Brilliance is not enough – you need to build relationships!

November 14th, 2018

Maybe it’s because I grew up in a family-owned business. Maybe it’s because I grew up a bit “socially awkward.” Maybe it’s because I spent 20+ years in corporate communications. Whatever it is, I grew up with a very strong sense of inclusiveness when it comes to interacting with people. The concept that you “can’t judge a book by its cover” has always been meaningful to me; I’ve always enjoyed interacting with and learning from a broad range of people–trying hard not to pre-judge those I come into contact with. That has served me well. Read the rest of this entry »

The Blurred Lines Between PR, Marketing and Advertising

November 7th, 2018

There’s a raging — and quite interesting — debate that I continue to see taking place in various online forums about the relationship between PR and marketing. I’ve found it especially interesting because I recently was engaged in the same debate while teaching PR courses at a local university. Surprisingly to me, there is a group that believes quite strongly that PR is not part of marketing: that it is a separate and distinctly different function within an organization.

Frankly, that’s just “crazy talk” to me. Read the rest of this entry »

Using Push Marketing Techniques to Grow Your Business

October 25th, 2018

Most of us in the marketing business are familiar with the concept of – if not necessarily the term – pull marketing. Pull marketing refers to using your business development strategies to attract customers actively seeking out a product or service to your particular offering. For example, a pizza company might work on increasing its page ranking through search engine optimization (SEO) so that it shows up prominently when a hungry potential customer searches for “pizza near me” in their search engine.

But there’s another type of marketing that takes a more aggressive approach. “On the other side of the coin is a push campaign,” writes Rocco Baldassarre – Founder & CEO of Zebra Advertisement 1DollarAd.com – In an article for Entrepreneur. “A push campaign presents products and services to an audience without serving an initial demand.”

Baldassarre writes about push marketing in the context of online marketing and offers four tips for maximizing the outcome of your efforts. Read the rest of this entry »

How Becoming a Trusted SME Can Boost Your Sales Ability

October 23rd, 2018

Hiring marketing or content marketing talent?Many people are somewhat wary of having something sold to them. Even with professional salespeople, and even when we’ve actively sought out the product or service a salesperson is offering, there is a tendency to be skeptical of what they’re telling us. After all, they are trying to get money from us. That’s why anything that can be done to boost the credibility of a salesperson is a big boon. Read the rest of this entry »

5 Steps for Creating an Email Marketing Campaign

October 18th, 2018

Marketers have a wide range of channels available to them in their efforts to reach potential customers. While some are general – i.e., TV commercials, billboards, radio ads – others are much more targeted and focused. Before the days of email, direct-mail marketing, in which a marketer mails marketing materials directly to a specifically identified group of recipients, was a great way to target likely customers, and it still is. But advances in technology mean that we can take this kind of marketing to the next level through email marketing. Read the rest of this entry »

5 Tips for Crafting Online Headlines

October 16th, 2018

In the newspaper business, the above-the-fold headline is a crucial aspect of grabbing a potential reader’s attention and enticing them to pick up the paper and read on. The same is true of online headlines – the hyperlinks that come up in a list when you search for something in a search engine. In addition to page ranking, an enticing headline is an important way to drive traffic to your site. Here are some tips for generating great headlines. Read the rest of this entry »

Pulling Together a Powerful Team

October 2nd, 2018

media relations, PR, Beloit College Mindset listby Justin Grensing, Esq., MBA

While plenty of people start a small business from their basement or garage all on their own, most great successes start with a great team. Even start-ups that begin as a sole proprietorship typically need to bring others on board once they start to grow and need specialized skills and experience.

Putting together the right team can be challenging. But there are some tips that might help: Read the rest of this entry »

Leveraging Big Benefits From Loss Leader Pricing

September 27th, 2018

content marketing, content management, content strategy, strategic marketing, marketing strategically, strategic communicationsby Justin Grensing, Esq., MBA

At first glance, it might seem like a ridiculous strategy to price a product below its cost. Wouldn’t you just be losing money? While this is true, many companies do just that, and they do lose money. On that specific offering. This is part of a strategy known as loss leader pricing. As defined by Inc., “loss leader pricing is an aggressive pricing strategy in which a store sells selected goods below cost in order to attract customers who will, according to the loss leader philosophy, make up for the losses on highlighted products with additional purchases of profitable goods.”

A great example of a loss leader is razors. Read the rest of this entry »

Can You Get Ahead Of Disruptive Innovation?

September 24th, 2018

8970947 - illuminated light bulb in a row of dim ones concept for creativity, innovation and solutionby Justin Grensing, Esq., MBA

Disruptive innovation refers to new advances within an industry that fundamentally reshape or even completely replace an industry. Consider, for example, the impact of the personal computer on the typewriter industry, or the impact of the automobile on the horse-drawn carriage industry. Disruptive innovation is a boon to consumers and society in general, because new products, new services and new ways of serving customers add value to individuals and the economy as a whole. At the same time, disruptive innovation can be devastating to companies that are too slow to recognize the impending impact of disruptive innovation or too slow to react once they have recognized that potential impact.

In a post for Vertafore, Ben Deda, VP of Marketing, lists several examples of companies that failed to adapt to disruptive innovation. You’ve likely heard of them: Read the rest of this entry »

How to Tap Into Crowdfunding to Fuel Your Business Startup

September 13th, 2018

by Justin Grensing, Esq., MBA

One of the most difficult aspects of starting a new business is raising some start-up capital. It’s great if you have sufficient savings built up to keep you going for a few years – yes, it often takes at least that long to start turning a profit – but that isn’t the reality for many entrepreneurs. In addition to the costs of running the business itself – which could include rent, marketing, utilities, raw materials, staff wages, etc. – entrepreneurs are often leaving an existing job, foregoing a steady paycheck.

Traditionally, start-ups are frequently funded by one or more of the “3Fs”: family, friends and fools. Read the rest of this entry »