Seattle Businesses – Don’t miss this brand and marketing workshop!

Maria Ross - Marketing and Brand Expert

Maria Ross - Marketing and Brand Expert

Defining a brand strategy is essential for all businesses and a task that many small business owners find daunting.  To be successful in any economy or market, businesses need to have a defined niche and a sound strategy for how they are going to position themselves in the market place.  Regardless of how good a product or service may be, positioning and perception make all the difference.

Taking the time to define a marketing and brand strategy are a wise time and money investment that will pay off quickly.  Two of Seattle’s big brand and marketing dynamos, Maria Ross, Marketing Director for Red-Slice and Whitney Keyes of Whitney Keyes Productions, are holding a workshop to guide you through the marketing maze and help you find practical and creative ways to attract new customers  – and keep the ones you have loyal to you.  The workshop is being held February 11th, 2009, and is an excellent opportunity to get practical strategies from Seattle marketing dynamos.  For more information about the workshop, just visit: Branding Workshop.

Best,

Heather

.

Advertisements

5 Basic Elements of Targeted Marketing

tragetThere are many styles of marketing, but only one that truly works in all applications. That one style is known as Targeted Marketing. Targeted Marketing uses information and planning to reach the right people at the right time. Below are the five basic elements to effectively and efficiently utilize this style of marketing.

1. Know Your Audience: Just like you know your products or services, you likely know who will benefit from them the most and why. What problem does your particular product solve? Are there any other problems that that same product solves? Who has these problems? Bingo, you have found your target. Now you must learn about your target market. What are there habits? Where do they shop? What media sources do they use frequently? Why do they hang out? What do they like and dislike? Knowing your audience in this way will help you to focus your marketing efforts toward them in an efficient manner. If you were trying to reach an 80 year old man you wouldn’t post an ad in Vogue would you?

2. Optimize Your Efforts: For every company this element will vary slightly, but the general emphasis here is to make sure the tools and information you have available to your clients are working for you. If you have a website, make sure the content is updated on a regular basis, the metadata is accurate and accessible including keywords and a site map. The same goes for brochures and other informational leaflets. The information needs to be accurate and honest and the appearance needs to be clean. No one likes looking at something that hurts the eyes. If there are too many bells and whistles or too many vibrant colors you are going to lose your audience. Simple is usually best!

3. Be The expert: Develop the ‘Know, Like, Trust’ effect by becoming an expert in your market. Write articles, have free information available, be honest and upfront. If you have the opportunity to share something that you know and enrich someone else’s business/life they will become a source of referrals down the road.

4. Plan Your Attack Strategy: Whit the information you now have you should be able to formulate your marketing plans. Know what you are willing to spend and where you want to spend that money. Figure out if your going to use mail marketing vs. email marketing and know where you are going to get your mailing lists from. (It is always best to use a source you can trust) Know what keywords are best for finding your information online. Figure out where you need to be so that your customers will find you instead of you having to hunt for them.

5. Befriend the media: The media is a huge source of referrals and are more than happy to learn about new inventions, new techniques, new anything. Use the media to your advantage by sharing information. Think of this as an extension of both elements 3 and 4. You are more of an expert in the public mind if the media mentions you or your business. Press releases, on air spots, and other media events should be a part of your attack strategy.

These five elements take planning and effort to be successful. Just as you wouldn’t leave the house without your keys, you don’t want to start your marketing with only one element in place. Figuring out who your marketing needs to reach, where to find them and how best to reach them makes a huge difference in any marketing plan.

Viral Marketing in Any Market

The term ‘Viral Marketing’ is fairly new however the concepts and practices behind it are not. All Viral Marketing is, is a message that is simple and catchy that gets forwarded on through a social network. Think of it as a chain letter. The original letter was sent to perhaps a list of 40 people. Those forty people sent the letter on to ten more, who sent it to ten more, and so on down the line.  By the time this one letter has been sent on 5 times it has reached 64 individuals. With every successive step, the letter goes to exponentially more people.

The Internet has made Viral Marketing faster and more effective by making it simpler and easier to do. Though mail or email is still the easiest format to have forwarded, website pages and social networking group sites are getting a taste of this trend as well. In an age of instant everything, viral marketing is an instant path to millions of people worldwide.

There are several ways to incorporate Viral Marketing techniques into your business.

First: you must come up with a short catchy tag line for your business. This tag line will be incorporated into every step of your business, so be choosy when making that decision.

Second, incorporate that tag line into all of your materials. This includes your email signature, your letterhead, business cards. Anything that is sent to anyone should carry your tag line.

Lastly: Integrate your tag line into your marketing plans. Your tag line becomes like a virus. It is remembered and referenced by anyone and everyone who comes into contact with anything from your business. This includes a newsletter that a customer forwards to a colleague, a business card that was handed from friend to friend.

Viral marketing is here to stay. The use of it will not only draw customers during a marketing campaign, but on an on-going basis.

Best,

Kristi

Marketing Your Book to the Masses!

You took the time to sit down and write a book. Congratulations! Now comes the hard part – Marketing! If you published your book through a traditional publisher you are already one step ahead of the game, but don’t think you can leave the marketing to your publisher or even an agent. Readers today want a personal touch from writers, they want that connection. So as a writer, how do you make that connection with as many potential readers as possible?

If you want to find your readers, remember who your target audience is and find them. Blog with them, talk with them, connect with them, and advertise with them. Yes, this can take time. The benefits of doing this and truly connecting with your audience are astronomical. For every one person you connect with, they connect with 7 and so on down the line until your book becomes a best seller. (Of course if you’re a self published author this would be a good time to look for a publishing house to help with your newest fulfillment dilemma.)

So how do you reach your target audience? You ask. That is the hard part and most likely the best place for your assistant to take over. You’ll need to do the obvious, write about your book and its contents on your blog, email your current contacts, talk with your friends, colleagues, etc. After that you will actually have to search for your targets. Find writers associations that match your interests and your writings, find blogs that target your target audience, advertise where your market looks, get the word out and keep at it. Your momentum will drive sales, just as your ideas became the book.

If you think of the old adage “Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer” you will see the truth of it. Talking with other authors, even those who have books similar to your own, will give you a glimpse of where they are marketing and how. So they won’t come right out and say xyz blog gives me the highest sales. Neither would you. They will let on about whom their target market is, how they found them, how the stay connected with them.

Another group not to be missed is book clubs. These groups are full of people who read and moreover they love to read. Book clubs are always hungry for new books and the best part…they talk about those books. They talk with each other, they talk with their family, they talk to colleagues and friends, and well everyone they can find.

You can find out more tips on book marketing as well as defined marketing strategies in the 2008 SuperConference Notes. They are an invaluable resource!

Contact Champion Assistants when you decide it’s time to get help building your list and gaining more exposure for your business. Call (425)821-2936 or email info@championassistants.com.