blog Author

David Meyer

Marketing Enablement: How to Launch and Maintain a Strategy to Take Your Business to New Heights

May 3, 2021

Now’s the time for you to take action and launch a strategy worthy of your marketing dollars and your brand. Think of Spoke as your marketing enablement mission control. 

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Before Heading to a Trade Show, Pack Some PR Essentials

January 8, 2020

Heading to a trade show to network with current customers and meet new prospects? That’s great. Even in a hyper-connected world, trade shows and conferences remain a valuable and necessary staple for businesses and organizations looking to connect with key stakeholders.

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Marketing Tools Are No Match for Customer Power

December 5, 2019

Consumers have more power than ever before. When they’re upset, they can do incredible harm to your brand (through things such as online reviews and even your social media), and they have access to more information (mostly true) about your products and services at their fingertips.

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Marketing During a Recession

November 12, 2019

Growing share during a booming economy is difficult (everyone is spending). Gaining market share during a recession requires capital, but the eventual ROI can’t be beat.

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Preheat Your Data to 450 Degrees

January 7, 2019

Most companies have great data. The problem is that it’s stuck in silos (CRM, Marketing Automation, Web Analytics, Accounting, Social Data, Customer Support, etc.). By combining the data into one Customer Data Platform, marketers obtain a Single View of the Customer…and then your marketing can really start cookin’.

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Take Stock of Higher Quality Stock (please).

February 22, 2018

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a lousy stock photo’s thousand words are ‘crap.’ OK, maybe some of them are ‘lazy.’

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The guy dancing in the end zone isn’t the only hero.

February 22, 2018

What was once a simple spike (first attributed to Homer Jones of the New York Giants in 1965) has evolved into a choreographed party – so long as it’s not deemed ‘excessive.’

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Why Austin Is Becoming One Of The Best Cities for Creatives

August 14, 2018

If you’ve opened a national newspaper, INC, Fortune, Fast Company, Wired or read any news story about fastest growing cities in the last few years, each recognizes Austin as a great place to live. But why? The cost of living is rising, traffic is a nightmare, and the city is in constant change.

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The cobbler HAS shoes.

August 14, 2018

You know that saying about the ‘cobbler’s kids with no shoes’ (implying he’s too busy with work to take care of himself). Have you ever noticed that it’s the ‘cobbler’s kids’ and not the cobbler himself? I bet the cobbler didn’t just have shoes, he had really nice ones (for the record, my great-grandfather was a cobbler, and legend has it that he always wore nice shoes).

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Networking is not working…it’s partying.

September 18, 2018

How our intimate get-togethers turned into a networking party.

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Words Get On Your Nerves (whether you like it or not)

September 18, 2018

For a company whose primary business is dependent upon communication, it seems obvious that being able to write compelling copy for print ads, brochures, TV and radio ads is a basic requirement. Yet, crafting a compelling message can be challenging. Why?

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The brands, they are a changin’

September 18, 2018

First, let’s get one thing clear; a great brand is no guarantee of success (pets.com was fun while it lasted). As marketing pioneer, Bill Bernbach famously quoted, “a great ad campaign will make a bad product fail faster.” In other words, you can only fool people once.

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All your base are belong to us

August 14, 2018

No, the alien robots from the 1989 video game Zero Wing aren’t coming to get you.

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Don’t hit the play button (I dare you).

September 18, 2018

OK, not everyone can be a trendsetter (wrote the guy wearing tattered Chuck Taylor’s and well-worn Levi 501’s). One of the things I love most about our industry is that it’s constantly changing; it requires an unwavering commitment to learning.

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Nobody loves your new product (sorry).

August 14, 2018

You love your new ‘precious’ product, don’t you? It’s okay, admit it. The problem is; nobody knows your product better than you. If you hope to have any chance of selling it, that’s got to change. Like now.

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I can’t say ‘squishy ball’ with a straight face.

August 14, 2018

No knock on the promotional products industry, but the sales and marketing effort for your tradeshow shouldn’t revolve around the tchotchke that you give away. I’ve yet to make a purchase decision based on the logo on my squishy ball or pen.

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Guide Your Customers Through the Buyer's Journey

September 18, 2018

There’s knowing who your customer is, and then there’s knowing your customer (hint: the second one is better).

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A Persona Can’t Drive Your Car (but they can drive your business)

August 14, 2018

As we set up clients’ marketing automation programs, we’ve found that many are confused by creating personas. “How is it different than my target market?” Personas aren’t different; they’re better.

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It’s a push-button world

September 18, 2018

It’s the future, and it’s a push-button world. Hovercrafts exist, robots clean our floors (at least until the uprising), and we automate as many tasks as possible in our everyday lives (how dare you suggest that I do manual math like a peasant!). In this world where we consistently choose automation over manual tasks, it amazes me that less than ten percent of companies are utilizing marketing automation.

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Client Highlight: Telling the MyLaw Story

August 14, 2018

A great example of using lead generation to target qualified leads to maximize ROI is our client AppointLink. They show that if you build it (correctly), they will come.

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Lead Generation May Not Be Your Problem

September 18, 2018

Prospects often call us because they want more leads; plain-and-simple. Most of the time, the quantity of leads isn’t the problem. After asking a few questions (using our patented client decoder), we find that they really want more ‘qualified’ leads (after all, why waste your time trying to sell people that have no likelihood of buying?).

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Getting The Right Leads (with a good ROI)

September 18, 2018

You know who you’re targeting for qualified leads and what you want them to do, right? Oh, and you’re converting those qualified leads into sales at a good rate, and high return on investment? Good.

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Client Highlight: Sit On It

September 18, 2018

A great (maybe the best) example we have of executing a marketing plan is a campaign we developed for ANOVA. Their marketing plan revealed that landscape architects were a prime target to grow their business. The tactic chosen was a simple (giant) cardboard chair (2 big pieces, two pegs) and delivered it in a giant box, along with assembly instructions and information about ANOVA.

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Resolution #2: Follow Your Marketing Plan

September 18, 2018

Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat. Sun Tzu – The Art of War

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Resolution #1: Have a marketing plan

September 18, 2018

Remember paper calendars? It was always refreshing to start January with a clean slate. The fresh pad always smelled good, too. Like optimism, or something.

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Spoke learns about state incentive programs the hard way.

August 14, 2018

The state of Missouri has a program, Missouri Works, that offers tax incentives to companies adding as few as two jobs.

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We've Got More Spokes in the Wheel.

August 14, 2018

For years, we’ve been thinking, “how could we make Spoke better?” We’ve tried everything, Ouija boards, Tarot cards, sage smudging, and hired a shaman (who turned out to be just a college kid selling CutCo knives). The answer turned out to be pretty simple.

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Spoke Marketing Expands to Austin, TX

August 14, 2018

St. Louis, MO (January 22, 2015) — Spoke Marketing, full-service marketing for the emerging and middle markets, is announcing today the agency is expanding into Austin, TX, with the new office being headed by Managing Director Joanna Heinrich.

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You'll Shoot Your Eye Out!

August 14, 2018

Happy Holidays

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Hey doc, I need an antibiotic.

September 18, 2018

It’s that time of year; doctors get the call all the time – patients looking for a quick fix to whatever’s ailing them. We get similar calls almost daily (no, not for drugs…not anymore, anyway). Prospective clients call up wanting a solution without knowing the cause of their problem.

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The Evolution of Banner Ads

September 12, 2018

Remember in the late 90’s when all anyone talked about was ‘eyeballs’? That was the (really stupid) rationale to invest in dotcoms based solely on the traffic the site would generate (even if the site operated at a loss). It was the reason companies had insane valuations and no real, sustainable revenue model.

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Go Big or Go Home

August 14, 2018

What do you think a good direct mail response rate would be? How about 100%? Would that be good enough for you?

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This Is Your Last Warning

September 18, 2018

For years marketing experts have been stressing the importance of including social media in the marketing mix of small and large businesses alike. How is it, then, that so many companies are still solely relying on their company website and paid media to enhance their online presence?

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EVERYONE ELSE’S BLOG SUCKS (and they torture puppies)

September 18, 2018

This month we’ll be looking at choosing the best medium for your advertising. It’s estimated that consumers are exposed to hundreds (likely thousands) of marketing messages each day. Breaking through the clutter is one of a marketer’s biggest challenges, and finding the right media mix is a key ingredient to success.

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Talariant

August 14, 2018

Arch Grants Winner CoMo Medical wanted to rebrand…and we weren’t about to stop them.

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Maybe Dental School Isn't The Answer, After All

September 18, 2018

For years, I’ve been suggesting that marketing students go to dental school. Great money, great hours, and nobody (hardly) ever dies in a dentist’s chair.

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Why Referrals Work

August 14, 2018

Spoke has been able to grow during the ‘great recession’ and ‘slow rebound’ not just because we do great work and focus on finding our clients’ fastest path to cash™; it’s through referrals. Literally 90% of our business comes in the door that way.

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DawaDawa

September 18, 2018

If The Blessing Basket Project had a hoard of obnoxious groupies, they’d have to get in line behind us. We’ve done multiple projects for them over the years (you try to say no to their founder Theresa…let us know how that goes).

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Kölsch

September 18, 2018

Spoke is excited to start off the fall season with a philanthropic bang! On Friday, September 26, we will be entering our Devil’s Tongue Kölsch beer into the 1st Annual Agency Homebrew Competition to benefit the Megan Foundation.

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Sprockets Wrap Up

August 14, 2018

As summer’s closing (along with our sixth year of the Sprockets program), we thought it would be fun to tell you what (kickass, pro bono) work our interns have been doing for non-profits and start-ups.

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A 'Squeaky Clean' list

September 18, 2018

Garbage in, garbage out. With direct marketing, having a good list is the most important element (more important than creative).

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The Fastest Path to Cash™ (or, Spoke's Secret to Success)

September 18, 2018

Yeah, we liked the line so much we trademarked it. But, it really is our key touchstone for every client we work with and something we focus on every day.

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