Sales is not Marketing

Sales is not Marketing

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I’ve spent a lot of time lately reading blog posts on marketing, and listening to podcasts and streaming videos on marketing, and have noticed a huge problem in many of these otherwise-useful bits of information. And that problem is a confusion about what marketing is. More than 20 years ago I worked in the marketing and sales department of a computer company and early on in my job had one of the directors explain to me how the department was divided. This division still works logically for all sizes and types of business: everything that happens before a client steps through your doors is marketing, everything that happens after that step is sales. There are many industries that seem to have forgotten (or never learned) this definition. For example, I…
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Website Security: How Safe is Your Site?

Website Security: How Safe is Your Site?

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A lot of small businesses discovered that they weren't immune from disaster by their size during the recent GoDaddy hacking by Anonymous. The forums I frequent were full of mom-and-pop sized businesses wondering how much business they would lose because their site wasn't available. This site and one other website we own (for our photography business) were both down and our email had a lot of hiccups, but didn't go down completely. A friend posted on my Facebook status " It is times like this that I wish I was more of a technical person to figure out the basics of what went wrong. For example, I know that no one is completely immune from DDoS attacks, but was there a way that this problem could have been mitigated or…
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Facebook Ads as Posts

Facebook Ads as Posts

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According to Tech Crunch, Facebook is testing having sponsored posts show up in the news feeds of total strangers. This is a a dramatic change from their standard of only having posts show up to people who have liked you. It may change the current practice of buying likes, which has become a big thorn in Facebook's mighty paw. This may cut down on the number of contests that are swamping people's news feeds -- have you seen those yet? One big prize, several small ones, all donated by the vendors involved, and to enter you use the blog widget to "like" all the vendors involved then post on the blog stating what you've done. I entered several before realizing that my Facebook feed had become cluttered with posts from…
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Powerpoint Presentation | Creative Graphic Design for Technology Company

Powerpoint Presentation | Creative Graphic Design for Technology Company

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We recently finished a really fun little Powerpoint project that we're really happy with. Unfortunately, we can't show you any of it, and can't even hint about the subject matter. Like many of the projects we've done for technology companies, this project was completed under an NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement). We've worked for many high-tech firms (especially those in competitive market areas) that require NDAs for projects involving not-yet-released products, changes to existing products that have not yet been announced to the media, and so on. We can say that this was the second PowerPoint presentation we've worked on for internal presentations at Symantec. And we can say that this one was done on an especially short deadline. And that it was done for people who already know PPT and who…
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Search Engine Marketing: Good attention vs bad attention

Search Engine Marketing: Good attention vs bad attention

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I remember the first time I heard that old line "There's no such thing as bad P.R." I never agreed. Admittedly, Google won't totally care if the comment that links to your site is negative or positive, it'll still give you some "link cred" for having that link. But your clients care. And more importantly, potential clients care. When it comes to getting some viral cred, a lot of companies will do anything to go viral. Recent articles talk about how to get people passing around your link or video, and often mention being shocking or controversial to get more mentions and more forwards. But the question still remains: is that good cred or bad cred? If you're a babysitter and make a video of you picking on one of…
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Writing brilliant blog posts

Writing brilliant blog posts

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Clients always have big plans to update their website frequently. They know they need to keep things fresh for their clients and for the search engines, so they always want a blog. During the process of designing a site a type of blindness sets in that makes them forget that they already have more than enough work to do each day, but once the site is live and constant updates become one of their daily chores, they get stressed. Because that's when it really sinks in that not only do they need to write those frequent updates, but that they need to write blog posts that are more than just "we had another good day today selling widgets." In fact, they need blog posts that drive actual traffic to their…
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SEO Factors for Web Site Design

SEO Factors for Web Site Design

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There's a new article out that talks about some of the SEO ranking factors for Google. To me the most interesting bit is in the first paragraph, where it states that the volume of Facebook and Twitter shares of a web page will help a web page rank. Why is this interesting? Because the most shared item on FB has to be photos of kittens. Not business info, not product info, but cat photos. Especially funny cat photos. Much as I love cats, I'd hate to think that the way to game the system is to put a caption on a cat photo, upload it to my blog, and hope it goes viral. (And I have to admit that the temptation to test that by uploading a photo of one…
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Google Drive

Google Drive

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Have you tried out Google Drive yet? drive.google.com is Google's replacement for Google Docs. We've been using it for lists of things that we need to access at multiple locations, such as links to a website a client wants to discuss, or lists of possible hosting companies. My favorite use of it to date is to keep a list of my daily hours of billable time, since I can access it from both work and home. Fancy time tracking programs are all well and good, but sometimes simplicity works best. http://drive.google.com/
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