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4 Uses of Technology That Drive Company Success

By Bryan B Mason
The Apollo Consulting Group LLC


Small companies typically look at technology as a necessary but unwanted expense. Often, systems were acquired one at a time to fulfill a need or solve a problem and don’t talk to each other. The objective has been to minimize costs rather than drive sales or provide information for decision making.

I suggest the following uses of technology that I believe are critical to company success:

Drive Sales – You want to use technology to provide the right information at the right time to prospective customers and be able to identify which potential customers need your time depending on where they are in the Customer Journey (see last’s months article on this topic).

Deliver Best in Class Service – In this day in age, you need great customer service if you want to have lots of repeat business and just as importantly – great customer reviews and recommendations. So you need technology to be able to provide a 360 degree view of the customer – purchase history, contact history, open issues for resolution, next steps, etc.

Enable Operational Efficiency – You want to minimize duplicate data entry (e.g. having to enter customer name and address in more than one system). You want to have your technology support optimized work flows. You need consistent information between systems so everyone knows what needs to be done. You want information to be the same between your operational systems (items and inventory) and your online retail store.

Support Management Decision Making – You need information on what is going on so you can spot trends. You need easy access to what is selling and not selling. You need to know which sales people are performing and which are not. Most importantly, you need to track the key metrics that drive your company’s success (understanding that these are different for each company).

So you ask yourself, how do I get from where I am to where I want to be with technology? The answer, of course, is that you need to develop and execute a technology plan. A technology plan identifies the target end state and lays out the steps to get there. Having one minimizes the transition costs as work proceeds in a logical and deliberate process. It also minimizes
misdirection as the end state is already defined.

Some of the key components of a successfully technology plan include:
 A map of data flows throughout the company
 An evaluation of current systems
 An identification of gaps in functionality and inefficiencies
 The identification of potential solutions
 A target technology end state
 The sequence of steps and costs to transition from the current state to the future state

If you don’t think you can do this on your own, get some help. After all, it is critical to your company’s success.




Mr. Mason founded the Apollo Consulting Group in 2008 to help small and mid-sized companies
in solving their challenges. Mr. Mason brings over thirty years of corporate, consulting and
entrepreneurial experience in a variety of industries. He possesses skills in general business
management, analysis, strategy development, marketing, finance/budgeting, operations, pricing
optimization, workflow optimization, process reengineering, project management, and
information technology. Mr. Mason has two degrees in Economics and was a Volunteer Mentor
for the Rhode Island Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (RI-CIE). He writes a weekly
blog on his company website at

Be A Star! It’s a tool in your marketing toolbox…

By Nancy Thomas

I wish I had videoed the heated exchange at a recent networking group – what a missed
opportunity! A little over done debate about video and if video was marketing or was it really
advertising. The discussion festered into a debate over email, and on and on. What’s the big
deal? The difference is, of course, are you paying a 3 rd party to have your video put in front of
people – or are you using a longer form of video to tell a story over channels that are for the
most part free and accessible in the “new world” of marketing?

In today’s world of marketing and public relations – and yes, advertising – the messages are
becoming shorter and shorter. No longer is “long form” the most desirable way to get your
message across. Yesterday’s Facebook posts – are today’s Snapchat, Instagram, or even
Pinterest posts. Sometimes they are even a quick 5-10 seconds over a text-video message!
Just listen to these social media channel names – SNAPChat – and INSTAgram. Quick. Today. In
my face, give it to me – quick – so I can move on to the next thing. And it better be compelling,
or it won’t even reach the part of my brain that has room left to remember in this over-
communicated world.

So how does video come to play in all this rush to quick messaging. It has become even the
lowest common denominator – appealing to someone’s sense of visual processing – I don’t
even have to read this – just show me.

Now that we now WHY we are all rushing to video – HOW do we do it? Is it a quick Facebook
live? Or is it a painstakingly laborious and expensive 30 second commercial for a medium that
is losing audience numbers exponentially with each ratings period that goes by?

Video is part of marketing. If your marketing company isn’t doing it – or pushing you into
thinking all must be PERFECT to do it – then seek other advice. You don’t need to best lighting,
the best copy, the perfect scenario. Even the perfect technology. But you do need to catch
someone’s attention. And you need to speak in sound bites with grabbing visuals.

What to video?

Speak right straight into the camera and tell your story, talk about an upcoming event or sale,
or give them some useful information they need. Take a tour of your company, or store. Stop
and talk to people along the way. Do something unrelated to your company, too, to
personalize the message – show someone how to safely shovel snow – or how to pick out the
best apples in the grocery store. If you have a new product, video opening up the package as it
comes into your building. A nonprofit? Interview a client about what going to their fundraising
event will mean to them…the sky’s the limit – and don’t be all just about business.


Of course there are those times when things might not be “popping” about your message – or
the message is just too serious and well, mundane. In that case, tell the viewer right up front –
you’re going to talk at them, give them necessary information – and it’s information that they

Cut it into segments – 3 minutes or less. The attention span has to be kept top of mind. Break
your mundane “lesson” or “message” into a series – 3 parts – or 6 parts – or once a week, even.
But keep to that 3 minutes or less video marketing message. Otherwise? Make a mini-movie –
or a 20-minute YouTube video – and place it appropriately with a little teaser up front – some
people will take the time to watch, but you have to literally lead them there.

What to do with it now?
Once you’ve done this little 3 minute video, now what do you do with it? Think multi-use. You
can put it on your website. Upload it to all your social media. Don’t forget LinkedIn. Send it out
to your client base in an email link. Upload it to a Constant Contact mailing or an e-newsletter.
Nothing you do today should be done for one simple format. Think multiple use – multiple

So – is video marketing advertising? I suppose it can be if you want to run a long form video ad
on someone’s website…but I would never advise it – that should look much more like the 30
second commercial you would see on traditional television.
Another tool for your toolbox.

Video is a tool. Just like a podcast is a tool. Or photographer is a tool. It is a great, short,
informal way to tell your story. Make it short – but longer than a TV ad (that no one is watching)
…think about the multiple channels of use. Don’t fuss and fret to make it perfect. If you’re
really bold do some Facebook LIVE – and again, repurpose it after the fact.

In this over-communicating world, take your message to video – let them see you, hear you,
and always leave them wanting for more – and give them a website or a click through with how
they can get the information.

If you move to traditional TV advertising or even YouTube production, then that is where you
will want to invest in lighting, professional sound and production – because you’ll be paying for
some of these placements – and you’ll want to make sure you look your Sunday best!

Otherwise, it’s super casual, super easy, right in your face, and wow them. Try it
today…remember, no fussing, just don’t it! Start right with that phone in your hand, set that
photo app to video – and have some fun.

You can be a star…and it starts with video marketing. Go for it! And – smile…
Nancy Thomas is public relations and marketing consultant, and is the owner of Tapestry
Communications, in Cranston, RI.

Social Video Marketing 101

Most social marketers we know fall into one of two camps:

  1. Have resources; integrate video strongly into social marketing strategy
  2. Don’t have enough resources; know they should integrate video more strongly into their social marketing strategy

Whichever camp you fall into, this guide offers actionable ways to bring video and a measurement framework into your brand’s social marketing plan.

Download the guide to learn:

  • How to integrate video (including emerging channels like Instagram Stories and Facebook Live) into your strategy, if you’re not already and have limited resources
  • How to improve your already-existing social video strategy
  • The correct measurement framework for your brand’s social video program

…and tons more. Download the guide today!

Bring video into the fold.


Download the Guide








Simply Measured Inc. — 2211 Elliott AVE Suite 310, Seattle Washington 98121 United States

How to Build an Audience-Aligned Social Marketing Strategy

How to Build an Audience-Aligned Social Marketing Strategy

How do you build an audience-aligned social marketing strategy from the ground up? With a solid understanding of your target audience, how to reach them, and the right measurement strategies in place to track your progress.

Here’s our tried-and-true process for making sure your social media campaigns do what they are supposed to.

1. Start with Personas

Begin with your personas. You likely don’t have just one target audience, or persona. You have multiple. Build these out and support your personas with social data from a listening solution, so you have real-time intel on what each demographic likely to buy your product is talking about and cares about.

With information about where each persona spends the most time, you’ll know how to target each persona differently, and on which social channels. You’ll know which times are best to post for your brand and industry for each persona, and you’ll even be able to do competitive research for inspiration and education.

All of this information will give you an intimate knowledge of your persona(s), and a jump start on putting together creative, effective social campaigns. 

2. Read the Metrics Map

Now that you know your target audience(s) inside and out, it’s time to to figure out where you want to target them on the buyer’s journey. Our Social Metrics Map is a great place to start.

Metrics MapSimply choose the stages of the buyer’s journey that your marketing team is most focused on right now, and align them with the objective, strategy, social activity, KPI’s, and business impact you see above.

3. Learn the Latest Approaches

You probably have heard a huge uptick in conversation about Facebook Groups and community engagement on Facebook. Why?

In Q4 2017, Facebook made algorithm changes to surface less viral video content in an effort to reduce “time spent on Facebook by roughly 50 million hours every day.” Citing the recent division and anxiety in our world, Mark Zuckerberg announced his intention to make sure Facebook is beneficial “for people’s well-being and for society overall.” This means the following:

  • “You will now see more content from friends, family, and groups that lead you to interact with people, and less public content that leads to more overall time spent.” Facebook users are now more likely to see user—not brand—content (which sparks comments and conversation), rather than branded videos (which receive a ton of likes or views).
    • What you can do about it: Start a Facebook Group around your brand, or a challenge that your brand has organized for its devotees, like a fitness challenge. Add this component to your next integrated campaign, and don’t use it as a sales tool—use it as an audience development tool.
Examples from the Flywheel Facebook Group

Another approach you can use on Facebook is “Invite to Like,” an action which is likely to show up in user notifications.

Some guidelines for this approach:

  • Don’t use this tactic unless you have a lot of strong content on your Facebook page. You don’t want to lead Facebook users to a location that misrepresents your brand and/or doesn’t deliver appealing content.
  • Leverage influencers big and small, as well as your personal network. Use influencers and your own personal network as a conduit towards lookalike audiences.  
  • Complement with paid. Like any social strategy today, you must complement with ads.

You’ll also notice in the notifications tab above that most my notifications came from offline events hosted by brands I’ve Liked in the past. Investing in offline events (or highlighting ones you’re already throwing and/or partnering with) is a good way to keep your brand top-of-mind with followers.

Did you know these facts about Instagram Stories?

  • More than 25 million Instagram Business accounts produce Instagram Stories
  • One in five organic Stories from businesses gets a direct message
  • More than half of Instagram’s 500 million daily active users are on Stories
  • Daily use of Instagram Stories surpasses Snapchat

If you found that your audience is on Instagram in the persona research you did back in Step 1, you should definitely invest in an Instagram Stories strategy. Here’s how.

4. Incorporate Paid

The biggest difference between Google ads and social ads is the type of traffic they generate. People who click Google ads are actively looking to buy, while people on social are in browse mode and may take longer to decide to buy.

Instead of running a social ad campaign that’s immediately focused on purchasing, it’s better to create additional experiences for your website visitors.

The first paid strategy I recommend employing is a simple nurture funnel. Launch several campaigns with different objectives to create your own ad funnel. This is what a simple nurture funnel would look like on Facebook.

Step 1: Invest in video

Step 2: Create a post engagement campaign targeting your ideal customer to create initial connection. Monitor and optimize campaign until it reaches 3K views.

Step 3: Create a traffic or conversion campaign targeting those who viewed at least 25% of your video. Visitors who exposed to your messages previously are 3-5 times more likely to conver than cold traffic.

The second important part of a rudimentary paid strategy is to use your customer and/or email list to create lookalike audiences to target on paid. This will ensure you are getting the biggest bang for your buck. On Facebook, you can upload an entire customer file to do this.

5. Label Your Content + Track Your Progress

Measurement should be threaded through all your social media efforts, so you can optimize as you go along. That said, here I will focus on end-of-campaign measurement. I will begin with content labeling.

Content labeling is a social marketer’s secret weapon. It tells you which content works best for your brand. For instance, let’s take the Trader Joe’s example below.

If Trader Joe’s labeled their content, they would know the answers to questions like:

  • Do pictures of food or pictures of influencers perform better?
  • Do recipes or product shots perform better?
  • Which captions best resonate with our audience?
  • Do videos featuring customers or videos featuring influencers perform better?
  • Does UGC or studio-composed content perform better?

And basically any other question. This takes the guesswork out of their strategy, so their social team can be creative, efficient, and test easily.

And remember: Always. Be. Measuring. 

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