Wednesday, April 22, 2015

After Over One Year The Digital Enterprise Program (DEP) Entering Its' Last Stages



Ongoing Discussion

It's really difficult to tell you how often I get asked about the Digital Enterprise Program (DEP) and in particular how long it still has to run. Now for those that don't already know, the Digital Enterprise Program is a Federally funded, Government training initiative which is available nationally, but here in Victoria is being run in part, under the auspices of VECCI.


Time Frame


The program will continue to run its workshops until June this year where it will continue to bring much needed training assistance to any Australian business wishing to receive specialised business training in the increasingly important field of digital and related social media marketing, by way of a series of seven free, two hour seminars that have been running since the start of last year.

Workshops


The topics for the DEP workshops are as follows:
  1. Developing an e-strategy
  2. Improving business efficiencies:
    Online tools and applications
  3. The benefits and risks of digital marketing
  4. Social Media
  5. Going global online
  6. E-commerce
  7. Managing customer relationships online

Each of these seven workshops has been specifically designed in collaboration with local councils and available at no cost based on the full government funding, with the aim of providing a robust platform from which any business can plan, design, implement and run a complete electronic strategy that will position and drive their business performance.

Free Coaching

As well as the series of seven workshops outlined above, any attendee can also (and again at no cost), book a four hour, one on one coaching session with a DEP trainer who will come out to your business to help you you put together your own digital plan and action program.


Against the backdrop of such an integral and dynamic aspect of marketing, this quintessential component continues to grow and evolve at light speed, requiring a strategy that incorporates the key platforms and allows for quick and ongoing adjustments that reflect the numerous changes that occur almost on a daily basis.

Bookings

To book your seat now you can call VECCI directly on: (03) 8662 5333 or email: or go to V.E.CC.I.’s website directly on: http://www.vecci.org.au/business-solutions/digital-enterprise-program
for more information.  I urge everyone to pass this post on to anyone they feel may require of benefit from attending and of the workshops or coaching sessions.

So until next time, good luck and good marketing.
Regards,
Daniele.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Life's Certainly What Happens While You're Busy Making Other Plans

The Value Of Scheduling Content

As all of you know that have been reading this blog over the years or ever been in any training with me I am an ardent exponent and enthusiast about planning your content our for your site, blog and other related social media platforms using any number of great products such as: Hootsuite, Buffer, Meet Edgar or with any other auto-responder such as A-Weber, thereby allowing you to effective plan, prepare and schedule the work in a logical and systematic way. If you're doing this and a very sincere well done.

The Exception To The Rule

However despite me also wanting to adhere to these proven principles of good marketing, i feel the need to pull away from my planned schedule to tell you about the worst example of customer service I may have ever seen and present it to you as a cautionary tale to ensure that you're not even remotely doing anything similar in your business or organisation.


The Chimney Pot Guy

In recent times we have been trying to put some old world charm back into our home through the use of some period features, and the latest example of this was to put up a charming chimney pot which was to be mounted on to the chimney.  An easy enough plan or at least buying the chimney was whereas the installation not so much.

Specifically after booking in a firm to install the product, Day one was a non show because of rain. No problem. Day two was a no show because of no particular reason. Day three when the given time frame of between 9 and 1 had well ad truly passed we called the manager to ask where where the workers. The response is genuinely worthy of being highlighted. Initially the manager said:
"Oh are they not there yet?" and this was quickly followed by "yeah I was actually just about to call you to update you on that."

Eventually a young apprentice showed up at 3 with seemingly little idea as to how to do the job and without the required material to complete the work.

When asked why he didn't have the materials he produced an email that had been altered by the manager to change a statement we had made and added another we didn't make.

Eventually after several days, phone calls, texts and emails a job that should have taken an hour was done and to the young man's credit, done well.

The Lifetime Value Of A Customer

 Three are of course many things that we can take out of this actual example that I assure you is absolutely true. Learnings on business values, acceptable standards of behaviour and customer service, pre - call planning processes and so on. But let's cut to the chase that if for no other reason than financial self interest had this business have not wasted 3 days of out time, this blog post could have been complimentary and bought in more business than they'd know what to do with.

Instead it's a cautionary tale to the wise that any customer may be your dream customer whether you see it or not with the ability to help you more than you know. As a matter of personal approach I wont discuss the business name here which is lucky for the firm as I'm sure they'd be hurt by thousands of people knowing about them. But I'm fairly certain that the next time they pull these types of stunts, the next person will be please to tell you their name.



Digital Enterprise Program
Naturally if you would like to know more about any aspect of marketing, sales, customer service or social media, don't forget to register for any of the seven free, two hour Digital Enterprise Program workshops by signing up at this link: 
http://www.vecci.org.au/business-solutions/digital-enterprise-program/workshops


By registering you will also gain a free four hour coaching session one on one for your business.

So until next time, good luck and good marketing.

Regards,
Daniele.

Digital Enterprise Program

Naturally if you would like to know more about any aspect of Facebook or social media, don't forget to register for any of the seven free, two hour Digital Enterprise Program workshops by signing up at this link: 
http://www.vecci.org.au/business-solutions/digital-enterprise-program/workshops - See more at: http://roadscholarsmarketing.blogspot.com.au/#sthash.kprzylt9.dpuf


Sunday, March 29, 2015

Spotlight On Three New Facebook Features

Facebook Announces the Embedded Video Player



Facebook this week announced a change to its platform that now allows you to simply and quickly add Facebook Videos to your own website. In this you are able to use any public video post by another page or person as an original video source.

Code Generator

To utilise this exciting new feature you simply need to bring up the code generator function and plug in the URL of the video you wish to embed on your site along with the pixel width of the video as per picture below. Then by simply pressing the Get Code button, the system automatically generates the required code that you require to stream the video.

Embed the Code

Once you have the Code, you then copy the code and paste it once into the body section of the code. Specifically just below the tag of the HTML.

High Levels of Engagement

Ultimately the real reason why considering videos on your blog, website or other promotional platforms is simply because there is a greater level of engagement which over time has been shown to translate to a greater conversion rate.
We know that videos are a tremendously effective tool to be able to demonstrate something to a customer or prospect. Through this process the buyer gains a higher level of confidence in what you are selling and often ends purchasing the product or service.

Additionally this week Facebook also announced the release of two new welcomed educational tools to help marketers get the most out of Facebook's business tools to better manage their promotional campaigns on Facebook in the form of Facebook: Blueprint and Facebook: Learn How.

Facebook - Blueprint

Facebook Blueprint is an app that literally demonstrates how to use Facebook to create better campaigns and does this by way of dozens of detailed, online courses that are freely available to all Facebook account holders.



Free online learning

The great thing is that these thirty odd modules are all free and able to be viewed equally well on any device ensuring complete flexibility and convenience regardless of how you need to consume the information.

Over time the goal here is that any business regardless of size, location or market can develop quality campaign strategies, structure and performance mirroring their often larger competitive rivals which of course will be a tremendous shot in the arm for SME's everywhere that need to use Facebook to be competitive.

Facebook - Learn How

The second new learning tool Facebook have provided is the equally useful: Lear How tool.  Again Learn How is also an online product that answers frequently asked questions and in so doing provides another valuable resource to demonstrate how to effective do those steps that need to be done on Facebook.



Again as with Blueprint, Learn How is also formatted to be responsive to any device and so offers the same flexibility allowing access through desktop, laptop, tablet or mobile devices. 

Through this platform Facebook will adopt different teaching modalities such as pictures, videos and detailed step-by-step instructions to answer the questions being posed by users ensuring a truly blended approach to learning that will appeal to all users. So over to you. Look up both new tools and start to benefit from both.

Digital Enterprise Program

Naturally if you would like to know more about any aspect of Facebook or social media, don't forget to register for any of the seven free, two hour Digital Enterprise Program workshops by signing up at this link: 
http://www.vecci.org.au/business-solutions/digital-enterprise-program/workshops

By attending any of these workshops, all Australian SME's will qualify for a free four hour coaching session for their own business at a time and location of their choice.
So until next time, good luck and good marketing.
Regards,
Daniele.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Emotional Intelligence In Selling - Understanding The Connection And Why It Matters

Background

Over the last twenty or so years Emotional Intelligence or E.I. as it is often referred to, has slowly but inexorably become one of the foundation stones to elite selling skills preparation for leading companies around the world who deploy representatives in formal, field forces.



This gradual acceptance has certainly been aided in no small part by the continued release of overwhelmingly positive data, highlighting the benefits of increasing E.I. regardless of the other demographic variables of the workers being trained.

Data

The data as I have said earlier is copious in size and yet unfailingly positive and demonstrates an undeniable relationship between better levels of Emotional Intelligence and better performance outcomes. Yet of all the different studies I am aware of, none have highlighted this point more dramatically than research conducted by the doyen of E.I. himself, Dr. Daniel Goleman.

In one study based on data collected from five hundred companies, Goleman was able to show that the level of E.I. is a greater predictor of performance than double the effect of I.Q. (Intelligence Quotient) and technical skill combined. So OK then it is the real McCoy but how does it relate to sales?

Sales Model

The simple connection between the various stages of any reasonable sales model and emotional intelligence lies in applying the key precepts as laid out by Daniel Goleman in his globally recognised model that has in one half self awareness and self control and in the second half, awareness of others and relationship management.

Put simply, as the salesperson goes through their sales process, they will be focused on how they are felling and delivering the information at each stage and conversely from the point of view of the customer, they will also be  focused on their reaction as they progress through each stage of the selling skills process.

In this way the salesperson will be able to ensure that both they themselves remain calm, measured and in control of their sales presentation, whilst concurrently ensuring that the recipient of that sales message is remaining comfortable with what they are hearing, with any appropriate adjustments being made as required throughout its delivery.

Training

Naturally to remain competitive in the sales arena it is important to ensure that all your sales staff are adequately prepared and resourced to do battle against rivals that are often bigger, more established in the market place and better funded. 

Road Scholars is proud to be able to present specialised courses in both Advanced Selling Skills:
http://www.roadscholarstraining.com/training/advanced-selling-skills.html

as well Emotional Intelligence In The Workplace:
http://www.roadscholarstraining.com/training/emotional-intelligence.html

Both courses are of course fully Nationally Accredited and available on request. Fr any further information please also feel free to contact me directly on: admin@roadscholarstraining.com


So until next time, good luck and good marketing.
Regards,
Daniele.



Sunday, March 15, 2015

Facebook Introducing Topic Data To Help With More Targeted And Personalised Communication

A More Complete Fit

In recent days Facebook has announced through its news pages that it will be introducing a new communication product called Topic Data that will allow Facebook marketers the ability to gain a deeper understanding of their audiences' psychographic aspects such as attitudes, opinions and beliefs around the key issues and aspects that pertain to their business, with the view of being able to formulate ever more precisely matching products and services that more fully and completely meet those customer needs.
 
 
 

Historical Approach

Typically up until now by observation an online marketer could deduce by the activity about what was being shared, commented on and generally spoken about, what the respective care factor was for any given issue, topic or challenge. Certainly behaviorally based and useful but at best this represented an incomplete picture about what people thought.

Subsequently Facebook have now communicated that the new Topic Data product will be available to a specified group of pre-selected Facebook partners which one would assume would be a first phase in a plan to eventually roll it out universally to the full 1.35billion globally users at a future time when the trial phase has concluded.

How Does Topic Data Work

Essentially Topic Data will provide greater clarity and therefore insight into what your target audiences are talking about online with respect to you, your product, competitors, upcoming and launch events, matters of importance and other general activities that may all provide your marketing team with addition information on what is needed, how it should be couched to best resonate with that group of potential customers.
 

Deidentified

Perhaps most pleasing is the fact that this information will be provided in a deidentified way where the identity and personal information of the person making the comments is kept secret thereby protecting their privacy and anonymity. Of course as marketers the key for our market research regardless of whether its online or using more traditional offline methodologies of focus groups and surveys, needs to rely on the accuracy of the data but not necessarily on who is saying it.
 

Decision Making

The end result of this being that product and brand managers will again have access to another useful data source that will help them to formulate better positioning, strategy and tactical implementation.
 
As a provided example fro the news source with Topic Data:
  • A business selling a hair de-frizzing product can see demographics on the people talking about humidity’s effects on their hair to better understand their target audience.
  • A fashion retailer can see the clothing items its target audience is talking about to decide which products to stock.
  • A brand can see how people are talking about their brand or industry to measure brand sentiment.
Ref: https://www.facebook.com/business/news/topic-data
 
Although such data has of course been available before, it may have been in numbers that were not statistically significant enough to  make meaningful business decisions.  Now utilising Topic Data, Facebook have amalgamated raw and unidentified data  from Facebook activity to provide insights on all the activity around any given topic or discussion area, which in turn provides a much more quantified perspective of what the target market is thinking. Facebook have made it clear also that the topic data provides guidance for marketers but it cannot be used to target ads directly as personal information is at no stage available.

In Partnership With Datasift

Facebook has announced also that it will partner with the Datasift organisation who operate within the data industry and will leverage their experience and technology to further develop and refine the Topic Data model and data accuracy and reliablity. 

Access

Facebook have also declared that for the time being at least, The Topic Data will only be available to a small number of Datasift’s partners in the USA and the United Kingdom. As well the resulting data will be limited to those countries as well. In time it is reasonable to expect a more refined product be made universally available to all.

If you would like to know more about any aspect of Facebook or social media, don't forget to register for any of the seven free, two hour Digital Enterprise Program workshops by signing up at this link:  http://www.vecci.org.au/business-solutions/digital-enterprise-program/workshops

By attending any of these workshops, all Australian SME's will qualify for a free four hour coaching session for their own business at a time and location of their choice.

So until next time, good luck and good marketing.
Regards,
Daniele.
 
 

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Not Such a Big Surprise That Social Media Now Drives 31% of All Referral Traffic



Social Edges Ahead

Based on a report released recently by content marketing firm Shareaholic, social media has now grown to be the number 1 driver of all website referral traffic overtaking search in the process. As measured to the end of 2014, marginally more than 31% of all referral traffic was from social media which had risen by an incredible 38% from a year earlier when it was at just under 23%.
These results have to say the least re-energised the debate over the relative importance of SEO versus social media in driving consistent, qualified leads to your digital hub to commercialise the sale. 


Ongoing Trend

This trend of SEO losing ground has been happening consistently over the last several months does not come as a complete surprise however as the Social curve briefly edged ahead of SEO around the middle of 2014 giving a clear indication as to possible future outcomes.   

From my personal perspective I don't want to enter the debate as to which is better or worse. I have always believed and still do that they both play incredibly important, different and fundamental roles in maximising your businesses potential in the current market place setting.   Where search is the ultimate way to raise awareness through the simple act of being found as distinct from social media marketing platforms that go a step further by taking that awareness and then adding validation and confidence around a possible purchasing decision.

Beyond these key top line findings the report went on to further elaborate on the incremental shifts that occurred to each of the key social media platforms throughout 2014.  Predictably Facebook dominance of social media continued with a share that grew to a staggering 25% representing a colossal annual rate of growth of around 60% for the year ending December 2014.

Not All Good News For Social Media Platforms

The other social media pillars had largely disappointing results as evidenced by: 
               YouTube’s decreased its share by 93.24%
               Twitter’s share decreased by 27%
               Pinterest increased its share by 6% increase
               StumbleUpon’s share dropped by 42%

Shareaholic went on to provide trend data of the key platforms over the last three years that showed a very insightful series of unavoidable facts. 



Namely:
1. Facebook continues to grow and must be used routinely if possible based on the target market.
2. Pinterest has continued to grow over the three years but in recent times has experienced a small retraction suggesting that the market is still not totally satisfied with it
3. The remainder of key platforms are essentially static in terms of market share and in real terms contribute only marginally to the total of leads being generated.

Planning For Your Digital Marketing

From a planning point of view then this indicates a compelling reason to integrate Facebook and Pinterest as directly as possible especially in B2C markets and the use of the other platforms more strategically to compliment the efforts of your other social media network.

Free Digital Training and Coaching

Naturally if you'd like to learn more about Twitter, any of the other Social Media Marketing platforms of digital media in general, simply attend any of the free Digital Enterprise Workshops listed here on:
and sign up for any of the seven free two hour workshops which will also automatically qualify you for a free four hour coaching session specifically focused on your business needs.

So until next time, good luck and good marketing.
Regards,
Daniele.