Tag Archives: Michael Mccormick

The Power of Positive in a Recession

The Power of Positive in a Recession

I know, I know. It’s not officially a recession. But it sure feels like it when the stock market graphs look like my latest EKG.

In times like these I remember when I was a little girl and my mother took me to Manhattan’s Marble Collegiate Church to hear the Reverend Norman Vincent Peale talk about The Power of Positive Thinking.

He was amazing but I hadn’t thought of him in years, not until we all began to feel the pinch of a terrible economy.

Small business owners, like me, blanch at the word Recession. Some of us panic. Some cut prices, cut staff. Thanks to Reverend Peale, I prefer to think about positive approaches. I start by remembering that we have a choice:

1. We can pack up our tents and go home, or

2. We can try something new.

We always pick #2.

1. I’m making myself accountable first, accountable myself to work on my next book, be more creative (in all elements of their business) for our clients and learn new things.

2. As soon as I find myself working on a new creative program, I start having fun. For some odd reason, I think about Tom Dixon, the Blendtec CEO whose “Will it blend?” videos usually go viral. In this one, he purees an iPad and it’s had over 12 millions views

Great storytelling and that’s always made for effective marketing.

3. Your network can be golden for you. If you’re on LinkedIn, keep in touch with people you’ve worked with in the past, former clients, friends, relatives and people in your groups. I reach out to several people every day to see if I can be a resource for them. I help people find new positions, mention them in a post, or ask about their families. Networking is easy on Facebook and Twitter, too. It helps if you remember this: Don’t just ask for something, offer something. Read the rest of this entry

Missed out on $4500, but learned a lot anyway.

Missed out on $4500, but learned a lot anyway.

clunker1

My Creative Director and friend Michael McCormick (Guts of a Burglar blogster) needs a new car (at least I think so). His Ford Explorer is 12 years old, runs like a top and still looks pretty good … on the outside.

The inside is a different matter entirely. Passengers have to fly their legs over the Sirius antenna wire; the spots and stains are, well, spots and stains. The A/C in the back doesn’t work anymore and the vehicle is almost ready for its confirmation or bar mitzvah.

When Michael got this Explorer back in the late ‘90s (it’s his second one), I went with him to the dealership in Queens. He told the saleslady what he wanted, and she asked him what color he liked.

Anything you have is fine, he said. She and I looked at each other in disbelief.
cars
Anyway, I thought the Cash for Clunkers program was a heaven sent opportunity for Michael to get a new ride. He disagreed. He thinks his Chuck (the Truck) is barely broken in. The tires are new, the brakes are new, the oil’s been changed and fluids checked every 3,000 miles. Yada yada.

It took me a while to understand his real reason.

For weeks I encouraged him to go to see the new cars. He wants an Explorer but the closest Ford dealership closed and they don’t make Explorers anymore, anyway.

So, I went to tweetdeck and started asking around. @ScottMonty, Ford’s Twitter spokesperson, gave me some recommendations. Another friend suggested the Flex and sent me photos. No buying action. I asked Michael why he wasn’t moving on this.

fordflex

Turns out he really and truly doesn’t think taxpayers should be subsidizing his new car. Hmm. Hadn’t thought of that. And, he pointed out, a new vehicle cost a lot more than $4,500, perhaps around $25,000 more for what he wants. Why spend all that dough when he doesn’t need a new car? Men are soooo logical. It’s frustrating. But I already knew that. The new insights this whole episode provided got me thinking.

Not too long ago, the only way Ford could show its cars was in print or television advertising. Now that’s all changed.

What we see on TV or in ads is one-way communication, the company talking at us and controlling the flow of information.

Now we control the flow of information and we can find what we want, when we want it and consult with friends and family and experts along the way. I’ve known all this in theory and in making smaller purchasers for quite a while, but it’s a different matter to experience the whole process for a big ticket item (like a new SUV) in the real world of actually buying it.

In the meantime, people haven’t stopped looking for authenticity. And marketers are paying serious attention to what’s going on in Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn. On the web, customers can find anything, competitive prices, colors, and visit a website and buy anything in a NY minute.

Except, of course, Michael. He’ll be driving that car and me – and, horrors, clients – into the ground. Eventually, he’ll chat with a few friends and head off and buy a Flex or Edge or, who knows, a Club Cab F-250 – purple with a yellow interior, that some dealer happens to have on the lot and ready to roll.

Twitter Shmitter…does it help my business?

Twitter Shmitter…does it help my business?

A while ago “Second Life” was a big deal, and everyone was talking about the virtual world and how it would change everything. It didn’t. Now, we are all excited about Twitter. I’ve become addicted to it.

I have HootSuite, and Twitter my comments on a timely basis, and answer everyone…and maybe it is doing something for my agency…but I’m not sure yet. I spent a lot of time on it over the weekend, and then looked at my results.

twitterbird

It was amazing for me to see that the one tweet that got the highest response was one I wrote about direct mail, sending people to Michael McCormick’s blog, http://gutsofaburglar.com

The funny thing about that is …our agency still gets most of our new business from targeted direct mail programs.  We weave a great story into a letter, include an offer and a time limit…and Voila! People call us.

Of course, I know that Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr will all eventually work for us too. It is just a matter of testing different strategies. The important thing is to build relationships and the best way to begin that is to work on a “knowledge level”,
understanding who your prospect is, and something about him/her. These social media sites help us that way, because when you read someone’s tweets …you get to know them better.

So, keep on Twittering, and Facebooking, and emailing…and always remember to continue to test the “tried and true” direct mail program. It will work even better now, because our mailboxes at home and at work…are really quite empty.

Meanwhile, visit me on twitter at http://www.twitter.com/loisgeller