Today I’m talking avatars, chatbots, Instagram marketing and other required subjects compiled especially for those wishing to both succeed in business and appear outrageously in-the-know.

  1. 1000 lb. Sentence (s):Forget ‘branding’ and ‘positioning.’ Once you understand customer behavior, everything else falls into place.” – Thomas G. Stemberg, Staples founder, investor, philanthropist

OK, so maybe Mr. Stemberg’s being a little hard on positioning and branding, but I couldn’t agree more about the importance of understanding the customer.

One of our favorite parts of any onboarding process is when we work with clients to create their “avatars,” or ideal customers.. We’re not merely going for a target audience here – we want to get reeeallly close to the individual customer. Uncomfortably close. Almost stalker close. (Disclaimer: the avatar is not a real person and the only thing we stalk is the Pho King food truck.)

We want to know what your avatar drives, eats, reads, wants, loves, is fearful of, etc. In this way, we begin to develop empathy and affinity toward your avatar. And though we may not agree with him/her on everything, we will like and respect your avatar because that’s the basis upon which we’re able to sell good products to people.

When you honestly believe what you’re offering is going to improve a customer’s life and you’ve taken the time to see things from their point of view, that will be glaringly evident and you’re going to get conversions. Please enjoy: Avatars: The Reality Dating Show of Digital Marketing.

  1. Win of the Week: 2017 seems to be my year, since this week’s win is another personal one that I’d like to share mostly because I think it’s a reflection of how much I love what I do.

On Thursday, March 30th I was honored to receive the AZIMA (Arizona Interactive Marketing Association) 2017 TIM Award for Interactive Person of the Year. Here’s my speech!

AZIMA’s a superb nonprofit organization that sets “the standard in interactive marketing in Arizona through education, events, networking, scholarships, and recognition of excellence.” I’m so grateful to AZIMA and couldn’t be prouder to be a member.

  1. Hot Tip: We’ve recently switched our team communication platform to Slack, which is a hot tip in itself, and through it we’ve discovered a tool that’s blowing our minds.

GrowthBot is an early-beta-stage chatbot developed by HubSpot that currently interfaces with Slack, Facebook Messenger, SMS and email, but that list will be soon be growing.

Hands down, this is the smartest chatbot we’ve ever encountered. It’ll tell you everything from how much organic traffic you did last week to what your competitors spent on advertising last month to the best way to approach a new email contact (seriously, it gives you a mini personality dossier based on someone’s email profile and habits).

Check it out: Today’s Tool: GrowthBot

  1.  Event I’d Kill to Attend: WistiaFest17
    Where: Boston, MA
    When: June 11-13
    Tickets: Click for Pricing.
    Why: The most obvious reason: It’s a FEST! Besides that, I spoke on the undeniable effectiveness of video marketing in my last email and this conference is dedicated to nothing but. Plus, Wistia’s an outstanding, forward-thinking video hosting and analytics company with tons of wisdom to impart.

Attendees will reap the benefits of seven top-of-their-game keynotes, 17+ breakout sessions (including six designed specifically for agencies) and tons of networking during “Table-Topic” lunches and merry afterparties.

  1. 5-Minute Power Snack: Unless you’ve been asleep, you know how hot social media advertising is and that Instagram’s one of the hottest. We’ve got some dandy tips on how to grow your company’s organic and paid traffic on this burgeoning platform: Businesses That Are Killing It on Instagram – And How You Can Too
  1. Best-of-the-Week Outside Blog: While we’ve written more than one blog on the elusive “perfect email subject line” and it’s a topic that interests me mostly out of necessity, I was immediately drawn to this HubSpot blog that’s essentially a compilation of subject lines that actual salespeople swear by.

The source? The Reddit Sales channel. Some of them are worth trying out – others, not so much. But I’m especially intrigued that the last subject line on the list, “This is a sales email,” is purportedly a top performer.

17 Email Subject Lines Sales Reps Swear By & Why They Work So Well

  1. One of the Good Ones This week’s nonprofit is the only one of its kind in the country and one we’re proud to support for several reasons, not the least of which are its beautiful sentiment and remarkable purpose.

Faith’s Lodge is a healing retreat for families coping with the death or medically complicated condition of a child. Located in the woods of northwestern Wisconsin, Faith’s Lodge provides “a safe haven for you to reflect, explore and just be with people going through a similar experience.”

There are several ways to give, including online donations and attending or sponsoring an event. Honestly, if you know a family who’s been affected in this way, you may want to talk to them about this extraordinary resource.

  1. The Thinker: Tell me who admires and loves you, and I will tell you who you are. – Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Talk soon!


P.S. If you have digital marketing questions or would like to learn more about our free auditsclick here to schedule a call.

P.P.S. Ever since our inaugural “8 That Rate” email blast, subscribers have been sending back rave responses, traffic’s gone up and our brand is getting some new buzz. If that’s something you’d like to see happen for your company, let us know. We can create a custom weekly newsletter that speaks specifically to your