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Carlye Creel

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Making Customer Experience a Cornerstone of Your Marketing Strategy

Posted by Carlye Creel on October 9, 2017 at 1:57 PM

Expectations have never been higher. Thanks to innovative technology and increased competition, people understand that a better customer experience is available to them — and they're willing to look for the brands that can offer it.

The onus is on businesses to improve their approach to customers. Personalization and customization shape the customer experience, and marketing is now required to engage with individuals at an unprecedented level. If you haven't already embraced a customer-centric marketing strategy, you could be risking your company's future by resisting the transition.

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Topics: Integrated Marketing

Oktoberfest: 3 Surprising Marketing Tips Gleaned from the Festival

Posted by Carlye Creel on October 4, 2017 at 1:49 PM

You might not think that marketing has much in common with a German festival that's over 200 years old, but in fact, there are a number of things marketers can learn from the annual Oktoberfest tradition. Not convinced? Here are three surprising similarities that might change your mind.

1. It's All About Perception

Did you know that the famous festival isn't actually about beer? Although thirsty travelers come from around the world for a pint of Oktoberfestbier, this tradition, known to locals simply as "Wiesn," celebrates the anniversary of the wedding between Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen. The roots of the festival are in commemorating a historic event, but the popular perception of it as the "ultimate worldwide beer festival" has served it well — year after year, tourists pour into the city.

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Topics: Integrated Marketing

Your Content Marketing Strategy Needs More Personality

Posted by Carlye Creel on September 27, 2017 at 10:57 AM

It's often easy for marketers to get bogged down in data. As we peruse the latest keyword trends, CTA conversions and linking metrics, the human element can sometimes get lost. However, it's that very element that can elevate a humdrum content marketing strategy to something truly spectacular.

Inc. reported that customers have grown to expect a certain level of authenticity from brands — and will pay more for the ones they feel they can trust. Forbes highlighted Dove and Airbnb as brands that have embraced the shift toward a more "human" approach; both have seen significant returns from increased interactions with customers.

It can be a tricky balancing act to inject some personality into your content marketing in a way that seems natural. If you're struggling, here are some practical ways to help jump-start your creativity:

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Topics: Content Marketing

Black Friday Prep Tips for Small Businesses

Posted by Carlye Creel on September 20, 2017 at 11:28 AM

Every autumn, customers wait anxiously as the retail world stares down the single most profitable day of the year. According to Entrepreneur, one in three Americans plan to make a purchase on Black Friday.

That means new buyers and loyal customers alike will be browsing your mobile site, apps and website for a deal. Your special offers and sales are ready to go, but is your digital presence prepared for the seasonal excitement? Can it efficiently handle the influx of holiday online shoppers?

Test Website Responsiveness

A frustrating website experience can encourage customers to turn to your competitors. Before the autumn sales begin, take time to test your desktop and mobile sites for download speed, branding consistency, ease of use and responsiveness to customers' needs. Are you making customized product suggestions? Are subscription forms easy to complete and submit?

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Topics: Digital Marketing Strategy, Integrated Marketing

Understanding Brand Loyalty's Relationship with Human Psychology

Posted by Carlye Creel on September 11, 2017 at 10:21 AM

Attracting new customers is always important when growing a business, but customer retention is no less important. For most companies, it's four- to six-times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to retain an existing one, according to Relationship Building Strategist Ian Kingwill. If you aren't able to keep your churn rate low, then new client acquisitions can't grow business — they will only serve to replace the customers you've lost.

When it comes to retaining customers, brand loyalty is one of the best resources in your marketing toolkit. This loyalty is valuable and can only exist if there's a strong relationship between the customer and the company. Fortunately, this is entirely in your hands.

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Topics: Digital Marketing Strategy, Integrated Marketing

Updating Evergreen Content: Why It Matters

Posted by Carlye Creel on August 30, 2017 at 12:51 PM

Evergreen content is a specific type of content, whether it be text, slideshow, video or something else. This is created once, but designed to continue ranking in search engines for years, bringing in traffic and compounding in value. The idea behind evergreen, according to Forbes, is that this content keeps providing benefits to you indefinitely — in the form of domain authority, referral traffic, conversion rates and brand visibility.

However, simply applying a "set it and forget it" mentality to this type of content might not be the best approach, as there's some real value in keeping your evergreen content fresh and updated.

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Topics: Content Marketing

Restaurant Marketing: Tech Trends to Grow Business Fast

Posted by Carlye Creel on August 11, 2017 at 10:26 AM

Modern restaurants need more than an appetizing menu, enticing ambiance and welcoming staff to drive diners through their doors. While a positive write-up in the local newspaper may have been enough to fill tables in previous decades, restaurateurs in the digital age must embrace new tech trends in restaurant marketing to drive new business — and keep customers coming back.

Tech Presence Is Critical

If your potential customers are among the 77 percent of Americans who own a smartphone, chances are they've used their device to look up local restaurants, check reviews or even place an order, according to Pew Research Center.

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Topics: Digital Marketing Strategy, Food & Beverage

Rethink Your Back-to-School Marketing Strategy

Posted by Carlye Creel on July 17, 2017 at 10:03 AM

If your back-to-school marketing strategy launches in late summer and wraps up after the first bell rings, it's time to re-think your approach. Take a moment to embrace a wider view of students. Sure, there's the elementary through high school population, but what about traditional and non-traditional college students or graduate school? Students attending schools that are in-service year-round is something to consider, as well. Marketing campaigns running from July through August are often too narrow in focus to include everyone who's heading to classes. Here's what to do.

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Topics: Digital Marketing Strategy, Retail

Legal Consumers Search Online [INFOGRAPHIC]

Posted by Carlye Creel on May 24, 2017 at 10:18 AM

The way legal consumers go about searching for necessary services is constantly changing. Research shows that offline sources for attorney referral are dropping while online sources are rising at a steady rate. As legal consumers search online, traditional marketing strategies alone are simply no longer going to cut it.

According to Findlaw's whitepaper, Your Next Client Wants to Hire You Now, more than 60% of consumers use some form of mobile device to conduct attorney searches. So what does this all mean? There is so much opportunity for attorneys to target  legal consumers online.

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Topics: Digital Marketing Strategy

Higher Education Marketing: 3 Tips to Reach Prospective Students

Posted by Carlye Creel on April 24, 2017 at 11:18 AM

The world of higher education is filled with competition, not just among students hoping to gain admission, but among schools that want to be the first to attract the best and brightest to their campuses. Public, private and even for-profit schools are vying for attention from potential students, and have increased advertising budgets and education marketing departments to attract students.

This is actually a relatively new trend, as nonprofit colleges and universities previously only spent approximately 2 percent of their tuition revenue on recruitment, according to Inside Higher Ed. However, now that these higher education institutions are spending more than ever, let's look at some of the marketing trends currently used to attract prospective students.

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Topics: Digital Marketing Strategy, Higher Education

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