Content marketing stalled by writer’s block? Here’s what I did.

May 16th, 2017

writers-blockFor the past five years, I have posted a blog once a week, virtually without fail. As a provider of content marketing services, we not only have to talk the talk… we also have to walk the walk. But after nearly 250 posts… I hit a wall. For the first time since we started Harpeth Marketing, I had writers’ block.

It’s not that I couldn’t come up with any good ideas for posts, I couldn’t come up with any ideas… period! It was truly frustrating.

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Need Fresh Content for Content Marketing? Do Survey Research!

July 29th, 2015

A Guest post by Debra Semans. Based in Atlanta, Debra, is the lead writer for Harpeth Marketing, as well as an independent researcher and focus group moderator. She can be reached at Debra@HarpethMarketing.com.

frustrated at workWhile the debate rages about whether “Content is King”, many marketing researchers feel like Content is some maniacal despot, or at least a weighty albatross hung around your neck. You already have a 70-hour (or more) a week job! How are you supposed to make time to produce fresh content? And how do you make it fresh when everyone else is publishing content on the same topics? How many blogs on customer satisfaction measurement can the world endure?

Ironically, marketing researchers have the best source for fresh content right at their fingertips. I’m talking about marketing research! The results of a quick survey can fuel your blog posts for weeks.

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Do you really know what clients want?

April 15th, 2015

skilletI was flipping through a magazine this morning and came across a small article announcing a new product available to consumers.

It’s a Bluetooth-enabled frying pan that helps you find the right temp so you know when to flip your pancakes (or whatever you’re cooking). Are you serious?!

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Churn baby churn! The loss of clients.

September 17th, 2014

Churn2I was talking with a long-time industry friend of mine this week and he made a really interesting comment. He said, “For every new client we pick up, we’re losing one or two.” He called it their ‘churn rate.’

Yikes! With those kinds of odds, it won’t take long before they’re in really serious trouble.

It’s a good lesson for all of us… What’s your churn rate?

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Is the customer always right? Uhhh… pretty much!

July 23rd, 2014

customer-feedback.133103555As I write this, I’m in the midst of a project with a client… helping them to develop their “go to market” messaging for a new service line. We’ve been talking about features and benefits, what “pain points” we think it addresses, what those that have tried it think about it and so on.

But we can only do so much. If you believe that “the buyer’s perception is the seller’s reality” (and I do!), then before my client makes any final decisions on messaging, he needs to get some input from those for whom the messaging is intended… his clients and prospects.

The fact is, getting feedback from clients could be the answer to most of your business questions and problems. Think about all the issues you deal with and where client input could be helpful…

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You’re a researcher… so do some for yourself to gain a competitive advantage!

February 20th, 2013

Every day… you get up, go to the office, collect some data for your clients, interpret that data and give them some feedback to help them do their jobs better.  Yeah, a little over-simplified, but you get my drift.

So, here’s the question… are you doing that same thing for yourself?  Particularly with your marketing & sales as a way to help you do it better?

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Conduct an Old-fashioned SWOT Analysis to Find Your Competitive Advantage

August 28th, 2012

The SWOT Analysis (Strengths – Weaknesses – Opportunities – Threats) has been around for a long time as a way to take a critical look at your own company.  Strengths and weaknesses are internally focused… opportunities and threats are for looking outward.

What you do is think about your own firm in terms of each of the four categories: “What are our strengths?”, “What are our weaknesses?” and so on.  In those answers could be ideas for helping you to move your company forward.  Not a bad process.

But even though it’s “old school,” with a few tweaks, the SWOT Analysis can continue to play a valuable role in helping to look deep inside your firm to find your competitive advantage(s) and market position to help drive future success.

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Want to know the REAL Story about your Firm? Here’s how…

June 14th, 2012

We all want the research firms that employ us to be the best they can be… to provide top-notch service, use the most current methodologies and deliver the deepest insights for our clients.  So, how do we get there?

For many of us, we start with post-project client satisfaction surveys of some kind… for that immediate feedback on the work we just completed.  And you should continue to do that.  It’s good and valuable information – from clients who LIKE you.

Where you have an even bigger opportunity to learn is from those clients who DON’T like you… your ex-clients – those firms who used to bring their projects to you, but who, for whatever reason, no longer do business with you.  These firms can be an amazing source of insight about your firm, its services and much more.

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