Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Homegrown Marketing   2 comments

I hope, like me, you have had the chance to get caught up on some good reading this summer. I am finally diving into that pile of parenting books that gnaw and nag at me from my nightstand. As I whittle down the stack, I’ve been stuck by parallels between marketing and parenting and how both strive to make a strong and lasting connection.

 Interestingly, in his new book The Secrets of Happy Families, Bruce Feiler explores how solid business premises from corporate America can be applied to building stronger families. There are similarities in what makes both great and marketing it turns out, plays a key role.

We are a Company Who…:

Do you know your company’s brand? Can you articulate it in a 3 minute elevator speech? With conviction and certainty?  If not, it’s time to reflect on what makes you special and why you do what you do.   What is your purpose and mission? Successful companies, like families, know what they are about.  They know their core values, embrace them, protect them and covet them completely.

For example, we are a family who loves being outdoors and in nature. It’s a strong part of who we are, what we value, how we like to spend our time and where we like to relax.   In essence, it is part of our family brand because it’s so integral to our being.  Your professional brand should be equally integral and clear. It defines who you are and what you say to your customers.

So pause for a minute to finish this sentence:

We are company who…

Hopefully the words came easily. If not, no worries.  Brands are an organic concept that need marinating and maturing before we put them on paper. And then need periodic revisiting and refining.

Eagle’s brand? We are a company who helps clients build lasting customer relationships.

Who is Your Target Market:

Once you’ve locked in on your brand, you need to identify your target market and what they need from you. This can be tricky in both business and parenting (particularly when you have 3 children)!  Kids, like your customers, have certain features in common. They’re all children for example who live in one house. And yet, my 9 year old son has vastly different needs than his 6 year old twin sisters. It would be ineffective to “lump them together” and treat them all the same because they are each, in essence, their own target market. 

To be effective, we motivate our little “customers” best, by tailoring our message customized to their individual needs. For example, my husband and I employ Target Marketing when we transition kids to bed time. The promise of a book does the trick for one while a little song and a snuggle gets another jumping into jammies. 

You may not be singing lullabies to your clients but you do have to know who they are, what makes them tick and what they want and need. 

Try this out:

My target market is…..  And they need ……

Hard to answer?  When it comes to defining target markets, be it brands or parenting, you are never really “done”. This process is on-going, a constant ebb and flow of trial and error, refinements and adjustments.  Remember it’s okay to ask your clients what it is they want and need. It’s better than guessing. 

Rather than be discouraged, think of this process as an exciting challenge to figure out the puzzle just before the pieces get tossed in the air. 

As Albert Einstein once said, “The Three Rules of Work: 1. Out of clutter, find simplicity. 2. From discord, find harmony. 3. In the middle of difficulty, lies opportunity.”

Have you found harmony in your corporate identity? If so, we’d love to know how you got there.

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Posted August 7, 2013 by Amy Blum in Uncategorized

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Is It Time to Change that Tune?   2 comments

Lately I feel like a broken record. I’ve been talking to so many of my clients and friends about an epiphany that seems so obvious and mundane it’s almost embarrassing to share. I stress the almost because if it was that obvious, we’d all be doing it.

My new found mantra?  How can I expect different results if I keep doing the same thing?

The simple truth is that to get different, and by implication, better results, we need to do something different. We need to embrace change, mix it up, step outside our comfort box.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how this applies to marketing, both for Eagle and for my clients. Whether you are using traditional marketing like direct mail and print ads or technologies like mobile, social media and email marketing, we all can get a little stale. And, like the vinyl records of old, we wear a groove so deep, it’s hard to skip a beat and change it up.  The comfort we feel by the familiar and the resistance we encounter around change, the more we can be assured our results will always be the same.

Take your company’s brand for example.  If you’re a business owner, you know your brand can and should be intricately linked to your core values and a reflection of your professional passion. And yet, that’s not always the case. Sometimes we get on autopilot, forget to check in and to reevaluate and reassess. We get head down and caught in the trees, so it’s hard to see the forest.

Our team at Eagle is passionate about helping our clients to see that forest.  We advocate for change, not always a revolutionary but almost always evolutionary, in thinking, approach and execution.

For example, how might we integrate their marketing tools with technology so campaigns are more interactive, engaging and memorable? How do we leverage loyalty marketing and referral programs to reward current customers in creative and meaningful ways? How might we refresh and organize a website so user benefit is more front and center and how can that site be better optimized for higher search ranking?  And always – ensure that the message is consistent, compelling, concise and in support of those core values and passion where it all started.

Even for a professional marketing agency, this can be a challenge.  We at Eagle have been asking ourselves some tough questions and reconnecting with what is our collective passion, what are our core competencies, and what makes us unique. On some topics, there is instant clarity. On others, we get caught in those darn trees.

So we are sharpening our proverbial saw and looking critically at what needs a refresh.

I’ll share a few items on our list and challenge you to reflect on a list of your own.

  • How can we use social media more effectively to promote our services?
  • How do we evolve our brand to better reflect what we do so well?
  • What clients haven’t we approached lately for testimonials?
  • How do we market ROI and value added to customers on a regular basis?
  • Where are the best opportunities for continuous learning in emerging technologies?

Maybe some on our list resonated with you. If not, maybe they should.

As Thomas Jefferson once said, “If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done.”

So reflect for a moment back to that old, worn groove in the vinyl record.  What are the results you seek? Is it ROI, increased sphere of influence, brand awareness, customer base, or traffic on the web? What is it that you haven’t done? And what are you willing to do to get different results?

I think you’ll agree we could all sing a new tune now and again.

How have you made a change, even a small one, that made a big difference in your business? We look forward to your comments.

An Inconvenient Truth* #1: Don’t Make ‘em Think.   Leave a comment

The Promobabe has spun many a marketing tale in her time, much of it inside the wild world of television promotion, where we cranked out promo content on a fast-moving, never-ending conveyer belt.

Despite the Pop-Tart like nature of the work (heat, eat, repeat), I learned a critical thing about that applies to every audience in every industry – at least when it comes to marketing and advertising.

Don’t make ‘em think.

Oh, I hear some of you saying, so you think your audience isn’t as smart as a fifth grader?

Au contraire, dear Reader. I say this Inconvenient Truth with the utmost respect – and compassion – for my customers. Because the reality is:

Everyone’s busy.
Duh. Who isn’t? But for us marketing mavens, it means always remembering that no one has the time or the interest to figure out complex or muddled marketing messages.

Nope, I don’t want you to “dumb it down” – by writing stupid, inane, or insufficient copy. Obviously, marketing the latest robotics for brain surgery will be more in-depth than an ad for fiber-enriched Cheetos.

It does mean creating easy-to-comprehend content that’s always consistent with your company’s brand. Bottom line: Give your tired, overwhelmed audience a break by speaking clearly and directly to them. How?

Keep it simple!
The KISS principle is every marketer’s guiding light. As my first boss used to continually remind me: Keep it simple, stupid. She was annoying, but right.

Take out the shop talk. Avoid the acronyms. Weed out the waxing on…and on …about every detail of your product/service. Remember, really good advertising doesn’t provide all the information – it provides the promise of what makes your product/service so cool – and the push to excite your target market about your company.

Quick test: Ask a few people who fit your target audience, but don’t work for your company (or at the very least, for your department) to take a gander at your upcoming marketing, before you give it the final stamp of approval.

After one look, have them tell you what they got out of the ad. Can they basically articulate what’s unique about your product or service? What makes it good? Why they should buy it?

Or did they have to think too much?

Next Inconvenient Truth: Know thyself. Stay tuned.

*ignore at your own marketing peril

Familiarity Breeds Trust   1 comment

Remember the first time you fell in love? Not some second grade crush over the new kid in class. Really deeply passionately in love? Maybe your romance started with a chance encounter or an online chat. Or maybe, like me and my husband, with a blind date. From that first lunch 12 years ago grew the seeds of familiarity, comfort, trust and lasting love. And like any strong relationship, it took time, consistency, and a desire to learn more.

Falling in love is a process that’s cultivated in small steps over time. In many ways, you want your customers to have that very same experience. You want their love and loyalty. You want their trust and devotion. And of course, you want their business.

It all starts with getting familiar – with your customers’ needs, their wants, their particular (or peculiar) tastes. Like with any lasting relationship, you need to keep in touch. And keep up to date. And keep it real and consistent.

One major hotel chain puts this into practice in a simple, automated, yet memorable way. Last year, when my family and I made our annual trek to Disneyland, we booked a room at their Anaheim hotel. The week before our trip, I received a personalized email from the manager anticipating our arrival and asking how he and his staff might super serve our needs. I received a second personalized email following our stay thanking us for selecting the hotel and asking for feedback. Even though I knew these emails were auto-generated, I still got a warm and fuzzy from the nice touch. And my next trip is already mentally booked.

So, whether you’re speaking to your customers through email marketing, direct mail, text messaging or social media, make an emotional connection that’s authentic and meaningful. Be familiar with who they are and what they want. And remind them (like my husband does now and again) that they’ve made a smart choice in picking your company or your product or your people. I think you’ll find that familiarity really does breed trust. And trust is the beginning of every great relationship.

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