Marketing

The only thing that is certain is change.

And that is certainly true for the post office. The biggest change due to take affect January 22, 2017 is that Presort Standard will now be known as Marketing Mail. The wording on indicias will eventually need to be updated, and while the post office has not set a firm date yet, many insiders believe mailers will have a year to comply with this change.

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With so many consumers researching products and services online, the importance of online reputation management for businesses is undeniable.

Reputation management is ‘the new black’ in corporate strategy, according to Bruce Rogers, Forbes magazine’s Chief Insights Officer. ‘In their fight to increase revenue, grow market share, increase the stock price, attract and retain the best talent, and secure their license to operate, companies are turning their focus on their reputation,’ he writes.”

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Here’s a cause for celebration – your business anniversary!  Why not throw yourself an anniversary party where you get some fabulous gifts:

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“Safe advertising is the riskiest advertising you can do.”
– Bill Bernbach, Co-founder, BBD Advertising Agency

In my book, Branding Insights for Small Business, I point out that creativity is marketing’s most underutilized tool. An ad, brochure or website is just a delivery method for a sales message – it’s the creativity in that message that most determines how effectively it performs!

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Without proper planning during a website redesign you can decimate your organic traffic. This article is Part I in a series of articles that will create the ultimate SEO checklist for consideration when redesigning a website so that this devastation doesn’t happen to you. If you don’t want to lose traffic during a new site redesign, thoroughly review these lists and use the referenced resources.

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I had mentioned in the previous post that branding goes as far back as recorded history. However, in the modern era, outside of brand identity development, branding activities were largely confined to consumer packaged goods companies such as General Mills, Kraft Foods, Nestle, P&G and Unilever. Then, in the mid-to-late 1990s, companies began to realize that their corporate brands were assets of great value that needed to be managed and leveraged. This is when companies started creating brand management positions at senior, and sometimes even corporate officer levels in the their organizations. I was the beneficiary of this movement at Hallmark Cards, when I was named Hallmark’s brand czar (not my real title).

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The Evolution of Branding

by Brad VanAuken, BrandForward, Inc.

People have branded their livestock to indicate ownership since ancient times. Artisans and other merchants put their marks on their wares to indicate source, and with that, a level of quality assurance. After that, consumer packaged goods companies such as Proctor & Gamble (P&G), Kraft Foods and Unilever developed and refined the brand management discipline and job function.

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CMOs and CEOs

by Brad VanAuken, BrandForward, Inc.

According to Robert Rose, Chief Strategist at Content Marketing Institute, “The Fournaise Group conducted a study that found that while 90% of CEOs do trust and value the opinion and work of both CFOs and CIOs, a full 80% of them do not trust and are not very impressed by the work done by marketers. A Nielsen Study in 2009 found that the average short-term return on marketing investment was about 1.09. In other words, for every dollar spent on marketing, about $1.09 was returned.” So marketers are delivering the goods but CEOs don’t trust them.

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Here’s a quick refresher on naming your business, product or brand.

I’ve written in both my books about the importance of naming your business, but in my experience, it’s still overlooked as a critical component of a business’s overall brand image. What you call your business, product or brand can quite literally make you a household name, or an also-ran.

Let’s start with some simple rules for naming.

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Taglines are short, notable phrases that help define your company and distinguish you from your competitors — all in just a few well-chosen words.

Personally, I think every business should have a tagline. (Then again, I am a copywriter, so I would say that.)

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Repositioning Versus Rebranding

by Brad VanAuken

Question: What is the difference between repositioning and rebranding?

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The Subject is…Subject Lines

by Donna Vassallo

And how they get your emails opened and read.

 I’m sure you’ve all seen articles on how to write a killer email that will inspire your readers to take action—whether that’s buying your products and services, making a charitable donation, signing up for your newsletter, or filling out a form to learn more. But what […]

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Tribal Branding

by Brad VanAuken

With declining trust in traditional institutions, people today are increasingly using brands and consumption to express their identity and signal their values. Tribes come together under what they imagine are a shared set of values or emotions. An astute marketer can often help the tribe to link those shared values or emotions to its brand […]

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They Say A Picture is Worth 1,000 Words

by Donna Vassallo

But It Tells a Better Story With A Caption Even a copywriter like me can understand the power of visual images in marketing. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words. But far too often, clients display stunning photographs of their work without captions. Why would you want to make readers guess at what […]

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All Links Are Not Good Links

by Darcy Knapp

If you have experienced a decrease in your rankings and traffic since the 2013 Google Hummingbird Algorithm shift – you may have spammy links to blame.

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4 Reasons to Use Client Testimonials

by Donna Vassallo

Want a fast, cheap and easy way to increase sales? Add customer testimonials to your website and marketing materials.

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Creating New Categories Versus Battling it Out for Market Share

by Brad VanAuken

I have written about creating “category-of-one” brands before. Most brands spend their time trying to increase their share of existing markets. They pursue many different tactics to do so, from innovating new product functions and features and offering price promotions (which erodes brand equity) to improving product quality and creating value-added services. Some even create […]

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Crafting the Brand Positioning Statement

by Brad VanAuken

A complete brand positioning statement would include the following:

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How to Better Understand the Emotional Impact of Your Brand on its Customers

by Brad VanAuken

Today’s successful brands almost always deliver customer benefits that are more than just functional. To gain insight into your brand’s values and its emotional, experiential and self-expressive benefits as perceived by its customers, have its customers complete these sentences:

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Google Authorship and SEO

by Kevin Rowe

You may have seen the ever-growing number of photos showing up in Google search results. Google is allowing you to claim ownership of a website, blog or guest blog post and they will display your Google+ profile photo within your link.

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