We all have had experiences with companies we’ve purchased from that made us tell all of our family and friends about them. Good or bad experiences, we want to talk about it all. Especially when someone asks about the experience you had with a certain company, flashbacks of memories from great to not so great experiences may start playing in your head.
Some stories may make you want to say “you have to work with them”. Some may make you angry all over again after re-hatching the story or maybe you ‘want’ to tell the story to make others aware of the experience you had to warn them to “save their money and go somewhere else”.
Either way, when you recollect and tell your brand experience stories of the companies you work with, you are essentially advocating for or against a company depending on how the entire experience working with them made you feel.
As a business owner, this is an important aspect to pay attention to: the way customers experience working with your company and brand. When customers interact with your brand, you should have clear guidelines as to how you and your employees should treat clients to make the experience as memorable – and pleasant as possible.
You can do this is by taking a look at the Customer Journey. In other words, the entire experience a customer goes through when interacting with your company and brand.
If you don’t have one yet, a Customer Journey Map is a very beneficial tool to have as it is a visual piece that tells the story of every experience a customer has with you from the initial interaction, moving forward into a potentially long lasting relationship.
If you do have a Customer Journey Map (or when you create one), the best thing you can do is to look at each engagement and evaluate the experience clients have as they go through the map.
This will allow you to add a special touch to the experience they have so you can work on making your company unforgettable. In the end, you will create advocates for your brand who will spread positive experiences about your brand.
Whenever you invest any amount of money in your business, do you track and measure the effectiveness of the investment?
I am hoping you said “yes” because tracking the effectiveness of your investment, or the Return On your Investment (ROI), is extremely valuable regardless of the size of your business or the size of the investment.
Why? ROI is a Key Performance Indicator (KPI) that is used to determine the profitability of the product or service that was invested in. It’s also useful for tracking the level of success each investment has so future purchasing and business decisions are easier to make.
Basically, it lets you know if you’re getting your money’s worth out of the things you are spending money on and if it’s worth it to repeat the purchase, again.
ROI can be used in any and every aspect of your business where money is spent or invested in your company (HR, Sales, Marketing, Website, Content, Social Media, etc.). In terms of marketing ROI, calculating your return on each campaign gives you a better understanding of how well your campaigns are doing and also has the ability to help show you the areas that need improvement in order to achieve your goals.
For example, if you purchased branded items with your logo to be used as a random giveaway, it would be hard to track ROI because there is not a strategy or a method to back up the investment.
On the other hand, if you had a strategy – complete with a message and a call to action to drive traffic to your website, landing page or place of business – you would be able to analyze the inbound leads and sales and from there. Then, you can calculate ROI to see how effective the campaign is.
From there, you can gauge the response and see what’s working and what’s not. Once you decide what needs to be added, subtracted and adjusted, you can take that data and base your next program off of what worked well previously.
As you can see, tracking ROI helps you make better, well informed, business decisions that give you insights on where to spend your money, how to pivot in your strategy and discover which tools are necessary for a successful campaign.
If you are not currently tracking ROI, what are you waiting for? Once you stop winging it, you will feel a lot better because you will end up feeling more confident making decisions about the money you spend when it comes time to investing in your business.
Meme on Social Media
There are many companies out there today that do things because “that’s the way it’s always been done” or “that’s just the way we do it”.
These are dangerous statements for any company to make, not only because they have the potential to hinder growth, but because of the other side of that coin – they are limiting the innovation that has the possibility to take place IF they decide it is time for a change (or an up-level).
While the image on the right is a “meme” that has been floating around the internet. I found it to be relevant because it provides examples of companies who are no longer the leader in their industries because they were unsuccessful at being customer centric, but it’s more than that.
For years, these companies were the leaders in their industry, but, they failed to innovate – they did the same thing over and over because that’s “how it’s done” (I don’t think we need to mention what it’s called when you do something over and over again expecting different results), and someone else took the number one spot.
Think about it. What would the world look like, today, if Blockbuster listened to their customers and not only lowered late fees, but took that next step to up-level their company and allow customers to mail back their movie rentals?
What would it look like if the music industry didn’t fight against Napster, but found a way to work together to monetize each song that was downloaded so artists wouldn’t be victims to piracy?
As you read in the beginning of this article – when you do things the same way you have always done them, you will fall behind in the world. These companies are proof.
Now let’s turn the tables on you, how do you rise up?
It’s simple: change your ways. Innovate by approaching everything like you’re doing it for the first time! Then, you will Stand Out.
Over the past 10 years I have been in the marketing industry, I have seen business owners use branded items in the same ways over and over again – without a strategy in place to make sure they reach their goals and more importantly, get a return on their investment.
However, these items have the potential to help you hone in on that customer centric/innovation mindset that will help you provide a customer experience that will make you unforgettable. When you have the mindset that you will keep using branded gifts the way you have always used them, you risk the benefits they can actually bring.
By listening to your customers, and infusing products in the places your clients are “stuck” in your sales funnel, you can provide amazing and beautiful experiences that will definitely keep your company on the map for a long time to come.
When you have a vision, are you the type of person who holds onto it, to think about it every once in a while? Or, are you the person who is going to take action on your vision and turn it into a reality by creating a strategy and not winging it?
The other day I came across a quote from Erma Bombeck. She said, “There are people who put their dreams in a little box and say, ‘Yes, I’ve got dreams, of course, I’ve got dreams.’ Then they put the box away and bring it out once in a while to look in it, and yep, they’re still there. These are great dreams, but they never even get out of the box. It takes an uncommon amount of guts to put your dreams on the line, to hold them up, and say ‘How good or how bad am I?’ That’s when courage comes in.”
While Bombeck is talking about dreams, this quote made me think about how people who have a vision for something is similar to a dream. It made me think about how most people hold onto their vision hoping it will come to fruition one day. In other words, they “wing it”.
While this is not a bad thing to do, if you ever want to see your vision come to life, you have to do more than think about it often. In this article, I give you three tips on how you can take your vision from concept to reality. Let’s get started.
Start with the end in mind
When you have your vision, think about the specifics of the vision. What does it look like when you are actually there? Ask yourself, what are you doing? What are you feeling? Where are you? What do your surroundings look like? etc. You want to make sure you have a clear picture of what your vision looks like once you have arrived.
Reverse engineer your vision
Starting with the first step, what are the steps you need to take to make this vision a reality? Break it down into small pieces and work from there. Once you are finished, you are going to have a lot of action steps. My suggestion is to add a date to each task so you can add that task to your to-do list each day to make it more manageable.
This is the “scariest” part – the part where Bombeck speaks on courage – because it takes a lot of bravery to simply get started. Why? By now, you are probably looking at how long it is going to take you to accomplish your vision and it looks overwhelming. But, I promise you, if you start taking a look at the smaller steps you assigned yourself to do each day, you will start to see and feel the progress and the overwhelm will slip away.
The best thing you can do when you want to make your vision a reality is to take the time to do the “hard” work of breaking it down into pieces and acting on those pieces. As long as you stick to it and move through the overwhelm, you will get closer and closer to making your vision a reality in no time.
Have you ever noticed how chaotic things can get when you don’t have a plan? My husband and I have been traveling a lot this year – some work, some pleasure – and for the most part, we make plans of the things we plan on doing from the sights we want to see to the food we are going to eat (we are BIG on finding the best restaurants that represent the state’s “staple” foods to try them out).
There was the time we went to New York and made sure to map out our days so we could make the most of our time there- for those of you who have never been there is a LOT to do in NYC! Every day we knew where we were going and what we were doing. In New York, it felt like we did EVERYTHING there was to do there (even though we know it is literally impossible to do so!). We definitely made the most of our time there!
Then there was the time we went to Nashville, Tennessee and didn’t plan as much as we did when we went to New York. The result? In Nashville, there were times when we were aimlessly walking around trying to find something to do because we didn’t plan this trip as much – it was more impromptu. While it is fun to go on an impromptu trip, we felt like we could have done more while we were there.
Has this ever happened to you before where you didn’t plan as much as you could have and ended up having a good time but felt like you could have done more to make the most out of your experience?
How about when you are planning in your business?
Have you ever moved forward with a project, launch or event (especially a trade show) without a clear vision and didn’t get the results that you know you could have generated if you made a more thorough plan?
If the answer is yes, here are 4 steps you can take to make a thorough plan:
- Review your current situation and look at your goals
- Map out the steps that you need to take to reach your goals
- Execute those steps
- Analyze your results.
(BONUS STEP). Repeat!
Remember that having a clear vision with a plan (for anything you do in your business) is key to the success of the initiative. To maximize your plan, take some time for deep thought before you map out your strategy and make time for reflection after the plan has come to completion.
If you like promotional products and if you purchase promotional products, a great question to ask yourself is, “are my promotional products giving me the results and the return on investment (ROI) I would like them to?”.
Many companies have this impression that promotional products cannot give you a return on your investment.
We say: “why not?”. It is not completely unheard of that promotional products have the ability to give you a return on your investment.
Given that promotional products are the epitome of an advertising medium/marketing tool. Again, why not?
Would you purchase an online advertisement and not expect a return?
Similarly, why would you purchase a promotional item and not expect a return?
If you are using the products to attract more clients, grow your business, create awareness of your brand and/or drive sales, you should expect a return on your investment. This is because every marketing strategy you use should accelerate your business while providing you the best return on investment possible. Even (and especially) with your promotional activities.
In the case where you are not sure how to put together a marketing campaign that will allow for a return, our VIP PromotionAlly(TM) service can help. This is the method we take our clients through to help them create a promotional marketing campaign.
In our sessions, we not only help you develop a strategy, we also help create an action plan so you can be clear on what needs to be accomplished. Then, we provide support as you implement your plan and post campaign we work together to analyze your results.
We are talking effective marketing solutions to help you ultimately create a bigger and better brand. Because now, if you are not getting the results you would like, you are past “liking” phase and what you need to do is transition into the “strategy” phase.
To apply to work with us to develop a promotional marketing strategy with maximized results, we have a short questionnaire for you to fill out that will help us determine if we are a right fit for you.
Fill out the questionnaire, here.