Travel Bloggers’ Secrets You Can Use: Part 2

 

As promised here is Part 2 of our “Travel Blogger’s Secrets You Can Use” blog post! If you missed Part 1 be sure to click here and check out all the amazing blogging tips we covered in last week’s post. This week we’re talking about the best marketing, monetizing, and travel tips our lovely panelists, Tamara Gruber of We3Travel, Lillie Marshall of Around the World “L”, and Priscilla Pilon of The Weekend in Paris, shared at our August #NIMRI event. So let’s get started!

Top 8 Marketing/Monetizing Tips

1. Soliciting Sponsors: The emphasis should always be on the content you’re creating. “Write it, and they will come,” said Priscilla sagely, “Produce high-quality content, and they will come.”

The Work With Me Section of the We3Travel Website

The Official “Work with Me” section of We3Travel’s About Page

2. Doing Business With Brands: There are a few ways a blogger can work with a brand: being contacted by people to place ads, contacting people to place ads, sponsored posts, or, if you’re lucky, a sponsored trip.“If I work with a brand or do a sponsored post, it has to be something I believe in. Once your audience doesn’t believe you, you’re done,” Priscilla warned.

“Native Advertising, which is when you have content that is already successful and then work with advertisers who would complement that content, can work very well,” said Lillie.

3. Navigating Negativity: It can be very difficult to figure out what to do when you have a bad experience as a blogger, particularly if the trip is a sponsored one. It is especially tricky because, depending on the country’s laws, you could potentially be sued for a negative review. “Contact the PR people and be sure to start with the positive things and then talk about the disappointments,” advised Priscilla, “I always give them a chance to fix it. If they do, I won’t write a bad review. If they don’t, I will offer to not write about it.”

“Steer away from negative content, even though it can be very effective. Everyone gets fired up over a bad review and they like to share it, but it doesn’t reflect very well on you and can get you into trouble,” offered Lillie.

4. Create a Community: “Facebook has become a pay-to-play platform. You can pay $5 to promote a post (and I do that sometimes), but you won’t see a big difference in your analytics. What’s really powerful is to form alliances and private Facebook groups, not just with other travel bloggers. People who like wine, food, lifestyle, even interior design share readers. The cross-pollenization that happens helps everyone grow,” Priscilla said.

5. Know Your Worth: “It depends on your reach and your demographic,” reasoned Tamara, “I have a group of travel blogger friends, and we share that information.”

“This is why you need the group mentality!” proclaimed Priscilla, “Building your blogging network is key. Whatever you do, don’t write a post for someone for free – it brings the rate for everyone down to $0. You’re time is worth something.

“I would argue that there is a value in giving content to high-traffic sites, so it can be OK to do something like that for free as long as there is some ROI. It’s a value to your resume,” Lillie said.

One of We3Travel's Pinterest boards

We3Travel on Pinterest © Photos by Tamara Gruber

6. A Photo’s Worth a Thousand Shares (nope, still not right): “For me, Pinterest is very important. It drives traffic to my site, often more than google,” Tamara shared.

“Be sure to link all of your photos: photos on Google and Pinterest should link to your website and have descriptions,” Priscilla said.

“Selling your photos can also be another source of income,” Lillie pointed out.

The Newport Interactive Marketers' Hootsuite dashboard

Here’s a look at the Newport Interactive Marketers’ Hootsuite dashboard

7. Tally Your Toolbox:  “Don’t be afraid to automate! Hootsuite can schedule your posts at the best time for your demographic. You could write the best blog post ever, but if no one ever reads it, it won’t matter,” explained Lillie. To find out when the ideal time for your demographic is, be sure to check out Tweepi. 

“The Tail Wind app is great for automating Pinterest,” shared Tamara, “Paying a little for the right tools can be worth it.”

Google trends is an invaluable SEO tool,” said Priscilla, “In WordPress there is a feature where you can try a bunch of different options and put them in Google Trends to see where you are in searches.”

Snapchat logo

Snapchat! If you want to learn more about using Snapchat as a blogger, check out AdventurousKate

8. Socialize, Socialize, Socialize (your media, that is):  “Learn and get busy on all social media sites and thank everyone who follows (NOT by direct message),” Priscilla advised.

“The biggest mistake people make is to just stop for an extended period of time on social media,” Lille said, “Be consistent and don’t be afraid to self promote!

“Snapchat is the newest thing people must be on, although it does appeal to a younger demographic,” said Tamara, “Its important to know who your audience is and where to find them.”

 

Top 3 Travel Tips

“Use Trivago or another trip-cost comparison site to look for the lowest fare. Then, take a screenshot and call the hotel. They will always match it, and it’s always better to book through the hotel because they tend to have a better cancellation policy and you also will be eligible for upgrades,” advised Priscilla.

“Tuesday is the best day to book airlines usually,” shared Tamara.

“People would pay a lot of money to stay in your home in beautiful Newport so rent it out on Airbnb to get money for travel and also find places to stay in yourself!” Lillie suggested.

All-Time Favorite Hotel

The Phoenix Resort in Belize

Balcony view from the Phoenix Resort in Belize © Photo by Lillie Marshall

Lillie’s Pick: The Phoenix in Belize “No better place for a babymoon!” 

 Kona Village Resort in Hawaii at Sunrise

The now closed Kona Village Resort in Hawaii © Photo by Tamara Grub

Tamara’s Pick: Kona Village Resort in Hawaii “Unfortunately, after 45 years, this resort was forced to permanently close their doors after the March 2011 tsunami.”

A hammock overlooking the ocean at The Bitter End Resort in BVI

The gorgeous Bitter End Resort in BVI © Photo by Priscilla Pilon

Priscilla’s Pick: The Bitter End in the British Virgin Islands “I’ve never been sponsored to stay at this hotel, but I visit every year!”  

And, of course, we had to ask about their favorite place in Newport! 

Castle Hill Inn from the sea

Castle Hill Inn from the sea © Photo by Priscilla Pilon

Priscilla’s Pick: Castle Hill Inn “They have the best lunch and the best views!” 

hotel viking

The beautiful Hotel Viking (#NIMRI venue sponsor for our annual networking event!) © Photo by Lillie Marshall

Lillie’s Pick: Hotel Viking “This is the place to go to feel like royalty!” 

Here’s what #NIMRI members were saying on Instagram and Twitter: 

 

Great turnout at #NIMRI! A photo posted by Suzanne McDonald (@newportinteract) on

 

 

Learning about travel blogging at #NIMRI at @ParlorNewport. #NewportRI A photo posted by The Newport Blast (@thenewportblast) on

Many thanks to our venue sponsor Parlor Kitchen & Bar

Register for the next #NIMRI event now! 

Simple Tips for DIY Videos

“You can talk all day about SEM and SEO. What your client needs is great VIDEO,” said photographer and video producer Marc Creedon.

2015-05-19 19.11.45

Panelists speak to the #NIMRI attendees at Caleb & Broad in Newport, offering tips on how to make DIY videos look professional.

Video is increasingly important on social media – even Facebook has begun to feature it heavily. If social media is becoming more focused on video, so should your social media marketing strategy.

But video is expensive, right? How can you do-it-yourself without compromising quality?

Newport Interactive Marketers brought a panel of professionals who can give you tips and tricks of the trade in order to begin incorporating video more prominently in your social media strategy.

Each panelist has decades of experience but has also kept up with current technology. We’ve brought them to Newport for you, because that’s how we roll here at NIM.

Meet Our Video Pro Panelists

Hal Landen is a cameraman, producer, and author who has traveled the world on assignments and written how to books to assist businesspeople incorporate video in their marketing strategy. He says to check your equipment before you start shooting so you know that when the time comes, everything will be working correctly.

Jim Egan, who was a commercial photographer for 30 years and now runs the Newport Tower Museum on weekends, has also written 12 books and now shoots web content for agencies and businesses in Rhode Island. Egan says the key to a successful image is gesture and proper lighting. Motion, emotion and visual appeal are essential to a good video.

Marc Creedon, a photographer and video producer, says the best camera is the one you have with you. Journalists often use their phones to document what is happening, so learn how to use your phone to make your video look professional.

Scott Indermaur is a former journalist who is now a commercial photographer, handling multimedia projects for clients. It’s important to interview well, he says, but make it feel like a conversation, with moments of true emotion.

Shooting Tips2015-05-19 18.56.03

  • Don’t be afraid to shoot with your phone.
  • Make sure adequate battery and memory is available.
  • Close all other apps.
  • Shoot in landscape mode.
  • Instead of using zoom, use your legs and get closer.
  • Pan the camera sparingly.
  • Don’t be afraid to get the shot.

Editing Tips

  • Don’t edit on your phone; edit on the computer.
  • Take advantage of free photo editing software.
  • Use short snippets to show different aspects of a scene.
  • Leave cliffhangers to entice people to watch your other videos.
  • Music is essential to make a video professional. Try Free Stock Music for free downloads.
  • Create a look by trying Font Squirrel for free fonts and Fiverr for logos.
  • Shoot a lot, edit a lot, and make mistakes.

What were participants tweeting during the panel?

 


Many thanks to our venue sponsor, Caleb & Broad. It’s a familiar location for longtime NIM folks, but it’s totally renovated inside and has excellent food at locals’ prices.

Check out NIM’s upcoming event here. Make sure you preregister because events fill up quickly!

Generate Leads on Instagram

With more than 300 million active users, Instagram is now the fastest-growing social media platform – and when trends online change, your social media marketing strategy needs to shift with it.

Luckily, NIM brought #InstagramExpert Sue B Zimmerman to Newport June 9 to share her expertise on making your Instagram work for your business.

Zimmerman is founder of Insta-Results, the world’s first comprehensive online Instagram course, and author of the No. 1 e-book “Instagram Basics for Your Business.”

An entrepreneur and founder of 18 businesses, including her own boutique, Zimmerman is passionate about teaching other business owners, execs, and marketing professionals how to best leverage social media platforms, such as Instagram, to see tangible results.

Zimmerman’s Instagram photos portray a lot of excitement and enthusiasm as part of her branding.

Keys of “Insta-Success”

Zimmerman says there are three components of Instagram that are essential to success.

  • Bio
  • Compelling Content
  • Active Engagement

Tips to Making Your Instagram Bio Pop

  • Name – Use the same name as your Twitter account so that your accounts are recognizably linked. If the name you want is taken, don’t be afraid to use underscores or symbols.
  • Avatar – Make this image pop! You can use a logo, but you want your audience to feel that they’re doing business with a smiling human, not a robot. Use bright colors here, and feel free to use props.
  • Bio – You have 150 characters to tell your audience who you are. Make every character count. This is a great place to use emojis and show personality!
  • Call to Action – Instagram is a great funnel for leads, meaning by the time they get to your bio, they’re likely to be very interested in your brand, so carefully consider what you want someone to do once they get to your account.
  • Link – You have space for only one link, so make sure you’re sending your link where you want them to go. Try sending them to your online store, email newsletter sign-up or strategy guide.

Creating Compelling Instagram Content

  • Stick to your niche market – don’t confuse people.
  • Add value to every post by including useful information in the image’s description.
  • Create images that stand out. Use third-party apps to make picture collages or to edit images.
  • Post daily. If you have fewer than 500 followers, post two times a day.
  • Humanize your brand. People want to see the person behind the business.
  • Engage with other accounts. Giving a shout out to accounts you like will encourage them to check out your account.
  • Hashtags are so important for potential followers to find your content. But instead of putting the hashtags in the description of the image, which makes the post look cluttered, post a comment on the photo immediately after you post with as many as 30 hashtags. Try Keyhole, to help find the most useful and targeted hashtags to find your key audience.

Six Mistakes to Avoid on Instagram

  • Never post a blurry photo. If it’s your only image, use a sharpening tool in Instagram to make a photo less blurry.
  • Don’t post irrelevant “stuff.” You may lose followers if too much of your content seems useless or unrelated to their interests.
  • Don’t over-post. If you saturate your feed with images, people will unfollow you.
  • Don’t under-post. If you aren’t active enough, people won’t follow you in the first place.
  • Don’t repost the same images. Instagram posts have a life of about 24 hours, so there’s no need to post an image more than once.
  • Avoid posed, catalogue-type shots. Your audience doesn’t want to feel like they’re being sold to online.

What were #NIMRI attendees saying on Twitter?

 

 

 Sue b NIMRI

 

Check out NIM’s next event here. Make sure you preregister before it fills up!

A special thank you to the event host 41 North in Newport.

Newport Interactive Marketers is sponsored by web and social specialists Designated Editor, named Newport County Chamber of Commerce Microbusiness of the Year and International Business Award Internet/New Media Company of the Year.

Competitive Intelligence: Ask Why?

Competitive intelligence is the key to making smart and educated decisions for your business strategy – and understanding why a competitor’s business strategy works is the key to integrating that information into your own business model.

Big Fish Results founder Tony Guarnaccia presented at NIM’s April 15 networking-learning event, and emphasized the importance of competitive intelligence and of asking “Why?” Drawing upon 15+ years of experience, Guarnaccia gave an animated and detailed lecture to help Rhode Island’s local businesses, bigger brands, and agencies improve their strategic planning.

5 Big Questions to Ask

When conducting a competitive analysis, Big Fish Results uses a top-down process to answer five questions:

  1. How much traffic do you generate versus your competitors?
  2. Where is this traffic coming from?
  3. How much does your competitor spend on advertising?
  4. What are the specific search terms they use to create SEO?
  5. WHY? What’s triggering certain types of data and data points?

Tools to Use to Aquire Competitive Intelligence

You can use online tools to acquire data on your competitors and work toward answering these questions. But Guarnaccia reminded everyone, “The tools aren’t the secret. It’s what you do with them that makes a difference.”

Here are just a few examples:

  • SEMrush – Online software that offers keyword research and other data on competitors.
  • Google Trends – Offers data on keywords and shows trends in topics online.
  • Google Keyword Planner – Find data and conduct tests on keywords before you use them.
  • SimilarWeb – Allows you to compare your traffic data to that of your competitors.
  • Simply Measured – Provides data on audiences, competitors, and conversations to help develop a targeted strategy.

Competitive Intelligence

Once you’ve acquired information on your competitors, learn how to use it. This is what Big Fish Results would do:

• Segment your data – Keep your outreach relevant to each target audience by personalizing information.
• Look at trends – Find out what your target audience cares about and what your competitors are doing well.
• Benchmark – Have measures to compare your results to your competitors’ and set goals.
• Filter – Only use the strategies that apply to your brand and your audience so you don’t confuse or turn away people who you want to reach.
• Exclude Brand Keywords – Use keywords that your potential clients will be searching for.
• CREATE ACTION! – Use calls to action that inspire your audience.

About Tony Guarnaccia

Now the “captain” of Big Fish Results, Guarnaccia formerly ran digital advertising for ADP, where he worked with dozens of Fortune 500 companies, such as Ford Motor Company, Lithia, General Motors and BMW. Guarnaccia uses his experience with these big-name brands to make Rhode Island’s local businesses, bigger brands and agencies compete with huge names and become Big Fish in their market.

big-fish-results-logo

Here’s what some of the Newport Interactive Marketers were saying on Twitter about NIM’s event, “Secrets of Your Competition”:

Mia Lupo: For traffic trends, compare long-term performance; identify surprising peaks and dips then WHY this happens #NIMRI #trends

David Englund: Getting “schooled” from Big Fish Results is like drinking from the fire hydrant at #nimri

Ryan Belmore: So much great information was shared last night at #NIMRI! Nice to see everyone and thank you Midtown Oyster Bar and @sue_DesigEditor!

Newport Restoration: Archive.org- a good way to see how far a company’s come & what they can do to improve. #NIMRI

Join the Conversation on Twitter using #NIMRI. Or sign up for NIM event announcements using the box at the top right of this page.

Check out the next NIM event here. Make sure you preregister to get a spot before it fills up!

What’s New with Google Analytics?

Third-time presenter and BU’s Google Analytics Instructor Jay Murphy shared his tips on how to use  Google’s recently overhauled Google Analytics. Here are the highlights of the presentation.

Why Use Google Analytics?

  • With information about your visitors you can better decide:
  • How to improve your website
  • How to spend time and money of specific topics and marketing
  • Ways to reach your audience-how to reach new audiences
  • Google analytics helps you understand where you should spend  your money. Should it be spent on new banner ads, new social media campaigns, new marketing etc.

New Features of Google Analytics 

Timeout settings

Timeouts have always been configurable – but it previously had to be done in code. Now it can be configured in the admin. panel.

Why do this? 

You need to make session timeouts make sense for your website. The standard timeout rate is 30 minutes but what if people watch videos on your website for more than 30 minutes? Set the session timeout to max video length.

Referral Exclusions

How to remove those pesky referrals from your own websites? Like with the timeout setting this used to be done with code on each of the websites- but can now be done in admin panel as well.

  • Go to web property and click on referral exclusion list
  • Just type in the exclusion and it will show there when you hit create
  • From that point forward it will eliminate all the traffic from that referral site

Demographic Reports 

Demographic reports is another new feature that  includes data on:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Affinity groups – for example: movie lovers, travel buffs
  • In market segments – people investigating specific products

Remarketing Lists

Once “ Display features” are active on accounts remarketing lists are availableThese groups of users that can be targeted in current or future campaigns.

Examples

  • Market home loans directly to people looking at real estate
  • Travel information to people who visit travel sites.

Custom Dimensions

A very powerful feature for helping to better undertstand users and groups of users

  • You define the dimension name
  • Scope defines data associations
  • “Hits” good for tracking a onetime activity
    • A video play or form submission
  • A session to track a visit or login
  • ‘User’ scope is useful to track across sessions

User ID: AKA Session Unification

  • This feature will allow tracking across multiple devices
  • It only works for users who authenticate to your website or application
  • Examples: Game users, club members, students, blog authors, employees

When people login you’ll send a user ID (can’t use email or soc. number or customer number – can’t be tied back to individual) once in place can track by different devices.

Enhanced eCommerce

In addition to tracking purchase transactions – enhanced eCommerce tracks:

  • Product impressions
  • Refunds by transaction and item
  • Affiliate performance
  • Internal promotion performance

Want to Learn More?

Cardinal Path is offering three days of Analytics Courses in September– Google Analytics – 101, 201,  and 301 on Sept. 10th to Sept. 12th.

Here’s what Newport Interactive Marketers were saying on Twitter:

@IYRSedu: Excited to host on the topic of at our campus. Welcome to !

@sue_DesignEditor: Thanks to and for hosting tonight’s full-house with

@franciscosamuel  you can use google analytics in devices to record just about anything … Limited only by your imagination

@MiaLupo:Google processes the information and stores it as Dimensions and Metrics- Jay Murphy

@ShopALLIES: Add referral exclusions to your site!

@MiaLupo:You might be a creeper, but you’re being smart about how to draw in potential customers

@NewportInteract: yikes! In the future you’re stop n shop card could send data to Google Analytics ~ @Trionia

@sue_DesignEditor:Be sure to link your Google Analytics to AdWords @Trionia

James Murphy, Murphy, faculty Meet Jay Murphy

Jay Murphy works with large and mid-sized organizations to successfully convert business imperatives to effective marketing results by delivering analytics, website development, social media strategy, search engine marketing, search engine optimization and display advertising all optimized with measurable results. He has worked with organization including GE, Harvard University and Janus Mutual Funds.

Jay previously worked at Sapient Corporation as a director of program management and led projects in a variety of industries including higher education, financial services and energy. He holds a B.S. in Computer Science from Northeastern University and a M.S. in Electric Engineering from Tufts University. He was awarded a Draper Fellowship to attend Tufts University and took doctoral level course work at MIT in Aerospace Engineering.

As a project leader on any web-based initiative, Jay brings an understanding of every technical nuance with an understanding of web-based marketing you just don’t find every day.

When he is not tweaking a web site – Jay can be found cheering on his sons at baseball games or racing his sailboat.

Don’t miss  Newport Interactive Marketers’ FREE monthly networking-learning gatherings.

Thor-Johnson

How to Amp Your Business by Capturing and Nurturing Leads

Former Eloqua CMO Thor Johnson’s presentation focused on what strategies and tactics businesses can use to better gather and grow leads into sales.  Here are the highlights of the presentation.

Truth One: No Processes to Manage Leads

  • Idealized Lead Management Process
  • Reality: Data Flows Broken or Non-Existent

Truth Two: No One Understands their Customer

  •  Why they buy or HOW they buy
  • Sit down with customers and figure out why they buy their stuff
  • If you’re in retail it’s pretty much walk in and buy
  • For B2B, it’s probably a couple of interaction s before they buy
  • If it’s a big company it’s a long process

Marketing the Complete Buying Cycle

  1.  Collect Leads…at any stage
  2. Engage and Nurture…throughout
  3. Win & Deliver
  4. Set Expectations…. Declare Victory

1) Collect Leads

  • Buy ‘em
  • Meet ‘em
  • Reel ‘em in

Where to collect leads:

  •  Your website
  • Facebook – big mailer
  • Twitter – it’s great listening tool
  • LinkedIn – b2b astonishingly powerful, get information out to the people who will consume it
  • Google+ – Up and comer, who knows how big they will grow

Get referrals

  • And save them where you can use them again and again

Get Organized 

Outlook is not a business tool, so you should not use it as if it is. Here are two inexpensive tool options.

  • Salesforce.com $200/year single user
  • Nimble $180/year single user

Engage and Nurture

  • Offer fresh and relevant info to your customer
  • Get ‘em on your website

Where there’s more challenges…

  • What are you producing?
  • How do you get them there?
  • What  do you do when they’re there?

Make a promise…and keep it

Example: NIM makes the promise to share, connect, and grow. They validate this by offering meetings, networking events, and blogs with relevant information. NIM makes a promise and keeps it. This is what you want to do.

 Declare Victory

Declaring victory is especially important  if what you are selling is complicated or expensive.

Take stock by…

  • Sat Survey NPX
  • Referral
  • Testimonial
  • Pictures
  • Videos

Ask your customers what’s going on. Ask if they’re happy. Take videos. Get referrals. Get testimonials.

Videos of happy customers cost nothing, but you can’t make them without happy customers. So you have to remind people they’re happy and take advantage of it.

Your Full Lifecycle Marketing 

  • Have some discipline around
  • Collecting contacts and prospects – if these contacts and prospects are not being put in a database you’re doing all this work capturing interest, but you’re missing out on these opportunities.

Communicate Regularly

  • Keep it fresh
  • Keep it relevant

With some business it’s okay to pepper emails with sales and leads…but don’t bombard your customers.  Manage your website actively. Everyone will end up at your website. You want to focus on delivering on the same promise you are sending out.

Manage Your Website Actively

  • 100% of your customers will visit it
  • make your promise
  • make content available

Email Tools

  • Constant Contact $180/year and up
  • Icontact $164/year and up

Website Analytics

  • Google Analytics (free and super useful)

Challenges for Us All

Thor examined the websites of the meetings attendees prior to the presentation. He shared the common challenges he found among the websites.

All about me? – The website is all about the  who wrote it. According to Thor, looking at a website the last person you care about is the “me.”  Customers are going to the website looking to solve a problem. They want to know if the website can solve thier problem. Instead of all about me, it should be all about the customer.

Ongoing Converstation? OOD? Sales Pitch? – Many of the blogs were out of date.  Thor saw websites that were copyrighted years ago. These simples mistakes show that you are not paying enough attention to your website.

Lead Capture? The lead capture should NOT be a contact form with 90 things on it. Customers don’t want to tell you all these different things about them. First, get the email and ask these questions later.

Here’s what Newport Interactive Marketers were saying on Twitter:

@NPTRestoration You don’t have control over Facebook. Facebook has control over Facebook. #NIMRI #socialmedia

@sue_DesigEditor Salesforce, nimble well-priced tools even for low budget. Outlook does not cut it! @ThorJohnson #NIMRI

@JoshSinger33 “I’m the customer, it’s all about me, solve my problems” –@ThorJohnson #Truth #Marketing #Websites #NIMRI

@NPTRestoration Communicate regularly, manage your website actively, but don’t bombard customers #NIMRI

@franciscosamuel #nimri testimonial from a happy customer … Costs $000

@JoshSinger33 You’ve got to figure out why your customer buy your stuff. Seems simple yet #marketers don’t bother to understand their customers #NIMRI

@NPTRestoration Everyone wants videos on websites #NIMRI

@sue_DesigEditor Challenge of small biz folks — your website shouldn’t be about your company. It should be about solving your problems @ThorJohnson #NIMRI

Newport Interactive Marketers speaker Thor JohnsonMeet Thor Johnson

A Demand Generation and Marketing Automation pioneer, Thor Johnson leads Team Thor Marketing, a US-based marketing consulting agency that drives sales via demand-generation strategic planning and implementation.

Thor has pioneered B2B and online marketing for more than two decades.  As chief marketer for Eloqua, now Oracle, the industry leader in B2B marketing automation software, Thor’s team drove explosive revenue growth for nearly four years and helped define today’s marketing automation industry and best practices.

As Agency.com President, he lead its largest and most successful divisions, in New York and Boston. Thor was also Juno Online Services’ COO. He learned B2B marketing internationally with Schlumberger, while based in Paris. He earned a Harvard MBA and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Brown.

Don’t miss  Newport Interactive Marketers’ FREE monthly networking-learning gatherings.

Perry Fagan

What Is Corporate Strategy?

Newport Interactive Marketers took a broader approach to its usual new-media focus to welcome Harvard Business School’s approach to developing a strategy for your brand.

NEW STRATEGY GROUP Founder P. Lawrence Fagan earned an MBA from HarvardNEW STRATEGY GROUP Founder P. Lawrence FaganBusiness School, where he spent 11 years researching corporate and organization strategy, six years as a member of the HBS research faculty.

While at HBS, Mr. Fagan contributed to the development of a general theory of organizations and authored numerous business case studies, several of them bestsellers. Subsequently, he worked nine years as a strategy leader causing breakthroughs for clients in diverse industries and geographies with Monitor Company, HBS Executive Education, the Corporate Learning division of Harvard Business Publishing, and independently.

What Is Corporate Strategy?

Strategy is an integrated set of choices an enterprise makes to create a unique and valuable position in market space.

Unfortunately, employees seldom know or understand the corporate strategy.

A study in Australia found that 70% of the company doesn’t “get it” when their CEO talks about strategy.

According to Fagan, we are living in strategy’s dark age.  We are so busy with daily tasks that we don’t see the big picture and to develop something that is effective. You must see the big picture.

 10 Fatal Misconceptions About Strategy

  1. Striving to be the best
  2. Strategy is goal-setting
  3. Strategy is innovation
  4. Being all things to all people
  5. It’s  your boss’ problem
  6. Strategy is secret
  7. Only abstract
  8. It’s academic
  9. Having one doesn’t matter, execution does
  10. It’s a form of measurement

Strategy and Purpose Are Not the Same

  • Purpose: Our call to action
  • Values: Our beliefs and code of conduct
  • Vision: The immediate future we are creating for the company
  • Strategy: The choices we make to build unique and valuable positioning in our markets, enabling us to win.
  • Metrics: How we track the performance

The Universal Structure 

  • A goal that is singular, time-delimited
  • A clear advantage to customers, in specific geographies with a winning proposition
  • Activity Set – degree of vertical integration, interlinked activities

The Key to Strategy

  • If you can’t turn a goal to action, it doesn’t exist
  • You must offer something unique and different: If you’re for everybody, you’re for nobody
  • You’ve identified a set of problems on customers’  behalf and owning those problems for them – that’s the key!

How to Be Different

  • You must always be different. Different in ways that matter to your target customers.
  • Deliver reliably on your offering. Don’t say one thing and deliver another. Be reliably different.

 What Is Your Winning Proposition?

What is uniquely yours to say?

Paint a portrait to the customer to articulate your value proposition.

For example, what is the unique winning proposition of Coke Zero?

First, determine Coke Zero’s unique qualities and the target audience.

    • Zero calories
    • For people who like Coke
    • Dieting, health conscious

Now, craft your unique winning proposition Only Coke Zero gives you zero calories with the same great taste.

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