Browse the archive of articles written by Maple Marketing:

It’s about the journey, not the destination – or is it??

It’s time for “the talk”. You know the one. The “where are we going” talk. You’ve probably had it in one of your past relationships. You’re cruising along, doing your thing, having some fun. But the other person can’t deal with just the day-to-day. They want to know where things are heading – whether the time and effort is going to be worth it. They want reassurance that the “after” picture is going to look better than the “before” picture.

Business is like that.

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5 Key Things to Make Your Marketing Work

Have you ever tried some marketing activity, only to find that it didn’t work? Over the years of working with small and medium sized businesses, I’ve heard this a lot: “Oh, we tried some marketing, but it didn’t work.” As a result, they become a little sceptical about marketing in general, and often think it’s an easy way to waste money.

If you do it right, there are 5 key things to do to make your marketing work.

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Pricing – should you mention prices in your marketing materials?

The topic of where and when a business should state its prices an interesting one – and it’s something that business owners ask me about often. Should you state your prices in your marketing materials, such as your website or brochure?

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How to do good marketing – be more human, be yourself

The key to good marketing is marketing that helps you connect with more prospects and clients and create more revenue. I always say that marketing is simply this: Getting the right message to the right audience.
How do you do this? There is one simple way, and that is, just be yourself.
But how do you do this when you're a company? How does a company connect with people?

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How to do effective customer research

If you’re a business owner, you’re probably always doing informal customer research – asking questions every time you talk to someone about your business. But it’s important to also schedule in some formal research at least once or twice a year, depending on the size and detail of your database.
Here are some key things to consider before, during and after you do any sort of customer research.

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Is Your Website Responsive or Mobile Friendly?

There has been talk online in news and discussion groups about “Mobilegeddon”. Have you heard about it? It refers to the day, 21 April 2015, when a new algorithm change from Google takes effect. What is the change and do you need to care?

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Three Things to Know About Using Facebook Ads

The beauty of Facebook advertising is that you are in complete control over how much you spend. Unlike other forms of online or print advertising that have set rate cards, with Facebook ads you decide how much you spend and how long you run an ad for.
So let’s look at a few ways to make your Facebook advertising strategic and targeted so you get the best bang for your buck.

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Four Key Things to Know About Facebook Likes

What’s the deal with Facebook likes? What pages should you like? Should you pay for likes?

Facebook likes and Facebook advertising are huge topics, but here are some tips to clear things up about business pages and “likes”.

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How to Find More Clients and Generate More Sales

If you’re a business owner, then you’re in the business of marketing. Effective marketing boils down to three key things that you need to do to find more clients, create more sales and generate more revenue.

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Demystifying Marketing

Marketing often gets a bad rap. From a customer's point of view, it is often perceived as something manipulative that sneaky marketers do to coerce us into buying things we don't need. From a business owner's perspective, marketing can be expensive, intangible and hard to measure for success or return on investment. Often I hear business owners say, “Oh, we tried some marketing, but it didn’t work”.

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How to avoid frustrating your customers

I have discovered the most annoying question you can ask a prospect: “What’s your budget?”
I was recently looking around for some branded promotional products for a client (pens, notepads, golf umbrellas, etc). This was the first thing several of the companies I contacted asked me – “what’s your budget?”

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How Marketing Your Business Is Like Running a Cafe

I was sitting in a cafe the other day enjoying great food and excellent service when something occurred to me – marketing a business is very much like running a cafe. Begin by breaking it down into these easy-to-understand components.

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Marketing for a new year – are you ready?

There are a lot of clichés when it comes to marketing. Two you hear often are “fail to plan, and plan to fail” as well as “if you want to know where you’re going, look at where you’ve come from”. Those come to mind because they’re true. Effective marketing is all about proper planning.

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Marketing for a start-up or new business

If you’re starting a new business, getting your company image right from the very beginning is crucial. As the old saying goes, you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Here are a few pointers to start off on the right track.

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An effective marketing technique you should be using

If you enter the phrase “top marketing trends” into a search engine, what you’ll find come up in several of the top results is “content marketing”. We’ve been saying it for years – content is king.

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How to write good website copy

For many business owners, writing their own website copy is a challenging task. If you choose not to outsource this work to a professional web writer, here are some helpful tips...

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How to apologise to a disappointed customer

The increasing use of smart phones and social media has changed the landscape of customer care for businesses. Word of mouth spreads faster than ever before, and how you as a business owner handle customer complaints is now a very public matter.

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The biggest marketing mistake and how to avoid it

You’ve updated your website content. You’ve set up a business Facebook page. The new brochures are printed and ready for use.

You’re off to a great start. So where does it all go wrong?

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Marketing can make your business worth more

Whether or not you have plans to one day sell your business, I believe you should run your business as if you were going to present it to prospective buyers. This does two things. First, it makes you think big – you begin to treat it as a saleable asset, not a hobby that earns you money. And second, it makes you operate on a different level day-to-day, putting systems in place that you might otherwise not be so diligent about if you planned to carry on as an owner-operator or solopreneur.

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Marketing is like dating

Marketing your business is like dating. Blind dates, one-night stands, unrequited loves, slow and steady suitors with honourable, long-term intentions – they all want different things and you need to know how to satisfy them all.

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How well does your business communicate?

Marketing, communications, advertising, promotions, publicity – do you know the difference? They’re all unique, yet for most businesses they serve the purpose of raising brand awareness and increasing revenue. Here we look at one of these, communications, in more detail.

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Is there ever a good time to DIY in your business?

I’m not a New Zealander by birth, but after living for a number of years now in Godzone I’m familiar with a few common Kiwi traits and habits. I’ve heard enough about the classic quarter-acre section and number 8 wire to know that New Zealanders are proud DIY-ers. Whether you can actually do it yourself matters not. What is important is that you give it a go. Put on your stubbies and have a bash. Yeah, no, she’ll be right.

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The importance of having a Copy Style Guide

Does your business have a copy style guide? Do you know the in-house guidelines when it comes to abbreviating the company name, referring to directors by name or title, or using industry jargon? Or is it a phraseology free-for-all where anything goes?

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Are you selling drill bits or are you selling holes?

Want to sell more of your product or service? Then you need to understand what people are buying. Sound simple? It is. But it’s not merely a case of looking at sales reports and seeing what the big sellers are.

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Word-of-mouse marketing

Should social networking sites be part of your marketing plan?
By now you’ve heard people talking about the latest tweets they’ve seen and boasting about the number of ‘friends’ they have. You’ve been forwarded a number of links to YouTube videos to watch. You’ve probably even received a few emails inviting you to get LinkedIn to someone you used to work with. You most likely already have a personal profile on one of the many social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter or MySpace. But are you still wondering whether or not your business should have its own profile?

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Effective web writing

What makes a website work?
To make the most of your website as a sales and marketing tool, your site must be both easy to find and easy to use by prospects and customers as well as having key components that improve your search engine optimisation. There are three key things that contribute to this: design, development and text.

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Misconceptions about marketing

Marketing often gets a bad rap. From a customer’s point of view, it is often perceived as something manipulative that sneaky marketers do to coerce us into buying things we don’t need. From a business owner’s perspective, marketing can be an expensive, intangible cost that is hard to measure for success or return on investment.

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