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Blog Insights

Useful Tips and Tricks to Help You Grow

5 min read

How to Create Better Inbound Marketing Content

By Courtney Stallings on July 26, 2019

Good inbound marketing equals creating great content. But … that’s not always easy. Luckily, we have more than the typewriters of old to help us out: computers and an endless array of online writing tools.

Consider these tools to up your content creation game.

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2 min read

4 Ways to Increase Web Traffic

By Trevor McWilliams on June 27, 2019

We’re a little over halfway through the year, and you’ve probably just finished mid-year reports for your company. One of the stats you most likely pay attention to is your website traffic. You started the year with a goal – are you on your way to achieving it?

Topics: website leads
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3 min read

Why Smart Content Will Improve Your Inbound Marketing

By Courtney Stallings on May 30, 2019

Inbound marketing is using educational, valuable content to draw people who need your products/services to you. Smart content is a “weapon” in your inbound marketing arsenal and is more powerful and flexible than other types of content. Why? Because it changes/adapts based on the viewer. Smart content allows you to improve your visitor targeting and create an individualized experience.

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3 min read

Tips to Keep Your Marketing from Slacking This Summer

By Claire Motz on May 28, 2019

It’s almost summer – are you feeling the heat? I’m not just talking about the summer heat. I’m referring to the heat put on marketing teams as employees gear up for summer vacation and work piles up for those of you left in the office.  Don’t let leads go unnurtured or customers unattended. What can you do to make sure your marketing doesn’t fall through the cracks as employees leave for vacation?

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3 min read

Being the Best Isn’t Enough Anymore

By Casey Cavin on May 23, 2019

Imagine you’re in the restaurant business. Whether it’s been years or you’re new to the game, you know you’re the best at what you do. Your food is the best. Your service is the best. Your presentation is the best. Your atmosphere is the best. And your customers love you.

So why isn’t business booming?

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3 min read

6 Tips for a Successful Trade Show

By Claire Motz on May 21, 2019

There are many reasons companies of all sizes and in all industries invest time and money participating in trade shows. From improving brand perception to generating leads to offering insight into what your prospects want/need, questions they have about industry topics, and hesitations they may feel about your brand, trade shows are a valuable resource.

Topics: strategy
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3 min read

4 Paid Advertising Tactics That Won't Break the Bank

By Darling Jimenez on May 16, 2019

Read this blog if:

  • You’ve spent a lot of money on Google Ads with little success
  • You’re constantly promoting yourself on social media but get little engagement
  • You think advertising is expensive and offers low ROI
Topics: advertising
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2 min read

3 Must-haves for a Successful Social or Mobile Ad Design

By Trevor McWilliams on May 14, 2019

We’ve been talking a lot about marketing with Facebook and programmatic ads, but we haven’t discussed what makes a successful ad design. You can gather the right audience, build appealing assets, and create landing pages, but if the ad itself doesn’t draw the audience’s attention, it won’t be a successful campaign.

Here are 3 must-haves for a successful social or mobile advertisement design.

Topics: advertising
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2 min read

4 Tips for Creating Killer Infographics

By Trevor McWilliams on May 9, 2019

An infographic is one of the best ways to communicate content in a visually pleasing, educational manner. When done correctly, infographics grab the audience’s attention and make them want to learn about the content within. They often make otherwise boring content interesting and inviting to the public.

Topics: infographic
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3 min read

SEO: Separating Search Engine Optimization Fact from Fiction

By Courtney Stallings on May 2, 2019

Understatement of the decade: SEO has changed a lot in the past few years.

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3 min read

Questions to Ask in a Testimonial

By Claire Motz on April 30, 2019

Customer testimonials are a necessary part of your marketing strategy, but getting them can be daunting. A good place to start is choosing a dialogue. 

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3 min read

Is a Website Ever a Once-and-Done Event? | Growth Driven Design

By Darling Jimenez on April 25, 2019

On today’s web, is a website ever a once-and-done event?  

No.

In traditional web designyou start with a website (see chart below) based on the assumption that “it will work” to achieve whatever smart goals you've set. After a year and a half to two years, you see that performance is dwindling and you embark on a 3-month redesign. You gain impact and the site works for another one and a half to two years before performance falls flat again, and you have to repeat the process.

The chart below shows that gains occur abruptly and fall flat quickly.

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2 min read

3 Reasons for a Multi-channel Advertising Approach

By Trevor McWilliams on April 19, 2019

Have others been preaching to you about adopting new marketing and advertising channels? Everyone says they know which is best for you and to focus all your attention on one channel. Such “advice” can be overwhelming and, frankly, just plain wrong – putting all your eggs in one basket is a big risk. So instead of putting all your efforts into one channel, hoping for a positive ROI, spread your efforts out to reap the benefit of multiple channels.

Here are 3 reasons to explore a multi-channel advertising approach.

Topics: advertising
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4 min read

Is Chat Marketing Killing the Traditional Landing Page?

By Claire Motz on April 16, 2019

The rise in voice search capabilities, chatbots, and changes in search behavior have left marketers and sales reps questioning how useful a traditional form and landing page are anymore. Here are a few things to consider about chatbots and conversational marketing: research says that in 2020, 85% of all customer interactions will be handled through chatbots, without a human, and 56% of people would rather message customer service reps than call them. That means your company can’t afford to skip chat features on your website. With that being true, is there still value in creating a landing page – or have conversational tools killed them?

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2 min read

4 Helpful Typography Tips

By Trevor McWilliams on April 11, 2019

No matter what you’re designing, if it has type on it, you must consider the typography. Typography is described as ‘the art of creating and arranging type on a page.’ You might think, “Oh, that sounds easy” – but it’s harder than it sounds. There are rules to follow and things to avoid.

Here are 4 helpful typography tips for a well-organized design.

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5 min read

Website 101: (Almost) Everything You Need to Know About Websites

By Courtney Stallings on April 5, 2019

People flock to the internet … why? To meet a need. Whether it’s to answer a question, buy a product or service, or solve a problem (and often it’s all three), you need to be the one they find (assuming you have their answer, the product they’re looking for, or the solution to their problem).

Topics: website
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4 min read

Improve the Conversation About Your Brand with Better Testimonials

By Claire Motz on April 3, 2019

Customer testimonials add credibility to your brand. The heart of a good testimonial is a story, and nothing captures emotion like a story. Stories are scientifically proven to pull us in and make us feel something, and 89% of B2B marketers consider testimonials a powerful marketing tool. B2B decision-makers also trust them – 62% say peer recommendations are a strong purchasing trigger. 

Topics: Testimonials
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2 min read

4 Tips for Building Long-lasting Client Relationships

By Trevor McWilliams on March 28, 2019

Although obtaining new clients is important, retaining current clients is even more so – research has proven that it costs approximately five times more to find a new client than it does to keep a current one.

Whether you own a company or are just a designer working on freelance projects, building the client relationship is one of the most important things to do for a successful business.

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3 min read

Marketing Automation Platforms

By Courtney Stallings on March 20, 2019

You’ve probably noticed how many marketing automation tools are available, and you’re probably wondering how to choose the one that’s best for you.

When contemplating marketing automation platforms, consider options that allow you to implement an inbound marketing strategy and campaigns for your business. Necessary tools include:

  • Landing pages and lead capture forms
  • Lead nurturing
  • Email marketing
  • Social media
  • SEO tools
  • Personalization
  • CRM
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3 min read

The Future of Advertising – TV Space without TV Price

By Trevor McWilliams on March 14, 2019

The world of advertising on screens has changed immensely – and will only continue to change. Streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and SlingTV, for example, allow consumers to choose new ways to watch TV; cable or satellite subscriptions are no longer necessary. According to eMarketer, 24.9 million people cut the cord from cable television in 2017, and in 2018, 33 million people moved to streaming TV. And these numbers will continue to rise.

Topics: advertising
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2 min read

5 Tips for Building a Design Portfolio

By Trevor McWilliams on March 12, 2019

In the graphic design world, having a portfolio of your work is a must – no if, ands, or buts about it. A portfolio is a representation of your creative mind coming together in various works. Whether you are applying for a new job or trying to acquire a new client, they simply will not even consider you as an employee if you don't have a portfolio. Therefore, you need to know what it takes to build a successful portfolio to earn a new job or new clients.

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3 min read

What Happens After the Trade Show?

By Courtney Stallings on February 28, 2019

Just as important as the trade show is what happens after the show. If you’ve attended a trade show, you probably gave your information to 50+ vendors in exchange for some free goodies and information, and the relationship ended there. No follow-up whether you wanted it or not; you never heard from the company again.

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2 min read

How to Create a Podcast

By Courtney Stallings on February 26, 2019

We explained the benefits of creating a business podcast; this blog tackles what goes into creating a podcast.

Hosting a podcast isn’t easy – in addition to equipment (another blog for another time), it requires practice, smart planning, knowledge about your intended audience, and a strong sense of self.

After you’ve chosen your podcast’s topic and direction (which could also be its own blog), consider these six things as you plan each episode.

Topics: podcast
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3 min read

4 Awesome Ways to Beat Designer’s Block

By Trevor McWilliams on February 19, 2019

We've all been in there – we're working hard on a design project and all of the sudden the ideas and inspiration vanish from our minds. This tragic time during the design process is known as designer’s block. Designer’s block is something that everyone tries to avoid, but at some point, it's going to happen to you. Learning how to cope with this tragedy is of utmost importance for getting back on track to the finish line.

Topics: design
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2 min read

6 Reasons You Need a Podcast

By Courtney Stallings on February 14, 2019

Podcasts aren’t easy – you need more than a $15 microphone and the audio recording app on your phone. Creating good podcasts and utilizing them to benefit your business requires planning, learning some new technology, social media and content creation skills, and a strong knowledge of your buyer personas.

Podcasting is hard work, but it’s worth it.

Here are 6 reasons to start a business podcast.

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3 min read

5 Reasons You’re Wasting Money with Newspaper and Magazine Ads

By Trevor McWilliams on February 12, 2019

If you’re still spending part of your marketing budget on print ads in newspapers, magazines, or yellow page listings, you’re wasting your time and money – there are much more effective ways to market your business. Technology makes things both easier and cheaper, and if you don’t take advantage, you could be throwing money away on ineffective marketing.

Here are 5 reasons you’re wasting your money by placing ads in newspapers or magazines.

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2 min read

3 Ways to Achieve Your Marketing Goals in 2019

By Casey Cavin on February 7, 2019

It’s early February 2019. You’re crushing those New Year’s resolutions, right?

  • Get more exercise: check
  • Lose weight: making progress (see above)
  • Spend less money: yeah, there’s a little extra money in the bank
  • Learn a new skill: Rosetta Stone, conquering the world one language at a time!
  • Get organized: Marie Kondo, you’ve changed my life!
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Seven Winning Marketing Strategies that Score Big Together!

By Susan Grewell on February 5, 2019

In the game of getting leads and closing sales, you need a solid strategy. These seven strategies involve both the responsiveness of people and the immediacy of the web and will help propel your efforts. 

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3 min read

How to Use Marketing Data to Foster Better Customer Relationships

By Claire Motz on January 31, 2019

To create stronger customer relationships, you must understand how to get the most from your marketing data, and, thanks to CRM (customer relationship management) and social media analytics tools, gathering customer data has never been easier. The data is great for project management, customer research, closing sales, and general marketing activities – so how do business leaders, salespeople, and marketers use their CRM data to understand how to foster better customer relationships and extend the lifetime value of their customers?

Let’s look at why some companies fail to provide better customer experiences and what successful use of CRM data and human interactions to foster positive experiences looks like.

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3 min read

3 Tips for Growing Local Brand Awareness

By Trevor McWilliams on January 29, 2019

Brand awareness is how consumers view the quality of your goods and services and your company culture – and it’s critical to your success. Brand awareness tries to align how you want others to perceive your business and how people actually do perceive your business. This is more important than ever with social media because news and opinions – good and bad – spread like wildfire.

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2 min read

Getting to Know You – How to Write an “About Us” Page

By Courtney Stallings on January 24, 2019

When people visit your website, they want to know:

  • How big you are
  • How long you’ve been in business
  • Where you’re located
  • The faces behind the products/services
  • What makes you special
  • Your core values
  • Why they should buy from you and not your competitor
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2 min read

5 Design Tips for Creating a Perfect Logo

By Trevor McWilliams on January 22, 2019

A logo is a direct representation of a company and its branding. It is also frequently the first impression a customer gets of a company. Creating a perfect logo is essential to a company’s success, but designing a single image that represents what the company and its brand are all about can be a daunting task.

Topics: logo
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2 min read

5 Truths to Closing the Sale on an Expensive Product or Service

By Claire Motz on January 17, 2019

I’ve worked with many complex, expensive products and services during my marketing career, and I’m not alone in saying it’s challenging to make prospects understand the value your pricey product offers. Here are five things I’ve learned about marketing and selling an expensive product.

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2 min read

Don’t Hire (Only) People Like You

By Courtney Stallings on January 15, 2019

Scientific research suggests that when hiring employees, managers look for the baseline of technical skills first – but really want people they can bond with and feel good around. It makes sense: spending a day at the office is more enjoyable when you can befriend, or at least relate to, your employees, and it’s certainly easier to get buy-in for your ideas when you surround yourself with people who think like you.

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2 min read

Your Website Sucks? Here’s How to Fix It

By Darling Jimenez on January 10, 2019

If you read my previous article, you might be trembling with fear and wondering how you can fix this mess and make your website not suck.

Topics: website
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2 min read

Search, Geofencing, and Programmatic Advertising – Oh My!

By leadingresults on January 9, 2019

Psst … psst … hey you … yes, YOU! Do you want to put an ad in front of your competitors’ customers while they’re still at your competitors’ place? We can do that! Then we can keep advertising to them after they leave – it’s called geofenced programmatic advertising. And it has a lot of uses beyond just advertising to the guy who went to a competitor’s restaurant. You can use it to recruit employees, capture people at a trade show or conference, or focus on everyone who’s stayed at a specific hotel.

Topics: advertising
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2 min read

8 Reasons Your Website Sucks

By Darling Jimenez on January 4, 2019

You looked at your website and didn't like what you saw (otherwise you wouldn’t be here.) Below you'll find 8 issues that can negatively affect your website traffic. 

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2 min read

Content is the Most Trusted Form of Advertising

By Claire Motz on December 27, 2018

The rise of ad blockers, data breaches, and clickbait make it easy to think online advertising is coming close to running its course. With all the ways there are to consume online content, there are an equal number of ways to ignore ads. Adapting and innovating your advertising is important to avoid getting tuned out, because I’m here to tell you – advertising isn’t dead yet.

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2 min read

3 Marketing Trends to Expect in 2019

By Trevor McWilliams on December 14, 2018

The approaching new year brings the question: “What new trends will push marketing forward next year?” The real answer is that no one knows – but paying attention to 2018’s trends allows us to make educated predictions.

These are my predictions for the top 3 marketing trends to expect in 2019.

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2 min read

Asking the Right Questions: Beyond Vanity Metrics

By Claire Motz on December 5, 2018

One of the biggest challenges marketers and business owners face isn’t that they don’t have enough data to make good decisions – it’s that they have TOO MUCH data. The problem with having too much data is that the answers you need get buried under vanity metrics.

Topics: metrics
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2 min read

Talking Analog vs. Digital Marketing with Jason Huddle

By Matt Starnes on November 27, 2018

Matt Starnes, the host of Leading Results’s Marketing Monster Mashup podcast, sat down for a far-reaching conversation about analog vs. digital marketing with Jason Huddle, President at CabCo Media Group. 

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3 min read

Help! Is There an Editor in the House?

By Courtney Stallings on November 20, 2018

 

In Portland, Maine, a judge awarded a dairy company’s employees $5 million in retroactive overtime pay because the wording of the overtime exemptions wasn’t clear. But why? How?

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2 min read

How to Make the Most of Being a Trade Show Sponsor

By Claire Motz on November 13, 2018

I recently attended the BCUG/NAVUG Summit 2018 show in Phoenix with a client who was a Gold Level Sponsor. It was the first trade show of this size either of us had attended as sponsors, and I learned a lot – including how to stand out in a room of 100 other companies and how to network with partners. Among my learning, I made a ‘stop, improve, keep’ list of items to help us improve our marketing strategy and make the most of our sponsorship in upcoming years.

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3 min read

3 Reasons to Build a Portfolio For Your Website

By Trevor McWilliams on November 8, 2018

Have you ever been in a meeting with a prospect or had a conversation with someone interested in what your business does and they asked to see an example of your work? Most of you are nodding your heads, and your answer was probably, “Of course! I’ll send you an example later today.” Imagine if, instead, you could say, “Yes, of course, take a look at this.” Now you can continue the conversation and keep their interest instead of them revisiting the conversation hours or days later when they’ve forgotten why it was important.

Topics: design website
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4 min read

Marketing Trends and Challenges Q&A

By Dan Kraus on November 6, 2018

I was recently asked to participate in a panel discussion about marketing trends and challenges for technology consulting firms. I thought the questions and answers were worth sharing.

Topics: strategy
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3 min read

If You Want Better Marketing Results, Get Better Marketers

By Dan Kraus on November 1, 2018

I am continually surprised by business owners who haven’t stayed current with marketing trends, techniques, or technology … yet expect to pay pennies to hire a team of people who have invested in continual learning in the craft. (I know – I shouldn’t be surprised, but I am).

Topics: strategy
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2 min read

You Can’t Tame the Marketing Monster Through Avoidance

By Dan Kraus on October 30, 2018

Which of these phrases best describes marketing in your tech company?

  1. We suffer from random acts of marketing
  2. We’re really good at drive-by demand generation
  3. We think of marketing as arts & crafts
Topics: strategy
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4 min read

How to Improve Your Website

By Darling Jimenez on October 25, 2018

If you know your website needs work, you’re in the right place to learn how to make improvements on a low budget. Following is a 3-step process to improve your website. (Rome wasn’t built in a day, and a better website won’t be, either – but this will give you a place to start.)

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3 min read

Demo Videos are Great – But Let’s Make Them Better

By Katie Lorenz on October 23, 2018

If you’re anything like our clients when you hear the word ‘video,’ you have a voice in your head that also says, “Demo videos!!!” I’ve written about when to use different types of videos before, and I mentioned that demo videos are only a small part of the ‘convert’ phase in the inbound methodology.

But today we’re going to talk about making your average, run-of-the-mill demo video a fantastic tool for both converting AND attracting.

Topics: video
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3 min read

5 Common Myths about Being a Graphic Designer

By Trevor McWilliams on October 18, 2018

It’s no secret that the internet is all about attention-grabbing content, and what better way to grab someone’s attention than with visuals. For many businesses, this means finding someone to do graphic design for them. Some businesses hire an agency for help, others could hire a freelancer or a full-time designer, and some will try to have someone already in-house do their design work. Before choosing a route, it’s important to understand what it actually means to be a graphic designer.

Here are 5 common myths about being a graphic designer.

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2 min read

Getting Involved and Giving Back with Betsy Boone of #KennedyStrong

By Matt Starnes on October 16, 2018

Matt Starnes, the host of Leading Results’s Marketing Monster Mashup podcast, sat down for an educational and insightful conversation with Betsy Boone, founder and president of #KennedyStrong.

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4 min read

Why is Writing So Hard?

By Darling Jimenez on October 11, 2018

For the past five months, I’ve gone to bed almost every Sunday with a great fear. This fear hasn’t been death or snakes or realizing I have a health issue; every Sunday I fear facing my coworker Courtney on Monday.

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3 min read

Influence vs Power: Making Changes in Your Organization

By Claire Motz on October 9, 2018

Think about someone who’s positively influenced you. This person could be a boss, coworker, family member, friend, or even a celebrity. Now think about five actions or characteristics of that person. What did you come up with? It’s possible you wrote that they’re patient, a good teacher, communicate well, set expectations, or that they’re simply a competent person with a logical mind.

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3 min read

It Takes More Than a Great Product – It Takes a Community

By Dan Kraus on October 5, 2018

Running your business is hard. There are never enough resources to do everything you want to do. Technology never seems to deliver on its promises and is harder to work with than expected. Time seems to accelerate, never pausing for you to catch up on your to-do list.

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3 min read

Observations from the Vendor Floor at Inbound 2018

By Randy Aimone on October 2, 2018

The vendors did a terrible job. (As a whole.)

Topics: INBOUND2018
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2 min read

3 Steps to Content Stacking

By Matt Starnes on September 27, 2018

Although it was a difficult decision, my favorite INBOUND 2018 session was (drum roll, please): Conquering Consistent Content: Tools & Tactics to Become a Prolific Blogger, Podcaster, & Broadcaster. Long title, but what it boils down to is content stacking, an approach that makes planning and creating content more manageable. Dr. Colin Gray, CEO and founder of The Podcast Host and Alitu podcast production, ran the session, discussing his three-prong content stack approach.

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3 min read

Top 3 Inbound 2018 Takeaways (From a Designer’s Perspective)

By Trevor McWilliams on September 25, 2018

For all the HubSpot fans, September means one thing: INBOUND! Our team travels from Charlotte, NC to Boston, MA for a week each year to learn about the current marketing trends and expand our ability to help our clients. We go to breakout sessions related to our role; as the graphic designer, I went to a lot of sessions about tech, brand, and design.

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4 min read

Why B2B Brands Struggle with Facebook Ads (and How to Reverse It!)

By Claire Motz on September 20, 2018

You’re not alone in thinking that Facebook is a consumer-only channel. It’s not true, though – Facebook is effective for B2B, too. At Leading Results, we’ve been testing B2B Facebook ads for our clients for over a year, and we’ve learned a lot about what makes a company’s ads successful – and why many B2B brands struggle to make Facebook ads work for them.

Here are the top 4 reasons B2B brands struggle to run successful Facebook ad campaigns, and what they can do to make them work.

Topics: facebook
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7 min read

So Much to Learn at Inbound!

By leadingresults on September 18, 2018

Leading Results spent the week of September 3rd in Boston at the INBOUND conference that’s hosted annually by HubSpot. With 23,000 other marketers (more than last year!), we attended breakouts, keynotes, a few parties, and ate from many food trucks (how else do you feed that many people in a short time?). And while you’ll get more detailed posts from our team in the upcoming weeks, we’ve gathered the most significant highlights from each attendee for you to read here. 

Topics: INBOUND2018
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3 min read

How to Write Emails People Will Read

By Courtney Stallings on September 13, 2018

Good email marketing is sending emails to people who want to receive them – but even that doesn’t mean people will read the emails and click through to your offer.

Use these tips to improve your emails' open rates, clickthrough rates, and lead generation potential.

Topics: email
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2 min read

What are Bots and Why Should You Care?

By Darling Jimenez on September 11, 2018

You might be familiar with the rising trend of chatbots. In the past year, technology has witnessed significant waves of changes affecting how people search, buy, and communicate. One of the most prevalent technology trends is the rise of chatbots and investments across different industries to utilize more artificial intelligence in their marketing. (In fact, Gartner forecasts that by 2020, over 85% of customer interactions will be handled without a human.)

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3 min read

The 4 C's of Marketing for the Leadership Team

By Dan Kraus on September 6, 2018

I’ve had the privilege of talking with hundreds of CEOs, presidents, and founders of small and mid-sized businesses over the years. Here’s the one thing I’ve noticed that’s consistent among all the successful ones: they want the big picture, the vision – and quickly. If you want the details, you’ll ask questions. Details are what you have a team for.

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2 min read

The Most Important Consideration for the Length of Your Blogs

By Courtney Stallings on September 4, 2018

This question comes up frequently when we discuss the optimal length of blogs – and really, all the content we produce – to lead our client’s prospects through the buyer’s journey.

Topics: blogging
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2 min read

Why Video CTAs Matter

By Katie Lorenz on August 23, 2018

So here we are again… talking about video – but this time you’re here because I’ve lured you in with the promise of content you actually NEED! I’ve mentioned in other blogs why you need video, how to create video content that works, and even how to implement it as a strategy.

Today I want to talk about what happens after you’re finished with a video’s production.

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2 min read

Designing Content for B2B vs B2C

By Trevor McWilliams on August 21, 2018

When designers learn how to design marketing materials, we learn how to design for B2C (business-to-consumer) marketing – not B2B (business-to-business) marketing. We’re all consumers in some aspect, we’re bombarded with consumer marketing, and it’s what we’re used to seeing – but you’re wrong if you think they’re the same.

Here are 3 significant differences when designing marketing content for B2B vs B2C.

Topics: design
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2 min read

Video Anxiety: Myths versus Facts

By Katie Lorenz on August 16, 2018

We shouldn’t need to tell you your business needs video as part of your content strategy, but here are a few statistics if you need further convincing.

Topics: video
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2 min read

Ready or Not, Here B2B ECommerce Comes

By Courtney Stallings on August 14, 2018

Forrester Research estimates that business-to-business (B2B) eCommerce transactions will reach $1.2 trillion by 2021; Frost & Sullivan estimated $6.6 trillion. We don’t know why the large discrepancy there, but we know eCommerce is here to stay.

Pay attention to these B2B eCommerce trends:

Topics: B2B
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2 min read

5 Ways to Become Your Marketing Agency’s Favorite Client

By Claire Motz on August 7, 2018

If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself – especially when it’s your business on the line. But sometimes it’s better to accept that you can’t do it all. Marketing is typically the first place most business owners realize they struggle, which is why many businesses have made hiring a marketing agency their marketing strategy.

If you’re one of those smart business owners, congratulations!

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4 min read

In Anticipation of INBOUND 2018

By Matt Starnes on August 2, 2018

So you're going to INBOUND 2018? For those of you who don't know what INBOUND is:

HubSpot (an inbound marketing and sales platform that helps companies attract visitors, convert leads, and close customers) hosts the INBOUND conference. "INBOUND is a community of people who are passionate about marketing, selling, and delighting customers in an inbound way. Our annual event and year-round media platform inspire and educate hundreds of thousands of people so they—and their businesses—can grow better."

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4 min read

How to Cut Through the Marketing Noise

By Courtney Stallings on July 31, 2018

According to an article by the American Marketing Association (AMA) in 2017, individuals are smacked with 10,000 marketing messages per day – but probably don’t remember even 1%, because as savvy consumers, we’re experts at tuning out marketing and advertising, unless it strikes us personally. From advertisers who scream in their ads, “Buy me because I’m awesome” to marketers who say “content, content, content – oh, and read this, too.” Mainstream and viral forms of media seem to communicate with arrogance, as if we, as media consumers, should wait with bated breath.

Topics: target market
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2 min read

Sales and Marketing Working Together is a Platitude

By Dan Kraus on July 26, 2018

Let’s say you have a sales team of between two and ten people. I’m going to make an educated guess that one of three things is happening:

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21 min read

Finding the Key Life Coaching

By Matt Starnes on July 24, 2018

I’m the luckiest guy on the planet. I mean it! I love podcasting and I get to speak with the most interesting business owners, authors, speakers, and coaches on Marketing Monster Mashup, the official podcast of Leading Results. 

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3 min read

Types of Networking Events and Their Benefits

By Claire Motz on July 19, 2018

As a board member of the American Marketing Association (AMA) Cincinnati chapter, I’ve been to a lot of networking events – good ones and bad ones. I’ve also organized and hosted my own networking events, including the ever-popular Speed Networking. It saves time and money to know which networking formats work best for me and my professional goals.

Topics: Networking
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2 min read

3 Tips for Making Professionally Designed Content Offers

By Trevor McWilliams on July 17, 2018

You’ve probably heard that 90% of what you say is nonverbal. Of that 90%, about 50% is body language, 40% tone of voice. The same thing goes for content you publish on your website. The difference is that in writing, you can control the words and the tone – but body language is unaccounted for.

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2 min read

How to Get Your Team Aligned on Marketing Program Goals

By Courtney Stallings on July 12, 2018

You’re only as good as your team – an adage that couldn’t be truer in the workplace, especially as it relates to marketing programming or projects that utilize multiple team members. If your team isn’t on the same page, paragraph, line, word, and character, problems regarding goals can lead to a program breakdown and compromise your organizational integrity.

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2 min read

When Your 10-year-old Wants to Start a Business

By Dan Kraus on July 10, 2018

My 10-year-old daughter (M) and her 11-year-old best friend (K) want to start a business. (They’re both Shark Tank fans). They decided the best idea was a party-planning business.

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1 min read

3 Reasons to Recycle Content

By Trevor McWilliams on July 5, 2018

Whether it’s new blogs, ebooks, or infographics, a time will come when you feel like you’ve exhausted a topic. (You haven’t, but that’s a different conversation.) Instead of racking your brain for a new topic, look at your old content to see if it could use updating.

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2 min read

SEO isn’t Dead. (#SorryNotSorry)

By Courtney Stallings on July 3, 2018

There’s an erroneous belief floating around that SEO is dead. (A Google search for “SEO is dead” offers 31,700,000 results.)

If you were excited about that, we’re sorry to burst your bubble – SEO is NOT dead, it’s just evolving.

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2 min read

Leads: MQLs and SQLs

By Claire Motz on June 27, 2018

What kind of lead do you have and how do you know when marketing should pass the lead to sales for follow-up?

Lead generation in B2B marketing is critical. If you have a marketing team or work with a marketing agency, hopefully leads are coming in – but what happens when the quantity of leads surpasses the quality of leads? What it boils down to is knowing if your lead is an MQL (marketing qualified lead) or an SQL (sales qualified lead).

Topics: Leads-Sales
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2 min read

Meet Cassie Brown, Chief Experience Officer and Owner of TCG Events

By Matt Starnes on June 20, 2018

Join host Matt Starnes for an insightful conversation with Cassie Brown, Chief Experience Officer and owner of TCG Events.

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3 min read

Why Out-of-office Replies Can Be a Sales and Marketing Goldmine

By Courtney Stallings on June 13, 2018

To many, out-of-office replies are annoying, sometimes because it’s another email to clutter up your inbox and sometimes because you really needed to contact that person and they’re unavailable. But auto-reply emails hold meaningful information that can aid your sales and marketing process – and build personal rapport.

Topics: Marketing Sales
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4 min read

Does Social Bookmarking Work for B2B Companies?

By Courtney Stallings on June 6, 2018

Your coworker emails your team a link to an inspiring blog. Your boss sends a link to a page with best practices. You watch a video that offers step-by-step instructions for a task you can never remember how to do.

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2 min read

What Does Your World Look Like from the Outside In?

By Dan Kraus on May 31, 2018

(I’m speaking to business owners and leaders here.)

And I’m guessing you probably aren’t sure.

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3 min read

Semantic Search is Here, and it Will Change Your SEO Strategy

By Matt Starnes on May 24, 2018

Do you feel like your SEO strategy team is constantly trying to keep your content and organic search strategy up to Google’s standards? It’s almost like trying to impress a date – we need the right lines (keywords), or Google won’t ask us out again. Like a good dinner date, Google’s algorithms are looking for conversational language, not one-word answers and dead-end questions.

Topics: SEO
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2 min read

3 Signs Your Vision Can Become a Reality

By Trevor McWilliams on May 22, 2018

You have a vision for where you see your business or product growing, but you don’t always know how to get it there. As marketers and designers, it’s our job to turn those plans into a reality. It sounds pretty easy, but often the path to success isn’t sunshine and rainbows – there are bumps and hurdles to avoid; fortunately, there are several simple ways to do so.

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2 min read

Are You Looking for a Shortcut or an Accelerant?

By Dan Kraus on May 14, 2018

The definition of a shortcut is something that gets you somewhere faster – cutting a route to make it shorter. However, shortcuts can have a negative connotation (as in, the building’s structure is weak because the builder took shortcuts.)

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3 min read

Should You Still Be Posting to Your Business's Facebook Page?

By Claire Motz on May 10, 2018

Question: Is it worth your time to regularly post to your business’s Facebook page?

Short answer: Probably not.

Better answer: Yes, but you need to invest in your ad budget.

Topics: facebook
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25 min read

Data Visualization and Artificial Intelligence (AI) with Sterling Scott of Stratifyd

By Matt Starnes on May 8, 2018

Join Marketing Monster Mashup’s host, Matt Starnes, for an insightful conversation about data visualization and artificial intelligence (AI) with Sterling Scott of Stratifyd.

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2 min read

Why Segmenting Your Database Matters to Your Customers

By Courtney Stallings on May 3, 2018

Your CRM is stocked with prospects, or maybe you have a hearty email list. Great, but can you separate/segment based on prospects? No? Oh, we have work to do – here’s why.

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2 min read

Why FAQs Should Be Part of Your SEO Strategy

By Courtney Stallings on May 1, 2018

An FAQ (frequently asked questions) page is the page on your site where you answer, well … frequently asked questions; businesses use them so they don’t waste time answering the same questions repeatedly.

Topics: FAQs FAQ page
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2 min read

Your Secret Weapon (For Sales, Marketing, and Customer Delight)

By Dan Kraus on April 24, 2018

I often get asked, “What’s the magic bullet?” or “What’s something I can do that no one else is doing?” Sometimes that question is related to marketing. Sometimes sales. Sometimes customer satisfaction (or, as I prefer, customer delight).

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2 min read

How Tech Advancements Change How We Deliver Marketing Messages

By Trevor McWilliams on April 19, 2018

Technology changes the way we live in and learn about the world, and it’s affecting the marketing world. As marketers, we have to continuously learn the best ways to get our message to the right people.

Topics: technology
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3 min read

The Sales Funnel: The Best Content to Post and When

By Courtney Stallings on April 12, 2018

The sales funnel is the buying process customers “fall” through when making a purchase.

Things like your industry, business model, product, pricing, and audience mean your funnel won’t look like every other funnel – B2C customers, for example, often spend less time in the middle of the funnel, whereas B2B customers need more nurturing in that stage.

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3 min read

Getting Your Project Workflows Flowing

By Claire Motz on April 10, 2018

In the book The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It by Michael Gerber, Gerber writes about the importance of building your business like a franchise, structuring everything.

Topics: workflows
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3 min read

4 Reasons Your Webinars are Missing the Mark

By Courtney Stallings on April 3, 2018

Hosting webinars to communicate your organization’s offerings, troubleshoot common challenges, or share valuable content is a popular way to have a non-pressured conversation with prospects or solidify customer relationships.

Topics: webinars
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3 min read

Using A/B Testing to CYA

By Matt Starnes on March 28, 2018

Welcome to A/B testing 101! We’re going to walk through A/B testing by defining it and then discussing the three steps of how to A/B test effectively: prep work, what to do during testing, and post-A/B testing. Then we’ll discuss the benefits – one of which is how A/B testing can CYA.

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5 min read

Do These 4 Things (and Stop Doing These 4) to Get More B2B Leads on LinkedIn

By Claire Motz on March 22, 2018

Leveraging LinkedIn can be a powerful way to drive sales leads; in fact, LinkedIn claims that 80% of B2B leads come from using LinkedIn. (Read other powerful statistics on marketing with LinkedIn here.) To understand the value of LinkedIn as a lead generation tool, it helps to understand its users and the information it offers. There’s a wealth of knowledge available to support B2B salespeople and marketers on LinkedIn – you can use content to gather insights on potential job candidates, qualify leads, gather insights on companies, offer insights into your own organization’s capabilities, position yourself and your company as thoughts leaders, and enable targeted advertising to qualified prospects.

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3 min read

Your Hair is Fine, the Lighting is Fine, JUST GO LIVE ALREADY: 3 Do's and Don’ts of Facebook Live

By Katie Lorenz on March 20, 2018

Facebook Live launched in April 2016 and is a useful tool for furthering your brand. Live streaming has opened the door to much larger audiences and can add to your sales funnel. Many businesses don’t use it because they (well, their employees) are too self-conscience about being live in front of a camera.

I promise once you hear these stats you’ll change your mind.

Topics: facebook
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2 min read

3 Reasons to Push the Boundaries with Your Marketing Efforts

By Trevor McWilliams on March 15, 2018

Einstein (supposedly) said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

Believe it or not, this applies even to your marketing efforts. If you’re in charge of the marketing for your company and aren’t getting the results you’re expecting, it’s time to try something different. As the go-to marketing person, it’s your job to push the boundaries in everything you do; if you work with another marketing firm, it’s your job to be open to new suggestions. Otherwise, you’ll fall into the proverbial revolving door (not somewhere you want to be).

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3 min read

5 Ways to Make Your LinkedIn Profile Work for You

By Courtney Stallings on March 13, 2018

After being acquired by Microsoft in 2016, LinkedIn has gone through monumental changes, including the robust integration of Microsoft’s suite of services, including Office 365, an expanded publishing platform, and streamlined desktop and mobile apps. Critics had a lot to say, noting that Microsoft’s acquisition was the inevitable demise of LinkedIn. Over the past several months, however, media and marketing outlets have been noting that LinkedIn has truly improved, including AdWeek in this article.

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2 min read

Documenting Business Processes

By Laura Lorenz on March 8, 2018

I've been working on a sales playbook for Leading Results, and it made me reflect on the progress we've made in documenting our processes and growing our business.

Topics: processes
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2 min read

Steve Kinzler of Element Funding on Marketing Monster Mashup

By Matt Starnes on March 6, 2018

Join Marketing Monster Mashup’s host, Matt Starnes, and Laura Lorenz for a fun and insightful conversation with Steve Kinzler of Element Funding.

Steve Kinzler, NMLS# 664766, has more than 30 successful years in the banking, mortgage, and financial services industry where he’s held several senior leadership roles.

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3 min read

3 Ways to Get People to Read Your Emails

By Courtney Stallings on February 28, 2018

Prospecting by email is challenging – and often unrewarding. After all, 112.4 billion (yeah, with a B) business emails are exchanged every day. That’s 122 emails per day, per person. And that’s an average; you can bet the president of my company receives far more emails than this lowly editor – so you won’t be surprised about how carefully you need to craft your emails.

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3 min read

Speeding the Marketing to Sales Cycle

By Dan Kraus on February 22, 2018

How can we shorten the sales cycle?

I’ve been hearing some version of that question for the 30 years I’ve been in technology sales and marketing.

And the short answer is …

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3 min read

3 Ways to Maximize Your Opportunity for Leads Using Twitter

By Trevor McWilliams on February 14, 2018

You’ll never guess what I’m here to talk to you about today – that’s right, SOCIAL MEDIA. Social media continues to be a major key to your business’s success, and it’s important to understand how to get leads with it. A popular theme right now is that Twitter is on a downslope as far as success and popularity go, but it’s not a lost cause.

Here are 3 ways to maximize your opportunity for leads using Twitter.

Topics: Social media
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3 min read

Case Studies vs Customer Snapshots vs Testimonials vs Reviews

By Courtney Stallings on February 13, 2018

If your website, blog, premium content offers, marketing programs, etc. are on point, you’re doing a fantastic job of establishing expertise in your industry and drawing prospects to you. But do you find that prospects come and go without ever becoming customers?

Topics: Testimonials
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2 min read

Why You Need Google My Business – Even if You Aren’t a Local Business

By Claire Motz on February 8, 2018

In 2007, Google received 438 billion searches – all year. In 2017, Google received 100 billion searches – every month. If you look at your search history, you’ll probably find searches like “sushi near me” or “closest post office.” Google My Business (GMB) is arguably the most relevant and effective digital touchpoint to elevate a lead’s first impressions of your company, improve your local SEO, and gather more reviews. You can read more about GMB basics in my earlier blog, 6 Things You Should Know About Google My Business. But now I’m going to focus on making GMB work for companies who aren’t local businesses with brick-and-mortar locations. 

Topics: google
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4 min read

How to Get your Employees to Help with your Social Marketing

By Darling Jimenez on February 6, 2018

How do you get someone to do something they don’t want to do? A quintessential question asked by wives/husbands, children, parents, and – you guessed it – marketers and salespeople everywhere. 

Many books have been written on the power of persuasion, the science of likability, and a myriad of tactics to encourage someone to do something they aren’t enthusiastic about doing. From personal experience, I can tell you that this feat is quite difficult to accomplish. Fighting against the grain can be pointless – instead, try appealing to someone’s intrinsic motivations and tying them to what you want them to do.

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4 min read

Where Do Workflows Work and Where Do They Hurt Your Efforts?

By Courtney Stallings on February 1, 2018

In marketing platforms and systems like HubSpot, workflows are a staple of marketing automation and sales enablement. But are workflows the best measure for you? This blog outlines where workflows can be a marketing champion, and where they’ll weaken your efforts and drain your sales pipeline.

Let’s start with the basics.

Topics: workflows
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6 min read

A Dangerous Stew of Commodity Thinking, Marketing Automation, and Metrics

By Dan Kraus on January 30, 2018

“You can’t market what we do and you can’t sell what we do. We’re a commodity and an expense; companies aren’t looking for us – they only call when they need us.”

I’ve heard some version of this statement from dozens of clients and prospective clients over the 8+ years we’ve been in business. I heard it hundreds of times from my sales and marketing partners when I was in corporate software sales and marketing.

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3 min read

The Importance of Sales and Marketing Alignment During a Long Buying Cycle

By Courtney Stallings on January 25, 2018

This is the final blog in my 3 Things You Need to Know to Nurture a Lead Through a Long Sales Cycle series. After covering buyer personas and the sales cycle, we’re at the most difficult but most important part of lead nurturing – sales and marketing alignment, affectionately known as smarketing.

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5 min read

Facebook Lead Ads: What You Need to Know

By Claire Motz on January 23, 2018

Anyone who has a Facebook account knows it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the number of posts you see on your news feed from friends and advertisers. As the power of organic reach decreases, the need for paid advertising increases, and Facebook’s advertising platform is one of the most powerful tools available to a marketer – it can reach over 2 billion active users all over the world in the blink of an eye. And every day, Facebook gets smarter about delivering ads to users to make it effective for businesses and consumers alike.

Topics: facebook
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2 min read

How to Approach Any Food Situation with TNT

By Matt Starnes on January 18, 2018

Here I go again! Right before the December holidays, I managed to get the energetic Courtney Barnes of Total Nutrition Technology to sit down and record an episode of Marketing Monster Mashup (the official podcast of Leading Results).

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2 min read

3 Reasons to Choose Growth-Driven Design

By Trevor McWilliams on January 16, 2018

Website design is a daunting task for many business professionals – it requires a lot of time and thought they don’t typically include in their day.

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4 min read

Your 2018 Marketing Makeover – Tips for Getting Results from Your Marketing

By Darling Jimenez on January 11, 2018

Just like at the beginning of every year, you’ve seen a million articles talking about how you can be your best self and improve your business and marketing in 2018. This is one of those blogs, and somehow you’ve landed here – yay for SEO search volume on “2018 makeovers.”

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A Millennial's Take on Millennials

By Katie Lorenz on January 9, 2018

 
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3 min read

The Balance Between Beauty and Functionality on Your Website

By Darling Jimenez on December 26, 2017

People say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and I can think of no place that is more applicable than in the world of creative web design. A simple tour of internet sites yields thousands of websites with different colors, shapes, styles, and features. Many of these websites are unique, many of them look the same, but at a glance, it’s easy to see that not all sites are created equal.

 

 

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2 min read

SEO for Growth with Phil Singleton

By Matt Starnes on December 21, 2017

Recently I had the pleasure of speaking with Phil Singleton on our podcast, Marketing Monster Mashup (the official podcast of Leading Results). Phil shared what inspired him to work with small businesses on their search engine optimization (SEO) growth strategies.

Topics: podcast
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Spreading Holiday Cheer, The Season of Company Culture is Here!

By Katie Lorenz on December 19, 2017

The holiday season can be such a reflective time in our lives; I know for me a lot of the reflections involve taking a step back and realizing that I wouldn’t have excelled as much as I did this year if I didn’t have my coworkers to bounce ideas off of or ask for tips to make a project better  or even just to have a good laugh.

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4 min read

Your Sales Cycle & Lead Nurturing: What You Need to Know

By Courtney Stallings on December 16, 2017

If you missed my first two blog posts, we’re halfway through a stretch of learning how to nurture a lead through a long sales cycle. To catch up, take a moment to read my overview blog and my blog about what you need to know about buyer personas.

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2 min read

3 Reasons Calling Customer Support is Still Better than Using the Chat Feature

By Trevor McWilliams on December 12, 2017

If you’re like me, you hate contacting customer support – I’ll try anything I can think of to fix the problem before forcing myself to contact customer support. The few times I need to, I wish it could be an easy process, but it just isn’t. Everything a company does should revolve around providing a positive customer experience, but sometimes the customer support doesn’t meet those expectations.

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2 min read

Millennials: The New B2B Decision-makers

By Courtney Stallings on December 7, 2017

A survey about millennials in the B2B marketing space showed that: 

 

Those marketing and sales teams are very wrong – 73% of millennials are involved in B2B purchasing decisions.

Topics: Millennials
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2 min read

How to Consistently Get Customer Reviews

By Claire Motz on December 5, 2017

Thanks to Google and social media, it’s easier than ever for customers to learn about your business. Positive reviews are critical in today’s marketplace; it’s been proven that reviews – both positive and negative – from real customers influence others’ decisions to buy from a business.

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4 min read

Nurturing a Long Sales Cycle: A Closer Look at Buyer Personas

By Courtney Stallings on November 30, 2017

In my last blog, I offered three things you need to know as you nurture a lead through a long sales cycle. Each point is so important that I’m focusing my next several blogs on these points: the buyer persona, your unique sales cycle, and sales and marketing alignment.

Topics: buyer persona
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3 min read

Make Your Business Planning Better

By Dan Kraus on November 27, 2017

It’s the time of year your thoughts should turn to planning, but if you’re like most executives or business owners, you have competing priorities. You’re trying to finish the current year on a high note. You have family obligations for holidays. And you’re trying to make plans for next year.

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2 min read

Thanksgiving: To Shop or Not to Shop?

By Courtney Stallings on November 21, 2017

The debate continues – to shop on Thanksgiving Day or not to shop on Thanksgiving Day?

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9 min read

Give Thanks for Marketing Content!

By Katie Lorenz on November 20, 2017

A Thanksgiving meal is like your marketing.

Wait, wait, don’t leave! We know it sounds cheesy, but hear us out.

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2 min read

Market Like Thor

By Matt Starnes on November 14, 2017

Thor: Ragnarok is a considerable risk-taking departure in style from the first Thor movie, which was essentially a Shakespearean play meets superheroes. The second film in the franchise, Thor: The Dark World, was aptly named – a dark story where Thor even loses his love interest. Ragnarok is sort of the Norse version of Armageddon, so it could have easily continued the dark view and tone … but instead, Thor: Ragnarok (the third installment in the Thor universe and 17th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, by the way) goes the route of heavy comedy blended with action. The combination is pulling in huge profits and fantastic reviews as a result.

Topics: Marketing
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2 min read

3 Social Media Platforms B2B Companies are Using to Their Full Potential

By Trevor McWilliams on November 9, 2017

By now, you know that social media is important to your company’s success; the challenge comes with knowing which social platforms to target and how to best use them. This is relatively easy in the B2C world, but people get a bit more of a headache in the B2B world.

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2 min read

Social Media Relationships vs Face-to-face Relationships

By leadingresults on November 7, 2017

I had a conversation with someone who asked me if I thought the relationships they’re building on social media are as strong as the ones they build face to face. Interesting question. Let’s look at the pros and cons of each type of relationship.

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6 min read

6 Things You Should Know about Google My Business

By Claire Motz on November 3, 2017

Google My Business is a free listing service provided by Google that helps your business show up on Google Search and Maps. Google wants their users to have the best search experience, so they’ve made it easy for businesses to create listings where visitors can get information without even opening a website. With recent updates, Google My Business can be optimized for service businesses that don’t have brick-and-mortar locations but still want to focus on local traffic.

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3 min read

3 Things You Need to Know to Nurture a Lead Through a Long Sales Cycle

By Courtney Stallings on November 2, 2017

 

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2 min read

Effective Marketing in Under 280 Characters

By Branna Calloway on October 31, 2017

Twitter is the go-to place to voice your opinion about what’s going on in the world and a great place to connect with people who either already love your work or could become your perfect customer.

Recently, the Twitter bigwigs decided to increase the maximum length of a tweet from 140 to 280 characters – in essence, taking away the thrill of having only a small amount of space to form your thoughts.

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2 min read

Inspiration, Action, and How They Apply to Your Business

By Matt Starnes on October 26, 2017

I recently attended HubSpot’s INBOUND 2017 marketing convention in Boston and had the pleasure of interviewing Lisa Brouwer for our Marketing Monster Mashup podcast. Lisa shared her amazing story of why she drove her motorcycle from New York City to San Francisco on the 100th anniversary of the first women to take that historic trip.

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3 min read

Are You Running Marketing Technology or is It Running You?

By Dan Kraus on October 24, 2017

Is marketing technology running your business into the ground or are you using marketing technology to gain new ground?

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7 min read

Video isn't up-and-coming, it's HERE

By Katie Lorenz on October 19, 2017

Take advantage of video as an exploding content medium by using it in all stages of the inbound methodology. Here's how:

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4 min read

How to Create a Great Exhibition Stand That Improves Conversions

By Stanley Tan on October 19, 2017

Successful companies are always on the lookout for the finest marketing strategies to help them improve their position in the marketplace.

Effective marketing strategies, however, can only be fully maximized if executed through the right tactics. One of the most common marketing tactic marketers employ is trade show exhibition.

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Leading Results Takes on Inbound 2017!

By Katie Lorenz on October 18, 2017

Some of the Leading Results team attended the Inbound conference in Boston this year. Check this video that recaps our experience!

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3 min read

3 Tech Takeaways from INBOUND 2017

By Trevor McWilliams on October 17, 2017

So, let me set the scene for you … Sunday morning, 7 am … I join four of my coworkers in a 15-person van (leg room, major key) and begin our drive in Concord, NC. Fourteen hours later, we ended our journey in Boston, MA for the annual HubSpot INBOUND conference. With four long days packed full of amazing speakers and great content ahead of us, we got some sleep.

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4 min read

My Breakup and Bad Clients: What They Have in Common

By Darling Jimenez on October 12, 2017

Two months ago, I stood outside the doors of the 9-year relationship that defined a large part of my adult life. With tears in my eyes, a suitcase in my right hand and my dog’s leash in my left, I looked behind me to see the closed door and even knowing I was making the right decision didn’t make the path in front of me less scary. I knew that closing that door would forever transform me – but again, that realization didn’t make it easier.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: why is this marketing person talking to me about breakups? Why should I care and how does this affect my bottom line?

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2 min read

Controlling Your Digital Destiny: Digital Assets You Need Access To

By Claire Motz on October 10, 2017

Would you ever create a Facebook account for yourself and give the password to a person who doesn’t know you well? They’d have complete access to control how your family and friends see you online, and you’d have to go through that person to make any changes. Not a good idea.

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8 min read

What's YOUR Marketing Pennywise?

By Matt Starnes on October 5, 2017

I’m not really a horror guy, but I’m familiar with Stephen King – and considering his books have sold over 350 million copies, it’s safe to say a lot of people are familiar with Stephen King. I went through a phase as a kid where I read It, Christine, Cujo, and more; as an adult, I recently found myself in a matinee watching It: Chapter One.

I was scared.

 
 
 
 
 
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2 min read

3 Tips to Increase Your Brand Awareness

By Trevor McWilliams on September 26, 2017

If people don’t know about your brand, you won’t have success in your industry. Brand awareness leaves a lasting impression and people are more likely to tell others about you. In my blog last month, I talked about three reasons brand awareness makes the difference. Today I’m following up with three tips to increase your brand awareness.

Use these 3 tips to increase your brand awareness.

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5 min read

Magic Windows of Time

By Dan Kraus on September 22, 2017

Businesses that perform technical consulting services that stretch out over a long period face a particularly difficult challenge when it comes to getting client testimonials and stories. At Leading Results, we work with a number of these types of companies (environmental consulting and remediation, ERP consultants, long-term labor outsourcing, and the like). You don’t run across these types of business on a daily basis – they perform very niche, but very vital, services for other businesses.

Topics: Testimonials
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3 min read

Emojis at Work: 👍🏼 or 👎🏼?

By Courtney Stallings on September 19, 2017

First, there’s a debate about whether the plural for the word “emoji” is “emoji” or “emojis” … This author prefers “emojis,” so that’s what this blog will use.

Moving on.

Emojis are visual representations of emotions, objects, or symbols. They used to be called emoticons (emotional icons) and were often created with punctuation marks and viewed sideways. :)

Now they’re called emojis and are pictures. 😊

They’ve long been used casually in instant messaging, social media, and texting, but now it seems that emojis are making their way into the workplace, sparking a debate as to their appropriateness in business.

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3 min read

5 Reasons Hiring an Agency Should be Your Marketing Strategy

By Claire Motz on September 13, 2017

Smart business owners realize that outsourcing functions that aren’t core to the value they offer their customers is the key to growth. In fact, most small business owners agree that marketing isn't something they’re good at – and they don’t intend to learn.

That’s why it’s time to hire a marketing agency: you can outsource nearly every business function to a firm that will provide the service at a lower cost and higher quality than you could yourself.

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4 min read

Why Outsourcing Your Marketing Grows Your Business

By Courtney Stallings on August 31, 2017

If you know me professionally, you know how ironic it is that I’m writing about this topic, because delegating has always been EXTREMELY difficult for me. As a business owner, manager, or executive, you’re probably experiencing the same struggle I experience with outsourcing or delegating work – and because you’re reading this blog, you’re toying with the idea of outsourcing your marketing.

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3 min read

What Do Waffles Have to do with Hiring?

By Darling Jimenez on August 22, 2017

Two years ago, I found myself standing smack in the middle of Hubspot’s kitchen in Boston, blocking the way for busy HubSpotters grabbing breakfast before work. I’m sure they wondered what I was doing and thought I was a little crazy. In front of me stood several waffle-making stations next to a selection of incredible toppings, like chocolate chips (my favorite), bananas, berries, honey, apple, and every other fruit you can imagine. Everyone seemed so happy making their waffles, and many confessed to arriving early to partake in the waffle consumption they called Waffle Wednesday.

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2 min read

3 Reasons Brand Awareness Makes a Difference

By Trevor McWilliams on August 17, 2017

I’m in the market for a new TV ... and if you’ve shopped for a new TV before, you know there are a lot of identical products – they may have different logos, but they’re the same. The question then becomes “How do I decide which one to get?” and my immediate thought is “Oh, I know that brand, that looks cool” or “I’ve never heard of them before, pass.” In reality, the brand I’ve never heard of probably has the same quality as the familiar brand, but in my brain, they’re labeled ‘pass’ simply because of the word/symbol written on the front of the TV.

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2 min read

Millennials are Just Young Adults

By Laura Lorenz on August 15, 2017

During the last few months, I’ve been reading about millennials – the good, the bad, and the ugly – and ultimately, I find myself fed up with the stereotypes. I have 2 daughters who fit squarely in the millennial demographic, and my experiences with them and their friends are nothing like the stereotypes out there.

Topics: Millennials
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2 min read

I'm a Millennial – Here's How to Talk to Me

By Courtney Stallings on August 15, 2017

Move over, baby boomers – the millennials are taking over.

Which makes them the demographic every marketer wants to charm. But how? They’re not a traditional audience, having grown up never knowing the pain of not having the internet, and are less “susceptible” to traditional marketing than previous generations.

Topics: Millennials
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2 min read

Millennials: Experiences & Tiny Houses

By Branna Calloway on August 10, 2017

Millennials. They seem to be what everyone is discussing these days, and it probably has a lot to do with them outnumbering every other generation and completely influencing everything in their takeover. The hardest thing for marketers – or anyone else, for that matter – to pin down is what makes millennials tick. 

Topics: Millennials
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1 min read

Spider-Man is a Millennial, and His Superpower is Emotional Intelligence

By Matt Starnes on August 8, 2017

Spider-Man can crawl across the ceiling, shoot webs, sense danger, and lift cars. But it turns out he has another super power: emotional intelligence.

Tom Holland is the new actor portraying Peter Parker/Spider-Man in Spider-Man: Homecoming, and the box office and critics are eating up his take on the web spinner.

Topics: Millennials
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2 min read

Dial Toll-free (and Other Things Millennials Don't Understand)

By Dan Kraus on August 1, 2017

What do those words mean to you?

The answer depends, very simply, on how old you are.

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4 min read

If It Ain't Broke... Hack It! (Thinking Outside the Box)

By Darling Jimenez on July 31, 2017

So ... we love HubSpot. We love it so much we have enough shirts in the office to outfit a soccer team. We love it so much we think it's the best thing since sliced bread. Why? Because HubSpot enables us to service our clients in new and innovative ways.

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3 min read

4 Secrets to Success for Working with Remote Employees & Marketing Teams

By Courtney Stallings on July 26, 2017

Business has changed drastically in the last two decades – the importance of employee engagement has been magnified, business borders have been shattered, and more U.S. employees are working remotely.

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2 min read

Why People Aren’t Watching Your Videos

By Courtney Stallings on July 25, 2017

Congratulations – you made a marketing video! It was a ton of work, but now you can sit back, relax, and watch the view count climb … right?

Maybe not. See, just posting a video isn’t enough. Like other content you post, many elements go into choosing topics, filming, editing, optimizing, publishing, and getting prospective customers to watch it.

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2 min read

3 Reasons to Include Motion in Your Marketing

By Trevor McWilliams on July 19, 2017

Congratulations – you’ve successfully attracted someone to your website! Now: how do you stop them from clicking the dreaded back button so they have time to gain value from your content?

Incorporate motion.

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3 min read

What's the Purpose of Marketing?

By Laura Lorenz on July 18, 2017

Is the purpose of marketing to create leads?

No – it’s to create relationships.

I know you’re wondering what I mean, so allow me to explain: when you build the relationship, the business will come naturally.

Here are some ideas for building relationships through your marketing:

Topics: Marketing
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3 min read

3 Ways to Update Old Blog Posts to Increase Website Traffic

By Courtney Stallings on July 13, 2017

As marketers, we’re content creation machines. We create new blog posts, emails, guides, and website content to attract new prospects, nurture leads, and delight our customers. But we sometimes forget there’s priceless gold currently living on our website that just needs a little love to flourish. To realize your content’s existing potential, start by examining old blog posts.

Topics: blogging
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2 min read

Marketing Monster Mashup: a LOTTA fun!

By Matt Starnes on July 11, 2017

Last month I talked about the Leading Results podcast, Marketing Monster Mashup, and our guest Darling Jimenez.

As a refresher, the podcast’s name is inspired by our content monster and company mascot Roco. He loves to devour content, so we added a podcast to his nutritional intake. I’m Matt, and I host the whole crazy affair.

Topics: podcast
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4 min read

The Honey Approach

By Darling Jimenez on June 29, 2017

You’ve probably heard, over and over, this common saying that’s been passed down from generation to generation: 

“You can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar.”

This age-old saying is true in dealing with people as well as flies, and especially true when dealing with outsourced companies that help your business with a variety of functions. 

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3 min read

Words Matter – A Lot

By Dan Kraus on June 27, 2017

We all sell every day. We sell ideas, we sell products, we sell our spouse or kids on why our idea is a good (or the right) idea. We sell ourselves on what we should do for ourselves – why to go to the workout class, why to eat this, and why not to do that.

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3 min read

Will You Accept the Marketing Revival Challenge?

By Courtney Stallings on June 22, 2017

Throughout our blog, you’ll notice that we discuss a wide variety of topics relating to marketing best practices, including tips and tricks to improve your lead generation efforts. As a team, we constantly push ourselves and push the envelope to create the best results for our client’s short- and long-term goals. We’re in the business of creativity, thought leadership, and having a deep understanding of consumer buying patterns.

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2 min read

4 Reasons You Need HUGs in Your Life

By Trevor McWilliams on June 20, 2017

There comes a point in time where everyone needs a HUG – a HubSpot User Group, that is! A HUG is a meeting where attendees learn marketing tips and tools to expand their marketing efforts, and the great news is that it’s open to anyone interested in learning new marketing ideas, not just HubSpot users. In the age of technology and social media, it’s important that we don’t stray from perhaps the most important relationship builders: face-to-face meetings.

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2 min read

Marketing Monster Mashup: Spotlight on Darling Jimenez!

By Matt Starnes on June 13, 2017

Did you know Leading Results has a podcast? Well, we do, and it’s called “Marketing Monster Mashup.”

What’s with the name, you ask? Well, Roco is our company mascot and content monster. He loves to devour content, so we decided to add a podcast to his nutritional intake. I’m Matt, and I host the whole crazy affair.

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4 min read

Choosing the Right Client – It’s Not Just About the Cha-ching

By Darling Jimenez on June 6, 2017

In life, we’re forced to make choices we don’t want to make, and these choices come with a pretty little basket of consequences wrapped in a bow. Sometimes we realize we made the wrong choice when we peek inside the basket; other times we smile triumphantly when we see that our choices have been successful.

In business, we also have to make decisions we might not want to make – leads and potential clients come across our desks that we must choose to pursue or forego. These are some of the most important decisions you make.   

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3 min read

Between Chaos and Organization, You’ll Find Creativity

By Dan Kraus on June 1, 2017

Between Chaos and Organization, You’ll Find Creativity

I said that phrase today and thought, “Wow, I need to write a blog post about that.”

Here’s why:

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3 min read

Need Better Editing? Right This Way, Please.

By Courtney Stallings on May 23, 2017

First things first: No automatic editing tool can ever take the place of a human – nothing is better than a professional editor who understands the natural flow of language and has a strong grasp of grammar and punctuation.

That being said, if you’re the human who does the editing and you want to take a last pass over your work, or if the human who does the editing is unavailable and you absolutely need to send something out, there are several helpful options available online. 

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2 min read

Is Your Marketing Company Telling You What You Need to Know?

By Laura Lorenz on May 18, 2017

I’ve switched roles at Leading Results and love it! I spend my time talking with people to see how we can help them grow their business.

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7 min read

5 Personality Traits to Avoid When Hiring New Employees

By Darling Jimenez on May 16, 2017

I recently read an article by Business Daily that blew my mind – “The Cost of a Bad Hire.” Some of the statistics on bad hires and the cost they have for agencies were surprisingly high. This sparked an interest in me on the topic of personality versus experience and whether one outweighed the other or if they were equally important. 

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3 min read

2 Ways You’re Killing Your Marketing Efforts

By Courtney Stallings on May 11, 2017

As marketers – and especially marketers that work for agencies – our goal is to generate qualified leads for our clients and our own companies. Of course, there’s a lot of other work that goes into being a standout marketer, but at the end of the day, if we don’t produce sales qualified leads for our clients or company, we’re out of a job.

If your current lead generation tactics make you feel like you’re treading water in the deep end, don't worry – the solution is easier than you think.

And it very likely has something to do with your frame of mind.

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2 min read

The Power of Having Your Shit Together

By Matt Starnes on May 9, 2017

Like many small business owners and employees of small businesses, I attend networking functions. Last year I went to an event that had a small roundtable introduction followed by a brief mixer. You had 60 seconds to promote whatever you wanted and sell yourself. I was starting Leading Results’ podcast, Marketing Monster Mashup, so I closed our commercial with an invitation for guests.

Topics: Networking
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3 min read

Are You Taking Your Website Seriously?

By Dan Kraus on May 2, 2017

Last week I had the opportunity to attend HubSpot’s Partner Day, where they invite their Gold, Platinum, and Diamond partners to hear about future directions and collaborate on strategy. Much of what they cover is under non-disclosure, so I won’t disclose, but this blog was triggered by a passing comment made by a presenter that really resonated, so I wanted to repeat and expand on it.

Topics: hubspot
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2 min read

Run – Don’t Walk! – to Get an Editor

By Courtney Stallings on April 19, 2017

If I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter.

(Or, as Blaise Pascal would have said: Je n’ai fait celle-ci plus longue que parce que je n’ai pas eu le loisir de la faire plus courte.)

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2 min read

Adjusting for a Marketing Plateau

By Matt Starnes on April 17, 2017

So … how are you doing with those New Year’s resolutions? Can you remember any of them? Are you still working on any of them?

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3 min read

Finding Meaning in Your Work: Meeting Your Need for Significance and Impact

By Darling Jimenez on April 6, 2017

When I sat down to write this blog, I thought about all the things I could write about: how to increase your website’s effectiveness, how to design your website for conversion, how to hire the right personalities, etc., etc.

However, nothing was compelling enough. I wanted to take it back to the basics and address a more human topic that ties to marketing but also life.

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2 min read

What is Graymail? (And Why You Should Care)

By Courtney Stallings on April 4, 2017

I’m 99.99% certain you get graymail – and if you use email marketing, I'm 99.99% sure you’ve sent graymail. Don’t be ashamed; in the past, I’ve been guilty, too.

But now that you’re here, it’s time to spill the ugly truth: graymail hurts your email deliverability and database health more than you know … and here’s why.

Topics: email
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3 min read

The Key to Ranking Your Local Business in Google

By Laura Lorenz on March 30, 2017

There are a handful of factors Google uses to decide what sites appear in the search results when a person searches for a local business. (Let’s face it, we're all living in Google’s world.) Is it your site searchers see – or do they see one of your competitors' sites?

While we’ve previously shared our thoughts on reviewsschema markup, and citations, today we’re going to talk about the linchpin of the local listing game – your Google My Business page.

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3 min read

Balance and Blend Your Lead Generation Tactics

By Dan Kraus on March 28, 2017

Search marketing, SEO, SEM, pay-per-click, social media – if you read marketing journals or talk to a recent marketing college grad, you might think these are the only tactics that matter.

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2 min read

4 Things You Should Blog About (and Do) When You Think You Have Nothing to Say

By Courtney Stallings on March 23, 2017

Blogging is a key component to a successful content marketing strategy, as it keeps your website and blog up-to-date, relevant, and continuously educational for your prospects; it also serves to nurture your leads and enlighten your current clients.

But sometimes life happens: you get writer’s block, time is limited, resources are allocated away from blogging. It happens to the best of companies and writers.

Topics: blogging
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3 min read

Marketing for … Oh look! A Squirrel!

By Courtney Stallings on March 21, 2017

Supposedly – because really, how do they figure this stuff out? – our collective attention spans have shrunk to a discouragingly low 8.25 seconds.

Also supposedly, goldfish have an attention span of nine seconds.

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2 min read

Everyone Talks About Blogging ...

By Laura Lorenz on March 16, 2017

... but why would anyone read your blog?

Good question!

Topics: blogging
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2 min read

Alexa is Listening!

By Matt Starnes on March 14, 2017

My last blog post dealt with Amazon’s Alexa – all the fun things it can do, how it’s made my life easier, and how much more I feel like I’m living in Star Trek now! Today, however, I’m going to talk about the potential downsides to Alexa and other artificial intelligence (AI) in terms of privacy.

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7 min read

Meet Your New Business Card: Page One on Google Search Results

By Laura Lorenz on March 8, 2017

It doesn’t matter if your clients tell their best friends that you’re the best thing since sliced bread – they’ll still Google you, and what they find is part of the buying process.

Controlling what people find when they do an online search is known as reputation management, which has a dictionary definition of “the practice of attempting to shape public perception of a person or organization by influencing online information about that entity.”

Topics: local SEO
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2 min read

Beam Me Up, Scotty, er ... Alexa

By Matt Starnes on February 23, 2017

The future is here, or at least beginning now. Remember in Star Trek when Captain Kirk would ask the computer a question and it would answer? Well, the Amazon Echo (aka Alexa) can do that – you can even program it to respond to "Computer" instead of "Alexa" to feel more like a space-navigating captain.

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2 min read

Why It’s Important to Stay Educated

By Katie Lorenz on February 21, 2017

One of the main ways to lock in a strong marketing strategy is by engaging with blogs, webinars, and other relevant content that’s not yours; you’ll see nuances you’ve never considered about topics you think you know like the back of your hand. It will keep you on top of industry news, best practices, dos, don’ts, and faux paus, and, hopefully, a step ahead of your competition.  

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6 min read

The Local SEO Playbook – Your Guide to Local Rankings

By Laura Lorenz on February 16, 2017

If you’re a local business – that is, most or all your business comes from customers living in your community – you need to be very serious about local SEO.

There’s good news: ranking locally for the kinds of things your prospects are looking for isn’t rocket science, and maybe-not-quite-so-good news: it takes a serious commitment to a handful of things.

Topics: local SEO
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4 min read

How to Work with Someone Who’s Good at Their Job, Passionate ... or Both

By Courtney Stallings on February 14, 2017

Nothing can break a newfound business relationship faster than a misunderstanding of personalities and intrinsic qualities. Understanding and appreciating one’s mind frame and personality goes a long way to creating and maintaining a successful partnership. It also offers an opportunity to understand how to engage and inspire team members of varying personalities to work cohesively.

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2 min read

Ready, Fire, Aim!

By Courtney Stallings on February 9, 2017

Michael Masterson is an entrepreneur whose first business opened when he was 11 years old. Forty-five years later, he has started or co-started dozens of successful businesses – with a strategy that is vastly different than anything you’ve heard of yet: Ready, Fire, AIM. (Which is, incidentally, a book; follow the link to find it on Amazon.) 

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2 min read

Do You Find Producing Content and Participating in Social Networks Exhausting?

By Laura Lorenz on February 6, 2017

I recently participated in a roundtable discussion at the Cabarrus County Chamber of Commerce. The focus was the changing face of social media, and the conversation was eye-opening. Due to working in the marketing industry, I take a lot for granted; what I quickly understood is that most small businesses have no idea how to generate business through social networking.

Topics: Social media
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2 min read

Industry Expert or Customer Expert: What’s More Important?

By Dan Kraus on January 31, 2017

It's a question that every business owner or manager faces when they consider hiring outside consultants for help: “Am I better off working with someone who knows my business or better off working with someone who knows marketing and knows what’s going on?”

To put it bluntly, that’s the wrong question. Here’s why.

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4 min read

Marketing is About Connection

By Darling Jimenez on January 20, 2017

Over the last three years of working in the marketing trenches, I’ve come across countless reasons why people’s marketing efforts are ineffective. Often, these efforts, which require monumental energy, have, at the center, the right intention – but are in some ways misguided. I came to this conclusion after attending a salsa dancing social where I learned some important lessons about dancing salsa but also about marketing.

Topics: strategy
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2 min read

New Year, New You, New ... MSPOT?

By Courtney Stallings on January 13, 2017

If you’re like us, you planned too much for 2016, and there were customers you didn’t get, money you didn’t make, and goals you never accomplished. Instead of sighing and pushing those goals straight off the 2016 page and onto the 2017 page, however, we decided to try something different this year.

Topics: GOALS
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2 min read

Are You Prepared to Rebuild After a Crisis?

By Matt Starnes on January 5, 2017

Having the resources to rebuild after a crisis – whether caused by nature or man – is essential for businesses and individuals alike. Sometimes it's difficult to do with grace, but hopefully you’ve built a community of support to “have your back” in case the need arises.

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2 min read

Fake News and Print Subscriptions May be a Trend in 2017

By Dan Kraus on January 4, 2017

So, I just did something I never thought I’d do again – I signed up and PAID FOR a newspaper subscription.

I canceled my last subscription 3 years ago. The paper was getting awfully thin, and I didn’t see the point of paying for the paper just to read the comics. So I canceled, subscribed to gocomics.com instead, and started reading my news online.

Topics: media outlets
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2 min read

Top 3 Website Design Predictions for 2017

By Trevor McWilliams on December 29, 2016

With 2016 in the books, it’s time to consider 2017 and figure out what the design trends of the year will be. The trick is to catch on before it’s too late – with the ever-changing tech world, these trends are becoming harder and harder to predict. If done right and tracked properly, however, you can be at the forefront and gain a huge competitive advantage.

Topics: design
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2 min read

What Are Prospective Customers Really Saying?

By Dan Kraus on December 27, 2016

Editor's Note: This post was originally published in April 2009 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

Do you sell business-related products or services through a channel? And by “channel,” I mean another party between you and the end customer/consumer/user. Channels could include retailers or dealers or be multi-level with distributors involved.

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2 min read

Sell by Song

By Katie Lorenz on December 20, 2016

Have you ever thought to yourself how you come across to others? That a lot of marketing is about just being human? It’s difficult to connect with clients and leads if you come off as dry and uninteresting. Adding some sort of flare to how you present yourself makes you memorable – and is good for your marketing.

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3 min read

Doubling the Recipe Doesn’t Always Work: The Danger of Automated Marketing

By Courtney Stallings on December 15, 2016

It’s a blessing – and a curse. Automated marketing is the use of a marketing platform to automate repetitive tasks, like social media publishing. It’s made marketers’ jobs easier for some time, especially with the growth of platforms like HubSpot and Marketo. Found something that works? Clone the content, reschedule, and voilà – your workload is a mere fraction of what it was.

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3 min read

John Jantsch is Our Spirit Animal

By Dan Kraus on December 13, 2016

About a year ago, John Jantsch, author of Duct Tape Marketing and other business books, sent an email out to business owners (and posted the content as a blog as well).  With his permission, I am borrowing parts of it and paraphrasing others, as his thoughts match our experiences.

John starts his email with this: 

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6 min read

One Thing to Improve Sales and Marketing Effectiveness

By Dan Kraus on December 1, 2016

Question: What is one thing you can do to improve your sales effectiveness and the impact of marketing for your technology company?

Answer: Improve your customer delight.

But that’s easier said than done, and if you think that customer satisfaction is the same as customer delight, you’re missing the point. Look at it this way: as consumers, we are frequently satisfied with our purchases – but we are rarely delighted. Satisfaction is best defined as “your expectations have been met.” “Delighted” indicates that your expectations were exceeded.

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3 min read

The 8 Content Superstars You Need on Your Team

By Courtney Stallings on November 29, 2016

Content: love it or hate it, you gotta have it – blogs, whitepapers, checklists, press releases, website content, slideshows for webinars, landing pages, and more. The amount of content you need to create, in fact, can be daunting.

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2 min read

How Pursuing Your Life’s Passions Can Increase Your Lead Generation

By Courtney Stallings on November 16, 2016

On the most basic level, client relationships are relationships you've thoroughly cultivated; business opportunities you've identified, nurtured, and closed. In a traditional mindset, one cultivates business opportunities from business networking, referrals, and website and marketing activities. All three are completely viable forms of lead generation, but by focusing only on those three activities, you’re missing the bigger picture.

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2 min read

5 Things to Make Your Website More Attractive

By Trevor McWilliams on November 8, 2016

In addition to the logistical must-haves for a successful website, your website should also look appealing to visitors. This doesn’t mean you need to overload your website with glitz and glamour – it’s adding simple yet effective elements to make your content pop off of the plain white background (aka not having a boring website).

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Happy Movember from Roco!

By Roco on November 1, 2016

In celebration of Movember  a movement started in 2003  and men’s health, I have decided to celebrate and participate by sporting a new ‘stache. (Let me know how you like it!)
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3 min read

No, You're Not Plagiarizing Yourself

By Courtney Stallings on October 25, 2016

Content, content, content: the (unofficial) inbound marketing mantra. Quality content is what brings people to your site and helps them get to know, like, and trust you – but the constant need to create engaging, share-worthy content can be time-consuming and, frankly, exhausting.

The good news is that you can squeeze more out of the content you’ve already created by repurposing it into different forms. As long as your content is high quality, converting it into something new to post and promote can cause more people to engage with it and attract more website visitors, increasing your chances of conversion.

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2 min read

"How To" Blog Post

By Courtney Stallings on October 21, 2016


INTRODUCTION:

Your “how to” blog post should teach the reader how to do something by breaking it down into a series of steps.

Begin your blog post by explaining what problem you are going to solve through your explanation and be sure to include any relevant keywords. Add in a personal story to establish your credibility on this topic. And make sure to end your blog post with a summary of what your reader will gain by following your lead.

Need some inspiration? Check out these "How-To" examples from the HubSpot blog:

Topics: Blog
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3 min read

2 Reasons a User Group Can Be a Game Changer for Your Business

By Courtney Stallings on October 5, 2016

If you have a problem in your business, where do you turn? Maybe to your mentor, a business coach, or a confidant? All are logical answers. But what about placing yourself with like-minded individuals who face similar challenges and roadblocks in the same trenches you do every day? If you haven’t already learned about the power of user groups, let me introduce you to this concept and explain why creating a user group can be a game changer for your business.

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3 min read

I Hate Forms!

By Matt Starnes on September 20, 2016

Oh, my goodness – forms drive me batty! Everywhere I go there are forms to fill out. You've won a billion dollars from a Nigerian prince? All you have to do is fill out this form with all your personal information to get the money. No thanks! Buying a car? All we'll need is this form with your financial information since birth and a sample of your DNA. It's just that easy!

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3 min read

What You Can Learn from the Ice Bucket Challenge

By Courtney Stallings on September 13, 2016

If a butterfly flutters its wings in China, can it cause a hurricane in the Caribbean? We don’t know for sure, but we do know about cause and effect – everything you do affects someone or something else, whether it’s now or in the future, and you never know who, what, or how someone/something will be affected.

Take the Ice Bucket Challenge, for example.

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3 min read

Sales is a Lagging Indicator of Success

By Dan Kraus on September 8, 2016

“Sales is a lagging indicator of success” – I heard someone utter that phrase the other day and thought, “Huh. I never thought of it that way, but it’s true.” A sales person will disagree (they always disagree when you try to take credit away from their efforts), saying that sales is a (or the) measure of success. But when you truly dissect it, new customer acquisition or gaining a larger share of your customer’s wallet doesn’t happen unless everything else is tuned correctly – so your sales revenue really is the downstream measure of how successful everything else is.

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2 min read

Shooting Down the Competition with Video Blogging

By Katie Lorenz on September 6, 2016

Oh, would you look at that – a new blog! Are you reading it thoroughly? You may just be skimming it, but that’s all right. I understand why.

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2 min read

The Technical Role in Marketing

By Laura Lorenz on August 29, 2016

I was doing an audit of the Leading Results blogs, and to my horror I found that I had started a four-part blog series last year – and never completed it. I had been binge watching Mad Men and decided to look at how marketing has changed over the years. 

Topics: Marketing
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3 min read

4 Practices to Help Professionals Increase Lead Generation on LinkedIn

By Courtney Stallings on August 25, 2016

With so many social media outlets in use today, it’s difficult to determine where you should spread your social media presence.

People often think that LinkedIn is just for job seekers, but that’s not the case. In fact, it’s the exact opposite – life on LinkedIn begins when you land a job. Actively utilizing LinkedIn to get an understanding of who the thought and industry leaders are in their community and who’s most capable of handling their business needs is a key benefit for those in the professional services industry. Optimized correctly, your profile will help you expand your contact base and increase lead generation on LinkedIn.

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2 min read

5 Must-haves for a Successful Website

By Trevor McWilliams on August 23, 2016

When searching the internet, there is nothing worse than opening a website and having no idea what it’s offering or where to go next. Whether you are a small business or a large corporation, having a website is vital – it serves as an around the clock marketing tool and an opportunity for new leads. Ensuring you have a successful website is even more important because it is a direct representation of your business. Bad website = bad reputation.

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3 min read

3 Ways Good Marketing Will Improve Your Patients’ Appointments

By Courtney Stallings on August 17, 2016

People go to doctors for many reasons: they need an annual physical, they have a short-term sickness, they're chronically ill, they need surgery, they're getting an elective procedure ... well, you get the idea. 

Many people are intimidated by doctors and doctors' offices, which can be stressful even for those who are electing to have procedures. 

Topics: website
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2 min read

You're Putting Too Much Effort into Your Content Marketing

By Dan Kraus on July 27, 2016

Your tech business is busy. You have product release cycles to manage. Customer support to provide. Training videos to record and publish. FAQ documents to write and verify. And, of course, new sales to make. Developing and sticking to a marketing strategy is always on the to-do list, but never seems to get done because you don’t have the time to create the content to support it.

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3 min read

Marketing Ninja Warrior

By Katie Lorenz on July 19, 2016

Marketing ninja warrior? What the heck is that? Many of you have seen the TV show American Ninja Warrior, but if you haven't, here's a brief description: ANW is a game show in which contestants must tackle and succeed in beating very challenging obstacle courses. Now, I know what you're thinking – "How does this have anything to do with marketing my business?"

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2 min read

Go Where Your Customers Could Be and Your Competition Ain't

By Courtney Stallings on July 12, 2016

There's a restaurant in Myrtle Beach, SC with legit Maryland-style seafood. How do I know it's legit, you ask? Because I spent 12 years – my formative years, I might add – going to the beach in Ocean City, MD.

I mourned good seafood when I moved down south – fried seafood is an abomination. So when my parents and I discovered this truly Maryland-style seafood in a place so far away, we were ecstatic.

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10 Shocking Marketing Statistics

By Susan Grewell on July 7, 2016

Surely you are not shocked that marketers gather statistics! But there are some surprising ones out there.

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2 min read

Click Here to Shrink Your Business! (Part Two)

By Matt Starnes on July 7, 2016

You still want your professional services business to be successful, right? You're still focused on growth, right? Excellent. In part one of this blog, we defined organic and inorganic growth, talked about focusing on a well-defined niche, and began to discuss differentiation.

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5 min read

What You Need to Know About Growth-Driven Design for Marketing

By Courtney Stallings on June 29, 2016

The web development world has been buzzing about GDD, or Growth-Driven Design, which is a methodology that embraces small, methodical, and frequent design changes to a website as compared to a total, one-time, comprehensive redesign. The explosion of GDD has enlightened marketing professionals on flaws regarding traditional marketing tactics, inviting our mindset to evolve and forcing Type-A marketers, like myself, to take a step back, and embrace the process.

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2 min read

A New Monster Joins the Leading Results Team!

By Laura Lorenz on June 23, 2016

A few years ago, when we decided to use HubSpot for our clients, we found that we had to feed the content monster to leverage inbound marketing. 

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2 min read

Why it’s Important to be Process-driven: A Detailed Process is a Golden Process

By Katie Lorenz on June 20, 2016

We’ve seen it a million times: companies that seem to randomly achieve success – but just as quickly fail. These companies live on the brink of failure and success. In speaking to them, we quickly discovered the reason why – a lack of processes. These companies hit the mark once and cannot repeat it because they have non-repeatable processes, which are the most useful tools for making your business skyrocket.

Topics: processes
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3 min read

Are You Addicted to Your Gadgets?

By Courtney Stallings on June 16, 2016

Caffeine and anxiety medication aside, I prefer not to think of myself as addicted to anything, but my boyfriend would add lip balm, my Fitbit, and my iPhone (although I bet you already knew that) to the list. 

Topics: technology
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2 min read

Click Here to Shrink Your Business (Part 1)

By Matt Starnes on June 14, 2016

Just kidding! You want your professional services business to be successful, right? You're focused on growth, right? Whew, good. If you were looking to shrink your business, I was going to tell you to exit stage left.

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3 min read

6 Requirements to Drive Your Business to the Next Level of Success

By Laura Lorenz on June 8, 2016

I love to learn, and I had a great opportunity to do so at the HubSpot Partner Day. I take a day and a half from working IN our business to working ON our business. This event is always great, and I learn so much.

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4 min read

How to Get the Best Results from Your Marketing Agency

By Courtney Stallings on June 2, 2016

Your company is engaged in a relationship with a marketing agency, and you’re feeling optimistic about the opportunity. You know how you’re going to provide your potential leads and customers with the insight and enterprise they crave – not to mention that you’re on your way to taking your business to the next level.

Though the weight is on the marketing agency to complete the proposed action items, tasks, and strategic input, your company is not without responsibility in this new found relationship.

Topics: Marketing
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1 min read

Does Your Website Just Sit There and Look Pretty?

By Dan Kraus on May 31, 2016

Lately, I've been asking businesses if their website is a picture, a potted plant, or a pet. And with a bit of explanation, most people quickly get it, can answer, and can think about what they want their site to be versus what it is.

Topics: web design
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2 min read

Social Media for Medical Practices

By Courtney Stallings on May 24, 2016

Are you a medical provider who can’t decide if social media is right for you and your practice? This blog offers some information about the most popular social media sites – LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram – so you can make an informed decision about which are best for you.

Topics: Social media
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3 min read

5 Life Lessons One Might Learn While Interning For a Marketing Agency

By Katie Lorenz on May 10, 2016

A first thought one might have when considering an internship: what industry can I learn the most from? Whether this is for a potential career or for life experience in a professional setting, marketing is the most diverse field to become a part of. The reason is that marketing takes structured creativity. Every member of a marketing team has a specific job that requires a sense of community to tackle a common task to achieve a common goal. Becoming a part of a team gives you an opportunity to learn the importance of creating an idea and then executing it in a structured manner. Marketing also has a social aspect to it that some might find a little challenging but it can open up so many opportunities. However, the main reason anyone should be interested in interning in marketing is that not only do you get to watch yourself grow, but you also experience a business growing around you.

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4 min read

5 Ways to Make Your Website Stand Out for Professional Services

By Darling Jimenez on April 28, 2016

In today’s world, getting found online has become a monumental task. With millions of websites and the whole world at the click of a mouse, getting found online has become a mission in itself.

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6 min read

The 4 P's of Marketing for Professional Service Firms

By Dan Kraus on April 27, 2016

The 4 Ps of Marketing – Product, Price, Place, and Promotion – really aren’t applicable to a professional services firm (actually, they probably aren’t applicable to most businesses in our knowledge/experience economy – but I digress).

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3 min read

How to Ask for Referrals in the Professional Services Industry

By Courtney Stallings on April 25, 2016

You’ve heard the adage time and time again – “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” While I don’t agree with this statement 100%, there is validity in the importance of who you know. So, rest easy – the art of how to ask for referrals is not about being connected to the top 1% of executives in your community; you simply need to help others.

Yes, I said it. You have to help others.

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3 min read

Technobabble Doesn’t Make for Compelling Content – Whether You’re a Tech Company or Not

By Courtney Stallings on April 22, 2016

If you create content, you already know that some people don't ever see it and that sometimes those who see it never click on it. But did you know that even those who click on it don't read the whole thing? Consumer surveys have found that, on average, any person who looks at your content reads only 60% of it. Why? No one knows for sure, but the two biggest probabilities are that 1) people have short attention spans or 2) your content is boring.

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4 min read

Inbound Marketing for Professional Services

By Susan Grewell on April 19, 2016

How Inbound Marketing Works for Professional Services

inbound-marketing-professional.jpgNew to the term inbound marketing? According to HubSpot,

Inbound marketing is about using marketing to bring potential customers to you, rather than having your marketing efforts fight for their attention. Sharing is caring, and inbound marketing is about creating and sharing content with the world. By creating content specifically designed to appeal to your dream customers, inbound attracts qualified prospects to your business and keeps them coming back for more. 

The concept of inbound marketing differs from outbound marketing in a number of different ways.

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2 min read

Fostering Your Online Reputation

By Matt Starnes on April 13, 2016

I was sitting in a doctor’s office when I thought about a blog I wrote last year about social media bullying. The gist of the post was that if you receive a negative review, it’s important that you’re already connected, engaged, and proactive on social media rating sites. I was early for my appointment, so I clicked on my iPhone, Googled my location, and saw a bunch of mixed reviews. What struck me most was that the physician’s practice had no comments, good OR bad, in response to reviews. None. There was no social monitoring and no engagement or interaction with the patients.

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2 min read

Marketing Your Professional Services Firm for Free

By Matt Starnes on March 31, 2016

Are you in the Professional Services industry and looking to market yourself and your business? The most effective and inexpensive way to do so is through public speaking and word of mouth – your mouth.

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Thought Leadership - Marketing Trends for Small Business

By leadingresults on March 30, 2016

Our founder, Dan Kraus, was recently interviewed as a Guest on the @SageNAmerica Thought Leadership podcast. 

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4 min read

Strengthen Your Professional Services Lead Conversion in 4 Steps

By Courtney Stallings on March 29, 2016

A steady flow of qualified leads is critical to the growth and evolution of any business, but is especially important to professional services. When business slows, it’s necessary to examine your lead generation and conversion process and see where it needs strengthening. Specifically, it’s time to examine how easy it is for potential clients to engage in conversation with you and how well you convey what you do and how you can resolve their problem or answer their question.

If you’re experiencing a dip, drag, or lag in your lead conversions, these four ideas will put you back on track.

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2 min read

Tips for Getting (and Keeping) Patients Through Referrals

By Courtney Stallings on March 21, 2016

If you’re a dermatologist (or any specialty medical provider, for that matter), your goal is for your practice to grow, and growth means new patients. Marketing and advertising can be expensive, however, and as busy as you are, overly time-consuming.

Enter referrals. While you can use marketing and advertising, a big part of getting new patients should include getting them through referrals – it’s a much easier way to get new business than finding new clients through other means.

Topics: referrals
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4 min read

How to get Referrals if You Are a Technology Company – 5 Major Keys to Success

By Laura Lorenz on March 10, 2016

Systems are the key to a predictable business and, just like other parts of your business, you need to have a system in place for referrals. It's not enough to say that you want referrals — you need an entire culture of referrals in your business.

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4 min read

Creating Differentiation as a (Professional) Services Firm

By Dan Kraus on March 8, 2016

If you are a services firm, especially a professional services firm, where the primary product you sell is your knowledge (and the results of your client applying your knowledge to their situation), creating differentiation can be difficult. 

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1 min read

Y2K

By Matt Starnes on March 4, 2016

We were cleaning out a file cabinet at our new office when we found a three-page brochure on Y2K preparedness. Y2K was when, sixteen years ago, the world panicked because it seemed that a computer date code would undo the civilized world on January 1, 2000. How? By collapsing our electricity and communications, of course! Here’s a brief article on the Year 2000 (aka Y2K) problem.

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3 min read

How Psychology Affects User Experience

By Darling Jimenez on March 1, 2016

Psychology is essential when it comes to graphic design and web development. Often, companies
 are too concerned about having a pretty website and have little concern for the psychology of their design choices. Humans respond to content at a basic — that is, physiological and psychological — level without even realizing it. This blog seeks to shine light on five important things to remember about human psychology and the direction they should give your user experience design and planning. 

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3 min read

3 Things You Should Know About YOUR Company Before You Hire a Marketing Agency

By Courtney Stallings on February 24, 2016

A few months ago, I published a blog about how finding an Inbound Marketing agency is quite similar to dating, and, truthfully, each topic in that blog could stand alone as a post of its own.

One specific point is of paramount importance as you navigate the process of finding the marketing agency of your dreams. Nothing in this blog post has anything to do with a marketing agency, however – it has everything to do with YOUR company.

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3 min read

How to Fail with Webinars

By Courtney Stallings on February 23, 2016

I have been the victim of a bad webinar.

Don’t get me wrong – I’ve never done a webinar, so I’m not 100% familiar with the ins and outs of creating and hosting them, but I believe it’s no small feat.

Topics: webinars
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3 min read

What Does a Marketing Workshop Do For You?

By Darling Jimenez on February 18, 2016

 

Marketing without a strategy is like a blind dragon – it can breathe fire and cause destruction (usually to your budget) but without purpose. And though we can all agree that no one likes wanton destruction, more and more I see tactics without strategy in many of the potential clients that come through our door.

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3 min read

You Have an Idea – Now What?

By Matt Starnes on February 4, 2016

Pop! An idea!

Did you ever receive a gift that was unexpected and changes the way you see the world? I was lucky enough to receive such a gift for the Christmas holiday. My future mother-in-law sent my fiancée and me a box of books. One was a children’s book.

Written by Kobi Yamada and beautifully illustrated by Mae Besom, I soon discovered that What Do You Do with an Idea? is a book for all ages.

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2 min read

How One Click Led to the Question "Did You Elope?" | A UX Case Study

By Darling Jimenez on February 3, 2016

Next Door is a community portal to help neighbors stay engaged and informed about all things going on in the community. So I rejoiced when I got an invitation to join from my boyfriend (who I live with) and immediately clicked the sign up button. Little did I know that one click would lead to a lot of trouble. 

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2 min read

Do Leadership

By Laura Lorenz on January 28, 2016

For the past several months, I’ve been working on a book with some fellow Duct Tape Marketing colleagues – and what an experience! I had the opportunity to interview some genuine thought leaders who gave me very practical advice about how to become a thought leader. Writing a book is a daunting task, but when you collaborate with excellent people it is also a rewarding task.

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3 min read

You Get What You Pay For

By Courtney Stallings on January 25, 2016

When I was younger, I used to ride a bike – camping, rails-to-trails, around the neighborhood. Then I stopped, although I’m not sure why, or even when. Then, when I was 20, I decided I wanted to mix up my fitness regimen, so I got a bike. I figured it would work different muscles and all that jazz.

Topics: Marketing
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4 min read

Balancing your Marketing Tactics Plan

By Dan Kraus on January 20, 2016

At Leading Results, we do a lot of marketing planning – for us, of course, but especially for our clients. Like many marketers, our team members tend to lean into and plan the marketing tactics that they are a) most comfortable doing or b) like the most. And while this makes for engaged marketers, it generally doesn’t result in a balanced plan.

To help keep us thinking in a balanced approach to lead generation, we use a simple 2x2 grid that categorizes most lead generation tactics and provides us with an ongoing check-in visual as we plan. It’s not rocket science; however, in today’s world of non-linear buying processes, to realize you need some coverage of all the various ways in which to attract new customers.

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6 min read

10 Photoshop Tricks to Keep You From Going Crazy!

By Susan Grewell on January 20, 2016

For the last several years, Illustrator has been my default go-to on all things design. I love the interface, the intuitiveness, and consistency it offers. Needless to say, when my company asked me to shift gears and start using Photoshop, I almost panicked.

I was very familiar with Illustrator and InDesign and had extensively used both, but Photoshop is a different animal. I calmed myself by saying, “But I’ve used other Adobe Suite programs, so how difficult can it be? I’m sure it’s intuitive as well, right?”

It's NOT!

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4 min read

3 Reasons Your Web Development Company Shouldn't Handle Your Marketing

By Courtney Stallings on January 15, 2016

Every living being needs a few bare necessities to survive. For example, without at least air, food, water, and shelter, animals would die.

Your website is no different. 

If a website is only getting sporadic updates and attention, its survival rate, as it relates to lead generation and profitability, is slim to none. I’d be out of a job if this proved otherwise.

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2 min read

Failing at Being Part of the Community it Serves

By Dan Kraus on January 13, 2016

I don’t usually call out businesses that fail at something by name – I’d prefer to share the lesson and leave it at that – but the Northlake Mall and Starwood Retail Properties (the mall operator) in Charlotte have had 2 huge fails that I want to share and hope others can learn from.

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6 min read

8 Tips to Avoid a Website Redesign Nightmare

By Darling Jimenez on January 7, 2016

I recently met one of my sorority sisters in a coffee shop. She was new to the Charlotte area, and I had never met her before. In an effort to offer some comfort and familiarity, I met with her to tell her more about Charlotte and to get to know her better. Only five minutes after our conversation began, she received a phone call.

Apologizing for having to take it, she proceeded to hold a brief conversation, which ended with eyes full of tears.

“What’s wrong?” I asked her, concerned. She broke down again with renewed tears. She explained that she was in the process of redoing her website for a third time because both of the previous designers had failed to deliver a new website.

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9 min read

10 B2B Marketing Trends Impacting Your Past, Present, and Future

By Dan Kraus on December 22, 2015

The last six months have been incredibly busy for our agency – we’ve been to Dublin and London to work with a client, held workshops in Atlanta and Charlotte with three other clients, brought on two new employees, and have collectively spent over 500 hours in seminars and sessions at the HubSpot Inbound Marketing conference, Duct Tape Marketing Consultants Summit, Google trainings, and numerous other education opportunities.

In those six months, we have raised our business development IQ to new levels and seen a transformation in the way we approach many things. Here are the top 7 things that we have learned, relearned, or just simply had reinforced during the second half of the year. From our experiences, there are lessons you can take and a few predictions for 2016 that we can make.

Here are the 7 most important B2B marketing trends we learned in 2015:

Topics: B2B
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2 min read

Activity Does Not Equal Productivity

By Darling Jimenez on December 9, 2015

How are you? Busy!!!

This is typically how conversations with our new clients begin. They talk about the number of tasks they need to accomplish and how their time is so limited that it’s impossible for them to accomplish those tasks.

Upon examination of the tasks, however, it soon becomes clear that some tasks are done repeatedly without a measurable result and without any real strategy behind them. Individuals are often caught up in a whirlwind of activity and a “cycle of busy” that don't seem to lead to any LEADS. So how do you break the cycle?

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3 min read

7 Ways Dating is Like Finding an Inbound Marketing Agency

By Courtney Stallings on November 30, 2015

Let's put it plainly - dating sucks. Starting the painstaking process of finding someone special is enough to make anyone resolve to be single forever. If you've landed on this blog post, you're likely gaining insight regarding a new style of dating - how to find an inbound marketing agency that's right for you. You're probably overwhelmed and nervous about this process, and while it won't be easy or quick, there IS an inbound marketing agency that's perfect for you. Once you find it, business as you know it will never be the same!

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3 min read

Introduction to Infographics Design

By Susan Grewell on November 20, 2015

What is an Infographic?

Someone has asked you to create an infographic. “Egad!” you say, “What’s an infographic?”

An infographic is a visual image such as a chart or diagram used to represent information or data in a way that is visually engaging. It can make digesting a lot of data easier and help the reader avoid boredom. As such, infographics are a great way to improve your users’ experience and help them engage more seamlessly with the resources your company has to offer.

Topics: infographic
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3 min read

5 Problems Growth-Driven Design Will Solve For You

By Darling Jimenez on November 6, 2015

Anyone who has ever done a website design or re-design knows how difficult the process and management of the project can be. From beginning to end, a web design project requires the focus, cooperation, and feedback of many moving people – people who don’t necessarily have the time to complete the project, no matter how much they want to. Often, you fall into intention limbo, where you want to get things done quickly but the project seems to move at an alarmingly slow pace. The result is a hallowed design that carries with it a hope of success left to chance.

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2 min read

When Shaming Goes Corporate

By Courtney Stallings on November 5, 2015

Body-shaming, slut-shaming, fat-shaming, pet-shaming, parent-shaming, gender-shaming … it seems like the word “shaming” shows up in my social media feeds more than once a day.

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1 min read

Do You Know Your Buyer Persona?

By Matt Starnes on October 18, 2015

My fiancé watches the reality competition show Project Runway. So I watch the reality competition show Project Runway. Most times I end up catching up on some reading or review my work game plan for the week. This episode was different. The JustFab fashion director Yuchin Mao introduced five style personas, and the designers had to create sellable, wearable looks based on the style personas. The topic immediately peaked my interest.

Topics: buyer persona
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2 min read

None of My Customers Use Social Media

By Dan Kraus on October 13, 2015

I must hear this 5 times a week. Let me tell you – you are wrong. Maybe the guy signing the check for your product or service doesn’t use a social channel, but his team that is doing the research, reference checking and overall selection filtering are. Guaranteed. Millennials – Those folks born in the 1980’s came of age connected with the internet and social media.  They are in their 30’s now and hold positions of real responsibility. They are the most educated generation ever and they feed on organic trust. The kind you can’t build with advertising. They crowd-source information – reviews, feedback, ideas – and if your product or service is up to par, or they can’t find good things written about by peers, you pretty much don’t exist. 
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1 min read

Revamp and Renew

By Matt Starnes on September 29, 2015

I attended a friend’s birthday party recently that had quite an impact on me. Jim reserved a private room at a pub, rented a mic and speakers, and treated us to a unique experience. What transpired over the next hour-and-a-half, including a brief intermission, was amazing.
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2 min read

Marketing is a Game of Focus

By Darling Jimenez on September 23, 2015

If you managed to drag yourself to the movie theater recently you might have run into the poster below.

Focus. This movie follows an experienced con artist (Will Smith) through several cons, which are interrupted by a beautiful blonde who becomes his intern. One of the main concepts in the movie is that conning will fail if you do not have a clear focus and while marketing and conning are not the same thing (though this is slightly debatable), marketing is indeed a game of focus, and not recognizing it as such can lead to a lot of trouble. 

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2 min read

The Ebb and Flow of Marketing Agency Relationships

By Dan Kraus on August 3, 2015

I’ve had a lot of houseguests these past few weeks, and one thing that has struck me is how much energy some take and how little energy others take. I’m not talking about the entertaining or cooking or cleaning the sheets after they leave – they were all classically “good” houseguests – but rather the actual energy and exhaustion that I feel (or don’t) after they are gone.

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2 min read

If Your Language Doesn't Evolve, You'll Go Extinct

By Courtney Stallings on July 23, 2015

Sometimes I ask my boyfriend if he remembered to set the DVR to tape our favorite shows. 

Weird Al Yankovic sang about phone books and yanking phone cords out of the wall (video here).

Jim Croce told the operator to keep the dime (video here), and the Turtles sang about calling someone up and investing a dime (video here).

Someone asked me if I left a message on their answering machine.

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2 min read

The Correct Use of Content

By Susan Grewell on July 13, 2015

Like many, I enjoy running outdoors and I often run in my neighborhood. Along with this penchant, I also love nature and particularly trees. So as I run in my neighborhood I am often captivated by the beauty of the trees there – and occasionally, saddened.

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4 min read

Why HubSpot?

By Dan Kraus on June 22, 2015

We get this question a lot. Why should I work with HubSpot? Why do I want to pay for my website when I can create it for free on WordPress? Isn’t it the same thing as Marketo/Pardot/Lead Lander/insert your choice here.

I have great answers to this question, but first, I want to set some context.

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1 min read

How Are You Being Perceived?

By Courtney Stallings on June 9, 2015

My car was recently rear-ended, and the insurance company decided to total my car. I'm not great with change, so my new car is nearly the same – same straight drive, same color, same sedan model, same fabric seats, etc. (I can't deny that I love the new Bluetooth, though!)

Topics: perception
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2 min read

100 Percent of the Time – or at least 99 Percent

By Dan Kraus on May 6, 2015

Nothing is 100% certain, except, as Mr. Ben Franklin once said, death and taxes (and who knows, death may not be 100% certain for much longer). But it seems to me that there is a marketing and sales advantage that accrues to the company that strives for 100% and advertises that fact.

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2 min read

Social Media Bullying

By Matt Starnes on April 21, 2015

I was attending a Meetup at a local coffee shop in Charlotte, NC recently when six customers walked in sat down at one of the reserved tables and chairs for our group. The night was young and we were not using the space yet although our gaming group members sat all around them. We greeted new attendees and welcomed them into the various board games started around the room. An hour and a half after the customers sat in our reserved space we asked them politely to move to the bar seating and pointed out the signage at the table they sat around clearly had the name of our group, time span, and in all caps RESERVED. What followed was disturbing and had never occurred before.

Topics: bullying
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2 min read

Women, Money & Entrepreneurship

By Darling Jimenez on April 15, 2015

As a web developer, I have had the blessing of working with a lot of people; many of these have been women running businesses, fighting to stay afloat. A lot of these women were excellent in their professions as hair stylist, musicians, and chefs. However, they all seem to have a common characteristic. As I asked them questions about their businesses and their goals in wanting a new website, they all seemed to hesitantly answer no to one very important set of questions.

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2 min read

Google’s Mobile Search Update – What To Do To Be Prepared

By Darling Jimenez on April 8, 2015

You may or may not have heard that Google is yet again cooking up a new algorithm for its ranking system. This time, the main focus of the algorithm is to improve customers’ experiences as they relate to mobile technology.

Google has always kept its focus on providing its users with exactly what they are looking for. To continue to service customers in this way, Google will now penalize you for not having a mobile-friendly website.

If you have a mobile-friendly website, you’re off the hook. Otherwise, here are some steps to take before the April 21, 2015 deadline.

  • Find out if your website is mobile friendly: grab your phone and search for your website. Do you have to zoom in and out in order to view the content clearly? If not, check out the steps below.
  • You can also take our partner’s Marketing Grader Quiz to check if your website is mobile by clicking here.

If your website is not mobile-friendly here are a couple of suggestions on what to do next:

You should already have Google analytics and Webmaster tools set up on your website (if you don’t click here), so you can log into your Google account and look at Google’s mobile friendly test tool. This will give you some advice on how to improve your mobile website.

Google Page Speed Insights: Webmaster tools also allows you to check out your site speed. For mobile sites, this is particularly important as people are accessing your website from 4G, 5G, and other non-standard networks that can be significantly slower. A standard a score of 80 and above is good enough to pass the test.

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2 min read

Price, Service and Brand Alignment

By Dan Kraus on April 4, 2015

Seth Godin recently wrote a post on luxury and customer service, the essence of which is that if you can afford to pay more, the service doesn’t have to be great because the brand figures you can just buy another, – you can read it here – and I wanted to pile on with two recent experiences.

First was my wife’s experience with her Coach bag. She loves the Coach brand. She’ll walk into the store in the mall just to smell it. So recently she had a problem with one bag when the handles starting unraveling, she took it back to the store and they shipped it off to look at it for repair. 

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2 min read

Marketing is Everywhere

By Courtney Stallings on March 18, 2015

 The two jobs I had before Leading Results were in a school cafeteria and a lock-down psychiatric facility for teenagers. To me, those things didn’t need marketing – everyone has to go to school, and everyone at school has to eat, and there was actually a waiting list for the psych ward.

Topics: Marketing
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2 min read

SEO IS NOT MARKETING

By Darling Jimenez on March 11, 2015

During my time working as a freelancer I often came across people who had little to no idea about marketing, managing a website, or promoting themselves in the digital world. This made for a lot of interesting experiences and some frustrating encounters. One of these memorable encounters happened at a NYC Soho Starbucks on Spring Street where I met up with a physical trainer.

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2 min read

Bad Service In the Age of Social Media

By Darling Jimenez on February 9, 2015

I was driving on the I-85 highway in Charlotte, NC when I noticed my car began to slow down. With speeds that are typically above average, I-85 is the worst place for this to happen. Car after car zoomed pass me. In the meantime, my car continued to slow, 60, 50, 40 … I quickly realized that I was in trouble and needed to pull over. At the next available exit I did and the car suddenly shut down in the middle of the right turning lane

Petrified, I immediately called my insurance company who promptly sent a tow truck. What followed was perhaps one of the worst customer service experiences I will ever have.

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2 min read

Without a Persona, Just STOP

By Laura Lorenz on February 2, 2015

I recently attended the first meeting of the West Chester, PA HUG. For those of you who don’t know what HUG is, it's a HubSpot user group. As a marketing consultant in the area, I was excited to see this group form. There were about 25 partners, end users, and people who were interested in learning more about HubSpot and inbound marketing.

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2 min read

Invisibility is the wrong superpower for your business

By Dan Kraus on January 25, 2015

This may seem to be a nit... a picky complaint… but there is a lesson here.

I like my dry cleaning service. They pick up from my house and they return the clothes a couple of days later.  They charge my credit card and when they make a mistake (like when they wrecked a pair of pants) they include a note and offer compensation.

In general, this “invisible service” works pretty well; until it doesn’t. I say invisible, because I never have any personal interaction with them.  Just notes back and forth.

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1 min read

Marketing Wanted

By Courtney Stallings on January 16, 2015

There’s a song by Hunter Hayes called “Wanted” – you can watch the video here – and it was really strange because the last time I listened to it, it made me think of marketing.

It’s not about marketing, as you’d probably guess. It’s a love song, and Hunter Hayes wants to make his girl feel … well, wanted.

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2 min read

What's the New New Thing?

By Dan Kraus on December 20, 2014

(nod to Michael Lewis)

I had a long-time client of mine pose this question to me recently. He went on to say that in looking back over the four years we had worked together we had implemented a lot of change.  

We had updated the website and spent a lot of time on SEO, we had put in place a clear content marketing strategy. We were blogging. Doing videos. We were following up on website visitors, we were nurturing the names in his database on a regular basis. We had implemented referral marketing programs and made networking as effective as we could with his current staff and we were regularly participating and leveraging social media.

So his questions went, what should we be doing for 2015?

You know what? It was a darn good question.

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4 min read

Plugging the Sales and Marketing Leak

By Dan Kraus on November 19, 2014

There's a leak in your revenue-generation boat. And I can tell you where it is by asking 3 questions:

  1. What's a qualified lead (to your sales manager) that should be accepted by sales?
  2. What's a qualified lead (to your marketing manager) that should be passed onto sales?
  3. What happens when a qualified lead a salesperson is working on either delays the purchase or turns out to not be qualified after all?

Here’s our experience with most small and mid-sized companies (B2B, generally selling services or technology).

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3 min read

From Digital Brochures to Marketing Platforms: How Websites Have Evolved

By leadingresults on November 1, 2014

how-marketing-has-evolved.jpgThis is a guest post from fellow Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Phil Singleton. Thanks for such a great post!

Website and web development technology has come a long way since the birth of the Internet. From the first point-and-click websites, through Flash based websites, to today’s mobile-responsive websites tricked out with slick HTML5 slide-and-scroll animation and parallax effects, the look and feel of the Internet has changed dramatically over the years. Of course broadband Internet connection has help speed things align too, literally. More importantly, the purpose and use of websites have changed so much, that the word “web site” is now misleading, because your company’s website is now so much more than just a site on the web. Here’s a quick overview of where we started and where we are today:

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1 min read

Leveraging Trends for Smart Marketing

By Dan Kraus on October 28, 2014

You may have heard that our smart phones are to blame for the slower service in nice restaurants. If not, you should read this article. In essence it says that since we are busy taking pictures of our food, ourselves and our groups, service takes longer.

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1 min read

Creative Use of Social in B2B Marketing

By Dan Kraus on October 19, 2014

I had the opportunity to do three presentations at the eXtremeCRM conference two weeks ago in Las Vegas and I wanted to give a shout out to the folks from The Portal Connector for Dynamics CRM for the way they leveraged social media for B2B marketing during the conference.  (They took the same approach at the Microsoft WPC) 

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2 min read

Personas Risk Leading Your Marketing Astray

By Dan Kraus on October 13, 2014

I could not agree more with Tim Reisterer and his recent article in the Sales and Marketing magazine. (You can read the article here, on pages 22-23.)

It’s a great article and dead on point. Personas are an excellent way for marketers to paint a broad picture of those they are trying to attract, helping unseasoned marketers get a grip on the idea of whom they’re writing to and creating programs for. Personas also help shape the language you use in your marketing collateral and tactics while providing a common language to use inside an organization as they talk about different prospective customer roles.

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4 min read

So You Want to Become a Sales Rep: 7 Things You Should Know

By Dan Kraus on October 7, 2014

If you look at my résumé before I founded Leading Results, you’d see someone who was a bit schizophrenic in their sales and marketing career. I have had as many marketing roles as I have had sales roles. Why? Because when I had a sales job, I would often get frustrated with the effectiveness of the marketing to find me sales leads. Or the reverse: I’d have a marketing job and get frustrated with the effort – or lack thereof – that sales would put into the leads I generated. In either case, I’d shoot my mouth off and get told, “Okay, you go do it.” So I did.

I’m older and wiser now.

It sometimes seems that sales gets all the glory while marketing does all the work. It’s not true, but it does seem that way at times – though those times may be a-changing with the impact of the search engine on buyer behavior.

But I’ll assume that as a smart marketer/finance manager/consultant, you know all this, and still want to go and be a sales rep. Here are seven things you should be sure you know as you go:

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3 min read

How Closed Customers Can Help Inform Your Marketing Strategy

By Dan Kraus on September 29, 2014

Notice I didn’t say new customers. Or prospects. Closed business – people that actually pay you money for your products or services – should have the biggest impact on your go-forward marketing. However, there are lots of caveats to this.

When you are early in your business, before your business model finally gels, any customer that pays you is a good customer. This is one of the most treacherous times and one of the best times to let your closed customers influence your marketing strategy. But, and it’s a big but, you have to be careful in the questions you ask and the way that you listen to the answers.

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2 min read

5 Tips For Surviving Day 2 of Inbound 2014

By Darling Jimenez on September 17, 2014

So day one of Inbound 2014 is  over (perhaps not for you brewmasters). By now a few things have happened, you have met some very cool people, you have been excited by the new possibilities of the CRM and you have had way too much coffee, and still  feel exhausted and not sure how you will make it to and through inbound's wednesday sessions in one piece. Here are 5 tips to help you make it through tomorrow in one piece:

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1 min read

5 Awesome Quotes From Keynotes at Inbound 2014

By Darling Jimenez on September 16, 2014

INBOUND IS AWESOME! There is so much positive energy, so much to learn and so many brilliant people.  It's hard to remember every brilliant thing that has been said but here are 5 quotes to take away from day one

  1. "The cost of leadership is self-interest. We let alphas lead because when danger strikes we expect them to protect us."  Simon Sinek 
  2. "Leaders do not ask for reasons to sacrifice, they take the risk and that's what makes them leaders." Simon Sinek
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2 min read

HubSpot: Now with CRM included!

By Dan Kraus on September 16, 2014

The space-time continuum between sales and marketing is rapidly moving to extinction. Sales individuals must think like marketers (see John Jantsch’s new book – Duct Tape Selling), and marketers are engaging with prospects in what had traditionally been considered a sales activity. Brian Halligan, the CEO of HubSpot has repeated a number of time "The traditional sales process in broken. Instead of "always be closing," the next generation of sales teams will "always be helping."

Customers have changed their buying process dramatically. Marketers and sales teams have begun to adjust their approach. But the tools that teams use to effectively work together have not kept up (see this post we wrote a few months ago)... Until now.

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2 min read

Wholesale Knowledge Drain

By Dan Kraus on September 15, 2014

There has been a lot written about Costco and their success as compared to other “wholesale clubs”. I particularly like this article in Bloomberg. And while I like Costco and have been a member at times, I currently do not live within a reasonable driving distance to one, so I belong to BJ’s.

While chatting with the check out clerk this morning, she commented (as she scanned my quart of blueberries) that they (BJ’s) had finally gotten smart and starting taping the containers shut. I commented that I agreed it was a good thing because I had one pop open on me in my cart and had lost all the berries to the parking lot. She said the same thing had happened to her.

Then she went on to say that she had observed a lot of little things the company could do better. When I asked her if she tells the company about them, her answer was no; that they only care if they do something wrong and never tell them (the staff) when they do something right. She said “I have not been late in eight months, or called out sick, but god help me if my supervisor saw me chewing gum”. (I would guess she is about 40 years old). In a few additional comments, she indicated that she really did not feel appreciated at all, but going to a place like Costco was impractical because it really was too far to drive.

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2 min read

Learn From the Marketing Brilliance of the ALS Bucket Challenge

By Darling Jimenez on August 26, 2014

It’s everywhere, dominating your Facebook news feed and your TV screen. You cannot get away from it because from George Bush to Lady Gaga, everybody is doing it. The ALS bucket challenge has managed to leverage social media to raise awareness and massive donations ($80 Million as of yesterday). But why has the ALS Bucket challenge been so successful?

Topics: buyer persona
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2 min read

The Second Critical Role on Your Marketing Team

By Laura Lorenz on August 20, 2014

In my last blog, I began discussing the change in marketing that has occurred over the last fifty or so years. Strategy was the focus of that post.

In this post, we’ll discuss the difference between copy-writers of old and great content writers of today.

When I think about copy-writers, I think of Peggy from Mad Men. Her job was to create promotional materials for the purpose of selling to a specific demographic. It needed to be able to persuade the reader to buy whatever the copy is selling. They used focus groups to see if the copy they wrote would move people to action.

Great content writers today write educational content that helps a potential client figure out how to solve a problem they are having. They need to be able to gently guide them through their buyer’s journey, helping the reader or viewer arrive at the conclusion that their product or service is the only one that will solve the problem.

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3 min read

Sales Automation vs Marketing Automation

By Dan Kraus on August 14, 2014

I was recently talking with a prospective client about automation for the business development process, specifically marketing automation, and she asked me to explain the difference between sales automation and marketing automation.

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1 min read

Are You Telling Stories with a Point or Creating a Verbal Jigsaw Puzzle with Your Talk?

By Dan Kraus on July 31, 2014

I get the opportunity to watch and listen to fabulous speakers. Some I watch live, some recorded (I “waste” my downtime watching TED videos), and when I watch these speakers – Seth Godin, Malcolm Gladwell, Tom Peters, Scott Brinker, just as examples – I see people who are outstanding storytellers and whose stories all lead to and support the point of their talks.
 
In the past two days, sitting at very large conference, I got to listen to two different keynotes. Two individuals were given the stage in front of 5000 people – to make a point, to inspire, to teach. What ensued from each was a 45 minute verbal jigsaw puzzle. Each had stories to highlight their experiences, but even though the stories may have been slightly related to the conference, they had no unifying string or theme. It was left to us in the audience to figure out what they meant, how to tie it together, and how to relate it to our experiences.
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1 min read

Are You Using Your Sense of Humor in Your Marketing and Brand?

By Dan Kraus on July 29, 2014

A friend sent me this picture from the park Manitou Springs, Colorado. It proves that even municipalities can have a sense of humor in getting their message across. Does this help keep the park clean? I have no idea, but I would expect so. If nothing else, it makes the message more memorable, and memorable helps create action.

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2 min read

Do We Trust Our Technology Too Much?

By Anna Oates on July 21, 2014

Editor's Note:  The post below is from our summer intern, Anna, and highlights a view of the "real" from a full time college student and digital native.

As someone who grew up with technology basically being more of a right than a privilege, I've found myself not only surrounded with wants for the newest gadget but a reliance on them. Our world has gone automatic, cutting edge, and we use the gadgets to make our lives easier ... while we hardly ever consider the old way because it’s too time consuming or takes too much effort.

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2 min read

Marketing Overload

By Dan Kraus on July 1, 2014

Over the past few weeks I have inundated with information about how much the world has changed in the past 30 years. From trying to explain to young staff about the emergence business software needed to track and maintain inventory for manufacturers and distributors, to a great presentation by Scott Brinker discussion the almost impossible progression of marketing technology, to National Geographic’s series on the 80’s. Wow, I can’t believe I have lived through all of this and there is more to come.

The marketing guru’s have been writing about marketing automation and technology changing the average marketers life for several years now, but it was never as clear to me as it is now. Most growing businesses are trying hard to take advantage of the changes, but it is really to keep up. Even the guru’s find it hard!

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1 min read

Do You Love Your Vendors?

By Dan Kraus on June 24, 2014

When you run a small business, you need partners you can count on. That means customers that you can trust and who trust you. It requires employees that are pulling in the same direction. And it means vendors that you are truly jazzed to represent.

At Leading Results, I’ve gotta say, we do love our primary vendors – we have only two – but we are passionate supporters of them, because they are there for us and help us to be our best.

Topics: hubspot
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2 min read

Don't Post Blog Content You Hate

By Dan Kraus on June 19, 2014

Once in a while I see a blog from someone who I like and respect, but that is SO TOTALLY WRONG, that I have to comment on it. This is one of those posts.

Scott Yates – an entrepreneur and writer I respect – recently posted on the Marketo blog this post on Amy Adams and why you must post blog articles that you may hate.

Scott summarizes his point this way “… the short version of how this relates to content marketing is simply this: You can't treat your business blog like a movie. It's fine to like or dislike an actress. What's not fine is to treat your business blog like a movie. The question isn't if you like it. Rather, the question is if the blog is helping you meet your business goals.

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5 min read

Creating Differentiation with Simply Excellent Customer Service

By Dan Kraus on April 28, 2014

I had to write this post about my recent experience with the folks at Southtree. I was introduced to this company through a groupon.  The offer was for $250 in video transfer services for $75, and I, like a lot of folks, have tons of old video and old pictures that I’d like to be able to use on my computer.

But transferring video to digital is a painfully slow process.  And for some forms (like slides), you have to have the right equipment.  So I figured this was a good opportunity to get some of the work done.

So I cashed in my groupon and boxed up my tapes according to their instructions, and sent them off. Now, trusting the postal service with your only copy of a memory is a little nerve wracking. Yes, they usually deliver, but you never know.  So I was quite relieved when I got this message two days later:

DELIVERED

Hello, the team here at Southtree wanted to let you know your memories were delivered safely to our secure processing studio. We know these are very important so we keep every order under lock and key. Our studio is equipped with the latest surveillance, firesafe walls, and security systems.

Nice!  They had anticipated my anxiety, and relieved it immediately. Our relationship was off to a great start. But I sent 19 tapes and 61 slides.  Would I get my stuff back?  How do they keep track of all those little pieces?  Then

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1 min read

I Don’t Need Buyer Personas for My Website

By leadingresults on April 14, 2014

Similar to: “I need to reach too many different types of people for buyer personas to work” or “Let’s fix my buyer personas after I get this (fill in the blank) marketing activity done.”

Your message or offer has to have a clearly identified target in order for your marketing to be effective. Or said differently, “anyone” or “everyone” automatically qualifies as “no target” and hence, attracts nobody.

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2 min read

Testimonials and Case Studies – When All Else Fails

By Dan Kraus on March 28, 2014

You have this great client or customer. They would make a fabulous case study and they have already given you a nice short testimonial quote. They love you and your product or service. They compliment you all the time. And you can never get to write anything down, or even to give you time to work with them to develop the case study story. Because they are too busy.

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1 min read

March Marketing Madness 2014

By Dan Kraus on March 16, 2014

March Madness has become a US cultural phenomenon for groups of (mostly) men in office pools around the country. Sometimes the outcomes are predictable, but in the NCAA tournament, nothing is ever 100% certain. Just like most marketing tactics.

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1 min read

Talking to Your Customers IS Market Research

By Dan Kraus on March 13, 2014

Quick story for today’s post. I have had the privilege of being a guest or part time mentor for a entrepreneur incubator for the last couple of years. Every few months I get the opportunity to interface with some incredibly bright, creative and energetic folks launching the next great thing. Sometimes in tech, sometime in retail, sometimes in education. You never know what will come next.

One of the things I have noticed in all the one-on-one conversations I have with these teams is their need for information, and their failure to see one of the best sources of it, right in their grasp. It’s their customers!

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2 min read

Increase Your CTA Performance with These 5 Tips

By Susan Grewell on March 3, 2014

Are you tired of creating CTAs that get no attention? Do you experience low conversion rates? Are you wondering how to improve this?

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4 min read

The same way doesn’t work anymore

By Dan Kraus on March 2, 2014

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1 min read

Clarity is Grace and Elegance

By Dan Kraus on February 25, 2014

Thought for a day:

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4 min read

Who Are You Hiring in Your Marketing Department?

By Dan Kraus on February 20, 2014

Editor’s note… This post is from Joe Reyes, and outstanding student intern we have had working with us since November of last year. I asked Joe to share his thoughts on how college is preparing him for real-world marketing.

 

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2 min read

5 Things to Discuss with Your Designer Before Beginning a Redesign Project

By Darling Jimenez on February 10, 2014

In a previous blog post, “Tales From the Crypt” You learned all about the different problems and miscommunications that can arise when embarking on a website design or re-design process. In this post, I will give you some advice from the  designer’s point of view, of some of the things you should discuss with the person you hire before you begin the project implementation.

Needless to say, communication is key. Here are 5 things to discuss with your designer before embarking on the project:

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Avoid the Design BLOB!

By Susan Grewell on February 2, 2014

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4 min read

Website Projects – Tales from the Crypt

By Dan Kraus on January 22, 2014

Yes, that title is a bit dark and gloomy. And for many people, managing the creation and launch of a new website for their company feels like the cold hand of death is reaching out for them.

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1 min read

Getting Website Conversions

By Dan Kraus on January 21, 2014

Increasing the conversions from your website can be as simple as making sure you have the right number of fields for the data and types of leads you are trying to get. This infographic from Lisa Margetis at SingleHop does a really nice job of showing the stats.

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2 min read

Surviving Hummingbird

By Darling Jimenez on January 15, 2014

Much excitement has surrounded the new Hummingbird search algorithm launched by Google in September of 2013. A lot of people are talking about it but there seems to be a lack of understanding to what it really means for your website, and overall online marketing strategy. This blog post is meant to give you clarity on what the new Hummingbird algorithm has adjusted and how this can affect your website.

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5 min read

5 Things I Learned in 2013 About Marketing and Strategy

By leadingresults on January 12, 2014

The Top 5 things I learned in 2013.

1)    Why bother selling ice to Eskimos?

I’ve been in BNI chapters for years at this point, and when I joined a chapter just outside my new home of Charlotte, I seemed to have some real trouble breaking in and getting quality (or even quantity of referrals).  Heck, our Bite Sized Business Development program came out of the desire to provide better quality to a larger quantity of small businesses.

What I realized is that once someone has a solution, even if yours is better, is that they will stick with the momentum. 

This is why incumbents usually win elections too.

In my chapter, there were already key, pre-existing relationships with a marketing consultant who had to leave the chapter, and was already well connected with most of the members of the group.   And he continued to get the referrals and connections.

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2 min read

Create Unique Images Quickly and Easily with PowerPoint

By Susan Grewell on January 1, 2014

"A picture is worth a thousand words." – Frederick Barnard

But it's more than that!

According to the SAGE Handbook of Political Communication, a picture also has this added benefit: The human brain can “… process visual information 60,000 times faster than the time it takes it to decode text.” Remember the concept of an “elevator pitch”? – Well, a picture is a supersaturated elevator pitch!

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3 min read

Why Are Testimonials so Effective?

By Laura Lorenz on January 1, 2014


Testimonials build trust. Whether your customers are raving about what your product has done for them or about the great service you gave, they tell the story of a positive experience with your products and business.
  • Testimonials aren't "salesy." Because testimonials aren't written in your "voice," they stand out as truthful and impartial accounts of how well your product works or how great your service is.
  • Testimonials overcome skepticism. A good testimonial has the power to convince even the most skeptical prospect that your product or service really made a difference in your customer's life--and youcan help them, too.

Here’s an example of a great testimonial (sorry, have to toot my own horn).

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2 min read

Thoughts On Naming a Business and/or Product Line

By leadingresults on December 20, 2013

I’ve been working with a business startup that has had some interesting problems in researching names.   Here are 5 bits of wisdom from those conversations:

1)    Your name has to be spell-able. 

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3 min read

Will Inbound Marketing Solve My Lead Generation Problem?

By Dan Kraus on December 7, 2013

The short answer is no. But the short answer is never the complete answer.

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2 min read

Kmart's Advertising vs Marketing

By leadingresults on November 30, 2013

Kmart has done it yet again with an awesome commercial that makes me like the company just a bit more.

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3 min read

What is the total experience you are waiting for?

By Dan Kraus on November 26, 2013

It's a service economy. Or, it’s an experience economy. You’ve heard one of those before, right?  Actually, if you own or run a professional practice (MD, Attorney, eye care, CPA, Physical Therapy, etc.), it’s both.  You are providing a service and it is the result of the service and the experience around the service that counts.

Let me tell you about my recent dental experience.  Wait you are saying – no one likes to hear about the dentist. It is never a good story.  Well this one is, and it is illustrative of what I said above.

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2 min read

What's the Difference Between a Keyword and a Key Phrase?

By leadingresults on November 11, 2013

At Leading Results, we will get asked why we nearly always use the term 'key phrase' instead of keyword.

At one point in time, keywords were good enough to get the rankings on Google you were looking for, assuming you were willing to pay someone enough to create the right number and types of links.

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3 min read

Finding Success with FindAccountingSoftware.com

By Dan Kraus on November 9, 2013

At Leading Results we do a lot of work with ERP (aka accounting) software resellers and consultants. These consulting businesses are in a difficult market:

Topics: Sales
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2 min read

Using Your Customer’s Language – Real Tales of Caution

By Dan Kraus on October 27, 2013

In the last few weeks we've had two clients we work with discover that the language they use to describe their customers is the not the language the customers use to describe themselves.

This misalignment is so critical that it can be fatal to your business development efforts. Obviously, it's something that must be avoided.

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2 min read

Merchandising For Better Sales

By Dan Kraus on October 23, 2013

I went to pick up my daughter from kindergarten yesterday and ran headlong into a master merchandiser who I both respect professional and loathe personally – Scholastic. If you have a child and have ever experienced their traveling book fair, you know exactly what I mean.

I want my child to read, and I want her to love books – especially the kind made from paper.  So of course I want to buy her a couple of books to encourage this and support the school. What I didn't want was the tears that come with the “books with enclosed toys” which I decline to purchase.

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3 min read

How Can a Small Business Marketing Consultant Help?

By Dan Kraus on October 22, 2013

Once upon a time, there was a technology firm that thought they had it all together. They had a couple of good sales folks and two marketing managers. Their website was based on a modern, up-to-date platform. The year was poised for success and growth from a 4m firm to a 5.25m firm.  Then, in a blink of an eye, it all changed. One salesperson left and one of the marketing staff left, and now the owners were back to working IN the business instead of ON the business. And with two staff members gone, the remaining staff felt overwhelmed and left behind.

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3 min read

Why Getting Testimonials May Be Difficult

By Dan Kraus on October 15, 2013

All consumers, business or personal, go through the process of getting to know, like, and trust your organization or team before they will try your products/services and buy from you. Testimonials and case studies from your current clients are a key component in building trust. If you are having a difficult time getting testimonials, it may be time to do a little digging to see what is really going on with your organization.

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8 min read

The 7 Website Monsters

By leadingresults on October 8, 2013

At Leading Results, it’s not unusual for us to be brought in to fix messes.

An often expensive mess that we get called on to repair is the company website.  I’m convinced that this is often because there is a prevailing myth in the business community that website work can be done (well) by one person.

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3 min read

Five Ways to Use Testimonials to Generate Leads

By Dan Kraus on October 2, 2013

Testimonials from your clients (or partners) are traditionally used in the sales process to help a prospect develop trust. Trust that you or your product does what you say it does. What many businesses miss however, is the opportunity to use their customer testimonials to generate new inquiries and leads.

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2 min read

We Can’t Accept Money From Someone Who Isn’t a Customer

By Dan Kraus on September 27, 2013

Think about that title for a second. Someone actually uttered (well, wrote in an email) that phrase.

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3 min read

The Tagging Pyramid

By leadingresults on September 22, 2013

A question I often get asked is how much, and with what should I be tagging my blog posts and website pages?

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3 min read

Why Are You Leaving Your Prospect’s Business Card on the Table?

By Dan Kraus on September 11, 2013

This is a guest post from our friend Randy Collins at Strategies Group

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2 min read

Pandering to Your Audience for Viral Discussions and Testimonials

By leadingresults on September 8, 2013

Sometimes, we all like to be catered to - targeted very specifically.  When I was at Gen-Con 2013, a great example of this was from Noodles and Company that made special coupons disguised as Magic the Gathering cards.

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4 min read

How Well Do You Know Your Perfect Customer?

By leadingresults on September 2, 2013

First, let’s define 'perfect customer.' The concept of a perfect customer is pretty simple – they are the ones that, if you could get enough of them, would rock your year. They're profitable, they value your knowledge, experience, and you as a vendor partner, and they refer you. They are the people you love to do business with. As Duct Tape Marketing Consultants, we call them ideal customers.

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2 min read

6 Reasons your content marketing should not resemble Miley Cyrus at the VMAs

By Dan Kraus on August 28, 2013

The noise about Miley is spot on. She was a train-wreck (and local teenagers confirm this).  Consider Miley’s reputation and her public image as her content, her brand.  Here’s our observation on how she got the marketing of that content dead-wrong.  If you haven’t seen the performance (and can bear to lose 6 minutes of your life), here is the link to it

  1. It was out of context – While Miley may be changing her image, she was so far out of context, that our mind doesn’t make the jump. If you want to transition your audience to a new way of thinking, its best to bring them along one logical step at a time.  A big jump is jarring and will likely lose a substantial portion of them.  If that’s your goal (and it may have been hers) then go ahead – just be prepared for the results.
  2. The performance provided shock over substance – Yes, she got people talking, but there can be bad press too. For celebs, it may not matter, but for your business, it probably does.
  3. You content has to be honest to who you are – Miley, trying to act like a rapper or boy from da 'hood, just looked silly.  Not only is it not in our image of her, she was also bad at it. It looked contrived and dishonest.
  4. You should be respectful your audience’s time: Give them something of value -  Miley’s performance was hollow, light, all antics and no substance. (well maybe she doesn’t have any substance anyway).
  5. Let your content set a good example: If your ideal target customer and persona expect flash and over the top (because that’s the business you are in) then great.  Remember, your prospects and customers are looking at your content as an example of what it would be like to do business with you.
  6. Use the filter you were born with (especially in a blog); just because you can say it, doesn’t mean you should – Where did Miley ever get to the place where she thought that this was a good idea? Yes, she had the stage, but she could have said no at any point, or changed the direction.

We all make mistakes with our content.  And making one or two of these at the same time is not fatal.  Please do us all a favor though and try not to make all six at once.

 

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4 min read

Why I Game

By leadingresults on August 25, 2013

I spent last weekend at Gen Con, which is North America’s largest tabletop gaming convention. I am often asked why I, as a business professional, play – and enjoy – tabletop games.

Topics: Entrepreneur
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2 min read

Best quotes from Hubspot Inbound 2013

By Dan Kraus on August 23, 2013

The Leading Results team just invested 10 man-days at the Hubspot Inbound conference (3 of us for 3 days and 2 of us for a half day). If you are a marketer, you want to put this conference on your calendar for next year. The amount of great content and new things to learn was just about overwhelming. And it wasn’t all (or even mostly) about Hubspot software.  It covered marketing, life, customer delightion (a Hubspot word), charity, technology and trends – and those were just the sessions I personally went to.

There were great quotes from all the speakers throughout the conference – and some we thought worth sharing and considering. Here they are:

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2 min read

I Need a Website

By Dan Kraus on August 16, 2013

So, if you are saying you need a website, I am going to assume you are right. It might be for your business or for your cause. Or maybe its because you have a website, but it isn’t working for you; that is, not accomplishing the goal you have for it to increase your business.

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2 min read

Are you in good company?

By Dan Kraus on August 12, 2013

We’ve written a lot lately about testimonials – how to get good ones, what makes up a good testimonial, why they are important – and sometimes, the most powerful testimonial is a picture of all the people you do business with.

You see, as an individual, I don't want to be the only one doing business with you.  I want to be one of hundreds of satisfied customers.  So how can you help me understand that?

Topics: Testimonials
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3 min read

Seller's Remorse

By Dan Kraus on August 6, 2013

We’ve all heard of buyer’s remorse.  Its that time after you make a purchase where you regret having made the decision.  Sometimes it imagined – a form of a brief panic attack – and sometimes its real, like choosing a house (or anything else you need to live with for a long time) for the wrong reasons and truly coming to regret it.

Seller’s remorse is something we don’t experience as much, but is just as real. On a personal level it may be when you sell something you really wish you had kept (my Audi Allroad is still missed for example). For a business owner or sales manager, it comes in the form of the client that you wished you had never written the proposal for, or that customer that bought, that you just knew as you took the payment, that they would be back again (and again, and again) and never with good news.

Topics: strategy Sales
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3 min read

How to Get Found In the Sea of Content

By leadingresults on August 4, 2013

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a hot topic. How do you get found amid a sea of other websites out there? There are three main ways that you can get found online. The easiest way (please be clear, I did not say best!) is to buy Pay-per-click advertising. The second easiest way (again, not best!) is to hire a firm that specializes in SEO and hope they can get you listed where you want, without getting you blacklisted. The third way is go do good old fashioned content publishing. Let's take a quick look at all three methods.

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1 min read

Strategy vs Tactics, Military History edition

By leadingresults on July 30, 2013

George Washington was, by many accounts, a poor battlefield general (lucky, but poor).

Topics: strategy Tactics
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1 min read

Building Marketing 101 into your CRM System

By leadingresults on July 16, 2013

A few weeks ago we did a post on CRM Systems are not a Magic Bullet for Business Development and discussed some ways to leverage your CRM (Contact Relationship Management) database. What we didn’t discuss was a few specific pieces of data that should be tracked.

Let’s discuss what fields are pertinent for Marketing 101. At the very minimum you should have the following fields:

  • Account Type – required – is used to determine what type of account it is (customer, prospect, referral partner, past customer)
  • Source – every record should have a place of origin
    • Data Source – from a list that you typically import
    • Lead Source – where did the lead come from? Even better if you have a Lead Type (print advertising, website, referral, etc.) and a Lead Source (the specific source; ABC ad, XYZ Landing page or Joe Smith)
    • Industry – we are big fans of tracking industry so that you can see what kind of mix you have or should have
    • Product/Service Type – ideally you would know what products/services each customer has so that you can do targeted marketing.
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2 min read

When your digital and online marketing is working

By Dan Kraus on July 2, 2013

Here is a note we recently got from a client.  Names have been changed to keep anonymity, but the results are clear.

"Last week a company called XYZ widgets visited our web site. They were in our CRM system, but we didn’t have them in our pipeline due to management changes and difficulty getting through to speak with someone. Our sales team member called the company after their visit to our website was recorded and reported through the Visitor Insights tool that you installed on our website.  We had an appointment with them this morning. The salesman sent them the link to the video page that we recently got put up with your help and two people from the company viewed the videos. They told us that because of the videos they felt they needed to take a closer look at our product.  This represents approximately $75,000 to $90,000 in potential business that we would have missed out bidding on."

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2 min read

Train and equip your sales team – PLEASE

By Dan Kraus on June 24, 2013

I need to rant for a minute on the sales calls I keep getting from companies that have not spent the time or money to properly equip the people they have selling for them.

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2 min read

Train and equip your sales team – PLEASE

By Dan Kraus on June 24, 2013

I need to rant for a minute on the sales calls I keep getting from companies that have not spent the time or money to properly equip the people they have selling for them.

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2 min read

Search Engine Optimization core differences between 2008 and today

By leadingresults on June 22, 2013

A core change of search engine optimization techniques between today and just a few years ago are the referred to "Panda" and "Penguin"-  Apparently because no understanding of Google is complete without a trip to the zoo?

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3 min read

4 Months of Lead Optimization Using Inbound Marketing

By leadingresults on June 17, 2013

I considered labeling this post/case study “Why your blogging isn’t working” but instead, I’m presenting the results for an HVAC client of ours in NY who had been using inbound marketing via Hubspot since February.

I just started doing this case study when I was asked:

 "One of my friends said he tried blogging and it didn't work at all for him.    How do you know if this blogging and 'inbound marketing' is working for us?"

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3 min read

Gaining repeat customer sales – Six quick tips

By Dan Kraus on June 15, 2013

Let me start this post with a story of what not to do. Actually, let me “play” you the conversation that occurred with the inside sales rep of one of my vendors.  I have had this product for 18 months and this is the first call I have gotten from them. I am going to leave all names out of this (after all, I do still have a relationship with them and do want it for now).

Phone rings: “ Dan Kraus, how can I help you”

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2 min read

Seven Tips for Gathering Video Testimonials

By leadingresults on June 11, 2013

Here are seven tips I picked up, mostly through trial and error, as well as talking to photographers and videographers.

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1 min read

Testimonial Examples

By Laura Lorenz on June 7, 2013

We are often asked “what makes a good testimonial”?  So, this post will endeavor to help you with just that. (you can also download our testimonial worksheet to guide you read through this)

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3 min read

CRM Systems are not a Magic Bullet for Business Development

By leadingresults on May 31, 2013

As a CRM consultant for over 10 years, I learned that the main reason that companies would implement CRM was to get to know their customers better and increase sales and marketing effectivness. What stumped me the most is that companies would spend a ton of money on a CRM system and training, and then not really use it. Most companies have hundreds or thousands of contacts in their database but not really much engagement with those people.

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1 min read

Why should I have keyword research done for me?

By leadingresults on May 29, 2013

A new client that we started doing keyword/keyphrase research for presented the following screen capture from their Hubspot account.

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4 min read

Why you need marketing coaching

By Dan Kraus on May 22, 2013

“I need more leads”

This is often the principle problem that we are brought in to address.

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2 min read

We'll fix it in post

By Ann Lootens-Kraus on May 17, 2013

This was one of my favorite sayings while working in video production.  It was the opportunity to take one final look at your video while you were in the post production stage (hence the “post”) of your project.  There, you could raise and lower audio levels, adjust colors, or add emotion with music and slow motion.

We no longer have such comfort, do we?

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2 min read

Tales From the Dark Side of Multi-tasking

By leadingresults on May 11, 2013

Our last weekly tip was on how your audience experiences your company. As it turns out, I misspelled several words in the email...grrrr. Of course, the reason was because I was multi-tasking and in a hurry. I was writing the email, moving our email service to Hubspot for the first time and watching my two and a half year old twins, which was a bad combination! The 'experience' that our readers got from our tips could not have been great, because of the mistakes. How ironic.

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3 min read

Marketing Hits and Misses

By Dan Kraus on May 1, 2013

Its time for another hit or miss post.  We are all subjected to so many marketing messages everyday – once in while its worth stopping to look at a few in detail.

Tretorn Shoebag – Reinforcing values and differentiation

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2 min read

Small Business Branding Revisited

By Dan Kraus on April 18, 2013

A couple of years agoI wrote on small business branding.  My point then was that in a small business, you are the brand. And I still agree with that, more than ever. But I want to take it further.

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2 min read

BANT in Marketing Speak

By Dan Kraus on April 10, 2013

Last Week, Chris Penn @cspenn, wrote a great post on BANT and what it can mean for projects and productivity.  BANT is a long used sales term that stands for

  • Budget
  • Authority
  • Need
  • Time frame 
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3 min read

Why tracking matters, and why traditional martial arts is suffering

By leadingresults on April 6, 2013

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2 min read

Three high costs of not discussing pricing online

By Amy Ebeling on March 29, 2013

One of the most expensive questions that companies don’t answer is one of pricing.  I often hear the following quotes:

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2 min read

How listening to customers can help you win

By leadingresults on March 27, 2013

It was my husband's birthday recently so I decided to get him some fancy dress shirts. I HATE shopping but couldn't think of anything else. The shirts that I like to get him are called Bugatchi and retail for $150 normally. I can find these same shirts at Nordstrom Rack for $60.

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2 min read

Why is the Hound Dog Howling?

By Dan Kraus on March 23, 2013

A salesman is walking down the street the street and he hears an old hound dog howl. He looks around and sees an old hound laying on a porch, his owner nearby in a rocking chair. The salesman walks a little further, getting closer to the house, and the dog howls again. This time, the salesman is close enough to give a short wave. He keeps walking and sure enough, the dog howls again. Now, the salesman is close enough to talk to the dog's owner.

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3 min read

Packaging as a Way of Differentiating

By Laura Lorenz on March 16, 2013

There are lots of ways to differentiate your company :

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2 min read

Launching a New Product

By Dan Kraus on March 2, 2013

I love this idea but is there a demand for this new product or service? Will someone buy it? For most small business owners and entrepreneurs, this is the question they ask when presented with an idea – either their own or someone else’s.

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2 min read

Danica-Mania

By Ann Lootens-Kraus on February 23, 2013

I don't care too much about car races. To me, the Daytona 500 is like the World Series of racing - only instead of everyone running bases and scratching themselves- this one involves all drivers incapable of turning right (please no nasty comments from Nascar die-hards – just my opinion).

But this year is different- this year a GIRL has taken pole position in a race that has, until this point, been dominated by men.  A GIRL. 

Danica Patrick has been a media darling all week- if you have not heard her name or seen her green car, you must be living under a rock.  Danica is different- she is the underdog (or is she?) and I guarantee you that the Daytona 500 would NOT be getting this much media exposure if Jeff Gordon had won pole position instead of coming in second.  Danica Patrick and Jeff Gordon BOTH passed the 196 mph mark, which seems impressive enough.  However, it was Danica’s 196.434 mph that secured her pole position.

Will she win?  In my eyes, she and NASCAR already have.  There will be more eyeballs on the race this year because of Danica, not in spite of her.   Parents of young woman will all use this time to tell their little girls that’s it ok to be different, and more importantly, its ok not to be afraid of following those talents.  Even Jeff Gordon, Carl Edwards and Jimmie Johnson all took their daughters to meet Patrick this week and get autographs. 

The media is attracted to different, and differentiation is not easy- there are obstacles at every corner, and you need professionals to help you determine what sets you apart.  Danica has many more obstacles to go, but she and her team have looked at what works, and what doesn’t. The media has amplified her message, and even if she loses this year, NASCAR already has a successful PR campaign on their hands.

So, yes, I will be watching.  I will grant NASCAR, Fox Sports, and all the advertisers within and around the race my eyeballs.  I will be one of the casual watchers of the sport who has tuned in – even if it’s just to say to Danica “You Go Girl.”  Can she validate the hype?  She already has.

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2 min read

Enlighten Us But Make It Quick - Ignite Conference

By Dan Kraus on February 23, 2013

I am often telling my clients – entrepreneurs who take risks everyday – to step out of their comfort zone. Marketing in today’s world requires re-learning some of what you think you know and the way you do it.

So, this past week, I took my own advice. I spoke at the Ignite4 conference in Raleigh, NC.  Now, I speak all the time – webinars, classes, seminars. I have spoken to groups of 5 to 500. So why would this be out of my comfort zone?

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3 min read

Blueprint Your Difference

By Dan Kraus on February 15, 2013

In our last post on differentiation, Michelle made the simple, elegant, and poignantly clear statement that to have differentiation, you have to be different. Now you may read this and say “duh,” but to get there, for most businesses, is truly hard. In fact, one of the hardest things you will ever do.

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2 min read

Great Local Advertising

By Dan Kraus on January 29, 2013

One of my pet peeves in local advertising is that these ads – radio, TV,  Cable or Newspaper – are usually not very good. The company that is advertising has spent their entire budget on buying the media, and did not leave any money to actually figure out a good advertising strategy to use the media with.

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2 min read

Great Local Advertising

By Dan Kraus on January 29, 2013

One of my pet peeves in local advertising is that these ads – radio, TV,  Cable or Newspaper – are usually not very good. The company that is advertising has spent their entire budget on buying the media, and did not leave any money to actually figure out a good advertising strategy to use the media with.

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2 min read

The Easiest Way to Generate Revenue is Always from Existing Customers

By leadingresults on January 18, 2013

What is your process for staying in touch with your customers? Believe it or not, most companies ONLY send newsletters or special offers to existing customers. And 95% of the time, those newsletters and emails are about the company pounding their chest or about what else they are trying to sell. Then, when business is down and you need revenue, you are embarrassed to reach out to existing customers because you don't want to look like you are selling them something.

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2 min read

Attracting new business means leaving the "in" crowd

By Laura Lorenz on January 15, 2013

Most businesses are like teenagers.  They say they want to be different.  They say that they want to be able to express themselves and want to stand out in from the crowd.  If you have teenagers or have interacted with teenagers, most do the exact opposite.  They dress alike, the follow the crowd when it comes to music and places to hang out.  If you have ever dropped off or picked up a teenager at high

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4 min read

Top 4 Reasons to Consider Hiring an Outsourced Marketing Director

By Dan Kraus on January 9, 2013

Whether to hire or outsource is always a tough decision. Hiring means expense and risk that is not easily redirected if you make a mistake. Outsourcing brings complexity in organization and communication. When you thinking about this for a senior role or leadership position, the challenges multiply. With a strategic role like marketing on the line, making the wrong choice can have long-lasting implications. We obviously think that it's a good idea for a smaller business to outsource their marketing director or VP level role. Here are four reasons why.

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2 min read

Sales 101

By Dan Kraus on January 2, 2013

I’m sitting at my desk and the phone rings. It’s an 800# calling in that I don’t recognize, but political badgering season is over, so I answer the call. The guy on the phone introduces himself as Brian from Delux and wants to let me know that “they are calling all their customers to let them know that they can also help them drive more business through websites and other marketing”.  (mind-you, I am a Delux customer because my bank had me purchase my checks through them – but that’s it)

Now, if you are reading this, its probably on my blog, on my website, and you’ve pretty quickly figured out that we are a marketing services firm who helps company get more business through their website and other marketing tactics.

Topics: Marketing Sales
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3 min read

Why Duct Tape Marketing?

By Dan Kraus on December 28, 2012

In the last couple of months I have been fortunate enough to speak to groups in New Zealand, Australia, and here in the US in Dallas, Nashville and Charlotte.  And the question that always gets asked to me by at least one person is why do you use Duct Tape Marketing and what is the relationship structure  - are you a franchise or what?

So I thought I’d blog my answer to this… When I started Leading Results in the Boston area in 2009, I knew I was going to be focusing on small and medium sized businesses with the goal of helping them bring order to the chaos that was most companies marketing and business development approach. And I had a pretty good idea of how to do that and what process to use. Then, I was introduced to Duct Tape Marketing by a friend in Sydney, Australia.  What I saw in the methodology and approach was a philosophy that very closely mimicked my world view:

  • Get your strategy ( messaging and differentiation) in-place, first
  • Build for the long term
  • Plan and build in consistency
  • Market from a point of value
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3 min read

Why SEO is Dying, and How to Win Anyway

By leadingresults on December 16, 2012

In nearly every major logarithm change that Google puts out-generally about one per year, Google makes changes that drive Search Engine Optimization companies crazy.

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3 min read

Duct Tape Marketing Helps Small Businesses in Philadelphia

By Laura Lorenz on December 14, 2012

I love using the Duct Tape Marketing system to help my clients in the Philadelphia area.  I have always believed that business should have systems and processes to continue to grow and to better help their clients.  Most businesses have systems for accounting and other functions of business, but they don’t have one for their marketing efforts.

I find that businesses think about marketing when only when their sales or lead generation is down. Effective marketing takes consistent effort, using the right tactics that are focused on an ideal client. Think of marketing as priming the pump.  You have keep at it to make sure that when you need water, it will be there. Understanding the clients that you serve, what problems they are trying to solve and where they go to get their information, allows the flow of potential business to be more qualified

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2 min read

Marketing Versus Public Relations

By Dan Kraus on December 9, 2012

Okay. Full Stop. Public Relations IS a part of marketing, not its arch enemy.  And you have to think about PR very differently than they way you approach marketing. By this I mean that the goal of most marketing tactics is to take your strategic differentiation and make it smaller, more bite-sized, more digestible by your prospects. With PR, the goal is just the opposite. We want to take your differentiation and make it larger, more accessible, more relevant to a larger audience.

This concept is probably best explained through an example.

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3 min read

How to Increase Revenue With Email Templates

By leadingresults on December 3, 2012

Something As Simple As Standardized Email Templates Can Increase Revenue

Topics: Sales
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2 min read

Content-based Search Engine Optimization

By leadingresults on November 26, 2012

Search Engine Optimization used to be, at one point, about selecting words that someone might logically type in to search for your business and generating 1 bazillion links to said page from anywhere and everywhere.

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2 min read

Why You Should Not Use LinkedIn Mobile Apps to Make Connections

By leadingresults on November 8, 2012

If you have read my earlier blog on The Do’s and Don’ts on LinkedIn Invites, this is the follow up. If you don’t have time to read the original post, the premise was that using the default "I’d like to connect with you on LinkedIn" is dreadful and downright deplorable behavior. I know plenty of people that will immediately discard a LinkedIn invitation if it is not personalized.

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5 min read

The Do's and Don'ts on LinkedIn Invites

By leadingresults on October 17, 2012

This post was going to be a rant on the phrase "I'd like to add you to my professional network." (but I decided that at least most people are trying...and I decided to be nice). So, instead, I’ll take a more constructive approach and share my thoughts on how to properly invite someone to join you on LinkedIn.

If you were at a networking event, would you walk over to someone, hand them a business card, ask them to connect and walk away? I certainly hope not. I would expect you to introduce yourself and give them some sort of reason to keep talking. LinkedIn is no different.

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2 min read

Small Business Marketing That Works

By Dan Kraus on September 11, 2012

For the past couple of months I have been collecting random photos and marketing pieces that I think work well or show a unique twist.  I thought I'd do a quick share & comment in this post. None of these cost a ton of money - it just takes some creativity and spunk.  What have you seen or done that works?  Email me a picture or post a comment.

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1 min read

What can we learn from a 3-footed Squirrel?

By Dan Kraus on August 30, 2012

This article was originally in one of my clients’ (and a friend) newsletter.  I thought it was worth the reprint because while they are the most frustrating of creatures to battle with, squirrels (aka Pole Rats) do get my admiration for their adaptability and persistence – great qualities for all marketers.  So thanks to Bob Jones of TRIF.com for this content.

So, what can we learn from a 3 footed squirrel?

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2 min read

7 Tips for Better Web Video

By Dan Kraus on August 2, 2012

Video on your website is a great way to boost your site traffic, help your search rankings and engage your visitors with something other than text or still pictures. But shooting and editing video takes time and some expertise (editing can take a lot of time) and we get asked a lot about how good the quality of the video should be.

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2 min read

The pace of change - time waits for no one

By Dan Kraus on May 27, 2012

For whom does the bell toll? The wristwatch. Yes, it will still be around as a piece of jewelry, but for practical purposes, we just don't need it anymore. And just as the watch is relegated to a bangle, so should be many of the processes in the way you do business.

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2 min read

Resolved to get accountability

By Laura Lorenz on May 21, 2012

At the beginning of this year I committed to getting back in shape. I knew that I had let things go and if I wanted feel better and stay alive longer, I needed to put together a consistent exercise plan. In January, I decided to buy some exercise DVD’s and said to myself  “I will get up every morning and exercise before work.” The next morning I woke, put on my sneakers and began. It felt pretty good to get back at it!

Well as most of you have experienced, I started strong and then little by little, day-by-day I found excuses to blow off my plan. At first I missed maybe one day a week - you know how it works, you roll over hit the alarm and promise to work out later in the day.  That never happens. Then you promise you will do it every day but you do it for less time.  By mid February, I was down to maybe one day a week for 15 minutes at most. I let myself down and yet again didn’t follow through on what I knew was very important to my health and sanity.

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2 min read

If Your SEO is so good, why am I getting SPAM emails?

By Dan Kraus on May 8, 2012

I got the following email below the other day, and after thinking about it for a minute, all I could do was think about it and then laugh.  If you are an SEO company and make your living helping others get found, why are you sending me unsolicited emails for your service?

Don't you get that SEO is about helping people who are looking for your products or services find you.  And if you are an SEO expert, shouldn't I be finding you when I search - you really should not have to solicit me with a cold email.  So the quick lesson here - make sure the way you are marketing your business fits in with both the image you want to portray AND with the way your potential customers would encounter you.

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3 min read

Referrals Don't Just Happen

By leadingresults on May 7, 2012

I maintain that human beings are hard wired to give more referrals. It’s an innate, primal instinct that we have, about at instinctual and nurturing to one’s soul as watching a campfire crackling on a cool autumn night. But, like those missing campfires that we don’t have often enough, we let silly, silly things get in the way of those referrals that we need to pass.

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2 min read

Target Market, Kids and Restrooms

By Dan Kraus on March 28, 2012

I know, kind of a strange title for a blog post, but this has been bugging me for as many years as I have had kids that are potty trained. (Disclosure – I have sons age 12 & 13 and a daughter who is 4).

Here is my question and the prompt for this post: Why the heck can’t a business that focuses on kids have restrooms that are kid friendly? For most parents it is an annoyance that their children simply outgrow. For me as a marketer, this is simply a detail that is consistently missed when a business looks at its target customer and what they need to be comfortable.

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2 min read

Investigation and Prosecution : Marketing and Sales

By Dan Kraus on March 23, 2012

At the opening of Law & Order is a line that I think every CEO, VP of Sales and VP of Marketing should memorize and remind themselves of every day: The police are responsible for investigating a crime and the District Attorney’s office is responsible for prosecuting it. This is their story.

If you substitute Marketing for “Police”, Sales for “District Attorney” and Lead for “crime”, you have a good rendition of how a modern sales and marketing team should work together – Marketing investigating an opportunity (lead) and Sales prosecuting (closing) it.

Topics: Marketing Sales
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2 min read

Marketing Lin-Sanity

By leadingresults on March 5, 2012

Ok, I’m not much of a basketball fan.  But even I’ve been fascinated by how Jeremy Lin both became a basketball and pop-culture phenomenon, as well as an almost ignored player, until suddenly he exploded suddenly on the scene.

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2 min read

Ice Cream and Vegetables

By Darling Jimenez on February 28, 2012

A very dear friend of mine can boast that he’s half the man he used to be:  He’s much healthier now, more vibrant and much more able to play with his kids. His biggest change?  He cut out the deserts, exercise more and eat more vegetables.

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3 min read

Why Are There So Many Open Marketing Jobs?

By Dan Kraus on February 15, 2012

I seem to hear the same question, a lot, lately… Do you know a senior (or director, or manager level) marketing person that I could hire that is any good? And of course, I also answer they can hire me part time – but that’s not what they want.

These are mid-sized to larger companies that want to hire good marketing staff for leadership and execution and they are struggling to find the right person. I even heard of a recruitment firm that specializes in placing marketing people that is not taking any new clients for 45 days because they have too many open req’s and not enough candidates.

What the heck is going on?

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2 min read

Leverage is for more than pulling a cork

By Dan Kraus on January 20, 2012

While attending a reception at a big conference last nite, the person I was chatting with at one of the “bars” asked for a glass of wine. The bartender had just finished one bottle and needed to open another.

We stood there in amazement and watched as she took a waiter’s corkscrew – like the one pictured here – and proceeded to twist the metal all the way into the cork, and then try, with sheer muscle to pull the cork out (almost an impossible task for anyone but the strongest or those willing to get wine all over themselves). She had no idea how to use the corkscrew correctly in leveraging the end on the bottle to pull the cork out, so my friend came to her rescue and show her. (If you don’t know, you can learn here)

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2 min read

Plan Your Year Part 4 - Marketing

By Dan Kraus on December 28, 2011

Through this series we have been talking about planning out your strategy for developing your business.  First we looked at current customers, second was customer service and third was sales.  Now we look at marketing.

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2 min read

Plan your year - Now

By Dan Kraus on December 13, 2011

11 months gone. 1/2 month left - but only about 10 real working days - and the distractions bring that down to about 5. So... What are you doing now that will make next year different than this year?

Topics: Marketing
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2 min read

10 Paths to Marketing (and Sales) Purgatory

By Dan Kraus on November 20, 2011

In working with and talking to hundreds of small businesses over the last few years, we’ve heard about and seen many, many different ways that owners and their sales & marketing staff waste time and money on marketing.

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2 min read

Stop Advertising and Start Marketing

By leadingresults on November 13, 2011

Marketing, to me, is the art and science of attracting and keeping clients.

Topics: Marketing
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Business Breakthrough Assessment

By leadingresults on October 18, 2011

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Marketing Audit

By leadingresults on October 18, 2011

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4 min read

Differentiate or Lose Out

By leadingresults on September 27, 2011

As a small business owner, I’m sure you’ve been told time and time again that you’ve got to differentiate yourself to make it in business.

And you probably took this advice to heart. You came up with something that actually looks pretty good ... or so you thought.

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2 min read

Half My Marketing Dollars Are Wasted

By leadingresults on September 14, 2011

Half of my marketing is wasted dollars, I just don’t know which half."

Once upon a time, this used to be true. It really was too hard to measure what was working and what was not, but a business owner did need to “get their name out there" some way, some how.

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4 min read

Would you hire a plumber to build your new house?

By Dan Kraus on September 11, 2011

Would you? I mean a plumber or plumbing contractor is always around the inside of the house as it is getting built. They see how the walls go up and the foundation is set. They have to work around all the wiring and water, is really the most difficult thing to control – because if the pipes leak, it ruins everything. The plumber has all the tools – they have to build their own braces and cut their own holes to run the pipes through. And in a repair situation, it's clear the most of them know how to do drywall and plaster because they fix the holes they have had to make in the first place.

Okay, I know you wouldn’t hire a plumber to build your new house. They have a specialty that most are very good at and they have had to learn some part of the other trades to be able to work together with them well and in order for them to do the plumbing the right way.

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5 min read

If I Ran Your Marketing

By Dan Kraus on August 28, 2011

The following is a letter that I composed recently for a client. All the names have been changed, but the points and processes are valid for most small businesses; especially those that sell services that require a lengthy sales cycle. If this resonates with you, take a few minutes to drop us a line or complete the brand audit questionnaire and let's spend some time talking about Leading Results can help you execute this.

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1 min read

You don't have to be first, just unique

By Dan Kraus on August 25, 2011

This picture just stopped me cold in my tracks.  At the grocery store.  Picking up some fruits and veggies and saw this:

Topics: Marketing
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3 min read

Marketing is Everything Your Company Does

By Dan Kraus on August 12, 2011

Mindjet is just mindblowing. I had an experience with them that I have to relate. I am always looking for new ways to express thoughts and ideas. I have had friends and colleagues use Mindjet in meetings before and never thought much of mind-mapping software.

But I have been working on a project that is about 80% repeatable for other clients, and I did not want to start setting up flow diagrams in Powerpoint because it is such a pain to re-arrange them. So I thought I would try some of the mind-mapping programs.

I downloaded a couple different ones for their free trials, and while I liked the look and feel of Mindjet, it kept doing some things I didn’t like. I  did not have time to figure out how to not have it do those things.  (I am not a read-the-manual person.  If the software isn’t intuitive enough for me to figure out, I move on till I find something that is.)  I found another program that was similar, and that I could figure out. It wasn’t as elegant as Mindjet, but it got the job done that I needed.  End of story… except…. This morning I got this email:

Dan,

“My name is Kevin James, and I work with small businesses with 1-10 employees and individuals.  My primary goal here at Mindjet is to help new trial users like you quickly understand how they can they can become successful with our tools.

To best support your success with Mindjet, are you free for a quick 10-15 minute discussion?

At your convenience, please let me know what works best for you.

Best Regards,

Kevin James”

Now, I have downloaded dozens of free trials over the year, but I never gotten a letter like this from a vendor who’s product costs $249. They are offering me support on a trial?

Kevin’s phone number was also included, so this afternoon when I had a few minutes, I called him. He answered the phone. Looked me up and said “how can I help you?”  I explained my issue with what was happening in the diagram I was trying to create. He opened a Go-to-meeting session. He gave me screen control, and I showed him what was happening.  In a 10 minute conversation, he showed me what I needed as well as showed me 2 or 3 other tips that would help. He aslo offered to have me sit in on some new user coaching sessions and never sold me hard on anything.

So this company that I found through a google search, who’s screen look I recognized, did the following:

  • They made it easy for me to try – I didn’t have to give a credit card or anything much to get the download.  I could have given a false email and phone and it still would have worked.
  • It was a full use demo for 30 days.  No restricted functionality.
  • They emailed me politely with an offer to help
  • They answered the phone when I took them up on their offer
  • They actually helped and offered useful, insightful, information
  • They did not push for the order and said that if I decided to buy, to call him back as they have different specials that go on.

All this for a $249 sale. I think they really understand the small business person. And they truly understand that marketing is so much more than just getting a lead. It is the entire experience that a prospect and customer has with the company.

What a tremendously great experience from a company I had never interacted with before. Will I buy? probably. Do I think they are a great example to follow? Absolutely.

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2 min read

"Anybody" is my target market

By Laura Lorenz on August 9, 2011

I was working with a company that didn’t understand who their ideal client was. When I asked them who they thought is was, they said, “Anybody who needs…"

Now, the problem with selling to “anyone” is that no one is able to see themselves in marketing directed to “anyone.”   (It's kind of like the Family Circus cartoon where that ghost named “nobody” did it). And you can’t strategically plan to serve “anybody.”  Have you ever tried to make everyone happy? It never works. “You can please some of the people some of the time…”

Topics: Marketing
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2 min read

"That seems to happen alot..."

By Dan Kraus on August 1, 2011

If you are the leader – of your own company, of a department or of a virtual team – and you hear that phrase, there should be warning bells going off everywhere for you. (unless of course the “that” is what you want to have happening)

Here’s the situation that is prompting this post. I was at a Red Robin Restaurant, and I ordered a burger and one of their extra thick chocolate milk shakes. The waiter brings me the milkshake in one of those old-fashioned soda fountain glasses along with the “extra” that is still in the metal mixing cup. After a time, I go to refill my glass, and what happens?  The “extra” that is in the metal cup comes out in one big clump, overflows the sides of my glass and makes a mess all over the table (and just missed my iPhone).

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2 min read

How NOT to be a Sales Pest

By Amy Ebeling on July 24, 2011

Sales people always walk that fine line between trusted adviser and pest, especially when the sales process takes longer than expected.

Topics: Marketing Sales
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3 min read

Make 'em smile, Make 'em laugh!

By Dan Kraus on July 17, 2011

How do you make your customer’s interaction with you fun? If your relationship with your customer is more than a single transaction, then you really should be trying to consider different ways to add a smile or a laugh to the experience.

Today's post was inspired by something I read and something I saw.

Topics: Marketing
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2 min read

Sushi at 38,000 Feet, Please

By Dan Kraus on June 29, 2011

Why don’t they sell sushi on the airplane?  Flying home from Chicago, at dinner time, the only thing they could offer me was a snackbox of raisins and cheese. But it was packaged in one of those little plastic boxes that you see supermarket sushi in.  And it got me thinking about packaging and offerings and listening to your customer.

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3 min read

Why do you do what you do (wdydwyd)?

By Dan Kraus on June 20, 2011

This question, this “meme”, is written about in Wired Magazine, Blogged about at http://wdydwyd.com and is a fascinating twitter hashtag at #wdydwyd.  And why do you what you do is a one of the four pillars of strategy in the small business marketing world we live in everyday.

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1 min read

Why is there a Harp in the grocery store?

By Dan Kraus on June 7, 2011

Topics: Marketing
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2 min read

Memorial Day Images and Thoughts

By Dan Kraus on May 28, 2011

This Memorial Day, I wanted to post some images that have been running around in email chains.  Full credit for all thoughts and images belongs with the artists who created these and I have used them without permission, but I hope each will accept the publication of them again in the spirit of honoring those who have served this country. A special nod to my dad, my father-in-law and my college roommate, all who are veterans.

Topics: Raves
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2 min read

Net Promoter is a Great Measure, but….

By Dan Kraus on May 22, 2011

The concept of the net promoter score is great (if you don’t know what it is, you can find an explanation about the tool from Satmetrix here ). The concept is simply to find out how likely something is to refer or promote your company or product.  It’s a two question survey – how likely are you to recommend us to a colleague or friend – and then, why?

The real power of the survey is in the second question – the why - because it truly helps you understand your differentiation or where you need to improve.  But, in our opinion, so many companies have distorted the process for the survey, many of the actual net-promoter scores that companies tout are completely worthless.

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2 min read

The good and bad in my direct mail-box

By Dan Kraus on May 8, 2011

So I probably won't do this often, but this week brought some really interesting case studies to my mail box.  I had a great direct mail piece from Tufts Veterinary Hospital and an awful catalog ad that I pulled out from a distributor to remain nameless.  First the good.

The piece below came as a thank you for donating money to the Tufts Veterinary Hospital.  I gave them money freely - they basically saved my dog's life a couple of years ago - and I did not expect anything more for it than the tax deduction.  And then this piece showed up inviting us to a picnic for dogs and their owners.  How smart and great are they?  If you are doing fund-raising or referral marketing, what are you doing to say thank you?

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3 min read

Successful Sales in the Age of the Search Engine Driven Customer

By Dan Kraus on May 5, 2011

“What the heck do salespeople do these days?” said the small business owner.  He went on to say… “I used to hire and pay sales people to help educate my prospects and move them to being customers.  The salesperson would spend their time helping the prospect understand their needs and issues and how our products solved the problem for them. Then they would develop the price quote, explain it and get the order.”

Topics: Marketing Sales
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1 min read

How are you training your customers?

By Dan Kraus on April 29, 2011

Here’s a quick observation for the day – are you training your customers to behave in a way that slows down your profits or services?  My experience at Dunkin Donuts over the last few weeks is a good example.

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2 min read

Referral Marketing Lessons From the Nintendo 3DS

By leadingresults on April 12, 2011

Yes, I'll admit it.

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2 min read

The Marketing Silver Bullet

By Dan Kraus on April 4, 2011

We probably talk to 2 or 3 companies a week that are looking for a silver bullet for their marketing efforts.  A silver bullet as in – I don’t have to do anything else, and business will start growing.

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2 min read

Your accounts receivable problem is a marketing problem

By Dan Kraus on March 27, 2011

I bet you never thought of it that way.  But if you run a business and you keep selling to customers that continually owe you money or pay late, what you really have is a marketing issue.  Why?  Because you are selling to people that owe you money because you don’t have anyone new to sell to.

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2 min read

Getting Started, Socially

By Dan Kraus on March 13, 2011


What should I do first?  Which social media application will give me the best bang for my time?  I can’t do it all, so what should I do?  These questions or some variation of them are ones I keep getting every time I step up to speak to groups about including social media into their overall marketing approach and mix.

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2 min read

Treating Marketing Pain with Acupuncture

By Dan Kraus on February 23, 2011


Okay, sometimes I am a bit out-there with my similes.  I am going there again with this post.  I had acupuncture last Thursday for the first time (getting rid of shoulder pain that was caused by skiing moguls) and driving home after the session, I was thinking about my conversation with the acupuncturist and realized that the talk I had with her reminded me a lot about the talk I have with clients about their marketing.  Bear with me here…

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3 min read

Leave your assumptions at the door - See what happens

By Dan Kraus on February 2, 2011


This section below in red was part of a post recently posted atChris Brogan’s Escape Velocity Blog by Rick Dixon

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2 min read

Six ways to use us... for FREE

By Dan Kraus on January 28, 2011


Want to improve your marketing for FREE? If you are self-motivated and want to improve your results, here are six quick ways you can take advantage of us for free.

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1 min read

More Ideas for Marketing Success in the New Year

By Laura Lorenz on January 23, 2011


If I had a nickel for every time a client told me that they tried a specific tactic and it didn’t work I’d be sitting on top on a pile of money!  Almost any tactic will work, if you do the following:

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2 min read

How to Write an Apology (for Failure)

By Dan Kraus on January 17, 2011

Our corporate email service went down on Friday. No incoming or outgoing email from 9 am until about 7 pm. Our clients are all over North America and it was the beginning of a holiday weekend in the US.

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2 min read

How to Write an Apology (for Failure)

By Dan Kraus on January 17, 2011

Our corporate email service went down on Friday.  No incoming or outgoing email from 9am until about 7pm.  Our clients are all over North America and it was the beginning of a holiday weekend in the US.

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Process Pro quote

By Dan Kraus on December 9, 2010

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3 min read

Please Don’t Tell Me What You Do. Your Website Should Tell Me What I Get.

By Dan Kraus on December 9, 2010


I must have quoted Simon Sineck and his golden circle about 15 times in the past 3 days. (“People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it”)  Have you looked at your website? How many times do you say “I” , “We”, “ X company” and how many times do you say “you get” or “our customers receive” or something similar?

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2 min read

Should You Use Social Media - The Quiz

By leadingresults on November 30, 2010


Q- Why should my business be involved with Social Media?

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1 min read

What Do Your Customers Really Think About You?

By Laura Lorenz on November 13, 2010

I can’t tell you how often I hear, when working with a new client, “I don’t want to survey my customers.”  They are either afraid that they are bothering them or that they will find that they are not addressing their customers issues and that the customers are angry with them.  Most of them think that they already know how their customers feel.

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3 min read

Social Media Isn’t Anything New…

By Dan Kraus on November 10, 2010

I was talking with some friends about the changes that this past decade has brought and we got to the topic of Facebook and Twitter and all the other social media platforms, and how easy it has made it for us to communicate with all of those distant relationships we have. And even how it helps us create new relationships. As our conversation, as it always does, turned to the question of “how could we have lived without this,” it really got me thinking about other types of communications we have had in society that are similar; their strengths and weaknesses and the lessons for today’s businesses with all the tools we have.

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1 min read

Good Marketing is Difficult

By Dan Kraus on November 1, 2010

You know what? Good marketing is difficult to do. It’s not complicated. It doesn’t have to be expensive. And it doesn’t have to be overly creative. But it is difficult. Mostly because it involves some things that most of us aren’t really good at – listening to other people and changing our behavior.

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2 min read

Split Facebook Personality

By Dan Kraus on October 19, 2010

Do you have a past that you don’t want to mix with your present?  Or do you really want to keep your business life separate from your family and personal time.  Well, a lot of the social media experts say to get over it.  Be open, be “genuine”, let it all mix and mingle.  Sorry, I don’t buy it - at least not for everyone (and that includes me).

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2 min read

How to Create a Referral Platform

By Dan Kraus on September 23, 2010

I've been talking with a lot of clients about how to create referral platforms lately.  If you want organized networking and referrals, BNI is a great group (I'm a member), but nothing beats a referral group, that all target and service the same ideal customer profile with a different set of services and products.  So, with heavy borrowing from Duct Tape Marketing and The Referral Engine (both John Jantsch), here are the 10 steps I have been sharing with my clients on how to create a referral platform for their business:

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1 min read

A dirty dozen ways to grade your marketing efforts

By Laura Lorenz on September 16, 2010

In a previous blog I talked about goal setting and planning. This is part 2, tracking your outcomes. When I work with our clients, they sometimes get frustrated at the speed of return on their efforts. They want instantaneous gratification. While I understand that we all want to see quick results, a good marketing plan will give you the results that you want, you just need patience.

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4 min read

10 Small Business Marketing Lessons Learned at the Red Bull Flugtag

By Laura Lorenz on September 8, 2010

Ah, Labor Day weekend, the end of the summer.  My family and I had the unique opportunity of spending a beautiful Saturday on the  “other” Jersey shore -  the Camden, NJ waterfront.   Normally, we skip over TV commercials, but you could not live in Philly and miss the Flugtag ads.  Compelled by what promised to be a strange and side-splitting day of laughter, we went to view the Red bull Flugtag.  For those of you who are not familiar with the event, a quick history lesson, stolen directly form the Red bull Flugtag website:

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4 min read

10 Ways To Lose a Customer

By Dan Kraus on August 31, 2010


It’s been a mixed couple of months as I observe the customer service attitude of vendors and retailers that I frequent both personally and professionally.  It seems as though many companies are glad to have business, but they are very reserved in their customer appreciation. If you want to gain customer insights and learn more about what makes them want to stick around, treat them better and for goodness sakes, DON'T do anything on my short list of the top 10 ways to lose a customer.

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1 min read

Spinning A Web of Social Contacts

By leadingresults on August 11, 2010

I was talking to a client today about how social media starts out slow, but over time you spin a web of contacts, and my mind jumped immediately to one of my 2 year old daughter’s favorites books – The Very Busy Spider.

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2 min read

Set your Goals - Live your Goals

By leadingresults on August 9, 2010

Travel softball is over for the summer and during my daughter’s down time between summer and fall ball my husband and I work with her to understand what it is that she is trying to accomplish in upcoming season and what she needs to do to get there. Over the years both my husband and I have been through several goal-setting seminars and as a result feel pretty capable of coaching her in this process. As we begin, my mind switches gear to our clients…. Every business needs to be very clear and concise in their goals for what they are trying to accomplish with their marketing.

Topics: GOALS Sales
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2 min read

You’re telling me everything I am doing is wrong!

By leadingresults on July 26, 2010

So at a recent conference I was talking about creating content for your business that educates, and I was stressing the importance, for small business, of making sure that some of that educational content was about you – the people in your company, the executives, the personalities that make you who you are.  And how it is so important today to NOT have your website be faceless – that this “personal, personnel” information should be up there front and center.

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1 min read

Facebook Fans and Softball Parents

By leadingresults on June 29, 2010

Summer is here and so my family spends the weekends at a softball field somewhere on the east coast.  My eldest daughter plays 16 AND UNDER travel softball.  What this really means is we spend the weekend with the other parents on the team, cheering and talking about softball.

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1 min read

Forget that Venti Latte - See what $5 gets ya...

By leadingresults on June 16, 2010

Five dollars is not much these days - I remember when that was my allowance for a week - now its my morning coffee.  But at Fiverr.com, its amazing to see what people will offer to do for $5.   Do you collect postcards?  You can get one send from almost anywhere in the world for $5.  You can get someone to comment on your blog.  You can get a 10 minute voice recording  - does your company need a new voice mail greeting?  (see my last blog entry on Carl Kasell recording a voice mail for a contest winner).  The offers are pretty creative.

Topics: Marketing
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1 min read

Wait, wait, don't tell me...

By leadingresults on June 14, 2010

Creating lasting or memorable value for your customers, beyond your core product or service is a great way to build a referable business.  As long as your core business is solid, the value-add services or products are what get you talked about.

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2 min read

A Marketing View of the Dentist’s Chair

By leadingresults on June 3, 2010

I got to visit my dentist last week and has become my habit lately, I asked him how business has been.  His response was about what I expected – given how easy it had been to change my appointment – “it could be busier”.  So I asked him what had changed.  Dentistry – at least to me – didn’t seem to be something that was affected by the economy in any major way.

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2 min read

Small Business Branding

By leadingresults on May 26, 2010

So you’re a small business – 1 million, 5 million, 20 million a year in sales.  And you want to brand like the big guys.  You know, like having your logo be well known enough to stand for something. (Such as being able to use the Nike logo in a powerpoint presentation instead of writing the words “Just Do It”.)

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1 min read

Making It Easy To Create Raving Fans

By leadingresults on May 21, 2010

Empowerment is a oft-used word these days.  While at a Women’s Referral Network meeting, listening to Lynn Doyle speak about empowerment, I began thinking about how to better empower our clients and help them empower their clients.  Empowering is about giving someone official authority or the freedom to do something - to give them more control over their own life or situation

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1 min read

Who's Who in the Zoo?

By leadingresults on May 17, 2010

 

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1 min read

That Awkward Moment in a Networking Conversation

By leadingresults on May 17, 2010

You know the situation.  You get introduced to another business person by a mutual acquaintance who thinks you two can work together, gain insights from each other, and find some “synergy” between your businesses.  So you arrange an introductory call (referrals can come from the most unlikely places).

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1 min read

Facebook Advertising Can Get You Your Morning Coffee

By leadingresults on May 7, 2010

One of my clients told me a great social media story today that I had to relate.  There are so many people asking about the ROI (time and money) on social marketing – and I continue to take the position that it is very hard to really measure.  This story has a clear ROI contribution, but the only reason you (and my client) are hearing about it is because the prospect took the time to relate it to them.

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4 min read

Marketing Lessons from the Little League

By leadingresults on May 3, 2010

As I sat at my boys’ (ages 10 & 11) baseball games this weekend, I was drawn to the parallels between little league and small business marketing.  Now 99.99% of little league players are not going to play in the majors.  And that stat is just about right if you consider the Fortune 1000 as the big league in business and how many small businesses ever grow to make it there.  But that doesn’t mean there isn’t great talent and unique ability on the little league teams or in most small businesses.

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4 min read

7 Tips for Better Merchandising as a Small Business

By leadingresults on April 25, 2010

I don’t often blog about B2C marketing – mostly because much of my work is in the B2B world, but being on vacation for a few days with the kids last week exposed me on a personal level to a lot of B2C marketing, and I had a client meeting that brought some it back to the business level.

Topics: Marketing B2C
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2 min read

The Joke’s on Social Media

By leadingresults on April 16, 2010

Okay, I should have known better.  I’ve been quoted out of context before.  Usually it is in a mainstream publication and by a responsible reporter making a honest mistake.  But sometimes a laugh line gets you in trouble, and this time the joke was on me.

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1 min read

True Customer Delight

By leadingresults on April 12, 2010

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3 min read

Are you a skill expert or an industry expert?

By leadingresults on April 7, 2010

I had a prospect tell me today that he appreciated my time, but did not want to work with me because I wasn’t an expert in his industry.   While this is completely true, I also think he is using the wrong criteria in evaluating his advisors (and that is completely frustrating).  I am not an expert in his industry.  I am an expert at solving the problem he has – which is marketing as a small business with limited budget and limited staff.

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1 min read

Living under a rock?

By leadingresults on March 31, 2010

Maybe I have been living under a rock. I spend my entire day online – mostly. I shop online – mostly. My connections with friends all over the country are now online. (used to be a long distance phone call was special because of the cost – now its because of the time – but I digress).

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1 min read

Are Your Customers as Deaf as Your Teenager

By leadingresults on March 26, 2010

In understanding how to gain a new customer, it is important to have them know like and trust us before they will even consider what we are saying or how we can help solve their problems.

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1 min read

Does Social Marketing Expand Workplace Equality?

By leadingresults on March 23, 2010

On a flight today I was sitting next to a 65ish year old (or so) woman who was on her way home and we were chatting about marketing, and the internet and social media. And then the conversation turned to business and leadership and she made the comment that "business is still a man's world".

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2 min read

What Good is Social Media For My Business?

By leadingresults on March 17, 2010

This question was posed on a LinkedIn group I participate in: “What would you tell a small business owner who says they don't have time for social media to market their business?” It's one of the most active discussions I've seen in a while, with over 145 comments, so it clearly hit a hot button.

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1 min read

Do you treat your prophets as the village idiot?

By leadingresults on March 3, 2010

It always seems to happen. I have personally seen it about a dozen times. A company hires someone because of their special knowledge and talent – maybe it is to launch a new product; or to create a new route to market; or maybe to put in a new system.

Topics: Marketing change
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1 min read

If We Only Knew What We Already Know

By leadingresults on February 11, 2010

if-we-only-knew.jpgI heard this the other day from a client’s customer that we were surveying on the client’s behalf. The statement made me go “huh”.  He was specifically talking about how much information was in his ERP system that would make his company so much smarter if they could get at it.  (My client’s product has helped him do that).  But the more I thought about the statement, the more I realized how much it applies to so many aspects of a business.

Its not just the information locked away in the accounting system.  Think about it. How much could you company know about its prospects if you could get the information from the head and notebooks of your sales people? (and don’t say CRM, because salespeople hate writing that all down).  What about the knowledge your telemarketer has from all those phone calls that went no where?  How about the product ideas and suggestions your customers have that would enable you to grow to new levels?

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1 min read

The essence of good design

By leadingresults on February 8, 2010

I am an Apple fanatic. I admit it (again). There are so many things they do right that I am willing to let slide the few they get wrong (see my post below). I love my iPhone. (I am not a fan of the touch keyboard, but for all the things the phone computer does right, I can let it slide). I think the true example of the great design of this product is my 21 month-old daughter – who while can’t read, has absolutely no problem running this device. I mean, come on, a design so intuitive that a toddler runs it correctly?

Topics: design Marketing
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2 min read

Generating Customer Ill-will From Unrelated Events

By leadingresults on February 5, 2010

Unfortunate events happen in relationships between customers and vendors. Doctors run late for appointments. Items you order fail to show up on time due to a snow storm and sometimes an airplane lands and doesn’t have a gate to park at yet. We’ve likely all had one of these things happen.

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1 min read

The "Should Bucket"

By leadingresults on January 30, 2010

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1 min read

Social Media Success 2 & 3

By leadingresults on January 29, 2010

This is a continuation of the social media success stories I started publishing a couple of weeks ago. The stories come from a question and survey I asked to my LinkedIN connection....

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1 min read

There is so much to do – what to do first?

By leadingresults on January 23, 2010

I hear this ALL the time from my marketing clients – especially from the new marketing person they just hired. Where do I start? And of course, the answer varies. But the rule of thumb that I use is to start in one of two places – where are you most visible and what are the things you will do that have the biggest financial impact the fastest (and rarely are they the same thing). There are so many Stephen Covey tips that I use in my work and the urgent/importance matrix is key for marketing people. Visibility and financial impact are in the upper right – no doubt.

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1 min read

Social Media Success

By leadingresults on January 20, 2010

I love executives that want to talk about ROI in marketing and especially social media (all sarcasm intended). Unless you are doing direct response marketing, ROI is an elusive topic at best and impossible at worst. My first question is always "what period of time do you want to measure that over, because ultimately, the time span is the biggest factor in the equation". With social media, its even more elusive because you are helping people to find you - to build know, like and trust - without you interacting with them. I asked a group of my LinkedIN connections for their experiences with social media results. Over a few posts I'll share the impactful ones. Like the one below...

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1 min read

Largest is an adjective, not a benefit

By leadingresults on January 15, 2010

I heard that last week. I can’t remember where I heard or read it, though I wish I could (and if it was you reading this that said, please leave me a comment saying so).

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1 min read

Marketing in the era of too much information

By leadingresults on December 30, 2009

Your customers and prospects are tweeting, blogging and facebooking (is that now a verb?). They post videos on youtube. Pictures on Flikr. What does this have to do with you, the marketing manager or company owner and your products or services? Maybe nothing, or maybe everything. Maybe its good, then again, maybe not.

Topics: Marketing
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Don't forget the basics...

By leadingresults on December 23, 2009

I recently posted a short article or long blog post (depends on your point of view) on the Marketing Plan Pro site. You can read it here...

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2 min read

One way to think about marketing - Dam it

By leadingresults on December 22, 2009

One of my favorite sayings is “what are you doing today to make tomorrow different than yesterday” or at this time of the year, what are you going to do today to make next year different than this one. For many small businesses, the answer is marketing. Either “we are going to do some” or “we are going to do it better.”

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1 min read

The green movement has the right idea...

By leadingresults on December 18, 2009

Reduce, Re-Use, Recycle – what works for the environment also should be your marketing mantra.

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2 min read

When Does Existing Customer Marketing Become Spam?

By leadingresults on November 30, 2009

Can I have a choice, please!  Just because I bought something from you, or inquired about your product or service, doesn’t mean I want to get an email a day from you about your special offers.  Would I like to see a list of specials for the week? From some vendors, sure. How about for the month? From others, that would be fine. But daily? 2x a day?  That is a bit much.

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1 min read

My Wife has Big Feet

By leadingresults on November 18, 2009

I Know, funny title for a marketing entry. But it leads into the fabulous customer service of an online retailer versus a miserable experience of an older brick and mortar one.

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Customer Service Done Right

By leadingresults on November 9, 2009

Sometimes you just want to shout out to the folks that really do a great job. I have been busily working to redo my website and in the process and had a couple chances to interact with both iContact and Bluehost to get me through some sticky, novice webmaster issues (I'm the novice here). The support from each has been exceptional - helpful, prompt and courteous. Just had to say great job!

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1 min read

Disappointed, twice again

By leadingresults on October 27, 2009

I just came home from my third transatlantic flight in 2 months.  I flew on Lufthansa, British Airways and United for various parts of the different trips and went through Heathrow, Munich, Frankfurt, St Petersburg, Moscow, JFK in NY and Boston Logan.  I stayed in local hotels and US branded ones.  ( and no, this is not an airline rant post).  Airtravel - actually, travel in general - provides so many opportunities for service interaction and expectation setting, that the past 2 months have just been filled with great vignettes to replay back out.

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1 min read

Can Your Customers (Or Partners) Find YOU in a Crowd?

By leadingresults on October 2, 2009

I've been working with a client that's looking to build a brand for themselves, but doesn't have a lot of money - pretty common for most small businesses. Over the years they spent a lot of money on their image and have a VERY good logo. They should be a common name to most businesses of any size, but they aren't because they rely on a distribution channel that sells a related product to develop customer interest and sales.

Topics: logos Marketing
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1 min read

We Offer That?! Huh … That's News to Me!

By leadingresults on September 10, 2009

A recent experience got me thinking about the challenges of communicating a new product or service. Not externally to potential customers – most businesses have a process for that (in marketing, PR, signage, etc.) – but rather internally, to the people that have to perform the service or sell the product.

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1 min read

Please Pass It Along...

By leadingresults on August 24, 2009

I've written a couple times about asking for referrals.

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1 min read

Moment of Truth

By leadingresults on June 12, 2009

Moments of truth - those times when the future hinges on what happens next. Some are big, like a marriage proposal, while some are small, like certain questions in a sales call. The one thing I know for sure is that in the current economic environment, you can't waste a single moment of truth in your business.

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1 min read

Don't Punt Your Marketing Budget

By leadingresults on January 13, 2009

Economic times are difficult - or so the press keeps repeating. Many of the small business owners I know, however, have been saying that business is steady. Just the fluff and the inquiries that never amount to anything have dropped off. For them, this is a good thing - it means that they have an easier time focusing on the customers and prospects that really want to do something and that really will spend money with them.

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Has the Internet Changed Your Customer Service Approach? It Should Have!

By leadingresults on October 30, 2008

How do you deal with a really frustrated customer?  Do you just hope they'll go away or do you make your best effort to try to satisfy them with a mutually agreeable outcome?  The internet has given consumers a voice that you, as a vendor, cannot compete with.

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1 min read

The Music Stroll

By leadingresults on October 30, 2008

I've been a bit delayed in writing this - my computer crashed and I need to set up a new system, etc. etc. Anyway, I wanted to put up a note about a very cool event in Harwichport, MA that I went to over the summer. The downtown merchants all got together - I assume through the Chamber of Commerce - and set up a music stroll through the downtown area on a Wednesday night. This is an annual event.

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1 min read

Why Do You Do What You Do?

By leadingresults on July 29, 2008

I had the opportunity to attend the Entrepreneurs' Organization University in Boston last week -  more on that in another post – and got to listen to one of the more interesting speakers I have heard in a while.

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1 min read

Getting Bang for the Buck!

By leadingresults on July 21, 2008

In past posts I have commented on checkbook marketing (and said that it has limited effectiveness without POE involvement) and on not confusing advertising with lead generation. Here is a good example of how SAP is helping partners get the most out of their checkbook with lead generation marketing.

Topics: ERP Marketing
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2 min read

7 Minutes

By leadingresults on July 16, 2008

Can you clearly articulate the value of your company/product and move people to action in 7 minutes?  "Sure," you say, "that's not that hard."  After all, you've developed an "elevator pitch" and a mission statement.

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2 min read

Are Your PR Activities Rolling Thunder or Just a Firecracker?

By leadingresults on May 12, 2008

One of the best descriptions I have ever heard for a good public relations program is that it should be like thunder rolling off in the distance. You should always hear it in the background, and it should make itself known - all the time, not just when there is an event.

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1 min read

Star Wars Cantina

By leadingresults on May 8, 2008

I just returned from a really large business to business (B2B) trade show that was focused on technology. The Star Wars Cantina strikes me as an apt metaphor for the area of the show floor where the smaller booths were concentrated.

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1 min read

Checkbook Marketing

By leadingresults on May 1, 2008

Most small business owners realize that some marketing is essential to drive business. This is especially true in the business to business world, since you generally don't have a consumer looking for the product you are selling due to a manufacturer creating demand. If you sell business services, technology, or business consumables, you have competitors - sometimes many of them - who all offer something similar to what you have.

Topics: B2B Marketing
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The New Influencers

By leadingresults on April 23, 2008

So while I have lots of ideas of how to help small businesses work more cost effectively with traditional media; referrals, grassroots and guerrilla marketing - new media - blogs; podcasts, youtube; facebook - are all still a learning experience. 

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1 min read

Sell to Those Who Want to Buy

By leadingresults on April 18, 2008

I heard an interesting exchange today between a sales director and one of their channel partners (dealers).  The dealer said they haven't had a pipeline this strong in 5 years  (in this "economy").  When the sales director asked why business was so good, the dealer replied "Well, I am only trying to sell to people who want to buy."

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1 min read

Pricing Turned Sideways - The Penny Gap

By leadingresults on April 16, 2008

close up of a penny for pricingOne of the best articles/posts I have read in a long time about web marketing/sales is The Penny Gap by Josh Kopelman, Managing Director of First Round Capital. I am an old-school marketer relearning my craft in the social media, always on, web world.  In the old days of the 1980s, we learned a lot about pricing as part of the marketing mix and especially the concept of price elasticity (volume goes up as price goes down - to a point of diminishing returns).  The web has turned these economics on their head (or at least their side), and Josh does a great job of looking at this from the VC point of view.  It's worth the read...   Think about how this applies to you in a business-to-business marketing world - especially if you market to small businesses.

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1 min read

Live and Die by Referral

By leadingresults on April 13, 2008

network_of_peopleI work with many small businesses that sell to small businesses.  60% or more of my customers say that they get their best customers by referral - that is, by word of mouth. But what do they do to enhance the volume of their referrals?  In the business-selling-to-business world, do you know who your customer's adviser network is? Who is their CPA, their lawyer, their investors? If you have a happy customer you need to know, because your happy customer is your introduction to their business network.  What better way to expand your referral base than to work with your customer's adviser network to gain introduction to their clients? It isn't just what you know - it's also who you know and who they know that lets you grow your business.

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