Developing a Marketing Plan: Reputation Management

December 18th, 2012

Developing a successful marketing plan is a multi-step process consisting of several considerations, including: identifying and researching your target audience, understanding your competitive position, branding, advertising, and separating your business from the competition. And that is just the beginning.

The next step in the process is Reputation Management. Consumers are not just looking for the best price they can find. They are looking for a company they can trust.

online reputation management

When it comes to running a business, reputation is everything, especially in today’s digital world. Your company lives and dies by its Google results, online reviews, Better Business Bureau grade, Facebook interactions, and so much more. Thanks to the Internet, your business is not just judged on the product or service you provide, but how you provide it! And when a customer is unhappy, the Internet gives them the power to express their anger in a very public and damaging way. Because of this, reputation management has never been more important to the success of your business.

The Internet can be a powerful tool for your business, but only if you know how to effectively manage your reputation. After all, even the best companies can run into an irate customer from time to time. And this is not bad as long as you handle the situation correctly.

Business Reputation Management Tips for the Digital Age

1. Social Media Engagement: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and other such social media platforms have now made it possible for your customers to interact with your brand on a daily basis and vice versa. And because of this, it is important to pay particular attention to your company’s presence on the Web and social media.

2. Develop a Reputation Management Policy: Make sure your employees know who has the authority to speak on behalf of the company. Nothing can be more damaging than an employee acting on behalf of your business without permission.

3. Coordinate Online and Offline Marketing: It is important that your online efforts mirror your offline marketing and branding. Consistency across multiple channels improves customer service, customer retention, and helps you gain new business.

4. Timely Crisis Management: You should have a crisis communication and management plan in place. After all, accidents happen, whether it is a product recall or just an angry customer. It is important to deal with any crisis in a timely manner, making sure to fully resolve the issue. The longer you wait to address a crisis, the more damaging the effects can be.

The Marketing Showcase can help!

We are marketing and branding professionals that make impressions and expressions in every aspect of our work including agency awareness, public education, internal/external communications, and creative and business development. And we never operate without a plan. We ensure that our marketing efforts are always aligned with your long-term marketing goals.

The Marketing Showcase will implement your marketing plan or build a new strategy from scratch.

If you have any questions further questions, please contact The Marketing Showcase by calling 202.329.3199 or visit TheMarketingShowcase.com today!

The branding professionals. We run with your vision!

You can also follow The Marketing Showcase on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.

 

Developing a Strong Brand Identity: Making Sales through Effective Branding

December 14th, 2012

Building upon last week’s blog, The Importance of Branding: People buy who you are, not what you do, we are going to focus on brand identity as the driving force behind sales.

Many businesses, large and small fall into the same trap. They try to boost sales by focusing on what they sell instead of who they are. But the most successful businesses are those that have a strong brand identity. At the end of the day, unless you have something truly unique to sell, the difference between your product and your competition’s product is YOU.

What makes Xerox different from the completion? What has made the Xerox Corporation into a $22 billion enterprise? The answer: branding! In fact, Xerox’s branding strategy is so strong that consumers now refer to all copies as Xerox, regardless of the equipment used.

Similarly, Kleenex has cornered the facial tissue market. Now consumers refer to all facial tissue as Kleenex. Why? Branding! Consumers identify so well with the Kleenex brand that the company’s name has become an everyday term for facial tissue.

What makes McDonalds different from Burger King? Both sell reasonably priced fast food. Yet, consumers flock to McDonalds over BK. McDonald’s posted $34.2 billion in sales in 2011 compared to Burger King’s $8.4 billion.

The same holds true for companies across the nation. Consumers tend to do business with the brand that they best identify with. Or, as Simon Sinek put it, “people buy who you are, not what you do.” So if you want to grow your business, first grow your brand, the rest will follow.

“Our research shows that a fundamental element of all our great companies is a core ideology — core values and a sense of purpose beyond just making money — that inspires people…,” said Jim Collins, an American business consultant, author, and lecturer on the subject of company sustainability and growth.

The Marketing Showcase can help! We are a Marketing & Branding Firm in Washington DC

At the Marketing Showcase, create styles and themes to express your brand in a way that is consistent with the mission, values, and strategic vision of your organization. We never operate without a business plan and our plans are designed to target specific goals aligned to your long-term marketing goals.

Furthermore, we offer graphic design, photography, and copywriting services to help you build a strong brand identity.

If you have any questions, please contact The Marketing Showcase by calling 202.329.3199 or visit TheMarketingShowcase.com today!

The branding professionals…we run with your vision!

You can also follow The Marketing Showcase on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.

Sources:

Wendy’s, not Burger King, is no. 2 in sales

Developing a Marketing Plan: Separating your Business from the Competition

December 13th, 2012

marketing professionalsDeveloping a successful marketing plan is time consuming, yet incredibly crucial for your business. Consisting of several aspects, from identifying and researching your target audience and understanding your competitive position to branding, advertising and more, your marketing plan is a step-by-step outline for the future success of your business.

This week, the marketing and branding experts at The Marketing Showcase are going to breakdown another critical aspect of any good marketing plan: Separating your Business from the Competition.

What makes your business different from another business offering the same product or service? Why should a consumer choose your business over the competition? These are the important questions you need to answer. And if you cannot answer these, then you may want to pack up and call it quits.

Today’s business world is extremely competitive and if you cannot offer anything unique to your target audience, then your business is doomed right from the start. You need to differentiate your business from your competition in order to make sales, survive, and thrive

The Key to Success: Research, research, and more research!

  • Personal Research: In this step, which you should have already addressed in your marketing plan, you will discover who you are, what you are, your strengths and weaknesses, and more. In this step, you will also develop your brand and really begin to outline the ins and outs of your business.

  • Qualitative Research: Also completed earlier in the marketing plan process, qualitative research tells a company who its target audience is and what they look for in a company, product, or service. Knowing your target audience, as well as their wants and needs, allows you to better market and advertise your product/service.

  • Competitive Research: Now for something new. Once you know who you are and who your target audience is, it is important to define what makes you unique. First, learn as much as you can about your direct competition and your industry. The more you know, the better you will set up your future success. Take those aspects of your competition that work and add your own flair. Remember, you don’t want to mimic your competition. You want to learn from them, their successes, their failures, and the like.



The Marketing Showcase can help you separate your Business from the Competition!

We provide strategic planning for your business development and the marketing processes. We transform brand development into benchmark and performance measurements based on market research and B2B, B2C, and B2G experience.

The Marketing Showcase will implement your marketing plan or build you a new marketing plan from scratch. We never operate without a plan and our plans are always designed to target specific goals aligned to your long-term marketing goals.

If you have any questions further questions, please contact The Marketing Showcase by calling 202.329.3199 or visit TheMarketingShowcase.com today!

The branding professionals. We run with your vision!

You can also follow The Marketing Showcase on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.

 

Developing a Marketing Plan: The Importance of Advertising and Promotion

December 13th, 2012

marketing professionalsFor a business, developing an effective marketing plan can be the difference between success and failure. And an effective marketing plan includes several aspects, from identifying and researching your target audience and understanding your competitive position to branding and much more. So over the next several weeks, we at The Marketing Showcase will break down the process of developing an effective marketing plan.

This week we are going to focus on The Importance of Advertising and Promotion.

You know your target audience. You know your competitive position in the market. You have developed effective branding. But how do you deliver your branding and product/service to your target audience? Advertising! And while the goal of advertising, to get your brand in the public eye, may seem simple, there are several ways in which things can go very, very wrong.

For starters, there are so many advertising avenues available, from radio to television to trade shows to the Internet to newspapers to magazines to direct mail and more, that one can easily spread themselves too thin. The key to a successful advertising plan is focus.

Which media venue will be the most effective in helping you reach your target audience? It is important to allocate the bulk of your advertising budget to this venue, while dispersing the rest to other applicable media outlets.

Next, set specific mid-term and long-term advertising goals. What are you hoping to accomplish? Recognition, improved sales, brand identity, or something else? Then, use these goals to evaluate your advertising plan.

The Marketing Showcase can help you get your message out there!

Our Creative Suite is our SHOW.CASE™ for marketing services for the creation of high-impact communication tools that encourage your customers and prospective customers to learn more about you and your company, and inspire them to choose you over the competition.

“…The Marketing Showcase has been an integral part of getting our marketing plan off of our “to do list” to up and running. We highly recommend The Marketing Showcase as an expert in their field…” – Orchid Properties, LLC COO Freddi Brown

If you have any questions further questions, please contact The Marketing Showcase by calling 202.329.3199 or visit TheMarketingShowcase.com today!

The branding professionals. We run with your vision!

You can also follow The Marketing Showcase on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.

 

The Importance of Branding: People buy who you are, not what you do

December 6th, 2012

brandingWhen it comes to successfully managing and running your business, how important is it to establish a strong brand identity? Well, according to Simon Sinek, a strong brand identity and an understanding of the “Why” of a business are the most important parts of your business plan.

 

“People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it,” said Sinek. “The goal is not to do business with everybody who needs what you have; the goal is to do business with people who believe what you believe.”

It is this business strategy that has made companies like Apple so successful.

The WHY of Business

Why do you do what you do? What is the why of your business? What is your cause? What is your belief? Why does your company exist?

And no, profit is not a WHY. Profit is a result. And the pursuit of profit, the pursuit of a result is a recipe for failure. Pursuing a profit is what drives businesses into the ground. Successful businesses, conversely, are those who know WHY they are in business and are able to attract consumers who believe what their company believes.

People don’t buy Apple products because they make MP3 players, computers, and phones. There are tons of other companies out there that make MP3 players, computers, and phones for much cheaper than Apple. But people buy Apple products because of the way they present their company. Apple does not tell you what makes their products great; Apple tells you why their company is different.

“People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.”

Sinek explains his theory further in the below lecture, Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Action.

At the end of the day, what Sinek is explaining comes down to one thing: Branding! How you present yourself and your business can, at times, be even more important than what you are selling. After all, unless you have invented some new, revolutionary product or service, there is another company (or multiple companies) offering exactly what you are offering. So how do you set yourself apart from the competition?

The Answer: Branding!

The Marketing Showcase: A Branding Company in Washing DC

We are marketing and branding professionals that make impressions and expressions in every aspect of our work including agency awareness, public education, internal/external communications, and creative and business development. We engage the process of creating styles and themes to express the brand in a way that is consistent with the mission, values, and strategic vision of the organization.

If you have any questions, please contact The Marketing Showcase by calling 202.329.3199 or visit TheMarketingShowcase.com today!

The branding professionals…we run with your vision!

You can also follow The Marketing Showcase on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.

 

Developing a Marketing Plan: Establishing an Effective Brand Identity

December 5th, 2012

Over the next several weeks, the marketing and branding experts at The Marketing Showcase are going help you understand the importance of developing a marketing plan, from identifying and researching your target audience and understanding your competitive position to branding and so much more. This week, we are going to specifically look at the advantages of Branding.

What is Branding?

Branding is the creative process of defining a distinctive and memorable business identity, including logos, slogans, signage, web design, brochures, packaging, and more. These factors, while all independent, are used in marketing efforts to help form a singular image.

Simply put, branding is the way in which consumers and clients identify one company from another.

The Benefits of Branding

  1. Memorability: Successful branding will help make your business more memorable. What do think of when you visualize those golden arches? Does McDonalds come to mind? What about a red and white target? Does the retail giant Target immediately pop into your head? What about the slogan “Eat Fresh?” We are guessing that Subway was the first thing you thought of. As you can see, branding can be a powerful marketing tool. In fact, some brands are even so strong that they have completely dominated the market. For instance, we bet you have called a facial tissue a Kleenex on more than one occasion.
  2. Loyalty: When people have a positive experience with a memorable brand, they will keep coming back for more. How often do you see a friend or family member refuse to buy anything other than a Ford or Chevy vehicle? People identify strongly with the brands that they trust.
  3. Familiarity: Studies have shown that familiarity induces a sense of trust. So basically, branding helps build trust in your consumers or clients before they ever deal with you, your product or your service.
  4. Branding Drives Prices: Premium brands demand premium prices. What is the major difference between Kleenex and every other facial tissue? Every facial tissue performs the same tasks, but the Kleenex brand demands higher prices in retail markets. Why? Because it is the brand that people identify with. It is the brand that consumers want.
  5. And more!

Marketing and Branding Services from The Marketing Showcase

Our marketing and branding services are second to none. From our graphic design and photography services to our copywriters, we are committed to establishing a strong brand identity.

  • Our graphic design services focus on developing high-impact visual tools, effective at communicating needs and wants.
  • Our photography services focus on storytelling through reflections, emotions, and cultures.
  • Our copywriting services ensure your message is clearly defined and uniform throughout all of your marketing channels.

How strong is your brand? Contact The Marketing Showcase for a professional assessment of your brand, and learn how you can strengthen your impact.

If you have any questions further questions, please contact The Marketing Showcase by calling 202.329.3199 or visit TheMarketingShowcase.com today!

The Marketing Showcase’s marketing and branding services concentrate on the strategic elements first. We never operate without a plan and our plans are always designed to target specific goals aligned to your long-term marketing goals.

The branding professionals. We run with your vision!

You can also follow The Marketing Showcase on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.

Developing a Marketing Plan: Understanding your Competitive Position

December 5th, 2012

Developing a marketing plan is one of the most important things you can do as a business owner to ensure the success and sustainability of your business. Over the next several weeks, we are going to delve deeper into each component of an effective marketing plan. Last week, we discussed how to identify and research your target audience. This week, we are going to move on to step #2: Understanding your Competitive Position in the Market.

You have already identified your target market. Now you must ask yourself a very important question: what sets your business apart from the competition? Why would a consumer choose your product/service over the competition? What do you offer that your competition does not?

These are the very important questions every business owner must be able to answer. If you cannot define your competitive advantage, you might as well cut your losses and seek alternative employment. If there is nothing that sets your business apart, what would drive consumers to choose your product/service over the competition?

Your Competitive Edge

In its simplest form, competitive edge comes in one of two forms:

  1. Your product/service is less expensive than the competition.
  2. Your product/service must be different from the competition in one way or another.

If your product does not meet either of the above criteria, where is your competitive advantage? If your product/service does meet one of the above criteria, your work is not done. But you are ready to move on to step #3. So check back next week as we delve deeper into Business Development: Developing a Marketing Plan and discuss Branding, including logo design, signage, web design, brochures, packaging, and more!

If you have any questions, please contact The Marketing Showcase by calling 202.329.3199 or visit TheMarketingShowcase.com today!

The Marketing Showcase’s marketing and branding services concentrate on the strategic elements first. We never operate without a plan and our plans are always designed to target specific goals aligned to your long-term marketing goals.

The branding professionals. We run with your vision!

You can also follow The Marketing Showcase on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.

Developing a Marketing Plan: Market Research & your Target Audience

December 5th, 2012

Last week, we introduced you to the basics of Business Development: Developing a Marketing Plan. Developing a marketing plan is one of the most important things you can do as a business owner to ensure the success and sustainability of your business. Over the next several weeks, we are going to delve deeper into each component of an effective marketing plan, beginning with Market Research and Identifying your Target Audience.

With the economy still in shambles, identifying your target market has never been more important. This is the only way to affectively direct your marketing campaign and compete with larger companies. After all, no one, especially small businesses, can afford to target everyone.

Targeting a specific audience and focusing your marketing efforts on that target audience is the most cost-effective, efficient, and effective way to generate business.

Identifying and Defining your Target Audience

  1. Look at your Current Customer Base: Are there any common characteristics, interests, traits, etc. between your current customer base? Is there a certain demographic that is more prevalent than any other?
  2. Study your Competition: Who is your biggest competition targeting? You probably do not want to target the same exact audience. It is best to find your own niche market.
  3. Analyze your Product or Service: What are the benefits of your product/service? What are the benefits of those benefits? Now, who could benefit from these benefits?
  4. Target Specific Demographics: So you have figured out who needs you product/service, but who is most likely to buy it? Consider different demographics, taking factors like age, location, gender, income, etc. into account.
  5. Consider the Psychographics of Your Target: What features of your product/service are most appealing to your key demographic? What media outlet would be best suited to reach out to this demographic?
  6. Evaluate your Decisions: Once you have chosen a target audience, be sure to evaluate your decision. Do you fully understand what motivates your target market? Are there enough people in the target audience to make this decision financially beneficial?

Trust The Marketing Showcase to help!

At The Marketing Showcase, our marketing and branding services concentrate on the strategic elements first. We never operate without a plan and our plans are always designed to target specific goals aligned to your long-term marketing goals.

Check back next week as we delve deeper into Business Development: Developing a Marketing Plan and discuss Understanding your competitive position in the market.

If you have any questions, please contact The Marketing Showcase by calling 202.329.3199 or visit TheMarketingShowcase.com today!

We are marketing and branding professionals that make impressions and expressions in every aspect of our work including agency awareness, public education, internal/external communications, and creative and business development. The Marketing Showcase will implement your marketing plan or build a new strategy from scratch.

The branding professionals…we run with your vision!

You can also follow The Marketing Showcase on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.

Online Brand and Reputation Management from the Marketing Showcase

November 30th, 2012

In today’s increasingly technology driven business world, reputation management is more important than ever before. With Internet search engines and social media, your brand is more visible than it has ever been, connecting you directly with current and potential customers both across the nation and across the globe. And when levered the correct way, these technology-driven mediums can be incredibly beneficial. But when ignored, they can be incredibly detrimental.

It doesn’t take much for one disgruntled employee or dissatisfied customer to publish a negative review online. And if not caught early, this type of negative publicity can really take a toll on a business, tarnishing the brand and reputation that took you so many years to build. All of your hard word can be extinguished with one negative comment.

The Solution: A proactive brand and reputation management plan. And the Marketing Showcase can help!

At the Marketing Showcase (TMS), we work diligently to create a brand that is consistent with the mission, values, and strategic vision of the organization. And we work just as hard maintaining that reputation and brand! TMS operates two independent but complementary operations.

1. The Brand Studio: This is where we SHOW.CASE™ our high-impact branding strategies. We help our branding clients establish exposure and create an image that resonate with their target market.

2. The Creative Suite: This is our SHOW.CASE™ for marketing services for the creation of high-impact communication tools that encourage your customers and prospective customers to learn more about you and your company, and inspire them to choose you over the competition.

Our vision is to bring great brands to life through our work; that we can truly help our clients to influence values and culture, to impress and express, to energize and transform their businesses.

If you have any questions further questions, please contact The Marketing Showcase by calling 202.329.3199 or visit TheMarketingShowcase.com today!

The branding professionals. We run with your vision!

You can also follow The Marketing Showcase on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.

 

Tips for growing your Business: Don’t stand in your own way

November 30th, 2012

As a business owner, you can sometimes be your own worst enemy. How? Well, as people, we often set ceilings to our own potential, ceilings that carryover to our businesses. We set out with a particular goal in mind. And when we reach that goal, we settle. We start to dodge businesses decisions, writing them off as too risky. This, in turn, causes your business to plateau or worse, fail.

So we offer you the following business advice: Don’t stand in your own way!

Believing that you can’t or won’t be able to do something is a self-fulfilling prophecy, which will likely lead to failure. Remember the old adage “You have to believe to achieve?” Well, there is actually some truth to that!

Tips to help you revaluate your Beliefs

1. Do some Soul Searching: Take the time to identify your beliefs and determine how they are affecting your success and the success of your business.

2. Identify your Positive Traits: What positive traits do you have to help you counteract your negative beliefs? Limiting and even countering your negative beliefs is the key to achieving success in the business world.

3. Believe in Yourself: Until you believe in yourself, you will never be able to break that plateau.

4. Trust the Marketing Showcase!

The Marketing Showcase: We can help you grow your Business!

Performance-driven in our operations, in our leadership efforts, in our relationships, and in our strategies, the Marketing Showcase makes sure to set high standards for ourselves and for our clients. We provide strategic planning to the business development and the marketing process, ensuring the success and continued growth of your business.

If you have any further questions, please contact The Marketing Showcase by calling 202.329.3199 or visit TheMarketingShowcase.com today!

The branding professionals. We run with your vision!

You can also follow The Marketing Showcase on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.