Tagged: marketing

Mind your language

Mind your languageIn the advertising and marketing world its important to be cautious about the kind of language and tone you use while communicating with your internal and external customers. Any company or enterprise, irrespective of the industry, has to be aware of the fact that they have to maintain a consistent brand image. The language and the tone of communication plays a very critical role in defining and maintaining that brand image. Brand language is the body of words, phrases, and terms that an organization uses to describe its purpose or in reference to its products or services.

While defining a brand language for a company it is important to be careful about the choice of words and the tone used. Here are the 5 benefits of choosing the right brand language for your company:

Its all about Keywords: Ask your customers this: What are the words that come into their minds when they think about your business or brand? For example over 80 percent of the world’s population directly associates “dreams,” “creativity, “fantasy,” “smiles,” “magic,” and “generation” with the Disney brand. So its important to carefully chose the words that you use while communicating with customers. Its like offering a visual cue i.e. the moment someone sees your brand or company, they should associate it with certain keywords.

Build Relationships: Your tone will clearly signify how good you are with your own company objectives and the brand. Many brands use formal language, and that directly reflects in the way they deal with their customers. A more relaxed, friendly or catchy tone should be used if the company actually lives those values. So if your tone does not reflect your company values and your personality, your communications will always appear awkward.

Be positive – The key to successful branding is to chose words and a tone that gives a positive effect in the minds of the customers. When positive words become strongly associated with particular brands, these words can become assets, to the extent that competing brands may find the words difficult to use. For example words used by brands such as Kellogg’s and Gillette i.e, healthy, masculine etc.

Make it simple yet sharp: It is important to use a language that is easily understood by the masses but it should have sharp edges that cut across the normal patter of communications. Take your language cues from your company values, your brand personality and most importantly your customers. Listen to what customers say about their experiences and use those as keywords. With the advent of the internet, companies and brands have become extremely involved in social media and online listening and are actively monitoring the  most searched words, hashtags that people are interested in, most popular categories under a business and industry etc.

– Build a Perspective: It is not about what a company says, its about what your customers here or perceive. Words used should build a perspective in the minds of the customers. For example when we think of Kellogg’s we think of words such Breakfast, Snacks, Recipes, Cereal etc, but the perspective it offers to its customers is healthy and uplifting. So its important to always keep the perspective in mind while choosing the words to be used to define a brand, because at the end of the day its all about your customers.

The Viral Phenomenon

The viral phenomenonHave you ever wondered what does the word “viral” mean? Have you ever thought what might go into creating a so called “viral phenomenon”? Is it an act or some form of information flowing through a network?

To explain it in simple terms it’s more of a pattern (or object) that has the ability to replicate its own copies, more like a chain reaction. This is a common way to describe how thoughts, information and trends move into and through a human population. In a business context this “pattern” is referred to as CONTENT.

Marketing departments of businesses try to create such “patterns” or content that has the ability to go Viral. This generally falls under two categories – entertaining & useful. Something that has a unique blend of both these elements is an ideal form of VIRAL content.

Your content could be an article, a video, marketing collateral, a photograph, an info-graphics or simply a piece of news. Unlike traditional marketing and advertising content, there are certain attributes of typical viral material. Here are some important elements of viral content:

Keep it positive, real and simple: Any form of content that creates a positive effect has more probability of going viral. Stuff that makes us feel good about ourselves and the people around us. The content should be real i.e. it should appear realistic and believable. Also, any material that is confusing to understand or comprehend is generally ignored. The most viewed, talked about and shared content is anything that is simple to understand.

The SHOCK factor: Your content should have the “awe” effect i.e. it should simply be remarkable. It should be something that people haven’t seen before and can’t resist commenting on. This could be in the form of a video, a research article, or it can also be something as simple as an exhaustive list of some useful resources or tips.

Appreciation and recognition through association: This is by far the most important attribute of viral content. When people share or talk about your content they would expect appreciation and recognition for it. A user who shares content will want to be recognized both as the person who discovered it and the person who introduced others to it.

Sharing is Caring: Any form of content created should be made share-able. With the advent of social media, it’s important to keep in mind that your material should have the option of sharing i.e. it should have buttons that allow it to be shared on social media websites such as Facebook, Twitter, Digg etc. These social media platforms have become the hotspots for viral content. A simple retweet or a “LIKE” could get tremendous amount of traction to your content.

Last but not the least; we should never forget that we need to STAMP and brand the content. The creator of the content should get due visibility, and its best done when you do it subtly at the end. Things like a quick mention about your business or brand in your article, photograph, video or info-graphic, go a long way in creating awareness about your business.

SEO Bliss!

SEO BlissWe all here a lot about “SEO” and the popular term “Search Engine Optimization”, but as business owners, do we really know what it means and what’s its significance to our business?

It is important to understand that SEO is more of a practice pertaining to the World Wide Web i.e. anything that is online. The general way of “searching” anything online is by going to search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing and just simply searching content with “keywords”.

The result (pages) that these search engines fetch is with the help of the so called “SEO” mechanism. So to put it in a definition format: SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the process by which a website or web-page can be optimized in such a way that it appears as a relevant search result, which in turn generate traffic or visitors to your website or web-page. Typically speaking, the earlier and more frequently a website appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine’s users.

So think about it this way: Search Engine Optimization is an un-paid or rather natural (organic) way that helps in generating traffic or visitors to your website or webpage.

In an ideal scenario, when we search something online, search engines with the help of inbuilt algorithms, check or “crawl” through billions of documents and do two things – first, return only those results that are relevant to the search query or keyword, and second, rank those results in order of perceived usefulness. Hence, it is both “importance” and “relevance” that the process of SEO is intended to influence.

SEO as a Marketing Strategy

The key to building a successful online marketing strategy that revolves around principles of SEO is to know and have empathy for your online visitors. Once you understand what the average searcher, and more specifically, your target visitors, is looking for, you can more effectively work around your overall SEO approach. “Keywords” are the key to the success of any SEO initiative. The right kind of keywords can fetch you the right kind of traffic.

The other important thing to keep in mind is that your website should rank in the first few pages of the search. This is again more of an “organic” outcome of all your SEO efforts and will get stronger with time. Appearing at the top of the results not only provides the greatest amount of online traffic, but encourages trust in viewers as to the worthiness and relative importance of the company/website.

To know more about SEO tools and strategies, contact us today!

Is your Corporation Socially Responsible?

corporate social responsibilityIn the past few years, great emphasis has been given to the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility, precisely defined in terms of the responsiveness of businesses to stakeholders’ legal, ethical, social, economical and environmental expectations. Over the last decade, there have been number of companies worldwide that have started promoting their business through Corporate Social Responsibility strategies because the customers and the investors expect them to act sustainable as well as responsible.

The concept of Corporate Social responsibility is now becoming a self-regulation integrated into an organizations’ business model. Its regulations generally function as a built-in, self-regulating mechanism whereby a business monitors and ensures its active compliance with the spirit of the law, ethical standards, and international norms. On a broader level, “corporate social responsibility” or CSR is a mechanism though which an organization can embrace responsibility for its actions and propel a positive impact through its business activities on the consumers, employees, stakeholders, communities, environment and all other members of the public sphere.

ISO 26000 is the recognized international standard for CSR. The standard emphasizes the relationship of a business to the society and environment in which they operate which is a critical factor in their ability to continue to operate effectively. The ISO 26000 standard is becoming popular these days as it helps businesses and organizations translate principles into effective actions and shares best practices relating to social responsibility, globally and is meant for all types of organizations regardless of their industry, activity, size or location.

Social responsibility and sustainability have become important marketing strategies for businesses. Corporations are motivated to become more socially responsible because their most important stakeholders expect them to understand and address the social and community issues that are relevant to them. Generally, CSR is related to crisis i.e. whenever a company falls into a social or economical crisis they look towards the concept of corporate social responsibility. It is important that organizations understand the significance of the concept of CRS and integrate it into their business models.

Aligning a business towards a sustainability approach is always helpful in the long run. CSR is an evolving theory and with the coming of the global digital age, the theory is gaining rapid significance among business of all sizes.

The Practice of Management By Objective

Management By ObjectiveMBO – more popularly known as Management By Objective, is a term that was first coined by Peter Drucker in 1954 in his book The Practice of Management. The essence of MBO is to define clear objectives within an enterprise, that helps management and employees work towards a common goal. The process involves setting short term and long term goals, choosing a corrective course of action and making strategic decision.

In any organization, typically all employees should be involved with the goal setting process and should choose the appropriate course of action to be followed. That way they are more likely to fulfill their responsibilities and in-turn achieve organizational goals.

The first step in implementing MBO is to establish long-range company goals in such areas as production, marketing, services, sales, R&D, human resources, finance, information systems etc. A business owner should begin by defining the company’s current business status and looking for emerging market trends that may require adaptation. This is kind of long term planning provides a framework for forecasting the organization’s future staffing levels, marketing approaches, financing needs, product development focus, and facility and equipment usage.

Typically, companies should plan yearly and then break down these long term plans into department wise objectives and eventually as achievable goals for employees. A point to note here is to make sure employees from all departments clearly understand and support the overall goal of the organization. As a manager or business owner, it is important to be involved in such goal setting activities, from the very beginning, as this will increase their commitment to achieving the goals, allow them to communicate the goals clearly to subordinates, and help them to create and align their own goals to support the company goals.

Overall, establishing an MBO system in any organization may be difficult, but it is usually worth it. It is always advisable to introduce MBO slowly into an organization, and all employees should be given the opportunity to set short terms goals to start.

The most difficult aspect of implementing MBO may be simply getting people to think in terms of results rather than activities. Therefore, a formal training program for business owners is always a necessary tool that helps them understand the importance of MBO. Hiring an outside consultant to explain the process of setting an MBO program within an organization is always a good start.

MBO is not a definite theory, but more of a collective goal setting activity. It helps business owners actually analyze their actual goals by looking at the bigger picture.

The Playboy bunny case study

The Playboy bunny case studyPlayboy, as we all know, is a popular men’s magazine that features photos of nude women along with journals and work of fiction.

The magazine was first founded in Chicago in 1953 by Huge Hefner, partly funded by a $1000 loan from Hefner’s mother. It has been said that Hefner set about starting the playboy magazine after being denied a $5 raise as an Esquire copywriter. This first edition of Playboy was 44-pages long and had no date on its cover because Hefner wasn’t sure there would be a second edition. This first edition of the magazine is also the only Playboy that does not have Hugh Hefner’s name inside.

In the first edition of Playboy, we see Marilyn Monroe posing completely nude. Monroe did not pose nude specifically for Playboy; Hefner had purchased the picture from a local printer who made calendars.

In an interview Hefner explained his choice of a rabbit as Playboy’s:

“The rabbit, the bunny, in America has a sexual meaning, and I chose it because it’s a fresh animal, shy, vivacious, jumping – sexy. First it smells you then it escapes, then it comes back, and you feel like caressing it, playing with it. A girl resembles a bunny. Joyful, joking. She is never sophisticated, a girl you cannot really have. She is a young, healthy, simple girl – the girl next door . . . we are not interested in the mysterious, difficult woman, the femme fatale, who wears elegant underwear, with lace, and she is sad, and somehow mentally filthy. The Playboy girl has no lace, no underwear, she is naked, well-washed with soap and water, and she is happy”

In addition to its centrefold piece, a major part of Playboy for much of its existence has been the Playboy Interview, an extensive discussion between a notable individual and an interviewer. Playboy features monthly interviews of notable public figures, such as artists, architects, economists, composers, conductors, film directors, journalists, novelists, playwrights, religious figures, politicians, athletes and race car drivers.

In addition, the magazine also has a long history of publishing short stories by notable novelists such as Arthur C. Clarke, Ian Fleming, Vladimir Nabokov, Chuck Palahniuk, P. G. Wodehouse and Margaret Atwood.

The company went public in 1971, and the magazine’s circulation peaked in 1972 at more than 7 million. Playboy has seen a decline in circulation and cultural relevance because of competition in the field it founded—from Penthouse, Oui and Gallery in the 1970s; later from pornographic videos. In response, Playboy has attempted to re-assert its hold on the 18–35 male demographic through slight changes to content and focusing on issues and personalities more appropriate to its audience.

The magazine celebrated its 50th anniversary with the January 2004 issue. Celebrations were held at Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York, and Moscow during the year to commemorate this event.

The Power of Animation

The Power of Animation

Businesses are changing and so are marketing methods.

The science of digital marketing has brought different challenges and opportunities. Animation as a marketing tool is emerging as the most cost effective and favorable tool that can help any business market a message, a brand or an objective.

The power of animation is increasing and it’s highly recommended that all business owners take notice of this innovative and emerging new trend.

Online advertising in specific is using animation videos to market their business with a touch of creativity and imagination.
There was a time when animation was limited to those with massive production budgets, but current technology trends has introduced new opportunities and you no longer need a big studio or access to television broadcast channels to create and distribute animation.
The three important benefits of animation in the digital marketing world:

  • Animated videos help viral marketing & easy video sharing: Viral video marketing campaigns increase click through rates by almost 800%. 70% of people who watch online videos will, in turn, pass links for these videos onto their friends, hence making your content go viral.
  • SEO and animated Video go hand-in-hand: Google owns You Tube, so a presence on You Tube or any of the famous video sharing websites such as Vimeo, Dailymotion etc, gives you almost 60% higher likelihood of a Google front-page search result. You can also add keyword tags to your animated videos so that the Google crawling mechanism works most effectively on your content.
  • Exponential increase in conversion rate: 70%- 85% of people are more likely to purchase after watching a product animation video. On an average, people will stay 1.5 minutes longer on your website when engaged with an animation. You have a chance to grab their attention and communicate using a powerful mix of pictures, motion, text, voice, sound effects and music in a short amount of time, and all of this is possible through a simple animation.

There is a difference between live action video and an animation and the key is “Imagination”! A well thought of script with a marketing plan is important while creating an animation video. So always plan and prepare for production, and remember, Animation has no boundaries!

We at Small Business Pool, work with some of the most talented designers, script writers, 3D artists and animators from around the GLOBE. Our consulting approach helps you clearly understand and plan your animation video campaign. Our cost effective approach will help you achieve your marketing objective in no time.

For a quick plan of action quote, contact us TODAY!