Tag: advertising.

“Design is the single most critical factor in determining the ultimate winner of the 21st Century.”
~ Kun-Hee Lee, CEO Samsung

Good design is what sets a business apart from the competition – whether it’s the organizational design, the work they do or the product they create for their customers. Design is a critical part of business success because it means someone is thinking things through and looking at the big picture.

When you were a child and drew a picture on a piece of paper, did you feel the need to fill up the entire page? Were you told it was wasteful to leave empty space? That belief may have been okay then, but it might not be a good idea for your marketing materials now. Fewer words or less design means higher impact for the words you do use. You don’t have a lot of time to catch someone’s attention and too many words will get lost. Only the main words will be read anyway, so don’t clutter your materials with information that won’t be read. Using fewer words will help you stick to the main point. Keep it simple.

Power In Color

How do select color when you plan the design of your logo and marketing materials? Do you generally select just what you like? If so, you might consider putting more thought into your color choices.

Studies have shown that a product’s color influences 60-80% of a customer’s purchasing decision – meaning that color can make or break a product.  Color is the first thing a consumer will notice about your logo.

On both a conscious and subconscious level colors convey meaning. The use of color can bring your marketing materials multiple layers of meaning. You can use these meanings to underline and accent your branding messages.

Bright, bold colors are attention grabbing but can appear brash. Muted tones are more sophisticated, but can be overlooked.

Colors can be divided into two categories: warm – which are associated with energy; and cold – which are more about calmness and security.

We’ve created a cheat sheet for you to download with colors and their associated meanings. These are not rigid rules, but they’re worth keeping in mind. It’s also important to consider the global appeal of your color choices – especially if you’re a global brand. For instance, in China red is considered lucky, while in India white is the color of mourning and death.

In addition to the color cheat sheet, we’ve also included a color contrast guide displaying 18 color combinations that have been tested for visibility at various distances by the OAAA.

Think about your message and choose your colors carefully to portray your company’s image.

Download the Color Cheat Sheet.
Download the Color Contrast Guide.

Advertising just doesn’t work like it used to. It’s expensive and isn’t getting results. Worst of all it’s difficult to track. Businesses don’t know how to manage their marketing or advertising and don’t have time to do it right. Word of mouth works and can still be counted on. That’s why social media is growing fast.

Many small business owners would echo these sentiments. However, none of these statements have to be fact. While advertising can be expensive and time consuming, it has major benefits. On average, many small business owners cut marketing budgets first when they start having cash flow worries. However, it’s at those times that it’s even more important to keep your business brand front and center.

Social media is by far one of the most effective and affordable ways to reach your customers and build your brand, but it’s not the only way. Here’s our list of marketing tips and strategies to help you market your business the best you can, even when the budget is tight.

  1. The Elevator Speech
    An elevator speech is a 15 to 20 second description of what you do. The idea is that if you find yourself in an elevator with an ideal client, by the time you reach your destination, your prospect will have asked for your card. Start with your ideal client and determine the single most important thing you want them to know about your [product, service, brand, idea]. Then include what problems you can solve for them and what sets you apart from your competition along with a brief description of the results they can expect. Invest time in meticulously crafting your elevator speech. If you have a killer elevator speech, the return on investment will pay off big.
  2. Think Local
    You don’t have to market to the whole country, or even the state or region. Think local. You’re a small business; the majority of your customers and prospects live in your immediate area. Get involved in the community to get your name out there. Sponsor a little league team or a charity event. Hand out free paper fans at the 4th of July parade. Think about where and how your ideal customers spend their time and then find ways to get your marketing message in front of them.
  3. Collaborate and Network
    Round up a group of area business that are non-competitive and can easily work together and agree to cross promote. Collaborating can help you all reach an expanded customer base. Networking is one of the best ways to build your business. Get out there and meet people! Networking requires a time commitment, and it’s not always going to provide instant gratification, but it will easily become the strongest asset you can have. Just remember, its about building business relationships. Networking gives you the chance to help people know you, like you and trust you. When they do that, they will be ready to do business with you or refer someone to you. Which brings me to…
  4. Referrals, Referrals, Referrals
    The easiest new business comes from happy customers who send you referrals. Don’t be shy about asking for them either. Most people are willing to provide a referral, if asked, but very few will do it on their own. If your customers are truly content, they will be happy to help you and there is nothing more powerful than the recommendation of a happy customer. Don’t forget to offer up referrals for others when you can. Sometimes a successful referral from you for their business will result in a return referral from them.
  5. Keep Relationships
    This point ties right into numbers 3 & 4. It’s less expensive to keep a current customer than to get a new one. Establishing strong relationships with your current customers is vital. You can build these relationships by using social media, email campaigns and good old face-to-face conversations. Keep communicating!
  6. Speech, Teach!
    I know, I know, you hate public speaking. A lot of people do, but it’s a great marketing tool. Many organizations are constantly seeking qualified, subject-matter experts who can present to their groups. As long as your information is helpful to the audience – and correct – people won’t care if you’re a public speaking pro. Plus, the more you do it, the easier it gets. Check with your local small business administrations, colleges, chamber of commerce, even the library. These opportunities to teach and speak to groups of individuals will establish you as a credible authority in your field. They will also open doors for collaborating, networking, referrals and relationships. (See the snowball effect?)
  7. Get More by Giving Some Away
    If you test or experience a product or service and like it, are you more likely to buy it? Probably so. Your customers are the same way! Chances are they will purchase more if you give them the opportunity to try it. Don’t be afraid of giving someone a free trial or sample. But, don’t give away too much, just enough to bring them back for more!
  8. It’s Not About You
    What? Yes I said this correctly. It’s kind of about you – but mostly it’s about your customer. Sometimes it’s easy to just tell your customer all about your company and how long you’ve been in business. But honestly, most of the time, they don’t care about that. They care about how your product or service benefits them. If you answer that first, then they will start to care more about your company and you. Focus on the benefit and/or solution you can give your customers.

These eight tips are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to marketing. But they are enough to get you started and help you out if your budget isn’t that big. Just remember, engaging customers and building relationships are the heart of your business and will be vital in your business growth. You don’t have to spend outrageous amounts of money on your marketing for it to be successful as long as you put in the time and effort and focus on what’s important to your customers.

Infographic: Freepik.com; edited by Poole Communications.

We’re so excited for the opportunity to present a workshop at the Poplar Bluff Chamber of Commerce on May 29! The topic up for discussion is how to Make the Most of Social Media.

We know that Social Media can be a real headache. Especially for business owners who need to focus on business, but know that social media can be an integral part of business growth.

This workshop will give you the information you need to effectively manage your social media without eating up your time. You’ll learn how to use social media more effectively, best practices in social media and how to make it manageable. Plus, we’ll talk about content management, how to determine which networks and platforms are most beneficial for you, and when it’s time to hire someone to help you out.

The workshop will be from 10 a.m. to noon on May 29, at the Poplar Bluff Chamber of Commerce. http://myemail.constantcontact.com/Making-the-Most-of-Social-Media-.html?soid=1102908922854&aid=cTfkonBOTyM

Fish Where the Fish Are

Spend your advertising dollars where the market is. The same concept can apply to social media. Use the platform the reaches your specific audience! If you’re customers aren’t using Twitter, but ARE using Facebook, put your time and effort there!

Also, browse our blog for more great marketing tips!

Do you want more tips?

Comment below and let us know what topics are really giving you troubles, or topics you’d just like to know more about!

Yesterday we started a list of guidelines to help you improve your marketing efforts, today we’re sharing the rest of the list! You can view Part 1 here.

Follow Up
Once the schedule is established and responsibilities have been assigned, make sure all is going according to schedule. Check to see what your customer response is to each advertising effort. If you don’t already have a way to register response to advertising, set something up. Better yet, set up more than one way to track response. Ideas: include discounts for mentioning the ad; at the time of purchase ask your customers how/why they chose your place of business, mail special offers and track response.

Evaluate Customer Response and Effectiveness
Develop a tangible method to determine the effectiveness of your advertising efforts. Develop a short questionnaire for customers or include a response vehicle on your website. Use the results to tailor future advertising efforts. Advertising must be responsive to your customers and prospective customers needs. It must be ever changing and speak clearly to do its job.

Bonus Tips:

Copywriting
Clearly state who you are and what it is that you have that customers will want, especially in terms of its benefit to them. Point out why your product or service is preferable to others. Don’t make promises you can’t fulfill. Remember, there is usually someone else offering your product or service. Give your customer reasons to come to you and keep coming back.
One common mistake in copywriting is that companies tell their story first. The first thing your customer wants to know is how you can answer their need. What product or service do you offer that will help them accomplish their goals?

Design
Buy the finest quality you can afford. Quality speaks best for quality. When you see poor quality workmanship, you don’t expect much from the company, and you certainly don’t expect to pay much for it. Good design should make it clear to your prospective customer that you are the best place to come for the products and services they need. If your customer can’t find your contact information or if your ad needs further explanation, it is a lousy ad.

Think of your customer first and you will develop great advertising to promote your company. 

For more great marketing tips like us on Facebook!

Right Kind of Advertising

Many a small thing has been made large by the right kind of advertising.

Here are few ideas that will help you build a better business with reliable, happy customers.

Getting Started
  • Research your competition
  • Start a file of ads and promotions you like
  • Set goals of where you want to be
  • How much money do you want to earn?
  • Exactly what do you want to accomplish?
  • WRITE IT ALL DOWN!
What’s Different About You?
  • Target your market regionally and by demographics
  • Write a short, honest, memorable positioning statement
  • What is different about you?
  • What benefits your customers most?
  • Fine tune your image
    Consistent logo and type used
    Refine personal image
    Your office projects your image
Start Promoting
  • Speak Up – become a local authority for your specialty
  • Volunteer with complimentary causes
  • Write a column or articles
  • Send press releases and news releases to ALL media
  • Cross promote with other businesses whenever possible
  • Don’t overlook bartering and networking
  • Use community bulletin boards: radio and TV
Keeping Your Customers
  • Build your own database with ACT or Outlook – ask permission!
  • Maintain contact with your own holiday cards, articles, gifts
  • Ask customers to refer you or provide you with references
  • Ask customers how you can improve service
  • Listen to your customer carefully – what is working?
  • Give the best incentives to long-term customers
  • Build your own web site
  • Start an e-zine, e-mail contact maintained with permission
FREE Not Easy
  • Work harder, work smarter than your competition
  • Provide more to your customer – always say “thank you”
  • Keep it simple! Give your promotions time to work
  • Keep your focus and be consistent
  • Ask what you can do to help yourself most – every day

When you get to the point that you don’t have time to do your own marketing, give Poole Advertising a call at 1-800-900-3635. Let us come up with some unique ideas for your business.

Give us a call at 1-800-900-3635 today and start building your business, visibility and profit.