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Vol. 6 , No. 10     March 6, 2007


In this Newsletter:

  1. Brand Marketers, Meet Social Networks: Building Communities Without Jeopardizing Your Brand
  2. Case Studies With Kick: How to Write an Insight-Based Case Study
  3. Lies, Damn Lies and Dashboards, Part 2: How Marketing Can Plug Into Changing Sales Models
  4. Four Questions for Choosing the Right Research Firm
  5. B2B Search Engine Optimization: Driving Conversion
  6. The Devil May Wear Prada, but Everyone Else Wears Isaac Mizrahi
  7. 'Text Mining': Shortening the Distance Between You and Your Customers

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Premium Content

Joe Lichtenberg
Brand Marketers, Meet Social Networks: Building Communities Without Jeopardizing Your Brand

Consumer-generated reviews. Blogging. MySpace. Viral marketing. There's no doubt about it, Web 2.0 is booming. And it's no wonder. These new technologies let people achieve the promise of the Internet—democratization of content creation and distribution. They put the power of the Web into the hands of individuals.

At the same time, this shift in power is wreaking havoc with marketing plans. As marketers, we are not used to relinquishing control. Giving up the driver's seat takes us out of our comfort zone. What marketers are now beginning to realize, however, is that this change also unearths a myriad opportunities.

Get the full story.

Please note: This article is available to paid subscribers only. Get more information or sign up here.


Need To Catch More Fish? Cast A wider Net

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Mark Levy
Case Studies With Kick: How to Write an Insight-Based Case Study

Case studies are like condensed action films—full of characters, plot, and conflict—in which, thanks to your help, the clients get what they want.

Part of a case study's persuasive power comes from its energy. It should be exciting to tell and hear. Many of us, though, bore with ours. The reason? We use the standard problem-solution-result formula—and fumble "the solution" part.

Get the full story.

Su Doyle
Lies, Damn Lies and Dashboards, Part 2: How Marketing Can Plug Into Changing Sales Models

It's the first week of the quarter. You're on deadline to get new programs and sales tools in gear. Meanwhile, the sales team is having its kickoff—and changing the success criteria for your lead machine!

They're not deliberately changing the game on you. They're in "New Quarter's Resolutions" mode. If they made goal last quarter, their quotas are higher. If they didn't, they're in the hot seat. Either way, they're re-evaluating and retooling the sales model—and now your carefully planned lead-generation programs are out of alignment.

Get the full story.

This Week's Case Study
How a B2C Web Site's Landing-Page Tests Resulted in a 67% Jump in Conversions

A Note to Readers

Power of Personas

"Know Your Customer" is the mantra of any good marketer. But then it gets trickier… what, exactly, must you know about your customer? What’s crucial to recognize? What’s the best way to develop a profile or persona of a customer? And wait a sec… what is is a persona, anyway?

A persona is essentially a representative customer profile, which distills a key demographic target. It puts a “real face” on a market and, from a business perspective, gets everyone in your company on the same page.

We’ve been preaching about the Power of Personas for a few years now. But the concept has been gaining more and more traction of late, particularly because some high-profile companies like Microsoft, Amazon and Yahoo! use them. But a surprising number of small companies do, too, because these abstract representations of customers can be a powerful device to help companies build better user experiences into their products, services and promotions.

This Wednesday and Thursday, we are holding two back-to-back virtual seminars on creating and running successful persona programs at your company. Tamara Adlin will offer both big- and small-company examples on the whys and hows personas. As Managing Editor Val Frazee wrote, Tamara “will show you which marketing objectives personas support, and she will help you identify whether a personas program would be a good fit for your marketing strategy.”

I’m personally excited about this series, because in my mind, personas are one of the most powerful but misunderstood tools you can store in your marketing toolshed. So check out Tamara’s seminar series here and here.

See you there!

Until next week,

Ann Handley
Chief Content Officer

PS: You can buy both seminars for $99 each ... or you could be smart and sign up for Premium Plus membership - only $199 for a whole year's worth of seminars.


Last Issue's Top 5

  1. Six Steps to Driving Growth With Marketing ROI
  2. Trade Shows on a Shoestring Budget
  3. Three 'Secrets' to a Successful Networking Event
  4. Marketing Challenge: Gross Sales vs. Gross Profit
  5. Business Intelligence Is Not an Algorithm
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What can YOU learn in 90 minutes?

Wednesday, March 7th
Personas 1: Breakthrough Customer Insight for Product, Website Design and More
Tamara Adlin explains the accelerated, customer-focused design approach in two back-to-back seminars.

Thursday, March 15th
Testing, Testing: The Last (and Best) Direct Marketing Tactic
Bill Baird tells you how to design, run and interpret campaign tests in this final "crash course" seminar on Direct Marketing.

Want BOTH seminars?
Become a Premium Plus member to have access to EVERYTHING.


Ed Erickson
Four Questions for Choosing the Right Research Firm

There are many market research firms out there, from tiny consulting firms to huge multinational corporations. With all those choices, how do you find one that will best fit your company's needs?

Don't be intimidated. Be inquisitive. Ask these four questions of your next research supplier.

Get the full story.

Galen De Young
B2B Search Engine Optimization: Driving Conversion

Getting your site to rank high in the search engine results and getting searchers to click through to your site are among the foremost objectives of B2B search engine optimization.

But that's just the beginning. You still have to turn the visitor into a customer or client.

Get the full story.

Need the low down on SEO? Get this comprehensive guide now.
Know-How Guide for Search Engine Optimization

Try Premium membership and get instant access to the Know How Guide to Search Engine Optimization. Sign up today.

Premium Plus Membership

A Great Week to Try Premium Plus Membership

Participate in the two-part seminar on Personas this week, and you're Premium Plus membership pays for itself. It's like getting 40 online seminars for free.
Try Premium Plus Membership Today
Participate in Part 1 of the Persona Seminar Tomorrow

Marti Barletta
The Devil May Wear Prada, but Everyone Else Wears Isaac Mizrahi

Women love fashion. But fashion doesn't love them. Not real women, at least. Most women aren't supermodels—in fact, the average American woman is 5'4", weighs 140 lbs., and wears a size 14. So most American women find the fashion industry a bit out of touch.

Who is in touch with the millions of American women with billions of dollars to spend? Savvy companies like Target, Chico's, and J.C. Penney, that's who.

Get the full story.

Sid Banerjee
'Text Mining': Shortening the Distance Between You and Your Customers

"Text mining" enables a company to harvest and analyze the array of unstructured textual information available to it.

Early-adopter organizations in industries such as consumer goods, healthcare/pharmaceutical, retail, hospitality, and government are already successfully leveraging the practice to get closer to their customers—and add distance between themselves and their competition.

Get the full story.


Publisher:Allen Weiss

Content: Ann Handley

Strategy and Development:
Roy Young

Customer Service

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