StrategyDriven Marketing and Sales Article

Forget Digital Marketing & Go Old School

StrategyDriven Marketing and Sales Article
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With more and more white noise filling the internet on an hourly basis, it is becoming increasingly hard for companies to get their voices heard.There is just so much competition online, and no direct consumer competition, just competition to get seen, to even be stumbled across. What’s more, there are now hundreds – if not thousands – of online marketing strategies, each with acronyms that require Googling: SEO, PPC, CTA, AIDA, CTR, CLV, CRM, MoM and a thousand others.

As such, a lot of companies and a lot of marketing executives are steering away from digital marketing options and heading back toward more traditional options. They are veering back into the realm of physical marketing and giving their potential customers something they can touch and feel and experience. And here are the best of the bunch, that is to say, the most effective of the lot.

Advertising In Papers

Recent research by neuroscientists has shown that paper-based adverts tend to be more memorable and more impactful than digital ones. This is especially true with regards to direct mail strategies. The reason for this is paper-based ads are easier to process mentally and thus they made for far improved brand recall. A lot of this is to do with the habits we have gotten into as a society of tech users. When we are watching an advert on Youtube, we aren’t concentrating on the message of the brand or anything but that skip advert button. The same goes for any pop-up ad, we instinctively look for that cross that will allow us to carry on without batting an eyelid. This means that digital marketing is losing its impact, while physical marketing has never lost ground.

Get On The Road

Of course, by this we mean, get yourself to some trade shows. If you are not present at a trade show then you are missing out on a massive chance to grow your exposure, and to people who interested enough in your industry to have bought a ticket to attend. Of course, the stigma around these is that a banner amongst a conference center full of banners is not going to have any impact, and you are right. That is why it is worth looking at what more you can do to improve your booth and raise your voice, and going to get that much more from Steelhead Productions. What we are saying is, there are experts out there, people who will be able to make you look like the leading professionals and industry experts in your sector.

Older Customers Like It Physical

A lot of older customers don’t respond to digital marketing efforts for two main reasons; they don’t trust the internet and they don’t respond to adverts. That means that if you are solely focussed on digital marketing strategies then you are missing out on a huge sector of potential business and potential business that tends to spend money. That is where good old-fashioned physical mail comes in; something that falls through their letterbox, get’s picked up and read. This is what older customers know and like, and it has proved to work in garnering sales and spreading through word of mouth.

StrategyDriven Marketing and Sales Article

Showcase Your Company: Hosting Events

There are a million and one brilliant ways to market your business online, and hopefully you’re already implementing these ideas into your marketing strategy. But your business is about more than just its online presence: there are people behind your digital space: you’re real people, doing real things, and there’s no reason to stay hidden in the shadows. Instead, you can put the human factor of your business right front and centre for people to see. There’s no better way to do that to host your own company event for customers or potential partners, which are brilliant for strengthening your customer relations, showing off what you’re all about, and sure – it’s also about having fun.

StrategyDriven Marketing and Sales Article
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More Than Just a Party

Of course, it’s all good and well throwing a party with live music and drinks, but alas, there’s work to be done here. You’re hosting an event for a reason, not just because it’s a fun way to spend an evening. It’ll be up to you to determine what this reason is. Are you looking to bring more people on board, or get to more business from your existing customers? Perhaps you just want to get your name out there and promote your brand. Whatever it is, have at the forefront of your mind when it comes to the ideas stage.

The Space

Where you host the event will depend on your end objective, and also how good your headquarters are. If your offices are more functional than stylish, then it’s probably better to hire out a space specifically for the event. Where this is exactly will depend on your budget, but it should be generally be somewhere pretty swanky that’s close to your business and in the neighborhood of the businesses you’d like to be associated with.

Setting the Tone

Every inch of the event will be showcasing who you are, so make sure it’s all well thought out and done properly. Look at a café services company that goes beyond what’s expected from the catering at an event: your offerings should be creative, fresh, impressive. The same goes for the decor: you want a wow factor when people walk through the door. Have custom made decorations tastefully incorporated into the space so that there’s no doubt which company has brought this magnificent event to fruition.

The Exclusive Guest List

Your event should have a degree of exclusivity. You don’t want just anybody walking in off the street and attending, so make sure you have a well curated guest list. Who you will invite will depend on the goals of the evening: they may be big order customers, companies you’d like to partner with, or invitations to a corporate sector you want to make connections with.

The Aftermath

A toast to a great evening! And now the work really begins. For the night to be a success, you need to follow up on the momentum of the evening and make sure the goals you had for the evening are achieved. Don’t let your hard work all go to waste!

StrategyDriven Marketing and Sales Article

Make Your Marketing Personal (Without Looking Like A Creep)

As we go forward, the world of marketing online is going to change again. Companies are not only going to want to get their ads in front of their customers, but they also want them to be more personalized.

Why?

Essentially, it’s because personal ads help to develop brand loyalty and make the customer feel like the company cares. Behind this new wave of customization is a whole raft of digital technologies that are allowing it to happen. But some customers aren’t too keen about the trends that are in the pipeline. This is why companies need to be especially careful when using personalized ads: the last thing they want is to look creepy as if they are stalking their customers online.

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We all know how using customer information can sometimes backfire, so how should we go about making our ads more personal?

Collect Data

Tom Caulton, an expert in digital marketing, says that the first place companies need to look are their data. He says that it is important for businesses to create “buyer personas” or descriptions of certain demographics that are visiting their site. From here, he says, it’s possible to do things like create better content and make more targeted ads.

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To find out more about your customers, sometimes you’ll have to ask questions. But spamming customers with 25 questions all in one go is an excellent way to make them groan and close the questionnaire. Caulton recommends, therefore, that businesses ask questions periodically, one at a time, and spread the work for their customers over a longer period of time.

Create An Amazing Interface

Of course, collecting data is nothing without the right interface to back it up. This is why so many companies are now using custom software development to build things like mobile and web apps. Rather than interfacing with customers through generic browsers, companies are seeing the benefits of using their own targeted apps which offer more functionality and help keep customers inside the barriers of their business. Apps allow businesses to offer customers personalized content, as well as personalized offers, based on their behavior and preferences.

Map Out Your Content

Funneling customers is an incredibly important concept in the world of marketing. The idea is to slowly draw them in through multiple stages and get them to convert. The top of the funnel is simply about getting people to your website. You do this by producing things like webinar, ebooks, and whitepapers. You also do it by using PPC and SEO. The next step is the middle of the funnel where you nurture your leads, providing them with tailored content and buying guides. The bottom of the funnel is the offer stage: you might get your customers to try out a demo or give them a free trial.

At each stage of the funnel, companies are personalizing the experience. They’re creating personas of their customers and then delivering the right content, marketing or special offers that those particular personas will find attractive. Caulton says that this will boost conversions significantly.

StrategyDriven Marketing and Sales Article

The Marketing Strategy: What You REALLY Need To Know

Your business thrives on how effective its marketing strategy is. Marketing is a concept that can almost consume a business that hasn’t got its strategy in order. Most businesses place a vast proportion of their budget towards marketing and its various sub-categories. A lot of small businesses don’t have this luxury. So, if you are a small business, are there any tricks that the bigger companies use that can be implemented without having to squirrel away a third of the year’s budget?

Think Of The Image And The Brand

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With any advertising campaign, the talk is generally geared towards two things, the image and the brand. The image is what you are presenting to the world via signs, symbols, and text. The brand is, in essence, the personality. There is a very subtle difference in the two words, but important enough for you to need to differentiate. Communication is how you get your business identity and image out there, which is why you need to be aware of semiotics.

Semiotics is the study of signs and symbols. Imagery is the image: text, signs, and symbols. This also includes language, gestures, clothing, and the list goes on. In terms of your marketing approach, you need to take into account how you are communicating your business brand via your imagery. This is something where a lot of small businesses fall into murky waters because they either don’t invest the time or finances into their imagery. You can smell a primitive company from a mile off because their images are not mature and, more importantly, do not sync well into their business brand. The two sides to semiotics are the signifier, which is the material presenting the image: an object, words, a picture, etc. The other side is the signified, and this the meaning interpreted by the target, which is your consumer or recipient of the image/ad/billboard/communication. Going for the right message in your ad campaign will communicate your business brand as it was intended. Now, all this may sound complex, but every marketing campaign thrives on the undercurrent of semiotics, it just isn’t communicated in these terms.

The next approach to your marketing strategy is to work on the brand. The image is part of the brand, and the brand is part of the company.  To work on what your company “is” you need to get to the crux of what your company stands for i.e. the ethos or mentality behind the brand. Much like the actor who needs to “get into character” to understand what the character wants, which drives the actions of the story; you need to understand your needs as a company. Ask yourself, why you are selling these products? What are these products communicating to people about your business? By aligning product with business image, this is how you start to get a clearer idea of your target market, which then links into your marketing plan. The image and the brand are two important facets of your marketing that you cannot afford to cut down on.

How Do You Control This Image?

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Understanding your identity is the first part of controlling the image you put out there. It’s the equivalent to the writer finding their voice. The creative similes are being used because it is the essence of being as creative as you possibly can that will get you ahead in the game. Controlling your image is something that you need to do. If you are a small business, taking the time to go over the image before you put it on your website, or place it on a billboard is not normally a luxury you can make time for. But it is integral to how you communicate yourself in the wider public sphere. You need to vet the image and understand it, using semiotics as a yardstick so you can make sure the image you need to communicate is the correct one, and is not open for misinterpretation.

There are ways to cultivate a holistic view of your business, and that is dependent on the products that you put out there. Not just the actual products you are peddling, but the supplementary products that every business uses now, which is done typically via the internet. These can include podcasts, smartphone apps, webisodes, YouTube clips, and promotional gifts, which is a cute little way to promote your company. The Dynamic Gift website home page has a range of promotional gifts and display items that can put your business logo on things like keyrings, marquees, and lanyards. These types of companies are especially useful in trade show environments when you need to stand out or give your company a bit more personality.

It is tempting to go for every avenue so you can hedge your bets, but it is the corporate equivalent of spreading yourself thin. Much like the ad campaigns where you are unsure of the target market to gear yourself towards, the key is to nominate two or three areas where you can maintain immense focus. By going for every area and giving 25% dedication to each one is obviously not as effective as giving 100% on two or three. Each advertising method has its own benefits. For example, a podcast is a format for slow burners and dedicated listeners, ideal for a business that has a very limited range of products. But it is a subtle game to play, and by controlling your image at every turn, not only is it more attainable by only doing it through a few channels, it makes your job as its leader much easier.

The brand, image, and method of communicating the business are all integral pieces to your marketing campaign. The moment you understand what your “voice” is as a business, the other aspects will start to fall into place, and the building blocks that you have been working towards as a small company will finally begin to materialize and make sense. This is a methodical and time-consuming process, but it is one that is completely essential to building up your customer base through marketing.

StrategyDriven Marketing and Sales Article

Taking Over The Internet: Building Your Company’s Online Rep

We live in an age of unprecedented technological expansion. The digital era has revolutionised business, but you don’t need me to tell you that. No matter your industry or the specific nature of your business, technology will affect your operations in some form of another. In particular, the internet has become a tool which offers connectivity, speed and simplicity which has made things easier than ever for businesses who want to excel at an accelerated rate.

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Of course, when every business is using the same technology, the playing field levels out, and the steps required to push past the competition become harder to see. Your business is trying to utilize the online world to its advantage in terms of increasing the goods and services it can sell successfully, but so is every other business in the industry. You might be feeling as if you’ve lost a step, but that’s okay. Here are some pieces of advice for businesses looking to regain their footing and their position in the industry by staying ahead of the game on the internet.

Conduct research.

It’s easy for ego to take the wheel and drive, especially when you’re running a small business and your team is full of innovative, intellectual individuals who want to constantly push the business further and further with great new ideas. Obviously, this is exactly what you want from your team, but sometimes a level business head is needed. You need to be appealing to the market, and not expecting the market to mould itself around the needs of your company. You should be researching the market you’re targeting within your specific industry. These are the people who will keep your business afloat.

Researching might entail looking into reviews you’ve already received from customers of your business, either through social media mentions, review sites or perhaps your business’ own website. You need to listen to what people are saying and work to change the things which aren’t working for your target audience. In addition, if you’re a brand new business with few clients, you need to be monitoring what customers have said about your competitors. If there are flaws with the services of competing businesses, there are gaps in the market for your company to exploit.

Improve your online marketing skills and, in turn, your sales.

You need to be better understanding the internet, so as to ensure you’re selling any online goods or services to the extent at which a business in your industry should be. Of course, if your company is still struggling, you might consider a Magento developer to help you reinvent your eCommerce platform. There are always online solutions to tricky problems your business might be facing, and, when it comes to marketing your business, you need to be properly utilizing the internet’s capabilities.

Your reputation depends on you offering a professional service, because, much like the way you present your business in the physical world, the way you present your business in the virtual world reflects on your company’s standards, experience, expertise and the level of effort they put into what they do.

Show your best goods first.

As a business trying to top your competitors, you really need to be making your mark quickly, efficiently and simply. Consumers have so much choice in the modern era that they can become rather passive about making their decision when it comes to a particular good or service. You should be making that easier by offering them your best products on the front page of your website.