Archive for June, 2006

Three B2B Marketing Mistakes Every Business Makes (And How to Fix Them)

That’s the name of an article that Terri Langhans wrote for B2B Marketing Trends. I read the article and found it very informative. You can read the article in its entirety by clicking here. Below is a brief summary of the article…

Mistake #1: We think that marketing is something we “do.”

When you think of marketing as something you “do,” you’re usually thinking about publicity, direct mail, flyers, email, ads and promotion. Marketing is much more than merely promotion. Think of marketing as anything that helps or hinders the sale or use of your product or service. Anything. (Ex: your location, the attitudes of the person who answers the phone, your name, pricing, policies, proposals, personality and more)

Mistake #2: We breathe too much of our own exhaust.

We are such big believers in our businesses that we can’t wait to show it off. We admire our attributes and inhale our excellence. Then we exhale it all into our marketing communications. The problem is, when you do that, your marketing is all about you. And people don’t care about you. They care about themselves. If your marketing is going to get any response at all, the first thing it must do is connect to something prospects care about. Connect before you convince.

Mistake #3: We all look alike.
Manufacturing is manufacturing. Insurance is insurance. Brokers, lawyers, manufacturer’s reps and consultants are a dime a dozen. The list goes on. But here’s the good news: the more two businesses look alike, the more important each difference becomes, and the more impact even the tiniest difference will have on setting your business apart. Your prospects are looking for a point of difference—just about anything—they can use to set you apart from your competition.

To find your points of difference, start with your points of contact, or “touch points,” in your company. Make a list. Business card, fax cover sheet, proposal, spec sheet, phone greeting, front door, web site home page, etc. Then look at what the competition does and ask yourself how you can do it differently. Just a little bit will make a big difference, because your prospects are looking for them.

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My PR/Marketing Resume Website

Good news! My resume website is up and running! Visit it at www.michael-morton.com.

I actually completed the project two weeks ago but I have been requesting opinions and constructive criticism from various professionals around the country. I have made many changes thanks to the sage advice I received. I still have some changes to make but those will take a little more time. Also, I might update the look of the site to give it a more contemporary feel in the next few months. I initially liked the overall look of the site when I was designing it but now I think it looks too much like a business-to-business website.

Anyway, please offer your thoughts (design, layout, copy, etc.). Does the website hurt or help me, or is the site simply blasé? But most importantly ask yourself this question… If you were hiring, would you want to schedule an interview with me based on what you see on my website?

Thanks to everyone who has helped so far!

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Dell Computer Explodes, Popular Blog Breaks the News!

Here’s something that is bound to get the attention of Dell Computers. Apparently, a Dell laptop violently exploded at a Japanese conference. A well-known blog has posted an article with pictures of the volatile incident.

Click here to read the full article.

This is a great example of how a blog post can cause a company great distress. If the same story gains popularity and is posted on other blogs, you can bet Dell will issue a release or a blog post of their own. An incident like this can be a good reason to invest in a service that monitors blog posts about your company.

However, I must say I am quite skeptical of this post. Why? The title of the blog is The Inquirer (very similar to The Enquirer tabloid magazine). Also, it seems very convenient that someone was able to take a picture of the explosion. I am not implying that the post or incident was fabricated but I do believe we should read the post with a discerning eye.

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What Should be Included in an Online Press Kit?

An online press kit should include the following:

  • Company Summary
  • Executive Bios
  • Most Recent Press Releases
  • Communications/PR Contact Information
  • Company Logo (a high resolution copy & a low resolution copy)

The following two items are not required to be included but their addition would improve the effectiveness of the kit.

  • Company Photos
  • Links to Relevant Websites (blogs and associations/organizations)

Keep in mind that the online press kit should have the same, or a very similar layout, as the rest of the website. The layout should be clean, organized and easy to navigate. Also, all items within the online press kit, except the logo and photos, should be offered in two formats: HTML and Adobe PDF. There you have it, my suggestions for an outstanding online press kit that reporters and clients are sure to love! But perhaps I have overlooked something you would have included. If so, let me know by commenting on this post.

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The Importance of an Online Press Kit

I believe every business website should contain an online press kit (others may call it a media kit). What is an online press kit? It’s a simple webpage that gives reporters detailed information about your company, as well as any elements they may need to publish a story about the company.

Why is it so important to have an online press kit? It’s simple, reporters want information as soon as possible. It is much faster for a reporter if they can access your company’s information online instead of having to wait for a press kit to arrive via overnight mail. Having a press kit available online increases your company’s chances of being publicized in the news. But that is not the only reason to have an online press kit. An online press kit lends a feeling of credibility and importance to prospective clients/customers. Thus, an online press kit helps generate revenue.

Having said that, I need to emphasize the significance of the accessibility of the press kit. Ideally, the press kit should be highly visible and accessible from the company homepage. At the very least there should be a link to the press kit on the “About” page.

Later this week, I’ll post about the different elements an online press kit should contain.

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Schwag + Guerrilla Marketing = Sales

I finally received my Macbook last week. It is my very first Mac purchase (I don’t even own an iPod). Let me assure you, my new Mac is sweet! But this post focuses on Apple’s effective, yet amazingly simple, guerrilla marketing tactic. Let me explain…

With the giddiness of a eight year old on Christmas day, I opened the box that contained my new Macbook. After ogling my Macbook I noticed a pair of white stickers that came in the box. These stickers were of the Apple logo. Like myself, you’ve undoubtedly seen the very same sticker on the back windshield of various cars. The Apple stickers are very noticeable, given their unique shape, and have always drawn my attention.

I always thought to myself that the people who sported the sticker on their car belonged to some exclusive club of Mac zealots. To my knowledge, Mac loyalists have always been proud of their uniqueness among this nation of PC users. I just assumed they went out and bought the stickers from their local Apple store. But apparently Apple ships a pair of free stickers with every computer, maybe even every iPod.

What a great marketing tactic! Capitalize on the fact that your customers are, for the most part, die-hard loyalists. Send them free schwag so they can personalize their car. Which, in turn, promotes your brand by getting it in front of hundreds, if not thousands, of people. Genius!

Schwag and Guerrilla marketing really do work… I’m living proof!

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Shorter Email Marketing Wins

I came across an interesting bit of information over at iMediaConnection.com.

The study shows that email messages that promote only one product or service generate more sales than emails that promote multiple products and services. This is not surprising to me at all. In an earlier post, I highlighted the fact that one of the biggest complaints about business-to-business websites is their overabundance of information. Such an overabundance turns off potential customers. As the study says, “It is logical that the same [an overabundance of information] would apply to emails.”

The findings of this study can also be applied to company newsletters. Instead of overloading a newsletter with five or more articles, focus on the three most important articles/topics and only publish those three. Some marketing professionals believe that you must have a lot to say in a newsletter. I disagree. You can have little to say in a newsletter, just make sure whatever it is you do say is important.

In closing, I believe the study reflects the busy lives of people today. In today’s instant information age, we no longer have the patience to wade through large chunks of information. Our marketing techniques should incorporate that fact.

Check out the full study here.

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Who am I ?

My name is Michael Morton. I believe in bringing energy and professionalism into the office, that knowledge is power, that leadership trumps management, that customers are more influential than advertisements, that content is king, and that two heads are better than one. I currently lead the marketing efforts of the Strategic Alliances department of my company. Let’s talk marketing!

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