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Triumph Over Toothpicks

Before You Go

Deb Di Gregorio, founder of Maplewood-based marketing and business-strategy firm Camares Communications Inc., has “been in the business” for more than 30 years, marketing companies in dozens of industries. And since the mid-‘90s, she has taken numerous companies online by helping them build a web presence, while conducting web analytics to ensure return on investment (ROI).

“I started marketing technology companies, which was the main focus of my business, although that changed as soon as the Internet became prominent,” Di Gregorio says. “Today, my team and I work with companies of all stripes, across all markets. Working closely with technology companies in the early ‘90s gave us a sense of the speed in the industry. Technology is moving so quickly, so we help companies stay on and ahead of that curve.”

Recently, Di Gregorio has added “author” to her resume with her book “Triumph Over Toothpicks: The Essential Guide to Business in the Digital Age.” In it, she aims to help small- and mid-sized business owners understand technology and how it will help them achieve success.

“No matter what kind of company you are, you are a technology company,” Di Gregorio emphasizes. “All companies are completely and wholly dependent on technology today and it is something that all business owners have to realize and accept.”

Di Gregorio decided to write the book after delivering presentations to companies with elements of its contents, but wanted to provide an “easy-to-read guide that anyone can understand.” And, the title of the book – Triumph Over Toothpicks – is a metaphor she felt would grab readers’ attentions.

“Toothpicks are a metaphor for lines of code that are part of the software and technology we use today,” she says. “So, imagine if the Empire State Building is made out of millions of toothpicks and every toothpick is a ‘line of code.’ What if the people constructing it had a bad day and laid five toothpicks the wrong way on the 42nd floor? … Now imagine how many toothpicks they would have to sift through to find and fix those five toothpicks. This metaphor shows why technology is primitive, why [things] happen in the ‘tech space’ and how business owners have to embrace it and work smarter to triumph.”

Additionally, Triumph Over Toothpicks covers topics including analytics and why they are so critical, how to properly utilize social media and the need for companies to stay agile to succeed.

“My team and I created a framework for Agile Marketing called Zebworks™, which is a ‘high octane process’ designed to minimize costs and maximize ROI,” Di Gregorio says. “Companies need to create an outline for what they want to do and execute on it. And, if it doesn’t work, they need to stop spending time and money on it and put it towards things that hold more promise. However, it all comes down to the fact that the speed of technology is ‘killing’ businesses everywhere, but with the proper strategy and tactics, any business owner can take charge of his or her company today.”


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