TMCnet - The World's Largest Communications and Technology Community
ITEXPO begins in:   New Coverage :  Asterisk  |  Fax Software  |  SIP Phones  |  Small Cells

Publisher's Outlook
September 2004

Nadji Tehrani

Looking at Three Important Topics



1. TMC LABS AWARD'The Crown Jewel Of Tech Awards In CRM And Contact Centers

2. Some Teleservices Companies Report 'Sold Out' Situations

3. The ICCM Show: A Business Perspective


This fifth-annual TMC Labs Innovation Awards program gives me the unique honor of congratulating all of the winners mentioned in this issue, as well as those that will be published in the October issue. (See details on pages 58.)
The TMC Labs Innovation Awards were created to honor products that help carve a new market niche or start a new trend. The awards also recognize products that stand apart from their competitors due to one or more unique and innovative features. This is the fifth-annual installment of the TMC Labs Innovation Awards for Customer Inter@ction Solutions magazine.

The power of the TMC Labs Innovation Awards actually goes far beyond the contact center, CRM and teleservices industries. The winners are certainly the cream of the crop in their fields of endeavor and provide new directions for all of the industries served.

In today's super-competitive business environment, survival of the fittest is often reduced to third-party endorsements. Savvy marketers know that beyond such crucial criteria as quality, value, CRM, price, services, etc., which practically every vendor claims, it is vitally important to rely on third-party endorsements to differentiate themselves from the crowd!

A coveted award can be the most powerful tool for differentiation by far, provided that a) it is bestowed from a reputable industry-leading source and b) it is marketed effectively.

Having said that, the most effective way to differentiate your company is through award marketing. In the case of the TMC Labs Innovation Awards, the standards for offering the awards are so high that chances are many of your competitors may not have such a powerful marketing tool at their disposal. Consequently, you would be able to differentiate yourself with a powerful positioning statement, namely, having a unique, competitive advantage. In business today, third-party endorsement is everything when it comes to effective marketing. Sure, every salesperson claims his or her product is the best, but what separates the average from the superior is a prestigious award such as a TMC Labs Innovation Award, which literally makes the difference between success and failure in any marketing program.

To help you maximize the impact of your award logo, we've compiled a quick list of potential uses. Be sure to co-locate your company logo or product logo with the award logo and use them on:

' Your company's Web site;
' All advertisements;
' Direct mail fliers & brochures;
' Business cards;
' Company letterhead & envelopes;
' Fax cover sheets;
' Incentives & gifts, such as: pens/pencils, clocks/watches, executive folders, desk accessories, balloons, luggage tags, mugs, key chains, notepads, t-shirts, tote bags, ties, napkins, calculators, etc. on anything and everything you can imagine!


Some Guidelines For Effective Use Of Award Logos
Following are some ideas on how to market your awards efficiently, to gain NEW customers and increase market share:

1. Develop a powerful, benefit-driven overall corporate concept and strategy for marketing and promotion.

2. Develop a consistent and cohesive marketing plan in which every part of the plan delivers EXACTLY the SAME MESSAGE.

3. Saturate the print, broadcast and online media with a powerful news release in which the importance of the award is clearly defined. Elaborate on the authoritative position of the source.

4. Make sure your press release is original and doesn't use copycat, me-too-style wording that turns off every editor.

5. Develop ads that are benefit- and response-driven where your award logo is LARGE (i.e., one-square-inch size at a minimum) and prominently displayed.
6. Define the meaning of the award, and use it with your company and product logo everywhere.

7. Use integrated marketing, and prominently display your award logo on the Web, in brochures, at trade shows, on stationery, in outbound and inbound marketing and on specialty promotional items (i.e., mugs, golf shirts, etc.) along with your company name.

8. Use your award logo and your company name in each and every correspondence that leaves your company.

9. Be sure you place the award adjacent to your company name on your Web site.

10. Use your award logo in press conferences and at all board and user group presentations such as keynotes and seminar presentations. Use it in analyst meetings and any and all presentations and communications with Wall Street.
11. Always use your award logo EXTRA LARGE in full color. Small logos have no value.

12. Be proud of your achievement and say: Our award says it all! ' From the industry's No. 1 magazine, called 'The Bible of the Industry!' by the Wall Street Journal.

13. Last, but not least, rent a targeted e-mail list or direct mail list and send frequent messages to your target audience to inform them about the award and the fact that you are an industry leader in your field. You may obtain such lists from L.I.S.T., Inc. Contact Marc Negri at 516-358-5478, ext. 104 ([email protected])  for more information.

2. Some Teleservices Companies Report 'Sold Out' Situations
As you may know, this publication has been covering the teleservices outsourcing industry for the last 20 years. By featuring such prestigious awards as the Top 50 Outbound, Top 50 Inbound, MVP Quality and Rising Stars programs, Customer Inter@ction Solutions' has pioneered the promotion and marketing of one of the most respected sectors of the call center, contact center and CRM industries, which is that of teleservices companies. Having recognized the importance of contributions made by the teleservices industry, we created these awards to bring to them a worthy appreciation by Corporate America. Today, many of the Fortune 1000 as well as smaller and mid-sized companies are outsourcing teleservices to such companies, and as far as we can determine, the performance of the teleservices companies, in general, has never been better.

In the midst of the national focus on off-shore outsourcing and continuous and relentless attacks by Lou Dobbs of CNN and Senator and Presidential candidate John Kerry, against off-shore outsourcing, it is refreshing to know that not only are off-shore outsourcers doing well, but also some domestic companies are enjoying record sales and profits to a point where some of them cannot even accept new customers at the moment. Obviously, the more challenging and sophisticated applications have helped to grow domestic business for teleservices companies, and less-demanding applications are successfully being managed by off-shore companies. We consider this a fair assessment of distribution of workload. If your company does not have the manpower, savvy or whatever it takes to maintain a call center, CRM and other related functions within your company, may I suggest that you give serious consideration to several of the teleservices companies you will find in this issue.

3. ICCM Show ' A Business Perspective
The latest ICCM show, which was held early in August 2004 at Chicago's Navy Pier, was unique in different ways. First, even though the size of the show was smaller than in prior years, I felt the traffic was steady, at least during the first day, and acceptable to slow the second day. Perhaps what was more important was the fact that in this show, there was a certain buzz going on, namely, people were conducting business. Indeed, several exhibitors reflected satisfaction with the business contacts they made at this show, and while they expected higher traffic, they felt the quality of the attendees was high enough.

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You For Your Kind Remarks
While attending the show and without any solicitations whatsoever, more than 100 people came to me and explained how much they respect Customer Inter@ction Solutions. I often was told, 'I read it cover to cover and cherished all articles and I have kept every issue since the 1980s.' One attendee told me, 'I loved your July 2004 editorial. It was to the point, powerful and told it like it is. Please keep up this kind of writing. We love to receive the magazine.' Another visitor stated, 'Every magazine I receive, I start reading from a certain part of it. For CIS, I begin reading from your editorial, and I enjoy it all the time.'

Obviously, the more compliments I heard, the more I could not do any constructive work (particularly because I was expecting to receive at least some constructive criticism, but fortunately it never came about)! So the compliments continued. One morning at breakfast, an editor from a competing media company passed by me and stated, 'I loved your July editorial. Keep it coming. I look forward to reading it.' Shortly thereafter, a highly respected industry analyst stopped me in the middle of the aisle and said, 'I enjoy your editorial. Please keep it coming.' Believe it or not, this type of from-the-heart accolades kept coming to me nonstop the entire time. And with each compliment of our editorial quality (for which I am enormously grateful to not only CIS's editorial staff, but also all of the TMC editors), I became more and more useless because the level of excitement made me feel as if I was enjoying the wildest dream of my life. I was not expecting this. Then, I thought, what have I really done to deserve all of these compliments? I finally got a copy of the July issue, and I started re-reading the editorial to see what I had done to deserve such excitement. I guess the only conclusion I could arrive at was that I was just being myself and telling it like it is!

One Young Lady Beat Everyone's Comments!!!
While I was walking with one of my associates in one of the aisles in the middle of the show floor, a charming young lady came to me, embraced me and said, 'Here's the man who started it all!' I asked her what she meant. She said, 'I may look young, but I attended your first TBT (Telemarketing & Business Telecommunications) show in Atlanta in 1984. As you know, the industry practically didn't exist as we know it today, and we know you had a lot to do with it.'

When I was humbled by being inducted into the Hall of Fame by the American Teleservices Association last year, Tim Searcy, the Executive Director of ATA, asked me, upon bestowing the award to me, 'If you had to start all over again, what would you have done differently?' I answered by saying, 'I would have done everything precisely the way I have done it so far.' And, frankly, given the above unbelievable comments, I would still do it exactly the same way, and I wouldn't change anything. And thank you, thank you, thank you again for your kind words and your support.

As always, I welcome your comments. Please e-mail them to me at [email protected]



Nadji Tehrani
Executive Group Publisher



[ Return To September 2004 Table Of Contents ]

Upcoming Events
ITEXPO West 2012
October 2- 5, 2012
The Austin Convention Center
Austin, Texas
The World's Premier Managed Services and Cloud Computing Event
Click for Dates and Locations
Mobility Tech Conference & Expo
October 3- 5, 2012
The Austin Convention Center
Austin, Texas
Cloud Communications Summit
October 3- 5, 2012
The Austin Convention Center
Austin, Texas

Subscribe FREE to all of TMC's monthly magazines. Click here now.