Marketing Eye

Small Business Marketing - Page 6

There are few decisions that sit on the top of the pile as most fall lamely into the category of part of life's journey running a business. 

But, thankfully, life really isn't that boring and there are more than enough decisions to keep you awake at night or in the office until the wee hours, going over reports and analysis trying in vein to make the right decision for your business.

All while of course, people are saying to you that you need work, life balance and those long hours in the office, isn't really what you should be doing.
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To say that I have had the amazing week ever is an understatement. I have met with the most giving, kind and thoughtful people this week by accident, coincidence or by sheer luck.

As most of you would be aware, Marketing Eye Atlanta is now full speed ahead. We are working with small businesses in Atlanta and surrounding cities in Georgia to help grow their businesses by providing an outsourced marketing department capable of identifying marketing needs in their businesses and leveraging our creativity and marketing talents to take them to new heights.

I have been dipping my toes personally in Atlanta for the past 12 months and late last year, started employing talented marketers to start building the business and identifying companies that would benefit from Marketing Eye's services.

Up until this week, I have been travelling backwards and forwards to Atlanta thanks to Qantas and the comforts they provide, and speaking with businesses in the area. Now, with my feet firmly on the ground, its time to really get this business in motion and start making inroads into becoming Atlanta's number one small business marketing firm.

Well, to say we are off to a good start is an understatement. 13 clients and/or very hot leads in 4 days isn't a bad outcome. I never dreamt that the uptake would be so good. But there has been a few things along the way that have helped us out.

They are:
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If you always do what you've always done, you will always get what you have always got. Henry Ford

It's one of my favourite sayings and yet it is so true.

I was thinking about one of my friends the other day and they keep doing the same old things over and over again with the same result. He keeps thinking it is everyone else, yet the common denominator is him. So without standing up and taking responsibility for their actions and where they are in life, they will no doubt continue down the same path. It's sad but true and you always want the best for them, but you know that ultimately, perhaps they would be happier if they made a change. That's certainly what I keep telling my friend Andrew anyway.

In business, if you are not where you want to be, then take stock. Is it because you keep repeating the same mistakes? Are you not learning lessons from one failure after another? Can you dissect how your business has run over the past year and look at ways you can improve upon your businesses performance?
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While content management is 'all the rage' right now, smart marketers are not forgetting that while content may drive sales, visitors to your website or generate leads - it's sales process automation that keeps the sales pipeline full to the brim.

All small business owners are thinking about how they can attract more sales in the most cost-effective way possible without sacrificing the integrity of their brand.
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When in doubt, ask an expert.

Yesterday, I put in a phone call to Bond Street 180 business turnaround guru Daryl Wright and asked what he considered to be the most important things for small business owners to consider ahead of 2013. Here is what he had to say.

Here are the three things I think SME's should consider for 2013:
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Selecting the correct Christmas gift for clients can often be fraught with danger - while a thoughtful, heartfelt gift can strenghten and enhance your professional relationships, a poorly-executed and inappropriate present will have the opposite effect.

These days, selecting corporate gifts can often feel like a competition, with companies attempting to outdo each other in a extravagant battle of the budgets. That said, money can't buy class or creativity, so make sure you give from the heart and tailor each gift to your clients' interests. It is the thought that counts, after all.

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Many small business owners are reluctant to invest too much time and money into their websites. They simply don't see the value in it - that is of course, once you've passed the fact that they need to have one.

They invest in having a web development company develop a website and populate it with content and pictures, but many still don't ensure that they have search engine optimized their website on a regular basis or that they are updating content regularly that is relevant to their target audience.

It's easy to have a website - but not so easy to keep it up-to-date and relevant.

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While it's no Huffington Post, there is more than 50 stories that are now live on www.marketingeye.org - Marketing Eye's online magazine.

Entrepreneurial stories on people like former Geelong footballer Michael Mansfield, Comcity's Jason Reading, Chris Reynolds from Champion Systems, Ryan O'Hare from Eutility and more.

Thought leaders on leadership, psychology, marketing and social media share their views and experiences. A really great story is on business turnaround specialist Daryl Wright from Bond Street 180 and you will also find a story on famous entrepreneur turn photographer, Tommy Mendes.

In all, its a good read and the best stories are on the entrepreneurs behind the brands. 

I was surprised as I tweeted the website only a couple of times yesterday and we haven't really promoted it while we tweak a few things, and more than 1000 people where on the site last night at 11pm and it was going up at a rapid pace. For a moment, it made me nervous! Creating your own media can bring greater loyalty to your brand, only if it is done right and you have thought through what your audience wants to read about.

If you have a story that you would like to share, please contact us on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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With 2013 fast on approach, we have been spending hours upon hours researching the latest sales and marketing techniques, opinions, case studies and brands.

It's a great time of year because through this research we are exposed to other companies successes and at times failures - all while thinking about what more we can do for our clients.
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Often, I post blogs that have been written on this site onto Linkedin Groups that are relevant to either marketing or entrepreneurs.

Most days, I share my experience as an entrepreneur with a growing international business, on the cusp of something that is hopefully "big" but also has hurdles along the way. Many of these hurdles are the best reminders on how to improve business processes and be a better leader and/or marketer, or just to grow a thicker skin.

Yesterday, an obvious up-and-coming competitor posted some quite offensive commentary on a Linkedin Group. I thought for a while as to whether I would just leave it or if it had an impact in the group which affected what the perception of our brand may be. To that end, I had to respond. I didn't get into the nitty gritty, but it was an overarching response. The idea of Linkedin Groups is to share ideas, interact, demonstrate thought leadership on various topics and meet people who may potentially have something worthwhile to say that may a) change your life, b) improve your knowledge, and/or c) give you a good laugh.

There is potential to misuse the Linkedin Groups platform in ways that it is not intended for, like pitching products and services through making comments on other peoples discussions or by putting down an obvious competitor. So here's a "share" from last night:
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It's that time of year again and as we all wind down for the festive season, it's time to reflect on the past year and look forward to the year ahead.

Most marketing strategies will be firmly in place for next year, but for those who have left it too late, there are a few things that you need to consider.
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About 18 month's ago, I realized that I had a few unfulfilled dreams. A milestone in age was coming up, albeit a few years away, and all of a sudden I couldn't think of anything other than what I had achieved and what I wanted to achieve, which were becoming two very different things.

What I had achieved was for all to see. I was comfortable with my place in the world. In many people's terms, I had achieved a lot and for me, I didn't really have any major aspirations to achieve more than what I had. Well, at least that was what I kept telling myself. 

Then I received an email. It was from a friend in Dubai and they were touching base with me after a few years of no communication. We hadn't talked for no other reason other than the tyranny of distance and the lack of urgency in making contact. He asked "have you done all the things we had talked about that time we sat up until 3am in the morning, talking about our dreams". I thought back. It dawned on me that I had not. Sure it was 3am in the morning and I may have had one or two glasses of red too much, so my "dreams" were probably more outlandish than what I really wanted to do in life, but the answer still was the same. No I hadn't. And there was a few things that I said that night that I wouldn't mind crossing off my checklist.

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Daily I receive updates on Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin from people that have received publicity whether it is through an online blog or in the media sprouting how successful they are. The first couple of "pushes" of publicity, I applaud and genuinely think "good on that person". Then when it keeps coming in what can sometimes be "D-grade" versions of media that perhaps only a few people ever get to read, I start to think "oh, this person is looking for attention or needs people to think they are successful".

Which, might I add, may not be the case at all, but it is just my immediate perception if I don't know any better about the person.
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This blog has been spurred by the many challenges in growing an international business leveraging  economies of scale and opportunities that are simply too good to pass by.

In the past week, I have been thinking alot about Linkedin. It has been the topic of many conversations and all for the right reasons. Daily I am asked about what social media mediums are best for b2b organizations and of course, there is no one answer because it depends entirely on a companies specific demographic, time constraints, strategy and of course, budget.

I wrote a blog on the value of Linkedin for small businesses and have spent quite a bit of time on this social media platform over past couple of days. It's interesting to see how people interact and reach out to each other. It is equally fascinating to see some people's comments that are purely self-serving or a bit over the top negative for no apparent reason.
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Finding time to spend on social media networks is getting more difficult. There are so many to choose from, that at times, small businesses don't know where to start.

From time to time, re-evaluating which social media networks work best for your company and re-defining your strategy according to changes in features and functionality, can either leverage your business to new heights or create havoc with your sales cycle.

As a firm believer that "you cannot be everything to everyone", it makes perfect sense to spend time looking at the various analytics relating to social media, the demographics of each platform and how it applies to your target audience, brand authenticity and collaborations with clients and partners.

When it comes to b2b marketing, the decision on what social media networks to use and invest in becomes significantly easier.
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