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urgent-rubber-stampI recently received an “Urgent: Your support is needed” email. It came from a charity whose annual municipal grant was reduced by 10% for the next fiscal year. How bad was it?

In the second paragraph, the CEO states that the organization has experienced a 30% cut in municipal funding over the past eight years! He asks me for help – to contact city officials and advocate on the charity’s behalf, and to show up at a city budget meeting to voice my opposition to the budget cut. As I read his plea, my instinct told me that something was wrong with this picture.

So, I did some research and uncovered a very disturbing fact.  Continue reading

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thanks-for-social-media-mentionsDoes your business or nonprofit organization monitor the Internet for social media mentions? Good and bad references affect its brand reputation, so knowing what people say – and replying – are very important.

Besides, if your goals are to increase leads and sales (or donations), build brand reputation, and improve search rankings, every response you make contributes.

Since, I’ve blogged on social media complaints (Are You Responding to Social Media Complaints? and How Do You Handle Social Media Complaints?), I’d like to focus on the lowest hanging fruit - positive comments and references, as these are the easiest to manage.

Why you should say thanks…  Continue reading

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AZ-Gives-DayThis past Wednesday marked Arizona Gives Day. Many states have initiated this type of annual, state-wide fundraising program. In Arizona, the total raised in one 24-hour period came to $1,392,292 from 13,856 unique donors. Not bad!

Even though I make all my annual charitable gifts every December, I did my part and made donations to eight select charities. Now, guess how many thanked me right away.

Just two. One quarter. 25%. Pretty poor, eh?

That’s not to say I won’t receive a letter or email from the others in the next few days. But, the ones who were out the gate first left a very positive brand impression. It tells me that they have their act together.

Plus, they expressed themselves warmly and genuinely. Here are the two I received: Continue reading

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customer-retention-acquisition“Good” advice for small business marketers depends on who’s making it. Yet, the latest research facts on where small businesses focus their marketing efforts speak loudly.

Whether by cause or effect, about 6 in 10 SMBs surveyed by Manta and BIA/Kelsey now earn the majority of their annual revenues from repeat rather than new customers. And, some 56% are investing less than one-quarter of their time and effort on marketing for customer acquisition. Now, that’s a switch, isn’t it?

So, how are they retaining their customers?  Continue reading

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When I heard this story and watched the newly-released response video, I got goosebumps all over. I knew I had to share it with you.

Backstory:

In early March, Honey Maid launched a 30-second TV spot entitled, “This is Wholesome.” The spot featured diverse and loving families -interracial, gay, white, black, brown, and a dad covered in tattoos. It represented what North America really looks like.

Soon after, a barrage of angry messages arrived. “Disgusting,” “Do not approve,” “Horrible.”

So, here was Honey Maid’s amazing response:  Continue reading

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Whether your business is small or large, wouldn’t it help to know which social networks will give it the best bang for its investment of time and effort? Well, thanks to Adobe’s CMO.com, the 2014 CMO Guide to The Social Landscape tells us which networks are the best for SEO, brand awareness, customer communication, and traffic generation.

No surprise to me that Twitter scores the highest of all eight networks in this survey. And the lowest score? Instagram.

Take a look.  Continue reading

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Man Hit on the Head By an At SymbolI can’t tell you how many times I receive emails from people who have no clue what I do. It’s like they stuck their fishing rod into the prospect pond hoping they would pull out a good-sized fish.

I frequently get requests from alleged blog writers wanting to contribute blog posts, but they haven’t bothered to check my blog at all! They either don’t address me by name, suggest topics that have nothing to do with marketing, or don’t write English very well. And, I have a “Guest Blogging” tab on the site, too, that outlines the parameters for guest bloggers.

It just doesn’t make sense to me why people don’t do a little research before contacting prospects.

Want examples? Here’s one:  Continue reading

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