IT Tips for Small Business Marketing

An effective technology setup is crucial for any small business marketing department. Strategy documents, forecasts, design documents and web files are all managed with computers. Here are some tips for helping you be more protected and productive with your IT setup.

Back up your marketing files

The most important thing a small business can do is develop and implement a back-up process. The hard drive containing all of  your marketing information is simply a mechanical device. And like any other machine with moving parts, eventually it’s going to fail. It’s certain that your hard drive is going to crash someday.

Fortunately, back-ups are pretty easy these days. If you use Macs, the included Time Machine app makes it simple to back up to an external hard drive. Windows 7 also has a Windows Backup utility.

For added protection, consider an off-site back-up service like Carbonite. This way your files are protected from catastrophes like fire.

Be smart with passwords

Social media marketing is great… unless your Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or blog accounts are hacked and subject customers to spam communications. I hate seeing this happen, especially since creating secure passwords is easy. Make sure you and your employees are considering security when they set up social media accounts. Microsoft has some nice guidelines for secure passwords here.

Buy professional equipment

I’m always amazed when I see a marketing professional editing video or switching between five PowerPoint presentations on a consumer-grade computer. The extra cost of a more powerful computer is well worth the investment when you consider the value of you and your employees’ time.

Go for the big screens

One of the biggest boosts to productivity is adding screen size– whether that be buying a bigger display or a adding a second display. Apple, in an attempt to sell more Cinema Displays, published an interesting study on productivity and screen size. Here’s a graph from the study:

If you don’t trust Apple to be impartial (and I wouldn’t blame you!), the Wall Street Journal also has an article on the topic.

Calibrate your devices

If you are regularly disappointed that the colors you see on your display don’t match the colors on your final printed piece, try calibrating your devices. Calibration will ensure your display is showing colors correctly. X-Rite is one company providing this service with their i1 Display product.

These are just a few tips to get your small business started on your marketing department’s IT setup. The perfect setup for your small business depends on your goals, marketing partners, kinds of productivity you want to optimize for and how much protection is required. I recommend every small business take some time to think about what they really need. Too often, I uncover serious marketing problems for my clients that could have been prevented with a little planning.

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