Marketing Is In The Packaging Too

Packaging Leaves a Lasting Impression

Packaging Leaves a Lasting Impression

Is your first impression a positive Lasting Impression?

While we seem to get lots of guidance regarding our “personal” first impression, what seems to be lacking is our first impression regarding presentation opportunities, delivery of special client gifts, sponsorship packages and presentations,  new Board Member guideline packaging, and much more. 

Let’s take a marketing strategy presentation you are putting together for a potential new client.  You and your partners are professionally attired, the conference room is neat and ready, your PowerPoint is flawless….but what differentiates you from your competitor.  Sure, the difference is hopefully within the presentation itself, however, what has captured their attention right at the START. 

You probably spent a whole lot of time, getting yourself presentable and groomed perfectly just prior to the meeting.  Why not treat the presentation itself to a “makeover”.   If you just stapled a few pieces of paper together and have them follow along with your PowerPoint presentation, you have done nothing to capture their immediate attention.  As soon as they walk into that room, your potential customers have to be drawn in by some sort of creativity.  Perhaps those same papers spiral bound in a journal with your company name on it.  How about laminated and held together at the top lefthand corner by a metal ring.  If prefer a binder….make it a full color binder with your company name welcoming the potential client.  Have notepads at each seat that are personalized for each attendee.

When creativity like this is shown, it becomes immediately evident to them that you will go the extra mile for any project they ask you to work on.  As they walk into the conference room, they will be remarking how great the table looks set up to greet them. If they don’t say it, believe me they are thinking it.

Same with sponsorship packages.  Don’t be like everyone else.  Make your package so interesting it will stand out on the potential sponsor’s desk.  You know they get numerous requests and everyone’s multi-tasking these days.  The individuality of your “ask” will put you on top of the pile.  Easiest way to get creative with your sponsorship packages is to come up with a theme.  If it is a get healthy initiative by moving more….tie your sponsorship package with sneaker shoelaces with your name repeating on the laces.  If it is a beautification project, put all your sponsorship materials in a “collapsible” foldable vase that can be brought to a potential sponsor or mailed.   Golf events specifically appeal to sponsors but why choose yours?  Capture their attention by mentioning 18 reasons they should sponsor your golf outing…..BUT printed on a velour Golf Towel.

DON’T FORGET THE PACKAGING!!  It’s powerful.

Debt Crisis IS a Teachable Moment

What has the Debt Crisis taught us about our own Busines
Debt Crisis is truly a Teachable Moment for our own Business

      One of my previous posts http://bit.ly/ghKtW2 discusses how we in Marketing have to monitor various communications with our clients in particular to determine if they are in fact teachable moments.  The Chart to the left here is purposely left blank so how about we start to fill in the blanks.

Let’s for example fill in the red circle as our business and for fun put (Debt Crisis) in the same circle.  So what have WE learned this past month that we would never want to happen to our business integrity, branding and ethics.

How about we fill in the rectangles with standards that would never be acceptable to us or our clients.

1.   Employee total disfunction.  Imagine having your employees only engaged in not getting along.

2.   Spending out of control.  Doesn’t matter whether you have the money or not….you WILL spend.

3.   Your employees don’t answer any questions you ask….they keep repeating one sentence over and over again.

4.   None of your employees lose their job, nor do they care.

5.   Your clients can take it or leave it.

6.   No one is interested in what they were hired to do….they just wanted the job.

So what have we learned?  Certainly no way to run a business….in fact, we would be run out of business.  But then you know all this.    So is it really a teachable moment?

Social Media Overwhelming to Execs

Marketing by DM QR Code

Get it? Share it!

 

This past Saturday evening was super-great get together with friends that took the occasion of the  “SuperMoon” to have a nice relaxing evening together….maybe even a little March Madness as well.  We got the importance of the super moon, so we shared it.  These pictures shown here depict a more impressive picture than what we saw in Lancaster, PA, however, the affect was real….just to some more than others. 

I am going to take this opportunity to compare Social Media affect on the business community with what happened the other evening.  Comments regarding the SuperMoon were that it was not all that it was hyped up to be, I’ll wait another 18 years, perhaps it was brighter but not larger, etc.  Unless it was positively “super” to our eye right where we stood, it really wasn’t “super”. 

So now we get to Social Media affect or impact on business and where I am going with this.  First I must tell you that this was a gathering of varied professionals; a prominent Lawyer, V. P. of Finance, Teacher, Controller, Doctor, School Principal, Purchasing Manager, Engineer, Judge plus a 17, 16, and 11 year old.  NOTE:  The 11 year old was the only one that knew what a QR Code was!    Not only that but he had an iPad2 and scanned a QR Code to show the adults how it was done.  They all had Smart Phones but no QR Reader….nor were they interested to go to www.scanlife.com and get the app.   

For a couple years these friends have heard me enthusiastically touting the positive results I have experienced in my Marketing business through Social Media.  They have politely asked me and others come into their business to give a presentation to some of their employees.  Some of the presenters have been what most would believe are the “experts” in the community.  WE GET IT, SO WE SHARE IT!!  My point is that there is not enough of us getting out in the business community and sharing it.  We share it between ourselves because we are thirsty to learn more and more.  We are living in our own little Social Media world which, personally, I happen to love but we are missing a communication method that works.  Similar to the “SuperMoon” not being so SUPER where we were viewing it, the same holds true for Social Media expectations.  We are telling them how huge SM is, but they are not impressed.

Finally, these friends really opened up to me and what I got from them was that they truly cannot deal with the amount of emails they get.  Most are getting about 200 per day.  Many are complaining that half of these emails are in-house and there is a tendency for staff to send out an email to everyone and anyone so that they are covered.  It was generally said that they are begging to get off email lists but to no avail.  Reply to all is a huge issue.  Email newsletters are a greater issue….they can’t read them….no time.  They do not want to add anything else that will cause them to communicate or reply!!  Therefore….NO SM. 

How are they to move on to Social Media platforms that may propel their business to great success when they have lost control of email?  If we get it and want to share it, we have to help them solve this problem.  Until we have solutions and ones other than “file the emails” we are not going to get the business community engaged in SM.  We should all care because the more sucessful all businesses are, the better it is for our economy and for our own businesses.   

If you have meetups or tweetups or attending a SM meeting, bring with you a business colleague that may be interested in learning more.  We do plenty of sharing with each other and that is great so we stay up to speed but we need to devote more energies to educating the skeptics….they outnumber us. 

What are your email solutions?  How have you shared your SM knowledge?

The Hot Iron => Branding

    





Image for Company Branding

“The Hot Iron” is cool when used for Branding


Issue 2  


    


Stepping Back Is Not All Bad When Strategizing  


Good business decisions can only be made when you don’t let your emotions rule.  More than anything….you never want to implement a plan out of anger.  It is more than tempting to choose a strategy that you may think could get back at your competitor, or you are upset with something a customer/client said, or you want to get back at a particular organization.  Well you get the picture.  More businesses and organizations than I can count have harmed their brand and bottom line by not stepping back and truly evaluating long-term implications of their decisions.  It is also a slippery slope when your staff recognizes the “getting back at” attitude rather than a “stepping back from” thought process.  They will emulate you which will in turn create a disrespect of your brand.  


Logo Colors  


So we all know about logo colors, how important they are and it identifies our brand.  HOWEVER…..notice I said, “it identifies” your brand.  Your BRAND is a whole lot more than your logo colors.  Yes, you should always use your colors but don’t get overly concerned if it is a shade off.   The idea is not to use green when your logo is royal.   As an example,  here are varied shades of  green, green, green.  Those shades may fall within what we call a closest match.  What you could object to is  green, green ….very different.  Or….  red, red.  It can get very costly when ordering imprint, embroidery and/or print materials to always get exact match.  In fact, some businesses are totally confused about what their real logo colors are because a printer may not be able to match a PMS color to CMYK.   My own logo was such a challenge that I ended up changing the purple to a lighter shade.  Now working with a client that one of their colors is salmon color.  Guaranteed there will be many versions of that color.  Point is….don’t pay extra dollars to get exact match unless it is way off because as long as it is not salmon vs. salmon you are not harming your brand recognition.  It is also perfectly OK and exceptable to use one-color to save money as well.  You can use your prominent color, black, white, gold or silver.  Never do an ad, whether in print or on TV and because you think another color rather than your logo colors would look better, change the color of your logo for the ad.  If it doesn’t blend in, that’s fine.  You want your logo to stand out.    


 Acts of Kindness and Respect  


Tough economy has resulted in our clients spending less.  There still is business out there…..someone else is going to get it if you don’t.  Also, don’t forget about nurturing your current clients.  What are one of the ways we can stand out because we are probably already lowering some of our pricing? I’ll lead by example……acquired two new large organization clients in December……one because I gave her son a gift at a trade show and the other because I was the only business that answered her email request for quote and followed up with a phone call the same day.  Why other like businesses didn’t respond, baffles me, but certainly to my delight because I have already earned this large organization’s trust and my brand is intact.  Don’t under estimate the value of kindness, respect, integrity and honesty….especially in this economic climate.  


January 2011 ~ Issue 2 


This Quarterly Newsletter will offer summarized tips on the importance of Branding.  Next Quarter we will touch on important choices you could make to protect your Brand personality and the importance of some over others.  If you do not wish to receive “The Hot Iron”, kindly email me at Diane@marketingbyDM.com.  “The Hot Iron” is cool when used for Branding.

The Greed Generation

Branded as Greedy

A Lesson in Branding that really hits home!

Recently on an evening Cable News program, former Senator Alan Simpson of Wyoming, offered some suggestions as to how to correct the deficit.  When he ended his commentary he said we were a Generation of Greed.  So have we gone from The Greatest Generation to The Greed Generation.  Well we can have a different opinion, we can debate it, or we can be horrified at being branded as Greedy.  We could go on, but the negative Branding has taken place.  He is not wrong or right, he spoke rendering his perspective as he sees this generation, his perception reflects exactly what he (himself) has observed. 

For the past few days I have tossed these comments around in my mind and realized that this is the most impactful Branding example I could use to show how it can take only a few or a minority to negatively ruin a Brand.  Sen. Simpson didn’t harm our Brand….a certain few in our Nation did and he stated how he sees it.  This is exactly what can happen to YOUR company brand or personal brand. 

This branding of The Greed Generation was inevitable don’t you think?  We must have seen it coming.  BUT if you were like me, I was thinking “Well that is all those other people who are living above their means….doesn’t effect me.”  Well as you can see, it only takes a few to cause others to negatively Brand all of us.  Same holds true in your organization.

As an example, let’s look at our Nation as your Company.  We really only had a small percentage of people that caused some of the financial issues because of their Greed but look who takes the blame…..we all do.  That will work the same in your Company.  If you do not set a policy that is reviewed frequently, I say quarterly, with all staff that sets forth the Company’s Branding initiatives, you risk your competition stating what your Brand is. 

As I mentioned in my Quarterly Newsletter, The Hot Iron, there has to be a total buy-in by your staff as to how you wish your clients and the business community to view you.  Branding for some only means the logo and the colors of the logo.  It is so much more than that and the way one person speaks to another at any level, how issues are handled, effective communication, presentation of product and self, consistency and so much more than logo. 

When you identify an issue….address it immediately.  Negative branding can be turned around.  I say we can change that concept of The Greed Generation by addressing, realistically, what caused us to get to this point….but it takes courage.  Maybe we could then be branded The Realistic Generation.  With all these reality shows, I’m surprised that hasn’t been written somewhere.   

Taking some courageous steps toward protecting your Brand is imperative.  Tough to turn around once it is damaged.  Protect your business with kindness, consideration, caring, fairness, professionalism, honesty, integrity and give and take.  When you hear an alarm….pay attention!!  Don’t let your business be Branded by anyone else but YOU!!

I would be very interested in your thoughts. 

Innovative Go Green Idea for Businesses

Go Green ~ Plant a Tree

Go Green ~ Plant a Tree

 Give your clients a Branded card with your logo, they are sent to a Branded site with your logo and they receive a Branded certificate with your logo thanking them for their donation. 

 Plant-a-Tree Cards are an easy-to-use online promotion that is delivered through a branded card and unique Reward Code. Card holders simply go on-line and show their support by planting a tree for free in a global reforestation project. Upon redemption, consumers can download a branded certificate in honor of planting of their tree. Altered expiration dates, custom shaped cards and rush service available. Seeded paper cards available.   2 1/8″ L x 3 3/8″ W x 30mm Thick    Click here for more specific info =>  seedthefuture   Please inquire Diane@marketingbyDM.com

Just had to share this with you because it is such a unique, innovative, impressive, inexpensive give-away with lots of rewards.

What do you think?

If I “Get” Social Media, Why Don’t I “Get”…..

Why do that to an Ice Cream Cone?

"I thought I asked for an ice cream cone!"

 

 

Every once in awhile it is good to take stock in what we believe we understand or as we say today “GET” and what still puzzles us.

I thought since I seem to GET Social Media, I must now have developed my mind so much so that I am no longer puzzled by the following.  Well I am here to tell you that I still DO NOT GET…

 

 

  1. Why don’t they raise the basketball hoop?
  2. What happened to the jump rope?
  3. What came first…the chicken or the egg?
  4. Why are snowplow drivers so mean?
  5. Ball and Jacks….is that gone too?
  6. Children not outside on a beautiful day?
  7. Where are the honey bees?
  8. Why families are not sitting down together at dinner?
  9.  You never forget how to ride a bike?

Others that I am perplexed about are:

  • Employee health reward…parking spot closest to the door!
  • Someone advising that “You are taking it personally!”
  • Silver Christmas Trees?
  • Speeding up to a red light!
  • Why aren’t there any predators for stink bugs?
  • Cutting back on Marketing/PR/Advertising during economic downturn?
  •  

    As you can see, I have a lot of questions that perhaps some of you can help me GET and if I in turn can help you get Social Media, I definitely would like to try and also introduce you to my friends at Harrisburg Social Media Club.

    Retention… Benefit of Attention

    Standout from the Rest

    Standout From The Rest

    We all know, don’t we, that our clients crave our attention and it is our full intention of giving them the attention they deserve.  However, intentions don’t always result in attention which in turn affects retention.

    Every client is different and requires a certain amount of nourishing to keep your relationship flourishing.  In order for us to prosper and succeed, we have to value all the experts out there that guide us regarding the importance of retention of clients/customers and what we absolutely must do to achieve this all important goal.

    There are some very simple basic guidelines that are worth reviewing:

    1. Truly listen to your clients’ needs
    2. Follow up with them in a timely manner (make sure you understand what their expectations are)
    3. Remember you work for them
    4. Understand their decision-making process
    5. Vary your contact with them; i.e. email, phone, in-person

    I would like to address telephone calls separately because I have read some articles that advocate that you could save time and not answer the telephone.  This is so you can call people back on YOUR OWN time.  I view that is very selfish.  My clients time is just as valuable as mine and if we all did that, we would not connect at all.  The problem with that as well is people pick up on that very quickly and you have now jeopardized retention.  You may just stand out if you are accessible and respectful thereby giving your client the attention they deserve.

    Businesses built around the philosophy that the customer is worthy of “whatever it takes” also builds an in-house respect for quality service and these companies, even in times of economic downturn, continue to grow.  There is a business culture established that we are in this together.  I’ve seen it!!

    Re-examine your marketing strategy to see if you are implementing at least the basics for retention of your clients.  It is so much more costly to seek new clients and build relationships instead of nourishing those that you have at hand.

    What are some of the key elements of retention you would like to share?

    Branding Your Logo ~ Coated or Uncoated

    Standard PMS Colors

    PMS colors ~ Coated or Uncoated Makes a Big Difference

    When it comes to your Logo, you are most likely very aware of what your PMS colors are….if not, please check with your graphic artist and then also consult a PMS chart.

    There are several tips I would like to share with you regarding your logo colors:

    1. Understand exactly what you are getting when you are told by a Printer or Distributor that they will do a closest match for your color. 

    This is usually at no cost to you, however, depending on vendor, “closest match” could be very different than what you expect to see.  Another factor is that you continue to see your incorrect logo color and then lose sight of your Branding.

    2. Is your PMS color “coated” or “uncoated”….i.e. PMS240 C or PMS240 U

    Although the same number, they can be very different colors and depending on paper or product it is to go on, it could have a totally different affect.  To solve this problem, you must ask if vendor is using Coated or Uncoated.   If it is opposite of what you have, review the PMS Chart to see if there is another PMS number that more closely matches.

    3. Be Consistent ~ Closest match is OK as long as you take steps to get your PMS color truly as close as possible. 

    Do not alter your logo colors to match a particular piece you are using for promotion.  What you may do without affecting your Branding is use Black, White, Silver or Gold ~or~ you may use tone-on-tone, which is used a lot on wearables; i.e. tan windbreaker w/tan logo embroidered.

    While Logo PMS color is not the definition of Branding, it is a factor that impacts your company’s image and triggers a connection to your customer and potential customer.

    Social Media Platforms Are SBNBF

    Social Media Small Business New Best Friend

    Social Media Platforms ~ Small Business New Best Friend

    Lately we have been hearing from the media, business analysts, Wall Street experts and the like that the corporate sector is still hesitant to hire so therefore the economy continues to be very slow to recover.  So that being the case, why do Small Business owners, who are engaged in Social Media, hear of growth, success, and establishing business relationships we would not have ordinarily if we were not engaged in SM platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and/or LinkedIn. 

    Could it be that Small Business has truly embraced their New Best Friend, whereas big business for the most part is still out of touch with the 21st Century?  It is not that most of these corporations have realized a loss this last quarter so why should we still not see job creation.  Still scared?  Afraid of change? Same old, same old?  Likely. 

    Small business, Sole Proprietorships, Start-up businesses do not have the luxury of sitting back and accepting scared, afraid and same old business as usual.  In fact, we are the ones hiring.  Unfortunately, we are only in a position to hire a few people.  Point is…..is the economy slow to recover or is big business not willing to accept they must listen, learn, understand, engage, connect, and give various Social Media Platforms a place in their Marketing Strategy. 

    Social Media has given small business the “thinking outside the box” capability by utilization of numerous customizable applications…most of which are FREE.  Just to mention one….Foursquare….at the very least is a tremendous value to any retail establishment.  Connecting on the various platforms opens up communication lines that has many “fingers” that can give you the warmest handshake you have ever experienced.  

    Difficult decisions come from strong leadership.  If, in fact, implementing Social Media into your Marketeing Plan is a difficult decision, why not take the opportunity to exhibit your leadership skills and move your company forward. 

    Let me know your thoughts.  Is Small Business the leader in utilitzation of Social Media?