News

Marketing Matters to Your Customers. It Should Matter to You.

Cause marketing is now the norm for businesses. What is cause marketing?  Simply put, it’s a mutually beneficial partnership between a nonprofit and a for-profit (your business) for mutual profit.  It’s also known as cause-related marketing (CRM).

 

American Express first used the phrase in 1983 to describe its campaign to raise money for the restoration of the Statue of Liberty. American Express donated one cent to the restoration fund every time someone used its charge card. As a result of the campaign, the number of new American Express cardholders grew by 45%, and card usage increased by 28%. And the Statue of Liberty restoration fund?  In just four months, more than $2 million was raised for the project.

 

Your customers want to know that you share their desire to make the world a better place by supporting an important cause. Consumers now routinely turn to brands that stand for a cause. In a recent poll, 87% of consumers say they would switch from one brand to another if the other brand were associated with a good cause.

 

And businesses are taking notice. In 2010, companies spent $1.62 billion on cause marketing — up from 1990, when the number was just $120 million.

 

Where do you begin? For most companies, it’s best to start small by partnering with a local charity and working on a small campaign. If you’re ready to take on a larger cause, begin by contacting the development department at the charity you’re want to partner with. Remember, they are looking a solid ROI (just as you are), so be prepared to give them information on your platform, target audience and level of visibility. Make sure that the organization can provide you with similar solid stats on your ROI, too. After all, this is a partnership that you want to grow over time and not a one-time marketing boost. Like any good partnership, it must be nurtured and cultivated. 

 

Branding and Brand Integrity

Build Your Brand, It’s the One Thing You Truly Own

Take Control of Your Brand Identity and Brand Integrity

Branding and Brand Integrity

One of the facts of business life is that there is almost nothing about your business that a competitor can’t and won’t duplicate.  If you’ve created the proverbial “better mousetrap”, you can be certain that somebody will copy your model.  It’s just a matter time.  And eventually they may be able to do a better job or sell the product or service at a lower price.  So the question becomes, “What can I offer that can’t be copied by anyone else?”  The answer: your brand.

Creating a strong brand is one of the strongest competitive advantages your business can gain. When you do successfully build your brand, customers will think of you first when they need a certain product or service.  For example, when your child wants a hamburger, as often as not, she won’t ask for a hamburger but will ask if you’ll take her to McDonald’s. The reason: McDonald’s has built such a solid brand identity and maintained brand integrity.

A brand is the one thing about your business that nobody can completely duplicate. Everything else – including trade secrets, patents, physical plant and technology – will eventually expire, wear out or become obsolete.  But your brand can go on – even outliving your business.  Your brand creates lasting value above and beyond all other aspects of your business.

The importance and value of your brand becomes even more apparent if you want to sell the business or acquire investor capital.  It is often the brand that is your most valuable asset.  Your brand can be quantified.  For instance, potential investors often value your company by looking at the assets tied to your brand first. They then identify the value of your physical assets – office, patents, machinery and staff.  And often the physical assets are valued at a fraction of what you can sell your brand for.

So whether you hope to grow your company for yourself or eventually sell it, your brand is one of the most valuable assets your business can have.

increase twitter followers

6 Tips for Adding Followers to Your Twitter Account

Increase Twitter followers with these social media tips

increase twitter followers

By now, Twitter should be a major part of any company’s social media marketing campaigns.  Here are some simple guidelines to increase your number of followers on Twitter:

  1. Follow complementary accounts who follows you on Twitter. Almost all users are looking to add followers.  Every time you follow someone, a message is sent to their email alerting them of your add. There’s a good chance they’ll visit your profile to check you and they’ll add you back.
  2. Make sure your profile is complete. If your profile is poorly constructed or incomplete, people will not follow you back.  Fill out your profile completely, including a bio.
  3. Encourage people to retweet your links. Retweeting can put your company name in front of that user’s followers, exponentially increasing your visibility.
  4. Add pictures. Tweets with images are heavily retweeted. People like to have a visual picture of those with whom they are communicating.
  5. Tweet well and tweet often.You can never expect your Twitter profile to gain any attention if you don’t tweet regularly. Post as often as possible and with quality content and engage with other influencers.
  6. Put links to your Twitter profile everywhere. Link it on your website, Digg, LinkedIn, Facebook, blog, and email signature. In short, everywhere else you live online.

Incorporating Twitter as part of your social media strategy can be a very effective way of connecting with others in your digital space. So make those 140 characters count and tweet away!

Avoid Greenwashing

Avoid the Greenwash Tag

Embrace authenticity in your green practices

Avoid Greenwashing

More and more businesses are claiming to be using green, sustainable, or eco-friendly practices as part of their cause marketing strategy and/or overall corporate social responsibility (CSR) policy. They’re recycling, planning buildings that are energy-efficient, using only all-natural products in their ingredients or food they serve, or using only energy-efficient appliances.

As claims of environmentally sound practices multiply, a problem has arisen. How can anyone be sure that a particular business is actually practicing what they say they are?  The problem has become known as “greenwashing” and unfortunately, it’s becoming more commonplace.

Greenwashing is misleading consumers regarding the environmental practices of a company or the environmental benefits of their products or services.  In order to avoid being branded a “greenwasher” here are some important marketing principles your business can apply:

Recycling and Sustainability• Avoid using broad environmental claims such as “safe for the environment”, “environmentally friendly”, or “environmentally friendly”.  Any claims you make must be specific and clear to customers.
• Claims must be relevant to the product.  For example, claiming a product contains no chlorofluorocarbons even though chlorofluorocarbons were banned over 20 years ago.  Customers need to know the claim is technically accurate.
• Avoid the “Lesser of Two Evils” found in contradictory product combinations such as, “Clean Coal”.
• Avoid claims like “we use only green products” unless you can document that fact.
• Avoid terms like “only,” “always,” “all”, and “never,” unless you can back it up with no exceptions.

Remember, it doesn’t matter if the problem was intentional or inadvertent.  You need to get it right from the beginning and maintain consistency.  As customers become more knowledgeable about green, being branded a “greenwasher” will affect your credibility and could potentially lead to legal action. So it’s important to embrace transparency and authenticity in your actions whatever your claims may be.