Small Business Predictions for 2012

Posted on Thu,Dec 15, 2011 @ 10:00 AM


From Entrepreneur, here are ten predictions for the trends that will most affect small businesses in the coming year.

Volatility Ahead
Small businesses need to have flexibility in their long- and short-term plans as economic uncertainty continues to be a major issue.

"Right-time" Multichannel Marketing
New tools will help businesses analyze social media behavior and convert that data into tailored marketing campaigns.

More Cheap Online Ads
Low-cost channels like paid search and social media will be utilized more.

Customers in Charge
Customer polls on social media will involve customers directly in merchandise and marketing decisions.

Mobile Purchasing Grows
Businesses should optimize their websites for mobile phones as m-commerce doubled this year to $6.7 billion and is expected to quadruple again by 2015.

Credit Gets Easier
Capital will be easier to come by as underwriters continue to relax their standards.

Services Head Offshore
U.S.-based contractors will find their services in demand overseas.

Daily Deals Die Down
Expect fewer deal companies and fewer offers, as the space is over-saturated and many businesses lost money doing daily deals.

Retail-format Experimentation Picks Up
Retailers will try to make cheaper, smaller footprints work.

More Collaboration
Small businesses that can work with complementary businesses in their town or industry will be more likely to thrive.

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Tags: Innovation, Marketing Strategy, Local Business Marketing, Social Media Marketing, strategic marketing planning, Mobile Marketing, Entrepreneurship

INFOGRAPHIC: Business Social Media Guide

Posted on Thu,Mar 31, 2011 @ 10:00 AM


B2Bento provided an infographic outlining the necessary steps for businesses getting started with social media marketing.



View Original Article and Explanations for Each Step

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Tags: Social Media Marketing, strategic marketing planning

Prioritizing Social Business Budgets

Posted on Mon,Feb 14, 2011 @ 09:00 AM

Altimeter Group surveyed 140 buyers of social business services and technology at corporations with more than 1000 employees (enterprise-class). The attached presentation summarizes the challenges these buyers (Social Strategists) face and offers a guide on how to spend their budgets.

The average social business budget at enterprise-class corporations was only $833,000. While that is a tiny fraction of overall spending, Social Strategists are faced with increasing demands, and so, they need to be precise with their spending.

The survey identified 12 social business categories and suggests that corporate spending be based on the maturity level of their social business. Novice level corporations should concentrate on organizing their internal teams. Intermediate level social business programs should scale their customer-facing initiatives. Advanced programs should integrate social business throughout the enterprise.

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Tags: Social Media Marketing, strategic marketing planning, B2B Marketing

Five Habits of Adaptive Marketers

Posted on Wed,Feb 09, 2011 @ 10:30 AM

Forrester Research interviewed global marketing leaders with demonstrated success in the digital age. Through these interviews, they identified the following habits:

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Tags: Marketing Strategy, strategic marketing planning

The Need for Technical Marketing Leadership in an Organization

Posted on Tue,Feb 08, 2011 @ 05:27 PM


Marketing has never been more closely coupled with technical tools. Marketing technology poses more than an implementation challenge. Choices in marketing technology affect customer experience. Different pieces of marketing technology must be coordinated and optimized. Real-time marketing requires tools and technical savvy.

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Tags: Marketing Automation, Marketing Strategy, strategic marketing planning

How to Find a Hook

Posted on Mon,Mar 22, 2010 @ 08:03 AM

You probably know that publicity in the media can be extremely valuable in building credibility and awareness for your company.

A legitimate news story is an endorsement that can reach a wide audience for very little cost beyond your own creativity and time.  It can help you

  •     Build awareness about your products/services, expertise and people
  •     Drive prospects to your website
  •     Drive participation in a promotion or event
  •     Educate the market about problems your company can solve

Getting publicity isn't about luck.  Just like any sales & marketing campaign, you gain publicity by knowing your audience, capturing their attention, and delivering a message that's interesting, timely and relevant.

Before you crank out a press release, how can you maximize your chances for success?  Here are a few general tips:

1.  Start with a strategy.  What's your goal for the campaign?  Are you looking for serious coverage in a major industry publication, or do you just need links or content for your website?   Different strategies require different tactics.

2.  Who's your audience?  Are you writing to capture the imagination of reporters or are you trying to reach your market directly?  Know and write to your audience.

3.  What's your hook?  Why should your audience stop what they're doing and read your story RIGHT NOW?  We all have thousands of options dancing in front of us at all times.  A good story has a hook, a compelling reason for the audience to read right now. 

If you're having trouble coming up with a hook, think about the last movie you saw.  Was the leading character the same in the end in the beginning?  Was life the same at the end of the movie?  No, because a real story is about change.  A character faces conflict and changes as a result.

If there's change and/or conflict in your announcement, there's your hook – you probably have a story.  If you can't find any change or conflict, then you have an announcement.  You may still generate some coverage, but if you can come up with a real story, you'll probably find greater success with your campaign.
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Tags: B2B Lead Generation, strategic marketing planning, B2B Internet Marketing, SMB Lead Generation, B2B Marketing

Competitive Positioning: Start with a Market Profile

Posted on Wed,Mar 17, 2010 @ 08:45 AM

Your competitive positioning is the foundation for your entire business.

  • What sets you apart from other market offerings?
  • What makes your product, service or business valuable to your customers?
  • What space have you carved out in the marketplace?
  •  What mind share do you occupy?


To create a unique brand strategy that will bring your competitive positioning to life, start by profiling your market. A market profile is not unlike your own. Viewing your profile allows you to see all of the unique features of your face, a face that is different from every other. Each distinct facial feature sets you apart.

A market profile reveals the unique characteristics of your typical customer and customer groups. It paints a picture of whom you are selling to and what your typical customer looks like. A good one will allow you to separate your prospects from those who aren’t interested in your product. Your brand appeal should be focused solely on the people or businesses that fit your profile.

The Classics

Let’s look at the classical approach to creating a market profile. Think about each attribute of your market and quantify that information.

Industries (for B2B)        

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Tags: B2B Lead Generation, strategic marketing planning, B2B Marketing

The Strategic Marketing Plan - It's a Framework

Posted on Mon,Nov 30, 2009 @ 12:01 PM

It's hard to believe but 2010 is right around the corner.  And many companies are working on their budgets and plans for next year.  If this is you, just remember that there is a framework for creating your strategic marketing plan.  It can be very easy to get lost in the process when you start thinking about goals, campaigns, budgets, messaging, vendors...and the list goes on. 

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Tags: B2B Lead Generation, strategic marketing planning, strategic marketing consulting

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