Next Gen Demand Generation: Tips for Online Video for Channel Marketers

Tips on adding online video into your next demand generation campaign

Want to know how to use video in your next demand generation campaign?How about empowering your channel partners to up level their demand generation.  It’s fourth quarter for lots of comapnies as the end of the year rounds the corner.  Check out the guest blog post I wrote for Channel Maven Marketing to find out tips on how to put video to use and drive leads.

online video

Rev up your online vide demand generation

Click to learn more: “Mix up your and your partners’ demand generation with a little video”

How Mobile is Giving “Push” a Makeover that Will Make “Pull” Jealous?


Within the last decade “pull” marketing has been all the rage…getting your customers or prospects to come to you vs you always pushing on your messaging and information on them.

Let’s be fair – it is all about the mix.

“Push” has been taking a back seat forever. Mobile marketing is in the throws of changing all that. Well, more like reinventing “push” for a new era. You know what I am talking about…those little messages that show up on your smart phone’s home screen from your favorite mobile applications are called “push” messages. And they are the next big thing in engagement. Plus, new releases of Andriod are supposed to offer more “push” messaging options that will expand the playing field…”Push” is not just for Apple users anymore.

3 reasons how mobile applications are giving “Push” a makeover 

  1. Just like email, marketers can segment mobile applications’ users by behaivor.  “Push” messages can be used to offer certain users relevant offers based on activity
  2. Services are popping up to be able to monitor, schedule and analyze activity based on “push” messages – services like Urban Airship is to mobile “push” messages like icontact  or Constant Contact is for email.
  3. “Push” messages engage users to go back in your mobile application and actual “do” something

Users have to opt in, just like email.  “Push” messaging  is surely going to change they way everyone markets now and in the future.

Are you using “push” in your marketing mix? What do you think – is the new “push” going to make “pull” jealous?

New Customers Only: Stop taking your loyal customers for granted?

“NEW CUSTOMERS ONLY” and Customer Rejection

Don’t you just hate that…when you see a deal or offer and in the fine print it says…New Customers Only.  Price discrimination is a known promotional tactic…just think about senior citizens discounts.  Consumers are cool with that–Senior Citizens have earned it. But to reject a frequent customer is just bad business.

Whatever happened to the idea of…”it’s easier to keep a customer that gain a new one.”

Think this scenario through….When a current customer tries to redeem your new customer only deal and the merchant denies them, what kind of lasting impression does that leave your current customer? The customer that has been paying you all this time.  The one that helps pay the bills month after month and you just denied them.

This new customer that gets this killer deal…what if they are just a one time customer? What if they take your deal and run?  But that loyal customer who you have just offended now may decide to leave.  You have actually planted a seed of doubt about your relationship.  Just for the potenial of that short-term gain of a new customer that may or may not work out.

I get it.  The value of new customer over the lifetime justifies your deal–but only over the lifetime of the customer. It’s ironic isn’t it?  Your attractive offer that your loyal customer just tried to redeem may very well be the reason he/she  goes to your competitor and that lifetime customer calculation is null and void.

What’s the solution?

Customer loyalty

3 things you can do to reward and inspire loyalty:

  1. If a loyal customer wants to redeem the deal, go ahead and let them.  Don’t plant any doubt.  Think of it as a thank your gift.
  2. Create a loyalty program.  Every time you come in get 10% off one product or your total order.  Or the come in 8 times and your order is on the house.  Give people a reason to come in beyond that first-time offer.
  3. Thank your loyal customers.  You would be surprised what a simple thank you will do. You can send a thank you card with a great coupon, or send a free product…or just the card will do.  It’s the little things that get noticed these days.

Customers can easily come and go, but the companies that create these relationships make it difficult for people to switch.  So stop just offering the great deals for new customers and consider offering more great deals for repeat customers – that is really how you will stay in business and ultimately grow.


5 Steps to Marketing your New Mobile Application

So you have a mobile application ready to launch.  Now what?

Here are 5 steps to marketing your new mobile application:

  1. Integrate, Integrate, Integrate.  You already have various communication and marketing activities before you acquired this “handy dandy” mobile application.  Add  launch materials into your newsletters, website, invoices, social media. Don’t forget to put a plan in place to continue offering content and information in a trickle fashion over time.
  2. Public Relations — not just old school, but new school too.  You should be following reporters or influencers in your industry way before you want to pitch them. Offer to write a guest blog post for key influencers…it doesn’t have to be a formal reporter-type placement.  These days there are tons of “W”s in this category.
  3. Seek new users through targeted mobile advertising.  I don’t normally jump to the advertising tactic, but this one…really makes sense to me.  You are looking for mobile savvy people to download and use your application…targeting people who have and use mobile applications is a no brainer…and maybe a new avenue for you to acquire users or customers you normally haven’t reached.  Try it out…check out admob or other ppc type mobile advertising networks to dip your toe a little.
  4. Set some goals.  Yep….goals with a capital G.  There is nothing that an deflate momentum other than uncertainty in progress.  Not having a goals to measure against (I would argue regardless of how accurate they are at first), can really bum out everyone.  Set some goals, check your progress and adjust accordingly.
  5. Offer an incentive or promotion.  Just like any effort to change behavior, you have to reward it.

Happy Mobile Marketing!


Don’t Forget the Marketing – Biggest Mistake Marketers Make

It sounds silly – how on earth can a marketer forget “the marketing?” Forgetting to allocate budget and resource to promote your new assets is the biggest mistake marketers make.

This mistake only really happens when people…marketers or other professionals dive into something new.  The two most recent examples where I have seen this is in online video and mobile applications.

You just gotta get into video….

You just gotta get into mobile…

You have heard this before…either as an internal dialog or from someone in your company.  Yes, these are 2 amazing marketing opportunities, not just the latest craze. But they are only effective if people know about them.

I recently encountered someone that enthusiastically went out and created a demo video for her product.  She hired an amazing camera crew, editors, producers, etc.  The video was phenomenal…really great work.  But once the video company turned it over, the marketer said, “now, what do I do?” Logical answer – you promote it. The problem is that she didn’t allocate any budget or resources to do this…the most important part of creating an effective asset is driving people to it.

Same thing happened when a company created a hot, new mobile application.  They spent all their money on the development and didn’t plan for how to promote it.

2 thing to allocate for when you create a new asset

  1. Cash – budget for “drive-to” vehicles – ad placement, email, Pay-Per-Click, etc
  2. Resource – either copywriters, designers, web developers–you need them all if you are going to integrate the new asset and promote it.

Next time you want to engage in these activities or create some awesome assets to drive business.  Please don’t forget to allocate for the marketing of those awesome assets.  You know that philosophical cliche –“if a tree falls in the woods and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? ” In marketing…the answer is emphatically  – NO.

3 Keys to Managing Online Reviews


Thumbs up to online review management

So I am sure you have ran across this topic of online reviews.  It is just one more thing you have to manage as a business owner or marketer. Here is my advice…move it up on the priority list.  Did you know 1 in 5 people choose to go with a competitor based on online reviews.  That has more of an effect  than your Facebook page or Twitter Feed.

Now you are convinced.  What to do next?

3 Keys to Managing Online Reviews

  1. Monitor: Yep, that is always the first step these days.  Keep a watchful eye on what people are saying about your product or service.
  2. Respond: This is your chance to right a “wrong” or thank a customer.  Try to respond quickly to make a good impression not only on the reviewer but those prospects that will look at the review.  And for negative reviews- be apologetic and ask how you can resolve–classic customer service
  3. Acquire: Ask your happy customers to write a review for you.  Make it a part of your post-sale or service process.  BTW-Google just converted Google Places to Google Plus, and if you don’t have 10 reviews they don’t show up, plus they aren’t helping you with your search rankings.

That’s not so bad, right? Check out your reviews today…see where you stand.  Then set up google alerts and get to managing.  You may just prevent that 5th customer from walking out the door.

My last project at Cisco in the press: Cisco Talent Connection made WSJ

Cisco Talent Connection in Wall Street Journal

So talk to anyone who tries to innovate, they will tell you, “It’s hard!”  Well sometimes innovation and a tough corporate fight gets rewarded.  That happened to me this week.  Before I left my corporate job at Cisco and started this company, I was a part of an incredible team that created and launched an innovative staffing project called Cisco Talent Connection, an internal recruiting platform that allowed Cisco to leverage internal talent for open positions.  Makes sense right…employees get to grow and develop, company loses less downtime training and acclimating a new employee to the company, products, culture, etc — not to mention saving millions in recruiting, on-boarding, support and attrition costs.

This week this heroic effort was acknowledged in one of the most credible news sources in the world, the Wall Street Journal.  Check it out….it comes with an incredible article headline: “An Inside Job: More Firms Opt to Recruit From Within”

I know what you are thinking…what is this marketing professional doing in Staffing?  I get that all the time these days.  But the opportunity was so interesting, my then manager  Sr Director of Staffing Innovation compiled a team of rockstars.  It was quite genius actually, she recruited people inside the company from different disciplines to bring her vision to life.  We had a few incredible staffing members, an analyst, a product project manager and a marketing/sales person – it was a true multi-displinary team.  It was frustrating at times, but fun and now totally worth it.

You can review more details of my role in my portfolio overview of the Cisco Talent Connection project here.

So to all you innovators out that…keep fighting the good fight.  It is worth it.


Drip Marketing – 3 Things You Must have to Nurture Your Prospects

Nurture those prospects to buy

Drip marketing or nurturing is all the rage…and it should be.  Rarely is a prospect ready to buy once they first encounter your product or service. So in order to nurture them through the buying cycle, you need to offer them reasons and information to establish they have the problem and establish.

  1. Have a target customer profile and how your solution solves their problem.
  2. You need collateral to drip.  This includes whitepapers, ebooks, webinars, newsletters, free trials, etc.
  3. You need a lead nurturing software and process to help automate things.  There are big guys like Eloqua or Marketo or I just learned of a small but effective one the other day called Pardot.

That’s it.  Now the tough part is in the execution.  But these 3 steps will set you on your way to lead nurturing or drip marketing heaven.

Go ahead, try it.  Drip away.

Marketing Problem and Solution: Lead Generation without Telemarketing

So one of the biggest tasks of any marketer is to produce leads for the sales team and the business.  It is the activity that truly keeps all marketers employed.

Marketing Problem: How can I produce leads without always resorting to Telemarketing?

Telemarketing is one of those old school tactics that works – at least for now- especially for B2B companies.  You negotiate usually on a lead guarantee. It is predictable. It costs a lot of money, but you know after you shell out the cash you can go back to the sales team and the leadership team and say…”I drove X leads for this value.”

But telemarketing is expensive and frankly inefficient. It is actually quite wasteful…almost disposable in a way.  You get a list, keep calling a list, get your 5 leads and then the list is no good for 30-45 days. I get why people do it.  It is easy to show 1:1 correlation.

Telemarketing isn’t your only solution these days.  There are a myriad of marketing tactics than can deliver leads – they may not be totally qualified, but over time, maybe be a gold mine of business.

Solution: Online Video Lead Generation 

Here is a thought…instead of spending the $5000+ on 5 leads from a telemarketing firm.  Consider using a simple lead generation campaign using video.

Here is how it would work:

  1. Create a 60-second video about your product – outlining problem, solution, key benefits.
  2. Put it on a branded landing page with an offer and lead capture form
  3. Drive traffic – email list, PPC, targeted display campaign, on your website…heck, you can even use it for your telemarketing team as a call to action.

This sort of solution offers lots of advantages:

  • It has a shelf life.
  • You can use the video in your next trades show, follow up to appointments and reap leads past the usual 30 days of telemarketing.
  • It is the solution that keeps on giving.

Check out this FREE ebook  from my partners at Magnet Video on how to use video in your marketing to drive leads and conversions.

New Series: Marketing Problem and Solution: Online RSVP Management

Marketing Problem & Solution Series – Quick, practical answers to your everyday marketing problem.

So here is a new content series I am introducing.  Short, simple problem and solution posts to help answer your latest marketing questions.  These are issues that my real-live-no-jive clients face and I offer simple, actionable solutions to the problems they face day to day.

Here is the first one: How to manage online RSVPs for an event without blowing your budget?

So there are tons of solutions out there, but my client need a quick, painless way to gather RSVP responses for an event.

They had done lots of research and were going to settle on Cvent…but when I looked at the price tag and added in the assessment that really they just needed an easy way to collect and export RSVPs…that didn’t seem like the most logical solution.

But they already subscribed and used Constant Contact for their email service…so I investigated its solution.  Their event management solution is somewhat new…many features in beta(which sometimes can be a hassle in itself.  But for managing simple online RSVPs…and with less than $20 a month.  What could it hurt…right?

Constant Contact Event Management

Not a bad way to track your Online RSVPs

Pros–it is easy to use.  They have a WISWIG and lots of template to choose from.  Doing your own custom design is very limited, which I found out later…but that was ok.  It was a simple solution with an easy landing page with Google Maps built in.

Cons–customizing the landing page was a bit limited.  And the service didn’t offer a way to take “no” RSVPs or “regrets'” as we say in the south.  That confused the user a bit.  We received quite a bit of manual emails because people wanted to respond and send their regrets.

But other than that…not a bad solution for the price tag. Create specific landing pages with a unique URL was a synch. Exporting to a .CSV file made name tags pretty easy too.  Overall, I was please.

I would suggest to Constant Contact to make it easier to customize the landing page and to offer the “regrets” feature, but for the price…can’t beat it.

Problem–online RSVP management. Solution: Constant Contact Event Management Module. Good stuff.


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