Making Your Users’ Experience Great!


How does your UX rate?

Are your clients and prospects happy?

With all the traffic online, it can be difficult to get noticed – and to bring visitors back to your site!

Ensuring that your clients and prospects have a simple, seamless and enjoyable experience is the key to keeping them coming back. So, how do you do that?

Watch our video to learn the 7 ingredients visitors are looking for.

Please join us now, and be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel so you won’t miss any of our upcoming tips.

Watch our video now, or watch on YouTube.

Are you ready to grow your business now? If you’re ready to take the next step and make your business more profitable, contact us today.

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The Value Of Contests


What value do contests bring?

Do they really provide long-term value or are they a loss leader?

Let’s face it; everyone loves the chance to win something.  The idea of getting something for nothing – or next to nothing – has wide appeal.

So maybe it’s time to consider running a contest for your prospects and clients!

Watch today’s Marketing In A Minute video to see how running a simple contest can help grow your business.

Please join us now, and be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel so you won’t miss any of our upcoming tips.

Watch our video now, or watch on YouTube.

Are you ready to grow your business now? If you’re ready to take the next step and make your business more profitable, contact us today.

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Brexit –Mistaken Marketing?


UK Votes to leave the EU.

You’d have to be living in a cave to not know this news!

Now, the purpose of this article is not to argue the merits on either side of the debate. It is not only not my place to discuss what citizens of  another country should do, but the decision has been rendered, making any argument moot in any event.

Rather, I wanted to make the point about the importance of marketing your product appropriately.

When most people think of marketing, they envision advertising. As I have repeatedly commented, the true essence of marketing is the development of a strategic approach to entice a specific, targeted audience to “purchase” what you have to sell. Advertising is merely one method undertaken to get this strategy in front of your audience.

And when I talk about what you have to sell, I don’t limit it to a product or a service. As you might know, I spent some time in federal politics several years ago. During this time, I acted as campaign manager for a period of about 18 months, leading into a federal election. I approached this role as I do any marketing campaign; in this case, my “product” was the candidate. As I said to her, we needed to approach our target audience (the constituents) and demonstrate to them why they should “purchase” her politics, rather than the politics of her opponents.

Brexit is no different.

Most pundits observing the lead-up to the referendum agree that both sides ran campaigns based on negativity. The Stay side argued that to leave the Union would result in extreme financial hardship, perhaps even a deep recession. Those in the Leave camp argued that to stay in the Union would continue to erode their wealth and their culture.

The politics of fear, in my view, created the outcome that they received; a close vote, with 52% opting to leave the Union. And now of course, there are many exclamations of regret. But democracy is what it is.  And, without any prior determination of what would constitute a win, anything more than 50% rules the day.

So let’s bring this back to the role marketing.

Perhaps both sides of this referendum misread the public. What if, instead of resorting to the politics of fear and hoping to frighten people into voting their way, the argument focused on positives.

What if those who argued to Stay spoke of the benefits of staying in the Union, rather than the doom and gloom that they predicted would happen if they left. What if they spoke of the benefits of free and open travel throughout the European Union, and the benefits of mobility rather than the negative position of financial ruin.

What if those who argued to Leave spoke to the ability to act more independently and negotiate their own trade deals, rather than focusing on the perils of open borders.

We all know that when it comes to making a decision, people like to do business with people who they like, know and trust. We also know that people make decisions primarily based on emotions. It is unfortunate that those people who are in positions of power – those we should be able to trust – have benefited over the past several years from creating a culture of fear, and have controlled decisions through what I call “the Chicken Little approach”.

Current global affairs, whether we agree with the various positions are not, are demonstrating that the pendulum is swinging the other way, and that people are fed up with the way things have been done over the past several decades. They are looking for change.  And savvy marketers would be wise to heed this call and understand the importance of reading your target audience and responding with strategies that make sense to them.

Until next time…

Are you ready to grow your business now? If you’re ready to take the next step and make your business more profitable, contact us today.

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The Science Of Marketing

science of marketing

I wanted to talk to you today about the science of marketing.

I think this is a very important topic because, despite what many people believe, effective marketing is truly a science.

Let’s look for a minute at the definition of science:


  • the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment.
  • a systematically organized body of knowledge on a particular subject.

As you can see from the above definition, science is not limited to the study of chemicals, biology, physics, etc., but rather can be applied to any subject as long as that subject is approached and executed in a systematic way.

Those of you who have been reading my articles for a while have heard me say many times that marketing is a science and must be approached in that manner. One of the things that I have repeatedly said is that marketing is not advertising. And, to repeat myself again, marketing is a process and advertising is a method of delivery of your messaging to your clients and prospects.

So, why do I continue to repeat this mantra?

Well, partly it is because of this common misconception which leads to the belief that “anyone can do marketing”, with the end result being disappointed clients. And partly it is to help educate folks, assisting them in understanding the difference so that they can make better choices and ensure that their marketing dollars are being allocated appropriately.

Unfortunately, just like in many industries, there are those who promote themselves as marketing experts when, in truth, they are simply executing a single advertising method. For instance, we all know that in today’s technology-based environment that we must have an online presence. And, based on your business model and your intent, being found online can an important factor in the success or failure of your business. Knowing this, many individuals and companies have been formed who will promise to give you first page rankings on search engines for a specified fee. This is an effective strategy when employed correctly, but make sure that you are working with a reputable individual or organization so you will not be disappointed with the results. In some cases, these people or companies will charge huge fees for a short term result, causing your rankings to drop again as soon as their engagement is completed. Even more worrying, is that some of these individuals and companies employ “black hat” techniques which can cause you to become banned from the search engines.

Everything of value takes time to build. You must create a solid foundation and build on that foundation for the structure to be solid. Do not be seduced by quick fix schemes; you will end up disappointed and poorer for it.

Do your homework when hiring your marketing consultant. Check testimonials and asked them about their methods, tactics, and techniques. And also, make sure that your personalities fit. There is no denying that we get along with some folks better than others, and you will not get your best results if you do not get along with the people with whom you are working.

Until next time…

Are you ready to grow your business now? If you’re ready to take the next step and make your business more profitable, contact us today.

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Elegant Simplicity – Keep Your Clients Connected!

Elegant simplicity

So what the heck is elegant simplicity, anyway?

This is the topic that Frank Thomas and I discussed on the most recent episode of our broadcast on the Small Business Tips Show.

Elegant simplicity is the art of developing and creating your product or service that is simple and easy for them to understand and connect. There is nothing worse for client or prospect than having to maneuver and negotiate complex roadblocks to attain what it is they are looking for. Indeed, if you make it too difficult for them to understand or connect with your product or service, you will lose them to your competitors. Read more

Market Share – Getting Your Piece Of The Pie!

Goal setting

Get your slice of the pie!

Today I thought we should talk a bit about goal setting and market share. After all, the goal of marketing your business is to obtain clients and preserve your share of the market.

So let’s talk first of all about what exactly market share is. At its most basic definition, market share is the total number of loyal clients that your business has managed to retain over a specific period of time.

I hope you caught the key word in the definition above: loyal clients.

Without loyal clients you really haven’t got market share. While it’s true that having many one-time buyers can positively impact your financial bottom line, without the retention of these clients you have not captured any market share. In other words, the criteria is not about attracting clients, but bringing them in and keeping them. It’s about turning these customers from simply being purchasers of your product or service into advocates, referring others to your business as well.

The process of retaining and increasing your market share is continuous. The business cycle, like the cycle of life, always has someone exiting and someone entering. Even loyal customers will eventually die, move, or no longer require your product. Therefore, you should always be looking for ways to expand your market share.

There are a number of ways to do this, and some are naturally more involved than others. But let’s touch on a few of the more simple tips in today’s article.

1. Be innovative to stay relevant.

One way to improve your market share is to try to spot new trends ahead of your competitors. Watch the news, listen to friends, and check out new technologies on the Internet. Spotting and implementing advances and technical improvements in your niche can help set you apart from your competition.

2. Be responsive to your customers.

There is nothing worse, especially from a customer’s perspective, than having the sense of being ignored. We all like to think that we matter, and the failure to respond quickly to the needs of your clients will send them flocking to your competitors.

3. Ask for feedback and use your customers’ ideas what appropriate.

Ask your customers what they like – and don’t like – about your products and services. Not only will this allow you to be more responsive and make improvements to your products and services, but it makes your clients feel valuable as well. There are lots of ways to obtain this, including online surveys through services such as SurveyMonkey and MailChimp

4. Buy out your competitor.

That’s right, I said buy out your competitor. If you have the financial resources, it may help to purchase a competitors business. This gives you direct access to, and ownership of, their client lists.

5. Be flexible.

Are you available when your clients need you? Is your product or service able to be modified to better fit the needs of your client? These are just a couple of very easy ways to gain customer loyalty and grow your market share.

These five tips are fairly simple to implement. Understanding what defines market share, and applying one or more of these tips should provide you with the fundamentals to start growing your business.

Until next time…

Are you ready to grow your business now? If you’re ready to take the next step and make your business more profitable, contact us today.

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Are You Differentiating Your Business?

Are You Differentiating Your Business?

How do you differentiate your business?

There is no denying that there exists a plethora of businesses that all offer the same services or products as yours. So how do you attract clients to your business instead of having them choose your competitor?

If you are a small business owner, it is imperative that you find or create a strategy that differentiates your services from all those other businesses claiming to do the same thing.

Although this isn’t a new concept, it is often one of the most difficult things to get a small business owner to do. After all, we all like to think that what we offer is special and unique. But, unfortunately, this is seldom the case and, in most instances,  is something that many others can and do offer as well.

An interesting way to demonstrate this is to take the first paragraph of five of your competitor’s websites and black out any references to names. Chances are, the descriptions for each of these companies will be nearly impossible to tell apart.

So what can you do to differentiate yourself? Read more

To Tech or Not To Tech: How Technology Impacts Your Marketing


As I’ve said in the past, the term marketing is often used interchangeably with the term sales.

However, marketing actually defines a process as opposed to an action.

One of the main functions of marketing is to provide effective communications, which is an important part of helping businesses grow and prosper. Communication is about creating relationships, strengthening an organization’s effectiveness and, and helping people learn about one another.

Enter technology.

Current technologies, including such things as the Internet, smart phones and tablets, social media platforms, apps, and CRM (customer relationship management) systems are impacting the way companies communicate with clients and prospects, and the marketing strategies they employ.

More and more consumers and business professionals are using their portable devices to obtain information and to connect with other people and businesses. Thanks to the accessibility of the internet, prospects and clients have the ability to acquire tons of information in mere moments, including information about your competitors!

Despite lots of talk over the years about the benefits of things like telecommuting, technology is helping that to evolve. More people are working from virtual offices, using their cell phones and various social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to communicate with others. These changes will affect the way business spends money on different forms of communication as we continue to move forward and technologies evolve and improve. How a company communicates the features and benefits of their products and services will also have to evolve or the company runs the risk of fading into oblivion.

One of the most important things a business can do is to continually deliver a consistent message about their brand to their clients and prospects. Integrating their brand into every aspect of a business’s communications – whether TV, radio, print, internet, mobile platforms or social media – establishes recognition familiarity, developing strong customer relationships while developing a solid impression for prospects.

The younger, up and coming generation, is driving this change. These consumers have never known a world without cell phones, computers, and other technologies. As a result, they are quick to embrace using these new forms of business communications, such as ads on their mobile phones, social media ads, YouTube, etc. Traditional forms of media, like newspapers, television, and radio, are being forced to adapt to compete with the emerging changes in communication in order to remain relevant.

But these changes do not come without challenges.

Although technology has been implemented for years now, using it effectively for marketing still manages to evade many.

Results can be hard to measure, since the traditional measurement tools don’t necessarily apply. For instance, at one time, a business might run an ad in a local daily newspaper. Obviously, the reach of that ad was primarily limited to the local town or city where it appeared.

Fast forward to advertising on the internet. The reach of the World Wide Web is, indeed, just that – worldwide.

Technologies do improve, however, and advertising on the internet, whether pay-per-click or social media advertisements, are able to be more targeted. In fact, you have probably noticed that some of the sites you visit will now automatically load ads on the sidebar based on your previous browsing behaviours.

There is no question that technology is having a huge impact and is changing the way business communicate their message. Don’t fear this, but instead embrace it. Clearly define your message, your audience, your budget and your marketing plan, and how you will measure your results. Refine and repeat to come up with the proper recipe for success.

Until next time…

Are you ready to grow your business now? If you’re ready to take the next step and make your business more profitable, contact us today.

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Are Your Website Visitors Engaged?

website visitor engagement

Engaging you website visitors.

No, we’re not talking about tying the knot here. Is your website pulling your visitors in and providing them with reasons to explore?

Pretty websites are easy to create. But if the site isn’t engaging visitors, well… is it really worth anything or is it just wasting everyone’s time?

The main purpose for any website that is being used to build and promote a business is to draw visitors in and propel them to interact with the site. Without engagement, your visitors will leave and never come back. You need to give clients and prospects a reason to come back to your site, and the only way to do that is to encourage engagement.

So just how do you get your website visitors to do what you want while they are on your site? By creating a site that encourages engagement. Without engagement, your visitors won’t buy from your site, they won’t share your information about products and services, they won’t sign up for your newsletter, and they certainly won’t come back.

There are lots of ways to increase visitor engagement.

Design and appearance of your site is one important factor. If your site is muddled or too busy, the visual effect will turn visitors away. Clean design is important to make the site welcoming to your clients and prospects.

Be sure to watch your wording. This applies not only to your content, but also to any sign up forms you may have on your site. After all, the best engagement is to capture the names and email addresses of your visitors.  When developing your opt-in’s test the wording. Also, be sure to remove any questions that can be answered ‘no’. Once ‘no’ pops into a prospects head, they will disengage, i.e., leave your website – the exact opposite of your intent.

Another thing you can include on your site to encourage and increase engagement is a blog. Providing interaction with prospects and clients on a regular basis through a blog gives them a reason not only to continue to come back to your site, but also to share your information with their circle of influence. Make sure your blog is relevant, current, and informative.

If your business is such that it necessitates more immediate interaction with clients’ and prospects’ questions, you might want to consider adding live chat. Several platform options exist, and this could give your company an edge over your competition. If live chat isn’t really an option for your business, be sure to give excellent customer service. There is no substitute for great customer service.

And what about video? This means of communication is becoming more and more popular as it engages visitors on a more personal level. Even if you, like most of us, are a bit camera shy and uncomfortable in front of a webcam, consider doing a number of short videos to promote your business and let people get to know you and your team a bit better. And, trust me. I speak from personal experience – it does get easier the more you do it!

Surveys are also a good tool to use for visitor engagement. People love to be asked their opinion, especially if they can respond in a non-threatening environment.  When creating your survey, be sure to include some open-ended questions that will obtain more information than a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ response. Consider offering an incentive to your visitors for completing the survey to attain more participants.

Another technique that is gaining popularity is the exit poll. Similar to a survey, they typically ask only one question when a visitor is leaving a website. The most effective exit polls focus on objections that a visitor may have, such as ‘What prevented you from purchasing from us today?’

So what’s the bottom line?

By now you are starting to understand just why visitor engagement is so critical to growing your business online. A boring site that does little or nothing to engage visitors and encourage them to interact is actually detrimental to your bottom line. And, as you have read, it doesn’t really take too much effort to implement techniques and strategies that will improve your visitor engagement. Using the tools described in this article – and there are many others out there as well – will enrich your visitors’ experience, converting more browsers into clients.

Until next time…

Are you ready to grow your business now? If you’re ready to take the next step and make your business more profitable, contact us today.

If you like the information you are receiving, please consider forwarding this post.

Do You Know Your Competition?

know your competition

You need to know your competition.

Regardless of whether your business operates online or offline, knowing and understanding your competitors is vital to your success. Just as no man is an island, no business operates in seclusion. It’s extremely important for you to do your research on your competitors and find out about their strengths and weaknesses. There will always be other businesses that provide variations of your own products and services, and knowing who they are and how they work will give you an edge on securing clients.

Most likely, you are targeting clients from the same pool of prospects. By knowing the tactics and techniques that your competitors are using, you can gain an advantage over them and attract the prospects to become your clients rather than theirs.

It’s important that you understand your competitors so that you can position your business and your products and services to stand apart from the crowd. Otherwise, you simply become just another business offering the same services as dozens of others. Why would a prospect choose you over any of the rest? Do you want to leave that to chance, or are you going to take a page from successful businesses to create and develop your own unique brand?

So how do you go about developing a strategy to position yourself and give your business a leg up on your competitors?

Read more