Decoding Technology Marketing

Here's to 15 More

Michele Bourdon Keeffe wrote this on Nov 23 / 0 comments

Michele Bourdon Keeffe sees the possibility in everyone, which is why she encourages both clients and employees to go past their comfort zone and push well beyond their own perceived limits.

For many of us, the holiday season is an opportunity to give thanks and reflect on what we’ve learned, and to show appreciation to those around us. It’s also BuzzBee’s anniversary, and this year it’s a milestone: 15 years. 15 years of great customers, great teamwork and great results. In celebration and reflection of this, the staff wanted a speech. I opted for a blog post instead.
Turns out, defining success is – and should be – really personal
The first thing I’ve learned about success is that defining it is personal. Every time in the past 15 years that I allowed my idea of success to be altered or I let my ego lead my personal intentions, the business has stumbled.
To me, success is the same today as it was when I first started BuzzBee:
  1. Truly understanding the pain of the clients. Being empathetic. Above all else, being helpful.
  2. Creating an environment where employees want to come to work every day. 
  3. Empowering people to change the world through technology.
Embrace and anticipate change
For our business, it’s essential to diversify the customer base to maintain consistent revenue. At one time our business was predominantly Microsoft. When the recession hit and Microsoft cut their budgets by 40% and our business fell off by, you guessed it, 40%. Today we manage our business so that no one company represents more than 20% of our revenue in any given quarter.
It’s essential to be really clear on our core competencies. If you can’t replicate it, and if you can’t do it as well or better than anyone else in the market, then you shouldn’t be doing it.
Keeping pace with innovation and modern marketing is a process. The industry moves quickly in many ways. Some of our customers want to try the latest marketing tactics and others want to stick with what’s worked for them. We need to serve both the innovators and the old school. It’s important to stay fresh while being considerate of our customers’ needs.
Bigger isn’t necessarily better. Growth can be exciting, but it can also take on a life of its own. I’ve learned that growth for the sake of growth won’t necessarily benefit our clients, nor will our employees be happier–or will we be more profitable. And personally, the larger we get the less involved I can be with clients, employees, and my family.
In a small company great people managers are GOLD. Small companies need managers who do more than just manage their teams. They need people who spend a lot of time with clients, but are also excited to roll up their sleeves and get work done.
Setting a simple, strong and well-articulated vision and mission serves a small company well. Can employees rally around it? Can clients connect to it? The key here is keeping it simple
Well there you have it. I hope this is useful and perhaps even helps guide you in making some of the decisions that all small business owners in this industry will have to make. It’s been a fantastic journey for all of us at BuzzBee. Thanks for being part of it, and for continuing to make it possible.
Happy holidays,
Michele Bourdon Keeffe

Don't be late to the party

Michele Bourdon Keeffe wrote this on Oct 29 / 0 comments

Michele Bourdon Keeffe sees the possibility in everyone, which is why she encourages both clients and employees to go past their comfort zone and push well beyond their own perceived limits.

As marketing evolves, so do the buzzwords.
For instance, modern marketers love talking about storytelling like it’s the key to unlocking customer engagement. But what is "storytelling"? What we really mean – and want to master – is persuasion, the ability to compel people. To change perception using words. To meet your objectives through story. 
Whether you’re chasing leads, revenue, downloads or impressions, you have an end game beyond telling stories. 
Are you doing the right things right to reach that end? Or are you just doing things? 
Are you practicing storytelling? Or story selling?
There’s only one way to know for sure: start at the beginning.
Sales, by nature, has been social forever – and a lot of modern marketers are late to the party. The first step to recovery is admitting it, but the second step is attending my party at Seattle Interactive Conference.
Late to the Party: Bridging the Gap in Modern Marketing
Wednesday November 4th | 1:30 - 2:20 pm
Room 101 (Washington State Convention Center)
See you at SIC,

WestJet Christmas Miracle -- The Best Social Marketing I’ve Seen

Michele Bourdon Keeffe wrote this on Dec 11 / 1 comment

Michele Bourdon Keeffe sees the possibility in everyone, which is why she encourages both clients and employees to go past their comfort zone and push well beyond their own perceived limits.

Hidden cameras, 150 team volunteers, three airports, a bit of technology and Christmas cheer.  WestJet Christmas Miracle has been viewed by more than 7 million people in less two days. I received at link in my inbox, on FaceBook, and Twitter.  I’ve seen colleagues sharing it with each other and people talking about it.  This is amazing advertising was done at a small fraction of the cost of creating ads and buying media.  And, WestJet is showing that they care about their customers and that they understand the stress of travelling during the holiday season.  They have brought back a bit of the Christmas magic for their customers and have shared it with the world. I want to fly WestJet now, don’t you?  

Technology marketing: Let’s talk about it

Michele Bourdon Keeffe wrote this on Feb 28 / 0 comments

Michele Bourdon Keeffe sees the possibility in everyone, which is why she encourages both clients and employees to go past their comfort zone and push well beyond their own perceived limits.

You know that technology marketing is complex. That it is unique. That it is challenging. You’ve been in the business for a while and you are seeing it evolve faster than ever. Or you’re just getting started and it often feels like you’ll never keep up with the change. You know that technology marketing is constantly moving forward and it won’t stop.
Although I’ve been working in technology marketing for nearly 25 years, both on the corporate and agency sides, I’m always seeking new insights and opportunities to share the ones I’ve uncovered.
In the world of technology marketing, we increasingly need to justify our positions. So if you are dealing with the challenges of marketing technology products or services within a large organization, managing an entire department within a midsized firm, or you are an agency professional who wants to make a greater impact, this information  will help you.
The very technology that we are marketing has made it possible for the C-suite to measure our value as a discipline and as professionals.  We have to continue to step up our game.
While you know the best practices of traditional marketing often apply, you also know that they just as often fall short. If that is what keeps you coming to work every day, and often keeps you up at night, then you are not alone. If you are like me, you live and breathe technology marketing and have searched the web for places to talk about our niche with little return. There just isn’t a lot out there. So let’s get something going here in this blog. Let’s talk about Technology Marketing. After all, we know that it’s our industry that is driving change in everyone’s lives. Let’s focus on our profession and on ourselves.
What difficult marketing challenges are you facing? Or, looking at it through a different lens, what will move your business forward? What do you really want to accomplish as individuals and for your company?  
Here are some things we should talk about:
  • How do you create valuable experiences that engage your customers?
  • How do you find new and exciting ways of bringing marketing ideas to life?
  • How do you tackle complex communications challenges that require new approaches? 
  • How do you make your technology product and service unique and meaningful?
  • How do you align marketing solutions with your business strategy?
  • How do you set your company apart from the competition?
  • How do you help transform your company’s marketing culture?
  • How do you justify your marketing spend?
You’ll be hearing from a variety of technology marketing experts in our blog throughout the year. Each brings their own unique experiences and perspectives with the common thread that runs throughout – sharing insights to help others navigate the complexities of marketing technology products and solutions.
I hope you’ll join us, engage in a conversation, and suggest topics for discussion.