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Archive for the ‘Business Development’ Category

What’s the Difference Between Being an Expert and Being a Thought Leader and Can You be One?

Thursday, December 12th, 2013

We work with a number of “thought leaders” — experts who are hoping to establish or build their reputations in some specific area whether as an author, a consultant or some type of service provider. The phrase “thought leader” is bandied about quite a bit lately and we never gave it much thought. But, recently someone asked me to explain the difference between a “thought leader” and an “expert” which caused me to ponder the definitions of these two terms and come up with, at least IMO, an important distinction. (more…)

The Yin and Yang of Finding–or Being–an Online Expert. Beyond Smoke and Mirrors.

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

In the “old days” finding experts was largely limited to identifying them through academic circles or highly regarded trade and professional publications. Experts were, in essence, “vetted” and those seeking their input could rely upon their veracity, authority and credentials. But, things have changed. Today, quite literally, anyone can be positioned as an “expert”–whether they really are or not. This has become possible because of the World Wide Web and a plethora of online communication channels, including web sites, social media, blogs, etc. This is both a good and a bad thing. Interestingly, it is both good and bad for experts and non-experts. Here’s why: (more…)

Word of Mouse—Consumer Sharing on Steroids!

Thursday, November 21st, 2013

It used to be that consumers shared opinions about products and services at the water cooler or over the backyard fence. While their word-of-mouth was (and is) valuable, the reach they could achieve in the “old days” was minimal. Today that’s not the case. Although there is still plenty of old-fashioned word-of-mouth taking place in break rooms and backyards around the country, the power of technology has amped up the ability to spread messages—for good and ill! Marketers need to be taking steps to address both sides of this issue. (more…)

How Does Your Web Site Stack Up?

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013

The yin/yang of the 21st century marketplace is that consumers can find, and form impressions of, you online without ever having to encounter you either face-to-face or voice-to-voice.

That can be a good thing if, through those encounters that you may never physically take part in, their impressions are positive. It can be a very bad thing if they’re not. And, sadly, you may never know the difference.

We were working with a client recently on a web site analysis. Through that process we: (more…)

Let Your Knowledge Be Your Promotion!

Monday, October 28th, 2013

We recently launched a new LinkedIn group — Let’s Get Strategic About Communications! – that we’re hoping will generate some good discussion and sharing of best practice insights among communication professionals. It’s a closed group, meaning that we are carefully monitoring participation and limiting it to those who are committed to openly sharing information in a non-promotional manner. The trouble, we think, with so many LinkedIn groups is that they quickly devolve into blatant self-promotion and become nothing more than individual members saying “look at me!,” “look what I’ve done!,” “come to my webinar!,” “read my whitepaper!,” etc.  Now, there is certainly (more…)

What NOT to do on LinkedIn—or other social media sites!

Thursday, October 10th, 2013

We’ve been fairly active in social media for quite some time and manage several accounts for our own marketing efforts and to experiment with techniques that we can use to help boost clients’ awareness levels and levels of engagement online. We’ve reached that point where it is more common for people to reach out to us to connect than it is for us to be actively seeking new connections. To manage our connections, we have some guidelines in place to determine whose invitations to connect we accept and whose we ignore. (more…)

We All Have Something to Learn From Dairy Queen. What Impression Are You Making When You Think No One Is Watching?

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

I used to tell my son that the true test of a person’s character isn’t what they do when they know someone is watching, but what they do when they don’t think anyone is watching. I don’t know who originally said that; it wasn’t me. But, it’s a sentiment that has always really resonated with me. And, I’ve had opportunities to observe people (when they didn’t know they were being observed by me) who made both positive and negative impressions.
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Why Marketers Often Fail to Sufficiently Narrow Their Target Audience

Thursday, August 15th, 2013

One of the most common missteps made by businesses large and small, in both the for-profit and not-for-profit arenas is a failure to clearly identify the desired target market. Why? In my experience, I see this happen for a variety of reasons: (more…)

Developing Your Personal Brand – Yes, You Have One!

Tuesday, July 9th, 2013

As someone who grew up in a family-owned business and then worked in the field of PR/corporate communications for a number of years I’ve long been well aware of how my actions, or inaction, impact not only my reputation, but the reputation of the organizations I serve. From the day long ago when my father chastised me for not returning a greeting from a classmate we ran into at a local department store to early training as a PR/media relations rep I’ve known that what I did — on or off the job — made an impression. While that knowledge, especially as a child, was sometimes burdensome, in hindsight it has served me well.

Some other early lessons: (more…)

Want to Excel at Generating Response From Your Market? Focus!

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013

Client question: “What’s the best way to communicate with the under-35 market?”

It’s a legitimate question and certainly marketers need to think carefully about how they will communicate with their market, recognizing that markets are different. The only problem with this question (and it’s one that most marketers ask in one form or another) is that it doesn’t go far enough to identify a specific market focus. The group of individuals who are under 35 is a very, very broad group, after all. What is the likelihood that there would be a single, “best” communication strategy for them?

When it comes to targeting marketing messages, the advice I offer, regardless of what you are attempting to sell or what response you are attempting to attain, is to (more…)