Francine Carb Featured in Forbes

Forbes Agency Council recently featured Markitects in their article, “Seven Ways To Help Your Agency Reach Its Revenue Goals”. The article focuses on seven experienced agency professionals who discuss several ways new agency owners can achieve their revenue goals and build toward long-term success.

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“If you were starting your company over today and knew everything you know now, how would you structure the business in order to grow, fix any problems, or achieve whatever your goals may be?” That’s the key question that Jim Geier asks his clients when opening a dialog for a potential Organizational Assessment. Take a look at how one company leveraged the Organizational Assessment process to boost morale and grow the company.

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With decades of experience and a skilled team of field technicians and application engineers, Proconex has the experience and certifications to service Pressure Management customers throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region. Their highly skilled technicians provide onsite, emergency and repair services for any type of industrial pressure, pressure relief, or safety valve. Learn more about their pressure management facility, Atlantic Valve Services.

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Francine Carb Accepted into Forbes Agency Council

Banner, Forbes Agency Council, Official Member

Francine Carb, President & Founder of Markitects, Inc., a B2B strategic branding and digital marketing agency headquartered in Wayne, PA, has been accepted into the Forbes Agency Council, an invitation-only community for executives in successful public relations, media strategy, creative and advertising agencies.

Francine joins other Forbes Agency Council members, who are hand-selected, to become part of a curated network of successful peers and get access to a variety of exclusive benefits and resources, including the opportunity to submit thought leadership articles and short tips on industry-related topics for publishing on

Forbes Councils combines an innovative, high-touch approach to community management perfected by the team behind Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) with the extensive resources and global reach of Forbes. As a result, Forbes Council members get access to the people, benefits and expertise they need to grow their businesses – and a dedicated member concierge who acts as an extension of their own team, providing personalized one-on-one support.

According to Francine, “I’m thrilled to be accepted into the Council. Now, our best practices for B2B content and design can be shared with others in the agency community. This will also enable broader access to industrial, engineering, scientific, and services organizations everywhere.”

Scott Gerber, founder of Forbes Councils, says, “We are honored to welcome Francine Carb into the community. Our mission with Forbes Councils is to curate successful professionals from every industry, creating a vetted, social capital-driven network that helps every member make an even greater impact on the business world.”

For more information about Forbes Agency Council, visit To learn more about Forbes Councils, visit

Proconex is 1 Force Driving All Valves Everywhere

Proconex understands the importance of reducing plant downtime and improving plant productivity. To reduce plant downtime and improve plant productivity, the right Valve Operating System™ (VOS) and actuator should be selected. The team of experts at Proconex can guide you in the selection process. Their actuation product brands include Bettis™, EL-O-Matic™, EIM™, and Shafer™.

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Proconex Can Meet All of Your Final Control Needs

Following a major expansion of their valves and controls business, Proconex, the exclusive Emerson Local Business Partner in the Mid-Atlantic region, has reinforced its valves & control devices portfolio, including a complete range of isolation valves and automated valve solutions.

Proconex offers both standard and customized solutions, regardless of the demand you have on a valve. As a single supplier, they can positively impact the timing and delivery-as well as provide an expanded range of services on-site.

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Middle Market: Where It’s At!

A recent Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce event focused on the pros and cons of being in the middle. While those of you who are middle children may be subjected to taunts and stereotypes, middle market companies are in vogue. Why? They outperform F500’s and small companies alike, are attractive places to work, and are the lucrative targets of Private Equity firms, as well as those companies looking to grow by acquisition. It is truly a happy time for those in the middle.

Who comprises the Middle Market?

  • 200,000 businesses representing 3% of all U.S. companies
  • Annual revenues ranging from $10M-$1B
  • 5th largest global economy—larger than the entire country of Germany
  • Creator of 60% of all new jobs in the U.S.—over $1.1M jobs in 2013-2014

Q4 2017 by the numbers:

  • Revenue growth = 7.6% compared with 6.9% in the S&P 500
  • Employment growth = 5.2% compared with 1.4% for small businesses and 2.6% for large businesses
  • High confidence = 75% in the global economy, 86% in the national economy, and 88% in the local economy

Furthermore, according to Thomas Stewart, Executive Director, National Center for the Middle Market, middle market companies are more attractive than ever. Consumer middle marketers are considered niche, and therefore more interesting and socially responsible. They are successfully chipping away at the market share of name brand products. Think craft breweries, for instance. On the other side of business, B2B industrials are doing well because of their key roles in the supply chain, as connectors, to F500 companies who depend on them for products and services critical to our economy.

Among the top challenges of those in the middle are acquiring and retaining talent, competitive pressures, and the challenges of expanding internationally. Regarding capital investments, 69% plan to expand. While some of the panelists recommended international growth, others have grown primarily by acquisition and will continue to do so. Not surprisingly, workforce engagement is high on the priority list—whether through wage increases, training, or both. Overall, the middle marketers are not an impetuous group. They are not taking on new debt, are expanding capital expenditures judiciously, and keeping inventory levels steady.

We at Markitects are proud to have served middle market companies for over twenty years. For more information, contact us.

NCCPAP Releases an IRS NPL Update

NCCPAP President, Stephen Mankowski, recently returned from the January 2018 NPL meeting. Highlights of this month’s meeting include the Passport Revocation Program, Practitioner Priority Service Faux Pas, and Quarterly Estimate Complications. Regarding the Passport Revocation Program, the PATH Act of 2015 grants the IRS authority to request the Department of State (DOS) revoke passports from individuals with a specific tax debt; the same act authorizes the IRS to utilize outside debt collectors. This program is for those who are seriously delinquent on their taxes-in excess of $50K (plus inflation).

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King of Content: The Customer Story

Our Best Tips Revealed

One of the most effective marketing tools happens to be one of the most fun and rewarding to create—that being customer stories. Don’t frown; it’s true. Having developed several hundred of these over the course of two decades, I believe I can modestly state that I have the knack for them. That’s why I’d like to share some tips and guidelines for developing effective and interesting stories about your customers, partners, and even employees—whether as material for a sales presentation, newsletter, blog, or for internal consumption.

  1. Selection. Choose a subject that has one or more interesting aspects about it—whether brand-related, a technical innovation, or human-interest story. Then, if you are fortunate enough to find or select the expert yourself, choose someone who is otherwise considered to be an unsung hero. You’ll get more detail and cooperation if that person has not been tapped before. While somewhat counterintuitive, I have built my reputation on finding interesting people with a good story to tell—people who have not necessarily told it before. This way, what you write is fresh, and sounds fresh.
  2. Journalism. Pretend you are Anderson Cooper, Jane Pauley, or even Columbo (if you’re old enough). Put on your interviewer hat; be curious and pursue a line of questioning until you are satisfied that you could explain even a difficult technical, medical, or engineering concept to a peer. If in person, ask your expert to draw a diagram of what they are talking about on a white board—you often get even more information when you engage someone in that way. I truly believe that interviewing is a skill—one that can be learned by most people, but takes a lot of practice to accomplish well. It’s important to be both rehearsed and relaxed. Don’t be afraid to go off script either, if your interviewee takes you in a good direction. On the other hand, if the interviewee can’t stay on topic, keep drawing them back.
  3. Questions. Do your homework! Have your questions, or at least an outline, prepared in advance. If possible do not share it with your interviewee. The idea is to have a conversation, not give them a survey. I know this is difficult because your boss, the interviewee, or client will insist on having questions ahead of time. If you must, share it, but it’s better if you give them an overall description of the interview and how the materials will be used—keep the outline to yourself.
  4. Composition. Start with the title and subtitle. This will force you to integrate your newfound knowledge into a short statement. Be as playful or clever as possible to gain the interest of your reader from the onset. I often rewrite a customer story 5-6 times before I’m satisfied. The point being, this is not a one-draft exercise. It often helps to imagine you are a typical reader.
  5. Some Essentials: Get permission to use the materials, in writing. If a blog or collateral piece, take some time to find or create a clever graphic, photo, or image to help emphasize some point of the story. And keep practicing.

At Markitects, we believe that every story can have a happy ending—or at least a lesson to be learned. If your stories are not coming together the way you’d like, contact us and we’ll help you crack the code to great content.

NCCPAP Provides a Review of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

NCCPAP’s Executive Vice President, Neil H. Fishman, CPA, CFE, FCPA, CAMS, recently presented some highlights of the new 2018 Tax Bill to an audience of business professionals at The Greater Boynton Beach Chamber of Commerce on January 10, 2018. He began his presentation with a brief history of the bill, called H.R.1, and how quickly it became law, and then discussed some highlights that apply to corporations and individuals.

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