Going Where Businesses Don’t Want To Go And BUYERS Do: Cost

SearchHere’s a little secret. The price of your product or service is probably already out there.

It’s a fact with which few in the business, and especially sales, world are not comfortable. For most of us, we set a price on our product or service that is indicative of the value we bring to the lives of those who will purchase it.

We can make their lives easier, better, more enjoyable, etc. And we put a price on our widget/service that matches that confidence.

But apprehension talks to us. It whispers in our ear.

“If you throw your price out there, you’ll lose business. You’ll scare people away who might become customers. Your leads will dry up.”

But leads don’t pay your bills, clients do. And the time you spent on unqualified leads could have been time spent taking care of existing customers, or nurturing qualified leads, or building content that draws in qualified leads. (more…)

15 Surprising Digital Marketing Trends

In this post, we’ll explore 15 surprising digital marketing trends that you need to know.  The charts below are pulled from Google Trends and show search interest over the last decade.

Inbound Marketing

InboundMarketing

This is the phrase that is changing the way marketing is done.  You’ll see a VERY close resemblance to the graph below for “HubSpot”, the all-in-one Inbound Marketing software (and marketing content giant). (more…)

The Gravity Strategy

We are pleased to introduce a new video we produced to go along with The Gravity Strategy eBook and blog posts. We are excited about this concept because it makes it super easy to explain Inbound Marketing and it’s benefits for your business. Enjoy!

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2 Big Ways Content Boosts Customer Lifetime Value

Boost Customer Lifetime ValueWe were in a quasi-sales pitch meeting yesterday and the prospect began discussing the “break-even” analysis.  (I used to hate it when sales guys told me how many sales I would have to make to break even.  If I just break even , the only person who has made money is the sales guy.  If I just break even, I’m working for him, not me.)

In the analysis, we brought out the tried and true “Customer Lifetime Value” (CLV).  (CLV is “a prediction of the net profit attributed to the entire future relationship with a customer.”) And as content marketers, we have pretty firm ground to stand on when we do.  Content marketing is all about educating both your potential and existing clients.  Sy Syms made the following statement famous in the business world.  “An educated customer is our best customer.”

1. Educated Customers Stick Around (Customer Retention)

As Syms understood, if your client or customer understands the full benefits of your service, they will have more confidence in the outcome when the critics show up.  The spouse might say . . .

“You should try __________.”

“No”, your educated client says, “what we’re doing with this vendor works because . . . ”   (more…)

Small Business Web Design 2013 Part 5: Web-ward Logos

Read Part 1: Tablet-Centric, Part 2: Shrunken Heads, Part 3: Spacing, and Part 4: Sidebars.

We’re continuing our analysis of the new USAToday site design and coming trends for small business web design.  Today, we’re looking at trends in logo design.  If you’re really pressed for time, just skip to the end of this post and we’ll show you an exercise to “2013” your logo.

As businesses move more and more web-ward, we’re seeing a trend toward simplicity and size reduction.  Logo design used to begin with letterhead in mind.  Now, logos are designed with the web in mind.  The starting question is, How is the logo going to look and fit on the website?

Gone are the days of hi-resolution printed letter-head through which you could pull off nearly anything: multiple visual symbols, gradients, intricate artwork, fancy-schmancy type fonts, you get the idea.  The trend in logo design is toward clean, simple, strong solid colors, and small.  Our own logo is on the larger side, but it’s a simple design with a strong color impression.  (We have a smaller, horizontal version which we use for some applications.)

Web-ward: USAToday exemplifies the trend

Very strong brands like USAToday can get away with over-simplification. The lined-blue globe has been reduced to a solid blue dot.  Some brands are not even using their names on their websites.  Look for the word “Twitter” or “Target” next to their logos on their sites right now and you will not find it.  You will find that little bird and those red circles.  Enough said.  I could definitely see National Geographic going with that simple yellow rectangle and no words at all.  Facebook doesn’t use any type of shape or symbol at all.  They could get away with using that single “F” if they decided to. (more…)

Small Business Web Design 2013 Part 2: Shrunken Heads

In Part 1, we discussed how the growth of tablet usage is going to effect small business web design in 2013. In the next few parts, we will take a look at the innovative new USAToday.com design which launched a couple of months ago.

What does USAToday’s design have to do with small business web design, you ask? A couple of points on that and then we’ll jump into an analysis of the new design.

  1. Much of web design already owes its heritage and terminology to the newspaper industry.  In web design, we often talk about what is going to show up “above the fold”.  That means what content is going to show up without the user having to scroll down.  Newspapers used “above the fold” to describe the top half of the front page of the paper because newspapers sat in display stands folded in half.  You had better get good content “above the fold”.  Same thing holds true in web design.  First impressions are crucial.
  2. USAToday turned the news design industry on its head in the 80s and they continue to lead the way today.  Big bold color on the front page, daring use of white space in the page content, and have you ever heard of an infographic?  USAToday pioneered the infographic which has carried over particularly well on the web.

Yes, there are some differences in objectives with news sites and small business websites, but there are significant shifts coming in web design and USAToday is leading the way.

Shrunken Heads

Shrunken Heads

Small is the new big. Well, when it comes to the header, we see a trend towards reduction. Look at the headers for these three news orgs.  We’ll talk logos later in the series, but you can see very quickly that USAToday is trying to get everything else out of the way and get you to the content (what you came to the site for) quicker.  They had to make some reductions in menu choices up top to pull it off.  Check out the number of menu items on the three sites . . . (more…)

Blogging Ideas, Consumer Trends, Inbound Marketing, Sales, Search Engine Optimization, Web Marketing