Discussing How Marketing Automation Makes Lead Management and Nurturing Effective

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For a phrase that’s being thrown around a lot recently, what does “Digital Transformation” really mean? When someone says that they want to digitally transform their business, what does one really mean, why do they want to do it, and should they approach this “digital transformation” process? First off, let’s start with a definition. If we don’t know what we are trying to achieve, then how do we know how to get there? Or to quote the famous Greek philosopher Yogi Berra: “If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.” In a recent blog “How To Achieve Digital Transformation,” I stated with the following definition of Digital Transformation: “The coupling of granular, real-time data (e.g., smartphones, connected devices, smart appliances, wearables, mobile commerce, video surveillance) with modern technologies (e.g., cloud native apps, big data ... (more)

Ulitzer vs. Ning

My original post in late June was based on two weeks of using Ulitzer and Ning.  I've added additional thoughts after two months of use. The obvious point for me is that the sites have two different objectives for the writers.  For Ning, the writer is trying to be involved in a niche social network from scratch.  For example, I have built my own social network for marketers and salespeople called BuyerSteps.  I created BuyerSteps as a way for other professionals to join in a conversation around the 21st century buyer.  So, Ning represents a way to build a community. In the case of Ulitzer, as a writer I am focused on getting readers from within an existing audience.  There are already thousands of readers coming to the Ulitzer site, so if they are interested in my topics such as marketing, they will find my articles as well as others.  Ulitzer allows the writer the ... (more)

Will PR Firms Survive The New Media Avalanche?

http://twitter.com/fuatkircaali Last week I received an email from Lindsey Miller at Ragan Communications. I answered her questions for a story she was working on here. The following is the full text of my reply to her on this subject. What kinds of PR firm will survive the "fast-approaching new media avalanche"? What steps will firms have to take to ensure that they make it through? I know a lot of PR firms that are chasing new accounts among publicly traded companies, which are seen as cash cows in the business. I also know a lot of firms whose sales teams are larger than their senior account staff which will actually get the job done. These firms have armies of new college-grad telemarketers spitting out press releases to the media. For a while you can get away with both approaches. Once the laws, rules and regulations change, the first group of PR firms will disapp... (more)

Twitter, Linked In, Ning and Ulitzer: Easy Personal Branding Strategy

Social Media on Ulitzer I use all of these social media tools and although they haven't put me on my own island in the Caribbean yet, I'm very pleased with the combined results. 1. Twitter – It’s the fastest way to share that you have created something of value. As a bonus, Tweetdeck or CoTweet are good ways to manage your Twitter efforts and research. Huge audience with lots of active participants. There are a few shady characters on Twitter but just like being at Grand Central Station, you just step aside and keep moving. It doesn't mean you eschew the benefit. Micro-blogging is probably here to stay so it's a good idea to get up on good habits regardless of what future tools look like. 2. Linked In – It’s the professional network standard where people will find you. A terrific way to maintain knowledge of what former colleagues are doing now. You can also join gr... (more)

Overworking and Undervaluing Employees Hurts Companies

When I started my high technology career in 1982, we had an unemployment rate of 10%. Doesn’t this sound familiar? It was a brave new time in computing and no one was even sure where it was all going. Doesn’t this also sound familiar? I probably didn’t realize it at the time since I was happy to get a paycheck and I was young, but relatively speaking, it was a tough market for employees. I was consistently working intense 60-hour weeks, my guess is that sounds all too familiar for many of today's professional workers. 60-hour weeks are never the problem when the team is outstanding and the mission is solid. I think the difference is during high unemployment periods, an employee feels a loss of control over their work time. A sense of obligation and less sincere dedication. It's that loss of control that can be the seed of a future exit. Times Change Fast forward to ... (more)

Mobility, Sensors, Robotic Process Automation and the Principle of Acceleration

If you have spent any time working on IT projects you would have heard the comment, "The system is only as good as the data."  It's an accurate statement, and one I want to expand on in this article. Many system designs fail in the face of reality.  Reality is often a cloaked term for implementing a digital solution in a physical world without a sufficient understanding of how the physical world operates.  This is where sensors make such a positive contribution today. Sensors fill in the blind spots in our systems and operations.  Where previously we operated on conjecture or false assumptions, sensors provide real data on how the real world functions.  Operating on real data allows for a different approach and IT strategy.  One that utilizes artificial intelligence or in more complex processes a solution known as robotic process automation. These automated processe... (more)

How Do We Respond to Change? (Buyers Are People, Too.)

In the 21st century, the U.S. Labor Dept. predicts that today's learner will have over 10 jobs by the time they are 38. Being able to adapt to changing conditions in your job status and the status of your buyers is an important strength in 2009. I used to have to go to Europe quite a bit and I remember seeing this sculpture in the Louvre. This piece of art is quite beautiful and it really does make you think about how these captives must have felt. It's universal because we have all been there. The four reactions of their captivity depicted in the sculpture are revolt, hope, resignation and grief. We all have the power of choice over our own emotions. It's not the event that defines us, but our response to that event. A few hundred years ago when we lived in a feudalistic society or a monarchy, hope was hard to come by. But this 2009 with so many technology tools and... (more)

Twitter's Value

Twitter has captured the imagination of those who are looking for a way to have a presence and communicate.  It is the current hot story in social media, but what the discussion around Twitter does not seem to highlight is the unfulfilled need. There is a great deal of dialogue around and on Twitter these days.  In a recent report from Hubspot, it was shown that Twitter's users may not be actively using the micro-blogging or distributed instant message service.  Nielsen Online said the same thing in April of 2009 showing that 60% of the users abandoned the site after one month.  At this point, Twitter is solid market research for what communication utility users want, but can the company quickly get it to the next level of general usefulness?  It has brought to the forefront an unfulfilled user need.  That's the market research takeaway and the real value at this p... (more)

Prepare Yourself for More Email Coming to Your Inbox

From Forrester's Press Release Spending on email marketing in the US will balloon to $2 billion by 2014 — a nearly 11 percent compound annual growth rate — according to a new forecast by Forrester Research Inc. (Nasdaq: FORR). Falling CPMs (cost per thousands), a high return on investment, and growing consumer use of social email accounts will fuel the use of email by Direct Marketing professionals. In five years, consumers will be deluged with more than 9,000 email marketing messages annually. “By 2014 direct marketers will waste $144 million on emails that never reach their primary target,” said Forrester Research Vice President and Principal Analyst David Daniels. “Successful Direct Marketing pros will alter their tactics to overcome inbox clutter and increase relevancy.” My view: Email in marketing should only be utilized as it relates to a promotion, major anno... (more)

Marketing Your Way Out of The Recession

It's anyone's guess when the recession bottoms out and we get back to growth.  Rather than remain in a "state" of denial - like California did for too long - or adopt a hunker down mentality - "let's just ride this one out" - as many companies have, there's a middle path of taking proactive measures steps now, so that when growth reappears, your company is better positioned to gain an unfair share of the increased customer demand that will be there to harvest.  Here are a few considerations to come out will your guns ablazing. Get back to basics.  One of my colleagues recently said to me, "since when did marketing strategy become an oxymoron?"  What he meant by this remarks is that the recession is causing many marketers to start changing strategies on the fly and resort to strategy-de-jour or reactive tactics at the expense of strategy.  Doing so runs the risk tha... (more)

Build Your Own Successful Affiliate Site

An affiliate is someone who sells another businesses products or services on their behalf and/or provides leads for that business and gets paid a percentage of what is passed on or sold. You don’t have to deal with warehousing, customer complaints, pricing and so many of the other hassles of running a business and you can paid as much as 75% of the sale. No wonder so many people want to get into this game. Typically to succeed as an affiliate marketer you must have a very good informational site attracting visitors on specialized subjects with your interesting content. You have to draw a crowd and then sell products related to the same subject. Here’s how it’s done:    1. Build your site. It’s best to pick a subject that you have an intimate knowledge of and pick a niche within that subject. As an example: If you’re an avid golfer and have an intimate knowledge of the... (more)