I was emailed a copy this morning, and its well worth a read if you’re interested in figuring out how to get your business talking to (and more importantly, listening to) the customers you have online. It covers lots of material including Search Engine Optimisation & Marketing, the use of Facebook advertising (which was a new area to me), and the various tools that help you to hear what customers are saying about your products or services online. There are lots of companies whose service would benefit with setting up some Google Alerts or a Twitter search on their company name.
Coming from a different angle, Iarfhlaith posted his analysis of his Real World Networking for 2008 today, which shows where all his business came from for the year. He reckons that Referrals have been the key to new business.
Two things strike me about these two posts:
1. Damien’s document is about implementing a strategy for communicating and developing relationships with customers & users online; while Iarfhlaith’s post highlights the value of relationships in bringing in new business. Not a coincidence.
2. The openness of both. It’s unusual for businesses to disclose where their business comes from; and its more unusual for a company that offers training to freely offer its materials to anyone that wants them. Even in universities, where training is not being sold (directly), learning materials are often hidden away in systems such as Blackboard. Free distribution & openness of information has worked as a business model within Open Source Software, so why not for materials of other types of knowledge-based business?