Who’s laboring on Labor Day?

Bredemarket has always restricted its business to the United States. (Lately I’ve focused more on California’s Inland Empire West, but that’s another story.) So everyone in my target market is celebrating Labor Day today.

Theoretically.

It’s important to note that most other countries celebrate the contributions of labor on May 1, but for several reasons the United States chose a different day. The Massachusetts AFL-CIO page that explained this no longer exists, but I quoted from that page in a tymshft post a decade ago:

Despite the popularity of May Day and the appeal of an international holiday, the American Federation of Labor pushed to secure Labor Day as America’s primary celebration of its workers. This was due to the more radical tone that May Day had taken. Especially after the 1886 Haymarket riot, where several police officers and union members were killed in Chicago, May Day had become a day to protest the arrests of anarchists, socialists, and unionists, as well as an opportunity to push for better working conditions. Samuel Gompers and the AFL saw that the presence of more extreme elements of the Labor Movement would be detrimental to perception of the festival. To solve this, the AFL worked to elevate Labor Day over May Day, and also made an effort to bring a more moderate attitude to the Labor Day festivities. The AFL, whose city labor councils sponsored many of the Labor Day celebrations, banned radical speakers, red flags, internationalist slogans, and anything else that could shed an unfavorable light upon Labor Day or organized labor.

From https://tymshft.com/2012/05/01/the-american-perspective-on-may-day-or-i-am-not-a-commie/

So for over a century, most Americans have chosen to celebrate Labor Day on the first Monday in September.

Well, some Americans.

I took a walk.

My employer for my day job is closed today (at least for its U.S. workers), so I kinda sorta took it a bit leisurely, waking up at…5:35 in the morning.

You see, this is the last week of my company’s wellness challenge, and because of the current heat wave in Southern California, I wanted to get my walking in while the temperatures were still in double digits (on the Fahrenheit scale; that’s something else that Americans do differently than the rest of the world).

I didn’t take any pictures of myself walking today, but here’s one that I took Saturday while I was walking inside (at the Ontario Mills indoor mall).

At Ontario Mills, Saturday, September 3, 2022. It was about 25 degrees cooler inside than it was outside.

Other people were working.

But while I took my early morning Labor Day walk, I ran across a lot of people…working.

  • There were the people at the Starbucks in downtown Ontario, busily supplying breakfast sandwiches and drinks to people.
  • There was the woman at a 7-Eleven in Ontario, letting me hydrate with a cold drink. (She may have been the owner, but owners deserve a day off too.)
  • Finally, I passed two men who have been working on and off on a residential wall, and today was apparently one of the “on” days. I hope they’re not working in the afternoon.

The truth is that, even in the midst of COVID, the entire workforce can’t shut down entirely. Some people have to work on days when many people don’t work. Remember that even in “blue law” states, preachers certainly work on Sundays.

Me too.

But still my morning walk was somewhat relaxing, because even though it was a weekday, I didn’t have to end the walk by 8:00 to start my day job. So while I got my steps in, I did so somewhat leisurely.

So what did I do after my walk was done?

Well, I did Bredemarket work.

  • I renewed my City of Ontario business license. (Online, of course, since city offices are closed for Labor Day.)
  • Right now I’m writing this post.
  • And after I write the post, there’s an email that I need to send.

So I guess I didn’t completely take the day off either.

But at least I’m not buliding a wall out of doors.

Oh, and I work on Saturday mornings also.

Of course, since I’m employed full-time, Bredemarket itself is a weekend job for me. My official office hours fall on Saturday mornings, for example.

While this is work, in a way it’s not work, because it’s a refreshing change from my normal work. (And since I enjoy my normal work, that isn’t so much work either. If you’re not working at something you enjoy, then you’re working.)

And if you don’t enjoy creating written content, let Bredemarket help you create it.

I can help you with white papers, case studies, blog posts, proposal responses, or other written content. (Well, unless the written content involves finger, face, driver’s license, or related identity services. There’s the day job, you know.)

If I can work with you to create your written content, please contact me.

I’ve never written a case study THIS detailed

I’ll admit that the case studies that I’ve produced, either under the Bredemarket name or under other names, have been relatively short in the two-page range. This is why I usually recommmend the Bredemarket 400 Short Writing Service for clients who want my case study services.

But there’s no law that says that a case study has to be that short. If you want to create a 1,000 page case study, you’re certainly entitled to do so.

But what about a 17 page case study?

That’s the length of the case study that greenlining.org prepared on a program here in the City of Ontario.

Greenlining.org explains what the case study covers:

Since 2007, a coalition of residents, community-based organizations and the City of Ontario have been working together under the Healthy Ontario Initiative (HOI) to improve health outcomes and quality-of-life. HOI came together to address community health and build safe and vibrant neighborhoods, against a backdrop of high levels of poverty and chronic disease burdens. 

From https://greenlining.org/publications/2021/building-community-collaboration-tcc-case-study/

At 17 pages, the case study goes into a great deal of detail on a variety of initiatives, including Healthy Ontario and the Vista Verde Apartments near Holt and Grove. The apartment complex and other projects all fit within the goals of improving “health outcomes and quality-of-life.”

Read the case study for yourself (PDF).

Why does Your Inland Empire Business Need Case Studies?

When marketing your Inland Empire business to potential customers, you don’t start the conversation by talking about yourself. You start the conversation with a customer focus by talking about your potential customer’s needs.

And what better way to speak about your potential customer’s needs than by talking about other customers who have faced the same problem, and who solved the problem using a solution from your business?

A case study is one way to share another customer’s successes with your potential customers. Case studies can follow a format such as this:

  • The problem. Henry’s Horse Rentals couldn’t get any businesses because all of the people in Alta Loma who rented horses preferred dark green horses, and Henry’s horses were brown and black.
  • The solution (literally). Jane’s Green Widgets and Other Green Stuff offered an environmentally safe horse bath, Jane’s Dark Green Animal Bath, that turned the horses dark green, posed no health hazard to horses or people, gave the scent of a pine forest, and made the horses happy because they looked really cool.
  • The results. Once Henry’s Horse Rentals posted pictures of the newly-bathed horses on its TikTok account, renters formed lines around the stables, requiring Henry to increase his stable from three horses to seventeen. The fivefold increase in revenue allowed Henry to franchise his operations, bringing in more money and starting a worldwide dark green horse craze.

When potential customers read about the original customer’s success, they will want to do business with your company also.

But aren’t case studies only for large national firms?

National firms can certainly use case studies, and Bredemarket has written its share of case studies for large firms. But any company of any size can benefit from a case study. As long as you have a website or social media site to distribute electronic versions of your case study, or a way to hand out physical copies, a case study can start working for you.

Create the study, and at the end of the study encourage the reader to contact you for more information. (Or request the person’s contact information before letting the person download the case study, then subsequently follow up and see if you can help.)

There are case study writing services in the Inland Empire, and in fact there is one that I highly recommend. My own.

Should you use case studies, or should you use testimonials instead?

Yes and yes.

  • You can distribute a two-page case study that describes your company’s benefits to potential customers.
  • Or you can distribute a one paragraph customer-authored testimonial that does the same thing.

Or you can do both. On a high level, there’s really no difference between the two, which is why I often speak of casetimonials as a catch-all for content written from the end customer point of view.

How can your company take advantage of the power of case studies?

Bredemarket can help Inland Empire firms create case studies, in the same way that I have worked with national firms.

Let’s talk.

On gating casetimonials

In my Bredemarket consultancy, I’m involved in the creation of content for Inland Empire West and other businesses, including case studies / testimonials, white papers, and the like. But I generally don’t get involved in the distribution of the content. That’s for my clients to decide and manage.

At my new day job, I’m putting my fingers into both content creation and distribution, so I’m having to think about things that I haven’t thought about much before. For example, when you should gate content, and when you shouldn’t.

Bredemarket and gated content

Over the years I’ve created white papers, case studies, blog posts, and other content for Bredemarket clients. Some of this content has been “gated,” while other content has not.

By David Shankbone – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2808363

If you’re unfamiliar with the concept of gated content, “gating” is simply a way to obtain some information about a prospect before providing content to them.

  • This blog post, for example, is not gated content, because anybody can read it and I don’t necessarily know who is reading it.
  • In other cases, companies (including some of my Bredemarket clients) require you to provide a name, company, email address, and possibly other information before you can download the content.

Why gate content?

The “Case Study Buddy,” (Joel Klettke), in a post that asks whether case studies should be gated, outlines why gating is sometimes desirable.

These days, you have to look hard to find a website that doesn’t have some sort of pop-up or downloadable resource begging you to surrender your email.

For this post, we’re going to call that “Gating” – putting a gate in front of your content that someone has to deliberately go through….

If the information on the other end is enticing and relevant enough and the source is trustworthy enough, then giving up your email might be a small enough price to pay.

From https://casestudybuddy.com/blog/should-you-gate-your-case-studies/

The “sometimes” comes into play when you consider where the prospect is in the sales process. If the prospect is in an early awareness-building stage, they might not be willing to surrender their spammable email to just anyone. If the prospect is further along, they may want to provide that email to a few top-of-the-line companies to whom they’re willing to talk.

Should you gate case studies?

There are different views regarding whether case studies should be gated, but Joel Klettke the Case Study Buddy definitely has his thoughts.

Case studies are HUGE credibility builders. When done right, they prove you can get results for people just like your leads. Not only that, but they reveal by way of example what a lead should expect when working with you.

I can think of no better asset to show a lead in the awareness and evaluation stages than a well-written, beautifully designed customer success story.

So why on earth would you hide all of that credibility-building power behind a gate that a lead will need to trust you to open?

From https://casestudybuddy.com/blog/should-you-gate-your-case-studies/

Case studies vs. testimonials

If you’ve been reading the Bredemarket blog long enough, you’ll note that I often combine discussions of case studies and testimonials into a single “casetimonial” discussion. After all, case studies and testimonials accomplish the same thing, albeit in different lengths, formats, and authorships.

Testimonials are often written directly by customers themselves, although a company (or an independent consultant!) could ghostwrite the testimonial. Because they’re usually much shorter, they don’t necessarily include all of the components that you could find in a longer case study. Although there’s no reason why they couldn’t. Take a look at this particular testimonial, which some of you may have seen before:

“I just wanted to truly say thank you for putting these templates together. I worked on this…last week and it was extremely simple to use and I thought really provided a professional advantage and tool to give the customer….TRULY THANK YOU!”

From https://bredemarket.com/bredemarket-and-proposal-services/ (and other places)

Although there’s no explicit problem description in this testimonial, there’s an implied one. Since the testimonial author praises the template writer because the templates were simple to use, this implies that the pre-template proposal creation process was difficult.

Other than lacking an explicit problem description, the testimonial has the other aspects of a case study: identification of the solution that solved the problem, what happened when the solution was used, and the benefits of the solution.

Now a case study might go into much more detail, with extensive statistics and proof points. Testimonials usually don’t.

Should you gate testimonials?

No.

I can only think of one conceivable reason to gate a testimonial, and that would be when the testimonial contains sensitive information. For example, I doubt that most testimonials written by secret agents are publicly accessible.

“I just wanted to thank you for the Acme Long-Range Recording Device. Before using this device, it was impossible to record conversations in the Mordor Embassy. But after adopting this device, I was able to uncover a Nazgul plot and use Rohan agents to foil it. THANK YOU!”

From…nowhere, actually.

Now that’s a testimonial.

Are you opening the gate?

What content are you gating, and what content are you allowing to run free? And why? Feel free to comment.

Is Calendly customer focused?

Blake Morgan of Forbes just released his list of the top 100 most customer-centric companies of 2022. Why does he do it? Because he’s identified a benefit in a company having customer focus.

What is it they do? They make customers feel GOOD. That is why recent research shows that 89% of companies that lead with customer experience perform better financially than their peers.

From https://www.forbes.com/sites/blakemorgan/2022/05/01/the-top-100-most-customer-centric-companies-of-2022/?sh=244040502b38

If you want to initiate something at your company, it’s always good to note that it will help the company make money. Focusing on customers seems like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised to learn how many companies focus on themselves rather than their customers.

I perused Morgan’s list of customer-centric companies and noticed that Calendly was on the list, in the B2B category. Since I use Calendly to set appointments for Bredemarket (more about that later, I promise), I thought I’d read further.

Calendly. Calendly was created to solve a common business problem: the hassle of scheduling meetings and appointments. The simple interface makes it easy for companies to schedule any type of meeting or appointment. Calendly saw huge growth during the pandemic as teams worked remotely.

From https://www.forbes.com/sites/blakemorgan/2022/05/01/the-top-100-most-customer-centric-companies-of-2022/?sh=244040502b38

Since Morgan was covering 100 companies, this three sentence description had to suffice. So I dug deeper and found a story (or, if you will, a case study) that showed how Calendly exhibits customer focus.

The problem with making connections at Conductor

Calendly’s website includes a case study page entitled “Enhanced customer support at Conductor adds value, boosts retention.” Conductor, one of Calendly’s clients, improves the organic marketing of its own customers.

As any good case study (casetimonial) does, the Calendly page begins by talking about Conductor’s problem. Here’s an excerpt:

Mergim Selimaj worried he had a problem. As the customer success manager at Conductor, he could see the company’s small accounts weren’t getting the personalized attention they really needed. As a SaaS company specializing in intelligent content and SEO improvement, Conductor helps companies customize marketing to fit their needs. Mergim needed to find ways of helping his reps deliver tailor-made service to match.

From https://calendly.com/blog/customers/conductor

Yes, a company that “helps companies customize marketing” faced a problem in customizing its own marketing for its small accounts. More importantly, it recognized the problem and realized that the problem needed attention.

So how was Selimaj going to focus on its smaller customers?

First, Selimaj had to identify the problem(s) to solve.

Reps spent hours just scheduling — not to mention re-scheduling — calls. A week of hectic service calls would come on the heels of months of limited activity.

Even when the service finally did connect with customers, they rarely had a clear picture of their individual needs. Some clients only needed to speak once per year, while others had hoped for many more touchpoints. There just had to be a way to spread meetings more evenly, Mergim thought. Meanwhile, the customer care team needed a way to know more about the needs of each client. If only there were a way for clients to specify the kind of help they needed, whenever they wanted.

From https://calendly.com/blog/customers/conductor

There’s at least three problems that Mergim identified:

  1. It was hard to schedule calls with Conductor’s small accounts.
  2. It was hard to know the customers’ desired frequency of contacts.
  3. It was hard to know the specific help that Conductor’s customers desired.

How would Conductor benefit by solving these problems?

Improved experience, and simpler ways of interfacing with customers, would only aid Conductor’s ability to deliver organic traffic and higher returns on customers’ tight marketing budgets.

From https://calendly.com/blog/customers/conductor

You probably noted that these were stated as benefits rather than features. If Calendly were to say, “We offer Scheduling Gizmo 2800,” Conductor could reply, “So what?” But when Calendly said that its solution delivers organic traffic and higher return on investment, Conductor paid attention.

The solution that Calendly provided to Conductor

So what three things did Selimaj do in an attempt to solve the problem?

He started by embedding a Calendly customer success scheduling page on the Help page of Conductor’s website.

From https://calendly.com/blog/customers/conductor

(Apparently you have to log in to see this page, because I couldn’t find it on any publicly available page. I’ll take Calendly’s word for it that this page exists.)

Second, Selimaj also created a scheduling link in Conductor’s app itself, to ensure that Conductor’s customers had easy access to meeting scheduling.

And third, he did one more thing: he instructed each of the company’s customer success reps to include a scheduling link in their email signatures.

I’d like to highlight two things:

  1. Now, rather than requiring the reps to spend huge amounts of time scheduling meetings, the scheduling process was now driven by the customers. When customers needed help, they could easily schedule meetings. When they didn’t need help, they wouldn’t schedule meetings.
  2. Also note that there were three ways for customers to access the scheduler: the web page, the app, and the email signature. Selimaj didn’t tell Conductor’s customers that there was only one approved way to schedule meetings. (And I’d be willing to bet that if a customer called a customer success rep on the phone, the rep would answer.)

So what happened?

The results

The article lists the benefits of Conductor’s Calendly implementation.

  • More tailored customer solutions via available information from integration with Salesforce, Slack and Trello.
  • Better service of large accounts as reps spent less time servicing small accounts.
  • Better engagement through quadrupling of customer contacts.
  • Maintenance of high customer quality, even as quantities increase.
  • Those quantities are increasing because of a 30% boost in renewals.

In short, Calendly’s focus on Conductor allowed Conductor to better focus on the needs of its own customers, thus letting Conductor make more money. And Conductor’s customers presumably made more money also. Customer focus benefits everyone in the B2B chain.

Can a customer focus benefit YOUR company?

Perhaps you own a business, large or small, that could use an increased customer focus and an elaboration of benefits that your company can provide to your customers. Part of this is the need to create customer focused content.

Maybe you, like Calendly and Conductor, have a story of your own you’d like to share with your customers. If so, consider working with Bredemarket (the Ontario, California content marketing expert) to create a case study.

Bredemarket uses a collaborative process with you to ensure that the final written product communicates your desired message. Bredemarket’s content creation process ensures that the final written content (a) answers the WHY/HOW/WHAT questions about you, (b) advances your GOAL, (c) communicates your BENEFITS, and (d) speaks to your TARGET AUDIENCE. It is both iterative and collaborative.

Often my clients provide specific feedback at certain stages of the process to ensure that the messaging is on track. I combine my client’s desires with my communications expertise to create a final written product that pleases both of us.

If you’d like Bredemarket to help you create a case study or other content, you can go to calendly.com/bredemarket to book a meeting with me. Or if you don’t like Calendly, there are two other ways to contact me:

Why the Toyota Arena’s square footage is unimportant in Zurdo vs. Boesel marketing…or YOUR marketing

There is a LOT going on in Ontario, California that escapes the attention of most of us. For example, only dedicated boxing fans may know what is happening here on May 14.

Former world champion and light heavyweight Mexican boxing star Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramírez (43-0, 29 KOs) of Mazatlán, Mexico, will face former WBA Interim Light Heavyweight World Champion Dominic Boesel (32-2, 12 KOs) of Freyburg, Germany on Saturday, May 14….The event will take place at Toyota Arena in Ontario, CA, and will stream live exclusively on DAZN.

From https://www.ringtv.com/638236-gilberto-ramirez-dominic-boesel-set-for-may-14-in-ontario-california/

So why didn’t I learn about the Ramirez-Boesel fight until a week after this April 22 announcement?

Because I’m not part of the target market for this fight.

The announcement that I quoted above was shared on The Ring website. Obviously people who visit that particular site are interested in boxing.

And the Toyota Arena is certainly promoting it. (“Zurdo” is Ramirez’s nickname.) Notice the prominent “BUY TICKETS” call to action. The Toyota Arena wants you to attend the event in-person.

And the DAZN streaming service is obviously talking about it and hoping that you sign up for the service. The yellow “SIGN UP NOW” buttons (two of them in this screen alone) are hard to miss. Unlike the Toyota Arena, DAZN doesn’t require you to be in person to view this fight.

DAZN website, Zurdo vs. Boesel streaming sign up.
From https://www.dazn.com/en-US/sport/Sport:2x2oqzx60orpoeugkd754ga17/abtjyjpn1btla7vxkzowzh5h5

What the Toyota Arena and the DAZN streaming service DIDN’T do when marketing the fight

Let’s look at one aspect of how the fight is being marketed.

Have you ever noticed that some companies believe that the best way to market themselves is to talk about themselves? They’re worse than a self-obsessed narcissist on a date.

Major Frank Burns (Larry Linville).
Major Frank Burns (portrayed by Larry Linville) of M*A*S*H fame. (Major Margaret “Hot Lips” Houlihan not pictured.) By CBS Television – eBayfrontbackeBayphoto front & release, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=30082123

If the “my company is most important” people were promoting this fight, the Toyota Arena could have started its Zurdo vs. Boesel page with the text below.

Toyota Arena, built and owned by the City of Ontario, operated by ASM Global, can accommodate over 11,000 guests. The 225,000 square foot venue features 36 luxury suites located on two levels and a continuous concourse hosting a variety of concession and refreshment stands, merchandise kiosks, the VIP Club and other fan amenities. Toyota Arena hosts over 125 events annually including concerts, family shows, and sporting competitions. The Arena is home to several sport teams including: Ontario Reign (American Hockey League), Ontario Fury (Major Arena Soccer League), Aqua Caliente Clippers of Ontario (G League Basketball), and LA Temptation (Legends Football League).

From https://www.toyota-arena.com/arena-info/about

This text appears on the arena’s “About Us” page. Why not also put it on the page for the fight, to ensure that the readers see it and realize the sheer awesomeness of the arena, the City of Ontario, and ASM Global?

Why not talk about the arena at the beginning of the fight announcement? Because fight promoters are smart. Fight promoters know that to make a sale, they need to maintain a customer focus.

Let’s say that you’re a boxing promoter and YOU have to promote this fight. Which of the following two facts is more important?

  1. Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramírez has a boxing record of 43-0 with 29 knockouts.
  2. The Toyota Arena is a 225,000 square foot facility.

Now perhaps the janitorial staff that has to service the Toyota Arena is more concerned about item 2, but if you want boxing fans to buy tickets or streaming access, you’re going to aggressively promote item 1 and maintain your customer focus.

So what is MY call to action to YOU?

If I were to ask you, there is a high probability that you are not a boxing promoter. I know this because I’m not submitting this post to The Ring as a press release, but am instead sharing it in various Inland Empire West business channels.

However, there is a pretty good probability that you own or manage a local business, and you have your own news that you want to get out.

And this news must resonate with your customers.

  • Perhaps you want to share a customer success story, case study, or testimonial—a casetimonial, if you will. This document must appeal to your customers, speak to their needs, and ideally lead to them considering your company’s services or products.
  • Or perhaps you want to share a white paper that addresses your customers’ needs, but also drives them to consider your business. For example, you might distribute a white paper that lists seven critical criteria for customer success—and coincidentally, your company’s offering satisfies all seven critical criteria. (What an amazing coincidence!)

Regardless of your desired written content, you need the services of an Ontario, California content marketing expert who can work with you and maintain a customer focus in your content marketing.

Ontario Convention Center.
By Mack Male – originally posted to Flickr as Ontario Convention Center, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=9512928

I, John E. Bredehoft, through my Ontario-based DBA Bredemarket, can write casetimonials, white papers, and other types of content, working with you to answer these and other critical questions BEFORE producing the content:

  • Why, how, and what do you do?
  • What is the topic of the content?
  • What is the goal that you want to achieve with the content?
  • What are the benefits (not features, but benefits) that your end customers can realize by using your product or service?
  • What is the target audience for the content?

After you’ve provided the relevant information to me, I’ll create the first iteration of the content, and we’ll work together to create your final content. The specifics of how we will work together depend upon whether you have elected the Bredemarket 400 Short Writing Service, the Bredemarket 2800 Medium Writing Service, or something else.

When we’re done, that final content is yours (a “work for hire” arrangement).

If I can help your business, or if you have further questions about Bredemarket’s B2B content creation services, please contact me.

Bredemarket content marketing services for small businesses in and around Ontario, California (the April 8, 2022 iteration)

A minor refresh to what I wrote on March 31, including an updated brochure.

Here’s the text I recently added to my home page.

Bredemarket presently offers its services to identity/biometrics, technology, and general business firms, as well as to nonprofits. I offer my services to firms in my hometown of Ontario, California, as well as firms in EastvaleFontanaMontclairRancho CucamongaUpland, other cities of the Inland Empire West, and throughout the United States.

From https://bredemarket.com/

This post concentrates on the services that Bredemarket can provide to businesses in my local area. Read on if you own a small, arty business in the Emporia Arts District of Ontario…

Ontario, California Emporia Arts District.

…or perhaps a larger, less arty business north of Holt in Ontario, or perhaps even a business in one of the other cities that I mentioned, or one of the ones I didn’t (sorry Narod).

There are a lot of local businesses out there

Even if you don’t count sole proprietors (such as myself) or freelancers, there are somewhere around 7.7 million businesses in the United States. (This figure is from 2016; I’m not sure if it’s gone up or gone down in the last five years.) Now if you include sole proprietors in the total, then you’re talking about 32 million businesses. (This particular number may have actually increased over time.)

Obviously I can’t target them all. Well, I could try, but it would be a little ridiculous.

So what if I took a subset of those 32 million businesses and tried to see if Bredemarket could serve that subset?

The local small business persona

When you want to market to a particular group, you develop a persona that represents that group. You can then develop a profile of that persona: the persona’s needs, aspirations, and expectations; the persona’s underlying goals and values; and perhaps some other elements. The persona may be developed via extensive research, or perhaps via…a little less quantification.

When I initially looked at this topic last September, I concentrated on a particular persona, but my thoughts on this topic have evolved over time. While I will still serve artists as I initially proposed last September, I’m now thinking of other businesses that can best use the type of content that I provide.

For example, the business may be an incorporated business that is based on the Inland Empire West, provides its products or services to customers in the local area, provides excellent service that is loved by its existing customers, and needs to get the word out to new potential customers by creating content that can be downloaded from a company website, shared via a company social media account, or handed out at a trade show or other in-person event.

Regarding the values of this particular persona, you can probably already deduce some of them based upon the customer love for the company.

  • The business puts the customer first and strives to provide services that satisfy its customers.
  • However, the business also prioritizes the well-being of its employees.
  • While the business may not have explicitly articulated a vision, its actions testify to a vision of excellent service, customer satisfaction, and care for employees.

But what does this business need in terms of types of content? For my example, these businesses are ones that need customer-facing content such as the following:

  • A document (online or printed) that explains the product(s) or service(s) that the business provides, and that discusses the benefits that the product(s)/service(s) offers to the customers. This document may take the form of a product/service description, or it may take the form of a white paper. For example, your business might issue a white paper entitled “Seven Mandatory Requirements for a Green Widget,” and the white paper just might happen to mention at the end that your green widget just happens to meet all seven mandatory requirements. (Coincidence? I think not.)
Portion of the concluding section of a white paper in which Bredemarket provided the text.
Portion of the concluding section of a white paper in which Bredemarket provided the text.
  • A document (online or printed) that tells a story about how an individual customer benefited from the product(s) or service(s) that the business provides. You could call such a document a case study, or you could call it a testimonial. Or you could call it a casetimonial.

These types of documents are more valuable to some businesses than to others. Your average convenience store has little need for a 3,000 word white paper. But perhaps your business has this sort of need.

How many words should your content contain?

When I originally wrote this last September, I started off by discussing my two standard packages, based on word length. But now that I’ve thought about it a bit more, there are some questions that you need to ask BEFORE deciding on the content length. (We’ll get to content length later.)

(Owen Lovejoy) How long should a man’s legs be in proportion to his body?”

(Abraham Lincoln) “I have not given the matter much consideration, but on first blush I should judge they ought to be long enough to reach from his body to the ground.”

Thomas Lowery, quoted at https://thelogcabinsage.com/how-long-should-a-mans-legs-be-and-2-other-lincoln-stories/
Abraham Lincoln.
Abraham Lincoln. (Legs not shown.) By Hesler, Alexander, 1823-1895 – This image is available from the United States Library of Congress’s Prints and Photographs divisionunder the digital ID cph.3a36988.This tag does not indicate the copyright status of the attached work. A normal copyright tag is still required. See Commons:Licensing for more information., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=18705107

So how far away is the ground? Let’s ask some other questions first before we determine the answer to content length.

Bredemarket’s initial questions for you

Before I create a single word, I start by asking you some questions about your content to make sure our project starts on the right foot. (Even though I am left-footed.)

Bredemarket Kickoff Guide header.

  • What is the topic of the content?
  • What is the goal that you want to achieve with the content?
  • What are the benefits (not features, but benefits) that your end customers can realize by using your product or service?
  • What is the target audience for the content?

Once I’ve asked you these and other questions (such as a potential outline), we will both have a good idea of how long the final piece needs to be.

The length of the content also dictates the length and complexity of the review process.

Returning to the content length question

Once we have a good idea of the content length, there are three options that we can pursue to actually create the content.

If your content consists of 400 to 600 words, then I create the content using the process detailed in my Bredemarket 400 Short Writing Service.

https://bredemarket.com/bredemarket-400-short-writing-service/

This has two review cycles with up to three days per review cycle.

Bredemarket 400 Short Writing Service
If your content is longer, say 2800 to 3200 words, then I create the content using a similar (but more detailed) process through my Bredemarket 2800 Medium Writing Service.

https://bredemarket.com/bredemarket-2800-medium-writing-service/

This has three review cycles with up to seven days per review cycle.

Bredemarket 2800 Medium Writing Service
If your content falls between these two lengths, or is longer than 3200 words, or needs a more rapid delivery time, we’ll talk and come up with a solution. (And we’ll even come up with a spiffy name if you like)
For more services, see https://bredemarket.com/what-i-do/

If you can use my services, what are the next steps?

If I can help your business, or if you have further questions about Bredemarket’s B2B content creation services, please contact me.

Bredemarket content marketing services for small businesses in and around Ontario, California (the March 31, 2022 iteration)

A lot has happened since I first wrote this description of Bredemarket’s local marketing services on September 1, 2021. Time for a content refresh.

The refresh begins with the reprint of the relevant text on my home page, which was just updated this week.

Bredemarket presently offers its services to identity/biometrics, technology, and general business firms, as well as to nonprofits. I offer my services to firms in my hometown of Ontario, California, as well as firms in EastvaleFontanaMontclairRancho CucamongaUpland, other cities of the Inland Empire West, and throughout the United States.

From https://bredemarket.com/

This post concentrates on the services that Bredemarket can provide to businesses in my local area. Read on if you own a small, arty business in the Emporia Arts District of Ontario…

Ontario, California Emporia Arts District.

…or perhaps a larger, less arty business north of Holt in Ontario, or perhaps even a business in one of the other cities that I mentioned, or one of the ones I didn’t (sorry Narod).

There are a lot of local businesses out there

Even if you don’t count sole proprietors (such as myself) or freelancers, there are somewhere around 7.7 million businesses in the United States. (This figure is from 2016; I’m not sure if it’s gone up or gone down in the last five years.) Now if you include sole proprietors in the total, then you’re talking about 32 million businesses. (This particular number may have actually increased over time.)

Obviously I can’t target them all. Well, I could try, but it would be a little ridiculous.

So what if I took a subset of those 32 million businesses and tried to see if Bredemarket could serve that subset?

The local small business persona

When you want to market to a particular group, you develop a persona that represents that group. You can then develop a profile of that persona: the persona’s needs, aspirations, and expectations; the persona’s underlying goals and values; and perhaps some other elements. The persona may be developed via extensive research, or perhaps via…a little less quantification.

When I initially looked at this topic last September, I concentrated on a particular persona, but my thoughts on this topic have evolved over time. While I will still serve artists as I initially proposed last September, I’m now thinking of other businesses that can best use the type of content that I provide.

For example, the business may be an incorporated business that is based on the Inland Empire West, provides its products or services to customers in the local area, provides excellent service that is loved by its existing customers, and needs to get the word out to new potential customers by creating content that can be downloaded from a company website, shared via a company social media account, or handed out at a trade show or other in-person event.

Regarding the values of this particular persona, you can probably already deduce some of them based upon the customer love for the company.

  • The business puts the customer first and strives to provide services that satisfy its customers.
  • However, the business also prioritizes the well-being of its employees.
  • While the business may not have explicitly articulated a vision, its actions testify to a vision of excellent service, customer satisfaction, and care for employees.

But what does this business need in terms of types of content? For my example, these businesses are ones that need customer-facing content such as the following:

  • A document (online or printed) that explains the product(s) or service(s) that the business provides, and that discusses the benefits that the product(s)/service(s) offers to the customers. This document may take the form of a product/service description, or it may take the form of a white paper. For example, your business might issue a white paper entitled “Seven Mandatory Requirements for a Green Widget,” and the white paper just might happen to mention at the end that your green widget just happens to meet all seven mandatory requirements. (Coincidence? I think not.)
Portion of the concluding section of a white paper in which Bredemarket provided the text.
Portion of the concluding section of a white paper in which Bredemarket provided the text.
  • A document (online or printed) that tells a story about how an individual customer benefited from the product(s) or service(s) that the business provides. You could call such a document a case study, or you could call it a testimonial. Or you could call it a casetimonial.

These types of documents are more valuable to some businesses than to others. Your average convenience store has little need for a 3,000 word white paper. But perhaps your business has this sort of need.

How many words should your content contain?

When I originally wrote this last September, I started off by discussing my two standard packages, based on word length. But now that I’ve thought about it a bit more, there are some questions that you need to ask BEFORE deciding on the content length. (We’ll get to content length later.)

(Owen Lovejoy) How long should a man’s legs be in proportion to his body?”

(Abraham Lincoln) “I have not given the matter much consideration, but on first blush I should judge they ought to be long enough to reach from his body to the ground.”

Thomas Lowery, quoted at https://thelogcabinsage.com/how-long-should-a-mans-legs-be-and-2-other-lincoln-stories/
Abraham Lincoln.
Abraham Lincoln. (Legs not shown.) By Hesler, Alexander, 1823-1895 – This image is available from the United States Library of Congress’s Prints and Photographs divisionunder the digital ID cph.3a36988.This tag does not indicate the copyright status of the attached work. A normal copyright tag is still required. See Commons:Licensing for more information., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=18705107

So how far away is the ground? Let’s ask some other questions first before we determine the answer to content length.

Bredemarket’s initial questions for you

Before I create a single word, I start by asking you some questions about your content to make sure our project starts on the right foot. (Even though I am left-footed.)

Bredemarket Kickoff Guide header.

  • What is the topic of the content?
  • What is the goal that you want to achieve with the content?
  • What are the benefits (not features, but benefits) that your end customers can realize by using your product or service?
  • What is the target audience for the content?

Once I’ve asked you these and other questions (such as a potential outline), we will both have a good idea of how long the final piece needs to be.

The length of the content also dictates the length and complexity of the review process.

Returning to the content length question

Once we have a good idea of the content length, there are three options that we can pursue to actually create the content.

If your content consists of 400 to 600 words, then I create the content using the process detailed in my Bredemarket 400 Short Writing Service.

https://bredemarket.com/bredemarket-400-short-writing-service/

This has two review cycles with up to three days per review cycle.

Bredemarket 400 Short Writing Service
If your content is longer, say 2800 to 3200 words, then I create the content using a similar (but more detailed) process through my Bredemarket 2800 Medium Writing Service.

https://bredemarket.com/bredemarket-2800-medium-writing-service/

This has three review cycles with up to seven days per review cycle.

Bredemarket 2800 Medium Writing Service
If your content falls between these two lengths, or is longer than 3200 words, or needs a more rapid delivery time, we’ll talk and come up with a solution. (And we’ll even come up with a spiffy name if you like)
For more services, see https://bredemarket.com/what-i-do/

If you can use my services, what are the next steps?

If I can help your business, or if you have further questions about Bredemarket’s B2B content creation services, please contact me.

And one more thing…

Scroll down to the bottom of my general “local” page for a special “locals only” discount code!

How “Omni” is your Omnichannel?

One of Bredemarket’s clients is a consulting firm that advises other companies on the use of a particular enterprise content management system. Among other things, this consulting firm can help its client companies configure the outbound information the companies’ systems provide.

Which leads us to our word for today, omnichannel.

In marketing, “omnichannel” refers to “the process of driving customer engagement across all channels with seamless, targeted messaging.”

Across ALL marketing channels. That’s what omnichannel talks about.

Here’s what Erin O’Connor says:

Omnichannel marketing lets marketers create seamless, integrated customer experiences spanning both online and offline channels to connect with customers as they move through the buying cycle. Omnichannel marketing focuses on the life cycle of the customer. For example, when a customer is in the acquisition phase, the marketer will send a different type of message compared to a loyal customer

Omnichannel marketing is …a holistic approach in the sense that it’s looking at all of the potential touchpoints customers can use to communicate with brands, both online and offline.

From https://business.adobe.com/glossary/omnichannel-marketing.html

An omnichannel marketing strategy may encompass a number of marketing tools, including email, white paper downloads, videos, mobile SMS responses, automated call centers, and anything else that marketers use to communicate with clients.

One of the key benefits of an omnichannel marketing strategy is, or should be, consistency. If your emails say that your product is supported on Windows 11, your data sheets had better not say that your product is only supported up to Windows 10. This is a definite problem; see my checklist item 2 in this post.

(Incidentally, I recently ran across a company that is still talking about NIST FRVT results from several years ago. Since the NIST FRVT tests are ongoing, any reference to old results is outdated because of all the new algorithms that have been submitted and that have better performance.)

So factual consistency is important. Omnichannel marketing also allows for visual consistency (well, not in the automated call center) in which all of the company’s content looks like it came from the same company.

Obviously there are a number of benefits from omnichannel marketing, including easier management and consistency of marketing messages. But all of this raises a question:

Is omnichannel marketing truly OMNIchannel? Or does omnichannel marketing leave some things out?

Before you point me to the definition of “omni” and say that omnichannel marketing by definition can’t exclude anything, read on.

When product marketers don’t market

If you’re a marketer, I hope you’re sitting down.

The world does not revolve around marketing.

(My college roommates who were physics majors made sure to remind me of this.)

Thus, anything that isn’t marketing is automatically excluded from omnichannel marketing. And there are a number of things that companies do that aren’t marketing per se.

I recently held a discussion with a product marketer which got me thinking. We were talking about the things product marketers do, which include content creation (case studies/testimonials, white papers, social media content, and the like) and other product-related tasks such as competitive analysis of other products.

But then the product marketer mentioned something else.

What about having the product marketer author product technical documentation, such as user guides?

(By the way, I’ve written technical documentation in the past; see the “Benefiting from my experience and expertise” section of the Bredemarket “Who I Am” page.)

Now technical documentation is (usually) not the place for overt marketing messaging, but at the same time technical documentation authorship benefits the product marketer and the company by immersing the product marketer into the details of the product, thus increasing the marketer’s product understanding.

I’ll grant you need a different writing style when writing technical documentation; after all, there are no earthshaking benefits from clicking on the “Save As” button.

By Later version were uploaded by Bruce89 at en.Wikipedia. – Transfered from en.Wikipedia; en:File:Dialog1.pngtransfered to Commons by User:IngerAlHaosului using CommonsHelper., GPL, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=8988455

But you need different writing styles for the different types of marketing output anyway. The mechanics of writing a tweet differ from the mechanics of filming a video. So a marketer who isn’t experienced in technical documentation can adjust to the new style.

However, finding marketers slash technical documentation writers in the wild is unusual. Every company that I’ve worked with since 1991 has built some type of wall between the marketing function and the technical documentation function. But oddly enough, one of my former employers (MorphoTrak) moved managers around between the different functions. One manager in particular headed up the technical documentation group, then headed up the proposals group (where I worked for her), then headed up a multi-functional marketing team (where I worked for her again), then specialized in product marketing.

And now the product marketer (not the one from MorphoTrak, but the one I had been talking to) got the hamster in my brain to start generating ideas.

If omnichannel marketing is limited, and your omnichannel efforts should include activities outside of marketing such as technical documentation, what else should be included in your omnichannel efforts?

Including proposal writing in omnichannel efforts

OK, the subtitle gave it away. (But I refused to write the subtitle “This marketer wrote a user guide. You won’t believe what he did next!”)

If anything, proposal writing is closer to marketing than technical documentation is to marketing. While proposal writing is often considered a sales function (though some would disagree), there are obvious overlaps between the benefits that you espouse in a proposal and the benefits that you espouse in a case study.

Including standard proposal text/template creation as part of your omnichannel efforts also helps to ensure consistency in your product messaging. Again, if your data sheet says one thing, and your user guide says the same thing, then your proposal had better say the same thing also. (Unless you’re proposing something that won’t be implemented for another one or two years, in which case the proposal will discuss things that won’t appear in the present data sheets and user guides, but in future versions.)

Now those of you who are familiar with what Bredemarket does can appreciate why I love this idea.

By Loudon dodd – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7404342

I’ve positioned Bredemarket as a two-headed (but not two-faced) marketing and writing service provider: for example, with separate descriptions of my status as a biometric content marketing expert and a biometric proposal writing expert. And that pretty much mirrors how I work. With one exception, most of my clients only use me for either my proposal services or my content marketing services.

What if companies entrusted Bredemarket with their total solution, both inside and outside of traditional marketing?

Of course there are complications in implementing this.

But when can you implement true omnichannel efforts?

Now most companies are ill-fitted to have one person, or even one department, handle all the omnichannel marketing (case studies, white papers, data sheets, tweets, LinkedIn posts, competitive intelligence, etc.) AND all the omnichannel non-marketing (technical documentation, proposals, and all the other stuff that my hamster brain didn’t realize yet).

So how do you get multiple departments to communicate the same messaging? It’s a difficult task, especially since most department members are so focused on their own work that they don’t have the bandwidth to worry about what another department is doing. (“I don’t care about the data sheet error. I just write the manuals.”)

There are several ways to achieve this: central ownership of the messaging for all departments, outside quality audits, and peer-to-peer interdepartmental review come to mind.

But you’re not going to solve the problem of inconsistent messaging between your departments unless you realize that the problem exists…and that “omnichannel marketing” won’t solve it.

Six methods to get your content in the hands of your customers

Whether you are an identity firm creating case studies, an Inland Empire West firm creating testimonials, or some other type of firm, creation of the content is only half the battle.

You still have to get the content into the hands of your end customers. “If you build it, they will come” is movie fiction.

By IowaPolitics.com – Field_of_Dreams, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=68597747

Here are six ways to get your created content to a place where your end customers can see it and use it. Perhaps you can use one or more of these methods to distribute your important content.

Method one: titles

Unless you have some bizarre reason to obfuscate the content by choosing an innocuous title such as “About THAT Reuters article,” you need to start by choosing the appropriate title that will induce your target audience to read your content.

For example, I want to be recognized as a biometric content marketing expert, so I created a page with that very title.

And continuously publicized it (including in this post).

As a result, that page is now the first non-sponsored search term on several services, even for similar searches. I surveyed three search engines; here are incognito search results from two of these search engines for the words “biometric marketing expert” (without the word “content”).

Google incognito search for biometric marketing expert. This one even captured my Google company listing.
Bing incognito search for biometric marketing expert. Bing also shows related Bredemarket content.

Method two: tags

I intentionally saved the third set of search results to display here, since DuckDuckGo not only hit on my post, but on my collection of all posts tagged with “biometric content marketing expert.”

DuckDuckGo incognito search (not that it matters with DuckDuckGo) for biometric content marketing expert. This not only shows the page itself, but also identically named tag.

As another example, to date I have written over a dozen posts about case studies, all of which can be accessed via the link https://bredemarket.com/tag/case-study/.

Of course, I could step up my tagging work.

Not THAT tagging, although the terms are obviously related. By John H. White, 1945-, Photographer (NARA record: 4002141) – U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=16914422.

I have never bothered to create a tag “testimonial,” so I still have to do that, starting with this post. (I’ll slowly work my way back through the other posts so that testimonial seekers can find that content also.)

Method three: words

Remember the post “About THAT Reuters article” that I referenced earlier? As I said, I had a specific reason for choosing that vanilla title.

I could have entitled the post “Former IDEMIA employee weighs in on Advent’s possible sale of the company.” That would have got some clicks, to be sure.

But it would have misled the reader, because the reader would have gotten the idea that I have some expertise in corporate acquisitions, and an abillity to predict them.

From https://bredemarket.com/2022/02/08/about-that-reuters-article/

But despite the boring title, this post is one of my most popular posts of 2022. Why? Because even though the title is obfuscating, the content of the post itself can’t help but use some words such as Advent, IDEMIA, IPO, Reuters, and Thales. And people found the post because it included words which interested them.

(So much for obfuscation.)

Partial Google Search Console results for the “About THAT Reuters article” page.

Method four: landing pages/doors

Often you don’t land exactly at the content, but instead land at another page that directs you to the content. Because I subscribe to Jay Clouse’s “Creative Companion” newsletter, I get to read his articles before the general LinkedIn public sees them. Unless there’s an editorial change, this week’s LinkedIn article will include the following:

…the majority of my subscriber growth today doesn’t come through my front door, it comes from the dozens of side doors that I’ve created.

Jay Clouse Sunday 3/13/2022 email, “How to grow an email newsletter.”

(UPDATE 3/16: You can read the LinkedIn version of Jay’s post here.)

Does your text need to break on through? By APA-Agency for the Performing Arts-management – eBay itemphoto frontphoto back, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=23274437

I don’t necessarily count on my readers immediately landing at the “correct” page. If I write compellingly enough, they could arrive at that page from somewhere else.

For example, I have a page called “Bredemarket and proposal services” that talks about…(drumroll)…Bredemarket’s proposal services. But there are over three dozen pages on the Bredemarket website that link to that page.

Google Search Console list of a few of the pages linking to https://bredemarket.com/bredemarket-and-proposal-services/

So if someone is REALLY interested in a topic, and if the content link uses text that is something better than “such responses,” the person will get to the desired content and I can help the person.

Which reminds me, I need to include my call to action. Normally I stick this at the end of a post, but let’s put it in the middle of the post just for fun. If I can help your company create content or give you some ideas on how to distribute the content:

Method five: email

I could probably do better at this one, but I do perform SOME email marketing.

For example, after I wrote my post about Alaska HB389 and its foreign ownership clause, I took the time to email it to some of my contacts whose companies are directly affected by the bill. I’ve also emailed people when I want to promote some of my various Bredemarket services.

After a year and a half in business, I have discovered that my hundreds of contacts do NOT religiously read the Bredemarket blog daily (although I do have hundreds of subscribers: click the link at the bottom of this post if you would like to join the blog subscription list). So there are times when I use email to highlight items of interest to a particular person.

But only if they’re interested. No need for Microsoft Power BI contacts to learn what happens if a driver’s license production company is only 94% U.S. owned. They probably don’t care.

Method six: social media channels

I am a little better at social media content distribution than I am at email marketing. But again, it’s important to distribute the content to the correct social media channel.

Over the weekend, I wrote two nearly identical posts that were targeted to two separate markets.

The post that was targeted to local Inland Empire West companies was reshared in my LinkedIn group Bredemarket Local Firm Services.

The post that was targeted to identity/biometric companies was reshared in my LinkedIn group Bredemarket Identity Firm Services.

So the content of interest to the locals was shared on the local page, and the content of interest to the identity companies was shared on the identity page.

And that applies to ALL of the methods listed above. Emailing content to the right people. Linking from related content. Using the right words, tags, and titles.

All of these techniques, plus all of the other techniques that this post failed to mention, serve the purpose of getting the created content into the hands of the people who can benefit from it.

If I can help you with this, or with creating the content in the first place…oh, I already included the call to action between Methods 4 and 5. No need to be redundantly repetitive.