Guerilla Sales & Marketing by Lori Turner-Wilson http://www.stategazette.com/blogs/1736/ en-us Method over madness: your marketing budget http://www.stategazette.com/blogs/1736/entry/69891 It is that time of year. No, not the start of football season – the start of budgeting season. If you’ve had a great year and your 2017 marketing efforts are producing a strong, measurable ROI, then setting your 2018 marketing budget may not be too difficult. But if this year’s plans just haven’t generated results for your organization, you may be left wondering what to budget for 2018. There’s certainly more than one effective method of determining next... Fri, 15 Sep 2017 23:15:10 -0500 Old hat versus new tricks http://www.stategazette.com/blogs/1736/entry/69828 By Jenny Jo Conner It’s no secret businesses see value in leveraging technology like social media in their marketing efforts. While technology has opened new doors in customer acquisition, it has also created new headaches for sales teams who find themselves struggling to adapt in today’s changing market landscape. Consumers in today’s digital age have more information at their disposal than ever, like product features, prices and customer reviews. As a result, customers... Sat, 09 Sep 2017 02:06:24 -0500 Ignite your site's SEO http://www.stategazette.com/blogs/1736/entry/69774 You have likely invested, to some degree, in search engine optimization -- or SEO -- to improve how prospective customers find you via an Internet search. Unfortunately, few companies continue to invest in this vital strategy. Given that Google updates its search algorithm 500-600 times a year, there is little point in one-and-done SEO efforts. You must continue to invest each month to keep pace with Google's changes, as well as your competitors, on the SEO front. A solid SEO strategy... Sat, 02 Sep 2017 02:08:12 -0500 Igniting customer advocacy http://www.stategazette.com/blogs/1736/entry/69712 ~Editor Note: This is part two in a two-part series. Darwin’s “Origin of the Species” indicates that it’s not the strongest of species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one that is most adaptable to change. Likewise, your marketing strategies must evolve to align with the changing ways consumers are progressing through the customer lifecycle. For example, many are relying much more on advocacy, often in the form of social media reviews by customers,... Sat, 26 Aug 2017 01:42:54 -0500 Evolving customer lifecycle http://www.stategazette.com/blogs/1736/entry/69660 ~Editor’s Note: This is part one in a two-part series. The B2C (business to consumer) customer lifecycle is used to describe the phases a customer progresses through when making a purchasing decision and is generally broken down into these five phases: awareness, consideration, purchase, service and advocacy. Where movement between the stages was once more predictable—customers progressed in a linear fashion and marketing strategies targeted pre-purchase stages—Forbes... Sat, 19 Aug 2017 01:32:24 -0500 What is MROI? http://www.stategazette.com/blogs/1736/entry/69603 Have you ever looked at your organization’s marketing spend and wondered, “what do I have to show for this?” Or maybe you spent the six figure marketing budget and have to justify the same spend for the upcoming budget year. Either way, you need to calculate marketing return on investment (MROI). First, let’s define it. MROI is the value associated with specific marketing efforts, less the cost of those efforts. To find the MROI percentage, we’ll have to do some... Fri, 11 Aug 2017 23:25:20 -0500 Pardon my jargon http://www.stategazette.com/blogs/1736/entry/69557 We tell ourselves that the use of clever, intentional phrasing designed to encapsulate thoughts as succinctly as possible is the perfect method for communicating with our audience. But are we telling ourselves the truth? Jargon is so widespread in business that it has become its own language. If you’ve ever asked others to “buy into” an idea, “think outside the box,” or “drink the Kool-Aid,” you’re “guilty” of jargon. While... Sat, 05 Aug 2017 13:36:11 -0500 Using Facebook for lead gen http://www.stategazette.com/blogs/1736/entry/69495 Facebook now has 2 billion monthly users and accounts for 10 percent of all website visits. So, you’ve probably already taken the time to set up a Facebook page for your business and are making regular posts part of your marketing strategy. Today, I'd encourage you to think of Facebook as more than just a marketing communications channel. It can be a strong source of sales leads, too. Start your Facebook lead generation efforts with an advertising campaign. Facebook’s... Fri, 28 Jul 2017 23:50:39 -0500 No. 1 business killer - complacency http://www.stategazette.com/blogs/1736/entry/69439 While the actual activities take on different forms, at the end of the day, I’ve come to the realization that I’m a change agent for companies dissatisfied with their current sales and marketing outcomes. I was taken back years ago by the clarity offered from an area CEO in this statement: “We can’t expect a different outcome if we aren’t willing to change what we’re doing.” We can surely all agree that his statement holds true. Why, then, do so many... Fri, 21 Jul 2017 23:53:03 -0500 Reviving prospects that go dark http://www.stategazette.com/blogs/1736/entry/69390 If you’ve been in sales, you’ve found yourself wondering about a prospect who was highly interested in your offering – and for whom you invested significant time -- only to find them suddenly incommunicado. While it can be frustrating, don’t give up. It’s worth some creativity to either revive the relationship or garner a “no,” allowing you to move on with certainty. Start by putting yourself in the prospect’s shoes. The reason for their silence... Sat, 15 Jul 2017 01:07:41 -0500 Brand personality - channeling Pinocchio http://www.stategazette.com/blogs/1736/entry/69354 By Tricia Warren Why do some brands speak to us and ignite our souls while others leave us feeling … uninspired? What is it about a brand that makes us feel happy, excited or safe? The answer? Personality. Like Pinocchio turning into a real boy, a “real” brand has serious personality. These brands inspire the hearts and minds of customers and experience the effects of customer advocacy, but no brand gets there overnight or by accident. For any brand to thrive, it... Sat, 08 Jul 2017 00:16:24 -0500 Winning at Google http://www.stategazette.com/blogs/1736/entry/69307 By Catherine Knoll The coveted first-place ranking in Google’s search-engine results is every business owner’s dream. It sounds so easy--use the keywords your audience would use to find your site, set up great content, and then you are guaranteed top ranking in search engines. Right? The reality is that much of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is complex and created over time. Considering there are over 6.6 billion web searches performed every day with the goal of obtaining... Fri, 30 Jun 2017 23:48:42 -0500 Think like a CEO, marketing folks http://www.stategazette.com/blogs/1736/entry/69262 Many marketing professionals have found themselves at odds with their CEO, whether they are not on the same page, have competing priorities or have a different version of success. The same often holds true for marketing agencies and their clients’ leadership teams. The divide can be painful and, for some, impossible to bridge. CEOs, by nature of their responsibilities, can have priorities and pressures that vary significantly. Having never been in the CEO’s shoes, it can be... Sat, 24 Jun 2017 00:44:30 -0500 From LinkedIn amateur to pro http://www.stategazette.com/blogs/1736/entry/69218 ~Editor’s Note: This is the second in a two-part series. LinkedIn is one of the few social platforms that still allows your network to see your organic, unpaid content. It also is the single largest social platform focused exclusively on the business sector. So, if all you use it for is accepting the occasional connection request, it’s time to stop playing and get serious. The size of your network is the most valuable part of LinkedIn and the key to leveraging the system. The... Sat, 17 Jun 2017 00:55:59 -0500 Stop playing and get serious about LinkedIn http://www.stategazette.com/blogs/1736/entry/69179 Would it shock you to learn that one out of every three professionals on the planet and two-thirds of working-age Memphians are on LinkedIn? Perhaps even more surprising is that only one-third of LinkedIn users report fully leveraging it. That’s an enormous amount of unproductive effort and missed opportunity. What’s more, of all of the social media giants out there today, LinkedIn is one of the few still offering solid readership of your unpaid content. While Facebook has... Sat, 10 Jun 2017 00:00:12 -0500 3 proven plays to inspire action http://www.stategazette.com/blogs/1736/entry/69137 **By Jenny Jo Conner **Marketing and sales strategist at RedRover Sales & Marketing Strategy Marketing experts and sales pros alike know calls to action (CTAs) are essential. But simply including any CTA just doesn’t cut it in today’s marketplace. Take a moment to think about how much business you might be losing each day because prospective customers simply aren’t inspired by your message. Is the number too scary to imagine? A study conducted by the... Sat, 03 Jun 2017 00:54:57 -0500 No deal beats a bad deal http://www.stategazette.com/blogs/1736/entry/69090 ~Editor Note: This is part two in a two-part series. Suppose you have 10 ounces of red dye and your associate has 10 ounces of yellow dye. The assignment is for each of you to create 10 ounces of the perfect shade of orange. The fair solution: exchange 5 ounces of each color. Instead, your associate wants your five ounces of red for three ounces of yellow. Not going to happen, right? But negotiations like this happen every day. According to Tom Parker of Yukon Training, there are several... Sat, 27 May 2017 00:50:27 -0500 The negotiation game http://www.stategazette.com/blogs/1736/entry/69046 ~Editor Note: This is part one in a two-part series. Negotiations occur several times throughout the day. They may not be as major as buying a new car or asking for a raise but they happen almost every time you interact with another person. Tom Parker of Yukon Training, describes a handful of the most used negotiation tactics. By understanding these “tricks of the trade,” and how to counter them, you can begin making better deals. Nibbles: Ever heard, “give an inch,... Sat, 20 May 2017 02:16:43 -0500 2017 -- the year of video http://www.stategazette.com/blogs/1736/entry/68992 If marketers had a zodiac calendar, we might call 2017, “the year of the video.” Why is that? Online video is enjoying the spotlight, due in part to its increasingly crucial role in social media. Online video consumption is also at an all-time high, and that is a definite plus for video marketing. There’s never been a better time for businesses to take advantage of video’s popularity. In January, eMarketer estimated that 62 percent of the world’s internet users... Sat, 13 May 2017 01:21:02 -0500 Influencer marketing to dominate in 2017 http://www.stategazette.com/blogs/1736/entry/68947 I am part of Generation X – the last generation that ever scheduled their childhood evenings around when a beloved TV program was set to air. It was a time when television created celebrities that brands coveted as spokespeople to promote their products. Think of Michael Jordan for Nike, Suzanne Somers for the ThighMaster or Michael Jackson for Pepsi. Gen Y is wired differently. They spend notably less time watching TV programming -- regardless of the device -- and increasingly more time... Sat, 06 May 2017 01:44:43 -0500