Building and exploiting your GDPR-compliant data is often one of the weak points of SMEs. Indeed, SMEs frequently do not have an updated database to create marketing campaigns. This is what we are going to look at in this post. The presentation originally comes from a webinar in Spanish by the Valencian Chamber of Commerce. I hope you will find its translation helpful.
In this blog post, we will go through the following agenda points:
How to build a database
How to exploit a database with campaign examples
Programmes: CRM, email, and automation.
1. Key Aspects
2. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
As you probably know, you can’t store data nor use data that is unnecessary for the purpose of your campaign. For example, if you are a children’s clothes shop, you will need to target parents who have children and their children’s ages. You should only ask for these two pieces of information, and nothing more.
If you would like to know a bit more about data privacy law rules in the EU, UK, and the USA, I recommend you to read this blog.
Which information to collect about your clients and users
Which people have access to the information
Who is responsible for the data processing
The period during which you are going to store data and the users’ possibility to exercise the ARCO rights(Access, Rectification, Cancellation, and Opposition).
A) Example of a promotion registration form
B) Plugin GDPR
3. How to build a database
A) IN-PERSON RAFFLE TO GET A DATA BITE
B) GOOGLE FORMS
You can use Google Forms to create questionnaires. Google Forms will create a link to the form, which can be used for webinars and newsletters.
C) easy promos
D) FACEBOOK PROSPECTS REGISTRATION FORM
The purpose of social media advertising is to generate revenue through selling your products and getting prospects to sign up for your newsletter. To entice them to do so, it is recommended to offer discounts and a have call-to-action button such as ‘sign up’.
E) WEB REGISTRATION FORMS
4. How to exploit a database with campaign examples
All marketing campaigns must be measurable. For example, when it comes to email campaigns, you should check the opening rate of emails.
A) WhatsApp CAMPAIGNS
Mailing-list in WhatsApp: Only the contacts that have your phone number saved in their contacts will receive your broadcast messages.
B) SMS CAMPAIGNS
C) SOCIAL MEDIA AD CAMPAIGNS
C) EMAIL CAMPAIGNS
5. CRM PROGRAMMES – AUTOMATION
The automation purpose is to retrieve purchases, lost shopping carts.
The webinar about how to differentiate yourself successfully from the competition. It is hosted by Dominique HANS, Sales Trainer, and Consultant at Perform’ Hansand Managing Partner at Value Selling Associates.
N.B: Avis aux français, les diapositives sont en français, puisque ce webinaire a été créé pour le marché français, mais est valade pour tous types de pays en temps de covid.
What needs to be changed?
How: Draw your client’s attention.
Create a need for a differentiator.
Find out the value of this difference.
Differentiation FAILURES and impacts:
Most markets are saturated:
Flooded with a low-priced competition.
Competitors look alike.
The purchasing cycle becomes more complicated:
What is the value?
The purchasing cycle has very much changed. Now, customers have the power and make their own choices. For budget reasons, companies often decide to internalise their solutions. Consequently, to sell, we need to start off and establish a dialogue around value unlike the example below.
Up to now 71 % of salespeople only talk about their product. This way of selling no longer works.
What does it mean for sales professionals?
The differentiation must go beyond the product and its abilities.
The dialogue around value must be significant and relevant.
Different or differentiated:
It refers to the list of your unique abilities. We mean here by unique abilities, the functionalities, and differentiating elements of the products.
Successfully link your unique abilities with your potential customers’ issues. In other terms, sell unique abilities that are relevant and valuable to your customers.
Let me give you an example:
If I have a business based in France and only working with customers, trying to sell our international services and expertise will not interest them at all.
Furthermore, it is the salesperson’s role to discover additional problems to resolve, which will create further needs.
Going even further/beyond…:
Widen/Research your customer requests to put forward your unique solution abilities compared to the competition.
How to successfully differentiate yourself from your competitors?
Success rests on the knowledge of companies and their business.
Our competitive advantage is in the way we sell our products and services, and not based on our product or technical knowledge.
Become an expert in problems by asking questions to find a solution for our clients.
The reversed approach:
Understand what urges your potential client to listen to you.
Switch your dialogue to draw the attention of your conversation partners.
Link your solution to your potential client’s problems.
Put into practice the differentiation method to all your clients’ messages: introductions, proposals, customised communications. Repeat 2-3 times throughout your negotiation the differentiating points.
5 differentiating sectors:
Reduction of risk/brand
General Terms and Conditions
Terms and conditions: small and mid-sized companies can allow themselves to be a little more flexible with their terms and conditions.
Customer experience: the stakes are to figure out the client’s priorities and challenges.
Position your differentiation:
1- The client recognises the need: his problems.
2. The client searches for a solution.
3. Discovery of additional problems: reducing the competition.
The salesperson must look for additional problems to create the need.
The challenge of value fulfilment:
The customers’ stakes are the centre of this challenge and are composed of:
Develop the value for the client:
VB or BV = Business Value
The tangible value is measured by calculating the Return On Investment (ROI) and the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), while the intangible value can be achieved with a sound sales pitch.
For example, the price can be determined by measuring the key performance indicators (KPIs) such as the trading ability.
VP or PV = Personal Value
Personal value is of an inestimable value. It answers the question: What will I earn from it?
For example, for the customer experience, the salesperson must find out what are the client’s personal values, e.g., self-sufficiency, innovation.
For that, they can ask the client: ‘What is important to you personally?’ The salesperson can also help the customer delve further into their decisions since customers often do not take the time to work on this. The salesperson can ask: ‘How do you perceive this solution?’
However, the absence of differentiation rarely indicates that a product or a service is of bad quality. It generally means that we have not succeeded in discovering what was important for the company and for the client.
In the current context where everything goes fast, the client rarely notices this. That is why it is important to ask them more questions to discover their needs.
How do you differentiate yourself?
Follow-up customer’s needs to put forward your unique abilities compared to the competition.
Develop the value of your differentiators in your potential clients’ and clients’ minds.
Bring concrete answers to your clients’ key stakes by becoming their personal trusted adviser.
Action Plan TO differentiate yourself from your competitors:
Choose an ongoing opportunity:
Step 1: Determine where you are different or better than the competing alternative choices.
Step 2: Are these differences linked to problems by your client?
Step 3: Create specific questions to discover new needs linked to these differentiators.
Discover the Personal and Business Values linked to your main differentiators.
Before moving to the conclusion, please find answers to the asked questions:
Question 1: Can you please talk about the case of an invitation to public tender/procurement?
Answer: The invitation to tender/the call for bids is a list of the client’s solutions and problems. You need to answer that list and ask your client what are their priorities.
Question 2: What is the human factor in the differentiation?
Answer: Distance selling implies more importance on the content rather than the human interaction.
Question 3: How can I identify the personal value without appearing intrusive?
Answer: The personal value can only be identified in one-to-one meetings with each decision-maker. One needs to identify all alternatives. For example, for a service, you can consider as important the client’s time, money, and human resources. Traditionally, you can only ask these questions at the second or third meeting. If the client doesn’t answer, you shouldn’t insist and take time to build the relationship.
Question 4: What can I do when a potential client requests a demonstration before even negotiating?
Answer: We highly recommend you leave the demonstration at the very end of the negotiation process, as it often lacks interactions with clients when doing so. If you do go ahead with a demo, make sure to ask for the client’s feedbacks and initiate the demo with the following questions: Your time is precious. I do not want to waste your time. Can I ask you further questions to present you with the most appropriate information/demonstration?
Finally, ‘clients do not buy what you do, but why you do it.’ Quote by Simon Sinek, ‘Start with why’ author.
How to make concessions in negotiation is a presentation given by Michel Rozenberg, Executive & Strategic Consultant at Progress Consulting Belgium in Brussels.
To handle successfully commercial negotiations, he recommends you to follow from the discovery stage to the sale closure ‘the PCCC Process‘, which stands for:
Let me go through each stage for you.
You need to prepare your negotiation on 3 levels: technically (product features, the anticipation of questions), mentally (stress, tactics…), and understand the context (what is it about? What are the meeting objectives?).
This is the stage, where you meet people, establish a rapport, and discover facts.
We call it the ‘sales discovery stage’. It is a time when you must arouse interest in teasing your conversation partner.
However, you shouldn’t develop too much. At this point, you need to capture your interlocutor’s attention by asking strategic questions to discover your potential client’s needs. You become a customer advisor during this discovery/commercial diagnostic phase.
You need to ask open questions such as: Why? Where? How? When? How much/many?
You must stick to relevant questions about:
Your prospect context
The streamlined decision-making processes
How are decisions taken
Why you are meeting the prospect
Why they need to alter their situation
What they have tried before that didn’t work out for them
How do they see things in the future
What they would like to get.
You need to start:
Making and exchanging opening offers
Making concessions and offer compensations.
This is the ‘trailer’ effect, where you sell the benefits/the final result, by excessively simplifying your products and services. It is a specialised reasoning.
You make additional offers and concessions until you and your potential client reach an objective. Basically, you sell to your conversation partner the final benefit by going from the generic to the specific. You explain to the conversation partner how your solution in their context compared to the situation you mention, will help them reach their objectives.
Then you either:
Find an agreement. This decision-making process will be speeded up according to the behavioural customer profiling (Salesforce and communication team). At this stage, you must secure a commitment and a reminder date.
Find an agreement about a disagreement.
At each of these stages, you should make to engage your client, validate each point, build rapport, and sum up their needs. This is a sales collaboration.
Then, he recommends you to follow a process, i.e. concession patterns as shown below, which I’m going to detail further for you.
Pattern 1: Define your concessions and foresee room for maneuver
Pattern 2: Make them late, then later and later
You need to know your mandate in the selling process as well as show that you don’t give easily cheap deals, by taking your time to make negotiations, once one has been given. Get people to wait.
Pattern 3: Make them smaller and smaller, increase precision
That means give smaller and smaller concessions. You can do comma figures (e.g 1.5 instead of a round figure).
Pattern 4: If possible, make them on cheap topics
They could be concessions that cost less at the start of the negotiating process. For example, it could be a concession on payment terms, not on the product/service price.
Hint: make a list before the meeting, a list of topics.
Pattern 5: Don’t give more than necessary
For example, you could give a specific discount, not more.
Question of threshold:
At the consultation/confrontation stages: identify this threshold by asking questions in order to get the relevant information.
Minimum threshold versus maximum threshold. In your career, you may be happy to get a 10 % salary increase but won’t necessarily be happier if you get 20-25 % than if you only got a 10 % threshold.
Pattern 6: Almost always ask for compensation
Make concessions deserved
If you are hard to give concessions, they will not try as much to get further concessions.
Pattern 7: Make them conditional and temporary
They shouldn’t be part of your Terms and Conditions. You could strengthen the urgency or scarcity notion, which should be adapted to the client and product. This will motivate the client to conclude the purchase more quickly and require more effort from them.
Pattern 8: Foresee a small last one at the end
This concession should be given very late in the process.
You could grant a very small one (cheap deal) but it will give a big impact. You should only give it if necessary if it will help close the deal/get the signature or find an agreement.
Pattern 9: Don’t disclose your deadlines
If you do disclose them, it will give your potential client power over you that could be used as manipulation. This will give the conversation partner a competitive advantage and give them excuses to put pressure on you to close the deal. Do as if the end of the quarter isn’t important to you.
Finally, when possible, try to split concessions into several pieces. That will give them the impression they will gain something several times. It will have a bigger impact, even if the end value is the same. Remember, people are still hunters.
Opportunity Hunting in Chaos. It is a presentation about innovation given by Jeremy Gutsche, Trend Hunter CEO & NYT Bestselling Author.
Chaos creates opportunity but also sparks ongoing change. Often, people don’t notice the extent of the ongoing change.
Furthermore, when hunting opportunity in chaos, it’s very important to develop a series of tactics and tools to help you filter through the noise, in order to see each of those incremental steps and better identify clusters of opportunities.
Indeed, in any markets/companies/organisations, when it comes to identifying opportunities in chaos, there are really 3 different things to be good at :
Reset your expectations
Have a tactic or toolkit for hunting new ideas, inspiration.
Have a system of filtering through those ideas to find a cluster of opportunities.
We are going to step through each of these steps into opportunity hunting.
Additionally, when opportunity hunting and getting those results mentioned above, you need to ask yourself this question: where do you find new ideas?
Here are some example of ideas to help you get inspired:
Trend safaris: Try to experience other industries and cultures (IKEA)
Look for subcultures: Look for subcultures of cool or the opposite of mainstream (QUIKSILVER)
Create a full perceptual map of the industry: look at restaurants, food trucks, anything related to the product cycle of what it is they are creating (PEPSI)
Randomise your inspiration: go to lectures, webinars you’ve never been to before or would normally be interested in (IDEO)
People watching: visit competitors and smaller shops to study what customers are doing (NESTLE)
Pursue curiosities: answer the question ‘wouldn’t it be cool if… ?’ (APPLE/CANVA).
1- Tactics from our clients
The first concept we will dive into will be:
2- Four levels of opportunity hunting
A cluster is a group of items that have the same common factor. For eg, here caffeinated products (drink, crips, chewing gums).
3- Innovation exercise in opportunity hunting: design your own hip hotel.
a) your market (eg Hotels)
b) adjacent markets (eg Hotel services)
c) your target market demographic likes and is doing
In a 2.0 World, the vending machine would give a free drink if you use the hashtag shown on the machine.
d) Group into meaningful clusters
But here is the catch: the human mind is great at recognising patterns…by creating shortcuts… (bad!)
E) Throw your first clusters away
Now, you have these groups and need to pick only one of those new clusters to create a new hotel. And what you’ll find that at round 2, people come up with more interesting and unique hotels and less expensive.
Here is what happens. When you focus on a cluster, you’ll start working on a cluster important to your customers, because it is based on a series of ideas more likely to succeed.
4- Workshop: repeat these tactics for your brand
So, if you are wondering, how did I find these 6 clusters? Well, I use the patterns as follow:
In-room luxury: re-direction or surprise
Nostalgia co-branding: cyclicality
Humanisation of pets: simplicity, focusing on something very important for a specific group of people
Viral youth targeting: looking for things that are rebellious
Renting cultural experience: acceleration by taking one small idea and taking it to the next level.
I’ll show you now how this works. In the chaos, big changes are like splashes in water that create ripples of opportunity. The way I think about it is that ideas are like a plethora of little dots. Each dot represents a new idea. But those dots are a little more connected than you think. If you find multiple clusters and start adding up, you’ll find several related clusters, you can identify megatrends.
But if you dial megatrends up, even more, you can find the patterns. And the patterns are going to be the focus of the next 5-10 minutes, that we’ll dive into.
5- Patterns of opportunities
You could use the patterns of opportunities to label the change you see out there.
But you could use the patterns the other way. Instead of diagnosing, looking outward to find opportunities that are out there.
Divergence: ‘Instead of marketing to the masses, be irresistible to a specific group of people’.
Google didn’t want to buy Facebook in 2007 and tried to replicate what Facebook was doing, ie copying their business model. Guess what? It failed badly.
But, if we used ‘Divergence’ as a business model, we could breakdown what Facebook was doing and find new opportunities. Divergence means people don’t want to be part of the mainstream.
So, Facebook was a site for Friends. So, what is the opposite of that? A site for celebrities, people you don’t know. That opportunity was filled by Twitter later.
If people are archiving all of their photos, what if I don’t want to have my photos of parties to be archived for the rest of my adult life to be seen by others? Well, something needed to be less permanent, creating an opportunity for Snapchat.
If people are photographing their everyday life, their food, and ruining the art of photography, something needs to bring that art back. So, twelve people coded up Instagram and sold, interestingly enough, to Facebook for $1 billion, which is a nice check to split between twelve colleagues.
A) Divergence Pattern
If you want to find out divergence in your own market, you take an example of the innovations you are seeing and you’d ask questions like :
Nonetheless, I’m not going to explain all of these megatrends or sub-patterns today, because you can dive into those resources at trendhunter.com (especially trendhunter.com/pro). You’ll see our entire site is broken down like this, so you can learn the methodology.
Instead, i’m going to keep rolling on and walk you through each of the patterns.
B) Acceleration Pattern
Acceleration is the concept of ‘taking a little idea or customer experience and make it bigger, better, smarter, and more exciting‘.
I’ll give you an example. There’s a guy, who hated marathons. He thought marathons were stupid. You know why? Because people work really, then run and are not happy with the results, because, guess what, it’s a race. If you asked people who did marathons, how they did. People will almost always answer sheepishly: ‚I wish I did better, it wasn’t exactly perfect but I got it done‘. And if you asked people ‚why did you do the marathon?‘. They will answer ‚i wanted to have it completed‘.
So, there is that sense of accomplishment feeling, and accelerating it, you could make something more interesting. That’s when you created the concept of tough mudder, an experience where there is no clock or timer. And as you run, navigate the course, you’ll go through mud bogs… and you’ll do it all with your friends. So, it’s kind of cool because you do it as a team. You do it together, take pictures and everyone changes their telephone backgrounds to be that picture of their life accomplishment tough mudder. And in the future, if you ask the question; ‚how did you do in that race ?’, you’ll answer ‘I did awesomely. Take a look at this picture!‘
The company went to 0 to $70 million in two years, teaching us you need to re-think about what people actually want.
To find acceleration patterns in your industry, you’ve got to ask:
C) Cyclicality Pattern
This brings me to the next pattern ‚cyclicality’ with the simple notion that ‘everything old is new again’.
Consistently in the time, we see a great example of designs, culture from the past re-embed themselves in the modern-day. You know that people love certain things to come back. Cyclicality continues in almost every industry in a variety of ways.
To get the cyclical opportunity, you first ask :
D) Convergence Pattern
This brings me to the next pattern of ‚convergence‘ and the notion of ‚your next idea exists in some combination of things you already know‘.
Take a guy in prison who couldn’t help but think how different his life could be if he’d simply join his dad and his brother in the family bakeshop. He studied all the little tiny trends that seemed to impact the world of baking. Then, he made the ingredients organic, local, which gets to another segment, the restaurant. There, he put solar panels on the roof, which gets the eco crowd. He brought fair wages and more importantly got an element of social good by hiring ex-convicts. Finally, shock branding was pretty big at the time with the advertising slogan ‚Dave’s killer bread, it’s killer good, say no to bread on drugs‘.
The bakeshop went from a tiny shop to a $250 million bread empire in just a matter of years.
To get to a convergence opportunity, you need to ask yourself :
E) Reduction Pattern
Now, let’s move to the ‚reduction’ pattern, which is the concept of ‘it’s not about getting a big idea, it’s about a little idea you can make big’.
Think about all the apps that have a single function, yet are so successful because they do that function very well.
Let me tell you a story of a guy whose future wife broke up the engagement. He was left with a ring and initially didn’t quite know what to do. So, even though he was very late to the game, he started an online jewelry auction called ‚I do and now I don’t‘, so that the broken people can exchange their jewels. Now, he wanted to help people get over that little fear of how to make that transaction safe. Between the buyer and seller, he added an authenticator, to make sure the jewel is real.
With the concept of reduction, you are trying to be irresistible to a specific group of people.
To find your reduction opportunity, you’d scan your ideas and opportunities and ask yourself :
F) Redirection Pattern
Then, we will move on to the last of the six patterns we will view today, which is ‚redirection‘, that element of surprise. It is about ‚Reinventing and re-positioning the possibility of what could be’.
Here are a few examples of taking weaknesses into opportunities:
Re-direction opportunities can be found by looking at :
Summarising all this, let’s review the tactics for your brand in your opportunity hunting strategy:
The new ideas based on the cluster refers to your newly found customer insights.
6- 4 Levels of Breakthrough
Finally, let me walk you through a bonus part based on my experience of opportunity hunting.
A defining choice : you will get presented to you at some point in your career something you could do. It’s within your grasp. It’s often so close to your comfort zone, so similar to things that you have tried, that you dismiss it. If you want to not dismiss it, you must explicitly identify your comfort zone with your team. You then need to push your limits, make a bold choice.
A dismissable trend : it happens when you are an expert. It’s a trend in your industry where your expertise makes you think you know better. It explains why so many iconic innovators have missed out on huge opportunities that were within their reach. If you don’t want to miss a trend, be humble, ask questions, recognising the blinding power of your own expertise.
A workshoppable idea: it’s something that comes to you, it’s probably not a bad idea, but you need to workshop through it with your team. If you want to identify a workshoppable idea, challenge what seems possible, deep-dive your curiosities, and pursue your next customers (not the one you already have).
All of this brings me to the final idea, the hidden gem.
All in all, I’ll summarise by saying, you are going to create your future. You have so much potential within your grasp. Put push harder, act sooner, and never give up, because you are capable of more than you think.
Although door-to-door selling still works, depending on what you do, what you sell, and who you are visiting. However, in times of the corona crisis, digital market research has the upper-hand.
1- DIGITAL MARKET RESEARCH
When we talk about digital market research, we mean :
a) INBOUND MARKETING (ENTRANT)
Digital Marketing, also called Inbound Marketing (in French: prospection entrante).
Inbound marketing is how your leads (French : prospects) know you and how you draw them to you to get contact opportunities.
The basis for marketing is your website, which you will connect to Google. Google is the motorway, where everyone researches information. Your website must be well indexed on Google to allow good visibility but also be connected to the existing social networks (eg LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram).
In Marketing, we use 3 foundations :
SEO : Search Engine Optimisation (in French: référencement naturel). This is how you will write relevant web content to be ranked on Google when someone is looking for your company.
SEA : Search Engine Ads (in French: référencement payant). It refers to Google ads on the Internet. When people will look for you, you will be in the first results shown called “ad”. This allows you to be visible.
Both SEO and SEA are important. Be careful, however, one takes longer to get results than the other one. SEO takes between 6 and 12 months to be effective by following a real content strategy.
SEA is much quicker. In general, you pay Google and you are visible within the next following days. So, it allows you to generate quickly website traffic and convert this traffic into leads.
Both are complementary. SEO is a long-term time investment but doesn’t cost anything, whereas SEA works in the short-term since once you stop paying Google, it’s finished for you. It is recommended to mix both.
SMO : Social Media Optimisation –(in French : Optimisation des Réseaux Sociaux) allows you to create a community to get your website known what you sell (products or services), in order to generate traffic to your website, convert it into leads or even customers.
Contrarily to what some digital agencies will tell you, the Inbound marketing isn’t a one-solution-fits-all-situations. Outbound marketing (in French : prospection sortante) is still necessary. You will have to market research hard. Outbound marketing still has a big weight.
B) OUTBOUND MARKETING (SORTANT)
When one talks about outbound marketing (in French: prospection sortante), they mean contacting leads either by phone or by email. Although these are more traditional/classic market research techniques, if you do not carry them out, you will cut yourself out of a big market research part. Outbound marketing allows you to connect straight away what you sell to your target market. Furthermore, it’s not because it’s a traditional market research technique, that you will do it the old-fashioned way. Today, we use many digital products to create qualitative research. It is on this that I’m going to delve into and introduce you to different digital products I use.
Note as well that in 2019, 80% of companies in France achieved more than 80 % of their turnover thanks to outbound marketing.
2- GOAL: CREATION OF QUALITY DATABASE
You must create a good database that stands up.
You can do in-depth research on your ideal client profiles with LinkedIn Sales Navigator. Sales Navigator is a paying tool but it does better-targeted research than LinkedIn premium. LinkedIn Premium doesn’t allow a huge amount of data scraping. You can use filters such as :
Years of experience
You can also scrape data from LinkedIn and automate this process through Phantom Buster.
Phantom Buster will pretend to be You with your LinkedIn profile. To do this, you will need to copy and paste the link to your Sales Navigator/LinkedIn research. It will scrape data from each lead profile and convert it into an Excel spreadsheet table.
Then, you can also use other tools to find the phone numbers and email addresses of your leads. There are many options. Zoho is a free tool, but the downside is that it’s not interacting with any other tools.
Other tools they recommend you use:
These tools allow you to find the information you require and qualify your prospects while respecting the current General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
There is also ProspectIn, but you can’t export the data. Everything is integrated into the tool.
Anyway, what you need to remember is that these tools allow you to sort out market research information.
3- DATABASE CONSOLIDATION AND PROCESSING
Once you have this data, you will need to populate it in a tool, that will allow you to capitalise on the information you just gathered.
The unavoidable tool to do that is the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) database. Without a CRM, a salesperson is nothing today! The CRM will allow you to keep in touch with your clients and keep track of all actions done or required. In other terms, it will allow you to follow-up with your leads or clients.
You have several options for CRM software like:
HubSpot (free of charge)
Pipedrive (€12 per month).
In your CRM tool, you can add tasks such as dates for follow-up calls. You can also add details on the follow-up call results such as:
Not interested in – do not call back.
Follow-up call in X days…
If a lead answers you that they are not interested in, you can just answer; ‘I take into account…I am available…’. Most importantly, do not re-contact someone who replied they didn’t want to hear back from you.
You can also use Buffer to schedule your social media post, which will also allow you to do a follow-up.
Afraid of cold calling? And why not start by cold emailing? Before start sending any emails, of course, do your research to find out the best approach to use to tailor your emails to your leads. For your research, you need to answer questions such as :
What are the issues your leads are facing?
Is it relevant to exchange on the topic? (it is also a question you can ask your lead)
What do they post, talk about?
For cold emailing, they recommend you to use Lemlist, in order to create campaigns.
Lemlist will tell you the success of your campaign by giving you data like :
You can also add your email pictures.
Before starting reaching out, make sure to find out what problems your target market is facing, in order to customise better your campaign. Then, schedule on a monthly basis follow-up calls with a targeted lead list. If there are customers that aren’t online in your target market, you can connect with them through business networks and associations.
Finally, they recommend you to dedicate 1 to 2 hours to market research every day and count roughly €100-160 per month for all comprehensive market research tools, as these will replace a good few of your car trips to visit customers.
If you wish to get in touch with the UP BIZ, you can contact David Julien by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. He is based in Rouen, Normandy in France.
Ludovic SALENNE, Digital Marketer, Blogger and Sébastien VITU, Salesman, Consultant Inbound marketer offer you this aperitif webinar, in which they are answering participants‘ questions about digital market research.
The original digital market research (prospection digitale) webinar is in the French language only and can be viewed as a replay at this link.
Please note I have not dissociated the answers from Ludovic or from Sébastien in the replies. You will simply get both of their answers to each question.
So, now let’s get started with the Digital Market Research Q & A.
How to do digital market research without being too intrusive during the coronavirus crisis?
I hope as a salesperson, you haven’t stopped doing your offline and digital market research, because two months without turnover starts to be too long. Besides, if you still hesitated to do it after the deconfinement, you would have put your company financial health at risk. So, yes, you do need to carry on doing your market research.
The challenge is to stop talking about ‘You and your product(s)/service(s)’ and this is the real topic. This is the central theme we will be talking about tonight. Do not get into your sales pitch! These messages are currently inaudible to your potential customers because the situation is different. They have other things to think about than pouring money down the drain. Your potential customers think first about saving money rather than spending it.
Remember that regardless of the situation, the prospective customers base their decision in the grip of emotion. They then try to rationalise it, validate it to be sure they make the right choice.
Consequently, you must bring up with your prospective customer their context, their problems, their daily issues related to the economic recession. In other terms, you need to get them to admit to their negative emotions they feel in this situation. The goal for you is to have enough elements to bring value to them and incite them to visualise their positive emotions they could sense, instead of the negative ones, if they were working with you. Understand their objectives and position yourself with unbiased and benevolent solutions (Quite obviously, too much benevolence isn’t helpful to your business)…. This allows them to think and bring them progressively towards the positive emotions they would have if they trusted you.
It is necessary to adapt the message. We surely represent companies but we are also human beings talking to other human beings. We need to be present in both good and bad times for them. Remember, people buy things because they are afraid to lose money or afraid of not making enough money. If they buy things from you, it’s because it’s to do things that will interest them in.
For the older crowd out there, let me give you an example. When you talk to potential customers, you present them the flower from the Mario Bros (Nintendo Ness video game), it’s great. But if you talk to them about Maria throwing fireballs, you will interest them in. Let me explain what I mean. Mario, when he is very small and vulnerable, he feels anxious, which is a negative emotion. At that point, you could help him visualise the self-esteem boost he would get by eating this flower and throwing fireballs to get him to grow up, double his size.
Would communicating in one’s own name instead of the company’s name be more relevant and human in these circumstances?
This is what we call ‘Personal Branding‘ or ‘Employee Advocacy’ is the real solution but not only in the case of COVID 19.
In fact, if you are into B to B (Business to Business), your potential customers don’t look for a brand or a solution, they look for a person they can trust, who demonstrates he/she is the right person to help them reach their goals. In both B to B and B to C (Business to Customers), the relationship is very much human beings to human beings.
To come back to the Coronavirus, Harvard Business Review analysed the 3 last recession periods, in order to highlight companies‘ financial health trends and to detail companies‘ behaviours in recession times. Their post helps you understand what is the position with your clients and the different company profiles there are going to be.
They will be defensive companies like the likes of Airbnb, which will reduce costs and budgets by laying off a quarter of its staff. In recession cases, other companies will, contrarily, invest a lot more into finding new opportunities and generating turnover and covering their sales team.
The challenge for your company is to mix defense and attack and find the right balance to adapt to the different events you will encounter during this COVID 19 crisis.
This question is a little ironic but does make sense too. Is beer a good vehicle to sell?
We are offering this aperitif webinar format based on the aperitif online meetups you may find in your cities. The aim is to forget a bit of our context and offer more closeness, to show authenticity like in real life. This moment will be used to create affinities with you and potentially initiate deeper relationships with you. Obviously, there will be an impact, maybe you will continue to come to us to meet up more often on the web, maybe you will share more our articles or contact us to work with us. So, to conclude, does authenticity sell? The answer is, yes it does.
How to be visible and striking on Linkedin? How to grab the attention of potential customers and get them to contact us?
Connecting with people on Linkedin is very easy. But after the first connection, ie getting in touch with, creating links, and convincing them to go further than a Linkedin connection, it’s much more difficult.
To chase contacts on Linkedin to widen one’s own network, sure it’s good, but it’s a vanity metric to boost ones’ own ego. Concretely, if you stop there, there will be no impact on your turnover. To resolve this, the challenge is to avoid copying and pasting standard messages on social media networks. Beyond this, the vast majority of people you contacted on the spot (75%) in your market research, are not ready to buy. They are not ready to listen to you talking about your products, yourself, and even less so in the current situation.
To go back to previous examples, market research off and online are the same. If you send a sales message straight off connecting with someone, you are sending a ‘purchase decision’ message to a person that is already very mature/advanced in the buying process. But to be fair, it’s probably only the quarter of your target market, which is at this purchasing stage. In 75% of cases, you will either get no answer or negative answers. You will generate frustration on the part of your new contact.
Instead, bring value by sharing content bringing up solutions, or answers to questions potential customers are asking themselves. Do not forget that Linkedin is a social network and is not your CRM. You can connect with people in your second and third-degree contacts to go further than your first contacts’ network.
If you go in the real-life and shake your potential customers’ hand and say ‘Hi, my name is XYZ, I sell you digital marketing solutions’. This is very likely going to fail. Similarly, even if your product has 10 amazing characteristics, if you don’t listen to the person in front of you to figure out what is interesting them in what you do, it will be useless. Listening will make a difference.
So, personally, before contacting potential customers on Linkedin, I’m used to checking what they are doing, what kind of content they share, the questions they ask in discussion forums. Generally, once I have done that, I have content that responds to their questions in the discussion forum. Then, I contact them through private messages by saying ‘Hi XYZ, I have seen that you asked a question related to my issue, which I understand very well because it’s also the same one as my clients. So, it gave me the idea to write a post and offer you to read it. In this post, I offer you solutions that are unbiased and allow you to resolve your problem’.
When you do that, you do not push unwanted information in front of them, you bring a solution to their problem. And here, you activate a very powerful psychological, which is the ‘reciprocity principle’. Let me further explain. If you invite me for dinner, afterward I will feel obliged to return you the favour. You will then have a response and a relationship will be created. You need to give before receiving/requesting something. Besides, you show interest in your contacts and in what they do.
On social media, you can like their posts, respond to things they have written, or find information with social listening and monitoring tools, it’s very important because it proves you are showing interest in what they do and who they are. On this point, I recommend you to read the book ‘Jab jab jab hook’ from Gary Vaynerchuck.
How to qualify a database file on the internet ?
When you take a contact database for sales pitches, there are about 75% of them which aren’t interested in it. In the 100 emails you sent, you may get 4-5 people opening it and zero return. So, when you buy a contact database, you will need to send the right message, at the right person and at the right time. For this, you will need to know, in which context and stage in the buying funnel is the person you are contacting.
When you buy a database on Kompass, you do not have such information. In order to gain this knowledge, the best way to go about it is to set up a series of emails, which will allow you to determine if the potential customers are at the beginning, middle or end of their purchasing cycle. That way, you can send them the right messages with answers to their questions and the right content suited to their purchasing stage. According to the information you will track (clicks on links), you will know which type of content they have interest in and at which stage. If the potential customers clicked on content related to a purchasing decision, you can call them.
The challenge is to send emails with different options of content to determine according to their behaviours, at which stage they are. Do not keep unnecessary contacts, or you risk being blacklisted by the servers when contacting them. A target is a person, not a company. You must do your homework by establishing your persona. You need to understand precisely who are your ideal clients and clients’ issues…These are questions you must answer creating your persona.
How many reminders should we send to a potential customer?
There is no definite answer to this, but I would say around 10, depending on the customer purchasing stage and their contact preferences (social media, emails, phone). It is worth choosing and testing different tools and vary channels. Remember to bring value during the whole sales cycle. The sales cycle is the average time for a client to sign a contract.
Should I create a blog or a website ? Should I integrate the blog in the site or should I keep it detached?
You need both:
– A website to showcase your solutions, your company, ie a ‘showcase website’.
– A blog to publish regular content bringing value and answering to problems your potential clients are facing during their purchasing cycle.
The challenge is to be well ranked on Google to attract more visitors and ensure your visitors have to do the least clicks as possible to do, in order to be converted into a potential customer. Consequently, I highly recommend you to integrate your blog(s) into your website, keeping the same domain name. This will allow you to attract more visitors and bring them into the conversion funnel. In turns, you will be able to convert them into potential customers or LinkedIn contacts.
For the Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), I thought it was necessary to have different domain names to optimise BACKLINKS?
If your domain name is ranked lower than 40, the link bringing you to your website will have very low value. Having a good domain authority is complicated. It depends heavily on how many pages you have on your website. To have high ranked domains is good, however, having several low ranked domains isn’t.
Google is no longer a search engine but a response engine.
80% of our traffic comes from search engines. The issue is, soon Google won’t suffice. Especially since Google’s main objective is to bring users’ answers directly into the search results without needing them to click on any links. Furthermore, questions asked to vocal assistants are replied to directly without generating internet traffic. We will have to give another battle than the search engine optimisation one.
We need to think about grasping people’s attention and creating a community to gain regular, engaged, trusted traffic. The targets are to generate authenticity, bring closeness and build relationships. You can get their attention through videos, video-conferences, podcasts, webinars. Social media can be used to bring the right person in front of the salesperson. In B to B, other channels to consider are trade fairs, emails, and phone calls.
Which tool to use, in order to centralise our actions ? Hubspot or Sendinblue for beginners?
I do not recommend Excel, as it’s too complicated to update. The simple answer is Customer Relationship Management (CRM). If you are short with money, you can get free CRM solutions like Hubspot. Hubspot is well done with: complete contact forms, behaviour patterns’ tracking, to follow the evolution of your contacts after marketing or sales actions you completed. Hubspot will also send you notifications when emails are opened.
Sendinblue is also fine. Either or CRM solution is fine, it very much depends on your goals.
You may as well invest in low priced CRM solution around 15-20 Euros a month.
Is it necessary to have a Premium Linkedin account?
No, it’s not necessary. To make good use of Linkedin, you need to have a sufficiently large network of around +500 contacts, with a maximum of people in the second-degree contacts. Over the +500 contacts, you can reach more people. Under that, Linkedin will limit the access to functionalities for everyone who isn’t in your network from the 3rd degree. But, if you have second-degree contacts, they can put in contact with someone from the 3rd degree. That way, you can send private messages, connection invitations…
The second solution is to share qualified/relevant content which will increase your number of contacts. This said, investing into a tool can be worth it.
What are the techniques to make an attractive and efficient Email LIST BUILDING campaign ?
The point is to pretend it’s a one-to-one conversation, the same way you would do with friends, colleagues, or relatives. We have personally stopped adding images in emails because this is not the way people send personal emails. Tip to increase your opening rate very quickly: fill in what we call the ‘pre-header’, ie the email preview. I also encourage you to use the ACCR method for your email list building campaign.
The second technique is to use the ‘last attempt’ trick. For example, you send them the questions ‘Are you still interested in…? This is the last chance to avail of this offer…’. We then grant the ‘rarity/loss principle’. In other terms, customers may feel they will miss out on something if they don’t take action. This is based on psychological biases.
I use a lot of long-tail keywords for my site but I don’t get traffic. Why?
It is very likely that the keywords which you are ranked for aren’t the ones talking about you. Remember to think about problems and answers, rather than about your business and products. Keywords must be relevant to the problems your target market is facing, and what they are searching for on Google.
This French entrepreneurship web summit for women took place in March 2020 over 10 days with 3 web conferences each day. Please note there was and is no replay option for these. Consequently, I will only share with you the ones I have attended.
The conferences address 3 essential and complimentary themes; namely business, well-being, family and relationships.
In this blog post, there are summaries of 4 conferences from the entrepreneurship web summit for women.
1. How to authorise yourself not to be pigeonholed by society
Sabine ZAHNER is the first speaker from the web entrepreneurship web summit for women. She is a freelance photographer, a Chi Nei Tsang therapist and personal development coach.
She gives you tips to find out what motivates you and what projects you should go for.
To figure out these, you need to start asking yourself :
What works for me ? Does it work for me?
In other terms, she advises you not to accept every single client proposals, but instead follow your gut feelings and your values. Connect yourself with your body and emotions. If your body and emotions feel it’s not the right timing, project, it is best to let it go. If you have difficulties doing this, reconnect and touch your body and learn to breath. You can also go for belly massage to help your digestive system when you feel under pressure.
She believes you should take decisions based on how enthusiastic you are about a specific project. For example, if you have zero interest in the final products or feel the client isn’t paying you enough, it is worth to turn down the request. This way, you free up time for a new client, for which you may get more interesting projects.
Don’t under-estimate either networking and connecting with potential clients. Sometimes, this can happen over an informal meeting. Take a little step and make a small choice daily to keep you motivated.
2. How to confront your fears to create your ideal life
Aileen VALERE GILLE is from Belgium. She worked for 5 years as a career adviser and 12 years as charity business manager (HR, budget, recruitment). Then, she trained in kinesiology and various coaching and holistic methods.
She gives you few tips on how to confront your fears. She advises you to try out kinesiology and group psychotherapy, in order to manage your insecurity feelings. For that, you need to ask yourself these questions:
a) where do these fears come from? You need to try and understand them
b) what are the other thoughts to have?
Similarly to Sabine, she places the importance in your intuition into your business and life. To do so, you need to pay attention how your body is responding to various events. She feels you should give yourself small challenges without beating you up either.
You need to loosen yourself up by taking a light approach towards life. She also recommend you to switch business only if you have enough funds to quit your normal daily job. She, herself, took a while to go full-time entrepreneur. Initially, she worked full-time, then part-time, until she felt ready to quit her daily job to go full-time freelance.
3. How to use your quarter century life crisis to think finally about what you really want
Mylène MARVIN worked in Human Resources and has followed and tested coach trainings. She is now a life coach and therapist specialised in career and life transition, who helps her clients to manage better their emotions and know themselves better.
She believes you need to overcome the idea that a permanent contract is a secure employment. However, she thinks that security does help you to question yourself about your achievements.
Similarly to Aileen, she thinks you shouldn’t quit your job too quickly and take time to think about your project. Instead, you should look into temporary entrepreneurship relief (ie unemployment benefits paid out for a year). Some companies also offer mutually agreed termination of contract, in other terms, a kind of unpaid leave for ‘business creation’. If your company does not offer such option, then you will need to keep working and saving money for your start-up.
She has launched a Youtube channel called ‚quarter century life crisis’, in which she views this crisis time as an opportunity to specialise yourself, follow your path and avoid repressing your emotions. It is a point in your life where you can ask yourself : ‘what do I want ? Why am I here ?’
It is a good time to dare doing a useful job, beng authentic and following a small step that will make sense to you.
When it comes to your business, it is important not to view everyone as competitors, but instead exchange with your competitor.s and help each other out, even you have the same job and target. Indeed, working in partnership (2 people) can be rewarding, when it comes to, for example, organising a big event. It lightens the workload and makes you feel less isolated.
4. How to find and maintain a good work/ life balance
She has had multiple freelance jobs such as beautician, salesperson, old age and disabled people carer before she launched her business in energy therapy and reflexology.
In this visioconference, she is giving us tips to lead a successful and balanced personal and professional life. She feels we should focus on 3 points helping us to find a balance :
a) Assess yourself
Where am I in my professional life? Do I feel nourished? Do I feel fulfilled? This is a start where I question myself.
b) Identify difficulties I encounter in each of these areas (professsional/personal).
Welcome these difficulties, do not avoid them. Nothing is fixed, you need to reassess yourself regularly. Avoid putting yourself last and do not limit yourself.
If you have issues in all areas, start with the personal ones. Every starts from yourself and the need to be aligned, in agreement with oneself.
You need to start getting to know yourself by knowing your needs and expressing them. Everything that we live outside starts by oneself. Assess what suits you and do not cut spontaneity. Find what livens you up.
c) Confront and reconnect with yourself.
Listen to the life intelligence which carries you. Listen to it and trust it. Connect yourself to your intuition. Let it go of the classical conditioning. Allow yourself to be ‘you’ and show the example. Get out of the beaten tracks by forgetting limiting beliefs and old ways of functioning.
The below article about ‘Digital asset management’ was written by Jesper Faurby, Founder & Partner @Filecamp. Jesper is an entrepreneur with a background in graphic design and IT. Jesper’s understanding of what creative businesses need, and importantly don’t need, is what drives his work at Filecamp.
For years, major businesses have been relying on Digital asset management systems (also called DAMs) to organise their digital assets. Now that digital asset management systems have become more customisable and with a greater range in prices and features, it’s time to ask: Is digital asset management right for your business? Find out whether you too can secure a competitive advantage by centralising all your assets sooner than later.
Stop me if this sounds familiar:
Your business relies on pulling a wide variety of assets from multiple spaces every day, whether that’s documents, videos, and/or photos. Maybe you work with multiple clients, and each of them has rigorous branding standards while working on tight deadlines…
…and you’re using some combination of Google Drive and/or Dropbox to organise all your client assets into separate folders.
In today’s economic landscape, it’s safe to say that most businesses rely on bootstrapping, in one form or another, to cut costs. This means using free tools and hiring remote freelancers from other countries has become common practice.
But when you have to manage dozens of individual brands working in different industries, with remote teams of 10+, each with different roles and access, you’re in trouble.
And if you’ve experienced any of these pains before, then Digital Asset Management might just be the answer you’ve been looking for.
1. What constitutes a digital asset?
Any media content can be defined as a digital asset, but this definition is incomplete.
According to Digital Asset Management (DAM) expert Theresa Regli, such an asset must be accompanied by metadata. This metadata can range from the very basics (e.g., the name of the asset and its date of creation) to include more comprehensive details such as tags, which not only facilitate searchability, but empower users to find an asset as quickly as possible.
Digital assets come in several forms, but the most common ones include images, videos, and documents. And with many roles involved, with numerous permissions, versions, and so on, it quickly becomes apparent that there must be a way to organise all these assets to make use of this data most effectively.
And this is where DAM comes in.
2. What is digital asset management?
Digital asset management (DAM) is a system that lets you organize your assets quickly and efficiently. Think of it as a library, where all the information you need is accessible at your fingertips. (And sometimes, literally at a glance.)
This means, with a single click, you can determine whether you’re about to use the correct version of a client’s jingle in an ad, as well as its usage rights. Another major benefit is that this means you can maximize the value of each of your assets because you can re-purpose them and extend their life cycle:
Sounds excellent, right? But believe it or not, DAM services have actually been around for quite some time, and have only become a major service offering in the past several years.
Let’s go over the various types of DAM, as well as a few examples.
3. Types of DAM
There are many types of DAM software, and before diving into them, it would be wise to first make a couple distinctions:
DAMs can be either client-facing, strictly for internal use, or a combination of both.
You can also have SAAS (software-as-a-service) DAMs (like Filecamp), and you have on-site DAMs, or some combination of the two.
It really depends on your needs, which we discuss in greater detail in the next section. For now, DAMs generally fall under one of these 4 categories:
A library or archive for bulk storage of visual assets, like 3D models, photographs, and webinar clips.
A system to ensure brand consistency. Such a system would function by granting access only to specific team members, keeping brand assets like fonts and logos consistent and up to date, to be used for the correct placements (e.g., on packaging versus for the web).
For production management, to facilitate the management of assets with various deadlines, to be combined together or to be presented separately.
As a service provider for digital content consumption (e.g., images or movies). (One need look no further than Pinterest or Netflix as examples, which rely on gorgeous and user-intuitive client-facing DAM systems.)
Every single type listed here fulfills the following general purposes:
Project management (which is basically what DAM is designed to optimize)
Ensuring a smooth workflow
Collaboration benefits, especially for remote teams working on tight deadlines
Revisions, keeping assets up to date, and controlled access
Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s dig a little deeper into who stands to benefit the most from DAMs. And if that’s not enough, I’ve made sure to cover each and every single benefit you can think of.
4. Why do you need digital asset management?
Because DAM software isn’t designed for everyone to use, let’s first take a look at which roles and/or types of businesses stand to gain the most from leveraging a DAM system.
5. Who stands to benefit the most from DAM?
If you have an inkling that you could be getting much more out of your assets if only you could get them better organised seamlessly into your workflow, then you just might need DAM.
Regardless of whether you’re a startup, a medium-sized enterprise, or a major international brand, effective DAM can consolidate all your digital assets into a single place, resulting in maximum efficiency for asset use.
Advertising & Design professionals
Architects & Engineers
Marketing + Sales teams
Media and publishing
There are several other roles that might benefit from DAM use, such as your legal or accounting teams, or freelancers you’ve hired who need access to very specific assets, so let’s now move onto the benefits.
6. Benefits of DAM
The main benefit of DAM is optimal organisation—and this is the central promise of every DAM platform. This means that a solid DAM software can empower literally anyone to understand the assets at a glance and get started.
So the question becomes: “How does each DAM deliver these services?” Let’s take a closer look at some of the features and benefits of DAMs.
Granular access: At the very least, a solid DAM software empowers you to enable different levels of access to your clients and partners, so that they can access only the specific files and folders intended.
Multiple themes: Not only does a good DAM software let you customise your branding and apply it to the DAM user interface, it should even enable you to set individual themes to specific folders, which is a mind blowing benefit that, for example, an agency owner might love to provide for his or her clients in order to wow them.
And if that’s not granular enough, at the file and folder levels, certain DAM platforms even let you set your own custom thumbnails, so that you can recognise your most critical assets quickly.
Keywords/Tags: If you can’t utilise your assets efficiently (e.g., if searching for them is half the task), then a DAM software can save you lots of time. You can organise visually, or even set filters and advanced custom search functions to make sure you find exactly what you need in the fastest time possible.
Taking this one step further, some DAMs have trademarked algorithms that can save you even more time with auto tagging. In essence, with a single click, you should be able to have the algorithm auto-suggest meta tags.
Easy and Quick Searchability: A robust DAM system already comes with powerful search features, but advanced filter options take it many steps further. By tagging individual assets with specific key terms, you can build a consistent DAM framework, one which will enhance your search functionality considerably over time.
A related feature is labels, which you can add to specific files and folders to facilitate indexing, to indicate a stage or state of the asset (e.g., if the usage license is to expire within a specified time frame), or anything of the sort, with the ultimate purpose of optimizing your workflow.
Pages. What if you could create custom pages using a built-in WYSIWYG editor (the native editor WordPress users use for their sites), and you could have these pages appear in the main navigation?
Every business is different, and customising and facilitating navigation for your own users will provide them the best experience possible, whether it’s to boost team morale or to wow clients.
Security. If your work involves handling brand assets for clients, security can be a major determinant in choosing your business over your competitors. And nothing gives peace of mind better than servers that are under surveillance 24 hours a day. But it’s not only hackers that should raise concerns.
Files do get corrupted. Servers crash and fail. Assets get lost all the time due to mismanagement. With a SAAS DAM platform, this is much less likely to occur because your files live on a cloud. (Ever hear of Netflix losing a movie?)
Effective brand management and consistency. This one is essential for major businesses and agencies that represent their clients’ brands. Using the wrong logo version for a client’s brand can lead to pretty serious consequences. Thus, a great DAM service can facilitate interdepartmental cooperation, helping team members break out of their departmental silos.
An intuitive user interface.A simplified navigation system is essential if you work with an overabundance of assets that are constantly changing hands rapidly. This is especially true if your team works remotely across different countries, and with timezone issues as well as language barriers.
Effective content usage. Ever mess around with so many versions that you accidentally published the wrong one? How about recreating content that already exists, or assigning assets to the wrong project?
A good DAM platform can prevent all of these problems, and more. Moreover, it can let you re-purpose assets with ease for different marketing channels, in various languages, and to serve a wide gamut of requirements. Overall, great DAM can ensure that you actually use most (if not all) of the content your team has produced, letting none of it go to waste.
Analytics. Keep abreast of how all your assets are performing across the board, where they’re currently being used, and by whom. In other words, a great DAM solution facilitates the collation, management, and interpretation of data from multiple sources, providing valuable insights into how to maximise the use of your digital assets in accordance with your business goals.
Downloads: A solid DAM software provides considerable flexibility when it comes to downloading your brand assets. You can download in the original format or in a lower resolution, if required.
Not only that, the preview function can save considerable time and resources, ensuring that you’re downloading the right file, and quickly. And if anyone needs a specific format urgently, they can go in and quickly modify the asset into the desired format for download.
To wit, a solid DAM software enables you to store, organise, find, retrieve, and share digital content quickly and efficiently. The system should be intuitive and easy to use for your whole team, minimizing down times and ensuring a smoother and more gratifying experience for everyone involved.
7. What is the best digital asset management software?
I’d love to tell you that we’re a bit biased here, and just recommend Filecamp — but I won’t. That’s because there is no single best DAM software. Choosing a DAM service depends on your individual business goals, and where you’re at with your business.
But if you’re working with a remote team, one that’s involved with pulling multiple different types of assets together on a daily basis, then DAM is definitely something you should be looking into.
It’s important to consider additional factors like, “How will this integrate with the processes we already have in place?” and “Which teams will use it, and to what end?”
So, in this case, it helps to look at it from a goal standpoint.
And if you do your research, you’ll find that there are tons of DAM service providers. But here’s why you should give Filecamp a try:
We provide a 1-month free trial for anyone wanting to take it for a spin. (No credit card required.)
When we founded Filecamp, we approached its design with the aim of addressing all the pain points experienced by major brands and small businesses alike. (Read all about our complete features here.)
We boast one of the most comprehensive and most accessible DAM knowledge bases online, and we like to think our approach to customer support gives us an edge.
Our monthly plans start at $29, quite possibly one of the industry’s lowest. (You can read more about our pricing here.)
This is the transcript of a talk by Stephen Hall about ‘how to come up with good ideas and the secret to creativity’. For the French speakers, please note the video contains French subtitles.
Furthermore, I have also added bits and pieces from another Tedx talk by Mark Rober, a YouTuber and former NASA Engineer turned Inventor/Entrepreneur. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from BYU and Masters from USC. Additionally, he worked at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory for 9 years, 7 of which were spent working on the Curiosity Rover which is now on Mars.
About STEPHEN HALL
Stephen Hall has spent his entire life being creative. It’s not just personality that makes him creative, it’s deliberate practice, process and often a straight-up discipline. Come inside the mind of a Creative Director and find how you can be more creative in your life and where the world needs your ideas.
Stephen spent 13 years in the Science Centre community designing exhibits and programs for the Ontario and the Saskatchewan Science Centre; 18 years as a television director creating TV shows for CBC, HGTV and the W Network; and six years as a creative director at Brown Communications Group in Regina. His current clients include SaskPower and Saskatchewan Health. Stephen’s professional passions are evenly divided between design and storytelling. He is fascinated by the creative process and is a compulsive storyteller.
1. Define the constraints
Before you start engaging in solving the problem, you need to define the parameters of that problem. What have you got to solve it? What is available? Which resources? What time?
That’s difficult to see but that’s Apolo 13.
45 years ago, they faced a problem that was caused by an unexpected explosion on the way to the moon. It created a lot of problems. The biggest one was that the CO2 level inside the capsule began to increase. It made the air they were breathing more and more poisonous.
Consequently, they needed it to figure that problem out. In order to figure it out, they had to think inside the box.
Indeed, they had to define what was inside that capsule available to solve the problem. There was no help thinking about what was outside the capsule or box. The first thing to do is to define the constraints. I would say trying to solve the problem without constraints is a bit like playing squash with no walls. It just doesn’t work.
2. Provoke ideas and be curious
However, ideas don’t just happen. They need to be provoked, made happen.
a) Be curious
The first step to being more creative is to be curious and act upon your curiosity. If you think about most creative groups of people on earth, I think it’s probably children. That’s amazing with children because they are always questioning, looking, observing and making connections about the world around them.
b) Newton’ s first law of motion
Now, I’m going to talk about science with Newton’s first law.
What does it mean?
It means that this chair that’s been sitting here since the start of my talk, will stay there until acted upon by an external balanced force. Simple enough. Forces at play now. There’s a core force of gravity down, of the floor going up and it’s a bounce force. It’s body unrest. It’s its habitual stay of this chair and an unbalanced force comes along to use it.
So, I’m going to mash up Newton and Georges Lois here and come up with what I’m calling ‘the first law of creativity’.
Likewise, I’d like to talk about:
An unbalanced force is an original idea.
Edward de Bono is the father of parallel thinking, a kind of creative guru.
He put a weird name on those unbalanced forces, He called them:
He talks about ‘Po’ as extraction from words like:
These words give you a clue as to the nature of the word ‘Po’. It’s also an acronym.
That’s what I want because there’s an activity required. Creativity requires some actions in order to happen.
That’s the power of ‘Po’.
But, how does it work? Well, let’s do a quick brainstorming session. We’ve all been in a meeting room with a whiteboard.
So, on the board, you may have heard there are a lot of places in Regina. There are lots of restaurants. What about authentic Mexican? Russian? Or Nepalese? Oh, wait a minute, what about a family-friendly fondue place?
What about higher-end burger place? What about low-end sushi place? Hmm, that doesn’t sound too good! A shout from the back of the room: how about a restaurant that doesn’t serve food? Boom. That’s a Po. A crazy idea that on the surface makes no sense whatsoever. Ok, so what do we do now?
3. Give absurd ideas respect
Well, you must give absurd ideas respect. You don’t toss about ideas. In order for that Po to be powerful, you need to let it breathe, let it live. A restaurant that doesn’t serve food, that doesn’t make sense. It’s easy to dismiss but it’s not, let it live.
What Tom Wujec does is he gives people a challenge with the above 4 items to use. He says ‘in 18 minutes I want you to build the tallest tower you can with the marshmallows on top.’ The fascinating thing about this is after he has done it a bunch of times, there’s one group that consistently beats CEOs, lawyers and businessmen. That group is kindergarteners.
Why? Adults look at the situation starting with the first few minutes as a power struggle, who’s going to be the leader. Once they figured out, they start building something. However, they don’t put any marshmallows until the last minutes at the very end. Marshmallows are acceptably heavy, and the whole structure crumbled.
Whereas kindergarteners, by contrast, they just start building right away without power struggles. Instead of putting marshmallows once, they put them 4 to 5 times. Since they were testing the structure early enough; they were able to get to a solution that actually works.
b) Apollo 13
Another example, in Apollo 13, they didn’t need another Po because the crisis was the Po. The crisis was what set out the circumstances that provoked them to have to be creative.
Moreover, no one would have thought of doing this in any other circumstances. The crisis, the Po, created that situation, which allowed us to consider those things in a new way, to see a creative potential and bring it together to solve a problem. They were up against time, they had deadlines that involved actual death.
Nonetheless, he didn’t manufacture a fake crisis but a real one. He put US reputation on the line and did so with optimism. That brings us to the 4th lesson.
4. Be optimistically positive
a) Be positive
Unquestionably, you need to look at how our problem might work, not how it might not work. You have to be hopeful and optimistic. That crazy idea you are going to give consideration that’s going to provoke new ideas, new thoughts can actually work.
So, let’s get back to our creativity exercise, the new restaurant brainstorming.
Where will the food come from? Do they bring their own food? Maybe we serve drinks. We differentiate ourselves by offering a good selection of drinks. Maybe we could have a sharing table? Could we provide entertainment? What about providing the stage, a space to get together, to share?
Besides, we wouldn’t have thought of that if we didn’t let that crazy idea exist and actually treat it with some optimism and hope. Some of the things we have discovered through that process can be useful when it comes to restaurants serving food. In terms of a brainstorming exercise and being able to open ourselves to all kinds of possibilities, it’s really useful.
Below is a mark-up of what NASA engineers built on the ground. They built it quickly, in order to test it. Of course, they ran off at the beginning when the crisis occurred. What do these guys have up there? They were believing it will work. They were optimistic.
Remember, there is no creative value in looking for the reasons why it won’t work. It’s far more productive, powerful when you think it will work. I can tell you as a creative person, I always think my creative ideas are going to work. I really do. All the time. It’s good to tap into that force.
5. Celebrate great ideas regardless of who had them
Even, a lot of work I do now is a collaborative work. One of the things I think about in collaborative work is really there’s not much point in working with people who are just like me. People think, act the same ways. It’s really great to have a mixed bag of different kinds of people bringing different perspectives and more creativity in the room.
Inarguably, here’s a greater potential for the crazy ideas to come out. Now, we are going to unpack that idea and make it work. In this process, we must treat other people’s ideas with respect.
Below is a picture of the air filter the Apollo 13 crew built and that saved their lives. I didn’t think anyone cared whose idea it was to use these elements. The idea mattered, though.
6. Work hard
For every design you see from Apple, for example, behind the scenes, there are like 40 devices’ prototypes that you have never seen. Thomas Edison came up with 10.000 light bolts before Tesla came up with one that worked. James Dyson had 5127 failed prototypes before he had a vacuum cleaner that actually sucked the dust.
Therefore, the point is, whatever you do, do it. If you like a scope, use a scope. Otherwise, if you paint, paint a ton and if you like photography, don’t say ‘ah, I’m not a creative photographer’. Just go out and take a ton of pictures. Fail and learn for basically what you are doing. By doing this, you discover that you get better.
Thus, part of the creative process is just putting in the time. This is a secret sauce to creativity, collaborative creativity.
We’ve got problems in the world that need our attention.
Finally, I think we should have a global brainstorming session. It involves a spacecraft that has humans on it. The CO2 level is rising. The level of CO2 is rising dramatically; we are running out of time. We need to solve the problem. Everything we need to solve the problem is right there. We just have to overcome our force of habit. We need to be creative and have new ideas.
This article about ‘The 7 Best Internet Speed Test Sites’ has been written and brought to you by BroadbandSearch.
1. The importance of Internet Connection Speed
A fast internet connection is a necessity of modern life. The UN declared a connection a human right. Schools expect students to have one and a fast connection. They are the ones to enjoy most of the technological benefits of the last two decades. Yet how fast of a connection do you have?
Your internet speed can determine how much time it takes you to perform vital tasks online, such as how connected you can remain to the outside world. Your choice of internet plan and provider is perhaps one of the most important ones you’ll make for your household. You need to have at least a reasonably fast connection.
Here are a few facts on modern internet usage to showcase the importance of having a solid connection in 2019:
According to Pew Research, 89 percent of U.S. Adults use the internet in some capacity. All but 2 to 3 % of adults aged 18-49 use the internet. The senior (65+) population is the only outlying group, with only 66 percent of them using the internet in 2018.
Home broadband is common. While the number of broadband users has just about evened out over the past five years (it trends from 65-73 %, with 65 % in 2018), it remains a staple of the US household. We noticed that there is an increasing number of adults who do not have broadband, but do use smartphones (20 % in 2018).
According to Speedtest.net, fixed broadband download speeds throughout the world on average increased 26.5 % from 2017-2018. The average download speed is now 46.12 Mbps, and the upload speed is 22.44 Mbps. Companies are basing their services on these metrics. Even if optimization is important, you don’t want to be left behind. The quick update files of today would have taken days to download 15 years ago.
You do not need to settle for a slow connection. You do not need to be left behind. Performing a test can help you see if you are above or below bar, when it comes to your connection. This is where the speed test site comes in, which does exactly as you might expect. It performs a test to see what your downloads and uploads speeds are, so you can use this info as needed.
Below, you will find some information on how to test your internet speed as well as our top picks for fastest websites’ speed.
2. How You Should Test Your Internet CONNECTION Speed
You should not be splitting up your connection. Your connection shouldn’t be under heavy use when performing a test. This can apply to anything else in the household as well. This might cause interference one way or another.
You should be testing under normal working conditions. What we mean by this is that you shouldn’t be deviating from the norm in terms of equipment or activities (downloading a movie in the next room, for example) when determining your internet speed. Unless you’re experimenting to see if a new set-up provides a faster connection.
Perform a few tests. A single test shouldn’t take long, so we encourage you to perform a few tests to ensure accuracy.
Test over the course of the day. Your current ISP might work great now, but it might very well throttle your connection during peak hours of the day. Counter-act this potential blind spot by:
testing over the course of the day a few times
seeing how the results stack up.
3. What You Should Look for in a Testing Site
Ease-of-Use. You don’t want to spend 15 minutes learning how to test your internet speed.
Accuracy. If a site isn’t accurate, there’s no point to using it.
Commitment to real-world testing conditions. The better a site can accurately simulate common situations (such as streaming or downloading a movie), the more useful the site is. Testing under optimised conditions can be helpful for some people. However, most users will want a site that’s true-to-life.
A Simple Design. A complicated design with any additional tools or ads running in the background can affect your results, especially if you’re connection is slow. You want to work with a site that is simple and focused.
A Wide Server Range. If a site only has servers in one region, the results will be skewed by region. Choose a site that has servers across the country to provide you with an accurate reading.
Freedom from Bias. This doesn’t mean a company can’t create a test (someone has to make them), but interference is naturally unacceptable to any test. As such, we wanted to make sure that any selection of ours had no noticeable bias.
4. Our Top List of The 7 Best Internet Speed Test Sites
We find Speedtest.net (owned by Ookla), one of the most popular and one of the oldest. It is still a fantastic option for people looking to test their connection, regardless of the platform they’re on.
The service has a massive list of servers based throughout the country. This allows you to perform more accurate tests, regardless of the distance you are looking for. It will also recommend the closest ones to you when you switch, making the user experience just a bit easier.
We were impressed in particular with the:
ability for users to keep records and previous data for comparison
use a database to learn about stats regarding connections from across the world.
This makes it a great option for professionals or home users looking to notice trends and patterns. The results are also easily sharable, if that is an important factor for you.
We are a bit concerned, however, with some of the ads that show up on the site and some of the graphics. They might interfere with getting a precise result, especially for users with an extremely slow connection to start with.
At first glance, Speedof.me does not look like other internet speed test sites, which we find that to be a good thing. The test displays itself in a chart over time. This allows you to see not only your total speeds, but also the consistency of your connection. This makes it a great choice for online gaming.
That being said, the downside to this is, that it’s a bit harder to immediately see and interpret your results than other speed testing apps and sites. We noticed that the mobile version was very different in this regard, with more immediately accessible information.
But, it works on most devices without the need for an app (making it great for a quick check). It utilises HTML5 to perform the test, a standout feature when compared to many other test sites.
There aren’t as many servers when compared to some other sites on this list, and you can’t keep a record (which would be excellent considering how they display information). Though, many users will find this to be their speed test of choice.
Testmy.net is one of the most comprehensive options we found when reviewing internet speed testing sites. Unarguably, they have fined-tuned their processes to perfection. It is an independent, trustworthy provider, which runs on HTML5. It does exactly what it was created to do without any unnecessary flair or distraction.
For people looking for a comparison, it provides statistics for your speed compared to the averages for your ISP, city, and more. It will tell you exactly where you stand. You won’t need to put in much extra effort to do so. Additionally, you can also create an account to:
save records and check back to see if adjustments work
check if the time of day matters for your connection.
The only downside is that much like Speedof.me, the results aren’t always pretty to look at (some would even say hard to read, but most certainly not hard to understand). Once you get used to it, you won’t mind! Still, it isn’t the fastest test to get a glance of what you’re working with in a given area. Professionals and enthusiasts certainly won’t mind in the long run, however.
d) Xfinity Speed Test
There isn’t much to complain about with Xfinity Speed Test. There are no distractions such as pop-ups or bits of unnecessary information littering the screen. The design is sleek and easy to read. It also has modern graphics in both the mobile and desktop versions of the programme. You’ll get a quick download and upload speeds.
While it may be produced by Comcast, we didn’t detect any bias when using the tool. Besides, you don’t need to be a subscriber to use it. Readings were accurate and consistent.
There are also a few bonus features, such as being able to change the host location, if you know you’re working with something different on a normal basis. You can also change the protocol if needed. It provides a few tips if you want get accurate results. From all our estimations, it’s a great tool whether you’re looking to change your connection or wanting to optimmise your current one.
It is missing a way to save tests. But for the average user it’s one of our top choices.
e) Internet Health Test
Internet Health Test is a much more comprehensive test of all on this list. For anyone looking for as much information as possible from multi-step testing process. Internet Health Test is your go-to option.
Indeed, it will effectively run your connection through an obstacle course of servers, situations, and locations, so that you get a set of data. It is much closer to real-world results than some other sites testing under ideal circumstances. Nonetheless, while it takes a bit more time than other sites to get results, you effectively get six tests at once.
Furthermore, it is also simplistic in design. It offers very few additional features. Besides, tsocihere aren’t too many settings you can change. That being noted, we find that it works best when paired with another service for comparison. It does, however, allow you to post your results to social media. You can also email them to yourself (or someone else) for future records. This might come in handy for IT professionals.
The HTML5-based speed test Speedsmart is an easy-to-use and universally accessible option for you, which provides accurate speed test results (they send more data through to create a more fine-tuned test). It also provides you with ping information, which is great for anyone who needs a low-latency connection, like video chat and gamers.
Speedsmart, like a few others on this list, allows you to create an account and check on your previous tests, even across devices. This allows you not only to easily check a single device’s connection, but also a network connection across a home or office.
It has a healthy, but not comprehensive, list of servers to choose from (with a listing of how far each is away from you, as a nice touch). It doesn’t try to do too much with its homepage, either. It’s a great all-around speed testing site for the average user, who might want ping information on top of upload and download speeds.
Even more simple than Xfinity’s option is Netflix’s Fast.com, which is the reason why people are using it for. Netflix consumes 15 % of the world’s bandwidth, so they have a good reason to provide people with a speed-testing app. They also have a vested interest in letting you know, when you’re ISP might be throttling your connection. Since they have had a long conflict with ISPs regarding this issue. Fast.com uses Netflix servers, making it perfect for making this determination.
When you start it up, there isn’t even a start button. You get a mostly white screen and some real-times results, before it settles on the ultimate estimation of your speed. You also get your upload speed at the end of the test. Yet, don’t let the first impression fool you, there are still plenty of options such as being able to select several parallel connections. Furthemore, it always shows all relevant metrics, which makes up for the poor initial startup design.
We wouldn’t necessarily recommend it for an overall speed test, but for Netflix? It’s exactly what you’re looking for.
By no means is this list exhaustive. There are dozens, if not more other sites that you can use in order to test your internet speed. Most of them will work just fine.
Yet after testing, we found that our above selections struck the right balance in terms of:
freedom from bias.
We would also like to note that our top pick might not be the top pick for your needs. Perhaps you need extremely rigorous testing with more detail for professional IT reasons. In that case, the more minimalist options might not cut it for you. Consider your needs and make your choice from there.
5. What Can Cause Slow Speeds?
Once you test your connection, you might find that you aren’t getting the speeds you are looking for. After double checking and re-running your tests, you will want to investigate further. One or more of the following reasons might be the culprit:
Too much usage of the network at once.
An outage in the area caused by maintenance or inclement weather.
The router or a cable is malfunctioning or overheating.
Your WiFi signal is being partially blocked.
The ISP is throttling your connection.
Your computer might be infected by malware or viruses.
5. What to Do Next?
That depends entirely on what the source of the problem is. Sometimes new hardware is the answer. Sometimes, you just need to change the location of the router. A clean-up of your system might help as well. If it’s the ISPs fault, then you will need to contact them. If this gets you nowhere, you will need to change providers. This can unfortunately be tiresome without the right resources.
You need to know if you are getting what you paid for, when it comes to your internet connection. We do hope that the above 7 sites will help you get a handle on what you’re looking for. You may need to try a few options and you will want to control your environment as best as you can. But, we promise the information is worth it, when making decisions for your office or household.
We expect to update this list in the future, should there be:
unavailability of one or all the above sites.
Finally, we hope that the above information provides you with any information you may require.