It’s no secret that businesses need to optimize their digital efforts in order to remain relevant and competitive. This means having a mobile-first web strategy, and strong SEO should be second nature by now — allowing you to focus on the next wave of tech trends.
Strong brand identity makes it easy to remember when customers are looking for a product or service you market. It increases trust and exponentially increases customer loyalty as customers share in your brand values and goals. A strong brand differentiates you from everyone else in your industry - it allows you to cut above the noise. Ultimately, a strong brand identity means increased profitability and longevity. Do You Know What Benefits Can Be Reaped Your Brand Identity?
Meeting your customer where they are at has arguably never been easier. The average person in 2020 spent 145 minutes a day on social media. This may not be great news for mental health, but it’s pretty good news for marketers locating their customers.
In addition to spending time online, there are 1 billion messages exchanged between people and businesses every month on Facebook Messenger, and 70% of people expect to message businesses more in the future for customer service questions. As customer expectations increase for businesses' interaction on social media, it’s essential to review your operations.
Every so often the marketing world gets itself a new buzzword. Some stick. Some don't.
Content is king.
And more recently: Surround sound marketing.
What other people say about your business matters. But the new word-of-mouth is all happening online. An incredible 91% of people read online reviews, and 84% give those reviews as much weight as input from their friends. Great reviews are great for business (92% of people will check out a local business with a 4 star or more rating), and bad ones...well, 40% of people will walk away from a business with bad reviews.
Your brand isn’t just that cool business name or that fancy logo. While those things are important, a brand is much more than that. It’s about perception and how your customers view you, view your brand, and view your products. The totality of those perceptions are what make the impressions––both good and bad––that your brand will leave behind, imprinted on their hearts and minds forever. No pressure. While a brand is made up of many things, there are a few key functions that all successful brands have.
A brand is more than a logo or your website's color scheme. It's your business's identity writ large and put out into the world. But that identity doesn't just come out of nowhere. From what you look like to how you sound, your brand's identity is built on top of the scaffolding of a brand strategy - what you stand for, what makes you you, and what kind of success you're reaching for.
From Google to social media to TV commercials, we're exposed to thousands of ads every day. We see so many ads that we're almost blind to them. That is until one breaks through the noise and pulls at our heartstrings. Suddenly, we find ourselves tearing up, clicking through, and even making a purchase. What is this phenomenon? Emotional marketing.
You could have the greatest idea for a business, product, or app ever — but if you don't have a strong name to support it, you might struggle to make it a success.
But with so many brands competing for attention and revenue, it can be daunting to even begin thinking about a name. After all, there's more to a brand name than just how it sounds or how much you like it. Read on to learn seven important steps to take when naming your brand.
To achieve solid ROI on your advertising campaigns, you need to be both targeted and ubiquitous. Common wisdom says that it takes 6-8 touches (interactions) for a prospect to hand over money for your product. Basically, by putting your product or service in front of an interested prospect's face multiple times, you'll begin to build recognition, rapport, and trust. Once you've done that, conversion is just a step away.
The best way to be targeted and ubiquitous? Retargeting.
Farmers brand their cattle for a reason: so you'll never mistake one of their herd for someone else's. Every brand is bold, unique, and the sum of years of hard work. It's the same in business. Your brand identity is the equivalent of Farmer Bill's cattle stamp. It's a mark of who you are and who you're not. Cutting corners, compromising, or failing to police how your brand is presented to the world muddies up that brand promise - and your reputation.
When brands talk about social, it's mostly from a communications and marketing perspective. Which posts translate into the most likes? How much content should you create to meet your engagement metrics? Are you visible on all the right channels?
But social offers way more possibilities than ticking off some KPIs in your marketing budget (although those matters too!). Social media has grown to become a massive ecosystem where all of your existing and prospective customers hang out and talk about their interests and concerns, giving you a ton of opportunities to make sure your brand is delivering exactly what the market needs.
One is not like the other—at least that’s how it should be when it comes to your brand. Unfortunately, many brands appear to simply be echoing the landscape around them, virtually drowning themselves in a sea of “not that different.”
We get it, it can be tough to differentiate yourself and your brand when the internet has essentially leveled the playing field for everyone, big and small. You have to crawl and drag yourself from the pit of the deep to make yourself heard above all the noise. No small feat!
Are you sometimes amazed at how accurately you're targeted by ads—especially ads that pop up, say, for a store you're currently in? Of course, we all know that's no mistake. Marketers are getting savvier by the day in how they serve you ads and offers. And what's making that even easier? Geoframing.
As marketers and advertisers, we aim to create successful campaigns and motivate our target audience to take action. We analyze data, look at market research, and dive deep into how consumers or clients make decisions.
If you want your brand to be loved, you've to remember your brand-customer relationship is a RELATIONSHIP. Customer loyalty and trust don't just come out of nowhere. Just like your personal relationships aren't guaranteed without a little work. Thus, we can apply The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts, albeit creatively, to how your approach connecting with your customers.
No matter how you slice it, catering your business to appeal to repeat customers just makes sense. Though one-offs or “one-night stands” can be fine and infuse some necessary capital into your business during a slow period, ultimately, it’s more costly and less efficient for you to chase after new customers day in and day out.
It's hard for some of us to imagine a world without smartphones, the internet, and social media. Millennials and Generation Zers have always interacted with friends, family, followers, and even their favorite brands online.
Just like these two generations, there are also brands that are digitally native—meaning their business has only existed in the digital world, and their sales are almost entirely made online. Examples include Zappos, Casper, Bombas, and Warby Parker. On the flip side, you have legacy brick-and-mortar brands like Coke, Pepsi, Microsoft, and Nike that have existed for decades and have had to delve into the digital world to remain relevant.
This past year has required consumers to become intimately familiar with digital shopping and services. Even though stringent lockdowns are mostly in the rear window, people have shown a marked change in how they shop, consume content, and connect with people. ScreenTime reports are way up, and people are glued to their inboxes. The upshot? Email marketing is more important than ever - and so is capturing those crucial email addresses.
Your logo design is important. And saying it so simply is such an understatement it feels weird to even state. However, so many young businesses overlook just how important it is. It's not something you can slap together and call it good. Remember, bigger isn't always better. A smart design can make your business stand out more effectively than size.
As we emerge blinking into 2021, we think it's safe to say that we're different people than we were before COVID-19. The human impact of the coronavirus is significant, and as marketers, we want to be attuned to this change so that we can meet people where they are post-isolation. Here are some of the ways we anticipate consumer behavior will be different in 2021, and how brands can bridge the gap.
KISS: keep it simple, stupid. That old phrase is just as relevant today as when it was first trotted out. In fact, it might be even more so. According to a recent study, brands are failing to deliver the simplicity that today's consumers crave. Let's take a look at why simplicity matters, who's getting it right, and how to keep your brand as simple as it can be.
Experiential marketing is about creating a meaningful connection between a brand and its customers. It’s more than just promoting the product or service, it’s designed for customers to actively engage with the brand and the company’s core values. This can look different for every brand, but common tactics are events, pop up stores, and interactive experiences in specific areas. However, what’s typically done in experiential marketing is likely unsafe and unsanitary in the new normal. So how do we adjust?
Successful marketing is all about standing out in the right ways. Great creative campaigns are memorable, appealing, relevant, and actionable. They get your brand out there in surprising ways that attract attention and engagement - and inspire sharing and discussion. Here's how to build a creative campaign that's as distinctive as it is unforgettable.
A growing trend among businesses is the use of retail media to influence their customers. This is mainly because brand loyalty is hard to come by.
A Neilson study posits that only 8% of buyers are actually brand loyalists. That means that most purchases these days are decided upon at the point of sale, or at least very near to it. Enter the wielding of retail media tactics to capture those buyers.
We all leaped into 2020 with big ambitions and lofty goals. But this year has thrown all sorts of twists, turns, and surprises at us. If you've fallen short of your resolutions for the year, now's the ideal time to start planning a major comeback for 2021. Not sure where to start? Here's our master list of marketing resolutions for 2021 to set you off on the right foot.
2020's Halloween festivities might be wrapping up, but we're already prepping our costumes, decorations, and content calendars for next year. Like the fiendish killers, fiends and foes who make the spooky season so great, we like to stay a step or two ahead of things, our industry included!
If we've learned anything from the horror films we've been watching this spooky season, it's that the best fictional killers are meticulous planners. If they want to come back for a second or maybe third installment of their franchise, they need to analyze their success rate, improve their methods and, of course, keep tabs on their victims.
We all know that 2020 has brought an onslaught of shifts that we now have to navigate in both our personal and professional aims. Data Privacy isn't a new conversation but is one that Covid-19 has most definitely affected.
As Halloween approaches, we're digging deeper into our analysis of humanity's darker side. Today we're going to take a look at what exactly it is that fascinates us about serial killers and why they linger in the collective memory. While we much prefer our content to be killer in the metaphoric sense, we can definitely learn something from the world's "rippers" - real or fictional.
Nothing is for everyone. Even Halloween isn't (although let's face it, the naysayers are wrong.) That same idea holds true for your content. To create truly killer content that gets inside your audience's brains and gives them a chill or two, you need to know who your audience is and how to capture their attention. We do this by fashioning audience personas.
Social media is bursting with opinions; many of them shared in the 6,000 tweets we send a second. But Twitter barely scratches the social media opinion-sharing iceberg. About 500,000 of us browse Instagram every day, and when we're not doing that, we're watching 1 billion hours worth of YouTube videos. That doesn't even count all the commenting, sharing, hashtagging, and tagging what we're doing across the half dozen social platforms we're active on. To put it bluntly, social media is where all the important conversations are happening. And it's vital that your brand makes an effort to hear and respond to what users are saying about you, your industry, or your competitors.
There's no question that podcasts are popular, and the podcast listening demographic is on the rise, particularly during this Covid-19 pandemic. Podcasts are popular because they give listeners a way to consume information that doesn't require them to read or keep their eyes on a screen. They can simply tune in and listen, whether it's from their cell phone, their car on a long commute, working out, or catching up on household chores. In short, it's convenient!
In life, and in business, you can only get so far when you go it alone. Even sharks, those fearsome creatures of the deep, have developed a mutually beneficial relationship with a species of fish called the remora, which swims alongside - or even attaches itself to - the shark—both species benefit. The remoras get transportation and a free meal, while the sharks enjoy free grooming.
“Fish are friends, not food.”
The famous line from Disney’s Finding Nemo comes from a great white shark named Bruce. He’s befriended Nemo, a tiny clownfish. An unlikely partnership, but Bruce has done wonders for sharks, now they suddenly have an ally, making us wonder– are all sharks bad? Maybe they’re friendly?
Stealthy, sneaky, and all about the ambush, sharks rely on catching their prey unawares. As marketers, we see something familiar in those sharktastic tactics. They way sharks hunt has a lot in common with guerilla marketing, a kind of surprising, unconventional marketing that pops up out of nowhere and sticks in your mind. No wonder Discovery's Shark Week is so big on the idea.
Whether you’re a fan of Discovery Channel’s Shark Week or not, we can most likely agree on one thing– it’s a highly anticipated event! For over three decades, they’ve attracted millions of viewers, and each year people come back for more. But aside from the amazing content produced, what contributes to Shark Week’s success? Marketing. Taking inspiration from Shark Week, let’s dive in (pun intended) to understanding how to build excitement with your marketing.
Shark Week, the Discovery Channel's week-long celebration of the ocean's most fearsome, toothsome creatures, has been racking up record views since 1987. Each year, millions of viewers tune in to check out these silent killers from the safety of their television set or mobile device, with the show has become such a phenomenon that it's inspired countless ads and plenty of Twitter #trendingtopics.
Google My Business is the online equivalent of a phone book listing. It tells customers who you are, where to find you, what your opening hours are, and how to get in touch. But My Business goes well beyond the typical phone book advert. In addition to serving up the basics about your business, it can be configured with photos, menus or services lists, and FAQs.
Though we are living in trying times, and there are a lot of things that seem beyond the scope of our control, it’s more important than ever to focus on what we can control.
COVID-19 has reshaped how the world does - and thinks about - business. For the past few months, brands have been navigating shutdowns, lockdowns, shifting market forces, and drastically changing budgets and personnel requirements. But now that there's light at the end of the tunnel, it's time for your brand to shift its mindset from surviving to thriving. Here's how.
In the digital realm, plenty of things are a mere flash in the pan: the viral hits, the trending topics, the memes, and the April Fool's Day pranks. Those are all great for a quick burst of traffic, but they don't necessarily have staying power. Evergreen content, on the other hand, keeps driving traffic to your page in the long term - and it's critical to a powerful content marketing strategy.
Marketing in the finance world can be a tough job, especially if you're marketing financial services. Younger customers are wary of traditional banks, inexperienced when it comes to investing, and unimpressed by insurance. But all is not lost. If you're determined to connect with potential customers, here's what to keep in mind.
As a small business, you know how important it is to build your brand. Getting the word out there is vital, but so is figuring out what exactly that word is. And the more you try to do one, the more you realize that you need to get the other figured out. Welcome to the complementary, symbiotic concepts of branding and marketing!
If you're a little fuzzy on the difference between the two, don't worry: you're not alone. Even the most seasoned business owners sometimes struggle to figure out where one ends, and the other begins. That's why we've written this primer for you.
Much of the country might still be on lockdown during COVID-19, but your brand doesn't have to be. We get that it's unnerving to dip a marketing toe into the ever-shifting waters of our times and that your instinct might be to "go dark" until things feel more certain, but that's the last thing you should be doing. Now is the time to dig in and push forward so that you're in a strong place to weather any market shifts. Here's how.
It happens to the best of us: you spend all that time and effort growing your business, and suddenly you've outgrown your brand. Maybe you've refocused your service offering. Perhaps you've narrowed in on a new audience. Maybe you're doing everything right - but your competitors are doing it better. Or it could be that COVID-19 has got you rethinking who you are and what you stand for.
Click Here. Learn More. Buy Now. There are so many different ways to craft a call to action (CTA), but not all are created equal. And there's actually a lot more thought put into them than you might think. Many companies test and retest CTAs to come up with the ones that convert the most successfully.
Today's brands are expected to do more than simply sell products or services. Their audiences want them to stand behind particular ideals or beliefs, and to use their reach, clout, and resources to effect change in the world. And not just in the vague "help the planet" or "be kind" way that so many brands have relied on in the past. As the world has become more politicized and divided, and as income, class and racial disparities have become more evident, consumers want brands to openly and assertively stand behind the things that matter to them.
In a perfect world, you build it, and they come. But business owners (and marketers) know all too well life isn't as easy as that. It takes time for a customer to move from the notion that they might want to buy something to the step of actually buying it. Brands need to make an ongoing, dedicated effort to courting customers in order to make that coveted sale. Enter the marketing funnel.
From the Curiosity Rover to singing astronaut Chris Hadfield to the recent SpaceX launch, NASA is never far from our newsfeeds. And with a whopping 58.2M followers on IG, 37M followers on Twitter, and 22.5M likes on Facebook, it's a staple of our social media accounts as well. Let's take a look at what makes NASA an enduring, inspiring presence that the world wants to get behind - and how you can use those same ideas to launch your business into the stratosphere.
What do successful businesses have in common with ballerinas?
What can entrepreneurs learn from basketball players that might help their companies survive and even thrive amid devastating worldwide health and financial crisis?
It’s called the pivot.
If you have a little more downtime on your hands than usual, or you're starting to prepare to open back up for business. Now's the time to knuckle down and get ahead on those marketing tasks that you don't usually have the time to attend to. The hard work you put in now will pay dividends when the country reopens for business.
COVID-19 has ushered in new ways of living, working - and spending. With the majority of the nation currently under lockdown, non-essential businesses closed, and huge levels of uncertainty around the future of work and the economy, consumer mindsets are drastically shifting.
Life is anything but business as usual right now. Chances are that your plans and goals for the year are swiftly becoming unmoored as shutdowns continue, clients slash budgets, and your usual channels for getting the word out become less viable.
Mother's Day is about more than flowers and chocolates. It's about celebrating the women who shaped us into who we are - and whose lessons and advice influence how we live and work. Here are some of the life lessons from Mom that have turned out to be invaluable in our marketing careers.
May 4-8 is Teacher Appreciation Week, which has us reflecting on all the wisdom our teachers imparted on us during our school days - and continue to as they oversee our homeschooling efforts during these testing COVID times. In fact, we'd love to give a shout-out to every one of the nation's smart, dedicated, savvy teachers. Because teachers aren't just the great unsung heroes of our society. They're also one of our biggest inspirations as marketers. Here are just some of the ways that's true.
Productivity is a powerful metric in today's workplaces. It's also something we incessantly strive for. There are myriad articles, tools, and even startups designed to help us optimize every moment of our working, and waking, day. But productivity isn't the only marker of a day well spent. In fact, sometimes being overly productive can lead to major gaps in how you think and work. The most commonly identified gap? Creativity and everything related to it.
Social distancing has given us an unlikely star: the Tiger King. A trending topic all over social media, this eponymous star of a new Netflix series has captured the imaginations of the world's quarantined populace. With his blond mullet, sparkly jackets, and unfettered self-belief - culminating in an attempt to run for President - Tiger King is a big, bold, strange and yet somehow captivating personality.
I love college basketball, heck, I love all basketball, but I love the action and passion of college basketball most of all. I think one of the main drivers of our obsession lies in the marketing and advertising industry's focus on delivering content at an incredible pace, which delivers massive impressions and engagement.
America loves college basketball; the statistics are staggering with 11.3 million viewers on average over the last 22 years. College fans live-streamed a total of 80.7 million hours with a record viewership of 21.2 million for the championship game, which was a record. TV advertising spends from 2005 to 2015 were a total of $8,668,000, with 2015 coming in at $1,163,000. In 2015, the average cost of a 30-second spot was $1.55 million. Digital advertising spend by device in 2015 left smartphones & tablets getting $30.4 billion and desktops & laptops receiving $27.6 billion.
Maybe you’ve heard of it, maybe you haven’t. Boiled down into a nutshell, it’s the process of the tactics and strategies you use to position yourself a certain way in the minds of your customers. It’s the message and story you tell that reveals who you are as a company.
The Novel Coronavirus is rapidly spreading around the world, sickening hundreds of thousands and killing thousands. On US shores, multiple states have declared a state of emergency due to the virus. In addition to its medical impact, we're also seeing an incredible economic one. Supply chains have been disrupted, the market is in free fall, major events are being canceled, and small businesses are struggling.
The speed at which the virus has thrown our lives into upheaval shows just how important it is to have a corporate crisis response ready to go. Here's how to approach yours.
Marketing metrics have moved beyond clicks and impressions and towards attention metrics. Attention metrics measure how a user is engaging with your content. Likes and shares are indicators of engagement; comments are an even better one. Then there are the micro indicators, such as scrolling, tilting a phone, swiping or completing/rewatching a video.
Raise your hand if when AI entered the everyday home and workplace, all you could think about was Disney Channel's Smart House and the AI system overtaking the family and losing it? Or perhaps the 2001 movie AI that was just a little bit creepy? Anybody?
We've more than entered an age of AI where it doesn't just exist in the plot of sci-fi movies. People are using AI products and services in every part of their daily lives - both at home and at work.
When you begin to develop your marketing campaign, you'll start with your objective of the campaign.
- Are you looking primarily to create brand awareness?
- Are you launching a new product? Trying to improves sales?
- Are you targeting a new customer? Trying to improve your relationship with your current customers?
Whatever your objective is of your campaign will determine how you handle each marketing touchpoint.
Integrated marketing strategy. Your team comes in saying they want to develop a truly integrated marketing campaign. It'll produce results. It'll create brand recognition, lead to better cost management and ultimately make more impactful connections with customers. It's all so exciting.
We’ve moved from a one-size-fits-all economy to a mass customization economy, and we can examine the effects in many different aspects of business. The attention of marketing has since shifted from features to benefits, to experience, to tribal identification.
Selling has evolved from “what it has” to “what it does” to “what you’ll feel” to “who you are.” For certain industries, features and benefits are still extremely important— however, personal identity is on its way to surpassing them. A consumer’s personal identity and the brands they choose now go hand and hand.
First, facts. You are constantly creating and casting vision, whether you’re aware of it or not. Humans are born creators, we create everywhere we go, by the very thoughts we think and the beliefs we believe. However, if you’re not paying attention, or establishing a creative vision intentionally, there’s really no telling where you might end up! It certainly won’t help you plan the trajectory of your business and brand.
Are your marketing campaigns falling on deaf ears? No matter how good your campaign is, it won't succeed unless you're targeting the right audience in the right way. That's where buyer personas come in. Buyer personas give you the information you need to make better decisions around how and where to reach your ideal audience. Without them, you're simply gambling your hard-earned money on campaigns with questionable ROI.
Here's how buyer personas can help you break through the noise in order to reach your target audience and convince them to make a purchase.
In the age of the Internet, social media, and smartphones, one could almost believe such a statement to be true. However, there’s something to be said for going old school on occasion. The simple truth is that not everyone is Internet and media savvy.
In the same way, there are readers in the world who prefer a real book to an eBook, something they can hold in their hands, even sniff if they want to—there are people who prefer real mail. They want to check the mailbox, not an inbox. They enjoy receiving something they can look over and hold in their hands.
As you browse the internet, you probably get annoyed by intrusive display ads. You might even ignore them completely. And you're not alone: A study found that 86% of consumers suffer from "banner blindness" – where they can't even recall the last banner ad they saw. And these days, a lot of people are going out of their way to avoid display ads by using ad blockers.
Christmas is without a doubt one of the greatest stories ever told. It has been passed along through thousands of years, told by both oral and written traditions and has withstood the sands of time. Was Jesus secretly a Branding Genius? We’d say so!
Why is the Christmas story so memorable? A large part is because simply put, stories stick. Stories have staying power. Even bad ones!
‘People think in stories, not statistics.’ - Ariana Huffington
Whether you are trying to appeal to a consumer, a colleague, or a client, stories are an influential tool. People naturally listen, respond, and remember them (especially more than facts and stats). Stories are passed on again and again, and in business, they can be used to help drive you forward. Uri Hasses of Princeton, studied the brain activity of audiences as they listened to a speaker tell a story and the results showed that the speaker and the listener had very similar brain activity. Research suggests that stories can affect employee performance, by allowing them to think, feel, and respond the same way as a character in a story.
Ah, that satisfying thump you get when you set your marketing materials down on the table at a meeting. "Thump value," as it's known in the industry, arises when you've developed a suite of quality, on-brand materials that you can use to impress prospective clients, customers or vendors. Together these say that you're here, you mean business, and you know what you're doing.
Let's explore what it takes to maximize your thump value.
The new year is fast approaching, and we all know what that means: new year's resolutions. It's a time to reflect on the last 12 months and make new goals. But it doesn't all have to be about more gym time and fewer carbs — this is the perfect opportunity to step back and assess your marketing efforts.
As you take stock of your company's marketing practices, be honest. What's holding you back from improving your customer attraction, engagement, and conversion? What could you be doing better?
We have a few ideas for marketing goals to set in 2020.
Your brand's marketing mix is like the legs of a stool. Every leg is important. They all support the same thing and you need them all in order to hold it up. Your brand might not have all the same legs as another stool but it should definitely have more than one - you can't stand up a stool by relying on just one leg.
Let's go over some of the most valuable marketing 'legs'
The pharmacovigilance industry is poised to grow into an $8 billion market by 2024. That’s a massive increase of over 10 percent since 2017. And that means two things. First, there’s money in this industry. And second, it's going to become more competitive.
And when there’s more competition, companies need to work harder to reach their audiences. That requires marketing. But it requires more and better marketing than what most companies are doing right now. Here's why your organization needs to up its game.
You already do a lot to effectively market your company: You're on social media. You have a blog. You produce videos. Your email marketing program is humming along. But have you ever considered podcasting?
You might say this sounds like a difficult endeavor that would take too much time and resources. Besides, it's out of your comfort zone and you probably couldn't garner enough listeners to make it worth it.
But to that, we say, not so fast! There are a number of reasons why podcasts are a powerful marketing tool and why they're not actually as daunting as you might think.
If you haven’t bothered developing a monthly content marketing strategy, we daresay, you’re behind in the times. However, you can’t just create content willy-nilly. There is no true success without a solid strategy, and strategy requires forethought, not mere execution. Without a strategy, creating content is a waste of time.
Creating a strategy to produce regular marketing content that engages and connects with your prospects is like making a plan to fill your car up with gas each week. Fail to fill, and you might find yourself stranded on the side of the road somewhere.
Despite the rise and success of social media, email campaigns are still a highly effective marketing tool. They give you a chance to reach your audiences based on where they are in the customer lifecycle, which is a key strategy to keep them engaged and coming back. Of course, you don't have the time to be manually pushing "send" on hundreds of emails every day. That's where email automation comes in.
Let's explore four key types of automated email campaigns you should be running.
Brand marketing is like a car: it's a handy tool that ticks along, getting you to where you need to be. You only realize how much you rely on it when it's out of action. Unfortunately, it's all too easy to set and forget your marketing approach, assuming that since it's working today it'll be working tomorrow.
Like any vehicle, your marketing plan needs regular TLC. Just as you wouldn't want to forego your regular tuneups, you don't want to skip out on the care and maintenance of your marketing efforts. Sure, you might be able to get away with it in the short term, but sooner or later wear and tear will start to rear its ugly head. And the repair costs will pile up.
In the last few months, how many Shark Week articles have you seen popping up? My guess is if you've been online, you've seen at least a whispering of Shark Week since about mid-July.
From its first launch in 1988, Shark Week has been a hit. And in 2019 it seems to still be gaining momentum as it's adapted to new methods of marketing and technology.
This year, Discovery Channel saw a 109.2% increase in their primetime TV ad impressions compared to the week before Shark Week (iSpot.tv). Then on Thursday (Aug 1st), a prime television slot, Discovery ranked three out of the top five rated shows with Monster Mako: Predator, Great White Kill Zone and Return to Shark Island (The Neilson Company).
Being successful in business is all about solving problems, whether it's for your customers, staff or stakeholders. Every new proposal, plan or initiative should arise from an identified business need.
The same is true of marketing. It can be easy to think of marketing as a "fluffy" creative endeavor whose impact is difficult to quantify. But this is a misnomer. Good marketing is all about solving business problems.
Let's take a look at some of the business challenges that marketing can be used to address.
Bravery is quite the buzzword in marketing and advertising these days. People talk about being brave and fearless, but the reality is that bravery goes hand in hand with fear. To be brave actually means to step out into something, to take a risk, in spite of fear… not to take a risk with an absence of fear. If there’s no fear involved, is the step you’re taking really a risk? Probably not. Ergo, it’s probably not all that brave either. What are you afraid of?
As a business leader, giving talks and presentations is par for the course. But one bugbear that even the most experienced speaker tends to struggle with is the infamous Powerpoint presentation. Used well, Powerpoint can be an effective tool for engaging your audience and illustrating your point. But all too often these slideshows become unwieldy, repetitive and text-heavy. The outcome is a presentation where your audience is focusing on what's on the screen rather than what you're saying - or worse, they're nodding off.
A solid content calendar is critical to the success of your company's content marketing program. And there's no one better to prepare that content than your employees. They know the information your customers want to know, and what kind of questions are being asked of you. Blogging is also a great way to keep your employees on top of industry news and trends.
Unfortunately, actually getting your employees to write those blog posts can be like pulling teeth. Even assigning blog posts to specific employees often doesn't help. Too often they struggle with motivation, with structuring their posts, and with writing something that doesn't require multiple rounds of revisions.
While there are various studies looking to determine exactly how many hours a day the average person spends on their phone, they all draw a similar conclusion – around 3.5 to 4 hours. That's nearly a quarter of time spent awake, not to mention phones are usually the last thing we connect with before falling asleep.
What does this mean for businesses?
It means everything must be designed with mobile in mind. There's a very high chance that when your target market sees your website, e-newsletter, or digital advertisement, it will be from their phone or tablet. So from marketing strategies to user experience, to graphics, mobile design needs to be a priority.
Good news! This shocking amount of 'screen-time' = a massive opportunity for your business to shine and to connect – as long as you're thinking ahead and staying up to date on trends in the mobile design world.
The commercial real estate business has been making some huge changes and is flexing some market muscle when it comes to end-user innovation. There are so many different office space configurations and ways to lease those spaces it can be hard to keep up.
Really, it's almost crazy. There are more options than ever for business owners to get into real estate space and each seems to be uniquely oriented toward each a specific niche.
There are traditional long-term and short-term office leases, service agreements, coworking, flex office spaces, and the list just keeps growing.
Thanks to Marie Kondo, people across the world have been asking themselves, "Does this spark joy?" And if the answer is no, the item goes out the door. She has taught us to tidy up not just our homes, but our lives.
So what does this have to do with marketing? We can learn a lot from this philosophy of simplicity. Marketing designers often reference KISS – Keep It Simple, Stupid. It's a little more brash than Marie Kondo's advice but expresses the same important idea: that many times, less is more.
What do you know about typography? When it comes to branding, typography matters quite a bit. The typeface, negative space, alignment, height...it all communicates subtle messages to your customers.
It's the body language of words. As an element of design, it can be used to guide the eye, giving visual cues. Which, in turn, is why it's important to pay attention to since it can easily turn into a hot mess.
Establishing and evaluating metrics for your business campaigns require a solid understanding of the differences between quality and quantity. The debate is age-old. Is it better to have a ton of web traffic and eyes, or better to have less traffic and eyes, but more sales and conversions? Some camps will tell you quantity is always better, whereas others believe quality is paramount. After all, isn’t the sale the whole point? Well, yes, and no.
You’re ready to start investing a solid monthly budget in content marketing for your business.
It might be because you’ve been told a good content marketing strategy is going to increase traffic on your website and leads for your business.
Maybe you like the idea of establishing yourself as an authority in your industry and know a quality blog can do just that.
Perhaps you’re BIG on meeting your customers where they spend their time so you know your business needs to find a way to be on social media.
Regardless, you know not only is content marketing a thing, it’s THE THING.
And if you don’t know it yet...well we're telling you now.
In marketing, rules constantly change as advertisers and businesses discover new and fresh ways to market to their right people, and consumers respond, react, and engage with their favorite brands. One strategy that’s getting bigger is experiential marketing.
You might get the gist just from the name, but basically, you’re creating an ad strategy that helps consumers experience your brand. Some call it an immersive experience, while others call it engagement marketing.
Whatever you call it, think of it like this. Why listen to your favorite singer on YouTube if you can see them live, in action? Because we all know there’s something special about seeing a live show that you just can’t convey adequately through a video or an mp3. It’s immersive, and you have to experience it firsthand to really get the full effect.
Have you ever landed on a website and immediately felt turned off? Sometimes it's really obviously chaotic and overwhelming, other times it just feels out of place or even is disorienting. In all likelihood, you left the website. Plus, you probably didn't bother to look at whatever product or service that brought you to the website in the first place.
Touchpoints play a vital role in the marketing strategy of any business. Properly leveraged, they're the key to taking a customer from the initial awareness stage all the way through to conversion. When you get touchpoints right, you can create customers who are more than loyal. They're obsessed with your brand and what you offer.
The most profound effect on our actions, impact that makes a lasting impression and sets our future selves up to perform the same action again and again, stems from emotions, not logic. Emotions operate on an altogether different playing field than cognitive thinking.
Put simply, they knock it out of the park when it comes to effectiveness in advertising and brand building. Instead of appealing to higher minds, brands are hitting people right in the guts, using ads that invoke emotion and attempt to trigger a specific response. Sound a bit like manipulation? Well, it is. But it works.
There are a number of ways to influence the perception of your company in the public eye. From advertising to marketing to public relations, you have a cornucopia of options before you to solidify your brand and interact with customers. But what's the difference between them all? Read on to find out.
Most brands know that they need to stand out, but when it comes time to execute, many take the safe route. They compete with the market, instead of trying to break out ahead of the curve. But differentiation is one of the most important elements of a successful brand. If you aren’t different, you are dying. To stand out in the sea of sameness, you must differentiate your brand through a seamless choreography of messaging, branding, product offerings, and communications.
For many years, marketing and advertising have used rationality behind their advertising campaigns. After all, it just makes sense. The reasoning is that if you hit people with enough information about features and give them a cool USP (unique selling point), logic will prevail. The consumer will digest all the facts and data, realize your brand offers exactly what they’re looking for, and make a perfectly rational buying decision. Except erm… no. That’s rarely what happens.
Content marketing is on another rise in popularity and has been for quite a while now. If you’re a business or a brand, chances are, you’re doing a lot of it as a way to promote your brand, without actually promoting it.
This means that now more than ever, your brand is part business, part publishing company. Blogs are the new norm for many businesses, with pressure to publish engaging content that search engines love on a regular basis.
This is not a case of
With all the marketing, branding and advertising jargon out there today, it's easy to get confused. You've probably heard a lot about the importance of a brand strategy as well as the hot topic of content marketing. But what's the difference? We are here to tell you and help you understand how they work together to strengthen your brand.
You've done all the work behind the scenes. You've met a dozen times internally to strategize, brainstorm and collaborate. But now comes the most important part: presenting your work to your client.
Presentations are a high-stakes challenge. You're trying to sell someone on an idea, and no matter how good that idea is, if its value doesn't come across, then your client won't bite. Here's how to present your project, concept or work in a way that will get buy-in from even the most challenging client.
Brand partnerships that work don’t happen by accident. They are born of thoughtful collaboration, strategic thinking and a realistic vision shared by both parties.
When done right, brand partnerships can have the power to elevate both brands. But, you can't force a connection. There's gotta be a spark. You want to have common ground with the other brand, but not so much common ground that you're competing with each other.
Walk a mile in my shoes and you'll understand.
We love to put ourselves in the customer's shoes. Why? When making any decision regarding your customer's experience, set the scene as if you were a first-time consumer. Asking a few key questions. How would we have gotten there? What would be looking for? What are the fewest steps to any buying decision?
It's the start of the new year and everyone is talking a big game about the goals they want to achieve in 2019. The gyms are packed with new members. Scales are purchased. Whole30 is started. Motivational quotes fill Instagram feeds and seem like they'll never end. These people are really determined.
Millennials used to be the biggest buzzword in marketing. For years, brands were scrambling to find new ways to tailor their content to meet the younger demographic. Sometimes it worked (like with Spotify’s New Year’s campaign) and sometimes it didn’t (see: Pepsi’s disastrous Kendall Jenner commercial). However, as 2018 comes to a close, we’re faced with another grim reminder that we’re not only getting older, but Millennials are too. In fact, Generation Z is set to outnumber Millennials in 2019 and is set to become the next biggest target group.
Today's brands bridge the digital and the physical in a complexity of ways. You interact with customers in-person or in-store, through social media, via your website and through physical assets such as packaging or marketing collateral.
Do you know your audience as well as you should? Unfortunately, not taking the time to research your market is one of the most common mistakes brands make, and it’s one of the biggest factors that can help turn any campaign from a sizzling dud into a star.
More content marketing has become something of a business mantra over the past ten years, but how do you know if the content you’re producing is doing your brand any good? Clicks can be deceptive, and sales don’t always mean long-term revenue.
Studies show that 33% of B2B marketers and 41% of B2C marketers have no idea how to measure their content marketing efforts effectively. If you’re wondering whether your efforts are hitting the mark, here are a few simple tips to help you measure its worth of your business publishing efforts.
Everyone loves a shiny new lead. It's easy to be tempted by new possibilities and unintentionally neglect the customers or prospects already on your database.
But the old saying goes, a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. Don't let your pursuit of growth impact your existing customer base.
After all, you've already spent time and effort courting them. And they've responded by paying attention, signing up or even paying for your product or service. You want them to stay engaged and loyal to your brand - and continue to buy your solutions.
Increasing retention by just 5% can boost revenues by up to 95%. Why the huge figure? It's much cheaper and easier to hold on to existing clients than it is to find new ones.
To run a successful business, a strategy for data analytics is a must. Analyzing data is how savvy leaders collect information, wring it out, and extract quality, timely, actionable intel they can then use to run their business better. Thankfully, in the era of smartphones, access to personal data about customers has never been more abundant or more accessible to obtain. We are living in a new economy, and data is the driving force behind every successful brand making waves today.
One of the most important ways a business reaches their audience in today’s tech-savvy world is through their website. Your entire website (done right), should clearly communicate your core brand values and what you have to offer, raise awareness of your business, and generate leads, but your contact page, in particular, is a prime piece of real estate that you don’t want to neglect.
Video is king. The opportunities video offers businesses for genuine marketing is growing exponentially. Video has had its place in the marketing world for quite some time, but it's been evolving and you need to take advantage of it. Here's what you can expect to come from video and how you can grow with it:
Have you ever planned an amazing event and yet nobody seemed to know about it? When you're planning an event or launching a new product, you don't want to feel like the kid who excitedly anticipated his birthday party to have no one show up. If this has happened to you and your business, don't give up! It's time to try a new approach and create some buzz!
We see it all the time: A company's marketing efforts are running like a well-oiled machine. Social media is humming, ads are drumming up interest, Pay-Per-Click is clicking and their blog's comment section is as busy as Grand Central Station at rush hour. But somehow this interest isn't leading to new customers — or not as many as it should. So where's the disconnect?
Years ago making an explainer video for you or your business was a costly, time-consuming endeavor. But today high-quality video creation tools are all around and easily accessible.
We're not just talking Facebook Live, Periscope or YouTube Live, although those are great for those off-the-cuff branding moments.
The instant-gratification generation has been a boon for business and marketers. Consumers are quick to make a decision and make a purchase. This is especially true on mobile. But as it gets easier for consumers to signal their intent via social media, search or browsing a site, their expectations of businesses are only growing.
As a CEO of a growing business, you’re constantly thinking about top-line growth, customer satisfaction, competition, and profitability. Your two biggest worries: Will my company make its numbers? Will my competitors outperform and steal my customers?
I had the incredible opportunity to network, learn and strategize for a few days in Orlando with some of the brightest in the digital marketing world. It was my first time attending Social Boom!, a conference dedicated to bringing some of the world’s top social media and digital marketers in one room to learn, strategize and explore how to grow businesses to the next level in social communication. The conference was spearheaded by Kim Garst and her incredible team at Boom Social.
Ever feel like your social media just isn’t sticking? Or even worse, your social media isn’t generating the results and dollar bills you think it should? Do you know what you want your social media to be doing for you? We’re talking ROI here, which newsflash: is more than just follower count, reach, and overall engagement. It's money!
The secret sauce lies in the OG (original gangster) method from Twitter-ers: You know, the hashtag — also once known as a number or pound sign. Oh, the good ol' days. But this little ol' symbol is a gamechanger for yoursocial media marketing strategy.
So, of course, you engage with people on the network and at times it does seem like a game, however, you must remain authentic when liking a photo and commenting (yes, more than just an emoji is best). Yeah... yeah... but get to the point, but why do they work?
Hashtags work because they allow you to connect your content with a bigger picture, a bigger network, a bigger theme that your desired audience and network are already using, making your photos (and therefore your brand) easier to find.
Let’s see this magic at work. Navigate to the "search" section of your Instagram app. Here you can search for any topic that you’re interested in and find other people who are posting about this topic. Note: The search doesn’t have to be a hashtag outright.