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Theresa Quintanilla
Houston, TX
Founder at SteadyCRM.com
Interests: CRM, customer relationship management, marketing, loyalty, innovation, business books, houston's image, blogging, new york, marketing trends
Recent Activity
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I've never been a poker player, but I recently started using a computer game that frequently deals me new playing pieces on a supposedly random basis. Playing that game has made me very sensitive to the fact that, no matter my skill level, I can't go very far in the game unless the right pieces appear at the right time. In life, persistence will pay off provided that bad luck doesn't disable or derail us. Unfortunately it often does, and then we are often further punished by society. If we are committed to being fair to those around us, then... Continue reading
Posted 14 minutes ago at QViews
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As we build our companies from the ground up, different processes and IT systems are installed to handle different tasks. It's becoming increasingly clear that customers will not tolerate these silos. If our customer marketing system is not integrated with our customer service system, we will drive customers away. They now expect us to recognize every way they've ever intersected with our company, and change our behavior accordingly. In order to have a good and growing base of customers who appreciate our company, we have to create a single IT system to take care of these people. That's why the... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at QViews
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According to Ryan Buell, operational transparency is "the deliberate design of windows into and out of the organization’s operations to help customers and employees alike understand and appreciate the value being created." Every startup should be considering how to bake transparency into their business. If you facing the challenges, do read Buell's article. He covers the dangers as well as the benefits. Harvard Business Review: Operational Transparency , 2019-Mar/Apr by Ryan W. Buell Customers are, as a researcher in the 1960s boldly called them, “environmental disturbances.” As the argument goes, separating customers from internal processes through physical distance, time, or... Continue reading
Posted Mar 15, 2019 at QViews
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A company called SheerID is promoting this 'respectful' method of collecting personal information. This system certainly protects companies from abuse of their offers, but it remains to be seen if it can protect consumers. Nice promise, we'll see. Diginomica: Gated offers--a different approach to personalization that gives consumers control, 2019-Mar-4 by Barb Mosher Zinck A gated offer works like this: A brand targets a specific segment of its market, such as small business, military, teachers and so on with a special offer across their channels. Someone goes to the offer and has to verify they are a part of that... Continue reading
Posted Mar 13, 2019 at QViews
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Gartner has found three steps universal in the business buying process. They usually occur in the following order, but not always. Interest is aroused by discussions with colleagues Research is done using independent experts Vendor information is gathered. Advertising doesn't make much of a difference unless it's newsworthy and spurs discussion. Gartner Blog Network: The First Three Steps in B2B Buying, 2019-Feb-26 by Hank Barnes As a vendor, you can not control the buying process. Even if you generate the initial interest, the buying team will be doing lots of other activities, independent of you. But there are things you... Continue reading
Posted Mar 12, 2019 at QViews
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Thanks to Eugene Wei for explaining it all so that I finally understand Instagram, among many other things. As I develop the business plan for Creative Houston, I have to try and anticipate how Houstonians will react to this platform that is about them, but not targeted to them. Creative Houston is targeted to creative professionals who do NOT occupy or know the Houston area well. Yet, if it's successful, many Houstonians will know and possibly revile Creative Houston. Well, most Houstonians will probably appreciate it even though I don't have a goal of being popular with them. Certainly not... Continue reading
Posted Mar 6, 2019 at QViews
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On Finding Your Roots, a brief interchange between Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Tig Notaro stopped me in my tracks. They were talking about the fact that one of her ancestors was elected mayor of New Orleans by fellow members of his working class, whose interests her ancestor defended. "I love loyalty," says Notaro, and Gates responds with something like "Me, too." And then they moved on. The interchange seemed odd to me, so I did some research about Notaro and realized that her 2015 movie "Knock Knock, It's Tig Notaro" was built around her offer to select a few... Continue reading
Posted Mar 1, 2019 at QViews
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Be careful that your 'self-starters' don't start off in different directions. If we have competent, empathetic leaders, we don't need too many of them, but we do need a few. diginomica: Flat hierarchies--progressive organizational thinking or digital's 'flat earth' theory? 2019-Feb-22 by Cath Everett Robert Ordever, Managing Director of culture consultancy OC Tanner Europe, is not convinced that an apparent desire to remove hierarchies from the business is actually about people wanting to eradicate leaders at all. Instead he believes it is more about a certain tiredness of what they have become. He explains: Much about leadership has evolved to... Continue reading
Posted Feb 28, 2019 at QViews
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Loyalty programs developed to reward customer behavior. The idea of a basing rewards on a paid subscription was not invented by Amazon, but many people think Amazon has now 'redefined loyalty.' What they have done is make loyalty a financial relationship. Now we have to evaluate the cost-benefit ratio before we sign up. But more disheartening now, we, the consumers, pay upfront then feel pressured to spend more in order to maximize our reward. That's not customer love. I resent people calling Amazon Prime a loyalty program. Loyalty360: The Scoop on Premium Customer Loyalty Programs, 2019-Feb-11 by Duy Nguyen More... Continue reading
Posted Feb 27, 2019 at QViews
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Recently John Hagel, Co-Chairman of the Deloitte Center for Edge Innovation, recommended we stop talking about walls and safety nets, and instead focus on bridges and launch pads. So here goes! Here are some places to learn more about bridges: U.S. State Department's web page on U.S. Relations with Mexico University of Texas at El Paso Department of Sociology and Anthropology (border studies) Border Cantos art exhibition by Richard Misrach and Guillermo Galindo at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art (site from closed exhibit) Learn about different kinds of Launch Pads: Event Tech Live's Launchpad platform for start-ups and... Continue reading
Posted Feb 21, 2019 at QViews
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The idea that profits fund growth did not used to be so unusual. At its heart, sustainable growth in based on a deep understanding of customers and how to help them succeed. Successful customers invest in the suppliers who got them there. Quartz: The fundamental problem with Silicon Valley’s favorite growth strategy, 2019-Feb-5 by Tim O'Reilly Indie.vc’s search for profit-seeking rather than exit-seeking companies has also led to a far more diverse venture portfolio, with more than half of the companies led by women and 20% by people of color. (This is in stark contrast to traditional venture capital, where... Continue reading
Posted Feb 20, 2019 at QViews
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"Opportunity costs are invisible," notes Rory Sutherland. That phrase is going to get taped to the top of my computer screen. The audience we want to reach with our startup, Creative Houston, has to be reached before it arrives online. We are going to be forced to reach out and form partnerships with out-of-town schools and cities and companies. And we need to figure out a way to trade benefits instead of purchasing visibility with cash. I have been very inspired by Tim O'Reilly's essay on "sustainable scalability." I hope he's putting out a book about it. Campaign: Advertising in... Continue reading
Posted Feb 19, 2019 at QViews
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Office real estate is roiling, and keeping office workers happy and excited about their work place is becoming increasingly important. Good news for companies that benefit from creative energy at the workplace. NY Times: Seeking an Edge, U.S. Landlords Turn to Tenant Experience Apps, 2019-Feb-8 by Reuters The software can create a brand for property owners, drive loyalty among tenants and ultimately lead them to renew their office leases, said McMillan, who moved to New York from Australia last year to supervise the firm's U.S. expansion. Continue reading
Posted Feb 18, 2019 at QViews
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Very little is written about how customers can improve their own experience and inspire loyalty. In research handled by Jing Zhou, a professor at Rice University's graduate business school, evidence showed that customers should not only encourage service professionals to make recommendations, but to take those recommendations seriously, and complement the service person for their input. In the end, service improves as well as customer satisfaction. We customers can influence the quality of service we receive by sharing control and treating everyone who serves us, from cashier to hair stylist, as an expert in their own job. Rice Business Wisdom:... Continue reading
Posted Feb 11, 2019 at QViews
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We have to look at the well-being of our employees. Are they energized by being at work? Do they speak honestly and thoughtfully? Are they supporting each other as well as the company and its leaders? Retired Marine Colonel Steve Corcoran, now at Telos, uses this question: "What time do you go to work in the morning?" The correct answer isn't a time, it's an attitude: "As soon as I wake up." The Wise Marketer: On Leadership, Trust & Loyalty, 2019-Feb-5 by Bill Hanifin With the influence model, company executives are not commanding people to do things, Corcoran explained. “You’re... Continue reading
Posted Feb 7, 2019 at QViews
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Good citizens want good journalism, and although no one of us may be able to pay the whole salary for a journalist, every community should be thinking about what they need to know, and how they're going to be sure that someone is around to find out for them. Also, publications should be looking for as many was to get funded as they can think up. Be innovators! The Outline: Journalism should be free, 2019-Feb-06 by Mari Cohen and Christian Belanger Any system that prioritizes free journalism will likely end up achieving that end through a patchwork set of measures.... Continue reading
Posted Feb 6, 2019 at QViews
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We are all barraged with requests for our opinion, time, participation, subscription. Ignoring the request is easier than making a decision. When prompted to make a decision, we often do what seems "good for us." So as marketers we should not just show the benefits, but ask people to actually make a decision, not just ignore it. Rice Business Wisdom: The Best Way To Get People To Say Yes Is To Give Them A Chance To Say No, 2019-Jan-29 by Eleanor Putnam-Farr and Jason Riis How you frame a question affects how people reply. Using yes-or-no reply formats increased enrollment... Continue reading
Posted Feb 4, 2019 at QViews
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Some products are products are perfect for building loyalty through social media. Rifle Paper is an image-oriented company, so Instagram is a natural. The customer communication is very good on Facebook as well. On both platforms, Rifle Paper Co. is generous and interactive. The real value of social media "done right" is brought home by the 10,000 responses they received to a customer survey. This type of loyalty allows the company to co-create its future with the customers, substantially reducing risks. Business of Home: How Brand Loyalty Allowed Rifle Paper Co. to Break into Home, 2019-Jan-28 by Mel Studach With... Continue reading
Posted Feb 1, 2019 at QViews
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David Brooks just published a NY Times opinion piece where he praised American philosopher Josiah Royce (1855-1916) for developing a meaningful way to relate loyalty and tolerance. (See money quote below.) About 5 years ago I started studying customer retention practices and became fascinated with loyalty programs. Many marketers these days worry about 'true customer loyalty' versus loyalty which is bought through financial incentives. So I decided to look at loyalty as an abstract human value and made many surprising discoveries. Loyalty is usually perceived as a conservative value, but the abstractness of the concept opens it up to many... Continue reading
Posted Jan 30, 2019 at QViews
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While I knew that I should not rely on the current events reporting I find when checking my social feeds, I'm slowly coming to realize it's not just that we use the platforms improperly, it's that the platforms encourage very poor behavior around current events. Let's share more travel and pet pictures, people. Get your news from some journalist... there are plenty to choose from--for now, anyway! Two recent articles with a lot of insight: One Man & His Blog: Why political posts on Facebook will always be polarizing, 2019-Jan-22 by Adam Tinworth New York Times Opinion: Never Tweet, 2019-Jan-23... Continue reading
Posted Jan 28, 2019 at QViews
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When I work with business owners, they frequently resist removing inactive subscribers... they know that person still exists. Sadly, being alive doesn't make you a reader or user of email. And more seriously, inbox providers are driven to eliminate unwanted messages. If you manage an emailing list you have to get ahead of the problem and take inactive subscribers off. To have a healthy relationship with our customers, we have to learn their communication preferences and respect them. Sailthru: Why Using Email Engagement Suppressions Works for Inbox Placement, so-called evergreen content with no date, by Nancy Harris As users open,... Continue reading
Posted Jan 25, 2019 at QViews
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Can a brand which has grown by celebrating its local roots then turn the corner and grow past them? My hypothesis is that if the locale has a strong positive identity before the brand was launch, growing beyond the local market is possible. We probably need to see a natural match between the values of the locale and the values of the brand. Who wants Picante from New York City? Well, if a Hispanic family had launched the brand with an authentic story, then maybe it could work. However, we will probably always have categories where we want to buy... Continue reading
Posted Jan 22, 2019 at QViews
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While reading a biography of H.L. Mencken, I ran across Mencken's analysis of how 'facts' became so important to civilization. He points out that after Darwin's The Origin of Species was published, facts began to outpace tradition as a test of truth. I believe we've now come to another turning point in civilization where facts have to compete with another test of truth. More and more people want to maintain coherent views based on their values. If a fact is inconsistent with their values, they deny it. More importantly, they ignore it. It remains to be seen if this approach... Continue reading
Posted Jan 21, 2019 at QViews
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When launching a new product or service, the selling organization must have the time and incentive to go slowly and learn as much about the prospects and their challenges as they do about the new offering. Harvard Business Review: How to Sell New Products, 2018-Nov/Dec, by Michael Ahearne and Thomas Steenburgh Early in the cycle, not only must the salesperson provide the right product information, but customers must feel they have the right information. That involves establishing trust and demonstrating a deep understanding of the customer’s challenges. Later in the cycle, the salesperson must help the customer understand, assess, and... Continue reading
Posted Jan 18, 2019 at QViews
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Craig Mod shares some amazing insights for people in all professionals who want to make a living from words. The primacy of the newsletter in finding an audience is the most reassuring. Having a direct channel with one's readers doesn't necessarily lead to big income, but it does lead to crucial connections and feedback that fuel a writing career. Wired: The 'Future Book' Is Here, but It's Not What We Expected, 2018-Dec-20 by Craig Mod Crucial Tech for an Author: Email ... Almost every writer or artist I know has a newsletter. One way to understand this boom is that... Continue reading
Posted Jan 11, 2019 at QViews