Some of us in sales also have to do marketing. Sales and marketing are supposed to work together and provide a seamless process to identify, qualify and sell to prospects. The reality is that many times sales people, in order to succeed, have no choice but to provide all of these functions with little or no assistance. Since failure is not an option, sales people will often need to perform marketing functions. In those cases a little marketing knowledge goes a long way. I have several posts on this blog site regarding marketing. This one is to identify a few recent marketing books which I think are useful.
The internet has changed the marketing game. If you are not using the internet for marketing and public relations then you are likely to be run over by your competition because I can almost guarantee you that they are. The good news is that it’s not too late and you can always get started. The sooner you do this the better. These two books are both available to be downloaded as audible books, which is how I now “read” most of the books, magazines and other material I ingest.
The other thing to keep in mind is that many of the internet marketing tools are available for FREE. Websites, blogs, micro-blogs (like Twitter), Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, YouTube and others are all either free or so cheap that they might as well be free. This fits particularly well with the marketing budgets of startups.
The New Rules of Marketing and P.R.
The New Rules of Marketing and PR: How to Use News Releases, Blogs, Podcasting, Viral Marketing and Online Media to Reach Buyers Directly by David Meerman Scott
The author does an excellent job of giving the reader a primer on how to use the internet get the word out about your product. This book is not specific to any one product or category. The techniques described in it could be used so sell anything from toothpaste to software. For those of you who are not making full use of the internet, this is a good place to start.
Twitter Power: How to Dominate Your Market One Tweet at a Time by Joel Comm and Ken Burge
Twitter Power is both a primer and how-to manual for micro-blogging and Twitter. Blogging is posting a few times per month or per week. Micro-blogging is blogging several times per day. Micro-blogging is also limited to 140 characters so it can also be done from a cell phone.
Don’t Make Me Think
Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability by Steve Krug
This is an excellent book for those of you who can’t afford a website design consultant. The author has lots of tips on how to make sure that people who come to your website are able to navigate around and find what they are looking for. Whether you have a little web site that you built on a Saturday afternoon or you have a complex website that took much longer to build, this is a good way to audit it for usability. This can also be used in conjunction with Google Analytics to help you figure out WHY some people are bailing out without clicking on the “call to action” part of your website.
For those of you needing to get started on the internet I highly recommend taking several steps:
· If you don’t have a website, get one. There must be a destination for you to be driving traffic to. If you need help there are LOTS of books and how-to help to do this.
· Start a blog. There is a global conversation going on out there. Join in. Make your voice and opinion (or your side of the argument) heard. At the very least start posting on other people’s blogs. You can get started for FREE on sites like blogger.com and/or wordpress.com (I use WordPress, as you can see from the URL above). Both of them have step-by-step instructions. Just pick one and click on the GET STARTED button.
· Use social networking websites like MySpace, Facebook and LinkedIn. Someone seeing your blog posts may want to look you up. These are FREE. They also make it easy to get started.
· Use video sites like YouTube and others to post video telling your story. Video is a very powerful medium. We like visual media and this is a great way to get the word out.
Everything you put out on the web is indexed by the search engines and becomes searchable. The more stuff you put out on the web the more likely someone looking for what you have to offer is to stumble over it and follow the link back to your website. This creates a HUGE multiplier effect for you.
Hope this helps.