“Talking About” is one of Facebook’s most important brand page metrics; they consider it so important that they place it at the top of each page, right next to its name and the number of page Likes.

Recently a small “vanity” page I created had more people talking about it than the Best Buy, Southwest Airlines, and Microsoft pages – combined. Continue reading

Renaissance painting of Cupid in thoughtIn many B2B companies sales and marketing don’t get along very well. Often marketing thinks that sales doesn’t understand what it does and doesn’t respect the leads that it generates, and sales thinks that marketing generates very poor quality leads that are a waste of time to follow up on. Continue reading

Contrary to the Alec Baldwin, TV/movie stereotype of sales people, the number one skill of successful sales people is listening.

Only by listening can you find out what the prospect wants (in addition to their needs), shape a solution and overcome their objections. We’ve all experienced clueless sales people who just launch into their pitch and know how offensive and ineffective that is.

So what does this have to do with online marketing?

Online marketing, in virtually all of its forms, is the perfect way to listen to, and learn from, your market and customers.

Of course, social media marketing involves listening, because people are going to comment on and Like (or dislike) your posts.  Central to social media marketing is responding to those comments and carrying on a conversation (“conversation” itself is a term that you did not hear used in marketing 10 years ago). Wise organizations can shape their future messages based on that feedback, and even carry those insights into their offline communications.  And using social media monitoring tools, you can research the social media universe to see what people are saying about you outside of your social media channels on other blogs, etc., and see what people are saying about your industry and competitors, too.

All other online channels provide real-time opportunities to listen to your market, too.

  • Launch a PPC campaign and in a very short time you’ll find out what keywords people are searching for your products and services with, which ad messages compel them to click and what offers get them to take an action.
  • Online advertising, email marketing, marketing automation – they all provide more opportunities to get rapid feedback that you can use to shape your messages and programs.
  • SEO may take a bit longer to develop, but the lead generation results can be even more valuable, so be sure to apply the learnings from listening in the other online channels when creating your SEO program

In his book, Direct from Dell, Michael Dell talked about how the Internet is the perfect pricing machine: Dell can put a new computer on its website for sale at several different price points, and within just a few hours they can see which price will generate the most profit for them.

The usual industry term for all of this is “optimization”. But you can think of it as just good old listening and responding.

This was originally posted on the Overdrive Interactive blog.

Did you find this post useful? You’ll find dozens of actionable strategies and tactics in my interviews with 10 sales and marketing leaders.

businessman woman shaking handsTraditionally CFOs and CMOs have not been best friends. That’s not surprising considering that CFOs are hard numbers people and the most famous marketing phrase is ““Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.” That was said, though, a century ago. Things have changed. Continue reading

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This is the Introduction to the revenue + associates eBook, “Modern Sales and Marketing Best Practices: Conversations with 10 Leaders” which you can download. The Introduction is by revenue + associates president Louis Gudema

If you want to know how to increase the revenue of your company, you’ve come to the right eBook. These 10 people are experts in sales and marketing and have helped rapidly grow many companies.

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The Internet giveth and the Internet taketh away.

For small and mid-sized businesses – including the smallest, which are just one person — the Internet has provided huge advantages. Relatively inexpensively they can create a basic website or blog and potentially reach a global market. They can get up and running on search advertising platforms, such as AdWords and Bing, and for just a few dollars a day their ads can be mixed in among those of Fortune 500 companies. Social media provides them with free platforms for having ongoing conversations with prospects and customers, to connect with people looking for their products and services and do informal market research.

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