JUMPSTART 2018 STEP 1: Defining And Prioritizing Annual 2018 MARKETING GOALS – So, What Are You Actually Looking to Accomplish This Year?

Value Proposition & Brand Positioning

JUMPSTART STEP 6: VALUE PROPOSITION & BRAND POSITIONING

How to Create a B2B Value Proposition that Rocks

Up until now, every step of the JumpStart plan has been all about discovery. Discovery of what you want to accomplish, who you should be talking to, how your past efforts are working, what your competition is up to and how your internal teams think you’re doing. Now we start to bring all of that together with your value proposition. So let’s talk about how to create a B2B value proposition and what exactly that is.

A value proposition tells your prospective customers why they should choose your business over your competitors, and what makes your services unique and better than other options.

By thinking about all of the factors you’ve been evaluating, your value proposition should start to become obvious. Take everything you’ve discovered, and think about what stands out about your business.

  • JUMPSTART STEP 6: VALUE PROPOSITION & BRAND POSITIONING How to Create a B2B Value Proposition that RocksWhat did your sales people tell you about the competition?
  • What areas of differentiation did the competitive review highlight?
  • What does your target audience want to hear?
  • What has resonated and worked in the past?

Now, align that with what you know you do well, and it all starts to come together.

We’re not talking about creating one perfect statement that does it all. You’re going to want to edit and tweak it to different audiences, channels, etc. A value proposition can include a few pieces that you put together in multiple ways for different purposes. It can help to break those pieces down into core values and the brand promise.

Core values are the building blocks of your brand. Why do you do what you do? How do you do it? These are what you believe in as a company. By connecting them to each other (via everything you’ve already discovered about your business), you can come up with your brand promise. This simple statement should encompass your core values and easily say what makes you special.

Often, the trickiest part of defining core values and brand promise is getting consensus from the decision makers of your business. After all, your company can be something pretty different to all of the members of your C-suite, board or even marketing team. But by going back to the research and all you’ve discovered by following the JumpStart steps, you should be able to distill it into words and statements that make sense on a broader scale for your business.

By combining those pieces with great marketing writing, creativity and strategy, you will be able to communicate your value proposition in any situation and bring it to life. Whether it’s on your website, a trade show display, print materials, digital advertisements, social media or in a presentation to a prospect, your value proposition should be front and center, leading the way.

 

Want someone else to pull it all together for you? Our team of experts is happy to help!  Put POM On It >

JUMPSTART 2018 STEP 1: Defining And Prioritizing Annual 2018 MARKETING GOALS – So, What Are You Actually Looking to Accomplish This Year?

Sales Team Market Insights

JUMPSTART STEP 5: SALES TEAM MARKET INSIGHTS

Tap Your Most Valuable Resource for Insights…Your Sales Team!

Sales and marketing obviously go hand in hand, so you don’t want to develop your marketing plan without involving the sales side of your organization. One of the best ways to do that is by digging into your sales team’s market insights. You can find out a lot about how your marketing efforts are (and aren’t) working by talking to the sales team. They’ll also provide valuable insight into your current and prospective clients as well as your competitors.

How do you go about organizing all of these opinions? We’ve found the most efficient method is via individual interviews with sales team members. It can be helpful to have an outsider perform these so everyone can speak freely and honestly. We have done countless interviews with our clients’ employees and sales teams, and we’d be happy to do the same for you! Just reach out to us via the form here.

Want to give it a shot yourself? Here are some examples of the types of questions we typically ask. You should spend some time ahead of the interviews thinking about what areas you really want to cover, and then customize this question list to match your needs. Some of the answers to these questions probably seem obvious to you – if you know the sales team is on the same page as you and your marketing team, you can skip those. But it may be helpful to get their perspective to be sure! And make sure to note who you’re speaking with and what their specific role in sales is when you’re documenting these interviews.

Click the image below to get your own copy of this question checklist!

JUMPSTART STEP 5: SALES TEAM MARKET INSIGHTS Tap Your Most Valuable Resource for Insights… Your Sales Team!

Questions to Help You Get Started on Gathering Sales Team Market Insights

  1. Background Info
    1. What is your elevator speech?
    2. Who are your top competitors?
    3. What do you feel is the current perception of your company in the marketplace?
  2. Sales & Marketing Challenges
    1. What are your top sales and marketing challenges?
    2. How do you think these challenges need to be addressed?
  3. Current Clients & Prospective Clients
    1. Who are your current clients?
    2. What are their typical pain points?
    3. How were most acquired?
    4. Who are you typically communicating with within an organization?
    5. Who are your ideal prospective clients?
  4. Sales Process
    1. What is your typical sales process?
    2. What tools are you using to sell?
    3. Do you feel you have the sales tools you need?
    4. How do you nurture sales that are in the pipeline?
    5. What is your most difficult weakness or obstacle(s) to overcome in closing the sale?
  5. Website Objectives & Requirements
    1. Do you feel the website effectively communicates your company’s brand and offerings?
    2. What actions do we want people to take when they go to your website?

Once you’ve completed interviews from enough team members (that could just be a representative group if you’re a large company, or it could be every salesperson if you’re smaller), pull out the highlights and comments that really stood out to you. It can be helpful to compile a master list of the questions with the notable takeaways from multiple contributors. You should come away with clear direction on where you need to make some changes to your marketing plan or where you may need to re-focus your energy.

Want some outside help interviewing your sales team? Don’t want to spend all that time wading through their answers for the helpful insights? Pomerantz Marketing has the expertise you need. >Put Pom On It

JUMPSTART 2018 STEP 1: Defining And Prioritizing Annual 2018 MARKETING GOALS – So, What Are You Actually Looking to Accomplish This Year?

B2B Online Competitive Analysis

JUMPSTART STEP 4: B2B ONLINE COMPETITIVE ANALYSIS

How Well is Your Competition Getting Their Message Out There?

When you’re trying to get your own marketing in order, performing an audit of your competitors’ online presence can be really helpful. Especially if you’re still trying to fine tune your own voice and place in the market, knowing what others are doing and saying is key. So let’s talk about what goes into a B2B online competitive analysis and outline the important areas to cover.

The first step in performing a competitor audit is to identify your major competitors. You want to choose enough to get a broad view of your market, but not too many that the task will overwhelm you. We’ve found 5-7 to be the sweet spot. Make sure to pick a few companies that you actually compete with who are similar in size and geography to you. It’s also helpful to include a few “reach” competitors – the leaders of your industry or those performing at the top of the game.

Once you have your list (it’s a good idea to get input on that list from multiple people, by the way, so reach out to your business leaders, sales and even operations for their ideas), it’s time to start auditing! I know, that sounds kind of boring. But it really can be fun and absolutely will be helpful to developing your own marketing plan.

Where to begin? Here are the main areas to include in your review and analysis of your competitors plus a template to help you organize your thoughts.

JUMPSTART Step 4: B2B ONLINE COMPETITIVE ANALYSIS How Well is Your Competition Getting Their Message Out There?

1. Communication and Messaging Strategy

In order to ensure your own messaging is authentic and relevant, you need to know what others are saying. The best way to get a good grasp on your competitors’ communication strategy is to dig into their websites. Read their home pages especially closely, and note what they’re emphasizing there.
After that, click through their site menus. Note what gets the most real estate and what doesn’t. If they have callouts, headers or other areas that are highlighted, pay attention to what they’re saying and how they say it. Take note of any customer promises and claims. Are they really speaking to their audience and their pain points, or are they only talking about how great they are? Put on your critic’s hat and really think about what they’re trying to say and if it’s successful.

Also spend some time checking out their social media profiles. What is the intensity of their activity in each channel? Does the messaging and tone of voice align with what’s on their website? Are there areas they’re missing or things they’re doing particularly well? By focusing on the specifics here, you may find new opportunities for your own business to stand out.

2. Target Audiences and Segments

When you’re reading through the site, see if it’s easy to identify who they’re targeting. Are there industries or verticals that they call out specifically? Do they appear to have especially good credibility or business with one segment more than others?

If you’ve already spent some time honing your target audiences and personas, you have some good background knowledge in this area. Figure out if your competitors are doing the same thing by reading their content closely and looking for signs of who they may be targeting.

3. Service Offerings

While you and your sales team probably already know a fair amount about your competitors’ service offerings, it’s always interesting to see how they portray themselves. We’ve often found that companies portray their expertise differently from reality. List the service offerings they give the most importance on their site and review them with the sales team – does it align with what they know about the competitor? If so, it’s good to know the basics of what they do; if not, those may be areas they’re hoping to expand.

Note their strengths, weaknesses and unique offerings. Do you think they’re doing everything well or spreading themselves too thin?

4. Areas for Differentiation

Identify areas for differentiation as you’re analyzing their online presence. Write up some notes on overall takeaways or generalities that have come through during your audit. Use all of this information to perform a SWOT analysis. Mapping all of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats for each competitor will really highlight differentiation opportunities.

When you look at all of the competitor audits together, you should find some gaps that leave openings for your business to shine! What are they doing that you want to do in your own (better) way? What are they not doing that leaves space for differentiation? From there, it will be much easier to develop your own messaging and online presence that is unique, true to your business and tailored to your own strengths and audiences.

Looking for help performing your own competitive analysis? Rather have someone take your marketing planning off your plate? Put POM On It! 

JUMPSTART 2018 STEP 1: Defining And Prioritizing Annual 2018 MARKETING GOALS – So, What Are You Actually Looking to Accomplish This Year?

Online Presence Assessment of Marketing Performance

JUMPSTART 2018 STEP 3: Online Presence Assessment of Marketing Performance

Time for a Reality Check: Is Your Current Online Marketing Presence Doing Anything for You?

It’s time to take stock of your marketing efforts in the past and present. In order to make a new plan going forward, it’s important to evaluate what has and hasn’t worked for you thus far. Especially if you’re working with outside help to JumpStart your marketing, or if you have new team members, you should gather up examples of past efforts so you’re all starting on the same page. A key part of this is an online presence assessment – in today’s world, that’s where most people find your company for the first time, so it’s a good place to start.

The easiest way to begin? Google. Google your company and key offerings and see what pops up. Hopefully, your website will be in the first couple of results for your name. If not, then we’d recommend you put your website at the top of your priority list for 2018. Even if your website does show up at the top, you should spend some time on it with a critical eye. After all, a website is never complete. It’s a living thing that constantly needs updating, improving and attention.

There are four main areas to think about when doing an online audit of your website and social media channels: design, content, performance and analysis.

JUMPSTART 2018 STEP 3: ONLINE PRESENCE ASSESSMENT OF MARKETING PERFORMANCE Time for a Reality Check: Is Your Current Online Marketing Presence Doing Anything for You? Pomerantz Marketing

Design

First of all, how does you look online? Review your site design to make sure it’s engaging, customer-centric and modern. There’s nothing like out-of-date design to immediately turn a new visitor away. When you’re checking out a new-to-you site, don’t you immediately judge that book by its cover? If a site looks old-fashioned or just plain boring, visitors may think your company is unsophisticated or at the very least doesn’t care about the details.

Also, note how the design of your site looks on all devices – is it responsive to desktop, mobile and tablets? It needs to be; more and more visitors (up to 80%!) are now checking out websites from their mobile devices. Your site should look good on all platforms, and responsive design is the best way to make that happen.

Your social graphics, including your profile images and other pieces you post and share, should also be a unified, modern design. Everything you put out there is a reflection of your business. First impressions mean a lot online, and visitors often take what they see at face value. It’s just like dressing for success – make sure you’re presenting your business in the best way possible!

Content

When you Google your company, make note of any other results you find, from social media to articles to outside reviews. It’s important to document what you find, since you’ll be working to make improvements and want to be able to show progress.

For your social media channels, look at what you’ve been posting. Are you consistent? Does your tone of voice reflect who you are and make sense for that channel? Do people engage with you? Like it or not, people judge your company based on your social media presence and website, so make sure you’re presenting a united front.

If you find outside articles and reviews, are you happy with what others are saying about you? Do you think it needs improvement? Maybe you’ll want to focus on building up your positive reviews as part of your 2018 marketing efforts.

When it comes time to develop new content for your site, be strategic. Make keyword research the cornerstone of your content development, and stick to it. Optimize your current pages and be prepared to do the same for any new blogs posts, content offers or pages you add to the site. Staying consistent with your keyword strategy will make Google happy, which means you’ll see better rankings!

Performance

It can be especially helpful to have someone who isn’t close to the development or management of your site audit it. Look at user experience, make sure everything works and really think about whether or not your site has all the information someone would hope to find there. Does your site represent all you do? Is it responsive?

Make sure the back end of your site is also buttoned up – you want to be sure its programmed and identified in a way that enables your site to be easily read by search engines. This is one area where hiring an outside expert can be really valuable, as the algorithms the search engines are programmed for are constantly changing.

Analysis

The key to successful analysis is to get a full picture of your online presence. Having Google Analytics running on your website is the first step. You’ll be able see where your site traffic is coming from, what pages they’re visiting, where they exit from, links clicked, keywords used, demographics and more.

Analytics become really useful when you have a good baseline of data to compare. You want to compare information in an apples-to-apples way (be it period vs. period or year over year) so you can see gains or losses.

Make sure you’ve also identified conversion pages on your site and set goals in Google Analytics so you can track how any inbound marketing you’re doing is actually working. You can even assign a dollar amount to the conversion page for real insight into your ROI.

If you’ve been doing any digital advertising, document what you’ve spent and what your ads look like. Pull data on performance from your ad source (whether it’s Facebook, Google or something else), and give it a hard look. Is it worth your money? Are there areas for improvement?

Again, you want a good baseline to compare against once you’ve enacted your 2018 marketing plan. If you’ve set up your analytics and gathered all of the data you’ll need to judge your performance early this year, you’ll have that baseline by the end of 2018 to really see what’s working.

JUMPSTART 2018 STEP 1: Defining And Prioritizing Annual 2018 MARKETING GOALS – So, What Are You Actually Looking to Accomplish This Year?

B2B Target Market Personas

JUMPSTART 2018 STEP 2: B2B Target Market Personas

Step Back and Ask Yourself: Who Am I Really Trying to Reach?

In the B2B world, it can be tricky to nail down exactly who makes up your target audience. Sure, it’s easy enough to list off your dream client companies or the industries they’re in, but who specifically is going to make the decision to hire you? Defining your target audience is not just about a list of companies; instead, you need to be specific about who the decision-makers are. By creating detailed B2B target market personas, you’ll allow yourself to speak directly to the needs and wants of those in charge.

So, what exactly is a target market persona, and why is it especially important in B2B marketing?

Basically, a persona is a representation of a typical person within your target market or audience. It’s a detailed description of an example contact’s background, job responsibilities, likes, goals, challenges and more that makes them who they are and factors into how they make decisions.

Looking at these specifics can really help you understand your potential customers’ needs and enable you to speak to how you can solve their problems. For B2C companies, this is often pretty simple – you have a product that this specific person needs or wants. But as a B2B business, you’re not selling to one person – you’re selling to an entire company. Obviously, the entire company isn’t making the decision to hire you. Instead, one person or a small group of people within that larger company will be pulling the trigger. That’s who you need to tailor your messaging to, but it can be difficult to get started.

How do you begin to develop B2B target market personas, then?

We recently went through this exercise again (it’s important to constantly look at your personas to refine them and make edits as your business changes), and we found the best way to start is by using your current customers for the initial framework.

(By the way, it can really help to have someone outside your own business facilitate this process. If you’d like us to help guide you through, reach out!)

Think about your clients, and pick a few that are pretty different from each other. Maybe they differ based on size, structure or even who your main point of contact is. The key here is to develop a solid group of three to four individuals who are generally representative of your client base.

JUMPSTART 2018 STEP 2: B2B Target Market Personas Step Back and Ask Yourself: Who Am I Really Trying to Reach?From there, it’s time to build your personas. Here’s an easy-to-use downloadable template you can use as a worksheet to develop your personas.

These are the main areas we covered and questions to answer about each persona:

1. Background: title, industry, experience level, team reports to
2. Sources for Info: favorite publications, social networks and associations, and how they like to receive info
3. Job role: responsibilities, tools/resources needed, sources of pain/frustration, and how their success is measured

It’s important to be very specific, but if you’re working from a real person, you should also think about additional characteristics to add that may apply to someone similar to them. Work with a few people on your team to develop these personas to make sure you’ve got a well-rounded picture. It can be helpful to give your personas catchy names that describe them, so you’ll have something easy to refer to when developing your marketing strategy and messaging.

Of course, it’s still important to look at the bigger picture, too. Don’t throw out that list of dream client companies – just dig into it a little deeper. You should still develop marketing messaging and content that speaks specifically to target markets – the type of companies you want to hire you or buy your product or service, whether based on industry, location, size, etc. The key here is to use that as a starting place and let the insights gained from developing your target personas help further define and hone your message.

If you do, you’ll be able to start marketing from a solid base – a great foundation to JumpStart your marketing!

Did you miss Part 1 of JumpStart 2018? Read now to get help developing your marketing goals. And keep an eye out for Part 3, all about analyzing your current marketing performance, coming soon.

JUMPSTART 2018 STEP 1: Defining And Prioritizing Annual 2018 MARKETING GOALS – So, What Are You Actually Looking to Accomplish This Year?

Defining and Prioritizing Annual 2018 Marketing Goals

JUMPSTART 2018 STEP 1: Defining and Prioritizing Annual 2018 Marketing Goals

So, What Are You Actually Looking to Accomplish This Year?

Welcome to JUMPSTART 2018! JUMPSTART 2018 is your marketing roadmap created by the experts at Pomerantz Marketing to help you kick your marketing into high gear in 2018. For more information about this series, visit https://pomagency.com/jumpstart/. And read on for Step 1: Defining And Prioritizing Annual 2018 Marketing Goals

With a new year comes the opportunity for new goals. Now’s your chance to really figure out what you need to focus on to make your marketing the best its ever been.

But defining and prioritizing your annual 2018 marketing goals can seem daunting – after all, there are so many channels to focus on, tons of tools available, countless people to answer to and things are constantly changing. Where do you start? How do you ensure your goals are helping you and not just making your job harder?

The experts at Pomerantz know how to help you answer those questions and create a plan for defining and prioritizing your marketing goals – it’s what we do! Here are some valuable tips to help you get your head around your goals. (pssst…don’t want to try it on your own? Reach out to our team now for help. Just fill out the form on the bottom of that page, and we’ll be in touch ASAP!)

Be Specific

It’s not enough to just say, “I want MORE” or “I want BETTER.” Sure, that may capture the general idea of what you want, but it’s not an achievable target. Isn’t half the fun of goals crossing them off your list once they’ve been reached? So put a number to it. Instead of just wanting MORE leads and sales or BETTER Google rankings and social media presence, define it.

Look to the Past

One of the best ways to start when it comes to defining goals is to look to your past performance. If you’ve been getting two leads a month for the past year, it’s not super realistic to think you can immediately jump to 100 a month. Back that number down a bit. What number seems realistic?

Think about what you’ve had to do in the past to get to where you are now. Are you willing and ready to contribute that amount of work and money multiple times over to achieve that goal?

Make it Challenging but Achievable

Still want to reach 100 leads a month? Think about how you can incrementally, realistically get there. Maybe state that you want to be getting 100 a month by the end of the year (and make sure you have the budget to back it up!) or by next year. Or if your company is growing and you have the budget to add to your support (internal or outsourced), hire the help you need.

Either way, make sure you’re thinking through how achievable your goals are. Goals need to challenge you and encourage you to work hard. But if they’re totally out of reach, you won’t put that much effort into it, knowing you’ll never reach them.

Start Big and Work Backward

Sticking with the 100 leads example, if you set that as your big goal for the year, create smaller goals that will contribute to its achievement. Perhaps you want to rank #1 for a few specific keywords that will drive potential leads to your site. Or maybe you want to provide three new, well-designed sales tools to your sales team to bring in leads.

Whatever your BIG GOAL for 2018 is, add a few supporting goals to help you get there. You’ll be making progress and have something to check off your list as the year passes.

Choose Goals that Get You Excited

Working toward a goal you don’t really care about won’t be nearly as successful as working on something in which you’re invested. Being authentic and true to your passions will lead to a much better result. Don’t just choose something because it sounds impressive to your bosses – they’re not the ones who’ll be working on it day in and day out. Find a way to align your passions to the ultimate business goals of your company.

Get the Team on Board

Finally, share that excitement! Get the team into the challenge and make sure you have their buy-in before you push a huge goal onto their plates. Being clear about your expectations of their involvement in achieving the goal will help them understand why they’re important to the process. You could even help them define their own goals in relation to your company’s larger goals.
On the flip side (and referenced above), you’ll also need to get your bosses, board or whomever you answer to invested in your goal. You’ll need their support (in finances, time or staffing) to meet your goal, and you want them to be just as excited about that target as you are.

Figure Out What Comes First

If you only set one big goal for the year and create smaller, supporting goals, prioritizing shouldn’t be too difficult. But if you have two, three or even four big goals (we don’t recommend having much more than that unless you have a whole lot of support), it can be challenging to know where to start.

Look at your whole list – does one jump out and scream, “Me first!” Maybe you recognize that it will give you the greatest return in the least amount of time, or maybe it’s the one your company is counting on the most. It could just be the one that gets your wheels turning – the one you immediately have the most ideas and excitement for.

You should also look at the day-to-day tasks you know need resources, and figure out which goal can fit in most easily to the resources you have available. Finally, you may just need to multitask and/or delegate. And if your goals are already overwhelming you, it’s time to go back to the beginning and refine that list. Or just hire more help!

Stay tuned for Part 2 of JUMPSTART 2018, where we’ll be talking all about target audiences!

Random Thoughts: Take Care of Your Site for Reliable Lead Generation

An Expression of Gratitude for On-the-Ball People

To begin this blog post, I want to start with the fact that Nancy, our keyword research specialist, okay’ed me writing occasional blog posts that are random thoughts and not strategically optimized with keywords. According to her, “it’s okay not to always be keyword focused; putting out fresh content is always good.” So here we go…

A couple of weeks ago I had dinner with my stepson Sam and nephew Michael at University of South Carolina (at a really cool restaurant called Mr. Friendly’s New Southern Cafe). We were with several other family members but I sat with them at the end of the table and we were able to get into deep conversation. We covered a lot of topics including college life, sports, travel, and what it takes to make it in today’s world.

As we delved into this topic, I told them that one of the soft skills that they should teach in college, for any major, is how to be responsive and on-the-ball in all dealings in the business world and in life. I told them that it’s one of the top things I look for when I am interviewing new employees, freelancers, vendors, etc. If someone isn’t responsive and can’t demonstrate that they have their act together, they strike out with me and my team very quickly. We have no patience and tolerance for bringing people into our fold who aren’t on-the-ball. I could see that when I expressed this point that their eyes were wide open and they were paying attention.

College students today are looking for a leg up in the business world in any way they can find it because it is tough out there and they know it. I told them that responsiveness has been one of the keys to my success in the business world. I believe this is absolutely true. It’s competitive out there in Marketing Land and my secret weapon has always been good (but not overdone) communication. I told them to think about a good customer service experience at a restaurant. The waiter anticipates your needs and is there to meet them just the right amount. They’re not coming over excessively so as to be annoying but they make your experience seamless and enjoyable. I also told them I waited A LOT of tables in my early twenties and it did me a lot of good in my career. Plus, the money was good.

So to bring this random thought (or wave of thoughts) full circle, as we head into Thanksgiving, I want to express my gratitude for the incredibly on-the-ball team at Pomerantz including our internal staff, freelancers and vendors. I am very lucky to work with such a focused, dedicated team of professionals.

Graphic Design That Is a Part of Overall Brand Strategy and Identity - Pomerantz Marketing

Marketing that Doesn’t Suck: Part 6

Example #6: Graphic Design That Is a Part of Overall Brand Strategy and Identity

Graphic Design That Is a Part of Overall Brand Strategy and Identity - Pomerantz Marketing

When you think about your company and how you present it to customers and potential customers, what stands out to you? If you’ve developed a good brand identity, this picture should develop clearly. Your brand should express what you provide to your customers, including their experience, your products or services, what makes your company unique and the values behind it. Now, think about the visual pieces you have to back this up – this is where graphic design strategy comes in. Do your presentations, your logo, your website and even your packaging fit in with that overall brand? For companies that really succeed with their branding, graphic design is an essential part of their overall strategy.

As an element of your branding, graphic design is the visual representation. Choices of colors and fonts can convey a playful image or a more serious one. A great logo can communicate so much about what you do and how you do it in an instant. Companies that appreciate this take it seriously and hire the right professionals to help produce the right designs.

An excellent graphic designer can take your brand identity and values into account and develop a visual representation that helps convey that message. You should be able to put into words what makes your company special – and a graphic designer can put that into imagery. The key distinction here? You’re not the designer, and the designer is not you. You must work together to understand each other’s knowledge base and skillset to come up with the ideal graphic design for your brand.

A professional designer who is part of your marketing team (whether in-house or part of an agency) that truly understands your brand is key to success. Hiring a freelancer for a one-off design may work in the short-term, but it’s not the best strategy for building and maintaining your brand identity. Here are a few of the main benefits of working with a great designer who understands your company:

  1. The right amount of push back = future brand success.  In this situation, the designer is comfortable enough with who you are to tell you you’re getting it wrong and to ask the right questions in order to get it right. They make sure they’re not just giving you what you want but that their designs fit in with your overall messaging.
  2. Long-term cost savings. By hitting the design nail on the head early on, you won’t waste time or money on designs that don’t pay off or fit into your brand strategy.
  3. Consistency. By working to develop the right graphic design for your brand from the beginning, you’ll have brand consistency well into the future. Of course individual designs will evolve, but with a strong base, your graphics will always represent who you are.

So instead of just hiring someone to fire off a new graphic for your company quick and dirty, think bigger. Think about how that design fits into your brand, and find the right marketing team and team members to execute that.

 

Don’t Let Your Company’s Marketing Suck.

Contact us to learn more about our Graphic Design Services >

Barely Keeping Your Brand Afloat by Refusing to Hire Graphic Design Experts

Marketing that Sucks: Part 6

Barely Keeping Your Brand Afloat by Refusing to Hire Graphic Design Experts - Marketing That Sucks - Pomerantz Marketing

Example #6: Barely Keeping Your Brand Afloat by Refusing to Hire Graphic Design Experts

Successful business people often think – correctly – that they know their business best. This sometimes translates into the assumption that they can thus do everything for their business better than outsiders. Guess what? Those people are wrong. Especially when it comes to marketing specialties like graphic design, which is an essential part of brand positioning, you really need to lose the ego and hire graphic design experts.

Here’s an example – I recently met with a company that is, by all accounts, very successful in their industry. But in order for them to really compete at the highest level for their business, their brand, particularly their graphic design, needed an overhaul. Their website, collateral, logo and more all looked out-of-date. They smartly decided they needed to hire a marketing team to help them move forward.

Then, they not-so-smartly ignored much of what we said and proceeded to share their own logo mockups and branding ideas. Their team members, none of whom have a background in marketing, let alone design, had sketched up some rough ideas. While there is, of course, value in hearing from the team, their mistake was in thinking they could do better than marketing and design professionals.

The takeaway? Just because you know your business well does not mean you can think like a marketer and create beautiful brand imagery like professional graphic design experts.

This team is still trying to make the badly needed updates to their brand, but because they’ve refused the help of marketing pros, they are behind on their deadline and still stuck where they were. So while they may be able to keep their brand afloat on their own, they’re definitely not going to make any waves in their industry.

 

Don’t Let Your Company’s Marketing Suck.

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Tracking and Proving That Your B2B Marketing Plan Works - Marketing That Doesn't Suck - Pomerantz Marketing

Marketing that Doesn’t Suck: Part 5

Tracking and Proving That Your B2B Marketing Plan Works - Marketing That Doesn't Suck - Pomerantz Marketing

Example #5: Tracking and Proving That Your B2B Marketing Plan Works

It takes a lot of time and effort to set up a successful B2B marketing plan, so once you’ve got those building blocks in place, track that success and prove that your strategy is solid. The most successful marketers are able to show what their strategy has achieved for their companies, and even more importantly, fix and improve on what could be better. Despite this, less than half of B2B marketers use analytics effectively.

With the tools available today, from Google Analytics to marketing automation software to call tracking, there are countless ways to measure the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. It’s easy to get busy with the day-to-day implementation and planning, but tracking is important. Make sure that your team formalizes what it measures, and set up metrics for both overall performance, such as YTD numbers, as well as metrics for individual program or specific campaign performance.

Here’s a pretty comprehensive list of metrics that you could be (should be) giving your attention. You can track everything from form fill-outs on your website, content downloads, demo requests and event sign-ups to calls via tracking numbers, which emails work better (try A/B testing a couple of different versions) and which banner ads or remarketing campaigns are succeeding. Successful marketers stay aware of the metrics that matter to their businesses, and they use the tools available to them to analyze and shift their strategies.

That leads to the second, and most important, part of this message: once you know what is and isn’t working, tweak and change your B2B marketing strategy and plans based on the data gathered. What’s the point in learning something isn’t working if you don’t make it better?

Constant improvement should be a key component of your B2B marketing plan. By measuring and paying attention to the metrics, you’ll see where you have gaps in your strategy or where a campaign has missed the mark. You can also show what is working, and apply the strategy behind those wins to other areas. This will allow you to align your strategy with industry benchmarks and meet the demands of marketplace.

This also means that you’ll spend your money wisely, refocusing resources where you know you’ll succeed. Your budget will thank you, and so will your CEO! Proving the value of your work also proves the value of you and your entire marketing team. Sounds like a win!

 

Need help tracking and proving the success of your B2B marketing campaign?

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