Small Dog Creative

    5 Advanced Tips that Go Beyond the Basics of Inbound Marketing

    Frequent readers of this space know about the importance of inbound marketing for any business. Through tactics like social media and SEO, you attract your target audience to your website organically. While there, they convert to leads, which you can nurture towards becoming customers. It's a natural process that flows better, and is better integrated with your audience's preferences, than its traditional 'push' marketing alternatives....

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    Reasons To Work With a Marketing Agency

    Marketing, in any form, can be complicated and quite time consuming. Even though most business owners know that, many still struggle to spend time and money on marketing, no matter how much they want to grow their business....

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    3 Web Design Mistakes You Never Want to Make

    When it comes to web design, there are a ton of things a business can do right. However, there are many more things a business could do wrong. To get off on the right foot with web design for your business website, you need to be aware of common mistakes and avoid them at all costs. In this post, you will learn about three of the most detrimental design mistakes that you don't want to make....

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    I have come to know a lot of small business owners during my career. There are a number of personalities I have run into. One of them is the “dabbler.” There are a few types of dabblers, but the most common and most perilous is the “broke dabbler.” These individuals want to be business owners but they don't quite know how to commit to one thing at a time. As a result, they usually just scratch the surface of a new idea, hit a problem or obstacle, and instead of pushing through the problem, they give up and move on to try something else. This usually results in a perpetually-broke business owner. There are good business ideas and bad business ideas, and it can be hard to tell the difference between the two. But if you hit one small bump in the road and run, you will never know if your idea could have been successful. Even great businesses run into problems, sometimes everyday, but it is how they recover and learn from the problems that allows them push through to greatness. Your business can't be successful if you don't commit to it and put in your due effort that success requires. ...

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    The Perils of Social Media - McDonald's Twitter Campaign Backfires

     Social media doesn't always work in your favor. McDonalds learned a harsh lesson on Twitter recently......

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    As a designer it is vital to always be learning and expanding your visual vocabulary. Design trends quickly come and go, it is important to stay on top of what is new, and to not get too comfortable with old styles. How do you tell what is on the edge of becoming the next big thing, and what is just plain bad? Well it comes down to a lot of knowledge and a little luck. If you know why your design is working then you are a lot more likely to become a trend setter. When the now famed Herman Miller Aeron chair came out, it was declared a horribly ugly chair. But the designers stood their ground and now there is no shortage of Herman Miller knock-offs. So stick to your your design if you know you are right, and be bold with your decisions. But, don't be afraid to learn or make a mistake....

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    Which Ad Would You Run?

    Test your marketing savvy! Choosing the most effective ad. A: Selling Your Company, Not Your Product Selling your company instead of your products or service is a pretty common mistake. You might want to show off your new logo, or company name but that is not what your customers care about. In this ad the logo is the dominant element and the services are listed smaller and underneath the logo. This format might work well for the door of your business, but not for an ad. You need to get your customer's attention first, then get them to care about the service or product you provide, and then let them know who you are. You may get calls or attention from an ad like this, but we think there are better concepts out there. B: Listing All Of Your Services Ad space isn't cheap, this tends to cause companies to want to list everything they do to try and appeal to as many people as possible. This usually yields few results. Why? Because people aren't going to search through your ad to find the product they are interested in, or the service that applies to them. Remember your ad is being seen right next to other ads, in the same place as hundreds of other ads, if you can't get noticed is 2 seconds, than you won't get noticed.  C. Selling A Single Service You are right!... (Or at least you chose the one we think would get the best response rate.) Highlighting one of your key services or products and targeting a segment of your clientele is the strongest approach. Why? Well lets start at the beginning. We opted for one of our primary services, and chose a headline that addresses about the additional features that come with our web sites. And by narrowing the subject of the ad we were able to send astronger, more specific message. If we talk hypothetical numbers for a moment, with ads A and B we are targeting a large pool of clients with a less powerful message. So we might expect to see a response rate of 1% out of say 1000, which would give us 10 leads. If we ran ad C to a smaller targeted market, and addressed more specific needs, we would expect to see a higher response rate of say 3% out of a smaller pool of 500, which would give us 15 leads. You can see how decreasing our audience and creating a stronger, more specific message to a targeted segment can actually increase our results. So try casting a smaller (tighter) net for your next campaign. A precise message can be just the thing you need to drive home sales. And get the attention of customers who need what you are selling, and who care about your message. DISCLAIMER: There is a saying in marketing "50% of marketing works, but no one know which 50%". If you agree or disagree or have more to ad, please feel free to leave comments....

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    Logo Dos and Don'ts

    As someone who has worked with a lot of small business I can say there are many logo mistakes out there. I'm not just talking about logos I don't care for, I'm talking about mistakes that can cost you money! If you are a business owner with a homemade logo listen up, because this applies to you....

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