Marketing and the Myth of “We Need A New Idea!”

By Andy Slipher

One of the biggest challenges in marketing heard by businesses across almost all industries is the constant search for their next idea—the one that’s going to hook and reel in new customers and clientele. It’s the idea that constantly eludes them yet, if they find it, will lead to more revenues, long-term relationships and evergreen sales.

Unfortunately, this way of thinking is largely mythology. There is almost always no missing other. And, if you haven’t figured out the big idea of your product or service—what’s intrinsically compelling about it—you have bigger problems than coming up with the latest gimmick.

Searching for a single elusive idea is like looking through the wrong end of a pair of binoculars. It depends on that which is neither familiar, nor within reach. It calls upon disconnected tactics over a focused and cohesive strategy. And, in the end, it manifests itself in the form of one-off and lackluster attempts that yield underwhelming results.
Want to address the true need behind the “new idea” myth? Here are three steps to moving away from this myopic approach, and toward a more strategic and holistic way of finding better tactics, more creative pathways, and greater results from your marketing.

Focus first on the bigger challenge

Take your attention off the symptoms of the moment—a sales slump, for example. Instead, begin to ask yourself these questions: What is the nature of the challenge or problem we face? Is there a larger issue we’re not facing that is causing our current predicament?

A short-term bump in sales, for example, is going to be hard to bring about without a larger understanding of what is causing the symptom of a temporary sales slump. Is it due to the seasonality in your business? Is it due to an increase in competition? Or, is there a downturn in the market or economy that’s causing customers to spend fewer dollars?Develop a plan instead of brainstorming a single idea. Click To Tweet

Know what you’re up against before you assume that your current predicament can be solved through a single tactical idea. Understand the causal factors contributing to the dynamic that has brought about your present challenge. By understanding the true nature of the problem at hand, you will effectively prepare yourself to devise a better and more accurate approach. This new approach can be used to mitigate or overcome the forces that are causing a symptom, such as a short-term dip in unit sales.

Develop a strategic plan

Yes, develop a plan instead of brainstorming a single idea. Will it take longer and require more effort? Most likely, yes. Will it also solve your issue more effectively than a short-term tactic? Definitely.

Strategy is a form of problem solving. Good strategy clearly identifies the problem, and then formulates a larger and binding approach to addressing, head on, the problem at hand. In marketing, as in other areas, good strategy demands choice—choosing a path to the exclusion of others, whereby all plans can be coordinated and work together to overcome a problem (not just a symptom). Symptoms can sometimes be relieved through temporary tactics, but rarely will they go away for any length of time or with any great effectiveness without a strategy to deal with their source.

A good strategic plan integrates:

  • Goals—the end for the effort, usually one or two, at most;
  • Strategy—the binding approach that will inform all other plans and tactics;
  • Plans—individual recipes, each with coordinated activities in accordance with your strategy, that will serve your goal;
  • Objectives—observable, measurable and time bound declarations of how you know you are successfully fulfilling your plans; sometimes called key performance indicators (KPI’s);
  • Tactics—last, the details and activities that will be undertaken to fulfill plans and reach your goals.

One of the best things about a strategic plan is that it is relative to the challenge at hand. It is designed to address a problem head on. Finally, the role of any strategic plan is that it serves as a blueprint for thoughtful, coherent and logical pathway for solving any complex challenge.

Rely upon integrated tactics

Once you have a thoughtful strategic marketing plan in place, you will be shocked at how much more easily the tactics present themselves. Why? Because a thoughtful strategy serves to focus everyone around a centralized, agreed upon approach. And because strategy forces choice, it eliminates the need to consider disparate (and sometimes desperate) ideas.

In fact, what you once thought of as innovative and other-worldly ideas will become almost foregone conclusions when a strategy is present. New possibilities present themselves more readily when you and your team are provided a guided pathway upon which to engage creative thought and energy. Best of all, because such ideas must fall within a guided strategic pathway they become, by default, integrated tactics.

If you utilize this three-step process of thinking bigger to tackle larger problems, thoughtfully planning your marketing approach, and then tactically integrating ideas around a strategy, you will move away the myth of, “We need a new idea.” Instead you’ll find yourself in the wonderful reality of, “We have a strategic approach to overcoming our marketing challenges.”

Andy Slipher is founder of Slipher Marketing, a consultancy where strategy comes first, followed by tangible marketing results. He is an accomplished strategist, interim CMO, speaker and writer on marketing strategy. He is marketing segment lecturer for SMU’s accredited Bank Operations Institute for professional bankers, and for the Independent Bankers Association of Texas (IBAT). Andy is the author of The Big How: Where Strategy Meets Success.  For more information, visit TheBigHow.com

The Deeper, Engaged Way to Onboard New Employees

By Cordell Riley

The days and weeks after employees start at your company represent a time of unique opportunity. Can you teach them new systems and skills? Of course you can. But have you also stopped to consider all the other important goals you can reach during the onboarding period? To name just a few, you can…

  • Grow and encourage adoption of your culture
  • Get new hires to understand, promote and believe in your brand
  • Sow the seeds for outstanding customer service
  • Cultivate the kind of spirit and energy that customers will value and love
  • Hear creative ideas from new employees who have a fresh perspective
  • Build retention by proving that your company is a great place to work
  • Set up communication channels with new hires that will improve operations throughout your company

Those are only a few of the opportunities you have during employees’ first weeks at your company. But how can you take advantage of them? Here are eight approaches that work.

Start by Having a Well-Defined Onboarding System

Many companies just wing it, with negative results. Still other companies see onboarding as little more than filling out forms, setting up company email accounts and showing new employees to their desks. Because new hires start their jobs without a deeper understanding of what is expected of them, they make mistakes that quickly become costly habits that must be corrected later on.

Many problems can be avoided if you set up a structured onboarding system that functions as high-level training. On their start days, new hires can meet individually with HR representatives to fill out forms, for example, and then meet as a group to watch videos and learn about your company, its brand and its values. After lunch, they can be trained in the basic skills their jobs demand; watching training videos, engaging in work simulations and working alongside current employees can work well to reach those goals. And after day one, they should attend regular follow-ups to address problems and reinforce basic concepts and skills.

The operative strategy is to clearly define ahead of time exactly the skills and behaviors you need, and to create a concise mini-curriculum that tracks to them.

Set up Genuine Mentoring Relationships between New Hires and Successful Current Employees

Remember, mentors’ goals should not be to get new hires to imitate what they do, or even to adhere to company systems. Their purpose is to discover what new employees would like to accomplish at your company, and to help them reach those goals. In short, mentoring is not about the mentors or strictly about your company, but about the employees who are being coached.

Find Ways to De-layer and Free Up Communications

Invite new employees to brainstorming sessions where their new ideas are collected, posted, discussed—and put into action when appropriate. Also consider setting up de-layered systems—like virtual suggestion boxes on your company intranet—where employees at all levels can present suggestions directly to top company executives. If employees can only submit ideas to their immediate managers, you have created a communication structure that carries a risk of demotivating front-line and entry-level personnel; just one supervisor who stifles new ideas can do great damage to your company.

Unless you commit your efforts to becoming an “employer of choice”—a company that people talk about and would love to work for—you are damaging your profits, operations and ultimately, your success. Click To Tweet

Don’t Do Training on the Cheap

One thing is for certain: if you are only handing out employee handbooks and having new employees fill out withholding forms, you are missing out on some great opportunities. If you can train every new retail salesperson to sell just 10% more on every order, for example, that could result in hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of new business company-wide, maybe even more. Or if you can set up mobile training that sends out pings to remind employees to use specific skills they learned in training, you could increase your training ROI dramatically. The lesson? Spending a little more to deliver great training is a money-maker, not a cost.

Within Your Budget, Customize Training for Each Employee

Even”standardized” training can be enriched by creating individualized training elements for each new employee. You can evaluate the skills of your new hires during training and address them directly, for example, or help employees overcome anxiety about performing certain parts of their new jobs. Investing just a little time to give training extra value can go a long way toward getting new employees up to speed faster.

Stress and Reinforce Your Mission Statement, Vision Statement and Strategic Company Plan

The onboarding period is a highly effective time to share the big picture about your company and to get employees to buy into your most important goals and priorities. Instead of waiting for employees to discover these critical priorities, start talking about them soon after new hires come on board.

Consider Creating a Career Plan for all New Employees

You won’t want to do this for seasonal or short-term employees. But for employees whom you would like to stay with you for the long term, consider sitting down with each of them to create individual career-development plans that spell out what they need to do to be promoted within your organization. You could say, for example, that all retail salespeople can apply for management training after six months of employment, or that your company will provide technical training to help them move into their desired career path at your company.

Millennials, especially, are more likely to stay with your company for the long term if they know the ropes and understand what it takes to build a long-term relationship with your organization.

Evaluate Whether You Are Acting like a Great Employer

This is something you should always do, not only when you are training a new class of employees. So take the time now to benchmark your company climate, benefits, quality of work/life balance and other factors against other companies. Unless you have the best of everything, you cannot expect your employees to commit their hearts and minds to working with you for the long term.

You see, retention starts with you, not with your employees. Unless you commit your efforts to becoming an “employer of choice”—a company that people talk about and would love to work for—you are damaging your profits, operations and ultimately, your success.

Cordell Riley is sought-after keynote speaker, and the Owner and President of Tortal Training, a leading training development company he founded in Charlotte, North Carolina. Tortal uses strategic engagement methodologies and specializes in developing mobile training platforms for organizations with distributed workforces. A recognized training expert with extensive experience in the service, automotive and franchising sectors, Cordell has spent more than twenty years helping thousands of companies achieve outstanding success through training. For more information about Cordell Riley, please visit: www.Tortal.net.

Moments Matter

A Three-Part Strategy to Effectively Leverage Your Time

By Jill J. Johnson, MBA

Most people manage their time by treating each of their priorities as if they have an equal weight. They do not. When you are developing your time management strategy, you need to break your time down into three different categories. These types of time include routine activities, project-oriented activities and crisis situations. Each of these types of time has a different impact on your productivity and your daily focus.

Developing a clearer understanding of what type of time you are dealing with allows you more options for developing a strategic approach to how you focus your daily priorities. Initially, break down your key areas of focus by evaluating the urgency and significance of your primary activities. This is followed by an evaluation of each of your major responsibilities to assess which type of time it involves. Then consider the amount of time that will be necessary to effectively complete each of them. This strategic focus will help you develop a more proactive approach to managing your overlapping, and sometimes conflicting, responsibilities.

Neglecting Routines Creates Chaos

Routine activities involve responsibilities you can anticipate. Activities falling under this type of time include those with an automatic or regularly occurring deadline. This may be preparing quarterly reports, tax filings or actions you need to process on the first day of each month.

Unfortunately, most people procrastinate on assignments that have a routine deadline. They wait until the last minute to begin working on them. Then they rush to pull together the needed information. Waiting until the very last minute to focus on routine activities ends up compressing the completion time horizon. The frantic rush to meet the known deadline often results in missing critical elements, errors, or a lack of quality work. This adds pressure and unnecessary stress.

Routine activities are not surprises. Don’t treat them as such. Carve out the time you need in your schedule and make sure it adequately reflects the time necessary to completing these assignments. If these activities require research or advance preparation time, your schedule must allow ample time to work on them in advance. Shorten or eliminate all non-essential meetings as you get closer to a deadline. Set up alerts with a reminder of your impending deadline. Then send alert notices to others who have critical information or essential insight you will need.

Taking a strategic mindset to approaching routine assignments encourages you to complete your preparation work as far in advance of your deadline as possible. The key is to dedicate the time you need into both your planning process and your schedule. If it is a new responsibility for you, budget time into your calendar to accommodate your learning curve.

If the routine activity is something you only engage in periodically, create cheat-sheets with screenshots and notes to yourself on issues you ran into and how you solved them. These notes can be a huge time-saver the next time you complete this activity.

Managing Projects Requires a Precise Plan

The second type of time is project time. Projects are often complex activities with a defined expectation for deliverables or a date of completion such as a major event. With projects, there many moving parts and multiple deadlines. Projects may also include the involvement of a variety of other team members or vendors.

The challenge with most projects is they often have long time-frames which allow those involved to push off key responsibilities because the completion date is perceived to be far off into the future. Participants focus on day-to-day fires and do not worry about the project until there is an urgent rush to meet a deadline.

Effectively managing project-oriented time requires developing and following a clearly established plan. There are a variety of formal project management methodologies you can follow. The key to each of them is to determine who are the other people who need to be involved and clarify the roles and responsibilities of each. Internal deadlines need to be clearly determined for all of those involved and direct responsibilities must be clearly delineated. Break your project activities into smaller components and more manageable parts. Engaging in interim checkpoints on a periodic basis allows you to stay up to date on the progress being made on a project. These checkpoints provide the opportunity to determine if you have adequate resources deployed to the right areas so you can meet the deadline.

Another strategy you can implement to manage project time is to engage in front-end loading. This means completing or beginning work on a significant number of components of your project when you are first assigned to it. By front-end loading your work, you will begin to identify challenges in obtaining a resource or needed information. This intensive work at the beginning of your project provides you with more time to resolve any glitches before they put your project completion at risk.Dedicate the time you need into both your planning process and your schedule. Click To Tweet

Expect the Unexpected

A crisis is an unexpected situation requiring you stop everything you are currently focused on to address the situation. When a crisis occurs, your entire focus shifts your priority to resolving the problem or the aftermath of an unexpected event. This could be a fire, data breach or the death of a key employee. You shift from any other activities to solely focus on the issues associated with the emergency.

The biggest challenge when dealing with a crisis is you often do not have advance warning that something significant will happen. Few organizations adequately prepare for a disaster. Then when something significant hits, everyone scrambles trying to figure out what to do. It is difficult to think clearly to establish essential priorities when your adrenaline had kicked in and everyone is in a highly emotional or pressurized state of mind. Just make sure you are not treating routine activities or missed project deadlines as a crisis.

Prepare a disaster plan for the types of crisis your enterprise is most likely to experience. When you have the luxury to prepare in advance, you and your team are more likely to have a clearer frame of mind to identify what the focus of your priorities must be to develop a clear framework for rapid action in an emergency.

Final Thoughts

When you begin to consider demands on your time as being different kinds of time, you can shift your focus toward optimizing your priorities and activities. This more process-oriented focus of your thinking on productivity will help you better prioritize your actions. Then you can more effectively avoid time-wasting activities and ensure you are focused on getting the desired results for the energy you spend.

Jill Johnson is the President and Founder of Johnson Consulting Services, a highly accomplished speaker, an award-winning management consultant, and author of the forthcoming book Compounding Your Confidence. Jill helps her clients make critical business decisions and develop market-based strategic plans for turnarounds or growth. Her consulting work has impacted nearly $4 billion worth of decisions. She has a proven track record of dealing with complex business issues and getting results. For more information on Jill Johnson, please visit www.jcs-usa.com.

Serve This, Not That…

Five Things You Need to Know About Planning a Menu for your Next Business Meeting

 By Tracy Stuckrath

In the past when you scheduled a business meeting you had pizza delivered or ordered sandwiches from the local deli. Sometimes you splurged by taking the group out to a local restaurant. It was never a concern about what was offered or served to the group.

As someone in charge of planning a company function these days, however, ignoring the needs of your employees or clients could potentially send some to the hospital or break a sale. David learned this when he was preparing for a lunch presentation and had a couple of new consultants at his client’s firm.

He had started a practice of sending the standard, gluten-free and vegan menus to his clients “to let people figure out what they would like to eat instead of getting stuck with another round of pizza or sandwiches.” He had heard one of the new guys was hard to get along with. Little did David know, that by sending over different menus, he was able to meet the new person’s dietary needs and that a consultant didn’t have to sit through the presentation watching everyone enjoy their lunches while he was “eating his second piece of lettuce.”

Sending over the multiple menus for him to choose from also allowed a relationship to begin on a positive note and he has since worked with him on other projects and has shared some of his own experience with food issues that his daughter was being tested for—win-win all the way around.

The number of people adhering to specific diets these days is increasing daily. From paleo to keto, food allergies to diabetes, celiac disease to veganism, cancer to halal, your employees, customers and potential clients may well be following a special diet.

Reasons for the increase in requests include:

  • Rotating location of events to different parts of the world
  • Increased international attendance and diverse, global workforces
  • Increase in chronic disease and aging workforce
  • Kosher attendees are asking for accommodation
  • Rise in food allergies
  • More attendees are choosing to eat vegetarian or vegan
  • Diverse religious dietary requirements
  • Growing acceptance of alternative diets
  • General desire to eat healthier

No matter the reason, understanding and accommodating the dietary needs of your employees and customers should be considered standard practice for anyone planning a meeting or event. But with so many requests, how do you if know if you can serve this and not that?By taking a few extra steps to ensure their personal enjoyment, safety and health is valuable and showcases your professionalism. Click To Tweet

1. Know the Needs

Managing the multitude of requests can be challenging at best, but understanding the basic guidelines for the most prevalent requests can go a long way.

Food Allergies: More than 120 foods are known to cause allergic reactions, but eight foods cause 90 percent of all allergic reactions—milk, egg, wheat, soy, tree nuts, peanuts, shellfish and fish—by touching, ingesting, or inhaling. Food allergies can be fatal, so it’s important to take these requests seriously, and ensure your catering partners do too.

Medical Conditions: There are a variety of other medical conditions that are managed through diet—celiac disease/gluten sensitivity, diabetes, Crohn’s, diverticulitis, heart disease, cancer and obesity. Although they may not be immediately life threatening like food allergies, they can trigger serious health issues that take your attendees away from your meeting.

Lifestyle Preferences: More than 27 million people follow a vegetarian-inclined diet. Millions of others are eating gluten-free, paleo, raw, macrobiotic or vegan. The reasons for doing so can be personal, moral or health-related. No matter what the reason, meeting hosts need to appreciate and accept their preferences.

Religious & Cultural Practices: One third of the world population follows a religious-based diet, so knowing attendee demographics is important. Some may choose to eat vegan or vegetarian when traveling, but others may require a certified meal. And some religious diets vary based on the calendar and the time of day.

2. Planning is Critical

Managing food restrictions and needs can be cumbersome, but a little extra planning and forethought can go a long way.

Ask your attendees about their dietary needs when inviting them. If you have online registration, be specific by using check boxes—not fill-in-the-blank boxes—which leave room for assumptions that could potentially be fatal. Otherwise, give attendees a way to inform you of their needs.

Talk to your attendees. If you have questions about their needs, call them. Put them in touch with the chef or restaurant directly. They’re the experts on their own needs, so who better to ask? Maybe they could even help plan the menu for everyone.

Communicate with your caterer(s) in advance—not hours, but at least a week before, if possible. The earlier your catering partner knows, the more time they have to incorporate the needs into the overall menu or provide quality options. Also ensure the necessary safety steps are being taken in preparing, cooking and serving food. Cross-contact in the kitchen and the front of the house can be fatal.

3. Offer Fresher, More Nutritious Options

While chain restaurants are now required by law to provide nutrition information about the food they sell, ordering food from a local restaurant that makes their food from scratch allows for easier identification of ingredients and to make any necessary adjustments for dietary needs.

4. Foster an Inclusive Environment

The ideal inclusive environment has long been meant to allow individuals to bring their true and authentic selves to work. However, most inclusion efforts do not address dietary needs.

For example, an Indian man accepted the chicken salad plate presented to him at lunch because he did not want to ask for a vegetarian meal. Instead he ate the romaine lettuce the chicken salad was placed on. John, a vegan who was interning at a company who offered him a job upon graduation was partaking in the intern pizza lunch. When he was not eating the pizza, he was asked why not. Instead of asking if a vegan pizza could be ordered, he ate his vegan protein bar.

5. No Longer Just a Matter of Good Guest Relations

In 2008, the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) was amended to clarify and broaden that definition of the word “disability,” thus expanding the number and types of persons protected under the ADA, including individuals with food allergies, celiac disease, and other conditions that affect their ability to eat.

At meetings that are either a requirement or benefit of employment, a reasonable meal accommodation must be provided to meet an employee’s dietary need(s) or it can be seen as discriminating against the employee for their disability. The ADAAA protection also extends to any events held in places of public accommodation, such as restaurants, hotels, convention and conference centers.

In conclusion

As a meeting host, you’re responsible for bringing people together from around the world to share an experience. While at your meeting, they are in, in an essence, under your care. You have taken on the commitment to plan their meals and their experience. And, as such, you’re responsible for the health, safety and well-being.

By taking a few extra steps to ensure their personal enjoyment, safety and health is valuable and showcases your professionalism.

As founder and chief connecting officer of Thrive!, Tracy Stuckrath helps organizations worldwide understand how food and beverage (F&B) affects risk, employee/guest experience, company culture and the bottom line. As a speaker, consultant, author and event planner, she is passionate about safe and inclusive F&B that satisfies everyone’s needs. She has presented to audiences on five continents and believes that food and beverage provide a powerful opportunity to engage audiences on multiple levels. For more information about Tracy, please visit: www.thrivemeetings.com.

Your Company’s Future May Be Online

Peter DeHaan recomends that every business have a websiteBy Peter DeHaan

I have long been a proponent of the necessity for companies to have websites. In fact, I view a website as a veritable requirement for success in today’s market.

Organizations lacking a website are quickly viewed as second-rate providers and not worth the consideration of first-rate prospects. With the current concerns over attracting new customers, now is the time for site-less companies to embrace the Internet as a means of marketing and validation.

I know there are still organizations out there that have not yet fully embraced the internet revolution. Sadly, I hear from them on a somewhat regular basis. In addition, a few business owners and managers still say they don’t have an email address. Lastly are those who do not have a website or who state that “it’s not up yet.”

How can these companies serve customers, market to prospects, and stay in business? If you are one of these organizations, take action today to embrace the Internet before it is too late, with your business paying the price.

Website Basics

Although it can cost thousands of dollars to have a whiz-bang, high-tech, professional-looking Website designed, there are less costly options. After all, we don’t all drive a Mercedes-Benz—sometimes a Chevy will do. You can make an inexpensive website yourself for under $100. The goal is for it to not look cheap. Most hosting companies offer do-it-yourself website templates that you—yes, you—can customize to provide a basic, yet professional-looking site. However, there are a few beginner mistakes that you will want to avoid: It doesn't matter if you are a beginner in this area, have experience, or are a veteran, there are always more opportunities waiting in the rapidly growing realm of cyberspace. Click To Tweet

  • Stay away from line art graphics or any artwork that looks like it was homemade.
  • If you need to resize a graphic, be sure to keep it proportional. Otherwise, it will distort, either being stretched or squished.
  • Take time to proofread the text, verify spelling, use correct grammar, and employ commonly accepted punctuation. Have others double- and triple-check your work.
  • Don’t go crazy with different fonts. Use one or two at the most.
  • Avoid uppercase text; people will feel like you’re screaming at them. (The one possible exception might be listing your company name at the top of the page.)
  • You might be tempted to insert a page counter or some other nifty gadget. Resist that urge. Just because those features are available doesn’t mean you should use them.
  • Although not available with predesigned Website templates, you might think you need to have a flashy animation on your home page. Don’t go there; the only ones who will be impressed will be you and the person who designs it. Everyone else will be irritated, and the search companies will dismiss you.
  • Don’t piggyback off someone else’s domain name; get your own. This can be inexpensively obtained from your hosting company. While you’re at it, set up an email account using that domain name. Post that email address on your Website. If need be, you can have this new address forwarded to an existing email account.

Search Engine Optimization

Now that you have a functioning website (which avoids all the beginner errors), you want people to find it. Aside from telling everyone you meet and listing it on every piece of literature and stationery that you have, you need search engines to notice and appreciate your website. This is Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

Although this is more of an art form than an exact science (since the search engine companies closely guard their methodologies), here’s some generally agreed upon SEO basics:

  • Each page of your site needs a title tag, and each page’s title should be different.
  • Each page also needs a description tag; again each one should be different from the other pages.
  • Add reasonable and accurate keywords. Although most experts say Google ignores them, some search engines will use them, so it’s a good idea. Again, they should not be the same for each page.
  • Although some people still value reciprocal linking (that is, “I’ll link to your site if you link to mine”), the conventional wisdom is that in most cases this no longer helps and may actually hurt your visibility with the search engines.
  • Most of the companies that guarantee you top search engine placement for a fee, fail to deliver or can’t do so for the long-term. There are experts who can do this, but they are in a minority and their skill is often hard to substantiate.

Search Engine Marketing

If you want people finding your site and contacting you, the next step to consider might be Search Engine Marketing (SEM). This is when you sign up with Internet advertising companies such as Google, Yahoo, or a host of others. Basically, you tell them how much you are willing to pay each time a person clicks on your ad, and they place your ad on Websites where potential prospects frequent. If you go this route, proceed slowly and carefully until you have a good understanding of how this works. I have heard stories of novices spending hundreds of dollars in a couple of hours with not much to show for it. A key thing to remember is that just because they clicked on a link that points to your Website does not mean they will become a customer—or even contact you.

Given the current concerns over the economy and finding new business, organizations need to do everything they can to help them succeed. The Internet is a cost-effective and increasingly popular method. It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner in this area, have experience, or are a veteran, there are always more opportunities waiting in the rapidly growing realm of cyberspace.

Peter DeHaan is a commercial freelance writer who provides content marketing services and does ghostwriting.

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