2014

What Has Sochi Done To The Olympic Brand?

sochi-2014-winter-olympicsHave you considered what hosting the Olympics in a country with human rights issues, security concerns, and financial controversy would do to the well-respected and prestigious Olympic brand? With all the debate surrounding the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, we’ve been wondering just that! This video from UK news agency Reuters asks the loaded question, “What will Sochi do to the Olympic brand?”.

There are a few very important points noted in this video by David Hay, CEO of Brand Finance. “Brands always gain or lose by the associations they make,” Hay says, and undoubtedly the Olympic Committee and Russia were aware of the challenges presented to sponsors who attached themselves to these Olympic games. Nevertheless, big sponsors such as Coca-Cola and McDonald’s did not change their stance on supporting the winter games. The ending note from Joanna Partridge says it all, “No matter how successful the Sochi games are, the Olympic brand seems stronger than individual hosts.”

Do you feel the Olympic brand has been affected in any way? Please share your thoughts in the comments!

Strategy is Not Just for New Years

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMany SMB owners take the start of a new year as their signal to think about their marketing strategy; about creating, adjusting or revising their strategy, but why do we think we should only think strategically once a year?

If you think strategically only once a year, and watch and see how the execution of the strategy plays out by the end of the year, then you are relying on one strategy to carry you through the year.  What about constantly looking at reacting to the execution with strategic responses?

With competition constantly biting at your toes, being successful means stepping up your game and constantly thinking strategically.  You might win a battle with execution, but you’ll win the war with a strong strategy.

Strategically thinking means make sure to stop and take the time to find a strategic response to what’s being implemented. If you can continually measure, track and react strategically to the execution of your plan, you can build this into your strategy.

Ultimately, this means tracking results of your campaigns and strategies and using this information to better understand your demographic, and all subsequent ways you intend to target this audience. It is reacting to what truly works for your business and taking advantage of the information you’ve uncovered.

Do you constantly revise your strategy?  If not, why not?  Do you have any stories that might be helpful for others?  I look forward to reading your comments below.

How Will You Tackle 2014?

With the year 2014 on the very near horizon, many of us have started thinking about the upcoming business year and deciding how to keep our business competitive and profitable.

As a marketing expert, one of the best ways I find to keep ahead of the cure is to educate myself on what trends are developing and how they might help me reach my target audience.

I’d like to share with you the following infographic as it highlights the increased use of tools like company videos and social media, but also communicates three overarching trends you can implement in your marketing for 2014:

2014-Marketing-Statistics1. Visual marketing is a must: With so much virtual noise competing for everyone’s attention, consumers want to be able to understand your message very quickly, rather than reading through paragraphs of text. And, as large portions of your audience are visual learners, you can safely guess that all of your audience would appreciate being engaged, if not outright entertained, by your marketing.  Think about how you market your business, could you implement promotional videos into your marketing plan and adjust your website to enhance the visual experience?

2. Your audience wants to feel connected to your brand: Consumers don’t just want to know your product, they want to feel like they know YOU as a business and as a brand. If companies with blogs and customer testimonials see larger traffic than counterparts who don’t employ these tactics, an argument could be made that there is a disparity in consumers feeling personally connected to one company’s brand over the competition.

3. Your audience has to be able to find you: People have so much access to information via the internet, smartphones and social media. Many consumers do their homework prior to making any decisions around where to spend their time and money. Your brand has to not only communicate your message very quickly, but the message must live where your future customer will find it. So get listed, get social and be easily accessible.

Do you agree with these trends?  If so, are you already using these tactics, or plan to in the New Year?  How can you leverage them further to reach your audience? I look forward to your comments below.