In 1971, the middle class included 61 percent of Americans. Today we see only 51 percent in the middle income tiers. In short, the middle class has changed. If I had to sum up what separates the middle class from those classes above and below, I’d have to say it’s about lifestyle and a word marketers love and fear: discretion. The middle class has the economic flexibility to make choices, but its members understand that trade-offs must be made and are forced to consider the impacts.
Professional boxing is the perfect metaphor for doing business in the social media age. Prizefighters don’t walk into the ring and immediately go for the knockout punch. Instead, they first deliver a series of well-planned jabs to set their opponent up. They work at getting the lead-up jabs working so their right hook will then connect when it is unleashed.
￼The incredible brand awareness and bottom-line profits achievable through social media marketing require hustle, heart, sincerity, constant engagement, long-term commitment, and most of all, artful and strategic storytelling. According to Gary Vaynerchuk, Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World HarperCollins. Download my presentation largely based on Gary’s book here.
Sometimes there’s a perception the winners in business are those who are doing the most things. That’s incorrect. The winners are the ones who do the important things. To keep your customers and get more, deliver more of what they want the most. Loads of people espouse the ideas of “amazing” and “delighting” customers and doing things which are totally “unique” in order to “WOW” them. Those are all great ideas and would be good to achieve but when you get right down to brass tacks, there’s one question you should ask: What about if we just concentrated on making a better product?
Social media connects people worldwide, turbocharges innovation, expands loyal digital audiences and provide new methods that most businesses, organizations, celebrities and charities can use to enhance, humanize and monetize their brands. Most responsible businesses need a full-fledged social media strategy. To effectively leverage social media, shelve any assumptions or conventional wisdom you’ve heeded about online networks, websites and social media tools. Tap into your inner renegade. The connections that social media provide are much more meaningful than the spot- impressions you purchase on traditional media. Social media allow people to collaborate in ways that were never before possible. The multitudes who make up Internet audiences call the shots – not giant companies; the audience participates in and owns the marketplace. Smart companies use social media “crowdsourcing” – an amazing capability never before available – to discover exactly what their online constituents and customers think and want.
The principles of good web design are “just common sense” and you can learn to apply them. A great website must have usability, in that it must work for customers, serve your purposes and be easy to use. If clients find your site difficult to use, they’ll avoid it, and yet there’s no single right approach to designing a website. To begin, simplify your site. “Don’t make me think!” is the “first law of usability.” People should never be confused about what to do, where to go or what to click to find what they want. Make everything on your site “obvious and clickable.” If your users have to ask about how things work, they’ll get distracted. Even if their “mental chatter” only lasts “a fraction of a second,” it’s too long. Users should never, ever have to ask, “Where am I?” or “Where should I begin?” What you can’t “make…self-evident,” make “self-explanatory.”