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Communications Breakdown


generation y

Let me first get all of the pleasantries aside: I have enjoyed AgentGenius for some time and it was an exciting pleasure to be invited to be a contributor for the site. You can see my info on the G-Spot, but to summarize, I teach marketing, technology and generational marketing classes to Realtors in Oregon for Chicago Title of Oregon.

Along with marketing and technology, I happen to know quite a bit about Generation Y (which has caused quite a stir around here before). As my Twitter profile says “I am the poster child for generation Y”. I’ll provide more of my slightly different take on my generation later on, but today I want to focus on methods of communication.

In one day, I heard both of these: “Email isn’t my preferred method of contact, so if you didn’t provide a phone number, I may not get back to you” and “If you email me, how soon should I call you back?”

All of these people potentially lost my business. And most other Generation Y people I know.

on their terms

People in Generation Y want to contact you on their terms. It’s why they belong to multiple social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn, to name a few. If they want to email you, email them back. If they want to chat online with you, chat back. If they want to poke you, poke back. (I still feel odd about poking people).

Some people may link this to our supposed sense of entitlement. It’s not that, we just value our time more than anything else. Twitter and Google Talk are the most efficient ways for me to keep in touch with my friends, so I use them. Chatting on the phone and driving to meet people are not efficient most of the time, so I avoid them.

easier to convert

I’m not a big fan of Facebook. But I have an account. And a few old friends have found me through the site. They could be potential customers. Friends are easier to convert than strangers.

What it comes down to is being accessible. You have an office so people can visit you. You have a phone so people can call you. You have email so people can email you. Now you need to start considering the new technologies like social networks. You need to at least exist so people can get in touch.

Next time I’ll be covering how to kill two birds with one stone through email marketing.

Nick runs a new media marketing consulting company helping real estate professionals learn how to implement new media tools into their marketing arsenal. He frequently gives presentations on generational marketing, green marketing and advanced online promotion. Nick is active on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

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9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Andy Kaufman

    February 12, 2008 at 6:45 pm

    Hi Nick- I totally agree. By participating in social networks and providing value to those I’m connected to, I’m pre-qualifying myself for the job and making myself asynchronously available 24-7.

    Looking forward to seeing what you have to say about email marketing.

  2. Matthew Rathbun

    February 12, 2008 at 6:47 pm

    Good start at AG. I’m a big fan of Skype, and not a big fan of “professionals” who don’t use the most basic of tools. As a consumer, I would never work with someone who started off in their VM by telling me that wouldn’t communicate with me by my preferred method of contact or that they don’t use a communications median that is has been so widely embraced over a decade!

  3. Ines

    February 12, 2008 at 8:12 pm

    I think I was born in the wrong generation – is there such a thing as generationally confused?

  4. Jeff Brown

    February 12, 2008 at 10:25 pm

    Certainly, each ‘generation’ can decide on their own how they wish to conduct business.

    I find the need to continuously deny/defend GenX/Y’s behavior as ‘not one of entitlement’ the common thread seeming to run through these posts. 🙂

    Though I’ve not yet embraced social networking like a crazed hormonally driven teenager yet, I don’t doubt its efficacy. That said, I wonder when or rather if a 27 year old stumbled on a ‘top 5%’ type real estate professional, what their behavior would be. Would they dictate the agent’s behavior, or would they choose to benefit from the outrageous expertise into which they’d stumbled?

    “The agent doesn’t even twitter! That’s it — I’m outa here!”

    I suspect these young people are a lot smarter than folks give them credit for — at least that’s been my experience. Sure, they’re into the newest and the fastest. I get it. 🙂 They’re also into obtaining results. And results sometimes comes packaged differently than they’d prefer.

    Am I off base here? Thanks

  5. Nick

    February 13, 2008 at 12:58 am

    Jeff, you bring up some excellent points.

    I too am not totally into social networks like some people I know. I hate MySpace, I check my Facebook only when I am emailed friend requests, I like LinkedIn but sometimes don’t really know why, I love Twitter because I get to chat with this community but it seems like it’s always down and there are a few others I belong to, but don’t live in.

    Like I said, people just need to exist on at least some of these networks. I have the opportunity to work with that “top 5%” and many of them are near retirement. They understand that their business is slowing to a degree and want in on the new trends like blogging and social networks, but would rather just buy in if possible.

    I’m still going to base my Realtor decision on the relationship and expertise, but (especially if I’m relocating) I’m probably going to find the person through these online methods.

  6. Jeff Brown

    February 13, 2008 at 1:05 am

    I’ve found many of my team members in the different regions I do business via the web. So far I haven’t made use of social networking.

    Now you’ve done it. I’m gonna be asking everyone I talk to now if they’re doing what you suggest.

    Thanks

  7. Inspirion Inc

    March 7, 2008 at 3:04 pm

    As an expert in intergenerational communication, Misti Burmeister has worked with top Fortune 500 companies, military leaders and national associations to motivate and inspire their staff to work together, beyond their generational differences. As an experienced coach with clients ranging from young teenagers to top executives, Misti has opened doors of life changing transformation. Misti would like to share her insight to your audience and shed light to the questions and concerns individuals have about parents, children, seasoned bosses, young new hires and more

    CEO of Inspirion Inc. Ms. Burmeister has recently published her latest book “From Boomers to Bloggers: Success Strategies Across Generations,” a book written on the topic of four diverse generations and the communication barriers they come across at work and at home. This book is an essential guide to overcoming the preconceived notions we have about other generations and open doors to happy and healthy relationships.

    For more information please email lwardak@inspirioninc.com
    http://www.inspirioninc.com

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Business Marketing

Tired of “link in bio”? Here is a solution for Instagram linking

(MARKETING) The days of only one link in your Instagram bio are over. Alls.Link not only lets you link more, it gives you options for marketing and analytics too.

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Woman checking Instagram on phone

If you’re like me, you’ve probably swapped out the link in your Instagram bio 100 times. Do I share my website? A link to a product? A recent publication? Well, now you don’t have to choose!

Alls.Link is a subscription-based program that allows you to, among other things, have multiple links in your bio. I’m obsessed with the Instagram add-ons that are helping business owners to expand the platform to further engage their audiences – and this is NEEDED one.

With the basic membership ($8/month), you get up to 10 customizable Biolink Pages with shortened links (and you’ll be able to choose your own backend). You also get access to Google Analytics and Facebook Pixel for your pages. With the basic membership, you will have Alls.Link advertising on your Biolink Page. Plus, you’ll be allotted a total of 10 projects, and Biolink Pages with 20 customizable domains.

With the premium membership ($15/month), you get link scheduling for product drops and article releases, SEO and UTM parameters, and you’ll have the ability to link more socials on the Biolink Page. With this membership, you’re allotted 20 projects and Biolink Pages with 60 customizable domains.

If you’re unsure about whether or not Alls.Link is worth it (or which membership is best for you), there is a free trial option in which you’ll be granted all the premium membership capabilities.

Overall – premium membership or not – I have to say, the background colors and font choices are really fun and will take your Biolink Page to the next level. Alls.Link is definitely a program to consider if your business has a substantial Insta following and you have a lot of external material you want to share with your followers.

The day-by-day statistics are a great tool for knowing what your audience is interested in and what links are getting the most clicks. Also, the ability to incorporate Google Analytics into the mix is a big plus, especially if you’re serious about metrics.

If you have a big team (or manage multiple pages), I would suggest going premium just for the sheer quantity of domains you can customize and link, though there are various other reasons I’d also suggest to do so. Take a look and see what works for you!

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Business Marketing

Use the ‘Blemish Effect’ to skyrocket your sales

(MARKETING) The Blemish Effect dictates that small, adjacent flaws in a product can make it that much more interesting—is perfection out?

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blemish effect

Presenting a product or service in its most immaculate, polished state has been the strategy for virtually all organizations, and overselling items with known flaws is a practice as old as time. According to marketing researchers, however, this approach may not be the only way to achieve optimal results due to something known as the “Blemish Effect.”

The Blemish Effect isn’t quite the inverse of the perfectionist product pitch; rather, it builds on the theory that small problems with a product or service can actually throw into relief its good qualities. For example, a small scratch on the back of an otherwise pristine iPhone might draw one’s eye to the glossy finish, while an objectively perfect housing might not be appreciated in the same way.

The same goes for mildly bad press or a customer’s pros and cons list. If someone has absolutely no complaints or desires for whatever you’re marketing, the end result can look flat and lacking in nuance. Having the slightest bit of longing associated with an aspect (or lack thereof) of your business means that you have room to grow, which can be tantalizing for the eager consumer.

A Stanford study indicates that small doses of mildly negative information may actually strengthen a consumer’s positive impression of a product or service. Interesting.

Another beneficial aspect of the Blemish Effect is that it helps consumers focus their negativity. “Too good to be true” often means exactly that, and we’re eager to criticize where possible. If your product or service has a noticeable flaw which doesn’t harm the item’s use, your audience might settle for lamenting the minor flaw and favoring the rest of the product rather than looking for problems which don’t exist.

This concept also applies to expectation management. Absent an obvious blemish, it can be all to easy for consumers to envision your product or service on an unattainable level.

When they’re invariably disappointed that their unrealistic expectations weren’t fulfilled, your reputation might take a hit, or consumers might lose interest after the initial wave.

The takeaway is that consumers trust transparency, so in describing your offering, tossing in a negative boosts the perception that you’re being honest and transparent, so a graphic artist could note that while their skills are superior and their pricing reasonable, they take their time with intricate projects. The time expectation is a potentially negative aspect of their service, but expressing anything negative improves sales as it builds trust.

It should be noted that the Blemish Effect applies to minor impairments in cosmetic or adjacent qualities, not in the product or service itself. Delivering an item which is inherently flawed won’t make anyone happy.

In an age where less truly is more, the Blemish Effect stands to dictate a new wave of honesty in marketing.

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Business Marketing

Google Chrome will no longer allow premium extensions

(MARKETING) In banning extension payments through their own platform, Google addresses a compelling, if self-created, issue on Chrome.

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Google Chrome open on a laptop on a organized desk.

Google has cracked down on various practices over the past couple of years, but their most recent target—the Google Chrome extensions store—has a few folks scratching their heads.
Over the span of the next few months, Google will phase out paid extensions completely, thus ending a bizarre and relatively negligible corner of internet economy.

This decision comes on the heels of a “temporary” ban on the publication of new premium extensions back in March. According to Engadget, all aspects of paid extension use—including free trials and in-app purchases—will be gone come February 2021.

To be clear, Google’s decision won’t prohibit extension developers from charging customers to use their products; instead, extension developers will be required to find alternative methods of requesting payment. We’ve seen this model work on a donation basis with extensions like AdBlock. But shifting to something similar on a comprehensive scale will be something else entirely.

Interestingly, Google’s angle appears to be in increasing user safety. The Verge reports that their initial suspension of paid extensions was put into place as a response to products that included “fraudulent transactions”, and Google’s subsequent responses since then have comprised more user-facing actions such as removing extensions published by different parties that accomplish replica tasks.

Review manipulation, use of hefty notifications as a part of an extension’s operation, and generally spammy techniques were also eyeballed by Google as problem points in their ongoing suspension leading up to the ban.

In banning extension payments through their own platform, Google addresses a compelling, if self-created, issue. The extension store was a relatively free market in a sense—something that, given the number of parameters being enforced as of now, is less true for the time being.

Similarly, one can only wonder about which avenues vendors will choose when seeking payment for their services in the future. It’s entirely possible that, after Google Chrome shuts down payments in February, the paid section of the extension market will crumble into oblivion, the side effects of which we can’t necessarily picture.

For now, it’s probably best to hold off on buying any premium extensions; after all, there’s at least a fighting chance that they’ll all be free come February—if we make it that far.

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