New curriculum ideas for 3rd Ward class on general digital marketing ideas


I’ve started preparing a syllabus/curriculum for a new class at 3rd Ward.  It is designed to be accessible to business and entrepreneurs of all types.  I learned that my first class on digital marketing and paid advertising was too specific and technical for the 3rd Ward audience.  This class should give just about any business a few ideas that they can start applying.  A big thank you to Shannon Chirone of Two Tomatoes for her help in putting this together!

Over arching goals

Goal of the class is give you a layout of all of your possibilities and have you leave with 2 or 3 things you can apply to your business.  What are the two things you can actually accomplish this week?  And one thing you really want do but will take longer.

Don’t go wide, go niche.  Know your niche!!  Every person wants to be specific, not general.  General is mediocre.

Pedagogy: Start with the visual of the business, and fill out all the details.  Pick an example.

For people who don’t have customers, focus on one customer at a time.  Why did the one thing sell?  Analyze the sale that you make.  And try to duplicate.

Marketing doesn’t help you acquire customers.  Marketing helps you sell a product.

Specific classroom conversation points

  1. Target demographic – who is most likely to buy something?  Give example of Lori Berkner (target audience).  If you have five people in a room, who would you knock out?  No children, business person, grandparents, instead get parents who have kids about to go on long car rides.  Age, ethnicity, sex, income, geography (neighborhood), marital status, kids?, niche?.  What websites do they look at, magazines they read, what they buy on Amazon, where they shop, where they travel, where they eat, clothes.
  2. Email/Direct marketing (mailchimp, vertical response, constant contact), leverage customer base
    1. Poll customers
  3. Online locations for your customers, how do your customers get their information
    1. Online review sites – yelp, opentable,
    2. Google Alerts – know and respond (stay up to date)
  4. Bundling/creating products – what do you sell?  what are you in the business of?
    1.  Laurie Berkner – sells CDs but she’s in the business of connecting with children through music.
    2. Cheese, high-end foods
    3. Art, people who can’t make decisions about art
    4. This is a story about an art company that knew the difference.  On the face of it, they sold paintings that you can hang on your wall.  They would swap out a painting every 3 months and you only paid a one year subscription.  Their business was simplifying art purchasing decisions/customer service for finnicky/picky customers.  Making peoples lives easier.  No longer just in the art business, now in the transportation/logistics business.
  5. Social – Responding to customers.  Like groundswell – “social layer”.  Customer feedback.  Make sure your company is good.
  6. Events – classes?  at a ny “mall” like 3rd ward or brooklyn flea.  educational, get people off the computer into the store.  Tie into social – post on FB/Twitter/etc.  Tie into a poll/survey/pictures.  Send followup email to mailing list.  Give rewards to some people.  Stay tuned for next event.
  7. Partnerships –  Working with someone who has an overlapping demographic that doesn’t know about you.  Cross-promote with people who would had similar customers.  Ride on someone else’s hard work.  But have to have a good product that their customers would like.
  8. Content – How do you develop content for your site?  Be very specific, support the needs for the customer.  Know what information the customer is looking for and present is very specifically.  Be niche.
    1. Writing – blog or web pages
    2. Pictures – product, events, software
    3. Video – animation, explanatory, customer testimonials
    4. Audio – podcast
  9. Curation – highlight what other people like.  Helpful for people who don’t have a lot of experience.
  10. References/referrals – give examples of a referral system.  Tie into social.
    1. get a free download if you share something
    2. Napkins or knife with cheese plate
    3. Social event at gallery
    4. Don’t beg people for referrals, make it easy (BOGO)
  11. SEM – Adwords, FB
  12. SEO – keywords and links
  13. Prizes, games, giveaways – Customer loyalty cards.  Run a contest to get your customers to identify themselves.  Give away something of real value.
  14. Preferred customers – before the general public, loyalty program, ambassadors
  15. Customer service – prompt replys, easy access to Q&A
    1. Astonishing guarantee

Key reads

Groundswell for social

Long tail for internet niche

SEO for 2012 for SEO

Advanced Google Adwords for SEM

Four hour work week for everything else

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  1. […] 3rd Ward now and we’ve gotten some very good feedback.  We’ve made some changes to the original syllabus in response to that […]

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