Connecting with customers is every business's M.O., but finding unique, effective ways to do so separates industry leaders from startup flops. We asked members of the Entrepreneurs' Organization (EO) what some of their key marketing strategies are.

The SMAC Stack

"Contemporary marketing is really about understanding and leveraging the four pillars of technology: Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud--commonly known as the SMAC Stack. These enable you to be better, faster and cheaper than the competition, and research shows this strategy makes you 26 percent more profitable than your industry peers! We advise our clients to create a SMAC technology plan, along with their marketing campaign. One without the other can really limit your chances of success."

Praveen Ramanathan, EO Boston
President and CEO, Ayantek

Blogging Using Keywords

"I have found consistent blogging to be the single, most effective tool in marketing our services to potential clients. In our agency, we aim to produce at least two high-quality, engaging blog posts a week. Whether they're on industry topics, company culture, or a recent project, the blogs are centered on keywords that someone might use to find our website. Using this strategy, we have been able to amass 791 website pages indexed by all the major search engines--and our traffic ranking has increased drastically."

Jeff Bradford, EO Nashville
President and CEO, the Bradford Group

Company Mixers

"Our company always looks for marketing opportunities that not only attract attention, but also reinforce our brand position. We hold a bi-monthly mixer at our office and invite vendors, customers, prospects and other leaders in the digital community. This makes us a hub for the industry, showing our leadership, while also giving us a reason to connect with potential customers. Our employees staff the event, and the benefit always exceeds the cost."

Nicholas Holland, EO Nashville
CEO, Centresource

Thought Leadership

"Position yourself as the thought leader and expert in your industry. As part of our marketing strategy, we organize and host high-profile events surrounding topics of hiring, employer branding, and company culture--all core subjects within our industry. We keep these events private and accept no sponsorships. This allows us to foster game-changing conversations in our field and to build the perception of our brand accordingly. By forgoing traditional marketing methods, we have been able to differentiate the company from competition in a unique way."

Marina Byezhanova, EO Montreal
Co-founder, Pronexia Inc.

Search Engine Optimization

"The one marketing tactic that has had the biggest impact on our business has been search engine optimization (SEO). Three years ago, we decided to optimize our website so we could easily be found on Google by prospects searching for key terms. Effective SEO is a combination of public relations tactics, engaging, updated content and good website management. Within six months, we were ranking in the top three search results on Google for key search terms and generating around half our inbound leads directly through our website."

Heather Baker, EO UK--London
Founder and CEO, Top Line Comms