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1 How Working Collectively Can Create a Better Customer Experience

Today’s Guest Post is by Duct Tape Marketing Consultant, Jamie Patterson-Kaulmann – Enjoy! 

via PhotoPin

via PhotoPin

The concept of the Marketing Hourglass is ubiquitous in the marketing world. An improvement on the traditional marketing funnel, it expands the traditional funnel by adding a back half to the equation and putting the focus of marketing on the total customer experience. In the same way that John has introduced the Marketing Hourglass as a systematic way to improve your customers’ experiences, he has also advocated for focus on strategic partnerships as a way to add additional value to your customer.

Today I’d like to talk to you about the power of collectives and how not only projectizing your organization around collective knowledge and your strategic partnerships, but how actually forming strategic networks can add exponential value for everyone involved. There are several ways you can leverage the power of your network to provide increased value to your customers by working with partners to increase their knowledge, provide them additional services and create projects around their needs.

Leverage collective knowledge

One place to start is by looking within your network or extended network for anyone who could augment your expertise. Look for people with whom your combined expertise could add value across functions and disciplines in areas where you might not personally be an expert. An example of this would be a former executive at a company I once worked. Bob Stangarone recently formed an agency Stangarone and Associates, a powerhouse of Aviation Industry experts who collectively provide value across all disciplines and knowledge areas of the industry.

The Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network is another prime example of a network of independent companies working together to provide collective value to the market. We frequently work together and share experience to provide added value to our customers. The beauty of this type of network is that any customer who engages with one network consultant gains access to the collective knowledge of 80+ other marketing consultants in the network.

Form a collective network

Work on becoming a super connector. By looking at your network differently and placing a priority on finding opportunities to bring people together who can add value to each other and who might not have had the opportunity to work together otherwise, you become even more valuable to your entire network. This is especially true when the parties you bring together might have seen each other as competition previously, and you help them see how they can actually add more value to the market together than was possible independently. If you need some inspiration, look to the following examples as guides.

Collective entrepreneurship is epitomized in female entrepreneur Lisa Chuma, who created the Women’s Expo shortly after immigrating to Switzerland. Her Expo allows women business owners to present their products and services to the Swiss population, but her guidance and leadership has created an environment where many of the women now work together to provide enhanced packages and services. This not only has the added value of providing better products and services to the market, it has increased the respective customer bases of everyone in this network.

Unity Mark, a fellow Duct Tape Marketing Consultant, is another example. Their UnityMark project is a social directory platform that allows non-profits and cause-based projects to develop powerful online profiles so that the real story behind their cause can be heard, found and shared. It is a place where businesses, consumers, and causes can connect, communicate and support each other.

And lastly, www.addictlab.com is a platform in existence for almost two decades which encourages sponsors, members, and clients to come together from anywhere in the world to collaborate on innovation co-creation projects. They have recently launched www.yourownlab.com, a platform where you can create your own innovation lab for creative collaboration.

When looking to build a collective network, think of yourselves as a neural network. In a neural network, not all neurons are firing all the time; they only fire when they are needed for delivery of the task at hand. By forming such a multi-disciplinary, comprehensive network and bringing together your respective communities into a larger community, you provide more people with the power to collaborate, increase ideas and provide a value far greater than what would have been achieved independently.

Patterson-Kaulmann Jamie 2 (1)Jamie Patterson-Kaulmann is the founder of Alight Business Solutions GbmH, dedicated to helping mission-driven small businesses implement systematic, workable agile and marketing solutions. Jamie is a Certified Duct Tape Marketing Consultant and a PMI certified PMP. A displaced Kansan, she currently resides in Switzerland with her husband and daughter. For more articles like this, visit the Alight Business Solutions blog or connect via LinkedIn.

4 What is Duct Tape Marketing?

More than anything Duct Tape Marketing is an idea that started with the belief that marketing is a system and in order to operate that system there must be a very clear point of view about how to build a remarkable business.

I started my little marketing adventure over 20 years ago as a traditional marketing agency and soon found that I loved to help small business owners, but I just couldn’t do it with the model I saw everyone else struggling to use.

So I decided that what I needed, and ultimately what the world needed, was a turnkey system for installing marketing in a small business regardless of industry or size. It was an audacious idea at the time and it still is today.

What I believed is that there was a way to deliver marketing services where you could walk into a business and state – This is what I’m going to do, this is what you’re going to do, here are the results you expect and here’s what it’s going to cost.

I took that simple idea and belief and created what has become known in some circles as one of the most respected small business brands in the world

Today Duct Tape Marketing is a publisher – we produce practical content in the form of a highly read blog, a long running podcast, weekly email newsletter and columns for organizations such American Express Open Forum, Verizon, and Dun & Bradstreet.

We have published two best selling books, Duct Tape Marketing and The Referral Engine and will release a third, more management oriented book, The Commitment Engine, in fall 2012.

Duct Tape Marketing is a brand partner – We are often called upon to produce sponsored content, syndicated and cobranded eBooks, training, channel marketing programs and consulting – for brands such as HP, Dell, UPS, FedEx Office, Sage Software and Microsoft.

We bring the message of marketing as a system to tens of thousands of small business owners and marketers around the world through keynote speeches, seminars and workshops for associations, trade groups, customer groups, chambers of commerce and in numerous conferences related to small business and marketing each year.

Our commentary is frequently sourced by publications such as CNNMoney, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, and the Wall Street Journal as well as industry publications.

Duct Tape Marketing is a small business marketing system that takes the form of an online training program including video lessons, workbooks, forms, examples and resources packaged to help businesses build marketing action plans to elevate their business.

Duct Tape Marketing is a network of independent marketing consultants that choose to license the Duct Tape Marketing methodology as a framework for building a marketing consulting practice. This select group works with small to mid sized businesses around the world installing the Duct Tape Marketing system.

Ultimately helping small business owners realize the full potential of what their business can offer is how our higher purpose is served, it’s why we do so much of what we do and it’s our hope that you find a way to access our content, our community and perhaps even our mission as your business grows and evolves.