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Lessons In Customer Loyalty From 3 Successful Businesses

Whether you’re a local mom-and-pop shop or an international business, there’s a common thread that your business relies on: loyal customers. A happy customer is one that will bring you business again and again, and cut down on your own efforts to attract new business, since they’re usually willing to refer their friends to you.

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I spoke to three distinctly different companies to see how they foster customer loyalty: my local video store (yes, video), a payroll processing brand, and a well-known computer technology company. Here are the lessons in customer loyalty that you should glean.

Loyal Customers Bring Endangered Genre Back by Popular Demand

When I moved to my neighborhood and saw a video rental store, I scoffed. In this era of Netflix, how on earth could such a relic survive?

How to Manage a Mobile Workforce

When you have employees that live in different parts of the country — or even world — it can be a challenge to manage them the same way you would a team working in the same office. These five strategies will help you nurture communication among your mobile team and help your staff be as productive as they would be in your office.

How to Manage a Mobile Workforce

  1. Provide Easy Means of Communication

Most mobile teams default to email to communicate, but not everybody uses email effectively. There are other tools to consider, and you might use more than one, depending on the situation:

 

  • Internal Instant Messaging: great for quick questions and short replies.
  • Messaging in Project Management or CRM Software: great to tie conversation to files, tasks, and deadlines.
  • Video Calls: ideal to have that simulated face-to-face experience.

Is Your Marketing Like a Breakfast Burrito? Why It Should Be

DISCLAIMER: This post will make you hungry. My apologies. I just made a fantastic breakfast burrito, and as I always say, inspiration comes in surprising places.

Why Marketing is Like a Breakfast Burrito

When you think about the perfect breakfast burrito, it’s got the perfect balance of crispy, fresh tortilla, warm egg, gooey cheese, and spicy salsa, at least in my book. As I enjoyed one this morning, it made me think about how marketing, if done correctly, has a similar balance among all the components.

What Direct Marketers Can Teach You About Marketing

Direct marketers don’t have a glamorous job. But it is disciplined and can teach small business marketing a lot about driving business results from marketing activities. Why? Because direct marketing costs money. Every message, every address, costs money so they’re forced to hone their message, design, lists, and offers and test them until their campaign is perfect before committing their full budget.

This type of discipline is very insightful for identifying the aspects that lead to higher conversions. The results are often not something you’d talk about at a dinner party but it is the kind of marketing that will keep your business up and running. So let’s look at what small businesses can learn from direct marketers.

Get Your Emails Delivered, Read, and Remembered

Email marketing is the cornerstone of many small business marketing campaigns. But its popularity has meant that the inboxes your emails end up in are full of a lot of other marketing messaging. So how can you make sure that the emails you’ve spent time and money creating and distributing are delivered, read and remembered?

Should You Let Your Kids Help With Your Social Media Marketing?

You don’t get social media. You know it’s important to your business, but you’re simply not a digital native. Heck, you might not even be a digital immigrant. Your kids, on the other hand, are Snapchatting, ‘Gramming, and Tweeting like pros, so you’re considering letting them help with your social media marketing endeavors.

Good idea or classic #fail?

Should You Let Your Kids Help With Your Social Media Marketing?

Why Being Social Media Fluent Does Not Equal Being a Marketer

Sure, your kids (whether they’re 8 or 18) live and breathe social media. But take a look at what they’re posting. Probably some silly videos, cryptic code (BRB, IKR, and LOL being just a few of the foreign words you don’t get), and a lot of self-inflated posts and selfies. Consider: is this really the messaging you’d want for your small business? Unless you’re targeting tweens, probably not.

3 Quick and Dirty Marketing Planning Hacks

Summer may be winding down but now is the perfect time to start your holiday marketing planning. Not only does the fourth quarter of the year often have the biggest impact on your annual results, but doing so will help you create consistent and evolving messaging to drive your business results.

While marketing planning can be arduous, it doesn’t have to be. Here are three quick and dirty marketing planning hacks to get your small business ready for the most important time of year.

4 Ways to Get Your Customers to Do Your Marketing For You

I’m big on being lazy. If there’s an easy way to do something, I take that path of least resistance. I’m the same when it comes to marketing. If there’s an easy way to get more business, by all means, I’m in favor!

Did you realize your customers are willing to do the heavy lifting for you? They’re great brand advocates, and if you know how to work them, they’ll help you find new customers. Here’s how.

1. Ask for Reviews

Whether you run a restaurant and want reviews on Yelp, or a mobile app and want reviews on app stores, you’ve got to ask for them. Happy customers are ones who are willing to tell others through online reviews, so start by providing stellar customer service. Then ask for reviews in a followup email, or even in-person.

Why Small Businesses Need to Think Small Screen First

Mobile search and marketing are taking over business, whether you’re ready or not. It’s clear that Google now gives preference to mobile-friendly websites. If that wasn’t enough, almost half of all the traffic to your website originates from a smartphone so it’s becoming increasingly important for small businesses to think and plan for the small screen first. Let’s look at what is available to a small business to improve their small screen strategies and tools to make it easier than ever.

Mobile Marketing Mix

Mobile marketing is really comprised of a variety of strategies that get your message into the hands, literally, of your audience. SMS text messages, multimedia messages (MMS), push notifications in apps and from iBeacons, and other geolocation are all avenues for your business to send highly targeted audience coupons, special discounts, announcements, and other promotions. As more and more companies become more sophisticated in their mobile marketing strategies, it is key for small businesses to remember that the key is to be valuable, be personalized and be timely.

WE HATE CHANGE! How to Overcome Objections to Changes in Your Small Biz

The fact is, most people are not keen on change. They just don’t like it. It ruffles their feathers. But we change for a reason. Maybe we need to integrate software that will make our companies run better or try new marketing strategies to close more sales. Whatever the cause for you considering change, here are tips to get your team on board and overcome objections.

WE HATE CHANGE! How to Overcome Objections to Changes in Your Small Biz

1. Introduce the Change Before it Happens

No one likes being surprised by changes that will affect how they work every day, so be courteous by telling your team of what’s coming up before it arrives. If you’re moving to a new software or tool, let people know weeks in advance, and give ample time for the transition.

[Post Roundup] Everything You Need to Know About Guest Blogging Strategy

I’m a huge fan of having a guest blogging strategy, as any reader of my work around the Internet knows. There are so many reasons why you should guest blog on other blogs that target to your industry. It expands your reach. Lets you show you know your stuff. Gets you new business. That’s my favorite!

[Post Roundup] Everything You Need to Know About Guest Blogging

I wanted to share some of the best posts we’ve got here on Marketing Eggspert about guest blogging so you’ve got one big resource for it.

First, Understand Why You’re Doing It

A few years ago, Matt Cutts, the guy at Google who tells us what Google does and doesn’t like in terms of SEO, said that guest blogging wouldn’t give brands an SEO boost. I  don’t completely agree with him, but wrote this post to help you really figure out your strategy in guest blogging.

Succeed by Answering Your Target Market’s Questions

People are searching for information online. They want to know how to do something. Whether they should buy a particular product. How one solution stacks up against another. Whatever they want to know, you can provide answers in an informative guest post. By answering those questions and solving those problems, people begin to trust you, putting you one step closer to the sale.

5 Ways to Build Better Social Media Communities

Social media has quickly emerged as a primary platform for engaging your customers and generating awareness about your company, products and promotions. But social media marketing is still so new that best practices quickly turn into ineffective gimmicks. The key is to start with a good community so you have a built-in audience for your products and services, regardless of the latest trend. So let’s look at five ways to build better social media communities for your small business.

The first step to any marketing channel plan is understanding its capabilities. Social media, for example, is used to build awareness, engage with a specific, targeted community and generate leads. So be sure you use this channel to promote these goals and then measure against them.

Now that you’re clear when to use social media marketing, you’ll want to build your community so you have an audience before you need it. While you should test your own theories that make the most sense to your business, these are a few best practices to get you started.

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