chris Marr at The Content Marketing Academy uses this well-known acronym whenever communicating to his customers. His use of DFTBA was influenced by seeing a MIM or a quote image and he thought it was cool.  So, in 2014 he started using it in signing off his emails and then from there it just grew.  A few years ago, after using it for a while, Ann Handley told Chris something he wasn’t aware of,  that DFTBA was the rallying cry of Nerd Fighters (the Green brothers).  So he contacted Nerd Fighters, told them why he was using this particular acronym and wrote a blog about it where he gave them credit.  Today, this acronym is stuck on everything Chris does – podcasts, tweets, workshops, articles, presentations, emails, stickers, videos and anything else he produces and shows to his customers.  Chris’s philosophy is to continuously educate and encourage his customers, so they can improve and be the best they can be – To Be Amazing.  We know that using a company acronym has been effective for CMA in differentiating them from other voices in their industry, because we now think of Chris, CMA and Amazing, every time we see the acronym DFTBA!

 The positive effects of a company acronym

By using a well-chosen acronym when communicating  we create a positive consistency in our communication, regardless of the subject. Branding can help customers quickly identify our company, products, and services – using a company acronym, either an existing or custom one, can help others to quickly identify our values, who we are and the core attitude our company is based upon.

The “acronym process”

How can we find an acronym or create one that is positive, captures our company’s values and is easy to remember? One way is to ask some questions, create a list based on the answers and try to rate them.

What is the main value we want to share with our customers? What positives do we want them to think about when seeing our acronym and our company name? When seeing our acronym which words will inspire them in their workspace? Can we capture the core mission of our company in just a few words and create an acronym from these words?

At KOGGER we asked ourselves the above questions and here are some of our answers:

oscar

#BTCT – Be Transparent Create Trust!

We encourage our customers to be transparent and we show them how at our workshops. We believe that being transparent in everything we do, creates trust.  One of the ways we can show our customers the importance of transparency, is by being transparent ourselves. To us that means, showing our prices on our website, educating and helping them by writing honest useful content on our website and sharing any documentation they need. In addition, we want to be transparent as to the challenges we as a company encounter and how we choose to solve them. This transparency will help us in gaining their trust in us as an honest, reliable source of help. We also hope that our acronym will inspire them to be transparent and create trust and will remind everyone, including ourselves, that this is at the core of everything KOGGER does.

This is how we ended up with BTCT – Be Transparent Create Trust.

A company acronym gives all your customers something in common

It also feels great to give your customers something they can have in common when doing business with you.  Chris at CMA  was surprised when he experienced that the use of his company acronym had a gathering effect on his customers. They often refer to DFTBA and CMA when they meet at various events or communicate with each other on digital platforms.

What will your company acronym be?

You might be new to the industry with just a few customers, or an “old timer” with numerous customers.  Regardless of your company size, by using a positive acronym whenever you communicate with customers or vendors,  you are giving them a positive boost and quickly reminding them of who you are and your company values.

So, what will your company acronym be?

We would love to hear from you about your acronym and the story behind it!

//KOGGER

#BTCT!

KOGGER_The Video 6 Methodology

The Video 6 Methodology

Zachary Basner the Director of Video Training & Strategy at Impact in Hartford,  creates video strategies to help teams improve their sales and marketing efforts. Using this non-complicated but yet precise pattern helped us to be more organized when planning video projects.

In one of  Zachary’s videos he explains The Video 6 methodology.  His simple, but effective, recipe to creating great videos:

  1. Teaser
  2. Logo bumper
  3. Intro
  4. Segments
  5. Call to action
  6. Outro

Based on The Video 6, we made the following list where the thoughts we had about each point was specified.  That way we had a  clear opinion of what our target was, which content should be included and how this should be conveyed to our viewers.  This was really helpful when preparing the content outline and during recording because this list kept us focused on what we were trying to achieve.

  • Step 1 – Teaser: Who we are, address a common challenge for our customers, concentrate on catching their attention. Atmosphere/feelings: catchy, smiling, create curiosity and a willingness to view the whole video
  • Step 2 – Logo Bumper: Aimed at a unique logo reveal but wanted to keep the process simple and low cost, so found a website with cool, inexpensive and adaptable, logo reveals at www.renderforest.com.  We personalized the one we chose, by changing the colors so they matched the colors of our company logo
  • Step 3 – Intro: More in depth explanation, in this case The Packaging Workshop. Explain to the point, clear and precise. Atmosphere/feelings: energetic, smiling, create trust in us as advisers.
  • Step 4 – Segments: Questions/answers – why, how, who, etc. Keep in mind how we want to hold on to the viewers’ attention, by content-variation. Atmosphere/feelings: energetic, varied and interesting, create trust and convey the feeling that this workshop day can be tough but effective, beneficiary and exciting. Implement slides for some of the questions and add sound as the slide changed from video to a question
  • Step 5 – Call to action: Encourage viewer to contact us, Atmosphere/feelings: welcoming, smiling,  eagerly waiting for their call
  • Step 6 – Outro: Our company logo. Atmosphere/feelings: create positivity to KOGGER by showing them our company acronym: BTCT – Be Transparent Create Trust

Finally, before recording, we changed the setting and lighting for the recording area.

The recording part was still tiring, but noticeably better than the first time.  When we were satisfied with the recording, the editing could begin. Besides cutting, we added music, subtitles in English  and then we could watch the final result  –  what a a feeling! Before publishing the new video and replacing the old one, we updated our English and Norwegian website pages.

BE PATIENT

The english poet, Samuel Johnsen, once said “Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance” and when recording videos, we need to have perseverance!

We all want to get it right and create amazing videos.  But there is a saying, “Rome wasn’t built in one day”, so we need to have patience.

Take one step at a time and don’t expect perfection but aim at honest, helpful and entertaining.

We can learn a lot from others that have video recording experience, but at the same time we need to use our gut feeling, prepare well, relax and have fun while recording! Last but not least, we need to trust what we know about our customers, be faithful to what our company represents and how we can help our customers and have a more personal relationship with them,  by using video as a medium.

The result may not be perfect, but it will sure enough be a whole lot better than if you never tried at all!

Want to make a video but still need some convincing? Take a look at these articles and see if it can get your video “vibes” going!

 

//KOGGER

#BTCT!