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7 Steps to Marketing Success Workshop

Did you know National Small Business Week in the US is next week?

Well it is and to celebrate I would like to invite you to join me for for a free online workshop aimed at helping you grow your business. (And, it doesn’t matter if your business is in the US or not!)

Free online seminar:

How to Create a Marketing System that Produces Consistent and Predictable Results or what I also call The 7 Steps to Small Business Marketing Success.

The event is being held online Wednesday, May 18th at Noon CT (My Duct Tape time clock shows you my time around the world) Register here

Duct Tape Marketing BookI am going to give away 5 copies of my book Duct Tape Marketing to 5 lucky attendees and everyone that signs up will also receive a bonus gift valued at $250.

Can’t make that time work? Sign up and we’ll get you the recording and your free gift anyway.

Don’t miss this great educational opportunity, sign up today.

Marketing Is Your Most Important System

Image: Deliver Magazine

A lot of people ask me what Duct Tape Marketing is. Usually Duct Tape Marketing represents one of the various parts they’ve come into contact with.

There’s this blog, a podcast, a newsletter, books, self-study courses, and a network of independent Duct Tape Marketing consultants around the globe.

Even with all of those tangible representatives of Duct Tape Marketing, more than anything it’s an audacious idea that marketing for the small business can be simple, effective and affordable when practiced in a systematic fashion.

It’s my experience that any business, regardless of industry, can benefit from this view and that marketing can be stripped down to the effective implementation of these 7 steps and a big part of my business purpose revolves around bringing this message to the small business world

  1. Develop strategy before tactics – Base all decisions on an ideal customer and core message of difference
  2. Embrace The Marketing Hourglass – Look at every potential prospect and customer touchpoint and design a remarkable experience
  3. Adopt the publishing model. – Commit to producing content that builds trust and educates
  4. Create a total web presence. – Develop a plan that takes advantage of the SEO and social media aspects of being found
  5. Orchestrate the lead generation trio. – Use technology to create multiple ways to generate leads via advertising, public relations, and referrals
  6. Drive a lead conversion system. – Develop a sales system that everyone in the organization can use from initial contact to results review
  7. Live by the marketing calendar. – Make marketing a habit by establishing monthly, weekly and daily action steps

I outlined each step in detail for this week’s AMEX OPENForum post – Read the entire article here – 7 Steps to Creating a Sure-Fire Marketing System

Come Meet Me on the Road

I read Jack Kerouac’s On The Road back in high school and I like it so much I’ve got a copy on my Kindle, er, iPad, just so I can grab a few pages any time I get a hankering for the road. I’ve got quite a few live, public and on the road events coming up over the next few months so I thought I would share some here in hopes that I can meet a few of my readers. (Some of the attendees at these events are getting advance copies of my new book The Referral Engine, out May 13th, but don’t tell anyone.)

“The air was soft, the stars so fine, the promise of every cobbled alley so great, that I thought I was in a dream.” – Jack Kerouac, On the Road

I Need a Caption for This Image

And the winner is . . . Springtime, wintertime, real-time from Chris Del Plato

I used this image in a recent presentation on social media to help set the table for one of my primary themes – social media is not a single tool or tactic, it’s more of a strategy or behavior.


Suggest a caption in the comments here – Click to enlarge

duct tape rulesI was wondering if you my readers could help me out by suggesting captions for this image. Simply write a clever caption in the comments section. (Be creative, the one that makes me laugh the most, regardless of whether it relates to social media or not, wins a copy of Duct Tape Marketing and a newly created “Duct Tape Rules t-shirt” shown here.)

Winner of the Social Media Library

In case you missed my post on Friday I offered one signed copy of One these seven books: Trust Agents by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith, New Community Rules by Tamar Weinberg, Six Pixels of Separation by Mitch Joel, Web Analytics 2.0 by Avinash Kaushik, Duct Tape Marketing by well, me, Whuffle Factor by Tara Hunt and CrushIt by Gary Vaynerchuk to the person that most creatively answers the following: I get the biggest return for my business using social media when I [fill in the blank] – Here’s the original post if you missed it

Between the blog comments, emails and tweets over 100 people responded, so picking one best answer was a bit on the ridiculous side.

It was awesome to see so much positive response to the use of social media. Go back to the post and read the comments, they read like a list of testimonials for the power of social media in small business.

To me, the most significant theme that came across was the realization of the power of combining offline and online to create even more impact. I am just finishing the rewrites for next book and this is a central theme of the book.

“I get the biggest return for my business using social media when I combine my online activity with my offline activity”
“…when I couple it with good ol’ fashion “meet and greet”.”
“I get the biggest return for my business using social media when I use all possible forms of marketing, provide great content, and link everything together.”

There were a couple other popular threads as well:

Engagement
“I get the biggest return for my business using social media is when I am completely present with followers”
“I get the biggest return for my business using social media when I engage with the community.”
“I get the biggest return for my business using social media when I engage in honest conversations everyday.”

Give first
“I get the biggest return for my business using social media when I take dry ideas and turn them into stories people enjoy, comment on, and pass along to others.”
“I get the biggest return for my business using social media when I: Give Generously”
“I get the biggest return for my business using social media when I pay it forward.”
“I get the biggest return for my business using social media by keeping my focus on sharing useful and interesting info rather than a hard sell.”

Listen
“I get the biggest return for my business using social media when I listen, then listen, then listen some more before doing anything else.”
“I get the biggest return for my business using social media when I engage in a conversation. Can’t talk “to” the clients. Gotta talk “with.”
“I get the biggest return for my business using social media when I stop thinking I know everything and start to listen to my costumers!”

Oh, and who won? The winner is:
“I have been working on building my personal brand and by doing so I have utilized social networks. I am a recent graduate (2008) and have been volunteering at many social media conferences in hopes to land a position in the field.

I think these books would help me center myself as a better freelancer until I land my full time gig or to help me become a better person in business.”

Jamie Favreau

I have to admit that as a dad of kids doing the same right now, I had a soft spot for Jamie’s plea. There were so many great responses, thanks all for playing.

The Easiest Way To Explain the Marketing Process

Many marketers have been taught the concept of the marketing funnel. The idea being that you bring leads into the top of the large opening in a funnel and push the ones that become customers through the small end. The problem I’ve always had with that is all the focus is on the chase. I happen to think that real payoff in marketing comes from expanding and focusing your thinking on how to turn a lead into an advocate for your business.

Long ago I started using the concept of The Marketing Hourglasssm. The top half indeed resembles the funnel concept, but the expanding bottom half, to my way of thinking, adds the necessary focus on the total customer experience that ultimately leads to referrals and marketing momentum.

I use the diagram below in workshops to explain the logical path a lead should follow to participate in your fully developed Marketing Hourglass. This concept is one of the key elements of the overall Duct Tape Marketing system, but I could conduct entire workshops around this one slide as it seems to be the easiest way to explain the marketing process in simple and practical terms. At a recent workshop an attendee came up to me and said about this diagram, “I’m an engineer by trade and this marketing stuff never made sense to me, now it finally does.” – I guess that’s the ultimate test.

hourglass

The Marketing Hourglass – (click to enlarge)

When you overlay my definition of marketing – “getting someone who has a need to know, like, and trust you” with the intentional act of turning know, like and trust into try, buy, repeat, and refer you get the entire logical path for moving someone from initial awareness to advocate.

The key is to systematically develop touchpoints, processes and product/service offerings for each of the 7 phases of the hourglass.

1. Know – Your ads, article, and referred leads
2. Like – Your web site, reception, and email newsletter
3. Trust – Your marketing kit, white papers, and sales presentations
4. Try – Webinars, evaluations, and nurturing activities
5. Buy – Fulfillment, new customer kit, delivery, and financial arrangements
6. Repeat – Post customer survey, cross sell presentations, and quarterly events
7. Refer – Results reviews, partner introductions, peer 2 peer webinars, and community building

Far too many businesses attempt to go from Know to Buy and wonder why it’s so hard. By creating ways to gently move someone to trust, and perhaps even creating low cost offerings as trials, the ultimate conversion to buy gets so much easier.

In order to start your thinking about the hourglass concept and gaps you may have ponder these questions:

  • What is your free or trial offering?
  • What is your starter offering?
  • What is your “make it easy to switch” offering?
  • What is your core offering?
  • What are your add-ons to increase value?
  • What is your members only offering?
  • What are your strategic partner pairings?

Exploiting Chaos with the Trendhunter

Marketing podcast with Jeremy Gutsche (Click to listen, right click and Save As to download – subscribe now via iTunes

exploiting chaosFor this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing podcast I talked about Exploiting Chaos with TrendHunter founder Jeremy Gutsche. TrendHunter is billed as the world’s largest network for trend spotting and innovation and the site is a terribly entertaining and informative place to spend some time.

Jeremy’s book – Exploiting Chaos – 150 ways to spark innovation during times of change – is a fun and engaging read. The book is filled with bold statements, images and tidbits along with stories that illustrate each point. I found it to be one of the more thoughtful books on the topic of innovation that I’ve read in a long time.

Pick any short chapter and you are certain to be inspired by the creative and sometimes risky thinking.

In our session we talked about:

  • About trend spotting
  • About new book: Exploiting Chaos
  • Expanding on: Exploiting economic recession/turmoil
  • Expanding on: Culture is more important than strategy
  • Expanding on: Failing through innovation
  • Expanding on: Hire freaks
  • Uncovering future trends
  • Future global trends
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Marketing Podcast with Chris “Trust Agent” Brogan

Marketing podcast with Chris Brogan (Click to listen, right click and Save As to download) – subscribe now via iTunes

Chris Brogan Trust AgentsFor this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing podcast I had the pleasure of chatting with Chris Brogan. Chris is the President of New Marketing Labs and co-author of Trust Agents – Using the web to build, influence, improve reputation, and earn trust.

Chris really is one of the super stars of the online social media world and while he would never call himself one – he’s the ultimate trust agent.

It’s a tad ironic I think because the early days on the web were filled with untrust. Today, however, a new breed of open, authentic, and transparent communication has allowed relative unknown brands to build influence and trust and ultimately do more business than ever before imagined.

Chris Brogan is also one of the forces behind the Inbound Marketing Summit conferences and somehow I made the agenda for the Oct 7-8 session in Boston, MA, so I hope you can come by and check out this great line-up and say hi. (I’ll even be a Red Sox fan that day if need be.)

Here’s what Chris and I covered in this podcast:

  • Using the web to build trust
  • About Trust Agents
  • Translating “human business” to the web
  • Building an online community
  • Where people go wrong building an online community
  • Paid Advertising – Is it dead?

You can connect with the Trust Agents Facebook community or be sure to check out Chris’ Trust Agents contribution on Fast Company

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