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Is that writer worth the cost of the ink?

 

By Leo Valiquette

When I worked in the newspaper business, there was a screening practice for job applicants that I wholeheartedly embraced – giving the strongest prospects freelance assignments on tight deadlines.

There is no better way to gauge someone’s abilities. Writing samples are all well and good, but there is no telling how much they have been cleaned up by a third party. The same approach was taken at our affiliated inmedia Public Relations practice, only in this context the assignment was a media release.

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Before you jump on the content-marketing bandwagon …

By Leo Valiquette

As Francis wrote yesterday, content marketing is nothing new. It’s the way in which that content can be presented, distributed and promoted that has changed dramatically since the days when we had to use these dusty things called books to do research.

I define content marketing as a process to engage, inform, educate and otherwise woo a target audience with some kind of narrative. This narrative can be anything from a post on your corporate blog to a paid advertising spot that features a client case study (often referred to as an advertorial), or a thought leadership piece that has earned, rather than bought, its way into an influential industry publication.

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Don’t give your customers reasons to ask for apologies

By Leo Valiquette

This is a story about a dining room set and organically grown frozen meat products, but it could just as easily be a story about a B2B technology product or service.

A couple of months ago, Francis wrote that customer service must be a deliberate strategy. How you approach customer service ought to be a strategic decision that is carefully and deliberately made. Retaining good customers, after all, is far less costly than acquiring new ones.

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From courting Hollywood’s A-list to navigating the Chinese New Year

This is the 11th article in a continuing series chronicling the growth path of Screach, a startup based in Newcastle upon Tyne in England’s North East. Screach is an interactive digital media platform that allows users to create real-time, two-way interactive experiences between a smart device (through the Screach app) and any content, on any screen or just within the mobile device itself. We invite your feedback.

By Leo Valiquette and John Hill

Growing a startup is all about establishing and managing relationships. There are the relationships that open doors and create opportunity. And then there are the more pedestrian ones involved with the day-to-day processes that get product to customers.

Relationships in both categories gave the Screach team plenty of reason to lose sleep over the past couple of months. The first was a pitch opportunity for CEO Paul Rawlings that made the hairs stand up on the back of his neck. The second was the potentially disruptive hiccup presented by the Chinese New Year.

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February roundup: What does it take to get technology to market?

By Leo Valiquette

It may have been a short month, by we still pulled together in February a rich lineup of content for marketers, entrepreneurs and investors alike. Hot topics included how not to do customer service, what’s to love and hate about technology marketing, the root causes of the so-called Series A crunch and the risks of “mentor whiplash.”

In case you missed any of it, here is a handy recap of our posts, as ranked by the enthusiasm of our readers:

Feb. 5: Is the ‘last mile’ of sales automation keeping your reps from closing more business?, by Jeff Campbell

Feb. 7: The trouble with mentors is…, by Francis Moran

Feb. 21: 6 little things that tell your customers you don’t care, by Linda Moran and Francis Moran

Feb. 25: Ego capital and the ‘Series A Crunch’, by Ronald Weissman

Feb. 13: Getting to the point in drafting a patent application, by David French

Feb. 20: The traditional corporate presentation is dead!, by Anil Dilawri

Feb. 27: You just never know where a story is going to stick, by Leo Valiquette

Feb. 6: Does your business suffer from multiple personalities?, by Leo Valiquette

Feb. 11: Do you have the key ingredients for an effective board?, by Denzil Doyle

Feb. 26: App development today demands a three-in-one approach, by Peter Hanschke

Feb. 14: Why I heart tech marketing, by Francis Moran

Feb. 28: Why I hate tech marketing, by Francis Moran

Feb. 19: Do your PR people suffer from telephobia?, by Leo Valiquette

Image: February2013CalendarPrintable.com

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