Soho Marketing SME Business Expo 2012
Today we attended sessions at the Soho Business Expo being held at the Vancouver Convention Center. The session right before lunch was entitled “Tools, Strategies and Best Practices to Optimize your Online Business”. The panel was moderated by Bosco Anthony ( and included panelists George Moen (, Mark Schmulen ( and Shane Gibson ( 

Here are some of the take-aways (paraphrased) that we learned from the session:

Social Media Strategies
“Use the internet to get off the internet – identify people to build a relationship with then take the next step in person” – Shane Gibson. Social media tools are the first step in building a relationship but not the only step. You can use the tools to help you find people to connect with but you still need to connect.

“The best way to grow your business is to grow the relationship with your existing customers then get new customers through the word of mouth of your existing customers” – Mark Schmulen. Relationship building is still the key. Now we just start the relationship in a different way than we did in the past.

“Social media helps you build context with individuals” – George Moen.  Social media allows for continual contact with individuals. You can build a relationship with people in an entirely different way.  “These are the strongest platforms I have see in my 30 years in business”.

Is email marketing dead?
Mark Schumlen – “Email marketing is not dead it is now called engagement marketing. Both email and social are forms of permission based marketing and both are critical to your marketing plan. Looking at all channels as important. Use your email as an entry point to move your clients to more engaging platforms. There is more of an intersection between email and social than you think. i.e. You can have your readers share your emails on social platforms by using share buttons. Or you can collect emails for your database through Facebook”.

What was your surprise marketing tool of 2012?
George Moen – “My biggest marketing surprise in 2012 was You can use to bring in new traffic before an individual even sees your brand. You do not even need to start a Meetup group if you do not have the time or resources just being a member of a few influential groups is a great start.”

What will you focus on in 2013?
Shane Gibson – “There are more and more filters available for the user. So your content must be timely and engaging.  There will also be more questioning about how to measure. It is no longer about social media alone.  Social Media must be fully integrated into your whole organization.”

Thanks to SOHO and their sponsors for putting on another great day of events!


Jeff & Tara Ciecko of CK Golf Solutions write two blogs on their website, one is there 19th Hole Blog where they share personal experiences and the Biz Blog where they share business best practices and golf industry related opinions. They have owned CK Golf Solutions for 5 years and provide business best practices to a number of industries.