Gordon Fowler is the president and CEO of Sacramento’s 3Fold Communications, a Sacramento-based communications company.
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Not Every Employee Needs to Look Like You
Startups in particular should embrace multiculturalism in the workplace
If anything decisive can be said about our recent national dialogue, it’s that we have a long way to go to create an inclusive America. But here is the good news: Entrepreneurs and small business owners can play a pivotal role in creating a productive and representative workforce.
No Such Thing as No Strings Attached
Watch out for well meaning family and friends when building a startup
Recently, within the context of being a co-founder and mentor at Roseville’s Glue Factory, an incubator for entrepreneurs willing to give back to the community in exchange for free workspace and guidance, I am often asked about the ins and outs of family and friends investing in a startup company.
5 Essential Tech Tools for Startups
When it comes to technology for your new business, keep it simple
New businesses can struggle with ‘timesaving’ apps and tools that require too much learning and not enough advantages.
Are You Listening?
Internal communication that starts at the bottom can launch your business to the top
Every well-meaning small business owner is capable of inflicting wounds that stifle drive, trust, employee engagement and motivation. Maybe not as blatantly as calling out incompetence, but neglect and disrespect through lack of communication de-motivates too. Worst of all, we don’t even know we are doing it.
Show Them That You Care
10 ways to let your clients know you appreciate them
Of course we care about our clients, but are they feelin’ it? You may think you are doing a great job of appreciating clients, but consider this disconnect: According to a Harvard Management Update generated by Bain and Co., 80 percent of companies believe they deliver a superior customer experience, but only 8 percent of their customers agree. Obviously, it’s time to consider some appreciation tactics.
Giving Back Will Get You More
Community involvement helps foster friendships — and close deals
Community involvement is key to a smart marketing strategy. One of the best ways to make an impact with your business is to first make an impact in your community. Not only does your business generate valuable philanthropic karma points, but you will be more likely to distinguish yourself from competitors, boost customer loyalty and have a happier workplace.
Public Relations: It Does a Business Good
All that work on your marketing and advertising plans could fizzle without a focus on PR
An engaging, on-point, 30-second spot can be a thing of beauty. But a good advertising and marketing strategy has two engines: awareness and relationship-building, and the driver of those engines is public relations.
Polish that Message
10 strategies for creating a diversified ad campaign
Super Bowl ads aren’t for everyone. If you’re a multi-billion-dollar global brand, shelling out $4.5 million for 30 seconds of airtime may be perfectly reasonable. For the rest of us, there are a few, slightly more affordable options for spending those marketing dollars. And spend them you should. A solid advertising strategy is essential to growing your business.
How to detox your social media strategy for increased engagement and better outcomes
Some of social media’s best qualities are also the very elements that contribute to its complexity: It is immediate, constantly updated, flexible and inclusive. Connecting with audiences in real-time is great — so long as you have the ability to monitor and respond in real time.
Cleaning Up the Paper Trail
How to ditch marketing materials that don’t match your brand.
Every company’s brand collateral begins with the best intentions. There’s usually a business card, maybe some letterhead and envelopes, possibly a brochure. Then it all just gets away from you until one day you find yourself standing in your office’s storage room staring at boxes of mismatched promotional items. Before this spins into a business identity crisis, take charge and detox your branding collateral.
Make sure you're getting the most out of your website
Old or poorly planned content can render your website ineffective and obsolete. Here’s how to flush it out.
Focus Groups in 3 Easy Steps
When reworking your brand, outside input is essential — but you need to know what you’re doing
A well-organized focus group provides feedback you can use to create a strategy to move forward, build on what’s working well, remove obstacles and finally articulate a clear and concise elevator pitch for your brand. Here’s how to conduct one:
Detox Your Brand: Step 1
Improve your company’s marketing strategy by cleaning up your image
All too often, companies fall into bad habits and need a systematic reset of their marketing program in a way that is manageable and sustainable in the long-term. They need to do away with bad habits and increase the good. So where should you begin?
Like a Good Neighbor
A citizenship strategy provides your company with competitive advantages
Investing in your community is about more than just doing what’s right; it’s smart for your business’s future — and its bottom line.
A better way to look at startups
Instead of taking a shortsighted and high-cost approach to business building, counter-culture entrepreneurs start with that earlier question: What happens when the dream dies?
The Modern Mentor
The workplace is changing, but the need for good counsel remains
Traditional mentorship, like the internal coaching model lauded by previous generations, has become more myth than method. The modern world is faster, busier and ever-changing, and this has lead to big shifts in the business world.
Rise of the New Passionates
Entrepreneurs and retirees are creating opportunities — and even entire markets — through which to share their personal interests
Today, new passionates are creating a bigger impact than ever. Quite literally, they are changing the world in their image. And the businesses, nonprofits, community groups and governments willing to support and embrace them can also benefit.
When Selling to Gen Z, Get Ready to Work
Today's youth are well-informed, but holding their attention will be a major challenge
It’s easy to put off worrying about gen Z, the up-and-coming youngsters, and instead focus resources on the generations that are most active and influential in today’s economy. But doing so is a mistake.
Millennials are turning the status quo on its head, and that means big opportunities for your business
When it comes to over-hyped marketing and workplace topics, the millennials win hands down. But they are going to change everything, probably for the better, and the rest of us should stop fighting it and get on board. Here’s why:
Win with gen Xers by acknowledging to their skepticism
I recently asked a gen-X friend of mine to give me her take on generational communications in the U.S. today. Her response was perfect: “In the words of MTV’s cultural phenomenon The Real World, it’s ‘The true story of seven strangers, picked to live in a house, work together and have their lives taped, to find out what happens when people stop being polite — and start getting real.’”
The Snowflake Strategy
To win with boomers, you’ll need individualized marketing
Let’s be honest, few generations were more aptly named than the baby boomers. While the moniker may have risen from a historically specific fertility trend, in many ways it has become a self-fulfilling prophecy. As writer P.J. O’Rourke once described it: “We’re stuck with being forever described as exploding infants.”
Civics are nine times wealthier than the rest of us, so how can you cash in?
If I wanted my 20-year-old son to join me for a late meal, I’d text him: “Buffet on me.” But I would never ever text my 86-year-old mother with a dinner invitation. For her, there would be a phone call with plenty of formalities and forewarning, a promise of a nice, sit-down establishment and a start time of 4:00 p.m. to take advantage of early bird specials. Why? Because each generation communicates differently.