I recently sat down to lunch with a local business owner. Although this company has been in business for years, today they are struggling. This is something we hear about on an all too regular basis. The economy has played its part, as have technological changes in their industry. In the good old days, the company pretty much steered itself. No longer. Sales teams have to work harder. New business must be found and secured. New technology must be learned and implemented. Pricing has changed and there are fewer trade shows to attend. The company website needs to speak to a unique and targeted audience. It’s harder to get in front of the customer.
How do I know all this? I ask a ton of questions. A strategic marketer can’t help a company invigorate their brand and focus their efforts without digging below the surface, understanding how they got here and where they’re headed.
I wasn’t the first person this company had spoken to. In fact, they had even modernized their name and developed a new logo. But they never used it, never really liked it! Whose fault is that?
Reading this, you could determine the company to be indecisive, fickle and unsure. Here's my premise: Only by asking the right questions can a company focus their communication efforts. Here is a sample of questions a strategic designer should be asking you:About Your Company• What does your company do? • Are you a service or a product?• Who is your competition?• Do you sell business to business or directly to the customer?• How do you find your work?• What have your strengths been in the past? • What are your weaknesses now?• How has your industry changed?Sales Staff• Does your sales team get the support they need?• Does your website and associated printed material support sales?• What are your sales team’s greatest challenges? What are their greatest successes?Branding• Do you have Brand Equity?• Are there parts of your current logo would you like to retain?• What are your reasons for considering a logo or brand redesign?• Where do you envision your logo being used?• Does your logo describe your business? Would a tagline help?Target Audience• Who is your target audience?• What are your main forms if any of advertising?• How do most customers find out about your company?• Are your customers local? National? Global?PlanningDo you have a marketing plan in place?Where do you see your company heading in the next 3-5 years?Asking for business starts with asking the right questions. How can Ten20 Creative Marketing be of service to you?
So many of our clients or potential clients see social media as a waste of their time, and I certainly understand their point. Online marketing requires focus and a consistent approach. It's not easy to track your results. Why hassle the virtual when there is so much real work to do in the office? Here are some of my thoughts about blogging:1. Online relationships begin with face to face relationships. Though we are in the decade of online networking, nothing will ever replace the face to face. Begin building your blogging fan base from your clientele first. The list might be small, but your company name will consistently be repeated and when the time comes, a potential client will think of you.
2. Therefore, content does matter. It is important to be professional in person and online. We all benefit from good writing and solid information.
3. You do not need to write an essay. A meaningful message in a paragraph is enough.
4. Interview and promote others. Social Media is social. In our "real" lives, we promote, compliment, ask questions and connect people. Social Media is no different. Being interested in others goes a long way!
5. One great piece of advice I read recently is to make sure you are writing for your audience and not for your ego. So I guess that means writing about my son being bitten by mosquitoes does not benefit my audience. Got it.
6. Promote your blog. Like anything else, being in business means being in the game of self promotion. No time to be shy.
7. Grab them with a provacative headline. Might be your only chance. How did I do?
8. No typos, no typos, no typos. Or grammatical errors. With today's blogging tools, you have the opportunity to go over & over & over your post and make corrections daily if necessary. And then look again. You'll find one a week later.
My husband likes hats. All hats. Ball caps, dress hats, newsboy hats, bear like hats… you name it, he likes hats. I suppose it might have something to do with the loss of his hair at a relatively young age. And not just any hair. A full, thick, curly afro-like head of hair, frequently seen in the 70’s on any college campus across the country.
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