5 Must-Adopt Marketing Skills

Techniques and practices are always emerging and evolving, and marketers can’t afford not to upskill. January 17, 2020 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. The marketing industry is continually evolving. Consumer expectations are intensifying, and new marketing practices and technologies continue to sprout up. More than ever, it’s crucial that marketers expand their competencies and learn new skills. Otherwise, they risk getting left behind.  It’s unrealistic to be proficient at everything, but picking up an in-demand, hard skill can make marketing professionals stronger assets to their teams and potential hiring managers, which is why they should consider learning or updating one of the following skills. Data Science and Analysis According to HubSpot’s 2018 State of Inbound survey, 42 percent of marketers said proving the return on investment on their marketing efforts was a top priority for their company, and 39 percent considered it to be one of […]

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9 Ways to Gain More Instagram Followers and Leave Bots in the Dust – ShoeMoney

We all know the feeling. You’ve worked hard to post something on Instagram twice a day. You’ve watched your Instagram follower count rise. And then it drops. What did you do wrong? Nothing. It’s just the fake followers and their shenanigans. The bots and the fishers of followers. It’s disheartening, especially when you feel like you’re doing everything right. But, there’s hope. Your follower count may have plateaued for now, but if you pay careful attention to what I’m about to tell you, you’ll see major growth. Keep reading. You’ll see in time. 1. Insta in Style You might want to ask Mekanic.com about this because they’ve helped hundreds of companies up their style on Instagram. But Instagram success is all about standing out. You want to be insta-ntly recognizable when you post. Why? Because people are scrolling endlessly and who knows when your content will break through the algorithm […]

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Marketing Trends in 2020 You Can’t Ignore – ShoeMoney

Right now, more than 46% of Americans checked their phone before getting out of bed. It’s clear we’re addicted to our phones. What’s even nuttier is that when those people search for something online with that same smartphone, 96% of their collective search time is on Google. If you’d asked Steve Jobs if his iPhone invention would be so addictive, he’d have said, “Well, I hope.” But if you’d asked if he thought Google would be the primary search software people used even on his devices, he’d probably have said no. We can’t entirely predict where technology will take us. But we can see current trends and make some educated guesses. Marketing tech is moving at an incredible pace and it’s hard to keep up. Fortunately, I’ve gathered some of the marketing trends you need to look at before you venture out into 2020. 1. Programmatic Advertising Are you looking […]

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Marketing 101: What are variable tags?

Marketing has a language all its own. This is our latest in a series of posts aimed at helping new marketers learn that language. What term do you find yourself explaining most often to new hires during onboarding? Let us know.   Recently we moved our corporate office to a new location. We are in the process of updating our address on our web sites, online business listings, social profiles, templates, etc. When I checked our email templates, I realized that we had neglected to place a variable tag in our email footers. Because of this oversight, we had to manually change the address for several hundred templates. If we had used this handy tag to begin with, it would have saved us a lot of time. Variable tags have several uses and benefits in email automation, but before I explain further, let’s define the term for those who are new […]

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How to Market Taboo Products

Tips from successful campaigns promoting everything from shapewear to prostate health. January 15, 2020 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. New York City’s Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) wouldn’t run their ads on subways, but feminine-hygiene product-maker THINX kept pushing. City officials called the ads, which showed a halved grapefruit with the tagline “Underwear for Women With Periods,” offensive and suggestive. But the resistance only made their marketing campaign stronger. As buzz accumulated around the ads and had city officials clutching their pearls, THINX fought back with creativity. The new ad copy read: “For People With Periods” and featured a trans man using their product. Whether or not these moves should be controversial, some people will resist marketing campaigns that focus on things they find difficult to talk about. Here’s what you can do to market taboo products in a way that uses that friction to your […]

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Creating a Marketing Budget for Small Business – ShoeMoney

On average, businesses spend anywhere from 11% to 13% of their total budget on marketing. Those numbers seem to be true no matter who you are. Even if you are a multi-billion dollar company, you use about the same percentage of your budget for marketing as a small business. Fine. That’s what you’ll do. Allocate about 12% of your budget and be done, right? Not so fast. Marketing isn’t an all-inclusive, one and done deal. You need to delve into that 12% and divide it up. How do you know where all that money is going? How do you know you won’t spend more than that 12% accidentally because your social media guy wants to try something new to advertise business on Google? This is where you need to sit back and take stock. I’ll guide you through it and we’ll look at how you can easily create a marketing […]

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10 Best SEO Marketing Certifications to Get for 2020 – ShoeMoney

You could go to apply to a University and get a degree in marketing. You’d borrow thousands of dollars and receive a fairly well-rounded education. You’ll have a nice certificate on your wall declaring that you have a degree. But what if you could get a similar education without spending money you don’t have? What if you could do so in less time and still increase your skillset? The internet is the best place to get a quick and cheap (yet full of value) education. It doesn’t matter if you’re getting IT Certifications or digital marketing certifications, it’s easy to find the right courses to fulfill your needs. Today we’re going to talk about SEO marketing courses and certifications. I’m going to outline the top ten courses that will give you the know-how to wow clients and customers and rock at SEO. Ready? Let’s get learning. 1. SEMrush Academy Are […]

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Focusing on People, Not Products

“Insurance sucks,” says McKeel Hagerty, CEO of Hagerty Insurance Agency, a specialty provider of classic car insurance. “Nobody wants to buy insurance. It’s not fun.”  Related posts: In the Studio to Record our Audiobook of Fanocracy How to Turn Fans into Customers and Customers into Fans How to Bring True Diversity to Your Marketing by Eliminating Tokenism Video Made for Just £100 Grows Fans of a Welsh Hardware Store What is Fanocracy? Your Employees Are Your Best Asset 5 Businesses Crushing Fandom Right Now The 3 Commandments Of Branding Niche Products In 2020 – ShoeMoney

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What Happens When You Fake Authenticity

Dissecting that infamous Peloton ad – how and why it happened. January 3, 2020 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. We’ve all probably seen now-infamous Peloton ad. Maybe you also saw some of the wild parody videos bouncing around the internet. At this point, almost everyone has an opinion on what it says about society, not to mention the future of marketing. Clearly the luxury fitness brand was looking for some attention heading into the recent holidays. But not this kind. If we can put aside for a moment debating whether the message of this particular spot was tone-deaf or not, or what it says about social and sexual politics, what seems clear is why this happened.  Given the timeliness of this topic, we brought together some of the marketing industry’s leading minds for a special edition of our podcast, Authentic Influence. Andrew Essex, Former CEO of […]

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6 Technologies That Will Reshape Marketing In The Next Decade

Augmented reality and the Internet of Things are among the defining forces going forward. December 31, 2019 9 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. When the internet was beginning to be commercially adopted in the early 1990s, few predicted how it would completely overhaul the marketing industry over the next two decades. Ingenious search engines that navigate a plethora of budding websites, along with the first online display and search ads, marked a drastic turn of marketing dynamics as individuals’s active search behavior allowed for much more relevant and efficient ad delivery.  The emergence of social media represented an equally revolutionary milestone, whereby comprehensive data on user demographics, preferences and interests offered marketers unprecedented targeting options. The innovation of advertising is the foundation on which world-changing tech giants such as Google or Facebook are built upon. It has allowed them to claim a huge chunk of all ad […]

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Marketing Is Still an Art (and a Science)

A case study that proves marketing is more than just a data-driven process. December 28, 2019 6 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Data-driven decision making has been the mantra of most good CEOs and CMOs over the better part of the last decade. They want all marketing decisions to be based on solid data that had previously not been available but is today in high amounts. But, data can be deceiving. It may lead you in one direction, when in fact the right answer may be completely in the opposite direction. Allow me to explain with this marketing case study from my Restaurant Furniture Plus business. The marketing strategy when we acquired the company We acquired Restaurant Furniture Plus in 2018. Up until that point, the founder was largely dependent on advertising in the Google Shopping section, with product listings of all their SKUs. I was curious why they were not advertising […]

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2020 Will Be the Year of Non-Alcoholic Beer

Zero and low-alcohol beers are creating a ton of industry buzz (well, in sales, that is). December 27, 2019 7 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Not to sound like a creepy Supreme Court judge…but I love beer. That lunk-head admission, coupled with this being the hooch-heavy height of the holiday season, doesn’t make being on the wagon easy.  But happily for those of us who want to avoid alcohol for various reasons yet miss the taste, non-alcoholic options have never seen such a buyer’s market. So if you missed out on the probably-Joe-Rogan-trademarked Sober October and would like a grocery list for Dry January, (and, per YouGov.com, a whopping fifth of all imbibing Americans plan to do just that after the ball drops), read on. Cheers to non-alcoholic beers! According to Nielsen, sales of domestic beer slipped 4.6% between October 2018 and October 2019 while […]

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Clorox’s First Female CMO on How Women Can Embrace Their Marketing Strengths

This year, The Clorox Company won Best In-House Agency from the In-House Agency Forum (IHAF) under Stacey Grier’s leadership. December 24, 2019 1 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. On the sixth episode of Season 3 of The Rough Cut, Storyhunter co-founder Alex Ragir went to the Association of National Advertisers Master’s of Marketing Week in Orlando to meet with Stacey Grier, The Clorox Company’s first female Chief Marketing Officer. Grier is in charge of marketing for household brands like Clorox, Pine-Sol, Burt’s Bees and Brita. Ragir and Grier discussed how women in marketing should embrace their strengths and lift other women up and how consumers are aware that production value can vary depending on the medium. You can see the full interview on Storyhunter’s Video Strategist Blog, or listen to the full interview on Spotify, Apple Podcasts or Google Play.   Related: Deloitte Digital CCO on Using Jazz as an Inspiration for Content […]

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What is CRM? A Short Guide the Budding Entrepreneur – ShoeMoney

You thought maybe being an entrepreneur meant you were just the ideas guy. Then you got deep into the planning process and realized there was a lot you had to do yourself before you could just be the ideas guy. Even Elon Musk had to learn business before he could start his engineering and product companies. He had to learn about marketing and other important aspects of marketing. One key aspect of business and startup marketing is CRM or customer relationship management. This is the center of your customer data. It’s where you store, track, and organize your customer data and interactions. How do you find the right software? Why should you use it? Keep reading to find out. How to Choose Your CRM Software Not all CRM software is created equal. CRM is just an umbrella term for various applications. There are three types of CRM under the main […]

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The Complete Website Redesign Checklist You Need for Success – ShoeMoney

Nearly forty percent of web users will abandon a page if it looks ugly. (Ah! It hurts the eyes!) A full 60% would rather read something on a well-designed page than a plain one. Now, ask yourself if your page is the best it can be. Maybe you neglected to hire a design company. You DIYed that bad boy and now you’re not so sure it was a good idea. It’s time to do a complete redesign. Why? Because the original attempt is driving people away. Where do you start? It seems like a massive project and that was probably the problem in the first place. You’re in luck! I’ve put together a short checklist to help you get started on redesigning your website. Let’s get cracking! 1. Take Stock First Baseline. It’s how athletes know how well they’ve trained. You take stock of your current fitness and record the […]

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Marketing 101: What is a sticky footer?

Marketing has a language all its own. This is our latest in a series of posts aimed at helping new marketers learn that language. What term do you find yourself explaining most often to new hires during onboarding? Let us know.’   A footer is the information at the bottom of a webpage. On a traditional website, a visitor would scroll down to see the information at the bottom of a webpage in the footer. However, with a sticky footer (sometimes known as a fixed footer) that information is always present at the bottom of the visitor’s web browser as the visitor scrolls down. They do not have to get to the bottom of the page to see it. For example, the team at Reservation Counter discovered that having the contact center phone number prominently displayed on the website increased orders, so they included it in a sticky footer for […]

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Tricks to Boost Your eCommerce Sales – ShoeMoney

eCommerce sales were slated to grow to 63% by 2019. We’re going to rock those predictions this year. You want to be part of that monumental growth, but you’ve not seen your share. You’ve tried all the “staples.” PPC, SEO, Social Media. And sales still trickle. What are the other eCommerce peeps doing that you don’t? Today we’re going to solve that mystery. Here are a few tricks that will boost your eCommerce sales. 1. Guaranteed Delivery Dates Alright, yes, Amazon can do this and cover their butts because they’re huge. While you might not be able to guarantee a specific date like Amazon, you can estimate a date range. But how will this compel people to buy? If you’ve used Amazon lately, you’ll know they milk their two-day Prime shipping for every single drop marketing power. At the bottom of every prime listing is a promise. “Order this within […]

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How HubSpot Builds a Culture of Fandom

HubSpot was recently named the #1 Best Place to Work in the USA in 2020 by Glassdoor as rated by employee reviews. What an amazing accomplishment! Congratulations to all my friends at HubSpot (I have been an advisor since 2007).  Related posts: Me on the Tony Robbins Podcast How to Turn Fans into Customers and Customers into Fans Your Employees Are Your Best Asset 5 Businesses Crushing Fandom Right Now 2020 Presidential Candidate Fandom Kamala Harris’s Surprising Fandom NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine Discusses Space Fandom With Me! A Gift from Nantucket UPS Store Builds Fanocracy

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How to Position Your Product in a Niche Market

Just because what you’re selling is unique doesn’t mean it can’t find its audience. December 14, 2019 4 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. When you have a niche product — something that positions a unique value proposition to a customer — it can be hard to figure out your place in the product landscape and market competitively to your target customer. And despite the specificity of your business, you’re still likely to have some competition. So, what’s the best way to position your product in a niche market? 1. Thoroughly assess the competition.  Although you’ve likely already perused their websites and gotten the inside scoop on who comprises your competition, you won’t learn much unless you do a full-blown deep dive. Create an entire document dedicated to competitor analysis. BDC recommends looking mainly at the following categories: products and services, pricing, positioning and branding and market reputation. You may […]

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The Best Appointment Scheduling Tool for Your Business

It doesn’t matter if you’re a solopreneur or if you’re the owner of a business with employees – managing client appointments while keeping everyone satisfied is by no means easy. A lot of time is wasted every day going back and forth via email, coordinating time availability options. And then there’s the huge time suck associated with manually keeping track of appointment bookings, cancellations, invoices, and late payments. Worse yet, most SMBs use multiple apps to handle scheduling, calendaring and messaging. As you can probably guess, this results in lower productivity and major drops in work efficiency.. Related blog posts and resources: The good news is, by using the right online appointment scheduling platform, you can optimize your appointment bookings, manage clients, keep client files in one place, automate marketing campaigns, and collect payments. Enter vCita, a powerful online scheduling solution that’s equipped to match the appointment booking needs of […]

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