Merkle is a global performance marketing agency with over 25 years of experience. Headquartered in Maryland, Merkle has offices in Shanghai, London, Barcelona, Chicago, Atlanta plus 20 other locations throughout the world. Merkle was recently acquires by the Dentsu Aegis Network, and the agency delivers data-driven, technology-enabled marketing solutions to large corporations. Learn more here.
Buyer personas are fictional representations of your ideal customers based on demographic data, online behavior, and your educated speculation about personal histories, motivations, and concerns. For example, you may define one of your personas as VP of Engineering Vince, a business executive who cares most about cost and long-term support. A second persona could be Engineer Elliot, an engineering manager or senior staff engineer who is an expert in your technology area and wants to do a deep dive into the technical capabilities of your product or how you deliver a service. Elliot greatly influences Vince, but Vince makes the final decisions. Vince and Elliot have very different concerns.

Winning with online marketing requires you to know the landscape, including who your top competitors are and how you compare across the web. How you market your company compared to your competitors will determine how you perform online (we’re talking getting leads and sales from potential customers). Ultimately, the growth of your company depends on how you stack up and what opportunities are available to close any gaps and get ahead. So, do you know the answer to that? If you’re ready to grow your business and get ahead of your competitors, the first step is understanding the landscape, and that starts with a digital competitive analysis from Blue Corona. Stop wondering how you stack up against the competition. Stop wasting your time trying to reinvent the wheel. See what’s possible. Contact us today to get started.
COMMENTARY Marketing is like sex -- everyone thinks they're good at it. In reality, of course, very few really get it. So few, indeed, that I had to struggle to come up with 10 companies that really know what they're doing and deliver the goods, year in, year out. Oddly, coming up with 10 companies with insanely bad marketing was far easier. Go figure.

Hold a social media contest. A great way to get instant likes and shares and build an audience is to give your potential customers a great reason to follow you on social media! A great time to try this is when you are holding a  sale, or before a big event such as the super bowl or local Houston Festivals and even conventions. Thrive’s social media brand management and social marketing teams are skilled in growing your social presence with fun tactics like these.
The final stage of any marketing planning process is to establish targets (or standards) so that progress can be monitored. Accordingly, it is important to put both quantities and timescales into the marketing objectives (for example, to capture 20 percent by value of the market within two years) and into the corresponding strategies. Marketers must be ready to update and adapt marketing plans at any time. The marketing plan should define how progress towards objectives will be measured. Managers typically use budgets, schedules and marketing metrics for monitoring and evaluating results. With budget, they can compare planned expenditures with actual expenditures for given period. Schedules allow management to see when tasks were supposed to be completed and when they actually were. Marketing metrics tracks actual outcomes of marketing programs to see whether the company is moving forward towards its objectives (P. Kotler, K.L. Keller).

For example, if one of your goals is to provide five free initial consultations within three months, your promotional plan may include focusing on targeted leads through a cold calling campaign, a social media outreach plan, and a direct mail campaign. You can get some idea on specific activities by browsing lists of 101 small business marketing ideas.
A medical practice management firm hired MultiView to help market their services to doctors, especially anesthesiologists. Because the audience was highly specific, MultiView launched a targeted marketing campaign that focused on corporate briefs and industry publications and conducted PPC and remarketing ads. The firm picked up a number of new clients from areas covered by the campaigns and experienced an increase in web traffic.

If you’re a business owner or marketing executive and you’re looking for an awesome and enthusiastic partner to help you better utilize the web to grow your business—from strategy creation to execution and ongoing optimization, you’ve come to the right place. Blue Corona helps companies accurately track their advertising results, transform their website from digital brochure to virtual sales rep, and generate more leads and sales from the Internet—measurably improving their marketing performance.
Friendemic is an online reputation management and social media marketing agency founded in 2010. Headquartered in Salt Lake City, UT and with offices in Dallas, TX, San Diego, CA, and Cookeville, TN, the team of 50+ uses proprietary software to help clients monitor their online reputation 24-7. They also create and manage social media campaigns and content to generate leads – mostly for clients in the automotive industry.
As you search, cut and paste the results into a spreadsheet. (I have found that in Excel it works best to copy the results from the Overture Keyword Tool and then using paste special and then paste as text.) Once you have done this for 2-3 key terms, you should have a spreadsheet with 200 or 300 rows. To analyze the results and make them useful for your business, you need to figure out which terms are the best ones for your company to focus on. To do this, try the following steps:
In marketing, the marketing expense-to-sales ratio plays an important part in expense analysis because it is used to align marketing spend with industry norms. Marketing expense-to-sales ratio helps the company drive its marketing spend productivity. Marketing expense-to-sales analysis is also included with the sales analysis, market share analysis, financial analysis and market-based scorecard analysis as one of the five analysis tools marketers used to control and drive spending productivity. The marketing expense-to-sales ratio allows companies to track actual spending that is relative to the accepted budget and relative to sales goals as stated in the marketing plan.[14]
As we know from interactions with our own friends, they can be full of surprises. So one of the biggest mistakes you can make when creating a buyer persona is to constantly make assumptions. Actually put these personas to the test, hit the pavement, and start interviewing people and get some real data. After all, there’s that saying about assumptions making a donkey out of you and me.
HUNTER is a digital marketing and online optimization agency located in New York, NY. Founded in 2010, HUNTER is expert in SEO, PPC, social media marketing, digital strategy, and conversion optimization. The team of nearly 10 employees works with businesses ranging from e-commerce retailers to start-ups to established brands. They're committed to supplying clients with the digital marketing techniques that get the results they need to succeed and stand out in a crowded, competitive environment.

Marketing communications: Marketing communications consultancies plan and develop communications material, such as brochures, product guides, newsletters, and customer magazines. They provide writing, design, and production services, and offer advice regarding the kinds of communications materials you will need to support activities you undertake, such as new product launches.
Adhere Creative is a B2B digital marketing agency located in Texas. Founded in 2009, it specializes in web design, full-funnel marketing, sales enablement, content marketing and workshops.  It has worked with clients in the software, manufacturing, professional services, and healthcare industries. The team of more than 30 employees creates brand identities that engage a targeted customer base. 
Mitosis Consulting provided full-cycle marketing support for an enterprise analytics platform. They developed marketing automation and sales CRM solutions to diversify their marketing approach and grew their in-house marketing team with strategic hiring suggestions to encourage self-sufficiency. The project achieved 305% monthly revenue growth over the course of the partnership.
Though it's not clear, behind the corporate objectives, which in themselves offer the main context for the marketing plan, will lie the "corporate mission," in turn provides the context for these corporate objectives. In a sales-oriented organization, the marketing planning function designs incentive pay plans to not only motivate and reward frontline staff fairly but also to align marketing activities with corporate mission. The marketing plan basically aims to make the business provide the solution with the awareness with the expected customers.
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