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5 Steps to Build a Powerful Corporate Identity (Part 3 and 4)

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3. Implement and measure to the last detail

“I have explained my business goals and marketing objectives to my staff.”

That is a good first step, but definitely not the last one. Your main objective is to create a unique position in the mind of your prospects. Staff often understands the marketing objectives, but seldom knows how to put them across to the clients effectively. A robust marketing plan will draw your internal audience as well as your external audience. To enable this, you have to chalk out monthly/quarterly and yearly marketing goals and ways to achieve them. The goals could be in terms of number of unique visitors, leads, new customers, repeat customers, reference customers, marketing budget, and so on. Online marketing is highly measurable and you can usually know the results of your activities in real-time.

4. Change is the only constant

“My last year’s plan got me good leads; I think I will stick to it for a couple of years.”

The world is changing at such a fast pace that you cannot rest with the belief that what worked earlier will keep working in future too. While one email campaign can bring 500 leads in a week, the next one can bomb as your emails land in the junk mailbox – harming your corporate image drastically. You will have to stay ahead of the changes happening around you and across the world and take advantage of the ones that could be used in your case. Coco Cola’s first ad campaign worked like a charm, but that didn’t stop it from experimenting and treading new grounds. Every year or season, we see newer manifestations of the same brand message in different mediums – a good example to follow.

5 Steps to Build a Powerful Corporate Identity (Part 2 of 5)

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Take a holistic approach

“I have got an attractive brand logo designed.”

Many business owners feel that designing an attractive website and a unique logo is all it takes to create a brand image. It might grab the attention of your visitors for a while, but would not make them pick up the phone and call you immediately. Promotions are short-lived too, as they can be copied easily. Your marketing plan should include an optimum mix of well-planned online and offline activities that slowly head you toward your goals. Online activities do not eat too much of your budget so you can be liberal while planning them. Online branding activities include:

  • Building an informative website that inches your prospects from ‘attention’ to ‘desire’ stage
  • Optimizing your website for search engines to increase organic visitors
  • Marketing your business online by actively participating in related blogs, forums, networks, communities, business directories, and allied websites
  • Posting useful content on twitter, wikis, youtube, PRweb, ezinearticles, and the likes
  • Site-targeted advertising, pay-per-click search campaigns, and banner ads based on your budget
  • Opt-in newsletter, webinars, and promotional email marketing campaigns

Offline activities include print/TV advertising, marketing collateral building, event participation, direct marketing, customer support, and more. All these activities should be done intelligently keeping your core brand positioning in mind all the time. Consider other external factors too. Word of mouth can play an important role in the web-world.

5 Steps to Build a Powerful Corporate Identity (Part 1 of 5)

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If you cannot hire a big ad agency to build your brand, try some of these do-it-yourself ways to establish your company’s corporate identity.

1. A war cannot be won without a strategy

“I know my business in-and-out; people will trust me for my experience.”

People who know you will surely trust you for who you are, but what about others who will give you real business? You will face the competitive intensity when you realize that Google brings in 10 million results for your service keyword – it’s literally a war out there. People will not come to you if they feel that you are not offering anything exceptional. Therefore, before you start building your marketing and branding plan, you should study the market and identify ways to differentiate yourself from your core competitors.

Studying is not difficult – all you need to do is to put on the shoes of a prospect, call your competitors and visit their websites to check-out how they position themselves. The difficult part comes now – creating a value proposition that will make your company the preferred one. You can take help of a marketing consultant to help you device an idea that stands-out, while offering real value to your prospects. You will need to clearly define your target market and build concrete short-term and long-term plans based on their preferences. But how do you make a plan?

More to come in the next part…

Get Ready for Ten Top Marketing Trends in Twenty-Ten

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Social Metrics Influencing Search Rankings
Do you really think Google will ignore social data? Crawling social sites like Twitter and Facebook was only the first step.

Expect to see Google taking social data into account for organic search rankings. There’s too much link data in social sites to be ignored. Expect to see an acquisition of a service like PostRank.

How to prepare: Sign up for a profile on the top social sites, and start growing your presence there. Learn how to properly participate and engage with the community.

Social Fatigue
Brad Mays first mentioned the idea of social fatigue during his presentation at the Social Media Club of Dallas. So much energy and time was spent extolling the virtues of social in 2009 that I think you’ll see some thought leaders start a mini-rebellion.

I expect to see some thought leaders try to latch onto the next best thing, or roll the social media category into something much broader like digital strategy or Internet marketing.

How to prepare: Never put all your eggs in one basket. If you’re not already, think about planning and executing an integrated marketing campaign that encompasses SEO, PPC, Social, E-mail, and in some cases, some offline spend.

Social Shakedowns
2009 was the year of the “social media expert”. Given the young age of the social media industry, it was easy for anyone with a Twitter account to claim the status of expert. Expect to see further distancing between true social media professionals and the social charlatans.

How to prepare: If you’re a marketer – keep doing what you’re doing, experiment, play, and educate yourself. You’ll get to expert status eventually.

If you’re a client – do some basic work educating yourself about social media marketing, and be sure to ask potential agency partners to provide examples of work – and in the absence of examples, regular reporting and goal setting will suffice.

An Emphasis on Social ROI and Metrics
Many social media professionals have had the better part of two years to experiment with social tactics and strategy – the best have even more. I believe that the foundation has already been set for how to market successfully using social. Now it’s time to start backing up our work with numbers.

How to prepare: Identify measurable goals for your social campaigns, and then find ways to measure and report. Check out sites like Klout, Twitter Grader, PostRank and Social Mention. Surveys are always good too.

 Other trends:

  • Mobile boom
  • Focus on the hyperlocal
  • Living with less
  • Social skills in demand
  • Bing becomes more relevant
  • Power in the niche

Read more at: http://www.leveltendesign.com/blog/colin/get-ready-ten-top-marketing-trends-twenty-ten

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