Posted in Marketing

Five Signs You Need Automated Marketing

Over the years, marketing techniques have increased in their sophistication and effectiveness. Rather than contacting complete strangers via cold calling or mass emailing to purchased lists of email addresses, you can draw leads to your landing pages with enticing content.

From there, you can slowly nurture them until they’re ready to buy. Techniques such as list segmentation and personalized emails dramatically increase conversion rates. However, there is one problem with this kind of marketing. It’s both labor intensive and time-consuming. If you can agree with any of the following, then you need automated marketing:

You’re Overworked and Exhausted

You find there isn’t enough time in the day to get your marketing work done. Even with help, you can’t stay on top of your social media, email, and search engine marketing campaigns. You know what needs to be done, but your to-do list has become an unfulfilled wish list. Perhaps you have lots of good leads, but their numbers (and your limited time) prevent you from following up with all of them.

You Use the Same Marketing Message With All of Your Leads

This is symptomatic of not having the time to properly segment your leads and personalize your communication with them accordingly. That is, you’re resorting to the mass marketing techniques of the past out of necessity.

You Do Too Much Repetitive Marketing Tasks

If most of your marketing work makes you feel like a robot and leaves you with too little time for planning and creative work, you need to turn the work over to automation software.

You’re Using Too Many Tools That Don’t Work Together

Perhaps you have tools for your different marketing tasks, but they don’t “talk” to each other. This requires you to take the output of one and manually input it into another tool. This in itself is time-consuming and prone to error because of all the manual data entry you’re doing. What you need instead is a single automated marketing software that performs all the tasks you do with your different tools.

Posted in Marketing

Challenges Faced in the Data Integration Process

In the process of data integration, setting up the pragmatic prospects can become a challenge. For an agency, the primary goal is to set realistic figures and analysis. A unified and comprehensive data is to be presented by conjuring a perfect coordination from diverse databases, sources, and equipment. There must be a smooth functioning alliance of information while operating with data integration solutions.

However, in this field, as the data integration progresses, all the requirement and the challenges can be analyzed in the data requirement stage itself. Some of the common challenges faced are:

1. Heterogeneous data
The coordination of large data files and information from a varied system can become a task at some stage. The production of inheriting systems is completely different from conventional databases. Unlike conventional systems the inherit systems keeps on adding new data in order to increase the value. A system varies for copying data making it hard to get a unified final result.

2. Insignificant data
The quality is yet another concern when it comes to data integration. While assembling data from various sources, there are many misprints and lack of information which can cause serious problems to the agency. The legacy data has to be cleaned before starting its conversion and integration. The legacy data impurities tend to have a compounding effect as it generally gets concentrated around the high volume data users.

3. Lack of storage space
While integration of the data takes place, there are lots of problems faced by an agency concerning its storage. If there is not enough space for storing data, it can cause problems while offering scalability or elasticity of data. Hence the growth of the final data can be hampered due to lack of proper storage. Further adding an additional architecture can add to an expense of the firm and can be a costly deal.

4. Unrealistic costs
The cost involved in data integration is largely fueled by items which are difficult to be quantified. There are labor costs involved especially while the initial planning, programming, and evaluation stage is initiated. Costs can be a real hit hard when there is a suddenly unanticipated change taking place, and also costs involved in data storage and maintained.

5. Lack of manpower
With the increase of load per day, handling the applications can become a task for a limited number of employees. There can be a sudden spike in the demand for the manpower and skilled people to fulfill the demand. The requirement of skilled personnel depends on the type of project. With the development of the advanced databases, the data from the old databases needs to be carried to a newly built project.

However, with an expert data manager and a leader of the project, the data integration process can be handled smoothly. In a modular and a robust environment by choosing well-versed candidates, even a limited number of experts can handle diverse projects.

For an agency, it is essential to note that in reality, a fully functioning data integration system can be much more demanding in terms of maintenance and efforts to be put in. Unrealistic cost estimation can at times lead to an overly optimistic budget, especially in the times of budget shortfalls. With more number of users, there is a higher analysis requirement and the performances are more challenging.

While challenges will always be there, but with systematic planning and preparation, even biggest of hindrances can be tackled with ease. Instead of planning for bigger targets, move ahead while achieving smaller hits. Step by step accomplishments makes it much easier and simpler to deal with data integration process.

Posted in Marketing

Important Aspects to Discuss With the Designer for Your Exhibition Booth

The services of qualified exhibition booth designers can help you to have a professional and eye catching set up that people stop to look at. That is what you want when you make the exhibition circuit. You already have the target audience coming to you, but you also have the competition of all others who are at the same events. You need something to encourage people to look closely.

If they walk on by, you are wasting your time at the location and on the promotions. There can be vast differences among exhibition booth designers and what they can deliver. You need something you can be proud to display for a good price. You also need to feel confident it will be delivered on time.

Ideas and Concepts

It does take time for the right ideas to flow and concepts to come into motion. Don’t put the pressure on yourself or exhibition booth designers to rush a job. Plan ahead so there is plenty of time for them to get the job done successfully. You want to carefully evaluate ideas and to select the final concept for them to complete. If you pick one in a hurry, it isn’t going to be the best.

Open and honest communication is essential for this to work. Share your vision and offer images when you can. This allows exhibition booth designers to get on the same page as you. What you perceive in your mind and what they envision don’t always mesh. Those visual aids can play a very important role in it all coming together.

It is very useful to ask to see examples of their work before you hire them. This shows you the scope of the designs they can come up with. If you like what you see, then you will have peace of mind as they dive into your project.

Timeframe

The should provide you with a timeframe for you to see the progress of the project. Most exhibition booth designers will reach out to you at regular intervals just to keep you in the loop. Make sure you get back to them timely when they have a barrier, they need your input, or they want you to finalise the project. When you don’t respond quickly, the project goes into a hold.

The quality always needs to be there, but it is up to you to verify what they can deliver. Find out about their reputation for quality and their credentials. This will help you to avoid working with someone who falls short of what you really need. There can be some hold ups along the way and that timeframe may need to be extended. Be accepting of that and flexible with the process.

Cost

How much is it going to cost? It makes sense you would like to keep your overhead costs as low as you can. However, you also need to make sure you get a very good return on what you have displayed at the exhibitions. The best exhibition booth designers are going to give you a free quote with no obligation regarding how much time they will need and the price.

You can try to negotiate that price if you really want to hire them, but it is out of your budget range. You don’t have to pay top dollar to get excellent items created, you just have to be selective about who you hire. Getting it all in motion early also gives you time to compare offers. You won’t be at their mercy when it comes to the price due to a need to start.

Posted in Marketing

6 Lessons I Learned From Seth Godin at SmartHustle Conference

Ramon Ray gathered together a bevy of high calibre presenters with such wisdom to share, not only on business, but on life, and how to integrate both.

They made us think, they made us laugh, they even made us cry.

I learned a lot. I was inspired a lot.

Here are some of the take aways, nuggets, and little “secrets” that I thought I would share, to inspire you on your business/life path.

What I learned from Seth Godin

Seth Godin’s mastermind session was not disappointing. He is a marketing genius.

He has a deep understanding of the human psyche which is a winning formula for successful marketing.

I asked him the question: To Niche Or Not To Niche?

His answer:
– Yes. It’s very important to focus on a niche market as opposed to a broad market or industry.
– No, there is no conflict. The smallest viable market is the biggest insight any company can have.
– Become meaningful specific, not a wandering generality. Play to your minimum viable audience.
– Specialists get the critical mass.
– Get very specific: “We specialize in THIS only”
– The goal is not to be famous to everyone. You cannot be this, it’s to be famous to the family, to the circle.
– Find the smallest viable group of people who will listen to you and solve their problems. Smaller niche is always bigger.

Seth on Hustle:
– There are two different types of Hustle: one that uses people and will eventually get you burned.
– The other is reputable and respectable Hustle which revolves around generosity and connection.

Seth on Choosing the Right Clients:
– Pick your clients!
– Fire the ones that are wasting your time and effort because they not pushing you to do great work.
– If you can make that commitment, then six months from now your client list will look different, you will not be working more hours, you will be making more money but more importantly you will be making a bigger difference.

Seth says, he knows it’s hard to do, but every time he has done this in his career – he was glad he did it!

Seth on The Value of Video to Support Sales and Marketing:
– Given the choice, very few people will read if they can watch video instead.
– The hierarchy of attention is: SMS, email, video, and far at the bottom… reading.
– It has never been easier to make video than it is today.
– Making mediocre video is super easy.
– It doesn’t seem like a short cut, but paying too much to make good video is a short cut! Make it work, either way.

On Creating Tension:
– How do you sell something to someone who hasn’t bought it before? Create TENSION.
– Tension always accompanies forward motion.
– There is always someone cheaper than you, more experienced than you.
– But if you are causing a small dent in the universe, pushing against someone’s experience as the status quo, then they will pick you.
– Create that tension of making people realize there is a problem for which you are the solution.

On Creating Scarcity:
– If there’s no scarcity, customers will pick the cheapest or closest option.
– Create SCARCITY to create VALUE.

The conference was truly inspirational on many levels. I hope you can use some or all of these takeaways in your marketing to make you stand out and be truly effective!

Posted in Marketing

5 Tips to Boost the Value of Your Leveraged Sales

The year is nearly at the end, and some folks are wondering how to add additional value for their leveraged sales. In many cases its simple, as promoting and explaining the unique value point of each one. Other times it can be difficult, especially in a saturated market place. However, this doesn’t have to be the case. There are five different tips to help you foster more value, gain more business and keep your audience happy with your efforts. All of these tips will not cost you a dime to spend, but it will cost you time to develop and synchronize with your marketing efforts.

5 Tips to boost your leveraged sales

Now, when you’re looking at your leveraged sales products or services, consider the pros and cons from a prospect’s point of view. What is the biggest turn off for you as a prospect? Is the value of the item questionable? If not, and you would continue to move forward with the product. Maybe it’s time to re promote your offering. Here are the five tips to help you gain more momentum.

· Bundle your items

· Discounts with coupon

· Giveaway (but it should give you something in return)

· Offer free updates on the item

· Add a related product to the mix

Some leveraged sales items can benefit from bundling them together. A good example are eBooks, bundle between two and three together for one low price and market it. This can help increase attention and grab those who are seeking a good deal. If you cannot afford to do so, but you can offer a discount for a limited time. This can turn cold prospects into hot sales in a moment’s notice. This is an effective way if you promote it for a month ahead of time. Now for the giveaway, but link it to your sign-up form for your emails. This way you can collect viable leads for your business, while providing extreme value for your subscribers. Offer free updates for the product, providing the product is a guide or other content form. This can help you keep and attract new prospects. If you have a store, you can offer a related product to the mix that may seduce your prospect to grab more of your goodies.

Each of these tips can be effective, as long as your time and effort go into promoting and showing the value of your leveraged sales. These can relate to mentoring services or other services that you may offer and not just for products either.

Posted in Marketing

10 Ways to Keep Users Engaged With Your Mobile Application

It’s a fact today that users are surrounded by a number of mobile apps. But making them stay on your app is a challenge that many mobile app developers fail to stand against. With industry experience and after analyzing successful applications, I came across the following tactics/tips to keep users engaged with mobile applications.

To grab the attention of users, we present the following tips that would help you improve app engagement numbers.

1. Drive Downloads with App Store Listing
You might be wondering why we are talking about the element which is outside the app itself. Because engagement with user begins right from the app store; so, it’s important to strengthen the bond right from the beginning.

To start with solving the problem consider the following points like what kind of difficulties your app aims to crack, how to resolve those complications and why people should download your app at all. Try to define benefits to users rather than features. Take clues from featured apps which may provide inspiration for better listing.

2. Go Slow with Onboarding
The first time a user comes across your app is critical because invariably it will decide the fate of your app. With onboarding, your objective is to induce trials. So, focus on giving users time to settle down by keeping it hassle-free as possible and try not to overwhelm your users with features with are not immediately required like out of the context emails, FAQs and other useless notifications.

Meanwhile, try to provide them with relevant information. Allowing the ability to provide feedback within the app significantly upsurges your chance for improvisation.

3. Speed Up Your Performance
With Pizza getting delivered with a tweet and rides getting booked with a tap of button, society has grown more demanding than ever. Anything slower than 2 seconds is considered slow in the app world. And to avoid users from abandoning your app it is important you focus on speed as an intrinsic feature. This will make sure your users know that app is dependable and fast. And you would be able to establish yourself as a reliable provider of mobile app development services.

4. Use Push Notifications to Connect with Users
Apps that go noiseless for a long period tend to be forgotten easily in the sea of apps and eventually get deleted. To curb this issue, push notifications play a great role. They also ensure you retain your users and keep them connected, if used wisely. Push notifications allow developers to offer relevant information to users, encourage engagement, trigger recognition and enhance participation.

5. Focus on keeping your App Updated
Users are offered with millions of options on App market to choose from; in such cases if they don’t find your app in sync with their requirements they will get not pause for a moment to delete your app. They’ll easily get distracted by other similar apps with better features and user experience. Your failure to update your app may compel users to move out. To show users your dedication and commitment towards your app, focus on providing updates from time to time.

More the updates, better are your chances to improve your rankings, download rate and app stability. To decide the update frequency, you can take feedback from users; so, you can accomplish their latest demands. This will help you add more features to your app or enhance the already present features, fix issues or bugs and make app more user-friendly.

6. Craft an Experience for Users
It’s an undeniable fact that many apps get consumed only once, because user engagement doesn’t depend on number of downloads but on the overall experience an app is trying to deliver to the users. Ensure that mobile app development services are provided with the aim of delivering valuable experience; keep the latest trend of app marketplace in mind and focus on achieving simplicity and instinctive designs. Try to simplify the user experience by providing a guided tour to introduce your app. Your app can also have overlay help screens to ease the understanding of features and interface.

7. Try Mobile Deep Linking
Before plunging deep into how mobile app development companies can take advantage of Deep Linking, let’s discuss what Deep Linking means in mobile app terms. It’s URL equivalent for mobile Apps which supports in redirecting users to a specific place on an app when it is used for the first time. This helps to enhance the user experience, saves valuable time and engages the user.

8. Raise A Community on Social Media Platforms
You have customers and your customers use social media, but this doesn’t mean that you have a customer community. But why do you need a customer community?

One major advantage of having a community is it allows you to involve as many users without them having an app experience. The feedback of your app given by users on social media platform will fetch attention of other users. So, cross-channel sharing of app should feature high on your promotion agenda.

9. Breathe Game Element into The App
To make sure your users return to your app, add a touch of a game element like giving them chance to be a top user of your app. Users today are competitive and you can fuel this by implementing strategies like awarding points for using the app for specific functions – like opening the app once in the day or sharing the app on social media like Facebook, Twitter or Google+ or for browsing products or buying products with it.

10. Offer Rewards
You could link points won by users to rewards such as discount coupons or gift cards. This will guarantee that users spend more time on your app. You would be able to engage users and stoke a degree of interest in them.

Posted in Marketing

Is Your Business Ready For Mobile Marketing?

Mobile marketing is a multi-channel, digital marketing strategy aimed at reaching a target audience on their smartphones, tablets, and/or other mobile devices, via websites, email, SMS, social media, and apps.

In 2016, the inevitable happened, and mobile overtook desktop as the primary device used to access websites. This didn’t come as a huge surprise because, as far back as 2015, Google reported that more searches were conducted on mobiles than on any other device category.

Mobiles are disrupting the way people engage with brands. Everything that can be done on a desktop computer is now available on a mobile device. From opening an email to visiting your website to reading your content, it’s all accessible through a small mobile screen.

Consider these stats:

– Mobiles now account for nearly 70% of digital media time [Source: comScore]
– Up to 60% of searches come from mobile devices (Source: Hitwise)
– U.S. consumers spend 87 hours/month browsing on smartphones (Source: Smart Insights)
– 53% of American consumers use their smartphones to access search engines at least once a day (Source: Google and Mobile Marketing Association Survey)

What Do Top Marketers Think About Mobile? Surveys from Salesforce, V12data and Adestra:

– 68% of companies have integrated mobile marketing into their overall strategy
– 79% of marketers believe mobile is essential for their business
– 77% of marketers say mobile generates return on investment
– 71% of marketers believe mobile marketing is core to their business
– The two most popular ways companies are optimizing for mobiles are (1) using a simple template that works for all devices (52%) and (2) creating a mobile responsive email template (39%)

I think we need to pay attention!

… And if we don’t optimize for mobiles?

– Google says 61% of users are unlikely to return to a mobile site they had trouble accessing and 40% visit a competitor’s site instead. (MicKinsey & Company)
– 57% of consumers say they won’t recommend businesses with poor mobile site design. (Source: socPub)

Here’s what to take into account to optimize for mobile:

Your company website or blog MUST BE “RESPONSIVE”: If you use WordPress, WIx, SquareSpace, Weebly or Shopify, make sure the Template or Theme “responds” to device screen size: Desktop, Tablet, or Mobiles.

Yet, while responsive design has been around for a while now and is fairly well-established, the majority of sites tend to fall down on usability. That is, the majority of sites are still built for desktop and then dialed back for mobiles. That form-fill that was mildly annoying on desktop is an absolute pig on mobiles. Even if it is responsive.

TIP: BUILD YOUR PAGES WITH MOBILE IN MIND FIRST. TEST ON MOBILEs. THEN DESKTOP

Avoid Flash or Java: Apple products do not support Flash and have declared that they have no intention to do so in the future.Many phones do not support Java, and even if they do, using Java can be a huge drag on load time.

Optimize Your Images for Mobile Devices: Do not use HUGE files size images which will cause your page to load slower or visitors will leave for another site! You can use WP Smush to detect and compress large images files on your site.

Google Analytics: Make sure Google Analytics code is installed on your website so you can see mobile activity. You will be amazed.

Writing for Mobile Devices:

Website

– Phone screens are small. Write in a way that’s easily readable
– Use bullet points
– Write short, punchy headlines
– Keep paragraphs brief
– Use text size that is legible

Email

– Short email Subject line
– Use mobile responsive email design template
– Headline Analyzer is a great tool to preview subject lines

Test Your Mobile Site with Google

If your pages aren’t optimized for smartphones, they won’t rank in mobile search at all. With over half of Google queries coming from mobile devices, that’s not something you can put up with in 2017. The focus on mobiles will likely continue with Google’s commitment to switch to mobile-first indexing.

There are three great tools that Google offers to test your website:
– Test Your Mobile Speed: Most sites lose half their visitors if loading is slow.
– Analyze you website performance with PageSpeed Insights so you can identify ways to make your site faster and more mobile-friendly.
– Is Your Website Mobile-Friendly: Test how easily a visitor can use your page on a mobile device.

Mobile Marketing with SMS (Short Message Service)

SMS or Short Message Service is undoubtedly an excellent strategy for businesses wanting to connect with more customers.

If boosting sales and improving communication with customers are on your list this year, but you don’t have a hefty budget and hours of spare time; SMS is a small, yet powerful, marketing tool not to be overlooked:

90% of SMS messages are opened within 3 minutes (compared to 90 minutes for email)
The open rate of SMS is 98% compared to 22% for emails
Text messages are 8x more effective at engaging customers
Almost 50% of consumers in the US make direct purchases after receiving an SMS branded text

REMEMBER:

Marketing directly to mobile devices is more personal than targeting an audience through other channels.
When reaching someone on a mobile device via SMS you are reaching that person in his/her pocket or purse
Be personal, respectful, and clear
Keep the text under 160 characters
Don’t use slang or abbreviations
Offer the recipient something of value
Make it clear who is sending the message
Craft a clear call-to-action

Start collecting mobile numbers from your clients to build your SMS list!

Posted in Marketing

10 Tips About How To Successfully Write Your First Business Book

You have started a company from scratch and journeyed from a one-man operations to having a significant number of branches around the country. You have developed a trusted brand with a big group of loyal customers.

But you are now interested in taking a backseat and need a successor to your business empire.

You are advised that it will be an opportune time to put on your thinking cap and write a business book to give readers clear glimpse of your corporate journey and hope that this book will attract more candidates to come forward and be the next leader of your organisation.

You start to have doubts because you have not written a book before and you are not sure about how readers will react to your writing.

Well here are some clear tips about writing your first business book.

Tip 1: Be Truthful

You do not want to write a book of corporate fiction because the business book will be your legacy after you leave the organisation. Your successors will use it for guidance and inspiration. Also. your shareholders will read it and solidify their faith in buying your company’s shares.

Tip 2: Do Not Be Arrogant

It is so easy to write a business book and use it to loudly broadcast about your achievements through the years. This is a short-sighted attitude. Do remember to thank different people who have guided and mentored you by name. Running a successful business is definitely a team effort.

Tip 3: Management Gems

Every reader willing to invest in buying your business book will want to get some precious takeaways. Thus do be liberal in describing some management gems that business students can reference in their own studies.

Tip 4: Legal Guidance

It is a good practise to run your finished draft with a legal expert in order to avoid revealing too much corporate private information that may compromise the future competitiveness of your organisation. It must be remembered that even your competitors will get hold of your business book.

Tip 5: Editorial Assistance

You have to decide if you need editorial assistance in getting your book finished. This may be the most preferable way because you have still to face the day-to-day running of the organisation to contend with.

Tip 6: The Path Of Self-Publishing

Your organisation may feel that self-publishing may be the best path forward in order to keep to the spirit of the book’s material. This may not be a bad idea and you may progressively invite your senior management to jump onto the bandwagon and write their own books under your company’s own publishing arm.

Tip 7: The Foreword And Reviews

It is essential that you choose a trusted name in your industry to write a foreword for your business book and a number of industry leaders to write their own reviews of your business book. Do not dictate how they should craft their reviews. Be totally transparent and above-board in this process.

Tip 8: Audio Format

It is not uncommon to do an audio format of your book. It will also be more personal if you are to read the entire book. However, do take note that you may need to get your book edited in order to make it suitable for this format,

Tip 9: Create A Workbook

As your business book is full of business wisdom, do be mindful of creating a workbook to complement it. A simple quide can be putting open-ended questions that reference to your main business book. You can also bundle books together and offer a student discount.

Tip 10: Speaking Circuit

After publishing your business book, it will be a good time to go on a speaking circuit or be part of a TED Talk. This will enable you to promote your book and to answer questions from your readers.

Posted in Marketing

Getting Your Business Ready NOW for Holiday Shopping

Black Friday and its good friend Cyber Monday are over. But it’s not too late to prepare for the next big spending spree: The Holidays

Christmas shopping and websites didn’t always go together. For years consumers had the option of ordering online for contacting a new business, but an unfamiliar audience only really took the online shopping and procuring services via websites in more recent years.

Now that we’re in the age of eCommerce and Amazon is the biggest company in the world, businesses are competing for the same customers who used to trample over each other in malls trying to get the best deal or the last trending toy.

This is not any different for those whose website is designed for lead generation.

Even if you’re already selling online, whether it’s a product or your service, you may not have all your bases covered. So today I’m going to talk about what you can do to make sure your business is optimized for the biggest shopping/lead generation season of the year.

Did you have a Black Friday or Cyber Monday sale?
If you did offer a discount or some other incentive for these two recently passed shopping days then you likely have a lot of abandoned carts or lead contacts that didn’t turn into clients or customers.

In online marketing, remarketing has become a great way to reach back out to people who expressed interest in what you do but for one reason or another never actually became a paying client.

If you examine who contacted you and what happened in between them contacting you or trying to make a purchase and them leaving without converting (this is when they become a client or customer) then you will see many opportunities to address what can be understood as gaps in the user experience.

Was your shipping too high? Was the way you contacted a potential lead too aggressive or too passive? Those leads would have become paying clients without that gap.

So fill the gap! Growing based on feedback is how good business evolves. Take the information and learn from it and then apply it.

The analogy many adhere to is a leaky bucket. If you have a leak in the bucket you should repair that leak before adding more water. Consider the holidays a coming storm with flood warnings!

Now if you have a repository of emails to reference you can draft an announcement about the change so it not only stops presenting a barrier for future leads, you’ve also let old failed leads know that you’ve changed and they can return for a better experience.

How you go about reviewing falloff from lead to client will vary depending on your business. B2C e-commerce will be quite different than a site designed for lead generation, but the reaction approach and remarketing remain the same.

Set Up Your Marketing NOW
If you haven’t already got your holiday marketing set up, you should start right away.

Things like your newsletter, social posting, content marketing and any other distractions from customer service should be set up to send on a schedule and then left alone while you focus on the customer.

In reality, having this work done in October is ideal but better late than never!

Don’t switch gears now on what tools you use but definitely set up a December schedule where all your sales and products and services are out there for everyone to find.

You miss all the shots you don’t take so now is the time to start sending out those emails and posting to your Twitter account!

Get in the Spirit
It can be tough to navigate political correctness and the holiday season. Depending on your market and locality, having “Merry Christmas” can endear you to leads or throw up a flag.

You’ll know best which is right for you, but at the very least a cheery-themed website header update and associated social profile updates would be a great idea.

If you need help with this, get in touch and we’ll make sure you have professional social media profiles set up.

Do you have a roster of loyal clients you love? Let them know!

Do your due diligence on your clients and feel out how they approach the season. Then craft your materials and messaging so it aligns with their expectations for the season.

If you have an office party, take lots of pictures and get them on Instagram. Then when you have the more settled, posed for pictures you can add a gallery to Facebook.

Presenting your business in a positive way and showing off the staff having fun never hurts and clients like to see the people they’re trusting with their money or their business as happy.

This kind of year can be very stressful and it shouldn’t be. Whether you sell a product or provide a service, try and enjoy yourself so you don’t run yourself ragged and ruin your own opportunities to make new contacts and purchases.

Susan Friesen, founder of the award-winning web development and digital marketing firm eVision Media, is a Web Specialist, Business & Marketing Consultant, and Social Media Advisor. She works with entrepreneurs who struggle with having the lack of knowledge, skill and support needed to create their online business presence. As a result of working with Susan and her team, clients feel confident and relieved knowing their online marketing is in trustworthy and caring hands so they can focus on building their business with peace of mind at having a perfect support system in place to guide them every step of the way.

Posted in Marketing

The 10 Most ANNOYING Marketing Buzzwords

Calling all marketers! Get ready to disrupt (yup, that’s one of them) your digestive tract with marketing clichés that will make you puke. These marketing buzz terms are polluting creative minds everywhere – and there might even be scientific evidence linking these cringe-worthy catchphrases to Millennials’ intense feelings of “I don’t want a desk job”. It’s certainly possible. However, for everyone else, can we make a pact?

As fellow marketers and creative professionals, let’s kindly retire (or extinguish) these irritating phrases so we can all evolve past this “noise” cluttering our industry. Are you with me?!

1. Disruption

First, let’s be clear. “Disruption” is really more of a business term. It describes a market condition that takes place when an existing market collapses and a new one emerges. It’s actually very similar to “Disruptive Innovation” which happens when a new market comes to fruition entirely. Uber might be a great example of both – depending on how you look at it.

However, when this “Wall Street” phrase ended up leaking all over Madison Avenue, “disruption” and “disruptive” became overly used, watered down terms that essentially started to mean nothing.

Certainly “Creative Disruption”, might have a place, as it refers to exposing business model flaws and promoting big changes in consumer behaviour (in the creative sense). However, I can’t help but wonder whether some Agency Account Director just throws out “disruptive” terms just to win some big account. I mean, come on. Disrupt what? Isn’t it our job as marketers to change consumer habits and get noticed?

2. Growth hacking

Okay, I realize that “hacking” is supposed to mean “coding” in this sense (not cutting down), but this phrase sure does sound like an oxymoron to me!

Popularized by Sean Ellis and other techies in the early 2000s, the term was meant to describe non-traditional ways to achieve growth through experimental marketing strategies and emerging technologies. READ: this is also a glorified way of describing underpaid “bootstrappers” (oh, but with equity of course!) trying to unlock the key to “crowd culture” (yawn).

Perhaps growth-hacking was a relevant, meaningful term 15 years ago, but not today. Most marketers are expected to (magically) achieve growth with technological brilliance and creativity because it’s our job. Sound like a lot of pressure? Well, welcome to marketing.

3. SoLoMo

Oh no-no. If your ears have not been scarred yet by this irritating term (in what seems like “slow-mo”), it means “Social-Local-Mobile” as if this is some genius concept or secret to being relevant. So, please, don’t use this catch-phrase. Ever.

4. Actionable Insights

Actionable? As opposed to “Well, we learned something today, and we’re not going to do anything about it”.

I mean, am I missing something? Where does one look for “actionable insights”? Is this something people need in addition to regular insights? For example, if I’m comparing landing page performance in The Marketing Manager, and I see one campaign outperforming the other, I think I know what action to take. Do you?

5. Seamless Integration

If you work in the tech sector, I bet you are emphatically nodding your head “yes”. This godawful term is about as common and meaningless as your vendor saying “we have an API” when asked “does your product do (xyz)?”.

In fact, let’s just throw in some puzzle pieces to truly visually convey (because we’re idiots) that our software seamlessly integrates (puke) with boredom and clichés. After all, we need to “scream” that each piece of our ho-hum app actually functions when interfacing with some other random technology.

And while this style of tech marketing seems awfully common (more like ubiquitous), to me, it feels rather ironic. After all, I’m pretty sure that puzzle pieces have jagged, noticeable edges. Don’t they?

Besides, there is no such thing as “seamless” integration. It takes work and maintenance for two tools to “talk” to one another – and you (the consumer) get to pay for it. There you have it.

6. Turn-key (and everything “key” in general)

Let’s face it. If someone offers you a “turn-key”, “off the shelf” solution, does it make you open your wallet? Personally, it makes me turn into a glazed-over zombie. Why? Because even if something is difficult, a brand will either never admit it or up-sell you the “turn-key” solution (rigor mortis setting in).

Now of course, I understand that this term was once synonymous with “effortless”. Nevertheless, it has since evolved into a useless adjective that lazy marketers use to describe some blah-blah-blah with blah-blah-blah. That being said, I propose we lock up this useless adjective (pun intended).

In fact, as long as we are stuck on cliché doorway analogies, can we please also stop saying [anything]gate to describe a conspiracy theory? Maybe I’m being unreasonable, but I would love it if people could coin something new. After all, the key (cringe) to creative marketing is to explain concepts meaningfully. That’s why “turn-key” is no longer descriptive; tell me WHY something is so effortless – in an engaging, concise way. Does this sound difficult? Well it is. That’s why creative people have jobs.

7. Content Is King

Yawn. “Content is king” and “(whatever) is queen” sounds like a big, gay party – but everyone’s really bored with it.

It’s no mystery. Live sports and fan favorites like “The Walking Dead” keep Cable television in business. After all, those Cable bills are expensive! Perhaps that’s why this cringe-worthy, irritating phrase simply won’t die; decision-makers in the media universe are ignoring the fact that modern consumers are stingy with their time. How else can we explain this endless sea of boring content?

Maybe I’m wrong, but here is my understanding of modern consumers (who all have built-in A.D.D)

AWESOME content = I will only tolerate ads if they cannot be blocked. And if I really hate ads, I will PAY to have them blocked – so please stop forcing these painful pre-rolls and what feels like 10-minute commercial blocks on me.

BORING content = I hate you for wasting my time – also known as “get out of my in-box” syndrome while emphatically clicking “spam”.

Assuming that the media gods disagree with me, I believe this painful phrase will continue to exist.

8. Advertainment

Speaking of “content is crap”, marketers make up stupid terms like “advertainment” to seem like they’re solving some really big cultural problem – but they’re not.

“Advertainment” is essentially just an annoying way to explain “branded content”, product placement or flat-up fantastic marketing in disguise. I understand the concept, but here’s the problem: if you call your own work “advertainment”, you sound like a pompous fop.

Don’t get me wrong – some marketers have managed to make advertising very entertaining, including Red Bull with their adrenaline junkie videos, and AMC with their Walking Dead and Mad Men apps (also known as “gamification” – which theoretically could make this list).

Nevertheless, does “advertainment” really solve a problem? I guess so, but can we please not call it that?

In all seriousness though, if you are a marketer that somehow figured out how to move product without annoying people, congrats. This is an achievement. I’m serious.

9. Ecosystem (to describe everything)

Are we a bunch of ants stuck in a science class diorama demonstrating seamless integration (see term #5 above)? Silicon Valley seems to think so.

We hear this word a lot, especially when some “thought leader” (yawn, could also make this list) is ill-prepared to answer a tough question in a meeting.

“Well you see [insert CEO name here], our next step towards changing consumer behavior patterns is to move the social conversation to the Internet-of-Things ecosystem,” said the slightly hungover marketing executive recovering from last night’s vendor bender.

Look. We’ve all been there, but the use of the word “ecosystem” is starting to feel out of control. Somehow, everything can arguably be an ecosystem, including that Chia Pet they sell in Walmart. Do you see what I mean? Germination. Photosynthesis. Whatever. And it all brings me back to where I started: my seventh-grade science class.

10. Snackable Content

Doesn’t this phrase make you want to vomit? Personally, I find it nauseating, but here’s some “food-for-thought”: the term “content consumption” is actually the mothership concept that spawned this ugly-duckling buzz term. All it means is that time-starved consumers prefer concise headlines, bullet points, easy-to-read lists (unlike mine), and pretty much the opposite of heavy, homogenous-looking text. Makes sense.

Nonetheless, isn’t it amazing how unappetizing this trite phrase sounds? I actually almost puked (in a good way) when Grant Higginson of Welby Consulting tweeted it to us during our “Tweet the most annoying marketing buzzword to win a drone” contest. Needless to say, he won.