Blog | The Brainzooming Group - Part 190 – page 190
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I had a great opportunity to participate in a panel presentation Wednesday at the Association of Fundraising Professionals, MO, Mid-America Chapter along with Dave Svet of Spur Communications and Patrick Sallee of the American Red Cross, Greater Kansas City Chapter. The topic was “Can Your Smartphone Be a Smart Fundraiser? Mobile fundraising and other “Smart” Strategies.” Short story, we all approached it from a social networking and mobile strategy angle, with insights applicable to nonprofits and for-profit businesses both.

The Other Speakers

Patrick Sallee covered actual case studies of “text to give” from his career. Patrick addressed the upsides (significant impact opportunities when tied to an attention-getting event) and downsides (set-up and ongoing costs, long payment processing cycles, challenges in reaching sufficient scale). The net of his remarks was that “text to give” yields on average about $1000 for a charity, which makes pursuing this social networking strategy not widely viable.

Dave Svet provided a solid overview of the technical opportunities and challenges of mobile giving. He covered smart phone trends that will make mobile giving more seamless domestically in a few years. Near-term, Dave underscored the importance of a mobile-enabled website and the opportunity to develop app-like features within a web environment at significantly less cost than creating custom apps.

Mobile Content Marketing Strategy

I presented on content marketing strategies for nonprofits before fund raising even starts. The mobile content marketing ideas were tied to a social networking impact model The Brainzooming Group uses. The social networking impact model is focused on maximizing audience interests, how to create compelling communication within a mobile strategy, and methods to employ social networking most effectively in sharing an organization’s stories with its key audiences.

Here are five key social networking points from my section on mobile content marketing:

  • It is no surprise that spouses, relatives, friends, and experts are more important to consumer brand decisions than having a Facebook or Twitter page. Two big opportunities exist for brands in social networking, though. These opportunities are to share content and a personality which moves a brand into a friend or expert role and to provide content to individual social network members they can readily and credibly share within their own social networks.
  • Develop relevant personas for important audiences to improve addressing audience needs and interests with your content. Write content for individuals (not for the masses) about what your organization thinks, knows, and does.
  • In a mobile environment, compelling communication requires brevity, direct calls to action, integrated messaging, a mobile-enabled website, and easy ways to invite people to deeper information.
  • When making the move from solely traditional communication vehicles (annual reports, quarterly newsletters, events, etc.) to include social media, take advantage of the opportunity for greater frequency to share a more complete organizational message. Quarterly Facebook status updates do not cut it.
  • In addition to sharing stories of the people and personalities associated with your organization, make it easy for your audience to share your content via social sharing.

What Questions Does this Prompt?

Beyond the talks from Patrick Sallee, Dave Svet, and me, there were some intriguing questions from the group on social networking, technology, and content marketing. Look for a future post addressing audience questions from the Association of Fundraising Professionals session on social networking and mobile content marketing strategy. Do you have any questions you’d like to throw in the mix before that post? – Mike Brown

 

If you’re struggling with determining ROI and evaluating its impacts, download “6 Social Media Metrics You Must Track” today!  This article provides a concise, strategic view of the numbers and stories that matter in shaping, implementing, and evaluating your strategy. You’ll learn lessons about when to address measurement strategy, identifying overlooked ROI opportunities, and creating a 6-metric dashboard. Download Your Free Copy of “6 Social Media Metrics You Must Track!”

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Are your innovation and creativity efforts too focused on new products? Do you spend too much time adding bells and whistles, trying to be the next new thing? Could you have more positive impact focusing on making current products (or services) easier to use, safer, or less expensive? Is enhancing the current user experience a bad thing?

Why Isn’t It Working Properly?

In the book, Free Flight, James Fallows showed that in case after case what had been called pilot error was, in fact, a problem with the design or manufacture of the aircraft. But everything was sloughed off to “operator error” and not enough was being done to fix those problems or look at them in that context. The emphasis was on “new and fancier,” not fixing what was systemically done wrong in the past.

During a recent weekend I saw two such instances of “operator error.” I went to two events that featured speaker presentations. At each a speaker used PowerPoint to make her presentation and it was in “normal” rather than “slide show” mode. The first time, it was distracting, but didn’t make a lot of difference. The presentation was essentially a brochure transferred to overheads. There wasn’t much suspense in the presentation and being able to see what the next slide was going to be wasn’t a big deal.

The second time, however, it really detracted. The topic was how to choose colors for the exterior of a house—walls, trim, roof, accessories. The presenter was at a large “home and garden” show, she had written a book on the subject and at least part of her goal in the presentation was to sell that book.

With PowerPoint in normal mode she was showing images that were about one-half size of what they could/should have been. She kept saying things like, “If the picture were bigger you could see that this trim really picks up the color of the flowers . . .” Plus, she had some before and after pictures, but because we could see what the next slide was going to be, none of the “afters” provided much in the way of surprise or impact.

What’s the Matter with PowerPoint?

Both of these presenters should have known better. Certainly the woman selling the book should have. But why is PowerPoint so “feature” rich and complex to use that it isn’t clear when you are using it wrong? Each version adds additional options, new menus, and moves things around. But that often occurs at the expense of what were solid, dependable ways of doing what you want to do.

Microsoft is a powerful source of creativity and innovation, but for the next version of Office I would be happy if they would focus on making it easier, simpler, and more dependable rather than “better.”  – Barrett Sydnor

The Brainzooming Group helps make smart organizations more successful by rapidly expanding their strategic options and creating innovative plans they can efficiently implement. Email us atbrainzooming@gmail.com or call us at 816-509-5320 to learn how we can deliver these benefits for you.

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Seems like everybody is a “solutions provider” these days. Whether you make a product, provide a service, or do just about anything, you better be telling clients you’re a  “business solutions provider.” In the past, it used to be all about “answers,” but when everybody started doing that, “solutions provider” became the new buzzphrase for every vendor to tout.

Having had a lot of vendors call on me in my corporate life talking about being a solutions provider, I became very skeptical about the buzzphrase and what business expertise might really be behind it.

What Does It Really Mean to Provide Solutions

In light of that, it was refreshing at an event I was helping produce recently to hear a business-to-business services customer offer his perspective on what being a business solutions provider really means for him. While his list was industry specific, his remarks prompted this short list of questions a vendor (or their business clients) should be able to answer “yes” to if solutions really are part of the equation:

This list clearly just skims the surface. For those of you buying business products and services from companies claiming to provide solutions, what do you think separates  companies really solving challenges from the posers who claim to but don’t?

– Mike Brown

The Brainzooming Group helps make smart organizations more successful by rapidly expanding their strategic options and creating innovative plans they can efficiently implement.  To learn how we can bring out the best innovative thinking in your team email us at brainzooming@gmail.com or call us at 816-509-5320.

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Leadership – Faux leaders don’t want people to be in a position to tell them something they’re doing is stupid. Watch for this telltale sign of a poor leader.

Truth – When you hate the truth, you’re hating on something you’ll regret hating on for a long time. It may not always seem to us as if truth wins the day, but truth wins even when we can’t recognize it.

Openness – If things aren’t going well, and you’re not hearing your team discuss reasons why, maybe you have mental cotton stuffed in your ears.

Subterfuge – When someone becomes surprisingly eloquent, look to see if their results are surprisingly weak as well.

Root Causes– When you look around for who is causing recurring problems, don’t forget to stop in front of a mirror. – Mike Brown


The Brainzooming Group helps make smart organizations more successful by rapidly expanding their strategic options and creating innovative plans they can efficiently implement. Email us atbrainzooming@gmail.com or call us at 816-509-5320 to learn how we can deliver these benefits for you.

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In a week that’s been about loss and remembrance, the  line from the old song about “you don’t know what you got ’til it’s gone” comes to mind.  The line seems generally true.

But you might be able to know a little more about what you got before it’s gone if you:

  • Spend time reflecting on what gives you joy & fulfillment in your life.
  • Take a temporary break from the things in life you most enjoy.
  • Look at old family pictures or videos and appreciate the people who were with you then who are still with you now.
  • Spend time with people less fortunate than you are.
  • Start a journal or a blog reflecting changes in your life.
  • Realize that everything you have is a gift from God.
What else would help us know what we got before it’s gone? – Mike Brown

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Following up the Scott Monty presentation at the Social Media Club of Kansas City last Friday, I wanted to share these tweets. The Scott Monty presentation was outstanding. It struck me how many of his key points were applicable not only to online behaviors but to great offline behaviors as well. Whether in our business or personal lives, there are some basic behaviors that go a long way to helping other people and their dreams for success.

Offline and Online Behaviors Are a Lot Alike

Here are eight of Scott Monty’s comments. I am not sure whether I captured them all as direct quotes or not, but consider them all Scott Monty presentation content:

  • It is all about supporting business objectives.
  • Attention and trust are fundamental.
  • A personal touch and regular engagement make a real difference.
  • You have to share with quality and do it consistently and repeatedly.
  • You have to display respect and humility in all communications.
  • At a certain point, you have to realize someone may be a lost cause and not waste resources trying to convert them.
  • Great products back up everything you communicate.
  • Passion is the secret weapon.

Wrap-Up

Scott Monty delivered a great message throughout his “social media” presentation: good offline and online behaviors are the same. As he pointed out, successful social media people act just as Dale Carnegie suggested when he published “How to Win Friends and Influence People” in 1936. – Mike Brown

 

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If you’re struggling with determining ROI and evaluating its impacts, download 6 Social Media Metrics You Must Track” today!  This article provides a concise, strategic view of the numbers and stories that matter in shaping, implementing, and evaluating your strategy. You’ll learn lessons about when to address measurement strategy, identifying overlooked ROI opportunities, and creating a 6-metric dashboard. Download Your Free Copy of “6 Social Media Metrics You Must Track!

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In my on-going efforts to save readers from watching reality TV shows to glean important life lessons, I dove into a “Restaurant Impossible” marathon last Sunday on the Food Network. Hosted by Robert Irvine, the one-hour show features restaurants at the brink of failure. Robert Irvine puts each failing restaurant through a 2-day, $10,000 last chance makeover. These boot camp-oriented turnarounds got me thinking about how lessons from “Restaurant Impossible” could serve as “repair your blog” tips if yours is in need of a turnaround (or at least some significant improvements).

9 Lessons from Restaurant Impossible to Help Your Blogging

1. A restaurant has to look appealing to get people to eat there.

Repair Your Blog Tip: Does your site look appealing and do readers want to stick around to view a variety of content?

2. A successful chef has to know what ingredients surprisingly go together and which do not.

Repair Your Blog Tip: Are you using the same old ingredients on your site or are you bringing in new and unusual combinations of social media content and interactive elements?

3. Strong restaurants have a few signature dishes people remember and return for repeatedly.

Repair Your Blog Tip: What are the couple of types of topics providing dependable go-to social media content for you and your readers?

4. You have to sample the food coming out of the kitchen.

Repair Your Blog Tip: You cannot judge your site only by how it looks on the website. Subscribe to and review it via email, RSS, and all the other types of places your content appears online.

5. If you do not know your food costs, your restaurant will never make a profit.

Repair Your Blog Tip: Do you have a good handle on important metrics for your social media effort? Do you know what readers are responding to and how much time they are spending with your content?

6. Successful restaurants have a “Wow” factor at the door.

Repair Your Blog Tip: When new and returning readers hit a landing page, what intriguing, sticky content greets them?

7. When a restaurant misses the little details, it seems as if the restaurant does not care about anything.

Repair Your Blog Tip: Step way away to see what details you may be missing. Ask some people who do not read your posts everyday about their perceptions of little details you might be missing.

8. Even when you are up and running, you have to practice new things.

Repair Your Blog Tip: Are you trying new styles of designing, writing, and creating content? This may mean investing time practicing and developing new elements that never see the light of day.

9. Every “Restaurant Impossible” projects lasts 2 days with a $10,000 budget – when most should take 6 months and cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Repair Your Blog Tip: If you confined your blogging turnaround to 1 weekend and only what you could do for $100, what magic could you make happen with your content and how it’s presented?

Well?

Which of these lessons and blogging tips hit home for you? Are there one or two lessons you will be working on changing this weekend? – Mike Brown

 

If you’re struggling with determining ROI and evaluating its impacts, download “6 Social Media Metrics You Must Track” today!  This article provides a concise, strategic view of the numbers and stories that matter in shaping, implementing, and evaluating your strategy. You’ll learn lessons about when to address measurement strategy, identifying overlooked ROI opportunities, and creating a 6-metric dashboard. Download Your Free Copy of “6 Social Media Metrics You Must Track!”

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