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Are you trending?  How to improve social media effectiveness

Are you trending? How to improve social media effectiveness

Social media is exploding as a way to build a community of followers and share your message with them in an efficient and cost-effective manner. How do you evaluate which social media platforms are working for you? How do you prioritize your time? It’s a big topic, but here are four areas of focus: Have a plan. The key to any successful social media channel is to be clear about this: What question are you answering for your audience? Answering this question will keep your social message on point...

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Building trust-oriented business relationships at every point of contact

Building trust-oriented business relationships at every point of contact

Valcort 35 Keys to Business Growth.  #13 - Identify every point of contact with your customers.  Assure that every employee that has personal contact with a customer or can influence a customer relationship is trained and equipped to engage them in a trust-oriented relationship with your company. Frequently I drive across a massive suspension bridge built around 1944 that spans a mile-long stretch of the Illinois River. Usually I don’t give it thought; just drive to go from one side to the other...

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Top 25 Nonprofit Management Tools and This Weeks Other Leading NPO Stories

Top 25 Nonprofit Management Tools and This Weeks Other Leading NPO Stories

Leaders  Weigh in on 25 Nonprofit Management Tools For nonprofit organizations to realize their potential for social impact, they need more than a good program and ambitious leaders to expand it. They need good managers who adopt approaches that make the most of opportunities, anticipate threats, develop talent, and produce strong results.  The nonprofit Bridgespan Group is collaborating with The Chronicle of Philanthropy to establish a resource to help nonprofit leaders tackle these challenges....

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Changing how America shops, and the week’s other top business stories

Changing how America shops, and the week’s other top business stories

1. The man who changed how America shops – Chief Executive To successfully market when forces conspire to make everything a commodity, amplify the emotional content. 2. Ensuring that business transformation does not fail -- Forbes Just because everyone agrees business transformation is important doesn’t mean everyone knows how to do it. 3. Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway as top NFL executive -- Fortune John Elway displays the same instincts, hard work, and swagger as a GM that he did as an N...

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Executing mind-shaping media campaigns

Executing mind-shaping media campaigns

Last winter was pretty rough in many areas of the country, including here in the upper Midwest. So when this winter started early and came on with a vengeance in recent weeks, memories of last year’s record breaking snowfall had me thinking about the wisdom of a snow blower. That was no surprise to area retailers, and there have been flyers and ads full of great deals on snow blowers, and tempting models placed strategically in the front aisles of Wal-Mart and even the local grocery store. That’...

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Get a cue! Connecting your brand to everyday life

Get a cue! Connecting your brand to everyday life

One way that your advertising can influence what people think about and notice is through ‘cueing’ –linking your brand to words or expressions that come up naturally in everyday conversation. Repeated often in your advertising and other communication, they become cues that help increase the power of your brand. You see and hear these many times a day. How many of these did you know? Cue Brand/Product Gimme a break Have a Kit Kat Have a break... Have a Kit Kat MmmmmMmmmmm Good Campbell'...

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Some of our Favorite Recent Media Campaigns

Some of our Favorite Recent Media Campaigns

Ice Bucket Challenge In 2014, one of the most successful public relations campaigns was the organic Ice Bucket Challenge. That’s no surprise for most people, because the messages and images of the campaign were pervasive, very wet, often entertaining and sometimes highly emotional. The campaign began inauspiciously, when two friends in Florida pushed each other to take the Ice Bucket Challenge, which initially was a tactic to raise money for charity generally. One of them selected ALS as his ch...

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Your checklist for growth in 2015

Your checklist for growth in 2015

To grow effectively in the new year, you need to begin with preparation and planning stages, not unlike the work necessary before you take a journey or climb a mountain. Think of the new year as a new journey.  To begin, you need proven tools and expert guides to help you navigate the path and meet the challenges ahead. Here is the short, but important, checklist as you take your business into the new year:  1.  Take the right tools First, a good map gives you a clear picture of the distance an...

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18 Value Propositions That Get it Right

18 Value Propositions That Get it Right

The best way to understand value propositions is to see good examples at work. Here are 18, from the largest company in the world to some small, eclectic start-ups.  1. Wal-Mart. Everyday low prices. Behind the value proposition of not only the world’s largest retailer but also the world’s largest company is also an implicit promise of high product variety (35,000 SKUs in a typical store; 100,000 in a superstore), fixed assortment, a mix of branded and private labels, and the lowest possible cos...

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Wings, beer, sports and the art of perfecting your value proposition

Wings, beer, sports and the art of perfecting your value proposition

Valcort 35 Keys to Business Growth:  #11  Have a true, simple and clearly worded statement to describe your unique and proven value to customers. A recent transplant to the Chicago area, I’ve found the city to be hard working, tough and matter-of-fact.  The city’s sports culture shares those characteristics, fielding high-quality teams and demanding much of them. In this environment, I was struck by the brilliance of a timeless marketing proposition for the popular sports bar/restaurant  Buffal...

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