Marketing: Give us a “P”
If you have a business, chances are you have a marketing plan. It’s probably sitting on your bookshelf right now.
We’ve seen our share of marketing plans over the years, including some that are works of art unto themselves. Pages of colorful graphs, endless rows of budgets and projections, neatly arranged goals and objectives, PERT charts, critical path diagrams . . . all bound together inside a gorgeous leatherette cover. Aside from their aesthetic beauty, the vast majority of these plans have one other thing in common.
No one has read them.
If that scenario sounds familiar, you’re not alone. Too many businesses spend thousands of dollars creating a stunning marketing plan, only to watch it gather dust on the CEO’s bookshelf. Since we strive for simplicity around here (our tagline even says so), we’ll make this very simple. We believe every good marketing initiative needs a plan, and every marketing plan needs to answer six questions, all of which conveniently start with P.
|Product: What do you sell?|
|Price: How much does it cost?|
|Place: In what venues do you sell it?|
|Public: To whom do you sell it?|
|Position: What is one thing you do better (or differently) than anyone else?|
|Promotion: How do we communicate the preceding five answers to our target audience?|
- Helping businesses answer those six questions is what we do. In fact, if you strip away the pretense and hype, that’s what EVERY marketing firm does in one form or another. If you want to see how we do it, check out our creative portfolio.
Besides helping you get your “P”s in order, we’re also big believers in education. Some agencies try to pretend that marketing is an esoteric mystery whose secrets are known only to a select few. That’s nonsense. Rather than carrying on behind a curtain, we’ll show you exactly what we’re doing and why we’re doing it at every step of the way, including things you can do yourself, if you so choose.
Lots of companies can help you create a marketing plan. We think it’s even better if we show your people how to use one.
Branding: It’s not just for cattle
Let's start by clearing up one misconception. While your logo may be the most visible element of your brand, logos and brands are NOT the same thing.
We like to think of a brand as a "contract" with your customers that details the kind of experience they can expect when they do business with you. The contract may not be legally binding, but if you violate its terms, you risk killing your brand.
Branding is what allows Starbucks to take a mundane commodity like coffee and turn it into an experience for which customers gladly pay top dollar. When you go to Starbucks, you expect to find gleaming display cases, cheerful baristas, interesting artwork, and the omnipresent aroma of fresh roasted coffee wafting down from the ceiling. Lots of places serve Starbucks coffee, but none of them can duplicate the Starbuck's experience. And that experience is a big reason why Starbucks coffee always seems to taste a little better at Starbucks than it does at home.
So what's your brand? What's the one thing we can always expect from your company that we can't get anywhere else? If you can't answer these questions, your brand probably needs refinement. Without a brand, you're stuck selling a commodity. And if you're selling a commodity, the only place you can compete is price. That's why branding is so important, and why companies like Starbucks spend millions of dollars a year to manage and protect their brands.
Fortunately, you don't have to spend millions of dollars to accomplish the same tasks. To learn more about our approach to branding, check out Chris Hawley's article in Legal Management News.
creative services: From ads to white papers and everything in between
Whether your needs are digital, print, or video we offer a complete range of research, writing, design and creative services. Check out our online samples of advertisements, brochures, feature articles, surveys, trade show booths, videos, white papers, and holiday promotions.
Proof positive that good creative doesn't have to cost a fortune.
Social media: How Linked In are you?
For businesses interested in expanding their presence in social media, we offer several presentations of interest.
IT'S THE NETWORK: HOW TO USE LINKEDIN TO MARKET YOUR BUSINESS
Networking sites like LinkedIn are becoming increasingly popular, yet many of us have only a vague idea of how to use this technology for business. This one-hour presentation is geared for people who:
• Are new to LinkedIn and wondering how to use it to help their business;
• Have been using LinkedIn for awhile but feel like they haven’t really been accomplishing much with it;
• Are trying to persuade their colleagues and friends to join LinkedIn and want to communicate the value proposition.
After providing an overview of social networking technology, we will cover such important areas as:
• How to write an attention-getting profile;
• Writing and receiving recommendations; and
• Specific techniques for using LinkedIn to market your business.
GROWING YOUR NETWORK: LEVERAGING LINKEDIN WITH A ROBUST PROFILE
Designed for smaller groups who desire more intensive training, this presentation focuses on how to build a robust profile that gets the attention of the LinkedIn community and maximizes visibility on Google. Specific instruction will be provided on:
• Writing an attention-getting headline;
• Creating a “specialties” section that sets you apart from the competition;
• Writing and asking for killer recommendations;
• Time-saving strategies for building a targeted network quickly and effectively;
• Choosing a profile photo;
• How to make the most of LinkedIn groups;
• Using LinkedIn connections to find expert resources;
• Using LinkedIn announcements and ads to drive traffic to events; and
• Using LinkedIn to generate referrals
In addition to LinkedIn, we also offer training programs on Facebook and other social media platforms.