Covering Oceanside to Victoria

Monthly Archives: September 2015

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Content is King…still!

At StudioIMI, we have undertaken hundreds of successful articles for blogs, case studies, white papers, press releases and related business collateral. In the end, it really is about the effectiveness of these written pages. While tactics and concepts continue to evolve, content remains at the heart of most marketing campaigns.

Many companies understand the importance of grammatically correct, relevant articles that are posted on blogs and used to promote their social media presence. Unfortunately, many owners and executives mistakenly believe that the message is the main component. This has a little merit however, the “words” that relay the message are even more critical. Perfect spelling, grammar and relevant content count for more than passing Grade Eight English.

Today more than ever, search engine spiders have a huge impact on your website ranking and your social media perception in the market and require original, well-written content. We see the pieces put together by inexperienced writers and they sometimes can be rated from poorly written to embarrassing.  This is not the way you want your Brand to be recognized.

Simply put, to get the right eyeballs on your blog, article or marketing piece, you need to have your “A” game going. Otherwise, your message loses credibility and it becomes a waste of time and energy. Keywords are so important to insure your marketing efforts focus on the target demographic you want to gain as customers. Thousands of “impressions” look good to marketing analysts – yet, the right “impression” makes all the difference to your lead generation. Anyone who tells you differently is wrong. Technology is a great thing to deliver the message, however, that message must have impact, be error-free and be effective for the target audience.

Many experts, from brand marketers to advertising executives and media-measurement technicians will agree that great material is the foundation of their marketing fundamentals. The medium is important… the creative content piece is and will always be the core of the message.

In-house writers or outsourced contract writers offer two ways to get the job done properly. StudioIMI provides contract writing for clients across North America. We like this role because we see the big picture. Your market may be retail clothing and yet our experience comes from the financial, hospitality, recreation, real estate and of course retail industries as well. We can reference concepts from the successful campaigns of our entire client base to customize a program, specific to your marketplace. It works well and opens up new ideas and successful content delivery, that crosses many markets.

Your Brand deserves the very best. Your website, your social media campaigns, your case studies and your advertising pieces need to relay a common thread. Talented and imaginative content writers are hard to find. You don’t normally ask your chef to design pages for your website, you don’t ask your communications personnel to handle important sales. They just don’t have the skills and training. It is equally and even more important in today’s advertising strategies to have a professional writer to meet your specific needs.

Search Engine Optimizations relies so much on the page content of your website. Content that depends on professional keyword analysis to focus your marketing on the right words and phrases. Blogs also depend on this same set of keywords. The results from the analyses done in the beginning, mean you will be on the right track for your sustained marketing strategies. Google analytics can act as your tracking metrics and help you to make the necessary changes needed for every successful campaign.

For some advice on your content, please contact us anytime.

Craig Montgomery
778-440-3031   office
250-580-5250   mobile
or email us


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Is it Sales or Marketing?

social media strategyAt StudioIMI, we have been handling both “sales” and “marketing” for many clients over the years. There is a difference of course. Many organizations will mix these two distinct elements of a company into one. Most organizations have two separate departments to handle sales and marketing individually.

Some organizations  we work with  have a team of people focused on the marketing side. They have staff with extensive experience in social media functionality, for example. This is such an important part of the marketing presence these days and yet we are amazed at the number of times we see this handed over to a staff member “who took a 2 hour seminar” or “went to a workshop” and are thus qualified. This usually results in a real setback to the organization.

Unfortunately the reality of it is that to become an expert requires a degree or diploma, numerous, ongoing courses, experience and more training. In fact, a rookie can set your marketing back substantially if they use black hat tactics or simply don’t have the right approach. If your organization treats marketing this way, the results will be as expected…and wasted. It’s like promoting someone to be chef who can cook a great omelette but has little formal training. You just should not do this in a serious organization.

Effective marketing requires hiring experts, even if they are outsourced. tw-profilePL_400x400There are Google Analytics to read and understand, there is the complex keyword analysis to undertake, there are proper blog articles with the correct keyword implementation and so much more. Hiring a rookie to handle this important facet of marketing is simply not a decision that makes long term sense.

Because marketing covers a wide range of topics, StudioIMI looks at each organization individually and builds an effective campaign based on the unique needs of the client. There are many factors of course: is the company brand new? Does it have a history of marketing with the metrics for what has been working, what hasn’t? What is the budget allocated for the year? What is the target market and demographic?

I like to compare marketing to an eight cylinder engine. There are many ways a company can run marketing campaigns: websites, social media, PPC, SEO, signage, newspaper ads and more. Depending on the product and service, there are different combinations of marketing to be implemented. Test…test…and test some more. Small bites at first.

We currently  work with a company based across North America and Europe. They strongly believe in wrapped cars with their logo, phone number and graphics. These are effective for this business however they also run other marketing campaigns. This company is home-based and they are very successful, and the wrapped cars do help. They also spend a fair amount of money on SEO and PPC. They do not have bricks and mortar locations and as a result, have the luxury of spending more marketing money to drive leads.

guaranteed_successIn the end, marketing is the function of any organization that drives leads and builds the brand. Organizations that put the wrong people in these key roles are destined to see lead generation stagnate which results in sales having fewer prospects and eventually business slows down or stops completely. The brand also suffers.

StudioIMI
778-440-3031
Call us to discuss your own needs.


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Do You Understand Your Brand?

Tags :

Category : Brand , Clients

 

motorolaIn our twelve years of business consulting at StudioIMI, we have been asked to help with company Branding many times. In most cases it is very obvious what the brand is.  Some require more discovery and we approach this by investigating the business in terms of the vision, the known product or service, what the customers think and how the company is perceived.

My background in business included ten years as a Manager with Motorola, which is one of the more well-known brands (the bat wings) and this taught me the importance of branding efforts. In fact, Motorola an entire thick manual on how their logo is to be utilized and marketed.

I often go through this process as an observer with small groups representing the organization. They bring many disparate ideas of what their brand is. It is somewhat amusing to see the diversity of opinions and thoughts that are well meaning but quite inexperienced. Many are, from my perspective (thirty years of executive marketing), on the wrong track and can’t really effectively qualify the meaning of the organization’s brand. “Too many cooks” in a lot of situations.

In my humble opinion which I express when asked, the brand is usually quite a simple one:  a golf course has a intelsignature hole and related venues, an IT company has built it’s brand by providing on-time and effective software/hardware repairs, a restaurant has a particular dish that people love and return time and time again to enjoy.

To me, a brand does not represent extreme luxury, it is not prestige, it is not the staff (although this may be important)… it is the feeling of returning time and again to visit the business and make use of its products and services. The brand has some intangible aspects which are uncovered through interaction with clients, members, partners and prospects.

It does continue to amaze me that some organizations do not look for the solution that is right in front of them. They try to create the brand in their own mind’s eye instead of what the market perceives it to be.

Ask the customers who uses the venue what they think, ask the partners about their perceptions or experiences, ask the local market what they think of the organization. It only takes a relatively small amount of research to define the brand once these questions are answered.

philipsA brand absolutely includes the website, the logo, the collateral materials and related marketing pieces. Many aspects of any organization or business combine to define the brand. Unfortunately too many organizations overthink this and search for something too complex. They are forced to listen to a very few, empowered  individuals with minimal marketing experience or they just aim far too high. In the end, it is quite simple. The Executive Management team needs to check their ego at the door, seek answers to the right questions and take advantage of internal and external data points.

If you are struggling with Branding issues, StudioIMI can help. We have experience with more than 300 business across North America and Europe. Out team has experience working with organizations including: Intel, Philips, General Motors, Boeing, Home Hardware, RE/MAX, and many smaller companies as well. We are here to help when you are ready. Call us at 778-440-3031

 

 


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Successful Entrepreneurs

StudioIMI has been provided solutions to businesses for over twelve years. Our client base is diverse and we enjoy our relationship with them. The new markets we become involved in are often a result of our exposure to our other clients through reference as well as direct contact on our website. While we don’t like to refuse business opportunities, on occasion we come across clients who need help in different ways. Hospitality, real estate, recreation, education, finance, agriculture, nutrition and art are markets that interest us and result in more success.

We have met many types of entrepreneurs along the way. Some have an idea that has been with them for many years, some have changed jobs and are looking to build something on the creative side. The initial conversation usually qualifies whether we will have success with the person or team of people. Entrepreneurs come in all sizes: small, medium and large and sometimes extra-large. As the founder of StudioIMI, I have had the pleasure of speaking with business people who, along the way have become good friends. Some have been with us for twelve years and some have closed their businesses and moved on. We try to focus on the medium to large type of entrepreneurs as they tend to be thinking pragmatically, the way an entrepreneur should think to be successful.

Small business people can run a great business as well however it takes vision and forward thinking to launch an enterprise. In the beginning, money can be a big issue and there is usually not enough cash flow to get through the first year. We typically have to pass on these companies since it isn’t a great fit for our business model.

The extra-large business executive can be such a challenge and often the relationship can become strained. These people tend to gravitate from one idea to the next on a regular basis and it becomes impossible to create any king of focus and sustainability. Having over thirty years in business with large corporate entities like Motorola and Arrow Electronics, I have seen owners grow substantial businesses but have also seen executives crash and burn, taking many with them. Our experience guides us to stay away from these organizations and their ideas because it is not productive.

The calm and sensible approach is to create a business plan and stick with it for the first year. It is ok to be a little dynamic and make subtle adjustments however the business owner who has to fiddle and change things continually can be a disaster. We learn through our mistakes. Young entrepreneurs continually multi-task and feel the need to be active all the time. This can be one the biggest challenges they will ever face and some just don’t learn from the process.

The demographic we find that works best is one where the client has had a solid degree of business experience and is more prepared for the entrepreneurial world. It takes guts, sustained effort, a little luck and the ability to take on a mentor and listen to advice. Too many with inexperience don’t have this characteristic and burn through so many relationships.