Michelle Gjerde to Speak at TREK

Michelle Gjerde, Sales & Marketing Director for Robin Hood Business Services will be the featured speaker for TREK on November 1, 9:00AM at The Carnegie in Thief River Falls. 

Michelle’s Bio

Michelle brings more than 20 years of technology marketing and sales experience – ranging from start-ups to global agencies to F1000 companies. Michelle has held both internal and external agency leadership roles where she has managed communications programs for market leaders like Digi-Key, Digital River, Compellent/Dell, Gateway, HP, 3M and Imation.

She also founded and managed a marketing/sales consulting business called Propel. Comprised of a network of experts and online marketing professionals, Propel supported dozens of start-ups, entrepreneurs and innovators primarily in the technology sector.

More recently, she held the role of Executive Director of Zeal – an incubator, accelerator and co-working space for entrepreneurs, based in Sioux Falls South Dakota.  In 2021, Michelle returned to Thief River where she has been focused on building a growth strategy and sales program for Robin Hood Business systems, a provider of Point-of-Sale products and services.

Michelle holds a BA in business/communications and journalism from Augustana College in Sioux Falls, S.D..

Building a Core Communications Platform

Central to the success of any business is a clearly defined sales and marketing strategy and a core set of key messages.  Mass marketing isn’t as effective for early-stage growth as a targeted marketing program.  Start-ups need to make some decisions around their target audiences, market differentiators and core values. Especially today with so much information and ‘noise’ competing for attention, a baseline strategy must come before tactics in order for sales and marketing programs to be effective.

Once there is agreement on WHO the ideal customer is, WHY they would choose your business and WHAT you offer as a superior product or service, it’s important to create a communications platform. This is essentially a carefully articulated message brief that includes the company ‘elevator pitch’ or value proposition. It’s typically to develop one central umbrella statement and a set of 3-5 key messages that reflect how your organization differentiates from the competition and/or what kind of benefits your solutions provide to the customer.

  1. Stand out from the competition. Differentiate.
  2. Know your target audience. And, know who is NOT your target audience.
  3. Create a ‘Communications Platform’ – your value prop & core messages.
  4. Collaborate to develop a ‘Message Matrix’ – by audience, by product/service, etc..
  5. Develop Go To Marketing Plan with the right communication channels

Goal: To reach the RIGHT person with the RIGHT message in the RIGHT place at the RIGHT time. Touch them consistently and strategically with a call to action.  Generate and nurture leads.

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