Posted by . In topics: Digital Marketing · Local Search/Google

Does your business show up on the first page of a Google search for your firm’s general category/service? If not, you’re in the same boat as many other local businesses and you’re probably missing revenue opportunities as a result.  The good news is that even the smallest firms now have a free, easy-to-use tool to help them solve this problem.

It’s important to remember that only a minority of your potential customers actually search for vendors – roughly 4 customers go to ‘known’ firms for every 1 that uses a search engine to find one – but now you have a better chance than ever to compete for these searchers without a large investment in your own website and the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) that is needed to get it found today. Read more »

Posted by . In topics: Digital Marketing · Local Search/Google · Marketing

Our first post about Google’s local search tools focused on the basic what, why, and how to help you get started.  This second installment focuses in on the critical steps for improving your local search ranking.

You may have heard or read that having ‘incoming links’ to your website is critical for appearing high in a Google search result.  This is true.  A very large component of Google’s overall ranking scheme is based on how popular your page is, as measured by the number (and relative popularity) of sites linking to yours.  But what if you don’t have many, or any, links coming to you from outside sources?  What if you don’t even have a website?  Don’t sweat.  There’s another way to be found. Read more »

Posted by . In topics: Advertising · Customer Retention · Marketing

You work hard and invest regularly to win new customers. Are you making the most of these relationships? Are you doing what’s needed to prevent competitors from peeling off your customers with the heavy discounts we now see every day? These 10 Tips will help you build a stronger bond with your customers and, in so doing, will help you increase their lifetime revenue value. Read more »

Posted by . In topics: Advertising · Marketing · Radio

Illustration courtesy of The New Yorker

Source: The New Yorker

October’s economic reports are giving us encouraging signals, but we expect a rebound in consumer spending to lag anywhere from several months to several more quarters.  Your competitors are likely to remain on the sidelines, until clearer signals emerge, leaving the field wide open for a once-in-a-generation growth opportunity.

A large, consistent body of business research conducted on the recessions of the 1970′s, 1980′s, 1990′s and early millennium suggests that firms that start advertising aggressively now should be rewarded by above-average growth during the remaining downturn and, depending on how long they are advertising while competitors aren’t, above-average growth after the downturn ends.

Read more »

Posted by . In topics: Digital Marketing · Marketing · Social Media

If you’re like most managers, you’ve migrated from print media to the web to keep up with business, your community, and areas of interest.  Once there, you’re finding many more useful niche sources of information than you had offline.  This can be a good thing and a bad thing:  good in the breadth and depth that you can now explore, but bad in the amount of time that you spend simply trying to make sure that you’re not missing something important.

Really Simple Syndication (RSS) is here to help make your online reading much more efficient.   RSS is a free tool that you can use to have new information from your favorite sources sent to you, instead of you looking for it.  RSS doesn’t fill up your inbox, can save hours each week, and will greatly increase the odds that you don’t miss anything important.  This video from commoncraft.com explains everything you need to know:

Read more »

Posted by . In topics: Advertising · Digital Marketing · Radio

MediaPost.com reported results from a Nielsen-sponsored study today that indicates that terrestrial radio has a dominant share of audio media usage (relative to online and personal audio players).   The finding was somewhat surprising to its authors, since the study was conducted by the Council For Research Excellence – a group of TV and Ad Agency researchers – to measure the impact of digital media across TV, Computers, and Mobile devices.

The findings were quite conclusive:  radio is second, only to TV, in daily reach (77% of all adults), over 1/2 of all audio listening is to local over-the-air radio, and over 80% of 18-34 year-olds still use radio for about an hour and a half per day, which is about 4-5 times the usage of digital alternatives.  Read the MediaPost summary of this research here.

Posted by . In topics: Marketing · Radio

Sound is an incredibly powerful tool for tapping into emotions, the thought process, behavior modification, and even learning mechanisms.  This is one of the reasons that radio marketing is so effective.  But there are several other ways that sound affects the profitability of most businesses.

Exposure to the right sounds can stimulate workplace focus or creativity, it can make customers feel better while shopping in a store, and it can trigger positive brand associations in marketing applications.  Exposure to the wrong sounds can drive customers away or cause significant losses of productivity in the workplace. Sound can be a game-changer that every manager should think about and this interesting video will help you get started.

How are you using sound today to enhance your businesses’ bottom line?

Posted by . In topics: Advertising · Marketing · Radio

Each month, Access Points highlights a way for businesses to creatively and cost-effectively reach the large communities of radio listeners in their markets.

Most radio advertisers appreciate the power of a :30 or :60 second commercial for their ability to paint vivid pictures in the minds of listeners.  The world’s leading brands have been building and holding market share with this strong tool for over 9 decades.

This isn’t the only way to cost-effectively harness the power of radio.  For some businesses, like those that consumers are relatively familiar with, those that have very simple and credible differentiation, or those that are using other types of advertising concurrently, there’s another powerful and cost-effective option:  sponsorships.

A sponsorship is simply a short on-air mention, consisting of what’s commonly called a ‘name and claim.’ (e.g. “…brought to you by Children’s Hospital, the Valley’s only juvenile-diabetes specialist”).  Because the mentions are short, they can be economically inserted into radio programming without taking up valuable airtime.  When the mention states something clearly differentiable, as does the example above, or it can have a very, very strong impact. Read more »

Posted by . In topics: Advertising · Marketing

Every month, our team of marketing, operations, and strategy professionals put their heads together to answer a reader’s question about growing his/her small business. You can click here to submit your own question, and please feel free to join this discussion by adding your comments below

Jon Whittaker, Owner of Jon David Salon

Q: I recently purchased advertising in our city’s lifestyle magazine that has a pretty large circulation. I purchased a full-page ad for September, which is a big month for my business. As part of my buy, the magazine came out and photographed my salon and even included it in their “What’s Hot” feature. I’ve got a great-looking space that photographed very well and included my exclusive product lines in the ad to set my salon apart from other smaller shops. I thought I had a great deal, and anticipated a lot of new traffic, but only got 3 new customers from the advertising – a big disappointment. What happened? Read more »

Posted by . In topics: Advertising · Marketing

After almost three decades in the marketing business there are still very few things that I’m comfortable generalizing about:  for every rule that can’t be broken, there are always at least a hand full of exceptions that prove the axiom’s fallibility.

One exception is the importance of message frequency.  In active communication, such as sales presentations, teaching, or parenting, it’s extremely rare to see something stick without repetition.  No matter how clever, clear, or compelling, it’s extremely difficult to influence people’s behavior by saying something just once.  In advertising, which is generally much less active (and often passive) communication, it is all but impossible to influence behavior with infrequent exposure.

This is a fact of marketing life.  It’s not something new or something driven by today’s over-commercialized environment.  It’s human nature.  As proof, read the short story below – and note the date that it was first published. Read more »