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Posts Tagged ‘marketing resources’

blog 5.22.15

While marketing departments are starting to see budgets shift toward more thought leadership and educational-based communications, traditional marketing collateral should still remain a focus of any organization. In fact, it still plays a very important role in your marketing mix. Here are five tips that will help you build your brand and effectively support your sales efforts.

Make collateral part of your integrated marketing strategy.

The success of your company comes down to how well you convey what you have to offer. Marketing collateral is a creative way to tell your business story so that people understand who you are and what you do. Outlining your messaging and collateral library before launching your campaign will keep you focused. The key points that you want to reiterate will be clearly conveyed across all of your collateral items. Research suggests, and our experience confirms, that prospects respond to content that discusses their challenges and pain points – not your product or service alone. Just make sure that you are able to map the challenges and pains back to how your product or service addresses them.

Create brand consistency with a corporate style guide.

Make no mistake. Marketing collateral is a direct reflection of your business. Your collateral should convey your business in a professional and credible way. Failure to do so will result in unfavorable first impressions and lost opportunities. With every piece of collateral there should be a consistent look and feel with the visual design as well as tonality of the copy. A style guide will allow you to sort and add structure to the different elements that make up your collateral. It enables you to set strict guidelines around your logo, color schemes, key graphics, fonts, taglines or key phrases.

Find a balance for your graphics.

Graphical elements in your collateral can effectively guide a reader through the content while keeping the attention of your audience. There is a certain balance between all collateral elements that needs to be adhered to in order to effectively do this. When selecting images, take in to account their purpose. Selecting images that closely relate to your business or brand image and/or visually illustrate important data points is appropriate and can make your collateral stand out.
Utilize white space in your collateral.  While it is tempting to fill every inch of your collateral with images or information, this may result in over-saturation. Use a combination of white space and imagery to frame your message and call attention to it. A design that is too busy will distract from the important things like your logo, call-to-action or product/service information.

Consider the quality of your materials.

The type of paper that you use, the quality of the collateral images and even load times for your digital assets all contribute to how your audience will respond to your marketing collateral. Using high quality materials and imagery will ensure that your company appears professional and makes a positive first impression.
Collateral doesn’t have to be boring so don’t be afraid to try something different. Use your imagination to come up with original and unique pieces that make you stand out from the crowd. Try incorporating different materials and shapes. The only limitation is your imagination, and, of course, your budget.

Drive digital assets with physical assets.

Businesses often forget to incorporate the digital marketing aspects of their collateral. Items like website addresses and social media pages printed on physical collateral can direct your audience to access digital elements and hold their attention beyond the initial printed piece.
How long has it been since you examined your collateral? Chances are it could use a good once-over and refresh to bring it up to speed with your current messaging, branding guidelines and goals. By following these tips, you can ensure your collateral positions your business in a positive light while building your brand and converting leads into buyers.

Have additional questions about marketing collateral? Contact Launch Marketing today! Be sure to follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook to keep up with the latest B2B marketing tips and trends.

You’re busy and your work load isn’t showing signs of slowing down any time soon. Don’t let your busy schedule get in the way of effective marketing. Often times, it’s not about “having” time. It’s about making time. Here are six simple things often overlooked by businesses that can have a big impact on the effectiveness of their marketing when done consistently.

1. Promoting your blog. Content is not a new idea and we all know that content is king. What you may not know is that you are leaving valuable opportunities on the table. If you are taking the time and making the effort to write blog posts, make sure that people know about it. Promote your content in your newsletter, your email signature, your website and especially on social media.

Blog 5.14.20152. Reposting content. This is especially true regarding social media. Social streams move very quickly and users are in and out of their social feeds throughout the day. Another point to consider is that content isn’t only relevant to conversations once. Just because you post your content one week doesn’t mean that it will be any less relevant 3-4 weeks later.

3. Repurposing content. When is a whitepaper not a whitepaper? The answer is: all the time. Each piece of content that you produce, especially the more lengthy ones like whitepapers and eBooks, can be carved into a series of content like blog posts. On the flip side, a series of blog posts could be reworked into an eBook. Even videos can be repurposed. Consider this “low-hanging fruit.” Since a majority of the research and planning is done with the initial content piece, it’s worth taking a little extra time to repurpose it into new formats that can be used to increase viewer engagement.

4. Revisiting contacts. During our busy schedules, it’s easy to focus on what’s right in front of us. Make a plan each month to look at your database and think about contacts you have not spoken to in a while. Make the effort to reach out to them. This not only shines the spotlight on your business, it highlights your sincere interest as well.

5. Saying thank you. Seems simple enough, right? Take the time to thank people. This may be over the phone or in person but when someone does says something or does something nice, thank them. When someone refers you to a prospective customer, thank them! You get the point. If it’s sincere, you can’t say thank you enough.

6. Minding the little things. Pay attention to spelling, punctuation and word use. It’s the culmination of little things that will chip away at the perception of your brand and business. Every error and every mistake takes away the attention that should be focused on your product or service. If you need to brush up on your grammar and punctuation, we have a 2-part article that will help you with some of the most common mistakes in your written communications. It’s not rocket science. These seem like minor things and yet they often go ignored. Make time to target these six items on a regular basis and you will start to see improvements in the quality and results of your marketing.

Looking for a team of seasoned experts who can address your marketing needs and garner big returns? Contact Launch Marketing today! Be sure to follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook to keep up with the latest B2B marketing tips and trends.

 

 

Why are multiple sources predicting marketers will be taking the lead in end-to-end customer experience over the next decade? To evaluate, let’s examine the common issues organizations face with customer experience, internally (interdepartmental issues) as well as externally (client relations issues), and what the pros have to say about them.

CX Alicia Blog

This is an excerpt from a Harvard Business Review article, “The Truth About Customer Experience,” written in 2013:

The problem [of the entire customer onboarding process] is far more common than most organizations care to admit, and it can be difficult to spot. At the heart of the challenge is the siloed nature of service delivery and the insular cultures that flourish inside the functional groups that design and deliver service. These groups shape how the company interacts with customers.

But even as they work hard to optimize their contributions to the customer experience, they often lose sight of what customers want.

In a lot of ways, this was an early foreshadowing of the slow but steady takeover of customer experience and all that it entails by your friendly neighborhood marketing department.

Why do I say that? And how could this huge, overarching responsibility fall to marketing, of all departments?

Because marketers are the ones with the skillset that matters.

Department Structure

Listen again to the major faults of the departments handling this particular company’s customer onboarding: they operate in siloes, their departments naturally serve as a haven for insular cultures, and they often lose sight of what customers want. Does this resonate as true within your organization?

When we imagine the average designer or service delivery individual we know, and especially their corresponding departments in our own organizations, these complaints make sense. While designers, service and sales individuals can operate as independent islands within huge organizations, the average marketer you know is on a highly communicative team of other marketers that branches up into the C-suite and down into the trenches. Their personalities on an individual level are (generally) disposed to communicating often, and their teams on an organizational level reflect this.

Individual Strengths

Challenges in creating a seamless and pleasant customer experience are as diverse as the companies that host them (and the bloggers that try to capture them). For the most part, they fall into two categories: understanding people and understanding technology.

Not convinced marketers know what they’re doing with technology? According to Forbes, marketing trends to watch for in 2015 include: the emergence of marketing technologists, a marketing shift from globalization to personalization, as well as a growing focus on internal communications. What was happening in 2013 is starting to take full effect and become mainstream: marketers are becoming as tech-savvy as your IT department.

The technology marketers are responsible for wielding has gotten exponentially more complex in the past five years, and it is pushing marketers to develop a deep understanding of their audience. Not only are marketers the team in your organization that best understand the people you serve, with the help of technology and big data, they are growing this knowledge every day.

What is required to optimize and perfect the customer journey? Pulling from farther along in the Harvard Business Review article, improving the customer journey “requires both top-down, judgement-driven evaluations and bottom-up, data-driven analysis.” Who at your company does these things on a regular basis? If they’re operating as they should be, your marketing department does.

Looking for more insights on marketing? Follow us on Twitter or Like us on Facebook. You can also contact us if you’re seeking marketing services for your tech company in the Austin Area!

 

Sources:

https://hbr.org/2013/09/the-truth-about-customer-experience

http://www.marketo.com/_assets/uploads/The-Rise-of-the-Marketer-Driving-Engagement-Experience-and-Revenue.pdf

 

Six Tips for Writing a Dynamic Press Release

April 30th, 2015 by Jeff Mangels

PR Blog

You just launched a killer new mobile app. Your startup secured an initial round of funding. The company won a coveted industry award. Time to draft up a press release, right? These are all perfect opportunities to promote brand awareness and visibility for your company, but crafting a press release that is both compelling and informative isn’t always as easy as it seems.

Here are six tips on how to write a powerful press release:

Focus on your goal.

Ask yourself, “What is my objective for this release?” Decide on a single goal and then structure the release in a way that draws a reader’s focus toward your goal.

Keep it concise.

Journalists typically spend about half a second skimming the headline of your press release and if it is attention grabbing, will then spend another 5-10 seconds scanning the rest of your release. If you have the right keywords or “hooks,” they may consider you for a potential article.

Your first sentence should give the reader everything they need to know about the who, what, when, where and why. Think of the rest of the release as additional information that supports your opening sentence.

Add a photo, infographic or video.

Images and media make your content more compelling. According to research by PR Newswire, press releases that include multimedia components received 10 times more views than their text-only counterparts. It has also been noted by PR Newswire that content such as videos and images extend the shelf-life of your press release. On average, text press releases generate visibility for 9.4 days, while multimedia press releases run 20 days on average.

Share socially.

You wrote the press release for people to read, so make sure that you are utilizing every opportunity to get it out in front of them. Social sharing can also help with search engine optimization (SEO). Search engines pay close attention to social interaction surrounding content. If your content can generate a lot of activity on social networks, it will boost it within search engine results and ultimately contribute to the online visibility of your company’s messages.

Quote naturally.

Include a quote and make sure that it is informative and natural. Jargon and corporate babble can slow down and turn off readers. Read the quote aloud and listen to the cadence and flow. The message should come across in a clear and professional manner.

Wrap it up.

The last paragraph of your press release should contain general information about the company (a.k.a. boiler plate), and an active invitation to learn more. Include contact information in the form of text links, URLs and phone numbers when appropriate. You’ve done a great job of catching their interest. Make sure to give them a direct path for additional information and contacting you directly.

Informing the media and your target audience with a press release is a great tactic for building brand awareness. Whether you’re simply emailing your press release to a list of media contacts, posting it to your website and social networks, or planning to distribute it broadly across a press release distribution service, incorporating these six tips can increase the visibility of your message – and results for your efforts.

If you would like to learn how we have helped other clients with their content creation needs, contact Launch Marketing today! Be sure to keep up with the latest B2B marketing tips and trends by following us on Twitter and Facebook.

 

Graphic credit: http://www.publicize.co/beginners-guide-to-pr/chapter-2-newsworthy-announcements-how-to-write-a-press-release/