Who Really Controls Your Company Domain Name?

Who Really Controls Your Company Domain NameBelow I’ve re-posted a painful yet informative article THIS CAN HAPPEN TO YOU: A CAUTIONARY TALE ABOUT YOUR DOMAIN NAME from my sister-agency Spokes Marketing in Baltimore MD. The author poses the question: who really controls your company domain name? Often, the unfortunate answer is “not whom you think it should be”. In fact, I have seen this very thing happen numerous times and even now have a client who is in the process of re-acquiring their own domain.

An Unfortunate But Common Tale

In the Spokes article, the author describes a couple situations where a company has inadvertently lost control of their domain name and, as a result, their website went off-line unexpectedly. This happened because the domain-related emails (warning of an impending expiration) went to either an employee’s email who is no longer with the company, or the deceased company owner’s email after they passed away.

In my experience, there is an even more common situation that leads to a company not having control of their domain name. (more…)

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The Internet Has Made Traditional Advertising Obsolete, Right?

The Internet Has Made TV, Radio and Direct Mail Advertising Obsolete, Right?When I left the radio industry and first started my marketing company in 2007, most of my previous clients wanted me to help them advertise on the Internet. One of the most frequent questions I got was “The Internet has made traditional advertising obsolete, right?”. There was this idea that the Internet was going to make all other marketing channels obsolete and ineffective. This was regularly perpetuated by Internet marketing companies who looked to capitalize on the online craze, regardless of any real evidence that the Internet would replace everything else.

As a result, the Internet was thought of as a marketing “magic pill”. Add the Great Recession into the mix and you have significantly-reduced spending on TV, radio, direct mail (also print) and increased spending on Internet advertising. Now that the dust has settled (has it settled?), we can look back and see that the Internet is important as a foundational marketing channel and works better in addition to traditional advertising. While traditional media outlets have had to make some changes to improve effectiveness and accountability, the reports of the “death of traditional advertising” were highly exaggerated. (more…)

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What is SEM, SEO, PPC (and all that other alphabet soup)?

What is SEM?So what is SEM exactly, anyway?

I have been in the Internet marketing space for roughly 10 years now including my time at CBS Radio (where we sold a lot of digital). And even though Internet marketing has been around for nearly 20 years, I still find that many of the business owners I meet are still confused about important Internet marketing terminology. Just the other day I was asked by a prospective client “So what is SEM exactly, anyway?”. Most clients have some vague idea that it has to do with getting your website to show up on search engines. Surprisingly that is still about the extent of the overall understanding of SEM.

So, I’ve created a short glossary of the most common Internet marketing terms that are usually abbreviated. My goal with this short list is to clarify some of these abbreviations in layman’s terms. This will be extremely basic for some readers, a refresher for others, and hopefully educational for many.

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How Do You Choose Between Ad Agencies?

Choose Between Ad AgenciesFactors to Help Choose Between Ad Agencies

Over the course of the last couple months, we have been discussing various issues regarding ad agencies. We’ve looked at 11 Reasons To Hire An Advertising Agency Instead Of Going Direct, we discussed the question Should You Hire A Marketing Director Full-Time? (as opposed to outsourcing to an agency), and even delved into How Marketing Agencies Get Paid. The next logical question if you are considering working with an advertising agency is “how do you choose between ad agencies?” How do you decide which agency is best for you?

There are many factors which go into the decision, and some of these factors will be common across most situations and some not-so-obvious. The more common factors include (more…)

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How Do Marketing Agencies Get Paid?

How Do Marketing Agencies Get PaidHow Do Marketing Agencies Get Paid?

Have you ever wondered how do marketing agencies get paid? Do all agencies charge their client the same way? If you’ve been in or around the advertising business for a while, you have probably heard stories of major clients bringing their advertising agencies to task for not being very transparent about their pricing. Advertising agencies in the 1990s got a bad reputation for “padding the hours” or otherwise not being very accountable with their clients’ marketing dollars. A similar issue has been brought up in more recent years with Internet marketing agencies, especially SEO agencies. Generally speaking, there tends to be confusion about how marketing agencies charge their clients.

If you’ve worked with marketing agencies in the past, you’ve probably encountered several different pricing models. It’s important to understand the various ways agencies charge in order to make an educated comparison between them. It’s also important to understand the true costs involved with the different pricing models. Each model has its pros and cons and they can make a significant difference in the performance of the agency (more…)

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Question: Does Email Marketing Still Work?

Does Email Marketing Still Work?

Does Email Marketing Still Work?

Have you ever looked at your overflowing inbox and asked yourself “does email marketing still work?” Many small business owners ask this same question while bulk-deleting the non-client messages they don’t intend to read anytime soon. On any given day, you might choose to immediately eliminate roughly 75% of the emails in your inbox in one fell swoop. Many of my marketing clients use this anecdotal evidence to conclude that email marketing is a waste of their company’s time and money. From a purely anecdotal point of view, it would seem email marketing doesn’t work anymore, right? (more…)

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Should You Hire A Marketing Director Full-Time?

Should You Hire a Marketing Director?Marketing Director vs. Marketing Agency

One question I often get is whether or not a company should hire a full-time marketing director instead of a marketing agency (like Lightyear Marketing Group). The easiest and most self-serving answer would be that, no, you don’t need a marketing director when you can outsource your marketing efforts to a full-service marketing agency. However, there really are some justifiable reasons why a company should hire a full-time director of marketing. So my real answer is a less self-serving and more-vague it depends. And then I’ll follow up that with an even more frustrating answer: you may need both. (more…)

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Pacific Palisades Chamber Meets Member Needs with New Website

The NEW PalisadesChamber.com Home PageNew Website, New Beginning for Palisades Chamber

Lightyear Marketing Group is proud to announce the launch of PalisadesChamber.com, the official website of the Pacific Palisades Chamber of Commerce. The previous site, built over 10 years ago was no longer able to meet the online needs of the Chamber membership. The new website was built from scratch with a completely custom WordPress design.
The entire development process was a collaborative effort between the Palisades Chamber leadership team and Lightyear Marketing Group. (more…)

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11 Reasons to Hire an Advertising Agency Instead of Going Direct

11 Reasons to Hire an Advertising Agency Instead of Going DirectWhy Hire an Advertising Agency Instead of Going Direct?

One of the questions I get often is why a business owner should hire an advertising agency instead of dealing directly with the various media vendors themselves. They are referring to the website developer, the search engine marketing company, the radio station, etcetera. Business owners often claim that by “going direct”, they save money in agency fees and can stretch their advertising dollars further. While this might make sense on paper, in reality, there are significant inefficiencies and indirect costs associated with “going direct”. (more…)

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You Wrote an Online Article…Now What?

You Wrote an Online Article…Now What?Why You Wrote an Online Article

Last week I showed networkers an example of how to go From Networking to Blogging in One Step by turning a 60 second commercial into an online article or blog. Adding helpful articles to your website (helpful to your potential customers) is an excellent way to increase your credibility with your potential customers and become known as an expert in your field. It is also an excellent way (and necessary way) to increase your visibility on the search engines. While most small businesses (more…)

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