Ways to make your inbound marketing stand out

Experts in content creation and digital strategy discuss the best methods and channels to attract new customers.

  

Marketing IT Bullseye

Converting leads and contacts into customers continues to be the top marketing priority for many companies, according to HubSpot research,. And organizations that focus on inbound – e.g. using content marketing, social media and SEO to attract customers — (vs. outbound) marketing are more likely to be effective. Here are a few things your business can do to make your inbound marketing efforts more effective – and convert more prospects into customers.

Know who your target audience is – and where they get their information

“You must define your audience before you even get started, creating the fundamental inbound marketing ‘buyer persona,’” says Ryan Malone, founder & CEO, SmartBug Media. Personas should factor in demographics – gender, age, education, location – and include things like the customer’s likes and dislikes, where they shop, where they work and who they buy for (family, friends, coworkers).

Once you’ve identified and defined your ideal customer, use that buyer persona to guide your strategy, “from the keywords [you] choose, to the website experience, the blogs you write to the social media sites you use for promotion,” he says. “Many organizations mistakenly try to be everything to everyone; however, to truly see inbound success, you must focus on attracting the right audience first and foremost."

Plan ahead

“SMBs need to look at the big picture and strategically plan content long term,” says Jamie Domenici, vice president of SMB marketing, Salesforce. “This allows your business to capitalize on… seasons, holidays or events [that are relevant to your business and target audience].” For example, Valentine’s Day is a holiday no florist, chocolatier or jeweler would want to miss. And “having an editorial calendar ensures the business can prepare interesting and insightful content well in advance.”

Develop an SEO strategy

“Search optimized blogging is one of the best ways for small and medium sized businesses to improve inbound marketing,” says Lauren Fairbanks, CEO, S/G Content Marketing. Just “make sure you focus on the right keywords that match your customer's pain points and work on creating content around those.”

“The best (and free) place to start with this is AdWords Keyword [Planner],” says Amy Nedoss, marketing strategy director at SocialRaise. “Find low-competition and high-volume search terms. Then align your content with [them]. That way the content is highly targeted and has a better chance of being found [by your target audience].”Fight enemies smarter and faster with an open, unified ecosystem for a resilient defense.

“Another trick to improve SEO is to revive your old content,” says Tim Jernigan, marketing analyst, Badger Maps. “If your existing posts don’t receive traffic anymore, you can revamp them with infographics [or] images. You can even combine a few blogs to make a PDF guide [or white paper] and post [with a new title].”

Create a company blog and fill it with useful content

“The secret to a successful inbound marketing strategy is to consistently provide quality content that is interesting and helpful to current and prospective customers. At the heart of this strategy is the humble blog,” says Domenici.

“Company blogs drive inbound traffic to your website, and can also give your business credibility within your industry,” she says. “Customers favor companies that offer valuable knowledge rather than ones that are too self-promotional, so be sure to identify common customer pain points and provide easy-to-follow solutions. Extend the reach of your blog by sharing posts across your social networks to engage with customers where they are.”

Send fewer emails but with better content

“A big theme we’re seeing this year is sending less email better, which is something we’re really leaning into at HubSpot,” says Jon Dick, vice president of marketing, HubSpot. “As people’s inboxes become more and more crowded, many marketers have resorted to increasing their email volume to get the same number of opens. But this approach is backwards.”Sending fewer but more relevant emails “will actually get you more opens and better engagement in today’s environment,” he says. The key is to “focus on adding… value and investing in good content that shows, not tells, your message.” If you do this, “the few emails you do send will get good engagement.”

Include graphics and/or photos in messaging

“Humans are more receptive to visual content,” points out Domenici. So “incorporating visual elements [in your messaging] is a sure-fire way for your small business to increase the draw of your inbound marketing strategy. Readers will often become disengaged with ‘how-to’ blog posts that are text heavy, but adding graphics can help illustrate step-by-step instructions in a clearer way. Video tutorials are also a great way to easily provide a solution to a common problem and can easily be shared through different channels.”

Interact with consumers through podcasts and videos

“Nothing showcases the personality of a brand better than utilizing the latest digital media channels,” says Mark Nardone, executive vice president, PAN Communications. “Brainstorm podcast topics that will open up discussions around industry trends and best practices. This will garner interest from consumers and influencers and position your brand as a thought leader and resource for your target audience.” And don’t leave out video.

“With a 5x higher recall than the written word, video is the most engaging media format and most effective in assisting conversions,” says Kent Lewis, founder & president, Anvil Media. “Video production costs have decreased dramatically. And live streaming (on platforms like Facebook), 360-degree video, augmented and virtual reality… and drones [have] all make video capture and viewing more dramatic and immersive. If your brand isn't doubling down on video as a key element for inbound marketing, you will miss the bus.” 

Tap social media influencers

“It’s imperative that brands use social media to develop an influencer repertoire to share news… and establish a brand image,” says Nardone. Social media “influencers play a crucial part in inbound marketing practices by acting as brand So after you have created your buyer personas, find out which social media platforms they are using and who are the influencers in your category or industry. Follow and interact with them to establish a connection. Then reach out to them about promoting your brand.

Try Facebook Lead Ads

“If you aren't using Facebook Lead Ads, you're missing out in a big way,” says Michael Mignogna, CEO, Minyona. “Prior to Facebook Lead Ads, when advertising on Facebook, you had to create an ad that pointed to a landing page on a website outside of Facebook and then hope the user felt like taking the desired action.

“With Lead Ads, an advertiser can offer a free download of an ebook, for example, and because it all happens inside of Facebook, the information the advertiser wants to capture is auto populated so the user can simply click ‘download,’” he explains. “We use this for several clients, and… we are able to bring them dozens of new inbound leads per week that automatically get opted into an email nurturing campaign.”

Share content on LinkedIn Pulse

Post blogs and articles you’ve written on LinkedIn Pulse. “It won't hurt SEO in terms of duplicate content, and it will help you reach many more people with minimal additional effort,” says Maddy Osman, founder & SEO content strategist, The Blogsmith. “LinkedIn has some of the best reach on any social platform, and as more people engage with your LinkedIn Pulse post, it will reach their networks as well. It's a great way to use your existing network to reach more people and funnel them to your website.”

Don’t offer up all your content for free

“The majority of your content should be freely available on your company blog, but some of it should be only available for download if people enter their contact details into a lead generation form,” says Brett Langlois, SEO & content team lead, Pure SEO. “This will allow you to capture their details and enter them into your sales funnel.”

Invest in marketing automation

“The most successful inbound marketers have the right tools to amplify their efforts,” says Tommy Burns, marketing specialist, Matrix Marketing Group. “There's only so much you can do alone, and marketing automation can free up valuable time to be directed where it's needed most. Increased inbound results offset any cost.”

Be patient and persistent

“Inbound marketing is a long game,” says Julie Graff, social content liaison, Pole Position Marketing. “While you can get some quick wins (particularly with pay-per-click advertising and some SEO tactics), it's going to take some time to see real growth. Don't pull the plug because you don't see results right away. Your goal should be long-term, sustainable growth. This takes patience, time and an ongoing strategy. When you do see results, you're not done. You need to keep going. Digital growth results stop when you stop investing time in them.”

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Harnessing collective knowledge

Markethive’s social collaboration can bring collective knowledge to bear on a problem the company is trying to solve, or to satisfy customer needs. A multinational petrochemical company needed to be able to accurately answer very technical questions about how to set up production lines for a wide range of complex intermediary products that are crucial in the production of a particular end-user product.

The ability to answer those questions, therefore, is critical to the sale of thousands of tons of the product for one of Ferrazzi Greenlight’s clients. Multiply that need over literally thousands of products, and your enterprise faces a serious complexity challenge.

Our client chose one of the best ways to handle such complexity: By establishing internal wikis (purpose-built websites containing content that can be collaboratively edited and updated) that could be constantly updated by a small army of expert volunteers within the company who document everything required to support internal and customer questions about production.

While it takes time to establish a comprehensive set of wikis – and a culture of contributing to them – companies that succeed in doing so often see internal subject matter experts vying with each other to provide the best/most complete expert information.

This is competition focused on excellence in results – a win/ win if ever there was one.

Other companies use social collaboration very effectively to tap outside experts to deliver high-quality, just-in-time services. A great example is Specialists On Call (SOC), an agency with facilities in Virginia and California that contracts with 270 hospitals nationwide.

For example, when one of the participating hospitals has a patient arrive in emergency and the doctors determine he needs to see a cardiologist, the hospital contacts Specialists On Call, and an experienced cardiologist not only speaks with the patient through video-conferencing almost immediately, she’s able to do a “virtual examination” by directing the attending clinical staff or physician to perform a number of diagnostic procedures while the cardiologist observes.

SOC claims it can cost 40 percent less than the cost of locally based on-call specialists, increase caseload capacity, empower local specialists by relieving on-call burdens, and even result in lower malpractice premiums due to its round the-clock availability and adherence to best practice protocols.

Too often, social-media collaboration is implemented in its own silo without strong business process connections.

Here’s how to maximize the impact of social-media tools on business results:

•Identify the processes that will most benefit, and pilot social media integration with those teams. Lead with these process improvement examples when you release your social media tool more broadly; that’s the main driver for the investment.

• Resist implementing social media as a stand-alone tool. Integrating it with your tools for communication, collaboration, and/or process flow ensures discussions are relevant to and can positively impact process and/or project participants.

• Explore tools that make exchanges in social media, email and other collaboration tools searchable, and filter automatically based on context. Separating social chit-chat from exchanges relevant to the project at each meeting or milestone creates a cohesive collaboration record and brings participants up to speed quickly.

 

Chris Corey

CMO Markethive Inc

 

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video imageNew Markets merge into record shattering success for seasoned entrepreneur

“With the advent of a real Market Network (Markethive) and a real emerging Customer Centric network marketing giant (Valentus) even I was surprised with the ease of building a new empire in this industry”. Explained Thomas Prendergast, Entrepreneur, Internet Innovator and CEO and founder of Markethive.

“I have been an advocate for ending the business practices of buying and selling leads. And calling for an end to spam email, spam faxes, telemarketing, ending popup ads, bill board ads, you know, the practice called outbound marketing”. He continued to explain. “It was heavily relied upon in the days before the Internet a long time ago and has suffered a long painful death since the Internet was released to the public in 1991, I know, I was there and have continued to ride this journey called the Internet.” Mr Prendergast emphasized.

10 years before the Internet Thomas Prendergast ran an Ad agency in the Silicon Valley and was very aware of tech and the emerging Internet. “Which is why I was on the Internet almost the moment it was available to the public in 1991” Mr. Prendergast revealed.

Within years of immersing himself into the Internet, he became aware of Network Marketing. He found it fascinating that anyone with some skill and determination could reasonably build a living income. This idea supported his empathetic support of struggling prodigies, up and coming entrepreneurs and anyone who had greater dreams than the typical job afforded them.

“Although I was aware of buying mailing lists for my ad agency in the 80s I was not aware of the pushing of buying names and phone numbers for MLMers to call on people supposedly interested in a business opportunity”, Thomas Prendergast said.  As he become more aware of the MLM industry, he also found that most leaders who had working spheres of influence, would tell those they recruited into these pyramid schemes (the majority of these people did not have large spheres of influence) to buy these leads and cold call them.

Mr. Prendergast continued, “My instincts told me this was a bad idea and a serious mistake. But these “leaders” promoted this technique because they had no real option, ability or intentions on helping these people that just enrolled into one of their pyramid schemes “that really was just another “Hopes and Dreams” pitch, and that is another story”.

This became painfully clear when Thomas was witness to such a salesman, we will call him David, who had a talk show, had published many books, had a strong following, had joined a newly launched MLM deal, was conducting a teleconference call with all the people David had recently recruited into this new opportunity MLM. On that call, David told all the 1000s of listeners to go to his friend John and buy the leads they had allegedly pre interviewed at about $100 per 10 leads.

“This was mid-1990s. I bought 100 of them costing me $1000 and called them all (another article) and the results were 80% insults, 15% hang ups and the rest no answers. Not one was aware of any interview and the rejection level was as high as it gets. This was a process that would eliminate anyone new to the MLM process from continuing on in any business. Rejection is a process only boiler room telemarketers and well-seasoned sales people can withstand. It is death to the average Mom and Pop trying their hand at MLM”, Mr. Prendergast revealed.

Emerging Markets, Paradigm Shifts, Trends and all the other annoying clichés.

There are two firmly entrenched trends that have been born in the Internet, because of the technology, the reach of technology and the emersion of the masses into the technology, primarily due to the Social Networks, that Customer Centricity and Inbound Marketing emerged. Think of them as brother and sister.

Customer Centricity (Think Amazon):

Thomas Prendergast has been advocating Customer Centricity for the Network Marketing industry for over 10 years now. Mr. Prendergast explained, “Less than 1% of said industry understands it, the rest uninterested, and continue to promote the failed process of selling “Hopes and Dreams” of thinly veiled pyramid schemes with over priced products that rarely accomplish what they claim they do”.

However there have been a few that moved towards the “customer centric”, but not fully; with one in particular, abandoning the entire concept, only to find that decision is destroying the company as we speak, with commissions being cut consistently for the past 3 years, causing a drastic end to growth and a company in disarray. The other company built a customer option with infomercials, as a reward for their peak performers to acquire said such infomercial leads, which has dwindled due to current trends away from traditional Cable TV and Dish TV. Those 2 companies are Trivita and Beach Body.

Here is the summary of Thomas Prendergast’s Customer Centric proposal for this industry.

  1. First and foremost the company’s focus must be to “Serve the Needs of the Customer” not the distributors!
  2. Products that cost the distributors less than they sell them for on the open markets (like Ebay auctions, Amazon stores, Craig’s list)
  3. A virtual warehouse that supports the distributor allowing purchasing in bulk, at lower wholesale prices, keeping the inventory at the company, allowing for drop shipping.
  4. Offering co-op Advertising partnerships, to the distributors, allowing distributors to receive smaller shares of that traffic, that being customers and distributors from the results of mass marketing on the Internet. This has been done by a few other companies to great success. In other words, it works.
  5. Other mass marketing technology that now comes to full force are, 800 number platforms, self-replicated Amazon, Ebay, etc. accounts, shopping cart widgets for 3rd level distributors domains, and Social Marketing aps allowing purchase within Social Markets.

Summary:

With the accelerated market place awash in innovation and technology, technology that puts the human element right into the center of the equation, you can understand why you see the MLM industry sluggish and many companies dying on the vine and others falling flat on their faces with their much heralded launches. Entrepreneurs (distributors) that once upon a time, a flashy video, a charming pitch man, and a compelling comp plan, worked to explode the next greatest MLM launch. Not anymore!

Not today.

It is only a matter of time a young bold, innovative entrepreneur launches the first true customer centric MLM similar to the framework Mr. Prendergast has discussed here. And when they do, the world will quake, the swamps will empty and the first multi trillion MLM enterprise will rise to stand head to toe with the great innovations today like Facebook, Google, PayPal etc.

Inbound Marketing:

Inbound Marketing is the most effective marketing method for doing business online. Inbound marketing focuses on creating quality content that pulls people toward your company and product, where they naturally want to be. By aligning the content you publish with your customer’s interests, you naturally attract inbound traffic that you can then convert, close, and delight quickly.

This is exactly what Markethive is but more. Markethive is the first newly discovered Market Network

What Is A Market Network?

“Marketplaces” provide transactions among multiple buyers and multiple sellers — like eBay, Etsy, Uber and LendingClub.

“Networks” provide profiles that project a person’s identity, then, lets them communicate in a 360-degree pattern with other people in the network. Think Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

What’s unique about market networks is that they:

  1. Combine the main elements of both networks and marketplaces
  2. Use SaaS workflow software to focus action around longer-term projects, not just a quick transaction
  3. Promote the service provider as a differentiated individual, helping to build long-term relationships

Mr. Prendergast enthusiastically continued, “The amazing timing of this entire process is the emerging of the first Market Network; “Markethive” and my friend “David Jordan’s” company Valentus the first real Customer Centric Company”.

Thomas Prendergast summarizes it by saying, “Valentus is experiencing record growth and record time and by all indications is about to enter into “Momentum”. I credit all of this to the fact that Valentus has the foundational product that the markets support the retail priced organically where distributors buy the product well below the market retail”.

Thomas continued saying, “I know this all seems so complex, but in reality it is quite simple. Valentus’ explosive growth is because it is a real business based on Economics 101. Buy low sell High!”

Mr. Prendergast adds credit to the story saying, “With the fusion of these two huge trends found in Markethive and Valentus, I give credit to this phenomena as to my ease in exploding the growth of my little “distributorship” in Valentus, breaking records in the first month and the meteoric growth of this organization because Inbound Marketing (Markethive) has found Customer Centricity (Valentus) and the rest will be historic”.

If this article finds you the least bit excited, curious or at least amused, we invite you to find out yourself more about these two incredible trends and how they complement each other. Your curiosity will cost you nothing. Sign up for these two companies at the below addresses (If you have not already):

Markethive (sign up or let’s be friends):
http://markethive.com/tipco613

Valentus:
http://www.ValentusTour.com/contact

Entering a phone number will assure that I will call you to enjoy a 5-10 minute chat with you. I look forward to that, BTW.

 

Richard Tipsword
Markethive Developer

 

 

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The 7 Secrets of Internet Marketing

Businesses are spending more and more of their marketing dollars on Internet marketing. And while some aspects of Internet marketing are the same as traditional marketing, others are not. Here are seven things you need to know for your Internet marketing to be successful.

Many marketers have been shifting their marketing budgets to the web over the past few years. Marketing online allows you to target specific audiences and easily track return on investment, commonly referred to as ROI. Unlike traditional marketing methods, results of Internet marketing campaigns are almost immediate. This allows you to better evaluate what elements of your campaign are producing results and which are not. When buying online media, you must be willing to shift your marketing dollars to the online methods that produce a positive return.

To be successful at Internet marketing, you must understand the essential secrets of Internet marketing. These secrets can allow you to achieve success by finding the right audience, communicating your message properly, and leading consumers down the path to purchase. These secrets include:

1. Website Directory Listings. Before you begin any marketing campaign, make sure that the website you're promoting has been listed in the common directories such Google My BusinessBing Places and  online Yellow pages. Even if you're using a marketing page off of the root directory of your website, be sure that the primary site is listed. This ensures that prospects can continue to find your marketing pages long after you've launched your campaign.

2. Generating Traffic. In order to realize a return on your investment, you need to generate traffic to your marketing pages. There are a number of ways to do so online. Some of the most popular include Google AdwordsBing Ads, however those can become costly. The most effective I recommend is Markethive  

not only has it becaome the most powereful for marketing, it is also free. Other methods include affiliate programs and targeted website advertising. Research other websites that have the audience you're looking for and negotiate favorable ad rates for your online marketing campaign.

3. Marketing Pages. Don't lead prospective purchasers to a generic website. If you do, potential buyers won't know what to do next. The easier you make if for prospects to take advantage of your offer, the better. Whenever creating a marketing campaign online, provide a specific page for leading purchasers to your product or service or a billboard that showcases the offer. Take the guess work out of making a purchase and more consumers will buy.

4. Testimonials. Customer testimonials are the most powerful way to sell your product or service. When consumers hear from those who have purchased and used your product or service, they gain a certain level of trust and comfort in what you have to offer. Solicit testimonials after each purchase and use those that are the most convincing to prospective purchasers.

5. Create a Compelling Offer. Be sure to offer something that no one else is currently offering. If your offer is similar to your competitors or is not very interesting, consumers have no reason to learn more. Of course providing something for FREE is often a great way to entice potential customers. Maybe it's a 3-day free trial or a free evaluation of some kind. Be creative, try something new, and measure the response.

6. Developing Trust. Before anyone will buy from you, your website or company needs to be seen as reputable. This means that consumers can purchase from you and not worry about the safety of their credit card information, personal information, or anything else being exchanged. A good method for developing trust is to purchase and display safety and reliability icons such as BBB Online, Trust-e, and VeriSign.

7. Provide a Guarantee. Nothing makes a consumer more comfortable with a purchase than offering a guarantee. Perhaps you can offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee or a money back guarantee. A guarantee is a great way ease the risk of making a purchase. If your competitors are offering a guarantee, you want yours to be equal or better.

Internet marketing is an incredibly powerful medium for segmenting your prospects and delivering targeted advertising. Online, you can easily measure you return on investment and refine your marketing campaign over time to improve results.

If you are a local business you can benefit from Internet marketing as well. Look for local directories to list your business or service. Or, you can supplement your local advertising with product marketing pages on your website. Internet marketing is more than just placing ads online, it's using the web to communicate the value of your products and services.

Chris Corey CMO Markethive

Contributor Michael Fleischner

Written by Shantanu Mittal

Market Networks have been studied and defined in great detail, most notably by James Currier of NFX Guild.  (pro-tip:  If you don’t know what a market network is, read James’ post before continuing on.)
Here at Bee Partners, we have been at the forefront of investing in market networks through early investments in companies like TradesyBuilding Connected, and Vacatia, and have even seen other marketplaces in our portfolio transition towards a more market-network like approach.

I was introduced to this concept when I first joined Bee and am fascinated by its power to help startups achieve scale so quickly.

 

But how do market networks get started in the first place? What changes can trigger the creation of a market network? The answer, in my opinion, is a change in the power dynamic between the buyer and seller creates the perfect ground for a market network.

This is an insight that became clearer  when I applied  the market network concept to the healthcare industry. The healthcare ecosystem is a complex network with payers, providers, patients and pharma companies. A lot of health IT investment has gone into improving the ease and efficiency of each of the individual stacks in the ecosystem. But a huge opportunity exists in new market networks that connect these stacks. Traditionally in the healthcare industry, power has been concentrated in the hands of providers and payers. However, with millennials focus on disease prevention and transparency of health plans, we are seeing a dramatic shift in the power dynamic towards a patient centric model.

Figure 1: Number of Registered Studies Over Time

Startups have already started to take advantage of this shift in power dynamic through new market network concepts that focus on the consumer. We are seeing new market networks to help patients find the right doctors and health plans. The focus is on consumer convenience and transparency.  Market networks have created tremendous value and this shift to a consumer driven healthcare model has only just begun. With new trends like Telehealth and democratization of genomic data, we can expect to see a continued evolution of market networks in healthcare.

Another major area of healthcare that is frequently overlooked in the health IT ecosystem is the drug development network. Here too we see a potential for market networks between pharma companies that develop new drugs and hospital sites that have the ability to conduct clinical trials. And recently, we are starting to see a change in the power dynamic in this network. The number of trials being conducted has gone up exponentially in the last 10 years (see Figure 1), but the number of trial sites has not increased to such a degree. This change in supply and demand has led to clinical trial sites now gaining more power; Florence Healthcare is in the process of capitalizing on this emerging opportunity. Florence started off as a workflow software tool for the clinical sites, but saw this change in power dynamic happening and soon evolved into a market network connecting clinical trial sites with pharma companies willing to sponsor trials.  Florence solves the biggest problems at the clinical edge of the network, and by freeing those bottlenecks, helps the sponsor side too.

Fence Healthcare recently announced a $1.7M raise from leading investors including Bee Partners, Bessemer Venture Partners, Dartmouth Angel Fund and FitBit VP Will Crawford. Since launching in January, usage of Florence’s SaaS tool has grown over 150% month over month.  Ahead of the funding, Florence secured agreements with some of the biggest institutions in drug and device development: UCSF, Mt. Sinai, and Sloan Kettering’s PCCTC Cancer Research Center.

We are excited about increasing our exposure to the healthcare industry through a market network, and are thrilled to be supporting Andres GarciaRyan Jones, and Michael Kassin, MD, and their team at Florence.  For more details on Florence’s recent success, click here, and if you’d like to connect with the Founders, please let us know!

Chris Corey

CMO Markethive

 

 

 

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How I learned about market networks from James Currier, Nir Eyal, and the NFX Guild

I’m going to share with you how I came across a great group of Entrepreneurs called NFX Guild and the idea of Market Networks which unveiled Markethive. I must first tip my hat to this group of professionals whom I have yet to meet face to face.  This group of investors and pioneers in their chosen fields have no clue to the fact that they have changed my life forever.

I will first start with some members of the group. Mind you I have never met or even talked to any of the gentleman I am going to name in this post.

#1 on my list of members is

James Currier

Managing Partner, 
NFX Guild

James Currier published an article titled “From Social Networks To Market Networks”. Before reading his article I had never heard of James Currier or of the phrase Market Network. But James talked about how the past ten years were about social networks, however the next ten years are going to be about market networks.

He also believes that with social networks being a trillion-dollar industry in comparison market networks will dwarf them to become the very first quadrillion dollar industry. This is expected to be the single largest economic event in human history.

#2 on my list is

Nir Eyal

Author,

"Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products"

Hooked is a guide to building habit-forming technology, written for product managers, designers, marketers, and startup founders.

In his book Nir Eyal talks about the importance of having a technology that creates a habit for users to want to come back often enough until it becomes ingrained in their daily ritual. He goes on to write” Systems that improve with age are the sought after prizes as they retain growth and are considered monopolies, not commodities.”

Customer becomes more valuable to the company over time. He also states that if a company creates a unique product that can do this, then that company is poised to be very disruptive in the market.

So how is it that these two gentleman with respect to Market Networks and habit forming products come to have such a large impact on the life of someone they have never met?

The event happened because I have been working with Thomas Prendergast on a company called Markethive. Markethive is a full force market network with a full suite of tools for entrepreneurs to use for free.

(insert video)

It Is a fully functioning Market Network that navigates like Facebook with tools. IE:

  • a powerful blogging platform that integrates and improves the power of WordPress.
  • AAA+ rating with Iron Port. A 99.97% email deliverability to a customer’s inbox within 3-5 minutes
  • Completely customizable capture page
  • The capability of creating reach in the billions through other Markethive users subscribing to your blogs. If they subscribe one time to you it will automatically auto post to all of the social networks that they have attached to Markethive.
  • Completely integrated statistical tracking for all blog posts, profile pages, capture pages and capture page widgets.
  • All widgets have one click capture. I.e. Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, Google+ and more.
  • Sophisticated marketing management and campaign execution.
  • A Powerfully integrated systems providing streamlined functionality and control.

With access to powerful marketing tools you can execute marketing campaigns that produce real results.
 

Almost as important as the tools themselves though, is the ability to keep all of your information and activities organized.
 

The features in this area allow you to accomplish everything you need to launch and manage professional level marketing campaigns.
There are different types of campaigns for different purposes and goals.
As a result there are a range of tools at your disposal:

 

  • Manage advertising vendor records.
     
  • Create advertising co-op's with groups of members.
     
  •  Establish tiny URLs for specialized use.
     
  •  Define sophisticated website rotators to distribute leads.
     
  •  Track websites on your asset map.
     
  •  Monitor and evaluate keyword terms.
     
  • Manage and verify Backlinks to your website

If you price all these services out it would be upwards of $500.00 per month and with other systems, they do not communicate with one another. Even if I do find a SaaS that can communicate with your auto responder as well as all your website it still doesn’t communicate and organize the blog post with all the social networks which is a major problem in our industry.  So Markethive solves this issue for many bloggers and internet marketers.

Markethive intergrades all of this so that it all works together and again provides all these tools for free. This is a far better system than most all options we have found excluding the price point. When you then add in the fact it is free, Markethive creates massive industry disruption while becoming a monopoly SaaS instead of a commodity SaaS.

Believe me we have scoured the internet and have actually done a comparison of the top seven lead nurturing systems that we could find. You can see our comparison here.

 

 

 

 

Mr. Prendergast started building Markethive four years ago and at the time he had no Idea that he was creating this massive Market Network that we believe will be the 400lb gorilla of our time in the new emerging niche on the internet Market Networks. 

Chris Corey 

CMO Markethive

Market-Network: A New Type of Business Model

Social network. Marketplace. SaaS. These buzzwords are no longer synonyms of massive business opportunities.

The gold rush has already happened.

But a new business model has emerged.

Market-networks are hybrid animals: part social network, part marketplace, part SaaS. [1]

It’s a social network. Professionals use profile pages to showcase their work and demonstrate their credibility. They also connect with each other and build relationships.

It’s a marketplace. Professionals come online together to find other parties with whom they can do business.

It’s a SaaS tool. Professionals use the tools on the top of the marketplace to negotiate, do the job, or manage the paperwork.

Social networks are designed to connect people. Marketplaces are built to sell simple products and services at scale. SaaS tools are here to make your job easier.

Market-networks focus on more complex services; the types of services that are not easily scalable and require more human collaboration. [1]

So get your pick-axe and prepare yourself for the next gold rush.

Think about the number of opportunities in M&A, scientific research, construction, management consulting, marketing, media production…

[1] Thanks to James Currier for sharing his thoughts on this emerging business model.

[2] Here are a couple of examples:

AngelList is a market-network.

It’s a social network for startups and investors. It’s a marketplace where business angels can find startups to invest in and startups can post job openings. It’s a SaaS tool that helps business angels create syndicates and startups get introduced to business angels.

Contently is a market-network.

It’s a social network for freelance writers. It’s a marketplace where companies can find writers to create content—articles, eBooks, and other kinds of marketing collateral. It’s a SaaS tool that helps content marketers organize their editorial calendar, manage the writers’ work, and track the performance with analytics.

Article originated here:
https://boostcompanies.com/market-network/

Meet Writer Guerric

Guerric de Ternay is an entrepreneur
and digital & marketing strategist. A large
chunk of his work focuses on behavioral
science, customer experience, and digital
strategy. His passion?
Helping people and businesses level up.

 

 

 

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Markethive Readies Exciting Press Release!

Who says we’ve got a slow economy? Maybe parts of the US economy are slow but things are rip-roaring at Markethive, the under-the-radar Inbound Marketing platform brainchild of its CEO Tom Prendergast.

Mr. Prendergast will soon issue a press release bringing the public and the press up to date on the culmination of a multitude of recent advances and accomplishments of Markethive in conjunction with one of the fastest growing companies in the Direct Selling space, Valentus.

Valentus is the US based company with a first-of-its-kind weightloss coffee which allows consumers to lose pounds and incles simply by drinking it. The company is currently growing at approximately 30% per month. Mr. Prendergast has used Markethive assets to shatter the company sales record for growth of a new distributor.

Indeed Markethive brings formidable assets to the task as the organization dates back to approximately 1998 under the previous brand name of Veretkk, In fact, Markethive arguably predates Facebook as one of the very first online social communities and was the originator of several fundamental online marketing tools and technologies such as the autoresponder, the self-replicating web page, the first online application connected to a server database, online broadcasting, blogcasting, blog-swiping, the rebrandable PDF, and others.

Mr. Prendergast believes very strongly that the world is moving into a new entrepreneurial age and has carefully constructed Markethive to be the new Platinum Standard for online entrepreneurs to attain brand reaches reaching into the millions.

Yet in spite of the technological innovation which Markethive gives away for free (the platform is ad-supported) and which more well-known companies such as HubSpot, Pardot, and other charge hundreds or even thousands of dollars for, Markethive’s true marketing reach, social power, and technological leadership is derived from it’s geometrically expanding, integrated social community of entrepreneurs.

For more details, watch for our press release coming up very soon. Meanwhile, Markethive systems and memberships are available for free at markethive.com.

 

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The Customer Centric Model

It has been my agenda for nearly 20 years to reform an industry that is for the most part built upon a shifting and unreliable foundation that has always been broken and is heading for total annihilation. If you have attempted to build a business in MLM Network Marketing) you will relate to what I am addressing.

For over a decade this vision has grown in urgency and definition to help direct a broken industry towards developing a customer based centered direct sales model. All of this was originally inspired by a maverick move towards customer acquisition by a company called Trivita. In 2001 I was introduced to this new direction in MLM by the simple statement, just buy your customers. I had already been engaged in the MLM industry for nearly 10 years at that time. My first exposure to MLM was in 1992 with the first to market a consumer (customer) based ISP, nationwide dialup Internet access for $20 per month.

I have been an entrepreneur my whole adult life and a good portion of my teen years as well, with my first business started at the age of 14. Prior to my exposure to MLM, I was and still am a traditional business entrepreneur. Therefore to say, I found the MLM model of exclusive distribution to and consumption by distributors and only motivated to this action by pursuing profit; “alien, illogical and disturbing”.

Let me explain:

My introduction and very successful sojourn with Trivita helped me discover the stark contrast between the artificial economies of a distributor based sales company in contrast to a customer based sales company. I studied this comparison for many years and it became painfully clear, the reason traditional MLM fails, regardless of the compensation plan, regardless of the motivational speakers, regardless of the training to sell the “Hope and Dreams” as that is the only way to promote when the products and or services are frankly, always overpriced and usually underwhelmingly ineffective. There are very few exceptions. So the glaring difference I found in Trivita was the fact that for every distributor I recruited, I averaged 100 customers. Then the fact, I did not have to sell Hope and Dreams and instead, the pitch was just buy customers. The reaction from the potential distributor was always extremely positive and the close rate of a distributor was very high. When you factor in that every distributor usually meant 100 customers, the potential success was superior to anything else like it.

This was just a company that offered co-op acquisition of the leads and customers Trivita acquired via their infomercials and not much else. Even Trivita’s products lacked true demonstrability and the pricing was not competitive. The only viable benefit regarding being customer centric was the fact you could just buy customers, that for the most part, only about 20% stayed a viable reorder over the years.

Because of this one aspect with Trivita, I have enjoyed a significant income for over 10 years with little attention, a true residual income. Over the years as a vendor to the MLM industry, occasionally getting involved with a few companies because I was promised they were going to offer customer centric solutions. None of them ever did and in my opinion, the super majority of MLMs are run by greedy sociopathic owners, that understand the game and that being the 3 month rule. They build their businesses to inspire, motivate and separate their new distributors from as much money and contacts they can. They know their business model only attracts distributors seeking some semblance of financial success therefore they lay their snares with grand claims of Hopes and Dreams. I consider it borderline criminal. Now we finally arrive to the meat of this article, that being what is a true Customer Centric direct sales company look like. Being that there really isn’t any yet, we have to go to the imagination and vision that to some part is guided by good business principles and look at some of the true customer centric businesses on the scene today.

Amazon could easily be the epitome of customer centric.

amazon.button

Wow. “Earth’s Most Customer-Centric Company.”

That is big, it’s bold, and it’s risky for a brand to make the promise to fulfill on that 24/7 every week of the year.

Service recovery design pays off

Of course the shopping and purchasing experience on Amazon has been exceptional for years. But what if a customer has a post-purchase problem? A big part of customer experience design is a focus on “service recovery,” or designing and refining the process when something goes wrong for the customer. Beloved brands like Zipcar know this is a critical opportunity for delivering moments of delight.

READ MORE:

http://delight.us/earths-most-customer-centric-company/

It is all about Customer Satisfaction.

Let me repeat that,

“IT IS ALL ABOUT CUSTOMER SATISFACTION”!

The latest results from the American Customer Satisfaction Index reveals Amazon.com as the reigning and undisputed champ in both Internet retailing and across the entire department in overall customer satisfaction. Amazon’s CEO, Jeff Bezos perhaps more than any business leader has taken the philosophy of truly caring for the customer and ushered it into the digital era. Bezos has built a company from the ground up purely based off of the unbending, unyielding philosophy of serving the customer across all departments. With a 164 million Amazon customers, few would argue Bezos as the key architect of building an authentic, customer-centric company.

Pointers from the article 7 Customer Service Lessons from Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos
https://www.salesforce.com/blog/2013/06/jeff-bezos-lessons.html

1. Don’t Just Listen to Your Customers, Understand Them

Everyone has to be able to work in a call center.”

 

2. Serve the Needs of the Customer

“We’re not competitor obsessed, we’re customer obsessed. We start with what the customer needs and we work backwards.”

 

3. The Empty Chair

The Most Important Person in the Room “Focusing on the customer makes a company more resilient.”

 

4. Never Settle for 99%

“We’re not satisfied until it’s 100%.”

 

5. Respect Today’s Customer

“If you make customers unhappy in the physical world, they might each tell six friends. If you make customers unhappy on the Internet,
they can each tell 6,000.”

 

6. Strive to Create a Customer-Centric Company

“If we can arrange things in such a way that our interests are aligned “with our customers, then in the long term that will work out really
“well for customers and it will work out really well for Amazon.”

 

7. Don’t Be Afraid to Apologize

“We will use the scar tissue from this painful mistake to help make better decisions going forward, ones that match our mission.”

 

Over the past two decades, Amazon has held a steady pace of positive press due to their industry-altering company and great customer service. However back in 2009, the foundations of the online book mogul were shook when they remotely deleted copies of the books “1984” and “Animal Farm” from users’ Kindles. The incident prompted an outcry of Internet users to see the dark, “Big Brother” side of Amazon – one that Bezos had worked hard to steer clear of. Amazon quickly made an apology with the usual dry and inhuman statement from the press team. But what really turned people back towards Amazon, was an informal and heartfelt apology from Jeff Bezos:

jeff.deep.apology


 

From “MLM” aka “Network Marketing”,

to a sustainable Coop Customer based Marketing Platform!

Now the vision for a better kinder direct sale company

I have run MLM companies, built them, serviced them as a vendor and engaged with them as a distributor for more than 20 years. I have touched and serviced and influenced over 100 million associates over this period of time. The following is my agenda to change this industry to service the little guy and gal, offering a real solution to build a middle class sustainable income for everyone, not just the elite few, we know as “leaders” in their respective company.

1. A Viable and Competitive Product

First and foremost, the “company” must offer a viable product and or service that does what it says and better than any of their competitors and better yet, have a product or service that has no legitimate competition. I could go into great detail here about the MLM industry and their underwhelming and over priced products with many making spurious claims to eventually be shut down by the FDA, etc.

2. The Virtual Warehouse

This may be putting cart before the horse. Inspired by Amazon’s virtual warehousing for their merchants selling in Amazon, it is time the MLM industry moves forward with a similar solution. Storing and paying additional shipping, your monthly product commitment in your spare bedroom, garages or den has been the standard fro decades. With today’s technology and database management abilities, there is no excuse to not move toward a virtual solution for distributors. This can be done in house by the company, or, use Amazon’s virtual warehousing that is available on a global scale.

This one upgrade to this industry will make reselling, shipping and distribution automated and easy for every distributor, regardless of location or available storage abilities. Bottom line is a doubling or greater movement of product.

3. Customer and Lead co-op acquisition

This is where the company marketing people run ads, driving vertically targeted prospects to an 800 number or website, acquiring quality pre enrolled prospects or customers who have purchased or best have enrolled into auto ship. The distributor’s contribution enhances the company’s budget and the “partnership” enhances the customer’s retention. The company also makes available to the distributor mailing lists to their “enrolled leads and customers” to assist in the continued purchases etc. It is a win win situation and is a proven technique as proven by Trivita.

4. Becoming an E Retailer (automated back office shipping)

Now that the distributors have their inventory, products and samples (if applicable), online, in an offsite virtual warehouse, the process to send product or samples becomes effective and easy. As simple as logging into the back office of their respective MLM company, entering the product (pulling from existing inventory and/or purchasing additional inventory), quantity, and drop ship address, with a simple click, the product or sample is easily on the way, while the distributor is still talking to their prospective client, prospect or distributor on the phone. This seamless process makes the potential growth of the company and distributor 100 times greater than the typical cumbersome processes today.

5. 800 telemarketing service platform

Today’s technologies not only make this proposed service affordable, but extremely effective. Typically, new distributors are assigned an ID# number. The number resides within the servers database to track sales, commissions, etc. of the distributor. Thus the hardest part is already done for an 800 sales number. [A little explanation of current tech] 800 number technology software interfaces display the originating number, or forwarded number. IE: If the distributor develops a radio commercial with a phone number (toll free or not) then forwards that number to the company 800 number, all he or she needs to do is register that number (via the back office) or calling it in. This way the telemarking operators receiving the incoming calls, or the technology, know who originated the call and the orders are taken and assigned appropriately to the distributor.

It can be as simple as the distributor takes a call from an ad, the prospects decides to buy the product. The distributor can easily 3 way into the 800 platform and assist the sale. It can be as easy as an ad running offering a product with the company main toll free number offering free shipping and handling with the special pin number. It can be very easy to build.

nopalea.800

Imagine the projected results with the distributors taking the initiative, no more need for mentors, no more lead for narcissistic leadership, no more need for motivational events, because the motivation is found in the system and the results. Imagine!

6. API (Application Programming Interface).

Distributor selling on Amazon, Ebay, Alibaba, etc.

Basically, the MLM company has an API developed that interfaces with Amazon, Ebay, etc for the distributor. This allows the distributor to develop an online store on Ebay, Amazon, Alibaba, etc, drive and support the prospects and customers, but the sale interfaces through the company. Thereby the company controls the pricing, collects the money (connected to the distributor) and ships the product. All the collecting, shipping, tracking and commissions paid out is done by the company.

API: In computer programming, an application programming interface (API) is a set of routines, protocols, and tools for building software applications. An API expresses a software component in terms of its operations, inputs, outputs, and underlying types.

Basically allows the company to remotely control pricing,

merchant collection, shipping and communication via the

distributors Ebay, Amazon, etc. account

More about Amazon API:
http://support.getdropstream.com/customer/portal/articles/1233046-configuring-amazon-marketplace-for-third-party-order-fulfillment-

More about Ebay API:
https://go.developer.ebay.com/what-ebay-api

7. Retail Sales Only Sites (Widgets and actuals)

Traditional MLM companies give a distributor a self-replicated web site that is upfront and focused on selling the Hopes and Dreams of the opportunity, the money, the comp plan, the hype and flash of it all, designed to recruit more distributors. This is death to a retail customer. Very few MLM companies even consider a dedicated self-replicated retail sales only site for their various products. I have yet to even hear of any companies making a simple widget that allows the distributor to have the retail site hosted via the widget on their own domains, much less the ability to add any customization to it. Below is one of the first and rare MLM retail sites I am aware of. It sells the coffee, the coffee benefits offers one off sale and free shipping with autoship.

More about widgets here:
http://alexmarandon.com/articles/web_widget_jquery/

8. Social Marketing Aps and systems

Marketers, merchants, etc. need a portfolio of tools, to get the message out, to build awareness, to build a sphere of influence and to build a customer and distributor centered loyalty program. Very few people, even entrepreneurs have all the skill sets to achieve this. However, automated marketing, email auto responders, social broadcasters, coop advertising, blogging platforms, materials and videos are necessary tools for the entrepreneur. When you do not supply these types of tools in a controlled environment, the message being broadcasted may not meet the criteria of the company nor abide by regulations.

There are solutions and Markethive is one of the best options. Markethive supplies all of these tools and more, integrated and easily configured and controlled within the communities vertical structures built for DSA companies like yours. It is called the company Directories and within a company portal in Markethive, your distributors will find all they need; Broadcasting platforms, self-replicating personalized PDF documents, Coop advertising systems, blogging platforms, email auto responders, everything needed for marketing, in one place.

9. Training and videos

I do not mean motivational speakers and cheer leading. I mean, real world training how to build the businesses. Daily classes offered by competent experienced teachers, so the distributors develop a strong understanding, expanding their customer territory and acquisition and operate like a real business.

Summary;

With the accelerated market place awash in innovation and technology, technology that puts the human element right into the center of the equation, you can understand why you see the MLM industry sluggish and many companies dying on the vine and others falling flat on their faces with their much heralded launches. Entrepreneurs (distributors) that once upon a time, a flashy video, a charming pitch man, and a compelling comp plan, worked to explode the next greatest MLM launch.

Not today.

It is only a matter of time a young bold, innovative entrepreneur launches the first true customer centric MLM similar to the framework I have discussed here. And when they do, the world will quake, the swamps will empty and the first multi trillion MLM enterprise will rise to standard head to toe with the great innovations today like Facebook Google, PayPal etc.

Written by: Chris Corey SEO Wildman

 

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