Resources for Small Businesses

23 Oct

As we have written about several times before (see 1, 2, 3), small businesses have numerous resource opportunities that they need to know about and utilize.

Here are more resources, this time, provided by the UPS Store for Inc.:

“Small business owners are always busy and looking for a way to save money. That’s why The UPS Store has done the research and hand-selected valued partners to provide you with exclusive offers on the products and services that you need most.”

These resources are divided into several categories:

  • Accounting and Bookkeeping
  • Business Planning
  • Communication Tools
  • Financial Services
  • Human Resources
  • IT Support
  • Marketing Services
  • Merchant Services
  • Reception Services
  • Record Storage
  • Telecommunications
  • Web Site Services

Click the image to access the resources.
 

 

How Much Does Social Marketing Really Cost? The Case of Nestle

22 Oct

Most companies involved with social media are quite interested in keeping costs under control — and ensuring that those costs result in real benefits to those firms.

With this mind, take a look at the infographic prepared by Percolate, a firm that uses software to connect and automate key marketing tasks:

“Across both B2B and B2C, the largest challenge digital marketers face is reaching their audiences with relevant content. Now that content has become the core vehicle for brands to connect with their audiences, it’s imperative marketers seek efficient, cost-effective content workflows to engage their audiences – which have fragmented across mobile and social.”

“At a 2014 AdAge Digital Conference, Nestle revealed that its teams produce more than 1,500 pieces of marketing content each day for its 800+ Facebook pages. What type of investment does that entail? We broke down the expected costs with our content partner Visual.ly to give you a full idea of what a Fortune 100 company like Nestle might spend on content marketing.”

 

 

Personalize Your Products for Better Customer Relationships

21 Oct

Are you personalizing your products with customers? If no, it’s time!

As Informatica, a data integration firm, notes:

“Personalization is the next big innovation wave in E-commerce. You need to use everything you know about each customer so you can market and sell to them more effectively in every channel. Everyone’s been saying it for a decade — but now it’s really happening.”

In every channel, intelligent personalization out-performs one-size-fits-all commerce. On Web sites. In E-mail. On mobile apps and sites in call centers. In social media.”

In the slideshow below, Informatica discusses: “Know Your Own Products.” There are many tips.
 

 

Derek Jeter Post-Retirement: A Marketing Superstar Evolves

20 Oct

Now that the New York Yankees’ Derek Jeter has retired after a Hall of Fame career and the adulation of fans, he is focusing on his future. His marketing past — and present — has been pretty impressive (endorsement deals with Nike, Ford, Gatorade, Rawlings, Steiner Sports, Movado, Avon, and more).

Jeter’s marketing future is being meticulously planned and some projects have already been launched, just a short time after his September 2014 retirement. As Tom Van Riper reports for Forbes,

“Fenway may well prove to be the site not of a true retirement, but merely the final pit stop of a career transition. For all the millions Jeter has pocketed as a player, the real money is still ahead of him, ready for the taking. Statistically, Jeter is a borderline top 100 all-time player, plenty good enough to qualify for the Hall of Fame. His standing with the press and the public, though, reaches well beyond that. The reasons are easy enough to grasp: big market, iconic team, five rings, no PEDs, years of consistency, and, by all appearances, a modest, team-oriented player. A throwback in the age of the gyrating, ‘look at me’ athlete. Whether it’s straight endorsements or equity-based deals, ‘He’ll have offers thrown at him by companies that want to use his name,’ says Ryan Schinman, CEO of Platinum Rye Entertainment, a company that brokers deals between celebrities and corporations. ‘Jeter could make hundreds of millions post-career.’”

Jeter’s first big post-career project is The Player’s Tribune.

It’s also on Twitter.

And Facebook, of course!

 

Branding and Millennials

17 Oct

As we have written before, millennials represent a very large and distinctive market segment — in the United States and around the world. In setting a brand strategy to best appeal to this group, various factors must be kept in mind.

In a recent study (Debunking the Millennial Myth: Initiative’s Global Research Study), Initiative – a U.K.-based media planning and buying agency — “examined the lives of 10,000 25-34 year olds in 19 countries, finding out about their lives, their mindset, how they use technology, and how they feel about brands.”

CLICK HERE here to download the full report. (Note: A short login form must be completed to access the report.)

A summary of the report has been published by MarketingCharts:

“Three in 10 millennials (aged 25-34) around the world are cynical about the way brands market to them, and that figure rises above 40% in the U.S. and U.K., finds Initiative in a new study. With such skepticism evident, brands should demonstrate their commitment to social causes and emphasize attributes such as authenticity and trustworthiness. [This] can be seen as directly related to the skepticism that many millennials hold for brands. But, they also align with some of millennials’ common traits: Millennials’ economic uncertainty and insecurity, for example, means that they appreciate brands that are useful to them and can emotionally connect with them in an authentic way.”

Click the chart to read more of the summary.

 

 

Are YOU as Cyber-Secure as You Should Be? Some Video Tips

15 Oct

Identity theft and loss of privacy are BIG issues. In this video, we point out several “scary” aspects of cyber security as well as offer several tips.

Protect YOURSELF. We can be our best friend — and our worst enemy.

 


 

Marketing to the Right Segment

14 Oct

Most companies (of any size or type or location) use some form of market segmentation in their strategies. They recognize that they should not try to market to everyone but rather focus on a specific group or groups with offerings and marketing communications targeting a specific segment of customers. BUT, are all companies targeting the right customers — and are they doing so properly? Of course, the answer is no. So, how can we do better?

As Ira Kalb, a professor at the Marshall School of Business (University of Southern California), writes for Business Insider:

“As a first step, businesses should find the right ‘ballpark’ in which to operate. An effective way to begin this process is to do a SWOT analysis. For those that do not already know, SWOT is an acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.”

“While you already have to have some idea of the market opportunities you want to pursue when you do the SWOT analysis, it is very important to define the marketplace your company is going to target. This may require some trial and error experimentation. Defining the right market follows the Goldilocks and the Three Bears metaphor. If the market you define is too big, you will be wasting your marketing resources trying to cover it. If it is too small, you will not make enough money (based on the share of the market you can capture). You need to define your market so it is just right. That is, you’ll make enough money to produce a sufficient return on investment, and will be able to cover the market with the marketing resources you can invest.”

“Whatever criteria a business uses, the way a company defines the market for its business could mean the difference between profit and loss. While there are often greater costs to service larger markets, there can also be larger returns and economies of scale. The more a business thinks about how it will define its marketplace, the better it will be able to succeed and scale the business as it grows. Hopefully, you will get it right, and if you don’t, all is not lost. A good marketing information system can help you to fine tune your market definition so you can get back on the right track — as P&G did with Febreze.”

To read more of Kalb’s article, click the image.

 

Photo credit: Flickr/Geoff Gallice

 

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