Using Psychology to Improve Your Marketing Strategy

Reaching your customer base has never been so easy with today’s technology. From smartphones to tablets, consumers are often connected to social media. Using social media for your marketing strategies is a lesson in psychology, allowing you to befriend thousands of people for possible profits in the near future.

1. Make Them Feel Special
Regardless of your industry, customers want to feel special and set apart from the crowd. Use social media to start conversations. Ask an interesting question or ask for a “photo of the day” challenge. You simply want to breed familiarity into all your friends or followers for instant brand recognition. If a customer has a choice between your company and another brand, they’ll choose the one that serves them consistently and with a level of comfort.

2. Limited Time Only
Although the concept of a limited-time special is a traditional marketing tactic, it still plants a psychological seed inside the minds of consumers. The urgency of a lost sale prompts them to act now and not later. They may still contemplate the purchase, but the limited factor still plays a strong role in consumer habits. Send out emails, texts, status updates and tweets about these sales to see a profit impact.

Don’t be afraid of the newest marketing platform. Social media has a small learning curve, allowing you to master one website before trying another outlet. Stay with one social media type until you’re comfortable with using another. The key to any communication is consistency with customers.

Are You Scared to Death Of The Thought Of Your In-House Computer Expert Leaving?

What do you do if your computer guy suddenly quits? Want to know how much you are at risk? Most business owners think it would only be a brief inconvenience when, in fact, the opposite is usually true. We want you to ask yourself the following 6 frightening questions:

1. Where is all your software stored, do you know?
Taking a minute to organize and store your software in a secure place can save you a considerable chunk of money in the event that you need to restore a program on your systems. Bad things can happen to servers and computers, and the situation can be made worse if you are not ready. If you don’t know where it is located or don’t have access to the software, you might be forced to buy the software again.

2. If a disaster happens; do you have a plan to restore your network in a timely manner?
Having a disaster recovery plan for your office is vital and if you don’t have one, you could be in serious jeopardy without ever knowing it until something happens.

3. If your in-house computer expert leaves would you know how to protect yourself from an ugly security breach?
What do you do if your in-house expert happens to leave without any warning AND has access to your company’s network? Quickly, you must disable his or her access, including all cloud based applications and all remote access to your network.

4. Do you know where your backup files are stored and if they are being stored properly?
If your database happens to get fried and your tech is nowhere to be found, you might be in a lot of trouble. Many business owners are too busy dealing with the “crisis of the day” to stop and think about system backups and just leave tasks to your internal expert.

5. Can you provide written documentation about your computer network?
Are there cloud vendors for email, online storage, hosted line of business applications, etc. that you don’t currently have? What hardware do you own and when do your equipment warranties expire? What are the critical administrator passwords to your systems and devices? How is your computer network structured? What software licenses do you own? You should NEVER allow a single IT person or company keep this information under their full control over your network and company. If they suddenly leave for any reason, this could lead to huge consequences for your company.

6. Do you know what routine maintenance is being done on your network?
If your in-house expert leaves, who will take over? The very idea of keeping track of all the servers, learning about workstations, and peripherals on your network is about as welcome as a black cat crossing your path, but it is important information to maintain.

If you answered “no” to even one of these questions, you’ll then want know about our MANAGED SERVICES PLAN. This ongoing maintenance and monitoring service will keep your computer network up and running by preventing downtime, outages and securing your data from spyware, viruses, loss, hackers and a host of other problems.

The first 7 businesses to respond will receive a FREE Network Security Audit (a $497 Value)! Offer Expires on Halloween, October 31, 2014. Call Us Today: 440.479.9818 or visit worldsynergy.com/NoTricks

Contemporary Concerns: BYOD or COPE

Do Your Employees Use Their Own Devices or Do You Supply Them?

Personal mobile devices have been omnipresent throughout all sectors of business in the 21st century. Because of this, small business owners are increasingly being forced to choose between two basic scenarios for their employees’ devices: Bring Your Own Devices or Corporate-Owned, Personally Enabled.

BYOD (Bring Your Own Devices)
A recent survey by the CDW found that 89 percent of small business employees bring their own devices to the job. This certainly saves money, but it raises the following logistical issue: How can the company support and secure all of these independent devices?

Most of them do not even try to. The same CDW survey also revealed that only one in five businesses have any plans to secure all of their employee’s various devices.

COPE (Corporate Owned, Personally Enabled)
A small number of businesses have recently developed an alternative strategy. The COPE strategy involves business owners purchasing and securing the devices that their employees use. The company then allows employees to customize the devices with the applications that they need to perform their jobs.

This strategy certainly gives the company several advantages. The company owns these devices outright and can limit their employees’ access to apps that fall outside of the company’s interests. However, these devices can be quite costly, especially if they are being purchased one at a time for each employee. If you are going to go the COPE route, it is advisable to find a bulk deal.

Security Concerns
If you are dealing with client information that absolutely must be kept secure, it is best to go the COPE route. It is better for the company to be able to confiscate and secure any devices that an employee may have willfully or inadvertently leaked information through. In this regard, the COPE system is far superior to BYOD.

For more information on this process, contact Joanna Zinna (440) 479-9818

How High is Too High? 5 Tips for Setting and Achieving Your Realistic Marketing Goals

When it comes to setting marketing goals, we all know that we need them. The problem comes, however, with knowing exactly what the goals should be and how high to set them. Here are five tips for setting and achieving your realistic marketing goals.

1. Analyze Your Past Performance.
We suggest you start with a 90 day look back. If you have always fallen short of your goals, set them lower this time. If you have added additional staff or expertise, set them higher. Your past performance is your baseline that you will want to exceed.

2. Evaluate Your Company’s Current Condition.
Are you currently short staffed, overbooked or going through a restructuring? If so, set your goals a bit smaller than usual.

3. Evaluate the Market Conditions.
Your business does not exist in a vacuum. You will also need to evaluate how the market is doing in general. Do your sales have seasonality to them? If so, adjust them for the next 90 days. Accomplishing a goal can be all the motivation your team needs to exceed expectations after the goal is met, but you will need a realistic goal in the beginning to make that happen.

4. Make Your Goals Specific.
It is not enough to merely hope to gain more clients or make more sales. Your goals also have to be specific, measurable and written down if you want to have a chance at making them. For example, you may want to increase your online conversions by five percent or you may want to sell 10,000 widgets. Get specific. We want to increase sales by 10% for product X within the next 90 days.

5. Develop a Plan.
Lastly, you will need a plan. Determine all of the steps you need to take to accomplish your goals, and list them with dates and specific action steps. Be sure to review your analytics weekly to make sure you are moving along on the right track. In most cases, you will need to define how what the micro conversions (white paper downloads, webinar signups) will need to be in order to achieve your macro conversions (leads, sales).

Knowing how to set realistic marketing goals is crucial to your success, but that does not mean that you have to do a perfect job the first time. Use these steps again (wash) and again (repeat) until you have discovered the right tactics and actions that work the best for your individual company.

Let us know if we can help clarify your marketing goals. For more information, contact Glenn Smith (440) 349-4940 x110

Guidelines to Successful Social Media Marketing

Social Media Marketing can sometimes be hard to grasp, especially for business owners getting started. Luckily, this article, “10 Laws of Social Media Marketing,” grasps an understanding of important social media marketing fundamentals, which will start you out on the right track:

1.The Law of Listening.To be successful with social media and content marketing it requires research, listening and engagement to spark conversations that add more purpose to the content.
2.The Law of Focus. Stay focused on a social media marketing strategy, rather than a broad one that will not focus on the intended target.
3.The Law of Quality. As they say, quality trumps quantity.
4.The Law of Patience. It will take time to achieve the results you desire, be patient.
5.The Law of Compounding. If you put time and effort into your plan, by publishing content that is meant for the target audience, they will share it with their own audience and new opportunities may arise.
6.The Law of Influence. Connect with online influencers in your market, who have an established audience that could be interested in what you have to offer.
7.The Law of Value. Create value in what you say online. Make it mean something that will build a foundation of potential customers.
8.The Law of Acknowledgment. Acknowledge every person that reaches out to you. One of the most vital parts of social media marketing is building relationships.
9.The Law of Accessibility. Do not just publish content and walk away, be there and engage with your followers.
10.The Law of Reciprocity. Share content published by others do not just always talk about yourself.

Social Media Marketing takes time and patience. The bottom line is to be engaged and listen to your target audience. To learn what is really important to them.

5 Easy Things You Should Do To Protect Your Business Now

Let’s face it: no one likes to think about bad things happening to them, much less plan for them. But since September is National Disaster Preparedness Month, we want to give you a quick “brush-up” on some simple things you can (and should!) be doing to protect your business.

  1. Review your business insurance carefully. Most businesses carry some type of general liability insurance that would pay them if their building and the things in it were damaged. However, many businesses do not have enough coverage to replace all the computer equipment and devices, desks, art, supplies and other things they’ve accumulated over the years that are housed in their office. Make sure you review your policy every year and keep in mind new additions and assets you’ve accumulated during that year.
  2. Consider cloud computing. One of the biggest advantages of cloud computing is that your data and assets are stored off-site in a highly secure, high-availability data center, with failover and redundancy built in. That means that if your building were destroyed and you had to evacuate, or if your server melted down due to an unexpected hardware failure, everything you’ve worked so hard to create over the years is safe and not a sitting duck in your unsecured closet or server room.
  3. Secure your data. Making sure that your data is protected from theft is a never-ending battle you don’t want to lose. Companies that get hacked and expose sensitive client and employee data can face severe penalties, lawsuits and massive loss of credibility in the marketplace. Make sure you never have to send an e-mail to your customers explaining the bad news that a hacker accessed their info through you. Further, if you keep any sensitive information (even passwords to portals containing sensitive information) on portable laptops, phones and other devices, make sure you have a way of controlling and safeguarding that information.
  4. Write a simple disaster recovery plan. The key word here is “simple.” If your plan gets too complicated or difficult, you won’t do it. But at a minimum, think of the disaster that is most likely to happen and that would have a severe and negative impact on your company’s survival.
  5. Review your employee internet policy. With so many people hooked on Facebook and Twitter, it’s important that your employees know where the line is in what they can and can’t post online. We also recommend content-filtering software to block content and web sites you don’t want employees visiting during work hours.

Contact us today and we’ll give you a Disaster Recovery Business Assessment for FREE (a $297 value)!  Or Call 440 479-9818.

Takeaways from KPBC’s 2014 Internet Trends Report

The recent KPCB 2014 Internet Trends Report had a few highlights to share from the KPCB Internet Trends 2014 Code Conference. There are many interesting and exceptionally educational stats of information in multiple areas that we focus on here at World Synergy.

Mobile trends:

  • 30% of global mobile users are smartphone users
  • People spend more minutes on their smartphones than any other screen type
  • Tablet units are growing faster than PCs ever did; however, the 2013 breakdown of global tech users is as follows:
    1. TV: 5.5B
    2. Mobile Phone: 5.2B
    3. Smartphone: 1.6B
    4. Laptop PC: 789M
    5. Desktop PC: 743M
    6. Tablet: 439M
  • “Made in USA” operating systems (iOS/Android/Windows Phone) hold a 97% share in the global smartphone operating systems market – as opposed to the 5% share they held 5 years ago.

Messaging/Communications:

Image and video sharing are shaping the future of communication – and are rising rapidly. Social hubs such as Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram, Vine and Snapchat are being utilized as a source for this form of communication, and are more popular than ever.

Facebook is a site where users typically broadcast fewer messages to large audiences. However, with Snapchat for instance, users interact more frequently with smaller groups of closer contacts. According to the report, the frequency of communication holds more value than the number of contacts with whom you are interacting.

It is also noted here that the leaders of social distribution are Facebook, Pinterest, & Twitter, and that social distribution happens quickly – the average article reaches half of total social referrals in 6.5 hours on Twitter and 9 hours on Facebook.

In conclusion, when it comes to global internet users, there were 0.1B in 1996 – fast forward to 2013, and there are now 2.6B. The way in which technology is shaping the IT and marketing world around us continues to escalate, and this report ultimately shows us that there are no signs of slowing down in the future.

A Shift from Traditional Marketing to Online Marketing

Let us ask you this: when was the last time you looked up a phone number in a phone book?

Some of you may be thinking “why is that even being asked? I just looked up Papa Johns’ number in one of my enormous yellow pages last night!” If you’re one of these people, good for you. We like pizza too. But you know what we like more? Technology… and the fact that finding a number on the web saves us 5 minutes of digging through a dusty phone book.

We bring up the idea of the phonebook because it is a classic example of the switch between traditional styles of marketing and modern-day online marketing, which has been brought upon by technology advancements.

Traditionally, marketers diverted their efforts into advertising through phone books, newspapers, magazines, radio and T.V. In this form, they pay a certain price depending on the size or length of the ad, and where the ad is being placed.

As stated in the Forbes article Is Traditional Marketing Still Alive?, “In years past, when almost all individuals read the local newspaper or received a new phone book every year, these were solid media or marketing channels on which many business owners could rely. However, this is rapidly changing. More and more people are choosing to get their news online rather than through the newspaper, and a large number of households no longer take telephone books, since it is often easier to simply look numbers up online.”

With this, the essence of time and technology has brought a large shift to traditional marketers entering into the Internet marketing world.

The article suggests 2 key pieces of advice for business owners who may not be ready to jump entirely into Internet marketing, but who are looking to succeed with both traditional and newer types of marketing:

  1. Know who your customers are and target them.
  2. Craft a compelling USP (unique selling proposition) and offer.

What’s in store for the future of the Web?

With the rapid pace that technology is advancing around us, the future of the Internet is hard to pinpoint. Where will our world be 10, 20, 30 years from now? While some answers are out there, even the most qualified Internet experts have a hard time identifying what the future holds for our ever-changing technology-based lifestyles. According to the online Pew Research article “Net Threats,” Internet experts looking to the future of the Web have a number of concerns… although not all concerns are pessimistic.

A recent study done by Pew Research asked more than 1,400 technology builders and analysts the following yes-or-no question:

“by 2025 will there be significant changes for the worse and hindrances to the ways in which people get and share content online compared with the way globally networked people can operate online today?”

The result? 35% answered “yes” – while 65% answered “no.”

For more on these results and what many Internet experts believe will make up the future of the Internet, check out the article here.

The Important Qualities of a Marketing & Advertising Agency

In the MarketingProfs recent article “What Clients Expect of Marketing and Ad Agencies,” a report is displayed which shows the importance of various qualities marketing agencies can have. As the article states, most executives at companies rated each of the 11 qualities presented as being important:

  1. Understands their client’s business objectives
  2. Is aligned with their client’s business objectives
  3. Constantly thinking about their client’s needs
  4. Proactively delivers new ideas to grow/improve their client’s business
  5. Is fully engaged with their client’s business objectives
  6. Identifies and recommends marketing/revenue-generating initiatives that help drive their client’s business
  7. Provides relevant, actionable and measurable expert solutions for digital technologies
  8. Is integrated with their client’s business objectives
  9. Contributes to their client’s overall business strategy
  10. Provides ideas and solutions that go beyond advertising and marketing
  11. Recommends new products, ideas or solutions to create new sources of revenue

As a marketing agency, we are dedicated to aligning our clients’ business goals and objectives with their digital marketing strategies. We work closely with our clients to build a cohesive online marketing presence and strategy. With our trademark being Your Strategic Business Partner from Thought to Thrive, we are devoted to being our client’s business partner equally committed to the success of their company.