Marketing Mistakes to Avoid (Pt. 1)

 

We have all been there before, where we come up with a great new marketing plan but end up having a hard time getting a strong response rate. Chances are that we are committing one, or multiple, of the following common marketing mistakes:

Weak Written Material:

Having strong writing skills is a crucial part in communicating with your target audience. In order to fully get through to your customers and motivate them to take action, you must first move them with your words. This can only be done through strong written content. The content should interest your readers.

Forgetting about SEO:

SEO is important in marketing for company visibility. When creating any marketing materials, do not forget to incorporate important industry keywords, tags and Meta descriptions to help your business rank high on search.

Repeating others Content:

Every now and then we all get stuck or seem to run out of new ideas and look to others for inspiration. However, while doing this, we end up repeating content every now and then. Doing this can make it difficult for your target audience to remember you. Write in your own point of view and incorporate your own experiences and inspirations into your work.

Not Self-Promoting:

Whenever you think about self-promotion, you probably think about something along arrogance, but it does not have to be this way. The truth of the matter is that if you’re not promoting your content, how will your audience know what your company has been up to? Promote your business’ greatest achievements and invite others to the celebration!

No Call to Action:

Not having a call to action is a big mistake. All your messages and marketing materials should end with a call to action. Connect your marketing materials to your brand and finish off with an instruction on what to do next and how to do it.

Learning from our mistakes is important. If you need help developing a marketing plan that works, contact Sperling Interactive for help!

Tagline vs. Positioning Statement

When you think “tagline” what comes to mind? What about when you hear “positioning statement”? Do you know the difference between the two? If you don’t quite know what the difference between a tagline and positioning statement is, don’t worry; you’re not alone. Many people tend to get the two confused all the time. Today, we will clear up some of the difference between the two and their soul purpose. Follow along to get a better understanding.

Taglines:

Chances are that when you think “positioning statement” you may actually be thinking about the tagline. A tagline is made to express the value of a product or service to help improve the appearance and position of a brand. Its duty is to help portray what the company does and who they are.

When creating a tagline, you want to make sure that you can answer the following questions:

  • What do we do for our customers?
  • How do we better our customers’ lives?
  • What is our unique selling proposition?

Once you are able to answer these questions, it’s time to put it all together into a clever statement. A tagline should be clever and witty, so don’t be afraid to use a play on words. It should definitely convey your company’s personality, as well. How else will you make your business memorable?

Positioning Statement:

A positioning statement is much more complicated than a tagline. It requires more information in just as a memorable way as a tagline. The components of such statement are:

  • Target audience
  • The solutions it offers
  • Comparison to competitors
  • Unique selling proposition (USP)

Here is a template to help get you started:

“[Brand’s name] is for [target audience] looking to [explain the services] unlike others [related industry]. [Explain why your business is unique in, at least, 3 points].”

Are you having trouble coming figuring out how to position your brand? Contact Sperling Interactive for a consultation.

How to Create Brand Positioning?

Brand positioning is the most important way to get your business and products out there. In order to maintain a great business running, the business’ brand needs to be recognized and remembered in a positive light. The goal in brand positioning is to create an image about your brand in consumers’ minds so that they can remember your products in a specific way. Because this is so important for your company, we have put together some guidelines to help you create an appropriate brand positioning.

Before you create a plan for your brand positioning, there are a few questions you need to ask yourself:

         How is your brand currently positioned?

         Who are your competitors?

         How are competitors positioning themselves?

Once you have found the answers to these questions, you would be able to have a better sense of which direction you would like to take your business -competing alongside your competitors, or divert from them completely.

If you want to differentiate your brand from that of competitors, the best way to do so is by focusing your brand position on the features your company has to offer that competitors don’t. If you and your competitors offer very similar services/products, you can focus advertisements on those features that competitors are not expressing in their advertisement. Many times, businesses tend to overlook some of their services without realizing how those services can be of priority to prospective consumers. Pay attention to what competitors are saying about their businesses to help determine the direction you want to take.

If you are interested in competing alongside competitors, determine what makes your service better than theirs and have your brand positioning revolve around that.

Advertising Trends

New advertising trends are always developing and evolving over time. From print to digital, there have been many trends. With all the many rapid changes in trends, it can certainly be difficult to keep up with them, but we are here to help! We have developed a list with explanation about the newest advertising trends to help guide you in your next campaign. If you are interested in finding out what they are and how to go about them, continue reading.

An incredible amount of advertising occurs on digital media. This is, of course, no news since everyone is always hooked on some type of digital technology and happens to be all around us.  This brings us to our first trend…

Video Advertising:

According to research, mobile ads specifically have resulted in growing revenue. People are constantly looking at their phones or tablets to pass time or to avoid awkward situations, which is why many advertisers are placing their focus on mobile video ads. Over the past year, advertisement videos have accounted for 30 percent of all online video consumption.

Keeping it Short:

Everyone is constantly on the run or moving onto the next task. Because of this, short video advertisements have become a popular trend. Snapchat, for example, has become a popular advertising platform especially for targeting young millennials. Videos are usually 10 seconds long and can appear in random randomly throughout while browsing through live stream videos or going through the discover section.

Chat Advertising:

Advertising on chat apps have also become the popular thing to do since people are constantly communicating through instant chats. Examples of these apps are WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and WeChat.

Entertaining while Informing:

Because people, especially millennials, dislike seeing “salesy” posts, the advertisements have become more entertaining while still being informative. Of course, this can be done with videos but also with infographics as opposed to lengthy blog posts.

Networking Organizations We’re a Part of: The Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce

This month we are highlighting the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, a networking organization we just recently became a member of! The Greater Boston Chamber currently supports over 1,500 organizations from all industries and of all sizes in the region. Their mission is to develop an economic growth throughout the greater Boston region as well as a vibrant and inclusive business community. By joining the organization, businesses are able to benefit from, not only networking opportunities but also, advocacy, leadership development, and innovation initiatives.

Strategic Networking Opportunities:

The Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce offers networking events with top businesses and political leaders speakers in order for members to build professional connections, meet prominent business and government leaders, and engage in issues relevant to business community.

Business Advocacy:

The Greater Boston Chamber gives businesses a voice in economical and political situations through legislative efforts and policies, which help improve the region’s business climate and competitiveness. These advocacy efforts take place through the public policy committee, the “Advocacy Pulse,” a monthly update for all members, and “Growth Tracker,” an online resource with comprehensive economic views.

Leadership Opportunities:

The Greater Boston Chamber cultivates programs for the region’s business leaders. These include the Executive Leadership Institute, Boston’s Future Leaders, Women’s Leadership Program, and the Chamber Intern Connect, an internship website.

Innovation Initiatives:

Along with this, the chamber creates initiative designed to foster and promote the growth of the region’s economy. They also take initiatives towards showcasing innovative companies, and innovation-related advocacy.

Among all of these services, the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce offers many other services. To find out more about the benefits and services available through this organization, visit their site here.

Podcasting & Content Marketing

“Content Marketing’s purpose is to attract and retain customers by consistently creating and curating relevant and valuable content with the intention of changing or enhancing consumer behavior.” (Source: Content Marketing Institute)

If you were to take this definition of content marketing you could see that podcasts are the perfect platform for this marketing strategy. Now, if you’re thinking, “Podcasts, really? Who even listens to those anymore?” Well, podcasts are actually more popular now than they ever were. Today there are thousands and thousands of podcasts available on iTunes alone. Podcasts exists for every, and any, topics. Whether it is music, sports, medical, entertainment, business, science, cooking, marketing, or anything else, you could probably find a podcast on that topic. This makes podcasts an excellent medium to create content marketing.

To give an example of how podcasts are ideal for content marketing, think about a cooking podcast where they, of course, talk about cooking experiences, recipes, and anything that has to do with cooking and food. Just by doing this, the hosts is providing their audience with important cooking information while keeping them entertained. Here, the audience learns about what the best cooking utensils are for certain recipes, what products produce the best flavors, and more. Maybe, the hosts gets a promotional code for a certain product that they really enjoy using and decide to share it with their audience. All of this can lead to the audience to build a relationship with the cooking podcast, and maybe even associate cooking with that particular podcast.

In this example, the host of the cooking podcast is consistently providing their audience with relevant content and building relationships with their audience in order to enhance the amount of loyal listeners and ratings. With that said, if you have been thinking about creating a podcast in relations to your business, keep this in mind and remember that content marketing can take your business far.

Fun Promo Products for Warmer Seasons

If you’re planning on getting a fresh new stock of promotional products, we have the perfect ideas for the warmer seasons that will get everyone’s attention! We sat down with our personal promotional product expert, Annie Galvao, again to find out what this upcoming season’s popular promo products are. Here are the products she brought up:

Mesh Beach Chair

Who doesn’t like a comfortable beach chair to carry around during company beach outings, or personal beach day trips? Beach chairs are perfect for those reasons and even better to promote your company! There is a ton of canvas space to place your company’s logo and information on.

Beach Towels

A heavy-duty beach towel is always a good idea. This product also has a ton of canvas space to customize with your company’s logo and information. A product like this does a great job at increasing your brand exposure. You can never have too many towels, so you can be sure that recipients will love this product.

T-Shirts

Another product you can never have too many of is t-shirts! These are great to package together with other items to give away at corporate events or as simply corporate gifts. They’re great for any season.

Beach Buddy Mat

Sometimes just laying on a towel can be uncomfortable. Fulfill your prospective customer’s need by handing out a beach mat with your company logo.

Sunscreen Lotion Bottles

Sunscreen is an essential product, especially in the warmer seasons when the sun is out for a longer period of time. By having sunscreen lotion bottles with your company logos, you can guarantee that your brand will have the exposure it needs

Coolers

If your company is one that’s know for thinking a little outside of the box, then you should consider a multitasking cooler. What I mean by that is the ones that serve multiple purposes outside of keeping your drinks and food chilled, like one that has speakers to play music from and can also transform into a chair. This item is perfect for tailgating a show, game, etc. and for cookouts or camping!

 

If interested in any of these promo products for your business contact our Sperling Interactive team!

First Hand Opinion on Trade Shows

This year our company has attended a total of 3 trade shows. Sperling Interactive had a booth at the North Shore Tourism Exhibit, the North Shore Chamber of Commerce Business Expo, and the Small Business Expo in Boston. I sat down with our Sperling sales team to find out what the big deal on trade shows are.

According to team member Colin, business expos can be very successful because they create company awareness and make it easier to communicate and inform audiences on the services we offer, how we can help their businesses, and who we are as a competitive brand. Colin’s favorite trade show was the Small Business Expo for this particular reason. The team was able to bring awareness of Sperling Interactive to the audience while being among big brand name companies in Boston, which supports the team’s goal of expanding the business in the Boston area.

When reflecting back on these events, the team acknowledges what worked and didn’t work for them when promoting our services. The first thing they learned from the first trade show they went to was that these events are more about educating the audience about your business’ service and less about trying to sell it to them. They also learned that having informational products like flyers and brochures, as well as promotional products stimulates more conversations with the audience. By the time of the second trade show, our team was prepared with informational handouts and silly putty that said, “Let us mold your market” on the packaging as our promotional product. The uniqueness of this was a great conversation startup.

The team also generated conversations by creating an incentive for people to go up to our booth. For the last trade show they attended, our team came up with the idea of raffling a free 3 page website by having those interested drop their business card into a box. This turned out successful because now we have many businesses we can get in contact with as well as a new client. At the North Shore Chamber Business Expo, the team also offered professional head shots in order to start a conversation. This was perfect because photography is one of the services we offer and because they were able to communicate with people while they waited for their head shots. Because of this incentive, team member Max decided that this particular trade show was his favorite.

Some things that stood out to them from these trade shows were that many of the bigger brand name companies had a large amount of employees at their booths. A lot of the booths that were receiving the most attention were the ones with a variety of flashy products. They also noticed a booth that was offering consultations on the spot with a separate meeting area. Overall, they noticed that there was diverseness in company industries in all the trade shows.

Unique & Fun Promotional Products

Last month some of our team attended the North Shore Business Expo, and, like you can imagine a business expo to be, there were many diverse businesses at this event. Many, if not all, businesses had many impressive and creative promotional products to distribute. After seeing all the cool gadgets, we decided to give you guys some insight on unique and fun promo products.

We spoke to our personal promotional product expert, Annie Galvao, who has worked in her fieldl for over 5 years. Annie has told us that the most important factor to take into account when choosing the appropriate product for your business is to think about the best way to show the public what your business is about. You don’t just want to give away things that will end up in the trash. You want to be creative and choose something of value that is useful for your customers. The goal of a promo product should be to thank your clients and to solicit new ones.

For our promotional product, we decided to go with glow-in-the-dark silly putty. Now, you may think, “why on Earth would you choose THAT?” The answer to that is because it is a relaxing, fun product to play with. We tailored this putty to our business by having the container say “Sperling Interactive” and “Let us Mold Your Market.” What do you think now, creative?

Below are the most popular promotional products Annie finds herself selling:

  • Tech Gadgets:

This consists of micro fabric cloths, which has enough surface space to incorporate all the important details of a business, tablet holders, and many more.

  • Apparel:

This consists of bags, t-shirts, jackets, socks, and much more. These are great because they are, essentially, traveling promo products.

  • Wristbands:

These continue to be a hot item, especially when promoting a cause.

  • Reusable Cups:

Cups with fun colors have enough surface space to incorporate details about your business, or even a QR code that leads to your website!

  • Molskin Journals and Padfolios

 

Some more unique and fun promotional products are:

  • Waterproof Blue Tooth Speakers
  • Customizable Jewelry
  • Customizable Candy
  • Any pet gadgets:

This can be leashes, dog tags, toys, etc. They are perfect for any business because everyone either has a pet or knows of someone who does.

  • Zipper Pull
  • Luggage Tags:

There are some new tags with GPS system in them that connect to a cell phone app so that you never have to wonder where your luggage could be.

 

Some fun industry specific products are:

Health:

  • Sanitizers
  • Chilling towels
  • Shoe wallets
  • Light-up wrist bands
  • Fit bit- like gadgets

Home Security:

  • Light-up key adapters
  • Key ring safety alarm
  • Flashlights

There are many unique promo items. Insure a unique, fun, and creative one that represents your business!

Benefits of Direct Mail Marketing

 

Some may think that direct mail: like catalogs, envelopes, coupons, etc., is overrated now that digital marketing has taken over but reality is that this is still one of the most effective marketing strategies.

According to the Creative Guerrilla Marketing site, studies conducted by the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) show that direct mail receives a higher response rate than emails. This makes promoting your products and services more affective. The reason for this is because it is more likely to open a physical mail rather than an email. By doing this, it is a physical entrance of your brand to their home, which helps perceives the mail as an invitation rather than spam. This act also allows your consumers or potential customers to build a physical bond with your brand, which helps keep your company in their minds when thinking about a specific service or product you offer.

Encompassing its successfulness, direct mail marketing also makes measuring the success rate much more simple than in the digital form. Measuring the outcome of a direct mail marketing campaign can include the response rate of phone calls and/or, depending on whether this was provided to consumers in their mail, the amount of coupons received back.

Direct mail can also be portrayed as a more friendly marketing gesture. Because of this, whenever a follow up phone call needs to be made, instead of having a boring and cold conversation with the consumer, your employees phone calls with the consumers can be more friendly and with better communication. Having a warm conversation can lead to better and positive brand recognition.

The most valuable benefit that comes from direct mail marketing is that it teaches you about what demographics, or audience, you should be targeting. When getting the address of the responsive consumers, you could gain better knowledge of what interests them the most, what their income is like, and much more. By acknowledging the customers you already have, you could figure out what consumers you should be targeting.