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Keeping It Fresh

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Lately we have got asked a lot about what we do and the answer is  A LOT!  However our services have been updated lately to meet a lot of the requirements of our clients and I started to wonder – are my clients updating their services with the changing climate?  What is something your competition isn’t offering, should you offer it?  Is there something that you see a need for in your industry environment?  Sometimes it is as simple as education, or maybe changing the way you tell clients about what you do.  Either way it has been said that the only constant thing in life is change; so are you constantly changing?
We recently held a free seminar on our hybrid strategy of traditional and new media and had small business owner and even people from the different media outlets join us and some people thought I was crazy for telling them how to do a hybrid strategy effectively.  My answer was simply that I saw a need for this kind of education so that is now a service we give at Synergy Marketing Consultants.  Free education to our clients and even the clients of our competitor ~ why?  Because if my competitor doesn’t then I will and it makes me stand out.  So think about your business and the industry you are in and ask yourself what is something your consumers need or want and can you offer it to them better?  If the answer is yes, then update your services and Keep It Fresh!

Making It Make Sense,

Erika Jones

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How to aviod the “knee-jerk” reaction in your business

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I recently had a client who had an off week in business and sent me and email sort of freaking out.  It went a little something like this:
“We need to bring people in quickly with a loss-leader and once I bring them in I can hook them on my other product.  So let’s discount the heck out of the product sell it cheap cheap cheap and that should increase our business.   Run the sale!!!!”
So that is the Cliff notes version but you get the point.  How many of you have done this in your business?  Probably a lot if not all of you.  It is common and easy to do, you get scared and think I will bring a bunch of people in and they will love me so much they will become loyal.  That is not really what happens though.  When I got this email I first thought “What the heck?”  That is not the direction they want to go, they are scared.  So I responded by asking them the following questions:
1.  What plan do you have in place to convert the people who are coming in to get your super cheap product?  This particular customer is down one staff member and the rest are pretty busy as is so will they really be able to give all the “new” people coming in the best possible experience to make them a loyal customer?
2.  Who are you going to tell this message to?  You can’t just send this out in newsletter form and tell it to your existing customers who have paid full price all along, that will really tick them off.  Besides, the point of this is new customers, not just existing ones right?
3.  Typically the best way to get a “sale” message out is Radio or TV, you hit it heavy and hard and bring in TONS of people.  Great!  But………now these “new” customers associate your brand with “Discount” is that really how you want these new customers to view your product or brand is discounted?  You are training them from the beginning of the relationship to expect a discount or wait until you lower your price.
After asking them these questions they thought about this “sale” and decided against it.  We held steady and the traffic has leveled out.  Sometimes being still is the best thing for your business but do you have someone telling you that?  Most agencies would have picked up the phone and placed the order for the radio or tv schedule, but I knew that wasn’t the best thing for the client.  Do you have someone working with you in any part of your business that will be your level-headed thinker when you want to have a “knee-jerk” reaction?  If not get one, if you can’t think of one, call me.  I love what I do because I am not going to tell clients what they want to hear, I am going to tell them what they need to hear and knowing that I am making a positive impact on their business is the best payoff I could ever want!
Making It Make Sense,
Erika Jones, Synergy Marketing Consultants

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The Most Important Question No One Ever Asks You

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We all know that you can’t just go into something and hope that it works.  I have said this before and I will say it again no good strategy ever includes the words “hope and pray”.  So don’t do anything that you can’t measure.  Some people in marketing will say well then you need to include a call to action message if you want to measure a media to see if it works.  I say wrong!  Before you ever try to measure anything you should define what success looks like to you or what exactly you are trying to accomplish and consider it successful.  Depending on what you want your success to look like then that will determine a part of your marketing message.  What if success looks like opening a second location to you?  What kind of message do you send and to who?  It’s not just about an immediate response because anything immediate that you can measure right away eventually will wear out its welcome.  Most things that give you an immediate response are a discount, coupon or sale of some kind.  Now while those can be beneficial, is that going to get you to your second location?  So you will buy a radio campaign, run a sale then tell your radio rep that it didn’t work.  Why?  Well, because to you success was opening a second location not an influx of customers.  Most business owners haven’t ever really sat down and thought about what success really looks and feels like to them probably because no one has ever asked them.  Well I am asking you, and if you want to find out what that success feels like then contact me at Synergy Marketing Consultants.  Till next time…..

Making It Make Sense,
Erika Jones    Synergy Marketing Consultants

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Blacklisted by Google?

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Black Listed by Google?
Did you hear that Overstock.com recently lost 5% of its revenue because of Google?  Well before you get mad at the all mighty Google there are some things you should know.  Overstock.com cheated and Google caught them.  You see they were buying up links and key words on the internet that had nothing to do with their business, by doing that they were driving up their search rankings as a more relevant site no matter what you were searching for.  Well that is a big no-no for Google.  You would think that Overstock.com would have learned its lesson from JC Penny when they pulled that trick in late 2010 and were literally removed from Google.  Unfortunately both of these companies used outside sources to “boost” their Google rankings and it cost them.  There has been a lot of hype about SEO and key words and blah blah blah, it really isn’t that hard to get great Google rankings without spending a dime.  You just have to know how to do it.  What you don’t need is some agency or salesperson telling you they can get you on the first page of Google and buy ad words for you; you may just find yourself in an Uh-O Overstock situation.  For easy and free ways to boost your rankings the right way, contact me at Synergy Marketing Consultants.  Till next time….
Making It Make Sense,
Erika Jones  Synergy Marketing Consultants

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The Ice Cream Diet in Advertising

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I am a huge believer in research and constantly learning about your market and how it is changing.  Well in one of my research sessions I came across something that was very exciting to me.  eMarketer study done in February 2011 shows that by 2015 more than 25% of local ad dollars will be going to online advertising.  You all know I am a huge advocate of online advertising in your media mix, but this was both exciting and alarming to me.  First it made me wonder where the local business in this area would be come 2015 and if they would be in line with those numbers.  My guess is that they will be more simply because I talk to so many people every day that are trying to find someway to be very effective with their dollars and the conversation always turns to how they can do that online.  Second that 25% number made me wonder, just because a business is in line with that number and spending 25% of their budget online doesn’t mean it is in the right places.  I mean it just like a diet, you are only supposed to eat 1500 calories a day but let’t face it 1500 calories of veggies and protein are much better for you that 1500 calories of ice cream.  Our local market actually has some hidden gems when it comes to online advertising and I have seen them work very effectively.  So ask yourself as we go into the 2nd quarter of this year, goodness where has the year gone?  Then ask yourself are your ad dollars getting you a veggie and protein result or are you just eating some ice cream?  Till next time.
Making it Make Sense,
Erika Jones, Synergy Marketing Consultants

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