Tag: Marketing

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

 

CBJ Promotional Avenues Services listing


I would like to present just a sampling of my services that CBJ Promotional Avenues can provide to a possible client. Upon entering into the field of Event Management and Marketing, I have studied and lived the practices I now have a complete and utterly large passion to help others in the pursuit of gaining exposure in the marketplace. Whether it be for Event Planning or Business promotion, I take it upon myself to deliver the quality results a company needs to have in order to achieve their desired goal, to STAND OUT and GET NOTICED!
To arrange a consultation with CBJ Promotional Avenues, contact me directly either the phone number listed or via email: cbjpromotionalave@nc.rr.com
You can also find CBJ Promotional Avenues on Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin!


“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.

Tips of the “New and Old” Trade Ways to Build Your Business Reputation

Social networking can be an effective part of any marketing program, but it must be used correctly. The following tips will help small business owners, entrepreneurs, and anyone looking to solidify their message, reputation and credibility to enhance your network marketing outreach.
Social Media Marketing:

  • Use your social networking profile to develop and elevate your  brand.
  • When setting up your profile on the social media sites, make sure you fill it out completely. For Linkedin.com, don’t put the places where you worked without putting exactly what you did at that company. And in the summary, that is where you not only speak about what your company or you as an individual can do, but what you are willing to do to get the job done. Additionally, add some of your personality.  Share some personal beliefs about work ethic, etc.
  • Manage online reputation carefully. Avoid posting political, religious, or controversial opinions.
  • Don’t speak badly of anyone online, regardless of negative experiences.
  • Balance out your posts.  Too many and your “friends” or contacts get annoyed if it isn’t relatable to what you do. Too few posts and people will lose interest and that hurts your business reputation just as much.
  • Don’t just talk about only what you do in your business.  Speak about relevant topics that people know about, share about themselves or even promote another person’s business if they did work for you or you have a desire to help them “get the word out” about their business. Giving back helps both in the long run.
  • When you help others in a true fashion, then others are more attracted to your energy and what your business does. But, be GENUINE, don’t always expect something back in return.
  • Don’t miss the “new” wave of marketing.  Internet marketing is replacing some of the archaic, traditional ways of marketing.   Unfortunately, those businesses are hurting but they can recover by adopting the internet marketing functions to create buzz-ability and branding.

As some of us dive head first into  social media marketing, we need to remember that being in front of the  person and making that initial connection is just as important, if not more.  While we’re creating our  social media marketing campaign, our reputation is being built offline at meetings, networking meetings, informational and developmental meetings, social functions, charity functions we support, and even “going out with the girls/guys” is networking.  We are giving the other a sense of who we are as human beings and what drives us and our businesses.
Face to Face Networking:

  • Make sure when you meet someone, that you don’t do the “Elevator” pitch of 30 seconds and expect an instant connection.  Take the time.  If something piques your interest in what has been said, take it a step further and ask questions.  It might even lead into a meeting later.
  • Make sure to be true to yourself by “Being Yourself”  never something all hyped up.
  • When you go to a networking event with someone, especially with a person you have done business with, it is an instant referral for you!
  • Face to Face Networking is so much more effective as a marketing strategy than “Cold” calling.
  • Ask something personal or find some commonality with the other person.
  • Don’t just shove your business card in their hand and do your spiel and run off to the next person to get out as many cards as you can.  That doesn’t work.
  • Make sure, when you do have the connection and it is felt by both parties, to follow up with the person in a reasonable amount of time.  Generally within 2-3 days.  There is nothing worse than having to retrace your thought pattern, then after you connect online and then can’t remember where you met them.
  • Build up your memory bank too, making sure to remember their faces and apologize for not remembering their name.   But the more you see them and talk to them, the name recognition happens.
  • To create the “Buzz” and get people talking about your business, who better than you to go out and network your way to more connections, more business, more vendor connections, and so forth.

When you network with others Face to Face and on a consistent basis, your trust factor, credibility and personality can shine through, unlike being behind the desk, typing a post and trying to be creative, then you get writers block about what to write.  Some people just do better in person.
written by Christina Blandi-James
copyrighted for CBJ Promotional Avenues

LinkingRaleighnc.com presents OpenLink event at Solas restaurant, Sept 16th


Come and network for FREE with local professionals and business owners while supporting a good cause.
On 9/16/2010 LinkingRaleighNC.com will be hosting the OpenLink Networking Event and School Supplies Drive presented by Solas Restaurant Lounge & Rooftop in downtown Raleigh.
This event is open to all members of this group and their guests. We ask that you do use this page to register for the event and let us know how many guest you are bringing.
http://openlink.ettend.com/
We are proud to announce that we have partnered with the United Way of the Greater Triangle for this event.
We ask that you bring one school supply item to this event. All collected school supplies will be given to the United Way of the Greater Triangle to distribute to teachers and students throughout the Triangle. School supply items can include unopened packages of pens, pencils, dry erase markers, filler paper, notebooks, backpacks, etc. For more information about the United Way of the Greater Triangle please visit: http://www.unitedwaytriangle.org/
Would you like to partner with LinkingRaleighNC.com by helping sponsor this event?
We are offering two very affordable packages that any small business owner would be crazy not to take advantage the opportunity. Contact me at events@LinkingRaleighNC.com for all the details.

I am Collecting Blog perspectives from Event Marketers and Marketing Gurus….

What’s your take on how 2009 ended up in event marketing and marketing and all the measurables? Have you figured out the ROI for digital media and what was your feedback from your clients?
We are almost 1/2 into 2010! I can’t believe it! But, how has this year and your strategies changed or old practices for Event Marketing given you feedback on the measurables? What are you doing that is new to the structure? Is it working so far? Let me know!
I am collecting event marketing and marketing gurus blogs and compiling them into short synopsis for the trends, feedback on measurables, and where the markets are headed. If you want to contribute, please send me your information, privately to cbjpromotionalave@nc.rr.com, to be listed.
Thank you in advance for your take on how things are shaping up for 2010 and where we are headed!

Networking by Face to Face Connections…..


There is something to be said about face to face networking.  Social Media is all well and a good additive that sucks the time from your day, if you are not careful to schedule it, just like the rest of your business should be. But the feedback and the non verbal communication that one gets from the face to face contact with someone is so valuable and rewarding, how can one not want to connect this way?
Look at all the measurable results and feedback you get from each of your marketing activities you participate in. Whether it be:
1)  Social Media
2) Traditional Media
3) Direct Mail
4) Post cards or mailings
5) Blogging
6) Press Releases
7) Events
shall I go on?  You get the picture.  There are so many marketing avenues to brand you and your company, the possibilities are endless.  So, measure each one and see what the results are.  Where do you reasonably get the most feedback and not just positive ones either.  Feedback is feedback, whether it be positive or negative, people are talking, responding, answering, posting, etc. about you or the company.  People are going to talk!   We have to, it’s how things work in this world.
So, the next time you decide to RSVP for an event that involves having to network, don’t think twice about signing up!  Honor your positive RSVP, get out from behind the computer and GO!   Your networking efforts are always the best way to go, face to face connections are valuable, not just to get information from a group of panelists, or just to network and get loads of cards, GO!
And then, make sure you follow up with those people!  Whether it be, connecting with them on Facebook, Linkedin, LinkingRaleigh, Inside919 or some other networking community, follow up.  And then meet for coffee!  There are tons of great coffee places every where around the world.  The best connection comes from you being you and not holding back!

GO NETWORK, GET IN FRONT OF PEOPLE AND CONNECT!!! And be YOU!

Internet Marketing….My take on the Piece of the Puzzel


How does one go about capitalizing on today’s society and how it is all driven? Internet marketing is one of the hottest trends out there today. Social media, affiliate marketing, branding online, websites, blogging, photo sharing, twitter, which one do you use? Pick one. There are so many ways to market online it is almost obscene. I have been watching several people in some of my social media sites I am on and even the novice is flocking to them and calling themselves marketing mavens. Now, I am not belittling anyone at all. I was at a beginning point also and needed to learn the latest and greatest ways to communicate. But, I also have a education and studied long and difficult hours worth of case studies on the effects of marketing, branding, research and so forth. Some may say it is all about common sense, but I also feel it is part studying the marketing trends and not just in it for a quick fix.
If you happen to stumble upon a niche market and find yourself succeeding where others have not, then you hit the big one! Congrats! Otherwise, it takes many hours of non stop, persistent and challenging trials and errors to succeed at anything. It may take several years to accomplish the success you so desire. I, myself, have been at this, for myself, for about 3 years. Have I had successes? Yes. Have I always hit the jack pot? No. Have I given up on my passion? No. If there is one thing about marketing, I have grown to love, is the ever changing scope of how things are done and the patterns keep changing. That is why I love it so much. It is not a stagnant field. There are so many ways to promote, get the word out about something you are doing, advertise, post, upload video, post a picture, etc. it is amazing! Experts are flocking to the internet media waves and posting their white papers online. Researchers and their long time love of difficult hours, are finding their successes by posting their findings online as well. All of this to get noticed. I don’t think there is one person who has not been online doing something. Whether it is to surf the web, search for something to do, find an event, read the newspaper, post a picture for everyone to see, keep a track of their stock portfolio, or gossip and post your opinions. We are all on the online at some point in a day.
Where am I taking all this? What am I trying to say? It’s easy people, no one can deny they are not on the web. Just about everyone is marketing and communicating about something. It is putting the US Postal system on their tail ends. Their comments, opinions, marketing an event, whatever it may be, we are here. Is this a trend? NO. The online presence of today’s society is here to stay. It adds enrichment to our lives. Are we on overload with it? Sometimes, Yes. Don’t abuse the system people or it won’t work. Give us the information, your opinion whether solicited or not, and help me feel good about what is going on in the world.
That is my take on Internet marketing. I may be just a little bit more of a novice, but I am here to stay and I will impart my knowledge for you all to see and hopefully learn from. It is my participation in the world!

What does an image say about a person?

I looked in the mirror this morning and I noticed what I didn’t really want to see.  I am getting older and I looked tired.  This is all stated in my head.  And of course being the woman that I am, and most of us are, I asked my husband how I looked.  Did he hold back?  No.  He politely commented on how it has been a while since I changed my hairstyle and I needed to get more sleep at night and not walk the floors thinking about my business.  Wow!  What a way to wake up!  Thanks Honey!
Well, that did prompt me to seriously look at my reflection and see just how I did look, instead of hurriedly getting ready to hit the pavement for a meeting or work on research for party planning.  So yes, that prompted me to think…How did I look to my clients and prospects?  Did I look tired and pale from not enough sleep?  Does any person who takes care of teenagers running around, running a household, doing laundry so everyone is clothed, cooking and oh yeah, working or trying to build a business from scratch in this kind of an economy, look tired and somewhat run down?  YES!
But, I can improve that!  So I took the time today to go get an updated new hairdo!!!  Little did I know, just how uplifting it was to just sit there, not “run around like a chicken with its head cut off”, and read a magazine while the foil sit on top of my head for my new highlights!  After she got done cutting off about two inches and ages off my hair, I was rejuvenated!  And my smile showed it!  Wow, what a little change can do for a person’s spirit!
Ok, so as I am writing this, my teenage daughter was cooking hard boiled eggs, left it on the stove and now the smoke alarm is going off! NO, I don’t look tired!!  But I got a new hairstyle and feel rejuvenated!
So, the point I am trying to make is… think how you look every time you walk out that door.  Whether it be to go to a networking meeting, meeting with a client or prospect,or picking up the kids from school…you never know who you are going to run into and what your image says about you.  You must always look your best, even when your not at your best!

Advertising Specialties/Promotional Products Rep.

Promotional Products is a booming 19 billion dollar industry! Extremely rewarding B2B outside sales opportunity. Top commissions paid daily. No collection, no inventory, no deliveries, no territory. Be a part of a team effort to grow your dreams into successes. Part time or Full time.
Requirements:
-2- 5 years previous B2B sales exp.
-Detailed oriented and consistent contact management
-Ability to work from home w/ internet access
-“Can do” attitude with previous history of sales volume generated
-background in advertising, marketing or promotional marketing
Forward resume and coverletter to:
cbjpromotionalave@nc.rr.com
Christina Blandi-James @ CBJ Promotional Avenues