Podio Forms – a Google Analytics and Affiliate Marketing Conversion Tracking Solution

I am a big advocate of Podio to help small to medium businesses run their companies. Podio provides an excellent, highly customizable CRM at low cost – both in license and in setup. We have used it for a range of purposes including leads tracking, operations management, project management and of course task management. In the case of one rapidly growing client, I wanted to maintain one of the very best features of podio – the ability to use podio form in our own website to allow new leads to go directly into our sales pipeline – while also implementing two new features. BIG problems lie ahead…

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Video in online advertising; is NOW, finally, the right time?

Now is an awesome time to integrate video into your marketing efforts, even if your budget and ability is less than optimal. Using video in online advertising provides some fantastic benefits.

By doing adwords and video together, you can achieve cut-through AND make the kind of impression that not only drives marketers ‘ROI’ but leads to actual $ on investment.

We see more and more that online marketing is about adding true value, less tricks.

Video provides real content, real thoughts and at the same time is the kind of content Google values. So how do we create such content?

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Your Company Website and the Sales Engine

A great challenge for companies with established website traffic is to then turn those site visitors into leads, and insure those leads are dealt with in the most efficient and friendly way possible. A good company website will be a brand builder and information center, but more importantly it will work in tandem with your sales process to generate leads and help convert them to sales.

This means your company website must perform the following basic functions;

  1. Generate and appeal to the right traffic – real potential customers coming to your company website.
  2. Provide value to the visitor, build your credibility
  3. Clearly convey your business’s points of strength or differentiators – tell the visitor why your company is not just an option but THE option.
  4. Provide a compelling reason to get in touch with you – now.
  5. Provide the most simple means of taking action possible.
  6. Align that action (a completed web form, a call, a request for more information, the download of a white paper) with your sales process – so the new lead is immediately treated well and seriously, in a way you can trust.

I see too many company websites that either fail to generate the right traffic, fail to convert visitors into leads or fail to place the lead into an efficient sales process.

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500 miles, 36 hours, 1 US Masters Ticket – Lucking into watching Scott win the US Masters

On the Thursday of the 2013 U.S. Masters, my friend Mel sent me a message via twitter – “got a spare ticket for Sunday at the Masters if you want to come”.

This was a tough proposition, certainly tougher than it initially appeared to be. The location meant a significant drive (to the middle of nowhere relatively) and with little planning time, plus family and other commitments including but not limited to work. It sounded great, but daunting and more than a little stressful. Needless to say, the internal angst consumed me, but I was thinking about it. I decided to run it by my wife and get both the consulting and approval taken care of in one hit.

“If you want to go, you should go, you’d be crazy not to.”

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Do you use apostrophes properly?

A challenge with any business is quality control. Most times the focus is on production, customer service, freshness or presentation.

Often times though, the greatest challenge is making sure that company communications are at the same quality level as the product. When it comes to websites, collateral and client direct marketing emails, the best strategy is to ensure your company uses a professional copywriter, or has a select set of in-house resources you can trust. While it is fantastic to have staff throughout the company interacting with the brand and your customers, it is critical that those communications meet the expectations of your clients and therefore don’t give the impression your company is lazy, just because of a few grammatical errors and spelling mistakes.

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The Game of Brand Positioning and Understanding your Customer

We tend to think of advertising as brand – which of course, it can be. Coke advertising is brand positioning for instance, but much advertising is more about telling a customer about what you do or who you are. The challenge with brand positioning is to not only make your customer look good – though that is often a core requirement, but to reach a certain demographic and tell them that your product is perfect for them, achieves what they need it to achieve, and gives them the emotional response they want. Read More…

WHY Social: Find the reason behind your social media marketing to find success.

Nearly all the ‘marketing theory’ I read these days is boring, regurgitated fluff, written so that social media marketers have something to push out and impress clients, or make us thing they know what they are talking about. Most of it is self serving, pointless guff. Why? Because social media strategies focus on measures that don’t required sustained relationships, nor any frank assessment of the relationship between the company and the product. The consequence is a failure to build the brand and make sales, and instead build ‘success’ that may be superficially impressive but doesn’t result in any noticeable short or long term benefit.

Social media has an application for a wide variety of companies, but should not be seen as a sure-fire requirement for every business, nor be executed as though there is a single pathway to a single goal.

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The Ad-Age of Reason

As a society, I think we all strive to reach a heightened state of achievement – success perhaps. We are more driven, more communicative and we have, I think, learned form the various failures of our predecessors in regard to economics, International Relations, The Environment.

Why is it then that politics, community and overall public awareness has fractured further with each generation? Are we not more enlightened?

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