I asked my LinkedIn audience If the Sales and Marketing functions were merged and run by Sales, What would be your main focus? Why?
As you can see, 68% of those surveyed said that increased lead generation and demand generation was a top priority. What this means is that people see Marketing as a vehicle to increase Sales and Revenue.
Previously, I have discussed the marketing strategy of free trials, discounted trials, and loss leaders.
Another great marketing strategy for brands to get prospects and current customers to try a new product or retry an existing one is to offer a free sample. This can be done by handing out the product sample during online, field, and tradeshow marketing.
Field & Trade Show Marketing
Samples can be in the form of a physical product, a link to an online offering, offering a discount to make a purchase. Recently, I attended the 9th avenue international food festival in New York. I received sample food products. One of the vendors offered a food sample and a coupon to make a purchase.
At Tradeshows, brands can offer physical and digital products in exchange for customer information. This is an excellent tactic for lead generation. Most times brands scan the badge of customers to collect this information.
Brands can also reach customers online to get them to request a free sample. The sample can come in the form of a download or a physical offering depending on the product type.
Brands can also offer branded merchandise as a way to be remembered by prospects and customers.
How have you used free samples to attract new customers, renew, upsell, and cross-sell existing customers?
I enjoyed the Subaru Loves Pets campaign at the show. Subaru is partnering with animal nonprofits to get pets adopted, especially pets that are disabled and traumatized.
The show is open to the public as of yesterday at the Jacob Javits Center located at 429 11th Avenue New York, New York 10001. How to get to the Auto Show. The Auto Show runs from Friday, April 7th, through Sunday, April 16th, 2022. The hours are as follows Monday — Saturday from 10 am to 7 pm and Sundays from 10 am to 7 pm. General admission tickets are $21 for adults and $ 7 for children. Tickets can be purchased here.
What are you hoping to see at the auto show?
If you have attended the auto show, what was the most exciting thing you experienced?
Building relationships with customers and closing deals is critical for sales success. In business, customer acquisition and customer retention are crucial to generating revenue. It is cheaper to keep existing customers than to acquire new ones.
Once a sale is made, it is tempting for Sales Reps to move on to the next customer.
However, the sale is not complete when the customer signs the contract. Customers should pay their invoices on time to ensure the business has enough cash to operate and potentially turn a profit.
What on time means is dependent on a company payment policy. Customers can have payment terms raining from C.O.D, net 30, net 60, net 90, net 120, or longer. Some cycles can run for a year or longer. Certain companies offer financing options. Payment structures are structured based on the length of the sales cycle.
How can we make sure customers pay their invoices on time?
Here are six ways to keep customers and get them to pay their invoices on time.
Build and nurture customer relationships.
When the sale is complete, put all details in writing.
Follow through with the implementation product or service post-sale.
Check-in with your customer to make sure they are happy with their purchase. This can present an opportunity for upselling, cross-selling, repeat business, referrals, and testimonials.
If the customer voices concerns or has an issue with a product or service, address it immediately.
Make sure to honor any promises and warranties extended during the sales cycle.
If you follow these steps, you will get most customers to pay their invoices on time.
What do I do if a customer will not pay their invoice?
In large organizations, the accounts receivable manager will handle the customer by sending past-due notices and charging penalties. However, if Sales Reps work for a small company as I did, this will be the Sales Rep’s responsibility. Ideally, the Sales Rep should be able to handle customer issues because they have a relationship with the customer.
Sales Reps should call and visit the customer. During the visit, Sales Reps need to try to solve the issue. Be polite. Never raise your voice or swear at a customer. The goal is to get paid while keeping the customer whenever.
As a result of implementing the strategies above, my receivables (open invoices) were the lowest in the company! This allowed me to earn more commissions, make more sales and develop great relationships with my customers.
It is important to note that Sales and Service across acquisition and retention are subdivided in larger organizations.
How have you improved customer retention and gotten your customers to pay on time?
I surveyed my audience on LinkedIn about their holiday spending intent, method of purchase, types of purchase, and sentiment in the U.S. Consumer spending is always top of mind for marketers, sellers, and retailers. With inflation on the rise, consumers spend differently than when inflation is low.
I asked my audience four questions.
How has inflation impacted your holiday spending?
Which types of holiday gifts are you buying?
How did you buy your holiday gifts this season?
Did you use shoppable ads to make a purchase?
Below you can find the results of each survey question.
How has inflation impacted your holiday spending?
As you can see, 60% percent said they spent less during this holiday season. Consumers must see value in what they are buying. Brands need to create memorable experiences for consumers with their offerings.
2. Which types of holiday gifts are you buying?
This survey was split across different categories. Gift cards were top at 33 % percent of those surveyed saying they were buying gift cards and giving cash as a gift. Experiences and electronics were tied at 25 %. Media was in the lowest category at 17%. Across all of these categories, there are opportunities for brands to sell to consumers.
3. How did you buy your holiday gifts this season?
Based on the survey, 56% percent of consumers said they started their customer journey online; including purchases on a mobile device. Brands need to make an e-commerce experience seamless for customers. Most big box stores are creating an omnichannel buying experience; 31% percent of those surveyed stated that they made purchases online and in-store. Small businesses only received 11 %, followed by only in-store buying at 2%.
These findings suggest that small businesses need to create an e-commerce store to create an omnichannel experience for consumers, catering not just to what they what to buy but how they purchase. Small businesses need to show up where consumers make purchases.
4. Did you use shoppable ads to make a purchase?
75% of those surveyed said that they did not use a shoppable ad to make a purchase. Since late 2019, shoppable ads are increasing. Consumers can buy products directly from ads on search engines and many social media sites. This will shorten the customer journey.
Based on my research, my finding suggests:
1. Inflation has dampened consumer spending during the holiday season.
2. Brands need to provide value to consumers creating memorable experiences.
3. Businesses should serve consumers on the channels where they make purchases.
4. How consumers buy will continue to evolve.
5. With Shoppable Ads on the rise, the customer journey will be shorter. More purchases will occur during the time consumers search for products.
It will be interesting to see the consumer sentiment and the price of goods with the release of the CPI and the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment survey due to be released this week.
How did inflation impact your spending during the holiday season? Share your thoughts.
If you want to share your opinion but did get the chance to vote, answer these questions in the comments.
A LinkedIn profile is a great opportunity to showcase who you are and what you can do for others. To effectively showcase yourself with your LinkedIn profile, you need to be able to tell a story that is credible and engaging. How do you tell a story on LinkedIn with your profile? There are 8 steps you need to take to optimize your profile for storytelling.
1. Creating a Great Headline
A headline is equivalent to the title of a book, essay, or story. The headline should be engaging. Like a story, the reader decides if they want to read more or move on. Using the automatic headline that lists your job title is a mistake. It is boring and makes you just like everyone else. It demonstrates that you lack creativity.
Your headline should be a short introduction showing how you help others in your current role. This is key if you are happily employed or if you are looking to advance in your current field. If you are looking to change careers, the title should demonstrate how you can take the skills and insights that you have developed and apply them to the career that you aspire to obtain. In other words, the headline should be able to answer the question “What are you looking to do or what do you want in your next role?”
2 Uploading a Photo
LinkedIn profiles include large amounts of text. Similar to a story, text alone is not visually appealing. This is where a photo can help. When you upload a photo to your LinkedIn profile, your profile comes to life; similar to cover art on the front cover of an autobiography. Remember your profile is your story and brief career autobiography.
When you chose a picture, make sure that it is clear and makes you look professional.
3. Recording an introduction
LinkedIn also lets you record a 30-second introduction to your audience.
4. Crafting and Creating a Summary/Presentation
Your summary should reflect and expand on the headline. This is the place where you provide a brief overview that supports the headline, thesis, and title of your story. Your summary is a place to introduce yourself to your audience. It is important to keep your audience in mind. Put yourself in the place of the reader. Would you want to read your profile if the roles were reversed?
Once you introduce yourself, tell your story. Explain your background, where you are today, and where you want to be in the future. Make sure to include how your current skill set and experience have helped others and how these skills can be applied to a new role. When you list your work experience, make sure to back up your headline and summary. Think of this as your body paragraphs.
You can also share links to a digital portfolio, website, or whatever boosts your profile appearance.
5. Describing your work experience
As I mentioned above, the work experience section of your profile is the body paragraphs of your essay and story. It should be listed in chronological order. Each position that you describe should have specific examples of how you helped others in the role. LinkedIn also allows users to upload presentations and videos of their work. This can serve as a digital portfolio of your work that people can view. The next thing that I would do is obtain recommendations. You can also share your presentations from Slideshare on LinkedIn as well.
6. Obtaining Recommendations and Endorsements
A LinkedIn recommendation serves as proof that you have done excellent work in your position. These recommendations should be from coworkers, supervisors, and customers that you have served. They should serve as the conclusion to your story and essay where your claims are verified and validated. Recommendations should not be given away freely; doing that will undermine your credibility.
Endorsements are a quick way for someone to say that you are good at a particular skill without needing to write a recommendation. LinkedIn allows users to list up to 50 skills that connections can endorse.
7. Open to Work/Open to Hire
LinkedIn allows users to share if they are open to working or looking to hire. This is a nice addition to their job seeker and job posting experience. I am currently looking for work.
As you can see, LinkedIn allows you to list 5 job titles along with your desired work type location, etc.
While I chose to make my job search public, LinkedIn allows users to make their open-to-work status visible to only recruiters to protect the anonymity of job seekers.
Recruiters and hiring managers can also share that they are hiring for roles by using the Open to Hire frame.
8. Creator Mode
LinkedIn allows you to display 5 topics on your LinkedIn profile to show potential followers when you turn on creator mode. Creator mode also allows you to reach your audience in new ways with tools such as LinkedIn Live, Audio Event, Newsletters, and follow on LinkedIn.
Putting it all Together
Using these 8 steps will allow you to create a LinkedIn profile that can help you tell a credible and engaging story to potential customers and employers.
How have you used your LinkedIn profile to tell your story?
Things are changing in the automotive industry. These changes are from the way vehicles are bought and sold. Vehicle offerings are also different. Vehicles went from gas combustion engines to hybrid vehicles which means a split between gas and electric. Now there is going to be a shift to all-electric vehicles or EVs. The adoption of EVs will accelerate as more charging stations become available.
“This figure illustrates the population breakdown of alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) registered in the United States as of Dec. 31, 2020. Most of the vehicles are flexible fuel vehicles (FFVs), but those generally operate primarily on conventional gasoline. FFVs were produced and sold as a way for vehicle manufacturers to meet their fuel economy requirements. Hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) are the second-largest population by fuel type, accounting for 70% of the AFV population when excluding FFVs. Plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) include all-electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), and account for about 30% of the AFV population when excluding FFVs.”
I covered The New York Auto Show which was back after a two-year pause because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This year’s auto show had different types of cars, trucks, and SUVs. The show was made up mostly of electronic vehicles and hybrid vehicles. This change is because of changes in the industry and US government policy to improve the environment. Starting in 2026, all gas vehicles will need to get 50 miles to the gallon to be sold in the US. Gas engines are being phased out. The industry pledges to sell only electric vehicles or EVs by 2035. This is a global trend.
This is information that came out of the World Traffic Symposium, at the New York Auto Show.
The New York Auto Show is back after a two-year pause because of the COVID-19 pandemic. I had the privilege of covering the event over the past two press and industry days at New York’s Jacob Javits Center. It was great to be back. One of the events was hosted in the new Pavilion built at the Javits Center. Mark Schiennberg, President of the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association opens the Auto Show at the awards breakfast.
I want to congratulate Audi, Hyundai, and Mercedes for winning world car awards.
There was a shift in the type of cars, trucks, and SUVs at the auto show. This year the show was made up mostly of electronic vehicles and hybrid vehicles. This change is because of changes in the industry and US government policy to improve the environment. They pledge to sell only electric vehicles or EVs by 2035. This is a global trend. This is information that came out of the World Traffic Symposium, which was held yesterday.
The show was based on two levels and there were three EV test tracks where drivers could drive Electronic Vehicles. This is a fun exhibit that I recommend that you experience. Ford had one and Hyundai had one. There was an additional track on the lower level where you could see more hybrid cars, trucks, and SUVs. You can also see EV Charging stations on the lower level. For kids not old enough to drive, they also had arcade-style racing games. There is something for everyone at the show. Here is a new Corvette!
You can find additional pictures posted on Instagram.
There were also some new vehicle role-outs and major press announcements from KIA, Hyundai, Chrysler, and Jeep. You can see them below.
The show is open to the public starting today at the Jacob Javits Center located at 429 11th Avenue New York, New York 10001. How to get to Auto Show. The Auto Show runs from Friday, April 15th, through April 24th, 2022. The hours are as follows Monday – Saturday from 10 am to 7 pm and Sundays from 10 am to 7 pm. General admission tickets are $17 for adults and $ 7 for children. If you want early access for this Friday or Saturday tickets are $45 for adults and $7 for children. Tickets can be purchased here.
What are you hoping to see at the auto show? If you have attended the auto show, what was the most exciting thing that you have experienced?
Brands use Marketing to increase sales, and revenue, and to beat the competition. While this is a great strategy, a brand is only as good as its talent. Yes, brands compete to get and keep customers; but they are also competing to get and keep great talent. For brands to grow, they need great talent in every function of the business.
According to LinkedIn, “the number of global members who changed their jobs on LinkedIn was up 54% year over year. For context, those numbers typically hover between 0 and 5%. “
For brands to be able to attract top talent, they need to be a desired place to work. To be a desired place to work, they need to understand what motivates their employees. While this will vary by industry and company size there are similar things that many employees seek. These include:
1. Feeling valued for their contributions
2. Freedom to do interesting work and solve intriguing problems
3. Fair and competitive compensation including incentive and performance pay, perks, and other employer benefits
4. A fun place to work with activities to bond with co-workers
5. Training and advancement opportunities
6. Work-Life Balance
7. Flexible-working conditions ie work from home, remote work, hybrid work, or onsite for those who want to be in the office
If these things listed above are in place, brands are on the right track to building a great talented brand provided their product offerings are solid.
Getting employees excited about coming to work each day will increase the talent pool by generating word of mouth. When people have something good they tell their friends.
Beyond the offline word of mouth, Brands need to own their identity online by in-sourcing their online and offline assets. This starts with their websites, digital properties, and the collateral used to sell their offerings. With talent branding and employer branding, brands are selling prospective employees the idea of applying and working for their company. This is similar to marketing their commercial offerings to potential customers.
Brands will need to conduct market research to understand who their competitors are and where they stack up in the talent market. Compensation, company culture, intelligence from applicants.
Information from this research can be used to develop a positioning strategy that can be applied to the talent brand and employer brand.
Every brand should have a career page on its website because this will reduce recruiting costs. This page should include the following:
Pictures of employees from each function with a short bio and why they chose to work at the brand
Employer Benefits and Perks offered
Authentic Stories on Company Culture
An application that is easy to fill out. i.e greenhouse.io or a form with a file for a cover letter and resume Greenhouse can be linked with LinkedIn
Social Sharing buttons for job postings
Company LinkedIn pages
In addition to sales, product, and content marketing, brands should use their LinkedIn page for talent and employer branding. Some companies’ talent and employer branding strategy are to post jobs on LinkedIn hoping candidates will apply. This is a missed opportunity to sell active and passive candidates on why they should work for your company. Today, candidates have many places they can work.
Things to include in a LinkedIn page
Pictures of employees from each function with a short bio and why they chose to work at the brand
Employer Benefits and Perks offered
Stories on company culture
An application that is easy to fill out. i.e greenhouse.io Indeed, Glassdoor, or a form with a file for a cover letter and resume Greenhouse can be linked with LinkedIn.
Social Sharing buttons for job postings
Creating Engaging Job descriptions
The function head, Marketing, and HR need to collaborate to write job descriptions that convince applicants to apply, similar to copy-writing for commercial offerings.
Creating a Great Candidate Experience
Providing candidates with a great recruiting experience is key. Everything should be transparent to candidates. At the end of the recruiting process, it is important to solicit candidate feedback to refine and hone your recruiting process.
New Hire Onboarding and Reducing Turnover
Make sure new hires feel welcome and are trained properly coordinating with the managers and functional heads of each department because roles had different needs and requirements for success.
Empowering and providing incentives to employees
Encourage employees to share company content and jobs on LinkedIn. Also, encourage employee referrals with incentives for referrals that are hired.
If you are not happy with the amounts of applications post the jobs on LinkedIn and Indeed to widen the applicant pools. Niche site may work as well.
This is how to use Marketing to build a great Talent Brand.
Who is hiring?
I surveyed my audience of Recruiters and Hiring Managers to which roles are they hiring.
Based on the answers Sales is the highest at 50 %.
Specific data on top jobs in demand can be found here.
How have you used marketing to build your talent and employer brand?
When creating a new offering, I would offer a free or low-cost trial of your product to both end-users and industry experts. Consumers look for social proof before they buy a product. If the product is new, then none exists. To lower buyer resistance, you need to make the buyer feel comfortable about their purchase. Offering free or low-cost trials of your product is a great way to build trust and gather feedback. You can conduct market research and product testing using surveys to ask potential customers about their experience.
If your product helps to solve a customer’s problem, they will be happy to share it with others; increasing the chance of converting prospects into paying users. Product testimonials and endorsements help to address product reliability and usability. Customer testimonials build loyalty, brand recognition, and sales for your product.
If free or low-cost trials are not something that you can offer, you can use loss leaders. A loss leader is when you offer a product at a loss or break-even point to gain future business. Supermarkets and e-commerce businesses do this when a new product is rolled out.
Another place I saw loss leaders was in dental field sales. Certain customers were loyal to certain types of equipment. When I asked why, they said that these were the tools they used in school and they were comfortable using them. As a result, they did not want to switch. When I called on dental schools and hospitals, I found they were in contract with larger competitors. My larger competitors sold the equipment at cost; practically giving it away. Why would they do this? My competitors were creating life-long customers trained on certain tools who refused to switch.
Connection, trust, and advocacy are essential for customer acquisition. It is your job to turn your customer base into evangelists.
Free, low-cost trials and loss leaders help to increase sales and customer loyalty. The decision on where to offer a trial or use a loss leader is dependent on the specific product, business, and industry.