5 Marketing Focal Points for 2016

By Stephen Earley Jordan II

You have a great product (as we all think). But, you realize your competitor is getting more attention than you. According to everything you learned in MBA School, it goes against the rules of success-everything your competitor does turns to gold despite having a substandard product.

The question remains, why are they so successful and you are not? Perhaps your competition has a better marketing team and strategy. But, let me offer a few tips to help you outshine.

• Marketing Automation. There are various tools available for automating your marketing efforts on social media and even emails. Marketing Automation is platform used for planning, coordinating, and managing and measuring the effectiveness of campaigns. Yes, there are some mixed tales about marketing automation. However, the main obstacle one must overcome is the initial setup. The setup requires you to think ahead 1) what are my upcoming projects for the next month or two? 2) what messages should I try to deliver? 3) how can I vary the messages to keep people engaged, and finally 4) how often should these messages be expressed? In short, marketing automation requires you to have a marketing plan and to stick to it. And, it will solve much of the online administration issues in the long run.

• Content Marketing. Many people dread the task of writing. What's even more dreadful is coming up with a schedule, topic, and finally having the opportunity to sit down and write about it. But what do you plan to write about? This isn't an opportunity to write about and/or pitch your company's latest product. This is a chance to highlight some of your exclusive, valuable knowledge about your industry. You want relevant topics and you want to write consistently. You want to be seen as the authority in your industry. Above all, this is a moment to offer something special at no cost.

• Data. Data. If we don't collect and/or review data, we won't be able to monitor the ROI, and we won't get an insider's view of our customer's needs or their availability. Finally, if we don't have data, it's difficult to convince others to use your marketing services. Having the appropriate data allows us to create a more customer-centric campaign. Learn to research customer and product trends; offer unique surveys and create your own data that can be used for quarterly white papers and market comparison.

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Tips for Falling Back in Love With Your Business

By Jaynine Howard

We all hit that brick wall at times where we are no longer jumping out of bed each morning excited to start our day. When you find yourself lying in bed dreading to get up and start your day you know it is time to do some self-reflection and find out what is zapping your energy.

Retreat from Your Business and Self Reflect 

1. Mission & Vision - are you still honoring your original mission and vision for your business? If not, why did you get led down a different path? Were you chasing money to pay the bills instead of following your heart? Make time to review your mission and vision statement and update as necessary.

2. Evaluate Your Circle of Influence - do you have a support system that truly cares about you and your business? Do you have people sabotaging your efforts or belittling your goals and dreams? Use the attachment to take the time to evaluate your circle of influence. Make necessary adjustments so you can thrive.

3. Work Less - I know this may sound impossible but a few years ago my Coach told me to stop working so many hours. Set office hours and honor them. Use my productivity tracker to see where your time goes and how much time is being spent on tasks. If you would be outraged that an employee took so long to complete a task then revamp that task. I recommend setting a timer or placing a time limit for tasks. You will find you get the work completed within the time frame or sooner. You will be focused.

4. Delegate - delegate any task that does not bring you JOY. Find a virtual assistant or outsource to FIVERR or Elance if you do not have employees. Many tasks can be done faster and better by someone else. You do not have to do everything. Remember, two heads are often better than one. I would personally be lost without my team to jump in and help when I am sick, helping a client in crisis, or just by doing the tasks I don't like to do. Give up control and delegate so you can focus on revenue generating tasks.

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