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Showing posts from May, 2018

Mobile Ad Spending to Surpass TV in 2018

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From eMarketer:

This year, driven by display ads, mobile will account for 69.9% of all digital advertising. With a 33.9% share of total US ad spend, mobile will pass TV as the leading advertising medium in the world’s largest ad market—and we expect that share will grow to a whopping 47.9% by 2022.

"Advertisers are pouring dollars into mobile due to growing mobile commerce activity. Conversions from mobile display ad placements have already surpassed those of desktop," said Corey McNair, forecasting analyst.

2016 ZIP Code statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau

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The U.S. Census Bureau’s County Business Patterns (CBP) program has released its 2016 ZIP Code statistics. This is an addition to CBP's recent release of U.S., state, metropolitan area, county, and congressional district statistics. The ZIP Code data cover more than 7.7 million U.S business establishments.

Employment and payroll data are available for all U.S. ZIP Codes with a business establishment. Data for the number of establishments by employment size are available for nearly 1,200 industries.

CBP's ZIP Code statistics are obtained from Census Bureau reports and administrative records from other federal agencies. CBP defines employment as all full- and part-time employees who were on the payroll during the pay period that includes March 12.

Statistics are presented in comma separated value (CSV) files for download and manipulation on the CBP website. CBP data can be accessed using multiple tools available via the Census Bureau website, including American FactFinder and Ce…

Crafting Your Brand?

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From Bplans:


Everyone’s talking about branding for a good reason:

Your brand is the identity of your company. It’s what sets you apart from your competitors.

Everything about it should evoke certain thoughts or feelings in your customers, compelling them to want to do business with you. Because your brand is your primary means of communicating what your company stands for, it extends far beyond just your logo or website.

Branding is even more important now that people have increasingly more access to products and services from anywhere in the world. A standout brand is the best way to attract their attention, but first, you need to know exactly who your customers are and what appeals to them. You should view the process as an opportunity to get more deeply in touch with your customers’ perspectives and expectations in order to craft a brand identity that truly speaks to them.

Research is the key to successful branding.

Business Branding Guide

Veterans Finance Guide

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From Bank Rate:

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides the most comprehensive economic and health-related assistance for vets and their families. However, there are some limitations. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, a total of 3.8 million veterans had a service-connected disability rating as of 2014.

Service-connected disabilities are wide-ranging, but consist of a disease or injury obtained during active military service. While not every individual faces the same problems after service, the top three economic challenges tend to be unemployment, poverty, and homelessness. Veterans with service-connected disabilities, who are in need of specific home modifications and medical treatment are among the most at risk of experiencing some kind of debt that can lead to bad credit.

Government assistance for veterans
There are various resources for veterans with debt. One example is called the VA Medical Care Hardship Program. In addition to receiving help with some copayment…

5 Essential Pages For Your Small Business Website

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From Small Business Administration,Anita Campbell, Guest Blogger

There are certain pages every website can’t be without. A small business’s site needs to give visitors what they are most likely to be looking for.

If you’re getting a website together for your small business or reinventing an existing site, take a look at the five essential pages every small business website needs. We include three other recommended pages as well.


Homepage
Your homepage is the virtual lobby of your business, the first thing people notice when they visit the site. It’s therefore vital that your homepage presents your business in a professional and engaging light. Make a great first impression!

As research from the Neilsen Norman Group highlights, you have less than 10 seconds to convey your value proposition. Get to the point about what your business is about. Keep words concise, punchy and compelling to hook visitors and get them to explore deeper into your site.


About Us
People (including business peo…

Contest Marketing: A Powerful Form of Content Marketing

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From MarketingProfs:

Enter for a chance to win..."

I see that call to action—or something similar—all over.

You do, too. Social media is certainly no exception. Contests, competitions, and sweepstakes are raging hot across the major networks as a go-to strategy for so many content marketers.

Why?

The answer is that we humans are wired to get involved in contests. We want to play, compete, and, of course, win.


As a copywriter and marketing strategist, I've been probing what makes people tick for decades. I know a fair share about what engages people, but I'm no psychologist.

So I did some research because I wanted to know why "contest marketing" is so compelling.

I picked up these insights from Sander van der Linder PhD on Psychology Today:

For most people, there is something inexplicably compelling about the nature of competition.
"Competitiveness" is a biological trait that co-evolved with the basic need for survival.

Delegation: What Your Team Wishes You Knew

From Outpost Blog:

For someone who prefers knowing that I alone control the outcome of a project, trusting others to hold up their end wasn’t an easy thing to do. It felt so blind; maybe my teammates would do a good job, but maybe not. Maybe they wouldn’t do the work at all, and I’d be left to pick up the pieces.

Sometimes I’d throw up my hands and just take on all the work; hey, at least then it’d get done, right? Other times, I’d delegate like crazy and cross my fingers. Still, the entire process always felt a bit hellish and not conducive to putting out great work.

It’s an experience that probably rings true to many new entrepreneurs and small business owners.

In the beginning, it was likely just you—you were the only one running your business, making key decisions, and doing the work.

You did the whole “group project” on your own; while it may have meant a lot of late nights and gnashing of teeth, you could be confident that everything was being done to your standards, and there …

How to Use Webinars to Build Good Customer Relationships

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From MarketingProfs

Webinars are truly a great marketing strategy for generating leads for your business. However, that's certainly not the only measure of their effectiveness.

Webinars are an excellent platform to communicate and interact with your customers, and they can be your secret weapon for building great customer relationships.

People attend a webinar because they believe the experience will be valuable to them. The value you provide through your webinars via actionable insights and takeaways that viewers won't find anywhere else will help you build great customer relationships.

Here we'll look at how to build those relationships by using webinars to engage and train your audiences.

The Cost of Returns

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From eMarketer:
Even without an established try-before-you-buy model, retailers’ generous free return policies have led to consumers purchasing multiple items with the intent to send some back.

Retailers like Warby Parker and Amazon have popularized try-before-you-buy by letting consumers try on products at no upfront cost. The consumer is only charged for what they keep, and the remainder is returned.

As a result, a February 2018 study from Brightpearl, conducted by OnePoll, found that over 40% of US and UK retailers have seen a spike in intentional returns compared with a year ago. What's more, some 70% of retailers believe the try-before-you-buy model leads to more returns.

"[Try-before-you-buy] creates a tsunami of returns that could easily overwhelm retailers who do not have the processes or workflows in place to cope with that level of change," the study said.

And this may be why many are hesitant to try it out.

The State Of Industry In 2018

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From Thomasnet
Industry is no stranger to change, and today, several monumental shifts — in business, technology, and even politics — are changing it once again.

As a supplier, it's imperative for you to understand these shifts in order ensure your success today, and tomorrow.

Our eBook, The State Of Industry In 2018, can help you keep ahead of the latest trends. It explores:

Critical changes in the manufacturing workforce
The most in-demand products and services in 2018
The role that politics is playing within industry
And more!

Download your free copy now.

Is Social Media a Waste of Time for Free Traffic?

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From jeffbullas.com:

In 2014 I wrote an article titled “Why You Should Forget Facebook”

The main premise of the post was that Facebook was reducing its organic reach. In fact, the numbers showed it was trending to zero.

So…. we dived into why using Facebook for organic and free traffic was becoming a waste time and you maybe need to forget it for earned attention.

It was rapidly becoming a pay to play platform.

The big promise that drew me to social media was that you could reach the world without paying the gatekeepers or begging for attention.

They were the media moguls and book publishers to name just two.

So I was disturbed and annoyed by this trend.

So where are we today? We now have new gatekeepers.

The Problem With Loyalty Programs

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From eMarketer:

Consumers like loyalty programs, but they have complaints. A major one is the hassle of accessing rewards.

In a February 2018 survey from mobile coupon solution provider CodeBroker, some 54% of US loyalty program members said it’s frustrating when programs can’t be easily accessed on smartphones or when an app download is required.

More than five in 10 respondents agreed that without easily accessible programs, rewards often go unused or expire because members aren’t aware they’ve accrued.

Of those polled, 37% prefer accessing loyalty program information, such as balance or redemption details, via a periodic text message. Some 28% rely on a mobile app.



Business Branding Guide

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From Bplans:

75 percent of buying decisions are based on emotion. The right brand captures the right emotions—and is one of the powerful tools for building a rock-solid business.

A professional brand does so many things for your business. It sets you apart from competitors. It builds trust with existing customers—and future ones. It extends your reach—online, on the street, in referral conversations. It brings the whole team together and gets your employees excited about coming to work. In short, branding is one of the best business investments you can make!

TOOL: Discover Your Brand in 12 Easy Steps!

PROJECT: Brand Yourself in 5 Days

BRANDING CHECKLIST: 10 Essentials Before Launch

RESOURCE: Tools to Help You Name Your Business

7 places to find cash after a disaster

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From Bankrate:

When nature goes wild, it can be disastrous for your finances. According to the National Climatic Data Center, major weather disasters have caused more than $1.2 trillion worth of damage in the U.S. since 1980 — and that doesn’t include Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria or Nate.

If you’re hit with an emergency and need to find cash fast, tap into the emergency reserves in your savings account. Then look to these resources.

How to Write a Company Overview

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From bplans:

Your team matters just as much as your great business idea.

A company overview (also known as company information or a company summary) is an essential part of a business plan. It’s an overview of the most important points about your company—your history, management team, location, mission statement and legal structure. It usually appears after the executive summary in your business plan.

This is typically the shortest chapter of a business plan document, but that doesn’t reduce its importance. If you’re presenting this plan to people outside of your company, this is your opportunity to introduce yourself and your business, and you are going to want to put your best foot forward.

Imagine that the person reading your business plan document has never heard of you, and doesn’t know anything about your business.

What should be their takeaway? What do they need to remember about you and your company?

Fluency Through Fonts

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From Monotype:

The world isn’t literally getting smaller, but you’d be forgiven for feeling that way. Customers around the world expect a consistent, on-brand experience on any device and in any country or language, and brands must face the challenge of delivering on that expectation.

Our latest eBook, Fluency Through Fonts, shows how a smart font strategy can help break down language barriers and lead to a smoother, more effective workflow for brands with a global audience.

Read the free eBook to learn:

Why fonts are crucial to strong customer loyalty and brand perception around the world
How mobile has changed the way brands need to think about their global customers
What problems can arise when your font library isn’t developed in a strategic way

Franchising in America: Not Just Fast-Food Restaurant

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From the Census Bureau

Mention franchises, and images of the thousands of fast-food restaurants that dot landscapes across urban and rural America immediately come to mind.

Franchises, however, go well beyond fast-food chains. They are important to many industries instrumental in providing other day-to-day services, from storage and warehousing to eyeglass stores and weight-loss centers.

Detailed data on franchises comes from the Economic Census, which is taken every five years, and covers employer businesses in the United States. The latest Economic Census will be conducted this year, and continue to offer detailed information only available through this program. Comprehensively collected for the first time for the 2007 Economic Census, the franchise question covers over 300 different types of businesses (industries) and measures the number of franchisee- and franchisor-owned businesses in each industry and their total employment, annual payroll and sales.

The question was added as p…

Web Browsers Reject About Two-Thirds of Cookies

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From eMarketer:

It’s a hard knock life for tracking cookies these days.

Ad serving firm Flashtalking analyzed 20 advertisers worldwide throughout Q4 2017 and found that 64% of their tracking cookies were either blocked or deleted by web browsers. According to the research, rejection rates on mobile devices were particularly high—75% of mobile cookies were rejected, compared with 41% on desktop.

Tracking cookies have been a staple of digital advertising since its inception, and the de facto method that many marketers rely on to track and target users online. But the cookie is beginning to crumble as users shift their media consumption to mobile devices, and as browsers and regulators crack down on digital privacy.

Just a few years ago, people spent most of their time online on desktops and laptops.

Don’t quit your job yet: how to lay the foundation for a successful startup

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From Medium:
Humans are wired to love a good before-and-after story.

We crave transformation, whether it’s fixing up an old house or turning a clever idea into a thriving business.

But pushing for that “after” state can lead us to overlook all the fun of getting started.

Sure, the early days of building a product or a business can be tough. There are late nights, financial struggles, mistakes, and self-doubt.

Yet, it’s also a great time to explore. You can experiment without millions of paying customers watching your every move.

And if you don’t have investors breathing down your neck, you can afford to play the long game... But, how do you get started, especially if you’re not ready to quit your job?

You can begin, right now, to build a foundation that will support your business for years. Even if you’re not a software engineer (or you don’t have an MBA), there are smart ways to get the ball rolling.

Today’s startup media often celebrate the blind leap, but I believe in scoping out th…

How to Use Data to Reveal Your Brightest Star Customers

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Obtained From:Marketing Profs

Just as the universe comprises a wide variety of types of stars, so does your customer base. And like the universe, where some stars shine brighter, some of your customers are better than others. Now imagine the power of being able to separate your worst customers from your brightest star customers—and find more like your brightest ones! Doing so entails evaluating and understanding what it takes to attract, acquire, keep, and grow your new and existing customers' value. And to find, keep, and grow the value of your customers requires a customer-centric culture and approach in your marketing. Dr. Peter Fader, author of Customer Centricity, defines customer-centric marketing as looking at a customer's lifetime value and focusing your marketing efforts on the high-value customer segment in order to drive profits. The suggestion here is that by understanding who your current high value customers are, you are better positioned to acquire more customers li…

3 Tips to Maintain the Effectiveness of Email Marketing

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From Camille at superhuman.com

Email marketing is one of the oldest strategies for marketing on the internet. This leads some to wonder whether it’s still worth spending all the time and effort required to run campaigns.

The truth is that while email may not be the newest or most exciting tool in digital marketing, it still has the potential to be one of the most effective. In 2018, nearly 90% of marketers list email as one of their top three priorities, with 45% saying it is their top concern. Furthermore, it still offers of the best returns on investment when compared to other marketing channels.

Numbers like this make it easy to see that email marketing is not going away anytime soon. However, if you want to produce competitive email marketing campaigns, you have to make an effort to develop a strategy that can meet the demands of the modern market and use tools like an email verifier to ensure the highest possible deliverability and conversion rate. If your tactics are old and ou…

Grief At Work: A Guide For Employees and Managers

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From the American Hospice Foundation:

Although we try to establish healthy boundaries between our work and personal lives, we know the importance of jobs and co-workers. For many, work provides a sense of community. For some, it even feels like family. Employees often derive their sense of well-being from their work.

Every workplace must deal with complex emotional issues. The more difficult emotions, like grief, can disturb workers and diminish the work environment. Colleagues want to do the right thing, but don't know how to do it. Meanwhile, managers and employees may feel pressured and anxious, knowing the work still must get done. It's no wonder we need helping in working through grief.

How Marketers Can Be Effective Business Storytellers

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Obtained From:MarketingProfs

Want to know a secret? A lot of business success can be attributed to the unwitting storytellers among us: leaders who passionately narrate their visions to inspire change; account reps who conceptualize products or services through real-life examples; trainers who design engaging, scenario-based learning... A simple example of the power of story: I was recently cruising along an empty Texas road, singing along to the song on the radio, when the song ended and an announcer said, "Buying a house is exciting, and by 'exciting' I mean 'terrifying.'" Anyone who's traveled the road to home ownership could instantly feel those words—because it is a little terrifying to buy a house. The announcer's narration evoking the buyer's perspective had me tuned in and wanting more. That's the secret to storytelling success: the ability to convey personalized nuggets up front to gain someone's attention, followed by a well-designe…

Small Business Success Story - Oasis Ponds & Patios

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Each year the New York Small Business Development Center recognizes outstanding small businesses in a variety of ways.  This Success Story from the Corning SBDC appears in our 2016 Annual Report

David VanLoon Oasis Ponds & Patios
Corning SBDC
David VanLoon, a 14-year military veteran who served tours in Irag and Afghanistan, began Oasis Ponds & Patios in April 2016. Oasis Ponds, a full-service landscape company, is a certified Aquascape contractor that provides waterscape designs and installation. The company installs fountains, waterfalls and ponds, maintains water features and also performs seasonal care for their installations. Oasis Ponds also installs firepits, retaining walls, patios and walkways, landscape lighting, plant and tree installation. They also provide weekly lawn services, as well as spring and fall clean up.
David worked with SBDC Advisor Susan Buchanan to develop a business plan to accompany a funding request for his startup. David secured a $57,000 term loan …

Are You an Empowered Marketer? Here's How You Can Be

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Obtained From: Marketing Profs
What does it mean to be an empowered marketer? Let's start with the definition of empowerment. The Oxford English Dictionary tells us it is "The process of becoming stronger and more confident, especially in controlling one's life and claiming one's rights." So what does the word mean when applied to B2C marketers? Marketers today have a million demands on their time. During a typical day, you might send out a few personalized emails, run A/B tests to drive conversions on your e-commerce website, publish some beautiful targeted ads on Instagram, and then analyze the ROI across all your marketing campaigns. And that's just in one day! It's no wonder B2C marketers are feeling the pressure to continually perform. Sound fantastic? It is.That is exactly why marketers need to become empowered—so they can access customer data directly, easily execute complex marketing campaigns, and dive into detailed analytics to prove the value of thei…