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About Sam Fiorella

Sam Fiorella is a Partner here at Sensei Marketing, a consulting and technology firm focused on aiding global companies grow their business value through improved customer experiences. Professionally, Sam has also co-authored: Influence Marketing: How To Create, Manage and Measure Brand Advocates and is a Professor of Marketing at Seneca College and an Adjunct Professor at Rutgers Center for Management Development. Sam is also the co-founder of YellowIsForHello, a not-for-profit corporation that seeks to decrease the rate of suicide among students through peer-to-peer connections.

Low Digital Marketing Acumen Is Hurting Brands

There’s a discrepancy, it seems, between the amount of time marketers spend talking and blogging about digital marketing and their likelihood to actually execute digital marketing efforts. From the volume of articles written, conferences attended, and twitter chats participated in, one would assume that all marketers and the brands they represent are completely digitally savvy and thus…

How Facebook Rips Off Businesses

Looking through some of my most recent articles on Sensei’s blog, one would think I’m on some mission to malign all social networks. Over the last two weeks I’ve questioned Instagram’s new advertising platform in one post and the questionable use of “influencers” by brands on that same network in another.  It wasn’t that long ago that…

“The Fat Jew” and Instagram – All That’s Wrong with Influence Marketing

Josh Ostrovsky, otherwise known as “The Fat Jew” is quite a big deal these days (pun intended). Ostrovsky has amassed a large social media audience, predominately on Instagram (5.5 million followers) and Twitter (251,000 followers), through which he shares his humorous take on life. Often, these viewpoints are profanity-laced, lewd, and/or off-color comments and images, which have not…

Replace Customer Service Departments with Customer Experience Teams

  Modern business is faced with a greater challenge than its predecessors: Growing demand for revenue and profit at a time when the Internet has increased both competition and consumer power.  Ironically, the Internet, which promised greater opportunity for business to reach a larger audience, has increased the obstacles those businesses face in engaging and selling to…

The Flip Side of Social Media: Servicing Customer Expectations

Blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Quora, LinkedIn….businesses are pushing harder and harder at engaging customers across multiple digital channels and social networks, each experiencing varied levels of success. It’s that success that I wish to discuss today. When asked what is social media success, most will give you the typical soft metrics including follower count, number of…

Forget Co-Eds and Grumpy Cat, Facebook Is Now a Political Hub

Facebook has come a long way from the day when a handful of horny college boys used it to list and rate female students. Many will argue that despite the network’s continued popularity and evolving advertising and targeting algorithms, it’s done little more to benefit humanity than its original program. Facebook’s evolution continues; toilet-flushing cat lovers have…

Customer Loyalty Does Not Equal Customer Advocacy

“We have very loyal customers; we don’t need a customer advocacy campaign.” I’ve been in a senior sales and/or marketing position for more than 20 years and the one constant mistake I still see and hear is a lack of understanding in the difference between customer loyalty and customer advocacy. Making the distinction is not difficult. Customer…

Social Media May Not Be Helping Your Business

Social media was heralded as the greatest thing to happen to brand marketing since, well, since ever. Consumer-generated advocacy and publicity, direct conversations with customers and advocates, and free advertising through YouTube and other social networking sites were supposed to turn garage-based businesses into mega-conglomerates and save businesses tens of thousands in marketing costs. Yeah, right. Social…

Your Business Doesn’t Need A Facebook Page

I’ll start this post with the disclaimer that the title may be a little misleading. This article won’t argue that businesses can’t benefit from Facebook pages but it won’t kneel at the altar of Zuckerberg either.  The goal here is to shed some light on misconceptions generated by “social media gurus” about the importance of Facebook pages…

Your Blog Should Not Require A Topic Generator

I started blogging more than ten years ago. During this time, the reason I blogged – and the focus of those blogs – have varied based on my personal experiences and situations. It began with a small blog that shared my personal views on business and morphed into a corporate blog dedicated to starting debates on specific marketing…

Smartphones and the Numbing of the American Mind

Smartphone usage is on the rise. Yeah, I know; no big surprise there. Smartphones have become an appendage that we turn to almost constantly for the time, news, communications, entertainment, and directions.  Here are some staggering stats (according to a study conducted by Tecmark) In an average week, a smart phone user picks up his/her phone more…

Social Media Has Killed Consumer Trust

“People trust people, not brand advertising.” For the last few years, marketing analysts and social media marketers have been sharing copious studies and statistics which reiterate that sentiment. They give credit to social media for this new reality and point to the “wisdom of crowds” effect, which references the observation that people tend to believe what the…

Survey: Real Forces Disrupting Marketing Effectiveness

In a 2014 survey conducted by McKinsey & Company and the ANA, B2B and B2C marketers revealed the real forces disrupting marketing effectiveness today. Below is a summary highlighting the results. 1. Complexity and Fragmentation 48% of marketers reported that the fragmentations of the audience, and complexity of solutions and options for audience engagement, are significant disruptions…

Twitter Saves The Day For Virgin Customer In The Loo, Avoids #PooGate

How closely are you paying attention to your customers on social media? Here’s a great case study on customer experience from arguably the king of customer experience design and execution: Virgin. The customer, Adam (@AdamPlaysYT), was riding Virgin Train in the UK when nature called. He took advantage of the facilities the train made available; however, upon…

Visual Influencer Marketing Is On The Rise, But Is It Worth The Investment?

Images, videos, infographics, and other visual content have become increasingly popular forms of digital expression for individuals and content marketing fodder for bloggers and marketers.  This content has spurred the growth of social networks in which such content is produced and shared such as Vine, Pinterest, and Instagram.  So it should be no surprise that advertisers and…

The Friday Trifecta 01/16/15 – Adidas, Nike, AT&T

The Friday Trifecta is an occasional series that highlights marketing or advertising campaigns that capture our attention. Adidas Tells Us What Stardom Isn’t. Do You Care? Adidas’s new Originals Superstar campaign follows four celebrities (Pharrell Williams, Rita Ora, David Beckham, and Damian Lillard) as they redefine what superstardom truly means by telling you everything it’s not. Beckham claims…

Ben & Jerry’s: Aggressive Customer Acquisition During “Low Season”

You think your business has customer acquisition issues? Consider the plight of ice cream manufacturers and retailers during the winter months!  Eating ice cream – let alone buying it – during the cold winter months is about as counterintuitive as buying sunglasses in London, England, where clouds and rain are permanent symbols on the weather forecast.  Yet…

360 Degree Retailing: Reassessing Brick and Mortar Stores

There’s no doubt that that Internet has changed the business of retailing. Thanks to consumers’ proclivity for pre-purchase research and the availability of online commerce, retail growth is no longer dependent on brick and mortar expansion. In fact, expanding physical stores can negatively affect a retailer’s bottom line because online sales are eradicating revenues previously used to…

Sensei Marketing Pivots to Meet Customer and Market Demand

Sensei Marketing announces a pivot in its business practice to better align with customer and market demand, introduces Customer Insight Analysis (CIA) Platform Sensei Marketing, an established marketing technology and consulting firm based in Toronto and New York City, has been providing sales and marketing consulting, campaign strategy, and development/hosting services to an impressive list of businesses…

How Mobile is Disrupting Traditional Loyalty Programs

My last post here on Sensei blogs shared some statistics that demonstrate the disruptive effect of smart phones on the photography habits of consumers.  Mobile technology and devices have had a disruptive influence on many aspects of our lives beyond digital photography, which, in turn, has disrupted how businesses must engage consumers. Mobile is Disrupting Traditional Loyalty…


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