Posts

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.

Don’t miss monthly #NIMRI gatherings.

Must-Have WordPress Plugins

On Tuesday, August 13th, WordPress expert Matt Medeiros highlighted “Must-Have WordPress Plugins” to the Newport Interactive Marketers audience at the International Yacht Restoration School.

To better understand the difference, Matt explained the relationship between a website, WordPress, and plugins in this analogy:

318px-IPhone4SWhite_no_shadow

Website : iPhone

WordPress : iOs software

Plugins : Apps

Before installing, make sure that your web host can support a lot of bandwidth in the long run. Once your web host is set up, do thorough research on any plugins you are considering for your site: read reviews, check the number of installations and the dates of the most recent updates.  Staying up to date for safety’s sake avoids malware, site lag, and loss of data.

Free and Premium versions are available. Although free ones are great because they’re “accessible, fast and free,” Matt pointed out that there is a difference between Free and Premium—Premium is better.

Premium plugins have more features, better quality, great support, longer product cycle and higher compatibility. If you get what you pay for, it’s worth paying for premium plugins for contact forms and e-commerce.

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Matt Medeiros explains the effectiveness of WordPress plugins

In addition to explaining the basics, Matt also shared his favorite WordPress plugins:

  • Ultimate Coming Soon Page
  • Redirection– great for transitioning domain change to WordPress
  • Yoast– WordPress SEO and Video SEO
  • BackWPup-Wordpress backup plugin
  • BackUp Buddy– premium version of BackWPup
  • Gravity Forms– premium, very powerful; creates contact forms and can create users
  • W3 Total Cache-“cache-ing” helps server, which ultimately helps drive the bottom line for business
  • Paid Membership Pro– available in free version and premium version
  • Responsive WordPress Slider by Soliloquy
  • WooCommerce– E-commerce plugin, also provides extensions for shipping
  • bbPress– “be all, end all” discussion platform for WordPress
  • JetPack-“a single plugin that does a thousand things”; it has its own analytics and has the capability to cache images and speed up load time
  • WPtouch– premium mobile version of WordPress site
  • Powerpress– the only one for podcasts

**Can’t find a plugin you want? Matt advises to have a developer create it

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Thanks to the International Yacht Restoration School and Bridge Liquors for hosting!

Newport Interactive Marketing

Networking, Drinks, and Views Over Newport

On Tuesday, July 24th, #NIMRI hosted its annual networking event on the rooftop of Hotel Viking. Professionals from Rhode Island & across New England enjoyed a summer evening in Newport & connected with new faces.

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A big thanks to the staff at Hotel Viking for making the event possible!

NIM Roundup: Ed King Gets NIM Stoked About Google+

NIM Roundup: Ed King Gets NIM Stoked About Google+

Would you fall in love with Google+ if it boosted your business by 75%? Well, photographer Ed King did, and Google+ for Business did just that for 02809 Ed King Photography. King explained at the September 27 NIM event how the social media platform some take for granted is actually one of the best tools you can have in your marketing toolkit.

What makes Google+ a necessary part of the marketer’s toolkit is how much it improves a marketer’s reach. Similar to Facebook, but with added reach, Google+ Business Pages creates friend-circles with live hangouts, resulting in community conversations that have more longevity so your messaging can grow exponentially.

King explained that Google+ sites are indexed faster and your connections affect search results. In fact, when King made G+ a priority in his marketing campaign, he gained more than 2,000 followers!

With 15 years experience in business-to-business sales, marketing and working with clients such as Partners Healthcare & Brigham and Women’s Hospital, former chapter president of East Bay B.N.I., King became active in social media in 1990 when he worked with AOL and in a content development role for iVillage.

Although Google+ is a little over a year old, it’s gaining serious ground, according to King. It’s a Facebook-heavy world out there, and people grow complacent and think that Facebook is the only network they need but that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Getting involved in G+ Circles

Some people feel like they’re talking to themselves in G+ circles because they don’t understand the potential. In fact, live circles can improve the reach of a business easily if you know how to use them. If sites on G+ get indexed faster, and presence is about indexing … then G+ is well worth checking out, and King has the 22,000 new followers to prove it.

“My sales have increased dramatically,” says King. “It has opened doors which would never have existed without it.” An example is an online Google mentorship with a photographer who has worked with National Geographic, which has played a vital role in King’s overall online presence.

King was lucky enough to have five images selected as “Google Plus Photo Extract Photo of the day” this year, which boosted his actual print sales not only for those prints but others in his collections as well.

“I know some will say because it is a visual product that is easily shared but the idea is fresh interesting content, but I have even received feedback from one person who shares my work regularly, who mentioned to me that  because of our connection with the shared images it has increased her overall reach.”

King’s Background in Google+

King’s two-year-old fan page slowly grew his fan base – 150 fans in two years – but when he started using Google Plus that number blossomed to a ripe 22,000 followers, plus he has added an additional 300 fans to Facebook in 6 months. His Twitter account was another marketing outlet that was slow to grow, although he said he uses Google+ a bit more. He was able to add several hundred quality contacts in the past few months. [ SUE, this part is unclear to me – does he mean quality contacts through Google+, or quality contacts through Twitter via Google+??? ]

“All of this growth has lead to an increase in revenue and opportunities like my recent shoot on the Tall Ship from New Bedford to Philly which has lead to more revenue,” says King, who was asked to teach an online course through a Google contact and who gave his first three-day workshop in Rhode Island this this past September through another Google contact.

Is Google+ the whole marketing package?

As to whether Google+ is the whole marketing package, King ganders that it’s a strong possibility since he had been working other aspects of social media but until Google+ he never imagined that he could be this successful using social media.

King had some advice for the Newport hospitality industry: “Personally, if I was in the hospitality industry in Newport I would be hosting a weekly or bi-weekly hangout highlighting the area.  This may be a slow grow at first but the live stream to Youtube makes this accessible for anyone at anytime they think about searching Newport as an example.”

Hanging out on Google+ takes patience, and good listening skills, suggests King, who took the time to learn how to use the multifaceted tool until he figured out exactly how to make it work for him.

King’s passion for Google+ piqued new interest for NIM marketers, and NIM founder Suzanne McDonald got right to work to put together a Google+ hangout of her own for NIMers who wanted the marketing success Ed King was able to achieve through G+, for 02809!

Take a look at the hot topics trending twitter about the event:

12MeterCharters says, “Write a complete intro in your Google+ business page. No. 1 complaint of users is incomplete intro.”

Sue_DesigEditor says, “Of 100 million active users, @02809Photo is ranked 626 in US but his Google+ has also boosted his other social platforms.”

KevinTVine says, “Listening to @02809photo talk about how Google+ helped bolster his photography business into the stratosphere #NIMRI

Stay tuned for November NIM event at La Forge Casino Restaurant at 186 Bellevue Avenue. NIM looks forward to seeing you at the next function at La Forge Casino Restaurant at 186 Bellevue Avenue. http://www.laforgerestaurant.com! Easy parking across the street in the CVS parking lot. Don’t forget to register!

 

 

Integrating SEO and Social Media With Google’s Eric Enge

SEO guru Eric Enge broke SEO and Social Media down into plain English at NIM’s Aug. 23 event. Stressing an integrative approach using SEO and Social, Enge said the best way to compete in SEO keywords is to be user-centric.

If anyone knows how to boil down complex ideas for an audience, it’s Enge, who is CEO of Stone Temple Consulting, a 25+ person SEO firm with offices in Massachusetts and California. Enge is also a frequent speaker at marketing conferences like SES, PubCon, and SMX.

According to Enge, the job of any website is to be first in that search. So his PowerPoint presentation boiled down complex SEO and Social Media topics so that attendees of all social media aptitudes could learn just how.

Integrating Search and Social Media highlights

  • Spun or garbage content or cheap tricks to build brand and rank is not the best way to go
  • Devote the right amount of space to anchor text, key phrases, brand names, and domains
  • Avoid bad link-building and backlinking practices, e.g. low-cost or paid-for tactics
Eric Enge From Stone Temple Consulting

Eric Enge featured guest speaker at NIM’s Aug. 23 networking and learning event.

  • Emphasize users in your web content, because they are central to the Google algorithm
  • Make sure your brand lends itself to your audience (and if it doesn’t, ask yourself what it will take to get there)
  • Provide diverse, quality content
  • Title tags play a big role
  • Meta description influences click-through rate

Learning Google’s Algorithm

Quoting Google Search Quality Group expert Matt Cutts throughout the talk, Enge explained that Google algorithm finds quality, diverse results help solve problems for users.

Enge discussed the impact of Google’s Panda algorithm update, ushered in on Feb. 23, 2011, and the impact of Penguin, which came to the fore April 24, 2012.  He discussed the viability of SEO, Social, PR and Real Content integrated together for a masterful integrative marketing plan.

You can build a huge audience even if you’re a small brand, according to Enge, who said 48.8% of the population uses Google+ (that’s 150 million US users) and Google+ creates community circles. But he warned against trying to get too much out of driving FB “likes” and Google+ “+1’s” since these don’t specifically address which part of your content is working. Likes, +1’s and shares aren’t visible to Google. Tweeted links, for example, can help Google discover content faster than Facebook and Google+.

Title Tage, Meta Description & CTR

NIM attendees learned how large a role Title Tags play, how Meta Description can influence click-through rate (CTR), and more specifically, how Bing uses CTR.

“Saying SEO is dead is like saying you 85-year-old grandmother can configure your web server,” Enge explained.

In addition to good content that is user-focused, Enge provided an example of how one guest posting propelled one site from 0 to 100,000 customers using an integrated approach.

In the hierarchy of social media effort, the 1-on-1 meeting is at the top (takes the most effort), then the meeting, then meetups, then blogging, then LinkedIn, Twitter, then Facebook. The bottom line? Make the effort to meet with actual people to build real communities, and that will fuel social media activity that builds your reputation, since that’s what people (users) value most.

Thanks to Eric Enge for speaking in Newport; you can visit his website at www.stonetemple.com, follow him on Twitter @stonetemple, or add him to your Google+: +Eric Enge.

 

Record Turnout for 100% Networking!

Thanks to all of you, NIM boasts the biggest turnout so far! 100% Networking saw 150 signups plus some walk-ins – lots of new faces. Raindrops were avoided, connections were made, views were enjoyed, drinks were downed.

Beautiful views of Newport from the Hotel Viking rooftop

 

Ruth Bazine of PRSA chats with former colleagues from Roger Williams University

Was it the venue (who doesn’t enjoy a view of Newport from a rooftop?) or is the word being spread?

 

Coming in August … NIM is pleased to feature “Search & Social Marketing” with global expert Eric Enge. Details are forthcoming.

 

NIM Brings the Film Connected to Newport

 

NIMRI celebrates its overarching theme – connection – with a film showing of Sundance’s “Connected” March 29

It takes a really good movie to silence the smart phones of a room full of NIMRI-ers, but the only lights flickering in the Jane Pickens movie house March 29 came from the big screen. Premiered at Sundance 2011, the gem “Connected, an Autoblogography about Love, Death and Technology” held the attention of NIMRI members for 85 minutes.

Afterward, the crowd spilled into Yesterday’s across the street to re-connect to their phones and each other, reaffirming the filmmaker’s message that human beings function maximally both naturally – and synthetically – as interdependents.

About the Film

Organizational leadership expert Dennis Rebelo of University Business Consultants sponsored and introduced the film, which was written, produced and directed by Tiffany Shlain, founder of the Webby awards. Viewers anticipating a trek through how social media is overtaking the universe were surprised – and deeply moved – when things got more personal. Shlain had initially intended for the film to talk about technology and where the human race is heading. But the plot takes a sad turn when her beloved father Leonard, a renowned surgeon and best-selling author, is diagnosed with brain cancer as Shlain herself negotiates a high-risk pregnancy.

There couldn’t have been a better plot device than hospital visits to humanize this technological coup of a movie. Shlain’s father is so brilliant and charismatic that visits with him are part classroom and part favorite grandfather. Through him, Shlain’s larger message about where the human race is trying to go via technology is somehow made palatable even to those who fear and loathe technology. The takeaway from the movie is really that humans seek out connection naturally, and do their greatest work in collaboration with others — and technology is simply a tool to support that. Technology is so often accused of thinning out human interactions, but Shlain’s magnified look at a family dealing with crisis shows how it can also deepen those connections.

Unfortunately, Shlain’s father died before the movie was over, and viewers are bounced into a reality of technological limitations that reminds us that we are still more human than ever.

Part memoir, part documentary, “Connected” is packed with animation, home movies and statistics, narrated by Shlain in a fast-paced, upbeat style that keeps the viewer running to catch up, mimicking the social media exercise of being everywhere, all the time.

NIM Events You Missed

New Media events you may have missed

April 26, 2012 – Pinterest for Business: All You Need to Know

Annie Colella of Discover Newport (the Convention and Visitors Bureau) shared how Pinterest can work for your business. Attendees learned how to get to get started with Pinterest and how to get the most out of the social media site. Highlights from Pinterest for Business are posted on the Newport Interactive Marketers blog.

March 29, 2012 – The film “Connected” at the Jane Pickens Theater

 

 

March 1, 2012  Optimize Online Marketing With Secrets of a Revenue Coach

Let’s take a look at our websites and social media from a proven sales perspective.

Does your website put customers off? You think your website describes your company and products or services. You think you’re not “in the way” when they come to your site to learn about you — or via social media Read More

1/26/2012 Make Your Website Mobile Friendly

Annette Tonti, CEO of MoFuse, shared mobile web best practices for publishers and advertisers. NIM attendees learned the difference between a mobile app and a mobile site and how to build effective web content.

Check out the highlights from “Make Your Business Mobile Friendly.” Learn how to use mobile to engage with customers on Designated Editor’s blog.

 

Newport Interactive Marketers @ URI Social Media Social

Kevin Vine: Interactive Marketing Manager, Dunkin’ Brands, Inc.

Shawn Simmons: Director of Public Relations, StyleWeek

Suzanne McDonald: Chief Content Strategist, Designated Editor, NIM founder

11/29/2011

Newport Interactive Marketers joined the University of Rhode Island for the URI Social Media Social. The NIM speakers provided insights to students and Newport Interactive Marketers about what an intern can do and how social media can boost a business.

Discover what attendees learned from “Cross the Digital Divide” between digital natives (interns) and busy professionals on Designated Editor’s blog.

Create and Market Your Brand Story

Jamie Palmer

10/27/2011

Jamie Palmer, the Senior Practitioner at University Business Consultants LLC, taught NIM attendees how to tactfully articulate the brand. Jamie stressed the importance of telling the story and not selling the story. NIM attendees learned how to engage their audience with messages that would resonate.

Check out the key points from “Create and Market Your Brand Story.” Learn how to create a personal and effective brand story on Designated Editor’s blog.

Enhance your Brand with Google+ and Twitter

Discussion Panel

9/29/2011

Panelists Matt Medeiros of Slocum Studios and Michelle Quillin of New England Multimedia shared their insights on Google+ just as it launched. A general consensus was Google+ was not appropriate for all brands at that time. But for those who are concerned about SEO, it’s worth considering.

Learn more about to enhance your brand using social media from “Google+ Twitter Q & A at Newport Interactive Marketers” located on Designated Editor’s blog.

Intertwining Social Media and Customer Service

Chuck Dennis

8/25/2011

Chuck Dennis, Vice President and Senior Consultant for Knowledgence Associates, taught NIM how to infuse social media with customer service to boost engagement and ROI. NIM attendees learned how to interact with customers’ concerns and complaints through social media. Tips for detecting and redirecting what could become a PR debacle were also included.

Discover what attendees learned from “Social Media and Customer Service With Newport Interactive Marketers.”

Join NIM at the top of Newport Tweetup

7/21/2011

Keeping the social in NIM, attendees gathered high over Newport for free appetizers, drink specials, and nonstop networking.

Drive ROI from Google Analytics

Jay Murphy

6/23/2011

Boston University’s Center for Digital Imaging Arts instructor Jay Murphy showed Newport Interactive Marketers how to maximize Google Analytics to drive ROI. NIM attendees learned how to attract people that will actually buy and how to bring in more buyers and prospects.

Find out more about what attendees learned from “Google Analytics with Jay Murphy at Newport Interactive Marketers.” Discover how to get the best results from your online efforts, on Designated Editor’s blog.

SEO Mythology and Tactics from SEO Book Community Manager Eric Covino

Eric Covino, http://www.creativesignals.com/

5/19/2011

NIM was thrilled to have Eric Covino of internationally regarded SEO community SeoBook.com and CreativeSignals.com answer questions on Search Engine Optimization and Google rankings. NIM attendees learned tactics to get search engines to rank their sites number one. Eric gave tips on how marketers can boost their websites in just one week! He also explained how SEO differs for service businesses and local retailers.

Learn more about SEO from “SEO: What’s working? What’s relevant? A Newport Interactive Marketers session”, on Designated Editor’s blog.

Facebook Marketing Best Practices to Boost ROI

Tom Schuyler, Pandemic Labs’

4/27/2011

Tom Schuyler, Pandemic Labs’ Director of Accounts, shared Facebook best practices and ROI measurement types. NIM attendees gained tools and insights to measure the value of marketing on Facebook. Tom explained how to utilize Facebook analytics to assess weaknesses and opportunities to make brand presence more valuable. Attendees learned the core metrics you can use to determine how much Facebook is doing for your brand/business.

Find out more about what Newport Interactive Marketers learned from “Facebook Marketing: Best Practices to Boost ROI.” Discover how to increase your return on investment using Facebook on Designated Editor’s blog.

Learn and Leverage Video for your Brand Success with Newport Interactive Marketers

Patrick Hughes of Visual Post

3/29/2011

NIM hosted Patrick Hughes and Scott Quillin to share their expert opinions on online video posts. NIM attendees learned why videos are so important to the success of their businesses. The experts explained how to use YouTube and how to start your own brand channel.

Check out the highlights from “Optimal Video on a Budget with Newport Interactive Marketers.” Learn how to incorporate cost-effective video marketing into your business on Designated Editors blog.

Mobile for Marketing with Newport Interactive Marketers

Tamara Gruber

1/20/2011

Tamara Gruber, the founder of Red Giant Consulting, guided NIM attendees into the mobile marketing world. She explored the difference between mobile apps and mobile sites and how they could optimize their businesses.

Discover more about what attendees learned at “Marketing with Mobile with Newport Interactive Marketers”, and grasp why mobile marketing matters on Designated Editor’s blog.

Social Media Secrets with Newport Interactive Marketers

Kathie Manchester from the Rhode Island Blood Center

Dana Duellman & My Perfect Space Entrepreneur, consultant, Realtor

Moderator: Nick Brown, Community Manager at Astonish Results,

10/21/2010

Newport Interactive Marketers hosted a panel of social media experts to teach attendees how to optimize social media. Experts shared the best way to connect with customers through social media and discussed the most effective platforms to use.

Learn how to enhance your success in social media from Designated Editor’s blog post, “Social Media Secret’s Out: A Recap and Tools with Newport Interactive Marketers.”

Search Engine Optimization Insights with Newport Interactive Marketers

Doug Wilson

9/30/2010

Newport Interactive Marketers hosted Doug Wilson SEO specialist at Netsense, a Pawtucket-based market leader in outsourced IT, website, and web marketing solutions. NIM attendees received a how-to seminar on search engine optimization insights. Attendees also learned how to boost their Google rankings.

Social Media Answers With Newport Interactive Marketers

Patrick O’Malley

8/26/2010

NIM hosted nationally known expert Partick O’Malley. Patrick is the former VP of Operations for Northern Light, Google’s former top competitor, and has spoken across the country and nationally. He is an expert on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Google. Attendees gained insights to use social media to effectively boost their businesses.

Newport Interactive Marketers Networking

Stephen Melanson

7/29/2010

Stephen Melanson opened the attendees’ eyes to the importance of Verbal Branding. The seminar focused on concise messaging.

Check out highlights from “Social Media and Verbal Branding: Get Your Twit Together.” Learn how to build your social media foundations with verbal branding on Designated Editor’s blog.

Newport Interactive Marketers Networking

Highlights from OMMA Conferences

Jessan Dunn Otis

6/24/2010

Jessan Dunn Otis, a linchpin, recapped Seth Godin’s talk in Boston on June 17, 2010. The seminar also highlighted from the OMMA Conference.

Check out a key point from “OMMA Video Conference 2011 Highlights on Designated Editor’s blog.

Newport Interactive Marketers

Matthew Mamet

5/20/2010

Matthew Mamet of EditMe presented how small businesses and individuals can use a Wiki platform to share information and foster communities. NIM attendees learned how to up their online presence quickly and easily.

Discover what NIM attendees learned from Designated Editor’s blog post, “Tips for Building Communities from Matthew Mamet of EditMe, presented at Our First Newport Interactive Marketers Event.”

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Revenue Expert Shares Proven Strategies on How to Increase Sales

Do you know why people buy from you? What about those who don’t?

Find out with Revenue Coach and author Kristin Zhivago at Newport Interactive Marketers on March 1 in Newport, RI.

Revenue Coach Kristin Zhivago is an expert at aligning buyers’ perceptions with sellers’ assumptions. Zhivago has interviewed hundreds of business owners and their customers to determine what attracts people and what makes them come back.

Join Newport Interactive Marketers on March 1, 2012, to learn from Revenue Coach and author Kristin Zhivago at 41 North, 351 Thames St., Newport, R.I. Offering Southern New England’s best networking and learning, Newport Interactive Marketers gather monthly to help area businesses and professionals leverage social media, online marketing, websites, and more. The March 1 event is free and open to the public.

Sellers, Zhivago says, do not know these crucial components: “What you think is important about your business may not be important at all, and what they think is important may be something you never even talk about.”

Her main goal is to help her customers understand the relationship they have with their own clients. And on Thursday March 1, Zhivago will help Newport Interactive Marketers attendees do the same.

“With that knowledge, all of your messaging – everything from your signage to your emails – will be relevant to new customers looking for the same experience,” Zhivago says.

The biggest mistake small businesses and local retailers make: They never find out why someone chose them in the first place – nor why they keep coming back.

It is possible to rectify these mistakes: Interview current and past customers by phone, using the guide Zhivago outlines in her book, Roadmap to Revenue. While online surveys may be more convenient, Zhivago advises using the telephone.

“These interviews work best because people talk freely when they are engaged in a private conversation,” she says. Using the information acquired from the interviews, businesses can make relevant changes to attract new clients.

It only takes about seven customer interviews for the business to see profitable trends. These interviews will show the company exactly what customers’ value about their business.

“The differences are sometimes subtle but always significant. Words matter. Sellers always talk to buyers in one kind of language, and buyers talk to other buyers in another kind of language. Until you actually interview your buyers, you won’t know what those exact words and phrases are,” Zhivago warns.

“And your words and phrases will not resonate with potential customers. And, by the way, you won’t get this data from social media discussions, interesting as they are,” she said.

Social Media and the Revenue Coach’s Perspective

In today’s modern age where every company seems to have a social media site, it can be difficult to “stand out” in the crowd.

“The trick, is to be helpful in a relevant way (interviews help with this also – you’ll know what is relevant).”

Zhivago advises companies to set up a content production system and work on it daily, whether it’s creating content from scratch or curating for your audience.

“Social media is the most resource-hungry marketing method ever invented. You can’t be lazy about it.”

Learn what to say to your customers, via social media and offline

Don’t miss Revenue Coach and author Kristin Zhivago and Newport Interactive Marketers on March 1, 2012. Free registration.

Register for Optimize Online Marketing With Secrets of a Revenue Coach in Newport, RI on Eventbrite