Last year the doors to 898,000 new businesses opened in the United States for the first time. We recommend using LivePlan as the easiest way to create graphs for your own business plan. UNIQUENESS OF SERVICESThe Cambridge Strategy Group is focused specifically on helping small and emerging businesses maximize their potential for success. Start your own business plan »Your business plan can look as polished and professional as this sample plan. I just wrote my first business plan in 24 hours using LivePlan and it's beautiful and complete.
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Bplans is owned and operated by Palo Alto Software, Inc., as a free resource to help entrepreneurs start and run better businesses. This free B2B marketing plan template is an easy to use tool  designed to help you plan your marketing activities by objective. Get StartedBrainrider can help you get better results with a B2B Website update, best practice marketing planning & execution, or a Pardot marketing automation implementation. Slideshare uses cookies to improve functionality and performance, and to provide you with relevant advertising.
Clipping is a handy way to collect and organize the most important slides from a presentation. On Tuesday, Google announced that, after spending almost a year in beta, “Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSA)” will be rolling out to all enhanced campaign advertisers.
I imagine there’s a sense of excitement among online marketers, with the ability to start utilizing RLSA soon if they have not started any campaigns previously. Companies are spending a larger amount on display re-targeting efforts and RLSA can help supplement these campaigns and become another highly relevant, cost-effective way to win more business. If you’ve been holding off on migrating to enhanced campaigns, now may be the best time to make the move and start playing around with RLSA. The demographic of Facebook users is similar to that of the general internet population— so if your target customers are online, they’re on Facebook too. Thankfully, Facebook makes it easy to target the customers you want by providing a wealth of user information and a plethora of targeting options. Mine the demographics of your existing fan base, and look for appropriate targeting criteria for future ad campaigns. Try a visual thesaurus, such as Visuwords, to provide inspiration for additional areas of interest to explore. Facebook provides an incredible amount of user information, so make sure to analyze it and explore related areas of interest. When it comes to crafting a strategic game plan for your Facebook ad campaigns, Marin Software’s newest white paper makes for a great resource. Ensure that high-level stakeholders and media managers understand how your proposed Facebook investments and targeting strategies align with other company initiatives. Consider a mix of ads (voice of your business), stories (voice of your customers), or a combination of both to communicate the right message to your audience. A well thought out strategy like the one above will give direction, ensure everyone’s on the same page, and provide a flexible reference guide that can be adjusted as a result of changes in business goals or requirements.
After several days of rumors, Facebook announced today it will be adding video sharing capabilities to its growing photo sharing application Instagram.
Even more interesting is how adding video sharing to Instagram could fit into Facebook’s broader business strategy. With video sharing, Instagram may also capture user market share from YouTube, the world’s second largest search engine. In our Feature Spotlight blog series, we highlight and discuss use cases for new and popular features within the Marin Software platform. Google’s move to enhanced campaigns was without a doubt one of the biggest shifts paid search marketing has experienced, generating industry buzz and plenty of concern among search marketers. The advantages and pitfalls of enhanced campaigns have been well documented and discussed throughout the search industry.
To help advertisers more effectively migrate to and manage their enhanced campaigns, Marin released bulk upload support across all key enhanced campaign objects. Additionally, Marin will display the Google recommended mobile bid adjustment on the enhanced campaigns’ settings page.
All-in-all these features will save a significant amount of time and streamline the workflow for search marketers who are migrating to, merging, or managing enhanced campaigns.  Learn more in our helpful report, The Search Marketers’ Guide to Enhanced Campaigns. Enhanced campaigns are talk of the town, no matter which town you’re in; today’s blog post tells the story of how one London-based independent media buying agency, the7stars, successfully migrated to enhanced campaigns using Marin Software.
When Steve Wright, Head of Biddable Media, first heard about Google’s enhanced campaigns he was concerned about the amount of work that would be required to migrate and also the potential impact on performance. For Steve and the team at the7stars, knowledge is king and they spent time learning as much as they could about enhanced campaigns, including reading Marin’s white paper, listening to our webinar and most importantly documenting a migration plan with Marin’s Client Services team. The actual migration involved no campaign down time or loss in tracking and was completed in less than a day. Launched in 2005, the7stars is a London-based media buying agency, clients include Suzuki, Pizza Express and CityJet.
The key to any successful marketing program is to set clear objectives, and Facebook marketing is no different. As tempting as it may be to launch a Facebook campaign just to check it off the list or to cover all the bases, it’s important to invest a little time and come up with a plan before you dive in.
Marin Software’s research shows that marketers who are able to identify and articulate clear “top of the funnel” and “bottom of the funnel” objectives will ultimately have a more successful Facebook campaign experience. Earlier this week, I started to take a look at the top 10 biggest changes to happen in the paid search industry over the last decade plus. Theories differ on what the long term impact of enhanced campaigns will be on paid search performance, but what all search marketers can agree upon is the importance of a successful migration where enhanced campaigns are optimized to ensure post-migration success. Though not as vital as it was when it was first introduced some eight years ago, the AdWords Desktop Editor paved the way for the next generation of platforms and tools for managing paid search campaigns at scale. Last Friday, Facebook announced several updates to their advertising offering, aimed to help simplify the campaign creation process and entice new advertisers to test the channel. Facebook will be eliminating Sponsored Story ad units this fall (exact time frame TBA) as a stand-alone advertising product. Facebook will be adjusting the “look and feel” of their various ad types to be more consistent across the board, regardless of placement (i.e.
At Marin, we are supportive of these changes and see them as a way to simplify campaign creation so advertisers can focus less on creative type selection and more on strategy and optimization. Eliminating Sponsored Story Ads as Stand-Alone Ad Formats: Today, a popular advertising strategy on Facebook is to launch a separate Sponsored Story along with an ad promoting a Facebook asset. Elimination of Question and Offer Ads: Question and Offer ads were two of the lesser used Facebook creative types. Consistent Requirements for Creative Formats: Today, many Facebook creative types are in different formats and offer different sizes for text and images. With the migration deadline for Google enhanced campaign right around the corner (July 22nd), we thought it would be fun to look at where this AdWords upgrade would rank among the other significant changes to the paid search landscape over the last decade plus.


Sometime in either 2006 or 2007, Google changed the way they calculate the minimum bid requirements.
This change really started the movement to create and deliver the most relevant ads for very specific search queries. The shift to mobile and tablets really took off with the launch of the iPhone and the iPad, respectively. Most of these businesses were created by entrepreneurs who envisioned an opportunity to develop a new product or service, and pursued that vision in search of independence and financial reward.
Any capital that the firm obtains will be used to promote the "small business focus" of the firm and cover basic operational costs. With 500 complete sample plans, easy financials, and access anywhere, LivePlan turns your great idea into a great plan for success. The workbook includes: prioritizing your marketing objectives, identifying program gaps and opportunities, new programs pick-list and an marketing budget planning worksheet.
RLSA will allow marketers to update and customize search keywords, bids, and ads based on a person’s previous visits to their websites.
The search landscape is competitive, and anytime you can get a second at-bat with a known potential customer it is a win-win opportunity.
Its potential to increase conversion rates and overall conversions to your website is clear. You can now reach the right users, at the right time, with an appropriately engaging message. Over the last two weeks, we’ve discussed how Facebook advertising can play a key role in any online marketing program and how success can be achieved by setting clear objectives. Today, we’ll take a look at Marin’s bulk support for Google enhanced campaigns; streamlined capabilities that enable search marketers to effectively scale the migration and management of enhanced campaigns. One of the biggest concerns was the amount of additional work required to migrate to and manage enhanced campaigns. Kye Mou did a great job of covering this topic in his post on what enhanced campaigns mean for search marketers.
He was, however, excited about the enhancements that would streamline workflows across multiple devices and the ability drive incremental revenue for their clients with increased visibility across all devices. The migration plan included: identifying parent and sibling campaigns to be merged, updating all URLs to include the {device}, {ifmobile}, and {ifnotmobile} ValueTrack parameters, calculating mobile bid adjustments, and deciding when to push the migration live based on each client’s marketing schedule.
Most importantly Steve and the team report that migrating was stress free and easy to implement. Steve Wright is a seasoned media professional with a keen interest in digital technologies and their application. This basic truth was confirmed by our newest white paper – “The Marketers’ Guide to Driving ROI from Facebook Advertising” – which looks at the best practices of top Facebook advertisers and Marin clients.
Successful marketers are learning to take a “full funnel” approach to their Facebook marketing, and the first step is setting objectives. Make sure you have a plan for this before launching your campaign so you are able to determine ROI and Lifetime Value.
Think about your goals, talk to upper-level management, consider all the tools and brand assets you can use to your advantage, and make sure you have a way to track your success. From ad rotation settings to device targeting, search marketers have certainly seen our fair share of new features and innovations.
But before we bump it higher on the list, let’s wait and see how it all plays out after July. We’ve invested too much time structuring and optimizing our campaigns to meet our business needs to dismiss enhanced campaigns as a minor change that will have minimal impact on paid search performance. Managing listings are now easier, the listings are more accurate and up-to-date, and the ads themselves stand out and are more engaging. Those of you who managed paid search in 2004 or earlier understand how much more difficult it was back then using just the AdWords interface and spreadsheets—plenty of manual toggling between campaigns, and much more time-consuming workflows for creating or editing keywords and ads. In their place, Facebook will begin to automatically include social context in ads without the extra step of creating additional Sponsored Story ad units.
With the wide array of advertising products and creative types Facebook has added to their feature set over the past year, many advertisers have raised concerns over the complexity entailed with launching campaigns. As Facebook strives to cut down on the advertising complexities they created over the past year, our advertisers will be able to launch more effective campaigns in less time and focus more on optimizing towards their business goals. Facebook believes this is because many brands already ask users questions and promote offers within other popular ad units (i.e.
For example, a Page Post ad allows for a much larger image size than a right-hand rail marketplace ad. This change did make search marketers more aware of the available options and which one was most appropriate for their business needs. Bing alliance was announced as rumors were running rampant for quite some time before it became official. Gone were the days where you could easily delivery ads promoting “nike shoes” at position one for searches on “new balance shoes”. As consumers started spending more of their time on these devices, advertisers quickly aligned their paid search strategies towards these devices as well.
While these visionaries started with solid ideas to form the foundation of their new ventures, most do not have many of the skills necessary to transform their ideas into reality.
For the firm to realize its full potential, the founders would require compensation equivalent to full-time employment while pursuing initial clients and creating a backlog of work requests. The key to success, the second time around, will have everything to do with how an online marketer strategically uses the full range of tools Google has to offer to get a customer back to their site and convert.
Information you have about your customers can, more often than not, be leveraged for greater success. And how can you ensure that clicks from users turn into actual engagement with their brands? This information can provide key insights into what audiences will likely perform best on Facebook. However, once you’re confident in the goals you’ve set, a strategy must still be put in place.
Migrating and managing these campaigns for large-scale search accounts demands a lot of time—especially the manual, time-consuming tasks of migrating and merging campaigns. Understanding the requirements to successfully migrate all campaigns before July 22nd, Marin’s Product team has been working tirelessly to integrate features to support enhanced campaigns. In other words, they never once lost focus on their ultimate goal of helping their clients succeed!
Would a direct promotion help, or do you want to focus on promoting awareness and thought leadership for your brand? Once you’ve done the initial legwork, it will be easy to fit this information into an action plan. Google is fundamentally changing the way search marketers manage and optimize their AdWords campaigns. If I recreated this list a year from now, I wouldn’t be surprised if enhanced campaigns were much higher on this list, but until we know more, I’m happy keeping it at number five.
Though you still need to optimize to get your listings to show, one can argue PLAs are much more effective than traditional text ads, especially when attempting to advertiser your entire product catalog.


When Google introduced the offline desktop editor, it transformed the way search marketers managed and made changes within our search accounts. Though they don’t show up for all keywords, ad sitelinks creates a big incentive for search marketers to get relevant and push ads to the top of the search engine results page. One of the biggest mysteries and challenges for search marketers was understanding the relevancy of our keywords and what exactly determined their competitiveness and cost. If that’s the case, please feel free to add your thoughts in the comments section below and let me know why you’d rank one change higher than another.
By eliminating less popular creative types, Facebook is aiming to foster increased adoption across its advertiser base. Also, by simplifying the implementation process, advertisers who have been hesitant to try Facebook advertising may be more inclined to test. By requiring one standard ad format, advertisers will no longer have to worry about uploading different images sizes for different placements and creative types. A new rotate evenly option was introduced that would automatically change to optimize for clicks after 30 days (which was subsequently changed to 90 days after the search world let Google know of their disapproval).
The increase and improvement in ad rotation settings gave search marketers more tools for successfully executing their ad testing and optimization strategies. I asked a few other search marketers the same, and all said it’s a neat feature in principal but I don’t find myself using it as much as you’d think. The change did cause some frenzy in the industry as marketers were unsure what the short term and long term impact would be.
As a result, we saw the introduction of device targeting capabilities within campaign settings. This would most likely need to cover at least one year's salary for each of the three managers. Marin Software’s newest Facebook white paper provides helpful ideas and practical advice for audience targeting.
You can map it out in many different ways, but be sure to assess and include your key business goals, campaign objectives, success metrics, and available brand assets. This hard work paid off in early March when Marin announced our first round of support for enhanced campaigns.
The migration to Google enhanced campaigns will place all device targeting capabilities under the roof of a single campaign, along with the ability to set mobile bid adjustments at the campaign and group level. The ability to include additional links within a search ad enables search marketers to not only increase the ads’ real estate, but also provide users with more relevant, deep-linked landing pages.
Once Google revealed the concept of Quality Score and the variables that influence it, search marketers became obsessed. Moving forward, Facebook will automatically display relevant social context for any ads promoting Facebook brand assets. Simplifying creative options should streamline the campaign launch process for advertisers.
They also added a rotate indefinitely, an optimize for clicks, and an optimize for conversions option. The ability to segment and target these devices, deliver unique ad copy and landing pages, and measure the performance separately helped kick-start a new wave of mobile advertising strategies. Unlike traditional management consulting firms that focus on analyzing problems for large customers, CSG works exclusively with small business clients to develop concrete, practical, short-term action plans that will start moving their businesses in the right direction.
Our mission is to help small businesses of today become the leading corporations of tomorrow.
Additionally, funding for initial marketing projects would help to ensure that the firm could establish a claim to the "small business consulting" concept in the target market.
Bid adjustments, creative messaging, and CTAs will all be important things to bear in mind based on what you know about a customer’s first visit. This number jumped an impressive 14% from February 1, making it the fastest growing social network for brands this quarter. Since then we’ve announced additional features, including bulk upload and multi-edit support for enhanced campaigns. The combination of the two has enabled sitelinks to increase ad CTRs for the keywords they are eligible to show for. All management and optimizing strategies from that moment on was predicated around improving Quality Score. Beginning in late June, advertisers will be required to adhere to a standard image size, whereas previously they had flexibility. Cambridge Strategy Group will attempt to own the words "small business" in the minds of our potential clients.Cost-effective personal interaction with local consultant presence. Gone is the guess-work in figuring out what keyword, ad, or landing page changes will have the greatest impact. Gordon, Executive Director: John has worked in marketing, business development, and corporate strategy for a number of small and large firms, including EMC Corporation, IBM Corporation, and Larscom, Incorporated. Personal interaction provides small businesses with a level of comfort not available with remote consultants. Now we know the factors of relevancy that Google deems most important, and we’re able to better manage and optimize our accounts to improve and maximize long-term performance. Looking back, the changes and impact were probably not the biggest, but we could say this was the #1 most newsworthy moment on this list. John's participation on the North Carolina Council for Entrepreneurial Development, plus his experience providing consulting services to small businesses, catalyzed the formation of the Cambridge Strategy Group.Todd D. There may be many occasions where the small business founders may ask the consultant to simply "stop by," to react to a new development, or to answer a question. While this local presence and personal interaction is highly valued, business owners are often unable to afford the cost associated with bringing consultants to them from other areas.A diverse network of consultants and alliance partners. Todd currently functions as an experienced analyst for a Big Five consulting firm, working with Fortune 100 and Fortune e-50 firms to solve their business and technology issues.Ben S. Solving the unique problems that face small businesses today demands a wide range of skills and experiences. Cordell, Managing Director: Ben has worked in business development, account management, systems engineering, marketing, and product development positions at LifeServ and ONE Co.
By relying on a nationally distributed talent base coordinated to work together remotely, Cambridge Strategy Group will be able to bring together the skills required by a particular client without incurring the expense of physically bringing all of the individuals together. In the book, 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing, authors Al Ries and Jack Trout note that being first in the customer's mind is more important than being the overall leader.
Ben currently functions as a corporate strategy specialist at LifeServ, discovering and developing merger, acquisition and strategic partnership opportunities.FINANCIAL SUMMARYThe market for Cambridge Strategy Group's services is enormous.
Initially, the three founding members intend to work part-time on this venture while maintaining full-time positions with other corporations. With 898,000 small businesses starting each year, there is a significant opportunity for a consulting firm such as Cambridge Strategy Group to become the "first" consulting firm dedicated exclusively to small businesses in the minds of a number of these potential clients. As we determine how best to enlarge our operations, we will consider expanding the business as defined in our strategy.



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