Marketing for the non-tech savvy

Posted on October 16th, 2013 by Skye-Lynn Ferch Categories communication

Marketing for the non-tech savvy

 

Last week we blogged about how marketing is shifting to the digital world and your business should move along with it too, but lets not forget the traditional tactics of marketing. These tactics have proven successful over many years and continue to bring success to businesses. There are a few strategies you can perform to stay in the eyes of your target audience without going online.

 

 

Direct mail may seem dated, but the reality is people still check their mailbox daily. If you send out a direct mailer and it is eye catching or grabs their attention they are going to at least glance at it more than email in their spam folder. An advantage for you is that most businesses are moving towards emails, so you have more of a chance of your business being seen sending direct mail.

 

According to Forbes, people are watching more TV, for a longer time, than surfing the web. Product placement and in-show advertising are proving effective in influencing what consumers are purchasing. Consumers will be more likely to remember your product if they see it in their favorite show, so be strategic in your placement of ads to reach the most potential consumers.

 

Handing out “swag” as a promotion is the newest way to draw in a customer. Customers love little samples of items, it helps them decide if your new product is for them. More companies are utilizing this tactic and seeing a success with it.

 

Finally, network, network, network! This is probably the easiest way to find out what your market is interested in and the best way to reach an audience is to get out there and connect with them offline. Word-of-Mouth (WOM) is a huge reason why people try companies out, and this promotion strategy is free! Getting a positive WOM spread of your products or services is sure to bring in business; consumers base their perception of a product/ service first on what they hear from their influencers.

 

Traditional marketing strategies are not to be forgotten, so if you decide your business will benefit from combining both digital and traditional strategies, here are some tips. Remember, with any campaign, the key to being successful is doing your research to know which outlets work best.

Are you using Google+?

Posted on October 2nd, 2013 by Skye-Lynn Ferch Categories Advertising

Are you using Google+ ?

If you haven’t heard, the latest movement hitting the social networking world is Google+. The networking service was created in 2011 but is just now gaining the title of the “next big thing” in the digital world. In early 2013, Google+ had close to 360 million active users and is projected to grow even more. If you are not on Google+, here is why you should be.

Circles

You can place people into different circles and manage who sees what. You are able to converse with each group on separate topics, making your engagement more personal. In your business you might have certain messages to relay to different target audiences, and this feature allows you to do so without posting a one-for-all message.

Communities

Imagine a place that allows you to interact and meet people whom all share the same interests; communities does just that. It connects users with others who are posting about the same topic. You can use this to benefit your business by reaching out to those who already show an interest in what you are offering. You can also plan events within this feature, making it easy to send out invites to just the right people.

Hangouts

Hangouts are where you can catch up with your followers/friends with video, voice calls or share photos. You can have up to a 10-person conference call from all around the world (for free), and share photos and emojis in your conversation. Another great thing about the video aspect is you can pre-record your videos to post to the web at a later time.

Bonus

Since Google is the creator, your business’s Google+ profile will always pop-up on the top right of the search results.

With the unique features offered, it is no wonder it has millions of users and is the next big thing! Google is creating a new way of communicating with its easy-to-use, engaging social networking site. Now is the time to join, the media buzz surrounding the site is bound to draw in many more users.

Millennial Marketing

Posted on June 28th, 2013 by Skye-Lynn Ferch Categories Blog

shutterstock_51562501

The Millennial Generation is “the most talked-about, researched, marketed-to generation ever,” according to Melissa Lavigne-Delville, Vice President of Strategic Insights and Culture Education at NBCUniversal. Presently, small businesses must focus on real-time content and deliver a big impact upon consumers in the Millennials’ world of social media and digital devices. It is becoming harder and harder to stay relevant for modern businesses, so we’ll offer a few tips to success at marketing to the Millennials.

 

Keep on Talking

 

Your business has the opportunity to connect with customers on a whole new and faster level through online real-time interaction. Social media is a great way for businesses to reach personally and emotionally on tablets, smartphones and computers at all times.

 

Social media is a double-edged sword.  When a consumer comments on your business’ Facebook page, asks you a question on Twitter or emails you, then they expect a fast response. Your business must deliver at the sake of hurting their image as a prevalent business.

 

Leverage the Data

 

It is now possible to analyze real-time data, such as “retweets” and “likes” and use it to evaluate information at an astounding rate. By doing so, you can find your business’ place in the conversation and stay culturally relevant. For instance, “If you’re selling autos, you might be tracking how many times you generate a test drive in a dealership,” remarks Jay Palter, a content marketing strategist and personal brand. Read more here.

 

#Profit

 
Gaining followers, friends and “likes” is only important in the long run if it somehow affects your business’ ROI. We can now see how people got to a website and what they went on to do online afterwards. If we can quantify that, then we can we can measure it against our goals. The key is to develop a clear social media campaign with specific objectives, maintain an online presence and target your actions according to the results!

Hello Mobile

Posted on October 10th, 2012 by admin Categories Campaigns

It seems like everyone and their mom has a smartphone or tablet these days. According to a Pew, 55% of people who own cell phones use their phone to go online. With this increase in the number of mobile internet users, the need for mobile websites also has jumped. Here are some ways to take your website into the mobile frontier.

 

For those of us who aren’t tech savvy, Samantha Murphy, a tech reporter for Mashable, suggests using bMobilized. bMobilized is a do-it-yourself tool that converts your current website to a mobile version for just $5 a month. Simply type in your domain, click “Mobilize” and ta-da mobile site!

 

 

 

 

Don’t want to pay the monthly upkeep? Tech Republic’s David Gitonga suggests adding plug-ins to your current desktop site. Gitonga also suggests looking at Dudamobile, a free website that creates your mobile site in just one click. Dudamobile also automatically syncs your mobile site to your desktop site.

 

We hope the sites will help you go mobile! If you’ve been able to convert your website to mobile, let us know what tools you used!

To Pin or Not to Pin?

Posted on September 5th, 2012 by admin Categories communication

Nowadays it seems like everyone and their dog is on Pinterest, but should some companies have a Pinterest account? Digett’s Amy Peveto breaks down some of the decision points you should think about before your company jumps on the pinning band wagon. Here are some of the questions Peveto raises:

 

  • Does it fit what your business does?
    • Can you find pins that represent what your company does/offers?
  • Do you have the time to make sure your account stays up to date?


If you answered yes to these questions and the others that Peveto proposes, then you should look into getting an account because Pinterest will open the door for new opportunities. With an audience the size of 11.7 million and counting, you are opening the door to a whole new world of potential customers. Pinterest has also taken web referrals world by storm by beating out Twitter, Bing and Google (referral).

While these achievements seem impressive now, it looks like Pinterest will keep growing and the companies that have accounts will reap the benefits.  If your company has a Pinterest account, tell us how it’s doing!

Building Trust – Virtually

Posted on June 7th, 2012 by Tiffany Categories communication

We can sometimes lead you into tangents that talk about the warm and the fuzzy

aspects of business and communication. We believe that relationships, after they’re

established, are to be nurtured if they are ever to grow.

 

Corporate relationships are not unlike interpersonal relationships – after all, we

still deal with human beings at each end of the communication spectrum. And you’d

think that virtual communication and relationship building would assume a top-

down model by default.

 

Not particularly. When we’re not all being harassed by spam-bots, the driving force

behind virtual communication is still people. And it takes a lot of TLC to build trust

with your audience to bring them to a point where they will gladly approach you or

refer to you without thinking about it twice.

 

 

[The How-To]

 

1. Listen Yes, you’re in the market to provide solutions, and there’s a time and

place to offer those. But strong relationships are built on the foundations of

strong listening skills. If you don’t have them, then cultivate. Every once in a

while, stop sending active verbal and visual messages and just listen to what

your customers really need. They need the space to express themselves.


2. Be Your Values You may have strong company values written down on

paper, but they mean very little if they don’t translate into reality with

interpersonal interaction. If you value the quality of service you provide, then

the last thing an upset client needs from you is to be rejected or dismissed.


3. Instead of pointing clients to your FAQ page or handout, Respond to

queries, emails, Tweets, “Likes” and comments on Facebook posts, forums

and blog posts with custom replies. There is little worse than knowing you

are not welcome at the place you are seeking a service.

 

 

4. Keep Building You don’t stop caring once you know you have a good thing

going, do you? Corporate relationships are the same way, and good will

matters. Go the extra mile. Hand-write your cards. Do something for your

client that extends beyond the typical special-event discount, and do it just to

say thank you.

 

Your relationships with your customers will always be a reward-based two-way

street, and they will sense your transparency if you choose to display it. While the

process may take a little effort and be a little involved, the relationships you build on

the basis of mutual trust will be rewarding far beyond profit-margins.

Mobile Marketing: The Changing Demographics

Posted on May 16th, 2012 by Tiffany Categories Branding

If there’s anything traditional marketing can be adversely good at, it’s alienating an entire demographic that isn’t moved by a blanket message. Remember those burgeoning billboards on the sides of highways in the middle of nowhere? They’re still around, but they’re not as relevant as they used to be.
 
Smartphones and digital communication are now facts of life, and in trying to adapt to this not-so-new-fangled form of connecting, marketers are faced with changing their strategies and revised metrics. Again. Buckle in – it’s going to be quite a ride.
 
 
Device Demographics
 
Gone are the days when an audience could be neatly packaged into factors like “gender,” “age” and “ethnicity.” Some truisms may exist, still. iPhone users are more likely to be young and affluent more than Android users, but their spending habits and the information they consume is vastly different.
 
We communicate, consume, share and advertise digitally. That part’s easy. What becomes difficult is bridging the gap between ROI insights and adjusting strategies in real time. As marketers, we’ve always faced a lag between traditional advertising and the feedback we receive.
 
Device demographics are making advertising much more relevant and targeted than it ever has been. Marketers can now customize the content and experience for their audience for each mobile device available, and as it turns out, the trend is sticking around. Consumers are beginning to prefer targeted ads that are sleeker, have higher definition and are more interactive.
 
One Step Up
 
Targeted or even preferred content isn’t just for social media platforms anymore. Everything that you do with your smartphone offers an insight into who you are and where your interests lie. From status updates and geotagging on Facebook and Twitter to the kinds of utility or gaming apps you use – we were all here for the Angry Birds fever – every activity leads marketers to create an experience that’s tailored uniquely to you.
 
There’s a side of the fence that believes these rapid changes are exciting and revolutionary. How do you feel?
 

Cult Personalities

Posted on April 25th, 2012 by Tiffany Categories Branding

Sometimes it’s good to be different. No, scratch that. It’s always good to be a little different, a little edgy, a little bit kooky and a lot bit silly. After all, it wasn’t the straight-line thinkers who developed the best fan following. Harley-Davidson is a shining example. So are brands like Apple, Jones Cream Soda and Krispy Kreme donuts. They may be mainstream now, but takes a certain chutzpah to develop the fan following that these brands have.
 
 
In the lives of all cult classics, however, comes a tipping point when the core group of followers must be abandoned for higher profit margins. It’s when they risk losing their edginess to go mainstream because early adopters have paved the way for widespread acceptance.
 
Perhaps we can’t recreate the precise magic – or the endless lines of customers who camped out in front of their stores and wrapped around blocks – that these brands came with, but we decided to delve a little deeper into their workings and see what made them tick.
 
The lessons we learned? 
 
1. Quality is Everything What would Apple be without stellar design or products that worked on a sub-par level? Possibly not the cult classic many people have grown to know and love. 
 
 
2. Keep it Simple, Son Imagine, if you will, the simplest of life’s pleasures – a light and puffy donut fresh out of the fryer, drizzled with the simplest syrup and served to you while it’s still warm. 
 
Do you know why, when Krispy Kreme announces the opening of a new location, lines of customers wrap around a few blocks?
 
That’s why.
 
3. Reach for the Early Adopters A true measure of success is when the brand’s name becomes a verb. The people who catapulted Google out of the stratosphere were the early adopters who preferred simple design over Yahoo’s “everything and the kitchen sink” home page. Here we are years later and we’ve swapped “look it up online” for “Google it.”
 
4. Don’t Mass Produce If you’ve ever had yourself a bottle of Jones Soda, you know you can’t find it on grocery store shelves everywhere. This Seattle-based company began catering, with limited production, to a very discerning audience in its early days and has tried very hard to keep itself from going mainstream. The result is legions of followers who swear by the drink and refuse to imbibe anything else.
 
And there you have it. Simple ingredients, high quality, niche audience and early adopters who think you’re too cool for school. It’s a winning recipe, really. What are your favorite cult classics?
 
 

Pinterest – Why the Hype

Posted on February 15th, 2012 by Tiffany Categories communication

The latest buzzword on everyone’s lips, social media plans and web design lately is Pinterest. Described on the site as “an online pinboard to organize and share the things you love” this newcomer on the social media scene has garnered a lot of attention for itself. The question is why. What’s so special about this website that has suddenly, even in a beta stage, managed to gain droves of followers?

 
We still don’t know. But after spending a little time on it, we do have a few ideas to throw around.
 
 
Visual Appeal
 
In the opinion of this writer, Pinterest is reinforcing the fact that we’re moving away from a text-based culture and becoming a visually based culture. The website develops conversations around categorical pictures which can be liked, commented on and re-pinned. The pictures are culled from the content that members link to. Essentially, it is a book-marking site with countless and highly creative pictures making the rounds.
 
 
Design
 
The waterfall of pictures on the landing page notwithstanding, the design of the website is refreshingly simple and uncomplicated, as is the navigation. Expected standard are followed with the About and Login buttons at the top right corner of the page, a “Search” box on the top left and a large Login button at eye level. 
 
Overall, the layout and design are rather minimalistic and not in the reverse-chronology mode that Facebook and Twitter are set up for. 
 
See? Refreshing.
 
 
User-Centric
 
Not that other websites aren’t, but somehow allowing their members to organize their content in the way they see fit without the traditional web-site building blocks  in place is giving people more freedom and more hours spent on Pinterest. More traffic, more site-views and many more click-throughs. It’s not a bad set up.
 
 
 
 
 
Have you played around with Pinterest lately? Let us know how your experience was!
 

Catchy Marketing Headlines

Posted on September 21st, 2011 by Tiffany Categories consumer behavior

Do you have a content writer agonizing over the perfect headline for your company weblog? If you’ve been blessed (or cursed!) by a self-proclaimed perfectionist, you’ll find that agonizing to be a common ailment. Because if crafting pithy, attention-grabbing headlines wasn’t enough work, they now have to write said headlines with SEO tactics in mind.

 

Like ours, for instance. 3 keywords CAN make a sentence and get the web crawlers creeping across your web content.

 

 
 

Yes, Google dictates the way we live our lives and sell our products and spread our messages, but really, this isn’t news for anyone anymore. Did you know that Google only reads the first 65 characters of every headline? You may include more characters if you’d like to, but there’s no guarantee they’ll be read or acknowledged.

 

But feel free to ignore the pressure we just piled on. Clearly, attention and web-crawler grabbing headlines can be written every day. Just ask the New York Times. However, if either you or your content writers haven’t been trained at a journalism school, read on.

 

1.    Clarity and brevity Keep your headlines clear and concise. Remember: 65 characters or less!

2.    Include keywords in headlines “Flourless Chocolate Cake” reads much better than “A cake with melted butter and chocolate”.

3.    As with all things well written, write with a genuine voice. In other words, make a concerted effort to not sound like an ad.

4.    Remember Simplicity Headlines need to be easy reads and serve as snapshots of the article. Distill your headlines until you’re left with the essence of the message. “Catchy marketing headlines” for example.

 

Have you run across any memorable headlines lately? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Categories