We are moving to Florence next month. In January 2014, I transitioned to an independent marketing and design consultancy and began to teach at Greenfield Community College. Stanley and I have moved from Southampton to Hatfield. Now, the studio will be moving to a new space in Florence. The Florence studio will house my marketing and design office, along with a brand new etching press and workspace for printmaking.
In my last article, I brought up the importance of your brand presentation in the digital marketplace. The requirements of your business, and your brand, have changed as digital media channels have proliferated. Your brand presentation needs to be consistently recognizable in all media channels, including the new and evolving online channels. Now is the time to review your brand to ensure it is both strong enough and versatile enough to represent your business in the omnichannel world.
Here are several fundamental brand concepts for review.
Brand is Back Remember when brand was such a buzz word? It was around the time we moved into the new millenium. There were a multitude of articles and seminars about brand and I noticed that many design agencies were adding “brand” to their company name. After that came the financial crash and businesses hunkered down to assess and refocus. As the smoke cleared and we adjusted to the new normal, businesses moved their attention to advancing their media technologies, developing better websites, and figuring out how to effectively use the new online marketing channels. “Brand” has been replaced by “online” and “digital” in agency titles.
UsingAllYourOmnichannelOptions Omnichannel Services In this third and final article in the Omnichannel Retail Shopping series we will review the omnichannel services that retailers should consider providing. The big brands and box stores are now developing and offering many new services and consumers quickly come to expect them. These services are designed to maximize the customer experience in all channels and remove any obstacles or hesitations when making a buying decision. The goal is to make the purchasing process as seamless as possible.
The Customer Experience What They Want, Where They Want Today’s consumers are shopping for what they want, whenever it is convenient for them, using many marketing channels, both online and offline. While we know that consumers are researching, reviewing, and selecting products online, we also know that they still purchase most products in person. Last month I noted that 90 percent of consumers still purchase products in person (Forrester Research). This provides many opportunities for retailers, they have the power to interact and influence consumers one-on-one in their store where the consumer can see, touch, and interact with their products.
Ninety percent of consumers still buy in person. When it comes to shopping, there is a lot of talk around ecommerce, online consumer targeting, social media, and more. But even with all this online activity, data shows that 90 percent of consumers still purchase products in person (Forrester Research). We are seeing that even though consumers go to a brick and mortar store to make a purchase, it does not mean that they visited the store to research, review, or select the item for purchase. The consumer’s purchasing habits have evolved to include all channels for shopping, and the process for choosing an item and then buying it, have forever changed.
Stevens 470 Marketing + Creative has launched MarketingWorks, comprehensive educational programs for business owners, marketing professionals, entrepreneurs, and key marketing staff. The programs teach individuals and organizations to utilize current media channels and digital marketing strategies to build their brand and grow their business.
This month we will continue our look at using local radio to promote your business. Last month we looked at the factors involved in buying radio advertising, today we will look at creating effective radio spots and tracking the results of your radio campaign.
Create an Effective Spot
To create an effective radio spot, you need to grab the listener’s attention and quickly make a connection. As in all marketing, you are looking to meet a consumer’s needs with your product or service, now you need to express your product or service benefits in 60 seconds or less. You should have identified your target audience at this stage, so use your knowledge of this group to develop a meaningful message and a compelling call to action. Think carefully about what you want to convey in your message and consider using humor, stories and testimonials as effective ways to connect with the listeners.
Radio can be a productive marketing channel for local businesses looking to stay top of mind with current customers while reaching prospective new customers. Local radio is inexpensive to produce and offers a great way to establish a personality for your business. Arbitron (a consumer research company in the United States that collects listener data on radio broadcasting audiences) reports that in one week over 228 million people listen to the radio, mostly in their car while commuting to work in the morning and evening. Plus, many radio stations now offer a live stream of their programming online, which can help widen the local audience hearing your ad. Online listeners are also just a click away from going to your website to get more information or check out your ad offering.
One of the challenges when marketing your business is to target your advertising to your potential customers as specifically as possible. The more targeted the advertising action, the more likely it will yield good results and be cost-effective. Local radio allows you to identify the type of listener as well as clearly define the geographic area your ads will reach. For many businesses, if you have been in a location for a period of time, you can already identify your local radio stations and you may have a good sense of the type of listeners they attract.
Why do you do what you do? As you prepared your business for the new year, you probably sat at your desk and reviewed your business objectives, looked at your growth strategies, and are now launching your marketing activities for 2015. Marketing plans include a lot of process, things to do and steps to take, but they also require having clear objectives and setting specific goals. Let’s look at some questions to consider as you roll out your plans for 2015.
“START WITH WHY” is an excellent book by Simon Sinek that is a perfect read for the new year. Sinek explores the key concept of knowing why you do what you do. What is the inspiration that got your business started and what keeps you going every day? In the hectic pace of running a business, sometimes we forget about the why as we tackle the daily duties and responsibilities of our job. Sinek is not talking about the why in regards to the need for making money, although that is an obvious component of why you work, he is talking about the core beliefs that are the foundation of your business.