Posted by: UNR EMBA | October 28, 2010

Conference update: SM@RT moves to 2011

Due to recent changes in our program we feel it is necessary to postpone the sm@rt conference until 2011. We appreciate everyone’s enthusiasm and hard work for the sm@rt conference during the past year. Please accept our apologies for this inconvenience.

Watch this blog and visit our Twitter and Facebook pages for 2011 conference updates, social media tips and interviews.

Posted by: UNR EMBA | October 22, 2010

Milena Regos on Tourism and Social Media

Milena Regos

Milena Regos

Sm@rt 2010 conference presenter and steering committee member Milena Regos is a marketing and social media professional specializing in the travel and tourism industry with award winning marketing campaigns recognized by the American Marketing Association, the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals, National Ski Area Association and Ski Area Management. She is passionately committed to remarkable marketing, relationship building, exceptional customer service and using Web 2.0 technology to communicate with customers. Learn more about Milena in this new audio interview:

Posted by: UNR EMBA | October 19, 2010

Interview with Mike Volpe of HubSpot

Mike Volpe

Mike Volpe

Mike Volpe is VP of Inbound Marketing at HubSpot, a marketing software company, where he leads the company’s lead generation and branding strategy through inbound marketing, including blogging, search engine optimization, video marketing, and social media. Mike is also one of our presenters at sm@rt this December.

Listen to Mike is this new audio interview with Clare Dreyer, our new Assistant Director of Management and Leadership Programs at Extended Studies, UNR.

Posted by: UNR EMBA | October 14, 2010

Interview with sm@rt conference presenter Alice Heiman

Alice Heiman

Alice Heiman

Alice Heiman is President and Chief Sales Officer for Alice Heiman, LLC,  a sales consulting firm she founded in 1997.  As a sales expert, Alice has found that networking – both traditional and social networking – can be one of the easiest and most effective ways for entrepreneurs and small businesses to increase sales – if done effectively.

Learn more about Alice in this audio interview and what she’ll be presenting at sm@rt this December.

Posted by: Jim McClenahan | October 11, 2010

Ethical, Targeted Community Building in Social Media

“If you build it, he will come,” the prophetic message of Field of Dreams may apply to baseball diamonds, but couldn’t be further from the truth when it comes to social media profiles. The fact is that even when you focus on building profiles only on those networks where your best prospects are gathered, you can’t expect your audience to come to you.

Keep in mind that your audience is already engaged in a conversation; as a lawyer delving into social media marketing, it’s up to you to join that conversation and build your network. In order to do so effectively, there are three things that you must consider:

  1. You must take the time to understand the dynamics of the group. If you’re networking on Twitter, don’t take it as a given that your friends or followers will read your legal blog unless you provide a relevant link within a tweet.
  2. Practicing ethical marketing is your responsibility. Avoid misrepresenting yourself or your firm while you focus on demonstrating the value your services offer.
  3. Make sure the time you allocate will be productive.

Neglecting either of these points will lead to – at the very least – not being taken seriously within the community. Simply broadcasting your message without interacting, not taking the time to build relationships, or being perceived as being unethical could lead to being “defriended” or blocked by your prospects. Any of these can have a negative impact on your credibility – meaning that instead of hitting a social media home run, your marketing efforts have struck out. Proceed with caution and common sense, and you’ll be on the right track toward social media success.

This post is authored by Todd Felts, one of the sm@rt conference organizers and originally appeared on the Closers Group blog,

Posted by: Jim McClenahan | October 5, 2010

Social Market Leadership – What’s Your Next Move?


David Nour

David Nour


This post is from David Nour, one of the SM@RT keynote speakers.

Social Market Leadership – What’s Your Next Move?

By David Nour, author – Relationship Economics®

I’m convinced, the longer you stay in the consulting business, the more you tend to see it all.  I actually had an executive tell me recently that he saw no value in social media, other than a waste of his already limited resources and that he had been there for over 30 years, so he must have done something right!  Needless to say, it was a very short meeting.

What he and many other executives don’t get is the fundamental shift in buying processes.  Prospective customers, distributors, manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, and stakeholders of many stripes know a lot more about you, your products and services, before they ever engage you!  If social networking is about your personal presence, and social media is a platform to extend your reach, social market leadership is about purpose.  As such, you’ll need both a defensive strategy (to protect your brand), as well as an offensive approach (take your message to the market) toward driving growth opportunities.  By the way, the last time I checked, you cannot score and win, playing defense alone.

So, why does the executive above fear exploring this new medium?  I refer to it as the “cozy complacent syndrome;” and it’s more of a mindset challenge than anything else.  No one ever gets fired if they hire IBM, execute a strategy McKinsey recommends, or become a “fast follower.”  The comfort in cozy complacent syndrome is that they’ll allow others to take the innovation risk and think that they can swoop in, copy their ideas and still end up winning the race!

Here are five reasons a “fast follower” strategy is a losing proposition when it comes to social market leadership:

  1. You start by taking a reactive posture! As a fast follower, you’re intentionally sitting back to see what the rest of the market does.  Your ideas, processes, and operation are trained to react.  You have abdicated any real vision to uncover new opportunities – how’s that working out for you so far?  And by the way, how will you ever attract, world-class “A-players” when you’re positioning yourself as always letting others explore innovative ideas?  Without forward thinking people, processes, and operations, when the disruption comes – and make no mistake about it, social media is disruptive – you won’t have the internal capabilities to respond!
  2. You need a highly optimized decision-making and new product development and launch practice in the world! As a fast follower, given the incredibly fast-paced nature of social media (I’m humbled by what I learn in this space on a daily basis), you’ll need the infrastructure to decide exactly when to enter the market with a social media campaign, re-engineer or re-architect a competitor’s campaign in a way that the target customers view them as indistinguishable.  And, still drive the marketing gravity / pull from your efforts.  In the digital relationship maturity model, to go from doing nothing to reactive, and cross the proverbial chasm to proactive, predictive, and visionary, there are pioneers, slow followers, and laggards, but I’ve yet to meet a successful “fast follower.”
  3. You’ll need a lengthy social market leadership strategy cycle. As a fast follower, you’ll need time to gear up, copy the innovators and get a strategy, a roadmap, and a campaign put together before the onslaught of competition do the same.  Not to mention actually building, nurturing and turning digital relationships into revenues and profits before the window of opportunity deteriorates.  While this kind of thinking may have been successful in the past, the pace of change and speed of doing business direct (online) has increased to the point where product / service cycles are much shorter and influencer marketing today, wins market share tomorrow.
  4. You’ll need the right people to follow! As a fast follower, you’ll need to listen to the right people online, follow their every move, and hope like mad that the firm has good insights.  And revenues / results today are actually lagging indicators of past sales and marketing success, so the results you see today may in fact be dramatically different than what lies ahead.  Imagine following Wang or DEC computers in the 80s, or even the mighty Apple in the 90s – before the iPod.  These market leaders suffered great losses, and while Wang and DEC never recovered, Apple only did so due to consumer electronics not computers.  So, for everyone following Sony with the Walkman and the Discman, how did that fast follower strategy work for you?  Social market leadership requires the same agility to move quickly, and learn from it for the next campaign, if a particular approach doesn’t yield the desired results.
  5. You’ll need to change the view. I remember seeing a poster years ago when I was at Silicon Graphics (SGI – another market leader who went off the cliff) of a dog sled them which read “If you’re not the lead dog, the view never changes.”  Innovators are constantly in the front exploring new views of uncharted market opportunities.  I often ask prospective clients, what’s the “iPod” of their industry and when they struggle to respond, it’s a tell-tell sign that innovation, although a desired trait, may not be part of the organization’s DNA.  Becoming the next anything is really boring – even Google, a market innovator, was just the next Yahoo.

When it comes to social market leadership, it’s time to leave the cozy complacent mindset and become the “first something.”  What’s your next move?

© 2010 The Nour Group, Inc.  All Right Reserved.

David Nour is the thought leader on Relationship Economics® – the quantifiable value of business relationships.  In a global economy that is becoming increasingly disconnected, The Nour Group, Inc. has attracted consulting clients such as KPMG, Siemens, Alvarez & Marsal, HP, and over 100 marquee organizations in driving unprecedented growth through unique return on their strategic relationships.  Nour has pioneered the phenomenon that relationships are the greatest off balance sheet asset any organizations possesses, large and small, public and private.

Nour is the author of several books including the best selling Relationship Economics (Wiley), ConnectAbility (McGraw-Hill), The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Raising Capital (Praeger) and the Social Networking Technology Best Practices Series.  He is currently writing his forthcoming book: Listen Louder – how to build strategic digital relationships to fuel enterprise growth. To learn more, please visit: www.relationshipeconomics.NET or call 1-888-339-1333.

Posted by: Jim McClenahan | September 30, 2010

Social Media: Make sure you can stand behind what you say


Allan Colman

Allan Colman


This post is from Allan Colman, one of our featured breakout speakers at sm@rt.

Social networking sites enjoy some protection under the law when it comes to receiving immunity (or at least legal consideration) from people or organizations that are harmed by content that is posted on their networks. But while Facebook execs can sleep more easily at night knowing that they aren’t likely to be dragged into court for what someone says on their site, people who use social media sites don’t get that same protection.

When you’re posting a message to a social media site–especially a message that might be particularly spirited or opinionated–be sure to give yourself a reality check for potentially defamatory statements or other types of content that may cause you issues. And don’t think that you can slide a quick post up and then delete it if you change your mind in a few moments-unlike other mediums, the Internet has a long memory, even for those things you may like to forget or regret you’ve ever said.

Posted by: milenaregos | September 30, 2010

SMART your marketing and social media


Milena Regos

Milena Regos


I love to travel. One day on a trip to Thailand I found myself reading the New York Times newspaper at a lovely cafe on Koh Phangan island (very well known for its full moon parties).  While enjoying the sunshine, I ran across an article on how to be SMART in business and in marketing. It’s an easy concept yet vital to the success of every marketing effort. It’s learning to set SMART objectives for what you are going to do and being able to measure them. SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely. (SMART also stands for Social Media at Reno Tahoe). Wikipedia gives good description of SMART, SMARTER (SMART plus Evaluate and Re-Evaluate) as well as DUMB (Doable, Understandable, Manageable and Beneficial) objectives but it this post I’ll concentrate on SMART only.

S – Specific.

Specific objectives are clear and well-defined. Create a specific objective in your marketing or social media that explains to the entire team what the purpose is. A specific social media objective could be gain 1,000 valuable fans on Facebook or create a social media strategy in 3 months.

M – Measurable.

You can only manage and improve what you can measure. Is your SMART objective measurable. If your objective is to have 1,000 new Facebook fans, then you will know exactly where you stand on a daily basis and can make changes to your plan based on your outcome.

A – Achievable.

Don’t set goals for yourself and your team that are not realistic. You will get disappointed and struggle with motivating your people. A good objective is one that is achievable. Be realistic. Take small steps. When venturing on social media for your brand, don’t jump on all social networks at once and expect to build a community. Be patient. It takes a long time to establish relationships. If your 1,000 new Facebook likes is not achievable maybe you should lower your goal to 500. Achievable also deals with making sure all tools and resources are available for the objective to be accomplished. If you lack in resources, skills or people then your objective will suffer.

R – Relevant.

Social media should not be treated as its own medium. Your objectives need to align with your overall business and marketing goals. Having 1,000 new Facebook fans is a specific objective but how does that relate to your marketing goal of improving customer service or to your business objective of increasing revenue. Make sure your social media objectives tie into your entire marketing communication strategy. A relevant objective should be connected to the overall goal of the company.

T – Timely.

Setting deadlines to each objective with help with making sure they are being completed. For example, get 1,000 new Facebook likes by Nov 1 is much more specific objective than simply trying to reach 1,000 new likes. Now you have an objective you could really measure.

Use SMART goals for your business, marketing and social media plans. I highly recommend you become SMARTER with your social media efforts. See what works, evaluate your plan and change your strategy as needed.

SMART is a simple concept that is easy to implement and follow. I’m sure that some of you are already using it. Leave a comment and let me know how it’s working for you. And if you have a chance, visit Thailand one day – beautiful people and amazing country.

Posted by: Christine Adams | September 14, 2010

Introducing SM@RT 2010 Presenter, Esteban Kolsky

Esteban Kolsky will be presenting at SM@RT 2010 this December and we are extremely pleased that he is part of our line-up! He is the Principal and Founder of ThinkJar, an advisory and research think-tank focused on customer strategies. He has over 22 years of experience in customer service and CRM consulting, research, and advisory services. Mr. Kolsky is currently advising vendors and organizations on how to extend customer interactions from the CRM niche, to the entire organization, in their efforts to become Social Businesses. You may find more information about Esteban at his blog site on CRM Intelligence and Strategy.

You are not going to want to miss Esteban Kolsky speak this December at SM@RT 2010! Register NOW and receive a pre-conference webinar by our keynote speaker, David Nour as part of your early registration.

Posted by: Christine Adams | September 13, 2010

Introducing SM@RT 2010 Presenter, Joe Pulizzi

We are very happy to introduce to you another one of our dynamic speakers, Joe Pulizzi who is an author, speaker and strategist for content marketing. He is the founder of the client-vendor matching site, Junta 42. Joe is also co-author of the book, Get Content, Get Customers, which is receiving rave reviews. He has been awarded the title of Custom Media Innovator of the Year by American Business and Voted Who’s Who in Business Media by BtoB Magazine. Joe also writes one of the most popular content marketing blogs in the world. Currently, Joe serves as the chief content officer for Junta 42 in addition to being President of Z Squared Media LLC, Junta42’s parent company.

You are not going to want to miss Joe Pulizzi this December at SM@RT 2010! Register NOW and receive a pre-conference webinar by keynote speaker, David Nour as part of your early registration. See you soon at SM@RT 2010!

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