I’ve been working as a debt collector for the past year. Going into the industry, I totally expected to lose my soul to it. Part of me has had to harden up before the hard calls that I have to make. I understand the stress that comes with being in debt; it’s like a ghost that constantly haunts you. Except this ghost comes with friends who constantly call the home tyring to have you to pay it. I decided I wanted to know what it’s like so I read Professional Recovery Consultants reviews as my first choice for a future employer. Continue reading “The Anxiety of Being in Debt”
Your homepage is the most important single page of your entire website, bar none.
The question is, are you maximizing the power of your homepage? On far too many websites, the answer is an honest “no.”
Why is this the case? Why do homepages fail to live up to their raison d’etre? Why do they not drive more revenue for the business?
The causes are legion. The homepage is often a battleground of competing interests, a hodge-podge of unfocused strategies, a showcase for poorly executed redesigns, and a circus of sheer confusion.
Here’s why your homepage is important.
For most websites, the homepage receives more direct and organic traffic than any other page of the website.
- To prove this point, I surveyed the first website that showed up in my Google Analytics. The homepage has 80% more traffic than the second highest traffic page on the site.
- The site I analyzed has more than 90,000 pages, and the homepage receives more than 18% of all visits.
- When I look at the data closely, I see that not only does the homepage get more traffic, but it gets more unique traffic. Out of all 90k+ pages,
Q: What is the value of a great presentation?
A: The amount of the deal you are trying to win.
Q: What is the cost of a terrible presentation?
A: The same.
The lights dim and you sink into the conference room chair, bracing yourself for yet another sales pitch. You preset your expectation dial to low while selecting the highest setting for your anticipated frustration. You’re ready. And then the unusual happens. You are instantly engaged by the introduction. The presenter’s preparation becomes obvious, as she conveys relevant, appealing and even inspiring messages. “What’s going on here?” you ask, as you realize that your time is not being wasted. “This person has what I need,” you recognize, “and she knows how to tell that story well.” You want to do business with her.
Why is this scenario so rare in today’s business environment? With so much riding on our presentations—in sales situations, funding requests, conferences and career negotiations— why don’t we knock the socks off of audiences and connect deeply with their hearts and minds every time ? The more important question is: how can we do a lot better?
Much in the same way that Google constantly refines its search algorithm by launching new updates and making tweaks, Facebook refines how it relates to users by updating its newsfeed display. To the average user, nothing is changing—these introductions are gradual and subtle, designed to be almost imperceptible while still improving the overall experience. However, the rapid-fire nature of these updates in the past few years and the scope of Facebook’s vision for the future are having a profound effect on the future of content marketing and how people use social media.
I want to start by taking a look at some of the significant updates that have shaped today’s average user newsfeed (aside from updates that have filtered out spam and hoaxes).
Increased Search Functionality
In December 2014, Facebook introduced multiple new search features for its users. Among these were a keyword-based search that allows users to look for old posts that were shared with them by certain other friends, and a feature that allows users to search for specific apps. This was the first major leap forward in terms of Facebook’s search functionality, but it wasn’t until 2015 that it developed a new
Advertising a business was once as easy as distributing business cards and a well-placed newspaper ad. News travelled quickly through word of mouth about whether your products or services were worth a consumer’s time, and reputation held fast once established. Now consumers are more sophisticated, occupied by a thousand ways to obtain information instantly. This increased availability of information online, whether through a cellular device, a computer, or the millions of blinking advertisements that follow consumers everywhere they go, has brought both opportunity and challenge to advertising. It is important for the profit minded business to avoid marketing tactics that cause more harm to the wallet than good. What does your business brand need to look like to its market consumers? In order to express exactly what a business wants to express with its brand, branding agencies exist.
Reasons to Hire a Branding Agency
An ill-defined brand strategy is like sailing across the ocean without nautical equipment. In order to provide exactly what your business needs to get moving in the right direction, a branding agency will help you communicate across the whole of your marketing and advertising campaigns. It is imperative that the correct market
Maybe you’ve been inspired by Simon & Garfunkel’s Go Tell It on the Mountain. In fact, you probably ought to find a snow-capped peak from which to lead a sermon on the great products you offer if you’re struggling to find an audience.It’s common for businesses to struggle in their first year, many young enterprises don’t survive the lows.
You know that what you have to sell is unique, but who else has been persuaded? Your competition maybe? So how did they do it? How did they get people to buy their product or services?
Marketing is everything, but starting small means only a small portion of an already tight budget can be allocated to advertising and SEO. So how can you make the most of that speck of an investment on your spreadsheet? Let’s look at a couple of ways for new enterprises to maximisemarketing strategies, like handing out stellar promotional items.
Prove to new clients that the product or service you offer works. Find creative ways for satisfied clientele to share testimonials. An interesting video detailing a customer’s experience for instance. Written feedback should be posted directly
Company executives take note — marketing matters.
Not only does marketing pay off in the short-term, but it has a positive effect on long-term shareholder returns, according to new research from Iowa State University’s College of Business. Hui (Sophia) Feng, lead author and assistant professor of marketing at Iowa State, says the study provides clear evidence of the marketing department’s value.
“During the economic crisis, the first thing firms cut was the marketing budget and staff,” Feng said. “The marketing department contributes to both the short-term and long-term, so managers should not be short-sighted and cut the marketing budget and staff just because of a crisis or poor quarterly figures. Managers need to look beyond one quarter or one year and see marketing is important.”
The study, published in the Journal of Marketing, measures marketing department power, and a firm’s ability to build and leverage brand equity and customer relationships. To objectively calculate these measures, Feng and colleagues Neil Morgan and Lopo Rego, at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business, developed a new scale to measure marketing department power and marketing capabilities using publicly available data for more than 600 firms in the U.S. over a 16-year period. It is
The major marketing concept of customer orientation still seems to be a valid reference point. In the contemporary over-informed, over-stressed and hedonistic consumer society the customer is the one who decides to purchase a product, to be loyal to a brand or to switch to a competitor. We may agree, therefore, that “the need for such a [customer] focus has not changed” (Holland and Baker, 2001:44). The exchange value concept, however, might have been rendered obsolete by the “postmodern manoeuvre in marketing and consumer research” (Brown, in Baker, 2003:25). Let us assume that value may be created “during consumption, in sign-value” and not in “exchange-value, as modern economists claimed” (Baudrillard, in Firat and Venkatesh, 1993:235). In such a way the emphasis is on the customer’s personal experience and on the view, that “the value of consumption comes from the consumer experience” (Addis and Podesta, 2005:404).
According to the traditional theory, consumers are identified, targeted and acquired through a set of strategic tools such as segmentation, targeting and positioning. Different techniques and approaches based on statistical, “psychological, sociological, and economic principles and models” (Addis and Podesta, 2005:389) have been employed in service of these concepts. While these techniques are still in
Feeling less satisfied with the businesses you patronize? It might be because those businesses are in a lot of debt. According to a new study in the Journal of Marketing, a company that has a lot of financial leverage–that is, a company that has a lot of debt in relation to its value–spends a lot less on advertising, which in turn decreases customer satisfaction.
“Surprisingly little research has been done on the effects of debt on marketing,” write the authors of the study, Ashwin Malshe (ESSEC Business School) and Manoj K. Agarwal (SUNY-Binghamton). “That’s surprising for a number of reasons, including the fact that companies with higher leverage tend to invest less in long-term, intangible assets–the very assets that have an impact on customer satisfaction.”
To investigate the relationship between leverage and marketing and the effect of that relationship on customer satisfaction, the authors used a sample of 171 firms surveyed in the American Customer Satisfaction Index over seventeen years. They estimated a system of five equations and found that higher leverage leads to less advertising, which in turn results in lower customer satisfaction. The impact of leverage on satisfaction is economically significant. As the authors report, a one-standard-deviation
Email marketing, sometimes also called web marketing or E-Marketing, is the method of marketing products or services through the internet using electronic mail. It is one of the most advanced and effective marketing technique presently available.
There are lots of advantages to email marketing over conventional marketing techniques. The Internet has acquired such popularity among the public, and has become the most widely used communication medium all over the world. Emails can include links to websites, and people like the ease of use of online shopping sites. Also they get the lowest price through internet shopping. The widespread use of credit cards and internet banking facilities affords more convenience and speed in the online shopping field.
The reduction in cost of marketing is another major advantage of email marketing. Since the medium uses digital format, it can avoid the printing and publishing costs associated with traditional marketing.
As exotic, wedding consumption in China has experienced rent, buy custom process. 90’s of last century, many brides believe with the intention of wearing a wedding dresses only, less demanding on the wedding, usually by way of loan in the direction of choose their own dress. Early 20th century, in the midst of the change in people’s consumption concept, new people began in the direction of buy wedding way in the direction of commemorate his life is just one of the ceremony. Until now, the selection method still mainstream position. Beijing Weeklong photographic equipment located in the city of cheap wedding dress shop, the selection of wedding steady stream of young couples. An ordinary white wholesale wedding dresses a few hundred dollars, but also change the size of the bargain in addition to free. However, the way custom wedding the bride is becoming one of the ways are most popular. More young people eager in the direction of creative in addition to interesting life experiences, the pursuit of personal, emotional expression naturalized proprietary system. The industry believes with the intention of the future development of personalized wedding. Wedding dresses in addition to echoed the feelings of people, in the direction
Valentine’s Day this past weekend brought sweets and other treats for loved ones, and for some couples, an engagement. A hard-to-believe 6 million people told American Express that they were either expecting or planning a marriage proposal on the national love holiday.
How many actually materialized is unknown, but chances are that most were not low-key, drop-on-a-knee affairs. Proposals now require a fancy restaurant, flowers, a party with friends — and that’s the small-scale version.
In yet another generational difference, many millennials have turned marriage proposals into full-scale productions complete with flash mobs, singing groups and marching bands. It shouldn’t be surprising that a cohort of people who grew up on music videos and detail their daily lives on social media turns to YouTube to demonstrate their love. Why not go over the top when the magic moment finally presents itself?
An informal survey of online videos found proposals via fire trucks and skyscrapers, on snow-covered mountain tops and crowded beaches, and in police stations and coffee shops. Jimmy Kimmel’s show provided the backdrop for a proposal by a man dressed as Elmo the Muppet. On the TV show The Talk, 50 men proposed en masse. One that has drawn 30 million YouTube views
1. Stayed focused on two or three core promotional messages. Consumers do not have the time or interest to absorb a long list of messages from any one company. Some folks who execute well on “less is more” — Apple, Geico, WalMart, and makers of luxury goods like Rolex, Patek Philippe, and Johnny Walker. Also two hospitals — Cleveland Clinic and Lenox Hill in New York City.
See also: 5 Great Home-Based Businesses
2. Humor has never been needed more than in fragile financial times like now. Life is tough enough for most people without advertisers piling on with warnings about the future — medical, financial, or otherwise. Capital One understands the power of humor. So does VW with their highly popular Darth Vader ads. We need to make consumers smile and feel good. Now more than ever.
3. Get the family involved. Offers for the whole family will get more attention in 2012 and beyond. Wanting to spend more time with one’s family has been an upward trend
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It is not enough for your sales and marketing team to understand and sell services. Employees need to understand the complex marketplace and be able to tell clients what services and solutions are best for them.
I recently was in a position to review a series of high-quality sales presentations for several media organisations, and, at the same time, on the receiving end of yet another media organisation’s sales effort. It was quite a diverse array of players – a television station, metro newspaper, and cable entity – all with an arsenal of digital tools and Web/mobile audiences.
I was impressed with the quality of the presentations, both in graphics and content. In fact, I found myself developing enthusiasm with each organisation, their product portfolios, and the earnest professionals who were involved from each media organisation.
But the end result was the same in every case.
After providing an analysis of the marketplace, customers, and competitors, and then providing an overview of their capabilities/products, they in effect asked me to choose what products/services/tools I needed.
To me, this is tantamount to bringing a vehicle in need of repair to a reputable mechanic. The mechanic tells you all about your vehicle, provides an overview of
I have a very good education, but I was not putting it to good use. I was just not able to find a great job in my town. Instead of raking in the big bucks, I was managing a pizza shop, which was definitely not fun. I decided I had enough one day, and I started looking for a work from home job. I knew that I should be able to find something with my degree, so I did a search for earn money from home program. I hit gold on my first attempt, because it took me to a video that showed me just lucrative working from home can be.
I am not naive at all. I know that there are a lot of people out there who selfishly profit off the sweat and tears of others. Continue reading “Making More Money Than I Thought Possible”
As a small business owner, you might not even be able to imagine the possibility of firing one of your staff members. Each of your employees provides value to the company and helps keep things running smoothly. You could never let any of them go, could you?
The unpleasant reality of running a business is that sometimes, people must be fired. Whether it’s for reasons beyond anyone’s control — an economic downturn, a shifting marketplace, etc. — or because the employee has exhibited poor behavior or work ethic, there may come a day when you need to make a decision about someone’s future with your company.
Terminating an employee is never easy, and going about it the wrong way will result in an angry former staff member at best, and a hefty lawsuit at worst. Here’s how to go about this difficult process properly, from both a legal and a professional standpoint.
With the growing prominence of digital marketing, customers are coming to expect a more personalized experience, and today’s savvy brands are doing everything they can to measure up.
If you don’t connect with your customers in a personal way, you’ll fall behind competitors that do. That’s just the way business works these day. So whether you’re a startup or an enterprise corporation, you’ll find that personalization is more important than ever before.
But what if you’re trying to connect but the audience just isn’t receptive? This can be discouraging. Luckily, you can often pinpoint the reason why your audience isn’t connecting with your brand, and if you fix the issue, people will be more than happy to engage with you in the future. Here are seven common reasons:
1. You’re too self-centered.
Dale Carnegie once said, “You can make more friends in two months by being interested in other people than in two years of trying to get people interested in you.”
I’ve taken that to heart in both business and life. If you want to make an impact in someone’s life, focus on their goals and pains. It’s not about blasting your agenda and trying to interest people. It’s about listening in and delivering on
Twitter is a great source of information. Every tweet is 140 characters or less, allowing you to quickly scan your feed and engage with the content that interests you. While this eliminates a lot of unnecessary noise, you still need to be following the right people if you want to be constantly flooded with great information.
In no particular order, here are 25 digital marketing and social media experts to follow on Twitter.
1. Guy Kawasaki: An industry veteran, Kawasaki’s Twitter feed is a source of inspiration that features a diverse range of topics. With nearly 1.5 million followers, it’s clear that he is doing something right.
2. Kim Garst: A social-media expert, Garst is always discussing the latest social-media-marketing strategies and sharing content from her excellent blog as well as curated posts that she believes provide value.
3. Noah Kagan: The founder of Appsumo and OKDork, Kagan is constantly sharing great pieces of content and bits of information via his Twitter feed. He is a great person to follow if you are into email-list building and growth hacking — and tacos.
Related: 7 Entrepreneurs You Should Follow on Twitter
4. Rand Fishkin: Fishkin, the founder of Moz, tweets about search-engine optimization and marketing. I suggest checking out his “Whiteboard Friday” videos
A monthly content-marketing check-in gives you the opportunity to measure the success of your campaigns. Without a regular review, you won’t be able to take a strategic approach to your efforts, and if you don’t understand where you’re at, you can’t create a clear path for where you’re going.
Entrepreneurs that fully invest in content marketing will generate an abundance of data as their campaigns grow. It’s crucial that you have a plan for analyzing these numbers and making adjustments to your efforts along the way.
Content marketing is a dynamic effort. You’ll want to test different things and see what works and what doesn’t. The only way to truly know that is through regular check-ins.
Review progress of overall goals.
Start the check-in with a brief review of your overall goals. Your content-marketing team should have set these initial goals in the beginning of your efforts.
Goals are important because they set the baseline for all other analyses. For example, an increase in traffic doesn’t have value if there isn’t a business goal to measure it against. But if you knew that your overall goal was an increase in monthly revenue, you can measure your financial results against your traffic to see if you’re
A whopping 76 percent of marketers plan to increase their content-marketing budgets in 2016, according to Curata. Really, though, this growth isn’t that surprising, given that most companies realize content marketing is a key strategy for building relationships and creating customers.
That influx of cash will only do so much if you don’t have the right tools. Here are a few great options you can use to drive every stage of your content-marketing machine in 2016:
Defining needs and strategy
The tools you need for developing your strategy come largely from the collaboration space. Any of the following options will help you work with your team to define what content needs you have, what strategy you’ll use and who is responsible for what.
This project-management tool makes it easier to be organized in your approach and collaborate with clients, vendors and stakeholders. Basically, ProofHub gives you a platform to assign tasks, determine time tables and stay on budget.
Related: 7 Content Marketing Roles You Should Fill to Build a Greater Presence
Kapost is a content-marketing platform that helps you manage your editorial and content-creation process. With this tool, your team can brainstorm ideas, organize writing assignments, run content production and analyze results from within a single platform.
Marketing.ai allows you to build a
Visual marketing has become a critical component of reaching target customers in today’s competitive business landscape. In fact, 20 percent of marketers report that their visual content has been twice as effective than their text content. The reason is the power of visual marketing. To boost that power even more, consider using image tagging to give your images enhanced context while also making them easier to locate.
Related: Putting Your Business on Instagram? Here’s What You Need to Know.
Image tagging, or the practice of adding descriptive information to a photo when you upload it, can be vitally important for social media marketing on platforms such as Pinterest.
Along with providing an excellent method for boosting images within search rankings, tagging gives you the opportunity to effectively reach your target audience on social media. Additionally, marketers can add key data, such as item names and price tags. However, before embarking on an image-tagging campaign, be sure you are following three key important steps.
1. Do your homework first.
Begin by researching keywords to find the best options for your company. Keyword research is vital for both text-content marketing and visual marketing. The keywords you identify as part of your research efforts should be used in your image file name as
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As entrepreneurs we can often feel like the deck is stacked against us when it comes to the digital world. We don’t have the same budgets as our massive competitors, nor do we have the army of marketers that they can employ. So how can a small- or medium-sized business, against overwhelming odds, carve out its piece of the market? The tips below will show you how.
1. Facebook remarketing
Facebook is a great promotion tool whether you’re in the B2B or B2C industry. But did you know you can set up remarketing audiences in Facebook? By installing a Facebook tracking pixel on your site you can continue to market to customers who have visited your site. This is a great way to create return traffic to your business blog or website. And you can start remarketing to audiences as small as 100 visitors.
2. Facebook email custom audiences
Staying with Facebook, you can also give that email list of yours a second life. Instead of just using it to blast emails