Sales, Marketing & Social Media Today

I write about the three topics that I am most passionate about; Sales, Marketing and Social Media. These topics are covered from my experiences in outside sales and marketing. My objective is to use my expertise to help business and the individual.

The Rise of the Learning Pod: How COVID-19 Launched a New Industry

image

Source Outschool

COVID-19 forced US schools to Teach remotely for the first time in history back in March 2020. Many Teachers were not prepared to deliver remote instruction. Parents complained that the quality of their child’s education has declined since remote instruction began. Schools used this remote learning model until the end of the school year. As Summer vacation ends, parents grapple with the issue of whether they want to send their children back to school.

Many school districts across the US such as those in California have opted to keep remote learning for the fall because COVID-19 has resurged. In areas where COVID-19 cases are down, school districts such as New York City have opted for blended learning models where students report to school on some days and learn from home for the rest. According to Common Sense Media, over 50 million public school students in kindergarten through 12th grade will be learning remotely from home this year.

While safety is a top priority, the job of a school is to educate students. Parents are not satisfied with the public education offerings that have been presented for the Fall 2020 school year. This dissatisfaction with public education has made many parents seek out educational alternatives beyond blended and remote learning. These alternatives include learning pods, and supplemental education services such as tutoring.

Learning Pods Versus Tutoring

Learning pods are small learning communities where students meet every day to get instruction from a Teacher. This is different than tutoring because tutors review and reteach material as opposed to presenting new concepts. Tutoring functions as an educational supplement.

Why Parents are opting for In-Person Learning Pods

Parents that opt to use learning pods are looking to gain an educational advantage for their children by recreating traditional schools in a small group setting. The benefits of learning pods are that student instructional and social-emotional needs are met.

The Downside and Risk of In-Person Learning Pods

While this might sound like the perfect fix to remote learning and blended learning it comes with risks. The risks are that students and teachers are still at risk to contract COVID-19.

Another drawback of in-person learning pods is finding space. To address the issues of space, parents are buying apartments and houses; transforming them into schoolhouses. Marie spent $2000 to transform her guest house into a classroom she ordered desks, a whiteboard, a 50-inch television to live stream zoom tutorials, and built a library complete with personalized pencil boxes and workbooks.

Another mother is spending $720 per week to have her preschool son tutored in french with two of his friends.

Amanda Uhry, the NYC-based founder of Manhattan Private School Advisors, states Pandemic in-person pods can cost parents up to $100,000.

Some NYC parents are spending up to $70,000 on elite pod teachers, plus $2,500-a-month on studio apartments to serve as makeshift classrooms, plus an additional $50,000 to keep their kids enrolled at their private schools.

Why Virtual Learning Pods are the best option

How can parents get the benefits of a learning pod at an affordable price? Parents can look to tutoring services that offer virtual learning pods. Virtual learning pods eliminate the need for physical space making them more affordable than in-person learning pods. Groups of parents can sign their children up together in a virtual learning pod to lower the cost even more.

Virtual learning pods take the benefits of traditional school and put it online. Students get the benefits of individualized attention and social interaction all of which are lacking in traditional remote learning. Parents can have peace of mind that knowing that their child will not contract COVID-19; something that pricey in-person learning pods can not guarantee.

How Education Companies Can Corner the Learning Pod Market

Companies that offer Teacher staffing, tutoring, and instructional materials to schools can seize the opportunity in the learning pod market because they are well established in their industry.

K-12 Education and learning companies that hire seasoned certified teachers as tutors and learning pod instructors will be able to do better than companies who hire non-certified or inexperienced Teachers. Why? The reason is that Teacher certification and experience will help companies overcome the credibility hurdle. For Education companies that offer virtual learning pods, the teachers and tutors would need to be skilled in distance learning and remote teaching.

Would you choose a learning pod over traditional instruction for your child?

Why or why not?

Join the conversation.

Posted 6 weeks ago

Key Things Product Marketers need to Address in a Product Marketing Brief

Smartsheet Product Marketing Template

image

Smartsheet.com Product Marketing template

Product Marketing involves more than just supporting the Marketing and Product Management teams. Product Marketers serve Marketing, Sales, and Product teams. Each team has different needs and responsibilities. However, they all play a role in growing the business and serving customers.

Just as Marketing has a plan or brief, Product Marketing does.

Here are nine things to address in a Product Marketing Brief.

  1. What does your company? Does your product offering align with your business goals?
  2. What are the features of your product? Do others understand what you are building and why?
  3. Does this Product address gaps in the Market? Include an overview of a Competitive and SWOT analysis.
  4. Who is your ideal customer or target market? Include an overview of findings of demographic, psychographic, and buyer persona research. Does your product solve customer pain points?
  5. How will you measure product success?
  6. What are can go wrong? Can failure be anticipated and corrected?
  7. What is the road-map and schedule of the product? Who’s responsible and in-charge.
  8. Who needs to be included in the project and who needs to approve deliverables?
  9. How will goals be tracked? How often will they be monitored? What insights are you trying to glean from the data?

As a Product Marketer, how do you know if you are successful?

Comment and share.

Posted 7 weeks ago

Social Networks use E-Commerce Shops for New Revenue Streams

Social Networks are places where people congregate; making them great sources of Market Research and Revenue. As a result, Social networks are looking for new revenue streams. The latest revenue channel for them is E-commerce.

Facebook is partnering with Shopify to launch Facebook shops. The social network is the latest to get in on the E-Commerce business.

Last year at SMX East, Google and YouTube shared how they are allowing people to shop online for products. Google also shared people’s buying behavior. I have included parts of the article below.

In Google’s Keynote, I learned how businesses can get an edge during the holidays. I also learned of Google’s plan to use Google Images and YouTube for E-Commerce. Google is also allowing businesses to use location-based Ads in Google Maps.

The key insights of the presentation were:

1. According to Google most shopping visits start online.

2. When diners search for a great place to eat the searches are probably happening on a smartphone.

3. When people are online in cars, more than half of them are searching for information on a mobile device making localization and targeting important.

4. 2/3’s of shoppers say that online video has given them insight and inspiration to make purchases.

5. Shoppers use at least 3 channels or more when shopping.

6. Brands need to provide an omnichannel channel experience all year, especially during the holidays.

7. Sales are happening online and offline. As a result of this shift, Brands need to serve customers on the channels of their choice.

Would you shop on a Social Network? Share your thoughts.

Posted 15 weeks ago

Why Free Trials & Loss Leaders increase Sales & Customer Loyalty

Free or Low-Cost Trials

When creating a new offering, I would offer a free or low-cost trial of your product to the end-users and industry experts. Consumers look for social proof before they buy a product. Now if the product is new, none exists. To lower buyer resistance, you need to make it low risk and feel safe.

In addition to market research and product testing; the free or low-cost trial is a great way to build trust and get feedback. Surveys can be created to ask potential customers about their experience.

If your product helps to solve a customer’s problem they will be more than happy to share it with others; converting to paying users! The product will earn testimonials and endorsements. Testimonials and endorsements will address product reliability creating: loyalty, brand recognition, and Sales for your product.

Loss Leaders

In place of a free or low-cost trial, a loss leader can be an option. A loss leader is when you offer a product at a loss or break-even point to gain business in the future. Supermarkets do this all of the time when a new product is rolled out.

Another place I saw loss leaders was when I was in Field Sales. I was selling Dental equipment at the time. Certain customers were loyal to certain types of equipment. When I ask why they stated that these were the tools that they had used in school. When I called on Dental schools and Hospitals, I found they were locked up with large contacts. My larger competitors sold the equipment at cost practically giving it away. Why would they do this? My competitors were creating life-long customers who were trained on certain tools and refused to switch.

Connection, trust, and advocacy are essential for customer acquisition. It is your job as a brand to turn your customer base into evangelists.

The decision on developing and implementing offering free, low-cost trials and/or loss leaders will be different for each product.

Free, low-cost trials and loss leaders help to Increase Sales and Customer Loyalty.

How have you used free, low-cost trials and loss leaders to create Sales and Customer Loyalty?

Comment and share.

Posted 22 weeks ago

4 Ways to Benefit From Word of Mouth Marketing

Word of Mouth is a top tool. What customers and prospects say about you determines your success. Word of Mouth Marketing is what your customers and prospects say about you when you are not around. In other words, it’s your reputation in the industry. The best part of this is that you can control Word of Mouth Marketing.

How do you leverage the power of Word of Mouth Marketing?

1. Help others in their time of need.

2. Offer Value to Customers

We need to provide value to customers. By providing value through your product or service, we can earn the right to ask for testimonials referrals from customers.

3. Testimonials: Letting customers speak for you

Prospects will believe what your customers’ say about you more than anything you say. Your customers could provide LinkedIn recommendations or video testimonials. These testimonials could be shared on your website and social networking sites like Yelp, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.

4. Become an Industry Expert and Resource for Customers

Provide value to your customers and to improve your online word of mouth marketing by creating an e-zine, publish a blog and/or online newspapers.

How have you used Word of Mouth Marketing?

Posted 28 weeks ago

What I Learned from Working in Field Sales in NYC

Sales has taught me to:

1.To go after what I want in life. Ask for the order if you will.

2. To stand tall in the face of rejection and negativity.

3. To look at rejection as a learning experience instead of a defeat.

4. To understand Customer needs. (Objections vs Stalls). (Buyer Motives)

5. To persist through obstacles and not to quit!

6. To examine and understand how a business operates.

Every person should try selling products at least once in their lives. It is a valuable learning experience.

Before my time as a Marketer, I worked as an Outside Sales Rep in the Dental Industry in Manhattan.

Field Sales/Field Marketing has taught me so much about myself.

What did selling teach you?

Comment and share.

Posted 34 weeks ago

What’s the Future of AI? Insights from The AI Summit.

image

I covered The AI Summit in New York last week because I wanted to learn more about AI and Machine Learning.


According to Tractica, AI is being implemented globally.

image

AI and Machine Learning used in many verticals and processes. For example, when I compose an email using GMAIL, I received suggestions on how to finish a sentence. To use the GMAIL suggestion, I can tap the right arrow button on my keyboard.

image

Think about your routine and your processes, I bet that AI influencers your decisions from where to eat to what to watch.

It is important not to fear AI; use it as a tool to be more productive and live better.

Data Privacy

There are many issues on Data privacy with legislation such as GDPR, CCPA among others. Right now we’re are at the level where AI can understand customer behavior and make suggestions.

AI In the Home

image

I attended an LG Labs event on AI in the home where it was suggested that companies need to collect more customer data to make better products. To convince customers to provide more data, companies need to provide customers with a ROD analysis or Return on Data. The return on Data should measure customer benefits against the amount of data they are providing. For example, in exchange for providing X amount of Data, we improved our product By Y i.e. increased functionality and better user experience. Think of an ROI or ROAS analysis.

image

The next evolution for AI is to go from predicting current user intent to future user intent based on user actions. Eventually, AI devices will be consolidated and work cross-functionally.

How AI will impact Sales, Marketing and the Customer Experience

image

Mark Beccue of Tractica opened up the Sales, Marketing and Customer Experience part of the Summit.

image

Matthew Quinn of Columbia University shares his insights on AI’s impact on Sales and Marketing.

Companies will not have just Salespeople or Machine Learning in the sales process. Instead, to increase Profits companies will have a hybrid model.

image

A business’s reason for using Machine Learning and AI is to become more efficient, get better insights and better ROI and profits.

Businesses need to think globally by applying cultural diffusion to their business through localization and language translation.

image
image

Marketing

AI will improve Marketing KPIs by allowing brands to measure improve linguistic effectiveness.

image

Shared by Smith Yewell of Welocalize

Customer Segmentation

image

Shared by Ranjit Jangam of Comcast

image

How ML can improve Customer Segmentation Data

AI will improve the customer experience by allowing customers to control their buyer journey with less interaction from the seller.

image

Shared by Priyanka Tiwari of Interactions.

Conversational AI will help power a self-service model according to Gartner.

image

What is Conversational AI?

image

Where AI needs to improve

image

I want to thank The AI Summit for having me as their guest. If you want to use AI to improve business outcomes, sign up for the AI summit in your city.

What do you think is next for AI?

Comment and share below.

Posted 43 weeks ago

Search Engine Marketing Trends from SMX East

image

Last week, I covered the Search Marketing Expo in New York City. Search Marketing Expo has is a great event for SEO, SEM, and Digital Marketing professionals. SMX provides attendees with an opportunity to learn actionable techniques in conference sessions and training workshops. Google and Microsoft provided seminars on various SEM topics.

Here is a video of the event.


I enjoyed Moz founder Rand Fishkin’s keynote.

image
image

The key insights of the presentation were:

  1. Organic traffic has reached its peak and will decline.
  2. To keep traffic coming to their sites, Marketers will need to find ways to nudge consumers as Zero click queries continue to grow.
  3. Organizations need to shift their investments in product, content, and brand. Decisions on how to redeploy these resources need to be a company-wide effort. 
image

Here is the link to the presentation.

Google in 2020: From Everyone’s Search Engine to Everyone’s Competitor | SparkToro
I’ve written a lot this year about the shifts we’re seeing from Google — moving from search engine to answer to engine…sparktoro.com

At the end of the keynote, I met Rand and received a signed copy of his new book entitled Lost and Found.

image

In Google’s Keynote, I learned how businesses can get an edge during the holidays. I also learned of Google’s plan to use Google Images and YouTube for eCommerce. Google is also allowing businesses to use location-based Ads in Google Maps.

The key insights of the presentation were:

1. According to Google most shopping visits start online.

image

2.When diners search for a great place to eat the searches are probably happening on a smartphone.

image

3.  When people are online in cars, more than half of them are searching for information on a mobile device making localization and targeting important.

image

4. . 2/3′s of shoppers say that online video has given them insight and inspiration to make purchases.

5. Shoppers use at least 3 channels or more when shopping.

image

6. Brands need to provide an omnichannel channel experience all year, especially during the holidays.

7. Sales are happening online and offline. As a result of this shift, Brands need to serve customers on the channels of their choice.

image
Posted 47 weeks ago

Insights from Product Marketing Community

image

I covered the Product Marketing Community event in New York. Product Marketing Community was founded by Product Marketers for Product Marketers.

Attendees of Product Marketing Community events take interactive workshops led by product marketing leaders and network with their peers.

The event covered how to: build and execute: go-to-market strategy, buyer insights, messaging, content, and sales enablement.

Product Marketing Community founder Rowan Noronha kicked off the event.

Currently VP of Product Marketing for Zix, Rowan has led product marketing for North America (Office of the CFO) at SAP and Cognizant. He also serves as an Advisor to SAAS startups.

Here are takeaways on go-to-market strategy, developing buyer insights, and sales enablement.

Marketers need to develop and deploy a buyer-centric go-to-market strategy.

It is time for marketers to ask better questions about buyers.

Businesses should identify their ideal audience for their offering. Data from this analysis can be used to target better prospects and improve go-to-market results.

Only certain target customers will buy due to internal and external factors.

To grow revenue, businesses need to develop and use better competitive insights. Developing these insights entails examining everything about the competition to identify: strengths, weaknesses, competitor priorities, growing, and under-served markets.

Product Marketing involves more than just supporting the Marketing and Product Management teams. Product Marketers serve Marketing, Sales and Product teams. Each team has different needs and responsibilities. However, they all play a role in growing the business and serving customers.

Product Marketers serve as market experts and translators for teams from across the organization.

What is Product Marketing?

Product Marketing is the discipline of bringing a product to market and nurturing its success. Businesses need to create and market products people want to buy. To do that, they need to use the Pragmatic Framework.

Product Marketers are taking on some Product Manager responsibilities.

Product Marketing needs a separate brief.

Johnathan Hinz of Seismeic shares his insights on sales enablement and its role in marketing.

The lack of Sales and Marketing alignment is due in part to the inadequate amount of customer value mapping relating to the number of buyers types.

Product Marketing Community New York was a great event.

I covered the Product Marketing Community event in New York. Product Marketing Community was founded by Product Marketers for Product Marketers.

Attendees of Product Marketing Community events take interactive workshops led by product marketing leaders and network with their peers.

The event covered how to: build and execute: go-to-market strategy, buyer insights, messaging and content and sales enablement.

Product Marketing Community founder Rowan Noronha kicked off the event. 

image

Currently VP of Product Marketing for Zix, Rowan has led product marketing for North America (Office of the CFO) at SAP and Cognizant. He also serves as an Advisor to SAAS startups.

Here are takeaways on go-to-market strategy, developing buyer insights, and sales enablement.

image

Marketers need to develop and deploy a buyer-centric go-to-market strategy.

It is time for marketers to ask better questions about buyers.

image

Businesses should identify their ideal audience for their offering. Data from this analysis can be used to target better prospects and improve go-to-market results.

image

Only certain target customers will buy due to internal and external factors.

image
image

To grow revenue, businesses need to develop and use better competitive insights. Developing these insights entails examining everything about the competition to identify: strengths, weaknesses, competitor priorities, growing, and under-served markets.

image

Product Marketing involves more than just supporting the Marketing and Product Management teams. Product Marketers serve Marketing, Sales and Product teams. Each team has different needs and responsibilities. However, they all play a role in growing the business and serving customers.

image

Product Marketers serve as market experts and translators for teams from across the organization.

image
image
image

What is Product Marketing?

image

Product Marketing is the discipline of bringing a product to market and nurturing its success. Businesses need to create and market products people want to buy. To do that, they need to use the Pragamtic Framework.

image
image

Product Marketers are taking on some Product Manager responsibilities.

Product Marketing needs a separate brief.

image

Johnathan Hinz of Seismeic shares his insights on sales enablement and its role in marketing.

image

The lack of Sales and Marketing alignment is due in part to the inadequate amount of customer value mapping relating to the number of buyers types.

image
image

Product Marketing Community New York was a great event.

Posted 53 weeks ago

Propelify 2019 Highlights

I covered Propelify in Hoboken, New Jersey.

Propelify is an event where people from across the Northeast can turn ideas into action.

Officials from the New Jersey State government attended. They offered entrepreneurs resources to start and/or scale their business in New Jersey.

New Jersey Tech Council CEO Aaron Price and New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy delivered the opening keynote. In their keynote, Aaron and Governor Murphy discussed Propelify’s mission and why businesses should consider New Jersey.


There were additional talks on topics from Cannabis, Customer Experience, Marketing, Sales, Recruiting and Entrepreneurship.

Cannabis: From New Brand To IPO In A Prohibition Market panel.

Rebecca Price moderates a panel on The Science Behind Smart Recruiting and Seeing Thru the Resume.

Entrepreneurs networked with investors. There was also a Startup competition.


Exhibitors represented diverse entities ranging from Government, Advertising, Financial Services, CPG, HRTech, Universities, Incubators, Accelerators, IT, Healthcare and E-commerce brands.

Propelify was a great event.

I want to thank Aaron Price and the New Jersey Tech Council for having me as their guest.

Posted 53 weeks ago

Sales, Marketing & Social Media Today

I write about the three topics that I am most passionate about; Sales, Marketing and Social Media. These topics are covered from my experiences in outside sales and marketing. My objective is to use my expertise to help business and the individual.

Insights from Product Marketing Community

image

I covered the Product Marketing Community event in New York. Product Marketing Community was founded by Product Marketers for Product Marketers.

Attendees of Product Marketing Community events take interactive workshops led by product marketing leaders and network with their peers.

The event covered how to: build and execute: go-to-market strategy, buyer insights, messaging, content, and sales enablement.

Product Marketing Community founder Rowan Noronha kicked off the event.

Currently VP of Product Marketing for Zix, Rowan has led product marketing for North America (Office of the CFO) at SAP and Cognizant. He also serves as an Advisor to SAAS startups.

Here are takeaways on go-to-market strategy, developing buyer insights, and sales enablement.

Marketers need to develop and deploy a buyer-centric go-to-market strategy.

It is time for marketers to ask better questions about buyers.

Businesses should identify their ideal audience for their offering. Data from this analysis can be used to target better prospects and improve go-to-market results.

Only certain target customers will buy due to internal and external factors.

To grow revenue, businesses need to develop and use better competitive insights. Developing these insights entails examining everything about the competition to identify: strengths, weaknesses, competitor priorities, growing, and under-served markets.

Product Marketing involves more than just supporting the Marketing and Product Management teams. Product Marketers serve Marketing, Sales and Product teams. Each team has different needs and responsibilities. However, they all play a role in growing the business and serving customers.

Product Marketers serve as market experts and translators for teams from across the organization.

What is Product Marketing?

Product Marketing is the discipline of bringing a product to market and nurturing its success. Businesses need to create and market products people want to buy. To do that, they need to use the Pragmatic Framework.

Product Marketers are taking on some Product Manager responsibilities.

Product Marketing needs a separate brief.

Johnathan Hinz of Seismeic shares his insights on sales enablement and its role in marketing.

The lack of Sales and Marketing alignment is due in part to the inadequate amount of customer value mapping relating to the number of buyers types.

Product Marketing Community New York was a great event.

I covered the Product Marketing Community event in New York. Product Marketing Community was founded by Product Marketers for Product Marketers.

Attendees of Product Marketing Community events take interactive workshops led by product marketing leaders and network with their peers.

The event covered how to: build and execute: go-to-market strategy, buyer insights, messaging and content and sales enablement.

Product Marketing Community founder Rowan Noronha kicked off the event. 

image

Currently VP of Product Marketing for Zix, Rowan has led product marketing for North America (Office of the CFO) at SAP and Cognizant. He also serves as an Advisor to SAAS startups.

Here are takeaways on go-to-market strategy, developing buyer insights, and sales enablement.

image

Marketers need to develop and deploy a buyer-centric go-to-market strategy.

It is time for marketers to ask better questions about buyers.

image

Businesses should identify their ideal audience for their offering. Data from this analysis can be used to target better prospects and improve go-to-market results.

image

Only certain target customers will buy due to internal and external factors.

image
image

To grow revenue, businesses need to develop and use better competitive insights. Developing these insights entails examining everything about the competition to identify: strengths, weaknesses, competitor priorities, growing, and under-served markets.

image

Product Marketing involves more than just supporting the Marketing and Product Management teams. Product Marketers serve Marketing, Sales and Product teams. Each team has different needs and responsibilities. However, they all play a role in growing the business and serving customers.

image

Product Marketers serve as market experts and translators for teams from across the organization.

image
image
image

What is Product Marketing?

image

Product Marketing is the discipline of bringing a product to market and nurturing its success. Businesses need to create and market products people want to buy. To do that, they need to use the Pragamtic Framework.

image
image

Product Marketers are taking on some Product Manager responsibilities.

Product Marketing needs a separate brief.

image

Johnathan Hinz of Seismeic shares his insights on sales enablement and its role in marketing.

image

The lack of Sales and Marketing alignment is due in part to the inadequate amount of customer value mapping relating to the number of buyers types.

image
image

Product Marketing Community New York was a great event.

Posted 53 weeks ago

Sales, Marketing & Social Media Today

I write about the three topics that I am most passionate about; Sales, Marketing and Social Media. These topics are covered from my experiences in outside sales and marketing. My objective is to use my expertise to help business and the individual.

The Rise of the Learning Pod: How COVID-19 Launched a New Industry

image

Source Outschool

COVID-19 forced US schools to Teach remotely for the first time in history back in March 2020. Many Teachers were not prepared to deliver remote instruction. Parents complained that the quality of their child’s education has declined since remote instruction began. Schools used this remote learning model until the end of the school year. As Summer vacation ends, parents grapple with the issue of whether they want to send their children back to school.

Many school districts across the US such as those in California have opted to keep remote learning for the fall because COVID-19 has resurged. In areas where COVID-19 cases are down, school districts such as New York City have opted for blended learning models where students report to school on some days and learn from home for the rest. According to Common Sense Media, over 50 million public school students in kindergarten through 12th grade will be learning remotely from home this year.

While safety is a top priority, the job of a school is to educate students. Parents are not satisfied with the public education offerings that have been presented for the Fall 2020 school year. This dissatisfaction with public education has made many parents seek out educational alternatives beyond blended and remote learning. These alternatives include learning pods, and supplemental education services such as tutoring.

Learning Pods Versus Tutoring

Learning pods are small learning communities where students meet every day to get instruction from a Teacher. This is different than tutoring because tutors review and reteach material as opposed to presenting new concepts. Tutoring functions as an educational supplement.

Why Parents are opting for In-Person Learning Pods

Parents that opt to use learning pods are looking to gain an educational advantage for their children by recreating traditional schools in a small group setting. The benefits of learning pods are that student instructional and social-emotional needs are met.

The Downside and Risk of In-Person Learning Pods

While this might sound like the perfect fix to remote learning and blended learning it comes with risks. The risks are that students and teachers are still at risk to contract COVID-19.

Another drawback of in-person learning pods is finding space. To address the issues of space, parents are buying apartments and houses; transforming them into schoolhouses. Marie spent $2000 to transform her guest house into a classroom she ordered desks, a whiteboard, a 50-inch television to live stream zoom tutorials, and built a library complete with personalized pencil boxes and workbooks.

Another mother is spending $720 per week to have her preschool son tutored in french with two of his friends.

Amanda Uhry, the NYC-based founder of Manhattan Private School Advisors, states Pandemic in-person pods can cost parents up to $100,000.

Some NYC parents are spending up to $70,000 on elite pod teachers, plus $2,500-a-month on studio apartments to serve as makeshift classrooms, plus an additional $50,000 to keep their kids enrolled at their private schools.

Why Virtual Learning Pods are the best option

How can parents get the benefits of a learning pod at an affordable price? Parents can look to tutoring services that offer virtual learning pods. Virtual learning pods eliminate the need for physical space making them more affordable than in-person learning pods. Groups of parents can sign their children up together in a virtual learning pod to lower the cost even more.

Virtual learning pods take the benefits of traditional school and put it online. Students get the benefits of individualized attention and social interaction all of which are lacking in traditional remote learning. Parents can have peace of mind that knowing that their child will not contract COVID-19; something that pricey in-person learning pods can not guarantee.

How Education Companies Can Corner the Learning Pod Market

Companies that offer Teacher staffing, tutoring, and instructional materials to schools can seize the opportunity in the learning pod market because they are well established in their industry.

K-12 Education and learning companies that hire seasoned certified teachers as tutors and learning pod instructors will be able to do better than companies who hire non-certified or inexperienced Teachers. Why? The reason is that Teacher certification and experience will help companies overcome the credibility hurdle. For Education companies that offer virtual learning pods, the teachers and tutors would need to be skilled in distance learning and remote teaching.

Would you choose a learning pod over traditional instruction for your child?

Why or why not?

Join the conversation.

Posted 6 weeks ago

Key Things Product Marketers need to Address in a Product Marketing Brief

Smartsheet Product Marketing Template

image

Smartsheet.com Product Marketing template

Product Marketing involves more than just supporting the Marketing and Product Management teams. Product Marketers serve Marketing, Sales, and Product teams. Each team has different needs and responsibilities. However, they all play a role in growing the business and serving customers.

Just as Marketing has a plan or brief, Product Marketing does.

Here are nine things to address in a Product Marketing Brief.

  1. What does your company? Does your product offering align with your business goals?
  2. What are the features of your product? Do others understand what you are building and why?
  3. Does this Product address gaps in the Market? Include an overview of a Competitive and SWOT analysis.
  4. Who is your ideal customer or target market? Include an overview of findings of demographic, psychographic, and buyer persona research. Does your product solve customer pain points?
  5. How will you measure product success?
  6. What are can go wrong? Can failure be anticipated and corrected?
  7. What is the road-map and schedule of the product? Who’s responsible and in-charge.
  8. Who needs to be included in the project and who needs to approve deliverables?
  9. How will goals be tracked? How often will they be monitored? What insights are you trying to glean from the data?

As a Product Marketer, how do you know if you are successful?

Comment and share.

Posted 7 weeks ago

Social Networks use E-Commerce Shops for New Revenue Streams

Social Networks are places where people congregate; making them great sources of Market Research and Revenue. As a result, Social networks are looking for new revenue streams. The latest revenue channel for them is E-commerce.

Facebook is partnering with Shopify to launch Facebook shops. The social network is the latest to get in on the E-Commerce business.

Last year at SMX East, Google and YouTube shared how they are allowing people to shop online for products. Google also shared people’s buying behavior. I have included parts of the article below.

In Google’s Keynote, I learned how businesses can get an edge during the holidays. I also learned of Google’s plan to use Google Images and YouTube for E-Commerce. Google is also allowing businesses to use location-based Ads in Google Maps.

The key insights of the presentation were:

1. According to Google most shopping visits start online.

2. When diners search for a great place to eat the searches are probably happening on a smartphone.

3. When people are online in cars, more than half of them are searching for information on a mobile device making localization and targeting important.

4. 2/3’s of shoppers say that online video has given them insight and inspiration to make purchases.

5. Shoppers use at least 3 channels or more when shopping.

6. Brands need to provide an omnichannel channel experience all year, especially during the holidays.

7. Sales are happening online and offline. As a result of this shift, Brands need to serve customers on the channels of their choice.

Would you shop on a Social Network? Share your thoughts.

Posted 15 weeks ago

Why Free Trials & Loss Leaders increase Sales & Customer Loyalty

Free or Low-Cost Trials

When creating a new offering, I would offer a free or low-cost trial of your product to the end-users and industry experts. Consumers look for social proof before they buy a product. Now if the product is new, none exists. To lower buyer resistance, you need to make it low risk and feel safe.

In addition to market research and product testing; the free or low-cost trial is a great way to build trust and get feedback. Surveys can be created to ask potential customers about their experience.

If your product helps to solve a customer’s problem they will be more than happy to share it with others; converting to paying users! The product will earn testimonials and endorsements. Testimonials and endorsements will address product reliability creating: loyalty, brand recognition, and Sales for your product.

Loss Leaders

In place of a free or low-cost trial, a loss leader can be an option. A loss leader is when you offer a product at a loss or break-even point to gain business in the future. Supermarkets do this all of the time when a new product is rolled out.

Another place I saw loss leaders was when I was in Field Sales. I was selling Dental equipment at the time. Certain customers were loyal to certain types of equipment. When I ask why they stated that these were the tools that they had used in school. When I called on Dental schools and Hospitals, I found they were locked up with large contacts. My larger competitors sold the equipment at cost practically giving it away. Why would they do this? My competitors were creating life-long customers who were trained on certain tools and refused to switch.

Connection, trust, and advocacy are essential for customer acquisition. It is your job as a brand to turn your customer base into evangelists.

The decision on developing and implementing offering free, low-cost trials and/or loss leaders will be different for each product.

Free, low-cost trials and loss leaders help to Increase Sales and Customer Loyalty.

How have you used free, low-cost trials and loss leaders to create Sales and Customer Loyalty?

Comment and share.

Posted 22 weeks ago

4 Ways to Benefit From Word of Mouth Marketing

Word of Mouth is a top tool. What customers and prospects say about you determines your success. Word of Mouth Marketing is what your customers and prospects say about you when you are not around. In other words, it’s your reputation in the industry. The best part of this is that you can control Word of Mouth Marketing.

How do you leverage the power of Word of Mouth Marketing?

1. Help others in their time of need.

2. Offer Value to Customers

We need to provide value to customers. By providing value through your product or service, we can earn the right to ask for testimonials referrals from customers.

3. Testimonials: Letting customers speak for you

Prospects will believe what your customers’ say about you more than anything you say. Your customers could provide LinkedIn recommendations or video testimonials. These testimonials could be shared on your website and social networking sites like Yelp, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.

4. Become an Industry Expert and Resource for Customers

Provide value to your customers and to improve your online word of mouth marketing by creating an e-zine, publish a blog and/or online newspapers.

How have you used Word of Mouth Marketing?

Posted 28 weeks ago

What I Learned from Working in Field Sales in NYC

Sales has taught me to:

1.To go after what I want in life. Ask for the order if you will.

2. To stand tall in the face of rejection and negativity.

3. To look at rejection as a learning experience instead of a defeat.

4. To understand Customer needs. (Objections vs Stalls). (Buyer Motives)

5. To persist through obstacles and not to quit!

6. To examine and understand how a business operates.

Every person should try selling products at least once in their lives. It is a valuable learning experience.

Before my time as a Marketer, I worked as an Outside Sales Rep in the Dental Industry in Manhattan.

Field Sales/Field Marketing has taught me so much about myself.

What did selling teach you?

Comment and share.

Posted 34 weeks ago

What’s the Future of AI? Insights from The AI Summit.

image

I covered The AI Summit in New York last week because I wanted to learn more about AI and Machine Learning.


According to Tractica, AI is being implemented globally.

image

AI and Machine Learning used in many verticals and processes. For example, when I compose an email using GMAIL, I received suggestions on how to finish a sentence. To use the GMAIL suggestion, I can tap the right arrow button on my keyboard.

image

Think about your routine and your processes, I bet that AI influencers your decisions from where to eat to what to watch.

It is important not to fear AI; use it as a tool to be more productive and live better.

Data Privacy

There are many issues on Data privacy with legislation such as GDPR, CCPA among others. Right now we’re are at the level where AI can understand customer behavior and make suggestions.

AI In the Home

image

I attended an LG Labs event on AI in the home where it was suggested that companies need to collect more customer data to make better products. To convince customers to provide more data, companies need to provide customers with a ROD analysis or Return on Data. The return on Data should measure customer benefits against the amount of data they are providing. For example, in exchange for providing X amount of Data, we improved our product By Y i.e. increased functionality and better user experience. Think of an ROI or ROAS analysis.

image

The next evolution for AI is to go from predicting current user intent to future user intent based on user actions. Eventually, AI devices will be consolidated and work cross-functionally.

How AI will impact Sales, Marketing and the Customer Experience

image

Mark Beccue of Tractica opened up the Sales, Marketing and Customer Experience part of the Summit.

image

Matthew Quinn of Columbia University shares his insights on AI’s impact on Sales and Marketing.

Companies will not have just Salespeople or Machine Learning in the sales process. Instead, to increase Profits companies will have a hybrid model.

image

A business’s reason for using Machine Learning and AI is to become more efficient, get better insights and better ROI and profits.

Businesses need to think globally by applying cultural diffusion to their business through localization and language translation.

image
image

Marketing

AI will improve Marketing KPIs by allowing brands to measure improve linguistic effectiveness.

image

Shared by Smith Yewell of Welocalize

Customer Segmentation

image

Shared by Ranjit Jangam of Comcast

image

How ML can improve Customer Segmentation Data

AI will improve the customer experience by allowing customers to control their buyer journey with less interaction from the seller.

image

Shared by Priyanka Tiwari of Interactions.

Conversational AI will help power a self-service model according to Gartner.

image

What is Conversational AI?

image

Where AI needs to improve

image

I want to thank The AI Summit for having me as their guest. If you want to use AI to improve business outcomes, sign up for the AI summit in your city.

What do you think is next for AI?

Comment and share below.

Posted 43 weeks ago

Search Engine Marketing Trends from SMX East

image

Last week, I covered the Search Marketing Expo in New York City. Search Marketing Expo has is a great event for SEO, SEM, and Digital Marketing professionals. SMX provides attendees with an opportunity to learn actionable techniques in conference sessions and training workshops. Google and Microsoft provided seminars on various SEM topics.

Here is a video of the event.


I enjoyed Moz founder Rand Fishkin’s keynote.

image
image

The key insights of the presentation were:

  1. Organic traffic has reached its peak and will decline.
  2. To keep traffic coming to their sites, Marketers will need to find ways to nudge consumers as Zero click queries continue to grow.
  3. Organizations need to shift their investments in product, content, and brand. Decisions on how to redeploy these resources need to be a company-wide effort. 
image

Here is the link to the presentation.

Google in 2020: From Everyone’s Search Engine to Everyone’s Competitor | SparkToro
I’ve written a lot this year about the shifts we’re seeing from Google — moving from search engine to answer to engine…sparktoro.com

At the end of the keynote, I met Rand and received a signed copy of his new book entitled Lost and Found.

image

In Google’s Keynote, I learned how businesses can get an edge during the holidays. I also learned of Google’s plan to use Google Images and YouTube for eCommerce. Google is also allowing businesses to use location-based Ads in Google Maps.

The key insights of the presentation were:

1. According to Google most shopping visits start online.

image

2.When diners search for a great place to eat the searches are probably happening on a smartphone.

image

3.  When people are online in cars, more than half of them are searching for information on a mobile device making localization and targeting important.

image

4. . 2/3′s of shoppers say that online video has given them insight and inspiration to make purchases.

5. Shoppers use at least 3 channels or more when shopping.

image

6. Brands need to provide an omnichannel channel experience all year, especially during the holidays.

7. Sales are happening online and offline. As a result of this shift, Brands need to serve customers on the channels of their choice.

image
Posted 47 weeks ago

Insights from Product Marketing Community

image

I covered the Product Marketing Community event in New York. Product Marketing Community was founded by Product Marketers for Product Marketers.

Attendees of Product Marketing Community events take interactive workshops led by product marketing leaders and network with their peers.

The event covered how to: build and execute: go-to-market strategy, buyer insights, messaging, content, and sales enablement.

Product Marketing Community founder Rowan Noronha kicked off the event.

Currently VP of Product Marketing for Zix, Rowan has led product marketing for North America (Office of the CFO) at SAP and Cognizant. He also serves as an Advisor to SAAS startups.

Here are takeaways on go-to-market strategy, developing buyer insights, and sales enablement.

Marketers need to develop and deploy a buyer-centric go-to-market strategy.

It is time for marketers to ask better questions about buyers.

Businesses should identify their ideal audience for their offering. Data from this analysis can be used to target better prospects and improve go-to-market results.

Only certain target customers will buy due to internal and external factors.

To grow revenue, businesses need to develop and use better competitive insights. Developing these insights entails examining everything about the competition to identify: strengths, weaknesses, competitor priorities, growing, and under-served markets.

Product Marketing involves more than just supporting the Marketing and Product Management teams. Product Marketers serve Marketing, Sales and Product teams. Each team has different needs and responsibilities. However, they all play a role in growing the business and serving customers.

Product Marketers serve as market experts and translators for teams from across the organization.

What is Product Marketing?

Product Marketing is the discipline of bringing a product to market and nurturing its success. Businesses need to create and market products people want to buy. To do that, they need to use the Pragmatic Framework.

Product Marketers are taking on some Product Manager responsibilities.

Product Marketing needs a separate brief.

Johnathan Hinz of Seismeic shares his insights on sales enablement and its role in marketing.

The lack of Sales and Marketing alignment is due in part to the inadequate amount of customer value mapping relating to the number of buyers types.

Product Marketing Community New York was a great event.

I covered the Product Marketing Community event in New York. Product Marketing Community was founded by Product Marketers for Product Marketers.

Attendees of Product Marketing Community events take interactive workshops led by product marketing leaders and network with their peers.

The event covered how to: build and execute: go-to-market strategy, buyer insights, messaging and content and sales enablement.

Product Marketing Community founder Rowan Noronha kicked off the event. 

image

Currently VP of Product Marketing for Zix, Rowan has led product marketing for North America (Office of the CFO) at SAP and Cognizant. He also serves as an Advisor to SAAS startups.

Here are takeaways on go-to-market strategy, developing buyer insights, and sales enablement.

image

Marketers need to develop and deploy a buyer-centric go-to-market strategy.

It is time for marketers to ask better questions about buyers.

image

Businesses should identify their ideal audience for their offering. Data from this analysis can be used to target better prospects and improve go-to-market results.

image

Only certain target customers will buy due to internal and external factors.

image
image

To grow revenue, businesses need to develop and use better competitive insights. Developing these insights entails examining everything about the competition to identify: strengths, weaknesses, competitor priorities, growing, and under-served markets.

image

Product Marketing involves more than just supporting the Marketing and Product Management teams. Product Marketers serve Marketing, Sales and Product teams. Each team has different needs and responsibilities. However, they all play a role in growing the business and serving customers.

image

Product Marketers serve as market experts and translators for teams from across the organization.

image
image
image

What is Product Marketing?

image

Product Marketing is the discipline of bringing a product to market and nurturing its success. Businesses need to create and market products people want to buy. To do that, they need to use the Pragamtic Framework.

image
image

Product Marketers are taking on some Product Manager responsibilities.

Product Marketing needs a separate brief.

image

Johnathan Hinz of Seismeic shares his insights on sales enablement and its role in marketing.

image

The lack of Sales and Marketing alignment is due in part to the inadequate amount of customer value mapping relating to the number of buyers types.

image
image

Product Marketing Community New York was a great event.

Posted 53 weeks ago

Propelify 2019 Highlights

I covered Propelify in Hoboken, New Jersey.

Propelify is an event where people from across the Northeast can turn ideas into action.

Officials from the New Jersey State government attended. They offered entrepreneurs resources to start and/or scale their business in New Jersey.

New Jersey Tech Council CEO Aaron Price and New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy delivered the opening keynote. In their keynote, Aaron and Governor Murphy discussed Propelify’s mission and why businesses should consider New Jersey.


There were additional talks on topics from Cannabis, Customer Experience, Marketing, Sales, Recruiting and Entrepreneurship.

Cannabis: From New Brand To IPO In A Prohibition Market panel.

Rebecca Price moderates a panel on The Science Behind Smart Recruiting and Seeing Thru the Resume.

Entrepreneurs networked with investors. There was also a Startup competition.


Exhibitors represented diverse entities ranging from Government, Advertising, Financial Services, CPG, HRTech, Universities, Incubators, Accelerators, IT, Healthcare and E-commerce brands.

Propelify was a great event.

I want to thank Aaron Price and the New Jersey Tech Council for having me as their guest.

Posted 53 weeks ago