Hacked! Prevention & Recovery 1

Hacked! Prevention & Recovery

If you own a website, the chances of being hacked are real. It happens to big companies as well as small, and most likely you’ve already been affected by a hack. As they say, there are two types of consumers: those who’ve been hacked and those who don’t know they’ve been hacked.

As a website owner, a hacked website means lost revenue and even worse, loss of customer trust. This article will help you know how to protect your site from hackers and if you do get hacked, critical steps you’ll need to take to recover. Read more

Who *Really* Owns Your Website? 2

Who *Really* Owns Your Website?

You’re way too busy running your business and in a rush to get your website up. Since you’re not very tech savvy and you’re preoccupied with your own work, you trust your developer to get your domain registered and get your site set up on a good host. It’s a very normal to leave it to your web tech to handle these tasks. I’ve done it myself for many of my clients. Perhaps I even did it for you.

In the early days of the web (I remember them well), it might have made sense. The internet was as ethereal as space exploration and only a few people knew how to navigate. I remember creating websites for business owners who had never used email. I even helped a couple people learn how to use a mouse.

These days, we’re much more comfortable with computers and most have at least a fair idea of how the internet works. Still, many still don’t understand the basics of website ownership. If you’re one of them, I’m about to enlighten you. Why is it important that you learn a bit of geek? Because you may be in a highly vulnerable position and not actually own your website. Read more

Top 10 Email Marketing Platforms 3

Top 10 Email Marketing Platforms

Email marketing continues to be one of the most effective tactics in digital marketing. There are a number of platforms to select from (and new ones popping up every day), making it difficult to figure out which platform is best for you.  While all platforms have pre-made templates so you won’t need to hire a developer to create a custom HTML template, but beyond that, their features can widely differ. Some of these options include free accounts, drip campaigns, integration with CRMs, drag and drop, etc. We’ve curated the top ten email marketing platforms for you to help you find the best fit for your needs and strategy. Read more

Proper Care & Feeding of Your WordPress Website 4

Proper Care & Feeding of Your WordPress Website

Your website is like your pet—it needs continued care and maintenance. Website content updates (the new posts, text, photos, events, etc, that you do regularly) will help keep site visitors and search engines happy. Yet content updates aren’t the same as technical care and updates. Technical updates are essential for a healthy, fully functioning website. Your website is built on thousands (and thousands and thousands) of lines of code. Even with regular maintenance and updates, you may still experience glitches.

Even if you’re a technophobe, I beg you not to glaze over the following information. If you own a website, you need to be a responsible website owner.

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SEO & Integrity

First rule for effective SEO: Don’t panic!

Many small business owners, upon learning of the importance of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), immediately leap into a frenzied state for which they’ll fork over money to anyone who promises to handle this mysterious, internet success and online life-threatening mandate for them. If you’re freaking out, trust me—someone out there is eagerly waiting to sell you some snake oil.

Breathe…breathe…

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Don’t Try to Reason with your Customers

As a small business owner, you need to accept what sales and marketing professionals have always known: people make decisions based on emotions. In today’s world, we have the studies in neuroscience and consumer behavior to prove it. Big corporations use this knowledge to lure customers away from you but if selling is a game, you have home field advantage. You can provide vital, emotional connections that big chains can only dream about.

We like to think of ourselves as rational, intelligent beings but when it comes to making buying decisions, the reasoning mind simply can’t perform. In Antonio Damasio’s book Descartes Error, he shares his studies on measuring the connections between thinking and emotions. When presented all the facts necessary for making a decision, people were unable to make a choice when they couldn’t access how they felt about the options. In short, your marketing should engage your customers’ dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. Read more

The New Popular Kids: Retailers with a Plan

There is good news for retail store owners. A 2014 survey by Accenture shows that 21% of U.S. shoppers plan to increase their in-store purchasing! This has more than doubled from the previous year. After years of being declined as the outcasts, retailers can finally re-take their vital place in the community. That is, if they are prepared.

As traditional and new media continue rapidly evolving, the retail environment becomes more and more important. As a retail owner, you need to laser in on the solution to, “How do we convert passive shoppers into active buyers?” Before the shopper steps through your doorway, you’ll want a Shopper Marketing strategy as a first step.

Presentation is the next step.  Does your retail environment provide an atmosphere the shopper can relate or aspire to? What about the presentation of the products on the shelves or kiosks? Does the presentation support your brand as an independent shop? Does it appeal to the shopper, drawing him in to understand how that product can make his life better?

As the shopper stares at your products, does her experience in your store surround her with the support she needs to say “Yes! I want that!” Be aware, that today’s shopper is also likely to use a smartphone in-store when considering a purchase.  When doing so, only 19% of shoppers actually complete the purchase in-store. What are you doing to meet that behavior? Are you leveraging it to develop loyal customers?

Your sales and floor staff are also key. We’ve all had the experience of shopping in a store where the sales staff made us feel like we were interrupting their day. They couldn’t have cared less if we made a purchase or not. The flip side of this, equally as off putting, is an over-eager staff. No one wants to feel pushed or bugged.

Staff needs to understand your brand and how it translates into the way they engage the shopper. This knowledge combined with adequate self-awareness empowers your staff to genuinely assist the shopper and will lead to more purchases and greater customer satisfaction.

If you need help with your Shopper Marketing Strategy, Customer Experience or Brand / Culture Development, Big Vision Media Group can help. We are qualified and committed to independent businesses and the communities that support them.

Your Place in History

It’s fifteen minutes to 1AM, well past my regular bedtime, whatever that may be. This night I’m purposefully staying up to see the blood moon. Though I’m not an astronomer of any kind, I do find it fascinating to think I have the opportunity to see a natural phenomenon four times over the next year or so that was never remotely possible for Mozart, George Washington or Abraham Lincoln. For the fleeting hour to come, I’ll have a sense of history in the making.

In reality, we are all —in every moment—making history. We may not end up in the history books or e-readers or whatever technology delivers information to the future, but we are each in our own way creating the culture that will be studied. Your business is a part of the history being written. What legacy will you leave?

Knowing the Supply Chain

A video released earlier this month highlights the problem with irresponsible supply chain selection. Some companies simply make supply chain decisions never considering the conditions or standards of their sources. They focus solely on price, forgetting there are other serious “costs” involved. Read more

Cinco de Mayo

It’s not every day that you get to watch people set aside the normal daily cares of life to simply enjoy the art of being. For Luna Azteca, Cinco de Mayo is one of the days. This is the second Cinco de Mayo I’ve been lucky enough to share with these beautiful people. They infuse each moment with the happiness of family, friends and the basic enjoyment of being alive in a community of love.

 

Long live community!