Marketing resolutions you should adopt

Marketing resolutions you should adopt

Marketing Resolutions You Should Adopt

On the eve of every new year, we make resolutions that will drive us towards our goals in the months to come. While many of us may give up on our promises to only eat salad early on in the year, keeping your promises to your business can make the difference between growth and decline this year.

 Many businesses throw marketing to the wayside and don’t understand how strategic marketing resolutions can truly propel your brand’s success. Whether it’s January first or the middle of August, it’s never too late to adopt a marketing resolution so we’ve rounded up some common goals and the resolutions you can adopt to make 2022 your brand’s best year yet.

Goal: Gain a social media following
Resolution: Stay consistent with social media

The secret to a top-tier social media strategy is no secret: it’s all about consistency. This means interacting consistently, posting regularly, and taking the time to create unique and memorable content for your audience. It can be time consuming, but the increase in engagement and conversions is worth it.

Goal: Get your brand recognize
Resolution: Maintain brand consistency

Brand recognition takes time, effort, and- you guessed it- consistency. It’s important to know your brand’s identity inside and out so you can build upon a solid foundation. Keeping your logo, brand colors, and style the same while you build your brand will help your audience build recognition.

Goal: Spend marketing dollars more wisely
Resolution: Set a marketing budget

While you can do all your marketing yourself, it can be a time-consuming endeavor if you already have a full schedule running your business. Your marketing dollars can be spent on social media management tools like Hootsuite or Sprout, improving your ad visibility on Google and Facebook, and/or hiring an outside marketing team to help you meet all your marketing goals.

Goal: Increase conversion rate
Resolution: Regularly analyze marketing data

To increase your conversion rate, start by collecting as much marketing data as you can so you can analyze your strengths and weaknesses. If you understand where your website visitors are clicking on your website, you can learn where they are when they decide to leave your website and focus on creating new content, landing pages, and calls to action that keep them interested. Make sure that you’re collecting enough data to make informed decisions — 10 page views or a week of social media engagement is not enough.

Goal: Generate new content
Resolution: Start a blog

Starting a blog for your business’s website can have numerous benefits for your brand. A blog offers your audience a glimpse into who you are, your expertise, and can act as a conversation between you and your audience. You gain credibility with your audience by writing about your products and services. Plus, blogs are a wealth of content that you can share over time on your social media accounts.

Whatever marketing resolutions you choose, sticking to them all year round is the key to helping your brand grow and reaching your goals. With consultation services, marketing campaign assistance, outsourced marketing, and so much more, the marketing professionals at Hoyden are always here to support your marketing goals and help your brand have its best year ever.

Back to basics: The 4 P’s of marketing

Back to basics: The 4 P’s of marketing

The 4 P’s of Marketing

Product

Price

Place

Promotion

At Hoyden, we like to say that marketing doesn’t have to be complicated… But it should be strategic, smart, and intentional.

Complex marketing tactics implemented by an inexperienced team can lead to jumbled messaging, confused customers, and low brand awareness. If your team is bogged down with overly complicated marketing, it might be time to get back to the basics.

Simple marketing begins with the 4 P’s, which come from the “Marketing Mix”— a model businesses use to capture their unique selling points in order to create a strategic marketing plan.

Product

What do you sell?

 

“Product” doesn’t always mean a physical object that you sell. For many businesses, your products are your services, your information, or yourself.

A product is a solution to a problem. It meets the needs of a potential customer, whether that need is software development or information about local real estate properties for sale.

You know your product like the back of your hand but you also need to know what makes your product unique so you can tell potential customers not only why they should buy it, but why they should invest their time to learn about it. You need to be able to explain why your product should be chosen over every other product like it.

Price

How much do
you charge?

While “price” may seem like the simplest marketing “P”, determining the right price for your product or service can be tricky and may fluctuate as your business grows and evolves. You want to attract buyers who may already be using your product from a different business but you still want to make a reasonable profit and give your business the opportunity to grow in the future.

When deciding the price of your product, you should assess supply costs, competitor pricing, and how much profit you need to make to sustain your business and potentially grow in the future. You should also consider how much you would be able to offer for a discount during future seasonal or promotional periods. If your initial price is too low, you won’t be able to generate excitement with discounts.

Place

Where can your customers go to find
your product?

 

Unfortunately, your customers aren’t going to come to you, begging to give you money. Understanding the unique facets and niches of your target market is the first step to reaching them.

Here is what you should know about your audience:

      • Age range
      • Gender
      • Geographical location
      • Education level
      • Interests/hobbies
      • Unique qualities that make your product of interest to them

“Place” will be where and how this target audience can get your product. Many products and services are completely advertised and purchased online, and thus require a strong digital presence with social media, an impressive website, and eye-catching advertisements. Others have storefronts and must consider display design and in-person sales teams.

Promotion

How do your customers find out about you?

 

Effectively promoting your product is often where businesses struggle. Your promotion should reach potential customers and tell them not only why they need your product, but why they should buy it from you. This is where every piece of your marketing puzzle comes together.

Your promotion should be strategic and thoughtful. It should reach your target audience, tell them the problem your product will solve, and explain exactly how to get it while working in the confines of your budget and advertising space.

Why does this matter?

 

Marketing strategies can often get complicated with intricate plans, ambitious timelines, and complex advertising schemes. At the end of the day, a great marketing plan requires a simple but strategic approach with a deep understanding of the basics.

 

If you’re looking to get back to basics with your marketing or need a hand as you launch your new brand, the brand strategists at Hoyden are here to help. We offer a unique and in-depth discovery session that will help you discover your brand’s strengths, weaknesses, target audience, competitors, and so much more.

 

In Strategy We Trust
Wow your CEO with a strategic marketing plan

Wow your CEO with a strategic marketing plan

Wow Your CEO with a Strategic Marketing Plan

No matter what business you’re in, implementing a strategic marketing plan can boost your sales, drive your website traffic, or grow your brand’s social media presence. Without a strategic marketing plan, all your marketing efforts (and money) are spent hoping for a marketing win while you miss opportunities for consistent growth and leave your brand subject to threats that can damage your image.

 Your brand isn’t the same as it was a year ago and your marketing plan should grow and evolve with your business. If you’re ready for a refresh, here are the first steps to developing a strategic marketing plan:

Analyze your current marketing situation

While your current marketing plan may be working just fine, there’s always room for improvement. Get objective about your marketing situation, even if that means being critical of your own work.

If you’re struggling to analyze your marketing objectively, try making a list of your brand’s:

Strengths: How is your marketing successful?
Weaknesses: Where is your marketing not getting results?
Opportunities: What opportunities can your brand take advantage of?
Threats: What outside influences may hurt your brand?

Strengths and weaknesses are internal to your brand while opportunities and threats are external. Understanding your current marketing situation will help you move forward with a strategy.

Set a goal

Your goal should focus on your weaknesses or address an upcoming opportunity or threat and have a great impact on your brand. Your goals will drive all your marketing efforts and give each step of your marketing plan a concrete purpose, so make sure you set a goal that’s:

Specific
Measurable
Realistic
Time-bound

For example: Increase our website conversion rate from 13% to 17% within the next 6 months.

Not: Get more followers on Instagram.

Conduct market research

Market research is an opportunity to learn more about your audience, your competitors, and the trends that can affect your brand’s success. Tailor your market research to your goals — use it to find what type of content, products, or information is most and least successful amongst your target audience. Then, you can use that data to influence your marketing strategy.

Develop a tactic

Now that you have a specific goal, an understanding of your current marketing plan, and data from your market research, you’re ready to develop a strategic marketing tactic.

Developing a smart, effective, and budget-friendly marketing tactic can be overwhelming. Depending on your goals, your tactic may mean focusing on a new audience, exploring a new topic, or rebranding your business altogether. Your new marketing plan should include specific actions you’ll take, a timeline, and a budget.

Assign roles and responsibilities

Executing a marketing plan is no easy task and the more help you have, the better. Including your team in your marketing strategy will lead to more ideas, more content, and more confidence in your brand’s future. Your coworkers are your greatest brand ambassadors so their buy-in to your brand and your goals is essential for success.

Follow through

Strategic marketing is a continuous process that requires consistent effort.

The job isn’t done with a website refresh, new social media content, or a catchy new advertisement. For long-term success and brand growth, you need to track your data and monitor your feedback, all while continuously adjusting your marketing plan based on the information you receive.

If all of this sounds like too much to handle on your own, it might be time to ask for help. Hoyden offers project-based, month-to-month, and consulting services to help you develop and implement a personalized marketing strategy based on your brand, your goals, and your budget. 

6 Branding ideas you should avoid

6 Branding ideas you should avoid

6 Branding Ideas You Should Avoid

Not all that glitters is gold, so the saying goes. Many companies feel this when they put time and money into rebranding, yet it’s still not connecting to customers. Then they are stuck trying to figure out what went wrong. Deciding to rebrand your company is an important step in growing your business and building trust with your audience. However, a few missteps in the process can have you throwing a lot of time and money at something that will not achieve your goals.

Going in without a plan, trying to copy other brands, or doing an incomplete job can bring even the most well-intentioned projects down. To help you steer clear of these missteps, we’ve compiled a list of the top 6 ideas to avoid when it comes to rebranding your company.

Imitation is not flattery

When you are prepping for a rebrand, the easiest place most people go for ideas is their competition. If their branding is working for them, why not try something similar?

But there is a problem with that line of thinking. If both of you look the same – why would people buy from you over them? Especially if they have already built loyalty through their brand. An important part of rebranding is about setting yourself apart from your competition and letting potential customers know why you are unique.

It’s not just about you

You’ve put a lot of hard work into your business. Sometimes even your heart and soul. You may be the face of your organization, but one common mistake in rebranding is making it all about you.

Branding is all about how you appear to others and building loyalty. And while you may love your products, what you love about them might not be what someone else does. The reasons you need it might not be the same for everyone else. There are so many types of people in the world, and you could miss out on a lot of potential customers by basing your branding just on your preferences.

Sometimes, it can be tough to connect with a potential customer from a different demographic or lifestyle than yourself. Some of these areas include:

Age
City vs. small town
Parent vs. non-parent
Single or married
Working, retired, stay-at-home
Type of career

Brand experts can help you do consumer research so you can build a brand that will appeal to a wider audience, especially ones that are not exactly like you.

Another thing to consider is the possibility that something else could attract potential customers beyond your profile. What brings someone into your business may not be the years of experience and talent you possess, but a unique product you offer that they can’t get anywhere else. Making it all about you narrows the number of people that you could potentially reach.

It’s not just about a logo

When some hear the word rebranding, they often think about just getting a new logo. However, the logo is only a small piece of the larger brand picture, which also includes every touchpoint with your audience, including your employees and the mission of your company.

Rebranding is not “just” anything, and part of the process is making sure every element that represents your business is of the highest professional quality to draw in new customers.

Sure, your niece’s boyfriend may be great at computers, but that doesn’t mean he should be in charge of designing your logo. There are so many things that can go wrong in this scenario. Here are a few examples:

They could produce something that you don’t care for, but you may be reluctant to express your opinion because of the personal connection, or because they are doing it as a favor or at a discount. No one wants to be using a terrible design on their marketing materials with a phony cringe-hiding smile on their face.
You could run into legal issues if they use artwork or even fonts without paying for them or making sure they are free to use.
You have limited possibilities based on their skill, rather than being able to find a designer that suits your vision.

It’s okay to ask for help

One big thing to avoid when rebranding is being closed off to outside opinions. You are an expert when it comes to knowing about your business. But what about how others perceive it?

While it’s hard to bring in an outsider, a brand expert can help you in ways you never knew you needed.

Here’s what a brand expert brings to the table:

Years of expertise on rebranding – what works and what doesn’t
Knows the right questions to ask to reveal the heart of your business
Can find the strengths of your business and identify your mission
Discovers weaknesses in your brand and has a game plan for improvement
Has tools for testing brand awareness
Brings knowledge of the latest tools and trends for creating and promoting your brand

Though it may be tough to hear, an outside expert is not emotionally attached to branding that was in place in the past and can provide an unbiased opinion on what can be kept to tweak or what needs to be let go.

Your website is too basic

One mistake that people make while building their business’s brand is thinking that their website just serves the purpose of people finding them online. They create something with just a plain landing page and basic information, not putting a lot of thought into it.

Keep in mind that your website is the first thing people often visit before setting foot in your business or reaching out to you for more information. Your website is a salesman for your services and products, and it’s important to think about what impression that salesperson is giving.

When you hire and train an employee to represent your business, you train them on the way they should treat customers and give them all the important information they need to know to make the sale, and your website should be the same way.

Some things to consider for your website:

Does it look professional and welcoming? Or is it poorly designed or plain? The look and feel of your website will impact a visitor’s impression of your business.
Does it have all the information your potential customer needs to make a decision? Look beyond just your contact information and hours. What can they expect when they come into your business?
Are your business’s unique qualities, products and mission accurately represented on the site?

A brand expert can help ensure your website is an accurate reflection of your business and attract customers.

Writing your own content

Creating content to promote your business is more than just listing your features and benefits. Sometimes people may not even know that they have a need for your product – how will you let them know?

Most people look for a brand, product, and service first. Then they will focus on what features and benefits set you apart from the competition. An important part of rebranding is being customer-focused in your messaging. A brand expert will help you get in the mind of your potential customers and help answer the question – what problem are they having that we will solve for them?

For example, a cell phone company may really focus their messaging on their family plans, knowing that many parents are faced with the problem of their bill going up once their teenagers are added to their plan.  This marketing message helps bring customers in, and then you can sell them on your benefits and features.

Brand experts bring experience in finding the right message for your business. They know to produce clear and concise content to promote your brand.

You’re the expert at what you do, why stretch yourself thin doing something that is not normally in your wheelhouse? Bringing in a branding expert helps to ensure your business makes the best impression it can, which provides a huge return on your investment.

If you are ready to discuss what rebranding could look like for your business, we would be happy to offer you a free consultation.  You can learn what the project could look like, how long it will take, and what research will be done.

How would you grade your brand?

How would you grade your brand?

Many people think a brand is just a logo and website, but it’s so much more than that. A brand is the way your organization is perceived by those who experience it. And having a bad brand influences not only your sales but the ability to attract the best employees to your company.

  • 69 percent of job candidates have said they would reject an offer of employment from a company from a bad employer brand, even if they were unemployed
  • According to the Harvard Business Review, companies with a poor employer brand must offer a minimum of 10 percent pay increase to lure top talent
  • 95 percent of candidates have said they consider a company’s reputation as a key consideration when exploring new career opportunities
  • Only 49 percent of employees would recommend their employer to a friend

A strong brand:

  • Builds a reputation in the industry
  • Provides motivation and direction for employees
  • Generates referrals for both customers and employees
  • Builds loyalty
  • Provides business value

So, what does this mean? You need to proactively manage all aspects of your brand. You can start this by grading your current branding to see how it fares when it comes to creating a positive perception of your business.

Grade the following categories from A-F (A = extremely strong, F = extremely weak)

Vision

The first category to grade your brand on is vision. This is the purpose of your company beyond making money. Having a shared vision helps you and your employees be on the same page when it comes to representing your brand. It also helps customers know what to expect when interacting with you.

Here are some questions to ask yourself when grading your vision:

  • Are the purpose and values of my business clearly identified?
  • Is my brand position clearly defined and distinguished from my competitors?
  • Do I have visual standards that are defined, documented, and enforced?

Culture

What your staff experiences on a daily basis is also an important part of having a strong brand. People want to know what the vibe is before coming to work for you – they want to know about management style or how you communicate with your employees.

Here are some questions to ask yourself when grading your culture:

  • Is your company culture built to reinforce the brand?
  • Are there internal programs that support the brand?
  • Is there training for employees on brand and how to support it?

Experience

Experience includes your brand “touchpoints” – each time someone comes in contact with your business. Touchpoints aren’t just tracked through direct sales, but also through your website, vendors, customer service, tech support, human resources, etc.

Here are some questions to ask while grading how someone experience’s your brand at every touchpoint:

  • How well is the brand perceived by customers and employees?
  • Do customers and employees perceive me how I want them to?
  • How likely are they to recommend my business to others?

Engagement

Engagement is the story of your brand, or what it’s saying to other people. This is key because when people are engaged with your brand, it builds their loyalty.

Here’s what to ask yourself when grading your brand engagement: 

  • Do employees know what your brand stands for?
  • Does your brand help you achieve your sales and hiring goals?
  • Do people have an emotional and cultural connection with your brand?
  • How well does your brand maximize the value of employee relationships?

What your grade means:

Okay, so you’ve looked at your brand and given it a grade – now what? Is it time for a complete overhaul of your brand, or just some updates?

If you gave your brand an A or B, it might be time for a slight brand update. Change some minor things here or there if you found some weaknesses in some of the categories, but you’ve got a good foundation to build upon.

If you gave your brand a C, it is time to take your minor updates to the next level. It’s time for a refresh. You don’t necessarily need an entire rebrand, but it will be smart to go through and make improvements so your brand can connect with people at every touchpoint.

If you gave your brand a D or an F, don’t panic. This score means your company is due for a rebrand. How exciting! With a rebrand, you will undergo major changes and investments to make your brand stronger than ever. This will lead to an increase in brand value, which means happy employees and more clients.

Some of the tools you can use to rebrand include a brand audit, brand development and strategy, employee surveys, and competitor research.

The endgame of having a successful brand is love. You love your people, and your people will love your brand. This makes your company worth more to everyone who experiences it.

 

We want to help your business succeed, no matter what stage it’s in. Give us a call or shoot us an email and let’s do something great together!

3 Easy and Effective Ways to Wow Your Clients

Let’s pretend it’s a warm, sunny day and we’re running a lemonade stand. You walk by, purchase a cup, and declare “Wow! That is some seriously good lemonade. What do you guys do so different?” Truthfully, a recipe isn’t that hard to follow: proper portions of water,...

3 Easy and Effective Ways to Wow Your Clients

Let’s pretend it’s a warm, sunny day and we’re running a lemonade stand. You walk by, purchase a cup, and declare “Wow! That is some seriously good lemonade. What do you guys do so different?” Truthfully, a recipe isn’t that hard to follow: proper portions of water,...
It’s Not You, It’s Your Brand: How a Rebrand Can Help Attract Star Employees

It’s Not You, It’s Your Brand: How a Rebrand Can Help Attract Star Employees

It may be easy to think about rebranding your company when it comes to bringing in more customers – but have you considered that your current brand might be keeping potential employees away?

If someone is at the top of their field in talent and experience, they have many choices for where to apply for a job. To get the most qualified candidates, it’s important to put your best foot forward.

Let’s break down why rebranding is a great approach if you want to attract new employees.

rebranding checklist

You aren’t getting many applications

If the job search sites are inundated with other organizations in your field, it can be tough to stand out among the crowd. Having a brand that catches the eyes of applicants can increase the number of applicants you receive, and therefore improve your options of finding the best employee to meet your needs.

If your job posting has been on the site for a while, it might be time to add some fresh branding – not just your logo, but the way you describe your company and the job listing itself. It’s time to start asking yourself why employees should pick you above some of the other businesses. What sets you apart? Incorporating your uniqueness into your branding is essential for attracting employees.

You aren’t attracting the right type of employees

So maybe you are getting plenty of applications for the position – but none of them seems to be the right match for your company. Not just when it comes to experience and skills, but mission and drive. By having a brand that reflects the things that are important to your organization, you can find potential employees who value the same thing.

Rebranding your company can help you find the best match in the following areas:

  • Traditional versus modern – While there is nothing wrong with doing things the way you’ve always done them if that works for you, it might not be the best workplace for someone who yearns for innovation. Or if you are an organization that is doing things differently than those in your industry, you don’t want to attract an employee who might not be comfortable with that type of change.
  • Culture – Do you keep things professional in the office – or do you have a more casual workplace setting? Not all employees thrive in the same kind of environment, and branding yourself appropriately will help you find someone that works best in the workplace you’ve created.
  • Expectations – Some employees are more productive in a heavily supervised setting, while others see success in self-management. Finding the best employee for your type of management style from the beginning goes a long way toward employee retention.

Be the brand that people want to work for

Even if you rebrand to draw in new customers and create loyalty for your organization, this will also benefit you in finding the best employees. People work for big companies like Disney and Apple not just because they like amusement parks and smartphones. They love the brand and all that it entails. They want to be ambassadors for it.

Building a strong brand takes intention and purposeful action but pays dividends in employee attraction and retention. If your company has an outdated website, mix and match logos, inconsistent marketing, and lacks purpose and values, a comprehensive rebranding process will reignite the passion for your brand with your current employees and attract the right kind of future employees.

Here at Hoyden, we specialize in rebranding. Our team of awesome people is here to help your organization thrive, and we would love the opportunity to work with you.

rebranding checklist

3 Easy and Effective Ways to Wow Your Clients

Let’s pretend it’s a warm, sunny day and we’re running a lemonade stand. You walk by, purchase a cup, and declare “Wow! That is some seriously good lemonade. What do you guys do so different?” Truthfully, a recipe isn’t that hard to follow: proper portions of water,...

3 Easy and Effective Ways to Wow Your Clients

Let’s pretend it’s a warm, sunny day and we’re running a lemonade stand. You walk by, purchase a cup, and declare “Wow! That is some seriously good lemonade. What do you guys do so different?” Truthfully, a recipe isn’t that hard to follow: proper portions of water,...