Tag Archives: marketing

Brand Heroes That Dominate – Creating a Brand That is Memorable

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Every company dreams of making a difference in the lives of its customers. An unforgettable company inspires, motivates and connects with its customers. These companies are the brand heroes that dominate the market.

 

While it takes time to develop an unforgettable brand, these strategies will help you start the process of transforming your company into a beloved brand:

Champion a Cause

While attending a recent meeting of brand certified specialists, I was introduced to LifeProfit founder, Dustin Garis. Our discussion centered about brands that are transforming their marketing messages — better, faster, less cost — to messages about social changes that relate to the brand, with no brand benefits mentioned.

Always menstrual pads, for example, became a brand hero in its #LikeAGirl campaign. Its message centered around changing public perception of the saying ‘you run like a girl.’ Always rallied against the societal stereotype by promoting strong young girls who run fast and hard — the same as boys. As a result, the Always brand has become a hero that stands up for young girls and promotes the strength of women. That’s a great cause to root for!

Innovate Around the Human Experience

This concept revolves around Garis’ passion behind his company, LifeProfit. The human experience is especially important to companies that sell to a younger customer base, given that 72 percent of millennials prefer to spend their money on experiences instead of material objects, according to a 2014 Harris Group study.

An example Garis refers to in his TEDx Talk is how Zappos, a major shoe retailer, tapped into the human experience and became an unforgettable company for him. Garis called the company to inquire about a pair running shoes. Instead of trying to sell him the shoes, the salesperson told him to try them out at a mud run near his town and signed him up for the run. Garis took her up on the offer and in doing so, gained “life profit,” thus experiencing a human moment he will never forget.

Be Memorable

Hearing something 1,000 times is less impactful than experiencing it once. You might recall the recent McDonald®’s ‘Pay with Lovin’ campaign where customers were rewarded with a free meal in exchange for calling a family member and saying ‘I love you.’ Or how Coke®’s new campaign, ‘Share a Coke® and a Song’ personalized its products for consumers by adding famous song lyrics on their bottles this past summer—i.e. “Lean on Me,” and “We are the champions.” Or the Expedia ‘Trip-A-Day Giveaway’ where consumers who downloaded its new app were entered into a sweepstakes drawing to win a trip a day. The company also capitalized on the opportunity to survey participants on their spontaneity as it relates to finding and booking last minute travel.

 

The most memorable part of Garis’ message, and one that hits home with us all, is how mundane life becomes if all we do is look forward to the weekend week-in and week-out, spend endless nights watching television and only change our routine a couple of times a year when we take a vacation break. Life profit, as Garis describes it, is not in the number of days you live, but in the number of days you remember. As a business and a brand, we have a unique opportunity to make a memorable and meaningful experience for our customers.

Contact the GREENCREST team to discuss how we can help you create marketing, advertising, and social media content that will be memorable to your customers!

 

Storytelling, with Science, Can Strike a Chord in Advertising

 

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Science has proven that words have the power to move people to tears, to action and — yes — to purchase. John P. Kotter, a professor of leadership at the Harvard Business School, once said, “Never underestimate the power of a good story.” Kotter believes in the power of a story to strike a chord in people and, perhaps, to motivate them to change.

 
Researchers at Emory University in 2012 found that certain metaphors — “the singer had a velvet voice” or “he had leathery hands” — activated the sensory cortex of the brain. Similar phrases — “the singer had a pleasing voice” or “he had strong hands” — didn’t cause the same reaction.

Smell-a-vision

A 2006 study in Spain that was published in NeuroImage showed that when people read words with strong odor associations — coffee, perfume or cinnamon — the primary olfactory cortex of the research subjects’ brains lighted up.

 
A recent series of Post Cereals commercials uses such key words to play to the viewer’s sense of smell. One of the commercials shows Diana Hunter, a Post Cereals employee, talking about her job as a cereal packager. The happy employee tells a story about how she went grocery shopping after work one day, smelling of cereal. At the store, people were sniffng around her saying, “Mmmm, I smell cookies.” Diana says she told the people, “Aw, you just smell me! I just got out of work. That’s Honey Bunches of Oats. Don’t eat me now!”

 
Since we don’t have smell-a-vision, the words play to the viewers’ olfactory senses. The commercial also does a good job of letting a happy employee tell a story about her job at the cereal plant.

Emotional connections

Research has also shown that we all spend about one-third of our time daydreaming. Yet a really good story will make us sit up and pay attention.

 
By now, for example, we all know which of the commercials that ran during the 2016 Summer Olympics caught our attention and touched people. Those same ads are probably the ones you’ve been seeing in your news feed because the ads take the power of words and move a person to action, even if it’s just sharing it on Facebook.

 
The Procter & Gamble “Thank You, Mom” spot is one such ad. It shows athletes in dangerous, dark, demoralizing situations — a tornado headed toward their home, some men whistling catcalls at a young girl and a coach yelling at a young athlete. Through it all, the athletes’ mothers are always there, encouraging them to move on until we see the athletes’ victorious moments on the Olympic stage.

 
The commercial concludes with a simple statement: “It takes someone strong to make someone strong. Thank you, Mom. … P&G – proud sponsor of Moms.” That spot is meant to tug at the heartstrings — make you cry, even — and make you remember that P&G cares about all moms, the same moms, consequently, who do the household shopping.

 
The sounds — from the scary scream of a tornado at the end to the cheering adulation of the Olympics crowd at the end — help pull viewers into the emotion of the story. The bond between the child and mother plays to the connection that many viewers have had or want to have in their lives.

 
Top brands know the power of the brain to make that emotional connection, and they capitalize on that neuroscience by using storytelling to capture an audience.

 

Let the GREENCREST team help you tell your customers the perfect story! Contact us for all of your marketing and advertising needs.

 

7 Ways to Succeed at Project Management

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At GREENCREST, we’re a little biased when we say we have the best project-management team in the region. Our project managers love what they do, and they enjoy working with our clients and the various industries our clients serve. And, they’re really good at their jobs.

When it comes to project-management, it may surprise many people to know that success sometimes depends more on people-management skills than tactical and organization skills.

Yes, successful project managers need to be very organized. After all, their job is to bring a project into completion, on time and on budget. They need to determine and manage a detailed project scope, create timelines and deliver a quality product to the client. They need to be the ones who keep meetings organized and focused, and they need to create and assign actionable tasks. However, in order to implement this flawlessly, they first and foremost need to be excellent communicators.

Project managers can have a vast amount of knowledge and time-tested methods, but they need the soft skills necessary to motivate their team to perform with excellence. Their team members are their most valuable resource – the true difference between success or failure. Therefore, project managers need to embrace their role as a leader in order to provide the best for their clients.

 

Choose the right team members

When hiring or choosing people for a project team, it is important that team members have the right skill set and attitude to create high-quality, creative and strategic solutions. They should thoroughly enjoy what they do and desire to stay current with industry trends and changes. They should be experts in whom the project manager can trust to provide the best solutions possible for the project.

Define roles and responsibilities  

It is critical for the project manager to define and communicate every team member’s role and responsibility in order to follow the proper processes and procedures. Who is responsible for each stage of the project? Who makes the final decisions? Who needs to be consulted before decisions or actions are made? Who needs to be informed of certain changes?

Motivate your team and celebrate success

As leaders, it is important for project managers to understand what motivates individual team members. Not every team member is going to be enthused about every project. Project managers need to find and use an aspect that will get a specific team member excited and eager to take ownership of his or her role in the project. Equally important is the celebration of success and accomplishments. There is nothing more motivating then being recognized and thanked for quality, hard work and creative ideas.

Listen before making decisions

No matter how much technical knowledge a project manager may have, it is important for him or her to rely on the expertise of the team, their boss and the client. Project managers must listen to what the client has to say about the problem, the situations surrounding it, the business goals, objectives and the industry. They must listen to different team members’ ideas and solutions, and they must respect and value everyone’s opinions. The project manager must also take detailed notes and ask the right questions to challenge and make team members think through their solutions and answers. This will help create empathy and build rapport with your team and clients, and challenging them will help procure the best results for the project and for the team members’ professional growth.

Know your strengths and limitations

Project managers should know their own strengths and limitations, as well as those of everyone on their team. This will help determine who is best fit to implement certain tasks, and it will help the project manager to create reasonable expectations. For example, when developing a project timeline, the project manager should consider the different pace at which each team member works and leave room for revisions in the timeline and budget.

Delegate wisely

Knowing everyone’s strengths and limitations also helps project managers delegate wisely. Good project managers know what they can and should delegate, as well as to whom they can delegate certain tasks. Delegation also enables team members to take ownership of the project and develop leadership skills.

Stay calm and strong when problems arise  

When issues occur, a project manager’s job becomes increasingly difficult. As leaders, it is critical they keep a calm demeanor and focus on working with the team to find a solution. When a project manager becomes visibly stressed or frustrated, it can affect the entire team and weaken morale. When they stay cool, calm and collected, it helps the team stay focused on the goal rather than the problem. It also mitigates the risk of ruining relationships, trust and respect.

 

Overall, project managers need to have excellent communication and people-management skills in order to flourish at their jobs and deliver a quality project. They must stay flexible, listen and constantly communicate details and updates. Building trust and respect with clients and team members will lead to successful, quality results.

Have you had a chance to work with the GREENCREST project-management team? If not, contact GREENCREST today to learn how we can help you with your marketing, advertising, public relations, website and social media needs!

 

Public Relations Tools You Can’t Live Without

Business Strategy

 

Smart marketing plans include public relations, which requires a dedicated staff using the right public relations tools to get the job done. Public relations is a crucial component of marketing and, when done effectively, can change the game for your company’s overall marketing strategy. Today, there are many helpful tools to help you stay at the top of your game.

 

Traditional public relations — such as media relations, sending press releases and pitching story ideas — and public relations technology — such as website SEO and social media — are both important for a successful marketing campaign. These public relations “tools” will help with all aspects of public relations, from pitching stories to monitoring social media.

 

A Passion for News

If you don’t follow the news, your company could be missing out on some big coverage opportunities. Read or watch stories so if you see a story developing that could relate to your product or service, you can capitalize on that and share your own news. If you don’t know what’s going on in your community and in your industry, you can’t take advantage of relevant stories.

 

Relationship Building with the Media

Just as reporters have to know their sources, you have to get to know your reporters. If you have a good relationship with a reporter, they are more likely to reach out to you when they cover a story in your industry. Relationship building takes time, but has a big payout.

Start building these important relationships by calling publications to find out which reporter covers your industry and ask for their contact information. Although it takes a while to build a media list of contacts, it’s worth it. Once you’ve identified these reporters, read their stories, follow them on social media and keep in touch with them — even when you don’t need anything from them. That way, when you do pitch a story to them, they will know who you are — putting you one step closer to getting the story you want.

 

Google Alerts

Google Alerts is a tool Google offers that helps you monitor various topics, people, etc. For example, if you created a Google Alert about McDonald’s, you would receive an email notification anytime a story was posted about that company.

Google Alerts are helpful in media relations as well. Once you create the alert, you will receive emails when a story runs that mentions your company. This is not fool-proof — sometimes stories run in the media yet they won’t show up in a Google alert if the story isn’t posted on a website. However, using Google Alerts does lessen the need to scour the web for hours, searching for news mentions.

 

Social Media Management Tools

Social media greatly changed the marketing game, giving people unlimited access to companies. Customers can now interact with brands all day — whether that be at 2 a.m. or midnight — so it is important to monitor comments, likes, shares, etc., constantly to address any issues.

Social media management dashboards have grown over the years and can now provide comprehensive reports about your followers, their locations, their activity and more, for multiple social media sites, like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. These tools help identify which social media strategies are working and which aren’t. In order to stay on top of your social media efforts, your public relations team should have some form of social media management.

 

With these four public relations tools and more, you’re sure to find success in your marketing strategy. Take advantage of all of the tools available to ensure you’re doing the most for you company!

 

Does your company need help with public relations? GREENCREST has you covered! Let us create a comprehensive marketing and public relations plan for your company! Contact the GREENCREST experts today!

 

5 Marketing Myths that Cost Companies Customers and Sales

 

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There are dangerous marketing myths that are currently holding companies back from increased profits. The truth is, good marketing is integrated and includes a blend of social media, brand development, advertising, public relations, and website and search engine optimization (SEO).

Many companies are still struggling to incorporate essential aspects of digital marketing into their business plans — such as social media and mobile marketing — because they think it is too expensive or they don’t need it. However, with the continuous growth of e-commerce and social media, companies can’t afford not to invest in marketing.

 

Let’s take a look at the five most common marketing myths and how to overcome them.

 

1. “I have a small budget and I can’t afford marketing”

Some companies don’t want to invest in marketing because they don’t see the value. However, a solid marketing plan can help boost awareness, improve sales and help a company gain more customers. Marketing is an investment, not a one-time purchase.

 

2. “I already have a marketing plan”

 While companies may have a marketing plan, it is often incomplete. The best marketing plans encompass an integrated approach — such as print advertising, public relations and trade shows — and digital media — such as social media, website/SEO and mobile marketing.

A comprehensive marketing strategy evaluates the worth of various marketing tactics and implements the best traditional and digital media options for a company and its budget.

 

3. “My business is doing well, so I don’t need to invest in marketing”

While business may be doing well, that can change in an instant. No new business pipeline can mean you’re out of business if a customer has to cut their budget or chooses to go in a new direction.

Marketing is a great tool to engage with customers, nurture prospects, generate leads and boost sales. Positive interaction with clients will help them remember your company and create a lasting relationship. And, nurturing inactive clients can encourage them come back to you.

 

4.  “We already advertise, so we don’t need marketing”

Advertising is an important part of an overall marketing strategy, but it’s not the only part. Various tactics contribute to a successful marketing plan, not just advertising.

It can be difficult to select which marketing strategies to implement, but it’s important to evaluate which will work best for your company.

 

5. “Social media is a waste of time for my business”

Not being on social media is a lost opportunity—it decreases your business’s online credibility in the eye of the consumer. In fact, many customers, especially the millennial generation, research a company and their social media sites before making a purchasing decision.

While every social media outlet isn’t the best option for all companies, it is important to research the target audience. Social media allows companies to interact with clients and build meaningful relationships that can greatly impact customer purchasing decisions, thus affecting the bottom line.

 

We can help!

If you’re not sure where to start, GREENCREST can help. GREENCREST specializes in traditional and digital marketing strategies. We can help your organization navigate the marketing world and create a solid, integrated marketing strategy. Speak with a marketing expert today!

 

7 Tips to Enhance Your Lead Generation Marketing Efforts

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Finding new customers is the lifeblood of most businesses. Few of us have customers lining up at the door, so “hunting” for new customer leads is a critical component of generating revenue. Yet, according to a research report by BPM Forum, most companies never follow up on 80 percent of the leads they generate.

With some strategic efforts, you can ensure that valuable lead generation efforts are not wasted at your company:

  1. Use the Right Marketing Tool — Make certain you’re using lead generation tactics, if you’re trying to generate leads. Marketing tactics such as email, direct mail, trade shows and pay-per-click ads are designed primarily to generate leads. Other marketing tactics, such as print ads, public relations, and social media, are better at creating buzz and brand awareness. Make sure you are using the right tool for the right job.
  2. Map Your Lead Process — Marketing is expensive and you don’t want to waste precious dollars on leads that fall through the crack. Create a written procedure that maps exactly what happens to every lead the moment it enters your database.
  3. Track and Measure — Measuring and counting leads is one of the easiest metrics in the marketing tool bag, as is tracking which marketing tactic does the best job of generating the best leads. Metrics like cost-per-lead are a good start, but lead-to-sale ratio is even better, because with a little effort you should be able to track a lead all the way to a sale.
  4. Define a Good Lead versus a So-So Lead — Work with your sales and marketing teams to describe the ideal customer in terms of demographics, job title, and job function. But don’t stop there; dig deeper to identify the customer’s needs, desires, and concerns. Armed with this information, you can tailor your messaging to the customer’s specific needs.
  5. Develop a Lead Scoring System — Once you’ve defined a good lead, develop a lead scoring system based on demographics, as well as actions the customer takes. Visiting your website, stopping by your trade show booth, attending a webinar, or downloading a white paper from your web site, for example, can all increase the lead score assigned to a potential customer. The higher the score, the more likely the customer is to make a purchase.
  6. Keep Trying — Don’t throw away a lead just because they say “no” the first time. Send the lead back to the marketing team, so it can be nurtured until the lead is ready to re-engage with the sales team.
  7. Marketing and Sales Alignment — Make sure the sales and marketing teams are on the same page when it comes to leads. The marketing team should keep nurturing leads until the lead achieves a certain score in your lead scoring system. At that point, the lead is ready to be turned over to sales. Both teams need to agree and align on this process.

Taking these simple steps will improve your efforts to attract new customers. They also will help you properly vet each valuable lead before turning it over to your sales team. More importantly, you’ll be able to determine which of your lead-generation marketing tactics performs the best, and then you can adjust accordingly.

Contact us today to learn about how our strategies can help you enhance your marketing skills and generate more leads!

From Smart Business 

 

Turning Prospects into Lifetime Customers: Attract, Engage, Convert and Nurture

(This BrandPro article is the first in a series of five articles that discuss the process of “Turning Prospects into Lifetime Customers.”)

If you’re in marketing or business, you might have heard of the popular AIDA Formula. AIDA is an acronym for Attention, Interest, Desire and Action. It’s the process that we marketers often use to create a customer and build customer relationships. Now it’s more common to see what we call the Marketing Funnel, or Sales Funnel. The Marketing Funnel takes a new twist on the old AIDA Formula. It presents a visual diagram that helps us understand how to turn a prospect into a lead, a lead into a customer, and a customer into a lifetime, repeat customer. When using the Marketing Funnel, our main goal is to develop lifetime customers—because it’s much easier to sell to existing customers than constantly trying to attract and sell to new ones.

The Marketing Funnel

The Marketing Funnel isn’t “one size fits all.” There are many versions of it out there because it needs to be adopted and customized to best fit your business’s needs and sales process. For the next few weeks, this BrandPro Blog series will focus on each part of the following Marketing Funnel, as it pertains to digital marketing.

Marketing Funnel

A Quick Overview

Each phase of the Marketing Funnel has its own unique goal and includes various tactics that can be used to achieve its goal. Here’s a brief introduction to each phase, in which we will go into more depth in the weeks to come.

Attract

During the Attract phase, your main goal is to draw attention to your business, products and/or services. If done well, you will reach the broadest set of targeted, potential customers. In this phase, you will most likely increase brand awareness.

Engage

Once you have attracted the attention of your target customers, you want to begin to engage with them as a brand. In this phase, target customers become prospects. They are not only aware of you, but they’re interested in you. Your goal is to engage with them and instill a desire to do business with you—a desire to buy your products or services.

Convert

As you filter out your prospects, your next step is to convert them into leads. During this phase, prospects act on their need, want or desire for your product or services and ask for more information. At this point, depending on where the lead is in the sales cycle, he or she may quickly decide to purchase and become a customer, or it may take a little nurturing before the lead decides to do business with you.

Nurture

There are two parts to the Nurture phase. On one end, you are nurturing your leads and continuing to build your relationship with them in order to turn them into customers. On the other hand, you need to nurture your current customers and instill a loyalty so that they will become lifetime, repeat customers. Remember, the main goal of utilizing the Marketing Funnel is to get targeted prospects to this end of the Funnel and become lifetime customers. The Nurture phase is critical because it’s much more efficient to sell to current customers who will potentially spend more with you on an annual basis than it is to constantly acquire new customers.

In the next article of our “Turning Prospects into Lifetime Customers” series, we will dive deep into the Attract phase of the Marketing Funnel and give you actionable tactics that will help attract attention to your business, product or service.

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