You don’t need CRM

Customer Relationship Management

“The software world never ceases to amaze me, Watson,” The Effective Detective started out sounding just a tad negative as I entered the room.

“That surprises me sir, considering you were in the industry for so long, I didn’t think anything would amaze you,” I replied, expecting a certain reaction, and receiving it.

The Detective gave me his sideways look before answering, “Droll, Watson. I of course was using a figure of speech. I am well aware of the good points and the warts of the software industry. Rather than belaboring that point, may I continue?”

“Of course sir, what aspect of the software world has amazed you?” I somberly replied, snickering inwardly.

The Detective paused ever so briefly, as if contemplating another verbal jab, but thinking better of it. “One part in particular, Watson, Customer Relationship Management.”

“CRM, sir? I would think that you would be most in favor of CRM giving your attitude towards maintaining contact with prospects and customers,” I exclaimed, with some concern.

The Detective smiled, and I realized he had returned my initial favor, by eliciting a strong reaction from me. Honor having been served, he continued, “Yes CRM, Watson, and yes you are quite correct I am an advocate of maintaining contact with prospects and customers. However, the trend in this part of the industry is to go to vastly overblown and complex systems that ill serve the average user. Both in complexity and in cost.”

The Detective paused to give me my chance to interject, but I was still confused,  so I could only give a meek reply, “Please sir, continue.”

The Detective lifted an eyebrow, and perhaps a slight smile. “Watson, I do believe I have confounded you a bit. Let me explain. One of the mistakes people make is to think if a little data is a good thing, a lot of data is a great thing. This basic misunderstanding is encouraged by the breathless coverage of Big Data. It is true that in some cases masses of data can be useful, but in the case of the average small business, the emphasis should be on fewer key data points.”

“And how does this relate to CRM?” I asked, still a little puzzled.

“In the first place Customer Relationship Management is hardly an accurate term for what most small businesses need, Watson. To deserve such a lofty title as Customer Relationship Management System, a program should not only schedule and track phone conversations, but manage all of the emails you send – both mass emails and individual, coordinate sending out sales literature, note progress through the sales cycle, and provide tools for sales management to monitor and evaluate the progress of their staff.

“The reality is that most of us require the following pieces of information to have an effective follow-up system: A list of who we should call today, notes about the last contact we had, and when should we call them back, and perhaps a few keywords that can be used to search contacts. We used to call the process contact management, before the industry decided we needed all sorts of fancy features, and wanted to save detailed information that most of us can’t get from our prospects, and for the most part, don’t need or care about.

“When looking at your needs in sales, think realistically about what is needed, and how you truly interact with your prospects and customers. I think you will find that you are actually doing simple contact management, not true CRM. Look for the program with the LEAST numbers of features. That will be the one you will truly use,” The Detective paused, waiting for my response.

“So less truly is better, sir?”

“Precisely Watson! Shall we move on?” The Detective responded, ending our conversation.

It’s all in the follow up

vector contact us icon“You seem quite busy today sir,” I began our weekly conversation with The Effective Detective, noticing that he was scrambling around almost frantically versus his usual cool collected, and seated demeanor.

“Watson, for heaven’s sake have you forgotten we have a seminar to give tomorrow?” The Detective exclaimed, the exasperation in his voice quite obvious.

“Actually sir, You have a seminar to give tomorrow, in case you have forgotten I am your virtual assistant. I am going nowhere,” I replied, perhaps a bit too smugly.

“Quite right Watson! In my rush I had quite forgotten. Since you are here, I wish to relate an important lesson I learned in organizing tomorrow’s event,” The Detective smiled as he realized his mistake.

“I am always interested in lessons sir,” giving him his break to being speaking.

“Watson, when planning was begun for this event, we made the mistake of not looking too closely at the calendar and realized we had left very little time for marketing after the holidays. This required a reevaluation of our plan. We did manage to get some marketing out into the social media realm, and some interest was expressed. However, at the time we had few sign ups, and only a week and a half remaining,” The Detective took a breath, which I used as an excuse to interject – with just a tiny bit of sarcasm.

“Heaven’s sir! What did you do?”

The Detective looked askance at me for a brief moment, but shrugging it off, he continued. “Thank you for asking Watson! Actually, your sarcasm aside, that is an excellent question. I got on the phone and started calling. Actually often calling multiple times. You see Watson, people always have the best of intentions, however, when confronted with real life, niceties such as a seminar – even one that could be quite useful to them – get lost in the shuffle. A simple phone call making the offer again was extremely effective. People that were originally interested signed up, and a good number of people who were wavering were convinced to sign up as well… unfortunately not all… you can’t win them all after all Watson.”

“Interesting sir, but I am feeling a tad dense today sir. What is exactly the point?” I asked feeling slightly perplexed.

“Follow up Watson, follow-up! Many of those calls were not sales calls, they were simply confirmation calls. They were interested, but needed to get through the haze caused by our busy days. The other thing of note Watson, was the phone was far more effective than email. A short conversation explaining the seminar and the benefits were all that were needed. Yet, how often do we just expect people to see our brilliance or the value. They fail to note that their product/service/seminar is not the only thing going on in their prospects’ lives. Follow up is needed, and the phone is simply the single most effective of follow-up there is,” The Detective finished and looked at me expectantly.

“So one of the lessons here is don’t be afraid to pick up the phone, your success level will be much higher!” I exclaimed, understanding the point now.

“Well put Watson. Well put.”

They did NOT say that

I can't believe they said that“Watson, have you ever had the strong desire to punch someone in the face with no warning?”

This was a start to the conversations between The Effective Detective and I that was quite unusual. Curious, I gave an answer that I thought might elicit a further response.

“I suppose occasionally sir.”

“That is a non-answer Watson, but rather than spar with you verbally, I will merely assume you have had such a feeling, and move on to my story and point,” The Detective answered, before continuing on as promised. “You see Watson, what brought about this question was an exchange I was witness to between a young marketer concerned about the marketing of their company’s product, and a presenter on the topic of digital marketing, whom I feel should have known better.”

“A start that does not indicate the necessity of violent action, sir,” I interjected.

“Hush Watson, you are interrupting. there is more. The young marketer was trying to grasp the concept of a lead capture form on their website. When what this could actually do for them finally broke through the fog, they exclaimed, ‘So they fill out this form and give me permission to hound them!’ I of course was appalled. I turned toward the presenter waiting for him to perhaps break into an indulgent smile and explain to this poor confused young marketer the error in using the word ‘hound’. To my shock and dismay, he instead agreed with them! Something to the effect of ‘Yes, hound them.’ The Detective paused while he placed his face into his hands.

“Perhaps sir, you are over reacting. Perhaps, they said such a thing in jest,” I jumped in, eager to come to the defense of two people I had never laid eyes upon.

The Detective shot me a look before responding. “Perhaps Watson, perhaps. Luckily I contained my first impulse which was to roundly curse both of them out. I then contained my second impulse to stand up and noisily walk out on the presentation. Even if they were joking, there were 40 or so people in the room that based on their questions, were, for the most part, totally uneducated on the subject of digital marketing, and especially email marketing. For them, that statement could have very well been considered as validation of the deed. Hound them indeed!”

“What might you have said differently, sir?” I asked giving The Detective an opening to provide an alternative.

“Obviously Watson, if said young marketer had made such a stupid statement to me, I would have politely informed them that people do not give you permission to hound them. Hounding them is the surest way to make nary a penny via email, and to develop a reputation as a spammer. No, people give you permission to start a conversation, a relationship with them. It is that initial trust that allows you to deepen the business relationship, to position yourself as an authority, and, once that trust is deep enough, to consider doing business with you as a trusted advisor. Pursue the people that have asked to do business with you, that tiny fraction that are ready to buy now. But your list? Treat them patiently, and they will reward you. Treat them as property, or cash-cows, and they will punish you, leave you, and they certainly won’t do business with you.”

“Sage council indeed, sir,” I responded, knowing the discussion had come to an end.

“Just so, Watson, just so.”

Marketing Lessons From Ancient Rome

ostia“Watson, I had the most interesting insight when visiting the former Roman port of Ostia Antica a few days ago,” began The Effective Detective, taking charge of our conversation at the start, as he has done a few times in the past.

“Former port, sir?” I asked, dreadfully ignorant of Roman and Italian history, I had no idea if Ostia Antica had become a former seaport in recent or ancient times.

“Ah, Watson, I see we need to work on your classical education,” The Detective jabbed at me, then continuing on before I could respond, “Ostia Antica was abandoned by the Romans some 1,500 years ago when the path of the river Tiber changed after some particularly bad flooding. Remarkably it has sat relatively undisturbed, and intact for centuries.”

“What caught my eye was one section of the town described as the Piazzale delle Corporazioni or Square of the Guilds. This was where the importers and exporters would ply their trade. Some of course advertising goods they had brought in, some buying goods to transport outside of Rome, and some advertising the transport of such goods. Nothing out of the ordinary you might say, being that Ostia was a port. There were two things that I found interesting and of course a lesson for today,” The Detective paused, obviously hoping I would inquire as to the content of the lesson. As always, I decided not to disappoint.

“So what was the lesson we could learn from the traders of 1,500 years ago?” I asked.

“As I said, two things that I found interesting. The first was the competition, ringing this square were 60 “booths” – for lack of a better name. Imagine slugging it out on a daily basis when your competition was not just in the same town, but physically right next to you trying to entice customers. Those merchants must have been able to express why they were better than the guy next to them with no hemming and hawing. Either you could make a concise and compelling case or your prospect moved over 15 feet to listen to another pitch. They had no choice but to be able to make their case in a matter of seconds, and make a compelling one at that. Today, how often do we hear people who expect you to listen to a message that goes on and on? Definitely something to be learned there.

“The second and even more interesting lesson was the other way that they marketed their products and services. With pictures! They knew that not all of their prospects would be literate, so they not only would spell out what they offered in Latin, but in mosaics inlaid in front of their booths. Of course they sometimes indulged in a small bit of exaggeration: showing their boats protected by Neptune himself or how they can overcome sea monsters, but I imagine like exaggerations today, such things were taken with a grain of salt by the prospective buyers. The point was they made sure that anyone coming into the square no matter what class or level they came from would understand what they offered. Simplicity of message!” The Detective concluded.

“A most fascinating history lesson, sir!” I exclaimed.

“And an exhausting one as well, Watson. It was quite the trek around Ostia. Let us continue our discussion at another time,” The Detective said, ending our conversation for the day.

What’s the Frequency, Kenneth?

satdish“Sir, is there a hard and fast rule for how often one should send out content?” I asked The Effective Detective.

“Watson, you of all people should know by now that there is only one hard and fast rule: there are no hard and fast rules; certainly when it comes to marketing,” answered The Detective.

“My apologies sir, so any frequency will do?” I asked in return, certain that the absurdity of  my question would be answered with a devastatingly sarcastic response.

The Detective raised an eyebrow and gave me a look intended to wilt flowers. I braced myself, but then he smiled, and responded in a surprisingly mild manner.

“Clever, Watson. Let us actually examine the question you have raised. The question of how often you should send out content is a real concern for many marketers. Sadly, I have noticed an unfortunate tendency on the part of some to fall into an age-old trap: trying to please everyone,” The Detective paused briefly, long enough for me to interject with another question.

“I am confused sir, what does the frequency of contact with one’s list have to do with pleasing everyone?”

“Ah, Watson, now that is a more appropriate question for someone of your intellect and experience,” he replied. I sat back, realizing the sarcastic response had just been delayed. At this point I figured that retreat was the better part of valor and shut my mouth and listened to his response.

“The frequency of contact is a balancing act: too infrequent, people forget you, and either unsubscribe or simply ignore your emails. Too frequent, people are annoyed with you, and unsubscribe, and even worse, may report you as spam.

“We are all afraid of being labeled spammers so we err on the side of less frequent. Nothing wrong with that decision, per se, but then some of us make that fatal mistake: we try to please everyone, so we opt for the lowest possible reasonable frequency – often once a month, and end up pleasing no one,” The Detective paused here, waiting for my response, but I stubbornly remained silent.

“This is directly related to our belief that bigger is always better, so we take anyone on our list instead of aiming at our true market, which would welcome our emails,” The Detective paused again, and raised his eyebrow. I realized he would not stop until I asked a question so I relented and obliged.

“So there is no hard and fast number, but is there a range?” I asked.

“Bravo Watson, you have hit the nail on the head! If you are truly developing a high quality list, touching them much less than once a week is not advisable, once every other week if you are truly paranoid. Remember, not everyone opens every email! If you send out only once a month and someone misses one or two, they may perceive that they haven’t heard from you in months! You may want to include an offer once a month or so, and depending on the offer, you could include it in your regular email, or send a separate, in which case you would send two in one week.

“Here is the truly interesting point Watson. The real trick is not so much frequency, it is the content. If you cannot keep your content interesting and fresh, then any frequency won’t be right,” The Detective concluded. “Let’s move on then, shall we?”

“As you wish sir.”

Doing the Right Thing, Wrong

oops“Watson, I have a wonderful example of doing the right thing wrong,” The Detective began with an uncharacteristically indirect and confusing statement for our weekly discussion.

“Sir?” I asked, not sure how else to respond.

“Come, come Watson, we all know that we should, as part of any well-managed and useable list, have included our customers or clients, however you choose to refer to them. We also know that one of the reasons we segment a list is to ensure that appropriate information is sent out,” The Detective paused, waiting for me to confirm that I understood. I obliged.

“Yes, sir, of course.”

“So I have a wonderful example of a business doing the right thing: labeling me as a customer and engaging me, but doing it wrong by sending me an offer that I cannot use. Worse, it was actually quite an interesting offer,” The Detective said almost wistfully.

“Can you provide me with details sir?” I asked, now that my curiosity had been piqued.

“What? Oh, of course Watson. I have purchased several cars from a local dealership in the last two years. I am very satisfied with the purchases. Now, what do you think would be an appropriate communication from the dealership Watson?”

“Ah, perhaps an offer for some maintenance sir?”

“Precisely! An offer that I would appreciate, that I can choose not to avail myself of, but definitely something I could use if I was so inclined. That, however is not the offer I received. Received three times in fact. No, what I received was an offer for a discount on activation of a feature that is not available on either of the cars I have purchased from this dealership. Worse, it wasn’t until I had clicked through several pages before I realized there was no way I could use this offer. Not only was I frustrated that I couldn’t use the offer, I was irritated that I had wasted my time clicking through multiple pages before I learned this was something I could not take advantage of.

“So, what do you think the lesson learned here is, Watson?”

“Don’t make promises you can’t keep?” I asked, feeling a bit mischievous, and seeing if I could provoke a reaction.

“Bah! Watson, you are playing! The lesson is to ensure that your segmentation includes critical information. There is a delicate balance between over-segmentation and not segmenting enough. It all depends on what you are trying to accomplish and who you are dealing with.  The dealership knew what models and years I had purchased from them. They also knew that the option they were promoting was not available on either of those cars. Any one of those pieces of information included in their list could have allowed appropriate segmentation,” The Detective responded, with an irritated tone – exactly the reaction I had hoped to elicit.

“Simply put Watson, the missing key here was not utilizing information readily available to target a message only to those who would be interested; in this case those who could take advantage of it,” The Detective finished succinctly.

“Simple, but not always easy, sir.”

“That is why it works Watson, that is why it works.”

What is Content Anyway?

contentI must have sighed a tad too deeply whilst reviewing my email, because I suddenly felt The Effective Detective’s gaze focused upon me.

“Come, come Watson, please explain your plaintive sighs,” The Detective finally demanded.

“Sorry sir, I must be showing my disappointment with today’s crop of emails from various lists we recently subscribed to,” I answered truthfully.

“Interesting Watson, and what is the root of your disappointment?” The Detective asked.

“Well sir, there seems to be a preponderance of advertisements. If I wanted to be sold, I would watch network television or stroll out to get today’s mail. I was hoping for something better in email” I explained dejectedly.

“I see Watson. Perchance are the majority of these advertisements coming from more product based companies versus service?” asked The Detective.

“Quite so, sir! Construction, photography, fine art,” I agreed with The Detective’s analysis. “I was hoping for something different.”

“Understandable Watson. Many of these companies feel they have nothing in the way of information to offer you. They aren’t like one of the many types of coaches that can offer free insights and tips from their expertise that you can apply. Their feelings are of course poppy-cock, but they have them nonetheless,” the Detective paused to see if I would encourage him or try to change the subject. I opted for encouragement.

“Poppy-cock sir? True, I would prefer something other than an ad, but aren’t some of these companies limited by the product they sell?”

“Perhaps in some cases Watson, but I suspect it is more often a combination of not thinking about their audience and a simple lack of imagination,” said The Detective, warming to his subject. “I sometimes feel that we in the marketing field confuse the issue. We constantly refer to ‘content’, which I think many assume to mean ‘useful’ information or tips.

“‘Content’ can be defined as virtually anything that is not an ad. If you are selling art of any kind, isn’t possible that people who buy art might be interested in the creation process?  If you own a restaurant, mix in some stories about how a dish is developed along with your typical offers. Whenever there is a process involved in the creation of a product there is the potential for interesting stories.

“The purpose of regular communication with your tribe is to make a connection, develop a relationship. In our personal lives we regularly make a connection with conversations that span diverse subjects that have nothing to do with what we do for a living. Why should this type of connection be all that different?” The Detective finished.

“Surely you are not suggesting that a plumber should be sending out messages about travel to Europe?” I asked in mock terror.

The Detective smiled, “Elementary, my dear Watson, an article about how plumbing facilities differ between Europe and the United States could be quite an interesting piece! You see, all it requires is a little imagination and thought.”

“I see sir. The issue isn’t so much what you are communicating, but whether it might be of interest to your audience, which allows you to make a connection with them,” I restated the point to ensure I had it right.

“Exactly Watson! Just use a little imagination to discover a connection to your business and you can find an infinite amount of interesting and even fun information to pass on to your tribe. Now, let’s get back to work,” The Detective finished, closing discussion until the next time.

Ground Control to Major Tom

ID-10058943

Image courtesy of sscreations / FreeDigitalPhotos.net 

The Effective Detective looked particularly intense today as he shot his first question at me.

“Watson, are you aware of the term ‘Signal to Noise Ratio’?”

“I am sir, in what context?” I answered.

“Context? Oh. Quite right Watson. The marketing context,” The Detective smiled, acknowledging one of the rare times I had confounded him, if only for a moment.

“Yes, sir. The marketing context would refer to the vast amount of content available to just about everyone via print, advertising, radio, television, and of course, the Internet, compared to the relatively small amount of content that is applicable to one’s particular situation.”

“Excellent Watson, you have been paying attention and absorbing the lessons from our adventures well,” The Detective congratulated me. “But now the million dollar question, how do you increase the Signal to Noise ratio?” The Detective asked with a slight smile. A smile more related to the hunter zeroing in on his prey than the previous smile he had given me.

I hesitated, with a vague sense of disquiet that a misbehaving school boy experiences shortly before he is rapped across the knuckles. “Umm, I would have to say have more quality content, aimed at a particular audience sir.”

The Detective threw back his head and laughed, “You truly have been paying attention Watson! Bravo! But there is still a  missing piece.”

“Sir?” my figurative knuckles now smarting slightly.

“The audience Watson. Even if you have but a relatively small audience, how can you ensure the appropriate content is reaching your specific target or targets?”

“I am not sure I am following you, sir,” I responded feeling a tad confused.

“It is quite simple Watson,” The Detective started, with a trace of irritation in his voice. “The issue is getting your signal through to the right people, the people who are listening for that signal through all of the background noise of their daily lives. Good, strong, valuable, perhaps provocative, content,” The Detective paused, winding up for the delivery.

“Pray continue, sir.”

“But there are always multiple channels of content being sent out, the noise as it were. If the difference is extreme, say your sports channel vs a political channel, then the need for segmentation seems less. Your content will tend not to overlap. But what if the channels are less distinct, say fitness trainers, some who specialize in weight loss vs others specializing in aerobic endurance?

“Segmenting your audience and generating such specific content becomes more difficult,  but extremely rewarding. Because your content is aimed specifically at their concern, instead of the general universe of people who are fitness conscious, or in the wrong niche, and most likely bombarded with messages from any number of fitness based sources, the Signal to Noise Ratio increases dramatically, and there is a far greater chance that the content will be read, and the benefit attributed to you,” The Detective paused again, eyeing me, as if he knew the question I was about to ask.

“Yes Watson, I have made this point before ( A King Needs a Queen ), but the concept of niching things down even further is important. It is easy to believe that we have something to say to everyone in a generalized market, and perhaps we do. But the real world says unless you have a really powerful transmitter, you’re better off fine tuning the frequency.”

“Reach fewer with more impact,” I replied.

“Quite so, Watson”

 

A King Needs a Queen

ID-10075852

Image courtesy of podpad / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I had a burning question to ask The Effective Detective, so I took the initiative to open the conversation. “Sir, I have noticed you have a propensity lately to sigh when you hear the phrase ‘Content is King’. Is there a particular reason for this?”

“I see that your observation skills continue to evolve in a most positive direction Watson,” The Detective answered. “And yes, I would say that I have begun to feel a sense of melancholy when that phrase is bandied about,” he finished heavily.

“I’m confused sir, don’t you advise most stridently that business people need to make useful content the priority in their marketing?” I asked, puzzled at his answer.

“Yes, and I still insist that content is key, Watson. However, I have noticed a propensity among our marketing brethren to spew content randomly as if the entire world could benefit. It may be excellent content, but it is being randomly spewed nonetheless, and that is causing a couple of problems,” The Detective’s voice began to get more animated, a sure sign he was warming to his topic.

“What would those problems be, sir?” I asked, cutting to the chase.

“First, it creates a type of ‘the boy who cried wolf’ scenario. You asked for your audience’s attention by claiming you had something to say that was important and relevant to them. If your audience is then given a steady stream of messages that are frequently not truly relevant to them, or worse, is all about the author instead of his or hers audience – which by the by is most certainly NOT excellent content, then when one does happen to hit the right topic, you have already been tuned out. No one is listening to you anymore, you squandered the trust you were given,” The Detective explained.

“Not to be impolite sir, but if someone wants to gum things up for themselves why is that an issue for anyone else?” I responded to his explanation.

“Ah Watson, an excellent question. That is the second problem. You see, it is an issue for all others because it creates a sense of distrust  of all of us that are trying to deliver content. We are all painted with the same brush, fairly or unfairly. It diminishes our sign up  and open rates because visitors begin to assume that you will bombard them with useless messages just like others. While there is nothing we can do to prevent others from sending irrelevant content, we can avoid it ourselves by remembering a simple truism.”

The Detective paused, prompting me to encourage him to continue. “And what would that be sir?”

“It is quite simple Watson: If content is King, then The Target must be Queen.”

“Corny, but effective sir.”

“Quite so, Watson.”

Arranging Deck Chairs on the Titanic

“So Watson, what new and interesting things are you starting the year with?” asked The Effective Detective, starting a new round of our conversations in this new year.

“Less starting my own list, and more fascinated by what others may be attempting,” I replied.

“How so Watson?” came the next question.

“I have been reviewing the myriad emails we receive from all of the marketing experts out there and wondering to what extent others try to execute on all of these various marketing methodologies being pushed,” I answered.

“Ah you have noted a common error, one that, as painful as it is, I must admit to committing myself here and there Watson.”

“Indeed sir! Now I am quite intrigued,” I responded, with  perhaps just a tad too much enjoyment at The Detective admitting a fault.

The Detective cast a baleful look before continuing.

“The issue, my dear Watson is how simple it can be to confuse activity with real productive work. In our efforts to accomplish things and cover a lot of ground, we begin to chase after every shiny new bauble dangled before our eyes, without thinking whether this actually accomplishes anything.

“Social Media is a perfect example. So many run around furiously creating Facebook pages, inviting their friends to like them, updating  LinkedIn profiles so that connections will see the activity and perhaps take a quick peek, tweet like crazy, hoping someone who is following 10,000 people will notice, and create Pinterest pages when they aren’t even sure what Pinterest is. The list goes on.”

“Are you saying Social Media is a waste of time, sir?” I asked alarmed.

“Not precisely Watson. I brought up Social Media merely because there are so many channels to it. I could just as easily mentioned sending out a flurry of ill-conceived direct mail pieces or non-specific emails to a list, are you starting to get my point?” The Detective smiled a half-smile, waiting to hear my answer.

“I think so sir. Would I be correct in thinking that the point is that merely doing things without much thought, simply because we have been told we need to take action, is not terribly productive?” I ventured.

“Well put, Watson! I might go as far as to say that doing what you described could actually be destructive. You could be alienating your tribe with an unfocused barrage of marketing, all in the name of generating “a touch”. More likely, but just as destructively, you will disperse your efforts, foregoing doing an excellent job on a few things, in favor of doing a mediocre job on many.

“What we all need to do is take a step back. Consider whether your action will actually produce meaningful results. With direct mail, are we targeting a well written message to a properly segmented list? Have we segmented our own list properly so that our emails are welcome and provide value? With Social Media, is the audience the one we want to be reaching, or are we just talking at people who are merely talking back at us rather than listening – something I think you see a lot of in Twitter.

“Yes, you should take massive action, but think through that action. Limit yourself to a few actions that you can focus on and execute exceedingly well before moving on to the next. More than anything else, before jumping into something, consider: will this move me toward my ultimate goal, or is it actually just a distraction from the hard work we know is needed to create something great,” The Detective finished, leaning back in his chair with a look that told me that further discussion must wait for another day.