Whether you’re the head of marketing for your company or a small business owner wearing multiple hats, successful marketing requires a thoughtful and organized workflow to ensure that all your T’s are crossed and I’s are dotted.

Of all elements of your business, marketing can be particularly fluid. Sure, you may have a solid marketing plan and promotional schedule, and you may even have a great project management system, but marketing is a constantly changing beast because it deals with the fluid variables of market conditions, competition, customer preferences and behaviors, among other things.

Which means that as a marketer you need great systems in place to effectively get the message out to your audience so that amidst the chaos of the constantly changing environment, you are working smarter, not harder.

We have a few tips that will get you on track to a smarter workflow – which, in turn, will put you on track for better results with less effort. With no further ado:

Schedule Ahead What Can Be Scheduled

When you’re trying to promote something to your customers, it’s important to be nimble and able to pivot quickly and easily as you track the performance of your marketing campaigns. In order to be flexible and available for change, it’s remarkably helpful to get out of your own way and avoid the temptation to procrastinate.

Procrastination is human nature, but you never regret working ahead, particularly for things that are unlikely to change.

For example, we encourage our Retriever customers to schedule their holiday slides as well as any recurring promotions or announcements ahead for the year so that they automatically inject fresh content into their playlists and automatically unpublish irrelevant content, without additional effort.

Don’t Believe the Loudest Voice

While it’s incredibly important to be on your toes as a marketer and pay attention to your market conditions and campaign performance, it can be incredibly easy to focus on the wrong things. One negative voice telling you something critical can skew your entire perception of your business, your marketing efforts, and your customers’ actual perceptions.

So, rather than wasting time trying to adjust to one loud, critical voice, spend your time instead analyzing data that reflects a broad base of your customers – not just the one most critical person. In an age where every digital platform is encouraging people to review your business, remember that the most likely person to leave a review is someone with a gripe – not your happy and loyal customers.

Moreover, everyone believes that they are representing your entire customer base, but you can’t trust their opinions: you have to look at the data. So, look at campaign performance on digital campaigns and benchmark it; conduct market research; survey your customers with an incentive; follow up with your clients about their knowledge of your business; and look at results. Then, spend your time adjusting to the data, not the one loud voice in your ear.

Communicate Effectively

More time and money is wasted by businesses who need to improve their internal & external communications processes. Poor communication is at the heart of misunderstandings, excessive meetings, frustrations, and conflict for your business. Whether it’s a matter of assuming everyone heard you the first time, missing people on an email list, or having simply too many details to coordinate to get your message across, poor communication will eat up your work week.

We actually have way more than few tips for strengthening your communication skills, and we’d love to share them for you! We’ve created this webinar with 7 great strategies to take your communication to the next level, and you can get free access here.

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Transform Your Workplace Culture Retriever DIgital Signage

When your company started, undoubtedly there were passionate, optimistic and visionary people who led the charge with an idea big enough that it could make a difference, and be profitable.

As the years go on, though, the idealism of those first few years fade as you face the reality of the challenges all businesses face. For many businesses, the culture can grow stale and some bad habits can take root.

One of the biggest contributing factors to a negative workplace culture we see is poor communication. The core values which defined the very life of your business become no more than a poster on the wall, because what really matters to the business isn’t being communicated effectively.

Communication is so important to the health of your company that, in most instances, healthy communication processes can fix nearly any problem.

Think about your last workplace conflict: if you boil it down, did it all come down to poor communication? Did one employee make an assumption, or have a false expectation, or a misunderstanding of another? Did someone feel undervalued, unappreciated, or sidelined? Communication is at the center of most workplace conflict.

Your business is likely seeing the symptoms of poor communication in many ways: are you having a hard time retaining staff? Does onboarding new staff take longer than you think it should? Is it hard to enact new policies and procedures?

At Retriever Digital Signage, we have been afforded the opportunity to become communications experts, working for 35 years with our clients to help them communicate more effectively.

We’ve actually put together a webinar to help you streamline your internal communications processes and we’d love to give you free access. Just click here to sign up!

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Geauga County Public Library Retriever Digital Signage

Our clients are constantly finding creative ways to put their Retriever Digital Signage to good use, and the Geauga County Public Library is no exception!

Serving 55,000 cardholders in their county-wide system, the librarians at the GCPL are tasked with finding methods of communication that work for everyone across multiple branches of their library system.

“Anytime I walked into any location, I saw stacks of paper and bookmarks everywhere, and I thought, ‘There’s got to be an easier way,'” recalls Lori Weber, Marketing Manager for the Geauga County Public Library.

“You can’t hit everybody where they are all the time. They might have missed something in the newsletter. They might not be on Facebook, they might not be on Twitter,” says Weber

The library uses their Retriever Digital Signage to promote upcoming events, closures, announcements, and library news, as well as pulling in the weather and social feeds. Each day, the library recommends a book on their social media channels, which automatically pulls into their Retriever playlist.

“We’re a visually driven culture, and used to looking at screens,” shares Patrick Culliton, Marketing Specialist for the Geauga County Public Library.

If you’re looking for creative ways to keep your patrons engaged, the Geauga County Public Library is setting a great example!

We’d love to help you discover fresh and innovative ways to utilize your digital signage too. Click here to contact us and we’d be happy to have a conversation!

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For more than three decades, our company has partnered with our clients to help them communicate more effectively. When new communication tools are introduced, we figure them out so our clients don’t have to.

In fact, that’s how we got our start: we learned to create video spots for local businesses when video became an option for businesses. Along the way, we’ve become a communication hub, and that’s how the Retriever Digital Signage came about.

Our customers needed a better way to communicate with their customers and employees that would be more effective than static signage or cluttered bulletin boards. So, we created a simple to use, web-based software that delivered beautiful and dynamic digital signage without a learning curve for the user.

Along the way, we’ve become communication experts, and there are some pitfalls that we see more often than others. When our clients have problems, in many cases, ineffective communication is at the center of the problem.

One problem emerges more than any other, though, and you’re likely guilty of this common issue. That problem is assuming others know what you know.

This assumption is at the crux of most communication issues, and plays out in a myriad of ways. Here are a couple of scenarios that might seem familiar:

Scenario #1:

Your bank has been trying to sell more home equity lines of credit, but is struggling to get customers to bite. Sure, there have been a few, but you’re just not hitting the numbers you expected for the rate you’re offering.

To solve this problem, you offer incentives to your bankers for selling the product, advertise heavily. You see a slight increase but not a significant return. You press the staff more to upsell, and nothing works.

The real problem is not your staff or your advertising, it’s your assumption that the customer understands. In this scenario, you’re assuming all of your customers know what a home equity line of credit is, how it can benefit them, and how competitive your rate is. Your communication isn’t effective because your communication isn’t meeting the desired recipient at their current level of knowledge and taking them to the point of understanding. 

The fix: Start the conversation with the problem first – on your digital signage while they wait, publish slides that help the customer to understand their problem and learn more: “Is it time for all new windows? A new roof? New flooring? You might be able to afford it now. Ask us how.”

When your customer is at the teller window, instead of saying, “Did you know you qualify for a home equity line of credit?” try, “Are you familiar with how a home equity line of credit works? I see here that you qualify.” Send them away with a pamphlet informing and showcasing your competitive rates.

 

Scenario #2: 

You’ve recently changed the way your company tracks time. You announced the change in your weekly staff meeting and you did a run-through of the new process. Should be good to go, right?

Except, only a few of the staff members are doing this correctly- . So you send out a company-wide message and remind them of the change. Only two more people fix the issue.

You’re frustrated and unsure of what else to do to get everyone on the same page, and begin to feel angry with your team.

The problem in this scenario is not unwillingness, it’s the assumption that your team understands after one tutorial in a team meetingAfter all, if you’re rolling out a new time tracking process, you’ve had more time in the system than anyone else, which means your depth of understanding and ability to navigate it is well beyond those on your team.

Effective communication requires repetition – that’s why our digital signage repeats the slides in a looping playlist. The more you see something, the more likely you are to learn it.

The fix: Following your staff meeting, send out a link to a video tutorial identical to what you showed your team. You could even record your screen in the meeting! Then, take screenshots of that recording, and make a quick explainer slide to put on your digital signage. From there, if there’s anyone who still doesn’t understand, you can open up your calendar with appointment slots to go over it one on one as needed.

 

When you approach any communication breakdown, ask yourself first: what am I assuming my audience understands? Am I certain they understand those things? If I assume they don’t understand, what would I tell them to bring them to understanding? How can I say those things?

We believe in effective communication, and we’d love to further support your pursuit of improving your own business’s communication. That’s why we’re giving away this free eBook to help. Get it here: Download our Communications Guide

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Four Signs Your Bulletin Board is Broken

When you’re tasked with communicating with a busy workforce, time is of the essence. When there’s only one of you, and many of them, it’s paramount that effective communication strategies are employed by your human resources office.

If you are still expecting your workforce to engage with a cluttered bulletin board, we suspect this decision is at the center of your communications crisis.

So often we hear from businesses, “We’ve always done it this way. Why do we need to change?”

The short answer is: the world changed and we all have to change with it.

In this case, what you’ve always done will only get diminishing results. Paper and static signage just simply isn’t effective any longer, especially when it comes to mass communication

Here are four ways to tell if your office needs to retire the bulletin board:

1. You find yourself saying, “Well, if people would just read…”

If you’re feeling frustrated to the point of passive aggression, there’s a problem. Effective communications strategies result in positive, not negative, emotions.

2. You think you’ve communicated something, but no one else seems to know what’s going on.

Are you frustrated that no one seems to be paying attention? Have you spent time putting up signs and sending out memos, and still – no one is clear? You shouldn’t feel that way.

3. You watch people walk right past your bulletin board without glancing at it.

Observe the behavior of your team, without judgment. If they aren’t stopping to read the signage you’ve posted, that means that they’ve made a decision that what is there isn’t vital to their day-to-day, takes too much time to figure out, or is the same as the last time they saw it.

4. You’re spending too much time repeating yourself.

You only have so many hours in the week, so if you’re spending those hours repeating yourself in order to communicate, your business is losing money and you will only feel more stagnant in your job.

 

If these pain points describe you, we’re here to tell you there’s a better way. We believe that communication doesn’t have to be hard in a business, and we have some great solutions to help solve your communication problem. Click the button to download our free Human Resources Guide to Communication – our gift to you:
Download our Communications Guide

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Goal Thermometer Retriever Digital Signage

When it comes to communicating in the digital age, delivering value is key. If you want to engage a potential or existing customer in any way, the burden of proof is on you to prove to them that you will provide an experience that is meaningful and worthwhile.

That’s why we encourage Retriever users to mix their advertising calls to action in their Retriever playlist with informational, educational, engaging content. When a viewer is observing a Retriever screen, they simply engage longer when they feel the information is relevant to them.

Because of this, we’ve integrated many pre-built slides that require zero effort on your part to deliver value for your desired audience. Here are just a few of our favorites:

Goal Thermometer Retriever Digital Signage

Goal Thermometer

You can find this slide under the slide category “Financial,” and customize it with your goal and current progress – the percentage calculates automatically and the thermometer adjusts accordingly! If you’re in the midst of a fundraising campaign or change the unit and use this for tracking any type of quantitative goal.

Arrows Right Directional Signage Retriever Digital Signage

Arrows Right/Left

No matter what type of business you’re in, it’s not uncommon to find yourself repeating over and again direction that’s already explained with existing signage. Why is that? People simply have been programmed to disregard static signage. So, reinforce your directional signage with this animated and customizable directional sign, found under the “Directions” slide category.

5 Day Forecast with Time Retriever Digital Signage

5 Day Forecast with Time

Things that will always be true: rain, tax, and the interest of the general populus in the weather forecast. After all, it’s the most visible part of many people’s phone home screens, the most likely thing to be on their smart watch – why not provide this helpful and important information – that auto-populates – on your Retrievers to engage your viewers? Find this slide, and others like it, in the “Weather” slide category.

Daylight Savings Time Ends Retriever Digital Signage
Daylight Savings Time Ends

Love it or hate it, Daylight Savings Time is a little hard to keep track of. This animated slide automatically updates with the correct date, as well as a helpful (and customizable) reminder to change your smoke detector batteries on the second screen. Find this as well as a Daylight Savings Time begins option under the slide category “Date & Time.”

Richland Source Latest News Retriever Digital Signage
Richland Source: Latest News

For our local Retriever customers, we’ve partnered with our local news outlet Richland Source to provide auto-updating news headlines, broken out by type of news as well as county. These slides can be simply dropped into your playlist without any added effort on your part, automatically giving your viewers the latest news. Find this slide and others like it in the Richland Source slide category.

 

If you’re noticing reduced engagement with your digital signage, it’s time to do a slide refresh and it may be time to take a look at your playlist lineup and add some of these automatically updating, helpful slides to your list in order to keep your audience tuned in and seeing all of your important calls to action. If you could use some help figuring out a playlist strategy that works, reach out – we’d love to help!

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Client Spotlight: Malabar Farm Restaurant Retriever Digital Signage

When you run a popular restaurant, customer experience is everything. From the moment a customer begins to engage with your restaurant till the moment they leave your property, creating a memorable dining experience goes beyond outstanding food.

Restaurant owners like Kim Williams, co-owner of Malabar Farm Restaurant in Lucas, Ohio, put a great deal of thought into how their customers spend their wait time for a table, ways to delight them throughout the course of their meal, mindfulness about how their staff interacts with the customers, and thousands of other details all in service of creating an outstanding dining experience for their customers.

For Malabar Farm Restaurant, utilizing Retriever Digital Signage has been an integral part of delighting and educating their customers.

Williams uses her Retriever Digital Signage in the lobby of her restaurant to promote upcoming events, extended service offerings, as well as to delight her customers with special surprises.

“I can celebrate anniversaries and birthdays for guests with it, which they think is awesome – to see ‘Happy Birthday to Me’ on my Retriever screen,” shares Williams.

Another benefit to the Malabar Farm Restaurant has been her ability to cross-promote with other local businesses without an additional cost. “I actually have a couple who eat with me. They have a business and wanted to put a slide on my screen because they like it that much… We can trade slides, so we can be on someone else’s [Retriever], and they can be on mine.”

For a busy restaurant owner, Retriever has been a simple and effective tool to master. “The Retriever is SO EASY to put my information on – everything is at my fingertips.”

If you’d like to learn more about how Retriever might be a good tool for your restaurant, click here to contact us.

 

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Changing the Game for Retail

Business owners who have worked in retail for a long time all agree – business looks different today than it did ten years ago. The dawn of the digital age has ensured that only the fittest retail businesses have endured. What are they doing differently than their competition?

Retail businesses that have evolved to communicate with their customers in a changing market are finding more success.

“We have static signs throughout the mall, and a lot of them anymore carry a generic message because we found that people just don’t stop to read them,” explains Jodi Scott from Richland Mall.

The difference for retail owners is with digital signage. Digital signage allows a customer to be drawn in with eye-catching graphics and animation, a higher volume of content, and the ability to deliver more than just an advertisement.

Rob Knowlton of Hursh Drug expresses, “We actually have people say… they like the weather, they like the trivia questions.” For Hursh, digital signage entertains their customers while they wait, while educating them about their brand and services, decreasing their customer’s perceived wait times and providing value for both the customer and the business.

“I just love being able to change it, every day,” shares Andy Scharosch of Professional Image Uniforms. For businesses still employing static signage, once it’s up, you’re stuck with it for awhile.

If your retail business is looking for a better way to communicate with your customers, we’d love to help. Click here to reach out!

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4 Myths Business Owners Should Stop Believing

When you own a business, you understand what it means to “figure it out.” You might not have the experience, education, or confidence in what you’re doing, but your business requires you to make it work and find a solution – no matter what. When you hit the threshold of success, it doesn’t really matter how you got there.

Along the way, though, you may have started buying into some myths, that are ultimately stunting your growth and your ability to move to the next level. If you’re feeling like you’re struggling to rise to the next challenge, it may be time to self-examine and rewrite a few scripts.

MYTH #1: You can do it all.

When you started your business, you hustled and made it work – and it got you where you needed to go. But, what got you here, won’t get you to the next place. If you’re feeling resistance as you try to grow, see if there are jobs that you’re still doing that you should be firing yourself from – and hiring a specialist for. The investment in a qualified specialist on your team – even for things you, yourself are great at – will pay off exponentially and free up your time to focus on growing your business.

MYTH #2: Your staff understands the vision, and how to get there.

Communication is one of the biggest pitfalls we see among business owners. When you’re in the work all day and all night, you just know what’s going on, and probably assume everyone around you does as well. In many workplaces, employees feel uncomfortable telling their boss they don’t know what’s going on – or may think they’re at 100% when in actuality they’re closer to 60%.

You can diagnose this issue in your business in reverse. When you’re consistently seeing people miss the mark, setting goals that seem out of left field, or focusing on the wrong problems, you have not effectively communicated your vision.

MYTH #3: Your team is fueled by what fuels you.

When you own a business, you’re simply running on different fuel than your employees. You take the risks and reap the rewards, so the business’s success prevails above all. For an employee, even when they really believe in the business, the vision, and the mission, at the end of the day they’re motivated to keep their job and – thereby – their personal life in order. Neither motivation is the wrong one, you just need to be aware of it as a business owner so that you can tap into what motivates someone without the assumption that you’re approaching things from the same perspective.

MYTH #4: Your customers know what you have to offer them.

You might think you know what your customers think and know, but you probably don’t – especially if your growth is stunted.  One of the missteps we see a lot is listening to the loudest voices and expecting that to be representative of the crowd. For example, one negative review can send some small business owners into a tailspin, even if there are 10 positive reviews surrounding it. One customer mentioning that they heard your ad on a radio station can be enough for some businesses to overhaul their advertising strategy. Why does this happen? Because we’re letting one loud voice echo in our heads and calling it market research.

If you’re experiencing frustration or setbacks with your business, start with educating your customers about what you do in a way that delivers value. Rather than forcing hard calls to action at every turn, tell them stories of success thanks to the products you have to offer.

 

At the end of the day, Retriever Digital Signage is a communication strategy – and we know that all of these myths can be things of the past for your business, which will grow with excellent communication strategies. We know that you can only do so much as a business owner, though, so we created an effective and efficient system that’s easy to manage and super flexible. We’d love to show you more – click here to connect and we’ll show you how digital signage can revolutionize your business’s communication.

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Employee Communication Retriever Digital Signage

It hasn’t always been such a challenge to communicate well in a corporate setting. Before the days of automatic deposit, there were physical paychecks that employees took home, and you could put the most important messages inside. People weren’t as distracted, either, but with a cell phone constantly in hand, it’s hard to get the attention of your team on a break.

We live in the “communication age,” and we’re simply not doing it well.

Our company is centered around communicating well – we literally created Retriever to help our clients across numerous industries communicate more effectively, and along the way we’ve picked up some great insights about communication. These are just a few:

Listen 

Have you ever been having a conversation with someone, and realized all of a sudden it wasn’t a conversation at all – it was a lecture? In that moment your mind probably started to wander and you immediately disengaged. Imagine if that happened over years – you’d stop paying attention altogether, right?

That’s what a lot of companies are doing with their employees. They’re doing all the talking and none of the listening.

It can be a real challenge to listen to your employees, especially if your team is large. But, finding opportunities for them to have a voice in the conversation is critical for engagement.

Offer ways to provide feedback, ask open ended questions, and give your employees places to speak into your business at all levels. Not only will they buy into what you’re doing on a deeper level, they’ll be more engaged with all of your messaging.

 

Repeat Yourself

One of the biggest communication pitfalls we see is the expectation that you can say something once and get your message across. Research tells us it takes seeing a message an average of SEVEN times before a person is ready to take action.

Marketers know this and put it into action every day – that’s why those boots you were browsing online are following you around the internet. Because seeing once is just simply not enough to make something stick.

Find opportunities to diversify your communication strategy – of course, we think digital signage is a perfect tool for this because it automatically repeats your message for you. In addition, you can post your message to social media, send a mass text, set table tents up on your lunch tables, and send reminder emails.

 

Make Your Message Stand Out

Vying for attention in a cluttered digital landscape requires some creativity if you want to be memorable. Think about your favorite Super Bowl commercials – why do you remember that message? Probably because it was funny, unexpected, or emotional – right? It stood out from the rest.

Be creative with images, videos, colors, and copy when you want your message to stand out from the rest if you want it to stick. Something eye-catching and unexpected is the best way to grab the eyes of your team and help them remember something important.

 

We actually have tons of tips for communicating more effectively with your employees, and we want to share all of those with you as a free gift to you and your business – simply because effective communication matters that much to us!
Download our Communications Guide

 

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