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In Context Newsletter
    

Letter from the CEO

Hello,

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Get Ready for Massive Growth

Residential and commercial real estate valuations and new construction continue to grow across the United States. Check your portfolio, and I’m sure you will breathe a sigh of relief as the stock market continues to climb to new heights. As of this writing, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has grown 14% in the last twelve months with the Dow and the S&P 500 at record highs. What really struck me was this by Larry Barrett from ZDNet

Total venture capital investments in software companies surged to more than $4 billion in the first quarter, the most since the fourth quarter of 2000, according to the latest MoneyTree Report from Pricewaterhouse Coopers LLP and the National Venture Capital Association.”

Can you believe it? More than $4 billion dollars in VC have been invested in US startups in just the first three months of 2014. We haven’t seen this kind of deal flow since the “dot com” days of the 1990s and I expect that a significant amount of these dollars are going to FinTech startups, especially disruptive technologies that disintermediate costly legacy payment infrastructures.

2014 reminds me of the innovations of the 1990s when closed loop proprietary technology moved to open source, Internet-based “software as a service” solutions. Significant change in the financial industry so often comes from innovative startup entrepreneurs unencumbered by supporting older technology. I’m especially excited about the transition from desktop-based PCs to phone and tablet technologies, not to mention the benefits of finally being able to harness “big data” that empowers businesses and consumers.

We are so excited to represent more than 50 innovative companies in our space and look for continued growth for our clients and our company for many years to come.

Best regards,

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William Mills III

 Best Practices for Marketing to Banks

William Mills Agency's new white paper discusses the seven best practices for creating a leadership position and reaching your target audience in today's digital world.

Check out our white paper to learn more about how to incorporate content marketing and marketing automation with public relations and industry partnerships. 

 

Free White Paper: Marketing to Banks

FinTech Media Updates

  • Toni Lapp is now senior editor at Bank News
  • October Research hires Pat Murphy as the new editorial director
  • Atlanta Business Chronicle has a new financial reporter, Phil Hudson
  • Mark Fogarty is editor-at-large at National Mortgage News

 Statistics — Content Marketing Matters

Direct Marketing recently published a new infographic on the growing importance of content marketing based on reports from Forbes, Content Marketing Institute, Forrester, Gartner and others. It is interesting to note that 93% of B2B markets are currently implementing content marketing. Additional statistics include:

  • 82% — Consumers who trust a company more when the CEO/leadership team is active on social media
  • 70% — Readers who prefer to learn about a company via its content versus an ad
  • 73%— B2B marketers who are producing "more" or "significantly more" content than over the past 12 months
  • 71% — organizations that plan to increase spending on content marketing in 2014 

ContentMarketingMattersInfographic

For the full infographic click here.

A Startup CEO's Perspective on Public Relations

headshot_tomWMA Corner Office Interview with Malauzai CEO, Tom Shen

Recently, Bevin Wallace had an interesting conversation with Tom Shen, CEO of Malauzai. See below for his insights on the role of public relations in launching a new business.

What role has PR played in the launch/success of your company?

PR has played a pivotal role in the initial launch and continued success of our company by helping us get the good news out to the public. It has driven sales in two different ways. The companies we are trying to reach would not necessarily have heard about us without our appearances in the media. With the help of public relations, our target customers are now able to read about our innovations in the trade magazines and reach out to us. The media results from PR also provide Malauzai with reinforcement. It helps our sales force when they are out in the field working with prospects and even customers. It legitimizes us as a company when our prospects read about our products and some of the actions we are taking. It’s a bit like Ferraris—one day someone talked about a red Ferrari and three days later they can be seen all over the streets. Ultimately, public relations has garnered us business.

What would you say to a fellow CEO who is skeptical of starting a PR program?

In my opinion, public relations is the most cost-effective way to get your message and your brand out in the marketplace. I think the most important advice I would give is that you need to be organizationally ready to work with a public relations firm. Otherwise, you will not get optimum results.  You have to have a plan, define the desired outcome, and have seasoned internal resources to work with the agency to make sure you’re maximizing your PR spend.

How much of your time is spent performing PR related activities, and is it worth it?

Typically, I spend between 60 and 90 minutes per week involved with PR activities between calls, approving items and communicating with customers on our behalf. I absolutely feel that it is more than worth it. We have received huge returns based on our investment with WMA.

Read More at William Mills Agency's Blog:

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