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Is Your Business Missing out on Mobile?

Posted by advantagemarketing on December 27, 2016

Business People Working Technology Devices Cocnept

I’ve had small business owners – especially those who own professional service firms – ask me: “Why should we invest in a mobile-friendly website? We get all our business from word of mouth anyway.”

While referrals are a very important way to maintain your business, you still need to have a website optimized for mobile to support lead generation that will help grow your business. The Managing Technology column in the Wall Street Journal recently discussed the need for a mobile-friendly website:

Consumers are ditching their desktops and buying on mobile phones. But a lot of businesses aren’t making it easy for them — according to RBC Capital Markets, only 33% of small businesses have their websites optimized for mobile. This can become a nightmare for customers: “More often than not, people start on their phones,” says John Scheer, founding partner of Herman-Scheer, “If you have to pinch and zoom to find the address or phone number, that’s not an easy user experience. People are more likely to leave that site.”

So how can you design a mobile site that’s a dream come true? Keeping these two simple tips in mind can make your mobile site a pleasure to use and drive more sales:

The User Comes First

The customer is always right, and your website is no exception, according to the WSJ. “You should design around the user experience as opposed to what you want the customer experience to be,” says Luke Wroblewski, a product director at Google.

Looking at how people actually use your site is crucial to its design: What features are people always hunting for? Are any sections of your website particularly frustrating? You may think users will prefer complex features or assume they are browsing on big monitors, but that’s not always true. Ask someone try out your website on a few different devices, and observe where they have difficulties. Try to alleviate those difficulties when you’re making changes to your site.

 Everything Up Front

Experts advise keeping things simple and giving customers what they want the moment they land on your page. A restaurant, for example, should make its contact information and a dinner reservation form some of the first things users see when they enter the website. If your landing page contains all the essentials without being cluttered, mobile users will be much more likely to use your website.

Some helpful additions to every mobile site are:

  • One-click contests and promotions to engage customers
  • Clickable phone numbers that will trigger a call
  • Large font sizes and a simple navigation bar

With the growing flood of mobile users, every business needs a good mobile site. Keeping important information up front and taking into account user experience can make your site a pleasure to use and drive sales. Many businesses are missing out on mobile — make sure yours isn’t too.

Need Help with Your Website?

Contact us if you need help with your website. The Advantage Marketing team is expert at creating mobile-friendly sites with the right content to drive lead generation.

 

Source: “Missing Out on Mobile,” by Dennis Nishi, Managing Technology; Wall Street Journal, 11-21-16.

 

Posted in Business, lead generation, sales and marketing, small business, Traditional marketing, Website, Word of mouth marketing | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Better Marketing: 13 Quotes to Inspire Your Thinking

Posted by advantagemarketing on July 24, 2015

marketing quotes to inspire

Let these 13 quotes inspire you to update and improve your marketing program.

Summer’s slower days are a good time to get inspired to revise and refocus your company’s marketing. Here are a baker’s dozen of quotes to help get your creative marketing juices flowing – even as you’re sipping mai tai’s on the beach.

The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself. – Peter Drucker

Word of mouth is the most valuable form of marketing, but you can’t buy it. You can only deliver it. And you have to really deliver.  – G-Eazy

Marketing is too important to be left to the marketing department. – David Packard

Money coming in says I’ve made the right marketing decisions.  – Adam Osborne

There was a period of time in America where the advertising world actually went to the housewives of America and had them write jingles that would appeal to them. It was actually brilliant marketing. – Julianne Moore

I notice increasing reluctance on the part of marketing executives to use judgment; they are coming to rely too much on research, and they use it as a drunkard uses a lamp post for support, rather than for illumination. – David Ogilvy

When I meet with the founders of a new company, my advice is almost always, ‘Do fewer things.’ It’s true of partnerships, marketing opportunities, anything that’s taking up your time. The vast majority of things are distractions, and very few really matter to your success. – Evan Williams

For a truly effective social campaign, a brand needs to embrace the first principles of marketing, which involves brand definition and consistent storytelling. – Simon Mainwaring

In marketing I’ve seen only one strategy that can’t miss – and that is to market to your best customers first, your best prospects second and the rest of the world last. – John Romero

Permission marketing turns strangers into friends and friends into loyal customers. It’s not just about entertainment – it’s about education. Permission marketing is curriculum marketing. – Seth Godin

In my first start-up, I had an initial advertising budget of $5 per day total. That would buy us 100 clicks per day. At $5 per day, marketing people scoffed and said that is too small to matter. But if you think about it, to an engineer, 100 real humans everyday giving your product a try means you can really start improving. – Eric Ries

We all have jobs in our lives that we must get done. We reach out and bring products into our lives to get these jobs done. Marketing is all about asking, ‘What job is the customer trying to accomplish?’ – Clayton Christensen

The dream for many millennial women is to make a difference as social or political entrepreneurs. They are using the social media and marketing tools they have mastered to empower less fortunate women and direct them onto career tracks that women have traditionally avoided, like science and technology. – Gail Sheehy

Share your favorite marketing quote.

Source: BrainyQuote.com

Posted in Business, Marketing, Marketing plans, Marketing Strategy, small business, Thought leadership, Traditional marketing, Word of mouth marketing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

New RESULTS! Book Delivers Solutions to Drive Business Success

Posted by advantagemarketing on May 22, 2015

#RESULTS!

Check out my new book, which was written to help business owners achieve lasting, high impact RESULTS! in their businesses.

Are you ready to see RESULTS! in your business?

If you believe, as I do, that our thoughts create our reality, then you want to read my latest book. I’ve partnered with 16 other smart-cookie business professionals to participate in an anthology book project called RESULTS! Impactful Solutions to Drive Business.

The book is designed to help entrepreneurs and small business owners gain the information they need to have a successful business and see RESULTS! All of the expert authors have been through the same struggles as you but have come out on top with thriving, successful businesses and now we want to share that information with you!

In my section, Build a Better Marketing Plan, I zero in on the five simple rules for building a marketing plan and the seven marketing plan must-haves.

As my friend and client Don McDermott told me, “If I have a marketing plan in place, I don’t have to think, I just have to DO.”

Other chapters in the book will help you focus on
• Seven steps to living as a confident entrepreneur
• How to transform your leadership to grow your business
• Power dressing techniques so that you can look as smart as you are
• How a virtual assistant can benefit your business
• And much more!

RESULTS! is available in both Kindle and paperback versions on Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1512138010.

You can also follow my RESULTS! book journey on Facebook.

Follow the whole RESULTS! gang on Twitter – track us with the hashtag #RESULTS!

Leave a comment and let me know how you are getting RESULTS!

Posted in Book marketing, brand building, Business, content marketing, Email marketing, Entrepreneur, Facebook, lead generation, Marketing, Marketing plans, Marketing Strategy, small business, Traditional marketing, Using books to market your firm, Word of mouth marketing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Leveraging Social Media – an AEC Professionals Circle Program

Posted by advantagemarketing on April 2, 2014

AEC New JerseyAEC Professionals Circle New Jersey is offering a program on social media and its potential to bring your company business. The event is called “Leveraging Social Media and Technology to Build Your Business,” and I’m so pleased that Advantage Marketing is teaming with AEC NJ as an event sponsor!

AEC Professionals Circle is a New Jersey-based organization that provides educational and networking opportunities to Architects, Engineers and Contractors.

The event will be held on Tuesday, April 8, and offers two 3-hour working sessions plus a lunch and evening networking. The folks at New Millennium Millwork are hosting the event at their Riverdale, New Jersey, facility. Frank Morales, Sandler Coach & Mentor, is the presenter and he’ll be doing a deep dive into LinkedIn and all the strategies and techniques that you can use to grow your personal network and prospect for business.

At Advantage Marketing, we’re known for helping our professional services clients craft content that positions them as the experts people want to hire, so I’m doubly excited to be premiering our Sticky Content Plan at this event. The Sticky Content Plan helps our clients build the information resources that bring customers to their doors. (You’ll be finding out more about the Sticky Content Plan in upcoming posts.)

We’ll also be running a fun social media quiz and offering prizes. We’ll be selling our guide, “Turn Your Practice into a Client Magnet” – which will soon be available online.

If you’re an architect, engineer, or contractor here in New Jersey, and you haven’t yet been to an AEC Professionals Circle event, this is the one to attend! AEC’s founder Shallon Gammon of Guiding Graphics, shared these top 10 reasons why this is a not-to-be-missed event:

10. Earn one CEU Credit while networking with decision-makers.

9. Learn HOW to build your network—online and in person.

8. Learn how to post your 30 second Elevator Pitch ONLINE.

7. Demystify Social Media channels and decide which one(s) will bring in new business.

6. Learn how you can have all of your documents, quotes, estimates, specifications, client information, and more for all of your projects with you, at all times.

5. Leverage your LinkedIn profile to promote your personal “brand” and proactively prospect.

4. Systematize attending networking events and consistently set and achieve realistic goals.

3. Find the right vendors to outsource services you’re not an expert on.

2. Acquire new customers through online recommendations, postings and word-of-mouth.

1. Learn how you can empower your friends, clients, prospects, and business associates to consistently give you referrals.

Here are the links to register:

RSVP for a Session: http://conta.cc/1fXBLLj

RSVP for the Social Event only: http://conta.cc/1cQF08r

Hope I see you there!

 

 

Posted in Business, content marketing, lead generation, LinkedIn, Marketing, Networking, personal branding, Professional service firm marketing, small business, Social media marketing, Thought leadership, Word of mouth marketing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Building Local Word-of-Mouth for Your Business

Posted by advantagemarketing on February 15, 2011

Moving your business

When KC Creative relocated cross-country, owner Kathy Fulton had to do more than move boxes. She had to build another local referral network.

By Loraine Kasprzak, MBA

Kathy Fulton, owner and lead graphic designer for KC Creative, Inc., has been a friend and colleague of mine for more years than either of us can remember. She’s a master juggler – she manages her business, raises a family, and still finds time to train for triathlons. But even someone as high energy as Kathy was thrown for a loop when she had to relocate her business not once, but twice, in three years. After each move – from Chester, NJ, to Richmond, VA, in 2005 and then to St. Louis, MO, in 2008 – Kathy has had to re-establish her business in a town where her reputation and the quality of her work were unknown.

“It’s been challenging to maintain client relationships cross-country, get project work done, and establish KC Creative here in St. Louis,” Kathy told me. When old project work wrapped up and her sales pipeline emptied, she knew she needed to look for clients more actively. “I couldn’t rely on old relationships exclusively. I needed to build local word-of-mouth to get more business.”

Kathy shared with me what she’s doing to re-establish her referral network. As she rebuilds the second time, she’s learning which tactics work the hardest for her. These tactics can also work well for any service firm looking to build its own local network.

Accept invitations. Kathy started by accepting any invitation that came her way, especially to charity events and networking meetings, so that she could connect with the local community. She also saw the parents at her children’s new preschool as a resource. “If a parent invited me for coffee, I gladly accepted,” she notes. “As we got to know each other, I would mention that I was a graphic designer and share my business card.”

Volunteer your services.  Kathy found that volunteering her design services helps others get to know her and her work. She’s created invitations for fundraisers on a pro bono basis, and doing so has given her more visibility in the community.

Get on the Board. She accepted an invitation to be a Board member for a local charity so that she could further expand her network. The challenge here is to become known for her graphic design work and not just as a Board member.

Join local networking groups. Kathy joined a women’s professional networking group and attends their meetings as often as possible. “I’m starting to get some leads,” she says. “There’s an accounting firm in the group that has been very helpful.”

Tap your spouse’s network. Kathy’s husband works for a bank that sponsors events in and around St. Louis and she attends as many of these events as possible with him. “I made several good contacts at the bank’s holiday party, including the head of one of the larger local non-profits,” says Kathy. “I was able to arrange a breakfast meeting with her to discuss her graphic design needs.”

Schedule one-on-one meetings. Attending events and networking meetings is a great start, but Kathy knows she has to take it a step further. She sets up breakfast meetings with the business owners and community leaders she meets, so that she can listen, learn and help where she can. She comments, “These breakfast conversations often turn to how I can help them. It’s well worth it for me to give some free advice about how they can improve the look and feel of their marketing collateral.”

Make a conscious effort. With all the challenges of running a business and managing family life, Kathy learned she has to plan ahead to network. She schedules time each week to make follow-up phone calls, attend meetings or meet one-on-one with new acquaintances.

Stay in contact. The hardest part, says Kathy, is staying focused and following up with her new contacts. “I want to stay top-of-mind with strategic people without being overbearing. I’m creating a series of mailers to offer design tips. I also plan to send email blasts. LinkedIn and Twitter are helping me stay in touch too.”

Still, Kathy notes, it can be a slow process. “It takes time to get others to trust you and want to do business with you.  I’m just now beginning to get calls from prospects and others who will refer me for projects.”

What’s next?

Find out more about KC Creative. Kathy Fulton’s boutique firm specializes in graphic design and print production management. Stop by the KC Creative site.

Continue the discussion. What are you doing to build word-of-mouth and referral sources for your company? Please share your tips and comments below.

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Posted in Business, Marketing, Networking, Traditional marketing, Word of mouth marketing | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

 
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