Monthly Archives: December 2013

December 2013

Great Tidings Comfort and Joyful Holidays

As the year comes to an end with holiday festivities, it is our hope that you will enjoy time with family and friends – work will be here when you return. Wishing you peace, love and happiness during the holidays and always.

How Can a Marketing Consultation Help Business?

I 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. read more on the blog.

12 Small Steps to Make Big Connections in 2014

In our customer 2014 calendar design we included an offer to assist companies with some of those nagging brand marketing pieces that all small businesses know they need to do but can’t find the time to complete. If you are not in business to be handling marketing, give yourself a break and let us help you. We have structured them so you could order a few from each category, one task each month, address one focus for each quarter of 2014 or have us work on it all right away. We can set up everything and turn it over to you to take over or we can build it and maintain it all for you – what ever YOU prefer.

  • Do-it-yourselfers: choose the specific marketing service you’ve wanted to complete all year but just haven’t found the time and cross it off your already over-full to-do list!
  • Please-get-us-started: choose the entire package or a custom package designed to fit your immediate goals and future growth. We can tackle one task per month or complete the entire plan in one quarter.
Affordable Design and Marketing Services 

2014 Artwork1. Planning and Consultation: 

  • 1 hour consultation with written report.
  • editorial calendar (content)
  • marketing plan – 5 page plan
2. Web / In-Bound Marketing 
  • blog design and development
  • e-mail newsletter template
  • landing page creation
3. Content Creation 
  • Biography – Management or Business
  • Fact Sheet / Blog Article
  • E-book creation
4. Social Media Marketing 
  • social media profile creation
  • integrate social media, maps on website
  • directory listings

Connect with us by January 30, 2014
Receive $100.00 off! Purchase one of the 4 options below ($500.00 value) and save $100.00 off of the standard price.

A Beautiful and Inspiring 2014

Our 2014 calendars have been handed out to a few local customers and we have received a great response from recipients. Mail arrival by January 1, 2014 for those who have signed up to receive one. If you missed signing up to receive a free promotional one, please order yours today and we will get one in the mail to you as soon as possible. There are limited quantities remaining so please respond quickly. If you miss out on the Connection Group promotion calendars there may be some product calendars still available for sale that do not include service listing and are purely for decoration. Prices are reduced for the new year. We would love it if you could share the link in your social media channels for those who may be interested, thank you!

We hope you will stay connected with us throughout the year.
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These are the go-to-places to pick up tools, trends and tips to stay on the leading edge with your business. Enjoy inspiring design, website usability, marketing strategy and business resources nestled with fun, discounts and free downloads. Please stay connected!

Project spotlight Direct Mail - postcards, brochures and flyers through the mailMonthly Print Promotions 15% off full color letterhead - original design and printing.

Gaining More Followers Through a Facebook Personality Test

personaily test for facebook funny guy with fake glassesAs time goes by and updates continue to roll out, more and more marketers are finding out that Facebook truly is a great social networking site to invest in for a return and overall brand growth. Now, it’s definitely not the only site around to put stock in; Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram and other social networks do quite well also. For features, functionality and fans, Facebook can be the way to go.

Being such an expansive and innovative presence, there are multiple ways to effectively target your audience on Facebook and develop new fans and customers. One of the best ways is to use an app to create a Facebook quiz. In this instance, we’re speaking about personality tests.

What is a Facebook Personality Test?

A personality test is basically just a Facebook quiz. You create it by using the site’s app to construct a quiz-like feature which will ask users a question; e.g. “Which Dukes of Hazzard Character Are You Most Like?” Answers may include: “Boss Hog,” “Luke,” “Bo,” “Daisy,” “Rosco P. Coltrane,” and perhaps even the “General Lee.”

The interactive nature of a personality test definitely gets people interested. You can imagine the types of topics to come out. Which celebrity do you look like? Which billionaire are you like? Which scary monster would you become? And the list goes on indefinitely.

You can customize the app with different text and photos to make it fit your purpose, and you can run it like any other promotion on the site.

How to Use a Personality Test to Gain More Followers

1: Create an Original Test

The first step to this process is to create an original personality test. This is going to require a bit of comprehensive work on your part. For instance, you’ll have to completely fill out all the different legs of the personality profile with detailed information, and then find a way to tie it back. For example, when someone answers A + B + C it must come out to D and function properly.

A lot of marketers attempting to do these quizzes don’t put much thought into them, and people performing the quiz find that the answers are basically meaningless. Put more thought into it. Create a wholly unique test with an original subject, cool personality traits, some cool imagery, and make sure it comes out to an option that people earn by entering their traits.

2: Develop a Campaign Plan

The next step here is to develop a marketing plan. You can find some great relief via some Facebook marketing software, such as third-party ad-management apps, data hubs, and other pieces of software. But from initially visualizing your project to launching and operating it, you should have a plan in place.

Think about different aspects of your campaign plan, such as:

  • Targeting the correct demographic to ensure that those who complete the test and offer their emails are interested in your brand
  • Marketing your personality test through the use of tested and targeted ads, such as Sponsored Stories and Promoted Posts
  • Asking for people to share the test so that it makes the rounds through different friends’ News Feeds and on their pages
  • Promoting the test through the use of consistent hashtags, status updates, and even off-site; i.e. your main site, Instagram, Twitter, and perhaps even promo video clips on YouTube

The ultimate idea here is to reach out to as many interested people as possible. You’re going to draw a lot of attention from people who really aren’t planning to stay fans or to become customers, but those are just numbers that you’re going to have to live with. You want to gain as many followers as possible through wide and detailed promotion of this test.

3: Go Over Your Resources

Next up on the list, you should cycle through your resources to make sure that you’re ready for the big push. You might not realize it yet, but it’s going to be a lot of work on your end. Not only in creating the initial test, but in handling the traffic flow. You’re going to be inundated with new leads if your promotion is successful, and you’ll have to respond to them all and ensure that they’re all heading to a predetermined location which is ready to handle them.

Go over your resources and prepare. Make sure you have your ducks in a row:

  • Have an auto-response ready that thanks people for their participation
  • Have your mass mailer set up and ready to handle the new leads that you acquire
  • Make sure that your landing destination is ready to receive traffic
  • Troubleshoot your entire sales system to ensure that people can easily navigate your site and purchase products
  • Carve out the time to test for any snags and to address any issue you may find
  • Look into different money-saving aspects, such as a Facebook ad coupon, to ensure you can save money in the promotion of the test

4: Deliver the Goods

Some people might take the test just because they think it’s cool to see which object or person their personality aligns them with. But that particular demographic is rather slim. What you really want is to incentivize your test so that people are more inclined to take it. They take the test, which is just a way for you to get their email address, and in return they receive some type of gift.

Now, you have to be careful here with the gift you give out. It’s rather risky. If you’re offering something that’s unrelated to your niche and is valuable, you’re going to attract people who only want to participate in order to receive a gift. They won’t become customers, and they won’t stay fans. You want to attract people who really want to become and stay fans.

Here are some different things you can try:

  • Offer a monetary prize in the form of a contest: 1 winner
  • Offer a prize that’s very niche-specific, such as an informational eBook
  • Offer deep discounts on your products and services
  • Reward fan and customer loyalty by giving the best prize after a purchase

You want to add incentive, but you want to keep it aimed at attracting true fans from your niche.

Overall, a personality test is something that appeals to a very broad range of people. If you decide to just target random people, you’ll ultimately be able to attract a lot of new fans. However, you always have to be cognizant of the fact that fans on Facebook aren’t always going to stick around. It’s much better to pick up 500 loyal fans than it is to pick up 5,000 flash-in-the-pan fans who will never return.

So when creating your quiz, keep in mind the fact that you want to attract real fans who will hopefully turn out to be loyal, repeat customers.

Author’s Bio: Craig Robinson is a professional writer for Qwaya, a technology company specializing in Facebook marketing. If you have more social media marketing questions, feel free to ask Craig on Twitter.

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.

Stay connected!