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.
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.
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?
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. 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.
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.
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.
Happy New Year! 2015 began well, with a long weekend for most of us. Time to pause, ponder and strategize for 365 new chances to grow and succeed! 2014 was an exciting year for social media marketing, and 2015 promises no less. There are many predictions out there about what we’ll experience this year. Here are the four most important trends I think we should focus on this year:
Want to play? You’ve got to pay!
I am writing this article on a fine Sunday evening, while enjoying a delicious glass of cabernet sauvignon wine. I am on “vacation” (or something like that). As a small business owner, I never really go on vacation 100 percent, but I knew that was part of the deal when I decided five and a half years ago to become an entrepreneur. As I type these words I can’t hide the grin that has been stamped on my face for a few days now. I had a wonderful year – both personally and professionally - and 2015 will be even better, as long as I continue to do things right.
Do things right. Isn’t that what life is all about? You’re probably familiar with Confucius’s Golden Rule of Reciprocity - an ethical code of morality that states that “one should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself.” This rule can be applied in every single aspect of our personal and professional lives. As I grow older, I am becoming more appreciative of honest feedback, open conversations and blunt reality. The better I can see and understand my shortcomings (or those of my business), the greater my chances are to grow and better serve my clientele. As I take stock of my year and plan for 2015, five essential elements for success come to mind:
Contrary to popular belief, a marketing budget isn’t a luxury; it’s an essential investment into reaching your business goals. A precise marketing budget, with clearly defined spending strategies, ensures that your efforts make the greatest impact with the resources you have – and for that reason, it’s an indispensable part of a successful development plan.
A steady customer stream
With the flurry of year-end holiday fundraising, many nonprofits may not have much time to dwell on their development campaigns for the next year. To make a successful impact in 2015, however, it’s important to look ahead – and a marketing plan is the first step to keeping your campaigns on track. A well-defined strategy has the same benefits for nonprofits as it does for any for-profit businesses: it creates guidelines to set goals, organize resources and effectively reach out to your target audience.
Website CMS and Development by Links Online Marketing, LLC, Bangor Maine