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"Five Ways to Create a Customer Service Focused Culture"
By Shep Hyken, Professional Speaker

If your company is amazing to work for, if people love coming to work, and if there is a contagious enthusiasm because people really love how they are treated, what they do and who they are doing it for, then don't you think the customer is going to feel it? That's what a customer service focused culture is about.

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"Tips for a Successful Website Redesign Project"
By Joe Casey, CAE, Account Manager

Planning to redesign your organization's website can be an exciting, yet anxious time for volunteer leaders, staff and members alike. It can also be time consuming and costly; yet in most cases, well worth the effort. One of the key elements that can lead to a successful result is to begin by identifying the right technology vendor to walk you through the project. Consider a web firm whose expertise goes well beyond the nuts and bolts of website framework and code writing. This should be a long-term strategic partner that can help you use the website as a marketing tool.

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"Networking...The Old Fashioned Way"
By G.A. Taylor Fernley President & CEO

Building up a qualified network of diverse contacts is vital for any organization; for-profit as well as non-profit. Aligning yourself with different clusters or groups can only serve to expand opportunities; possibly even opening doors that you never knew existed. And, from my perspective, the more diverse the network, the better it will be. Let's also not lose sight of the fact that it's "a numbers game". More contacts translate into more potential business leads, prospective members, or new partnerships, depending on your organization's objective.

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"Are you LinkedIn?"
By Alicia Muller, Director of New Business Development

Are you looking for a cutting edge marketing option that is easy on the budget? Did you know that creating a LinkedIn Group for your non-profit organization can compliment your existing marketing plan? LinkedIn is a business focused social networking site with over 30 million active users and best of all, there are no subscription fees or long-term commitments.

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"Social Networking for Non-Profits"
By Caitlin Middleton, Executive Director

Social networking sites began taking over college campuses a few years ago, and have made their way to corporate America and the non-profit community with lightning speed. And why not? When used properly, internet social networking sites such as Facebook can be a valuable and low cost supplement to your organization's public awareness or marketing campaign.

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"Associations and 'Tweeting'"
By Chris Harrington

The most recent website to gain in popularity, especially for business professionals, is Twitter. Simplicity has played an important role in Twitter's success. People are eager to connect with other people and Twitter makes that simple. Twitter asks one question, "What are you doing?"

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"Social Networking"
By Rebecca Mathis, Associate Director

Technology has made it much simpler for associations, businesses and individuals to connect to one another. Social networking refers to the community or audience that you are targeting, while social media refers to the promotional tools that are used to generate a social network. The internet allows for a wide variety of social networking opportunities. The most network friendly sites for businesses or organizations are Xing, Fast Pitch, and Blogger. These sites allow you to create an organization profile, and take advantage of the technology to connect to other interested organizations or prospective members. They also provide resources to post classified ads, link to your other social networking platforms, and view detailed profiles with photos, videos, and press releases.

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"Organizational Marketing and Advertising: What's Your Plan?"
By Benjamin Daniel, Associate Director

The global economy is in a freefall. Nationally, the American economy continues to contract and is still shedding businesses of all sizes. The impact of this economic downturn is being felt by trade associations also. As businesses downsize, association memberships can fall victim to budget slashing as non-essential expenditures.

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"The 15 Rules of Successful Marketing"
By Vicki Scott, Director of Client Services

According to some experts, there are 15 rules of successful marketing that should almost never be broken. Although these rules were originally developed for the corporate world, with minor modifications they can be effectively applied to non-profit organizations.

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"Associations Making a Difference"
By Vicki L. Scott, Marketing Manager

Non-profit organizations have traditionally been the recipients of charitable contributions. During the holidays we give to the Salvation Army, in times of crisis we give to the Red Cross, and throughout the year we give to the United Way, just to mention a few. It has become almost trendy for associations to give back to the community, the environment, and the industry. Who benefits from this generous trend? You do.

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"Online Membership Marketing"
By Bob DeStefano, President, SVM E-Business Solutions

The Web is a great place for your association or professional society to recruit new members. The prospects of today are young, educated, tech-savvy individuals ready and willing to make a contribution to a worthy cause. However, you won't attract their attention by mailing them a brochure or a printed newsletter. The next generation of members rely heavily on the Internet for news, information and opportunities. If your association wants to reach them, the Web is where you need to be.

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Market Research Tips
By Linda Rink, President of RINK Consulting
When people think of market research, surveys are often the first thing that comes to mind. And for a good reason: the easiest way to get information from someone is to simply ask them -- in person, over the phone, in a mailed questionnaire, or via the internet. Conducting surveys is also a very cost effective method of obtaining information, especially using one of the many electronic survey tools available today. Surveying your members annually can be an effective way to ensure that the association's goals and initiatives accurately reflect the individuals or companies that support it.

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"Study Finds that 79% of Industrial Marketing Execs Will Increase Online Marketing Spending in 2007"
By Bill Norton, Vice President of Marketing

Marketing has always been considered a key element of a successful business plan. Although traditional marketing tools are still necessary, many companies and non-profit organizations are looking to the internet to reach their target audience. A recent study indicates that firms are increasing their online marketing budgets and as a result, their revenue and profits are also on the rise.

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