Reviews Matter


While you may feel your company/brand/service/product’s awesomeness speaks for itself, you’re only half right. Good work only goes so far. Online reviews, yeah those matter.

You’ve used Yelp once or twice before, right? You saw how useful of a tool it was and you found that sushi restaurant in record time! That was a good dinner too. Maybe you ought to review the place. A higher rating pushes them up on the list, bringing them more business and ensuring the chances that you’ll get that California roll again. After all, good ratings and reviews brought you there in the first place.

So you’ve seen firsthand how beneficial positive feedback can be. Why not for your business? Over 90% of people who’ve researched a business on Yelp agree that positive reviews lead to purchases. Check out this infographic from Mashable.

Being the 30th most visited site on the web, small businesses are the ones that benefit the most from Yelp’s exposure.  Increased customer awareness directly affects sales. Additionally, it’s a great way to get feedback from clients, with the ability to respond back to them! Create a dialogue! Seem like a business run by real people.

Though there is a bit of cautionary wisdom we’d like to bestow upon you: what’s worse than negative reviews are none at all. Don’t just start an account/claim your business on rating sites and let it sit stagnant. Actively encourage customers to leave reviews – there’s no downside to it. Perhaps you could get some inserts or packaging designed and printed to go along with your product, asking customers to write you a short review. In addition to Yelp maintenance, MOS Creative could design you up some snazzy printwork on top of it ;)

Get a hold of us at MOS Creative, and we’ll help YOU stand OUT!


-The MOS Creative team

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Adwords for Local Businesses: How to use Extensions and the new Google Maps for better conversion rates.

Google Adwords has a couple of functions we are highlighting called Local Extensions as well as the new Adwords for Google Maps which are going to be great for local businesses looking to cut through.

As the Google ad says, “Who is looking for a mechanic in your town? Someone Googling for a mechanic in your town.” (Or something to that effect.).

This sets the premise for how Adwords can help a local business. With somewhere between 80% and 90% of searches for products starting online, it’s important for small businesses to be where their customers are looking.

The days of direct mailers, Val-Pak and Yellow Pages advertising are fast fading and local businesses are moving online where their customers are looking for them.

The basics of Adwords are pretty simple, if you are in Columbia, Maryland and someone searches “Columbia Pest Control” in Google an ad of yours will show up with people’s results. One nice thing, unlike most other forms of advertising is that you only pay when someone actually clicks on your ad It’s a very measurable form of advertising which only hits people who are looking for you.

With that basic understanding, there are a couple of important functions which can really push traffic and conversions (Sales!) which are worth taking a closer look at.

Local Extensions::

If you take a look at a search in your field you will probably notice a lot of national companies and people you may not have heard of. Your customers will see that too. Now what you can do to set yourself apart is set up something called a local extension. It looks like this:

Local Extensions example!

Local Extensions show searchers where you are.

Basically what it does is for someone who is near you and searching, it will display you businesses contact info to show them that you are local and nearby, therefore letting you cut through some of the noise and get them to call in or come to your location with minimal clicking around and effort.

Google Maps:

An exciting new feature coming to Google maps is that Adwords will soon be able to be displayed on Google Maps.
To clarify, one of the ways people search is that they go to Google Maps and type in “Sushi Restaurant” and see what locations pop up on the map around them.
It would look something like this:

Current Gmaps.

Current Google maps, a bit cluttered, no ads.

Now, the news here is that Google just announced some changes that will take the results from that, to this:

Good news for Adwords!

Much cleaner, with prominent Adwords.

As you can see, the new interface is much cleaner with a lot less information. What is visible, most importantly to this post is that Adword ad for Sakura Sushi.

So now when your customers are looking for a Sushi place through their maps, you can once again cut through the noise and get your message in front of them so that you are the place they call to make a reservation, or to come in for a meal.

There are many ways to take advantage of the power of Adwords, these are just a few of our favorites for local business.

If you are a local business trying to get a leg up in your area, give us a call, we’d love to help out. Leave a comment below with any questions or comments and we’ll respond as quickly as possible.

You can check out our website at


5 Mobile Fails You Should Learn From

As smartphone sales continue to grow like crazy, especially as we enter the jolly holiday season, it’s no surprise that mobile is the new bubble. And many companies are paving highly effective ways to engage. Actually we’re all just now figuring it out and grasping the question – how do consumers interact with their mobile devices, what roles do they play in their lives, and how can we tap into that?

So as the learning curve goes, and marketing trial and error takes its course, there are bound to be some fails and missteps. Let’s take a look at five of the mobile fails we can all take a lesson from as we plan our strategies for 2012.

  1. The dying trend, check-in apps. Daily deal offering sites like Groupon and Living Social met the same fate earlier this year. It was enticing at first, and then consumers get bored with it. Oldest story in the book. Gowalla and Foursquare were cool a year ago, but as retailers started to catch on to the trend and created their own shopping apps with check-in incentives, the enthusiasm began to ween.
  2. Forgetting that mobile is a whole different animal. In case anyone out there still questions it, you CANNOT just take your web stuff and throw it on a mobile site. No no no. Mobile is a whole new opportunity to interact. There are benefits, challenges and strategies completely separate from your PC web tools. If you avoid the copy and paste trap in re-purposing the web, you can take advantage new capabilities, such as HTML5.
  3. If you’re doing mobile, do it right. A lot of you are experimenting with mobile tools, such as QR codes and social media, without creating a mobile-optimized destination for visitors. So just when you get them right where you want them, your mobile visitors land on your PC site. Ew! I can promise most of these visitors are not coming back. That’s a lot of lost conversions and sales.
  4. Agencies aren’t focusing on the big picture. Mobile web and mobile strategies can’t just be an afterthought in your bigger plan. But for this fail we blame your marketing agency. We can’t emphasize enough the significance of the mobile experience in the focus of your brand, and in driving further mobile growth. A lot of brands are still just missing the boat on this one.
  5. Manufacturers are still playing catch up. RIP feature phones. I can still remember the simple days, when my phone’s buzz alert could only mean a text message. Now it could be an email, Facebook message, tweet, status update, check-in or any of the thousands of other connections. It was a sudden and unexpectedly rapid death that manufacturers were not ready to capitalize on.

(Thanks to our friends at Mobile Marketer, see their original article.)

What it takes to be Steve Jobs

“Why join the navy when you can be a pirate?” Wiser words never uttered by a man more influential and responsible for single-handedly transforming the computing and mobile landscape.

Steve Jobs told us to be crazy. He told us he wanted to put a ding in the universe. He didn’t put a ding, but he sure left an Apple.

A single glance at the non-stop media coverage, and you’d think America’s greatest superhero finally befell to his kryptonite. #SteveJobs, #iSad and #ThankYouSteve rotate Twitter’s trending topics, and pictures of our generation’s Thomas Edison continue to flood Facebook’s news feeds.

But in no jest, he was a hero to millions, probably billions, of people he never met. He changed the way we think about and interact with the world. Every time you have to ask your kid a computer question, remember, he’s the reason.

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Back to Basics: What is your Marketing Objective?

When it comes to this whole marketing thing, do you sometimes feel like you’re in over your head? Maybe you’re new to the “branding” concept? You hear so much talk about “engaging your audience” via Facebook and social media, but are you completely lost in where to even start?

I’m not surprised. Go ahead, just try Googling “marketing ideas.” You’ll get 40,200,000 search results.

Talk about information overload. No wonder most business owners don’t even want to think about their marketing, so they put it off for as long as possible. I’m thinking you need a little direction. Am I right?

I’m gonna level with you – doing it right is not as easy as it looks. That’s why there are millions of professional marketing firms out there. And for the most part, the professionals will do a good job for you. But whether you’re coming up with the creative ideas, or you’re paying someone else to do it for you, you should NEVER go into your own marketing strategy blindly. It’s EXTREMELY important that you get involved. After all, who knows your clients, your product and your company’s needs and goals better than you do?

So before you delve into the details of how often to Tweet and which keywords to base your SEO around, let’s start with the basics. I just want to get your feet wet and get you thinking. Always start by figuring out what your marketing OBJECTIVE is. Everything else will come from there.

What’s your Objective?

1. Awareness – Potential customers must know of, or be reminded of your existence, your location, your product, your price range, and what makes you stand out from the competition

2. Build Contact List – Your mailing list is like gold. It’s what you rely on for promoting any campaign, and it takes a lot of nurturing to build and keep.

3. Get Involved – Your business is not soul-less. Companies are made up of people, and people like to patronize companies that they know go out of their way to help other people. Your company’s positive image reinforces the perception that you are genuinely caring and sharing.

4. Staff Incentives – A cared for and happy team makes for a harmonious, smooth operation. Customers can tell when your employees don’t want to be there. Think about the grouchy, frowning cashier at the supermarket. Make sure your employees feel appreciated!

5. Excitement – This is the kind of energy and excitement that makes you stand out from the competition. This is when you need to turn on your thinking cap and come up with some really creative promotions.

6. Frequency – When you’re trying to be “the place to go.” This is a brand loyalty thing, and keeping them coming as frequently as possible.

7. Publicity – For this one you’ve got to be interesting and newsworthy. Maybe you’re doing BIG things for the community, or you’re doing something so completely out of the box that it’s a story too good to pass up.

8. Generate Traffic - Simply getting people in the door or on the website is your goal here. Contests are great for this! You want to get potential customers to complete some sort of action, whether it’s entering the contest or downloading a form.

9. Branding – Image is everything. Period. If you don’t define your company and your brand, the market will define it for you. And that’s never what you want!

10. Increase Sales – a.k.a. Up-selling – This is every CEO’s favorite! From the sneaky but ingenious psychological tactics (a la putting candy, gum and magazines in the grocery checkout line) to having an in-depth understanding of how your industry works, there are really unlimited opportunities to do this one.

11. Creating Activity - Most industries have their “slow” periods during the year, but that’s not set in stone. This is where you will get creative to make the slow season profitable.

12. Trial Offer – Who’s gonna turn down a free sample? Come on, you’ll love it. This is when you really want to get those potential customers who are living on the edge to finally make the plunge – but without any of the risk.

(Great list compiled by Tom Feltenstein – And if you’re looking for a good book on the basics, try Tom’s “Encyclopedia of 401 Proven Killer Promotional Tactics”)