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Author Archives: Dawn Westerberg

But You Can’t Use That…

But You Can’t Use That…

But You Can’t Use That…Reviews are, for the most part, pure potent content. Reviews mostly tell the unvarnished truth. Compare that to the copy that most businesses post to their websites – little more than jargon goulash.

Rumor has it that reviews help to boost search rankings of your business or products. The Google algorithm is designed to try to serve up the most relevant and helpful content to search inquiries. And it makes a lot of sense that reviews meet the “relevant and helpful” requirement.

But in the B2B world, reviews aren’t as commonplace as they are in the B2C world. Just this morning I read this in the eMarketer Daily

Amazon Dependent: New data from Feedvisor found that checking Amazon is becoming a regular part of shoppers’ behavior. The firm reported that 85% of Amazon Prime members visit the platform at least weekly. And that figure was 56% among non-Prime members. In addition, the survey found 79% of Amazon shoppers trusted the service above all others for shipping, and nearly half of customers (47%) had shopped on Amazon via mobile device.

It occurred to me that I visit Amazon several times a week – and what I do on those visits is search for a product and then read the reviews.  For example, I was thinking about getting a lamp.  I went out to Amazon to read reviews on the lamp.  Which lamp has the most reviews?  It could be any possible purchase I’m looking to make.  What is the mix of reviews – how many 5-star, how many 4-star, etc.?  Is there any helpful information in the review, for example, “these shoes run a bit narrow” or “the assembly is rather complicated” or “while it worked initially, the gizmo is poorly assembled and broke after six uses.”

I’m also an avid reader of Google, Yelp and other reviews.  How about you?  But back to B2Bs…

Currently, B2Bs rely on testimonials and case studies instead of reviews (though I think in time reviews will become part of the B2B landscape).

I write case studies. I’ve interviewed people who have told me the most amazing things – the REAL benefit of using a particular product or service – only to quickly say, “but you can’t use that…”

You see, they don’t want to put the organization in a bad light. They don’t want to be the one who shares the fact that the company had made a big mistake or a series of mistakes or fell victim to the fallacy of sunk costs. Yes, they had corrected the mistake, and they are doing much better now – but they didn’t want to admit that a mistake has ever been made.

Do nothing to suggest that the organization, management teams, former employees, current employees, the board – no one had ever made a mistake. It’s just been one long ride of continuous improvement and one uninterrupted streak of good decisions.

Not only is it unbelievable, it makes for a very boring read.

The truth is so compelling. Missteps and suffering are familiar, daily occurrences for us mere mortals. Acknowledgement of the flaws, an un-neutered description of circumstances – these are the things the capture our attention.

I wrote an eBook for one of my clients that takes “But You Can’t Use That…” real situations, camouflages the sources, and transports them to the realm of fiction in order to tell the truth. Paradox? Irony? I think so.

DCPA17 Keynote AI Making Things Smarter

DCPA17 Keynote AI Making Things Smarter: Leon Katsnelson, self described CTO, Entrepreneur, Big Data junkie, Data Science innovator, Cloud, Blockchain curious, Mentor, Educator, and Speaker took the stage at DCPA17 to discuss ‘AI and what it means for CPAs’. DCPA17 Keynote AI Making Things Smarter Demonstrating where AI was already making an impact in productsContinue Reading

Cloud Serves as the Gateway to Emerging Technology

Cloud Serves as the Gateway to Emerging Technology

I wrote a special report for Nonprofit Technology News. I spoke with executives from the major nonprofit accounting solution publishers to get their take on which technologies are likely to show up in an accounting department near you. Cloud Serves as the Gateway to Emerging Technology What is most likely the new next thing inContinue Reading

Referrals – The #1 Marketing Action That Will Make 2018 a Success for Your Business

Referrals – The #1 Marketing Action That Will Make 2018 a Success for Your Business

Most everyone is at least thinking about their 2018 business plan. What will be the key marketing activities you will rely on to make 2018 a more profitable year? As you list these activities is there a creeping sense of déjà vu? You’ve dutifully made marketing plans in the past, but the business gets inContinue Reading

How to Grab the Attention of Your B2B Prospects? Relieve the Pain.

It takes about seven impressions for your brand to have any sort of mindshare with your ideal prospects.  That’s what the late Jay Conrad Levinson stated in a keynote I attended a number of years ago.  He followed up that statement with “but you have to recognize that two out of three times they’re notContinue Reading

Endowment Accounting Survey Should Raise Some Eyebrows

Endowment Accounting Survey Should Raise Some Eyebrows

More and more nonprofits are looking to endowments as a means to diversify their sources of funding. Endowments have long been a favorite funding tool for institutions of higher learning. Whether a nonprofit is new to endowment management or has been managing endowments for decades, a recent survey commissioned by AccuFund and conducted by Nonprofit-PROContinue Reading

Why Nonprofits Need to Invest in Fund Accounting Technology

Why Nonprofits Need to Invest in Fund Accounting Technology

When applying for grants, all nonprofits face fierce competition. A recent survey of nonprofit executives reported that a major concern among nonprofit leaders was the concurrent increase in demand for nonprofit services and decrease in available funds for services. Accelerate Grants for fund accounting are available in 2015 Simply put – fewer grants means heightenedContinue Reading

Renewable Referrals on Duct Tape Marketing Podcast

It was fun to sit down with John Jantsch and talk about referrals.  John was kind enough to have me, and co-authors Kelly Weppler and Rosie Taylor as guests on his weekly podcast. You can listen to the podcast here. How healthy is your channel of referral partners? In the big picture of lead generation,Continue Reading

Renewable Referrals now available on Amazon

The book has been published!  It’s available on amazon.com. If you’d like a better blueprint for a lucrative source of referrals than say, asking each of your customers for three names, then you’ll benefit from Renewable Referrals. I’m honored to report that John Jantsch, author of The Referral Engine, The Commitment Engine, Duct Tape SalesContinue Reading

B2B Website Design 7 Tips and Warnings

For successful B2Bs, the hub of their marketing should be their website. All of your marketing efforts – inbound and outbound, direct mail and email, social media, etc. – should be driving traffic to your website. That means you website should provide a good visitor experience, should have visible calls to action, and should beContinue Reading