How To Make Your Business More Relevant...
Transforming your brand is a journey and test can be a test of wills.  A combination of what is working, what should have worked and what was a disaster is often an eye opener for even the most hands-on business owner. 

When we come into a company, we look at the challenges, obstacles, tools and resources as a precursor to the evaluations.  Making sweeping changes is not the immediate answer.  Getting the 30,000 foot overview and working to overcome the road blocks after we understand the goals and objectives is the longer path to success. 

We always ask: "When is the last time you and the decision makers sat down together and collaborated"?  Here are some key components to improving business relevance that we want to understand before developing the marketing strategy.  Incorporate three key elements that impact revenue and expenses:  recruitment of key personnel, client retention,and  lead acquisiton when you are determining the relationships below

1. examine the customer experience
2. review channel partners
3. analyze structure & operations
4. interview employees (ambassadors to your brand)
5. monitor the current marketing strategies


Once you've poured over the financials, reviewed the metrics, and whittled down the ROI, starting fresh doesn't seem like such a bad idea.  As we head into the last quarter of 2013, take the opportunity to plan your 2014 strategy.  Review the Business Plan, update the Marketing Strategy, review the Call to Action Messages across multi-media channels and above all...Keep your Brand Consistent. 

The first 100 days will be challenging but the results will be amazing!

Just Sayin'...

 C8 Consulting Inc is all about holistic marketing symmetry combining the art and science of targeted media outlets into tangible and actionable results.  We are teachers of brand recognition, coaches of market credibility, cheer-leaders for optimizing search, and auditors of projects.  We have many personas, it all depends on what our clients need within the scope of the business strategy, marketing plan or independent project! 

Visit us at www.c8consulting.co for more information or to ask a question.
C8 Creative Consulting – We Turn Your Ideas into Actions!






 
 
Picture
Since when is a show about a Meth Drug dealer a model for brand management?  When the show is "Breaking Bad" or that's how Chief Marketer is spinning this particular tale.  There are 3 sage rules to remember and while we are taking some of the credit for these three rules, kudos to Chief Marketer for today's brand message.  Read the full article here. 

1)   “Never Compromise Your Standards”  remember to stay on
brand wherever they are – home pages, social media platforms, landing pages,
mobile apps, display ads and beyond.

 2)   “Stay Memorable”find ways to stand out.  Ensure that your branding is taught and known to
everyone within the company.  Whether its a motto, company colors or your logo.  Keep the continuity across all channels and with every employee in the firm.  Think Pepsi, Mercedes Benz and Staples.  

3)   “Call to Action”  Develop a recurring advertising slogan that tellis your clients exactly what you can do for them.  A simple phrase to emphasize a specifi action that you want your prospects and clients to take. 

Anyway, it sure makes the case for C O N T I N U I T Y in your brand!

Just Sayin'...
 

 
 
Picture
Did you know that 70% of companies that publish articles 2-3 times per week have acquired a customer through their blog. And,  companies that increase blogging from 3-5X/month to 6-8X/month almost double their leads?

The challenge is not in the writing of the content. (Of course, if you are NOT a writer, we can help you get over that obstacle too!) The key to successful blogging is in the consistency and the organization of your posts.   It is most overwhelming when you or your team are attempting to brainstorm relevant topics, trying to target the right readers, and optimizing posts with the right keywords and calls-to-action.   READ On for a little help...

Download this easy to use Blogging Editorial Calendar today.  Remember to share it with your team, invite guest bloggers and maximize those inbound links. But also include employees, preferred vendors, clients, and customers to participate.  There is a Quick Users guide on the first worksheet.  Don't be quick to dismiss the sage advice on each component to successful blogging.  You will be glad you read it over.

Remember to keep your messages to the point, define publish dates,add links where appropriate and include strong images if it makes your message more meaningful.   Just keep the blogging stories coming and remember to 'like' and 'share' other blog posts, tweets and facebook fan page messages.  We've also included this helpful Paper titled How To Generate More Leads With Your Blog.


Just Sayin'... 

 
 
Picture
Incite (a premier marketing & communications forum) was able to share the top issues keeping corporate communications executives awake at night. 

By the way, C8's definition of Communicator is an individual or group responsible for developing, cultivating and maintaining a corporate identity or brand image.  Every business--big or small--invests in corporate communication initiatives to mold its image, communicate with internal and external audiences and sustain a long-term positive reputation.  So technically, every employee, salesperson and officer should be an ambassador or 'communicator' of  your brand. 

What’s the overall picture for Communicators Today? Here are 5 ways to improve your company's bottom line.
  1. From campaigns to engaging stories: Telling stories is more engaging than traditional campaigns.
    Shift your focus.
  2. Improving data collection = better customer understanding:  Marshal multiple data sources for better decision making.
  3. Right time, right place Communications: Talk when and where your stakeholder is listening
  4. Get friendly with the right people: Effective advocacy, and how to get influencers onside
  5. Prove your worth: Measurement to show your job makes a difference

When we analyze our new client's business model, it is usually not surprising that inefficiences  become apparent.  As we map out a strong plan that mirrors the corporate strategy, we address challenges and obstacles that are preventing sustainable growth in revenue.  In every case this is due to a lack of  communication in one or many areas including brand management, lead generation, client retention, sales force recruitment, data measurement and message consistency.  The survey from INCITE clearly reinforces the simple message of "Communications remain the key initiator for growth".  We agree!

JUST SAYIN'


 
 
Picture
As CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) we want our clients to be close to the action - 'engaged' in the social world - not standing on the periphery.  While technology has allowed us to monitor, manage, revise and track social behavior to best serve the goals of our clients, it hasn't give us the human element of why they 'like' or 'share' or even  'take action'. 

Today's blog is all about motivation and reputation.  Look at your customer base and determine who fits best into these four motivators keeping in mind that none are based on rewards.  Remember these motivators come from engagement in websites, webinars, seminars, online communities and mobile apps. 

1. Smart -  allow your customers the opportunity to showcase their own knowledge of your product or service
2. Successful - Generally people really like to win or excel.  Create competitive dynamics to fuel competition.
3. Structured - Keep your messages and calls to action simple.  Social overload can be confusing and stifle dialogue
4. Socially valued - Remember everyone likes recognition not just the rewards that come with regular patronage.


Depending on your particular organization, you can create user panels, online community forums,  recognition blogs and other non-material rewards for liking, sharing and even writing comments.  There is a myriad of opportunities to help manage the ongoing customer engagement activity.  But the three basic analytics are:

1-onboarding new clients -  between visits to your sites and social, are you capturing new clients?
2-retention -  what is repeat business or repeat behavior look like for your customer experience?
3-conversion - is your multi-channel social strategy engaging new customer activity and repeat business?


Your business plan and marketing strategy should include the technology to manage social engagement.  Armed with the most useful tools and resources, you can understand what motivates your customer, make sense of the data and tweak your campaigns accordingly and lastly, figure out the ROI (return on investment) by assessing the value of each program.  So before you think this is not important to your business or even out of your budget...think again.  Call or email us for more information on these and other marketing strategies specifically designed for your business.

Just Sayin'...

Our thanks to badgeville.com for their intuitive white paper.





 
 
Picture
It is the age old question EVERY business owner wants to know.  Think about this: 
Twenty-five years ago our choices were limited to brick and mortar,
printed word and traditional media outlets.  Today, some of the biggest engines Facebook, Twitter, Vine, Pinterest, tumblr and LinkedIn have turned the traditional way we market, brand and advertise right out the door.  
 
 Social is very hyperlocal but you have to have a strong value proposition (message) for your product or service.  This strategy should also be conveyed equally with your printed materials.  This is a concept that is still lost on many business owners. Whether it is due to fractured structure internally between department heads, no communication from management to the trenches or just plain lack of understanding, this misstep creates confusion and confusion can be the death of a campaign or the demise of a business.  But it is a fixable challenge.

Having a comprehensive branded marketing program both on and off line is the way to keep continuity of your “Call to Action” Message.  If you want to increase inquiries, maximize lead generation and enhance revenue, make certain that you have your social media strategy aligned with your traditional advertising platforms.  

This February 2013 article from Social Media Examiner titled How To Attract More Customers with Content Marketing focuses on the specifics of how to attract, convert and keep customers.   Ask yourself if these tips could indeed contribute to the attainment of your revenue goals. 

Furthermore, a 2012 B2B Content Marketing Trends White Paper from  IDG Enterprises will shed additional light on the shifts we are undergoing in the way we market for and to our clients.   Compare how your company would have responded and let us know if you have any thoughts or comments. 
 
Visit us at www.c8consulting.co for more insights and ways to jumpstart your goals.  
 
Just sayin’…


 
 
Picture
Recently, a client wanted to know the proper use of #hashtags on Twitter.  Here is a quick reminder from #Target Marketing on the five (5) top rules to follow.  Thought it was worth sharing. 
http://www.targetmarketingmag.com/article/crm-5-ways-use-hashtags-twitter/1

 
 
Picture
Need CPR to save your Social Media Programs?  Here's one idea to get people talking, sharing and posting.  Use Facebook to highlight your associates, employees and perhaps even vendors/suppliers.  Here are some ideas:

1. Photo albums of your employees in their youth and today - sure to get a reaction!
2. Adorable Pets Album - who can resist that cuddly iguana or lop earred bunny?
3. Music Beats - pics of your employees and what they like to listen to
4. Book Review - show book covers of suggested favorites - and allow comments

Be creative, innovative and different!  Let the unique qualities of your firm and your employees shine.  You'll be surprised what kind of buzz it will create.

Thanks Social Media Examiner and Bryden McGrath for that reminder!

 
 
Picture
You decide!  We'll make today's blog very simple.  Click on the Link below for a quick review of some of the most popular and innovative applications designed to make your day a little less overwhelming....  In particular, check out Bump & CardMunch!  Got a favorite?  Share it here.  http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/26-mobile-apps-to-improve-your-business-and-networking/

 
 
Picture
All week long, we sat stonefaced looking at the blinking cursor on an empty and very blank Blog Page.  It felt odd to be so uninspired.  Nothing had truly cried out "Talk About This"!  That is until today! Read a few exerpts from The Four Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss that appeared on our LinkedIn Network.  Here is one of many tips that just make sense.   

"Interest, energy and ability go up and down all the  time. Trying to work through it when you're miserable is unproductive.   The way many of our jobs and careers are planned leads to doing the same thing for hours, even years on end. It doesn't account for the fact that people aren't built to work that way.  Your interest and ability to do a particular job or task varies over time. 
It's more effective to plan for it than to simply try to work through it, or spend unproductive hours staring at a screen. "Design your work day, and potentially even your career to take that into  account." 

So, today is Friday and it is promising to be a beautiful day.  Work Hard but Don't forget to Smell the Roses, Walk through the Park, Relish the Sun on Your Face.  Monday will be here soon enough

Source:
The  Four Hour Workweek 

...Just Sayin'!