Jerry Gitchel

Jerry Gitchel

Monday, 13 February 2017 05:37

Defeating the Digital Disconnect

The #1 digital challenge faced by business leaders is the lack of a connection between their efforts online and their bottom line. The #1 solution to the challenge is identifying the customer journey. Chefs post beautiful food images that patrons will never taste. Event planners post images of attendees the day after the event. Retailers post photos that resemble mini billboards, with mini results. 

Digital performance, like business performance, must be visible from the bottom line. Your online presence has moved. Once it was, "Way over there". Now it's become center stage. If you feel like your technology has you running in circles, here are some tips you can put to use this morning to connect your digital dots.

  • Start with the end in mind - Ask your customers how they found you. If they don't mention online, find out why. 
  • Focus - Reduce the number of posts. Make each one count. If you are a foodie, don't just show them. Tell them where they can go today for a taste.
  • CTA - Include a Call To Action to get customers off the couch, out of their desk chair, out of their car. 

Jon Ferrara, CEO of, says that less than 1% of businesses use CRM (Contact Relationship Management). He should know. He was the pioneer who created the genre with the launch of Goldmine Software over 30 years ago. Jon invited me to a live video chat to share his latest product launch, a Nimble Add-in for Microsoft Office 365 for iOS. It is not the first foray outside the walls of their flagship SRM (Social Relationship Management) platform. It's simply the latest in a series of Add-ins that bring the power of Social Selling to the world where sales professionals live. Jon explained, "At their core, CRMs don’t do anything for you because you live outside of the CRM. It’s too much work."  Creating value for your organization requires that every member of your team have access to contact information where they work: email, contacts, calendar and social.

Jon's larger vision is to make Nimble available to everyone, whether they use Gmail, Chrome, Office or any application where users need access to contact information. He's decided to offer the Nimble Smart Contacts Add-in for Outlook on iOS to make it easy for users to benefit from Nimble’s full and detailed view of any contact’s social business insights, right next to their Outlook inbox.

Did I mention the Add-in is free? More than that, it's valuable. During our conversation, Jon shared his method to this madness. Established businesses are overwhelmed at the vast array of technology choices. So much so they have lost trust in the companies who tout "cool" software. Jon believes to build a following of loyal customer you need to, give your knowledge away. Share content, teach them to fish then let them know you also sell fishing poles.

It's working. Microsoft is making the Nimble Smart Contacts Add-in for Outlook on iOS available to 100M users. If your organization uses Office 365, read Nimble's announcement.

On a Personal Note

Jon Ferrara is passionate about listening. Not just social listening, but listening to his customers. He lives in Santa Monica, CA, the so-called Silicon Beach. We chatted beyond the scheduled time about the migration of relationship management from using online marketing that shouts at unqualified prospects to using our technology to build relationships one prospect at a time. He even shared his killer recipe for pulled beef nachos.


Monday, 06 February 2017 05:32

ACLU As a Startup?

After an amazing weekend of fundraising, civil rights organization the American Civil Liberties Union enrolled in a Silicon Valley tech startup accelerator Y Combinator. The premier defender of the US Constitution started in November 1919. It hardly qualifies as a startup. With only 200 staff attorneys, thousands of volunteer attorneys and more than 750,000 members, the ACLU definitely functions as a non-profit. The Trump administration's immigration ban hit tech companies by surprise. Key staff members of west coast tech giants were caught outside the US as the ban went into effect. Their fundraising exploded. The ACLU received 24M in just over 48 hours. Trump's actions have spurred action by progressives, but that's not what caught my eye. Why did an established, century-old non-profit make the leap to join a high-tech startup incubator?

Why did an established, century-old non-profit make the leap to join a high-tech startup incubator? TechCrunch wrote about Y Combinator's interest in Democracy tech. The partnership came about after YC partner Kat Manalac reached out to ACLU executive director Anthony Romero for feedback. 

Deja Vue Startup

For leaders of established firms, I believe the answer to survival and growth is not in acquiring more tech, it's in acting more like a startup. It's a question of mindset. Are you an analog company attempting to go digital? Take moment today to consider what your organization would look like if your reset to zero.

Friday, 03 February 2017 01:58

Vertical, The Future of Video?

I would say it's a definite maybe. The folks at Curalate want us to stop turning our phones to landscape mode to shoot video. Think Snapchat or Instagram. Very edgy, cutting-edge before-its-time concept, I believe, way before it's time. In fact, I can prove it. Notice the image above? It's from the email I received from eMarketer. I visited the landing page displaying a clear vertical shaped cutout within a full-width landscape shaded area. I filled out the form, clicked the Download Now button and received... a pdf. The layout contained multiple columns that were anything but mobile responsive. 

What I learned

Vertical video may be the wave of the future, but for now, engagement will continue to be driven by viewer behavior. An awareness of future trends is important, but bottom-line results accrue from being present. Curalate used conventional landscape standards to engage me. I've included the link to the report, but I recommend taking a close look at how your customers use video content to engage with your brand before taking the vertical leap.

Vertical Video Guide

Thursday, 02 February 2017 01:00

Your Customer's Need, the Need for Speed

It wasn't that long ago that customers struggled to keep up with advances in technology. Now the reverse has become the norm. This recent Forrester report highlights 5 steps organizations need to take to build a strategic digital intelligence plan. 

  1. Continuously Evolving the Customer Experience
  2. Delivering Customer Insights and Obsession with Data and Technology Investment
  3. Creating an Insights-Driven Business with Talent, Process, and Organization
  4. Aligning Metrics and KPIs to the Most Relevant Business Goals
  5. Continually Boosting Customer Experience with Testing and Machine Learning

Your Digital Intelligence Strategy Must Match the Speed of your Customers

Tuesday, 31 January 2017 08:32

First, Get a Tattoo

Over the course of a quarter century, I’ve never produced a PR or Marketing Campaign which included a tattoo. From the moment Deborah Hansen announced her intention, I knew it was the perfect event to launch her Komen North Florida Affiliate Dance for the Cure campaign.

Thursday, 26 January 2017 11:05

Do Over

Cute photo right? What if you had one of these Do Over cards in your purse or wallet? Every time you found yourself wishing for a second chance or an opportunity to do a better job or say the right thing, you could simply whip out your card and start over.

This is my 2017 present to you. I hope you understand, you don’t really need the card, you have to power within you to change course, apologize or just get up and start over. I’ve found the card is a great ice breaker, a conversation starter, a way to soothe the pain.

I got it at the cleaners. It’s the tag they use to tell the cleaning factory (?) to indicate that a garment needs a little more work. While I was there Ms. Ruth thanked me profusely for almost single-handedly keeping them in business this year.

So go ahead, click the image, print it out and stuff your very own Do-Over Card in your pocket. Use it like your AAA card to help get you out of a jam. Disclaimer: I don’t think it will help during a traffic Stop!

Tuesday, 24 January 2017 08:30

Why Digital Leverage Matters

Over the weekend we have experienced digital disruption in politics. No matter which side of the political divide you find yourself, the best side is to be an observer of the successful strategy and tactics used by both President Trump and The Women's March on Washington. My hope is you will see their use of Social Media as a learning lab that displays how effective social media can be. You can then reflect on how you can leverage lessons learned to disrupt your organization before your competitor does it to you.

President Trump has leveraged Twitter to employ newsjacking of real-time coverage of his administration. The impact to news organizations as well as public companies proves that he understands the power of the Tweet. West Coast corporations have tasked teams to stand watch through the night to be ready to respond to news from his twitter feed. With jobs and stock prices at stake, the President's consistent early AM Eastern publishing schedule has everybody on alert. 

The Women's March protests in Washington DC, around the country, the world and on 7 continents began with a grandmother in Hawaii and grew to millions. It started with a single post on Facebook. Online platforms provided a frictionless foundation to organize. Virtual community-building tools were leveraged to grow the movement organically worldwide.  

Leveraging What We Have Learned  From These Two Disruptions


LIKING is passive, SHARING is active. Both sides use SHARING to grow and expand. Those who follow the President Retweet, a form of SHARING. The Women's movement used Facebook's SHARING function.

How can your organization engage a community through sharing? 


The images and videos from the march and the images of the crowd provided powerful testimony: If a photo is worth 1,000 words, a video clip is worth 100,000. 

How can your organization incorporate live video to create a powerful impact through storytelling? 


The President's team as invoked author George Orwell's term "Alternative Facts" to describe the content they publish. Starting a conversation gives them a first-mover advantage. 

In times of crisis, how can your organization leverage communication channels to get in front of the story?


The President can be counted on to publish a post each day. It's become a normal expectation. It has shifted attention away from the channels platforms and timeframes we have come to expect.

How will your organization find your perfect audience and what will you do to draw them near?

From Reality Show to Real-Time

Both sides are using entertaining video to show what's happening right now. The sharing happens immediately across the globe, forcing a disruption of our ability to process what's happening.

How will your organization adapt to the firehose of inbound information and stay ahead of your competitor's ability to reach farther, faster to your market? 

 I use social platforms to engage, not for taking sides but to learn from both sides. You don't need a book titled, Digital Disruption for Dummies to understand the topic. The only learning resource you need is your social media feeds.

My signature presentation, The Art of Digital Leverage, focuses on three success factors that improve digital performance, Tools, Talents, and Techniques*. Leaders understand the need to invest in tools. Every company has tools. Extraordinary digital performance happens when leaders invest in the talents of their teams. Platform builders and software publishers now include learning resources to increase the value of their products. Getting started guides, video tutorials, knowledgebase articles and user forums provide current information in real-time. Yesterday someone pointed with pride to their, SEO for Dummies book. The publish date was 2008. I didn't have the heart to tell them the info was worthless. 

If up-to-the-minute information works for team members, imagine the value if someone created an online resource for leaders. Someone did. The Kauffman Foundation just announced a major update to their online learning resource center, What I like best about the center is the second on Learning Paths. It answers the most challenging question about online learning, "Where should I start?" The redesigned site guides learners along the path insight and illumination into the art and science of finance, leadership, board governance and sales. I recommend the site as a resource for both start-ups and established organizations. 

Let me share a hidden bonus. I believe the site serves as a perfect model for an online learning resource for your organization. It's the perfect place to present your Standard Operating Procedures (SOP). If your goal for 2017 included an increase in sales, start by increasing the value of the skills of your team.


* Tools, Talents & Techniques are core principles of our Tech Tuneup Service

Tuesday, 17 January 2017 07:57

I See Dead People... In My Database

I wasn't looking for dead people. I was searching for someone else and stumbled across a former client who had died. It's hard to let go when someone dies, even harder when they are still alive. We always hold out the hope that they just might respond to a re-connect email. At least I didn't wish them "Happy Birthday" on Facebook.

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