Establishing yourself as an authority within your industry allows you to pave the way for industry developments, rather than following in others’ footsteps. At one point, the leading industry authority may have been the business with the biggest ad budget. A prospective customer 30 years ago may have flipped through the yellow pages and settled with the first listed company. With the rise of the Internet, it’s become increasingly difficult to create customer trust and loyalty.
An industry authority holds a unique type of responsibility that exceeds simply having expert knowledge. Their wisdom is specialized and personalized, allowing them to make decisions to move the industry in a specific direction.
Being an authority in your industry gives you credibility.
According to Zipf’s Law, consumers’ verbalized preference of a brand directly correlates with their actual buying habits. They’ll intentionally narrow their possible choices of a brand until there are a couple preferred products. In other words, the companies which have established enough rapport will be the competitors who remain. Lesser known brands will no longer be the choice of consumers. If your company is the one they think of when they think of that industry, it will be the one that customers continue to go to.
Developing this trust is vital because it turns one-time customers into lifetime customers. Loyalty creates shorter sales cycles by reducing any doubt or worry potential clients may have about working with you, and develops long-term relationships that develop a consistent revenue stream. In essence, authority leads to brand recognition, and in turn, profitability.
There a few steps you can take to becoming an authority in your industry:
- Develop a specialization. Companies that have a specific niche focus have a specific client focus. Specialization allows you to personally cater to clients.
- Choose the right channels of communication. Understanding the demographic of your audience will allow you to better know where they’re getting their information from and develop a relationship with them. What social media sites do they use most? Do they respond better to videos or images?
- Understand what your clients value. Knowing the age of your target audience is one thing, but understanding their behavior is just as important. Creating a psychographic profile your audience will help you provide a product or service that they value.
- Don’t be afraid to take risks. As an authority, you’re not following the status quo. You’re setting it, allowing others in your industry to follow your lead.
- Address industry changes openly. Be innovative; being an authority in your industry isn’t going to come from doing what every other company is doing.
Studies have shown time and time again that when bombarded with choices, customers will go with the product brand they’re familiar with. In the same way that a customer in a grocery store will pick up the Heinz ketchup bottle because they recognize the brand, your customers will rely on the authority in your industry. Developing trust and establishing yourself as an authority is key to building customer loyalty.
Manipulating a corporate brand to be a part of the news cycle and not the “background clutter” requires timing, social acuity and being able to read the pulse of the public. This the practice of “agile marketing”. This marketing technique is the opposite “of crafting a large project”. It requires being aware of current events and trends and then acting on them swiftly in a way that can appeal to your audience and/or to the masses.
Two years ago the infamous Oreo Cookie, Dunk in the Dark tweet went viral taking the 2013 Super Bowl Blackout headline and using it to the brand’s advantage. Here Oreo saw an opportunity to comment on trending news and use it to promote the Oreo cookie brand. However, since then Kit Kat has taken the agile marketing spotlight with its tweet and trending hashtag #bendgate, which referenced the past iphone6 bending fiasco.
“In today’s fast-paced, multichannel world, marketers no longer have the luxury to spend months crafting large projects; they must innovate and produce on the fly and respond immediately to market disruptions.” – Forbes staff writer Jennifer Rooney
Regardless if your company is small or large, relating what your brand or service is and intertwining that with noteworthy information can draw attention to your company. Agile marketing demands your business to adapt and to be flexible to the outside noise-makers.
Many of these agile marketing examples can be seen utilizing Twitter and Facebook to express their one-liners. However, agile marketing is still a fairly new marketing tool. In 2015, we are sure to see more brands use this technique. Recently, during the ESPY’s, a television advertisement by Airbnb grabbed viewers’ attention. Airbnb is known for its home sharing service decided to use the theme of “trans kind” in their advertisement during the awards show. This ad smartly aligned with the ESPY’s choice to award Caitlyn Jenner for her contribution to sports and her relationship with the transgendered community.
With company demands to be relevant, so are the needs of flexibility and speed. These needs make agile marketing a necessity in 2015. Because of the “always-on and always-connected” individuals agile marketing may one day become the norm.
Marketing is an interactive process that brings together the breadth of both the advertiser and public. Being able to read the pulse of both parties is critical. Once more, being able to appreciate the space they both occupy marks the difference success and nothingness.
The increasing digital nature of the world has been a blessing to marketers. SEO-focused blogging and social media marketing have allowed companies to focus awareness and dramatically increase their profits for little cost. At the same time, the consumer-focused nature of this digital world has also threatened one thing, brand identity.
Establishing Your Brand Used to Be Simple
Before the internet placed so much power in the hands of consumers, your brand identity was in your hands. Businesses could control the messages about their company. They could control content, ensuring the perception of their brand remained positive and on-point.
A Plethora of Voices
Today anyone can go to social media and criticize your products and brand. They can write a blog posting that ranks higher in Google’s search results than you’d like. Control has left the hands of the marketer. The issue is multiplied in the service industry, where review sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor and Angie’s List – all designed to improve customer experience – can seriously threaten your brand’s credibility and identity.
The consumer has a direct voice to connect quality to value. Now branding efforts must address both macro and micro management strategies. Companies must be responsive to individual voices of dissatisfied consumers, while focusing resources toward broader quality efforts and branding.
This is the price of doing business. Rightfully so, consumers can now put their mouth where their money is. The business community must do the same.
What Can You Do?
Successful companies leverage positive reviews into word-of-mouth advertising. This remains the single most effective type of advertising today.
If your company is being battered with negative reviews, what can you do? Here are a few ideas to start:
- Find them. Use focused social media searches to discover what consumers are saying about your company.
- Respond diligently. Once you’ve found complaints, don’t just dismiss them. These reviews are actively read by consumers. Consumers are often more likely to embrace a review than an advertisement. Respond to the feedback openly and solve the issue. Deal with it.
- Improve. Don’t just make empty promises. Empty lip-service is the worst response you can provide to a complaint. If you have an issue, deal with it. If you get called on the carpet because of poor service – deal with it. If the customer is upset – deal with it. Don’t dismiss the complaint, resolve the issue. Even if it costs you a few dollars and a bit of time – solve the problem. At this point, damage from the mismanagement of a complaint only escalates.
- Grow from your mistakes. Learn what the consumer wants. It’s that simple.
- Take feedback. Make this an opportunity to improve your brand – your customers will thank you for it.
Contact Colure’s marketing team. Discover the art of crisis management. Learn from a team that can help you properly manage your corporate image.
The Software Development Process is an organized, systematic approach to developing software. It’s an organized pathway traveled together by both the client and a software development team. The development cycle is an upward spiral that allows for discovery, new growth, consideration of new ideas, inspiration and change.
The process begins when a client approaches a development team with an idea for a new ‘digital mousetrap’. It’s critical that the software team listen to all the concerns of the client. These may include a timetable, budget concerns, support, logistics and so on. In turn, the clients must understand that the development team will do everything in their power to assist them.
During your application’s development, you will encounter numerous pressures that will divert you from your end goal. It is critical that you have a focused plan and a development team who can appreciate these concerns. A solid team will keep your project focused toward a specific goal.
The Software Development Process includes the:
- development phase – it starts as an idea, quickly followed by an analysis; quality standards are established; specific goals are set.
- design phase – you’ll discuss form, function and the delegation of duties.
- implementation phase – The actual program code is written during the implementation phase.
- testing and verification phase – after the development team has a working copy of the project, they will usually issue it out to a limited group for beta testing. Here, they gather data on what works and what can be refined. Quality standards are met.
- documentation phase – here the data is brought together and assessments are made.
- maintenance phase – this is the longest phase. It consists of the constant updating of the program and customer management. This phase continues long after the final release of the project.
The key to success is open communication.
The process is often met with long hours, varied opinions, and strong emotions for a project. This mixture of blood, sweat and tears is critical to the creative process. For as much as a client is passionate about the function of an application, the creative team has similar motivations. They view the project from the inside-out. Ones and zeros take on form, function and texture.
It is this marriage of visions that brings life to the original idea. Each project is more than just the sum total of the various parts. The project evolves with each new idea, inspiration, and dream. Contact Colure’s Development Team to discuss bringing your software dreams to life.
Content marketing is the technique for creating and sharing free content to provide the consumer with an additional level of product interaction. It is meant to attract new customers and to encourage current customers into developing a loyal, repeat business. But, it should be more than a portion of a company or product. It should be used as a tool to engage your audience.
Four successful content marketing campaigns:
- Birchbox – a monthly subscription service that provides an array of carefully selected beauty samples to customers. They use content marketing to enhance the online shopping experience for their customers. Birchbox features articles about personal grooming, fitness, and popular beauty products to engage its customers. This has been the key to Birchbox’s success, allowing Birchbox to create an interactive experience for customers as if they were in a store.
- Red Bull – the energy drink maker uses its content marketing to blend in with the community that enjoys its products. Red Bull specifically chooses to be associated with extreme sports through their advertising. They provide featured videos, films and photos of extreme sports and stunts to associate high energy with the essence of its community.
- MasterCard – the financial institution uses their content marketing to create a hassle-free, convenient way for costumers to enjoy MasterCard’s features. On the MasterCard website, MasterCard offers features such as a saving calculator and debt FAQs to assist customers with their finances. To minimize inconvenience for it’s customers, helpful videos and ATM locators are located in its “Priceless Pointers” section on its website.
- Kraft – the international food conglomerate, mastered the use of content long before it was a popular marketing technique. Kraft’s website features recipes, tips, ideas, and videos to assist customers with their products. They understand the power of connecting with their customers. Kraft has created a forum where customers can go beyond simply sharing their recipes. Customers experience those products on a most basic human level – while breaking bread. Kraft expanded its brand from simply selling their products to forming an online community that has become ingrained in the lives of its consumers.
A company’s content marketing has to be relevant to the company’s mission, products, and services. It should allow customers to consistently learn and engage with a brand. As content marketing continues to grow, it proves to be more of a long-lasting relationship than a trend. Content marketing will continue to be a necessity for companies to grow and actively engage their customers.
Contact Colure’s team to discuss marketing strategies for your business. See how a focused approach on your project can dramatically modify your performance in the marketplace.
Colure’s staff participated today in the TD Five Borough Bike Tour in NYC. Great job!!! It seems impossible till it’s done!!!! Dream Big for a good cause!
Advertising Rule of Thumb “Advertising expenditures account for $5.8 trillion in economic output in the U.S. or 20 percent of the $29.6 trillion in total economic output in the nation. Advertising driven sales of products and services help support 19,753,994 jobs, or 15%, of the 133.4 million jobs in the United States. Every dollar spent on advertising generates just under $20 of economic output, and every million dollars of ad spending supports 69 American jobs.”
(Source: IHS Global Insight found that in 2010)
As we prepare for our think-tank session we keep one thing on the forefront “branding”.
One the left, our Executive Creative Director Rich Solomon and on the right, our Head of Business Development Patrice Gervias both prepares for the think-tank session.
Richard Solomon, Executive Creative Director explains branding during a speech he made as a guest lecturer at NYU:
“Most times I would talk branding and show examples. The last time I did a lecture, I walked pass the Apple Store downtown and had an idea. In class I told the students I was looking to get a new Smartphone and asked if they could give me any recommendations. They all had one – the majority iPhones some Droids. I went around and they said things like “I love it…”, “It’s the best…”, “I do everything with it, great”, “awesome”… At that point I stop and said “think about what you guys just did. You used words like, love, great, best, and awesome to describe an inanimate object that’s less than a pound and fits in your pocket. That’s branding at its best, a strong emotional relationship between a product or service and a consumer – class dismissed”
Colure Media co-sponsored the World Entrepreneur Summit: Building a better tomorrow is important today!
WES On South America & Caribbean: The World Entrepreneurship Summit 2014: South America & Caribbean took place Tue February 18th at Mercy College, Manhattan. Organized by New York Business Consultants, LLC the event brought together a distinguished group of business leaders, academics, ambassadors and other thought leaders.
Colure Media’s Marketing Director Patrice Gervais shakes hands with Colure’s Co-Founder William Belle.
91% of smart phone users keep their phone within an arms reach literally 24/7! Mobile internet usage will overtake PC internet usage by the end of 2014! 1 of our 2 mobile searches converts into a purchase! 61% of mobile searches converts into a phone call! Now let’s ask that question again “Is Mobile Marketing Worth the Investment?” (Source: Infographic courtesy of EverythingMobile, http://www.mobile-marketing-blog.net/2013/07/quick-stats-on-effectiveness-of-mobile.html)