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 2020:
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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It’s December, which means a new year will begin soon. As your company begins planning, take the time to discuss where your brand is (not just your company’s billings). Your brand affects all aspects of what marketers call the marketing mix – product/service, price, placement and promotion. Here are some talking points and examples to help you stay on track and think brand consistency in 2020!
What are you selling to your clients? Does this line up with your firm’s values?
Make sure your company is clear on the product and which values it reflects back on your company. If they don’t line up, there is a problem.
For example: Volvo doesn’t JUST sell a transportation vehicle to its customers, it sells safety and reliability, which are values reflected in their marketing efforts.
What does the price of your product say about your business? What kind of customers are you looking to attract, and how does the price play into that?
Generally, a product can be two of three things: fast, inexpensive or high quality. If your values are efficiency, make sure your price reflects that… you’ll get it done fast and effectively, but you’ll be more expensive (or you’ll produce a less expensive item that requires less expensive materials).
For example: Walmart prices items very low to gain many customers and make more money. The value for Walmart customers is not in the experience; it’s in the low prices. Target, in contrast, prices their items a little higher, but includes fashion-forward and more associates around the store that can assist customers, placing more emphasis on efficiency and the quality. While this example may focus on B2C firms, the concept applies to all industries.
Where do you want to place your physical product? Do you want to use a sales force? What will your distribution channels be?
This is where promotional items and brochures come in. If you don’t offer a physical product, make sure information is readily available and place it accordingly.
Where do you want potential customers to see the services you offer? Do you want potential customers to hear about you from editorial pieces, or from traditional advertisements?
The editorial route will focus more on PR and is an approach that takes advantage of word-of-mouth; advertising allows firms to seamlessly integrate a brand’s look with their message. There are pros and cons to each.
For example: Run Thru The Woods advertises in the local newspapers and running publications because the executives want to target the public in our area that is active and therefore more likely to participate in physical activity on a holiday.
As you can see, brand consistency is more complex than simply slapping your logo on everything, so talk to us if you need help figuring out how to execute the values of your brand. Our goal is to make sure you’re concentrating all aspects of your brand’s marketing efforts effectively and consistently in 2020.
While you’re at it, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and follow us on LinkedIn to be a part of the conversation.
When your public relations plan is considered, it’s important to recognize different facets of public relations – public speaking, press releases, social media and crisis management, to name a few. However, it is even more crucial to define your “public” before your company tries to relate to them. With your public in mind, your public relations strategy will yield greater results, because they will find the information you provide useful.
To have a complete profile of your public, you simply need to understand the following questions about your target market:
Who do you need to be targeting? Decide which demographics your ideal client falls within; if you already have your ideal clients, define their similarities, so you can gain more like them. Below is a list of several qualities to consider (don’t limit yourselves to only these, though):
– Education level
– Field/business practice
– Cultural/ethnic background
What are they interested in? What is their story? Given that you now have an idea of what type of business they own and what their background is, brainstorm what items of news likely appeal to them. If I target potential male clients with some form of post-graduate education that own B2B-focused businesses, the following news pieces would likely get their attention:
– A LinkedIn post for a business-related skill that can better them
– An article in their trade publication about what problem is solved by my company’s new product
– A presentation at a Chamber of Commerce on your personal insight into issues that affect the local market
When do they read the media you are considering (if they read it at all)? Take our client from the previous example – do you think that client would be on Pinterest? Do you also think they will be likely to read something that is posted at midnight, or attend an event later in the evening? Probably not, so tailor when you send the info accordingly.
Where are they concentrated in? Suburbia? The big city? If you want to target the well-educated businessman, they could be concentrated in both geographic areas, which means you will need to tailor your message to specific issues affecting them.
Why do the do what they do/why are they motivated? Your messages need to tap into these factors. If you’re not apparently trying to help them fulfill their goals more effectively, the value in your PR efforts will be missed. Some very common motivators are:
– Making more money
– Helping other people achieve success
Take the time to figure out who your public is and what makes them tick. Pick your media and your messages accordingly to leverage your public relations potential. Contact us if you would like some guidance through the process, or just need someone to implement the message.
You can get in touch through whichever means is best for you – like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and follow us on LinkedIn.
LJF Marketing wants to get to know you and your company, and as an experienced full-service marketing company, understanding your company’s objective and branding from your perspective is key to success!
Before meeting with us one-on-one, review these questions and answer them to help you convey your thoughts to us so that we can help you as efficiently as possible.
Why are you interested in advertising/marketing? Is it to:
Introduce new products/services
Outreach to existing customers
Increase awareness of your company/product
What is your message? What message do you want to communicate in the first 3 seconds a visitor sees your website/ad/brand?
What will attract an audience to your company/products?
Public relations in news/publicity
Place-based promotion – events, displays, sponsor booths, other live presentations
Giveaway item/offer that will draw attention to your company/brand/products
Brand recognition of product/service
Design and graphics
What is the brand image you wish to project?
Examples – Conservative, Leading Edge, Contemporary, High-tech, Progressive, High-style, Established Values, etc.
Will you need one time only marketing or use it long term? If so, what intervals?
What are your competitive advantages?
What kind of venues for placement? Where specifically for each?
Answering these questions will help us to help your business grow and prosper!
We appreciate your interest and look forward to working with you.
Founded in 1989 by Linda Freede, areas of expertise provided by LJF Marketing include public relations, graphic design, media planning, web page development, corporate branding, corporate specialty logo products and social media planning and support.
LJF Marketing provides full-service marketing communications support, serving local, national and international clients within a variety of industries. For more information, visit www.ljfmarketing.com or call 281-367-3922.