“Why do I have a website?”

Have you ever stopped to ask yourself that question? Is it just so you can show up somewhere online? Is it so that customers can get to know you before they hire you? Is it so you can talk about your huge vision for bettering the world? Is it so people can download your ebook?

All of these are valid answers, but the important thing is that you know what you’re trying to say, and why you’re trying to say it. That’s called content strategy, and if you don’t have one, your website probably won’t fare well.

Last week we talked about The 11 Design Don’ts for 2017 Website. Now, let’s talk content. Here are nine things you . . .

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If your business is like most, your website is a huge part of your marketing and sales success. (81% of shoppers research online before buying. And that percentage increases to 94% when talking about B2B buyers!)

Of course, if you’re selling products directly from your website, this is absolutely true. But even if you’re selling services that require an in-person sale, your website can be one of your biggest marketing tools.

Knowing how important your website is, continually optimizing is your best chance to get more (and better) qualified leads and sales. Sometimes optimizing your website means just some tweaks here and there. And sometimes it demands a complete overhaul.

Either way – whether you’re making some tweaks or redesigning the whole website from . . .

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In one of my former jobs, I was conducting a highly-complex systems training session with a group of people…and I had a “challenging” leadership moment. It was the kind of moment where corporate politics was the game, jockeying for position was the play, and keeping my cool in the middle of it all was the only wild card I had. You’ve probably been there as a marketing leader. It sucks. It’s the kind of situation where you can’t wait to get home and vent to whoever will listen (my cat got an earful that day).

Let me set the scene for you:

The class I was teaching had a pre-determined list of tasks that participants had to accomplish before the class was . . .

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The internet is awash in ‘proven marketing strategies’ and the latest trendy tactics to grow your business. But with so many ideas, it can be hard to know which ones are worth pursuing and which ones are not a good fit for the way your business runs and the market you’re in. And many tactics just don’t translate to every business. So which ones to pick?

Well, let’s start with the fundamental.

Communicate your big ‘Why’…clearly.

As Simon Sinek says: “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. And what you do simply proves what you believe.” For most businesses, the story of why the owner or founder started the business and the mission the business continues to carry out . . .

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How Not to Kill Your Marketing Team

Shepherds. They tend their sheep daily. They guide them, rear them, and teach them. It is their duty to protect the flock and count each sheep’s lil’ fluffy head to ensure none have wandered astray. For thousands of years, shepherds have watched over their flocks with care.

I’ve heard business leaders use the analogy of shepherds and sheep when they talk about managing their workforces. The analogy can be poignant. If there’s a leader (shepherd) who cares for his or her employees (sheep), protects them, and guides them along their way in developing their skills and furthering their careers, I know I’d want to be part of that shepherd’s flock! Wouldn’t you? It sounds great!

Here’s the rub…and it’s not a fluffy . . .

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Oh boy have things gotten heated in the world of advertising and marketing!

Political ads and radical brands are certainly on the rise in our new American political order, as FastCo recently discussed. It is becoming quite ‘en vogue’ to use politics as yet another tool in the marketing tool belt.

I’ve certainly seen this confirmed in recent events, not least being the various politically-tinged ads during the last Super Bowl. And of course there’s the politically-fueled feud that erupted between Uber and Lyft the weekend of Trump’s immigration policy announcement a few weeks ago. This was a particularly interesting episode in the saga of brands dealing with politics that directly affect their staff and customers. (If you haven’t heard much about this . . .

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You can’t wait until your project is “perfect” – you’ll never introduce it to the world…because perfect is a lie. Sometimes it’s better to ship it, gather feedback, then make it better. Plus, your community can give you important outside perspectives and ideas. You can’t get to remarkable on your own.

That’s pretty much where we were with our Brand Maturity Assessment. You know how we always say, “Iterate, then re-iterate?” We don’t just preach it. We actually did it.

The first version of the assessment was a great…first version! With the amazing feedback we received from clients and our community, we’ve built out the meat of the report and made the assessment itself more intuitive.

Here’s what’s new:

Tool tips that can give . . .

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You know that sensation you get when you feel yourself being equally pulled in 87 different directions? That unmistakeable strain and just a touch of anxiety? Well, that’s been Mike…pretty much all year. Sometimes being a CEO is mostly about figuring out things you don’t have to do.

Enter Eric.

Eric came to Resound mainly to manage our creative team and delight our clients. He comes from a background in military and law enforcement, which is obviously quite perfect for wrangling us creative cats.

After earning his BA in Psychology (minor in Child Development) from ASU, Eric went straight into law enforcement after a military officer training experience. Sidenote: boot camp was fun for him…so we’re a little nervous. While he had sights . . .

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A video posted by Mike Jones (@remarkamike) on Nov 15, 2016 at 7:58am PST

It seems like the business conference industry is hitting a new high.

Beyond the big guys like SXSW, CES, Inbound, and Dreamforce, I’m seeing loads of other conferences joining the space. And it’s been fun seeing some newer conferences starting up in the Phoenix area – like last week’s NextCon (put on by Nextiva).

When I first discovered NextCon earlier this year, I was intrigued:

it’s Nextiva’s first time putting on this conference
they had some big-time speakers lined up (Steve Wozniak and Guy Kawasaki)
they hosted it locally in . . .

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Every year, the folks at AIGA Arizona put on Phoenix Design Week – a week dedicated to the vibrant design community in Phoenix. The week typically kicks off with Method + Madness, a two-day design conference hosted in the heart of Downtown Phoenix.

I attended both days of the conference, held down the fort at our Taftly pop-up shop, and picked up some valuable insights from the presenting speakers.

The first day began with a keynote speech from AIGA Director, Julie Anixter. She talked about how understanding the business of design is just as important as understanding design itself. Designers are more than just designers – they’re facilitators, leaders, researchers, system thinkers, narrators, visualizers, strategists, educators, innovators, and entrepreneurs.

If designers understand the . . .

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