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10 Lists of 10: Insights on Social Media, Product Marketing and More

May 27, 2013

Top 10 Lists on social media, product marketing and more

Introduction

Because “lists of 10” is a popular format on this blog, I decided to round up a “list of 10 covering the lists of 10.” Without further ado, I present you with my ten favorite lists of ten.

1) 10 Reasons Print Rules in The Digital Age

Call me old fashioned: this post provides ten reasons why I enjoy magazine subscriptions to The Economist and SI.

2) 10 Steps to Creating Blog Posts Your Readers Will Love

My ten step process for writing blog posts. Since this post is a compilation of past posts, I didn’t use the process this time.

3) 10 Reasons Texting Has Taken Over the World

10 reasons texting has taken over the world

Texting is not limited to the younger generation – in fact, texting is taking over the world.

4) Unable to Attend an Event? 10 Ways Twitter Fills the Gap

You simply can’t make it to all events. And when you can’t, turn to Twitter to fill the gap.

5) 10 Reasons Storytelling is The New Product Marketing

Storytelling is the new product marketing

Calling all product marketers: tell good stories.

6) 10 Reasons to Skip the Web Site in Favor of Twitter (When Researching a Company)

When I research a company, I find it more useful to skim through their home page, then jump directly to their Twitter profile.

7) Top 10 Tips for Social Media Time Management

How to manage your time on social media

Intimidated by the amount of time social media consumes? Check out this list of tips on social media time management.

8) The 10 Things Marketers Should Do When Starting a New Job

When Marketers start a new job, they should engage with Sales right away, among other things.

9) 10 Reasons Social Media Addicts Should Go Camping

Camping lets you take a break from social media

Want to get off the grid and disconnect from social media? Go camping.

10) 10 Reasons Product Managers and Event Managers are Kindred Spirits

How product managers and event managers are alike

This list argues that documents how: product managers and event managers do a lot of the same things.

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Separated at Birth: 10 Reasons Product Managers and Event Managers are Kindred Spirits

May 4, 2013

Product Managers and Event Managers are similar

Introduction

Creating a great event is like creating a great product. You need to have empathy for your user (attendee) and create delightful experiences that satisfy needs and make them come back for more.

Companies innately “get this.” It’s not surprising that some of the best product companies also produce great events. Two companies that come to mind are Apple and Salesforce. Let’s consider ten similarities between product managers and event managers.

1) Your job is defined by one thing.

Product managers are defined by their products. Event managers are defined by their events. I used plurals there, but more often than not, it’s singular: a product manager handles a product and an event manager handles an event. Most other jobs lack this singular focus.

2) Determining “market fit” is critical.

Before designing a product, a product manager needs to build the business case around market fit: will there be people willing to write a check for my product – and if so, how many are there and what’s the average selling price? Event managers need to follow a similar exercise, to determine whether people will attend the event and (in some cases) whether companies will pay for sponsorship.

3) Your work is determined and defined by a schedule.

Product managers and event managers work from a schedule

Image source: User sadiediane on flickr.

Yes, we all tend to work from a schedule. But product managers and event managers run against a schedule 12 months out of the year. For products, the schedule is built around the current release. For events, it’s built around the current event. After those “ship,” a new schedule is built for the next release or for next year’s event.

4) You apply feedback to make the next one better.

Effective product and event managers identify lessons learned and apply those lessons to make the next release or the next event even better.

5) Empathy for the user is a requirement.

Product managers need to put themselves in the shoes of their target customer. Event managers need to do the same with their target attendees. Without a sufficient amount of empathy, great products and great events will be merely good.

6) You need good marketing to succeed.

An example of good marketing

Image source: Boston Public Library on flickr.

A product never achieves greatness until it’s adopted by the market. An event can’t be great if no one attends. In both cases, marketing is needed to drive awareness and adoption. Without marketing, products may cease to have customers and events may cease to have attendees and sponsors.

7) You have a job that never ends.

I marvel at 24 hour news networks like CNN. Yes, I know that not all programming is truly “live,” but still, there’s programming around the clock. It’s similar for product managers and event managers: rarely is there downtime, because you’re always on to the next release or the next event.

8) The focus of your job is experiential.

So there’s my fancy term for this post, experiential. For events, this is obvious. And it’s true for products: craft a great user experience and you create great products (and events).

9) You’re required to lead multi-disciplinary teams across the finish line.

Great coaches lead great teams

Image source: User farmerdave8n on flickr.

Product managers and event managers need to lead. You’ll work with people across numerous functions and assorted personalities. In the end, you have a single goal: bring the team across the finish line to a great product release or event.

10) You need to make an impact to achieve customer loyalty.

Want customers to renew their SaaS subscription or purchase your next device? Want attendees to return to your event next year? It’s simple: satisfy their needs and make an impact.


The Importance Of Knowledgeable Booth Reps At Virtual Tradeshows

May 24, 2009

Source: Flickr (NatalieMaynor)

Source: Flickr (NatalieMaynor)

I’ll admit it, I’m a bit crazy.  Over the Memorial Day Weekend, I went to the local farmers market.  When I walk down the aisles of a farmers market, I draw comparisons to Virtual Tradeshows.  Crazy, right?  Well, here’s how I make the analogy.  At a farmers market, I’m in the “market” for fruits, vegetables, drink, snacks, etc.  At a Virtual Tradeshow (VTS), I’m in the market for the products and services provided and sold by the exhibitors.  The assorted VTS booths are similar to the many stands at a farmers market.

And here’s a key point of farmers markets – the stands tend to sell the same varieties of fruits and vegetables.  In a VTS, the exhibitors sell the same types of products and services.  At the farmers market, I saw tomatoes, asparagus and corn at many stands.  At a VTS on “backup”, I’m bound to see many booths that highlight a vendor’s backup solution.  The challenge to the farmer is the same as the VTS exhibitor – how to stand out from the crowd?

At a VTS, content is obviously very important – your booth description, logos, Flash movies, White Papers on your products, Case Studies, Podcasts, on-demand webinars, etc.  Content will go a long way in differentiating your booth from your competitors’ booths.  But content can only go so far.  VTS attendees may have a hard time choosing between two baskets of strawberries that look quite the same.  This is where knowledgeable booth reps make a difference.

At the farmers market, a young farmer (selling strawberries) went into great detail on the difference in flavor between the Chandler and Camarosa variety of strawberries.  He was quite an engaging speaker and invited us all to sample each variety and make our own judgments on which was sweeter.  And I’ll tell you, if I came across two stands selling Chandler and Camarosa strawberries, I’m buying from the one with the more knowledgeable seller.

Source: Flickr (Annieta - travelling!)

Source: Flickr ('Annieta' - travelling!)

I next ventured to a stand selling cherimoyas, an oval-shaped fruit that’s indigenous to the Andes mountains in Ecuador and Peru.  I had never heard of this fruit, so it was helpful to hear a farmer provide a quick overview – nutritional value, taste, flavor, how to peel, etc.  This knowledgeable “booth rep” increased the likelihood that I’d buy or try some – if I had strolled past this stand and did not receive any information, I’d sneak a glance at them and continue walking.

The same holds true for a virtual tradeshow.  Spend the time making your booth look great and provide excellent content.  But, make sure you bring knowledgeable representatives to the event (e.g. Sales, Sales Engineers, Product Marketers, Product Managers, even Directors and VPs).  They’ll make a big difference in differentiating your crop of  products and services from the booth next door.


Utilize Surveys in Virtual Events

December 19, 2008

Online marketers often speak of hard ROI (explicit return) and soft ROI.  In this economic climate, soft ROI is being cut and marketers are focusing (with rare exception) on hard ROI.  But what if you could generate hard ROI and soft ROI simultaneously?  Would your CMO or CFO like that?  I’d bet that the CMO would, at minimum.

So consider the use of surveys within your virtual events.  Let’s say you generated 200 visitors to your booth.  And let’s say 70% of those visitors completed an online survey that was available right there in your booth (equalling 140 survey completes).  You might think I’m crazy to suggest that 70% of visitors would actually fill out a survey.  But what if you provided a prize?  And, you qualified visitors into the prize drawing via completion of the survey?  I’ve seen it with my own two eyes – one particular event had 70% of booths visitors completing the exhibitors’ in-booth survey (i.e. for those who chose to utilize a survey).

140 survey completes results in a statistically significant sample size.  And you’re likely not going to generate such a high response rate if you message to these visitors post-event.  Here are my Top 3 reasons for doing a survey in a virtual event:

  1. Plan your marketing content – let your target audience tell you what they’re interested in, what media formats they like to consume, what content they want (from you)  as they evaluate your products and services.  Leverage this valuable information to plan your White Papers, webinars and follow-on virtual events.
  2. Generate insights for your Product Manager – partner with your company’s product managers and ask them what info they’d like from customers and prospective customers.  You’d be a hero to Product Management and the success will certainly bubble up to the CMO or VP of Products.  And, by the way, this may help your company design better products.
  3. Intelligent lead follow-up –  survey questions are very similar to the qualifying questions that online marketers use on lead gen registration forms.   Don’t be afraid to review individual survey responses to better plan your lead follow-up with selected leads.

Now, what’s the cost of doing the survey?  Well, the prize will set you back a few hundred dollars (e.g. for a GPS, Nintendo Wii, iPod, etc.).  When evaluated against the soft ROI you can  generate,  I think the investment is worth it.  As Richard Dawson may ask, “Survey says?” – YES.


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