Wednesday, April 27, 2016

What Rodeo Can Teach Us About Marketing

Barrel racer
From big shows like our hometown Houston Rodeo and Livestock Show to far-off places like the Maah Daah Hey Stampede in Grassy Butte, ND, the professional rodeo season is well under way — and to be honest, we have a bit of rodeo fever.

You see, partner, rodeo has heaps of things in common with marketing. The most obvious one is the sponsor banners you see in almost every arena. Companies — and not just western wear or farm and ranch products — understand the value of marketing their brands to a big audience. Shoot, the Houston rodeo had 1.3 million people attend over the course of its three-week schedule.

But we're not here to talk you into a banner of your own at your local rodeo. We actually figured out a few things that we marketers can learn from the entertaining cowboys and cowgirls that command such an impressive audience.

Everyone Has to Work Together

Team roping is one of our favorite rodeo competitions because it's all about precision and teamwork. Just in case you're not a rodeo fan: Team roping involves two horse-mounted cowboys attempting to rope the same steer. The first rider ropes the steer's horns, and the other ropes the back legs. It developed from ranchers occasionally needing more than one person to restrain a large animal for various reasons.

When you're doing a big marketing campaign that spans several media outlets — say, a campaign that has direct mail pieces, a radio advertisement and a web landing page — there's a certain amount of precision that has to happen between these channels to make it all work. A radio advertisement should appeal to people who listen to radio while a web landing page should appeal to people who can appreciate the use of technology. Just be sure the message is consistent throughout the channels because even though the targets are different, they're still focused on the same steer.

Follow the Right Path to Success

Most rodeo events are all about finishing as quickly as possible, and barrel racing is no exception. Barrel racing features horse-mounted riders rounding a triangle of barrels as fast as they can. While the rules dictate that the cowgirls must ride in a cloverleaf pattern, the riders can approach the barrels at any angle and as closely as they're comfortable, which can affect their efficiency and speed.

Likewise, you should be in a position to adjust your marketing campaigns once they've launched so that you're not continually producing ineffective materials. You can see how your campaigns are performing by applying unique toll-free numbers to different campaign materials and tracking the resulting calls. If a portion of a campaign isn't performing to expectations, adjust your approach to make sure you're rounding up leads as quickly as possible.

Hang On for a Wild (Social Media) Ride

Eight seconds might sound like no big deal, but it's definitely a big deal when you're gripping a rope with one hand and being flung in every direction by a big, angry bull. Bull riding is one of the rough stock events of rodeo — meaning riders aren't trying to beat a time, they're just trying to hang on for eight seconds (which is harder than it sounds). According to Professional Bull Riders, the top 10 active bulls buck off riders in an average of just 3.5 seconds — a relative eternity from the eight seconds needed. They also buck off riders 87 percent of the time. In bull riding, failing is the norm.

Riding a bull is a bit like launching a social media campaign. The content cycle on social media is rapid, so if something you produced doesn't get noticed pretty quickly, you'll be knocked off and forgotten. Your content has to flex the right muscles to hang on for the long haul. In the meantime, you're going to fall a few times. The important thing is to learn from the posts that stumble and make sure you're producing content that pulls in big scores.

Speaking of scores, did you know this year's NFL Draft is coming up? If you're a football lover, check out our post "Go Deep and Score the Game Winner with Your Marketing."

Monday, April 18, 2016

What Dealers Wanted Most at NADA 2016

“So tell me about what you guys do. Do you provide any training solutions?”

This was by far the most common question at NADA 2016. People can tell by our name that we do something with calls. But what exactly is that? It’s hard to fit us into just one box.
Callbright NADA booth
Just like many of the dealers at NADA, you may think of us as a call tracking provider, and you’d be right. But luckily we’re not a one-trick pony. We can help you track your calls and help you recover lost leads. Allow us to explain.

Manage Mishandled Phone Calls

The dealers we spoke with were most concerned about the amount of time it takes to sift through hundreds or thousands of phone calls to find the ones that need to be addressed. The time required to listen to all those phone calls would be better spent on other duties (you know, like selling cars). “How can I quickly pick out the calls that need further attention?” they asked.

That’s where speech-recognition technology comes in handy. You can define key words and phrases that would indicate how well (or how poorly) a phone call is going — such as pleasantries, curse words or even competitors’ names. If the speech-recognition technology picks up any of these words or phrases, the call recording will be automatically flagged. When going through your recordings, you’ll immediately know which calls to evaluate and therefore which employees to train further.

Recover Lost Sales Potential

Sure, you can address mishandled phone calls. Sure, you can train your employees further. But one thing dealers told us they couldn’t do: Make their employees seize opportunities in which buyers are on the fence about making a purchase. You may have employees that think, “This guy’s just not going to buy, so there’s no point in trying anymore.” In reality, the prospect just needs an incentive or a nudge. Dealers begged us to tell them how to catch these missed opportunities if they didn’t contain any phrases set up in the speech-recognition tool.

They were excited when we told them they could use a team of professionals to listen to all of their call recordings to evaluate whether a call is successful or needs further attention (within two hours of the call, no less). With the amount of responsibilities that go into running a dealership, there just isn’t time to sift through every phone call to find lost sales opportunities. When a call is deemed a missed opportunity, you’ll receive an email with the call recording and a brief rundown of the call, so you can follow up with the caller and recover the lost sale.

If you’ve had training on your mind lately, visit our website to see how else we can help your dealership.

Monday, April 11, 2016

What Forrest Gump Can Teach Us About Marketing

Forrest Gump
Image via IMDB
Do you ever watch an old movie and realize things about the movie that you didn't before? We do. When we rewatched Forrest Gump recently, we found that Forrest — ping pong celebrity, Medal of Honor recipient and shrimp boat captain — has a lot of valuable lessons to offer. Some of his famous quotes can even be applied to marketing.

“Me and Jenny go together like peas and carrots.”

Forrest and Jenny’s relationship isn’t exactly what we’d consider “relationship goals,” but in Forrest’s mind, she was his soul mate, and that’s all that matters, right? That’s not how it works in the business world. Unlike Forrest and Jenny, your staff and clients have to be on the same page.

Your staff members might be like Forrest. They may get off the phone with a client thinking, “Wow. We go together like peas and carrots.” But after reviewing the calls, you may find that from the client’s perspective, they think the exact opposite.

To solve this problem, regularly evaluate call recordings to help you track mishandled calls. This will allow you to find the holes in your staff’s performance and kick up your training so your team provides top-notch customer service and lands more sales.

“Momma always said life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”

Forrest Gump’s momma is right: Life can be unpredictable. Perhaps the most memorable of the many Forrest Gump quotes, this one especially rings true in the marketing world. You may think your marketing reflects what your prospects are interested in, but in reality it may not always line up with what they really want.

Speech-recognition technology allows you to select keywords specific to your organization to be identified during phone conversations. You can then review the flagged calls so you can uncover the ones that require attention or have the highest revenue potential.

“Momma always said you’ve got to put the past behind you before you can move on.”

Letting go is difficult — take it from Forrest, who held on to the same girl for decades despite the grief she caused him. Like Forrest, you may love something that doesn’t give you anything in return. If a marketing campaign doesn’t generate any leads, it may be time to let it go and reallocate your budget to a campaign that does.

Keeping track of ad performance can help you figure out which campaigns are the Jenny to your Forrest. Call tracking software will enable you to record how many phone calls your campaigns produce by assigning a unique toll-free number (TFN) to each one. Once you realize which campaigns aren’t providing any return, you can start focusing on the ones that do.

Are cult classic movies your marketing advice love language? Check out our post "Star Wars Branding Partners That Nailed Their Marketing."