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Zen and the Art of Marketing Maintenance

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Maintenance is a topic that has been on my mind quite a bit lately. Maintenance of my lawn, house, vehicles, finances, children, diet, relationships, hair, and clothing are just a few of the things that must be maintained on a regular basis. Marketpath also requires regular maintenance of our finances, infrastructure, culture, client relationships, custom software, and much more. The key to success is maintaining items in small doses on a regular basis (i.e. performing small tasks here and there). The more consistent I am with regular maintenance, the more likely major problems won't appear. Failure to maintain each item in my life leads to neglect, which leads to me having to spend a lot more time and a lot more money which leads to great frustration.

Website marketing requires regular maintenancePart of the reason I've been contemplating the importance of maintenance is that I've been reading Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (yes, I stole the title for this post) - a philosophical novel that blends an attempt to define "Quality" and the importance of regular maintenance of our environment and our individual self.

Website marketing isn't all that different than anything else in our life. At Marketpath, we maintain our relationships with our customers and audience via our blogs, email blasts, social platforms, webinars, phone calls, and in-person meetings. I'm always pushing the importance of touch points and, if regularly maintained with good quality content, those touch points will result in a future sale or referral. Failure to regularly maintain  those touch points leads to a complete fall off of our audience engagement and an evaporation of sales and referrals.

Most marketers maintain a giant calendar with all the activity planned over the next few months. This is obviously important for the big items (trade shows and campaigns) but it is also import for the smaller, more easily maintained activities like blogging, social engagement, email sends, phone calls, etc. While these tasks may become slightly mundane or monotonous, they are still very important collectively over time.

If you fail to keep up your house it will fall into disrepair. Bringing it back to a normal state then requires more money, more time, and more frustration. Neglecting your website marketing efforts by not keeping a consistent schedule and constantly tweaking your message to keep your audience engaged will cause your marketing to fall into disrepair just as well. Then rebuilding the level of engagement you once had, or almost achieved, will require more time, more money, and more frustration. Keep it human, keep it consistent, and keep it meaningful.

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What Are Your Customers Searching For?

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I just finished up with a sales meeting and demo of our product.  The potential customer knows they need help (which is a great first step), but even better, one thing was said that made me note they are ahead of the game when it comes to understanding why they need help (going beyond the usual “we need more traffic” statement).  The company admitted they had no idea what their prospects called their products.  Of course they use their industry lingo, but how many different terms could be used to describe their product,  Judging by how many different synonyms he rattled off in a matter of seconds, I'd say quite a few.

Potato vs. Spud 
You say Potato, I say spud, or tuberous crop, or...get it?

It’s a problem that a lot of companies have…too much technical jargon.  Too much industrial speak.  So, how do you fix it?  Here are a few tips:

Utilize the Google Keyword tool

This tool will allow you to type in what you think people are searching for and present you with a list of other ideas to consider.  Don’t get too hung up on the numerical values here, as this is Google’s “data” that is being displayed.  Their goal is to entice you to purchase these terms via Adwords, so just realize that higher numbers (global search volume and local search volume) are a good thing.

Ask Your Existing Customers

Your existing customer base can give you invaluable information as to what they call your products.  Find out exactly what they refer to them as and begin to build your keyword lists from there.  If you’re in an industry that services many different verticals, make sure you survey someone from each specific niche…this will help tremendously.

Analytics Data

If your site is already equipped with Google Analytics, or some other platform, check out the “Keywords” section of how your visitors have found your site.  Skip over any branded terms, and begin to dig a bit deeper.  Find the terms that only sent 2, 3 or 10 visitors over the month.  There is a good chance that these are appropriate terms, your site just might not be optimized for them quite yet.

Now that you have a bit better idea of how to find out what your customers call your product, now what?  Well, it’s time to build specific content around the new terms.  It’s up to you or your marketing department to decide whether these new phrases warrant static pages on your site, or if they are good blog fodder.  Put that content management system to use and begin adding the revised content to your site. 

 

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How Easy is Marketpath CMS? Build a New Web Page in Minutes!

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The holidays and the Super Bowl are over, so it’s time to get back to our “How Easy is Marketpath CMS” series.  This week, we’ll demonstrate how easy it is to create a brand new web page using Marketpath CMS, our web content management system for small businesses.   

Think about it.  Marketpath lets you create any type of new page in minutes: new product pages, promotional offers, event pages, news, resources pages, project galleries, and more.  Now days, online success is all about content marketing - and we’ll let you easily create the content and calls-to-action your business needs to enhance customer engagement, increase credibility and create leads.  In short- we’ll make your website and online marketing easy

Keep an eye out for our next installment to see how Marketpath lets you easily manage your website’s on-page SEO.

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Marketpath Named 2011 Innovation of the Year Finalist

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Marketpath named Techpoint MIRA Award finalist for 2011 Innovation of the YearMarketpath is excited to be named as one of three finalists for the 2011 Innovation of the Year Award as part of Techpoint's 12th annual Mira Awards initiative. The Mira Awards, which recognize excellence and achievement of Indiana's outstanding technology industry performers, annually include some of the technology industry's leading companies and individuals.

Marketpath is being recognized this year for a comprehensive internet marketing solution for automotive dealers, developed in conjunction with DriveVelocity, a Marketpath partner who specializes in marketing automation for the auto industry. The solution, branded "Customer Relation Automation," seamlessly integrates a dealer's website, campaign management, and CRM into a cost-effective and measureable solution to dramatically enhance the dealer's communications and marketing. The groundbreaking system seamlessly integrates previously disparate systems and processes, to drive customer interactions and enhanced service, while more clearly measuring results. Customer Relation Automation communicates and gathers data at key touch-points, providing a personalized, multi-channel experience for a dealer's prospects and customers, adding value and enhancing their experience throughout the customer life-cycle.

Congratulations also to Exact Target and i2iConnect, the other finalists for this year's Innovation of the Year Award. Stayed tuned until May 7th, when the winner will be revealed at the Mira Awards Gala. Marketpath looks forward to developing more innovative web marketing solutions in the future.

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