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Tips

The Summer Blues - Marketing this Summer

The weather is perfect, the golfing is sweet and your business is about to feel the pinch, unless you're the lucky few who own an ice cream stand or a pool supply business.  But it doesn't have to be all gloom and doom.  Right now is the perfect time to focus on retaining the customers you have and laying down some inroads towards those prospective customers.  

Spurky Design - summer bluesWe all know how hard it is to grab a new customer, the costs involved make it nearly impossible to break even.  That's why when you get'em…you keep'em!

So, let's talk about customer retention -

Don't be afraid to ask your existing customers to spread the word.  Maybe give your customers a perk.  A small incentive might be enough for them to talk to their family, co-workers, or spread the word on their social network.

Change things up this summer, reinvent yourself, take some risks, use this time to create new opportunities.  Maybe you could create a mystery seminar with a special guest only for your existing customers. Get the word out on your social media with a catchy web flyer that people want to share and add to their pinterest.

Change your image!  Keep your customers on their toes.  We are in a time where business stagnation is measured every month.  You might want to get your website updated or jazz up your homepage banners.

In the end don't let the summer stress you out, have fun with it and enjoy every day.

Marketing Curves Ahead

Let's talk marketing. Most of you know what marketing is but here is a quick reminder.

Marketing: The process of planning and executing the conception, pricing, promotion, and distribution of ideas, goods, and services to create exchanges that satisfy individual and organizational objectives.

What a mouthful! Believe it or not you are doing it everyday; with your business cards, word of mouth, and your website. How much you dedicate to marketing depends on what level you want your business to grow. And yes, you can market your own business efficiently without hiring a big firm.

Look at your website for instance. Is it old (older than a year)? Does it resemble an online brochure, lacking interactivity? Are you getting page errors? Does it connect to your social media? Does it have original content? These are important questions you should ask yourself.

Set goals for your website, this way you can evaluate your progress. These goals may consist of reaching new clients on a daily, monthly, or yearly basis through search engine optimization; building a new dynamic website with a fresh look; or something simple like spreading good word of mouth on twitter. Marketing hopefully doesn't overwhelm you, if it does take a deep breath and focus on the basics. Soon enough you'll be able to adopt additional creative ways to get you and your business out there.

5 New Year’s Resolutions for Every Cheif Marketing Officer

In 2014, the evolution of technology made content more targeted and engaging, helped marketers uncover valuable insights about their target customers, and made it easier than ever to determine return on investment. And this year, it looks like this evolution won’t be slowing down.

For the modern CMO, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by new progress in the field. Suddenly, data must drive all marketing decisions, strategies must be tailored to translate across a multitude of mobile devices, and CEOs are demanding to see measurable and actionable results. It can feel as though you’re drowning in new opportunities, obligations and variables. If you’re a CMO who wants to stay ahead of the curve, here are some resolutions that you should consider making for 2015:

1. Prioritize data. Marketing is a science. Make it a priority to treat it as such in 2015. The data that you collect holds valuable information for a company’s operations, including details on how campaigns are performing, who you’re reaching and how they react to your brand, and what you’re doing especially well (or poorly). Rethink your strategy if it seems misaligned with data and the results that you’re seeing to get deeper insight into how company operations are faring, keep you and your team accountable, and help you determine the relative ROI of your various efforts.

2. Integrate your strategies. Do you find yourself juggling a digital strategy, a traditional marketing strategy and a mobile strategy, all with different goals and outcomes? This year, make it a priority to integrate these disparate pieces into one cohesive marketing strategy and streamline your operations. Revisit your 2015 marketing plan and think about how all of those different segments feed into your overall goals, and revise tactical elements and budgets to reflect your objectives. The goal is for all tactics to work together around a single strategy and seamlessly support one another.

3. Embrace both amateur and professional content. Do you know what people are saying about your company? How is your marketing received among your target market? Recognize that people outside of your marketing team are talking about and creating content around your brand. Whether through blog posts and tweets, or even conversations with family and friends, content about your brand is being circulated. Instead of trying to quash this amateur content or drown it out with professional branded content, embrace it. Learn from it, and leverage it to improve the authenticity of your communication with stakeholders.

4. Track, report, and actually deliver on your goals and objectives. Do you want a seat at the C-suite table? Of course you do, but you may be neglecting the responsibilities that will get you there. In order to prove your worth, you need to be able to hand hard numbers to your CEO and the rest of the C-suite, and this can only be done by proactively resolving to tie your various efforts directly to sales. If you can show that you are delivering results that make a positive financial impact on your company, you’ll earn that seat.

5. Communicate with the rest of your company. What are your company’s objectives for 2015, and where does marketing fit into those objectives? In order to prove your worth beyond the walls of the C-suite, communicate what you’re doing to the rest of the organization and explain how marketing aligns with company strategy. Then take it a step further and explain what other departments can do to help out, and offer an open door for advice and suggestions. Having an outside perspective helps you refresh and realign your marketing objectives, and it helps those outside your department understand what it is that you do and why it’s important to the company as a whole. Moreover, showing that you are holding your marketing department accountable to those company goals fosters appreciation for what you do and encourages buy-in from the rest of the company.

This year was a time of tremendous innovation in marketing, and 2015 will be no different. Today’s CMO needs to learn from the lessons of the past and commit to taking steps that will keep his or her company ahead of the curve in the year ahead.

Source:

American Marketing Association

Bob Murphy is the managing partner of the Chicago-based B-to-B marketing firm Movéo, and works with clients such as Abbott, Cardinal Health, Molex and Cancer Treatment Centers of America.

5 Marketing Essentials

Marketing your business is crucial to gaining new customers and retaining repeat customers. Here are 5 marketing essentials.

  1. Website – In today’s day and age every business needs a website. But not just any website! You need to have a website that represents your business in a professional manner, but also in must reflect your business. Your website needs to provide enough information so that your customers can get a clear picture of your products or services. This also comes down to content that ensures that your customers and web visitors keep coming back for more.

  2. Content Marketing – This is part of number 1. Having a great site is fabulous, but you need great content. This doesn’t have to be just news articles, but this can also be interesting videos, photos or other information that your target market needs or wants to see. If this is not your forte then think about outsourcing this to a marketer or a ghost writer.

  3. Social Media Marketing – Choosing the right social media outlets as important as having a social media profile for your business. If you target market is generation Y, then Twitter with its quick posts and constant conversation style will be better for your business. If your target is more late twenties and up then Facebook might be a better fit. Instagram is a great outlet for a business that is visual, such as products or visual arts/entertainment.

  4. Business card – The humble business card is not only that small piece of card you give out with your details, but it is a visual representation of you and your business. So choose it wisely! The next time you give out your business card to that person you just met at a social or networking event, know that you WILL be judged by it.

  5. Email Marketing – Email marketing is the art of sending email based newsletters to interested people, either clients/customers or prospective client/customers. There are many email newsletter portals -  mailchimp, constant contact, and icontact to name a few. But you need to make sure that your newsletters give information to your readers; otherwise they will just stop reading them and eventually unsubscribe from your list. Include advice, tips, new products, specials and deals, plus anything else that you may think your customers/clients might want to read about.

Social Media

Happy ValentinesI know we all love to hate social media but on this Valentine's day why not just embrace the possibilities that with so many of your customers are on facebook, twitter, linkedIn. You need to take more notice of this marketing media. Lets face it even if you don't have an account, you know that your customers do and they are looking at it every single day. So why are you letting them see your competitors instead of you.


So this Valentine's Day why not get involved in the conversation. If you don't know how? Then let Spurky Design help. We are able to post on the major social media platforms for you and even write articles for your site. Remember content equals visitors.

Free images for your blog

If you are like me I like to have images for my articles. So recently I found this great site that has a wide selection of images that can be used for websites, advertising materials, newspapers, magazines, ebooks, book covers and pages, music artwork, software applications and much more.

Free Digital Photos. net

They are all high quality images and if you want an image for free you can get a small version that you just need to attribute. The image of the "Light Bulb In Hand" that I have included in this article is from the site and you can see below my attribution.

ALL the images on their website are available free of charge, for business, personal, charitable or educational use. These free images are small sized, but perfect for websites or draft printed work. If you need a larger sized version then they are all available to buy.

 

 

 

 

"Light Bulb In Hand" Image courtesy of KROMKRATHOG / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Mobile Readiness

is your website mobile ready?So how mobile ready is your website? Do you have a site that is responsive to different devices; such as smartphone, tablets and desktops or does your visitor have to zoom in and out of your site to be able to read it on their smaller screen?

According to webadvantage.net -

"If your business isn’t mobile-ready, you’re missing a huge segment of the market: smartphone and tablet owners. Consider the facts:

  • 91% of all U.S. citizens keep their mobile device within reach 24/7
  • Nearly 86 million (more than 27%) of the population) seek business information on their mobile phones in the U.S. alone
  • By the end of 2013, there will be more mobile devices on Earth than people!"

Things to consider is having a site that not only looks great on different devices and is responsive but also gives the visitor fast information. You know how much slower it is on the phone network compared to wifi so why make your site too big to download for the visitor on the go! The smartphone or mobile user is looking for fast information - so make your site fast and give the information they need in a quick way - don't embed your great content behind huge labyrinth of menus and links.

Great website grader tool

I just wanted to share a great site with you. Marketing Grader

It is super easy to use and gives you a bit of insight into your sight and gives some cool statistical information about certain aspect of your site. Since it is free is a great tool to check out.

Marketing can be Daunting

Marketing can be daunting, time consuming and in many cases a very confusing task. "What is going to work for my business and what is just a waste of time?" These questions have been plaguing business owners and entrepreneurs for centuries if not a millennium. So how do we as business owners and marketers swift through all the options and theories to know what is right?

Also we now have social media and the seemingly free promotion through this new media. But don't kid yourself this is NOT free. You need to devote time and energy to social media and then there the unseen and dangerous cost if you post the wrong image or get too political with your customers. How will this affect your brand and your business? The old adage "bad publicity is still good publicity" can still work but be careful that you do not alienate your core target market!

So what am I trying to say in this article, how am I going to help you? I brought up some interesting ideas but I haven't actually given you something tangible to work with! And that is what is lies with marketing. Marketing is more art than science and you can only really use your own gut to be your guide. What marketing strategies and tactics have worked in the past? What are your goals? Do you know your target market? These are first areas to look at. You need to set a goal; then you need to pick strategies and tactics that will appeal to your target market. If your target market are teenagers then you will have great success in using a video that will appeal to them so that they can spread it virally through social media. But if your target is baby boomers over the age 65 then this might not be a great tactic.

Your next step is how you are going to measure your success and what amount of success do you want? If you want to increase sales by 10% then you can then you just need to measure sales in a particular time period. But if you want something more like 1000 new customers in 2 months, then you need to work out the best way to identify new customers. Whatever your goal; write this down, measure it. There is no point in starting any marketing if you do not have a goal and way to measure that goal. But make sure your goal is realistic and achievable.

Whatever you choose as your goal and how you are going measure it, you need to give yourself and your business time to achieve the goal. Most marketing activities will take up to 90 days to reach their peak. So if your business isn't doing well, think about what you were doing in your business 90 days ago. If you weren't doing any marketing then you know why your business needs help.

To some you will recognize what I am taking about especially if you have done a marketing plan for your business before. So think of this a mini marketing plan. This should be something you do regularly and not just once a year or just when you started your business to get that start up capital. It doesn't have to be super formal, just write it down. Make a plan, follow through and measure your success.

Marketing is an essential part of any business and if someone tells you that they do not have to do it is fooling themselves and they don't have a growing business.

 

Take a step forward with your business with the right marketing advice.


Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7332827

Tweets can help your search engine marketing

With Google and Microsoft deals with Twitter to include "real-time" twitter updates into the searches, Twitter is becoming a very big player for the search engine savvy marketer. But be careful as both Google and Microsoft will have certain rules and algorithms to rank certain tweets higher than others and if your tweet is the same as someone else you will find that it will get a lower rank.

Yahoo also has made a shortcut to Twitter content in the Yahoo News area of their site.

But don't worry if you are tweeting about your business or organization and it is all your own tweets, then you can be safe to tweet away and be happy in the thoughts that not only are you reaching your twitter followers but also a lot larger audience on Google, Yahoo and Bing.

Meta Descriptions - are they important?

Meta Descriptions have always been important especially for the Google and Yahoo ranking algorithm. But as Google and Yahoo have officially announced that they will not be using Meta Description for their algorithms do you need to worry about them any more?

The answer is YES. Google will still generally rely on this Meta Description as the snippet that they display when your site shows up in the search. Sometimes it will take random text from your page but in general it uses the meta Description.

So you ask so why is this so important? The answer is this; Google is now personalizing everyone's searches not just those that are logged into  Google account. They do this with the web history cookies. So if you search on some particular keywords and click on a particular website a few times Google will then keep this information for the next time and then put that website higher in your customized search results. So if your meta description is interesting then your site will get a more clicks, more clicks means higher in that persons search results and since everyone's is getting personalized search results; the effect on your Google ranking could be huge.

So make your Meta Description informative and targeted to your market so that they will click on your site and therefore effect your overall Google ranking.

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