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The Marketing Edge (278)

Wednesday, 14 March 2012 14:46

How to create a memorable tagline for your brand

Written by Cintia Miranda

The job of a tagline is to communicate what your brand represents in a clear and concise manner. Therefore, creating a memorable tagline is very important step in positioning your brand and of course, it can evolve along with your business to reflect changing market trends and industry focus.

Taglines are extremely valuable. An effective one can be a great marketing tool that helps keep your brand on peoples' minds. A few examples of memorable taglines include:

Wednesday, 29 February 2012 13:36

Does your marketing agency deliver what they promise?

Written by Cintia Miranda
The marketing world is changing at very fast pace, and many organizations - including marketing agencies - are struggling to catch up. I recently attended a marketing seminar where I noticed that many of my peers were talking about being challenged by their current and prospective clients about cost and performance.

It seems that being a marketer has become fashionable - perhaps even a fad - lately. People with little or no qualifications have opened their 'agencies' (often in their homes) and are promising the world amazing returns - typically via social media. But how can a customer have confidence that they are doing business with qualified professionals if a marketer has no credentials? Of course, one can learn on the job, but would you trust a doctor without credentials? How about a lawyer? Prior to becoming a marketer, I spent eight years of my life in a university classroom pursing my undergraduate and graduate degrees, and have continued to invest heavily in my professional development over the past 15 years.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012 17:57

Excessive charges ultimately lead to loss of revenue

Written by Cintia Miranda

We all hate being nickel and dimed by service providers. I am one myself, and yet I still cannot see a justification for excessive charges. I often tell people about my experience with a daycare center in Massachusetts. This particular facility had a late pick-up fee charged in increments of 5 minutes, no questions asked. If we were late for any reason (stuck in Boston traffic, or if there was a car accident in front of us) even if we called and explained the situation the owner of the daycare center would promptly place a bill for the late fee in my child's cubby the following morning. It drove my husband and I nuts, as we both had extensive commutes to and from work and made every effort to be timely.

In the past, I have struggled with a few service providers over the high charges they levy for emails and phone calls. If you ask someone a question via email, does their response merit an invoice (sometimes for a full hour at their going rate)? You would think not and yet many providers do just that. It seems to me that this behavior teaches customers not to reach out to their service providers for fear of excessive charges, which in turn leads to less work for those same providers.

Wednesday, 09 November 2011 09:20

Website Design and Development 101 Series Part 3

Written by Cintia Miranda
Demystifying rich media

The first two articles in this series covered traditional HTML/CSS websites and content management system (CMS) websites. If you missed the past two articles, you can find them under the Biz section of The Maine Edge online. This week, we'll cover the strengths and weaknesses associated with using rich media on your website. Ian Marquis, Pulse Marketing's web designer, is the major contributor for the articles in this series.

Text has always been the primary means of transmitting information on the web. After all, HTML was initially conceived as a means of formatting and displaying documents. But the web has grown, and copy is no longer the only way to convey ideas. As browsers improved and connection speeds increased, a whole host of rich media (including video, audio and Flash) emerged as viable means of augmenting your website - and they are only becoming stronger with each passing year. But how do they stack up? What are the strengths and weaknesses of each? Read on and find out.

Wednesday, 02 November 2011 10:34

Website design and development 101 series part 2:

Written by Cintia Miranda
All about content management systems

Last week, we talked about traditional HTML/CSS websites (if you missed that article, you can still read it online), and why they still have a place on the web. In that article, we touched on some of the areas where newer technologies have allowed for more streamlined control over your content and assets, and the use of more powerful frameworks. This week, we're covering content management system (CMS) websites. Ian Marquis, Pulse Marketing's web designer, is the major contributor for the articles in this series.

First things first: What exactly is a content management system? In short, a CMS is a platform that allows a website to be managed by one or more non-technical users, with varying degrees of access. It is a 'back end' to a website - a side that only internal staff see. A great many popular websites are built upon CMS frameworks (such as WordPress, Joomla!, Drupal, and Mambo), and the technologies are only becoming more polished and refined as years go by. But what can you do with a CMS? What are the strengths of building and maintaining such a website? Let's have a look:

Wednesday, 07 September 2011 05:39

The Marketing Edge - The skinny on QR codes

Written by Cintia Miranda
The skinny on QR codes: What are they? How are they used?

You have probably seen them everywhere for a while now: Those odd little square barcode-like graphics that have been popping up in magazine ads, on product packaging, and just about anywhere else you can fit a graphic the size of a postage stamp. You've also probably seen some people scanning these images on their mobile phones. But what are they?

A QR code (short for quick response code) is a two-dimensional matrix capable of storing up to 4,296 alphanumeric or 7,089 numeric characters of information. Although you may not have noticed them until recently, QR codes are not really new - they were created by Toyota in 1994 in Japan to allow for speedier manufacturing processes. In the past few years, the rise of smart phones in the United States has led to a more widespread and varied adoption of the codes for other purposes.

For many businesses, their advertisements are purely utilitarian: Display your company's logo, phone number, and a picture somehow related to the work you do. Sign the check, wait for the ad to run, and hope you get a return on your investment. Often, the latter fails to materialize. The business owner becomes discouraged, and often stops running ads altogether - after all, advertising (whether in a printed publication or on the web) is expensive. When budgets are slashed, marketing is often the first line item to be cut.

Now granted, there is a lot of uncertainty in the marketing world. Nothing is a guarantee - especially when fickle consumers enter the picture. But with the right direction, your organization can get an advertisement that gives you the maximum chance for success. Here are a few tips:

Wednesday, 14 September 2011 05:38

The Marketing Edge - Striving for brand consistency

Written by Cintia Miranda

At some point in your career, you've probably done business with an organization whose image did not accurately reflect the quality of their work. They had friendly and knowledgeable employees, unsurpassed craftsmanship, excellent customer service and years of experience, but if you judged them solely on the basis of their brand and marketing, you would never have considered doing business with them.

How can you be certain that your own company's brand communicates the dedication and professionalism you and your staff possess? You can start by avoiding the following common pitfalls:

Just when you had figured out how to use Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, guess what? There is something new in the social media world: Google+. If you thought you'd learned everything there is to know about SEO and social media marketing, think again. Google has a history of changing the game every time they release a new product, and there's no reason to think that Google+ will be any different in that respect. But what exactly is Google+? How can your company use it to connect with customers and prospects? Is it really worth the effort?

Google+ is a new social networking platform designed to compete directly with Facebook (Google's number one rival). Using their considerable experience in providing users with custom-tailored search results and content (in addition to a whole host of applications many professionals use every day, including Google Docs, Calendar, Analytics, Maps, and Adwords/Adsense), Google has created a fresh approach that provides people with complete control over who they interact with, how they interact with them, and how it all connects to their other online activities.

I remember when I got my first office job in 1996 - 15 years ago. I was working in Boston. At that time, mass marketing was still the name of the game, but email marketing was already a large industry, and growing with each passing year. It was the newest marketing "science," and was at times mind-boggling to marketers, who attended conferences and seminars dealing with subject lines, open rates, and click-throughs.

When social networking came onto the scene in the early 2000s, I remember many people saying that it would not last - it was a gossip center, and one driven by novelty. When the newness had faded, so would the social networking fad. But over time, the reality that emerged was different than what many had expected: companies realized that along with gossip and sharing, they had found a new platform that provided an unprecedented level of intimacy between businesses and consumers. Soon, the latter began to demand higher levels of interaction. This imposed a burden of sorts on companies struggling to maintain a strong presence on social networks; but it also gave them the ability to become more influential in their customer's lives than ever before.

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