The Value Proposition

Why should a consumer buy from you?

Competitive Advantages

What makes you better than your competition?

Choosing A Differentiation Strategy

You chose a target market, now what?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Number 1 2012 Marketing Resolution: Communicate Clearly

In 2012 we want to accomplish many goals:

- Sell millions in product
- Grow our brand awareness exponentially
- Achieve the largest marketing ROI for as little cost as possible
- Get promoted to, or hired as a CMO (I wouldn't mind that)

But before you can do anything above, or anything else, here's what you need to do from the first day of 2012: communicate clearly.

It seems simple, doesn't it?

In reality, communicating clearly involves a little bit of work.  Whether you're writing an email, or putting together a message for marketing, follow these steps, and you will be on your way to communicating more clearly:

1) Slow down.  When we rush, we make mistakes.  We say things that we don't intend.  We mix up our words.  Slowing down gives you the time to...

2) Think.  Think about the message you need to convey.  Ask yourself: Who is it for?  How will it be consumed?  What important information needs to be communicated?  After you slow down, think, answer these questions, and compose your message...

3) Review and edit.  You won't believe how often you will catch a typo here or there.  You may have reversed the order of your words.  You might catch a phrase or two that convey the wrong message, or potentially confuse the consumer of your message.

Using this three step method will help you communicate simple or complex messages more clearly and mistake-free.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Be Purposeful Or Else You Will Be Ignored

On Tuesday, Facebook announced that it would begin adding "Sponsored Story" ads to users' news feeds in January.  This will not happen in mobile apps yet.  This announcement is another step in Facebook's plan to monetize it's business and make it a viable advertising platform. 

If you're an advertiser, this gives you an easier way to get in front of the eyeballs of millions of Facebook users.  If you're Facebook, you just earned yourself some more ad dollars and paid a few more bills.  If you're a Facebook user, you may have another reason to ignore Facebook today.  And that's the caution to throw into the wind:  "Sponsored Stories", if overused, will quickly be ignored, and will have little to no value for any advertiser.  In fact, if Facebook isn't careful, and if you aren't as a media buyer, "Sponsored Stories" could be a huge flop.

Remember that "reach" basically is the number of individuals you want to expose your message to through any type of media scheduled over a given period of time.  For focused groups of audiences, Social Media and other online advertising provide great reach.  However, frequency is where things can go wrong.  When you're visiting a website, such as a news outlet, you expect to see ads.  You're voluntarily allowing yourself to be exposed to them.  Even if advertisements appear, we tolerate them, because we're simply using the website to consume information in an impersonal matter.

Social Media isn't impersonal, it's personal.  Frequency can quickly die off with Social Media, because when ads invade our personal "space" online, we change our usage patterns; quickly visiting a services like Facebook less, or even stopping altogether.  Once that happens, you've lost that consumer, potentially alienating them from your brand (as an advertiser), and possibly losing another revenue generating user. 

That's the slippery slope.  As an advertiser, you need to make sure not to abuse Social Media advertising.  It's users may be more receptive to your messages, but if you over "communicate" to them, too frequently, and without specific value or purpose in your message, they will quickly ignore you.  Once they ignore you, your Brand Awareness measures and credibility may start to decline as well.

Facebook needs to quickly decide how much advertising they really want to force their users to view.  If they continue to add more "ads" to people's feeds, Facebook may quickly lose users, and one of the "pot of golds" of internet advertising may cease to be.