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Hey AlphaGraphics, Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

So now that I have published the Top 10 Ways to Market Your Business in 2010, the question being asked is, "Steve, how are your going to market your three businesses in 2010?" Well, after much thought and discussion, here are a few of the things we are going to do.

1. Website and SEO-AlphaGraphics, Inc., our franchisor, controls much of the formatting of our local websites. They use a Utah firm with the appropriate name of At the local level, we can tweek the home page and certain pages in the "About Us" section. We will continue to adjust and evaluate our content and keywords to get our centers a higher ranking with the search engines. We are evaluating whether we want to hire a local firm by the name of VirtualIT to help us with the local page rankings. In addition, the Phoenix Owners Group, which represents the 15 AlphaGraphics franchisees in the Phoenix metropolitan area has contracted with AZPixels to help with our SEM (search engine marketing) placements. This year, we will also ask our customers to rate our performance on our Google, CitySearch and Yahoo pages. To entice them to do this, we will give our customers a $5 Starbucks card. The search engines evaluate the number of reviews when deciding which businesses get shown on the map on the first page. It is also our goal to significantly increase the amount of links to our websites from outside sources by asking our customers, our vendors and our business contacts to consider a like-for-like linking.

2. Blog-Well, your reading it. I intend to continue with a weekly posting until I get a little more comfortable with a more frequent publishing schedule. I have referenced this blog in my websites, my twitter page, my LinkedIn page, my personal Facebook page and on each of my centers' Facebook pages.

3. Demographic Profile-We plan on completing a demographic profile of our best customers at each of my centers this year. With that information, we will identify about 500 companies that are similar to our best customers and we will market to these companies with all our resources as discussed in the points below.

4. Direct Mail-As part of our AlphaGraphics program, each of my centers will do a monthly mailing to a combination of customers, prospects and leads. We grew our businesses on direct mail and we continue to see benefit for continuing the practice. In fact John Jantsch, in his book "Duct Tape Marketing" stated that direct mail is still one of the most cost effective ways to reach your prospects. In our direct mailing campaign, we will use personalized url's (purls) to obtain additional information from these prospects. As a Phoenix Owners Group, we plan on distributing a series of 3-dimensional mailings matched with a purl site and some type of give away such as a gift card.

5. Email Newsletters- We have started a monthly email newsletters to our customers and prospects. We are currently using Constant Contact to help us with this process. Each of these newsletters will be based upon a marketing and/or a printing theme and will be associated with one of my blogs. Our email newsletters will be information and hopefully will not come across as purely promotional.

6. Social Media-We are now very active in the Twitter, Facebook, Plaxo and LinkedIn arenas. The trick now is to get all of these areas linked in with each other so that we only have to do one posting at at time.

7. News Releases- We plan on issuing one news release per center per month. We use, through AlphaGraphics, Inc., a company by the name of GrassrootsPR to help us with these news releases to the local media. Our news releases will be on items such as new equipment additions, promotions of key people, awards won or nominated, information that will benefit the business community or a host of other things. From an SEO standpoint, we will us to distribute these news releases on the web so that they are searchable by the search engines. These releases by PRWeb cost us $80 per release.

8. Community Activities-We plan on continuing to be active in our local chambers of commerce, the Mesa Rotary Club, the Mesa United Way and BNI. We believe that it is important to be active in the community to help others and ourselves.

You can reach us at AlphaGraphics at the following websites:

Mesa 535 W. Baseline Rd., Mesa, AZ 85210 480-844-2222
Tempe 720 W. Elliot Rd., Tempe, AZ 85284 480-413-1900
Phoenix 8041 N. Black Canyon Hwy, Phoenix, AZ 85021 602-234-2944

Follow me on Twitter at: Steve's Twitter Account

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