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5 Worst Trade Show Blunders

Bungalo

Last week, I spent two full days walking the floor in Orlando at the International Builder Show (NAHB). The investment that firms make in booth space, set up, and staffing, make these shows extremely expensive to participate in. Once those dollars are spent though, the incremental effort of the people on the floor make or break the true effectiveness of this marketing tactic. I ran into 5 firms that flushed 100% of their investment down the tubes through the following actions by their sales reps: 1. Sales rep openly mentions, “I would quit my job and work somewhere else if I could.”

5 Secrets to a Successful CoTY Award Binder

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It’s that time again, the deadline for CoTY Award Binder Submissions is 1 PM Thursday, September 29, 2011. just got off the phone with Tim Chase from NARI-MN. Here are Tim’s Secrets to making your project a winner. 1. Tell your story. good story will stand out and is just as important as the photos. According to Tim, “The idea is to do this part really well.” ” Some companies are not wordsmiths, so they find someone to help them. Choose your words carefully. clear, compelling story can be told in few words. 2. Choose Photos Carefully. ” 3. script. ” 5.

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Your Piece of the Pie

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For anyone who reads Inc. Magazine, you were probably quite happy to see the “residential construction” market as one of the four “Fast Growth, Big Profits” categories. Simply the article states, “that by 2017 industry-wide revenue is expected to top $303 billion, a 63% increase.” ” What will this mean for your business? Filed under: strategy. strategy

How to add the neighbors to your database

Bungalo

Last fall I was invited to an open house, hosted by a Minneapolis Design-Build company at my neighbor’s house down the block. The event was VERY well attended, and everyone who saw the project was impressed by  the quality of the work. Last week I learned that this same builder is hosting a cooking demonstration at a local showroom. But he had not sent me an invitation. Step 1. Step 2.

150 Content Marketing Tips

Drive traffic—and leads—with these tips for SEO, social media, content optimization, email marketing, and more.

Last time sewer line cleaned: 1997

Bungalo

About a week ago Acme Drain Cleaning Service left a flyer on my front doorstep. The flyer got my attention, and made me think about getting the sewer line between the house and the street cleaned out. It’s bright yellow and I left it on my desk as a reminder of the possible disaster awaiting me and my checkbook if I ignored this important issue too long. Should I call these guys?

Last time sewer line cleaned: 1997

Bungalo

About a week ago Acme Drain Cleaning Service left a flyer on my front doorstep. The flyer got my attention, and made me think about getting the sewer line between the house and the street cleaned out. It’s bright yellow and I left it on my desk as a reminder of the possible disaster awaiting me and my checkbook if I ignored this important issue too long. Should I call these guys?

Googled: referrals weak connections

Bungalo

Researching an article on networking for NARI Remodeler’s Journal, I was wondering: Do referrals come from weak connections? So I  Googled “referrals weak connections&# and came upon this terrific post by Peppers and Rogers Group: Harnessing the power of your weak ties. Which is why it’s important to keep track of everyone you know, and find ways to maintain those connections.

Googled: referrals weak connections

Bungalo

Researching an article on networking for NARI Remodeler’s Journal, I was wondering: Do referrals come from weak connections? So I  Googled “referrals weak connections&# and came upon this terrific post by Peppers and Rogers Group: Harnessing the power of your weak ties. Which is why it’s important to keep track of everyone you know, and find ways to maintain those connections.

Stop Killing Your Content: 3 Reasons Your Content Falls Flat

Each year B2B organizations spend more than $5.2 billion on content creation – and yet, many assets fail to provide true ROI. Download the eBook to avoid the three top problems that keep content from living up to its potential.

Net Worth

Bungalo

In small business,  many owners are not only trying to build income, but they are also trying to build their “net worth.&#. recently heard a new perspective (from Tim Ferris’s blog) on “net worth&# that relates to many firms in the building industry.    Most people derive “net worth&# by taking your assets and subtracting your liabilities. absolutely  confident  2.

Net Worth

Bungalo

In small business,  many owners are not only trying to build income, but they are also trying to build their “net worth.&#. recently heard a new perspective (from Tim Ferris’s blog) on “net worth&# that relates to many firms in the building industry.    Most people derive “net worth&# by taking your assets and subtracting your liabilities. absolutely  confident  2.

Do homeowners tweet about contractors?

Bungalo

Yes — not all but some — Like Katie Wolfe of St. Paul Minnesota. Katie is a marketer for a B2B technology company. Like lots of young women she’s savvy about social media. Guess how many twitter followers she has? And she’s following 538. That’s a pretty decent social network! She tweets about stuff she likes, including High Road Heating and Cooling.

How to Optimize Your Site for Search

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There’s so much to know about websites and online marketing, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. This is especially true in the building and remodeling world. Where a lot of people are way behind the curve. Here it is: How to Optimize Your Site for Search. This is a really good newsletter. also recommend subscribing to Today’s Small Business News. It’s where I found the article.

Content Marketing 2016: Staffing, Measurement, and Effectiveness

We surveyed 2016's content marketing leaders on their biggest issues, hurdles, and goals.

Kathleen loves her window guy

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This morning guess what popped up in my email? note from my across-the-street neighbor Kathleen. Our block is very connected and we often email one another bits of helpful information. Often about homes and gardens. Great babysitters. Party invitations. Reminders to keep your garages and doors locked. This company is approved by MAC and can be hired to do the insulating windows by request.

Portfolio: Before and After

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I’m a fan of WIRED. It’s about technology, mostly, but they often include features about the intersection of technology, design, entertainment, economics, business, etc. So technology is their “lens&# for looking at the world. While finishing my lunch today, this makeover caught my eye. Click on the picture to make it bigger. Not very. Pictures. No text. No captions. No context.

“Wing Man”

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As an avid kayaker, I have spent hundreds of hours on the water.  On certain occasions, unique things occur.  Recently, as a paddled, a Bald Eagle started flying back and forth (up and down river).  He circled looking for fish nearly 100 feet above the water. A few minutes later, I noticed a Heron on the rock bank also attempting the same task (catch dinner!), but the technique was different. 

When you wave your magic wand, make sure they notice.

Bungalo

When Zappos shows me the love, they make sure I know it. ordered new shoes from Zappos yesterday and chose the free shipping option, even though it means waiting until next week for my new sneakers to arrive. But surprise! Today I got a sweet email from Zappos — my shipping’s been upgraded! All part of the Zappos customer experience that gets customers and the media talking.

Study: How Much of Your Content Marketing Is Effective?

745 marketers told us how effective their content marketing is. Between November 5 and November 17, we surveyed 601 marketers with an 18-question online survey. A few weeks later, Adweek sent the questionnaire to 144 additional marketers. As the survey was answered by nearly our entire population target, the calculated margin of error was approximately 1 percent. Here's what we learned.

Ten Ways to Beef Up Your Marketing (without spending more money)

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Some of the smartest, most practical things you can do to drive growth require creativity and effort — not dollars. Check out our list of ten things you and your team can do with your time and energy to beer up your marketing results. When you see something you know you should be doing, make it a priority. 1) Your Company 2.0. Leaders often get caught up in day-to-day stuff. Managing people.

What Style Is That House?

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A client just e-mailed us information about this one-day course on architectural styles, with a request to pass it along. Sounds fun, especially the tour. Tuition is $125. On August 9, writer and architectural historian, Richard L. Kronick will teach an all-day course for the U of M Continuing Education Department entitled “What Style is That House?  Twin Cities Home Styles Explained!&#

Keyword Basics

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Last week a client emailed us a question about Search Engine Optimization. He was interested in improving his search engine rankings. We talked at length about the basics of SEO – especially optimizing your site using keywords and phrases, and inbound linking. We’re also wrapping up the next issue of our newsletter. SEO experts call this IAAT (in anchor and title). Contact us.

Tripped over Tumblr

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Artist son studying in Uruguay , just sent me a link to his new blog on a platform I’ve never heard of. Hmmmm — what’s Tumblr ? — I wondered. Answer: streamlined interface for creating tumblelogs : microblogs characterized by multi-media posts. Many of them overflowing with cool pics and short quips. Popular with photographers, artists, and creative-types. Definitely.

Content Strategy for Marketing

Learn about the benefits and key considerations in developing a content strategy for marketing that's sustainable, scalable and sale-able.

What’s wrong with neighborhood mailings?

Bungalo

Lately it seems every time we meet with a residential contractor they mention neighborhood mailings. “I tried job site mailings,&# they whine, “but it didn’t work.&#. This is not surprising. The purpose of job site mailings is to capitalize on your presence in the neighborhood. Makes sense. Possible. One-off job site mailings are better than yard signs alone. But not much.

Word of Mouth Marketing

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I was putting on my lipstick yesterday, when I happened to glance at my bookshelf. And spotted a book that belongs on everyone’s shelf: Word of Mouth Marketing , by Andy Sernovitz. Subtitle is “How Smart Companies Get People Talking&# It offers “simple, actionable things you can do.&# There’s a website too: www.wordofmouthbook.com. Filed under: strategy.

Track this marketing metric

Bungalo

Our presentation at the NARI MN meeting last night went pretty well. No doubt some folks came to learn about some of the more common metrics marketers use to track the success of their marketing systems. So if you want to improve the success of your marketing programs — we recommend two things: 1) Track your time. Where are you spending it? what are our strategic goals? And time. Keep at it.

The Advertising “Toll”

Bungalo

I recently listened to the founder of the Geek Squad at the Carlson School of Management’s Annual Entrepreneur Dinner, and a quote that is still stuck in my head is this: Advertising is the Toll that your firm pays for not having a memorable experience. At first, I thought this was quite harsh, but as you look into it, he has a point. How can you be fresh and interesting? Why or why not?

Content Methodology: A Best Practices Report

If you're concerned that your organization's content marketing isn't as effective as it could be, this report is for you.

Free Income data by Zip Code

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The IRS provides income data by Zip Code for every state in the U.S. The most recent data set from 2008 includes the number of returns filed, Adjusted Gross Income (AGI), and 29 other financial fields. Bungalo recently used this data to look up income data for households in a St. Paul Minnesota zip code. There were 1107 total returns with AGI of $100,000 or more, and 251 returns with AGI over $200,000. The average income of the group with incomes greater than $200K was $293,000. The data is useful in answering two important questions: 1. Filed under: tips and ideas. tips and ideas

Keeping customers engaged takes communication

Bungalo

In a recent blog post — Take your Time — Quickly — Remodeling blogger Greg Antonioli talks about how you need to be accurate with estimates, and at the same time, you need to move quickly so buyers don’t lose interest/enthusiasm for their project. But what should the system look like? Start with providing clear information about the design and planning process.

If you are better, you should look better.

Bungalo

Today I found this really excellent example of a roofing contractor website. It was mentioned in a Roofing Contractor column, The Power of Branding , by Chris King. The owner of GreatWay Roofing, Rod Menzel, was inspired to rebrand his company when he attended a conference and learned about Blue Ocean Strategy , a book by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne. Clutter makes it hard to brand,” he said.

The Doing-Not-Doing Matrix

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I was recently invited to a talk by Phil Styrlund about adding value to B2B relationships, sponsored by Vistage. Almost as an aside, Phil mentioned this matrix, which I quickly scribbled on my napkin. I don’t remember what he called it, or if he had a name for it — so I’m calling it the Doing-Not-Doing matrix. How the Doing-Not-Doing matrix works. Important things you are doing.

Staffing and Launching Your Content Marketing Program

Brand voice? Editorial calendar? Approval workflow? Learn how to craft the crucial parts of a content marketing program. In the third installment of our five-part playbook series, discover the necessary steps to execute a content marketing program.

Postcard Marketing: budget benchmark

Bungalo

A remodeler recently asked me the following question: “How much would it cost to send the same postcard to my list of 4000 contacts and prospects, four times?&#. The answer was about $2.00 per contact, or 50-60 cents per postcard. That would be enough to cover creative, printing, mailing, and postage. But not photography or custom illustration.). “That’s $8000,&# he said.