At some point almost every company faces a major price change decision. Here’s why the Amazon Prime price hike won’t be a repeat of the Netflix pricing disaster. There are lots of options for approaching the pricing problem. You can quietly test pricing options on your sign up page like 37 Signals (and hundreds of other companies). You can create a major customer relations fiasco by introducing both a large price increase and an onerous change to your service structure like the infamous Netflix debacle. Or, like Amazon, you can delay increasing your price for nine years and add significant value to your service. As a customer, I’m all for this approach and am certainly willing to pay a little more for better service. MarketingLand.com reports that 39% of Amazon’s customers are prime members and these customers spend more than twice as much with the online retailer – $1,340 vs. $650 on average. (These figures are based on survey data from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners.) Like thousands of other customers, my husband and I signed up for Amazon Prime when it was introduced in 2005. Honestly I don’t know if our annual shipping costs would have exceeded the cost of the program in every one of the nine years, but the dead simple convenience of being able to order a couple of books or a DVD or some household item whenever we need it without any shipping friction to impact the purchase decision has been well worth the $79. Sure, I still prefer to group my purchases into more efficient groupings and store things on my wish list or in the shopping cart until I’m ready to put in an order....Read More
Recently my company posted a freelance project on Craig’s List. It’s not a very exciting opportunity – just basic data entry work 5-10 hours per week. The work is simple, repetitive and the pay isn’t great, but to compensate we are allowing a totally flexible work option. The person must be local because we need local geographic familiarity but he/she will be able to work from home (or a boat or a favorite ski slope or wherever). As long as an appropriate amount of good quality work is completed each week, we’re not going to micromanage the process. The posting seemed pretty straightforward and admittedly not all that interesting for a lot of folks, but you would not believe the response we received – over 120 responses! Our little freelance gig attracted respondents ranging from eager college students to extremely experienced professionals with advanced degrees. For a crummy little data entry project! I am overwhelmed and grateful that so many people would consider helping us with our projects. Can you imagine what kind of response a really great opportunity must attract? So how can a job applicant stand out amid so much competition? In our case, I grew increasingly frustrated as I reviewed the submissions and sorted them into four groups: 1) consider for interview, 2) maybe interview, 3) no/not a good fit and 4) “oh, hell no.” I’m no human resources expert (just a very busy entrepreneur), but here are some tips for job seekers based on my experience as the schmoe on the other side of the job query emails. Hope some of you will find this helpful. Your objective is to get to the next step...Read More
If you want to double the value of your marketing data, there are four key processes you will want to optimize: 1) capturing leads and prospect data, 2) coding effectively, 3) cleaning and organizing your data, and 4) connecting with prospects regularly. Within this overall framework, your selling cycle, marketing strategy and marketing processes should guide every step in your marketing data management process. What kinds of leads should you target? What do you need to know about those leads? What will you do with leads after you generate them? email newsletters? direct mail campaigns? telemarketing? What systems and software will you be using to manage the data? Each marketing decision significantly impacts the data fields you will need to successfully implement your marketing plan. If you take a little time to understand what information your sales and marketing team will need throughout the prospecting and selling cycles, the marketing data management system you develop will be much more...Read More
Suppose your job depended on filling a large bathtub with water using only a cup and water from the sink across the bathroom. Easy with some work, right? Well, maybe not. How easy would it be if you had to not only fill the tub, but also maintain the water level consistently every month and every quarter? What if you had to fill and maintain the water level, but had no stopper to block the drain and keep your tub filled? How frustrated would you be if each time you poured water into the tub, it just flowed down the drain? Building and maintaining sales pipelines at companies that do not have a consistent, effective process for capturing and managing marketing data is as difficult and frustrating as trying to fill an endlessly draining bathtub. Effective data management provides the stopper that helps keep leads from flowing down the drain before your sales team has a chance to close deals with them. In today’s tough economic environment it is more important than ever to squeeze every dollar of ROI from every marketing asset—including your existing marketing automation system, marketing database or customer relationship management (CRM) system. Making the most of your marketing leads is crucial for maximum profitability. Too often, companies spend thousands—even millions—of dollars for lead generation programs with barely a thought to how they will capture, process, and follow up the leads once they are acquired or how they will nurture them over time. Let’s be honest: Improving data quality is not a sexy or high-profile marketing project. It can be pretty boring and is usually ignored. But getting your marketing data into a clean, optimized state...Read More
Katherine Chalmers is a fourth-generation female entrepreneur with a passion for innovative technology and an addiction to growth hacking for fast-paced startups. She’s spent the past 15 years building marketing programs and organizations for business to business tech companies.
In addition to running my inbound marketing agency and offering consulting and growth hacking for other growing companies. Plus I teach marketing and technology classes, write about marketing, and mentor junior marketers and beginning entrepreneurs.
At some point almost every company faces a major price change decision. Here’s why the Amazon Prime price hike won’t be a repeat of the Netflix pricing disaster.
My friend Graham Gillen has written an excellent article over at Pragmatic Marketing about how the consumer technology buying experience spills over to corporate purchases and what that means for product marketers. It’s spot on and definitely worth a read. Graham explains, “This spillover of the consumer buying and using experience into what people will expect in business experiences is a looming phenomenon that will affect product marketers—as well as sales, marketing and product management.” Just as consumer marketers have learned to listen and adapt to social media empowered customers, so too will B2B marketers face losing some control of their messaging and positioning as market tide move them forward….
Recently my company posted a freelance project on Craig’s List. It’s not a very exciting opportunity – just basic data entry work 5-10 hours per week. The work is simple, repetitive and the pay isn’t great, but to compensate we are allowing a totally flexible work option. The person must be local because we need local geographic familiarity but he/she will be able to work from home (or a boat or a favorite ski slope or wherever). As long as an appropriate amount of good quality work is completed each week, we’re not going to micromanage the process. The posting seemed pretty straightforward and admittedly not all that interesting for…
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
– Theodore Roosevelt