Tomato Fish Marketing Blog

Archive for June, 2007

Branding is NOT Name Recognition

Friday, June 15th, 2007

Branding is often mistaken for name recognition, and blown off by most companies as a waste of money and time, but really branding means so much more than simple recognition of name and should be addressed in your marketing planning. I think the true definition of a brand is your company’s business strategy and the culture in which you promote your competitive advantages.

One of the important marketing tasks your company should address and readdress as you grow is your brand – how can you consistently and effectively promote your advantages and build your brand? Here are 8 quick tips to think about when going through that important exercise:

1. What do people think about your competition? You think you can do it better of course but what does the market think?

2. What is your biggest market differentiator? You need to know what to lead with.

3. What does each of your market segments really want? Your brand strategy can be different by segment. Don’t try to cram everything for every market in one message.

4. Is there a common buying pattern in each of your market segments or a mindset toward what you are offering? If so, what is it?

5. What type of experience do clients get when they sign with you? What type experience do you want them to have?

6. Are the messages you send to the market predictable, consistent and cohesive – presenting your company in the same manner, every time? People have very short memories and repetition is king.

7. Do you gather and measure feedback on lost as well as sold accounts? Why were you chosen or not chosen is important in building your position? Take this data and use it to build on what you do have and figure out what to do about what you don’t.

8. Does your company keep its promise? Keeping the promise you communicate is more important than any other media of communication.

Analytics are widely MISUNDERSTOOD.

Friday, June 8th, 2007

According to the Mr. Peterson of Web Analytics Demystified, “Only 8% of companies worldwide are taking a process-oriented approach towards web analytics, but, in my experience, process is the key to both success and achieving positive and recurring return on investment from web analytics technology and staff.”

In April 2007, over 1,000 analytics practitioners, consultants and end-users worldwide took part in Peterson’s survey and some of its findings were…

  • 82% of respondents said analytics was poorly understood in their organizations and that most people interacting with web data did not understand what it meant.
  • Over half (56%) said web analytics was difficult, despite the majority of respondents having at least two years of experience with these technologies and 23% having more than five years of experience.
  • 65% said their organizations were using analytics to make tactical or strategic decisions.

Here are some tips, modified and expounded upon from Peterson’s recommendations on making better use of analytics data:

    1. Recognize that analytics is not easy – don’t waste time with internal log file analysis and analytics AND for Pete’s sake… be PATIENT! Give it a few months before you start seeing data that can be used in web site usage growth and to show a positive ROI.

    2. Simplify reports – most people inside organizations do not understand web analytics data, so it needs to be put into a format that is customized to your client and their goals.

    3. Re-evaluate the depth at which analytics is used, if at all, and work toward the ‘strategic use of web analytics’ to further enhance your marketing dollar.

    4. Invest in dedicated resources like outside consultants to manage web analytics systems and produce high-quality analysis.

Another interesting tid bit from the Web Analytics Demystified survey:

“The web analytics industry is at a turning point in 2007. Vendors are consolidating, vendor offerings are expanding, and the external support network for companies working to leverage web analytics is positively exploding. Companies serious about web analytics are encouraged to re-examine their current investment in this light and respond appropriately.

The Small Guy with Survive… and Prosper

Friday, June 1st, 2007

Today we got more junk mail in our office mailbox…a 2007 Catalog of direct mail postcards. Actually, what seemed to be junk mail turned out to be a fairly educational piece of mail. The article that I found from the Catalog was called “5 Predictions for the 2000’s”. Okay, so it’s an old article but Prediction #4 is really interesting:

John Schulte, the author of “5 Predictions for the 2000’s” predicted that the niche marketer or “small guy” will not only survive, but also prosper! (This is really good to hear!)

Nobody owns a job, nobody owns a market, and nobody owns a product. Somebody out there can always take it away from you.

The small guy must understand this and understand that direct marketing is niche marketing. And eMarketing (marketing via email) is also a form of direct marketing. To be successful the “small guy” must focus on an area/segment of expertise. In the words of “Blue Ocean Strategy”, you must create “blue oceans” of uncontested market space ripe for growth rather than go head-to-head with competition – especially the “big guy” competition with deep pockets.

If you ask me, being the “Small Guy” is very beneficial. Think about it: You can service the customer in a way that the “big guys” can’t simply because you are smaller, which gives you the best chance of building loyalty in an otherwise un-loyal market place. Sure the “big guys” spend millions promoting their companies, but there are other smarter, more cost-effective ways to promote yourself. Your brand will build slowly, but will be strong!

The DMA Statistical Fact Book 2006 – Read Rates for Direct Mail Pieces

ReadRates

According to the DMA Statistical Fact Book 2006, the read rates for direct mail postcards are higher than 41%. In our findings, our clients get a Read Rate of anywhere between 30% and 57% (or higher depending on list segmentation).