Canada’s 150th Birthday

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Canada’s 150th Birthday

Years ago friends of ours brought a CD to our cottage and we listened, for the first time, to this traditional and light-hearted song written and sung by the Arrogant Worms…  Hope you enjoy the song.

StudioIMI has been in business since 2003 and has worked with over 300 clients across North America. Our areas of expertise include: retail, B2B, franchises, hospitality, tourism, industrial, commercial and recreational. We have built web apps and help clients market their business.

Please contact us for more details.

250-580-5250

projects@studioimi.com


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Entrepreneurial Success through Outsourcing

At StudioIMI Franchise Consultants, we work with a range of different businesses from large corporations to small enterprises and both Independents and Franchise Operations. At the end of the day, the same business principles apply in most cases. Business people need to focus on their areas of expertise and outsource some of the functions that take too much time and are not all that effective in expanding the client base.

StudioIMI Franchise Consultants provide a variety of services and support to franchise operations. With a long history of experience in many markets including: education businesses (Above Grade Level) who provide in-home tutoring services, (Academy for Mathematics & English) with a bricks and mortar type of supplemental education services, Padgett Small Biz Pros who provide both home-based as well as office environment business accounting and consulting franchises and couriers, printing and mailboxes (The UPS Store).

We primarily help franchise operations with their sales and marketing efforts. They tend to be open to ideas and don’t have all the answers. Building optimized websites, providing ad-word campaigns, implementing social media programs as well as writing very focused blogs and web content to help the brand become more well-known. It takes an expert approach that a company like StudioIMI can provide.

We often are brought in to create very effective SEO websites which have longevity and sustainability for a business. There are some very unique traits that this marketing tactic addresses for any company. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and many more all are effective in building your marketing presence. It takes a long-term effort, but it will pay off.

The problem most owners have is where to find time to write blogs, add likes and links to other social media outlets, while at the same time handling the rest of the business. This is why it is a benefit to outsource part of this to a company that excels in marketing. A business owner simply cannot expect to be engaged in every aspect of their company. It is enough to manage employees and clients, deal with accounting, follow up on marketing leads and close sales opportunities. Then there are the mundane aspects of a business that take enormous amounts of time leaving little left in the tank for busy owners.

Outsourcing is a great way to get a feeling for programs without committing to a new hire. You can try a social media campaign for 3 months with a company to test the waters. You may ever decide you have learned enough to handle this on your own. We’re ok with that. We prefer to teach someone to fish rather than bringing the fish to them. There will be other projects to work on together and you are often the best person to write about your company.

Let us know if we can provide any services for you right now:

Sales and Marketing
Lead Generation
Lead Management
Research and Development
Branding
Blog writing
Social Media set-up and Management
Google ad-word campaigns
Facebook campaigns
Content for your website
Press Releases
White Papers
Case Studies
Website Design and Programming
…and more.

Contact StudioIMI today   or  phone 778-440-3031

 


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Is it Sales or Marketing?

social media strategyAt StudioIMI, we have been handling both “sales” and “marketing” for many clients over the years. There is a difference of course. Many organizations will mix these two distinct elements of a company into one. Most organizations have two separate departments to handle sales and marketing individually.

Some organizations  we work with  have a team of people focused on the marketing side. They have staff with extensive experience in social media functionality, for example. This is such an important part of the marketing presence these days and yet we are amazed at the number of times we see this handed over to a staff member “who took a 2 hour seminar” or “went to a workshop” and are thus qualified. This usually results in a real setback to the organization.

Unfortunately the reality of it is that to become an expert requires a degree or diploma, numerous, ongoing courses, experience and more training. In fact, a rookie can set your marketing back substantially if they use black hat tactics or simply don’t have the right approach. If your organization treats marketing this way, the results will be as expected…and wasted. It’s like promoting someone to be chef who can cook a great omelette but has little formal training. You just should not do this in a serious organization.

Effective marketing requires hiring experts, even if they are outsourced. tw-profilePL_400x400There are Google Analytics to read and understand, there is the complex keyword analysis to undertake, there are proper blog articles with the correct keyword implementation and so much more. Hiring a rookie to handle this important facet of marketing is simply not a decision that makes long term sense.

Because marketing covers a wide range of topics, StudioIMI looks at each organization individually and builds an effective campaign based on the unique needs of the client. There are many factors of course: is the company brand new? Does it have a history of marketing with the metrics for what has been working, what hasn’t? What is the budget allocated for the year? What is the target market and demographic?

I like to compare marketing to an eight cylinder engine. There are many ways a company can run marketing campaigns: websites, social media, PPC, SEO, signage, newspaper ads and more. Depending on the product and service, there are different combinations of marketing to be implemented. Test…test…and test some more. Small bites at first.

We currently  work with a company based across North America and Europe. They strongly believe in wrapped cars with their logo, phone number and graphics. These are effective for this business however they also run other marketing campaigns. This company is home-based and they are very successful, and the wrapped cars do help. They also spend a fair amount of money on SEO and PPC. They do not have bricks and mortar locations and as a result, have the luxury of spending more marketing money to drive leads.

guaranteed_successIn the end, marketing is the function of any organization that drives leads and builds the brand. Organizations that put the wrong people in these key roles are destined to see lead generation stagnate which results in sales having fewer prospects and eventually business slows down or stops completely. The brand also suffers.

StudioIMI
778-440-3031
Call us to discuss your own needs.


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Successful Entrepreneurs

StudioIMI has been provided solutions to businesses for over twelve years. Our client base is diverse and we enjoy our relationship with them. The new markets we become involved in are often a result of our exposure to our other clients through reference as well as direct contact on our website. While we don’t like to refuse business opportunities, on occasion we come across clients who need help in different ways. Hospitality, real estate, recreation, education, finance, agriculture, nutrition and art are markets that interest us and result in more success.

We have met many types of entrepreneurs along the way. Some have an idea that has been with them for many years, some have changed jobs and are looking to build something on the creative side. The initial conversation usually qualifies whether we will have success with the person or team of people. Entrepreneurs come in all sizes: small, medium and large and sometimes extra-large. As the founder of StudioIMI, I have had the pleasure of speaking with business people who, along the way have become good friends. Some have been with us for twelve years and some have closed their businesses and moved on. We try to focus on the medium to large type of entrepreneurs as they tend to be thinking pragmatically, the way an entrepreneur should think to be successful.

Small business people can run a great business as well however it takes vision and forward thinking to launch an enterprise. In the beginning, money can be a big issue and there is usually not enough cash flow to get through the first year. We typically have to pass on these companies since it isn’t a great fit for our business model.

The extra-large business executive can be such a challenge and often the relationship can become strained. These people tend to gravitate from one idea to the next on a regular basis and it becomes impossible to create any king of focus and sustainability. Having over thirty years in business with large corporate entities like Motorola and Arrow Electronics, I have seen owners grow substantial businesses but have also seen executives crash and burn, taking many with them. Our experience guides us to stay away from these organizations and their ideas because it is not productive.

The calm and sensible approach is to create a business plan and stick with it for the first year. It is ok to be a little dynamic and make subtle adjustments however the business owner who has to fiddle and change things continually can be a disaster. We learn through our mistakes. Young entrepreneurs continually multi-task and feel the need to be active all the time. This can be one the biggest challenges they will ever face and some just don’t learn from the process.

The demographic we find that works best is one where the client has had a solid degree of business experience and is more prepared for the entrepreneurial world. It takes guts, sustained effort, a little luck and the ability to take on a mentor and listen to advice. Too many with inexperience don’t have this characteristic and burn through so many relationships.


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social media strategy

Social Media Trends for Small Businesses

social media strategyStudioIMI knows that social media strategies are changing so fast that challenges for small business owners make it tough to stay ahead of trends. Nearly twenty-five percent of small business owners currently use social media in some way and a business needs to adapt their online strategies needs for 2015 and beyond. To make your products and services relevant to your target market, you need to investigate these trends to help get your unique business value relayed over social networks.

An example of this is that many social media platforms have designed a variety of systems to handle payments without requiring the buyers to even leave the platform they are on. They want to help you network with buyers and to function as an online wallet for your store. For small businesses, this concept aims to maximize conversions and increase the chances of the conversion to making a purchase happen more easily. Conversions result in buyers, and that is the bottom line. Social media platforms want to manage transactions for you the business owner; they want the conversion to occur on their platform so your clients will not have to leave their site. Transactions take place through the shortest path.

Time Magazine recently wrote that Facebook has a payment function actually hidden within the messenger app. This feature is designed to work with the auto-fill option allowing buyers to save their credit info. It would also integrate with the Facebook “buy” button, so your clients can make purchases while on Facebook.

Twitter also has its one-stop-shop market with a “buy” button that can be embedded into tweets, making it so easy for prospective buyers in your network to buy directly from the tweets without being redirected to a separate e-commerce site as has been the case for years.

Tumbler has a similar system with “buy”, “pledge”, and “get involved” buttons that allow users to post links from sites like Kickstarter, Artsy, and Etsy, and actually take an action. This is becoming a huge advantage for small business owners as they can close a sale more easily without a lot of effort for their clients.

Snapchat also has a partnership with Square, so clients can transfer money directly to their friend’s accounts via “Snapcash”.

These examples mark the beginning of social shopping. It is a secure, fast, easy, and convenient alternative to redirecting buyers to PayPal, Apple Pay, Stripe, or any other type of online payment.

Social shopping has great upside value, since business owners already having an active social media presence, can use their network to sell to. It is a live and active medium for online success that allows deals to be shared quickly, buyers to make purchases without leaving the network, and sellers to easily track their sales campaigns.

StudioIMI has been in business for over 12 years and offers a variety of social media platform set up and management. You may call us at 778-440-3031 or contact us through our contact page. for more details.

We have platforms ready to go and set up is quite simple.