Fueling Your Small Business Fire
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Fueling Your Small Business Fire

According to Forbes, on average during 2015 businesses with less than $5 million in annual revenue experienced 7.8% annual sales growth. Is your small business feeling that growth? Odds are if you are a small business retailer, the answer is not so much.

There are a number of strategies small retailers can employ to stoke online sales growth. Here are few ideas to get you going. Try them out and see which of these best help you to reach your ideal customer.
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The Brand Integrity Equation
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The Brand Integrity Equation

When you hear or see the word “brand,” what do you think of? A logo? A slogan or tag line? A character? That’s what many consumers would think of.

Now, put on your MarCom hat – what do you think of? Brand identity, brand promise, mission, vision, logo, colors, tone-of-voice, visuals, taglines, personas, marketing touchpoints…

Sure. But that’s not all. A brand is made up of the sum of ALL its parts, not just the ones that marketers focus on. Brand identity is delivered to consumers through an organization’s products and services, its sales team, its pricing, its product development, its customer service, even its fine print.

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The Privacy Problem
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The Privacy Problem

Privacy continues to be a concern for consumers, yet most consumers still seem to be willing to give up at least some privacy for the sake of convenience. In a recent study (see complete infographic below), 92% of U.S. internet users worry about their online privacy and, while only 31% say they understand how their personal information is used and shared, 75% feel that they are adequately protecting their online personal data. WHAT??

How can a consumer protect the privacy of their data when they don’t even understand what is happening with the data they share?

It also appears that the level of concern is beginning to plateau. In 2014, the same study indicated that consumers were 74% more concerned about online privacy than the last year. Now, only 45% are more worried – which indicates one of two things: Either consumers can’t get much more concerned that they already are, or consumers are becoming more comfortable with the state of their online privacy.

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Which is Your Biggest Marketing Hurdle?
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Which is Your Biggest Marketing Hurdle?

There are many problems plaguing today’s marketers. I’ve found that most of them relate back to at least one of three things:

  • Money
  • Channel growth
  • Data.

Even though most experts agree that our economy is on an up-swing, consumers are still spending less and saving more, which means there is less revenue to go around so marketing departments are struggling to avoid slashes to their budgets.  The best way to avoid such cuts is to be able to prove the ROI for marketing efforts.  Enter: Big Data.  A marketer’s dream and nightmare all rolled into one numbers-filled package.  (We all know how much marketers love numbers.)

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Social is Seriously Serious Business

I received an IM from a friend a couple days ago that got me thinking. He was asking for my advice because his friend’s 15-year-old son wants to start a social media marketing business. I asked my friend to send me this young man’s business plan, so that I could review and make recommendations. The response: “Um, he doesn’t have a business plan.”

WHAT?

Don’t get me wrong – there are teens who are capable of being businesspeople. Take Brooke Martin, for example, who created icpooch when she was just 12. This kind of magic can and does happen. But I can just see how this kiddo’s plan evolved… I want extra money > I like social networks > Local businesses use social networks > I could post for these businesses and charge them for it > I’ll start a social media marketing business! So easy, right? WRONG.

Clearly the first step would be to develop a business plan. But what that plan entails can really vary depending on the business. Creating and managing a business’ social media marketing could mean so many different things. A few examples? OK… a Facebook page, LinkedIn groups, a LinkedIn corporate page, a Twitter profile, a Google+ page, Tumblr, Reddit, Yelp. What about content driven social? Oh, how about… Pinterest, Instagram, a YouTube channel, Meerkat and/or Periscope and/or Vine, blogs. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

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