Archive

Posts Tagged ‘public speaking’

Email Marketing: How Ferguson Enterprises generated over $10 million in online revenue

July 14th, 2015
Share

Well, it’s that time of year again in Jacksonville, Florida. The sun is shining. The summer skies are blue. Surf’s up at the beach. And we at MarketingSherpa are doing our best to ignore the siren call of summer to focus on … applications.

Lot of applications. Over 300 applications to speak at MarketingSherpa Summit 2016 in Las Vegas, to be precise.

It was around this time last year that I came across a truly remarkable story. While culling through all of the speaker applications for MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2015 to find the best stories to share from the stage, I came across the story of Mary Abrahamson, Email Marketing Specialist, Ferguson Enterprises — the largest plumbing wholesaler in North America.

Mary and her team combined offline and online efforts to generate more than $10 million in online revenue through the Ferguson Rewards program, which included more than 90 in-person events. Courtney Eckerle, Manager of Editorial Content, MarketingSherpa, sat down with Mary in the Media Center at Email Summit before her session.

“Be transparent about what you’re trying to do with the customer information they’re providing to you,” Mary advised.

She also talked about the necessity of having quality content.

“In 2015, mediocre content is no longer okay. It’s really important to make sure that … you’re the source of information for your customers,” Mary said.

After her time in the Media Center, I interviewed Mary onstage about her entire case study. She took the audience through the customer journey of two personas and the targeted offers and content that helped them move through Ferguson’s funnel.

Read more…

Event Marketing: 4 questions to ask before submitting a speaking application

October 24th, 2014
Share

Speaking at events offers a great opportunity for marketers to build their own personal brand and reputation in the industry as well as improve their career. It also provides a way for solutions providers to gain credibility through customer success stories.

However, getting on stage is easier said than done.

If you’ve ever applied to speak at an event, you probably know that it can take a while to hear back from application evaluators, if you hear anything at all.Summit Speaker

Having applied to speak at several events in the past, I can relate — but I also have the inside scoop on what happens on the agenda-building side.

Over the past couple of weeks, the MECLABS content team, myself included, has been hard at work sifting through hundreds of speaking applications for MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2015 in Las Vegas.

I’ve spent over 30 hours reading through applications, analyzing blog posts, watching videos and reaching out to applicants.

During those long hours, I began to develop four fundamental questions to ask myself when sorting applications into the “yes” or “no” stack, and I want to share those four questions with you:

 

1. Did you take time and effort to explain your story completely?

It’s disheartening to see people throw away an opportunity to win over the evaluators. Applications where you’re given the chance to tell someone about your story should take more than a sentence or single word, or, big oops, left blank entirely.

This is your chance to tell your story. Give the application reviewer a story and let them imagine how it would be presented on stage.

If you’re the hero of the story, explain the challenges that you overcame.

Be a storyteller in your application. J.K. Rowling could have summed up all the Harry Potter novels by simply writing, “Harry Potter went to school and learned how to overcome challenges.” Instead, she expanded this story into seven complete novels, detailing the events that unfolded and inviting you into the life, experiences and thoughts of Harry, not just offering the world a simplified plot.

The art of storytelling — even in a speaking application — is important and will set you apart from the hundreds of other applicants.

The effort that you put into your application is a preview of the effort that you’ll put into the content you present.

If we ask for a video and your reply is, “I have one, but I can’t find it,” we’re not going to go look for it. If you write, “Will provide video upon request” under the section where we requested a video, your application will likely be disregarded altogether.

Read more…

Event Marketing: 3 tips to set your speakers up for success

May 6th, 2014
Share

I’ve discovered firsthand in my role as Event Content Specialist at MarketingSherpa that creating content for your events can be a daunting task given all the factors that weigh in on making them a success.

However, as the cliché goes, “the show must go on.”

As we prepare for Web Optimization Summit in New York City held May 21-23, I decided to put together a few quick tips that can help you on your event planning journey.

 

Tip #1. Make sure speakers are relevant to your audience

There’s a bit of a dilemma during the early stages of planning: How do you select the right speakers for your event?

Oftentimes, while skimming through applications from speakers, a tempting brand name or title seems to pop out and yell “CHOOSE ME!” but realistically, not every brand or C-suite exec is going to be a good fit into your overall agenda.

For example, if you book the CEO of Puppies Inc. for a keynote at Kitten World 2014, you may have a tough time ahead with your audience on the mismatch.

When vetting the speaking applications, it’s important to make sure that their content applies to the overall event. Speakers that are a good fit will not only keep your audience engaged, but they will also deliver comfortably on stage, instead of working hard to adapt their content on the fly to fit the audience.

For the case study sessions at our Summits, finding speakers that our audience can relate to is a cornerstone in our process. Relevance is even a part of our own value proposition, as we love to feature brand-side marketers as speakers for an audience of marketers who are also in the marketing trenches every day.

 

Tip #2. Create outlines and templates for external speakers

Each speaker has his or her own style of presenting.

Some people love to use a lot of slides and pictures, while others prefer a wall of text. I’ve seen beautiful PowerPoint decks with wonderful builds – however, I’ve also seen presentations that need a little improvement.

To help keep the content at your events to a fixed standard, try encouraging speakers to use a written outline before any slides are built. This can help provide them with a framework for building out their presentation and it can also help identify any gaps in the content.

Also, creating a PowerPoint (or whichever platform is your preference) template for speakers to use is a great way that event planners can also ensure brand standards are maintained.

 

Tip #3. Use moderators to help your speakers deliver with confidence

At Summits, with the exception of keynotes, our guest speakers are not professional speakers. They’re marketers who have discovered what works – and what has not worked – and they want to share their findings with their peers.

As you would expect, being in front of a packed house to speak is not easy for everyone. To help our speakers feel a little more comfortable and confident in their public speaking skills, we use moderators.

Moderators take the stage with our speakers and tee them up for success by walking with them through the challenges, key points and discoveries. By assigning speakers a moderator, he or she acts as a liaison for the speaker through the entire process.

They work on the presentation together and build a relationship over the course of the project that really makes a big difference when it’s show time.

  Read more…