Absolutely Terrifying Marketing

6 05 2013

Absolutely Terrifying Marketing!

Growing up in the backwoods of Missouri, I was taught from a young age to never show fear, especially in the presence of animals. So I learned to conceal my fear, as best as I could to survive, both in the woods and around people. However, I still was filled with fear during certain activities. Although I loved to climb trees and jump of cliffs, I was scared of heights, and would sometimes get the ‘shaky leg’! I also would get petrified before going on roller coasters, but yet I did it anyway! Public speaking is another nemesis of mine, which is not great when you are in the public relations and marketing field. So I have had to learn to put on my big boy pants and go out and just do it (I can throw in more motivational cliches if you like 😉 ).

Riding the Manta!

The Manta is terrifying, but fun!

Overcoming our Fears

What gives me courage is knowledge that  many of the most successful athletes, actors, business men and women, and other leaders we look up to confess that they have had to, or still do, deal with their own personal fears.  Being scared or terrified is nothing unique or even a negative personality trait. It is simply how we deal with circumstances we are either unfamiliar with, or have not prepared for well enough.  Although scared of heights, I went parasailing a couple years ago, and had a blast!

Bradley G. Tayloe

Bradley G. Tayloe

Even after 15 years of being in sales and marketing, I still get nervous in front of crowds, especially when I have not done it for awhile. So I have joined a couple of networking groups here in Sarasota to not only discuss the services my marketing company offers, but to help me become more comfortable speaking in front of others.

One of my first mentors, Mr. Bill Gouldd, taught me: “Fake it till you make it!” At first I thought, as did some others in the organization, that “Faking it till you make it” meant buying expensive clothes, cars, homes, toys, and pretending as if you had reached a certain level of success so others would think “wow, they did it and so can I”.  I understand now that what he was teaching us is that “Fake it till you make it” means to ‘fake’ the attitude of success, that one should have a 110% FAITH that you will be successful in what it is you are pursuing. Confidence breeds success, and success breeds more success.

Terrifying Marketing

Brad Tayloe Parasailing 2010

Yes, that is my wife and I way up there 🙂 Beautiful view of the Gulf and storm clouds!

Developing marketing strategies and using new marketing tools can also be as downright terrifying as flying several hundred feet above the Gulf of Mexico! We get comfortable in using familiar techniques that have let us have a certain amount of success, and then focus on other areas of our business. With new social networking sites, Internet marketing, video production, email marketing, ever changing search engine optimization (SEO) standards, and countless other changes with what is the best way to market your business, it is overwhelming for many small business owners and non-profit organizations to have a complete understanding of current best marketing practices. These constant marketing changes also make it more of a challenge to put a comprehensive marketing strategy together.  As we have mentioned in other blogs, using a consultant is a great way to gain knowledge and put forth a plan of action to better serve not just your business, but your customers and prospects as well.  Knowledge is power, and being filled with knowledge can help us overcome our fears.

If you have concerns about how to best market your company, make the right decision and contact a marketing consultant today. We are happy to offer a free consultation at Tayloe Marketing and Consulting:

Tayloe Marketing Free Consultation

Click Here for Free Consultation!

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Use a Consultant to Overcome Small Business Marketing Challenges

20 04 2013

When you are starting, revamping, adding a new product line, or rebranding your company, there often comes a time when you look at your marketing strategy and wonder, “Is this right? “Have I looked at all possible options”?  These questions do not arise because of lack of experience or education in marketing. In fact, many small business owners do have either a business background or higher education in the subject.  According to a poll done by the National Federation of Independent Business nearly half of all small business owners possess at least a bachelors degree, with nearly half of those having majored in business.  Having an education in business or even a background in marketing is a strength, and can provide you as a business owner with some advantages.

However, whether or not you have a business degree or background in marketing, as a small business owner you will still have several common challenges to successfully implementing a marketing strategy for your business. These challenges are why it is imperative to either contract a marketing consultant for their expertise and specialization, or hire a full time marketing director.  The most common challenges are: Time, perspective, research, current marketing trends, and implementation.

  • Time is the biggest obstacle to many small business owners. With so many parts of a business to run, trying to handle all aspects of it on your own is very overwhelming. Unless you can honestly dedicate the necessary time to your marketing effort, without hampering other functions of your business, you need a marketing consultant.
  • Perspective is an often overlooked challenge in the marketing field. Typically business owners look at a product and how it will be branded, promoted, priced, and placed through what we want, not as how the consumer desires or needs it. Having an expert in marketing who is in touch with the needs of your target market is critical to optimizing the ‘four P’s’: Product, Promotion, Pricing, and Placement.Marketing Mix
  • Research is a critical measure to undertake to understand exactly who you are targeting, what methods of marketing work best to reach them (do you use traditional, social, video, word of mouth, or some combination of these advertising components), and who your competition is.  This is important whether you are a start-up or an established small business expanding locations or product line.
  • Marketing Trends are similar to perspective, however the difference in marketing trends is in planning for future events. A good marketing strategy will use a SWOT analysis to measure your companies strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to help with forecasting various internal and external trends that will affect your business. For example, if you are in the roofing business, your market depends on many factors: the building industry, the environment and climate changes, economy, and government regulations. A good marketing consultant will help you to plan for most foreseeable events, so you can have a contingency for best or worst case scenarios. If there is a market trend that shows a shifting from shingles to Spanish tile in your area, you want to be prepared for that, and know who your potential suppliers could be. Or maybe there is an increased interest in PV solar installations, so you would be wise to co-market and work with a solar contractor for additional opportunities in that industry.
  • Implementation. OK, so you finally have taken the time, done the necessary marketing research, looked at marketing trends, and have gained an outside perspective on your customers needs and wants. Now what? Now, you need to formulate a marketing strategy and implement it into your daily business operations. This is where it gets hard, because this is where the time factor really comes into play.  You have done all this work and to not use it is not just wasteful, it can ruin your business.  A marketing consultant will help you draft your marketing strategy, and then if you desire, they can either implement it for you, or find the right person to do it.  Implement your Strategy

The goal of any marketing plan is to do two things: Increase your brand awareness and increase your conversions. If you are simply getting the word out about your product, but not gaining more customers, there may be an issue with pricing, placement, or even the product itself. Your conversions are great but you find that they are mostly repeat clients or you are not reaching the percentage of the target market you desire, you may need to alter your promotional methods. Again, working with a marketing consultant can help you achieve this, but there is one final piece of advice to offer. Make sure whomever you work with as a consultant is a willing team-member and has a buy in to your product.  If they cannot empathize with your passion and share in your desire to be successful, then you may want to look elsewhere. They may be a great consultant, but perhaps your particular industry is just not the right one for them to consult on. Do your due diligence and find your success!





Co-Marketing Vs. Co-Branding Explained for Small Business Owners

6 03 2013

As a small business owner, you have probably had networking sessions and referred work to others in either the same or different field of work.  When I worked as a boy for my father’s construction company, I would notice that for some jobs that were either outside of his scope of expertise or just did not have time for, he would refer them to another contractor in town. Developing a relationship like this with other companies is a key component to survival, and if the referrals are returned in favor, then it can lead to a prosperous referral partnership.

Co-Marketing and Co-Branding are different from networking and referrals.

Co-Branding is when two separate brands come together to form a new product or integrated product. An example of co-branding would be Oreo and Dairy Queen and their famous BlizzardMint Oreo Blizzard,               Chevrolet Bumblebee Transformers Limited Edition Camaro, 2012-chevrolet-camaro_100354380_l and Taco Bell’sDoritos Locos Tacos

Co-Marketing is a true partnership between two separate brands that will use their combined efforts to market each others products. A new product is not created, but because there is commonality between the two products, a co-marketing venture makes sense.  Some common examples of co-marketing are Kohl’s with the Food Network (if you watch any Bobby Flay show, like “Worst Cooks in America“, you cannot help but to notice this almost overwhelming marketing effort),  Omega Watches with James Bond Omega and 007 , and Honda with the NHL.

As a small business owner you may wonder how these multibillion dollar organizations can be similar to your company. The fact is that there are co-marketing opportunities around you all the time. For example, while looking for new opportunities to increase market share and brand awareness for a very small water treatment company, I developed a relationship with a solar company. Bringing the two owners together, we found there was a common interest in providing top of the line products and services to homeowners. So they entered into a co-marketing agreement that allowed them to sell both company’s products across the floor, promote each other in their materials, and increase brand awareness to each others current and new customer base.

If you have a pool service company, maybe you may utilize a co-marketing agreement with a landscaper, since you are both offering a service that many homeowners require. You love maintaining pools, but cannot stand the thought of doing landscaping. So why open another part of your business? Just find a reliable, reputable partner to duel invest your marketing dollars with and you will both benefit from this partnership.  If you are a hairdresser and you have a friend who does nails, you could both market each others’ services and draw in additional customers that way. You do not need to relocate or set up shop next to each other, just a nice link on each others website, some promotional materials describing your partners business and why you recommend them, and perhaps a video ad showcasing how fabulous your clients look after a visit to your hair salon and their nail salon.  The opportunities are endless, but they are time consuming and require finding the right partner. If you would like a free consultation on how to set up a co-marketing or co-branding strategy, please do contact us.

For a free whitepaper on how to implement Inbound Marketing for your small business,   Tayloe Marketing WhitePaper  and fill out the form. You will receive a welcome email with a whitepaper attachment as our thank you.





Is your Small Business reaching Baby Boomers and Seniors?

26 02 2013

Marketing to Seniors: Online Versus Offline

Seniors using Technology

Seniors are using technology

There is a new article in Entrepreneur Magazine that shows the senior market is still best reached through ‘traditional’ methods, such as direct mail, word of mouth, and TV/Radio mediums. The article quotes a research study finding that “zero percent of seniors were sourced via online marketing for their purchase”. It goes on to state that online mediums are just not used by seniors to make a purchase or research, that it is more for games and staying in touch with friends and relatives.

While this article showcases how important it is to have both an online and offline presence with your marketing plan, it does not fully take into account the fact that more and more seniors are using the Internet, and many of them are using it for research of products and services. So while many seniors may not hear about your service through online methods, it is still important to have an online presence for when they do go online to research. As a Forbes article highlights, baby boomers may not be early adapters of new technology, but most have had experience using and even developing technology before it became a mainstay of daily life in the 21st century.

If you are looking for the best marketing strategy for your small business, you should consult a professional who will work with you to develop a plan of action that will reach out to your target market with the most effective methods. Using video, search engine optimization, print, television, radio, online, and a variety of mediums are most likely going to be your best resource to increase your marketing power. While you should not rely on a website or social media marketing alone, as with most things in life, a good plan has balance and is reflective to your business’ individual needs.

Thanks for reading. If your small business would like a free marketing consultation, please do contact us.  If you are a senior who shops or does research prior to a purchase, or you are an agency who has successfully marketed to seniors via online methods, I would love to hear from you.





Understand your Consumer’s Behavior

5 02 2013

As a small business owner, you have probably desired to know how to reach your consumers. What are they thinking? Why did they choose your product, or a competitors, or decide to just not buy at all. Understanding your consumer’s behavior is not rocket science, but it is scientific.  The definition of consumer behavior is complex enough: “Consumer behavior is the study of the processes involved when individuals or groups select, purchase, use, or dispose of products, services, ideas, or experiences to satisfy needs and desires” (Solomon, 2009, p. 7).

Consumer Behavior  So what do you take out of the definition? The most important takeaway is that consumers behave the way they do based on their needs AND desires. I think it is important to break those down even more. Humans have many needs, and even more desires. An example I like to use is this. I love Chevrolet  Corvettes and the Chevy Silverado. This sports car and truck combo is my ideal garage stuffer. However, I have one year old triplets. So unless they want to ride in the ‘trunk’ of the ‘vette, or in the bed of the truck, my desired vehicles are not exactly what I need. Just not practical. So I happily drive an Oldsmobile version of the “SwaggerWagon” and get my girls and wife where I need to. My consumer behavior would desire to own something that is not practical for my family needs, so I purchase what is needed.

When it comes to your small business, you must put out products and services that your consumers will both desire and need.  If you are a book store, you are competing now with a multitude of electronic devices that allow convenience and often free books online.  So how do you compete with this consumer desire to read the latest novels, but has a need to save time and money?  The key is in offering something that an e-reader cannot, such as book clubs and groups, a 30 day money back guarantee (think about this one, how many actually buy something and return it, even if they do not like it!), have a nice reading room, etc.  If you are an independent mechanic, how do you compete with the consumer behavior of taking it to the chains and dealers? Again, you must differentiate yourself from them, and the other independents. Have an online presence, do maintenance workshops, offer discounts for local residents, and offer courtesy transportation within say 5 or 10 miles of your location.  The consumers desire is often to do business locally, but out of time or knowledge of what and who can assist locally, they go to the chain store and dealers.

Capture the Consumer

Take the stress out of the equation for the consumer and make yourself visible. In real estate, there is a term called being a secret agent. This is someone who does not hand out business cards, have an online presence, network with other small business owners, or advertise at all, or very selectively.  This is YOUR business, you have to promote it, and again, make sure that your product is meeting both the desire and needs of your target market. Again, it can be something as simple as convenience that makes a different to a consumer. If you are a restaurant owner, and your competitor is bringing in more business, why is that? Chances are you both have quality food, an appealing curbside and interior, along with a pleasant staff. The difference could be something as simple as one has their menu available online, which allows the on the go parent an chance to easily see what to bring home for dinner, or who has a special going on that sounds appeasing to their family.  The desire would lead the potential customer to either of your stores, but the need to know ahead what their costs and choices are led them to another store. If all things are equal, all it takes is small difference to change the behavior of the consumer. Obviously branding, reputation, advertising budgets, and location are all important. But if you have made strategic decisions to set your business up with a good brand, strong reputation, and have spend money to make sure the community knows about, yet are still missing business, look at the little things. You may be surprised what a little extra effort can produce!

REF: Solomon, Michael R.. (2009) Consumer behavior: buying, having, and being. 8th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Prentice Hall

If you have questions on how to better reach your customers, increase your brand awareness, and develop a winning inbound marketing strategy, please contact me: info@tayloemarketing.com Thank you for reading and “Make it a gread day”!





Sarasota Agency Tayloe Marketing Joins Constant Contact’s new Business Partner Program.

10 11 2011

The New Email & Event Marketing Program Provides Small Business Clients with Effective and Affordable Tools to Build Strong, Lasting Customer Relationships. Access to email management, surveys, event marketing and other Internet marketing services.

Tayloe Marketing today announced they have joined Constant Contact’s Business Partner Program. Tayloe Marketing is able to provide their clients in the health, environmental, and education industries with easy-to-use email marketing and online survey products to help them build strong, lasting customer relationships. Constant Contact®, Inc. (www.constantcontact.com) is a leading provider of email marketing and online survey tools for small organizations. “Our customers are always looking for effective ways to grow their businesses,” said Brad Tayloe. “Constant Contact’s customer communication tools give our clients a valuable addition to our core services. Constant Contact’s ease-of use and affordability made the partner program a great solution to meet our clients’ marketing needs.”

Tayloe Marketing Constant Contact Partner

Tayloe Marketing Constant Contact Partner

“Email marketing and online surveys are proven tools that help small businesses connect with their customers and build successful customer relationships,” said Len Bruskiewitz, senior director, Partner Programs, Constant Contact. “We are pleased that Tayloe Marketing chose Constant Contact to provide their clients with our products and services, and we look forward to working with them to help grow their
clients’ businesses.” As a Constant Contact Business Partner, Tayloe Marketing is able to provide their clients with email marketing and online survey capabilities. With SpeakUp!SM Email Marketing, Constant Contact’s email marketing product, Tayloe Marketing’s clients can quickly and easily create professional-looking emails, manage contact email lists, measure email campaign results from clicks to open rates, and review who joined email lists.With ListenUp!SM Survey, Constant Contact’s online survey product Tayloe Marketing’s clients have an easy-to-use tool to gain insight that will help them meet customer needs, generate new ideas, and grow their business or organization. ListenUp! Survey also helps Tayloe Marketing’s clients analyze responses quickly, create targeted email lists based on survey responses, take action, and follow up with relevant email communications.
About Tayloe Marketing: As a marketing, promotion and public relations company, Tayloe Marketing understands your need to communicate your message effectively. We help you design, develop, implement and maintain various ways of engaging your clientele and potential customer base.
941-483-6187
info@tayloemarketing.com
About Constant Contact, Inc.Launched in 1998, Constant Contact, Inc. is a leading provider of email marketing and online survey tools for small organizations, including small businesses, associations, and nonprofits. To learn more, please visit http://www.constantcontact.com or call (781) 472-8100.Constant Contact and the Constant Contact Logo are registered trademarks of Constant Contact, Inc. All Constant Contact product names and other brand names

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Tayloe Marketing is a Venice based marketing and consulting firm serving the entire Sarasota County & Tampa Bay areas. We are focused on increasing the market share and efficiency of small businesses through the use of current and next-gen technology. Our marketing and public relations services include press releases, social media marketing, creative writing, website design, Internet marketing strategies, marketing campaigns, digital media maintenance, and much more! We will customize our services based on your unique small business needs.




Create the perfect marketing recipe for success for your small business

4 11 2011

veggies

 

 

 

 

 

I have a secret to tell. I LOVE the Food Network. While my wife would be the first one to tell you that my cooking skills are extremely lacking, I do love to eat and I love competition. Our two favorite shows are Chopped and Diners, Drive- Ins, and Dives. There are a few other shows such as Crave and Down Home with the Neelys that we appreciate as well. The fantastic dishes the contestants bring out on Chopped while under pressure, the special ingredients that lead to a small diner to have a reputation that crosses state lines, making a tasty cake without flour or learning how just changing the temperature a little bit based on environmental factors, all these things showcase just how special the restaurant owners, chefs, and staff all are on these programs.

So, what does my new found infatuation with a popular food channel have to do with marketing you may ask? A lot! Next time you watch the shows, or go to your own favorite restaurants, notice how the successful ones do some things similar, yet they all have their own unique way of presentation, they use herbs, spices, and mixtures that they developed over time for a remarkable cooking style, and a peculiar or quaint ambiance. Sure, McDonald’s, Denny’s, and Chili’s are all very popular and have huge revenue with their one size fits all approach. They also spend millions on advertising and whether a customer goes to the Waffle House one morning or IHOP the next will not really affect their bottom line. They are dealing with the masses, much like other large corporations in the realms of GE, HP, GM, Apple, and such. They strive for volume and quantity, with enough focus on quality and customer service to keep them out of the negative spotlight and retain just the right amount of customers.

   As a small business owner, you do not have millions, or probably even thousands to throw at a marketing campaign, nor can you afford to lose even one customer. Your recipe for success has to separate you or be segmented to differentiate you from your competitors. Just because John Smiths AC & Heating; does not have:

  •   an inbound marketing plan
  •   a social media strategy
  •   a website that engages
  •   a blogging campaign
  •   or a public relations consultant

does not mean that your small business should not either. These features combined or used with other ingredients give your company the benefit of staying in control, additional time management, brand awareness, and customer retention.

old recipe for success

   There is one exception to this recipe though, and that is if you don’t desire to grow. Believe it or not, there are some small business owners who are satisfied with the number of clients they have. This is perfectly fine, if you are happy with the revenue you are generating and do not desire to grow, then perhaps your recipe is already bringing you the results you wish for. Perhaps you feel this tried and true basic recipe of “all in” may be all you need.

  However, I know that the majority of independent minded thinkers who start their business do so for the following reasons: opportunity to grow, control their own destiny, and freedom to work when they want and how they want. Yet with all these wonderful perks, there often comes backlashes with time management, marketing strategies that are not bringing in the revenues, no forum for customer feedback, all of which can lead to stagnation, eventual customer loss, and worst case scenario, out of business or cutbacks. You can give all you got, but without proper direction, you will go in circles and wind up lost along your journey.

   If you are a small business and you desire to grow, ask yourself this: Is my recipe for success delivering the final product that my organization and my customers want?  If you answered “no,” then make the call to a marketing consulting firm you can trust and know will assist you in finding the right ingredients for your masterpiece.








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