Marketing Expert Enjoys Big Benefits from the Small and Smart BlackBerry Pearl 8130 Smartphone
Dan Swartz is President and Executive Editor of MidMarketer.com, an online resource that helps mid-sized companies become smarter and more effective in their marketing efforts.
MidMarketer.com shares best practices and how-to information on a range of marketing tactics, specifically for mid-sized companies (who typically operate with anywhere from one to two-dozen marketing staff). We caught up with Dan, who had lots of praise for his BlackBerry® Pearl™ 8130 smartphone, and some sage advice for marketers.
BlackBerry® Connection (BC): I understand you moved from a QWERTY keyboard to SureType and the BlackBerry® Pearl™ smartphone – how have you found the transition?
Dan Swartz (DS): I’ve used a BlackBerry® smartphone for many years, and for the past few months I’ve been using the BlackBerry Pearl 8130 smartphone. I love the compact size. I love the SureType® keyboard, I’m amazed with how quickly it learned new words like “MidMarketer”.
BC: How do you use your BlackBerry smartphone?
DS: Literally everything from conference calls to email correspondence to calendaring. I’m a Macintosh® user, so my I-Cal calendar application on my laptop is linked up with my Google® calendar, and this links automatically with my BlackBerry® Pearl™ smartphone. No matter where I am, I have my calendar in virtual real-time, which is incredibly helpful.
BC: How easy did you find the Google calendar setup?
DS: Simple. I use the Google® Mobile Updater which is a breeze, and had everything set up in literally a few clicks.
BC: How does the BlackBerry smartphone help you in your role as President at MidMarketer.com?
DS: MidMarketer is a virtual business, so the web site itself is critical because that’s where we publish our latest content for marketers to read.
I got an email alert the other day about something that wasn’t right on the site. When I got the email, I had just pulled into a parking garage here in downtown Chicago for a meeting, and I was a few minutes early, so pulled out the BlackBerry Pearl smartphone, logged on to the site, and fixed it.
Had I just had a regular cell phone on me, I would have probably called up our tech support resource on the West coast, explained the situation to them, and had them go in and make the modifications, but instead I just pulled out my Pearl and within literally two minutes I had fixed the problem.
BC: You have a content management application on your BlackBerry smartphone, for managing your web site?
DS: Yes, part of the site is administered through a Word Press content management system. So in that situation, the problem was with the date of the posting, so I just went in and modified the posting date, and solved the problem virtually immediately.
In fact, in that situation, my laptop would have been of no use. I’d have to turn it on and go find a connection point, which I didn’t have time for.
I find I’m using my laptop less and less for day trips and off-site meetings now, because I can really control virtually everything with my BlackBerry smartphone.
BC: Do you have any favorite applications or features?
DS: The browser really comes in handy on many occasions. More than once I’ve found myself sitting in an airport where my flight has been delayed or canceled, and suddenly I’m watching a mad stampede to the counter, people lining up, and everybody around me on the phone to the airline. I’ve used that time to just browse online to see what other flight options are available and then actually go over to another counter and book another flight! Far less stressful!
Also, and this one is more so for fun, my three young boys are starting to really enjoy sports, so they like it that I can pull up sports updates. I just browse to ESPN and we can all see what happened that day.
BC: Do you have any other preferred tools for managing your personal life?
DS: The calendar saved my life a few times, so to speak, in terms of helping me remember appointments I’ve made with my wife! I’ve pulled up the calendar and said, ‘Oh yes, of course I remember we’d planned to do that this evening!’
But it’s actually helped me have a life too, without having to worry that I’ll miss something important on the work front. Right after New Year’s we left town for a short two-day holiday, and I left my laptop behind, because I knew I’d have everything I needed if something important came up. So to not have to actually ‘pack’ your laptop when you’re taking a short holiday is wonderful. It helps you kind of mentally and physically detach.
BC: Before we close, given your business, do you have any marketing advice to share with our readers who may be at small or medium sized companies?
DS: Sure. I’d say one of the most important things a smaller company should do is to resist the urge to focus too much on tactics. A lot of marketers in small and mid-sized companies will get swept up in the buzz about a certain marketing tactic, like blogs for example.
So they’ll read about some other company that had tremendous success with a blog, and then suddenly, they feel like they have to have a blog. But before rushing to deploy a tactic, like so many companies do, it’s better to invest some time in thinking more strategically about what types of tactics to employ, and why they make sense for your particular business. And that’s the kind of content we try to provide on our web site, to give what we call ‘mid-marketers’ lots of ways to start looking at things strategically, and then take quick action based on that.
Secondly, I’d say I’ve seen a lot of small-to-mid-sized companies put too much blind trust in their agencies. So as a smaller company, you should be challenging your agencies more, asking them why they’re recommending this or that so that you can really understand things, and stand behind an initiative or a campaign that you’ll ultimately be responsible for.
These are some of the steps a mid-marketer can take to really expand their role in the business because, more and more, marketing is being tied to ROI and results.