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Mack Collier: “What marketers should do less of is chasing every shiny site and tool.”– #Interview

Think about it, if rock stars are able to inspire and reunite thousands and thousands of fans wherever they go with a single action, wouldn’t brands be able to ignite the same reaction on their customers? With this idea in mind, Mack Collier wrote Think Like a Rock Star as a business’s guide to create digital marketing strategies that convert customers into fans.

During this interview, we ask Mack what companies, especially small companies, are missing out on when engaging with their customers, and best practices to implement to secure a more prestigious advantage over larger companies when accomplishing this mission. Keep reading because what Mack told us is a free VIP pass to his most successful secrets and tips to generate customer engagement in today’s digital and fast-pace era.

  1. What is the secret formula for engagement that most companies are missing out on?
    Creating customer-centric content.  Most companies want to create content that promotes the company, when customers are drawn to content that is relevant to them.  Solve a problem for me, teach me a new skill, or give me information I am looking for, and you’ll win my attention.  Which is a precursor to winning my business.
  1. What should digital marketers focus on doing more, and what should they focus on doing less?
    Digital marketers should spend more time embracing their fans that love them, and less time trying to get the attention of people who aren’t customers and who don’t want to hear from them.
    What marketers should do less of is chasing every shiny site and tool.  It’s far more important to understand how and why your customers are using social media tools than to understand how to use the tools themselves.
  1. Based on your book, the strategies that some of the rock stars use are common sense and don’t seem to be that difficult. Why do you think, then, so many people don’t put them into practice? Lack of knowledge or time?
    It’s a lack of experience.  Most companies don’t have much, if any, experience directly connecting with their customers as individuals.  As a result, they don’t understand who their customers are, which makes it far more difficult to create customer-centric content (back to the first question). The great thing about social media is that it gives customers a way to connect directly with companies, and vice versa.  The more interactions you have with your customers, the more you’ll begin to understand them and they you.

“You would be amazed at how people react when you communicate to them that you appreciate them.”

  1. On the one hand, as a company, we all want to become a fan-centric brand. On the other hand, we know it is not easy to break the “brand-customer’s wall” down, especially for small businesses that normally don’t have any influencers or advocates. What would you suggest to ignite the conversation in those cases?
    Small businesses are actually at a huge advantage here.  They will complain,  “Well, no one’s talking about us online,” but this is a huge PLUS.  Because it means that these businesses can CREATE the online conversation around their brand!  A global brand like Coke, for example, is constantly REACTING to an online conversation that’s created by its customers.  It’s far more difficult (and costly) for Coke to CREATE a conversation around its brand. But a small business can do this quite easily.  Just get out there and start creating content and interactions.
  2. On a regular basis, what “secret tricks” do you use to get your fans’ attention?
    I say, “Thank you.” That’s it. You would be amazed at how people react when you communicate to them that you appreciate them.  Here’s a simple trick you can try yourself:  For the next 10 people that tweet your business a compliment, make sure you THANK every one of them.  Then the replies that they give you are a RESULT of you thanking them.  When you participate in a conversation you change that conversation.
  1. What do small- and medium-sized businesses have to their advantage in creating better digital marketing strategies in comparison to the big ones?
    Flexibility. If a small business wants to try something new, they can run with it (assuming they have the resources).  Large brands typically can’t move so quickly, which means that small businesses can often capitalize on breaking opportunities that big brands may miss due to reacting too slowly.

“Small businesses understand the value of repeat business and satisfying their existing customers more than big companies do.”

  1. Does size matter? In your opinion, do small businesses have the same opportunities to make a digital marketing campaign rock with the same success as a big and well-known brand?
    In general, I think small businesses understand the value of repeat business and satisfying their existing customers more than big companies do.  The reason is because small businesses have more direct contact and communication with their customers. They know them by name, they often live in the same community, so they can better communicate with them and market to them.  So from the viewpoint of embracing and empowering their existing customers and fans, many small businesses have an advantage over big brands that have a much larger customer base, but little direct interaction with those customers.
  1. What role do you think Social Media will play in the near future in terms of customer service?
    You will increasingly see customers proactively giving customer service to other customers via social media channels. Which is exactly why companies need to start now–connecting with their customers so they can give their fans a plan for helping them connect with other customers. Your fans actually want this, they want their favorite brand or business to reach out to them and give them instructions on how they can best help the brand.  The brand needs to be smart enough to realize this, and give their fans a plan.