Sales & Marketing Articles

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How to Deal With Negative Comments & Reviews Online

You can please some of the people all of the time. You can please all of the people some of the time. But you can’t please all of the people all of the time.”

When Benedictine monk and poet John Lydgate penned those words centuries ago, he had no idea how much his advice would resonate in modern times. Especially, in this, the most modern age of the Internet.

In order to be a successful business, you must have an online presence. With that presence comes an online reputation that you have to protect and manage. You can go out of your way to ensure the best customer experience every single time, but sooner or later, it’s inevitable. You’re going to get a negative review.

Here are a few best practices when it comes to managing your online reputation and dealing with negative comments. [more]

Artificial Intelligence: How it Can Help Grow Your Business

AI technology is having a major impact on every industry, especially when it comes to automation. Retailers are now using AI-enhanced chatbots to respond immediately to customer questions and suggest additional products. Major breakthroughs are happening in healthcare because of machine learning applications that are finding new treatments and cures for disease. Manufacturing and e-commerce have revolutionized their supply chains with AI-backed automation, increasing the speed of delivery as well as keeping customers updated on shipping and delivery times.

Of course, artificial intelligence can be controversial. Aside from the “machines replacing humans” fear that many people have, a lot of businesses are nervous about how AI could affect their business processes and overall workflow. And startups and small businesses might not have the money or resources to incorporate the technology. But none of these concerns should outweigh the fact that AI is the future of business. At some point, everyone will need to adapt.

Here are some of the many ways AI can transform your business, as well as a few risks to avoid. [more]

How to Launch a Successful eCommerce Site

If video killed the radio star, then eCommerce is currently killing the shopping mall.

According to Shopify, eCommerce sales will reach close to $5 trillion by the year 2021. With more and more consumers preferring online shopping to brick-and-mortar stores, the timing couldn’t be better to launch an eCommerce business. And it also couldn’t be easier.

There are numerous applications, platforms, and solutions that can help you set up and operate an online business for pretty much anything you want to sell. (Anything legal, of course.) Anyone can be a retail entrepreneur, regardless of your level of experience. But in order to become a successful eCommerce store, you need to get started on the right foot.

Here’s how to build an eCommerce website in 5 simple steps. [more]

3 Ways Artificial Intelligence is Changing Traditional Marketing

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is changing the world we live in and affecting every area of our lives. It eliminates email SPAM. It knows what we want to watch on Netflix. It can predict future health problems so we can take steps to prevent them.

Moving further, AI is changing the landscape for our careers. There are very few industries that are not currently being disrupted by AI in one way or another. From healthcare to security to the financial industry, Artificial Intelligence solutions are making people’s jobs easier and, in some cases, eliminating them altogether. Of course, this technology can never truly replace all human capabilities in any profession, but it is changing the way we work.

Marketing is certainly one of the industries in which AI is making an impact. Here are 3 ways AI is changing traditional marketing, and how understanding it can help you not only keep your job, but thrive at it like you never have before. [more]

Why Local Partnerships Are Key to Small Business Success

Back in the 1980s, there was a very popular Faberge shampoo commercial in which the model stated she loved the shampoo so much that she “told two friends about it” and “they told two friends” and “they told two friends”, etc. The ad featured square images of the model that multiplied by two each time she uttered the phrase until the screen was covered with hundreds of images meant to represent the popularity of the product.

As cheesy as this seems nowadays – and the commercial was quite cheesy…just Google it! – the point of the ad was certainly spot on. The absolute best form of advertising is a word of mouth referral from a trusted source. This is why it is so important for small businesses to create what I like call a “referral ecosystem” by developing synergetic relationships with other local businesses in their communities.

Let’s say you own a pet grooming business. It would be a wise decision to get to know a local veterinarian. You can refer your clients to this particular vet and in return, the vet would refer his or her clients to you. You could arrange to have business cards or special coupons left on the counter or notice board in a vet’s office and vice versa. If the veterinarian has a website, perhaps you could purchase ad space, or offer ad space on your website in return. [more]

25 Top Email Marketing Tools & Resources

In today’s instant-gratification, hyper-connected, and mobile-obsessed consumer environment, it’s becoming harder and harder for professional marketers to grab a potential customer’s attention, especially when it comes to email marketing. It’s even harder to keep that attention for any length of time.

With the rise of artificial intelligence-enhanced inbox and spam filters along with consumers’ growing preference of SMS and social media over email, marketing professionals have been wondering for quite some time if elaborate email campaigns are even worth it anymore.

While email marketing is certainly not dead, it does need to become a whole lot smarter. Just as technology is being used to filter out unwanted email messages for consumers, other solutions are being developed to help marketers break through the noise and barriers and reach their target audience in the most efficient and effective methods.

Here are 25 email marketing tools & resources that can help you get your email marketing back on track and convert more prospects and leads into actual sales. [more]

5 Tech Trends That are Reshaping eCommerce

Thanks to technology, online shopping trends are changing as quickly and becoming as popular as fashion trends themselves.

With the popularity of Amazon, eBay, Alibaba, and other retail sites, long-standing traditional retailers such as Macy’s and Neiman Marcus are having to find ways to keep up. These retailers are also having to appeal to a whole new generation of shoppers that are making purchases primarily from their mobile apps.

Here are five of the top online shopping trends and how technology is playing an ever-increasing role. [more]

Why Your Business Needs a Bot

It used to be that people would get frustrated when calling customer support and having to go through a long series of voice prompts to get help. They just wanted to talk to a human. That’s no longer the case. Now consumers want an instant response. And they don’t mind if it’s a chatbot that gives it to them.

According to the 2018 State of Chatbots Report, “the most common potential benefit of chatbots that consumers pointed to was the ability to get 24-hour service (64%). That was followed by getting instant responses to inquiries (55%) and getting answers to simple questions (55%).”

Bot technology is transforming customer service and call-center culture. It makes consumers happier because they get instant help. Businesses love the fact that it saves them money, as they don’t have to hire as many customer service representatives. But this is not the only reason a company should consider getting a bot.

Here’s a brief look at the history of bots, the benefits they provide, and how companies are using them today. [more]


How to Get Your First 500 Facebook Likes in 3 Easy Steps

So you’ve created a Facebook page for your small business. Good for you! That’s a huge step and a very important part of your marketing plan.

Or, perhaps you’ve had a Facebook business page for a while, but you don’t have very many followers and you don’t have a clue as to how to get people to “like” you.

No worries. Here are three easy steps you can take that will put you on the road to Facebook fame. [more]

Mobile Wallet Marketing: What You Need to Know

How many loyalty/rewards cards do you have in your wallet? Maybe you have some tucked away in a drawer somewhere in your house. Chances are, you don’t always take them with you when you go shopping. Most likely, you forget that you even have them.

More and more consumers (especially millennials) are using the mobile wallet function of their cellular devices in order to store and manage brand loyalty cards and coupons as well as make payments directly from their phones.

Startups are taking notice of the mobile wallet trend and developing next-generation solutions to capitalize on this simple convenience that saves consumers money while helping store brands increase customer engagement. [more]

Why Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) is Bad for Your Site

AMP — which stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages — was introduced by Google in October of 2015. It is an open-source custom web development framework created to speed up the loading time of web pages on mobile devices.

While the idea of having a faster mobile internet with content that loads instantly sounds like a great idea, there is a lot of concern among web developers when it comes to AMP. And these concerns should have publishers equally worried.

Here are just a few reasons why AMP is bad for both the webmasters and the web as a whole. [more]