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Archives for November 2016

First Impressions in the Internet Age: A Lesson in Branding Yourself

By Kate Lee | 11/21/2016 | 10:22 PM

Branding-yourself

What do people find when they Google your name? Branding yourself can help sway their first impression.

Face it: Potential employers, customers, and other associates have likely searched your name on the internet before they meet you in person. What do they see?

Your LinkedIn and Facebook pages, Twitter and Instagram accounts, personal blog, and even your pins on Pinterest are all subject to public scrutiny. The sum of those findings is your brand image, what you put forth to the world to define who you are and what you are about.

The reality is that when you walk into a job interview, client meeting, or other engagement, you are likely being evaluated against the first impression the person made prior to your arrival through an internet search. Shouldn’t you think carefully about your brand and how you want people to perceive you?

To be successful, you need to take steps to build and enhance your brand. Here are four steps to branding yourself.

1) Define your brand

A brand is a story. What is your story? Take the time to sit down and look at where you have been and where you are. Where you want to be? What is your skill set? What experiences do you have? How are you unique? Take all of this information and knowledge and define your brand — tell your story. Be clear, be concise, and be direct. If you can’t define your brand in a sentence or two, you have lost an opportunity.

2. Take stock

What information is “out there?” Start by making a list of all the social media accounts you have, even if you no longer actively use them. Next, Google yourself. What do you find? As G.I. Joe says, “Knowing is half the battle.”

3. Define a strategy

At this point you have a brand and you know what information about your brand is publicly available. Is the information enhancing or hurting your brand? What steps can you take to strengthen your brand? For example, should you adjust your privacy settings on some of your accounts so that personal information and exploits are not available for all to see? Does your LinkedIn page need to be updated? If you don’t take the time to define your strategy, you will not be able to execute it effectively.

4. Take action

Morris Chang, CEO TSMC said: “Without strategy, execution is aimless. Without execution, strategy is useless.” 

Don’t stop at creating the strategy — execute. And remember, the internet is not static. What information about you gets added over time? Furthermore, it is important to periodically look at your brand. Is it still representative of where are and where you want to be? If not, take the time to re-brand yourself.

When you take the time to brand yourself, you have the opportunity to define that first impression.

A Web Search is a B2B Buyer’s First Move in the Purchase Process

By Kate Lee | 11/14/2016 | 10:55 PM

Web-search

The web search has changed the way businesses shop for products and services — and content marketing is your key to reaching them.

What’s the first thing we all do when we want to try a new restaurant, can’t think of a song lyric, or need to buy a new appliance? We Google it.

The world of B2B sales is no different. Demand Gen’s 2016 B2B Buyer’s Survey Report found that 62% of B2B buyers say that a web search was one of the first three resources they use to learn about a solution. In fact, 94% of buyers reported using online research at some point in the purchasing process.

That means businesses must be more than just conscious of their digital presence: They must actively manage their website and digital content assets to accommodate the ways buyers are conducting research.

Seeing opportunity in the new reality

In the pre-internet age, the salesperson’s role began relatively early in the buyer’s journey. Today’s average B2B buyer, however, progresses nearly 60% of the way through this process before making any sort of contact with a sales rep. That means your prospects are forming their early opinions about your business and your products based on what they find on the web.

This new reality may seem daunting, given how much of the purchase decision-making process occurs before you have the opportunity to engage with a potential client. But in reality, this changing climate offers serious opportunities for businesses to demonstrate their expertise, without turning buyers off with overt sales pitches.

Content is king/key

To make the most of the potential purchaser’s experience with your business, content is key.

A robust content marketing strategy builds brand awareness, establishes trust and rapport with prospects, and generates traffic to your website. Thoughtfully generated and curated content catches the attention of buyers and keeps them interested in your business through the time of purchase.

Specifically, 67% more leads will be generated by companies with an active blog in 2016. And content isn’t limited to your website: a vibrant social media presence helps buyers conduct their research, with 57% of consumers reporting that they are influenced to think more highly of a business after seeing positive comments online.

Again, while this new reality may seem like a challenge, it’s actually a golden opportunity for your business to put its best foot forward with potential buyers. By thoughtfully generating and curating focused, informative content, companies can guide B2B buyers through the sales process, and develop an engaged and loyal customer base.

How do companies in the logistics and supply chain industries use content and social media?

By Kate Lee | 11/09/2016 | 9:20 AM

Online-surveys

In 2014 Fronetics conducted industry-wide surveys to learn how logistics and supply chain companies were using content and social media as part of their marketing programs.  The reports, Content Use in the Logistics and Supply Chain Industries and Social Media Use in the Logistics and Supply Chain Industries, have informed companies on use, motivations, preferences, benefits, and challenges.

In an effort to learn how companies are using social media and content today, Fronetics has just launched two new surveys.  Fronetics invites individuals working in the logistics and supply chain industries to weigh in and share what their companies doing.

Each survey takes about 3 minutes to complete. Results will be reported in aggregate, using no personal or company information from respondents.

Take the social media survey 

Take the content survey 

The opinions expressed herein are those solely of the participants, and do not necessarily represent the views of Agile Business Media, LLC., its properties or its employees.

About Kate Lee

Kate Lee

Kate Lee is the senior director of research and strategy for Fronetics Strategic Advisors, a Newburyport, Mass.-based consultancy that works with clients in industries including logistics and supply chain. She has over 20 years of domestic and international experience as a writer, researcher, and strategist.



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