ManipuRATED – Book Interview

manipurated-coverHeidi Cohen interviews Daniel Lemin

Q: What’s your best piece of advice for readers looking to improve their marketing?

Stay connected to your customer. In my book, I show how small businesses are succeeding with online ratings and reviews, and how they put the insights captured on those sites to work as a marketing vessel for their business.

But the single best feeling a potential customer can have of a business they are considering is that the business – its owner(s), employees and staff – are enthusiastically embracing customer feedback. In our world, where it’s easy to leave feedback about any business, this can be a substantial differentiator that sets one business apart from another.

Q: What was the inspiration for Minipurated?

I wanted to translate what I’ve learned in 15 years in the digital marketing industry into a tangible set of guidelines and lessons that any business owner can use to make their business better. That includes avoiding fraudulent reviews, using review platforms to become a better business and outpacing competitors by having a strong pro-customer focus.

Q: What is the key concept behind your book?

To successfully manage and address online ratings and reviews for your business, you need to treat the platforms with respect. They represent an exceptional marketing opportunity. The business owners I interviewed who are successfully leveraging these platforms follow a code of conduct.

Minipurated – code of conduct

Q: What do you want readers to take away from your book?

Online ratings and reviews can be a frustrating experience for both consumers and business owners alike, left unchecked. By following a few simple steps and just a little bit of valuable time, it is possible to make the most of the platforms and ensure your customers – current and prospective alike – are well educated about your business.

Q: How do you describe yourself professionally?

I’m a marketing veteran with a passion for innovation. I’m incredibly curious about a variety of disciplines, a trait that I notice in most of my marketing colleagues. The ability to quickly master a new tool, platform or topic allows me to test new things. I also love to teach others what I’ve learned – good and bad – and allow them to learn from my experience.

Q: What are 1-3 books that inspired your work?

This is an easy question for me. There are three books that I continue to go back to again and again for inspiration.

  • Obvious Adams: This is a tiny little book that’s virtually out of print. It was first printed in early 1900s and details one young man’s climb to success in the New York advertising industry. His mantra, and one that I’ve embraced, is to always seek the most obvious solution to a problem. When you make things more difficult than they need to be, you’ve set yourself up for hardship.
  • The Alchemist: There are many outstanding and valuable life lessons in this perennial crowd-pleaser, but perhaps my personal favorite is the value of strong storytelling. The entire book is a well-crafted fable, one that draws you in and keeps you captivated. Storytelling is a big part of our jobs as marketers, and we sometimes forget how valuable it is.
  • Quiet: This is a relatively recent addition to my list of all-time favorites. It’s a comprehensive look at the power of introverts. I’m an introvert by nearly every measure. It’s something I’ve learned to deal with in an industry that’s jam-packed with extrovert personalities. Author Susan Cain gives power to the quiet personality in all of us.

Q: What is the biggest challenge that you’ve had to overcome?

Learning to let go! Nobody likes to fail or admit that something they’ve tried hasn’t worked. I sometimes hang on to ideas, concepts and even tactical executions too long, trying to perfect them or make them work out of a sense of duty to the idea. What I’ve learned is that it’s OK to say “let go, it didn’t work.” This is something Silicon Valley embraces with almost no restraint; “fail fast” is something that’s repeated in start-up circles. There’s truth to it, and there’s immense value in letting go of ideas that aren’t delivering any value.

Q: What’s something unusual or fun that most people don’t know about you?

Well, many people are surprised to learn I’m a severe introvert (as I referenced above), particularly since I do a ton of public speaking in front of large crowds. It’s something I’ve learned that I share in common with a surprising number of other authors and industry luminaries. Beyond that, many people are also surprised that I have an almost photographic memory of geography and maps. It’s a trait that’s served me well in international travel and always proves useful.

Q: Is there a piece of content, a social media campaign or a marketing campaign that you worked on that you’re particularly proud of?

It’s a funny thing, but five or six years ago I started a page on Facebook for my dog, Truman. I originally started it as a place to test apps, ideas and content examples without using my personal profile or a client’s Facebook page. What I learned is that on Facebook, as elsewhere on the Internet, dogs (along with cats) are huge. Routinely, my dog’s Facebook engagement numbers outpace my own. It’s the power of entertainment! He’s even ended up in an ad campaign for a pet health insurer and is featured on their website.

Daniel LeminContact information

Thanks, Daniel.

Happy Marketing,
Heidi Cohen

Heidi CohenHeidi Cohen is the President of Riverside Marketing Strategies.
You can find Heidi on Google+, Facebook and Twitter.

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