How does a small business compete when all the odds are stacked against them? Larger companies with more purhasing power, more staff, and greater marketing budgets can present a huge obstacle when trying to get ahead. Change the rules of the game to make yourself competetive!
corecubed's MOST Program Administrator, Marissa Snook, examines the return on investment of direct mail marketing and email marketing. Which method is right for your company? Read below to learn what she found and how it applies to your business.
Amy Chilla details how your business can use public relations to set your business apart from your competition and gain exposure in the marketplace.
Today's computer threats have the potential to cause irreperable harm to your hardware and your data, and your business can lose countless dollars with the accompanying downtime. Here are several quick and easy tips for making your computer and your data safer in today's volitile online environment.
You’ve got a great product and a fantastic story to tell. You know who your customer is and you know exactly what you want to tell them about your company and why you are the obvious best choice in your industry. Now, how are you going to get them to sit up and take notice of you? You need focus the spotlight on your business so that your client can find you easily in the crowded marketplace.
Does your marketing and branding reflect the story of your small business? The public face that you give your company can offer rich details and background that intrigue your target market and draw more business to your organization.
Your business, like a young caterpiller, will go through many stages of growth before taking flight. Who will help your business grow and spread its wings?
If a potential customer doesn't know your exact web site address, how are they going to find your business on the web? Chances are, if your site isn't optimized for the search engines, the customers will find your competitor's web site rather than yours. Did you know that only 32% of Internet users will read to the bottom of the first page of results when performing a search? (iProspect) Only 23% of searchers go to the bottom of the second page of search results, and the numbers drop for every page thereafter. And as technology changes, getting listed on the first page of results will only become more important as searches will be possible in places like your television, phone and music players.
Search engine optimization is not for the faint of heart, as the tactics to get listed on the first page of results seem to require an understanding of a whole new language, but by understanding a few basic components of search engine optimization and with a strategic Internet marketing partner like corecubed, you can be well on your way to staying ahead of the competition and getting higher rankings in search engines.
If you don't brand yourself, others will. The fact is that the general public is already creating impressions and drawing conclusions about your company, and thus your brand. That alone is a big enough reason to make certain you are portraying an image that will benefit your company and living up to customer expectations. If you are a small company, branding becomes that much more important in a crowded marketplace. Creating positive and memorable positioning of your product or service in the minds of current and potential customers will help you to rise above the competition.
corecubed can help.
Having a skilled media relations professional who understands branding and the best ways to communicate your key messages is crucial. corecubed communications has experts on demand who will help you create and implement a branding strategy. We specialize in integrating your business needs with the best strategies for success using marketing+design+PR to provide business communications that sell. Our team of marketing and PR professionals provides quality services that are unsurpassed at any agency price.
Our strategic marketing communications capabilities range from strategic planning to full implementation of marketing and public relations plans, including total design across all media. We can fulfill all of your communication needs.
Have you ever tried to sell a freezer to an Eskimo?
What about life insurance to a five-year-old? Roast beef to a vegetarian? An umbrella to a friend living in the Sahara? Flea spray to a woman with no pets? A parachute to the captain of a deep sea fishing vessel?
To successfully negotiate these sales would be a nearly impossible effort. Why? Because they all have one thing in common. In each situation, the merchant would be trying to sell something the prospective buyer doesn't want or need. She'd be marketing her product to the wrong people. Eskimos don't need freezers – and what would a sea captain do with a parachute? Jump off the nearest island?
It would be foolhardy to attempt these sales. In essence, it would be as if the merchant had forgotten one of the most important rules of marketing: knowing the customer.
Yes, you are all set with a dynamite new product or service that is sure to bring in the customers. You've done the studies and you are certain you are ready and top-notch. When it comes to uniqueness, your competitors can't touch your creation – there's nothing else like it on the market. You've got a full inventory (or set process), an eager sales force and a logistics network that is second to none.
Now all you have to do is get the word out to all of your potentially eager customers.
Getting the money to market your product is easy. Developing a solid marketing plan that gives you the most for your buck, well, that's another story. How can you maximize your return on investment?
You might start by avoiding the following marketing mistakes…
“If you fail to plan, then you are planning to fail.”
“If you don't know where you're going, you'll end up somewhere else.”
Ever heard either of those quotes? They're so true. In business, and in life, if you just float around aimlessly, it can be hard to find success. But who has the time? You've got a business to run, financials to review, clients to serve. Where do you find the time to plan a marketing strategy?
It's true that time is always a concern. But, if you want to find marketing success, you've got to take time to plan. We can't emphasize enough the importance of completing a thorough and comprehensive marketing strategy to really find success for your business. But, in the meantime, there is a simple approach you can take to help get you through the present with some focus – the Three-Step Marketing Map. This is not a replacement for a good plan, but at least it satisfies the basic successful criteria of a) being written down and b) doing something positive towards a goal.
If you think about it, learning how to beat the competition as an athlete is not unlike learning how to outshine the competition in social media marketing. For the same reason an athlete determined to take home the gold wouldn't just jump into the competition without a strategy for winning, companies shouldn't jump into social media marketing without a strategy in place for winning. After all, you create goals and strategies for other aspects of your marketing campaigns – why should social media marketing be any different?
A company lives and dies by its reputation.
The key to creating a good reputation is establishing a friendly repartee with not only your customers, but also the public at large. Initiate a healthy relationship and the public will come to trust and respect your integrity. Create a bad impression and the potential customer will be less likely to walk through your door.
Your company's relationship to the outside world – this is public relations boiled down to its essence.
There's an old adage: Advertising you pay for. Public relations you pray for. It's true. Good PR is hard to come by. It's not the same as 'paid advertising'. You can't get it by simply forking over some cash and placing an ad in the paper. The men and women of today simply will not be patronized and are far too savvy to be bought off by such cavalier tactics.
Many businesses recognize the need for communicating with their target audiences. But oftentimes PR is confused with advertising or sales, and there is an incomplete understanding of what PR really entails.
The scope of PR is not defined by the tools in the PR toolbox: web sites, press releases, newsletters, blogs, etc. Nor is it defined by the crisis communications efforts that many people call 'spin'. When challenges arise or decisions take a wrong turn, some people want to 'get some PR' on an issue to turn it around.
An effective PR program, based on marketing strategy, will help avoid the need to scramble at the last minute when a problem arises. It will also help establish trust and ongoing two-way communication between the business/organization and the audience as they establish an interactive discourse: communicate, listen (through surveys and feedback) and communicate, etc.
In the good ole' days, marketing used to be one-way messaging. Simple stuff. You have a product or service and you tell folks about it. Now, with the advent of social media, marketing is becoming two-way – customers finding YOU when they are seeking products or services. And they are not quiet about the experience.
Marketers, however, are the guardians of a company's brand. So how do you walk the two-way street of social media marketing, keep the brand intact, and use new technology to your benefit?
A tornado touching down in your community and ripping roofs off is bound to make waves in the local media. Print, online, radio and television journalists will be asking questions and interviewing frustrated homeowners. How much will repairs cost? How can homeowners protect themselves against scams? Does my home need only minor repairs, or will I have to get a new roof?