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Can Microsoft Bring the Love Back for Consumers?

You’ve likely already seen the clever movie put out by Microsoft Digital Advertising Solutions that illustrates the divorce that is currently happening between consumers and traditional advertising. People have learned to hate it. Nothing could better illustrate the disconnect that many companies are slow to acknowledge.

In just 40 hours, the movie had been viewed 14,000 times. That speaks to the effectiveness of a Web 2.0 marketing tool like this (see my article on Web 2.0 marketing), and its ability to reach an audience at lightning speed.

Internet users support one another. When they find something they like, they spread it like proverbial wildfire. When they don’t like it, they bury it in the sand. Digg is a perfect example of this. Companies need to pay attention to this factor, as it will play an increasing role in whether or not their products sell. We as a people are speaking as a democracy and deciding how we want to receive marketing messages. We have the ability to shut out what we don’t want to see or hear, essentially sending companies’ large marketing budgets down the drain.

It’s amazing to me that Microsoft gets it. Long been the, shall I say dictatorof the software industry, Microsoft hasn’t had to care how it markets to people. We simply don’t have much of a choice but to use Microsoft products (I’m actually a fan of their products, despite what it sounds like). But here, a representative is saying, “digital media is not about technology but about quality of communication, about the interaction between 2 people.”

I’m eager to see how Microsoft puts this ideal into play, especially now that it has so many eyes watching its next move, as a result of this video.

-Susan

Small Business Marketing Tip #11: Letting Your Logo Work for You

Now that you’ve chosen a name for your company, you need a logo that matches the character that your company name portrays. It’s important to have a logo that fits your image. If you have a law firm, you certainly don’t want a cartoon logo!

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Hire a Professional

If you don’t have a graphic designer on staff, hire one to assist with your logo. Before you pick a designer, look at his portfolio to ensure that the type of logo work he does is in line with what you need.

I have a colleague who used her designer (who did beautiful brochures and direct mail pieces) for a logo. Unfortunately, his logo design skills weren’t as strong as his other skills, and the logo was not well received.
Make sure the designer you work with understands the elements of a logo and can help to brand your company effectively.

Define Your Image

Your name will, in large part, help you decide where to take the logo. If you run Mae’s Fairyland and Dreamscapes Boutique, your logo should be whimsical and center around the type of product you supply. If you are a CPA, your logo likely will be professional with no frills (although stepping outside this box may get you more attention).

Give your designer a few rough ideas of what you are looking for. In turn, the designer should provide you with numerous samples of logos to choose from. Take time to carefully examine each and decide which best represents your company.

Show Off Your Logos: Here, There and Everywhere

Once you have your new logo, use it! Put it on letterhead, business cards, and your website. If you advertise in traditional media or online, use your logo in the ads to further promote your brand.

Soon people will begin to recognize your image and familiarize themselves with your business. The goal is to be quickly recognized by your logo (think about what the yellow arches tell us, or the Target bullseye) and become a known brand.

Small Business Marketing Tip # 10: Giving Away Free Information as a Marketing Strategy

“Content is king.” You’ve heard this a dozen times over the last few years. But what does it mean to you as an entrepreneur?

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People hate advertising.

People love free information.

Today, there is virtually unlimited information on any given topic. But do you realize how much of it comes from businesses trying to get exposure for their company? A lot. Information is becoming the new foot in the door for small businesses who don’t have a big marketing budget. Read more

5 Ways to Maximize Your Business’ Personality and Image

What’s in a name? Everything!

The first encounter people have with a company is its name. Just like anything, a business name evokes certain ideas and images. Make sure the image you’re portraying is one that you want!

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Here’s the story of my company name. I was starting a marketing and public relations firm, and wanted to have a fun name that showed we were creative, yet dedicated to the projects we received.
Read more