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Great articles roundup: Content marketing, marketing, social media and entrepreneurship

By Daylin Mantyka link

Compliments of the folks over at Duct Tape Marketing, Marketo, Social Media Explorer, and Fast Company, this week’s roundup is marketing heavy with a little bit of entrepreneurship.

First up, why a mission statement is critical for content marketing, followed by lessons learned from a seasoned marketing VP. Third, we’ve got some advice on measuring the impact of social media and conclude with two articles on entrepreneurship.

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Selling ideas at the intersection of interest

By Francis Moranintersection

I had an excellent and productive meeting earlier this week with the hard-working folks at Startup Canada who are, among an impressive roster of other activities, preparing for a major lobbying and information session on Parliament Hill in November. I have been a proud advisor to Startup Canada ever since Victoria Lennox contacted me when she was first putting together this grassroots movement to cultivate a more entrepreneurial culture in this country, and have watched, mainly from the sidelines, as the organisation has gone from strength to strength.

Startup Canada, which usually concerns itself with talking to, listening to and championing the critical economic contributions made by startup entrepreneurs, quite rightly understands that policy makers, whether sitting in parliaments or in the senior bureaucracy, need to gain a far greater understanding of, and appreciation for, the role that startups play in advancing Canada’s economic, job-creation, innovation and competitiveness agendas. Accordingly, the group has planned an ambitious day of activities this November when they will bring their message — and a good cross-section of entrepreneurs and community leaders who embody that message — to Parliament Hill. Read More

A great consultancy should be heard, but not seen

By Leo Valiquettespotlight

It can sometimes be a thankless job, this eat-what-you-kill world of marketing and PR guns for hire.

As I wrote about last week, poorly managed expectations can torpedo any client engagement. So too can penny-wise-and-pound-foolish budget decisions that all but guarantee the failure of a marketing program by starving it of the resources it needs.

Word of mouth is crucial to bring new business in the door. We rely on referrals from happy clients, and we prize positive and meaningful testimonials that give us credibility with prospects and illustrate what is required for a marketing or PR effort to be successful.

We judge ourselves by the results we achieve for our clients, and hold ourselves accountable to that.

What we don’t do is attempt to ride our clients’ coattails and crowd into their time in the spotlight

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Great articles roundup: Failed and winning marketing, lessons from a startup and inbound marketing strategy

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By Hailley Griffis

This week’s article roundup is all about marketing, courtesy of Huffington Post, CopyBlogger, Forbes and ClickZ.

First up, why marketing campaigns are bound to failure and the mistakes you might be making. Next, we see the importance of providing relevant content to your audience and look at the winning difference this content can provide. We follow that with the lessons one founder learned going from the corporate world to the startup world and how he has improved his marketing. Finally a very detailed post goes over how to create an inbound marketing strategy.

Why your marketing campaigns are destined to fail

Jun Loayza is very familiar with the classic mistakes a lot of marketers make. Drawing on the hundreds of marketing campaigns he has implemented, Loayza recaps what he’s learned from his failures. The first is being too focused on traffic, and not giving enough thought to conversion. He then talks about properly pitching the product and whether or not people can talk about you with ease. Read More

Purposeful customer service

Hope-CartoonBy Shep Hyken

I recently posed the following question to a group of business owners at the International Franchise Association convention: “How do you ensure a great customer service experience for your customers?”

There were some commonalities among the answers. Even with the diverse collection of businesses, from quick-serve restaurants to online businesses, most of them agreed that good customer service starts with people. Everyone recognized that a good hiring strategy is the heart of good customer service.

I asked one of the owners about his hiring strategy. His strategy was purposeful. Even for entry-level positions, applicants are screened and must go through three rounds of interviews. He prides himself on finding a good personality to fit in with his culture.

Then I asked my next question: “What do you do after they are hired?”

His response was what I expected to hear. He put the new hires through training. I asked him to elaborate on what they learned in the training sessions. All new employees must go through an orientation on how the technology works, logistics and the organization’s business process. He also assigns a mentor to help the new employee through the first week.

I asked the others in our meeting what was missing. Most believed that customer service training was missing.

His response was quick. He defended his omission of any customer service training because he chooses his employees for the right personality.

He said, “I made sure that I hired good people. I hope they know what to do.”

When it comes to customer service, hope is not a strategy. Customer service must be purposeful. You can hire the nicest people in the world, but you still must give them direction, teach the best practices, and continue to reinforce your customer service strategy so that employees are continuously reminded and motivated on what and how to deliver your brand of customer service. You must take what they already know and teach, very specifically, how to make it work for your business. And it starts with some initial training.

For example, Disney puts every employee (also known as cast members) through a training program know as Traditions.  It doesn’t matter if the cast member is taking tickets, selling souvenirs, helping people on rides, sweeping up trash or being brought into the corporate offices. All new hires learn what the traditions behind Disney are all about and how to “Manage the Magic,” which is a very purposeful way of creating a connection with the guest.

Don’t leave customer service to chance. Regardless of how good the employees’ people skills are, you can’t simply hope they will understand how to apply what they know to your business. Train them and train often. Reinforce the positive and learn from any problems. Consistently amazing customer service doesn’t happen by accident. It happens on purpose!

Shep Hyken is a speaker and bestselling author who works with companies and organizations who want to build loyal relationships with their customers and employees. His articles have been read in hundreds of publications, and he is the author of Moments of Magic, The Loyal Customer and the Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestsellers, The Cult of the Customer and The Amazement Revolution, which was also recognized as a New York Times bestseller.

Image: Chamber of Commerce

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