Using a request for proposal (RFP) to hire a marketing agency is common practice within larger companies. Actually, RFPs are pretty common for large procurements across a range of industries and when used properly, they can result in cost savings, eliminate bias in the procurement process, and deliver greater overall value to the organization than a sole source procurement. 

I'm a big believer in the benefits of a well-designed competitive bidding process. In fact, prior to forming Quintain, I was an international development consultant and specialized in advising developing country governments on structuring competitive bidding processes (and writing RFPs!) for outsourced management of water and wastewater utilities.

What does that have to do with marketing? A lot, actually, but that might be a story for another time...

In the last year, we've been receiving more RFPs for both web design projects and marketing retainers and I have to admit, I think they are a bad idea. I know, I know...I'm biased given my position as a marketing agency owner. But I really do have good reasons for saying RFPs are a waste of time when it comes to procuring the services of a marketing agency.

Why shouldn't you use an RFP to hire a marketing agency? Watch the video (just over six minutes long - but totally worth the time!) to find out...

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Promotional products rock. They not only attract new clients, but they keep your current ones happy and increase brand recognition simultaneously, taking your business to a whole new level. Like I said, awesome.

Some people may think that promotional products cost a lot of money, but it’s totally an investment worth making. Year after year, they have been proven a fun, cost-effective way to market your company without (a) breaking the bank, and (b) exerting too much brainpower and time.

What I want to convey today is the importance of not just picking a product and giving it away. It’s about a bigger picture: developing a comprehensive promotional strategy in mind designed to produce results you can measure.

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In the last year, video has gained attention as one of the most effective mediums for marketers. In fact, more than 93 percent of marketers are actively using video content, and more than 50 percent believe it has the best ROI among all types of content. 

Here at Quintain, we work with lots of companies and just about every one of our clients has expressed interest in creating more video. The number one thing standing in their way is cost. I hear it time and time again. They're sold on the idea of video but don't always have the budget to bring in a professional crew.

The good news is that you can create video on your own and it doesn't require a big budget. That's just what I did this week in our brand new, in-house video studio.

Want to know how we built a professional-looking video studio for under $100? Watch the video (just over two minutes long) to find out...

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Here at Quintain, we provide inbound marketing services to a lot of technology companies, from managed information technology (IT) service providers and to software as a service (SaaS) companies, to cyber security firms. While the products and services that each of these companies sell is as unique as they are, there is one thing they all have in common.

They are targeting IT buyers, an audience that is notoriously hard to reach through traditional inbound marketing methods. 

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The Guide to Creating Mind Blowing Content

Let's face it, there is a lot of content out there. How do you get yours to stand out? Simple, make it mind blowing.

42 pages full of ideas for creating awesome content that converts visitors into leads and leads into customers!

In my opinion, technology has become the single biggest factor influencing the evolution of marketing. Yes, you could argue that customer behavior is a major influencer, but I believe that customer behavior is changing in large part because of technology, and not the other way around.

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I am always asked, "Stacy, should I focus on inbound or outbound marketing? Which works better? Which fits my situation?"

And I always wonder, why do we always force ourselves to pick one or the other?

When someone asks me if I want chocolate ice cream or cookie dough ice cream, I say, "Give me some Ben and Jerry's Half-Baked! Let me have the best of both!" It tastes so much better than either flavor alone, right? That's because, just like with any good recipe, the ingredients work together to create a much tastier dish.

Well, the same is true of inbound and outbound marketing. They don't have to be mutually exclusive. You can have both, and using them together can provide even better results than each of them individually.

So, let's talk about how you can integrate inbound marketing into your trade show strategy, a very common component of outbound.

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I'm an avid fan of the Think With Google blog, and this week, there was a post that caught my eye and I thought was worth sharing with you.

The article, "Mindset Matters: How Leading Marketers Are Driving Growth," shares the results of research undertaken by Google and Econsultancy into what top marketers are doing to achieve outstanding results at their companies.

What they found was that the marketers who outperform the competition share three common attributes. 

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When it comes to inbound marketing, most people forget inbound sales, the other side of the inbound coin. 

Together, inbound marketing and inbound sales are the secret for converting more leads and closing more deals. HubSpot's sales tools are designed to support the opposite approach to the traditional strategies of cold calls. They are built as a personalized platform that will help you understand your customers better and provide your sales team with the tools they need to build, automate and accelerate their sales process.

So today, I want to take a look at these tools and show you what I see as each of their biggest advantages. 

Let’s dive in.

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