Big Sales Loss Due to Google Algorithm Changes?


Have you seen a 40% decline in sales since Google adjusted its algorithm? This company has, and it is working hard to figure out ways to turn things around.

Google handles nearly two-thirds of all web searches. And in February, it took steps to overcome many of the content farms and link farms that big companies used to artificially boost their own rankings, at the expense of web users’ interest in finding useful and well-written content.

If you have noticed that your search rankings are falling and you’d like some help figuring it out, give us a call or drop us a line.

Connect Your Story to a Bigger Issue

You have a new product or service that you want to promote, one that needs a big splash to help generate early momentum for your company.

Well, how do you define big splash? Do you want to develop some print and/or broadcast ads? Not a bad idea to help create awareness.

What about a webinar to help define the business case for your new widget and put the spotlight on benefits experienced by early adopters? “Of course,” you say.

And direct marketing? Sure, you need to let your clients and prospects about your important news.

But don’t forget about the PR, which can help create buzz about your new product or service like nothing else.

For example, Microsoft is trying to promote the availability of its Windows Phone 7 smart phone. And the company has leveraged its PR arm to do so, but the PR message from Microsoft is designed to get people to think about bad phone behavior, not about its Windows Phone 7 smart phone.

Microsoft’s PR wonks hired Harris Interactive to help tell a story about bad phone etiquette, and to help its new customers to say NO to things like taking phone calls in public bathrooms and answering calls while at a funeral.

I love the idea, because the topic is obviously something everyone can relate to. Half of the people reading this probably saw their life flash before their eyes within the past week thanks to a distracted driver that was talking or texting instead of paying attention to the road.

PR should allow you to think outside the box and approach an idea from a different angle. This particular example also demonstrates how to effectively incorporate market research into your PR messages. Surveys can be your friend in PR.

While I won’t be rushing out to get a new Windows Phone 7 any time soon (my contract isn’t up for several months), I applaud Microsoft’s PR team for this idea and wish I saw more of it from business today.

All Eyes on You…

Things often slow down in summer, but not for us, or our clients. We’ve been piling up the good news and results, from securing a slot as a featured columnist with Examiner.com to exclusive planned features in targeted media outlets like TechDecisions for Insurance and The Business Ledger to meetings with industry analysts and consultants that are anxious to open doors for our clients.

But as our website says, we like to keep ‘all eyes on you’. Take a look at some of the things we’ve been up to recently:

Examiner.com—July 26, 2009

Supply & Demand Chain Executive – June 29, 2009

Industry Week – June 17, 1009

Wall Street Journal (front page) – June 4, 2009

Market Watch – May 1, 2009

Traditional Media Still Thrills the Customer (and Us)

I walked into the office today thinking about how good content can impact the lead generation process. And not just by generating more and better leads, but also by helping to manage demand through skillful nurturing and closing the loop with sales.

We here at PWMG often attack the initial lead generation process with PR (with great success), yet many clients and prospects still struggle with the idea of embracing the multitude of new media channels, from custom publishing to blogs, discussion groups, social networks and even Twitter.

Putting hard-earned resources into some of these newer media channels is a tough pill to swallow for a lot of companies today, despite the obvious writing on the wall: traditional media has fallen on hard times.

However, most traditional media outlets have embraced key components of social media, that is the peer-to-peer connection, by allowing their readers, listeners and viewers to immediately comment on nearly all published articles and broadcast segments.

We happened to secure an article for our client, Prime Advantage, in today’s Wall Street Journal, accomplished through our own skillful process of ‘nurturing and closing’ one of our targets – an editor at the WSJ. This article about United Airlines requesting bids on 150 new airplanes addressed the fact that today’s economy makes it a good time for United and other manufacturers to get their suppliers to commit to new orders at low prices. Here is a link to the piece: “United Plans Huge Jet Order“.

And in addition to thrilling our customer, we are also able to see how readers react to the story in real-time.

Is this real-time feedback providing our client with qualified leads? That is unlikely. But it does validate that people who participate in peer-to-peer communities most likely prefer educational content and unvarnished opinions over a straight sales pitch. And it puts the pressure on marketers like us to figure out how to best use social media for sales conversion.

In the meantime, we will bask in the glow of this success for our client and for our firm. After all, it’s not every day that a boutique agency can get its client on the front page of the Wall Street Journal.

Recession’s Golden Egg

Tom Peters, the management guru who wrote Thriving on Chaos, knows how to run a business in times of economic disarray. (Thriving on Chaos debuted on Black Monday in 1987.)

He was recently quoted in Inc. Magazine:

“Instant, mindless cutting of R&D or training or sales force travel in the face of a downturn is often counterproductive – or, rather, downright stupid. Tough times are in fact golden opportunities to get the drop, and the long-term drop at that, on those who respond to bad news by panicky across-the-board slash and burn tactics and moves that de-motivate and alienate the workforce at exactly the wrong moment.”

Now is the time to focus on R&D and training. New product design and development is a crucial factor to the survival of a company, and companies that are cutting back on these areas may not even make it to the upturn.

Peters’ statement really hits home with us, as well.

One of our clients, the manufacturer’s buying group Prime Advantage, has recently published results of its Group CFO Survey and its Group Outlook Survey. Among the interesting findings in each survey was the fact that midsized industrial manufacturers are continuing to invest in the future through R&D. (Are there many markets that have been hit harder than U.S. industrial manufacturing?) Yet, these companies that are forced to be conservative in the way they operate continue to prepare for the hopeful future:

“87 percent of survey respondents (of the 2009 Group Outlook Survey) will be introducing new products in 2009, while 70 percent have plans to introduce new products in 2010. This echoes findings from Prime Advantage’s Group CFO Survey published in January, as 31 percent of CFO respondents reported an increase of new product development budgets from 2008 levels with 17 percent of respondents predicting development of new products or services to meet new customer needs.”

At PWMG, we see the silver lining in the current economic crisis, and have used this opportunity to re-brand ourselves; to develop a new logo, website and refresh our positioning.  And we’ll be ready for the upturn, for sure. By opening themselves to new opportunities and ideas, companies will be more likely to break out of the routines that can easily turn into ruts, and in the process, they will be among the winners that also gladly seek out fresh ideas from hungry and savvy marketing consultants like us.

Our Clients Rock!!

  

We are proud of the results we achieve for our clients.  PWMG always tries to go above and beyond our clients’ expectations – but hey, that’s our job. 

We represent the best companies in their respective industries. TWO of our clients have received significant industry recognition in the Supply & Demand Chain Executive magazine’s “Pros to Know” feature:

Louise O’Sullivan, president and CEO of Prime Advantage, was recently recognized by Supply & Demand Chain Executive as a “Practitioner Pro to Know“.  The Practitioner Pros to Know is a listing of exceptional corporate executives at manufacturing and non-manufacturing enterprises that are demonstrating leadership during the current economic downturn by managing risk in the supply chain, providing competitive advantage and/or delivering value to the bottom line.

ArrowStream CEO and Chairman Steven LaVoie has been recognized by Supply & Demand Chain Executive Magazine as a “Provider Pro to Know”. The Provider Pros to Know is a listing of outstanding software and service providers, plus consultants, analysts and research specialists who have personally helped clients during the current economic downturn by helping them manage risk in the supply chain, provide competitive advantage and/or deliver value to the bottom line.

We have been keeping our client, Prime Advantage, a manufacturers’ buying consortium, very busy as of late.  In February, Prime Advantage released the results of its first Group CFO Survey, which revealed the top financial concerns of its member companies’ CFOs in 2009. The survey coverage has been referenced in IndustryWeek, Quality Magazine, and Manufacturing.net (to name a few). 

Be sure to look for Louise O’Sullivan, president and CEO of Prime Advantage, in an upcoming issue of Crain’s Chicago in the “Info Junkie” column!

Our clients provide exceptional products and services; we work hard to make sure the markets they serve know about it.