Messaging Is Core to Your Marketing Success

Just as it’s possible to hear without listening, it’s also possible to talk without communicating.

Though seemingly obvious, this is, unfortunately, a concept that businesses and organizations can sometimes fail to consider in the rush to get a product/service/cause “out there.” The result can be a race that’s over before it starts, as it’s hard to make up the ground lost in a poor beginning.

That’s why we encourage our clients to start engagements with the development of a strategic messaging platform or architecture. This document, created cooperatively, grounds communications and propels meaningful outreach to the right audiences at the right time with the right persuasive language.

As an agreement among all involved as to goals, targets and messaging, the document creates a common voice and magnifies it. It also brings everything to focus on the future.

The truth is that a good many our clients have found their messaging hasn’t grown with them. Instead, as they have evolved, their communications have stood pat, unreflective of the scope of what the business or organization has come to be and now can do for customers, clients or communities.

It’s also a great motivator; as key executives, sales staff and other stakeholders feel the excitement of creating new and inclusive, something that will help them do a better job and their company to succeed.

For clients choosing this path, it’s also a way to save time, money and effort. With core messaging already agreed upon, there’s no need to start over for each project or project segment, stressing over getting the words right. They are already there, along with guiding position and value statements and a brand promise to be fulfilled.

The Marketing Playbook reminds us that messaging can have more of an impact than almost anything else in business. When driven by strategy and consensus, we like to say, it also can be a source of rejuvenation and a springboard for advancement in the marketplace.

So, think of it as that deep breath before you dive off the board, the one that gives you clarity of purpose and confidence that you’re ready to succeed.

If you’re ready to explore the deep waters of meaningful communications, let us know. We would love to be your guides.

10 Tips For Optimizing and Growing Your Social Media Success  

Utilizing social media as a tool for personal branding and driving business growth is no longer optional for marketers and business professionals. With millions of users spending hours each day on social media, there’s an undeniable opportunity, but getting started or improving on existing results can be daunting. To help, we’ve put together 10 tips for optimizing and growing your social media success.

Keep reading for more information about social media trends, relevant platforms and expert advice on how to step up your social media game.

Keep Up with Social Media

Social media has always been part of the marketing conversation. But this past year has proven that it’s here to stay. Social usage has increased dramatically and new users continue to grow. Platforms like Facebook and Instagram became crucial in communication and social interaction since in-person meetings became nonexistent. Having a business presence on social media is essential in B2B and B2C opportunities and is key to spreading awareness and promoting your product or service.

Quick Facts:

  • American social media users spend an average of 2.7 hours per day on social media
  • 54% of B2B marketers say they’ve generated leads from social media
  • Only 26% of companies integrate social media into their strategies

Why Social Media Matters

Besides promoting your business, social media can help you meet several business goals, including:

  • Better connect with and serve your customers
  • Improve your search engine ranking (SEO)
  • Reduce advertising costs and increase your overall ROI  
  • Foster and deepen relationships with target audience members and your community

Identify Your Target Audience

Your target audience is a specific group of people who
are most likely to want or need your product.

Three reasons to define your target audience:

  1. Ensure you’re creating the right content for the right people.
  2. Better understand how to create content that connects the benefits of your brand to what reader needs.
  3. Increase conversions ‘low hanging fruit’ customers

Know Where You Fit – Social Platforms

Not all social media platforms are created equal. Knowing the idiosyncrasies and landscape of each individual platform will help you make the best decision on where to focus your efforts, the kind of content to post and the type of users on each.

  • Average monthly users: 2.7B
  • Largest age group: 25-34 (26.3%)
  • Medium focused almost every form of content, especially news and promotions
  • Robust features and uses, including text, images, video, shopping
  • Supports feed or stories
  • Average monthly users: 1B
  • Largest age group: 25-34 (33.1%)
  • Medium focused on imagery
  • Text, images, video, shopping
  • Supports feed or stories
  • Average monthly users: 400M+
  • Largest age group: 30-49
  • The average user earns $70k
  • Medium focused on saving product photos and inspirational content
  • Feed and Board display with imagery, texts, links
  • Exclusively business/B2B audience
  • Medium focuses on content and thought leadership
  • Images, text, call to actions all on feed display and stories
  • Average monthly users: 187M
  • Largest age group: 30-49 (44%)
  • Medium on instant communication, news and user interactions
  • Text, video, images on a feed, but story features now being added
  • Average monthly users: 100M
  • Largest age group 18-24
  • Short form video and minimal text

10 Tips to Amplify Your Social Media Impact

1. Optimize Your Profile

Can my potential customers find my profile and what do they see when they arrive?

Audit Your Profile – Ask Yourself
  • Is my brand consistent?
  • Does my bio accurately communicate my company’s value?
  • Am I using relevant hashtags in my bio?
  • Is there a call to action?
  • What should I link to? ( vs. company site vs. landing pages)

2. Don’t Oversell

Great salespeople don’t sell; they listen and solve their customer’s problems. Create compelling content, hone your value proposition and connect with your audience meaningfully.

A great value proposition should:

  • Communicate why someone should do business with you
  • Be short and easy to understand
  • Define what you do
  • Explain how your business eliminates a pain point for your potential customers

3. Find Your Voice

Your brand voice is the distinct personality your brand takes on in its communications.

People connect with people – If your brand were a real person, what would they sound like?

Tips for finding your brand voice:

  • Think of 10 adjectives to describe your brand – then pick your top 4
  • Consider your target audience and the vocabulary they use
  • Write like a person talks, not like a business robot

4. Be Consistent

For your audience to recognize and build a relationship with your brand, you must be consistent with your use of social media

Content consistency establishes your credibility, builds trust, and strengthens your reputation.

How to build consistency:

  1. Create a social media content calendar
  2. Maintain a post frequency you can handle
  3. Schedule your posts in advance

Why is consistency so important?

  • Your business will stay top of mind
  • It helps you to build authority in your niche
  • It is easier to maintain
  • Your audience will be more engaged
  • You will generate more leads
  • Social media algorithms favor you
  • You will cultivate loyal brand fans
  • Your audience will trust you

5. Plan Your Content With A Content Calendar

Find a system and content schedule that works for you.

  • Sometimes the biggest hurdle to social media success is knowing what to post
  • Consider the types of content you want to share

Example: share project photos every Monday, promotion every Wednesday, behind the scenes every Saturday, etc.

  • Create the calendar in advance, then carve out time to create/film
  • With the right plan in place, you can batch content a few times per month or one month ahead

6. Engage With Your Community

Without engagement, social media is just media. Social Media Engagement is all about building an online community and it can affect everything from brand awareness to customer loyalty.

Social media engagement metrics include:

  • Likes and Favorites
  • Comments, DMs, and Replies
  • Shares and Retweets
  • Saves and Clicks
  • Reviews, Mentions and Tags

Tips for your business to earn engagement:

  • Respond to all comments
  • Ask your followers questions via captions, stories, or polls
  • Reply to reviews, both positive and negative
  • Participate in industry conversations in Facebook Groups or on Twitter
  • Comment on posts from other accounts you follow or on posts from relevant hashtags

7. Leverage New Features – Stories & LIVE are your friend

Social media platforms often incentivize users to explore new features by giving them additional power to reach more people.

These new features are often underserved by marketers but have high user engagement.

Benefits of Stories and LIVE:
  • Fewer brands use these features, so there’s less competition
  • High audience reach and engagement
  • Social media users who watch a brands story are more likely to see those same brands’ feed posts
  • The algorithm favors individuals and brands who use their new features

8. Use Personalized Landing Pages In Your Social Strategy

Personalized landing pages are web pages on a company’s website about a specific service, product or offer – with a call to action designed to convert a customer to the next stage in the buying process

How can we use them on Social Media?

  • Sales team social profiles can be a significant driver of traffic to a company’s website. Direct that traffic to pages that educate and convert 
  • Landing pages are an excellent place for those engaging with your post to learn more about your company’s products – Share links alongside compelling content
  • Prospects will journey to a company’s website from bio links on sales team member profiles – Swap out bio links to a relevant landing page for decreased bounce and higher sales conversions

9. Use free tools to make better, more engaging content

A great social media post is eye-catching, relevant and visually appealing. For large brands, social media managers, sales teams and designers all work to create this content together. Unfortunately, this often isn’t an option for small to medium-sized businesses or those without the support of a marketing agency.

Free online tools can make your content shine and help create a consistent brand for bootstrapping social teams. Our top free tools:

Canva – This design platform makes designing beautiful social media images and other kinds of assets easy. With free and premium plans, there’s something for everyone (

Photopea – An online knock off of photoshop, this free website is excellent for individuals who need to adjust images quickly and inexpensively (

Unsplash, Pexels, and others – These free imagery libraries have millions of free, copyright-free photos on nearly any subject (

Hashtag Generators – These can allow you to find highly-used, relevant hashtags in your area or industry 

Viralpep – This basic free tool allows users to schedule up to 20 social media posts for a variety of platforms, including Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram and more (

10. Seek buy-in and resources from company leaders

No man or woman is an island. For sales teams to be effective, they need top-down support. Remember, only 26% of companies integrate social media into their strategies, which often leaves those responsible for social management underserved.

For individuals and teams looking to improve their company’s social presence and, as a result, sales, there needs to be a level of investment from company administrators or leaders.

Make a plan, identify needs and seek support:
  • A marketing agency partner
  • What content can leaders or marketing teams create for social media managers each month?
  • Blogs, videos, infographics, interviews, imagery, lead magnets
  • Social media management tools for measuring success and scheduling posts
  • Leaders encouraging all members of an organization to support social messaging

Final Thoughts

Social media is only a small component to an effective and robust marketing strategy. While it’s important to give social media the time and attention it needs to be effective, there’s many other things to consider. Additionally, content and tactics from other marketing arms of your business can be integrated into your social strategy. When you have a cohesive marketing plan and are promoting high-quality content, there’s unlimited potential for growth.

Want to learn more about Next-Mark’s marketing, branding and social media services? Contact us today!

Here we are—a whole year since the pandemic began to pick up speed in the U.S.  Lockdowns and working from home became the new norm while businesses learned how to adapt in a fast-changing world. 

In the blink of an eye, many marketing professionals were forced to revisit their strategies.  Marketing isn’t just about selling a product. It’s about creating an experience and many of these consumer experiences were disrupted. Though things looked bleak a year ago, businesses can still thrive if they apply what’s been learned about the changing world and consumer needs. So, after a year of COVID, what have we learned regarding marketing? What is still relevant and what needs to change? Here are six tips for marketing in the post-pandemic world.

1. Keep up with Social Media

Social media has always been part of the marketing conversation. But this past year has proven that it’s here to stay. Social usage has increased dramatically and new users continue to grow. Platforms like Facebook and Instagram became crucial in communication and social interaction since in-person meetings became nonexistent. Having a business presence on social media is essential in B2B and B2C opportunities and is key to spreading awareness and promoting your product or service.

2. Show Empathy

The approach to messaging has undergone a substantial shift due to flashbulb events and cultural changes in 2020. To remain relevant and show respect regardless of background, financial status or circumstance, show empathy within your messaging and promotions strategy. Use encouraging messages on social, offer your support in local community outreach programs or sponsor events like food banks. Many people are looking for a helping hand which provides an important opportunity for any business to lend a helping hand, and as a by-product, potentially gain community exposure and establish a strong customer-company bond. Establishing programs that give back to the community and getting employees involved has been proven to increase office morale and drive employee advocacy.

3. Invest in SEO

Digital marketing is heavily reliant on an efficient SEO strategy. Major corporations are investing more in search engine optimization, with the average consumer shopping more online. Digital channels are becoming more and more crowded, fueling greater website competition.  Small businesses especially need to invest in SEO to stand out from the noise and traffic of their larger competitors. Creating engaging, concise content is key to encouraging engagement and driving more clicks to your website.

4. Professional PR Practices

When it comes to PR in a post-pandemic world, showing high ethics and professional morals needs to be an intricate part of all communications. Also, be sensitive about your content.  Some have lost their jobs and loved ones. Always be researching the current state of your community and stay relevant.  Virtual meetings will also continue to be an option for years to come. Without a face-to-face set up, keeping the media’s attention can be difficult.  Instead, bring your story to light through social media, e-commerce platforms, your website, add the press release as a blog or share your own content on as many platforms as possible.

5. Innovative Content

To survive change on a worldwide scale, you need to be an innovator. Innovation arises from need and needs have certainly changed within the past year. Consumer expectations were already on the rise before Covid-19 and now they expect experiences to be even more personalized. This is where creative and innovative content is key. Create a fast and convenient user experience. What kind of visual journey will keep users engaged and want to learn more?

6. Create Experiences

Marketers need to be storytellers. What journey will the consumer embark on leading to closing a sale or onboarding a new client? The customer journey has been disrupted in many industries this past year, requiring new and creative ways to engage customers primarily online. Run exclusive deals and offers that get people interested by issuing exclusive coupon codes. Use Facebook and Google ads to broaden your reach across the country with strong and eye-catching creative showcasing your product or service. Reach out to existing customers and run referral offers where people receive discounts for each person they refer to you. The creative ideas businesses can think of to interact with their customers and create memorable experiences are endless.

For those up to the challenge, the coming years will be bright. Most people run from change, but change is truly inevitable, especially in the marketing world.  Those with the willingness to learn, grow and adapt will come out on top and prove to be more resilient than they ever thought possible.  The post-pandemic world will be what we choose to make it, so let’s make it great.

Three Reasons Why Your Marketing & PR Needs an Integrated Approach

PR has quickly become an essential component to any business’s marketing strategy – Here’s why an integrated and proactive plan delivers better results

The craft of public relations or PR has always been considered an ambiguous term by those outside the industry. A quick Google Trends search confirms this, as many of the top trending searches around PR include phrases like “what is,” “definition” and other similar terms. Those unfamiliar with the inner-workings of PR might hear the word and imagine celebrity crisis management campaigns or wordy press releases.

Individuals more familiar with the inner-workings of PR, like business leaders and seasoned marketers, know the value of strong communications strategies but may not be aware of the recent shift top agencies have made towards a new model. This new model called integrated PR or integrated communications is more efficient and leads to greater long-term success.

But first, what is PR?

The Public Relations Society of America qualifies the term as “a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.”

PR professionals are communicators and storytellers. They work with brands or companies to portray them in a positive light through various communications tactics, which help build trust with their audience and communities. This exercise accelerates brand awareness and, if done effectively, can help form positive, meaningful ties, which drive engagement and business success.

Isn’t that the same end goal as a marketing campaign?

PR practitioners and marketers share common ground – spreading awareness, engaging consumers, and driving performance; however, historically, these two entities have worked separately, relying on different tactics. This holds true for most agencies, as well as across companies of all sizes. Unfortunately, this approach leaves a lot to be desired, as an integrated approach often yields more significant success.

Why an integrated approach is the “future of PR”

Creating a strong, unified brand is top of mind for leading businesses. This is only possible through consistent messaging and design. Having a unique brand voice that speaks to your audience is crucial.

With this in mind, imagine the issues created when marketing professionals, designers and PR practitioners work independently with no coordination. This is why an integrated approach to PR is best.

1. Seamless Experience For Your Audience

Having an integrated PR plan means key communications and marketing components are aligned and their messaging is consistent across all channels. With media pitches, digital ads, social media posts, and other strongly linked elements, the message is clear and compelling. This builds credibility and brand authority while creating a seamless experience for audience members.

2. Shared Resources Make Your Campaigns More Effective

The classic saying “content is king” is more relevant than ever. Creating a stream of compelling content is a never-ending battle for marketers and PR pros alike, which is why shared resources can help ease the burden on individual teams and improve success. For example, your marketing team discovered that your company’s workforce leads its industry in diversity. It has designed an infographic that explains this and will be sharing it on social media. While this would undoubtedly draw positive engagement from followers, it could have been used alongside a press release announcing this success if shared with the company’s PR team. On the other hand, press releases being created by a company’s communications team have the added versatility to be converted into blog posts, newsletter content and social media announcements.

3. Navigating Pay For Play Opportunities

While many media outlets still have a strong separation of editorial and sales teams, there has been a significant shift of late that has increased the likelihood of your next press pitch being met with an invoice. Pay-for-play media opportunities are often a major roadblock for PR professionals tasked with generating organic media coverage. Because most PR agencies operate on retainer and do not budget for marketing “buys” they generally are only left with the option to decline and move on. With integrated marketing plans in place, there’s greater efficiency in allocating advertising into these kinds of opportunities as they occur. Moreover, the relationships marketers often form with media outlet sales personnel can typically be leveraged to garner organic news coverage with an integrated team.

There are countless reasons to integrate your communications and marketing teams. It is even more critical to have open communication lines between your business’s marketing and PR arms if relying on an agency or multiple agency partners. Better yet, having a unified, cohesive team under one roof can bring even greater efficiency to your business, drive higher engagement among key audiences and most importantly, enhance the bottom line.

Next-mark was created by the belief that exceptional branding, marketing and public relations should be aligned. Our in-house team of talented creatives, data-driven marketing experts and passionate PR professionals work in unison to accomplish client directives and exceed their individual goals. Curious how an integrated communications and marketing plan can help your business? Contact us today

Next-Mark wins big at 2021 ADDY Awards

The Sarasota-based marketing and communications agency earns four awards for creative excellence, including a coveted “Judges’ Choice” honor

Next-Mark, a full-service marketing and communications agency serving clients in Florida and nationwide, announced on March 15, 202 it was awarded four ADDY® Awards at the Advertising Federation’s annual award ceremony hosted by AdFed, the Florida Suncoast’s regional AAF club.

The awards span multiple categories that directly impacted Next-Mark client’s business success and include: 

  • Judges’ Choice – Professional | A LookBook to Showcase Architecture, Sweet Sparkman Architecture & Interiors
  • Gold Addy – Sales & Marketing: Brochure | A LookBook to Showcase Architecture, Sweet Sparkman Architecture & Interiors
  • Silver Addy – Cross Platform: Integrated Branded Content Campaign | Embodying an Architect Brand Story, Sweet Sparkman Architecture & Interiors
  • Silver Addy – Cross Platform: Integrated Branded Content Campaign | Migrating a Brand to Virtual Market, Medecision

“Delivering strategic marketing and impactful creative content for clients is always our top priority,” said Next-Mark president and founder, Joseph S. Grano, Jr. “To be recognized by our peers for this work is an honor and a testament to our results-driven process, as well as the forward-thinking of our team.”

Next-Mark client, Sweet Sparkman Architecture & Interiors, garnered three total awards, including a Judges’ Award, Gold ADDY and Silver ADDY for its digital LookBook and an Integrated Content Campaign. Headquartered in Sarasota, Florida, Sweet Sparkman is the area’s premier multi-disciplinary architecture and planning firm specializing in community-oriented projects and high-end residential, as well as interior design.

Next-Mark’s work for another major client, Medecision, earned a Silver ADDY award as well, this one in the cross-platform category for an Integrated Branded Content Campaign called “Migrating a Brand to Virtual Market.” Medecision, an integrated health solutions company whose mission is to “drive a revolution in healthcare,” relies on Next-Mark as a creative, collaborative partner to help it deliver its promise to more than 50 million members in its partner network.

Next-Mark adds staff to meet growing demand

The Sarasota-based marketing and communications firm announces the addition of three new team members as it expands client footprint and new services

SARASOTA, Fla. – Next-Mark, a full-service marketing and communications firm serving clients in Florida and nationwide, announced today the addition of three new team members to meet demand for its growing roster of clients and expand its service offerings.

New team members joining the downtown Sarasota-based agency arrive with varying and distinguished backgrounds, which span agency and corporate settings alike.

“We’re excited to welcome each of our new, talented team members and feel strongly that through them, our clients will continue to benefit from the top-rated marketing and communications services Next-Mark is known for,” said Next-Mark president and founder, Joseph Grano, Jr. “By bringing on top talent, we’ve bolstered our strategic marketing communications and design capabilities and added new, highly demanded service offerings as a Certified Salesforce Partner. We see this as a significant opportunity for further expansion this year and the future.”

Digital transformation and client performance director, Joseph “JT” Grano, III, a Sarasota-native and graduate of Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana. Grano holds over five years of experience managing end-to-end Salesforce and Kronos Software implementations for notable healthcare and financial institutions throughout the U.S along with significant marketing communications experience.

Client experience manager, Justin Mayfield. Hailing from Greensboro, North Carolina and a graduate of East Carolina University, Mayfield is an award-winning marketing communications professional who guided proactive PR campaigns and crisis management initiatives for notable national brands as a partner at a Tampa-based agency.

Senior Creative Specialist, Sandy Hendrickson. From Charlotte, North Carolina, Hendrickson holds a BFA in graphic design from Radford University and has spent two decades defining the look, feel and voice of some of the world’s most recognized companies, including Electrolux Major Appliances, Lowes, Rubbermaid, United Way and more.

Strategic marketing and communications were never more important than in 2020, as strategy drove tactics as never before. After 16 years in business, we found ourselves evolving quickly to help our clients take on the challenges in the path of moving their brands forward. We are proud of them and the work we did together last year and in years past, as different times dictated different measures.
It is in that spirit that we introduce our newly updated digital LookBook, which outlines the various tools we leverage and combine to create effective marketing that endures and propels, fashioned to fit the needs and goals of each client.
These include:

  • Branding, with examples from refreshing the look of a popular destination to driving a stake in the ground for a new era in a financial firm’s history.
  • Strategic content that starts with strong messaging and is molded to resonate with target markets.
  • Web and digital strategy that creates an image and helps clients stand out visually and come across clearly amid all the noise.
  • Creative design that draws the eye so the message can be heard.
  • Public relations through earned media, careful placement of content and use of a variety of platforms.
  • CRM services and Salesforce, bridging the gap between strategic content and full utilization of the powerful Salesforce application.
  • Trade shows and events, as they migrate to new forms and concepts.
  • Infographics that deliver high impact in few words.
  • Video production, the ongoing wave, make that the tsunami, of the future of message distribution.
  • Social media, which is a must for every enterprise seeking to connect with audiences today.

We invite you to take a look at what we can do – and what we could do for you. As always, we’re here to help, always collaborating, always communicating and always dedicated to our clients’ continued success. To learn more, view our 2021 LookBook or contact us 941.544.2765.

Traditionally, sales and marketing have been treated as two separate disciplines, causing both to operate in their own separate silos. Today, however, we know these departments are extensions of each other, and these silos are causing brands to miss out on serious leads and opportunities.

Customers have dramatically shifted their expectations. They now expect personalized, connected and cohesive experiences, and insist that each channel in the customer journey bring them the same high-level experience.

So, what does this mean? It means that, in order to create these unique customer experiences, sales and marketing must work together. And they need the technology to do so.

A tried-and-true way to do this is to use an all-in-one software solution that can unify and foster collaboration between. the two functions, breaking down those silos so brands can deliver the experiences customers have come to expect.

And we have just the one in mind – Salesforce.

Here are a few reasons why we recommend Salesforce for fostering collaboration across Marketing and Sales:

  1. When sales and marketing are connected on a single platform such as Salesforce, they provide access to a single view of the customer.

We emphasized how important it is for brands to deliver a cohesive, connected brand experience for customers. And if there’s one thing Salesforce does well, it’s put the customer at the center of everything, allowing your company to integrate data from anywhere, so you receive a complete  360 degree view of each and every customer.

  1. Salesforce provides end-to-end analytics to measure campaign ROI and performance, supporting customer retention and finely honed marketing initiatives.

Perhaps you’ve heard the phrase “the numbers don’t lie.” This is why taking a data-driven approach to your sales and marketing efforts is critical to developing effective campaigns.

Whether it be a direct mail program, email campaign, webinar or other initiative, Salesforce allows you to measure individual campaign performance, track where leads are emanating and measure ROI so your marketing and sales teams can easily see what’s working and what needs to be refined.

  1. That platform enables a collaboration layer, so teams across the business can share files and comments and engage more precisely on individual customers and prospects.

Think about your favorite band. One of the main reasons you like them is the way they use their instruments to create a unique, but interconnected sound, right? But imagine if the band all played in a different key. They wouldn’t sound harmonious, let alone get into a groove. The same holds true for sales and marketing teams that can’t efficiently communicate.

Salesforce has tools that allow teams such as Sales and Marketing to communicate harmoniously and share information. You can collaborate on sales opportunities and act on critical updates wherever you are to make the most of every moment.

  1. Salesforce easily automates business processes. As soon as a function completes a task, a notification is automatically created for the next function to pick it up. And because they’re completed on the same platform, the next person has all historical data.

Automation tools are one of the tools that make it such a powerful platform. Other than the obvious reasons of saving time and increasing productivity, Salesforce automation tools allow the customer to see the same brand experience across all your teams.

Salesforce automation can automatically trigger relevant content and messaging at scale based on your central hub of customer data, allowing you to convert prospects into lifelong brand advocates.

We understand all this may sound a bit complicated, especially if you don’t have the resources or prior knowledge to put these software systems into place. But it doesn’t have to be, and that’s where we can help.

Next-Mark is now a Salesforce Certified Partner. So we’re fully equipped to audit all your current sales and marketing systems and put new systems into place so your marketing and sales departments can collaborate efficiently and easily.

That means no more silos and a better brand experience for the customer.

Visit to learn more.

Marketing today moves at the speed of technology and changes as it does. Thus, it’s no longer enough to keep up with where eyes and ears are going and what they want to see and hear; it’s a matter of staying ahead of a rapidly moving curve.

As we look to a New Year, here are some trends we’re seeing and recommendations for how to use them to your best advantage in the unique environment of 2021.

1. Keep in mind that many businesses continue to work virtually
 due to the pandemic and a number of them are considering making it a permanent change. This makes on-line communication more important than ever. Factor into that an increased dependence on social media to remain in touch in a socially distanced world, and you can see the bond that can be created with your audiences when your marketing plan includes on-line marketing targeted by platform and users.

2. Strategic messaging, in general, never has been more important.
 If you have a solid messaging plan, now is the time to fine tune it to reflect who you are in 2021 and what you want to say to your audiences. If you don’t have a common “song sheet” that is used organization-wide, creating one should be Marketing Job One in the New Year.

3. Content continues its reign as monarch of consumer engagement. A key to creating content that customers and prospects will seek out is not looking at what you have to offer but, rather, how what you have can help them. It’s an outward look that companies of all sizes are using to their advantage, becoming a trusted source of information and building relationships. Thus, content marketing is a core piece of any marketing plan.

4. On the process side, customer relationship management (CRM) remains a critical component in converting prospects to customers and retaining them once you get them. By enabling documentation, management and analysis of the entire engagement process and client lifecycle, applications such as Salesforce and HubSpot facilitate more personalized, and productive, outreach and relationships.

5. Creativity is the oxygen in marketing. In 2021, it will be important to evaluate how your organization is standing out in the blur of competition and to become a true steward of your brand. This involves taking creativity to the next level in all media and choosing the right partner to help you do it.

6. Be aware of digital trends and look at your advertising spend within the digital context. 
This is a fast-moving train that you’ll want to be sure you’re safely aboard. Digital ad spending already is greater than traditional ad spending in the United States and, according to eMarketer research, it is expected to exceed two-thirds of total media spending by 2023.

7. Your website is the gateway to your presence and should be an important part of your strategy. Too many companies create a site and leave it to languish, with an occasional blog to show they’re still in business. In 2021, look at strengthening your online brand messaging, perhaps updating the site’s look and assuring back-end operations make access easy and fluid. And, of course, Search Engine Optimization remains essential in increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results.

8. We’ve said it before and may say it evermore: Video rules. n fact, according to a recent Cisco study, by 2021, 82% of consumer internet traffic will be video. Why? Because it’s the easiest, fastest and most enjoyable way to receive information for most of us. The best part is that it can be done on any budget – from the magnitude of a full production to a quick animation – and still make an impact.

9. Speaking of impact, consider the power of the Millennials, our nation’s largest generation group. Research has shown that they rely heavily on peer recommendations for buying decisions and those peers include online influencers. This represents a sea of change from companies creating personas to push product to individuals who have created their own online spheres of influence and can be powerful brand champions.

10. And, finally, don’t fear business as usual. Though parts of our lives and commerce are, or seem to be, in pause mode, it’s important for companies to press the “play” button and prepare for their next phase of operations and growth.

We wish you all good things in the coming year and stand ready to help you strengthen your brand and business in 2021 and beyond.

New Services for New Challenges 
We want to share some exciting news: Next-Mark is now a Salesforce Certified Partner – now serving clients throughout the US and becoming the first Salesforce Partner based in Sarasota, Florida.

This connection, with the world’s No. 1 customer relationship management (CRM) platform, will enable us to not only help clients implement this powerful tool but to also use it to its full potential.

The current climate has forced businesses to rethink how they engage with their customers and reassess how they get work done – all at a distance. As a Salesforce Certified Partner, we can help clients close the gap, driving digital transformation while simplifying the process to promote success even in disruptive and highly competitive markets.

Our full range of Salesforce solutions includes:
·      Quick Start Implementations

·      Full Scale Marketing Cloud, Pardot, HealthCloud and SalesCloud Implementations

·      Existing Environment Audits

·      Salesforce Managed Services

·      Lead Generation Optimization

Significantly, this certification enables us to connect our core competency of content creation with robust digital strategy, enabling client marketing and sales departments to communicate effectively with customers, prospects and each other. This means that even in the most challenging times, organizations can enhance outreach and grow their businesses. Learn more here or give us a call to get started at 941.544.2765.