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.

Marketing Professionals Always Alert to Teachable Moments

Marketing Teachable Moments

When to Teach and When Not to Teach

Do we know when to take a step back?

It is very easy for us marketing professionals to observe every and any opportunity to teach those that have come to us for guidance and direction.  After all, most of us have been asked to speak at organization sales meetings, Chamber events, business conferences and other events to help attendees understand Marketing, Advertising, Social Media and how a well thoughtout Marketing Strategy could have a positive impact in the success of their business.

OK….so we are the experts.  Most marketing professionals I know are positive, enthusiastic, passionate, we-can-do kind of leaders.  Everyone must want to hear what we have to say if they want to propel their business way ahead of everyone else.  They wouldn’t have hired us if they weren’t going to listen to us, so all we have to do is keep insisting, making them feel inadequate and discounting any objections because we know better… right?   WRONG!

These days most of the smaller companies and some large corporations still do not have marketing personnels in place and have assigned a VP of Finance, Purchasing Manager, top Sales Person or Executive Assistant to handle marketing responsiblities.  Be mindful that all those in business at any level believe they understand marketing and what works and what does not.  There is a danger here of viewing our being hired as a Consultant as an open invitation to treat every question, objection, and misconcepton as a Teachable Moment.

Understand that if you are talking to a financial executive about their Marketing Mix, he or she sees dollar signs regarding every wonderful suggestion you believe you have made.  Remember…..they just cut their entire marketing, advertising, PR and social media staff.  They’ll listen but they don’t hear exactly what you are saying.  All that positive talk just seems to them like you are not being realistic.  Tailoring your ideas and strategy in accordance to the background and personality of the person you are meeting with, will have a better chance of being heard than believing that we know what we are talking about so listen to what I have to say.

Respect for Marketing, Advertising, PR and now Social Media has always been an uphill challenge but thank goodness for the optimistic type of personality, in most cases, that is attracted to the profession.  I can recall years back when the VP of Finance where I was employed didn’t understand why we needed a Marketing Department because all we had to do was open the doors and people would come.  We smiled and did our job.  People came but our efforts brought in thousands more.

Social Media is such an important addition to the Marketing Mix BUT it is just another opportunity for us to think that it is a Teachable Moment and everyone wants to hear us.  Oh they are listening to us all right, but they are not hearing what we have to say.

Teachable Moment ~ Is there really one?

Is there really a question here?

Don’t want this blog to come off as my moment of teaching but more as a reminder to myself as well as others that many questions asked aren’t questions at all.  Maybe no one asked us anything at all but we are assuming that there are all these teachable moments out there.  Energy and positive approach is a great way to live your life.  If others can’t be convinced of a best strategy, at least what you believe to be best, know when to take a step back.

Love to know your thoughts.

Expert’s Expertise Must Equal Your Needs

 
Experts Are Many But What Are Your Needs
Choose Your Expert Wisely
There are many, many experts out there and friends among us that are experts, but what are their specific strengths.  I often think of something I heard years ago, that being humble isn’t denying what your are really good at but sincerely uncomfortable about praises in areas where your expertise is lacking.  Many times when we are seeking information we want through a “one person shop” discussion and tend to ask directives from Experts….yes but perhaps not in the area that you need the best possible guidance toward a successful outcome.
We are so fortunate in the 21st Century to have access to numerous CEO’s, CMO’s, CFO’s, Marketing Directors, PR Leaders, etc. but there is no need to assume that let’s say the “expert” CFO will naturally also be able to lead you in the right direction when it comes to Advertising, Marketing or PR.  A successful leader, yes, but why would you not even attempt to get the best advice when it is so available today.  Connecting on varied Social Media platforms offers that opportunity and it goes without saying that you should be well aware of who you would go to based on the results you seek.
Striving for excellence in everything we do that affects our business is a goal we all work to achieve.  Excellent job  is preceded  by your choice of expert consulting. Don’t waste your time or the experts!
Excellence isn't such a puzzle
Is it getting more confusing?

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?

Bethany Bay Golf Club Ribbon Cutting/Ice Cream Social

SPECIAL  INVITATION TO RIBBON CUTTING

 

Date:      Monday, July 11th

Time:          4:00 pm – 5:30 pm  

           Place:    Bethany Bay Golf Club          

          Pro Shop Building 

                         37270 Clubhouse Ln., Ocean View, DE

                           Directions: Rt. 26 West 3 miles,

right at Railway Rd.,  2 miles to entrance. 

 Left at round-about. Pro Shop on left.

 

Event:       Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

                            Provided by Bethany-Fenwick        Chamber of Commerce

                       Ice Cream Social

                             Provided by The Blue Scoop

 Celebrating:   New Management

                                 Manicured Greens                                 

        Upgraded Golf Course

                     Nine Hole Par-3 Advantages

 

“When you don’t have all day to play, play at Bethany Bay”

E-Mail Overload

Email Overload
E-mail Overload

E-Mail overload is why many in the business community are resisting Social Media….True or False?

Well, I can start with my own email box and tell you that I receive on average about 200 emails per day.  I can also tell you that about 75% of them border on spam because most are advertisements or newsletters that I do not have time to read.  In some industries, there are businesses that want to develop an awareness of a particularly new product or special pricing.  Problem is they are duplicating their efforts and this information can be gathered through other programs.  Perhaps they were told by an email marketing expert that this was a valuable tool, but when you have thousands of other businesses doing the same thing, everyone suffers.

The key email time guzzler is in-house email.  There seems to be a “cover yourself” philosophy adopted by many  in that when some are sending an email, they just copy whoever they feel may, potentially, possibly, hopefully be important to copy.  AND THEN there are the “Reply to All” people.

So I am going to take a stab here to give some tips on ways we all can free up our email box which in turn should reap many extra minutes of every day.  Let’s tackle in-house first.

  1. Develop a formal in-house policy for email lists; i.e. who can email to whom.  If you are emailing your immediate Supervisor, it could be up to the immediate Supervisor who may need to get a copy of that email.

  2. No “Reply to All” is allowed in-house.

  3. If you ask to be taken off an email list, get a formal reply back that it will be done.

  4. No streaming emails .

  5. No “got it”, “yes”, “Thanks”, one word emails.  We know you got it and we know you are thankful.

  6. Policy must be strictly enforced.

  7. Emails that require ACTION should state that upfront.

  8. Follow up to whether you received an email should not be done for 24 hours.  No explanation points please!!!!!!!!

  9. Remembering that your email is most likely being viewed on a mobile phone…try to be as brief as possible.  If that is not possible because of content, send a brief email first about subject and then advise the recipient to expect a content driven email.  This allows the recipient to get quick info and then it prepares them for the more indepth email.

  10. If you have any options at all, get off email lists that you are not interested in receiving.

We all have our email address on our business cards, on our websites, just about everywhere we can think of.  Here are some tips to control emails coming from the outside community.

  1. When attending an event or meeting, we give out our business card so that potential clients will have our contact info.  This in itself will generate emails.  Take the time to really digest who contacts you by email.  Is it someone you wish to do business with, have lunch, etc.  If not at the present time or near future, do not respond to it yourself but forward it to a receptionist, intern, temp to respond for you with a standard reply.  Your staff person should then establish a follow up system to ask you at some future date, if you wish to contact this person again.

  2. If you start to get newsletters from acquaintenances that you have met at meetings and they are not of interest to you, you are more than likely given the opporutnity to “unsubscribe”.

  3. Remember the same courtesies apply to you when sending emails.  If you are exchanging a lot of emails with a particular person, make them aware of your preferences.

  4. Communicate what is important for you to know and what isn’t.

  5. Make a phone call when the emails go back and forth more than 3 times.  This will be a time-saver and it is more courteous.

There is so much to be gained here and if you are bogged down with emails you are going to be extremely resistent to growth, change, and (you had to know it was coming) Social Media.  Don’t get left behind and more importantly, missing opportunities that are available to you for FREE that will lead you to further successes.  Emails have a place in our businesses but that are not to consume us.

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.

Being Brave Might Mean Honeysuckle

2011 Color of the Year

Toward the end of each year, I shudder somewhat at the thought of finding out what the trend color will be for the following year.  Last year it was turquoise and now this year it is honeysuckle.

Shudder you say?!!  Last year’s turquoise wasn’t too bad but the year before it was celery and the year before that it was pistachioCome January I will be contacted by various clients that are having their Spring golf outing and they will (yes they will) ask me what the newest color is for Spring so that they can get golf shirts for participants.  Unless it is a Ladies Golf Outing, I have spent the last three years shuddering when that question has been presented to me.

During the celery year, I learned to say “light green”.  That worked well with pistachio also.  Now comes Honeysuckle

First, most men are not going to know what color Honeysuckle is.   I have had so much fun with taupe.  What I have learned is that the “Mother” color for Honeysuckle is red.  So am I misleading my clients if I say a softer shade of red

The shades of colors, or I should say the names we give them, always becomes an issue with the gentlemen and the ladies it is the styles. 

Thanks to all of us out in the field, we finally instilled in the vendors that our female clients deserve equal attention to fit and style.  I don’t know about you, but only several years back when we participated in any charitable event, we always got the “adult” shirts, jackets, vests, etc.  Adult means “men’s”.

So I have filled you in ever so briefly on one of my 2011 changes that I will have to deal with.  Have you determined what is new in your industry and how you will have to adapt?  Love to hear your comments.

What’s New?!!

After 10 or 20 years, how is the best way to answer the question ~” What’s new?”
What's New! What's the Answer!!

What's New! What is the Answer!!

 As I am sure many of you have experienced the “What’s new” question, it is particularly apparent during the Holidays.  Visiting for our holidays, were many cousins, aunts and uncles that we haven’t seen for many years. 

Now because I believe in A Plan and Strategy, not to mention my personal BRAND, I was fully aware that these questions would come on Thanksgiving weekend.  This took many hours to prepare myself for the inevitable. 

 
 
Plan ~ Be courteous and respond poliltely; be brief but good content; get them talking about themselves
Strategy ~ If I talked about my 5 years in Marketing/Promotional Product business and my love for Twitter and Social Media, my plan to get them talking about themselves would fall into place….because who doesn’t want to talk about themselves.
Brand ~ Being a good listener, interested in what others have to say and getting enthusiastic about others’ accomplishments is a part of my Brand that I enjoy to hear being communicated about me. 
 
RESULTS:  I know so much more about my cousins, aunts and uncles that we haven’t seen for awhile and they are all lovely and wonderful people that have interesting lives. 
“What’s New?” really means I would love to talk to you but I am not sure what to ask.  Telling a little about yourself is fine but by engaging them and listening well, will forever BRAND you as a loving and caring relative and friend…..AND you just may have a cousin in Minnesota who is an Executive in a large corporation, who is organizing a Golf Outing in May, and who needs golf shirts, hats and other items. 
Listening is a powerful communication tool that rewards.  I was listening but so was the Executive….a win/win!!
How did you answer,  “What’s new?”