Kill your Sacred Cows

I have consulted with many clients. Almost 50% of my time is now focused on consulting with clients face-to-face or over video chat. I really enjoy advising and supporting clients as they look to grow and develop their business and their brand.

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3 ways Snapchat is changing the way you reach your customers.

So for those of you who haven’t heard (where have you been?) Snapchat is a social network which is exploding right now. It’s the place to be.

Snapchat essentially is a video and photo-sharing messaging platform which uses funky filters and overlays. It’s much more than that but this is the simplest explanation. The big brands are on there and so are 100 million other daily users. It’s BIG.

Some of you may think ‘well it’s a young person’s thing’ – You are wrong!

Facebook started with college kids and now one of it’s largest user groups are silver surfers (over 50s). Snapchat may be dominated by a younger audience right now but its audience is maturing every single day.

Social Media innovations tend to change things up. Sometimes good and sometimes bad. Either way, if social media changes the way we expect or do things, we have to adapt.

  • Twitter forced us to learn how to write copy in less than 140 characters.
  • Facebook forced us adapt and put ourselves out into a place where people can like or comment, a place of risk.

But I believe Snapchat, just like Facebook and Twitter will force us all to get sharper and more creative in delivering our message.

So how could Snapchat reshape our world?

TIME: You have 10 seconds

Snapchat gives you 10 seconds to deliver your message. You have to be smart and you have to know your stuff.

We have in the business and marketing world said that you have seconds to impress people or catch their attention. You literally have 10 seconds.

Whether you use Snapchat or not doesn’t matter, what matters is that for at least 100 million people right now and who knows how many in the future, their social media use is guiding their attention span and giving them the decision of what they think good media looks like in a 10-second window.

Snapchat will make your first 10 seconds of eyeballs on your brand the most critical. More than it ever has been.

Some people will decide on whether to even keep you on their list based on the first 10 seconds. There are no second chances.

QUALITY: Production value is changing.

My friends in the television industry are going to hate me for this. Production value is not what is was. Snapchat needs more activity than Facebook which means your frequency and speed of output become critical.

Two things are happening right now, one of them isn’t totally down to Snapchat but it is contributing to it.

First, it used to be that if you wanted to do video content there was a certain production quality which was acceptable. Industry specialists would know the difference between professional and amateur work. Amateur work was frowned upon and mocked.

That doesn’t work anymore. Well, it works for TV, advertising and long form video but not for social videos. It cannot work. It becomes too expensive to produce and it shows up that it is professionally produced. Sure you can do some high-quality stuff for promotional purposes but if you do it for everything it will be hugely expensive and very time-consuming.

If you want to have regular content out there for your audience or customers, you need speed. There is no time for lengthy edits it has to go out. We will all become experts in Live Broadcast and one take video. Big brands can afford a team to do long edits and have days devoted to a week of content. The other 99% of content producers don’t have a big team.

Production quality, the camera and edits are not as important as long as the basics are right. If you can see the video clearly, the audio is right and it looks OK that is all you need.

The second one of these is very different. You can get away with lots in the way you make your content but you cannot get away with infomercial stuff. Your content has to be good. Bad content is worse than bad production quality. Content quality is subjective so know the right audience you are trying to reach as it is the audience who decides what is good content, not you.

This is great news for you, don’t stress about the equipment you need to do video content, a good phone can do it. Focus on great content.

REALLY HONEST: Snapchat is encouraging more authenticity.

One of the trends we are going to see develop more over the next 5 years is a thirst for honesty and authenticity. Over the last 50 years, we have seen a lot of gloss and advertising speak.

It worked for 50 years but now people are more understanding of the way the world works and technology is giving us more and more information.

In the last 10 years, we have seen lots of people be exposed for having a persona online or on TV which is not consistent with real life. Instagram stars looking perfect who have been outed that their pictures have been staged. Guru’s promising success talking from their Rolls Royce only to be outed that it was rented for their shoot.

Authenticity will mean authenticity. I have an aversion to the word authentic because so many people who have used it aren’t.

Snapchat is going to fuel this thirst for reality and authenticity because real life will be on display more and more.

Snapchat may in 20 years be non-existent but I believe that its mark will be made on our culture for generations.

Snapchat is not going away. It’s growing so If you are not on Snapchat I encourage you to sign up. Add me and I’ll show you the wonderful world through a series of 10-second conversations.

Snapchat ID: deanseddoncom

Time for something new

For the nearly 3 years I have been working full-time for a global TV broadcaster. It was a fantastic role, in a great organisation and had the honour of working with some amazing people. Whilst being excited for the future, I know I will miss the people I worked with.

So it is time for something new! In my new role, I’ll be working with companies who want to grow their business, bringing the latest marketing and media tools to bear to generate leads, enquiries and importantly sales!

For the last ten years I have worked in a variety of projects which have been about generating sales, orders or engagement. This new role is right up my street. With a number of projects and clients lined up, it’s going to be exciting to be working in a variety of different sectors, including education, legal and leisure.

One thing I find common across all sectors is the sales and marketing funnel. Every organisation needs a funnel, starting with brand awareness filtering down to a physical sale. In some sectors ‘sale’ is probably a crude term, but in all honesty everyone needs to make sales. The process of where a client agrees to pay a sum of money for a product or service is what makes the world go around.

What is surprising is that many organisations don’t understand their funnel. Perhaps they have been fortunate to have the right connections or a great sales person. For the rest of us, if we don’t know the buying process and rely heavily on methods which are familiar, we could be waste a lot of time and money.

Sales and marketing funnels generally look something like this…

marketing-funnel-content

All our marketing efforts should be spent building and working a funnel. How do we find people who have interest and take them on a journey to becoming a customer. This is the core element of sales and marketing.

In times past this process has included networking, direct marketing, advertising and prospecting. All of these are still valid tools and if you have a really good marketing and sales strategy you’ll know which ones work and which ones don’t. Every business wants to find more people who have a need and interest in their product or service. Nowadays we can also work more intelligently to ‘target’ our prospective customers which can help lower the acquisition cost of a new customer.

These ‘new’ tools are reliant on a good understanding of the prospect. Mapping out buying behaviours and profiling your prospective customers can help you use resources more efficiently.  In the cut throat world we live, mapping out the funnel is key to knowing how to use your marketing budget to get the maximum return for the lowest cost.

So my job starting this month is to show clients how to get the maximum return for their marketing budget. If you are looking to develop your sales and want some help, drop me a line.