What’s Your Go-To Marketing Recipe?

So, I decided to make some soup one day, and while I was doing so, I realized that a lot of the requirements to pull off a good soup recipe, are the same ones that are needed to make a great marketing campaign happen.

Here is a not so quick recap of what I realized…
(If you don’t have time to watch, read below):


 

  1. Your Why…
    Identify why you want to create a marketing campaign in the first place, so that if it gets complicated and overwhelming, you remember why you started this campaign in the first place. Is it because the cash register isn’t ringing? Is your business in a lull? All to often, business owners get caught up in the frenzy of running a business, that it can be hard to make time to market your business, even though it is an essential part of growing your business.
  2. Setting SMART Goals
    Specific
    Measurable
    Attainable
    Risky
    Timely
    This is important so that you can assess whether or not you hit your goal once your campaign is over.
  3. Plan!
    The most important part of the recipe that often gets overlooked… the plan. Make sure that you set yourself up for success to accomplish your goal and complete the campaign. Outline who is responsible for what, figure out what specifically you need, and make sure that you set aside time and/or money to bring the campaign to fruition.
  4. Tools
    Marketing tools are an essential component of executing a campaign. They can help you save money, time, and make replication easier. Don’t get overwhelmed if you are looking into new tools, and you see a number of options out there. Refocus on what you need, and think of future campaigns before re-evaluating your options. Ask for help if need be.
  5. EXECUTE
    Make the campaign happen!
  6. Assess/Measure
    It’s always important to reassess what worked and what didn’t, after ALL marketing campaigns. What was your ROI? Did you hit you goal? What would you do different next time to make this recipe/campaign better, or is it best to not do this again, and try something new? Whatever the answer is, don’t get discouraged if you get less than stellar results. What you learned during the process of the campaign is really important for future campaigns. And, whatever you do, don’t give up on marketing your business if it has been a struggle. It takes practice, and it’s harder to make an impact on your business when you are reactive vs. proactive. People can smell the desperation a mile a way, so try to do something consistently every month until it becomes your go-to recipe (strategy) for success.

 

How Do I Handle Online Reputation Management?

How to handle online reputation management is a question that plagues both businesses and individuals alike.  A negative sentiment can cause a business loss of both revenue and trust.  Whereas the wrong perception of a person can strip them of job security or even bring retaliation from others.  About 5 years ago, many Facebook users were changing their real names to nicknames in an effort to keep any “negative activities” from potential employers.  The case of Lindsay Stone is a severe one, in which a single picture ruined her life.  What started as an inside joke between friends became a public controversy with many sensitive layers, finally resulting in a lost job and hate mail from veterans and their supporters.  Similar things have happened to huge companies, where the opinion of an individual created a PR nightmare for the corporation (ie. Chick-Fil-A scandal).  In addition, websites like Yelp are thriving and a common point of reference for consumers, a negative review can destroy a hard earned reputation.  The major takeaway is that if you do not monitor and maintain your brand’s image then it is at the mercy of the masses.  Here are some tips to keep you and your company in a truthful, positive light.

1. CLAIM IT – Gather all urls similar or even close to your name.  This tactic will hinder imposters from acting on the behalf of your company in an effort to ride your coat tails or simply damage your image.  Value and urgency of this process increases as you gain notoriety, also be sure to remember social media platforms, review sites, YouTube and other video sharing sites.  These efforts will keep your brand, customer loyalty and satisfaction in high ranking.

2. MANAGE IT – Make sure you have consistency in your voice, verbiage is key, and also be clear on the use of each platform.  Twitter is primarily to field client questions or concerns, while Facebook is used for reminder advertising, client interaction and company updates.  Set up canned responses so if there is any negative interaction, it gets resolved appropriately.  Also, make sure everything posted is of high quality.  This sets the tone of professionalism, giving current and future clients insight on how you run your company.

3. WATCH IT – At this point you cannot only pay attention to what you are putting out, you must be cognisant of your five W’s: Who, What, Where, Why and When.  Have you ever googled your own company?  You should, it will allow you to keep tabs on anything brewing online that isn’t in line with your brand.  You may find people complaining about you or your product/service and you will be able to rectify the situation, creating a better experience for that client and other potential clients.  Companies can also find knockoffs of their product just by looking up the hashtags they have created, so it is great practice to monitor those as well.  All of this will enable you to be proactive vs reactive to potential threats, which is essential in global business today.

Some people are unsure on how to do online reputation management, or just don’t have the time for it.  Drop us a line and we can help you out!

How to Build a Startup While Traveling Internationally

 

 

I’ve always wondered what I would be like to travel all over and to create my own business, but at separate times! Take a look at this great article on Entrepreneur.com  as this gutsy adventurer decided to do it all in one go!

 

Make a Mission Statement That Describes YOU, Not Your Competition

Within the 1000’s of mission statements that I have read over the years, I found a common thread in the structure of the majority: buzzwords and white noise.  Unfortunately for them and perhaps fortunately for you, too many companies utilize a mix of meaningless hype words to get their point across.  When reviewing your mission statement, ask yourself, does it distinguish you in any way from your competition, or could they be using the exact same statement?  If the answer is yes, then you may want to take another stab at it.

My approach to reading/constructing a mission statement is simple: does this inspire me?  Guy Kawasaki made the statement:

I give up trying to get people to create short, different, and meaningful mission statements, so go ahead and spend the $25,000 for the offsite, facilitator, and consultants to create one. However, you should also create a mantra for your organization. A mantra is three or four words long. Tops. Its purpose is to help employees truly understand why the organization exists.

For the most part I agree with him, however I feel that the mission statement is inherently valuable and can be constructed to inspire as the mantra does.  Anyone can check the Wikipedia definition of a mission statement to see what to cook up, I’m here to tell you the flavors to add:

  • Who, what why: We are a Fortune 500 Company… blah blah blah.  Sorry to break it to you, but nobody cares.  GIVE people a reason to care, not a company profile. Baring your heart and soul for people to see is the only way to truly connect.  Remember the who, what, and why of WHAT MOTIVATED YOU to take that first step in creating a company.
  • Concise but informative: It’s 2015, attention spans are short and pulled in every which direction.  Three words to help with this: EDIT, EDIT, EDIT.  In my experience cutting down the verbiage and editing will always yield a better result.
  • Excitement!: Make your statement something you can be excited about!  If you were at a party and you introduced your company as a friend, would they be the life of the party or sitting alone in the corner?
  • CREATIVE: Bottom line, each and every company is founded in some form of creativity.  Even the stock accounting firm was started by a person with a vision.  Bring that vision to life in the eyes of your audience.
  • Honesty: Remember to stay true to yourself and your ideals.  Any fabrications will soon be brought to light.

In the end, you need to stand apart from your competition.  You may provide the best product/services around, but your target audience needs to stay and look around for a bit before they take that leap: give them a reason to.

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