'Creative Best Practices' Category

A Marketer’s Guide to Looking the Role

Posted by Anna Johansson on October 28th, 2014 at 10:02 am

Success in the business world hinges on multiple factors and skills. While professional and academic courses teach aspiring businessmen and women how to position products for success and target certain consumers, there’s often very little practical education on the finer details that can make or break business relationships.
The ability to convey the value of a brand or product is certainly vital, but before any of that work can take place, you must master the art of the great first impression. Whether it’s a job interview, business meeting, or corporate networking event, a strong first impression is the lifeblood of a long-term successful career.
You can talk the talk, but can you look the part?
Dressing like a professional
With regard to making a first impression, the place to start is with what you wear. Whether you like it or not, you will be judged on what you choose to wear and where you decide to wear it.
Part of your transition from adolescence into the professional arena involves leaving the disheveled, I-don’t-care look behind you and investing in well-designed outfits that fit you and make a strong professional statement.
For men, it’s important to understand the three major classes of business dress: casual, semi-formal, and... Read more

5 Tasks and Processes Your Business Needs to Automate

Posted by Anna Johansson on October 28th, 2014 at 10:00 am

In 2014, successful businesses -- regardless of industry -- have certain things in common. One is the use of automation and technology to reduce the burden of doing things that have been done forever by hand.
With so many tech tools available for every need, there’s no reason you should not be simplifying many of the tasks and processes many of us still conduct manually each day. All it takes is a willingness to relinquish control and trust that proven technologies will do what they’re designed to do: make your life a little easier.
The benefits of automation
Automation sounds great … but are you using it? For business owners with controlling and perfectionist tendencies, this can be difficult.
Think about some of the many benefits can make the transition from manual to automatic easier, and see if they don’t make sense to you.

Time. Depending on the task or process, automation can give you more time. Automating tasks can save seconds, minutes, and hours each day, and over the course of years that can add up to days and weeks of extra time to focus on tasks that truly matter.

Accuracy. Regardless of how good your employees and managers are, manual work is always vulnerable... Read more

3 High-Level Ways to Entertain Business Clients

Posted by Anna Johansson on October 28th, 2014 at 9:57 am

Whether you enjoy it or not, most industries depend on schmoozing clients and impressing customers. Anyone who’s unwilling to go great lengths to please customers may get left on the outside looking in.
The challenging part of the equation is that even people who take the trouble to entertain clients can too often be left without any tangible results. You need to find a creative and entertaining way to captivate clients that doesn’t simply mimic what everyone else does in your industry.
Weekend golf getaway
In business circles, playing a round of golf is nearly always a safe bet. It gets everyone outdoors, it’s recreational and competitive, and it’s somewhat relaxing.
That’s what makes it one of the most common ways to entertain clients. The key is to take it one step up.
Instead of inviting your clients for a round of golf at the local country club, plan a weekend golf getaway. The idea is to pick a beautiful resort, comp the travel expenses, pay for the rooms, wine and dine, and play a little golf.
You’ll be one-upping the competition: you’re taking what everyone is doing and making it better. Next time your client is asked on a standard golf outing by the competitor... Read more

2015 Just Around the Corner: So What’s the Skinny on Digital Marketing Trends?

Posted by Neal Leavitt on October 26th, 2014 at 4:37 pm

Quality content. Content marketing. Mobile-friendly content. Ad retargeting.
Scores of pundits and prognosticators awake and arise this time of year from their marketing crypts to make predictions, outline scenarios on what they see as hot digital marketing trends for the upcoming year. And we see a lot of those aforementioned terms – and others – you know what some of them are - year-after-year, being bandied about and re-purposed.
To use some pirate vernacular, “arrrggggghhhhhh!”
All good-intentioned, most impart a lot of useful info-nuggets but it’s easy to get lost in the morass.
So is there anything really interesting that might help drive awareness of products/services, and ultimately sales next year?
Internet Retailer recently did a search marketing survey (full results being published in November) from mid-September to mid-October encompassing responses from 95 participants; about two-thirds identified themselves as working for web-only retailers.
Some interesting survey snippets:
• 46.2% reported increased traffic to their e-commerce sites over the past year through natural, or organic search;
• 32.9% generated at least half of their online sales through their paid search and organic search programs combined;
• 40.3% said their search marketing budgets increased over the past year;
• 53.3% said they would increase their pay-per-click search spending... Read more

The Collaborative Economy: What Big Brands are Learning from Disruptive Startups

Posted by Kent Lewis on October 23rd, 2014 at 6:05 pm

The final session of the day at Startup Marketing Conference focused on the collaborative economy and how large brands are learning from disruptive startups. Ben Kaplan from PR Hacker hosted the session and mentioned how brands like GE and Virgin are learning from and collaborating with startups. Kaplan also mentioned Meow Mix CatStarter as a recent example of leveraging a passionate community willing to innovate.
Matt Kaufman, President at CrunchBase, kicked off by sharing an example of how Nestle is working with startup to stay ahead of the game. From his experience, Kaufman believes brands aren’t exactly sure what they want. That means agencies can get into a trap of selling what they know instead of what agencies need. It also increases the chance the brand won’t buy something they are not sure they need, even if they can afford to pay.
Michelle Regner, CEO and Co-Founder of Near-Me.com, discussed how big brands look to her company for help in understanding the customer journey. For example, Cisco wanted a better way to sell used routers and Near-Me created a marketplace for the partners to use. She also mentioned Hallmark creating an Etsy-type marketplace for customers to interact, and Hallmark gets the benefit... Read more