Optimizing your Website Images

A quick note to make sure you are optimizing the images on your website with alt tags and meta descriptions on that page.  Google has changed the way images are displayed and now shows a description right under that image which makes it much more important to optimize your site!

What did you do today?

Advertisements

Brand Refresh & Guidelines

I just wanted to share some quick things to keep in mind when you are planning a brand refresh/update.

Start with a Brand Analysis/Evaluation to understand where your brand stands in the eyes of your customers & distributors.  From there, you can go in to the Brand Refresh.  There are many things to keep in mind as your go through this whole process, such as:

  • Specific markets you sell in to
  • Different kinds of customers and their buying persona’s
  • Buying times and how long the buying process takes
  • What your product says about your brand!

Let’s dive in…here are some of the things you want to consider covering with your new brand guidelines.

Brand Evolution

  • Defining who we are
  • How we differentiate our brand(s)
  • Brand consistency in messages and graphics
  • Developing brand character with a clear voice

Brand Elements

  • Logos
  • Logo Placement & Positioning
  • Brand Colors
  • Correct & incorrect logo usage
  • Taglines
  • Correct & incorrect usage of imagery to depict products & solutions

Business Communication

  • Letterhead
  • Business Cards
  • Envelopes
  • Email Signatures
  • PowerPoint Presentations

Design Applications

  • Brochures & Catalogs
  • Flyers & Sales Sheets

Product Communication

  • Text Standards
  • Capitalization/Numbers/Bullets/Hyphens/Measurements/Abbreviations/Symbols/Captions/Descriptions

Visual Design Guidelines

  • Industrial Design Attributes
  • Product Badges
  • Color Specification

Future Brand Updates

  • Tradeshow Applications
  • Shirt Applications

Here are some samples of how some familiar brand logos have changed through the years.

 

Oh, and happy birthday to me 🙂

 

 

Managing a Marketing Budget

I always found it difficult to answer the question of, “are we on budget?”  The reason was, I really wasn’t sure what the budget was or how far below or above it we were.  When I was given the opportunity to become a manager I wanted to change that, as I felt like I couldn’t be the only one that felt like I couldn’t really manage my work without fully understanding the implications of it on the overall marketing budget.

So, I took the numbers, and broke them in to the categories of the types of tasks and initiatives we needed to complete during the year and posted the Excel spreadsheet to our internal portal.  I’ve asked those that are responsible for certain portions of the budget to update it regularly, i.e. on a monthly basis so we are always on top of our budgetary numbers and I can easily look in one place and tell my manager what can be cut, moved around and accomplished within the constraints of our budget.

This has allowed my direct report to feel like she really owns her portion of the marketing pie.

What are you doing to manage you marketing budget and make it easier to keep up to date?

Next Step – Upper Management

 

 

 

 
For those of you who are looking for that next step, I came across an awesome article that I think can even be applied to those who simply want to be seen as leaders and not necessarily have a desire to be Veep’s.

I’m going to paraphrase the parts I enjoyed most, but everyone should read the Step Up. Stop Doing What’s Made You Successful.

1. “In a small team there isn’t much need for formal communication. Everyone knows what everyone else is doing. You talk every day. Formal communication seems wasteful, even bureaucratic. But, as a leader, communication means leverage. Because you can’t talk to everyone everyday, you need more structured communication. Also, your increased scope means that more people care about what your team is doing. You have a larger and more diverse audience. These people don’t understand as much about what you do, so the content of your communication needs to shift (less about activities, more about results and roadmap).

2. “Many front-line managers earn their first management promotion because they excelled at the job. They are subject matter experts and good coaches. This can lead to a habit of managing activity rather than results.

As a next-level leader you need to shift your focus away from the activity and towards the results that your team is producing. Leave it to your managers to figure out how to get the results (assuming they do so with integrity!). Ask questions and offer advice but don’t dictate. You should examine the details when the results don’t materialize.”

3. “Leaders have vision–a “true north” for their organization. Of course you’re not the company’s founder or CEO, so your vision is going to be smaller in scope and may feel less…well…visionary. That’s okay, you still need to have one. Your team needs aspirations. You need to be heading in a clear direction.”

4. “You need to break some of those old habits so you can create new ones.

How? One recommendation is to remove all recurring meetings from your calendar and start fresh fresh. The demands for your time will increase significantly and you could be dragged into a huge number of meetings, so block time on your calendar for working & thinking. Block time to write formal communications. And eat lunch. And exercise. Schedule skip-level meetings with individual contributors. Plan an offsite for your team.”

Do you agree with these tips?  I know I would love to clear my calendar and just strategize but unfortunately that’s not always possible due to deadlines and general bandwidth of a “do more with less…people” situation.