Doing Interviews at Ad:Tech in New York City

We’ve had a great response to the 70+ interviews we conducted at CES in January with everyone from the CEO of Blockbuster through the CEOs of dozens of brand-new product companies.  Combine that with requests from those of us who work at businesses who need a lift to their bottom-line, and we think we’ve got a great solution.

So… we’re going to New York to get some more live on-site interviews with industry leaders at ad:tech!

We’re planning on putting together a series of interviews bundled with our regular shows to help businesses get back on their feet using modern Advertising and Marketing!  What is the technology in use today for Advertising and Marketing, everything from broadcasting through direct-mail and doing-it-yourself through hiring an agency.  What can business owners/managers use/do to help promote their businesses in this increasingly cluttered and busy world?

This should be a fun series that we’ll be sure to post on our podcast site!

Drop us a note if you have any feedback, and thanks for reading/listening!

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Anything You’d Like to Know About Online Marketing?

Search Engine Strategies Logo
Image via Wikipedia

We’ve been working on some shows to bring everyone up-to-date on how online marketing works.  We’re planning on covering everything from building web sites and email lists through how to conduct business online.

The economy’s tough, so we’re looking for ways to help our listeners improve their current business or start a new one.  Send us a note and let us know if there’s anything we can do to help you with your current or future online business.

We’re planning on attending Search Engine Strategies in New York City next week.  It looks like a great show covering soup-to-nuts on how you can get better rankings online.  Let us know if there’s someone we should talk to there, or follow-up with.  You can contact us by posting a comment to this article or via email to producer at my website, craigpeterson.com

From their home page:

“Connect with your Customers – Learn How to Use All Dimensions of Search

“Approximately 5,000 marketers and search engine optimization professionals attend SES New York each year to network and learn about topics such as PPC management, keyword research, SEO, social media, local, mobile, link building, duplicate content, multiple site issues, video optimization, site optimization, usability and more.

“SES New York will be packed with 70+ sessions, multiple keynotes, 100+ exhibitors, networking events and parties.”

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They Affect Your Life, Now You Can Ask Them a Question

Microsoft, Sony, Apple, Dell, IBM, Pansonic, Toshiba, Hitachi, HP

If you could ask the CEOs and other execs of any of the Major Consumer Electronics Companies anything, what would it be?   Are you interested in their products, the direction of their industry, what pets they have, what?

This is your chance to ask them questions, an opportunity that may never happen again.  From Product Direction through Marketing, Sales and Distribution and even personal questions, they’re all fair game and this is your chance.

Since you’re following me, you probably already know that I’ve interviewed the top people at every major Consumer Electronics firm in the world.  I’ve interviewed more than 5,000 CEOs, CTOs and Marketing Officers over my past 535+ ClearChannel Radio shows in the Boston Market.

Next week, I’m going to be out at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and I’m going to be recording interviews, dozens of them.  I’ll be there with my official media credentials and recording equipment asking questions and putting together more radio shows.

Now, here’s the important part for you:  For the first time ever, I’m going to be asking them some of your questions.  I’ve never made this offer before, and I’m a little reluctant to do it — after all, we’ve all heard some people ask some pretty silly questions…  But I’m willing to give it a try.

I’m going to be using my Twitter account (@CraigPeterson) to post basic information about each guest I’m interviewing as it happens.  If you have a question for them (or for anyone), just go ahead and subscribe to my Tweets and reply when you see something interesting.  It’s that simple.

I’ll take the (reasonable) questions, ask them to the executives, record the interviews, tweet back and post the answers on my web site (http://CraigPeterson.com)  This will let you be part of the action on the floor of the largest conference and convention in the world!  Check it out at http://www.cesweb.org/

Don’t forget to follow my Tweets at http://twitter.com/craigpeterson and let me know what you think. Another milestone for social media.

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I’m Looking for a Part-Time Entrepreneur’s Administrative Assistant

[Craig Peterson here again.  I posted this on oDesk, and thought I’d add it to my blog…]

Looking for a part-time/as-needed Administrative Assistant with solid small-business experience in a position that may grow into a full-time slot.

Must be an almost-native English speaker, have a positive, get-things-done attitude with a strong goal orientation and the ability to take initiative. Must be able to work primarily in the US Eastern (EST/EDT) TimeZone.

The selected candidate will be working with a business consultant who has a number of clients in different industries, and therefore must have a broad-based background.

This person will be working with a fairly unorganized team and will help provide some direction by being involved with the goal setting and performing follow-up functions with the various team members. All of the people the candidate will be working with are small business people whose responsibilities range from marketing and sales through finance and acquisitions all the way through technical people to implement various technologies.

It is extremely important that the candidate have the ability to achieve stated goals and overcome obstacles. Completing tasks independently with little hand-holding to get the job done is an absolute pre-requisite. Hand-holding is the last thing any of us have time to do, so a good entrepreneurial attitude coupled with understanding of small start-up stage business is a must.

As a consultant, change is our only constant as we set direction with at least three different companies and projects simultaneously.

Keeping up with the pace of change is critical and potential candidates must demonstrate a high degree of flexibility. Candidates must be capable of meeting the challenge of changing tasks and priorities. They must also be able multi-taskers who are comfortable with ambiguity, particularly since the full details of a project aren’t initially available, and will be changing over time.

Finally, the best candidate can demonstrate that they regularly take the initiative, going above and beyond the minimum requirements of the tasks. They must have a proven record of exemplary work.

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Best Free Autoresponder

How do you get an autoresponder that’s free and provides the features that the big boys use? From Verizon through manufacturing firms, I’ve had dozens of clients ask me "What’s the best free autoresponder available?" over the years.

We should probably start by answering the question, "What is an autoresponder, and why would I want to use one?" In its most basic form, an autoresponder is an email program that automatically responds to emails that are sent to it. This type of system will automatically respond with things like FAQs , product information and vacation messages.

High-end autoresponders provide features which allow people to opt-in and opt-out of your email list and provide double opt-in (also called closed-loop opt-in) capabilities.  These types of features are absolutely necessary if you have a list of more than a couple of hundred names, or if you’re trying to run a real business.

One of the best free autoresponders available is open-source and will run on both Unix/Linux and Windows machines. It’s called phplist and can be found at their website .  This software isn’t the easiest to install, but does have good basic instructions and can be installed by most system administrators without much trouble.

Be aware that even though this is the best free autoresponder, it isn’t the best thing to use if you are sending emails that are time-critical or if you don’t have time to follow-up on sites that blacklist you.  Sending out emails to bad email addresses (old, or expired) or to mail trap boxes will cause you to be blacklisted very quickly, which means that your email will start bouncing in a big way.  I’ve seen cases where competitors have subscribed one of these mail trap boxes to a competitor’s email list so that each time email is sent to the list it is immediately rejected — something that can be avoided by using double-opt-in.

If you’re looking for something very simple and use Google Lab’s email features (it’s very easy to get a free account if you’re not using it right now), check out the "Vacation Time!" feature to get a free, simple autoresponder.  There is also a more advanced feature you can use:

"If you’re sick of typing out the same reply every time someone emails you with a common question, now you can compose your reply once and save the message text with the "Canned responses" button. Later, you can open that same message and send it again and again," explains Chad Perry .

After enabling "Canned Responses " in the settings page for Gmail Labs, you’ll see a new drop-down when composing a message. The "canned responses" option can be used to save a new message or to load an existing autoreply. It’s interesting that Gmail saves the messages as hidden drafts: you can find them if you search for label:drafts , but they’re not visible in the Drafts view.  This isn’t quite the same set of features and functionality offered by phplist, but it may do for you or your business.

If you’d like more information on any of these points, or anything else related to Marketing Technology, post a comment letting me know.

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