Distributed Marketing Best Practices

Toast to the Future Part 2

Toast to the Future Part 2

It’s that time of year again. Websites are posting lists of all kinds – from silly, entertainment-centric round-ups to more serious, business-minded tallies. It’s also the time for marketing blogs post their industry forecasts for the next year.

In Part I of this post, I surveyed past predictions that marketing news sources made in 2010 and 2011. While most of these were unsurprising, a few were notably on-target. Today I’ll cover predictions made for 2012 and 2013.

A Toast to the Future: Bygone Predictions

A Toast to the Future: Bygone Predictions

As the end of 2013 approaches and marketing websites post their predictions 2014, I thought it’d be interesting to take a look at forecasts made in the past several years to see if they’ve come true. For my purposes, I only surveyed predictions made in 2010 or later – though perhaps I’ll do a later post looking back further. Exactly how accurate are we at making predictions about our own industry?

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence

How smart can computers get? Most of us already have smartphones we use for a thousand small tasks that used to take a lot longer to accomplish: check out library books, find the cheapest gas station by your office, Google an authoritative-sounding statistic to use in the heat of an argument. One day we’ll just leave it to the iPhone to cut the grass, babysit the kids, and serve the perfect martini. (What will I do with my weekends then?)

Digital Insanity: Gap Between Online & Offline Marketing

Digital Insanity: Gap Between Online & Offline Marketing

You might think digital marketing is already “mainstream,” but the bulk of marketing budgets still goes toward offline activities such as trade shows, radio, TV, and direct mail. According to a research study conducted in Australia and New Zealand, around 61% of marketing budgets is still spent on offline activities.

Perhaps the most interesting finding in the study shows that a business’ likelihood of investing more in online marketing depends on the size of the company’s overall budget. The study divided respondents into three groups:

Supporting Your Sales Reps: A Marketer’s Dilemma

Supporting Your Sales Reps: A Marketer’s Dilemma

Sales and marketing should go together like peanut butter and jelly. Unfortunately, many organizations experience friction between these two areas, especially when it comes to meeting goals and hitting sales numbers. Sales tends to blame marketing for lack of sales support and successful advertising campaigns, while marketing becomes frustrated with sales for not using approved advertising material and wasting generated lead opportunities. As a marketing professional, I can attest to how difficult it can be to balance marketing work with supporting a sales force. (And no, the two functions aren’t the same, but that’s another topic.) Responding to seemingly endless requests Read More

Talkin’ to Strangers: A Smart Investment

Talkin’ to Strangers: A Smart Investment

Chances are, you or someone you know will buy a new smartphone for someone they love this Christmas. As you’re dropping a few hundred dollars on an iPhone that’ll probably have a cracked screen by Easter, you should think about the  massive opportunities – and increased accountability – the rise in smartphone users has for your business. We’ve posted before on the power of online reviews; 8 in 10 people say they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Reading through others’ experiences at a restaurant or clothing store can feel oddly intimate, like you’re talking to a friend, Read More

Record Thanksgiving for Online Sales

Record Thanksgiving for Online Sales

Several big-name stores decided to open their doors on Thanksgiving this year, but shoppers declared their preference for shopping online instead of braving the crowds. According to the first round of data released, online sales rose significantly from Thanksgiving 2012, with mobile devices as the biggest drivers.

Cheat Sheet: 2014 Marketing Budget

Cheat Sheet: 2014 Marketing Budget

We’re halfway through November, but you haven’t planned your marketing budget for 2014. Your boss expected a draft of recommendations yesterday (thank goodness you’re familiar with the “I forgot to attach the file” excuse), but you haven’t even started to research what your competitors are doing, much less what you should do.

Luckily, your frantic Googling landed you in the right place this time. We’ve put together a cheat sheet of ideas, trends, and predictions for 2014, each with a handy sentence or two of explanation.

Feel free to use the tips below to impress your boss with your preparation and insight. No need to quote us – this one’s a freebie.

Multi-Channel Digital Marketing: What matters most?

Multi-Channel Digital Marketing: What matters most?

Multi-channel (or multi-touch) marketing is all about getting a message to your target audience using a combination of communication channels that, hopefully, work together in an effective integrated plan. In the digital realm, the most commonly used methods are email, social, paid search, mobile and content marketing via blogs and webinars. Since no single communication channel is 100% effective in reaching new and existing customers, it is important for businesses, big and small, to incorporate multi-channel digital marketing tactics into their overall marketing strategy.

Make It Easy For Customers To Find Your Business With 3 Simple Steps

Make It Easy For Customers To Find Your Business With 3 Simple Steps

As we approach the holiday season, it’s important for small businesses and first time entrepreneurs to take extra steps to ensure the accuracy of their online business listings. 1727098-green-radar-screen-with-world-map (1)

A recent Infogroup survey revealed that businesses have just one chance to get a new customer to try their product or service. Over 60 percent of consumers said if they arrived to find a restaurant closed, they’ll simply find a different one on their mobile device or navigation system. It’s simple. If customers can’t find you, they’ll go somewhere else.And small businesses can’t afford to have that happen during what is arguably the busiest shopping season of the year.