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D is for Diddly Squat

How to Get Marketing Results.

photfgsdfgo 3So many times when I meet with a potential new client they come in with a sort of shrug and uncertainty about my profession. A story will unfold about how they had worked with this group or that outfit and nothing ever came of it. Or, maybe they just handled their marketing themselves and based their strategy upon the enthusiasm of a media rep or two. They bemoan how much money was spent and how they got nothing from it. I always ask, are you sure? Is it possible you received benefits but just weren’t able to measure them? That’s one possible scenario: that efforts were made, exposure was had, but the results were intangible. The other, more likely, scenario is that there was no strategic plan, no integrated marketing strategy tied to specific goals and objectives with a clear and realistic budget. Because, when all those things are in place, marketing works. It’s really that simple. You have to spend enough to be in all the places you need to be so that the people you’re trying to woo actually know who you are, and you need to have specific goals that allow you to measure the results.

Let’s say you’re a landscaping company and you service both commercial and residential accounts. Last year, you had a huge project that tilted your residential revenues off the scale, so you know that this year you need to replace that loss. So, there! We have a goal: to increase residential sales by x %. So our strategy incorporates tools and tactics to meet that goal. We determine where we’re going to focus and we build a strong database. We design a unique and highly creative direct mail campaign that speaks to our target audience where they live. And, we support that with a strong brand awareness campaign placed strategically in the mediums that we know they subscribe to or visit.

Voila, at the end of the year residential sales are up substantially. With good creative and a strong integrated marketing strategy you’ll end up with a lot more than diddly squat.


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B is for Brand

What is a Brand anyway?

sdfgThese days, a lot of us throw ‘brand’ around like it’s some kind of magic word. Half the time, I swear people aren’t speaking the same language. Some people use the word ‘brand’ as a synonym for ‘logo.’ Some people use it synonymous with public relations. Others think it’s something to do with their online presence and website.

The truth is, your Brand is your promise and needs to be reflected in all of these things. It’s the experience you offer that is unique. It’s what a customer comes away with when they purchase your product or service. Take Nike. Just do it. What are they getting at here? They want you to get active, get fit, feel good and wear their merchandise while you’re doing it. A lot went into boiling that all down to a cool logo that everyone now refers to as “the swish,” which evokes action, and a potent tag line that inspires action. I’m sure the branding team who developed this sturdy, sustainable brand went through a lot of options before they landed on the winner.

When you think about your Brand, think about what makes you different. Think about how you can succinctly communicate that to your target audience. Think about how you want to be perceived and how you can inspire people to do business with you. But do think about it. And make sure that all your marketing communications point back to, and support, your brand promise.

And — keep it simple (that’s the hard part). Just do it.