Tag Archives: brand marketing

5 Questions to Ask Before You Hire a Local Brand Marketing Company

local brand marketing company

Are you, or is your boss a passionate entrepreneur who has worked tirelessly to ensure your business will succeed? Now that employees, additional products, services, or locations have been added, is it time to contact a local brand marketing company to get you to the next level?

A small business in the expansion mode will typically have a visual brand including a logo, business cards, and a responsive website. Now that growth is imminent, a marketing plan or social media campaign may help boost awareness or sales. If the company started with a DIY website design, it may be time ( for security reasons?) to have a professional website redesign. If there are no experts on staff, it’s time to reach out to a brand marketing firm. But, how can you find an affordable and local brand marketing company? We’ve highlighted a few considerations below.

How to find a local brand marketing company who can grow with you

1. Can you allow time to talk to more than one firm?

Your customers shop around for the best fit and price, so should you. Small business brand marketing services and costs vary. For instance, marketing consultations and complete marketing plan can range in price from $500 – to $50,000. Yes really— there is that big of a spread.

2. Do they consult, plan, and implement?

Some agencies offer marketing consultations and provide marketing plans that you’ll be responsible to implement. Other marketing agencies provide ‘the whole enchilada.’ From concept to campaign maintenance, including monthly meetings and digital reporting. What will work best for you and your staff right now?

3. Are they really a local brand marketing firm? Does it matter?

For instance, searching, ‘local brand marketing company in Lansing, Michigan’ will bring results from the firm on the next block and from agencies on completely different continents. If it’s important to work together physically, ask them if they are available to meet. If you don’t have a need for physical meetings, are Skype type meetings in order or will email correspondence suffice? Consider it working in different time zones or with different languages be challenging? (Spoiler: often more than you think!)

4. Do you have to start all over?

If all you need to do is add a blog, update content, and add a list of new services to your website can they help you? Or, does the prospective firm insist that you need a whole new website, logo, and brand campaign?

5. Are they curious about your company?

Do they know your industry, your geographical area, your customers? If they don’t know anything about your company do they ask the right questions? Do they ask questions that you haven’t considered? Do they sound like they care about you? Not just you as a new paycheck – but you as a person and company who they can help thrive?

All of these questions should result in answers you feel comfortable with. You should hang up the phone thinking – I am so glad I called them! Outsourcing one or all of your small business brand marketing services is a big decision and can be an expensive investment. When you begin your research, please give us a call, we love working with smart business owners!

New Year, New Social Media Marketing Strategy for Small Businesses on Facebook

strategy for small business social media marketing on facebook

A  strategy for small business social media marketing was turned upside down last week when Mark Zukerberg announced changes to the Facebook newsfeed. Aimed to enhance the user experience, Facebook will begin to prioritize newsfeed posts from family and friends.

A large percentage of users may not even notice the increase in cat memes or teenager selfies. Those who will be affected are small businesses and social media marketing strategists. As of 2016, there were 60 million Facebook business pages. For some Facebook just cut off their power.

A New Strategy for Small Business Social Media Marketing

Facebook pages with thousands of active followers will continue to be posted in their follower’s newsfeeds, just not as frequently. Active followers aren’t just liking a post they’re having a dialog with other followers on the post. A ‘like’ is not equal in value to actively commenting. Facebook wants to see engagement – the more people engaged the higher chance the business page will hit followers newsfeed.

Small business facebook followers mark see firstAnother strategy for small business social media marketing on Facebook is to ask followers to select “See First”  under the “Follow” tab.  This will help business pages continue to get into the newsfeed. Currently, Facebook users can only select 30 total people and pages to ’See First’. Small brands may have a hard time selling the “See First” option. If followers have selected family, friends, or other pages to see first already, new pages lose.

What options do really small business Facebook pages have?

Small businesses who have 300 or so followers who are lucky to even get likes on their posts – let alone dialogues – are going to lose the organic target they once received. So what is a small business to do?

social media strategist boost postSpend money. Facebook is a business, they’re going to continue to post advertisements in the newsfeeds. Boosting page posts, and investing in Facebook ad campaigns is another strategy for small business social media marketing. It doesn’t have to be a lot of money. It can be time-consuming though.

Essentially there is no more free ride for small business Facebook pages. But, this industry is anything but static. New platforms and new strategies for small business marketing may eliminate Facebook marketing.

I must admit when I heard of the changes I thought of the question I get most from small businesses: “Do I need a website, I have a Facebook page’. My answer is and always has been, invest in your brand, not somebody else’s. Using Facebook for your online presence is like having your customers call Facebook to reach your business phone. It’s time for small businesses to take back control of their brand. Find new ways to stay connected with your audience. If you need help, connect with us, we can help get your small business online.

Experience The Power of Transformation

brand marketing consultation  lansing  graphic sept blog

Be Your Own Marketing Consultant

Start with a quick SWOT Analysis

You know the definition of insanity, repeating the same action and expecting a different result? Taking a few steps back from your day to day tasks to meet with a brand marketing consultant and look at your business with different eyes can provide clarity. A professional brand marketing consultation will take a comprehensive overview of your company and brand marketing efforts.

A professional brand marketing consultation will consider:

  • your products or services
  • your brand message
  • corporate philosophy
  • corporate climate
  • client demographics
  • marketing goals
  • future plans
  • business goals
  • media preferences
  • and so much more…

A brand marketing consultation often starts with a quick SWOT Analysis.

SWOT stands for Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats. You may be surprised how much insight you will gain by investing a bit of time answering the following questions about your business. Get a quick glimpse of your business as it stands today, Doing this homework before your brand marketing consultation can help you hone in on the area you would like to address first and keep your time targeted to get the best results.

  1. What are your products/or service?
  2. Who is your customer (demographics – gender/age/location…)
  3. What are your company strengths?
  4. What are your company weaknesses?
  5. What are your company opportunities?
  6. What are your company threats?
  7. Who is your company competition?

Upon review of all the questions what are the considerations / recommendations?

Now how will you tie all this into your annual business marketing goals?

You now have a current snapshot of your business. It’s time to take the next steps. Select the most critical items or the items that are the most likely to have the biggest impact on your goals.

Answer the following questions:

  1. How can you use your strengths to take advantage of your biggest opportunities?
  2. How can you use your strengths to overcome your biggest threats?
  3. What can you do to reduce or eliminate your weaknesses to make the most of the opportunities available?
  4. How can you minimize your weaknesses, so that you are better positioned to overcome your threats?

Many of the answers to these questions will seem obvious to you – even basic. Once your SWOT analysis is complete and you schedule your brand marketing consultation  you will see the power of how putting it all on paper and setting planned goals and actions can truly change your business.

Online Brand Marketing Consultations

Connection Group provides in person brand marketing consultations to local Lansing, Michigan, Grand Rapids, Michigan clients and all areas in between.

For businesses outside of lower Michigan, online brand marketing consultations are available. We will review your website, business social media profiles, all internet advertising and digital marketing. When applicable, we also request all print materials and promotions be mailing or emailed to us for previewing prior to meeting with a brand marketing consultant. Getting a comprehensive view of all company branding and marketing, both in print and web, will help us offer the best brand marketing guidance for your company goals.

 

Master the Art of Marketing for Small Business in 2015

Mastering the Art of Marketing for Small Businesses ebook coverBegin 2015 with a clear direction of marketing for small business. Mastering the Art of Marketing is a compilation of marketing and design strategies your small business can implement right away. Explore the workbook on your own or with your team.

Mastering the Art of Marketing is a resource for start-ups and small businesses ready to go to the next level. Each month learn new steps to connect with your target audience.

January: Set Your Course

5 step master plan for your 2015 Small Business marketing –Production, brand manufacturing, service firms, wholesale e-commerce businesses, brick and mortar retail, local bars and restaurants, increase growth opportunity when you have a plan.

February: Practice Kindness

People Helping People: Social Media Connections Transform Your Business – Coaches, authors, professional speakers, real estate agents and service firms begin building on your fan base.

Master the Art of Marketing e-workbook is a 12 step monthly marketing for small business strategy. Start the new year with all the information you need to get the 2015 small business marketing results you want.

Sample Workbook Topics:download button - marekting for small business

• internet marketing for small business
• marketing plans and editorial calendars
• brand marketing and development
• internet advertising

worksheet-page-marekting-for-small-business-mastering-teh-art-fof-marketing

Sample monthly marketing worksheet

The exercises in this e-book have been laid out in the form of a calendar year. We chose this formatting so small businesses or solo-preneurs with limited staff and time may be able to take on business branding and marketing in bite size chunks. We don’t want you to feel overwhelmed and abandon the effort part way through by attempting to complete it all in one day!

We also recognize entrepreneurs are a different breed of animal – which is why we love working with growing small businesses – our jobs are NEVER boring! Because of the unique personality traits and individual style of each business owner we also recognize some of you are not going to follow a designated path. We encourage you to skip around the book and choose the practices that are most important to your small business right now. All of the worksheets relate to marketing for small business, branding and advertising for business growth. There is no set order in which you must follow. Some of you may choose to begin at the end with the worksheet on branding. If you have not already defined your brand promise I would encourage you to do so.

Our hope is that this ebook will help you to begin the new year with goals and plans in place to build your business by delivering the very best product and service in the way your ideal customers want to receive it.

Whether you choose to take it all on at once and begin the new year with plans in place or whether you choose to tackle a worksheet each month throughout the year it is up to you. We have designed the content so you may use this ebook outlining marketing for small business for years to come. Social media platforms and resource links may change but the essence of mastering your marketing for small business will remain the same.

If you find some of the tasks to be burdensome or difficult to complete, please contact us. Connection Group provides all of the services contained in this packet. If you are part way through and just need a nudge of support or if you have decided your efforts are best directed to run your company. Outsourcing the tasks of marketing for small business and all the items involvedis a smarter use of your energy, connect with us today. Connection Group can help you with your corporate branding, graphic design, marketing, web design, and web maintenance.

Download today and attract what you desire for your business in 2015. Be inspired to create relevant marketing for small business that will captivate your ideal customers. All of the best to you as you move forward with the process of your small business marketing.

May 2015 bring peace and prosperity personally and professionally.

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Small Business Owners: Do I need a website if I have a….

…Facebook Page … LinkedIn Business Page… Pinterest following

when you get -give, when you learn teach quote maya angelouIt scares me how often I am asked this question. Typically when a start-up business or growing small business consults with us on creating a professional company brand we need to have ‘the talk’. We’ve had the ‘do I need a website talk’ here before. Social media updates, SEO and skewed business models beg for a review. 

We’ve read the success stories; “Start up Yarn store sells volumes of skeins through their Facebook page’. Yes we’ve seen leads from LinkedIn turn into real live customers. But did those people who bought the yarn specifically go to Facebook looking for yarn? When your new found customer sought the service you offer on LinkedIn, were you the only company offering that service? No, no you were not.  This alone should help you answer the do I need a website question, but I will keep going.

Possibly the positive results in social media were driven by purchasing ads, feeding captivating content in Facebook, or using the correct keywords on your LinkedIn company page… or maybe the stars and the moon were aligned at just the right angle… We have no control on what social media sites our target market visits.  We have no control who sees our Facebook company page from post to post. We have no control over our competition claims on LinkedIn. How can we put our company success under somebody else’s control? Especially brands that also dictate what information we add to their websites and how it will be distributed?

Before I start sounding like LinkedIn and Facebook (and Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr …) are complete evil time-sucking novelties that are guided purely to monetize every move we make let me share sincere marketing advice:  Using multiple distribution points gets your marketing message in front of your prospects multiple times. You want to be where your clients are and if there are millions of businesses on LinkedIn everyday and you are a business to business (B2B) company you’re darn right you should be there too!  If your Pinterest and Facebook followers are engaging with your post and sharing it with their Aunt Susie, keep posting!

Long lasting success comes from consistent branding across multiple platforms. Facebook and LinkedIn and other social media sites are best served as outposts for your content. Your company website is the pitch, white paper, brochure, training, demo and closing table all in one. Your outposts should drive prospects to your brand website where you are in charge and can serve your customer best.

meida graphic-internet marketingWhy Do I Need a Website?

  1. A company website is available to people actively seeking a specific thing (product / service / education / research source).
  2. A company website markets your product and service only.
  3. Your product / service shines here, you decide what to share and visitors get their answers.
  4. Your company website is available to everyone. There’s no user agreement or need to be a member.
  5. Visitors contact information can be captured for follow up.
  6. Your website reflects your business personality and brand message.
  7. A clear call to action in the form you prefer (email, phone call, form, etc.) encourages connections.
  8. You own it.

Full disclosure: along with small business brand marketing, Connection Group builds websites. Yes, we would love to build a website for your small business. We also want to help small businesses succeed whether we provide purchased services or education via a free blog post or other or freebies.

Not all marketers agree. I recently read a post in a LinkedIn group where the author claimed all a B2B company needs is a LinkedIn company page. The author was shamed into silence from the over 100 threads from serious marketers explaining why all businesses need a website. Not all marketers offer website designs and the recommendation that small businesses need a website was not driven by sales. The advice was meant as a caution not to put all your marketing efforts into one portal. If you still feel a social media page is the best way to align business success there is somebody out there who will be happy to charge you to set up a MySpace account.

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Like what you’ve read here? Subscribe to our monthly e-newsletter Connectivity for more brand marketing tips.

How Can a Brand Marketing Consultation Help Business?

marketing consultant in meetingI remember during my stints in the corporate world when the executive offices shared that they were bringing in a  business consultant, there was a chorus of groans in every department. Truthfully there were times when a better solution would have been to survey staff, vendors and customers to get a clear picture and new direction to meet the company goals. In other situations however, an outside view that is qualified in a specific area can provide valuable insight to the functioning of individual departments and the company as a whole, large or small.

How can a business consultant know more about my small business than I do?

Bringing in someone who is not involved personally, who didn’t toil and burn the midnight oil to meet that first big order is difficult for some business owners. There can also be a fear that although a consultant is impartial, their discoveries may be difficult to hear, let alone implement. A private consultation for your small business can help you take a step back from the day to day operations many business owners are mired in and address areas of concern that have been missed and can be improved upon.

How can I find a business consultant who can help my small business?

It’s true there are some consultants who never actually worked in the careers they are posing to be experts in! It is important that you hire a seasoned professional who is fairly priced and can help your company. Look at each prospects credentials, previous employment, website testimonials or reviews and of course ask around your network for recommendations.

How do I know what type of business consultant can help my small business?

There are industry specific consultants you may find who can greatly benefit your business. A publishing consultant who has written, promoted, and published their own successful books who has client references could provide valuable insight to a self-published author for instance. If you are a manufacturer you may seek an expert in international trade or a new realtor could learn a lot from a consultant who specializes in real estate business consulting. There are also service specific consultants that can hone in on specific business practices. For instance, Connection Group offers marketing consultations and brand consultations. With over 20 years in the advertising, graphic design and digital marketing industries my staff and I have hands on experience with marketing and brand strategies.  When companies need a brand consultant or marketing consultation we can evaluate current efforts and identify new approaches. The variety and types of consulting available are virtually endless, there are IT consultants, Corporate Finance consulting, Human Resources Consulting, and a full gamut of specialists for every aspect of your company.

How do I know if my small business needs a marketing consultation?

Maybe you have been in business for 15 years and your business has evolved to include more products or services than you originally planned. If your marketing and brand efforts have not evolved along with your company you may not be capturing the target market you would like to serve now. Or, are you a start up company who isn’t clear on how to position your company in the market? A marketing and brand consultant can ask key questions, review current products or services, clientele, staff, visuals, messages, packaging and other print and digital design collateral and hone in on a clear and targeted message to funnel into strategic points of customer contact. If you believe a marketing and brand consultation will help you reach your business goals please connect with us today. We provide online marketing consultations by evaluating your digital branding, visual imagery, brand message, website, blog, social media, reviews and in-bound links, etc. We also provide consultations for brick and mortar shops. We can evaluate your branding, environment, decor, signage, product placement and provide suggestions for driving local foot traffic or increasing online efforts to increase sales and exposure.

Why not end the year with pre-planning for success in 2014? If you know your product or service is top notch, your customer service is caring and timely but your company is not experiencing the growth and sales for the level of quality you are providing, you could benefit from a brand and marketing consultation. Give us a call today, we’re passionate about this business of branding and we love to serve and see our customers grow.

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On the Web: How to Manage Your Brand as a Small Business

As a small business owner, one of your jobs is to manage your brand online and off. In addition to reaching new customers and growing your company, you need to maintain an online presence and use it to achieve your goals.

logosWhile you’re good at what you do for your business and customers, you may not be quite as savvy when it comes to the internet. So, we put together this checklist for managing your website, and brand, as a small business owner. Putting these elements in action lets you take advantage of the opportunities that the web has to offer.

A. Have a Clear Message

Your business (and website) must have what is often called a unique value proposition (UVP), or unique selling point. What are you offering? Who is your audience?  What message do you want to send?

Before you start creating or revamping your website, you must be able to answer these questions.

  • Your offer is simply your roster of products or services and their corresponding prices.
  • Your ideal customer is the person whom you want to engage in your business. These are the people you want to attract to your website, and move to make a purchasing decision.
  • Your message is what you want to stand out in your prospects or customers mind. Are you the most economical, the best quality, the fastest, or the most experienced?

What comes next is a bit more complicated: Identifying and crafting your message. This is where the “unique” comes into your unique value proposition. What makes you uniquely qualified to offer these services? In other words, what makes your business different from the rest?

These are things you must think about before you set up your online hub. In order to have an effective website, you must identify what makes you different from all the others that are offering the same thing. If your business caters mainly to your local community, you would want to include that as part of what makes you stand out. You know your customers by name, you provide a personal touch to your services, and so on.

Once you know your message, you must present it in a clear, concise, and consistent way, which brings us to the next point.

B. Unify Your Brand

Everything that has your company’s name on it – whether it’s a business card, a logo, or a website – is part of your brand. They must all work together to get your unique message across to your ideal client.

Here are some practical tips that will help you with brand management in a way that supports your day-to-day work:

Your website must be self-hosted and be on a relevant domain name.

Self-hosted simply means it’s not a free service or platform, like Blogger or WordPress.com.

When your buy your domain name, it should be “yourbusiness.com” (example: connectiongraphics.com). Make it easy to remember, with no numbers or special characters except if it’s part of your company name.

A self-hosted site on a good domain name tells your customers that you’re an authority in your field. They can trust you with their business.

Create a unified look that reflects your company and mission.

The image your business presents must be consistent across all types of communications, whether it’s online or not.

The first place to start is your company logo. If you don’t have a logo, get a professional designer to make one for you. Use it on all your communications.

Pull colors and design elements out of your logo and use them in your website, e-newsletter, letterhead, promotional materials, etc. For example, if you use a clean sans-serif font on your business card, don’t go for swirly artsy types on your website.

Set-up online outposts.

Whether or not you like being on social media, it’s now practically a requirement for any business. You need to set up and maintain “online outposts.” These in turn will direct your ideal customer back to your website, and toward a decision to purchase.

These outposts include blogs, social media and newsletters.

C. Create Effective Content

Now that you have your self-hosted website and relevant online outposts, you need to turn your attention to the elements of your site that will turn your readers into customers.

Your business website must have the following:

  • About page (what your business is about, who you are, your qualifications, and other special attributes that will make the online reader want to do business with you)
  • Easy-to-navigate information about your services and/or products
  • Different ways to contact you (via contact form, address, email, twitter, Facebook, etc.)
  • Option to subscribe to an email newsletter or RSS feed
  • Secure product page and shopping cart, as needed
  • Regularly updated information about your services, products and related topics

The last item on the list above will help your clients know your business better, as well as help you get found in search engines. The best and easiest way to do this is to maintain a blog. High-quality and regularly-updated content will establish you as an authority in your niche.

As a small business owner, an effective online presence begins with and is established by a clear message, a unified look and effective content. If you’d like to learn more about how to manage your brand online and off, sign up for our newsletter, Connectivity.

What is the difference between Marketing, Public Relations, Advertising and Sales?

advertising, communication, pr, newspaper with mouseMany people confuse these terms and this sure makes for a difficult job for marketing firms. Connection Group is a brand marketing firm, our focus is considerably different than let’s say a Marketing Research firm. Connection Group assists with marketing plans, promotions, design, advertising and general public relations with a focus on development and promotion of your brand in print and web communication.  There are PR firms that outsource design and communication items to us and in turn, there are public relations and research items that are better suited for firms who specialize in those modalities.

Because many of our local Lansing marketing firms and design agencies handle a variety of task and because there are so many different elements that can be broken into niche areas (Marketing Research, Brand Marketing, Promotions, Event Marketing, etc.) it is clear why there is so much confusion. Let’s take a look at each category and attempt to clarify the main goals of each.

Marketing

Marketing is the umbrella term for the process of creating, communicating and delivering products or services to customers.  Target marketing is achieved through research studies that help determine buying habits or lifestyle practices of people and companies. Research ranges from such options as geo-targeting, surveys, focus groups, web analytics, phone tracking and many more in-depth and long-term studies. Contrary to popular belief by some specialist, marketing is not just about research and statistics. Research is one step in the marketing plan. Most people learn that marketing consists of four major considerations: product, price, place and promotion. To Connection Group, marketing is as much about the action taken upon review of data as the number crunching, and charts and graphs reviews. Brand Marketing, which we specialize in, starts with the background research, leads to the plan, and formulation of the promotional campaign. Depending on the size of the company, and the size of the marketing budget, the marketing plan will include an outline for Sales objectives, Advertising media, Communication materials, Public Relations projects and review suggestions.

Sales

Sales is a component of marketing but marketers are not sales staff. Sales is typically handled by a separate department that can include sales managers, sales representatives or account representatives depending on the company industry and size of the business. It is marketing’s job to provide tracking, statistics, materials and messages that support the company brand and give the sales force a sustainable strategic advantage to meet the customers needs. Do not expect your marketing department to plan sales strategy, create sales appointments or contact prospects or customers – hire a sales person for this.

Advertising and public relations are considered marketing promotions

Advertising

Advertising can involve a number of activities to communicate to a target audience. Most advertising is paid media such as radio, television, email, newspaper, magazine, the internet, and other print publications, etc.  Advertising focuses on communicating a message to the market and typically carries a theme that communicates the company brand. The chosen media is determined by the marketing  research which has identified the most successful way of reaching the target audience within the financial budget set for advertising.

Public Relations

Public Relations support the marketing effort and is often a component of the marketing plan. PR is a method companies use to convey a positive image to their market and the community. Press releases, speaking at public forums, and community involvement are methods used by businesses to establish the company name and communicate the brand image. Public Relations is considerably less cost than advertising, however the efforts can take time and may not attract the attention by media that is desired. Addressing the public on issues of importance can also be risky with any controversial subject that can be misconstrued by competition, the media or the public view.

Considerations when outsourcing these services

Some marketing departments and marketing firms may offer all of these services in house, some may outsource a portion of the services and some may supply only the data or the marketing plan recommended for your company and you will be responsible for identifying who will implement each task. Don’t assume every marketing firm is going to provide Public Relations services or media placement, and don’t expect your marketers to be graphic designers or sales people. Identify what your goals are and communicate this when interviewing firms. Knowing what items you will be handling in house; social media updates, e-newsletters, press releases, etc will help determine the level of services you desire. Some firms handle everything, some marketing firms hand you a plan and blow you a kiss good bye. Connection Group can work on a per project basis and also provides monthly marketing maintenance for companies. Give us a call today for a complimentary consultation, in person or an online marketing consultation. We can let you know if what your company needs is a newly designed website with more content to enhance SEO, a full blown PR campaign, or just a good sales representative with clear communication materials to reach your target audience.

 

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Raising a puppy and building a brand ain’t what it use to be.

Photo of Bar-leigh (Barley) in the garden sticking out her tongue.Our family recently welcomed a new puppy into our home. It has been over 15 years since we have harkened down this path. I am quickly reminded of the dedication and attention puppies require, as well as the many items needed for entertainment and home protection.

Yesterday’s visit to the big box pet store displayed rows and rows of dog treats and toys to; stimulate minds, increase physical activity, encourage agility…, so many tools to ensure successful puppy raising. A quick Google search on ‘how to train puppies not to bite,’ resulted in a plethora of free videos and resource links for every activity imaginable for a dog or owner to explore.

All of this is underway while in the midst of developing an integrative marketing plan for a client’s expansion into a new geographic area. As with the puppy merchandise and training, tools and resources for brand marketing and graphic design continue to evolve. There is a large variety of options available that promise to achieve the same successful result.

Do I stick to the tried and true methods; discipline, attention, consistency? I know they worked, I have had well behaved dogs and successful customers throughout the years. Or do I bury the old school methods and invest time, faith, and money into the new approaches; gadgets, permission, rewards?

An appetite for the new with respect for the old could be an adage for all I do, from home decor, marketing, graphic design and puppy raising. I believe combining old with new is the true key to success in most every endeavor. As we travel the road together, our family and puppy, and Connection Group and our customers, the best solution is to recognize the individuality in each relationship. Each situation, each personality, each philosophy, is unique and requires personalized solutions that are adaptive to current times, trends, and budgets. We will continue to invest in the appropriate tools and disciplines each project requires to reap the most reward – happy, contented, successful clients and puppies.

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Do you have any magic marketing beans?


I would love to purchase some and plant them for some customers. When their businesses grow as the result of our magic bean planting I would occasionally submit a small report – maybe just a page or two with pretty graphs showing the astronomical growth Connection Group has nurtured in such a short amount of time.

What a great way to live! We would have infinite love and gratitude from hundreds of clients – because once those magic beans are planted for one customer the word will spread and we’d have a full crop of growing companies under our care. What company doesn’t want instant growth through their marketing efforts?

As graphic designers and brand marketers we combine our love of the visual with the experiential and psychological aspects of a brand. As much excitement as a new logo or website design can instill, the often time consuming press releases, consumer research,  blog submissions, and database development required to build a strong foundation for awareness of the brand is like watching a seed take root in the dark. This phase is boring to customers who are only interested in seeing increased sales results.

Sometimes, to our horror, while we are developing roots and studying patterns, some clients will ask us to dig up the seed, maybe try new soil, or plant an entirely new seed to see if it will grow faster. This of course only results in losing ground and burning more daylight. Some marketing companies actually shovel in more fertilizer which appears to increase the yield faster but it doesn’t reap the sweet fruit that buyers return to again and again and tell all their family and friends about.

So for those customers who haven’t allowed time to prepare the soil before seeding and  still expect a bountiful harvest in the first season, the most practical solution I can think of is finding these magic marketing beans. We could celebrate Thanksgiving everyday and bask in the cornucopia of satisfied customers. My bet is though that these magic marketing beans other marketing firms are pushing are loss leaders for them and their top sales product is really the bull fertilizer that’s packaged with them.

Stay connected,

www.connectiongraphics.com