The Jolt! from ckwrites 03.26.2014

Hope that all is well in your corner of the world. Spring is trying mightily up here, and Warren’s billion is looking safer by the day. I would love to understand the agenda behind his very generous challenge.

Here’s a charming little video from a Japanese design firm called To-Fu, 29 Ways To Stay Creative. #28 speaks to me – see if you agree.

Here’s The Jolt!


Do your deals fall apart when Purchasing gets involved?

The very presence of finance is the source of much grumbling, but very little is written on the subject.This article is targeted towards in-house marketers, but some of the ideas are relevant to agencies. If nothing else it is a good reminder that a lot of people are going to be looking at your proposals… don’t make them think.

1. Use consistent language. Consider how to align the terms and services in your budget with the way that the client categorizes their expenditures. This shows that you understand how the client does business and ensures that your budget will (might) be readily understood when you’re not there to explain it.

2. Focus on metrics that matter. CFO’s relate expenditure to profit. Unfortunately a lot of marketing KPIs don’t relate to the expenditure’s impact on the business. Admittedly this is tricky territory since your client will often be the offender. Still try to make sure that at least one metric clearly relates to the bottom line.

3. Get (and give) more for the money. While vendor consolidation is a two-edged sword, demonstrating where you can either leverage or replace other suppliers is a time-honored strategy.

4. Ask for help. Over the years I have had many excellent discussions with people in finance who are anxious to understand production budgets. You can benefit greatly by learning something about how they see the world, and your place in it.

Because the purpose of business is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two – and only two – basic functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs. Marketing is the distinguishing, unique function of the business. – Peter Drucker


Are you effectively integrating social media into your events?

The title, 20 Mistakes Events Make on Social Media and How to Fix Them, suggests that many of us are not doing as well as we would like. No space here to review all 20, but here are three favorites. The format is classic problem/solution and the recommendations are actionable.

1. Not Having Someone Dedicated to Social Media. Social media is a time sink. No other way to put it. So if you’re going to use it effectively you have to dedicate the necessary resources to accomplish the task at hand.

14. Not Keeping Speakers on The (Social Media) Team. While it varies by industry and event, in most cases the speakers are an integral part of the draw. So get them involved before, during and after. Read #15 about why this needs to be voluntary and can’t be forced.

20. Lost Accounts. Don’t act like that friend that shows up only when they need money. Maintain the engagement because it is the foundation for the next event.

How to Fix It: Create a year-long content strategy, identify content hubs that your audience may link and curate it for your audience.

The Big AHA!

How do you get yourself into a creative frame of mind?

Todd Henry, author of Die Empty, explores How Rituals Unleash Your Creativity.

1. A ritual provides solid ground when facing the uncertainty of your daily work. It is something you can rely on to provide the structure you need to accomplish your work while your brain goes exploring.

2. Rituals help you forge healthy habits. At least constructive rituals do. Safe to say that unconstructive behaviors should probably be banished.

3. Ritual helps you achieve flow in your work. The idea being that doing the familiar helps your mind settle and engage more quickly.

The first thing I do when I wake in the morning (at 6:15a) is prep coffee in my French Press and spend an hour reading, thinking, and writing. It’s become such a ritual that it’s now a habit. Most of my best ideas for my work come out of this time. I couldn’t function without it.

Metrics & ROI

Is your event integrated with the client’s CRM system? 

An event app company called Eventsforce that now offers a Salesforce plug-in. Here is their pitch:

  • Fill your events with the people you want to be there by creating invitation lists in Eventsforce imported directly from Salesforce campaigns
  • Automatically create new leads in Salesforce when you receive an event registration
  • Update Salesforce leads and contacts with all the latest data captured during the registration process
  • Customise your marketing campaigns by smart data field mapping
  • View event attendance and invitations sent at a lead or contact level within Salesforce
  • Track and report on your events within your Salesforce CRM system

You can see that as this type of integration is implemented, it is going to make it ever easier to track the impact of the event.

If it’s possible to integrate the event management system with the CRM used by the sales team, then not only will you be maximising opportunities by filling your events with the right people, but you’ll be keeping the sales team happy by automatically generating leads as people register for your events.

Whole new ballgame. And not much paperwork since the apps do the work. No word on how long it would take to implement, but I’m betting that it’s an idea whose time has come.

Marketing 501

Do you know what sales wants from marketing besides more leads?

Turns out to be quite a bit actually. Here is an unabashedly “it’s all about the quarter” view of the world.

Expertise to help close deals.

Useful collateral Includes a short set of questions for how to develop sales materials that are on target.

Better sales efficiency This is all about lead nurturing and sales automation enabling the rep to focus on current opportunities knowing that downstream is covered.

Competitive intelligence The idea here is that marketing is staying on top of the competition and updating sales on a need-to-know basis.

Ability to create urgency This is the world of special offers which add incentive to “buy now.” There is an interesting example of sales offering up a chance to work with their marketing team to close the deal.

From your industry expertise and blog content, to your lead intel and analytics, your sales team values the competitive advantage that you provide. The sales rep is on the front line and you are their weapon.

My old sales guy Steve Harrison used to say “Boss, you make the bullets. I shoot them.” Same-o, same-o.

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