Today’s episode of the Frank Online Marketing Show is a little different from the usual. A few months ago I started the “Marketing Managers Mashup” here in Edmonton. The goal is for marketers in companies that only have one or a few marketing staff to get together and share ideas once a month.
There were a lot of good ideas at our latest Marketing Managers Mashup, so I decided to share some of those this week instead of my usual interview format. (We’ll be back to the usual format next episode.)
Here are some of the cool ideas that came out of the meeting.
Ideas for More Sales
When people contact you through your website (or by phone, or at a trade show), be sure to follow-up. It is amazing how many sales are lost because of a lack of follow-up.
One cool idea from Lisa Todd at Urban Creative was to reply to e-mail queries with a phone call. As long as you do it quickly enough you’ll get a chance to answer much more effectively than by e-mail.
2. A Gentle Approach to Cold-Calling
When Dianna Bowes of Fabulous at 50 wants to sell advertising she asks, “Is it OK if I send you a media kit?” When they say yes, as almost all will, then she asks, “Is it OK if I follow-up with you in two weeks?” Most will agree, and those who don’t aren’t likely customers anyway.
3. Trade Show Tips
If you meet a likely prospect at your booth during the day, Diann advises inviting them to join you at an “exclusive” dinner or club that evening. They will likely say yes to this sort of personal invitation, and it gives you a great chance to connect with them at the show.
She also suggests holding draws during the conference instead of after it. Call the winners right away and encourage them to come to the booth to pick up their prize. That gives you another opportunity to connect. (And there’s a good chance they’ll tweet about it!)
Lisa was blown away by this clever idea: Instead of shipping your standard trade show booth materials (which can cost thousands of dollars), one company bought IKEA furniture once they were in the city where the conference was being held. It made for an unusual and cozy booth, and afterwards they got a ton of great PR because they donated the furniture to a local charity!
4. How to Win Over Skeptical Colleagues
One attendee (who won’t be named to avoid repercussions with colleagues) is having trouble convincing colleagues to change the way they’ve always done things. Others suggested ways in which she could run a small pilot test of her approach (while still supporting the old way) to demonstrate its success.
Should We Have an Online Marketing Managers Mashup?
Not everyone is lucky enough to live in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Sad, I know. Especially in the winter!) So for the rest of you, would you like me to set up some Google Hangout events where you could chat with other marketers and get inspiration and ideas? Let me know below or by e-mail and we can try it out!