In a recent post, Bluetext Creative Director Jason Siegel described the differences between a top digital marketing companies, top marketing companies and top marketing agencies. The answer was in the range of services they provide. In this post, we’ll answer another frequently asked question: What’s the difference between a marketing firm and a marketing agency? This is more than a trivial question, and and it can be confusing. But here’s one reason why it is an important question to address: The term “marketing firms” (as well as “top marketing firms”) is by far the most widely used search term when looking for information on vendors that provide marketing services.

If you're in need of a beautiful and strategic new website, you're in the right place! Thrive is a web design company with experience across many different industries. Our web designers are familiar with the latest trends in both design and website optimization, so your new site will not only be visually cutting-edge, but will also be optimized to convert visitors into leads.
Having a job that pays and allows you to have brain surgery without a lifetime of debt is a luxury many of us take for granted. Taking the leap of working for yourself has a list of risks so long that it could make for separate blog post. What mitigates a lot of that risk is actually developing the foundation for a business before making the decision to do it full time. I suggest doing some contracting work on the side for a period while holding down a full-time job for a variety of reasons, chief among them...
Thanks Asim! I know agencies still list themselves on local directories even though they are providing services nationwide or globally. So even if you don't have a physical store or place that customers go, that can still be listed to get those directory listings. If you have no address at all, it would be better to focus on niche-specific directories as opposed to local directories. But I'd only go for those that appear in search results for keywords that you are targeting or ones that are linked to reputable organizations in your industry.

Citizen Group played a significant role in figuring out how to use the sports industry to support sustainability. They worked with a startup sustainability organization to conceptualize the connection between sports and the environment and produced strategic plans and advertising materials, such as videos and slide decks, to push the initiative forward.
It's important to check that you have a mix of head terms and long-tail terms because it'll give you a keyword strategy that's well balanced with long-term goals and short-term wins. That's because head terms are generally searched more frequently, making them often (not always, but often) much more competitive and harder to rank for than long-tail terms. Think about it: Without even looking up search volume or difficulty, which of the following terms do you think would be harder to rank for?

When someone does a search on google, google displays results ranked in order of how relevant the web page is to the keywords used by the searcher. these are organic results – and the higher a page ranks, the more people click on it. So, if the widget maker can get its web page that talks about “inexpensive industrial widgets” moved up from page 10 of the search engine results to page one for searches on that term – those 100 visits a month might increase to 1,000 or more. the primary marketing discipline that focuses on improving organic search visibility is called search engine optimization, or SEO.
If you are extremely savvy with taxes then by all means do them yourself. However for the common person, there are so many nuances to running your own business that it makes sense to push this responsibility onto an expert (like your clients are doing with you!). You can save a lot of money by having a professional file your taxes on a quarterly basis, helping you along the way with write-offs.

In addition to completing a SWOT for your overall marketing plan, it is often helpful to do a SWOT analysis for the different segments within your marketing plan. For example, as we will discuss further down in this piece, content marketing, social media and SEO will all be important parts of your overall inbound marketing plan and would benefit from SWOTs of their own.


Without the right keywords, your SEO Marketing Campaign will go the wrong way. This guide to the kinds of keywords you can optimize is aimed to help you determine which keywords you need to include in your SEO marketing campaign to set your SEO plans in the right direction. For the first of this per-lesson tutorial, I’d be tackling Market Defining Keywords.

For example, let's say that someone has emailed a couple of different web designers for a project. They put the project on hold for a bit, then decide to pick it up again later on. What will they likely do? They'll search their inbox for the web design quotes they received. If your subject line includes those keywords, your email will make it into the search results.
Second, you can research keywords for your industry, determine which ones would make for great content, and use those as a basis for your topic ideas. For example, let's say you wanted to create a website about dog training. If you search this on Google AdWords Keyword Planner, you can download 801 suggested keyword phrases, all with estimated search volume.
Samsung. The Korean company has slowly and steadily grown to become a premier consumer electronics brand. It used to have annual strategy sessions where all its top executives got to spend time with the best competitive products they were up against from the likes of Sony (SNE), Nokia (NOK), Panasonic (PC), and Apple. I don't know if it still does that, but from day one, Samsung eschewed the traditional technology-driven Asian model in favor of becoming a market-driven and market-leading company.
Thrive has a dedicated team of digital marketing & SEO consultants with the expertise in helping Houston businesses with their online marketing campaigns. Since we're a full-service agency, we handle everything in-house from building an SEO-friendly website to managing your social media, running your PPC campaign, creating an email marketing strategy, and more.
Weber Shandwick is a leading global PR company and a unit of Interpublic’s McCann Worldgroup. The agency was the only public relations agency included on Ad Age’s Agency A-list in 2014 and 2015 and the only PR firm designated an A-List Agency Standout in 2017. They have 77 cities across 31 countries and serve as agency of record for Sealed Air Corporation, American Cancer Society, Covered California, the Maine Lobster Marketing Collaboration, Excedrin and Ragu.
The list of elements involved in a marketing plan may sound quite comprehensive, but writing a plan doesn’t need to be difficult. Of course, it comes with some effort, but doing it step-by-step will help you master this challenge. To get started, use our marketing plan template. This document will guide you through the process. But first, let’s dive into the different elements of a marketing plan, and figure out how to outline them.
Google Trends is a great tool that provides a list of related keywords and phrases based on Google’s own search topic data. The comparison feature is especially helpful because it allows you to compare different keywords side-by-side. In addition, the tool allows you to see keywords that are rising in popularity, view changes in interest for a specific keyword over time, and see how a keyword performs by region.
Do you like knowing exactly how people come to your website? If you are already using UTM parameters to track your links, you can utilize the optional UTM_term (used mostly by AdWords advertisers) to track your keyword usage. For example, if I create a Facebook ad for my business, I could use the following to note that the ad was targeted toward a specific audience, such as content managers, and the ad used the phrase "freelance writer."
It's important to check that you have a mix of head terms and long-tail terms because it'll give you a keyword strategy that's well balanced with long-term goals and short-term wins. That's because head terms are generally searched more frequently, making them often (not always, but often) much more competitive and harder to rank for than long-tail terms. Think about it: Without even looking up search volume or difficulty, which of the following terms do you think would be harder to rank for?
The only way to start a business venture with confidence is to develop a good marketing plan—one that's backed up with facts and research. This document clearly shows how you'll attract customers to your product or service and persuade them to buy. The marketing plan also builds confidence with financial institutions, showing lenders that your business has a good chance of being successful.
I really don’t know if I could take a word out of this mission statement or even replace one word. Of course, knowing the brand’s portfolio and the brand value the group of companies has established over these years does help to make this mission statement a lot more powerful than it would be for another company just starting out. This is due to the brand perception and, well, they have earned it!
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.
Maybe you work for a large corporation and have been tasked with developing next year’s marketing plan, or perhaps you are launching a new start-up and need to craft a plan from scratch. Maybe it’s been 20 years since you graduated from business school or wrote your last marketing plan, and realize that times have changed a bit. Whatever the case, the steps you take today to create a functional and straight forward marketing plan will lay the foundation for your year ahead, helping you to get results that are measurable and quantifiable.
The purpose of a marketing plan is laying out how a company will achieve its stated business goals, and providing a framework to ensure that activities stay true to the vision and mission of the company. When starting the process of developing a marketing plan, there are five critical areas for consideration – positioning, objectives, strategy, tactics and execution. Our intention is to help prime the thought process prior to creating a marketing plan.
That being said, it’s important to understand that soft skills are only 50% of the final product that is you. You need to get good at what you’re going to be offering as “professional” services. No matter how slick your sales game is, a client will discover sooner or later that they’ve been sold snake oil. You have to be able to drive results. If you begin your career managing clients for larger agencies, I would encourage you to actually start working on a marketing team or pick up a handful of small clients to learn the channels and skills you’ll execute on.
There’s a culture in today’s age of startups that extreme growth is the only marker of a successful business. There’s a lot of pressure when it comes to taking on more clients and you may discover that you can be financially satisfied with a certain number of great clients. You may ultimately decide that rapid expansion is not what’s best for you. Unless you have outside investors breathing down your neck, the ability to live a financially stable (if not better) life on your own terms may be more enticing to you.

A real estate startup hired Brolik for assistance with branding and digital marketing. After a discovery phase, Brolik helped the client hone their target audience and provided website copy, web design, and social media strategy. The client appreciated Brolik's ability to understand and enhance their brand by developing thoughtful audience personas.


If you ask your marketing team to describe the current keyword strategy and are met with blank stares, it’s a good indication that your website, ppc and social media content are lacking a coherent, unified strategy and are therefore underperforming. If there is a documented, or documentable process in place, it can then be benchmarked against the ideas discussed in this brief and more technical resources such as Marketing sherpa or seomoz that outline keyword strategy best practices.

Blue Corona is a marketing analytics and optimization company with offices outside Washington, DC in Maryland as well as in Charlotte, North Carolina. We provide marketing analytics and optimization services that help business owners measurably improve their marketing performance and return on investment (ROI). You can’t maximize your marketing results without accurate tracking (and “no”, asking people how they heard about your company doesn’t constitute accurate tracking!). For this reason, every client engagement starts and ends with marketing analytics. This means tracking every single advertising and marketing strategy a company employs – even if your only marketing strategy is your company’s website. Better information drives more meaningful insights and improved performance. Many digital marketing companies in the USA don’t seem to get that, or they focus on the metrics that don’t matter to your bottom line.


After defining your distribution channel(s), it’s time to make sure that you really need to deliver your product or service. First of all, you need to define the message that should be conveyed to your buyer personas. Afterwards, let’s look at suitable promotion channels that can be used to acquire new customers. Obviously, they should be channels you can find your buyer personas in. But the range of possibilities still seems to be endless.

Paid search is another crucial tool of digital marketing. Take, for example, Google AdWords, the dominant platform for pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. Basically, you get ad space on SERPs, and Google gets paid whenever someone clicks on your ad. It’s a great way to complement search engine optimization (SEO) tactics, especially if your business is new and you want to see instantaneous returns on your marketing budget. AdWords is a highly flexible and measurable tool, and you can expect profits to outpace costs as you continue to increase your budget.

SmartSites is a full-service digital agency located in Paramus, NJ. Founded in 2011, SmartSites has a team of nearly 30 designers, writers, developers, marketers, and problem solvers who work tirelessly to make websites successful. SmartSites offers its clients creative ways to build, plan, and promote their website. They focus on SEO, web design, PPC, and social media marketing.
How are you getting it in front of people? I'd send a pair to influencers, artists, and sport stars. I'd also do an awesome job with my branding. The shoe box would be super cool. Shoelaces would be different colors and even some sparkly tissue paper instead of the newspaper colored tissue paper you usually see stuck in the shoes at department stores. My aim would be to make everyone feel like flying superstars.
An insurance and financial services company hired Rise Interactive to help attract new customers. The insurance company worked with a traditional marketing agency previously but was unhappy with the results. Rise Interactive created a paid search campaign and tracked progress for the insurance company. These efforts improved the insurance company's bidding process for paid search campaigns to ensure that results were getting better commensurate with budget increases.
Running a sustainable agency by yourself also allows you the freedom of ending the business simply and on your terms if you need to (no layoffs, no office to sublet, no 45-pound bag of coffee beans). You may also find that running an agency isn’t something that you want to do forever. You can use it as a form of investment for other business models you may be more passionate about but take time to develop.

If you wanted to create a marketing agency 25+ years ago, the barrier to entry was colossal. With a primitive digital landscape, the overhead to create such an operation was daunting, and nearly impossible without initial investment. On top of the startup costs, you were limited to physical and traditional media and the headaches associated with all but fabricating something that resembled ROI for your clients. Being “in the red” for a very, very long time was inevitable.
Ideally, after writing marketing plans for a few years, you can sit back and review a series of them, year after year, and check the progress of your company. Of course, sometimes this is hard to make time for (there is that annoying real world to deal with), but it can provide an unparalleled objective view of what you've been doing with your business life over a number of years.
keyword research and strategy continually change: search term volumes change, new terms come into play, a firm’s product and service focus changes, new products are introduced, etc. In addition, analyzing search traffic, paid search campaign results and social media activity helps firms move beyond theory and sharpen the keyword focus on terms that are working best for them in real life. If your firm reviews keyword strategy monthly or quarterly, you are continually improving. If not, you are almost sure to be in a holding pattern or worse, losing ground.
I like to use Open Site Explorer as a way to check out what my competitors are doing with their SEO. Moz allows you to find out what external links your competitors are getting. This can give you incredibly valuable insight as to what their content strategy is like, or if they even have one in the first place, and potentially where they’re advertising online.
If you’re interested in selling your digital marketing agency to Snap Agency, then contact us today. We’re always looking for well-regarded internet marketing companies to strengthen our team and digital growth solutions. You can also reach out to us for more strategies for selling your digital marketing agency or selling an ad agency. We look forward to hearing from you soon!
I like to use Open Site Explorer as a way to check out what my competitors are doing with their SEO. Moz allows you to find out what external links your competitors are getting. This can give you incredibly valuable insight as to what their content strategy is like, or if they even have one in the first place, and potentially where they’re advertising online.
If your goal of hiring a marketing agency is to reach the top of Google through content, they better have their own search results that rank on the first page above the fold in Google’s SERPs (search engine result pages).If your objective is to reach a specific amount of site traffic and leads over time, they must be able to demonstrate they’ve had that similar acceleration of growth.At the end of the day, the marketing agency you hire should be it’s own best success story. You want to work with an agency that is constantly testing their ideas and tactics internally before implementing them for clients.  

customers drive the language of online marketing through the terms they use to conduct searches. the language of online marketing is the language of searchers, the language of customers. If a firm highlights its own jargon in its web content, social media conversation and ppc campaigns, it will usually be speaking a foreign language. often a firm’s content creators think that emphasizing popular search terms “dumbs down” their content. But before searchers become interested in how smart you are, they are interested in how relevant you are. In order to be relevant, you must have high visibility for the terms your customers like to use, not the ones you like to use.
The only way to start a business venture with confidence is to develop a good marketing plan—one that's backed up with facts and research. This document clearly shows how you'll attract customers to your product or service and persuade them to buy. The marketing plan also builds confidence with financial institutions, showing lenders that your business has a good chance of being successful.
Content is all of the written words used to convey your brand, from the copy on your site to the landing page users arrive at, to the blog posts, newsletters and emails you write. But it’s not just having content that matters, it’s having quality content that is consistent. Content marketing is about providing useful information to your customer base. It’s not about selling but about informing.
For example, let's say one of your business goals is to expand your brick-and-mortar retail store into an e-commerce website. Your marketing strategy for that goal could be to introduce your products to a new national market segment. You would then break down your strategy even further into short- and long-term objectives while defining your specific marketing message. Delve into how a marketing strategy and a marketing plan work together.
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