EdSurge ImmersionNYC: My Take

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I attended EdSurge ImmersionNYC this past Friday. The event was designed for EdTech startups that are looking for Advice in the areas of Marketing, K-12 Sales, Scaling Up and Exiting. Attendees had the opportunity to hear from leaders at Various Education organizations ranging from CEOs, Founders, School Superintendents, and Venture Capitalists.

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I enjoyed the presentation provided by Brett van Zuiden of Clever. In his presentation, he reminds us to think of users when designing products versus the way we would use a product.

He reinforced the idea that great product design cannot happen without truly understanding our customers.

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There were also great lessons shared by Betsy Corcoran of EdSurge, Joe Holland of Teachers Pay Teachers and Charles Best of DonorsChoose.Org.

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Attendees had the opportunity to take three Clinics led by experts in Sales, Marketing, Scaling up and Exiting. I enjoyed the clinics because they were customized and led by experts.

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The clinics that were most relevant to me, were two clinics on Marketing and one on Selling to K-12 school districts. I was able to meet and connect with many great entrepreneurs in the clinics. We received advice that was customized and actionable.

There were also many opportunities to network throughout the event.

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EdSurge also announced the upcoming launch of its new service called EdSurgeIntelligence.

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The services will apply a fresh approach to market intelligence and learning for investors and executives. EdSurgeIntelligence will allow users to analyze trends from early childhood through higher ed, the workforce and more.

I want to thank the EdSurge Team for having me at Edsurge ImmersionNYC.

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It was a great event.

5 Key Strategies from Digital Marketing World Forum 2019

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I covered the Digital Marketing World Forum in New York this past week.

There were great discussions on Digital and Social Marketing. The topics ranged from the customer journey, customer experience, customer retention, personalization, using data, and privacy legislation.

My key insights were:

1. To improve customer retention, brands need to understand their customers to personalize their experiences across all touchpoints. Marketers from different verticals shared how they were able to improve customer loyalty and retention by personalizing and creating customer experiences across all touchpoints.

2. Many times, customer data tells a story that contradicts preconceived hunches and opinions. Marketers from T-Moblie and Decoded found this out when they marketed Cell Phone plans to the 55+ community.

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3. Marketers have the tools to better understand their customers and to track the results of their efforts faster than ever before. These tools empower marketers to improve the customer journey and experience. With this power comes the obligation to better serve their customers and to quickly pivot when their tactics and strategies are not effective. Marketers with different products and services shared their stories and strategies

4. Companies that are going to use Chatbots to serve customers need to train Chatbots to handle complex requests from customers. Chatbots should not be used to answer questions like the hours of a store or simple information that can be obtained from a website.

5. Privacy Legislation similar to GDPR is coming to the United States. Laws in California and Nevada are being enacted in 2020. OneTrust shared how Marketers can prepare and comply with the Californa Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).

What is the next trend in Marketing?

Comment and share below.

Additional Pictures can be found here.

How Voice Tech is Innovating Marketing & The Customer Experience

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I covered Voice Summit last week at NJIT in Newark, New Jersey. Voice Summit is the largest voice tech conference that brings the conversational design ecosystem together in one place.

Last year was the first Voice Summit. It was amazing to see how the industry has advanced in the past year. This year, the conference grew to over 5,000 attendees!

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Voice Summit was a great place to network. Many Voice Startups demoed their offerings as well.

Founder Pete Erikson shares the story of Voice in the opening press conference. Pete shared the podium with Voice industry leaders and Newark Civic Leadership.

The conversation in Voice has shifted from should brands have a Voice Strategy to how to effectively incorporate voice technology across the organization. Attendees had opportunities to attend hands-on voice workshops on topics ranging from creating brand guidelines to building a voice strategy from the ground up. I took the Voice strategy workshop conducted by Brett Kinsella of VoiceBot.Ai. We received a workbook that had questions that served as building blocks to build our voice strategy.

I had was able to get a look at the Expo Floor where I was able to meet exhibitors and explore the Amazon Smart Home. It was amazing to see how voice technology has transformed the home experience. In this video, I was able to ask Alexa to play Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and to play music, etc.

Marketers have many opportunities with Voice and Audio Content according to Voices.com research. Content takes the form of short and long-form ranging from Flash Briefings up to Audiobooks.

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However, when it comes to smart speakers only, 18% of users discover skills from brand advertising according to Vixen Labs.

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Brands need to prepare to change their Marketing and Advertising for Voice. A panel shared their thoughts on how to improve how to achieve this aim.

Edison Research and NPR conducted market research on the topic of smart speaker customer behavior. The number of smart speakers in U.S. homes grew 78% from December of 2017 to December. The research packed with data you can see here.

Brett Kinsella led a panel where Marketers shared how they have developed and implemented their strategy for Voice.

Steve Keller of Pandora shared his thoughts on the topic of Sonic Branding and Sound Business.

On a side note, NJIT was nice enough to provide me with a tour of the start-up incubator and co-working space opening this September. I was able to see areas being built from the ground up just as startups are.

I also was able to see the Alexa Cup which is Amazon’s initiative to pair Marketers and developers to work on projects such as Female Empowerment and Mental Health.

What touched me on a human level was the closing keynote entitled “A journey through a deaf developer’s eyes.” In this keynote, Thomas Chappell of Prudential shared his story. Thomas is unable to speak.

After his talk, I was able to meet him. People communicate with him using Voice to speech technology and American Sign language. I was able to use the technology on a smartphone to have a full conversation with him.

Voice Summit was an amazing conference. I want to thank Pete Erikson, the Modev Team, NJIT, the City of Newark, and the State of New Jersey for having me as their guest.

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Start Ups, Shark Tank, Tech & Innovation Intersect at TechDay NY

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I covered TechDay in New York City at the Jacob Javits Center this past Friday. TechDay gives attendees the opportunity to discover the latest technologies and innovate startups.

Organizers of the event offered the opportunity to: network with Venture Capitalists, Accelerators listen to Tech Talks, Fireside chats and pitch your Start up. Attendees also can look for a job or business opportunity with exhibitors and start ups. Entrepreneurs even had the opportunity to audition for SharkTank.

I took a longer walk through at TechDay here.

Companies that pitched were from all different industries. You can watch the pitches here courtesy of TechDay

I really enjoyed the event. Did you attend? What are your thoughts on TechDay NY? Comment and share below.

If you were not in New York, TechDay is coming to Los Angeles and London later in the year.

If you were not in New York, TechDay is coming to Los Angeles and London later in the year.

I really enjoyed the event. Did you attend? What are your thoughts on TechDay NY?

Comment and share below.

New Jersey Innovation in Action at Venture Conference

I had the privilege of covering the Venture Conference in Newark, NJ this past Thursday.

James Barrood, President of the NJ Tech Council opened the conference.

The conference was held at NJIT; a school that prides itself on preparing its student for STEM careers.

NJIT is helping to innovate New Jersey. NJIT President Joel Bloom discussed this in his keynote address.

The conference was run by the NJ Tech Council.

The council’s mission is to: collectively representing tech, life science and tech-related companies and organizations as well as the professional firms that support them, the Tech Council has the unique ability to:

  1. Offer opportunities to learn, network and grow
  2. Recognize and promote member companies and their leadership
  3. Nurture the tech and STEM talent pipeline critical to growth
  4. Provide access to financing sources and additional resources
  5. Advocate and support public policy which strengthens our ecosystem

Founded in 1996, the Council is a private, nonprofit membership organization, which supports the tech, innovation, and entrepreneurial ecosystems across the state and region. It is among the largest and most respected trade organizations of its kind nationwide.

The focus of the event was to help New Jersey startups grow and raise funds. Startups pitched their businesses and asked for funding.

There were two rounds of pitches along with networking opportunities. The startups that pitched represent industries such as but not limited to: EdTech, E-Learning, Healthcare, Sports Betting and esports.

Round 1 included

Scriptertainment
Wapanda
LifeCuff Technologies Inc.
QwikScript
Boxcar
Upside Health
teliapp
SiLAS
eCare21, Inc
VibeGather, LLC
TrueConnect Systems, Inc
Krow Network
WearWorks
MARCo Technologies LLC
Lambent Data
Life Skill Software
OculoMotor Technologies
Sporttrade
TLCengine
SRL Group
Ribbit.io
Nutrivide
MedifVu, LLC
Totally Pregnant

Round 2 Included

PeerChecked, Inc.
Datafy
Medality Medical
Smirta Innovations Inc.
Vikar Technologies
Malbek
Verstill
Commerce Blitz, LLC.
PlayDate
XPEED Turbine Technology
Pochette, LLC
Genomic Prediction
Pullup Technologies
ROAR for Good
Indie Art World
Elemeno Health
Bloqcube
Caregiver Smart Solutions
MYXR Events Corp.
Paratrees
Speak2 Software
Gamefuly
Entractiv
Quintrix

More information can be found here.

You could feel the energy and excitement in the air as I was able to speak with 48 innovate startups.

I really enjoyed the keynote speech by the FanDuel EVP & Head of Strategy David Van Egmond.

In the speech, he discussed how he helped FanDuel grow and succeed. He also discussed the industry of online sports betting and esports; both are growth industries. These industries are legal in New Jersey and serve as a great source of revenue for the state.

It was a great event. I want to thank the NJ Tech Council for allowing me to cover the conference.

Standing Tall in the Face of Rejection

Dealing with rejection in Sales, Marketing, Business, Job Search and Life is rough. I have experienced rejection in various aspects of life. It is important to not take rejection personally. When you are rejected in job search and career; remember that it applies to the specific situation, position, promotion, transfer but not you as a person. This also applies in Marketing when your ideas, products and services are not accepted by the market. When facing rejection, it important to learn from the experience, pivot and not quit. The only way you are defeated is if you quit and stop trying.

Here is a poem entitled Don’t Quit that I have turned to for inspiration.

How to Conquer Rejection in Sales

To achieve Sales, success, the seller needs to be willing to persevere, through rejection. I remember my time in outside sales in New York City. I would make a lot of cold calls or try to up-sell or cross-sell products to existing customers. I remember days in the field when the answer I received was some form of no. Sometimes no matter how perfectly we execute the sales process, the answer is going to be no.

Many people would think to themselves I can’t take this rejection I should just quit. Well their right at least in the short-term. After you have made five or six sales calls with no results, take a short break. Take a walk and do some deep breathing. Try to remember that it is your offering that is being turned down and not you! Unless the prospect says “I hate this guy”. This happened to me on one occasion.

You should take a short break after being rejected for the following reasons:

1. At this point in your call plan you are probably frustrated and are not thinking clearly. This will ruin any chances of making sales for the rest of the day.

2. Taking a break allows you to vent and refocus.

3. Reflect on past successes you’ve had. Remember, you have made sales before and you can do it again!

After you have cooled off, try to think over the last calls that you have made. Reflect on what went well and what did not. Take this information and go on to your next calls with a positive attitude as if nothing has happened. Remember, your prospect does not care about how your day is going.

During my time in Outside Sales, I would have to call on certain prospects as many as 10 or 12 times before I could make a sale. In terms of cross-selling and up-selling, you have to build relationships with your customers. It is not going to happen over-night. This is true when you are selling items that require a large investment from your customers or prospects.

Some of my biggest sales successes have come during my last few calls of the day. When you feel spent, take a short break and then keep going. You never know when you are going to get a yes. If you quit; the answer is always no. Remember, always ask for the order. I was cursed at and thrown out of buildings; if I could keep going so can you!

How have you have you persevered when you were rejected in Sales, Marketing, Business, Job Search and life?

Share your story below.

About the Author

Dan is passionate about using Marketing to help businesses drive sales. HubSpot Certified in Inbound Marketing, Dan has worked on various marketing assignments including Start Ups, a Political Campaign and a Digital Marketing Conference.

Prior to teaching, Dan served customers as an Outside Sales and Marketing Rep in NYC. In this role, he taught and trained Dentists on the company’s products and services using a consultative selling approach combined with direct marketing. He also supported the company’s marketing efforts at industry trade shows.

He writes and publishes a business blog on the topics of Sales, Marketing and Social Media entitled Sales, Marketing & Social Media Today; which has grown to 24,000+ followers on LinkedIn and 21,000+ on WordPress.

Dan is seeking a full-time role in Marketing. He is willing to create and build out the Marketing function of your organization if it does not exist. If your company is hiring for roles in these areas, contact him directly via a free LinkedIn Message or email him at Dan@DanGalante.com to set up interviews.

 

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Seth Godin’s This is Marketing: What it Means for Brands

Seth Godin’s new book This is Marketing sums up the lessons of his previous books.

In the past Marketing was Advertising. Many Brands and businesses used to buy ads to interrupt prospects in the hope that people would buy. However, with so many media channels, the advertising of yesterday has lost its effect.

What this means for Marketers is that they need to build trust, engagement, community and earn permission to contact prospects and customers. With the ever-increasing privacy legislation such as GDPR, Marketers will pay a high price for SPAM.

Also, today there are many micro-markets of products and services as opposed to one mass-market. Frequency has surpassed reach in terms of effectiveness. Marketers need to tell a compelling story that resonates with the people they seek to serve.

Marketers need to improve their knowledge of customers to enhance the customer experience and engagement. Brands need to have conversations with customers as opposed to talking at them.

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Ideas that jumped out at me while reading and listening to the book

Seth dissects Marketing, showing the reader that today’s successful marketer is generous and gives value to the customer as opposed to stealing their attention.

Chapter 19, the chapter on funnels is very interesting because it shows how to look at the funnel in a new way.

Seth explains how to shorten the sales cycle by making it easier for prospects to engage and purchase a product.

He demonstrates how to do funnel math to see if and when marketers should advertise using paid ads along with how to know if ads will pay for themselves.

In this chapter, Seth shows how marketers should focus on serving micro-markets as opposed to the mass market.

This idea is illustrated in Jeff Moore’s book Crossing the Chasm. Seth takes this concept, and explains how to move a product from micro-markets to the mass market but surprises the reader by demonstrating that marketers can be successful by catering to a micro-market.

Seth illustrates this in the long tail concept where he shows that hits are exceptions to the rule. Instead he shows that selling a lot of different products to different people is the way that most marketers will find success today and in the future.

What is next in Marketing? Comment and share.

Bonus Content

I have had the pleasure of meeting Seth on two occasions. Here are videos and pictures of the talks.

Key Insights from the World Business Forum

8 Takeaways from Advertising Week 2018