Archive for 'SEO & CRM'

Auto-Sync Contacts Cloud

Auto-sync Contacts Cloud

It takes 3 minutes to have all your business contacts merged and synchronized between your CRM, Email client (Outlook, Thunderbird), Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Skype, Smartphone (iPhone/ Android): phones, emails, address data and profile photos. Get rid of your old business cards and go for one unified, global, cloud-based, auto-updated address-book with easy access from any computer or mobile device.

No more manual syncing, duplicates searching/merging, updates, import/export CSV of thousand records. You’ll find the fresh contact data you’re looking for in a glimpse.

We need 3 connectors to go:

  1. Google Contacts and Facebook/ LinkedIn apps (free) <-> your phone(s)
  2. Google Apps Sync for Outlook (paid) or Contact Sync for Outlook/ Thunderbird (free)
  3. SOAP interface for your CRM (free)

Clean the memory of your device and now all contacts are synchronized and up to date. When somebody changes their contact data on some of the source profiles, you’ll have their latest data, anytime, anywhere.

Don’t touch the legions of thousands leads and BranchOut “contacts”, just the people you know and work on a monthly basis ( top 500 works perfect without clogging your mobile, memory and productivity).

Yes, February is the CRM cleaning month, but it’s almost gone and spring is coming!

We are all synced now,  cheers!

Best CRM 2011?

CRM 2011Greetings to all the “best CRM” fans these days – the CRM’s spring peak is back with lot of interesting projects. Should I use an in-house or hosted solution, how to integrate our ERP, the Asterisk call center, helpdesk, our email marketing center, RSS feeds and 30 social media profiles?… The old myth about ”the magic CRM software, which “the management installed last year” is dead.

Welcome to the social CRM cloud!

Few friends manage their sales transactions, campaigns and lead tracking progression from their smartphones/ iPhone or Android-based PDAs.  Skype and even Seeismic and TweetDeck are main tools – that’s how they like to streamline interaction, maximize sales and customer satisfaction. Most of the folks I meet are happy to practice CRM with their Excel 97 spreadsheet or MS Outlook with Business contact manager. Nostalgic users of ACT, Maximizer or GoldMine lately are moving to online contact managers like SalesNexus and Zoho. For end-customer shops we use efficiently InfusionSoft, customers with bigger shops and several websites/ brands / language version in Europe use Magento with CRM extensions.

SugarCRM led the open-source way in the last 6 years with a flexible one-hat-fits-all solution, yet for huge projects with dozens of users and specific modules with custom workflow you need the enterprise edition or a more sophisticated, yet open platform – we had great experience with the CRM-in-the-cloud platforms VTiger and openCRX. Enterprise-wide multilingual coordination of sales generation, fulfillment, product structuring and pricing, real-time issue tracking and drill-down dashboards with pipelines are not a bread-and-butter task. Which is my favorite CRM beast? of course, but it comes pricy when you grow, so for SMBs we stick to customized SugarCRM, vtiger or openCRX implementations. What about SAP CRM or Oracle Siebel? They are out of reach for most of the local companies, plus we are fans of scalable platform-independent and vendor-neutral open-source solutions, aren’t we?

CRM is just a database tool to collect, manage and present data to optimize and meet your goals. The software is not the solution – the focused definition and execution of the business strategy and objectives is the roadmap for success. Self-service portal and social marketing integration is much more important than the system itself. There is no “top” or “best” out-of-the-box CRM. As a CRM implementation consultant I always try to understand and help customers to define the brand challenges and strategy, to tailor every aspect of the CRM experience from the start. The right opportunity management solution comes a month later. The perfect – 2 years later. Understanding your own business and introducing features to your staff makes the difference.

Back in 2008, CRM 2.0 was still beta, today it’s a >$3 billion business. More SocialRank than PageRank, more customer insights and social media  analytics than noisy spam. Go social (2 billion web users worldwide) and Mobile (1 billion mobile workforce worldwide).  90% of organizations will support corporate applications on personal  devices by 2014 so grab your iPad or tablet and mash your perfect CRM deck on iGoogle, CoTweet, Pardot, Facebook, Foursquare… you name it. Compose a more experimental, Twitter-like social CRM for emotionally high-touch customer engagement.  See you in Gartner’s Social CRM magic quadrant!

If you have any questions, feel free to comment or contact me. Join the cultural transformation, get closer to the customer and keep walking!


Днес за 4-ти път ме питат “Защо сайтът ни излиза на първа позиция, как така, нали не сте започнали оптимизацията”?



“Излиза на първа позиция”, защото
a) Вече сте посещавали този URL (>3 пъти)
b) Google счита сайта ви за най релевантния за квартала (понякога район с радиус от 250м)
c) Сайтът ви е оптимизиран и таргетиран за конкретната фраза, търсачка, език, държава и настройки на браузъра
d) 1001 други причини…

Позициите и трафикът нямат никакво значение, ако сайтът не превръща уеб трафика в Клиенти, дори да е един клиент от 10000 посещения на месец и 9999 отказали се посетители.
Моля запазете спокойствие и се фокусирайте върху конверсията и резултатите.

Не се занимавам със SEO теория, в Google ще намерите 44 милиона SEO страници, при това на български.

Честит празник! 😉

Rebranding fever 2010

2010 is just around the corner and with it come all kinds of warm reflections time and great strategy advice about what we should be doing and what we should avoid.

RebrandingDecember was full of rebranding projects. We helped 10 brands – most of which with over a decade of history – to start the New Year with rebranded identity and websites (links and case studies coming soon).
After thousands of answered question concerning their brand strategy, web architecture, site structure, layout, design, content, ranking, long-tail keyword clusters, tags and gadgets…in the end of the day the formula of industry perfection, profit explosion and business optimization is brilliantly simple and repeatable:

   80% quality traffic share
+ 80% customer’s mindshare
= 80% marketshare

Not only to survive, but to grow and thrive the highly challenging “downturn” economy, we need a systematic approach and focus to identify the current values and capitalize on new opportunities, far ahead of the competition.

So, what will work for 2010 is absolutely the same top 10 trends, which worked perfectly in the last 3 years:

Brand strategy – a clear and solid foundation for your sales. Leverage all channels and maximize your current resources and business growth activities with measurable, brand performance metrics.

Innovation – creative thinking, mindmapping, drawing, playing music – one hour a day, away from the stressfull  office meetings and negotiations.

World-class design. Good design means clarity, clearly differentiated value proposition, performance, function and service, sales and trust. Quality in products, customer experience and content is the king. Brand reputation through word-of-mouth – the queen. Satisfied customers – the key to repeat business.

Budget & time to cut operating costs – everything which helps to cut costs and improve performance. Focus on what you do best and outsource the rest. The core fundamentals – strategy, KPI’s and most profitable customers. Outsource areas that are not your business’ core competencies. Let the experts do the work. They are better, faster and more cost-effective.

Digital media as the main channel for reaching your customers. Web & mobile are now mainstream, faster, cheaper and easier to target your perfect customers with immediate, real-time and measurable results.  Forget print and postage delays and fees. Go wireless, invest in digital and grow organic.

Reach the top of the Search. 1.3 Billions of indviduals are searching for a specific need every day. If you are not found by your target audience on the first page of Google, you don’t exist. Being on the top leads to serious sales. Digital users research and digg before they buy. Leverage Web 2.0 tools to allow the customers to engage, share, follow and become fans of the brand. Get the best brand awareness, market research and real-time knowledge about your customers for free! Local or global – search engine optimization and top ranking are sophisticated, time consuming and change on an hourly basis, so better outsource them to an expert.

Build the Brand. Top companies make absolutely certain that brand is a central management principle, the platform on which your customers make their buying decision. Any time  they touch the brand via any channel, it must consistently and credibly communicate its promise and value.

Move to the SaaS cloud, digg the CRM Database. Make sure your have a detailed platform, deeply integrated with all brand channels and Web 2.0 interfaces.The new world of permanently online, social & knowledge hunting communities provides you with endless opportunities.

Leverage the good old analytics – we define and measure progress toward critical organizational goals,  offline and online metrics, established in the strategy. Try and improve – new layouts, design, titles, copy, meta… Only  results matter.

Wherever you are, enjoy your holidays! Cheers for a great 2010!

Brand name & Google ranking

Corn Brand wars (1340) proof

Corn Brand wars (1340) proof

Choosing a name for your business, domain and brand is often the single, most critical decision you will ever make. Today it’s very easy to asses a solid, long-lasting, and highly profitable name. Can your brand name hook the brains in your niche? Yes, we all know that it should be intuitive, suggestive, benefit based, semantically short, easy spelled, memorable, sweet sounding, scalable and search-engine-friendly, so you will have a chance to hook them on mnemonics. Now what?

Before and after the launch of Google’s Chrome browser, more and more people love to skip irrelevant search engine results and attempt to reach websites directly by:
– Guessing and typing presumable URL domains
– Typing common brand names
– Using the search phrase suggestion tools in their browser
– Using search trends and social media “hot trends” tools
– Following links on web 2.0 status updates, social and RSS feeds

Sure, over 80% of the traffic still comes from the search engines (presuming the website is search-engine-friendly and optimized) and the first 3 SERP results still get 86% of the traffic for any given phrase, but this trend will change and we do see dozens of exceptions to this rule in our web reports already.

Google’s latest search engine ranking algorithm places Heavy emphasis on Branding, an enormous weight on branded search results. The top in most of our customer’s web analytics reports start with brand names, good brand names, burned, branded and tattooed into the customer’s mind, even in the marketplace.

SEO is not simple as the Florida update anymore. We notice more then 5 changes in Google ranking algorithm every single week. Smart brand’s CEOs and SEOs should incorporate the BRAND as the highest “trustful-content” factor and there are increasingly important signals from Google CEO Eric Schmidt in his recent talk:

“Brands are the solution, not the problem, brands are how you sort out the cesspool, brands are not getting away, it must have a genetic component” he said.

If you love researching and reverse engineering (as I do) you can track the recent changes with hot phrases to see Google’s changes. In most of the cases brands have 7 to 9 of the first page search results for some of the most valuable keywords.

The trend is clear:  Google is promoting brands for big money core keyphrases. Further more Google’s Chrome tracks your behavior and content interaction through Google Accounts/Friends, Google Analytics, Google AdSense, Google DoubleClick/  AdWords, Google Reader, iGoogle, Feedburner, Youtube and other Giant’s channels.

Lately I see hundreds of URLs and company names, which are even hard to spell. If a customer doesn’t  agree on a name/ domain/ identity change, we reject branding or SEO services, due to poor results. It’s not necessary to start your name with a strong-sounding consonants (like the sounds of “D” and “T” in DECART), or set a song-singing rhyme in a combination of suggestive words like in “BrandBuild”, but it helps to emphasis, remember, get huge market and web authority.

The web is a vast wilderness in which your brand message can run in obscurity, so don’t work IN your business every day, work ON your brand equity and awareness and we will see us each other on the top.

The first-mover advantage

First Mover Advantage

First Mover Advantage

Branding is not a buzzword, but the foundation for sales and success in the recent economy situation. It doesn’t matter if you are a reputable dinosaur or a brand new startup – the initial occupant of a market niche always gains the first-mover advantage.

A better product will simply sell faster. Hence, it’s not only the product or service to be sold.

A brand is the collection of feelings, perceptions, quality, image, lifestyle, delivered guarantee and global status. If you can not convince the potential customers that your product is worth, no amount of advertising, packaging or PR will help you achieve your sales goals.Your brand and customer’s mind share is the most valuable competitive edge you have, because today there is nothing that your competitors can’t duplicate in a matter of days or weeks. Creating a strong brand identity will build that mind share. Someday when you have your rock-solid identity, customers even will think of your brand first when they think of the product category.

First-mover advantage

Web strategists often talk about the first-mover advantage or FMA. In terms of brand development, by “first-mover” they mean that it is possible for the first successful brand in a market to create, move and retain a clear positioning in the minds of target customers before the competition enters the market. The first entrant can gain control of resources that followers may not be able to match. However, being first into a market does not necessarily guarantee long-term success. Competitors, drawn to the high growth and profit potential demonstrated by the “market-mover” – will enter the same niche and copy the best elements of the leader’s brand.

In the recent economic situation, first-mover advantages can arise from
1. Innovative technological breakthrough and leadership (R&D), protect it through patents or keep them as trade secrets!
2. Preemption of scarce assets (select the most attractive niches, take strategic actions, establish positions in geographic or product space)
3. Switching costs and buyer choice under uncertainty (achieve consumer trial and define the attributes that are perceived as important within your category)

Enjoy many of the characteristics of the first-mover-advantage brand, such as:
– name/brand is synonymous with the category.
– customers entering the market are more prone to default to the major player, because it is the sole entity of their business
– continues to add plans and options to your customers.

– add some free oprions for members, improve and add to their successful business, but don’t become a victim of the First Mover Disadvantages like inertia and trend-blindness!

Digital Branding

As Howard Kosgrove says, “A brand is the one thing that you can own that nobody can take away from you. Everything else, they can steal. But your brand can go on and live. It creates a lasting value above and beyond all the other elements of your business.”

Today we have billions people online and no brand is going to appeal to all of them. That’s just great and help us target our prospects in a personal manner, they even create our brand on their own. If we have the right strategy, they position accept a good position in their mind. The value is called brand equity and it really can be quantified. Businesses that build their brand online have an advantage over brands in the physical world since the opportunity to start freehand new associations – if you are fresh and new, you have a clean slate.

As a brandmover, branding new unique products are my favorite projects, since a fresh start moves easier when all brand ingredients are mixed precisely:

name, identity, benefits, price, quality (which brings loyalty), long-term perspective (instead of short-term profitability), communications, positioning, distribution, media and online presence, recognition and the results of a successful branding and top positioning campaign: increased share of market, loyalty, brand awareness and reputation

How we do that?

1. We prepare a great brand message – focused promise, backed with support and relevant to our customer’s lifestyle
2. We spread and share it on our website, direct campaigns, web 2.0 networks, blogs, tuning our digital assets for the top
3. Relevance of the message and the top positions in Google make our prospect to decide which brand they will buy and which will discard.

Research confirms that, statistically, higher quality brands achieve a higher market share and higher profitability that their inferior competitors.
Focus to build a powerful perception of our brand’s quality and value is what we need. Strong brands have a clear, often unique position in the target market.

Financial and economical recession? Yes, indeed. That’s where branding, SEO for Google top positioning and repositioning helps your business to stay and sell at top performance.
See you at the top,
yours BrandMover

SEO analysis & the Enterprise

SEO Analysis for the Enterprise

SEO Analysis for the Enterprise

If we do a quick comparison of the last 3 enterprise SEO analysis reports, they all share the same onpage/ offpage problems:

  • Mature and huge brands with rarely noted websites, scattered on 3-4 “fresh” domains on foreign servers;
  • FRAME-based! corporate websites with zero URL visibility or rewriting;
  • Thousands of products, hidden in ZERO crawl-rate framed pages and MISSING /duplicated metadata;
  • Missing lead capturing system or CRM – 30% of the “requests” were found in the spam folders;
  • Extremely low traffic, measured in raw log files, full of unfiltered dummy robot and spam visits;
  • Corporate focus and business sectors are presented NOwhere, industrial slang EVERYwhere;
  • Hundreds of “keywords”, stiffed on the homepage, leading to 0.4 -0.7% keyword density;
  • Poor navigation, structure, internal linking, MERE external linking;
  • Bad server response codes, HUNDREDS of bad crappy neighbor websites on the same shared IP?!;
  • Less than 60% indexed content by Google. Yahoo and Live are doing better!?
  • ZERO ranking for the 5 top priority phrases in ALL search engines;
  • Top5 ranking (by a “SEO expert”) for a few phrases, which NOone searched in the last 3 months;
  • Poor URL mentions in the search engines, some non-relevant poor quality links in local FFA directories;
  • DMOZ and Yahoo virgin, ZERO blog links or bookmarks, mere brand reputation and web2.0/social media backlinks;
  • Alexa…

I will skip the next 17 pages…

The fun part is that in the end of the day we won the SEO tender NOT with a statistically proved triple conversion and double sales increase strategy, but with the “sense that the consultants know why we don’t like our website look-and-feel” 😉

The moral? If the line of business don’t gets the SEO part, shoot the Usability, Customer experience or even the CRM part.
… and keep brandmoving. See ya at the top!

Which web strategy to follow?

Web priority

Web strategy priorities

Most marketers will guide you to follow one well-tried and reliable marketing strategy, when there are hundreds of ways to reach your goals, depending on your niche, current trends, competition, time and resources.

Using the right keywords, fresh content and quality links to beat the top 10 competitors …and that’s simply all is a popular song.

What really works depends on the situation. No two SEO projects are equal. The goal could be to spread the buzz, to target focused commercial intention, to generate ruthless profit or just get some new members. The target could be kids, housewives, researchers, businessmen, wholesale buyers, etc.  Geo and language targeting are wrapping another layer on top.

Let’s clear the sky and recall some powerful web marketing priorities:

When was your last competition SWOT, market survey, industry benchmark? Send the spies out to check the strengths and weaknesses of the big ones in your industry.
Research or Shopping motivation? Check the commercial intention and test it with PPC.
Which keywords convert better? Specific, urgent, long phrases, thousands of “low-hanging” fruits.
Singular or plurals? The second always converts better in sales except for brand names.
Which traffic sources convert better? Test and measure. Analytics drill-down to the bone.
Which brands and products convert better? We can even crush them with THEIR brand awareness.
Why target 3 keywords? We should target a cluster of hundreds related and relevant phrase combinations.
Why promote free stuff? Attracting big-headache leads means wasting your resources and time.
How do you offer it? Custom or premium or wholesale or fresh or blue or antiallergic?
How they link to your website? – by domain, brand name or by targeted keyword? What about if tomorrow the search trend goes down?
Where are the latest trends, hot issues, answers, news, reviews, cases, comparisons, blog posts and comments on your website? Content is still the king.
Where is your media files repository? Tagged images, documents, videos and other media files means a lot.
When was your last web and CRM database mining? Te gold is in your private data and analytics reports.
How many times your brand is listed on Google’s first page? Use subartciles, subdomains and authority web 2.0 sites to dominate the niche (Yes – communities, directories, blogs, bookmarking and sharing web services, etc).

How to value and prioritize all this stuff?

Well, you don’t need to.
Just focus on your primary business and let the SEOs execute sophisticated research, website optimization and top ranking campaigns.
Keep brandmoving  😉

Caviar globalists? No more

Caviar days are over at WEF

Caviar days are over

Every year in late January, like today, heads of the leading companies worldwide go to the Swiss resort of Davos.

Around 2,500 participants from over 90 countries – politicians, artists, leaders and NGO campaigners jet off for a week of networking events and workshops “for a better world”.

Fighting the crisis or having some fun in the snow?
Economic times have become harder. Paying members are about 1,000 companies, non-business participants attend meetings for free. Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt are not attending this year, Bono and Peter Gabriel are.

US president Obama has told several of his biggest people to stay at home.
The key players of the world economy China and Russia are side by side.
The event is just a very high-powered talking shop. Some launch global initiatives to fight poverty and epidemics, other get an opportunity to make their case and meet people who have the money to help them.

Caviar, lobster and Dom Perignon are out. Ham, cheese and wine are in. Caviar parties by top Wall Street bankers used to be the top buzz for the annual Davos forum, but the belt is tightening today. Leading banks like Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, Lehman Brothers, JP Morgan, are not holding parties anymore.

Aren’t these people who want to solve the world’s problems the same who caused them?

Bad news for our Caviar SEO campaign today.
I should stick to tiger shrimps for dinner.

See you at the top!

Success vs Failure

Success vs Failure

Success vs Failure

While it still works to inspire a  weekend Google Bomb and make the government #1 failure, we can’t change the optimistic human mindset and drive for Success.

The search volume for Success (успех in Bulgarian) is over 12 times higher than the search for Failure (провал).

Millions of creative optimists out there…
See you at the top!

Traffic vs. Conversion

Traffic versus Conversion

Traffic versus Conversion

The holiday’s shopping fever is over. While the visitors trend to our caviar and fashion website projects dropped down to their “normal” levels, reflecting the worldwide search volume trend for December/January, ecommerce conversion jumped 3 times. The battle is Quality vs. Quantity. Performance matters, beyond trends. In the end of the day the 80/20  ratio is rock solid.

How is your conversion doing lately ?

Sales automation for more free time

Yesterday I’ve got another “better ranking” request. Strange that most of the companies I know strive for “more traffic and better ranking“.
And they stop there, sticking to couple of web pages, which no one visits, when they should look for more leads, more sales and happy, loyal customer.

Many businesses owners talk like internet victims:

“ Network marketing is broken and it’s hard to fix it. We had a strong desire, but it doesn’t work.It can’t help my business, because it’s complicated, expensive and takes years.”…
…“With all these 470 million active websites, prospects are overlooking our website for someone else…Making our site stand out is as realistic as winning the lottery”.

…unless you have the knowledge of how to make your website work for you.

What about if they used the wrong technique?
What about if we start doing the predictable and simple action in the right way – automatically. Manual business software just don’t work! You must get a better system and put your business processes on autopilot. Technology can turn the nightmare into a simple, predictable and working process.

Yes, they are so wrong, especially within the current recession.

Today the average adult spends up to 3 hours a day more on the Internet than they spend watching TV. About 70% of the EU and US populations regularly use the Internet. Over 1.3 billion people in the world are online,
ready to make a purchase if they find something worthwhile. Online shopping has increased by as much as 50 % over the last year. Geography can no longer limit the number of sales.
The reach of customers is absolutely amazing! There has never been a more accessible market in any other decade. Using the web correctly can popularize your brand and produce more customers than was ever possible before.  Only 4% of small businesses are currently selling online! Where are you, where is your competition? Are you using the web to your maximum to grow your business? If you don’t get on it, you’ll be left sitting on the porch with your product. Sure, everyone is not a prospect and chasing all of them goes nowhere. But getting them come to you first, finding you, instead of you finding them is the real thing.

Let’s take a real-world example

Sales Automation

Sales Automation

With 14000 searches daily for a specific business niche, they get around 1000 visitors (organic / referral /ads), from which some 25 make orders the same day. What happens with the other 975?98% of their prospects, marketing opportunities and even BUDGET is thrown away!

975 opportunities, some of which they have paid to have, but they lost, because they didn’t follow-up them.

They just tune, educate and send the potential customers to their competitors?! If we don’t grab at least their emails today and follow-up later, we are in a huge, money-eating hole.

Not maximizing your web presence can have devastating consequences.

No matter how great your product is, some people are simply not ready for it. Customers buy when they are ready to buy, not when we are ready to sell. They act according to their own, incalculable reasoning. That doesn’t mean, that they won’t buy, most of them will. If you do follow consistently and automatically, there is where exponential growth happens. You need to be there when your prospects decide to give your product a try. But, you also need to be there when your customers make a second or third purchase. You should be there to promote up-sells and cross-sells, building RELATIONSHIPS. It’s our responsibility to create moments of interaction with our prospects, to maximize those moments, close more sales and grow our business.

Have you ever felt like walking zombie?

We all (small and big) have the “overwhelmed workaholic” pain and there are days when we even can’t get a decent sleep. We forget to live our life, to devote time to favorite activities… this reflects in our family, budgets, dreams, happiness and every other personal area. The Cure?

Automating and doubling our sales. It’s not only possible, it’s measurable. Plus it removes the lack of time and energy, the inability to break free!

Today there are thousands of CRM, salesforce automation and business process management solutions. Millions of people use them every day to follow up, educate their prospects and customers, cultivate lasting relationships and maximize the value of their database and businesses. Assign ALL your leads the value they deserve. Treat each prospect as if they were already your customer, and remember that a vast number of them will be. You’re never going to be able to give your customers the best deal. But, by treating your customers the way they deserve, they will be creating customers for life. Reselling (cross-selling and up-selling) is much more profitable. One who spends significant amounts of money in your business, loves you, and brings in dozens of referrals.

There are just 4 key actions, which produce 80 percent of our sales:

  1. Increase your rankings with the art and a science of Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
  2. Update your content-rich and effective website, capturing as many leads as possible.
  3. Use a full featured web-based CRM system to follow-up and support all your contacts.
  4. Track, measure and optimize the results with usability, performance and split testing.

When you test and measure, you’re bringing marketing to a scientific level.
You don’t have to rely on instinct or hope anymore.

Define, Empower, Liberate and Enjoy more free time in 2009!

Incorporating automated Internet systems to your present business structure often results in an exponential gain in productivity, it adds impact and consistency to your sales process.
I can do the same for your company. I’ve spent the last several years working with many types of traditional offline and online businesses, helping them do more and most of them have benefited from using these strategies.

Even this post is an initial conversation, a chance to begin a relationship.

You’re important to me, so please let me know what you think.