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Marketing Bootcamp

Does Your Small Business Really Need a Marketing Plan?

There's no use in denying it — marketing is a critical component of a small business' success. The challenge is that so many small business owners have no idea what it takes to make marketing work for them. They are experts in their business, but they simply don’t have the time to become experts in the …

The Do’s and Don’ts of an Effective Referral-Marketing Program

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Use Your Marketing Data to Fuel Your Ascent to Thought Leadership

Good marketers collect a lot of data. From activity on your website to feedback from current clients to industry trends, your marketing team gathers a solid amount of information — and probably uses it to guide decision-making. But if you aren’t also using that data to create , you’re missing out on significant value. Why data …

3 Ways to Use the Power of Persuasion in Your Marketing

To fully understand what persuasion is, it helps to begin with what it is not. Derek Rucker is a professor of marketing at Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management whose research focuses on persuasion and consumer behavior. He is also the father of an 8-year-old girl with an iPad. Because he limits her screen time to …

4 Ways Travel Brands Should Use Instagram to Connect With Millennials

With millennials setting aside an estimated for travel during 2015, they’re an increasingly valuable customer base for airlines, hotels, and other travel brands. Marketers clearly need to invest in reaching this younger cohort, but they cannot rely on traditional channels like TV or radio to forge a connection with them. Instead, travel brands need to …

7 ‘To-Do’s’ for Your Trade-Show Checklist

Attending and exhibiting industry trade shows can be a great way to build your network and stay up to date on what's trending. As a  founder, I attend shows like , and to gain new wholesale clients. Related:  Before I started attending shows, we had just a couple of local stores carrying our headbands. Now, we …

Customer Care Is Your Best Marketing Strategy

“Our job is to connect to people, to interact with them in a way that leaves them better than we found them, more able to get where they’d like to go.” Those words could easily be a customer service rallying cry — the sort of thing you'd find printed out and pinned up in the break room. …

Want to Learn More About Marketing? Check Out These 43 Websites.

Whether you want to learn more about A/B testing, conversion rate optimization, content marketing or paid ads, there’s a wealth of marketing knowledge being shared online every day. Today I’m excited to share 43 of the best websites to learn something new about marketing. These websites will teach you practically anything you’d like to learn. …

The 4 Essential Elements of a Franchise Marketing Plan

In , author and franchise consultant Mark Siebert delivers the ultimate how-to guide to employing one of the greatest growth strategies ever — franchising. Siebert shares decades of experience, insights, and practical advice to help grow your business exponentially through franchising while avoiding the pitfalls. In this edited excerpt, Siebert explains why you have to consider …

The 10 Best Worldwide Conferences for Entrepreneurs

Conferences, summits, gatherings, “un” conferences. . . it seems that every week, yet another new, “must-do” conference comes along, demanding your time, attention and money. As a fellow entrepreneur, I feel your pain. Related: The conference circuit can truly drain you, not to mention your bank account. Flights, hotels and conference fees aren’t cheap. And if you’re not careful, …

9 Steps for Sticking With Your Marketing Plan

In , author Robert W. Bly explains how you can develop big-picture marketing plans for pennies on the dollar with his 12-step marketing plan. In this edited excerpt, Bly explains the nine steps you can take to make sure you're getting the most out of your marketing plan. Consistency is important when you’re trying to …

How to Craft Your Social Media Marketing Plan

In , author Robert W. Bly explains how you can develop big-picture marketing plans for pennies on the dollar with his 12-step marketing plan. In this edited excerpt, Bly offers a five-step plan for successfully managing your social media marketing strategy. The first step to any social media marketing strategy is to establish objectives and …

How to Pick a Customer Relationship Management Tool That Fits Your Business

It’s fairly straightforward to determine if you need a customer relationship management solution such as Salesforce. Maria Thomas, director of product management at Insightly, a San Francisco-based CRM software provider, says that if you communicate daily with at least 10 to 20 customers, prospects or partners, your business could benefit from a proper CRM tool. …

7 Online Marketing Tools That Are Totally Worth the Investment

To do online marketing right, you’ve got to buy the right tools. But what tools are the “right tools”? Related:  After all, some tools are free. Some tools are really complicated. Some are insanely expensive. The point being that with marketing tools, it’s hard to make the right decision.  There are so many alternatives available, and if you …

People Want to Know and Like You. Invest in Your Personal Branding Now.

The earliest days of a new startup are an exhilarating, sleepless whirlwind of hope, fear and stress. You’re probably doing just about all you can handle, wearing way more hats than any one professional should as you pour your heart and soul into your fledgling business. As someone who has built a consulting business from …

Learning From Volkswagen: 6 Tips for Surviving a Scandal

More than a year before Volkswagen admitted to emissions tests, the Environmental Protection Agency questioned the German automaker about between formal air-quality tests and the vehicles’ higher levels of pollution on the roads. It was the first whiff of scandal, and the company’s eventually admitted to employing emissions-cheating software after the EPA threatened to withhold …

5 Ideas to Create Profitable B2C Marketing Campaigns

In 2013, a study by WordStream found that the small and mid-sized businesses it studied were . An early-stage company that spends $2,000 a month on AdWords, for instance, will end up spending $6,000 in underperforming creative each year. Related:  For mid-sized companies that spend $20,000 a month on AdWords, the wasted-opportunity bill translates to a …

4 Ways to Dramatically Increase Email Subscriptions

Attention small business owners: Email marketing is not dead. Email marketing is alive and well and continues to blow the doors off of other digital marketing channels. In fact, according to digital marketer and blogger Abrar Mohi Shafee writing on the the , “Your email is your biggest asset!” But how can that be with …

How to Shake a Negative Brand Image Using Mobile Marketing

The mobile revolution has made it clear to brands what an amazing platform it is for them to reach consumers and communicate their ideals, message and values. But as is usually the case with new emerging technologies, we are really only beginning to discover the many opportunities the small screen has to offer. Mobile can do …

5 Tricks to Strengthen Your Content Marketing

The world is a noisy place. It takes both heart and skill and to be heard in a way that moves customers to action. and sending out another dull press release isn’t going to fix that. Instead, use your strengths as a company to create content which is as inventive as your product. After running …

3 Ways to Track the True Value, Not Just Return on Investment, of Your Content Marketing

When you’re spending a hefty chunk of your marketing budget on creating and distributing content, it’s only natural that you want to be sure you’re getting a return on the time and resources you put into it. Ever since the rise of data-driven marketing a few years ago, we’ve been scrambling to try and pin …

Why the Bloomingdale’s Ad Was an Inexcusable Marketing Mistake

In a recent Christmas advertisement, Bloomingdale's startled the world and sparked a slew of complaints on social media. A woman is laughing, with her head tossed back at a holiday party. The man on her right, however, is strategizing, and even has a creepy look on his face. The caption? “Spike your best friend’s eggnog when they’re …

How to Create a Social-Media Marketing Plan From Scratch (Infographic)

When I went rock climbing for the first time, I had no idea what I was doing. My friends and I were complete newbies about ropes and rappelling and every other bit of jargon and technique that goes with climbing. We saw others doing it spectacularly well. We were thrilled at the thought of reaching the top of …

How Reality Star Bethenny Frankel Achieved Brand Success

This column originally posted on Oct. 23, 2014. There are celebrities that spend all of their time in front of a camera and others that spend it gallivanting about the world. Then there are those that leverage their brand to build incredible businesses and do it with little help from outside players. Enter Bethenny Frankel, who turned a …

Microsoft Ditching the ‘Nokia’ and ‘Windows Phone’ Brands for ‘Microsoft Lumia’

It appears that Microsoft is entering the final stages of phasing out the “Nokia” brand name for its mobile phones in favor of the new “Microsoft Lumia.” The decision to ditch the Nokia name really isn’t much of a surprise. Microsoft acquired the Finnish company’s handset business in April for $7.5 billion. As part of …

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