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Small Business Marketing Ideas

The net is a device inside the arsenal of small business marketing ideas. Although world wide web can attain people across the globe, a new trend is actually focusing in your area using advertisements and marketing promotions. One of the small business marketing ideas is applying banners which has a nearby importance. Many ways regarding delivering people to a small business website is usually to provide free of charge promotional products or perhaps substantial discount rates. An important strategy for following track of your ideas is usually to make certain your website offers website outside of a unique URL. The simplest way to guarantee this is to subscribe along with search engines and make sure the information is actually seo'ed regarding increased ratings.

An online site need to jump out. A great way to make sure of this really is to make use of among the small business marketing ideas. Any notable idea that will take buyers would be to supply no cost or even intensely lower products or services. The main things to take into consideration while creating a website using small business marketing ideas planned are coming up with a good E-zine and which includes SEO (Search Engine Optimization) written content.

An Ezine, similar to EzineArticles as an example, can be a spot to create content on the services or products to be had. It can be very helpful in benefiting from a lot of the other small business marketing ideas. A business would likely gain through increasing the protection to trends from the marketplace. As being a business owner you need to be commenting upon blog posts. When writing articles as well as blog articles select keywords that can bring up a web site searching engines. A standard rule of thumb is always to get keywords placed with 2-3 percent thickness. Meaning in case a post offers 250 words, a new keyword and maybe any alternative must appear among half a dozen times and 7 periods.

Small Business Marketing Campaigns

It is crucial with regard to small businesses to create and apply tactics once they attempted to start their small business marketing campaigns. The reason for this can be to improve your odds of getting the sought after reply from the audience. Down the page can be a speedy put into practice regarding how to start small business marketing campaigns.

One thing you will have to do in order to start small business marketing campaigns is to know the marketplace. Regardless if you are gonna start your new marketing campaigns, maybe product releases, it is important to recognize your current audience.

So that you can start the small industry marketing campaigns, you simply must excite your current audience. This can arrive easily through the results you can get inside the carry out of your respective market place research. If you figure out what their pursuits tend to be, you may then induce exactly the same, excite their curiosity of the business, as well as keeping them mention your small business.

It's very important which you achieve your trust and confidence with the public, particularly with your marketplace. Probably the most good ways to accomplish this would be to bolster your current customer care. It'll show you simply how much anyone value and provides value to your buyers, brand new, previous, existing along with probable.

You'll be able to look at offer no cost courses, tools, total satisfaction guarantees, along with other types of on the internet assistance. After carrying this out, you are going to encourage your customers in order to trust that you would not necessarily keep them out in your cool since you are about to start small business marketing campaigns.

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idiotsstew

Small Business Marketing News Update - Chief Meteorologist Points Out 121 Financial Credit Union For Protection




121 Financial Credit Union recently relocated its Mandarin branch in Jacksonville, Florida. For the ribbon cutting ceremony, officials at 121 Financial invited celebrity John Gaughan, WJXT-TV’s chief meteorologist, who decided to use a 121 Financial umbrella for protection. At the time, Hurricane Isaac was headed toward Florida. 

Small Business Marketing News Update - Reporters Conspire To Trip Up Romney At Jacksonville, Florida News Conference


Whether you’re a small business owner, just an individual trying to find out the latest news, or even if you’re involved in politics, you would hope that the news you get from the media, especially the national media, would have some semblance of truth and honesty.

Well, that didn’t happen at a major news conference today in the Mandarin neighborhood of Jacksonville, Florida.

Before Governor Romney delivered his message regarding the situation in the Middle East, national reporters were caught on an open microphone, conspiring with each other on how to trip up the presidential candidate.

According to TheRightScoop.com website, which has the transcript of the conversation and the recording online, a CBS News reporterthey identify as Nancy Cordes was talking with other reporters, coordinating questions to ask Romney, with one saying “no matter who he calls on, we’re covered on the one question.”

With such blatant abuse of journalism as this, is there any wonder that a small business owner shudders when someone from the news media knocks on their door? Who knows if that reporter has a hidden agenda or is just trying to make a name for him or herself?

The only explanation in this specific case is that the site of today’s new conference is located next door to a reptile pet store, namedBlazin Reptiles. These reporters must have slithered from next door to the Romney presser to make a brazen decision to manipulate the news to meet their own agenda. Shame on the national media!

Below is the transcript of the open mic as seen on TheRightScoop.com.

Unidentified Reporter: … pointing out that Republicans… unintelligible… Obama…

CBS Reporter: That’s the question.

Unidentified Reporter: …unintelligible…

CBS Reporter: Yeah, that’s the question. I would just say do you regret your question.

Unidentified Reporter: Your question? Your statement?

CBS Reporter: I mean your statement. Not even the tone, because then he can go off on…

Unidentified Report: And then if he does, if we can just follow up and say ‘but this morning your answer is continuing to sound…’ becomes unintelligible

CBS Reporter: You can’t say that…

(Later)

CBS Reporter: I’m just trying to make sure that we’re just talking about, no matter who he calls on we’re covered on the one question.

Unidentified Reporter: Do you stand by your statement or regret your statement?

Small Business Marketing News Update - Is Yellow Pages Advertising Worth The Investment For Jacksonville Businesses?


It might be obvious that the use of Yellow Pages advertising is diminishing but there are some companies in Northeast Florida who are still uncertain about the value of directories.

One Jacksonville company currently using a “page stealer” ad has determined after a year that they will downsize their ad to a business card size. On the other side, another company has decided to increase their ad size, thinking that their ad would be more dominant because of the current lack of competitors’ ads.

After reviewing data from several sources, here are some prospectives from a fact-check site, a marketing analytics consultant and a former Yellow Pages ad salesman.

First, some facts according to a Hubspot Webinar:

  • Since 2007, many states have quit printing residential listing or have pending requests to stop publication. These states include Florida and Georgia.
  • Traditional landlines are being disconnected at a rate of nearly 10% each year.
  • Consumers are increasingly considering online services before Yellow Pages to make their purchasing decisions.
  • Yellow Pages usage among people under 50 will drop to near zero over the next five years (according to Bill Gates).
Then there are actual third party or individual measurement programs that can more accurately determine the value of Yellow Pages advertising.

Ben Landers is president and CEO of Blue Corona, a marketing analytics and optimization company. As a former vice president of sales and marketing for a bottled water company named DrinkMore Water, he experienced first hand the measurement of that company’s Yellow Pages program.

Originally his company tracked their ads by running different phone numbers in each of the 10 directories they used throughout their market. Then he instituted a more sophisticated web-based software platform to not only track calls but to determine how many calls resulted in actual sales.

Landers’ system found that the number of people using Yellow Pages to find his company was decreasing faster than they realized. In addition, he found that most of the calls were not from prospective customers or current customers ready to buy, but were from automated campaign dialers(robots) and other sales reps.

In 2008, DrinkMore Water pulled out of the Yellow Pages because sales did not justify the cost. For the record, from January 1, 2008 to September 30, 2008, DrinkMore Water received a total of 54 calls from the directory. Only 16 of these calls were made by prospective customers. And only five of those resulted in sales. 

Landers further found that Yellow Pages’ leads are least likely to have a credit card for residential billing; most likely to haggle on price; and pay little attention to quality or to the value of customer service. He concluded that prospects from the Yellow Pages were of very low quality compared to other marketing channels.

Denny Smith, formerly with the Yellow Pages for 25 years, reveals his conclusions in an article called “Confessions of a Former Yellow Page Salesman” that was posted originally on SEO Articles, then reported on EffectiveWebSolutions.Biz/Blog. 

In 1984, he didn’t think the Internet would be a threat. He argued at that time that you could include coupons in your print ad, and it took longer to look up a source online than it did to look through a printed directory. But things changed quickly.

With features like keyword searches; unlimited search in any market (while only regional information is available in printed editions); easy and quick updating of ads; inclusion of updated coupons; the addition of mapsand directions; and access from mobile devices; he thinks the printed book will become “the next extinct species.”

Smith speculates that perhaps a 60% plus price reduction for Yellow Pages ads could keep them going for now. But at best the dwindling usage will require them to offer totally free ads within three more years.

In a post by Magdalena Georgieva on blog.Hubspot.com., certain industries already left the Yellow Pages world, while some are still getting results. She cites the travel and catering industries as being some of the first to go to the Internet, led by Priceline.com and TripAdvisor, which have replaced many local travel agencies.

Then she reports that service industries are the ones still hanging on to directories. She mentions specifically that plumbers and contractors are predominant in the Yellow Pages because searches for those types of local companies are limited. However, even that is rapidly changing with online reviews from sites such as Angie’s List.

Like so much of our lives, including marketing, things we grew up with are changing or going away. And that includes the printed Yellow Pages. 

  

How Important Are B2B Appointment Setters For Your Business?


B2B appointment setters are seldom considered a necessary expense in improving business operations; however, hiring professional b2b appointment setters will be of great help to your sales and marketing departments. With plenty of fraudulent service providers on the web, it’s understandable why a lot of business owners would rather have their marketing people do everything instead of outsourcing this operation to a third party. But not all BPO companies are the same, and a quick research on Google would immediately give you a list of reliable b2b appointment setters. The difficult part is looking for a good appointment setting company that has experience with your particular industry.

When you rely only on your lead generation experts to set all the business appointments for your sales representatives, you will inevitably be sacrificing the quality of your lead generation marketing campaigns. Why? Because creating an effective campaign requires analysis, research, and a lot of A/B testing. All these tasks need a lot of attention and concentration by themselves, but if your marketing people also need to do all the cold calling and haggling with the gatekeepers, then something is definitely bound to give.

When doing appointment setting, no other method of communication is better than telemarketing. If you have a team of adequately trained b2b telemarketers, then you can have your own appointment setters. However, if you don’t have any, then don’t just pull an on-the-job trainee to do this for you. It’s a common mistake of businesses to drop every undesirable task they have on their trainees, and this never leads to anything good. You have to remember that when you are dealing with either your b2b sales leads or clients, you have to put your best people forward. This means you have to not only have capable telemarketers handling your appointment setting campaigns, you need to have experienced professional appointment setters setting up schedules with all your qualified business sales leads.

Your sales people can also be your appointment setters, although they shouldn’t ideally be. Why is this? Think about the most important tip when dealing with gatekeepers: do not sell to them. Most sales persons can’t help but go into sales mode when dealing with a particularly stubborn gatekeeper. This, of course, would compel the gatekeeper to further reject any attempts at getting an appointment. While you may have really good sales representatives who are well capable of dealing efficiently with gatekeepers, which would you rather have: let them heckle gatekeepers all day or let them use their superb negotiating skills on the decision makers and close the sale?

You can appoint random members of your sales and marketing teams to do your appointments setting campaign and it won’t necessarily ruin your business. But if you do so, you will miss out on a lot of potential opportunities had you allowed your employees to do what they were trained to do; that is, let your sales people close sales and your lead generation exports to come up with effective lead generation strategies.


Important Business Tips From Warren Buffett

Check out this website I found at ambrking-business-marketing.blogspot.com

Among the most celebrated business personalities of this generation is Warren Buffett. Aside from being stingy with his funds, Buffett is known to be an efficient goal setter. Whenever he sets a goal, he makes all the necessary efforts to achieve them.

Important Business Tips From Warren Buffett


Among the most celebrated business personalities of this generation is Warren Buffett. His numerous successful investments are envied by many. And yet, there is more to this man than simply knowing where to invest his money. With all the companies and various businesses he owns, it's a wonder how he can remain on top of things and not lose focus of the direction he wants these businesses to go. What is the secret of Warren Buffett and his amazing success? Aside from being stingy with his funds, Buffett is known to be an efficient goal setter. Whenever he sets a goal, he makes all the necessary efforts to achieve them.

The following pointers from Warren Buffett can be used by business owners and entrepreneurs to improve not only their business model, but also their lead generation and b2b appointment setting campaigns. Here are a few important business tips from Warren Buffett as explained by Scott of liveyourlegend.net.

Prioritize what needs to be done right now.

If you are boggled about how you will be able to accomplish all the tasks piling up on your desk, then it's the right time to set your priorities straight. The truth is, most of these tasks you've taken upon yourself to accomplish are not that important at all. Or they should not be your priorities considering your position. For example, you might be buried knee-deep in reports about whether you should consider social media marketing or not, when in fact, you should be focusing on making sure that your products and services live up to the promise you give your clients. Identify the tasks that you really need to finish first and don't let your attention wander onto less important tasks.

Focus on the most important things.

There is a reason why outsourcing companies are flourishing: because they help other companies become successful as well. The greatest benefit of good outsourced service providers is that they help company owners focus better on the core tasks of their business. They can leave the back office tasks to not only a capable worker, but a professionally skilled employee whose management they don't have to worry about. Like these companies, when you are able to focus on the core processes of your business, you will be able to improve the results of your work which eventually translates to being able to provide better products and services. This helps you conduct much more effective appointment setting campaigns with each of your b2b sales leads. Follow Warren's example and take the steps to help you focus better on the important aspects of your business. List these down, and outsource the rest. Next, stick to making this list a reality no matter what the cost. This way, you will have lesser internal distractions and you will be able to concentrate better on what needs to be accomplished right away.

Make your priorities as clear as possible.

Identifying and clearly stating what you want to achieve will help you to actually turn them into reality. When listing down your goals, instead of writing that you "want to generate as much qualified leads as possible", write instead that you want to find "highly qualified business sales leads in the x industry whose companies have xxx to xxx number of employees, and whose annual income is from $xxx to $xxx." Being specific right now helps you to remain focused over time, even if there are hundreds of distractions vying for your attention.

The next time you’re caught in a slump and don’t know how to move forward, remember to prioritize, focus on the important tasks, and make your priorities as clear as possible. Follow these simple tips and you will surely be able to improve your business in no time.

Small Business Marketing News Update - Jacksonville Company Offers Product That Will Change How Trade Show Booths Are Manned


Imagine being at a trade show where you can have someone man your trade booth 24/7 (taking no food or bathroom breaks); someone who will give the perfect presentation EVERY time; someone who looks clean, neat and professional all day long; and someone you never have to pay!

A Jacksonville company has a new product that can do all of that and more. Media Works, a 25-year-old company that specializes in trade show displays, vehicle wraps, promotional products and printing, has a new presentation package called “Virtual Spokesperson.” It is so new in the industry, it is also being called an “Avatar Presenter.”

Essentially the product is a computerized, hologram-like image of a person that can talk and gesture like a human. It’s not exactly a 3D program, but when you encounter the image from the front, it is amazingly life-like. The virtual presenter in Media Works’ showroom looks right at you and makes an impressive sales pitch. And when you move back and forth in front of it, the eyes appear to follow you.

According to Fred Dietsch, who owns the company with his wife Theresa, the package consists of a Plexiglas silhouette body structure that encases a special 3M film. The shape of the structure can be made into a man or woman. A rear projector is position about 4 to 5 feet behind the structure. A human actor is videotaped making a pitch, which then becomes the projected image. The program is put on a stick drive that is plugged directly into the projector. The presentation can be as short or as long as necessary and can be run as a continuous loop.

“We have just introduced the product in the North Florida market,” Dietsch reported. “But already we have had a major insurance carrierin the state purchase the package for their South Florida facilities.”

A virtual presenter has just been installed in the New Jersey Newark Liberty International Airport to help provide travel information to airport visitors. And according to FoxNews.com, The Port Authority is spending $180,000 to place the high tech presenter in Kennedy and LaGuardiaairports. In their description of the program, they say this provides someone “who can assist travelers 24 hours a day and it doesn’t need a security background check.”

Dietsch sees an almost unlimited application for the virtual spokesperson. While trade shows are a natural use, these could be used as information sources for tourist destinations, hospital lobbies and emergency rooms, retail locations… anywhere there is informational or educational needs for operations with public access.

The price of the virtual package will vary, mainly depending on the video production and talent costs, but the average range could be around $20,000.00.

The virtual presentation is very impressive. You can see a demonstration at Media Works exhibit showroom at 1451 Louisa Street, located behind Tidbits Restaurant on Hendricks Avenue in the San Marco area.  

The photo shows a close up of the virtual spokeswoman on the Media Works showroom floor.

Mediaworksinc.net

Are Your Existing Clients More Important Than Your B2B Lead Generation Campaigns?


Should you pay more attention to your existing customers instead of getting new clients through your lead generation campaign? Or should you focus all your efforts on keeping your sales leads flowing through your sales funnel? Most b2b marketers today taut the importance of keeping your existing clients happy, but are they correct? The answer is: yes and no.

Why yes?

Companies who focus too much on doing a good lead generation campaign can miss out on additional business opportunities when they treat each customer as a single transaction sale. Finding new customers just to keep revenues rolling in as actually far more expensive than simply up selling to your current clients.

These days, company efforts alone are never enough to get them the business sales leads they need to keep their business healthy. A successful company needs the help of outside forces to help them with their marketing campaigns. What are the best outside forces to ask for help? Your existing clients, of course! Nothing beats the marketing prowess of genuinely satisfied customers willing to give referrals. When your existing clients are exceptionally pleased with your service, they are eager to share their happy stories with their peers. Of course, as business people, these peers are usually company executives and managers who could very well be your potential business to business sales leads as well. If your existing clients have already put in the good word for you, closing the deal will be a lot more easier for your sales representatives.

Why no?

Being too focused on pleasing your existing customers can lead your company to unpleasant situations in the future. Clients often request and expect too much for giving you their money. Giving in to these requests from time to time does help strengthen your business relationship, but indulge their requests too much and you can end up being abused by even your best client. You have to clearly set boundaries and make your clients understand that they don't dictate your product pricing, the type of services you offer, and the direction of your company.

No matter how effective the referrals of your clients are, you must never stop your lead generation campaigns to keep gaining new b2b sales leads. Focusing too much on your existing clients can be limiting to your business. Furthermore, you could be getting new b2b sales leads whose value is much more than that of your current clients.

Giving both your existing clients and your b2b lead generation campaigns equal attention is the best way to get most out of both. But because doing both at the same time can be too complicated, it's always a good idea to outsource some of your operational processes to a professional BPO company. These firms can help you by doing expert business lead generation campaigns that will surely result in plenty of quality business sales leads for your company. When you have someone else keeping a sharp eye on your b2b lead generation campaigns, you can rest assured of fresh new business leads coming into your business while you make sure that all your existing clients are happy and satisfied.





5 Things to Look For in a Telemarketing Lead Generation Provider

Why Cold Calling Isn't Used For Lead Generation (And Why It Should Be)

Cold Calling

A lot of b2b marketers accept the fact that cold calling is an extremely effective tool for lead generation and appointment setting; and with the strict rules in place to regulate the practice, b2b marketers and business owners should be more amenable to cold calling their potential b2b sales leads to better qualify them and have a more successful b2b lead generation campaign. Cold calling has a lot of benefits, here are a few:

  1. Direct contact with potential business sales leads. You can learn so much more from your b2b sales leads. Attitude, patience, and preferences are just a few of the characteristics one can glean from a few minutes of call. Aside from this, you can also learn a lot about their business if you only know which questions to ask to get them to start on talking.
  2. Fastest way to build rapport. Your business sales leads usually need only a few seconds of hearing your voice to decide whether they like you or not. If you fail to appeal to them within that small window of chance, you would be dealing with an even colder prospect. If you make them like you, however, you can get a business appointment with them faster.
  3. Great method to use for follow-up. After sending out an email or newsletter, you can use a cold call to contact your b2b sales leads and ask whether they read your email. This is a good opportunity for you to clarify any questions they have about your email or your business; and perhaps to ask if they would agree to an appointment setting with your company.

Despite the obvious benefits of cold calling, why is it still not implemented by all businesses as a major part of their lead generation campaigns? It’s not that they believe it’s an evil marketing method, which is entirely untrue (if done properly of course). The answer, actually, is quite simple. Most business owners and even some b2b marketers are afraid to pick up the phone. It may seem unbelievable to you, but lengthy discussions about how to get over the fear of cold calling can be found on forums and discussion channels.

There are even “how-to” posts about it on YouTube, blogs, and various articles.
What exactly is so fearful about cold calling? Just like anyone, they are all afraid of the prospect of being rejected. Think about it: if you have a business list of 1000 plus contacts and the first couple of cold calls you did were greeted with rejection and a firm “no”, wouldn’t you dread continuing on with that list of strangers?

This isn’t the only factor of cold calling that people are afraid of. While others cite rejection as the major factor, others see cold calling as an intrusion on their b2b sales leads’ time and hesitate to make the call even before they pick up the phone.

If you want to have a great b2b telemarketing campaign for your company yet you also fear cold calling, you can outsource this process to a professional b2b telemarketing company. This way you wouldn’t have to do something you’re afraid of doing but still be able to acquire the benefits it provides.




Small Business Marketing News Update - Northeast Florida Manufacturers Relocate Office To Elevate Profile And To Expand Services


To help increase their profile in the business community and to provide expanded in-house services to members, the First Coast Manufacturers Association (FCMA) has relocated their Jacksonville headquarters.

The new office, which is 1,200 square feet more than their former space, is located at 1615 Huffingham Road, near the intersection of Beach Road and University Boulevard in Jacksonville, Florida.

With the new facilities, FCMA will be able to accommodate workshops, training sessions, networking functions and meeting facilities for manufacturer members and membership partners. The new offices will not only house the FCMA staff but also provide all of the meeting space and storage the association would need now and in the future.

Lake Ray, president of FCMA, reported that he believes manufacturing is taking on a more important role in Northeast Florida’s economy. “We felt that by having a more centrally located office and additional meeting space, our offices could help facilitate that role and give us a higher profile in the community,” Ray said.

Part of the uniqueness of the facilities is that members were asked to produce personalized wall displays that are placed throughout the offices to show what they manufacture. Plus, additional displays have been installed to show what consumer and industrial products are manufactured in Northeast Florida. “We wanted to have a place where anyone could come in and see the story of manufacturing in our community,” Ray added. “So not only are our facilities very functional, but it is also a showplace.”

The photo shows FCMA Tri-Chairman Carlos Zanoelo and FCMA President Lake Ray cutting the ribbon to the new FCMA offices.


Quality Customer Service As A Result Of Quality Products

Quality Customer Service

I’ve recently read Jeff Haden’s article about how company growth effectively kills quality customer service. When you look at the largest companies in the business world, chances are you would only be able to name a handful of international companies who maintain quality customer service; and these are even conscious company efforts to be recognized for the customer service they give their clients. But, can’t quality customer service simply follow---out of their sheer desire to provide exceptional products and services?

Apparently it is possible, even in this time and age. In the above mentioned interview, Haden had an email conversation with Road ID co-founder Edward Wimmer. The topic of the conversation?

 “Growth and scale are the enemy of outstanding, personal service.”

Now, a little clarification on why Haden chose Road ID as his counterpart for this conversation; on one forum for bike hobbyists, a member complained about how Road ID didn’t match up to the quality promised to him, such as the tag inscription on one quickly becoming unreadable and the clasp of another not functioning properly. Of course, complaints from customers and clients are commonplace. But the amazing fact is that, for the next couple of pages, other Road ID customers defended both the company and their product. And these are not even paid evangelists, they are simply loyal customers. When Wimmer was asked how they were able to achieve such devoted customers, he simply replied: “I wish I could tell you we have a secret sauce, but it really isn't hard. It's easy. We do have systems, but they are based on common sense and how we would want to be treated.” So what exactly are they doing right that everyone else seems to be doing so wrong?

Learn to take a loss - All your interactions with your customers need not necessarily benefit your company directly. If you want to please your customers, you have to learn to accept losses, even if means replacing a product for an unhappy customer for free when your policy clearly states that they should buy a new one because of their situation. It will not only please your customer, but that customer might also become a brand evangelist because of the pleasant experience they had with your company. It’s all a matter of using your better judgement.

Do what you can to keep your customers - Because it’s been said, time and again, that keeping existing customers is way more cheaper than looking for new customers all the time. While Road ID is actively expanding its market, it doesn’t mean that they neglect all their past customers.

Humanize your brand - When people have problems, they want to talk to other people to make sure that their problems are resolved right away and properly. Wimmer uses his personal email to respond to customer purchases, and it’s his voice that customers hear when they call the company, not some generated automatic voice.

Always be prepared - Make it so that your customers call your company because they want to, not because they have to. But when they do have to contact you, be willing and ready to respond to their problems.

Small Business Marketing News Update - Klout May Not Be Delivering Real Clout For Jacksonville Businesses


Several Jacksonville marketing firms that been touting to their clients the importance of increasing their scores on social measuring sites such as Klout.com. They also advocate targeting the top Klout scorers because they are online influencers who could have an impact on their client’s product, service or idea.

But when you dig down into what is being measured, are these social scoring services really compiling accurate data needed to determine if someone is a major influencer?

If you are not familiar with these social sites, there are several free measuring services such as Klout, Kred and Peerindex that offer a third party evaluation of a person’s activity and social capital online.

One of the problems I have with these services is that they do not take data from any other source than Twitter and Facebook. They do not collect data from Google, Linkedin or blogs. Twitter is the major data source for them because Twitter activity is one of few social networks that doesn’t firewall conversations.

And people can game Klout with Twitter. A good example is when you constantly see an individual tweet their location (I’m at the gas station or I’m at so and so restaurant.) The more tweets someone has, the higher their score is on Klout. So does that really make them an “influencer?” 

Paul Gillin, a columnist for B-to-B magazine (New Channels by Paul Gillin) has an excellent expose’ about the value of measuring online influence. His concern is somewhat two fold. First, he believes that influence involves decisions that are more complex. He reports “conversations at conferences – over dinner or on the golf course – help decision-makers work out important details. The bigger and more complex the decision, the less likely it is that those who influence it are sharing their recommendations on Facebook.”

His second concern is that social media has demonstrated that audience size has little to do with influence, particularly in the narrow markets that typify b-to-b transactions. He goes on to say that the measurement services frame their definition of influence by number of followers and retweets. Gillin hits home this point by saying that, based on this criteria, Lady Gaga is the most influential person on the planet.

Gillin offers additional excellent examples of the flaws of measurement sites:

Marc Andreesen is one of the fathers of the modern Internet; but because he rarely uses Twitter, he earns mediocre rankings on the two most popular measurement service sites.

Ben Bernanke, chairman of the Federal Reserve, because of his job, cannot use Twitter. According to these sites, he has no influence!

I would have to agree with Gillin in his assessment that for b-to-c marketers, these services have limited use. And for b-to-b marketers, they are almost useless. Therefore, I caution Jacksonville businesses not to place too much confidence and too much time online with social measurement sites.

If you get a chance to read Gillin’s column each month in B-to-B magazine, you won’t be disappointed with his updates of online industry trends. His website is www.gillin.com.


Mass Media Advertising Is Losing Ground In The Marketing World


When was the last time you completely believed what a marketer told you on mass media platforms like the television, radio, newspaper, or even an email? And if you did believe, did you not spend time researching on the internet for reviews or asking your acquaintances for their opinions before you made any decision to purchase?

Mass media is a relic of the industrial era when companies used largely generic advertising strategies that they hoped would reach their target customers. They had no means of driving their marketing methods to specifically reach their intended targets, so they spread their nets over as wide a market as they could.

Finding qualified sales leads using mass media marketing nowadays is an almost futile effort. Not only is the method of measuring the reach of your marketing strategies extremely difficult and complicated, but the cost of marketing to thousands of people in various places just to reach a handful of potential leads is extremely expensive. Furthermore, those potential leads are not even all verified quality sales leads. So, of the 100 potential leads you get from mass marketing to 100,000 people, you'd be lucky to get 5 qualified sales leads. And because you need more than 5 qualified leads to make your business profitable, you have to spend millions of dollars just so you can market to a hundred thousand more people.

Mass media marketing is a very expensive and inefficient method of finding sales leads. It represents a time of random hard selling and a time when customers blindly followed what was popular among their peers.

This mass advertising is no longer applicable to this generation of clients and consumers who are more knowledgeable, inquisitive, doubtful, and outspoken. With a vast amount of resources at their disposal and easily within their reach, they are no longer susceptible to marketing pitches that are aimed at everyone and no one in particular. Unless you personalize your marketing pitch, your sales leads will not believe that you provide the best solution to their problem when they have hundreds---if not thousands---of other options. The quest for qualified sales leads is further complicated by the emerging desire to become as unique as possible and yet still remain a part of the norm. This has lead to lesser belief in companies marketing to everyone but a distinct distrust of businesses introducing radical new solutions, or rather, the need to verify first from trusted sources any new solution.

Though this poses a unique challenge to marketers, one thing is certain, mass media advertising is slowly losing ground in the business world. Thankfully, the arrival of this technological era has provided marketers with various means of reaching out to their specific target sales leads and enabled them to improve their business relationship on a more personal level. Though most marketing methods are largely met with skepticism, a well-targeted and thoroughly researched marketing plan can become an effective means of lead generation. Even existing (and almost archaic) marketing methods such as email marketing and telemarketing can be repurposed and made to deliver qualified sales and business leads.

How To Date Your Target B2B Leads According To Seth Godin

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Marketing, he brings to light a traditional marketing strategy that has been around for a long time but has greatly been overlooked. This marketing strategy not only increases the attention you get from your business leads, but also helps create a business relationship that will lead to long-term profitability. Read the article to learn more about permission marketing.

Small Business Marketing News Update - Jacksonville TV Stations Sold To Cox Media Group


There is news out that Newport Television, LLC has sold 22 of its television stations, two of which are WTEV and WAWS in Jacksonville. The other side of this news is that they were sold to Cox Media Group, which owns WAPE, WFYV and WOKV in Jacksonville.

Consolidation of media outlets is nothing new today. However in the past, it used to be a real concern, particularly by the government, and specifically by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

In the mid 80’s in North Florida, Morris Communications, which owns the Florida Times Union, underwent the process of purchasing Naegele Outdoor Advertising Inc. The FCC was questioning that Morris, through ownership of the city’s only daily newspaper and the largest billboard company in North Florida, would have too much control over the media.

As a partner of one of the major advertising agencies in Jacksonville at that time, I was interviewed by the U.S. Attorney General’s office. They wanted to know if sales representatives from the Times Union were putting pressure on me to buy billboards along with their print ads. (Just for the record, I never experienced that issue from Times Union sales reps and I had no problem with the purchase.) The newspaper was finally cleared to purchase the billboard company. Years later, Morris sold the billboard business.

Today the FCC has been lax in their policies. The agency has ignored many problems, including a major issue that is very obvious to the viewing public - the problem with stations ratcheting up the audio volume during commercials. The U.S. Congress had to step in to offer a remedy.

Good or bad the buying and selling of media properties is going to continue. And with broadcast companies, further movement will be seen with the emergence of Hulu and other Internet sources.

As far as Cox taking over WTEV and WAWS, no one knows for sure how that will turn out. Years ago, ClearChannel, which had a group of Jacksonville radio stations, took control of these two same stations. Management tried to have the TV sales force and the radio sales force cross sell their stations. That didn’t last long. It was too difficult to mix the two sales cultures.

All we can hope for as viewers and as media specialists is that Cox will invest the dollars in these stations to provide attractive programming to the North Florida market.


Retain Your Existing Clients And Increase Profitability


Nineteenth-century Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto invented the now-famous 80-20 marketing principle which states that “80% of your sales come from 20% of your clients”. Even if you check on your current list of clients, you will see that the few key clients you have let you earn as much as the rest of your clients put together.

It's a fact that finding new business leads and clients costs more (as much as 5-10 times more) than retaining your existing clients. This is the reason why a lot of marketers and marketing coaches tout the benefits of retaining your clients after the initial sale. While you can't possibly keep every single client you've sold to, you can identify a few key clients which could lead to long-term profitability. These customers and clients need not even be your biggest buyers, as long as they purchase a lot of your merchandise over a period of time, their value as a client greatly increases.

Retaining clients may not be an easy task, but doing so will not only ensure you of continuous profits, but also help you improve your company and business as a whole. To effectively keep your clients, you have to make sure that you always deliver on everything that you promise each of them, and the benefits from your products and services equal or exceed your prices. Otherwise they would end up with your competitors.
If you are doubtful about whether you can sell new or more products to your customers and clients, take note that you already have critical information about them. You know how much budget they have for a month or a year; you know who are the decision-makers in the corporation and how to contact them; you have information about their existing equipment and can easily figure out when they would need to purchase a new one; you might even have information about the direction of their company's future plans. You can use all these data about your clients and customers when you offer them a new product or service to get them to make a purchase. If you think you still need more information, you can always incentivize your approach and offer them something in return for the information that you need. Retaining clients also require that you continually add value to your business relationship, so new offerings are generally expected by your clients and customers. A company that doesn't have anything new to offer clients is a sure sign that it is not growing. Furthermore, your existing clients already trust your brand, so offering them a new product or service is all a matter of whether this new product or service is relevant to them.

However, there is a significant concern among marketers regarding this type of marketing principle. While the returns on client and customer retention is high, there is always the risk of losing such a valuable client. The more valuable a key client becomes, the higher the risk once that client is lost. There is also the issue of clients becoming unreasonably demanding over time, especially when they realize their own value to your company. This situation is easily avoidable, and if you build just the right relationship with each of your clients, you can safely expect a bright future for your company.

Small Business Marketing News Update - Jacksonville's Small Retailers Need To Be Aware Of Current M-Commerce Trends


If you think it has been hard for Jacksonville’s small, local retailers to compete with the big chains, thanks to mobile marketing, the picture has become bleaker. And in some cases, m-commerce is presenting a problem for the big retailers, too.

Internet Retailer magazine ran a series of articles that details how consumers are now going to brick and mortar stores to view products and compare prices, but are eventually making their purchases online with their smartphones.  

Actually 29% of consumers who use smartphones for product research while in a retail store buy online, according to data research from ClickIQ.

Not only does this create a big disadvantage for small retailers, but the large retailers are also taking a major hit. For example, the ClickIQ study showed the most frequently used retail store customers visited for product research was Best Buy at 36%. They were able to retain 35% of the researchers who ended up buying at the store with another 14% who bought at BestBuy.com.

But it starts to drop from there, with Wal-Mart experiencing 30% researchers with 26% purchasing at the store and 10% buying at Walmart.com. Target was third with 29% researchers, 29% in-store purchasers and 8% buying at Target.com.

Research data revealed that the reasons customers purchased online was mainly due to price at 67%, followed by availability of product at 14%, product features at 8%, and free shipping at 7%.  

ClickIQ also identified profiles of consumers using smartphones. The research found…
-       51% of mobile comparison shoppers who research in-store and buy online are between ages of 18 – 39 and 55% are male;
-       26% between ages of 30 – 39 and 25% between the ages of 18 – 29 have recently used a mobile device to research a product while in a store;
-       The numbers drop with age for those researching in a store with 12% between ages of 40 – 49; 6% between ages of 50 – 59; and 2% over the age of 60.

One major retailer trying to break this trend is Walgreens. According to Internet Retailer, Walgreens is using mobile/social shopping service technology such as foursquare and Facebook Places to greet customers on their smartphones as they walk into the store. The Walgreens apps offer customers onscreen product recommendations, promotions and special price points available at that specific location. 

But there are other clouds looming online that will be an additional threat to local retail businesses. That’s the online giants Amazon.com and eBay.

Of the 97 million U.S. adults who owned a smartphone running Apple iOS, an Android or a BlackBerry operating system, 45.4% visited Amazon.com’s m-commerce site or used the e-retailers’apps in March, according to the Mobile Metrix 2.0 report from the web and mobile measurement firm comScore Inc.

eBay Inc. followed with 28% of smartphone users visiting the m-commerce site or using eBay’s apps.

For the top 15 Internet destinations measured by comScore, 81.5% of visitors’ time was spent on apps while 18.5% was spent on sites.

According to comScore, the top 15 mobile destinationsare (in order of number of unique visitors)...  
Google, Inc.
Facebook
Yahoo sites
Amazon.com
Wikimedia Foundation sites
Apple, Inc.
Cooliris
AOL Inc.
eBay Inc.
Zynga
Twitter
Rovio (Angry Birds)
The Weather Channel
Microsoft sites
ESPN

For more information, go to the April and June issues of Internet Retailer magazine and look for the articles authored by bill@verticalwebmedia.com.

Human Relationships And Business

Going into business is very much like being in a relationship. You spend a large portion of your time on it. Sometimes, when your business suddenly becomes demanding, you have no choice but to yield to it if you want to keep your business going.

Here are three important similarities between human relationships and business:

Commitment - Before one opens a business, a certain level of commitment is required if one wishes to become even slightly profitable. A business cannot be successful unless the founder or business owner is committed on making his business a success. A committed business owner will be able to give his company enough..

Time - Just as how you need to be on time whenever you have a date with your loved one, you have to be on time for work everyday. You might not have a boss, but if you always arrive late for business appointments and scheduled meetings, then your business won't have much of a future to hope for. Another thing that requires timelines in business is responding to client queries. If you fail to respond in a timely manner to client questions, complaints and requests, you are essentially telling them to transfer to your competitors. Often times when your schedules collide, you have to prioritize one over the other and learn to take...

Risk - Perhaps the most important aspect where business and human relationships are similar is the issue of risks. In a relationship, if you don’t take the risk of falling in love, then you will never experience the extreme joys and sadness of the human emotion. If you fear taking risks, then your business will never get off the ground. Even if it seems profitable now, you will always stay on that plateau and never achieve anything else of significance.

But that is not the only time when you have to take risks in both business and relationships. For instance, your loved one frequently forgets your important dates, or the two of you often quarrel. Your relatives and friends may even get involved and convince you to end the affair once and for all to save your sanity. Though it seems unrealistic to carry on with your relationship, you still hang on with the hope that it’s just a phase that you have to get over. In business, this same blind commitment is observed when your startup appears to be a failure. It’s that time when, no matter how much you try to improve, your products still fail to generate leads, your credit line is negative, and your employees have begun jumping ship. Add to that the fact that your competitor is rolling out one sensational product after another. For all intents and purposes, the most logical action would be to abandon the cause and build another business altogether or even consider getting employed. But that isn't the actual truth regarding the reality of things. Business owners and entrepreneurs are known to slave for years over their startups, even when the future of the said venture seems nothing but bleak.

Let us take Henry Ford, for example. The founder of the automobile manufacturing company experienced numerous failures in his dream of producing a reliable, efficient, and relatively cheap automobile. By continually taking risks despite being broke, he was able to achieve his business dream through the Ford model T and build an enduring company.

To make a business venture successful, you have to treat it as an important relationship by giving your commitment, time and learning to take risks. It takes considerable effort to make anything work, and businesses are no different.

Small Business Marketing News Update - 121 Financial Credit Union Partners With WJXT-TV To Bring Financial Tips To Jacksonville Viewers


In an effort to position itself as “the local financial experts,” 121 Financial Credit Union has partnered with WJXT-TV (Channel 4) to bring financial news tips to viewers in a segment called “4 Your Money” that airs during the station’s “The Morning Show.”

The news segments feature interviews with various financial experts from 121 Financial Credit Union. Past segments have covered wide-interest topics such as mortgage sources for people underwater; financial education for children; identity theft; debt settlement; tips on using debit cards; and various ways to finance your education.

In each segment a121 Financial expert will offer a brief overview of a topic and then the audience is given contact information on the TV screen as to where they can obtain additional information about that topic. It has become an easy avenue for people to get financial information important to them, and gives young singles and families access to financial data that they otherwise may not have. To date, 121 Financial has reported a great response coming in after the interviews.  

In order for people to see the segments again or to catch segments they may have missed, WJXT has posted the interviews on their website at www.News4Jax.com/money.

According to the July issue of SmartMoney magazine, credit union membership hit a record high 92 million last year. And while the popularity of credit unions is growing in North Florida, there are still a large number of people in Jacksonville who don’t know about the advantages of using a credit union over other financial institutions.

A recent news segment featured an interview with David Marovich, 121 Financial’s Business Account Officer. He detailed the benefits available to small businesses that signed on with 121 Financial that included better opportunities for obtaining business loans, fewer or maybe even no feesand interest on business checking. In this tough economic environment, it’s tragic that many businesses don’t even know they can have a business account at a credit union, which in some cases could mean the life or death of a company.

121 Financial started the news segments with WJXT in March and has found this approach to be a great outreach to the community that they didn’t have previously. A key to success in social marketing has been based on providing valuable information online to encourage interaction with customers and prospects. With the Channel 4 news segments, 121 Financial is accomplishing that same goal, except with a traditional medium – television.

Catch the next “4 Your Money” segment by tuning into WJXT’s The Morning Show” at approximately 8:20 every other Saturday. 


The photo shows the WJXT set with Davis Johnston, Senior Vice President of Operations for 121 Financial Credit Union, being greeted by The Morning Show host Jason Law.
           

Three Tips To Make Your Sales Pitch Rock


When we hear the word sales pitch, one of the most important points to consider is how to make your pitch sell to prospects. Unfortunately, that is one point that companies still have a hard time in doing, especially if they are doing their lead generation campaign for the first time. Why does it seem to be hard to generate the sales leads that you need? There are plenty of reasons why. The most important to remember is that business leads are best generated through proper consideration of what the prospects want. More likely than not, this is the main reason why no sales leads are made. So how do you go about it? How can you make your sales pitch clinch the deal?


Just remember these three points: 
  1. Do your research – time and time again, sales people are told to always research their business prospect first. Still, there are still those who are left hanging when they are asked questions by the prospects that they have no ready answer for. In the first place, you must need to know just what the prospect is looking for, what kind of solution they may need, and what your company can do to address that need. What is important here is that you cover everything when you are trying to generate B2B leads. And you can do that easily with good research work.
  2. Define your prospects’ segments – it is possible that what you are offering will work with a lot of market segments. Lucky for you if you only need to market in one segment, but if you have to go into several, then you will need to research each one well. Each segment may have a different trigger or reason to do business with you, so you should define your segments well. You can get better sales leads this way since you now know how to grab your prospect’s attention.
  3. Craft specific messages – this is where the two previous points merge. Once you know what your prospects want, and what trigger you can use to get their attention, you can then create the correct sales pitch. But the sales pitch itself should not be used in more than one prospect. Sure, this can save you more time, but if you really want to reach out to them, you will need to craft the message that is specifically tailored to them. They will appreciate that added thoughtfulness.
As a business owner, you will need to know how to best maximize your company’s ability to generate more sales leads for your business. There are so many factors that can either attract the attention of your business prospects or cause them to back away. It may also depend on what communication medium you used to reach them, whether through social media or telemarketing. Still, what is important is that you get to send your message across. This is the most important point that you need to reach if you want to get better B2B sales leads.

Small Business Marketing News Update - Jacksonville Businesses Are Turning To More Aggressive Marketing Techniques Such As Door-To-Door Sales


During this lagging recession, companies are getting more desperate in their sales by hiring aggressive door-to-door salesmen.  This one seems to be taking advantage of the recent storms in North Florida to sell flood insurance.

Can Outsourcing To Telemarketers Help You Generate B2B Leads?

So far, the biggest problem that a lot of firms could ever face deals with the need to make a plenty of profits. This is an issue that has constantly bothered them. How can they make a profit, if their market is packed of competitors? It sure is nice if you could get your hands on something that can give you the edge. This is the reason why B2B leads are so much in demand by a lot of companies. Qualified leads are the best marketing aids that you can get. It can introduce you new markets, improve your sales campaign, and give you the edge over competitors. Whether you succeed or not will depend on just how good is the lead generation company that you hired to do the job. As a business investment, you should seriously consider hiring good telemarketing services if you want your firm to achieve long term profitability.

The fun part, as the old saying goes, will now lie in choosing the lead generation firm. After all, this is a challenge that many entrepreneurs have to face. Selecting the right lead generation firm can be a very daunting task, especially if this is their first time to do so. B2B lead generation services a very handy tool in producing the qualified leads that you need. The reason why a lot of small and medium sized firms these days are outsourcing this job is because of the inherent limitations of their operations. Many of these companies do not have enough budgets to build up their own lead generation team. With the value and usefulness of B2B leads decreasing as they age, there is a greater demand for experts who can professionally handle qualified sales leads. This could perhaps explain the rising number of lead generation firms. After all, they are the best when it comes to delivering qualified leads for their clients.

Aside from the usual lead generation services, version of this that has attracted considerable attention from other firms is appointment setting services. The use of B2B appointment setting services has proven to be very useful in providing the needed B2B leads. What makes this unique from the usual is due to its ability to address the needs of companies that do not have their own marketing teams. With the help of modern lead generation services, it is now possible for firms to improve their chances of making good sales. Professional telemarketers can effectively find new business opportunities and then qualify them to see if they meet their client’s requirements. If these do, then they will proceed to set up a meeting between the prospect and the client. It is that easy. And since telemarketing has improved itself over the years, you are less likely to suffer from a negative backlash from people with bad experiences from it.

The key, of course, still remains with you. It is you who will decide who to work with. And it is you who will have to make the choice. If it is the right one, then things will go very well for you.

Small Business Marketing News Update - North Florida Manufacturers Use Breakfast Discussion Panel With The Business Journal To Publicize Industry's Issues


The First Coast Manufacturers Association (FCMA) partnered with the Jacksonville Business Journal to conduct a panel discussion breakfast in order to engage the city’s business community in talks about issues facing the manufacturing industry.

Approximately 150 business people attended the breakfast to hear a panel of industry leaders that included FCMA President and State Representative Lake Ray; Tim Giles, Director of the Division of Continuing Education at the University of North Florida (UNF); attorney Rich Maguire of Rogers Towers; Mike Del Rocco, Regional Vice President with TD Bank; and Brian Tuttle, Vice President with manufacturer Rulon International.

The forum provided the manufacturers with a vehicle in which major issues could be vetted in detail. The issues ranged from the impact of manufacturing on the local and state economy to the prime obstacles regarding growth and expansion of manufacturing companies.

UNF’s Giles expressed concern about being able to supply the skill levels needed for manufacturing as employees are facing retirement. He believes that not enough students in high school and college today are taking the math, science, engineering and technological curriculums needed to prepare them to replace the aging workforce.

Attorney Maguire outlined the problems currently facing the industry regarding the extensive permitting process, both on the local level and with state government. He advocated a “one list” permitting sheet to assist manufacturers through the process and to also hopefully shorten it.

Del Rocco with TD Bank expressed his bank’s effort to provide easier lending terms to manufacturing firms for capital improvement. He said financial institutions are more open to making loans involving collateral equipment that, in turn, helps generate revenue to pay for itself. 

Manufacturer Tuttle outlined how North Florida companies have a greater opportunity to do business around the world, especially with our port facilities. He said that not only does this help increase manufacturing jobs, but it also generates indirect support jobs, such as logistics, raw materials suppliers and utility services.

Lake Ray, who also served as the moderator of the panel, listed some of the pending state legislation designed to help area businesses like manufacturing. He also pointed out information that demonstrates the value of the industry in Jacksonville and throughout the state.

Partnering with the Business Journal on the breakfast event gave the manufacturers a unique opportunity to bring their major concerns to the Jacksonville business community in a way that allowed for an extensive discussion by experts and feedback from the business audience. It was a format that provided manufacturers a time and a place to tell their whole story to their targeted audience. It was a format that accomplished much more than what 60-second television commercial or even full-page newspaper ad could do.  

The photo shows Lake Ray and Tim Giles with the other panelists at the breakfast.


www.fcmaweb.com

What Is Demand Generation?

There are various definitions for demand generation, and it is often used interchangeably with either inbound marketing or the more popular lead generation. But demand generation is more than either of these two. Though it does include large amounts of marketing, its scope comprises a much larger process.

Demand generation is not broken up into campaigns, but does include strategies and systematic planning. It essentially comprises the whole sales process, even the part where the sales are actually converted into profits. As the name suggests, it focuses on creating demand---the propensity of the sales or business lead to purchase your products or services. While lead generation can be achieved through sheer dumb luck (a low budget video unexpectedly gaining virality status), demand generation requires a systematic, progressive and continuous process to create a steady demand for your product or service. There is no end to demand generation, as long as your business exists, you will need to create and foster a demand for your products and services to remain profitable. If you fail to create a demand for your merchandise in the first few years of your business, then there is little chance that you will ever achieve ROI.

Demand generation includes everything from lead generation to lead management. The entire sales process is not simply about finding leads, setting appointments with them and then converting them into profit. It should have a more long term goal of creating a steady flow of leads. Demand generation improves the (1)find--->(2)attract--->(3)meet--->(4)convert process and integrates the lead management segment into the mix. In fact, demand generation places a significant emphasis on lead management. Lead generation without lead management is merely a single transaction and leaves out a lot of potential business opportunities unexplored. With lead management, businesses are not only able to capture more leads but also identify which leads are already sales ready so that sales people can convert them right away. Content marketing is also a large part of demand generation. Without quality, knowledgeable and valuable content, sales leads and business leads will not see your products and services as useful for their own business.

The processes under lead management are found in the later part of the demand generation process. After the sales and business leads have been found, they need to be qualified. The lead scoring system plays an important part in this stage. Once the sales or business leads have been scored, they are finally sent to a salesperson to be closed. Demand generation is a complete and holistic integration of all these processes. In the previous illustration, if some leads are not able to immediately reach the last segment (convert), they undergo lead management where they are eventually returned to the attract--->meet--->convert segment. Similarly, leads who are successfully converted undergo the same process. This is what makes established businesses even more profitable. There are various software available to facilitate demand generation, but the in general, demand generation undergoes the same process.

Small Business Marketing News Update - 121 Financial Credit Union Reaches Out To Sports Fans By Launching Sharks VISA card


As a major sponsor of the Jacksonville Sharks of the Arena Football League, 121 Financial Credit Union has launched the official “Sharks” VISA credit card.

Since the credit union is a team sponsor, it was a logical marketing move for 121 Financial to offer a visible credit card tie-in, a popular financial tool, with support for a popular and successful sports franchise in Jacksonville.

The Sharks card, which is a standard VISA credit card, should be very attractive to the public since it has an introductory rate of 0%for six months for those who qualify.

Applications for the card, which features the Sharks logo and team colors, is being offered at each of the Shark’s home games, at all of the 121 branches and online. People receive a free Sharks/121 T-shirt just for applying for the card.

Cindy Breslin, vice president of marketing for 121 Financial said she wanted to show support for the home team. So as a credit union she thought a natural way to promote the franchise would be through an exclusive Sharks’ credit card. “Hopefully fans will get their card and use it throughout the community,” Breslin said. “That way when they pull out the card with the Sharks’ logo, other people will see it and think about supporting arena football in Jacksonville.”

 
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