Top 7 Marketing Questions Answered
1. What will the ROI be on our rebranding / web initiative?
ROI in marketing can be most effectively measured when a company is selling products online or through direct marketing. With products, you can directly tie dollars spent to widgets sold. When it comes to the sales and marketing of services, measuring ROI is trickier. If you’re marketing a specific service through an online ad campaign, you can certainly measure conversions and sales against dollars spent. But focusing on ROI in branding or web marketing (alone) sometimes skews the bigger picture.
The primary goals of a rebranding and web update should first and foremost entail creating a message and a look/feel and that effectively communicate your brand value. The goal is to immediately convey to your audience why your brand matters to them and why it is superior to the competition. When this is done effectively you create the foundation for a memorable, engaging campaign that entices the viewer to want to interact with or refer the brand on. The effort of establishing consistency, meaning and brand aesthetics pays for itself over time. Once a campaign like this is implemented effectively, sales conversations take on a new dimension, and companies experience an increase in word of mouth, online leads, and direct referrals.
In any of these instances, the prospect more than likely hears of your company, and then does his or her own research to pre-qualify you. If what they see on your web site, read about you in a brochure, etc., supports what they were told, the brand helps sell itself.
2. Isn’t print dead?
Those that say the printed medium is dead are missing opportunities to break through the digital clutter. In today’s business climate, we’re inundated with HTML emails, web sites, and social media. We ignore a lot of it by simply becoming accustomed to deleting or clicking away from what we do not want to interact with. But it’s hard to ignore a well-crafted brochure sitting on your desk. And it’s hard for those walking by your desk to ignore it too. When was the last time you hand wrote a Thank You letter? Or handed a prospect truly compelling sales materials? Direct mail, anniversary brochures, pocket folders, sale sheets, collateral packages, these mediums are ready and waiting opportunities.
3. Does anyone really open e-blasts anymore?
YES! That’s what opt-in email marketing is all about: gathering a list of addresses from people who say they WANT to hear from you and then actively communicating with them in reasonable intervals. Will everyone on your list open or read your campaign? No, they won’t. Good lists can expect up to a 5-40% open rate and a 5-20% click-through rate depending on the industry you’re in. The efficacy of the campaign comes down to list and content quality. We often hear clients ask “only 40% will open?!” What these folks sometimes forget is that no marketing campaign is seen by 100% of the population it targets. With direct mail, some never make it to the address. With outdoor, not everyone sees the ad. With print, the entire circulation won’t view your ad. Where email marketing wins is in measurability and the ability to track user statistics: to see who opened, how many times they opened, what links they clicked on etc. It’s an extremely powerful and rewarding way to market to people who reach out to you and say “please email me, I want to be on the list.” If you’re now wondering how to build opt-in lists, give us a ring to chat.
4. Why do I need a LinkedIn account? How would I use it to help my business?
LinkedIn is the place most business people store their professional profiles while also connecting with like-minded business contacts. It’s a great way to connect with people you already know and may want to know. Want to reach out to someone whose connected to someone you know? You can do it through LinkedIn. Want to tout your recent personal achievements? You can do it through LinkedIn. Much like Facebook, you can now build a company’s page on LinkedIn and get people to follow your company. Want to post a white paper, share corporate news, or post a great picture? You can do it through LinkedIn. For an example of a company page, check out Vitamin’s LinkedIn page.
5. How often do we need to update our web site?
Quarterly at the very least. The web evolves as fast or faster than cell phone technology. What’s relevant today gets old quickly unless it is proactively revisited in an effort to keep it fresh and current. Gone are the days of building a great looking site and leaving it sit just as it looked the day it was launched. Most of today’s web site home pages are design in a modular fashion to bring forward otherwise buried content. These modularized areas (e.g. news, featured project/product/service, etc.) should be revisited and updated as new information becomes relevant. Primary support artwork should also be updated and kept fresh along with relevant content. After all, content is king.
6. Why bother pursuing editorial opportunities with trade media when only our competitors are the target audience?
It’s all about thought leadership, visibility and credibility. Being able to show your client or prospect where you are published and what hot topics you’re talking about helps to position you — and your company — as a subject matter experts. Through such editorial opportunities a company gains what’s called, “earned media.” Earned media is a press placement you don’t have to pay for (e.g. a feature article, a guest column, a TV interview). It’s a very powerful and influential tool; unlike self-promotional ads and marketing materials, earned media carries more weight with your audiences since it’s disseminated by a credible third-party. Often times pursuing such opportunities is one of the best ways to educate audiences and to build the most valuable kind of brand recognition; even if your competitors see it.
7. Why can’t we just write our own press releases and post them on our web site?
You can and you should if you have PR savvy writers in-house who know the style of writing that journalists are interested in reading. One reason we would advise a client against writing and posting press releases is because there’s often more that can be done to make the story newsworthy, and to give it legs. Press releases are a communications tool used often to facilitate a dialogue with the media. In order to gain the media’s interest with a press release, we often suggest pitching the release proactively, rather than letting it sit stagnant on your web site.
Generally speaking, our advice is to look beyond the press release and formalize your public relations strategy. Know your key messages, your target audiences, your goals and objectives, your position in the marketplace. Think about your company’s potential to position experts as thought leaders. Review editorial calendars and pitch stories based on upcoming news coverage. Get a relationship going with reporters, and make sure your pitches are relevant, concise and well thought out.