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Online Marketing

Do You Need Separate Online and Offline Marketing Partners?

For a while, after Internet business and online marketing became huge topics, it was necessary for ad agencies, graphic designers, and other creative vendors to distinguish themselves as “online” or “offline.”

But, in 2014, do these distinctions still matter? And do you actually need separate vendors for online and offline marketing? For huge companies with multiple divisions and advertising campaigns, it might make sense to keep separate types of agencies involved. For smaller businesses, though, there really isn’t much need to have separate online and offline marketing partners. After all, it’s really just creating more work… not to mention more invoices.

To understand how and why, here are a couple things to remember:

Having one creative team is generally going to be more efficient. You want your team of designers, writers, and other creative professionals to know your company inside and out, and to have a firm grasp not only on what you do, but also where you hope to take your business in the future. That’s drastically easier to accomplish if you have a single team with just one or two points of contact than it is if you have multiple vendors who are trying to stay on top of your business plans.

The exception lies in specialty campaigns. Occasionally, ultra-specific types of campaigns (such as distributing leaflets in your local neighborhood, for example) are best handled by niche-type companies. Often, however, these vendors can work beneath, or in conjunction with, your established marketing team for best results.

Except in rare circumstances, the best way to balance online and offline marketing is to work with one creative agency that understands what your real, bottom-line goals are. They can help you devise the best strategies for meeting customers, whether that comes over the Internet, through the mail, or in some other way.

By David A. West  Join me on Google+

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Online Marketing

The Three Easiest Things to Change in Internet Marketing

Earlier this month, we asked you to consider whether your 2013 marketing was a success or not, and specifically whether or not you have reached your biggest goals. We recommend that, if you didn’t, you look at different elements of your plan and see if you can find areas for improvement.

You might be wondering what those actual areas for improvement would look like. That’s going to change from one company or situation to the next, of course, but in general there are three things that are usually easiest to change in Internet marketing, and that lead to the biggest changes in results:

1. Your budget and commitment. Although you don’t have to spend a fortune on Internet marketing to make it work, you do have to make a healthy investment, in terms of your budget and schedule (at least initially). Trying to do everything with nothing is rarely a blueprint for success.

2. Your message and sales strategy. Sometimes, you can do all the right things and have them fail to work simply because you’re trying to sell the wrong things to the wrong people. In other words, if your unique selling proposition is out of line with what your customers actually want or need, you’re making things harder than they have to be.

3. The Internet marketing team you’re working with. Of course, it needs to be pointed out that, if the first two elements are in place, the issue might be with your team of advisers. Are they making helpful suggestions for the future? Are you listening to those suggestions?And finally, do you think you could get better advice and guidance elsewhere?

If you’re feeling very underwhelmed by the results you’ve gotten from business web design and Internet marketing in the past, there’s a good chance you need to change at least one of these three variables. Otherwise, you’re likely to end up repeating the same campaigns again and again… with the same disappointing results.

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Calgary Marketing News

Did You Meet Your 2013 Marketing Goals?

December is a good time to take a step back and evaluate all the different parts of your company, and your marketing in particular. By now, you probably have a pretty good idea of whether or not you’re on track to meet your new sales and revenue targets.

So, did you meet your 2013 marketing goals?

If you did, what will you do next year to keep the momentum going?

As you’ve probably already learned by now, what you did to get to a certain point isn’t necessarily enough to keep you moving past it. In other words, even the most successful marketers have to try new campaigns and ideas once in a while. So, if you have a winning plan in place, be sure to identify and keep the elements that are already working for you. At the same time, though, look for areas where you could find a little bit of improvement next year, too.

And if you didn’t, why not?

There are lots of reasons your 2013 marketing might not have gone the way you wanted it to. Perhaps you didn’t have the budget you planned, were missing key personnel for part of the year, or just didn’t execute a strategy the way you had hoped. Regardless of the specific cause, see if you can think of ways to avoid the same pitfalls for next year. No single mistake is ever usually damaging to a business unless it’s repeated again and again.

Although a lot of people like to focus on the creative aspects of marketing, assessing your team, goals, and performance from time to time is one of the best ways to find new directions going forward. Whether or not you are successful with your marketing goals in 2013, now is the perfect time to start looking ahead to bigger and better things next year.

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Google Social Media Uncategorized

How to Track the Deliverables of Responsive Internet Marketing

If you have done business with us recently, then you already know how excited we are to be able to bring responsive Internet marketing plans to so many companies in and around Calgary. One of the things we focus on with responsive marketing, of course, is continual improvement, rather than simply “sticking to what we’ve done in the past.”

In other words, we try to put our attention on the deliverables, rather than the individual pieces of an Internet marketing plan itself. But, what do those deliverables actually look like?

Here are a few of the things we pay close attention to:

Search engine positioning. By adding new content to your website, we help make it more attractive to Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Improving your search engine positioning is an important first step towards attracting more traffic, and eventually more online customers.

Social media following. If people are adding you to their lists on Facebook and Twitter, that’s another outlet for promoting your business and marketing messages. A strong social following makes it easier to find customers and build loyalty.

Email newsletter subscribers. When you have lots of valid, opt-in email addresses on your newsletter’s distribution list, you have a virtually free way to contact thousands of customers, and potential customers, all at once. That makes promoting new discounts, products, and ideas a snap.

Actual new customers. Naturally, keeping one eye on new sales and account openings is important, as well, since that’s the ultimate goal of your Internet marketing plan.

By looking at these kinds of figures, we can get to the heart of responsive Internet marketing and see what’s actually working – and even better, adjust our plans over time if needed. That way, we can always be sure that you’re getting the most for your money, and your Internet marketing campaigns are moving in the right direction.

Categories
Calgary Marketing News Online Marketing

What’s the Argument Against Responsive Internet Marketing?

Any time a new idea is introduced into the business world – and especially the world of Internet marketing – there are going to be some people who are going to fight.

It’s no surprise then, that while Calgary businesses are embracing responsive Internet marketing plans, a number of agencies are pushing back against them. Their main argument against our way of working, if they have one, is that it seems “unclear.”

In the strictest possible sense, that could be true. After all, the beauty of a responsive Internet marketing plan is that you don’t necessarily know which activities you’re going to pursue from one time period to the next. As a result, your plan could change over time.

The bigger reality, however, is that the change we are talking about is important and necessary. As the best Internet marketing tools shift and change, your ideas and future plans need to change with them. That’s even more true if your business objectives and priorities change regularly, as they do for many organizations.

The truth is probably that some Calgary business web design companies don’t want to embrace responsive marketing because they simply want to keep getting paid for what they’ve always done in the past. Or worse, they want you to keep paying for the same work that’s already been finished, even though they keep giving it to you again and again as if it were new.

With responsive Internet marketing, you still always know exactly what you’re paying for. The biggest difference is that your business is the one setting the priorities, and that fewer of your dollars are being wasted on the wrong activities. What could be more clear than that?

Categories
Online Marketing Uncategorized

How to Make Internet Marketing More Effective Without Spending More Money

Traditionally speaking, trying new things in your online marketing plan – or aiming for bigger results – has meant spending more money. There just didn’t used to be any way around it: If you wanted something bigger or different, you were probably going to have to pay for it.

But, what if there was a better way to manage Internet marketing that made it easier to not only get better results, but work them into your marketing budget?

Here at CAYK®, we have been focusing our efforts for the past few years on responsive Internet marketing, which is a way for clients to pay a set, regular fee for our services, even though the tools and activities we put to use for them might change over time. In short, it really does allow us to give them more without a bigger expense. Here’s how:

First, we study your marketing goals. Every good Internet marketing effort begins with an understanding of where you are at the moment, and where you would like your business to be in the future. Developing any kind of plan before that would be a waste of time.

Then, we form a plan of action. Once we know what you’re actually trying to accomplish, we can start to put the tools and steps in place to make things happen. This is where things like blog posts, social updates, Internet advertising, and email marketing come into play.

Later, we review your progress and add or subtract new ideas as needed. Because needs and goals change over time, your Internet marketing campaigns should change with them. And so, at regular intervals, we get together to see how things are going – and what topics or areas we need to concentrate on going forward.

One thing you might notice, other than the fact that this represents a new way of thinking, is that a responsive marketing effort allows you to concentrate effort and resources where they really matter now – in other words, to get more from your Internet marketing without increasing your budget or commitment.

Want to learn more about responsive marketing and how we find the right mix of tools for your company? Call us today and arrange for a free appointment.