The Advantages Of Marketing Through A Mobile App

I am delighted to announce that Rock Star Marketing has taken on a new client that is doing really cool stuff! Guurgle.com LLC is based out of Carmel Valley and is owned by Terrence Pershall. Guurgle is a wine app that is free to download onto your mobile device, including iPhones, iPads, Androids, Google mobile devices, and so on.

Guurgle Wine App

Download the Guurgle wine app at www.guurgle.com.

The Guurgle wine app is cool for various reasons:

  1. It was designed to put all kinds of wine information at your fingertips.
  2. It allows you to feel more confident when you are given the task of ordering wine for a business dinner or special occasion.
  3. It maps the wineries and wine tasting rooms located near you.
  4. The app features user-generated wine reviews that let others on Guurgle know what’s good and what’s worth tasting.
  5. It has a digital Corkboard that promotes specials, announcements, and winery events.
  6. There is a wine trivia game that shows if you’re a Cork Dork or a Wine Snob.
  7. It features subscribed wineries from all over Monterey County and California.
  8. Your wine reviews are posted and shared on Facebook and Twitter.
  9. It’s an excellent marketing tool and boosts awareness for smaller and local wineries.
  10. It’s extremely helpful to wine lovers, restaurant staff, culinary students, and those who want to learn more about wine.

So, why am I so excited about Guurgle? It is because they developed a free product for users that helps wineries market their businesses. The Guurgle app is part of the mobile marketing revolution that is making consumers feel more connected with the industries that serve them.

What are the advantages of marketing through a mobile app?

  1. Apps provide instant results because people almost always carry their mobile devices with them.
  2. Apps are easy to work with.
  3. Apps are convenient to use.
  4. Apps allow for personalized, direct marketing.
  5. Apps allow you to track user response.
  6. Apps have huge viral potential.
  7. Apps help the marketer reach a much wider audience.
  8. Apps often tie in with social media marketing.

How can your business benefit from an app? Well, if you’re not creating an app of your own, perhaps you can find an app that focuses on your industry and advertise your business on it. Using Guurgle as an example, the ones that fund the app’s development are the subscribed wineries that are featured on the app. Since subscribed wineries are paying to promote their wine business on the Guurgle app, they benefit from the advertising they receive on the app itself, as well as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and promotional emails generated by Guurgle.com LLC.

Quite simply, marketing through an app is smart, affordable, customizable, and utilizes the latest technology. If you would like to explore how your business can benefit through mobile marketing, contact jennifer@rock-star-mktg.com and we can discuss it during a free consultation.

Happy Marketing!

Positive Outlook & Marketing for 2014

Have you heard the good news about how the U.S. economy is improving in 2014? It is so exciting to see that we are continually progressing into a period of modest growth and expansion!

What does that mean for your business? Well, if you are meeting the needs of your clients and providing value with every dollar they spend with you, chances are very good that your business will grow this year. The trick is to attract those clients and entice them to do repeat business with you on a frequent basis.

If you need help attracting new clients to your business, Rock Star Marketing is available to help. Most small businesses do not have a dedicated Marketing Department, and that is where we can assist. Hire us to handle your:

Search Engine Optimization
Website Design
Content Writing for Websites, Blogs, and Articles
Social Media Optimization on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, etc.

Most of our clients are busy people who are marketing savvy, but lack the time to do the day-to-day marketing tasks. That is why Rock Star Marketing serves many small businesses that outsource their online marketing to us. For affordable pricing that often beats the cost of newspaper, print, and radio advertisements, we can boost and measure the amount of traffic directed to your website and your business.

If you are curious to see how Rock Star Marketing can put your business in the limelight, contact us for a FREE Consultation today!

How Effective Is Social Marketing?

Some say that social marketing has a low conversion to sales. Others disagree. Here are a few case studies where social marketing has worked well in closing business deals.

Social Marketing Case Study #1: Scheduling a Private Lesson with a Dance Pro.

I am a West Coast Swing dancer and I often will see dance related discussions unfolding on Facebook. There was a cute status update posted by a fellow dancer about how her life has changed now that she’s a Westie. Some of her entries included, “‘Point’ now has a different meaning to me.”, “I am a connoisseur of hotel rooms.”, and “I no longer think it strange to have 8 hotel room mates.”

After seeing her Facebook post, several of us contributed thoughts on how West Coast Swing have changed our lives, too. I posted something akin to, “I now have dreams of the Pros. I dreamt last night that I was supposed to take a private lesson with Arjay Centeno. Maybe the Universe is trying to tell me something.”

So, what happened less than 24 hours later? I received a private message from Arjay Centeno, the Pro himself, offering a private lesson during the Boogie By The Bay convention. After a few questions about when, where, and how much, a private lesson was booked. Thanks, social marketing, for making that private lesson happen!

Social Marketing Case Study #2: Blue Skies Exploration Academy.

Blue Skies Exploration Academy is a fairly new child care center in Colorado Springs that uses the Reggio Emilia teaching methods. It is owned by Jennifer Barnes, and she is a brilliant teacher. Unfortunately, when she was in her first year of ownership, there was trouble in paradise because a lot of the pre-school kids were headed off to Kindergarten and there was not a full pipeline of new kids replacing them.

What is a new business owner to do? First, Blue Skies Exploration Academy sunk some time and money into the Search Engine Optimization of their website. Next, they used social marketing to boost awareness of their business to their targeted audience. Social marketing posts included:
Helpful tips for parents
Craft projects for kids
Information about their curriculum
Fun activities they host for both parents and students
Menus showing the healthy food they serve
Storytelling about what makes Blue Skies Exploration Academy special and unique

Within four months, they changed their low enrollment numbers to almost 100% student occupancy. By reaching out to the community via social marketing, they became part of the community, and the positive vibe about their child care center spread quickly. Way to go, Blue Skies Exploration Academy for using social marketing to grow your business!

Social Marketing Case Study #3: Being Recognized at a Party.

Sometimes it takes a while to establish your brand. If you keep using social marketing to bolster your brand awareness, you may be surprised at who is paying attention. Recently I went to a 65th birthday party for a friend of mine. The Birthday Boy introduced me to his daughter, and told her that I’m the owner of Rock Star Marketing. Her eyes lit up and she said, “I’ve heard of you!” Delighted, I replied, “Good. It means I’m doing my job well.”

As our conversation continued and as we included more people in our chat, I received a lead for a new marketing client. Thanks to social marketing, my brand had “top of the mind awareness”, and that gave me credibility while meeting strangers (who are now friends) at a birthday party. Thanks again, social marketing, for working your magic!

So, will social marketing convert sales 100% of the time? No, there are no guarantees that it will. However, social marketing is a crucial tool for starting a conversation, getting involved in your online community, creating brand awareness, and closing deals. If you think of it another way, social marketing is the new way of doing word of mouth referrals.

How To Succeed Because Of What You’ve Been Through

Have you ever felt like you were dealt a bad deck of cards during your lifetime? Or, have you felt like you’ve had to overcome tremendous adversity in order to succeed in life and business? Though I’ve not had a terribly difficult life, I have faced my own hardships and have worked hard to stretch beyond my fears and comfort levels to succeed.

Well, I have recently had the pleasure of meeting an inspirational author and motivational speaker who embodies these traits, Rhonda Sciortino, and she teaches people how to overcome life’s challenges and succeed because of what they’ve been through.

Rhonda is the author of several books, including From Foster Care to Millionaire, The Prayer That Covers It All, and Succeed Because of What You’ve Been Through. Her story is amazing and powerful, for she overcame childhood abuse, poverty, homelessness, and the foster care system to grow up and become an amazingly successful Christian, businesswoman, and entrepreneur. Visit www.rhondasciortino.com to view her website.

The reason I mention Rhonda and her testimonial is because we can all apply that to our businesses and our marketing. I’m sure all business owners can relate to Rhonda’s story in some way. We had tough times. We had to figure things out on our own. We had to connect the dots in our lives to figure out life’s patterns, directions, and challenges. But if we keep at it, we will grow and become successful, regardless of the challenges and adversity we face.

So, if you’re feeling lost and alone, know that it’s not permanent. Life is full of abundance and we will always find a way to survive if we keep walking our walk, talking our talk, and moving forward one day at a time.

If your business is facing some sort of adversity or you have marketing questions, contact Jennifer Filzen of Rock Star Marketing for a free consultation at 831-324-0816.

Expanding Your Brand

Lately I’ve been exploring the process of expanding the brand of my dance business. The idea behind it is to make my company grow, so here is a personal account of what I’ve been up to in the past 12 months in regards to expanding my brand.

When I first looked at expanding my brand, I was analyzing both my marketing business and my dance business. I imagine them as two horses, side by side, pulling a carriage down the road. One horse is the marketing business. The other is the dance business, working in tandem.

Most businesses, when they grow and expand, add personnel, add locations, and add territories. That is why you’ll see a successful restaurants have multiple locations within a region. On a larger scale, that’s how McDonald’s, Starbucks, Target, Safeway, 7-Eleven, and other franchises have expanded their brand.

So, I thought about licensing or franchising The West Coast Swing Dance Company (a.k.a. WCSDanceCo). I contacted an attorney to begin the trademark process. I consulted with my mentors in the dance world. I studied a lot of books and articles on the subject. Finally, my husband and I decided to license our dance business, offering our brand, our systems and processes, and our marketing engine. Thus, the dance business horse will run forward, and the marketing business horse will run evenly alongside it.

Now, we are at the launching point. Now we are actively seeking licensees to become owner/operators of their own WCSDanceCo and raise the level of West Coast Swing dancing in their dance communities. So far, we’re gaining momentum and having conversations with licensee candidates, but we are still in the beginning stages of truly expanding our brand.

That’s my story, and I’m curious how you are expanding the brand of your own business. If you are doing any of the following things, chances are very good that you are expanding your brand:

Advertising your business via newspapers, printed materials, radio, social media networks, YouTube, Pay Per Click ads, etc.
Networking with friends, family, colleagues, and customers, asking them for referrals.
Sponsoring sports teams, non-profits, special events pertaining to your industry, etc.
Opening up new locations and expanding into new territories.
Adding new team members to your organization, especially salespeople.

If you would like help expanding your brand, help is nearby. Just call me at Rock Star Marketing for a free consultation. I’d love to help you grow your business and profits. Contact me at 831-324-0816, or email jennifer@rock-star-mktg.com.

Obtaining an Online Degree in Advertising and Marketing

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The field of advertising and marketing is growing and there are an increasing number of positions available for those who obtain an online degree in advertising and marketing. Advertising and Marketing is an exciting field, for this is where companies invest their money into capturing the imaginations and minds of people whom they wish to become loyal customers of their products, services, and brand. Because technology in the 21st Century is growing exponentially, the technology behind advertising and marketing is expanding as well. Today’s online degree candidate is learning both traditional and new forms of communicating a company’s message to its consumers, and that is why people who have earned an online degree in advertising and marketing are in high demand.

How To Obtain An Online Degree in Advertising and Marketing

Obtaining an online degree is rather simple, but it requires the student to be a self starter and disciplined. In addition, a student pursuing an online degree program must be willing to learn the following skills in order to successfully pursue a full time career in advertising and marketing:

  • Understand how to operate computer hardware and software
  • Have a basic understanding of how the computer network and Internet connection operates
  • Video recording and editing
  • Sound recording and editing
  • Create podcasts
  • Use popular graphic design software
  • Create impressive multi-media presentations
  • Website design
  • Copywriting and Search Engine Optimized content
  • Business Development
  • Market research
  • How to create printed materials
  • How to develop a prospect list
  • How to generate leads
  • How to determine Return On Investment (ROI)
  • How to create and execute a marketing campaign
  • Develop creative thinking techniques
  • Learn how to communicate with multiple groups of various sizes
  • Project management
  • Managing a budget
  • Creating a marketing plan
  • Learn how to market for a small business vs. for an international corporation
  • Mobile application design
  • Cold calling and telemarketing
  • Business mail advertising
  • Public relations
  • Press releases and how to publish them
  • Product design
  • With an online degree program, any advertising and marketing student can develop the skills listed above. Depending on your advertising and marketing specialty, the faculty and staff guiding you through your online degree program will help you determine which online and traditional coursework will benefit you the most. After you have completed the online degree program, you will then earn your certificate or diploma, allowing you to pursue a career in advertising and marketing.

    What Advertising and Marketing Online Degree Programs Are Available?

    Because online degree programs are growing in popularity over traditional colleges, there is a growing demand for online degree programs specializing in the field of advertising and marketing. Currently, there are several advertising and marketing online degree programs that offer certificates or diplomas in:

  • Internet Marketing
  • Marketing
  • Marketing Communications
  • Marketing Offline
  • MBA Marketing
  • Business Administration
  • New Media Marketing
  • Sales and Marketing
  • If you are interested in pursuing a degree in advertising and marketing, consider enrolling in an online degree program. Online degree programs allow you to study at your own pace, can be done from anywhere in the world where you have access to a computer, have financial aid packages available, and often allow you to earn your degree or certificate at a faster rate than traditional campuses. Once you earn your online degree in advertising and marketing, you will have plenty of opportunities lining your career path.

    Are You Telling Your Story?

    Stories are powerful. Stories draw people in. Stories give people a history they can relate to. Need proof? Look at the stories that have moved you throughout your life, like Shakespearean classics, summer blockbusters, Oscar-winning dramas, and scare-you-out-of-your-pants horror flicks. People LOVE stories!

    So, what’s the story you tell people about your business? Is it a rags-to-riches story? Is it a self-discovery story? Is it a story that inspires people and attracts them to your business? If people love stories that move them emotionally, they will also love stories about products, services, and the people behind them.

    For example, today I went and visited my acupuncturist, Lynne Caryl of Harbor Acupuncture (www.lynnecaryl.com). As we chatted, she reminded me of a story that I had forgotten. She beat uterine cancer 5 years ago by treating herself with acupuncture and Chinese medicinal herbs. She didn’t need chemo. She didn’t need surgery. She just treated herself with the methods she knew as a licensed acupuncturist and herbalist and she did the remarkable, unbelievable, and unexpected….she battled uterine cancer and won, all on her own!

    As she was telling me her story, she then commented how her own doctor was extremely impressed by her recovery but hasn’t referred a lot of clients to her. After hearing that, I realized what the problem was. It’s not his story to tell…it’s her own story, and she’s the one that needs to tell it.

    So, what did I do? I encouraged her to start writing her own story. Start small with a single page and tell us how you felt when you discovered you had uterine cancer. Write another small essay telling us about the research you found about how Chinese herbs and acupuncture can help battle cancer. Follow it up with another essay telling us about your experiences as you went through your own treatment. Keep writing and writing until you take us to the present day, letting us know how your life has flourished 5 years later. Tell us how you have become a specialist in women’s health issues, diabetes treatment, and cancer treatment through acupuncture. Before you know it, you’ll have amassed a number of articles that lets people know how awesome acupuncture is and the powerful healing properties of Chinese herbs.

    After telling her all this, I could see the wheels turning in her brain. She loved the idea but was worried about the time commitment. I told her all it would take is 15 minutes for one essay, once a week. Not a big time commitment at all and very doable.

    I mean really…..what women diagnosed with uterine cancer in the Monterey Bay area would refrain from knocking down the door to Lynne Caryl’s office if they knew she could help them beat uterine cancer?!?! If they’re not knocking her door down now, it’s probably because they don’t know Lynne’s story.

    So, how does this apply to your business? Well, if you tell the story about how you got into business in the first place, you might attract some interest from potential customers. If you tell a story about how you chose integrity over the easy way out and won, you might win more fans. When you tell your story about how you went from zero to abundance in a short time limit, you may find even more people knocking down your door. Stories help people connect with you, and that will help build your brand and customer loyalty.

    Your challenge is to go out and tell the world your story. Tell your story on your website, on your Facebook fan page, in your marketing and sales literature, & when you meet new clients face-to-face. Whatever your method, tell your story, and don’t be surprised if it opens up new doors of opportunity for you. You never know how your story can cross over into another story and bring things full circle back to you.

    If you have questions about marketing, contact Jennifer Filzen of Rock Star Marketing (www.rock-star-mktg.com). Be warned, however, that you may hear cool stories about how she became a GRAMMY qualified singer/songwriter and would grow to become an influential online marketer. Call 831-324-0816 for a free one-hour consultation. You’ll be glad you did!

    The Importance of Vacations

    Taking vacation is important for obvious reasons, but it can also be good for business. We recently packed our bags for a 2 week vacation in Hawaii, and here is what I discovered.

    At first, I was uncertain if I could delegate my work to my helpers, make enough money while away, and have enough money to allow me to do the day-to-day things, like eating out and doing the major touristy things. In fact, I almost cancelled the trip because I was concerned it would cost me too much in both monies and client satisfaction.

    Fortunately, I went on my vacation and everything worked out just fine. Not only did we rest and relax, but some things happened that even helped my business in the long run. Allow me to explain…

    First, I had the chance to relax, unwind, and unplug. Doing that alone allowed me to deeply recharge my batteries. I didn’t know how stressed I was until 4 days into the vacation. Once I “detoxed” from work, I became a lot less stressed about anything.

    Next, I noticed how willing I was to experience new things. I struck up conversations with strangers. I tried new foods. I noticed how others marketed their businesses and took a mental note of those marketing tools I liked the best.

    Then, I noticed how I was flooded with new, exciting business ideas. Recharging my batteries opened up the floodgates of great ideas I needed to implement once I returned home.

    Lastly, when I arrived, I made a point to connect with any old friend that lived on the island. It re-established old connections, allowing me to bridge the old relationships with the new ones.

    What happened after we returned home to the Monterey Peninsula? I was tanned, a little blonder from the sun, relaxed, and delighted to answer a very busy phone with new prospects calling to ask for quotes and advice about marketing. Somehow, by getting away from it all, I was greeted with new opportunities, and all my financial obligations were met, even though I wasn’t here. Not bad!

    So, if you’re a small business owner and it has been a while since you really took a vacation…and by the way, I feel that visiting family doesn’t really count as a vacation… I encourage you to take one. Unplug, unwind, relax, and you may be surprised at how successful you and your business become when you return.

    How To Leverage Your Marketing Efforts

    I speak with a lot of small business owners that lack the time or confidence to do all the marketing for their business. As a professional marketer, of course I happily offer my services, but not everyone is in a position to hire a pro. Here are a few ways that you can leverage your marketing efforts to save a little time.

    Use HootSuite to schedule Social Media posts.
    If you have a Facebook page, a Twitter page, a LinkedIn page, and a Google+ page for your business, you’re already doing a great job of marketing through social media channels. To do it right, you need to make sure you consistently post updates on all the social media channels. HootSuite is a tool you can use to pre-schedule your posts. For those with only a few business pages, it’s free to use, or you can do a free 30 day trial if you want to try their upgraded products. Visit their website at www.hootsuite.com.

    Hire a writer to do your blogs.
    Sometimes the business owners are too close to their subject matter and get “analysis paralysis” when they try to write a blog. That’s very common, for most business owners are busy running a business, and when it comes to writing, it’s tougher than it looks. You can always hire a writer to do blog articles for your website. For many business owners, not only is this a smart use of time, but it’s often easier to edit content, making sure all the facts are correct, than to create an article from scratch.

    Get others to talk about your business.
    Word of mouth referrals are one of the best ways to attract new customers to your business. In order to get others to talk about your business, consider some incentives. Can you give your biggest fans and customers a free coffee gift card or a raffle prize to incentivize them to send you their friends or family? If you own a restaurant and you know your regulars, can you give them a free appetizer or dessert to thank them for bringing in their friends or extended family? If you’re a dance teacher seeking private lessons, can you give someone a free private lesson if they book an entire day’s worth of lessons for you? Go over the top with customer service, and your customers will want their friends to know how awesome you are. What can you give or do to get others to talk about your business to their social network?

    Invite fans and customers to make videos on your behalf.
    There are many people who are great at making videos, and some of those people may be your biggest fans or customers. If you hold a contest that rewards the best video showing off your product, service, or business, you might be amazed at the results! However, video production takes considerable time and effort, so make sure the prize is worth it to your fans and customers.

    Give away small goodies after purchase.
    Are their small goodies you can give away that people will treasure and/or use? One of my favorite examples of this is at Robin’s Jewelry in Carmel. Robin handcrafts these sweet little fairy wands and gives them to customers every time they purchase jewelry from her store. These little metal wands are simple for Robin to make, and they go “ding”, just like you would expect from a fairy wand, when you lightly strike them against a hard surface. People have grown to love Robin’s fairy wands, and it keeps people from all over the world coming back to her store each time they visit Carmel. Can you do something like that for your business? Can you give away small samples, magnets, keychains, or something unique that will make people look forward to returning to your business, year after year?

    These are just a few ideas of how to leverage your marketing efforts. If you remember anything, remember this…if you get people excited about what you’re doing, you’re creating a valuable “buzz”. Use that buzz and excitement to get others to market on your behalf.

    If you have any online marketing needs, such as social media optimization, search engine optimization, copy writing, content marketing, or website design, contact Jennifer Filzen of Rock Star Marketing at 831-324-0816. Happy Marketing!!

    How To Boost Your Summertime Sales

    Summertime is a wonderful time, isn’t it? The weather is beautiful. People have more time to enjoy the sunshine. And, most importantly, people like to go out and do fun things, spending money as they go!

    For many businesses on the Monterey Peninsula, we rely on the Summertime and Indian Summer visitors to help us make the majority of our annual sales. Restaurants, hotels, inns, event venues, boutiques, and retail shops, in particular, are counting on the extra foot traffic during the tourist season.

    How can you capture some of that disposable income and boost the Summertime sales for your business? Here are a few tips to ponder for your business:

    Offer special deals for products or services, such as:
    Two for One offers.
    Buy one Get one for free.
    Half price. Last minute, fast action offers are good too. You can send an email or post on Facebook that people can come in (or visit online) and in the next six hours get 50% off – or something similar.

    Create new products and services. Offer an introductory price and test the market to see if these new products and services are capturing the attention of your clientele.

    Spend an hour a day making sales calls to new prospects and old customers, alerting them to:
    What’s new with your business
    Any special deals they should know about
    Special events, like a Customer Appreciation Day or a Summertime BBQ

    Brainstorm new ideas with your team that will target new potential clients and lead to more sales. Remember, the more revenue you can generate in the Summertime, the better off you’ll be when the weather gets cooler and the rains deter people from walking through your door.