Marketing Strategy

It’s that time of year, strategy time.  I was lucky enough in my last position to be asked to begin thinking about proper marketing roadmaps and creating, and tracking, a strategy for the next year.  I touched on this briefly in the past but I’m even happier to start it all again from complete scratch and in an entirely different place.  Yes, I’ve moved on from my last company to a new adventure, so please pardon the sporadic postings for the next month or so until I get in to a rhythm.  But don’t worry, I’ll always be coming back here to share my thoughts and ideas.  But…I digress.

I wanted to start from scratch this time.  I had the bones of my old roadmap which hinged on focusing on the different markets we used to sell in to and their buying times.  Based on that I would mark off what kind of marketing activities had to be done when – trade shows, advertising, PR, social media, etc.  However, it is difficult to measure something when you don’t have the bandwidth to do it.  So this time around, I’m going to take the bones and expand by layering in the ultimate business goals as well as a more laid out plan so that the questions of “what” has to be done and “how” to do it are answered in a much easier way.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not an expert in all things marketing hence why I like to write this blog – it allows me to think about and explore various topics and aspects of marketing and business in general.  I’d like to think that I’ve been around various blocks a number of times and know what works, what doesn’t, the way to and not to do things but it’s important to realize that you should always be striving to learn and do more.

So, below you will see some places where you too can learn more about setting your own strategic roadmap.  Happy planning!

Marketing Plan Template: Exactly What to Include
Your Marketing Plan as  Roadmap to Customers
How to Write a Marketing Plan

National Stress Awareness Day

This morning on my drive in to work I got stuck in traffic for 20 extra minutes and cursed the fact that I didn’t just bang a right when I saw the gridlock on the on ramp.  Eventually things thinned out and we were on our way, but it added to the stress of the morning that was otherwise going well.

Well…wouldn’t you know it, today is stress awareness day.  So, hopefully the fact that I got in 10 minutes of yoga will counteract the morning commute feeling and I will be on my way to a jolly good day.  Perhaps I’ll even throw in an extra session of yoga before bed just to feel extra healthy and relaxed.  What are you doing to counteract the stresses of every day life?

Marketing IT Services

I’m continuing to broaden my marketing horizons and trying to learn more about different industries and ways of marketing to them.  Today, we’ll take a look at IT services.  Unless it’s an app, you’re more than likely marketing to a business, which  makes it a B2B landscape.  But, as I’ve said before, although the buying time frame might be longer than in a B2C scenario you’re still marketing to people and need to think about what makes them tick and what will make your service stand out from the crowd.

So with that, here is some interesting information I found that I thought would be interesting to you, my dear readers.

A blog about how to sell IT services in 6 steps.  Value prop must be identified, followed by uniqueness of your service and how that fits in to your target market’s needs.

Here is an Information Technology Services Marketing Association you may want to rely on if you are in this industry.

Lastly, although this article, Tips for Marketing Your Service Business, doesn’t exactly talk about IT, it does talk about how to market in the service industry.  “Compete based on value. What will make customers or clients select your company vs. your competitor’s?”

As always, don’t forget to check out my twitter hashtag #careeradvice101 or just follow me, Linder83.

Skills & Exprience vs. Fit

Skills can be learned and experiences can be gained. Look for a blog post on this soon.

Unless you are looking for someone for a director level or VP level position, even manager, most skills can be learned & experiences can be gained.  It seems to me that before the recession, hiring managers were more likely to hire you based on how you fit in overall and if you didn’t have all the skills, you’d learn them eventually.  However, since the 2008-2009 time frame, hiring managers have become the buyers in the perpetual job search and can buy any house (candidate) they can.  So why bother buying the fixer upper when you have a ton of move in ready homes?

I am of the mindset that it is more important to find the person who will be game for anything.  It may not make sense to hire the new grad, but if they’ve had any experience, it may make more sense to go that route, not only because it may be more inexpensive (let’s be honest, budgets are always at the fore front) but also because they may be more inclined to learn and do as much as possible for the chance to move up the ladder.  At the end of the day, if you hire someone with the exact skill set you are looking for, you may soon realize that that is all they are good at, or that they are less likely to think outside the box.

So I leave you with this, skills can always be acquired and experience can always be gained! Who will you hire next?

Marketing Real Estate

For those that watch the “Million Dollar Listing” shows on Bravo know that the people on there make a lot of dough.  Yes, they are successful at what they do.  And yes, some of them have been brought up in fortunate homes but they have succeeded at what they do by being creative.  A $15 million dollar home won’t sell itself.  How do you get in front of people, make them realize that the investment is worth it, not only for the sake of location?

Things have changed, but not as much as you might think.  Flyers and brochures are still very valuable, as shown in the image above…which is already a bit out of date.  Although aerial videos, via drones, are showing up more and more, and most people won’t even go see a home if there are no photos, that listing sheet is still very important.

But, how do you bring in the masses, and other agents who might have a buyer for your home?

Here is a great article for the 25 Real Estate Marketing Ideas the Pro’s Use.  I’ll highlight my favorites, which I base on the fact that these can be applied to any kind of marketing.  Because at the end of the day…marketing is marketing.  It’s just a matter of how you word & present things.

1. Write Listings that Sell –> content is king in all industries!
2. Drip Campaigns via email –> this allows you to weed through your prospects and potentially identify those that are ready to take the next step in the buying cycle.
3. Blog blog blog
4. Social Media –> use the platforms that make sense for your industry.
5. SEO

How do these apply to your industry?

P.S. Here is another great article titled, 7 Marketing Ideas for Real Estate Agents in 2014.

P.P.S. Have you heard of Buffer?  How do you use it?  Is it similar to hootsuite or even better?

 

CPG Marketing

Here’s another fun acronym for you, CPG –>consumer packaged goods.  Most would say that the brands that fall in to this category are within the realm of B2C marketing.  Which might be true.  But within every category of anything, there are sub categories and I’d like to think that products such as cookies and coffee, although both are consumable goods are very different & hence need to be marketed differently.  For starters, perhaps those that drink a lot of coffee might eat fewer cookies as they consider themselves as constant movers & “fit” people.  The latter point there, brings us to an entirely different realm of the B2C & CPG arena –> the health food market which in and of itself makes up a HUGE portion of the overall packaged goods & nutrition sectors.  Organic foods alone are set to grow 14% between 2013-2018.

So with all of that, how do you market to all these different people/consumers?  Think more about who your target customer is and what their needs are as well as HOW they consume your product.  Is it on the go?  Is it only on weekends?  Is it at the gym or movie theater?  All of these need to fall into a separate category that requires a different kind of message.  I’ve always found it all pretty fascinating and have said that no matter what kind of “bucket” your business/service/product falls in to, you are selling to people.  So, what void are you trying to fill?

Take a look at some more resources I dug up for you that speak to consumer product good marketing:

A Content Marketing Playbook from Top Consumer Brands –>Adweek mag
Digital Marketing Comes of Age for CPG Brands
From Oreo to Redbull CPG Brands are Transforming Marketing
CPG Branding and Marketing Forum

One things seems a constant in all forms of marketing…content is king.  It’s just a matter of how you get it out there & attract your key customer base(s).

Fall Styles

It’s been a while folks, but I think it’s time to take a step away from the career advice and take a look at some awesome fall fashions!  After all, fall did arrive at 10:29pm this Monday…

    Long cardigan with dress and leggings and boots   Adorable Outfit   Summer style.   Bright top, textured slacks, heels, chunky jewelry in a contrasting color   #Monochrome #Tweed & #Coated #Denim by Alterations Needed   Givenchy   Beige sweater   .   rainy day look from www.kellyinthecity.com   gray-on-gray monocromatic look for the office   Gorgeous.   lace skirt w/ simple sweater   Love the outfit!

Happy Fall!

6 B2B Lessons from Last Week’s Inbound14

I truly wish I could have attended, but this quick synopsis of the Inbound14 & FutureM event truly helped me and I hope it will help you.

I leave you with this thought: “If you want to not only make it, but thrive, in the B2B marketing world you have to have the courage to be different, instantaneous, engaging and artistic. “

One last note…KoMarketing is one of our partners right now and do amazing work and have helped us grow tremendously.  You should check them out!

Marketing in the Life Sciences World

Just as marketing is unique to the previous markets/industries we talked about, it is also unique when it comes to the life sciences or scientific arena.  I would bet you, that more companies than not don’t hit that home run when it comes to telling their overall story in this market.  There are those few that do, but for the most part, if you are not intimately involved in the market, you’re likely to get very overwhelmed by the jargon and the wealth of information.  So I decided to search and learn about the best marketing methods, and mistakes, when it comes to marketing to the life sciences market.

What I quickly learned, and agree with, is that often times, a company gets pigeon holed into only being known for its product(s) and not its overall solutions.  That’s all I’ll say about that but I do want to point you in the direction of a fascinating article that has me jotting down notes and wondering if I should rethink the way I’ve been thinking.

The Brand vs. Product Marketing Paradox in the Life Sciences article goes through some of the pitfalls of ineffective marketing:

1. “Truth is, the majority of the marketing resources that scientific companies expend are for product promotions. Very little attention is paid to brand building.

2. Product-marketing leads to company becoming synonymous with a technology, limiting its actual potential.

3. Product-based messages raise the baseline noise.

4. Market forces define the company’s brand.

5. A study published in Harvard Business Review[2] has profound implications about the power of brands to motivate people towards action, and the adverse effects that promotional headlines have on customer behavior. In short, it is actually possible that brands can generate demand with far more efficiency than product marketing activities.

6. Companies don’t actually have to choose between brand-vs-product marketing. They can do both. But it takes more than marcom-level template-enforcing. It takes action.

Companies can build their brands through product marketing, by focusing on the content of their programs and encouraging an experience for their customers, instead of just saying their value proposition.

The first step is to develop a content model and a campaign architecture that engages with scientists and encourages them to experience the value proposition. The Content-Centric Marketing for Science is one such framework.”

Is your mind blown a bit?  Will you rethink your marketing strategy even if you’re not in the life sciences field?

Here is one more nugget from the Content Centric Marketing article:

“Most marketing messages for scientific products and services provide only logical feature/benefit statements, failing to engage the scientist’s emotion or ego. The key is to know when and how to engage either a scientist’s emotion, or his/her logic or ego during the buying journey. This can be approached by mapping how the archetypal scientist consumes information.”
figure6 (1)The goal of marketers should be to develop information that removes any impediments for scientists to move swiftly from stage to stage in their own buying journeys, all the while becoming predisposed to the company’s way of thinking. It is important to remember that scientists need to make their own conclusions at each stage, rather than being told what to think and how to act.”