DOW Electronics Kit Crew Video

Want to know how the quarterly DISH kit gets from DOW Electronics to you?  Get an inside look at our kit crew, which shows how we assemble each and every kit!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DRYWPTx03UY&feature=youtu.be

Successful Door-To-Door Sales

Summer and fall months are a prime time to utilize door-to-door sales tactics.  The weather is nicer, there are more daylight hours and households are more likely to stay up later, giving you the opportunity to present your sales case.  Additionally, you have the ability to meet your customer face-to-face, demonstrate your product and its advantages, and the added benefit of creating face recognition.   However, just like any sales tactic, there are many things to take into consideration and prepare for prior to getting started, and we’re here to help you put your best foot forward before you start ringing doorbells.

PERFECT PITCH

Door-to-door sales can easily be compared to those dreaded public speaking classes you took in school.  But, preparation and practice are all you need to have the confidence to sell.  First, know your product inside and out, and how it compares to other like products on the market.  This will ensure that you will have answers to any questions, and lets your potential customer see that you are the expert, thus giving them the trust they need to purchase from you.  Additionally, you will be prepared for any bumps in the road and any unforeseen instances that occur.  Second, practice, practice, practice!  The more you know exactly how you will approach a customer, the easier and less stressful your sales pitch will be for you.  It may be easiest to practice in front of a mirror, that way you can see how you appear to your potential customer, and change points in your pitch that may not come across like you hoped.  The combination of preparing yourself ahead of time and practice will give you all the confidence you need to successfully sell.

TIMING IS EVERYTHING…

…and, I mean this in more than one way.  In advance, think about the time you will start knocking on doors.  Monday mornings are more than likely not the best option, as people may be on their way to work, dropping kids off at daycare or running errands leftover from the weekend.  Try researching the neighborhood ahead of time, and note which homes have cars, and seeing who may be home during the day versus at night.  Additionally, think about this as an opportunity to set a future appointment instead of selling.  This will do two things: you will be able to prepare a meeting with the customer, and know that they are more than just a cold lead, as well as relieve the customer of any pressure of making a decision on the spot.  It will also make you look very courteous, with the customer knowing that you were mindful of their time.

Another thing to think about regarding time: how much time you need to spend with each household in order to meet your sales goals.  Whether you want to make one sale a week or day, knowing how many houses you need to reach each day will give you a realistic target and will teach you how to manage your time with each home.

TRIAL AND ERROR

When getting started, it is possible that the first 25 to 50 homes will include a lot of trial and error.  That’s okay!  However, make note of what works and what doesn’t, so you can change your game plan for future sales opportunities.  Just remember to sell confidently and be flexible with your plans, and you can expect success to come along.

What are your door-to door tips and tricks of the trade?  What do you suggest for first-timers?  Comment below so we can help everyone out with their sales plan!

THREE LINKEDIN FEATURES YOU SHOULD BE USING

Upon creating your LinkedIn account and looking around, it is not difficult to understand how you can feel overwhelmed and bombarded with a plethora of information and news.  However, once you get through all the noise, there are a few features you may want to think about enabling to enhance your LinkedIn page.

1. BLOG RSS FEED

With this feature, you are able to add your blog updates via an RSS feed.  This simple and easy to use tool allows you to promote your blog content to all visitors who visit your page.   Keep in mind that you will need to ensure you update your blog with fresh content regularly – an out-of-date and flat news feed will show that you haven’t put any effort into your blog, and will reduce your creditability.

To enable this feature, click the dropdown menu next to ‘’Admin Tools’’ for your page’s “Overview” tab.  You will then scroll to the bottom of the page and enter your blog’s RSS feed information.

2. PRODUCTS AND SERVICES TAB

This feature offered by LinkedIn allows you to highlight and promote the products and services your company offers.  You can also use this same feature to advertise webinars, add videos, upload marketing and training materials and introduce new products and services.  Another beneficial feature of the Products and Services Tab is that it allows you to create up to 30 different landing pages to drive and target a specific audience.  You can create parameters based on the company size, job function, geography and more, which is perfect for those businesses who have different business segments marketed to different audiences.

Since this feature in more in depth, you can get more information on how to set up by accessing your LinkedIn account and visiting the Help Section.

3. RECOMMENDATIONS

One of the best ways to generate business, especially for the local retailer, is by recommendations.  You enable this feature in conjunction with your Products and Services Tab so that your customers now have the opportunity to recommend the products and services you offer to other LinkedIn users.  This will not only build your credibility, but also increase your LinkedIn following, in turn, making you the expert in your area.

Again, this feature is more in depth, so you can get more information on setting this up on your LinkedIn account by visiting the Help Section on LinkedIn.

There are a handful of useful features offered on LinkedIn, so take some time to sift through all the information and set up your account so it best promotes your business.  And, stay tuned for updates to the DOW Electronics LinkedIn page!

What features do you use on LinkedIn?  What works for your business?  Comment below with your suggestions.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT CUSTOMER LOYALTY PROGRAMS

These days, customer loyalty and rewards programs are all the rage for all types of businesses.  From offering BOGO’s (buy one, get one free), free shipping and points for future items, these types of programs not only compensate your customer for purchasing products through you, they can also keep your customer base coming back for more and for a longer period of time.

However, many businesses fall flat with these types of programs by not planning and executing properly.  The bottom line is that you should look at this program as enhancing your customers’ experience and always strive to put their needs first.  Whether you start your own ‘VIP Club’ or ‘Rewards-style’ program, we’re here to help with our list of dos, don’ts and examples of how to start rewarding your customers today.

THE DO’S

  • Set parameters for your rewards based on what’s best for your business.  While for online companies, offering a free shipping reward is a great way to get people to order, this may not be your best reward if you have a substantial amount of foot traffic.  Additionally, set parameters based on how much a customer spends or how often they purchase, creating tiered levels of rewards, and giving your most loyal customers a special level of service.
  • Strive to build lasting relationships with your loyalty programs.  Engage your customers by giving them rewards they truly want, will use or will benefit from.
  • Think about your budget.  Starting a rewards program could get expensive if you don’t plan properly, so always track your budget on costs for the rewards.  This will allow you to calculate your Return on Investment to see which rewards work best, which don’t work and what you can change within your program to make it a better fit for you and your customers.
  • Track your customers’ purchasing habits.   By tracking what a customer purchases, you can offer them a reward that will truly help them.  For example, if they purchase two of a specific item at once, they get 50% off the third, or a discount on purchases of 10 or more of an item.  Additionally, if you see that a handful of customers purchase very little, offer a small discount to entice them to purchase more frequently.
  • Clearly state the parameters of your program to all customers and keep the process simple.  Make sure all users know how they obtain rewards or points by providing a handout of the guidelines.  Also, by creating a simple process for access to program rewards and account information, you are more like to run the program properly and have more users.
  • Partner with other businesses.  For example, if you hold an open-house event for VIP clients, partner with the catering service for discounts on your products and their services.

THE DON’TS

  • Don’t use a ‘one-size fits all’ model for your rewards program.  Tailor each reward or provide options that customers will find usable that way they will be happy with the reward they receive, and will be more likely to continue to purchase from you again.  Think outside the box, and keep in mind what will benefit your customer the most.
  • Don’t just give stuff away, or give your customer leftovers from an event.  They will not appreciate the reward, nor will they be enticed to purchase more.
  • Don’t make it difficult to sign up for your program.  Offering the ability to easily sign up by registering their email address with the first purchase is a quick way to get all of your customers started.
  • Don’t make rewards impossible to obtain.  If your customer has to spend $10,000 at your store to receive a $20.00 coupon, chances are you will never have anyone actually receive a reward, which completely defeats the purpose.  Think like PetCo – for every $100.00 you spend, you earn a $5.00 coupon to be used on anything at their store.  The reward level is easily reached, and the reward is completely fair for all users.

HOW TO START REWARDING:

Even with a small budget, here are some ways for you to start testing what loyalty program works best for you:

  • Celebrate with your customers by offering a small discount during the month of their birthday.
  • Offer additional services, such as product warranties, with little mark-up.
  • Reward referrals to your business by offering a coupon or discount.
  • Upgrade shipping with a specific purchase amount.
  • Offer your VIP customers a free preview night, or open house, in which they will be the first to see your new products.
  • Notify those in your rewards program of sales early so they can get a head start on shopping.
  • Have your customers create a ‘Wish List’ and when they reach a specific amount of purchases, you surprise them with a free gift.

Remember, the end goal of a loyalty program is to build a two-way relationship that benefits both users, so think about what your customers really want, and you’ll see the gains from increased sales and profits.

Have any questions about customer loyalty programs, or have any advice or ideas to share?  Comment below with your questions, or call 1.800.627.2920 or email adv@DOWElectronics.com to talk with our dedicated marketing team!

5 SOCIAL MEDIA TERMS YOU NEED TO KNOW

Social media can be overwhelming and difficult to keep pace with – it is constantly changing and your audience has the potential to be huge, so not knowing what you’re doing, or what you are talking about, leaves you with the chance of looking confused to the entire world.  Don’t sweat – we’ve got a list of the most basic terms and how they pertain to your business.

PLATFORM – a platform is any system that manages content.  For example, the DOW Electronics’ blog platform is WordPress, which hosts an entire community of blogs.  This is important to know because each platform will have its own rules and regulations about what you can and can’t post, so make sure you read each prior to getting started.  Additionally, each platform has its own advantages to reaching your audience to give them the information they want.  For example, Facebook and Twitter are great for posting new sales information, promotions, and behind the scenes pictures, while a blog is best for showing off your expertise, so use each platform differently to ensure you gain the most.  This means you will need to post different types of content on each, and will take a little extra planning.

MICROBLOGGING – microblogging is the posting of short messages on a social media account.  These include Tweets on Twitter, Status Updates on Facebook, and comments on any given social media platform.  Microblogs are great because they promote the sharing of knowledge, networking, and intelligent conversation between individuals interested in the same topic.  While you may not think these are really important since they take little thought or preparation time, you need to put in the planning time to post something that your audience will get value from.  You also want to make sure you never post anything that is offensive or something that can be misinterpreted.  These comments can still be found by a search engine, and the last thing you want to do is generate a negative position about your brand.

HASHTAG – a hashtag is the symbol ‘#’ followed by a series of words or characters.  Messages that have the same hashtags are then grouped together to show you what is currently trending in social media.  For example, at DISH’s Team Summit this year, when posting to Twitter, the hashtag #TS2013 was used to group all like pictures and tweets in the same category.  Additionally, Facebook just recently added the functionality of the hashtag on its platform, so you will see these popping up in your news feed, with a link to click to see who else is posting about the same topic.  If a specific hashtag pertains to you or your business, go ahead and microblog about it – your brand will gain attention for staying on top of current ideas and events.

TRANSPARENCY – transparency is the act of engaging in considerate and courteous conversations with all users on any given platform.  Each and every platform that allows user content to be shared will have a transparency policy set in place, and repercussions can include blocked or deactivated profiles, so always think about the end result since you do not want to post anything that is offensive to any of the other users.  The main goal of social media is to share ideas and generate new beliefs via collective genius, and this is something you should aspire to do in every day social media use.

GOING VIRAL – going viral, or virality, is the rate in which content is passed along on any platform.  YouTube is a great example for thinking about virality.  This is the ultimate goal for any social media user – the faster your content goes viral, the more press and attention you are likely to receive.  However, there is a fine line, as you want to make sure your content goes viral for the right reasons, so make sure to have a sharp eye on all your posts.  When thinking about viral content, it is good to create a mix of useful information with lighthearted humor to engage your audience.

Now, it is important to remember these are the very basics, and since each platform changes each day, you need to make an effort to stay up-to-date with how each will affect your content and pages.

What confuses you about social media?  If there are any topics you need assistance with, just leave a comment below and the DOW Electronics team will be happy to help!

Event Hosting 101

Summertime has arrived – and that means plenty of events, socials and fairs for you to participate in and market your business.  But, there is another option – hosting your own event!  When you host an event, you are in the driver’s seat, ensuring everything fits your needs, from schedule, budget and the overall success of the event.

However, as with anything, there is a correct way of putting together an event so that you get the most rewards from your time.  Whether it’s planning ahead or selecting the best event location, follow these tips to ensure your event-hosting is a true success story!

Location, Location, Location

The first option to host your event is obvious: your store front!  Not only will people already know where it is located, it will allow your company to remain consistently branded since you will be at a location that is only associated with your business.  But, take a step back and ask yourself a couple of questions: does my store front location get a lot of traffic?  Are the people stopping by inquiring about new services?  If the answer is no, you might want to partner up with another local business that does get a lot of consumer traffic to help you host your event.  Consider having it at a local pet store and having a ‘Dog Days of Summer’ event or at a local mall or shop where you know there will be a lot of people coming in and out.  You can also see if your location partner will assist with an incentive for your customers for each sale made, like gift cards or a discount on purchases.

Plan (and Budget) Ahead

One of the biggest mistakes we often see in the DOW Electronics’ Marketing and Advertising Department is not planning or budgeting ahead.  Before you get the ball rolling, take a minute (or a few) to write down everything you will need to account for with your event materials and budget.  Items you may not account for, like food and drinks, promotional items, nametags, event advertising and signage, are all vital to the success of any event and can cost extra if you procrastinate, so account for everything.  And, if you are having a family-focused event, make sure to have some games, and small promotional items that won’t break the bank and will keep the attention of children.  The planning and budgeting will help you in the long run – on the day of the event you will be fully prepared and focused on selling, and afterwards, you can provide true tracking on cost-per-sale to determine the success of your event.

Advertising is a MUST

In planning, advertising your event is a must!  Print and radio are great options for you to get the word out that you are hosting an event, but why not send out an invitation?  Get a list of all your potential and current clients, or those former clients you are trying to bring back to the store, and personally invite them!  Whether it’s an email blast, a physical invitation or a video invitation on YouTube, your invitees will appreciate the personal touch and are more likely to attend.  Other ways to let your community know about your event include submitting a press release, inviting a radio or television station to do a live remote at your event, and social media.

Remember, hosting your own event has endless advantages, so make sure you utilize your time and efforts to receive the maximum benefits from your event.  With most of your work falling within the planning phase, it will take a little extra time to make sure all aspects are accounted for, but will pay off in the long run!  And, don’t forget to contact the DOW Electronics’ Marketing and Advertising Department to submit your event and advertising for co-op preapproval, or for help with event items such as tents, banners and promotional giveaways.  We are here to assist you with all your event and advertising needs and can be reached at 1.800.627.2920 or by emailing adv@dowelectronics.com

What are your event hosting tips?  What works best for your business?  We want to know – comment and share with the DOW Electronics Marketing and Advertising Department!

QR Codes and Your Business

The QR, or quick response, code is popping up more each day, and has quickly become a huge trend in today’s marketing.  But, if you don’t know the best way to get started and use them in your marketing, you’ll be lost, so we’ve done the research to help you utilize them to grow your business.

The Basics

The QR Code is essentially a more complex bar code.  A bar code only stores price and product info, is one-dimensional and can only be scanned by a laser scanner.  A QR code is two-dimensional, can be scanned with any scanner with an imaging device, such as a smart phone camera, and can link to any type of information, like videos, maps, contact info and more.

There are a number of free sites that will allow you to create and track your QR code. The ones with the best ratings are www.QRStuff.com, www.GoQR.me and www.QRMobilize.com (plus, many more).  They all offer different options as to what the codes can link to, and some even offer free website mobilization which is crucial.  I would suggest checking out a few options to determine which one best fits your needs.  Also, don’t shy away from using a paid site, which will offer advanced options.  The extra money spent and advanced options in tracking and mobile assistance may be your best option in helping you facilitate and determine the success of your campaign.

Best Practices

Now that you know how to set up your QR codes, it’s time to review the dos and don’ts of utilizing the codes in your advertising.

  1. Mobile Sites: it’s always important to remember to connect your code to a mobile optimized site.  Your potential customers will be scanning these with their smart phones and mobile devices, so connecting them to a full web page will be a logistical nightmare.  When prepping your mobile site, plan something small, like a landing page with opt-in information, instructions, promotions or a video instead of your full informational site.
  2. Size and Space Matters: when planning the usage of your QR code, think about how your users will scan it.  Putting it on your billboard, or on the side of the bus are probably not your best options – how will your potential customers scan them when the bus moves, or when in a moving car?  Magazines, newspapers, flyers and posters are much better options, as your customer will have more opportunity to pull out their device and scan your promotion.  And remember to keep the QR code in proportion to your ad, but large enough for a scanner to read.
  3. Call to Action: one of the biggest mistakes made is that when using a QR code, there is no call to action.  Always place a small line or sentence identifying what the user stands to gain from scanning – it can be as easy as ‘Scan Here for Troubleshooting Information” – so the customer knows what to expect beforehand.

Practical Uses for Your Business

The best part of QR codes is that their uses are virtually endless, and we’ve already thought of a few great options for you to get started using them to grow your business today:

  • Include with new equipment purchases and have the code link to installation instructions or troubleshooting questions.
  • On marketing materials with directions to your location, or special promotional and sales information.
  • Print a QR code on adhesive Avery labels and cover the bar codes for any products, this way customers can’t scan the bar code and find a lower price elsewhere.  You can include anything from sales and contact information to product reviews.
  • Print on the back of your business cards and it will automatically include your contact information in their phone.
  • Include on signage for any special event you will be participating in or hosting, with information on your location within the event, giveaways or add the event to their personal calendar.
  • Include on your advertising in magazines and newspapers with a link to testimonials

Now you are ready to get started.  If you have any questions on using QR codes for your business, feel free to call the DOW Electronics’ Marketing Department and we’ll be more than happy to assist you.  Or, if you are already using QR codes in your advertising, comment with your suggestions and examples below!

PUBLIC RELATIONS FOR THE LOCAL RETAILER

According to the Public Relations Society of America, by definition, public relations is ‘the strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.”  Essentially, public relations is the ability to influence the way the public perceives your business and products.

Now, public relations can often be confused with marketing and advertising, but the three should work in conjunction with your sales team to improve and promote your business in the best possible way.  Whether you have previous experience with using public relations as a business tool, or you are thinking about using this for the first time, we’re going to cover the basics of public relations and press releases to help you design an easy and effective campaign.

Why Public Relations and Press Releases?

Public relations and press releases are great business tools for several reasons, with the main being that you are the one in control of the information released.  Since you are in the driver’s seat, you can regulate your image, the tone of the message and medium where the message is sent, thus creating the ultimate booster for you and your business.

Other benefits include increased brand awareness and public influence, image building and increased credibility.  Plus, aside from the cost to actually create the message, it is essentially free and it works directly with your current advertising and marketing plan.

What information to release?

There are several things to keep in mind when determining what information to put in press releases:  does it have an impact on my public or local community?  Is it current news?  Will it boost my credibility as the local expert?  Will it set me apart from other businesses?  Consider some of the following topics to use for press releases:

  • Sponsorship of local charities
  • New products or channels available to your community
  • Grand Openings or Open Houses
  • Expansion
  • Contests and Giveaways
  • Industry awards or customer service awards
  • Unique or new services not offered by other businesses

Although you may be partial to your business, not everything is newsworthy.  Only release items you are truly proud of, or know will set you apart from other businesses.  Another thing to keep in mind is to stay positive – remember, you are in control, so make sure to generate excitement and upbeat responses from your public.

Where to Send your Releases

Now that you have determined your press-worthy story and typed it up for publication, where do you send it?  That all depends on the topic you are releasing.  For the most basic answer, your local TV stations, newspapers and radio stations are a good place to start.  For newspaper (or print in general), contact the beat writer directly.  For TV and radio stations, get the information for the assignment desk editor and send the story to them.

Another thing to keep in mind is industry news.  If the item you are releasing is directly correlated to a specific industry (partnerships, new product lines, etc.), don’t hesitate to send the release to the publications for that industry, which can include magazines, newsletters and online sites.  For example, when DOW Electronics recently announce its new partnership with Mobile Solutions, we sent our press release to the top 12 Volt publications, such as 12voltinsider.com, 12voltnews.com and Mobile Electronics Magazine to name a few.  These types of publications often rely on their readers to provide them with current news, and appreciate those who are proactive about submitting information.

Public relations and press releases are truly an art, so don’t get discouraged if your release doesn’t get picked up the first time you send one out.  Often times it takes several releases before you get even one mention, but once you perfect the ‘magic formula’ and create your contact lists at individual publications, it will be no time before you get mentioned on a regular basis.  Just keep at it and continue to build the business image and credibility of your business.

Preparing for Team Summit – Part II

ts2013

Now that you have begun prepping for Team Summit, it’s time to get into the nitty-gritty of all the things you will need to be prepared for.  You will need to think of all the expected, and unexpected, scenarios that could possibly happen so you are not stuck with your hands in your pockets.

What to Bring?

There are always the usual items you need to bring with you: comfortable, yet professional, clothing, a good pair of walking shoes and personal items; but what about your business items?  Get an extra set of business card printed before heading to San Antonio – you will be meeting numerous connections, and you want to make sure they have your contact information once everyone heads home.  And, when you are taking the business cards of others, make conversation notes on the back so you can reference them at a later date.  Also, for training classes, a recorder (or app on your cell phone) to log the information can be much better than actually trying to write notes – the recording will be much more detailed, and if you have any questions when you get back, you won’t have to wonder what was noted in your class.

Other items to think of: gum or breath mints, extra sets of personal items, a credit card or cash, extra writing materials, brochures on your company, a camera, aspirin or other medications, batteries or chargers, sewing kit, city maps, sunscreen, lanyards, band aids, hand sanitizer.  If you are staying the extra day in San Antonio, don’t forget your golf clubs. J

Pre-Training Study

I know you have assigned your team members specific training classes (as mentioned in Part One) – so why not get yourself ready for class?  Trainers love when attendees are active and vocal within the seminar, so go ahead and make a list of questions you have for your trainer.  Consider mentioning situations that have occurred within your business or relevant industry trends to make the training applicable to your everyday business issues.  This will make you stand out and memorable to those attending the conference with you, you will get the information you desire from the training, and those who are teaching will appreciate you did your homework.

Other things to keep in mind: arrive on time, keep your sense of humor and listen!  While it is work, you don’t want to waste anyone’s time and you want to engage those around you.

After Team Summit

Now, time will go quickly, and soon you will be headed back to every-day business.  But, one important step many forget is to follow up with those connections you made while at the conference.  It can be as easy as writing an email, a short thank you note or sending pictures you took with your new friends.  Don’t be shy about reminding them on why you connected in the first place – and, after all, it is business, and you‘ve already completed the toughest first step, which is getting your foot in the door.

Additionally, if you have any social media accounts, be sure to share what you learned and pictures with those who follow you, and connect with your new friends on your feeds.   Invite your new connections to follow you or like your page, as this will be an easier way for you to keep in touch.  Plus, people love looking at pictures, and learning new things, so go ahead and share away!  It will only net you more traffic to your sites, thus branding your company.

All-in-all, Team Summit should be a good way for you to connect with others in business just like you, so make sure you stay open-minded so that you can share, and others can share their tips with you.  Keep your good attitude and enjoy all the new things you will learn and people you will meet.  There’s also some amazing entertainment at this year’s event, so don’t miss out on all the fun!  And when it’s all said and done, let us know how your Team Summit experience was for 2013.

And, make sure you come by to visit the DOW Electronics booth in the distributor area – we’d love to meet all our friends and followers!

2013 Marketing Resolutions

There is no doubt that December can be an overwhelmingly busy month –with the hustle and bustle of the holiday’s, family gatherings and more, chances are you let your Marketing and Advertising plan fall to the wayside.  In this week’s post, it is our plan to help you with your 2013 Marketing Resolution.   Whether you want to simplify, revamp or retain your current customer base, we’ve compiled the best and most realistic marketing tactics you can implement this year.

SOCIAL MARKETING SMARTER, NOT HARDER

Here at DOW Electronics, we have several social media and online accounts, which can be tough to manage, especially if you cannot or do not want to sit in front of a computer all day. It’s been around for a while, but HootSuite is an easy, and free, fix to this problem.  HootSuite allows you to set up one program and add all your social media feeds, so you can post, respond to messages and answer customer questions all from the same site, freeing up substantial time.  You can also schedule messages in advance, so you can set your posts the night before, for after hours or even on the weekends, allowing you to spend less time worrying about finding time to post on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and more.

CONTENT IS KING

It’s been said before, but it has never been more important.  Everyone, including your client base, is constantly bombarded with information, especially now in the digital age.  If the content you are putting in the market is not relevant to your audience, you will be passed over without a second look.  This not only means giving your clients the information they need, like training videos or tutorials, but also updating old or obsolete job aids and training items to be current.  Check your website to make sure everything is up-to-date, and do the same for any social media or business profiles. Old material looks unprofessional and like you’ve stopped caring, so updating your materials will not only be a benefit to your customers, but will also show them you are the professional they can turn to.

GO MOBILE AND GET LISTED

Almost everyone has a smart phone or tablet these days, so if you haven’t thought about supporting mobile access to your website, you should be.  This is the perfect opportunity to reach new customers in your area as people are foregoing traditional ways of communications (land line phones and dial-up internet), and switching to a smart phone or wireless device for everything.  Consider new families that move to your area – how will they find you if they have yet to set up internet or phone lines to call around?  Of course, they will turn to the instant connection on their device, and if you aren’t there for them to review, again, you will be passed over, and won’t even know it.

One site that will help your mobile marketing and online profiles is GetListed.org.  Getlisted.org was launched in 2009, and allows small business owners to regulate their online presence.  This easy to use, and free, online tool lets you claim your business listings on Google, Yahoo, Yelp!, FourSquare and more, thus increasing your search engine optimization.  You can also update business information and photos, creating a complete profile, which is more likely to be looked at.  So, now when those new families are moving in and searching for a cable or internet provider on their smart phone or wireless device, your business information is included, no matter what search engine or social media site they are using.

EMAIL MARKETING

One of the best ways to constantly reach your current or potential client base is email, but when was the last time you updated and cleaned up your email list?  Take the time to clear out the outdated information so you are only putting resources towards those who you know want your information.  Also, create an opt-in form on your website to draw in any potential clients, and maintain contact with past or current clients. Additionally, use email for more than just promotional and sales emails – company updates, press releases and community news will not only give your business personality, but will also show you are looking at the bigger picture within your organization.

Now that you have some ideas for your 2013 Marketing Resolution, it’s time to put them in place!  Start digging around and see what you can start changing now, and schedule the rest to be completed within the next couple of months, that way you are ahead of the curve and updated before 2014 rolls around!  Which of these tips will be the easiest for your business to implement?  The hardest?  Let us know what you need help with, or your feedback – we’d love to hear it!