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Mike Sweeney

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Top Stories by Mike Sweeney

Interviews: 7 Hours: 21 Transcribed words: 3,478 Customer insights: Priceless. We recently delivered our latest content-driven marketing plan, and here’s what happened during our presentation of slides 9-16: Reassuring nods. Quizzical looks. And of course, the almost too common, “Who in the hell said THAT?” Slides 9-16 were a recap of the customer and employee interviews we conduct as part of the marketing planning process, and when presented, they always generate discussion. Sometimes, clients are so shocked, I wonder, “Are you actually talking to your customers regularly?” That was not the case here, yet the customer insights still managed to get folks to sit up and pay attention. Getting these insights out of customers is not as easy as it seems. It starts with identifying the right mix of customers and asking them (ever so nicely) to spend an hour of their t... (more)

How Successful Customer Acquisition Programs Can Ruin Your Brand

We recently wrapped a client project that involved us delivering a complete marketing evaluation and recommendation, covering areas such as overall marketing strategy, user experience, customer acquisition tactics and consumer messaging. The project required extensive competitor research and evaluation; we looked at everything from competitor creative execution to third-party analytics to social media trends . Of all the competitive research we did, the most revealing task was becoming an actual customer of a few of our client’s competitors. I am not going to name the client, th... (more)

Fall Cleaning: Clean Up Your Online Brand

Personal Branding on Ulitzer As part of my normal procedure before meeting with a prospective partner, I explore as many of the company's marketing vehicles as possible. Sometimes that list is short - a website and a brochure.  Sometimes that list is longer - a website, brochure, blog, social media profiles, search engine listings, executive LinkedIn profiles, etc.   Over the weekend I went through this process to check out a prospective partner, and ran into some good news and bad news.  The good news is that this company has clearly embraced the idea of expanding its footprint b... (more)

The Art of Unfollowing: Twitter Time Management

Twitter on Ulitzer For those of you who read Marketing Trenches regularly, I promise this is the last time I will post something about Twitter for at least one month.   There are more pressing topics to cover, topics that are more relevant to your various business missions.  That being said, given the relative popularity of my last post - The Only Rule of Twitter: Be True To Yourself - I decided to finish a post that I started conceptualizing weeks ago. I am a small business owner, and from what I can gather from sources like Entrepreneur or Inc. Magazine, that makes me about as ... (more)

Avoid the Seven Common Software Marketing Mistakes

Marketing Automation on Ulitzer Software is ubiquitous these days, and there are so many flavors to choose from.  We have business software as well as personal/consumer software.  We have software that barely dents the wallet as well as software that requires a complex business decision-making process and millions of dollars.  We see Software as a Service (SaaS) models as well as Software as a Product (SaaP) models. The broad range of software types makes it difficult to identify the most common marketing mistakes, but not impossible.  Having worked as employee, consultant and ... (more)