Ask “Auntie Joan”

November 13, 2011 by

Ask "Auntie Joan"“Auntie Joan” has arrived at MarkeTech to give your B2B wireless/telecom company some straight-shooting and practical answers to business development questions.



Hi, I’m Auntie Joan.

My idea for featuring a Q&A column on MarkeTech’s blog site started out at the San Diego CTIA show. After talking with countless exhibitors about their most pressing business concerns, about 80 percent had only one: “how to get better-quality trade show leads?” More importantly, it was the other 20 percent of the exhibitors. Each had a novel and unique question about a business development problem in their companies. When I asked who they were turning to for solutions, a significant number had nothing better than online research.                         

Realizing that there was no B2B market-sector platform for solutions to such important matters, the germinal concept of an open Q&A resource began to evolve. I harvested a few interesting questions at the show to validate the concept of “Ask Auntie Joan.” Now that I have answers prepared for a few Q&A postings, I’m opening my column to your business development questions.

My experiences at the show indicated that one might have concerns about revealing real-life business issues in my column. Rest assured that the “Ask Auntie Joan” default is total anonymity. Further, you choose the level of confidentiality on the question-submittal form. You can even elect to not have your question and answer published at all. I’m available for private, one-on-one sessions.

This new feature is exciting to me because I’ve always considered my firm’s blog site as one that answers its visitors’ specific problems. As the president of MarkeTech, my goal in working with you as “Ask Auntie Joan” is to help as many of you as possible to grow your businesses. I feel so strongly about this that I’d even make myself available to hands-on implement my solution.

Submit Your Question
When you submit a question, my way of saying thanks is that you’ll receive:

  •  A complimentary one-hour consultation
  • Access to the forthcoming MarkeTech Discussion Forum
  • Topic-relevant white papers
  • Priority registration for our webinars

These are all intended to help you actually achieve a successful resolution. And it’s all FREE!

Submit your question

Regards,

Joan Naidish
aka “Auntie Joan”
+1 818.883.9895
AuntieJoan[AT]MarkeTechcom[DOT]com

MarkeTech Announces Social Media Boot Camp

November 2, 2011 by

A self-guided tutorial that turns a B2B social networking
 newbie into an online publisher
and contributor in 10 easy steps.

LOS ANGELES — November 2, 2011 — Responding to B2B companies that are taking a Do-It-Yourself approach to online social networking, MarkeTech announced today its Social Media Boot Camp. This latest self-help tool in its business-development arsenal takes a social newbie through a proven 10-step process. The result is an online-networking savvy and socially responsive blogger, or a proficient contributor who can comment on others’ online postings. The program places emphasis on participation in discussion groups and chat rooms, where bootcampers gain experience in everything from learning to “listen,” to joining in social conversations.

This Social Media Boot Camp provides both advice and hands-on self-implementation TODO’s that enable participants to be effective online B2B communicators who develop the social skills to achieve business goals. Even though the Boot Camp is self-guided, MarkeTech personnel are available and hands on with each participant. “We don’t leave anyone stranded without a lifeline,” explains president Joan Naidish. “We check their progress, usually in real time. They find us monitoring their posts on discussion-group sites, for example. When they reach the blogging stage, we even make our blog site available for them to post as a guest.”

Downloading and going through the free Social Media Boot Camp is just the start. It leads to a comprehensive course in real-world Social Media Monetization. Nothing self-guided here,
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Welcome to MarkeTech’s Blog Site

March 9, 2010 by

MarkeTech’s blogs focus on Marketing Technology. As specialists in B2B business development, we achieve our clients’ objectives using proven inbound and outbound marketing/PR strategies and tactics.

Our executive team includes:

    • award-winning sales executives
    • writers and publishers with 250,000+ followers
    • launch experts with acknowledged six sigmastatus
    • founders of high-tech companies
    • innovators with 14 technology patents

Since 1996, MarkeTech has repeatedly exceeded the business expectations of its high-tech clientele

This blogsite exists to help you succeed in reaching your business goals through access to information, tools and hints, and other helpful resources.

By signing up to our RSS feed, you will also receive our “insider” emails, access to white papers, special offers, and other helpful content not available on this site.

We welcome your inputs, puzzling problems, topic suggestions, questions, self-help hints/ideas, etc.

Contact MarkeTech:

CSTO[AT]MarkeTechCom[DOT]com
P: +1 (818) 883-9895
F: +1 (818) 883-5706

Social Media Boot Camp

November 1, 2011 by

Originally created as a MarkeTech training aid for aspiring corporate B2B wireless bloggers and social networkers, the Social Media Boot Camp is now a download. Being a self-guided tutorial, any user can perform the straightforward steps without supervision. We offer mentoring at no charge for those who need a bit of handholding along the way.

The Social Media Boot Camp provides a starter kit with both how-to instructions and hands-on self-paced TODO’s that will enable clients to be effective online social communicators. Developing online conversational skills focuses on achieving business goals. There are plenty of helpful tools identified, too.

Anyone wanting to gain or improve basic social networking communications skills should go through the Social Media Boot Camp. Becoming an online social star who can motivate prospective customers to buy, bring them into your sales funnel, and then reap the rewards of monetizing social media, requires being well-grounded in the basics taught in the Social Media Boot Camp.

Read the Boot Camp press release…

Social Media Monetization

Once a bootcamper masters the essential social networking skills, there’s a more-advanced Social Media Monetization program. Social Media Monetization is not self-guided, and includes step-by-step hands-on mentoring, webinars, and other interactive training to ensure your success in generating revenues online.

There may be a waiting list, so we recommend that you advance pre-register.

Note that Boot Camp graduates get priority access.

Learn more about the Social Media Monetization program…


DOWNLOAD SOCIAL MEDIA BOOT CAMP
Register
Once registered with MarkeTech, just use express Log In
Log In
____________________

What MarkeTech’s Social Media Boot Camp Is All About

Here are some answers to the most-asked questions about the Boot Camp.

What:
The Social Media Boot Camp provides a starter kit with both how-to instructions and hands-on self-guided implementation. Our TODO’s will enable you to be an effective social communicator
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MarkeTech’s Blog Site Isn’t Just for Boot Camp Participants

November 1, 2011 by

“Just about anyone can post a guest blog on this site,” says MarkeTech.

I’ve posted a couple of guest blogs on this website in the past, but I never realized that MarkeTech’s perspective of who can post here was such an open-door policy. I spoke with Patrick Potega, the CSTO, and he told me some interesting things about the blog site.

First, MarkeTech has always had a liberal guest-blog perspective in making its blog pages available. The only parameters, it seems, are that guest bloggers must be in a B2B company which is in the wireless (or more broad telecommunications) industry.

After that, anyone who wants to post a guest blog should present the topic to MarkeTech. Potega was surprised that the “online guest blog” inquiry form that’s been available for over a year to anyone who wants to submit a guest blog isn’t more widely known. Here’s where to access the form.

As a blogger, I appreciate that the MarkeTech team reviews and edits all guest blogs before posting. You even get a
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Social Media Monetization…Everything New is Old Again

November 1, 2011 by

MarkeTech’s Social Media Monetizationprogram shows how
your B2B organization can successfully generate revenues
from social media programs.
The secret is nothing new!

Social Media is nothing new. Its market relations principles and practices have a success-based pedigree. The essentials of monetization were rooted in the high-tech marketing/PR disciplines of the mid-1980s. Regis McKenna Inc., the PR firm that virtually single-handed created Silicon Valley, proclaimed that Public Relations was dead. What replaced it was Market Relations (MR), replete with social networking, “the conversation,” and most all the programs and activities that define today’s Social Media. So, except for the sea change of the Internet as a communications medium, there’s little new about relationship marketing as it was originally created by RMI, where MarkeTech founder Joan Naidish was an RMI principal who pioneered many of the original Market Relations techniques.

MarkeTech’s Social Media Monetization program exploits and updates the market relations methodologies used to achieve the success stories of B2B networking and communications companies like AT&T, Motorola, Xircom, and Intel.

But that sea change of the World Wide Web did seriously impact relationship marketing. The business development strategies of high-tech businesses were upset, with attempts to monetize Web 1.0 being mistakenly based on information dissemination. Old-fashioned PR was used to plaster product and company information all over the web ecosphere, using primarily press releases and online articles. Ever since Web 2.0 with its social model came along, B2B companies
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Humor: Gift Basket for a Customer

October 27, 2011 by

Gift BasketWhen I was first working in sales, a rather strange happening occurred. One of our other reps had taken one of our sales engineers with him on a sales call. The engineer tended to be a bit nervous in front of customers, but I, and others, had assured him he would be fine, and off he went.

Apparently the sales call went relatively well, but the sale rep returned without the engineer. When I asked why, well, I was surprised with the answer.

The customer had a number of questions about our product and was designing it into his product, but needed some guidance. Our engineer calmly and clearly answered all of his questions, and when the meeting was finished, he asked the customer if he had a waste basket in his office. The customer said yes, and the engineer asked for the waste basket.

The customer thought it was an odd request, as did our sales rep, but he handed over the waste basket to our engineer. He took it, thanked the customer, and proceeded to throw up into the basket.

Perhaps not the worst sales call, but certainly the worst ending to a sales call.

     Courtesy salespop.com (http://salespop.com)

Do You Know…

September 29, 2011 by
Test your knowledge of the B2B 
wireless innovators and pioneers.

 

Hint:  The wireless LAN technology was the predecessor and laid the groundwork for the IEEE 802.11 specifications.

 

How to Use Trademarks Properly – Are Your Documents Compliant?

September 24, 2011 by

How to use trademarks in any document is simple and straightforward.

It was 8:00 P.M. when the call came through. New B2B client in a panic. Some wireless company threatening a lawsuit. A letter that says there’s a trademark problem.

I was about to calmly tell him to talk to their attorney but, instead, I asked him to email me a copy of the letter.

While waiting, I recalled something my sushi buddy Michael Bierman once told me: “Many trademark cases could be avoided by complying with the rules when writing. It’s always neglecting the simple things that turns into costly and time-consuming litigation.” As a partner at Luce Forward, he speaks from decades of trademark litigation experience.

A few minutes later I’m reading the frenzied client’s letter. I breathed a sigh of relief. It appeared to be little more than a form letter advising my client that “[product brand name] is a registered trademark….”

Prior to retaining my firm, this client had been a DIYer (Do It Yourself) that wrote its own documents. Unfortunately, use of trademarks must have not been observed, and that triggered the boilerplate warning letter.

My firm has always done some amount of oversight/mentoring work for B2B wireless clients who create their own documents. Document review typically accounts for the bulk of those activities. The trademark faux pas has happened often enough that years ago I created a basic how-to document just for such moments.  Here’s that advisory:

Mandatory Trademark Compliance Is
Straightforward and Simple

Proper trademark usage in your documents protects your B2B wireless company’s valuable brand. Applying the same usage to other company’s trademarked brands will help avoid legal entanglements.

What Is a Trademark?
It is any brand name, symbol, slogan/motto, word, image, or emblem that a company is claiming legal rights of protection to prevent a competitor from using it.

What Are the “Marks”?
There are only three trademark identifiers:  “R,”  “TM”, and occasionally “SM”

  • When written, they are either
    • Superscripted, e.g., ®, TM, SM, or
    • In parentheses, e.g., (R), (TM), (SM)

Which Identifier to Use for Another Company’s Marks ?
Simple! The one that the company claiming the mark uses.

Where Do I Apply the Mark in My Documents?
The rules are easy:

  • Always apply the mark the first time the brand name, symbol, slogan/motto, word, image, or emblem appears in the main body of your document
    • Apply the mark only once in your document, no matter how many other times you may use the same brand name, symbol, slogan/motto, word, image, or emblem
  • Never apply the mark to the brand name, symbol, slogan/motto, word, image, or emblem when it appears in the title or subtitle of your document

Are There Other Rules?
Yes, and this one seems always to be misused. Trademarks should never be used as nouns or verbs. The mark is always used as an adjective. Here’s an example:

Right (Adjective)

Wrong (Noun)

“… announced the availability of its
UniMobile® software that
runs on any smartphone.”
“… announced the availability of UniMobile® that runs on any smartphone.”

One Last Rule
Always insert a trademark notice at the very end of your document. This is usually in small type. Here’s an example:

 UniMobile is a registered trademark of Wireless Widgets, Inc. All other
trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Regardless of the type of documents you’re creating—press releases, white papers, web content, sales collateral—proper trademark usage is more than just a nit-picking detail. Follow the simple rules, and you’ll save time, money, and frayed nerves at 8:00 P.M..

Other helpful writing tips are available in MarkeTech’s Monograph:  The Perfect Press Release. Email your request for a complimentary copy to Team[at]MarkeTechCom[dot]com.

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Guerrilla Selling’s Mind Map Challenge Revisited

September 12, 2011 by

While Guerrilla Selling’s “Mind Map” focuses on one-on-one direct sales interactions, can its face-to-face principles of buyers’ “phases” and sellers’ “best approaches” be effective in today’s online social media environment?

My Theory
In a B2B online social environment, without the requisite buyer’s presence in a face-to-face or one-on-one situation, practicing mind-map-driven guerrilla selling isn’t practical. My theory is that a seller can use his/her “Seller’s Approaches” – I view these as “behavior” — as triggers that cause a favorable response in a buyer audience. This flip-flops the original Mind Map chart, which teaches that the buyer’s behavior triggers the sellers reactive behavioral approach. For reference, I have included a slightly-modified version of the original Mind Map here.

The theory’s flip-flop premise is based on an online B2B audience of prospective buyers in which there are individuals, each of whom is in a particular identified left/right brain phase. If a seller were to address that audience with messages about “Fair-Care-Share” for example, the “Principle Phase” individual buyers would be responsive.  

In application, one might theorize that the six “best approaches” (disregarding the “Amoral Phase”) could be implemented in a series of blogs, Tweets, or other social media channels. By doing so, a seller could build – over time – a dynamic online personality profile that would appeal to more than one of the Mind Map’s categories of prospective buyers.

A Theoretical Example
For example, blog #1 portrays the seller as factual and logical, then blog #2 demonstrates fair-care-share aspects of the seller, while in blog #3 the seller is relaxed and just tells her/his story, and yet another blog (#4) stresses the seller’s responsibility to community and the good works his/her company is doing. This chameleon-like seller behavior is acknowledged in Chapter 4 of Guerrilla Selling. In the “Guerrilla Challenge” section, it teaches that “You must…adapt to the needs of each prospect you meet.” And, “They [Guerrillas] can shift from Ego to Pleaser to Authority to Principle phases as the situation requires.”

It would seem that the cumulative effect of such a blogging strategy could, over time, attract the identified Mind Map audience segments (as B2B leadgen). Similar-minded individuals in those segments would find the seller a person with whom a relationship might be formed.

The original Mind Map was reactive, i.e., the buyer’s behavior (phase) caused the guerilla seller to respond. It required an interactive situation, with a face-to-face meeting, or one-on-one (phone call).Today’s Internet reality is that in the online social communities, clearly identifying a particular individual’s phase is difficult, if not impossible. The Web’s social media tools are not equipped to provide face-to-face or one-on-one interactions. Therefore, a potential solution would be for the seller to behave online in more than one particular Mind Map phase, so as to attract (pull mode) compatible sales prospects.

Next Steps
My theory has not been tested in my real B2B (technology) world. I would be interested in your inputs. If feedback indicators are positive, I’d be willing to develop an alpha feasibility-validation program.

The Mind Map (Revisited)

The Mind Map is a model of behavior and personality that divides our human minds’ functions into seven “personality phases.” Guerrilla sellers use the map to understand people (prospects and customers) they encounter and be equipped to adopt a strategy that enables a relationship. At any given time, a particular person can shift from one mind phase to another.

Here are the Mind Map phases, listed with the most primitive “amoral” phase at the bottom:

Source:  Guerrilla Selling: Unconventional Weapons & Tactics
for Increasing Your Sales. William Gallagher, Orvel Ray Wilson,
and Jay Conrad Levinson, 1992. (http://www.gmarketing.com/)

Is Social Media Really a Free Ride to ROI?

September 11, 2011 by

While the best things in life may be free, social media has a price tag.

Browsing through some survey data recently, I stumbled upon one which indicated that some 113 (15% of those surveyed) Chief Marketing Officers indicated that the cost of social media is basically FREE! This response was to MarketingSherpa’s question of “…how you perceive social media’s ability to produce an ROI at budget time.”

Wait!…What? Do these marketing professionals actually believe that the budgeted investment in social media is ZERO? That would mean that any ROI would yield a de facto 100% profit.

I had to admit, however, that a case could be made supporting the perception of social media costing virtually nothing. There are companies that apply the DIY (Do-It-Yourself) approach to many social media activities. You know, those businesses that do everything in-house. A VP writes the blogs, an engineer or two Tweet, someone else is responsible for content on Facebook, and the sales guys plunder LinkedIn looking for leads. It’s all DIY. But, does that really mean it’s free? It sure would look that way in a budget, because salaries are an operational line item, and not indicated in the marketing budget.

My common sense and experience tells me that social media is time-intensive. Activities that consume significant personnel time should produce financial outcomes that are favorable to the company’s bottom line, either directly or indirectly. Is a VP’s time invested in blogging going to yield an ROI?

ROI at Budget Time
It was MarketingSherpa’s connection to ROI that bothered me the most. How can one realistically answer a question about ROI at budget time when the cost of leadgen is ZERO? The company budget may treat salaries one way, but can we ignore the real company money these DIY social media participants are spending when they use time on the job for blogging, tweeting, and the like?

Some businesses, mine included, do calculate “personnel ROI.” The IRR (Internal Rate of Return) on a reallocation of a current employee’s tasks has implications on the company’s bottom line. I actually have “target” income values that express how any employee’s time utilization should translate into productivity. That productivity is defined as revenue, so it’s “Revenue on Employee (ROE).”

My Hokey Hypothetical Model
Using an ROE approach, I constructed a rather hokey hypothetical model that shows company earnings as an outcome of the time an employee might spend doing social media activities. The following figures are annualized.  

The revenue value of each conversion is based on landing one customer out of each batch of 10 sales leads. The average revenue-per-conversion is $50,000.

This hypothetical employee would spend +/- 7 hours/week (about 20%) on social media pursuits. Thus for a salary-driven budget of $30,000 for 333 work-hours/year, the projected social media revenues are $100,000 for this employee. Personnel time utilization should be budgeted and clearly spelled out. So, it’s always time-is-money, and social media time invested does have a calculable ROI.

There’s also an ancillary issue of personnel time utilization, especially for employees who become addicted to Twitter, Facebook, et al. Productivity of other tasks can erode, perhaps enough to even threaten those other tasks’ ability to generate revenue.

While employees engaged in DIY in-house social media campaigns may believe that everything is free, business owners have a solid case for believing otherwise.

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