The Marketing Advantage

Connecting You with Your Customers

What Does Your Logo Say About Your Business?

Posted by advantagemarketing on December 6, 2016

logos and branding

Your logo is the visual image of your company. Is it time to refresh yours to better reflect your company’s brand?

When I start developing a marketing program for a new client, the first thing we tackle is branding. This often means creating or updating their firm’s logo. Here’s what I tell new clients about branding…

Your company logo is the cornerstone of your branding. It is a visual reminder of everything your firm stands for. Some elements of a good logo, according to Duct Tape Marketing:

  • It has lasting value – trendy logos don’t hold up over time. Make sure your logo will stay iconic and reliable even if the design of your website changes.

 

  • It is distinct – some amount of uniqueness, as long as it doesn’t confuse, is valuable. A distinct logo will stand out among a crowd of dull ones and generate more sales.

 

  • It appeals to your target audience – if your target market is partial to blue, then it doesn’t matter that you’re not. Your design should consider what your audience values first.

 

  • It supports your core message – if you’re trying to communicate your low, low prices, then your logo should support that image. Your customers should be able to understand the heart of your company philosophy just by looking at your logo.

 

  • It is legible – This seems pretty obvious, but many people use typefaces and images that can’t be printed or carried to a large sign. Your logo should clearly identify your company, and it can’t do that if people don’t understand it.

Test Your Logo

I advise clients to get several outside opinions, preferably from clients or prospects, before selecting a final logo design and using it on their email templates, letterhead and website, etc. This helps ensure that the logo is effectively communicating their brand message to the target audience.

Don’t skip this crucial step! When we tested a lighthouse-themed logo for an HR client, for example, we discovered it did not resonate with the senior executives who were his clients. This valuable insight caused us to take the logo concept in a different direction, resulting in design that better reflected the value these executives received from my client’s work.

The Takeaway

A logo should be more than eye-catching, it should represent your company’s brand and appeal to your target audience. If your current logo hasn’t kept up with how your firm’s brand has evolved, then it’s probably time to update it.

 

Posted in B2B marketing, Marketing, Professional service firm marketing, small business, Traditional marketing | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Marketing Advantage Named Best Small Business Marketing Blog 2016

Posted by advantagemarketing on October 17, 2016

small-business-marketing-growWe are pleased to announce that The Marketing Advantage blog has received the award for Best Small Business Marketing Blogs 2016.

In an era where blogs are a dime a dozen, I am honored that our blog stands out among the rest for providing valuable content for small businesses. We are credited with providing tons of great tips and tricks for content and social media marketers who are new to the business.

There is also plenty to be found on The Marketing Advantage for more seasoned marketers.  Don’t spend hours searching the web for solutions to your marketing problems when you can stay tuned to our blog for expert information. Recent posts have included:

·  Why Should Your Small Business Conduct Market Research?
·  Top 7 Best Marketing Reads For The Fall
·  5 Marketing Hacks You Need Now

A big thank you to CreditDonkey for naming us a Best Small Business Marketing Blog for 2016!

Posted in B2B marketing, Business, Marketing, small business, Social media marketing | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Why Should Your Small Business Conduct Market Research?

Posted by advantagemarketing on October 4, 2016

Why does your company need market research?

Insights gained from market research can help your company bring more value to its clients and stay ahead of the competition.

Recently, a CEO  of a mid-sized firm, for whom Advantage Marketing had proposed a much-needed market research project, asked how he should justify the project to his Board of Directors. Here’s what I told him: 

Are any of your board members pilots? Ask them if they would fly blind, without the indicators on the plane’s control panel. Market research is just like those indicators. It keeps you aloft as a business, and prevents you from crashing and burning. Right now your company is flying blind – how close are you to crashing and burning without valid market insights? If you’re not crashing and burning, you’re at least wasting fuel (money) by running inefficiently with things that won’t bring value to clients or get you new business.

With market research, the return on investment is almost always positive.What would be the value if this project netted you just one new client? Or, even better, if it enabled you to develop a new product line for a new market? It’s not certain that you’d get either, but you certainly aren’t getting either now.

Other benefits of market research include:

  1. Maintaining and improving the sales team’s focus.
  2. Pointing you in the direction of the most lucrative opportunities.
  3. Keeping your company relevant and future-oriented.
  4. Improving your decision-making and reducing your risk.
  5. Keeping you ahead of the competition.

It also avoids negative consequences such as:

  1. Plunging blindly ahead and investing money where it doesn’t provide value for customers.
  2. Staying the same as always and losing market share to others who innovate and come up with a better, faster, or cheaper way of doing what you’re doing now.
  3. Losing money because you’re caught sleeping while the market is changing.

Is your company considering market research? What do you see as the benefits of research for your company?

Posted in B2B marketing, Market research, Marketing, Marketing Strategy, sales and marketing, small business, Traditional marketing | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Top 7 Best Marketing Reads For The Fall

Posted by advantagemarketing on September 8, 2016

Read any good marketing books lately? Here are 7 that you won’t want to miss.

  1. Duct Tape Marketing

    As a small business owner, you are really in the business of marketing.  The problem for most small business owners is that they suffer from “marketing idea of the week” syndrome instead of implementing a systematic approach to the problem of small business marketing. In Duct Tape Marketing, renowned Small Business Marketing guru John Jantsch shows you how to develop and execute a marketing plan that will give your business the life and longevity you knew you could have when you made that decision to go out on your own. Buy It Now

  2. Professional Services Marketing

    Written by  John E. Doerr, Mike Schultz, and Lee Frederiksen, Professional Services Marketing is a fully field-tested and research-based approach to marketing and client development. The book covers five key areas that are critical for firms that want to grow and become more profitable. It includes real-world case studies that illustrate major points, as well as quotes and stories from well-respected professionals in the industry. Buy It Now

  3. RESULTS!

    RESULTS! is based on years of experience and learned knowledge and is a powerful business tool. It contains the top tips and insights for getting results in your own business from 17 seasoned business experts, including marketing strategist Loraine Kasprzak. Their mission is to inspire more business owners, entrepreneurs, managers, and salespeople to achieve the results they want, so they can lead the life they desire. Buy It Now

  4. To Sell Is Human

    To Sell Is Human offers a fresh look at the art and science of selling. As he did in Drive and A Whole New Mind, Daniel H. Pink draws on a rich trove of social science for his counterintuitive insights. He reveals the new ABCs of moving others (it’s no longer “Always Be Closing”), explains why extraverts don’t make the best salespeople, and shows how giving people an “off-ramp” for their actions can matter more than actually changing their minds. Buy It Now

  5. Content Inc.

    In Content Inc., one of today’s most sought-after content-marketing strategists reveals a new model for entrepreneurial success. Simply put, it’s about developing valuable content, building an audience around that content, and then creating a product for that audience. Notice a shift? Author Joe Pulizzi flips the traditional entrepreneurial approach of first creating a product and then trying to find customers. It’s a brilliant reverse-engineering of a model that rarely succeeds. Buy It Now
  6. Buyer Personas

    Buyer Personas is the marketer’s actionable guide to learning what your buyer wants and how they make decisions. Written by Adele Revella, this book provides comprehensive coverage of a compelling new way to conduct buyer studies, plus practical advice on adopting the buyer persona approach to measurably improve marketing outcomes. Readers will learn how to segment their customer base, investigate each customer type, and more. Buy It Now

  7. Content Chemistry

    The result of thousands of conversations about web marketing with hundreds of companies, this handbook is a compilation of the most important and effective lessons and advice about the power of search engine optimization, social media, and email marketing. The first and only comprehensive guide to content marketing, this book explains the social, analytical, and creative aspects of modern marketing that are necessary to succeed on the web. Buy It Now

 

What marketing books can you suggest as worthwhile reads?

Posted in Book marketing, Business, content marketing, Marketing, Marketing Strategy, Professional service firm marketing, small business, Traditional marketing | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

My Top 10 Social Media Tweets for Small B2Bs

Posted by advantagemarketing on August 25, 2016

Social Media has the power to transform your small business. But it can be complex and it’s tough to know where you should be focusing your efforts. My Top 10 Tweets will help you get it right.

4 Basic Elements Of Successful Social Media Strategies

Entrepreneurs have the chance to connect with employees, customers, shareholders, and those who don’tknow them yet through the power of social media. Read more

 

Social Media’s Future Role in Small-Business Marketing

Many small business CEOs ask about the likelihood that social media will play a major part of the marketing efforts for companies. Some are even hoping that it is ‘just a flash in the pan’ because it takes time and certain skills to make it happen in an effective way. Read more

 

Study: Engagement Key to Social Media Success

The more interactive your company is on Facebook and Twitter, the more likely customers are to shop with you, new research finds. Read more

 

Social Media Forces Change in Rebranding Strategies

We live in impatient times. Digital content can spread like wildfire within minutes and then disappear just as quickly. That acceleration of speed has had ripple effects on every aspect of marketing, including the company rebrand. Read more

 

How to Generate Good Leads Using Social Media

“Knowing how to generate good leads to your site is very important for you, if you are into internet marketing.” Read more

 

How to Automate Social Media Lead Generation and Engagement

Marketing ideas are floating everywhere. However, that’s definitely not enough for a marketer when it comes to ensuring the maximum yield at minimum effort. Read more

 

5 Trends That Will Change How Companies Use Social Media In 2016

Hootsuite CEO Ryan Holmes offers a look ahead at the social trends that are fast reshaping how companies do business. Read more

 

5 Ways You Can Make the Most of LinkedIn Ads

LinkedIn is today’s business-to-business media powerhouse. So, how do you take advantage of it? Read more

 

What the Evolution of Social Media Means for Marketers

It’s an exciting time to be a social media marketer, though not without challenges. Read more

 

What Your Small Business Should Do To Look Like A Social Media Pro

Learning how to use a wider range of social media tools can help small businesses target prospective and existing customers on these platforms. Here are four tips to consider. Read more

 

For more tips on small business marketing and social media, follow me on Twitter: @LMKasprzak.

Posted in B2B marketing, Business, small business, Social media marketing | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Top 10 Marketing Automation Tweets for B2Bs and Small Businesses

Posted by advantagemarketing on August 11, 2016

marketing_automation

Let’s face it: marketing can get awfully tedious, especially when you have to do the same tasks repeatedly. Marketing automation can be a lifesaver because it allows you to set up automated workflows that handle many admin or routine tasks, so you don’t have to. These marketing automation tips from my Twitter feed can help you get started with marketing automation for your own small business.

Marketing Automation Leading to Shorter Sales Cycles, Post-Sale Focus

Marketing automation software is all about automating the customer interaction process from campaign formation through lead generation, all the way to initial sale and repeat business. It can take the time out of tedious tasks and greatly increase efficiency. Read More

 

How to Ensure Your Marketing-Automation Project Does Not Fall Flat

Benefits of marketing automation cannot be overstated. The following 5 tips are meant to provide you some ideas about how to improve your marketing automation and obtain better results. Read More

 

59% of B2B Fortune 500 Companies Use Marketing Automation

The growth of marketing automation adoption within the Fortune 500 segment is continuing — and for good reason. Read More

 

Why Predictive Software Is Key To Marketing Automation

It is time to reinvent marketing automationRead More

 

How Automation Will Change Content and Native Ads

Nearly nine in 10 say tech will improve content marketing and native advertising. Read More

 

Why Do B2Bs Use Marketing Automation? Leads, Leads, Leads

Marketing automation is important throughout the leads process. Read More

 

5 Reasons Sales Teams Should Embrace Marketing Automation

Salespeople want more and better-qualified leads, and most don’t realize or appreciate the value they get from good marketing automation. Read More

 

6 Ways Marketing Automation Saves Time

When I first heard about marketing automation, I was running demand generation programs for an economic research firm. One year after I’d implemented it, marketing automation had saved me 1,832 hours across the entire team — the equivalent of one full-time hire. Read More

 

Vital Features to Look for in Marketing Automation Software this Year

The single most important improvement companies can make to their marketing strategies is investing in marketing automation software. Automation is the fuel that allows businesses to stay one step ahead of the game. Read More

 

Give Your Marketing Automation Database Segments a Rest: Ideas to make sure you are engaging your contacts.

Continually sending messages on weekly webinars, white paper downloads, call-downs, and recycled nurture campaigns will burn out your database and create a level of exhaustion. Read More

 

Posted in B2B marketing, Business, Internet business, Marketing, Marketing automation, small business | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

5 Marketing Hacks You Need Now

Posted by advantagemarketing on July 28, 2016

It’s the middle of summer – the perfect time to try one or more of these five marketing hacks to refresh your marketing efforts!

  1. Syndicate Old ContentTime for tips and tricks concept with red word and sign printed on a clock face.

    Once you create a piece of content, push it out to social media, and follow up with your initial rounds of commenters, most brands consider that source “tapped,” and never revisit it again. In some cases, this is necessary—especially if the article is news-based or otherwise temporary in nature. But if the article is evergreen, it will hold a permanent value. Why let this value sit idly on your blog when you could continue tapping it periodically for long-term dividends? Keep a list of your old evergreen content pieces, and re-syndicate them occasionally. This will generate new interest from new followers, and may be valuable to older followers who didn’t see it the first time around. Read More

  2. Use Custom Landing Pages

    Building a landing page takes time and effort, but they’re far more useful when they exist as a cluster. Each individual landing page should serve a highly specialized purpose, targeting a niche audience and serving one specific need; this allows you to refine the small details of your approach to cater to one specific type of conversion at a time. But beyond that, you’ll need to create multiple versions of each functional landing page, splitting your strategy even further into variants. The goal here is to compare and contrast how all your different landing pages perform, giving you more data and more user insights you can use to speed up the development of your campaign. Read More

  3. Create a Google My Business Page

    This is a great way to boost your online visibility. This listing will make your business easy to find on Google Search and Google Maps. It will also allow Google+ users to easily review your business. As local business reviews increase, your search engine rankings will also improve. It would also be a good idea to add your business to the Yahoo Local listing. Read More

  4. Curate Content for Social Media

    In order to build a loyal following on social media, you need to be considered a consistent source of high-quality content from a variety of sources that either informs, entertains, inspires or helps your followers whenever they see it. Ideally the content you will curate and share should meet more than one (if not all) of those criteria. You need to find other companies and social media users who are sharing quality content in your niche. Once you find them, you can re-share the things that they’ve shared and benefit from all the work they’ve put in to creating or finding that great content. Read More

  5. Make Your CTA Painfully Obvious

    Before you begin implementing any type of content marketing strategy for your company, the most important thing you need to decide is what you want your website visitors to do while they are there. Because we are consuming information faster than ever before, we are all the more likely to ignore the more subtle marketing messages we might encounter online. That’s why it’s so important that bloggers and business owners include a clear call to action as frequently as possible while still feeling natural and logical within the content. Read More

Share your favorite marketing hack with us.

Posted in Business, content marketing, Marketing, marketing hacks, small business, Social media marketing, Traditional marketing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

My Top 10 Content Marketing Tweets for B2Bs

Posted by advantagemarketing on July 14, 2016

Content marketing is a powerful, but often underutilized marketing tactic for B2B firms. These Twitter posts share helpful tips for putting content marketing to work for your small or mid-size business.

 

5 Reasons Your Small Business Needs Content MarketingVintage looking man shouting with a megaphone

Constantly clamoring to grab the attention of prospective customers, small businesses are competing with a lot of noise. To avoid getting skipped over or ignored, savvy digital marketers must craft messages that their target audience wants to see. Read More

 

Content Marketing Is On the Rise – But Less Than 1/2 Of B2B Marketers Think Their Strategies Are Somewhat Effective.

Though everyone agrees that “content is king,” only 2 percent of marketers believe their strategies are highly-effective, according to new research by the CMO Council. Read More

 

Content Marketing And Its Influence On SEO

If I want better visibility for my business and increased conversions from site traffic, which is better — content marketing or traditional SEO (search engine optimization)? The short answer is both, but they involve very different processes and technology. Read More

 

How to Leverage Content Marketing for Lead Nurturing

Most people think a successful content marketing strategy is one that collects a lot of leads. While that might be the case, if you can create a content marketing strategy that effectively moves leads through your sales funnel, it’s likely more valuable than the longest list of leads. Read More

 

The New Content Marketing: How to Create Successful Content For Today’s Audience

Successful content marketing depends upon your audience. This is just one of the first things we ever learned about marketing. The audience is what drives the success of your marketing campaign. Read More

 

Analysis: There’s More To Content Than Just Marketing

As the line between content and content marketing blurs, columnist Rebecca Lieb shares thoughts about what lies ahead for content professionals. Read More

 

6 Tips For Communicating Content Marketing ROI To Your Executive Team

Executives want to know a marketing strategy’s expected ROI before they commit money and resources to it. But content is a different animal than other marketing initiatives. Read More

 

When, How and Where to Promote Your Content on Social Media

Promotion is just one part of the process, but it’s a complex machine of its own. Learning when, how and where to promote on social media takes knowledge, skill and testing. Read More

 

Complement Your Content Marketing with Social Media

Let’s think about how social media fits into the B2B content marketing landscape. Read More

 

Valuable Tools for Better Content Marketing

Make the most of your content marketing efforts and strategies by using time-saving tools. Read More

 

For more content marketing tips, follow me on Twitter: @LMKasprzak.

Posted in B2B marketing, brand building, Business, content marketing, lead generation, Marketing, small business, Thought leadership | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

My Top 10 Small Business Marketing Tweets

Posted by advantagemarketing on June 30, 2016

When you’re running a small business, you’re wearing many hats. These Top 10 tweets provide tips that can help make your marketing hat just a little easier to wear.

How Small Businesses Can Improve Online MarketingPortrait Of Male Bookshop Owner Outside Store

 

You’ve used all of the standard, popular marketing strategies with only moderate success. You wonder – are there things I am missing? Could there be other avenues I don’t know about? Read More

 

How Small Businesses Can Get the Most Out Of Their Marketing Dollars

If you’ve got a small marketing budget, you have to be smart about priorities. In this post I’ll share some things I’ve learned along the way to help small businesses make the most of their small marketing budgets. Read More

 

Small Businesses: Four Steps To Enhance Real-Time Marketing

Real-time marketing involves branded responses to current events or customer interactions. The tactic only works if those responses are executed, quite literally, in real-time. Read More

 

15 Tools to Create Automation in Your Small Business

These business automation tools can make your business reach a success by leveraging email, social media and web services. Read More

 

How And Why Small Businesses Must Adapt To Social Media

Among the countless factors a small business owner must consider when running his or her business, social media is quickly becoming one of the most important. Read More

 

How To Quickly Master Social Media Marketing For Small Business

It’s no secret that social media is here to stay and that its stake in the success or failure of a business is growing larger everyday. If you’re looking to ramp up your own presence and quickly master the art of social media marketing for business, follow these tips. Read More

 

Is Small Business Branding Possible? You Betcha And Here’s How

Large companies the world over have long recognized the value of creating a brand. But even a small business can benefit from the impact of having a well-honed image. Read More

 

Coming Up With Content Ideas Can Be Tricky For Small Businesses. How To Overcome Writer’s Block In Your Content Marketing

It is the most common question I get when speaking about email marketing, social media or small business in general… “What should I write about?” Read More

 

How Can Your Small Business Benefit From Pinterest?

So what exactly is Pinterest, how does it work, and why is it important to your small business? Read More

 

What Your Small Business Should Do To Look Like A Social Media Pro

As social media use continues to grow, so does the number of marketing opportunities for small businesses. Nearly two-thirds of U.S. adults now use social media. Read More

 

For more small business marketing tips, follow me on Twitter: @LMKasprzak.

Posted in B2B marketing, Business, Marketing, Marketing automation, small business, Social media marketing | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Union Catholic Business Networking Luncheon

Posted by advantagemarketing on June 16, 2016

I recently had the pleasure of attending and speaking at the Union Catholic Business Networking Luncheon. This second annual event took place at Shackamaxon Country Club in Scotch Plains, NJ, and featured a panel discussion moderated by Joe Connolly, WCBS Newsradio 880 Business Reporter. It was a fun opportunity for members of the business and non-profit communities to come together.

The event was recorded, so if you want to hear all the great advice the panelists gave to audience members, check it out here: http://livestream.com/unioncatholichs/events/5276120. Enjoy!

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Posted in Business, Networking | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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