“Customer Capture Platforms”


By Douglas Burson, Sphere Marketer & Analytics

The main components of CRM are building and managing customer relationships through marketing and observing relationships as they mature through distinct phases.  If your company continues to believe customers are still resources that can be used for up-sell or cross-sell opportunities, rather than humans looking for interesting and personalized interactions…



Small businesses don’t “Capture Customers” – your “Customers Capture You.”


If you believe customers are “resources” who can be used for up-sell or cross-sell opportunities, rather than as humans looking for interesting and personalized interactions – your business already is fundamentally out-of-touch.

Which of these “Customer Capture Platforms” are building your business?

salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics 365,  Oracle netsuite

The answer?  None.  Businesses are built upon relationships.  Not technology.


What “Drives” your customer relationships?  Technology?

Relational Intelligence, or awareness of the variety of relationships a customer can have with a firm, is an important component to maintain the phases of CRM.

Companies may be good at capturing demographic data, such as gender, age, income, and education, and connecting them with purchasing information to categorize customers into profitability tiers, but this is only a firm’s mechanical view of customer relationships.


Photograph By  (C) 2017 Ron Berg

Contact: Douglas Burson, President, Sphere Marketer & Analytics




Businesses Are Built Upon Relationships.

About Sphere Marketer & Analytics

“Businesses are built upon relationships.  Not technology.”

Sphere is a “private clientele” sales development and marketing communications specialty practice located in Kansas City, Missouri, with operational offices in Atlanta and Chicago. We work exclusively for clients who may feel “trapped” in the world of technology, hoping sales will increase.

And hoping new prospective customers will notice you.


Our Team – Gatorade, Nabisco Brands, Corporate Communications, Strategy, Reynolds Aluminum, Sales, Blast-It-Clen, New Ventures, Parker Pen, Kyocera, Data Analytics, Media, Maytag, Advertising, RAY-O-VAC, Consumer, B2B, Mercedes, Encompass Capital Group, AirCare, Kansys, Inc.

Results. Sales. Strategy.

“Technology” will not deliver a viable return on your investment in acquiring, maintaining and supporting the growth of your customer base. “Technology” has an important “marketing support” role.

Marketing, though, must support Sales!

We offer expertise and software that leverage the most current “marketing engines” and build your marketing presence across all appropriate media to create/reinforce client “push-through to sales.”

This capability alone helps you lock-in and constantly improve marketing spending ROI – Your “New-Client” acquisition costs are lowered and your relationships with existing clients are strengthened and expanded.


We evaluate, plan and recommend marketing and media strategies across the spectrum of advertising and online media platforms.

Clients are highly specialized manufacturing and services businesses within the United States.  Typically, these clients are robust companies with established customer bases and products/services, but not yet “market dominant.”

Photo (C) Ron Berg 2017

Contact: Sphere Marketer & Analytics, Inc., Douglas Burson, Rick Dillon, Ken Adams (816) 349-5988 www.spheremarketer.com  Kansas City – Atlanta – Chicago

“Mobile Proximity Marketing”

“Proximity Marketing” is the localized wireless distribution of advertising content associated with a particular place.  Transmissions can be received by individuals in that location who wish to receive them and have the necessary equipment.


How does this help you build your manufacturing or distribution business?

Sphere Marketer & Analytics – Douglas Burson, President.  (816) 349-5988.

(C) 2017 Sphere Marketer & Analytics




A selling strategy built on price may be setting a bonfire to your business.

“Don’t compete on price.”


By Paula Aaron Rose and Douglas Burson, Sphere Marketer & Analytics (Consumer Packaged Goods and Manufacturing Product Marketing)

When you are trying to bring in new business, it can be tempting to use “price” as an incentive. But cutting your prices is invariably a mistake, as Ben Dyer, ceo of Powered Now Invoicing App, explains.

“Competing on price often feels like such a natural path to follow but for most small businesses, it is the road to ruin.”

“I don’t mean you should charge what you like.  I simply mean that you shouldn’t make price the main reason that you expect your company to be chosen over rivals. And you should absolutely never commit yourself to beat any price from any other supplier,” he said.



“Price-Cutting can make sense if your are “The Low-Cost” Producer.

Competing on price makes sense when you have a cost advantage over your competitors. So a large national installer that had an exclusive distribution agreement with a window supplier whose windows were cheaper and better than the alternatives could compete effectively on price.

Historically, big supermarkets have also been able to do this as they had their suppliers in such a vice-like grip.

The vast majority of smaller businesses, though, don’t have a fundamental cost advantage over one another, so competing on price just lowers your margins.

This even become an issue for the “big four” supermarkets.  Instead of competing with the corner shop, they now principally compete with each other and continue to emphasize price.  The problem is they also have to compete with Aldi and Lidl and these guys actually have a cost advantage. No wonder the big four are doing so badly.



The problem with picky customers.

How do you and your salespeople respond to dealing with customers who want to talk about nothing but price?

Most businesses, to put it mildly, don’t find them the easiest people to do business with.  Prospects and clients who are keen on a “deal” also tend to be the most unreasonable; they are often the most picky about every aspect of the work being done.

These customer types know the price of everything but the value of nothing. Why not let your competitors have them to themselves?

Pricing when you are starting out.

Many people at the start-up stage try to undercut everyone because they don’t have the confidence that they will get the job any other way. However, this is usually a mistake.

Of course, you can win on price by paying yourself (and any staff you have) a derisory salary. You can also cut every possible corner on the job. The first approach makes you poor immediately. The second makes you poor slightly later. That’s after you drown in a sea of unpaid bills and even investigations from trading standards. What’s more, you never get recommendations via word of mouth – and that’s where a decent living lies.

What are your alternatives?

There are many alternatives to competing on price.

The first is to make quality your selling point. Matthew Stevenson, of fast-growing The Landscape company says: “If you are to win contracts when you are not the cheapest quote, you need to explain to people that if they get three quotes, they aren’t likely to all be for the same job in terms of the quality of materials and workmanship.  To reinforce this point about quality, whenever you are discussing jobs with clients, make sure that you demonstrate expertise without irritating them by being a know-it-all.

Another approach is to provide a level of service that competitors can’t match. One electrical contractor I know always responds to emergency call outs within one hour, no matter how trivial and whatever time and day that they come in. This builds trust and often leads to follow on work where price is not the prime consideration.

I know of some companies that simply don’t quote when they are in competition. They work hard to generate enough leads so that they can be choosy, and then do such a good job that they are always getting recommended.

Each company needs to find their own unique approach or specialization helping you avoid competing on price.
Competing on price is an incredibly easy route to poverty and probably.  Once started, it can be hard to stop competing with low pricing.  Once you manage pricing you will never look back.





E/Commerce Web Design. Made In Missouri. Built To Last.


Sphere Marketer & Analytics is a “private clientele” sales development and marketing communications specialty practice located in Kansas City, Missouri, with operational offices in Atlanta and Chicago. We work exclusively for clients who may feel “trapped” in the world of technology, hoping sales will increase.

Combine Sales Strategy, Video, Web E/Commerce.

Your “Competitive Sales Advantage” – Popcorn.


Contact: Douglas Burson, President, Sphere Marketer & Analytics, (816) 349-5988, douglas@spheremarketer.com, www.spheremarketer.com



Lunch Buckets. Made In Missouri. Built To Last.


Sphere Marketer & Analytics is a “private clientele” sales development and marketing communications specialty practice located in Kansas City, Missouri, with operational offices in Atlanta and Chicago.  We work exclusively for clients who may feel “trapped” in the world of technology, hoping sales will increase.

Eat your competitor’s lunch.











Addition By Subtraction. The “Online Model” For Your “Offline” Business.


By Douglas Burson, President, Sphere Marketer & Analytics

What’s the rush?

You can cultivate your client base and relationships by understanding the fundamental opportunities “online” – to help build your small business “offline.”



In 2017 and 2018…where will your increased sales come from — a larger salesforce, new markets,  product innovation, e-commerce, or developing long-term client relationships?


(Client Analytics Report By:  Sphere Marketer & Analytics)
In 2017 eMarketer estimates there will be $440 billion in sales for a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.8 percent.  But how can your small businesses capture its share of the e-commerce explosion – especially if you don’t offer or sell products/services online?

1.  Micro-Target an Online Audience.  

E-commerce is basically about establishing a “territory” – defining and designing ways to reach an audience with a common interest or characteristic.  Whatever your product or service, define your company’s niche markets that you can penetrate online with specialized messages.  And…be consistent.

2.  Personalize.  

Site visitors are demanding one-of-a-kind experiences that cater to their needs and interests. Technology is available, even to smaller players, to capture individual shoppers’ interests and preferences and generate a product selection and shopping experience led by individualized promotions tailored to them.

3.  Create Content to Build Stickiness.

Winning e-commerce deploys crowd-sourced content to make a site “sticky” for potential buyers.  Amazon attracted millions of consumers by encouraging them to share their opinions of items like books and CDs.  What is your strategy to help potential customers for your products or services find you via Google?  Use keywords and meta tags to raise your ranking in search results.


(Client Analytics Report By:  Sphere Marketer & Analytics)

4.  Tailor the Browsing Experience to Target Segments.

Brand-appropriate site design and well-structured navigation remain key ingredients for attracting an audience and getting them to come back.  Provide an enticing browsing experience across online platforms.  If you want to sell backpacks to college students, for example, use vibrant colors with a flashy design to evoke a sense of youth and adventure.
5.  Integrate Across Channels.

Create multi-channel offerings, enabling your consumers to experience your brand consistently, whatever their shopping method of choice.  But be sure that products you are selling via different channels are sufficiently differentiated to account for price differences.


(Client Analytics Report By: Sphere Marketer & Analytics)


6.  Invest in Mobile.

Mobile commerce is growing at a rate of over 130 percent annually.  If you lack a robust mobile commerce platform, you will see a dramatic drop off in revenue over the next several years. To stay competitive, you need to offer mobile-accessible services such as delivery status, real-time notifications, click-to-call, maps, and product information.

7.  Tap into Logistics.

To accommodate growth, you may need to tap the capabilities of third-party logistics providers (3PLs) to manage a high volume of complex orders.  Reverse logistics, the ability to handle returns and exchanges quickly and economically, is becoming a key differentiator.  Same-day delivery and innovative fulfillment networks can be competitive advantages.


(Client Analytics Report By: Sphere Marketer & Analytics)

8. Consider Subscription Commerce.

Subscription commerce takes several forms.  In the replenishment model, a commodity item is sent to the customer every month.  The discovery model is more promising.  It offers a subscription to a curated experience that delivers new, hard-to-find, or customized items periodically to the customer’s doorstep.

9.  Bypass the Middlemen.

The Internet is enabling small companies to reach lots of consumers quickly. Manufacturers, including factories in China, are increasingly willing to work with small brands.  They have discovered that small brands are more likely to introduce new products to market because they are less constrained by shelf space limitations and complex supply chains.

10.  Offer a Seamless Experience Across Channels.

Your sales will grow if you ensure that product availability, promotional strategies, and brand experience are consistent across all channels — whether online, in-store, or on a mobile device. Implement cloud-based supply chain technology to gain visibility into your performance across all channels.


Sales Projection Source:  Forbes.com

Copyright 2017 Sphere Marketer & Analytics.  All Analytics Images Copyright 2017 Sphere Marketer & Analytics



The Fantastic Voyage Of Building A Business.

Contributed By Michael Koch, CEO and Entrepreneur | With Douglas Burson, Sphere Marketer & Analytics
The power of determination and confidence in yourself can take you to greater heights than you ever could have imagined.  When you are young and your parents tell you that you can be whatever you want to be when you grow up, they aren’t lying.

The difference between doing exactly what you want to do and settling for a position that you’re not happy with comes down to:

What you believe you are capable and confident of achieving.

The most successful people in the world across all walks of life (athletics, business, art, music, etc.) do not get to the top of their professions by thinking they are anything less than the absolute best at what they do.

Getting there is only half the battle – and staying on top is twice as difficult.  These individuals have believed they would be in that situation – and visualize climbing to the top every day.

They have played out every situation they can think of in their own minds to minimize any disruptions that could occur.
You’ll hear it time and time again in speeches from leaders across all industries:

“Believe in yourself and anything is possible.”

It is a common phrase that is shouted from the top of the mountain of success to those below aspiring to get to that position.  Those at the top know what it takes, and realized early on how much believing in yourself plays a part in your overall success.

There is no room for self-doubt in the climb to the top.

Once you start questioning yourself, you give yourself an out for why you didn’t accomplish your goals.

Your self-belief should not just be applied to one goal.

Instead…be confident entering any challenge you come across.  First-time failures and setbacks are going to occur, but they should not define you or deter you from ultimately completing the goal you set for yourself.

Setbacks should serve as a way to learn where you went wrong and how you can improve moving forward.  Your determination to succeed should be so strong that anything less will only push you harder to reach your goals.  It’s this kind of determination – combined with confidence in yourself – that will result in ultimately achieving your goals.

When it comes down to it, you can be your greatest source of motivation, or you can be your own worst enemy.

Believe in yourself and set the bar high. You are capable of achieving whatever you set your mind to.





By: Cindy Sanders, Aman Saini, Douglas Burson, Sphere Marketer & Analytics

Making a good first impression is vital – how many poorly designed websites did you revisit after landing on them the first time?  Learn from every single one, even if it’s just a logo concept or an idea for your own online ecommerce presence.  Here are a few our exceptional clients and projects….hope you enjoy the hard work and the awesome results we create for our clients.









Please Contact Us For More Information About Advanced Web and Ecommerce Development:  Douglas Burson, Sphere Marketer & Analytics 


Web:  www.spheremarketer.com  Cell: 816.349.5988  Email: douglas@spheremarketer.com



How does your marketing mix compare with today’s successful 21st Century Enterprise?

Liva LaMontagne, MarketingSherpa | Amandeep Mahal and Douglas Burson,  Sphere Marketer Analytics

When every Marketing Dollar counts..how does your company compare to ways the 21st Century Business Enterprise is succeeding?

“Which of the following methods do you use to reach customers when they are not at a computer?”  In other words, “what is your marketing, spending and sales mix?”





We asked marketers, “What have you learned about reaching customers when they are not at a computer?”

Mobile is important, but also a challenge.

“Mobile optimization is essential. If it is not easy for customers to read/watch our content from their phone, we lose a lot of engagement/leads.”

“We are just delving into the world of mobile email. This has not been a focus in the past. In fact, we found it a little bit difficult to even measure how many people were receiving/opening their email on a phone.”

“Customers are available on multiple screens and reaching them at the right time with right message customized for the screens is very important.”

“It is important to accurately assess the best form of interacting with mobile clients. Sometimes it’s an email on their phone, sometimes a quick text…and very often they prefer a phone conversation to actually save time going back and forth in digital paths.”


Digital and offline methods enhance each other’s effectiveness.

“We did very little until this year with print only because we thought digital was the only way to go. However, digital works best for us as a brand awareness tool and the print really drives it home with a call-to-action they can get on board with.”

It is really all about the layering effect. When we can tap a customer with radio, print and email on their mobile device — that is the golden ticket.”

“We still use direct mail and a full product catalog to reach customers. You have to be ready to go where they prefer to be. For us, sometimes that means customers with little to no Internet access, so keeping print campaigns going is important to our success.”

“Direct mail is still important and the inbox online is [so] crowded.” (Karen Post, President, Brain Tattoo Branding)

“Offline conversations to online research pushes more qualified Web visitors.” (Toby Gonzales, Partner/Marketing and Business Development, Ten O Six Beach Road Bistro)

Track the customer journey between online and offline channels.

“It’s not as easy to track offline reach as it is for online campaigns, but by using promo codes, dedicated URLs and phone numbers, etc. it can be done.”

“You must be on a person’s path and deliver the right message at the right time. Digital messages are becoming more effective as not only is it the preferred method of reaching a client but it’s also the easiest to measure end-to-end conversion.”

Face–to–face interactions are critical.

“I still find face-to-face conversations very powerful — prospective clients also appreciate the effort taken to meet with them, especially now that you can flick and email or text message instead.” (Bob Singh, Business Owner/Director, Bloomtools)

“In-person conversions work well for us. They are an opportunity to have good dialogue about the product and allow us to further understand the trend of our customers’ needs by paying attention to the questions they ask or solutions they are looking for. In return the customer is learning about our solutions and getting answers to their specific questions.”

“Although we live in a digital age, not every customer is digital. We have a large outside sales force who are instrumental in keeping our customers engaged.” (Jill Henry, Email Marketing Manager, DENTSPLY)

Bottomline:  Businesses are trying to reach their customers who are away from computers – using email on their smartphones, investing in print ads and fostering in-person conversations. To a lesser degree marketers (22%) are also starting to invest in mobile apps and sending text messages (18%).

The 21st Century Enterprise, though, is still “built upon relationships.”

To Learn More:  SUBSCRIBE Below.  Visit Our Website www.spheremarketer.com or contact Douglas Burson, President, Sphere Marketer & Analytics, Email: douglas@spheremarketer.com Office: 816.349.5988



When Spheres Align.

Vision.  Alignment.  Sphere Marketer & Analytics, Inc.

I just read The Seattle Times’ article, “Experts answer your burning questions about the 2017 solar eclipse” – read the full article here:






Contact Sphere Marketer & Analytics, Inc. (816) 349-5988

Kansas City – Atlanta – Chicago www.spheremarketer.com


Client Case History: Blast-It-Clean

By Jay Dillon, Blast-It-Clean, and Douglas Burson, Sphere Marketer & Analytics


Keeping your food production facility clean is a huge concern. Between the equipment and the facility itself, there are many places that food particles can get stuck. While this might not seem harmful to production, you know leftover food particles make the perfect home for bacteria. Even worse, you’ve learned that many ways of cleaning are not thorough or efficient enough for your needs. You’ve done your research and have heard about dry ice blasting, but how will you know if it’s the best cleaning method for your facility?

How It Works
Our team uses rice sized pellets of dry ice at temperatures near -109 degrees Fahrenheit, or -78.5 degrees Celsius. These particles are softer than sand meaning they don’t damage the surface they’re cleaning. It’s such a gentle method it can be used to clean the dust off of books!
The dry ice explodes at a high velocity against the material needing to be removed. It shrinks and loosens up the material for easy removal. Ice penetrates the surface, warms – and then converts back to carbon dioxide gas. The loose material is disposed afterwards simply by vacuuming – leaving no additional waste other than the material removed from your surfaces.

See our Case Study about how we minimized any “shutdown” of one food production facility – with the use of dry ice cleaning!  


Case Study https://www.blast-it-clean.com/dos-donts-cleaning-food-production-facility/