Archive for the ‘Communications’ Category

Nando’s Does It Again

Nando's logoWe’ve come to expect the unexpected when it comes to Nando’s’ creative advertising. They’re the kings of spin-offs and they’ve done it again. Taking Cell C’s (unfunny), now tired CEO ad and re-injecting the concept with some vooma, their timing is perfect to capture a bored audience. Read more…


Increasing Reach through Social Sharing

SUMMARY: In this week’s chart, we analyze the perceptions marketers have of social sharing in achieving a number of email marketing objectives, such as extending the reach of email content to new markets, increasing brand reputation and awareness, and increasing the ROI of email programs.

by Sergio Balegno, Research Director

Sherpa Chart - Increasing Reach through Social Sharing
Click here to see a larger, printable version of this chart

Social sharing allows email recipients to share email content on popular social networks and other social media sites. It is a rapidly emerging email tactic and, as this chart shows, about eight in 10 marketers agree that social sharing “extends the reach of email content to new markets” and “increases brand reputation and awareness.”

We dedicated a chapter of the 2010 Email Marketing Benchmark Report to a special report on this topic with insights from marketers on strategies unique to social sharing. Many have already learned some valuable lessons.

For example, one marketer told us, “As with any messaging intended to build a relationship with prospective customers, the email content shared on social media sites must NOT be sales oriented. We began sharing content that was heavily geared toward promotion. This was not effective in the social environment. We now concentrate on educational and informational topics that our prospects and customers will find interesting rather than on aggressive selling information. This is building a preference for our brand within the social communities we are reaching.”

Source: Marketing Sherpa

Your Company Brand – Zero to Hero: 4 Marketing Tactics

Your Company Brand, the Hero that Saves the DayWhat statement does your company make? Do you have any idea? Is it shouting out its vision or is it sitting on the fence? Your customers will know which is why it’s important to take care with what you’re saying and how you’re saying it. Whether that communication is an invoice landing on your customer’s desk or an online article or the spotless state of your vehicle, it gets processed as part of your company image and therefore your company brand. Your company reputation lies in your communications and your reputation gets you noticed – hopefully in a positive way. We’ve heard the SMME startup failure stats before. The key is to get on the ladder fast and hang in there. Do it right by giving your company brand a clear voice from the start.

1. Your Company Brand – what you’re saying

If your company were a person, what would they look and sound like? Here’s how it works:

Apple iPod = high energy, young, in acceptably mismatching socks
Established legal advisor = low-key, serious in a navy suit

Your website, business card, newsletter, vehicle, sales staff, every email communication must have one and the same voice. A client may be exposed to all of the above. One point of contact should lead to recall of another without creating any confusion around your company brand.

As a small business entrepreneur, you’ll be stretched for resources so accept you can’t be everything to everyone. Specialize in what you know. Pick a message and stick to it. Shout it out in any and all marketing media appropriate for your business.

2. Your Entrepreneur Gameplan – who you’re talking to

If you know who you’re talking to, you’ll know how to get through to them. Work out the profile of your target market:
• Age and gender (young, old, middle-aged)
• Location (in SA or abroad, inland or at the coast, local or national)
• Education and income levels (university educated or street-smart)
• Marital status / family lifecycle (single, newlyweds, have children, grandchildren)
• Ethnic and religious background (generally not always applicable but may be relevant to your approach)
• Lifestyle (conservative, trendy, homebody, party animal)
• Social class (lower, middle or upper – this gives an indication of spending power)
• Leaders or followers (do they look for the latest gadget or wait to hear about it)
• Activities and interests (hobbies, interested in politics or environmental issues)
• Put all the info together and speak to them in a voice they’ll relate to. For example, you might talk to 25-30 year olds who have young families, little time for themselves, have a diploma and spend their R5000 disposable income on annual beach holidays.

It’s not imperative to know all these details but the more you do know the better prepared you’ll be.

3. Mic check – are they listening?

Are your marketing tactics growing your bottom line? If not, you might be talking via a channel they don’t listen to. Find out where they go for information when they need it and be THERE. If you’re targeting working moms, you may want to reach them on a local radio station that enhances office work time in their programming. If your target market is 70-year old retirees, make sure the font on your leaflet is big enough to read and avoid colloquialisms. Geddit? If you email newsletters or have a small business page on Facebook, you’ll know whether they’re listening. Online marketing provides great measuring tools.

4. Marketing Tactics 101 – keep saying it

It’s near impossible to get it right from the start so you’re not alone if you’re battling to find your way. The key is to know what your small business is about and keep your message consistent. If that’s clear, people will notice your efforts. Even if you change tactics, they’ll still recognize you.

If you’ve been at it for a while, are you still sending out a consistent message? We’re bombarded with advertising so people need reminding. They may not need you now but when they do, you have to be there. Expect to have to repeat yourself. You may need to use different methods to keep it fresh but maintain your tone and authority to build and maintain trust in your company brand.

Happy branding!

Email Marketing: 11 Steps to Getting it Right

like throwing a party, anybody can send an email but not everyone knows how to do a great job of it.Email marketing is an ideal tool for reaching a large customer base at a low cost. So why are so many individuals and companies getting it wrong? Like throwing a party, anybody can do it but that doesn’t mean they know how to get it right. Here are some simple steps explaining the right formula for your campaign.

1. Prepare

Set the goals for your email marketing campaign. Will you use promotional emails which have immediate goals such as the user making a purchase? Or are your goals long-term which would require building a relationship with the user?

2. Invites

Define your database for the email campaign. Targeting relevant segments of your database will ensure the right message reaches the right audience. Get permission – nobody likes a spammer so don’t ruin your company’s reputation before you’ve even started.

3. Identify Yourself

Recipient: Who’s this from? I don’t recognise the address. This might be spam or a virus. I couldn’t be bothered to find out. Delete.

This is where you’re knocking on the door. No matter what email program you use, there’s an option to customise the “from name” and “from address”. Use them to identify yourself to set your messages apart from other mail and create a personified message.
Best practice: [Becky at TechnoGeek]

4. Be Upfront

Recipient: Oh good, let’s see what TechnoGeek has to offer this week to make my life easier.

Your subject line gets your foot in the door. Avoid using overpromising words like Free, Win unless it’s in context. Exclamation marks here are a no-no. Be honest about what your intention is.
Best practice: TechnoGeek Weekly News: Power Savers for an Energy Efficient Life

5. Greet Individuals

Recipient: “Dear Jacky”? That’s me. They’ve taken the trouble to use the info I submitted so what do they have to say to me.

Remember you’re communicating with people, not an inbox. If you’ve made the effort to collect names for your email list, use them. Everyone likes to see their name in lights (or at least at the top of a page) and is likely to read on if they feel valued.

6. Keep It Simple

Recipient: I know your company covers a lot of topics but I don’t have a lot of time. I’m going to skim this email and see if there’s anything that looks interesting.

If an item is worthy of making it to a newsletter, it’d better be engaging for the reader. If you present more than one idea per newsletter, make use of links to the full content on your website.

As a rule of thumb, if you can get the gist of any newsletter by reading the eye-catching subheadings and bold font for keywords, then it’s good.
You don’t have to cram every piece of news into your newsletter. Using an enticing link for readers to follow can generate traffic to your website.

7. Avoid Trapping

There’s nothing worse than feeling trapped and not being able to opt out of an email subscription is like a trap. Even if they won’t use it, have an unsubscribe link to gain trust and integrity. Other useful links in the footer include a forward function so the news can be shared and of course a link to an appropriate landing page on your website.

8. Topical Choice

What you write about in your email must be relevant and valuable to the reader, not to you. It’s important to research what your readership wants and then supply that in order to gain and keep up the interest.

9. Visual Decor

Test your market to find out what the best time of day and week is to send an email. Send it in the format they can read i.e. html or plain text. It’s simple enough to set up so make it readable when it hits their inbox.

10. Mix and Mingle

An email campaign, or any other marketing tactic for that matter, is stronger if integrated with other marketing activities – online or offline. For example, a shoe shopper reads the email and clicks through to the website where they get more exposure to the company and the detailed product information they seek. More browsing locates a nearby store which directs them to the store, in front of a floor salesperson = sale.
Say you’re running a recruitment drive for the month. Communicate this in all your correspondence – even billing mail. This cross-over makes use of existing communication channels and reinforces the message.

11. Happy Guests

In another item, I explain the importance of measuring marketing tactics. What can be measured in an email campaign to assess success?
• The number of emails delivered
• Number of soft and hard bounces
• Number of emails opened
• Number of unsubscribes
• Number of forwards
• Click-through rates and conversion

With so many individuals and companies using email marketing, many readers are feeling overloaded. Use the above guidelines to create interesting, useful, quality emails that will be read.

Happy email-ing!
Claudine at Triquetra Consulting

Public Relations Online: 6 Steps to Success

communication tactics to boost business reputationTraditionally, Public Relations centres around submitting press releases and letting people know what your company / brand is up to. Newsflash: they no longer care. Read more…