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8 must-reads on growth: best of the year

by Randall Craig on January 8, 2016

Filed in: Blog, Make It Happen Tipsheet, Marketing, Sales

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Benjamin Franklin said that there were only two things certain in life: death and taxes.  But at the end of the year if you watch TV news, read magazines, or read a newspaper, you know that there is also a third certainty: the end-of-year retrospective.  In the case of the Make It Happen Tipsheet, a retrospective is less useful than answering this question: of the 52 Tipsheets this past year, which ones could make the biggest difference?

The following 2015 must-reads all focus on growth:

  1. Building Your Marketing Stack: An alternative approach to campaign-thinking.
  2. Unpacking Relationship Marketing:   Reviews the 4 Rs: Recruitment, Retention, Referral, and Recovery.
  3. Nurture Marketing: No or “Not Yet”:  Most marketers think only in terms of websites, social media, or broadcast emails.  This Tipsheet explores Nurture Marketing – a key component of marketing automation.
  4. Big Data and Lead Scores: Explores the concept of Lead Scoring to surface changes in engagement.
  5. Building Downstream Capacity:  How to empower stakeholders “downstream”, so they can more effectively share your message.
  6. Monetizing IP: Online Learning:  Monetizing your organization’s intellectual property (or at least exposing its value) is far easier now than just a few years ago.  This tipsheet demystifies the how.
  7. Insight: How not to sell:  Six insights on how organizations shoot themselves in the foot when it comes to making the sale.
  8. Marketing Beyond Commitment with the Relationship Chain (bonus from 2014):  Explores how to grow a relationship after the initial sale.

This week’s action plan:  Yes, do read these short articles, but successful growth is usually a team sport.  This week, share this Tipsheet – or the most relevant links – with your team.

Trivia tidbit:  The Benjamin Franklin quote is very similar to one by author Christopher Bullock in the Cobler of Preston (1716), who said “Tis impossible to be sure of any thing but Death and Taxes”.

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

Randall Craig

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


What have been the most transformational marketing innovations in society?  TV and Direct mail/database marketing rank up there.  Email, the web, and social media also do.  And so does mobile – but why?

It is too easy to think of mobile as nothing more than a small screen.  Web designers and developers work hard to ensure that their sites are responsive – a web design that automatically reformats itself for the desktop, tablet, or cell phone screen.  And then the effort stops.

Mobile is unique not because of the screen size, but because it keys into two critical marketing triggers: location and urgency. Yes, it is true that a flyer outside a retailer’s shop meets these criteria, but the flyer is a one-way broadcast. There is no interaction, there is no user identification and there is no tracking.  And because of this, there is no “big data” that can later be mined to encourage a later transaction.

While the possibilities for mobile marketing range from text, to location-based emails, to location-based social sharing, to who-knows-what, there are several principles that are critical for mobile marketing using the web, whether it is a mobile app, or a mobile-responsive website:

1) The principle of location Because a user is only using the mobile when they are either looking for something, or they have already arrived, the device needs to take this into account.  Directions “from here”, the local location’s phone number, the currency, local spellings, and local-only deals should be front-and-center.

2) The principle of just-in-time:  If someone is checking their smart phone, it is likely because they are in the midst of a specific customer journey.  Yet once they leave the location, the likelihood of them transacting quickly diminishes.  Time-bound deals and up-to-the-minute dynamic content are urgency triggers, and a powerful call to action.

3) The principle of simplicity:  Most mobile sites have the exact content as the main site, but accessed through a revised navigational structure.  It is far less likely that a user will use their smartphone to drill into the depths of your site to read several pages online.  Strip away the less relevant, and give the user what they need up front: drive them to action.  If the site is 80% less complex, you’ll have that much more activity.

This week’s action plan:  Take a look at your website, but do it from your smartphone.  Does it take into account your geographic location?  The principle of Just-in-time?  Simplicity? If not, perhaps you should build a new mobile site… into this year’s marketing plan.

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

Randall Craig

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


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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Networking Three-Step

by Randall Craig June 5, 2007

Networking is probably the most important skill you can learn. It can help you find a job, get promoted, sell more stuff – and even find your spouse. Yet this key skill usually isn’t even taught in school. At its core, networking is actually very simple: it is the process of developing new relationships and […]

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Knowledge to Action

by Randall Craig March 27, 2007

When was the last time you read a good book? Or rather, when was the last time you read a good book that was good for you? No, not a trash novel, or even one that is mildly entertaining. What is a good book? It is one that moves you one step closer to your […]

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Plant a seed and something will grow

by Randall Craig December 26, 2006

If you are reading this on the day that it is published, then I have a secret to share with you. I came up with the idea for today’s tipsheet last month. Then, about two weeks before “today”, I wrote the Tip. I edited it the next week. And then I used a nifty feature […]

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Experience Life

by Randall Craig August 1, 2006

During the last several weeks, I have been touring China, with stops in Xiamen, Shanghai, Beijing, and Hong Kong (amongst others). At the very beginning, it was easiest to stay with the guide. They helped with everything: guiding, translating, negotiating, and dealing with all of the problems along the way. One evening, I decided to […]

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