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 gsmith@worldsynergy.com or (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.

The Picture Element

When looking at a picture posted on a website, the average viewer may not think much of it.

However, to developers, one of the biggest challenges to creating a responsive site is the images.

There is no current way to serve an image that is appropriately sized for the device – both physical size and file size – that works across all browsers.

However, there is a solution waiting to be implemented.

The picture element is a proposed solution to this problem that is gaining attention across all browsers. The W3C has added it to the official HTML5 standard as a proposal – meaning a working draft, not a final solution just yet. Currently, the nightly development builds of Chrome & Firefox have the proposal implemented – and Chrome 38 will have it implemented upon its release.

Essentially, the picture element gives developers a way to add multiple source URL’s for every single image, along with rules for when to display each one. The browser will see this tag and pick the appropriate image to load – so that developers only load what is needed for the display. This allows for a fully responsive workflow with images.

For more information on the arrival of the picture element, check out http://goo.gl/i0AuKn

World Synergy Ranks 300 Globally in MSP Top 501 – Placing for Second Year in a Row

“Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.” – Andrew Carnegie

Here at World Synergy, we are a team that strives to meet our clients’ needs for today and for the future. Our customers expect our Managed Service (MSP) team to not only manage their networking and computing infrastructures, but also provide strategic insight into their business and IT needs.

With our exceptional in house talent and comprehensive IT capabilities, we support clients from simple to complex customer environments, including multiple kinds of networks, systems and applications.

Nine Lives Media’s competitive list of Top 501 Managed Service Providers recognizes top managed service providers around the world on the basis of multiple factors, including: annual managed services revenue growth, revenue per employee, managed services offered, and customer devices managed.

We are excited to announce that we have ranked once again on the list – making this our second year in a row – and have moved up to position 300 Globally!

There is no denying that our commitment to world class customer service as well as teamwork is the core of this milestone.

Check out our press release for more information.

Transition from On-Premise to Hybrid-Cloud

What do we have to anticipate? Does it make sense for our company?

Here at World Synergy, these are common questions we hear from almost all of our clients as they prepare to transition their IT environment from on-premise to hybrid-cloud.

Hesitation often comes along with deciding whether or not to make the switch – and for good reason.

Its a big move – but it’s a move made for a better future.

Before following through with the process of transitioning from on-premise to hybrid-cloud, it is important to review the pros and cons of hybrid-cloud:

Concerns:

  • Internet bandwidth – do you have enough bandwidth to communicate effectively with a server offsite?
  • Redundant internet – if you’re main line goes down, will you lose access to your servers? Do you have a redundant line in place?
  • Redundant firewalls – if your firewall has issues, will you lose access to your data? Do you have redundancy there?
  • Application local bandwidth requirements – does the Line of Business (LOB) application or other applications you are considering moving to the cloud need more bandwidth than is available to you?

Benefits:

  • No hardware costs for the application in the cloud.
  • Some cloud services are delivered with a low predictable monthly cost vs. purchasing new hardware/software every 3-5 years.
  • High availability outside your existing infrastructure – if your internet or firewall does fail, users outside your office can still access their data
  • Scalability without hardware costs – cloud services allow you to scale as you grow. Add resources and pay as needed rather than paying for more than you need up front.

For more information on this process, please contact us at 440-349-4940.