Category Archives: Non-Profits

ACCENT Marketing Survey: Nearly 90 percent of Consumers Say Personalized Interactions with Brands Drive their Purchase Decisions

ACCENT Marketing Survey: Nearly 90 percent of Consumers Say Personalized Interactions with Brands Drive their Purchase Decisions

Interaction Beyond the Point of Purchase Key to Building Brand Advocates

JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind., April 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — According to new research from ACCENT Marketing Services, the key to repeat customers is personalized communication from brands after purchases. ACCENT Marketing Services LLC, a provider of multi-channel customer engagement solutions, today announced findings from its 2014 Survey "Beyond the Point of Purchase – A Look at Behaviors that Build Brand Loyalists."

ACCENT Marketing's findings align with Forrester's expectations that organizations will explore the power of proactive pre-purchase and post-purchase engagements as a major marketing trend in 2014. Key findings in the report released today also include:

  • Nearly half of consumers interact with brands after a purchase
  • 86 percent of consumers say that it's important to have a positive experience after making a purchase
  • Word of mouth marketing is still critical with 79 percent of consumers telling family and friends when they have had a great experience with a brand
  • 93 percent of consumers claim that a positive response or special offer can help restore the company's reputation after a bad experience
  • Brands can't solely focus on mobile for interaction post-purchase. Only 26 percent have used their phone to contact a company through mobile app with a service question after making a purchase

"As consumers continue to evolve, we are seeing a significant shift in what CMOs are focusing on," said David Norton, EVP Customer Analytics and Insights at MDC Partners and Chairman ACCENT Marketing Services. "Their focus used to be solely on customer acquisition. CMOs today need to spend time to understand and engage customers across the entire lifecycle, not only pre-purchase. What our research has uncovered is that when CMOs consider the entire lifecycle, they can maximize return on investment."

To better understand the habits of today's changing and empowered consumers, ACCENT Marketing surveyed more than 1,000 consumers throughout the United States. The company looked at how consumers prefer to communicate with brands before and after purchases, what drives brand reputation, and the role of the post-purchase brand relationship.

For more on the findings of the 2014 "Beyond the Point of Purchase – A look at Behaviors that Build Brand Loyalists", download the full report at:

About ACCENT Marketing Services, LLC 
ACCENT, a member of the MDC Partners Network, provides multi-channel customer engagement solutions to brands who need to maximize their ability to engage with consumers and influence behavior, while generating a better return on their investment. Founded in 1993, the company's data-driven approach transforms customer service touch points across phone, online and social media channels into powerful relationship and brand-building tools. For more information, visit

SOURCE ACCENT Marketing Services, LLC


Compass Intelligence Ranks “Best in Class” Small Business Portal Experiences

Compass Intelligence Ranks "Best in Class" Small Business Portal Experiences

SAN ANTONIO, March 27, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Strategy acceleration firm Compass Intelligence is proud to announce it has released its "Best in Class" Small Business Portal results.  These exciting results are derived from on-going research with small business owners and tracking website capabilities, design and content as part of Compass Intelligence's Customer & Digital Experience research. Companies are assessed in terms of their ability to provide relevant online experiences to Small Businesses, with the focus of the research being small business-specific buying and learning experiences.  Results are based on more than 20 facets of the online engagement process.

"The research shows that while Verizon and AT&T have some of the most comprehensive and intuitive web portals today, providing a strong support and learning environment that is tailored to the small business community is equally important," said Heather Taylor, Customer & Digital Experience Manager at Compass Intelligence. While companies such as Cisco, Microsoft and Dell may not provide the sheer number of products and services as the Telco giants in the marketplace, they are clearly strategic in how they position support, community and self-learn website features, and are reaping the benefit of repeat small business customers as a direct result," says Taylor. 

Creating a relevant experience for the small business market continues to be a challenge.  While we are starting to see traction with regard to improved content and solutions geared to this market, the majority of providers that cater to the small business segment tend to focus on the product offering aspect, falling short when it comes to presenting themselves as a custom solution provider and secondly the integration of learn content. Learning and media content not only educate small business customers on how to best utilize the providers' solutions, but also engage them and encourages repeat visits.

To learn more about the report, please click here.

Key Findings Include:

  • Best in Class Experience Overall – Top 5: Verizon, AT&T, Cisco, Microsoft, and Dell
  • Best Practice: Theme-based Simplicity – a clean site experience, which seamlessly weaves in contextual content relevant to the small business segment.
  • Best in Class Help & Support: HP offers an extremely intuitive Help & Support center, which incorporates multiple media types.
  • Best in Class Community: Cisco provides a strong dedicated small business community portal that covers key topics and scenarios relevant to SBs.
  • Best in Class Learn Experience: Microsoft offers lots of learning options and resources to Small Businesses wanting to develop and grow.
  • Best in Class e-Commerce: Dell offers tools to help Small Businesses by providing comparison tables, user ratings and product images.

Want to learn more about the impact of mobile & wireless on your enterprise? Join us at Go Mobile 2014, October 13-15, 2014 at the Omni Mandalay in Las Colinas, Dallas, TX. Click here for more information.

About Compass Intelligence

Compass Intelligence, a market analytics and consulting firm, specializes in strategy acceleration and insights for the high-tech and telecom industries while providing clients tailored services through excellent customer support. Compass Intelligence provides executive insights, market sizing/modeling, competitive analysis, strategic consulting, and expert recommendations on multiple markets. Visit us at  Follow Compass Intelligence on Twitter at @CompassIntel.

SOURCE Compass Intelligence


UpTo Introduces the Calendar of the Future

UpTo Introduces the Calendar of the Future

Layered view of upcoming events adds entirely new dimension to navigating everything that's coming up

DETROIT, March 27, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — UpTo today launched the first-ever multi-layer mobile calendar.  The multi-layer interface adds an entirely new dimension to navigating one's upcoming schedule. The new UpTo gives users a top-level view of their existing calendar and expands to reveal upcoming events based on a user's location, likes and interests – including sports schedules, TV shows, local concerts, friends events and more.

"Managing what's coming up should be effortless," said Greg Schwartz, co-founder and CEO of UpTo.  "Not just meetings and appointments, but everything – from your favorite sports teams and TV shows to your kid's school schedule.  Until today, these other calendars were scattered on paper, on websites, in apps and in emails, making it impossible to keep it all straight.  UpTo represents the most significant innovation to the calendar in the last 10 years.  We designed UpTo to give users a holistic view of everything coming up, without the clutter—the things you have to do, plus the stuff you want to do."

UpTo's front-layer includes a user's existing calendar, offering a fast and familiar view of upcoming meetings and appointments.  With a pinch or tap, UpTo expands to reveal a back layer of events from calendars a user chooses to follow. Users can select from thousands of public calendars from UpTo's growing content network—from sports teams and TV show schedules to movie and music releases, local concerts, tech events and more. These "back layer" events can be added to the user's calendar with a simple swipe.

Users can also connect privately with friends to share upcoming events to the back layer of a friend's UpTo calendar. Unlike other calendars that are limited to all-or-nothing sharing, UpTo lets you choose individual family members, friends or co-workers to share events with on an event-by-event basis.

UpTo offers automatic two-way sync with any existing Google, iCloud, Exchange, Facebook or other calendar that syncs with the user's phone.  Users syncing multiple calendars can choose which layer each calendar appears on in UpTo. 

Groups and organizations can use UpTo's online platform to publish and manage their own calendar content for others to follow, and simultaneously embed their UpTo calendar into any website to position their events for maximum engagement in front of fans and constituents.

UpTo is available for free for iPhone and coming soon to Android.  To download or learn more about UpTo, visit

About UpTo
UpTo is the modern calendar that changes the way individuals and organizations plan for, share and interact with the 'future tense'. Featuring a multi-layer mobile calendar, an online calendar publishing platform and seamless integration with Google Calendar, iCloud, Exchange and other popular calendar solutions, UpTo shifts the calendar paradigm. With thousands of public calendars that users can follow, UpTo goes beyond 9 to 5 to give users the most complete view of everything coming up that matters, in one spot. Learn more about UpTo at



Lowe’s Toolbox for Education Announces $1.4 Million In Grants To Schools Nationwide

Lowe's Toolbox for Education Announces $1.4 Million In Grants To Schools Nationwide

Lowe's Toolbox for Education program has benefited more than 5 million schoolchildren across the country

MOORESVILLE, N.C., Feb. 28, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — The Lowe's Charitable and Educational Foundation has awarded more than $1.4 

Lowe's Toolbox for Education awarded $1.4 million in grants to over 350 schools during the fall 2013 grant cycle. (PRNewsFoto/Lowe's)

million in Lowe's Toolbox for Education® grants to 354 schools in 46 states during the program's fall 2013 grant cycle. The grants will fund school-improvement projects benefiting K-12 public education during the 2013-2014 school year. The company awarded nearly $4 million in grants to 940 schools in 2013.

"The Lowe's Toolbox for Education program has benefited more than five million schoolchildren since its inception," said Maureen Ausura, chairman of the Lowe's Charitable and Educational Foundation. "With the support of Lowe's Heroes employee volunteers, Lowe's is committed to continuing to improve the educational environment for students across the country."

The fall 2013 Toolbox for Education grants will fund public school projects, including technology and safety improvements, library renovations, walking trails and outdoor learning environments. Since its inception in 2006, Lowe's Toolbox for Education has provided more than $38 million in grants to improve more than 8,000 schools. Grants are available to K-12 public schools in the United States for a wide range of improvement projects. Large schools and school districts are eligible to receive Toolbox grants up to $100,000.

To view the complete list of grant winners and for information about applying for a grant, visit The fall 2014 grant cycle will be open Aug. 1 to Oct. 15.

Since 1957, the Lowe's Charitable and Educational Foundation has helped communities nationwide through financial contributions and support for employee volunteerism.

Lowe's supports the communities it serves through programs that focus on K-12 public education and community improvement projects. In addition to Lowe's Toolbox for Education®Lowe's Heroes employee volunteers support local community projects and our national nonprofit partners such as Habitat for HumanityRebuilding Together and the American Red Cross. Since 2007, Lowe's and the Lowe's Charitable and Educational Foundation together have contributed nearly $200 million to improve communities in the United States, Canada and Mexico. To learn more, visit and




Opportunities for Women Available in Many Areas of Technology, CompTIA Advancing Women in IT Community Says

TechVoice, TECNA and CompTIA working together. (PRNewsFoto/CompTIA)

Feb 25, 2014 

Opportunities for Women Available in Many Areas of Technology, CompTIA Advancing Women in IT Community Says

Groups intends to spread message, offer career guidance to women, young women and girls

DOWNERS GROVE, Ill., Feb. 25, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Career opportunities for women abound in the information technology (IT) industry and employers would be wise to tap this under-utilized resource, according to leaders of the CompTIA Advancing Women in IT Community, a volunteer group organized by CompTIA, the leading non-profit association for the IT industry.

"If the world is an oyster, then the world of IT is one of the pearls for women," said Doriana Allyn, senior environmental health and safety manager for Brother International Corporation, and community chair.

"There are huge numbers of opportunities for women in many areas of IT," Allyn continued. "It's not just tool bag and repair, but careers in legislation, environmental issues, marketing and many other areas."

"IT is one of those fields that we really can change the way we live, work, learn and play," added Michelle Ragusa-McBain, manager, Global Ingram-Customer Partner Experience for Cisco and community vice-chair.

Just 24 percent of the U.S. IT workforce is female, a percentage that keeps dropping, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In 2014, the CompTIA Advancing Women in IT Community has set an ambitious goal of reaching out to 10,000 individuals about the opportunities available to women in the IT field. This includes women, young women, girls and prospective employers because, as Allyn noted, "hiring women is a wise choice."

The community plans to unveil a new evangelism platform later this year and is seeking volunteers to help create and implement that platform.

"Our goal is to promote STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education to young women in junior high and high school," said Ragusa-McBain. "We're also interested in reaching out to female veterans seeking post-military careers and professional women in other fields who may be ready for a career change."

Other volunteers serving on the Advancing Women in IT executive committee in 2014 include:

  • Lori Berry, director, strategic technology, Collabrance
  • Jean Mork Bredeson, president, Service 800
  • Theresa Caragol, global vice president, channels and partners, Extreme Networks
  • Hilary Gadda, director, telepartner channel, TelePacific Communications
  • Cristina Greysman, director, channel programs, SunGard Availability Services
  • Mary Ellen Grom, vice president, U.S. marketing, SYNNEX Corporation
  • Robin Haggerty, vice president, client management, Field Solutions Inc.
  • Lindsay Rufa Hall, director of channel and strategic partnerships, Stratosphere Networks, LLC
  • John Mehrmann, chief executive officer,   Brainhunter
  • Stacey Powell, vice president, business development, printing and personal systems, Sytems Maintenance Services
  • Nellie C. Scott, director, services sales support and enablement, Lenovo

CompTIA is the voice of the world's information technology (IT) industry. Visit, and to learn more.

The ARA Rental Show in Orlando – You No Longer Have to Buy It; You Can Rent It

February 19, 2014

The ARA Rental Show in Orlando – You No Longer Have to Buy It; You Can Rent It

By Carolyn Winston and Addison Sims, Let’s Talk Biz

Orlando, Florida, February 19, 2014 /LetsTalkBiz/ — The ARA Rental Show ended last week in Orlando at the Orange County Convention Center. The three day trade show, held February 9-12, 2014, is the world’s largest annual equipment rental industry-specific trade show and is owned and managed by the American Rental Association (ARA).  It featured construction/industrial equipment, general tool/home owner equipment, and party/special event equipment, as well as rental-specific seminars and industry networking. The show was closed to the public, but left an impressive economic impact. More than 650 exhibitors and approximately 12,000 attendees spent money in Central Florida during the convention.

Let’s Talk Biz was amazed at the products, services, and equipment available in the rental industry. “You no longer have to buy it; you can rent it”.  The ARA show is serious about profits, and the majority of the attendees and exhibitors are small business owners in the rental industry.  The show is the place to find out about new trends, about purchasing new products, or about placing orders.

According to the latest information from the ARA Rental Market Monitor™, in 2013 the North American rental revenue came in at $38 billion, with U.S. revenues accounting for $33.3 billion and Canada accounting for an additional $4.7 billion.  The revenue rental for North America is projected to reach an estimated $41 billion in 2014. In 2017 the revenue rental is projected to be $52.3 billion.  Let’s Talk Biz wanted to know more about the rental business, the new trends in the industry, the projected growth in the rental business, and the impact the rental business would have on small businesses.  We also wanted to know how to get started in the rental business, so we interviewed Tom Hubbell, Vice President of Marketing and Communications for The American Rental Association.  He said there are many reasons why a business should rent:

  1. Frees up capital because ownership requires a capital investment,

    Tom Hubbell, Vice President of Marketing and Communications for The American Rental Association

  2. Eliminates worries about regular maintenance, repairs, warranties or insurance,
  3. Eliminates needs for storage,
  4. Reduces training costs, takes advantage of rental companies expertise and their staffed professionals,
  5.  National rental companies keep up with the newest and most specialized equipment,
  6. Offer a wide variety of specialized and advanced equipment,
  7. Assesses and secures the right equipment for the job,
  8. Provides equipment, products, services needed and,
  9. No purchase of warranties or insurance is needed.

To hear the interview with Tom Hubbell click on the link below. 

Part 1:

[soundcloud url=”” params=”color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_artwork=true” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

Part 2:

[soundcloud url=”” params=”color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_artwork=true” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

To learn more about the ARA Rental Show visit,


The American Rental Association (ARA) was founded in 1995 by 21 rental business owners.  The American Rental Association ( is an international trade association for the owners of equipment rental businesses and the manufacturers and suppliers of construction/industrial, general tool and party/special event rental equipment.  Now in its sixth decade of operation, ARA is the source for information regarding government affairs, insurance, business development tools, education and training, networking and marketplace opportunities for the rental equipment industry throughout the world. The Rental Show ( is owned and managed by the American Rental Association.