6 more months until Christmas!

Christmas Eve in HDR

As we head into the summer, the last thing on your mind is probably Christmas and the holiday season. You’re thinking beach and not ski slopes, tropical drinks and not hot cocoa, fireworks and not fireplaces. As a consumer and an ordinary person, this is perfectly normal.

As a marketer, however, it’s time to think about the holidays. The beginning of the third quarter is the ideal time to begin your holiday planning. Why? You have some quieter time ahead, especially if you’re a B2B marketer, to get things done in preparation for the holiday season.

Start thinking now about:

  • What drip campaigns and email marketing campaigns you’ll run.
  • What promotional items you’ll need to have designed and deployed.
  • What events/stunts you’ll want to execute.
  • What pricing and promotions you’ll run (and what creatives you’ll need for them)
  • What your editorial calendar and public relations pitching calendar will need to be
  • What search terms you want to target that you should be creating content for now
  • What PPC keywords performed well in 2013 that you’ll want to bid on in 2014

Yes, it’s early. But as the overused but wholly accurate Game of Thrones quote goes, “Winter is coming.” Take the time now in the hazy days of summer to ensure all of the pieces are in place.


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Marketing Over Coffee: Google, Skynet, and more

In this episode of Marketing Over Coffee, check out Twitter retargeting, Skynet, and the telegraphing of moves ahead of time by major companies.

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Pain tolerance and marketing methods

MarketingProfs B2B Forum Conference

One of the often-quoted sales adages is that people make a change when the pain of the same situation exceeds the pain of change, of doing something different. The thing is, as with individuals, organizations have different levels of pain tolerance when it comes to making change.

Some organizations tolerate only a little pain before they’re willing to make a change, while other organizations can tolerate absurd amount of pain before finally deciding that enough is enough and switch things up.

Marketing to organizations with a low tolerance for pain is easy, but the flipside is that they are just as likely to abandon you if you cause any pain whatsoever. At the first trouble ticket that goes unanswered or the first crisis in the relationship, they are likely to flee.

Marketing to organizations with a high tolerance for pain means that getting them to switch and change is very difficult, but they are also likely to stick with you in times of trouble or difficulty. They’ll tolerate many more errors.

So how do you identify an organization’s pain tolerance levels? From the outside, you can’t beyond very perfunctory surface measures. Do a reputation search of the organization on sites like GlassDoor to see what kinds of complaints (because almost all of the reviews of any company are complaints) people have. If complaints are about constant change, then you know you have an organization with low tolerance for pain. If complaints are about stubbornness and refusal to change or adapt, then you likely have an organization with a high tolerance for pain. That should give you insight into what kind of business relationship you’ll have with that company.

The next logical part of this from a marketing perspective is to reduce the pain of change. You can’t adjust an organization’s pain tolerance levels, but the less friction and pain there is to change, the easier it will be to get a prospective customer to make a change. Use every technology at your disposal to ease the pains of change. Give free trials or a certain dollar amount off at the beginning of a relationship.

For complex sales, use transition processes to assist in change. For example, if you’re a real estate agent selling houses, throw in the cost of movers into the sale to ease that change. If you’re a SaaS business, make the best data importer ever to make transition to your service seamless. If you’re a burger and fries joint, have a kids eat free night or other transitional deal.

Whatever you do, make change as painless as possible. The lower the pain you cause, the lower you can do the limbo under a prospective customer’s pain tolerance levels.


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