Canada’s 150th Birthday

  • -

Canada’s 150th Birthday

Years ago friends of ours brought a CD to our cottage and we listened, for the first time, to this traditional and light-hearted song written and sung by the Arrogant Worms…  Hope you enjoy the song.

StudioIMI has been in business since 2003 and has worked with over 300 clients across North America. Our areas of expertise include: retail, B2B, franchises, hospitality, tourism, industrial, commercial and recreational. We have built web apps and help clients market their business.

Please contact us for more details.

250-580-5250

projects@studioimi.com


  • -

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.


  • -

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

 

 


  • -

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.


  • -
social media strategy

Social Media Trends for Small Businesses

social media strategyStudioIMI knows that social media strategies are changing so fast that challenges for small business owners make it tough to stay ahead of trends. Nearly twenty-five percent of small business owners currently use social media in some way and a business needs to adapt their online strategies needs for 2015 and beyond. To make your products and services relevant to your target market, you need to investigate these trends to help get your unique business value relayed over social networks.

An example of this is that many social media platforms have designed a variety of systems to handle payments without requiring the buyers to even leave the platform they are on. They want to help you network with buyers and to function as an online wallet for your store. For small businesses, this concept aims to maximize conversions and increase the chances of the conversion to making a purchase happen more easily. Conversions result in buyers, and that is the bottom line. Social media platforms want to manage transactions for you the business owner; they want the conversion to occur on their platform so your clients will not have to leave their site. Transactions take place through the shortest path.

Time Magazine recently wrote that Facebook has a payment function actually hidden within the messenger app. This feature is designed to work with the auto-fill option allowing buyers to save their credit info. It would also integrate with the Facebook “buy” button, so your clients can make purchases while on Facebook.

Twitter also has its one-stop-shop market with a “buy” button that can be embedded into tweets, making it so easy for prospective buyers in your network to buy directly from the tweets without being redirected to a separate e-commerce site as has been the case for years.

Tumbler has a similar system with “buy”, “pledge”, and “get involved” buttons that allow users to post links from sites like Kickstarter, Artsy, and Etsy, and actually take an action. This is becoming a huge advantage for small business owners as they can close a sale more easily without a lot of effort for their clients.

Snapchat also has a partnership with Square, so clients can transfer money directly to their friend’s accounts via “Snapcash”.

These examples mark the beginning of social shopping. It is a secure, fast, easy, and convenient alternative to redirecting buyers to PayPal, Apple Pay, Stripe, or any other type of online payment.

Social shopping has great upside value, since business owners already having an active social media presence, can use their network to sell to. It is a live and active medium for online success that allows deals to be shared quickly, buyers to make purchases without leaving the network, and sellers to easily track their sales campaigns.

StudioIMI has been in business for over 12 years and offers a variety of social media platform set up and management. You may call us at 778-440-3031 or contact us through our contact page. for more details.

We have platforms ready to go and set up is quite simple.


  • -

Launch of Arlo’s Honey Farm revised site

StudioIMI is pleased to announce the launch of the revised site for Arlo’s Honey Farm.

helen

helen at the farm

In early 2015, Helen approached StudioIMI with the challenge of building upon the brand of the farm and making some revisions to the website we designed for her originally in 2010. We have had a great relationship with Helen for years and she is a pleasure to work with. Although she invests so much of her energies into the farm and the bees, she understands the need to connect with her friends and customers through the power of the internet.
Helen wanted to add some new sections to the site including garlic and other produce that have become a big part of the farm’s output.

StudioIMI recently converted the site to WordPress and updated the shopping cart and the social media aspects of Arlo’s Honey Farm. The new site launched on May 14, 2015 and Helen is very pleased.

_MG_9873S

honey by the jar

As the owner of this beautiful, well-known Okanagan business, Helen has been providing honey products and tours of the farm for many years. Recently, she decided to focus more time and energy on the farm property along with her husband and wanted to develop the farm produce offering to a larger extent on the website.

image003

basket of garlic

After many years displaying at the farmers markets in Kelowna, it was time to spend more time with the bees and the fantastic fresh produce the farm produced and the results are starting to pay off. Arlo’s Honey Farm has a great reputation after many, many years in business and the farm keeps both of them and their employees very busy. The farm produces all types of honey products but also things like garlic, beets and other produce.

ahf photos 022

honey soap

The farm is thriving, the bees are healthier than ever before and if you have a chance to visit the farm during their business hours, it is worth the 10 minute or so trip out of Kelowna into the beautiful hills. See the website for the hours and directions to the farm and please follow Helen on Twitter and Facebook.

 

www.arloshoneyfarm.com

https://twitter.com/arloshoneyfarm 

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Arlos-Honey-Farm/415095278530010?fref=ts 

honey-lip-balm-cherry

lip balm

“Our honey is a two time award winner at the Inter Provincial Exhibition and our honey has been cherished as gifts in England, Germany, India, Malaysia, Japan and China.

honey-foot-soufflé

foot creams

We have opened our farm for you to enjoy the wonder of the honey bee and explore the goodness of honey and hive products. The Interpretation center is for your enjoyment and the Gift Shop is a euphoria of honey, honey products, our own Honey Recipe Book and Bee Basics, our natural and honey based products for skin care. Tours of the farm require an appointment. See Contact Us and book in advance to avoid disappointment.”

 

StudioIMI can play an important role in creating a brand new website, revising your web property or building a vibrant social media presence for your business. StudioIMI has been around since 2003 and has developed over 300 websites for business of all sizes. Our clients live and work in Canada and the USA.

We focus on strata developments, artists, recreation, landscaping sites, franchises, property management and real estate, nutrition sites and a number of other markets. No job is too big or too small for us to consider. For an easy discussion about your business please call us.

StudioIMI can also provide consulting to businesses in need of marketing and sales support. Custom programming is a big part of our business as well as graphics, social media campaigns and content writing.

Call us at 778-440-3031 if you would like to chat.