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MARKETING CONSULTANTS

Archive for April 2013

Want Better Work from your Agency? Be a Better Client!

Want Better Work from your Agency?  Be a Better Client!

Mark etingPartner

Getting the best work out of a marketing or advertising agency requires work.  Getting better work requires that clients do better work.  Sometimes the relationships between great clients and great agencies look like Pushmi-Pullyu of Dr. Doolittle fame.  Good agency-client relationships are partnerships.  Too often, clients fall into these 3 traps.

1. We Love Whatever You Do (Until You Do It) – These are the clients who insist that “the agency knows best” don’t realize the importance of outlining needs and expectations.  Putting the agency on that kind of pedestal actually sets a low level of low expectations for the agency…. “we’ll take whatever you deliver.”

2. We’ll Know What We Want When We See It –  It is highly unlikely that an agency will meet your needs if you can tell them the who, what, when, where, why and how of the project.  Let’s face it.  These are people who don’t want to spend too much time thinking about the issues at hand.  Agencies are not going to live inside your head.  This is a ‘no win’ scenario for an agency because, if results don’t pan out, it will always be the agency’s fault.

3. We’ll Just Know If We’re Successful – Without objective, measurable goals there can be no success or failure.  If you don’t know where you’re going, how will you know when you get there?  If you don’t agree to goals in advance, it’s too easy to get ‘mission creep’ where the goals increase as the project progresses.  And,without a goal, it’sat  just too easy to say “that didn’t work”.

Good relationships with agencies are partnerships.  Agencies want to be successful … and they want you to be successful as well.  If you want better work from your agency, be a better client.  Here are a few tips from Beloved Brands

16 Companies from “Boring” Industries Creating Remarkable Content

Remarkable Content Boring Industries

When we talk to companies about the practice of creating content to help attract new business, one of their number one concerns is that their products or services are not interesting enough to warrant blog posts, videos, ebooks, tweets or eye-catching photos.

To prove it’s possible to create exciting content despite being a seemingly boring company, we’ve compiled 16 examples of brands that are telling stories in ways that get people talking about their products — whether they’re selling cleaning supplies, vacuums, real estate, or other (sometimes) snore-worthy products.

In this collection, you’ll find examples of exciting content from industries such as File Storage, Real Estate and Insurance.

Download E-Book Here

Brand Yourself to Differentiate Your Business!

Brand Yourself to Differentiate Your Business!

Branding YourselfMarketing yourself is a great way to differentiate your organization and build your business’  brand.   Are you looking for the key differentiation between your business and the hundreds of others that your customers can easily find?  Then look no further than the essence of “you”.

As a small business owner, you may just be one the the biggest determinations of your business’ success.   There may be hundreds of other companies like you out there.  But, there aren’t hundreds of  “you”.  Branding is all about finding the unique, meaningful differentiation in your business.   Could that be you?

 

It has never been easier to locate people or suppliers in your industry, who are capable. Search engines and social networks allow us to find capable people and check them out, without even picking up a phone.

Your capabilities
So, if you are relying on being capable, as a way to build your business, you are going to find yourself consistently fighting to get noticed. You will find yourself consistently having to justify your fees. You will find yourself consistently having to compete against all those other capable people and businesses. You will find yourself unable to look to the future with confidence.

Of course, it is essential for you to be capable. However, that’s not even the baseline any more, now that prospective clients can find 10 capable alternatives on Google, in seconds.

Being more than capable
Fortunately, although there are thousands of people, perhaps millions, who are capable in your area of expertise, there is only one YOU.

You are unique.
You have a unique set of life experiences.
You have a unique personality.
You have a unique mind.
You have a unique way of solving problems.
You have a unique set of contacts and resources.
Focusing on what makes you uniquely valuable, is what allows you to rise above your competitors and grow a successful business. Learn how to provide a great service, then learn how to do it your own, unique way. The only place someone can get your unique service… is from you.

No more competition. No more fee sensitive clients. No more poorly suited clients.

Just clients and customers who ‘get’ your unique way of doing things and value you!

From by Jim Connolly

Pavlovian Marketing in the Age of Social Media

Pavlovian Marketing in the Age of Social Media

Pavlovian MarketingSocial media is a tool.  It’s not a Pavlovian marketing machine where the customers consistently feed comments, observations and insights and marketers beg, heel and sit in response.

Pavlovian response is a form of learning where a conditioned stimulus comes to signal the occurrence of a second stimulus.  Pavlov presented dogs with food and the dogs salivated.  No biggie.  But then, Pavlov introduced a conditioned stimulus and rang a bell when presenting food to the dogs.  After repeated bell-food pairings the bell also caused the dogs to salivate.

Food = Salivate

Bell + Food = Salivate

Bell = Salivate

 

Pavlovian Marketing(SM) is when business becomes conditioned to the consistent, persistent social messages to define the brand.

Marketing Insight = Brand

Tweets, Posts, Fans And Friends + Marketing Insight = Brand

Tweets, Posts, Fans And Friends = Brand

 

Who really owns your brand?  You do!  And you need to take on the responsibility for it.

Some of the spiritual guides of the social marketing world seem to believe that customers own your brand.  The only own your brand if you allow them to.  Just because customers have newfound abilities to broadcast their opinions doesn’t give them ownership of your brand.

You are responsible for the products, materials, packaging design, messaging and core corporate identify.  You create it.  And you reap the benefits.  You may also suffer the onslaught of customer outrage at what you put into the market.

No doubt that social media changes the landscape.  Customer feedback is now loud, quick and potentially massive.  Corporate actions are infinitely more transparent.  But, the responsibility for creating, defining and messaging your brand is still yours!

Customers are now … and always have been… the barometer of what your brand.  They are your lifeline, your guidance and, perhaps, your gurus.  Back in the old days (20 years ago), smart marketers developed brands that were market-driven, customer-driven and reality-driven.  Not doing this was the ultimate brand killer.  It still is.

I haven’t been living under a rock.  Yes, social marketing has unleashed unprecedented potential and enormous challenges into our marketing considerations.  The latent power of customers has been unleashed.  And so, the marketer’s challenges become even greater.  Your customers will hold you to higher standards.  It’s your responsibility to figure out how to rise above their expectations with your products, your brand, your action and your messages.

As an information hungry marketer, the explosion in social media provides amazing access to a wealth of customer information.  As a proactive marketer, I know that accessing and analyzing this information as an ongoing process is critical to my future.  As a visionary marketer, I know that I have to create a dream for my brand that’s bigger and bolder than my customers would envision. Keep in mind that the ringing bell was never a substitute for food. And, similarly, all the tweets, blogs, friends, fans, blurbs and blips are no substitute for the insight and creativity of a real marketer.

Social media has opened a floodgate of customer opinion, feedback and information.  It’s our responsibility to use it with the full responsibility that our customers want.  If it’s Pavlovian social marketing that you want, just hand the reins over to your customers.

Why Small Businesses Are Losing On Social Media

social networks 

A new report from online business community Manta shows that, desperate to increase sales numbers in 2013, American small business owners are turning up on the social web in droves. The trouble is, no matter how much time they spend, they’re simply not seeing a return on investment. […]

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What Are People Saying?

Susan is an outstanding marketer: insightful, intuitive, creative and always grounded in business reality.  Susan is a natural at leading a marketing team: she has great strategic and creative judgment, and a clear eye for marketing and business objectives. Last but certainly not least, Susan is a pleasure to work with: she truly leads by example, and is equally a marketing thinker and doer!

M. BabejPartnerReason, Inc.

How We Can Help You.

We are marketing consultants based on Long Island, NY. Over the past 20 years, we've built fierce market leaders in a broad range of businesses - from tiny start-ups to global Fortune 500 companies.  Our experience spans multiple industries from consumer electronics to financial services and from food services to photo.  We're looking forward to talking to you to see how we can help take your business to the next level.