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The term "content marketing" is being thrown around in business circles a lot these days, but surprisingly few people understand exactly what it is. The general understanding is that it's text written for a company's website that's designed to improve its online presence. Yes, that's an incredibly important component, but its impact is felt in more areas than just website copy. It's best to think of content marketing as a strategy, and not an action. Blogging, for example, is an important piece of the strategy, but it's only one component. In...

Data can assist any marketing initiative. No strategy is impervious to the benefits of gathering information, analyzing it and using that data to adjust processes in order to reach a more targeted audience or improve the impact made on the customer. On hold marketing programs, while typically developed to serve as long-term campaigns, can be improved with the use of data. Prior to constructing a hold message for marketing purposes, businesses need to establish a firm understanding of their audience. The purpose of hold messaging is to keep callers on the...

Think back to the last time you received a telemarketing call. You were probably sitting down to have dinner with your family (it always seems to be at that time) and once the phone rang and you got up to answer it, you were bombarded with a hard sell. It was likely an unpleasant experience and you probably hung up the phone in anger after hearing a few seconds of the sales pitch. People typically do not want to hear a hard sell over the phone. The feeling people get when...

There's really only one question that must be asked prior to investing in any kind of product, service or new strategy for your business: "What's the point?" Ultimately, it's important to know why a certain decision is being made, because once that question is answered, organizations have a specific motivation and goal in mind to fuel their efforts. Take marketing for example. Yes, the point of marketing is to generate sales leads and close new business, but how does one get there? To some people, winning new business is a blanket statement...

Perhaps the biggest misconception in the business world is that you have to spend money to make money. Yes, running a company is costly and there are a myriad of required expenses, but many key initiatives - particularly marketing and advertising - can be accomplished with a relatively small budget. There are plenty of ways organizations can implement effective marketing strategies without spending obscene amounts of money and draining their budgets. In fact, given the current state of the economy, cost-effective methods are ideal in this day and age because of...

There are a number of ways on hold marketing messages can allow a company to stand out in front of its competition. Recently, this blog discussed the importance of thought leadership and how implementing messaging that conveys intelligent opinion on the industry can let consumers know they have made the right choice, significantly reducing the risk of them hanging up and calling a competitor. However, this will only go so far. What if two different companies implement on hold strategies that claim they are the best? How will the caller decide? Hoping...

At the end of the day, customers are people, and they want to buy from other human beings. This fact sometimes gets lost on marketers and can often result in an ineffective strategy. This is more common with businesses that sell to other companies (B2B sellers), but those selling to consumers (B2C) are equally as guilty. The mistake is that organizations treat customers like a tool - a source of information and income - without any human qualities. This, of course, isn't intentional. Companies aren't trying to dehumanize their customers, but often their...

Despite a myriad of new communication options, nothing quite beats the value of a live conversation. Sure, consumers can email, text, tweet or use any number of social applications to contact the companies they do business with, but having that human interaction is what sets that experience apart from any other method. When a customer and a company representative can speak with one another, the customer receives a number of benefits they normally wouldn't by using digital technology. For example, if an email leads to a follow-up question, there is no guarantee...