Even though here along the Northeast Corridor the weather for Easter probably will be chilly, those we at Image Marketing Consultants talk with plan to do something special outdoors. Yes, it has been a harsh fall and winter, Sandy followed by Nemo.
Your customers or, if you are a professional services firm, your clients want a fresh start. This is an opportunity for you to resonate with them emotionally by highlighting messaging, providing promotions, and sponsoring special events that assure them that the world is a good place to be and full of joy and opportunity.
The most simple way to do that, of course, is through your decorations. The impact of that could be profound if you invite the community to participate through volunteer work for fundraising or a contest. For example, a bakery in Central Connecticut can donate its window for those in the neighborhood to showcase their renditions of renewal and those enjoying the display can make contributions to the United Way.
More complex is to design promotions which help clients not only save on their fee with you but also improve their business operations. For example, the graphics firm will not only create a logo with a spring discount but also give a complimentary tutorial on the most effective designs for communicating your unique branding.
This season also aligns with your passing on your own good news. Send out a press release on how much your boutique has grown since the recession ended or the 10 new products you have launched. Create a video of a walk-through of your facility, explaining what the equipment does. Then you can place that in your Media Center on your website, Facebook, and as a link on your blog and Twitter account.
Kate Sirignano, founder of Image Marketing Consultants, invites you to a complimentary consultation for your marketing, public relations, partnership, special events, and social media needs email@example.com, 203-404-4868.
Public relations, at least the successful kind, operates by brainstorming for the angle which is likely to get attention and then experimenting with tactics to communicate that message. Now that search engine optimization (SEO) is so important, the angle which has the most potential is the one which leverages what’s topical. That includes using the names and issues associated with it as keywords, for SEO purposes.
An example of that is how much public relations outreach piggybacks on Sheryl Sandberg’s message about leaning in. Here is a video of a panel discussion by TechCrunch female employees associated with the guilt which often accompanies “having it all.”
After you frame your message with these Leaning In keywords, the next step is to create a compelling narrative with text and graphics. For example, if your business is women’s fashion, then you show how your for-the-office attire gives professional women the look and confidence edge.
Kate Sirignano, founder of Image Marketing Consultants, invites you to a complimentary consultation about your public relations, marketing, partnerships, special events, and social media firstname.lastname@example.org, 203-404-4868.
Marissa Mayer, Chief Executive Officer at Yahoo, has created a global controversy by her ban on telecommuting. She contends that innovation mandates people collaborate in person, eyeball to eyeball, not via digital devices. Research backs up that, yes, working alone in one’s home office does boost productivity but it is a constraint on the bubbling up of new ideas. We at Image Marketing Consultants agree in the power of human beings joining together in person. One of our special areas of expertise is special events.
What we find, special event after special event, is that human beings need to get together, in the flesh, where they can interact with each other, cell by cell. The power of that kind of interaction has been confirmed by researchers in the field of mirror neurons. We influence each other directly. The professional who’s a type of Idea Factory will set in play the creative thinking of all the others there. The professional who’s known as The Implementer will start the ball rolling on how to test out the ideas. The professional who’s The Connector will get members of the group to sign up for tasks.
Mayer’s decree will continue to be controversial. But there’s no question that there is a surge in demand of people finding ways to get together. Here at Image Marketing Consultants we are receiving increasing requests to plan and oversee special events.
Kate Sirignano, founder of Image Marketing Consultants, invites you to a complimentary consultation for your special events, marketing, public relations, partnerships, and social media email@example.com, 203-404-4868.
There was a business which positioned itself as the best friend of the frugal. Its mission statement described how it pulled out all stops to supply the budget-conscious with the best quality at the best price. The enterprise did well.
Then a relative who had studied design introduced into the chain upscale merchandise ranging from Coach-like pocketbooks to hand-crafted earrings. Those sold like hotcakes at premium prices. Yet, the business considered stopping the line because it conflicted with the mission statement. In short, what the business said about itself or its narrative was getting in the way of more revenue and profit, with not a lot of heavy lifting.
As the economy keeps changing and organizations find themselves with new challenges and opportunities, their narratives can be holding them back. They might have adopted a risk-averse stance, for example, in hard times. Now that times are better for them those narratives about staying the course are constraints on growth. A bakery whose story is about total indulgence is hesitating in introducing heathy desserts. A writing firm which has been serving small business and promotes that in all its marketing material feels it cannot bid on larger accounts.
In short, your organization’s story about itself or its narrative can have more negative impacts than any competitor might. Here are four tips on how to break the hold of the past on your present:
Identify your narrative and determine if it still is accurate. Remember that everything changes. You organization is continually reconfiguring itself and you might not have realigned your marketing materials, including the mission statement, to what is really happening now.
Calculate the risk of adding or deleting elements from your story. You might be considering adding “luxury you can afford” to your identity as an ecommerce company providing the best bargains of the web. The risk could be reduced if you phase in the phrase, along with the merchandise, “Including some luxury items you can afford.” Consumers are more apt to accept change that is introduced in small bites. Ask for feedback on the addition or deletion. Consumers love to express their opinion.
Conduct small experiements. Even a mom-and-pop business can do test marketing. All that takes is to conduct small experiments which do not disrupt the rest of the business. For instance, the bakery can restrict one shelf to healthy desserts and promote them in a muted way. If that turns out to be too quiet a launch, then the counter person can offer complimentary samples to customers and an employee dressed like a vegetable or fruit can distribute flyers about the introduction in the neighborhood.
Host a special event, all the better with partners. Stage celebrations to include consumers in what’s new which stays. Special events are becoming increasingly in demand because Americans, after so many tragedies and disappointments in the 21st century, want to come together and enjoy being with each other. Also, they are weary of digital connecting. The bakery which is grossing one-third of revenues through healthy desserts can orchestrate a celebration in the neighborhood. The theme can be taking care of ourselves. That can be done in partnership with other healthy players such as the yoga studio, gym, farmers’ market, and chain drug store.
Kate Sirignano, founder of Image Marketing Consultants, invites you to a complimentary consultation on your positioning, marketing, public relations, partnerships, special events, and social media firstname.lastname@example.org, 203-404-4868.
Valentine’s Day reminds us of the power of the “sweet spot.” In romance when human beings aim for that sweet spot and hit it, there can be breakthroughs in relationships, ranging from healing to engagements to marry. However, those who operate businesses often find that what they aimed at in their promotions doesn’t turn out to be the sweet spot. The results of the campaign are disappointing.
Why does this happen? We at Image Marketing Consultants find there are three major reasons why promotions fail. Here they are:
Not enough research into customer needs. The cardinal rule of sales is to invest the most time in finding out what the customer needs. At a car dealership it might be high gas mileage because of a long commute, not so much price. The salesperson who keeps pitching price will not get that sale.
Not enough choice. If you read those credit cards offers coming in snail mail you will notice the proliferation of choices. You can choose a shorter period for a balance transfer at no interest rate or a longer period for a low interest rate. Reward points can be “spent” in a growing number of ways, including applying them back to pay off part of the monthly balance. Without these choices, prospects might just toss the sales literature in the trash.
Wrong tone. As lovers know, how something is said is everything. The tone of business communications keeps shifting, sometimes in subtle ways. After the wild west days of the rhetoric used in social media, communications have become more subdued. Morever, there has to be a different tone for diverse target markets. That’s why some companies have separate Facebook brand pages for diverse products and demographics.
Kate Sirignano, founder of Image Marketing Consultants, invites you to a complimentary consultation for your marketing, public relations, partnership, special events, and social media needs email@example.com 203-404-4868.
Collaboration or partnership has many benefits, ranging from lower costs to greater reach. The restaurant which structures joint promotions with local playhouses and movie theatres could attract lots of long term customers, with its partners also experiencing sustainable increases in business. However, alliances or joint ventures can also directly or indirectly produce unique problems, as the world is seeing with the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. That venture has 50 partners in more than 100 locations around the world and it has encountered serious setbacks such as batteries which catch fire.
In 2010, reports the SUPPLY CHAIN QUARTERLY, McKinsey & Company, Nielsen, and the Grocery Manufactureres Association conducted its annual Customer and Channel Management Survey (CCM). What it found was this: About 80 percent of the companies interviewed used collaboration but only twenty percent indicated that they generated results worth the effort.
In our experience, we at Image Marketing Consultants found that not every professional or organization can successfully partner. Here are 4 questions to ask before deciding to collaborate.
Do you have the necessary expertise? Partnering increases the complexity of any initiative exponentially. No one can enter the situation blind. If you don’t know what you’re doing hire a consultant or an employee who does know the field. Partnerships allow you to enter new territory, but you still need guidance.
Can you identify a partner or partners which can gain as much as you from the venture? You may be interested in increasing sales and your partner in enhancing its brandname. The project must be structured so both can accomplish that without undermining the success potential of the other. When the outcomes aren’t mutually satisfying, trouble starts. That usually takes the form of delays.
Do you and the potential partners have resources for as long as the project might take? Typically, organizations underestimate the time it takes to reach a goal. Therefore, you must have access to more resources than you initially need. Those could range from borrowing power to the ability to keep recruiting volunteers.
How will you measure “success?” You and your partners have to be realistic about, for example, when the venture will be expected to reach “breakeven,” that is, enough revenue coming in to equal or exceed the revenue going out. The metrics have to account for what setbacks can be tolerated. Those might include 20 percent returns on online orders.
Kate Sirignano, founder and head of Image Marketing Consultants, invites you to a complimentary consultation on partnerships as well as marketing, public relations, special events, and social media firstname.lastname@example.org 203-404-4868.