Two Keys to Marketing Success

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Transparency and Authenticity: Two Keys to Marketing Success

Trust is essential to success in today’s business world. It’s not enough to offer a terrific product or service. You need to back that offering with the type of high-quality brand experience people won’t find anywhere else. Doing so doesn’t just create customers — it creates advocates. It creates a legion of followers who are willing to champion your brand to their friends and family members, extending your reach farther than you ever could on your own. In order to achieve this, however, you need to focus on two key qualities: transparency and authenticity, especially in your marketing message.

What is Transparency in Marketing?

At its core, transparency means being truthful about your business at all times. Far too many business leaders believe that acknowledging problems or mistakes is akin to showing signs of weakness. As they see it, letting people know your business may be going through a rough patch is proof that blood is in the water and the sharks will soon begin to circle.

In reality, transparency is one of the best ways to establish yourself as a trusted brand. If you make a mistake, don’t attempt to sweep it under the rug. Instead, lean into it, take the heat, and use the experience to better your organization. From that regard, transparency isn’t a weakness at all. It’s a way to show your organization is run by human beings who sometimes make mistakes but who always care about their customers above all else.

Consider the recent surge in data breaches that have affected some of the biggest companies on the planet. There are commonly two types of reactions to these events. Some companies try to pretend like a data breach didn’t happen for as long as possible. This never ends well and only damages their reputation. Others step up, take full responsibility, and go to great lengths to do right by their customers. These are the companies that survive the PR disaster that a data breach represents.

Authenticity is Key

Gabe Newell is the co-founder and managing director of the Valve Corporation, a highly successful video game development and distribution platform. When asked about the early days of Valve and the major success it had with digital distribution when so many other platforms were faltering, Newell said the key was simple. "One of the things we learned pretty early on is don’t ever, ever try to lie to the Internet," he said. "They will catch you. They will de-construct your spin. They will remember everything you ever say for eternity."

Newell understood what so many others failed to: authenticity is no longer a recommendation for business professionals. It’s a requirement.

Building a following for your business is always a challenge, especially as new competitors crop up with each passing day. Transparency and authenticity are two of the most important resources you have that will move you toward that goal.

Jim Grant
www.GrantPrinting.com
6109 Pembroke Road
Hollywood FL 33023-2213
954-962-1020

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What are Your Customer’s Experiencing?

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How to Convince Customers You’re Worthy of Their Loyalty

Did you know that 71 percent of customers have stopped using a company because of the poor customer service they received? Did you also know that the average value of a lost customer is $243? Poor customer experiences cost companies money and seriously hurt the bottom line. No company can afford to just throw away $243 per person.

Fortunately, there is a solution. By focusing your efforts on improving your customers’ experience, you can help encourage them to return to you, improving retention and stopping the bleed of past customers going to your competitors. Here’s how to do it.

Focus on employees

Your employees are the face of the company when customers interact with your brand. Make sure they represent you well. Develop a strong relationship with employees by giving them degrees of independence, flexibility, and a work environment that’s a pleasant place to be. Employees will become more appreciative and enthusiastic about your brand and pass that along to customers.

Give employees training, then independence

Focus on building a culture of independence. Allow company representatives to troubleshoot and solve problems on their own. This will help them feel more appreciated, while improving customer service. Now, when a customer calls with a complaint, the person who answers can actually help them, rather than passing the phone call from person to person.

Try to under-promise and over-deliver

Far too many customers are used to companies neglecting their promises, so show that you’re different. Promise customers the minimum of what they can expect and then over-deliver.

Listen to what customers say are the weakest parts of their experience

Though fewer and fewer customers actually use complaint lines to let companies know they did wrong, that doesn’t mean they’ve stopped complaining. Instead, it’s simply become more common for people to release their reviews to the public through social media.

A bad review from a disgruntled customer can have an enormous impact on your company’s reputation. Address customer complaints head-on and try to make amends for their poor experience. If the customer is satisfied, then politely ask them to update or remove the bad review.

Treat bad reviews as learning experiences. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What part of the customer experience was impacted (product research, pricing, the purchase itself, questions about the product, etc.)?
  • Are there any patterns to the types of complaints made by customers?
  • What do these bad reviews say about how customers wish to be seen in your organization?

Use the information you garner to guide you in making improvements to the customer experience. Prioritize changes based on the weaknesses customers point out in their reviews, and let them know they’re valued by your company.

The customer experience can be a fantastic predictor of consumer loyalty and retention. When you learn how to convince customers to stay with your brand, you’ll see more money in your pocket and better growth. Use the above advice to update your customer experience to make the most of every interaction between customer and company.

Jim Grant
www.GrantPrinting.com
6109 Pembroke Road
Hollywood FL 33023-2213
954-962-1020

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Pinterest and Business’s Success

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How Does Pinterest Fit into Your Business’s Success?

Is your business on Pinterest? If not, it should be. Pinterest can have a huge impact on your company’s success. Here are three ways you can use Pinterest to your best advantage to gain more customers and increase profits:

Establish Your Business as an Industry Authority

Pinterest is golden when it comes to establishing your business as an authority in your industry. Provide real value in your pins and boards, and you can quickly position yourself as the go-to expert in your field. Value is the key. Go out of your way to give as much free information as you can with your pins and boards. Your pins should tell a compelling story about who you are, what you do, and why you do it.

Don’t just make one board on Pinterest. Create several, and put them into categories, such as "how to," "FAQs," "interesting uses for a product or service," "how other people are using the product or service," "tips for getting the most out of the product or service," and any other category you think would provide real value to your customers.

Make sure your boards are fun and engaging, too. The more people look at your boards, the more they’ll take your pictorial stories to heart — and the more they’ll share those images with others. If you have a YouTube channel, post videos to your Pinterest boards. These are great for a "how to" category. The more you post, the more of an industry expert you’ll seem. This will increase customer engagement with your company, as well as customer loyalty, since customers love to be associated with the best in the business.

Tap into the Power of Other Companies’ Networks

Do you want to reach potential customers you might have never found on your own? Collaborate with other business owners on Pinterest. There are a number of ways you can do this. One is to start a group board with another business in your industry. Another is to allow a business in your niche to put pins on your boards in exchange for you being able to pin to their boards.

The more followers your collaborative partner has, the more potential new customers your business will be exposed to when you post on a common board or to your partner’s board. Your partner will get the same benefit from being exposed to your followers. You can collaborate like this with as many business partners on Pinterest as you’d like. Just make sure they’re all in your niche, so you don’t confuse current or potential customers.

Vet collaborative partners thoroughly before embarking on a Pinterest business venture with them. Remember, the things other companies post on your boards reflect on your company, so choose your partners carefully. Make sure you trust each other to only pin appropriate and relevant content to each others’ boards.

Use Pinterest as a Conduit to Your Main Company Website

Is your main company website lacking the traffic it needs to thrive? Pinterest can help attract new visitors to your website. The people who use Pinterest are really passionate about it. If they like what they see on your boards, they’ll be more likely to visit your website to find out more about your company.

The key is to get people to re-pin your images to their own boards. You want people to re-pin and to share your pins with others. Getting them to do this means pinning visually entertaining, enticing, mysterious, and/or educational images to your boards. Pins that make your followers stop and look twice are more likely to motivate them to re-pin and/or share your pins with their friends and family. Try to make sure your images solve a problem, appeal to someone’s interest in a hobby, inspire them, or are just plain gorgeous.

Include a link back to your company’s website. That way, when other users re-pin your images to their own boards, their followers will see them, along with your link. If you’ve made images interesting enough for others to re-pin and share, it’s highly likely they and their followers will want to click your links, as well, to go to your website and learn more about you. That’s your chance to turn them into customers who will buy from you and tell others about you, too.

As you can see, Pinterest can be a powerful tool for increasing the success of your business. Follow these tips, and you’ll be amazed at the additional customers, followers, and profits you acquire. When it comes to boosting your bottom line, Pinterest is picture perfect.

Jim Grant
www.GrantPrinting.com
6109 Pembroke Road
Hollywood FL 33023-2213
954-962-1020

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Local Marketing

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Local Marketing: The Biggest Weapon in A Mobile and Social World

Engaging with customers has always been the name of the game in marketing. Thanks to the Internet, target audiences are increasingly spread out. That isn’t to say the Internet hasn’t been a benefit to marketers. It unquestionably has. However, the Internet isn’t marketing’s final frontier. Far from it, actually. When you think about some of the biggest digital channels businesses are using today, mobile devices like smartphones and social networks like Facebook unquestionably come to mind.

When you break down those two categories into their core elements, however, what you’re left with is the same type of local marketing businesses have been using for decades. This is why traditional print marketing and — more specifically — local marketing remain hugely valuable tools to businesses in the 21st century.

What Is Local Marketing?

Studies have long shown that most people do most of their shopping within a ten mile radius of their home. This is still true, even at a time when people can have something delivered to their home with the press of a few buttons and the click of a mouse. People are still willing to venture out of the home to pick up that hot new item or to participate in a service they truly believe in. They just need to know where to look.

According to a recent report released by the CMO Council, 49% of all respondents to a survey agreed that localized marketing was crucial to the overall growth and longevity of their business. More than that, one in four marketers were spending at least 50% of their total marketing budgets on localized programs, certain location-centric promotions, and more.

At its core, local marketing allows you to use these types of stats to your advantage by not just targeting as many customers as you can with your campaigns, but by targeting the right customers — namely the ones who live in the area where your business is actually located.

The Benefits of Local Print Marketing

To illustrate just how effective local marketing can be, think of one of the oldest such strategies in the book: the business card. As you meet new people or network with fellow industry professionals, you’re likely to hand out a business card to whomever you meet. Even if that particular person doesn’t have any use for the product or service you provide, they may know someone who does. Thanks to your business card, they now have something tangible they can give that person to point them in the right direction.

The whole idea is brilliant in its simplicity. You’re establishing your organization as a local leader in a way that creates increased traffic right to your doorstep. On the one hand, it really is no different than sending out mobile "push" notifications to a smartphone or making people in your area "friends" on your Facebook page. The advantage it does have over those digital channels, however, is that it’s something tangible. By tailoring your printed materials to a local market, you’re instantly increasing their relevancy in the lives of those people. The result is improved marketing effectiveness, which will ultimately build brand awareness and position your business as the type of authority you know you are.

Targeted local marketing remains one of the best ways to bring your organization to the attention of a new set of customers who may not even realize you exist. In an age where you’re competing with digital businesses that may offer the same services, it’s no longer about trying to attract the biggest possible audience. It’s about attracting the right audience. That’s the power local marketing gives you if you know how to use it.

Jim Grant
www.GrantPrinting.com
6109 Pembroke Road
Hollywood FL 33023-2213
954-962-1020

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