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My greatest reward as an entrepreneur is experiencing the loyalty that our clients have for our little business. To me, a contract renewal is worth a lot more than just the financial incentive attached to it. It gives me an enormous sense of accomplishment to receive my client's continued vote of confidence and commitment.

This week I experienced the best day of my life as a small business owner. One of my clients, who owns several retail stores throughout Maine, had been solicited by another marketing firm for a couple of months a huge, national organization. My client's supervising office had given this other marketing agency their blessing to court all of their franchisees, and was even willing to offer financial support for those who signed up.

Published in The Marketing Edge

Jay Goltz recently wrote a very interesting piece for the New York Times about becoming an entrepreneur, covering its pros and cons. To quote Goltz, 'entrepreneurs are definitely not normal people, and entrepreneurship is definitely not for everyone.' So, what exactly drives people into entrepreneurship?

Many factors, including a romanticized idea of freedom and success, lack of available jobs (my own reason for becoming one), creativity and talent that cannot be contained in a cube space, a need for flexible work hours, the over-rated desire to do things 'their way' (even though owning your own business rarely works that way) as well as many other factors. But why do so many of us jump into it, even when we know that the chances of failure are far greater than those of success? Well, Goltz already classified himself and fellow entrepreneurs as 'not normal' and I've known that about myself for a long time!

Published in The Marketing Edge
Thursday, 14 June 2012 08:39

Effective SEO = higher conversion rates

Most people have heard of the term Search Engine Optimization (or SEO), and understand its impact on the effectiveness of their website through improved search engine rankings. A site with no SEO is much more difficult if not impossible to find if you do not already know its direct URL.

The most important element of any SEO campaign is something known as link building. Each website that posts a link to your website acts like a vote for your website on search engine rankings. This helps make your website more visible and easy to find when people search for related queries.

Link building must be employed for every page of your website, as Google assesses each page individually and assigns it a page rank not the overall website. This process is called deep linking, which refers to the fact that some of your inbound links go to the inner pages of your website, rather than simply to your home page.

Published in The Marketing Edge
Wednesday, 16 May 2012 16:44

Marketing spring cleaning

According to research conducted by Forrester Research, B2B firms have seen an average increase of 6.8 percent in their allocated marketing funds this year as compared to 2011. This budget expansion is a reassuring sign that the economy is picking up and B2B organizations are beginning to see substantial growth in revenue giving their marketing efforts an invigorating boost of capital.

After a few years of marketing budget drought, the new challenge for B2B marketers is figuring out the best ways to invest their funds. Although an increase of 6 percent or more may sound amazing, some of these budgets had been slashed to the bone and even with the increase, funds haven't yet returned to the point they were at five or six years ago.

As an agency, we suggest that our clients begin by taking a close look at their marketing activities. Nothing works better than developing a fresh marketing plan to assess where your business stands versus where you want it to be, and how you'll get there. This exercise is invaluable. Having a realistic view of where your business is positioned in the market in relation to your competition is the best reality check.

Published in The Marketing Edge
Wednesday, 02 May 2012 19:37

Bangor Business Expo

BANGOR In this economy, the last thing you want your business to be is invisible. Many businesses will be getting their names out there, networking and learning new ways to maximize their presence at the Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce's 2012 Business Expo on May 10.

'Everything centers around our 90 exhibitors that we're going to have set up that day,' said Karen Cole, the executive vice president of the Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce. 'What we have surrounding all that is seminars with our guest speaker Rich Brooks.'

Cole said that there will also be a networking lounge set up with comfy couches, coffee and plenty of chances to trade business cards and elevator speeches with other like-minded business people and entrepreneurs. The lounge is sponsored by Husson University.

Published in Biz
Wednesday, 11 April 2012 16:42

QR Codes: How much is too much?

The over-use of QR codes has become something of a running joke around our office. We have seen them on TV commercials (we're still trying to figure out how anyone has enough time to launch an app and scan a code that only appears on-screen for a few seconds) business cards that have no information other than a logo and a QR code (which give the prospect no incentive or context to encourage them to learn more), mattresses tags with a QR code and no price (which creates a higher barrier to entry for customers), and the best of all QR codes that do not work at all (which nearly guarantee a prospect will not make a second attempt).

So, I have been asking around: How many times have you scanned a QR code from a TV ad? Do you prefer to receive a business card with a QR code, or does that trendy boxed code become a barrier to sales conversions? Not surprisingly, the results of my survey mostly conducted on friends over a good glass of wine indicate that many organizations might be overusing QR codes. Perhaps this happens simply because they are currently 'cool' and in-vogue, and businesses want to capitalize on a growing trend.

Published in The Marketing Edge

The job of a tagline is to communicate what your brand represents in a clear and concise manner. Therefore, creating a memorable tagline is very important step in positioning your brand and of course, it can evolve along with your business to reflect changing market trends and industry focus.

Taglines are extremely valuable. An effective one can be a great marketing tool that helps keep your brand on peoples' minds. A few examples of memorable taglines include:

Published in The Marketing Edge
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