4
Feb

Hate Marketing? Change Your Attitude

I hear from business owners and entrepreneurs all the time: “I hate marketing” or “I’m no good at marketing.”

No wonder they struggle.

Somehow, they’ve wrapped up marketing with some idea of smarmy, manipulative, annoying selling. (While there is a difference between marketing and selling, neither is evil.)

Marketing isn’t this awful, manipulative, necessary evil in your business. It’s not just a way to let people know about you, your company, and your services. It’s bigger than that.

I embrace marketing, and I invite you to do the same. Here are seven ways to change your attitude around marketing.

  • Think of marketing as a conversation. Imagine you’re talking to your girlfriend about this awesome, cool thing you’re doing. You wouldn’t clam up, would you? How would you talk about it? What words would you use?
  • You have to believe in what you’re selling. If you don’t believe in it, you’ll find it hard to talk about it, and you’ll feel like one of those smarmy salespeople.
  • Tap into the service aspect of what you do. If you’re like most entrepreneurs, you do what you do so that you can be of service. If you really feel you can change the world, it’s much easier for you to talk about how your thing (product, service, program) helps people.
  • Get rid of the “I suck at marketing” attitude. If you say it – and believe it – then it will be true. Replace with “I’m getting better at marketing all the time.”
  • Remember that marketing is really just another way to say “connection.” You’re connecting to people, connecting to your purpose, connecting to your brand of service.
  • Create a plan. Then, at some other time, work the plan. It may sound like a mind game, but I find it’s much easier for me to do what I’m told – even though it is I as the CEO who is doing the telling – than to create the strategy and implement… all in one step.
  • Immerse yourself in the aura of taking care of people; this is a micro view of being of service. If you think of your individual tribe members as people and that you can help them, doesn’t that change your view of marketing?

Before you write an email to promote your new product or pick up the phone to follow up with a prospect, go through the seven attitude-changers above. Breathe them in. Believe them. Believe in yourself.

4
Feb

Translation: Accelerator for Marketers

In the days of the yore, a product was designed for a specific culture, a particular market need and a niche demand profile. Invisible boundaries used to separate businesses from large untouched segments, largely due to the lack of language translation services.

The decision-making cycle that a marketer used to keep in mind while wooing a customer had well-demarcated areas on the graph. The attention-capture phase was full of information and appeal. It was later in this cycle that persuasion led to action, or need got converted into a purchase decision.

Then something unexpected happened. Internet arrived. Renaissance in the realm of business redefined politics. Geography underwent a shake-up. Technology, armed with mobility revolution, became the new common denominator and equalised everyone all across the world. Language translation services started populating everywhere.

So now a pack of oats manufactured in the US is not a small batch meant for Americans. Anyone could be opening it the next week after it moves out of the factory. This ‘anyone’ can be a German, French, Dutch or an Asian customer: provided that this new customer can read what the pack says. Or much before that, what this brand’s website or app says. This is where a brand can cut the chase by a large factor and approach new segments.

The decision life cycle is now more complicated but more pervasive than ever before. The identification of need can happen while a person is browsing through a website. The curiosity for more information can be triggered at any point – whether it is clicking on an app, an online marketing message or a line read somewhere in one’s social networking circle. This is why language assumes a never-before significance. It appears on any point in the PLC (Product Life Cycle) graph and it is the only tool that is shrinking the ‘need to persuasion’ gap in one quick moment.

As long as a person is able to comprehend the marketing trigger, a product message, a manual, a social alert, a software footnote; the marketer’s job becomes easier and faster than it was possible, so far. Language translation enables this transformation. It allows a marketer to leapfrog the distance between ignorance and brand-loyalty for a customer in radical ways.

Translation experts do this empowerment by fulfilling the execution bits of a new-age strategy. They are able to hire and leverage professionals in clever and strategic ways, be it a German translation to English, a French aisle or a Japanese website. Language is no more a medium of content but also a lever that can completely change marketing dynamics for brands to apply and tap.

The boundaries get dissolved when a language is applied in a way that is personalised, nuanced, and familiar. This is why it is easy to slip and make language a complex tool, especially in regions that speak German or Spanish. These languages need a special degree of depth and precision of syntax that only professionals can handle. Whether it is translating Dutch to English, or German to English; the structural complexity and cultural context of these languages need expertise and attention to detail.

That’s why it is important to go for the right translation agency, and language translation service which comes with not just a rich pool of talent but also experience to cushion the rigour that some markets demand.

Language can be quite a compelling advantage which can equip brands in unprecedented ways. When tackled in a smart and carefully planned manner, it can be the distinction that makes a brand catch attention quickly and persuade with impact. When handled with negligence, it can be just the opposite force.

4
Feb

Are You Neglecting These 5 Effect Marketing Strategies?

These days you are probably swimming in tweets, promoted Pinterest Pins, LinkedIn articles, and Facebook posts and wondering if all that social media effort is really paying off in getting and keeping loyal customers for your small business. The old adage ‘half of my marketing is working I just don’t know which half’ is especially true in this age of multi touch conversions into leads. A client can go down so many paths these days, finding you on social media and then googling your business name only to finally pull the trigger and turn into a client through a remarketing ad where you are promoting a special. Sound complicated? It is.

In the age of digital marketing, it can be easy to overlook some tried-and-true marketing strategies that really help you boost your bottom line. Try these low-tech, low-cost solutions.

  1. Unique Business cards. A small thing, but your business card may be your most valuable marketing asset. Potential customers really do save these for later, so make sure that yours stands out above the crowd.
  2. Free gifts. These don’t have to be big. They just have to show your audience that you are thinking about their needs, so that when it comes time to call for products or services, you are the first company that comes to mind.
  3. Signs. Don’t overlook this simple way to nudge customers in the right direction. A sign that says “Host your next party here” or “Call us for a free estimate” can catch your customer’s eye and imagination at just the right time. Whether it’s a billboard or the side of your vehicle, signs only have to be designed once and have a large audience reach.
  4. Brochures. As the world gets inundated with emails and social media posts, more and more people look forward to holding something tangible in their hands that they can flip through at their leisure. A well-designed brochure can showcase your offerings for potential or repeat customers.
  5. Newspaper ads. Although it’s often thought that newspapers are dead, local newspapers are thriving. They give neighborhood residents a quick look at what matters most to them, and they are a great way to reach your target audience as a local business.

Usually with most businesses there is a certain percentage of low hanging fruit that you can take advantage of through the techniques above. Sticking to the basics allows companies to build a base of stability in regards to incoming business. Only after that is achieved can a business experiment with more sophisticated forms of funnel marketing.

At Pristine Screens, we can help you get your small business noticed. With our customized business cards or our customized sticky screen cleaners or cleaning cloths, your company can stay front and center in the minds of your customers.

4
Feb

Get Your Arms Around Content Marketing

Back in the day, business owners and executives designed marketing messages for their products and services that, like a megaphone, were directed outward toward target customers and cast a wide net. The usual marketing media were print, radio and television.

Traditional marketing activities are still employed, but they’ve been joined by a more personalized strategy known as content marketing. Neil Patel, CEO of KISSmetrics, defines content marketing as “… the way for a business owner to educate customers and potential customers about your products and services. The goal is to offer tips, help and education about anything that can be useful to the customer. This kind of information can be shared in the form of a blog, white paper, webinar, video. or social post… ”

Content marketing directs inward and engages customers on a granular level. Solopreneurs and organization leaders can reveal a deep understanding of customer priorities and challenges, build trust and credibility and demonstrate how customers might benefit from using their products and services.

Michael Brenner, a Forbes Magazine Top 40 Social Media Marketer and head of strategy at NewsCred, points out that “Small businesses don’t have the luxury of massive ad budgets… They need to drive brand awareness and (sales) leads with limited resources. Content marketing is a great way for small businesses to do both.”

Great. How can early-stage entrepreneurs, small business owners and Solopreneurs get started with content marketing? First, identify the content that your customers will value and present it in a way that will lead them to your message. Consider your customer’s viewpoint about the reasons that they use your products or services: what are they trying to achieve and what information might they appreciate? Speak (and listen) to your customers about their business goals and challenges and get a better handle on where your products or services fit in.

Shelly Kramer, founder and CEO of V3 Integrated Marketing, advises marketers to “Tie your overall business goals and objectives into your content marketing strategy” and to incorporate content marketing into social media. “Social and content have to work together in order for you to be successful… You can’t have success with content without a robust presence in the social media space… Understand the role that fresh, relevant content and social media channels play. There is great content being published on corporate blogs on a daily basis that no one ever sees.”

Next, choose your delivery platforms. Do customers visit your website often? Then posting a white paper once a month or writing a weekly blog could work for you. Are customers part of your LinkedIn group or Facebook fan page, or do they follow your business on Twitter? Add those icons to your email signature block and website, to create social media connections that alert customers to your content.

Along with fresh and relevant, volume, value and variety are your other guide posts. Brenner says “(Volume)… starts with this notion that you need to be present in our always on, always connected world. The second thing is value. Your content has to be good. I always recommend that brands identify what they want to talk about and then make every effort to produce as much valuable content around those topics as often as possible. The final tip is about variety. Customers (and search engines) reward brands that deliver value in multiple ways, so think about text-based articles, videos, SlideShare presentations, case studies and all the information we consume across the digital, social and mobile web.”

Finally, measure your content marketing ROI and monitor its impact. Patel offers three metrics: 1. Track content views; 2. Use Google Analytics (free) to track which types of content drives visits to your website; and 3. Measure your search traffic. “You have to give it time. Don’t expect great results in three months or six months, but you will see traction. Within the first three months you should see more traffic to your site. Within a year you should start to see good results and an opportunity to monetize traffic on your site.”