act emarketingAbsolutely the best part of being an ACT! consultant is that I work with a wide variety of industries. “Out of the box” ACT! is suitable for just about any business you can think of; with a bit of customizing you can create your own unique database at a fraction of the cost of buying an industry specific solution. This week alone I worked with the manufacturer of medical supplies, a commercial real estate/property manager, a collection agency and the governing body of a major sport.

The businesses I work with are generally successful to begin but want to take their business “to the next level” by leveraging the latest technology. I strive to retain their existing business practices and simply incorporated them into ACT!. In fact my company’s name, Tech Benders, is derived from my desire to “bend technology” rather than bending established business strategies.

I like to learn just as much as I love to teach and find that I can garner some great ideas from the people I work with. A case in point is Alex Funkhouser of Sherlock Technology Staffing. Alex runs a successful recruiting business that specializes in technology staffing.

If Alex followed the more traditional marketing model he would be sending out weekly emails praising his abilities and/or extolling the virtues of his latest candidate. I in turn would click the Delete button, mark him as a spammer, or ask to be removed from his mailings. However, Alex does something that keeps me reading – he offers me something of value. In Alex’s case he has become a repository for all the technology user groups in the area. He includes links and details for the meetings; his listing is very long and quite extensive. Most importantly, it appeals to the exact population that he’s trying to attract as potential clients.

Put yourself in the shoes of your prospects when designing marketing materials. What has more appeal – a sales pitch or useful information? Which one would entice you enough to open it and which one would be instantly deleted?

If you think out of the box like Alex did and you’ll be pleased with the results.