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March 2013

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Want to reach the mobile workforce? Advertise during working hours

Most of the time, business owners have very little tolerance for employees getting distracted during work, and understandably so. Personal phone calls, fantasy football emails and, especially, shopping during work are all sanctionable actions.


If you're a small business owner, however, you should be excited about the fact that consumers are increasingly shopping during their day jobs - provided it's not your own employees, of course. 


Rising mobile workforce providing advertisers with golden opportunity

Over the past year, the mobile workforce has exploded, as approximately three-quarters of organizations allow their employees to use personal laptops, tablets and smartphones on a regular basis. 


Focus on the fundamentals - A quality website

Today's marketplace is extremely competitive. 


If you're a small business or startup owner, this statement is nothing new to you. But the challenges of making a name for yourself might be. 


Technology is changing at a faster rate than anytime in history, and companies are being forced to change with it to meet consumer demands. In essence, customers expect the same shopping experience online as they receive inside brick-and-mortar stores - only they expect it at any hour of the day (or night). 


In the rush to employ new techniques, many businesses are ignoring the fundamentals, forgetting to constantly update information on their websites or deploying apps before they really have a plan in place. 


If you fall into this category, my advice for you is to step back, relax and get back to the basics.


Digital marketing's big taboo

Every company has had to deal with angry, pesky and persistent customers at one point or another. As a business, it simply comes with the territory.


But can you ever, in a million years, imagine you or one of your fellow workers ignoring a customer? Or more extreme yet, hanging up the phone on someone? Regardless of how difficult that person is being, ignoring them is simply not an option in face-to-face and over-the-phone encounters. 


Guess what? It's also an unacceptable practice in the digital world. 


Shoppers these days don't just appreciate a rapid response when a company delivers service to them online - they expect it. Ignore my Twitter or social media complaint? Fine, I'll take my disposable income elsewhere. Take too long to answer my question via chat? I'm gone before you can say, "I'll be with you in minute."


Website mobile compatibility - It's a must, not an option

Written by Kevin Plankey
On the

Do you have a spoiled relative?


Maybe it's a nephew, a niece or a grandchild, but you know who I'm referring to - the girl who cries if she doesn't get a pony for her birthday, or the little boy who throws a tantrum because he couldn't have ice cream before lunch.


In many ways, a spoiled relative is a microcosm for what the modern-day consumer has become. The 24/7 shopper expects service at a moments notice, and he or she wants to be able to communicate with business representatives through his or her platform of choice.


Consumers also expect to be able to buy anything online, at any time, from any location and - well, you get the point.


The vital organs for business success

If you're struggling to decide whether investing in your website or advertising is more important, I'll save you the trouble: the correct answer is that you need both. 


If the website is like the heart - in that you need it to survive - your marketing campaign is like the brain.


Much like our neural system controls the way our vital organs operate, an effective advertising strategy makes everything else work the way it's supposed to. It's what gets customers interested in your product, enticing them to locate your website and, ideally, to make a purchase.


But like the brain, your marketing campaign can never, ever stop working - not even for a brief time period. 


Starting up a business? Use social media to target customers

The past few years have been less than ideal for those hoping to start a business, but those who did knew the company's survival would depend on its marketing strategy because reaching customers was going to take some smart planning. 


So what do you do? Depending on your business, you could host do-it-yourself workshops, send out a mass email for a grand opening, and more than anything else, employ Facebook and Twitter to develop a targeted marketing campaign.


In addition, Facebook ads really allow you to drill down into your demographics. As a result, I recommend setting up multiple ads targeting different people and then watching the results.


Emphasizing the right components of a website

Written by Kevin Plankey
On the

Has your company been around since before the rise of the Internet? If so, you've probably seen a dramatic change in the relationship with your customer base. 


Ecommerce platforms, for instance, allow consumers to purchase items at their convenience, and social media has provided another effective method of communication between the two parties. This has given small businesses a tremendous advantage, opening up avenues that previously didn't exist. 


Combined with mobile devices, the Internet has also made the typical customer more demanding than he or she was in the past, with people now expecting to receive information - such as prices, sales, product data and locations - at a moment's notice. 


Utilizing local marketing for a competitive advantage

By now, there's a good chance you've visited one of the many frozen yogurt chains that have popped up nationwide. 

You know the ones I'm talking about - where you get to pick the flavors and toppings of your choice, and by the time you check out, you've spent 10-plus dollars on frozen yogurt.

Two frozen yogurt chains have opened in my town in the past year alone. More recently, a local gelato parlor opened up that's located within walking distance of its competitors. 

So how exactly can a private small business expect to compete with the big bad frozen yogurt chains? Employing an effective local marketing campaign will likely be pivotal. 

Boost your revenue with email marketing

As a small business owner, you're probably glowing at the newfound opportunities of mobile and social marketing - and you should be.


But while you're focusing on implementing these new technologies into your campaign, don't forget about the benefits of more traditional methods - notably email advertising.


If social and mobile marketing are infants, email advertising is a mature adult. The strategy is developed enough that businesses of all sizes have figured out what works and what doesn't, but young enough that it still has a substantial effect on modern-day consumers. 


The Ultimate Survival Tool - Mobile Marketing

The other day, I was trying to think of a good birthday present to get my mom. When I was on my smartphone, I noticed an email with a subject that read, "Purchase gift cards for store of choice - no shipping costs." When I opened the email, however, the format made it impossible to read on my phone.


Later that day, I ended up finding a gift card at CVS instead, and the message will likely remain unread by me until the end of time.


This is a relatively common problem with email advertising, but as a small business owner, do you have a strong enough incentive to invest valuable resources in mobile marketing campaigns? A recent study indicates that you do