Elaine Fogel

small and medium business

Focus on Your Brand BEFORE Launching New Business!

lemonade-standIf you haven’t yet launched your new business, you’re in luck. Read this before going any further. If not, there may still be hope for you.

A new study reported by eMarketer shows that only 26% of US small and medium-sized businesses (SMB) owners and managers focused on their logos and branding before launching their businesses. This doesn’t bear well for new SMBs. Plus, I have two big problems with this research.

The First Problem

The study was commissioned by 99¢ Designs, an online graphic design company. Its focus is on brand identity which is only one component of Branding.  Therefore, the study results feature a lack of focus on developing professional logos and websites. And, that’s just not the whole picture of what SMBs should be doing. Continue reading

Top 10 Small-Medium Business Blog Posts from 2013

top-tenAs I did on Friday for the nonprofit sector, here are my top 10 small and medium business marketing blog posts from last year:

Study Says Small-Medium Businesses Seeing Higher Twitter ROI

A recent study by BIA/Kelsey’s Local Commerce Monitor says that small-medium businesses (SMBs) perceived their Twitter ROI as “excellent” (10-19 times spend; 18.8%) or “extraordinary” (20+ times spend; 12.3%), up from 25% of advertisers in last year’s survey and 17.1% in 2011. But, there’s something missing here.

Why We Still Need Business Cards

The demise of the 3½ x 2″ business card is a myth. If you’re working, you still need a business card. Why?

Is Your B2B Company Sending the Right Brand Messages?

Your B2B (business-to-business) company may not be sending the “right” brand messages, according to newly-released McKinsey research. It appears that many companies are using ineffective brand messaging to engage their customers and prospects. The research suggests, “a marked apparent divergence between the core messages companies communicate about their brands and the characteristics their customers value most.” Oh-oh.

Companies Wanting to Achieve Social Impact Require Measured Approach

No matter how small or large your company is, if it’s involved in cause marketing – supporting a charitable cause – there are new guidelines out for you. According to the 2013 Cone Communications Social Impact Study, social impact is the new standard for how companies address social and environmental issues to drive meaningful and positive change.

Smaller B2B Companies Outdo Larger Ones on Content Marketing Strategy

Here’s a switch. Smaller businesses – those with 10-99 employees – are outdoing large companies with over 1000 employees on content marketing strategy. Almost half of smaller businesses (48%) have a documented content strategy, compared with 41% of large organizations, according to a newly-released study from the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs. And, get this…

Don’t Forget Customers During Organizational Change

Most smaller businesses and nonprofits exist to serve their customers. But sometimes, they take their eyes off the ball during organizational change or growth. And, that’s not a good thing. The customer experience is a key factor in building brand loyalty for any organization. Every brand touchpoint must offer a positive, exceptional experience. When that experience is lackluster or inconsistent, the risk for customer attrition rises.

9 Essential Elements of an Effective Smaller Business Website

Right now, your website is like a bucket with a hole in the bottom; maybe several. Trickles of your diligent investment to gain targeted traffic are going to waste and the holes must be plugged up before they cost you any more money. The number of considerations in a strong homepage is vast, making it easy to overlook business essentials that can cost you clients. Here are 9 critical website elements to make sure this doesn’t happen.

Do You Feel Pulled in Multiple Marketing Directions?

Content marketers want you to believe that content is everything in marketing now. Same thing with the in-bound marketers, mobile marketers, database marketers, SEO (search engine optimization) marketers, social media marketers, and so on and so on…

Keep Your Small Biz Social Media Interaction Personal

It’s funny how it works… small businesses want to look bigger than they are, while corporations want to appear smaller and more personal. No one’s ever satisfied, right? One thing’s for sure. When it comes to interacting on social media sites, being personal works best no matter the size of your business.

Let’s Make 2013 the Year of Integrated Marketing

Of all the marketing challenges we face in the business and nonprofit sectors, there’s one that is “fixable.”  Integration. What is marketing integration?



Here’s to a successful year in 2014 to all my SMB colleagues and friends!

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