General topics on marketing and online marketing strategies

Stand out from your competition by ‘fitting in’ with your clients

Every prospect and client relationship is a little different. However, despite their claims to the contrary you know clients can also be very much the same. Realize when a client is shopping for a vendor YOU can look the same too!

When a prospect interviews you for your business, how do you stand out from your competition? Show them how you fit in! Understand their process and how to incorporate your services and REPORTING into their environment.

1. It’s about THEIR brand

I would venture almost every client will ask you for examples of your reports or how you will demonstrate results. This might sound obvious to some but really – use their brand in your reports and communications…even the examples. After 25 years and countless interviews with agencies, you might be stunned at the number of vendors who didn’t get this one.

They are proposing to use your team to accomplish marketing tasks, programs and reporting as an extension of their team. The temptation will be to spend time and energy on how to move your brand into the organization – including splattering your logo all over the reports and analytics and converting all the reports to PDFs to preserve your brand.

In most cases, your work will need to be integrated into their reporting structure, so it is considerably more helpful to put THEIR brand on the reports. At the very beginning ask for the prospects company presentation or just copy the logo off their website to start. Upload their logo and show them how you can give them branded reports. Optify can do this for you.

It’s ok. Your ability to win and move a client from a project to a longer-term retainer isn’t based on someone seeing your logo. It’s about providing content value and results – becoming indispensable to the marketing teams planning and execution.

Right from the first day, and first meeting demonstrate how your service will integrate well and fit in. This brings me to point 2.

2. The data and reports should help explain the clients whole-marketing story


Remember, your data needs context.

One of my favorite sci-fi series is Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. There’s a part of the story where the universe most important people all gather around a computer known as Deep Thought as it delivered the long awaited (7.5 million years) answer to life, the universe and everything. They were confused to learn it was “42”. Unfortunately, they then realized that it was going to take approximately 10 million years for a new system to deliver “the Ultimate Question”..bummer ☺

There are a number of important lessons here, but for our purposes – remember, it doesn’t help to just deliver the answer. Don’t forget to understand and deliver an answer that brings clarity to the client’s whole marketing story. Every client must understand the information they’ve been provided and how it fits in to their overall strategy. As you look to deliver value, the data, analytics and reports should have context and explanations.

Tell the prospect upfront that you will work with them on fully understanding their marketing plan. This is especially important when balancing the strategy and expense, timing and return-on-investment (ROI) of inbound marketing, establishing important keywords and investing in Adwords (PPC) or email. As you know, not every program generates results all at once and clients must understand how to consistently show the achievement of short-term and long-term goals with their programs. Show them examples of ‘how’ you’ve provided this value to other clients.

By integrating the client’s brand into your reports and understanding how your results fit and then demonstrating the value of your results as a whole, you and your team will stand out from the crowd.

Doug Wheeler, CMO of Optify, To succeed in 2013, companies need to focus on tying cross-channel campaigns including offline events such as direct mail, tradeshows and city tours, with online experiences and find ways to measure the impact of these cross-channel campaigns.

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— Prediction: Continued Growth in Integrated Marketing Suites for 2013

For your Agency, Efficiency + Consistency = Scalability & Profitability

So keep dreaming with me, and let’s walk hand-in-hand on this post. You have your business, and to get started you call or email every person you know. You get 3 or 4 or may 5 clients because you’re good, and because your friends/colleagues/clients trust you, and most importantly because you can really help them sort out their digital marketing priorities to get the most for their money.

I’ve been there – where you are now – all the dreams, all the highs and all the lows, all the challenges, all the sweat and all the fears of running your own company. I advise against it, but I’ve even put a 2nd mortgage on my house to start my first company :)  Optify works with digital marketing entrepreneurs every day who are living the same – special dream.

You have your business, and to get started you call or email every person you know. You get 3 or 4 or maybe 5 clients because you’re good, and because your friends/colleagues/clients trust you, and most importantly because you can really help them sort out their digital marketing priorities to get the most for their money. Uh-oh, just that quickly, YOU’RE OUT OF BANDWIDTH. You don’t have enough time in the day, even working 90 hour weeks, to service all of your clients. What are you going to do? How can you scale the business?

If you’re like 90% of the other digital marketing firms we work with, you’re not going to hire a bunch of professional marketers at high salaries. Nope. You’re going to hire a couple of communications majors out of the local university with 1-3 years of experience on 1099 contracts for $16-20 per hour. And somehow, they need to be able to deliver services to clients and look experienced doing it (at least if you hope to keep your clients).

Sound familiar? Maybe I’m just guessing. Or maybe I’ve had this discussion 25 times in the past quarter with agency partners of ours.

Good news! We’re creating software and aligning our product here at Optify to meet those requirements. Optify is continuously building a digital marketing software suite to address your specific needs as a digital marketing agency.


Take a person with 2 years of experience, give them a few hours of training on Optify, and you begin to standardize delivery of services at 60-80% of the professionalism that you would provide yourself. Just that fast, you can extricate yourself from services delivery – especially reporting. Instead, focus on what you do best – bring on clients and manage relationships.


What do you get from standardizing all of your employees/contractors and all of your delivery on a single platform? Well, see if these sound familiar:

  1. Anyone on your staff can create an email or Twitter campaign with an optimized landing page for far better lead conversion rates for clients.
  2. Your entire team can provide some baseline SEO services and expertise on a page-by-page basis.
  3. Your monthly reporting for clients can be standardized on a single platform based on data from a single system, saving you 4-5 hours per month per client (i.e. more gross margin per client).
  4. Whether you hire team members with some search engine optimization skills or digital marketers with a background in email/database marketing, they can all provide any service with a high degree of professionalism.

Efficiency + Consistency = Scalability and Profit. Questions? Contact me or a representative at Optify and we’ll show you the way.

crystal ball“Doug Wheeler, CMO of Optify, says more companies will be using cookies, logins, or machine-based identifications to personalize the experience for each of their customers.”

I strongly believe in presenting dynamic content based on the prospect and their interest as well as their domain.  Then, retargeting to deliver the content they’ve demonstrated an interest for.

Here’s the Article: The Customer Experience Crystal Ball: Predictions for 2013

— Yeah, I said that – check out my quote in 1to1Media

How to do a technical SEO audit (feel free to use our template)

As a digital marketing agency, are you looking for help on how to create and report on a Technical SEO Audit?  Scott Fasser of Optify is an expert! Here’s his post on ‘how-to’.

One of the first deliverables we work on for a new services client that is focused on inbound marketing is a technical SEO audit. This audit allows us to dig into their website, keyword strategy and metrics in a detailed and significant way in order to understand what controllable issues we can attack right from the get-go to improve website crawl-ability, indexation and performance. Many times, we’ll find four or five issues in this process that turn into specific tasks for the webmaster and/or the marketing person which can have a near immediate impact on organic visibility and traffic.

Read the rest and get the template


Digital Marketing and your competition

Well, it’s time to get back to attracting customers and clobbering your competition in 2013.   Tracking your competition is a smart and important thing to do. Optify allows you to track your competitors’ keyword rankings. You can see where you are winning and where there is room to improve. This will help you develop the right strategy to gain more traffic.

There are four main applications in Optify that you can use to track your competition. These are: Keywords, Pages, Links and Reports. Check out this post

4 Steps to Get a Sneak Peek on What Your Competition is Up To!



Optify Won Best New Product of the Year – Best in Biz 2012 – Award Arrives Today!

Our digital marketing software suite was selected as a bronze winner for the Best in Biz Awards in the Best New Product of the Year category. The Best in Biz Awards is an annual program that honors companies, teams, executives and products for their business success as the only independent business awards program judged by industry analysts and members of the press. Our super cool award arrived today! We’ve added it to our collection :)




Best Practices for Lead Hunters

Best Practices for Hunting Leads

Are you a part of an inside sales team? On behalf of every sales person that doesn’t have to cold call from a list and every marketing person that wants a go-to person that wants marketing leads to turn them into sales opportunities – THANK YOU!

You are the fuel that runs the sales engine.

This post on best practices for hunting leads was written by one of Optify’s Inside Sales qualifiers. – AJ.  A little knowledge here, AJ rocks and is definitely worth the time to read his stuff.

December 13, 2012 | by AJ Armendariz | Optify Inside Sales

I want to expand on the most daunting task of the three parts of the inside sales team as the engine for your sales vehicle. As David mentioned most inside sales teams are faced with three tasks when pushing qualified leads and opportunities into the sales funnel:

  1. Process
  2. Hunt
  3. Qualify

While there’s no doubt each of these parts play an equal role in fueling the sales funnel and driving new business, the most daunting of the three is hunting. Broadly defined hunting is the process of engaging with leads in your queue.

The best hunting practices include these variables:

  1. Immediacy
  2. Persistence
  3. Time of Day
  4. Day of Week

As we all know hunting is a “numbers game,” the more calls you make the better chance you have of engaging with your leads. This part of the hunting process requires persistence. However, hunting isn’t just about making calls, its about getting people to have business conversations with you. Here at Optify our inside sales team does this through calling, emailing, referrals, and social media.

Optify arms us with the weapons crucial for any successful inside sales team: lead alerts, visitor intelligence, and efficient hunting best practices through email templates, phone scripts, triggered email drops, and CRM lead history. As much as hunting depends on persistence and resilience, adhering to the basic steps of the hunting process is what really makes an inside sales team successful.










The basic steps of the hunting process are:

  • Research
  • Call
  • Voice Mail
  • Follow up email

Researching leads is the most time consuming step of the hunting process. Therefore, figuring out how to make this step as efficient as possible is crucial. First the lead comes to the Optify web site and fills out a form and all of the lead detail is in the Optify software. In addition to the detail from the form, we look up additional data related to their company and other demographics. At that point the lead is ready to be integrated with our CRM of choice–in our case, Salesforce. This step isn’t actually necessary for most users since Optify can act alone with simple CRM features in our fantastic Contact Manager.

While calling is the core of the hunting process, it is also the task that takes the least amount of time. Make sure you have your 30-second pitch ready, as well as your voice mail pitch. And lastly make sure you have email templates already created so you can make your hunting process as efficient as possible.

Optify is a Red Herring Global 100 Winner

I had the opportunity to join hundreds of companies down in Santa Monica, CA (where it rained every single day) and present on behalf of Optify for the Red Herring Global 100.

I am pleased to report that we were a winner!  Red Herring’s 2012 Top 100 Global award, a prestigious recognition honoring the year’s most audacious and far reaching private technology companies and entrepreneurs from across the globe, celebrating these startups’ innovations and technologies across their respective industries.

Red Herring’s editorial staff evaluated the companies on both quantitative and qualitative criteria, such as financial performance, technology innovation, management quality, strategy, and market penetration. This assessment of potential is complemented by a review of the track record and standing of startups relative to their peers, allowing Red Herring to see past the “buzz” and make the list a valuable instrument of discovery and advocacy for the most promising new business models from around the world.


From the Red Herring Team:

Optify’s groundbreaking Digital Marketing Automation Suite helps digital marketing agencies and professional B2B marketers plan, build, execute and manage all of their marketing campaigns in one place. Optify helps businesses generate more high quality inbound leads, nurture more demand from existing leads, and track the impact of all marketing programs in one place.
We’ve spent this year fine-tuning our software suite to offer digital marketing agencies and B2B marketers an end-to-end marketing solution that includes all the capabilities they need to be successful in this evolving digital landscape.  Recognition from this prominent award further supports our mission to provide our customers with an industry leading product!“Choosing the companies with the strongest potential was by no means a small feat,” said Alex Vieux, publisher and CEO of Red Herring. “After rigorous contemplation and discussion, we narrowed our list down from hundreds of candidates from across Global to the Top 100 Winners. We believe Optify embodies the vision, drive and innovation that define a successful entrepreneurial venture. Optify should be proud of its accomplishment, as the competition was the strongest it has ever been.”



58,604,370 +1 WordPress Websites Now Available!

Well, I just did a press release this week on WordPress.  Imagine, there are now 58 Million+ WordPress sites out there?!  There is even a real-time counter!

WordPress Site CountWordPress isn’t just for a few random bloggers – it’s a real-time business application. Optify uses WordPress for our website, and as of today, I  have moved my personal website from Google’s blogger to WordPress.  You will begin to see an evolution of Mixed Messages from the blog to a full-time website that promotes my marketing perspective, marketing consulting services and my auction services that I primarily offer for schools and charities.

So now, there are 58,604,370 +1 WordPress websites!  Stay tuned for more changes.

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