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Marketing Agency Since 1979

SMS, Ink

Colorful Tips for Serious Marketers

Social Media in Industrial Marketing: Can it Play a Role?

You know the routine: you spend umpteen hours and precious resources developing your company’s website and the time comes to add the social media icons or “bugs”. If you haven’t already been maintaining a social media presence, you hold a meeting to decide which applications might be useful and the usual suspects get bandied about: Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Conversations swirl around their effectiveness in your marketplace and the best ways to build your networks.

Soon, someone mentions that they don’t even use social media and everyone looks at them wondering why they’re even in the meeting until you realize they represent most of your company. “My wife uses it,” you hear from one employee. “My kids made me a page but I don’t even have a picture up,” says another. Your research of other B-2-B websites turns up social media graveyards more often than not – companies that tried to use various platforms in various ways before eventually abandoning the idea altogether. Before long everyone is asking the same question: why are we doing this again?

Anyone who has tried to maintain a social media page for their company at some point begins to feel a sense of absurdity, as if they’re off in a corner talking to themselves. Even if there’s a healthy number of people in your network, over time the lack of responses creates a bigger and bigger echo from the abyss. So, the question remains: is there a role for social media in industrial B-2-B marketing outside of using it because everyone else is and your website may look old-fashioned without those darn bugs?

The answer, unfortunately, is “maybe”. It really depends on the availability of content and one’s ability to identify it and make it engaging. Yes, network building is important and adding a “Follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.” to your signature blocks can help add people to your page but social algorithms may start cutting your content from their walls if there isn’t enough interaction. A company with a social media presence is also at odds with prospects who already employ those applications for non-business related reasons. Your company message can jar someone who has been staring at memes for an hour, and not in a good way. Making your precious few connections angry is hardly the way forward.

And that means fashioning content to fit their flow. It can be done, especially by focusing on the people inside and outside your organization. Remembering that businesses are essentially made up of people who have real lives and similar problems and interests is a good start. Highlighting employees always gets a look, as eyes are drawn to faces. People are always curious about how others look, or wondering if they know anyone in a photo. If you want to shoot a machine, put someone next to it looking in. Light it well, and maybe even add some filters. You can try cocking the frame off axis, too – anything that makes it more interesting. Also, learn how to use hashtags (#). They will help your content reach beyond your closed network.

It can take practice, but posting to social media can easily become addictive. Before long you’ll be seeing possible posts everywhere you look. Most importantly, social media content can positively affect your site traffic through SEO, so make sure your content is rich with keywords, both in the text that accompanies your photos (they’re a must), and in your “About” descriptions. Those paragraphs that describe your company become your meta descriptions on SERPs. Also, adding links back to your website in your posts can boost visits when site content has grown a little stale. It’s quick way to make up the difference until you can address your site properly.

The final word on social media and B-2-B marketing is that it requires serious attention to be effective. Like all things, what you put in is usually what you get out. Treat your pages as vital extensions of your marketing mix and they may become real weapons in your arsenal.

– S. Norton

For more information on developing an effective social media program, feel free to contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation. Or, simply fill out the short form on our homepage.


Maximization Through Customization: Getting the Most Out of Your Digital Marketing Budget

I’ve always disliked long titles to articles and blog posts. They tend to lack creativity and fail to engage. Odds are most will skip over this entry when they receive it in their inbox. Who has the time to read a long thing before reading an even longer thing? Yet despite knowing long titles are problematic, there’s a twelve-word title at the head of this post because it says all the things I feel are important. In essence, I’ve shoved a bunch of stuff into a single title and in doing so risked getting my message to you.

I say we fix it. Let’s try:

Maximization Through Customization: Getting the Most Out of Your Marketing Budget

We dropped a word, which is a okay, but now it doesn’t really mean the same thing. We need the term “digital” because those are the primary activities we’ll be covering. Let’s try again:

Maximization Through Customization: Optimizing Your Digital Marketing Budget

We dropped three more words! Oh, but we added another big word with a “z”. Too many concepts to inhale at once? Will all those z’s put people to sleep? One more time:

Optimizing Your Digital Marketing Budget Through Customization

We dropped another word and now we’re down to seven. Things are going pretty well in that regard. Only, it feels a little drab and the word “customization” is a lot of concept that feels like it’s weighing down the tail. Shorter isn’t always better if the end result is boring half your audience and overwhelming the other half. Last time:

Optimizing Your Digital Marketing Budget

Five words, message simplified, rolls off the tongue. Is it perfect? In my view, it lacks a smile, one of the core concepts, and incorporates a well-worn buzzword – optimization – that in a fresh context could obfuscate the digital landscape. What I’ll need to do is highlight how that word ties into the concept of customization and how it’s become so vital to our digital marketing activities that it should be written on stickies all over the office. Better yet, if I can present an example by optimizing the word power in the title of the blog post, maybe I can even better illustrate my point.


If digital marketing – particularly in the industrial and manufacturing marketplaces – is still a mistrusted term it’s because too few B-2-B companies are carefully customizing their approach and content to suit their markets. The efficacy of sweeping programs that cast wide nets is difficult to track and often miss their mark. Also, sending the same message in the same way over every platform doesn’t always work. Putting a few tightly-scheduled dollars into the right social media platforms to cover trade shows and other, mostly anecdotal content makes sense. Yet, the same doesn’t work with Google AdWords campaigns where more direct approaches are necessary to match the right searches.

Investing in a measured mix of digital programs requires the ability to more meticulously utilize one’s marketing resources. Agency pricing that locks you into a broad range of activities over a set period of time might yield some results in the short term but the waste will drain your company’s potential for growth. An agency that understands these dangers will price their services in small, adjustable increments with no minimums, and clearly allocate a percentage of your budget for trial and error which will help eliminate ROI panic as long as spending equals learning. 

Most importantly, optimizing your budget requires a marketing partner who will get in the trenches with you, learn your markets and help you devise the right tactics to reach them. They’ll share the risk and stand by your side by cutting waste and leaving only the leanest muscle to pull the weight. In short, like a good fund manager, a good marketing partner watches every penny and only succeeds when you do.

– S. Norton

For more information on developing an efficient mix of digital marketing programs, feel free to contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation. Or, simply fill out the short form on our homepage.

B2B Distributor Partnerships: Doubling Your Marketing Power

A few posts ago we discussed organic search optimization and its importance for getting found when not throwing huge amounts of resources at Google AdWord campaigns. To briefly recap, staying “Google relevant” means websites must be regularly updated with useful, keyword-rich content so that search engine crawlers rank them high enough to be seen. At that point, an engaging meta description should entice users to click, introducing them into the sales cycle and sending “traffic juice” to the website’s organic search metrics. The more traffic you get, the more Google thinks you’re cool and the better your rankings will be.

However, from time to time, companies in the B2B landscape who manufacturer products that get resold find themselves competing with their distributors for Search Engine Results Page (SERP) real estate. Does it matter if customers find you through your website first? Good question. If your website primarily exists to redirect users to your distributor, it does appear to be a logical trade-off.

But there are reasons why you might want customers and prospects to stop by your website before visiting your distributor. For one, you want them to shop with your messaging in mind as it may help close the sale. Secondly, website traffic that correlates with sales efforts provides valuable feedback that can help determine the efficacy of those efforts. Most of all, you want to continue to build brand recognition so that a competitor’s brand doesn’t begin to lodge into your customer’s memory banks. Also, a great deal of searching in the high-tech and industrial marketplaces involve “brand searches”. Once you’ve got them looking for you by name they’re hooked, so keeping your brand prominent in the marketplace is vital for market maintenance and growth.

Now that we’ve answered that question, let’s take another look at the original problem: how does a company compete with its distributor for SERP rankings? The solution exists all around us in the B2C world. Brand partnerships are nothing new, and often accompany non-profit awareness ventures, but how many products can you think of off the top of your head that are sold by prominently featuring their reseller in their messaging? It could be a commercial for a brand of shoes that includes the name of a regional mall, or any advertisement that uses the terms “available at” and “participating retailers” in their copy. In other words, we’re conditioned to think of products in terms of where we can find them, and online shoppers are the same. Huge e-commerce sites like Amazon dominate organic search keyword rankings for a reason. Much like industrial product distributors, their website has loads of content related to your customer’s search terms – more than could ever be matched by the average company’s resources and capabilities. In fact, users now go to Amazon and begin their search there but they do so for a very important reason: they know what they want because of successful branding methods.

Putting together a “channel incentive” program, or partnering with your reseller through carefully coordinated marketing initiatives, could be an effective way to improve sales for you and your distributor. It can be a tricky proposition, as traditional marketing thinking involving brand dominance and continuity still informs most B2B marketing decisions, but it’s not unheard of to sell the two at once. Many sales meetings and seminars attempt to boost partnership morale with co-headlining video presentations and fancy swag that have been carefully designed with painful precision – only to be discarded after a single use. The point is, it doesn’t have to stop there. Developing goal-oriented digital marketing programs that focus on combined sales incentives are easily spread out and tested. For example, a single Pay-Per-Click (PPC) ad that unites messaging and brand recognition can send users to a landing page that promotes both entities. What’s more, combining marketing budgets means sharing the risk, and could allow for higher AdWord bids and better positioning.

Think about it: if your brand becomes virtually synonymous with your reseller’s brand to a carefully targeted sector of the marketplace, you’ve doubled your marketing power for that sector. And with the right blend of goals and communication, a B2B partnership program that starts small could lead to much bigger things.

– S. Norton

For more information on developing marketing programs with your distributor, feel free to contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation. Or, simply fill out the short form on our homepage.

Outrunning the Bear: The Importance of Competitor Analysis

So you’re hiking with a couple of friends in the woods. It’s a nice enough day and things are fairly jovial when suddenly you come upon a mother bear and her cubs. You realize in that moment that you’re in danger, and no amount of playing dead is going to help. Momma ain’t happy and somebody’s gonna pay.

Immediately you do what everyone says not to do: run. You run for everything you’re worth, dodging branches and hurdling fallen trees. You look back, expecting to see momma on your tail, and realize you’re leading the pack. In fact, one of your friends who put on a few more pounds than you did after college because he still sits around playing video games and eating pizza every night instead of spending what little discretionary income he has on a gym membership has almost zero chance of catching you. It’s then you recall an important marketing adage that wound up on that business midterm you actually studied for: you only have to be better than your competition.

That’s when you relax, but not completely. You wisely conserve energy for the haul back to the truck where you set a reminder on your phone to extend your gym membership. As it turns out, it was more than worth it.

Okay, maybe retooling that old joke was a bit more gruesome than a marketing analogy needs to be, but the point is clear: knowing the competition helps direct your marketing activities. A marketing manager blinded by the amount of digital marketing opportunities and challenges can easily lose sight of how best to use their budget. In terms of developing a website – a dynamic, living tool – the job is never complete. It can become daunting to wonder not just where to start, but when to stop!

That’s why it’s important to spend the time identifying and researching the websites and supporting marketing initiatives of your closest competition – those companies most in line to snatch that precious SERP real estate. Perhaps their capabilities closely match your own and they boast similar OEM programs. Maybe they’re down the road and enjoying the same proximity to major metropolitan centers. Maybe their trade show booth has cookies where yours has coupons for wine. All other things being equal, what might set you apart and win you market share is how wisely you choose to invest your marketing dollars in relation to their choices. In other words, you only need to outrun them to survive and grow.

If your marketing agency isn’t consistently referencing your competition when advising how to use your budget, they’re probably only interested in producing serviceable marketing materials and generic marketing programs that will maintain status quo. If they’re not suggesting methods that are better or counter to what your competition is currently employing, they may succeed in keeping your brand in the market but they’re gambling with your money on keeping it competitive.

SMS researches our client’s and prospect’s competition as a matter of course. We dive deeply into their websites, uncover what they do well and where they might be weak, and run reports on their traffic and standing with Google’s algorithms. We want to know what makes them tick so we can suggest ways to improve on their ideas and fight it out with them for SERP turf. Once we’re toe-to-toe, we can work on messaging and value propositions that will see our products specified over theirs. Most importantly, we want to do all of these things without breaking budgets. Anyone can outspend. Not everyone can spend better.

In the end, doing something is always better than doing nothing. If you don’t run, the bear will get you. But if you’ve invested the time and effort to ensure you’ll run faster and more nimbly than the other guy, you’ll do a better job of covering your butt…or leaving the bear behind.

– S. Norton

For more information on directing your marketing activities through competition research and analysis, feel free to contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation. Or, simply fill out the short form on our homepage.

*Old joke credit: Bob Norton. 


Buzz Word Watch: Conversion Rate Optimization

Helping industrial B-2-B marketers keep up with evolving digital marketing methods, terms and technology is mostly what this blog is about. Intermittently, I like to highlight certain SMS projects that I think are interesting or required solutions that some might find helpful, and every once in awhile there are announcements and musings about staff comings and goings. Today, I wanted to explain a few key concepts behind one the most important buzz words making the marketing rounds, but not before wishing a happy retirement to long-time client and friend of SMS, Chuck Locke.

Chuck is leaving the position of Vice President of Marketing and Sales at Drummond Scientific Company after 25 years and for all of them he’s partnered with SMS on a number of projects ranging from video and collateral to web development and AdWord campaigns. We’ll miss his strong sense of loyalty, professional exuberance and down-to-earth charm but wish him all the best going forward. Get at those fish, Chuck.

Now, Conversion Rate Optimization, or CRO. I’ve written previously about organic search optimization, a component of SEO that involves regularly adding useful content to a website in order to perform well in organic search rankings. The post was specifically about the power of meta descriptions and how they should be as engaging and relevant as ads in order to attract clicks. Applying effective CRO might be considered the next step – if converting leads to sales is a company’s primary objective. I think we can agree that it is.

Digital marketing acronyms seem to be multiplying like weeds lately, but we can’t talk about CRO without also talking about ROI (Return On Investment). I’m going to guess that most digital marketing managers have accepted the tenet that websites are never “done”,  and therefore understand that an increasingly greater portion of marketing resources are being allocated to website development and supporting digital tools like landing pages, banner ads, and social media platforms. As a result, they’re under a commensurate amount of pressure to prove that their favorite digital marketing tools are budget worthy. It’s something of a Catch-22: everyone knows they need them, but they can’t always prove that they work.

CRO involves many things, from properly organizing the elements of a homepage so that engagement is “above the fold” to the study of data and analytics which help determine where the digital sales cycle is getting caught up. The goal is to convert visitors into customers as opposed to simply increasing traffic. Among other things, effective CRO requires a deep understanding of the behavior of one’s buying audience or persona. Attention spans vary depending on markets, but we can all agree that they’re getting shorter overall so it’s vital to capture a visitor’s attention with a clear value proposition and have them interact with a “call to action” like a contact form or mailing list signup as soon as possible.

Optimizing for conversions involves a delicate balance between direct messaging and indirect selling that requires testing, and it can differ wildly from audience to audience. For an analogy, think about how teachers enter different rooms as they make their way around a school. Each environment calls for a specific demeanor, and each demands that you bring something engaging to offer. If you miss on either point, you’ll likely get tuned out. Teachers learn very early that, despite entering the profession to make a difference, they must first get their students’ attention. To do that, they must find a way to reach an audience who may or may not be aware that they need to improve, or even think that it’s necessary. If we design our websites as if they were us, standing in front of a room of children who challenge every second to be worthy of their time, we’re probably on the right track. If we imagine a situation where those children can get up and leave whenever they please, we’re definitely on the right track.

Optimizing one’s website for higher conversion rates need not be as difficult as winning over a classroom of kids, but there are standards and methods that can make them more cost-effective. Keeping up with them will ease the pressure, and improve investment returns.

– S. Norton

For more information on how your website can be better optimized for conversions, feel free to contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation. Or, simply fill out the short form on our homepage





Content: Defining the King

For the past several years, whenever anyone was in a serious discussion about web or digital marketing, eventually someone would exclaim, “Content is king!”. All sides would nod sharply in agreement, and often the discussion would peter out. What more was there to say about successfully marketing your website? You could have the most glorious slider photos, clever headlines, and irresistible interactive elements, but first impressions only last for so long. It stood to unanimous reason that unless you were at least regularly supplying fresh content to your website, it was doomed to fail.

There are very good reasons why this content tenet withstands and prevails. One of them involves how search engines work and continue to work. Crawlers are programmed with ever-evolving algorithms that seek out the freshest and most useful content available that matches a specific search word or term. The thinking is that users want the latest and greatest all the time, and in the incessant manner in which information requires updating, who can blame them?

But it’s not only accuracy that drives this thinking; often it’s simply that the information is perceived as “old”, or “stale”. In the case of B-2-B websites, for example, products and services may need to be presented with a new coat of paint despite remaining constant in their benefits and message. The reason is that, when we market, regardless of our forthrightness, the perception is that that which doesn’t appear to stay current loses value. For those of us well ensconced in middle age, no point could be pointier.

So what does all of this mean? Well, for starters, outside of how search engines work and in the enduring sense that perception is reality, we need to add fresh content to our website and keep its design looking current, if not modern. It’s been the SMS experience that the length of time a company needs to refresh and polish their website grows increasingly shorter. Like most things, the speed with which our lives are changed by technology places us in a permanent kind of evolutionary warp. One day our mobile devices are state of the art, the next they’re obsolete. Some of us like to think we live independent of technology’s clutches, but it’s becoming pretty clear pretty quickly that it’s not the case for anyone. We’re all connected, all the time, and sometimes it feels like if we don’t keep our speed on the wheel it will spin us around and spit us out.

Okay, the king grows more powerful and demands more coin – how do we keep him fat and happy? The good news is that we’re all creating content – or at least sowing the seeds of useful content creation – all the time. Every day in our workplaces we’re having conversations about improving our products and services and thinking of new ways to compete. Sure, we talk about other things too, but at any given moment pockets of staff are hashing out the minutiae of their daily professional existence and arriving at problems and solutions, questions and answers. Sometimes our conversations are concrete, sometimes they remain in the abstract. But we communicate constantly and communication is the very essence of marketing.

The trick is collecting these bits of communication, organizing them, and identifying the best way to deliver them to your audience. A quick photo of a new system component accompanied by a honed explanation of how it will benefit your customers works great as a blog post that can then be shared on social media. Same goes for a quick summary of how a company is structured and why it keeps them competitive. What’s happening in one’s industry that has the office abuzz can also be very interesting with a relevant spin.

Content need not be all about business, either. Personalizing your company adds warmth and keeps visitors engaged. Maybe someone in your plant is having a birthday, and wouldn’t mind sharing a few words about the colleagues or customers that have helped make it special. There’s also a better than average chance that there are pieces of literature or photos stuck on shelves or in filing cabinets that can be fashioned into a story – or history – of sorts. The key is to fashion all content to support your core messages as best you can. Everything within the walls of your business somehow relates to why you’re there. Following the threads can be interesting and illuminating.

As a final thought, SMS values our client relationships because we believe in their products and services. We primarily address the high-tech, industrial and manufacturing markets for many reasons and chief among them is that we take great pride in what our clients are proud of. We don’t need to find ways to dig out marketable value in what our clients do; our clients exist to make things that keep the world running. All we have to do is listen and spend as much time as we can learning about their markets and learning their language. We’ve been doing it for almost 40 years and maybe that’s why we ‘re confident we can help them serve the king.

-S. Norton

For more information on adding fresh content to your website, feel free to contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation. Or, simply fill out the short form on our homepage.


Digital Marketing is Still Marketing

An odd title this week, but what I’m seeing in the web marketing universe is giving me pause. One might think it’s obvious to most that tools such as social media platforms, Google AdWord campaigns, organic optimization programs, email marketing blasts and a variety of other variably effective electronic methods still require a base knowledge of client markets, a working understanding of their market language, and thorough research of market behavior and competitor activity. I’m finding that’s rarely the case.

Online marketing services with catchy domains quite often put a primary emphasis on the evolving wonders of technology like alluring apps, flexible software, and quick-start templates. These colorful bells and whistles are frequently sold with compelling graphics that tout their affordability, power and reach, but precious little shrift is given to how they might best be used by an individual client or company – a statement that also suggests that ambitious digital marketing mavens seek to not only blur the lines between B-2-C and B-2-B marketing, but eradicate them altogether.

At the risk of sounding like an old marketing goat, for those who have been in the marketing game long before this thing we call the Internet, pitches to prospects were prepared around large tables full of qualified people taking lots of notes. Experience reaching both general and niche targets was not only appreciated, it was a requirement. Creative and tactical was established hand-in-hand, one informing the other. For industrial marketers, it wasn’t unusual to see spec sheets laying around or even CAD drawings. Publications were ripped to pieces, with fragments of ads passed left to right as marketing teams nodded and absorbed the information for percolation. Budgets were tight, even when they were big, and the agency that got most of those dollars in the marketplace in the right way so they would be seen and understood by the right people built strong and fruitful relationships with their clients.

Today, through the relative ease of Internet visibility, companies offering design and marketing services can quickly get the eye and ear of confused and often overwhelmed marketing managers and convince them that the steps detailed above aren’t remotely necessary. They’ll imply through clever graphics and mysterious buzz words that all marketing looks the same these days regardless of industry, and that customer behavior is virtually homogeneous. It’s true that for a great many industries, the Internet has functioned as a leveler of fields of sorts and in many ways allowed smaller, younger players to get in the game with their larger, more seasoned competitors. But in even more ways, modern marketers have treated the Internet like a big, bouncy toy that anyone can use with almost no practice. It takes very little homework to make the “little” guys feel like they’re playing – until it’s time to count up conversions and leads. Before long, if they’re lucky, they realize one only gets to compete if they engage in digital marketing methods that display a comprehensive knowledge of their markets, their language, and a studied understanding of what their competitors are doing.

As the years pass and digital marketing becomes more advanced and complex, the maintenance of websites and the corresponding activities that drive traffic will become an increasingly ongoing process. Regular monitoring of website performance and reevaluating the methods of reaching your customers will become a daily chore as opposed to a conversation that happens once or twice a year when marketing budgets are set. A company’s best bet is to build a relationship with an agency that does the research and truly understands the demands and obstacles of marketing their products and services. While it’s possible to net plenty of leads through pure luck and fancy graphics, there are no magic buttons, virtual or otherwise, that one can push to maintain consistent market growth.

– S. Norton

For more info on how to better manage your marketing mix, feel free to contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation. Or, simply fill out the short form on our homepage.

SEO’s Secret Weapon: The Meta Description

Most web marketers have accepted that getting a website seen and engaged is an ongoing, uphill battle. At some point in the past, simply having a clean and professional website meant you had done enough to appear current and viable in your marketplace. Your shiny new marketing tool boasted your capabilities and every employee was tasked with saluting it for the first few weeks. And because market territory was still fairly spacious, for the most part it got found when someone searched for your products and services.

Then the game changed. Things got crowded and competition stiffened. Recognizing an opportunity, Google developed their AdWords program. In short, companies bid for popular industry keywords to jockey for ad position on a Search Engine Results Page (SERP). These ads earned swanky screen real estate and Google did what they could to make them stand out. However, over time, the demand for keywords grew increasingly high, and small to mid-size companies lost their edge in the fight. They simply couldn’t afford to funnel the same kinds of resources into their campaigns as their larger, richer competitors.

Then something interesting happened: companies that ruled the game began to see diminishing returns. The prevailing SMS theory is that ads became untrustworthy for desired content. The PPC kings had simply oversold their usefulness by buying up keywords and frustrating users who clicked on their ads and wound up down the wrong rabbit holes. As a result, an old habit returned: users began immediately scanning organic results and clicking eye-catching meta descriptions that could only have appeared through closely matching content. Again, this is just a theory as many users still prioritize ads, but even Google seemed to notice and subtly changed their approach. Not wanting to temper lucrative AdWord bidding wars, they continued giving big spenders top rankings but began dressing their ads in organic clothing. Gone were the shaded backgrounds and swank real estate. In their place were more organic looking listings separated by fine lines. In fact, even on a desktop screen you have to look pretty closely to even see the word “ad”.

This means a more level SERP playing field for those companies on tighter budgets. One way to take advantage is through strong meta descriptions that have been given the attention usually reserved for ad copy. For those still catching up, a meta description is the block of text that appears below the search result title. It’s what we read when we’re trying to determine if a result is worth clicking. Sharp developers address the code of these descriptions individually and make them sound enticing, sometimes with irresistible calls to action. If left alone, Google will simply grab up to 160 characters of copy from the page so that users get some idea of what they might find, often at random. This can make for a weak message and gift traffic to competing results.

SMS developers have been polishing meta descriptions for our clients by starting with their most important, high-traffic pages. It allows these companies to “punch up” at the competition with smaller budgets and take advantage of “devolving” search behaviors. We usually recommend a carefully considered combination of PPC and organic SEO practices, one where important keywords and/or long tail keywords are given the portion of the marketing budget required to stay competitive but where site content is equally targeted. This allows well-written PPC ads to be almost duplicated in the meta description code where they’ll be seen and evaluated in the same space as a competitor’s expensive AdWord results.

– S. Norton

For more info on optimizing your website for better organic performance, feel free to contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation. Or, simply fill out the short form on our homepage.


SMS Bids Fond Farewell to Cheryl Scott

For those SMS clients that have been part of our family since 1981 (we’re proud to say there are still a few), you’ve likely identified the agency with the sharp and enthusiastic demeanor of our Cheryl. She’s been the “voice” of SMS production for over 37 years and has always kept in tireless contact with the many important accounts she services. Her consistency and reliability sets an SMS standard that we work hard to maintain to this day.

Now residing in Cape Coral, Florida with her husband Neil, Cheryl is closing her remote SMS office and focusing on living life to its fullest and while we will miss her terribly, we’re also happy for her. We wouldn’t be who we are without her, and she deserves our stiffest upper lips as we say goodbye.

Cheryl will still be monitoring her email so feel free to contact her if you like, as she promises to reply to each and every one. To the end and as expected, you can count on her to be there. Taking her example, SMS has you covered with the familiar voice of our Vice President of Operations, Anita Nicolo – another all-star that will keep the transition seamless.

Enjoy your new chapter, Cheryl. You may be leaving our team, but you will never leave our grateful hearts.

– S. Norton


James Corbett Joins SMS Rep Team

When you consider his mobile app development expertise, web marketing nous and advanced knowledge of social network and team building, it’s safe to say James Corbett is a marketing pro who knows the digital landscape from the ground up. Add a passion for contacting and bringing people together and you have a unique account representative that brings a variety of important contemporary skillsets to any project.

James will be helping SMS reach out to clients and prospects throughout our core high-tech, industrial and manufacturing marketplaces and beyond. He’ll assist in strategizing the most cost-effective approaches to building brand recognition, increasing market share through SEO optimization programs and content creation, and advising on every aspect of a project, from creative to content to implementation.

Corbett is also the founder and driving force behind Project Refit, a non-profit video chat platform that connects military veterans in an effort spread awareness about PTSD and provide communal support.

S. Norton