Keep it Simple

April 5, 2010

Confucius said “Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” This rings so true in marketing. The companies who “dumb it down” are the ones who rise to the top and stay there … see Google, see Apple, see USA Today.

We often get fixated on certain terms and phrases, and our personal bias prevents us from clearly communicating to our market. As a B2B marketer you can never assume you are your market.

My firm’s business is predicated on bringing pharmaceutical companies together to work cooperatively to evaluate new R&D technologies. For years we avoided the word “consortium” to describe ourselves. We thought of “consortium” negatively and did not want to be associated with the term. Thus we started our own game of Taboo describing the business with words like “short term, multi-company projects,” “collaborative projects” and “collaborative innovation.” Our personal bias generated complex and inaccurate messaging resulting in confused (and/or unimpressed) prospects. We made our job much more difficult than it had to be.

Today, when describing our service to a big pharma executive I simply say “we manage an industry consortium to collaboratively evaluate new technologies.” It was Winston Churchill who proclaimed, “all the great things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word.” In our case, this single word is consortium.

Here is a fun and entertaining presentation by David Pogue of the New York Times during TED 2006 ….his focus is on technology …but the message is similar .. simplicity sells!


Follow-up to Utilizing Facebook for Small Business Lead Generation” held Thursday, April 23, 2009

April 27, 2009

The Marketing Studio hosted a webinar and expert panel entitled  “Utilizing Facebook for Small Business Lead Generation”  on Thursday, April 23, 2009 at 12 PM ET.   A sincere thank you to our panelists! View the slides here and  links to their Fan Pages below.  Visit the Marketing Studio’s new FB page here!

Rachel Levy, Rachel Levy Consulting on facebook


Susan Liddy, AspireLifeCoachng.org on facebook


Hasan Luongo, Hoodiepeople.com on facebook

Mike Volpe, HubSpot on facebook


Panel to discuss: Utilizing Facebook for Small Business Lead Generation

April 22, 2009

I am very excited to be hosting and moderating a terrific panel of experts (via webinar) who will be sharing their experiences around “Utilizing Facebook for Small Business Lead Generation.”  The free webinar takes place Thursday, April 23, 2009 at 12 PM ET and will last 75 minutes.   During the session our expert panel will provide the following, in a case study format:

* An overview of Facebook and it’s elements
* How Facebook fits in with other social media platforms
* Why and how B2C and B2B companies are using Facebook
* The benefits being derived from marketing on Facebook
* The drawbacks of Facebook
* Best practices for small businesses on Facebook
* Summary and Q&A.

Review our panel and register here.

Our objectives for the call are as follows:
* Provide an overview of Facebook for the beginners
* Explain how businesses are leveraging the various elements of Facebook
* Outline some challenges and/or drawbacks you may encounter
* Provide examples of “wins” from businesses who have “been there, done that”
* Answer your questions

The All Star Panel is as follows:

Rachel Levy, Social Media and Marketing Consultant; Blog: Rachel Levy Blog


Susan Liddy, Life Coach and Founder, AspireLifeCoach.org; Blog: AspireLifeCoach.org Blog


Hasan Luongo, Co-Founder, Hoodiepeople.com; Blog: Hooodiepeople’s Blog

Mike Volpe, Vice President, Marketing, Hubspot; Blog: Hubspot’s Inbound Internet Marketing Blog

Register here.

Who should attend?  Owners and/or practitioners that are responsible for marketing their small business.  (For the purpose of this webinar, small businesses are loosely defined as businesses that generate less than $8M annually).  These may be lawyers, consultants, software vendors, accountants, insurance brokers, store owners, service providers, publishers, etc.


Polling Data & Slides – Leveraging Twitter to Grow Your Small Business

March 19, 2009

We had a tremendous panel discussion last week covering how various small businesses are using Twitter to help their business.

During the Marketing Studio webinar session, we asked our 100+ attendees various questions about their use and perceptions of Twitter.  You may access the PDF to the blinded results data, and the slides used by me and the panelists, via this link.  The questions were as follows:

Do your currently use Twitter?
What do you do on Twitter?
What was your first perception of Twitter when you initially joined?
What is your biggest fear of Twitter?
Who executes your lead generation programs?
In order to execute more Social Media oriented lead generation programs, I need more:
Which most closely describes why you chose to attend today’s webinar?
How do you distribute online content and capture leads?
What is currently your most effective “push marketing” tactic to drive people to your web site or blog?
What is the most realistic short term (next six months) benefit your business may realize from leveraging Twitter?
What is the most realistic long term (beyond September ’09) benefit your business may realize from leveraging Twitter?

View the blinded polling results.

A special thank you to our terrific panelists (links to their latest blog posts):

Kyle Flaherty, Director of Marketing, BreakingPoint
Becky McCray, Small Town Entrepreneur
Aaron Strout, VP, Marketing, Powered
Monica Valentinelli, Social Media Expert, Musicnotes.com

marketing-studio-logo Mark your calendar for April 23 @ 12 PM EDT:
Utilizing Facebook for Small Business Lead Generation, register for free now.


Small Business Case Studies – Leveraging Twitter!

March 8, 2009

Over the past year, more and more businesses of all shapes and sizes, are investing time to explore what all the hype is behind “Twitter.”  What many have discovered is that this microblogging phenomenon presents a great opportunity for their companies.  I list below links to four great posts/case studies on how different types of business are successfully using Twitter as a tool to ultimately …make ….money!

Leveraging Twitter as a lead generation, customer service, or overall branding tool takes time; a precious and scarce resource when you are running your own small business.  Time and lack of expertise are barriers preventing most small businesses from successfully utilizing Twitter for lead generation and networking.  According to a recent Marketing Studio poll,  79% of small business owners avoid Twitter because of: lack of expertise, not enough time or insufficent understanding of how it can make an impact on their business (i.e. no proven ROI model). 

Well here is a quick public service message to small business owners: “If you think education is expensive, try ignorance” (Derek Bok, former Harvard University president).  Bottom line is this: if you are not making an effort to learn more about Twitter, you may be costing your small business an incredible opportunity.  

eventbrite   I have the privilege of hosting a live webinar Wednesday, March 11 at 12 PM EST where four experts in social media will not only answer the question “what the heck is Twitter?” but also outline three real life examples on how companies are actually leveraging Twitter to grow their business.  Join us (it’s free).  Meanwhile as a prelude to our discussion on March 11, I list below four interesting case studies/stories.

case-studies4 Four Case Studies

Zoomdweebie’s Tea Bar How Twitter saved a small business in Wichita, KS.  Now they may relocate because they need bigger space!

CoffeeGroundz Cafe Blog post by @ericaogrady discussing how Twitter has changed the way they CoffeeGroundz Cafe in Houston, Texas conducts business.

The Big Guys A Business Week article outlining how some of the biggest companies in the world are using Twitter to communicate with their customers.

BBGeeks A great, must read on the trials, tribulations and “results” of a self proclaimed “Non-Big Brand.” 

 

usa_dream_team  During Marketing Studio’s March 11 webinar we will feature three additional real life examples of how people are leveraging Twitter to Grow Their Small Business.  Below is our “dream team” of panelists with links to their latest blog posts:

Aaron Strout, VP, Marketing, Powered

Becky McCray, Small Town Entrepreneur

Kyle Flaherty, Director of Marketing, BreakingPoint

Monica Valentinelli, Social Media Expert, Musicnotes.com

 

*** Register for the March 11 webinar here (registration is free) ***


Who Are You More Likely to Follow on Twitter?

March 2, 2009


(vote via Poll above — don’t be shy, just click on an open square)

arrowOn topic, view the full interview of Evan Willimas, Founder and CEO, Twitter on Charlie Rose via this VentureBeat blog post.

arrowMake sure you register for the upcoming webinar How to Leverage Twitter to Grow Your Small Business, March 12 @ 12 EST (60 minutes in duration).   The session is free!  Our expert panel includes:

 Aaron Strout, Chief Marketing Officer, Powered, Inc.
Blog: Citizen Marketer 2.1
Follow @AaronStrout  

Elliott Kosmicki, User Experience Manager, Musicnotes.com
Blog: Goodplum
Follow 
@iElliott on |

Becky McCray, Small Town Entrepreneur
Blog: Small Biz Survival
Follow @BeckyMcCray

 Kyle Flarhety, Director of Marketing, BreakingPoint
Blog: Engage in PR
Follow @kyleflaherty  on

 
What We Will Cover
* What is Twitter and how does it fit in with other social media platforms?
* Four steps to leveraging Twitter for your B2C small business
* Four steps to leveraging Twitter for partnerships that will grow your small business 
* Four steps to leveraging Twitter for partnerships that will grow your B2B small business 
* Good peeps to follow to get started or to grow!
* Summary and Q&A
 

Register for free.

Who should attend?  Owners and/or practitioners that are responsible for market their small business.  (For the purpose of this webinar, small businesses are loosely defined as businesses that generate less than $5M annually).  These may be lawyers, consultants, software vendors, accountants, insurance brokers, store owners, service providers, publishers, etc.


Case Study – The Potential Impact of Lead Generation Tactics on a Small Business

February 23, 2009

hour-glassRecently I conducted a survey amongt small business owners, asking them, “what are the biggest barriers to conducting various lead generation tactics?”  (Lead Generation Tactics for Resource Limited Small Businesses, Feb 11, 2009).  A quick overview of the results showed:

 

- 76% of our poll respondents said “they” are in charge of executing lead generation programs.

- 34% of our total respondents said “Time” is the biggest barrier to conducting more lead generation tactics.

- 60% of the respondents stated webinars, case studies/article and blogs are the most difficult lead generation tactics to execute.   

- 60% of the respondents cited “Time” and “Lack of Expertise” as the reasons small business owners did not leverage these tactics.

 

I provide the full set of the blinded survey and poll data here (you will be asked to provide some basic info to access and download the results).  

 

roi  Is making the time (or buying the time) worth it?  Before answering that question, business owners must take a long term ROI view when ascertaining the risk and reward of a lead generation investment.  The following is a quick example (call it a mini-case study) on the potential ROI webinars can make on a small business’s sales and lead generation effort over 4 years:

 

Mini-Case Study: The Impact of Webinars on Lead Generation

 

I. Webinar Frequency and Reach

Frequency:  2 webinars over 60 days

Resulting Attendance: 176 registrants, 80 attendees (estimates)

New Clients (Sales) = 3 (1.7% of total registrants) *

 

* The number of New Clients will vary based on various factors including the average revenue per new client (see III. Revenue New Sales).

 

II.  Risk/Costs

Direct Costs: $400 total (telephone and web charges)

Indirect Costs: $8,000 (time spent by you, your marketer and/or a contractor)

Total Costs = $8,400

 

III.  Revenues/New Sales

Revenue per New Client = $10,000

Annual Retention Rate of Clients = 70%

Growth Rate Per Client (% Increase/Yr) = 15%

(try replacing my hypothetical #s with your own numbers for Revenue/New Client, Retention Rate and Growth Rate per Client to asses your business’s potential ROI)

 

IV.  Results/ROI

New Revenue in Year 1 = $30,000 (3 new clients x $10K)

One Year ROI =  257%

 

Retained Revenue (Years 2,3,4) = $45,990 

Growth Revenue (Years 2,3,4) = $6,898.50

 

Total Revenue (Years 1,2,3,4) = $82,888.50

Four Year ROI = 887%

 

Special props to Wellesley Hills Group who outline this concept very well in their report entitled Making Lead Generation Work for Professional Services.

                                               

V.  Intangible

Revenue does not take into account the estimated 20% of webinar registrants who are new “leads” for business and may eventually become clients in future, further adding to the positive ROI (approximately 34 of 176 registrants in this case).

 

VISummary
The answer to the question “Is it Worth the Time?” is a resounding YES!   The impact of well thought marketing programs will vary depending on your business, your database, etc.  However, invariably the short term and long term ROI of a well planned and executed lead generation program will make a positive impact on sales, and serve as a foundation for additional revenues for years to come.

 

Other good posts that resulted from our webinar and poll entitled Lead Generation Tactics for Resource Limited Small Businesses are:

9 Tools Marketers Need in their Toolbox

20 Ways to Trigger a Groundswell for Your Viral Marketing Content

 

And Mark Your Calendar for March 11 at 12 PM EST for the next Marketing Studio Webinar: Leveraging Twitter to Grow Your Small Business.  Check out the All-Star panel we have by clicking here.

 

Contact me if you would like to learn more on how I can help save you time by helping with the planning and execution of your small business’s lead generation program.


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