Social Media Shifts Hold Both Challenges and Opportunities for Marketers

August 15th, 2018

Not so long ago, social media was the wave of the future in online activity. Sites like Facebook and LinkedIn revolutionized how we connect with one another; and apps like Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat altered how an entire generation communicates online. These applications aren’t likely to go anywhere soon, but the landscape has changed drastically in recent years, and social media giants like Facebook and Twitter have been slammed over concerns of privacy, data sharing and online trolling.

Let’s take a look at some of the recent developments and the potential for user impact—whether for personal or professional purposes. Read the rest of this entry »

The Potential Perils of Tying Your Brand to a Real Person

August 10th, 2018

There are numerous examples of company names tied directly to an individual. That person is often the founder but could also be a key personality. Even our current president achieved a great amount of fame by attaching his name to everything from hotels and golf courses to steaks and an online university. Naming a company after an individual can add some personality to the brand and make potential customers feel a more personal connection to that brand. We know who the frontperson is; we know what they look like; and we know a bit about their personality and character.

But that isn’t always a good thing. Read the rest of this entry »

Companies Need to Make Sure Everyone, from the CEO on Down, Recognizes the Impact of Their Words

August 8th, 2018

In a highly publicized conference call, first reported by Forbes, Papa John’s founder John Schnatter used the “N-word” during a discussion between Papa John’s executives and marketing agency Laundry Service. What followed was weeks of turmoil where Schnatter first stepped down as chairman of the Papa John’s board of directors, then said his decision to step down was a mistake, and then filed a lawsuit against the company he founded for what he describes as the “heavy-handed” way he was treated. The company’s stock has Read the rest of this entry »

In Minneapolis/St. Paul, Bird is the Word

August 6th, 2018

by Justin Grensing, Esq., MBA

A few weeks ago, I was driving between work and home in NE Minneapolis along Marshall Street, a highly trafficked street running north to south through the heart of the Northeast neighborhood. While stopped at a stoplight, I saw four young people in their early 20s curiously inspecting four small, black scooters on the side of the street. The group looked fairly “trendy,” and I have to admit I was curious what they were looking at. Read the rest of this entry »

Go With Your Gut: When You Can Ignore the Algorithms

July 30th, 2018

A Harvard Business Review case study recently posed a provocative question: when should humans listen to algorithms vs. when should they trust their own experience and intuition? For this case study, the issue related to which of two employees to choose for a promotion. But, given the widespread applications for the use of big data and the power of predictive analytics, the question could be applied to any field or area of business practice—including content marketing.

When should content marketers listen to the algorithms instead of relying on their own instincts, which have been finely honed over time? Read the rest of this entry »

Get Results With These 10 Tested Copywriting Tips

July 16th, 2018

Whether you’re writing a brochure, copy for a newspaper ad, a script for a radio announcement or a page or blog for your website, there are some tried and true techniques that can help you make sure that your copy gets the results you’re looking for.

Think about writing copy as making a sales pitch to a customer. Your goal is to persuade that customer to do something – most likely to purchase your product or service. Here’s how: Read the rest of this entry »

Tips and Strategies for Winning RFPs

July 6th, 2018

by Justin Grensing, Esq., MBA

market research, marketing researchOne of the more tedious activities that falls under the broad umbrella of marketing is responding to requests for proposals, or RFPs. RFPs are typically issued by large organizations — like large corporations or government entities — that are looking for a vendor for a large expenditure or project. It’s basically a way of telling the public or a specific group of pre-screened vendors, “Hey, I want to buy something! Send me a pitch!” The sheer number of interested vendors they often receive responses from and the need to objectively compare them means they are also telling these vendors, “But…send me a pitch in this precise format.”

The process can be time-consuming and convoluted, but a winning bid can be extremely lucrative. Fortunately, there are some basic tips and strategies that can make the process more efficient. Read the rest of this entry »

3 Steps for Gaining Traction as a Thought Leader

July 3rd, 2018

So you want to be an expert? Seems like just about everybody does these days and social media makes it relatively easy, and very inexpensive, to take steps to gain expert status, or thought leadership. We work with a wide range of clients, primarily in business-to-business (B2B) related industries, many who are business consultants wishing to establish themselves as thought leaders in various industries. Here are “3 Steps for Gaining Traction as a Thought Leader”: Read the rest of this entry »

Cultivating Customer Advocates in a B2B Environment

June 26th, 2018

Hiring marketing or content marketing talent?by Justin Grensing, Esq., MBA

 

Few things can be as effective at generating sales as positive customer reviews. Similarly, and conversely, few things can be as damaging to sales as negative customer reviews. In terms of online retail, a recent survey found that positive reviews influence the purchase decisions of 90 percent of respondents, while negative reviews influence around 86 percent. But that’s in the B2C (business-to-consumer) world. In B2C, there are a relatively large number of customer interactions compared to B2B (business-to-business). This means that while B2B has fewer potential customer reviews to base a purchase decision on, each one is that much more impactful. Read the rest of this entry »

Online vs. Brick and Mortar: Balancing the Best of Both Worlds

June 21st, 2018

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

 

We often hear narratives about how online retail is replacing traditional brick-and-mortar businesses. Online is more convenient and has much lower overhead. At the same time, others point out that brick-and-mortar still makes up a strong majority of overall retail sales. Customers prefer the tactile experience, the ability to talk to sales representatives and being able to take their purchases home when they walk out of the store instead of waiting for packages to arrive by mail.

The truth is that both sides of this debate are right. Read the rest of this entry »