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Archive for the ‘Business Development’ Category

The Power – and Importance of – Verisimilitude

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

When I first learned the skill of copywriting several years ago I was fortunate enough to learn from one of the masters – Herschell Gordon Lewis. He had a concept that has stuck with me since then, partly because I like the word and partly because I like what the word means from a marketing standpoint. Verisimilitude. (more…)

Do You Know Who Your Customers Are? You May Be Surprised!

Monday, August 11th, 2014

I worked in a healthcare organization for about 10 years from 1996-2007. Back at that time the transition between referring to patients as “customers” was just emerging and it was fairly controversial. Marketing and administration favored the approach and logically it seemed to make some sense. But I can recall the debates, conflicts and consternation from clinical staff — physicians and nurses — about the use of this terminology.

At the time, I was firmly on the side of using the term “customer.” After all, I had come from the marketing world with a background in the investor-owned utility industry and a private educational firm, in addition to experience growing up in a family-owned business, so the concept of “customer” was one I firmly identified with.

In hindsight, though, (more…)

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…)

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…)

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…)

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…)

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…)

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…)

Supporting the Community: Tough Choices Need to be Approached Strategically

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

Supporting the local community can be expensive. Even large organizations have to be careful about how and where they lend their time – and money. Is there value – beyond personal satisfaction – in supporting local events and activities? Which ones? How can you say “no” graciously to the many requests that come your way?

Research from the Council on Foundations, indicates that over a 10-year period, companies with good corporate citizenship images and programs enjoyed a 33 percent lead in growth of profits over competitors without such programs.

These efforts, though, need to be done strategically! The factors that go into determining whether you will support specific goodwill advertising requests are the same factors that go into virtually every business decision you make: your market, your business objectives and the resources you have available (your budget).

As you work to develop your own “goodwill policy,” follow these steps: (more…)

Selling Yourself, or Your Services, on LinkedIn

Thursday, May 22nd, 2014

Social media – and particularly LinkedIn – has emerged as THE new method of job search, providing significant benefits to both job seekers and recruiters. I’ve been a long-time LinkedIn proponent and use it extensively for my own professional communication needs. I also highly recommend it to the students I work with each semester as the “go to” resource for job search–whether looking for internships, freelance opportunities or full-time jobs.

In fact, at the beginning of each semester in one of my classes I like to use it as an introduction to “selling something” — in this case themselves. And, truthfully, the steps and process for selling yourself or your business services via LinkedIn are absolutely the same as best practice marketing for any product or service. (more…)