Archive for 'success'

Personalization Precept Update

I’m about 85% done with the Personalization Precept Report and plan to have it ready for release (along with the follow up campaign) by Friday (August 8, 2008).  If you’re wondering what benefits you’ll receive by registering to receive this free report, here’s a quick rundown of a few things:

  • Reduce costs on future direct marketing campaigns by knowing which methodologies generate the highest response rates based on the initiative. (pages 7-10)
  • Improve open rates by learning which days are the most popular for opening e-mail. (page13)
  • Understand when to use a prospect or house list most effectively. (pages 14-15)
  • Increase revenue through personalization techniques designed to break through the clutter and get your message noticed. (page 22)
  • Boost direct mail response rates by as much as 1000% through this technique. (page 25)
  • Review 7 case studies of companies achieving tremendous results with personalized direct response marketing. (page 27)

I am getting ready to send pre-release copies out of the report to get some feedback before releasing it to the public.  If you’d like to get in on the report before it’s officially released, follow me on Twitter (http://twitter.com/rogerbauer), and I’ll post a link to the report later this evening or sometime tomorrow to check out what’s been done thus far.  It’s a jam packed report with statistics, case studies, and examples of successful personalized direct response marketing campaigns.

In our ongoing video series that highlights increasing sales for a fictitious technology company, I review the stakeholder meetings in this installment.

Brief Recap

As I hope you remember, this is a $62.5 million technology company that has experienced a few bumps in the road toward their goal of becoming a $100 million company so we’re setting out to help them get back on the growth track. A lot of the pains uncovered in this fictitious example are not uncommon for businesses in any sector so I hope you’ll take a look at this video in addition to the others produced thus far. Below today’s video are links to the others just in case you wish to review and/or catch up. Enjoy!

Previous Videos in this Series

5 Ways Enterprises Can Increase Sales

Keys to Success in Growing Technology Sector Sales

If you watched our introductory overview video in which we introduced a fictitious technology company and a project to increase sales for their organization, the following video provides an overview for the next step in our endeavor–outlining keys to success.

In our next video, we’ll discuss the conversations with key stakeholders and the impact each may have on our project.

What are your thoughts on this project? Are you noticing any familiar circumstances? What are you or your business doing to increase sales? Let us hear from you.

I (Roger) have been involved with social media for awhile now in various forms (MySpace, Facebook, blogging, LinkedIn, etc.), but I didn’t get consistently involved with Twitter until a month ago or so. Now I’d consider myself a Twitter-holic.

Rough Beginnings

At first, I just didn’t get Twitter. 140 characters to tell people “what I’m doing right now?” My first reaction was “who cares?” which gave way to “stalkers ought to love this thing!” that finally gave way to “open your mind Roger, and give it a legitimate try; there has to be a way to leverage this thing as a business tool.” So that became my self imposed initiative.

Opening My Mind

I attended my first Louisville Social Media Club event and noticed how everybody referenced their Twitter ID on the sign-in sheet. So, armed with that information I set out on my second Twitter voyage (the first one failed because I had no followers, and I wasn’t following anyone) by adding a lot of the SMC Louisville attendees to my “following.” I also added some of the people they were following to my list (the social networking aspect in play here), and a lot of those folks reciprocated which began to open my eyes on how powerful the service could be. I have since grown my list to over 100 followers and am following 175 or so on there now. Anyway, the point of this post is to show how Twitter is generating quite a bit of traffic to our blog, and that would have been impossible without sharing my “following” so the background info is relevant.

Expanding Reach

Earlier this week, I attended the Cincinnati Social Media Breakfast and met more wonderful people to add to my Twitter list. I reviewed the event and have been amazed at how much traffic that one post has generated. Other sites have referenced the review, and that was all made possible through Twitter. Nobody would have even known who I was if it weren’t for the service, and nobody would have known I wrote a review of the social media events I have attended if it weren’t for Twitter. In the “old days,” I would have had to send each attendee an e-mail with a link to the blog post then hoped they visited the site and took it upon themselves to link to it somewhere.

Traffic Results

Roughly 30% of our blog traffic has been Twitter based. In looking at the web analytics just now, the other sites that have directed traffic to our blog are a direct result of “tweets” on Twitter letting others know about the various blog posts that they now reference on their blogs. They took the “tweet” to the next level, and it’s possible to trace 75% of our existing blog traffic back to Twitter. It’s the real-time information share that makes Twitter so powerful, and it makes it so much easier for those connected to cross promote one another in multiple media. The service provides tremendous benefit if viewed from that perspective.

Bottom Line

Twitter is something to seriously consider if your business is looking for additional web traffic sources. It can provide a tremendous benefit to your business if the people you put in place to utilize Twitter handle it properly. It’s like anything else in the social media or SEO universe–time and consistency are keys to success. It’s not a light switch technology that will pay immediate dividends so keep that in mind before embarking on a Twitter journey.

Share Your Story

Got a Twitter business success story of your own? Please share it with us.

Want More Information?

Here are some interesting posts to read that touch upon the concept of Twitter as a traffic generation tool:

Zing Social Media Overview Seminar Review

Yesterday (April 23, 2008), we hosted a very small group to discuss “10 Ways to Increase Sales from Social Media” at Zing’s offices in Louisville. For those that didn’t get the opportunity to attend, here’s a summarization of what all was discussed.

We started off the discussion with a quick round robin to see who all used various social media sites in some of the different categories. Included in the mix were sites such as LinkedIn, Flickr, YouTube, Twitter, MySpace, Facebook, Scribd, HubPages, Squidoo, EzineArticles, and WordPress (blogs). Our small group had mixed reactions to the sites mentioned whether they had heard of them or not. A lot of the sites were unheard of before our chat today so it’s fair to say that those sites aren’t being utilized yet by all of our attendees.

We had interesting debates throughout, but one thing stuck out to me that is both encouraging and puzzling all at once–a lot of people are very unaware of what is out there from a new media, web 2.0, on-line social aspect, but they realize it’s becoming more of a necessity for businesses to get involved. It’s no longer a novelty or kids’ playground anymore. Once you see large corporations investing major dollars on internet marketing and new media interests, the rules of the game change quickly. Usually new technologies in business follow a progression like this:

  1. Younger generations test out something because it has that “cool” factor and it’s new
  2. Solo entrepreneurs start to dabble thinking it might give them an edge and allow them to compete with larger competitors
  3. Small and medium businesses begin to realize that the solo entrepreneurs are onto something and begin to jump into the pool
  4. Finally, corporations see this wave of activity and understand the technology has matured enough to begin to invest substantial resources

Once the corporations are involved, it’s no longer a phenomenon or cool technology–it’s a full fledged strategy and set of tactics to make money. They may not have it mastered when they first enter the fray, but it won’t take them long to figure out how to capitalize.

So why is all of this happening so fast these days that some companies feel as though they’re getting left behind unless they act soon? Today’s consumer is tuned out to traditional advertising and media so it’s forcing the marketplace to become more creative in their approach, and that’s where social media comes into play. Believe it or not, there are still quite a few business executives out there that are reluctant to enter the social media space, and their reasonings vary greatly. Some of it is a generation gap, and some of it is a mindset that isn’t quite as “inclusive” by nature as a lot of us that are more comfortable with social media and sharing our lives publicly. I’m personally old enough to understand the apprehension from the “traditionalists” yet young enough to get the fascination with so many avenues for self expression.

All of that being said, there is no magic bullet where social media is concerned, but there are business applications for just about every sect of social media that need to be understood before making a decision to implement a strategy for one’s company. My recommendations for social media success, from a business perspective, to the group today were:

  1. Commit to a social media strategy or don’t bother
  2. Be yourself (hiding behind a pseudo-name isn’t going to win you points over the long haul)
  3. Transparency rules because people can sense a phony very quickly
  4. Be consistent
  5. Understand the time involvement–this isn’t like traditional advertising where you pay for a block of time or space and the returns are predictable. It may take a year for a social media strategy to begin to pay dividends, but those dividends could be huge. Can you afford to a) wait that long? or b) miss out on a great opportunity by passing on social media?
  6. Don’t try to sell–as mentioned above, people are tuned out to traditional advertising methods so showing up on a social media site trying to pitch your product or service isn’t going to be well received. It’s just like walking into a party where you know a couple of people–you wouldn’t barge into the middle of a group you didn’t know and immediately start trying to sell them something would you? I’d hope not. If you would, please skip my parties. 😉
  7. Follow the golden rule–give to receive and remember, it’s not about you first.
  8. Add value–become a resource or educate somehow if at all possible. Eventually people will notice and take action accordingly.

Finally, I’d summarize the overall message I was trying to convey to the group today as it’s all about an inclusive vs. an exclusive mindset. Traditional ways and methodologies versus new age and progressive strategies. We’ve gone from a business model of doing things FOR our clients to doing things WITH our clients. The firms which view things in that legacy view of “for” instead of “with” might find things a little rocky one day as we travel further down the path.

The rules of marketing have definitely changed, but have you changed with them? Either way, I’d like to hear your take.

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