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Content Marketing:  What It Is and What It Can Do For Your Small Business in 2017

The hot buzz word in online marketing for the past several years has been Content Marketing.  OK, technically it is two words.  Content marketing has grown right alongside social media.  “Fine,” you say.  “What the heck is Content Marketing and how does it affect me or my small business?" Fair enough.  Let’s start off with a definition of Content Marketing to clarify what it is and then move on to what it can do for you.  According to the Content Marketing Institute (CMI), this article defines content marketing and what it is all about: “Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer [...]

By | February 6th, 2017|Market Planning, Marketing|2 Comments

How Well Is Your Website Working for Your Small Business?

'Designing Strategies' Newsletter January - February 2015                Volume 12 -- Issue 63 How Well Is Your Website Working? Small business owners who have been around more than ten years remember well the days of high-cost printed marketing pieces. Small businesses spent hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars for design and printing of glossy company brochures. Unfortunately, most of them became obsolete almost as soon as the ink was dry. Storage rooms had boxes full of outdated and unusable brochures and other marketing materials. The slightest change rendered those expensive, impressive pieces useless. Maybe the company changed location and the address was outdated, your phone number changed, the government changed your telephone area code or postal zip code, email addresses changed or key staff had changed. Poof! [...]

By | January 8th, 2015|Branding, Market Planning, Marketing, Newsletter|0 Comments

Focused Planning for Success: 5 Important Steps

  Focused planning is a key component for every successful business. Business planning, strategic planning, marketing plans and  short term project plans count.  Even succession planning and retirement planning are important.  In whatever format,  all  focused plans include clear direction to a company’s efforts to succeed. Those who regularly read our 'Designing Strategies' newsletter and blog know that I am an avid believer in planning for success.  I am convinced that the planning process is the most important thing business leaders and managers can do to assure achieving their unique vision of success.   Here are five important steps that need to go into every strategic planning process to assure that all focus is on growth and success.  You can't reach your vision without focus being [...]

Harness the Power of You!

There is a new series of Planter peanut commercials on the air entitled 'Harness the Power of the Peanut'.  An updated Mr. Peanut, complete with a new background voice over artist, plays the starring role in each commercial.  I caught one this evening on TV showing Mr. Peanut as a motivational speaker.  That tiny little peanut-sized character stands in front of an audience of convention attendees.   In a style a la Tony Robbins and other big name motivational speakers, he touts the values of the peanut  - protein and nutrients.  The audience, eyes glazed over in rapt attention, nod their heads in agreement and applaud his words of wisdom.  Behind the little guy, his image appears on two mega-tron screens to either side of [...]

By | August 14th, 2013|Market Planning, Strategy|0 Comments

Become a Brilliant Blogger

"Brilliant Blogs or Bust!"  was the title of a blog post that just jumped off the page at me.  OK, it was my computer monitor, but the title with its brilliant alliteration certainly caught my attention.  Any individual or business with a blog included  in their marketing plan wants to think that their musings become posts that readers will declare brilliant.   I want to become a brilliant blogger! Ideally, readers will find your posts brilliant enough to pass on to others, helping the blog postings to go viral, expanding your visibility exponentially.   The idea behind a business blog is to attract potential customers to read your content and be impressed at  your expertise and ability to solve their problems.  Don't you want to become a brilliant blogger?  I [...]

By | November 27th, 2011|Market Planning, Marketing|2 Comments

Branding: Put Your Best Foot Forward

In today's world of Internet marketing and social media, and a challenging economy, small businesses on tight budgets with no marketing staff have taken to doing their own marketing.  Many have never done the research and homework necessary to develop their company or personal brand.  Without a clearly defined brand, your company is just one of a growing list of competitors, with no clear way to stand out and catch customers' attention.  Branding is the basis of all marketing efforts. Why branding is so important A well developed brand will send a constant message through a variety of targeted marketing channels that rings with: "We're better than anyone else." "Our product or service is just what you need."  "Our exemplary customer service assures your satisfaction."  "We can solve your problem."  Potential [...]

By | October 17th, 2011|Branding, Market Planning, Marketing|0 Comments

Social Media Marketing Opportunity for Small Businesses

'Designing Strategies' Newsletter May - June 2011                      Volume 8 - Issue 40 Unless you were on the space shuttle or vacationing on a deserted island recently, you can't have missed the big news this week. LinkedIn.com, the most popular professional social media platform went public. They were the hottest buzz from the technology sector on Wall Street. With more than 100 million users, LinkedIn is more than ready for prime time. Yes, 100,000,000 users, which is a somewhat modest number when compared to other social media giants like Facebook and Twitter.  Just think about the huge social media marketing opportunity available for your small business. Millions, no, make that billions, of people are now online, [...]

By | May 15th, 2011|Market Planning, Newsletter, Social Media|0 Comments

Profile Customers With Laser Accuracy for Marketing Success

Far too many small businesses lack real focus when it comes to precisely who their customers are.  They have not taken the time to really think about who their customers are or what they need.  Perhaps they think it's too difficult or too much trouble to figure out. Maybe they simply miss the importance of profiling customers.  Not everyone is a perfect customer for you - you need to accurately profile customers to get to your ideal customer base.  Identify your target customers through accurate profiling. It is important to develop one or more detailed customer profiles or personas for your market planning.  Why bother with all of this customer profiling?  Do I even need it?  You want to make the most of your marketing budgets and efforts, don't [...]

By | February 28th, 2011|Market Planning, Marketing|0 Comments

Marketing Research: Critical to Find Your Way to Success

Characteristics of failed businesses include lack of sufficient funding, lack of planning and lack of a vision of where and how owners want the business to grow and succeed. Statistics show only one in three new business start-ups survive beyond the first two years. Those with sufficient financing and a clear direction enjoy a much greater chance for success.  Another important missing piece of the business success puzzle is marketing research. Have you reached a plateau or stumbling block in your business and are not sure how to get past it to move to the next level? Some very basic marketing research can help get you back on track and refocused on your next level of success. Market research does not have to cost thousands [...]

By | August 30th, 2010|Market Planning, Marketing|0 Comments

Social Media: Planning, Policies, Terms of Use and Legalese

'Designing Strategies' eNewsletter    July - August 2010                      Volume 7  -   Issue 34   What you can learn through social media participation is endless.   I saw a Tweet on Twitter recently that caught my attention. I linked to Jay Baer's 'Convince and Convert' blog to read a guest post by Indra Gardiner: Protecting Yourself from Social Media Lawsuits. The title caught my attention in a big way, like only the word lawsuit can. Gardiner referred to a recent PRSA Counselors Academy event where attorney Michael Lasky, of Davis & Gilbert law firm in NYC, did a presentation: Is Social Media the New 'Wild West? On-line social media is the latest thing to hit the marketing scene in [...]

By | July 16th, 2010|Market Planning, Newsletter, Social Media, Strategy|0 Comments