When I was getting together a local group of social media- and web marketing-savvy people, one of the first I thought of was Bonnie Johnson who coordinates online efforts for Perry Office Plus. PerryOP is a Central Texas-based office supply chain. Not only are they a great local business, they compete quite nicely against the “big guys.” Bonnie has a good idea of what it takes for SMBs to be successful online and she’s not afraid to “call ‘em like she sees ‘em.” Let’s read what she has for us …
What are you working on right now?
Our company just recently dove into the promotional products market and it has kept me pretty busy. I’ve found that it’s more than just pens, shirts and mugs (although, those are big sellers — and they work!). It’s about helping clients take an idea for a promotion or event and turn it into an effective sales tool for their business or organization.
The “idea” part is what really fires me up. Look around your desk – you probably have at least one or two promotional products with someone’s logo on them. In such a digital world, I think it’s pretty impressive that these tangible marketing methods still work. And when you can add a QR code to your promo item, you bring the two worlds together!
What is the one thing you wish you could tell the world about marketing on the web?
I sympathize with small business owners – these hard-working, passionate people are often doing the work of a dozen people. And yet, I have a bone to pick with some of them.
You know who you are – you’re the small business owner who has been told by everyone (who’s anyone) that you need to “be on Twitter”. But your time and resources are limited – I get it. You’re stretched thin and an online service promises to automatically post your generic sales pitches and fast facts on Twitter on a regular basis FOR you! It’s like you’re there without being there. How could this be bad, right?
Please stop. I don’t know everything about social media, but I have to believe you are doing more harm to your brand than good. You are creating the social media equivalent of junk mail. I won’t follow, retweet or reply to you, because as far as I’m concerned, you are a robot. And once you burn me with a few incessantly repeated automated sales pitches that take up my valuable Twitter feed space, you will have a hard time getting my attention again.
If you can’t afford 15 minutes, once or twice a day to be a real person online, wait until you have the resources to do so. I know this is harsh and I know you’re just trying to stay on top of the trends. Just stop being a robot. Robots are great for blockbuster movies. Not for social media.
Ok, stepping off the soap box now … whew.
What’s on your “trends” radar for the next 12-24 months we should be paying attention to?
I know it never really went away, but I think email marketing will make a bit of a comeback, but with a focus on being mobile-friendly and creating an immediate response (sign-ups, referrals, downloads, etc). Desktop computers and even laptops are becoming the last place we read email.
Thanks, Bonnie, for sharing with us. I have to agree on her take to full automation of social efforts. It’s very tempting, but really counterproductive.
You can learn more about Bonnie and what she’s up to …