Posts Tagged ‘Jill Konrath’

Real-World Results from Web Presence Optimization

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

My last post, What is Web Presence Optimization, and Why Should I Care?, laid out the definition of and rationale for a web presence optimization (WPO) strategy. But what do the real-world results look like? Here are four case studies demonstrating how WPO does more than get a company or individual onto the first page of results in search—it helps them own the first page of search results.

(Keep in mind that search results change constantly; all of these examples were accurate at the time of the search screen captures.)

TAB Products – “Hybrid Records Management”

TAB Products is a provider of records management software, file folders and other filing supplies, mobile shelving, and health records management products through its AMES division. As shown below, the company dominates search results for hybrid records management (managing paper and electronic files together in a single system). The company has integrated its SEO and online PR efforts for WPO.

TAB Hybrid Records Management Search Results

Jill Konrath – “Selling to Big Companies”

Author and sales trainer Jill Konrath combines her website and blog with content marketing, online PR, social media and AdWords to dominate both sides of the front page of Google for the phrase “selling to big companies.” If you were struggling with how to effectively sell to large organizations, who would you call?

Jill Konrath - Selling to Big Companies

Kinetic Data – “Extend the Value of BMC Remedy”

Business service management software developer Kinetic Data builds products that extend the value of one of the top IT management platforms, and the company dominates search for that phrase by combining an optimized website with blogging, social media, online PR and content marketing activities.

Kinetic Data - Extending the Value of BMC Remedy

Workface – “Realtime Customer Engagement Platform”

Through a combination of SEO, online PR and social media, customer engagement platform vendor Workface dominates the first page of Google for that term along with “realtime.” Turning customers into fans always helps with WPO.

Workface - Realtime Customer Engagement Platform

Obviously, dominating the first page of Google in this manner is affected by factors (including Google’s ongoing changes to its algorithms). But being strategic about web presence optimization—utilizing SEO, online PR, SEM, content marketing and social media in a coordinated manner—can pay significant dividends in terms of search visibility.

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The Nifty 50 Top Women of Twitter for 2011

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

Few phenomena have ever spread as far and grown as rapidly as social media; obviously, this has tapped into something essential to our nature. What is it? The answer may come from the email marketing field. According to a recent study by email service provider Aweber, four simple words virtually guaranteed to get an email opened are: “You are not alone.”

That is what has driven social media adoption. From freedom seekers living under oppressive regimes connecting with each other and with people around the world who support them, to individuals with uncommon viewpoints or highly specialized professional interests connected with the like-minded anywhere on the globe, social media is about not being alone. It’s a way to find and form relationships with others who share our particular interests and passions, whether down the street or on other continents; interesting people with whom there has been no practical way to engage before.

Talking recently with Cheryl Burgess (@ckburgess)—partner and CMO at Blue Focus Marketing, a B2B social branding consultancy firm in Bridgewater, New Jersey; 2011 & 2010 winner of the Twitter Shorty Awards in Marketing; and author of the Blue Focus Marketing Blog—we were both struck by how many of the same people we know through social media (and we both learned about some interesting new people to follow as well). Many of these were other B2B marketers, but others were social media experts, journalists, PR professionals, or just plain fascinating personalities.

Nifty 50 Women of Twitter 2011Cheryl and I thought it would be a great idea to collaborate on this special social media project—and so the process began for creating the 2011 #Nifty50 List of Top Twitter Women.  We decided to recognize and share the names of some of these noteworthy individuals with our respective readers and followers, starting today with 50 remarkable women (just in time for Mother’s Day, as we’re pretty certain that every woman on this list either is a mom, has a mom, knows someone who’s a mom, or some combination thereof).

One source of inspiration was Twitter’s Top 75 Badass Women by Diana Adams (@adamsconsulting) and Amy D. Howell (@HowellMarketing), a list on which Cheryl was honored. Though it’s a remarkable list, to keep ours distinct we haven’t duplicated any of Diana and Amy’s picks.

Next month, we are following up with our list of 50 men, just in time for Father’s Day.  This list will be posted on Cheryl Burgess’ Blue Focus Marketing Blog.  Whatever your role in social media, we hope you find this list valuable in expanding your knowledge and your network.

Jennifer AakerJennifer Aaker
@aaker

Jennifer is the General Atlantic Professor of Marketing at the Stanford Graduate School or Business, and author of The Dragonfly Effect: Quick, Effective, and Powerful Ways To Use Social Media to Drive Social Change.

 

Diana Adams
Diana Adams@adamsconsulting

Diana is a USC grad now based in Atlanta. She heads up Adams Consulting Group, a technical services firm specializing in Apple Macintosh desktops, servers and laptops. Diana writes for BitRebels.com and InkRebels.com, and as noted above, her post on Twitter’s Top 75 Badass Women was one source of inspiration for this #Nifty50 list. She’s smart, personable, sometimes controversial and never dull.

 

Alicia ArenasAlicia Arenas
@AliciaSanera

Hailing from San Antonio, Alicia is founder and CEO of Sanera, a professional development and training firm for sales and business leaders. She describes herself as a “small business coach, speaker, corporate trainer, blogger, singer, lover of life, dreams, family and God.” Alicia is a warm and outgoing social media pro and creator of March Marketing Madness.

 

Allison MooneyAllison Mooney
@allimooney

Allison lives in the New York City area and works with the Marketing team at Google to explore the changing face of media, mobile and consumer behavior, drive new thinking internally, and communicate Google’s visionary concepts to wider audiences.

 

Ambal BalakrishnanAmbal Balakrishnan
@Ambal

Ambal is co-founder of ClickDocuments, based in Silicon Valley. She’s an entrepreneur, marketer, blogger, and alum of Wharton and Purdue. Her Connect the Docs blog—frequently featured on the B2B Marketing Zone—is a platform for her own thought leadership content as well as frequently solicited insights from other B2B bloggers.

 

Amber BuhlAmber Buhl
@amberbuhl

Director of Sales for @klout. Though fairly new to Twitter, Amber is active and highly engaging, and her following is likely to grow quickly. A USC grad, Amber’s past includes stints at Hulu, Yahoo!, and the E! Entertainment Network.

 

Amy NelsonAmy Nelson
@AmyPioneerPress

Amy serves as social media editor for the St. Paul Pioneer Press as well as the Features/Travel editor for the newspaper. She’s an informative and prolific Twitterer, and active in Twin Cities social media.

 

Ardath AlbeeArdath Albee
@ardath421

A B2B marketer, strategist, writer and Author of eMarketing Strategies for the Complex Sale. Friend, mentor, and source of inspiration. Also an expatriate Minnesotan now living in southern California (we miss her, but can’t blame her).

 

Angie SchottmullerAngie Schottmuller
@aschottmuller

Interactive Minnesotan skilled in web strategy, conversion rate optimization (CRO), e-commerce, SEO, social media, QR codes (she knows a lot about QR codes), design, UX, analytics and inbound marketing. Angie is also a Search Engine Watch columnist and speaks at national events including SMX, SES, and OMS.

 

Becky DennistonBecky Denniston
@Becalynd

Expert Community Manager with the Focus Expert Network, a network of thousands of leading business and technology experts who answer questions and post thought leadership content. Becky is also an MBA Candidate at San Francisco State University with a strong appetite for Social Media and Marketing.

 

Jenara NerenbergJenara Nerenberg
@bopsource

Jenara is an Asia-based filmmaker, organic farmer, and freelance journalist for Fast Company magazine and CNNGo, as well as a Harvard and Berkeley grad. She’s interviewed the famous and not-so-famous from high fashion superstars to up-and-coming designers to UN leaders, literary giants, cashmere producers, and royal mistresses, and her work has also appeared in TIME, BlackBook Magazine, and NextBillion.

 

Maria PopovaMaria Popova
@brainpicker

Brooklyn-based Maria calls herself an “interestingness curator and semi-secret geek obsessed with design, storytelling and TED.” She’s also the editor of Brain Pickings and writes regularly for Wired UK magazine, The Atlantic and Design Observer.

 

Connie BensenConnie Bensen
@cbensen

Connie is the Community Strategist for the Alterian (formerly Techrigy) SM2 social media monitoring platform. She’s been named by Forbes.com as one of 20 top Women Social Media & Marketing Bloggers. Connie recently migrated from the frozen tundra of northern Minnesota to much balmier climate of Minneapolis.

 

Deirdre BreakenridgeDeirdre Breakenridge
@dbreakenridge

Diedre is the president of Mango! Marketing, author of PR 2.0: New Media, New Tools, New Audiences and Putting the Public Back in Public Relations: How Social Media Is Reinventing the Aging Business of PR, an adjunct professor in the New York city area, and co-founder of #PRStudChat.

 

Deborah WeinsteinDeborah Weinstein
@DebWeinstein

Deb is a journalist-turned-PR pro. She’s president of Strategic Objectives, an award-winning PR agency in Toronto. And she’s energetic and inspirational on Twitter.

 

Eileen O’Brien
Eileen O'Brien@EileenOBrien

Eileen has more than 14 years of digital healthcare marketing experience. She is an opinion leader on social media, and has been invited to speak at industry conferences and quoted in publications. As @eileenobrien she moderates the #SocPharm tweetchat on Wednesdays at 8 pm EST which discusses pharma marketing and social media.

 

Ekaterina Walter
Ekaterina Walter@Ekaterina

Oregon-based Ekaterina is a corporate social media strategist as well as a “speaker, connector (and) passionate marketer.” She’s also a frequent guest-poster who’s written bookmarkable pieces like 9 Ways to Sell Social Media to the Boss.

 

Ellen Hoenig Carlson
Ellen Hoenig Carlson@Ellenhoenig

Based in New Jersey, Ellen is focused on simplifying consumer and healthcare marketing for “elegant solutions in a complex world.” Though she writes mainly on pharma-related subjects, her blog topics also include branding, family, fundraising, innovation, leadership, and Twitter.

 

Ellen McGirtEllen McGirt
@ellmcgirt

Ellen writes for Fast Company magazine and helps run the 30 Second MBA site.

 

Elise Segar
Elise Segar@Esegar

Connecticut-based Elise is active in social media, an enterprise technology sales and business development pro who is passionate about inside sales and sales strategy. She’s a fellow member of the #Lebronians team “drafted” by Robert Rose in FollowFriday & Who’s The Lebron In Your Strategy – Maybe It’s You.

 

Gail NelsonGail Nelson
@gail_nelson

CMO with Siegel + Gale, a brand strategy, customer experience and design consulting agency in New York.

 

Gini Dietrich
Gini Dietrich@ginidietrich

CEO of Chicago PR agency Arment Dietrich, author of spinsucks.com, Vistage member, author, speaker, communicator and writer of amazingly entertaining and insightful rants like Get Rich Quick! Lose Weight Tomorrow!.

 

Gretchen RubinGretchen Rubin
@gretchenrubin

Based in New York City, Gretchen is the best-selling author of The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun, the account of the year she spent test-driving studies and theories about how to be happier. On her blog, she shares her insights to help readers create their own happiness projects.

 

Heidi CohenHeidi Cohen
@heidicohen

Heidi is a fascinating marketer who shares practical advice about marketing and life from New York, NY.

 

Jill Konrath
Jill Konrath@jillkonrath

Minnesota-based keynote speaker, sales trainer, motivator, creator of fresh strategies for selling to crazy-busy people; author of SNAP Selling (#1 Amazon sales book) and Selling to Big Companies.

 

 

Judy GrundstromJudy Grundstrom
@JudyGrundstrom

Minnesota social media rock star, Business Development Director at Pixel Farm Digital, founder of the annual Twin Cities Top 10 Titans in Social Media awards, talk show regular on myTalk 107.1, and never boring.

 

Karen EmanuelsonKaren Emanuelson
@KarenEman

Karen heads Reciprocate LLC, a small business marketing consultancy in Minneapolis. She’s an expert in social media marketing (particularly LinkedIn optimization), a small business advocate, trainer, speaker and coach. She’s active in local community and business organizations as well as social media.

 

Katie RosmanKatie Rosman
@katierosman

Katie reports on technology and pop-culture for one of the world’s greatest newspapers—the Wall Street Journal—and is the author of If You Knew Suzy: A Mother, a Daughter, a Reporter’s Notebook.

 

Eve Mayer OrsburnEve Mayer Orsburn
@LinkedInQueen

Eve is the author of Social Media for the CEO: The Why and ROI of Social Media for the CEO of Today and Tomorrow and CEO of Social Media Delivered, a firm that helps companies leverage LinkedIn, Twitter & Facebook & blogs. And yes, she really knows LinkedIn.

 

Lisa PetrilliLisa Petrilli
@LisaPetrilli

Based in Chicago, Lisa is CEO of C-Level Strategies Inc, CEO Connection Co-Chair, Leadership & Executive Marketing Consultant, and #LeadershipChat co-Founder. Like Elise Segar and Cheryl Burgess, Lisa is a star of the #Lebronians team.

 

Liz StraussLiz Strauss
@LizStrauss

Liz is the founder of SOBCon, a brand strategist and leadership trainer based in Chicago.  She’s also an insightful, prolific and generous social media presence.

 

Lorna Li
Lorna Li@lornali

Officially, an expert in inbound marketing, online visibility and personal branding, via social media, SEO and SEM. Also big on green business marketing. Unofficially – friendly, smart, and writer of many highly bookmarkable blog posts.

 

Lucretia PruittLucretia M. Pruitt
@LucretiaPruitt

Living in and tweeting from beautiful Denver, Lucretia refers to herself as a “random muse, speaker, ex-CIS Professor, social media devotee, geek, mom, wife, & insomniac.” Lucretia is a highly engaging and sophisticated observer of technology developments.

 

Lisa GrimmLisa Grimm
@lulugrimm

Digital PR Specialist for the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota, Lisa describes herself as “a gal constantly awed by the intricacies of human behavior. Love my family, peeps, dogs, film, food and learning.”

 

Mari SmithMari Smith
@MariSmith

Mari (like Ferrari) describes herself as a “passionate leader of social media, relationship marketing and Facebook mastery,” but most of us know her as the ultimate guru-ess of Facebook marketing and co-author of Facebook Marketing: An Hour a Day. Formerly Canadian, now living in San Diego (nicer weather, but even worse taxes).

 

Missy BerggrenMissy Berggren
@MarketingMama

A phenomenally busy yet amazingly prolific blogger, Missy is a marketing pro at healthcare network Allina, co-founder of the Minnesota Blogger Conference, and is also active social media as the MarketingMama.

 

Martine HunterMartine Hunter
@martinehunter

Idea generator, b2b marketing professional, creative director, process engineer and writer at MLT Creative in Atlanta, as well as a mother, friend, sister, daughter, diabetic, crocheter and jazz fan. She’s also really nice.

 

Sally ChurchSally Church
@MaverickNY

Sally is a scientist with Icarus Consultants in New Jersey, a pharmaceutical / biotechnology-focused marketing strategy firm. She blogs about marketing strategy, market research, science, oncology, hematology and immunology.

 

Michelle TrippMichelle Tripp
@michelletripp

Working and tweeting from New York, Michelle is a creative director, brand strategist, and author of The BrandForward Blog. She spends her time exploring the future of advertising, social media, and emerging technologies and just being pretty cool.

 

Jennifer PrestonJennifer Preston
@NYT_JenPreston

A staff writer for the New York Times, Jennifer writes about the use of technology and social media in politics, government, and real life.

 

Susan Kang Nam
Susan Kang Nam@PinkOliveFamily

Splitting her time between New York, Andover (MA) and elsewhere, the dynamic Susan Kang Nam is founder of Cebisu Research Inc., a member of Andover’s Harvard Club, founder of Boston-based career club Salty Legs, “an entrepreneur, former recruiter and non-profit advocate who grew up in Asia (Korea, Japan) and US (Hawaii, California, New Jersey, NYC) and since 1994…using the world wide web exploring different platforms to engage in various of conversations”—and a classical pianist.

 

Laura FittonLaura Fitton
@Pistachio

Prolific Twitterer, Bostonite, CEO and founder of the oneforty social business software hub, as well as co-author of Twitter For Dummies.

 

Rebel Brown
Rebel Brown@rebelbrown

Rebel has been a marketing and business consulting for more than 20 years, is a popular speaker and author of Defy Gravity. She’s also a self-described “spiritual seeker, horse crazy, ski freak, and animal lovin’ nature gal.”

 

Rebecca CorlissRebecca Corliss
@repcor

Based in Boston, Rebecca is a singing Inbound Marketer with all-in-one marketing software platform developer HubSpot. She’s also a founder of a cappella group Common Sound. And yes, she is a rock star.

 

Rosabeth Moss KanterRosabeth Moss Kanter
@RosabethKanter

Harvard Business School Professor, author of SuperCorp: How Vanguard Companies Create Innovation, Profits, Growth, and Social Good – a look at how a new generation of values-driven businesses do well by doing good, and a living legend in the world of business strategy.

 

Stacey AceveroStacey Acevero
@sacevero

A social media communications manager for PR/social media monitoring provider Vocus in Washington DC, Stacey runs the popular monthly #prwebchat on Twitter. She is a former model, auxiliary member in the U.S. Air Force, and a self-proclaimed “SEO nerd” who loves NASCAR, steak and rock n’ roll. Definitely one of the most awesome and unique bios in social media.

 

Anita CampbellAnita Campbell
@smallbiztrends

CEO of Small Business Trends, an online small biz community reaching over 250,000 each month. Anita tweets from Cleveland, Ohio, the hometown of rock n’ roll.

 

Liana EvansLiana ‘Li’ Evans
@storyspinner

Liana describes herself as “an online marketing geek girl who loves all things social media.” She’s a top expert in social media and SEO, and the author of Social Media Marketing.

 

Wendy Blackburn
Wendy Blackburn@WendyBlackburn

Wendy is a blogger and digital marketer focused on the pharmaceutical industry. She’s an executive vice president at at Intouch Solutions, a marketing agency serving the pharmaceutical, animal health, medical device, and similarly regulated industries.

 

Wendy MarxWendy Marx
@wendymarx

Based in Trumbull, CT, Wendy is an award-winning PR and marketing communications executive who helps B2B companies become well-known brands, and a truly engaging social media personality.

 

There you have it, the Nifty 50 Women of Twitter for this year. To keep it to 50, we had to leave off some deserving names—it was a tough call. Maybe next year…

Watch next month (close to Father’s Day) for the Nifty 50 Men of Twitter for 2011.

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Top Social Media and Marketing Books of 2010

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

Stumped for that last-minute Christmas idea? Books make great gifts, and there’s still time to order for pre-Christmas delivery.

Since you don’t want to take the chance of buying a sleeper however, or a book that’s inappropriate for the recipient, here are nine ideas—books reviewed on the Webbiquity blog this year.

Social Media Marketing BooksHappy shopping!

Defy Gravity by Rebel Brown

In Defy Gravity: Propel Your Business to High-Velocity Growth, Rebel Brown shows business owners and executives how to shed the weight of legacy baggage, filter out the noise and focus on those opportunities which provide the best potential for profitable growth…

Social Media Marketing by Liana “Li” Evans

With Social Media Marketing: Strategies for Engaging in Facebook, Twitter & Other Social Media, the inimitable Liana “Li” Evans has provided the definitive handbook for social media marketers. From her no-nonsense, straight-to-the-point opening chapter on the basics of social media (“It’s Not Easy, Quick or Cheap”) through the final chapter on “Putting It All Together,” Evans tells anyone brave or foolhardy enough to venture into social media marketing what they need to know…

SNAP Selling by Jill Konrath

Don’t you love it when you pick up a book and realize in just the first few pages that the author really gets it? Even better, they don’t just get “it,” but offer a fresh and compelling approach to dealing with the specific problem, situation, condition of modern life, etc.? Well, SNAP Selling: Speed Up Sales and Win More Business with Today’s Frazzled Customers by Jill Konrath is that kind of book…

Social Media Marketing – An Hour a Day by Dave Evans

Despite its airy title, Social Media Marketing: An Hour a Day by Dave Evans is anything but a lightweight treatment of this topic. At roughly 340 pages of text plus another 42 pages of worksheets, this is a meaty book, but the end result of following Dave’s hour-a-day guide is a solidly justified, strategic social media marketing plan…

Maverick Marketing by Tom Hayes

In Maverick Marketing: Trailride into the Wild West of New Marketing, Tom Hayes invites readers on a gallop through the new west of innovative marketing campaigns, to help generate new ideas to stand out from the herd…

The Truth About Search Engine Optimization by Rebecca Lieb

Despite being a quick, almost breezy read (how often do you read that said about a book on SEO?), The Truth About Search Engine Optimization packs a tremendous amount of valuable knowledge into a compact barely-200-page space…

eMarketing Strategies for the Complex Sale by Ardath Albee

Without a solid content strategy to support movement through the marketing and sales cycle, marketing automation software is just a nice email system. The brilliant Ardath Albee provides the missing piece, a reliable recipe marketing automation, demand generation and content marketing success in her new book, eMarketing Strategies for the Complex Sale

The Perfection of Marketing by James Connor

Despite it’s ambitious title, The Perfection of Marketing is a surprisingly accessible and fast-paced read. The book is written in case study fashion, taking the reader through a realistic scenario of a midsized company struggling to build on its past success and take sales to the next level…

Website Optimization – Speed, Search Engine & Conversion Rate Secrets by Andrew King

Author Andrew King, president of Internet marketing firm Web Site Opimization, LLC has really done it. In Website Optimization: Speed, Search Engine & Conversion Rate Secrets, he gives away all the secrets of creating a website and search marketing program that effectively sells products and services…

Need more ideas? Check out the Webbiquity bookstore.

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5 Reasons I’m Thankful for Social Media

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

With the annual celebration of Thanksgiving upon us here in the U.S., many people pause to think about what they’re thankful for: family, friends, TiVo, the Yankees not winning the World Series…

I’m thankful for all of those things too of course, but also for the development and growth of social media. Here are a few reasons why:

Social media makes it easy to reconnect with old friends and co-workers. How did we do this before? There were ways: reunions, phone calls…but most often, we just didn’t. Now, social media tools like Facebook and LinkedIn make it easy and (usually) non-awkward. I was recently friended on Facebook by a guy I went to high school with. Back then, I thought he was kind of a jerk quite frankly. I discovered he’s now a cancer survivor and a completely different person. It happens.

I’ve written recommendations for folks I worked with in the past and had some nice ones provided for me as well. Old connections also often lead to new ones: I’ve introduced people who should know each other and been introduced to others who have become mentors, clients, or friends.

Social media makes it easy to connect with new people who share your interests…anywhere on earth. Before social networks (and even more so before email became widespread), it was difficult to make and maintain acquaintances with professional peers or people with similar interests in other parts of the country, much less the world.

And second-level connections (getting to know the people whom the people you know know) were even more difficult to make. Now I routinely trade updates and information with smart marketers and other interesting people across North America as well as in the UK, Belgium, France, Germany, South Africa, India, Thailand, Malaysia, The Philippines, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil and elsewhere.

Just a few of the cool people I likely never would have gotten to know without social media include Jill Konrath, J-P De Clerck, Jennifer Kane, Judy Grundstrom, Alice Elliott, Paul Dunay, Ambal Balakrishnan, Tony Karrer (my partner in the B2B Marketing Zone and Social Media Informer), the B2BTOTY steering committee or the LeBron team.

Social media is a meritocracy (mostly). Early in my career I worked for a company that produced digital prepress equipment for printing companies, and we had a huge poster in the office that read:

“Freedom of the press belongs to those who own one.”

If you were wealthy, fortunate, obnoxious (or in a few cases, talented) enough to be involved in publishing, you had a voice. Others, for the most part, didn’t. The Internet opened things up a bit, but creating websites (a dozen years ago) was hard unless you were a programmer. Blogging opened things up considerably more. Social media has blown the gates wide open. Anyone with an interesting point of view and knowledge to share gets to be an influential star, at least in his or her corner of the social mediasphere. Blowhards (usually) tend to get called out and ignored.

Social media is fantastic for research and learning. Want to know what your customers and prospects are thinking? Sure, surveys and focus groups still have their place, but you can learn a lot from what they’re saying in social media circles. At the very least, you’ll be able to craft more intelligent, informed questions for your survey.

Your competitor recently released a new product? Cool. Their press release, and perhaps a puff piece in an industry trade pub where they advertise, are no longer the only sources of information about it. You can now, easily, find out what other people are saying. Real people. Customers, prospects, thought leaders, people who have some expertise on the product but aren’t part of, or paid by, the company.

Want to know how to perform a certain task or process? Social media can not only lead you to the answer, but let you know which alternative answer is probably best based on the level of social influence of the writer.

Social media makes marketing more fun. A dialog is more enjoyable and interesting than a monologue. Sure, social media makes marketing a bit messier (because marketing and PR people no longer control the messaging) and more challenging (thought leadership content is more difficult to write than sales copy), but engaging in conversations gives marketers a direct line to prospects—enabling them to craft messaging that really resonates with their audience. Social media also provides a variety of near real-time methods for measuring audience response, so marketers know more quickly what works and what doesn’t. You can’t get that from a print ad.

Got your own reasons to be thankful? Leave a comment to share.

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Book Review: SNAP Selling

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

Don’t you love it when you pick up a book and realize in just the first few pages that the author really gets it? Even better, they don’t just get “it,” but offer a fresh and compelling approach to dealing with the specific problem, situation, condition of modern life, etc.?

Well, SNAP Selling: Speed Up Sales and Win More Business with Today’s Frazzled Customers by Jill Konrath is that kind of book. As Jill notes in the book’s introduction, today’s buyers are crazy busy. She brilliantly describes the life of the modern business worker this way:

Before even fully awake, “you’re on the computer checking what seems like an endless stream of email. When you look at your to-do list, you wonder how you’ll be able to get everything done. You have a dozen people to follow up with on the phone, three meetings, and a proposal that needs to be finished…Rather than take a break for lunch, you grab a quick sandwich at the vending machine and eat it at your desk. That way you can update your files and take care of paperwork that needs to be processed. Then you head out for that presentation that you wish you’d had more time to prepare for. After the presentation, you have a ton of questions that now need to get answered before the end of the week…By the time you get home, you’re tired. But rather than turning in for the day, you work on a proposal for a while, then finish up by checking your email one last time. The next day you get up and do it all over again.”

People are reluctant to add anything more to their frenetic schedules, least of all spending time listening to a sales pitch. No matter how compelling the value proposition for the product or service, it involves change, more work, and more time out of an already overburdened schedule. As Jill notes, for sales (and marketing) people in this environment, “what worked before doesn’t work anymore…the advice of many ‘traditional’ sales gurus is now hopelessly outdated…(and) things are never going to to go back to the way they used to be.” SNAP Selling is Jill’s answer to how to market and sell in this overworked and overstressed modern world of business.

SNAP Selling by Jill KonrathAccording to Jill, today’s buyers make three distinct decisions that sales pros need to aware of. The first is when they evaluate your approach and determine whether it’s even worth their time to meet with you. Once past that hurdle, their next decision is determining if making the change required is worth the cost, time and effort required. Finally, the third decision is, having committed to making a change, selecting the best product / service / vendor for their company.

Jill describes the SNAP selling process as:

Simple (eliminate as much complexity and effort as possible from the decision-making process)

iNvaluable (products and services can be copied; your expertise can’t)

Aligned (it’s crucial to be relevant — always)

Priority (maintain a sense of urgency)

Before delving into the detail behind the SNAP model, Jill notes that “Knowing as much as you can about your targeted prospect is more important than your knowledge of your own product, service, or solution. Most sellers don’t realize this, but it’s true…(but by implementing SNAP selling processes) you won’t have to work as hard as your today to achieve significantly better results.” Now that’s a compelling value proposition!

After describing the SNAP method in more detail, the book walks you through the application of these principals and practices to achieve success in each of the three major decisions (and all of the smaller decisions involved in keeping the buying process moving forward).

Though written primarily for sales professionals, SNAP Selling is equally valuable to b2b marketers who support their sales teams. In the most successful organizations, the efforts of the sales and marketing teams are closely aligned. While the detailed work of implementing SNAP processes will fall on sales, marketing groups can certainly help in areas like research, development of content to support the SNAP process (such as industry-specific white papers and case studies), and even tools to help the sales team execute at specific points in the process. This teamwork is more challenging and rewarding for both the marketing and sales teams that simple mass lead generation and follow up.

In short, SNAP Selling is an invaluable guide to effectively marketing and selling to today’s stressed out, overworked and time-starved business buyers, and beating the competition, by providing relevant and compelling business value at a personal level.

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