bookmark_borderCommercial Marketing

Interestingly, I have heard nearly the same terminology used in the business world to describe the ever constant cycle of finding and acquiring new customers. If truth be told, I calculate that there is more “fishing” occurring in global business than in all other forms of fishing combined. Moreover, if we can compare business to the sport of fishing, then commercial marketing is the discipline of fishing, and marketing collateral becomes the gear.

While not intended to be an exhaustive treatise on the subject, this article will focus on six of the fundamental questions a company should ask before creating new pieces of collateral or creating a new marketing campaign. It will also look at some of the common marketing mistakes companies make as they attempt to land the “big” one.

Choosing the Right Gear

1. Who is Your Audience?

The most important thing to know when buying your fishing gear is what type of fish you want to catch. Are you going after salt water, lake, or river fish? The equipment you will need is dependent upon the answer to that question.

One of the largest mistakes I see companies make in their marketing collateral is that they often seem confused as to who their audience is. Your message should be clear and compelling. That is hard to do when you don’t know to whom you are marketing. Are they an end user, a business, a reseller, or perhaps a specifier? The type of collateral and the message it contains should always be a clear reflection of that answer.

Some may state that it doesn’t really matter all that much – the product or service remains the same, right? Well, some may also say that a fishing pole is a fishing pole and it doesn’t really matter which type you use. Any professional fisher will tell you that this just isn’t the case. The actual story (your product or service) may remain the same, but how you tell that story and what form that story takes should depend completely on whom you are telling.

I spent years working with and making presentations to both architects and engineers. While my central message remained the same, I had to tailor that message to my listener because both groups were interested in different things. The architects were interested in the aesthetics and more of the big picture features. The engineers were much more interested in the details and the mechanics of the product.

While some types of collateral may cross over multiple groups, such as a brochure or video, you should try and create multiple versions of the same collateral piece to target the particular type of recipient to whom you are reaching out. If this is too expensive, then you should always tailor the message to your largest, most valuable audience.

Learning How to Use Your Gear

2. What is your Call-to-Action?

There are a lot of different pieces of equipment used in fishing. Before going out to the stream or lake, you should have a clear understanding that every component has a different purpose and not mistake the use of one device for that of another. Individuals often make this type of error. For example, job hunters often mistake the purpose of a resume as a tool to get a job. This is a complete fallacy. The purpose of a resume is to get an interview.

Companies often make the same sort of blunders with their collateral. Just as a lure has a different use and objective than a hook, you should develop different kinds of collateral for all the various stages of the sale. Every brochure, ad, or campaign should have a clear and distinct purpose. Is the piece designed to get someone’s attention, build company credibility, provide product or service information, or perhaps a sales call Leave Behind? Sales personnel should also be trained on the various distinctions between the material and know when and where to use what.

After you know what the objective of your marketing piece is, it becomes much easier to decide what your Call-to-Action should be. Once you have an individual’s attention, what do you want them to do after they have read, heard, or viewed your material? Do you ask for an appointment? Do you ask for an order? Don’t make them guess – tell them. Don’t get them all excited and then walk away. Every campaign or article should leave them with clear instructions on what they should do next. Perhaps you can’t compel a horse to drink once you’ve led it to water, but you would be remiss if you didn’t at least ask it to drink.

Casting Your Line

3. How Are You Delivering Your Message?

Some novice fishers may wonder how far out they should cast their line; will the larger fish be further out or hidden in a hole closer to shore? In business, it is important to know how and where to deliver your message. The answer to this question largely depends on what your product or service is, and how large your business is.

If your product or service is widely used, you may choose to cast your line way out there using global or national press releases, email blasts, and expansive social media campaigns. If your product or service is more of a niche market or industry vertical, you may have more success using a combination of internet, radio, television, email, or direct mailer campaigns that target a particular fishing hole such as specific geographical locations, companies, or individuals. For a standalone retailer, the hole may be as small as a particular town or even distinct neighborhoods. Market research goes a long way to identifying the holes that you should be fishing in.

The size of your business is also important when considering how far you should cast your line. It is important to ensure that you can support your product or service in every location you market. You also need to be confident that your company can handle the amount of business you may generate. While it may seem like the whole point of the game is to bring in as much business as possible, you may not have the inside structural support and manufacturing to handle all of the sales. More than one company has collapsed in on itself because they did not have the infrastructure to handle their incoming sales volume. Your business, marketing, and sales should all grow together at a planned, even rate.

Using the Right Lure

4. What Sort of Impression Do You Want to Make?

Different types of lures attract different types of fish. Using the wrong type of lure can make for a very long, fruitless fishing trip. Whether you like it or not, your marketing collateral can wordlessly make an impression that will either attract buyers or send them scurrying into the water’s depths.

What sort of impression do you want to make on potential customers? First impressions are important and you need to know beforehand whether you want your product or service to be seen as dependable, fun, exciting, expensive, inexpensive, or whatever. Keep in mind that the images, colors, layout, music, and quality of materials you use will all tell a story – you just need to ensure that it is telling the right story.

Besides the typical, “Hey, look at me over here” type of lures, another powerful lure your sales people should carry is the “credibility” lure. This sort of collateral can come in the form of case studies, images of past jobs, testimonials, etc. The use of these devices helps ensure the buyer that you can be trusted to deliver on what you are promising.

One last thing to keep in mind, when it comes to marketing, the truth is not always as important to a buyer as their perceived truth. In other words, if it is true in their mind, there isn’t much you can do to change that. The more your marketing materials reflect the truth as they see it, the more success you’ll have. Now, I am not advocating false advertising or unethical practices. I am merely stating that you should use situations and terminology where with they are most familiar. For example, a widget may be called an “ABC Device” in the engineering world, but if your targeted clientele all think of this particular widget as an “XYZ Component,” then you should probably market it as an “XYZ Component” – regardless of what the engineers say. Yes, it may be semantics, but this can make a big difference as to whether someone will be attracted to your product or not.

Using the Right Bait

5. What Problem Do You Solve?

Depending upon the type of fishing you’re doing, you may use cheese, worms, elaborate flies, or even smaller fish as bait. In marketing, it is important to make sure your intended clientele know which of their problems your product or service is going to solve.

Too often in marketing, companies are scrupulous about listing all of their product’s incredible features, but then they rely on the potential customer to build the bridge in their own mind as to which of their problems that feature is going to solve. Your marketing materials should build that bridge for them. In other words, Product, Feature, Benefit; “Our product is ‘A,’ therefore you should enjoy ‘B.'”

Along these same lines, it may not be enough to share with someone how your product has solved a similar problem in a different market – they want to know how your product is going to solve their problem in their market. This situation is where vertical specific marketing material is hugely beneficial.

Hooking Your Fish

6. Does It Evoke the Desired Emotion?

We have all heard the saying that “People buy emotionally and defend their decisions logically”. Well, it’s true, and if your marketing doesn’t stir any emotion, most of those large fish are going to get away.

If we are honest, we must admit that a portion of that excitement is generated by a sales person, but not every company is fishing with live bait; some rely almost entirely on their marketing materials. Even if you do employ sales people, why should they have to do all the work? They should have professional tools at their disposal to assist them in their efforts.

One of the pitfalls I see many companies fall into (especially those with technical products) is their marketing materials only show the product. There is a place for this in some pieces such as specification sheets, but people have to understand that most individuals are not moved to emotion by an image of an inanimate object. Your marketing materials should include people either a) Needing your product or service, or b) Enjoying the benefits of your product or service.

What if a potential buyer is unable to make a decision at the time of the sales presentation, or perhaps they are not the only decision maker? Your sales professional’s presentation may have generated all the needed emotion for the potential buyer to want to say “yes,” but if they are unable to move forward immediately, you cannot expect that emotion to remain indefinitely. They will settle back down and start thinking about all the reasons why they shouldn’t buy. Alternatively, they will talk to the other decision maker, and because they are not as skilled a presenter or as knowledgeable about the product as your sales person, they will not be able to generate the same level of emotion in their counterpart as they initially experienced themselves and they will decide to pass. This reaction is the reason it is so important to have a good Leave Behind, a video or brochure that can remind the potential buyer of all of the important highlights of the sales presentation. This material will allow them to get excited all over again while remembering all of the relevant facts when sharing the information with others.

bookmark_borderQualify Leads at Events

Even better, a marketing event can do more than build strong relationships, it can help you generate leads. New leads are the lifeblood of every successful business. They strengthen your portfolio and help the business grow.

What is a qualified lead?
Knowing which attendees are qualified leads and which are just along for the ride ensures that your time and money is spent efficiently.

Identifying qualified leads lets you tailor your pipeline to those potential clients. Don’t turn someone offer by aggressively following up when a lighter touch is needed. And don’t lose out on potential customers by failing to follow up with someone who is on the fence.

So how do you tell if someone is interested? They ask a lot of questions. They opt-in to receive emails or follow up information. They post about your event or company on social media. They try hands-on demos.

Usually, the more touch-points a lead interacts with, the warmer that lead becomes. So create multiple opportunities for attendees to engage with you. That can be through presentations, demos, Q&A sessions, social media sharing, opt-ins and more.

Knowledge is power
Getting the most out of your event marketing starts with gathering as much data as possible about your attendees. Go beyond who showed up and who didn’t. Keep track of who attended which parts of the event and who was most engaged throughout the process.

The tools you use to track attendees can range from the traditional to the cutting edge. You might ask attendees to sign in to a talk or drop their business card into a fishbowl to win a prize. Or you might have attendees scan into a seminar using a barcode or enter a contest by posting to social media using your event hashtag.

Convince attendees to opt-in to follow-ups by promising to email them a link to the slideshow or similar resource. All of these tactics allow you to see who was interested in which topics. That will come in handy when you’re ready to follow up.

Start with sign-up
Start gathering information from the very first interaction. When attendees sign up for your event, they should fill out a simple form that includes such information as their name, title, company, and reason for attending.

This simple information can help you organize your follow-up later. You can sometimes see right off the bat whether that attendee will be a qualified lead.

If you’re selling to businesses, a c-suite executive from a large company is probably a qualified lead from the start. If you’re selling to individual consumers you may need to get more creative with your questions. For example, if you’re a pool company, ask if the person owns their home or is renting.

bookmark_borderContent Marketing Tools

  1. Copyscape. Copyscape will be helping you to make duplicate content a thing of the past or at the very least where they are making a considerable dent in the issue. Using the debit card, credit card or the PayPal account, you will buy a certain number of credits, depending on how many your budget allows.
  2. HARO. Help a Reporter Out – more commonly known as HARO – is a powerful sourcing service connecting journalists, brands and industry experts. How it works, first you need to visit the site, then sign up for the service and select the fields you are interested. Then you will receive minimum of three emails per day with the latest media request for your chosen subjects.
  3. #Journorequest. Type journorequest in the search bar on Twitter and you will be greeted with the countless tweets from the journalists all over the globe where they will be looking to help from brands and from the industry experts. This is a very great tool for sourcing the new stories to contribute to.
  4. Buzzsumo. Buzzsumo is an effective tool for many reasons, where the first being that it’s perfect for checking how your content is performing. Just you need to enter the URL of the content in the search bar and you will see the social shares it required.
  5. Ahrefs. Ahrefs is a wonderful resources for the content marketers, where you can use the content explorer to search for the relevant topic for your client brands. Then you will be provided with the list of content which has gained the most social shares.
  6. Hootsuite. Hootsuite is more than the social media scheduling software. It has been the powerful aggregator, which makes an essential tool for the content marketers.
  7. Feedly. Feedly this as invaluable tool for those who are looking to collate the news stories which are relevant to their clients. This site provides a minimalist, and an optimised for the productivity rather than the style.
  8. YouGov profiler. YouGove profiler is a tool to have at your disposal. Where you need to enter brand, name or the subject that you need to research and you need to segment the data into the series of fields.

bookmark_borderTrends in International Marketing

  • Social media
    One of the most effective tools for today’s professional marketers can be summed up in two words: social media. No longer just a tool for sharing pictures of family and cute pet videos, social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and more are now an undeniably common way to market and advertise your products and services worldwide. The power of social media as a marketing tool is evidenced by the major league companies that now utilize it with impressive results: companies like Nike, Starbucks, Pampers, NASA, Denny’s and many more can attest to the fact that social media is still a remarkably effective avenue for marketing products and services around the globe.
  • Video advertising
    Live video streaming is a feature that has become increasingly popular among social networks. Using live video streaming for international marketing and advertising efforts is particularly effective for its ability to give consumers and potential customers the opportunity to experience a “real-time” event no matter where they are on the planet. Several companies have found live streaming to be a particularly useful way to conduct question and answer sessions with viewers. This kind of active participation creates a unique connectedness between the business and its customers, greatly enhancing loyalty to the brand on the part of the participants and allowing the viewers to provide live testimonials about the product or service.
  • AI (Artificial Intelligence)
    International companies are currently exploring the power of AI to more effectively track and analyze consumer shopping behaviors in countries around the world. This type of information was, until just recently, an extremely time-consuming and challenging set of statistics that was typically only reserved for the largest, most profitable companies which had the manpower required to collect and analyze the results. But thanks to AI, this type of information will soon be within the grasp of marketers working for virtually any size organization.
  • Cross-sector marketing
    Put very simply, cross-sector marketing refers to the practice of utilizing the popularity of other brands to increase the reputation and success of your own. The fast-food industry provides a good example of cross-sector marketing at its most basic level. Studies have shown that fast-food restaurants that are clustered together within a short distance of one another report markedly higher sales than those in more isolated locations. This may sound counterintuitive, but the fact is that several different fast-food restaurants located within the same few blocks provide the consumer with a great variety of choices and increase the likelihood that shoppers will stop to eat. Professional marketers project that cross-sector international marketing will become more commonplace in this coming year, including an increase in strategic partnerships to gain a greater level of success for all those involved. Marketing is, without a doubt, not what it used to be. The fact is that our digital age provides marketing professionals with more opportunities than ever before. Although all these trends are important to keep in mind, remember that the most important aspect of any international marketing campaign is something much more basic: you must be able to effectively communicate with consumers and customers in other countries. And that will mean employing the services of an experienced, professional translator. The first step in your international marketing efforts can take place today by contacting a reputable translation company and finding the translator that best suits your company’s needs.

bookmark_borderCan We Do Neuromarketing

Importance of Eye Gazing:

The importance of eye gazing is that when ad include people are very much more efficient than those that do not. In particular, images and videos that which has certain characteristic include babies tends to attract longer and more focused attention from potential hearing. Vendors have long attempted to promote sales for baby products using close ups of charming baby faces – with the help of eye tracking technology they can distinguish that this alone is not enough.

Using Effective Packaging:

Using effective packaging is all important for a particular mark to draw in users. The marketer has always recognized that it’s not always what’s inside that all compute, but Neuro-imaging has conduct to convey this to a whole new stage. Trade names such as Campbell’s and Frito-Lay have used Nero-imaging to their promotion. Customers were shown packaging with their replying it recorded as positive, negative or neutral. In increase, user was interviewed extensively in relation to colour, text and imagery. The researcher also noted that clients had a negative reaction to some shiny packaging, but didn’t exhibit a negative response to packaging when it was slow. Neuromarketing techniques are being employed in the large area to redesign packaging and display.

Colour is the key factor

When we are picking out colors for our brand or product, convey in mind that you may be acting upon how your potential customers feels. Colors can stimulate in a broad scope of emotions, when we work consistently showing a connection between certain colors and certain emotions. In Neuromarketing, marketer is advertising on many colors into subgroups as a guide to how they may be used specifically.

bookmark_borderEvolution of Influencer Marketing

Facebook and Twitter are the best places to showcase your products, even today, it is still efficient. Before, if you have a high-profile and you got huge followings from those platforms, most companies do engage with these profiles online, most product placements you were able to see were organic and were not paid.

Then, Instagram stole the crown, scanning and posting your photographs has become famous, you can easily take a photo, do a little edit and post it on your Instagram, then notice the engagement you were able to get. There’s a lot of advertising that is happening on Instagram, every day, up until now. If you wanted to know? There’s a lot of guides and pieces of training to help you with social media advertising.

Facebook reigned again in the marketing world, this platform was one of the marketer’s best tool to achieve their goals and objectives for their business.You can advertise and boost your websites and Facebook pages through Facebook, that is one way of driving traffic and sales to your business. Still, Instagram has more benefit for you to showcase your product, Facebook is more on written advertising while Instagram is more on photographies and videos, you can show your niched and passion by the photos you were able to share.

And the viral contents had scattered across the social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. Those people who were not much famous unlike the celebrities were able to get thousands and even millions of followers by creating an engaging content, these people are what we call “Influencers”, they were able to get famous across the social media just because of their content that went viral. But it’s not just a content, it has genuine features, that is why people keep engaging with it. For that year, Influencer marketing has developed and has become more and more efficient up until now.

Influencer Marketing has been more genuine in all aspects of its process, from the contents to the influencers, to the brands, and to the audience, even the relationship between brands, influencers and audience are genuine and needs to be genuine. People are now relying on recommendations that is why Influencer Marketing keeps blooming. It is no surprise for the small influencers become gradually popular and has been trusted because of their authentic contents and their authenticity themselves.

bookmark_borderEffective Way of Marketing Business

One way of getting attention is to hand out promotional clothing.By doing this you are hoping to remind them of who you are and what you do every time they look at, touch or wear whatever piece of clothing it is you gave them.

While most companies’ budgets may prevent them from handing out expensive items, it is still possible to come up with pieces that are not too expensive but will make an impression. One item that is very often popular is a piece of clothing that sports enthusiasts and their friends will appreciate.

Most societies enjoy sports, even if they don’t partake – they still follow it on television, the press or in social talk. Therefore promotional clothing is a popular handout. The recipient appreciates it and the company that distributes the items know that their name has reached a certain target market. A win-win situation.

People everywhere like the idea of being given something, something they do not have to pay for. And if you are clever in terms of your marketing strategies, you will hand them something not only for free, but something that they will remember you by. If, for example, you hand tennis enthusiasts, or golfers, or rugby players an item that they find useful and use often, they will be reminded of your company.

That is why it is important that whatever you hand out in terms of promotional clothing carries your emblem or logo and contact details. If your business sells clothing for sports enthusiasts, for example, and you want to target specific sports groups and clubs, you want to know that they will come to you once they need that specific clothing.

But there is nothing wrong being from an unrelated industry handing out clothing or equipment to sports clubs – you only want to get your message across which is for clients to remember who you are. It is just that so many people are sports enthusiasts that it is one of the effective ways of making an impact.

Of course you can hand out clothing to private clubs, schools, community centres, universities and any other organisation that you want to target with your promotional clothing.When you plan to hand out promotional items it is important take certain considerations into account.

Of course budget is paramount. Never spend too much on the clothing you hand out. You are hoping to recover any money you spend this way by getting people to deal with your company. Also, make sure you hand out something that will last, especially if it is clothing.

Whether it is a T-shirt, which is a popular item for this purpose, or baseball cap, a hat, a light sweater, shorts or any other piece, you want it to last and the recipient to see your logo for a long time to come. Very often handing out children’s tops is an effective way of getting people to remember you. Or a nice scarf or soft gloves. The possibilities are almost endless.

Promotional clothing should also have a logo carrying the name of your business and all contact details – such as telephone or mobile numbers and email addresses clearly visible – so that once they need your services they will know how to get in touch.

Once you decide to use this way of advertising your services or products, you also want to make sure you can have items produced as reasonably as possible. Get in touch with a company that is known for producing these items on a large scale.

That way you will know that someone with experience and knowledge in terms of producing promotional clothing is paying attention to your needs. You want to distribute a good, reasonable, effective item. Let a professional company help you to design and produce what you want.

bookmark_borderMarketing Strategy

  • Have A Strategy – You might think that in this day and age, every business would have a marketing strategy, but you’d be mistaken. When starting a business can start off as simple as having a shtick & a social media platform, even the traditional business plan can be elusive. If you don’t have a marketing strategy, get one.
  • Promotion vs Creation – Some businesses have no problem creating content for marketing purposes, but they still aren’t driving commerce. It might be time to concentrate on the promotion of said content because if no one knows you have content that’s worth checking out, your wasting time & money.
  • Buyer Personas – The creation of marketing content is usually based on what the marketer finds of interest. Unfortunately, you need to be creating content that appeals to the ideal customer. The notion of creating a buyer persona is that your essentially creating the ideal prospective customer. Your marketing content should be created to focus on something they find interesting & of consequence.
  • Update and Refresh – For some reason, businesses seem OK with never revisiting old content they created. It’s good to go back and see what you’ve done in the past and see if 1) it’s still relevant now; and 2) a good platform for modding.
  • Varied Content – Relying on one way to get information about you across will get you only so far. A strong marketing strategy varies the content created so as to gain as wide an audience as possible. Social media posts, video posts, e-news letters, and blogs are just the start.

At times, the notion of having some static elements to one’s marketing strategy is looked at as a good thing simply because time is a necessary component to seeing a plan come to fruition. That said, we live in a dynamic world that is in flux at all times, which means that the idea of something being static (standing still) doesn’t jive. Businesses need to understand that in order for their marketing to be successful, it takes monitoring, development, creativity, and above all else, a willingness to admit when something isn’t working.

bookmark_borderWays to Lower Marketing Budget

  1. Start local – Of course the end goal is to be a worldwide phenomenon, but we all know that everyone starts from somewhere, and starting locally is the best way. It costs absolutely nothing to make conversation, which is the perfect way to market your item, even if the person you’re talking to doesn’t strike you as your targeted audience, the odds are that they will know someone who fits that demographic. Speak to your friends, family, shop owners, and (if your item is targeted toward them) even your local authority figures. You never know who knows who, and this is a surefire way to start somewhere.
  2. Use social media – This one is easy to figure out. With social media on the increase as it has been the last decade or more, there has never been a better time to use it to your advantage and develop a business strategy revolving around it. There are a multitude of social media groups that are purely dedicated toward marketing businesses toward one another. In turn, this may lead to other, bigger businesses catching an eye of your tactics, leading to possible partnerships and boosting your businesses reach.
  3. Collaborate – A more technical way of boosting reach is to collaborate with other small businesses in your area. If you are marketing toward a specific audience, chances are there are other companies doing the exact same thing. This can help or hinder your business, and when you’re just starting out, it does not help to make enemies. Approach another business and ask for a partnership, as it can lead to bigger business ventures further down the road, and give you the opportunity to break off when your business is big enough.
  4. Create a good pitch – When it comes to selling an item or a product, communication is arguably the most important aspect of selling. This is why it is essential to create a sales pitch that can blow away both your investors and your competition. Make sure to explain exactly what it is that your item does, who it is aimed toward, and sometimes it even pays to point out flaws in the item and what you can do to fix them. There a number of ways in which you can develop a pitch, and as with all things unique, it is up to you to craft it with flare.
  5. Don’t let negativity damage you – You can not expect to be a massive business overnight, that is a given. The road to success will be a difficult one, and you will most likely be knocked back time and time again. But not everything is perfect on the first try, and with time you will develop the perfect item and pitch. Not everyone will be interested in what you have to offer, and that is okay because everyone is different. Eventually your business will be put on the map, and if at first you don’t succeed, try try again.

bookmark_borderMarketing Ideas for the Company

Post pictures instead of just text. You are likely to get more reactions if there is an image related to your post. You also have to make sure that the picture is captivating and engaging.

Run competitions that allow your audience to win prizes. You could have a “Client of the Month” prize or present them with a prize that will benefit them or their business. If you have a retail business, run a competition where the customer can win one of your products.

Infographics and vector graphics get more attention online. People no longer like to read but want to see visuals of what you are trying to say. Using a simple graphic that gets straight to the point will get their attention quicker.

Introduce your team to your clients. People want to know who is giving them the service. Showing the faces of your team also lets people know that you are not afraid of showing who you and who your team is.

Keep up to date with the latest trends that your demographic may find interesting. Every couple of months an interesting game, meme, television program or political situation occurs that gets the world hyped up. Use these different events to run adverts and contests making your company trendy and on point of what is happening in the world.

Let people comment on your pictures and posts. You can create adverts that ask clients what they prefer between two options. Many audiences on social media platforms enjoy answering and commenting on pictures so that their opinion is heard.