Thinking Differently This Year

Throughout my teenage years, I loved to ride BMX. “BMX” encompasses more than the more commonly known racing aspect and includes street riding, dirt jumping, park-riding, and basically any type of 20″ bicycle expression.

During those years, I was constantly torn between the more rigid team sport of hockey and the absolute freedom of making my own rules on my bike. Now I’m not saying that there’s no room for freedom and creativity in hockey – because I’ve found plenty of that – but turning an old tree stump (affectionately deemed “The Stump Jump”) into a launch ramp or an old cement pad into hours of fun was some of the most fun I’ve ever had.

The sport/art/lifestyle of BMX has progressed exponentially since my bike got stolen a few years ago, and what some consider to be more astounding than a double backflip are the results of outside-the-box thinking. Take a look at the video below and see the skill and humour behind Tate Roskelley’s ingenuity. In many areas of life and business, it’s helped me to view the seemingly inflexible *dramatic pause* as a world of opportunity.

Music: Beach House – Myth

5 Reports in Google Analytics You Need To Start Using

Google-Analytics-logo-2013

If you’ve had a website built recently you should be able to request Google Analytics to be installed and you given access to for free or a relatively cheap price. It literally takes 15-30 minutes for a developer to set up, depending on if he takes a break 10 minutes in to eat a doughnut or not.

Google Analytics is your command central for your website. You can tell where people found your website, what they searched to find your website, the pages they visited on your website, and a whole lot more. Below are 5 of the first reports I started using. Please ask if you have questions!

1. Traffic Sources Report

All traffic report in Google Analytics

Why is it important?

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What Does Strategy Lab Actually Do?

I was in a meeting this year and a lady, not knowing what we do, asked this most important question I had ever been asked around a boardroom table.

What do you actually do?

Simple right? Unless you’re a part of a brand new marketing strategy company who specializes in Social Media, marketing strategy and web design. What do we actually do? Make organizations smarter.

What we actually do is quite simple. We find out why you make sales, we find out why sometimes you don’t make sales and together we try and do more of the stuff that makes more sales. We find the best parts of your business and put them online for the world to find.

We base our strategy on the methodology, research, create, engage, measure.

Research: we find everything we can about your organization and your competitors.

Create: we develop your story and begin telling it somewhere (yes somewhere, we’re not sure until we talk to you, it could be Facebook, Twitter, a website, who the heck knows where!)

Engage: we establish a communication strategy including a method of acquiring feedback from your customers.

Measure: finally we develop a way to measure sales increases based on online lead generation. Yes we measure social media, no it’s not impossible we’ve done it lots before. Besides measuring lead generation and conversion rate we also use a lovely customer service measurement tool called Net Promoter Score. And remember, if someone tells you that you can’t measure social media, give them a Ken from Street Fighter uppercut.

We don’t claim to do anything we can’t, and we don’t try to be bigger than we are. We help smart companies who want to grow, with their marketing and strategy. We help you make more informed decisions based on data. We help you measure what matters to your business.

If you think we might be able to help you or if you just have some questions on marketing we’d love to chat. Leave a comment below or check out our contact us page (it’s pretty sweet…)

Consumer Behaviour: Luxury Buying with Starbucks’ Stainless Steel Card

‘Tis the season for giving. But, as you’ve probably noticed, ’tis also the season for buying for oneself.

Undoubtedly cognizant of this, Starbucks has announced the sale of its $450 stainless steel gift card. The card comes loaded with $400 worth of redeemable Starbucks…bucks. The other $50 covers the manufacturing fee. Cardholders become Gold members (expected to make 30 transactions per year), receive free drinks on birthdays, and can acquire free drinks or food every 12 purchases.

Let’s crunch some numbers.

The card will get you: 106 grande Frappuccinos, 119 grande lattes or 205 16-ounce cups of brewed coffee.
Side note: That’s 42,840 calories if you stick with the lattes (Caramel Brule)

Assuming two birthdays over the course of the card’s usage = 2 free drinks
Assuming a combination of fraps and lattes (112 total and 1 free drink per 12 purchased) = 9 free drinks

Earning potential with card and Gold membership = 11 free drinks = $52.25 in savings
That’s just enough to recoup that $50 manufacturing fee in two years’ time if you use the card once a week and don’t have the misfortune of losing it.

So, with a net gain of $1.12 over the course of one year, are you going to be one of the people trying to get your hands on one of the 5,000 limited edition cards available?

I know my answer. What’s yours?

How do I come up for ________ in Google search?

Google Logo

Google

Coming up in Google for phrases your ideal customers are searching for is one of the most important tactics within your marketing strategy.

Think about how customers will find you in the future. Will they go directly to your website? Will they be searching on Facebook? Will they just ask their friends? Will they simply just ask their friends on Twitter? Will they look you up in the phone book? Will they see your coupon in the mail and go to your store and buy?

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Pricing And The Paradox Of Choice

While discussing pricing strategies and product line offerings with a client, I was reminded of a great TEDTalk by Barry Schwartz entitled The Paradox of Choice.

In the talk, he encourages us to break through the assumption that more choice equals more freedom and realize that we are often crippled by choice. In regards to marketing, people often refrain from purchasing something altogether if there are too many choices. Below is the TEDTalk. I consider it to be one of the most informative AND one of the most entertaining.

If you don’t have twenty minutes to spare, here’s a quick breakdown of Barry’s talk.

We all know what is good about choice. Here’s what’s bad:

Paradoxically, choices cause paralysis rather than liberation.

Example: Investment records from Vanguard have shown that for every ten voluntary retirement funds that were offered by an employer, ten percent fewer employees participated. With 50 funds to choose from, the fact that it was so hard to decide resulted in procrastination and a tomorrow that never came. Significant matching money (as much as $500/year was passed up).

Further, even if we overcome the paralysis of a decision that has many alternatives, regret is induced. This regret subtracts from the satisfaction of the choice that was made – even if the decision made was good and rewarding. We end up imagining the outcomes of the choices not chosen and become less content with the route that was chosen.

Example: A couple sitting on the beach in the Hamptons sits there dreaming about all the good parking spots they’re missing on West Eighty-Fifth Street in NYC. Everyone’s on holidays because it’s August and they could have prime spots in front of their building at home.

In summary, increased choices result in:
1. Paralysis
2. Regret

So, how should you apply this to your marketing strategy?
1. Don’t overwhelm your customers with too many product line and price options.
2. Don’t promise the world with your marketing and risk under-delivering. Create a situation where your customer is more than pleasantly surprised.

7 Ways to be an Awesome Person to Work With

1. Be excited to work with other people.cute-smiling-cat

If you’re always more excited to work/meet with the other person, they’re sure to have a great time meeting/working with you. When you go to a restaurant and a server is happy, it’s contagious, the same goes for when you meet with someone. If you’re happy and have a positive outlook on things, it’s difficult for others not to have the same view. As the song goes… don’t worry, be happy.

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Video: The Only Two Reasons You Go On The Internet

There are only two reason why people go online; to either solve a problem or to entertain themselves, nothing else.

Think about it, you never just “waste time”, you’re solving a news, banking, work, vehicle, or home related problem or you’re entertaining yourself.  Gossip sites, games, the news, all forms of entertainment.  Twitter can be both, entertaining and solving a problem.  Reddit, YouTube, Facebook, are mostly entertaining but can solve problem for us.  E-mail newsletters for the most part don’t solve a problem, neither do they entertain, hence why average open rate for e-mail newsletters is dismally low.

 

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