The day’s top reads for small-business owners, as selected by our business experts, Rieva Lesonsky, Mike Michalowicz, Barry Moltz and Mike Periu.
NASA Crowdfunds to Spread the Word
NASA needs to market too, and it recognizes that there's no more receptive, excited and engaged audience than space movie fans. While NASA is usually restricted to taxpayer dollars for their marketing efforts, it started a crowdfunding campaign that would give it the ability to run its latest 2-minute video clip in at least one movie theatre in every U.S. state. This is a great example of successful crowdfunding in the space industry: The sky is the limit when you have loyal and eager fan base. [Business Week
When Gender Doesn't Matter
Eight of the most powerful women in marketing—all honorees from the "2013 Marketing Hall of Femme"—recently gathered for an awards ceremony in New York City. They discussed aspects of their careers that they all have in common: They're change agents, focused on teamwork, championing content marketing and making sure their product is all about the customer. Interestingly, there was little mention of the fact that they're all women. In this power powwow, it seems that being female did not define these leaders ... perhaps that was the best takeaway of all.
Avoiding a Social Media Meltdown
When a business messes up, it should prepare for the wrath of the disgruntled customer. These days, the wrath is worse than ever before: It's quite likely that the customer will vent directly through his or her favorite social media channels. With this type of negative exposure, the business's reputation can be severely damaged in a very short span of time. But don't fret: Here are tried and true methods of damage control, even when it comes to social media.
Offer a Loyalty Program That Really Works
Many small businesses have the demand, initiative and drive to kick off a loyalty program, but it becomes too complicated to track, so the sales numbers don't have a chance to shine. The key is to design a loyalty program that works for both the customer and for the small business. Secret: Build it around your most profitable products. [Intuit Go Payment Blog]
Flip Flop Economy?
Mixed data continues to surface when it comes to the state of the U.S. economy. ADP, the largest payroll processor in the country, reported that jobs increased by 158,000 positions last month. This is below the expectations set by most analysts and economists. The most disappointing sector was construction, which contradicts positive reports from the real estate section. The kicker? Nearly half the jobs were created by small businesses.