Entrepreneurial

Startup Toovio offers “Minority Report”-type ad service for retailers

Big Brother has the capability to watch – and respond to – your every spending move. That’s the premise behind Toovio, a startup that has created technology to help retailers and other consumer-facing companies market personalized offers to their customers in real time.

Think of the scene in the film “Minority Report”, when Tom Cruise’s character is walking through a mall while his eyes are getting scanned and he is being bombarded by a slew of personalized 3D ads.

“We call it offer orchestration,” said Toovio’s CEO Josh Smith, 31, of the capabilities that allow companies to communicate custom offers over a range of channels that include checkout, website, kiosk and customer-service call centers.

“We have visibility into their (customers’) previous behavior,” he said. “There’s learning, based on whatever interaction is happening, and we’re getting smarter – hopefully driving revenue.”

Toovio, which already has a number of small to mid-sized companies in the U.S. and Europe using its technology, will next month test a service that takes advantage of mobile apps that consumers download on their smart phones.

10 marketing lessons for early stage tech startups

– Mark Suster is a former serial entrepreneur and a partner at Los Angeles-based venture capital firm GRP Partners. This article originally appeared on Suster’s blog “Both Sides of the Table”. The views expressed are his own. –

I made every textbook mistake at my first startup, which is why I believe I was much more effective at my second one. I have adopted the motto “good judgment comes from experience, but experience comes from bad judgment.” We need to learn from doing, by trial and error.

If I can help you avoid some of my first-time mistakes it would be a victory. The following are some lessons I learned about early-stage startup marketing. Because market is such a broad topic, I’m restricting these lessons to PR marketing (as opposed SEO, SEM, product marketing, etc.).

GroupPrice targets small business with daily deals

Price and value is what led Chris Gafoor to purchase a press release distribution plan from GroupPrice.

“It gives you more bang for your buck,” said the president and CEO of Miami-based BluStar Media Inc, who paid $39 for a GroupPrice deal that he estimated would have cost $200 elsewhere. The deal guaranteed Gafoor’s company a minimum of 5,000 views of its press release in 30 days.

GroupPrice is a business-to-business version of the group-buying trend that offers deals specifically for Internet-based small businesses. Van Jepson, CEO of the Redwood City, California-based firm, got the idea for the business when he ran a previous Web company.

Mix it up: Trends and fads in email marketing

– Melanie Attia is the product marketing manager for Campaigner email marketing. The views expressed are her own. –

In business, there are fads and there are trends. While fads help pay the bills in the short-term, a good small business understands the longer-term viability of its products and services that will be for sale in the seasons to come.

The same holds true for marketing. It’s essential for growth and these days marketing trends continue to shift from offline to online programs.

Can social media make your company smarter?

USA-LAW/BRAINYou’ve started a fan page for your company on Facebook. You’ve attracted a few followers on Twitter. You’ve got a presence on Foursquare, and you’ve started offering deals to customers through Groupon. Seems you’ve got that whole social media thing figured out.

Or do you? While social media presents, first and foremost, a cheap marketing and advertising option to help businesses generate leads and drive up revenue, some experts insist it’s about more than just setting up a few profiles and then moving on.

“Social technologies are to me holistic technologies, a lot like PCs or the Internet,” said Scott Klososky, a social media business consultant who’s releasing three new books on the subject this year. “I tell clients that they need to be using social tools as much internally as they do externally, as much to cut costs as they do to drive revenue.”

4 tips for marketing to millennials

Wine expert Gary Vaynerchuk rose to celebrity status through non-traditional marketing, making a name for himself and his family’s New Jersey wine business on the Internet through his popular video blog, Wine Library TV.

A frequent speaker on brand building in the age of social media, Vaynerchuk is the recent author of “The Thank You Economy”, which addresses the way consumers are interacting in an increasingly transparent marketplace.

Here are his top-of-mind tips for marketing to the millennial generation.

1. Listen and don’t talk. That’s the biggest problem for everybody, especially with this demographic.

How to market your company with 5 simple videos

Jon Hyatt is a 22-year-old producer/director based out of Boston, Massuchusetts. This article originally appeared on Under30CEO. The views expressed are his own. –

Regardless of what type of company you have, or what type of product you’re selling, there are always online videos that can be used to up your marketing and sales.

“Every company can affordably increase marketing and sales with the help of online videos,” said producer/director Jon Hyatt, who is most recently filmed a Boston-based reality show called “Making Moves“. “Nowadays more companies are starting to see the advantage to having online videos right on their website or Facebook pages.”

5 marketing tips to grow your business in 2011

– Stephanie Chandler is the author of “LEAP! 101 Ways to Grow Your Business”. She is also a business advisor to Project REV – a small business marketing lab by Deluxe Corp. The views expressed here are her own. –

As the year comes to a close, now is the time to assess business performance for the previous year while you develop plans for a successful 2011. Because marketing is so essential to business growth, the following are some strategies to help you get a strong start for the new year.

1. Give your website a makeover

Like a house that needs periodic maintenance and improvements, your website should improve and change over time. Take a close look at your site and make a plan to refresh or add content, upgrade site design, or improve the experience for site visitors. Your website can be the first introduction potential customers have to your business so it’s important that it makes the right impression.

Lessons from The Old Spice Man

Craig Reiss is the former Editor-in-Chief of Adweek, Brandweek and Mediaweek, among more than 200 other magazines and Websites. He currently owns Reiss Media, an Internet marketing firm. This story originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com

This week we saw two days that shook the viral marketing world. Old Spice, a long-neglected – if not forgotten – Procter & Gamble brand unleashed a social media blitz that may have changed the rules of social network marketing.

At first glance, an entrepreneur may dismiss the Old Spice phenomenon as an oddity of riches, something only a marketing behemoth like P&G could exploit. But when we dissect its marketing principles and practices, it becomes not only entirely applicable to the small business owner, but an essential (and low-cost) opportunity as well. Let’s take a look inside.

Let’s work together to boost entrepreneurialism

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By Michael Gaiss

  Michael Gaiss is a Senior Vice President at venture capital firm Highland Capital Partners. The opinions expressed here are his own.

More than ever, entrepreneurship will continue to play an instrumental role as geographic regions and small businesses contend with today’s rocky business landscape. While the entrepreneurial fire may be well lit, there are opportunities to better coordinate and amplify it into a raging inferno.

Marketing can help this along by playing a key role in nurturing innovation and entrepreneurship. For regions looking to weather the downturn, help small businesses get off the ground and improve their positioning in the long-term, here are a few tips to consider:

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