The Power of Mobile Marketing

What if you could connect with your audience right on the devices they stare at for nearly a third of their day? Better yet, what if you could specifically target that same audience right at the moment when they're looking for the services or products that you offer?

More importantly, how would it impact your budget if you could virtually eliminate wasted marketing spend?

Mobile Marketing can make all of this happen through the use of Geofencing Technology. Geofencing is a software feature that uses GPS or RFID to define geographic boundaries. So, what does that mean to you as a marketer? It means that geofence marketing allows for advertisers to reach their target audience wherever they go, including your competitor's locations, your own store front or even special events.

Pretty cool, right? It gets better...

Now, it doesn't matter if you're a small single location business, giant corporation with multiple locations across the globe or even just an eCommerce store with no physical storefront. Geofence marketing allows you to connect with your audience at a local level and serve them ads that are more likely to convert. Why? Because, they are already looking for what you have to offer.

Here's how it works:

  • A virtual geofence is traced around an event or location where the advertiser wants to build an audience based on their visit to that particular location during a set, scheduled timeframe.
  • When people enter the geo-fenced location during the set timeframe, they will then become a part of an audience that can later be targeted following the event.
  • As the user visits various apps downloaded on their phone (Angry Bird, Weather Channel, Emoji Keyword, Words With Friends) or browses the internet on the mobile browsers, they begin to see ads from said advertiser.
  • User can see those Ads for 1 day and up to 30 days after he/she has entered the geofence.

Here's the best part! In addition to being able to track impressions and detailed reporting, you can setup a conversion zone that actually allows you to track people who have visited your location as a direct result of seeing your advertisement.

Hows that for tracking ROI and eliminating wasted marketing spend?

Geofencing marketing is the perfect solution for companies that want to target a group of people attending a specific event and get more reach out of their ad spend rather than simply zip code targeting or city-wide targeting.

Stack geofence marketing with your social media marketing strategy and you'll have yourself a well armed automated marketing machine that produces results.

Now that you know a little more about geofence marketing, think about how this strategy could apply to your business. If you want to create a well rounded advanced geofencing strategy that incorporate programmatic display and social media marketing, giving you the chance to target just your core audience, feel free to inquire about our technology and services here at TCG.

- CC

The Secret to Selling More Homes!

This blog is for my Real Estate Agent friends and readers! How many of you are currently taking advantage of digital marketing and social media platforms? And if you are using these platforms, are you using them to identify new buyer/seller leads? Are you using these platforms to sell properties for your existing clients?

Hopefully, the answer is "YES! All the above!"

Now, when I use the term "digital marketing" I'm not just talking about the service sites like Realtor.com and Zillow offer. As a matter of fact, if you're relying on those sites to support your digital marketing efforts then you're blowing your marketing budget on a pipe dream.

Sure, you may get a worth while lead here and there that may actually have some substance to it.

But, here's the the realty of it...

Digital marketing platforms like Realtor.com and Zillow get X number of leads per zip code. Realtors, just like you, also buy the same zip codes you do and get the EXACT SAME leads you do at the EXACT SAME time.

What gives, right?!

Now, it becomes a race to reach out to the leads. Lots of times, by the time you connect with the potential customer of your's, they're usually pretty angry and not very pleasant to speak with. Why? This is because 15-20 realtors have already started hounding them for their business.

Sound like a familiar scenario?

Listen...it doesn't need to be this way. There are much more effective digital marketing options out there for real estate professionals. I'm talking about digital marketing strategies and platforms that will increase your lead flow, increase your closing ratio and EVEN shorten the sales cycles for your existing inventory!

There's an old saying I always like to reference..."If you continuing doing what you've always done, you'll always get the same results you've always gotten."

This holds true for the real estate industry.

Why would you want to continue following the SAME EXACT methodologies and sales cycles that the other real estate professionals in your industry our following anyways?

Isn't the goal to stand out, reach more clients and expand your real estate empire? Hopefully, the answer is yes or you probably shouldn't be in an industry such as this that pays commission only.

It's time to rethink how you invest your time and your hard earned money into your marketing budget.

If you're interested in learning more about how you can help you with this, sign up for our mailing list below and I will make sure we get you an invite for our next training webinar.

Don't want to wait?

Schedule some one-on-one time with me here: https://calendly.com/ccaruana/introduction-call

Harness The Power of Online Business Reviews

With the world of business revolving more and more around social selling, It’s no secret that online reviews can have a significant impact on your business’s success. With the plethora of review sites at their disposal these days, your customers essentially control the reputation of your business, based off their “customer experience” when engaging with your establishment. 

There is no doubt that customer reviews help other potential customers determine as to whether or not they should do business with you. As a result, 92% of customers read online reviews, and 68% trust a local business more if it has positive reviews.

Customers value customer review’s because they consider genuine shared experiences from their peers to be more trustworthy than potentially biased information provided by the business itself.

Can reviews really make or break a sale? Can the quantity or quality of the reviews you receive have that big of an impact on your company’s bottom line?

The answer is yes…

So, as a business owner, how do you take advantage of this as an “opportunity” rather than treat it as a threat?

Simply by focusing on what your business does best…deliver perfection at every touchpoint of the customer journey. If you do this, customers will become loyal brand advocates, bringing in more customers - lots of them.

You need to own the customer experience. Customers don’t care about catchy taglines and pushy ads. They care about great experiences. They don’t want to be sold to, they want to be understood and cared for. When businesses make their customers happy, their customers do their marketing for them. Your customers are the most powerful and untapped source of revenue.

It’s time to say hello to customer-driven marketing.

Customer experience drives ratings. Ratings drive revenue. TCG has the power to give businesses complete control of both, to hardwire every business decision around the customer and scale revenue and growth.

We do this by utilizing a comprehensive platform that turns feedback into insights, insights into action, and customer happiness into revenue.

Oh and by the way…customer reviews also helps SEO!

Since customers find reviews important, search engines do too. The goal of an online search is to yield accurate, easily accessible information. Since online reviews are considered to be user generated content, relevant keywords will start to trickle into your business pages, scooting it up in search rankings.

Search engines aim to connect customers with relevant information as quickly as possible. Each subsequent search becomes more specific as the customer grows increasingly informed–by the time customers come across online reviews, they already know what product or service they want. They just need to find the best business to fulfill their need.

To learn more, please feel free to contact me directly at ccaruana@thecaruanagroup.com 

5 Simple Steps To Providing Value

Added value is an important tactic that can be used by small businesses, consultants and direct sales reps to acquire and retain customers, increase brand awareness, and differentiate themselves in the marketplace. Have no clue where to start? It’s much simpler than you would think. Below are a few pointers on how to create a sense of value for your prospects.

Always Consider Your Customers’ Perspective

Creating added value starts with the ability to see your business through the eyes of your customers.

Consider what’s important to your target market and how your product or service will benefit them. What problem does it solve, how will it help them overcome obstacles or do their jobs better? Many businesses miss the boat by focusing on features instead of benefits. Don’t do that! By shifting your focus to providing content that focuses on your customers’ needs you can start helping and STOP selling.

A good tool for structure here is a “customer persona” outline. This is helpful to provide insights about your current and future customers, what’s meaningful to them, and gives you a roadmap of the kind of content you can create and share to provide added value.

Consistently Work to Improve Customer Satisfaction

Lack of customer satisfaction is a sure-fire way to keep people from coming back.

Soliciting honest feedback through short surveys on a regular basis allows you to keep your finger on the pulse of your customers’ needs. It’s also an opportunity to monitor your brand’s identity and a great resource to constantly evaluate yourself as a business and make the necessary adjustments to stay relevant in the marketplace.

There are plenty of free survey tools available for you to use. Reach out to us and we’ll be happy to provide you with a few different options.

Implement Marketing Models Into Your Strategy

The use of popular marketing models can help your strategy take shape. Some examples of these models are: The Four C’s Model, Brand Essence wheel and my personal favorite, the SWOT Analysis. These tools will help you develop your brand’s value statement, define your unique selling point, and most importantly forecast customer demands.

Develop a Memorable Customer Experience

Word of mouth referrals and positive online reviews are indispensable resources that lead to obtaining new customers and retaining existing customers. Businesses with unforgettable customer experiences are more likely to benefit from this.

When getting started, you’ll need to consider all touch points of your business, from initial lead capture to post-purchase communication and how to properly maximize the added value for the customer throughout the process.

Providing an exceptional customer experience allows you to develop relationships with your customers so you can connect on new levels. Most importantly, memorable customer experiences models aim to deliver unexpected intangible value that cannot be packaged or sold. This includes personalized service, attention to detail, and showing a sense of urgency to address concerns as they arise.

Never Underestimate The Value of “Free”

Whether it’s a free guide, a printable PDF, or information through a blog post, free resources are a great way to create added value and showcase your ability to offer a little something extra to customers. Free resources can also serve as useful tools to help grow a small business’s brand awareness and expose your target market to various products and services.

For retail locations, consider promotional materials featuring your company’s logo that can be given out in-store. Online businesses can use a customized form to encourage visitors to sign up to hear more about special offers and promotions.

These five tips will help you think about a few ways you can add value now and in the future for your prospects and customers. If you like what you’ve read here, subscribe to our blog so that you don’t miss out on future posts. Don’t forget to check out our previous blog posts and share with your friends and business associates. Education is a beautiful thing. It helps us learn and grow, so that we can continue to be relevant in this ever changing world of business we work in today.

 - CC

May I Have Your Attention Please!

Have you ever presented in front of a large group of people? How about in a small meeting or maybe even just a 1:1 setting? How well did you know your audience before going into that meeting or presentation?

I just watched a movie this past weekend titled "The Founder." For those of you who haven't seen it, The Founder is a film that stars Michael Keaton as a businessman (Ray Kroc), and portrays the story of his creation of the infamous fast food chain we all have come to know as McDonalds. Prior to dominating the fast food "real estate" market, Ray Kroc was a milkshake machine salesman. The opening scene of the movie starts out with Michael Keaton pitching an owner of a drive-in on why he needs to buy his state of the art milkshake mixer. Long story short, he did not get the sale. Over the course of the next 5-7 minutes of the movie we see Michael Keaton traveling through the Midwest, visiting multiple drive-in's, getting shot down multiple times. He could not close a single sale. He looks presentable, he speaks in a professional manor, he has his pitch down to a science. Yet, he just can't seem to catch a break. Why? On paper he seems to be doing everything right. Right? Wrong!

A snazzy suit and scripted pitch doesn't make you a winner these days.  Nor did it when Mr. Kroc was trying to sling milkshake machines back in the 50's. In fact, it lumps you in with the other hundreds of salesmen going after that same pieces of business. So, how do you stand out from the crowd? How do you grab the attention of your audience and more importantly, how do you keep them engaged? Simple. Get to know them.

Understand who you're dealing with. In school, we all used to study and prep before a big exam, didn't we? Well, maybe not all of us...but, the point I'm trying to make is why wouldn't we do the same before a big meeting or presentation? Especially, when there's money on the line. Am I wrong? Read the news, network with colleagues or better yet, go directly to the source.

"Mr. Burger Shop Owner, tell me about yourself. What are some challenges you're facing with your business? How is that impacting your bottom line?"

If you know your product well enough (shame on you if you don't), just from those 3 questions alone you should be able to have enough information to respond with a 2 minute elevator pitch on how your solution can potentially be a fit for what the customer is looking to accomplish. You achieve this by acknowledging and incorporating all of the challenges they have presented to you into your pitch. Then, you subtlety start working in how your solution can potentially help address those challenges. The same can be done before presenting to a large audience. Prior to the presentation, find out who your audience is. Will it be C-levels? Middle Management? Sales people? A mixture? Once you find out who your audience is, center your presentation around what's important to someone in their particular role. Ask rhetorical questions during certain points of your presentation to make the audience think and keep them engaged.

If you think about it, this is sales 101. Simple stuff. You don't need to be a genius to be good at sales or any job for that matter. You simply just need to listen more than you speak. This applies to everyone. I don't care if you're a doctor, lawyer, bank teller, teacher, stay at home mom or whatever.  The truth is that no matter what title we have or what our career choice is, we are ALL in sales. At some point during your day I can guarantee you that you are selling something to someone. It's a fact.

In closing, let's transition back to the movie. Eventually, Mr. Kroc (Michael Keaton) used this same methodology to land the largest opportunity of his life. When he learned about the McDonald brothers, he drove all the way out to California just to get a look at their operations. He tasted their food, toured their facility and even took them out to dinner to learn their story. And guess what happened? The next morning he used everything he learned from them that day to create a tailored pitch on why the McDonald brothers should franchise. The rest is history...

- CC

Tips For Getting Organized!

The foundation for any amount of success is Organization. So, how organized are you? It’s a question we should be asking ourselves daily. So much of what we accomplish in our daily lives is a direct result of how organized we are and how well we manage our time. There’s no question about it. It’s a fact. There are 1,440 minutes in a day. Your success and the success of your business is dependent upon how well you capitalize on each one of those minutes every single day. The best part about this is that it's consistent. You will never have less than 1,440 minutes allotted to you on a daily basis. Think about that...

Now, here's the next question to ask yourself. How do you capitalize on these minutes? The answer...get organized. Remember my last blog about accountability? Well, only you can determine what gets in the way of you capitalizing on your time. Hold yourself accountable for how organized you are and how you manage your time. There is simply no excuse why you can't. I'll prove it to you. Try giving me an excuse and I guarantee you that I can come up with at least one solution for you. There are so many different tools and resources that technology has afforded us these days, that enable us to become more efficient, more productive and yep, you guessed it...ORGANIZED! Everyone and their mother who has a smartphone has a personnel assistant right in the palm of their hands. And the best part is that it's all automated! How cool is that?

"Hey, Siri! Remind me to post this blog on my website later tonight." "Ok, Google. Remind me to get my quote over to Bill before 10am tomorrow." "Alexa! What's my commute time to get to my next meeting?"

You see what I'm getting at? We have all these tools available to us, in order to help make our lives easier and more efficient. The key is, you just have to take advantage of them.

I'm going to leave you with one more tip. As simple as it may sound, try planning out your agenda weeks ahead of time. What I mean by that, is you should block time off on your calendar to be proactive with whatever it is you're looking to accomplish. For example, I have a couple two hour time blocks on my calendar every Wednesday and Thursday for prospecting and new business development. I have 30 minutes blocked off every Friday to review expenses. Every Sunday night, I have 15 minutes blocked off to run payroll. You see the theme here? I'm simply blocking time off on my calendar to hold myself accountable to the activities that I need to accomplish, in order to pursue my goals and be successful. Do things pop up sometimes, that prevent me from sticking to those particular time slots? Of course. But the point is that there is structure in place. By having some sort of structure (or foundation), I'm able to adjust my daily schedule to accommodate unexpected circumstances, while still holding myself accountable for the things I need to get done in order to reach my goals.

Remember...every minute counts. What are you going to do with your time?

- CC

Your Excuses Are Holding You Back

Excuses. Everyone is full of them today. “I don’t have time!” “I don’t have the money!” “I would, but John Doe tried it and it didn’t work out for him.” These are just a few of the excuses I hear on a daily basis and it makes me sick. It literally turns my stomach every time someone comes up with an excuse on why they can’t accomplish something. How about instead of focusing on why you can’t do something, let’s come up with some solutions on how you can?

Unfortunately, for most of us, its our first instinct to want to come up with an excuse and backdown when we feel there’s a challenge ahead of us. I know this from first hand experience. There was a point in time when I felt that if something was too much of a challenge, I would just ignore it or come up with an excuse to avoid it. This was a problem. This was a problem, because not only did I not hold myself accountable; I still expected the same results as if I were to face the challenge head on. Call it fear of failure, call it laziness, call it entitlement, call it whatever you want. I call it stupidity. Why would anyone in their right mind think that they can be rewarded or benefit from doing absolutely nothing outside of standard expectations?

The same opportunities to succeed are available to everyone. When I say everyone, I mean EVERYONE. Sure, everyone’s path is unique in order to achieve success, but the bottom line is that the path is there for you to take. Only you can determine where that path leads. It all starts with the decisions that you make as an individual and how often you incorporate personal accountability into those decisions.

Starting today, take a step back and become more aware of the decisions that you’re making. Then, instead of coming up with an excuse about why something didn’t work out the way you had hoped, come up with some scenarios about how you personally could have done something different to generate an alternative outcome. If the conclusion is that a mistake was made, own it, learn from it, put it in the past and try again.

I can guarantee you that if you follow the thought process I just laid out, it will change your life and make you feel better about yourself as a person. When you feel better about yourself as a person, thats when you’re at your highest level of productivity. When you’re at your highest level of productivity, you’re naturally putting in the work to create a foundation for you to achieve the goals that you set for yourself.

Over the next few days, I challenge you to try following this thought process in your daily interactions (personal and/or business). Then, I want you to come back here and re-read this blog and share your thoughts.

- CC