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Ty Baisden

 

Ty Baisden

Will Customer Service be the Trump Card for Modern Marketing?

We now live in the most information saturated society in history. And can you guess what kind of information people DON'T want to see more of? That's right...advertising. Business owners need advertising; we can't stay in business without it. But customers have had enough of it. It's getting harder and harder to get people's attention these days...not to mention expensive.

I’ve seen PPC campaigns where companies are paying up to $10 for just a few seconds of someone’s attention. Even successful companies sometimes have to be willing to take a loss on their initial sales so that they can gain a new customer and make up their profits on the back end.

Considering this, how important do you think customer service is going to be in creating sustainable business growth? Will you be able to make enough new sales to make up for what you’re missing in customer retention and in follow up sales? Seems like risky business doesn’t it? More companies are realizing just how risky and unsustainable it is to depend heavily on new sales to keep cash coming into their business.

Many of them are realizing that customer service is the new trump card for growing your business, here’s why… Continue reading

 

 

4 Things You Should Know Before Hiring an SEO Firm

Since SEO companies still aren’t being regulated, and might never be, it’s hard to separate the experts from the self-proclaimed experts. It’s common for SEO companies to be founded by someone who read an eBook on the subject (a book which may or may not have been written by an expert) and who has no real world experience in online marketing. In many cases, they don’t even do the work themselves. They just manage their relationship with you and outsource all the work to someone else.

In some cases, this outsourcing can be a good arrangement. It can save you lot of money and get out of the confusion and chaos which comes from communicating with an entire team. In other cases, it can be a disaster. It all depends on how adept your SEO consultant is. Here are four things you can look for when hiring an SEO company to make sure you make a smart decision with your outsourcing…

Continue reading

 

 

Cheap SEO – You Get What You Pay For

What is effective SEO?
Although there are varying answers to this question, most SEO consultants warn against buying cheap SEO and they can summarize their answers with the following breakdown:

  1. Your website position has increased on Google, Bing and other search engines.
  2. Traffic to your website has increased.
  3. You also see an increase in sales sourced from Google and other search engines. Continue reading

 

 

Will Online Marketing Be Replaced By Mobile Marketing?

Wow. Have you read the recent stats about mobile marketing? It looks like less and less people are using laptops and desktops to access websites. Millions of people are now using their iPhones, their Androids and their tablets to surf the web. In fact (this ought to concern some website owners) a statistic from Google said that 60% of mobile device users will leave a website if the website isn’t mobile friendly.

Makes me think of a webinar I saw a few years back. It was created by an online marketer named Ryan Deiss. He said that the “web is dying.” He talked about how the mobile device was destroying the popularity of the internet. Interesting how people don’t seem to be worried about this. Is mobile marketing really about to take down online marketing?

Here’s why I believe that the answer is a HUGE no.

Technology Will Evolve, but the Internet Won’t

The internet isn’t going anywhere, I think any reasonable person knows that. But online technology is changing so fast it’s almost comical. Anything that’s a year old is considered to be a dinosaur. First, we had desktops, then came laptops. Now, we have mobile devices, tablets…and I’m sure something else is coming next. Maybe we’ll soon have some kind of holographic technology which allows us to interact with the internet as if we were in virtual reality.

Don’t laugh at me for that last one. Just check out what IBM is doing right now with their “virtual world” project. It looks like it won’t be long before that technology becomes mainstream. What will that do for online marketing and even for offline marketing? What will the emergence of virtual printing technology do for physical manufacturing? My point is that technology is evolving and, as it does, we’ll need to keep adjusting our approach to online marketing…but the web certainly isn’t dying.

People Really Haven’t Changed

Human beings have become more technologically advanced over the past few hundred years, especially since the discovery of oil. But other than that, people really haven’t changed. They still buy things and they still buy them for the same basic reasons:

     • Survival
     • Safety
     • Comfort
     • Entertainment
     • Status

If you know how to appeal to these basic motivations, I don’t think it will matter what’s happening with online technology. If you know what motivated people to buy, you’ll always be able to improvise, to adapt and to overcome. As for the online world itself, the internet is really nothing more than a mess of computers communicating with one another. Can you see that stopping anytime in the near future…or ever? Only if something replaces the computer. Even then, now that people are addicted to global communication and information sharing, you can bet they’re going to do what they can to keep it going.

If anything, emerging technology is only going to make online marketing more important. The only thing that might change is the name of the medium which it’s done through. Maybe it won’t be called the internet anymore. Maybe it will be called “virtual earth.” Who knows?

The important thing to remember is that as long as we’re marketing products and services to one another, people will buy for the same fundamental reasons:

     • Survival
     • Safety
     • Comfort
     • Entertainment
     • Status

No matter what’s happening with online marketing, mobile marketing, virtual world marketing or social media marketing, if you learn to appeal to the fundamental human motivations, you’ll never need to worry about the impact of a new technology. Instead, you’ll be able to see trends coming while they’re still on the horizon and stay one step ahead of the people who don’t “get” the fundamentals of good marketing.

 

 

10 Marketing Resolutions for 2014

It’s a new year and for many businesses, it’s time for a fresh start. It’s time to reflect on everything that transpired last year and make plans for a very prosperous 2014. With the start of the new year, we want you to be as successful as possible. To help you get 2014 off the right start, below are 10 marketing resolutions to help you accomplish all of your business goals in 2014!  

1. Use Data Hygiene to Clean Up Your Data
Keep your data hygiene in check in 2014. Many business owners fall into the trap of not cleaning up their lists – both for eNewsletter marketing and for direct mail lists. Business owners tend to not want to do the mundane task of deleting duplicates or scrubbing lists to get rid of incorrect addresses. MSI can help with data hygiene in two areas. For Data In, we will take your customer’s data and clean it up to improve the percentage of mail delivered. MSI also will purchase targeted email lists for their clients to make sure you are reaching your ideal customer. For Data Out, we will make sure that all outgoing mail is compliant with the United States Post Office mail rules. By utilizing Data Hygiene, your company will experience lower costs per sale, your audience will be more targeted and you will see a higher ROI. Contact MSI about help cleaning up your data.

2. Measure Campaign Success
As a business owner, you should always measure the success of your marketing campaigns. You should constantly track where your customers and potential customers are coming from. A simple way to do this is with online forms, where potential clients can fill out their information, along with a drop down menu on how they heard about you. Also, you can simply ask. When you spend money on direct mail campaigns, you can track visitors when they visit your landing page. Also, with many email newsletter services, you can track what links your potential clients are clicking on. Tracking campaign success can really show the return on your marketing investment and will enable you to make smart marketing decisions for your company. Always measure your results and your conversion rate.

3. Create Effective Landing Pages
Create an effective and high converting landing page that will be crucial to your online success in 2014. A landing page is a highly optimized web page for the sole purpose of selling to your potential customer. You want to make sure like all of your other marketing materials that this is professionally designed. This is even more crucial when you are selling high end products/services. Custom landing pages should be created for most direct mail and marketing campaigns. Your landing page should have a clear goal with a call to action, such as a sale on a product purchase or a free download and should be designed for a higher conversion rate and greater ROI. You can also add analytics to your page, so you can track customer demographics. Make sure your messaging is consistent and you are providing your customers exactly what they are looking for. How can you market the landing pages? You can do a direct mail or email campaign with links to the landing page. You can also buy Pay Per Click (PPC) ads on Google to drive traffic to the landing page. Ask about MSI’s new Direct Mail Cloud program.

4. Make a Customer Retention Plan
A customer retention plan is necessary to maintain relationships with existing customers and develop relationships with new ones. Direct mail is one great way to keep in touch with current and potential new customers (see below for more on direct mail). An eNewsletter is also an effective marketing tool and a great way to keep in touch with your customer base, whether on a monthly or weekly basis. Always make sure you have a way to collect your customer’s information on both your website and landing pages. Utilize social media to keep in contact with your customers and pick a platform you can use regularly.

5. Send Direct Mail More Often
If you are not using direct mail, you may consider doing a test campaign in 2014. This should be a part of your marketing strategy and a regular schedule should be in your marketing plan. Send out the mailer on a regular basis (it’s more effective than a single mailing) and carefully monitor the results. An effective direct mail campaign has the following elements: format, trackable offer and list. First though, you need to consider the following items. What is the goal of your direct mail campaign? Lead generation or product sales? What is the status of your current list? Is this a qualified list or a list that is outdated? When you consider the above items, you are more likely to have an effective campaign. Contact MSI about a free direct mail quote.

6. Think About Marketing Automation
Many business owners get tied up doing mundane, repetitive, non-profit generating tasks and if you fall into this category, you should really think about marketing automation. While there are several services out there that can help, you want to find the best one to help your business. Whether this is having products automatically being sent out from your company (wouldn’t it be nice to make money while you are sleeping?) to lead generation tools to help increase your business. Marketing automation is the new buzz word in the marketing industry and you will probably hear much more about marketing automation in the upcoming year. Ask MSI about what time saving and cost effective tools are available for your business.

7. It’s Time to Update Your Website
Many business owners struggle with updating their own website and if you haven’t made this happen in 2013, make this a goal for 2014. Whether you need a complete overhaul or minor updates, an Internet Marketing consultant can review your website for you and make recommendations. Major updates include a complete overhaul on a different platform such as WordPress. Minor updates are updating content (you should always have fresh content), adding a features section or an events/press page, and adding new products/services. Many business owners are missing out on a lot of business from an outdated website or landing page. And, if you do not have a mobile version of your website, you will need a mobile website in 2014.

8. Add Internet Marketing, SEO and Social Media to Your Business Plan
If you are a business owner, you should already have Internet marketing, SEO and social media in your business plan and if you do not you should make this a priority for 2014. SEO business plans revolve around one basic idea: search engines attract enough attention to be considered to be a viable marketing platform. Also, 80% of all people 14 years of age and older use search engines to purchase products and services online. Keep in mind that Google constantly is changing Internet search rules and this is why it is important to hire an Internet Marketing expert to evaluate all of the above. The last thing you want is to have Google penalize, or possibly ban your website. MSI has an Internet Marketing expert with more than 17 years of experience helping website owners with SEO, blog marketing, social media marketing and other online marketing services. Request your free website consultation from us today.

9. Follow up
Always follow up with potential clients after events and put a follow up plan in place. Many business owners attend events and fail to follow up. This may sound absolutely basic, but it is the truth. If someone gives you their business card, send an email or make a phone call. A coffee meeting can turn into a prosperous business referral relationship or your new potential client may even hire your company for your services. When you do not follow up, you have not only wasted your time at a networking event, you are also basically flushing dollars away.

10. Do a Marketing “Check Up”
Make sure your marketing materials are up-to-date and do reflect your brand. Many business owners tend to not take the professional route and do these items on their own accord, which results in a poor representation of their company. Hire a marketing professional. If you are not a graphic designer, chances are the flyers you made on your own are not going to pull in new clients. MSI can help you with our full service marketing capabilities including direct mail, print, Internet marketing, fulfillment and may other marketing services.

 

 

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