podcast

040 - Pricing Strategy: How Not to Discount - Network Spinal Analysis Story

Pricing strategy is a key consideration when selling a product or service. Hear a true story about a bizarre pricing model I encountered and what marketers can learn from it.

Topics:

0:50 Network Spinal Analysis (NSA) - recommended by Tony Robbins: "NSA was created by Dr. Donny Epstein in the 1980s. It's deceptively simple yet profoundly effective. NSA practitioners lightly touch certain parts of your spine to release tension. By releasing that tension, energy is freed up, which the body uses to increase flexibility in your spine and, by extension, your nervous system." Read more: Tony Robbins Says This Little-Known Therapy is One of the Most Powerful Sources of Transformation He Has Ever Experienced

"At its core, NSA is an elegant hack to help you reorganize your body and mind, making you more physically and mentally flexible and resilient. It's like a software upgrade for humans."

Sounds great, right? It didn't really work for me.

Network Spinal Analysis is a lesser known method of  chiropractic  care that  focuses  on connecting with the nervous system in order to free tension around the spine (the “brainal” cord) that is causing misalignment.

Network Spinal Analysis is a lesser known method of chiropractic care that focuses on connecting with the nervous system in order to free tension around the spine (the “brainal” cord) that is causing misalignment.

1:30 Pricing model as presented to customer: 25% discount for paying month-to-month (instead of by the session), or 30% discount for paying for all six months at once

2:10 Pricing policy is a retroactive price hike if you discontinue before hitting six months

2:35 An agreement requires consideration (both parties signing a contract). It later turned out an office assistant mistakenly forgot to present me with the contract. This indicates disorganization, a separate issue.

4:52 "Be impeccable with your word" - one of The Four Agreements

5:00 Make customers feel they can trust you

5:10 Don’t forget to reduce customer anxiety at ALL points in the customer journey, not only pre-purchase but also post purchase. Retention marketing is equally important. Remember, it costs on average 10 times as much to acquire a new customer as it does to keep a current one.

5:22 Packaging (one of the 4 Ps) - package nicely to instill post-purchase satisfaction (great brands like Apple have always understood the power of packaging). In a service oriented business, everything about the service experience is essentially packaging, from your office environment to your communication style to your emails and online scheduling tool.

5:55 Marketing doesn't end after the cash register closes

6:10 Satisfaction guarantees and pricing model must be consistent

6:40 Keep your business reputation healthy - this is a priority because local businesses live and die by reviews. Nickel and diming or displeasing customers to scrape extra money out of a transaction is just not worth it nowadays when anyone can post an online review. Plus, having to do this is a sign that your product or service is lacking. Fix that instead of toying with a tricky pricing strategy.

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The Outcome

We parted ways amicably and I got a full refund, after 2-3 weeks of back-and-forth. This was an unnecessary waste of time. I have no ill will toward the doctor here. However I wouldn't recommend her practice with the current pricing model. Apparently many chiropractors use this six month pay-ahead discount. Please stop. Just do a good job and people will come back. You don’t have to trick them or manipulate them with complex pricing.

I made a podcast out of this not to complain or be negative, but to draw a lesson and point out the business takeaway - because that is more interesting and overall productive and positive. NSA is quite effective for some people and I wish them well.

A retroactive price hike or “pro-ration” of past sessions is a horrible model that takes advantage of customers and makes you seem like a no-money-down/payday loan quack.

039 - Katherine Prescott: Alexa Privacy, Echo Show 5

Katherine Prescott is the Founder and Editor of VoiceBrew, a digital media company dedicated to helping people get the most out of Alexa. We discussed privacy on Amazon Alexa as well as the future of #voicefirst advertising. Which tech company's business model has true alignment with the end user, examining Amazon, Apple, Google, and Facebook.

Katherine Prescott is the Founder & Editor of  VoiceBrew , a top resource for Alexa tips and best uses

Katherine Prescott is the Founder & Editor of VoiceBrew, a top resource for Alexa tips and best uses

Topics and timestamps:

  • Privacy - Amazon Alexa - is she recording?

  • Amazon Echo Show 5 announcement - new features, especially for greater privacy and user data control

  • When is Alexa recording vs listening?

  • How do I control my privacy settings on Alexa?

  • 3.10 This privacy dialogue is healthy - it improves voice assistants for consumers

  • Echo Show 5 has a new camera shutter and the ability to say “Alexa, delete everything I said today”

  • 4.20 Alexa app is not the focus

  • 5.00 Discoverability is the ultimate challenge

  • 5.05 It’s called the 5 but this refers to the 5.5 inch screen - is same as third gen echo

  • 5.10 Why the Echo Show 5 is such a big deal - compelling land grab for affordable smart display space

  • 6.10 Like the shift from radio to TV, third party Alexa skills will improve dramatically because of multi-modal

  • 10.04 Will smart display pave the way for advertising? Banner even? Less intrusive than voice? Alexa diplsay ads?

  • 10.50 Emily: sponsorship and brand preference will be paid for - that will be the advertising, unlike previous digital like banner ads or PPC

  • 11.30 Katherine: Tech giants are shifting toward privacy as a feature

  • 13.15 Business model and alignment - Amazon, Apple, Google, Facebook. Great point from Katherine.

  • 14.02 Google's pitch: we provide free services and collect your data.

  • 14.27 Think of privacy in broader context - we are in the early innings of voice 

See this post on  Instagram and follow @beetlemoment  for #voicefirst news

See this post on Instagram and follow @beetlemoment for #voicefirst news

Sources:

  1. Echo Show 5: https://www.techradar.com/news/amazon-echo-show-5-everything-you-need-to-know

  2. "Buried in this morning’s Echo Show 5 announcement are a couple of new security features worth highlighting. In addition to the inclusion of a built-in camera shutter on the new smart display are a pair of Echo  commands that let users delete voice recordings with an Alexa command." -https://techcrunch.com/2019/05/29/amazon-adds-alexa-delete-what-i-said-today-command/



Enjoy this episode about #voicefirst marketing and technology? Please leave us a review! 1)  Click “Listen in Apple Podcasts”,  2) Click “Open in iTunes:, 3) Click “Ratings and reviews”. Thanks!

Enjoy this episode about #voicefirst marketing and technology? Please leave us a review! 1) Click “Listen in Apple Podcasts”, 2) Click “Open in iTunes:, 3) Click “Ratings and reviews”. Thanks!

Get in touch with Katherine Prescott:

Twitter: @kbprescott

Instagram: @voicebrew

Voicebrew.com

037 - Sonic Branding - Phoebe Ohayon from Voice Branding Agency (Netherlands)

Emily Binder interviews Phoebe Ohayon, an Audio Branding Strategist and Audio Designer in Amsterdam with a background in audio engineering and branding. Phoebe helps brands prepare for a sound and voice-activated future. With her voice-first audio branding approach, she helps brands and companies who are creating voice experiences and want to use the power of audio (voice, music, and sound) to design the best customer experiences.

Topics:

  • 1:53 Audio design and strategy for voice technology / voice assistants

  • 3:00 How to start with sonic branding - research is first: brand orientation session

  • 4:20 From auditory perspective, perception matters for brands who will communicate with voice more as time passes

  • 4:55 Where do you start with creating brand voice?

  • 8:30 Emotional impact and perception of brand

  • 8:50 Even programming the sound of “Hello” is complicated

  • 9:50 Customer-first design

  • 9:55 Design bias (Apple Health app initially lacked menstrual tracker)

  • 10:20 Inclusive design - VUI has an opportunity

  • 10:34 Confirmation sounds vary by nationality and auditory history

  • 10:55 MasterCard’s new audio logo is internationally sensitive

  • 12:10 Auping bedtime skill on Google Actions

  • 13:25 Create a coherent strategy for all touch points to create brand preference and trust

Phoebe-ohayon-voicebranding.ai.png

Upcoming Event:

Join us at VOICE Summit 2019! Phoebe Ohayon, Audrey Arbeeny, and Emily Binder speak July 25, 2019 on the Sonic Branding panel. See more: Emily Binder - Speaking.

Mentioned:

More about Auping Bedtime Skill (Google Action - Dutch version):

On October 24, Google launches the Dutch version of voice assistant Google Home. For this smart speaker, which can instruct the user and ask questions, Dutch bed manufacturer Auping developed a so-called 'Google Action'. Auping has developed this Google Action together with voice specialists from Mindshare and Greenhouse Group Conversational .

The soundscape

The story is being narrated by Birgit Schuurman, a famous Dutch actress and singer, who also narrated the Auping commercial. Not only did this create a great connection to the commercial, but she also turned out to be a great fit for this story. A warm and pleasant voice, perfect for narrating a children's story.

-https://www.themarketingtechnologist.co/auping-bedtime-story/

Connect with Phoebe Ohayon:

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036 - Monopolies: AT&T Yesterday, Facebook and Google Today - Robert Binder

Robert Binder is a Senior Engineer member of the technical staff at the Software Engineering Institute of Carnegie Mellon University. He has 43 years of experiencing working in technology on everything from mainframe computers to embedded cyber physical systems, including work in institutions in financial markets in Chicago including the CBOE (Chicago Board Options Exchange).

We talked about how the drivers of economics and business are sending Facebook in the same direction AT&T was sent. Topics include:

  • Classical Economics

  • The Network Effect

  • The Monopolist's Demand Curve

When it came to AT&T's breakup in the 1980s, it was not just the new technology that mattered, it was the business opportunities created at that moment. Capital investment and risk taking and entrepreneurial activity that resulted happened at a very large scale.


Customers used to lease landline phones from AT&T.

Customers used to lease landline phones from AT&T.

Timestamps:

3:15 How Robert got involved with software in 1976

4:00 2 GTE software project the theory of the firm monopolist's demand curve

2.40 Robert's project with GTE Automatic Electric, which operated specialized telephone networks. At the time AT&T operated all the wires and owned all the phones. People leased their home phones from AT&T.

The deregulation in 1985 of ATT opened the door for cellular networks and led to what we have today; this is a hugely complex topic. But we discussed a few aspects. 

6:00 The Theory of the Firm

6:15 In a competitive market, no individual company can control price; they price based on supply and demand

6:43 The Monopolist's Demand Curve

7:09 Martin Shkreli and high cost drug monopoly- ‘Pharma bro’ Martin Shkreli sentenced to 7 years in prison — says, ‘This is my fault’

9:20 AT&T was a monopoly but they made more money by charging less - not gouging customers even though they could

10:00 Facebook is the greatest deal in advertising but is quickly increasing in cost

11:02 The power of monopoly is a street that cuts both ways for Facebook (privacy issues, scrutiny)

11:20 Most users don't realize Facebook owns Instagram or that user data is the product - the model is much more complex than AT&T's monopoly

12:20 In the 1930s people realized that if the telephone system was to grow, they would need to employ an inordinate amount of humans to man the switches - not scalable

13:20 Was there skepticism about technology like the telephone like there has been for the PC, the smart phone, email, and now voice technology?

13:50 Long distance calls were expensive

14:15 New technology, when scalable and affordable, can be adopted readily and becomes quotidian

14:30 The Network Effect (the value of a network increases to a power of two with the number of connections) - exponential growth

Connect with Robert Binder:

episode-36-monopolies-att-facebook-robert-binder.png

035 - Micro Moment Marketing - Melanie Touchstone

The key feature of micro moment marketing is to embrace the idea that you have but a few seconds to capture the attention of your target consumer. In those brief seconds, brands are challenged to convey a concise message that is relevant to the consumer. Otherwise, they're on to the next article, tweet, or email and you've lost their attention.

On average, 150 times a day consumers experience purchase moments, research moments, and discovery moments, just to name a few. How can marketers be sensitive to these moments in the buyer journey to make our messaging more effective and less interruptive? How are brands from tires to cookies taking advantage of micro moments?

Melanie Touchstone discusses micro moment marketing

Melanie Touchstone discusses micro moment marketing

Micro-moments are small occurrences throughout the shopper journey during which consumers are ready to act. Google narrows these moments down to four key categories:

  1. want-to-know moments

  2. want-to-go moments

  3. want-to-do moments

  4. want-to-buy moments

How do you market to consumers in a way that takes advantage of these moments in the buyer journey?

Timestamps:

2:00 It’s the small occurrences in the consumer journey when they’re ready to act - get into your customer’s mindset

2:15 The four types of micro moments, according to Google 

5.23 Incorporate into your strategy: the micro moment

5:30 80% of mobile use in evening

6:00 Content shock: consumers are bombarded by information (we spend 4.7 hours per day on smartphones)

6:40 Seasonality - tire brand example and micro moment search terms

8:05 Serve the need the consumer has based on search and context - even with PPC basics

8:38 The want-to-know moment

8:55 Oreo marketing with Game of Thrones: embossed cookies for each GoT house, and on Twitter: #GameOfCookies #ForTheThrone

10:15 Game of Thrones Oreos

10:30 Sunday Scaries - Instagram phenomenon #SundayScaries

11:30 Production value is less important than quality and sensitivity to the moment in the buyer's journey

12:20 Guardian looked at shiny high production value videos on IG stories and return on effort wasn’t as high, so went for a lo-fi approach which worked better. "Lean into the culture of the internet." Source: The Guardian finds less polished video works better on Instagram Stories

13:15 Why lo-fi posts were more popular - on Instagram, people are looking for their friends, so brands who look that way blend in more and seem more natural

About Melanie Touchstone:

Digital Marketing Strategist Melanie Touchstone helps fast-growth businesses develop and expand their brand presence through strategic, inbound marketing. Having spent over a decade working closely with the innovation ecosystem, Melanie has unique insight into the needs of early and middle-market companies. She specializes in brand and channel marketing.

Connect with Melanie:

melanietouchstone.com

Twitter: @MelTouchstone

Instagram: @TouchstoneMarketing

podcast melanie emily 35 micro moment.png

Previous episodes:

Enjoy this? Hear Melanie and Emily discuss email marketing in Episode 31: Simplify Your Marketing

Pippa:

Check out our sponsor, Pippa.io and get a $25 Amazon Gift Card when you sign up for a year of hosting at beetlemoment.com/pippa

034 - Unilever’s Voice Marketing Play on Spotify - Branding without ROI is OK

Not every marketing activity needs directly measurable ROI. Most branding tactics have never had clear ROI. But they're still important - foundational even.

We’ve become obsessed with measurement. But measurement can become unproductive, especially when it’s imperfect, like so much in digital today. Think about the 100+ year history of advertising from one of the world’s most recognizable brands: Coca-Cola, with slogans and ads dating back to 1886. Little to no tracking for most of its time.

Many Fortune 100 companies spend millions on television advertising. It’s not measurable. It’s a dying medium. Nielsen ratings are and always have been a joke. Companies still buy media. They don’t have one-to-one tracking on conversions (impressions of network TV ads translating to sales). Billboards are the same. These methods of advertising are still effective, and majorly lucrative for media companies. I’m not saying buy more TV. But don’t get so obsessed with tracking that you miss out on an opportunity for branding - especially on a cool new medium that isn’t crowded.



It’s 2019 and we still do terrestrial radio ads. There is no reliable data on the results. I mention all this because if we look at a voice ad like the Unilever one on Spotify, I don’t want anyone to bemoan the fact that it won’t translate to trackable sales. It isn’t meant to.

Not every voice effort will be perfectly trackable early on. Your digital marketing result today are polluted by major bot traffic as it is. However, technology seems to get challenged on tracking because it’s assumed that digital should be perfectly trackable. It just isn’t, for so many reasons.

Spotify_Icon_RGB_Green.png

Early voice-enabled ads like Unilever’s AXE ad on Spotify hint at the wide open space for a new, frictionless way to access sponsored content or helpful information from a brand. Great targeting, context, timing, and intent are key to making the experience worthwhile instead of a nuisance. This is a good start from Unilever. Even if all that happens is a listener plays the AXE playlist. If anything, it’s an experiment worth running regardless of measurability of resulting sales. So much advertising is already difficult to measure. At least this is progressive.

Spotify’s feature, which debuts today, will only work if the person listening has their microphone enabled, the company says. A listener saying “Play now” when prompted by a specific AXE audio commercial from Unilever will cause the streaming service to play a curated playlist from the brand (which come with commercials). Afterward, the mic is turned off, Spotify says. -AdAge, 5/2/2019, "Spotify debuts voice-enabled audio ads with Unilever"

Pandora and NPR have experimented with voice-enabled ads before.

Stats and citations:

  • The Association of National Advertisers reports that only a quarter of all digital ad spend reaches real people. (entrepreneur.com, July 2018)

  • According to another study done by Imperva Incapsula, bot-driven ad fraud costs businesses $7 billion dollars annually. (entrepreneur.com, July 2018)

  • I mentioned that “65%” of traffic is from bots. Now I can’t find the source where I read this stat. However, Incapsula reports 61%. Other sources say anywhere from 20-50% or more.

    • The point: this is a huge margin for error in interpreting the success of a digital marketing campaign judged by clicks or traffic. Perfect measurement is but a dream today.

033 - Top Five Tips for a Great Alexa Flash Briefing - Daniel Hill

What makes a great Flash Briefing? Daniel Hill, creator and host of The Instagram Stories Flash Briefing is our guest. Daniel and Emily Binder, creator and host of Voice Marketing - Daily Beetle Moment Flash Briefing discuss the top five tips for creating a popular Flash Briefing.

Why Daniel has the #1 Alexa Skill for search term “Instagram”:

“Others were doing similar things [marketing tips for small businesses] on Instagram, but no one was doing it on Alexa.” -Daniel Hill

  1. Length - 10 seconds, 90 seconds, or 3 minutes? Daniel suggests a longer briefing than Emily. It depends on your content.

    1. Don’t waste time on your intro and outro. Use markers. (Emily uses Pippa - click here for a $25 Amazon Gift Card when you sign up for a year of audio hosting). Include sonic branding - be consistent.

  2. Schedule / cadence - how often to publish your Flash Briefing?

    1. Make a commitment.

    2. How many days per week? 5 weekdays, or all 7 days? Should you publish on weekends? Whatever you do, be consistent and let listeners know what to expect. Listenership for Flash Briefings diminishes on weekends but you may want to post at least one or two weekend posts for the ones who stay engaged (Daniel). Consider a weekend edition (something short and simple).

    3. Survey your listeners: Daniel used a Google Form, created a bit.ly link to it, and announced it on his briefing - and he gave away an Echo to incentivize listeners to take the survey. Batch record - don’t leave this until the night before (Emily). Daniel: Fresh news briefings require recording daily most of the time. Consider recording early after the gym or whenever you feel most energized. Listeners can hear fatigue in your voice.

  3. Content: what to talk about?

    1. Daniel: It has to be newsworthy.

    2. Emily: Don’t be obvious and basic. Don’t make a briefing about something basic.

    3. Add value: “What do I know that other people don’t?” And add your take on the news you share. Example briefing (share news, give take) below or click here.

  4. What to name your Flash Briefing:

    1. Daniel: Look for a name or word people are talking about. Capitalize on popular search terms because this platform is so uncrowded.

    2. Emily: Look at Google Search Trends or Amazon’s list of top product searches. https://twitter.com/emilybinder/status/1117167808851382274.

  5. What’s the point of your briefing?

    1. Emily: Public speaking should make your audience feel something, remember something, and do something. Look at your briefing as a body of work over time. You need a central theme or idea that is the backbone of all your content.

    2. Daniel: Make a Flash Briefing that is niche: example: not just fishing, not just deep sea fishing, but Sustainable Deep Sea Fishing!

danielhillmedia-tweet-instagram-stories-flash-briefing-alexa.png

About Daniel:

Daniel Hill is obsessed with figuring what grabs people's attention and holds it. What makes someone tap the "like" button or double tap on a picture? What makes someone post the crying emoji or share a post with their private text message group?  Daniel currently works at Columbia University Medical Center and runs DanielHillMedia, where he teaches small business owners how to use Instagram. He hosts an Instagram podcast, called "The Instagram Stories", and launched the first Instagram Amazon Alexa Flash Briefing Skill where he gives daily news updates and answers questions. You can find him on Instagram @danielhillmedia. 

Connect with Daniel:

The Instagram Stories Flash Briefing

Twitter and Instagram: @DanielHillMedia


032 - Simple Works: Voice Marketing for Brands with Michelle Excell

Hear my SXSW interview about voice marketing with Michelle Excell of The Antipodean. Michelle is an innovation strategist in the emerging technology space. And an all-around badass AND kind person.

1-click play episode on Apple Podcasts

More podcast player links at the bottom.

Brands, Voice AI, and AR/VR from The Antipodean

Michelle Excell, AR/VR and Emerging Technology Expert

Michelle Excell, AR/VR and Emerging Technology Expert

Show notes and timestamps:

01:41 Discussing voice and Michelle’s clients: what are you noticing with recent briefs?

02:25 Brands are interested invoice but unsure where to start

02:40 Some agencies are jumping in head first

04:15 Brands must start somewhere: they should start small with voice marketing and smart speakers

04:50 Consider voice or AI within chat bots or retail where people will spend more time

5.08 Find contextual places where customers really interact

05:14 Is it worth doing a single use or delightful skill or should skills be intended for repeat use?


P.S. Michelle and Emily met as guests on Bob Knorpp’s marketing and advertising podcast, The BeanCast. <— A VERY good show worth catching if you’re in marketing, advertising, or the agency world.

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Check out past episodes

Hear Emily’s top tips about voice marketing:

Click to hear Emily Binder discuss voice marketing strategy on Teri Fisher’s podcast. This is the #2 most popular episode of all time on Alexa in Canada!

Enjoy - stream it or hear on Apple Podcasts.

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