It’s Time To Upgrade Your Marketing – How to Keep Your Brand Fresh

Why do some companies seem to be stuck in the 70’s and can’t seem to move forward with a new look and feel? I can’t tell you how many clients come to me who have not updated their marketing collateral in 10 years.  Some CEO’s are stuck in the old way of doing things and seem to not want to change. The word “change” scares many business owners and keeps them from updating the company’s brand. Is your company’s logo and marketing materials out of date and tired looking?

Even If It’s Not Broken, You May Still Want to Fix It

The old saying if it’s not broken don’t fix it holds true to many CEO’s who have been running businesses for 30-40 years. These types of business owners do not want to utilize social media and online marketing.  They want to stick with traditional advertising and telemarketing initiatives to drive new business.  However, they are missing out on new ways to promote their business and receive additional leads.  It can be frustrating for employees that are up-to-date on the current marketing trends to convince the CEO to change their ways. The key is to show the CEO valid reasons to change their ways.

Here are some tips to help convince “old school” CEO”s to upgrade their marketing:

English: Creating lifelong customer value with...

English: Creating lifelong customer value (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Old Collateral – A great way to convince a CEO to change their collateral is to show them a brochure of a competitor.  The new brochures have more white space and are concise.  Developing a new brochure is a great way to rebrand your business and upgrade your marketing.  Costs range depending on the type of brochure you would like to produce.  A simple tri-fold brochure can cost under $1000 to design and printing costs are low.  The style today is more photos and less text..keeping it light and airy.

New Website – A website is the face of your business and should be consistent with your marketing material.  Many companies have not upgraded their website and are using an outdated website.  New websites can be upgraded with flash and new photos that make it look up-to-date.  The cost to redesign a website can be kept low if you provide the photos and content to a website developer.

Trade Show Booth – An old booth design can destroy your brand at a trade show.  It’s important to keep up with your competitors and design a new booth.  Show the CEO’s a competitors booth and explain that it’s important to keep your marketing materials consistent.  The cost can be high for this depending on printing costs…but you will use the new trade show booth at all shows.  It won’t go to waste and is a very important investment.

Social Media Marketing – Show the CEO your competitors page on Facebook and Linked-In and explain that it’s good to have a page as well.  There is no cost to develop a FaceBook page for your business…so there is nothing to lose and everything to gain.  Why not?

The most important item to a CEO is the ROI and if you can show this over time..then you hit a home run.  Set goals up front for the CEO and show him results and you will be a “star”.   Dealing with “Old School” CEO’s can be extremely frustrating..but learning how to work around them and show the benefits of upgrading can be rewarding.  Take it one step at at time and don’t hit them with too much change at once.  The turtle always wins the race!

Author: 

Monique Merhige is the President of Infusion Direct Marketing & Advertising, Inc.  She has over 15 years of marketing communications experience with technology companies ranging from small service firms and equipment manufacturers to a 1.5 Billion dollar division of Motorola.  Infusion is a marketing consulting firm that specializes in the security industry and delivers marketing solutions that include Public Relations, Direct Marketing, Branding, Collateral Development, and Social Media Marketing.  Visit:  www.infusiondirect.com or call 631-846-1558

Sources:

About Monique Merhige

Infusion Direct Marketing's founder Monique Merhige has over 15 years of marketing communications experience with technology companies ranging from small service firms and equipment manufacturers to a 1.5 Billion dollar division of Motorola. Monique is an Adjunct Professor of Marketing at Dowling College in Oakdale and Brookhaven. She holds a Bachelor Degree in Marketing and an MBA in General Management.

“A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” – A Hot Trade Show Helps Businesses Grow

Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz

Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Business people flocked to the Trade Brooklyn event on March 20th, jamming the aisles and packing the seminars and workshops.  In this tough economy, it was refreshing to see the high level of interest in this event.  A packed exhibit floor with over 100 booths and valuable marketing seminars kept the more than 1,300 attendees busy all day.  For this reporter, who has attended so many sparsely attended shows in recent years, it was eye-opening.

Marty Markowitz, the Brooklyn borough President, kicked off Trade Brooklyn, Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce breakfast in the morning by taking the microphone and doing what politicians do best – getting the crowd excited about the event.

The exhibit floor was packed with over diverse exhibitors, ranging from small companies, to banks, insurance firms and even to portable toilets (CallAHead). People interacted, exchanged ideas and business leads.  People stayed all day and walked around talking to the vendors and packed seminars including several Digital Brand Marketing Education sponsored. Lots and lots of good business connections were made and the energy in the room was noticeable.

In addition to exhibits, seminars covered topics important to business leaders such as “How to Franchise Your Business,” “Changes to Social Media that Impact Business Strategy” and “Small Business and the Affordable Health Care Act.” I was personally quite surprised, when in the morning session by Digital Brand Marketing Education, I asked the audience “How many of you are business owners?” About 2/3 of the room raised hands.

With the economy struggling to get back on its feet, it was refreshing to see a popular B2B tradeshow bring together businesses from all over the New York metro area.  It is these kind of event that will again get business growing again.   It’s clear that not only trees grow in Brooklyn, businesses and entrepreneurs do as well.

Author:

This article is provided by Bill Corbett, Jr., President of Corbett Public Relations, Inc., a leading media relations, social media and personal branding consulting firm.  For more information, go to corbettpr.com or to his blog corbettprblog.com.  He can be reached at wjcorbett@corbettpr.com or @wjcorbett.

Sources:

About Bill Corbett Jr.

This article is provided by Bill Corbett, Jr., President of Corbett Public Relations, Inc., a leading media relations, social media and personal branding consulting firm. For more information, go to corbettpr.com or to his blog corbettprblog.com. He can be reached at wjcorbett@corbettpr.com or @wjcorbett.

When to Use On-Line Public Relations Vehicles?

As a public relations specialist, it’s important to know when to use on-line Public Relations vehicles.  Since there is a cost associated with PR websites, you don’t want to waste it on something that is not newsworthy.  It’s important to research the various websites available and the costs for uploading a press release. The most popular websites include PR Web, 24-7 Press Release, BusinessWire, and PRlog.  The most expensive sites are PR Web & BusinessWire which charges up to $200-$250 per release,  24-7 Press Release charges $50 per release, while prlog is free.   These online sites  can get your company noticed, improve your search engine rankings, and generate more leads. Once you create an announcement about your organization, it goes out across the web and hits the press worldwide!

The process is simple…..Each online mechanism requires you to set-up an account and offers you the ability to distribute your press release and reach all your targets: print and broadcast newsrooms, individual reporters and editors, consumers, financial and news portals, websites, news syndicators, bloggers, social media networks and more.  You can also target by region, industry, or news theme.  Usually, once you upload the press release it takes 24 -48 hours for the press release to be approved and distributed.

Here are situations that call for spending your dollars on an online PR site distribution:

Upcoming Trade Show – Your company is exhibiting at an upcoming trade show or conference and you want to spread the word.  An online PR site is a great vehicle to accomplish this.  It will help you promote your booth and invite attendees to stop by. It creates excitement and anticipation for your company and can increase your booth traffic.  It’s also a great way to get the word out to the media that will be attending the trade show.  They are always looking for new stories to cover at the show and by giving them advance notice, you can schedule meetings and get people talking before the show!

New Product Launch – You have a new product coming out in the fall and you want to start creating hype in the industry now.  An online site will give you the ability to inform your target audience about the new product prior to the release date.  It’s a great way to prepare for your new product launch.  You can also upload product photos and offer discounts to people that order the product in advance.

Acquisition – Typically, most companies write a press release announcing a new acquisition.  By uploading the announcement and sending out via the online sites, you are getting the word out quickly. You can select by industry and make sure that everyone in your particular industry is aware of your new acquisition.

You sent out the release…now how do you track results?  Most PR specialists look at impressions, number of views, and online articles.  An impression refers to any time the headline and possibly the summary is displayed at any of the distribution points the online site has the ability to track.  It includes the home page, browsing by day or category, and newsfeeds.  The release views refer to any time the full body text of your press release has been displayed at any of the distribution points.  By keeping track of your successes and how many times the PR release is published gives you the backing to continue spending money on these types of vehicles.  Hopefully, it will continue to be a vehicle that is widely used in the future.

Author:

Monique Merhige is the President of Infusion Direct Marketing & Advertising, Inc.  She has over 15 years of marketing communications experience with technology companies ranging from small service firms and equipment manufacturers to a 1.5 Billion dollar division of Motorola.  Infusion is a marketing consulting firm that specializes in the security industry and delivers marketing solutions that include Public Relations, Direct Marketing, Branding, Collateral Development, and Social Media Marketing.  Visit:  www.infusiondirect.com or call 631-846-1558

Sources:

About Monique Merhige

Infusion Direct Marketing's founder Monique Merhige has over 15 years of marketing communications experience with technology companies ranging from small service firms and equipment manufacturers to a 1.5 Billion dollar division of Motorola. Monique is an Adjunct Professor of Marketing at Dowling College in Oakdale and Brookhaven. She holds a Bachelor Degree in Marketing and an MBA in General Management.

Extending the Value of Trade Show Marketing with Social Media

Social media networking and marketing allows businesses to reach and provide tremendous amounts of information to clients, prospects and referral sources.  However, face-to-face marketing still has an important place.  Trade shows are one area where social media can provide significant support to face-to-face efforts and create opportunities for overall event marketing success.  Exhibitors can use all the help they can get; The Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) reports that 80 percent of exhibitors make no attempts to follow up on their leads from trade shows. Considering how much is spent on trade shows this is a shocking statistic.

c/o http://skgtechnologies.com/

Trade shows are typically face-to-face, relationship-based marketing events.  However, when in-person marketing activities are combined with social media, sales success can be improved, and the effectiveness and lifespan of marketing messages and branding can be extended well beyond the trade show itself.

According to marketing industry veteran David Clark, “Ratcheting up your social media marketing, before, during, and after a trade show is proving to be one of the most effective ways to drive traffic to your booth and cement the relationships.”

Before the show a business must leverage its collective social media presence to promote its appearance and related activities.  Post information, pictures and/or videos (perhaps a preview of a new product or video invitation to visit the booth) about the event, the business’s participation and/or booth activities.  The goal is to let people/prospects know the who, what, where and when and most importantly the why they should visit the company’s booth.  Use social media to promote contests, giveaways or prizes that will be connected with a specific trade show appearance.  If the trade show has its own hashtag, include it in all posts.  Hashtags can be used to engage audiences, generate buzz and form relationships.  Promoting the show in general helps attendance and all exhibitors should work together to mutually support each other.  Often show producers can help lead a team of exhibitors and provide them content to help them promote their appearance as well the show.

Getting Connected

Connect with the show organizer/producer, show marketing firm and other exhibitors with whom there may be synergies.  Non-competing exhibitors can use this strategy to build relationships and find cross selling opportunities as well.  Exhibitors and show managers can and should share content via social media. Starting early and being proactive will allow exhibitors to reach more people and prospects with a variety of messages and images and get a jumpstart on creating a buzz which will attracts booth traffic.   From a media relations perspective it is essential to get to know and communicate with show managers and their marketing firms.  Here is a link to a short video I recently published with a few tips on trade show public relations strategies.

c/o http://www.diymarketers.com/

Post often to social media sites during shows.  Show people what is happening and what will be happening at the booth or the show.  Invite people to check-in on Facebook or Foursquare, perhaps for a drawing or other reward (show special) or simply to invite people to visit the booth in person to learn about something new.  Be sure to remind attendees of the contests, giveaways, and all the exciting and interesting products or demonstrations happening at the booth.  Post information about the show, pictures, video, or gems of information from seminars or workshops.

According to trade show marketing professional Timothy McClain, by “link[ing] your Foursquare account to your Twitter and Facebook accounts…you [can] check in, add a special note, and it will appear with your location link on Twitter and graphical map on Facebook and be shared across your channels.”

At the booth businesses can use smart phones and social media apps to grow their social media “followers” directly on site.  Give access to social media pages in the booth by setting up a designated computer or tablet to allow users to “Like” the business on Facebook or follow on Twitter.  Recruit booth visitors to “Like” the business using their smart phones as well a QR (Quick Response) code can be used or link visitors to Facebook on their phones.  After Facebook is mobile enabled, people can then text “Like” and the business’s Facebook page username to 32665 and they will automatically “Like” the page.

After the show, continue to post pictures and video from the event.  Post pictures and create albums to Flickr, Facebook, Picasa, etc. to show booth activity and interactions.  Be sure to post thank you messages to the event organizers and to key prospects and contacts.  Social media can assist with follow up.  It provides the opportunity to present images, messages, video and other branded content in such a way that will allow prospects learn about the company, but not be hit with hard sales messages.  Use LinkedIn and Facebook direct messages to start conversations, share information and continue relationship building.

Social media’s role in the trade show space is growing.  It can make trades shows more fun, support branding and assist in the relationship building process.  This is key to building trust and we all know that people want to do business with people that they trust, like and know are capable of doing the job.  Social media can help create a buzz before the show, make interactions at the show itself more interesting and extend the marketing value of a tradeshow appearance.

Author:

This article is provided by Bill Corbett, Jr., President of Corbett Public Relations, Inc., a leading media relations, social media and personal branding consulting firm.  For more information go to corbettpr.com or to his blog corbettprblog.com.  He can be reached at wjcorbett@corbettpr.com.

Sources:

About Bill Corbett Jr.

This article is provided by Bill Corbett, Jr., President of Corbett Public Relations, Inc., a leading media relations, social media and personal branding consulting firm. For more information, go to corbettpr.com or to his blog corbettprblog.com. He can be reached at wjcorbett@corbettpr.com or @wjcorbett.

Tips to Cut Your Trade Show Booth Spending in 2012

A trade show is a great way for a company to increase exposure and increase brand presence…but there’s typically a huge investment required.  In 2012, companies arecontinuing to exhibit at major shows….. but are on limited budgets.  There are many ways for a company to reduce the exorbitant costs and still make an impact at the show.

Image c/o www.tiinetworktechnologies.com

As a marketing consultant, my job is to listen to clients’ needs and make recommendations to help them achieve their goals within the marketing budget.   Trade shows continue to be an important part of the marketing mix and should not be ignored.  Companies should continue to exhibit at major industry specific shows…but follow the tips below to reduce the overall cost of exhibiting.

Tips to Cut Your Trade Show Booth Spending :

  1. Booth Sharing – This concept has become popular in 2011 and continues in 2012.  A company can share booth space with a non-competitive company and split the booth costs. This can cut costs by 50%.  Each company can work their side of the booth and be responsible for graphics and product demos.  If you are the type of company that does not want to share your exhibit space…read on for further cost saving tips!
  2. Reduce the Size of Your BoothSpace– A great way to reduce your costs is to reduce the size of your booth.  Is it really necessary to have a 10 x 20 booth or larger just to impress your competitors? You can still have a successful show and be in a 10 x 10 booth.  In addition, to saving thousands on the booth cost, this option eliminates the need for additional booth staff…..which in return cuts your travel expenses.
  3. Consider Second Hand Displays– If you can’t afford a brand new top of the line booth, another option would be to purchase a refurbished second hand display.  Of course, you would need to pay for the graphics…but you would save on the booth printing costs.
  4. Use Lightweight Trade Show Exhibits  – You can reduce shipping costs by using lightweight materials to ship. Pop up displays are an excellent option because they are extremely lightweight and come in a variety of shapes and sizes. If there are items that don’t need to be shipped and can be carried by you to the event, then that will also be cost efficient for you.
  5. Keep Your Booth Paperless – Do not print and bring company brochures.  Instead bring a laptop and show a presentation at your booth.  Only send brochures to qualified leads as a follow-up after the show.

The good news is that trade show booth traffic continues to increase in the new year.  Companies are seeing a return on investment and understand the value of not missing out on the major industry events.  Exhibiting at trade shows is a HOT item in 2012.  Hopefully, these tips will allow companies to continue exhibiting at the major events and not be left out in the cold!

Author: 

Monique Merhige is the President of Infusion Direct Marketing & Advertising, Inc.  She has over 15 years of marketing communications experience with technology companies ranging from small service firms and equipment manufacturers to a 1.5 Billion dollar division of Motorola.  Infusion is a marketing consulting firm that specializes in the security industry and delivers marketing solutions that include Public Relations, Direct Marketing, Branding, Collateral Development, and Social Media Marketing.  Visit:  www.infusiondirect.com or call 631-846-1558

Sources:

About Monique Merhige

Infusion Direct Marketing's founder Monique Merhige has over 15 years of marketing communications experience with technology companies ranging from small service firms and equipment manufacturers to a 1.5 Billion dollar division of Motorola. Monique is an Adjunct Professor of Marketing at Dowling College in Oakdale and Brookhaven. She holds a Bachelor Degree in Marketing and an MBA in General Management.

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