Make It Happen
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Research

You invest in events, send out emails, educate, and send invoices.  But how well do you really know your target audience?  

Beyond the basic demographics, perhaps not as well as you might think.  Do you capture the answers to these questions?

  1. If asked to describe your organization to a third party, do you know what they would say?
  2. If asked to describe your service quality, do you know how they would respond?
  3. Do they view you as strategic, or merely a ‘vendor’ that they must grudgingly pay? 
  4. Are they open to using more of your services, or do they see you only in the narrow context of your current interactions?
  5. Do they know how important referrals are to you?
  6. Connection frequency:  Do you know specifically how often they may wish to hear from you personally over the phone?  Or via email?  Or in person?
  7. Media format: Do they prefer to read what you write, listen to what you say, or watch you on video?
  8. Broadcast Frequency: Do they prefer a weekly newsletter, a monthly one, or perhaps none at all?
  9. Time:  Do they prefer long-form content (books or white papers), shorter articles, or perhaps just 140 character snippets?
  10. Do they want to receive information about your professional development events, industry news, or immediately-relevant action items (or all)?

Too often, we make assumptions about our target audiences: that everyone thinks the same, that they have identical needs, and that they can be served in the same way.  What else explains the ubiquity of the monthly newsletter?   (Does everyone really prefer to read about us monthly?)  Or what explains social media community management that quits at 5pm?  (Does every target user really stop using social media at 5pm? The opposite is true.) 

The truth is that each person or organization typically thinks of themselves as unique: they have a unique history, unique strategy, and unique culture.  

For those that you know well, answering these ten questions is not that hard.  But for newer relationships, it is almost impossible.  The only thing that you know is that (for example) some may be attracted to a daily tipsheet, a weekly newsletter, a monthly newsletter, a short YouTube clip, or one of the other many formats of communication.  And that if you don’t have what they need in the format or frequency they prefer, they will likely give you pass. 

This week’s action plan:  Just because you have always done something one particular way, doesn’t automatically mean that it suits your target audiences today.  Capture the answer to these questions in your database, and then use the data to plan how to deliver what they want. (Hint:  Marketing Automation and Content strategy is the only way to make this happen efficiently.)

Note: The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to www.RandallCraig.com to register.

Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)
www.RandallCraig.com
:  Professional credentials site
www.108ideaspace
.com: Web strategy, technology, and development
www.ProfessionallySpeakingTV.com
:  Interviews with the nation’s thought-leaders

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When you write, does everything that you put down on paper deliver exceptional value? Or is there a certain amount of low-value filler that invades your communications?

There are three strategies that can significantly upgrade your value in the eyes of your audience:

  1. Target: right audience – right message: What is high value to one group holds no (or low) value for others. Either your message must be customized precisely for your audience, or you must find the precise audience for your message.
  2. Audition: Every sentence must deliver value, or it should be cut. Low value sentences (and words) get in the way of high-value ones, and reduce the impact dramatically.
  3. Edit: There are many ways to say the same thing. So how do you know the first thing you write down is the “best” the way of communicating it? (It won’t be.) Editing not only sharpens your ideas, but gives you the chance to sharpen how you deliver them.

This week’s action plan: Target-Audition-Edit doesn’t just work for what you write. This week, use this approach as you prep for your next presentation. And to maximize your impact, add one more element: rehearsal. No audience is satisfied with empty calories.

Tipsheet postscript: I use this approach for these tipsheets, my books and for my keynote speeches. Increasing your value per word strengthens your brand; delivering fluff destroys it.

Note: The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to www.RandallCraig.com to register.

Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)
www.RandallCraig.com
:  Professional credentials site
www.108ideaspace
.com: Web strategy, technology, and development
www.ProfessionallySpeakingTV.com
:  Interviews with the nation’s thought-leaders

 

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Does it (Google) Translate?

by Randall Craig July 11, 2014

If you are reading this, the chances are very high that you understand English. But what if you didn’t? What if your target audience didn’t? Or what if your target audience did understand, but felt more comfortable in their own mother tongue? The obvious solution: translate your content. The not-so-obvious question is how. There are […]

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Blogging at the Intersection of Relevance

by Randall Craig May 9, 2014

How often do you read a blog post that was just not relevant?  Or from the blog writer’s perspective, how do you make sure that your content is relevant, makes a difference, and achieves its objectives? At a high level, there are three key steps that need to take place: Define the audience.  Who are […]

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Looking for growth: Back to basics

by Randall Craig April 4, 2014

Looking to grow your organization?  If so, a key question is this:  Where are all of the “new” zipcodes?  The ones that live in different sectors and geographies?  The ones who come from different cultural backgrounds and different generations?  The first-time bums in seats? One thing is for sure:  these completely new prospects are not […]

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When Market Research is insufficient… or ill-advised

by Randall Craig March 14, 2014

Yes, we do market research.  In fact, each year we (108 ideaspace and Bramm Research) have done industry benchmarking and best practices research in the area of Social Media.  So it might be surprising to read a post about when – and why – market research should not be done. At its core, the rationale […]

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Cut Marketing Costs? Mission Possible

by Randall Craig December 6, 2013

Most entrepreneurs have a secret that most larger organizations have sadly forgotten:  Cut your costs and you’ll make more money.   And in no other area is this more true than in the area of marketing.  Why is this? 1) Momentum of the past:  If traditional advertising and promotion have always worked, then doing more of […]

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Web Sleuthing and Competitive Archeology

by Randall Craig November 17, 2013

What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas – and what happens on the web, stays there forever.  Yet even when files are deleted from the server (which they often are not) the content is always available, if only you know where to look. Before answering the questions of how and where, consider the question why: […]

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Insight: Omni-channel experience

by Randall Craig June 28, 2013

How often do you research a product online, and then purchase it at the store?  Or, check out the product at the store, and then use the internet to make the purchase?  If so, you’re not alone. These newer consumer behaviors are both the new reality for retailers – and a special challenge.  It even […]

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Being Real

by Randall Craig May 13, 2013

What’s your reaction when you read a company newsletter, instruction manual, or other corporate communication?  You probably think it sounds plastic, anti-septic, and homogenized.  If so, you’re like most people – they see corporate-speak as fake, and they can sniff it a mile away. The best communicators have always known that effective writing connects at […]

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Marketing Insight: Improving Web ROI

by Randall Craig April 25, 2013

Does this sound familiar?  You have a website (or two), a marketing budget, and more than likely, a desire to grow.  It doesn’t matter if growth is defined as more event registrations, newsletter sign-ups, leads, or transactions – the problem is that too often, a web initiative doesn’t always pull its weight. There are four […]

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Content Marketing and Thought Leadership

by Randall Craig February 15, 2013

One of the most important – and one of the newest – elements of a modern marketing strategy is Content Marketing.  The idea is that if your “content” is everywhere, then would-be clients would be easily attracted to you. Unfortunately, many marketers miss a crucial aspect of this: that the content must be valuable in […]

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Social (Support) Networks

by Randall Craig March 23, 2010

What happens when you are stumped? In the “olden days” of just 3-4 years ago, you would apply time to the problem, researching different alternatives until you had a viable solution. If you were more clever, you’d reach out to your network – working the phone and email until you found someone who could help. […]

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Data, Information, Intelligence

by Randall Craig November 21, 2006

How many hours have you spent trolling through the internet, doing “research” on a particular company or industry? Many people spend too much time on research, and put off making a decision or acting on it. The reason? Most people are averse to risk. We rationalize that with more information, there is a lower risk […]

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