In the last two weeks I drove (well I was in the car anyway) for more than 1,500 miles meeting with tech companies in Montreal, Ontario, Massachusetts, Rochester, NY, Los Angeles and San Diego. The last stop on my latest trip was at CTIA where I saw dozens of companies from around the globe.
Most of my travels involve learning about companies in the communications and technology space and often advising them on how they can be more successful. Sometimes I get to see some very innovative solutions which I can't share at the time for a multitude of reasons (embargos, etc) and other times I get a firsthand look at things which I share as soon as I can. In many cases, companies ask me about TMC's experience in helping companies with their thought leadership, branding and lead generation activities.
As CEO of a media company which builds online, in-person and print communities for millions of global purchasing decision-makers each month, I have an unusual role of also writing about many of the companies, products and services I see. What is fun for me is finding new ways to bring buyers and sellers together. Buyers want to quickly learn about which products they should consider before purchasing and sellers are looking to sell as much as they can while spending the least amount in doing so.
It is an amazing place to sit because extremely often I see industry-changing technology which languishes because an engineer sets the marketing budget and has the corporate communications skills of sheetrock. Remember, I have an engineering degree so I feel I am uniquely qualified to beat up my brethren. Then there are the companies I visit where their products shouldn't be accepted for free, yet they sell in volume and make massive margins because they are able to communicate the benefits properly.
Then there are a slew of "Hail Mary" companies which have really cool products but no business model to speak of. Sometimes I can convince the founder of such a company to modify their offerings to actually make money but other times the companies die on the vine because they think they know best - after all, I just meet a thousand companies plus like them a year - what do I know?. Sometimes though the amazing happens and they get purchased by a Google, Cisco or Oracle and thus the "Hail Mary" designation.
I am thrilled to act as a trusted advisor on PR and marketing issues and I figured it is unfair for me to only share information with people I choose to visit and subsequently I spoke on a webinar a month or so ago about hosted SEO which was well-attended and generated lot buzz in the industry. So many companies wonder about search engine optimization and what the trick is to ranking high. While there are lots of factors to consider, the basic premise is to write lots of content which people want to read and share with others.
SEO consultants get paid to help companies rank higher and in some cases they can boost a company's search rank for a while. But in the end, steady and relatively large amounts of content are what companies need to generate to rank high on various terms.
I could go on about building communities and improving SEO for hours - I am truly passionate about figuring out how to instantly bring a group of people with similar interests together on a single web portal. Coming from the world of magazines, it used to take TMC six months to build a mailing list and in many cases you really needed 18 months to do it right. Oh and did I mention you had to mail at least half a million subscription offers and it would cost you about $400,000 at a minimum to rent lists, print and mail your subscription forms? To show you how much things have changed, TMC has been involved in projects in the past few months where we built communities on new topics which are up and running and attracting hundreds of thousands of people in a matter of a few weeks. It is truly amazing to see how media has evolved through the use of news-generated, laser focused community building.
Again, these topics are a major passion of mine and something my team at TMC has gotten great at focusing on. The next webinar I will speak on takes place Thursday of this week, October 15th at 12:00 PST and on it I will discuss how you can partner to boost your search engine marketing. I look forward to seeing you there. Be sure to register now so you don't miss it. As a reminder, you can view the archive if you aren't around at this exact time. Just be sure to register. Also, be sure to bring any questions you have. I look forward to answering them this week.