Why align yourself with these companies, T-Mobile? Why?

20 September 2010 Categories: Blog, Marketing Tips

We all know that when we have a good experience we talk about it, but when we have a bad experience we talk it up even more  to everyone that will listen to us, right?

I’m a Blackberry girl so last April when my BB went kaput and wouldn’t take a charge, I was desperate.  I needed a new phone badly especially since my phone is my virtual office.  That was the day my life would change and I would curse myself for ever stepping foot into this store called 2B Wireless.

Ever hear of T-Mobile exclusive distributors?  They claim to be T-Mobile, but really, they’re far from.  The only similarity they have is that the T-Mobile logo is plastered all over the walls and windows, and your phone comes in a T-Mobile bag.

As soon as I walked in I asked the rep, “Is this a T-Mobile store?”

He answered, “Yes, we do all of the same things T-Mobile does, but we’re an exclusive distributor.”  All of the things, huh?

My first gut reaction was to run, but I stayed since I was already there and told him I needed a new phone.  Since I was not eligible for any phone specials, he suggested that I add a line to my current plan which would give me the phone at a heavily discounted rate.  As long as I never used the line, there wouldn’t be any problems.  Was also told that with this new line, I was eligible for a $50 Visa gift card.  WRONG!  Not only did my bill skyrocket an extra $100, but I never received the gift card and kept getting denied when I reapplied for it.  Brother.  After eight calls to T-Mobile and reps telling me I should have just gone to T-Mobile directly who would have given me a phone discount due to my long-time contract with them, and never would have suggested changing my plan, I asked them what the he** they were doing representing this company if they could not do all the things T-Mobile could do!  I was livid to the point that Verizon, AT&T, any network was looking pretty good.

T-Mobile, the real T-Mobile, finally resolved everything about a month later, switched me back to my original plan, and credited me the $50.  They had written numerous notes (eight of them) in my account about my situation with a note that read NO ETF, or no early termination fee.

Apparently exclusive distributors don’t talk to T-Mobile or share the same computer systems even though they’re affiliated.  Last week, yes 6 months later, my credit card was charged the $200 ETF from a company called 2B Wireless.  Don’t know why I didn’t see that coming so I am now disputing it with my credit card company, yet another call I had to make to resolve this incredibly draining situation.

So I ask, why T-Mobile, why on earth would you align yourself with a company that will lie,  ruin relationships with your long-standing customers, cause them to go elsewhere because they’ve had enough, and represent you in such a negative light???  I’m still trying to figure that out.  Why would any company for that matter?  I’m a small business owner and would never build an alliance with anyone that I couldn’t trust 100% to deliver the same service I would.  All I know is that if 2B Wireless continues to stay in business, the more and more customers T-Mobile will tick off. Get ready for new clients Verizon, Sprint and AT&T.  They’re coming.

Had a similar experience and feel like venting?  Comment back and let’s show these big name companies what not to do in business.

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Hi. I suffer from productive schizophrenia. And you?

26 July 2010 Categories: Blog, Marketing Tips, The Mommy Chronicles

While in my Minding Her Biz mastermind group last Thursday, the founder Lori Martinek said she is a productive schizo.  And to that I immediately replied, “Me, too!  I just didn’t know what to diagnose it as!”  Clever.

When you juggle motherhood, business, the day-to-day, clients, kids, whatever, you’re constantly changing hats…constantly.  Like the other day when I tweeted, “I have my business hat on, but oh I hear Caleb, so must switch to mommy hat now.”  How many of you can relate?

Just know that productive schizophrenia isn’t a bad thing by any means, just means that we’re getting better and better at wearing the many hats.

Love your feedback and stories.  Comments welcome.

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Minding Her Biz – What a fabulous idea!

23 July 2010 Categories: Blog, Marketing Tips

This month I was chosen as the Minding Her Biz candidate for July.  I had my meeting yesterday and brought my trusty sidekick and fellow entrepreneur (future Mary Kay director), Gwen Tautimez, with me to take notes while I shared my next big business idea with a room of complete strangers.  Nervous?  A little, but once I got comfortable talking with these women and hearing their input, I could see that my plan of action needed a bit of fine tuning.  Totally doable.

When it’s our idea, we’re so quick to think the idea can stand on its own two feet when clearly it can’t.  We don’t see these gaps because we’re too close to it, and friends and family don’t see them because they’re trying to be nice and supportive.  We’re entrepreneurs.  Nice doesn’t cut it sometimes.

First thing out of these ladies’ mouths was, “We’re not your friends, so we will give you our honest feedback without holding anything back.”  Good.  Just what I needed to hear.  They had no vested interest in my idea, just for the two hours where we could brainstorm ideas to move it forward.

I learned a lot from these women and would highly recommend them to any other aspiring entrepreneurs, or even established ones, to see if the idea holds weight.  Believe they do remote calls, too, for those outside of the Phoenix area.

Find out more about this one-time mastermind group at www.mindingherbiz.com

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Missing the boat when it comes to your target market?

17 March 2010 Categories: Marketing Tips

missed-the-boat.jpgMany of you know of my latest adventure – creating the Mompreneur of the Year event this April in Mesa.  Lately I’ve been cold calling on businesses I feel would be a good fit for event attendees.  My criteria?  Businesses that appeal to moms in general and/or women growing their business in the Phoenix-metro area.  I’m not a fan of cold calling, but know that it needs to be done in order for the expo to be successful.  Can’t have an expo without exhibitors, right?

There are plenty of businesses that appeal to moms and mom entrepreneurs as the title of the event suggests, but I have to say that some of these businesses continue to amaze me, and not in a good way.

Just the other week I walked into a children’s consignment store in Mesa and was told by the owner that she doesn’t sell to mom entrepreneurs, but she sells to moms.  “What??” you ask?  Yes, my thoughts exactly.  Mom entrepreneurs are not her target market.  How she determines which moms are stay-at-home and which are entrepreneurs and business women is beyond me, but this is the response I received from her.  I was floored.  Moms are the very people she should be reaching out to.  I left her store wondering if she thought all mom entrepreneurs are wealthy beyond their wildest dreams and only shopped at high end boutiques.   If anything, mom entrepreneurs are the most practical people on the planet.

Another business you would think has the marketing sense to figure out “who” their target market is was a big box store in Chandler that sold baby and children everything.  They are new in the market competing with the likes of Toys ‘R Us and Babies ‘R Us.  In fact, just received an insert in the mail with their coupons and ads.  You know that had to cost a pretty penny.  So, why do you think exhibiting at an event that reached their target market in the geographic location they’re in would be a turn off to them?  Again, no idea.  I suppose they enjoy spending big dollars on expensive advertising to reach homes without children when I can guarantee that 95% of the event attendees have young children at home.  Perplexes me.

I provide these examples not to bash on these business owners, but to educate readers that identifying your target market is key to making your business work.  You cannot be all things to all people, so narrow it down.  These businesses have not yet figured out “who” they should be marketing to.  They’re inundated with this advertising opportunity and that that they don’t know when a good opportunity knocks on their door that will bring them new customers.  They use the shotgun approach to marketing, which is definitely quite costly, and hope and pray it brings in customers.  Not good.

If you’re re-evaluating who your target market is, please keep in mind these items.

Demographics
1. Age
2. Income
3. Family Size
4. Education
5. Occupation
6. Gender
7. Nationality/Race

Geographic Location
1. Regional habits
2. Climate

Psychographics (Behaviors, Lifestyle, etc.)
1. Brand loyalty
2. Value of quality

And if you need help in this area, just ask.  Would be happy to chat with you.

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Past blog posts…

07 March 2010 Categories: Blog, Marketing Tips, The Mommy Chronicles

Throughout the last year, I’ve written numerous posts about business, events, and life.  Rather than transfer each post one by one and copying the comments that go along with it, I figure most folks will just read the most up to date.  Plus, who has the time to copy and paste each post one by one?  Not me.

If you’d like to read past blog posts, please visit www.simplyputmarketing.wordpress.com and/or www.mommymarketeer.wordpress.com and feel free to leave comments there.  From now on, I will add directly to my site Tisha Marie Pelletier any new marketing, event planning or mommyhoood posts.  Hope you’ll keep reading.

Thanks for understanding!  When you’re a mom and an entrepreneur, time is definitely of the essence.

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Dying a slow death – A definite marketing no-no.

05 February 2010 Categories: Marketing Tips

Yesterday, my friends and I (Michael Pitkin of VINA and Ros of Ficklets) and I attended the Get Motivated seminar at US Airways in Phoenix.  First of all, best seminar I’ve ever been to for $5 (although highly recommend taking the light rail next time, parking was $30), got to listen to some amazing speakers including General Colin Powell, Kurt Warner and Steve Forbes, and it did what it said it would do – it got me motivated.  I’m no longer afraid of the risks I’m taking in my life which include finishing my book or planning the Mompreneur of the Year event this April, I’m going for it full force and putting my heart into it.  No failure allowed, only success, right Kurt Warner?  God love him.

So, after six speakers throughout the morning, my friends and I were starved.  Not just hungry, but starved and about to pass out if we didn’t get any food within the next few minutes.  Just as everyone ventured out of the arena for the 65- minute break, so did we although not sure why, there were a ton of food vendors located above us on the second level of the arena.  Anywho, we found a NY style pizza shop directly across from the arena and headed over there.

Lines of people zig zagged in the restaurant and out the door waiting for the pizza special – drink, slice and salad for $5.50.  Good deal.  We thought about leaving, thought about going next door, but stayed put.  As soon as we got inside after about a 1/2 hour wait with numerous people still behind us looking as hungry as we were, the owner did something so imaginable I, no make that we, couldn’t believe our eyes.  He put a sign on the door that said “We’re closed!”  About 20 people stood in line for a slice of his pizza and he told them to leave.  Those just inside the door were safe though, including us.

Leave?  Really?  Sure, I can understand if you can’t accommodate patrons because you ran out of food, but this was not the case.   When we asked if he ran out of dough, the owner said “I have plenty of food, but I’m running out of patience for people!!!  Make sure no one comes in here,” and he went back to making pizza.  I don’t know about you, but 20 people x $5.50/head at minimum is a lot of “dough” for a small business.  I’m sure he doesn’t get this type of traffic on any normal day, right, so why not make a lot of money today to hold him over the days when he doesn’t??

Wow.  Now, it’s not brain surgery or anything, but isn’t the reason you go into business is so that you can attract customers, build relationships and entice them to come back and tell their friends and family thus creating even more business?  How many people do those 20 people know?  Not to mention, how many people just tweeted, Facebooked, or blogged what they had just witnessed (well, clearly I am, I’m a marketing person. :)?  After spending 20 or more minutes in line to now hear “Leave now.  We’re closed,” I would be a little, no make that a lot, ticked off, especially now that I had even less time to find somewhere to eat, wait in yet another line, and make it back to the seminar!  He didn’t do it politely, just rudely.  He didn’t apologize or offer a discount to come back at another time, just shooshed them away like a wandering cat on the driveway not welcome there.

Now, I’ve heard that downtown Phoenix struggles a bit with getting people into businesses.  If this is still the case, this pizza owner has just committed the ultimate marketing sin in my book.  He has given his future customers, and possibly current customers, a taste of what he really thinks of them – he has no patience for his customers.  In a world where customer service is everything in business, I’m now wondering if he’ll be in business next time I head to the arena.  Guess we’ll just wait and see.

Interested to hear others thoughts on this.  Share this or comment back please.

(FYI, these comments are not from me.  Just moved over in the transition from one blog site to the next.  Just ignore my picture next to each comment.  I swear I don’t comment on my own blogs! :))

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It’s a good day for some PR.

03 December 2008 Categories: Marketing Tips

While I do PR for clients, it’s not the thing I focus on most, but when I do, watch out!  What I love most about it is under promising and over delivering to clients.  I never guarantee results, but you should see the clients’ faces light up when I tell them their story ran or they’re going to be on TV.  It’s priceless.

In fact, my first stint at PR was when I was back at ASU.  I was hired on by a small company called AZeats to launch their business, an online restaurant dining guide in Phoenix.  When I sent the press release, I had no idea what type of response the client would get.  It ended up getting them a full-page profile in the Phoenix Business Journal, coverage in various restaurant magazines, and a full-year of coverage every Friday morning on KPHO channel 5 reviewing their client’s restaurants!  Talk about great coverage and value, not to mention more sales for them!  They could now go after more restaurants with the power of the media behind them.  Their media value was estimated at over $30,000 off one release.  I got paid $50… Go figure.

Anyway, PR can work for any business if executed properly.  It takes a lot of time to build connections and of course, there are no guarantees like advertising, but hey, it works and can really make a huge difference for your business.

In fact, today I got coverage for my client, rsvpBOOK, in some national event trade publications.  Now that’s what I call a good day for some PR.  Woohoo!

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Business is about social networking…and so is the dog park.

28 November 2008 Categories: Marketing Tips

Ever since I’ve had Caleb, my boxer pup Diesel, has had his share of adjustments.  Of course this happens when youbring a child into the world and your pet has now become second string to the kid.  My husband has this tendency to overpromise and under deliver when it comes to Diesel.  Monday it was “I promise we’ll go for a walk tomorrow, D”, and then of course Tuesday came and that “walk” never happened.  Sean was too tired.  Understandable, he works 10-hour days and gets up at 4am, but still - my heart went out to Diesel.

So since Caleb was at my sister-in-law’s today, I made it my mission to go above and beyond for D.  I took him to the doggie park and let him roam freely with the other pups.  Letting D run around, play and ”converse” with the other dogs (he particularly liked this pitbull/dalmation mix), it dawned on me that dogs at the dog park are not shy about networking.  They meet, run and play together like they’re old pals.

Well, same goes for business.  If you’re too shy, then what are you doing in business?  Business is about getting out there, meeting new people and sharing ideas!!!  In fact, I just attended a wonderful seminar on how to use Facebook presented by MaryPat Kavanagh, the queen of social marketing, that says the best way to attract business is to make friends.  So, now, that’s my mission in life and in business - making more connections whether it’s on Facebook, at the coffee shop, at networking events or even at the dog park.

See?  Dogs really can teach their owners something every day! :)  D gave me the inspiration for this blog!

Want to connect on Facebook?  Click here.  See you there!

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