Why Your Branding Strategy Needs to be more like Mad Libs® than a Form Letter

If you want to stand out, you can’t copy and paste another company’s strategy.

In today’s highly-competitive marketplace, a solid brand identity is critical. Your branding needs to differentiate what you do and how you do it. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel; there are proven marketing tactics that can be utilized for your business. Just think of your branding strategy as being less like a form letter – and more like Mad Libs®.

What is branding, anyway?

Branding is the process of conveying your business’ personality. It involves establishing how you want your customers to perceive you, and then it sets the tone for conveying that message. Your brand identity incorporates more than just your product or service, and it is more complicated than choosing the right logo. Your branding covers your user experience (UX) and every touchpoint your company has with its clients – from postcards and newsletters to your website and product packaging.

Why is branding crucial?

If you can be consistent with your branding, then you can differentiate yourself in the marketplace.
Your branding needs to:

  • Establish your perceived value – While you do need to highlight why customers should choose your product or service over others in the marketplace, you also need to present what value you want customers to identify with your offering. Is it quality, craftsmanship, innovation, affordability, or customer service?
  • Create a connection – The best brands have customers who are emotionally attached to their product. How can you connect with your audience? What makes your offering relatable? What will turn your clients into repeat customers?
  • Be consistent across multiple channels – Every touchpoint needs to promote your brand identity. It’s not just about colors and fonts; your messaging also needs to be consistent. If you muddle your identity with multiple value statements, clients will get confused. What is the fundamental message you want to express?

How do you brand your business?

The first step is to prepare a branding strategy that incorporates your voice, extols your benefits, and propels your vision.

It needs to incorporate:

  • Your daily mission
  • Your vision for the future
  • Your voice
  • Product or service benefits
  • Product or service features
  • What people think about your company today versus what you want them to think

When you accumulate the above information, you will notice one thing: no other business can be exactly like yours. If you try to mold yourself into another organization’s template, you may end up losing what makes your company unique. The best branding strategies recognize this fact.

More Like Mad Libs®

Many companies fail at branding because they try to utilize a strategy that has worked for someone else. Looking at what a competitor has done is helpful, but repeating their exact steps is futile. If you want to stand out, you can’t copy and paste another company’s strategy; it will make your business seem unoriginal – like an imitator instead of an innovator.

You don’t have to start from scratch. Take tried-and-true marketing methods and put your personal spin on them. Customers will appreciate your viewpoint more than you know – especially in today’s content-rich world.
Just like a Mad Libs® story, your brand story can be exceptional – if you fill in your own blanks.

Infographic: In-house vs. Outsourced Marketing

Outsourced Marketing is the most cost-effecting way for start-ups and small businesses to spin up their brand and reach their target audience quickly. Here’s how we see it …
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Social Media Through the Eyes of Generation Z

Guest Blog from an Actual Gen Z’er, Jessi Adler

Born sometime between the mid-1990s and early 2000s, Generation Z is a demographic that’s understood by almost no one, including ourselves. Although some of us were born into a world where the Internet was in its infancy, our generation is sandwiched between the generation that had to learn to use the Internet and one that has never known life without it. The Internet was introduced to the world about the same time we were, so that means that as we took our first steps, so was the Internet; email, for example, was JUST taking the world by storm.

When we started school, the Internet gave us educational games. Now we are starting our adult lives as the smartest we’ve ever been, and our friend the Internet is right by our side, getting smarter and smarter every day.

Because we’re not afraid of the World Wide Web, Generation Z tends to see it and its capabilities differently. For example, there is a large, and noticeable gap between older and new generations when it comes to social media. Only a portion of Baby Boomers use social media, and those that do, mainly stay on Facebook.

Generation X’ers are trying to adapt, many have Facebook, a few have Instagram and/or Twitter, but sometimes its a guessing game as to what they are doing, their IT Help Desk is their kids. This is completely not the case when it comes to Generation Z. Our world practically revolves around Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, YouTube, Tumblr, and so many other social media platforms. However, it’s not just the time we spend using them that sets us apart, it’s also HOW we use them.

Not only are new generations more savvy when it comes to social media, but we tend to express ourselves differently depending on which account we are using, tailoring content to fit the image we want to portray on that account. For example:

Facebook

When Generation Z uses Facebook, many of us display ourselves as our parent’s dream child, getting good grades, going to great schools, hanging out with the family, volunteering, being star athlete, and exploring the world without getting too crazy. We are friends with our family, old teammates, and neighbors, some co-workers from that Summer internship, and maybe a few former teachers, a random mix of people that we may or may not really care about. We don’t spend too much time on Facebook, usually just enough to show the world we have life under control, to see Grandma’s recent golf trip, be poked by someone you didn’t even know we were friends with, and watch a few dozen cute animal videos.

Instagram

This photo-driven app is a little more relaxed that Facebook. Typical Generation Z Instagram users follow tech savvy family members that have accounts, almost all of our friends, a few semi-famous people that are only famous because they are pretty, and maybe the more interesting contingency of our Mom’s friends. Instagram for Generation Z is all about doing cool, exciting things and getting “spontaneous” pictures (even though our friend probably risked life and limb to get that “natural” angle and light). The goal is to show people that you have life under control, and making the times you lose control, photogenic.

Twitter

The fast pace and restricted word count aren’t the only things that makes Twitter the Cliff Notes of social media. This is where the sarcastic wide-range of personalities that flood our screens comes to life. In a Universe filled with humor, the Twittersphere is where the true nature of Generation Z comes out. It is all about being funny and relatable to the average young millennial or Gen Z. With primarily close friends as our audience, we feel more comfortable saying what we really mean; and just might have to run away from home if our parents took a peek at our Twitter. Unlike the other two social media platforms, for Generation Z, Twitter is all about embracing the truth; the actual fact that we have no idea what is going on or exactly what we are doing.

So there you have it, Generation Z has many faces; we’ll happily show them to you, but make sure you’re following us on any and all apps so you don’t miss our new favorite cat video.

Who’s Your Target Market, Part 4 of 4: Marketing to Gen Z

Marketing to Gen Z

In our last post, we covered the Millennial generation and its love for all things digital. If you missed it, go back and have a read. It begins by talking about why defining and analyzing your target market is so important when it comes to developing a messaging platform and strategy. The more you know about your audience, in this case marketing to Gen Z, the easier it will be to reach them and speak to them – in a language that they understand and respond to.

In today’s article, we’ll be wrapping it all up by talking about the generation that influences $600 billion in family spending: Generation Z.

The Facts: Generation Z

Often called the iGeneration or Post-Millennials, Generation Z was born sometime between the mid-1990s and early 2000s. They are a concerned about others and the planet, and they don’t remember a world without the internet.

Gen Z:

  • Has buying power. While $43 billion in spending power is substantial, Gen Z’s real power comes from its influence on its parents – typically Gen Xers and Millennials. Over 60 percent say that their parents pay for their purchases. They also receive about $44 billion annually in allowance.
  • Hunts for bargains. Half of the generation reports searching for a better price on their phone while in a brick-and-mortar store. They are more likely to spend their money for food and drinks than clothing, but they’d rather get a cool gadget than have a cool experience.
  • Is compassionate. Over one-fourth of the generation actively volunteers its time, and over three-fourths are worried about the impact on humans on the earth.
  • Multitasks. Gen Zers typically have at least ten apps on their phones, and ten percent of them have more than 40! More than 80 percent of them also watch TV while working on their mobile devices.
  • Is emotionally attached to connectivity. When asked, nine out of 10 said that they would be upset if they had to give up their internet connection.
  • Wants brand interaction. Over a third of Gen Z wants brands to reach out to them via social media. And over 25 percent of them want brands to utilize celebrities or famous athletes in their advertising efforts.
  • Thinks big. Nearly three-quarters of Gen Z wants to start a business one day, and two-thirds want to own a house and a car in their lifetime.

The Approach: Generation Z

While it may seem like you don’t need to worry about Gen Z yet, you’re wrong. Some of these “kids” are already adults, and the oldest in the generation are about to graduate from college. They are poised to enter the workforce and multiply their buying power exponentially, and you need to be prepared for it.

When creating your messaging, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Some will be spenders, and some will be savers. As of right now, Gen Z is practically split when it comes to spending money versus saving it. You’ll need to develop a strong message in order to persuade the “savers” to make a purchase.
  • They’ll search for a good deal. With the internet constantly at their fingertips, the generation will always be looking for a way to save a few dollars. And since they aren’t adverse to purchasing online, physical retail stores have to find a way to compete with online-only ones who benefit from lower overhead.
  • They value friends more than “stuff.” They’d rather hang out with friends and have a good time than buy a new pair of shoes.
  • The planet is important. This generation is concerned with the welfare of the planet – and its people. They appreciate brands who go out of their way to help one or the other.
  • Respect where they want to meet you. Emails and print advertising won’t do the job with Gen Z. You have to reach out to them on social media and ensure that your mobile experience is flawless. While they have the skill to navigate anything online, it doesn’t mean that they have the patience to do it.
  • Show them you appreciate them. Rewards programs aren’t enough. You need to create customized advertising and coupons that show them that you understand their buying behavior and personal tastes.
  • Go big. This generation has seen it all when it comes to the internet. In order to impress them, you really have to figure out what you’re going to do to disrupt the marketplace as they know it.

Who’s Your Target Market?

It seems like certain characteristics have a way of cycling back around every other generation. Gen Z grew up immersed in the internet – something that older Millennials remember getting in elementary school. What will the next generation’s “norm” look like?

Establishing your target market is arguably the most important step in laying out your marketing strategy.

Who’s Your Target Market, Part 3 of 4: Marketing to Millennials

Marketing to Millennials

We’ve been working on a four-part series about target markets recently. Knowing how your consumer thinks, feels, and behaves is crucial when you are developing a marketing strategy. You can’t just assume that everyone will want to purchase your product or service. The more you can tailor your message, in this case marketing to millennials, the better those precious marketing dollars will be spent.

In our first post, we went over everything you need to know about the value-conscious Baby Boomers. In our last post, we discussed the extremely powerful Gen Xers – who are wary of advertising but also extremely brand loyal. When marketing to Millennials, the more detailed and focused you get, the more compelling and persuasive your communication will be.

All About Millennials

The first rule in establishing your target market is not to make any assumptions about them. Make sure every characteristic is based on facts. If your target market includes the Millennial generation, this guideline is especially true. You may be surprised by what facts support – and go against – your preconceived notions about this generation and its buying power.
Millennials were born between 1980 and 1995, give or take a few years. They grew up immersed in television, the Internet, and social media. If you think that you know them, think again.

The Facts: Millennials

  • Carry hefty credit card and other debt. The average student has $12,700 in debt. This doesn’t dilute their buying strength – which is approximately $200 billion per year.
  • Are often unemployed or underemployed. Only six out of 10 have jobs, and half of those are part-time. Even with these statistics, Millennials may be the most educated generation in US history.
  • Have put off marriage or children. During the recession, nearly one-third of Millennials decided to delay major life events – 44 percent believe that marriage is becoming obsolete.
  • Are tech savvy. More than 65 percent of the generation says that losing their phone or computer would have more of a negative impact on their day than losing their car. They use social media more than television, prefer email marketing to advertising, and respond well to online shopping deals.
  • Are brand-loyal. Over 43 percent like more than 20 brands on Facebook and 77 percent participate in loyalty reward programs. Also, nearly 45 percent will promote something on social media in exchange for a reward.
  • Will talk about you. They are a generation that reads reviews and leaves them, whether they are good or bad.
  • Have big hearts. They reward companies that practice social awareness and energy efficiency.

The Approach: Millennials

Millennials want to be your friends. They want to be spoken to in a conversational tone, but not one that belittles their educational level. They enjoy witty humor, and they don’t want to be preached to or ordered to do something. When creating your messaging, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Don’t underestimate them! Millennials like to be engaged, and loyalty can be earned through brand interaction. Give them incentives for responding, sharing, or taking action. Remember to use things like loyalty points or rewards to make them feel appreciated.
  • Take time to understand their lifestyle. Many are just now having children – or have decided not to have them altogether. And if they have a significant other, don’t assume that they are married.
  • Meet them online. Choose email marketing, social media ads, and other online advertising avenues as opposed to more traditional channels. They basically live online; you just have to meet them there.
  • See what works. Use hashtags to keep track of social media content and drive conversations. Be very interactive on your social media channels, but also see if your audience prefers Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat – and then budget accordingly.
  • Monitor online reviews and handle negative feedback professionally. There’s nothing worse than a company blaming a bad review on the customer. Make sure that your online reputation stays positive, and ask current customers for reviews regularly.
  • Find a cause. Support a non-profit annually or make note of eco-friendly materials or sourcing methods whenever possible. Millennials will appreciate your conservation and philanthropic endeavors.

Who’s Your Target Market?

In the fourth and final part of our series, we will discuss Generation Z. These customers represent the future of your business, so make sure that you get to know them now!

As always, if you need some help narrowing down your own customer base, give Conveyance a call. We’d love to help you set up a laser-focused marketing strategy for communicating to your target audience. With the right game plan, your company can find success.

Who’s Your Target Market, Part 2 of 4: Marketing to Gen X

Marketing to Gen X

In our last post, we talked about the generation with the most buying power in today’s marketplace, the Baby Boomers. It begins by talking about why defining and analyzing your target market is so important when it comes to developing a messaging platform and strategy. The more you know about your audience, in this case marketing to Gen X, the easier it will be to reach them and speak to them – in a language that they understand and respond to.

In today’s post, we are going to talk about Generation X, sometimes called the “Baby Bust” generation.

The Facts: Gen X

Gen Xers were born between 1965 and 1980, give or take a couple of years. They are active information seekers, yet many of them still prefer paper over digital. They are the smallest generation, but also the most financially powerful. They still read newspapers and magazines, watch TV, and listen to the radio… they may even have a stash of CD hidden away in a closet or in the car console.
Gen Xers:

    • Are worried about retirement. Half of Gen Xers have said that paying for their children’s college education is a major goal. This objective comes with a cost, though; nearly one-third have already withdrawn money from retirement accounts for miscellaneous expenses. And, on top of that, over 50 percent plan to work past 65 – or not retire at all.
    • Believe in hard work. Almost 75 percent of Gen Xers believe that “hard work is the key to getting ahead.” The majority also enjoys flexible working arrangements, preferring independent work environments.
    • Embrace technology – sometimes. When 95 percent of a generation has at least tried one social media platform (i.e., Facebook), you know that they enjoy technological perks. Over a third use LinkedIn and about a quarter regularly use Twitter. When it comes to programming, though, 85 percent still want to watch their favorites on the TV.
    • Use the Internet for research. More than 70 percent will go online to research products and companies. The good news is that even more than that – 81 percent – have made a purchase online.
    • Are brand-loyal. Nearly three-quarters of marketers believe that Gen X is the most brand-loyal generation. The only problem is that Gen Xers are also skeptical and wary of marketing efforts, so it takes a smart strategy to get them hooked.
    • Read reviews. They also visit more opinion sites than any other generation.

The Approach: Gen X

Gen Xers have a “BS” meter that is much more sensitive than any other generational segment. They’ve seen and heard it all, and it is difficult for many of them to take something at face value. They trust the bloggers that they follow and appreciate marketing that speaks directly to them and their needs.

When creating your messaging, here are some things to keep in mind:

      • Heed their priorities. About half of Gen X is more concerned about their child’s education right now than their retirement account. They strive to give their children everything they didn’t have while growing up.
      • Recognize their hard work. This generation includes many dual-income families. To get kids through college, it takes a lot of money. Acknowledge their sacrifices and applaud their parenting efforts.
      • Meet them in a comfort zone. Over 65 percent have used coupons that they received in the mail. With the rush to advertise digitally, print marketing nearly vanished – and consumers have noticed. A postcard or brochure in the mail almost seems like a novelty item, so take advantage of it – especially with a generation in which 86 percent still bring in the mail every day.
      • Find them online. Facebook may seem like a no-brainer, but the number who use it daily is much lower than the number of those who have simply set up a page. Look to platforms like Pinterest and Twitter that have rising usage rates, too, when crafting your strategy.
      • Partner with influencers. Bloggers can really do a lot when it comes to launching a new product or service. Find the right influencers in your industry and get them to recommend your new offering.
      • Monitor reviews. Just like Millennials, Gen Xers are big on reviews. Make sure that someone in your organization is keeping track of them and handling anything negative in a professional way.
      • Give them a reason to be loyal. Whether it’s supporting a non-profit, using recycled packaging, or giving out free, quality content, make sure that you give Gen X a reason to appreciate your efforts. Once they do, they may be loyal to your brand for life.

Who’s Your Target Market?

In Part 3 of our series, we will talk about Baby Boomers. You won’t want to miss it!

If you feel like you need a little help figuring out your target market, Conveyance can help. Our skilled team of marketing professionals can prepare a custom-tailored marketing strategy to reach your audience – when, where, and how they want to be met.

Who’s Your Target Market, Part 1 of 4: Marketing to Baby Boomers

Marketing to Baby Boomers

In today’s highly competitive marketplace, it is essential to know your target audience. If you assume that everyone is a potential customer, you may as well flush your marketing dollars down the drain. You need to know the age, gender, economic profile, lifestyle, technological sophistication, and consumer behavior of your potential customers. The more you know, the more you can tailor your messaging to the voice and delivery method that is the most effective for them. In today’s post, we are going to cover marketing to Baby Boomers – or “Boomers” – the largest segment of the US population.

The Facts: Baby Boomers

Baby Boomers were born between 1946 and 1964. They are called Baby Boomers because they are part of the “baby boom” that occurred after World War II ended. They are living longer than their predecessors, have a lot of disposable income, and have amassed quite a bit of wealth.
Baby Boomers:

  • Have disposable income. While they represent approximately 44 percent of the US population, Baby Boomers hold 70 percent of its disposable income. They have the highest-paying jobs, and they account for nearly half of all the purchases of consumer-packaged goods – spending the most across all product categories.
  • Own homes. Over a third of all US homeowners are Boomers, and they don’t make hasty home-buying decisions! The average time a Baby Boomer spends on a home search is almost five months.
  • Have more traditional family values. Less than 40 percent agree with same-sex marriage, but they believe in marriage as an institution. Close to half of Boomers were married between the ages of 18 and 33, and right now, nine out of ten are married.
  • Aren’t ready to just sit around. Over one-third of Boomers plan to work past 65 merely for enjoyment, and more than 80 percent have launched business ventures to either increase income, pursue dreams, or be their own bosses.
  • Utilize newspapers and magazines. Print is certainly not dead when it comes to Baby Boomers. Almost 60 percent claim that newspapers or magazines influence the start of their consumer product searches.
  • Prefer brick-and-mortar stores, as a whole. Over 60 percent prefer the brick-and-mortar buying experience to online-only retailers. They are also very loyal, and will share their feelings about a product or service with friends – and sometimes even strangers!
  • Make decisions based on perceived value. Over three-quarters of Boomers will make their purchase decision strictly on value. Baby Boomers account for 80 percent of all luxury travel spending.
  • Like to get a bargain. Whether they are looking to save a few dollars or rack up rewards points, Baby Boomers love loyalty programs. Over 85 percent belong to some sort of rewards plan.

The Approach: Baby Boomers

If you think of Gen X as the generation that hates “BS,” you can think of Boomers as the generation that hates to be underrated and overlooked. According to AARP, only five to 10 percent of all marketing efforts are actually targeted to Baby Boomers even though they control more than two-thirds of the disposable income in the US.

When creating your messaging, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • They are diligent researchers and buyers. If you speak their language and provide them with useful information, they’ll reward you for it.
  • Treat them with respect. They’ve worked hard to own homes, support families, and start companies; they’ve earned your respect.
  • Some assumptions are good. With more traditional values, most Baby Boomers will appreciate it if you assume that they are married – or have been – and own their home.
  • They won’t be heading into retirement gracefully. Many Boomers want to remain active, both physically and mentally, and may even refrain from retiring altogether. This generation is full of capable leaders, so it’s essential to treat them as such.
  • Focus on the physical. Baby Boomers may do some research online, but they aren’t big about shopping there. Most want a physical store with helpful salespeople to guide their purchase. They also prefer paper over digital, so magazines, newspapers, and direct mail are the best ways to reach them.
  • It’s all about perception. If you’re selling a product or service, Boomers want to know that it’s the best available. Your marketing campaign needs to focus on what makes you better than your competitors.
  • Make them feel the love. Just because they are willing to spend more for something of quality doesn’t mean that they don’t want to feel appreciated. Utilize rewards programs or coupons to make sure they know that you value their loyalty.

Who’s Your Target Market?

Stay tuned for Part Two of our four-part series, where we will go over the characteristics of Generation X – sometimes called the “Baby Bust” generation.

If you are still wondering which target market fits your service or product, you’re not alone. Narrowing your efforts toward just the right audience can be a complicated process, and it’s a process that many businesses fail to get right. Don’t throw away any of your marketing budget! Contact Conveyance today for strategic guidance on all your marketing endeavors.

Website Design Strategy: Above the Fold

Why Should Above the Fold Matter in Your Website Design Strategy

There’s always a lot of back-and-forth between marketing companies in regards to the importance of having items – especially calls-to-action – above the fold when talking website design strategy. While the debate will never cease on the call-to-action front, there’s no denying that what goes above the fold of your website should be compelling and thought-provoking. It’s the most coveted space on your website. If you have a website or are just beginning to design one, you need to know why “above the fold” is so crucial.

What Does “Above the Fold” Mean?

Back before smart phones and computers, newspapers served as one of the primary ways to disseminate information. Stories on the upper half of the front side of the newspaper were called “above the fold” and were considered to be the top stories of the day.

In the digital age, “above the fold” refers to what you see on your website before you click or scroll. All other content that requires scrolling is considered to be “below the fold.”

Why the Fold Matters

Just like newspapers, your website should showcase its most important information at first glance. Why? Some people simply won’t scroll; that means that they will judge your entire website based on what they see on that first screen. Additionally, research shows that people have attention spans of less than 8 seconds. Even if they do scroll, there’s a good chance that they won’t make it to the bottom of your home page.

Things to Consider When Planning for Above the Fold

Keep in mind that the content above the fold is the first impression of your business.

Before deciding what you want to display, consider:

  • Who is looking at your site. By doing some research, you can determine if most viewers are looking at your site from a computer, tablet, or mobile phone. By knowing this level of detail, you can gear your home page to the audience viewing it the most.
  • How you’re going to convince them to scroll down. In order to convince people to scroll, you have to engage them with good copy and great graphics. Give them the most critical information about your business above the fold, but lure them into wanting to see – or read – more.
  • How you can avoid a false bottom. Many sites appear to end at the fold. Make sure that some of your content is cut off (indicating there’s more below) or that you have arrows or graphics telling viewers to scroll down. If people think there’s nothing below the fold, they won’t even try to scroll.

The Great Call-to-Action Debate

Jakob Nielsen, a world-renowned web usability consultant, notes that only 20 percent of viewers will read below the fold of your website, with the likelihood of them scrolling all the way to the bottom almost nonexistent. Because of this, many companies argue that your call-to-action should be above the fold. Others say that it’s too pushy to put a call-to-action above the fold, and that you need to worry more about convincing people to scroll than having a call-to-action front and center.

What do we think? Well, we believe that every business is unique. A call-to-action above the fold may not seem pushy for one business; it might actually seem necessary. On the other hand, research has proven that people will scroll if they think there’s more interesting content to see and read. Additionally, research has also shown that people are more willing to scroll than click.

It’s more important to worry about summarizing what you want your audience to know above the fold – and engaging them.

It Always Goes Back to Content

We’ve said this on many, many occasions: Content is King. The best websites are designed with their target audiences in mind – knowing what potential customers want to hear and how they want to hear it. If you can achieve all of that in that precious space above the fold, then you’ll be on your way to a successful and rewarding website.

Turning Tech Talk into Business Value – Marketing Tech

Marketing Tech … Does Your Marketing Company Speak Geek?

At Conveyance, many of our clients are technology-centric and serve as disruptors within their markets. From start-ups with innovative hardware or software solutions to established consulting companies looking to define a new niche, we’ve seen it all.

When many of our clients come to us, they are just beginning to move their product from the research and development arena to the marketplace – what an exciting time. Our clients are masters at developing products and services that break the mold; but turning those product and services specifications into business value is often difficult for them – this is where Conveyance steps in. We help our clients turn their “tech talk” into business value.

When the “Norm” isn’t Good Enough

While there are many marketing companies out there that handle more traditional businesses well, not many talk the crucial language of “geek speak.” They may pretend to understand your technology, but, in reality, they don’t. Their plan is to take your innovative breakthrough and put it through the exact marketing process – and through the same overused marketing channels – as all of their other clients. They aren’t concerned with spending time with you or getting to know your product, your engineers, your sales team and your goals. In fact, some companies will tell you that not asking you questions is merely how they save your precious time. You have to fit into their process – when it should be the other way around.

Disruptor, Meet Disruptor

Unlike those other marketing companies, Conveyance is a disruptor in its own right. Everyone in our firm comes from a tech background. Prior to starting Conveyance, I spent my entire career working with high-tech companies. We don’t have to pretend to understand geek speak in our office; we speak it fluently.

From project management and customer relationship management (CRM) software to smart apps and storage appliances, we start every partnership by diving deep, understanding how you work and what your product or service is all about. We talk to engineers, CTOs, and developers to learn all the details of your solutions – and extract the “so what.” No two clients are ever the same, and that’s what makes our job so enjoyable.

More like a Mad Lib than a Form Letter

While we do have processes in place to keep us organized and on track, we adjust those processes to fit each client. We not only take the time to get to know your business, but we also spend time getting to know your current clients and your target audience. By grasping how they want to learn about your technology, we can then communicate to them the right way – the way that turns leads into sales.
We align our creative process with technological objectives, taking product features and turning them into tangible product benefits – or, business value. Instead of saying, “So What?” your clients will say, “Now I get it.”

Accelerating Growth Without Overhead

Money is precious to every business. Instead of hiring additional staff to market your new technology, you can save on overhead by partnering with Conveyance. Our Virtual Marketing Office (VMO) enables customers to put marketing dollars directly toward projects, instead of cubicles and vacation time.

If you’ve already shaken up your market or you’re about to, give us a call. We can turn your tech talk into business value, and ensure that you’re speaking to your audience in a way that conveys your message effectively.

Marketing Strategy 101: What is Your Competition Doing?

Is your competition beating you?

While it’s crucial to keep moving forward in business, searching for the next “big thing,” it’s also important to look back at what your competition is doing; this is basic marketing strategy. Too many companies fail to utilize the free intelligence from their competitors. What is working for them? What isn’t? You can learn a lot from another business’ successes and failures – without having to invest a dollar of your own.

An excellent way to benchmark yourself is to objectively look at where your competitors are and how they are doing. You can’t just assume that they are doing better – or worse – than you are, based on what a former customer said or a disgruntled employee. Sit down and evaluate them. Here is a quick list of where to begin:

1. Website

  • Is it more polished than yours?
  • Does it have better functionality?
  • Does it rank above yours in Google, Yahoo and Bing?

2. Collateral

  • What types of content are they offering their customers?
  • How is the quality of that content?
  • How do their sales materials, like brochures and business cards, look in comparison to yours?
  • Do their sales pieces represent them well? What do you like and dislike about them?

3. Distribution Channel

  • If you and your competitors distribute your products, how is their network compared to yours?
  • Why is yours better, or worse?

4. Perception in the Marketplace

  • How do customers perceive your competitors?
  • How are you perceived?
  • Try being a “secret shopper.” What did you like about the buying experience? What did you dislike?
  • How is their pricing compared to yours?
  • How are their products or services compared to yours?

Do you need to take action to beat your competition?

After spending a little bit of time at your desk, there’s a good chance that you’ll have some significant insight into how your competitors are approaching your shared target audience. If they are beating you in sales and visibility, then it’s time to re-evaluate and strategically address the places where they are beating you.

  • Do you need a better website?
  • Do you need to change your advertising strategy?
  • Do you need to increase your branding efforts to alter the perception of your company in the marketplace
  • How can you differentiate yourself?
  • How can you let customers know that you do not share their weaknesses?

Are they really your competition?

Are you afraid of something that doesn’t even exist? Sometimes our perceptions cloud our judgment, so don’t be surprised if you realize that your arch nemesis isn’t really a competitor at all. You may think that another business does the same thing as you, but it may just be a perception issue – either on your part, or theirs – but hopefully not your target audience. Don’t be afraid to cross a business off your list that isn’t relevant; just make sure that you are the one conveying the right message to your audience.

Stay one step ahead.
Once you’ve compared apples to apples, you can correctly set your sights on where you want to be – and who you want to beat. Your customers want you to be more innovative and creative than the competition, so make sure that you are by keeping one eye on them at all times. Sign up for their newsletters, emails, and catalogs. Shop or dine at their establishments periodically. Your competitive advantage is right at your fingertips; all you need to do is uncover it.