Eye Openers – Advertising

In marketing, you’re only as good as the message your audience remembers. We address Eye Openers in today’s blog, and as a business owner you want the eyes of your potential or current customers to focus on your brand.

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Creating advertising or marketing campaigns is one of the many services offered by the LJF Marketing team. This includes media identification and planning, campaign theme/graphics/content, production & follow up, plus monitoring.

Advertising for most companies seems like a daunting task. How many calls from ad reps do you receive? Some of our clients use their retainer with us to review calls in order to ascertain whether the medium is a good fit for their strategy. Other than what media kits promise, how do you know if advertising will work for your business? There are certainly tracking mechanisms that should be put in place to make sure the advertising is effective.

How does advertising fit in with your overall business strategy? An advertising strategy should reflect a company’s overall budget, brand recognition efforts, public image enhancement and market share growth strategy. Is your sales team prepared for inquiries, how will they move a candidate forward in developing a relationship before a sale can be made? Is your production or service team ready to respond once the sale is made?

Know your audience. Who is your customer, how often does he/she buy your product or service; are they part of a certain identifiable demographic segment? This is the step that most businesses spend the least amount of time on when it should be the first priority for segmenting your potential customer base.

Once you know your audience, choosing the type of advertising can be like walking in a fog! Do you choose print, broadcast, cable, radio, outdoor, online (Facebook, Linkedin, websites like woodlandsonline.com, hcnonline.com or chron.com for our Woodlands, TX area)? So many choices.

Once you identify the medium, what budget will be effective using that medium? If you can’t do it right, don’t do it at all.

Regarding messaging, what are you trying to convey? What content, image, graphics are going to get the most response?

Our clients rely on LJF to support them by recommending an advertising strategy that fits within their overall business and marketing plans. We help identify the best positioning statement to set the client apart from their competition and use that in the ad messaging along with creative images and graphics to grab attention. Lastly we monitor the campaign and develop a process to guide the client and their team to nurture a lead to the point of sale.

We love the following sources and we hope this helps you decide if advertising works for your business.

http://bit.ly/1DfdI54

http://bit.ly/1FPLelS

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Essentials for a Well-Stocked Sales Kit

Whether your ideal clients are large or small, consumers or businesses, a lasting impression is required to seal the deal. While you may think a Word Document printed on the company copier is a great tool for your sales team to use – think again. An equipped salesperson needs the added credibility of a professional-looking company; quite frankly, a Word Document won’t give them an edge.

Let’s look at it from another angle. How likely would you be to hire a candidate who didn’t wear a pressed suit or outfit to an interview, and then handed you a wrinkled resume to review? Of course, it’s highly unlikely they’d get the job.

A well-stocked sales kit is your company’s interview attire. It allows your salesperson to put their best foot forward.

Here’s what you need to button up your sales team before you even send them out.

  • Business Card – this is most essential, of course. It’s your salesperson’s best asset. Get business cards before you do anything else. Make sure your business cards fit the look of your other sales materials (or vice versa).
  • Pocket Folder – busy people often lose things. Make it easy for your clients to find all the information they need to know about you with a pocket folder.
  • Brochure – repeat after me: I will not use Microsoft Word to create my brochure. A graphic designer will create a custom and unique brochure with room for a bio, list of products/services offered, contact info and anything else that’s important to you. Have it professionally printed. You’ll likely get more results if you take time to present your customers an informative and visually appealing representation of your company.
  • Case Studies – these go in your pocket folder, with your brochure. They are the evidence behind everything the salesperson is saying and are a useful reference during a meeting if there are specific questions.
  • Product Sell Sheets – perfect to shed more light on your specific product offerings, inserts can be, well, inserted based on which products your client might be interested in. That is, they make it easy to give them the necessary information, but give you the flexibility to choose which products to spend time discussing. This way, there’s less of an overwhelming amount of information and more discussion.
  • Flyers – got an event coming up? Insert a few flyers. That way, the client has an opportunity to attend and invite their contacts.

LJF Marketing has in-house design capabilities and printing options, so please contact us if you’re interested in tailoring any of the above sales collateral to your company’s unique vision.

 

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Message Crafting in the Midst of March

In the craziness of work, life, numerous tasks and even Spring Break, we often forget the main reason we do everything we do. The same is true of companies – it’s easy to neglect the purpose behind all of your business transactions when a lot more work is coming in than usual.

It’s crucial, however, to remember your purpose in times like these, and make sure it’s transferring to the way you promote and market your business. After all, doesn’t a sense of purpose get us through the busy times? When we forget it, our tasks seem to be more difficult and executed less intentionally.

The point: your company’s message should be an expression of your company’s purpose.

Here are a few facets where your company’s message should be present in any marketing campaign:

  • Graphics – did you know that even the color scheme you use is important in conveying your message? In certain industries, some colors are seen as negative, so you will want to avoid those colors in your marketing strategy and advertising campaigns.
  • Tagline – a tagline is a short phrase or statement that describes either what the particular campaign’s message is or what your company’s message is (in general). It’s necessary to have a snappy tagline so people know what your firm is all about.
  • Body (if needed) – Think back to when you wrote papers in college: you needed a thesis and the rest of the paper was supposed to back it up, right? The same is true if you’re doing a brochure, website, or anything other than an ad (you don’t need a body for an ad because too much text detracts from the core message); everything in paragraph form should back up your company’s message.

LJF_BT_MarAdvertising will turn into action with the right target, message and frequency. The message is crucial, but it’s just one part of the big picture.

If you need assistance with the right message or your advertising in general, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re here to help!

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Set Clear Goals for Success in 2014

The New Year is often heralded as the perfect time for change. Businesses often need the wake up call to refocus and reconnect on why they do what they do.

 If you’re in that state, it is wise to set goals to ensure you’ll have something to focus on. Goal-setting is an often overlooked step, but it’s very important that you keep your eye on the prize and end the year in a better position – you must strategize for success. Here are our key steps to setting measurable goals for 2014:

Start with feedback – from clients and employees alike

  • Take time to ask about what can be improved. You can send out a survey after completion of each job, or just ask your trusted colleagues. Either way, make sure your clients know their voice is being heard.

Brainstorm ways you can improve based on the feedback

  • Are negatives about your company culture coming up in conversation very often? What about timeliness of service? If there is a recurring theme, focus on it and list ideas for improvement with your team.
  • Make sure you conduct brainstorming with multiple team members. The best ideas come when several perspectives are heard.

Set small, measurable goals to reach the desired outcome

  • Fast Company cites small actions, made repeatedly, as a way to implement long-term change in regards to productivity. Once you have a few objectives, make a list of how to achieve the objective and what time frame each step/task should take to adopt.

Keep yourself – and each other – accountable

  • If you don’t already, hold status meetings. Open a job, if applicable, for each task, so it’s taken seriously by yourself and your employees. If you have an informal management style, check in every so often on your employees (if you don’t hear the status from them first, that is).

Goal setting is the necessary foundation for marketing success (even if the goals are not directly related to your marketing strategy). If you have no idea what you want to see change, how can you appropriately assess what is beneficial to your company and what is not? If your company’s current marketing strategy is not bringing you success, it’s time for a change! Contact us for a consultation on what angle you should take.

 

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