Sharing our thoughts on the world of today's media.

Brand Recognition

Promotional Materials – How Can They Work for Your Business?

This piece of advertising is often overlooked by businesses today and the benefits are not thought of as much as in years past. It isn’t the effectiveness, as much as it may be just not budgeting for it or for promotional material being more of an afterthought.

Promotional Material is a great way for a business to promote itself for the following reasons:

  • A nice way to say thank you to an existing client
  • A great way to show appreciation to some of your better/best clients
  • Keeps your name in front of your existing clients after they purchased from you
  • Helps drive name/brand recognition
  • Sticks around for a long time

Today’s studies show businesses who use promotional material grow their business more than those who do not. This may be the chicken or the egg question, but certainly something to consider.

Promotional Materials have seen price decreases with the increase of a more global economy. There is fierce competition driving the prices of promotional items down, which has brought prices down for the local promotional companies, who are basically middlemen for these larger, sometimes international companies.

Corporate identity template set. Vector

Be Creative and Have Fun

Promotional Items can be effective with some of the basic things people think about when they think of promotional advertising. Things like pens, magnets, stickers and note-pads.

How about car air fresheners or chip clips, or toys with your brand on it? A little more creative possibly and less likely a chance of getting lost in the shuffle.

Find a way to make your give-away sticky. Make it something someone would use or have around for a while, keeping your name in front of them.

Who can’t afford to give a loyal customer something with your business name on it that costs less than a dollar? That dollar will, or should, give you a solid return on your investment and promote good will for your customers.

How to Make Your Customers Your Biggest Cheerleaders

In today’s fast world of communication bad customer service will spread like a wildfire. AND, so will great customer service. Repeat customers, and customers who refer you, are the epitome of a successful business.

In working with our clients, we often find our conversations turning to customer service. As someone who runs a business, either as the owner, manager, or both; you know how important great customer service is to your business. The questions we have to ask ourselves are:

  • How do we know we’re giving great customer service?
  • Are we asking our customers?
  • How is our referral and repeat business growing?

If you were to ask ten of your customers how they would they rate your business, what would they say? And how likely are they to recommend your company to a friend, family member, or neighbor? Lots of questions and yet no answers.

How to make your customers your biggest cheerleaders blog

What you can you start doing today (or in the near future):

  • Define excellent customer service. What does this mean for every employee/team member in your office?
  • Measure it! Ask your customers, create a questionnaire to see if you are giving the type of service you want to be giving.
  • Set expectations and provide any necessary training.
  • Reward improved performance by team members. Recognize improvements as they happen along the way. All positive reinforcement.
  • See if you can reward your current customers in a way which wows them. Maybe this is better service, maybe this is a gift (think outside the box), and if you need ideas, ask your team and your customers. They may have some great ideas you haven’t thought about.

If we invest in advertising our business, then we need to invest the time in checking on our customer service to answer these important questions. Our customers should be our biggest cheerleaders! Think about this: If your receptionist, cashier, sales person, service tech, etc., is not giving service to cheer about, how much more do you have to invest in advertising to hit your business goals for the year? It all starts with the person greeting your customer for the first time, whether on the phone or in person. Either way, this is the first impression your customer gets of your business. Is the impression your customers are getting a WOW or is it a dud? (P.S if it isn’t a WOW, then maybe it is a dud!) In many businesses, this first interaction with the customer may be the deciding factor towards making the decision to do business with you. Could the first impression improve? And if it can improve, what could this mean for your business?

An effective marketing plan will help your business and its goals. Even more importantly, an incredible customer experience from your team will really help your goals. The money spent in training and in rewarding your current customers will provide a solid return on investment, immediately and in the future.



The Lost Art of Community Involvement

Businesses that are involved in their community are seen more positively by consumers. If your business is already active in the community, then you know how important it is to have great customer satisfaction. Every business at some point should look to get involved in their community, to help the community (or town or neighborhood) where their business is located. There are multiple benefits for businesses who are community involved:

  • Increase Brand Awareness
  • Increase Positive Perception about Your Business
  • Increase Employee Moral by Team Involvement (even if you have to pay employees to participate)
  • Increase Word of Mouth Advertising

Who can remember the team they played on in little league (or another sport), and who some of the sponsors were? How many of these businesses are still around today?

Lost art of Community Involvement blog

Choosing the Right Cause

If you personally support a cause, you may want to look and see if it would be a good fit for your business to support that cause too. There are some groups or charities that donating money or time to will do little in promoting your business. There are other groups that when promoted effectively, donating time or money can bring positive results for that business. Think about how your business can benefit from being involved in your community. Making this a focus will provide a win-win for everyone.

TV and Radio – is it right for you?

Both of these have been around for many years. The invention of, and more importantly, the popularity and growth of cable and satellite TV, as well as satellite and internet radio,  has changed the landscape for those media.

With fewer people listening to traditional TV and radio, and the abundance of stations to choose from, this has made advertising in this media more challenging.

With the changes, has come some positives. With so many channels to choose from, the industry has had to lower prices to match their audience based on the rating systems from Nielson (for TV,) and Arbitron (for radio.) In 2013, Arbitron was acquired by Nielson, making Nielson the measurement of both ratings for TV and Radio viewer and listeners.
In addition to lower prices (to match a lower audience by channel/station,) TV specifically has changed with the cable and satellite industry. A business can now place advertising in a specific area of the coverage area, and not the entire coverage area, making this even more affordable. If they matched up to your client base, then it is even better. If it doesn’t, then the cost of advertising for these stations may not make sense. Radio has changed with many people listening via a computer or other internet connection and now affords the opportunity to better target the market that makes sense for a business and not the entire market area the radio station may reach.

Old Classic Television In A Room

Is TV or Radio right for your business?

Like any other media decision, this is going to be based on many factors, if we can take out the ego/cool factor. Of course it is great to see your business on TV or listen to the ads on radio, but is it the most effective spend of your advertising dollars?

The benefits of these two media are:

  1. They allow businesses to deliver a 15 to 60-second message and can gain trust in consumers.
  2. Trust is gained by consumers who believe what they see and hear on TV and Radio is credible, so these two media can add credibility to your business.

It is not the first place a business should look to advertise unless they have deep pockets for marketing. It should work in conjunction with a blend of other media so when someone sees the message, if they are looking for the business later, they can easily find it when looking for it by name, whether online or in a local phone book.

What is your brand?

For many businesses, a brand is their name, it’s their logo, it’s their colors. To a consumer a brand is about the product or service you think about when you need that product or service. Your brand distinguishes you from your competitors in your marketplace.

If you were to ask 100 people about who they would choose for your product or service, how many ofthem would choose you? Is this a good number for your business?

What is your brand blog

A solid brand strategy works to increase this number and more importantly measurably increase your sales in your target market. It works hand in hand with your marketing and should be considered with any marketing plan already in place.

Is this important to your business? It should be. When you think of a cold drink, what brand comes to mind? Even local businesses can create a local brand in their marketplace and it is easier than it may seem.

What is more important than the brand is brand recognition. This is what a good branding strategy does. We believe in name recognition in a marketplace and we see the importance of building your local brand.

The brand strategy is a part of a solid marketing strategy and must be done cohesively. When this is working well repeat and referral business will grow more than it is currently and it will bring in new customers. In some cases, an effective branding strategy can have impact within a couple of months.

A brand strategy works to insure your marketing is consistent and your brand is exposed to more and more people in your target market. This helps increase the effectiveness in all your marketing efforts, both in the immediate and in the distant future.