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Information Overload: Break Through the Noise

March 15th, 2012

During no other time during our history has information been so prevalent and widespread. Information is everywhere. Remember the good old days when you took a trip down to the local library and strolled through the aisles, reading until morning turned to afternoon? I wonder if libraries will disappear one by one in the not too distant future.

Encyclopaedia Brittanica, which has been in print for an astonishing 244 years, has decided to stop the presses. You can blame the digital age. Multimedia, videos, blogs, news feeds, web sites, social media, smart phones – everyone is tapped in. It wasn’t too long ago the only people who could report the news were the news reporters. Today, anyone can create a press release, post a video or start a viral online campaign.

Too much info

So what does all this mean to you – Mr. Marketer. Quite simply, it means your competing for your customer’s attention. And trust me, consumers have short attention spans (or none at all) for advertisements. I don’t know what the insane figure is off-hand but just imagine how many ads an average person in America witnesses daily. From the accident attorney on the city bus to the model in the elevator to shotgun mobile ads, enough is enough. Everyone is trying to sell everyone something. We all have to eat to live, right?

Too Much or Too Little

Let’s narrow down our scope and focus on a small business owner’s dilemma. With a limited marketing budget how should the money – and time – be allocated? Better yet, should all the company’s resources be funneled into marketing or should it be redirected to re-training it’s customer service agents? Allow me to digress.

Imagine calling the phone company to dispute a charge on your bill. Sorry to bring up some bad memories. When you got off the phone did you think to yourself your time could have been better spent doing something else? Was the time spent on hold and the ensuing argument worth a $10.00 credit? Probably not.

My point is most companies say they have soo much to offer, but at the end of the day quality customer service is lacking. And that leaves a bad taste in people’s mouths.

Be Heard…Be Remembered

So how does one cut through the thick yellow advertising noise dominating the concrete jungle? The answer is don’t make it complicated. Offer something unexpected. Not only does offering something unexpectedly trigger favorable responses, but it may just generate good old fashioned word of mouth referrals.

One of the easiest ways to make a connection with a customer is by proving you know how to solve a problem. The reality is problems do arise with job orders. And when they do, the customer is putting you under a microscope. Every move you make is being scrutinized. If handled properly you may be praised in a chat room; if you fail to achieve common ground you can expect to lose a customer, followed by a rant on Facebook.

CookiesOne of the easiest ways to show your customers you care about them is to send them a Thank You gift. Maybe they renewed a service contract or bought a large ticket item. Whatever the case may be, sending an unexpected business gift (consider sending homestyle cookies) will go a long way toward creating loyalty and ultimately reciprocity.

Simply showing you care is how you stand out from the crowd and get noticed all over again.

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