During the after-glow of Thanksgiving and the start of holiday shopping, Tony Hsieh died.
His untimely death resulted from being badly burned in a house fire.
During his short life, the author of Delivering Happiness exemplified the true meaning of Thanksgiving and gratitude.
Tony’s work and his higher level ideals revealed the combined power of imagination, hard work and persistence in the tech industry.
Dubbed “a pioneer of a company culture,” Tony adopted Holacracy in 2013. He wanted to increase the corporate agility, efficiency, transparency, innovation and accountability of Zappos. Despite his desire to make employees more responsible, 14% of them quit in 2015.
Speaking for DTP Companies, formerly the Downtown Project, Megan Fazio expressed Tony’s passing best:
“Tony’s kindness and generosity touched the lives of everyone around him, and forever brightened the world. Delivering happiness was always his mantra, so instead of mourning his transition, we ask you to join us in celebrating his life.”
What new Thanksgiving traditions did you create this year?
Or, did you risk one last family gathering before the next major wave of COVID?
Despite 13+ million US COVID infections, 900,000+ people traveled through US airports around Thanksgiving according to the TSA.
While below the overstuffed, premium-priced Thanksgiving holiday levels, financially strapped airlines used low prices to entice travelers and fill seats.
Even in the best of times, airplanes are breeding grounds for less severe, airborne illnesses since people breath recirculated air for long time periods. So my husband and I didn’t get why travelers persuaded themselves of the “need to travel.”
Since my sister moved to Los Angeles shortly after she got married, I’ve experienced this herd travel for many Thanksgivings. So I can honestly tell you it’s NOT fun!
Even without small children or older parents, your trip will be stressful and involves:
- Bumper-to-bumper traffic to and from the airport,
- Cranky people at every step of the process,
- Never-ending TSA lines filled with people who must remove more clothing and/or more items from their luggage,
- Delayed flights due to being oversold and/or weather issues, and
- Dealing with relatives you may not want to see.
Before you take more holiday time off, check this advice:
Astute Marketers Care About Email Autoresponders – Do You?
For Thankgiving 2020, my husband and I opted for a lazy, work-free day without devices except for the television! As a result, we experienced the true meaning of Thanksgiving, gratitude for having each other and our love.
While many brands and businesses talk about gratitude at this time of year, you must go beyond empty lip service to share real love for others.
What does this have to do with your marketing?
Before the annual US holiday shopping season starts, ask how your brand stands for more than profitable sales.
The truth is your customers and audience expect you to!
It’s this lesson Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh practiced during his career and across his audiences.
In 2004, Tony moved Zappos from the Bay Area to Las Vegas to expand the customer service operation. With a flat management structure, he empowered and inspired employees.
Tony chose downtown Las Vegas for its 20th-century modernist flourishes. He saw its innate charm beneath its decline. As a result, he bought chunks of the downtown area of Las Vegas to regrow using the tech model.
Want to learn more about Tony Hsieh and his marketing lessons?
- Happiness Leads to Profits – Tony talks to Stanford Professor Jennifer Aaker’s class.
- 2016 People Analytics Conference – An interview with Wharton Professor Adam Grant
So how can you be like Tony Hsieh?
Ask how your brand can show you really care while giving back to your community.
Use these 2 customer guides to inspire your actions:
- The Ultimate Guide To Celebrate Your Customers: 100 Ways To Thank Your Customers
- 31 Ways To Thank Your Customers
Last week, I went to the East Fifties section of midtown Manhattan. Being the start of the holiday season, I remembered visiting this area with my parents. They took my siblings and me to see the department store windows in their child-attracting Christmas finery.
As I walked by The Palace Hotel on Madison Avenue, I peeked into its courtyard. I saw its tall tree proudly dressed in its red and white holiday best.
On Fifth Avenue at 42nd Street, the stately stone lions of the New York Public Library (aka: NYPL) wore evergreen wreaths with red bows tied around their manes.
Sadly, I walked by the former Lord & Taylor flagship store without a second glance. While it had been a key stop on our family holiday outings, it closed in 2019.
Like other retail stores and small businesses, going-out-of-business is an economic reality across New York City. It results from the combination of COVID, work from home (aka #WFH), and income losses.
Even the usually crowded the block of Fifth Avenue in front of the Empire State Building was empty. Since COVID closed it to tourists.
When I checked my inbox Saturday after avoiding the Black Friday chaos, it exploded with promotional emails. Every business that had my email address felt compelled to mail me. This included organizations with no reason to sell me anything.
Instead of enticing me to buy, the email overload caused mass email deletion.
Attention Scotty, we have a marketing problem!
The fat pants my inbox wore reminded me of my boss at The Economist. He wanted me to send a Valentine’s Day promotion.
The Wall Street Journal sent one.
Despite our Valentine-red brand color, promoting a digital subscription to The Economist made no sense for this holiday.
The marketers who made me holiday-inspired offers via email followed this logic.
While many small business executives think and act like consumers, don’t apply consumer holiday hooks to your B2B promotions.
Because it can burn your email list, yield less profitable sales, and/or result in lost customers.
Instead ask these 3 actionable holiday marketing questions:
- Is this holiday relevant to my audience AND my offering?
- Must I lock in short-term sales to capture longer-term profits and/or returning customers?
- Are on-boarding and nurturing processes in place? Can you reuse existing content to help new customers to use your offering? Also, can it engage newbies to buy more and/or related products?
Remember: Making budget numbers doesn’t mean success if you hurt profits and/or long-term growth.
If you REALLY must send promotional emails during crowded inbox periods:
Think about how to make it stand out in a sea of communications.
Social Media Marketing Still Matters!
Since social media is here to stay, you must keep up with the latest changes.
To help, access Agorapulse’s Twitter Social Media Summit. It’s packed with useful AND actionable tactics. Even better, it’s STILL free for another few weeks, sign up NOW to view it.
Welcome new subscribers: Rozi, Antony, Federica, Crystal, Amanda, Ирина, Jonathan, Lorna, Natasha, Bao, Ephantus, Eman, Abhi, Zakea and Oluwatobi.
If you enjoy reading the AMG Newsletter, I would appreciate it if you forwarded it to your friends and colleagues.
P.S.: Want Heidi Cohen to contribute a quote or other commentary to your next article, presentation, video, research and/or book? Then hit reply to this email and ask.
FEATURED ARTICLE: Best Holiday Content Marketing Example
How do you measure if your holiday content marketing created lasting success economically and financially?
Sorry. Campbell’s Thanksgiving Bean Casserole wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for Sarah Josepha Hale’s decades long work in the 1800s.
Read this Holiday Content Marketing Campaign article to get the case studies, data, research and worksheets you need to create campaigns that will yield profitable returns over time.
FEATURED ARTICLE: Seismic Content Marketing Shift
Did you know that they were present in the marketplace pre-COVID?
Based on research, this article gives you the data and case studies you need to make the case to your boss to improve your future marketing success.
FEATURED ARTICLE: Content Marketing Pivot
As always, we’ve got you covered with the research, data, charts, examples and tactics you need to meet these evolving needs!
Heidi Cohen Around The Web
► Heidi Cohen was named one of the Top 20 Content Marketing Influencers on Twitter by SEMrush in their 2020 State of Content Marketing.
► Along with Content Marketing smarties Jay Acunzo and Jay Baer, Heidi Cohen was featured in Bannerstock’s “11 Marketers Reveal Their Best Tips to Be Creative and Productive This Winter”. Hat tip: Amalia Pop
Welcome Mat Photo via Mabel Amber https://www.pexels.com/photo/jetty-feet-sign-wooden-128299/ cc zero
Photo of Tony Hsieh from his LinkedIn profile.
The fine print:
Unless noted otherwise, all photos are ©2020 by Heidi Cohen
Some links in this email are for affiliate programs that will earn us a small commission should you purchase a product or service. Thanks in advance for your support.
Did you get this email forwarded from a friend? Get your own subscription here.
- Want to create and send email newsletters like this? I use AWeber.
- Please contact postmaster@HeidiCohen.com if you have any problem with this email.