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July 10, 2008

Marketing on a Budget - The Webcast Series

Recently the folks from the Microsoft Office Live Small Business (MOLSB) team invited me to participate in the Microsoft Office Live Seminar Series. I had the pleasure of working with David Alexander - MOLSB Product Manager, on a three part webcast, entitled Relationship Marketing: Finding, Captivating and Keeping Customers in a Web 2.0 World.

I had the opportunity to talk about...well... what I usually talk about - how small business should automate process to free up time to:

  • Build quality business relationships
  • Analyze the effectiveness of relationship-building activities (blogging, twittering, email marketing, etc.), and
  • Create audacious content that grabs the attention of those you want to engage in conversations.

Basically, I got to talk about Social CRM, and the "Three A's" that comprise it.

As part of the webcasts David walked through a few "day in the life" scenarios using Office Live Small Business. Although it's not a full fledged CRM tool, it has some key pieces that will help many small businesses take better advantage of the web. If you're a small shop with limited IT expertise, but interested in building a cost-effective web presence quickly and easily, you should take a look. David did a nice job of walking through processes that highlight website integration with contact management, quickly adding leads via the web, and shooting out an e-newsletter to a segmented list of contacts - after a quick edit to the newsletter.

These things may not sound all that sexy, but they are extremely important to small business people looking to build web presences that not only captivate people, but also automates lead management processes to free up precious time. Time they can use to build meaningful, long lasting relationships with the right folks. Time to think creatively and audaciously to find ways to captivate those looking for products and services you can deliver to them. Time to turn a click into a conversation, and a conversation into a business relationship... a long lasting relationship.

If you get a chance to check the series out let me know what you think. I had a ball doing this. In fact I felt like I was an in-studio NFL analyst or something, with David being a great host. You may also want to check the other webcasts, as they feature heavy hitters like Startup Nation's Rich Sloan and Guerrilla Marketing author Jay Levinson. Just use this link to check them out.

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