Showing posts with label blog. Show all posts
Showing posts with label blog. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Better Marketing Through Change

In Marketing, if you're not changing everyday, you're failing yourself and the business or organization you represent. Marketing is about sharing, internally and externally, to help your business grow. And the best way to share is to adapt and change with the ever-evolving Marketing landscape.

This type of change might seem expensive or daunting to think about with everything that's out there (and on the horizon). However, changing with Marketing trends in today's business climate is not only necessary but also unavoidable. Adopting newer technological tools & resources will help ensure Marketing success by:

  • Streamlining employee happiness, nurturing the desire to stay and grow with the business or organization.
  • Providing worthwhile resources for all employees to better the overall business model, processes, and practices.
  • Letting the customer know you care about the products and / or services you provide and that you are leveraging all of the Marketing resources you can to better their experience.
So how do you stay on the cutting edge of marketing yourself and your business or organization? Here are just a few ideas:

Be an innovator. Be on the innovative and early adoptive side of technology to help gain market share. Be the person, be the business, that represents the best of what's out there and shares in the effort of what is yet to come to make the market better.

Stay in tune with Marketing trends. Read daily about Marketing trends and write about your take on incorporating newer Marketing tools and resources as they relate to your market or industry. When was the last time you commented or shared a blog or news story that had nothing to do with your market or wrote a white paper that has everything to do with your industry?

Be a beta user. You don't have to take on every new Marketing resource out there. There isn't one perfect CRM (Customer Relationship Management) resource or smartphone or tablet that fits every business in every market in every industry. But there's no harm or misspent time in being a beta tester of multiple options to see which one(s) fit you best.

Change is not a burden; it's a gateway to our future. What technological tools and Marketing resources do you find most useful today and which ones are you excited about integrating tomorrow?

Friday, October 19, 2012

Connecting Across the Social Media Universe

A majority of the people I work with are small business owners. One of the most common concerns I hear about revolves around how to manage all of their social media marketing efforts in the most time efficient manner.  

My response typically involves explaining the difference between Social Media Marketing and Social Media networking. Both involve relationship building, and both are crucial to business success. However, Social Media Marketing is about helping the business as a whole grow, whereas Social Media networking is more about helping the individual grow.  

Focusing on Social Media networking is a great place for small business owners to start. It sets the stage for personal growth, but it can also lead to establishing the individual as a thought leader. So how does an individual make the most of Social Media networking? 

Be Accessible

Recently, I communicated with a friend of a friend through facebook messaging. She is applying for a position that requires knowledge of social media marketing, and she wanted to know if I had suggestions in how to show the employer that she possesses solid Marketing acumen. I looked for her Linkedin profile and couldn't find her. I then asked if she could forward me the link for her Linkedin profile; she never responded. Additionally, I sent a facebook connect request. She told me that she didn't like to connect with people she didn't know online.

The first step of effective Social Media networking is being accessible. Employers, customers, professional acquaintances - anyone and everyone should be able to see your personal and professional profiles across social media platforms. As a small business owner, you are your business' first and best marketing resource. Chris Brogan & Julien Smith refer to this concept in their collaborative book and now coined phrase, "Trust Agents". Other terms exist as well including "thought leader" and "expert", but what is most important is that this is how others perceive you and not how you should refer to yourself.

Participate

Years ago, when I first became actively involved in construction, I started noticing CSI and other initials behind various people's names. As it turned out, being a CSI (Construction Specifications Institute) member was held in high regard by construction industry professionals. Moreover, other certifications one could get through CSI were held in even higher regard because they demonstrated a person's knowledge of the construction industry and a thorough understanding of the construction documents.

I also started seeing that people (including an ex-employer) were paying dues to be able to use the initials but then never participating. Yeah, sure, they might show up at an event or two throughout the year, but they would never volunteer to be on committees or boards.

Social Media, like industry specific groups, isn't just about connections; it's about how you engage with other social media participants. With social media, the old adage, "if you're not part of the solution, then you're part of the problem" holds true. If you only have social media profiles because everyone does, then you're only creating online clutter. Why would anyone want to connect with someone who only wants to friend, circle, or follow other people to build up their contact list but then not engage on any level?

There are various ways to actively participate online: posting questions and articles that you think others might glean knowledge from, joining groups and giving insightful perspectives, writing white papers / technical papers for your industry and sharing them, and blogging are all great ways to stay engaged and involved. 

Building Relationships

Whenever I connect or am asked to connect with a person on one social media platform, I always cross reference their name across other platforms. There are several reasons to cross reference, not the least of which is determining if they are spammers or a real person or business entity. I also do it to see how innovative they are. Lately, my measurement tool has been Google+, the largest, newest social media platform. If a person is on facebook but not Google+ and they claim to be a progressive thinker, I have to wonder if they're being truthful.

Not all social media platforms function the same way or serve the participants in the same ways, but all of them can be used to build meaningful relationships. Additionally, there's no reason you can't have business messages on facebook and playful banter on Linkedin. And now, with smartphones and tablets, there's definitely no reason that concise communications can't be achieved through instant messaging on social media platforms as opposed to, say, emails.

Connecting across the social media universe is a rewarding and life-enriching experience.  It has become just as important as networking face-to-face; not more important, just another great step to successful relationships. Whether you're a student looking to learn from a business professional in your field of study, a product representative looking to connect with an architect across the country, or a follower of a blog from someone on the other side of the world, online connections set new bearings for relationships.  

Friday, September 28, 2012

Social Media Marketing Classes at TechLove Coming Soon!

Social Media Marketing Classes at TechLove Coming Soon!

posted by Stirling Morris
Market Integrations is partnering with TechLove to offer beginner, intermediate, and advanced Social Media Marketingclasses in Albuquerque!

Located just east of Nob Hill, TechLove is a great venue for these classes.  The facility offers the Albuquerque community a place to share their love for technology, innovations, business, music, and art.  

Find more information about TechLove visit them at www.techlove.us, and for more information about the Social Media Marketing classes dates and times, subscribe to Market Integrations Events.  

Social Media Marketing Classes at TechLove Coming Soon! - Market Integrations

Opening Doors in Marketing

There are so many doors I have opened in my life and my career. Remarkably, the one that changed my business perspective the most was being a window and door salesperson for commercial buildings. That experience opened my eyes to sales & marketing in ways that I still think about today.
You can have a building with expansive walls of glass, walls with only a few punched openings, or even (on rare occasion) no windows. However you can never have a building without doors.  Doors can serve multiple purposes, but like good marketing, each door represents a gateway of opportunities. On one side of the door, there is a business that is ready to work with and serve the world outside, and on the other side is a world of possibilities.
Opening doors in marketing means going beyond just opening doors for business - that's the easy part.  As a successful product representative, I learned two main strategies. First, that Sales & Marketing are unconditionally intertwined. Second, I learned that there is always a door to open if you know where to look. And, man, oh man, are there all sorts of doors to fit any given marketing situation.

Doors for Prospecting
Salespeople are typically the first face a prospect sees outside of direct marketing. More than cold calling or leaning on existing clients that treat you well, sales & marketing starts with networking. And, I'm not referring to the online networking.  Successful sales & marketing people join industry specific (and in some cases non-industry) organizations and groups.  
Taking it a step further, successful sales & marketing people also get involved on Boards & Committees. By doing this, customers and prospects perceive them as attentive and caring thought leaders and not someone looking to market their business' name by just showing up.

Doors for Educating
As a sales & marketing person in the construction industry, I learned the best client is the one that never pays you - the Architect / Engineer / Designer. By marketing your product and services to the key decision makers, in any industry before final plans are made, you will ensure more opportunities. This could be through online webinars, being a key note speaker at a professional event, or with a focused lunch and learn style presentation.
Doors for Rewards
Direct marketing is great, but when it involves giving a prize, well, nothing beats that. This could be done through a direct mailer scratch-and-win game piece or online with a check-in promotion from a location-based social media platform. Additionally, marketing doesn't stop after a business sells a product or service to a customer either. Effective marketing is continuous and catches the customer both immediately after their purchase and even months after.
A business can't discount Internal Marketing either. Continuous improvement programs are great, but opportunities for rewards, recognition, and advancement will help ensure marketing success.

The revolving door of marketing spins so fast that some businesses find that they're on the way out quicker than it took them to step in.  When considering marketing improvements, it seems that if a business isn't always on the cutting edge of marketing options, they're bound to be left behind. There are always new doors to open.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Tech vs Tech and the Effect on Innovative Thoughts

With so much information online, funneling through news, blogs, and social media, it amazes me that any one person in any given industry can stay caught up with innovative changes, much more ahead of the game.  But does this saturation of news and opinions have a negative impact on how even an average person perceives & discusses technology and innovation?

Recently, I listened to a speaker discuss moving beyond cookie cutter blogs and ideas.  In one of his slides, the speaker compared a Verizon commercial to an Apple commercial.  The general idea was to describe the power of words and pictures over an audience.  This was not necessarily an apples to apples comparison (no pun intended . . . ok maybe a little one).  
A commercial comparing Apple to Google's Android technology would have been a far fairer comparison considering that Verizon sells models from both companies.  And, even then, it's not about Apple being better than Google or vice versa.  I find it ridiculous when people do this.  Both companies are awesome and are making tremendous strides to show us all of the wonderful,innovative places technology can take us.

When a company starts to place its business and financial well-being ahead of its innovative practices and passion to explore ways to improve human lives, then they start to struggle.  Microsoft and facebook have done bang up jobs of this in the last few years.

Ultimately, though, it's not about Android being better than Apple or Google better than Microsoft.  It's about humanity shedding itself of its competitive nature in business to help keep technology evolving.