The Purple Tie Show Episode 96

The Purple Tie Show combines business, marketing, and technology.

We made a funny thing for Landon Porter and his Gorilla Marketing group. Go to http://woowooarmy.com and see what he’s up to.

There’s a snippet of a conversation we recorded as a test before the podcast between Robert, Landon and I around the 7 minute mark. Let us know how it sounds and if we need to improve the sound quality somehow.

Whelp, Amazon has bought Whole Foods. Get ready for food to be air dropped via drone in the coming years. We’ve all been waiting for it. And you’ll probably end up being able to shop at the Whole Foods stores and leave without paying directly. If you’ll recall, Amazon was testing stores where you could buy things without paying either earlier this year or late last year.

Paying off debt. It’s a big deal. And you’ll feel better once it’s not weighing on your shoulders. We talked about how Robert is taking his debt by the gonads and getting rid of it all.

Robert refers to the practice of centering yourself as “woo woo.” He was raised in the south, so anything that isn’t “hard work” is considered “woo woo.” It’s hard to explain in words so listen to the podcast and see what we’re talking about.

Last but not least is Zoom. Zoom is a video conference software that allows you to do SO MUCH MORE. Click here to sign up for it via our affiliate link. We get points for it!

And, as we mentioned in the podcast, here are links to Landon Porter, Tina Sibley, and Ben Perry.

Check The Purple Tie: Inspiring Success on Facebook or Twitter for all your digital marketing, online advertising, and web design!

Listen to the episode!

By | 2017-06-27T00:01:17+00:00 June 27th, 2017|Post|0 Comments

No Podcast This Week – Instead, here’s a Chatbot!

Delmus Singleton - Born Dec. 28, 1951 Died June 30, 2001I couldn't find an actual picture of Robert's dad, Robert Martin Sr. This is close enough.You guys may not realize this, but we usually record the podcast on Sunday mornings.  And this Sunday happens to be Father’s Day 2017! So, Happy Father’s Day! Something else y’all may not realize is that Robert and I both have lost our fathers. I lost mine when I was 19. Robert lost his a little over 6 years ago. In honor of our father’s we opted to take Sunday off and just chill. And instead of a podcast, you’re getting this little blurb about what I’ve been working on all weekend. If you’re looking to listen to a podcast, check out our Blog page or head over to our Libsyn page that houses all of our past podcasts.

Chatbots

That’s right, chatbots. Specifically, the chatbot for the FavGeek Facebook page. It’s taken me most of Saturday to rewrite the entire backend, but it’s done. And it’s working! I’ve already had an unknowing participant in my tests. And it worked like a charm. Here’s what I did, why I had to redo it twice, and why I’ve learned so much.

Design

The main reason we decided to implement a chatbot on the FavGeek FB Page was so that we didn’t need a human to answer the questions we got through the page. It was mostly pricing questions (that’s usually what we’re answering on the phone, too), and I knew that we could setup a chatbot to do the dirty work for us. And that meant that I wouldn’t have to answer the Facebook Page anymore! I’m super excited about that. You guys don’t even realize how many times I’d have to stop what I was doing and answer questions on the Facebook page. Now, granted that wasn’t how it was all the time, but it was often enough that it became a problem that needed to be solved. Enter chatbots.

When I first made Oliverbot – the FavGeek chatbot – I just sat down and started making things. I used Chatfuel, and it was very easy to step in knowing absolutely nothing about chatbots. In less than a day I had a working, functioning chatbot. It wasn’t polished, and it wasn’t very useful. But it was there, and it was answering questions (sort of).

I done goofed.I didn’t do any research or really think the flow through on that first go around. When I say “the flow” I’m talking about how people usually interact with us through FB messenger. They start off with a question and want an answer. I started off presenting them with various options they didn’t’ need or want. I put an option for hours up there, but they’d just come from the FB page. It has our hours listed. They don’t need that, and no one is going to click on it! Derp #1. There are also limitations to the amount of options I can put on a single block, and instead of finding a better way of presenting all the options, I just plowed forward using a BUNCH of small blocks. It was hard to navigate and aggravating to go through.

I hadn’t thought through the design of the chatbot. I was just writing to put something down. I’d done no homework. I hadn’t really thought about how it would work at all. It was a disaster.

Redesign

I done goofed.One day last week Robert and I had a business meeting with an associate. At some point last week this associate had tested the chatbot at Robert’s request. He said that it was okay, but it was hard to find what he was looking for. I asked him to be more specific. He said he couldn’t find the price to fix his phone screen. I said that was ludicrous. There was a price button right there on the first screen. He said, yes, but that wasn’t what he was looking for. He was looking for the “broken screen” option. I immediately understood. Derp #2. The customers aren’t looking for the price, they’re looking for the problem.

So I rewrote the entire chatbot, problem first, answer second. That’s how our customers naturally found out their answer so that’s how I wrote the chatbot. The first go around, I actually made a woman mad because the chatbot was so poorly designed that she became aggravated interacting with it. I had to shut it down and respond manually. Like I said, disaster.

Marketing

How does this help you and your business? I don’t know. What kind of business do you have? Are you selling pizza? If so, your chatbot may me an online ordering system! People can go to your page, talk to your chatbot, and have a pizza paid for and delivered without ever talking to a clumsy human. Are you selling women’s country apparel? Chatbots can take those kinds of orders, too. Take payment and tell you that you need to ship an item. There’s a lot chatbots can’t do (humans will always need to be in the loop without some MAJOR programming), but the stuff that takes up a lot of time, answering the same questions again and again? Yup, chatbots have got you covered.

By | 2017-06-28T15:21:51+00:00 June 20th, 2017|Post|0 Comments

The Purple Tie Show Episode 95

The Purple Tie Show combines business, marketing, and technology.

So, a few things out of the way. I forgot how much the Amazon Echo VIEW (not Show or whatever I called it) costs. It’s $229 and available for preorder as of this show’s initial release day. The Apple HomePod costs $349. And New York was the first state to pass the “free tuition” law.

This was a show full of updates! Robert’s been on the FB Live Challenge for a week now, and he’s killing it. He’s telling his backstory, and it’s super interesting! If you want to know about his backstory (in full, unfiltered glory), head over to the FB Live 30 Day Challenge group and give it a watch. He’d love to hear your feedback.

The Apple Keynote was this week. Hopefully the link I post will be evergreen, but we’ll see. Apple likes to take down their keynotes after a while. Like, what’s the point of leaving up last years keynote? UPDATE: I found a YouTube link, so I’m using that instead of the Apple website. Just in case.

Robert has also joined a sort of mastermind group that gets together once a week on a video conference call and discuss business things. Robert decided this week that it’d be better with wine. He was right. The call started at 9pm CST and ended some time after 2am. He didn’t finish the call so he doesn’t know exactly when it ended.

We talk about being constructive versus being combative to an idea. It seems like a common sense kind of thing, but some people can’t help themselves. They have to give your their dirty, two cents.

We also briefly talked about the Canon 80D that we bought mainly for video production. It’s an amazing piece of equipment. There’s this built in time-lapse mode that just KILLS it. I’ll upload all of our experiments with it later.

Oh, and our chatbot? Still needs work. To say the least. I probably should have planned it out a little better than just sitting down and DOING it. But whatever. It was a great learning experience.

Check The Purple Tie: Inspiring Success on Facebook or Twitter for all your digital marketing, online advertising, and web design!

Listen to the episode!

By | 2017-06-16T14:35:34+00:00 June 13th, 2017|Post|Comments Off on The Purple Tie Show Episode 95

Marketing Research 101: A Step by Step Process

Marketing Research 101: A Step by Step Process

Marketing, to the average person, can look like either a sort of business that involves levels of betrayal and manipulation on par with Game of Thrones or an ancient magic spell that only be conjured by the most powerful order to gain results. But if you peeked behind the curtain of the world of marketing, you will be almost disappointed to discover that the Wizard is merely a little man with the right tools at his disposal.

Believe it or not, all the skills that are required in good marketing takes is pattern recognition, research, a base knowledge of sociological behaviors.  Below, I am going to list the most basic of processes we undertake when we dissect and problem solve a typical marketing case.

 

Step 1: Define your Problem – Perform an Analysis

The standard marketing student would immediately declare that they would do a SWOT analysis, while the business owners shrug and shake their heads in confusion. So, I am going to break down this particular jargon, so you can gain some sort of understanding of what you are working with.  A SWOT analysis is merely breaking down the concept into four digestible parts to mitigate what is happening.

  • S – means strengths – In this case, is defined by your companies better qualities that can be used to its advantage.
  • W – means weakness – Is defined by the things that can hurt your company that you are able to change.
  • Oopportunities – Are defined by the things that weren’t in your control but could be used for the benefit of the company.
  • Tthreats – Threats are defined by the things that aren’t in control that can hurt your company.

Marketers tend to develop a sense of strategy after looking at these four factors because it more or less serves as an outline of your particular case, and it is easy to pinpoint a problem there.

Step 2: Develop a Research Plan

Once you have the basic analysis,  marketers usually at this point create a hypothesis based on the conditions of the SWOT. How you create it, comes from asking the right questions:

 Is your business not getting sales because there are fewer visitors at your store?

Is your industry type succeeding or failing? Why?

How can that be fixed?

Are there plenty of visitors but your products aren’t selling? Why?

Who are the return customers and why do they shop at your store?

Why do you have foot traffic but no sales?

These questions scrape only the surface of what a market analysis looks like.

Each business has different problems, different opportunities, different goals, and different strengths. There is no one size fits all when it comes to branding yourself and that is the ultimate challenge of marketing.  It takes an inquisitive mind and a keen eye for detail to ask the right questions and make the right hypothesis for each case.  It’s less like magic and more like detective work.

 

We have to go deeper…

Step 3: Collect the Data

Once you figure out what you have and what you don’t have and how you can adjust, you want to figure out who can benefit from your product and service the most, as well as their motivations, so you can find more people like your current customers.

But it isn’t as easy as it sounds. For instance, once you find out who your target is, if you don’t know how they communicate, you are not going to get the information you need. Not everyone uses a computer, not everyone answers the door, and not everyone answers their phone.

There is already some statistical data about the response rate of certain target demographics like age, gender, and education level, and it is a good place to start but the data represents only the majority of the demographics. That means that there are exceptions to every rule and not everything is set in stone when it comes to data.

Some marketers tend to use more than one form of data gathering to get more results,  such as one member of the marketing group is hosting a quiz for Facebook, combined with someone else from the group knocking on each door in the neighborhood.

Every avenue has its benefits and its drawbacks so be careful when looking for the right data gathering method.

Step 4: Interpret the Information

Once the data is collected, it takes the clearest of minds to mine through the data that has been collected by the entire team, and that is where accuracy is of the utmost importance.  Did a person not fill out the quiz on Facebook all the way? Did they at least fill out the information relevant to your study? If they didn’t do at the very least the last little bit, then it doesn’t count towards your data pool.

Not only do you have to mine the data and compile it as a marketer, but you also have to draw up a presentation, and compile it in a way that the reader can understand so that they can understand what they need to do to change their current situation.

If your reader is a client who hasn’t read past the 11th-grade level in quite some time, you want to avoid special jargon and make the visual data just easier for your client to understand for the sake of transparency between the marketer and the client.

If your reader is your marketing professor, you use every single word in your marketing vocabulary and wrap it up in a proper paper with the best grammar known to man.

Step 5: Draw a Conclusion

Once you have the data compiled and interpreted to your target audience, you recommend what needs to be done and leave them to fix the problem. If they need additional help from time to time but are unfamiliar with what they need to do, it’s okay to reach out and offer a helping hand. In fact, I do encourage a follow up a month from your presentation, just so you can see the fruition of all your hard work, and make a few adjustments.  But the minute that their successes and failures hinge on you entirely and long after you made your case and presented the steps they should take, you leave immediately and work on your next case, unless you are working in-house for a major company.

But the minute that their successes and failures hinge on you entirely and long after you made your case and presented the steps they should take, you leave immediately and work on your next case, unless you are working in-house for a major company.

 

By | 2017-06-28T15:20:26+00:00 June 6th, 2017|Post|Comments Off on Marketing Research 101: A Step by Step Process

The Purple Tie Show Episode 94

Episode 94: Going FBLive and Google

The Purple Tie Show combines business, marketing, and technology.

Let’s nerd out for a second. Intel has introduced its latest CPU, the i9, with a whopping 18 cores. It’s ridiculous. It’s fantastic. It’s virtually impossible to utilize every core in most programs. But it’s neat!

Robert joined a Facebook group called 30 Day FB Live Video Challenge where you start a Facebook Live video once a day for 30 days. Pretty self explanatory, right? It’s a great way to get comfortable in front of the camera. There will always be someone in the group to watch you when you go live, and they’ll give you encouragement and critiques to help you get better. Robert is gearing up to do some videos for us in the future, and he needs to brush up on his on-camera swagger.

A long time ago, we had a dream of making a full fledged newsletter, with articles and interesting tidbits and goings on in the tech industry. Obviously, this would have been for FavGeek and its customers. But that never happened. Let’s face it. Getting people who are fixing computers, video game systems, and iPhones to sit down and write about those things is difficult. We put out a single newsletter and called it quits. There just wasn’t enough time in the day. But what about this podcast? Or even a video blog? Couldn’t those things be just like a newsletter? Of course, they can! And that’s kind of what we’ve made the podcast into. Just a one stop shop for the interesting bits of news that’s happened throughout the week to us and the business and tech sectors. If you’ve got an interesting podcast or alternative newsletter, let us know! We’d be happy to give you a shoutout on our show.

What if your SEO game was so impressive, so all-encompassing, that you could put in a specific search phrase LITERALLY anywhere on Earth and have your site come up first (mostly, Isreal, I’m disappointed) in Google? How amazing would that be? Well, we’ve done it. Just search for “purple tie guys” (without the quotes) in Google anywhere on Earth and we come up first. In fact, there was someone in one of Robert’s Facebook groups earlier from Spain that searched for us (I think she didn’t believe us) and sure enough, we came up first. FavGeek, too. Just search for favgeek in Google. Go on. I’ll wait. That’s what SEO can do for you and your business. We’re now able to be globally recognized, anywhere.

And one last bit of tech news, Google Your Primer is an app for your portable device that gives you snippets of business knowledge like ‘How to gather a social presence!’ or ‘How powerful is your audience?’ They’re presented like note cards, the lessons only take a few minutes to complete, and at the end you’re quizzed about the content. It’s a quick, easy way to stay up to date on your online business.

Check The Purple Tie: Inspiring Success on Facebook or Twitter for all your digital marketing, online advertising, and web design!

Listen to the episode!

By | 2017-06-28T10:49:53+00:00 June 6th, 2017|podcast, Post|Comments Off on The Purple Tie Show Episode 94

The Purple Tie Show Episode 93

The Purple Tie Show combines business, marketing, and technology.

For the first time that I can think of, we’re going to discuss our recording setup! Exciting, no? Maybe, maybe not. We’re rocking a Scarlett 2i2 that plugs directly into our 2015 iMac 27″. We’re using AKG P420 Microphones that connect via XLR cables to the 2i2. And our headsets that assist us while we’re recording are Audiotechnica ATH-M20x. All of this is a few years old now, but they work and sound amazing. Of course, if you’re looking to get into podcasting, look no further than the Blue Yeti. It’s an awesome USB mic with a jack in for headphones so you can monitor yourself while you’re recording. If you’ve got a bit more money to invest, check out the Rode Podcaster Kit. That’s what we got for the office to record voice overs and videos.

There is an extensive conversation covering customer expectations. I’m not outlining all of it here, so listen on and enjoy.

We talk about Chatfuel.com and their awesome chatbot software.  The chatbot is really very easy to setup, if not a bit time consuming, but once it’s up and running, you’re free to go about your day without having to worry about answering the same questions over and over again.

Lastly, we touched on two topics: Verizon outbids AT&T for 5G wireless spectrum and Apple may introduce a midrange 10.5″ iPad to replace the iPad mini (I can’t find the article I was referring to, but here’s an article talking about the updated iPad Pro that the article referenced). Click the links to go to the respective news articles.

Happy Memorial Day!

Check The Purple Tie: Inspiring Success on Facebook or Twitter for all your digital marketing, online advertising, and web design!

Listen to the episode!

By | 2017-06-27T12:01:33+00:00 May 30th, 2017|podcast, Post|Comments Off on The Purple Tie Show Episode 93

The Purple Tie Show Episode 92

The Purple Tie Show combines business, marketing, and technology.

Guys, we took a week off. Sorry. Moving on.

Last week we recorded about 15 minutes of terrible podcast and decided that we just weren’t up to the task. Rather than releasing something that was subpar, we took a week off, regrouped, and now we’ve got some excellent content for you!

A recap of what we talked about last week was:

Retro Pie and Russell Brunson’s Funnel Hacker Blackbox

Apple may be moving into Carnegie Library

Apple also just injected about $200 million dollars into Corning Glass

Dragon Naturallyspeaking

We’ll be going back to Dragon next week probably. It’s a great program, but it has a lot left to be desired when it comes to transcription.

There are rumors swirling about Apple possibly taking the Ipad mini off the market. I’m not sure where I found that article, but I completely believe it. In a world where you can get a 6″ phone, there’s so little need for a 7 or 8 inch tablet that doesn’t let you make phone calls. It would be a smart move on Apple’s part if for no other reason than to funnel the money previously allocated to the mini into something else like the iPhone or one of their various failing computer lines (I’m looking at you MacBook Pro and Mac Pro).

Here’s a link to the Motel 6 radio ad made for millennials. You decide if it’s appropriate for airplay (of course, we do say AF quite a few times during the show today, sooooooo?)

We briefly talked about being a great artist but still needing a sales team. That’s why creatives hire agents who know their way around the market. So they don’t have to sell their own products. They just pay someone else to do that for them.

Tesla announced their solar roof shingle replacements a while back, and I’ve been salivating for them ever sense. I love the idea of putting solar panels on my roof, but when I check on pricing years ago it was astronomical (hundreds of thousands of dollars). Finding out that these shingle replacements are more durable and cheaper than traditional roof materials was so exciting, I started saving money for a new roof IMMEDIATELY. And now they have the ability to PRINT solar conductive material and put it literally anywhere. As Robert points out in the podcast, you can take a huge roll of it into the desert, unroll it and suddenly have power! It’s such an amazing time for alternative fuels. In 20 or 30 years, maybe a huge percentage of roofs in the U.S. will be solar. Maybe we’ll actually begin reversing some of the effects of pollution due to fossil fuel emissions. Or maybe nothing will change at all. We’ll just have to wait and see. I, for one, will have a solar powered roof!

Check The Purple Tie: Inspiring Success on Facebook or Twitter for all your digital marketing, online advertising, and web design!

Listen to the episode!

By | 2017-06-16T14:09:58+00:00 May 23rd, 2017|Post|Comments Off on The Purple Tie Show Episode 92

Leaving Dex Media or Hibu Is Possible!

I may have ranted a little about the pet peeves that I have with large media dex media and Hibucompanies such as Dex Media, Hibu, or YP.  It has been a hot button issue with local web development and marketing agencies when they advertise their own services to other local businesses only to be told very quickly, “We’re not interested. I am already paying for a website that does nothing for me, I don’t need a website.”

As I have been researching the entire debacle, a question popped into my head; Have customers been able to leave big media companies with their websites intact?

Another small business web designer, marketer, and blogger, Teri Brooks from TBrooks Web Design, answered the question for me in her insightful article about the insane but still possible process of canceling an account with Dex Media, Hibu and other Big Media entities.  Click on the link below for the amazing advice.

http://tbrookswebdesign.com/blog-cancel-dexmedia.html

Thank you, Teri Brooks. You are doing good work out there!

By | 2017-06-16T14:00:54+00:00 May 17th, 2017|Post|Comments Off on Leaving Dex Media or Hibu Is Possible!

The Purple Tie Show Episode 91

The Purple Tie Show combines business, marketing, and technology.

I’m going to start out by saying, “We’re not an Apple podcast.” That being said, let’s talk about Apple! For the 2nd quarter in a row, iPhone sales have slipped. That sets up an interesting question: what is Apple’s “next thing?” There are rumors swirling that Apple may spend a portion of its billions of dollars to buy another company. We’ve talked about Apple possibly buying Tesla before, but there are many other companies that they’re looking into. Disney, Hulu, Netflix, Activision Blizzard, Take-Two Interactive, and Electronic Arts are all rumors to be on the table. I suppose we’ll see.

We also briefly talked about Windows 10S as a competitor to Chrome OS. I wanted to squeeze it in there before I went to the next thing because we didn’t talk that much about it.

The next thing: Expert Secrets, Affiliate marketing and retargeting! Get Expert Secrets for free, just pay shipping. Go to http://purpletieguys.com/freebook and grab that book. It’s great! The author is Russell Brunson, creator of ClickFunnels.com . Another affiliate link: http://purpletieguys.com/funnel . It’s a great website for building things like lead generating forms and squeeze pages. We talk at length about why retargeting doesn’t pick up that you’ve purchased something months after you initially searched for it. I didn’t get a chance to put in my doubts about technology being able to tell that you’ve purchased something. Especially if you bought it in a physical location, like Best Buy. That’d be near impossible, I think. But if I’d purchased the Bluetooth headset through Amazon (which is where I searched for it, but not where I actually bought it), I think they’d be able to turn off those types of retargeting ads. At that point, it’s basically just a database search.

Check The Purple Tie: Inspiring Success on Facebook or Twitter for all your digital marketing, online advertising, and web design!

Listen to the episode!

By | 2017-06-16T13:51:41+00:00 May 9th, 2017|Post|Comments Off on The Purple Tie Show Episode 91

The Purple Tie Show Episode 90

The Purple Tie Show combines business, marketing, and technology.

In our rambling first segment, we talk about using other advertisements to encourage your own. That doesn’t mean blatantly copying, but what we actually mean for you to do is take inspiration from other advertisers and use them to create something unique of your own. In the process of making that point we talk about Volcano and Dante’s Peak (two of my all time favorite guilty pleasures).

Next, we talk about modular shoes. This started life as a Kickstarter called Shooz. They’ve changed their company name and the name of their product. You can find them on their Shopify page (https://one-footwear.myshopify.com/). It’s a really cool concept, in my opinion. You get separate tops and soles. Then you can mix and match to make a “custom” shoe. Things like this has lead to our next topic of conversation, the downfall of Payless Shoes. Payless is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and closing 400+ stores in 2017. Now, this isn’t news to any parent who’s had to buy shoes in the past 10 years, but Payless is notorious for doubling and tripling shoe prices in order to sell a 2nd pair at “half price.” You can’t sustain that business model forever, and this is the inevitable result of that.

Lastly, we talk about Verizon losing 400,000+ users before starting their Unlimited Data plan. Competition from T-Mobile (in the form of their Binge On plan) almost literally tore customers from Verizon’s claws, giving them something they hadn’t had in a while: no fear. No fear of going over their data, text messages, or minutes (yes, that used to be a thing). And Verizon realized what it had to do a little too late. But they’re fighting back now, and honestly, they’re winning on many fronts. But it just goes to show you that if you don’t adapt your competition will always find a way to overshadow you.

Check The Purple Tie: Inspiring Success on Facebook or Twitter for all your digital marketing, online advertising, and web design!

Listen to the episode!

By | 2017-05-02T14:52:57+00:00 April 25th, 2017|podcast, Post|Comments Off on The Purple Tie Show Episode 90