Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Technology's Impact on Marketing

For the last thirteen years Coca-Cola (KO) has held the number one slot as the world's most valuable brand. But it was only a matter of time before the the well known brand was knocked from its thrown. But it didn't just drop to second, but third place. Who finally unseated this soda giant? According to the Market Intelligence Center Apple took over as king of the marketing hill, with Google taking a close second.

The annual report by consulting company Interbrand that lists the years “Best Global Brands” has been released every year since 2000. This is the first year since the reporting began that Coke has not taken first place. In 2011, Apple ranked eighth on the list, but few are surprised that they have made it to the top of the list. The fact that they barely surpassed Google did surprise some. However, with the massive increase in technology, how people communicate, work, play, and shop, many are not surprised. Mr. Jez Frampton, a chief executive at Interbrand, felt it was only a matter of time before technology took over the top spots.
Among the top ten best global brands, five of them are in the technology industry.

While executive vice president and chief marketing leadership officer Mr. Joseph V Tripodi did express disappointment at no longer holding the top spot, he stated that they were honored to be included in such an esteemed group of global brands and congratulate both Apple and Google on their success.

The face of marketing continues to change with the times. New technology has opened marketing doors that were not available before. With an ever increasing global market, social media, advanced viewing devices, and broader accessibility, the face of marketing will continue to change. With Facebook's 2012 IPO and the hype surrounding Twitter's pending decision to go public, marketing experts will have to stay on their toes. Apple and Google had better stay on their toes too – remaining on top may be more difficult than they imagined. Technology is moving faster every day, and as many marketing directors are finding out, things can change in just a short period of time.

If your company is looking for help with marketing solutions that you can afford, we can help. We are committed to providing quality services at an affordable price. Contact us to find out how we can help your company increase their profits while reducing cost.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Small Business Tips: Formatting Your Emails So They Get Read

Tweeting, text messaging, and blogging are all the rage when it comes to small business communications with customers and other businesses. And yet, emails remain as popular as ever because of their advantages. They're easy to compose and require only an Internet connection to send. Recipients receive your message instantly but can take their time reading it and responding. To get the maximum benefit from using emails, follow these guidelines.

·         Keep it short. Emails are not the place to show off the essay-writing skills you learned in English class. Your recipients are busy people who want to digest your message quickly. Make sure your emails talk only about one subject and average about five to ten sentences long. If you must discuss something more extensively, put the discussion in a PDF or document, and upload it with the email.
·         Use descriptive headers. If you want recipients to read your emails right away, tell them exactly what it's about in the header. Avoid pithy titles like “My Reply” or “Need Your Okay.” Instead, use complete sentences that describe the content, such as “I Need Your Approval on This Budget Proposal by Thursday.”
·         Break it up. To make your message easier to scan, avoid writing it with one solid block of text. Break it up into multiple short paragraphs. If you must describe three or more items, break the enumeration into lists. Use bullets if the items have the same importance or numbers to show importance or a sequence.
·         Include pictures. Pictures can show rather than tell, thereby eliminating dozens or hundred of words. However, be sure to explain briefly in text what the picture is about. Use images that are 100K or less for quicker transmission and downloading. If you need to rely on larger graphics, store the image on a picture site and then post a link to it.

If you want more information on improving your small business communications, please contact us.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

5 Warning Signs That You Need to Find a Bookkeeper

Do you find yourself wondering if it might be time to find a bookkeeper?  Here are five warning signs that it might be time to take this step – although many times you are in way over your head if they occur.

  1. Your banker or business advisor has requested financial statements.  If this happens and you do not have your bookkeeping records in order, you need to act fast.  The trick will be to find a bookkeeper who can get this information processed fast enough to meet your deadline.

  1. You are getting angry phone calls from suppliers looking for payment.  Everyone can miss paying an invoice now and then. But if you are consistently late paying your suppliers, you risk losing your credit privileges and your business may be in peril if you can’t purchases your supplies or inventory.

  1. You don’t know how much money you have coming in.  If you can’t keep track of your accounts receivables, you won’t know if people are late paying you.  Unfortunately, some customers may take advantage of this if they know they can get away with paying you late.

  1. You’ve hired an employee and need to pay them.  Once you’ve crossed the threshold of not being able to run your business on your own, you must find a bookkeeper who can take care of payroll for you.  The employee and income tax laws are generally too complex for many small business owners to handle on their own.

  1. You are having problems keeping track of your business and personal expenses.  This is a huge red flag.  If you get audited and you have not kept careful records, the government may disallow certain expenses even if they were genuinely business related.  Also, if you tend to lose receipts, you can easily miss out on business expenses that you could be writing off.

So if you have encountered any of the above warning signs, consider it time to find a bookkeeper. Imagine Solutions is here to help! Call us today for a Free Consultation!