Marketing Start-Ups: Key Strategies for New Businesses

The following is a roundup on the common themes that have emerged as key marketing strategies for new business:

Be purposeful.

In order to establish yourself as a thought leader, be purposeful in your strategy. Don’t do something just to check a box. Before you decide to jump on an initiative, take a step back to evaluate the following:

(1) Does the initiative help establish credibility for your brand?

(2) Will you be reaching influencers and decision makers?

(3) How you will measure success?

This mentality helps to frame future marketing decisions, leading to more successful efforts overall.  Take social media as an example. If you want to ‘do’ social media, make sure it serves a purpose for your company. You must select the right channel(s) to focus on – Facebook may not be the optimal channel for your company — and have a unique point of view to share.

New tactics: Make them happen quickly.

If you want to try a new marketing tactic, you must put yourself and your team on an aggressive timeline. This even holds true for those of you that work in an environment that has complex organizational hierarchies and legal processes; it just means that you will need to get your part done even quicker.  New tactics often get pushed to the back burner as one gets absorbed in putting energy and resources behind tried and tested ideas. However, these new tactics are what could change the course and success of your marketing efforts.

Use trial and error, then scale.

When executing new initiatives, embrace the process of trial and error. Carefully watch the results of the initiative, and if it works, double down. If it doesn’t work, tweak it, try again, and drop it if it ultimately doesn’t work. This tactic has been used by many successful companies to reach and/or expand their customer base, and it certainly applies to marketing and PR initiatives as well.

Improve what already is working.

This may seem obvious. But when a marketing tactic is working, it’s easy and tempting to say, “don’t fix what’s not broken.” Even when something is working, it’s important to fine tune your approach to ensure you’re putting forth your best possible marketing efforts. You may be weary at first, thinking you might mess up a good thing, but you will likely discover a more efficient, innovative process along the way.

Regardless of whether you’re at a lean startup or a large corporation, you will face limitations as a marketer. Above all, the biggest lesson learned from startups is that you have to be open to trying new and unconventional tactics. Be aggressive and flexible and your company will prosper for the approach.

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Inspire Your Customers to Call You

To win in today’s competitive business world, it matter little what niche your business is in … the basics to growing your business remains the same … think outside the box and be a step ahead of your competition. Let your customers know what you do, how you do it and that you do it better or cheaper or with more quality and customer service than your competition.

You need to bring customers to your door (or website or phone lines). One traditional way to do that is to do something different that stands out from your competition.

It could be something as traditional as sending a monthly postcard instead of a hard copy newsletter. Self-printed cost could be less than $0.50 ea. including the stamp. Make it fun and colorful with a strong “Call to Action” title, such as: “50 reasons for you to call us”. List 10-to-20 reasons, and invite them to call you for the other 30. Give them your skills, talents, tasks and a few top quantifiable reasons, then leave a deal-closer on your complete list to tell them when they visit the site or call you. Invite them to get a freebie if they call … a coupon for a discount, or some coffee or K-cups or a tool or a solar paperweight … something fun to inspire them to call. Three Marketiers can help you create, design and print your Call to Action campaign, so you can call us to help if you are out of ideas.

Gifting loyal customers also makes sense. To keep customers loyal to you, instead of a frequent buyer program, send your customers small “surprise” gifts. Customers come to expect rewards when they are members of a program. Surprises always work to instill loyalty and retention. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that promotional items are only for conferences and tradeshows. When given out with (or in place of) a business card at a lunch, a meeting or in passing, small promotional items become a gift. People expect free stuff at conferences, they don’t expect gifts. Keep a small, branded (and useful) item with you. You can be sure they’ll remember you. They don’t have to be expensive. Tip calculator cards, tea bags, pens and pads, bottled water, post-it notes, drinkware, mousepads, bags and totes, small flashlights or things very target specific to your industry, such as small tools for a local plumber or supply house, or packets of flower seeds for a gardener or landscaper with their contact information on it. Three Marketiers can help you with inventive Promotional Items and Advertising Specialties … check out our Line Card.

And customers like doing business with “Good People.”  Be a good person … donate several of your products or services to a non-profit organization that is sponsoring a live auction and the proceeds will be donated to the charity. Your store name will be displayed on the products for the duration of the event and the donation is tax deductible. Plus, you’ll be helping others.

These are just three ideas … there are countless more and we will share some of them with you in future blogs … or call us and we will share them with you to help you inspire YOUR customers to call YOU.

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Defining Your Company with a Corporate Magazine

Corporate magazines can do more than provide a catalog of goods and services. They can tell your company story, firmly define and entrench your brand, stimulate sales and foster the brand loyalty that market leaders enjoy.

Today’s custom publishing no longer has the look of brochureware. It is a relationship-building, high-quality information vessel that brings your brand to life.

Ads within the magazine can work in harmony with your magazine focus to promote greater sales, and these ads can help serve to give the company putting out the magazine an immediate return on investment. With relevant content ideas, staying true to the brand’s personality and high-quality messages and design, a company magazine can be one of the most effective tools in your marketing arsenal. It’s a delicate balance, and that is why the process demands a dedicated team with an expertise in custom publishing, and that is why Three Marketiers has been successful in building strong Corporate Magazines.

Statistics show that clients look to Corporate Magazines for key company information – from industry news to identification of trends and product information. These magazines are convenient, tangible products with good table life, which sales staff can use as effective marketing tools. Additionally, as a result of manufacturer support, these magazines can be produced at little or no cost. Call Three Marketiers to find out how.

These multi-page capabilities brochures can cement relationships by highlighting clients, vendors, distributors and customers. Can sell more product and highlight more products, going into detail, giving historical backgrounds and adding personality to the companies, the people behind the companies and the products.

And NOW, we can bring your magazine or brochure to countless prospects and customers digitally, either embedded in e-mails, sent directly to computers, iPads or Smart Phones, and linked in such social marketing venues as FaceBook, LinkedIn or Naymz. We can even put your audio advertisement directly in the magazine or brochure and tie it into your website or the website of any advertisers or sponsors in your magazine.

What have your experiences been with Corporate Magazines? Do you believe in them or are you moving toward other means of marketing? Email us atmikeb@threemarketiers.com to share your comments.

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Marketing Strategies. Preparing your company for battle

To better prepare your business for the world of consumer and B2B sales success, every company, no matter how large or small, needs a marketing strategy. Simply put, marketing strategy is the process by which you inform the marketplace of your existence, your goods, services, capabilities and positive factors. This information and contact with your target buyers is disseminated with the goal of increasing sales and achieving a sustainable competitive advantage. Marketing strategy includes all basic and long-term activities in the field of marketing that deal with the analysis of the strategic initial situation of a company. The plan also should include the formulation, evaluation and selection of market-oriented strategies to contribute to the goals of the company and its marketing objectives.

Marketing strategies serve as the fundamental underpinning of marketing plans designed to fill market needs and reach marketing objectives. Commonly, marketing strategies are developed as multi-year plans, with a tactical plan detailing specific actions to be accomplished in the current year. Time horizons covered by the marketing plan vary by company, by industry, and by nation, however, time horizons are becoming shorter as the speed of change in the environment increases. Marketing strategies are dynamic and interactive and should be flexible, to consider changing marketplaces, technologies, economics and competition. They are partially planned and partially unplanned.

A key component of marketing strategy is often to keep marketing in line with a company’s overarching mission statement.

Marketing strategies may differ depending on the unique situation of the individual business. There are many, but one such strategy is the one based on market dominance – In this scheme, firms are classified based on their market share or dominance of an industry. Typically there are four types of market dominance strategies:

  • Leader
  • Challenger
  • Follower
  • Nicher

Then, the plan should consider whether you are introducing your product or goods and services whether you are in a growth mode – early growth or mature growth, whether your sales are in decline – as often happen with mature companies, and whether you have new or innovative concepts, products or services that you believe will take the market by storm.

The plan should also include “real-life” marketing scenarios utilizing common sense, your knowledge or the marketplace and competition, what new products are on the horizon, and how the design of your advertising as well as the packaging will be accepted by your target buyers. For this, successful marketers use a combination of knowledge, experience and feel, or intuition.

A successful organization’s strategy combines all of its marketing goals into one comprehensive plan. A good marketing strategy should be drawn from market research and focus on the right product mix in order to achieve the maximum profit potential and sustain the business. The marketing strategy is the foundation of a marketing plan.

And successful companies seldom try to do it alone. They use their internal knowledge and talent base and they seek and utilize to expertise of experts in the field they can go to to help develop and flesh out the plan and put it into motion with such vehicles as print media and creative ad design, brochures and folders, corporate magazines, corporate identity packages, logo design or re-design, website utilization, social marketing, promotional products and advertising specialties and complete marketing campaigns. If your company needs to add expertise, implementation and follow-through on any of these programs, contact Three Marketiers today at 800-733-1967.

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Choosing a Boutique Marketing Firm Over a Larger One

Boutique used to mean a small store selling fashionable clothes or accessories. Now the term has expanded to include a business that serves a sophisticated or specialized clientele. The term “boutique” also now applies to marketing, public relations and advertising companies that are smaller, deliver more personalized campaigns and are more cost-effective than larger agencies. The term can also be used to define different aspects of marketing in different respects. In advertising, a boutique agency is often characterized by its attention to the creative end of advertisements. Focusing further, in the creative niche, such an agency is thought to concentrate on a limited client list while providing specialized and personalized service and approaches.

In the past, the trend for companies in need of marketing expertise, was to go to one of the “big boys”. But in today’s fast-paced, trend-setting, social marketing and new-school marketing world, the industry is trending away from traditional tactics, such as billboards and commercials, to much more unique and cutting-edge strategies like Twitter campaigns and grassroots events. Print is still a big player, but electronic media is making strong inroads. It is these daily quick-reaction campaigns that lend themselves to boutique agencies and their reactive small teams. niche knowledge and personalized attention to each client’s distinctive needs. The key to a boutique marketing agency’s success is its ability to adapt and make quick changes to correspond to a quick-changing marketplace, or to think outside the box and deliver new means of reaching and attracting target buyers for the company they are campaigning for. Where a larger team often requires multiple levels of creation and approval, a smaller team can work directly with the client and deliver more quickly for faster results on the campaign.

In addition, with a smaller firm, the client has more flexibility to pick and choose which services they really want, rather than to be on the hook for things they don’t want or feel they need.

Three Marketiers is a boutique agency and if you check out our website: http://threemarketiers.net/ you can see what we do and why we do it.

As an overview:

We believe that every client is alike in only one way … they each have their own unique marketing challenges. Our purpose is to define and overcome those challenges by creating solutions that work.

Serving our clients for a quarter-century, our in-house marketing team provides a comprehensive line-up of services. This allows us to control each project in a manner that produces on-target, on-time, and on-budget results. The limited number of specialized, outsourced professionals that we use are time-tested, with outstanding track records, which ensures consistent performance.

Three Marketiers is a boutique shop that focuses on the client and their specific needs, from individual print material to full-blown marketing campaigns to digital and social media integration. We can integrate web print, digital and promotional products using our staff of  artists and writers. On the promotional side, we don’t outsource … our staff is full-time and we are dedicated to you.

Three Marketiers is not a high-priced New York or Chicago agency, paying for high-rent Madison Avenue, Wacker Drive or Michigan Avenue addresses. We bring our clients sophistication, contemporary, old-school and cutting-edge ideas and approaches for value. You get more bang for your buck with Three Marketiers.

Whether your needs are for a small quantity of advertising specialty items, a tri-fold flyer, a full capabilities brochure, or a quality printed corporate magazine with an online digital application, you can expect and will receive the service level commensurate with that of a seasoned marketing team.

We Listen. We Process. We Create … For 25 years we have provided a spectrum of marketing services that our clients employ adjunct to their internal marketing capabilities, on an as-needed basis. Our longevity is a tribute to the success of our clients.

For more information or for your next advertising campaign, a personalized trade magazine or even your next single ad or ad buy, contact us today at 301-791-6555 ext. 102.

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Trade Magazines: An Advertising Marketplace

One advantage of Trade magazines is their ability to act as the advertising marketplace for all goods and services within an industry. Trade journals offer advertisers a high level of certainty their target audiences will receive their advertisements.

Trade publications have a very good return on investment (ROI) story to tell advertisers. The value of trade magazines can be traced to three inherent qualities that they provide to their advertisers:

Trade publications deliver a very focused and selective professional demographic in their audience.

The primary readers of trade publications are middle and senior management who exercise a great deal of purchasing behavior in appropriate product categories. Trade publications typically deliver a reader audience that not only are very focused on professional demographics but has the professional behavior relevant to appropriate advertisers.

We believe that advertising in Trade Magazines is often the strongest way to reach and engage the core business audience and we can help you create your own Trade Magazine or help you place your ads and strategize in Trade Magazines. Do you have any thoughts on the subject or any success stories? Email us at mikeb@threemarketiers.com to share your comments or contact us for starting your own programs.

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