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Case studies from design industry professionals, from the smallest of firms to large, global organizations. Click on image - order your copy today!

Marketing: Most People Don’t Know You or Like You – Yet

Is there ever a tipping point when you’ve saturated the market and you no longer need marketing or advertising for your company, its products and services? According to Christopher Ramey, president of The Home Trust International, the answer is no. “The more you’re seen where you’re not expected to be seen, the more you indelibly imprint your brand on your best prospects’ minds.”   Think about some of the big corporate names that have made millions - even billions - selling their products:  Nike, Coca-Cola, Ford.  They certainly have not stopped marketing to put their names in front of consumers. At the most basic level, prospects must know you exist before they would even consider purchasing something from you.  Too many small business owners seem to think [...]

By | January 8th, 2016|Branding, Marketing, Strategy|0 Comments

How to Increase Blog Subscribers

FreeDigitalPhotos.net - Stuart Miles I was scrolling through a HubSpot email marketing piece that included excerpts of several blog posts.  Near the bottom, I found a post about doubling blog subscribers.  Who wouldn't rush to click their 'Read more...' call to action’ (CTA)?  Are you NOT interested in how to increase blog subscribers - the number of visitors to your blog who will come back over and over again? The solution recommended in the Hubspot email, of course, was something easily accomplished by those subscribers to their own software system.  The HubSpot software system focuses on inbound marketing.  But, the idea itself was something any small business owner or leader can learn to adopt into their market planning.  Essentially, their recommendation was to [...]

By | January 8th, 2016|Marketing|0 Comments

How to Handle Negative Customer Feedback

Sometimes, as hard as we might try to provide exceptional service to every customer, one of them will be dissatisfied about something.  In an ideal world, every sale or project would run smoothly and result in a highly satisfied customer.  Wouldn't that be wonderful?  But, reality means that sometimes things will go wrong.  When things go wrong, sometimes it will result in negative customer feedback if the problem is not handled promptly. It would be nice if the dissatisfied customer would give us a call, explain the problem and let us resolve it. But, that's not always the case. Sometimes they will just sit back and brood about it, wondering why we haven't figured out what the problem is via ESP or mental telepathy. Then, after they [...]

By | January 7th, 2016|Customer Experience, Customer Relationships|0 Comments

Twitter Guidelines:  5 Reasons I Might Not Follow You

Like all social media sites, Twitter is set up to help small businesses make connections and build relationships.  Why individuals/companies choose to connect with Tweeple on Twitter can vary.  Some look for potential customers, some look for like-minded members on a wide variety of topics, and yet others look for someone with expertise they might need.  There are no rules about who, or how many, people you can connect to and build relationships with.  It can be helpful to use a Twitter Guideline or two to get you off on the right foot from the beginning. Twitter is a simple application to use.  You invite people of interest to you to 'Follow' you by ‘Following’ them first.  This is the Twitter form of an invitation [...]

By | December 28th, 2015|Strategic Planning|0 Comments

Holiday Season Marketing Strategies to Increase Year End Revenues

'Designing Strategies' Newsletter November - December, 2015                      Volume 12 -- Issue 68 It goes without saying that it is time to wish all of you the very happiest of holidays for 2015. We're entering the period of year-end holidays where families, friends and colleagues gather together in celebration. Our hearts are a little lighter - and more inclusive. Everyone is a little bit happier. We are a little more generous than the rest of the year, and treat each other better. Feasts are prepared, treasured family recipes are pulled out, decorations are hung and gift shopping marathons begin. It is the time of year to remember those who are not able to do all of those [...]

By | November 22nd, 2015|Marketing, Newsletter, Social Media|0 Comments

Today’s Customers Are NOT Your Father’s Customers

'Designing Strategies' Newsletter September – October 2015                     Volume 12 -- Issue 67 There have been various versions of the 'It's Not Your Father's (whatever)' on TV and in magazine and newspaper advertisements over the past few years. Ad Agencies must think we have yet to notice that things have changed and aren't the same as they were years ago. No surprises there. Of course things have changed. Almost everything has changed to some degree.  Today's customers are very different from those our parents dealt with in the past. Everything has changed.  Very few things are like they used to be.  Cars, clothing, homes, communication devices and the food we eat every day are not the [...]

Branding:  Do You Know Your Brand?

During a recent meeting with a fellow consulting colleague, we discovered that though our services are not exactly the same, our customers still share similarities.  This was especially true when it comes to branding and marketing.  Rob specializes in marketing and public relations for larger manufacturing companies. I do strategic management consulting with small businesses.  In spite of our different customer bases, it was clear that business leaders of all sizes and types of businesses often lack clarity when it comes to branding their company. During our conversation, Rob mentioned being called in by a prospect to work with their marketing people and and outside web site development company.  The company executives felt it was time to update their web presence.  This was exactly the type of client and [...]

By | August 31st, 2015|Branding|0 Comments

Critical Branding Elements to Identify Ideal Customers

Admit it.  The only reason customers do business with you is because they have a problem or specific need, and think you are the best person or company to solve it.  Everybody has a problem or a challenge they want fixed to make their life better.  Maybe they need you to save them time, provide a solution that will make their life or business more efficient, or remove the stress involved in the challenges they face.  Perhaps there is one very unique or specialized service you offer that others do not.  Maybe you offer a product that no one else has, or you have the best version on the market. Branding helps you clearly tell customers - ideal customers - how you will be the [...]

By | August 26th, 2015|Branding|0 Comments

Are You Selling Stuff or Providing Solutions – Very Valuable Solutions?

'Designing Strategies' Newsletter July - August, 2015                     Volume 12 -- Issue 66 "Do you really know what business you are in?"  I ask this question of small business clients on a regular basis. Often I get that 'deer in the headlights' look as they try to decide why I would ask such a question. There I am, sitting in their office or studio where their company name and identity is clearly posted. I know what they are thinking: "Is this a trick question?" or maybe: "Have I hired the right person?" "This one seems to know nothing about me, so how can they help improve my business?" I'm sure that a few even think: "What an [...]

By | July 18th, 2015|Customer Experience, Newsletter, Sales, Strategy|0 Comments

5 Important Keys to Success

  freedigitalphotos.net | suat eman Success… we all aspire to it, talk about it, think about it, sometimes get a bit jealous of those who have achieved it, and sometimes even fight for it.  Success comes from envisioning something you dream of, setting goals to make it become reality, and achieving those goals a step at  time.   Success brings happiness and satisfaction once it has been achieved.   Each day that we focus on achieving that  goal that is uniquely important to us, and taking necessary steps in that direction, we get a little bit closer to Success. Do you remember your college days when success meant taking and passing all of the required coursework to complete your chosen degree?   The degree that [...]

By | June 15th, 2015|Miscellaneous, Strategy|0 Comments