Voice-Activated Tech: Should Your Small Business Listen or Join the Conversation for Growth?
HomePod at Apple #WWDC 2017

Tag: Marketing

Voice-Activated Tech: Should Your Small Business Listen or Join the Conversation for Growth?
HomePod at Apple #WWDC 2017

Can Voice Activated Speakers Improve the Bottom Line of your Small Business?

And the Trending Tuesday Topic is…

HomePod, bringing Siri into your home at Apple #WWDC 2017

Will these be primarily Entertainment Pods or Business Efficiency and Marketing Opportunities?

As I discussed in a previous blog article (What Can Small Business Learn from Apple), Apple finds a way to get publicity on their new products. Often with new products or product improvements at their annual #WWDC conference.

Yesterday, the company unveiled their long-awaited Siri speaker called HomePod, its most powerful Mac to date, and tons of new software upgrades across all the Apple platforms, from iPhones to the Apple Watch. Today they are having the former First Lady speak at the conference, but the topic I want to discuss is the advancement of Siri for the Home with the new HomePod. Apple’s entry into the market to compete against Amazon Echo and Google Home.

FYI, The HomePod is about 7 inches, comes with seven tweeters and runs on an Apple A8 chip. It has a six-microphone array in the middle to make it easy for Siri to hear you. The main focus seems to be on Music including Beats 1 Radio but it will also be able to deliver the weather, set timers, and control your HomeKit devices similar to the competitors. The HomePod will not ship until December 2017 and the starting price is $350. (Way above the price of its competitors, as usual)

What does this have to do with small business and entrepreneurship you ask?

Technology is changing the future of business (and the future is coming quickly). You have probably seen the commercials where Alexa (Amazon Echo) can order you a pizza lickety-split.

From what I can tell Amazon is the one primarily focused on creating a community and encouraging development of Apps and skills that can help promote business. (Of course, they make it easy to order from Amazon, which is good for those small businesses that offer their products through Amazon in the first place.) There have been over 10,000 third party apps developed for Amazon Echo and the low-priced Echo dot opens up this technology to everyone.

Google Home was promoted as an entertainment hub, allowing you to control your TV with a Chromecast streamer and launching Netflix and YouTube on your TV, etc.

This avenue of technology is brand new and the market will determine where the real progress will be made, similar to smart devices for your wrist. The big push initially on smart watches was the phone feature, being able to make and receive calls through your watch was supposed to be the next big thing. It turns out that the primary usage became the fitness tracker portion (at least to this point in time.)

Will Apple be right in that people want it primarily for voice activated music with the best quality speaker?

Will Amazon be proved right that having the largest range of skills for improved efficiency will be the most popular feature?

Will people get rid of their remote controls and use Google Home for their home entertainment?

Usually one theory wins out in the end and the others adapt as best they can depending on how far behind the popularity trend they are.

In technology, it is not always the first one in the market that succeeds in the end, but in my opinion Amazon has set themselves up for long term success on this trend. By opening their platform and encouraging 3rd Party developers to extend the functionality, they have embraced the modern age where democracy in business wins. Similar to how the marketing trend is these days, often consumer-driven with Social Media taking center stage.

While business has always been driven by demand of consumers, more than ever the consumers are interactively communicating their demands through social media. This translates well for Amazon in that developers and even lay people are deciding what skills to write and what skills to enable on the Echo so that Alexa can improve their lives (mostly hands free).

Yes, people love to be entertained, but decent speakers aren’t expensive and cable companies are adding voice controls to their remote controls. I am not a fortune teller so please don’t place any wagers or adjust your stock portfolio based on this article, but I would suggest exploring the options for improved productivity for your business and home.

One way I have found to tap into this new technology trend to market my business is with a skill you may have read about in my blog articles previously “Marketing Rich Tips” where you can enable the skill on your Echo and say, “Alexa ask Marketing Rich for a marketing tip”. (See my article on this topic…)

Explore the lists of skills developed for the Amazon Echo and see which ones may be able to improve your efficiency. You can manage your calendar, add to your to-do list, listen to podcasts and audio books to keep your business skills sharp, among many other options.

What are the skills that can make your business more efficient? If someone hasn’t developed it yet, maybe you want to develop something and add it to your own personal Echo? The possibilities at this point are improving daily and the future is bright.

While change is often a little scary there are a lot of improved efficiency options that can help you reduce your costs or reach more people to add to your bottom line. I encourage you to take a deep breath and dive into the future of technology.

Tag: Marketing

3 Marketing Lessons from the Minor Leagues
(It really isn’t bush league, and there is a lot of bacon!)

Like many entrepreneurs, even when I do take time away from the business, I am still thinking about my business. I recently went to a baseball game at a local Minor League ballpark that sparked some ideas on marketing that I want to share, hopefully it can inspire you with some ideas for making your business bloom.

Lesson #1: Connect with your target audience (don’t swing and miss)

When marketing or advertising your business you want to find a way to have prospects relate and really connect to your message or product.

The game I went to recently featured a rehab appearance of a starting pitcher for the Phillies who was getting tuned up to rejoin the major league team. Cleverly, the team (Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs) had worked in an advertisement when announcing the starting pitchers for the game for a local Physical Therapy company. This is a great way to tie together the sponsor and the event, since often rehab appearances of a major league player can spark higher attendance, even if they don’t get your ad shown at every game at least it gives them good value and a solid connection. People like to relate to athletes and celebrities so when they need some physical therapy they are likely to make this connection and at least contact that local company.

A little later I was at the concession stand (getting more bacon to clog my arteries…more on that later) and heard … ‘this foul ball brought to you by’ and I was thinking they are just desperate to sell any advertising spot possible. I didn’t feel this was something that would really connect with people, but the sponsor was getting their name mentioned at least and combined with an ad they had on the outfield wall it could build their branding and they might reach some people looking for their services, especially if they were currently in the market for them. It was not memorable except for the fact that it seemed over the top, quite a stretch, however you want to put it.

Lesson #2: Make it Memorable (I mean so they remember your product or company name!)

While watching the game there was an exciting play where the home team threw out a player trying to steal second base. Then comes a promotion…”this caught stealing brought to you by”…in my mind I was thinking this team is just selling ads to everyone and throwing them in at the most inappropriate times; until I heard the sponsor was a Bail Bond company. That combination of the logical connection in a surprising way created a memorable promotion. By the way that is the ad that specifically inspired this article, the use of humor and surprise can really create a memorable ad or promotion especially when it all connects together.

Making your ad or promotion memorable is critically important to success. However there is a balance and an art to marketing or advertising your business to make it memorable and also keeping it connected to your business. You probably remember a lot of funny or clever commercials where you can’t recall what company or product it was promoting.

Sometimes the connection is not there immediately but you can find a way to make it memorable. Wawa sponsors the Wawa RBI Guy , keeping the naming short and using rhyming helps to make taglines or promotions more memorable, in addition this is shown during every game for a player who comes up to bat multiple time so repetition is involved. (Marketing and Branding studies show that a typical consumer needs to hear about your business at least 5-10 times before they consider doing business with you.)

Lesson #3: Involve Your Target Audience (Promote Community and Sharing)

As we mentioned above Wawa has the Wawa RBI Guy promotion which offers a discount if the selected payer of the game had at least 1 RBI (run batted in). What really gets people involved is the use of music and the big screen to encourage crowd involvement. Instead of the normal ballpark chants (like “Charge” or “Let’s Go” it flashes “Wa” “Wa” along with music that matches the timing on the screen.) Yes this an obvious plug for a company but once it is playing in a critical part of the game and the crowd starts shouting…”Wa” “Wa” “Wa” “Wa” the branding is locked into the minds of thousands of spectators. (FYI, Wawa is similar to a 7-11 but is famous in the Philly area for having great coffee and hoagies i.e. subs/sandwiches, especially for a convenience mart.)

Another great example of involvement and overall solid marketing concept is with the Minor League team itself. The team name is the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs and to capitalize on that their concession stands offer a wide variety of pork products with bacon, bacon wrapped hot dogs, bacon toppings, bacon flavored cotton candy, pulled pork sandwiches, etc. Even if you don’t care that much for baseball, bacon lovers are drawn in for a night of pork debauchery. Don’t forget the gift shop for a bacon hat or shirt, advertising your love of bacon (and promoting the Iron Pigs).

In the same vein they also promote the hashtag #baconUSA throughout the game and show selected posts of fans that use that hashtag during the game on the big screen. This is a great way to use social media to get people to share to their networks, appeal to their ego to encourage them to promote your business. I am there are many on social media that were looking for bacon and now they know about a minor league park where they can eat bacon until their hearts are content, or until their arteries are clogged, whichever comes first.

Funny Final Tip

One final tip to go out to the team…I would reach out to a nearby Philadelphia Pharmaceutical company that makes cholesterol medicine. The ballpark has so many delicious bacon food choices that it is hard for those of use with borderline or high cholesterol to resist (I am still thinking about that deep fried bacon and wanting to go back to try the funnel cake with bacon as a topping, mmmmmmm!) Sorry getting a little distracted here…it just seems like a natural connection to promote cholesterol medication (maybe a coupon for 10 day supply of cholesterol medication when you buy 3 bacon items.)

Small Business Local Marketing

If you do live in a community with a minor league team (in any sport) and you want to connect to your community, explore the marketing or advertising option to find the right fit for you, don’t just let them through you in as one of the “foul ball” sponsors (unless you are selling chicken products and want to be a ‘fowl ball’ sponsor. Work with them to get the right promotion for your business that can connect, be memorable and involve the target audience you want to reach!

Tag: Marketing

Tips on becoming ‘Marketing Rich’, it’s not just a philosophy!

Are you Marketing Rich?

If you are not getting as much business as you would like today, there are many things you can do to become marketing rich…which will lead you towards a goal of being monetarily rich and spread your influence as well!

Marketing Rich is both a philosophy and a goal!

Marketing Rich Philosophy:
Selling the solutions and benefits that your clients and future clients need using a variety of different marketing methods. Remember people want to know what is in it for them! Until you communicate to them that you can potentially solve a challenge of theirs, they don’t care how great your product or service is.

Having the best product or service does not guarantee success. When you rely primarily on word of mouth the sales process, sure it is usually easier to close the sale, but the timing is usually inconsistent and you don’t reach as many people as you should. (I assume your goal is to help as many people as you can and/or to make as much money as you can.)

How we apply Marketing Rich (Warning…this is partly a plug for eRose Web):
With the clients I have worked with through eRose Web, I have always stressed a marketing rich philosophy (hard to believe it has been over dozen years in business). We start with your Unique Selling Proposition and create content that speaks to your current and prospective clients as well as to the search engines. Our background in marketing sets us apart from design companies focused on Artistic style or the fanciest current technology. (Enough about eRose Web for now, let’s get back on topic.)

Goal: Be Marketing Rich to Become Rich:
Obviously, the goal of business is to make a profit, while the independence and freedom of being your own boss is a great benefit of business ownership that only goes so far if you are not making enough to make it worth your time.

Marketing Rich as a goal means you not only have enough to provide a comfortable life for your family, but you have enough left over to give you more flexibility and freedom. When you achieve your goal of becoming marketing rich you can do many other things, whether you want start new ventures, give back to your community, spend more time with family, travel the world, you name it!

Note: We do Not guarantee you will become rich through marketing, however the right marketing increases success rates for most businesses exponentially.

Business Boosting Marketing Tips: “Marketing Rich” skill on Alexa (Amazon Echo)
Check out the variety of marketing tips we offer here in our blog articles, through our social media posts and tweets, as well as our Amazon Echo Alexa App called…you guessed it “Marketing Rich”

Ask Marketing Rich for a marketing tip (Alexa Skill)

Here is a sample of the types of tips we offer through “Marketing Rich” skill:

  • Update at least the home page of your website regularly. The search engines may penalize you if they see the same content on your home page for a long time.
  • Customize your email marketing to groups of prospects by area of interest. Even if you keep most of the content the same a few changes to the beginning of your email marketing that targets an interest of that prospect can significantly improve your results.
  • Ask your vendors, industry organizations, and clients to put a link to your website on theirs or to mention the great work you are doing on your social media platform of choice.
  • To develop a relationship with a social media influencer in your industry on twitter, retweet their content, add value on top of their tweets and be complimentary.
  • Have your social media pose a variety of questions to find out what sparks participation from your followers. Some may be directed to limited selection of answers, some may be open ended or thought provoking questions.

If you own an Amazon Alexa we encourage you to enable the Marketing Rich skill by going to the Alexa App or your Amazon login > Departments > Echo & Alexa > Alexa Skills (you can search for it or look under Business & Finance category) to click the Enable button. Then whenever you need a little marketing rich inspiration say…”Ask Marketing Rich for a Marketing Tip.”

A little more about us:
eRose web provides many digital marketing services with a focus on helping small businesses and Entrepreneurs to succeed. Our focus is custom websites (and customized WordPress websites) with a marketing focus, SEO, content writing, eMail marketing and Social Media Marketing integrated together for a Marketing Rich experience.

We would love the opportunity to provide a proposal to Make Your Business Bloom!

Stop and Smell the Roses…Remember to Enjoy being an Entrepreneur!

rose

Tag: Marketing

Use Your Entrepreneur I.Q. and Show Up for Success

Our Entrepreneur I.Q. (Inspirational Thought) for Thinking Thursday is about the importance of showing up. The quote below can be interpreted many different ways, here are some thoughts on how I see it as an inspiration for Small Business Owner Entrepreneurs.

successshow800

Eighty percent of success is showing up.
– Woody Allen

Success is not really about having the best idea…but instead it usually is about either getting to the market first or consistently getting out there with marketing, taking action and making improvements.

For small business success a key factor is to show up in a specific niche market with your marketing and promotions.

Show up for Leadership…Show your clients and employees that you are dedicated to them by being there when you are needed. What do Life and Business have in common they are often about relationships. Showing up for your clients and employees can make a huge difference in your long term success.

Longevity…Showing up in this case refers to persistence. There are many small businesses that need to demonstrate longevity before they can really be successful, for example most people don’t want to hire a home improvement contractor that just hung out an open for business sign. They want to deal with someone experienced, who has been around for a while and who will continue to be around for a while – so they will be there when they need them. As statistics tell you this is easier said than done with many businesses not making past the first couple of years. If you are just getting started do what you need to do to survive, and remember most of the overnight successes you hear about have really been at it for a decade or two!

Marketing…Make sure your business is showing up where your prospects are. Whether that means a website that shows up well on their smartphone, or meet them online using their favorite social media platform, or getting in front of them face-to-face at a Chamber of Commerce or Industry Event. Be There!

Please share this (simply copy and paste into your social media):
Use your Entrepreneur IQ! Eighty percent of success is showing up to #MakeBusinessBloom … http://bit.ly/entrepreneuriq

Tweet your thoughts and additional topics to: @eRoseWeb

We appreciate your continued interest and we look forward to hearing from you about ways to help fellow Entrepreneurs Make Business Bloom.

Stop and Smell the Roses…Remember to Enjoy being an Entrepreneur!

rose

Tag: Marketing

4 Easy Resolutions for Success in Marketing Your Small Business throughout 2017

Already having trouble keeping focused on your 2017 New Year’s Resolutions? Setting resolutions is the norm at this time of year. Of course, we often get overzealous and set goals that are unrealistic. This year I want to suggest four simple marketing resolutions for your small business that are easily achievable and some tips and techniques on making them a reality.

Resolution #1: Update Your Website Content More Frequently

newcontent350If you only change the content on your website randomly or once a year, then make a resolution to update some of the content at least quarterly. If your business solves different problems at different times of the year, this is a great thing to highlight. You could highlight the benefits to different targeted prospects and change them up on a quarterly basis, or maybe put a featured product, service, or employee at the forefront on a rotating basis.

It is important to show not only your prospects that you regularly update your website, but also the search engines come back and look for new content. When the search engines find new content that is one of the factors they use to move you higher in the rankings (because they know you are still in business and looking to share timely information.) If you already have a consistent plan on updating your web content, simply increase the frequency in your system and make sure you are promoting these changes or new info through social media.

Resolution #2: Increase Your Social Media Influence

socialinfluence375Most small business owners don’t have much time to dedicate towards these platforms, so make the best use of your time by connecting with the top influencers related to your industry. Social Media has the word social in it for a good reason. Social Media is meant to be conversational and build relationships online.

Find the platform or platforms where your clients tend to go (if you don’t know ask them). For example, if you are B2B that may be LinkedIn, if you are focused on consumers maybe it is Twitter. Establish yourself on that platform by adding valuable information of your own (not a sales pitch but info helpful to your prospects).

Look for the top 5-10 influencers in your industry or region, follow them on the platform that you know your clients to be on. Keep an eye out for ways to join in on conversations that these top influencers are involved in, make sure you are adding value as well as complimenting the influencer. You might be surprised how often these top influencers will engage with you and not only do you start to build a relationship with them but establish yourself as an additional authority to their followers.

Resolution #3: Grow Your E-Mail Marketing List

marketingshift325While social media is great at increasing exposure to new prospects, you should remember that those prospects in effect belong to the platform. You may not be able to control if and when they see your updates, and what happens if that platform goes out of favor? When you get a signup to your email marketing list, these are people who have agreed to hear from you directly and if a specific platform changes how they display your info or disappears entirely you still retain contact with your email prospects. You may need to get creative with your promotions and newsletters to gain an audience through your own email marketing list, but getting these highly-qualified leads into your own email list can be invaluable.

Resolution #4: Add Videos To Your Marketing (‘Live’ if possible)

As I have mentioned previously live videos are currently a large focus of Facebook and can help you be found more easily. Overall adding videos to your marketing whether it is live or recorded can add the storytelling feature that many prospects are looking for.

Resolved: I Will Keep My Resolutions in 2017!

It’s easy to say you are going to do something different this year, but the trick is to establish the new habit or remind yourself frequently enough to keep these resolutions top of mind. Whatever CRM or To-Do list you use add recurring tasks for these resolutions for a frequency that is realistic, whether that is weekly, monthly, or quarterly. If you miss a to-do for the resolution don’t give it up, success is about perseverance. Don’t spend time worrying that you missed one of these new resolutions on your to do list just make sure you do it the next time and pat yourself on the back for doing it more than the previous year. For most businesses, success is achieved as a marathon and not as a sprint.

We encourage all Entrepreneurs and Small Business owners to make at least one of these resolutions for 2017. While we would ideally like to work with you on these resolutions to help Make Your Business Bloom online, we mainly want to encourage your continued success with this article.

Please let us know if these resolutions have inspired you to improve upon your small business marketing for 2017, and join our conversation with any feedback or how you applied the suggestions above to Make Your Business Bloom!

Stop and Smell the Roses…Remember to Enjoy being an Entrepreneur!

rose

Tag: Marketing

Unlimited Creativity for Small Business Success – Entrepreneur IQ

How do small businesses continue to be successful in the long run. Simple…Creativity.

Small business often provide solutions that their larger competitors don’t think of, and use their creativity to innovate more quickly. Our Entrepreneur IQ (Inspirational Quote) below is meant to encourage you to flex your creative brain muscles on a regular basis.

creativityangelou900

Whether you provide services or products it is critical to continue to use your creativity to innovate solutions to your clients challenges. As a small business owner myself I know that this is often easier said than done.

A small business pulls us in all different directions and we wear many hats. Creativity is not limited to one aspect of business. Whatever hat you are wearing use your creativity to try to improve your business, more efficient operations, better solutions for clients, improved customer service, innovative marketing ideas. Alright you might not want to be too creative with your bookkeeping or accounting if you are looking for funding, but most other aspects of your business will thrive if you take a little time to think about them in a little different way.

What project are you about to work on, can you use more creative thinking to improve your results? We would love to hear what you come up with, please share your successes with us!

Tag: Marketing

How Small Business Entrepreneurs Can Develop New Revenue on a Small Budget

The Lean Startup (@leanstartup) by Eric Ries (@ericries) is a great book for any small business owner whether you are just getting started or have been long established. Small businesses are constantly reinventing themselves, improving their products and services to better serve their customers so they can keep growing their business. This book covers some important principles and techniques for staying ahead of the competition while being efficient with time and money as technology continues to change quickly.

LeanStartupERW500The key is to use a “Build-Measure-Learn” feedback loop to chart actual progress and viability of a product or solution.

“Before building the prototype, the company might perform a smoke test with its marketing materials. This is an old direct marketing technique in which customers are given the opportunity to preorder a product that has not yet been built. A smoke test measures only one thing: whether customers are interested in trying a product. By itself, this is insufficient to validate an entire growth model. Nonetheless, it can be very useful to get feedback on this assumption before committing more money and other resources to the product.”

A concept called Minimum Viable Product or MVP, which can apply to physical products as well as services is a key to determine, on a small batch basis, whether your new product or service will succeed.

“…new technologies are allowing entrepreneurs to build small batches of products that are of the same quality as products made with injection molding, but at a much lower cost and much, much faster.” … “The ability to learn faster from customers is the essential competitive advantage that startups must possess.”

By using smaller batches and testing early and often the budget you spend is much lower than trying to reach economies of scale before you know what is going to sell. Also by testing in the real world you are generating new revenue as you test the concepts. You are not hiring a focus group, you are selling different versions of your product or service to bring in money while you figure out what is the most efficient and most popular version or features.

The author addresses a concept called validated learning. While you can learn a lot from your mistakes in business, mistakes typically won’t pay the bills. Validated learning is not after-the-fact rationalization or a good story to hide failure from employees or investors.

“…for every successful entrepreneur who was in the right place at the right time, there are many more who were there, too, in that right place at the right time but still managed to fail.” … “What differentiates the success stories from the failures is that the successful entrepreneurs had the foresight, the ability, and the tools to discover which parts of their plans were working brilliantly and which were misguided, and adapt their strategies accordingly.”

If a business “builds something that nobody wants, it doesn’t matter much if they do it on time and on budget.” The goal of the small business owner should be “to figure out the right thing to build-the thing customers want and will pay for-as quickly as possible.”

The key aspect to keep in mind is to run real world tests of products and services both early in their development as well as throughout the improvement process, this ensures that your business is providing solutions to real life market demands. You don’t want to spend years perfecting a product or service only to find out there wasn’t actually any demand or a new product has already solved the problem and saturated the marketplace.

There are some good real world examples from business including Eric Reis’ personal lessons in business as well as other well-known businesses embracing these techniques. If you want to read the specific strategies, techniques and real-world examples then I recommend you read The Lean Startup; How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries.

I hope this information was of value to you, I would be glad to share more thoughts on this book and how it applies to small business. Please let me know if there are specific areas of this book, marketing or small business you want to learn more about in my future articles.

Tag: Marketing

Is Mass Marketing Dead? Does One to One Marketing Rule?

MassMarketing350As far back as 1993 some marketing pioneers, namely @DonPeppers and @Martha_Rogers, predicted the rise of “The One to One Future” due mainly to rapidly advancing technology. I don’t know if even they saw the full extent of what one to one marketing was going to become in the decades that followed. (They do continue to provide numerous books and resources on this theme for small business entrepreneurs like us to keep improving our marketing.)

Despite the rise of social media, mass marketing is still very much in the conversation…if you need proof just try to get an advertising spot during the Super Bowl. However, even the mass marketing of big budget advertisements will typically integrate with social media to draw consumers into the one to one buyer-driven marketing that dominates today with the widespread acceptance and use of social media and smartphones.

OneToOneMarketing350With one to one marketing you don’t sell the same features and benefits of your products and services to everyone the same way, you get to conduct many different conversations and build relationships to meet the variety of needs of your customers.

The key to marketing today is using the tools that are available to make your business available to your clients where they are. For example many television viewers are able to find ways to skip the advertisements; many consumers are looking to friends or trusted sources for recommendations or to conduct their own research before contacting a company for their services or products.

The first step in effective marketing is to determine who your target audience is, then determine what interests they may have and where they may look to get recommendations. Once you know their specific interests and what types of social media they frequent you can focus your efforts on providing the resources they need to research your product or services.

DigitalMarketing300If possible find out who are the trusted sources of information for their particular interests, whether they are in the mainstream media, bloggers, social media, etc and begin to reach out to those people. Start by sharing out their info, ask them for more resources on that topic, try to add value to the conversations they begin (don’t just jump in and ask them to promote your product or service). Consumers and these experts typically do not react well to the hard sell.

In mass marketing the goal is increased market share, but for one to one marketing the goal should be for the share of the individual customer. In other words your goal is to ensure each customer who buys your product or service buys more from you, buys only from you, for all the products and services you provide!

Identify your best customers – don’t forget the Pareto Principle, 80 percent of your business comes from 20 percent of your customers. Pay the most attention to the needs of these 20% of your customers especially on a one to one basis with special offers and loyalty rewards.

If you have teams, make sure that the teams are structured around your clients and not around your different products and services, marketing is buyer driven these days. Each team should be responsible for customers with similar interests and cross selling your various products to those consumers. Build relationships between your customers and a specific team. Don’t make them deal with different teams of people based on different products they want. Relationship and brand come first to keep loyalty of your clients long-term.

In summary while mass marketing is still everywhere you look, especially used by the large multi-national companies, one to one relationship marketing has allowed smart entrepreneurs and small business owners like yourself to compete for relevance even with small marketing budgets. Today the consumer demands attention and those who provide them with what they want, whether that be information or a product or service to solve their challenges will benefit from the new age of marketing. If you don’t know your client, get to know them and what they want, they might give you great ideas on expanding your line of products and services to add more value to your customers and improve your bottom-line.

Stop and Smell the Roses…Remember to Enjoy being an Entrepreneur!
rose

Tag: Marketing

Has your Small Business Marketing Gone to The Dogs? Solutions to Make Your Business Bloom!

For those of you who are not yet on our eMail Newsletter list, one of our regular newsletter articles is centered on our mascot, Shayna, who is an Australian Shepherd Mix. We have found that there are many fellow dog-lovers who are also Entrepreneurs and Small Business owners, so we wanted to use this theme in a video to explain a little about our business and how we can help improve your Marketing in order to Make Your Business Bloom.

We have a 30-second version of this you may have seen on our social media, but have included this original 90-second version here for more detailed info. We hope you find this video can be the start of a conversation on how to improve your bottom line return on investment for your business marketing. We pride ourselves on providing excellent value for your marketing dollar.

After watching the video, please give us your feedback as well as any ways we can help you to grow your business with web or marketing services.

Stop and Smell the Roses…Remember to Enjoy being an Entrepreneur!
rose

Tag: Marketing

Marketing Lessons from: #TheDress

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The original image is in the middle. At left, white-balanced as if the dress is white-gold.At right, white-balanced to blue-black. swiked  3 versions of the dress photo wired

 

Social Media Marketing lessons from #TheDress Debate of 2015 (Tumblr Dress Color)

If you were paying attention to Social Media recently (or even watching the news) you’ve heard about the attention explosion and great debate on ‘The Dress’ posted originally on Tumblr. Is it white and gold or is it Blue & Black? The answer to that is not what I want to discuss, there are plenty of blogs and posts dedicated to that answer. Instead I want to pose the marketing questions related to ‘The Dress’.

One thing that this demonstrates is the unpredictability of social media. I’ll be honest, I would have never in a million years guessed that posting a photo of a dress and asking what color it is would cause such a sensation and hotly contested debate. This demonstrates to me that as in all forms of marketing you need to try different avenues and ideas and see what resonates with people (hopefully with people that will become your future clients.)

The Great Dress Debate of 2015 also shows why web designers like us need to test on all sorts of devices and browsers. Unlike printed marketing materials like brochures and business cards, websites can and often do look very different depending on numerous factors. Just like the dress looked significantly different depending on what screen you were viewing it on, the same holds true for other images on the internet.

Websites rely a great deal on each individual users settings…some people prefer to have bright settings and others dark or muted, some people want magnification or larger text size and the various browsers give them the ability to change these settings. While there are some things a website designer can to do keep things close to standard there are limits and do you really want to override the preferences of the person you want to sell to so they see it the way you prefer instead of the way they prefer? (Some people want to see the dress as White and Gold and some people want to see it as Blue and Black.)

This is admittedly a drastic exaggeration of what happens and of course you want your products and company to be represented as accurately as possible which is why it is important to make sure your website has been designed with either a responsive or adaptive design and tested thoroughly to make sure that no matter what device or browser your website appears on it still looks professional and represents you well. (It will never look exactly the same to every potential future client but the key is getting it looking good on all the major options.)

There are many marketing lessons to be learned from this and similar viral social media events, what other lessons will you take from this and apply to your small business?

 

Stop and Smell the Roses…Remember to Enjoy being an Entrepreneur!

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