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Showing posts from October, 2016

5 Reasons Start-Ups Need Print

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When Entrepreneur speaks, small businesses listen. Recently, the magazine published some powerful reasons that businesses—new start-ups, in particular—need to resist the siren call of digital-only marketing and make a commitment to print. 
The reason is awareness. When you are a start-up, getting the word out means everything to your business growth and success. Here are 5 reasons start-ups need print to do that. Print is an important part of the mix for all growing companies, but it’s particularly important for small, growing businesses because of the longevity, broad-based appeal, and legitimacy
it provides.  Need help crafting a business growth campaign? Give us a call. We’d love to help. 
1.  The digital world is vast.  Whether customers find you has a lot to do with serendipity. If they are in the right place at the right time, or if they use the right search terms, they might. But the digital world is swarming with competitors—legitimate and non-legitimate—and consumers are bombar…

A Simple Business Lesson From the Presidential Election

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The 2016 Presidential Election is quickly approaching and, once again, it offers a real "teachable moment" in our nation's history. Instead of focusing on all of the negativity that seems to be surrounding the United States political system, take a decidedly "glass half full" approach instead.

If running for president were like starting a business (and make no mistake - it basically is), both candidates are providing us with an excellent lesson in customer relations and marketing as we speak.

Know Your Audience

Regardless of what you happen to think about the candidates themselves, one thing is for certain: both candidates know the power of speaking the same language as their target audience. Even though the candidates appear opposed on nearly every issue, it's hard to deny that they're each having a tremendous amount of success within their own bases and supporters precisely because they each know what to say and how to say it within their audience.…

Busting the Myths about E-Media and Paper

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We’ve all seen it on the backs of envelopes and on pop-ups for bank and retail account login pages. Go Paperless! Go Green! Save Trees! But is going paperless really about saving the environment?
Or cost reduction for the sender? 
It is about cost reduction. According to ESP Consulting, telecommunications companies can expect to save 45% per bill when a paper bill is converted to an e-bill. Credit card companies can expect to save 37%. No wonder the push is for customers to go electronic. 
The irony is, going paperless does not save trees. The commercial value of forestry products like paper and lumber provides forestland owners with an incentive to manage their lands rather than selling them for non-forest uses such as development. By going paperless, consumers reduce demand for paper and thereby reduce the incentive of landowners to maintain their forests. Going paperless actually encourages deforestation.
To counter the growing volume of greenwashing out there, Two Sides, an organizat…

What's in a Leaf?

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If you enjoy watching the leaves float down during the fall season, you probably already know that just like snowflakes, each tree's leaves are individual and unique. Unlike snowflakes, though, leaves can tell you from which tree they came, and fortunately, there are many resources available to you for identifying trees by their leaves.

Knowing more about your surroundings is important, and it can apply well in a work situation.

Discovery

An excellent resource for identifying trees will take you on a journey of discovery: from the color and shape of the leaf to how many points it has, all to learn more about the tree it came from. It might go on to identify the type of bark, the size of the tree, and more to help you determine which tree you are looking at.

There are many ways you can apply this strategy of discovery with your customers, especially if they are repeat customers. If you think about each customer as if they were an onion with many layers to uncover, you can vie…

Direct Mail Checklist

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In today’s world of complex creative and nonstop marketing assault, it’s easy to forget the basics. Before designing that visually extravagant mailer, take a step back and make sure you’ve covered the fundamentals. 
1 List. Who are you sending the mailer to? Is the list current? Are you mailing to the right people? Are the names up to date? Are there duplicates (or even triplicates) that need to be culled? 
2 Basic segmentation. Even if you are not using full personalization, your mailing should still have basic segmentation that allows you to speak relevantly to your core target audiences. If you’re selling homeowners or auto insurance, for example, you’ll speak differently to families with children than you will to retirees. 
3 Cross-reference.  Especially if you will be personalizing, it’s a good idea to cross-reference your data. You can assume that customers purchasing infant formula have young children, but maybe they are grandparents picking up necessities for their grandchildren, to…

Tips for Nurturing Existing Sales Leads

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While bringing new leads into your business is always important, sometimes it's not the "be all, end all" solution to your bottom line. Remember that according to most statistics, an incredible 90% of new prospects are merely in the "browsing" stage of their relationship with your company - meaning that they're not quite ready to buy. Out of every new lead you bring into your business, only 5% are ready to pull the trigger - if that. While you may think this means you have to work harder to bring in a higher volume of leads (this is a numbers game, after all), try a different approach. Don't forget about the leads you already have.

If you want to get better at nurturing your existing sales leads to get them ready for that ever-important purchase, you'll want to keep a few key things in mind.

You Are an Authority. Don't Forget This

When people think about nurturing leads, one of the qualities required for a solid relationship is one of trust. …

Applying Life Lessons to Small Business

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Parents to teenagers and young adults know that there are some lessons that only living life can bring us. Life lessons learned through living life are valuable, and they are hard to teach to teenagers because teens think they have the answers to everything. However, experience can offer up gems of information about what is truly important in life and how to enjoy each moment as it comes.

What are some of the lessons that life teaches us?

1. Life isn't fair, but it is still good.

How many times have you heard your child or teenager say to you, "but that isn't fair!" The truth is that life isn't fair. Life happens as it happens, and you need to learn to roll with the ups and downs and continue on your journey. If you can take each moment as it comes, then you can appreciate the good, survive the bad, and continue on your way.

2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.

Many of the big decisions in life can be broken down into small steps that are easy t…

Don't Make the Internet Angry: Important Considerations About Using Social Media as a Marketing Platform

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As a sheer marketing platform, social media brings with it a host of advantages that can't be ignored. According to one recent study, there will be 2.5 billion unique users worldwide on social media networks by as soon as 2018. Right now, social media sites like Twitter and Facebook have the potential to effortlessly connect you with approximately 70% of the United States population.


However, social media also presents some challenges, too - particularly if you insist on taking the "tried but true" marketing techniques of yesteryear and trying to cram them into a social media-shaped box. If you want to unlock the real potential that only social media can provide, you'll need to keep a few key things in mind.

Different Users Are Looking for Different Things

One of the most important things to understand about social media networks is that they aren't all created equally. Someone who uses Facebook isn't looking for the same TYPE of message that someone who u…

The Art of the Pivot

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No matter what business you're talking about, most companies usually begin life in the same way: with an idea. You wake up one morning, have an idea for a product or service that you're sure will be the "next big thing," and you get to work. You fully commit yourself to building an infrastructure, developing and expanding on your idea, and eventually, you bring your product or service to market.

And then things have a habit of sometimes not going necessarily how you'd planned them.

Maybe people are using your product, but they're not using it in the exact way that you intended. Certainly not in the way you built your strategy around. Maybe your product or service isn't popular at all, but the underlying idea is still a solid one. In these situations, you have two options: you can pack up your ball and go home, or you could do what some of the most successful companies in the history of planet Earth have done: you pivot.

The Art of the Pivot in Action

Failure Is an Opportunity: The Positives That You Can Learn From a Good Day Gone Wrong

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Nobody ever plans on failure. When you wake up in the morning, ready to start another rough day at the office, you don't think to yourself "Oh boy, I really can't wait to screw up that big project today." Failure is something that tends to happen, despite the best of intentions. In those moments of darkness, it's easy to let setbacks both large and small get you down. However, a quality that all real leaders have in common is that they don't dread failure at all because they know that it is inevitable. Failure is only truly a negative thing if you fail to seize the opportunity of the unique learning experience you've just been presented with.

Failure Helps You Combat Momentum

One of the most common reasons why failure sometimes rears its ugly head has to do with something that can often be your biggest strength - momentum. As the machine that is your business grinds along, day after day, you begin to get into a "groove" thanks to our old frien…