Stay HUMAN – The Art of Storytelling!


Social Media is an amazing opportunity for businesses, employees, and the community as a whole to connect. Being ‘connected’ comes from a following of profiles, pages, and accounts on multiple media platforms that creates a global village for unlimited business opportunities, especially digital marketing and advertising initiatives. ‘Postings’ are an intricate and diverse media platform that provides your followers of updates, advice, information, and exciting insights you choose to make public to them. BUT, general posts can be repetitive and overwhelming if they are posted too frequently to the public and your followers. THIS is where Storytelling comes into play…

Posting stories on social media sites and apps such as Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook provides short and effective clips, photos, and videos that work as social media branding tools as well as being educational and personal. Stories are temporary postings that keep followers simply wanting more information! A story is exciting, compelling, and entertains the public and creates a personal feeling of relationship and connection that basic, public, permanent posts do not. If you want to create a sense of community on your social media platforms without over-posting or congesting your timeline, storytelling via stories is your way to go! Trust us.

Stories bring humanity, personal connections, friendship, and curiosity into mobile technology and social media. They take the robotic, technology controlled aspects of social networking and transform that into a human, enjoyable way to post about your life in a storytelling manner, your clients, followers, and friends being the audience! They say face-face, in-person, conversations and interactions are the most effective in business and in relationships, if face-face interactions are not possible in your business setting, or you want to bring this feeling to a huge following all at the same time, tell a story – it’s the most innovative communication tool yet!

For more information, contact NexGEN at (519) 501-6346 or email

Why Online is THE Place to Be!

The Single Most Important Reason Why Online Marketing Is More Important Than Ever


Online marketing isn’t something new for small businesses to consider anymore. In fact, it’s quite the opposite… having been going on for years and seemingly has no end in sight. Yet, far too many small business owners neglect how important online marketing is for their business success. Among the reasons this seems to be is time. Another money. And yet another is that they don’t care. The reality is, however, customers do care and in order to be relevant in today’s crowded marketplace, being online is a must.

Ten years ago it may have been a choice to jump on the online bandwagon, but now it’s an absolute must to survive and thrive as a small business. With over 85% of searches for products and services happening online, it’s just a “duh” at this point,” shares Jenny Servis, Vice President of Marketing for marketing solutions company SnapRetail. Expanding on this, Servis adds that “being online means having a responsive, search optimized website as well as an engaging and growing following on social media plus using email as part of your marketing mix.”

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2017 Crystal Ball Predictions for Social Media


3 Extremely Bold Predictions for Social Media in 2017

2016 was one of the most interesting, transformative years on record in social media.

We saw the introduction of live video on Facebook, fake news stories and editorial issues in abundance, a hardware introduction from Snapchat, and Instagram creating Snapchat-like features almost monthly.

With so much change taking place, these three bold predictions may have a shot of coming to fruition in 2017. Let’s see what happens.  Read about predictions at: Social Media 2017

Credits and Research by Social Media Today.

For more information on how to really grow your business with social media, contact Lori McCrae, CMO, NexGEN Marketing Group at (519) 501-6346 or email

What Social Media Network Has the Most Untapped Potential?


It’s time to turn our attention towards Twitter again. During the first round of Presidential debates, Bloomberg Politics (@bpolitics) livestreamed the entire 90 minutes from their handle. You could also view the debates live from While livestreaming events and shows online is not exactly a revolutionary concept, livestreaming it from a social platform like Twitter allowed for a fully interactive experience. In addition to providing the livestream, Bloomberg also included special political programming before and after the stream, allowing users to tweet along for the entirety. But the most innovative aspect was that if you didn’t have a Twitter account, you could still watch without creating one or even logging in. In today’s world that offers the ability to livestream from most mobile devices — but typically only if you have an account or login — this made the debates truly accessible to one and all. Right alongside the livestreaming capabilities, real-time commentary and hashtag visibility, and endless Twitter chats to join in discussions to reach a wider consumer base, Twitter is still an unflappable bird to beat in the social media landscape.

– Deborah Sweeney, CEO, MyCorporation

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Why Did Google Change Its Logo?


Founded in 1998 Google is the world’s largest search engine company headquartered in Mountain View, California. Regarded as the world’s most powerful brand across categories and in its class of search engines it leads by leaps and bounds. “Google” is actually derived from the misspelling of “googol”, which means the digit 1, followed by 100 zeroes. But even the world’s most powerful brand needs a change now and then, to keep pace with changing consumer demands and expectations.

Google was initially nicknamed the “Backrub” that meant supplying infinite information on any desired topic. Over the years Google has evolved and experimented a lot with its logo constantly improving and adding innovative designs to keep pace with the growing portfolio that is now has. Google also played around with a logo on the loading page and till date they have created more than 1500 “Google Doodles” as they call that incorporates different events and occasions. But these are more to make sure that events and occasion across the globe are acknowledged and keep the global perception alive in the consumers mind.

The brand logo of Google showcases an extremely strong and dynamic brand that is one of the world’s most popular and instantly recognizable logos. All the colours used in the Google brand logo represent precision, uniqueness, growth, elegance and excellence. From 1998 to 2015, the Google logo has gone through various changes but the latest one is the most significant one. Feel that the new logo is more dynamic and approachable as it looks smoother and yet retained its colour scheme of red, blue, green & yellow.

Over time Google has made minor changes like tweaking letter spaces and shadows etc but the change done in Sept 2015 has major changes in the font and style. Google has updated the logo with sans serif typeface, which incidentally is Google’s creation, that look more fashionable and relevant. Also this font gives the flexibility to offer more legibility than other fonts and works well on responsive sites and screens.

Google has even updated the favicon that appears on the screen when you load a google site on the browser tab with the 4 colours and G in caps to give it more colourful yet an extension of the new logo unit.

That’s not all the biggest thing Google did with the logo change is that they made the logo interactive or animated which very few brands have done. The earlier one was completely static and now the letters in Google transform into a series of four dots that morph and orbit with life. During a voice search the Google logo will transform from ‘Google’ into the dots they will become like an equaliser, reacting to the sound of vocalizations. The moment your done the waveform will transform back into dots and spin as Google once the results are out.

So if we try to understand there is a lot of meaning to this change of logo that has happened and it’s not just a change because the new management wanted to show something new. Yes agree new management comes with a new perspective but that perspective has to be in the interest of the consumers and not that “Change is the only constant” phrase. The change also signifies that Google believes in its future products and ventures and this logo incorporates all those values and beliefs for a better future. The entire idea of the change in logo was to make Google better and make it more accessible for all consumers because logos are icons and if the icons are friendly it will make sure more and more people use Google.

Am sure that everyone at Google would have worked really hard to bring about this change of making Google more Googley, as it would have been a collaborated effort to make the brand more friendly and dynamic. And they have shown that it doesn’t take a radical design shift to showcase that you have changed it just small things that make a big difference about how consumers perceive changes.

2016 Hottest Trend – Getting To REALLY Know Your Customer!

Trends 2016 Concept

2016 will be the year of the customer. Marketers will be talking about customer-centric marketing, customer experience, customer journeys, customer insights and other ways of analyzing, attracting, delighting and obsessing over customers. The following top marketing trends for 2016 can help you be more customer focused and stay ahead of the competition, if your marketing strategy includes them in the proper proportions.

1. An app for everything.

Apps aren’t just for mobile devices anymore. In addition to mobile apps, there are now countless web apps, desktop apps and even apps that run on your TV. The purpose of an app is to perform one or more tasks really well. For marketers, that means apps give you the opportunity for increased leverage and productivity from your existing marketing resources.

In 2016, make sure you’re taking advantage of the free and low-cost apps available for email marketing, social media marketing, promotions, advertising, contact management, customer experience, analytics and other marketing tasks you need to get done.

2. Insight-driven marketing.

Marketers like to talk about data-driven marketing, but data isn’t very useful unless there is technology and analysis in place to help make sense of it. 2016 will be a year of ignoring big mounds of data and focusing instead on simple insights about customers that help marketers to be more relevant to individuals and audiences. Many of the insights marketers need to be more relevant such as gender, interests and job titles are available from social media and contact management companies that provide audience information.

Make sure your marketing team is using a customer data warehouse or centralized database in 2016 that can tie together your marketing campaigns and a few simple insights about the people your company does business with.

3. Interactive content.

Blog posts, white papers, info graphics, videos and reports can be great content for people and search engines. But in 2016, attention will start to shift away from static content toward more engaging forms of content. For example, your 2016 content plan should include interactive assessments, calculators, trainings and games to keep people clicking, pressing, swiping and sharing information with you that you can use in your sales processes.

4. Just enough personalization.

Personalized marketing messages such as emails and custom landing pages have stood the test of time and will continue to be great ways to drive action and purchase behavior in 2016. However, the rules of personalization are changing for each type of inbox and device, and marketers need to adapt their messages and the level of personalization in 2016 based on what consumers expect.

In 2016, consumers will expect emails to have more relevant content and will also expect brands to know more about them in the course of social interactions. Consumers will have less tolerance for online and mobile advertising that is too highly personalized — which may be seen by them as creepy.

5. Advocate marketing.

If you give your customers an awesome experience with your business, you’ll get referrals. If you take advantage of advocate marketing in 2016, you can give a big boost to your referrals. Marketing to and through advocates in 2016 will prove to be a more effective way to promote referrals than other forms of incentives and affiliate programs. That’s because identifying influencers and advocates is much easier than ever before.

Think of your advocate-marketing program like your own celebrity endorsement program, but instead of celebrities endorsing your company, they are influencers you’ve built relationships with through positive experiences with your company.

6. Social care.

Social-media marketing can involve a lot of sharing and posting, but these one-to-many interactions often result in individual people commenting, sharing, rating and replying. In 2016, make sure your social-media marketing messages are accompanied by the ability to have short in-the-moment conversations with the people you reach with your social marketing. That means using social-media monitoring tools to respond to social engagements and opening up further dialogue with customers who demonstrate a need to be serviced or sold.

7. Fraud protection.

Why is fraud protection a 2016 marketing trend? Because marketers send so many messages to customers and prospects, they need to be responsible for protecting their customers from phishing and spoofing scams that use the brand’s identity to fool people into opening emails and entering information on websites. In 2016, make sure your email-marketing systems are using the new Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance (DMARC) standard, and create a plan for notifying your customers in case of a scam attacking your company’s brand or a breach in your security.

8. Marketing middleware.

In 2016, marketing teams will be increasing their use of marketing technologies and that will fuel the need for marketing middleware. Marketing middleware allows different marketing technologies to work together and provides analysis of customer interactions across different types of marketing campaigns. Marketing middleware includes technologies such as data management platforms (DMPs), tag management, cloud connectors, user management and application program interface (API) services. These key system connectors will help you maintain the flexibility to use a variety of marketing technologies in 2016 while maintaining consistency in campaign management and reporting.

9. Growth engineering.

Apps can make things easier for people who don’t know how to code, but there are also lots of apps and app features that make things easier for people who are familiar with coding. In 2016, make sure you leverage the services of software developers and engineers to help you create top notch digital experiences, automated marketing processes and interactive content.

10. Account-based marketing (ABM).

The marketing funnel will change in 2016 for business-to-business marketers for two reasons. First, multiple decision-makers, influencers and stakeholders inside companies make it more difficult for marketing messages to influence a single decision-maker. Second, reaching multiple decision-makers with marketing content is more important than ever, because most business decisions are started online and are quite advanced before a salesperson has a chance to talk to anyone involved in a decision at a company.

Account-based marketing or ABM has been around for a while but will gain significant momentum in 2016. This marketing method involves inviting and measuring engagement and mind share at different roles and levels of authority within an organization, as opposed to attracting leads who turn into customers on a linear progressive path.

-Contribution: John Arnold, VP Marketing Full Contact

5 Communications Rules for Startups on a Budget


Contributing Author: Q Communications (Asia)

1. Don’t have a brand personality? Build one.

It pays to be different, and building a brand personality is easy. By and large, entrepreneurs see the business as an extension of himself, so it is perfectly fine to put your personal values, likes and dislikes into the brand. Simply put, just be your authentic self.

Entrepreneurship is not about impressing everyone with how much money was raised and market traction gained. It is ok to be vulnerable and share the sacrifices like working weekends, giving up family time, and being in debt. Also have the courage to admit to mistakes like ordering too many supplies and paying high rent. These little nuggets add up to being a memorable brand.

2. Find that vision and articulate it with passion.

For effective communications to happen, there must be passion and conviction. These days, with the advent of social media, stakeholders can smell pretentious content from the nearest keyboard. So dig deep and spend quality time focusing on the why and the how that drives you to start the business – why should people care about your company? How do you stay relevant in an ever-changing landscape?

Find that one vision and stick to it. Be consistent with storytelling and repeat it like a broken record. If it’s what you truly believe, it never gets boring saying the same thing to different audiences. In fact, the passion just keeps growing every time.

3. Be a giver, don’t just be a taker.

It is great to research and come up with the best brand positioning. It is also a must to hunt for investors, customers and employees to scale up the business. You’ve done your homework talking to the people in your industry, why not share it with others around you?

To ensure communications is well received, it pays to be generous about sharing insights, top tips and know-hows. We’re not referring to confidential information, it is the experiences and networks that create trust with stakeholders. When you are not just asking, but also giving information to help others, they can draw better associations with your brand. This also creates a personality for the business.

4. Give your undivided attention and listen.

The biggest life lesson I got from school was to keep quiet and pay attention to the teacher when he talks. Clients, especially the grey haired ones, love it when I do just that. Over a casual cup of coffee, I learnt so much about their business concerns, current pain points, as well as hopes and dreams for the future.

Providing others with a listening ear allows so many things to happen at the same time. While empathising with his situation, I am able to assess the strengths, weaknesses and opportunities available for Q Communications to add value to the business context. More importantly, it gives me time to gauge if we like each other enough to do business together.

Plain and simple.

5. Don’t be a “selfie”!

Last but not least, think less of “me” and more of “we”. An effective communicator combines all the above from rule numbers 1 to 4 and engages in a two way conversation. Let go of the fears and ego, just listen to the inner voice for guidance. Over time, writing, speaking and listening will expose you to unexpected possibilities. The mind will be expanded and you can find out if this total stranger can be your next client, investor, vendor or employee!

Getting a start-up off the ground is full of ups and downs, what matters is how one is wired to overcome these challenges through effective and consistent communications. That’s the only way to build a lasting legacy, and a one way ticket to growing a sustainable business.

The End of the Facebook Free-For-All – How to Break Out And Build Up Your Fan Base [Infographic]


As a marketer, Facebook’s ever-changing news feed algorithm is frustrating! It constantly pushes you to change your social media tactics. But with each change, organic reach continues to fall short. In fact, if you are a large brand only 2-8% of fans actually see your posts and only .073% of brands’ fans actually interact with these posts. This is bad for brands, but great for Facebook. Is it the end of the Facebook free-for-all? How can you break out of this trap and build up your fan base?

Download Marketo’s infographic to explore how you can beat the Facebook Free-For-All:
* Start posting native to generate impressions and build fan interaction
* Expand your marketing efforts to additional venues to attract new new viewers
* Invest in other social channels to build marketing continuum
* Provide fans with new alternative ways to interact with your brand

Click here to download the info graphic:

What Colour Says About Your Brand


If you are building a company that depends on making people feel sexy and sophisticated, it’s probably going to confuse your consumers if you your logo is bright green.

That’s because different colors are associated with different feelings. Green conveys organic growth, the earth, nature, or feelings of caring. Meanwhile, black communicates feelings of sophistication, authority or seduction. Not convinced? Consider the green logo for Starbucks or Greenpeace and the black logos of Chanel or Sony.

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The Best (And Worst) Times to Post on Social Media


We get it, managing your business’s social media accounts can be daunting: from tweaking tweet lengths to mastering Facebook tone, to using the right hashtags at the right times.

But what savvy social media users know is that there’s a science to getting it right—if you follow certain parameters, you’re almost guaranteed to get the results you were working toward. All it takes is some knowledge and forethought, and anyone can be well on their way to posting engaging content.

Thanks to this infographic from online payroll company SurePayroll’s blog, we know the best and worst times to post.

Here are a few takeaways for each major social media site:


For your social media management and optimization, contact Lori McCrae at (519) 501-6346 or send an email to and see how we can help!