A Well-Developed Strategy Considers The Importance of Each Line of Achievement

At first contemplation it appears to be very simple in design and construction. A mark or stroke that is longer in proportion in its length than its width. Usually generated by hand or machine and applied to a surface it can be thin or wide. Used in a group of more than one it is most commonly used to designate a position or to connect a number of continuous points or denote a measurement of progression.

We are taught from the earliest of our years that in their most efficient form a straight one represents the shortest distance between two points and that we are at our best when we color or behave within the confines of more than one of them. Lines can be identified as going up or down, coming before or after, be in, out, over or under depending upon the context of their environment or purpose. Crossing one can be a good or not so good thing. Stepping up to one is often considered courageous or responsible. Being over one may elicit the wrath of others. Having a flat one whether for health of heart or profit indicates a need for serious concern.

Whether on the field of sport or commerce, a series of these simply constructed lines mark the points of progress towards achieving an ultimate goal. Business managers, coaches and players are sharply focused on the ultimate line of importance, the goal, for it is here that points are awarded and achievement posted for all to see. A well-developed strategy considers the importance of each achievement beginning at the starting line and continuing throughout the journey to the finish line.

At Junction Creative Solutions (Junction), we understand the importance of attaining each of these simply constructed marks on a plane of measurement. We are experienced in customizing strategy engagements across business, sales, and marketing to achieve a comprehensive plan of growth and achievement, without losing sight of the finish line.

“While 100 yards on a football field might seem just series of lines or markers to reach the end zone, every good team knows how important the playbook is.  We push our clients to develop their playbook, detailed strategies designed to reach their business goals and objectives.  Afterall, we can’t just bank on the “Hail Mary” pass to achieve growth.”

What line is your organization on?

Managing Sustainable Growth in an Evolving SaaS Marketplace

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Software as a service (SaaS), the distribution of software over the internet to users, is becoming the fastest growing software distribution model. As business consumers adopt cloud-based software to manage key business functions, the market for Sass services continues to grow at a meteoric pace. Along with its Cloud cousins, infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS), the market for third p[arty provided software is predicted to surpass $112.8 billion by 2019 , outpacing traditional software product delivery by a multiple of five. In 2019, it is forecasted that the cloud software delivery model will likely account for $1 of every $4.59 spent on software.

This significant growth pattern has SaaS providers salivating over the potential growth in profits and market share. Unlike tangible products, marketing an unfamiliar intangible which is delivered from the cloud can be a formidable marketing challenge. Add to the mix the insane pace of product upgrades, ease of market entry and short sales cycle and the challenge to capture, maintain and sustain growth can be daunting, even to the most experienced marketing professionals. “SaaS sales, is all about rapid sales” say Peter Cohen, managing partner of SaaS Marketing Strategy Advisors.

The path to profitability requires a strategy to uniquely differentiate your solution to customers, focus on retaining current customers and to provide an unrelenting commitment to service, not software. The approach to selling customers is more of a “free trial offer” than one of free golf outings, major league sports tickets and comforting resort retreats. While “free” may be the initial hook, it becomes critical to covert, covert, convert.

According to Gartner, 80% of all future SaaS revenue will come from just 20% of current customers. A study by Bain & Company found that focusing just five percent of your marketing efforts on retention can generate an increase in profitability by 75%. It’s essential to create marketing content that is directed specifically to addressing each client’s unique needs.

A proper marketing strategy includes elements that seek to gain market share, focus on customer retention, successfully monetizes services, and one that contains an attainable plan for sustained growth over the long term. Lincoln Murphy, a Customer Success Consultant offers, “When creating your SaaS marketing plan, you must understand that your business model of choice is a fully-integrated architecture where all aspects of the business — product, support, revenue model, and marketing — are tightly-coupled.”

At Junction Creative Solutions (Junction), we have a growing list of SaaS clients who are benefiting from our understanding and insights of the frantic SaaS marketplace”, says Julie Gareleck, Founder and CEO.  “Our experience has led us to become uniquely qualified to develop successful growth oriented, customer centric strategies that can lead our clients to long term sustainable growth.”

Gareleck comments, “Consumer behavior is continually changing, with a sharp decrease in brand loyalty. General industry growth will offer an opportunity for SaaS companies to engage more customers but the value of the software has to be sticky. It has to satisfy a business need or solve a business challenge. In the absence of a strategy, sustained growth can prove challenging.”

Contact julie@junction-creative.com to learn more about our success stories with SaaS based companies!

Marshall Jones Offers Technical Competency and Exception Customer Service

Accounting firms are rarely categorized as innovative, just as Certified Public Accountants are not known for taking financial risks. By today’s standards, accounting firms are looking for new ways to compete.  Operating at the top level, keeping abreast of the prolific nature of tax compliance, research, financial documentation and business and accounting consulting services requires agility and commitment to harvesting the benefits of the latest technology in order to ensure a leadership position in their industry.

For more than 30 years, the Certified Public Accountants and Advisors at Marshall, Jones & Co. have served Atlanta individuals and businesses with a mission of providing exceptional client service with the highest levels of technical competency, and with complete integrity. After 3 decades, the team at Marshall Jones remains focused on expanding its portfolio while also expanding its solutions to meet the needs of its customers.

“The professionals at Marshall Jones are passionate about what they do and take pride in their individual and collective performance on behalf of their clients. At Junction we understand that passion for excellence in performance and have become adept in building digital projects and fully-executed, customizable platforms. Our proven processes keep us accountable to the needs and wants of our clients. With Marshall Jones, the experienced staff at Junction shares a common commitment to not only meeting our clients’ expectations but strive at every level, to exceed them,” says Julie Gareleck, CEO & Managing Partner, Junction Creative Solutions (Junction).  “Marshall Jones has impacted Atlanta based companies and individuals for over 3 decades and I have no doubt they will continue to be a leader in Atlanta.”

Marshall Jones launches its new responsive website to provide clients with a place to find important information related to audit and assurance, tax planning, outsourced accounting services, and consulting services. For more information, contact the team or call 404-231-2001.

For more on how Junction can assist your organization in achieving its sales and marketing objectives click on http://junction-creative.com/  or contact Julie Gareleck at Julie@junction-creative.com or call 676.686.1125.

Fake News, Believe it or Not, Is Not New

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When Facebook initiated new features last year designed to make it easier for its users to keep up with the news and social media marketers a chance to promote content directly to Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg and his crew failed to foresee the oncoming calamity of such an opportunity. Perhaps it was unpredictable that so many news generating outlets would respond so overwhelmingly to the invitation, particularly those who apparently failed the journalism integrity exam in grade school. In addition a number of Facebook managers responsible for monitoring the fairness code were charged with simply failing to recognize the truth from pure fiction. Pressure on Facebook managers to promote certain stories over others was reported and a liberal bias to the selection of news stories, true or not, became a perception.

With the Pew Research Center finding that nearly half of Americans click to social media outlets for their news, the tarnish to the reputation of Facebook, marketers and even reputable news outlets soon began to build like barnacles on the hull of a shiny new boat. Advertisers who are always careful not to associate their brand with distasteful and distrustful public debate began to apply pressure to turn back fake news stories. Facebook turned to algorithms in hopes to stem the charges of personal bias of their human monitors and ultimately declared the right to declare some organizations news offerings as fake.

This month, Facebook began flagging “disputed news stories” that it determines have no basis in fact. “The “disputed” tag is part of Facebook’s grand plan to crack down on fake news as the company tries to tamp down the controversy over its role in the spread of misinformation that sharpened political divisions and inflamed discourse during and after the presidential election.” The process is the first hint of a serious effort to wipe out the practice of made-up news which has become rather pervasive.

History reveals many instances of “yellow journalism” and ranting demagogues during the age of print and broadcast long before the magic of the digital era. Most readers and viewers back then were expected to take responsibility and personally filter printed and broadcast outlets news offerings with a healthy amount of “Don’t believe everything you hear or read” skepticism or “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is” response.

As claims of censorship and barriers to free speech fly over the new flagging efforts, perhaps the best response to the new yellowing of the truth is to encourage the “clicker” to practice a healthy amount of due diligence in selecting their news and its providers. In the end, truth over time will begin to silence the fakes, or at least cast them aside as irrelevant in the grander scheme of reality.

Helping Architects Accept Change and Embrace the Modern Marketing Era

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For most purveyors of goods and services, the act of marketing can be traced back in history to the very beginning of commerce when conveying the benefits of ones products and services over a competitor’s was a practice of simple communication, using the very rudimentary of marketing tools and collateral. But practicing the science of modern marketing has its beginning with the Industrial Age when new mass production techniques and evolving production technologies and improved modes of transportation demanded better strategies for selling and delivering finished goods and services to an ever expanding marketplace and an increasingly more competitive business environment.

But for many in the personal services sector, even the most basic marketing efforts are a relatively unfamiliar, new-age endeavor. The first Principles of Practice adopted in 1909 by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) actually barred architects from marketing themselves and even now, in the relatively early stages of the newest century, many architectural firms remain relatively unpracticed in the art and science of modern marketing.

In an article entitled, “Inspire Change for Sustainable Growth” and published in the Atlanta Institute of Architects’ Annual Publication “Design Equilibrium”, the authors at Junction Creative Solutions (Junction), an award winning strategic agency committed to creating high impact solutions for SMBS and Fortune 500 companies, reviews why many architects are struggling to understand the language or the practice of modern marketing. The AIA seeks educate and inform the architecture communities by highlighting topics designed to start a conversation.

Junction discusses the importance of establishing well-defined strategic goals and objectives and developing a brand that differentiates a unique set of capabilities that will set a firm apart from the competition. Today’s architectural firms, regardless of size or position in the business life-cycle, must be willing to accept change and embrace the emerging marketing tools and approaches from this new technological era and elevate themselves in a crowded, multi-dimensional marketplace to create a more sustainable business.

“We are very excited to be included in the 2017 Annual Publication,” comments Julie Gareleck, CEO and Managing Partner, Junction. “It’s becoming increasingly more difficult for professional services companies to compete. We’ve built incredible results for our clients across various professional services industries.  With our knowledge of what has worked for others, we are confident in our ability to assist the Architectural community in developing unique strategies to grow their businesses.”

To read the full article, visit https://www.aiaatl.org/design-equilibrium-2017/ or contact the Atlanta Institute of Architects for their latest copy of Design Equilibrium. To learn more about how Junction Creative Solutions can help you create impact for your company, visit www.junction-creative.com.

How Messages Can Mold Your Credibility and Integrity

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Tom Brokaw, an American television journalist and author best known as the anchor and managing editor of NBC Nightly News, recently celebrated the fifty year anniversary of his journalistic career, joining the ranks of former great communicators like Walter Cronkite and Edward R. Morrow.  He is the only person to host all three major NBC News programs: The Today Show, NBC Nightly News, and Meet the Press and is the author of the bestselling book, “The Greatest Generation” (1998). He is to be applauded for being engaged in reporting the news, not just the story, for half a century.

In a recent broadcast celebration of his career “The First Fifty Years”, the veteran anchor revealed his thoughts about the fundamental principles of journalism, the era of old school messaging meets the new media and the importance of accuracy of messaging within a context. Today, everyone including the media is seemingly in attack mode in era of confrontation, seeking to tap into a prevalent state of fear, uncertainty and anger. With so many emerging non-traditional sources of information, communicators must be careful not to underestimate the impact of messages that draw on these emotions. Brokaw’s advice to listeners when receiving their news, “make the same intellectual effort as you do when buying a car as you do when listening to the news – do your due diligence.”

So what parallels and lessons can journalists, marketing professionals, and even social media users draw from Brokaw’s experience?

“We need to be responsible as purveyors of content,” offers Julie Gareleck, Founder and CEO of Junction Creative Solutions (Junction). “We need to get back to research, learning from experience, understanding those who came before us, and making decisions based off of facts – not rhetoric.” As business strategists we can learn from Kellogg and Harvard Review some of the most brilliant ways to approach business strategy from a time not known for technology revolutions or this time of the internet of things (IoT). It is important to learn and adapt our thinking and our practices to meet the new reality that we face. “We must challenge the integrity of the messages by asking:  what are they selling; what is the motivation, and what is it that they are looking for from me?” says Gareleck. “Realize that there is always more to a bi-line.”

After a half century as America’s consummate communicator, Tom Brokaw has “confidence in the resilience of our country” but admits that he believes “we are lacking the tribe that is America.” Despite all the emotional slinging of suspicious rhetoric, the truth is our society has survived much more tumultuous periods of revolt and revolution. Whether our business is politics or business, we as communicators in this digital media revolution, must rededicate our efforts to base our message content on facts and less on hyperbole if we are to sustain our credibility.

“I remember Brokaw as a child, as a teenager, and as an adult.  As journalism majors, we were taught to report a story based on facts. We didn’t have Google, Wikipedia, or social media.  We had books, articles, newspapers, a microfilm to sift through to understand what it would take to be an influencer.  And now, technology is at our finger tips, constantly.  It’s noisy. It’s volatile at times. We must remember that we influence always.  It could be 40 characters or it could be a 500 word prose.  Let’s use our words wisely, “ comments Gareleck.

Will 2017 Be a Year of Dynamic Growth or Challenge for Businesses?

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2017 promises to be a time of real economic growth and expansion, yet riddled with a dynamically changing political environment. All of this during a time where technology is expected to advance five times as fast as it has in the last 2 decades.  All of this requires that businesses remain agile and open to adapting new strategies and processes to support a more sustainable approach to growth.

“Since 2009, Junction Creative Solutions (Junction) has worked with more than 240 brands, to include small to mid-size, growth stage, and Fortune 500 companies,” comments Julie Gareleck, CEO & Managing Partner, Junction.  “We’ve been on the front lines with our clients, redefining strategies that work in today’s changing environment.”

In 2016, Junction effectively grew its client base by nearly 30%, further expanding its reach and strengthening its competencies across a multitude of verticals.  As many companies turn to Junction, the conversation is not just a marketing discussion but rather a business growth discussion. Junction’s extensive experience working across verticals enables us to effectively meet the demands of our clients. While marketing is a significant component to sustainable growth, it’s just one part of the overall strategy for success in 2017.  Junction’s breadth of expertise in healthcare, financial, professional services, SaaS, eCommerce, technology, consumer packaged goods, retail, among others, brings a unique perspective to its clients.

“We are very excited about our growth results from 2016,” comments Julie Gareleck, CEO & Managing Partner of Junction Creative, “But we understand from our experiences that as the business environment ahead becomes more dynamic, it’s critical to remain ahead of the trends in order to develop the most effective and comprehensive set of solutions to support our client’s sales and marketing initiatives. We look forward to driving even more results for our clients in 2017.”

If you are looking for a firm who will not only provide strategic insights but also assist in the effective implementation, contact us at 676-686-1125 or Julie@junction-creative.com.

Gettysburg Cancer Center Impacts Cancer Patients by Providing Comprehensive Care

Comprehensive Cancer Center

A Leader in Oncology Care Across the Region Since 1989

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Technology and connectivity continues to disrupt how we access information. Once limited to a one-or two line posting in the local telephone Yellow Pages (remember those?) medical practitioners of all disciplines felt little incentive to promote their services any way other than personal referrals from current patients and an occasional advertisement in the local papers.

As an aging population ignited an increased demand for specialty medical practitioners, the competition among medical services including hospital systems, urgent care networks, private practices, cancer treatment centers, telemedical service providers and others has intensified. Today there is a greater reliance on more sophisticated marketing strategies to bring patients to the medical providers. Choosing a doctor is no longer a random or arbitrary choice but one easily researched from among many providers from the comfort the patient’s home or mobile device. John Socratous, Wizmotions CEO, says, “One of the biggest consumer segments we see moving to aggressive advertising are doctors. Explainer videos, SEO and online reviews seemed secondary in the medical field for many years. Today, that is no longer the case.”

At the Gettysburg Cancer Center (GCC) in Historic Gettysburg PA, the doctors understand the importance of being accessible as patients embrace the technology in learning about their illness and the expanding science of treatment and care. Even with their all-encompassing oncology and hematology programs providing a complete range of diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up cancer care, Gettysburg Cancer Center has launched a new website that is designed to educate and inform its patients. Dedicated to providing insightful, compassionate care to all of their patients, GCC understands that every person is unique as they strive to ensure every patient the highest quality care and best possible outcome for their cancer treatment. Their new website and strategic marketing initiatives now reflect that elevated commitment to cancer care.

Junction Creative Solutions, an award winning strategic agency committed to creating high impact solutions, was uniquely qualified to design and execute a successful implementation of social and digital collateral to satisfy GCC’s commanding presence in the cancer treatment center marketplace. With many years of experience in the telemedical, pharmaceutical, hospital and consultative medical services sectors, Junction is perfectly positioned to answer the creative needs of GCC.

Julie Gareleck, Founder and CEO, said, “As the marketing landscape changes and consumer expectations evolve, it’s critical to remain ahead of the trend, particularly in the healthcare field where connecting patients with the best possible care providers can often have life or death implications. Junction believes that an effective content strategy adds significant value to a business, particularly in an era where patients have access to information – and a lot of it.  Healthcare companies must focus on communicating with patients where they are accessing information.”

For more than 25 years, Gettysburg Cancer Center has been committed to providing cancer care in a community-based setting close to their patient’s home. Their caring and educated staff is dedicated to providing a caring environment for patients and their families with individualized treatment, utilizing the best technical approach, and recognizing each patient’s psychological, emotional, and spiritual needs during their journey with their illness and healing.

To see more about how Junction’s creative team of marketing specialist is helping GCC successfully connect with their patients, visit www.gettysburgcancercenter.com.

Interesting and Challenging Times Ahead for Marketers

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At the coming of the end of each calendar year there comes a practice that appears to be an unavoidable part of our culture. It is understandable that at the end of something there certainly must be a beginning of something else, a sort of evolutionary ideology that mandates a certain continuity of things both past and present. Predicting outcomes of the future, whether by flight of fancy or scientific “guessimation”, has always had a certain risk of accuracy when measured in the hind-sight but it appears that the level of success has had little impact on stemming the seemingly unavoidable practice of prognostication as each old year ending approaches. So what’s coming ahead in the business of marketing in the New Year? How will it propose to be better or worse than from where we have just come?

The digital era will continue to dominate marketing efforts across the spectrum of business sectors. Consumers are dictating to marketers how they want to consume information. Users are no longer using 1 or 2 devices so mobile expansions for marketers is critical. This trend is likely to strengthen in the coming year as the technology continues to improve in scope and ease of use. In 2017, if you haven’t already, embrace mobile!

Content and marketers focused on providing quality content to audiences will continue to dominate the mainstream marketing environment. We have come a long way from the early efforts to first imagine the potential impact of social media marketing and then to follow through on its promises by mastering effective and more conversational and interactive content messaging. The conversation will continue to project the brands promise to seemingly individualized consumers while finding that efficiency sweet spot. The keyword in content will become “personalization”, which doesn’t fit in 40 characters or less.

The Influencer factor will continue to motivate consumers’ as confidence and trust rise in those who will be viewed as thought leaders. Selecting the appropriate influencer will be critical in establishing brand credibility.

Purpose Driven Marketing continues to extend marketing efforts beyond the sale and promotes a feel-good impression with customers. Look to see more brands form charity partnerships with non-profits in 2017.

Social media channels will continue to grow in quality and selection as yet unproven technology like livestreaming, virtual and augmented reality arrive to satisfy the appetite of 2.5 billion active social media users worldwide. Marketers will be challenged to identify and utilize those channels that work best for achieving their goals. Messaging apps will begin to find their utilization. Chad Martin, North American Director, Social and Emerging Media at VML, states that, “The idea of being able to engage with a customer in a one on one way is huge. The hurdle will be figuring out how to develop relevant content to so many.”

Given the surprises in the geopolitical world in 2016, we cannot underestimate the likelihood of something unforeseen and unpredictable in 2017, whether it’s new technology or yet undetected swings in consumer tastes. The unexpected can certainly arise. Whatever the reality of marketing trend predictions, it promises to be a very interesting and challenging time ahead.

What’s Your American Dream?

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The phrase “The American Dream” is rooted in the United States Constitution and Declaration of Independence and propagates that “each person’s desire to pursue happiness was not just self-indulgence, but a part of what drives ambition and creativity.” Defined by James Truslow Adams in 1931, the idea is a fundamental component of our democracy, our inalienable rights, freedom and collective liberty. Adams stated, “The American Dream is that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement.” He went on to say, “… not a dream of motor cars and high wages merely, but a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position.”

Such high, revolutionary acclamations  prevailed from the very beginning of our Country and found universal appeal among people from all around the world, motivating tens of millions to brave uncertainty and death in order to immigrate to this new promising world. With each new generation the promise was expanded to include many who had previously been excluded, either by race, creed or religion and the definition redefined to include an ever expanding number of social and individualized personal issues. Throughout our history, the Dream implied an opportunity for Americans to achieve prosperity and realize their dreams through hard work, personal sacrifice and service to the defense of the Nation and to others of us less capable. Today, the Dream is often expressed as an entitlement, paid for by the energies of some, confiscated in part by government, and decreed to others.

For decades, American elections and our politicians have divided the populace by race, national origin and economic position in an effort to acquire and maintain power. Such infractions created divisions in our Nation’s community, separated by wide breaches of commonality on issues both social and economic. The current political campaign brought unprecedented hostilities to the forefront from both camps. The harsh rhetoric and broad disparity of positions has left scars on our people and has served to tarnish the image and the very promise of the American Dream. For many, the dream seems destined to be an ethos past, for others thought to be out of reach.

It is time for this period of great turmoil and division to end. We are one in democracy, served by multiple opinions but united in a single purpose of providing to all of us the benefits of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. For those of us who live and have lived their dreams, we must temper our appreciation with the realization that for many others the opportunity remains just a vision or a hope. Let us rededicate ourselves to building our companies on creating tangible products and services that celebrate the skills, talents and work ethic of our people and less on elevating our fortunes by crunching the numbers based on rationing and exclusion of our Country’s most capable and valuable resource.

“As a child, I can remember much discussion about the American Dream as we learned about the history of our great Nation. I grew up in Gettysburg, PA, where soldiers fought a pivotal battle in the Civil War to secure the freedom of slaves.  I was raised to believe that I had the power to create that which I could dream of and work hard to attain,” comments Julie Gareleck, CEO & Managing Partner, Junction Creative.  “I still believe in the same notion. The path has never been easy or without challenge.  I recommit myself each day to forging ahead with the next goal in mind.  I encourage you to put down the smart phones and smart devices. Turn down the rhetoric and take a break from social media. Let’s be quiet more often, listen more often, be passionate, yet be compassionate. Let’s focus on contributing to the idea that the “The American Dream” remains a defining element of our great society for all, now and in all of our futures.”

We’d love to hear about your American Dream!