Marketing Strategy

Looking to get Noticed? "Go Mobile!" (and I'm not talking about smartphones)

The Cre8ive Consultant Raleigh, North Carolina

These days we are all looking for viable solutions that will get our brand and message seen. We spent countless dollars on social media, direct marketing and other alternatives, just to get a ROI that in many cases is...well... less then desirable.

Don’t get me wrong. Every business is different, but if you have the opportunity to get your message 30,000 and 70,000 impressions a day, you may want rethink your brand strategy.

Sound like another social media ad?

WRONG!

I’m talking about Movable Media

Imagine providing your prospects a chance to see your message 82 hours a year. In some areas such as the beltway, you’re getting over 200,000 views of who you are, how you can help and how to get a hold of you each and every day.  Today, the average American travels over 300 miles each week, wouldn’t it be a good idea to capitalize on that, and show of your brand in a way that is artistic, high-energy and just down-right fun?

According to the Outdoor Advertising Association of America:

Vehicle graphics can reach an astounding 95 percent of Americans. This statistic clearly indicates the effectiveness of "moveable media." Compared to traditional advertising, such as television commercials, radio spots, print ads and billboards, vehicle graphics offer an unprecedented opportunity for businesses to take their messages to previously-inaccessible audiences.

Hell, this guy knows:

Young entrepreneurs, Nicholas Cunningham, 30, who calls himself “Kush,” and Evonne Lidoff, 18 offer a "community service" delivering "pot" brownies for donations in downtown DC.

Young entrepreneurs, Nicholas Cunningham, 30, who calls himself “Kush,” and Evonne Lidoff, 18 offer a "community service" delivering "pot" brownies for donations in downtown DC.


If your downtown, you may have seen The Kush Gods sporting their two beautifully wrapped Mercedes and Mercedes SUV, offering free pot brownies “for a small donation”. Who can miss this?

Now, although the law is still a bit "on the fence" regarding their practices, the brand is well represented and everywhere they go, they get noticed. I can't suggest wrapping your car in marijuana, or any other illegal substance, but please take notice of genius brand marketing in action using a well designed and very well done vehicle wrap. (PROPS)

Brand it Right

Let’s face it. Consumers are getting more and more sophisticated. According to recent survey:

  • Brands that appear on vehicle graphics are 15 times likelier to be recalled by consumers
  • 92 percent of respondents claim to actually read the copy on fleet graphics
  • 30 percent make buying decisions based on mobile advertisements on vehicles

Emotional influence is a key factor when using this type of marketing making it very powerful. The use of images allows you to get personal. Images bring to mind feelings, and if you know anything about marketing feelings are everything. Make a prospect feel good, happy, excited, comfortable or get them to laugh, and you’ve just turned that prospect into a new client.

If your still not convinced, ask this guy how his Movable Marketing Strategy is working for him.

Family-owned and -operated for over 30 years, F.H. Furr is D.C., Maryland & Northern Virginia’s premier plumber, HVAC contractor and electrician. F.H. Furr is A+ rated by the Better Business Bureau and has consistently been voted Best of Prince William County for HVAC, Plumbing & Electrical.

Family-owned and -operated for over 30 years, F.H. Furr is D.C., Maryland &
Northern Virginia’s premier plumber, HVAC contractor and electrician. F.H. Furr is A+ rated by the Better Business Bureau and has consistently been voted Best of Prince William County for HVAC, Plumbing & Electrical.

First time I saw this ad by F.H. Furr I almost slammed on my brakes! I was like, “Who is the crazy man!?” and then I saw the name, and I haven’t forgotten it since.

If you’re in the service or transportation industry this is a great way for you to gain exposure all over the region. Vehicle wraps aren’t for everyone though. It’s all about being sensible with your marketing dollars. Let me know if you’re interested in these or other printed marketing material. I have connections in multiple fields and would love to sit down and discuss how we can best meet your needs.

Patrick Cox has been working in the marketing industry for well over 25 years and has a firm understanding of both traditional and digital marketing solutions. Feel free to email him at patrick@thecre8iveconsultant.com or call him up at 703-870-4117.

*Although we could certainly handle any of the work in these images , the Cover image was found on http://www.dpccars.com/gallery/index.php/Creative-Car-Wraps/Creative-Car-Wraps-01 

5 Printed Products your Organization Needs and Why

Printed Marketing Collateral 

Printed Marketing Collateral 

We’ve all felt the pressure to focus most of our attention on our digital presence, print has taken second fiddle among many marketing campaigns and can “appear” less cost effective with so many “Free “resources. Nothing could be more wrong; printed marketing collateral is an essential part of any strong marketing campaign and when wielded correctly, it will deliver in more ways than one.

The trick with all marketing is brand visibility and recognition, and although your company gets a lot of attention online, it is easy to get lost in the overcrowded digital world. Printed marketing material puts your brand in the hands of your clients and that can be the one thing that ensures your standing out above everyone else.

1)   The Brand Identity Package

One of the most important components of your printed business arsenal is your Brand Identity Package (BIP). This includes:

  • Business cards
  • Letterhead
  • Envelopes
  • Pads
  • Labels

Your BIP is how you introduce yourself, making a positive impact on your clients and future customers. It’s vital you invest in a quality designer when creating your identity package; whether classy, timeless or edgy this is a key part of your brand's image. Additionally, your BIP is a vital communication tool used to reach other businesses, your clients, and prospects. After all, if they can't find you, they can't do business with you. Show them you mean business and hand them the tools they need to stay in contact.

2)   The Pocket Folder

Pocket folders are powerful branding tools and exceptionally useful for pulling all your marketing materials together in one convenient-to-carry package. These marketing devices lend a professional image to your brand and help customers sift through the natural information flow involved with sales, whether you’re selling B2B or B2C, big ticket items or smaller products and services.

Personally, I feel these are vital to any sales rep as they provide a great leave behind for your prospects. Be sure to include a few of the following based on your products and services:

  • Business card
  • Stepped down sell sheets
  • Cover letter
  • Testimonials
  • Flyers
  • Booklets
  • Posters
  • Notepads
  • Brochures
  • USB flash drives
  • Newsletters and News clippings
  • Calendars, bookmarks, and magnets
  • DVD/CD Rom placed on left side pocket will add a unique opportunity to show off your services via visual presentation, a sample of your software, or even a handy e-book that will highlight your expertise.

Branded pocket folders will reinforce your pitch while providing your prospects with something tangible they can take with them. You don’t have to fill it with everything, but be smart and mix it up to see what works best for your business.

Another great feature when it comes to pocket folders is the flexibility you have with the shape, size, theme, and motif. Our designers will create something that will truly standout above your competition since you have the option to design them from scratch. That means if you want your folder to look like a cat, a cell phone or even a pair of cheetah spot galoshes, we can do it.

3)   Referral Cards

In today’s business climate, referral marketing has become one of the most successful ways to grow your business. This word-of-mouth tactic is practiced in every city of every state in the country, thanks to the countless business networking events being attended every day.

84% of B2B decision makers start the buying process off with a referral

Your customers are your best sales people. How are you rewarding them for it? A strong customer referral program will provide you an opportunity to not only make your current clientele happier but offer their friends and colleagues a chance to try you out at a discounted rate.

Referral cards are much like business cards, however, you can hand them out to your clients and they can hand them out at functions they attend. Once you establish a relationship with the new client, you let the customer who referred them know how appreciative you are by extending them a discount as well. 

It’s important to have a strong tracking plan in place, so you can reward your clients for helping you out. Also make sure you have your customer referral program outlined on your website, with all the rules and stipulations, so there are no questions later.

4)   Brochures, Rack Cards, and Flyers

Whether you are promoting an event, new service or product, or simply need to share some information a high-quality brochure, rack card or flyer will do the trick. These marketing necessities are an essential element for any organization.

56% of customers find print marketing to be the most trustworthy type of marketing

According to B2B Marketing:

  • Brochures help capture the attention of potential customers, especially in the case of small and emerging businesses that are on a tight budget.
  • They are more effective and pocket-friendly than product advertisements in magazines and newspapers, given the fact that prime space on print media is costly. Advertisement space is shared by several businesses competing for public attention, making it a challenge to really get noticed amongst the competition.
  • Brochures or booklets, on the other hand, can focus entirely on the business and its offerings, thereby getting the undivided attention of all potential customers who browse through them. The key, however, is to make the content both interesting and informative, supporting it with appropriate images, and including a call to action.
  • They are versatile pieces of printed information that can be used for promoting almost all types of products and services, and in different venues, right from reception desks of offices to promotional events. They are found in several formats such as menus, flyers, product guides, and newsletters, in addition to the conventional tri-fold style.
  • Brochure printing services are definitely more cost-effective, given the discounts that are usually offered with bulk printing. The cost per brochure reportedly comes down with the number of prints. Regular customers also enjoy discounted brochure printing offers.

Effective marketing campaigns are all about customer interactions. Brochures are simply just another way to interact with customers and generate leads for the sales teams to follow up. A printed brochure is tangible and easy to access, providing your prospect with something to hold when compared to the content being seen on an e-mail or a website.

5)   Direct Mail

Direct mail is still the number one marketing strategy used by many successful sales companies. In fact, one of the most successful marketing campaigns is the “Bed, Bath and Beyond” 20% off coupon you receive in your mail every month.  This has not only consistently brought in new customers, but provides a brand loyalty program that customers have now come to look forward to each month.

An International Communications Research survey found that 73% of consumers actually prefer mail over other advertising methods

With direct mail, you have total control over the presentation of your message. Direct mail is a unique blend of advertising and sales. While good advertising should certainly lead to sales, direct mail allows you to present the product or service, make an offer and try to close the sale-all at once.

There are many forms of direct mail that your company could be using:

  • Postcards
  • Self-mailers
  • Newsletters
  • Lead Letters

In my next article, I will go much deeper into the power of direct mail and how to run a successful direct mail campaign.

To sum it up it’s important to note that to be successful you must be consistent with your tactics. You can’t just send out one mailing, make a phone call and expect people to be pounding down your door. Customers need to see and hear your message up to 7 times. 76% of small businesses say their ideal marketing strategy encompasses a combination of both print and digital communication. I often recommend a blend of direct mail, social media marketing, personal interaction and event/networking attendance to maximize your exposure and get the best return on your investment, just be sure to bring plenty of printed marketing collateral along with you to share your message and wow your prospects.

Give it Away, Give it Away, Give it Away Now!

We are heading into “The Season of Giving” and many organizations choose this time of year to encourage their employees to join their corporate giving program. Charitable Giving is not a new idea, so the information I am providing you is not the beginning of some new amazing trend.

My goal is to simply inspire you to give throughout the year, not just when it’s popular. 


To start with, develop a culture that inspires your employees to increase their involvement in their local neighborhoods using specific methods associated with your product or service, as a way to promote your company, increase profits and gain local exposure. 


Give the community an opportunity to witness your good deeds, as well as benefit from them. In turn you will begin to earn their respect and love. 


Donations


A recent social and philanthropic movement called, “Effective Altruism” maintains that specific acts of altruism are required and if you have money, it is your moral duty to give to those who need it. 


The actual movement is a good idea however, personally I feel its ultra-extreme nature will be its demise. Sure, you should give to those in need, but it goes against traditional, “Living the American Dream” thinking to force someone to give. 


Donating to a specific cause is the quickest route to take to solve any problem and if you have the money than by all means give it away. The most generous man in history is Bill Gates, not because he donates to charity, but because of the ENORMOUS amount of money he donates to charity. The rest of us don’t have billions to donate, so monetary donations may not be the best way to serve the community.


If you choose to donate, give time instead of money.  Put a team together and go to a local shelter to teach something. Say you’re an IT guy. Imagine what kind of effect you would have on a child in a homeless shelter if you taught him a few simple programming tricks. You could spark enough interest that he goes to school and follows in your footsteps. You may not just brighten their day, you may inspire them in ways you could not imagine.


Sponsorship


Many big corporations take this route. They sponsor people, events, local and national sports teams, and charities. They can afford to through a ton of money at someone or something in order to put their name on it. 


It's is a great way to help those who need it, but it’s not very personal and doesn’t truly show how you feel or what you believe in.


As a small business, if you choose to sponsor something than make it personal. Sponsor a local 5k, but put a team together and run in it. This will show you not only care enough to help put it together, but that you want to participate.  You’re telling them you truly care for their cause. If you’re not an active bunch, than volunteer to help. Don’t just put your name on the event, be a part of it and people will begin to see you’re not just the money behind the event, you’re also the hands that made it happen.


Organize your own Event

Auction


There is a charity for pretty much anything you can think of and almost every community has a multitude of grassroots efforts for a variety of needs. Find a charity that is a “Natural fit” for your business and create an event for them, such as:
•    5K/10K or Fun Run
•    An auction
•    Concert or dance
•    Car Wash
•    Fashion Show
•    Basketball tournament
•    Raffle
•    Or many more…


Say for instance you’re a physical therapist. You could have an auction that raises money for a local senior center. Your vendors could all be those that appeal to seniors like craftsmen and women, bus tour services, senior community center, retirement communities, etc. You will be helping them raise money and awareness for their needs, promoting local businesses, and marketing yourselves as well.


Be creative when being of service to your community. There are so many ways to help, and too many causes that need it. The idea of being charitable or serving your community to build your business seems a bit self-serving, however you are being charitable and serving the community, and the way I see it that’s GOOD BUSINESS!


So what's your story? Email it to me at patrick@thecre8iveconsultant.com The best (or worst) one wins 100 business cards from Metro Printing Center plus I will share your cause on next week's page.