Have you ever felt at the end of the line on a topic or hobby that you really love?Â Thatâ€™s how Iâ€™m feeling right now about social media â€¦ that I just havenâ€™t been growing much with it lately, havenâ€™t been helping TempWorks and our clients out with it like I should.
Iâ€™ve thought about going to one of the many marketing or sales conferences that go on all the time.Â But you know the routine and if you read StaffingTalk regularly you know how I feel about them.Â Polished but generic speakers â€“ deja vu.Â Exhibits staffed by newbie sales types that will call you for months after the fact.Â Time for a renewal.
On Tuesday, April 13th Iâ€™ll be attending Chris Broganâ€™s New Marketing conference in San
Francisco. Iâ€™m a big fan of Chris and follow his blog studiously. Heâ€™s given me so much wisdom for free Iâ€™m not hesitant to plunk down the $100 for what he promises is a hand-picked set of speakers and exhibitors.
I have no doubt that the conference will be worth it just to hear Chris speak, but how about those exhibitors? Who are they? Hereâ€™s a brief list:
Brickfish is a community of â€śmovers and shakersâ€ť with â€śinsanely clever solutionsâ€ť for clients like Nieman Marcus. OK â€¦when youâ€™re a 52 year-old programmer, it doesnâ€™t hurt to at least shake hands with some who moves and shakes.
Genius provides software that uniquely integrates all marketing channels. OK, sounds a lot like what part of my company TempWorks does. Email marketing, web analytics, CRM â€¦ itâ€™s all there in a centralized database accessible by everything from your PC to your Iphone.
But wait, they do more. They â€śtrack and scoreâ€ť prospect behavior. â€śScoringâ€ť sounds interesting. I relate it mostly to B2C-type activities, not B2B which is my business and that of my clients.
Iâ€™m interested to see if Genius works for B2B as well.
HiveFire enables brands to be the center of their industry conversations and establish online authority. They â€śtame the flood in B2B social mediaâ€ť and â€ścurate content."
This all sounds good but really, I donâ€™t get what it is they actually do.Â I can see how having a really great writer/editor help you do these things, but a product?Â Not so clear. They have a rather lame-sounding quote on their home page from a client saying they were impressed to get sales leads from the HiveFire portal, but whatâ€™s the connection between their portal product and content curation?
Perhaps their product is aimed at companies much bigger than mine. In any case I look forward to hearing more about curation, something that social media desperately needs.
Promise to Cover These Vendors Later
Itâ€™s Easter, and I want to go hit a couple buckets of balls on this lovely Minnesota Spring morning before joining the family reunion and Easter egg hunt, so Iâ€™ll stop now but promise to finish covering the rest of the exhibitors later.
OK, Iâ€™m back
Iâ€™m trying not to be unpleasant or difficult in these reviews, but Iâ€™m seeing a trend that marketing-oriented companies donâ€™t know how to say what they do. First, the spoiler on Powered: they do content management software.
But you wouldnâ€™t know it from its home page.Â There you learn that they â€śdrive top-line revenue, build better brand loyalty, and deliver measurable ROIâ€ť which distinguishes them from virtually no one.
You wouldnâ€™t know it from their tagline either, which says â€śsocial marketing, evolved."
Deep into their product page, you get the first glimpse that their product is a content management system but that fact is buried in other information offered as of equal importance, for example, that they do â€śprogram insights capabilities." Â Huh? Call the stack-noun police.
Ok, I like Awareness from the get-go because their name and their tagline tell me what they do. Â Also, from their attractive home page you learn that they â€śPublish, Manage and Measure across multiple social channels.â€ť
The rest of their website is the same with very clear writing and visuals.Â First A+ StaffingTalk can offer so far.
Blue Sky is an email marketing company. Very straightforward site with videos, humor and calls-to-action. I am interested in comparing what they have compared to our internal system within TempWorks.
Constant Contact does email marketing, surveys and event marketing. I know people that use this service and like it very much. Their website, like Blue Sky, communicates their value proposition well.
One negative: they have â€śhow it worksâ€ť videos (great idea) that are front-loaded with a lot of â€śarenâ€™t we greatâ€ť braggadocio. Â So the video has the effect of reducing trust and creating anxiety â€¦ the exact opposite of the effect desired.
Focus researches products and offers white papers like â€śComparison Guide: Hosted CRMâ€ť and â€śBusiness Printers Comparison Guide." Itâ€™s like a webzine except that any attempt to get information presents the user with a form to fill out. Iâ€™m guessing their business model is to charge vendors for the contact information of people who submit requests to get the white papers.
GX does enterprise web content management.Â Their pitch is that theyâ€™ll create more visitors to your website and convert anonymous visitors into engaged customers.
They communicate their message well, but now that Iâ€™m seeing several CMS-related exhibitors here, the question that comes to mind is, why not WordPress? Â Iâ€™m a late convert to WordPress and Thesis. I wish I went with it for my corporate website and blogs a long time ago. Why would anyone want to use a less-traveled CMS?
That isnâ€™t to say that GX and others arenâ€™t already doing the enterprise CMS work in a great way for key clients â€“ Iâ€™m sure they are.
Wiley publishes and markets all manner of knowledge-based products â€“ books, apps etc.
Many of the companies Iâ€™ve covered here do very similar things related to the web and marketing. As is always the case when product descriptions themselves offer little differentiation, it is the face of the product â€“ the sales representative â€“ that makes all the difference.
Iâ€™m curious to find out more about them at the conference.