The Market Hive Auto Responder System

Auto Responders:

You can pick up an Autoresponder for about $20 per month from Aweber or Get Response or try something cheaper like Mail Chimp where you pay per email You need however to be aware that as your mail list grows so do your cost and these can become substantial ($250-500+ per month).

A landing page will cost from $20-200 per month using the likes of Instapage or Unbounce, to around $1250 or upwards for a custom design and don't forget that you will also need a hosting company to host the page, together with a domain name to host your website.

Business Investigation

Quite often when people suggest you look at "XYZ Business" these items are not mentioned, however as you can see they can be a costly overhead.

Other Marketing Tools you need to consider when running your business

  • Keyword Research Tools
  • Campaign Management – This is often forgotten when you first start a business
  • URL short codes
  • WYSIWYG editor
  • WordPress Plugin – The Plugin, so to speak “moves” your blog posts in Market Hive to the outside world to your domain and delivers more power and control to your posts.

The Market Hive WordPress Plugins then offer custom functions and features so that each user can tailor their site to their specific needs. Note that the WordPress Plugin acts as an additional content system to your main site.

The Plugin, so to speak “moves” your blog posts in Market Hive to the outside world to your domain and delivers more power and control to your posts.

So now your blog posts within MarketHive become available to the public via your Domain. That's the whole idea of writing content for a blog.

The WordPress plugin allows you to create blog posts on your WordPress site, as if you created those posts yourself on your site.

Using this system, you can create a mix of content from other members (including groups).

This is powerful because your domain containing the posts is now been put into the traditional “Search Engine Arena” whereas – prior to the WordPress Plugin your content was maybe just in the social arena.

Knowledge Forums

Most people are quite adapt at typing a question into their browsers and then surfing the web for answers, this is quick and easy, however how much are you willing to put your trust in answers supplied by strangers.

Normally it’s better to do your own research, but it can help to get to gather the thoughts of other marketers on forum sites like "Warrior Forum" or "WHAM," who willing share their experience with those just entering the market place.

Using Social Media for your business

There are hundreds of social media sites covering every subject under the sun, however you are best to concentrate in the beginning on the big four, Facebook, Twitter, Google +, LinkedIn and YouTube.

Now Facebook for me is a more about family but it does provide a huge marketing potential which cannot be ignored. LinkedIn on the other hand is more serious and business orientated. Video is certainly on the rise and is becoming an essential element in marketing your business a short 3 minute video being the equivalent of a short 500-600 word blog post.

 

Article by:

Brian Walters – Board of Directors and Alpha Founder.

Market Promotion Site

Brian Walters Market Hive

Alan Zibluk – Markethive Founding Member

How To Eliminate 90% Of Your Regret And Anxiety …

How To Eliminate 90% Of Your Regret And Anxiety By Thinking Like A Roman Emperor

Do you know what Steve Jobs, John D. Rockefeller, Amelia Earhart, and Ulysses S. Grant have in common?

They each possessed the talent of turning obstacles into opportunities drawn from the Stoic ideologies of Roman Emperor, Marcus Aurelius.

While living our lives, it’s very likely that you will run into some pretty distressing events, and at other times it’ll seem like everything is running exactly as it should with very few discomforts.

And arguably, the more interesting and worthwhile a life goal is, the more sacrifice and inconvenience will be required from you up front. Yet we often find ourselves complaining about all the little things that happen to us during this path for greatness.

It stems from the false assumption that somehow we can have it all: build that amazing startup and never deal with rejections; live your awesome lifeand remain unexposed by all of its obstacles.

To achieve greatness, you need to re-program your brain to not think this way — it’s unrealistic and self sabotaging. It won’t help you achieve worthwhile goals since worthwhile goals are almost guaranteed to put you through adversity.

Most importantly, your brain is telling you that you are dominated by circumstance and the decisions of other people, instead of letting it be a force of your own. You start to subconsciously prioritize pleasure over pain, making it really hard to truly start executing on your vision.

So the question is not how skilled of an entrepreneur, artist, or writer you are, but can you keep it steady and focus only on what you can change, no matter how much external events may fluctuate?

Part 1: Develop the Skill of Eudaimonia

 

Keeping your irrational emotions in check during tribulations is not easy to develop since your brain is always telling you the react the way it’s been conditioned to. But it’s a skill that can be cultivated so you can focus your energy on solving problems, rather than reacting to them. It’s the key to making your life successful all on your own.

The Greeks refer to this state as Eudaimonia, which is defined as a contented state of happiness. In a more literal sense, eudaimonia means to have a good indwelling spirit to make the right actions. Unfortunately, today we associate ‘happiness’ as a subjective feeling rather than an objective state that characterizes a well-lived life irrespective of the emotional state we experience.

Realize that it isn’t outside influence that make us feel something, it’s our inner thoughts that create our feelings (which often stress us out). When this happens, we point the finger at external events, but all that does is create more conflicts in our minds. When we avoid the reality of an uncomfortable situation — meeting a deadline, boss’s urgent email — we weaken our self-disciple and harm ourselves.

Another way of applying this principle is asking yourself:

Does getting upset or panicking provide your with better options?

Sometimes it does, but more often it does not.

If an emotion can’t change the situation you’re in, it’s likely a destructive one.

I’m not saying to stop feeling everything. If you need to take a moment, go right ahead and feel it. But be prepared to tackle emotions with logic because with enough logical questions and statements you’ll get to the causes, which are much easier to comprehend.

“Today I escaped anxiety. Or no, I discarded it, because it was within me, in my own perceptions — not outside.” — Marcus Aurelius

 

Part 2: Fear nothing

 

Fear can only enter the mind if you want it to. If you choose not to be afraid then fear will simply vanish.

Premeditatio Malorum is the technique of overcoming problems by vividly imagining what it would be like to face those misfortunes in order to practice gratitude and prepare for the worst.

Here’s some of mine:

I imagine losing my startup. We don’t close our next round of funding. Our main customer acquisition channel fizzes out. My co-founder leaves the company.

Everyday when I call my girlfriend, I feel in that moment that it could be the last time I ever speak with her. It keeps my appreciation fresh and strengthens our relationship.

A good one by Steve Jobs is reminding myself that I’ll be dead soon. It could be tomorrow or in another 80 years, but nothing helps me focus more than thinking about death.

“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life.” — Steve Jobs

 

Part 3: Use Pain As Your Teacher

 

Just as physical pain is caused by a bodily injuries and sickness, mental distress is caused by the wrong belief system and incorrect judgements.

But living with pain could help us develop endurance and inner calm instead of mentally destructive passions. Remember, emotional reactions are natural — it’s how you respond to them that’s important.

Marcus Aurelius describes pain as something that is neither good nor evil. It’s something that hurts without discrimination, but like everything else in life, it will end eventually.

The Negative Visualization Exercise

 

Here’s a practical exercise I learned from Tim Ferris to accomplish big goals by defining your pains:

  1. Take an 8 x 11 paper and make three columns.
  2. On the top write something big you want to accomplish (quit your job and start a startup, move to Bali, write a fiction novel, whatever).
  3. On the first column write the worst possible things that could happen if you made that decision.
  4. On the next column, write how you could minimize all of that from happening.
  5. On the last one, write how you could get back to where you were originally. Like getting back to the industry you left to start your own business.

I did this when I decided to start LawTrades and not work for a firm straight out of law school. On a scale of 1 to 10 I assigned a pain level of about 3 (I could always work at a law firm if it didn’t pan out) and a life changing score of 10 (wake up everyday loving what I do).

“Named must your fear be before banish it you can” — Yoda

 

Part 4: Respond, Not React

 

Don’t react to the world. You may respond but not react. A response is an action taken based on logic. A reaction is an impulse based on an emotional state. Your reaction will not alter the world. Your reaction only changes you. Your response is what will change the world.

The Cheat Sheet

 

  • All is temporary
  • Do everything as if it were the last thing you do in your life
  • Have nothing you are not prepared to lose
  • Accept what can’t be changed
  • Refuse to be a victim
  • Practice misfortune
  • Negative visualization
  • Don’t let emotions override what your mind tells you

If you enjoyed this piece, hit that cool ‘share’ button to spread the love to the world. Thanks!

 

Stephen Hodgkiss
Chief Engineer at MarketHive
markethive.com 

Alan Zibluk – Markethive Founding Member

10 Types of Content That Will Drive You More Traffic

Content marketing is more than writing blogs. Way more

If you’re just getting involved in content marketing, the first thing you need to do is launch your blog and start writing.

Then, when your blog is established and purring along, try throwing in a new type of content. I predict that you’ll immediately see a difference — fresh traffic, targeted visitors, higher conversion rates, and better SEO.

But before I share the 10 types of content that will drive you more traffic, there are a few things you need to know:

You don’t need to try all of these examples – different content types suit different brands in different ways. If you don’t think that a certain type of content will serve you, no problem. This list isn’t about must-haves. It’s about maybes.
Don’t be afraid to try new stuff – I’ve found that some people shy away from new types of content because they think it will take too long, be too hard, or fall flat. I understand your apprehension, but I encourage you to try it anyway. Want to get started with a video? You don’t need to buy a green screen, editing software, or a pro-grade camera. Use your iPhone and your YouTube account. Start small and work your way up.

Pick one and put it in your schedule – if you use a content marketing schedule, slot one or two of these into the editorial calendar for the next month. If you don’t plan it, you probably won’t do it. I challenge you to pick one and give it a try sometime in the next four weeks.

This list is not exhaustive – I encourage you to think of content not in terms of types but ideas. The form that the content takes is secondary. The idea is primary. First, develop your idea. Then, determine what it’s going to look like. The variety of content is endless. Heck, you may even want to invent your own type of content.

So, let’s get started…

Content type #1: Infographics

An infographic is the presentation of information or data in a visual way. Its name sums it up — info + graphic.

Infographics get shared more, viewed more, and loved more than most other content types. They are a powerful way to get your information out there in an explosively visual format. One study found that infographics were liked and shared on social media up to three times more often than other content. The viral potential is there.

How to do it

If you have a graphic designer in your professional network, tap him or her to make an infographic for you. Some graphic artists specialize in infographics. If you have it in your budget, you can use a service like Visual.ly. Infographics typically start at $1,000.

When to use it

Infographics are perfect for communicating almost any idea or concept. Data, research, statistics, and findings work especially well.

Things to keep in mind

Infographics can be expensive. The amount cited above — a thousand dollars — is pretty close to the standard price.

Infographics used to go viral just by virtue of being an infographic. That doesn’t work anymore. Everyone is making infographics. Today, you have to make it really good to make it shareable.

Make a gifographic. Gifographics use the infographic model but feature animated gifs instead of the static images of a conventional infographic. You can check out an example here.

Content type #2: Meme

You’ve seen memes. They’re easy to make. They’re viral. They’re hilarious.

That’s one of the great benefits of memes — their humor. People love something that they can laugh at, share, and get a kick out of.

How to do it

Memes don’t require graphic design skills. Meme Generator and Quick Meme are sites that allow you to add your own text to popular meme images.
Memes may not be the best type of content to share on your blog, but they’re primed for social media outlets. Twitter, Stumbleupon, Pinterest, Reddit, and Tumblr (especially Tumblr) will help your meme to spread.
Memes are just-because content. When the mood hits or a funny idea strikes you, go ahead and meme it.

Things to keep in mind

They are adaptable. The great thing about memes is that they can be adapted for use in any niche. Your niche is neither too narrow nor abstruse to warrant its own meme.

Memes can be low value, so don’t overuse them. When misused, they can devalue the message or brand that you’re trying to promote.

Content type #3: Videos

There’s a world of variety within videos. I could write a whole separate post on different types of videos. No matter what type it is, however, a good video communicates a message in a succinct and memorable way. Done well, a video can be extraordinarily persuasive. This video on Crazy Egg helps to bring in $21k every month.

How to do it

Whether you create a video of an office tour, an explainer video, or a music video (it’s been done), you’ve got to get the script right. A video isn’t only about the moving picture; it’s about the words that you say or display. Check out a few more tips for making an explainer video.
Put the video on YouTube and Vimeo. Both of these video sharing sites are great ways to garner social signals for SEO and improved results for video search itself.

Things to keep in mind

Making a good video is not cheap. You can start small, of course, but contracting a video specialist or a camera crew can cost quite a bit.

Videos aren’t supposed to be long. Two to three minutes is a good length.

Content type #4: Guides

A guide is a detailed and fairly long piece of content. Think of it as an epic blog post. It goes beyond the length, style, and approach of an ordinary blog post. My Advanced Guide series are some of the most popular types of content I’ve ever created. When you check them out, you’ll discover that they have more visual flair and are much longer than my blog articles.

How to do it

Writing a guide requires a good writer, a good designer, and a good idea. The writer needs to produce top-tier content. The designer needs to know how to present that content in an attractive way. And the idea has to be something that your audience wants. You may wish to present the guide as a downloadable PDF.

Things to keep in mind

Guides can be a helpful bait for harvesting email addresses: “I’ll give you this awesome guide if you register your email address.”

A guide needs to look good. Make sure you recruit the services of a capable designer as well as a writer. Readability has as much to do with layout and presentation as it does with great writing style.

Content type #5: Book reviews

A book review is a simple discussion of a book plus your take on it. You recommend good ones, critique not-so-good ones, and share the value that you glean from them. Book reviews are great because they help to position you as a thought leader.

How to do it

A book review can be as complicated or as simple as you want. I suggest a short-and-simple 7-point format:

  • Introduce the book: 1-5 sentences.
  • Introduce the author: 1-5 sentences.
  • Summarize the book’s major points: 1-3 sentences per point.
  • Share what you liked in the book: 1-5 sentences.
  • Share what you didn’t like about the book: 1-5 sentences.
  • Recommend it (or not) to your readers: 1-3 sentences.
  • Provide a call to action: Link to the book.

Things to keep in mind

Book review content works best if you have a readership that is inclined to read books.
Book reviews are especially helpful for thought leadership if you’re able to review new releases or pre-releases or interview the author.

Content type #6: Opinion post (a.k.a. “Rant”)

This style of post is substantially different from your typical blog post, mostly due to its tone. You may be used to publishing a careful and researched discussion of a topic. The rant or opinion, by contrast, may be stronger and more expressive. The more vociferous your position, the more it’s going to get read and shared.

How to do it

Occasionally, write a strong first-person take on a hot topic or big issue. It could be your opinion on a major industry change. I did this when Matt Cutts announced the demise of guest blogging. When you address popular topics, you’re able to get stronger search potential and shareability.

Things to keep in mind

This should not be a daily thing. Someone who is constantly sharing his or her opinions or ranting about a topic can become odious. Use with caution.

Be civil. Don’t let your opinions degenerate into people bashing. “Rant” does not equal “angry.”
Be clear about what you’re doing — that this is your opinion, your take, your position — and be humble about it.

Content type #7: Product reviews

Like the book review, a product review can help establish authority and leadership in your industry. Every industry has its unique array of products, software, and services. When you engage key developers, manufacturers, or service providers, you gain recognition and respect. All you need to do is share your experience with the product and provide your recommendation.

How to do it

Here’s a pattern for the product review:

  • Introduce the product
  • Introduce the producer
  • Describe the product
  • Share what you like
  • Share what you don’t like
  • Provide your recommendation
  • Provide a call to action

Things to keep in mind

If the product is a physical item, you may want to have a video component to the review. A video allows you to take a hands-on approach to the product as you review it.

Content type #8: How-to

The how-to is one of the most popular types of content, especially in my niche. On my blog, I write a lot of how-to guides. How-to articles have awesome long tail search potential due to these popular long tail query introductions: “How to…” and “How do I…?”

How to do it

First, identify a common problem. Then, come up with a solution. The model is simple:

  • Introduce the problem
  • Introduce the solution
  • Discuss each step of the solution
  • Summarize the discussion
  • Provide a conclusion

Things to keep in mind

The options for how-tos are inexhaustible. Think of one topic that reflects something you do on a daily basis. Next, write a how-to article based on that one issue. It could be industry specific or more general: “How to reply to every email in one minute or less” or “How to optimize your robots.txt for search engines.”

The more thorough your explanation is, the better. Diagrams, videos, and pictures can all help enhance the how-to blog.

Content type #9: Lists

Lists have endless appeal. We’re wired to love them. Chance are you’re going to see or read an article today that involves some sort of a list — “5 Security Breaches You Need to Know about,” “17 Ways to Rank Higher in Google in One Month.” Hey, you’re already reading an article with the title “15 Types.”

From the ancient Ten Commandments to modern lists of everything, numbered ideas are as popular as ever. You can’t go wrong with this content type. Even popular magazines use list appeal to sell issues.

How to do it

Pick a topic, then pick a number. You’re halfway to creating a list. A good example of this is this post on 7 ways to increase your rankings without leveraging content marketing.

When you write your list, use this simple format: introduce the topic, list your points, and provide a conclusion.

Things to keep in mind

The more detailed your list is, the better. Long lists are good too.

There’s no magic number for an awesome list. Odd numbers, round numbers, any types of numbers — they all work equally well.

Content type #10: Link pages

A link page is simply a post that provides links to great resources around the web. The great thing about link posts is that they spread link love to other sites, provide your own site with authoritative SEO signals, and assert your thought leadership within your field.

How to do it

A link page, often called a link roundup, is simply a list of links. Write down the title of the article, hyperlink it, and number it. Done.

Things to keep in mind

It’s helpful to add your own blurb or introduction for each link you provide. Although not necessary, it’s a good way to put your own spin on a topic or add a bit of value to the discussion. Besides, if a post is particularly good (or bad), you may want to point this out.


Stephen Hodgkiss
Chief Engineer MarketHive Inc.
markethive

Alan Zibluk – Markethive Founding Member

FTX: Vemma shut down for running pyramid scheme

Filed earlier this week, the FTC allege that through mandatory autoship, Vemma is nothing more than a $200 million illegal pyramid scheme.

 

Retail sales are believed to be non-existent, with the company’s affiliates instead trained to sign up for autoship themselves and then recruit other affiliates who do the same.

As we wait for a September 3rd hearing to decide the fate of Vemma, now a warning from the FTC to other MLM company’s operating in a similar manner.

Published on August 26th, the FTC’s warning was written by Lesley Flair, a senior attorney with the FTC.

Flair explains the finer points of the Vemma complaint, before going on to issue a direct warning to other MLM companies:

    Count I of the complaint charges that Vemma’s compensation program is based primarily on recruiting new participants, not on the retail sale of the drinks.

    Count II challenges as false the defendants’ claim that participants are likely to make substantial income.

    According to Count III, they failed to disclose – or failed to adequately disclose – that Vemma’s structure pretty much ensures that most people who sign up won’t earn big bucks.

    Count IV focuses on the promotional materials the defendants gave their affiliates to recruit more affiliates. Because they included claims the FTC says are false and misleading, the complaint charges that the defendants provided others with the “means and instrumentalities” to violate the law.

    The case was just filed, but if your clients sell business opportunities, the allegations offer insights into the kind of tactics likely to draw law enforcement attention.

“Clients” in this case I believe are either that of a lawyer’s clients (the MLM companies themselves), or affiliates in those companies (from a company perspective, the FTC are referring to affiliates as “clients”).

Either way, if you’re in an MLM opportunity and your commission check is mostly paid out of recruited affiliates making product orders (on autoship or otherwise), according to the FTC you need to immediately change the focus of your business.

Two prominent examples that are currently heavy on affiliate recruitment and autoship are Total Life Changes and Jeunesse. But they are by no means isolated cases. This problem is currently widespread throughout the MLM industry.

As a long time proponent of retail in MLM, all I can say is the sooner the focus is back on retail customers the better.


I have been an advocate for a real “Customer Centric” modeled MLM hybrid. Now the FTC and SEC are adding the pressure to push this industry that way. This is a good thing! What is a “Customer Centric” MLM going to look like? Good question and I have addressed that with this blog here:

https://markethive.com/marketing/blog/the-customer-centric-model#.VeiX9JdSkd0

Alan Zibluk – Markethive Founding Member

Time for some orientation and sharing of thy wisdom?

This week we are going to begin at the beginning to integrate your WordPress blog with the power of Markethive, the rss cocktails, the groups, the ability to track, manage and build a huge SEO presence backed up by a huge social net.
 

Markethive offers the most sophisticated and powerful platform for building huge blog clouds, capture pages, press releases, forums, that all work in concert, complementing the entire portfolio of assets, utilizing chaos structures, that Google and other search engines reward because it is all following their good practices.

And it all begins here, at this first web based conference. These lessons will be recorded and published within the MarketHive and on our YouTube channel too.
 
Picking up where I left off over a year ago, with my Establishing A Credible Hive Part #1. You can watch it here or in the MarketHive.
 
 
 
This week, WordPress is the word, and Markethive is the engine to build the content and drive your campaign.

Check the Calendar below for the appointed times in our conference room.
 
 
Access the conference room via the Blog
 
 
CYA There,
 
Thomas Prendergast
CMO Chief Marketing Officer

Alan Zibluk – Markethive Founding Member

The Customer Centric Model

 

The Customer Centric Model

It has been my agenda for nearly 20 years to reform an industry that is for the most part has been built upon a shifting and unreliable foundation that has always been broken and is heading for total annihilation. If you have attempted to build a business in MLM you will relate to what I am addressing.

For over a decade this vision has grown in urgency and definition to help direct a broken industry towards developing a customer based centered direct sales model.  All of this was originally inspired by a maverick move towards customer acquisition by a company called Trivita. In 2001. I was introduced to this new direction in MLM by the simple statement, “just buy your customers”. I had already been engaged in the MLM industry for nearly 10 years at that time. My first exposure to MLM was in 1992 with the first to market consumer (customer) based ISP, nationwide dial up Internet access for $20 per month.

I have been an entrepreneur my whole adult life and a good portion of my teen years as well, with my first business started at the age of 14. Prior to my exposure to MLM, I was and still am a traditional business entrepreneur. Therefore to say, I found the MLM model of exclusive distribution to and consumption by distributors and only motivated to this action by pursuing profit; alien, illogical and disturbing. Let me explain:

My introduction and very successful sojourn to this day with Trivita helped me discover the stark contrast between the artificial economies of a distributor based sales company in contrast to a customer based sales company.  I studied this comparison for many years and it became painfully clear, the reason traditional MLM fails, regardless of the compensation plan, regardless of the motivational speakers, regardless of the training to sell the “Hope and Dreams” as that is the only way to promote when the products and or services are frankly, always overpriced and usually underwhelmingly ineffective. There are very few exceptions.  So the glaring difference I found in Trivita was the fact that for every distributor I recruited, I averaged 100 customers. Then the fact, I did not have to sell Hope and Dreams and instead, the pitch was just buy customers. The reaction from the potential distributor was always extremely positive and the close rate of a distributor was very high. When you factor in that every distributor usually meant 100 customers, the potential success was superior to anything else like it.

 This was just a company that offered co-op acquisition of the leads and customers Trivita acquired via their infomercials and not much else. Even Trivita’s products lacked true demonstrability and the pricing was not very competitive. The only viable benefit regarding being customer centric was the fact you could just buy customers, that for the most part, only about 20% stayed a viable reorder over the years.

Because of this one aspect with Trivita, I have enjoyed a significant income for over 10 years with little attention, a true residual income. Over the years as a vendor to the MLM industry, occasionally getting involved with a few companies because I was promised they were going to offer customer centric solutions (all deception from short sighted pitch men). None of them ever did and in my opinion, the super majority of MLMs are run by handicapped captains, that understand the game and that being the 3 month rule. They build their businesses to inspire, motivate and separate their new distributors from as much money and contacts they can quickly. They know their business model only attracts distributors seeking some semblance of financial success therefore they lay their snares with grand claims of Hopes and Dreams. I consider it borderline criminal. Now we finally arrive to the meat of this article, that being what is a true Customer Centric direct sales company look like. Being that there really isn’t any yet, we have to go to the imagination and vision that to some part is guided by good business principles and look at some of the true customer centric businesses on the scene today.

Amazon could easily be the epitome of customer centric. 

 

Wow. “Earth’s Most Customer-Centric Company.”

That is big, it’s bold, and it’s risky for a brand to make the promise to fulfill on that 24/7 every week of the year.

Service recovery design pays off

Of course the shopping and purchasing experience on Amazon has been exceptional for years. But what if a customer has a post-purchase problem? A big part of customer experience design is a focus on “service recovery,” or designing and refining the process when something goes wrong for the customer. Beloved brands like Zipcar know this is a critical opportunity for delivering moments of delight.

READ MORE:
http://delight.us/earths-most-customer-centric-company/

It is all about Customer Satisfaction.

Let me repeat that, “IT IS ALL ABOUT CUSTOMER SATISFACTION”!

The latest results from the American Customer Satisfaction Index reveals Amazon.com as the reigning and undisputed champ in both Internet retailing and across the entire department in overall customer satisfaction. Amazon’s CEO, Jeff Bezos perhaps more than any business leader has taken the philosophy of truly caring for the customer and ushered it into the digital era. Bezos has built a company from the ground up purely based off of the unbending, unyielding philosophy of serving the customer across all departments. With a 164 million Amazon customers, few would argue Bezos as the key architect of building an authentic, customer-centric company.

Pointers from the article 7 Customer Service Lessons from Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos
https://www.salesforce.com/blog/2013/06/jeff-bezos-lessons.html

1. Don’t Just Listen to Your Customers, Understand Them
Everyone has to be able to work in a call center.”

2. Serve the Needs of the Customer
“We’re not competitor obsessed, we’re customer obsessed. We start with what the customer needs and we work backwards.”

3. The Empty Chair: The Most Important Person in the Room
“Focusing on the customer makes a company more resilient.”

4. Never Settle for 99%
“We’re not satisfied until it’s 100%.”

5. Respect Today’s Customer
“If you make customers unhappy in the physical world, they might each tell six friends. If you make customers unhappy on the Internet, they can each tell 6,000.”

6. Strive to Create a Customer-Centric Company
“If we can arrange things in such a way that our interests are aligned with our customers, then in the long term that will work out really well for customers and it will work out really well for Amazon.”

7. Don’t Be Afraid to Apologize
 “We will use the scar tissue from this painful mistake to help make better decisions going forward, ones that match our mission.”

Over the past nearly two decades, Amazon has held a steady pace of positive press due to their industry-altering company and great customer service. However back in 2009, the foundations of the online book mogul were shook when they remotely deleted copies of the books “1984” and “Animal Farm” from users’ Kindles. The incident prompted an outcry of Internet users to see the dark, “Big Brother” side of Amazon – one that Bezos had worked hard to steer clear of. Amazon quickly made an apology with the usual dry and inhuman statement from the press team. But what really turned people back towards Amazon, was an informal and heartfelt apology from Jeff Bezos:

From “MLM” (Network Marketing), to a sustainable Coop Customer based Marketing Platform!
Now the vision for a better kinder direct sale company

I have run MLM companies, built them, serviced them as a vendor and engaged with them as a distributor for more than 20 years. I have touched and serviced and influenced over 100 million associates over this period of time. The following is my agenda to change this industry to service the little guy and gal, offering a real solution to build a middle class sustainable income for everyone, not just millions for the elite few, we know as “leaders” in their respective company.

1.       1. A Viable and Competitive Product

First and foremost, the “company” must offer a viable product and or service that does what it says and better than any of their competitors and better yet, have a product or service that has no legitimate competition. I could go into great detail here about the MLM industry and their underwhelming and over priced products with many making spurious claims to eventually be shut down by the FDA, etc. but I won’t.

2.       2. The Virtual Warehouse

This may be putting cart before the horse. “Inspired by Amazon’s virtual warehousing” for their merchants selling in Amazon, it is time the MLM industry moves forward with a similar solution. Storing your monthly product commitment in your spare bedroom, garages or den has been the standard for decades. With today’s technology and database management abilities, there is no excuse to not move toward a virtual solution for distributors. This can be done in house by the company, or, use Amazon’s virtual warehousing that is available on a global scale.

This one upgrade to this industry will make reselling, shipping and distribution automated and easy for every distributor, regardless of location or available storage abilities. Bottom line is a doubling or greater movement of product.

3.       3. Customer and Lead coop acquisition

This is where the company marketing people run ads, campaigns, etc., driving vertically targeted prospects to an 800 number or website, acquiring quality pre enrolled prospects or customers who have purchased or at most have enrolled into an auto ship. The distributor’s contribution enhances the company’s budget and the “partnership” enhances the customer’s retention. The company also makes available to the distributor mailing lists to their “enrolled leads and customers” to assist in the continued purchases etc. It is a win win situation and is a proven technique as proven by Trivita.

4.       4. Becoming an E Retailer (automated back office shipping)

Now that the distributors have their inventory, products and samples (if applicable), online, in an offsite virtual warehouse, the process to send product or samples becomes effective and easy. As simple as logging into the back office of their respective MLM company, designating the product (pulling from existing inventory and/or auto purchasing additional inventory), quantity, and drop ship address, with a simple click, the product or sample is easily on the way, while the distributor is still talking to their prospective client, prospect or distributor on the phone. This seamless process makes the potential growth of the company and distributor 100 times greater than the typical cumbersome processes today.

5.       5. 800 telemarketing service platform

Today’s technologies not only make this proposed service affordable, but extremely effective. Typically, new distributors are assigned an ID# number. The number resides within the servers database to track sales, commissions, etc. of the distributor. Thus the hardest part is already done for an 800 sales number.  [A little explanation of current tech] 800 number technology software interfaces display the originating number, or forwarded number.  IE: If the distributor develops a radio commercial with a phone number (toll free or not) then forwards that number to the company 800 number, all he or she needs to do is register that number (via the back office) or calling it in. This way the telemarking operators receiving the incoming calls, know who originated the call and the orders are taken and assigned appropriately to the distributor.

It can be as simple as the distributor takes a call from an ad, the prospects decides to buy the product. The distributor can easily 3 way into the 800 platform and assist the sale. It can be as easy as an ad running offering a product with the company main toll free number offering free shipping and handling with the special pin number. It can be very easy to build.

Imagine the projected results with the distributors taking the initiative, no more need for mentors, no more lead for upline leadership, no more need for motivational events, because the motivation is found in the system and the results. Imagine!

6.       6. API (Application Programming Interface). Distributor selling on Amazon, Ebay, Alibaba, etc.

Basically, the MLM company has an API developed that interfaces with Amazon, Ebay, etc for the distributor. This allows the distributor to develop an online store on Ebay, Amazon, Alibaba, etc, driving and supporting the prospects and customers, but the sale interfaces through the company. Thereby the company controls the pricing, collects the money (connected to the distributor) and ships the product. All the collecting, shipping, tracking and commissions paid out is done by the company.

API: In computer programming, an application programming interface (API) is a set of routines, protocols, and tools for building software applications. An API expresses a software component in terms of its operations, inputs, outputs, and underlying types. Basically allows the company to remotely control pricing, merchant collection, shipping and communication via the distributors Ebay, Amazon, etc. account

More about Amazon API:
http://support.getdropstream.com/customer/portal/articles/1233046-configuring-amazon-marketplace-for-third-party-order-fulfillment-

More about Ebay API:
https://go.developer.ebay.com/what-ebay-api

7.       7. Retail Sales Only Sites (Widgets and actuals)

Traditional MLM companies give a distributor a self-replicated web site that is upfront and focused on selling the Hopes and Dreams of the opportunity, the money, the comp plan, the hype and flash of it all, designed to recruit more distributors. This is death to a retail customer.  Very few MLM companies even consider a dedicated self-replicated retail sales only site for their various products.  I have yet to even hear of any companies making a simple widget that allows the distributor to have the retail site hosted via the widget on their own domains, much less the ability to add any customization to it. Below is one of the first and recent MLM retail sites I am aware of. It sells the coffee, offering one off sales or a discount and free shipping with an auto ship order.

More about widgets here:
http://alexmarandon.com/articles/web_widget_jquery/

8.       8.Social Marketing Aps and systems

Marketers, merchants, etc. need a portfolio of tools, to get the message out, to build awareness, to build a sphere of influence and to build a customer and distributor centered loyalty program. Very few people, even entrepreneurs have all the skill sets to achieve this. However, automated marketing, email auto responders, social broadcasters, coop advertising, blogging platforms, materials and videos are necessary tools for the entrepreneur. First these tools are expensive and the various costs ad up quickly. When you do not supply these types of tools in a controlled environment, the message being broadcasted may not meet the criteria of the company nor abide by regulations.  There are solutions and Markethive is one of the best options. http://markethive.com  Markethive supplies all of these tools and more, integrated and easily configured and controlled within the communities vertical structures built for DSA companies like yours. It is called the company Directories and within a company portal in Markethive, your distributors will find all they need; Broadcasting platforms, self-replicating personalized PDF documents,  Coop advertising systems, blogging platforms, email auto responders, everything needed for marketing, in one place.

9.       9. Training and videos

I do not mean motivational speakers and cheer leading. I mean, real world training how to build the businesses. Daily classes offered by competent experienced teachers, so the distributors develop a strong understanding, expanding their customer territory and acquisition and operate like a real business.

Summary;

With the accelerated market place awash in innovation and technology, technology that puts the human element right into the center of the equation, you can understand why you see the MLM industry sluggish and many companies dying on the vine and others falling flat on their faces with their much heralded launches. Entrepreneurs (distributors) that once upon a time, a flashy video, a charming pitch man, and a compelling comp plan, worked to explode the next greatest MLM launch.

Not today.
It is only a matter of time a young bold, innovative entrepreneur launches the first true customer centric MLM similar to the framework I have discussed here. And when they do, the world will quake, the swamps will empty and the first multi trillion MLM enterprise will rise to stand head to toe with the great innovations today like Facebook Google, PayPal etc.

Written by:
Thomas Prendergast
CMO: Markethive

 
 

Alan Zibluk – Markethive Founding Member

How to Create a Customer-Centric Culture

What makes the great companies so great? It’s the service and experience the customer receives when doing business with them. The companies that get it are customer-centric. They put the customer at the heart of decisions, ideas, marketing, system design and more.
 
customer centric companies
 
 
It is definitely not the product. The product can be truly amazing, even a lifestyle changer, but that’s not what makes a company great. Take for example, cable television. Cable TV is truly amazing. When I was growing up, there were only four channels from which to choose. Today we have hundreds of channels to choose from with amazing high-definition clarity. We can record shows on the cable box to watch later, or watch movies and other programs ‘on demand,’ whenever we want to watch them. This is an amazing product. However, the cable TV industry, as a whole, delivers an abysmal customer experience. One of the less-than-customer-friendly policies: Asking a person to stay home on a workday to meet the cable TV installer during a four-hour window. That hardly seems customer-centric.
 
 
On the other hand, there are companies that sell the same products as everyone else, but the customer experience they offer really does set them apart. Ace Hardware is one of the best examples of this, having been awarded the JD Power award for highest customer satisfaction in its industry eight years in a row. These smaller, independently owned hardware stores compete against big box stores such as Home Depot and Lowe’s and sell many of the same items as the big stores. 
 
 
However, many Ace Hardware stores are only one-tenth the size of one of these larger stores. Imagine an 8,000-square-foot store going up against an 80,000-square-foot store. And, these larger stores outspend Ace Hardware in advertising dollars by 30 to 1. Yet, Ace Hardware thrives in this competitive environment. So, what does Ace Hardware have to offer? The experience, which comes in the form of helpful customer service. As an Ace customer in Seattle put it, ‘Even though the prices can be, but are not necessarily, higher, the convenience and help are worth it.’
 
 
Ace doesn’t promise ‘friendly’ service. It promises helpful service, and there’s a difference. It’s the way Ace stores engage their customers, provide knowledgeable employees who help them with their projects, and deliver a higher-level customer experience.
 
 
Consider several reasons to create a customer-centric culture. I’ll argue that customer service can make the difference between a company’s ultimate success or failure. It can mean the difference between having loyal, repeat customers or one-time-only customers. And, it can mean the difference between customers’ rave reviews or online rants.
 
 
Steven Hodgkiss
Free Inbound Marketing Tools from MarketHive
See MarketHive for more information and to register

Alan Zibluk – Markethive Founding Member

Why do Customer Centric Companies Stand Out?

The bottom line is that customer-centric companies stand out. They are more desirable for consumers to do business with and more enjoyable places for employees to work. The top-rated customer service companies are often the best companies to work for as well. The reason is that the culture within the company offers a similar experience to what the customer experiences on the outside. Some things to consider about customer-centric companies:
 
Customer-centric companies empower employees to make decisions that are for the benefit of the customer. They have guidelines versus rules and policies, and the mindset that if what the customer is asking for isn’t illegal or immoral, won’t cost the company money (although sometimes that’s still OK), and won’t harm the company’s reputation, then it should be considered.
 
customer centric companies
 
Customer-centric companies hire people who fit the culture and have personalities that align with the company’s core values, mission and vision. Skills and experience are important, of course, but these high-performing companies are looking for other qualities as well. It takes the right combination of skill, personality, and attitude.
 
Customer-centric companies invest a lot of time and money into soft skills training such as customer service and relationship building. Technical and product training are important, but constant reinforcement of the “people side” of the business is equally important, if not even more so. Customer-centric companies know the importance of their employees, and take a “people first” approach. They develop their people at a level that keeps them engaged and enthusiastic about taking care of the company’s customers.
 
Steven Hodgkiss
Free Inbound Marketing Tools from MarketHive
See MarketHive for more information and to register

Alan Zibluk – Markethive Founding Member

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