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Exposure to Closure - by Stephen Sadler

Exposure to Closure - by Stephen Sadler

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Social media marketing, pay per click, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, search engine optimization…what does it all mean and why should you even care?

We all know that the economic meltdown of 2009 was tough to deal with for everyone. Even the seemingly invincible banking and insurance sector was almost brought to its knees. What was also interesting and not so highly publicized was how the recession also affected the marketing sector.

Many large marketing firms, especially here in the Detroit Metropolitan area are now gone. It’s not very often you see large marketing firms just close up shop, especially when marketing is so important to gaining exposure for new products and services.

Global competition is tough, so is it possible that companies can no longer afford expensive multi-million dollar marketing and ad campaigns? What about smaller companies, can they even afford to pop $10-25k on traditional marketing techniques every year?

So what if expensive old school marketing is partly responsible for the continued recession due to our inability to cost-effectively compete?
As with everything problematic, necessity is the mother of invention and on the forefront of our recovery is Social Media Marketing.

Living in Michigan for the last 15 years, I know many people that have been laid off and are starting new businesses. So I wanted to help by giving new entrepreneurs a few tips and tools to help them succeed in today’s rapidly changing hi-tech world.

I was always fascinated by how Jesus taught through real life stories called parables. I wrote this book in story format so you will experience firsthand how my wife and I started a business, and successfully and cost-effectively marketed a product even in the most trying of times. The story starts back in 1983 and includes the 2003 inception and growth of Scate Technologies, Inc., the launch and continued success of Scate’s popular social media technology Scate Ignite,, and

I hope you enjoy it.

Stephen Sadler

Thursday, 10 June 2010 5:22PM

by, Matt Roush

Orion Township-based Scate Technologies Inc. plans to introduce new automated marketing technology next week called BuzTweet.

Its ambitions are anything but modest — to become a serious competitor to Google AdWords.

Like most of Scate’s products, BuzTweet started out as a service that Scate had provided to a couple of customers.

Essentially, BuzTweet provides a simple, automatic way to send out regular tweets on the Twitter social media Web site touting a company’s products and services, events, or anything else a user might have in mind.

A user enters the BuzTweet Web site, picks out which of their social media lists they’d like to send messages to, and then uploads a database of phrases that can be turned into tweets. (The tweets can also be entered manually.) The user then describes how frequently they’d like the tweets to go out, and for how long. Users can set up multiple campaigns with multiple messages to multiple lists.

The service costs 5 cents a tweet at first, with volume discounts down to a minimum price of 2 cents a tweet.

The company will set a maximum price for the service of $450 a campaign per month. Scate CEO Steve Sadler said the company’s internal research shows that in terms of clickthroughs and impressions, that $450 buys as much exposure as a $2,000-a-month Google AdWords campaign.

This is hardly the first time Scate has entered a new business. The company’s predecessor was formed a decade ago by Laurie Sadler, Steve Sadler’s wife, as a training company.

“We had a bunch of content for training CATIA and a couple of classrooms,” Sadler said. “Along comes 9-11 and people stopped coming to classrooms, so we had a choice — restructure, start a new business to get the content to people through the Web, or go out of business. We decided to hire a bunch of Flash developers and turn that content into online training.”

But within a few months, Sadler said Scate grew frustrated with the available tools to create online training courses, “so we wound up building our own tools to do things quicker.” One customer asked Sadler how he put together such cool training courses and presentations so quickly, and Sadler showed him the company’s internal content management system. “He said, “I want to buy that,'” Sadler said. “I said, ‘We don’t sell it.’ Well, very shortly a light bulb went on and we became a software development company.”

Scate Ignite — the company’s multimedia presentation development system, now in its fourth iteration and soon to be in its fifth — went on sale in late 2005, initially as a DVD. Now it’s sold online. Basically it takes screenshots, screen recordings, quizzes, tests, Web content, video and more and creates seamless presentations out of that content. Its customer base covers every continent except Antarctica and includes such corporate giants as Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Coca-Cola, Chrysler and Johnson Controls.

Scate managed that despite having a sales force of only a couple of people by marketing online.

“We’ve always tried to figure out how to get more exposure,” Sadler said. “We changed our Web site five or six times with no success. We tried search engine optimization, with little success. Google AdWords comes along and we start pumping large amounts of money into Google AdWords, $5,000 or $10,000 a month. Well, it gets you a lot of clicks, but it doesn’t get you a lot of sales. And when you have a price point like ours, $50 for standard and $299 for the professional version, to make your $5,000 to $10,000 back you had to sell a lot of copies, and that wasn’t getting it.”

Then along comes social media — which Scate’s culture adapted to right away, given the mashup nature of its core product.

“We came up with a list of 150 things Scate Ignite did that related to social media, and we came up with 150 landing pages or microsites for each one,” Sadler said.

But how to get people to them? Well, when it comes to social media, Sadler said, “LinkedIn is your Rolodex on the Web. Groups are good, but we never really got a lot of business from it. Facebook is good, but definitely geared towards friends and family. Twitter is geared around everybody you don’t know, and from a business perspective, that’s who you sell to.”

Sadler called Twitter “the inverse of e-mail. E-mail is seen as spam, it’s unsolicited. When you’re dealing with Twitter, you’re sending messages out to your own account, and if somebody doesn’t want to follow you that’s their choice.”

However, keeping a Twitter account about the business is a time-consuming task.

“I have a lot to say, but I can’t spend all day tweeting — I’ve got to work,” Sadler said. “But this little program allows me to very quickly create tweets that are different, and set them up on a frequency for delivery.”

Scate uses BuzTweet’s automatic functions to combine such introductory phrases as “Scate clients are using Ignite to” or “We’re having fun” with functions of the company’s software, such as “creating videos for Facebook,” with a shortened link to the appropriate landing page.

But Sadler, CTO Jeff Holth and vice president of sales Gary Gozdor fully expect BuzTweet’s users to put the software to work in ways they never intended. Such creativity, they said, is the true miracle of the Internet.

BuzTweet will be launching Monday at To get access to a Webinar set for 2 p.m. Tuesday that will discuss the new technology, e-mail or call (248) 371-0315, ext. 3.

Holth also pointed out that “everything we make here at Scate is made right here in Oakland County by people from Michigan, mostly Oakland University students — it’s unbelievable how good they are.”

Scate is also offering a free service called that ports pictures, video and screen captures to a Twitter feed. For an example, check out

More at,,, or

link to article at GLITR CBS

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