AutomationAre you currently using any of the tools that are available to assist with productivity? There are many options available out there; everything from social media automation, to CRM’s, to voice recognition software.

Running a business, especially a small business, takes a lot of time and effort to be managed properly. In many instances, the business owner takes on the responsibility of most tasks, especially in the early days of growing the business. As a result, it is easy to become bogged down in a lot of administrative functions, leaving little time to focus on product and service creation, marketing and sales.

Thank goodness for automation and productivity tools!

Marketing your brand and building an audience can be very time-consuming. Most people check online before they purchase a product or service, which means that you have to build your own online presence. This can be accomplished by building and maintaining a website that is both interactive and mobile responsive, as well as ensuring that you have a social presence on those social bookmarking sites that your target audience is most likely to participate in.

But regularly updating information on your website and posting to various social media sites takes time and effort. Therefore, it is important to research and implement automation and productivity tools that fit your needs.

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economics marketingToday’s article is going to be bit different than usual. Yesterday morning, when the stock markets opened, they all opened lower than they have for years. Although there was some recovery later in the day, they still all closed down, and the global economic uncertainty has many investors nervous. Some economists are claiming that we are in what they term a “shallow recession”.

Despite the bloodbath in the markets yesterday, retail forecasts are optimistic. Although no one is expecting huge growth, all indicators are implying that consumer confidence is not completely gone and people will continue to make purchases.

So given the economic news yesterday, I thought this would be a great opportunity to talk to you about how you react to economic uncertainty when planning the marketing strategy for your business.

It’s been proven time and again that most businesses get cold feet during an economic downturn, and respond by cutting their sales and marketing budgets. This, of course, is exactly the opposite of what they should be doing.

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It’s Not About You!

Customer firstToday, I want to address again the issue of engaging with your clients and prospects.

It doesn’t matter whether you provide a product or a service, we all know that the secret to engaging prospects and turning those prospects into customers is to resolve an issue that they have. After all, the only reason any of us purchased anything is because it satisfies a want, a need, or removes a pain point.

And, of course, marketing your product or service is the only way that prospects and clients can learn about what it is that you do that will help them attain their want, need, or remove their pain point. Unfortunately, sometimes the wheels come off the marketing train and we forget that marketing isn’t about us, it’s about them!

Sometimes, when developing a marketing plan, business owners lose sight of the actual intent of the marketing program. They become focused on demonstrating their expertise and their credibility within their niche, and forget that the goal of marketing is to obtain prospects and, ultimately, converting those prospects into loyal customers.

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sharkToday, I want to address the issue of the reputation that many marketers are getting.

This is a completely different article than the one that I had intended to write today, but sometimes circumstances change and other issues arise that should be addressed in a timely fashion.

I actually took a few days off work last week and went on a mini vacation to a family member’s trailer, which is located at a lake in beautiful British Columbia. For those of you who don’t know, many parts of Western Canada are experiencing drought-like conditions, and B. C. is one of the hardest hit regions so they’ve been experiencing very little precipitation and very hot temperatures. While I am concerned about the effects of the drought, I must admit that I am a fan of hot weather.

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Puzzle piecesMany business owners believe that marketing is a relatively simple exercise and something that they can manage on their own, for the most part. They may wish to change some elements or some content on their website. Or, they may look to design a brochure to be delivered to prospects. Or, they may look at reworking or putting together any other kind of a marketing campaign, plan, or promotion with the intention of enhancing their business.

And there is nothing wrong with a business owner managing their own marketing. That is, as long as they understand that each individual piece of a promotional undertaking is actually an underlying element of a bigger plan.

This past week I was approached by a prospect who was looking to change up his corporate website. He had spent a lot of money and had spent a lot of time on what became four different variations of the website, and still had not managed to get what he wanted. The various marketing companies that had been hired had been either unwilling or unable to understand the ultimate goal of the business owner in articulating his vision and the brand of his business.

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