Why Use Of Experiential Techniques Is So Vital In Event Marketing

Experiential marketing techniques have taken the world by storm with its immense possibilities and the inherent returns for the users. It has graduated from the original techniques of distributing candy bars, shampoo, deodorant, snacks, and variety of other products to include extravaganzas to engage customers, big time. Overwhelming media proliferation has proved to be the biggest reason both offline and online in the development of provincial strategies.

Today there is a need to go beyond simple brand awareness to include creation of relationships and experiences.

In order to bring down the defense mechanism of your target group it is today necessary to go beyond the traditional techniques and create chemistry with face-to-face interactions. Moving logistics and people with focus on one-three-day periods can give results.

You can reach out to people easily these days because of the presence of numerous communication techniques but the difficulty arises when you want to make the connections. Tactile engagements can make all the difference, things that involve the taste, touch, and feel mechanisms.

When you give consumers something more than reading about your products and services it enhances and deepens the relationship. Consumers are compelling more and more marketers to finally get on the street and communicate with them on a one-to-one basis. No wonder, experiential marketing companies are showing a rapid growth. Social media and communication technologies find synchronization with brands with full concentration upon events driving sales. By creating highly engaging situations, marketers can compel the audience to take their experiences on the social media and posting photos.

This in turn helps to create consistent presence for businesses. Organizing events is today just a part of big planning. An elastic concept, it allows tactile engagement leading to creation of authentic, true, and valuable multisensory relationships. The big transformation factor is the digital culture that is changing the expectations of modern consumers significantly. Today the audience doesn’t like being approached as a category or demographics but require individual attention, respect as an entity in his or her right.

With shared experiences, it is possible to make mental connections and this in turn bodes well for your business. However, the creation of multisensory experiences is not that easy. It requires loads of hard work complete with planning, production, working with the content team, vendors, worst-case scenarios, timing schedule, and budgets followed by on-site work. Naturally, all this hard work comes with its own rewards as marketers can give vent to their creative energies to connect, delight, and surprise their target audience.

It takes lots of passion and ingenious planning to connect things happening on the web with physical occurrences. All fan behavior ultimately comes down to the specific brand and the best marketers study the behavior of the audience and develop experiences that drive passion.

Digital or Business Transformation

Digital transformation refers to the changes associated with the application of digital technology in all aspects of human society. Digital transformation may be thought as the third stage of embracing digital technologies: digital competence → digital literacy → digital transformation. The latter stage means that digital usages inherently enable new types of innovation and creativity in a particular domain, rather than simply enhance and support the traditional methods.

– Wikipedia

It has been more than 30 years since computers had been introduced into business world. With the help of, powerful mobile devices and high connectivity, now we are living in a momentary world that is evolving so fast towards digital that now digital transformation is inevitable.

Most of the C-Levels in corporations started to pay more and more attention to Digital Transformation. They believe, without this transformation, even a long-established company may extinct. It is the Kodak example they are afraid of. To be honest, the risk is there, however is ‘Digital Transformation’ just enough?

Marketing, sales, manufacturing, finance processes should all be digitised in order to fulfil the transformation. It includes working anywhere anytime, broader and faster communication, enterprise integration that would enable performance & efficiency improvements.

That is all well planned and should be executed step by step. Yet can you imagine any change to be internalised without a holistic approach? Without embarking every team member, adjusting / improving their competencies, engaging them all around the same evolving mindset…

That’s why, we believe this topic should be handled with a broader scope and it is the reason behind we like to call it a “Business Transformation’ rather than a Digital Transformation.

In other words Business Transformation shall handles the topic more broadly including mindset and organisations, leadership and entrepreneurial mindset, education and pragmatic planning.

Your Business Transformation journey is unique

Every company has its own inner dynamics and every category has its own realities hence your journey should be tailor made to your business. When there is so much at stake, it is not an easy task to move the rocks around, without rigor planning, sufficient on-boarding, kicking off the new mindset with an adjusted organisational structure.

The internal impact – Mindset & Organisation

Any change in a company first impacts its own resources, starting from human. Top-down transformation approaches tend to stay at the top level with Digital Transformation Teams, causing manager level (or further) to think it is not their business. The only way to beat the resistance to change is to embark the resistors ASAP.

Corporate and entrepreneurial mindsets are two far ends thus moving from one to other is not given. However, with the power of a corporate company, an entrepreneur mindset can achieve higher goals sooner. That’s why, we should keep on increasing skills of the individuals in our organisation, empowering them to move forward within the team.

The Impact on Consumer Experience

Digital transformation for the consumer end includes an architecture of your digital ecosystem to be able to do better listening, segmentation and tracking, enabling you to increase your digital media investments efficiency, letting you to fish where the fishes are. All these changes will definitely have a positive impact on your consumer engagement and thanks to the new tools, we will be able to measure the ROI of your campaigns / activities.

Step by Step Approach

As said, digital transformation is a key stage throughout this journey. All your existing processes should be analysed with expert analysts according to the dynamics of your company and industry. Only after then, a solution can be determined and tailored to your needs. The gains here are not necessarily immediate, therefore long term investments should be planned with an entrepreneur mindset.

All in all, Digital Transformation is inevitable in this era, we just need think it as broad as it requires to land it well in your organisation. As Portera we are committed to understand, analyse together and help you build the right organisation to reach this new mindset fully.

Feel free to contact us in case you require to explore the opportunities further.

6 Tips To Effective Marketing Materials

Brochures, business cards, flyers, postcards. There’s no end to the types of marketing materials that we are inundated with every day of our lives. And now in the Internet age of websites and blog posts, paper becomes an even more unique way to brand our businesses. Unfortunately, most people are bombarded with cheap flyers and poorly produced materials. So to get attention and be read, yours needs to be unique and clever just to get noticed.

Here are six tips to ensure that your marketing materials are resulting in business and not trash:

1. Don’t complicate it

Brochures, flyers and sales sheets should present the correct brand for your company. When it comes to the look and content, just stick to the basics. If you can say something in five words, don’t use ten to say the same thing. Just tell the client what they need to here, for now. The rest can be covered during face-to-face conversations. Full pages of plain text are a no-no, and boring. Adding white space and open spacing between paragraphs offers a relief to the reader. Bullet points and headers make it all so much more easily digested and easier to read.

2. Use fun photos

This brochure will not be the first, or the last your client will review before making purchase decisions. Nice photos make a big difference between looking clean and professional or sloppy and amateurish. Even for small companies, it pays to invest in quality photos of your facilities and your staff. The quality shown in these photos will convey the level of quality that your company provides. If your business is sharp and proficient, your photos can convey that message. If you are friendly and family-oriented, photos can tell that story, as well. You don’t have to say a word.

3. Brand everything

Put your logo on everything, and in all of your materials be sure to focus on why you are different and why the customer should be doing business with you. Everything that you use, from business cards to magnets to invoices, should tell your story and represent your brand. Which also means that everything must be consistent. The color, design, content, your voice should all be coordinated to form one unified brand. The business card that I received from you last week and the brochure that I receive this week should both look they came from the same company. If they don’t, you have some work to do.

4. Use testimonials and awards

Were you voted “The Best Restaurant in Town” this year? Tell the world! This in not the time to be shy. It’s the time to toot your horn as loud as you can. This kind of recognition offers third-party proof that what you say is legitimate. Testimonials can provide the same ‘real person’ authenticity to your story.

5. Make it personal

Marketing materials are not textbooks and are not the place to be boring. These materials need to be engaging and personal. Add a metaphor, tell a joke, add life to your message. How would you explain your exciting new business to grandma? What would she need to know to understand what you’re doing? So write it that way. A good brochure does more than tell the facts. It must be interesting.

6. Remember your market

Don’t ever forget who you are writing this for. For example, is your market composed of seniors? If so, you may need to increase the font size a little. The income, age and other demographics should be a major consideration in how you write this piece.

Many times marketing pieces are the first impression a potential customer will see, or perhaps the last, depending on how they are presented. These materials are an investment into your company’s future. Write and design this material as if the life of your business depended on it. Because it does!

Clover Leaf Your Way to Bigger Business

How many marketing opportunities do you utilize that can easily add an additional 20% to your bottom line? Whatever your answer, it’s not enough!

“Clover Leafing,” is used to gain new customers when for service oriented contractors. The concept is simple; after finishing a call with a client, go to the house to the right and left of the service call as well as to the house across the street (making a clover leaf pattern) to drop off a leave-behind advertisement such as a door hanger, business card, magnet, etc. with company contact information. By taking these simple steps to introduce the company to potential clients, the business guaranteed itself new sales every day! While the effects of a campaign may not be as immediate as some other forms of advertising, its long-term impact can help grow your business exponentially.

Using a quality leave-behind in a technique like this does several things:

It introduces your company to new potential clients
Promotes word of mouth advertising – the best kind
It keeps potential clients out of the yellow pages and away from your competition’s ads

The average service-based business has three trucks. Each truck serves five calls a day with an average ticket of $280.00. Each day’s business comes to $4,200.

Assuming that you’re not taking calls on the weekend (just to keep things simple), that’s about $21,000 in business per week or just over one-million per year.

Not too shabby. Now let’s add a clover leafing campaign into the mix.

Let’s say that all your drivers reach out to just three potential new clients after their service call using this clover leaf technique. If each service team can gain one new client per day, that’s an additional 15 calls per week. Based on the same $280 average ticket price, total sales for the year just went up $201,600!

Let’s say my math is off and your return rate is only half of what we’ve projected here… Couldn’t you stand to gain an additional hundred thousand or so?

To help make the program even more effective, consider adding an incentive to your customers. Advertisements that utilize customer savings are generally three times more effective than ones that are simply an advertisement for your business. Consider offering these potential new clients a discount for responding to your clover leafing campaign by waiving their travel charge on this call since you’re already in their neighborhood.

Use promotional items you already have in hand such as your business cards, door hangers or refrigerator magnets.

Make this program worthwhile for your employees as well by offering a spiff. Let’s say you include a $50 bonus to your drivers for each new customer they pick up using this clover leaf campaign. This may sound like large spiff to pocket, but if you figure that on average it takes around $230 of advertising to close a new client, wouldn’t it be nice to pick up a few up for $50 or so?

Boost Your Marketing Using Darwin's Theory Of Evolution

The idea behind this post came from the book, Making Ads Pay by John Caples.

A little background to Darwin’s theory of evolution.

As a young and curious lad, Darwin was incredibly observant of nature and its players. On one of his extended travels, he collected specimens from the different places he visited (I suspected wanderlust).

As he was unpacking and admiring his souvenirs, he noticed similarities and was intrigued by these discoveries.

Thus began his conception and study of natural selection.

In a single sentence, natural selection is the theory that evolution is driven by… natural selection. Better traits in a species are selected for through generations of reproduction and eventually the ‘weaker’ manifestation of those traits will be diluted in a population of organisms carrying the better trait.

(For more details, you can read Charles Darwin’s book: “The Origin of Species”)

How Darwin’s Theory of Evolution can boost your business

In a nutshell, the idea is to incorporate Darwin’s Theory of Evolution (specifically Natural Selection) into your marketing efforts. Let your audience select the ads that they like and get rid of those that they don’t.

Track Your Advertisements and Marketing Campaigns

As we run marketing campaigns, it’s very important to be able to track the performance of each individual campaign. These data may be boring to track, but will be very intriguing to analyse.

Just by looking at the number of people who responded to a particular marketing campaign, you can decide the direction of future campaigns.

Just by looking at the demographics of the people who either interacted with your marketing efforts, or bought from you, you can uncover more details about the type of customers you would like to attract in the future.

Just by looking at the number of people who ACTUALLY BOUGHT from you, you can decide which product (or service) range to focus on in the future.

With proper tracking of your marketing campaigns, you will be able to identify the campaigns that did well against those that burnt.

Select the campaigns that do well, and get rid of those that didn’t

This is where you put Natural Selection into practice. Let nature (which in this case, refers to your targeted audience) select the campaign that they like and get rid of those that they did not like.

Once you have run at least 10 different test campaigns, you would most likely have a list of 3 to 5 outstanding campaigns that your target audience responded to with excitement. Analyse these successful campaigns deeper.

Compare the traffic that is being driven to these campaigns
Compare the angle of these campaigns
Compare the demographics of the people who responded to these campaigns
Notice any special writing styles that could have increased the interest

Compile these similarities and you will have a clear picture and direction which will prove useful when planning future marketing campaigns.

Although not all of these features may be used in a single campaign, you should seek to add as many of these ‘success’ features into your future campaigns.

By giving your target audience what they want, you will boost your business.

And to fully understand what they want, that’s when you apply natural selection to allow your marketing campaigns to evolve.

Do You Have Too Much on Your Plate?

Twice a year I make an effort to get out the office and go away for what has been deemed, “the Power Business Retreat’. This particular trip I went on my own and as such this gave me a chance to observe the people around me.

During the breakfast buffet, I watched as men and women alike loaded their plates with food. Plate after plate with mounds of food was brought to the table on display, ready for consumption. The scary part; the multiple plates were for just one person.

Being a first-hand witness to this behavior of grabbing everything on offer, as much as the plate would handle, I wondered if this is a behavior that business owners do with their day-to-day operations. Do people grab every product, service, app in sight to use in their business? Do they try every new social media update that comes on the market?

Are you filling your plate with more than you can consume?

Was I?

I thought about it and asked myself, where in my business was I biting off more than I could chew? Following some honest inspection of my own over consumption behavior, I identified three areas where my plate was too full.

1. Following too many ‘gurus’ who send daily newsletters

It’s wonderful that people today are willing to share their knowledge via newsletters. At the click of a button you can sign up for this information and have it delivered to your inbox.

However, I realized that there were far more newsletters than I could read or keep up with. Subsequently I have opted-out of many and maintain 2 or 3 that I feel offer me the greatest value. They get flagged so I can find them in my inbox and go back toward the end of the day to read them.

2. Saying yes to coffee appointments that take hours out of my day

When accepting a ‘coffee meeting’ with someone who hardly knows me, it usually means someone wants a free consultation. A 45 minute conversation soon becomes one and a half hours long by the time you get the social pleasantries out the way.

Add in the 20 – 30 minutes each way for the commute and there goes two and a half hours out your day. This is precious time that you could be spent working within your business generating assets.

I’ve taken this type of meeting off my plate and replaced with the 15 – 20 minute phone call instead. Save the coffee for breakfast.

3. Taking on creative projects myself

We’ve all heard it before, play to your strengths and outsource your weaknesses. As much as I love working on the creative aspects of my business, the time it would take me to actually execute a project would take me 10 – 20 times as long as it would an expert in that field. Taking on creative projects totally overloads my plate.

Give the creative work to the people who do this daily and free up your time to do those things which are revenue generating.

It’s amazing how much lighter I feel.

Make More Time for Marketing!

How much time every day should you spend on marketing? If you’re struggling to get clients, I strongly recommend that you devote a minimum of four hours of marketing per day for 6-12 months. Many practitioners are shocked at that number, because they typically don’t even spend that much time on marketing in a week or even per month. Well… no wonder they don’t have enough clients!

The average practitioner claims that she doesn’t have four hours a day for marketing. But you don’t want to be average, right? Wouldn’t you rather be outstanding? If you’re surprised at the idea of spending that much time on marketing, answer this question honestly: If you don’t have enough clients and you’re not marketing, then what are you actually doing all day?

You may, like many entrepreneurs, be spending a good deal of your non-client time in non-business pursuits. Let’s take a close look at the non-essential things you do throughout the day and the week. These are the time-wasters in your schedule. When you look at them closely from a marketer’s perspective, you may see that, like many self-employed people, you regard non-client time as “spare time.” This perspective makes you waste valuable work hours on personal activities, such as housework, errands or social media.

You need to put your extra-curricular activities on hold while building your healthcare business. These time-wasters sabotage your progress and your success. They limit the number of clients who can benefit from your valuable service, undermining your purpose for being in healthcare. You can’t attain your goals to help lots of people and make a good living if you waste your work day on non-work. It’s actually a very simple premise: The more time you spend attracting clients, the more clients you will attract!

Just because you don’t have enough clients doesn’t mean you’re on vacation. However you spend your “spare time” during work hours, eliminate everything that is not directly working with clients or attracting clients. From now on, for the next 6-12 months, or until your client schedule is full, do non-business activities after-hours. As an entrepreneur, you don’t have anyone holding you accountable. It’s up to you to schedule your work hours and stay on track, in order to increase your client base and your income. You need a tough boss – that would be YOU!

It’s difficult, maybe even impossible, to get new clients consistently when you don’t market consistently. Having fun or doing non-biz activities while you wait for the phone to ring is not an effective marketing strategy! Same with sitting in your office hoping for walk-in clients – hope is not a strategy and it doesn’t pay the rent!

You need to spend your work day actually working. When you’re not working directly with clients, devote your time to activities that will bring them in – calling people, getting referrals, networking, writing a newsletter, giving talks, for example.

Exactly how you should you structure your time to get the maximum benefits for your business? Monday through Friday 9 AM – 5 PM (or whatever you decide are your regular work hours), you should be… doing what? Yes, now you’re catching on – working with clients and attracting clients! This, in turn, will produce benefits in your income and lifestyle as well.

Suppose your BFF calls and says, “Hey, let’s go shopping!” From now on, instead of jumping on board with that, you say, “Sorry, I can’t today – I’m working. But I can go this weekend. Or I can meet you after work.” Your friends may not like this, but when you get results in your business, you will realize you’re doing the right thing. (And maybe your success will motivate them!)

Here’s a system to organize your time. Make a written list of all the different activities you do each day – both business and non-business things – during your regular business hours. Every time you do something throughout the day, stop and write it down. Be totally accurate and honest with yourself about this, so you can make the changes necessary to expand your practice and your income. For one week, keep a running list of everything you do during business hours.

Next, go through your entire list and ask yourself these 2 questions for every item:

1. Does this activity involve working with clients?

2. Does this activity involve attracting clients?

If the answer is ‘no’ for any item on your list, cross it off the list. Cross off everything you do during business hours that distracts you from your two primary activities – working with your current clients and attracting new clients. Now commit to doing this on a regular, consistent basis.

Though this schedule may seem extreme, remember that it’s only a temporary jump start strategy. When you start getting consistent results, you can reduce your marketing time and start re-integrating other activities into your daily schedule. You will still need to schedule marketing on a consistent basis throughout your career – it should never become a once-in-a-while activity. But soon your marketing will be organized into a system that will reduce the amount of time that you spend on it per day. (However, don’t be surprised if you discover, as I did, that you enjoy marketing so much that it becomes your new hobby!)

Create Effective Custom Signs For Your Business

Custom signs for storefronts are vital in today’s tough economy. The more unique and personal your sign is to your company, the more likely you are to draw foot traffic into your business. Many in the retail and hospitality industries believe that you only have three seconds or less to attract a customer’s attention. For many that own brick-and-mortar businesses, custom signs are definitely a great way to get someone to turn his or her head.

What A Quality Sign Will Accomplish

Your custom signs should suit your unique characteristics while showcasing your business. In essence, they are part of your marketing plan, and the style, colors, font, and type should be a large part of your branding and promotional strategy. If this advertising is done well, it can lead to a word-of-mouth campaign that is sure to attract more visitors to your business.

Many times something that stands out from the crowd can ignite enough curiosity that you will see an increase in foot traffic. Remember, foot traffic can easily be converted into sales once customer interest is piqued, so try to be original and unique with your designs.

Colors and Fonts

The colors and fonts you use on your custom signs are a reflection of your overall brand and should not be taken in stride. In essence, even if you do not already have one, you are creating a de-facto logo for your company. You need to think about what type of reputation you want your business to have, and the image that you wish to project to potential customers.

Don’t fret if you are not much of a graphic designer. Many companies that design custom signs have online templates that you can work with. Remember, the most visible colors from far away are black and red on a white background. Depending on your business’s location, this is something that you may want to consider. Also, make sure that your font is large enough to be seen over long distances. All the bold colors in the world will not be noticeable when used to accentuate teeny-tiny print.

Location

The best thing about good signage is that you only pay for it once, but it works for you 24 hours a day and seven days per week. This is why that to be truly effective, and you must place it where it can be seen by the largest number of eyeballs whether they are driving a car or walking by on foot. Always remember to consider external factors such as parked cars and glare when placing your sign. It would be a shame to spend all that money only for the result to never really be clearly seen. Always consider the eye-level of the average person and what would attract them to your little corner of the street.

Remember, signs give you the option to stand out from the crowd and give the competition a run for their money. Always use this first opportunity to communicate with potential customers to your full advantage.

3 Ways To Do Some Marketing When You Are On A Shoestring Budget

Most people think that starting out in business is pretty expensive and so they hold back because they doubt their ability to fund it. However, there are ways to start on a shoestring budget. And here are a few ideas for you…

1.    Go where your prospects are in great number and tell them what you do. So, you don’t have cash. Take some time to figure out who your ideal customers are and then decide where you think they will be and take some time to go and see them where they are in great number. Think Meet up groups, think low-cost networking events, set up your own networking events and invite people to your event. Keep it low-cost and use a community funded room or a room in a local restaurant where they are willing to allow you bring people to the restaurant as long as your prospects buy something. Have a mini-speech prepared which tells people exactly how they can benefit from working with you and collect business cards from anyone that seems interested in speaking to you again.

2.    Set up an email marketing campaign – Sending emails are fairly low-cost. Most customer relationship management systems provide a 30 day trial period. Set yourself a goal to make money from the people on your list within that first 30 days and your business becomes self-funding in the first month. It is incredibly surprising what you can do when you set your mind to it. So, set your mind like flint to make things happen very quickly in your business.

3.    Take full advantage of social media – We live in an incredibly accessible age where we can reach anyone at no cost whatsoever. You could use LinkedIn to search for and connect with a vast number of people and then you could invite them to your event or be where they are. Same goes for Facebook and Twitter and all the other social media platforms. And in this day and age, people are less private so you can make contact with them. Please do not sell immediately but you can build a relationship for free. Also, when you meet people on your outings, you can connect with them on social media based on the business card information you have collected. There are innumerable groups that you can join on social media where your prospects may also be hanging out and once you have connected with them in group, then you may find them more willing to make contacts away from the group.

How Direct Mail Fulfilment Can Work for You!

As in most organisations, as part of your corporate and marketing strategy you’ll be invariably trying and testing out a range of traditional and non-traditional marketing tools and running various promotional campaigns to advertise your products and offerings. This can not only be extremely tricky when dealing with a number of marketing projects running at the very same time but costly if you are having to invest in additional staff and equipment in order to achieve your objectives.

So what exactly should you do?

Are you able to efficiently operate your company without focusing your efforts on key capabilities?

Do you have the in-house capabilities to run a full-scale and effective direct mail campaign?

Without doubt, one option is to transfer your mail fulfilment burden to 3rd party suppliers and benefit from cost and time savings as well as many other advantages of a well-managed order processing unit.

Outsourcing your mail fulfilment to a professional fulfilment company will deliver your business genuine rewards:

1. Spread the word

You will be able to communicate your message much more successfully to clients by using a 3rd party to maximize direct mail activities in order to spread the word about your organization and publicize your products and solutions. This is exactly where a direct mail fulfilment business can be invaluable to obtain, pack and ship your mailing items to consumers within a timely manner.

2. Engage your customer

A firm that fails to engage with target audience is unable to flourish and succeed. Using direct mail, you can send an appealing mail piece to your target market using a letter, postcard, leaflet or brochure format to convince them to undertake business with you. A third-party provider has the expertise and the equipment to not only design and print your direct mail piece but to pack and deliver your promotional collateral to your audience and as a result, helping you to communicate your message in a more professional manner.

3. Save money!

Reap the benefits of cost savings by choosing a professional direct mail fulfilment provider who will effectively process your direct mail campaign, from the design brief concept to letterbox delivery. This will allow you to take full advantage of bulk discounts that these third-party providers have negotiated with postal and shipment suppliers. Due to the vast quantities of mailings that pass through these fulfilment companies, postal companies can offer negotiated competitive rates which are then passed down to the customer.