next generation email marketing

Email Marketing: It’s a Question Of Value

Gee Ranasinha Communications, Marketing

In the old days of marketing, the very fact that a company had a prospect’s email address equated to having their attention. Not any more. If your email inbox is anything like mine, barely a day goes by when you don’t receive some kind of marketing circular. We’re constantly bombarded with so-called “special” offers, company or product news updates, or sales pitches – all continually fighting for our attention. As a result we’re increasingly desensitized to most of the marketing messages that companies send out. More often than not we look at the name of the email sender, perhaps read the subject headline – only to bin the email. Marketers look at the problem as being one of numbers. Increase the number of people receiving the communication to increase the number of take-ups of the offer. They talk about “open rates” – the number of people who view (or “open”) the email as a percentage of the number of emails that are sent out. Since we’re all getting increasingly fed up receiving with such mails, you won’t be surprised to hear that email open rates are in a state of continual decline. Today, depending on the industry, it’s getting increasingly …

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

Gee Ranasinha Communications

The year was 1992. I was working for a central-London based supplier of professional photographic equipment, and we’d just taken on UK distribution of an innovative high-resolution digital capture system made in the US. The scanning back attached to a Sinar large format studio camera, and could capture images at a resolution of 6,000 x 7,520 pixels. That equates to a digital image of 129MB. This was in 1992, don’t forget. We needed a computer to tether the equipment to. The manufacturer of the camera back only had software for the Apple System 7 operating system. Our company had to buy an Apple computer. My love affair with the Mac was about to begin. The company purchased an Apple Macintosh Quadra 950 – the most powerful machine from Apple available at the time. The processor ran at a blistering 33Mhz. We ordered it with 256MB of RAM – the maximum amount of RAM the machine could take. In those days RAM was very expensive. 256MB cost almost as much as the Mac itself. No-one in our company would go near the new arrival, delivered as a number of large boxes and piled-up neatly in the corner of the office. It …

Product brochures are obsolete

Have Product Brochures Become Obsolete?

Gee Ranasinha Communications

The role of a marketer has changed, to now include the curation of user-generated content and use the company’s visibility to push this content to the their audience. So do we still need product brochures?

importance of relevant content in business marketing

Content Isn’t Everything. It’s The Only Thing.

Gee Ranasinha Advertising, Business, Communications, Marketing, Social Media

A quick question for you: For most businesses, where would you say is the first contact point between the company and a prospective customer? Before they see your ad, read your postcard mailer or receive the sales cold call, the first engagement point with your company is most probably your website. So why don’t more companies take their website seriously? I don’t (just) mean the design and having up-to-date information on your business value offering – i.e. your product or service: whatever it is that you’re selling. I mean having content on there that existing and prospective customers want to read. I mean having a ongoing and regular program of delivering new content designed and researched in such as way for your audience to find interesting. So interesting that they’ll come back again, to consume even more of it. So interesting that they’ll talk about it with their friends. Today, before a customer ever buys your product or service, they “buy” into your company. They listen to your story, the narrative of why you do what you do. Why you sell, as much as what you sell. I’ll bet you, just as with our company, that if you checked your website …

Roger McNamee Presentation

“Google & Microsoft Are History” Video

Gee Ranasinha Advertising, Communications, Marketing, Technology

I like to think that I’ve watched enough video presentations given by self-proclaimed tech gurus predicting the “Next Big Thing” to be able to smell the bovine excrement from 100 paces. It’s usually the same people that crop-up over and over again, prophesising that “..the way that we do (whatever) is dead!  This new thing that’s coming along is going to sweep everything else away in a blink of an eye!” You know the sort. However, I really can’t argue with the points made in a presentation that I recently found from Roger McNamee, MD and one of the founders of venture capital company Elevation Partners (who clearly need to get someone to redesign and update their website. Not only is the footer out of date, but the site uses Flash. Flash? Really ?). McNamee’s been investing in tech companies for nearly 30 years, including names such as Facebook, Forbes and Yelp, so in my book here’s a guy who probably knows what he’s talking about in terms of the trends taking over the tech world. I would love you to watch the whole video of his presentation. However the video’s been taken down, and a brief Google search (yes, …

non-trustworthy-looking person

Maintaining Credibility In The Eyes Of Your Customer

Gee Ranasinha Communications, Sales

Imagine that you’re in a sales situation with a potential client. The deal could be highly lucrative. Things are going well – you’ve done your research, they like your offering…but they also like the offering of one of your biggest competitors. From your perspective, it’s anyone’s guess as to who’s going to get the deal. Then something happens. The prospective customer shows your pricing proposal to the other company – or forwards them one of your emails, asking them for their take on it. What just happened? You lost the sale. For whatever reason your credibility, in the eyes of your customer, has been compromised. For all intents and purposes you’re no longer in the running. Of course you’re never going to hear that from your customer directly: they’ll continue to go through the motions of the sales process right up until they make the purchase – with the other company. There are 1001 reasons why you may lose the credibility of your customers. Maybe it’s the overly-pushy salesperson who needs to be the center of attention, dominate the conversation, or make it abundantly clear that they’ve been there and done that and (in the words of Stevie Wonder) you …

crushed cans of Spam

Stop Spamming Your Customers

Gee Ranasinha Communications

You may not be trying to sell me little blue pills, a sure-fire way to get my website on the first page of Google search results, or the opportunity to ‘rest’ $15m in my bank account. But you’re as bad. I define spam as unsolicited messages. Communication that is forced onto me, that I haven’t asked for. Spam exists in various forms. Apart from all those email messages that we all receive, there are spam messages that come into the comments section of this blog. There are spam SMS messages that I receive from my cellphone provider. I even get spam messages to my Twitter account. You probably hate spammers too. In which case why do you choose to adopt similar techniques when communicating with your customers? Why do you automatically add every customer and sales prospect that you’ve ever known to receive your online communication? Why do you send your email communication from a “no-reply” email address? Why do you blast the same message – verbatim – across all of your social media channels?  Don’t you realize that your intended audience ends-up getting the exact same message – but from 20 different places? Why are you mixing personal messages with …

keeping your social media fans happy

Keeping Your Fans Happy With New Content

Gee Ranasinha Advertising, Communications, Customer Service, Marketing, PR, Social Media

So, you blog regularly. Maybe you tweet as well. Perhaps you have a company Facebook fan page too. Good for you. Well done. By now you may have seen tangible results from your efforts. More and more people are reading your content. Maybe you’ve converted interest into leads, and into sales. Hopefully you’ve taken my advice and have a content strategy in place that helps you and your colleagues keep that social media ship on course. You’ve got followers, fans and evangelists and they like what you do. They’re on your side. But there’s a problem. Your most devout followers have been reading your stuff all of these months and, by now, they pretty much have a handle on what you’re saying. The problem is, that you’re saying the same thing again and again. Your most loyal of followers are being done a disservice since they feel that they’re reading the same message – even if it is being regurgitated and rewritten 101 different ways. They’re not being pushed, challenged, educated or informed any more. You’ve made your point to them – and they’ve got it. The only question now is how long they’ll continue to hang around reading your stuff …