I hate to say it, but I told you so …

This came as an email from Google on July 6, 2014:

A Farewell to Orkut

After ten years of sparking conversations and forging connections, we have decided that it’s time for us to start saying goodbye to Orkut. Over the past decade, YouTube, Blogger and Google+ have taken off, with communities springing up in every corner of the world. Because the growth of these communities has outpaced Orkut’s growth, we’ve decided to focus our energy and resources on making these other social platforms as amazing as possible for everyone who uses them.

We will shut down Orkut on 30 September 2014. Until then, there will be no impact on you, so you may have time to manage the transition. You can export your profile data, community posts and photos using Google Takeout (available until September 2016). We are preserving an archive of all public communities, which will be available online from 30 September 2014. If you don’t want your posts or name to be included in the community archive, you can remove Orkut permanently from your Google account. Please visit our Help Centre for any further details.

It’s been a great 10 years, and we apologise to those of you still actively using the service. We hope that you will find other online communities to spark more conversations and build even more connections for the next decade and beyond.

What Mobile Marketing Can Do For Your Company

Were you aware that SMS messages are received and viewed within four minutes on average? This makes it pretty obvious that if you have not yet considered mobile marketing, this might be just what your company needs. Read this article for more great information just like this example.

Invest some time and effort into making your mobile marketing technique personal and customizable. If you are creating an application, make it unique and simple to use and consider providing customers with relevant customization options. If you are not creating a full blown application, at least make your mobile communications engaging and enjoyable.

Be sure to advertise your mobile marketing options via other communication channels such as social media sites, print campaigns and your web site. With the tremendous volume of mobile applications and trends available to customers, directing them to your mobile options may be the difference between them signing up and not knowing it is an option.

If you are making use of mobile marketing – send an occasional reminder message! If you have some sort of event coming up, you should remind your customers a few days ahead of time, as well as the day of the event itself. Customers are busy people, and may forget what they had wanted to do without a reminder from you.

Separate your customers. If you have a business that offers many different types of products or services, you may want to poll your customers to find out what they most want to hear about. Doing so can give you separate lists of customers with similar interests, so you will be able to send them information pertinent to them.

Your natural inclination may be to send out unsolicited messages with your new mobile marketing campaign, but spamming people is never the way to go in any campaign. It is a huge turn-off and can possibly leave a permanent stain on your reputation and cause you to lose regular customers.

Even if someone subscribes to your messages, they may still want to unsubscribe for whatever reasons, so make it easy for them to do so. In every single message that you’re sending out via mobile marketing, make sure you’re including an unsubscribe link so that people can opt out if they choose.

If you have people working for you, make sure you explain to them how and how not to approach social media. Your mobile presence is very important here, and the last thing you need is someone representing your company poorly by deciding to spam social sites or to present your company in a bad light.

Make sure to conduct a usability test before rolling out your mobile marketing campaign to your consumers. Ask friends, family, employees or all of the above to receive your messages, respond and ask for their honest opinion of the experience. This way you will make sure everything works to provide the best experience for your customers.

In conclusion, there is a lot to learn about mobile marketing and a lot that you can do to help spread the word about your organization. Use the advice provided to you and use it in a way that works for you. Ideally, you can hit your target market with the utmost of accuracy.

Does Your Marketing Pass This 10-Point Test?

Good marketing, whatever form it takes, always meets certain criteria. That’s what makes it good. The following 10-Point checklist will help you determine if your marketing passes the test.

Evaluate one of your recent ads, promotions or other marketing activities to see how it measures up.

1. Does it focus on the solution or benefit you provide?

Too often ads simply list product or service features. Don’t make your prospects work that hard to figure out how your product or service can help them. Tell them straight out.

2. Does it have one, clear message?

What’s the one message you want to communicate? Make sure it’s not buried in too much information or it may not get across.

3. Is it focused on one, specific group of prospects?

Do you know who you are talking (and marketing) to? Make sure your marketing is targeted at one, specific group of prospects – it’s the only way to make sure you are addressing their needs.

4. Is it written in language these prospects can relate to?

If you want your message to resonate with your prospects, make sure it speaks to them, both in content and in the tone and language you use.

5. Does it feature your Unique Selling Proposition?

This is the ONE thing that sets you apart from every other product or service your prospect could possible buy to fulfill the same need. It better come across loud and clear in everything you do

6. Does it have one, compelling point of focus?

Ever see an ad with so many things in it you didn’t know where to look first? Your prospects won’t know either if you try to cram too much into your ads or promotional materials.

7. Does it accurately communicate your business’ personality?

Yes, your business has a personality and everything you do should reflect it. You want your prospects to feel like they “know” you. If you change your personality every week, they won’t come to know and trust you.

8. Does it give prospects more than one reason to respond?

Not everyone is ready to buy, or take the one, primary action you want them to take. Make sure you give them another reason to respond, or they are simply a lost lead.

9. Does it give prospects more than one way to respond?

Make it easy and convenient for prospects to take action. What if you only offer an email or web site address and someone doesn’t have computer access, or they’re away from their office but they want more information right now?

10. Do you have a specific objective for the marketing?

If you don’t know what your marketing is designed to achieve, then how will you know if it was successful? Always have a plan and an objective for everything you do.

3 Steps to Creating A Knockout Corporate Logo For Dum Dums

A corporate looking logo can effectively make you look far more important than you actually are. By adopting this simple 1,2,3 step guide we can turn your existing crummy logo into a world beating effort – garaunteed to impress the ladieees.

Step 1 – Choose a dull font such as helvetica
In the world of high flying executives and corporate back slapping deals done upon yachts etc. the one thing almost all self-made millionaires will agree on is that you must give the impression that your company is a straightlaced solemn outfit. Standard fontfaces such as helvetica or times will signify your ability to fit in with suits without ruffling too many feathers and will be looked favourably upon by those all important investors looking to harvest some of their cash in your business.

Step 2 – Choose a dull colour such as grey
Battleship grey – has there ever been a colour more appropriate for the deadening nature of high corporate investiture? No, not by my reckoning at any rate. But surely a grey logo among a sea of other bland logos is just going to get lost isn’t it? Hmmm, I’ve got to hand it to you, you’re right but do you know what – if we add a smidgin of royal blue somewhere within our hypothetical logo we achieve the type of chin stroking brilliance that committee members and associate directors can spend literally minutes debating before abstaining to the golf course and soho massage parlours.

Step 3 – Choose a dull symbol such as a circle
Right this is where our creative minds get to have some fun. Do we put the grey/blue circle before the words or after? Above or below? Whatever you choose to do make sure it doesn’t involve anything too clever or inspiring. Remember our aim here is to look ‘corporate’ and sensible not like some kind of fun loving chimps, you gets me. Right the logo should be just about complete and ready to enter the exhilarating world of corporate high life. To celebrate why not throw a lavish party inviting your corporate buddies like Dave and Steve from down the pub?

To summarise, what we want to achieve is an air of ‘dullness’ yet reliability. Choose a dull font, keep the colour palette strictly dull- nothing too interesting and if you must add a quirky symbol of some sort make sure it keeps well within the dull spectrum of ideas i.e. a circle or square. Corporate Logo Design is not rocket science but if you want to give off the right impression you’ve got to go with the flow.

Business To Business Email Marketing

Email marketing is an extremely efficient and effective method of increasing your sales and your customer base, but as with so many other marketing tools, if you don’t know what you’re doing it can actually cause more harm than good. Don’t ever forget that you are marketing to other companies and not individuals so your messages need to be tailored to your actual audience. When your company is trying to establish a business to business email marketing strategy, there are significant differences in your approach then if you were working on a business to consumer campaign.

Here are a few of the major points you need to consider in order to create a more effective and profitable email marketing campaign:

1. Keep it simple. If you were to meet with a prospect in person you would make sure that your pitch were straight to the point. When sending B2B emails you want to achieve the same no nonsense tone. Their time is valuable and you want to prove to them that you appreciate that fact by getting right down to business in your email, just as you would if you were talking to them in person.

2. Don’t forget the “WIIFM” (what’s in it for me) approach to your email messages. Make sure that you clearly articulate what advantages your company can provide to their company and why it just makes sense for them to do business with you. You have to structure your email message in such as way as to set yourself apart from the competition.

3. Don’t be afraid to ask them for their business. If you don’t have a clear call to action such as ‘click here now’, for example, they may not do anything. It’s one of the most common mistakes marketers make, they don’t ask the prospect to actually take action, they fail to ask for the sale. Don’t make this mistake.

4. To optimize the effectiveness of your email campaign make sure you take the time to learn more about your prospects business and what you can do to help them. This information can prove extremely helpful when you are composing your email message. By being able to add specific points to your email that would only apply to their particular business you are letting them know that you’ve taken the time to learn about their company and their needs which will help you build trust with them.

5. Remember, this is a business that has their own marketing campaigns and they are familiar with all the tricks. Don’t try too hard to ‘sell’ them. Keep your message short and on point and then follow up with a firm and clear call to action.

6. Track your results. You want to keep track of open rates as well as an increase in sales and/ or customers. It’s important for you to know which campaigns work and which ones didn’t. This information will allow you to tweak the ones that work and reuse them and start from scratch on some of the less effective campaigns.

Email marketing can be a huge benefit to any business building strategy. Take the time to research your market before you implement your business to business email marketing plan. This added step will allow you to make more money and increase your customer base for a very small investment.