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 Since the NIST FRVT tests are ongoing, any reference to old results is outdated because of all the new algorithms that have been submitted and that have better performance.)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.

On corporate identity (not personal identity)

I was checking on Bredemarket’s appearance in various searches (have I told you that I am a biometric proposal writing expert?), and I ran across something having to do with proposals and identity that was outside of my usual definition of “identity.”

This article talked about writing a proposal to help a company establish its corporate identity.

(Yes, I know a corporation is a person, but this is something different. I can’t capture IBM’s face, and Wendy’s face is not necessarily a unique biometric identifier.)

Establishing an outward-facing corporate identity

In the article, Ruben described how to help a company establish its corporate identity. After suggesting that you ensure that you understand the company, Ruben focused on the company’s needs.

Identify the Needs – having described the company, the next step is to explain why your idea for a logo or marketing campaign is suitable for their goals. There may be many “needs” you need to address. For example, it might be a good idea to describe why rebranding can make a company look more modern and approachable.

From there, you would naturally describe how you would meet the company’s needs, and why you are qualified to meet the company’s needs.

If all goes well, the company will contract with you, then you will come up with a plan to optimize the company’s corporate identity. The company will implement the plan, the company’s revenue will increase, and you will be a hero.

But corporate identity goes beyond the logo, the website, and the marketing materials.

Establishing a strategic corporate identity

There’s an important step that a company needs to take before making decisions on outward-facing marketing.

The company has to decide who it is.

There are a multitude of ways to do this, ranging from a detailed business plan to a brief mission statement or statement of purpose. Regardless of the avenue you take, you need to know what you want to do.

Take an example from the 1980s. Perhaps some of you may remember Mita, famous for the advertising slogan “all we make are great copiers.”

There was a reason that Mita used that slogan:

If you are sixth in unit sales in the office copier industry and you are one of the few manufacturers that does not have a diversified product line, then the thing to do in your advertising is disparage diversification.

From https://www.nytimes.com/1985/10/02/business/advertising-mita-copier-campaign-has-a-single-theme.html

In this case, the advertising slogan helped shape the entire strategy of the company, resulting in a corporate identity that was very successful.

From https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RkNbEoFHCtc

Revising a strategic corporate identity

In fact, it was too successful. Because if you already make great copiers, what else do you need to do? Not much, I guess.

But early in the 1990s, it started making mistakes: relocating factories in expensive Hong Kong, letting management become bloated and backsliding on technology. At the same time, Fuji-Xerox, Ricoh and Konica stepped up their presence. Among other things, Mita failed to embrace digital technologies.

From https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1998-aug-13-fi-12663-story.html

See Kodak.

Mita eventually went bankrupt and was acquired by Kyocera, who immediately decided to work on Mita’s corporate identity. The company was rebranded as Kyocera Mita Corporation in 2000, and was re-rebranded as Kyocera Document Solutions in 2012. Mita schmeeta.

In today’s business world, digitalization is proceeding at an unprecedented pace and the volume of documents is growing exponentially.
In this business environment, we believe that our mission is to support our customers to effectively manage their information, and turn that information into knowledge, in order to address their challenges with a sense of speed.

From https://www.kyoceradocumentsolutions.com/company/greeting.html

You can see how the corporate identity has evolved over the decades, and how a company that once concentrated on taking pieces of paper and making identical pieces of paper now aspires to transform document information into knowledge to address challenges.

What does this mean for your corporate identity?

As I’ve noted, establishment of a marketing corporate identity is only part of an overall strategic plan to guide the future direction of a company.

Taking Bredemarket as an example, the corporate identity established by my logo is only a part of the plan guiding Bredemarket.

Bredemarket logo

The pencil symbolizes writing, and long experience in writing, but it does not say WHAT Bredemarket writes. That has been established, revised, and expanded, partially through the annual goals that I set.

As long as I don’t blow it and get too restrictive (Bredemarket: all we write are fingerprint RFP responses), I should be fine.

The “market” is closed until Monday

The market is closed.

By FuriousGeorge1 from (optional) – Flickr, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2488362

Bredemarket just took care of some final items, and is now on vacation/holiday.

Well, until Monday. Proposal work is proposal work.

But until then, I hope those who celebrate Christmas have a happy one, and those who don’t have a happy weekend.

Louie, take a look at this! Free FTR FST Friday in Ontario

Another Friday, another all-day event.

FTR FST (“future fest”), sponsored by 4th Sector Innovations, SwoopIn, and several other organizations, will be held on Friday, November 12 in downtown Ontario, California. While I’m primarily going for the “professional development” part, FTR FST also features creative expression (including food trucks, which appropriately fall into the “creative expression” category), collaboration, and a tech showcase.

The professional development schedule includes the following sessions, among others:

  • A keynote presentation from Colin Mangham entitled “Days of Future Past.” According to FTR FST, the topic will be biomimicry.

Biomimicry is the practice of learning from and emulating life’s genius to create more efficient, elegant, and sustainable designs. It’s a problem-solving method, a sustainability ethos, an innovation approach, a change movement, and a new way of viewing and valuing nature. In practice it’s dedicated to reconnecting people with nature, and aligning human systems with biological systems.

As such, our aim is to connect a spectrum of innovation where human and biological system designs interact together seamlessly. Our team offers education and consulting to apply biological insights to systematic sustainability challenges. Our collaborative partnerships and services support interdisciplinary dialogue across industry sectors and regions, while reconnecting all of us to the local ecosystem that supports us.

OK, at this point some of you are saying to yourselves, “THAT kind of conference.”

By Maureen.gi at English Wikipedia, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=32864557

But frankly, there’s just as much value in approaching problems from a futuristic sustainability view as there is in approaching problems from a more traditional program management process (or Shipley process, or whatever), or even from a more old school sustainability view as espoused by Broguiere’s and the late Huell Howser.

See, it all ties together. After all, the new school 4th Sector Innovations is less than a mile from the decidedly old school Graber Olive House (featured in one of Howser’s “Louie, take a look at this!” TV shows.)

I seem to have strayed from my original topic…

Anyway, let’s refocus and return to some of the other professional development sessions at this Friday’s FTR FST.

  • The workshop “Navigating Cashflow” by Gilbert Wenseslao, Chase Bank.
  • The workshop “Accessing Grants for Growth” by Pershetta SlackThe Funded Intensive. (NOW they hold this workshop. One of the previous presenters at the Ontario IDEA Exchange just finished submitting a grant application, and probably could have used this session.)
  • The workshop “Next Gen Cyber Security” by Erik Delgadillo, SecLex.
  • The workshop “The Evolution of Mobility” by Maritza Berger at Piaggio Fast Forward
  • A panel (participants unidentified) on equalizing opportunity.
  • Vendor spotlights.

After 3:00 pm, FTR FST transitions to less intensive sessions. Bring the kids! The complete schedule can be found here.

You can register for FTR FST here. Oh, and one new wrinkle: attendance at the professional development sessions is now FREE, thanks to the event sponsors.

FTR FST will be at 4th Sector Innovations, 404 N Euclid Avenue in Ontario.

From Mapquest. (Hey, why not?)

What’s in a rename? (Or, what is an oosto?)

The naming, or renaming, of a company is an important step in a company’s journey. While one should rightly concentrate on mission statements and processes and the like, the first impression many people will have of a company is its name.

So it’s important to get it right.

How my company was named

Sometimes the naming of a company is a relatively simple affair. For example, the company name “Bredemarket” is a combination of the beginning of my last name, Bredehoft, with the word market (derived from marketing).

Certainly the name is open to confusion (not that I was planning on doing business in East Sussex), but the name does communicate what the company is about.

I guess I could have called the company Bredewrite, but Bredemarket has grown on me.

Sometimes the naming of a company gets a little more involved.

How my former employer was renamed

When Oberthur was merged with the Morpho portion of Safran, the combined company needed a name (Oberthur was ruled out). So the company adopted the name “OT-Morpho,” indicating the heritage of the two parts of the company.

However, OT-Morpho was never intended to be the permanent name of the company. Everyone knew that the company would be renamed at some point in the future.

A few months later, as part of a razzle dazzle event, the new name of the company was revealed to an in-person audience in France and to people watching remotely all over the world (including myself).

If you don’t want to watch the entire video, the new name was…IDEMIA.

Some thought went into this name, as the accompanying press release noted.

In a world directly impacted by the exponential growth of connected objects, the increasing globalisation of exchanges, the digitalisation of the economy and the consumerisation of technology, IDEMIA stands as the new leader in trusted identities placing “Augmented Identity” at the heart of its actions. As an expression of this innovative strategy, the group has been renamed IDEMIA in reference to powerful terms: Identity, Idea and the Latin word idem, reflecting its mission to guarantee everyone a safer world thanks to its expertise in trusted identities.

However, some people didn’t like the new name at the time, and there was a big ruckus about how to pronounce the name. But at least some thought went into the name, and potential customers at least made the connection between IDEMIA and identity, if not to the other influences.

IDEM means – The same, me too. No, IDEMIA didn’t want to position itself as a “me too” company, but as a company that asserted the identity of an individual. From http://acronymsandslang.com/definition/7720102/IDEM-meaning.html.

Some of IDEMIA’s corporate predecessors also had some stories behind their names.

  • My former employer MorphoTrak was the result of a merger between Tacoma-based Sagem Morpho and the Anaheim-based Biometric Business Unit of Motorola that was previously known as Printrak. In the same way that OT-Morpho represented the union of Oberthur and Morpho, MorphoTrak represented the union of Sagem Morpho and Printrak.
  • The Morpho in Sagem Morpho was an element of the name of the original French company that was founded in the 1980s, Morpho Systèmes. I don’t know exactly why the company was named Morpho, but the term can mean form or structure, or it can refer to a particular group of butterflies with distinct wing patterns.
  • And Printrak, a product name before it was a company name, was derived from the word fingerprint. (And presumably from the system that tracked the fingerprints.)

So even if you don’t like these names, at least some thought went behind them.

And then there are other cases.

How another company was renamed

Anyvision was a company that had been around for a while, specializing in using artificial intelligence and vision to provide security solutions. But recently the company decided to expand its focus.

[T]he company’s evolution and vision for the future…is shaped, in part, by a new collaboration with Carnegie Mellon University’s (CMU) CyLab Biometric Research Center. The CMU partnership will focus on early-stage research in object, body, and behavior recognition….

“Historically, the company has focused on security-related use cases for our watchlist alerting and touchless access control solutions….[W]e’re looking beyond the lens of security to include ways our solutions can positively impact an organization’s safety, productivity and customer experience.”

So with this expanded focus, Anyvision decided that its corporate name was too limiting. So the company announced that is was renaming itself.

The new name is…Oosto.

Now some of you may have noticed that the name “Oosto” does not convey the idea of object, body, or behavior recognition in English, Latin, Hebrew (Anyvision started in Israel), or any other known language. As far as I know. (And yes, I saw what The Names Dictionary says.)

So why Oosto? According to Chris Burt at Biometric Update:

The new name was chosen because it is short, easy to pronounce, and free from pre-existing associations….

Well, at least you don’t have to worry about how to say Oosto, unlike Eye DEM ee uh or Eye DEEM e uh or Ih dem EE uh or whatever.

And it’s short.

And it’s obviously extremely free from pre-existing associations.

Which unfortunately means that people have no idea what an “oosto” is.

But it will probably grow on us over time, just as people now use the word “IDEMIA” without a second thought.

Hopefully there isn’t a market in East Sussex named Oosto.

What is a bridge?

A bridge helps you get from one place to another.

By Anneli Salo – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=15716878

Without a bridge, you’re stuck at one place and can’t get to the other place. Or you can try to get to the other place, but you may get very wet.

Businesses need bridges to connect with their customers. When the bridges are erected, the customers understand what the businesses can do for them. If the customers need those particular services, they can buy them.

In two hours, I plan to attend the Ontario (California, not Canada) IDEA Exchange at 4th Sector Innovations.

And if some of the attendees ask, I can explain how Bredemarket can be a bridge.

When Instagram’s interests are not your own

Now that I changed my mind and have augmented my personal Instagram account with a Bredemarket Instagram account, Instagram is sending Bredemarket helpful tips and messages. Here’s part of a message I recently received from Instagram.

Let EVERYONE know how to connect with you, including friends and family?

What’s wrong with letting EVERYONE know about your business social media account?

While there is some merit in Instagram’s advice, there’s one very important caveat if you are trying to build a business, rather than just trying to build follower count.

Only invite people to follow your business account who are genuinely interested in your business.

  • Obviously current customers are interested in your business, and inviting them to follow is a good idea.
  • The same goes for potential customers, a category that Instagram inadvertently left out of its pitch.
  • And some of your friends and family who are knowledgeable about the issues in your business may be good invitees, because even if they can’t provide business (and sometimes they can), they can serve as evangelists to others. Someone of my Facebook and LinkedIn friends have already helped me in this capacity.

But I haven’t gone out of my way to invite my friends who do not own or work for identity, biometrics, technology, or local (Inland Empire West) firms to follow the Bredemarket Instagram account. Why not? Because it provides no benefit to Bredemarket.

So why does Instagram want me to invite friends and family to follow the Bredemarket account? Because it does provide benefit to Instagram. The more people engaged on Instagram translates to more opportunities for Instagram to display ads, which benefits Instagram’s bottom line. But it won’t benefit your bottom line as a business.

So if my European daughters’ retired high school teacher is waiting for that Instagram invite from Bredemarket…keep waiting.

Shameless non-sponsored plug for Ray of Social

Incidentally, my thoughts on WHO to invite to follow your business social media accounts have been heavily influenced by Georgia of Ray of Social. Her Instagram account is here. Pay special attention to her “3 things that harm your growth,” especially thing 2 (although thing 1 and thing 3 are also important).

Shattering my assumptions by using LinkedIn for local marketing

At the same time that Bredemarket helps other firms to market themselves, Bredemarket has to market ITSELF, including social media marketing. And for the past year I’ve subscribed to the following formula:

  • Use LinkedIn for professional marketing to biometric/identity and technology clients.
  • Use Twitter as a supplement to this.
  • Use Facebook as a supplement to this, and also use Facebook as Bredemarket’s sole foray into “general business” marketing.

It sounded like a good formula at the time…but now I’m questioning the assumptions behind it. And I’m hoping that I can prove one of my assumptions wrong.

My initial assumptions about marketing to local businesses

As I write this, Bredemarket has no clients in my hometown of Ontario, California, or in any of the nearby cities. In fact, my closest clients are located in Orange County, where I worked for 25 years.

It’s no secret that I’ve been working to rectify that gap and drum up more local business.

So this was an opportune time for me to encounter Jay Clouse’s September 2021 New Client Challenge. (It’s similar to a challenge Clouse ran in August 2020. Repurposing is good.) Clouse’s first question to all participants asked which market we would be targeting, and in my case the local small business market seemed an obvious choice.

And this dialogue played in my mind…

So when I market to local businesses, I’ll want to do that via relevant Facebook Groups. Obviously I won’t market the local services via LinkedIn or Twitter, because those services are not tailored to local service marketing.

Questioning my assumptions

Then I realized that I was wrong, for two reasons.

  1. First, there are LinkedIn groups that concentrate on my local area, just as there are LinkedIn groups that concentrate on biometrics. I had already quit a number of the dormant Inland Empire LinkedIn groups, but I was still a member of two such groups and could (tastefully) market there.
  2. If LinkedIn doesn’t provide an opportunity for me to do something, why don’t I tailor my use of LinkedIn and provide myself the opportunity?

Specifically, some of you may recall that I only have two LinkedIn showcase pages, but I have three Facebook groups.

  • “Bredemarket Identity Firm Services” is present on both LinkedIn and Facebook.
  • “Bredemarket Technology Firm Services” is present on both LinkedIn and Facebook.
  • “Bredemarket General Business Services” is only present on Facebook.

I explained the rationale for the lack of a third LinkedIn showcase page in a nice neat summary:

Using myself as an example, I have segmented my customers into markets: the identity (biometrics / secure documents) specific market (my primary market), the general technology market, and the general business market. I don’t even target the general business market on LinkedIn (I do on Facebook), but I’ve created showcase pages for the other two.

If you consider that “local business services” is a subset of “general business services,” some of you can see where this is going.

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes

But it took a while for the thought to pound its way into my brain:

Why DON’T you target the (local) general business market on LinkedIn?

I could just create a new showcase page, a process that would only take a few minutes. I wouldn’t even have to create any new artwork, since I could simply repurpose the Facebook general business artwork and use it for a LinkedIn local business showcase page. (Repurposing is good.)

(As an aside, my approach to artwork for Bredemarket’s marketing segments was dictated by LinkedIn Stories. Which is now disappearing. Oh well.)

So anyway, LinkedIn is now the home of Bredemarket Local Firm Services.

Now I just have to populate the showcase page with content (and continue to do so), invite people to follow the new showcase page, and proceed on my plan for world domination, one loft at a time.

Call to action time

And if you’re a small business in the Ontario, California area, here’s some information on the services I can provide to you.

And if you want more detailed information, please visit https://bredemarket.com/local/. (Read to the end.)

And if you want even more detailed information, contact me.

So which assumption will I shatter next?

I’d like to prove THIS assumption wrong:

(Still waiting for that $10,000 per hour client.)

And now I’m unboxing tangible collateral

Yes, this is post five in a series.

We”ll start with the end result, and then detail how it got here.

(Yes, I know an unboxing post is supposed to save the final result of the unboxing until the end, but I got excited. I’ll repeat this picture at the end to keep the story straight.)

I created tangible collateral

As I detailed in the third post in the series, back on August 9 I was preparing to attend my first in-person event in a long time.

I’m going to an in-person event next week. For my younger readers (i.e. those who developed awareness after 2019), an “in-person event” is something where you are actually in the same room as the people that you are meeting, rather than looking at them in boxes on your computer screen

Who knew that this was the future of communication? By screenshot, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=34177604

After registering for the event, I realized that I had never printed business cards for Bredemarket. So I designed one on Canva and ordered it that same day, August 9.

I waited for tangible collateral

Canva filled the order and turned it over to a delivery service on August 10. I won’t name the delivery service, but it does business with the federal government and has an express business in addition to its ground business.

And the delivery service provides some good tracking of all the packages that it handles. I’d simply reproduce the tracking entries, but the most recent stops are first, which doesn’t lend itself to storytelling. So I’ll just reproduce selected stops on the way.

Tuesday, August 10, 2021
8:30 PMHENDERSON, NVLeft FedEx origin facility
6:32 PMHENDERSON, NVShipment exceptionBarcode label unreadable and replaced
6:05 PMHENDERSON, NVArrived at FedEx location
3:06 PMHENDERSON, NVPicked up
8:05 AMShipment information sent to FedEx

That’s actually pretty nice, I thought at the time. The order was fulfilled within a few hundred miles of Bredemarket’s world headquarters in Ontario, California, and would certainly arrive in time for my in-person meeting.

Wednesday, August 11, 2021
1:05 AMBLOOMINGTON, CAArrived at FedEx location

Very nice. Bloomington is within 20 miles of Ontario, so obviously I should expect my business cards to be delivered by the end of the week.

Friday, August 13, 2021
11:55 PMDEMING, NMIn transit
10:52 AMBLOOMINGTON, CADeparted FedEx location

Um, wait a minute. (Only now did I realize that this transit happened on Friday the 13th. Figures.)

I won’t reproduce the next few entries, but suffice it to say that as of 3:12 pm Central Time on Saturday, August 14, the package arrived at a location in Fort Worth, Texas.

By Tuesday, August 17, my package was still in Texas, and obviously wasn’t going to make it in time for my Wednesday night meeting. As I noted in the fourth post in the series, however, I had a workaround.

So that’s what I handed out on Wednesday, August 18. (Well, the first person only took a picture of the handout rather than taking the handout himself, because he prefers intangible things.)

At one point my expected delivery date was Thursday, August 19. That date came and went without business cards, but at least I got a podcast episode out of it.

Late that night, with my package still in Texas and no updated arrival date, I contacted Canva (even though it wasn’t Canva’s fault) because there wasn’t an efficient way to contact the delivery service. At the time I wondered if the package were truly lost and if I’d need Canva to replace it. I received an email from Canva that pretty much said to wait and see what happened.

Our records show that your print order…is currently in transit to your shipping address….

For a more detailed information about the delivery status, we highly suggest reaching out to the carrier since the order was already dispatched.

However, at the same time that I was filing things with Canva, I was also tweeting about it. And for those who don’t realize this, the social media people for many companies are proactive and really want to help.

Here to sort this out for you, John! Could you DM us your ticket ID (JTP-###…)? We’ll take a look! ^cv

The tweet actually contradicted the email (which said to contact the delivery service). But by the time Canva tweeted the request for my ticket ID, the delivery service had updated my status.

(And yes, I was checking Twitter before 5:00 am. Normally I don’t, but by this time I was really getting bugged about my wandering business cards.)

Later that day, my package finally left its Texas location. I had a momentary fear when it departed…a fear that people who live in Ontario, California will easily understand. Was my package headed back toward Ontario, California…or on its way to Ontario, Canada?

Thankfully, my package was in Deming, New Mexico on Friday evening, so at least it was headed in the right direction.

By Saturday, August 21, the package was back in Bloomington, California. But where would it go next?

Oh, and to top things off, in the middle of this I received a phishing attempt at one of my non-Bredemarket email addresses. Obviously this had nothing to do with my REAL shipment, but I still found it pretty funny.

Just in case anyone is unclear about this, the email DIDN’T really come from DHL. And if DHL were to ask US customers to pay a fee over the Internet, that fee wouldn’t be charged in Australian dollars.

Back to the question of where my package would go when it left Bloomington. Did my package have a lover in Deming, New Mexico that it wanted to visit for a third time?

Sunday, August 22, 2021
8:51 AMCHINO, CADelivery exceptionFuture delivery requested
7:46 AMCHINO, CAAt local FedEx facility
5:35 AMBLOOMINGTON, CADeparted FedEx location

Chino is even closer to Ontario than Bloomington. This was a positive move.

Let me explain the “future delivery requested” part. I was promised at one point that the package would be delivered on Sunday, August 22. Unfortunately, my business address (a UPS Store, competitor to the delivery service) is closed on Sunday.

Apparently the delivery service realized this too late, and told me that the package would be delivered Tuesday.

Then I was told that the package would be delivered Monday.

Monday, August 23, 2021
1:24 PMOntario, CADeliveredSignature on file
5:41 AMCHINO, CAOn FedEx vehicle for delivery
4:20 AMCHINO, CAAt local FedEx facility

I drove to my business address and proceeded with the unboxing.

Remember the August 10 entry that mentioned the replacement of the unreadable barcode label.
As is usual for shipments, the actual shipment box was placed in a larger box. This time I was thankful for this.
Completing the story, here’s the business card again.

So that’s done. And since I’ve never really used business cards all that frequently, this order should last me a while.

When is my next in-person event?