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With Jim Collins

Best-selling author of Good to Great

With Jack Welch

Former CEO of General Electric and best-selling author

With Patrick Lencioni

Best-selling author of the Five Dysfunctions of a Team and other leading management books.

George Levy featured in Computer World magazine.

George Levy Speaking at World Innovation Forum

With Miguel Bose

International Spanish music superstar

With Calvin Klein

Fashion designer and CEO – Creator of one of the world’s leading fashion empires.

I had the pleasure of working and Blogging with Andreas Weigend, former Chief Scientist for Amazon.com during the 2010 World Innovation Forum held at Nokia Theatre in New York City.

During his session at WIF10, Andreas spoke about what he calls the Social Data Revolution, in which he asserts that success in the online marketplace now hinges on people and the data they create.

During this interview with ManagemenTV,  Andreas explains his famous 4 C’s of marketing which were covered at WIF10 and are now a key part of his lectures on social data and e-commerce at Stanford University.


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At HSM, we have just made available online a spectacular interview with Soraya Darabi, co-founder of the location-based online community FoodSpotting.com

If you’re not familiar with FoodSpotting, it is an online community where people share their food eating experiences. Rather than presenting recipes or basic user reviews, Foodspotting is a full-fledged online community where users share photos and the location of great dishes. By using GPS and mobile technology, the Foodspotting App can recommend where are the best dishes that are found closest to you, as well as how to get to them.

In this video interview with ManagemenTV (HSM’s Management Content Television network in Latin America), Soraya shares some of her views on Online Marketing and where she believes all of social media technology is headed.

As a bonus, Soraya also shares how she began her marketing career doing offline marketing while working for Sony Music and promoting music acts. (ROCK ON!)

I personally found the interview fascinating and Soraya to be extremely knowledgeable and eloquent. I believe you will think the same.

I would love to know your thoughts on the many aspects she touches upon during the interview including “the lack of rules in Internet Marketing”, the contrasts between “offline” and “online” marketing and her view of the future of monetization on the web.



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World Business Forum 2011I will be Blogging live from the 2011 World Business Forum at Javits Center North in New York City on October 5-6.

As I’ve done in previous HSM events, I have organized and am part of the Bloggers Hub at World Business Forum 2011 where I will be joining a selection of the world’s top business Bloggers. All of us will be bringing the action from the event to you live over the web via our Blogs and using the Twitter Hashtag #WBF11

Follow the Action Live at the Bloggers Hub

If you are not attending this year’s event and wish to get even closer to the action beyond following the Bloggers Hub, we have developed and have made available a Webcast of the event. To find out more about the World Business Forum 2011 Webcast including how to register, visit www.wbfny.com/Webcast

From experience having webcast previous events for HSM, the online webcast provides a lower cost alternative to traveling to New York City for the live event.

Additionally, the webcast version enables viewers to see the event at their own schedule as it provides a “live viewing” option and an “on demand” version which can be viewed at your own pace.

I look forward to Blogging and Tweeting the event and having you Follow me along with the entire #WBF11 Bloggers Hub on Twitter.


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In music, the silence between the notes being played is just as important as the notes themselves.

Without the right rhythm and combination of sounds and silences, a song will simply be a long stream of babbled noises.

The same thing applies to online marketing.

However, with the pressure of delivering on a sales objective and especially when sales are coming along slower than expected, the initial instinct of many marketers is to turn up the volume in the marketing activities they are already performing to attempt to drive sales. In other words, in an attempt to “muscle through additional sales” they start to simply “Make More Noise.”

Making More Noise

“Making More Noise” can take many shapes depending on the situation… It can be:

  1. Sending more sales emails
  2. Tweeting more sales messages
  3. Posting more sales offers on Facebook
  4. Sending more direct mail sales pieces
  5. Placing more sales calls
  6. Running more sales ads…

The list goes on…

There’s only one problem with this approach.

There comes a point when all this additional noise you’re creating works against you and you simply start turning people off.

Enjoying the Silence

There is a space I like to call the “Silence between the notes” which is a critical space in the sales process which can make or break a sale if played incorrectly.

Let me explain by using an example:

If you are at all familiar with email marketing, you’ll know that simply sending an email campaign to a list does not translate into immediate sales transactions. Although email can get your message to your audience in a matter of moments, it’s up to the recipient whether to buy or not, and if so when to make that purchase.

In other words, an email you send today with a special offer can generate a sale several weeks from today as the recipient was simply not ready to make the purchase at that moment.

As an example, think of an offer for discounted plumbing services. Unless your customer’s toilet is broken or they have a leak to fix, odds are they won’t be buying immediately but bust a water pipe and you can be sure that customer will be calling you ASAP.)

As such, it’s the space or “silence” between the marketing actions where most of the actual sales take place as it is the space where the customer is making the decision to make their purchase or not.

Staying Top of Mind Without Being Too “Pushy” or “Hard Salesy”

It is in this period of “silence” between the “notes”/marketing messages you’ve sent to the customer that your role shifts from “pushing the sale” to “supporting the process” and staying top of mind.

Once you’ve done a thorough job of pushing your marketing messages out to your audience – keep in mind that there is a certain amount of time that a customer will take before making a buying decision. This amount of time will vary depending on the product or service you are selling. It is this “silence” that makes marketers sometimes feel uncomfortable but mastering this discomfort is critical to your sales success.

When faced with this uneasy feeling, remember the “silence between the notes.” That is the waiting period between marketing messages leading up to the purchase is just as important or in many occasions even more important in the buying process of your customers.

Three Questions to Rock Your Mind:

1- Are you guilty of “Making More Noise” in your own marketing campaigns?

2- When sending out email campaigns, do you look at your performance metrics to see who has opened, clicked or taken any type of action on your communication?

3- What non-selling steps can you implement to support your customers within that “silent” space between marketing messages?


Photo Credit: surfzone

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Anberlin Performing Enjoy the Silence by Depeche Mode. From their album Lost Songs (C) 2007

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I recently published a post with an analysis and my views on online deals such as Groupon, Living Social, Google Deals, etc.

In that post, I gave an overview of the good and the bad aspects of running one of these deeply discounted offers for your own business.
I’d like to now touch upon some hardly mentioned negative effects that Groupon and other daily deals have on your established client base, particularly on businesses which have been running for some time and as a result have “regulars” which buy from them repeatedly. 


How Offering a “Groupon type offer” Hurts Your Most Loyal Clients.
As I explained in my previous post, in order to offer a Groupon or similar deal offer, you need to cut the price of your product or service offering dramatically in order to establish “the unmissable daily deal.”

Groupon and the other services then take that offer and send it out to their vast audience of enlisted subscribers.

While it’s true that you will technically be exposing your business to millions of potential new customers… One key thing that’s not taken into consideration is that many of your current customers are also Groupon subscribers, or they are friends with people who are Groupon subscribers.
As such, they will eventually receive your half priced offer directly or have a friend who will forward them the deal.

So… Your regular customers who have come to trust you over the years, and expect to be treated in a special way as your valued, regular paying customer – all of a sudden receive an offer for a half priced version of the same service they regularly pay you twice as much for.

With one fell swoop, your customer’s perception of the value of your product or service has now been established at around 50% of what you regularly charge.

Furthermore, after these customers purchase the Groupon or other daily deal offer, they are added to the Groupon main subscriber database which means they will then receive offers from all your competitors who are running Groupons as well.


Considering that you ran a Groupon, you are now grouped in the same category as all your competitors with no “special value” for what you charge. In other words, your product or service becomes instantly commoditized and is now valued at it’s currency cost, not on the overall value you had established with your regular client.

(Note – while this “negative effect” from Groupon may not apply to all your regular clients and there are some who will let it slip by, and understand that you are simply marketing… In my experience with multiple small business owners with established clienteles who have run Groupon-like offers, there has been a negative impact on their closest customers with many leaving bad reviews on sites such as Yelp and Google Reviews.)


In the end, the main lesson to be taken from this is to keep in mind and prepare for the potential negative backlash that running this kind of daily deal can have on your loyal customers. Keep this in mind and weigh the pros and cons before running this type of marketing campaign.

Remember – Daily Deal providers such as Groupon are in business to generate a profit, and while offering a daily “deep discount offer” with one of these players can expose you to a large number of new potential buyers – they can have a negative effect on your most loyal clientele.


Three Questions to Rock Your Mind:

1- In what ways can you keep your current clients happy while you run a Groupon type offer which is bringing new customers to your business?

2- As the fourth step in the ROCK  marketing framework is to “Keep Selling” to your customers, can you structure a Groupon like offer only for clients which that you can send to your own email database? (BTW, You DO have an email database don’t you?)

3- Can you create offers on location based services such as Foursquare, Yelp and Facebook Places that will benefit your established clients – not just new ones?


Follow me on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/georgelevy, subscribe to this Blog and receive weekly updates at http://glevy.me/subscribe

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Photo Credit: gruntzooki


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About Levy
George Levy is an award-winning digital marketing and CRM expert with more than 15 years of experience creating and executing online and mobile strategies.
He is the former Vice President of Online Marketing for World Business Forum (WOBI) and a co-founding team member of Yupi.com, an Internet startup acquired by Microsoft Corporation to become what is now MSN Latino. Continue Reading ...

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