Marketing Talk!

Marketing is like Gardening…. Marketing Automation

marketing-automation-tools
 
 
 
Wrapping your head around a concept like Marketing Automation, still foreign to many, is like wrapping a thinly sliced piece of prosciutto  around a piece of melon dew and it melting in your mouth! It’s so worth it!!

 
So many small to large sized companies are still not on the band wagon when it comes to making their life easier.  What in the world is this marketing tactic that seems to be the new wave of marketing management?  Let’s take an in depth look and see all the intricacies involved in running a software program designed to manage marketing campaigns seamlessly.
Marketing is like gardening. It starts with a seed and you nurture it until it is sprouting and over time, it grows into this beautiful, fruit bearing plant/tree.  It has the tendency to become a mammoth. You take care of it with “kid gloves” and water and feed it daily/weekly/monthly/yearly.  It takes time to grow. There is no end to taking care of the plant/tree.  It needs continual attention, sunshine, and water.
Much like Marketing.  It doesn’t grow overnight and develop fruit instantaneously. It takes time. It takes time to find the right target market, to impress upon them about your services or product, to see the “light” that your company is the best caretaker and blooms full of revenue!  This process, drip marketing, is more smoothly created in a marketing automation program where the client/consumer gradually hears about what your company has to offer. The more “touches” you have with the target audience, the program will slowly nurture and convert them over time to see “the light” of your business and win them over!
Simply put, there is a beginning, the top of the sales funnel, but as you slowly nurture them through the sales funnel until a decision is made, your company must create the story of the “why” they need your product or service compared to any other competitor.  The biggest reason why marketing automation can be used in a successful marketing strategy is that it has the ability to connect the dots through several communication channels.  The multiple avenues of communication needed to reach an audience is necessary to convey the “why”.  In today’s society, we are visual, content driven, value driven and technology savvy individuals and we are EVERYWHERE on the world wide web. Therefore it’s necessary to approach this multi channel marketing in a systematic strategic approach.
The “WHY” and the “Benefits” of implementing a marketing automation platform into your marketing strategy:

  • Streamlines the marketing process
  • The ability to generate and qualify leads across multiple channels
  • Collaboration of the sales and marketing goals and objectives
  • Improved conversions of leads and tracking the measurement of ROI
  • More than “just” an email marketing platform
  • Be  careful of under utilizing the platform and adaption of the new processes or “bucking the system”

 
Here is the breakdown of the multitude of choices to choose from when it comes time to strategically manage the marketing campaigns:

  1. Do you need a marketing automation program?
  2. Choosing a marketing automation platform is not a “one size fits all” concept.
  3. Do a comparative analysis of the different capabilities, pricing and features of the platforms.
  4. Engage in a demo session with each one.
  5. Before deciding on a vendor, get some references from current users of the programs.
  6. Is there a FREE trial period?
  7. Negotiate a contract. With training and on boarding of the processes.

 
With all the choices of marketing automation platforms, there are ones that are specifically designed for small to mid sized businesses and enterprise large scaled businesses.  Take the time to look at all the aspects before deciding.
 
About CBJ Promotional Avenues:
CBJ Promotional Avenues (aka CBJPromos)  is a boutique digital marketing and event management agency, that helps small to medium sized businesses with their marketing and event planning, implementation and execution. To help them effectively convey their messaging across multiple platforms with a concise and clear message. To learn more about CBJ Promotional Avenues or Call to book a consultation..cbjpromos1@gmail.com

 

“Get Your Business Noticed “…..


For any business just getting started, money is tight, time is tight and you have to do everything yourself, you are a solo entrepreneur. The many hats you have to wear are quite the juggling act. You are literally burning the candle at both ends and your running on reserves. But, we knew that was going to happen when we put the “Open” for business sign on the front door, or so to say. We have all kinds of dreams of our businesses flourishing and immediate success and customers knocking on our door first. “Didn’t they know I was opening my business for (such and such a product or service), so why are they not calling?”
Not only does a business have to compete in the market place for the attention of the consumer, but we are jockeying our position against our competitors. So how do we do this? How do we get noticed in a crowded market place and offer the best possible solution for the consumer or business? Good question. So let’s explore just some of the marketing plan to get your business noticed effectively and efficiently.
The “Get Your Business Noticed” is essential when it comes to positioning your brand and getting the message across, that we are the best provider for whatever product or service your business is offering. We are all vying for a position in the market place to stand out, make a difference, or get noticed and to offer our customers, clients, or potential customers the value that our business products or service can offer.
Here are just some of the ways to get your business noticed:
1) The obvious, NETWORKING. Go out to these networking events ( so many to choose from) with the clarity in mind, that you are out there to build relationships and grow your network, but you must always shine as a person first! Let them get to know you.
2) If you don’t have the resources to pay for a website initially, BLOG! And promote the blog! Look for other blogs to attach your link to and vice versa. Getting noticed in the market place and being seen as an expert in your field by BLOGGING! It’s the quickest and easiest way to get noticed.
3) Another obvious, SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING. It is not too difficult to see that this so called fad is here to stay. So, get on Facebook, of course Linkedin.com (professional social media and search ability for companies and individuals), and any other social media site that will give you the ability to promote your brand and message. Make sure to schedule it into your day, because it can be time consuming.
MY TAKE: These two are my preferred methods of social media branding. There are others that are just as effective. Take the time, figure it out, and be consistent. There is nothing worse than not showing up on a regular basis and having something of value to share. It is almost like not showing up for work at a regular full time paying job and the boss doesn’t see you sitting in your chair. You won’t be there for very long!
4) Another effective and “BAM” in your face kind of marketing would be to have an EVENT. Come up with some ideas to promote your business brand with a workshop, seminar, conference, presentation or social time for potential clients or customers to come and “visit” your company, offer them lunch or snacks, and involve them in the process of “Getting to Know” your company. Your company has value to offer. Target your audience, invite them and let them know your value.
MY TAKE: Sometimes, events, can be cumbersome to plan and money draining, but if done effectively and resourcefully, it can become a regular part of your marketing plan to invite your targeted audience to a “Open House” or any other event focus you have in mind. Of course, make sure to include SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING to “GET THE WORD OUT” about the event. And of course, CBJ Promotional Avenues, can help you plan all the details that you don’t have the time to do to be as resourceful as can be!
5) Another effective and sometimes resourceful way to get noticed is with PROMOTIONAL PRODUCTS. You know, give a ways that have your business information on it and your logo. It is concise and to the point, when you hand some one an item with your information on it. It makes it easy to remember a business, when they walk away with a UNIQUE item. Every business should have some sort of an item to give to another whenever you are networking, attending or exhibiting at a trade show, conference, sales calls or whatever the place where you are talking with another about your business.
Strategically plan your marketing efforts to maximize and exhaust all the possible avenues to “GET YOUR BUSINESS NOTICED!” There are so many other ways to get noticed, for one is advertising (which can be expensive), but sharing this information and getting you to think “outside” the box for getting noticed, are essential to any business and it’s branding efforts.
For more information on any of these avenues, on how to “GET YOUR BUSINESS NOTICED”, contact CBJ Promotional Avenues to help “get the word out”! Call me!!

All rights reserved and copyrighted by CBJ Promotional Avenues 2010. Express written permission must be obtained for reproduction of this content.

Where are all the results? The numbers game….


How long have you been in the marketing arena? Have you made a difference in the world of business? Have you become a maven of sorts to bring more business to another business and been rewarded accordingly? It’s about the middle of the year, have you measured all the metrics to see where your clients stand? And if you have incorporated social media into the mix of the marketing strategies, how do you measure it and its return by way of customers, followers, fans, etc. and More BUSINESS!
More and more these days, marketers are pressured to show how they measure up to delivering the results by what they are preaching. It is about the numbers game. In this economy and the way things have gone here lately, we are hard pressed to deliver. Can you show me the results of this email marketing campaign? Can you fill the seats for this convention? Where are all the people and why are they not walking in the door? If you have had these kinds of questions asked of you, as a marketer, you about to fidget in your seat to deliver just what they ask. So how do we justify all the work we are doing? It’s simple: the economy has changed and the way business is done, is a completely different ball game. It takes time and lots of effort on the marketers part to continue to keep “pushing” the company information out and then ask or “hope” for the kind of return that is ideally wanted. The number one thing I can say is, it takes time to build a following, to build a reputation and customer loyalty.
The typical way of marketing and getting the word out there about your business and all its doing is not just the old fashioned way. Print, direct mail pieces (letters, post cards, flyers) tv, radio, etc. Now we have to incorporate new media into the mix and then figure out where all the business is coming from and focus our marketing dollars on those specific efforts that bring the most results. But, unfortunately like most small businesses who are limited in their budgets, we have to have the best metrics tools around that are cost effective and doesn’t break the “bank” until we are further into the growth cycle of our business. As statistics would have it, more than half of all small businesses fail within the first 5 years.
In order for us to not fail, these are the things we must do as small businesses to succeed the failure rate and live our passion.
* Determine what marketing activity best suits the product or service.
* Determine the exact audience that you want to target and focus your clients activities toward it directly.
* Determine how often the marketing activity needs to be measured and by what metrics.
* At first, measure the response rate to online ads, facebook ads, fans, followers, leads generated by sign up forms, surveys, email subscription to blog, etc and events (online or in person)
* Measure often, ask the person when they call or communicate, where they heard about you. This is the most important measurement a small business can do. Find out what is working to get them to you!
* When you are about to launch a new product, service or event, make sure there is ample lead time to accomplish the task. If not sufficient amount of time it can actually hurt the company reputation.
* Make sure all the media/advertising, promotion of such product, service, or event is covered. Promoting the concept is like giving it birth for the first, second, third time and so on. Word of mouth is always the best communication because it is real and genuine, whether positive or negative. There is some form of “Buzz” happening. So talk it up! It does help all the “chatter” on social media too! Whether we want to admit it or not, social media is our new “word of mouth” version!
Well, I could go on more about the steps to promote and get the “Buzz” going about a product, service or an event. But, you get the gist of what I am talking about. We want to measure the “Buzz”
Measuring the social media has been the hardest thus far to date, if we are getting it right, when we spend all this time blogging, facebook fan pages, twitter. You get the picture. All this time we are spending is it worth it and do we really need to be paying someone else to be doing it for us. YES!
So, what exactly is being measured:
* Visitors and source of traffic, where are they coming from twitter, facebook pages, facebook ads, google ads, etc.
* What are the people saying about the brand, product or service?
Let’s take a good look at all the marketing metric tools to see if you are utilizing all of them. And some you may never have heard of. Check it out!
* Google Analytics, best tool around
* Bit.ly: shorten your url and get analytics
* Xinureturns:
dashboard, page ranks and backlinks
* PostRank:
good for bloggers
* SocialToo:
social surveys
So, when you are concerned with the numbers game, like we all are, think, strategize and analyze just how your going to get the “BUZZ” going to bring in the leads and make that sale!