As Information Technology Tools 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 Information Technology Tools 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.
Marketing Strategies - Making Indirect Marketing Work for You
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.
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.
Branding Strategy Essential For Strong Company Reputation
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Even the best marketing strategies need to be revisited, if not revised. Changes in the market environment can dramatically change the marketing mix and your product plans. Marketing strategy should be viewed as a process, which means that the best laid marketing plans will change sooner or later.
Strategic change can be caused by many forces; sometimes change is a threat while other times it can be an opportunity. It all depends on how your product or business is defined; additionally, how you react may be the biggest factor in your future success.
Sometimes the market evolves and the demand for an offering changes. For example, obesity is on a dramatic rise in North America; because of this people are becoming more "food label savvy" about calories, fat grams, sugar, carbohydrates, and protein. Fast food restaurants have had to respond with salad bars, better disclosure of nutritional information, and leaner products.
Another source of strategic change is technological innovation. As microprocessors increase in speed and processing ability, older personal computers quickly become obsolete. A more disruptive technological change might be the creation of the MP3 format and downloadable music. Music is now purchased one song at a time instead as albums of songs.
Occasionally, a market is redefined. This is often driven by competition or customer demand. Today, our fast paced culture demands a more personalized relationship with information, which has created wikis, blogs like this one, and the birth of IPTV (Internet Protocol Television). This new information content business allows the reader or viewer to get "personalized content" when they want it and where they want it.
Also, marketing channels change. Today the internet has changed the relationship of customers with providers. No longer dependent on the provider for education on products and services, the new consumer is more informed and sophisticated than ever. In fact, the consumer is more powerful and will get what they want or they will find another provider.
For the marketing strategist, the challenge is to anticipate the changes and take control of their destiny. The alternatives of delaying action or getting surprised can mean business failure.
As former GE CEO Jack Welch said, "Change before you have to".
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.