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!


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.

Developing a smart email marketing campaign takes resources - time and money!  So let's say you spend the time and invest the money.  All good.  Assuming you have all the right bells and whistes, it is an effective start.  You get a few leads, have super open and click through rates and even convert those inquiries into clients.  And then the bottom falls out.. the one critical element that has not entered into play...

1. check for bad addresses and either remove or fix  
2. add new names.....   (consistently cultivate new relationships)
3. compare opens, clicks and engagement (click-to-open) versus the industry standards.  (what is good when you haven't benchmarked your results?)
4. make it mobile friendly  (otherwise you will lose a significant part of your audience)
5. send it out at the right 'time'.... (Friday afternoon at 3:30pm is perhaps not the best time to ask your audience to complete a financial stability survey but it may be the right time to invite your target audience try a local restaurant with an enticing 25% off coupon!)

So, getting social is important but don't just do it... Do it Right!

...Just Sayin'!

Want to ensure complete (or partial) failure with your marketing plans.... then be sure to follow these easy to master techniques to the letter....

1. Do Not Share the Vision of the project with your team.
2. Remove Access to decision makers whenever possible
3. Prevent Contractors from attending the strategic and progress meetings
4. Get the Sales Department completely involved in the design and implementation (not entirely!)
5. Refuse to collaborate inter-departmentally.

It is obvious that the above is a recipe for disaster.  To execute and remain best in class, you must consider all the players, remain relevant and learn to evolve.  While there are no guarantees,  think about how sharing, access, inclusion, collaboration and vision stimulate the team tasked with fulfilling the goals of the project.  We expect you will find:  

1. Quicker Program Development
2. Faster Execution
3. Greater Team Productivity
4. Lower budget costs
5. Better Sales and Cross sell

Turning Ideas Into Actions...Just Sayin'!

Figuring out your strategic 5-year plan, annual budget based on revenue and marketing plan is the basis to growing a successful business.  But what if you 'built it and nobody came'?  Sound familiar?  Sure it does.  Can't stress enough that you need to be organized and thorough for the same of your clients sanity. 

A recent blog post by Carolyn Goodman/Goodman Marketing summed it up nicely with two simple rules: 

1. Make it Easy:  Think about your target and what you want them to do (Call To Action).  Then make it easy for them to do it.  That includes forms, links, contact information, download instructions, etc.  

2. Demand Quality:  Always proof your process!  Follow the trail yourself.  If you get lost, imagine the frustration your target audience feels.  Think of broken links, missing attachments or even incorrect phone numbers.  UGH!

Bottom line is that if your marketing strategy (or marketing consultant) is lacking in organization (forget about the message and the call to action), then consider  incuding  a subscription to Garman or TomTom the next time you run a campaign.

For the full article click here 
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Time was when social media was a strange bedfellow.  What is it?  How can it help my business?  How can it make a difference in my relationship with clients?  We remember asking and answering those questions.  Attached is the latest Survey on Social Media by Chief Marketer.  Social activity is all around us... in our everyday lifes and has punctured the proverbial helium balloon that was full of doubt in our businesses.  You can dip a toe into the social pond or dive in head first.  Its up to you.  There is much to consider be it monthly budget, channel participation like Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+, and of course, the return on your investment - a benchmark of social media marketings usefulness!   Whether its B2C or B2B, social media activity and planned participation is on the rise! 

Why Go Social?  (full graph and explanation within the downloadable file)
    25% Supplement paid media
     25% Corporate leadership expects
     39% Reach new audiences
     41% Cheap/ cost-efficient marketing
     42% Get customer feedback
     51% Viral spread
     53% 2-way conversation
     56% Customers expect us in social
     62% Reach customers where they spend time
     84% Offer multiple touchpoints

Want to find out ways to boost your social & online presence?  Contact us for more information. 

-C8 Marketing Guru
Just released our newest marketing platform!  Integrated Social Media for small to mid-sized business and independent entrepreneurs.  Find out how to maximize your online presence, create a dynamic plan that works for your business and let us enhance your brand.