Month: March 2014

Why You Need Video in your Strategy…Now!

Consumers have become wary of traditional marketing in terms of direct promotional materials and content. We know that companies want our money and will try to convince us we should spend it with them. This is why peer marketing has boomed in the past few years, where social media platforms have become a venue for consumers to recommend (or criticize) brand products and services to their social networks.

When it comes to B2B marketing, companies will find many ways to convince you they are the brand for you and, in the past, those with the most money to spend on marketing and advertising had greater influence on their audience. YouTube and social media equalize this playing field because there is a cost-effective opportunity to reach your target market if video marketing and social media are used the right way.

Successful marketing relies on trust – consumers trust their peers and trust what they can see and hear, which puts video marketing in an important position. Entertainment has become vital to successful video marketing, where one could argue that companies are looking to entertain first and promote second. Take, for example, a video that went viral a few weeks ago, “First Kiss” where strangers were asked to kiss each other after only meeting a moment before. The awkwardness and hesitancy in the encounters appealed to such a widespread audience with over 69-million views on YouTube, and countless parodies. Only later did the world find out this was an extremely clever marketing ploy by a ladies clothing brand in L.A.

With almost double the number of visitors converted into leads when a video is embedded in a web page, we know that video marketing is effective…but why? Let this infographic shed some light on why videos, a visual, audial and potentially emotional experience, make a difference in marketing.

DCustom_Content-Marketing_Video_Infographic

 

How often click on a YouTube thumbnail when visiting a website? Does this help you make your decision about a company? I look forward to your thoughts below.

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Customer Service: the Milk and Cookies of Marketing

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Despite the fact that marketing and customer service are usually separate departments, I find that, like milk and cookies, the two are always better together.

When we traditionally think about marketing, we think about strategy, our messaging, our unique brand identity and how to attract new clients. It is fair to say that marketing tactics, therefore, are often focused on attracting the attention of potential clients.  With an increase in a global economy and growth in competition, many companies have discovered that client retention costs less than client acquisition.  Quite simply, the value of loyal clients is that they buy more, buy frequently, are cheaper to serve, have higher retention rates and are more profitable than newly acquired clients.

Ideally then, we all want more loyal clients and the only way to do this is to make sure we treat our existing clients very well.

So in addition to thinking up clever advertising and direct mail pieces, we need to “walk the talk” of good customer service, ensuring that every staff member, especially the ones that deal directly with the clients, provide superior customer service. Your staff should know who the client is, where they are in the buying cycle, what opportunities they might want to be involved in and how your business can help them achieve their goals. You have to be able to align yourself with the values of your client and make decisions in the interest of their company.

By ensuring your staff provides consistent customer service at every touch point with the client (including online marketing), your client will come to trust you and therefore, continue to come to you to help them.

Let’s face it- all companies care about their clients, but the companies that keep them happy are the ones that prosper! A happy client is a repeat client.

Where have you seen quality customer service make a difference with a client? How do you employ good customer service tactics? I look forward to your thoughts below!

Did you know the Olympics were still running?

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Yes, the 2014 Sochi Paralympics are in full swing, and drawing incredible crowds, and yet, how many of us have spent hours glued to our TV’s watching Canadian Olympic dreams continue come true?

Somehow, the Olympic hype is over even though Paralympic athletes are earning medals and making history every day this week. The culprit of this lack of awareness, I imagine, is the lack of coverage of the Games, which ultimately affects sponsorship and advertising targeted at the viewing public at home. Although this year, CBC introduced 250 hours of online live-streaming content, and boasts about featuring 30 hours of accessible TV coverage, I wonder, where is the primetime content?

This is the timeslot that advertisers pay the biggest money for, and the best time to draw in the Games’ biggest and most influenced audience: families. More importantly, what valuable lessons are we missing out on by not highlighting alternative role models to our kids and young people? It can be too easy to idolize the boys on Team Canada’s hockey team, with ideal athletic qualities and often a large professional salary behind them. What we’re not asking is, what says, “anything is possible” more than Brian McKeever winning Canada’s first gold medal for visually impaired cross-country skiing race? The Paralympic Athlete is the kind of hero I want my children to look up to- the one that had a million reasons to give up, but instead, carved their path to the Olympic Games.

How Marketing can “Show you the Money”

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Following  my recent posts about sales and marketing, I think most business owners would agree that one of the main goals of marketing is to add value to your company.

Marketing promotes your brand, lets consumers know what benefit your company’s service or product will give them and also aims to present the value these products or services can add to a consumer’s life or client’s business.

Marketing is:

  • The science of choosing target markets through market analysis and market segmentation,
  • Understanding consumer/client buying behavior and providing superior customer value
  • Understanding the value of customer’s perception of relative price (the cost to own and use) and performance (quality) of a product
  • Creating a “total market offering” including an company’s reputation, staff representation, product/service benefits, and technological characteristics as compared to competitors.
  • Understanding the relationship of a company’s market offerings to those of its competitors and identifying the unique value offering
  • Adaptable to consumers/clients changing perceptions and beliefs in order to have optimal value creation

Although strategic marketing can include some short-term results that could have an impact on your bottom line, generally marketing is directed at gaining market strength and recognition over the long haul.  The idea behind marketing is staying power!

Build a brand, build a reputation for its benefit and offerings, promote the value to a targeted audience and repeat and keep repeating.  Strong brands like Coke or Nike do not change and it is this consistent messaging that has helped consumers define who they are, their unique value offering and making them a household name.

So what does all this mean to a business looking for short-term gains?  It means when creating your strategic marketing plan ensure you are clear about your wants, needs and expectations.  Make sure your plan includes short-term sales-type strategies as well as long term branding strategies whose goal is not to increase revenue, but increase your value.

Are you willing to invest in marketing even without immediate results?  Do you expect immediate results from your marketing?