As IT Information Technology Director its very critical for you to understand developing brand strategy is extremely critical. The most important asset your company has is its brand. Quite simply, it drives the direction of your business. So you should definitely have a well thought out brand strategy in place.
Increasing competition in business develops similar products with good quality from different manufacturers. But only an effective, innovative and marketing strategy & planning can make your business and products more popular. For your profession as IT Information Technology Director it becomes your responsibility to stay connected with like-minded supporting industry experts who can guide and help you deal with your day to day work issues.
An Overview of Proper Supply Chain Management For Your Business
If you are entrepreneurial in nature owning a business is very exciting adventure. It can also be the most difficult thing for you to get into if you are not prepared.
Marketing strategy is the primary key to business success. The No. 1 reason businesses fail is that they don't make enough money. And the No. 1 reason they don't make enough money is that they don't adequately understand and practice effective marketing strategy. Marketing strategy offers these powerful benefits:
- Concentrating your resources and efforts on your greatest opportunities for success
- Sharpening your competitive advantage so that your business is superior to your competitors' in ways that matter to customers
- Increasing the income of the firm more effectively than any other way
- Uniting the leadership team to all pull in the same direction, maximizing positive results
- Giving your brand a clearer focus so that it will be better known in the marketplace
- Stimulating demand for your products and services
- Improving the effectiveness of messages you send to customers and prospects
- Strengthening your ability to understand and meet the needs of customers
- Ensuring that your business will survive and thrive far into the future
"Marketing strategy" is one of the top-10 search terms related to marketing, used by Internet searchers about a half-million times a month. Many people are obviously interested in learning more about marketing strategy. That's why this article has been written, the first in a series that explain marketing strategy in detail. The author, Buck Lawrimore, has provided marketing strategy to hundreds of business, government and nonprofit organizations of all sizes for more than 27 years.
Definitions of Marketing
"Marketing" comes from the Latin word merx or mercis meaning merchandise. Originally a market was a large open space where merchandise was displayed for sale, like pictures we've seen of large open marketplaces in Third World countries, or today's farmer's market. Originally "marketing" involved selling products in a marketplace. And that's still the core meaning. But professional marketing has evolved to such a high degree of sophistication, like computer science and medicine, that it involves much more than just selling in a marketplace.
The American Marketing Association, the largest professional organization of marketers in the U.S., defines marketing as follows:
"Marketing is an organizational function and a set of processes for creating, communicating and delivering value to customers and for managing customer relationships in ways that benefit the organization and its stakeholders."
This definition makes no mention of generating sales and income, the primary aims of business marketing, perhaps in deference to the many nonprofit organizations which are members of the AMA and are more focused on "delivering value" and "managing customer relationships."
Another way to understand marketing is to view it as a mindset or orientation of the business or organization. The so-called marketing orientation means the organization as a whole is oriented to understanding and meeting the needs of customers. A company with this orientation is market-driven. It focuses its strategy and operations on understanding and meeting the needs of customers in a manner which is superior to competitors. Procter & Gamble is one of the largest and most successful companies in America, and it has a strong marketing orientation. SAS Airlines, FedEx and other leading companies around the world have a passion for understanding and meeting the needs of customers. That's how they became so successful, and that's how your organization can become more successful than ever before, whether you aim to be a world leader or just the best in your neighborhood at what you do.
Definitions of Strategy
"Strategy" comes from the Greek word strategos meaning general. Strategy defined by Webster's as "1 The science of planning and conducting military campaigns on a broad scale." More recently strategy has come to mean "skill in management" or "an ingenious plan or method."
There are two aspects or connotations to this idea of strategy. The first is, it's big picture. It involves consideration of all your available resources - people, money, time, physical resources etc. "on a broad scale." The second is, strategy involves winning some form of competition. Your opponent may be an enemy who is trying to defeat you, or a business competitor who is trying to get your customers to buy from them instead of from you, or an opposing athletic team in a sports event. In all these situations as well as your own real world, there is one key to all effective strategy. This is one of the most important things for you to learn from this book:
The key to all effective strategy is
concentrating your resources on your greatest opportunities,
where your competition is weak.
Definition of Marketing Strategy
So then, effective marketing strategy could be summed up this way:
"Concentrating the organization's resources on its greatest opportunities
to better meet customer needs, outperform competitors, increase income,
and achieve enduring success."
Implied in this practical definition is the key idea that you have or will develop a niche or position in the marketplace which you can dominate or at least be a top player in, by building on strengths which distinguish you from your competition. Also implied is that you will be most successful if you concentrate on better meeting customer needs (via the marketing orientation) as a path to increasing sales, rather than just focusing on outbound communications or a sales force to persuade potential customers to buy.
Brand Image - Brand Identity - Brand Strategy - Brand Identity Guru
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I am often asked, "How do I know that I am getting the most bang for my buck when running an ad in any particular advertising vehicle?" The answer here is that it depends. There are many factors to consider in determining if you are on the right track. Following are some tips that will help you.
1. Determine Your Ad Campaign Goals
What is your goal for your advertising campaign? Are you trying to create awareness? Do you want to generate traffic to your website or store front? Do you need X amount of leads to come from your campaign? Do you want to create a certain amount of sales for a new product or service? Determine what you need your ad to do for you then design your ad with the goal in mind.
2. Determine Your Budget
When I ask my clients about their advertising budget, I am often presented with this blank stare. It is very important to determine what the advertising budget is throughout the course of a year, and stick to it! Break out your budget and determine what you can spend per month. It's common sense, I know but many people don't do this in their business. Then go back to determine, based on upcoming events, what advertising needs to take place and when. Remember that it's okay to mix in other marketing vehicles such as internet ads, workshops, article marketing or public relations. These activities do not take a chuck out of your budget to implement.
3. Have Your Target Market In Mind
Who is your target audience? Where do they live? Where do they work? What is their income bracket? What is their marital status or age group? What are their habits? The answers to these questions will greatly help you determine which marketing vehicle to use based on their demographics. For example, if you find that most of your customers are into skiing, then you may want to advertising at a ski resort, in a ski magazine, exhibit at a conference or tradeshow that targets skiers or advertise on a billboard next to a ski shop.
4. Give Your Ad Time
So, how much time should you give your ad to do its job you ask? Again, the answer is, it depends. Monthly and quarterly marketing vehicles will require longer lead times than a local newspaper or radio. Plus, consider your campaign goals. Is your goal to create awareness, then you'll want to plan and run a continuous, steady, balanced campaign. If you are running a special during a specific holiday season for example, you'll want to run intense, concentrated campaigns. For instance, for a landscaper running an aeration promotion during the fall and summer months, he'll run more frequent ads for a few weeks rather than months, and then move to a more steady and poised pace during the summer and winter.
Keeping in mind that people need to see and hear your message several times before it sticks, different messages also resonate with different people. However, if your ad is producing little to no response, the advertising vehicle may not be to blame. Your ad may be the cause. Check that your ad has a compelling offer. Do you have a call to action in your ad? Is it too wordy where your audience glazes right over it? Do you have a catchy ad tagline? Remember, you have seconds to catch the attention of your audience. Are you trying to sell all your products in one ad? Keep your message to one subject and focus on one goal in each ad. Most advertising vehicles will allow you to change your ad at any given time. Test your ad for best results.
5. Measure Your Ad's Effectiveness
Keep track of which ad in what marketing vehicles are producing the best results. If you have a coupon running in various media, put a code at the bottom of each ad that will tell you where that coupon came from when a customer uses it. Have a slightly different offer in different media mixes to determine how a customer found you. Note: Different offers can also effect how will your ad is fairing. If you have one ad offering a percentage off versus a specific dollar amount, the results can differ dramatically. Above all, ask your customers how they heard about you.
5.5 Also, determine your cost of reaching your customers. Using the cost per thousand (CPM) method, multiply the cost of the ad by 1,000 and then divide that number by the size of the audience (your ad representative or advertising agency should be able to give you this information). To illustrate, if your ad cost you $650 to run in your local newspaper and their reach is 22,000, then the cost to reach your customers is ($650 x 1,000 / 22,000) $29.54. Comparing the CPM across various marketing vehicles will help you place your ad accordingly.
By following these simple guidelines, you'll place yourself in a more favorable position to meet your goals, stay on target while producing results, without extending your marketing budget.
Networking has always been considered a powerful tool for improving business prospects, advancing a career, and developing ideas. Other than some brief, structured events, networking has been mostly informal and inexpensive in comparison to cost they otherwise spend on different channels. But membership is growing in many formal, long-term networking groups, and so is the price tag.
Our groups are not groups for generating sales leads, nor are they places where individuals can drop-in to gain quick advice on an immediate challenge. Members also sign a confidentiality agreement and benefits from the guided mentoring to help each other.
These groups include an experienced facilitator and use a structured discussion method to ensure appropriate participation.