Archives for September 2013

50 Stats That Could Change Your Marketing Direction

Very well done presentation here. What I find most interesting is the data on Mobile and Apps. To me, the message is loud and clear. Mobile integration is already a big part of consumer’s life. If mobile isn’t in your radar in some way shape or form you could be left out in the cold in just a few short years.

Developing A World-Class Brand

toolboxIf you have a world-class brand, are you showing world-class quality at every turn? Is your brand involved in on-going training? It’s not just about customer service and brand awareness. It’s not that everyone knows your brand, it’s what their perception of your brand is. Here are 3 areas where a brand might drop the ball to save a few bucks?

Organizational communications is sadly lacking in a good many companies. With most of the companies I’ve had the pleasure to assist in their branding, communication is a major hurdle. This one area would catapult your brand if you found an efficient honest way to keep employees in the loop. Encouraging active participation in the brand would reap benefits in the areas of productivity and employee satisfaction.

How many brands that see themselves as world-class have little to no marketing plans? If a brand has no plans in place to draw new business to their doors, these are usually the kind of operation, that only reacts when times are slow. They don’t have an ongoing strategy. I understand why their rational seems sound, but the truth is marketing is part of a long-term strategy, no instant relief. Your customers are no different than yourself. How often do you react to a promotion immediately on viewing something? Most of us react when the need arises and we seek out brands that we perceive as the leaders. This leadership perception is not the result of hit and miss marketing but an on-going strategy.

Taking your brand seriously is not just putting your best foot forward in one area, but doing it better in EVERY area. When you cheap out, initially if seems the rational thing to do, but when the chips are down it’s too late to change perceptions. Home-made marketing materials are a good case in point. ‘Amateur’ doesn’t sound like a brand anyone would want.

#3 How To Break Free From Small Tasks and Focus On Big Ones [Podcast]

If you’re spending a lot of time working, are the stuff you working on the things that matter or are they small stuff that don’t bring in the bacon? Though the small things still need to be done for your business to run smoothly, we’ll talk how to effectively hand them over to someone else.

SBBPodcast

Key Takeaways

  • Train your people
  • Create good training that doesn’t require you to be present
  • Don’t keep all your knowledge to yourself
  • Creating training is an investment

Resources

DIYPLR – step-by-step illustrated user guide content with private label rights.

WebCamp Live in Las Vegas – creating long term residual income.

5 Steps For An Outstanding Presentation

Besides being a great presentation, I love how short and sweet this is on its own. Short is good.

I think #2 is not always possible but good to attempt to do when you can and #4 is probably my biggest challenge.

What is your takeaway from this presentation?

#2 Building Your Personal Brand Even When Your Domain Is Taken [Podcast]

Because we have to carry it throughout our lives, our names are so important to us. In real life, we may share the same name with others but online, only one person can hold that domain. So what happens when you try to register your own name and it’s taken?

SBBPodcast

In this podcast, we talk to Connie Ragen Green who found herself in that exact situation. Listen in to learn what she did about it, went on to build a super successful business with it.

Learn more from Connie through her 10K Laser Coaching Program.

Compensatory Mobility for Small Businesses

Small businesses are usually owned and managed by entrepreneurs who just have to wear more of the proverbial hats than any other businessperson with a much bigger company. Owing to its diminutive business presence and limited financial resources, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) need to find clever ways to compete with their business rivals so that the odds get to favor them. In most cases, many business battles would have to be fought and won online since it offers the most advantageous way of somehow leveling the playing field between the big and the small — without the latter having to break the bank.

The virtual ecosystem

Investing in online technology for retail via company websites, blogs, and social media engagement enables small businesses to reach into markets that could also be reached into via traditional marketing/advertising media like radio, TV and print. What furthers the company’s retail cause even more is the online tech ability to explore focused consumers who prefer to interact with brands and companies via more immediate means conveniently accessibly to them.

Open MindCustomers, for example, could easily respond to brands on social media via discussion threads and through conversations in website blogs. This is more direct and tends to strengthen customer confidence especially when conversations and call to action responses become delightful, entertaining and useful as info sources. This kind of direct correspondence isn’t what’s at the core of traditional advertising/marketing.

Websites, blogs and social media do not cost as much to invest on as advertising campaigns or tactical marketing activities. In terms of brand mobilization and recognition among consumers, online content being made available by small businesses spread the word around and lure audiences to brands and to places on the net where these brands could be found.

Mobile devices and retail telecom

Small businesses now enjoy more leverage owing to the predominance of mobile device technology that has become the primary mode of business correspondence, productivity and retail telecom. Online PBX systems do not entail that much costs to put up. The abundance of service providers offering hosted systems to small businesses enable their owners to create customer service networks that could be at par or perform even better than those in bigger companies once adequately configured.

Consumers have also become that sold to mobile device use when dealing with the retail cycle for their wants and needs concerning product/service information, making buying decisions and making purchases online. Brick and mortar retail operations in stores and shops now can’t afford to ignore online retail methods to support traditional ways of selling. For small businesses, online retail is often the primary option. It is thus common for SMEs to develop retail apps, consider augmented reality methods, or conduct business via virtual office set-ups that are all driven by business VoIP that’s compatible with mobile devices and retail telecom systems.

An open mind

Business productivity, employee efficiency, and ultimate profitability all derive from having the ability to fuse business sense with suitable technology. If you are a small business owner with an open mind to willingly explore new tech that could further your business cause, you could also free yourself from the limitations set forth by physical distance and location.

Finding the right people to collaborate with, the qualified talent to innovate with, and the cloud tech option to enable telecommuter work set-ups with such people offer you the opportunity to hire from a global professional pool. The challenge of running a small business requires entrepreneurs to think big and then find tech solutions to match big ideas. Only an open mind could accommodate such grandiose visions.

Once-Upon-a-Time: Using Storytelling as a Creative Method for Increasing Brand Preference

Once-Upon-a-Time: Using Storytelling as a Creative Method for Increasing Brand Preference
Everyone loves a good story, right? Especially one that includes a hero or heroine and a happy ending. Storytelling has been used for a variety of reasons through the ages, and is now quickly becoming one of the more popular and effective ways to increase brand preference. Does your business have a story to tell? Learning how to craft one and tell it well can help you increase followers, as well as your customer base and sales. Before you get started, find out how storytelling and brand preference are connected.
Storytelling & Brand Preference
Bringing a Brand to Life
A Story Provides Meaning. Consumers today aren’t willing to follow every new business that appears on the scene. A genuine story that provides meaning can work well in conjunction with other marketing methods. Your targeted customer base should be able to identify with your story and see themselves becoming a part of it.
Connect with Followers. Once consumers can envision their stories melding with yours, you’ll have established a vital connection from which you can build a business-consumer relationship. To develop that connection, you must define your intended target audience well-before you begin to develop your brand story.
Developing Brand Perception. Brand perceptions are shaped by emotional and functional experiences. How the customer feels while dealing with your business and what their experience is like will create the first (and lasting) impression of who and what your company is all about. An experience that provides gratification, improves performance, is reliable, easy to use and of a high quality will result in a positive brand perception.
Defining Your Brand Story
How it Evolved. Part of your brand’s definition revolves around how it evolved. Look back into your business history to unravel the story of how you progressed from the first inspiration to what your business is today. Use the evolution to help develop your story.
What You Believe In. In order for your storytelling to be perceived as genuine, it really has to center around what you believe in. Your staff members must be on board with this too so your company’s enthusiasm can come through the story. Consumers will be more likely to feel enthusiastic if you’re authentic.
How Others Are Affected. When you can relay the story of how a customer was positively impacted by your business, product or service, other consumers will become interested in a way that’s hard to match with any other technique. Seek out these stories by chatting with customers regularly, and don’t be afraid to ask a loyal customer or one-time customer if they’d be willing to let their story become a part of yours.
Tell Your Brand Story
To increase brand preference over competing businesses, you must tell your brand story everywhere and to everyone. Once you develop a story, test it out first with staff members or trusted mentors, family members or friends. Staff members especially should feel a sense of pride after hearing the story. If others in the business can relay the brand story with enthusiasm and credibility, it has passed the test of a genuine, effective story.
Activate your brand story with a multifaceted marketing strategy that includes traditional marketing methods and online media. Focus on your audience throughout to ensure your storytelling hits home with them. The longevity of your brand story will help you create increased brand preference that happens now and in the future. You should continuously revise your story to fit with changes and growth in your business and customer base. In many cases, it can be helpful to enlist the support of a marketing agency that can help you plan the best possible marketing strategy in which to use your brand story.

About The Author:
Lucy Harper is an experienced blogger passionate about small business topics such as online reputation, social media marketing and strategies for productivity. She is part of the writing team at touchpointdigital.co.uk, a specialist media and advertising agency.

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