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Dozens of small business owners and managers gathered Wednesday at Centier Bank’s Corporate Centre in Merrillville for the latest "Break Through" business seminar hosted by Centier Bank and The Times of Northwest Indiana. The free session focused on how small businesses can use digital marketing techniques and platforms to better connect with potential customers.

“Break Through the Clutter: Stand Out in Today’s Digital Landscape” featured Times General Manager Joseph Battistoni and Jolene Sherman, managing director and vice president of Amplified Digital. They spoke on topics that included targeted marketing, over-the-top and streaming media buying, and the utilization of tools like Google Analytics to help business owners make better decisions in their marketing efforts.

“These 'Break Through' seminars give us a great opportunity to connect small businesses with topics and tools that they can really use with a low or no barrier-to-entry or cost,” Battistoni said. “Ultimately, almost every small business is looking to gain more visibility and make people more aware about their brand, their products or their services. We are pleased to see so many businesses here taking advantage of this free seminar and I hope we gave them some actionable steps to improve their bottom lines.”

Battistoni and Sherman noted that small business owners focus an overwhelming majority of their efforts on acquiring new customers, and the cost to acquire a new customer can be as much as five times the cost of retaining a current customer. Digital marketing tactics can help re-engage those clients, Sherman notes.

“At the end of the day, we are hoping these small business owners can walk away with some real impact items that they can use starting today,” she said. “Some of the practices in digital marketing can take a great deal of experience and knowledge to perfect, but some, like using Google Analytics, can be as simple as searching how to set up the program and following a few brief instructions.”

The Break Through series will continue quarterly in 2019, focusing on topics designed to help small businesses protect, grow, manage, and transition their businesses. The series is part of Centier Bank’s ongoing efforts to share financial literacy and best practices among businesses throughout the state of Indiana.

“At Centier, we grow as our communities grow, and one of the biggest ways we can help our communities grow is through helping small businesses prosper,” said Anthony Contrucci, Centier's vice president of community relations and business development. “Small businesses serve as the backbone of our local economies. We take great pride in the role we can play in helping sustain and aid in the growth of small businesses, and in the success of those small business owners and operators.”

For more information, visit www.centier.com/break-through.

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