Nasdaq

Ignite Your Ambition


Good is the enemy of great.


We Start Things


Each and every day our ideas and ambitions drive partnerships that change the pace of the marketplace and movements that take us all forward.


Fueling Ambition


People, products and services that are as ambitious as you are.


Intel


Information, communication and analytics. Our data, intelligence and consultative services help you become master of them all.


List


Nasdaq offers capital raising solutions to more than 3,500 companies around the globe representing more than $9.1 trillion in total market value.


We Make Things


Technologies and solutions that make markets more efficient and connected.


Investor Relations


The next generation of IR websites is here… helping you improve the user experience for your audience and simplify content management for your team.


Trade


Our trading platforms are core to our identity and support global equities, options, futures, fixed income, fx, commodities, derivatives and structured products.


Day to Day Ambition


The culture here is reflective of the dynamic entrepreneurship and exciting companies that we work with.


Technology


Technology that powers the world’s market operators, and listed and private corporations.

 

A Strong Brand is Important for Your Small Business

business woman meeting


Beyond just a memorable logo, good branding increases the value of a company, provides employees with direction and motivation, and makes acquiring new customers easier. So what exactly is a brand?

The short answer is: everything.

A brand represents the sum of people’s perception of a company’s customer service, reputation, advertising, and logo. When all of these parts of the business are working well, the overall brand tends to be healthy. On the flip side, we all probably know a company that offers excellent products or services, but has a tarnished brand due to poor customer service.

Let’s take a look at the important ways a strong brand impacts your business:

1. Branding Improves Recognition

One of major components of your brand is your logo. Think of how we instantly recognize the golden arches of McDonalds or the simple, but powerful eagle of the USPS. As the “face” of a company, logo design is critical because that simple graphic will be on every piece of correspondence and advertising. A professional logo design is simple enough to be memorable, but powerful enough to give the desired impression of your company.

2. Branding Creates Trust

A professional appearance builds credibility and trust. People are more likely to purchase from a business that appears polished and legitimate. Emotional reactions are hardwired into our brains, and those reactions are very real influencers.

3. Branding Supports Advertising

Advertising is another component of your brand. Both the medium chosen and demographic targeted for advertisements builds a brand. Too narrow an advertising focus, and a company risks being “pigeon holed” and losing their ability to expand into new markets. Too broad a focus, and the company fails to create a definable impression of the company in the minds of would be customers.

4. Branding Builds Financial Value

Companies who publicly trade on a stock exchange are valued at many times the actual hard assets of the company. Much of this value is due to the branding of the company. A strong brand usually guarantees future business. Whether a company is in the position to borrow funds for expansion or rolling out to an IPO, being perceived as more valuable will make the process advantageous for the owner of the payday loans online company. The greater a company’s devotion to build its brand value, the better the financial return from its efforts.

5. Branding Inspires Employees

Many employees need more than just work— they need something to work toward. When employees understand your mission and reason for being, they are more likely to feel that same pride and work in the same direction to achieve the goals you have set. Having a strong brand is like turning the company logo into a flag the rest of the company can rally around.

6. Branding Generates New Customers

Branding enables your company to get referral business. Would it be possible for you to tell a friend about the new shoes you love if you couldn’t remember the brand? A large reason ‘brand’ is the word used for this concept is that the goal is an indelible impression. As the most profitable advertising source, word of mouth referrals are only possible in a situation where your company has delivered a memorable experience with your customer.

The most profitable companies, small and large, have a single thing in common. They have established themselves as a leader in their particular industry by building a strong brand.

Engagement Marketing

young consumer excitement


Unlike traditional approaches to marketing where you specifically target prospects with direct response offers, engagement marketing allows your audience and potential customers to interact with you and shape how they would like to communicate with you.

Engagement marketing begins when an interested person takes an action to begin an interaction with you.

Engagement means someone is interested in listening to you, and you must engage that person in order to achieve your business objective while fulfilling their interest. As a commercial entity you will implement engagement marketing to drive your interested audience toward one of the following two key business objectives:

Cultivate the individual as an advocate of your thought leadership and market image. Advocates will recommend your products and services enthusiastically to their network of friends and business colleagues.
Encourage a dialogue with the individual to help them to make a purchase decision. An engaged customer is likely to become a loyal repeat customer.

Here are easy tips on engagement marketing to attract customers:

  • Develop an engagement strategy – To be successful you must prepare a clear plan and approach for your engagement marketing. Your plan will have to include how you will reach out to your listeners and how you will be able to respond and interact with your engaged participants.
  • Integrate with your marketing mix – All aspects of your marketing communications mix should include a ‘call to action’ for engagement from simply requesting comments or postings at your blogs or forums to encouraging reviews on your products and services.
  • Focus on content and relationship – Focus on relevant and interesting content as the key to engaging with your audience. Understand that building genuine relationships with content that is important to the individual is the best way to achieving the two key business objectives for engagement marketing.
  • Promote subscriptions – Use permission based techniques to encourage subscriptions with optimized web forms, RSS registrations, refer to a friend and social network sharing.
  • Invite listeners to interact with your Blog – Establish a culture and enthusiasm for engagement by encouraging your listeners to contribute with comments, suggestions and even as guest writers to broaden the points of view and resources available to your connected community.
  • Conduct surveys and polls – Run frequent surveys to give opportunities to initiate engagement while learning from and about your listening community. Use a surveys or web polls to start the dialogue that is relevant to the individual.
  • Engage with social networking – If you have not heard of Face Book, MySpace or Twitter that are behind the social networking phenomena, you must not waste anymore time, go straight to these sites and understand how these sites that are capturing literally mil¬lions of people who are actively engaging on these sites every day. These sites work because social networking communities need to share and want to know what their circle of friends and relatives are up to. Find out how you can leverage the engagement and sharing of your content using these social networks.

Remember, once you have an interested community engaging with you, make sure you keep the lines of communication going, learn and adjust your strategy to ensure your engagement marketing will delivery bottom-line results to your business by increasing your customer base and repeat sales from your engaged customers.

Is responsive design necessary?

Aaah, the good old days.

It was a much simpler time… Websites were straight HTML. Screen sizes were about the same size and ratio. 640 x 480 at 72 dpi.

search engine optimization ted360


Wow, have things changed, and for the better. It has caused me pain and angst seeing perfectly good Websites become obsolete before my eyes. With the introduction of smart phones, tablets, and wide screen displays on both the laptop and desktop, the challenge is to make sure your Website looks good on them all. While not an easy task… it is a necessity to say the least. Because now more than 51% of activity online is from smart phones and tablets, just seven years ago it was 12%.

So now we at least know the challenge we are dealing with. Make your Website look good on all devices at the same time. And here’s the kicker. Now Google will derank your site (push it down in the search results) if it is not mobile friendly. They are doing this because they now how much traffic is from mobile devices and they want to make sure the experience for the end user is the best it can be.

 

Digital marketing is really worth it.

Marketing, branding & digital solutions for small business. ted360


Digital marketing is a popular topic and that’s not likely to change as we enter the new year.

Still, there are some businesses that don’t think it’s worth the time and money, wrongly assuming that digital marketing is just a fad.

[source: AllBusiness] This contributes to the fact that 39 percent of American small businesses said they hadn’t executed any marketing initiatives for at least six months, according to a Capital One Spark Business survey.

Deciding whether or not digital marketing is worthwhile comes down to individual companies. However, the majority of small businesses that run the numbers and utilize successful methods discover that digital marketing is the key to greater customer retention and increased returns.

Pros and Cons of Digital Marketing for Small Businesses

If you want to determine if online marketing will benefit your company, you need to weigh both the pros and cons. Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of digital marketing on a small scale:

Pros: Some of the most prominent advantages of digital marketing revolve around affordability and a quick return on investment. Not all aspects of digital marketing will be in a price range small businesses can afford, but social media marketing, blog content, in-house videos, and customer reviews are all highly affordable. More importantly, these are forms of digital marketing that small businesses can use with ease.

Digital marketing is also an effective way for consumers and businesses to learn more about each other. It’s a much closer connection than might occur with traditional marketing tactics because it allows the two parties to interact directly. According to research by myBuys, 72 percent of consumers connect with brands through an integrated marketing approach. It’s hard to make that many connections with just traditional marketing tactics.

Cons: Small companies often shy away from digital marketing because methods don’t always work. Digital marketing is highly subjective to customers and their habits, and businesses won’t always get strategies right the first time. Unfortunately, many firms choose to listen to stories of failure rather than stories of success.

In order to experience the full benefits of digital marketing, businesses of all sizes must go through a trial and error process in which they learn from their mistakes, change their tactics, and try again. Only then will marketing from a digital standpoint reveal its full benefits.

Start Digital Marketing Today

If you’re a small business owner who isn’t yet using digital marketing, now is the perfect time to start. There are many tactics that can make digital marketing a more prominent, useful part of your strategy. Here are a few ideas:

Form a team or hire a third party marketer. If you don’t have the manpower, the latter is a better option. Your team will need multiple strengths that vary in specialization, from advertising to social media. You’ll also need to assign a healthy budget and instruct your people to use it wisely–but avoid discouragement if they make mistakes at first.

Focus on social channels. This is by far the cheapest form of marketing, since you can join most social networks for free. It’s also the best place to directly engage your customers.

Be willing to constantly improve. As mentioned, much of digital marketing is trial and error. When you make a mistake, you must be ready to change your strategy accordingly. This kind of mindset will help you achieve impressive returns on investments and a successful marketing strategy in the future.

Don’t give up on digital marketing before you give it a valid try. It’s important for businesses of all sizes, and those that wish to stay competitive will make digital marketing more of a priority.