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Showing posts from June, 2016

Sharing the Challenge Means Sharing the Victory: The Two-Way Street of Team Leadership

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Many people work their entire lives to achieve a leadership role within an organization. They've put in their time, tirelessly working their way up through the ranks and then, it finally happens: they're trusted enough to be given the responsibility of bringing a team together for the benefit of a business's long-term goals. And yet, unfortunately, far too many people tend to veer off course with this almost immediately by assuming that respect is a given (which we've talked in detail about before), and by looking at "the team" as one thing and the "team leader" as something separate. They're not separate, and they never were. The sooner this is understood, the sooner you'll be generating the types of results you were after.

There IS an "I" in Team - It's Just Silent

An old saying has told us for years that "there is no 'I' in 'team'", meaning that in order to become a successful, respected leader, …

Print Packs an ROI Punch

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Everywhere you look, the data continue to tell a love story with print. Whether direct mail, signage and in-store displays, or print advertising, print continues to pack a wallop when it comes to ROI. It’s not that marketers need to focus on print to the exclusion of digital media, but print needs to remain a key part of the mix.

According to a recent study by PRIMIR1, the global print market is expected to reach $668 billion in 2017. This is 20% greater than its size of $557 billion in 2007. Here are some takeaways from this eye-opening study:

Package printing will have a global CAGR of 4.2% between 2012 and 2017. Despite growth in online advertising, print will grow 1.8% between 2012 and 2017. Business and transactional printing will grow at 1.2% globally between 2012 and 2017. Display graphics and point-of-purchase will grow at 1.6% annually. 
This particular study did not include direct mail, but one by Winterberry Group confirms that direct mail is alive and well. For 2014, the W…

As a Leader, Helping Your Employees Grow is One of Your Most Important Jobs

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As a leader within your organization, it's understandable to feel like the list of things you have to look over gets longer and longer all the time. While you're being pulled in so many different directions, it can be easy to forget about one of your most important jobs of all: doing everything in your power to make sure that your employees are getting better and stronger with each passing day. Make no mistake: this is absolutely something you'll want to spend time thinking about every day for a number of compelling reasons.

Helping Your Employees, One Step at a Time

One of the most important ways that you can help your employees grow is by encouraging them to take an active role in their own professional development. One of the major reasons that you became the leader you are today is because you were not content to "spin your wheels" as far as your career was concerned. Help your employees understand that the status quo is never something they should be satis…

Using Customer Data to Create a More Powerful Customer Experience

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Make no mistake: the data revolution is upon us and has, perhaps, affected no industry more than the wonderful world of marketing. Your average marketer now has access to huge volumes of information about who their customers are, how they're behaving, what their thoughts are on certain issues and more - all of which can quickly prove overwhelming. It's important to look at the big data phenomenon for what it is, however: an opportunity. It's a very real chance that marketers have to realign their efforts and create the type of powerful customer experience that creates a loyal army of brand advocates.

Broadening Your Customer Personas

Customer personas have long been a tool marketers have used when trying to relate to their target audience. These fictionalized, typically generalized versions of theoretical people can be a great way to help the designers of a campaign keep their "eyes on the prize," so to speak. After all, if you're setting out on a road tri…

In case you haven’t noticed, packaging has changed.

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It does more than house the product. It has been a powerful marketing vehicle that represents the brand, speaks to individual demographic groups, and engages consumers with dynamic content. Let’s look at five ways the role of packaging has expanded.
1.Packaging is segmented.
Today’s packaging is segmented by more than just sub-product. It is segmented by demographic and lifestyle. It varies by gender, age, and even average household income. It may vary based on ethnicity. Cereal boxes may be printed in different languages, for example, or packaging may be tweaked for urbanites who need extra portability or who live in smaller spaces.
2.Packaging is digital.
Highly segmented packaging used to be for large brands with high volumes. With today’s digital presses, everything from folding cartons to flexible packaging can be produced in very short runs. Even small, niche brands can break their runs
into smaller, targeted consumer segments.
using true metallic inks or metallic substrates.
o…

Mutual Respect: The Secret Ingredient When It Comes to Managing Employees

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Many business leaders are still operating under the mistaken impression that the key ingredient to managing employees involves learning how to delegate responsibility. So long as you tell the right people to complete the right tasks, your business should pretty much run itself, right?

Wrong.

You can't just demand that your employees dedicate a huge part of their waking days to helping you accomplish your own professional goals. They have to want it. You can't buy it, either - high salaries and competitive benefits help, but they'll only ultimately carry you so far.

So how do you make not only managing employees easier than ever, but also turn them into true, loyal team members instead of passive subordinates at the same time?

The answer is simple: mutual respect.

What is Mutual Respect?

The most important idea to understand about mutual respect is that you're dealing with a two-way street. You can't force someone to respect you just because you happen to be t…

Tailoring Incentives: The Perfect Fit

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When prospecting, many marketers use some kind of incentive to boost response. “Come in early, and receive a discount!” “Log into your personalized URL to be entered into a sweepstakes!”
But let’s face it. Not all response incentives are created equal. To be successful, you need to put as much thought into the incentive as you do your list, your creative and your message. You also need to match the value of the incentive to how much the response is worth to you. When one company wanted to add more value-added resellers, for example (something in which even bringing on one more could bring in millions over time), it offered a sweepstakes featuring a trip to the Caribbean. When another wanted to access high-level executives, it offered remote control cars personalized with the recipient’s name.
Value Doesn’t Mean Pricey Just because your incentive has a high dollar value, however, doesn’t mean that it’s the right offer for your client or prospect base. The important thing is to ensure that…

4 Trends Affecting Small Businesses This Year

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Business owners tend to spend a lot of time searching the magic oracle (a.k.a. the internet) for answers to business growth questions. How do I get new customers? How do I get existing customers to come back? Why doesn't my cat like me?

Ok, maybe business owners don't have issues with their cats, though the other questions are probably crowding their brain space right now. Fear not, we've identified 4 business trends you should be paying attention to this year.

- JOBS Act Crowdfunding Investment Opportunities

Not everything in business is free. It may be all well and good to max out credit cards or drain your savings to start and grow your business, but now there's a better way. The JOBS Act: Title III was recently released and what that means for you is that your business can raise investments through crowdfunding, even from non-accredited investors. If you're in the market to increase your market share, consider checking out sites like Crowdfunder.com or Eq…

Creating a Sustainable Marketing Strategy

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Maintain brand visibility and keep sales humming using techniques that are self-perpetuating.
When you think about sustainability, what comes to mind? Recycling? Solar panels? LEED buildings and hemp-fiber carpets? While the “green” movement has made heavy use of the term sustainability, the concept goes beyond the environment.
“Sustainability” refers to business sustainability too. In a marketing context, this is a business that maintains brand visibility and keeps sales humming using techniques that are self-perpetuating. In other words, sales are begetting more sales through loyalty programs, upsell and cross-sell migrations, customer referrals, and viral marketing.
This level of self-perpetuation requires a great plan and the ability to implement a mix of traditional (print) and digital marketing touches that work together in an integrated way.

You can think of sustainable business as accomplishing the following goals:
1.  Brand visibility.
Brand visibility requires more than great…

Crafting Your Brand to Communicate Your Unique Sales Proposition

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Simply being the best is no longer the key to improving your bottom line. Not only is it a somewhat nebulous concept that isn't easily quantifiable, it's become more the status quo than anything else. Everyone selling something claims to be the best. Have you ever seen someone claim to be "second-best" in their marketing?

Identifying your unique sales proposition is by far the most effective thing you can do to make your company a success. Creating a memorable image that will grab people's attention and make them feel like they want you to be their best friend goes a lot farther these days than claims at superiority.

But maybe you already know this and maybe you've already identified how your company is different from the rest of the companies that sell computers/shoes/lamps, etc. Fabulous! One question: Do your customers know what makes you unique? (Cue head scratching and cricket chorus.)

If your brand doesn't scream, "I'm a unique snowflake…

Assembling the Team: How to Get the Right People Into the Right Roles in Your Business

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One of the most important things to do BEFORE you start assembling a team to work on a particular project for your business is to gain a better understanding of your options. In particular, you'll want to take a long, hard look at each employee and see what they bring to the table in a way that nobody else quite matches.

Every one of your employees has a strength - something they do better than anyone else. Assembling a team requires you to temporarily think less about who they are as a whole and more about how you can use their particular, unique strength as a tool to service a much larger goal. Take marketing, for example. A standard promotional flyer essentially has two core elements: the visual design and the language being used. If your team consists of two people and both of them are expert graphic designers, you will likely end up with something that LOOKS fantastic but that isn't actually as effective as you need it to be when communicating a message. If you match up …

When it Comes to Your Marketing Goals, Don't Forget About Consumer Education

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Whenever you begin to execute a marketing campaign, you're usually trying to service a few key goals at the same time. One of your top priorities is most likely brand awareness - you don't just want to get the word out about a product or service, but you're also trying to position your company as an authority on a particular topic. You may also want to help inform your target audience about the product in question. One of the most important marketing goals that far too many people overlook until it's too late, however, is consumer education. When it comes to your objectives, consumer education must ALWAYS be a top priority for a number of key reasons.

The Benefits of the Consumer Education Push

For marketers themselves, an increased emphasis on consumer education brings with it a host of different benefits that can't be ignored. For starters, it allows you to take a deeper level of control over the narrative that you're trying to tell than ever before. You…