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

cloud-lead-camp-diagram4

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 »
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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 »
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SM2day Conference Rochester – My Top 5

Fri, 13 November 2009

I spent my Wednesday at a Social Media conference in Rochester called SM2Day. The event was the brainchild of Ana Roca Castro of Premier Social Media. She brought in a very exciting slate of guest presenters including nationally recognized Social Media advocate, Chris Brogan and local CMO Rockstar Jeffrey Hayzlett. Here is Ana’s nice little story using tweets and an app called whrrl to tell how she got the conference together.

More stories at Memorial Art Gallery
Powered by Whrrl

My head is spinning at everything I learned before, during and after the conference. Here’s my top 5.

  1. Chris Brogan is the real deal. He has obviously honed his craft in a couple short years. He is an entertaining and humble speaker who spoke passionately of the need for brands (and more impoortantly the people behind them) to engage in conversation not target marketing. Does anybody want to feel targeted? I’m now subscribed to his blog and probably anything else he creates.brogan
    Blurry iPhone shot with me, Chris and my signed copy of Trust Agents.
  2. Jeffrey Hayzlett really believes in Social Media marketing for Kodak. From his complete support of Jenny Cisney’s efforts as Kodak Chief Blogger/Social Media Manager, to his team’s published thought leadership within the Kodak Social Media Guidelines, to crowdsourcing product names via twitter, Jeff is passionate about Social Media to drive marketing at Kodak. We also found out a few other things Jeff is passionate about too like hunting, and Diet Mountain Dew.
  3. Eric Majchrzak at Freed Maxick & Battaglia CPAs is making it happen with Social Media and SEO. He actually has a Twitter account for a CPA firm, and a forthcoming billboard that will post the tweet stream.
    lamr1
    He is also showing impressive ROI from his efforts by being able to attribute revenue to his website and increasing it steadily year over year.freed-maxick
  4. Niki Black knows the ins and outs of the legal implications of Social Media on companies. Social media guidelines are a must. She provided some good resources on how to craft a good policy. When her presentation becomes available I’ll post here.
  5. When you go to conferences and sit next to smart people like Matt Ray, you pick up extremely useful information. For instance, my iPhone battery was running low from all the in-conference tweeting I was doing on #SM2day. He suggested I turn off 3G to conserve battery. I didn’t know you could do that. I also hadn’t yet heard the news that I could tweet to LinkedIn. These are minor things, but it shows what hanging out with like-minded people will teach you.

I’m looking forward to the presentations from the conference being available online because there was some really useful content from ALL of the presenters.

Posted in: Marketing Strategy, Professional Networking, Social Media | 3 Comments »
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How’s YOUR Staffing Firm Intranet?

Tue, 09 June 2009

Well, friends I’m nearing the end of the longest web project of my career. When we embarked on creating a new intranet for Hudson North America over two and a half years ago, I would have never predicted that it would take this long. Sure, we wanted to do it right. We engaged an ethnographic researcher to help us uncover the real needs behind the needs of our users. We took those requirements and handed them to a “real” interactive agency to get wireframes for workflows that would address the issues head on. From there, we chose a platform – Sharepoint 2007, no slouch of a platfom to configure, test, customize, and test again. We designed and branded the look and feel twice as the launch pushed through multiple leadership teams and re-branding efforts. It culminates this week with a “Beta” launch of the system via a link from our old intranet, an email from our President and a splashy Camtasia demo I’ve locked myself in my office creating for 4 days.

I’m excited about the prospects of what a “real” intranet can mean for our firm. It can be such a challenge for leaders to wrangle together a cohesive vision from far-flung offices and disparate work processes. Email just isn’t up to the task, and forget about the dreaded weekly conference calls. To create a truly productive and cohesive professional services firm for the long term, I believe your intranet must be robust, comprehensive, and adaptable to the constant change in the business. How else can you retain knowledge in a business with 40% employee turnover? Yet, when you search online for any evidence of staffing firm intranets, there is little to no information. I found a synopsis of Australian Job Board Seek’s Intranet redesign, but I have yet to come across a true staffing service provider’s (If you happen to see any coverage, please do forward me the link).

Is the lack of information an indicator of the staffing industry’s sentiment toward their intranets? Or, is it that everyone believes they have some super-secret formula for success that they are just unwilling to share? I would wager that staffing firms are currently focused on survival rather than productivity, but there are those who will use their intranet to position themselves for long-term success.

Posted in: Interactive Marketing for Staffing Firms, Projects, User Experience Design | 5 Comments »
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Twitter is NOT a Job Board. Please TwitterJobSearch.com, Don’t Make It One

Thu, 19 March 2009

Twitter WAS an excellent tool for getting a job the old fashioned way – through word of mouth, networking, and building relationships online. For a few fleeting months, you could go onto Twitter and connect with some really smart people. You could connect with a senior manager, or a drone working the desk at any number of your potential employers of choice. You could build a relationship with a human, and help each other to mutual benefit. It WAS fresh and different. It will now turn into something automated, and dissatisfying.

TwitterJobSearch.com launched very recently. It provides job seekers an easy way to find job opportunities that have been posted to Twitter. That’s not really what it does though. Instead, TwitterJobSearch.com makes it blatantly obvious that there are hundreds of people out there building a mini job-spam empire on Twitter. Clearly, many recruiting firms and job board vendors alike have registered twitter names to game the search engines into believing they are the authority on ChicagoTechjobs, or topjobsinlondon whatever. They load up their twitter accounts with automated feeds from the job board they already have online.

TwitterJobSearch.com

So, riddle me this. How exactly does this make things any better for the job seeker? If TwitterJobSearch.com was aggregating a ton of job related tweets from actual humans working at actual companies and recruitment firms, with actual photo avatars of themselves, THAT would be a great service. Seekers can find plenty of cold, impersonal “job postings” all over the interweb. What they thirst for is the hiring manager at a company who tweets, “We need a marketing mgr to launch a new product for us, RT please”, or the recruiter that says “My client is interviewing for 3 java devs TODAY to build a GPS product by end of Jan, DM me if interested.”

Instead of optimizing FOR all of these automated accounts with “jobs” or “hire” in the Twitter handle, TwitterJobSearch should exclude them on purpose. What do you think?

Posted in: Interactive Marketing for Staffing Firms, Job Boards, Marketing Strategy, Recruitment Industry, Staffing SEO/SEM | 12 Comments »
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The Video Blog Camera is Rolling

Fri, 13 March 2009

If you aren’t constantly taking risks in your career, you either a.) don’t work in an environment that encourages risk, or b.) haven’t developed the wherewithal to know that risk is the ONLY way to grow your career. So, I contemplated my career during the dark days of Winter, trying to figure out what my next risk was going to be to keep things interesting.

As if I didn’t have enough big, meaty project launches to do, I decided to figure out how to video blog. This has been a fascinating journey so far, and something that aligns well with the one video class I took in college doing edits on VHS tape. The end result of this fun with the video camera will hopefully be a video resume that I can add to my website. I’m chronicling the journey though as I try to help others accomplish the same.

Here’s my first video blog posting.

You can follow the rest of the series here:
http://ithirewire.com/finding-work/kris-video-resume-how-toproject.html

Enjoy.

Posted in: Interactive Marketing for Staffing Firms, Web Video | 1 Comment »
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ROC Twestival: a Good Night Out

Fri, 13 February 2009

Last night, Tricia and I attended the Rochester Social Media Club meeting at Solera followed by the Rochester Twestival at German House.

My reason for attending these events is to get more connected in Rochester professional circles. I work from my home in Webster for my company based in Chicago, so I don’t get a lot of face time with pros at my own company no less others in industry. I just want to feel connected. For Tricia, this was an opportunity to get out and network for her business, and get some face time with her husband away from our 2 kids. Mission accomplished!

We met some awesome people. It’s refreshing to know that Rochester has such a vibrant and friendly professional community. The Rochester Social Media Club, lead by Susan Beebe, Mark Frisk and Nicole Black is a gathering of people interested in the use of Social Media especially Facebook, Twitter, etc. Really, it brings together people with a diverse set of professional skills and agendas. The best part about this group is that no one is pretentious, because really if you share a lot on social media, CAN you really be pretentious in the first place? Nope. I’ll hope that this is indicative of all Rochester business people. I think going to some of these events in bigger cities like Chicago would be a bit more uncomfortable than the people here make you feel.

On to the Twestival
All I can say about that is, what an amazingly well put together event for such a short period of time! There were bands, raffle donations, food, drinks, all in a top notch venue. It rivaled any charity event I’ve been to, and this came together in 2 weeks. Most organizations take MONTHS to put together something like that. Charity:Water for whom this event raised funds, could not be more worthy nor more creative with this whole Twestival concept. The only drawback is that it could have used a few hundred more attendees to justify the time and effort that Matt Ray and his team put into it.

Here’s why I think attendance was light.

  1. Rochester to begin with is a small-ish market
  2. The bulk of the marketing relied on Twitter whose adoption is still really small even when compared to Facebook. This will only get better next year, and there will be WAY more people that ‘get it’.
  3. People may have thought it was more about Twitter, than about a great charity, great music, and people. It wasn’t. Twitter was just the tool that mobilized a great many people.

The Rochester Twestival was a great event that rivaled any other city for its ability to provide a vibrant professional scene that motivates people to want to live and work here. Events like this thrive only with consistency and word of mouth, so I’d bet that next year will be even more successful.


Kris and Tricia at the Rochester Twestival

ROC Twestival image by @MatthewRay

Posted in: Interactive Marketing for Staffing Firms, Professional Networking | 7 Comments »
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My First Tweetup – #roctweetup 12-29-08

Wed, 31 December 2008

For the last few months I’ve been using Twitter as an excellent learning tool. It has provided this work-from-homebody some much needed “presence” from other smart marketing professionals. It’s as if they’re in my office feeding me their expertise, even though many of them I don’t even know.

Another goal of mine has been to use Twitter to get more networked within the Rochester, NY market. After all, working remotely for a company in Chicago is great, but it doesn’t help me meet local professionals. So, I started following Rochester, NY marketing and IT professionals, designers, Kodakers and people from local advertising and PR agencies. The easiest way to do so was to find people in Rochester, NY on twellow.

Along came a ‘Tweetup’
On a whim, a couple of Steves (Hersh and Boese) called for tweetup at Tully’s on December 29. As it was retweeted about town, I mulled over the possibility of going to a good bar to meet some complete strangers on my holiday break. I haven’t been able to attend similar gatherings by the Rochester Social Media Club usually because of one conflict or another.


photo from Tom Collins

This was a fun event. Not of the epic proportions that Silicon Valley boasts, but a great way to connect with 10-12 great people over beer and good food. A few things I learned:

  • If you tweet about bacon, you’ll immediately be followed by the Twitter Bacorazzi. Good to know @sbjet. Also, good to know that you are an HR Technology guru at RIT.
  • Highland Park Diner serves peanut butter and bacon sandwiches. I did not know that, @Tom_Collins.
  • @y2vonne has a ton of different local business events and blogs to look after. It’s going to take some time to read your prolific bloggery.
  • I heard about Fat Pride for the first time from @AmpleAliveness. She has a very interesting perspective on life and size diversity issues. It was cool to connect Coach Ann’s interests with my wife’s Personal Training business.
  • @shersh knows much about Oracle systems through his consulting business and shares my disdain for the current state of the Buffalo Bills.
  • @KellyMullaney has a lot of web design going on and is starting up a twitter background design service.
  • @AnaRC can whip twitter into a frenzy in online events associated with FamilyEden.com

I’m sure I’ll take the time to go to more events like this in the New Year. I’ve got no better resolution than that. Thanks to everyone who attended. I really enjoyed your company. Oh, and have a look at Tom Collins’ recap of the event as well.

Posted in: Interactive Marketing for Staffing Firms, Professional Networking | 1 Comment »
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‘Review Ninja’ Featured in Hudson Legal Video #4

Sat, 20 December 2008

Just in time for your holiday enjoyment we’ve launched a 4th video in our Hudson online video series that I’ve been working on since the beginning of the year. In it you’ll find some quality coverage of the people who manage huge document review projects (sometimes 200-300 people) and keep their cool under pressure.

Shot on location in DC, New York, and Charlotte, it is meant to close out the behind the scenes view of our Legal practice, before moving on to some videos of our Financial Solutions practice (coming up in January 2009).

Lessons Learned in Production
The prior video in the “monthly” series launched on July 30, 2008. And here we are in December. I had always assumed there would be some risk with featuring employees in a video project. In this case that risk was realized because 2 of the original ‘stars’ are no longer with the company. We hit the editing suite for some creative ways around our missing characters and still managed to maintain the integrity of the original message. However, it cost precious months in the launch schedule.

Here is a good lesson for any video project: expect staff changes. Prepare leadership for the possibility. Do your best to mitigate the risk that having any one staff member leave can cause to your video project, then cross your fingers. Once the video is live, do your best to convince the team that the video remains a viable representation of the company no matter who is featured. It is a snapshot of a team at a time and place in an ever-mobile business environment.

Posted in: Projects, Web Video | No Comments »
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Bruce Clay Interview: SEO Ranking is Dead

Fri, 05 December 2008

In the spirit of stashing useful web strategy video in a spot that I can remember it, here’s an excellent video interview by WebProNews with Bruce Clay on the future of SEO and how it will move away from ranking and placement.

Here’s the things I learned.

  1. Biased results based on web history: No two people will be able to look at Google results and get exactly the same rankings.
  2. Intent based search: The engines will decipher your search words and give you results based on whether you intended to shop or do research. How you design a page for one intent or another would affect its ranking in results
  3. Universal Search: Search will dive into video and images better than today. Sites with video, for instance will fare better. Doing SEO will be more than just keyword research and writing techniques. Text-based gateway pages would not be as effective, nor will linkbuilding have as great an effect.

Good stuff.

Hat tip to Cheezhead.

Posted in: Interactive Marketing for Staffing Firms, Staffing SEO/SEM | 1 Comment »
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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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