Make Lemonade: Leverage Customer Criticism Into Small Business Success

Even the Baby Has his business inputMaybe it’s just glass-half-full mentality, but Rob Hatch, the operational yin to bestselling author and speaker Chris Brogan’s yang over at, views every customer-generated communication as an opportunity. Even if the message is a literal “eff you.”

Many companies might cringe or become overly defensive about customer criticism and react instead of respond. They might even just ignore it completely. Yet not Hatch, who would likely …

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Posted in all, customer service, eCommerce, how to, Market Research, Message, Online Sales, Reviews, Small Business Success Tips, Website | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lunar Eclipse Lessons On Responding To Reviews

Screenshot 2014-04-15 06.46.10Nerd Alert! Did you see last night’s lunar eclipse? At the point that you would think the moon would totally disappear from the shadow of the Earth, it didn’t. Instead, a glowing red spectacle, known as the blood moon appeared.  So cool!

How does this happen? Sunsets and sunrises going on our planet still get reflected in the moon even though our planet is blocking the sun at the time. And here’s the segway;… read more

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Small Business Survival: Making the Most of Your Mad (Business) Skillz

duffAs discussed in our most recent Ask Olga, many folks have toyed with the idea of transitioning their sometimes hobby into a bona fide small business. When thinking about how to start a successful small business, a lot of artisans begin with that hobby and begin building their small business ideas around that starting point.

Unfortunately, mere enjoyment of a hobby does not necessarily a successful small business make, even if you have the most mad creative skillz. That’s because small businesses presents boatloads of financial, administrative, personnel, and even regulatory challenges that can baffle (or bore) even the most talented artisans. In order to transition an enjoyable activity into a real profit center …

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Posted in game changers, how to, Small Business Ideas, Small Business Success Stories, Small Business Success Tips, Starting a Small Business | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fool’s or Fools?


Ok, So we’ll talk next week. It’s not you, it’s me.

April Fools! Or is it April Fool’s?!

Is it just a day for the one you’ll be fooling or is it a special day for all fools? Aren’t we all fools at some time? In which case, is it a day for all of us?

Until next week, Happy April Fools Day. I hope you enjoyed your day of tom foolery.


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Nordstrom Continues Digital Marketing Blitz, Spotlighting Video In The Quirky YouPhoria Online Ad Campaign

“Just because you’re building a log cabin doesn’t mean you should dress like a crazed mountain hermit.”

Nordstrom Digital Ad
YouPhoria: Chainsaw

Many view digital marketing as either a cosmic mystery too overwhelming to fathom or a big, fat waste of time and/or resources.

Well, I’m guessing Nordstrom would beg to disagree. After focusing almost all of its resources on the digital sphere in the past few years (a whopping $36 million in advertising in 2012 alone), the upscale retail chain has tapped into the motherlode with its all-out online marketing blitz. By year end in 2012, Nordstrom boosted its online revenues by…

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Posted in all, eCommerce, Future, Online Ad Campaign, Online Marketing, Online Sales, Rebranding, Social Media, videos, Website | Leave a comment

Ask Olga: How To Turn Your Passion Into Profit

calvin_singingHow do I turn my passion into a business? I’ve done vocal coaching for years, mainly as a hobby. Last year I wanted to change into a bona fide business. To that end, I’ve been out there, networking at Chamber events and larger conferences. I’m seeing a need for business folks to gain confidence speaking, live and on camera. I’d like to offer products in that vein, building upon my years of experience as a vocal coach.

Sloane Reali

Many of my readers have the entrepreneurial spirit and want to be successful business owners. But they haven’t taken the leap quite yet. For most, how to… read more

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Smart iTunes Radio Ad Makes It A Febreze To Laugh In The Face of Odor

Listening to iTunes radio ad on a recent 405 freeway torture session, I was surprised to find myself enjoying … a radio commercial for Febreze car vent clips. The radio spot was definitely entertaining, voicing the scheming thoughts of a universally unsavory odor whose car-invading smells were foiled by a Febreze clippy thing. Yet to my marketing-tuned ear, the real success of the spot came way before the commercial copy was written. What anchored the Febreze commercial was…
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CARma! Uber’s Most Controversial Move Yet: Rating The Consumer

“Don’t judge me – you don’t even know me!” True dat. But in the business world, consumers (like me!) make purchase choices based on the overall ratings of fellow buyers.

In a 2013 survey with over 1000 participants, a full 9 out of 10 that read online reviews claimed that positive online reviews influenced buying decisions, while almost as many (86%) said buying decisions were influenced by negative online reviews. What would happen if … read more

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Laboring Over How To Name A Small Business? Oh, Baby!

goldilocks-ohbaby, online marketing solutionsNaming your small business can be a lot like naming a baby. Sometimes you just know well in advance, and sometimes you agonize over the decision to find the perfect Goldilocks fit that’s “just right.” And regardless, everyone has an opinion, and not always a good one. Take my recent suggestion of the name “Lincoln” to a preggy friend after completely forgetting her last name was Park. Her withering reply: “Really, Olga?” …  read more

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Hipsters, Not Hippies! Know Your Market, Man.

vanagon-holdinghandsWho’s type are you? What type of person is the most likely to choose your product, you handsome devil, you? And, critically, why will they choose your product?

Know your target market. This credo is at the very top of my list of small business success tips. Why? Because it’s darn near impossible to formulate a successful “creative” marketing plan unless you have a firm grasp on the identity of your target customer, the more detailed, the better. And by “creative marketing” we mean … read more

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