Marketing Genius


Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook in 500 Words and 4 Examples

Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook in 500 Words and 4 Examples

Oh happy month, I had the pleasure of reviewing Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook on for one of my favorite social media dudes.

Gary Vaynerchuck (@garyvee on Twitter) was originally known in the social media world as the guru of wine, and I think he can take a lot of credit for making wine cool again through Wine Library TV where he shot videos sampling different wines in an Average Joe kind of way. At least, he had a lot to do with how I came to love wine. I’m getting married in Napa, for cripes sake!

But what makes Gary stand out in the social media and business world now is his hustle. Inc. dubbed him “the hardest working man in social media.”

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How Businesses Are Saying Happy 50th Anniversary to Dr. Who

Are you a Dr. Who fan? I’ve been watching Dr. Who here and there for several years, starting with the originals, and then more excitedly when it came back in 2005. I love the current doctor, Matt Smith; I think his storyline was the best yet. If you follow the #drwho hashtag today, you’ll find yourself amongst lots of happy fans celebrating the 50th anniversary and tv specials.

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So You Think Nobody Buys Things on Facebook? Grace Graffiti Proves They Do.

Illustrated by David Flanagan

I just witnessed, before my very eyes, a small business with a killer sales strategy on Facebook.

Meet Grace Graffiti, a small retail shop in Downtown Brunswick, Georgia that specializes in handmade wood decorations and accessories.

The 4th of July is coming up, so GG decided to put up some of their patriotic items in a “first one gets it” kind of way. They told fans, “first to comment SOLD gets it”. And guess what… it worked.

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An Open Letter from a Small Biz to Customers Who Want Discounts

An Open Letter from a Small Biz to Customers Who Want Discounts

Illustrated by David Flanagan

If you know us, and have read our blog, and follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook, you know we love to support local business. We blogged our Small Business Saturday in Massachusetts, our Pizza Crawl, and we always like to point out when we see a small business doing something cool.

Ever since I started writing for Swipely two years ago, a company who is super-dedicated to helping Main Street businesses succeed, I’ve been extra-sensitive to what ails the locals. And heck, I’m a small business too! I can’t imagine having a storefront to maintain and inventory to stock.

Today I saw this open letter on Facebook from Rob Babigian, Owner of Wharf Clothing in Wares to some of his, er, thrifty customers, I thought it was worth sharing and thinking deeply about if you’ve chosen to shop locally.

An Open Letter from a Small Biz to Customers Who Want Discounts

A very simple open letter, from owner Rob Babigian to our customers…

We get requests occasionally to price match sale prices from big box retailers and department stores like Barneys who are able to offer products at a significant loss, making our jobs a little harder in the process. It is a challenge we dutifully accept, and having recently received one of these email requests, we felt it pertinent to remind our customers what we are about.

Firstly, thanks for your interest in our store and products. While we strive to offer our products at competitive prices, we cannot (and will not) compete with big box and department stores who carry items from the same brands that we sell. We are a local, independent boutique, and it is impossible to provide our products at a loss as Barneys and other big retailers do to attract business and point you toward the more profitable items in their stores. We do have items (that bigger stores have) on sale, and in fact we will give you a heads up when we are reducing our sale items further in the future. However, items will never be reduced to the prices you find from big retailers. 

We completely understand your position if you choose to find and buy an item cheaper elsewhere. The items we offer are not your ordinary generic pieces, and to find good deals on great brands and products is warranted by savvy customers such as yourself. But as a business owner, I have a responsibility to my store, my customers and the brands I sell to offer these premium goods at acceptable prices that quite literally make or break keeping our doors open. Our buys are tight, selected in small quantities per item, and painstakingly considered; We rely on each and every piece from each and every brand to perform in the store and our online shop. 

Combined with our product knowledge, personal interaction and customer service you cannot find in larger stores, our offerings and pricing are how we can continue to do our very best to bring you the varied and best selection you come to expect season after season, and make our store a little bit more special than your typical department store.

I feel it is also my responsibility to keep an open dialogue with our customers, so you know you are being heard and that we consider your comments and requests very sincerely. Thanks again, for your interest. Please continue to let us know how we can provide you with a better experience with us.

Rob Babigian

I’m not going to lie, I’ve bargained $100 off an item at Best Buy because Amazon had it cheaper, but I don’t feel sorry for Best Buy. I do feel bad for small businesses that get bullied by their customers who don’t understand the cost of being in business, and that every sale matters.

Shop local y’all, and leave your coupons at home! An Open Letter from a Small Biz to Customers Who Want Discounts

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What an AWESOME Bakery Marketing Strategy!

What an AWESOME Bakery Marketing Strategy!

Illustrated by David Flanagan


‘Tis the season for good karma, right? It’s almost like we think our “good will” budget expires at the end of the year, and so we all rush to do good deeds by the end of the month. With this whole Mayan thing going on, I wonder if good deeds are up some kind of ridiculous percentage.

Well how about being the beacon of light that encourages those good deeds in a creative way?

Next week we’re going to be in Jackson, New Hampshire for half of the week for a special occasion. So naturally, I’ve been looking around for neat things to do while we’re there. It’s in the White Mountains, so there’s plenty of snow-shoeing and hiking to do. After talking with Chris Sturk over at Mequoda, he convinced me that we need to try ski boarding too.

So Pinterest has become something of a pretty reliable travel guide lately, and I used it as part of my research arsenal for this trip. One of the pins that popped up when I searched for Jackson NH was this “Good Karma Gift Board” at Backcountry Bakery and Cafe in Jackson.

What an AWESOME Bakery Marketing Strategy!

What an awesome idea! And it’s hard to put the words “karma” and “marketing” in the same sentence in good conscience, but is this a great bakery marketing strategy or what? There’s no better marketing than making people feel good. And who says this needs to be a holiday thing, anyway?

A big thanks to Espresso Dave’s, a Boston-area coffee catering company that’s kicking butt over on Pinterest and shared this photo. Their combo of party / decorating ideas + coffee pins are also a great example of how a small business can creatively use Pinterest.

What an AWESOME Bakery Marketing Strategy!

Now, commence listening to Jackson, featuring Florence + the Machine and Josh Homme until we get back!

(Thanks for the nudge, Steff!)

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Marketing Genius: Heineken’s BeerFriender Facebook Promotion

Marketing Genius: Heinekens BeerFriender Facebook Promotion

Marketing Genius is a series created by BuzzFarmers to give virtual high-fives to anyone who develops a unique (and brilliant) marketing idea worth talking about.

When Heineken took a step back from their holiday marketing and considered that it’d be really easy to tell people to “Drink Heineken” but harder to convince them to actually do it, they must have stopped and paused a bit longer than other beer companies.

Touching on the guilt that most people have around the holiday season every time they buy something for themselves, Heineken partnered with Krups to create BeerTender alongside a Facebook application (BeerFriender) that encourages you to “gift” a BeerTender to a random Facebook stranger.

According to the promotion, in return, that person will quietly also “gift” one to you; Thus eliminating the potential guilt of buying for yourself.


Marketing Genius: Heinekens BeerFriender Facebook Promotion

This is a bit genius because Heineken knows they can’t sell beer on Facebook, but they can still put themselves in front of everyone, making a clever impression without it.

And of course, according to their Terms of Use, “the Application enables you receive, upload and share information and content about Heineken, the Heineken BeerTender®, and other Heineken products and services.” Not a bad exchange, especially not for Krups who’s likely taking a bulk of the sale with no necessary marketing on their part.

The only thing? We’re not sure it truthfully pairs anyone with anyone else. According to their sales page, “When you use BeerFriender to buy a BeerTender for yourself, it arrives giftwrapped and with a fancy card, so it looks like a gift from someone else.” So eliminating the guilt of explaining to your partner or spouse? Sure. Knowing that little Jimmy gets one less present because of your addiction to shiny beer-drinking paraphernalia? That one’s on you!

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Marketing Genius: How Urban Daddy Gets Readers On Every List

Marketing Genius: How Urban Daddy Gets Readers On Every ListUrbanDaddy brings elitism down to the middle class, bringing you exclusive deals that are amazing, always impulsive and incredibly splurge-worthy. Being on their email list reminds you (daily) of all the wild things you could be doing out from behind your desk, like eating dinner in Vegas at a private chef’s table that dangles 160 feet in the air.

They cater to the self-induced elite class of people (for real, or pretend) who like expensive things, expensive vacations and once-in-a-lifetime almost-affordable experiences like private dinners with famous chefs, Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Brunches, even a freaking Halloween Costume Concierge Service. Personally, I love UrbanDaddy, which is why I can talk smack.

UrbanDaddy was the first “deal” site I ever signed up for (yes, even before Groupon) based on the once-in-a-lifetime experiences they seem to dig up and develop for their users. On the blog, they’re just documenting them. When you’re a “Perks” member (aka an email list member) you can actually get access to these sorts of things at a barely out-of-reach price, as far as impulse purchases go.

So really, UrbanDaddy might have a great blog, but they make their money through email and via social media traffic that is likely coming in through their email subscribers. UrbanDaddy wants you on their list.

That’s why I loved their tactic of swallowing new subscribers all at once.

Albeit a little on the darkside, this post-email signup pop-up (hello mouthful) takes no prisoners. The moment you’ve signed up to be notified via email about their offers, they follow up with another screen that asks you to also “like” them on Facebook, “follow” them on Twitter, and even download their app.

There’s likely a strategy to that order also. The visibility on Facebook probably kills their Twitter traffic for the type of deals they talk about that thrive will supplemental images. In any case, check out the pop up:

Marketing Genius: How Urban Daddy Gets Readers On Every List

So you like us enough to join our email list, why don’t you go ahead and start adhering yourself to our brains too! All in all an excellent strategy for hooking your readers in while they’re the most interested in what you’re doing. When I added a “like” button to the thank-you page for one of my clients, their Facebook “likes” went up over 1000% in the first month. So, I can attest to the fact that this strategy is no joke.

What do you think of this method? Have you tried this on your own sites? What were your results?

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Marketing Genius: AppSumo’s Secret “Like” Button

Marketing Genius: AppSumos Secret Like ButtonMarketing Genius is a series created by BuzzFarmers to give virtual high-fives to anyone who develops a unique (and brilliant) marketing idea worth talking about.

AppSumo is one of the few “daily deal” emails I look forward to and still subscribe to. In their own words, “This fat-ass Sumo sends you one MASSIVE money-saving deal on tech stuff for startups (like apps and software)….Everyday.” Font packages, training videos, apps, you name it.

Patrick and I deeply admire AppSumo’s creator Noah Kagan and all of his ventures, but two things that AppSumo itself does fantastically well: writing copy and getting their deals shared.

When faced with blasting their readers with soul-sucking jargon or throwing in a swear word, they’re happy to drop the f-bomb. Their copy is second to none and follows the same mantra as Groupon, who’d rather turn funny people into funny writers, rather than trying to turn a writer into a funny writer.

But all that copy won’t do them any good if nobody is reading it right? And the only way that AppSumo is going to get people to buy what people are selling is to convince as many folks as possible to share the deals. Like most daily deal sites, they provide an incentive for anyone who buys something via a link that you share. Their deal is $10.

So today I came across one of those darth vader pop-ups (you know, where they darken the background and all that jazz) on AppSumo that was more share-worthy than just talking about it in a 140 character tweet. This is what their pop-up looks like when you hang out on the page too long.

Marketing Genius: AppSumos Secret Like Button

Oh hello there like button. You fit so pleasantly on this pop up that is reminiscent of a note I once wrote to a cute boy in third grade. “Do you like me? Check yes or no.” Do you like this deal on AppSumo? Hit like or hate. I don’t even know what the “hate” button does, other than close the window. Here’s to hoping it doesn’t decide which deals to serve me in the future. I’m a button pusher, you know?

In any case, this is very clever, do you agree? The only plugin I know that does something similar is Social Traffic Pop for WordPress, but feel free to pitch in any other plugins you know of in the comments!

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