Archive for the ‘Marketing’ Category

Marketing Planning: An Ongoing Process

Friday, September 4th, 2015

In an industry like marketing that’s driven by having its finger on the pulse of cultural trends and attitudes, a major fear is becoming stale, outdated or thought of as “yesterday’s news.” At the same time, there’s a very real danger in being too quick to move away from the tried and true, especially in established businesses and industries. So, with the obvious need to strike some sort of balance, the clear question becomes, “How often should I update my marketing plan?” (more…)

Facebook as Your “Website”? Here’s Why That Might Be a Bad Idea

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015

Not so long ago, having a website for a small business seemed like something that was only feasible for the high-margin business or the tech-savvy entrepreneur. Today, a professional-looking website is within reach of virtually any business. Still, in the Facebook age, many businesses are tempted to use a page on the social networking site as their primary online presence.

Facebook is certainly a low-cost option to very quickly get your business’ web presence up and running; however, there are a number of considerations to keep in mind before using Facebook as your only online vehicle. (more…)

If You’re Not Unique, You’re a Commodity. Why You Need to Stand Out.

Friday, August 14th, 2015

For businesses of any size, the ability to communicate to prospects and customers about why you’re different, and better, in ways that are meaningful to them is critical. Many fail to do so effectively, however. One key issue we often find with clients is a tendency to be too internally focused — they communicate with their audiences in ways that are meaningful to their business, but that may not be so meaningful to their customers.

For example, (more…)

Graduates: Have You Perfected Your Elevator Pitch?

Tuesday, June 9th, 2015

It’s graduation time, and many are thinking about landing their first job. Even those entrenched in a career may be prompted by graduation season to think about their career paths and whether it’s time to consider a job switch.

We responded recently to a reporter’s query about creating “elevator pitches.” It’s an important concept for graduates, for those 30 years into their careers, and for any company or organization that has a key message to convey to a target audience. (more…)

Best Blogging Practices

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015
Blogging can seem like a big commitment and, to a certain degree, it is. After all, you don’t want to start a blog without committing to posting to it regularly. But the time and effort don’t have to be overwhelming. I started this blog in February 2009 and have been posting to it regularly ever since. Over the past few years, I’ve been posting a couple of times a week.

I have five tips for those wanting to start a blog, or do a better job of managing an existing blog: (more…)

Surviving and Thriving in a Blue Ocean

Thursday, March 5th, 2015

In a previous blog post, we discussed the difference between blue oceans and red oceans. As a very brief recap, red oceans are the “what is” of the industry; it’s what is being done. Blue oceans, by contrast, are an open frontier. They are the unknown. They are the space where companies create their own new markets.

The benefits of blue oceans are apparent. There’s no competition yet. You invented the market and are in many ways a monopolist. Given the benefits of blue oceans, every business would operate in them if they could; however, it’s not that easy. (more…)

Tweeting Locally

Tuesday, January 27th, 2015

One of the many things I enjoy about marketing is attempting to generate the most results with the least among of time, money and effort. I want to get more for less. From an advertising standpoint, that means, for instance, that just because the Super Bowl pulls in a large audience each year, it may not make sense to put your message in front of that audience unless a significant percentage of it might represent potential customers for your products or services.

Social media is a lot like that. Just because social media can deliver an international audience doesn’t mean that it makes sense for you to be out there communicating with an international audience. In fact, for many businesses, (more…)

Social Media Best Practices for SOHOs: You Don’t Have to be Big to be Successful Online!

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015

One of the benefits—and potential downfalls—of the online environment is that it is a great equalizer. The smallest company, including solo operations, can present a “big company” feel, effectively competing against the big players in their industries. This can also present a downside, of course, for those seeking goods and services from online providers; all that glitters is not, necessarily, gold, so caveat emptor certainly applies.

Still, for small companies, and even individual practitioners in service industries like consulting, law, accounting, engineering, etc., it can be relatively easy to establish a strong presence online.

We’ve done that for our own marketing needs, and we work with a variety of other small businesses and independent consultants to help them establish a “big brand” online. In doing this, we have found some very important best practices that really must be adopted to generate results: (more…)

A Wealth of Social Media & Marketing Tips from Experts and Practitioners

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

Just returned from the 6th Annual Social Media & Marketing Conference sponsored by the Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce and my head is spinning. It seems that no matter how much we may all think we know a lot about social media and/or marketing, there is always so much more to learn. I learned a lot today from both the presenters and other attendees. (more…)

Do You Know Who Your Customers Are? You May Be Surprised!

Monday, August 11th, 2014

I worked in a healthcare organization for about 10 years from 1996-2007. Back at that time the transition between referring to patients as “customers” was just emerging and it was fairly controversial. Marketing and administration favored the approach and logically it seemed to make some sense. But I can recall the debates, conflicts and consternation from clinical staff — physicians and nurses — about the use of this terminology.

At the time, I was firmly on the side of using the term “customer.” After all, I had come from the marketing world with a background in the investor-owned utility industry and a private educational firm, in addition to experience growing up in a family-owned business, so the concept of “customer” was one I firmly identified with.

In hindsight, though, (more…)