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Posts Tagged ‘expo’


Once, Twice, Three Times Trackable

December 29th, 2009 :: Michael Dougherty

Whether you’re creating a marketing piece/strategy, or getting into social media, you need to be conscious of how you will measure the success, or failure, of your endeavor. Like sending a package through UPS or FedEx, you’ll want to know your items were received and arrived. It could be the amount of emails you collected, the number of page views you hoped to achieve, the amount of sales you intend to make, or any number of reasons, but you need to be conscious, as you start your efforts, that you have a way to track your leads back to its source.

There are tons of ways you could to track your efforts. You could create specific urls to direct people back to a page on your website they could only reach by that marketing piece/effort, a phone number that is only used for that marketing piece/effort, or by the number of physical bodies that show up on the scheduled day. Whatever you choose, decide on what it will be before you get started. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve asked people how they determined the success of their piece only to hear “We didn’t think about that until after we printed it”.

I am not suggesting, in any way, that you should throw out everything you’ve created till now if you can’t track them. If there are pieces you have that don’t have a way to be tracked, find a creative way to make them so with the resources you have at your disposal. Here are a few creative ideas:

  • Use mailing labels on your brochures/postcards to update your information.
  • Call the places you’ve placed advertising with to see if you can alter the type in the next edition.
  • Place analytics tools, like Google Analytics, on your site to see where people visiting it are going.
  • Use sites like bit.ly to shorten, and track, the website links you put out in social media.

Once you’ve got the means in place to track the items, you need to determine what success means to your project, strategy, or piece. I’m going to ask you exercise some patience when it comes to tracking your success. Overnight success or an instant explosion of interest is not, and I repeat not, likely. It will take time, but you should determine what timeframe you are comfortable with or accepting of.

A little thought on how to figure out what success will look like. Please understand that it might take a few days for people to get a hold of your effort and that you can’t factor for people who many not be interested in your effort sharing it with others. There are multiple theories of success that you could use to determine your final outcome. One theory of success is the Pareto principle, often called the 80-20 rule, states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. The 1 Percent Rule is another, and Wikipedia defines it as “the 1 percent rule or the 90-9-1 principle reflects a theory that more people will lurk in a virtual community than will participate. This term is often used as a euphemism for participation inequality in the context of the Internet.”

Lastly, please don’t think I’m saying tracking your items is a quick thing to do. Tracking your efforts is a task unto itself. You’ll need to set aside some time to review your statistics and outcome as they come in. This could be day to day, month to month, or an accumulative total in a year. It’s best to take a step back and remember it’s not personal, but in these numbers you can find what works and what doesn’t.

The last thing you want to do is feel like any piece you’ve created was out there with no means for you to know it works. I hope this post has inspired some ideas of how you could begin to track the success of what is working and what doesn’t. This is me giving you a bit of permission to experiment with what works and what doesn’t, but always give each thing you choose to do a way to measure it’s success.

I would love your thoughts on today’s post here in the comments or you can reach me on Twitter by sending a message to @wickedjava, or on Facebook at facebook.com/mcdougherty.

As all ways, if you have been reading, thank you and stay wicked.

The Beauty of Keeping It Simple…

December 22nd, 2009 :: Michael Dougherty

In my last post “What is this ROI thing” I posted that “…marketing really comes down to the simple questions we learned in school. Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How.” Did I shock and offend a few people by simplifying that? More than likely I didn’t, but I have found that people who get easily offended by someone exposing the initial simplicity of something are ultimately trying to keep everyone else from knowing how simple it is as well.

There is no reason, in my opinion, that someone should just put a shingle on their door and expect customers to expect to know they are there and open. There are a laundry list of reasons that most businesses don’t make it past the two year mark and over all I see that as poor planning across the board. I have known more than my fair share of start-ups or small business owners that have forgone a marketing strategy in their first year or two because they have viewed it as too costly, confusing, or complicated. When in reality, that fear kept them from reaching a wider customer base or audience.

You need to know how you are going to get people to learn about your great new product/service/Whatchamacallit. Simply just creating the same marketing pieces that everyone has (a website, a business card, etc.) won’t have your phone ringing and email box filled with orders. I wish I could say it was that simple, but it’s not. You first need to think of those six simple questions as you go into the creation of your marketing piece/strategy.

The Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How will vary depending on what you want to do. Here are some great examples of starter questions for your next marketing strategy/piece, but feel free to come up with your own:

  • Who –Who will want this? Who do we want to know about our latest product/service? Who is going to purchase our [insert item/service]? Who will carry our message for us?
  • What – What will we use to reach/tell people about? What will we use to measure who successful this is? What will separate us from all the other daily noise that our audience receives? What will we use to track it?
  • When – When will we be putting this out? When is the most effective time for us to launch this? When will use to track the success? When do we review on how well this is doing?
  • Where – Where are the people we want to reach with this? Where will be put this that people may not expect? Where will we announce the product/place/thing/event? Where do we want this to take our business?
  • Why – Why are we going to do this? Why will the audience we are trying to reach care? Why are we using X over Y? Why aren’t we using multiple opportunities for people to reach us?
  • How – How are we going to create this? How are we going to measure the success? How are we going to get this out to our chosen audience? How often are we going to try this to see if it is successful at different times of the year?

I know I’ve kept this extremely simple, but the biggest reason for that is that the resources for you to create your marketing plan are already available to you on this site. Steven Fisher wrote a great piece that I view as a strong follow up to this post, the Guide to Writing a Killer Marketing Plan.

I hope you at least come away from this post with a sense that your first marketing strategy doesn’t have to be scary or overly complicated. When you are in your first year or two of business your time is very valuable, but by asking simple questions up front you save yourself some time and be better prepared for when you hire a designer, marketing firm, or whomever to accomplish your goals.

I am interested in Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How questions you’ve come up with. Please leave them in the comments below or you can reach me on Twitter by sending a message to @wickedjava, or on Facebook at facebook.com/mcdougherty.

As all ways, if you have been reading, thank you and stay wicked.

Anthony Edwards Gets #SmallBizCool

December 15th, 2009 :: Michael Dougherty

This is the final installment of #SmallBizCool from BlogWorldExpo 2009 for me and one that I am most proud of. Supporing worth while charities is something I’ve always been a big fan of. And when you find that a celebrity you like feels the same way…it is something magical. Rather than go into greater detail, let’s let Anthony Edwards himself explain why charity is so important and how he sees the new media landscape changing to better help support them.

Learn more about Anthony’s chosen charity Shoe 4 Africa or you can follow Anthony on Twitter @AnthonyEdwards.

If you haven’t had a chance to, check out Jill Foster’s #SmallBizCool interviews over at WomenGrowBusiess. You can also reach me on Twitter by sending a message to @wickedjava, or on Facebook at facebook.com/mcdougherty.

As all ways if you have been reading, and this time watching, thank you and stay wicked.

Kevin Pollak Gets #SmallBizCool

December 10th, 2009 :: Michael Dougherty

It’s time for another awesome installment of #SmallBizCool from the floors of BlogWorldExpo 2009. If you haven’t had a chance to, check out Jill Foster’s #SmallBizCool interviews over at WomenGrowBusiess.

One of the most memorable moments, for me at least, was Kevin Pollak’s part of the final keynote for the Expo. His insight into how social media has changed the landscape of media is insightful. Here he talks a little about why he thinks social media is cool.

Learn more about Kevin Pollak’s show or you can follow Kevin on Twitter @KevinPollak.

You can also reach me on Twitter by sending a message to @wickedjava, or on Facebook at facebook.com/mcdougherty.

As all ways if you have been reading, and this time watching, thank you and stay wicked.

Is Your Marketing Strategy Using All of the Ice on the Rink?

November 10th, 2009 :: Michael Dougherty

This past weekend, I enjoyed a Washington Capitals ice hockey game and the game got me thinking about something Jermaine Dupri said at BlogWorldExpo this year. I’m going to paraphrase, but he said that you should use social media tools in tandem with each other. Have something on Twitter that sends people to your Facebook page that references your blog and so on. Watching how they hockey players used the rounded end of the rink to pass the puck around behind the goalie to another player, or just out of the way, it made me realize that Jermaine had something there.

Now don’t get me wrong, it made perfect sense to me at BlogWorldExpo, but something about that particular game, my first hockey game in years, spun my mind into translating the puck into marketing message, the rink into your marketing plan, and the players your marketing pieces. At no point in that game was their wasted space on that ice. All parts of the rink were open and the puck flew anywhere it was needed with speed because of the actions of the players.

I have all ways believed that each marketing piece should support the one before it and the one after it. If you have to have a brochure, have it direct people to more information on a specific url on your website so you can track it. On that page let people share that message for your using something like Share This or send them directly to your companies Facebook or Twitter. Use social media to direct people to special content they can only find by following all your pucks on the ice, your marketing pieces.

Part of this is establishing how these pieces are all going to support each other, but another part of this is being comfortable, and confident, in your content so that you can let go of the message. Like a good hockey player, you have the control on how much intensity and strength is behind your marketing pieces. You will need to step back and let the natural momentum of your marketing strategy take its course. It will be up to you to make sure that the paths between your pieces are clear enough for the message to slide easily between them.

Most of us already have a few pieces in play, but as you create anything moving forward try to be conscious on how you can link the new pieces together. Or get really creative and start an off shoot campaign with new pieces and tactics that drive people to the pieces that existed before them. Sometimes scoring a win means you need to take a few extra chances with a few well placed shots, but if that shot misses it has a team behind it to give it the support it needs for a second shot at the goal.

Now here’s a question for you. Does your marketing strategy easily move your message from one piece to another? Are you using all of the ice on the rink?

I would love your thoughts on this. What other sports can you compare your marketing strategy to?

You can reach me on Twitter by sending a message to @wickedjava, or on Facebook at facebook.com/mcdougherty.

As all ways, if you have been reading, thank you and stay wicked.

BlogWordExpo 2009: Tee Morris Gets SmallBizCool!

November 3rd, 2009 :: Michael Dougherty

It’s time for another #SmallBizCool from the floor of BlogWorldExpo 2009. This time around I get to talk to author, actor, podcaster, and social media legend Tee Morris about social media and security. Tee Morris is well known for his history in podcasting and social media. Tee’s most recent efforts focus on Twitter with his two books “All A Twitter”, previously reviewed here on GSB, and “Teach Yourself Twitter in 10 Minutes”.

At BlogWorldExpo 2009, Tee took a few minutes to explain why its cool to keep security in mind when working with social media and to promote his books.

You can learn more about Tee at his website teemorris.com and you can follow Tee on Twitter @teemonster

You can also reach me on Twitter by sending a message to @wickedjava, or on Facebook at facebook.com/mcdougherty.

As all ways if you have been reading, and this time watching, thank you and stay wicked.

BlogWordExpo 2009: CNN’s Don Lemon Gets SmallBizCool!

October 29th, 2009 :: Michael Dougherty

It’s time for another awesome installment of #SmallBizCool from the sunny floors of BlogWorldExpo 2009. If you haven’t had a chance to, check out Jill Foster’s #SmallBizCool interviews over at WomenGrowBusiess.

BlogWorldExpo 2009 was filled with so many awesome exibitors, speakers and panels. One of the best moments, for me at least, was CNN’s Don Lemon as part of the opening keynote for Friday on “The Death and Rebirth of Journalism”. His insight into the evolution, not the death, of traditional media gave a lot of us a reason to think. Don was kind enough to take a few minutes, after that keynote, to explain why social media is cool to him.

Learn more about Don on CNN or you can follow Don on Twitter @donlemoncnn.

You can also reach me on Twitter by sending a message to @wickedjava, or on Facebook at facebook.com/mcdougherty.

As all ways if you have been reading, and this time watching, thank you and stay wicked.

BlogWordExpo 2009: Chris Brogan Gets SmallBizCool!

October 27th, 2009 :: Michael Dougherty

For the first of many #SmallBizCool segments, geniously thought of by Jill Foster over at WomenGrowBusiness, to come from BlogWorldExpo 2009, Chris Brogan took a moment from signing copies of his book Trust Agents to do explain why it is cool to become a Trust Agent.

As his website says, Chris Brogan advises businesses, organizations, and individuals on how to use social media and social networks to build relationships and deliver value.

If you haven’t heard of Chris Brogan before, you can visit his website chrisbrogan.com, follow him on Twitter @chrisbrogan, or learn more about Chris’ book Trust Agents

You can also reach me on Twitter by sending a message to @wickedjava, or on Facebook at facebook.com/mcdougherty.

As all ways if you have been reading, and this time watching, thank you and stay wicked.

Eight Things to Keep in Mind Before Your First Convention/Expo

October 23rd, 2009 :: Michael Dougherty

I had the opportunity, at BlogWorldExpo, this year to speak to several people who were attending their very first convention/expo. We talked about the things that were forgotten, the things that you couldn’t plan for, and the things we’ll be doing differently the next time around for the convention.

Now each convention/expo is an experience unto itself, but there are several things you can do prior to a convention that will help you out, regardless of the event. These are the eight things that I map out before I head any convention/expo and, with the exception this year due to poor planning for the red eye flight, have served me extremely well.

And now, in no particular order, I bring you, dear reader, the “Eight things to keep in mind before your first convention/expo”.

  1. Do your homework. What is the location you are going to be like? Are there going to be after parties? Have you reached out to any one you know that has previously attended? This is the best time to really get a feel of what the entire event, and experience, will be like for you. It will be fluid, because things change, but taking the time to do some research on the event, even just for yourself, will give you a greater foot in the door. I know it sounds like common sense, but you’d be surprised how many people I talked to that said things like, “If only I had asked someone before hand” or “I didn’t know that this event was convention/expo was part of a larger event going on at the same time”.
  2. Map out a plan of attack. Most conventions/expos will let you know their intended schedule weeks in advance. This will give you an opportunity to map out what panels/keynotes/seminars you want to attend, decide which luncheon/dinner you may want to skip out on, or what have you. This little bit of pre-planning, plus a good idea of the floor layout, will help you hit the ground running. Know now that, like most things you will experience at a convention/expo, things are subject to change, but at the very least you, if you have a fluid plan, you can adjust on the fly.
  3. Know what you want to get out of it before you sign up. Conventions/Expos are capable of giving you multiple opportunities all at the same time. Networking, education, and product demonstrations are just a few. If you’ve done your homework of asking previous attendees, and you have a pretty good idea of a plan, you can come to an easy assumption of what you want to get out of it. It doesn’t take much time and can be done before you purchase the ticket…say if you have to justify the event to your boss.
  4. Start the talking before you arrive. Feeling like the only person in the building who doesn’t know anyone can really do some damage early on to your experience. With the social media tools we have today, and from your research from #1, find people who are also attending for the first time or have gone and don’t mind a tag along. That way you are starting the convention with a partner in crime. Even if it’s just for a panel or two. You’ll be amazed what one or two introductions will do for your confidence.
  5. Decide now, is this a vacation or work? Some conventions/expos are held in an area that is a destination location for tourists. It can be very tempting to turn this business event into a vacation, but if your intent is to get the most out of the panels/sessions/whatever you need to fully be present. That’s not saying there isn’t time for fun, but if your company is paying for you to go, how do you think they will react if your response to “did you get some networking done” or “did you attend all the panels you told us you would” is “No, I spent a lot of time shopping and sitting by the pool”. That’s probably more of a larger-than-life answer, but you get the idea.
  6. Decide what “prepared” means to you. Will you need multiple pieces of luggage to fit all your stuff? Will you need to send things ahead to the hotel so you aren’t carrying them with you? Will you need to be packed days in advance due to a busy work schedule? Trust me, you don’t want to try to figure out how to pack seven thousand postcards into your carry on luggage. I’ve had that thought and then realized just how heavy those suckers would be. Fortunately, I had that thought weeks early and had the forethought to send 90% of them to the hotel to arrive on the day I did.
  7. Leave early and stay late…if possible. If you can afford to, both financially and time wise, my advise is to head out for your convention a day early and stay a day later. Sometimes you can only do one or the other, but this will give you a little time to collect your hearings from time changes, new locations, and work on your plan of attack. The last thing you want is to start your experience tired, grumpy, or frustrated.
  8. Be not afraid, they are human too. Every convention/expo has its own celebrity. Whether it’s a guest panelist, an actual celebrity, or even your own convention/expo cohorts, they are just human beings…like you. The best thing to do, if you want to approach them, is be respectful of their time and approach them the same way you would want to be approached. Don’t gush over their fame, don’t pitch them on your idea, and thank them for their time.

I know we all have our own tasks, preparations, and rituals before we leave for a trip. I would love to hear your pre-convention rituals. Leave a comment here.

You can also reach me on Twitter by sending a message to @wickedjava, or on Facebook at facebook.com/mcdougherty.

As all ways, if you have been reading, thank you and stay wicked.