As we get into the Fall with thoughts of cool weather, warm gatherings and celebrations, my wife, Kim, encouraged me yesterday by telling me a story about the Pilgrims I never knew. After their 10-year failed experiment in Holland, they set off for the New World, and, as many know, had to become indentured to pay their way.
But just as they were about to set sail, the Pilgrim negotiating the terms didn't do such a good job, and they were changed in the investors' favor such that, after the servitude ended, the Pilgrims would no longer be able to keep their homes. Instead, they were to sell their homes and land and send half the proceeds back to the investors.
They didn't agree with that, but the ship was leaving, winter was coming, and many had already quit their jobs and sold their possessions, so there they were on a rocking boat trying to write a super-persuasive document in the hopes that a returning ship they might pass would be able to courier it back to the investors and change their minds. We think of last-minute business transactions by faith as a modern problem, but they are actually steeped in centuries of tradition.
(Image credit: Robert Walter Weir, Embarkation of the Pilgrims, 1857 painting, Brooklyn Museum, https://no.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fil:Robert_Walter_Weir_-_Embarkation_of_the_Pilgrims_-_Google_Art_Project.jpg)
Thanks to BornesPro Media today for their invitation to come on to the Tip Couch and provide a tip. As usual, my action-packed answer was going to keep going and going, so I had to trim it down, but for those who want the full answer, I thought I could blog the rest....
A question I often get asked with regard to marketing is “How do you know where to start?”
Unfortunately, a lot of businesses start by launching whatever program is sold to them by the most convincing salesperson who walks through their door, but that’s not always wise. A better idea is to have a marketing plan with clearly defined goals and metrics as well as a budget of time and money. That may sound daunting, but it doesn’t have to be, and it's really the first step to getting your marketing in control and actually working for you.
(Image Credit: Pixabay, rawpixel, https://pixabay.com/en/document-paper-business-chart-3268750/)
Don’t think of a “Marketing Plan” as some great tome that will test your worthiness over months of grueling research and impossible rewrites. Think of it, instead, in bite-sized chunks, starting with budget. What funds do you feel comfortable spending to message your customers and prospects? A good rule of thumb is 5% of your gross revenue.
But your time matters, too. The more time you spend, the less money you need, and the reverse is true as well. Whatever time you have for marketing – an hour a week, five hours a day or anything in between – hold yourself accountable to that time and measure the results you get from it.
Once you have your budget, develop a conversion-tracking spreadsheet to track your spending vs. your results on each channel. Then create your message points and list the steps needed to develop each channel in a Work Plan. Your budget, conversion-tracking Spreadsheet, message points and work plan are the 4 main building blocks of your marketing and what that can keep your spending in line while you test different messages across different channels. That's the best way to get started.
Tumblr is a great tool because it's so fast and easy to use. It's got less flexibility than, say, Wordpress, but sometimes that's a good thing, like when you're live-blogging and you just want to insert a picture quickly, without fumbling through lots of options. I use live-blogging as a way to take notes when I attend events. I used to come home with a lot of paper notes that never got processed. They didn't even help me, let alone anyone else, but live-blogging makes insights available to whoever might need them, like a tweetcast, but with more detail.
If you want to see my marketing blogs from a few years back -- including those of great speakers like those presenting at South By Southwest and many ASAE conferences, just check out Adventures in Marketing, or if there's a marketing topic you're curious about, I've probably written on it, so just ask and I'll send you what I find in the archives!
See my marketing posts for my other company, NSI Partners, for about five dozen posts chronicling the last 10+ years of online marketing, from the early days of search to the evolution of bots.
Search the archives for how all the important trends came about or take a walk down marketing memory lane!
As Director of the Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center (OTC), Aron McGuire knows what it takes to go for the gold. Between overseeing a staff who manage operations and facilities to the food and nutrition services at the USOC’s flagship training center, McGuire knows it’s critical to set the pace for elite competitors to train successfully.
Bobsledding World Cup Competitor and former member of the USA National Bobsled Team, Senior Director Aron McGuire (@aronmcguire) spoke at the Colorado Springs Chamber Connect lunch to discuss the goals and activities of the OTC, emphasizing the importance of shaving a fraction of a second off an athlete's time. A lot of resources at the OTC go into improving an athletes performance by a split second, because that may be the difference between Gold and Silver or medaling and not medaling.
The OTC chips away at these fractions of a second through Sports Science, Strength and Conditioning, Housing, Dining, Coaching, Training Facilities and Sports Medicine. The OTC can house up to 500 athletes, with many training in their hometown and visiting Colorado Springs several times per year or, collectively making about 10,000 athlete visits per year. By recruiting top experts in coaching, nutrition, sports medicine, psychology (even grief counseling when an athletic career is suddenly truncated by an injury), physiology and bringing them together in a cutting-edge facility, the OTC supports athletes in all respects.
For example, in the Teaching Kitchen, the OTC educates athletes on nutrition to prepare them for international travel, while providing team building. In the High Altitude Training Center, equipment can measure sweat rate and composition, core body temperature, heart rate, foot-strike frequency, biomechanics and psychological perception of effort. It also brings athletes together in a unique place where each can learn from others' experiences. For instance, Olympic Fencer Jimmy Moody was surprised when Olympic Bobsledder Curt Tomasevicz was able to do the unexpected and immediately score two points, despite being a fencing novice.
Perplexed at first, the renowned fencer regathered himself and won the scrimmage, but reasoned that the bobsledder's initial success came from consistent training in the explosive power starts needed for high-speed bobsled racing and realized that he could learn from this as well. No one would have thought to pair a bobsledder with a fencer, but the two continue to train together with impressive results.
Another role of the OTC, in the midst of Olympic City, USA, is to keep the spirit of the Olympics alive and thriving in the off-season, the many months between Olympic headlines when the next Games seem far off. A recent initiative was the creation of special NBC Sports program called Scouting Camp: The Next Olympic Hopeful which chronicles rising stars on their journey to qualify for the Olympics. The first episode was was a hit despite its late Friday night scheduling, so a new episode is now headed into production for a prime-time debut.
Aron concluded his talk with a summary of Team USA's performance at the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympic Winter Games in which the USA finished fourth behind Norway, Germany and Canada and first in the Pyeongchang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games. In both Games, Team USA scored a number of firsts, and its determination was illustrated best in a stirring highlights reel McGuire played for the Chamber event.
Kent Fortune (@USAA), the Chamber & EDC’s 2017 Business Citizen of the Year, defined culture as the glue or fabric of your organization and "the jaws of culture" as what "eats organization for breakfast." Employees will watch and mimic what you do, say and wear. He required his leadership team to wear shorts for one day in order to make the dress-code change already instituted but not observed actually put into effect.
However, Kent remarks that "culture is tough to change." If senior leaders don't change, the culture won't change. In today's world where the unemployment rate is really low, you need to adopt a compelling culture to attract top talent. He outlined key points needed to create a compelling culture:
Tom McClintock is the owner and founder of Relationship Martech.