Why We Shouldn’t Do Business Together

 

There are a million reasons anyone could convince somebody that something is a good idea. Being a silver-tongued salesman is a trick the worst companies teach you, and one that snake oil peddlers lean on heavily.

Here at Innovations, we believe firmly in the power of “no”. What does that mean, exactly? Today we are going to talk about why, perhaps, we shouldn’t do business together.


Money isn’t a talking point

There are two things in this world people hate talking about more than anything else—one of those things is money. It’s at the top of our list for a reason, because it’s a pretty common problem. Commerce cannot exist without money, so not being open about it is completely counter-intuitive to the whole process.

Without a clearly defined budget, there is no vision for your project. Just think, what if you set up a meeting with a potential client, and having gone through all the motions of a presentation, they said, “Well, we don’t really have a budget outlined for this.”

The result would be frustrating, to say the least. But, being experts in our field means knowing the value of our work and meeting your expectations visually, in content, and financially. It’s a fact of life, and we exist to do business with you.


All great relationships are built on trust

 

For a moment envision that you are at the doctor’s office. The doctor has just finished his examination and is going over the details with you. He prescribes you a medicine for that nagging back pain, and sends you on your way.

You’re at the weekly family dinner, sitting at the table talking about what the doctor told you and prescribed to you when your mother-in-law chimes in, saying she thinks the medicine isn’t going to work because they are just sugar pills. Would you listen to her, or to the doctor?

Being in this business as long as we have has given us a lot of experience with all walks of life. We’ve seen it all (or most of it, anyway) before. From good brands making poorly-written, borderline slanderous comments toward their customers, to design work being chosen based on nothing more than an uncle’s advice, you’d be hard-pressed to surprise us.

We know it’s your business and your livelihood at stake, and we take that very seriously. Your success is our success as well, and we want to be your partner. And getting you on-board means instilling a sense of trust.


Impulsivity is second-nature

 

Growing a business is not something for those prone to flight-of-fancy. And when we execute a marketing campaign, it’s with a long-term focus in mind. You’re business goals should always be focused on end-game material, and what you want to accomplish with your brand should never cater to short-term goals.

Marketing is a lot like farming, and if you can stay the course with us, we won’t steer you in the wrong direction.


There simply isn’t a fit

 

Maybe it’s because, after all this time, you don’t need a marketing agency. As much as business is all about making money, it’s more about offering a service to those who need it. And if we think a client sees us as a commodity rather than a brand, we’d be doing our current clients a disservice by detracting time spent with them. Marketing is not a quick-fix solution.

Or perhaps it’s one, or all, of the above reasons. Good business is about making the right decisions. And creating partnerships with the right clients who get the big idea and believe in you and your team just as much as they do in their own.

It’s like a pair of pants that don’t fit. They can be the best-looking, best feeling pants in the world. But, if you can’t button them up or their too short in the leg, then they don’t serve the purpose they were made for.

Ya know… being pants.

If you made it this far though, maybe there is a fit. There’s only one way to find out.

If you think you and your business are ready for a real conversation about what we can do to take it to the next level, reach out to us. Passionate people who have a clear vision of their future are who we love to see.

Google Introduces Major Change to Mobile Searches

 

Google is changing. But there is no reason to panic, the Google search algorithm has changed in the past and will continue to evolve. The newest change deals with the level of mobile search friendliness for website pages.

If you haven’t heard of what this change means for your business’ website, stay calm and don’t stress! Innovations has you covered as we explain exactly what is different and what you need to do.

 

What it means

Google recently issued a new policy about search engine results on mobile devices. This change emphasizes mobile friendliness for search engine optimization (SEO) and makes mobile optimization an essential element for every website.

What this means is all website pages are now required to meet Google’s new specifications for a mobile friendly website. If a website doesn’t meet these guidelines, it will be penalized in search engine results and moved below websites that are Google mobile compliant.

This change currently only affects rankings on mobile searches and doesn’t apply to searches done from desktops or tablets. But remember Google could alter this at any time, so it’s best to be prepared and handle the situation ASAP.


How to know

For more about Google’s new mobile friendly policy, read this article. And for answers to all your questions about the change, visit this Google Blog with FAQs!

Then, test your website by visiting the Google Developers’ mobile-friendly test page. Enter your website’s URL and Google will provide an analysis of its mobile friendliness. If your website is mobile friendly than you’re ahead of the curve!


Next steps

But if your website isn’t compatible with the new mobile standards, Google will provide a list of ways to address these issues and improve your standing.

Don’t worry if you didn’t pass, Innovations will get you back and running in no time! And once your website becomes mobile friendly, Google will automatically crawl and index your pages.

To learn more about what this change means for your individual business’ website, let’s talk!

3 Digital Communities your Business Can’t Afford to Ignore

 

Community outreach is a mainstay for any communication department. Keeping an open line between you and your surrounding audiences is a strong tactic for bolstering public opinion, transparency, and mitigating damage during a crisis.

Thus, it should come as little surprise that companies, big and small, are turning to the digital arena for community engagement that goes beyond the typical swarm of Facebook and Twitter updates. Today, we aim to provide you with three digital communities your business can’t afford to ignore.


What are digital communities?

Just like the name implies, they are people who have come together on the internet because of a similar lifestyle or hobby. These communities can be as small as a few dozen people, to numbers in the hundreds of thousands.


Why are they so important?

As interested people, these aren’t typical strangers. These are people who have congregated specifically because they share common interests in something—assuming you’re interested in them, it’s your industry that they’re interested in.

Because of this, they can be extremely easy to move through the sales funnel… or extremely difficult, depending on how you choose to interact with them. They can just as easily be advocates against your brand as they can for it. And if you’re of the mind that believes anything involving digital strictly means that you’re only going to find Millenials to talk to… think again.


Where are they?

Well, we’re glad you asked.

1) Reddit

The self-proclaimed “front page of the Internet” has lived up to its title. With a story beginning around Aaron Swartz, rife with drama and intrigue, Reddit is a sort-of open source news feed.

You may have heard of this site in passing before from different media or news outlets, but Reddit has remained as one of very few sites that’s retained its form and function over time.

The unique quality that Reddit offers its users is the ability to create what are called subreddits—forums where people can post pictures or write toward a certain topic. These forums can be, and mostly are, moderated by other users so that only relevant content is kept where users can view and engage with others.

For instance, Nest, the home automation company best known for their thermostats, takes an active interest to the HVAC subreddit. So much that they actually have an employee on-hand to answer and discuss any problems a confused user might have about their products.

This type of interaction with your audience is the type that will evoke a truly delighted response from your customers. Being there to help them with their problems and answer questions gives your company a real, concrete voice. Subreddits are so pervasive that even Paducah has their own. Check it out!

2) Twitch

Twitch is a broadcasting service that has cropped up in the past couple of years. As you can tell from the front page however, they have marketed themselves toward gamers and e-sports.

While those markets are indeed full of proven potential for the right companies, it is incredibly niche.

However, Beau Dodson, a local meteorologist in our area, has taken to the platform in order to broadcast live radar images to people who either do not have traditional access to such information or simply prefer the visual.

These live broadcasts also offer a chatroom that can let broadcasters interact with viewers in real time, and for bigger channels, offer subscription services! For the right brand, it has the potential to open up a revenue stream for next-to-nothing in terms of cost.

3) LinkedIn Groups

Sometimes, a little bit of clout can go a long way. If you’re working in the professional world and not using the Groups feature on LinkedIn, you are missing out on the conversation.

There are groups for almost every different kind of industry at your disposal. Not only groups, but LinkedIn’s Pulse feature can be quite useful not only for reading what others have to say, but publishing your own valuable content that others can read. As a content distribution system, LinkedIn excels in having a wide, ready-to-read viewership in the form of people just like you—professionals.

There’s so much more to these communities and what they can offer you than what can be fit into a simple blog, especially LinkedIn.

5 Reasons to Fire Your Marketing Agency

 

Around here, we’re in the business of asking the tough questions a lot of others would tend to avoid. Whether it’s a question for a client, or an internal concern, we try to ask questions that contain culpability and get right down to the firm answers we need.

Sometimes, that tough question is, “Should I fire my marketing agency?” There are critical signs to keep a look out for, and we might be heartbreakers, but we mean well.

If any of these sound familiar to you, then perhaps it’s time to consider a RFP.

5 Reasons to Fire Your Marketing Agency Now

 

1. It feels familiar

Why press the envelope when the envelope is so nice and snug? If pressing boundaries and finding new avenues to attack age-old problems isn’t the type of thinking you’re into, we’re not interested anyway. Yesterday’s solutions are tomorrow’s too, ya know.

A typical phrase you might hear, “We know your business so well, we don’t need to worry about that right now. We’re sure we have it all figured out.“, is a sure sign.

Businesses are constantly evolving, and ensuring clear vision for your campaigns requires a constant stream of communication.

2. They leave you alone

Who has the time to focus on what some marketing team needs from you? You’re busy working on your business! You can’t be bothered by a new team trying to solve problems for you. Your current team hasn’t asked you a question in months, and you like it that way.

A client and agency partnership is symbiotic. We don’t want to bug you, but we want to see you succeed, as well.

3. You’re an expert at your business

Maybe you don’t have a marketing team. Why would you need one? You’re the expert! No one can possibly know more about you than you do, so marketing is no problem either. They’re all just numbers anyway, right? Big numbers good, little ones bad. Got it.

4.  You got a good deal

Hey, when it comes down to it, it’s all about the money, right? When you signed on with your current marketing company, you were able to wiggle the cost down enough notches that you’re okay with the expenditure. Never mind results, a new agency can end up costing a lot more in the long run.

We’ve covered this topic before, and as with anything, you definitely get what you put in.

5. “They’re all the same”

When you get to the bottom of any marketing agency, don’t you find the same old pieces? Social media, on-page optimization, branding development, web site design, SEO, you’ve heard it all before and for you, it’s like shopping for a gas station: any one will do, they all have the same stuff anyway.

Does that sound familiar? If so, maybe you should stick with your current marketing agency, it seems like a good fit anyway.

But, if you’re interested in the extraordinary, if the idea of new solutions excites you, and being driven by results is your middle name, then maybe… just maybe, you should give us a call today.

The Difference Between a Website Problem and a Branding Problem

One of the most common calls or e-mails we get from clients usually begins with a simple request:

“Help! My website is a mess and I don’t know what to do!”

Yes, one of the biggest pain points for a business usually involves their website. But in most cases we come across, the problem is indicative of a much larger one—their branding and marketing.

So, how do you diagnose if you have a website problem, or a branding problem?

We’ve spoken at length about the importance of websites before, and branding as well, but it all comes down to scope—how systemic of an issue you are presented with dealing with.

You have a website problem when…

 

Your website is stuck in 2005.

Look, a lot has changed on the internet in the past ten years. One of the biggest changes, coming this month actually, is Google’s propensity for ranking mobile-optimized websites over ones that haven’t been. Google is known for changing their algorithm many times over the course of a year, but this update is unparalleled in scope and magnitude. Keeping a website fresh and updated is a full-time job.

If you’re not careful, your website may end up looking like this.

The website doesn’t work.

A website’s job is four-fold: be easy to use, eye-catching, found easily, and load quickly. Loading is the most important facet of those four as well, as 47 percent of consumers expect a web page to load in two seconds or less, and 40 percent abandon a website that takes more than three seconds to load.

On top of that high bar is the set of standards every person has for finding a website easy to navigate and understand, and also their standards for what they consider good design. People often get bogged down in these details, believing that their brand exists as these bits and pieces. The reality though, is the brand is a part of a much larger whole where these bits and pieces exist.

You have a branding problem when…

 

You’re not sure who your business caters to.

Throwing a new coat of paint onto a Chevy Nova does not turn it into a Camaro. Thus, a new website does not automatically add a certain allure to your audience. Often, a lack of direction in their marketing campaign (or lack of a marketing campaign completely) can lead many to believe the old mantra of, “If you build it, they will come”.

In an era where smartphones and search engines can yield millions of results in a couple of moments, nothing could be further from the truth. Knowing who your business caters to is the first step to any branding campaign. Then, the pieces will come together to create something that will drive the kind of traffic that converts to leads.

Your brand message is inconsistent.

Perhaps the biggest offender we see is when a business asks for a new website, but what they really wanted was a new logo to slap on it without thorough implementation.

Inconsistent branding can lead to confusion, and making your brand immediately recognizable is one of the first rules to gaining any traction in your target market.

Really, that’s only the tip of the iceberg. Identifying problems of your business can be tricky when you’re so engrossed in the business. That’s why we are here though! The first step to any solution is identifying the problem.

Get in touch with us to see what we can do to improve your website. We would love to help you solve your next big problem.