Tag: advertising

Norfolk Area Entrepreneurs ROUND 2: Connect w/Amazing People to Start Companies/Projects With

Click Here to Apply!

Wanted to share info. about a great service that seems super relevant for this crew – FounderDating (no, it’s not romantic).  Norfolk Area of FounderDating is kicking off Round 2 of accepting applications into this private group for people looking to find a Co-Founder of their startup business!

Click here for more info on FounderDating.com

FounderDating (FD) is an invite-only, online network for entrepreneurs to connect with cofounders. What makes them different?

 

  • High Quality – members are carefully screened for quality and readiness (no recruiters, etc.) Applications and members’ identities are confidential, but a few of the folks who are part of the network are former founders or early employees from: stackmob, snapfish, Zynga, Loggly and Gilt just to name a few.
  • Balanced – 50% engineering & 50% non-engineering
  • No Idea Necessary – FD is about the people, so you don’t need to have an idea, just be ready to work on a serious side project

Upcoming Round: September 20th, 2012 Norfolk Area

 

Deadline to Apply: September 10th, 2012 Apply Now http://members.founderdating.com/application/

If you have applied in the past and received an email about not being accepted in Round 1 you will be considered for an invite in Round 2   Zack Miller and I can  work with any type of groups like alumi associations, professional organizations, and government agencies to ensure their members know about FounderDating and can apply.   Just let us know how we can work with you to announce this round and opportunity to your club via email or other appropriate channels?  If so, I’ve included a small blurb below.  Also, we are happy to jump on the phone/skype or scheduled a face to face visit and tell you more about us or answer questions about FounderDating.com. You can read more about FD on here and here   Here are Photos from the Round 1 Members Kickoff:

Member Building Activity

Member Building Activity

 

Jessica Alter of FounderDating at Hatchnorfolk


Lethal combination of books for any business! #startnorfolk

Since I am heading off to #StartNorfolk in a couple hours wanted to share some info with the folks that will be there this weekend to consider picking up this lethal combination of business books as they kick off their business dreams!

I have read 3 and half of these books (Meghan and Nancy still working on yours!) and I have come to the conclusion! If you are a business owner, getting a business off the ground, reinventing your business, and or innovating your business these 4 books have to be read together!

Suggestions while reading these books:

  1. Take notes with a pen and paper (old school I know)

  2. Highlight and dogear the crap out of these books. You will come back to those, TRUST ME@

  3. Start constructing the what, how and why plans, strategies, tactics and metrics for your business or career development while reading.

  4. Find the patterns of how to’s and why’s between the four books – WRITE THEM DOWN! They are there!

  5. Encourage many at your company to read these 4 books together.

  6. Talk with the authors online. They are all available & very conversational!

 

Pick these books up today if you have not already. I have made it easy and provided a link to the books on amazon and also the authors online information. Have fun!

As Pictured above top to bottom:

1. Rework written by Jason Fried @jasonfried Founder of 37signals

“Most business books give you the same old advice: Write a business plan, study the competition, seek investors, yadda yadda. If you’re looking for a book like that, put this one back on the shelf.

Rework shows you a better, faster, easier way to succeed in business. Read it and you’ll know why plans are actually harmful, why you don’t need outside investors, and why you’re better off ignoring the competition. The truth is, you need less than you think. You don’t need to be a workaholic. You don’t need to staff up. You don’t need to waste time on paperwork or meetings. You don’t even need an office. Those are all just excuses.”

2. Social Media ROI by Olivier Blanchard @thebrandbuilder of

TheBrandBuilder.com or additional information at SMROI.net

“Use this book to bring true business discipline to your social media program and align with your organization’s goals. Top branding and marketing expert Olivier Blanchard brings together new best practices for strategy, planning, execution, measurement, analysis, and optimization. You will learn how to define the financial and nonfinancial business impacts you are aiming for–and achieve them. Social Media ROI delivers practical solutions for everything from structuring programs to attracting followers, defining metrics to managing crises. Whether you are in a startup or a global enterprise, this book will help you gain more value from every dime you invest in social media.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Align social communications with broader business goals and functions
  • Plan for effective performance measurement
  • Establish clarity of vision, purpose, and execution
  • Implement guidelines and operations for effectively managing social media
  • Get started by “listening before talking”
  • Integrate social media into long-term marketing programs, short-term campaigns, and brand initiatives
  • Use social media to deliver real-time, optimized customer support
  • Leverage mobility and the “on-the-fly” social media culture
  • Measure FRY (Frequency, Reach, and Yield)”

3. Interactive Project Management Pixels, People, and Process by Nancy Lyons @nylons and Meghan Wilker @irishgirl of Clockwork Active Media

“As an industry, interactive is different. The work entails elements of software development, marketing, and advertising, yet it’s neither purely technical nor traditional “agency” work. Delivery methods are different, and because the industry is relatively new, the gap in understanding between the clients buying the work and the teams building it is often wide. Enter the geek girls guide. Nancy Lyons and Meghan Wilker don’t just tell you how to deliver digital work, they demonstrate how to think about it.

Interactive Project Management: Pixels, People, and Process helps clients, agencies, and industry professionals better understand the critical role of interactive project management, and presents a collaborative, people-focused approach to delivering high-quality digital work.”

 

4. The Power of Unpopular by Erika Napoletano @readheadwriting of RedHeadWriting.com

ErikaNapoletano.com

“Every successful brand in history is inherently unpopular with a specific demographic. Somewhere along the way, people felt they had to be popular in order to be successful, when in fact, the opposite is true. The brands playing in the space you want to dominate have already figured out the inherent power of being unpopular. In The Power of Unpopular, you’ll discover the difference between flash-in-the-pan brand tactics and those designed to place you miles above the competition.

  • Brand Personality: What’s yours? Explore the importance of taking a stand and why brands become road kill without a distinct personality.
  • Community: It’s the number one thing that unpopular brands have figured out—learn how to build yours.
  • Brand Advocacy: It knows no scale and your fans don’t care how big you are. A guide for businesses on the proper care and feeding of their biggest asset.”

I have had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know Olivier, Nancy, and Meghan over the years. I know one of these days Erika and I will meet IP (In Person, looking forward to that!!!). Jason and I have only occasionally tweeted back and forth.  So there are my disclosures. In no way was I paid or asked to write this post. I just sharing great people with other great people I know!

 


Opt-In checkbox is not 2-way, but it can be!

Currently we have this thing about customers opting in or opting out.   If they opt out most companies pine over how can we get them to opt in and continually push market in a shot gun fashion around them hoping someone will forward it to them…..costly.

On the other side you have the people that opt in and what do businesses turn around and do, push market the hell out of these customers. No analysis done around who should get what message, when, why and then the customer gets the dreaded noreply@ email address in the From: so you cannot communicate your frustration with said business……ummm costly and annoying.

So how does the opt in become a two way form of communication between businesses and customers. Data, yes the sexy ever glamorous darling of the businesses, Data. Yeah right who I kidding data is not sexy, but it sure is useful! What businesses need to do is partner with their customer around data.  The customer has the ability to proactively collect a lot of information about themselves now and the data the business collect about the customer has holes in it to be affective. Typically most businesses have cookies, email address and minimum information about connecting the exact purchases done by their customers.

With so many customers collecting, storing, analyzing, and utilizing their data to make personal business decisions, like where I buy, how much can I spend, and how much I have spent. On the flip side businesses are collecting, storing, and analyzing the data they are collecting with one two pieces or really three pieces of demographic data missing First Name, Last Name, and email address tied to purchasing actions.  Missing the actual person and who they are leaves gaping holes in analyzing to take the correct actions.   Being able to line the data profile the customer is building and data profile based on a Cookie ID can lead to a powerful conversation, trust relationship and actual deepening the selling and buying between the two.

Enter a company like Buyosphere! They are allowing customers to store and maintain all the purchases they make based on the receipts they can obtain online and eventually the receipts they receive offline, then get them to their online profile. This purchasing information is the start of the two opt-in of sharing information between businesses and customers. With the customers currating and storing their purchasing data and most businesses wanting to know their First Name, Last Name and email address on those purchases, why not have conversations about sharing this  information with each other. Businesses that are in a more brick and mortar setting need to find ways to get this purchase information to their customers!  Plus we can save a whole lot of trees by not giving out paper receipts too…

Businesses need to invest in emailing receipts to the customer at the time of purchase, giving them a way to enter a code online to get the electronic receipt once they get online, start putting QR codes on the receipt, or maybe bumping phone to POS to get receipt record onto phone (keep in mind this only covers 30% of customers with smartphones).

What this allows the customer to do is curate their purchases and share the data socially or privately with the businesses they are demonstrating purchasing power with said business. This is the start of the 2-way Opt-In partnership around purchasing power using the opt-in as the contract, the handshake, the trust. The businesses offering these types of services and two way opt-in relationships will be able to increase marketshare, service customers based on mutual respect based on buying and selling, and keep the customers you have long term. In business keeping the ones you have is waaaaaay cheaper than always trying to acquire new.  I do believe if the customer felt a little more in control of this opting-in action they would probably be more willing to opt-in!  I know I would!

Now the flip side of this 2-way Opt-In relationships are the businesses and needing to earn the trust with this Customer information and not get all up in their customer’s grillz with their Pushy MCPusherton marketing and advertising.  They have to allow the relationship to build and grow.  With always checking in after sending your Customers information, like “How did that feel, was it pushy?” or “Did we hit the mark based on your activity?” This will gain trust and loyalty like nothing before.  Image the cost reductions of trying to acquire new costumers and increasing the spend by already existing customer.  Just remember this is earned in the long term and screwed up in an instant. Gut feeling is most businesses would have more fun interacting with their Customers too.  Employees would have more satisfaction about a job well done or finding new ways to strengthens the relationship with their Customers.  I see productivity gains and reducing talent turning over, which is reduction of  expenses.  When you make you company fun with happy Customers and happy employees really cool things can happen!

So go forth and build and synthesize your data businesses and customers, the economy will thank you!  “In the form of a wholly logical data model, in the form of a buying river!”


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