The Jolt! 01.22.2014

Looks like my friends on the East Coast are getting snowed on again. Stay warm.

Here’s The Jolt!


Ever wonder what a C-suite exec expects when he agrees to a meeting?

This is all about the basics – the little black dress, the blue blazer, the martini. The things that never go out of style because they always work. Here is what (almost) always works upstairs, and should be understood as the price of entry. It is certainly essential to any plans you have for re-entry.

Know your audience – your presentation must be 100% relevant. Generic dies and your opportunity with it..

Talk about tangible outcomes. Not features – results. Not concepts – specific benefits to the business.

Show measurable results. If you can’t show results, show how you will measure the results. Have a very good idea of how those results will impact the business.

Corporate decision makers will nearly always meet with sellers who offer tangible outcomes and measurable results.


What are the biggest challenges facing companies doing content marketing?

This article reports on a survey by the Lenskold Group that proposes that a lack of processes and metrics are keeping content marketing from achieving its full potential at many companies.

Most of the companies said that they were not very good at:

  1. Re-purposing content for efficiency. (this seems a huge opportunity for event agencies.)
  2. Capturing intelligence for the sales team. (i.e. linking content to actionable data)
  3. Customizing content to buyer roles (this is a particular concern when marketing automation being used.)

In particular, I can see this being of great interest at trade shows where the focus is squarely on conversion.

Map out your content marketing plans to educate and engage potential buyers, and leverage targeting and customization functionality to more effectively guide them through the Buyer Journey to a sales conversion.

The Big AHA!

Ever think about creating a brand’s voice from scratch?

Here’s another beautiful project from the folks at Distilled, Finding Your Brand’s Voice: How To Shape A Tone of Voice.

As to why voice matters so much – and on the flip side, is so hard to do:

  • It’s an expression of the people behind the brand.
  • It sets you apart from the rest.
  • It builds trust.
  • It can be used to influence and persuade.

IMO that’s a fine working definition of authentic…

The article offers up an intriguing combination of process, interviews and exercises written by staffer Harriet Cummings who explains that:

I’ve put together this in-depth guide which I hope will serve as a practical tool for companies going through the process of developing a unique way of speaking to their audience. I’ve included real-life examples of how brands use tone of voice, as well as interviews.

Metrics & ROI

Is it time to improve your event survey?

Probably. This article from Hinge offers up a basic primer written from the perspective of “here’s how not to do it.”

The advice to use both quantitative (how many, how often) and qualitative (was this valuable) questions is particularly useful. The reason is that in most cases, the numbers alone don’t tell you how to improve your offering to better meet the needs of your attendees or prospects.

While a pain to work with, literals (write in answers) are the ultimate qualitative question type. It doesn’t take many of them – given the chance to express themselves, your attendees will let you know exactly what they don’t like, and perhaps some of what they do.

As for the tired question of “why do research”?

The firms that conduct systematic research on their current and potential clients grow from 3 to 10 times faster and are up to 2X more profitable.

Sounds a lot like a return to me.

Marketing 501

Do your audiences include employees?

A number of the posts in this compilation from CMSWire explore how gamification is being used to improve employee relations. I have no doubt that if you are not being asked about it already, you will be soon.

Marisa Peacock’s post How Gamification Can Impact Employee Engagement comes complete with an infographic which looks at why gamification might be the right strategy, how it works and four tools. A certain amount of subtlety is advised:

…when gamification seems like more work than fun, you’ll know you’re doing it wrong.

Kris Duggan’s post Gamification: The Secret Weapon of Employee Engagement, is based on a Gartner Group report and several other studies. The  through line is that traditional management techniques no longer are effective at motivating employees – especially those pesky Millenials.

According to Gartner, gamification addresses engagement, transparency of work and the connection between employees’ actions and business outcomes.

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