Check back for the weekly word from Kevin.

It’s time to create your marketing calendar (it won’t evolve by itself)

Creating a marketing calendar can help make sure you are continually getting your message out in a consistent and relevant manner even when you are too busy to focus on marketing. Here’s how to create your marketing calendar; you’ll need a couple hours and a spreadsheet (there are apps that can help you organize too, however, a simple spreadsheet will do the trick).

Create a grid with one axis listing the time intervals and the other listing your marketing activities. Be sure to list all marketing activities (including any major events you may be attending). If you end up with a time period that has a lot of events, you may be able to cut back on nonessential marketing. Conversely, you can use slow times to work on building your brand with more long-term marketing efforts (direct mail, email marketing, social media marketing).

For each time frame, get specific on what your marketing plan will be. List out who is responsible, the budget, materials needed and any other key details.

As always, if you need help creating your calendar or any of the items listed on the calendar, let us know! We are always happy to help.

Should you use fear to increase conversions?

Now that the major shopping event of the year is in our rearview mirror, let’s take a look at some of the tactics you encountered when you did your online shopping. Marketers and web-masters alike use emotion to help drive sales. Fear is a strong emotion; if used correctly, fear can actually boost your sales.

  1. Fear #1: Offer valid today only – this can help nudge people who are on the fence to act before leaving your website.
  2. Fear #2: Feature availability – this idea focuses on two things
    • There is a specific configuration available that the shopper wants
    • The configuration is in demand and limited
    • This works for products and services. This could be the aisle seat of the airplane or the widget that only comes in camo during hunting season.
  1. Fear #3: Item scarcity – knowing that there is a limited stock of the product you want can entice you to purchase now. On a website you’ll often see the inventory number listed on the site indicating just how many products are left. Knowing that you might miss out on this deal is a great incentive to buy now.
  2. Fear #4: Delivery time – knowing when you need to purchase by in order to receive a gift prior to a holiday helps people plan their purchases and eases their fear of needing to pay expedited shipping or missing the window for delivery all together.

Fear can be a tricky emotion to use in marketing, however, those who do it correctly can help users make purchasing decisions more quickly.

Ready to do battle to get more attention for your inbox?

If you are currently or considering sending emails as part of your marketing campaign, studies show that if you include a percent-off deal, a question and a 6 – 10 word email subject you will see better results.

38% of customers are more likely to click an email with a percent-off deal and 47% are more likely to convert when compared to emails with dollar-off deals. Add a perfectly timed question…a question can increase your open rate by 44% as compared to an exclamation point. Your emails need to have maximum conversion potential

Need help starting your email marketing campaign? Let us help you create an effective campaign!

Are your meetings killing your business?

Meetings are a necessary part of doing business. Some even call them a “necessary evil.”  

Business meetings often have little return on a large time investment. Try these tips to make sure your meetings are productive.

  1.     Read and study Patrick Lencioni’s book Death by Meeting.
  2.    Communicate a clear objective for the meeting in advance.
  3.     Create and send out an agenda with the meeting invitation.
  4.     Make sure all, and only, necessary individuals are included in the meeting.
  5.     Stick to start and end times.
  6.     Have a clear leader.
  7.     Take notes.
  8.     Follow up.

Paul J. Meyer said, “Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.” Try these 8 tips for your next meetings and see how much your productivity increases as a result of intelligent planning.

What’s the best way to acquire desperately needed customers?

Rapid and continued customer acquisition is one of the biggest challenges business owners and managers face.

Using a combination of traditional and new digital strategies may be the best way to find new clients.  Here are some tried and true suggestions for increasing your customer acquisition…

  • Ask for referrals. It may sound old-fashioned, but referrals from satisfied customers can be an effective customer acquisition strategy. Consider creating a system for gathering referrals from customers after the sale, and making asking for referrals a part of your sales team’s process. Ask me about a great program that “automatically” brings you referrals.
  • Use content marketing. The way B2B buyers search for products and services has changed. Today’s buyers may do a great deal of research online before ever reaching out to prospective vendors. Customer acquisition may include doing some inbound marketing—that is, drawing prospects in by providing content that answers their questions and solves their problems. We can help you with quality content marketing.
  • Maximize your website.  Your website can be a vital element in the customer acquisition process. Use appropriate call to action buttons/links and update your keywords regularly to help keep pace with customers’ interests and searches as well as industry trends. Websites are just one of our key specialties. Email me at
  • Partner up. Working with a complementary business can be a great customer acquisition strategy. The partnership may enable both of you to expand your network of prospects. Consider hosting a webinar or creating an e-book that could be distributed to your partner’s network.

Attracting new clients is an absolute necessity to keep your business alive and thriving. If you’re struggling to keep your pipeline full, talk to us about updating your website or creating a print campaign to draw in new customers. 615-893-4290

Is your heart focused on delivering a great customer experience?

Customer experience is a top-five area of technology investment for chief marketing officers.

56% of these decision-makers prioritize it ahead of advertising operations. And it’s no wonder, 86% of consumers are willing to pay more for a better experience. Here are a few ways technology can help improve your customer’s experience.

  • 50% of smartphone users would prefer to use a mobile customer service application instead of calling a help line to resolve their customer service issues. Consider adding live chat to your website to help capture the users who don’t want to make a phone call or send an email.
  • Social media gives business owners the ability to share timely news, tailored offers and build a brand profile. Social media can connect you to your customers around the clock. Merchants can now open the conversation to a larger audience and poll their customers. Who doesn’t want to hear direct feedback and user-generated content? These capabilities give small businesses greater access to their customers. More importantly, this access can build stronger and more meaningful connections.
  • Arm your whole team with the ability to make a sale. Most shoppers want to find what they are looking for, buy it, and go. Getting stalled by crowds, unavailable inventory, or lack of customer assistance are classic examples of a disrupted shopping experience. If technology can streamline these issues with features like self-checkout, product locators or store associates that can check them out on a tablet, they will keep coming back and spending.


Creating a good customer experience can keep a good customer coming back. And then they will tell their friends about you.