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Marketing Series Part 7 – Marketing Strategy

Marketing Strategy 1

Over the past months, we’ve looked at six different marketing topics that will become components of your Marketing Plan. This month, we’re going to talk about the steps in devising your marketing strategy.As you’ve no doubt gathered by now in this series, the differences between different areas of marketing can be rather subtle. So, perhaps the best way to explain how Public Relations differs from Reputation Management or Customer Relations, is with some examples.

 

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Marketing Series Part 6 – Public Relations

Public RelationsIn the digital world, public relations has become more important than ever before. Why? Because even if your customers are happy, upsetting the “Internet” or the “Twitterverse” can have devastating repercussions. Making your brand and good reputation known well beyond your customer group can help protect you from the trolls, as well as increasing awareness to grow your customer base.

As you’ve no doubt gathered by now in this series, the differences between different areas of marketing can be rather subtle. So, perhaps the best way to explain how Public Relations differs from Reputation Management or Customer Relations, is with some examples.

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Marketing Series Part 5 – Customer Relations

Customer Relations 2The term “Customer Relations” pretty much says what it means – it’s how you interact with your customers and the quality of the relationship that forms as a result. The secret here is viewing your customers as friends. That means listening as well as talking, being fair, staying in touch, living up to your good reputation, and not taking advantage. If you are good to them, your friends will support you, and not just in terms of sales. Here are three principles to guide your Customer Relations policies and procedures.

 

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Marketing Series Part 4 – Reputation Management

reputation management2While your brand is something that you create, your reputation is what others really think of you, and “others” are fickle creatures ready to pounce in cat-like fashion. Your company’s good reputation is essential to success and can be ripped from you in the most unexpected of ways. Remember the guy who kicked the dog in the elevator and lost his job as CEO? Or the Olympic swimmer who exaggerated a drunken encounter with a police officer in Rio? He lost four sponsorship deals.

The power of the internet is a double edged sword that can make you or break you. As the examples of poor research, poor behaviour, poor customer service, etc. explode, pundits are cautioning that reputation management needs to become reputation development and reputation marketing.

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Marketing Series Part 3 – Brand Management

Logo DesignThe brand of your company has the same meaning to consumers that your character or personality has to your family and friends. Your logo is like your face. When someone sees your face, they recognize who you are, and they expect you to behave in the way that you always have before. Odd or uncharacteristic behaviour will be surprising and potentially off-putting or even offensive. That’s when your friends start to avoid you. In similar fashion, if your brand doesn’t live up to expectations, you’re going to lose customers.

So although your brand is much more than a logo, your “visual identity” is an important aspect. Most visual identities are comprised of either:

  1. an icon and stylized name presentation, such as ours;
  2. a stylized name presentation only, such as the one we created for Lori Johnson Photography; or,
  3. an integrated icon and stylized presentation, like the one we did for Western Locksmith Supply.
 
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Marketing Series Part 2 – Your Products, Services, and Target Markets

Your Products, Services, and Target MarketsYou already know what you have to sell, but do you understand what your customers are buying? Do you know who they are, why they want what you have, how they make the decision to buy from you?

One of the most basic premises of marketing is matching – matching what you have to sell with customers who want buy. That means that you have to understand your customer base, and the segments within it, so you can tailor your marketing plan to find new customers like them, appeal to them, and convince them to buy from you.

Let’s look at a few basic demographics first. You can download your own worksheet here. In the first column, list your products or services. You can add up to 20, so group items together if that makes sense. For example, if you sell auto parts, you’re not going to list each individual part, so use groups like engine parts, wipers and exterior products, etc.

Then, for each item or group, put an x in the column that best represents the age groups of customers who purchase that item, and in the last column, enter an m or f to show whether more buyers are male or female. If you really have no sense of your customers’ ages or gender, best to figure out a way to find out. Could you take a guess based on names in your database? Ask your front line staff what they think? Keep track for a few weeks and estimate on that info?

Here’s an example based on our business.

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Marketing Series Part 1 – What “Marketing” Means

Marketing Series Part 1Welcome to the first edition of our Marketing series. Our intent is to share our knowledge of the timeless basics of marketing and business development, and how these translate into the current sales environment. Our hope is to give you greater insight into the consumer perspective and show you how to use this information to grow your business. You’ll have the option to just read and learn, or to put the information to use to create your own Marketing Plan. So, the first order of business is to talk about what Marketing means in today’s world.

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5 Ways to Defeat Digital Junk Mail

Annoying, time sucking, distracting – we all hate junk mail; and it’s especially infuriating when it’s email. Yes, there’s always a yin and a yang, but here are five ways to stave off chaos in your inbox.

 

Just Say No

The truly devious hackers and spammers don’t follow the rules, but chances are that most of the unwanted email you get will have the legally mandated “unsubscribe” link somewhere. Most of the ones I’ve found are in teeny tiny font at the very bottom of the message. Admittedly, it’s a constant battle, but you can save yourself some time and annoyance by unsubscribing whenever you can.

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An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Vacationing in Stealth Mode

Entrepreneur’s guide to vacationingWhen you own your own business, taking time off can be tricky. You want to be the “go to” person for your clients; the one who is always there for them, at the ready to solve whatever problem they may have. You don’t want to miss calls from potential new customers; and announcing that you’re on vacation makes you look like a slacker, even if it’s the first holiday you’ve taken in a decade. The solution? Taking a vacation without anybody knowing you’re taking a vacation. Here’s how:

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Beware the March Hare: 3 Steps to Great Marketing

3 Steps to Great Marketing

A timely comparison, the March Hare of Alice in Wonderland fame is described as “silly, ill-mannered, and loud;” all of the characteristics you want to avoid in your marketing. While the March Hare demands attention, gimmicks don’t give you the return on investment you can get with a less obtrusive, more logical approach. Here are the three basic steps that will earn the loyalty of your existing customers, and turn them into advocates for your products and services.

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2016 Web Design Trends

2016 Web Design TrendsHappy New Year! Time to get back to work, set new goals, and refresh your marketing. We’ve read the pundits’ predictions for web design trends this year, and found two we’ve held dear for a while now, along with two that were a bit of a surprize. So here they are, as they say on Sesame Street, brought to you by the letter C.

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Learning from the mistakes of others as we wrap up 2015

If it ain't broken...

TED won the 2015 People's Voice and Webby Award in the Best Home/Welcome Page category. In addition to a colourful display with lots of topical news options, they had a simple menu: Watch, Read, Attend, Participate, About. Makes perfect sense.

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3 things that should scare you that you might not know about

With Halloween just around the corner, we thought it was timely to share a few of the scariest things we’ve heard about in the past few months. BOO!

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We won! We won!

Summit Award

We’ve just been notified that we’ve won Gold at the 2015 Summit Creative Awards for the category of Educational Institution Website! The winning website was developed for Kosmetae Academy (kosmetae.com) and was one of 5,000 submissions from 23 countries.

We always strive for excellence and awards like this provide an international benchmark. Receiving an award is great, but more importantly, these competitions give us an assessment of our work from experts all over the world. We’re very proud to be ranked so highly on a global scale.

We’re always excited to win awards (Yay!) but international recognition makes us especially proud. Paul, Andrew, James – way to go team!

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Free Tools to Help You Work More Efficiently

Summer's coming and we all need a vacation! Save a few bucks for the holidays and get those projects wrapped up faster with these great tools, available free on the web.

 

Apache Open Office

Open Office Logo

Open Office offers a suite of office software including word processing, spreadsheets, and presentations that you can download for free. It looks and works very much like Microsoft Office and can load and read MS Office files.

openoffice.org

 

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6 Ways to add Some Sizzle to Your Summer!

Add Sizzle to Your SummerIt’s time to add some sizzle to your summer!

It may not be beach weather yet, but it is definitely time to start planning your summer marketing program. Whether the warmer months are usually peaks or pits in business volume, you need to take advantage of the lighter hearted, spend-friendly mood that comes with the summer sun.

 

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Show Them Some Love!

Valentine's DayShow them some love! Valentine's Day is a great reminder to think about ways you can show your customers how much you value them. A little appreciation goes a long way in building solid, long term relationships which means repeat business and word of mouth referrals. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

 

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2015 Rules of Engagement: Get Real, Get Personal, Get Mobile

The tech wizards and marketing gurus have made their predictions for 2015. Here’s our summary of how to find new customers and keep the existing ones coming back over the coming year.

 

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Why Internet Marketing is Good for Your Business

When you ask this question more than 10 years ago: “Does your company have a website?” you would not be surprised when you meet a few people saying they don’t have a website for their companies. Some would even ask: “Why would I even need a website? My company is doing well in its sales, thank you very much.”

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Ways to Make Your Brand Memorable on Social Media

Nowadays, when you want to promote your website, you cannot ignore the power of social media. Millions of people worldwide are into social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. You can therefore tap the potential customers in social media to be aware of your products and services and might be interested in purchasing them.

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Three Reasons Why I Signed My Business Up for Facebook, Twitter

I believe that we are currently experiencing the most social the world has ever seen, with hordes of social networking sites proliferating in the Internet, with new ones being introduced everyday. Despite this smorgasbord of social networking platforms for my online marketing needs, I have decided to focus the bulk of my efforts on two sites in particular—Facebook and Twitter.

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The Wonderful World of SEO

One of the best ways to promote your products and services online is using search engine optimization (SEO). After you have finished creating your website, including the design and content, make sure that you devise and implement a good SEO strategy in order for your website to appear high on search results in Google and other top search engines, and thus ensuring that the information about your products as well as services gets spread.

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The Cheat Guide to Internet Marketing

So you want to Internet marketing, but you don’t know where to start? Internet marketing may be hard to understand for a number of people, but you should not be among them.

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Nine Quick SEO Tips Even Your Mother Would Love

So you are thinking of devising and implementing a sound search engine optimization (SEO) strategy for your website. Here are some very nine helpful tips to get you started. Many of these tips are so easy, that even a non-techie person like your mother would love.

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My Three Best Partners for Online Marketing

A few years ago, a friend convinced me that it is time to scale back on traditional marketing tools like flyers, billboards, or television ads and to start exploring the possibilities of using the Internet. With much trepidation but also a bit of excitement, I slowly incorporated online for my business marketing mix, and I am grateful I did.

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My Four Favorite Facebook Marketing Techniques

There’s no doubt about it, Facebook is a tour de force in online marketing. Just ask the investors who bought shares when the social networking company made its first public offer, or the host of small retailers who made Facebook their primary home.

Here, I'm sharing my four favorite Facebook marketing techniques and how you can replicate them for your own business.

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My Favourite Internet Marketing Tips

Are you looking for some marketing tips for your online business? Although there are hundreds of tips available, here are a few which might prove to be very helpful to online business owners like you that have a website.

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Klout Score: What Does it Mean for a Company?

Klout. When I first saw that term, I thought someone must have been careless with editing.

Klout. Klout. Klout score. I ended up seeing and hearing the term everywhere—always with a K, never a C, that I thought something must be up. And what a something it is.

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Internet Marketing Risks and Riches for Businesses

Many people say the effects of the Internet in the 21st century are comparable to those of the technological revolution at the end of the 19th century. Indeed, the Internet has been such a huge influence in transforming the habits of human beings, and the way we communicate to others.

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How to Manage Social Media for Your Business

Social networking is one of the most cost-efficient marketing and public relations tool in the Internet today. I strongly recommend getting your business into these social networking networks so it can be a part of a network not just of possible customers but also potential suppliers, partners, or financiers.

Engaging in social media, however, can waste a lot of time and energy, and can be more of a distraction than a beneficial endeavor. Here I have some tips on how to manage social media for your business.

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How to Create E-newsletters

Online marketing takes many shapes and forms but e-newsletters are one of its most effective tools. Creating one, though, can be challenging especially for inexperienced managers because making a newsletter is both an art and an inexact science.

If you are in need of a little guidance in this endeavor, I have prepared a step-by-step guide for your business on how to create e-newsletters, as follows:

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Harnessing the Benefits of E-newsletters

One of the most enduring online marketing tools is the e-newsletter. When I first started using these e-newsletters for my own company, I was amazed at how many people I can reach by just sending out a simple email. My techniques back then were still very simple—I only upload and send a digital file of some of the company's flyers or brochures to my list of a few hundred people. Even then, however, I knew that they were working and that my business is benefiting from e-newsletters.

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Business PR in the Time of Social

It is standard for all companies and businesses to create press releases as part of their information and marketing campaigns. With the advent of social networking sites and the type of marketing specifically targeted to social media users, it is important for businesses to know how to adapt their press releases to this new technology.

I offer basic guidelines for business PRs in the time of social.

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Your Ultimate Guide to Internet Marketing Challenges

Whether offline or online, marketers like you face a variety of challenges. In the online world, many marketers worry of not getting enough reach or traffic to their sites, or not being able to profit from their target market.

What are some of the top Internet marketing challenges, and what are ways how to solve them?

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Is Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Spam?

The simple answer to this question is NO; search engine optimization is not spam.

Here is a great video from Matt Cutts talking about search engine optimization and how it can be helpful for search engines and website owners.

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Why You Should Prefer Internet Marketing Over Offline Marketing

In today’s wired world, it is almost natural for businesses to market their products and services online. After all, a lot of people nowadays spend considerable time online not just to get information but also to purchase products and services they need and want.

 

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What is Search Engine Marketing / SEM?

We get this question from many of our clients and the overall answer is quite simple.

Search Engine Marketing is a form of Internet Advertising which promotes websites by increasing their visibility in search engines.

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Internet Marketing on a Tight Budget: The Lowdown

In a wired world where every online business is fighting for attention from customers, it has become more difficult to get noticed by your target market. Aside from the usual distractions online and in social media, you are also competing with bigger companies that have spent a lot of money in their marketing and advertising departments.

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How to Use Twitter for Sales and Marketing

Without a doubt, people who are into Internet marketing are using Twitter for sales and marketing. There is no reason for you not to tap the power of Twitter to promote your produces and services.

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Getting a virtual “foot in the door” - Ekonovac

With new media exploding all around us, it’s easy to get caught up in the fad of the day, and to totally forget about marketing basics. Back in the day, if you wanted to sell home appliances, you targeted women who worked in the home. If you could get your “foot in the door” to keep it open long enough to make your initial pitch, your chances of making a sale went way, way up.

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Domain Names – What You Need to Know

Over the years, many customers have contacted us regarding problems with their domain name or names. While these problems range in difficulty and solutions, we encourage all of our customers to think about their domain names at the time of registration. The following is a discussion of common problems with domain names and the solutions to these problems.

 

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How to Boost Your Company’s Klout Score

Klout score is the new buzzword in the Internet, and especially for social media, today. An online and mobile application that measures an entity’s magnitude of influence in social media networks, it is a figure that can range from 1 to 100 summarizing for you and all your stakeholders the sway that you reach and hold you have over various market segments. The general rule is that a higher score for an entity is always better.

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