One of the best ways to show a company’s expertise in their industry is by authoring and publishing white papers. White papers are informative reports examining relevant industry issues, and often offering guidance on a solution. As a marketing tool they are extremely effective for both content marketing as well as to demonstrate expertise to prospective clients/customers.
Improving Your LinkedIn Sales Performance
A Step-by-Step Guide from Kompani Group
Over the past few years, LinkedIn has started to evolve to be more than just a good online networking tool. Many astute sales people are now using it to source and farm new sales leads. The thinking is simple: you’re more likely to make a purchase from someone you know, or from someone recommended by a trusted colleague or friend. So by expanding your LinkedIn network, you can reach possible prospects from a more confident position.
Why HTTPS Matters for Your Mobile-Responsive Website
Get Kompani Group’s Help with Upcoming Google Changes
We all know that Google is the top search engine in the world, which is why it’s extremely important to make sure your website is optimized to get the most favorable search results possible from the internet giant.
At Kompani Group, we’ve been guiding our clients through many of Google’s most recent changes – including how mobile-responsive sites rank higher on searches performed on mobile devices, and an upcoming feature in which Google will begin tagging sites without HTTPS as ‘Non Secure’ when viewing in Chrome.
Chrome is Tagging HTTP Sites as “Not Secure” Starting 2017
In Google’s upcoming release of its popular Chrome Browser, there will be a number of updated features designed to make web browsing safer, quicker, and easier for all users.
But businesses and web-site owners should be aware – the newest Chrome version will also begin tagging all HTTP sites as “non secure.”
What’s my….what? Your mantra, you know, the three or so words strung together in perfect harmony to describe the culture and philosophy of your company. It can be clever, catchy, funny, bold, provocative, or even silly as long as people remember it and attribute it to your company.
A motto, or mantra is an all-inclusive message that allows us to belong to something bigger than ourselves. It attracts our attention and joins us together. Your company mantra should be relevant, engaging and inspirational or thought provoking, depending on your business and the message you want to share with the world about who you are and what you believe, deeply and truly.
Let’s face it, lot’s of money is budgeted for sales leads generated from online advertising, print ads, radio, networking, Pay-Per-Clicks or whatever method your company uses to get them. Unfortunately most leads never materialize into a sale and the money spent to capture them is wasted. As an example, one of our local new home builders estimates each prospect who walks into their sales office costs an average of $700 to get them there! Your cost might be less, but the goal is the same for any business-to convert those expensive leads to sales.
Investing in a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool
By no means are there only 11 good reasons to invest in a CRM, but we thought this list was a good start to show the importance of a CRM to help your team convert leads to sales. Let’s begin with what it does: the purpose of a business CRM is to act as a central hub for all of your company’s activities related to your customer interactions. It simplifies and organizes tasks such as customer follow up and notes, setting appointments, managing contacts, personalized steps required by your team for each prospect from start to finish, and monitoring any email marketing campaigns. A CRM pulls it all together in one place and provides you with analytics and reporting tools to oversee operations and to maximize your selling opportunities. Here are just a few reasons why you should consider choosing a CRM for your business in an infographic you can save for future reference or share:
The caveat before deciding on a CRM platform is that the returns will only be as good as the effort put into the program in the first place. Simply using a CRM as an address book is not a good return on your investment. There is a learning curve when implementing a CRM for the first time or when upgrading to a newer version, so training your team to properly utilize and maintain the many features a CRM has to offer your business is key. Once a CRM is utilized to it’s full potential, it can propel your company to a higher profit margin and surpass your competition with amazing customer service!
At Kompani Group we understand the importance of a strong business CRM, which is why we have helped hundreds of clients to integrate solutions such as Insightly and Salesforce to improve their sales process. We don’t just stop there; KG also trains and supports the sales team to optimize the many powerful tools these solutions offer. Are you interested in learning more? Get in touch, and we’ll tell you how we can get you started with your new CRM solution!
It was just over 6 months ago that Google announced that their world-leading search engine results would be making a big shift in favor of responsive websites. Since then, a lot of companies (including several of our own clients) have changed their approach to their online presence. But because it’s still a newer trend, we often get the question “What IS Responsive Web Design?”
So here are the basics:
Responsive Web Design (RWD) optimizes your website depending on the type of device being used to access it. So that means…
- Site design automatically resizes and adjusts for desktop and laptop monitors vs mobile phones and tablets. No need to scroll or stretch or skew unnecessarily
- Links are easily accessible even in small-space formats – which means appropriate spacing on small screens
- Seamless form submissions across platforms – allowing for easy keyboard entry as well as interactive system pop-ups for completing forms and fields
- Integrated browser add-ons or app functionality – if your customers need to download a PDF file, they should be able to do so regardless of the device – however desktops and laptops can add this functionality to browsers, and the Adobe app may be better for mobile devices.
Basics aside, RWD is also based in a number of technical aspects that aren’t often integrated into “standard” or templated websites. These are:
- Proportion based grids – essentially the fluid sizing element that scales design automatically by using percentages or proportions rather than static pixels or points
- Flexible images – also sized in relative units so they change when the rest of the site does
- CSS3 media queries – which is how sites “know” what size screen users are viewing the site on
- Implementation of different URLs (such as /mobile) to ensure ideal UX for any platform.
So it’s a bunch of small things that add up to a big impact… but that doesn’t mean you should consider doing some responsive upgrades and not others. The truth is, there’s no downside to making your website more user-friendly – only upsides like increased traffic, better sales, and more repeat visits.
In this marketing world where things are constantly evolving, it is quite important to stay on top of new trends, technology, research and best practices. As marketers, we are passionate about our industry and all the fast and challenging changes that come with it. When you start diving into the universe of marketing methods, it might be hard to wrap your head around the available information.
A good start would be to look at some of most common myths related to email marketing and try to better understand them.
1. Subscribers who have opted-in will always want to hear from you
Regardless of the methods you are using to grow your email marketing list, the most important is getting your subscriber’s permission. Of course, we are happy when we see people subscribing via forms on our website or blog, but this burst of happiness can decrease when we see that there is no engagement after a few months. Statistics show that 20%-25% of your email list will expire after a year since people get new jobs, change their email provider or a host of other reasons. Further, people tend to subscribe rapidly when you offer an incentive in exchange of their information. Subscribers who once took the time to fill out your form will most likely end up in your inactive users list.
The good news is that before they become inactive or even when they are, there are actions to be taken to either bring them back, on board, or to continue to harvest marketing awareness value out of them. Some of your customers will keep you top of mind by simply looking at your subject line. We’ll definitely go through all that, and other examples, in a future blog posts.
2. CAN-SPAM compliant = inbox
In spite of being fully CAN-SPAM compliant, your email might not land in your receiver’s inbox. The main reason might be your sender reputation. A lot of factors such as frequency, volume, hard bounce rate or spam trap hits make a significant difference, and that’s why it is important to monitor your campaigns. Your emails might also not reach inboxes because they are full or the email address is simply invalid – all items you can monitor and correct with the right visibility.
It is important to understand that in addition to being compliant, there is a lot to manage and improve upon to increase the likelihood of successful delivery.
3. The best time to send email is either on Tuesdays or Thursdays
The day all companies will sell the same product to the same type of customers with the same routine all over the world is when we might be able to define the perfect day and time to send an email. Every industry, every consumer, every product, every service has it’s own set of trends. It’s easy to say that deliverability in general is better on a certain day, but that simply may not be true for YOUR product or service. What is true, is that sending the right content to the right people at the right time will make a significant difference in your ROI. Thus, you absolutely need to test what works for your company and your customers. If you are starting email marketing, be patient and test different days of the week and times of the day. Depending on the size of your list and your email frequency, it will often take a few months of testing to get enough data to define the best combination of day/time in terms of engagement quality.
4. The most indicative email marketing metric is your open rate
The open rate happens to be one of the most misleading email marketing metrics for the simple reason that it is unreliable. Here are a few reasons why:
- Because the open rate count happens when the graphic pixel inserted in your email is downloaded, a user that only has text format enable might read the email, but no open count will be registered. This happens with several email providers and it is frequent on mobile device. It might also be a personal preference.
- Some emails might only be read in preview which won’t trigger the pixel download.
That being said, don’t completely disregard opens. The open rate is a useful comparative metric for A/B testing different subject lines for example. But if you want to report to the CEO on the effectiveness of your campaign, you can skip the open rate metric.
5. It is not recommended to send the same email more than once.
Why not? It is a low cost practice that can easily drives sales and engagement. We would recommend you take the time to slightly tweak the message with a new subject line, add a new banner, rotate the products or modify the hero image. But why spend time on writing and designing a piece that has been working? According to The State of the Email Marketing by Industry 2016 report from Get Response, an email marketing and online campaign management, the open rate average for all industries is 21.73%, which also means that 80% of your subscribers are not opening and could possibly open the next email you will send them. It’s worth the try, and the money and time saving!
6. Unsubscribes from my email list are bad
As much as it can be heartbreaking to see subscribers leaving you, keep in mind that this is part of a natural list cleanser and that you’ll always get new (and hopefully more) subscribers. As we saw previously, some people will only provide their email in exchange for a discount, or some people might realize that your product or service is not for them after sign-up. Again, simply keep in mind that a healthy unsubscribe rate should be under 1% and that it is better that someone unsubscribes instead of marking it as spam.
There are many other email marketing misconceptions out there and we will continue on this topic from time to time. If you have some in mind that would like for us to “de-myth-ify,” then simply leave a comment and share this post if you liked it!
You’ll hear a lot of us in the design and marketing field talk about UX – and it may sound like a techy buzz word, but it’s quite possibly the most important aspect of what makes a website a success or failure.
UX is simply “User eXperience” and it goes well beyond how things look, what the content says, and how the back end functionality works. Actually – it’s how all these things work together, because UX is the “big picture” scenario of how well (or poorly) a website is received by its intended audience.
Take for example our own website, which we recently updated for a better UX. Previously, the Kompani Group site followed a format we’re all pretty familiar with – top menu navigation, linked pages, a somewhat linear flow of information. And while it was a solid, working site, it wasn’t addressing all the ways people come to KompaniGroup.com. Look at you, for starters… you’re here because of a link to this blog post in an email sent directly to you. Or, you’ve come directly to this page from a search engine link. Or you may have come to this page right through the front door of the site and navigated yourself here. We had to consider the many pathways people take when interacting with our site, and realized there were some things we could do better.
- One of the first was the concept of infinite scrolling. We realized that scrolling to info is easier and faster on touch screens on tablets, mobile devices, and laptops. So we made sure it wasn’t just about clicking links.
- We also rethought the way we present information. This meant featuring what we “do” rather than what we “offer.” It’s a small shift with big implications – and we used web analytics to drive that decision. Our users wanted to get to the “end solution” quicker – so we chose to lead with that in our messaging and navigation.
- In rearranging and redesigning, we also found a few additional opportunities to update imagery and content to reflect a more active, dynamic, engaged side of our brand – the side that comes from our person-to-person approach to client service… so we wove that into the UX as well.
Of course, every business is different. We recently updated a site for our client V2T to have a better UX. Again, we focused on prioritizing the type of information people wanted and placing it within better reach, and then enhancing the visual aspect to draw people through that information. For an e-retail client, BSI Medical Supply, we had completely refurbished the back end functionality of the site, and needed the front-end UX to reflect that improved shopping and purchasing experience.
The next time you look at your own website, try doing so as though you’ve never been to it before. Visit from a different device than usual. Or, sit over the shoulder of someone who’s never once been to your site and see what they have to say. You may be surprised at what you learn about UX.
Election season is upon us and as I process the chaos, excitement, and diversity of the political landscape, I’m reminded of a fantastic political drama and one of my favorite television shows of all time – The West Wing. This is such an exciting time for our country, and I’d like to pay tribute to American politics and good television by sharing what I’ve learned from the show.
I loved The West Wing. It was funny, dramatic and intense. But, more than anything else, it portrayed a group of high-performing, highly intelligent individuals collaborating on important work. I found these distinctive characteristics to be stimulating because I, too, strive to be a high-performing individual and dedicate my time to important tasks. I was able to extract four key lessons from The West Wing that will contribute to performance and productivity in both your business and personal lives. These may be things you hear in business every day, and you can certainly witness them in action when watching The West Wing.
The first thing is the impact you can have on the world around you. The West Wing may differ greatly from your life experiences (obviously) because people are working in the White House and affecting policy change. Maybe that is your case, and in that case you should take that work seriously. But impact is also entirely relevant whether you are working in food service, packing boxes, or selling or delivering any product or service. We all have impact that we can make. If you want to explore this concept a bit more you can look at Steven Covey’s 7 Habits for Highly Effective People. He talks about our circle of influence. To understand your circle of influence is to understand what things you can impact. Make sure you focus your time elements that are within that circle. As you do that, your circle of influence will grow and you will have greater impact on more of the world around you.
The second lesson is cause. Find a cause. Commit yourself to your cause. Some people’s cause is finding lifestyle design and finding a way to balance family, play, work, and leisure. These are important causes and the same can be applied to those. However, my intent is to speak specifically to high-performing individuals, people looking to accomplish much with their lives, and folks committed to who they are personally. They commit to a specific goal or mission in life. They want to excel or be the best way they can be in something specific.
When you commit yourself to a cause, think of yourself as a professional athlete. Your cause is your sport. Commit to your sport. Athletes live, eat, sleep, and breath their cause. They are the first person on the field and last person off. Their diet is reflective of what they are trying to accomplish. Their sleep habits and the activities they engage in are indicative of their goals. Find your cause and commit to your cause. Are you working every day like you are committed both to increasing your circle of influence and to defining your cause?
The next thing is teamwork. It is such an important element. When you look at The West Wing, you’ve got these people – all in different departments, all doing different kinds of work, all high performing individuals – that are committed to teamwork. They always stopped when it was important, and they would come together with their team to decide the best course of action. Are we moving together in this? I want to bounce an idea off of you. This is what I’m thinking…Does that work? This is how I’m going to explain it to someone else. Shoot holes in my ideas and theories.
Just because you are dependent on other people doesn’t mean that you are any weaker. Covey talks about interdependence. This is where you are a fully independent person, strong and capable, able to accomplish things, but at the same time, you’re still improving the impact that you can have by working with others. So please, use teamwork. Take the opportunity to consider the thoughts, ideas, and perspectives of the people around you. It is to everyone’s benefit.
The last thing I will talk about is delivering solutions. This is one of the earliest lessons you can learn in your career, and it will carry you so far. People in all stages of their careers do not necessarily focus on solutions, and I’m specifically talking about bringing solutions not problems. If you are in business, education, politics – whatever it is – there are always going to be problems. There are always going to be fires that need to be put out, issues to deal with, and concerns arising. But rather than taking that problem and running to your team or supervisors, first, stop. Think about a solution to the problem. Use those creative juices. Everybody’s got them. Think about what you can do about this problem, and then deliver the problem and the solution to the team. They may not use your solution. Your idea may not be the best solution, and working with the team will help you discover that. But that doesn’t matter. The most important thing you can do is stop and come up with a solution. You may not find the best one, but come up with it. The intellectual dexterity that you will develop by starting to think through solutions on your own and taking those to the team not only will help you grow personally and professionally, but it will give you greater credibility with your peers in a professional environment. When you’re bringing solutions, again, even if they’re not the best ones, it shows that you’re thinking and trying to accomplish something. It will inspire confidence and creativity from others.
All of these lessons – impact, cause, teamwork, and delivering solutions – are really important. It’s not an exhaustive list, and they are certainly not the keys for every business. If you want to see these things in action, The West Wing is a great place to do it.