Friday, January 21, 2005

Trade Ideas LLC Annual Partners Meeting in 1 week

Place: San Diego, CA
When: January 29, 2005

Things are heating up in anticipation of our annual meeting.

Last year's meeting was our first one and it focused on segmentation of our customers. Our work defining segments by business demographics and assigning attributes to the segment classes took me back to my MBA studies at Southern Methodist University and my marketing classes with Bill Dillon, Assistant Dean of the Cox Business School - a tip of the hat. (An article on his most recent work is here.)

One of our focus areas this year will be improving our record retaining customers. That means improving the value experienced from Trade-Ideas: new features such as alerts and filters ; meaningful information given in response to certain subscriber actions such as reaching a service anniversary or sharing a set-up with someone.

By the way our diagnoses of these focus areas comes in part from a useful model called the Customer Learning Curve. This model's thought leader is Karl Hellman, currently the Founder at Resultrek and Management Consulting Consultant. He is a great thinker and an excellent teacher whom I have had the privilege to work with on several consulting occasions (here’s a sample of his thoughts for the AIPMM). The model examines every aspect of selling a product or service from the customer’s point of view. It enables you to take an integrated, customer-centered approach and help move the customer through the learning curve more effectively. As Karl often says, “a company’s most important marketing process is the one that goes on in the customer’s mind.”

There will be reviews of budgets and a layout of priorities in line with some stretch goals we’ll make for the upcoming year. I will be traveling from Atlanta so I am looking forward to some nice weather and the chance to continue my ongoing efforts at educating the partners of the qualities of a great wine paired with food – even if its guac and chips.

We don’t have shareholders beyond ourselves, but we do have customers and anyone reading this who is interested in our meeting or its results is invited to send me your thoughts or even show up for a portion of the meeting. Just send me an email at david@trade-ideas.com (Subject: Annual Meeting).