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November roundup: What does it take to bring technology to market?

By Alexandra Reid

This month saw a lot of action in the Canadian startup scene and we covered much of it here on our blog. Most notably, Startup Canada launched its much anticipated Startup Blueprints, an ambitious web platform that summarizes what the organisation heard this past summer, and sets out what needs to be done to turn those ideas and reflections into concrete action.

But that shouldn’t eclipse the wonderful work of Maple Leaf Angels and CanWit, two organisations that have fostered a partnership to create new investment opportunities for women-led startups in Canada. The National Angel Capital Organization also held its annual conference in Halifax, where important debates took place about the value of crowdfunding and how investment in this country could be improved.

Of course, those stories don’t even scratch the surface of our coverage this month. In case you missed any, here’s a handy roundup of our posts, ranked by the enthusiasm of our readers.

November 19: Lessons for entrepreneurs who wish to globalize their startups upon inception: Part 2 by Tony Bailetti

November 28: If Jack and Jill had worked together to engineer a well water system … by Leo Valiquette

November 20: Celebrating 25 years of community support by Alexandra Reid

November 29: A clarion call to make Canada an entrepreneurial economy by Francis Moran

November 6: CMI-MarketingProfs report reveals B2B content marketing confusion by Alexandra Reid

November 12: The CMO is dead by Dominique Turpin

November 27: Product management: Give the user the best possible mobile experience by Peter Hanschke

November 13: Hey, kid, I hear you want to be an entrepreneur by Leo Valiquette

November 26: Supporting investment in women-led startups by Alexandra Reid

November 7: Give capitalists the ball, let them run by Leo Valiquette

November 14: Lessons for entrepreneurs who wish to globalize their startups upon inception by Tony Bailetti

November 5: The neuroscience behind elections by Bob Bailly

November 8: Hootsuite CEO Ryan Holmes inspires hometown crowd: Video by Fiona Campbell

November 14: The subsistence diet of government — and some VC — funding by Francis Moran

November 21: Walking the digital tightrope: The perils of co-branded employees by Megan Totka

November 22:  Startup Canada to call for urgent action to support Canadian entrepreneurs by Francis Moran

November 1: Even angels are going enterprise by Francis Moran

November 16: How to create brighter lives with content marketing by Alexandra Reid

Image: Oana Befort

Hootsuite CEO Ryan Holmes inspires hometown crowd: Video

By Fiona Campbell

Ryan Holmes, CEO and founder of HootSuite, gave an inspirational talk as part of the ignITE speaker series in the Okanagan about his journey as an entrepreneur, followed by a fireside chat and Q&A with Jeff Keen, CEO of Accelerate Okanagan.

Wynne Leung, a UX/UI designer from the Okanagan, attended the event and offered her perspective:

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Marketing’s hidden treasure map

By Francis Moran

Whenever I present to groups or prospects on my Four Steps on the Road to Revenue™ marketing methodology, the first sentence out of my mouth is always, “It all begins with the customer.” My point is that marketing must start with identifying a customer requirement that your product or service can fulfill. Too many companies, and especially technology companies, start with building a product and then go looking for someone willing to buy it. It is far more effective to first find that burning pain or unmet need that you — and, preferably, you alone — can address in a unique manner that creates high value on both sides of the transaction.

I will admit that it is getting easier all the time to persuade folks of the sense of this approach. Every time we have rigorously applied this methodology, the client ends up with a clearly defined market need, a well-described customer, a sharply articulated value proposition, a product-development strategy that compells alignment with that market need, and an effective and measurable tactical plan to bring the product to market. In every case, the process is anchored by a detailed understanding of the customer, whether that comes from the client’s own reliable knowledge of customer requirements or from independent executive-interview-based or third-party research.

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The free tools in my social media marketing toolkit — Part 2: Management & measurement

By Alexandra Reid

In my last post, I shared and reviewed my favourite (free) social media monitoring tools that I use regularly to carry out social media marketing strategies on behalf of clients. Today, I reveal the management and measurement tools I use to organize and keep track of the zillions of conversations I monitor daily across multiple channels.

To summarize, these tools are free and therefore great for small businesses and new ventures. However, they are useless if they are not aligned with a sound social media marketing strategy. They are also far from perfect so we must always cross-examine data with information provided by other tools and sometimes even check information manually to ensure everything is accurate.

I decided to combine my favourite management and measurement tools because many of them do both functions. Technically, some of these can be used for monitoring social media as well. At the end of the day, it’s not so much the tools that matter, but how you use them. These are the ones that I’ve found excel, particularly in the management and measurement departments.

Without further ado, here are my favourite social media management and measurement tools:

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The free tools in my social media marketing toolkit — Part 1: Monitoring

By Alexandra Reid

I talk a lot about social media marketing strategy here, but rarely do I mention the time-and-money-saving tools that streamline my community building activities and make our social media marketing program an effective solution for businesses.

All of the tools I use are free and available to anyone with access to a computer. They are great for small and new businesses with tight budgets and limited time for experimentation and operation. But while I highly recommend that these tools be used to support social media marketing activities, they are useless for businesses that don’t align them with a sound social media marketing strategy. Additionally, while these tools help abridge the flow of social media content so users can siphon relevant information, engage with their communities and track progress, a key challenge cited by numerous businesses is keeping on top of monitoring, measurement and engagement efforts.

We must also remember that these tools are free and far from perfect. In fact, the biggest criticisms of all social media monitoring tools (free and paid) are that they sometimes fail to provide reliable and accurate data, have lag times, bugs, and are confusing to use. That’s why we must always cross-examine data with information provided by other tools and sometimes even check information manually to ensure everything is accurate.

Today I’ll discuss the tools I use for monitoring social media. In a subsequent post, I’ll reveal my favourite management and measurement tools. You’ll notice that I don’t use many tools to do my job. This is because too many tools act as speed bumps in an otherwise efficient engagement system.

Without further ado, here are my favourite social media monitoring tools:

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