Business goals should drive your marketing

February 12, 2014 Leave a comment

When I meet with business owners, I first try to get some specific business goals from them. I ask them to advertising bullseyethink about their current customer base and how they would like to grow AND shape it. Attracting a greater number of new customers is not specific enough – What type of customers? For which of your products? Where is the greatest market opportunity? The first step is to decide exactly how you want your customer base and business to look like 1 or 2 years from now. The more specific goals you can set, the more targeted and effective your marketing communications will be. When you don’t base your marketing on business goals, your marketing activities are like casting a big net. Nets are big and easy to throw…but they are hard to target and are full of holes!  —  Darren Ballegeer

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Dropping the ball – wasted ad dollars

Dropping the ball – wasted ad dollars

New research points to an old reality – advertising dollars are often wasted when the goal is more about ‘brand ego’ than sales or relevant word-of-mouth. An ad that entertains has no guarantee that it will be effective marketing. With national or local ads, the first question should always be, ‘How will it facilitate the buying decision of my target market?’

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Define your customer target first

November 13, 2013 Leave a comment

No matter how unique and amazing your new business is, there is no guarantee that you will attract enough customers. If you have created something unique and have true confidence in your vision, you will attract customers if you have clearly defined who they are. You understand your business and its unique value, buDSC_0676t you need to clearly define who your business is for. Define who and where they are. Define their values, desires, needs and philosophy. The more precisely you can define them, the easier it will be to find and attract them. And you should define your target market before you launch your business. Define it, base your marketing plan on it, open your business, then communicate. Photo here of a waffle truck I saw recently in Bruges, Belgium.  -– Darren Ballegeer

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The truth about websites

September 17, 2013 Leave a comment

Most small business websites are static places that receive few visitors and are filled with content about the business – not about the customers or their stories, issues, benefits, etc. Also, most sites are designed to look good visually instead of being effective at communication – engaging and motivating visitors. And like most marketing tools, websites usually fail to answer the most important question to attract new customers – ‘Why should people do business with you versus your competitors?’ The answer to this question is central to a content program that should be developed before a website is designed. Such strategic content needs to be on your website, in your emails, on Facebook, etc.

Ultimately, a website should be a place that people want to visit and the site should convert a good percentage of visitors into customers.

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Things are changing. Smart businesses are responding.

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Test your marketing tools…and boost their impact

‘All marketing is local’, and all local marketing deals with the same challenges of attention, clarity, motivation and differentiation. brochure03
The process is easier than most people think, yet it is often avoided by small businesses and organizations. Our article this week attempts to simplify strategy with 3 simple questions.

Pleases let us know your answers after reviewing your marketing tools against these questions. Article is on our newspaper website here.

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Hot off the press – video of Vision Hispana Newspaper being printed

mailbox crophttp://www.printprojectmanager.com/2013/05/newspaper/

Vision Hispana being printed at Folger Graphics in Hayward, CA. Businesses of all kinds use Spanish-language print to capture their share of the huge Hispanic market.

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The Evolution of Hispanic Consumers & Hispanic Marketing

Interesting overview here from hacer.org of the evolution of Hispanic marketing, which remains a mystery for many business owners and managers. Hispanic consumerThe article oversimplifies the generational segments referenced, but overall it is a great history of social and marketing progress.  — Darren Ballegeer  http://www.hacer.org/usa/?p=2927

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Before you advertise to Hispanic consumers – Marketing Truth #12

We are currently speaking with several Bay Area businesses (a dental office, law firm, and a private school)advertising bullseye that are looking to advertise in Spanish – our first step is to help them target their outreach to maximize results. About 90 percent of local businesses and organizations we have worked with in the last ten years have been in need of basic targeting, which is necessary to maximize consumer response. Defining your consumer targets is a relatively easy process and one that should be done before you invest in advertising or other outreach. The following questions will give you an idea of our process to make sure an ad or other marketing tool is targeted.

  1. What kind of customers do you want? Who are they and how are they defined by their needs, habits, language use, and spending power?
  2. What aspects and benefits of your product/service most appeal to the target segment?
  3. What do targets need to make a decision to do business with you or request info?

Basically, targeting is like match-making. Make sure you are communicating to the right people with the right messages — whether you do or not will provide another example of Why marketing is like dating

— Darren Ballegeer, Elena Miramar – Vision Hispana Newspaper

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True Marketing Story #6 – Video Won’t Motivate New Customers

dentistTechnology cannot make up for a lack of marketing basics. A dentist office in Oakland, CA sent me a link to a new marketing video they are planning to run on local cable TV. Starring the dentist himself, the video looked pretty good…though like most local advertising, it failed to answer the most important question for the viewer- ‘Why should I choose this business over any other?’ It’s important to remember that whichever tool or channel you choose to market your business, the messaging content is the most important thing. It’s not the medium (channel) — it’s the message! – Darren Ballegeer

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