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Real Life Lessons on What It Means to Market With Impact—Being Remarkable and Having a Greater Purpose

Marketing.

It’s an often-dreaded word among business owners. You know it’s something you need to do, but the who, what, when, where, and why of marketing can leave even the most dedicated business professionals wondering.

Sure, marketing is about updating your social media accounts, sending out emails, and handing out coupons. But, it’s about much more than that.

It’s about Marketing with Impact.

This seemingly simple concept is what will take your marketing strategy to the next level, and it’s exactly what we do here at BottomLine Marketing.

What does it mean to Market with Impact? It means:

  • Being remarkable
  • Having a greater purpose
  • Knowing your value
  • Having attachable qualities
  • Knowing the emotional quality of your brand
  • Having an immersive brand experience

Knowing and understanding these concepts is one thing. Putting them into practice is quite another. Sometimes, the only way to truly understand a complex idea is to see it in action.

We’ve had the privilege to collaborate with and interview some amazing companies that are marketing with impact every single day using two of the items on our list—being remarkable and having a greater purpose.

On being remarkable

What does it mean to be remarkable? Well, according to the dictionary, it means “worthy of being or likely to be noticed, especially as being uncommon or extraordinary”. That sounds great, but what does it really mean?

For Fratello Coffee, it means taking the extra time to make sure they have an unforgettable product. That’s no easy task in a world that’s full of coffee makers looking to make their mark. How do they do this? They do it by going beyond the bean.

Fratello coffee ethically sources their coffee beans, and they work directly with growers. This enables them to develop amazing coffees with unique flavor profiles.

That’s not all. They go even further by considering themselves advocates for the coffee industry. They work hard to elevate coffee culture, turning their little corner of the market into something truly remarkable.

They aren’t the only ones we’ve profiled who have this whole remarkability thing down. Ryan Murphy Construction is another business that’s remarkable, and they’re even more so because they’re leaders in an industry that’s full of contractors who are a dime a dozen.

Not only is this unique construction company run by women, Lara and Karen run it using a community-based model. They take the time and effort to work closely, not only with their clients, but with their architects, designers, and trade partners. This creates a remarkable work environment for everyone working on the latest project, but it also creates a remarkable finished product that clients rave about.

Following in their footsteps starts with taking a look at the competitors in your industry and figuring out what sets you apart. That’s the thing that will make your business truly remarkable.

On having a greater purpose

No brand stays afloat without a great product or service, but it takes much more than that to win the hearts of potential customers. In today’s world, it’s more important than ever to have a greater purpose. That means digging deep and thinking about how you want to change the world.

Megan Stanley didn’t necessarily open the dogma Education and Behaviour Centre with a greater purpose in mind. Instead, she was having a hard time finding a facility that could help her train and socialize her dog. Her business turned into a greater purpose when she realized she could help dogs be successful in our busy and chaotic world. Today, the business is just as much about educating people about dogs so they can have a better relationship with their furry friends as it is about actually training the dogs.

What about when it comes to providing a space for people to work? There doesn’t seem to be much of a higher purpose there. Don’t tell that to Work Nicer.

It’s true that Work Nicer provides a place for freelancers and entrepreneurs to work, but their space is about much more than providing a few desks and chairs. They believe you shouldn’t have to work by yourself even if you work for yourself.

This higher purpose means they take a different angle when it comes to providing a co-working space. They see it as a way to connect people who are on similar journeys, providing opportunities to collaborate along the way.

It doesn’t matter what it is you do, or what you have to offer, you can find a greater purpose for your brand that has the kind of values that people want to support.

How will you Market with Impact?

The question is, how will you Market with Impact? Focus on being remarkable like Fratello Coffee or Ryan Murphy Construction. Or, you can develop a greater purpose like dogma and Work Nicer. Or, maybe you want to try one of the other items on the list that will help you stand apart from others in your industry.

If you’re struggling to Market with Impact, contact BottomLine Marketing. We’re passionate about helping companies just like yours connect with customers on a deeper level by developing marketing strategies that really work.

Contact us today or book a free consult below:

Communicating Value Through Your Website

Your value is one of the most important things you can communicate to your customers, and your website is one of the best places you can share this information.

Why?

In today’s world, your customers want the opportunity to learn about you and your product or service online. Chances are, before doing business with you, your customers have done some research on your company and your competitors. Communicating your value through your website is the perfect way to show your visitors your unique value and can help you stand out against the competition.

Your value is defined by the way your product or service impacts your customers. Do you make life better or easier? Do you make your customers look good or feel good? Can you save them time or money? Knowing your unique value will allow you to make the greatest impact on your target audience.

If you’re not sure what is most valuable about your product or service, create a quick online or written survey that you can send to your customers. This will help you pinpoint what value is perceived. Then, make this the focus of what you’ll communicate on your website. How? Here are a few ideas:

  • Tell a Story Explain the struggle or need most customers have, and share how you fulfill that need. You can do this in a short video, engaging graphics or through your website copy.
  • Share Testimonials Have a space on your website where you can highlight what customers are saying about you, and how they value your product or service.
  • Blog Tell stories regularly through your blog about how you’re helping, satisfying, delighting and fulfilling the needs of your customers. You can also share how you’re embodying your values through your work. For example, if your company is environmentally friendly and your customers see value in that aspect, share about the work you’re doing in this area.

What are you waiting for? The sooner you start sharing your value, the sooner you’ll see results.

Need help developing this area of marketing? BottomLine Marketing can help! Contact us for a free consultation.

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A case for value-based content

While writing this article I had reason to check my Yahoo email at intervals and, annoyingly, the nine (9) messages at the top of my inbox at one point were, you guessed it, promotional junk.

“Earn double points” blah, blah, blah. “Wow! $9.99 dress shirts!” “Up to 25% off ends tonight”. “60% off contemporary looks”. “Last chance to get $30 off your purchase of $100 or more”. “75% off all clearance items”. “50% off all dresses”. “You don’t want to miss this deal”. And the list went on.

And you may wonder if I even opened those messages. The answer is ‘no’… well except for the ‘75% off all clearance items’ bait that came from a children’s store at a time when my little one is overdue a wardrobe upgrade.

I must admit, however, that a number of these messages are from apparel retailers to whom I had willingly, but naively, given my email address in exchange for “exclusive” savings and other offerings — a major regret I might add.

Except for the occasional hard-to-resist snare, these messages end up somewhere in the cyber dump as every other weekend or so I find myself hosting a grand ‘block’ party — trashing promotional emails that Yahoo hasn’t yet marked as spam and attempting to bar their senders from cluttering my inbox further with unwanted content.  

I take pleasure in undertaking these mass deletions as the messages offer very little value — all screaming “sell, sell, sell”. Except for the truly compulsive buyer, I hardly feel that I am alone in viewing these messages as more invasive than beneficial.

We can all agree that selling features and benefits is the nexus of product differentiation. According to marketing textbooks, attention-grabbing content is key to lead generation as per modern-day strategies. But is the content embedded in your marketing collateral what your target audience really wants?

Take a step back to the email examples above: what if, at least, one offered something of value… like tips on how to care for and extend the life of the items I bought? Content offering solutions to a problem I am faced with, perhaps? Most likely my reaction would have been different.

To borrow a quote from United States-based marketing guru, Joe Chernov, “your top of the funnel content must be intellectually divorced from your product but emotionally wed to it.” In other words, the goal of your content should be more about creating value for your customers. Sell, but subtly.

Creating content that offers value

If you are a boss interior decorator or a skilled makeup artist who can magically transform spaces and faces from the cliched ‘drab to fab’ within minutes, consider how many more prospects you could pull to your website if your inbound marketing content focused on space improvement and makeup application tips for the ‘Average Jane’.

That’s the genesis of value-based content. The goal is not to give away all your expert knowledge for free, but to create value, you need to exchange places with that of your target audience for a moment and put deep thought into what sort of content they might be searching for.

Here are some tips for your next content marketing assignment:

  • Join the discussion. With the Internet and social media, it’s easy to find out what the main topics of discussion around your industry are and align your content with what’s ‘trending’.
  • Offering guidance through your content can build trust in your brand.
  • Ensure that whatever content you put out conforms with branding guidelines as even third-party content that you curate will be viewed as an endorsement by your brand.
  • Offer quality content. Always keep on top of the mind how much damage less than stellar content can do to the reputation of your brand.
  • Engage. Engage. Engage. Making your content engaging is so much easier these days as social media and other Internet tracking tools can help you determine quickly if your content is a hit or miss.
  • Make it interactive. Always ensure that your content-sharing platform is interactive and allows you to interact with people who respond to your call to action.

The truth is, content that is value-based will most likely get the right clients interested in your product or service and thus push the growth of your business. As marketing speaker Andrew Davis puts it: “Content builds relationships. Relationships are built on trust. Trust drives revenue.”

As an IMPACT agency, we have helped countless clients to develop content that offers value. We are ready and willing to do the same for you. Book a free consultation now and start taking your marketing activities to the next level.

Why Online Marketing is Good for Businesses

If your marketing strategy still revolves around offline channels (display ads, brochures, etc.), you’re basically stuck in a ‘marketing time warp’ and the sooner your game plan evolves to align with current trends the better your chances are for success and survival.

Up to a few years ago, the concept of online marketing was a hard sell to many businesses largely premised on excuses that ranged from cost to the  contentment with their mostly offline customer base. Fast forward to 2017 and many of these same businesses have embraced the use of the web to boost their brands, though many still struggle to fully harness its marketing potential.  The results of a recent survey published by Web.com show that two-thirds of the businesses polled see online marketing as a strategy that can help them grow their business and customer base. However, the report also pointed out that these same businesses struggle to cope with the dynamics of the web.

Perhaps the single greatest benefit of online marketing is that it allows smaller businesses to get better returns on their advertising spend. Beyond excellent returns, the Internet levels the playing field for smaller businesses to compete with larger counterparts given that success is not determined by the advertising spend, but hinges on how efficiently resources are allocated. Additionally, if you’re thinking about making an impact with your advertising, you have to consider the global reach of online marketing strategies.

And, yes, personalization means a lot when your goal is brand attachment. Unlike traditional mediums, online marketing allows you the ease to personalize your message – without the heavy spend – to develop a more personal connection with your target audience, nurture those relationships, and study behavioral patterns.

Your online marketing strategy and content will be driven by the nature of your business and target audience, so you’ll need to answer the following key questions in order to develop an effective online strategy that will draw eyeballs to your business:

  • What type of business do you have?
  • Which industry do you operate in?
  • What are your business goals?
  • What do you hope to achieve through your online marketing efforts?
  • Who are you targeting and where are they located?
  • What type of content would most interest your target audience?
  • Are your competitors active online?
  • On which platforms are discussions about your industry taking place – Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter?

If your business is more online-oriented, you should consider allocating a good portion of your advertising budget to online marketing efforts to complement your offline strategy. Always remember that your returns will depend on how much effort – financial and otherwise – you put into your strategy.

Keep in mind also that your website must be optimized to improve ranking results in search engines and should also be responsive to different devices. Additionally, you should have a clear content strategy to ensure that what you put out will attract your target audience and can generate leads with the goal of conversion in mind.

The truth is, with the Internet so integrated in our daily lives not having an online presence is like shooting in the dark. If you are unclear about what your website or online marketing strategy should look like, we have the expertise to help you out. We’d love to chat with you. Just click here to drop us a line.

Getting Your Brand to Stick

I eyeballed the shirt. Bright orange. I just love orange! White logo. Looks snappy. Long sleeves. Perfect. It really will look great with my jeans. I must have it!!

Happily, I took the shirt to the counter and paid for it. It was only on my drive home that I really started thinking about why I had to have the shirt.

Now you might think it’s a big brand shirt. Nope. It’s for the gym I joined – Orangetheory®. Straight up, I’m not typically inclined to buy or wear branded shirts from businesses, since being a walking billboard isn’t my usual thing, even if I frequent them regularly. Case in point, I’d been a member of a few gyms over the years and never once felt inclined to buy any branded material from them. So what was going on here?

Brand attachment –  that’s what was going on.

Brand attachment is defined by JoAnn Sciarinno as “the emotional connection between humans and brands.” It’s what makes your brand stick, and it happens when you put together these three elements:

  1. Affection
  2. Connection
  3. Passion

So back to Orangetheory® and my drive home, furiously connecting the dots that made me want to buy their clothes. Team sports have always been my thing and that was the first reason it appealed to me. One coach leads up to 24 people through cardio and weight training exercises, cueing and coaching along the way. I hadn’t played sports in a long time and this made me feel like I belonged to a team again. I liked it.

The bud of affection starts to grow.

Top it off with the fact that I get greeted by name and a big smile each morning when I walk in, they remember my birthday (which as cool as this is, isn’t quite so cool when they tell you that you have to do birthday burpees – but they cheer me on as I wheeze through more of them than I would like to say, and I feel good that I can still stand after…which really is the point isn’t it?) I’m encouraged by name through the workout, and if I don’t show up for a couple of weeks I usually get a Facebook message from my coach asking if I’m doing ok. Makes me feel darn good.

Affection cinched.

Some of the workouts also include partner training. One of us does one exercise until our partner tags us out, or we have to do the exercises together. That starts putting faces and names together and the connection builds. And of course there are challenges. Nothing like a little bit of competition against the other teams to see who can go the farthest, or get through the most rounds, to get you and your partner working toward a common goal. And the feeling of connection doesn’t stop there, they go even bigger. Studio celebration events, fundraisers for various charities, supporting a family at Christmas at each location, entering teams into obstacle course races, and more! They build their ties within the membership and the community.

Connected? Give me a high five!

The passion for this gym starts with the coaches. I’ve heard hundreds of times that one of the coaches bleeds orange, she loves her job so much. That kind of passion is contagious, especially when they add in individual celebrations to really encourage you to do and share your best. Did you beat the distance of your last run? Awesome! Did you row farther than you did before? You rock! First time you’ve been that weight since high school? Holy snap that’s amazing!! Let’s take a picture and share it with the world!

I love checking the feeds to see what team member has done what this week and giving them my likes and encouraging comments. It makes me feel good that they feel good. Or proud when I’m the one that’s being celebrated. I just LOVE that place! Who do I tell about it? Just about everyone!

Passion solidified.

Put it all together and there I am at the counter paying for a bright orange shirt I can’t wait to wear.

Getting your brand to stick is all about developing those three factors that create that kind of brand attachment.

Need some help developing that kind of awesome for your business? We’re the impact agency that will do it.  Feel free to connect with us and book a complimentary consult today. We’d love to get your brand to stick like it never has before!

Leveraging Twitter for impact

Since its creation in 2006, Twitter has transformed from a personal messaging platform to a mass media channel with a reach of millions across the globe. With a monthly active user rate of nearly 320 million, there is no doubt that Twitter offers businesses a powerful megaphone on which they can trump the greatness of their brands.

In this era of digital marketing, Twitter is a useful and inexpensive tool that companies can use to connect with their customers and grow their base 140 characters at a time. However, whether companies are truly leveraging the platform to boost brand awareness continues to be a running debate.

Considering all its improvements and growing list of advantages, here’s how companies can leverage Twitter for impact:

#Longer Tweets = more space for hashtags

Twitter recently yielded to user-demand by allowing longer tweets and as such adding links, videos, photos and other multimedia content no longer add to the character count. This gives marketers more room to throw in a hashtag or two.

The fact is, hashtags are a must in Twitter marketing as they not only organize your tweets under one thread, but they are also, among other things:

  • A good tool for audience targeting:
  • They help to drive more eyes to your tweets;
  • They can be used to monitor the activities of your competitors and what is happening in the industry as a whole;
  • And, importantly they can help you keep track of what people are saying about your brand considering that branding is a two-way process.

#Brand Visibility

Brand visibility is significant and, in the context of digital marketing, no web presence means you really do not exist or are as invisible as the wind. But Twitter allows you to feed your followers bite-size bits of information about your brand in real time, thus increasing awareness. This is a powerful demonstration of the adage ‘less is more’. Take into consideration also that 82 per cent of monthly Twitter users (according to an Adweek report) actively engage with companies/brands on the platform.

#Ads that convert

A study showing that a large majority of Twitter users influence the buying habits of those around them is reason enough to consider the platform a necessary advertising medium. Twitter offers objective-based campaigns, depending on your business need. For example, you can use different campaign formats to drive traffic to your site, increase your following, maximize awareness, or build engagement.

#Analytics matter

And yes, you can measure the impact of your activities on Twitter. You can test whether your content is a hit with your audience and if at all it is impacting the growth of your business with the highly efficient Twitter Analytics. After all, any true marketer would want to see a breakdown of their Twitter engagement stats, including retweets, favorites, replies and detail expands.

The best social media campaigns start with a strategic plan to ensure engagement beyond likes, comments and shares. Social media strategy is one of our specialties and we would love to help you develop one that drives results. Give us a call at 403-464-7559  to book a complimentary consultation with us!

Marketing, Dopamine and Opioids OH MY!

Humans are curious by nature. Don’t you just love a great mystery? That curiosity we have is great thing because it is exactly what helps to advance our world in so many different ways. Seriously, where would be be if Thomas Edison wasn’t curious? In the dark!!! And no one likes to be there, so let’s shine some light on how you can tap into curiosity to create a positive impact on your marketing. There is actually a science to it, and behind it.

Let’s talk about the science behind it first…and start to stimulate your curiosity!

When we get curious, our brains release dopamine. The dopamine stimulates the reward centres in the brain, so being curious feels good. That’s why we like to learn new things. Dopamine also helps us to become more motivated and pay attention to what is making us curious, which means the memory of the stimulus will be more elaborately encoded into the brain because of our focus upon it. You can read more about it in Brain Rules, by John Medina.

Now here’s another cool part of this cycle. When our curiosity is met with a solution or resolution, we get an opioid release in the brain, which feels even better! And then the loop gets closed until we get curious again.

This is exactly why video games do so well at keeping the focus of teenaged brains (and many an adult too) when they might lack focus in other areas of their life. Video games stimulate and complete the cycle with great regularity. The player is presented a new level to conquer. In order to do it, there is a puzzle to solve. Dopamine is released into the brain and now the player has the concentration and reflexes of a ninja, along with the motivation to stick with it! The level is reached, and opioids are released. YES! The video game celebrates with the player, and then he or she advances to the next level and the cycle starts again! It’s no wonder people can play for hours on end.

A puzzle or a mystery is a sure-fire way to stimulate that curiosity response. The best movie trailers do it so well! Check out this one for 10 Cloverfield Lane. It tells you next to nothing about the content of the movie, but by the time you get to the end of it, your curiosity is stimulated. What is out there??

Our brains want to know and hate leaving things unfinished. We want the opioid release that comes with the solution.That’s why we’ll go to that movie. It satisfies our curiosity when we get to see what actually happens. The marketers for the movie industry have it going on. And so do the writers of your favourite series’. Those cliffhangers have us tuning in the following week, or binge watching as much as we can possibly handle. We absolutely have to know what comes next.

Use that to your advantage and consider how you can use mystery in your marketing. According to Ben Parr in Captivology there are 4 steps to creating mystery:

  1. Build a feeling of suspense
  2. Get emotional buy in
  3. Create a plot twist
  4. Leave them with a cliffhanger

Now if you’re not quite sure that creating mystery will work for your particular business, you can also stimulate curiosity by doing something:

  • Unusual/novel
  • Unpredictable
  • Disruptive
  • Distinctive
  • Imaginative

Or you can create a dopamine release when you stimulate a person’s emotions. It is in our best interest in our society to pay attention to someone’s emotional state. Our well being can depend upon it, so the dopamine release biologically makes a lot of sense.

That’s also why advertising that makes you laugh, feel angry, outraged or even cry (don’t even get me started on the Special Olympics commercials…pass me a tissue!) get your attention, and you are more likely to remember them later too.

So you see, there is a science behind your marketing efforts, and when you get the formula right you get to reap the rewards!

The 20 point market research approach that uncovered $76k in revenue in two weeks. A downloadable checklist.

Our Market Research Checklist

When conducting market research, we don’t just look at one facet of the business and neither should you! The BottomLine approach to marketing is founded on the belief that marketing goals should align with your business goals – after all, that’s what marketing is supposed to support, right?

But in order to do this, research is critical – specifically good research.

Here’s how to do it.

Analysis

✅ Client Business Analysis

Here, take a step back and examine your business from an objective point of view. What obstacles are you facing? What are you trying to change? Who is your customer and why do you matter to them? We spend at least 3 hours with our clients on this stage.

✅ Pricing Strategy Review

What is your pricing structure? How does this align with your customers and what they’re after?

✅ Target Market Analysis

✅ Demographics
✅ Psychographics
✅ In-Depth Avatar Creation


✅ Digital Marketing Report

Create a digital marketing report (bonus points if you already have one on-the-go!) that gives you a clear snapshot of how your digital marketing efforts are performing against industry benchmarks. The goal here is to understand engagement, conversion and business impact metrics.

✅ Competitor Analysis

Identify direct and indirect competitors and use social listening and research to reveal insights. Evaluate the overall size of the market, any key trends and projected industry growth.
Then, take a closer look at those competitor insights through the lens of…

✅ Pricing
✅ Digital Marketing Presence


✅ Conversion Rate Review

This stage of the content marketing analysis evaluates the goal conversions across inbound and outbound marketing efforts.

✅ Online Analytics Review

Google Analytics is our friend here. Using your dashboard, look for trends in analytics that could indicate areas of the user experience that work really well or really don’t work. Then review your social platform analytics and report on data trends there as well.


Strategy

✅ Campaign Strategy

Here you allow your newfound insights to guide the strategy for your new campaign. Your strategy should be in direct service to one of the following objectives:

  • Promote a new product or service
  • Increase brand awareness
  • Gather customer feedback or content
  • Generate revenue
  • Boost user engagement
  • Advertise an upcoming event

✅ Outline the Top Challenge

Awareness is important here – in developing your campaign, what existing challenges are you trying to overcome? What might you need to plan for while you implement your strategy?

✅ Uncover the Big Idea

What overall idea, approach or theme will resonate with your audience given what you have to offer and what opportunities came out of your research.

✅ Message Strategy

With a general idea of your campaign idea, what messages about your brand and its offerings can support it? Just as importantly, what kind of content gets my audience’s attention? Do they respond to straightforward sales messages, or would they rather consume witty content? What cultural references would they understand?

✅ Select Marketing Tactics

What kind of content will you need to fuel the campaign? Here multiple content formats can exist in one campaign, such as video ads, blogs and email newsletters.

✅ Audience Recommendations

What stage of the buyer’s journey is your campaign targeting? What are your audience’s general interests, demographics and preferences as they relate to your brand’s market. The importance of this step can’t be understated!

✅ Measure of Success and Benchmarks

What’s the end goal of your campaign in quantifiable terms? The beauty of digital marketing is that there are clear ways to track key performance indicators, such as website traffic and conversions.

✅ Complete Overview

Wrap it all up together to present to leadership, but don’t forget to compile your findings and strategy in a way that’s actionable and easy to reference throughout the term of the campaign.

This approach to market research not only encompasses aspects of your business beyond that bounds of standard marketing efforts, it also encapsulates the 8 P’s of marketing – Product, Packaging, Price, Placement, Physical Evidence, People, Process and Promotion. In doing so, you can confidently manage your corner of the market, the customer’s buying journey, and, ultimately, work towards sustainable business growth through effective marketing efforts. Download a copy of the checklist by clicking here.

Curious to learn how market research can influence business revenue? Let’s talk.

P.S. you might also want to download a copy of our Customer Avatar Worksheet here.