Forbes.com: Diversity Inclusion: Be The Change

Forbes.com: Diversity Inclusion: Be The Change

You’ve heard it before: Being diversity-inclusive is important. "Diversity inclusion" has become a bit of a buzzword lately, but what does this term mean when it comes to a small business?

Many small businesses hear "diversity inclusion" and assume it's related to HR -- and it is. But it's much more than that. Aside from hiring a diverse population as part of your workforce, there are internal and external messages that represent your company -- and being inclusive in those messages is also highly important.

Diversity inclusion can be broken down into three buckets:

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Forbes.com: The Importance Of Diversifying Your Marketing Plan

Forbes.com: The Importance Of Diversifying Your Marketing Plan

In today’s increasingly digital age, business owners are often preoccupied with marketing tactics that they have heard about and know they need -- most commonly, social media. As marketers, we frequently encounter business owners who come to us asking for help in creating their social media strategies. Often, these clients are so focused on the idea of social media being the most important tactic that they neglect other, more important pieces of their marketing plans.

While no one disagrees that social media is an important and powerful marketing tool, it cannot be the only tool, as many businesses experienced when the largest social media platform, Facebook, recently experienced an outage....

 

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Marketing Budgets for Businesses

Marketing Budgets for Businesses

MARCH 29, 2019

 

The big question when it comes to marketing is always, “how much is this going to cost?” Generally speaking, marketing services are perceived as an expensive project and many business owners are hesitant to spend valuable dollars on something that may or may not have the return they hope for.

There are some key things to consider when putting together your marketing budget and finding a marketing partner that will work for you.

Marketing & Advertising line items

Marketing & Advertising are not the same thing. Most business projections have a single category that accounts for both marketing and advertising. And, while they may be related, they are not the same. Simply put Advertising is the amount of money you need to pay to the media you place your campaign in while marketing is the planning, messaging and design behind that campaign. You need both to make a splash, but they really should be viewed as two separate expenses.

 

Average Budgets

For established businesses,The U.S. Small Business Administration recommends spending 7-8% of your gross revenue for businesses under $5 million, and closer to 10% for those over $5 million.For new businesses you should be spending somewhere between 12-20% of your revenue or expected revenue. This percentage of revenue should be split between Marketing and Advertising.

 

Marketing Only portion of budget

 

The marketing only piece of the budget is around 5% of your expected gross revenue. This 5% should be allocated towards things such as the ongoing marketing implementation of a solid foundational strategy. These are the day-to-day tactics that engage your audience, the advertisements you place with specific media and the tactics like email newsletters, video, content and so forth.  You should expect also to use more than 5% on big projects, such as website updates.

However, spending money on these day to day items will certainly be a waste of funds if you do not have a solid foundation.

 

Solid Foundation

In order for your day to day activities to perform well, you will need to invest in a solid marketing foundation, which, since it generally includes the necessary larger projects, will usually cost closer to the 10%.

The foundation includes items like Branding, Strategy, Website and Social Media. Working on these items to create a solid strategy that highlights your best target audience, the messaging and branding for those audiences and putting together a roadmap of strategy pieces paired with the big projects like a website will give you a healthy starting point. Once these things are completed, your day to day activities will have a much higher conversion rate.

 

Consider the cost of client acquisition

When making your marketing budget the most important thing to remember is what your potential ROI will be. Consider what a single new client means to your bottom line. For example: currently you have not built your foundation and you are relying on a sales person to convert customers. You probably see the direct correlation between what you pay that sales person to what the conversion of each customer is. Let’s say you currently spend $2,000 per new customer with your sales rep. and he or she can convert 1 new customer per month. Provided that each new customer is worth more than the $2,000 you spent, you are happy.

But consider this, you built your foundation and were able to add a highly converting website and social media channels in addition to your sales rep. Using the 5% rule, let’s say you spend $1,000 per month on digital media tactics, and can convert 2 additional customers per month. You’ve increased your customers by three times, while only spending a fraction of the cost, and in a shorter time period.

That’s where marketing becomes a savings vs. a spend.

The key is finding a marketing partner who can work with you on the foundational items, but also on a long-term implementation and execution process. This is where you will save the most.

 


Our Latest Forbes Article

Our Latest Forbes Article

FEBRUARY 6, 2019

Stress is part of all of our lives. But for entrepreneurs and managers, it can be even more overwhelming and carry higher consequences. A new study suggests that the way a leader handles stress could have serious consequences for employees and, ultimately, company culture and productivity.

Read more on Forbes.com


The Rule of 2/3

The Rule of 2/3

JANUARY 18, 2019| IN BUSINESS| BY ANDREA KEIRN

You’ve heard of this rule before. You’ve seen it before applied to various industries of service providers, but that doesn’t make it any less true.  For marketing professionals, we know this rule all too well. Getting our clients to understand, however, is a different matter.

The Rule: CHEAP. FAST. GOOD. You can only choose 2.

CHEAP: You are always looking for a deal. It is our human condition to try to find ways to save money, and retain the best value for the work we are paying for

FAST: You also want your projects done as quickly as possible.

GOOD: Not only do you want it done quickly and for less money, but you want it to be good. Good design, good strategy, good in every way.

Why can you only choose 2?

VALUE: the value of quality marketing work is not synonymous with the amount you pay necessarily. Value is provided when something is done well, with intention and provides both instant results and long-term outcomes.

CHEAP + FAST: When you’re choosing two, cheap and fast end up being a likely option, afterall, those are your two primary motivational factors, get it done now and get it done for the least amount possible. The problem with this strategy is that it forces your marketing team into a situation in which they have to cut corners, spend less time finding the best possibly solutions and instead finish a “quick and dirty” version of your project. That means the thing you have sacrificed is GOOD. Your project will still have a lot of positive attributes, but will it be everything you hoped, and be perfect without any missteps? No.

CHEAP + GOOD: Ok, so above it seems like the issue is one of time, by combining cheap and fast you lost quality which is what you need in the long run. Choosing cheap and good could be a better combination because you save money while getting a higher quality completed project which could ultimately mean higher value. The sacrifice here is time. In order to perform high quality services at a lower rate, your team will need to manage this project differently. And you may be one of many projects in process and in order to spend the time wisely on your project and make it beneficial to the team, they will need to take extra time.

FAST + GOOD: Yes, this is an option. Yes, we can do what you want in the quality that you want in the timeline you want, but that will mean our team will have to work double-time, triple time and that means it’s going to cost you more, because you will have to pay for that time and extra time spent.

Keep this in mind next time you are trying to hire a marketing company, or any other services company – you will have to sacrifice one of the three. Otherwise, you will not get the value you are actually looking for.

Which 2 would you choose?


Our Latest Forbes Article

Our Latest Forbes Article

OCTOBER 10, 2018

So, you’ve had a breakthrough and have come up with the “next big thing” for retail. Maybe it’s a new boutique or e-commerce platform, or maybe it’s a new consumer product. Whatever the case may be, we’ve entered a new age of retail, and any business team needs to ask themselves one big question: Can we compete with Amazon?

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Our Latest Forbes Article

Our Latest Forbes Article

SEPTEMBER 5, 2018
|IN CULTURE

As leaders, we are always searching for new ways to build our teams to be more efficient, productive and engaged in the work environment. We strive to create a culture that cultivates harmony and productivity across every member of the team. Most leaders will tell you that managing employees and contractors can be one of the most difficult aspects of our roles. But there are some tested reminders for leaders to consider that can make all the difference...

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It's Just Domino's

It's Just Domino's

AUGUST 17, 2018

Sometimes I watch television (ok, “sometimes” in this instance is more like “all the time”) and I catch several commercials- intentionally. On occasion, I notice commercials and ads by companies and wonder if there is something else going on behind the scenes that they are trying to fix- and trying to fix it through advertising. In one such case, recently, I can't shake the idea that something is wrong with Domino's Pizza’s advertising campaigns. Let me explain.

I have nothing against the pizza franchise's choice of ad agency, CP+B is one of the best, and they have created several ads I've loved or wished I had created. But, something stands out in the work they are doing for Domino's- it's almost as though they are trying too hard. This isn't a knock against the agency, as I expect they are doing everything they can within their power to create engaging, PR pushing ads, which is technically working- since here I am writing about it. It's more of a sense that something inside Domino's is amiss and they are trying to fix it through advertising. There are several "red flags" as far as I can see- but remember, I'm only looking at this from the outside, only seeing the ads placed in front of me. I do not claim to know anything about the inner workings of the business.

Red flag #1: They changed their name- from Domino's Pizza to just Domino's and they updated their signs.

Image result

Red flag #2: The new (IMHO awful) tagline: Oh,yes we did. Oh yes we did what? It's not clear, and when it's presented at the end of the commercials, it's confusing.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xszWmdDxDXQ

Red flag #3: Ad campaign for Hot spots aka running with scissors

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=njzzCm8rJTs

Red flag #4: Paving for Pizza- now they are fixing potholes

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JDd-HP3FA4s

None of these red flags are particularly concerning individually, but when you add them all up, it makes one wonder what is going on with the Domino's business. Generally companies change their names for a few reasons, one such reason could be simply refreshing the brand, which is how Domino's expressed the change reason, but it seems that perhaps they are trying to appeal to the audience who is being lured in by other pizza franchise competitors. The new tagline is meant to express that not only have the refreshed their brand but that they are now serving more items than just pizza. And, now they have added new "locations", and an attempt to engage their audience through paving potholes. When a company is in trouble, these are the tell tale signs- they refresh their brand, they add new products/services, they try to show their reach (ie: new "locations") and they try to get their audience to engage them more.

Domino's commercials have done all 4 of these things in short order begging the question- has the pizza giant lost market share or are they simply trying VERY hard to hold on to the number 1 spot? Maybe they are just playing with several ad options, trying to recapture the advertising success they had once upon a time with the "30 minutes or free" campaign. Who knows? All I can say is that these commercials may not be terrible, but they aren't necessarily a good sign either- and maybe the executives of Domino's should take that into consideration.


Our Latest Forbes Article

Our Latest Forbes Article

JULY 19, 2018

Business owners and brand ambassadors are always on the lookout for interesting, better or innovative ways to become better marketers. Colleagues and mentors tell us to stay current with industry trends by reading the latest studies and articles. We also read all the “mandatory” business nonfiction, filling our bookshelves with impressive titles focused on sales, leadership and strategy. While all these materials offer valuable insight into specific areas and even help us craft our own personal strategies and better our understanding of the market, they may be missing some of the point....

Read more on Forbes.com

 


Think marketing is expensive? Four critical things to consider

Think Marketing is Expensive? Four Critical Things to Consider

You’ve had this thought before. It’s ok. We know. Marketing is perceived as being a costly endeavor, and therefor is often one of the last things a business owner wishes to spend valuable dollars on. But here are some key things to consider before you jump to the conclusion that marketing is a big spend.

1 | How much should you really be spending on Marketing?

For established businesses, The U.S. Small Business Administration recommends spending 7-8% of your gross revenue for businesses under $5 million, and closer to 10% for those over $5 million.  For new businesses you should be spending somewhere between 12-20% of your revenue or expected revenue.

You are probably thinking, wow, that is more than I thought. Which is why most marketers will recommend somewhere closer to 5% of your gross revenue.

2 | What is the 5% for?

Generally speaking, the 5% is for the ongoing marketing implementation of a solid foundational strategy. These are the day-to-day tactics that engage your audience, the advertisements you place with specific media and the tactics like email newsletters, video, content and so forth.  You should expect also to use more than 5% on big projects, such as website updates.

However, spending money on these day to day items will certainly be a waste of funds if you do not have a solid foundation.

3 | What is the Foundation?

In order for your day to day activities to perform well, you will need to invest in a solid marketing foundation, which, since it generally includes the necessary larger projects, will usually cost closer to the 10%.

The foundation includes items like Branding, Strategy, Website and Social Media. Working on these items to create a solid strategy that highlights your best target audience, the messaging and branding for those audiences and putting together a roadmap of strategy pieces paired with the big projects like a website will give you a healthy starting point. Once these things are completed, your day to day activities will have a much higher conversion rate.

4 | Consider the cost of client acquisition.

Still sounds expensive? Consider what a single new client means to your bottom line. For example: currently you have not built your foundation and you are relying on a sales person to convert customers. You probably see the direct correlation between what you pay that sales person to what the conversion of each customer is. Let’s say you currently spend $2,000 per new customer with your sales rep. and he or she can convert 1 new customer per month. Provided that each new customer is worth more than the $2,000 you spent, you are happy.

But consider this, you built your foundation and were able to add a highly converting website and social media channels in addition to your sales rep. Using the 5% rule, let’s say you spend $1,000 per month on digital media tactics, and can convert 2 additional customers per month. You’ve increased your customers by three times, while only spending a fraction of the cost, and in a shorter time period.

That’s where marketing becomes a savings vs. a spend.

The key is finding a marketing partner who can work with you on the foundational items, but also on a long-term implementation and execution process. This is where you will save the most.