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

 

Read More

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.

Read More

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

 

Read More

Five Reasons Millennials are a Valuable Asset

[et_pb_section][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text”]

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

 

 

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]

Read More

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

Read More

Seven Ways Your Nagging Mother Can Help You Refine Your Social Media Marketing

Hey, how are you doing? Look, I know it’s been a long time, but your mother called me because she’s been having a hard time getting a hold of you. And wowzers was she in fine form. She said she follows you socially and is shocked (SHOCKED! ) at some of the, “crap he’s been posting lately.” You’re in Social Media Marketing, aren’t you?

I thought I would pass along some of the high points of our conversation for your amusement and education, and can I just say, you are Spot On when you said that her nagging makes hugging a cactus look comfy.

Here are her thoughts on some of your posts that she felt were self-pitying, bragging, bad form and so on…

Digital Marketing Agency
Look, your mother and I love you very much. But we’re worried about where you’re heading socially. You just don’t have to have opinion on everything. Please view the tips we sent along as our effort to reach out to you before you have to hear about your social media marketing faux pas from someone less tactful than we are, like a potential customer. Also, and I can’t stress this enough, call your mother.

Read More

Manufacturer Marketing: Please Meet Our Friends

 

slideshow_2
Image of slideshow2

Allow us to introduce you to some friends of ours at the LWO Corporation. These folks are the doers, they are the quintessential American makers: They are an American manufacturer that grew out of the construction trades to produce well-designed, durable wood products in answer to the inferior products that had been available.

In 1980, tired of the materials available to their remodeling business, a group of professional contractors founded LWO Corporation, producers of both the Woodway product line and the Arboria product line. They were determined to develop well-designed wood products that were durable, easy to install and beautiful to look at.
With an eye on uncompromising quality, the original philosophy of the founders included putting quality above all other considerations, earning them a nationwide reputation as designers and manufacturers of superior wood products for the home and garden.

“We are proud to feature distinctive, high quality sustainable furniture and garden structures as part of our Arboria and Woodway family,” said Loren Wohlgemuth, Sr. Marketing Specialist, LWO. “Our garden structures are made right here at our factory in Portland, Oregon from natural and renewable Western Red Cedar, Douglas fir and other fine woods. We have a complete line of wood products crafted from superior grade, sustainable hardwood as well.”

LWO’s philosophy of integrating fine design, materials and craftsmanship and their dedication to customer satisfaction are the legacy of years of experience working with clients to improve the quality of the spaces in which we live and play. This tradition of excellence continues with ongoing development of innovative new products and improved construction techniques.

At Spot Color Marketing, we are huge fans of the LWO Corporation, and manufacturers in general. Are you a maker? Are you a doer? We want to talk to you and recraft your manufacturer marketing strategy to get higher conversions. Please call or email us today.

Read More

Google: Facts (not links) are the future of PageRank

It’s been a year since marketing agencies started hearing buzz about Knowledge-Based Trust, a Google research paper outlining a proposal to score web sites according to the accuracy of facts. It didn’t take long for Knowledge-Based Trust to earn the nickname the “Truth Algorithm” due to its method of assigning a “Trust Score” to filter sites with erroneous or misleading information.

While the title of this post may be a little misleading (“Trust Score” plummets), the paper at least hints that trustworthiness might help sites rise in Google’s rankings if the algo begins measuring quality score by facts, not just links and content.

Here’s the problem: The internet is famous for gossip, untruth and misdirection. Discount Viagra websites make the front page of Google, and gossip sites touting “news” stories are a dime a dozen.

Google currently measures incoming links to a web site as a factor for ranking. Sites with lots of backlinks (among other factors) are ranked higher. The problem with this method is that it can be gamed to make websites like those mentioned above rise in rankings.

Now Google is testing a method to measure the trustworthiness of a site, rather than (solely) its inbound links and content. The model measures sites based on the number of incorrect facts. The outcome is a “Knowledge-Based Trust score”.

Currently, links are a huge reputation signal implying authority. Knowledge-Based Trust may be a direction the algorithm is heading in, focusing more on veracity of content and less on link signals.

As part of its discovery, the team: “…evaluated each website according to the following 4 criteria”:

  • Triple correctness: whether at least 9 triples are correct.
  • Extraction correctness: whether at least 9 triples are correctly extracted (and hence we can evaluate the website according to what it really states).
  • Topic relevance: we decide the major topics for the website according to the website name and the introduction in the “About us” page; we then decide whether at least 9 triples are relevant to these topics (g., if the website is about business directories in South America but the extractions are about cities and countries in SA, we consider them as not topic relevant).
  • Non-trivialness: we decide whether the sampled triples state non-trivial facts (g., if most sampled triples from a Hindi movie website state that the language of the movie is Hindi, we consider it as trivial).

The research paper goes on to explain five reasons why KBT isn’t yet ready to go live. What will happen once the team solves the five outstanding problems? As a Portland marketing agency, we will watch and report back… But watch out TMZ.

Can’t figure out what the heck this article is about or why it should matter to you? Call, click or come into our office and we will walk you through the details and how an updated marketing strategy will boost your bottom line.

Read More

Internships in Marketing

Is it time to find an intern?

If you are a small business owner, at one time or another you may have thought “I have no time for marketing or social media, maybe I will hire a marketing intern to do it for me!” How did that go? I laugh because I have had that same thought. Over the 14 years that I have owned Spot Color Marketing, we have brought on several interns. While none of them took over our marketing, they did help.

We have had design interns, marketing interns, and even development interns. Some of them lasted for a couple of days, others did their 3 month internship and became full time employees that stayed for a couple of years. A few have even turned into our top employees.

A couple of things to think about when hiring an intern:

Don’t think of an intern as “free labor”. The internship isn’t really supposed to help the company as much as it helps the intern. Internships are best if there is someone in your office who will take the time to teach and train. Some interns can be very time consuming and will ask 20 times a day how to do something, while some just ask my favorite question, “What’s next?”

The best marketing internships we have had are the ones where we took the time to create a detailed plan for them before they started. For example, if you want someone to write Facebook and twitter posts, write up the content calendar for them ahead of time and have the topics decided upon. Definitely review all their work before anything is posted. Jeff Selin, agency owner and friend, says an intern could easily ruin your business and reputation in 5 minutes by posting something inappropriate. OYE! That might be the worst case, but it could happen! Do not let your intern run your marketing.

  1. Be prepared for your intern
  2. Be available to teach and train your intern
  3. Don’t expect them to be a social media genius just because they are young!
  4. Pay them if you can. We pay a daily stipend for parking and lunch.

There are a lot of ways to attract marketing interns. Reach out to local colleges or Barefoot Student, I put ads in the “gigs” section of Craigslist. The best interns we have had are smart, eager to learn, show up and do what they say they will. They are go-getters. Sort of like your best employees, right? Entrepreneur has more tips on the qualities to look for in a great intern.

For some of our favorite clients we have set up marketing plans and then helped our clients find interns or junior marketers to implement the work, when done correctly, it can be a win/win for everyone! Who doesn’t want to help a young person start their career, or help a person get into a new career? One of our favorite interns was 45! She was an awesome intern and we have hired her several times since to write marketing copy.

Read More

Website Hosting

So you have your own website… now what?

You can teach yourself how to use WordPress to update your website every few months, but how often do you honestly remember to check up on your own website?

Without regular updates and check-ups, your website becomes vulnerable.  Your site could contract a virus or get hacked without you knowing and your customers could be receiving strange spam mail. On top of that, your website will not function properly and it will deter your clients. Continuously needing to modify your website may be a burden to some, especially for those who own and run their own business.

Need help?

Introducing, Spot Care Website Hosting and Protection Plan

Spot Color Marketing’s new Spot Care Website Hosting & Protection Plan is only one of the many services we provide for our clients.

This new plan includes:

  • Automatic daily backups
  • Proactive security and performance monitoring
  • WordPress base version updates
  • Quarterly advanced security scans for viruses and other malware
  • Annual list of miscellaneous site recommendations: such as mobile friendliness, content, branding/messaging, etc.

We know viruses can spread, and how quickly it can happen, which is why we require all of our hosting clients to participate in the Spot Care Protection Plan. This plan guarantees full coverage and ensures that no client in our shared servers is in danger of accidental infection to another.

We deal with the boring stuff, so you don’t have to! Continue to stay connected to your clients and remain hands-on with your company while we host your site for you.

Contact us at spot@spotcolormarketing.com, or call (503) 477-4355.

Read More
  • 1
  • 2