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Posts Tagged ‘build company credibility’

What Does Your Logo Say About Your Business?

Posted by advantagemarketing on December 6, 2016

logos and branding

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.

The Takeaway

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: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

New RESULTS! Book Delivers Solutions to Drive Business Success

Posted by advantagemarketing on May 22, 2015

#RESULTS!

Check out my new book, which was written to help business owners achieve lasting, high impact RESULTS! in their businesses.

Are you ready to see RESULTS! in your business?

If you believe, as I do, that our thoughts create our reality, then you want to read my latest book. I’ve partnered with 16 other smart-cookie business professionals to participate in an anthology book project called RESULTS! Impactful Solutions to Drive Business.

The book is designed to help entrepreneurs and small business owners gain the information they need to have a successful business and see RESULTS! All of the expert authors have been through the same struggles as you but have come out on top with thriving, successful businesses and now we want to share that information with you!

In my section, Build a Better Marketing Plan, I zero in on the five simple rules for building a marketing plan and the seven marketing plan must-haves.

As my friend and client Don McDermott told me, “If I have a marketing plan in place, I don’t have to think, I just have to DO.”

Other chapters in the book will help you focus on
• Seven steps to living as a confident entrepreneur
• How to transform your leadership to grow your business
• Power dressing techniques so that you can look as smart as you are
• How a virtual assistant can benefit your business
• And much more!

RESULTS! is available in both Kindle and paperback versions on Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1512138010.

You can also follow my RESULTS! book journey on Facebook.

Follow the whole RESULTS! gang on Twitter – track us with the hashtag #RESULTS!

Leave a comment and let me know how you are getting RESULTS!

Posted in Book marketing, brand building, Business, content marketing, Email marketing, Entrepreneur, Facebook, lead generation, Marketing, Marketing plans, Marketing Strategy, small business, Traditional marketing, Using books to market your firm, Word of mouth marketing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Growing Your Consulting Practice

Posted by advantagemarketing on September 25, 2014

Growing a Consulting PracticeIf 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: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Lead Generation and Trade Show Marketing for an IT Client

Posted by advantagemarketing on March 11, 2014

lead generation

Aujas, our California, New Jersey and India-based client, needed a lead generation and brand building strategy for the IBM Pulse conference and exhibit at the end of February. Teaming with their practice heads around the globe, Advantage Marketing brainstormed and developed their messaging, and then created display signage and service briefs to support their brand and promote their services.

We also ran Twitter and LinkedIn campaigns to promote their show presence. Aujas garnered well over 50 leads and lots of positive attention for their brand.

Thanks to Guiding Graphics for the design work and Graphic Marketing Group for printing – most of which was completed during one blizzard or another this February!

Need help with lead generation and brand strategies for trade shows or other marketing campaigns? Contact us for a complimentary initial consultation.

Posted in B2B marketing, brand building, Business, Consulting, lead generation, LinkedIn, Marketing, Marketing Strategy, Professional service firm marketing, trade shows, Traditional marketing, Twitter | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Being Ethical Is Good Marketing – and More

Posted by advantagemarketing on January 28, 2014

ethics is good business

Companies who do business ethically experience a host of benefits, including greater profitability

Companies that live and breathe good business ethics experience several benefits, according to research reported in Consultants News (11/05/13). Such benefits include

  • Goodwill and a strong reputation among customers
  • Reduced risks and costs
  • Expanded access to capital
  • International respect
  • Improved recruitment leading to lower retention costs.

The most significant benefit might be better financial performance, especially over the longer term. The World’s Most Ethical Companies report reveals that the most responsible S&P 500 companies out-perform those regarded as less responsible.

The UK’s Institute of Business Ethics found that companies with a defined commitment to doing business ethically had profit/turnover ratios 18% higher than those without a similar commitment. The Institute also reported “a direct association” between companies that train their staff in business ethics and their financial performance, as compared to those that simply disclosed ethical values.

Investors also seek companies that are committed to acting ethically. So-called socially responsible investing in the United States has expanded by 486% since 1995, while the remainder of U.S. assets grew by only 376%. Companies that fail to incorporate ethics may face penalties and a damaged reputation, the impact of which can be severe and unexpected when unethical behavior occurs.

The bottom line? Ethics shouldn’t be something you last pondered in a college course. Your company should have an ethics strategy and offer training that guides behavior and actions. Committing to acting ethically is some of the best marketing your company can do.

Posted in Business, Ethics, Management, Marketing, small business, Thought leadership | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Content Marketing Outsells Advertising, Costs Less

Posted by advantagemarketing on August 8, 2013

If you want to maximize the return on your marketing investment, consider adding content marketing to your marketing arsenal. According to a recent article and infographic from Demand Metric, potential customers and clients respond more favorably to content than they do to advertising.

According to the Guide to Marketing Genius: Content Marketing article, some 82% of consumers feel more positive about a company after reading custom content – such as a white paper, article, blog post or an information-rich website – and 70% feel closer to the company.

The main reasons for using content marketing are that it:

  • Generates about three times as many leads as traditional marketing, per dollar spent
  • Increases direct sales
  • Costs 62% less than traditional marketing
  • Keeps reader attention
  • Improves brand loyalty

The takeaway: although content marketing isn’t anything new, it has seen a spike in growth. Start implementing a creative content strategy within your business or you will be left behind by your competition.

Here’s an excerpt from the infographic:

content marketing infographic

Posted in B2B marketing, Business, content marketing, Marketing, Marketing Strategy, small business, Thought leadership, Traditional marketing | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

6 Keys to Selling to the C-Suite – It Starts with Personal Brand & Thought Leadership

Posted by advantagemarketing on June 13, 2013

keys to the c-suite

Personal branding and thought leadership are among the 6 keys that can help you sell more effectively to the C-Suite.

Selling to the C-Suite has changed dramatically in recent years. It’s no longer about knowing – and golfing – with the right people. Buyers expect more (and different) things from sales and service professionals.

I recently participated in the RainToday.com webinar, “Selling to the C-Suite: How to Win the CxO Sale.” The presenter, Ago Cluytens, RAIN Group’s EMEA practice director, drew from his experience as a Big 4 management consultant and former CxO to talk about the most effective ways to sell to executives in today’s market.

Ago offered many insights and I encourage you to access the event recording for the entire presentation. I want to share with you his “Six Keys to the C-Suite,” because according to Ago, these factors make the difference between making calls and being called in for a meeting with senior executives.

  1. A personal brand that positions you as a person of equal worth. Blogging, speaking, guest blogging and other similar tactics can help you create a personal brand.
  2. Access to relationships and networks of trusted allies.
  3. A reputation as a thought leader and prominent expert.
  4. The ability to link what you do to the senior exec’s strategic plans and objectives.
  5. A connection that transcends business – be interesting outside of work.
  6. Belief and confidence that you truly belong in the (board) room.

It’s no surprise to me that personal brand and thought leadership are high on Ago’s list. These factors make you a known quantity – someone that senior execs have gotten to know, like, and are beginning to trust. In my experience, speaking, blogging and writing articles lead to phone calls from prospects and discussions about how they want to work with me, not if we are going to work together. Sure makes the sales cycle shorter and easier.

How are you building your personal brand and thought leadership position? Has it helped you shorten your sales cycle? Share your thoughts with us in the Comments section below.

Posted in B2B marketing, Business, Marketing, Marketing Strategy, personal branding, Professional service firm marketing, Public speaking, small business, Thought leadership | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Building Your Company’s Brand

Posted by advantagemarketing on March 8, 2013

brandingI recently had a conversation with a sales director of a New Jersey-based emerging tech firm. He asked me whether or not the company should be paying attention to branding. Here’s what I told him:

Branding is a distillation – and often a visualization (think: logos) – of what your clients value about working with you. A good brand sets you apart from the crowd in your prospects’ minds (this is also known as your brand’s strategic positioning).

There are several components to having a successful brand. The first is knowing who your ideal customer is, and what THEY want – not what you want to sell them. Check out my ideal customer blog post for a quick overview and 6 questions you can ask to uncover who your ideal customer really is.  When you’re going through this discovery process, it helps to have input from your current customers. Read Letting Your Customers Have Their Say for more on this.  Your sales team should also have input – but recognize this feedback has some bias to it.

You then need to distill all this information and create a compelling core message – one that will resonate with your ideal clients because it addresses their pain points and motivations. You can learn more about core messages in the post: Powerful Marketing Tactics: Creating a Compelling Core Message.

Once you have gone through this thinking process and you know who your ideal clients are, and what your core messages are, then you can do the fun, creative things like tag line and logo development. At that point, you may also want to run some image-building ads. And you certainly want to build the messaging into your current marketing and sales efforts.

How are you building your company’s brand? Share your ideas in our Comments section.

Posted in B2B marketing, Business, Marketing, Marketing Strategy, small business, Traditional marketing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Start Getting Paid for Speaking Engagements

Posted by advantagemarketing on June 12, 2012

Get paid for your speaking engagements

Get more out of your speaking engagements when you follow these tips

In Speaking that Connects: Decent and Excellent Are Not the Same, guest poster Eileen Sinett shared 10 best practices that can help you use public speaking to create a buzz around your professional service firm or small business. But did you know that you can get even more out of your speaking engagements? You can get paid to speak!

It all starts with your mindset, says image consultant and motivational speaker Janet Cargill, “Position yourself from the get-go as a professional speaker. You need to be able to say, ‘I am a professional public speaker and I need to be paid’ and believe it about yourself.”

When Janet started J. Cargill Image Consulting, she did not have any public speaking experience. She belonged to the New Jersey Association of Women Business Owners (NJAWBO) and was asked to create an initiative for women called “How to Build a Reality Closet.” After doing this workshop numerous times for various groups, she realized, “I could go on doing free speaking forever. But I had to draw the line because it was a lot of time and effort for me.”

So Janet adopted a different approach. She began considering each engagement individually and asking herself: is this engagement worth it? How many people will be there? What do I want to get out of my talk?

She also started setting expectations up front with the meeting organizers. “It goes back to your mindset. Don’t hesitate to ask right at the beginning, ‘What is your budget for this?’” says Janet. “If it’s a nonprofit, they’ll hem and haw, then you can negotiate and often can get an honorarium to cover your expenses.”

It also pays to think of compensation for your speaking engagements in broader terms. “It doesn’t always have to be a financial payment,” says Janet. “Is your target market going to be in the audience? It can be an excellent opportunity to be seen as an expert by your target audience, and get ‘warm’ introductions to them.” You will want to ask the organizers in advance for attendees’ contact information, so that you can follow up after the meeting with those who look like ideal clients.

Richard Nathan has used the “target market” approach with his public speaking engagements. Richard is President of IT management consultancy Tailored Technologies LLC, and speaks on IT efficiency and software assessment. “Accounting firms are a target market for me,” says Richard. “When I speak to CPA societies, I’ve not only gotten positive feedback, I’ve gotten client engagements.”

Another money-making idea is to bring your books or articles to sell. “Set them up in the back of the room and if you’ve given an excellent, relevant talk, you’ll find your audience eager to buy,” says Janet.

If you don’t have a book, consider offering attendees a discount coupon or product sample. These can help you continue the conversation with relevant prospects after the meeting. When I gave a talk for the NJ Professional Coaches Association, for instance, I offered a discount on marketing coaching calls, and gained several new clients for my Westfield, NJ, consulting practice.

As you gain speaking experience, as Janet has, you will want to set your sights higher. “Now I’m looking for larger organizations that can pay the larger speaking fees,” she says.

A final tip: if the speaking engagement is just not right for you, turn it down but don’t leave the meeting organizers hanging. Build goodwill by offering them names of other potential speakers. For example, I was asked to present my blogging workshop to a coaching association based in another state. The association was not able to reimburse my travel expenses, nor be flexible on the date or time of the presentation. It just wasn’t the right engagement for me, so I graciously declined and offered the names of other marketing consultants who may have been a better fit for them.

What do you think? Tell us how you get compensated for your speaking engagements.

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Posted in Business, Marketing, Professional service firm marketing, Public speaking, small business, Traditional marketing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Powerful Marketing Tactics: Creating a Compelling Core Message

Posted by advantagemarketing on June 1, 2012

compelling core message

A compelling core message sets your business apart, and attracts your ideal customers.

In a recent post, I wrote about why it’s important to know your ideal customer. The next step to developing effective marketing – whether you’re using social media or more traditional marketing methods – is to create a clear and compelling core message that sets your business apart from your competitors.

How can you create an effective core message?

Go back to your IDEAL CUSTOMER. Write down the biggest result that you help your ideal customer achieve and the unique ways you get that result. For example, at Advantage Marketing, we help our ideal customers – owners of small businesses and professional service firms – turn their marketing into lead generation machines, faster than they can do it themselves.

Here’s another great example: Lisa Rangel, Managing Director of Chameleon Resumes, helps people get jobs. But her core message – how she differentiates her business – is that she helps people get the job they truly deserve. She’s not going to just get you hired so that you can get a paycheck – although that is very important too – she is going to help you get a job you LOVE and can be passionate about. She’s going to help you stand out from the pack, so that employers want to hire you. Lisa’s tag line which sums up her core message is “Reinvent yourself.”

When think you’ve got your compelling core message, test it! Ask someone who is in your target market if it resonates with them, and if not, why not? Then fine tune your message based on their feedback. You can also try it as your elevator speech and see what response it gets from a bigger audience.

Remember that a compelling and clear core message is a MUST-HAVE! For any marketing tactic to contribute to accomplishing your marketing goals – whether you want to drive leads to your business or build your company’s brand – you must nail your core message down. Otherwise, you are wasting your time and money.

What do you think? Tell us about your core message and how it helps you stand out from the crowd and grow your business.

Like what you’re reading? Subscribe and get The Marketing Advantage by email. Just click on the Subscribe today! link in the right sidebar.

Posted in Marketing, Professional service firm marketing, small business, Traditional marketing | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

 
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