Tuesday, January 31, 2012

How to make online marketing work

So you have a website. Is it working? How do you know?
I feel like these are conversations I keep having (as you can tell from previous posts) and it is something that business owners need to keep in mind.

With that said, this may also be one of the toughest parts for a small business owner to stay on top of - measuring the success of your marketing campaigns.

What am I getting at?


The sweet science that allows you to find out what the value of your campaigns (website, social media, email, search...) and if you are reaching your goals. With tools such as Google Analytics available, there no reason why you should not know what is going on out there for your business "on the internets".

Moving along that thought path, let's talk about what analytics are: the measurements of your marketing activities that offer insights into goals and opportunities. But to get this information will take time and knowledge, which makes this a great time for you because you can A) spend time researching and learn how to set goals and complete deep dives to find the opportunities you are missing out on; B) hire consultants at reasonable fees that can give you excellent insights into your marketing and help you lay out plans to improve and grow.

We will get further into this subject in the very near future, but for now I just want to get you thinking so we can set up a plan of attack.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

May was a big month!

Wow, long time, no post, and a lot has happened! May consisted of a kitchen remodel, finishing my MBA, and competing in my second bodybuilding show. And now in June, summer finally came to MN!
It feels good to finally finish the MBA program, 5 long years at St. Thomas getting it done. And in celebration, I am enjoying a Surly Bender, made right here in MN. I think that is part of what makes living through MN winters tolerable: I really love supporting the local businesses, and summers here are fantastic.
With my newfound time, I hope to post more often as well. I didn't post during Google's Panda update, I haven't had the chance to update my website, I let my Twitter account go silent, pretty much everything you should NOT do.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Morning Routine

So, this is just some curiosity from me. I want to hear from everyone what podcasts you listen to while reading the news in the morning, on your commute to the office etc.

I have a long list of shows that I listen to, but am always on the lookout for new ones. So on the bus while I catch up on Wired, SEOmoz, and Fast Company, I listen to Adam Carolla, Larry Miller, Stuff You Should Know, Remember When, or any number of other shows.

So what do you listen to?

Here is a shot of what my podcast list looks like today:

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I want my G-TV

Kind of funny that there has been a lot of talk this week about streaming media, most notably Google TV.

Part of the reason I find this so interesting is that Google TV was the focus of the mid-term exam for Consumer Behavior class this week. Some of my take-aways from digging into this are below.

As a disclaimer, I canceled cable about a year and half or so ago, once Netflix started streaming through the PS3. I have a PS3 and Wii that we stream Netflix to, and I have a VGA to HDMI cable that I use to hook up my MacBook Pro to my television as well, so we have been streaming for quite some time, and we all love it, not missing cable at all to this point. I guess that makes me a prime candidate for one of these boxes...we'll have to see.

Market Segmentation & Relationship Marketing
Google will have to very specifically define their marketing segments, as they will evolve and grow through the product lifestyle. Each of these segments will also need different relationship marketing needs.

The initial release of Google-TV will face much of the same problems that Apple TV and MS Media Centers have: penetrating past early-adoption techies into the general population. As they break the population down into segments, a relationship plan will have to be developed to meet the needs of each group. Current Netflix subscribers will need different information than a customer who only has a cable and Internet subscription. A potential customer who already streams Netflix through their PS3 is going to have different prejudices and perspectives than either of the previously mentioned segments.

Google does have some experience in selling their software in third party hardware when they sold the Nexus One early in 2010. The difference here, however, will be that Google will not own the sales channel for Google-TV. This is a very important variable in Google’s relationship with their customers, especially with the high involvement of the research and decision making process.

This will also be a change for consumers who have grown accustomed to Google’s free products: Gmail, Analytics, Voice, Search, YouTube, documents, and Blogspot. In order for customers to get the full benefit of Google-TV they will have to have subscriptions to other services such as Hulu, Netflix, and HBO. If not managed correctly, customers could feel that Google is not delivering on the bill of goods sold to them, and could change consumer’s view of all Google products.

So much of Google-TV’s perceived value and success is dependant on the relationships they have developed, have lost, and are working on with their vendors. These partnerships are of vital importance to Google, because without them the Google-TV software is a complete failure.

Among the most dangerous of these partnerships are cable/broadband providers. This relationship has already drawn a major strike against Google-TV, as CBS, ABC, and NBC have already begun blocking Google-TV from accessing full-length episodes through their sites. If the most popular sites block Google due to worries about how it affects the revenue generation abilities of those companies, Google-TV loses value quickly. Along with sites being blocked, consumers will have to make decisions on paying for subscriptions to other partners such as Netflix and Hulu, and if they find value in adding these services to current cable subscriptions (or if they will feel they have to choose between Google-TV and its premium services or current cable television packages).

We still have not touched on how these partnerships also come with their own brand reputations, which will also affect consumers’ decisions on weather to purchase these extra hardware pieces to access Google-TV. For starters, Logitech and Sony are both well-known brands in the electronics marketplace. In Sony’s case, they also make PCs that connect to the Internet, and possibly more importantly, make the PS3. The PS3 also has Netflix capabilities, plays Blu-ray DVDs, and connects to the Playstation Network for streaming video capabilities.

All of these partnerships will also play into the segmentation of the market. With the added ability to segment the market based on these relationships, it also means that there are many data points from multiple sources for consumers to decipher that Google has no control over. This is an aspect that Apple has been able to use to their benefit over the last decade: they control the hardware, software, and distribution channels. The multiple data points can also give the consumer more perceived risks about the Google-TV products.

With the way that Google’s partnerships and relationship marketing influence the segmentation of the market, I would encourage those to be the first aspect to concentrate on when marketing Google-TV in a competitive and potentially volatile marketplace. The lack of knowledge and experience that the general population has about these types of products, the learning curve could be step and will require high involvement form customers, Google, and their partners.

Customers are making more than just a decision to by a piece of hardware to watch Internet video. They are giving up space in their entertainment centers, and HDMI connection to their televisions, spending another $300, plus possibly more in premium services, and may even be deciding whether or not to continue to subscribe to cable or satellite services. Google cannot afford to approach this as a beta the way they did with the Nexus One. Internet providers are not in need of video hardware and software options to gain an edge in the market they way mobile network providers needed options to take on AT&T and the incredibly popular iPhone with the Android operating system. If Google-TV and Apple TV (for examples) fail, consumers may feel that they are at the mercy of cable and satellite providers and that Google cannot back up the promises they make to their customers.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

When do customers "appear" to become less important?

In my Consumer Behavior class Tuesday night we discussed what companies do, or seem to do, that makes customers less important. I really like looking at customer relations from this angle. We so often concentrate specifically on what we say we are giving our customers, not what we may not be giving our customers.

This opens up the thought process in analyzing your business. Do your customers feel important. Do your actions (marketing, networking, advertising, customer service) make your customers feel important? Are you sure?

Are your customers trying to tell you something? There may be something your customers are trying to tell you they want, and the when you don't have a response (changes/add-ons to products, new products) you send the message to them that you do not value your relationship with them.

As so much does not, it goes back to taking part of the conversation with your customers. Open up the dialog, and listen closely to what they are saying about you, and especially what they are saying to you.

Monday, August 23, 2010


We have now launched NMc Interactive Marketing! NMc Interactive Marketing's goal is to help small businesses market themselves like a large corporation. We feel small businesses are what make our country great, and we want to help them succeed.

One of the most difficult aspects of running a small company is devoting the time and energy to marketing. That's why it's our passion. We take care of all of the marketing or give the helping hand needed so that you, as a business owner and/or manager, can focus on the day-to-day operations or take full advantage of the time away from the office.

Since most of my favorite places to eat and shop are small businesses, I want them to stick around, and that is why I started NMc Interactive Marketing.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

New Websites

So I am working on new site for myself, so this should be interesting. I am going to use iWeb to design the site, mostly just because it is a tool that I haven't played with that much, and I want to see what it can do. Secondly, I want to see how optimizing it goes. It looks like there are a few tools out there that can help, and it will be a completley new site, domain, everything, so traffic and rankings out of the gate will be interesting.

I will also be working on some marketing tactics for my daughter's swim club, The Richfield Piranhas. It will include the current site, and social media, and event planning. I will update that here as we go along through the end of the summer and into the beginning of the fall season.