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Use online tools like Google Alerts (www.google.com/alerts) to stay on top of what's happening in your market and industry. Another benefit: Find out what customers are saying about you online. Google Alerts are updates emailed to you with the latest relevant Google results (Web, news, etc.) based on your choice of query or topic. It's a good way to track not only what others are saying about you, but also news about your competitors, customers and largest suppliers. It will trigger the latest news stories and mentions online, and send them to you daily, weekly or as news happens, depending on your preference.
And it's extremely simple.
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Outside of Google Alerts, are you missing out on other opportunities online? Publisher Tom Gale asks: Are there opportunities missed because a segment of customers is not able to communicate with your company the way they want to? Have you probed beyond the one or two primary points of vendor contact at your best customers to identify how online they really are? Internally, are there ways to save money and gain efficiency through moving what has always gone through the mailbox to the inbox?
How can you use social media tools like LinkedIn (the most popular business-focused network) to boost your marketing efforts?
The Internet should not be used to the exclusion of more traditional means of sales and marketing, but it should play a part in your overall strategy. According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project, 72 percent of Americans age 50-64 use the Internet, and 82 percent of those between 30-49 do.
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