Archive for July, 2014

B2B Marketers: Are You Focused on Firmographics?

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

If you’re reading this post, chances are you’re familiar with the use of demographics in helping to define and understand your target audience.  Demographics are objective criteria such as age, sex, income or geography/location. You also may be familiar with psychographics. Psychographics are qualitative characteristics of your audience–whether they are family-oriented, enjoy the outdoors, etc.

But, if you’re in the B2B (business to business) space, there’s another marketing term that you should be focused on: firmographics. Firmographics are (more…)

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Are You Using BANT to Qualify Prospects?

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

Every lead is not a prospect and every prospect is not equally qualified. In your early days of running your business you, like many entrepreneurs, may consider every lead a “hot” lead. After all, business is business, right? Well, not exactly. The longer you’re in business, and the more successful your business becomes, the more selective you will need to be about which customers you decide to take on. What a great problem to have, right?

There are a variety of different ways that you might decide to evaluate or “score” your prospects. One commonly used approach, though, can be very helpful–BANT. (more…)

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Why Your Strategy May Not Be Working: It May Be Just a Plan

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

I’m a strong proponent of the value of strategic planning but I’m also glad to acknowledge that the vast majority of strategic plans rarely drive real action or measurable results. The reasons why are numerous, but a recent article I read in Harvard Business Review made a great point about strategy.

In The Big Lie of Strategic Planning, Roger L. Martin, makes the point that, inevitably, whenever the word “strategy” is used, it’s often in conjunction with the word “plan” — those two words then become, somehow, inevitably–and inaccurately–intertwined.  (more…)

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People Just Aren’t Influenced by Social Media – Ask Anyone

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

A recent Gallup poll indicates that just 5 percent of U.S. residents say that social media had “a great deal of influence” on their purchasing decisions; 62 percent said that it had no influence at all.

Yet, companies in the U.S. spent $5.1 billion on social media in 2013. Are they nuts?

Likely not. The thing of it is, (more…)

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De-teching From Time to Time Can Fuel Innovation

Thursday, July 17th, 2014

A few weekends ago, for one glorious afternoon, I turned off all of my tech devices, pulled out a pile of Harvard Business Review magazines (the hard copy kind) and, with nothing but a legal pad and pen in hand, set out to engage in some thinking time. I sat on  my deck, without even my Bose SoundLink, and just lost myself in learning. I literally  (more…)

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Are You Giving Your All To Your Current Customers?

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

A number of years ago I was on a weekend outing with my husband and a group of his friends, including one guy who had recently gotten engaged to a “knockout.”  She was gorgeous–long, really long, blonde hair; perfect make-up; great  nails, dressed exceptionally.

The rest of the women (well, maybe I’m projecting my own thoughts on the others, but…) thought: “Wow! How do we compare to that!!?!” Fortunately, she was one of the many beautiful women (and men) that I’ve met over the years who wasn’t really that “full of themselves.” Over the course of the weekend after many conversations, and a few cocktails from time to time, we got to talking. I admitted my awe about how well put together she was and my wish that I could be as well put together.

She laughed and said: “You should have seen me last week!” “What do you mean?,” I asked.

(more…)

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Engaging Your Audience Through Social Media

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

Social media is critical for most (but still not all) businesses these days. It is a key communication channel that allows businesses and individuals to connect with a wide audience very cost-effectively.

As a business owner I maintain both LinkedIn and Twitter accounts for myself and have used them to successfully connect with prospects, clients, the media and other audiences. I’ve gained more than one client simply through my LinkedIn profile.

As a marketing communication consultant I work with clients to develop and manage their online communications presence through content marketing and management. These activities generally involve a strategy around driving traffic from various social media activities (LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, blogs, etc.) to their web sites to generate some specific action, ultimately leading to a sale or new client interaction.

In my work I’ve found the keys to success to involve primarily two things: (more…)

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Do you think your customers just “don’t get it”?

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

Every once in a while I hear someone make a comment about their customers like: “They just don’t get it.” Or, “what they don’t understand is…” The truth is, with any audience, when you hear yourself saying these words warning bells should start going off inside your head. Chances are, it’s not them, it’s you that doesn’t “get it.”

As I work with clients, or speak with prospective clients, it’s not uncommon for them to lament that their target audience just “doesn’t understand the value” of their products or services. That certainly can be a valid communication opportunity. But, in  my mind, the opportunity doesn’t lie in trying to come up with new and ever-more-creative ways to spin your messages to that audience. Instead, the real opportunity lies in  (more…)

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PR More Effective than Content Marketing? Probably! But…

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

Nielsen recently released a report, commissioned by inPowered which indicated that content marketing (the current, go-to communication tool for many B2B and B2C marketers) is actually 88 percent less effective than public relations (PR).

The news has the communication community abuzz online with conversations taking place in many of the social media groups I follow. Many are expressing shock, some disagreement, over the results.

But, when you think about it, it’s really just common sense.

(more…)

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