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Marketing Eye blog topic: Small Business Marketing - page 5

Small Business Marketing

Last night I had the opportunity to attend an event at JWT Atlanta, the best experiential marketing company in Atlanta and one of the most experienced and creative agencies in all of the US.

They put together events every other month, bringing together people from the marketing and advertising industry.

I really enjoy going to their events as they have quality speakers and as a company, JWT Atlanta is as inspiring as any of the people that they have present. Their office space is uber creative and their people, so much fun, that even I want to go and work there.

Yesterday's speaker was Kevin Carroll, the founder of Katalyst. To say that he is inspirational, passionate and above all, a game-changer is an understatement.

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There is not a small business on the planet that hasn't heard of Twitter, yet many are still failing to execute a social media strategy that cleverly integrates Twitter as a social media platform designed to connect and communicate key messages.

Co-founder Jack Dorsey, a 36 year old tech titan, and now CEO of small business payment technology, Square, has built his billions on knowing what small businesses want and need. Square is the fastest growing small business payments technology in the world today, and through his small business meetings in Town Halls throughout the US, Canada and Japan, #letstalk, he is educating small business owners to talk and support each other, rather than work alone.
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Marketing automation has the fastest growth of any CRM-related segment in the last five (5) years and there is a reason why. Senior management have been desperate for years to have a clear picture of sales pipeline performance, which until marketing and sales automation came along, was unheard of - in a real sense. There were many inferior solutions in the market, but none that really hit the nail on the head quite like marketing automation.

Interestingly, after speaking with a number of marketing automation vendors in the past few weeks, it has become apparent that there is one clear contender for the top marketing automation spot - and that is Marketo.
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It's a Saturday and rather than head to my nearest Starbucks to buy a NY Times, I decided to get all of my news online. Looking for some inspiration from other bloggers as I am about to embark on phase 3 of Marketing Eye's expansion and to be honest, I am nervous and excited at the same time. Any wisdom from my fellow bloggers is welcome. 

Another thing that struck me while looking for blogs is how out of date they are. If you type in a search in Google, you will get blogs as far back as 2005 that have never been written on again. Hope with the new change of algorithms that Google fixes this problems.

However, there are 20 very worthwhile blogs that are great weekend reads if you are looking for something easy to absorb, interesting, educational and business savvy.

TOP 20 ENTREPRENEURS BLOGS : 2013

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There are so many Apps around today, that it is hard to know which one's to download and take up space on either your smart phone, tablet or computer.

As a marketing agency, we use a number of "must have" apps to ensure that we are regularly monitoring our clients performance online and ensuring that we are abreast of their competitors movements, campaigns and conversations as well as leveraging industry news and developments to bring their brands to the forefront.

While we continue to grow audiences, increasing our clients brands within the circles in which they trade, it becomes increasingly important to utilize Apps that cut-through the clutter and help ensures that we don't waste time on social media where possible.

Here are 8 of the most efficient analytical Apps that Marketing Eye uses:

1. HootSuite: If you don't use this, then you have not only been hiding under a rock, but you are missing a valuable tool. HootSuite is a social media management solution that enables teams to collaborately execute social media campaigns across multiple platforms from one single view point - a dashboard. HootSuite includes audience identification tools, the ability to streamline workflow and customize reporting. It is perfect for managing Twitter accounts.
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When I am talking successful, I am meaning someone who is really successful. A person who at their disposal, can spend $20 million on a property without blinking an eye lid or pick up their friends and family from wherever they are in the world, in a private jet, just because ... they can.

There are many habits of really successful people - the billionaire type, but here are 5 that come to mind based on my experience in observing their traits:

1.  Dominance is in everything they do
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What started out as a dream became a reality, much faster than I anticipated.

Many entrepreneurs can attest to having a dream or maybe just something on their bucket list that needs to be crossed off. I am one of those people. I have a dream but most importantly for me, an item on my bucket list that needs to be crossed off by a given time frame. 

What once was a dirty word to me, the position of entrepreneur in a fast growing, dynamic company is the most exhilarating career choice I could have every made.

What other job has you jumping out of bed at 5am each morning, dressing in a matter of minutes and rushing off to the office to start your day? For that matter, what other job gives you the highs of an entrepreneur and the flexibility to be exactly who you are?
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If I could have a dollar for every time I didn't trust my gut instinct, I would be a very rich woman.

Like most entrepreneurs, I have failed more times than I have succeeded and every single time I have failed I have thought back to how I could have done things differently. 9 times out of 10, it was because I didn't trust my gut instinct.

Trusting in yourself and your intuition is important, but if you are anything like me, you second guess what you think you should do and find reasons as to why you should do something a different way. It's not too indifferent from taking a risk. We are all reluctant to take risks but sometimes there is this thing inside us that tells us that we must do it - even though there a thousand reasons why we shouldn't.
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Only in Australia for a few days and I have had the pleasure to sit in on a workshop with a company that started just 16 months ago and has had a phenomenal rate of growth.

The Bond Street Group is a company that provides private and public institutions advice and support in enhancing outcomes through leadership, strategy, people and equity effectiveness. Their team is made up of senior professionals that have excelled in their given fields.
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A few weeks ago, we met with the delightful Jack Rehm and Karen Larkin of Midsouth Planning in Atlanta. The first thing that struck me about both Jack and Karen is how nice they are. Now, nice isn't a word that many people would like associated with themselves because of the connotations that it has, but its true. They are smart, thoughtful, considerate and nice.

It was a big step for both of them to take to hire a marketing company as it isn't something that they had done before. 
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"Same bed, but it feels a bit bigger now" is the lyrics in the famous Bruno Mars song "When I was your man".  An apt description of Marketing Eye's business expansion into the US market. It's the same company, but its a bit bigger now. 

What started out as a step to expand the international footprint of our brand, has taken on a whole new dimension. Australian and America have long been tied and now more so than ever. The ebbs of the economy has led to an opportunity for Australian companies that are geared for expansion to leverage the strength of the Australian dollar, and affordable set up costs in the US market without breaking the bank. The downside, is US dollars are not worth as much, as the dollar loses its grip on parity.

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We hit the road running in Atlanta and haven't looked back since.

In just six short months, we have embarked on changing the mindsets of many small businesses in Atlanta, that have been pressured by the Global Financial Crisis and are reluctant to ease their way out and invest in marketing.

As we know, many companies that increased their investment in marketing during this period grew significantly. It's just like when everyone is walking one way and you are walking the other. You all of a sudden stand out and people take notice of you. If they like what they see, then you make connections.

The past few months, we have been working with one of the most impressive companies in the US - Accretive Solutions. They provide consulting, staffing and outsourcing solutions to companies and have 11 offices throughout the country.

What impresses me most about Accretive Solutions is their people. If you ask any of their clients, they all say that it's their people that set Accretive Solutions apart from competitors. They don't hire juniors, and instead invest in people with experience and passion for doing challenging, interesting work.
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The best decisions are often the hardest to make.

With the economy on the recover, many business owners are faced with the task of reshaping the future of their business and having to look from the outside looking in - while taking into account that the economy may take more time than anticipated to get to a point where businesses are flourishing in the way it did pre-GFC.

When making a personal decision that is tough, I always write it down. Its something that I do and I find is helpful when looking at the pros and cons. I also don't think too much about it. In fact, it is usually my gut instinct that comes into play and while it is important to consider factors that impact the direction of your life or your values, it is always your gut instinct that will ensure your decision making results in the best outcomes. It is tougher when it comes to how you feel, but if you can put that all aside, then quite often if you reflect in the future, you will realise that it is in fact that best decision you could have made at the time.

Business is not too indifferent from that.

“You can't make decisions based on fear and the possibility of what might happen.” ― Michelle Obama

Top 5 Tips for Making a Tough Business Decision
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A simple conversation can lead to anything. Literally, anything.

Like many entrepreneurs, gravitating to other entrepreneurs or business people is natural. Talking to a Neurosurgeon is not.

"It's not brain surgery" is one of my favorite sayings. The other, "it's not rocket science". It seems quite apt that I find myself in conversation with a neurosurgeon, whose gene pool is only bolstered by the fact his father is a rocket scientist.  Was I intimidated. Hell yes! But how impressed I was to be having such an intriguing and relevant conversation with a neurosurgeon, was only interrupted by moments of wanting to be opportunistic. I had to literally stop myself asking if a sperm donation was a point I could include in the discussion. Now, what single woman wouldn't want to have a child with this gene pool?

Nevertheless, when I pulled myself together, I realized the synergies between business and neurosurgery isn't actually poles apart and much closer than one would think. As a marketer, we have certainly learnt a lot from neuroscience and consumer behaviour, but the outlook of how a surgeon views what they do, was what struck me as being something every entrepreneur can learn from.
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