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Blogging takes regular time and investment, resources which many smaller businesses may not have. However, the benefits of blogging far outweigh the extent of the commitment, especially in today’s customer-centric market. A well-written blog can influence consumers’ opinions and purchase decisions far more than social networks do. Here are a few reasons why you should blog regularly:

1. Blogging is an easy and cost-effective way to build a relationship with your customers. You don’t need to be a graphic designer to create your business blog and share unique, engaging content with a targeted audience. Most blogging platforms are user-friendly and straightforward; some even include calendars to help you keep a regular schedule. What’s more, blogs can reduce marketing costs by combining strategies. They boost SEO, promote brand awareness, engage readers, fuel discussions and comments and guide visitors back to your website – all services that can add up if invested on separate channels.  

Published in The Marketing Edge

It may seem obvious that successful business depends on satisfied customers. However, many businesses don’t realize that customer service goes far beyond answering a question or replacing a defective product. Providing great customer service means understanding what’s important to your customers and how well your business performs around those priorities.

Here are just a few ways businesses can go the extra mile to expand their customer service plan to develop effective marketing relationships. 

Published in The Marketing Edge

I am a big fan of our local chambers of commerce. I think they do a great job offering numerous benefits to their members and keeping local business owners on top of important, ever-changing issues and trends within our community and nationally. If you’re not a member of your local chamber of commerce, you should consider becoming one – I’m an active member of three local chambers.

Every May, the Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce brings us an amazing opportunity to network and develop new business relationships at their Business Expo. This year the event will take place on May 21 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Cross Insurance Center. Here are five reasons why you should attend this year’s Expo:

Published in The Marketing Edge
Tuesday, 21 April 2015 23:04

#Mobilegeddon

Google released a mobile friendly update on April 21. In short, the newest algorithm update will potentially give a ranking boost to mobile-friendly pages in Google’s mobile search results and push outdated pages to the back of the line. If you haven’t updated your website in a while, here’s what you need to know before you jump on it:

  1. 1) Depth of impact – The update doesn’t impact desktop searches, just tablets, smartphones and other mobile devices. However, most of us own a smartphone and use it for search, which makes being mobile-friendly a top priority for all businesses who haven’t moved their websites to a responsive platform. Google tells us that it will be more significant than both the Panda and Penguin algorithms updates – and both of those were updates of consequence.
Published in The Marketing Edge
Tuesday, 14 April 2015 10:27

You need a mobile site – now!

According to Global Index, 80 percent of internet users worldwide own a smartphone. Now, take a moment to digest that. We still have massive amounts of people living in poverty in the world, in areas with no clean water or accessible healthcare, and yet the number of mobile connections globally has surpassed the world’s population. Technology is changing at an unprecedented speed, which makes the lives of small business owners feel like an endless rollercoaster ride – right when you think you’re on top of things, it becomes yesterday’s news and you’re right back at the beginning of the learning curve again!

Smartphones have been around since 1992, but only became widely adopted in the early 2000s. From the original IBM Simon to Palm and Blackberry to iPhones and many others available in the market today, nobody could precisely predict when mobile devices would take over desktops and ultimately rule the marketing world. 

Published in The Marketing Edge

The year was 1997. I had just landed my first marketing job in Boston and I was super excited. It was a pretty sweet gig and I could not wait to learn everything I could from “the experts.”

My first task was pretty straightforward – I was asked to call the mail list broker and get a lease on a mailing list of 15,000 people in Massachusetts based on a somewhat broad demographic criteria. Done, check. My second task, talk to the design guy and get him to change the date on the previous year’s save-the-date card, and maybe change the color. But wait! I had just come across tons of boxes of said postcards in the storage room and had an amazing, brilliant idea – we should just put a sticker on the date and save on print costs.  

Published in The Marketing Edge
Tuesday, 31 March 2015 17:19

How do you measure business success?

As an entrepreneur and a certified business mentor, I’m often asked this question. How do we know if we’re on the right path? How do we measure our daily accomplishments? How do we create a business blueprint that will lead us to a pot of gold?

In my opinion, measuring the success of a business is somewhat personal. Sure, your financial statements will always tell you if you’re stable and sustainable, but is money the only measurement of success?

Published in The Marketing Edge
Tuesday, 10 March 2015 16:41

Ten traits of a great marketer

I’ve been a marketer for almost 18 years now and have had the pleasure to work with some amazing professionals throughout my career. I love when I meet someone and feel inspired by their demeanor and business acumen – it is so refreshing. It turns out I’ve noticed that successful marketers have some common traits. Let’s see if you agree with me:

  1. 1. They are remarkable observers. Great marketers love to observe people’s behaviors - what makes them tick, what makes them feel special, what makes them feel calm, what makes them fall in love with a product and so on. In fact, successful marketers are obsessed with market behaviors.
Published in The Marketing Edge
Wednesday, 28 January 2015 20:40

Writing mMarketing content with a purpose

Writing good, engaging marketing content is not easy. We marketers must first understand that there’s already too much content out there for people to read and digest. If we want someone to give us their time to read what we write, it must be timely, entertaining, insightful and useful.  We’re only able to engage our readers if we’re able to deliver all of those components in a well-written manner that’s backed by data from trustworthy sources.

When writing marketing content, my goal is to do more than just entertain; I want to satisfy my target group by educating and informing them about my product or service, while establishing a trusting relationship with the brand. If I lack purpose in my writing, I will fail to engage my target audience.

Published in The Marketing Edge

There are plenty of examples of businesses going above and beyond to make their customers feel special — mostly because when this happens, the results go viral. Customers love feeling appreciated, and when they are hit with a random act of kindness, they are more willing to spread the word. While businesses should always be appreciative of their customers, it’s not always easy to show it. Here are four easy ways that you can show customer appreciation to your most loyal patrons.

Send a thank you note. This “old-fashioned” gesture can still impact today’s customers. It doesn’t have to be long or fancy, but just a simple note to thank them for their patronage will go a long way. Handwritten notes are best, but if you don’t have access to your customers’ mailing addresses then email will work as well.

Published in The Marketing Edge
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