Marketing and branding

Lean Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses and Startups

Ross | December 15th, 2010

Small businesses and startups face many challenges when marketing their products and services. Small businesses and startups have minimal brand recognition, are often located in geographic or demographic areas that limit their marketing options, and most have small (or non-existent) marketing budgets. Some marketers advise small businesses and startups to research and create strategic marketing […]

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Ten Crowdsourcing Trends for 2011

Ross | December 8th, 2010

Crowdsourcing is fundamentally changing business, government, non-profits, education, research, and other sectors. Remarkably, we’re just seeing the tip of the iceberg. Here are my picks for the top ten crowdsourcing trends for 2011: 1. Crowdsourcing marketplaces will earn significantly more market share. In 2010, the top two design crowdsourcing marketplaces (crowdSPRING and 99designs) together paid well […]

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Team Coco and the new world of digital marketing

Mike | November 15th, 2010

Last May, when Conan O’Brien spoke to an audience at Google, he described his situation as akin to being “a prisoner in a 14th century cell writing little things on a piece of paper and throwing them out the window.” Having been contractually barred from television appearances upon his departure from NBC, Conan was forced […]

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Building A Brand People Love: Create Real Value

Ross | November 2nd, 2010

Last week, I spoke at TechCocktail’s Mixology Conference in Chicago about Creativity & the Importance of Building a Brand People Love.  Before the audience Q&A, we discussed the top five things that a business should do to build its brand: 1. deliver value 2. know who you are 3. differentiate from your competition 4. have […]

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Small Business Marketing: Google Boost

Ross | October 26th, 2010

Google has released a new tool – Google Boost – that allows small businesses to connect with potential customers via Google Adwords. The program is still in beta and available to select local businesses in San Francisco, Houston and Chicago. Boost allows local businesses to create online search ads right from their Google Places account […]

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Product or Service Features Are Rarely A Competitive Advantage

Ross | October 20th, 2010

Many entrepreneurs and small business owners believe that their new product or service will beat the competition with great new features. Product and service features are rarely a competitive advantage. There are many benefits to “less software”. I discuss why in the following short 3 minute video. What do you think?

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Startup and Small Business Marketing: Website Optimization Mistakes

Ross | October 19th, 2010

Conversion rate math is simple: by doubling your conversion rate, you double the effectiveness of every future marketing dollar. But while the math is simple, conversion optimization is not. There are many optimization pitfalls that can easily cripple startup/small business growth (if you’re interested in how crowdSPRING optimizes, I recommend you read Increasing Conversions Using […]

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New SEO Starter Guide From Google

Ross | October 6th, 2010

Google’s revenue from adwords in 2009 was USD$23 billion. While adwords can be part of a strong small business marketing strategy, most startups and small businesses can’t afford to pay much for traffic. There are excellent alternatives, including search engine optimization (SEO). A few years ago, Google released a very useful search engine optimization starter […]

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5 historic billboard campaigns (or everything old is new again)!

Mike | September 20th, 2010

Billboards and outdoor advertising have been around for almost 150 years now and in many  ways are precursors to, and cousins of, today’s online campaigns, both paid and viral.  Companies have been using techniques such as eye-catching design, creative content, and clever placement to create word-of-mouth and build buzz for their products dating back to […]

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