Caffeinated Marketing

Gettting through all the noise, one cup at a time

Your Referral Should Not Be A Bribe November 26, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — jenharris @ 12:10 pm

A reward for a referral should be an element of surprise, not a bribe.  If your business is good enough, there will be natural recommendations – if you have to bribe your customers & make the process more than one step…you loose the credibility in which good recommendations are given.

I am not saying that your customers shouldn’t be aware that there are perks when friends take you up on your recommendations, just don’t make it more steps than “did anyone recommend you to visit us today sir?”

Example 1:
We have all seen the DirecTV ads that your friends are worth $100 each when you give your account info to your friend, your friend is then suppsed to tell the person on the other end of the phone that they were recommended by Dick & Jane who then are rewarded the cash.  Ick.  Who does that? Who solicits their friends like that?
Why doesn’t DirecTV just ask the new customer if anyone recommended them and THEN DirecTV rewards the person with a credit and a thank you note on their bill.  I don’t know what the success rate of DTV’s new campaign is, but I can tell you that their reputation for antiquated marketing ideas is being noticed in my circles (when it comes to making their current customers feel “special”…and yes, I expect to feel special as your customer).
And just a side note, I am in L-O-V-E with my DirecTV.  They have taken care of me more than once via Twitter & I spread the love to anyone who asks if we are happy.

Example 2:
My dentist – Dr. Higginson at Lighthouse Dental in Eagle.  I love this guy…he has a nickname in our house…Dr. Happy.  He makes you feel so good about having a root canal!  They sent out in the mail a really nice newsletter that had some great information on it as to what they were up to in the office & outside in their personal lives as well, I really enjoyed it (of course my head was spinning…this should be a blog too!).  They enclosed a referral card that I have to sign (you can print one as well from their website) and then give to a friend who has to be responsible for giving it to the front when signing in.
Again, why can’t you just ask the question: “Did anyone refer you today sir?”  This actually happened to me a few years back.  On a follow up root canal visit, Dr. Higginson made a point to tell me that he had at least 4 people come in from my work & volunteer that they heard Lighthouse Dental was the place to go.  He adjusted my bill right then & there and said “Thank you so much, it means a lot to us.”  I didn’t need the incentive of a movie or dinner to give the recommendation, I did it because he is good and I wanted to tell people about it.

Can this be tracked just by asking and not having official cards? I am not a programmer, but my guess is that there is referral software out there that would keep track of how referred who & when.  Or I think Excel would work just fine.

Lesson Learned:
Don’t beg and don’t make your customers beg to others. You have a great business, great customer service, great people and something  I don’t want to live with out.  Reward with surprise and not expected outcomes.


How to Speak To A Gen X’r: Copy and Design October 14, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — jenharris @ 1:17 pm

Yes, I DO hate my bank's checking account!

Yes, I DO hate my bank's checking account!

My husband brought home a bank flyer from Addison Avenue, his credit union at HP. (bad cell phone pic on left) and I fell in love with the marketing due to the copy and the design.  Not the offerings (not yet, at least).

I love this marketing and I want to share with you why: I am a Gen X’r gosh darnit and I am sick of seeing marketing material geared to the Boomers-this is FOR ME!!  When I first read the copy, I had to smile and say “all right, all right, all right!” (And if you say it like David Wooderson, even better).  There is nothing on this that would appeal to my parent’s generation. No fluffy words, no coddling about how I am important to them nor that they know who keeps them in business.  All that fluff is just that-a bunch of fluffy no duh.

My friends are going to tell me the soft mushy stuff about a business – I want to know if you know me & what I am going through. Case in point:

“Admit it, you hate your bank’s checking account – it’s time to kick the habit”.

YEA! Tell me like it is!  It’s about time!  The inside copy is just as real when it comes to their offerings about ATM Fees compared to the other guys (aka: the same bank I had in college):

“Get real. We refund all the ATM fees you incur, so you can use any ATM in the US for free.”

Yea, get real big banks! Quit filling me with your magic marketing words that doesn’t distinguish you between every other bank nor me from every other person out there.  Reality is: all banks do the same thing. They keep your money, lend it out and you get the priviledge of keeping it there between pay checks.  But they spoke to me in my language – a no BS, give it to me the way it is, kind of way.

The colors: wow, the colors. It’s a cross between a Pottery Barn catalog (nummy) and a what a hip, post-grunge bar would look like. Boo-ya.

Be real or be the same. I don’t even have to go to the website to know that this is the bank for ME!! Thank you Addison, you are speaking my language, reality. (Pretty funny stuff though:  “I learned it from YOU Dad, I learned it to you”) – beautiful.

By the way: this type of marketing is NOT for every business…but Addison has specifically and with-out a doubt decided to go after a demographic that is ACHING to belong to something and have something of our own.  Kudos.



Just Another Twitter Notch August 3, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — jenharris @ 10:04 am

Just a very quick post about Twitter etiquette and your social media strategy.  Oh, please tell me you have a Twitter strategy and you are not just one of those people who sign up for some spammy way of following 5000 people in one month.  Remember, it’s about engagement & reaching out to connect….

Please don’t make me another notch on your Twitter Bed Post – it makes me feel used & dirty.

Much love,


Facebook speak is not Twitter Speak April 2, 2009

Filed under: Tip of the Day,Twitter,Uncategorized — jenharris @ 2:01 pm

A local friend, GenY’r and Twitter newbie, Tweeted out the following this morning:

is so thankful for her wonderfully supportive friends and family.

She speaks Facebook.

If she were to speak in Twitter it would have sounded like this:

I am so thankful for my wonderful supportive friends and family.

There has been a flood of Twitter newbies (all WELCOME!) lately from Facebook & they speak in FB which starts a sentence by saying: “Joe Schmo is” instead of Twitter’s question: “what are you doing?”  
I don’t know about you, but when I speak in 3rd person, I feel my DBQ # rise.  Sort of like Jimmy on Sienfield.

For those of us that speak to ourselves a lot (yes, A LOT) my guess is that we don’t say “Jen is bouncing a basketball”, “Jen is schoolin’ George…ah, look at Jen snap the towel at George.”  rather we would speak to ourselves as if writing in a journal.  “George is such a loveable dork. I think he likes the whole towel snapping thing.”  My advice?  Just write in a journal that just happens to be public on a mass (or as mass as you want it) scale.

What language do you feel more comforatable speaking in?  Is the learning curve shorter for the Facebook to Twitter crowd or vice versa?

Facebookers, welcome to this new medium, a new language & a new set of friends.  We want you here, we know you have something more important to say to & something more important to pass along than snowballs.


Check out Social Media Marketing Industry Report March 24, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — jenharris @ 2:20 pm

For ANY business that has ever-ever-ever hesitated or is contemplating why they need social media…please take 6 minutes of your life & watch this video of a report that you can also download for free.  Your CEO/VC will thank you in the end.

And if you still balk at the thought of having someone inside your company dedicated to social media…see you in the dust my friend!

I want you to take a look at: Social Media Marketing Industry Report 


Boise Weekly TweetUp at Chef Lou’s February 13, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — jenharris @ 3:37 pm
Tags: , ,

Thursday afternoon was a very well attended TweetUp at Chef Lou’s which was FANTASTIC!  I posted a TwitPic and got a few responses back that the room needs to be bigger.  The TweetUps keep getting bigger & bigger & bigger…way to go BOISE Tweeters!

Boise Weekly reporter @Lancetastic did a great job in capturing the questions and the emotions that Twitter newbies probably ask over & over in this video.

Note: I did not hit the camera once w/flailing hands OR arms.  TAADAAA!


Getting Laid off Sucks October 19, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized,Unemployed — jenharris @ 4:24 pm
Tags: , ,

Getting laid off sucks.  That’s obvious.

You could feel it in the air (and read it on the Yahoo boards) and you could tell something was weird.

So, I get laid off at 2:30 and had to hesitate not to twitter it as fast as I could…must-tell-husband-first: so I txt him.  My Twitter access is denied through the work servers already…ah grasshopper, have you not heard of The BlackBerry?  Send a quick text via my “just” downloaded app: TinyTwitter (love it btw)-

“Just laid off. Same handle Need break, lunch and afternoon date tomorrow…anyone??”

Husband calls as I am throwing my stuff in one of 3 bags as quick as I could while my phone is going off from all the Twitters & DM from friends.  It’s good to have friends…regardless if I only know them by their Twitter handle.  He says “are you $hitting me?”.  Nope, gotogo…packing & I still need to let some people know via email.

I am on my knees franticllay sending emails & a few Skypes to my contacts at Intel, Lithium and others before that ability is turned off too.  

I am done…printed off what I had created (simple strategy stuff-no high level secrets…like there are any) and I and another gal from Marketing head out.

They have 3 people at our check out gate taking the paperwork, our badges and checking our bags…so at this point you know it is not just the 3 or 4 others that I saw on the way out too.  They obviously didn’t read the post by @GuyKawasaki titled The Art of the Layoff.  I sat in my truck for an hour replying to the Tweets of concern & encouragement…thank you everyone!  Ironically, a gal from Denver that I just started following on Twitter & seems incredibally talented was let go earlier in the day.  I consoled her through DM’s & felt the same pain, anger & fear she did just hours later.

How can you not feel good though with Tweets like this…(of course it is in “Twitter read”=read from bottom to top).

Scott Nicholson
snicholsonboise @JenHarris09 they’re idiots, you’re too good for that role anyway, you are awsome 
bcritchfield @JenHarris09 I expect to see the LinkedIn profile change. 
bcritchfield @JenHarris09 WTF is right!!!!! Sorry to hear that. I am sure you will land on your feet quickly. I will keep my ears peeled. 
Rick Smith
mightysmith @JenHarris09 Been there recently. My grandpa always said, creative people (like yourself) always land on their feet. 
Brian Harrison
brharrison @JenHarris09 very sorry to hear that news. That’s terrible.
UnhamperedTees @JenHarris09 FOOLS! Some other valley employer just got REEEEALLY lucky. Still, sorry to hear it. Hunting is never fun. 
Renee Daniels
renee_daniels @JenHarris09 ohh I hate to hear that. I’m going to hope it opens the way for a great opportunity for you. 
Greg Harris
Idahocaddis @JenHarris09 some very lucky company will pick you up very quickly. I don’t doubt that at all. 
Tac Anderson
tacanderson @JenHarris09 did @mpccomputers at least give you decent severence package? it’s my goal someday to get a severence package. 
Chris Blanchard
LGM1 @JenHarris09 OMG! Jen I am so SORRY. This is terrible. I hate what this economy is doing to good people. 
Justin Foster
brandmilitia @jenharris09 man, that sucks. Will check in with you when we are back from PDX 
Tac Anderson
Brian Harrison

As I was heading out of the parking lot at 4:30, I got my first job offer.  I have other possibilities too, but I am working all angles as fast and as efficiently as I can.   Honestly, I don’t know if I want to be a consultant…the taxes just stress the crap out of me!  I have so many ideas of where I could help different organizations, so I am going to be out there blatently pitching them my ideas & I will go from there…so look out, my ideas are a-coming!

You can follow me and my job hunting follies at #jensSearch at Twemes

I have already been to the Unemployment Office and told my husband that I will have a gig by Friday.  Cross my fingers.