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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Hierarchy of Needs + Consumer Experiences = Marketing Success
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Hierarchy of Needs + Consumer Experiences = Marketing Success

There are so many different words we can use to describe marketing in today’s business climate – collective, cooperative, collaborative, connected, social, relational, digital, immediate, on-demand, integrated, flexible, pull, measurable, inbound, visual, discussion-based, creative, transparent, organic, relevant, personal, humanized, credible, sophisticated, entertaining, influential, interactive… I’m sure you can think of at least 20 more.

I think there is one particular term that marketers need to pay special attention to: EXPERIENCE. And I’m not talking about the brand experience you may be thinking about, which I have addressed before that is focused on how the consumer experiences the brand across channels. I’m talking about the experience a consumer has when engaging with what the brand has to offer.

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Hurdling the Creative Roadblock

Creativity can be expressed in many ways – one may be a gifted artist, an exceptional storyteller, a brilliant musician, a talented writer or an imaginative inventor. But usually a person’s creativity usually does not manifest itself in every outlet. Take me, for instance. My creativity comes out through my writing, but do NOT ask me to draw you anything… you’ll think it was produced by a Kindergartner.

Have you ever looked around at your team and realized that you have no idea what their creative outlets are? If you want to maximize the creativity of a team, you need to identify their creative strengths. And in order to do that, you have to really know your team. If given an hour to spare, what would each one like to do? Where would each one like to go? What are their creative outlets? What inspires them? Knowing these things about the members of a team you are leading can provide you with the opportunity to allow each individual to use their own strengths to generate ideas. Continue reading

Let’s Get Visual! Let Me See Your Content Talk!

There’s a reason that popularity of social sites like Instagram and Pinterest have skyrocketed recently.  It is the same reason that you used to be drawn to the stories in the newspaper that had images associated with them (hey! remember when you actually held a newspaper in your hand and read it?).  By design, we’re visual beings.  We’re built to see a wide spectrum of colors, depth and texture.

But the reason we’re drawn to imagery goes beyond that – when we view imagery, we each see something unique and we connect emotionally to the visual by creating our meaning for it.  Visuals make more lasting impressions because we process them differently than we do text.  According to a recent LinkedIn blog post, when we process imagery we are using 75% of our sensory neurons.  Imagery has become the new headline.  In this new fast-paced world where we’re dealing with a barrage of messages and continuous noise via every social channel, imagery is what we (marketers) need to use to capture the attention of our audience.

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