All posts in Marketing

What’s in a Name?

butternutbread Whats in a Name?

Creating the perfect brand is like adding a permanent member to your marketing team. Your brand is working for you 24/7, sending your message every time a potential customer sees it. A great name can connect to your audience, drawing them in with intentional, targeted words and phrases. However, a bad name could effectively poison a business’s marketing with apathy and disinterest.

Here are some compiled tips on how to generate an effective brand for your product or service:

1. Don’t Over-do It

According to Jim Price’s article, 7 Keys To Create A Killer Brand, you should choose one of three types of names: descriptive, evocative, or whimsical. A descriptive name works by describing what your business does. One example is a former MCG client, All Occasion Catering. An evocative name is abstract, but it makes a connection through the characteristics and qualities customers associate with it. MCG worked with DermaPure’s identity, which evokes thoughts of purity, cleanliness, and healing. Whimsical names are “memorable, unique nonsense words.” Another MCG client, House of Thaller, owns the brand, Fresket. Fresket, though it is clearly not an English word, still makes an English-speaking consumer think “Fresh,” which is how House of Thaller makes its dips, spreads, and salads.

Once you’ve chosen what type of brand best suits you, start generating potential names that are simple. Brands that are easy to recognize, spell, and pronounce will connect better with your audience, which leads us to tip #2.

2. Be Consumer-Centered

When brainstorming ideas for your brand, you must be consumer-minded. Who is purchasing your product or service? How can your brand target that audience? No matter your audience’s demographics, it is important to keep your brand simple and to the point. The best brands connect with the consumer on an emotional level, so you must consider who your target audience is and what it is about your product or service that they connect with. Keep in mind that your brand might need to be translatable across countries, cultures, and even age differences. All of these requirements and considerations can be time consuming and exhausting. Hiring a creative team to assist with your branding could be the best investment you ever make in your company.

3. Consider Professional Assistance

While it is vital to have multiple perspectives when coming up with your brand, that doesn’t mean everyone should be a part of the branding process. A knowledgeable marketing team can be the key to making your brand successful. According to the article How to Name Your Business from Entrepreneur.com, most professional naming firms take 6 weeks to 6 months in the naming process. If you feel that you don’t have the time or creativity it takes to create the perfect brand for your product or service, it is worth the investment to let a team of creative professionals do it for you. They can spend the time investigating your audience and creating a brand that targets those demographics.

If you’re considering hiring a marketing team to help with your branding, contact a team with extensive marketing and branding experience: Morris Creative Group.

For more branding tips, visit these links:

http://www.businessinsider.com/how-to-create-a-killer-brand-2013-8

http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/21774

http://www.quirks.com/articles/2008/20080502.aspx?searchID=1075633243&pg=1

Image Source:
Licensed under Public “Youll like Butter-Nut Enriched Bread” by Boston Public LibraryYou’ll like Butter-Nut Enriched BreadUploaded by oaktree_b. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

7 Marketing Things Smart Companies Know and Do

Marketing Strategy 7 Marketing Things Smart Companies Know and Do

It’s true. Companies that are marketing-oriented just do things differently, and they are typically much more successful because of it.

We’ve all read about the ones that get the headlines, from Apple to Zappos. What about the rest of us?

In over twenty-five years of working in marketing, I’ve found that the most successful companies have some things in common. Here are a few.

1. They know their metrics. If you don’t know where you’re headed, how will you know when you get there? Marketing decisions should be driven by metrics. It’s really that simple. If you know by what percentage you want to increase revenues, and you know the lifetime or transactional value of a customer, and you know how many customers you have to reach before you sell just one, you can back out a marketing plan and strategy that will work. You can even figure out what it will cost you.

2. They know their top 3 target audiences. Face it. No company can be all things to all people, but generally, there are at least 3 demographics you can serve really well while making a nice profit. Go after those first. The rest will likely follow, and if they don’t it won’t matter anyway.

3. They know their top 3 messages. It’s about customizing the message to the audience. One size does not fit all. In an ad-cluttered and noisy world, each of us wants to hear a message we believe is just for us. You need to connect emotionally. We lead our clients through a “messaging matrix,” a 3×3 spreadsheet that defines what 3 tailored messages we will send to their 3 top audiences. It helps to guide all of our marketing efforts and keep us on track. When in doubt, we look at the matrix and ask if we’re in alignment.

4. They know their positioning relative to where they want to be. Where are you compared to your competitors? If you’re lucky enough to be in the “considered set,” you need to know where everyone else is. On an X/Y axis of quality vs. price, are you in the upper right quadrant of highest quality and highest price? Or are you somewhere in the middle? Where’s your number one competitor and where are they moving on the axis? Are you following or leading? What’s your trajectory?

5. They know strategy dictates content and channel, not the other way around. Have you ever created a social media account with no real plan for how you wanted to use it, what content you would post, or who you wanted to reach? Same with a website? Guilty? I have been. Digital marketing technologies are only tools. Strategy has to dictate how you use them. It’s like that old saying, “If all you have is a hammer everything looks like a nail.”

6. They know that they don’t know it all. A marketing colleague of mine says, “I don’t know what I don’t know, but what I don’t know I can test.” There are a thousand things you don’t know when you launch a campaign, but if you’re willing to adjust as you go, you can respond to the data you’re seeing (you did install analytics, right?) and “dial in” your marketing efforts. Smart marketers aren’t afraid to pivot.

7. They don’t play “paralysis by analysis,” and they ask for help when they need it. With big data, we have more information about our campaigns than ever before, which is both a blessing and a curse. The most successful companies don’t analyze things to death. They act. Was the campaign perfect? No. Did it move the needle toward their goal? Yes. Lastly, they ask for help when they need it. Digital is moving faster than any of us can keep up with. Sometimes, you need a little help from your friends. Yes, maybe even an agency. icon wink 7 Marketing Things Smart Companies Know and Do

Want the messaging matrix and a worksheet for positioning? Shoot us a note.

Is your company a successful marketing organization? Share your best tips in the comments!

Marketing buzzwords for 2014

In the marketing world, we are constantly trying to sell or be sold with the latest buzzwords. The truth is, they are often thrown around in situations where they are not needed or not justified to make a point. What is a buzzword anyway? The dictionary defines buzzword as:

buzz·word

noun ˈbəz-ˌwərd; first known use of the term buzzword was in 1946, according to the Merriam Webster dictionary

  1. a word or phrase that becomes very popular for a period of time
  2. an important-sounding usually technical word or phrase often of little meaning used chiefly to impress laymen
  3. a voguish word or phrase —called also buzz phrase

We stumbled upon a list of popular marketing buzzwords from NGEN works that includes some of my favorites, including BYOD (device), game changer and make the logo bigger. Which ones do you use (or love to hate)?

  1. accelerate
  2. accountability
  3. action items
  4. actionable
  5. aggregator
  6. agile
  7. algorithm
  8. alignment
  9. analytics
  10. at the end of the day
  11. B2B/B2C
  12. bandwidth
  13. below the fold
  14. best of breed
  15. best practices
  16. beta
  17. big data
  18. bleeding edge
  19. blueprint
  20. boil the ocean
  21. bottom line
  22. bounce rate
  23. brand evangelist
  24. bricks and clicks
  25. bring to the party
  26. bring to the table
  27. brogrammer
  28. BYOD (device)
  29. change agent
  30. clickthrough
  31. close the loop
  32. codify
  33. collaboration
  34. collateral
  35. come to Jesus
  36. content strategy
  37. convergence
  38. coopetition
  39. create value
  40. credibility
  41. cross the chasm
  42. cross-platform
  43. cross-pollinate
  44. crowdfund
  45. crowdsource
  46. curate
  47. cutting-edge
  48. data mining
  49. deep dive
  50. design pattern
  51. digital divide
  52. digital natives
  53. discovery
  54. disruptive
  55. diversity
  56. DNA
  57. do more with less
  58. dot-bomb
  59. downsizing
  60. drink the Kool Aid
  61. DRM
  62. e-commerce hairball
  63. eat your own dog food
  64. emerging
  65. empathy
  66. enable
  67. end-to-end
  68. engagement
  69. engaging
  70. enterprise
  71. entitled
  72. epic
  73. evangelist
  74. exit strategy
  75. eyeballs
  76. face time
  77. fail fast
  78. fail forward
  79. fanboy
  80. finalize
  81. first or best
  82. flat
  83. flow
  84. freemium
  85. funded
  86. funnel
  87. fusion
  88. game changer
  89. gameify
  90. gamification
  91. glamour metrics
  92. globalization
  93. green
  94. groupthink
  95. growth hack
  96. guru
  97. headlights
  98. heads down
  99. herding cats
  100. high level
  101. holistic
  102. homerun
  103. html5
  104. hyperlocal
  105. i _______
  106. iconic
  107. ideation
  108. ignite
  109. immersive
  110. impact
  111. impressions
  112. in the weeds
  113. infographic
  114. innovate
  115. integrated
  116. jellyfish
  117. knee deep
  118. lean
  119. lean in
  120. let’s shake it and see what falls off
  121. let’s socialize this
  122. let’s table that
  123. level up
  124. leverage
  125. like _______ for _______
  126. lizard brain
  127. long tail
  128. low hanging fruit
  129. make it pop
  130. make the logo bigger
  131. maker
  132. marketing funnel
  133. mashup
  134. milestone
  135. mindshare
  136. mobile-first
  137. modernity
  138. monetize
  139. moving forward
  140. multi-channel
  141. multi-level
  142. MVP
  143. netiquette
  144. next gen
  145. next level
  146. ninja
  147. no but, yes if
  148. offshoring
  149. on the runway
  150. open the kimono
  151. operationalize
  152. opportunity
  153. optimize
  154. organic
  155. out of pocket
  156. outside the box
  157. outsourcing
  158. over the top
  159. paradigm shift
  160. patent pending design
  161. peeling the onion
  162. ping
  163. pipeline
  164. pivot
  165. pop
  166. portal
  167. proactive
  168. productize
  169. proof of concept
  170. public facing
  171. pull the trigger
  172. push the envelope
  173. put it in the parking lot
  174. qualified leads
  175. quick-win
  176. reach out
  177. Ready. Fire. Aim.
  178. real time
  179. rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic
  180. reimagining
  181. reinvent the wheel
  182. responsive
  183. revolutionize
  184. rich
  185. rightshoring
  186. rightsizing
  187. rockstar
  188. ROI
  189. run it up the flagpole
  190. scalability
  191. scratch your own itch
  192. scrum
  193. sea change
  194. seamless
  195. SEM
  196. SEO
  197. sexy
  198. shift
  199. sizzle
  200. slam dunk
  201. social currency
  202. social media
  203. social media expert
  204. social proof
  205. soft launch
  206. solution
  207. stakeholder
  208. standup
  209. startup
  210. stealth mode
  211. stealth startup
  212. sticky
  213. storytelling
  214. strategery
  215. strategy
  216. sustainability
  217. sweat your assets
  218. synergy
  219. take it offline
  220. team building
  221. tee off
  222. the cloud
  223. the mayor of _________
  224. thought leader
  225. tiger team
  226. tollgate
  227. top of mind
  228. touch base
  229. touchpoints
  230. transgenerate
  231. transparent
  232. trickthrough
  233. uber
  234. unicorn
  235. uniques
  236. unpack
  237. user
  238. usercentric
  239. value proposition
  240. value-add
  241. vertical cross-pollination
  242. viral
  243. visibility
  244. vision
  245. Web 2.0
  246. webinar
  247. what is our solve
  248. what’s the ask?
  249. win-win
  250. wizard

 

Your Marketing Spring Cleanup Done Right

Is there any better time than Spring? Days are longer, birds are chirping and plants are waking up. Everything is changing for the better, and so should your marketing plan.

Here are a few tips to heat up your marketing for the rest of 2014:

1. Make sure that your website and social media profiles are all up to date. Is your website free of broken links and bugs? Are you managing  your social media channels properly?  Do you have a schedule for your posts, tweets, etc? If you have trouble managing your social media, there are services like Hootsuite that can schedule all your social media channels weeks or months ahead of time. If you take your business seriously on the web then others will take you seriously.

2.  Make sure that your goals match up with your marketing plan. Are your choices of media helping or hurting your marketing strategy? Set goals that are more clear and allow you to accomplish more in the short term with your marketing plan.

3. Make an effort to communicate better with your coworkers and clients. We’re all busy, but even a simple reply like, “I’m sorry I will be very busy today but I will contact you as soon as I can.” is better than no response at all, stated recently in a Harvard Business Review blog, “gratitude is the new willpower.”

4. Create a new format on one of your marketing channels. Whether it’s changing an email message template, updating a logo on a Facebook channel, or throwing your old website template out the door, do something that will shake your foundation just a little. As long as the change works with your marketing plan and not against it, then the change can be good and you may be surprised how many may notice.

5. Lastly, alter the way your office looks just a little. Our marketing intern, Casey, was recently tasked with re-organizing our printed work samples. After a few hours of grunt-work, the file cabinet looks happier and accessing our work is simple. It used to be a chore. Even re-arranging a couch and chairs is enough to refresh your workspace.

Happy Spring!

Happy Holidays

This is a video of our “best” moments through 2013, and a behind-the-scenes look at the production of this year’s Christmas card.

Click to read more about letterpress printing and why it’s superior.