4 Ways to Send Customers a Valentine

Ah Valentine’s day.  There’s nothing like a made-up holiday to remind us that we should be nice to people at least once a year.  When was the last time you showed your customers a little love?  And I’m not talking heart-shaped box of Godiva love here either, I mean when was the last time you lavished carat-sized love on the people that pay your salary? Does Hallmark really have to tell you to do everything?  Seize the moment and plant a big squishy one on your customers in one of the following ways: 1/ Give them an Award – Awards are a great way to recognize customers and unlike Godiva chocolates, absolutely everyone loves to get an award.  The folks that get the award will probably brag about it to their friends and you get to brag about having them as a customer (heck, why not put out a press release about it?).  You’ve only got a couple of customers?  Well it won’t be hard to pick who gets the award then, will it? 2/ An Unexpected Little Somethin’ Somethin’ – Godiva chocolates aside, sometimes it really is the thought that counts.  It doesn’t hurt to send your customers a little something that shows that you appreciate them.  I’m a big fan of unusual gifts for customers that get them talking about you.  Last year when Google launched sidewiki they sent me a book of poetry.  The book had a bookmark in a passage where the poet described a library book from that had some notes written in the margins and how interesting it was to see what other...

I’m the #1 PM Blogger!

The Association of International Product Marketing and Management (AIPMM) held their educational conference this week and hosted a “Battle of the Product Management Bloggers” contest which I was happy to be asked to take part in.  At short notice my travel plans changed and when I let them know I couldn’t make it, they invited me to do my presentation remotely over Skype. Trying to be entertaining without being able to see or hear the audience is goofy!  People walking past my office would have seen me flapping my arms “presenting” at my computer and likely thought I’d done one too many revisions on that Powerpoint deck and finally lost my marbles. The competitors were clearly better than me so I decided to use my product marketing skills to come up with a winning strategy that did not depend on having a superior product. My strategy can be summed up as follows: Deliver silly presentation. Ask people to vote for me. Surprisingly, that worked. So I’m the #1 PM blogger!  The power! The glory! The prizes!  I won a bunch of cool stuff including a “top of Alltop” from Guy Kawasaki, an interview with The Brand Show, an interview with Wayne Hurlburt on Blog Talk Radio, a copy of the Product Management Office Professional from the 280 group, a copy of Morae from TechSmith, a lifetime membership with the AIPMM and some cool swag from MarketeersClub, Overtone, and probably some other stuff I’m forgetting. The last prize was a catered holiday dinner for 8 people from the Fairmont San Jose!  Woo Hoo!  I’ve got big plans for that one,...

Rocket Watcher a Top Product Management Blog

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while you’ll know that I’m a big fan of giving awards and I’m also a big fan of winning awards.  So I’m very pleased to announce that this blog has been selected as a “Top Product Management Blog” by the clearly very intelligent people at The Daily Reviewer.  From their site: The Daily Reviewer selects only the world’s top blogs (and RSS feeds). We sift through thousands of blogs daily to present you the world’s best writers. The blogs that we include are authoritative on their respective niche topics and are widely read. To be included in The Daily Reviewer is a mark of excellence. Did you read that?  A mark of excellence.  And I didn’t even have to get my cousins to vote for me . I also get to put this cool I-just-won-first-place-at-the-county-fair ribbon graphic thingy that you will now see proudly displayed to your right. I did notice that Rocket Watcher is not enjoying the top row position that it currently does on Alltop however I’m quite confident that once I work my marketing magic on whoever the Guy Kawasaki equivalent is over there I’ll bump those Web Ink Now / Lead on Purpose / Spatially Relevant dudes right out of their top row spots. Not that I’m competitive.  I just like winning. First time reader?  Why not subscribe or follow me on Twitter or...

I’m Kind of a Big Deal in Canada

Nobody likes awards more than I do.  I like giving people awards so much that at pretty much every company I have ever worked at I have started some sort of award or recognition program.  Why?  Because, everyone likes to get an award for pete’s sake, even if the contest is sort of narrow or kludgy or fixed or whatever. So imagine my great excitement to see that I made it into the top 10 Most Influential Women in Social Media in Canada!!  It’s amazing! It’s fantastic!  I’m on the same list as real famous people like Amber MacArthur and super-duper bloggers like Kate Trogvac and the person I personally nominated, Jacqui Murphy (because my definition of “influential” means “controls the cash”). You might be wondering how did I get on this list?  What is the secret to my amazing “influence”.  I will share my secret with you dear readers. Fertility. Yep.  I’ve got a very big family and that includes a lot of aunts and uncles and cousins, each with internet access and a vested interest in elevating the visibility of the Dunford family name.  Yes, my friends got out and voted for me when I bribed them with beer.  Even a few of you lovely readers got in on the voting action.  But what really separated the good from the great was a massive gene pool and the tempting prospect of taking credit for propelling one of their own into geographically constrained internet semi-stardom when we talk about this at the family get-together at Easter. So you want to be internet famous?  Do what comes naturally and...

Winning is Fun – Why Companies Should Give Awards

Participating isn’t fun.  You know what’s fun?  Winning is fun.  Telling your friends you won is fun.  Being recognized for doing something very well is fun but you know, beating other people who are clearly better than you is really fun too. This time of year there are a lot of awards being handed out.  Sure, people might make fun of them, particularly the folks that don’t have a chance of winning but seriously, I don’t believe anyone dislikes getting an award. I don’t understand why more people aren’t giving out awards.  In particular, I don’t understand why more companies don’t give awards to their customers and partners.  It’s such a cheap, simple, easy way to make your customers happy – why wouldn’t you do it? Top 5 Reasons Your Company Should Give Out Some Awards to Customers and Partners: Winning Makes Winners Happy – Seriously, you do all sorts of other things because you want to keep your customers or partners happy, don’t you?  Why not recognize your best ones with a trophy?  You’ve probably spent hundreds of dollars taking them out to dinner but they can’t display dinner on their wall and trust me, everyone wants a wall full of trophies. Winners Talk About It – I was chatting with a CEO of a mid-sized company last week and he showed me an award that they had won from Microsoft.  They got to meet some senior folks from Microsoft, they put out a press release, they talked about it on their web site.  They didn’t know exactly why they had won but as he said, “Getting an...
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