Posted by advantagemarketing on December 6, 2016
Your logo is the visual image of your company. Is it time to refresh yours to better reflect your company’s brand?
When I start developing a marketing program for a new client, the first thing we tackle is branding. This often means creating or updating their firm’s logo. Here’s what I tell new clients about branding…
Your company logo is the cornerstone of your branding. It is a visual reminder of everything your firm stands for. Some elements of a good logo, according to Duct Tape Marketing:
- It has lasting value – trendy logos don’t hold up over time. Make sure your logo will stay iconic and reliable even if the design of your website changes.
- It is distinct – some amount of uniqueness, as long as it doesn’t confuse, is valuable. A distinct logo will stand out among a crowd of dull ones and generate more sales.
- It appeals to your target audience – if your target market is partial to blue, then it doesn’t matter that you’re not. Your design should consider what your audience values first.
- It supports your core message – if you’re trying to communicate your low, low prices, then your logo should support that image. Your customers should be able to understand the heart of your company philosophy just by looking at your logo.
- It is legible – This seems pretty obvious, but many people use typefaces and images that can’t be printed or carried to a large sign. Your logo should clearly identify your company, and it can’t do that if people don’t understand it.
Test Your Logo
I advise clients to get several outside opinions, preferably from clients or prospects, before selecting a final logo design and using it on their email templates, letterhead and website, etc. This helps ensure that the logo is effectively communicating their brand message to the target audience.
Don’t skip this crucial step! When we tested a lighthouse-themed logo for an HR client, for example, we discovered it did not resonate with the senior executives who were his clients. This valuable insight caused us to take the logo concept in a different direction, resulting in design that better reflected the value these executives received from my client’s work.
A logo should be more than eye-catching, it should represent your company’s brand and appeal to your target audience. If your current logo hasn’t kept up with how your firm’s brand has evolved, then it’s probably time to update it.
Posted in B2B marketing, Marketing, Professional service firm marketing, small business, Traditional marketing | Tagged: brand building, build company credibility, business, marketing, marketing professional services, New Jersey | Leave a Comment »
Posted by advantagemarketing on September 8, 2016
Read any good marketing books lately? Here are 7 that you won’t want to miss.
Duct Tape Marketing
As a small business owner, you are really in the business of marketing. The problem for most small business owners is that they suffer from “marketing idea of the week” syndrome instead of implementing a systematic approach to the problem of small business marketing. In Duct Tape Marketing, renowned Small Business Marketing guru John Jantsch shows you how to develop and execute a marketing plan that will give your business the life and longevity you knew you could have when you made that decision to go out on your own. Buy It Now
Professional Services Marketing
Written by John E. Doerr, Mike Schultz, and Lee Frederiksen, Professional Services Marketing is a fully field-tested and research-based approach to marketing and client development. The book covers five key areas that are critical for firms that want to grow and become more profitable. It includes real-world case studies that illustrate major points, as well as quotes and stories from well-respected professionals in the industry. Buy It Now
RESULTS! is based on years of experience and learned knowledge and is a powerful business tool. It contains the top tips and insights for getting results in your own business from 17 seasoned business experts, including marketing strategist Loraine Kasprzak. Their mission is to inspire more business owners, entrepreneurs, managers, and salespeople to achieve the results they want, so they can lead the life they desire. Buy It Now
To Sell Is Human
To Sell Is Human offers a fresh look at the art and science of selling. As he did in Drive and A Whole New Mind, Daniel H. Pink draws on a rich trove of social science for his counterintuitive insights. He reveals the new ABCs of moving others (it’s no longer “Always Be Closing”), explains why extraverts don’t make the best salespeople, and shows how giving people an “off-ramp” for their actions can matter more than actually changing their minds. Buy It Now
In Content Inc.
, one of today’s most sought-after content-marketing strategists reveals a new model for entrepreneurial success. Simply put, it’s about developing valuable content, building an audience around that content, and then creating a product for that audience. Notice a shift? Author Joe Pulizzi flips the traditional entrepreneurial approach of first creating a product and then trying to find customers. It’s a brilliant reverse-engineering of a model that rarely succeeds. Buy It Now
Buyer Personas is the marketer’s actionable guide to learning what your buyer wants and how they make decisions. Written by Adele Revella, this book provides comprehensive coverage of a compelling new way to conduct buyer studies, plus practical advice on adopting the buyer persona approach to measurably improve marketing outcomes. Readers will learn how to segment their customer base, investigate each customer type, and more. Buy It Now
The result of thousands of conversations about web marketing with hundreds of companies, this handbook is a compilation of the most important and effective lessons and advice about the power of search engine optimization, social media, and email marketing. The first and only comprehensive guide to content marketing, this book explains the social, analytical, and creative aspects of modern marketing that are necessary to succeed on the web. Buy It Now
What marketing books can you suggest as worthwhile reads?
Posted in Book marketing, Business, content marketing, Marketing, Marketing Strategy, Professional service firm marketing, small business, Traditional marketing | Tagged: business, content marketing, marketing, marketing books, marketing professional services, marketing tips, Westfield. NJ | Leave a Comment »
Posted by advantagemarketing on October 7, 2014
Your prospects will stick around when you give them the information resources they need to solve problems
Prospects Can’t Resist Sticky Content
When you give your prospects information that guides them to a problem solution – that’s sticky content!
When you use sticky content effectively, you become the expert people want to hire.
The Sticky Content Plan can help small businesses, consulting firms, and professional service firms build the information resources that bring customers to your door!
- A 3-month content plan to rev up your sticky content creation
- An analysis and suggested improvements for the “stickiness” of your website and two social media accounts.
- An evaluation of your company’s brand messaging – does it compel people to stick around (and hire you)?
A $1,500 Value – Only $999!
Get Your Sticky Content Plan
Posted in B2B marketing, Business, content marketing, lead generation, Marketing, Marketing plans, Marketing Strategy, Professional service firm marketing, small business, Thought leadership | Tagged: business, content development, content marketing, developing marketing plans, marketing, marketing a consulting practice, marketing professional services, professional service firms, small business marketing, sticky content | Leave a Comment »
Posted by advantagemarketing on September 25, 2014
If you run your own consulting practice then read “Growing Your Engineering Consulting Practice” from Chemical Engineering Progress magazine for practical advice from established, successful consultants.
Smart moves for your consulting practice
While the article was written for chemical engineers who run consulting firms, it can help any professional who wants to grow their consulting firm. You’ll find out why it’s important to:
- Delegate so you can focus on growth
- Align your growth plans with your company’s philosophy
- Tell a compelling story about your company’s brand
- And more!
Is your consulting practice in growth mode? Tell us about your successes and challenges in the Comments section!
Need help growing your consulting practice? The experts at Advantage Marketing will review your consulting practice and provide advice you can use immediately. Contact us today!
Posted in brand building, Business, Chemical Engineer, Consulting, Management, Marketing, Professional service firm marketing | Tagged: brand building, build company credibility, business, Chemical Engineering Progress, chemical engineering progress magazine, chemical engineers, consulting, consulting firm, consulting firm marketing, Consulting firms, Engineering Consulting Practice, marketing, marketing a consulting practice, marketing professional services, Westfield. NJ | Leave a Comment »
Posted by advantagemarketing on January 6, 2014
Here are some tips to help you stick to your marketing plan and grow your company in 2014.
Don’t ring in the New Year without a marketing plan in place that will help you grow your company. At Advantage Marketing, we’ve been working with clients who are deep into planning for 2014. Here’s some of the advice we’re sharing with them so that they stay on track:
Don’t look for quick fixes. First and foremost, recognize that growth doesn’t come from quick fixes. You’re better off relying on tested and effective marketing tactics to put prospects in your pipeline. For example, one of our clients is planning quarterly sales and marketing campaigns that include direct mail blasts plus email and phone follow-up with prospects. Such an organized, methodical approach is going to result in real business growth over the entire year.
Make a real commitment. The marketing and business development efforts you implement will take time and effort and therefore a long-term commitment. We advise our clients that if they are truly committed and stick to their plan, growth WILL happen!
Ask for client input. In the book The Pumpkin Plan, author Mike Michalowicz talks about the “Wish List”. It’s not your wish list, but your clients’. Mike has a sneakily effective way to tease it out of them: ask your clients questions about the industry not about your company. Wish List questions you can ask include: What is most confusing about my industry? What frustrates you about vendors in my industry? What do you wish we would do differently? Listen closely to the answers and you will identify golden opportunities for your company.
Build on successes. Chip and Dan Heath, authors of Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard, say that when it comes to change, we’ll tend to ask, “What’s the problem and how do I fix it?” But often we can benefit more by asking a different question: “What’s working and how can I do more of it?” In other words, we can learn from our own “bright spots.” What bright spots did your marketing have in 2013? How can you build on them?
Focus, focus, focus. As business owners, we multitask way too often, to the point where we may think it’s a luxury to do just one thing at a time. But in reality, you’re not getting more done by trying to switch between tasks frequently. In fact, you’re probably making more mistakes. Studies have estimated that multitasking can cause your productivity to drop by 40%! Instead of driving yourself crazy, set up your day so that you are doing similar tasks at the same time. For instance, set aside time in the morning and afternoon to focus on email. Ignore it the rest of the time, and you will find your productivity increasing and your frustration decreasing.
Don’t spread your efforts too thin. If your company is just starting on social media and you’re updating your website and running email and direct mail campaigns, then adding more marketing tactics – having a booth at the industry’s big trade show, for instance – can actually derail your overall marketing efforts. Wait until you have the website finished and your campaigns are running smoothly before you add one more thing.
Stay accountable. Track your hits and misses and share them with your team. Brainstorm about why a particular tactic didn’t work, so that you can improve. For instance, if your direct mail or email campaign is not getting a good response, have team members evaluate the campaign’s copy and call-to-action, as well as the mailing lists used. Each of these factors can influence your response rate and can be tweaked or overhauled as necessary for the next campaign.
Celebrate often. All work and no play can lead to a dispirited and unmotivated team. Make a habit of recognizing and celebrating successes both big and small. This goes a long way to keeping your marketing efforts on track and your team motivated to succeed. The rewards don’t have to be huge. One HVAC contractor we know tracks successes on a big blackboard in the break room. It has become a badge of honor among employees to have your name up on that board.
What are you doing to grow your company in 2014? Share it with us in the Comments section below.
Do you need help ramping up your firm’s marketing for growth? Let’s talk! Sign up for a complimentary marketing assessment to get started.
Posted in B2B marketing, Business, Consulting, Email marketing, Marketing, Marketing budget, Marketing plans, Marketing Strategy, Professional service firm marketing, small business, Traditional marketing | Tagged: business, customer feedback, developing marketing plans, email marketing, marketing, marketing tips, traditional marketing, Westfield. NJ | Leave a Comment »