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I have been holed up now, working away in my office, for years. Since 2009 really.
This January I crept out of the shadows and into the sun again to travel to San Diego for Traffic and Conversion Summit hosted by Ryan Diess, Perry Belcher and the team at Digital Marketer. The last big marketing event I went to as an attendee was the second last System Seminar hosted by Ken McCarthy.
For the most part I have been working away, taking online courses and honing my marketing chops with a variety of client projects. I’ve also been studying direct marketing by reading books that go back as far as the late 1800’s. I’ve been delving deep into the knowledge the marketing legends of old left behind (David Ogilvy and Claude Hopkins for example) and thinking about how their ideas and insights now apply online.
I have two things to report, after neglecting this blog for some time now and neglecting to travel to real world events: 1) Delving into the history of direct marketing and pulling from it lessons that apply today has been one of the best exercises I have ever done. I now have a far deeper and meaningful understanding of how to get results for my clients and how to use a variety of media, online and offline, to achieve any marketing and sales goal I could set or a client could set for themselves. 2) Traffic and Conversion Summit was fantastic. Absolutely excellent. Top notch, applicable and practical strategies for business growth abounded at this event. The speakers were top tier, the networking was fantastic – I could go on.
The effect it had on me was to multiply my energy and focus – the energy and focus I had already conjured up in December 2013 as I prepared to face the new year. Attending the event took my mindset to an entirely new level. What kick ass way to hit the ground running in 2014!
If you market or sell anything, which we all do in some way, shape or form, get to T and C in 2015. I will be there. It will blow your mind, guaranteed.
Ok, with that said, I’m happy to announce I’m back from the dead. The aim this year is to get out into the light again. I’ll be writing, I may do some speaking, and I will continue to grow my business by helping my clients achieve new levels of success this year.
The following list of stories was taken from my July client newsletter. It’s a collection of marketing related stories from around the web that I found interesting and useful and sent out to clients.
Financial Post Says Canadian Entrepreneurs Need to Adapt New Ways of Thinking
“Canadians have a real opportunity to become more sophisticated and more global players,” …. “but they have to embrace ‘possibility thinking’ versus ‘incremental thinking.’”
What’s that mean?… Canadians trying to grow their businesses tend to think incrementally: How do I grow sales? How can I improve customer service? By contrast, entrepreneurs in emerging economies tend to embrace “possibility thinking”: “How can we do something completely different? How can we turn service on its head?
Canada Post is Losing Hundreds of Millions, Perhaps Billions – Big Opportunity for Marketers
Mail volume is down. Way down. In a nutshell if you’re a savvy digital advertiser what this means is you have an opportunity now to take your successful online promotions and run them offline using direct mail. (Even better? Run a combined campaign that uses direct mail and drives people online to capture the lead.) People’s inboxes are less cluttered than ever and we’re getting more and more tired of email. That spells opportunity for marketers not afraid to go back to an old media that is still producing high returns for those who know how to use it.
(Related side note: we just switched insurance companies because of a really well designed direct mail sequence of three letters that was sent to us right at the moment we were having problems with our existing insurance company due to lack of timely service.)
Bid Like a Pro: Strategies for Success with AdWords Enhanced Campaigns
If you haven’t yet heard about Google’s latest upgrade to Google Adwords and you advertise using the platform, then you’d better take note. It’s quite a game changer.
You can now easily target by or screen out people your ads are shown to based on device, time of day, gender, age range, interests, affinity and more. And that’s just the start. The following white paper provides more insight into the new feature set.
(Note: This post is really two stories in one. It was taken from my clients only newsletter which I publish monthly.)
A company I’m keeping an eye on calledleadsift.com recently posted an article on their blog referencing a piece by the Economist (http://goo.gl/LuCdJ) that talks about direct marketing and social media. I’ll get to why I’m keeping an eye on Leadsift in just a moment. First I want to lambaste the Economist.
The Economist sinned in my eyes because they confuse the methodology of marketing known as “direct marketing” with the media of “direct mail”. A marketing methodology and a media are two completely different things my friends. They sinned again when they used a blanket statement to describe all direct mail and email as junk.
The thing they fail to realize, as most people do (just read the comments on the Economist’s article), is that a great number of direct mail pieces and emails are in fact highly profitable, highly targeted, measurable, welcomed by their recipients, and a huge money maker for their senders.
If you take a moment to read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Direct_marketing you’ll see under the section Popularity of Direct Advertising that in 2010 direct marketing was responsible for “54.2% of all ad expenditures in the United States. Measured against total US sales, these advertising expenditures generated approximately $1.798 trillion in incremental sales.“
If all direct mail was junk it would be pretty hard to generate 1.798 trillion in sales wouldn’t it?
Now back to leadsift. In December I had a chance to meet with Leadsift’s marketing and sales manager while visiting my home province of Nova Scotia. As far as I know they’re still in Beta but I really like their approach and their goal of helping companies generate leads by analysing people’s interactions on social media platforms. Will be a very useful app if they can pull it off. This is the kind of thing that will make social media more useful to companies, instead of the loads of time being wasted tweeting meaningless posts day in and day out without any way to track and measure and profit from the activity. Check out Leadsift. I suspect you’ll be hearing more about them soon.