When you think about surveys you are probably thinking “omg I don’t have time for this!” or if you are the one having to write the survey you are probably thinking “What is the point, it’s just a survey!”. Well, surveys are very important, especially if you are the one conducting them for your business or for your marketing research. Surveys are important because they give us an inside look at our audience and how they feel about our products before or after they try them.
Surveys can offer insights on brand awareness, familiarity, functionality, satisfaction, and how likely the customer is to repurchase your product or recommending it to friends and family. Not only are insights like these mentioned above super important, but also insights on things that could be improved. As a business owner, you could be biased to your own product or service, which means you might not be the best person to rule out any possible problems with your product. Surveys are a great way for customers to give you feedback on things they don’t like, things they do like, and what they feel could be improved so that your brand continues to grow a become more valuable in the eyes of your consumers.
Communication and feedback in business are key, and there is no better feedback than the one your consumers provide you with!
To check out my last blog post about surveys click the link below
Do you use landing pages? And if not, why not? Landing pages are not just fun to make but are very important to your business and your marketing strategy when first launching a new product or service. Think of landing pages like a controlled and guided extension to your main website. Your main website is very important in the sense that it contains all your company’s information, products, services, and contacts, BUT your landing page is a very detailed and tightly focused page for one specific product or service.
Right now there is a universal pandemic going on regarding COVID-19, because of this a lot of businesses have had to close shop due to the safety of the population and preventing the spread of the virus. The protocol in the US as well as in many countries is to keep everyone indoors as a state of emergency. Due to these city-wide lockdowns stores, restaurants, gyms, malls, shopping centers, etc. are closing which is damaging the business livelihood for the next couple of weeks. The future is very uncertain at this point and many businesses around the globe are suffering because of the shutdowns. While these shutdowns and lockdowns are performed for the greater good of civilians business owners must find new ways to keep their business running smartly and effectively. This is where digital marketing becomes key and can save the business from going under within the next few weeks.
I am aware that some business needs the face to face interaction due to the nature of their services, and for those, these marketing practices may not all be the solution, but for the ones that can survive online listen up!
Putting digital marketing to work
During this time, I’ve gotten to work with a couple of clients helping them set up an online presence to maximize sales for the time being.
One of my clients is a personal trainer, and her main objective is to help train women one on one to get in shape and lead a healthier and sustainable overall lifestyle. Before the COVID-19 situation, she would couch these women face to face at the gym since social distancing became a huge motivating factor in stopping the spread of the virus, my client feared she would lose her clients and her main source of income.
In coming up with ideas to diminishing casualties we decided to create home workout guides that women would be able to use during this “stay at home” situation. We would also provide meal plans so they could stay consistent and create a healthy nutritional plan.
We decided to set up a landing page so it would be easy to guide potential customers and existing clients to the workout program without them getting lost in her original website and create more sales.
This worked perfectly and we were able to pick up sales and reduce the loss of income that was expected from not being able to train one on one.
This is just one example of how digital marketing and landing pages could help you and your business grow to new heights as well as come up with alternative routes that can save you from life uncertainties.
If you have a product or a service test out launching it first with a landing page and see how much direct traffic you get all while minimizing exploration through your regular website
As a new business or existing business, it is highly important to keep up with customer trends and their opinions of your product or service. This is where market research comes into play. You want to be able to understand your target audience and the future audience that could potentially buy your products or services. Without knowing exactly how well your product is doing in the market how would you know what things need to be fixed, improved, or left alone? Knowing this type of information allows marketers to make decisions and strategize new ways to drive traffic and ultimately increase sales. There are two types of research you can conduct as a marketer, qualitative and quantitative research. Quantitative is based on measurement, data, and statistical analysis. This can be done via surveys. Then there is qualitative, which is about asking questions to answer the reasoning behind consumer’s feelings and emotions with said products or services. Let’s say you are the owner of a new bikini line in Miami, Fl and you want to see how well your customers are liking your bikinis or if they would buy your new line of bikinis. This would be the perfect opportunity to conduct one of the two tests. If your decision is based more on the branded approach to the new line, you would go with a qualitative test. Getting an in-depth opinion on the new style, pattern, color, and design is much more complex and would require you having an actual conversation with your consumer, either in an interview setting or a focus group setting in order to get the opinions of a couple of different people at the same time. Conducting these experiments not only gives you insight on your target audience preferences but it also allows you to get ideas for the future and your future plans for your business. Market research allows you to create from your vision, with your audience in mind, make sure to listen to them!
Social media has become the epitome of the digital age within the last couple of years and has changed the game of marketing for all those involved. Right now, if you don’t have a social media account as a business owner, you might as well close shop because no one will be able to find you, at least that is what we can predict regarding social media user patterns. Many new businesses understand the importance of social media, and it is usually because these new businesses are startups` run by millennials who live, breathe, and eat social media, they were raised in this era. For those of you who weren’t, I have a few pointers!
While every business in my opinion needs social media to increase brand awareness and keep up with consumer trends, I am very aware that many old businesses are the ones suffering the most. I say they suffer the most because older businesses usually are the ones that started their companies before social media became a thing, they were here when TV advertisement was the BIGGEST thing. Good news, anyone can start using social media for branding and business purposes! There is a huge opportunity when it comes to social media and how accessible businesses can become by just joining even one social platform.
The world of social media has enough room to accommodate new users and new businesses who want to become a part of it. Social media is increasing like crazy and has no plans of stopping anytime soon. Everyday more and more users have decided to turn to IG, FB, Twitter, YouTube, Tik Tok etc… and guess what? Those are all new and potential customers you could be targeting if you decided to let your business join in on the fun. Not to mention all the great benefits that social media can bring to both new and old brands no matter the industry.
Social media is a great way for new brands to build brand awareness, (just like this great article from LYFE Marketing states) get their names out there and reach their target audience. This is also amazing for older brands who could use some rebranding, gain new audiences, and interact with their customers on a more personal and engaging manner. Older businesses in my experience might feel a little reluctant to social media, and mainly because they don’t understand it, which is why I am here, to help you navigate the new waters and get you safely on shore with the rest of the world, ha!
If you think about it, what is the first thing you do when you find a cool new place to eat at or visit? Probably check out their IG to see if it’s worth going right? That’s exactly how most users act on a day to day basis. IG has become a yelp sight, especially for restaurants, hotels, and any service-based industry. If you require widening your market, social media could be a great start.
Customers purchase with emotion, and allowing their emotions get in the way of their decisions. If you look at any of your favorite brands you would probably buy anything they sell because you feel like that brand is worth it, because you are convinced that they can’t sell anything bad or not worth buying, to you they are the best brand, and that is brand loyalty. Social media is a great way to increase brand loyalty and showcase your audience with your service and products, it is also a good and easy way for those customers to share your products with their friends and prospected clients. Sharing is a huge plus in social media, also, becoming more discoverable!
Not to mention how creative you can get with social media, this is your chance to show the world your unique style, brand, and tone with content, visuals and copywriting.
At the end of the day, you may think social media is only used for vanity reasons or because it’s the “cool” thing to do nowadays, but in reality the ones that can benefit the most from it are business owners and brands trying to set themselves apart from the competition. Social media ads, content creation, networking, and engaging with your audience will continue to drive brand awareness which is what you want.
And if you are a little anti-social for the socials, just know it’s my job to make you sociably available!
In marketing, we always want to connect with our audience. Let it be by image, sound, verbal, or no-verbal, we are always trying to reach our audience in new and creative ways. One way we can achieve this is by using elements in what we bring to our audiences.
Take for example a promotional flyer (static image) or a 30-second commercial (video image) these are all fun and creative ways to show off the brand and inform consumers about new products or new promotional sales happening with the brand. Everyone paints their own image of a brand in their minds, but it is up to marketers to make those images and attitudes towards the brands as positive as possible. Elements allow to connect the content message with perception by targeting mood and all the sences. Visual elements can also help make that final persuation to nudge consumers in the purchasing direction.
Marketers can achieve this Is by using different elements to help guide consumers into the direction they want, as humans we all perceive things differently, and different sounds, colors, typography, visual effects, texture, and even mood can be captured differently among groups of people.
I’ve been seeing a lot of cool and creative commercials lately, and it amazes me how realistic they are becoming. Marketers have been able to incorporate both static design elements and video design elements into a 30-second clip, mind-blowing!
I was watching a Doritos commercial the other day, and let me tell you, I thought I could SMELL the actual Doritos, and the cheese through my computer! That’s the power of elements! Smell, touch, and visualization is a way to connect with anyone, and if you could incorporate that into a campaign then you will have no problem connecting with your audience and having them engage with your product. This is also beneficial to recognition with your brand. One thing we don’t want our customers and potential customers to do is to forget about our brand’s name and logo!
Building those connections and that mental recognition is what differentiates a good brand with an iconic brand!
Whether you are the buyer or the seller, there is always an intention in communication. You might not always know what that intention is, but there should be one in order to be able to send and receive the correct information.
Basically, to get your point across, or decode the message someone is trying to send you.
Communication is extremely important in any situation, it’s a way of interaction, a sense of community, and a way of expression
And due to high technological advances, our streams of communication have opened up even wider, allowing us to further expand our reach
When it comes to business, I believe communication is key to the success of a business. Being able to fully understand this is what can make or break your company
Take for example your favorite clothing store, their objective is to sell, but in order to sell, you need to understand your customer and their needs.
This can be done by communicating with your customer if you are a storefront or by analyzing buyer patterns, building dialogue through online customer service, or community management in an online store
If you are dealing with a face to face customer you want to create intentional communication that allows you to listen to what they need, what they want, and then direct them to a solution.
Their need could be a dress for a wedding reception and your solution could be the new navy-blue cocktail dress your store is trying to promote
Here, you answered with an intention (to sell the new navy-blue dress that is being promoted)
And you also decoded her message as she intended it. She needed something wedding appropriate and you were able to execute the correct solution
If the customer liked your suggestion, then the customer is happy, and you just made a sale
But you could have also misheard and given her a dress more appropriate for a night out partying
The customer could have not liked your choice, decided this store does not cater to her particular need and leave, costing you a sale even though you probably did have the type of dress style she needed
Communication is a two-way street, and understanding that is the first step to becoming a good business owner!
When it comes to marketing data is VITAL! It is up to you and your marketing team to gather the most updated information to make strategic plans and execute them in a way that will support your companies’ goals and objectives.
You can do this in two ways, with internal records and marketing intelligence! The Marketing Management by Kotler Keller explains the two very well. All companies have access to their internal records, this is useful data that contains all the company’s internal resources and results, perfect to figure out internal errors and make the necessary changes. Marketing Intelligence provides happenings data, this includes EVERYTHING that is happening in the market, including your competition and what they are up to.
There are a variety of ways to gather your marketing intelligence; through books, newspapers, trade publications, talking to customers, suppliers, distributors, monitoring social media, and meeting with company managers as explained in Marketing Management.
Altogether, marketing intelligence is a collection of competitive insight and market insight, this helps in decision making and strategizing so you can target your product and audience most effectively and beneficially.
No company stays afloat with blinders on, you need to be aware of your surroundings and your competition at all times to see what works, what is working, and what does not work.
Starting a new business may sound fun and exciting at the beginning, but it can quickly turn into an anxiety-filled living nightmare once you realize that you have no clue who you are even targeting! Many new business owners have all these ideas of what they want their business to be like, look like, sound like, etc.., but then they forget about one of the most important parts of starting a new business, MARKET RESEARCH!
Yup! You would think that market research would be the first thing they’d think about, but you’d be surprised at how many people overlook this.
Your product or your service is the key to whether you’ll make it or break it in your particular industry, but you can have an amazing product and have no one to sell it to, either because you are targeting the wrong audience or you didn’t do your research on the current market.
Thinking ahead is key here, you need to figure out who you want to target and why would those people or businesses want to purchase from you. I always like to refer back to a statement I read once in a Forbes (Links to an external site.) article, “The potential market for your products or services can be defined as the pool of consumers or businesses who would consider purchasing them”, this is gold here, and something I encourage all new business owners to engrave into their minds!
It’s all about finding the wants and needs of your product or service, once you do that you can direct and strategize your approach into the market!
You’re sitting at your desk one day, contemplating leaving your 9-5 job, booking a one-way ticket, and starting a new life in another city. We’ve all been there, and all though that sounds like one amazing plan we all wish we could do, it’s not everyone’s reality.
We can’t all just pack up our things and drop all responsibilities when we are feeling spontaneous and inspired, that would be crazy right?
Well, it is, but you know what’s even crazier? Having a dream and not making that dream a reality, or at least not having the courage to make it happen
I’ve worked with many brands from different backgrounds, cultures, and mindsets over the years, and although they are all very different, they all have one thing in common. The owners and the founders all took RISKS.
Every single owner I spoke to all mentioned that they were tired of working for someone else, tired of making other people’s dreams a reality, and most importantly not being able to have something that was their own!
That new life plan doesn’t sound so crazy anymore, right?
Life is all about taking risks! If you have the luxury to go for it and make a drastic change, I say go for it!
Alright, so I’ve just inspired you to quit your job, take out a loan to start your lifelong dream of creating a swim suite brand, and now you find yourself at a loss instead of making profits!
You probably didn’t take into consideration your contribution margin
Your contribution margin is basically the price of your item minus the cost to make that item
Contribution Margin = P (price) – VC (variable cost)
Let’s say you want to sell your newly designed swimsuit for $60 and when you add up all the costs to make that swimsuit (the fabric, the tassels, the clips, etc.…) it equals to $10
You would calculate $60 (P) – $10 (VC) = $50
Your contribution margin for that one swimsuit is $50
What does this mean? It means you are making money!
You are making more than what you are spending so that’s good! But if your cost was higher than your price, you are at a loss, which is what probably happened.
The contribution margin can actually help you set a price for your products if you are just starting out. You always want to sell higher than your cost. It also helps you differentiate between which manufacturer you want to use, which style of swimsuit you might end up selling, or even which fabric you want to go for
All these variables have costs, and to make money you want to pick the one that will yield you a higher contribution margin
So, you can compare the price point to different types of costs and see which option will be cheaper and get you the most profit
This is also great if you have already begun selling and you want to put your items up for sale. Without knowing your contribution margin you might sell your product at a low price and lose money
But, if you figured out your contribution margin, you would be able to know what the lowest price you could sell your product while still making money!
You are now a business owner, and as a business owner, it is up to you to know the ins and outs of your own company, starting with the costs associated with your products.
It’s not about being cheap and cutting corners to increase profits, it’s about bringing your clients high-quality products while being efficient and smart in your own business!