An Essential Tool for Your Marketing & Sales Toolkit
Google Alerts http://www.google.com/alerts is a free service provided by Google whereby you sign up to receive “alerts” via email every time a phrase or phrases are mentioned anywhere on the web. This content can be from multiple media: news, blogs, discussions, even YouTube videos and Twitter feeds. To manage the email flow you can ask to receive these alerts in the moment, daily or weekly.
I have personally found Google Alerts to be an essential tool in my marketing/sales toolkit that I regularly use to track information affecting my business, and that of my clients. Google Alerts can be used in many ways to monitor the web for critical, relevant news:
- Reputation/Customer Feedback – At the minimum you should be alerted every time your business name, or other key phrases (like your personal name, key products, etc.) are mentioned. This allows you to immediately be aware of any mention in the media, on a blog, or on another website.
- Competition – Google Alerts allows you to be immediately informed of, and to respond to, actions by your competitors: price changes, promotions, new products, mergers, etc.
- Key Customers – You can (and should) also get alerts on your key customers to get a better sense of what they are doing and how the market is responding.
- Key Prospects – Are you courting a few key client prospects or partners? Set up an alert on their company name (or personal name) to develop reasons to keep relevant and focused on their issues.
- Important Industry Trends/Events – Are you an expert in a particular niche industry or technology? Use alerts to follow a critical event, piece of legislation or government contract.
Your Next Best Three Steps?:
- Decide Where You Need to Regularly Monitor the Web. Using the ideas above, decide where you need to track immediate information and who should receive it in your organization.
- Set up Google Alerts. Incorporate this tool into your sales/marketing processes.
- Adjust and Update Regularly. You may need to tweak your alerts using more details or exact phrases, as common names may produce too many hits.