Maintaining a Sales Pipeline during a Crisis

While the fear, uncertainty and doubt of the beginning stages of the COVID-19 pandemic are underway here in the United States, business professionals who are responsible for the sales and marketing of their companies are wondering how to maintain their sales pipeline.

Life and death decisions are always more important in times like these. In-person meetings, event marketing, and the economy take a different priority.

There are things that professionals can do to maintain their business sales pipeline during this uncertain time.

  • Working remotely from home
  • Communicate with customers
  • Communicate with employees
  • Maintain perspective
  • Build relationships and alliances where you have capabilities and others have needs
  • Make use of technology when it makes sense: Zoom, Skype

Depending on your products and services, it may not be an opportune time to communicate and your time would be better spent preparing for two, three months from now.

Training: Not sure how to use the technology? Lynda.com offers some very helpful videos. Many libraries have purchased a subscription to Lynda that you can access with your library card.

Regroup on business development: Time to work on refreshing your marketing materials, website, and more during these changing times. Now that your business travel has been curtailed, use the time to revise your planning and materials as needed.

 

Tracking the Results of a Press Release

The basic tool in a Public Relations campaign is the press release. Getting the word out and building awareness, right!?!

With all the methods and means of distribution and tracking available to marketing and branding professionals, time and effectiveness can be a challenge if you don’t know the players and how to position them.

Providing all the crucial who, what, when, where, why and how information, the press release helps to get your name spelled right as well as setting the tone and spin for your announcements.

How do you know if the press release was picked up?

There are services that provide the information. Many distribution services sometimes include reporting who has picked up and used the information in the price of their distribution services. Sometimes social media pick ups are more valuable than traditional media uses, but it depends on the goals of your campaign.

While tracking can add to the cost of distribution sometimes it seems like the client get another press release sent out for the price of tracking two! But what good is sending it out there if you don’t know if it worked? And what about follow ups? Want nice reports? Want social media mentions? Want to be able to measure positive feedback versus negative mentions? The array of distribution companies, tracking tools, social media monitoring and web measurement tools can be overwhelming and expensive:

  • Meltwater -$$$$
  • Vocus – $$$$
  • Cision(PRNewswire/PRWeb)- $$$$
  • Hubspot
  • Critical Mention
  • SimilarWeb
  • CoverageBook
  • Brandwatch
  • Mention $
  • Buzzsumo $$$
  • Google Alerts (free)

It’s almost always better to build a relationship with a writer or reporter or blogger than it is to mass distribute your information. No one wants to be spammed with information in their email or social media from some company that just wants to promote their latest product or service.

But on the other hand, the writer/reporter/blogger who is trying to create awesome content for their audience would love some great information and tips that really works for them.

Meanwhile, your mass media content belongs on your own website, blog, and social media platforms so that people know about it and can find it.

Compiling emails from key industry bloggers, reporters, editors and publications for your industry’s magazines, newsletters, conferences etc is a place to start. You’ll be tempted to send an email blast to them all at once. Don’t do it. Instead, work to develop a relationship. Read their content. Any email or phone call you make to them needs to be directly for them. You’ll need to write a pitch email with an angle that matches their specific needs in addition to providing the press release.

Going Viral with your Social Media Marketing

How many of us have been charged with making something “big… really big” and how to make the campaign catch on in a grass roots way?

Most recently the huge success of the Ice Bucket Challenge has marketers everywhere trying to help make their social media marketing ideas catch on and spread like a bad cold.

(Okay, so maybe a bad cold is a bad analogy! How about a yawn)

While word-of-mouth advertising seems like the best (free, viral and credible) kind, it’s easy to miss a step and end up with your foot in your mouth.

This recent infograph from “Best Marketing Degrees” offers some do’s and don’ts for those marketers who are trying to take their social media marketing campaigns up to the next level and into big numbers:

Viral Marketing
Source: BestMarketingDegrees.org

Hat tip to Liyonala David for sending me the link.

Will the Viral Marketing Effects from the Ice Bucket Challenge Detract From Other NonProfit Fund-Raising Efforts?

Ice Bucket ChallengeIf you participate in Facebook, there is no escaping all the buckets of water dumping over people’s heads.

Some have raised concerns about the wasting of water. But today I found really interesting thoughts on the Ice Bucket Challenge from Mike Rowe from a marketing perspective.

As I read thru his post, I was shaking my head in disagreement. Then I got to the zero sum game idea. I remembered when the earthquake happened in Haiti when the idea of texting $10 was new and fresh.

Yeah, Mike. You are probably right. It is all about marketing.

Making donating fun and interesting really lifts response. No matter if you are riding your bike 150 miles to fund MS research, or walking 60 miles to fight breast cancer, or walking a mile in high-heel shoes for rape crisis support — involving people in your nonprofit fund raiser can be a whole lot more effective in raising awareness (and $ too) than many traditional fund raising tactics like a gala dinner or a silent auction or even a direct mail campaign.

As usual Mike, thanks for making me think about it.

Images Sizes for Visual Branding in Social Media Marketing

LinkedIn Company images sizesDo you struggle with setting up your headers, profile photos and all the various images for social media? Here’s a handy social media size chart that offers a cheat sheet for the sizes for Facebook covers, YouTube videos, Pinterest boards, and LinkedIn company profiles… and more.  Hat tip to Curtis Harris for sharing some of his favorite links on Delicious.