Category Archives: marketing

The Rules of Fighting…I Mean Writing

I’m not a fiction writer and I barely remember the one time I did see Fight Club but even so, I do like the premise behind these posts: “Tyler Durden Rules for Writing in the Zone” Parts 1 and 2

Essentially the blog writer references the rules of “Fight Club” as fiction writing guidelines. But really it’s all about psyching yourself into the right mindframe for less stressful and more successful writing so I think it could just as easily apply to blog and copy-writing as it does to romance novels.

Rules include:

“No fear. No distractions. The ability to let that which does not matter truly slide.”

“I say stop being perfect, I say…Let’s evolve, let the chips fall where they may.”

“Just run with it”

I’ll admit. I am the biggest culprit of the first one.  Well, and the second one. And…well, you get the idea.

Oh and another cool thing about WordPress: I came across the above blog on the login page, where every day they display a host of newly updated blogs. Great access tool for a variety of occupationally pertinent – and sometimes just plain entertaining – information.

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Filed under marketing, Social Marketing, Writing

2009: Quantity AND Quality

It’s getting to be that time. We’re saying goodbye to 2009 and hello to 2010. The past year has been a very busy one for our company. Our goals were growth and development and we’ve achieved just that.

We’ve not only added 3 new employees to our team, but 3 new positions to outfit our expanding business. We made a major marketing push in 2009, hiring on a marketing assistant, expanding our direct mail and email output, enhancing our social networking, etc., and plan to continue our active and successful marketing pursuits in the upcoming year.

In 2009 we also brought on board senior sales representatives Curtis Hansen and Crystal Howell to develop and operate our new Reseller Division. Between them they have 28 years of experience and have already been had great success in the sale of our internal customer, business, agricultural and specialty files. They look forward to more than doubling the division in the year 2010.

So, it seems 2010 is going to be an exciting one for GoLeads. And hey, maybe this is the year I finally keep my resolution to go vegetarian and attend Jazzercise every day…

Yeah, probably not.

In what ways are you going to make your company bigger and better in the new year?

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Filed under GoLeads, marketing, Misc.

The World According To Twitter

Alright, some info from the “Twitterverse.”  

Ok, you know what…I tried but I can’t do it. I really dislike that term. I’m trying to get with the lingo(…I sound like I’m 65 years old now, don’t I?) but must we always combine names!? We’re typing! It’ll take two more seconds to complete the words and press the space bar!

sigh.

Sorry, little rant there. So anyway. Ahem. Here’s some interesting links having to do with the Twitter Universe. Or the world according to Twitter. Or heck, just Twitter.

Mark Ramskill
“The Smart Way”
http://www.twitip.com/using-twitter-the-smart-way/ 

Mark Ramskill’s introductory blog about Twitter is just that. It assumes only that you’ve heard of Twitter and begins its explanation there. Which, let me tell you, is refreshing in the world of Twitter how-to articles. From what I can tell, Twitter is a very nuanced world and getting bogged down with information about how to maximize your Twitter experience with tips and programs is rather intimidating and off-putting for a newcomer. Ramskill does get a bit more in depth later in the post but it’s still a good jumping off point for starting “The Smart Way.”

Maria Pergolino
“Dreamforce 2009: Using Twitter Effectively for Marketing and Sales”
http://blog.marketo.com/blog/2009/11/dreamforce-2009-using-twitter-effectively-for-marketing-and-sales.html 

Pergolino’s focus is more on how to use Twitter to your advantage once you’re fairly well-versed. Which is kind of a jump forward for us newbies but it is kind of inspiring to see the creative ways in which some have used Twitter to reach out to their clients and the world at large.

Now then, I don’t mean to sound like too much of a Twitter cheerleader. I’m not a Twittizen yet. This is an evolving process of research and trial and error. But you have to admit, using Twitter to send someone champagne on a plane is pretty sweet…

Also, how good of an idea is this: “Giving money to charity if people talk about your brand online. In one example, Virgin gave $1 for every tweet to a charity at a conference.” Awesome.

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Filed under GoLeads, marketing, Uncategorized

Business Marketing Myths

Marketing for any business can be intimidating but it can be particularly scary for a small business. You’re sending a portion of your limited funds out the door with no guarantee that it’ll return. But it’s vital to success. It HAS be done, especially in this economic climate, and you might as well do it right.

Here’s some of my favorite advice from a list of The Top 5 Business Marketing Myths from Small Fuel Marketing:

“Myth #2: The bigger the audience, the more customers you’ll get
A bigger audience is usually a less targeted audience. A less targeted audience will get fewer conversions. In the end, a large audience means you’ll spend a lot more money for the same number of interested potential customers.”

This is a call back to the point I made in my post ” The Core of the Problem” -market to the people that you should be marketing to! Carefully analyze what your target audience is and make sure your list provider offers the SIC codes that will allow you to arrive at that perfectly targeted list.

“Myth #4: You only need to market until you build up momentum
Having momentum is a good thing, but it’s very important to keep on the ball. Markets can change quickly, and people get bored fast—so stay on top of things to make sure your business continues growing over the long haul.”

Keep and update those contacts. If you make your presence known at reasonable intervals, you’ll be remembered when the time comes to buy.

“Myth #5: A really great product will sell itself
Even great products need marketing to really succeed. Having the right message, and delivering it to the right people, will help take your great product and turn it into a great small business with great sales. The product alone isn’t likely to do that.”

Remember that amazing target market you cornered using all those selects and SIC codes?

Remember that great product you have? Sounds like a marketing match made in heaven.

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The Core of the Problem

If you’ve ever read Seth Godin’s blog, you know that it provides candid, thoughtful and fascinating insight into the musings of a seasoned media specialist. He sees social media and marketing in all of his surroundings, which I think is a major key to his success since the basis of marketing really lies in an empathetic and intense understanding of human society and behavior. So it’s always interesting to check in on what quirky experience he has witnessed and read how he sees that behavior affecting YOUR business’s marketing success.

A few days ago he had a particularly compelling post (“Fear of Apples” )about the paralysis of choice: When talking about consumer hesitancy he states that, “In our industrialized world, people are now afraid of apples. Afraid of buying the wrong kind. Afraid of making a purchasing mistake or some sort of pie mistake.

And they’re afraid of your product and your service. Whatever you sell, there are two big reasons people aren’t buying it:

1. They don’t know about it.

2. They’re afraid of it.

If you can get over those two, then you get the chance to prove that they need it and it’s a good value. But as long as people are afraid of what you sell, you’re stuck.”

Let’s be honest, most of us have been guilty of this at one time or another. And it’s not getting less confusing or intimidating. In this society, new options and opportunities present themselves at an ever increasing rate. And he’s right; no one wants to choose the wrong thing and look a fool in front of their family, friends, or that pushy sales person.

This means we have to be all the more selective in our marketing efforts, but the answer is not to limit the options for the consumer. It is to KNOW who your consumer is and offer them what they want and, even more importantly, what they need. Take the indecision out of buying. Find your target and offer them what they want. Yes, these are the basics of marketing but sometimes it’s hard to remember in a world that alters and adds as quickly as ours.

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Direct Mail: Make it a Keeper

mmm cable

I find that when I research marketing strategies, I tend to come at it from a consumer point of view. I feel I’m an intelligent and discerning person, and what with being involved in the industry, I also feel that I’m immune to many of the advertising tactics used today. Wrooooong. When I analyze what has worked on me in the past, I’m often surprised at how frequently I emotionally and monetarily respond to advertising. Particularly to direct mail (yes, the Cox Communications brochure I received in my new mover mail package convinced me to purchase not only internet, but cable for my new apartment. VH1 and Hulu are my new best friends).

DM can get a bad rap but really, it’s the cornerstone of any marketing campaign. If done right, it can make a world of difference. I was trying to pinpoint what exactly it is about direct mail that works so well on me. In my online soul search, I stumbled across About.com’s article, “Brochure Marketing: 12 Tips on How to Do it Effectively” and realized that there’s one strategy on there that I think is particularly genius.

Make it a Keeper
Putting helpful information in your brochure will encourage the reader to keep it, refer to it often or pass it on to other people. If you’re selling paint you can provide hints on color schemes, painting how-to information, tips from the pros etc. If you’re selling skin care products you can give your readers tips on how to combat pimples, dry skin, fine lines and wrinkles.”

From a consumer standpoint, it’s so basic and makes so much sense that I even forget that it’s an actual marketing “strategy.” But it totally works. I’m one of those people who is always looking for the clues to clear skin. Give me a list of tips and that thing is going on my nightstand for at least a week or so. Maybe even taped to my bathroom mirror. Even if I don’t buy at that time, your marketing department can put a big old check next to your “Increase Brand Awareness” goal.

Like I said, I know that this is a pretty ordinary tactic when it comes to direct mail. But in an era of social media, email blasts and living green(though people will be really impressed and heartwarmed if you print on recycled paper!), I think it’s important that people realize that direct mail is not dead. It still works. My 100+ tv channels and my medicine cabinet full of pore cleanser are proof of that.

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Word Play

Just some quick little tips I stumbled upon recently:

Wordle is a program that seemingly has only one purpose – to look cool. But I think it has more potential than that.

While it is definitely a fun program to play with and an easy way to create interesting digital art, I feel it could also be very a useful marketing aid.

Basically, the more frequently you use a word, the larger it appears in the image. Uses for this are 2-fold:

1) It tells me what keywords I should be using on the tags
2) It shows me the “message” of the copy I just created. It’s a quick and easy (and pretty) way to see if my writing is emphasizing what I want it to.

Here are some examples created using our own Blog copy:

GoLeads Wordle

 

Wordle 2 

 

All in all a great tool.

Second cool tool for the day: http://namechk.com. A great way for a Small Business to check the availability of their handle(name) on the primary social sites.

Again, dual purpose:
1) Check to ensure your name is not taken, then go register them.
2) It exposed me to quite a few sites that I didn’t even know existed. A great way to open up to an extensive social media world beyond Twitter and Facebook.

Hope you guys find these as useful and fun as I do!

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Filed under GoLeads, marketing, Misc., Social Marketing