Tools for Making Marketing Tactics Easier

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Apps and tools make things easier when you’re working on marketing tactics. Here are a few tools that I’ve used to make preparing marketing easier over the past few weeks.

NOTES: I like to dictate into “notes” on my phone and then later send it to myself as an email. I especially use this following a client meeting. I head out the car and take a few minutes before leaving to give myself a quick to do list. I review the notes from the meeting and use the voice app to let the iPhone type the notes.

Later when I get back to the office, it is a matter of editing the “auto corrects” and rearranging the top of mind notes. I have found that it saves time and I don’t forget a detail that previously I may have missed. This is especially helpful if I have several different client meetings back to back. For an Android phone, you may have to install a separate app. This article has 10 note apps that could also work on iPhone – each has unique features.

HIGHTAIL: When there are numerous people on a committee and everyone needs to review and proofread, it is time-consuming to have it happen in parallel (one person, then the next, then the next, in bottom up order.) It is especially annoying when one person disagrees with another person, or misinterprets their revisions. It can waste a lot of graphic design and editing hours.  Using Hightail allows everyone to log in  to view the PDF when they have a moment. Easy-to-use sticky notes allow people to review by marking where the change is and asking a question or making a statement. All others can see revisions so it speeds the process along. Hefty monthly fee if you are a casual user, but great for a small business. Shout out to Cecilia Sveda and Brad Hain.

MAGISTO – Have a series of photos or a short video that you’d like to pull together with free music for a memorable social media video? Want to add music to video copyright free? I tried this recently and had good success with a short video (under a minute), but it edited out half of my slides for a longer (2 minute) video. The cool thing was the music I could add without worrying about copyright infringement or paying a royalty. The paid account ($10/a month) takes the water mark off the video at the end and lets you embed into email. Shout out to Angela Dash.
https://www.magisto.com/video/IF4AJUQUSiw2DwxhCzE?l=vsm&o=w&c=c

What programs and apps do you use to make things easier, faster and more effective? Leave a comment below.

First Comes Marketing Strategy

30 models of marketing strategySo often I’ll get a request from a company representative for a price on execution of a piece of marketing. A Facebook page. A website. Maybe a PDF brochure or a prospecting email.

All of these items are fine on their own. Marketing Tactics. A marketing tool that helps support marketing results.

But alone, without being in support of a goal, the tactic simply doesn’t work.

Marketing Strategy Must Come First!

The idea of creating a simple marketing strategy would be beneficial to any business owner, as this will allow them to map out their goals and what they hope to achieve from their business. If you don’t have a strategy planned out, you will just do things and wonder why it doesn’t have the intended results.

So what is strategy? Many people ask me that. Personally I like to talk about the 4 M’s of marketing. It’s not the same as the 4P’s of marketing.

Today I wanted to link to a website that has many different marketing strategies. Ways to approach marketing. No one way is correct and the others wrong, but it helps to understand the concepts behind these strategies.

I share this link to Marketing Strategies because it’s a great starting point. This page has 30 different methods, concepts and models of marketing strategies. Notice each one of these models and concepts are not talking about your social media tactics in your Instagram or Snapchat account, or the color of your logo or how you’ll blast out this email content? No, these strategies are talking about the foundation of the marketing… the why, not the how.

There is definitely a difference between strategy and tactics.

How Many Interviews Does it Take to Make a Decision?

I recently read that Ikea will be doing market research with their customers.

They want to get some ideas for new product development. No big surprise there.

What did surprise me was HOW MANY they were going to do. Not a focus group of 10-12 customers in 3 different cities… or even 2 sets of 10-12 customers in 3 different cities.

Not the 125 or 150 people of one-on-one in person surveys that are sometimes called a mall intercept.

No, they are going to talk with 1,000 of their consumers! In person – at their house – looking at their furniture.

I find that number pretty amazing. I imagine that they will be using customer service staff, R&D staff, marketing staff and more to get all those interviews done in a year. I can just imagine the report! Better not print it out unless you have a few reams of paper!

They’re sure to get lots of ideas, but with a 1,000 interviews, it’s almost like combining qualitative and quantitative market research!

I’m curious… How many in-person interviews have you done with your clients or customers to make a decision? Do you use the results to improve current products, validate new products before launch or brainstorm new ideas? Leave a message in the comments below.

Shifting Demographics May Mean More Intense Marketing to a Shifting Group of Key Individuals

Shifting demographics - like number of babies born - changes how marketers approach their audienceMarketers know that a change in a household can signal a great marketing opportunity. The beginning of school. Moving to college. Buying a home. Getting married. Having that first child.

Shifting demographics can make make you need to re-evaluate your marketing positioning:

For instance:

  • Marriage not only occurs later in life than it used to… In 50% of the first marriages, a baby precedes the wedding. Since 1988, when the “Great Crossover” happened, it is more common in the USA for the first baby to be born to an unwed mother. And the trend is definitely rising.  Baby then marriage: In 2011, the average age for the first baby is 25.5 and for the first marriage is 26.5
  • Since 1970, there has been a huge change in the number of drivers in the USA. The number of drivers has doubled since 1970 from around 100,000 drivers to over 200,000 drivers on the road.
  • And many people don’t realize there is a giant gender gap in new car purchases with women buying 63% of the new cars, and influencing an estimate 85% of all car buying decisions.

Surprised by any of these?

As a marketer, it’s important to know your market. A bit of research can make all the difference. Who is your target market? What do they read, listen to and think about? What are their values?

If you can more narrowly focus your efforts onto a key demographic… and you actually understand how they think, feel and act… you’re way ahead of the game.

Reap the Benefits from Direct Marketing

Are you’re considering the idea of direct marketing to reach the right customers? While direct mail marketing is considered a traditional type of marketing, direct marketing doesn’t have to be the post office mail distribution.

Direct Marketing provide benefits because it is a very targeted approach. You’re reaching out to potential customers and clients who are predisposed to your service offerings or products.

There are 3 components to direct marketing: 1) the Creative 2) the Offer and 3) the LIST.

For what ever reason it seems most people spend too much time writing and editing the creative.

They put hours into the brochure and the perfect bound book printing, switching photos around and rewriting every each word.

In general, they spend just a fraction of the time working on the offer, the reason someone will contact them back. The offer may have a deadline or special price or extra value.

Unfortunately many business people who are marketing directly to their target market don’t realize how important the list they use is until it is time to send it. So they rush out and buy any old list.

Unfortunately, that’s all backwards. The most important part of a direct marketing program is your list. You should be creating your own in house list. One that you OWN. It should be your best customers, your “hot” leads, your potential customers and acquaintances of your business. A house list is the best list and an investment in your business.

Using a rented list that was compiled from a phone company list or even a chamber of commerce will not provide a good return on investment (in general). You’ll want to work to get a strong list of your customers and potential customers for marketing.

So, you can reap the benefits of direct marketing by really focusing on the list, making the offer important and just get the creative done without working on it over and over. Remember who you are marketing to is the most important component.

How do you cultivate your list? Have you fully defined your target market?