The Friendly Truth to Setting a Marketing Budget

Whether you’re a small business or a large corporation, marketing is necessary for business growth. Many small businesses are not sure they have enough money to budget for marketing or they overspend without tracking their return on investment. Setting a marketing budget that coincides with your business goals will help guide you to success.

The unfortunate truth for companies with fantastic products and no marketing is that products and services will not sell themselves. However, a successful marketing campaign will allow you to grow at a rate unimaginable. The old saying “you have to spend money to make money” stands true when it comes to marketing your product or services. While that may seem obvious, the more difficult objective can be finding out exactly how much to spend in order to make more money and meet your business goals.

There are many factors that should be taken into consideration when setting a marketing budget. The basic rule of thumb, which may be a sigh of relief, is that the general percentage should be only around 1%-6% of your median revenue. So, a million dollar company would spend $10,000-$60,000 as a starting point.

In order to spend your budget wisely, you must have a plan. Knowing the market of your products and a realistic timeline of business growth will help you extend your dollar. With a goal-based marketing budget, you can define your business goals and develop a plan to meet these goals without over/under-spending. If you would like to grow by a certain number of clients or customers, develop a plan on how you will reach that goal and how much advertising will lead you there.

If you feel as though you could use some help setting up a marketing plan that will help you reach your business goals, give us a call! We can be reached at 503-477-4355, or give us a visit online @www.spotcolormarketing.com

 

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Grow Your Business Through Marketing

If you are looking to grow your business, getting new leads from targeted customers that are looking for your exact products and services is the way to go. It doesn’t make much sense to have a great product or excellent service if no one knows about it, or no one can find your business when they do a search online.

Let your clients, and potential clients, know what you have to offer. This video and content below are a few of the things that Spot has been doing to get the word out about our services….and it is working wonders.

 

 

Newsletters: A very simple way to reach potential clients and remain on their radar. Newsletters allow you to connect to a large number of people and track how they are responding to your message. We suggest that if you decide to send out newsletters to shoot for one every 2-3 weeks. This seems like the sweet spot that probably won’t be too aggressive but enough to keep your business in people’s mind.

Blogs: While it may not seem like you have time to consistently put out blogs, content can be another way to grab people’s attention and eventually raise the SEO of your website. Companies with ten employees or less that publish 11+ posts per month have almost three times more traffic than companies that publish 0-1.

Social Media: This may seem like a no-brainer, but social media can be a very cost-effective way to advertise to potential customers and clients. Also, through social media businesses will retain more clients. Connecting to clients and giving them an easy way to give feedback is essential. Not only will companies have a face and platform for clients but the posts will lead to conversions. If people find your posts intriguing, they can become one step closer to becoming a partner or client with the click of a button.

Videos: Let’s be real, people prefer hearing information over reading in the modern age. While content is necessary and many people still read it, videos are becoming the go-to. Video marketing is on a huge rise and isn’t going anywhere but up. In fact, including a video increases the click-through rate by a massive 65 percent and reduces unsubscribes by 26 percent.

Those are just a few things we are improving at Spot Color Marketing to enhance the marketing of our own brand. We would love to hear from you about your marketing efforts, give us a call at 503-477-4355, or visit us online @www.spotcolormarketing.com.

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Why You Need Data Storytellers

Measurement tools are critical in evaluating the success of a campaign. The numbers are the evidence, but what’s evidence without an interpreter. This is where the data storyteller comes in.

Data storytellers take the information from the measurement tools and provide strategic recommendations. They use their insights to pick apart the data and find solutions and answers that will produce results.

The information is essentially useless without somebody that can pick it apart and figure out what the results mean and provide the solutions. Data storytellers will provide the strategy. Narrative is simply the way we take complex information and make sense of it. The levels of marketing that take place to derive finalize summaries are necessary and profound. As a data storyteller the goal is to explore the data, visualize and draw conclusions.

When somebody is presented with the information, “Our sales dropped 5 percent the past three months,” there is probably a reason and a solution. From that, a data storyteller might say, “Our sales dropped 5 percent because it was the winter time and people are not purchasing sunglasses at full price during the winter months. Next winter we should have a promotion for discounted sunglasses. People will then continue to make the purchases and we will remain relevant through the year.”

It may seem obvious to derive a narrative from the data, but to many data analysts it’s not obvious at all. The depth of information that can be found through measurement tools tells us how many people are consuming the content, what they are doing with it, and whether or not they like it. This information is crucial but knowing the information is just the first step. Analyzing, interpreting and finding a solution from the data is what brings it to life.

If you feel as though you could use some help analyzing and interpreting your marketing efforts give us a call! We can be reached at 503-477-4355, or give us a visit online @www.spotcolormarketing.com

 

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Five Reasons Millennials are a Valuable Asset

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While the common stereotypes of millennials tend to be that they are entitled and unwilling to pay their dues, it’s time we put those mindsets to rest. Generation Y, those born during late 1980’s and early 1990’s, are a group of individuals that can add great value to an organization and have a powerful effect on your company’s culture. Hiring millennials is a true win-win for both parties. Companies will benefit from a less expensive extra set of hands and a fresh perspective. Millennials receive the invaluable experience they desire. Spot Color recommends you consider hiring millennials for the following reasons:

 

1. Millennials Bring Exciting Energy To Your Company

This generation is fresh out of the classroom where they gained tools to take to the workforce. They have been working on assignments that they have been waiting patiently for years put into real life experience. This is their time to shine! Millennials often come into the company filled with positivity, gratitude and enthusiasm. This is their opportunity to gain experience and prove themselves. Their willingness to learn will be noticed by other employees and provide a positive influence to the rest of the team members.

 

2. They’re Tech Savvy

You don’t know how to use a new form of technology, how to use social media platforms or what they are? They probably do. Generation Y grew up almost entirely with technology. They are the primary consumer of technology and have a serious interest in learning new ways to use it. Millennials will be likely to introduce apps, processes or software that help your company increase efficiency and productivity. Their high standards for the usability and ease of technology can also help to influence your current products and services to ensure customer retention.

 

3. They Promote Learning

Millennials are young, many fresh out of college, and understand there is a lot for them to learn. They are not just out there because they need a job, 65% of them say that personal development is the most important factor in their careers. While you’re expected to educate them about your company and the industry, you will be surprised to find out what you can learn from them. Keep in mind, their education is also, likely, the most up-to-date in the office. Hiring millennials can be an excellent opportunity for your employees to learn from each other.

  • 60% of hiring managers find millennials to be fast learners.
  • 68% of hiring managers have discovered a skill set in millennials that other generations do not have.

Oh and lastly, not only are they fast learners, they are quick to excel. 24% of millennials reported being placed in managerial positions in 2015!

 

4. They’re Self-Expressive

If the evolution of social media has taught generation Y anything, it is how to express themselves. You can thank Twitter for that. Growing up during an age when you can inform the masses of your everyday life, this generation has taken full advantage. While this may seem frightening and painful, self-expression can allow a team to bounce ideas around one another and put new ideas out there. A group of individuals who aren’t afraid to express their new ideas will translate to a welcoming dimension of brainstorming, new solutions and fresh perspectives.

 

5. They Can Act as Brand Ambassadors

As millennials engulf on their new and exciting careers, they have a growing enthusiasm within the company they begin working for. Recent grads have the influence necessary to produce a substantial network from their school alone. The positive public exposure allows an organization to engage with a number of people through your employee undertaking a brand representative role.

 

Employer’s Takeaways:

Don’t be fooled by the stereotypes of millennials. The truth is, this young generation is full of hard-working individuals with a thirst for knowledge. Hire the right Gen-Y candidate for your company and you will soon reek the benefits of a cost-effective and well-rounded employee. At Spot Color, we strongly believe an expressive employee with a fresh perspective can significantly improve a business’ culture.

 

-With these tips in mind you will go a long way to making your marketing efforts measure up and pay off. Need more help? We specialize in working on marketing strategies specifically for your industry. Give us a call at 503-477-4355, or visit us online @ www.spotcolormarketing.com

 

 

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Increased Performance with Analytics

Maybe it’s hard to see from the surface, but marketing in the digital age is a lot like being a gunslinger in the wild west; the best advice is to keep your finger on the hammer at all times. With access to customer insights and analytical tools we take more precise aim. It allows marketers to stay closely aware of how the consumer and other marketers are expected to react to an ever-changing environment. It’s never a one-stop pony-show either. You have to be Doc Holiday with a heightened sense of purpose and instinct to continually stay on top. There is always someone trying to get a leg up on you. There are so many angles to aim from these days via smartphones, tablets and computers. Analytics gives you the best shot at lining up your sight in the optimal spot to hit your target dead-on. Analytics is an essential function to drive business performance upward and onward, and capitalize on the never-ending trending.

Analytics of Analytics:

Google recently commissioned Forrester Consulting to perform an in-depth survey of 150 marketing, analytics, and informational technology executives that invest in digital channels as marketing tools. Of these “sophisticated marketers,” more than half claim they use well-established metrics to directly impact their business objectives. These marketers are three times more likely to hit their goals than other marketing organizations.

A complete marketing analytics spread will consist of five or more tools, and is 39% more likely to see improvement in the overall performance of their marketing programs.

60% of marketers said that analytics tools are found to be difficult to use for outside stakeholders within the organization.  Which is why the marketers are there in the first place. It takes a special breed to be passionate about finding associations between numbers, actions, thoughts, feelings and implementing them into an integrated strategy to overachieve. But that’s what makes marketing an interesting business, we have to come in ready to dodge, shake step, and shoot when the timing is right. There is an overwhelming sense of pride coming out on top when you know what you’re up against.

Do you feel your company isn’t implementing marketing analytics with its business objectives? You’re not alone. At Spot Color, we specialize in analytics metrics and integrating marketing objectives. Let us help you drive your business performance, it’s our job! Give us a call at 503-477-4355, or visit us online @ www.spotcolormarketing.com.

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Millennial’s Role Continues to Grow in B2B Decisions

Millennials’ purchasing power will soon exceed every other generations, and they are spearheading the buyer’s role in the B2B commerce. These individuals check their mobile devices an average of 43 times a day. Videos, visuals, and mobile sharing increasingly dictate how they find new information. If you want to develop a relationship with these potential customers, invest in this type of content that search engines and millennials give higher quality scores. Companies with insufficient online presence will lose out on this demographic.

It has become increasingly important, no matter the business, to reach consumers on the web. Business-to-business (B2B) distributors and manufacturers have been the slowest adopters of modern day digital marketing, because many of them don’t believe it is important to their business.  

89% of B2B partnerships are found by using the internet to find acceptable suitors. If that isn’t a wake-up call, maybe this will be:

For nearly two-thirds of the buying process your potential customer hasn’t even reached out to you yet. This customer is forming opinions, learning technical specifications, and comparing their options based on your online accommodations, all before even speaking with you. 

While you may still think millennials aren’t making the business-to-business decisions yet, you’re mistaken. Nearly half of all research for these purchases are done by millennials. In 2012, 27% of the B2B research was done by this demographic. In 2014, that number rose to 46%.

This may be very surprising to you because it wasn’t always this way. The internet has made it incredibly easy for consumers to learn about products and solutions on their own. It’s now your job to influence that initial 57 percent of the sale that occurs mostly on the internet.

Reach Your Audience

Younger generations are now major influencer’s. If your company hasn’t optimized an online presence yet, it is time to develop it to reach them. Millennials are filling the workforce in B2B buyer roles, and will expect online accommodations. Your digital marketing campaign will either sink or save you in the oncoming years, so start on revitalizing your brand today!

-With these tips in mind you will go a long way to making your marketing efforts measure up and pay off. Need help getting your digital marketing efforts off the ground or improved? We specialize in working on marketing strategies specifically for your industry. Give us a call at 503-477-4355, or visit us online @ www.spotcolormarketing.com

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March Marketing Madness: Team Development

 

Getting the win begins with team development. As March is coming to a close, the madness of competition is never truly over. Sure marketing and basketball appear to be two different beasts entirely, but they are more similar than they seem.

 

Hitting the Gym: It’s all about preparation. Have you put the time into your marketing strategies to be elite, or are you falling out of the race in the first round?

 

In digital marketing the “gym rats” are your SEO counterparts. They lift the intellectual weights of analytics and insights to better strategize the on-court execution. It’s about getting in an organic position to field every available opportunity, rebound, and put-back dunk. These are the players on the team that give you hustle. They function as a teams back-bone when the battle get’s heated. Often overlooked as star players, and left out of the spotlight. These players do it for the love of the game, and they certainly make everyone on the team look better. If you’re calling the plays, don’t forget about the good guys doing the dirty work on the boards. Show them you see their hard work paying off, be an inspiring leader.

 

Team Development: If your leader is unorganized, unsociable and stressed out, what hope do the players being coached have for success?

 

How is your office morale? If you’re somebody’s boss you should be asking yourself that every week, if not every day. There are far too many leadership positions being squandered by ignoring this facet of teamwork and togetherness. If your employees feel like they don’t need you, if you’re just a figure head demanding respect without giving it back, you’ve already lost your team, and the game. Those players are going to leave for a better team, or they are going to stay and do sub-par work, because we all need to work whether we like it or not. Now, there’s always a chance to turn it around, and it starts at the top, be an inspiring leader.

 

Team Chemistry starts at the top, and works it’s way down. Encourage your team to socialize with each other. Create structured break opportunities for your players to have a chance to play together, especially if they wouldn’t have much contact in the context of the work day. Getting your moving pieces more connected emotionally, socially, and fundamentally is what team development is all about. It will not only give you a glance at what each players strengths and weaknesses are to better manage, but it also gives them something to work for that’s worth more than money. Team chemistry requires structuring an effort into your company’s ethos. It might not seem like it helps the bottom-line in the short run, and maybe that’s why it doesn’t seem to take priority for a lot of businesses, but in the long-run it is the only way to become a championship squad.

 

The Superstar: Again and again, make sure there is an inspiring leader in charge! That’s who your superstar is, that’s who they have to be. Have you ever seen a championship team without one? Not in this day and age, and not in tomorrows either. Like basketball, marketing is mostly about the fundamentals. Next time you’re watching a game, look for the similarities their team and your team have in common, and you’ll seem them in abundance. Let’s hope this is your year, and cheers to your championship run!

 

 

Take a Look at our past post about The Rookies:

At Spot Color Marketing we have had the opportunity to bring on many interns over the years and have had some very pleasant experiences with them. If you’d like to read about our advice when considering adding on an intern, click this link: https://dev.spotcolormarketing.com/internships-in-marketing/

 

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Print Media Still Has An Impact

Let’s talk about “Print Collateral,” a term that includes print media for business marketing such as business cards, letterhead, capability brochures, fliers, postcards, folders, direct mail, signage, and more.

In today’s online oriented world, one could make the case that printed material is less than necessary. They could try to argue that point—but they’re flat out wrong. I am basing this on fairly solid experience, because I’ve been in the SEO business for roughly ten years and I have watched customers pull all of their budget from print marketing materials and dump it into Digital Marketing only to slash a major referral/lead (and revenue) stream.

Here’s a takeaway for you: You cannot rely solely on Digital Marketing as your only strategy. It won’t work. Want proof?

Have you ever received one of those postcards in the mail from Google? Maybe something offering $100 credit to advertise on AdWords? Do you know what Google, Comcast, MSN, Facebook, Intel and eBay all have in common (besides the obvious)? They all order print marketing collateral in the form of direct mail, business cards, forms, brochures, postcards, letterhead, and so on. Why? The short answer is because print media still works, like crazy.

You and I both know that the personal referral—word of mouth—is one of the best ways to build your business. If I’m looking for a house painter, an attorney, or a mechanic, I’m going to ask my friends and colleagues who they recommend. If a friend tells me about a new restaurant, product, or service they’ve tried, I’m more likely to check it out, too.

I’ll concede that referrals can take place entirely over the Internet, especially through Social Media. But when someone takes your business card or brochure, you’re communicating more than just your contact information. The look, feel, and detail of a high-quality printed marketing piece says that you are a professional. You offer quality work, quality service, and can be trusted.

So take a look at your print collateral. What do your business cards communicate? “You can trust me”? Or, “Yeah, I printed these at home on my old ink jet”? If someone asks you for more information about your services, what do you hand them? A sticky note with your web address? Or an attractive capabilities brochure?

Here’s just a few of the reasons print media is still relevant:

Tangibility– A printed piece is a physical thing. It will not just disappear into cyber space at the click of a mouse. It will likely get more of a glance over because of its physical presence. Studies have shown that advertising effectiveness will increase by 70 percent when brands appeal to more than three senses. Being able to have the piece in one’s hand makes the content more real and present.

Credibility- Printed media has a sense of legitimacy. When looking to reach out to a new group of people the key element of building a connection is trust. Credibility is a key to building relationships and revenue. The reputation of print content is that it is the most accurate and trustworthy.  

Consumers give a score of 63% trust to advertising in print compared to 41% for television and 25% for online. Meanwhile, 90% valued direct mail above social media and nine out of 10 trusted advertising in catalogues more than commercial messages found on the internet.

Engagement- Studies show that we retain information better through physical interaction. Direct mail is more of a guarantee to reach an audience than digital content that can be trashed with a click. Other forms of print collateral are also more personal and more of a keepsake. Sure, you can put all of your information on the web (I wouldn’t), but that won’t have the effect of handing them a business card.

Still not convinced? Check the numbers: 96% of business-to-business technology companies still read print magazines. 75% of them on a weekly basis. 61% say that they see print remaining just as important or becoming more important in the coming years.

It’s simply about balancing digital and print media. You must know your target audience and the most effective ways to reach them. In a time when marketing is so competitive it is essential to reach potential consumers in many different ways.

-With these tips in mind you will go a long way to making your marketing efforts measure up and pay off. Need more help? We specialize in working on marketing strategies specifically for your industry.

Give us a call at 503-477-4355, or visit us online @www.spotcolormarketing.com

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Remarketing Lists: Revisits & Conversions

Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSA)

 

Remarketing lists can become a driving force for sales in e-commerce.

The mission of remarketing is to capitalize on visitor’s previous interest in your website.

This is better than a general target approach, because there is proof of existing appeal.

Data is used to create customer segments of previous actions and interests to target.

Once you learn how to define a segment, it’s easier to capitalize on what they want.

What you want is increased action: more revisits and sales. Here is a guide to get there.

 

Collecting the data:

First tag your website, this will serve as the data collector.

The easiest way to collect the data is a container tag, which will track all the data operations on the website.

Place a container tag in the global header or footer to tag the entirety of your site.

This central tag will allow the webmaster to edit new tags, and adjust existing tags.

Manage tags using Google Tag Manager, and no new code will be necessary.

A Chrome extension, Google Tag Assistant will verify tags are working correctly.

The master container tag will ensure you collect data from all paths on your website.

 

How to use the data:

The data compiles visitor interactions, we use that to create specific target segments.

In AdWords go to the Shared Library tab, and create a remarketing tag to set up lists.

Each remarketing list needs 1000 cookies to start, this could take a few hours or weeks.

In Shared Library click on the Audiences tab, then choose people you want to add to each list by defining the rules based on specific landing pages.

These lists are based on what they were searching for/the actions taken on your site.

 

Top 3 Remarkets: General Visitors, Cart Abandoners, and Recent Conversions.

 

General Visitors is the least specific remarket.

The goal here is simple, increase frequency and quality of interactions.

This list is everyone that has visited your site.

Look at the data to see where they dead-end, and build a route to the shopping cart.

 

Shopping Cart Abandoners showed a willingness to buy, but hesitated at action.

The goal here is to bring them back, and convert on the missed opportunity.

Target your ads to what they almost bought, and target upgraded models.

This could be the push to turn them from prospect to customer.

To define this remarket, a custom combination list works best.

Choose everyone that has added an item to their cart, and then exclude everyone that has actually converted.

This will leave you with the correctly targeted segment.

For thought: A cart abandoner is more likely to buy from you than a first time visitor.

 

Recent Conversions are customers who have recently purchased from your website.

The goal here is to up-sell, and cross-sell from their previous purchases.

If say, they bought a tent on your site, target sleeping bags and ice chests in your ads.

They already have proven interest in your products, now show them the accessories.

Keep them coming back with enticing product appeal. Matching gear works best.

To define the remarket list, select customers who have purchased within 180 days.

 

(Your best remarkets are Cart Abandoners, and Recent Conversions. They have shown the most interest in your business. Keep their interest peaked, make them a priority.)

 

Raise your AdWords bids on your Remarkets.

Your remarkets have a higher chance of conversion, so they are our hot targets.

With AdWords bid modifier, you can more aggressively boost your visibility.

Bid for the two top slots in the search engine results. Start with a +100% modifier.

After you activate the modifier, adjust the number up or down to hit the top spots.

 

Broader Keywords and Match Types

Remarkets are high-intent customers, so broader keywords can have more reach.

A general campaign would find these keywords and match types too vague.

For instance, if a Cart Abandoner was close to a sales conversion on a hat from your site. It’s reasonable to target them with a broader term of “hat” instead of specific style.

Broader keywords work in this instance because remarkets already know style options.

For this strategy, you will want to create a new campaign only for remarkets.

Then add broad versions of your previous, and highly-competitive keyword matches.

As for all campaigns, check on progress and make adjustments to fully optimize.

 

-With these tips in mind you will go a long way to making your marketing efforts measure up and pay off. Need more help? We specialize in working on marketing strategies specifically for your industry. Give us a call at 503-477-4355, or visit us online @ www.spotcolormarketing.com

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Locations Near Me, SEM & Mobile Consumers

People are looking for information the moment they desire it. We are living in the age of the mobile consumer, and SEM (Search Engine Marketing) is more important than ever. This should be a familiar experience to all of us. Looking for a coffee shop in a new location, your first instinct is to look around and see if anything is available right there. If that fails to produce results, no worries! Just search for a nearby location with that phone technology (probably already in hand.)

“Coffee near me,” that’s what I want, and I want it now. I’m ready to act on my purchasing desires, and that requires no planning. Now what company is web savvy enough to relay nearby location information to me quickly? If you’re SEM is optimized, you’ll be one of the first listings. I’m only giving away about ten to fifteen seconds of my time on a web page before I look to the next offer. Whoever has the combination of highest listing and smoothest web presence is primed to get that business. This is the case for most purchasable, not just consumables. Knowing you can search, and then immediately act has changed the game for consumers.

We sell ourselves on what we want before we even get to the store, a smooth web presence is a company’s best sales associate. Google has provided data supporting this consumer trend, the mobile data shows that half of all consumers who conduct a local search on their smartphone will visit a store same day, and 18% of those searches will result in a purchase. 88% of “near me” searches are trafficked from mobile devices, and those mobile searches are growing at a rate of 146% a year.

The consumer journey is very much in the customer’s hands, figuratively and literally. Your company’s highest concern should be optimizing your SEM for mobile, and crafting a smooth road map to your location. Pair that with an easily searchable inventory guide, and you have given the consumer the tools to do the rest of the work for you. Are you ready to give them what they want, or will they have to look somewhere else?

-With these tips in mind you will go a long way to making your marketing efforts measure up and pay off. Need more help? We specialize in working on marketing strategies specifically for your industry. Give us a call at 503-477-4355, or visit us online @ www.spotcolormarketing.com.

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