What Do I Do At Work?
So, I have been asked by many of my friends “Beck, What Exactly Does an IT/Marketing Manager Do?” While I cannot mention everything, here is the list of some of the things I do for Serola Biomechanics, Inc.:
1. EMAILS: As I arrive at 8:30am, M-F, and turn on my computer, the very first thing I do is read my emails. I receive, on average, 30-50 emails per day. I answer every one of them – personally, professionally, and in as much details as I can. (Since it is set up in Microsoft Outlook – the incoming emails are easily categorized/organized and all are assigned to their certain folders)
2. ORDERS: I go through each order that was received from http://www.SerolaBelt.com and separate them by type: RETAIL CUSTOMER’s order VS. WHOLESALE CUSTOMER’s order. I keep ONLINE SALES ANALYSIS spread sheet and keep track of the Total Annual Sales, Average Sales per Day, Retail Daily Sales, Wholesale Daily Sales, and Total # of Transactions. In addition, a Sales Graph is created for each month – it makes sales analysis look so much easier. There are also Declined Orders – if it is the case – I contact the customer to let him/her know why their online transaction was declined. It usually happens when they enter the incorrect billing address and/or CVV code.
3. MAGAZINE ADS: We advertise on 10+ different magazines, newspapers, and medical journals in which I coordinate which ads due for publication, and what artwork is due by when, etc. It is uniquely important to keep track of dates and deadlines for each magazines. Making changes is time sensitive – and once the publication is gone for print, there is nothing you can do about the ad. Ads cost anywhere between $800-$1,500 depending on size, color, & magazine. My favorite is Annual Buyer’s Guide because you reach potentially to 100,000’s of prospects with one single print – and these ads are distributed in big trade shows, medical shows, & expos.
4. MARKETING CAMPAIGNS: As a Marketing Manager, I determine the expected marginal revenue and the cost before we announce any campaign. I sit down with my boss and discuss it in details and analyze any potential risk(s) that may come from the campaign. When things go normally, you can just relax – but when you see the sales starting to decline, it is that time to think “What Campaign Can I Create Differently?”, “How Can We Acquire New Customers?” etc.
5. TALK TO PEOPLE: Yes, I love it. This diverse list includes Advertising Magazine/Newspaper/Journal Managing Editors, 3D/Flash Animation Artists, Photoshop Artists, Chiropractors, Physical Therapists, Distributors, Wholesalers, Retailers, and people with severe back pain. By email, phone, fax, or even Skype – we try to acquire as much customers as we can. I also closely interact with our production manager, Tom, and administrative assistant; between the three of us, we can solve any resentful situation.
6. KEEP LOGS: In other words, keep record of what you did, as often as possible. Yes, it definitely helps me what I did and when I did. If possible, in any project, try to use MS PROJECT – it helps you define the project scope, budget, resources, and the time line. Great software. In addition, there are always bunch of Post It notes on my desk and I use them to take quick notes.
7. ONLINE ADVERTISING: I love this part and it is what I enjoy the most. We utilize Google AdWords (pay-per-click), Facebook Ads (pay-per-click) Yahoo Search Marketing (pay-per-click), SEO, and other social media sites.
If you were to go on to Google and searched for “Sacroiliac Belt”, “Back Pain”, or “Sacrotrac” – the chances are you’re probably looking at the ad I created: “Serola Belt – Slick Design, High Quality: Support Your Back Because It Supports You” or see something like “Serola Sacroiliac Belt – Heal Your Back. 100,000’s of Americans Wear Our Belt – They Loved It.” Pay-per-click ads great in the short run but keeping the keyword bid in the long run can be “expensive.”
On the other hand, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is free. You just have to use the right keyword(s) and define the META TAGS of your web site.
Facebook and other social media sites is great, as well. We have a company profile page wherever possible. We can announce any events, photos, videos easily and share it with our subscribers.
8. PLANNING : A comprehensive plan is created at the beginning of the year, and it determines our marketing plans: Online Advertising vs. Magazine Advertising. Usually more budget is spent on the traditional marketing channels. If you have the SWOT Analysis (Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, and Treat) created – it is easy to see which areas need more planning and improvement. Also, I keep track of what our competitors doing. Where are they advertising more? How are they creating strong call-to-actions? Are they declaring a price war? Keep a note of all of this, and check it bi-weekly. Competition is a harsh yet fair game when it comes to selling – and always compare what you are doing with the industry leaders.
9. DISTRIBUTION CHANNEL: It used to be simple, before the Amazon.com era. Know everything about your wholesalers, retailers, and distributors both in the US and overseas. If someone asks where he can buy our goods in Australia – I send them our eight distributors’ address in Australia. Then, follow-up in a week or two to see how it went.
10. SELLING IN EUROPE: We have been negotiating with FedEx and MIDL (both trying to earn our business), and after a series of scrutinized cost-and-benefit analysis, we selected MIDL to become our logistics & warehouse partner for our European operations. The outcome of this project will potentially increase our company revenue by at least 40% by 2015.
So, that’s it folks – this is the short list with only ten bullet points.