Category Archives: Marketing

A quick guide to pulling off Digital Marketing Integration

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Keep the marketing team cohesive

Often companies that are performing digital marketing such as Social Media, Targeted Ads, and other fancy techniques will have separate teams performing each function.  These teams do a great job but work in relative isolation, especially at larger companies.  A better way to obtain the marketing results you desire is to ensure these teams work together and that their efforts play off one another.  Data from social media and the types of people that interact or follow the company can be used to target ads to a better demographic or influence other areas of the overall marketing engine.
Integrate marketing in your product or service at every level

Marketing is not just something you should do to drive people to your website or product page.  Rather, it should be an important and integral part of everything you do.  With digital media marketing, the product or service can help market itself, sometimes achieving things for free that no paid marketing could ever accomplish.  A link at the end of your app, a flyer for your website or app included with every product shipped, or other traditional and digital combinations can pay off as well.  Leveraging both traditional and digital techniques to penetrate the marketplace and ensure your message is reaching your target customer is crucial to growing your brand and taking market share.

Email marketing is still king

Digital marketing can be overwhelming with all the choices a company can have on how to go about it.  From blogs and communities to product reviews and landing pages, the methods are endless and constantly evolving.  But, one method stands out above all others and has since the beginning– email marketing.  The best email marketing is one that is voluntary, that is, the customer has gone through a few steps and clicks to give you permission to market to them.

Why is this a more effective marketing system, because they are more likely to be engaged with your product or message.  A list of a thousand potential customers that only got on your list because they thought they were getting a free book are a lot less likely to buy something from you then those who voluntarily gave you their email or filled out a survey after purchasing from you.  This type of quality email list can also reduce the time you spend cleaning out and filtering the list and increase open rates and sales funnel success.

Email marketing is a long-term strategy whereas advertisements lose all effectiveness once they are no longer shown unless you pay to keep showing them.  A customer who doesn’t open or view your first few emails may eventually convert, for whatever reason, down the line.  They might have not seen your email, had it accidentally go to spam, or not trusted or been interested in your brand at the time.  Unless they unsubscribe altogether, you will always have the ability to enter their email box with your best shot and try to convince them.  Long-term marketing and repeat customers of the highest quality can be found through email marketing.  Remember what they say, ‘the money is in the list’.

How to Build a Brand with Public Relations

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In a saturated marketplace, the only way to get the word out and establish your brand’s story is through PR efforts.  Very few products or companies are truly original but may have slightly different or innovative approaches.  Here are some ways to use public relations to tell your story and establish the subtle differences that make your company stand out and gain market share as a result.

Establish what your brand is and what you want it to be first

No PR strategy can begin without a plan.  Think through who you want to reach, why, where they are, how you are going to get to them, and how brand building helps your business.

Just because more people know about your brand’s existence doesn’t automatically turn them into customers—they might just know your brand exists but not be more interested in it than they were when it didn’t exist to them.  Any message is not better than the wrong one.

Align charitable giving with your customers’ values

Choosing a charity or a group of charities and organizations to donate to should not be done haphazardly.  While some companies might donate to things they believe in, that their employees support because of their own experience, or any number of other reasons, brand building through PR could be a better option.

Consider who your customers are—are they likely to donate their time or money to this organization?  Why or why not?  If your goal is to reach customers that value animals and the health of the planet, say, because you sell organic dog treats, then donating to the American Cancer Society is great and all, but the PR it may or may not generate is not optimized.

While doing good should not be reduced to a cold calculated maneuver, it is not much effort to simply shift contributions to different organizations to help build your credibility and brand in the marketplace that you desire to occupy.  The previously mentioned company could instead donate to animal shelters, green organizations, or anything else more closely aligned to their customers’ goals and values.

The best PR is genuine, non-solicited, and from a third party

Any company can buy an interview, an advertisement, or paid money to force their way into the spotlight.  But these days consumers are savvy and getting smarter by the minute.  Millennials know when they are being advertised and marketed to, and they despise it.  A third party who you did not pay or solicit sharing or talking about your brand, however, is pure gold and the end goal of every great PR or brand building effort.

The reason this has such a big impact is that the end consumer sees the extra layer of filtering and credibility.  This is not the company telling me their product is awesome, this is somebody else putting their reputation on the line to tell me it is awesome or not, and that I can get behind.  But how do you achieve this?

Make something great.  Something worth talking about.  A cucumber infused soda is much more interesting than the next marketing widget or program.  But if that marketing program has a better story or is more well known, it might have a stronger brand presence.  Story is important as well, and we focus on that next.

What do they mean by story?

Storytelling is an essential human need, condition, and want.  It comes in many forms whether it is pictures, video, oral dialogue, a fake story that we build up in our minds and convince ourselves is true, books, media, or almost anything.  This is what PR can do for your brand.  It is not enough to simply tell a magazine that your product exists anymore.  No one will care.

What you need is the story behind and in front of it.  Why did you make it?  What motivated you?  How does it change the users’ story in their own life?  Does it let you spend more time with your family, creating great memories and scrapbook moments?  Does it take grocery shopping into virtual reality, letting you embrace your wildest childhood dreams and fantasies?  Then tell customers that.  That is what customers want to hear.

Don’t neglect your internal brand

Many people focus purely on their external brand and the perception of it.  Whether it be their products, their packaging, what kind of furry animal is in the commercials, or the reputation of their services, that kind of brand building is no doubt important.

But what can be just as important is your internal brand.  This is sometimes referred to as your company culture, but it is more than that.  Google and other tech companies have become infamous for their unique working conditions that go against the mold of rigid schedules, pointless meetings, structure, and cubicles.

Instead, Google aligns their internal brand with their external one to create a cohesive message.  When you hear a news story about Google, whether it is their basketball games at lunch or the latest amazing invention, the story is the same:  this a company at the forefront of innovation and is not afraid to be different.  They are going places.

Aligning your internal brand can help employees at all levels to embody and believe in their external brand building and approach.  This can reduce employee turnover and increase productivity with a healthier workplace to boot.