Board of Advisors: Why It Can Help Your Business, Explains Image Marketing Consultants

Putting together a Board of Advisors is becoming a standard part of the marketing mix.

That’s because this tool helps both your business and the professional objectives of the advisors.  With some economists predicting GPD growth of 3 percent in 2013, this might be the time for you to consider this tactic.

Unlike a Board of Directors, the Board of Advisors is an unofficial, informal group.  The members come together to provide guidance, access to their own networks, and the power of their own individual branding to your business.  In return, you give them exposure on your website and in your other communications, introduce them to others useful to their own enterprises, and make it possibible for them to become insiders in a field they might want to be associated with.  Although they usually don’t receive monetary compensation, they tend to enjoy perks from your operations such as entertainment and discounts, an enhanced network, and the branding side effects of your success.

How to put together a Board of Advisors?   Here are some guidelines:

Clarify Purpose.  Potential members are busy people.  So you have to be clear why they are there and what their roles/duties will be.

Clarify Incentives.  Those should be detailed.  For example, you would state that the industry is growing 21 percent and your particular enterprise is growing 42 percent.  Explain what’s in it for them to be part of that high profile niche.   Also indicate the networking opportunities since the membership will include other proven professionals, maybe even celebrities.  Then spell out the concrete perks such as exposure in your promotions, tickets to sports events, discounts, and possible referrals.

Be Attentive. Figure out what the members want before they even ask.  That will keep them happy participants in your business.

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, 203-404-4868.

Generational Divides: Image Marketing Consultants Looks at Market Segments

Is your residential real estate agency targeted toward the professionally established Generation X house hunters or the under-30 struggling to find property they can afford?  If you don’t know that, neither will your potential customers.  With such severe competition in just about every industry it is key to be clear about what your business is as a brand and what segments it can most profitably focus on.

That applies whether your business is residential real estate, dining, driver education, or affordable housing.  The most common mistake businesses make is attempting to be all things to all possible buyers.  That confuses the shopper.  It also dilutes the brand message.

For the new year, please go back to the drawing board and determine which are the most profitable market segments or single segment.  Then develop your strategic plan and tactics for reaching them effectively and cost efficiently.

Kate Sirignano, founder of Image Marketing Consultants, invites you to a complimentary consultation on your marketing, public relations, partnerships, special events, and social media, 203-404-4868.  This holiday season give yourself the gift of a more successful business.

Template v Custom-made: Small business and digital technology

A new year, at least the calender one, is coming.  Also, your business may be planning to shift from a recessionary strategy to a growth one.  So, the team is brainstorming about what your priorities should be and how to accomplish them.  At the top of the list could be your digital communications.

Many businesses ask us at Image Marketing Consultants if they should go with a standard template for their website or custom-make their own.  For example, WordPress now provides those kinds of templates for the wedding and, more recently, the restaurant verticals.  Here Toni Schneider, Chief Executive Officer of Automattic, parent of WordPress, talks to TechCrunch about the entrance into the restaurant niche.

The advantages of going with a template include that businesses don’t have to start from scratch in setting up or re-doing their website.  They can devote their resources to focusing on the specifics for each category, such as capturing what’s unique about the ambiance or the menu.  The disadvantage is the the competition might pull away current customers and prospects by having a very non-standard website.  The media might cover it.  Overnight that restaurant could become hot.

We at Image Marketing Consultants have found that there are no easy or absolute right or wrong answers about digital communications.  That’s why we invite you to a complimentary consultation to discuss your unique situation with Kate Sirignano, Managing Partner of Image Marketing Consultants.  You can reach Kate at, 203-404-4868 for your  questions about social media, marketing, public relations, special events, and partnerships.  

Email: No, No Need To Bury Your Personality, Advises Image Marketing Consultants

Many leaders in organizations, both nonprofit and private sector, are staring at the emails on their laptops and wondering what tone they should use to respond.  Yes, they are fearful.

The electronic paper trails retrieved by the government powers that be from various computers associated with the military have alerted professionals to how easy it is for emails to be misinterpreted.  Even the amount of them, such as the 20,000 to 30,000 pages from Commander John Allen to unpaid military liaison Jill Kelley, can be viewed in a negative light.  The public reading about this in the media wonder why a leader was spending so much time digitally chatting instead of fighting a war.

The reality is that in 2012 digital communications are the preferred way of conducting our transactions.  All generations, not only Millennials, are choosing typing over talking on the phone.  It’s a must-do to have those emails differentiate each nonprofit and each business from all the rest of the entities seeking attention out there.  That means that they have to contain the organization’s unique personality or brand.  No, they cannot be devoid of a clear identity.  The Red Cross has a distinct image which differs from that of the Salvation Army and Goodwill.  Facebook will never be mistaken for Google or Microsoft.

Yes, caution is always needed in professional communications.  But trying to play it “too safe” is likely to alienate donors, prospects, customers and clients.  They need to know who you are as a professional entity.  That is the beginning of trust.

Kate Sirignano, founder of Image Marketing Consultants, invites you to a complimentary consultation on marketing, partnerships, public relations, special events, and social media, 203-404-4868.