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I'm on board with this! While I think it's important to know who you're selling to, I hate the idea of getting stuck in that mindset. You're right, things are not always simple or straightforward. I love your advice to imagine your customer on their WORST day. You don't get a lot of personas like that, do you? But then, we re in the business of improving out customer's lives, so what better way to imagine them?
1 day, 21 hours ago on Customer Personas Need To Get Real in 2014
So I guess I better not send you a gift this year... ahem.
I had (have??) a completely different type of fuckedupedness in my family. We don't do extended gifts of any sort and none of my siblings has any kids (though that will change by next year...) but my "nuclear family" meaning parents and 5 brothers always had MEGAGIFTGIVINGEXTRAVAGANZA. That should totally be a hashtag.
Anyway, so when we were kids this was fun insofar as we all went to the school holiday gift shop with ten bucks from our parents and bought each other a new comb or a pen. When we got old enough to have jobs we went shopping in real stores and bought each other shirts and wallets. But as time went on and everyone like, grew up, and then our toys turned into things like ipods and cell phones and golf clubs, it got a little harder to shop. So we bought each other gift certificates and cookies. Which was hilarious, because you'd get on the phone and say, "how much are you spending? Oh, $25? Ok." Then I would get a $25 gift certificate for Pier 1 and I would give my brother a $25 gift certificate for Chili's. Which, how retarted, right?
This totally needs to be a blog post. I'm starting my own blog right now.
So anyway to your point, I have tried for years to convince everyone to stop with the gift buying madness. Much like you and Jesse, we have not bought a gift for anyone in years. My parents don't care but my brothers, you'd think I killed baby Jesus single-handedly. For a while nobody talked to me, so I got no presents. This year they are talking to me again so I get the phone calls. Are we doing gifts? What do you want to do about gifts? NONE! I WANT NONE GIFTS!
To be fair a few have come to the dark side and agreed with me. The rest can spend money. I shall not.
One year... and I'll leave you with this final thought before I usurp your whole page... I almost knocked the entire planet off its axis because I suggested to everyone that we buy NO gifts, even parents, and instead choose an underprivileged kid and each buy THEM a gift. Everyone had a meltdown. I mean holy crap, I not only killed baby Jesus but a few of the sheep and donkeys, too.
These days I just accept what I get gracefully and still buy no gifts :)
1 day, 22 hours ago on Gift Exchanges are evil.
I can definitely see the sense of these numbers! I know at least for me, not being able to contact a company by phone is one of the most frustrating things. I also will think twice about doing business with a smaller or lesser-known company (especially) is they don't have contact info. It just doesn't make them feel trustworthy. I can especially see how in the travel industry, people would want reassurance and information from a human being. It can be expensive and even sometimes dangerous to travel! Not something you just order online and hope it gets shipped to you in goo condition, right?
3 days, 5 hours ago on Mind The Gap… Between Online and Offline Marketing
Interesting stuff, Frederic! I heard about the new map pins but I wasn't entirely sure what you could practically do with them or why anyone would care. But these ideas are pretty clever! I really like the pack-and-go board idea. Goes to show that if you know your market you can think of ways to use the tools you have!
2 weeks, 3 days ago on Pinterest and Travel: A Match Made in Social Media Heaven
Hey you boneheaded nutjobs, let me know if you need help. I do this sort of thing, you know, and would be glad to kick your ass in the right direction :)
Also, BACKUPS!!! What are you doing about that right now? If you're still in backup limbo, get backup buddy (plugin). It's pretty frigging awesome. I've used it to move/backup/restore a whole bunch of sites and it's worked like a charm every time.
2 weeks, 4 days ago on Setting up a Blog – A never ending process
I find the niche travel the most interesting because it's so much easier to market when you know what your audience really wants and it's so much more fun as a traveler than the traditional "see tourist spot" kind of itinerary. I think so many people have gotten used to traveling that it really takes something niche now to be interesting. Once you've "been there done that", what's next? Specializing!
I love the idea of automating and simplifying. I do think, however, that we have to be careful not to over-automate and end up in that frustrating place where you can never seem to contact a human being about something that doesn't fit the automation script.
Pretty fascinating to see where things are going and watch the changes.
3 weeks, 1 day ago on 5 Travel Marketing Trends For 2014
Wow, I learned new stuff here today! First of all, I had never heard of a difference between "holidaymakers" and "travelers". Not sure if that's because I'm not from the UK or just don't travel much :) But it's an interesting distinction.
What's not surprising is that people didn't like Yelp and such. I'm not sure how those sites have become "popular" (and by whose survey??) but I personally avoid them.
I also find it hard to believe that people don't find value in travel blogs. I think you can probably conclude anything you want after some vague survey, but a good travel blog is like a good recommendation. You can get to know your destination, the pros and cons, the little things you wouldn't have known to do or look for. It might not be the top go-to resource when planning but I bet it influences people in more ways than might be obvious from a quick survey.
1 month ago on On The Effectiveness Of Travel Blogs...
It's always fascinating to see where we've been and where we're going! I want to come back as a fly in about 100 years and see what's happening then.
I think Google has been making a huge push to promote its social network and of course to collect our data and box it up and sell it. And since Google pretty much controls search and we all do what it wants so we can get found, Google Plus will take off whether we care or like it or not.
I never really considered Snapchat for marketing but I'm sure some creative thinking people will figure out how to make it work! Obviously Vine has become a hit, so I'm sure we'll see more of those. I think video is going to have to become more and more entertaining because there's so much of it that we can easily move along quickly if something doesn't catch our interest. Personally, I find a lot of video boring, especially when it's something that someone could have written in a blog post. It's a lot more efficient to scan a post than to listen to every droning word. So marketers would be smart to remember the VISUAL component. If you can translate your visual into a blog post, it's probably not a good video. But if it's visual and captivates our attention... go for it!
1 month, 1 week ago on 5 Social Media Marketing Trends for 2014
Interesting! All I know is yesterday I walked into my local Barnes and Noble and they were stacking Christmas stuff. Thanksgiving barely exists, at least from a retail perspective. Anyway, Alice's Restaurant has always been a traditional fave in my family :)
1 month, 1 week ago on Where are All the Thanksgiving Songs?
Wow, fascinating stats. I never heard of "bleisure" before today, so thanks for that education :) Also, I think I am going to stop being American for a while...
I admit, I don't take vacations very well. But I do run my own business so I am a bit obsessive about making sure everything is ok. While I don't generally talk to clients unless it's a serious emergency, I do check email and social accounts. It's the plight of the constantly-connected! Then again, I enjoy what I do so it doesn't always feel like "work". Also I would die a horrible, screaming death without my iPhone :)
1 month, 2 weeks ago on The Growing Trend of Bleisure Travel
This is a great post, Frederic! Super thorough and best of all realistic. So many times you read all this fluff about Facebook marketing, best times to post and things like that. The truth is, it's a lot more complex than that. There's no "best thing" unless it's best for you. And it's tough to get engagement unless you're popular elsewhere, in which case it follows you around from place to place. Without some type of paid promotion, a small business can be dead in the water. I have to be honest, I think Facebook is way too much work for too little return for a lot of small businesses. That's not to say it can't be done but it's work, it can cost you, and it takes time. It's not some quick fix that most people think it is. You have to be serious abut doing it and not expect to see a ton of followers and responses just because you posted a photo. Good tips here!
1 month, 3 weeks ago on 4 Key Elements of Your Facebook Marketing
"Information" is a blessing and a curse! Like with so many industries, travel has become very DIY. It's great that you can go onto a website and find everything you need but to your point about visiting 38 websites... it's exhausting! There can also be a lot of conflicting information so sometimes unless you know what you're doing, it can turn into a real headache. I think there is definitely value in having a professional assist. If I were taking more than a quick weekend drive, I would like to have a person help me out with details!
2 months ago on 3 Reasons To Still Deal With A Travel Agent in 2013
I'm curious if you have an opinion on Sprout Social vs Hootsuite. I used to use Sprout Social when it was new and a whole lot cheaper and whole lot glitchier (which is why I eventually left). Now though, I can get comparable features (profiles, reports, monitoring) for $8 a moth with Hootsuite but I'd be paying $100 a month with Sprout Social. I mean, it would really have to turn cartwheels to be worth that. Wondering if you've used both or have any thoughts (because I'm currently in transition and looking to choose a tool).
2 months, 1 week ago on How to Use Sprout Social to Do Less Work
@gonzogonzo @CarolLynnRivera Oh no!! Although I kind of like the image of bering dandy :) Get better!
2 months, 1 week ago on Can Social Networks Contribute to Responsible Tourism?
Fascinating stuff. I know abstractly that tourism is big but those numbers help put it in perspective! I wonder how many of us give any thought to "responsible" tourism, especially when traveling can feel a bit surreal in the first place, as if you're a bit detached from everything. I love the idea of companies taking initiatives to make tourism be beneficial and maybe more importantly not damaging to the environment and culture. Good luck with the keynote (or should I say 'break a leg'?)
This is an interesting thought-experiment. There are definitely pros and cons and if you're using social media to enhance your travel experience, it's a good thing. Of course, if you're a slave to whatever is happening where you're NOT then it isn't so good. It's funny you mentioned photos because I always felt like a camera ruined my travel experiences. As much as I like taking the photos and certainly looking at them later, I always feel like I want to actually experience the thing - not through a camera lens. So it's a balancing game for sure. I wonder how things will evolve if and when Google glass goes mainstream?
2 months, 2 weeks ago on Is Social Media Enhancing or Ruining the Travel Experience?
Hm, interesting breakdown there. I'll repeat one point already mentioned here which is that I can take a piece from here and a piece from there and put my own profile together. I think that's just an inherent limitation to marketing and our insistence on putting people into categories so we can segment our email campaigns and such. It doesn't surprise me that women are under-valued when it comes to travel marketing. I think women are pretty much overlooked period, unless it's fashion and kids. But that's another topic :)
2 months, 3 weeks ago on What Women Want… From Travel Brands!
I like the repurposing of that acronym! In a social world it's much more relevant. I am not a huge fan of asking for the share (I always feel sort of desperate doing it) but I do like the idea of asking questions and filling in blanks. If you can hit on something that gets people thinking (about themselves of course...) that's social gold.
3 months, 2 weeks ago on KISS: Keep It Significant and Shareable
Marketing people love their buzzwords and their cool phrases that make them sound trendy and important. Except me. I am strictly anti-trend and the minute I hear some stupid phrase twice I already think it's a conspiracy :)
Not that long ago I wrote a post in which I yelled at everyone for using the word "engage".
Glad there are people like you around to keep the self-importance in check! Experience is a thing, but it's always been a thing. It's not some new thing the cool people just discovered. And marketing is still marketing. Or maybe "marketing is the new marketing". I'll throw that one around Twitter and see how many people I can get to jump on the bandwagon!
5 months ago on Customer Experience Isn’t Marketing
Wow, 40% is a high number for people thinking they're getting irrelevant content! I'd love to hear the "why" of that question.
I love your analogy, too. There is certainly no orderly funnel, no matter how much we want it to be. I often say I wish I knew what makes people tick - I have data and stats coming out my ears yet even when it comes to something as simple as figuring out which blog post people will respond to best, I find my estimations off.
6 months ago on Customer Journeys Are More Jungle Gym Than Funnel