Digital Family Reunion and Other Upcoming Events

dfr09_banner_125x125Digital Family Reunion –  December 2 I’m getting excited about  seeing everyone at the second annual Digital Family Reunion on December 2 at Wokcano in Santa Monica and wanted extend the invitation for WOTW readers to attend under my discount code “dfr30” to save $20. We will again be presenting an Outstanding Achievement award to a distinguished member of the community — last year I presented the award to Nolan Bushnell and interviewed him on stage during the event. If you’re not in LA but you know someone who would appreciate attending the hottest tech party of the holiday season, please pass along the info!

Affiliate Convention – December 3-4

I’m moderating a panel on “Lead Generation Strategies” at Affiliate Convention in Los Angeles on December 4 at 10:30 a.m. The My panel includes some of the brightest minds in the category, including Jon Kelly of SureHits.com, Adam Haber of InsuranceQuotes.com and Curtis R. Curtis of BlitzLocal. It’s a pleasure to help Daron and Brandy Babin promote their new conference and I’ve been using the occasion to get closer to issues and opportunities abound in the ever-changing lead generation industry.

Virtual Book Party for About Face – December 10

As a co-author of About Face: The Dramatic Impact of the Internet on Politics and Advocacy, I’m participating in a “virtual book party” to promote the book on December 10, along with Karen Jagoda and a few of our fellow co-authors. Please buy the book and attend if you have any interest in the 2010 election and how digital media is being used in political and advocacy campaigns today. 

I hope to see you at one of these events!

TW

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10 things I wish I’d learned in college

UCMORecently I spoke to a group of undergrads in the communications school at my alma mater, the University of Central Missouri — something I always imagined doing but wasn’t sure how or when it would happen. As it turns out I was speaking at the Integrated Marketing Summit in Kansas City two days before UCM homecoming. I didn’t know what to expect when I reached out with an offer to share some insights from my career with the students, but the idea was warmly received by Tricial Hansen-Horn, public relations professor in the UCM Dept. of Communication.

My comments centered around things I’ve learned throughout my career that I would have like to have known sooner or felt would be relevant and helpful to these young people who are about to walk out of the halls of UCM and into the “real world” as I did nearly 20 years ago. 

Key points of my talk included:

  1. Learning to cut bait sooner and the art of saying “no” (including a rare public display of my “no card”)
  2. The art of “pitching,” the perception of public relations and the radical shifts in PR over the past 10 years
  3. The difference between product and service businesses and the importance of scale
  4. Partnerships and the value of imbalanced ownership 49/51%
  5. The importance of salesmanship and how to ask for (and get) what you want
  6. The importance of relationships and distinctions between friends and contacts
  7. Knowing what you want and creating a mission statement for your life 
  8. Why knowing yourself and your core values matters most
  9. The importance of learning to think critically
  10. Life is short, so thrive

While my talk was in the spirit of “giving back,” I did so knowing the fulfillment I would receive from doing it, something made even more meaningful by the feedback I’ve recived from both students and faculty who have followed up with me since then. The process was also cause for an introspective look at my career accomplishments, not judging good or bad, but rather taking a moment to reflect on several years of hard work and the value of those experiences. In sharing them I hope to have inspired a few of the students who turned out to hear me speak that rainy morning in October and that you too will consider doing the same and seeing what it does for you.

View my photos from UCM homecoming

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Looking Into the Crystal Ball: Primaries 2010

EvoterOn the heels of the 2009 election which included some important mayoral and gubernatorial races and ballot initiatives, I’m pleased to participate in the E-Voter Institute webinar “Looking Into the Crystal Ball: Primaries 2010” on Thursday, November 6, 2009 at noon PT. Attendees will receive a copy of the Institute’s new book About Face: The Dramatic Impact of the Internet on Politics and Advocacywhich includes two chapters I authored on lead generation and the use of video in political marketing online.

In addition to showing the kind of voter information that can be sourced using comScore’s Plan Metrix psychographic data (includes “political activities,” “political outlook” and “political affiliations”), I will be presenting various ways for political marketers to reach and persuade voters online. From basic demo/psycho/contextual/technographic targeting to more sophisticated forms of behavioral targeting and use of third party data to identify voters while keeping within bounds of current regulatory guidelines surrounding online behavioral advertising.

I’ll also be speaking about the impact of creative in persuading voters, the ability to measure the effectiveness of persuasion efforts and the importance of making online advertising just one aspect of a good integrated plan that takes into consideration fundamental political marketing concepts and the integrated use of offline media, search and social media.

If you’re reading this before noon PT on 11/6/09, it’s not too late to join us! Or please forward this link to any of your politically minded marketing colleagues.

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A Seat for Marketing at the Revenue Table

IMSAfter speaking at the Integrated Marketing Summit last week, I attended sessions on the burgeoning field of demand generation, marketing automation and CRM, something I’ve been studying for awhile but was brought home for me in a big way during talks by James W. Obermayer and Debbie Qaqish. I’ve been tracking ROI on marketing spend for a long time, but the tools are becoming increasingly sophisticated, allowing marketing professionals to monitor and take action on the “digital body language” of leads we acquire from various marketing and communications programs. By collaborating with sales to score leads and undertaking segmentation and nurturing campaigns to communicate with them effectively through CRM programs, there has never been a more opportune time for marketing to earn its place at the revenue table.

James W. Obermayer, executive director of the Sales Lead Management Association, began his talk with a simple question: “Isn’t it time you take credit for the wealth you’re creating in your corporation?” We as marketing professionals are the most creative minds in our organizations. If we are not accountable to sales, if we do not know the revenue goals of our organizations and the quotas of the sales teams we serve, how in the world can we know the number of inquiries necessary to achieve success?

According to Obermayer, good performance marketing managers know their goals, create demand, count every inquiry (and every dollar), manage data (CRM), qualify and nurture leads (by channel), repeat wins and remove losers, and they read and follow James D. Lenskold’s book “Marketing ROI.”

He also offers four ways to ensure that CRM programs do not fail:

1) Management has to want it

2) Sale mangers must be on board

3) Sales people need to be trained

4) Marketing has to use the system

Debbie Qaqish of The Pedowitz Group was equally inspiring. Her premise: the role of marketing changes radically with marketing automation tools. It will take a few years and maybe even creation of new analytical roles within your organization, but when sales and marketing partner to deliver qualified leads which are scored, nurtured and closed based on reading the digital body language of our prospects, marketing will be better respected and more highly valued among the ranks of sales leadership and executive management.

10 Best Practices for Demand Generation Marketing

1. Map the Buying Process

a. Crosses marketing and sales. Line up assets to meet how people buy. Buyers do research online, long before a sales person is even remotely engaged.

2. Track and report on “metrics that matter”

a. Conversion and revenue

b. Not “cost per lead”

c. Act and sound like a VP sales

3. Build a Marketing Funnel System

a. Similar to a sales funnel

b. See CSO Insights report

4. Build a common language of leads

a. No fuzzy definitions – lead scoring

b. Quantify definition of a high quality lead

5. Build a common lead management process

a. Life of a lead is everybody’s job

i. Each step is a conversion point we’re trying to improve up to closing

b. How does a marketing qualified lead get passed from marketing to sales?

i. Follow up within x hours or it’s going to another sales person

6. Institute Service Level Agreements

a. A seat at the revenue table is not done in isolation. One process, respected by sales through an agreement.

7. Involve Sales

a. Build Sales Champions for the lead management program

b. Build field focused campaigns

c. Are leads qualified? Are they ready to buy?

8. Create a regular communication cycle and feedback loop

9. Trending, Tweaking, Trying

10. Educate, educate, educate

Change the conversation with your executive team. Think marketing operations. You are a lead production house contributing to revenue. The structure of marketing team will change. You need analytical people – somebody thinking about the campaigns and how to improve upon them daily. Testing is key, and like database work, the job is never done. Just keep at it.

Kansas City Star article about the Integrated Marketing Summit

My pictures from the Integrated Marketing Summit

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Bill Clinton’s Win-Win Philosophy

clintonI attended a talk by the 42nd President of the U.S., William Jefferson Clinton last night at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, part of the Distinguished Speaker Series. Packing a wealth of stories, stats and a good sense of humor, he promised and then delivered a framework we can all use to make sense of today’s complex world in which we live. Wondering about what caused the financial meltdown of September 15, 2008? How about our education crisis (according to Clinton we slipped from first to tenth in the past decade)? Or how we’re to “win” in Afghanistan?  For most of us, it takes every bit of our energy to deal with life’s immediate challenges, let alone trying to sort fact from fiction from all the information we’re bombarded with in today’s fragmented and often biased media ecosystem. His talk gave a fresh perspective on how to interpret the world today and some guidance on what we can do to affect change.

The number one definining characteristic of the 21st century is our global interdependence.  The result of our diversity and new technologies like the Internet carry with it both good and bad consequences. Posit for a moment that we know the good things, namely technology. Most of the bad consequences of our interconnectedness are defined by inequality and instability.

Inequalityis presented primarily in education and income. One billion people live on less than $1 per day, one billion people will go hungry tonight and one billion don’t have access to clean water. One quarter of everyone who dies on the planet this year will be due to tuberculosis, malaria, AIDS or dirty water. And of the dirty water victims 80 perent will be under five years old. In the U.S., 90 percent of our growth in recent years has gone to 10 percent of the population.

Instabilityis created by how quickly thing can spread, from terrorism (easy access to information) to Swine Flue (permeability and uprootedness) to the world financial crisis (inter-connectedness of financial systems). Even with $3 trillion in cash, a whopping 2 million factory workers in China are unemployed because the rest of the world is not buying as much of their exports.

In light of the complexities in our interconnected world, we need a framework from which to act. How do we respond to these many challenges? Not more liberally, but in a more “communitarian” fashion — more succinctly put, by focusing on creating win-win situations. For every situation or decision, he asks “will this  bring us closer together or tear us further apart?” 

Prime examples where “win-win” has worked are in Iraq where the people ultimately declared a common enemy in Al Qaeda. In Tanzania where our continued efforts to finance AIDS and Malaria relief have demonstrated our commitment their children. And in Rwanda, where the Tutsi leader insisted his post-genocide successor be a Hutu, and engraining in his people the need for win-win by granting land to those who would live next door to someone from the rival tribe.

Another timely example of searching for win-win was through a clear explanation of health carereform, including the back-story on “death panels,” and distinctions between terms like “public option” and “socialized medicine.”  Every year we spend 17 percent of our income on health care– money consumers aren’t investing in other things, which gives other countries that much more of an advantage over us on the world economic stage.  The bottom line: if you’re not for some kind of change in health care, you are a proponent of win-lose, not win-win.

One of the things that stood out for me most was Clinton’s commentary on the differences between being a sitting president and a former president. “The good news is, you can say anything you like,” he said. “The bad news is that nobody cares about what you have to say…that is, unless your wife happens to be Secretary of Sate.”

While this was met with laughter, it was obvious everyone should care about what this former president has to say. He is using his clout and connections through the William J. Clinton Foundation to make a difference in the lives of millions through several thoughtful initiatives. And while he has raised hundreds of millions from the wealthiest people in the world, he stressed the importance of each individual being called into service in some way. He spoke of the secret of the U.S. economy having always been the strength of our middle class, and how this group must now stand and help the U.S. regain its footing in our inter-connected world. “It’s not enough to work and pay taxes, raise a good family and show up to vote.” There are one million public service groups to which we can donate our time and expertise, over half of which were started in the last year.

While it’s of course possible to donate to the Clinton Foundation, he did not make a direct pitch but rather spoke about Kiva.org, where for $25 you can make the difference in the life of someone anywhere in the world whom the group has already vetted as qualified for needing assistance.

Something else that resonated with me personally, and I don’t think he would have said as president, is how we treat others is dependent upon our own identity and what we think about ourselves. Identity is highly complex, but we need to realize how much we are all alike. In fact, the argument in genomic circles is whether we are genetically 99.5 or 99.9 percent alike. By continually forcing ourselves to communicate with the other side we become more comfortable with one another. When we see how alike we are, we eventually decide that it’s less costly to work with together than to keep killing each other and we collaborate in the interest of finding win-win situations. It is imperative in the modern world that we leave the door open.

While everything President Clinton had to say was in line with my own opinions, I hope his thoughtful presentation gave those of every political persuasion a new perspective on tolerance and possibility. It was awe-inspiring for me to hear this brilliant mind, speaking in his familiar and reassuring tone of so many examples of hope and of what is possible if we work together and apply ourselves to overcoming our collective challenges, be they local or global.

Think win-win and dedicate yourself to some form of public service. And when you do, I hope you’ll let me know about it.

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