Customer Focus

  • 6 Ways Attending a Trade Show Can Improve Your Marketing

    There's a reason that companies see a trade show as a good marketing tool. Instead of trying to maintain relationships at arm's length, you have a chance to actually meet the people you do business with. According to the Center for Exhibition Industry Research, 70 percent of attendees plan to buy products, 76 percent ask for quotes and 26 percent sign purchase orders. Additionally, 88 percent haven't met the company's sales staff in the past year. Shows provide an important opportunity to convert leads into customers.

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  • How to be a Middle Market David

    Not too long ago, a Middle Market company with a great product had a tough time competing against the retail market’s biggest players. Not anymore. The social media revolution means that retail is anyone’s game, and if you’re not already taking advantage of that new opportunity, you should be. Mr. Erik Rosenstrauch, President and CEO of FUEL Partnerships, a retail marketing firm and a ROI Strategic Alliance Partner, explains how to do so.

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  • Find the Office Setup That's Right for Your Company

    The basics of business success include keeping customers happy, finding a strong market niche, operating efficiently, recruiting and retaining a smart workforce, pushing innovation and building strong business alliances. But what about designing a comfortable office? Yes, your office setup, although seemingly not fundamental, greatly affects how well your company operates. Design matters — and not just in branding, products and marketing, but in where you work.

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  • The Sales Process: Just One Part of Client-Centered Coordination

    The sales process is an integral part of a company's success. However, consumers are increasingly demanding a fully integrated customer experience. If you're not providing an effective, seamless journey from closing to delivery to after-sales service, your clients will likely switch to competitors. Your internal structures are irrelevant to customers; they expect you to unfailingly meet and exceed their expectations. This requires close internal coordination among your company's departments.

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  • Glassdoor Reviews: When and How to Respond

    Glassdoor reviews can damage your middle market company's retention and recruiting efforts. We live in an age of social media where sharing and transparency are paramount values. Like it or not, your employees will be going online and writing reviews about the good, the bad and the ugly of working for your firm.

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  • Finding New Office Space: 4 Critical Factors

    By Rob Carey

    When a company is ready to move to a new office space, it will stir both excitement and trepidation among management and employees (and perhaps even customers). If a midsized firm's executives take into account all the factors that determine which space is truly right for operations, they will minimize worry and maximize enthusiasm. What's more, they can also boost the firm's long-term competitive and financial position.

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  • Why an Adaptive Human Resources Strategy Is Good for Your Company

    As your company adapts to the middle market and its customers' needs, your human resources strategy needs to adapt along with it. The first step is to build your overall business strategy, and then identify human resources' role in reaching your goals. Do you need to develop new capabilities to better serve customers, or expand your sales or production footprint? HR should recruit, hire, train, and develop the right talent for the task.

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  • How Nurturing Customer Loyalty Creates Brand Ambassadors

    Customer loyalty is a must-have for any company. Without people or companies coming back to do business with you, the cost of acquiring customers becomes a crushing expense. The stronger the loyalty, the more you can contain marketing costs while increasing the average customer's lifetime value. But there is a step beyond loyalty, particularly for a middle market company that is trying to hit its next stage of growth. What you want are customer fanatics: people who will act as brand ambassadors and do more than loyally buy from your business. They help acquire new customers through positive word of mouth and brand promotion. However, brand ambassadors are people you need to woo, which means understanding the difference between a true fan and a loyal customer. Here's what you should know.

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  • 4 Keys to a Successful Product Launch

    By Rob Carey

    One way for middle market firms to compete successfully against the biggest players in their niche is to innovate. A new or significantly altered product that exceeds present expectations is the most effective weapon against large competitors, who can use economies of scale to hold down prices or marketing dollars to saturate the market's share of mind.

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  • Social Media Strategy for Crisis Communications: 7 Ways to Defend Your Company

    Your social media strategy should center on using digital platforms to engage with customers and relevant stakeholders. Whether or not you control the message, these people are increasingly learning about you via Twitter, Facebook and other channels. Therefore, when a crisis arises, your customers will likely consume and share information about you via these same outlets. Being unprepared to spread your crisis response messages on social media is akin to surrendering your army before the first shot is ever fired.

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  • In a Business Partnership, Relativity Is Everything

    The power of a business partnership can be impressive. Rotadyne is a prime example of how a company can expand when it joins with another. In the early 1970s, the Cleveland-based custom plastics molding manufacturer made bed pans, bottles, tanks and a small line of plastic toys. It partnered with a design firm, Nottingham Spirk, which helped create new products and a logo for the toy line: Little Tikes. After a few years, Rotadyne would change its name, explode in size and eventually be acquired by Rubbermaid.

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  • 6 Business Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

    Business marketing is vital for midmarket companies. It determines how your organization reaches out to new prospects and converts them into customers. Good marketing sends the right message to the right prospect, creating awareness and demand for your services. However, poor marketing wastes precious time and money, and may also damage your reputation.

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  • Essential Company Benefits for Middle Market Success

    By Rob Carey

    If middle market companies are to compete for the best talent, their compensation and culture must rival those at larger companies. Interestingly, there's one way for a midsized firm to strengthen its position in both areas: by creating a variety of desirable bonus programs. In fact, a 2014 WorldatWork survey reported that attractive company benefits are becoming even more of a necessity. Bonus-compensation data gathered from managers at 713 companies, 77 percent of which have 1,000 or more employees, found that sign-on and retention bonuses are at all-time highs, while spot-bonus programs and referral bonuses are at their highest since 2000 and 2010 respectively.

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  • How to Define Your Company Values in 5 Steps

    Company values, whether written or unwritten, form the basis of your business's culture. When your company has strong values that everyone understands, practices and demonstrates outwardly, then it will attract and retain employees, customers and other stakeholders. The financial impact is hard to quantify, but it may be the most important factor supporting your bottom line. If you don't have a formal written document defining your core principles, then consider asking your employees, the heart of your organization, to help you craft one. Here's how:

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