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Make it easy, and they will come.

Two and a half hours I won’t get back. That’s what I lost this morning when it was time to move from my preview version of Office 365 to a full version and troubleshoot an error that was freezing me out of Outlook. Okay, so I’m not an IT guy. But I bought my first […]

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Shifting from reactive to proactive customer service that sells

Recently, Software Advice hosted an online debate called: “Is Customer Service the New Marketing?” The discussion highlighted customers’ increasing disillusionment with traditional advertising; and as a result, the importance of customer service as a market differentiator. The average consumer is bombarded with thousands of commercial messages per day. That’s a lot of clutter to cut […]

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15 things we learned in 15 years – the hard way

  To commemorate Outsource Marketing’s 15th Anniversary, last fall we decided it might be fun—and a little cathartic—to think about the things we’ve learned since 1997. We’ve learned a lot, but narrowed it to the following list, in no particular order: “Safe” is dangerous. Safe is invisible amid info glut. Safe fails. Creative must be […]

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TripAdvisor luggage tag and window stickers

TripAdvisor’s smart campaign to drive word of mouth

I’ve found online review sites like TripAdvisor and UrbanSpoon pretty useful when I travel on business or with my family. They’ve helped me find great hotels, restaurants and entertainment options I wouldn’t have normally been aware of. Since I get so much from these sites, I try to give back by writing a review when […]

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An opportunity missed, and at what cost?

I just contacted a company because a coupon code they emailed me didn’t work. As it turns out, it expired in their time zone, not mine, so I missed a discount of about $10 by about 10 minutes. Sure, I could have been an ass about the fact they didn’t state the timezone on their […]

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Will you go out of your way for better service?

Don’t you hate paying $.75 to put air in your tires? Me too. Especially when I don’t have any change on me. So, boy was I happy when I realized the air was free at a Chevron on my way to work yesterday. I was elated and immediately started asking the question, “why doesn’t every […]

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United’s feedback phone number to be grounded

In an era where companies are beginning to adopt and embrace social media tools like Twitter, Facebook and blogs to listen to and interact with their customers, United Airlines has decided to eliminate its customer complaint and complement phone lines this April. Claiming research concluded that “people who e-mail or write us are more satisfied […]

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Is smoking bad for your business?

We all know smoking is bad for your health, but is it bad for your business, too? Here are three examples where, at the very least, the customer experience was damaged by a company’s lackadaisical smoking policies: Yesterday, two of my co-workers saw a cool bakery truck that caught their attention. The driver had on […]

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No bull: Marketing lessons from the ER

We had to take my four year-old daughter to the emergency room yesterday. No, there wasn’t an accident—but a really bad cough turned for the worse and we needed medical advice, pronto. We took her to Swedish Hospital’s Issaquah ER and got exactly what we were looking for, and more. Though we’d never been to […]

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Marketing matters in good times and bad

When we sold our last home, the market was strong. Prices were going up and houses were selling quickly. I briefly considered going the FSBO route, but we needed to sell fast and we didn’t want to go it alone. When we met our real estate agent, we thought he was a dream come true. […]

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Listen to your customers, or else!

Netflix Profiles makes if possible for customers to share a movie queue with one or more people in their household. So, for my three-movie pack, my wife I could each have our own queues, and we could have one for our kids to share. The movies would rotate, but it’s all on one account. It’s […]

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Creativity + social networking = Zappos everywhere

Zappos, the online shoe and clothing retailer is popping up everywhere I go. In the last month, I’ve had a number of contacts with the company, none of them planned, and none of them through traditional marketing approaches. Zappos is embracing social networking I’m a fan of Twitter, the micro-blogging/social networking service, and so is […]

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A burrito the size of a baby! No? Then show me your tortilla machine.

One of the best places for Mexican food in Seattle is Gorditos, on 85th in Greenwood. Their burritos are ridiculously huge, modestly priced and delicious. When I say huge, I mean a regular is big enough for two—a large would serve a small family. Here’s a photo and caption from a 2006 restaurant review in […]

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Great marketing or an invasion of privacy?

Here are a few customer experiences you are probably familiar with: Your barista knows your drink. The service manager at the auto dealer greets you by name when you pull up. You buy groceries using your rewards card, then receive a coupon for products that directly compete with the products you’ve just purchased (or maybe […]

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Don’t you wish your company could slow down the Internet?

How would you like your customers to line up to hear you talk about your latest product updates? Well, Apple fans have done just that in person and online awaiting news of the company’s newest upgrades and offerings. The blogosphere has been buzzing for days, and today, twitter has sporadically been slowed to a crawl. […]

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