App, App and Away – Is your Company Ready for the Mobile Revolution?

The mobile Web’s walk is quickly catching up with its talk.  In fact, according to Morgan Stanley ( “Based on the current rate of change and adoption, the mobile web will be bigger than desktop Internet use by 2015”.  This has profound implications for how companies will plan and execute their Web marketing strategies into the future.

Over the last few years, we have worked with numerous clients on developing different types of content that reach their existing customers  and prospects, wherever they are and on whatever device they choose to use.  We’ve been big advocates of developing podcasts (audio content) as we discovered that many decisions-makers (B2B) and consumers (B2C) prefer to have multiple options when consuming content.  This rationale  is even more powerful in the mobile Web.  Today, people use smart phones and devices to do much more than send and receive email. As these devices become more pervasive, they are actually assuming the same status as desktops and notebooks – enabling people to view videos, surf the Web, read e-books, listen to audio content and more. As this trend accelerates, you will increasingly need to make your content available on mobile devices – not just to be seen and heard, but to ensure that the fast-growing number of mobile surfers even bother visiting or searching your Web site at all.

Here’s a real life example from one of our clients. Marsden Group is a well-regarded legal recruiter with a number of offices around the world.  We recently helped them develop a Web-based search engine for their site that lists the current law jobs they have available.  Once this engine was completed and received great feedback from their audience, they decided to take the next step and make it available on the iPhone.  The decision was driven by two factors.  From a client perspective (firms that are seeking talented lawyers), creating a mobile app ensured that the job opportunity drew a greater pool of talent – namely, the explosive growing number of iPhone users, particularly among the ranks of legal professionals.  Second, from  a candidate’s perspective, a mobile app delivers the convenience of being able to search for the next step in their career, anytime, anywhere, without being tied to their computer or notebook.  You can find the free app here –

Mobile apps are no longer simply a luxury; they are quickly becoming an essential tool for business.  If you want to make sure you reach your audience where it spends its time, the mobile Web can no longer be ignored.

Social influence – Do you have any? Does your company? Does your Boss?

While many of our  clients are starting to leverage the power of social media for their companies, some are further down the path then others.  The ultimate test for effective use of social media is whether it influences opinion, propels action and engages the intended  audience.  The question then becomes: can you measure social influence? The answer is yes and it’s called the Klout Score (, defined as the “measurement of your online influence.  The scores range from 1 to 100 with higher scores representing a wider and stronger sphere of influence. Klout uses over 35 variables on Facebook and Twitter to measure True Reach, Amplification Probability, and Network Score.  The final Klout Score is a representation of how successful a person is at engaging their audience and how big of an impact their messages have on people.”  When you go to, enter you organization’s name, your name,or your CEO’s name in the box provided and get your score.

Check out these “5 lessons from business leaders on social media marketing” –

Faster Web Sites = Improved Profits

Last week I had the pleasure of speaking with Alistair Croll, a leading Web Performance expert.  Alistair is the founder of Bitcurrent; an executive at CloudOps; a partner with start-up incubator Year One Labs; and an advisor to various technology venture firms. He was previously a co-founder of Web performance management firm Coradiant.  The one point that jumped out at me during the interview was that the speed with which a Web page loads into a user’s browser has a direct correlation on Web site’s performance, regardless of the industry which it serves.

Listen to the podcast here –

Expected Changes in B2B Marketing Budgets for 2011

An excellent survey from the smart folks at Marketing Sherpa.  Here is their summary and survey results:

SUMMARY: We asked more than 900 B2B marketers how they expected their marketing budgets to change for 2011. Learn which marketing tactics are receiving an increased level of investment, and which are not in this week’s chart, including social media, email marketing, direct mail and more. Click on the image for a better view.

Flip the Funnel – What if all of your company’s marketing is completely backwards?

I often discuss books with our clients and business partners that I think can have a major positive impact on their businesses.  One title which has consistently been on the list for the last couple years is Joe Jaffe’s “Join the Conversation”.  His most recent book, “ Flip the Funnel”,  is equally powerful.    The assumption in this book is  that many traditional marketing approaches are getting it all wrong.  In other words,  the focus has been on customer Acquisition as opposed to customer Retention; on the fat side of the funnel, as opposed to the skinny one.

Jaffe passionately argues , and backs it  up with statistics, that investing in existing relationships is far more profitable than devoting the bulk of your budget to acquiring new customers.   “Retention is the new Acquisition”.

I know what you’re thinking – how can I possibly find the time to read another book?  Fear not,  we’ll do that for you, and more.  Below you will find a link to a video where Jaffe himself gives an overview of the book.

Length of the video – 4 minutes and 33 seconds.   The impact it will have on your bottom line – Priceless.

Here is the link to the video

Here is the link to the book –

Your Company Sucks

Just kidding. You know we love our clients. But someone, somewhere on the vast network we call the Internet, may be saying this about your company.  The better known your brand and your products, the greater the chance that someone is taking a pot shot at you.  The issue is not whether the criticism is justified but how quickly you find out about, and respond to, it.  The difference in finding out within hours as opposed to days or weeks can be measured in millions of dollars and, once in a while, can even become a matter of survival.

If your company was “slammed” for no good reason, you can set the record straight.  If the criticism is justified, you can fix it quickly and win points for your lightening-speed response and exemplary customer service — a perfect opportunity to make lemonade from the lemons you’ve been handed.

So how do we find out as soon as possible? By using a set of tools readily available online. We’ve covered some of these before, but they are worth mentioning again:

1. Google Alerts —  A content monitoring service, offered by the search engine company Google, that automatically notifies users when new content from news, web, blogs, video and/or discussion groups matches a set of search terms selected by the user.  The service is free with a Google account and is easy to set up.  The key is to set up alerts for numerous terms, including product names, as well as those of key executives.  I would even go as far as to suggest that one of your alert terms should be “your company name sucks”.  Most of our clients have been using Google Alerts for a while and we are working with them to gain even better leverage with this tool.

With Twitter growing by leaps and bounds on a daily basis, you absolutely have to monitor conversation in the Twitterverse.  Recent stats tell us that users currently generate 2 billion (that’s a “B”) per month.

I previously recommended in this space Tweet Beep ( which enables anyone to receive alerts by email whenever a specific word or phrase is tweeted on Twitter.  Here are a couple of other options for Twitter:

2.  Tweet Alarm –

3.  Tweet Alerts –  With this service, you have a number of options when it comes to notifications, including SMS.

To see the effectiveness of Twitter as a customer response and service tool, Comcast is the classic example. Read the these stories and you’ll become a believer:

Savvy online service can win back customers –

My @ComcastCares Customer Service Story –

If a blog falls in the forest does anybody hear?

With March break upon many of us, my mind is onto more metaphysical questions – thus the subject line.  What I am referring to here are metrics and measurement, a subject whose importance cannot be overemphasized.  One of my favourite business mentors taught me that “what you do not measure cannot be improved”.  It is a lesson that we constantly convey to our clients, as well as applying it internally.  When you consider that improving conversions from 2% to 3%, for example, can mean a 50% jump in revenue, you start to take it seriously. 

In the Web 1.0 world, there are numerous software measurement and metric packages that vary in sophistication and price.  The one you choose depends on your type of business and the metrics you look for.  In our business, and for clients, we use Google Analytics, as well as a serverbased package that acts as a check and balance, so to speak.  In my book, when considering data richness, ease of use, and price (free!), Google Analytics is unrivalled.

In the social media world, measurement and metric software is a fairly nascent space but it is developing rather quickly.  One option I have been testing and will deploy in a number of upcoming social media campaigns is Ubervu, which measures “conversation”, “reactions”, and a variety of other metrics in the social media universe.  Go to, input your company name in the “Search for Social Media Conversations” window, and click “Analyze”.

 At the end of the day, it’s the not the software you pick but the fact that you do it consistently and continuously adjust.  Remember: “you cannot improve that which you do not measure”.

This app is better than ice cream

Most of the apps on my iPhone were downloaded by my kids, so I don’t often use them (unless a meeting is really unproductive …).  There are, however, more and more business apps being released that have real value to corporate marketing efforts.  One of our clients’ greatest challenges is continuously producing fresh content for their Web site, intranets, blogs and other social media efforts.  Although more of them are starting to take advantage of the corporate blogging services we (and others) offer, the search for fresh content is constantly on.  

In the social media space, video has become an effective, engaging, and low cost form of content (read my blog on video blogging here).  One app that makes the creation and deployment of video content easy is iVideo. If you have a 3GS iPhone, you have video built in.  If you have a 3G iPhone, the iVideo app will turn it into video camera. The truly cool and powerful function in iVideo (whichever phone you use) is its ability to share video content with numerous social networking sites at the click of a button. Any video you shoot, be it at a trade show or product demo, can be immediately uploaded to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and other sites. All you need to do is click the share button, pick the social network of your choice, and in a matter of minutes your content is before a global audience.

The grand cost of iVideo Camera in the iPhone app store –  I picked it up for $0.99 (it’s not a typo). You can read more about it here: