What is a Responsive Design?


Devices such as desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones all view a website differently. A responsive website allows visitors to experience the ease of reading, the ability to navigate,  optimized graphics and content for faster loading no matter which device they are using. In today’s world of mobile-friendly, a responsive website ensures that your visitors will see your website in a clean and organized format without losing access to important information or have to worry about being able to read your website cleanly.


Over 46% of internet traffic is accessed using a mobile device such as a smartphone with social media and videos taking up the lion’s share.  In addition, Apps from the Google Play and Apple App Store see a significant share of use. With the increase of mobile usage, websites must also respond to the demand and make it easier for users to find the information they need in a format that works. Responsive design taking over from mobile apps for smaller businesses to ensure visitors can read the content on their mobile devices.


According to Google Analytics, if your site visitors have difficulty navigating your website, then the chances are over 60% will leave and go elsewhere. However, if the site is easy to navigate, then more than 70% are more likely to stay on your website.

Responsive web design has resulted in websites being able to be accessed everywhere so by ensuring your website is using a responsive design, your visitors will be able to view your site correctly across multiple platforms.

Do You Need a CRM?

Database marketing gives your business a competitive edge. A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) dashboard like Microsoft Dynamics can be used to leverage marketing techniques that drive sales. Too often there is a divide between operations, marketing, and sales teams. But a good CRM can pull these teams together with a singular focus—to target new clients, bring them on board, and retain them. Here’s how this can work.


If your business is still using an Excel spreadsheet to track leads, or Outlook email to contact them, you are absolutely missing out on the efficiencies that come with modern CRM.

While we don’t mean to say these two tools aren’t terrific, we know that there are improved efficiencies in today’s CRM software that you might not be taking advantage of.

One benefit is that you can schedule automated drip campaigns to educate potential clients by sending them helpful content periodically. The goal in these instances is to stay in front of prospects, so they think of you first when they’re ready to buy. Eliminating manual processes is a huge time saver that allows sales to do what they do best (sell) and marketing to focus on the message. 

That’s just one example of how CRM will increase your closed deals over time. You can also use it as a customer service tool to help your operations team stay on top of their client retention efforts.

But wait—there’s more.


You can segment a large database into regions, which is incredibly helpful if your sales teams are responsible for geographic territories. Imagine running a report on how many businesses are in a region, how many of those companies have been contacted in the last six months, and whether or not those contacts converted into sales. If you’re trying to motivate a sales team, a simple report on prospecting effectiveness could go a long way toward that goal.

The functional reporting mechanisms found in Microsoft Dynamics are efficient and easy-to-use. We’ve found these tools not only help drive sales activities but also create a real sense of transparency around client interactions that improves overall company performance.

If you’re running an email campaign, Microsoft Dynamics can show you how many prospects opened your email, along with the click-through rate for any call to action messaging. Marketing teams will be able to track this data and hone their marketing messages around what resonates best in a particular market. Then, if marketing has a message that works, and the sales team is following up on that messaging – BaZinga! – You are going to improve your closed deals. 

Here is the workflow on a typical automated campaign:

  • Select a targeted prospecting list
  • Develop the content to send
  • Design a pleasing template for use in the email blast
  • Schedule the campaign
  • Analyze the click-through rate
  • Leverage the sales team to call leads
  • Measure the effectiveness of the campaign
  • Clean out any unsubscribed or bounced emails
  • Schedule the next campaign

Wash, rinse, and repeat.

Are you starting to see how a CRM in marketing can be a great integrator in your business? When you look at it this way, you’ll quickly understand that CRM is a great investment with a clear ROI. These platforms pay for themselves in closed revenue.


So there’s only one tiny snippet of bad news – these efforts are only going to be as good as the data you’re utilizing. When you begin integrating a CRM in marketing, we typically suggest a list clean up before dropping all those Excel sheets into the platform. This is a foundational necessity for any future marketing and sales prospecting campaigns.

The keyword for using a CRM in marketing is “data,” of course. It’s a good idea to designate one person in your organization to manage database administrative tasks such as list uploads or report generation. That person will help you control the flow of information between marketing, sales, and operations so that the database has some consistency. Consider the CRM your link to a goldmine of potential business, so having someone available to set standards around data capture is not a bad idea. That way, even though your sales teams can update individual records in the CRM, the information they collect will be consistent.


Can you use the CRM to manage existing clients and not just prospects? Of course! If you don’t, you’re missing out on the full potential of the software, especially in the case of Microsoft Dynamics. Every potential or existing client interaction should be carefully tracked in the database. Ticklers can be set up to remind you to reach out to individual clients. You can even segment lists, so existing clients receive a marketing email that suggests a particular product upsell, while potential clients receive an entirely different message.

CRMs are also great project management tools; you can upload all related documents into one project room while tracking the activities by the project team members. You can invite team members to meetings while encouraging them to visit the project room to review specific items prior to the event.

With all the uses for a modern CRM in marketing, you’re probably wondering one thing: How can I get started?

Posted by IES – https://www.iesgp.com/blog/crm-in-marketing-how-crm-can-improve-your-marketing-power

Introduction to LinkedIn

LinkedIn can help you grow your business or career

LinkedIn is a valuable resource for career and business professionals to network; obtain resources and support; and build relationships with potential customers, clients, and partners. It’s ideal for home-based business owners, freelancers, and telecommuters, as it can help them build their business and career, as well as stay connected to the outside world.

Overview of LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a social network specifically designed for career and business professionals to connect. Over 65 million professionals use LinkedIn to cultivate their careers and businesses. Unlike other social networks in which you might become “friends” with anyone and everyone, LinkedIn is about building strategic relationships. Thus, the number of connections is less important than the type of connections. In fact, LinkedIn stops showing your actual number of connections once you have 500 because it’s about quality, not quantity.
The site boasts members from just about every country and every industry imaginable. In fact, many Fortune 500 executives are on LinkedIn. The site has some advertising, but it’s not as invasive as other networking sites.
Working much like the “Six Degrees of Separation” concept, you start by connecting with those you know and who know you, and through them build a larger network for the purpose of gaining resources, finding freelance work or clients, and building alliances and partnerships. LinkedIn is ideal for building connections for freelance work, a customer base, potential partners, or simply to keep your job prospects open.
How to Use LinkedIn

LinkedIn has its own platform and system different from other networks, but learning how to use LinkedIn is no more difficult than learning how to use any other social networking site. Start by creating a personal LinkedIn account and profile.  However, networking on LinkedIn is much different. You won’t find members posting cat videos or pictures of what they made for dinner. LinkedIn is a site for professionals, so everything is geared toward careers and business. As you build your profile and seek out connections, endorsements, and recommendations, you’ll want to be professional.
Create a LinkedIn Profile

All you need to get started is to create a LinkedIn login. You can also upgrade to one of the paid LinkedIn subscriptions; Premium Career, Business Plus, LinkedIn Learning, Sales Navigator (three levels), and Recruiter Lite. Using just the basic free services is sufficient for many employees and home business owners and gets you features such as:

Having a professional profile of skills, experiences, and more
Limited insight into who’s viewed your profile
Ability to see 100 profiles per search
Ability to save three searches
Upgrading increases some of these features such as seeing more information about who’s viewed your profile, the number of profiles per search, and the number of searches. Plus, upgrades can include additional features such as In Mail credits, which allows you to message people who are not connected to you, and premium filters, which make searching faster and easier. 
Once you sign up for a LinkedIn account, either free or paid, you can create your own professional profile. Remember, this is a professional-minded website, so it’s important that information in your profile represents your business or career. LinkedIn is not the place to share cute baby photos or party pictures.
Some of the items you can add to a profile include the basics of your resume, a summary of yourself, your contact information, links to your website or blog, your previous employers, published books, and notable projects. Don’t forget to add a professional picture, as people are reluctant to connect with someone without a photo.  
Because your LinkedIn profile is like a resume or business card, it’s essentially a marketing tool. For that reason, consider writing a benefits-oriented profile, so potential partners can recognize the advantage of working with you.
Once your profile is complete, you can publish it and start looking for “connections.” A connection is a person that you know or would like to know. Essentially, the idea is to create as many direct connections as you can by adding people within your own professional circle and branching out to include their connections. Your connections can also provide introductions to other professionals you might be interested in meeting. Connections can also endorse you for skills and provide you with recommendations.
Use LinkedIn to Build a Home Business

LinkedIn can help you to start and grow a home business. It provides you with an opportunity to communicate and collaborate with other professionals interested in sharing business and industry knowledge. It is an efficient tool for locating those who may contribute to the success of your business.
LinkedIn allows you to:
Have an online resume and business card where potential clients, customers, and joint venture partners can learn about and connect with you.
Get online endorsements and recommendations for your professional abilities and character.  Get introductions to potential clients, customers, and colleagues.

Search available job postings placed on the LinkedIn website by members. While you can also search the web for jobs, through LinkedIn, the big benefit is that many job posts are exclusive to LinkedIn: They aren’t advertised elsewhere. Those postings often have a requirement that you have one or more LinkedIn recommendations. Additionally, there is a chance that someone within your LinkedIn network already works there or knows someone who does, increasing your chances for an interview.
Join various groups that align with your interests and participate in discussions. Having a group in common with another LinkedIn user is one way you can invite others to your network. Each group discussion contains its own job listings. Further, it’s a place to share your expertise and build the trust and rapport needed to cultivate new clients and customers.
Staying connected with the outside world isn’t the only benefit of LinkedIn. Learning how to use LinkedIn and maximizing all it offers can provide strong professional connections and boost your online reputation better than most other social networking resources.


How to Build a Multi-Platform Website

How to Build a Multi-Platform Website


Q: Can I build a single website that works on a computer, a tablet, and a smartphone?

A: For the most part, yes. And with your customers increasingly viewing your website from a number of mobile devices (iOS, Android) and on various browsers (Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox), it’s an important goal to achieve. In geek-speak, this goal is possible through “responsive web design,” meaning web design for multiple devices.

Jonathan Smiley, partner and design lead at Silicon Valley product design firm Zurb, says responsive web design cuts down on development time and can open up your content to a broader array of users. We asked him for the lowdown.

Do business owners really need to care about responsive web design?
It’s here now, it’s not going away, and it’s much easier for you to convert your web presence now, while the number of devices is relatively small than get into it in a few years. Mobile devices are absolutely the future, and everyone needs to be ready for it.

How does responsive design compare, cost-wise, to traditional web design?
If you count your cost in time, responsive design is a little more expensive. If you count your cost in customers, it’s much, much cheaper. Responsive design lets you automatically approach customers from all kinds of places, on all kinds of devices. If you target, say, the desktop user only, you’ll be targeting less than 50 percent of potential customers by the middle of next year. You spend a little more upfront in order to make a lot more later.

How much more effort is involved with responsive design?
It will always take just a little more thought and a little more time to think about how a design will function across multiple formats and devices. However, using responsive web design to build one multipurpose site is much faster than building sites specific to a number of different devices.

What are some design challenges?
It’s difficult to create a single website design that works for every device out there. There’ll be a degree of tweaking and iterations to work through before you create a great experience. For example, the landscape-size photo you use on the website might need to be swapped out with a square image that’s suitable for a smartphone. Or you’ll want to replace the word “download” on a button with “learn more,” because mobile users won’t usually click on a download. Another: putting your website’s main subject categories (Home, Contact, etc.) across the top of your site works when viewed on a computer’s web browser, but not on a smartphone screen, where a vertical list is easier to read. So while responsive design is faster than developing numerous different sites, it’s still not going to be plug-and-play. This is why it takes longer to do than a single website.

Mikal E. Belicove
Magazine Contributor