“Rainmaker Insights”

•October 7, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Very proud to be featured on the Council of Smaller Enterprises (COSE) Small Business Convention blog today in regard to Strategic Marketing Planning. You can read more here! http://www.cose.org/About%20COSE/News%20and%20Media/Blog.aspx?cat=SMALL%20BUSINESS%20CONVENTION

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Metisentry Acquires Rainmaker Consulting

•March 28, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Metisentry Acquires Rainmaker Consulting

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Akron, OH, 3/28/2013 – Representatives from Metisentry and Rainmaker Consulting announced this week that the two companies are merging on April 1, 2013.

Metisentry is currently a leading force in website design and development with creative solutions for local, national and global businesses while Rainmaker Consulting’s expertise lies in strategic marketing planning, implementation and evaluation.  The acquisition has come about to bring more value to service offerings.

Based in Akron, OH, Metisentry has been serving businesses since 2006.  With a focus on web design and development, Metisentry has extensive experience in providing creative solutions for retail businesses, law firms, municipalities, e-commerce sites and more.

“We’re excited to expand the team and strengthen the marketing services offered to our clients.” – Marling Engle, Metisentry CEO.

Rainmaker Consulting has been serving the greater Akron area for over two years.  Rainmaker Consulting focuses on providing strategic marketing planning including website design and promotion as well as search engine optimization and CRM software to local small and medium sized businesses.

“Rainmaker is proud to become a part of Metisentry and we are looking forward to working with their premier website design and promotion team.” – Emily M. Kelly, Rainmaker CEO

Rainmaker Consulting will be joining forces to make the great marketing services they’ve been providing even better and will officially merge as of 4/1/2013 with offices located in downtown Akron.

 

Interaction is key

•January 2, 2013 • Leave a Comment

In our last post, we talked about key components to a user friendly website that showcases your company’s core competency. A good, solid website is critical for visibility and acts as an online billboard. However, these days, it is also important to have a social media presence, and here is why. Social Media affords companies two key opportunities that did not exist in the past: “viral marketing” and the ability to “interact” with their audience.

Viral marketing is essentially “creating buzz” … meaning ‘your audience shares your content with their audience and bigger things happen.’ We all know that the best and most inexpensive way of growing your business is through word of mouth. Social media affords companies the opportunity to garner testimonials and allow your “fan base” to PUSH your message forward to their connections, therefore broadening your network and creating more “buzz”.

Secondly, in contrast to the past where consumers could only “view” a website, and contact the company by email or phone, now it is important to incorporate social media in order for companies to *interact* with their existing and potential customers, and for them to interact with you. The point of social media is to engage your network. And depending on what you want to market, there are a lot of wonderful ways to do that. And it is an extremely affordable means of doing so, when executed effectively.

I always tell my clients to take on one form at a time, starting with the one that most effectively reaches their target market. I encourage them not to try to master every platform at once, so that they don’t become overwhelmed. As far as effective content, I always recommend informing others, no matter what you are selling and to recognize people’s accomplishments, birthdays and life milestones.

One of the greatest things about social media is that it puts a “face with a name”. Having been in sales most of my career, faces and names come pretty easily to me, but many people struggle, and it helps to have a way of connecting those two things.

We will talk about email newsletters in the next post, but for now, I encourage you to investigate a social media platform like Facebook or Linked In, to start, and consider adding one into the mix by the end of the year.

For what it’s worth, that’s my two cents.

As always, I am wishing you all the very best.

On the Web

•December 26, 2012 • Leave a Comment

In our last post, we talked about the very basic key components to any successful marketing plan for a new business or one in the process of rebranding: your company name, logo, tagline, phone number and business cards. Once you have these key components nailed down, the next step to consider in this fast paced internet driven society is your online presence.

Most business people know that there is no such thing as selling without marketing. I am always shocked at companies going through hard times that choose to cut their marketing efforts of all things. But even more shocking are companies that don’t have a detailed plan for their marketing strategies in the first place. Many companies just hang a shingle and wait for the phone to ring. And in this day and age, that’s economic suicide.

I encourage you to evaluate which channels are right for you, your product or service, your company and your unique selling position. And then don’t let anyone “guilt” you away from your plan. Work it … evaluate it … tweak it … and then repeat. In my opinion, that’s the way to make marketing work for you.

Let’s look at a few common examples. I always say that “Twenty years ago, you had to be listed in the phone book. Ten years ago, you had to have a website. And now, you need a presence on social media.” But before we discuss social media, let’s talk about your website.

It is critically important to have a well-designed website that is easy to navigate. Here are some questions you might want to ask yourself when you are evaluating your existing website, or beginning to design a new one. How interactive is it? How easy is it to navigate? Can they sign up for your email newsletter there? Read your blog? Make an appointment? See your calendar of events? Read your bio and company history? Do you know how many are visiting, how long they are staying, what content interests them? I’ll tell you one thing that’s true across the board, just like Kindergarteners; people like to see pictures more than they like to read words. And videos are even better.

Make sure that you have Google analytics installed on your site and view the stats regularly to see what interests your clients and potential clients, in order to drive your marketing efforts toward that content. It’s also a great way to evaluate if a marketing strategy is working. For example, if you did a mailing first class on the 15th of the month, see how many visitors you got when the mail piece landed in homes – the 17th and 18th, where they went and if the mailing “worked” based on your objectives.

We will talk about social media and email newsletters in the next post, but for now, have a few friends who are a little farther away “from the fishbowl” check out your site and give you constructive feedback. And if you don’t already access your analytics, or you’re not sure if they are installed, you should. It’s free!

For what it’s worth, that’s my two cents.

As always, I am wishing you all the very best.

Back to basics

•December 18, 2012 • Leave a Comment

In our last post, we talked about putting together a strategic marketing plan. Let’s talk about some of the very basic key components to any successful marketing plan for a new business or one in the process of rebranding: your company name, logo, tagline, phone number and business cards.

Do your company name, logo and tagline make it easy for a potential buyer to understand what you do and why you are the better choice over the competition? These three things are the most critical part of your brand strategy and everything else is built around it. Ask yourself three questions: Is your name, logo and tagline unique? Are they cohesive? And are they compelling?

The next thing to think about is how easy it is for your potential buyers to find you. If you are establishing a new phone number for your business, check and see if there is one available that will make it easy for your clients and potential clients to remember (i.e. 1-800-FLOWERS). Then, always carry your business cards and make sure that the web address, email address and phone number to reach you directly are included on your card.

While teeny tiny cards are cute and giant ones really make an impression, I always recommend that your card fit into a standard sized business card holder so that those who receive it don’t have to reinvent a way of storing it. Again, making it easy for them to access you when they decide it’s time to buy, or they have a referral for you, is so important.

We will talk about websites and email campaigns in the next post, but for now, whenever you are thinking about any marketing strategy ask yourself if you are making it easy for the consumer to find you, and most importantly, to buy from you. The easier you make it, the more likely they are to buy. Because after all, your business wouldn’t exist without your clients, so be sure that you are focused on making it “all about them,” not “all about you”.

For what it’s worth, that’s my two cents.

As always, I am wishing you all the very best.

“Most people don’t plan to fail; they fail to plan.” – John L. Beckley

•November 14, 2012 • Leave a Comment

In previous posts earlier this year, we talked about defining your competitive advantage and your unique niche in the marketplace. The next step in your marketing strategy is to put together a plan. And with the new year coming up, it is critical that you take a good look at your marketing objectives and put together a solid plan designed to reach your target market in the new year … which will be here before you know it!

Did you know that statistics show that 1 in 10 small businesses have a strategic plan? And of the other nine, six go out of business in the first year? Give yourself a chance to succeed by looking ahead and making a plan.

There are MILLIONS of marketing channels to choose from these days … from signage to search engine optimization, endless options are available to deliver your brand and message in the marketplace.

Most business people know that there is no such thing as selling without marketing. I am always shocked at companies going through hard times that choose to cut their marketing efforts of all things. But even more shocking are companies that don’t have a detailed plan for their marketing strategies in the first place. Many companies just hang a shingle and wait for the phone to ring. And in this day and age, that’s economic suicide.  Or worse, the plan is hap-hazard.

All the time I see people buying advertising by being bullied, making donations to causes they aren’t connected to because they can’t say no, and jumping in on the latest fad because their buddy said they should. Wouldn’t it be better to have a strategic plan?

The first step toward crafting your plan is gathering all of the efforts that are being made, or have been made, to leverage your brand in the marketplace. Start making a list of all the marketing efforts your company engages in from web presence and advertising to chamber memberships and charitable involvements. We will discuss some of these channels in the next post, but for now, start keeping track of where your message is being presented in order to be able to evaluate where the holes are in your strategy.

If you need help setting forth that roadmap for the coming year, I’d be happy to help … that’s what I do! Call Rainmaker to set yourself on a pathway of success for 2013 ~ 330-603-0086. We are standing by to help “make it rain” for you in the new year.

As always, I am wishing you all the very best.

“Little Children Love Each Other”

•March 17, 2012 • Leave a Comment

On this Saint Patrick’s Day, I celebrate my Irish Heritage and all that it means to me to be a Kelly.

My Great Grandma, Anna Golden Gill, grew up in Achill Island, Ireland.

She used to ride her bike a mile, to row a boat a mile and then walk a mile to school, and back, every day.

In Ireland then, the children recited their lessons (memorized them). She could recite them word for word til the day she died.

The most commonly recited was “The Town Pump”, but our favorite was “Little Children”.

“Little Children love each other. Are you always kind and true? Do you always do to others, as you’d have them do to you?

Are you gentle to each other? Are you careful day by day, not to give offense by actions, or by anything you say?

Father, mother, sister, brother, are made glad when you are kind. Home is happy, heaven smiles on you, if you have a gentle mind.”

She was sharp as a tack til the day she died and she lived to be 101 years old.

She was a chinese checkers MASTER, and she never apologized for beating the pants off any of her grandkids.

You couldn’t leave her house without having heard, “Have some Pepsi!” “Have some cake!” She was a most gracious host and her best recipe was her Irish Soda Bread.

She gave me a pink security blanket when I was born. I slept with my “fuzzy” folded neatly on my pillow every night until I was in college, and it is probably one of the reasons that to this day, “fuzzy” things are my favorite.

She had 12 brothers and sisters and outlived them all. And she was the mother of 6, grandmother of 28 and great grandmother of 49. I am proud to be one of those great grandchildren, and I honor her legacy today as I sport my Kelly green.

So, what does it mean to be Irish?

To me, it means you treat others as you want to be treated.

It means you appreciate your family, and you stick together through thick and thin.

It means you work hard.

It means that you know the meaning of love.

And pride.

And that you fight for what you believe in, even against all odds.

It means you have a sense of humor.

It means you can relax and have fun.

But most of all, it means you have faith.

And reverence for the Lord and His blessings.

And here’s an old Gaelic blessing for you:

“May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
The rains fall soft upon your fields,

And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.”

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day everyone!

Long live the Irish!!

Great Grandma, Anna Golden Gill, and I ~ My First Communion