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.
As all the world knowns, part of the Superdome went dark during the Superbowl. And the leaders and managers at organizations like yours began wondering what would happen if their own version of a “Superdome shut-down” took place. The first step in managing that kind of crisis – and it is a crisis – is to have your Crisis Communications Guide completed and continually up-t0-date.
In itself that plan restores a sense of order when bad things happen because everyone in the organization knows what to do, how, and when. Here are 6 tips from Image Marketing Consultants on putting that Guide together:
Define “crisis.” The freezer going off in a food establishment is a crisis. So is a choking guest. Another form of crisis is an unexpected snow storm which starts to roar outside as patrons are starting to eat. Listing examples of crisis reassures everyone in the organizaton that leadership is in control. Therefore there is trust in the process.
Indicate who’s in charge of what. In emergencies, human beings need leadership. Specify who’s accountable for what, in what order should they be notified, and the contact information.
Establish one spokesperson. All information should be given to that representative who is the only point for release of information. No one else should comment to anyone else.
Release information as soon as it is available and has been verified. Constituencies, ranging from the media to investors, will view you as credible if you ensure they receive accurate informaton as soon as you have it. Use all mediums for this real-time disclosure.
Be generous. When the electronic cash registers went down in a supermarket, that event had been provided for in the crisis plan. Check-out clerks had hand calculators and provided a percentage discount for the inconvenience.
Thank all constituencies. Acknowleging the role of others in resolving the crisis is a key public relations initiative. It creates the platform for cooperation during the next unexpected incident.
Kate Sirignano, founder of Image Marketing Consultants, provides complimentary consultations on all your communications and marketing needs, including public relations, partnerships, special events, and social media firstname.lastname@example.org, 203-404-4868.
By time SuperBowl Sunday actually happens most of us will have already viewed the commercials. Some of us will catch them on traditional television, some on YouTube, and some on media properties like BUSINESS INSIDER. And, studies as well as expert opinion show that these “teasers,” if well done, can enhance the results advertisers get.
Using “teaser” ads and “teaser” promotions in your organization before actual campaigns can also be effective for you. For example, you may be opening a new upscale dessert shop. Before that, you can arrange partnerships with elite retailers to distribute small samples of a gourmet cookie. With the consumers’ permission you can video that moment of high pleasure when the indulgence meets the taste buds. Those can be shown on YouTube and your on Media Center. In addition, local media might find them fun to cover.
Here are 3 tips from Image Marketing Consultants on how to get the biggest bang from your teasers.
Do Them Right. Every detail about the teaser is even more important than what goes on in the actual roll-out. That’s because, as the conventional wisdom goes, less is more. This small amount of information or mini experience has to deliver. Therefore, invest all the resources needed.
Get Maximum Exposure. The best-made promotion won’t help your organization unless enough people enjoy it. That’s where partnership comes in. You have to identify the most useful venues for the teaser. Those with a huge budget could have the introduction of the 2014 model electric car shown in movie houses before the film. The rest of you probably have to be focused about figuring out what organizations would partner with you because they are also getting something out of this. For example, the gourmet cheese shop might want to be associated with a gourmet dessert startup.
Build. Both the teaser and the relationships you build provide a platform for your future marketing, partnerships, public relations, special events, and social media. From then on, consider what you do as an outgrowth of this early effort.
Kate Sirignano, founder of Image Marketing Consultants, invites you to a complimentary consultantion on all your communications 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.
Technology has created what’s being called “The Collaboration Economy.” Thought leader Evan Rosen explains in MIT’s TECHNOLOGY REVIEW this game-changing phenomenon.
Instead of operating alone, professionals now are pooling their insight, analysis, and strategies through group emails, wikis, video meetings, conference calls, social networks like Facebook and Google+, commenting on articles, receiving comments on their own blogs, and sharing material with one click. Image Marketing Consultants explains how you as a personal brand and your organization can leverage collaboration to get an edge.
Choose the right partners. The potential obstacle with collaboration is that it tends to consume more time and patience than does working alone. Therefore, you need to ensure there’s a payoff by including in your process only those useful to your objectives. Partners are not created equal.
Be open. Your partners can’t “get” how vital you are to the team unless you disclose your best thinking and hunches about strategy. The risk of collaboration is this openness but the reward can be awesome since research and experience show that joint efforts can generate superior outcomes. That’s why even competitors like BMW and Toyota cooperated in designing the battery for the electric car.
Don’t expect individual recognition. The enemy of superior outcomes from collaborating is the star system. Ego is a throw-back to the 20th century way of doing business. It’s the group effort which counts, not your input. Organizations are overhauling their cultures to recruit, develop, and retain professionals who can be a “we,” instead of a “me.”
Kate Sirignano, founder of Image Marketing Consultants, invites you to a complimentary consultation on how you can partner in this changing economy email@example.com, 203-404-4868.
Small businesses tend to tremble when they hear the rumor that a big box is moving into their neighborhood. They fear that big box will crush them.
Image Marketing Consultants is not the only one reassuring you that you can survive. In THE HAMDEN JOURNAL, Christopher LaTorraca wrote the cover story “Local Retailers Compete Against the Box Stores.”
In it LaTorraca explains that the little guy has been thriving by making business personal. That is, they go the distance in customer service. That includes knowing their customers so well that they have in their inventory exactly what will be purchased. There is no need to wait.
Other initiatives which have been effective for clients of Image Marketing Consultants is hosting special events. Online fatigue has set in and people are again eager to go out, especially if the event is free. The cheese shop can put on a cooking demonstration of how to make a cheese soup and the clothes retailer can stage a fashion show for one demographic such as women over-50. In addition, small businesses can partner with each other as well as larger companies to sell products and services they couldn’t manage to do alone.
According to American Express, 100 million will shop at locally owned business. The challenge is to ensure that your shop will be among them.
Kate Sirignano, founder of Image Marketing Consultants, invites you to a complimentary consultantion on marketing, partnerships, public relations, special events, and social media firstname.lastname@example.org, 203-404-