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How Loyal Are You to Starbucks (or any brand for that matter)?

Starbucks recently launched its Starbucks Gold Rewards program, an “exclusive” loyalty program aimed at frequent coffee drinkers. For $25, you can get in the club (isn’t that what it’s all about) and get 10% off your drinks, free wifi and other special offers.

This comes at a time when Starbucks is seeing a decline in sales. Will the new incentive program get people back buying coffee? Some say no; that the program is too complicated. I say, for those people who get their Starbucks fix every day (multiple times a day), the card will be a great success. But these are the people who would buy coffee there anyway.   The Gold Card won’t, in my opinion, stimulate people like me, who just go for an occasional treat. If the card were free, yes,   I would sign up. But paying a premium for the privilege to save money just doesn’t add up, in my book.

Generational Marketing to Millennials: Know Your Era

When I recently attended the Loyalty Expo in Orlando, there was a presentation on marketing to millennials. I perked up. Until the speaker classified everyone from the age of 12 to 31. I am 31. And I do not identify myself as a millennial. I learned to type on a typewriter. Texting on a phone is hard from me. I digress.

Business Buyer Behavior

by Natalie Grbic The first step in developing a successful business selling strategy is understanding how purchase decisions are made within the organization. Business buyers vary greatly from consumers; therefore, gaining knowledge in business buyer behavior is very important. There…

Delivering Customer Value

by Natalie Grbic Delivering customer value is essential for any firm. It means: Elevating the customer experience Improving customer satisfaction Paying close attention to customer feedback and attitudes. A firm should constantly change itself in order to deliver more value…

Getting the Most Out of Your Marketing: Part I: What’s In It For Me?

This is the first in a series of posts I’d like to offer that address how, with the right elements, you can turn an ineffective marketing campaign into one that gets results.

You’ve heard it before: the basis of your marketing should answer the question from your potential buyer:

“What’s in it for me?”

It’s the truth. You yourself don’t visit a website or look at a product unless there is a clear benefit for you doing so.

Keep this in mind for your next marketing campaign. No matter if you have a newsletter, a blog, a press release or a direct mail campaign, you have to give the reader a reason to read. Otherwise, you’re missing out on potential business and wasting your time and money.

Here are some examples of how you can offer value in each of these types of marketing tools.


If you read my blog, you know I’m a strong proponent of e-newsletters. I send two out to Egg subscribers each month. I include a personal note, links to places I’ve been interviewed, and an article on marketing. Now, while I certainly hope my readers will read the press releases I’ve included and listen to my interviews, I know the reason they open my emails in the first place is that article. I’m providing useful information they can easily digest in their Inboxes. In return, I hope they’ll explore my websites and contact me if they need marketing services.

Excellent Holiday Marketing: Gift Giving

Now that we’ve officially crossed the threshold of Thanksgiving, it’s officially time to panic. Christmas is just right around the corner! The end of the year tends to be chaotic as businesses try to wrap up their activities for the year, but don’t let your customers slip through the cracks. By remembering them during this merry and mad time of year, you’ll be marketing your company at a time when people are sentimental and more likely to think warm, fuzzy thoughts about you. That’s where holiday marketing comes in.

The secret to client gift giving is that it is marketing, although it should never, ever appear to be. In thinking about what to give, get away from the thoughts of advertising your brand or slogan. It’s simply the time to thank clients for their business and support of your company. Trust me, even if your logo appears nowhere on the gift, they will think of you.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to knocking your gift-giving out early.

1. Make three  lists and check them twice.
Not all your clients or contacts are on the same level, so break them out into your top clients (where most of your revenue comes from), medium clients, and good contacts that you’d like to develop into good clients. You may have a list of people for whom a simple holiday card would be sufficient.

Marketing That Works: The Follow Up

While at first glance, customer service may not appear to be part of marketing, it is. Everything your company does to promote itself falls under marketing. Following up is one of the key pieces in good customer service. Whether it's after a sale, after meeting for the first time, or even after a complaint has been filed, followup is important, and yet often overlooked. Here are a few companies that have impressed me with their followup.

Marketing That Works: Customer Experience

A recent trip to my grocery store got me thinking about customer experience as part of marketing. I was at Albertson’s, who a few years ago, jumped on the member-card bandwagon with everyone else. I didn’t really mind carrying my card, although I recognized the absurdity of creating a club for saving money just so the store could get some demographics.

But last week, I saw signs everywhere telling me I no longer needed a card to save money. At first it left me feeling stripped. How would the system know how much I bought when there was a product campaign (like the one where I got a cheap pot for spending $500 in several months)?? But then I realized Albertson’s was taking customer experience into consideration. No doubt many people forgot their cards and grew frustrated. So now everyone can save money without the hassle.

A positive customer experience keeps people coming again and again.

More Networking For Your Business

Bet I can make you cringe with just one word. Watch:


You felt a knot in your stomach, didn’t you? Believe me, I understand. I was once the shy little girl who hid from everyone. The last place I wanted to be was in a room full of strangers. Getting out of your comfort zone can be extremely difficult, especially if there’s no one forcing you to do so (I “luckily” have a husband that pushes me further than I would go myself).

But networking isn’t as scary as it seems. Just remember: everyone there feels exactly as unsure and unconfident as you do, despite what it seems from the outside.

Baby Steps

If you’re not sure about jumping into an evening event in your town, start small. There are hundreds of networking groups online that fill virtually every niche.

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