Since we are fast approaching a new year,(yes, where did 2014 go!) I thought we would talk about some trends in marketing for 2015. I know for everyone here at Benchmark Displays, we are constantly looking for ways to increase our online visibility. We have been working on creating a series of short corporate videos, so I was happy to discover, during my research that video promotion is a trend that we will be seeing more and more of throughout 2015. One article I read said that 40% of people respond more positively to visual content, with videos getting three times more likes than posts that are text only in content.
The whole point of marketing is to create brand awareness. You want your potential customers to engage and connect with the content you share with them. Long term relationships are key, so if you are creating captivating, personalized content, you are more likely to inspire your customers to stay on your website longer, and make recurring purchases.
Social Media will continue to increase in popularity, especially since everyone can download social apps to their smartphones and stay connected 24/7. Now that both Facebook and Twitter have added buy buttons to certain posts, users can even make purchases directly through these social sites without having to leave the page. We will see how well that does in the upcoming year. One of the sites that we have really taken notice of has been LinkedIn. They made some big changes in 2014, one of which was adding a publishing platform to their site. It gives companies like ours, the opportunity to build and develop a professional brand through content like a company blog, and allows us to showcase our capabilities directly to our target audience, other businesses.
As with anything else, trends come and go. But I think social media will continue to be an important tool for marketing and advertising. With the ability to reach a limitless number of customers, and tracking analytics integrated into these sites, it’s really a no brainer to try them out! So, if you’ve been toying with the idea of a promotional video, or have a brilliant new product you want to market, post/pin and tweet away!
“Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine, and at last you create what you will” – George Bernard Shaw
I think we would all agree that it is easier to feel creative when you are enthused about your subject matter. So I suppose that theorem, in and of itself is a good place to start. After all, it’s next to impossible to be motivated about something you have little or no interest in.
There is in fact much debate out there about just what moves a person to be creative. What motivated Picasso to paint all those prolific masterpieces? Or Bach to churn out all those brilliant concertos? I can’t really say, not sure anyone could for certain. What I do know is that Picasso created around 50,000 paintings, but how many of them were considered brilliant? Only a few. The rest quite honestly were not that good. Having said that, I happen to be of the opinion that art, music, an ad campaign….really anything considered creative is subjective.
We tend to think of creative “types” as churning out one great idea after the next, but the truth is, it’s a numbers game. Not every idea you have is going to be a game changer. In fact, most probably won’t be. The point is that we should accept failure, even embrace it. For most of us this may prove to be a challenge, as failure tends to be paralyzing, not mobilizing. However, if we can somehow learn to “Embrace the suck” as one author eloquently put it, and accept that it’s part of the process, doesn’t that sort of take a little pressure off?
Let’s face it, we are all brand experts these days. We have been groomed to recognize and associate with different brands. One marketing guru uses the word pre-eminence when speaking about brand identity, meaning it moves people to action, and their lives are better because you are in it. If you’ve done your job, then people can relate to and identify with you, and your product. There is an emotional connection tied to it. It’s about being able to articulate, or put into words what you stand for and why it’s better than say, your competition.
Your Brand, Your Reputation
Back in the 1990’s, Harley Davidson began considering ways to expand it’s empire, so the company decided to get into merchandising. They started selling patches, mugs, jackets, and other biker related paraphernalia. It proved to be a good move for the company. So much so, that an over enthusiastic marketing manager decided they should try and expand their market even further, into perfume sales. That decision backfired in a big way. They alienated their core audience, bike enthusiasts, (I don’t know about you, but I don’t know many bikers that wear perfume?), even worse, they failed to capture the consumers who like perfume, but don’t ride bikes. What does this tell us? Don’t get greedy! Be loyal to your core audience and stick to the brand values that made you successful in the first place.
In a world where people have so many options, and often times the services that we offer aren’t necessarily needs, but wants, we have to set ourselves apart, by clearly identifying what we are all about. As an example, we here at Benchmark Displays design custom displays for POP retail, as well as merchandisers, awards and promotional pieces. We are also aware that there are many companies that offer similar services to our own. Therefore, our emphasis is on being customer centric and building relationships. A first time client may call because they have a pending project and they need a quote. They probably have specs for the project, a desired quantity, and most often than not, a deadline to meet. Beyond that, they rely on us, to not only design an engaging, attractive display, but do so in a way that keeps costs minimal, and is delivered on time. If we consistently provide a quality, unique product, as expected, then we, as a company, and as a brand will thrive.
When all is said and done, your brand, your identity, takes time to build. It needs to say something about who you are as a company, connect with your target market, motivate people in some way, and always create a sense of loyalty.