The Power of Membership Sites

Discover how to Build Your Digital Business by Leveraging Membership Sites


Introduction to Membership Sites and Their Impact on Consumers

Did you know that membership sites have the potential to generate an additional source of revenue and can also be used to create an amazing customer experience?

I. This video series is for you if you:

  • Want to deploy a membership site to support your current offers
  • Are looking for an additional source of revenue
  • Want to build a community around your product or solution
  • Want to provide a way for your customer(s) to interact with each other to provide a better customer experience.

II. What is a Membership Site?

  • Membership Site - Member OnlyA membership site provides content, resources, and various tools to a group of individuals who sign up to access it.
  • It is a protected and specifically designed website for users who have something in common.
  • You can easily create your membership site by installing a ”membership site creation plug-in” to your website if you are using WordPress.

III. Why is it important to have a Membership Site?

  • A membership site provides community for your customers
  • Customers want to interact with other customers who have purchased the same product or service to solve a specific problem.
  • In a community, individuals can be more open and share their challenges and concerns.
  • Customers want their conversations to be private within the community.
  • Solution providers want to provide content in a secure manner and maintain exclusivity.
  • The perceived value of your solution will increase.
  • A membership site provides a solution provider with the biggest issues on the minds of the membership base.

IV. How do you Deploy a Membership Site?

  • Think about the type of customers that you have.
  • Think about the products and services that you offer.
  • Ask yourself “What information can be offered to your customers that support the value transfer you promise.”
  • Build your membership site on your digital property and do not rely on other platforms like Facebook groups – but leverage them as part of your solution.
  • Consider using forums in your Membership site for users or customers to provide feedback.

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Power of Podcasting: How to Create your First Podcast

Did you know that 67% of podcast listeners don’t object to an occasional sponsored message as opposed to 6% of viewers on television and commercial radio? If you are looking for a way to advance your message in an engaging and dynamic manner for your users, then leveraging the power of podcasting to move your business forward is the solution you need to apply.

A podcast is a radio-style audio file that is available on the Internet for download or streaming. Podcasts are available through iTunes or other podcasting directories. Users can download a podcast onto a smartphone or mp3 player and listen to it at a time convenient to them. These are the kinds of users who have a specific interest in subjects where you can be an expert and provide your expertise through your podcast. Users can subscribe to your podcast channel for free and as you publish new content they have the ability to listen to it.

Creating podcasts aren’t for everybody. Business professionals that have a solution to offer their listeners should consider a podcast. By being an industry expert on a particular subject and having the ability to sell a product, service or information on that subject you can then position yourself as the leading authority. It’s a very flexible way to deliver content. All you need to do is speak into a microphone, do a small amount of editing and you are ready to publish. Your biggest hurdle is to spread the word about your podcast and generate subscribers. Describing your podcast through using the right keywords can quickly solve this obstacle.

Creating PodcastsOften, users will listen to podcasts as they travel to and from work. That is an excellent position to be in. No longer do you need to depend on gaining the support of radio personalities and networks to be heard by individuals because you can now go direct to the consumer and educate them. Relatively few people are utilizing podcasts, but there is a high level of desire in the marketplace to learn how to create podcasts. It doesn’t have to be difficult or complicated. All you need to do is define your show, identify the type of content and determine the result that you are looking to achieve.

What would a subscriber get out of listening to your podcast? By clearly explaining how listeners can benefit from subscribing to your podcast, you can build authority and trust. Now you can focus on building relationships with your listeners since you’ve already been able to build awareness by creating, publishing and marketing your podcast. How you create your podcast can be one-on-one, which is just you and a microphone, or you can interview other members of a community who are also experts in their respective fields. This approach results in you becoming a content aggregator where you bring key messages from knowledgeable people who become your partners in helping people.

If you are a real estate agent, for example, one of the uses of a podcast is to provide regular updates on what is happening in your region. You can provide strategies for buying or selling a home to maximize or minimize purchase price. You can also interview an insurance agent in your area and ask questions like “what should buyers know about buying homes in this area, what to look out for, and why fire insurance is critical?” You can even interview a creditor who can provide a breakdown of different types of loans and the benefits and weaknesses of each one.

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Effective Sales Strategies: How To Sell More Today

A Video Training Series by Ray Stendall

What is a Sales Qualified Lead?

sales strategies

A sales qualified lead is one that is already marketing qualified. Previously we identified a marketing qualified lead as someone who has a distinct problem or desire they want to accomplish and a reasonable amount of trust in you, your solution and the company you work with so that they are ready to engage. Sales qualified is all about assuring that your lead or prospect has, a) a timeline to obtain and implement a solution, and b) a budget (access to capital). Quite often when working with different prospects, you end up spending so much time with unqualified sales and marketing leads that you waste your time and are unable to help anyone in the process. Your job as a small business owner is to advance your business by helping your customers succeed and to ensure that you spend your time wisely.

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5 Critical Marketing Behaviors: How To Turn Leads Into Qualified Leads

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A Video Training Series on Marketing Behavior, by Ray Stendall

What is Marketing?

In our digitally connected world, getting a potential customer’s attention can be difficult. Marketing is all about having the ability to “grab and hold attention” in order to impart knowledge that inspires and motivates audiences to determine if your offer is ideally suited for them.


Think of marketing as a funnel. The Top of Funnel is the first level – Awareness – where you define who you are, what your brand is about, and how you can be a valuable resource for people. How do you achieve this? By leading with content and having it available via different channels, like YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, and in various forms, like content in articles and newsletters. The Middle of Funnel – Evaluation – is where customers figure out what they want to buy or not buy based on their criteria and what’s important to them. The Bottom of Funnel stage – Confirmation – is where potential customers confirm that they want to be a customer.
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How to Deliver an Amazing Customer Experience: Move from Simply Listening to Customers to Ultimately Operationalizing and Delighting Them

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Customer Experience

Introduction and Definition of the Topic

Ray Stendall: Hello and welcome to Customer Engagement TV. This is a program which pulls together some of the best ideas from some of the top thought leaders into a live broadcast interview that is then used in Customer Engagement Magazine. I’m the publisher of Customer Engagement Magazine and together with my team have the great pleasure of creating a publication that is distributed worldwide through the power of iTunes.

Today I have the pleasure of interviewing one of my favorite people in this industry. She is the Director of Voice of the Customer (VOC) Consulting for Confirmit and does a lot of work within this organization to really understand how to architect a great customer experience for her customers. She’s also the author of a popular blog known as CX Journey. I am so delighted to have Annette with us today. Annette, tell us more about yourself, and then let’s get started with the great content we have planned.

Annette: Thank you for inviting me to participate in this hangout with you. This is exciting, and I’m thrilled to be a part of the magazine as well, so I’m looking forward to that. I know we’re going to have a great discussion today. What I plan to bring to the table is really my experience over the last twenty plus years in this industry in working with different clients in different industries to help improve the customer experience. So, I’m looking forward to sharing what I’ve learned.

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The Art of Differentiation: How to go Above and Beyond the Competition – with Charlie Tombazian

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the art of differentiation



Charlie Tombazian has assisted companies and non-profit organizations in creating differentiating strategies and extraordinary customer experiences. He has over forty years of professional consulting services experience in many different industries, such as technology, construction, retail and finance. He has also been a faculty member at three universities.


The process of differentiation starts with a strategy. It’s important to pinpoint if you want your company to identify around customer experience, operational excellence, like Amazon, or unique products and services, like Apple.

Charlie works with an organization through a process of creating a customer journey map of their end-to-end experiences and identifies moments of truth.One tactic, “lagniappe,” has been found to be quite effective. Lagniappe means giving people “a little something extra” that they don’t expect, like getting thirteenth donut for free when you buy a dozen. The differentiation comes in being able to separate your organization from your competitor so they cannot follow you or won’t follow you, and then use customer information to target the needs, wants, and the unique profile of what customers are looking for from the organization. By segmenting customers, all are treated fairly but not equally.



Customer Experience: The conscious and subconscious perceptions of your customer’s relationship with the brand. What are customers experiencing in all aspects of interaction? Start at the beginning stages of a customer looking for the brand, all the way through to value delivery and how they feel about the entire experience.

Extraordinary: Above and beyond.

Differentiation: You must go down a path far enough to where your competitors can’t follow you or won’t. These thoughts are reflected by author and consultant, Geoffrey Moore. In his books, Crossing the Chasm and Dealing with Darwin, he states that once hearing this statement, most companies believe that they have not gone down any paths far enough.


Differentiation is at the core of success. Only three strategic capabilities can truly differentiatemarket leaders from their competitors:

  1. Operational Excellence (Amazon)
  2. Products and Services Leadership (Apple)
  3. Customer Intimacy (Ritz-Carlton, Nordstrom, Zappos, Cleveland Clinic).This is where a company uses customer service as its differentiator.

The companies that excelled in one of the three aspects have gone down a path far enough to separate themselves from their competition, and it has created their success.
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Intelligence Driven Marketing with Courtney Kay

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An interview with Courtney Kay on Intelligence Driven Marketing

Intelligence Driven Marketing


Ray: Hello and welcome to another exciting episode of Customer Engagement TV. My name is Ray Stendall, publisher of Customer Engagement Magazine, and today I am so happy and grateful to have as my guest an expert in Data Driven Marketing. You all asked for it. You wanted to know deeper and more information about how can we use data metrics to further the customer experience, to further the way in which we interact with customers to have a profitable and beneficial relationship for everyone involved, and we found you an expert to help deliver on this amazing piece of content. So without further ado, I’d like to introduce our guest, who has worked with some of the largest tech companies on the planet and specifically in Silicon Valley, the likes of Cisco and HP. Our guest is none other than Ms.Courtney Kay. Courtney, welcome to the program.

Courtney: Thanks so much, Ray, for having

Ray: Courtney, just to begin, our audience likes to always get a good sense of who we’re working with, so let’s start off with really the first question. Give us a sense of your experience, of what really brings you to be in the position to help educate, inspire and motivate our audience to learn about Data Driven Marketing.

Courtney: Sure. I’ve been in the marketing space for about ten years now, predominantly working in the publishing and new media realm, more specifically, right now focused on field and product marketing for IT media company, TechTarget. Our focus is really on delivering very niche technical information to buyers and aligning them closely with the brands that provide solutions for what their particular IT challenges are. Where I think it gets really exciting, and given my background and experience in today’s kind of dynamics, is that we’re talking a lot today about the idea of Content Marketing and how brands need to become publishers, and how everybody needs to be out there producing content. And who better to really talk about that and explain how it works than a publisher?

TechTarget’s model, because of our really niche approach, really depends on data and insights on the behavior of our audiences to be able to deliver the right content at the right point in time.

Ray: That’s very important. So we’re talking about getting the right content at the right point in time to the right audience to form a connection that engages, inspires and motivates them to want to learn more about the vendor or the partner involved in sharing that content, correct?

Courtney: Exactly. If we think about the power of content today and communicating on behalf of brands, given the amount of noise out in the marketplace, it becomes a really critical element of the marketing and sales strategy to be able to deliver that message cohesively in the form of various pieces of content.

Ray: Another key point to build and plus, so to speak, in what you’re saying, is that in today’s self-service world, where everyone pretty much goes to the internet to try and find answers to their questions, figure out who it is they want to do business with, who it is they want to avoid, being able to differentiate your message with solid content that helps a customer make an informed buying decision is key. But being able to actually do it in a way that allows you to stand out and to really enjoy that position of authority in the marketplace becomes harder and harder, unless they have a cohesive Content Marketing strategy, as you mentioned. With that being said, let’s talk about the Data Driven approach to marketing intelligence, so that we can garner some intelligence, so that we can make smart decisions as marketers. Can you help us define this subject?

Courtney: Sure. When you think about Data Driven Marketing, actually, Lisa Arthur on
Forbes CMO Network defined it in an interesting and concise way. She calls it “propelling value by engaging customers more effectively.” I think that’s the most important foundational element to anything related to data. If you think about the big data world that we live in, there are so many sources and types of data to consume that it often can feel very overwhelming and create a paralysis for marketers especially to figure out, “What do I need to look at in order to inform my market?” So coming back to this idea of propelling a better customer engagement is really the key foundation to figuring out what data elements to look at. Data is just one piece of the story, so I like to evolve that. We, as a company, have a framework that we call the Intelligence Driven Marketing Framework. The idea here is to knit together those pieces of data to tell a story and provide intelligence on your customers, your personas, your prospects to your sales force to enable them to better follow up with the prospects and opportunities in front of them.

Ray: Before we dive a little bit deeper, I think it will be great if you could give a really simple example of the type of story we can tell someone in sales, and then from there, we can dive into the subject matter in a little bit more breadth and depth.

Courtney: Sure. If you think about the types of things we can know about individuals, historically when we think about prospect generation or lead generation, demand generation, we’re thinking predominantly about passing along points of demographic data. You might get a spreadsheet with fifteen pieces of information including title, location, all sorts of different demographic information, maybe some form of graphic information like company size or industry. But what we’re missing from that data historically is digital behavior and body language. Obviously, there are a lot of key terms and buzz words out there. But I think what this begins to inform your sales force of is where someone might be, in terms of their buy cycle, and more importantly, the pain points and challenges that they are facing within their organization, as it relates to your particular solution. So this behavior can become a really informative piece of information for sales teams to effectively meet the content needs and technology or solution need of their particular buyers.

Ray: One thing I’d like to add to what you’ve just mentioned, which we’ve talked about in previous issues of the magazine, is the importance of understanding the psychographics of a marketplace in addition to the demographic. Partly what you’re talking about here has to do with looking at behavior, and where the customer is within their buying cycle, and how does that relate to where we are in our sales cycle, being able to then garner these metrics. And to whatever extent possible, the more we’re able to understand some of the more emotional aspects of how someone makes a decision, the more pertinent conversations can take place between the customer, the prospect, and the sales team. Wouldn’t you agree?

Courtney: I would absolutely agree with that. I think what all of these things knit together to create is sort of a mind-set of where someone may be, in terms of their propensity to buyer solution or to understand their options more effectively.

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The Fan Experience: Creating A Culture To Turn Every Customer Into A Fan – with Ruby Newell-Legner

An Interview with Ruby Newell-Legner

fan experience


Ruby Newell-Legner has been working behind the scenes with the biggest names in leisure, entertainment, and sports to increase customer satisfaction, customer loyalty, and the overall Fan Experience. Over the past 20 years, she has presented to more than 2,300 staff development sessions in 11 countries around the world. She is the Fan Experience Expert for 28 sports teams in the National Football League (NFL), the National Hockey League (NHL), the National Basketball Association (NBA), and has trained the staff of Super Bowl XLI, the 2008 U.S. Open, and the 2010 U.S. Olympics. She is also President-Elect of the National Speakers Association.

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The Customer Conundrum: How to Win Customers and Outsmart Your Competition – with Gary Smith

An Interview with Gary Smith

Customer Conundrum

Introduction and Defining Customer Conundrum

Gary Smith is a business consultant, thought leader, personal coach, professional speaker, and the author of Customer Conundrum: 9 Crucial Steps for Winning Customers and Outsmarting Your Competition. He has over 30 years of experience, both inside and outside of businesses, dealing with customer issues and creating quality, profitable business relationships. He has worked with large organizations that include Caterpillar Tractor Company, Johnson & Johnson, and Becton Dickinson. He is also the founder and president of Optimum Performance Technologies.

What is Customer Conundrum?

Customer Conundrum is learning to use every facet of the business in ways that will delight customers and allow the business owner or manager to outmaneuver the competition in the markets the organization serves.

Why Customer Conundrum is Important to Achieve Success

Any business with customers is in the people business. A tremendous gap exists between what business owners and senior leaders espouse as their customer service philosophies and what their customers actually experience.

Statistics from a number of research studies are clear:

  1. It is 6 to 7 times more expensive to get a new customer than to keep an existing customer.
  2. Repeat customers will spend up to 10 times their original purchases, if they feel they are being treated well and the buying experience is pleasant.

Many businesses are sitting on a gold mine of growth and profitability, if they will just learn to use every aspect of the business to delight and create loyal customers.

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