Keeping customers engaged takes communication
NOVEMBER 11, 2009
In a recent blog post — Take your Time — Quickly — Remodeling blogger Greg Antonioli talks about how you need to be accurate with estimates, and at the same time, you need to move quickly so buyers don’t lose interest/enthusiasm for their project. But what should the system look like? Start with providing clear information about the design and planning process.
Help Customers find you on Google — it’s free.
SEPTEMBER 2, 2009
– “X Marks the Spot Customer Relationship Management , Aug 2009. If you Google “remodeling in Minneapolis, here’s what you’ll see: Is your business listed here? By now you’ve noticed the map – with local business results – that Google often displays at the the top of their search results. That’s the one I would check out first.).
If you are better, you should look better.
NOVEMBER 4, 2009
Today I found this really excellent example of a roofing contractor website. It was mentioned in a Roofing Contractor column, The Power of Branding , by Chris King. The owner of GreatWay Roofing, Rod Menzel, was inspired to rebrand his company when he attended a conference and learned about Blue Ocean Strategy , a book by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne. Clutter makes it hard to brand,” he said.
The Doing-Not-Doing Matrix
OCTOBER 27, 2009
I was recently invited to a talk by Phil Styrlund about adding value to B2B relationships, sponsored by Vistage. Almost as an aside, Phil mentioned this matrix, which I quickly scribbled on my napkin. I don’t remember what he called it, or if he had a name for it — so I’m calling it the Doing-Not-Doing matrix. How the Doing-Not-Doing matrix works. Important things you are doing.
Projects defy “iffy” economy
JULY 25, 2009
The Business Journal recently posted Changing home prices in the Top 100 metros. In Minneapolis-St. Paul the peak year for housing prices was 2007 (1st quarter only) with a change in housing prices since the peak of -7.14%. But there’s good news too — the 10-year change in housing prices was 74.63%. are still taking the plunge. How will you attract and engage your share of buyers ?
Nothing Left to Cut – Now what?
DECEMBER 29, 2009
This article appeared in the NARI Minnesota Newsletter (Winter 09/10). Your pencil can’t get any sharper. You’ve done everything you can think of to minimize overhead and shrink job costs. With nothing left to cut, you can wait for things to get better, or you can focus on beefing up the top line and improving your competitive position. Here’s some of what owners and leaders can do to improve the revenue side of the equation in 2010. Strategy first, then goals. It’s easy to say, “Our goal is to increase revenue by 20%.” Set goals. The devil is in the details. Guaranteed.
You too could be a winner!
AUGUST 26, 2009
The 2009 NARI MN COTY binders are for sale at the NARI MN office. Just received an email from NARI about the COTY Awards. This little nugget from the email jumped out at me: Fact - In 2008 each category averaged 6 entrants. Though the competition is stiff, a 1 in 6 chance at winning are good odds! Entering makes sense for a few reasons: 1) Feels good — provides a much-needed morale boost for staff and owners. 2) Publicity — Award winning projects are “newsworthy and are more likely to capture the attention of editors. The Power of Corporate Awards (About.com).
May there be peace within
OCTOBER 15, 2009
This afternoon I participated in a roundtable discussion at NARI. For the most part the conversation was upbeat. More about that later.) Still, I felt a just a hint of frustration and weariness in the room. It’s hard. A lot harder than it used to be to compete, to win business, to inspire customer loyalty, to hang in there. Sometimes it’s hard when you are running a business (or looking for a job maybe?) – to keep your spirits up. A friend shared this with me today, and while I’m not usually big on the “mushy stuff, I felt like posting it. Don’t you think?
How to write a press release
OCTOBER 5, 2009
I recently received a call from a friend who was planning a benefit concert: she wanted to know how to write a press release. I pointed her to PRweb’s article, Tips, Guidelines and Templates for Writing an Effective Press Release , a very good how-to summary. Unfortunately, she’s a little late — her press release should have been sent three weeks ago. Her event is Nov. 7, which means she’s already missed the deadline for a number of special event calendars, which will be published at the end of this month. Some people think “publicity equals press release.
Website grader – what’s your score
SEPTEMBER 18, 2009
I’ve added a new associate to my universe of marketing experts and partners – Sam Beamond. Sam and I met for coffee this morning at the Dunn Bros, just to get acquainted. I was eager to pick his brain about search engine optimization and web analytics. We talked about a number of different ways we’ve been successful increasing traffic for clients — he’s really into the coding and development, and my focus is more usability, customer experience and content. So I think we will have opportunities to partner together. Bungalo Group can help.
Dryers use 10 to 15% of domestic energy in the United States!
SEPTEMBER 10, 2009
Hey all you green builders and landscapers — here’s a fun marketing idea. As one of those “greenies, many times I’ve wished for a clothes line in the backyard. It’s on the “honey-do list but it never gets done. If you’re looking for a fun way to nurture your clients and prospects — offer to put up a clothesline for them. They come in many exciting styles and colors.) Create a clothesline contest — as in enter to win an old-fashioned clothesline.
Bungalo Group blog added B2B Marketing Zone
SEPTEMBER 10, 2009
Bungalo Group’s marketing blog for home improvement industry has been added to the b2b marketing zone. The B2B Marketing Zone is a community collecting and organizing the best information on the web about B2B Marketing
Send Out Cards
SEPTEMBER 9, 2009
Sending a real, printed, stamped, and mailed greeting card takes about a minute and costs about a buck with sendoutcards. Any Dale Carnegie graduate will tell you: one of the easiest, and most effective ways to touch customers and nurture relationships is with greeting cards. I keep a plastic bucket full cards and stamps right next to my desk. (It It seems I’m sending a lot of sympathy cards these days.) Unfortunately, it can take me days to actually mail the card. Are you like me? Do you carry the mail around with you and then drive right by the mailbox or post office?
$4000 is a pretty sweet deal
SEPTEMBER 9, 2009
As a homeowner, my ears perked up at the NARI meeting last night when they mentioned Project Reenergize. It seems Uncle Sam really wants me to spend big money on my home now! If I combine low interest rates, with deals I can get on appliances right now at Sears and incentives from the government – the savings add up. You may have received this email from BAM: BAM was awarded over $2 million to create a program to incent your clients to remodel their house now. BAM created a rebate program of up to $4,000 to be given directly to your homeowner if they install certain energy efficient upgrades.
Is there a downside to Facebook?
AUGUST 17, 2009
Last week a client called to ask a question: We’re thinking of creating a company Facebook page, but before we do… is there a downside? He decided the “risk for him was minimal, and the benefits of having a place to converse with “fans made it worth exploring. Here’s some of what we talked about: 1. Facebook and LinkedIn are handy for posting “updates. Unless you have a content management systems or in-house expert, daily, weekly, or even monthly website updates can be a challenge. Don’t be dull. Go at your own pace. Know your boundaries.
Would you like door number one? Or door number two.
JULY 28, 2009
My phone just rang. It was my friend and business partner Brian Ingle. Brian sells printing and promotional products for Links Print and he’s always honing his relationship building skills. “Hey, says Brian. “I just called to let you know that Mary Shellum is allowing me the privilege of printing her job. So I’m calling to show you my appreciation. You get to choose how I show my gratitude.. “Great! I said. Like most people, I’m quite fond of being appreciated.) “What’s behind door number one?. “Neat. And door number two?.
Webinar for job seekers
JULY 16, 2009
Most of us know someone who is looking for a job — sometimes because we’re ready for a change, sometimes because change has been forced on us. My good friend, Jill Konrath , is hosting a free webinar for job seekers. If you know someone who is looking for a job — perhaps a client, or former-employee — tell them about it. Jill knows her stuff! Complimentary Webinar for Job Seekers: Creating Opportunities Using Get Back to Work Faster Strategies. Date: Thursday, July 23 at 1 pm ET. Register now for this free session: [link]. FTAF 1. Companies still have needs.
I want to grow revenue in 2010. Should I hire a sales rep?
MARCH 3, 2010
Revenue was off in 2009, and you want to stabilize it, or increase it over the next few years. You have existing sales reps that sell, so why not hire an additional one to go out and beat the street for you? Before creating and posting the job description, keep reading: Are your expectations realistic? Have you ever interviewed a sales person who says, “I have a HUGE customer base, and I am sure I can do x amount of sales in my first year.” As owners and sales managers, we hyperventilate as we start to add the figures up, and plan for more revenue and bigger profits. Two reasons.
2009 Big List of B2B Marketing and Sales Blogs
Proteus B2B Marketing Blog
AUGUST 27, 2009
With all the micro-blogging, I’ve often wondered whether the number of bloggers who actually create original, substantial content is decreasing. Don’t get me wrong, you can create meaningful thought in 140 characters, but it’s a lot easier to write 140 characters (no matter how well crafted) than it is to consistently create original content for [.].
Sales Ready Leads: Quality vs. Quantity
AUGUST 3, 2009
The topic of Quality vs. Quantity in demand gen has been a constant debate. Whether it's inbound marketing or outbound marketing there are costs associated with a lead, there are costs associated with the time and effort needed to convert that lead to an opportunity, and there are costs tied to the quality of those leads and how that impacts conversion rates. As David Greenberg, Sr. Quality Vendor.
6 steps to writing a better Request for Proposals, a primer
JUNE 19, 2009
We believe strongly in Requests for Proposals (RFPs) as a tool for companies to find the best products and services at competitive prices, but also as an evaluation method for finding that elusive "best fit". However, too often the RFP process is run by people who have never experienced the process before, either from the issuer or vendor side, and essentially don't know what to say or what to ask.
Why Are Marketing Automation Managers So Hard to Find?
OCTOBER 16, 2009
Even though some vendors have been around for almost 10 years, Marketing Automation is still relatively new. According to Forrester, only 2-5% of B2B firms have invested in full-featured Marketing Automation. But that percentage is rapidly growing. Increasingly, B2B companies realize that Marketing Automation software requires skilled operators. But – if you decide to hire a Marketing Automation manager – what should you look for, and where do you find them? New technology requires people with a new set of skills, nothing new about that. But that’s for web analysts.
2009 Junta42 Golf for Autism Another Success - $30k in Proceeds in 3 Years
AUGUST 17, 2009
Our original goal for 2009 was $12,000. 2009 was our first year and we have every intention of participating next year. It was another perfect day for an amazing cause. On August 14th, nearly 100 golfers and over 80 sponsors and contributors came together to raise more than $10,000 to help get children with autism get speech therapy services. All proceeds for the event go to Easter Seals Northern Ohio. By late 2008, it was apparent that this year was going to be much more challenging. All told, we feel pretty good about surpassing the $10k level. Thanks Joe!
TriComB2B: Smart. Strategic. Technical. - Technically Focused B2B Marketing Agency - formerly TriCom Marketing & Communications
JUNE 1, 2009
more » News / Press Releases TriComB2B Named as 2009 Best Places to Work Winner. We get it. From writing technical bulletins for your sales force to composing a speech for your CEO, our technically oriented staff of engineers, account managers and marketers will produce deliverables that make sense for your business with results you can measure. We are distinctive due to our technical aptitude , industry knowledge and business acumen. Contact TriComB2B to learn how our focus on technical products and services can help make your marketing efforts more effective. All Rights Reserved.
13 Top Books for CMOs - Recommended by The CMO Club
MARCH 5, 2009
Pete Krainik of the CMO Club posted thirteen books that members of the CMO club have recommended. Great list : Breakthrough Marketing Plans: How to Stop Wasting Time and Start Driving Growth. Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make Competition Irrelevant. Business Stripped Bare: Adventures of a Global Entrepreneur. Clued In: How to Keep Customers Coming Back Again and Again. Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High. Leading Change. Marketing Champions: Practical Strategies for Improving Marketing's Power, Influence, and Business Impact.
Top 20 CRM Blogs of 2009
B2B Lead Generation Blog
JANUARY 29, 2010
Read Forecasting Clouds' Top 20 CRM Blogs of 2009 Forecasting Clouds ranked the top 20 CRM blogs based on their content, readability and frequency of posting. I'm honored to have been included on the list. As I read over the list of blogs, I discovered some new ones worth reading along with a number of bloggers I already follow. Here's a partial list of the CRM blogs on their list: PGreenblog and CRM: The Conversation – Paul Greenberg. Beagle Consulting Blog – Denis Pombriant. Brent’s Social CRM Blog - Brent Leary. Think Customers: the 1 to 1. Jeremy Nedelka. Carfi. Blog - Michael Maoz.
What Exactly IS Digital Body Language?
Digital Body Language
JUNE 18, 2009
I've been using the term "Digital Body Language" on this blog quite a lot for obvious reasons. However, I have not really taken a moment to define the term, as I realized recently after a presentation on the topic. An audience member came up to me and very hesitantly asked "I think I get the overall concept, but what exactly IS digital body language." So what is it?
Fire your Director of Social Media!
Buzz Marketing for Technology
DECEMBER 22, 2009
At a recent ANA conference I was interviewing Brian Wallace VP of Digital Marketing and Media for RIM when I heard him say “2 years from now- if I still have a Director of Social Media – I should be fired! and after thinking about that I can’t help but agree with him. Said differently how do we make social part of the very DNA of the firm? What’s your view? Tweet This! Digg this!
Inbound Marketing University | inboundmarketing.com
JUNE 1, 2009
Subscribe by RSS InboundMarketing.com Home News Jobs Forums University Search this site: Home Inbound Marketing University Posted May 5th, 2009 by Rick Burnes Register for IMU | Class Schedule | Professors | Student Tools | IMU Badges | Partners | Student Bulletin Board >>Click here to attend this weeks classes! **By June 15-19, 2009: Inbound Marketing University Classes June 22, 2009: Review Session and Certification Exam New feature! By clicking the above link, you will have access to the upcoming and recorded webinars. Program Schedule: ( Cant make one of the classes?
Top 35 Most Useful Twitter Blog Posts of 2009
DECEMBER 30, 2009
2009 was, without doubt, the year of Twitter. Related posts: Top 25 Most Useful LinkedIn Blog Posts of 2009 As the year comes to a close, it is. Whether it was the massive hacker attacks that created a massive Twitter outage and reminded us of how Twitter has now become an important part of our lives, the interest in both Fortune 500 companies as well as small businesses to utilize Twitter as part of their [.] Twitter Tip #1 for Beginners: Follow Lists Before You Follow People! This is a continuation of my previous post, where.
5 quick tips to writing better proposals (RFP responses)
MAY 27, 2009
We're frequently asked for any tips we might have for people writing proposal responses to Requests for Proposals (RFP) that they've received. After finding us through the RFP Database , seeing the abundance of RFPs that it contains, and knowing that all of those RFPs are open competitions, the natural question is "if I'm going to spend time writing a proposal it has got to be a winner". Faced with the situation of having to read 300+ pages of different vendors' proposals many people read the first page and then start skimming, and if they're not skimming, their minds are probably going numb.
The Content Marketing Workbook | Velocity - the B2B marketing acceleration agency for technology companies
JUNE 12, 2009
Doug Kessler Tuesday, June 9th, 2009 Your prospects are being buffeted by a firehose of information. First Name (required) Last Name (required) Email (valid email required) Company (required) cforms contact form by delicious:days Tags: Add new tag , B2B content marketing , B2B Demand Generation , B2B lead generation , B2B social media Posted in Featured Paper , Papers | Comments The Velocity B2B Content Marketing Workbook | Velocity - the B2B marketing acceleration agency for technology companies says: June 11, 2009 at 2:25 pm [.] Add Comment Click here to cancel reply.
7 Reasons Why Marketing Automation Projects Fail
AUGUST 24, 2009
Needless to say, Marketing Automation software is very popular today. It can be used for email campaigns, drip marketing, lead nurturing, lead scoring, landing page management and for brewing coffee. It is often positioned as something that will solve all your marketing problems for a couple of thousand dollars per month. Okay, I made up the part about brewing coffee. Unclear Prospect Profile(s).
Lead Generation Tips - Take 3 Hour Lunches
OCTOBER 1, 2009
There were days in my lead gen life where I could have easily left for lunch and not come back for four hours. MIT data shows that that might have been a good idea! Gerhard Gschwandtner of Selling Power just highlighted last year's MIT / InsideSales.com study of outbound prospecting lead conversion. It got me thinking. Layer the times together and stagger them for time zone.
Rick Short Explains How to Turn Staff Into Prolific Bloggers
JUNE 30, 2009
Posted by Magdalena Georgieva on Mon, Jun 29, 2009 @ 07:40 AM COMMENTS Been searching for an answer.everyone (nearly) agrees that blogs are a great way to bring eyes to your pages. posted on Monday, June 29, 2009 at 10:02 AM by Jack Leblond Jack - thanks for the comment. posted on Monday, June 29, 2009 at 11:25 AM by Rick Short Rick, Great blog topic - enjoyed reading. Wrong.
Is social media effective for B2B lead generation?
Sales Lead Insights
APRIL 13, 2009
I’m probably biased, but I believe the primary objective of business-to-business marketing is driving sales of the company’s products and services. Of course branding and awareness are also roles that can be played effectively by B2B marketing, but from my point of view these are only supporting roles—secondary to the primary objective of helping drive sales. Yet many of these same companies eventually come to the realization that not every prospective customer is ready to buy now. What’s all this have to do with social media? about a survey they recently conducted. Not bad!
5 Things My Father Taught Me About Selling
JUNE 22, 2009
Today is fathers day, and my kids lived up to the holiday tradition by surprising me with a baked french toast casserole and bacon. The joke was (for the big guy that has one stent in place already) that they were out to kill me. We're heading up to my sister's house today to visit with my dad, Roger Damphousse ("Pepere" as the kids call him), and eat again. Dad, here's to you.(see,