The only marketing genius is the market itself.
Are you eliciting the intelligence from your target market?
How they click tells you how they tick.
Syntax Marketing calibrates on behaviour, not just opinion.
Is your marketing in the best order?
Are you effectively leveraging the power of each component of your marketing?
If you’ve got the ducks…
…Syntax Marketing will help you put them in a row.
Everything You Should Know About Bing Smart Search
October 13, 2014
Bing Smart Search has been designed for an even better experience on the new Windows 8.1 platform. This is specifically built for touch, allowing users easy searching with just a touch or swipe. Whether you are looking for a website, a document on your computer or an image gallery you saved on the cloud, Bing Smart Search makes searches smarter, faster and easier than ever. If you’re on Windows 8.1, Bing Smart Search would be a good addition to your platform. Here are some of the new improvements on Smart Search: Improved Search Engine Let’s be honest – not everyone is tech-savvy. Some have issues with their devices, especially if it’s a new device. Sometimes, you just don’t know where to find your device’s settings, the serial number, or how to take a screenshot. With Bing Smart Search, you can find anything you need right from the search engine. Bing’s improved search engine allows users to search for more than just apps, settings and files. Now, in Windows 8.1, Bing allows you to search globally or limit searches to your files, settings, applications and images or videos on the web. For example, let’s say you want to install Skype to your PC. After entering ‘skype’ into the search box, the dropdown suggestion box will display sample files, applications and then settings. Beneath these, you will see Bing Smart Search results like ‘skype for desktop’ or ‘skype download’. Natural Language Bing has also improved their search capacity by being able to intelligently search for results as based on ‘natural language’. This is different to the method of using keywords. Let’s say you want to know how to install a printer. Instead of using a keyword such as ‘printer’, you can type ‘install a printer’. After entering your search, ‘Device Settings’ will automatically come up in the search results. Bing Apps for Windows 8.1 Aside from some improvements in the way you search, Bing also unraveled their new apps during the Windows 8.1 Preview. These are the Food & Drink and Health & Fitness apps. Food & Drink App Whether you’re a chef or a ‘never-been-in-the-kitchen’ type, Food & Drink is perfect for everyone. The app offers access to numerous recipes from top culinary wonders, best-selling cookbooks and popular food blogs from all over. Signature recipes from world-renowned chefs like Wolfgang Puck and Tom Colicchio are also available from the app. That, and information on over 1.5 million bottles of wine, this app is your one-stop platform on everything delicious. The Bing Food & Drink App also includes features such as the hands-free cooking mode which allows you to turn a page with just a hand gesture. There are also shopping guides, kitchen tips, how-to guides and cooking techniques that will help you turn your kitchen into a 5-star dining haven for you and your loved ones. Health & Fitness App Bing’s Health & Fitness App features a diet tracker, a health tracker and an exercise tracker. All three trackers help you gather information on your progress (in exercise and dieting) and your health in general. All trackers may be synced with Microsoft’s HealthVault to consolidate your medical records and other third-party tracking tools such as blood glucose monitors, among others. The diet tracker helps you keep tabs on the food you eat, how many calories you’ve consumed and how many you’re supposed to have each day. The exercise tracker, on the other hand, helps you track the progress you have made with each workout you get into. It tracks the calories you’ve burned, the distance you’ve run (walked or jogged) and the duration you work out each day. The health tracker features information on your height, weight, cholesterol levels, blood glucose levels and vaccinations. There is a running tally to show you a visual on your overall health. Bing’s Health & Fitness App also includes Get Fit tutorials and videos, 3D Body Maps, a Symptom checker and Conditions & Treatments for easy access to everything you might need to improve your health and fitness....
SEO 101. What do Search Engines Lust over?
August 27, 2014
SEO Acronym If you’re responsible for the SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) of your website you may like to use one of Al’s Acronyms as a global checklist of your SEO work. Experienced SEO specialists know that Search Engines L.U.S.T. over… Links User Engagement Social Votes Traffic Warning: this article contains content about school proms. Links Links are what make the internet work. There are inbound links and outbound links. Inbound links are also known as backlinks. If your friend puts a link on her website to your website, she has created an outbound link on her website, which is an inbound link (aka backlink) for your website. Like kids voting for their friends at the school prom, your friend has given some of her website’s reputation to yours. The more popular and cool kids receive more votes. The more popular and important websites have more backlinks. Kids take more notice of who the popular and cool kids are voting for. Their votes carry more authority to their peers. They have more influence on who will be king and queen of the prom. Search Engines take more notice of links from popular websites. Their links carry more authority on the web. They have more influence on who will be ranked number 1. The not so cool kids don’t have as much influence or power. Links from less popular websites don’t have as much influence or power. Some kids are so desperate to be king and queen of the prom they try deceptive or sneaky ways to get more votes. In many cases they end up getting banned from the prom. Some website owners are so desperate to be ranked number 1 they try deceptive or sneaky ways to get more links. In many cases they end up getting banned from the Search Engines. Responsible parents do their best to keep their children away from gangs and bad neighbourhoods. Webmasters should be careful who they link to, and who they receive links from. They want to avoid link farms of spammy content, also known as bad neighbourhoods. Golden rule #1: never link to websites or watch movies with School Proms in them. 😉 User Engagement Kids won’t want to stay at the school dance very long if they think the music sucks. They’ll bounce out of there real quick. The dance will get a bad rep amongst their peers, and they won’t look cool if they try to recommend it. Visitors to a website will not stay very long if the content is not engaging or relevant to them. The bounce rate will be high. Search Engines do not want to send traffic to websites that give visitors a poor user experience because it impacts negatively on their own reputation capital… they won’t be a cool search engine. Golden rule #2: be more engaging than movies with School Proms in them. Social Votes If kids really ‘like’ the dance they will text their friends and tell them to hurry up and get there. If search engines see that a website is getting lots of genuine ‘likes’ on various social media platforms they will see it as being more popular and rank it higher. Golden rule #3: delete all text messages about School Proms. Traffic If kids see lots of other kids lined up outside a dance hall enthusiastically waiting to get in, they will assume it must be a cool place to be. When search engines detect that there is lots of traffic going to a specific website with low bounce rates they see it as being more popular and rank it higher. Golden rule #4: stay clear of streets with halls that host School Proms....
Market to the 4 Groups with Give, Give, Give! (Part 3)
August 4, 2014
Part 2 covered the “Biggest mistakes to avoid when marketing to the 4 groups” in this final instalment we will cover how to market to the 4 groups. Market with Give! You’ve got to give, give, give, before you get, get, get. You’ll notice I used 3 ‘gives’. Why? Because there are 3 primary strategies. 1. Give an Ethical Bribe! When you market to a Suspect your goal is to turn them into a Prospect. To move a Suspect to a Prospect you ‘give’ an Ethical Bribe. Yes I agree that the two words ethical and bribe put together do seem just a tad contradictory. In this context an Ethical Bribe is about offering some form of incentive or a freebie that you give away in exchange for their contact details and permission to follow-up with them. An Ethical Bribe could be a free report, white paper, or guide. It may be a downloadable eBook, audio, video, app or software. Access to a membership area or VIP section on a website could also be used as an Ethical Bribe. Because of their tangible nature physical products and samples used as ethical bribes may have a higher perceived value. Digital Ethical Bribes have the advantage of being less expensive to duplicate or reproduce. They have no postage and handling costs, and it is much easier to automate their delivery. At the risk of sounding like a cliché the possibilities are endless, and limited only by one’s imagination. Their effectiveness will depend on how well you match them to your target market. As an example, let’s say you sell homes, and your target market is first time home buyers. Here are some of the basic steps that you choose to take: To keep costs down you decide to test offering a Free Report as a digital Ethical Bribe. You write the report and title it: “7 Vital Facts You Should Know Before Buying Your First Home” You check with friends and colleagues that the report is easy to read and understand. You confirm with them that the information can be consumed quickly while giving your target market valuable distinctions, insights and clarity. Because you are marketing to just Suspects you set up a landing page on your website that doesn’t try to sell them a new home, it simply sells them on the value of claiming their free report. You keep the opt-in form to just a few fields asking for no more than their name and email address. You make it clear that their privacy is safe and that you will not share their information with anyone else. You set-up a sequential Autoresponder that delivers the free report to them in PDF format via email as either an attachment or a download link. The Autoresponder sequence you’ve created sends personalised emails that provide further valuable information and insights about buying your first home. What was just a Suspect replies to your emails with questions and feedback. You have successfully moved them from Suspect to Prospect. For further ideas on Ethical Bribes be sure to read: Ethical Bribes: 10 Most Effective Client Attraction Device Giveaways by Donna Gunter. 2. Give more value! When you market to a Prospect your goal is to turn them into a Customer or Client. To move a Prospect to a Customer or Client you demonstrate to them that you can ‘give’ more value. If you get what you pay for then you should be paid for what you give. One can’t expect to be consistently paid top dollar if their products and services are mediocre. The first step to convincing Prospects that your products and services are superior is to actually have superior products and services. At some point the Prospect will evaluate whether or not your product or service is of more value to them than keeping their money. If you want to increase your conversion rates you need to address two concerns… a. The Prospect’s concerns about buying your products or services b. Your own concerns about whether or not your products or services can exceed their expectations. When I go to the dentist my concern is pain. The dentist who is concerned about being a ‘Pain Free Dentist’ provides a lot more value to me than one who isn’t. The Pizza Shop that is concerned about my Pizza being delivered steaming hot in less than 30 minutes is of more value to me because they have overcome my concerns about it taking forever and arriving cold. Give more value and you will gain a competitive edge. 3. Give more of yourself! When you market to a Customer or Client your goal is to turn them into a Evangelist or Advocate. To move a Customer or Client to an Evangelist or Advocate you ‘give’ more of yourself. Successful people do all those little things that failures can’t be bothered doing. For years we were fortunate enough to have the best lawn mower man in the country come to our house and mow our lawns. We were very sad when he retired and since then we have never been able to hire a gardener who was as good as him. Why did we consider him to be the best? Was it his lawn mowing skills or the fact that he always left everything immaculate? That certainly helped and his real secret was… Dog biscuits! Yes you read that correctly his secret was ‘dog biscuits’. When I first inquired about his lawn mowing services I mentioned that we had a beautiful new addition to our family… a Boxer puppy named Tara. I explained that Tara had about as much road sense as she was cute and that I was concerned that if she got out she may run onto the road and be hit by a car. He told me not to worry and that he would be sure to keep her safe. A week later I heard the back gate open. Through my office window I could see Tara bounding towards our new lawn mower man. He said: “Hello Tara, how are you?” and then gave her a single, non-negotiable firm command “SIT”. With military precision Tara responded by instantly sitting with perfect form and giving him 100% of her attention. With loving praise he said “good girl Tara” and rewarded her with… you guessed it, a dog biscuit. It was love at first bite. Tara and the best lawn mower man in the country continued their romance and dog biscuit ritual every 2 weeks until he retired and moved interstate some 13 years later. I never had to worry about the welfare of our family pet while he was there. Tara loved him and we loved him for it. Several years later I was on an interstate trip. I walked into a grocery store and heard a familiar voice call out “How’s Tara?”. Smiling I explained to the best lawn mower man in the country that Tara passed away peacefully in our arms at 15 years of age. I told him that certainly was a long innings for a Boxer and that I am convinced it had a lot to do with how much she was loved and just the right quota of dog biscuits. With tears welling in his eyes he wished me all the best and thanked me for hiring him for all those years. I was humbled to be in the presence of the best. Some people just know how to care and give more of themselves. What are the dog biscuits in your business?...
Biggest mistakes to avoid when marketing to the 4 groups (Part 2)
July 17, 2014
In the article “Marketing? Have you considered these 4 groups of people?” we defined the 4 groups: Suspects Prospects Customers / Clients Evangelists / Advocates In this article we’ll discuss the biggest mistakes business people make when it comes to marketing their products and services to the four groups of people. Biggest Marketing Mistakes! Too Much Too Soon Imagine this scenario… A good friend named Steve tells you that he is desperate and dateless and unsure why his hit rate is so bad when it comes to dating the opposite sex. Thinking that it may be a confidence issue you ask Steve if he is a tad nervous about approaching women. He replies: “Oh no not at all… anytime I see a young attractive woman I immediately run over to her and sincerely ask: Would you like to get married tomorrow and have 3 kids with me?” Most of us would recognise that his chances of a positive response are going to be Buckley’s and none. The more discerning amongst us may highlight that if a woman actually did say yes under those circumstances, he should probably desperately avoid dating her. How do you tell Steve he needs to change his approach? Harder still, how do you tell business owners that they are trying to market their products and services just like Steve approaches women? Constantly trying to leap frog from Suspect to Customer, or Suspect to Evangelist in one jump is like our metaphorical Steve giving a marriage proposal on every first encounter he has with a woman. Ideally you want a system that turns Suspects into Prospects, Prospects into Customers, and Customers into Evangelists. Regardless of whether it is online or offline the system should ensure people are comfortable investing in your products and services anytime they are ready to buy. They should never feel like they have to work too hard to find out if your products and services are right for them. They should also never feel trapped or intimidated by your sales funnel before, during or after the sale. Too little Too Late If I was asked to highlight what I thought was the single biggest mistake business people make when it comes to marketing their products and services to the four groups of people, I would have to say it is the following… ‘Spending way too much time, money, resources and emotional energy trying to attract more Suspects and not spending anywhere near enough of anything to turn Customers into Evangelists.’ Too little time spent turning Customers into Evangelists will be too late when one is in desperate need of referrals and repeat business. A business man named Fred (real name withheld to protect the guilty) complains about how bad his small business is doing. Fred thinks nothing of blowing 10k on an untargeted letter drop even though his spray and pray, shotgun marketing approach barely generates a lead for his business. Fred laments that he wants more good paying clients and less tyre kickers. You ask him how many key clients he has at the moment. With some pride he tells you he has about 30 clients who have paid him several thousand dollars each over the past 6 months. As it is coming up to Christmas you suggest that he should be sure to send them all a personalised hand written Christmas card thanking them for their support throughout the year. He looks at you like you’re crazy and says “Why would I ever waste my time and money doing something like that?” Your challenge was getting him to understand that Suspects are ‘suspect’ because they can result in a lot of wasted time and money, and that turning customers into raving fans is the ultimate leverage for your business. When I explain to our clients that ‘Evangelists are the most valuable of the 4 groups because they not only pay you, they bring other people to you who pay you as well’ they seldom disagree with me. The challenge is getting them to make this a key area of focus, not just an intellectual construct that is soon forgotten once they’re back to the day to day grind of running their businesses. Turning Customers into Evangelists is an area all business owners can improve. It is often the most neglected. Note to self: You teach best what you most need. Questions to ask yourself Where do you put most of your time and energy? Is it before, during or after the sale? Are you satisfied with your referral rate and repeat business? Where did most of your key paying clients come from? Was it advertising or referrals? Which group does your website primarily cater for? Was it built for Suspects, Prospects, Customers or Evangelists? Stating the not so obvious When you put your focus on Evangelists you’ll actually be catering for all four groups by default. No other group gives you the same amount of leverage. You’ll spend less time pitching to tyre kickers because of higher quality leads. You’ll have better conversion rates and more repeat business. Best of all you’ll end up with more key clients that you actually enjoy working with. Recommended reading: The Pumpkin Plan by Mike Michalowic...