2010 Archive

A Powerpoint for Father’s Day

Mon, 21 June 2010

For Father’s Day this year, Mason surprised me with a Powerpoint presentation that he made all by himself. Apparently he sat at our home computer and hand-crafted this masterpiece with skills he learned in his second grade computer lab. It was very cool on so many levels. I like that not all the time he spends in front of the computer is spent learning how to find Bakugan online. I also like that he’s clearly got an interest in marketing if he willfully made a Powerpoint deck on his own time. Another lesson learned…If I ever hear anyone say that they don’t know how to use Powerpoint, I now have living proof that even a second grader can do it.

Enjoy the presentation below. He also animated many of the screens which would only show in the Powerpoint file.

Posted in: Holidays, Kids, Life | 1 Comment »

A Campering We Go

Wed, 09 June 2010

In November 2009 we bought a 2006 Forest River Shamrock 21RS from Camping World. Although it is only June 9th, we’ve been pretending it’s Summer since mid April by using our new-to-us camper. So far this year, we’ve been to Fair Haven State Park,  Cedar Point State Park, and a quick little weekender to Webster Park Family Campground. Up to this point, we are having fun and still learning how to do this nutty sport. It’s nutty for the fact that you pay a lot of money to buy a rolling hotel room, where after you use it you have to make the bed and…get this…empty the toilet.  You have no choice once you buy an RV to become an “enthusiast” – meaning you really have to get into the details of how to set up your truck, and “mod” your camper so that it is comfortable, safe, and easy to operate.

It is so worth it though. Our kids absolutely LOVE going camping. They get to hang out with their friends and enjoy freedom that they don’t have any place else. While they are off wearing themselves out at the playground, or riding circles around the campground on their bikes, the adults get to sit down and talk, drink, nap…whatever. I guess you could say that we get to enjoy freedoms that we don’t have any place else too. Plus when all that sweet alone time is over, you get the joy of going to some really enjoyable places as a family, hanging out at the campfire and “blowing the stink off” as we like to say. I’m really looking forward to more campering in 2010.

The day we bought our Shamrock 21RS from Camping World

All setup at Cedar Point State Park. We tow our camper with a 2001 Dodge Durango

Enjoying a zen moment with Tricia and Anna

Posted in: Camping, Life | No Comments »

Marketing Campaign Diagrams – Not for the Faint at Heart

Mon, 22 February 2010

I have spent since the beginning of the year working with my teammates here at Hudson on putting our first true B2B Lead Generation campaign into the market. The first is a bit of a misnomer, because we’ve done plenty of webinars, email blasts, tradeshows and breakfasts in the past. What we haven’t done is hook these activities into a CRM for tracking of leads with the sales team and a marketing automation system to really turbocharge the messaging, calls-to-action, follow up and lead nurturing.

We all know the feeling when we’ve been “nurtured”. We sign up for a webinar. 1 minute later you get a contact from a sales person. After the webinar you get follow up emails on additional offers and additional whitepapers on the subject you were interested in. What you don’t realize is all of the pre-thought, strategy, and setup that goes into that orchestrated series of events. Let me tell you, it’s not for the faint at heart. After countless hours with a full-time consultant building our strategy and integrating automation systems it all comes down to a diagram. To be able to visualize all of the steps and how they will work together you need a campaign diagram, so says our vendor Silverpop. I’ve built plenty of information architecture diagrams in my career, but never anything like this. Apparently these are notoriously complex exercises, since Silverpop themselves had a contest last year to find the most convoluted marketing campaign diagram.

My Piece of Convolutedness


Here’s my rookie effort at a campaign diagram (page 1 only). This was at its very worst. I have since revised the diagram many times to simplify and better communicate how we will be setting up all of the assets in our different systems. Nonetheless, you have to go this far if you want to pre-plan an automated campaign. This has been an awesome learning experience. I’m very much looking forward to the campaign launch and finding out how effective each little block in the diagram will or will not be. Stay tuned.

Posted in: B2B Inbound Marketing, Interactive Marketing for Staffing Firms, Marketing skills, Marketing Strategy | 1 Comment »

Keeping Customers Positive with Social Media

Tue, 09 February 2010

I was listening to a B2B Blogging Lessons Learned podcast today with Kip Bodnar over at Social Media B2B. Toward the end of the podcast there was a discussion of the use of Social Media CRM for sales people, and what the rise of information on the web about your customers means. One of their points was that all of the personal information about you online can deepen the relationships salespeople have with their prospects and clients. I have an excellent personal experience where this has happened to me.

OptiJob’s Doug Kerken Sold Me then Followed Me on Twitter

I went through an extensive vendor evaluation at the end of 2008 to choose an SEO/career site portal provider. I received quotes from a variety of providers at my request, and by the recommendation of our recruitment ad agency. One provider was Optijob, and the salesperson was Doug Kerken. Long story short, Doug won the business based on an excellent product, a fair price, and an extremely flexible attitude to customize the product to meet Hudson’s career site needs.

Somewhere during the sales cycle Doug (@DKerken) connected with me on Twitter. Not LinkedIn (til later), not Facebook…Twitter. By doing so, Doug opened up a whole different line of communication. First off, Doug and I have never met in person. Yet, by following his personal Twitter account where he mixes business and pleasure tweets, I get to know him much better. Yes, Doug is a sales guy through and through. He is cool to chat with on phone calls, and he makes a lot of promises about the product, that some other poor schlep has to implement because Doug promised it. BUT, Doug is also keeping me very positive about his company. He’s keeping the relationship warm, and he doesn’t need to take me out to lunch bother me with “just catching up” calls to do it. He simply reacts to a tweet of mine every once in a while and that’s enough to keep him top of mind.

Positive Customer Service and Accountability

If we have a service issue with OptiJob I can reach out to him on Twitter, both of us knowing that a public slam would be bad for the company’s reputation. This keeps him accountable to service our account. Better yet though, I know that Doug is monitoring my Twitter stream and anticipating our needs. That’s good consultative selling, and he didn’t have to do a thing.

What’s the Moral of This Story?

The lesson for all salespeople is not to think of social media in terms of will it get me a lead this afternoon. Think of it as another way to interact with and listen to customers and prospects on a personal and professional level. For every salesperson I hear from who says they don’t have time to understand social media, I only need to point them to people like Doug who build successful, positive business relationships through the channel. Next time you decide to spend another 2 hour lunch with one prospect, think of how much more scalable you are by keeping 20 prospects interested through Twitter. I’m just sayin…

Posted in: Marketing Strategy, Social Media | No Comments »


This is my Life as a 37 year old husband and father of two and my Work as Executive Director of Marketing at Bennett International Group in Mconough, GA relocating from home in Rochester, NY.
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