When Was the Last Time You Did Any Brandstorming?

digital marketing Portland

When did you last take a step back and see how your brand was doing? Not the analytics for your website. Not the number of impressions or clickthroughs from your PPC. And not even if you like the new redesign of your collateral pieces. Your brand.

How is your brand/company perceived in the world? If people are aware of you, what is their perception? Or do they even have one? Branding is what happens every time someone interacts with your company at any level. Here are some of the major elements that go into it, and each one has several smaller pieces.

Customer Experience

How easy is it for a customer to navigate their journey with you? Is it all automated and impersonal? Do some potential buyers get frustrated and hang up or abandon their shopping carts? People value their time and they’re not willing to take a lot of it trying to give you some of their money. And if a purchase is made, what is the follow-up? Is it a thank you or simply an automated review form? What are they reviewing – how well your software worked? That should be a given. You want them to feel something – like their business is appreciated. Go through your entire sales process with a customer’s eyes. You may be surprised at what you find. Be careful sacrificing personal touches where they make sense for the sake of productivity and/or efficiency. What you gain in time you may lose in positive perception and the opportunity to have enthusiastic brand ambassadors. If it’s a product that’s delivered, what comes with it? Is there a note of appreciation? Some special packaging with tissue paper or just an item in a plastic bag in a box? If you’re a service business, what’s a small touch you can add that will make a lasting impression? How often do you communicate with customers after a sale? It’s hard to ask for a referral or expect a good review if you make the sale and they never hear from you again – and not just to try to sell them something new.

Outward Appearance

If you’re a service business, how do your employees look when they show up? Are uniforms clean and crisp? Are all the pieces branded or are they adding their own baseball hat, etc? What about company vehicles? Are they clean and well-branded? Your company vehicles are driving billboards – what do they say about your company? That we are meticulous and detail-oriented or sloppy and don’t care. And related to that, how are they driven? Are your team members polite drivers or do they go too fast and cut people off? That all goes into branding and the perception people have of your company. If you’re a retailer, what is the appearance of your store when people walk in? Are they sincerely greeted or is it a perfunctory “hello” without looking up because the employee has to share a greeting? If you’re online – does your website load fast, is it easy to navigate, does it work well on mobile, and does it give enough information for customers to make an informed decision? Again – it’s hard to do but you have to look at these things objectively – through a potential customer’s eyes and be honest with yourself. You can also ask for critiques from people who will be honest with you, not people who work for you and may be tempted to tell you what you want to hear.

Internal Audience

You’re also missing out if you don’t treat all your employees like customers. You need to continue to “sell” them on the company and its mission. You have no greater source of ambassadors than those who are working for you – not just the people in sales and marketing, but at every level. They need to stay informed, excited, and engaged. Great customer service will naturally flow from team members who feel appreciated and who understand why things are being done. This can be overlooked or left behind as companies grow, but it’s imperative, especially if you want to keep your key people and those who support them. It’s expensive and time-consuming to have a big turnover and if that’s happening within your company you need to find out why. But just because people are staying it doesn’t mean they’re happy and giving their best either. Periodically take their pulse – see what you can do better. Sometimes it’s just small things that can make a big impact.

It can be hard to stop and focus on items that don’t feel like they are directly related to sales – but good branding and creating positive perceptions of your company out in the world pave the way for sales and speed up the process. It also leads to more referrals and better word-of-mouth in person and online through the use of reviews on sites such as Yelp. And since people are still more likely to share bad experiences online, it’s imperative that you strive to create the best impression you can at every opportunity, so if/when a bad review hits you’ll be insulated with a lot of good ones and it won’t make a dent in your score.

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Top Digital Agency

digital marketing Porland

We recently sat down (virtually) with Spot Color Marketing founder and CEO Nicole Weber to get her thoughts about the current situation in regard to digital marketing. Here’s what she had to share.

Q. Spot has really established itself as a top digital marketing agency in the Portland and Palm Springs area and beyond. Can you tell us how long Spot has been operating and what prompted you to start it?

A. I wanted to create a digital marketing agency to help businesses take advantage of what was really a strong, emerging advertising and marketing option 20 years ago. So I started Spot and surrounded myself with other really talented professionals. We were also pioneers in working remotely, as it has been a way to team up with team members who have the most relevant experience without needing to be tied to a physical location. It also means that client fees don’t go to help pay for overhead – they go right into services. And it’s also an advantage for clients because we’re well equipped to work with your team no matter where they’re located. Others are doing it out of necessity now, but we’re very experienced with it and have all the right tools in place.

Q. As far as digital marketing agency services, what do you offer your clients?

A. We can add to a client’s existing efforts or create a comprehensive program for them with components including creating/enhancing/updating their website, search engine optimization, listings management, content creation, social media content and strategies as well as the strategy, design, and placement of ads for Pay Per Click and banner ad campaigns. We also have a lot of experience with some of the newer options like geofencing, retargeting, and precise mobile polygoning, where an online banner ad continues to follow a customer even after they have left a specific geographic area and you can receive detailed information about them.

Q. We have to ask the question – what has changed for clients with the current situation?

A. In the digital world, there’s actually a silver lining with people spending so much more time on their digital devices. Now is a great time to create and refine programs to stay in touch with current customers and find new ones. As details like delivery, hours, and services stay in flux, it’s also crucial for businesses to stay up-to-date with information so they make it as easy as possible for customers to buy from them.

Q. There are a lot of digital marketing agencies now, what makes Spot different?

A. We are very customer-centric and transparent. For example, we don’t hide our PPC management in a client’s total cost and just promise a certain number of impressions. We are also a full-service agency so, in addition to digital marketing, we can assist with branding, logos, traditional media advertising, public relations, graphic design for collateral and packaging, in addition to digital marketing agency services. It’s so much easier to have an integrated, consistent business development strategy when all the pieces are being coordinated and handled by a single entity with a real depth of experience in all of them.

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What’s Your Online Reputation?

Online Reputation

We all worry about our reputations (or we should) and that’s never been more important for businesses than today. That’s because people’s opinions of your business are not limited to their friends and neighbors, but can travel across the internet via their social media, online review sites, and more.

That being said, what can be done about it?

  • Make sure all your directory listings are “claimed”. There are about 80 different internet directories where your business can be found. All of them need to have accurate information including your phone number, address, hours, etc.
  • The most important ones include YELP and Google+. In Yelp, you also need to make sure you have messaging enabled so people can reach you through Yelp. You get scored on how quickly you respond so you need to make sure the email address you put in here goes to someone on your team who can act quickly.
  • Check your scores – consumers are using review sites more than ever. It’s internet word-of-mouth and it’s powerful. A score of less than four practically guarantees you will lose potential customers. A program should be put in place to increase your positive reviews and raise your score.
  • When someone does leave a review, it needs to have a response posted quickly. In just a few words, you can thank someone for the nice comment and reinforce what they are saying. For example, “I really appreciated that Acme didn’t do a hard sell with me – they just presented the information and let me decide.” Your response? “Thank you for taking the time to share your experience and I’m glad you appreciated our “inform and educate approach.”
  • When someone does a search for your business, what do they find? Does an old negative article come up? Something else that’s not good? While these can’t always be eliminated, it is possible to create positive articles and work to have them “trend” up so eventually they will be the first thing that potential customers see, and the negative responses will move farther down the list, and thus be more likely not to be seen.
  • Are you considered an “expert” in your field? Well regarded articles on LinkedIn, on your website blog and more, can be boosted out and help raise your profile with peers and potential customers.

All a bit overwhelming? Spot Color Marketing has reputation management packages at several different levels to help you create a customized program that will help tell the true story of your business to enhance your online reputation and increase your sales.

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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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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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