Thursday, January 31, 2013

Mobile Marketing Trends and How They’ll Affect Your Business

Mobile Marketing Trends and How They’ll Affect Your Business
There's no doubt that Mobile Marketing is here to stay. But just as with any new technology that comes down the pike, there is going to be a learning curve that goes along with it. This is no more true than when it comes to creating a Mobile Marketing campaign or a series of these campaigns if you're really feeling ambitious. We've done our homework and gone through the trials and tribulations of developing new mobile campaigns and have come up with the following tips to help you avoid the pitfalls.
·    Know your goals and know your target audience. Just as with any other marketing strategy, it's important to know what goals you want to reach with your Mobile Marketing campaign. If you are looking for some type of customer feedback, crowd-sourcing has become a hit (i.e Hershey letting consumers pick the next M&M color) so an SMS (text messaging) campaign would be a good start.
·    Determine your budget. Mobile Marketing isn't as expensive as you may think, but there will be some overhead involved. There's no real right or wrong answer as to much how to allocate, however, for your first campaign especially, you may want to plan for a little more than consecutive campaigns to allow for list building, mobilizing your website, etc.
·    Plan for ongoing engagement with your customers and prospects. It's important to give your campaigns, especially the first one, time to build. A key point to remember is successful business is all about building solid relationships - Mobile Marketing is no different. It's about building long-term relationships so always be on the lookout for ways to weave campaigns together over long periods of time.
Mobile Marketing, at least for now, is the most personal marketing platform for businesses that consumers can engage in. Make sure you have a plan in place to make the most of the opportunity.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Your Image is Important

Say you are about to launch a new product. You spent months or even years developing the product and studying your target market. And after what seemed like eternity you are finally ready to introduce your creation to the market. The big day arrived; you opened up early and are ready to flaunt your biggest smile to everyone who comes in. By mid-day you noticed that even though many people come in to check out your product only few actually buy it. Now this gave you something to think seriously. What could possibly be wrong with your product? Perhaps there is nothing wrong with your product but there can be something terribly wrong with your marketing strategy. 

When people are looking for products or services to avail they usually go for ones that they are familiar with or have long used. This way they can be sure that they are getting the most of their money. So for a business owner like you who is just starting up in the business industry, it is important to make a good first impression. Sure, you can do this by offering discounts and other special offers. You can even put a large banner in front of your store announcing your special opening sale. But when are not able to offer the right image you may as well consider hiding in your den and reflect on what you need to improve in your marketing strategy.  

But then again you may be doing the right strategy and using the right advertising trick. But have you looked at your logo? That’s exactly what I’m thinking. You could have overlooked the most important part of your product – your logo design. Logos often tantamount to a company’s image, hence, whether it is hip, chic, interesting or boring it is essential to create a logo that gives the right impact to the customers. It doesn’t really matter if you, your friends or employees like or does not like the logo. What is important is the impression that it gives to your customers.  

A good logo must represent the business image appealingly and effectively. It must likewise be practical and functional as complicated logos often leave customers confused and wondering what is actually being sold or presented. Keep in mind that less is always more. Hence, a simple logo design will most likely seal the deal and help you grab more customers. Certainly a colorful and over-designed logo will catch more attention but no company achieves success based solely on their logo. So a simple flexible logo is more likely to entice prospects to actually buy your products and avail of your services. 

A combination of art, science and psychology often creates a good logo. A designer should know this, so if you do not know how to design your logo you can ask their help. Remember that a poor logo can ruin your image but a good one can instantly create name recognition and can boost company sales and services.

Monday, January 21, 2013

What Is Brand Identity?

Brand Identity is a promise. One given from business to customer to expect certain things. Whether that promise involves product quality, service, price or a million other things varies from brand to brand. But the one thing common among all brands is the need to be a strong brand.

Why is brand identity so critical?

A strong brand identity can position a company above its competition all by itself. But having a brand that strong takes time, money and effort to develop. It’s not as simple as just redesigning a logo or rewriting a tagline. Brand identity is the reason you offer for your customer to choose you instead of your competition.

How to rework your brand identity

Successful re-branding involves “evolution,” not “revolution.” You must impress upon your existing customers that your new brand is just a new and improved version of the same you. It’s important to not get too crazy with a re-branding effort because you could end up destroying fragile emotional ties and customer loyalty.

Brand identity is much more than marketing

Having a brand identity that resonates with your market is important, but not at the expense of the people within your company. They need to not only get it, but also be your brand’s most fervent ambassadors. Do your employees believe in your company? Do they feel like they have a vested stake in its success? Companies with solid brand identities can say yes to these questions. Can yours? If not, here are some things you can do:

1. Get every aspect of your company on the same page: Easier said than done, right? Well, that doesn’t mean it’s not necessary. Get all your departments talking to each other and understanding each other.
2. Promote everyone to the position of brand ambassador: Give everyone a common understanding of the company, its mission and their part in it. They should feel like they have ownership—even if they don’t.
3. Reinforce brand values and behaviors: To do this, use the tools you have, such as internal communications…and like a good basketball coach, consistently promote these fundamentals until they’re second nature.

Your employees will ultimately determine your success or failure. That’s why it’s so important to have them buy into your company’s brand identity. However, that’s not something that can be forced. You, as leadership, must earn it. But once you do, you’ll have a company that is full of happy, motivated successful brand ambassadors. 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Folds of Communication

It’s hard to communicate to a multitude. You may not know whether the message has reached them or not. You have no idea whether communication is a success or not.

When you are talking about your business, the process, tool and message must be effective enough to capture the audiences or readers. One way to do it is by means of effectual communication tools such as brochures.

Brochures are folded printed promotional materials which are distributed for the purpose of information dissemination. It is commonly used by savvy businessmen to promote their products and services. 

In order to attract the target market, brochure printing uses eye-catching illustrations. With regards to its functionality, brochures usually provide a brief and succinct description about the company and its line of business.

The texts used are also made compact. It means that in every fold, new and interesting information can be had. The images must also be used for easy relaying of the message. Product information must be whole and satisfying. These folds of communication will not only make the readers informed but it will create a bond that will eventually result to a craving that in the future time they can resort to your business as an ultimate solution to their needs.

Brochure printing companies, usually suggest utilizing more colors in printing. Black and white is classy, but when it comes to brochure, it might bore the readers and will not elicit attraction. This is the reason why, most of the businesses use full color printing in their brochures. There are also a few that uses more than four colors to ensure that colors are comprehensive enough to cater to their illustrations.

Brochures may come in several folds. In fact, it can go as far as eight folds far from the usual which is three. Glossy papers, coatings, cut and design may also vary depending on the customer’s specifications as well as the trend in the printing industry.

You can choose brochure printing companies either online or through a friend’s recommendation. One thing that you must make certain is that the printer must be reliable so you will not worry about your printing job the moment you leave them in the printer’s custody.

Also, make certain that all your specifications and demands are clear with the printer so as to yield professional and outstanding results. It will be worry-free on your part that your printing job or your communication folds are in good hands!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

What Your Mobile Device Tells Marketers

By now you should be aware that we are in the middle of a mobile revolution. We are slowly but surely being over taken by smartphones and mobile devices, but what does that mean for business owners?

Marketers now have an entirely new demographic to consider: mobile devices. Now instead of the traditional marketing methods of determining what a customer will buy based on previous purchase behavior, ads based on users who belong to specific groups can be placed at the fingertips of mobile users.

The types of mobile devices we use tell marketing experts a lot about our behaviors, giving them a more complete consumer profile. This allows campaigns to be customized specifically to consumer preferences and with this type of information, they can tell just which consumers are going to visit and which are going to buy.

Mobile marketing helps to fill in the gap of certain areas of the ROI, allowing marketers to modify strategies in real-time.  

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Mobile Websites are Still Rare among Small Businesses

Small businesses do believe that mobile marketing will be a serious factor and will see a steady rise in popularity over the next five years – yet only a few are adopting the idea of mobile websites now.

According to recent studies, most small business owners (69%) agree that they will need to make a significant investment in mobilizing their website within the next five years, only 26% has taken the plunge now.

Big mistake.

Now is the time to establish yourself in the mobile market place and tweak your campaign as technology continues to evolve.

Traditional marketing methods are going by way of the do-do, as smartphones are now replacing the yellow pages as the number one search method. While you may have gotten away with having a delay in adopting a website for your business until the last minute, waiting until mobile marketing is at its peak is just asking to be trampled by your competition. 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

How to Shoot Your Videos with a Camera Phone

 I’ve said repeatedly in past posts that beginning a video marketing campaign doesn’t have to be costly. You don’t need fancy equipment or expensive cameras – in fact you can create your videos using nothing more than your mobile phone. Using your mobile phone to shoot your videos is a great if you want to shoot a quick video or to make the video look user-generated.

The way you hold your phone while filming – either landscape (side to side) or portrait (up and down) makes a difference in the outcome of your video. Again, neither way is right or wrong, just your preference based on what type of effect you’re after.

Finally, just a few tips to make your mobile phone video the best it can be:

·         A short video is better;
·         Make sure you hold your phone completely still when recording – nobody is going to watch a video that jumps around;
·         Record from different angles;

That’s it! You’re on your way – so get recording!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Start off 2013 by Getting More Customers

Getting More Customers
Surveys show that 85% of success in life relates to your communication, human relations skills, and "emotional intelligence”.

Joe Batten, an American motivational speaker said: "Before you tell, ask; before you talk, listen; after you listen, relate; and always show that you care. When you can translate care, people will want to do business with you and details will not get in the way."

From a business viewpoint you also have to build relationships and get customers to trust you. To do that you have to:

1. Be Reliable

Do what you say you're going to do.
Do it when you say you're going to do it.
Do it right the first time.
Get it done on time.
Under promise and over deliver.

2. Be Responsive

Be available
Be accessible
Be willing
Be helpful
Be informative

3. Solve problems

Solve customers’ unique problems and they will continue to be your customer. Put yourself in the customer's shoes and feel what they feel.

Does this mean that all your marketing and advertising needs to be “touchy feely”?

No. You can still create calls to action that increase sales whilst observing all these principles.

For example:

Tell them about a price increase!

People want a 'good deal'. If prices are going up on a specific date, let your customers know. They'll want to buy before the price increases.

Offer a trial period

Trial periods are a great way to get new customers. Offer a special deal, extra service or a lower price during your trial / introductory period.

Offer a Guarantee

People want to know there's no risk involved if they're not satisfied with the product/service. Let new customers know they can cancel for any reason before the trial period expires.

Offer free extras

Buy X and receive Y. This works with a whole range of products and services. Be sure to include an end date on your offer. This politely urges people to take advantage of your offer before time runs out. Give a deadline for ordering. Order by the 10th and receive.... That way, your customers know they only have a limited time to respond and they won't fall victim to the "I'll do it later" syndrome.

Offer a FREE gift

As an added incentive for ordering, offer your free gift to the first 100 or 1000 people that respond or walk through your doors.

Offer an upgrade

One simple line can boost your sales. "Order within 10 days and we'll upgrade you to ......."

Whatever you offer be sure to include action phrases:

* Call Now

* 24 Hours a Day

* Mail today in the prepaid envelope

* Fax your response card.

Business success also relates to communication, human relations skills, and "emotional intelligence”, but in a business context.