‘Action doesn’t magically happen. You have to plan for it’

Derek Blair of Insights Matter talks about how quality research can result in real operational change in businesses

‘Action doesn’t magically happen. You have to plan for it’Derek Blair is president of Insights Matter. Calgary’s Business: What is Insights Matter? Blair: We are a consumer research and market insights company. We help companies and organizations that are looking to solve marketing-related challenges and questions like: “What do our consumers and clients want?” or “Why do they buy and how do they make…

Are your new leaders headed in the right direction?

Launching a leadership career should not resemble a game of pin the tail on the donkey. But too often we fail to provide the support to gain needed skills

Are your new leaders headed in the right direction?I was blindfolded and had been spinning for what seemed like minutes (it was only a few seconds), before being pushed toward the donkey. I was dizzy and had no idea where I was. I wanted to cheat so I could have a chance at winning but the blindfold was too tight. In the end,…

Need help tapping into the marketing power of digital platforms?

Crystal DeCnodder of Full Blast Creative talks about how to put social media to work building your business

Need help tapping into the marketing power of digital platforms?Crystal DeCnodder is partner and vice-president of digital marketing for Full Blast Creative. Calgary’s Business: Why is it important for businesses today to adopt social media and social media advertising into their operations? DeCnodder: Social media marketing has come a long way since 2011 when I started my social media company. When the industry first…

Four questions to ask before you hire a web team

Make sure your vision for a website meshes with your designer's. Otherwise, it could be expensive, frustrating, and devastating to your small business

Four questions to ask before you hire a web team  Every business today needs a website but finding the right team to help build it isn't easy. There is no HomeStars for companies that design and build websites in Canada. We have many clients who've had terrible experiences with website building. Either the strategy for the site doesn’t align with the results, the content doesn’t…

It’s halftime! Are you winning?

Most small business leaders have no defined goals, they’re unsure what to keep track of and they’re floating from year to year

It’s halftime! Are you winning?“How do we win?” I asked. “We need to score baskets,” they answered. “How do we score baskets?” Donncha asked. “We need to pass and we need to shoot,” they answered. Our questions went on and on. The scoreboard told the story. It was halftime and our team was down by six points. The girls…

Four things to understand about the power of marketing

Are you giving marketing the respect it deserves?

Four things to understand about the power of marketingOne of the biggest mistakes new entrepreneurs make is to underestimate the power and importance of marketing. Right from the earliest days of a startup, marketing deserves a seat with the big boys: finance, human resources, operations, product development and sales. It shouldn't be an afterthought. And it’s not fluff. “Marketing is a core part of…

Shrinkflation: to control costs, food companies shrinking packaging

When costs rise, a food company has three options: raise the price, make smaller packages or change the ingredients

Shrinkflation: to control costs, food companies shrinking packagingRough estimates suggest that anywhere from 15 to 20 per cent of packaged food products in Canada have shrunk over the last five years. Consumers find this irritating, but given the economics of the food industry, the industry can hardly be blamed. Most consumers worry about the cost of food. We constantly look for bargains…

The economy is doing well, so why can’t Canadian grocers hike prices?

Grocers need to find a way to make inflation work for them and that means competing in the online market

The economy is doing well, so why can’t Canadian grocers hike prices?Retail food prices aren’t moving much. They’re barely higher than last year, up a modest 0.5 per cent. And according to Statistics Canada, prices dropped by 0.7 per cent over the winter months. U.S. grocers are dealing with the same issue. Since Canada's economy has some momentum, you would expect food retail prices to inch…

Are we really all on treaty land?

The phrase ‘you are now on treaty land’ is part of a slick marketing campaign with clear financial goals

Are we really all on treaty land?I recently attended an event that began with an announcement that “you are now on treaty land.” By now, we’re all familiar with this new way of starting public functions. It stems from a recommendation from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). The claim is that such announcements will be a step in the direction…

Trade show tricks, tips … and traps

You need a clear marketing strategy, prepared staff, the correct giveaways, quick follow-up on leads and plenty of energy

Trade show tricks, tips … and trapsIf you aren’t including trade shows in your marketing mix, you may be missing out. Exhibiting at a trade show immediately levels the playing field between you and the other guys, no matter how much bigger, richer or more established they are. Every business pays the same square-footage rate to get in front of people…

How to overcome the sales/marketing disconnect

We need regular, repeatable communication systems that bring marketing into the sales cycle and allow sales to contribute to the marketing plans

How to overcome the sales/marketing disconnectOne of my clients was spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on marketing programs yet their customers didn’t seem engaged. They felt there was a problem with their sales team and asked if I could help. In many businesses, there’s a disconnect between the marketing department and the sales team. In an established business like…

7 ways small businesses can reach customers

If you’re capturing leads with only one type of media or channel, you're missing out on capturing three to 10 times more prospects

7 ways small businesses can reach customersThe more ways you offer prospective customers to contact you and join your automatic follow-up system, the more money you're going to make. So why restrict the way people contact you? Not everyone wants your e-newsletters. If people know and trust you, some prefer to see short text messages. Others want to call a phone…

Tim Hortons: the killing another of Canadian icon

Parent company RBI’s international expansion plans may well be behind the heartless Tim Hortons policies in Canada

Tim Hortons: the killing another of Canadian iconDestroying Canadian business icons seems to be a trend. In 2017, it was Sears. While employees were losing their pensions because of poor management, lawyers and consultants were receiving millions as the business was shutting down. Several Canadian retail icons have crumbled due to weak managerial strategies, from Eaton’s to Sears. Most closures, though, have…

Don’t wait until your business is in pain to find a cure

Prioritize your problems, identify all the best possible solutions to the most important issue and decide how to implement them

Don’t wait until your business is in pain to find a cure“Gross!” my kids yelled as I showed them the big lump of yellow wax that I had just picked out of the sink. To me, this lump of “gross” wax was a relief. A few days earlier, I had barely survived a flight from Rome to Dublin without screaming in pain. My ear was plugged and…

The truth about crappy website content

Creating website content that people will want to read

The truth about crappy website content“You need articles for the website?” pressed the CEO. “Words are cheap; buy them from one of those content farms.” I instantly knew we would not be working together very long, given that he had such little regard for his corporate image or for the reputation of his employees, customers and partners. Including me. Irresistible…
1 2 3