Modes of communication have seen an evolution in the last decade that we are not likely to witness again in our lifetimes. It’s vital that your business marketing messages be up-to-date and use the latest technology in order for you to remain relevant in your customers’ minds.
This is the first part overview of a series of articles I will be sending on The Top Ten Virtual Brand Builders. Before I go into detail about the Top Ten, I need to address the importance of a strong, cohesive brand image in this fast moving world. A “brand” has always been so much more than a logo and a tag line; it is the complete experience a customer has. In this Interactive Era of Connectedness a portion of your brand perception is beyond your control, affected by customer feedback – fueled and facilitated by Social Media.
This Interactive Era of Connectedness is also competing for your customers’ attention. People are processing information through all of their senses in amazing amounts; information comes at us like we’re standing at the end of a fire hose, which means we are retaining less information from the sensory overload. A brand has to work overtime to secure recognition with the audience, and even harder to motivate action.
Over the years, how many of you have heard me say, “Your message must be honed to concise relevancy in order to cut through the ‘white noise’ of the increased number of TV/radio stations, magazines, and billboards.”? Think about how much more “white noise” there is in existence today with people accessing the world via smart mobile devices (SMDs). Instead of watching, listening to, or reading your ads, customers are texting, on social media (Facebook, Twitter), surfing the Internet, taking pictures, etc.
In order to grab that customer by the chin and turn their head your way, you must be sure of the two main components of your marketing/brand message: Content and Frequency. Weather you are a B2B (Business selling to Businesses) or a B2C (Businesses selling to Consumers), these are the foundations of successful attraction. Of course there are many other facets which determine the effectiveness (such as timing, placement, venue, etc.) but these are the essential starting points.
Your marketing and sales content needs to quickly answer: What is it?, What of it?, How does it benefit me? (“Me” the customer/prospect, not you, the company)
The good news is that increased frequency is easier to achieve through the inflated channels of communication. How many times a prospect needs to see your message (effective frequency) before acting upon it, has been debated for a very long time. Harvard published a study saying seven (7) times, the advertising agency experts typically say three (3). Here is an ironic anecdote about frequency by Thomas Smith who wrote a guide called Successful Advertising in 1885. His saying below is still being used today.
The first time people look at any given ad, they don't even see it.
The second time, they don't notice it.
The third time, they are aware that it is there.
The fourth time, they have a fleeting sense that they've seen it somewhere before.
The fifth time, they actually read the ad.
The sixth time they thumb their nose at it.
The seventh time, they start to get a little irritated with it.
The eighth time, they start to think, "Here's that confounded ad again."
The ninth time, they start to wonder if they're missing out on something.
The tenth time, they ask their friends and neighbors if they've tried it.
The eleventh time, they wonder how the company is paying for all these ads.
The twelfth time, they start to think that it must be a good product.
The thirteenth time, they start to feel the product has value.
The fourteenth time, they start to remember wanting a product exactly like this for a long time.
The fifteenth time, they start to yearn for it because they can't afford to buy it.
The sixteenth time, they accept the fact that they will buy it sometime in the future.
The seventeenth time, they make a note to buy the product.
The eighteenth time, they curse their poverty for not allowing them to buy this terrific product.
The nineteenth time, they count their money very carefully.
The twentieth time prospects see the ad, they buy what it is offering.
The Top 10 Virtual Brand Builders
- Web Presence – It is absolutely mandatory to have a website. Not just any website, but a website that reflects the quality of your offering, is relevant, and easy to navigate. A Wiki page may also be appropriate for your business and/or area of expertise.
- Mobile Device Compatibility – Your website should be easily viewed by SMDs (phone-friendly). See ours by scanning this QR code with your smart phone:
- QR Codes – Scanable data code containing URLs, text, etc.
- Social Media Presence – It is important for most businesses to have a social media presence. There are some industries that should not.
- Electronic Communication – It is much more efficient to use technology to communicate to your customers, prospects, and “heavy users”.
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- Electronic Sales Material – while it is still very impressive to have a custom printed information piece on your company, it is vital that it also be deliverable electronically.
- Web Advertising – Pay Per Click, Cross Promotion, etc.
- CMS – Content Management Scripts allow you to easily update inventory or items/information on your website.
- Personalized Marketing – It is psychologically powerful for someone to see their name in unexpected places.
- Apps – Custom applications that make it easier for prospects and customers to interact with you
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