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Monthly Archives: January 2016

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Featured Client Profile – Jan 2016 – Mini-Mover

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We have had the pleasure of working with Tom and Roberta at Mini-Mover Conveyors since 2011. Mini-Mover Conveyors designs and manufactures small conveyors and rotary table accumulators. We could have some fun with how they shake up the mini-conveyor industry from their factory on “Shake Ridge” Road in Volcano CA but we would never try to create a marketing memory from a fun fact, even if it is true.

Their conveyors are tough as you can see in the recent AT&T video for the Galaxy 6s which features their LP Series conveyor. While the video had some fun with their conveyor it also demonstrates that they can take a beating and keep on moving.

Mini-Mover has an interesting story evolving from a high-volume manufacturer of precision parts for medical, electronics, and aerospace industries. Their product line evolved from their own need to move parts through their operation. Their products are typically used for:

Mini-Mover provides custom small conveyors and design consultation and technical support. If it’s small and you need to move it, then Mini-Mover should be on your speed dial.

We provide Mini-Mover Conveyors with AdWords Management Services in search and remarketing. The remarketing is a longer term investment in brand building, while the search serves the more immediate market needs of clients. We also provide general consultation in search engine optimization, social media, and image ad creative. Mini-Mover is a good example where we coordinate with both internal staff and other service providers as part of an overall Marketing Team.

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Top Secret – eyes only

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What AuLaCart will look like

In a small non-descript office with one-way mirrored windows in a small town on the central coast of California an elite team of geeks and creatives have been working in secret on the next big Ad Tech Network. Our patent was filed on 12/28/2015 and now we can come out of the shadows and talk about what has been pushing our creative and technical limits for the last year.

AuLaCart – Mobile Kiosk for Supermarket Carts

AuLaCart is an interactive in-store merchandising and consumer information system with the capabilities to deliver competitive advertising based on a shopper’s physical location within the store. The system serves the supermarket shopping experience with benefits for the consumer, supermarket management, and food product vendors. The device is attached to the shopping cart and communicates with databases at the local, store, and global levels. The device is a PC extended by robotic sensors for tracking device location within the store. Revenue is created by selling point-of-sale advertising to food product vendors. Users interact with the system by moving the cart within the store. For those consumers that engage deeper with the system there is a rich inventory of touch screen function including recipes, nutritional data, and store mapping & directories; just to name a few. The system is designed to globally scale using AWS for data services. AuLaCart is patent pending technology with the filing completed under the supervision of one of the best IP Lawyers in the country.

Building the Partnership

Building a business starts with building the team and to do this we put together an equity partnership with three partners and funding from a local angel investor group. Our team includes the CEO of another Digital Marketing Agency, a Project Manager from a Fortune 50 company with the skills to implement a national scale project, and an exceptionally smart engineer with the skills to solve the hardware and software challenges. Add to that SMS’s internal skills in design and programmatic ad systems and this really is an exceptional team.

Patent Filing

The patent filing process was one of the most frustrating parts of the last year probably because it was learning a whole new world. The entire basis of language is different because in marketing we talk about how the customer benefits from the product or service, while in the patent world it’s about how it works, not what value it creates. Our lawyer tells us that we are about half way through this process so there is more to learn. It was an interesting life experience as the inventor on a patent and it was one of the most challenging search projects.

The Business Plan
Great Ideas need Grand Plans and we have been through an extensive process to build ours. Our partner group has decades of experience in business planning and our local SBDC gave us the opportunity to test our plan with an independent review. This compared our business to other VC funded businesses in California. Many will tell you that the team is the most important success factor and our management team scored with a 90.8% compared to funded companies. When we look at the five year plan we are in the unicorn range.

What’s Next?

Our business is all about “What’s Next” and this partnership is no exception to that. Our next step is to find funding for the pilot phase and then execute that plan. This will prove the technology, business model, and the team we have to make this happen. When we are successful with that we have 37k supermarkets to install – remember our national scope project manager? Well this is why she’s here. We are out to reinvent the supermarket shopping experience on a national level.

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Restructuring for 2016

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In January of 2016 we are restructuring our AdWords staff to improve the services we provide to our clients. Today all accounts are assigned to one of our AdWords Experts. Starting in January each client will be assigned an AdWords team. The team will include an AdWords Expert, Client Relationship Specialist, and Outreach Specialist. In early January each client will be advised of the names of the members of their team along with a small backgrounder on each of them. Here are the responsibilities of each team member:

The AdWords Expert will be responsible for the detailed maintenance of the account. These individuals all have 4+ years of AdWords experience and hold multiple Google Certifications. They are responsible for implementing the details of the client marketing plan and leading the overall technical team.

The Client Relationship Specialist is responsible for creating and maintaining an active communication with your business. CRS’s are Google Certified professionals with a career path in the company toward becoming a complete AdWords Expert. The CRS will be responsible for reaching out to each client on a regular basis to get a better understanding of the marketing goals of the client and working with the AdWords Expert on the implementation of the strategy.

The Outreach Specialist is responsible starting the relationship with prospective clients. They help build the relationship by opening a dialog driven by our email newsletters like this one.

The teams are organized into three categories of accounts because the basic strategies are driven by the type of client. These teams are:

  1. Home Services: Typically, B2C (Business to Consumer) local businesses with a heavy dependency on PPC that also interacts with Maps and Local SEO.
  2. Professional Services: Typically, B2B (Business to Business) service providers with regional, national, or international reach.
  3. E-Commerce: Businesses that are largely driven by direct sales on their website of a product or service where the direct relationship between advertising and results is the top priority.

The AdWords teams will coordinate with our Social Media and Creative Staff as needed to support each account.

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Social Media Basics

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people on social media devices

So many different social media devices

This article is for the people within a B2B business that are responsible for the management of social media for business networking and communications. In most businesses this will include key executives, sales, marketing, and purchasing staff. Learn to manage your social media voice.

Budget Your Time

Managing your social media is simple but you have to continually refine social media to improve your business reach and voice. The key to this is that you have to invest time on a regular basis to build your network and exercise your voice. Social media can be a captivating technology that can consume untold hours and as a business you have to put some common sense limits on this. This is a process not a project so it will never be finished and it must be managed as such. Decide on the right balance of effort and then stick to that.

It’s simple…The right people in the right seats talking to the right people

The first step in social media is going to be picking the right people and they typically fall into three categories; Executives, Sales & Marketing, and Purchasing. The reality is that business value comes from communication for either sales or purchasing as those are the common external connections of a business. Executives are different in that they often reach into both areas with their contacts. In larger organizations this can be many profiles divided into territories. Once you have the profiles identified you need to create a profile of the connections. That profile should include their network which is simply made up of who they should be speaking to.

Audience Profiling – it’s not really a bad word

The media has given profiling people a bad name but the reality is that for each social media profile you should have an audience profile describing the audience that is targeted for that profile. For example, if you have a product sold to medical offices in Chicago and the profile has sales responsibility then the audience profile might be:

  1. Medical Office Decision Makers
    1. Common Titles
      1. Office Manager
      2. Practice Manager
      3. Medical Office
      4. Practice Administrator
      5. IT Manager
  2. Doctors
    1. Common Titles
      1. Medical Director
      2. Managing Partner
      3. Managing Physician
  3. Negative Contacts
    1. Competitor
    2. Out of the area

This profile is then used to qualify additional connections. The first thing some people might say is “well that’s dumb, I know who I want to connect to.” However, you will sing a different song when a key person leaves the organization and the network has to be rebuilt. The last item you might notice is the negative contact profile. These are the people we do not want in our network and the common example is the competitor but there are special considerations here. We have often accepted requests from competitors and then used that to check shared contacts to assess risk or to identify opportunities and then we disconnect them from the network.

Set Goals & Budget Time

Network building goes on for an entire career so the time involved can get out of balance with its true value. For this reason it is best to set a time-budget and then make sure it gets used. Spend half an hour each week introducing yourself to new people that fit your audience profile. All the social networks provide utilities for this network building process so make sure everyone is trained on how to use these. With each profile we recommend setting a weekly goal for network building and then tracking it on a monthly basis. In many client profiles that we manage the goal for a rep is to add 5 new people each week and while that seems like nothing, over the course of a year that is 250 additional contacts that are hearing your message.

Plan the message but react to events

With the network in place and evolving as it should the next area to address would be the messages that you will put into the network. First, remember that you are a person and that should not get lost here. Your messages paint a picture to your business and it needs to be what you are about but this is not advertising so it is not a constant sales message. The people that go into social media screaming at the top of their lungs are always surprised that they did not get the response they expected. That is because as a net-citizen they are being rude. The golden rule is that people do business with those that they trust and if your message is a constant “me, me, me” people will react badly to your messaging. A common plan is to share 80% personal and industry information and 20% or less direction promotional copy. Remember that the postings you make are painting a picture about who and what you are as a person and a person that spends all their time talking about themselves is boring.

In Summary: Build your network, refine your voice, and keep on keeping on.

Call us to see what's next for your marketing.