Author: Joseph Schaefer, PhD

Personalization has become so important in the business world that some have gone so far as to employ the expression “hyper-personalization” to describe the detail of customizability they wish to have with their content/service. This expression, however, over-analyzes this method of business; business is merely personal or impersonal. Attempts to make your business too personal will detract from actually connecting with people on their level. You must care about the customer as a person and demonstrate to them that you value them as such. Who are your customers? Taking a look at demographics give you a basic understanding of your customer base, but in order to maximize success with personalization, you need to get to know your customers directly. Talking with your customers on the phone and getting feedback with surveys are great ways to improve your business. But if you really...

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Most of us know someone who is part of the baby boomer generation, or perhaps you are part of this age demographic yourself. We are all familiar with the stereotypes surrounding technology and older age groups. However, did you know that half of the internet users are people aged 65 and over? In fact, out of that half 70% use the internet on a daily basis and 49% use the social media site Facebook. These statistics do a lot to prove that baby boomers are a lot more tech-savvy than what has been believed in the past. This fact alone would make anyone want seek out baby boomers for their next marketing strategy, but there are some other factors to consider before jumping to that decision. When trying to decide on buyer personas, it’s best to gather as much information as...

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As you already know, conversion rates on your landing pages need to be maximized for the greatest marketing return. The difference between a page that converts 10% and one that pushes to 15% or more is a huge difference in revenue. How you portray your brand on a landing page will have a large impact on the effectiveness of that goal. Trust and personality can become key differentiators among the competition. You have precious few seconds to capture the interest of a target hitting your landing page and the manner in which the information is received will be determined in those few fleeting glances. Color of a landing page has a greater impact on perception than you might imagine. It can trigger a response in an instant. Red, for example, has been shown to increase the heartbeat of the viewer. This...

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CVs/Résumés are a huge part of the employment process. Employers can learn a great deal about the applicant within a single sentence of the document, so it is important to get the content correct. Applicants are often filtered out and not considered for a job due to their CV and the mistakes it may have. Here are some things you absolutely MUST avoid when writing your CV to avoid having this happen to you. 1. Know your audience. Every job application needs to be personalized for the person who will be reading it. If you’re applying for a role with leadership, you must demonstrate your abilities as a leader within the CV. Speak to the reader and avoid any one-size-fits-all approaches (“To whom it may concern...

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Digital video has emerged as a potentially powerful tool for small businesses. A well-designed and produced online video raises brand awareness, increases website traffic, and translates into sales. In fact, the ubiquitous nature of online video allows you to reach a wide swath of potential customers. As you develop your social media campaigns, online video cannot be ignored. Tim Jensen, a digital media expert, summarizes the trend best, stating, "Almost everyone watches online videos in some form today...

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Now that we're in the year 2014, spring cleaning is all digital. It's time that you bring your web presence back to life with new strategies and fresh ideas. The last thing you want in this day and age is to have an outdated website. You keep your content up to date and you're able to establish happy, regular customers. Here are some things you can do to get your website spring cleaning accomplished. 1. Revisit Your Strategy A lot of things have changed since last year. Check out your competition within your industry and look for new trends and who is pushing the envelope. Are you addressing the new ideas with new solutions? Is your website alive with updated content and commentary? Is your design still fresh and up-to-date? 2. Browse Through Your Phone Browse your website through your phone. If you can...

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As social media continues to evolve as the critical element in business marketing strategies, new tools emerge to help marketers stay in the game. To this end, Spredfest recently released Spark, a social media dashboard that allows users to stay abreast of social media conversations and interactions the moment they begin. This ability to monitor the social media stream provides marketers with critical information in shaping how their businesses are viewed, debated, and received. Spark offers a dashboard to allow customers to stay on top of the social media stream about a company, story, topic, event, or person. As stories emerge, customers can take action, such as re-tweeting or even launching a new story across multiple platforms, without leaving Spark. This allows marketers to identify the right opportunities and take action immediately. Spredfast CEO Rod Favaron sums up the tool best, stating,...

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A recent study from Cornell University states that consumers who paid more for their meal took greater enjoyment from their food than those who paid less. Researchers displayed an all-you-can-eat Italian buffet for a fee of $4 or $8 dollars. Customers who paid the higher price of $8 liked their food 11 percent more than the customers who paid $4, despite the fact that the restaurant and food remained the same. In addition to this, those who paid the lower price reported feeling guilty about overeating, though both groups ate the same amount of food. This concept is something other businesses can benefit from. The trick is setting a price that is high enough to be profitable, but not so high that it limits your business’s growth. To do this, it’s important to know the difference between value and cost. Cost...

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Mistakes are made in the world of social media marketing and some are worse than others. When dabbling in the world of social media, there are some definite do’s and don’ts you’ll wish to remember before hitting that submit button. If you’re not paying close attention, social media bliss may easily turn into a social media fiasco. Here are some examples of the good, the bad and the just plain dumb. The mechanics of cyberspace may be one hundred percent objective, but the content sure isn’t. In other words, assume any number of ethnicities, sensitivities and pet peeves are going to come across your content. Slurs, personal insults, or inappropriate behavior can have a profound impact on not only you, but the company you represent. If it’s something you wouldn’t say to the HR director, chances are you shouldn’t be posting...

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Branding your business is a critical component for long-term success. A brand reflects the personality and values of your business. Therefore, spend some time reflecting on what it is you offer that is unique and different. Be truthful, as well. Businesses that brand without considering reality are doomed for failure. Your brand must reflect your unique nature and be rooted in a reality. If your business is established, do not try to brand ourselves as the new kid on the block. Focus on what your business offers that is real and the brand can flow from that starting point. Once you have a sense of what makes your business unique, you can work on how to convey that message quickly and effectively. As consumers, we are inundated with slogans, marketing collateral, and brands all day long. The first time someone hears about...

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