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Small Business Tools That (Lucky For Us) Actually Exist!

by Erin Marchesano 2. May 2014 16:10

For most large businesses, having a true marketing budget is absolutely necessary. In fact, not only is it necessary… it’s crucial. When a business is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars each year on marketing, it requires a lot of planning, research, and access to really great resources.

So what about the smaller businesses that may not have the budget or resources to achieve some of those larger marketing initiatives?

We may not have a complete solution, but if your answer is “no” to any of the questions below, then you may be in luck!

Duct Tape Marketing is a great resource for small businesses to receive practical, achievable, and interesting business advice through blogs, books, webinars, and newsletters. By signing up on their website www.ducttapemarketing.com, you will receive a weekly newsletter packed full of sales and marketing links, eBooks, podcasts and the crème de la crème… SMALL BUSINESS TOOLS!

So ask yourself, “Does my business have the marketing budget for…”

  • Finding an outsourced company that can build my website?
  • Hiring experienced designers to create my marketing material?
  • Hiring full time bloggers to create content on my social media profiles and company blog?
  • Creatively formatting and managing unique email campaigns?
  • Getting presentation software that’s more dynamic than PowerPoint?

… Or anything and everything in between?

We’ve compiled some of our favorite online tools, compliments of Duct Tape Marketing, that are geared toward helping small businesses and business professionals to achieve large scale goals with the use of budget friendly (and sometimes FREE) resources.

Enjoy!

 

Crowdmics - This is a unique app that turns mobile devices into microphones for Q and A at conferences. crowdmics.com

Canva - This is an online graphic design tool for simple but powerful Facebook covers, presentations and social media images. www.canva.com

Content Top Idea Generator- This tool allows you to type in a keyword and get help brainstorming topic ideas for your next blog or content marketing piece. www.rypmarketing.com

Whobaloo - This is just another nice, simple, online graphic design tool. whobaloo.com

Rebump - This is an email tool that automatically sends follow up reminders when someone does not respond. www.rebump.cc

Stormboard - Nice little online brainstorming and collaboration tool that uses an online sticky note whiteboard. www.stormboard.com

MOZ Local- The SEO folks at MOZ just launched a tool to help local businesses show up in search. moz.com

Chromebox for Meeting- It was only a matter of time before Google entered the video meeting space – this set-up gets you into conducting video meeting via the big screen. www.google.com/intl/en/chrome/business/solutions/for-meetings.html

Woovent - This is a nice looking tool for organizing and promoting events on Facebook. www.woovent.com

Organigr.am- This is a tool that makes creating directories and org charts easy. organigr.am

SlideDog - Free multimedia presentation software that lets you create playlists of different media. slidedog.com

AWR Cloud - This is an online rank tracking tool, great for competitive research. www.advancedwebranking.com

Snappy Checkout - Simple and slick looking way to add shopping cart to your website. www.snappycheckout.com

Grapevine6 - A tool that connects to your LinkedIn account and suggests content to send to people you want to network with. grapevine6.com

Syndical - A service that makes it easy to create and share events across networks. syndical.com

Present.me - Very nice presentation tool that allows you to create a video with your slides next to them (great for pitching ideas). present.me

… AND…

Online Marketing Tool Directory- This is a one page directory of 300+ online marketing tools and resources that any business or business professional can use!

imtvault.com

 

What You’ve Been Missing: Golfers

by Mariam Nassery 25. April 2014 15:36

“When you break down all the fluff, there are 2 ways to promote and market your business: dumber, slower, and expensive OR smarter, faster and cheaper,” said David Siteman Garland, host of “The Rise to the Top.”

So what are smart, efficient businesses doing to promote their company? They’re looking at the golf community. Why? The following golfer demographic information shows why golfers can be important to your business

  • There are 29 million golfers in the country, which is 9.6 percent of the population.
  • 50 percent are white-collar workers.
  • Golfers wield an average household income of $95,000.
  • 68 percent of golfers are married.
  • 77.5 percent are male.

If any of the above statistics match your target market, then your target market exists within the golf consumer group. We have used the auto industry, realty, travel industry, and the finance industry as examples to outline why your business should resolve to understand and target golfers.  

Auto Industry

The golfing consumer group can be an asset to the auto industry.  Let’s take a look at statistics that illustrate that:

  • 56 percent spent $30,000 or more on their last automobile
  • Almost 30 percent of golfers spent $40,000+ on their last vehicle.
  • 32 percent possess at least three cars.

So the numbers tell the story, people within the golfing community tend to own multiple cars, which is an opportunity for auto dealers to influence their buying decisions. We know that advertising is the most persuasive when it identifies a need and fills it. Getting in front of this consumer measurably increases the likelihood that your auto dealership is right for their next vehicle purchase.

Realty

According to Franklin D. Roosevelt, “real estate is about the safest investment in the world.” No wonder these statistics show golfers are active real estate consumers:

  • 68 percent own at least one home.
  • 18 percent of golfers own two or three homes.
  • 20 percent research real estate information online.

If your target market has multiple homes or is interested in buying/selling a home, look no further than golfers.  

Also, as shown above, 20 percent of golfers research realty online, which means they will most likely look up the name of the realtor they see advertised at the golf course on their smartphones. Talk about driving business right to you.

Travel Industry

Remember the last time you traveled and you were scrambling to find airline tickets, rental cars and hotels? We as consumers want to find the right hotel, airline or rental car quickly. People within the golfing community enjoy traveling regularly so they must come across that situation often. You can use these statistics to persuade them to choose your travel industry business for their upcoming travel plans:

  • 84 percent of golfers plan to travel at least once this year.
  • 80 percent took a business trip in the past year.
  • 63 percent of golfers rent a car while on vacation or out-of-town for business.
  • Around 58 percent of golfers search for and book travel plans online.

Why not make it easier for those golfers? Using the top-of-mind strategy, you can plant the seed of your travel business’ name into the thoughts of golfers via targeted outdoor advertising at golf courses. Expedia, Cheaptickets.com, Kayak.com and more would sit top of mind for golfers if their ads were featured by golf courses.

Finance Industry

Did you know that most financial planners like to golf? Of course you did, but have you discovered that the golf consumer group meets the criteria for your target market?  If you haven’t, here are some statistics that cement why golfers are your prospects:

  • 59 percent of golfers spend on banking services.
  • 40 percent spend on financial planners.
  • 56 percent conduct banking online.
  • 41 percent research financial services.

Financial planners and bankers have aptly realized that the golf course is a meeting ground for golfers. Word-of-mouth can spread quickly about your business if you advertise outside a golf course.  As Mark Zuckerberg, the creator of Facebook, said, “nothing influences people more than a recommendation from a trusted friend.”

These are just a few of the examples that illustrate why this demographic should be targeted into marketing plans. Utilizing direct marketing strategies to target the golf consumer is what every smart business should do.

Location-based marketing is a strategy that involves finding places you can have good visibility and influence potential customers. The best way to execute location-based marketing is to pinpoint where your consumer is congregating regularly.

Frequency of exposure and location are the keys to successfully targeting consumers with your advertising. Effective frequency can ensure that your business’ name will stay “top of mind”.

Businesses that are able to stay top of mind do so with location-based ads placed exactly where the potential customer can be found.

So I spent this entire piece telling you why I believe the golfing community can be an important component of a successful marketing strategy, but how do you get your message to this consumer group? You can do this in several ways, but one way I think has a lot of merit for its marketing value is outdoor advertising. Why?

Well, outdoor advertising grants you the opportunity to use both location-based marketing and frequency by placing signs with your company’s name in front of golf courses.   

Highway Sponsorship will provide sign locations that directly target this important consumer group.

Call Bill Elliott, our National Sales Director at 800-358-0231 ext. 302 or email him and let him guide you through the process of finding that perfect Adopt A Highwaysign location for your business. Adopt A Highway Maintenance Corp. can start driving your sales up with a strategically placed sign today!

How to Tailor Your Marketing Message to Convey the Proper "Story"

by Erin Marchesano 31. March 2014 15:38

When it comes to B2B marketing and even B2C marketing, we are repeatedly being forced to find innovative ways to get our message out to the right people in an effective, content driven manner. Business environments tend to be overloaded with seas of information and it’s often difficult for decision makers to sift through all the clutter and narrow down the message that resonates directly with them.

That’s where the power of storytelling comes into play and B2B marketing is the perfect arena to take hold of this concept and slingshot ourselves past all the “junk” and right into the hands of the people that matter most.

In order to effectively reach your target business owner, it is first important to fully understand the problems they face and to get an overall perspective of their general needs. Everyone wants a solution... From consumers to business owners, “if you can’t fix my problem I’m not interested!”

By understanding their needs up front, you can easily tailor a message along with your product or service that offers them a perfectly reasonable solution.

… THAT is the story.

Sometimes we forget that it’s not always about having the best product or lowest price when we put our message out there, but that it’s more important to have the “right” one.

If an outdoor media company tries to sell me and my business on why I should advertise with them, price is absolutely something I’ll take into consideration, but if they are only touching on the fact that they have the best product and lowest price… well, how is that going to benefit me if I’m already using other methods of advertising? On the other hand, if they can explain to me why outdoor is actually less expensive than my current advertising method in terms of CPM, or how an outdoor presence for my particular business will be more beneficial than say, an online presence and why… They might have me going there.

People resonate with the things that are relevant to them or their business. Yes, we all want a deal, but it’s not always about the price.

More times than not, it’s about having the RIGHT product or service that appeals to the needs of businesses and consumers, and the only way that a business owner will know that you have the right product or service for them, is to properly convey that message in your story.

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**North Carolina Sponsor Spotlight** - Cape Fear Community College

by Adopt A Highway 15. October 2013 10:32

Cape Fear Community College – Been in the program since 2012

Vision Statement:

“Cape Fear Community College: Building a future-oriented world-class workforce and a community of lifelong learners in partnership with regional businesses and agencies. Imagine the possibilities!”

With over 28,000 students enrolling in classes every year, Cape Fear Community College is the sixth largest community college in the state and is a major economic development partner in southeastern North Carolina. CFCC is dedicated to providing world-class workforce training and quality higher education for citizens of New Hanover and Pender counties.

CFCC’s main campus is located in historic downtown Wilmington, North Carolina on the banks of the Cape Fear River and a North Campus in northern New Hanover County. Day and evening classes are offered at all campuses as well as a large number of online classes through an expanding distance education program.

(Sign is located off I-40)

Cape Fear Community College Testimonial:

“Cape Fear Community College chose to participate with the Adopt a Highway program to help promote the college to the thousands of visitors and residents that travel on I-40 every day. The sign placement is excellent, located just before the city limits. The sign serves as a billboard for the college at a fraction of the cost.”

       – David Hardin, Director of Marketing & Public Relations

 

For more information about Cape Fear Community College Visit their website at http://www2.cfcc.edu.

www.northcarolinasponsorships.com

What is Cause Marketing and as a Small Business, How Can We Utilize It?

by Erin Marchesano 19. August 2013 14:17

When the economy began to shift a few years ago, many consumers started to feel differently about how they spend their money. Whether by simply cutting back on their spending or by taking advantage of coupons and promotions, consumers have become much more conservative in how they are choosing to spend money… period. It is becoming more and more important to people that they maximize their budget and are gaining full benefits for themselves and their families.

Because of this, a concept that has been around for a very long time has really begun to take shape over the last few years among large and even small businesses. It’s called “Cause Marketing.” While many businesses have always been big on giving philanthropic donations and helping out non-profit organizations for the greater good, there is a form of marketing that some of these businesses are starting to use that not only benefits a non-profit organization, but it also provides a profit for their company as well.

If you are unfamiliar with the term “Cause Marketing” or “Cause Sponsorship Marketing,” it is a partnership between a non-profit organization and for-profit company for a MUTUAL profit that benefits both… all the while meeting the needs and demands of consumers to bring satisfaction in a stressful economy.

Example One: Target REDcard

 Target’s REDcard program is a debit or credit card that provides Target shoppers with additional discounts and savings that they cannot receive when using other forms of payment. With things like 5% rewards, free shipping, and even pharmacy discounts… the REDcard program is an incentive for consumers to save even more when shopping at Target.

In addition, users of Target’s REDcard have the opportunity to choose any K-12 school, in which Target will then donate 1% of all that user’s purchases on their REDcard to the school of their choice.

 

So what’s the catch? There is none. Target has found a unique way of providing its customers with additional discounts and savings while also giving a charitable donation to K-12 schools across the U.S. This is not just a Win-Win for consumers and for children’s education; it’s a Win-Win-Win for Target as well while they continue to profit from purchases made by customers using their REDcard.

Example Two: TOMS Shoes

TOMS is a company that has gained huge success in its promise that for every pair of shoes purchased, a pair of shoes would be given to a child in need. “One for One.” After the first year the owner of the company, Blake Mycoskie, along with a group of family, friends, and staff… traveled to Argentina with 10,000 pairs of shoes for children in need. None of this would have been possible if it weren’t for TOMS customers and their purchases from the prior year.

In America, shoes are a commodity and without even thinking, we put them on and wear them every day. In other, less fortunate countries this is not the case. Many children grow up barefoot without any shoes at all.

Generally speaking when people are presented with the option of purchasing a product that benefits some kind of organization, their answer is usually, “Ok.” However, because of the change in economy and how consumers are spending their money, they are starting to look at some of these forms of Cause Marketing in a skeptical way. People want to know that their money will be providing tangible goods for the greater cause.

Now when consumers are ready to purchase new shoes, or often times are presented with a choice between brands, many are turning to TOMS because they know that there is a great cause behind their purchase and the children are getting a tangible item. TOMS has now provided a quality product to consumers, a quality product to the children in need (“One for One”), and by doing so is now branding the company in a way that is producing more business overall. A total WIN-WIN-WIN.

In a recent article, we found that over the last few years Cause Marketing continues to prove its success. Sponsorship spending on cause marketing is expected to increase by 4.8 percent from 2012 to 2013 totaling $1.78 billion. Retail, financial services, and pharmaceutical are the most active industries while Coca-Cola, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo are the most active businesses utilizing Cause Marketing.

Below are two charts by IEG that show the most active companies in sponsorship spending as well as most active industries.

 To read the full article click here.

For a long time Adopt A Highway Maintenance Corporation has considered our business to be a Cause Marketing company in all aspects. We provide businesses, or sponsors, the opportunity to brand their company name and logo, while a portion of their proceeds pay to pick up trash along the highways where they advertise. This… ultimately benefits the environment and the community, but also provides companies with the opportunity to advertise at the same time.

While searching for new and effective ways to market our business, the question has now been raised:

 “How can we creatively provide more incentives for businesses and consumers through this concept of Cause Marketing that ends in an all-around WIN-WIN-WIN?”

How Can Saying “Thank You” Strengthen Your Business Sales and Negotiation Skills?

by Erin Marchesano 15. March 2013 14:30

Sales and marketing are two things in every business that go hand in hand. However, it is primarily and ultimately the sales team that is responsible for increasing a company’s revenue through their methods and practices when working with potential customers on a day-to-day basis.

At AHMC, our sales team goes through extensive weekly training to work on negotiation skills, how to convert leads, how to build relationships with potential sponsors and keep lasting relationships with old ones… the list goes on.

While all jobs and career paths require some form of ongoing education, sales is an area of business that needs it more extensively than most. With consumer trends always changing and a fluctuating economy, sales managers and directors need to stay on top of their company representatives making sure they are as educated as they can be in all circumstances.

We recently came across an article written by a member of Ahern & Associates, LTD; a management consulting firm that specializes in transportation. Being that AHMC’s primary form of business is on some of the busiest highways across the country, we have subscribed to their blog for a different take on some of these sales and marketing perspectives that we’ve been looking into ourselves.

The main topic of the article is “How do you strengthen your sales and negotiation skills?” but the article itself is filled with a lot of really good information about the power to success and how sales is all about attitude and being prepared to build lasting relationships with customers through the humility of saying “thank you” and showing appreciation for their time and efforts.

 

 

A couple key points that really stood out to us from the article and some things to really consider when taking a different approach to our company’s sales efforts are listed below:

Failure is never a failure.

It is only a learning experience in which negative feedback is simply there to help us change our approach or course of action when working with current or potential customers. You must change your attitude toward the word “no” so that rather than seeing it as a form of failure, you see it as an opportunity to play to win by taking a better approach that will work the next time.

One thing you must learn to be successful, not only in sales, but also in life… is to always say “Thank You.”

By treating a customer with nothing less than 110% of your efforts, lets them know that they are important to you and your business. (Let’s face it, without customers there would be no business!) Saying thank you shows a customer that you don’t take them for granted and the day you stop doing this, is the day that your business will start losing customer loyalty, customer relationships, and ultimately… sales.

 

 

At AHMC we try very hard to show our Sponsors that we appreciate their business in as many ways possible. Without them, we would not be the company that we are today and it is important that there is always a win-win for every relationship we build with our Sponsors.

From providing “Sponsor Highlights” on our blog and Facebook, to sending out personally written Christmas and Thank You cards, we want our Sponsors to know that they are appreciated and their business means something to us.

 

So in conclusion I borrowed a quote from the article that I thought was quite fitting:

“Never take advantage of a relationship… because it takes years to build one and seconds to lose one.”

Thank You to all of our Sponsors! Thank You to everyone who reads our blog! And Thank You to everyone who continues to support AHMC year after year!

For more information about Ahern & Associates, LTD visit their website here.

To read the full article click here.

 

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The Top 10 Fastest Growing Industries of 2012, and You’ll Never Guess Who…

by Erin Marchesano 11. January 2013 13:39

It’s been a long run, but industries, businesses, and consumers are finally starting to creep out of the lows that were a result of the recession here in the US. With unemployment levels dropping and businesses beginning to thrive once again, things are looking positive for 2013. And for small companies like us, we’re curious as to which businesses and industries are coming out on top going into the New Year.

In April, IBISWorld published a report with a compiled list of standout industries in 2012 based on a number of different factors… Things like their contributions to the economy, revenue growth, and performance expected over the next four years were all included. These industries are some of the highest producing going into 2012 and are projected to far outperform the rest of the economy in the upcoming years.

… And you may be a little surprised as to which industries they are.

 

Below is a list of the Top 10 Fasted Growing Industries according to IBISWorld:

 

1.) Generic Pharmaceutical Manufacturing

• As a result of the recession, consumers have been finding new ways to cut back on spending and the availability of generic brands in consumer goods is becoming more and more popular. Pharmaceutical drugs alone, is a fast growing industry… but the ability to buy less-expensive generic versions of the more expensive name brand drugs is a major plus for consumers.

2.) Solar Panel Manufacturing

• If you aren’t familiar with solar panels, you may have seen them places without even realizing it. They are becoming more common in green households where people are placing them on their roofs to power their homes. Companies are even using them on their parking structures to power the lighting at night. This is a less expensive alternative to electricity and businesses as well as individuals are starting to take advantage of this money saving, environmentally friendly advance in today’s technology.

3.) For-Profit Universities

• College tuition doesn’t come cheap these days, but the demand for higher education in today’s society is greater than ever, and with the ability to get student loans and scholarships, people are continuing to pursue higher forms of education regardless of tuition costs. Therefore, For-Profit Universities are expanding and growing more than before.

4.) Pilates & Yoga Studios

• I think it’s safe to say that people are always looking for inventive ways to stay healthy and fit whether through exercise or diet. Not only are Pilates and Yoga coming to the forefront as new forms of exercise and meditation, but they are becoming a way of life for many consumers. Pilates and Yoga Studios are gaining a loyal customer base of people who are attending their classes on a weekly and sometimes daily basis to stay fit.

5.) Self-Tanning Product Manufacturing

• With the development of new and improved skincare products that give consumers the ability to “tan” without putting their body and skin in harm’s way of the sun, people are seeking self-tanning products now more than ever. With the demand to maintain a “young” appearance, self-tanning products are helping consumers achieve that by giving them an alternative to harsh UV Rays.

6.) 3D Printer Manufacturing

• Imagine a future in which a device connected to a computer can print a solid object... that’s 3D printing. And with the ability to have tangible goods or services delivered right to your desktop is not only convenient, but becoming more and more popular in the world of technology and manufacturing. It’s still a concept that we are trying to fully understand, but it sure is cool!

7.) Social Network Game Development

• Individuals and businesses that have Facebook accounts or that are familiar with social networking sites will more than likely recognize the growing popularity of online games within each of these different networks. Games like “FarmVille”, “Texas HoldEm Poker”, and “Bubble Safari” are among some of the most popular on Facebook, and companies are continuing to expand on this concept of online gaming within social networks.

8.) Hot Sauce Production

We thought this was the biggest shocker of all! Who would have thought that hot sauce production not only outperformed other industries in 2012, but is projected to continue its growth as one of the Top 10 producing industries through 2017? Kudos to them!

9.) Green & Sustainable Building Construction

• Environmental sustainability is becoming more and more prominent as people are actively trying to “Go Green.” In fact, people are now building what are called “Green Homes” which are helping sustainable building construction companies flourish. Not only are these companies using recycled materials and materials that are better for the environment, these new construction projects are creating homes that require less maintenance and have lower utility costs. What isn’t appealing to consumers about that?

10.) Online Eyeglasses & Contact Lens Sales

• Contacts and eyeglasses can add up substantially for those who need them and ordering through your optometrist isn’t always the cheapest direction to go. Consumers are turning to online companies to purchase their eyeglasses and contact lenses because they are able to get the same products at a better value and it’s more convenient having them shipped directly to their homes vs. having to pick them up at the doctor’s office.

 

We spent some time thinking about what kinds of features and characteristics it takes for a particular industry to come out on top and in our opinion, some of the fastest growing industries are simply the ones that have a unique edge on the competition. The ones that have found a special appeal to consumers who have quickly become loyal and long lasting customers. Each of the industries listed above has accomplished just that… A loyal customer base that will not only outlast other industries, but will outperform and outgrow them in the future because of new and repeat business.

At AHMC it is always our goal to provide our current and potential Sponsors with a product or service that they wouldn’t be able to get elsewhere for the same or better value. We are always providing high visibility advertising at a price that’s hard to beat, and our service to the environment helps keep roadways and communities clean.

Like many, we are still a small business in a struggling economy, but we are optimistic to see that industries like the ones listed above are thriving along with many others. There’s a lot of opportunity to be had in 2013 and we look forward to all of the years to come!

Happy New Year Everyone!

 

For more information visit http://www.IBISWorld.com

To read the full article published by IBISWorld click here.

 

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The Top 5 Online Marketing Myths – BUSTED!

by Erin Marchesano 15. August 2012 18:11

Charlie Cook’s Marketing for Success Blog, is an entertaining and insightful resource for small businesses alike. With his primary goal bringing YOU more business… his blog as well as his website (click here), are a great source for marketing tips and tricks.

Recently AHMC came across an article on Charlie’s blog called “The Top 5 Online Marketing Myths Busted” and thought it was definitely worth a share…

While Adopt A Highway is primarily a source for Out of Home Media (OOH), as a small business our self, we are often faced with challenges when it comes to our own forms of marketing. All small businesses struggle with the proper way to market their products or services and with technology advancing at such a high rate, people are turning more and more to online media as a way to attain that goal.

While some of these online marketing beliefs do in fact work for some larger more established businesses, for small businesses like us… these beliefs could very well not be true! ;)

 

1.) Build It and They Will Come:

No matter how great your product or service may be, that alone is simply not enough.  

Identifying the proper target market for your product or service and coming up with an optimization and content strategy for your website is the first step in improving your online marketing.

 

2.) The Purpose of Your Website is to Sell:

Charlie makes an excellent point here in saying,

“Unless you’re a large retailer like Amazon.com with a big fat reputation to match, expecting your website to be your marketing and sale department all rolled into one is a big mistake.

… Expecting people to take a quick look at your site and then whip out their credit card – rarely works.

Not all businesses provide a specific product that can be sold online and this is often confused when trying to “sell” to a potential consumer. Your website should be a source of information that allows someone to get to know you and your business, establishing an interest in your product or service, and hopefully in the end… generating a lead.

 

3.) Traffic is the Solution:

People often look at numbers to gauge positive results coming from their website, when in reality; the numbers don’t really mean anything if no one is actually contacting you.

The challenge small businesses often face is not only getting someone to visit their site, but getting them to read the content provided, and then forming enough interest to where they utilize that information to contact you by phone or email. Once you have done that, your foot is already in the door and all you have to do is follow up to establish that direct relationship.

 

4.) Your Website Can Close the Sale:

Many small businesses believe that their website can close the deal without any additional interaction from them, whether in person or over the phone. While a good website can do a great job of pre-selling a product, many small business owners don’t realize that rather than buying your product or service, potential consumers are actually buying YOU.

Taking a more personal approach will set you way ahead of your competition and will provide more positive selling results.

 

5.) It’s Quality that Generates Repeat Sales

DING, DING, DING! This is one of our favorite myths!

Your business could provide the best quality products and have the most amazing services, but with the amount of information people are receiving on a day to day basis for services similar to yours, regular reminders to increase their awareness and remind them to buy from you is always a good idea.

Things such as email are an easy way to keep in touch and put your company at the forefront when it comes to the high demands for your type of product or service.

 

Breaking your business of these myths and learning the best ways to market online will help keep you one step ahead of your competition. AHMC is repeatedly looking for ways to improve our products and services as well as our marketing strategy. Charlie Cook’s website and especially his blog are a great way to learn a different perspective on successful marketing.

 To read more of his blog click here... Or to view this full article click the link below:

"The Top 5 Online Marketing Myths Busted"

 

Enjoy!

 

 

Cook, Charlie. “The Top 5 Online Marketing Myths Busted” Charlie Cook’s Marketing for Success Blog. 6 June, 2012.

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Cause and Effect for Growing a business

by Patricia Nelson 5. March 2012 17:25

 

There is no shortage of theories on how to best market a business and as a business owner, the responsibility for growing the firm lies ultimately with me. I recently took a look at Wikipedia’s explanation of marketing and was taken aback by the 82 different techniques listed, including Drip Marketing, Alliance Marketing, Guerrilla Marketing, Content Marketing, internet marketing, multi-level Marketing, and Ambush Marketing. 

While reading through some of these entries it occurred to me that in order to be effective there had to be a substantial and contextual link between our marketing and the products and services we provide. My eureka moment came while reading the entry on Cause Marketing and the realization that Adopt a Highway Maintenance Corporation had been using this method for over two decades.

 

Cause Marketing calls for how we market our products and services, as well as our business practices, to be aligned with the core values of our customers. While quality, price and service are paramount to sales and customer retention, these days, something more is expected of American businesses both large and small. Essentially, customers are increasingly interested in doing business with companies who support causes that are important to them and/or improve quality of life overall. After some research, I found that this sentiment does pan out in B2B and B2C research data.

 According to the IEG Sponsorship Report and Cone’s 2010 Cause Marketing study, 83% of Americans want more of the products, services and retailers they use to support causes. In addition:

  • 80% of consumers are willing to switch from one brand to another if that Brand or service is associated with a cause. 
  • 64% of global consumers believe that companies must incorporate causes in to their everyday business.
  • 61% of consumers will try a new brand/service if it is associated with a good cause.

So, now more than ever “Cause and Effect” are linked in a successful business formula. Cause Marketing has been around for some time and the Sponsor A Highway program has been a good choice for getting immediate customer recognition for what we all know is an important cause, taking care of the communities where our customers live and work.  

Every business owner knows that you must advertise your business so customers know you exist. Cause marketing as a strategy for growth provides another reason for a consumer to choose your product or service. It moves the decision beyond just price and quality and lets the consumer choose based on principles that are important to them.

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