Social media is one of the most important types of online marketing in 2013 and beyond. It has become one of the most successful and essential parts of any online marketing strategy due to its effectiveness of getting information out to customers quickly. Here are some points to why your business should embrace social media.
Your current and potential customers use social media
Around 4 out of 5 of all Australian adults use some form of social media, and that amount is sure to grow in the future. Having a presence on social media allows for your customers to promote your business for you. It is also becoming ever more so popular for the public to use social media directly to search for a business or product rather than use search engines.
Allows interaction with customers
By using social media, businesses can interact with customers directly, by asking questions, offering competitions, using surveys or asking for feedback. Customers are able to respond 24/7 and it allows you to communicate directly addressing comments.
Allows interaction with customers
By using social media, businesses can interact with customers directly, by asking questions, offering competitions, using surveys or asking for feedback. Customers are able to respond 24/7 and it allows you to communicate directly addressing comments.
Helps with SEO for your business
Social media ranks high amongst search engines like Google. Therefore if you have a well optimised social media profile on say Facebook or Twitter, customers will be able to get in contact with you much easier.
Generates more sales
Whenever using social media for your business, you are in turn creating more awareness about your brand and business. If done effectively, you will create conversation and more publicity. The more web traffic you get for your business, sales are sure to increase.
Let’s be honest – it’s been a rough five years for companies and small business owners, with many hurdles and challenges to face over the years. And during these times, marketing budgets are one of the first costs to be reviewed for companies.
From 2011 to 2012, marketing costs increased by 8% and competition was at an all time high in some sectors. For decision makers, this meant they needed to ensure they were cutting costs at every level – redundancies, staff hours, cut backs in marketing budgets, you name it - the pressure is on.
So, it is more paramount than ever that the expenditure allocated to marketing needs to be justified and controlled, to ensure every dollar is spent effectively, to give you the biggest return on investment (ROI).
One way we can control our expenditure and highlight our allocation of resources is through Media Planning and Scheduling, which outlines the mediums and resources that are allocated to marketing activities throughout the years. This structural plan is paramount in justifying every dollar spent and highlighting where these funds are being allocated.
The trends that are emerging indicate the drive away from traditional media – such as TV, Magazines/Newspapers and Radio. This trend is largely due to the high cost and change in consumer habits, which is seeing a drive towards a technologically advanced approach to marketing.
Of course this is not surprising and has been happening for some time. This is causing companies to be reluctant to advertise through these mediums, given the amount of money and resources required to be able to utilise them.
Although traditional media still serves a purpose in the advertising world; we have new, more innovative technologies that promote a fresh approach to the way we market our businesses. Spending money to promote a Facebook page to gain more ‘likes’ is paramount in expanding the audience in which we want to communicate with. In fact, we can even choose the demographic and geographic audience to fit the profile of who we best believe our Target Market is.
This approach is a targeted and tactical one, which has been made possible by technology. Ultimately, it allows the company to increase their exposure directly to their current and potential consumers. After all, it is paramount to keep your business top of mind at all times!
Digital marketing allows companies to do this. Therefore, when faced with uncertainty, naturally companies cut costs and look for alternative means to allocate their marketing spend.
In this case, the shift towards digital marketing is inevitable, and the ROI has been evident. Consumers investing in well-built websites, engaging with their consumers via regularly updated social media pages and apps, with the help of online resources such as e-newsletters and e-brochures will see the biggest return to their businesses and will see their dollar stretch much further.
Role of social media
The business world has evolved and so is the way we do things, with traditional media becoming less popular and digital marketing becoming the norm. 68% of people between 15-65 are smartphone users, which is why it’s critical to target this growing populous and get your business noticed via online channels. The beauty of this is researching the various technologies available and pin pointing which works best with your business, such as social media outlets. For example, most businesses, which vary in nature (beauty, health, marketing, car dealerships, builders etc) will understand the importance of a Facebook page to connect directly with their customers and continue to build relationships with them after they have been introduced to your business. Why do we do this and why is it important? To inform, persuade and remind customers about your business, to keep it top of mind = repeat & more frequent purchases = more profit. Of course there are many more social media channels to utilise – such as Twitter, Google Plus, Pinterest, Flikr, and Wordpress to name a few. It’s not about using all of these, as this can be time consuming and ineffective, but choosing which ones work and maintaining it.
To use social media effectively, link it to your company website (i.e. links to your Facebook/Twitter/Blog) pages to assist in directing customers to your other online channels, and encouraging them to ‘like’ your page and receive updates from your business. In doing this, you increase the frequency in which they see what you put on social media. It’s all about increasing your exposure and forming a voice for your brand.
So, what exactly is the advantage of this? Firstly, it’s free - so it’s highly cost effective, and immediate. You gain exposure quickly and customers that ‘like’ or ‘comment’ on your post will allow your company to have this post exposed on your customers timelines, which is creating exposure for your brand.
Basically it’s about interacting with your customers to create dialogue, and learn more about what they like and how to gain exposure i.e. Simply by posting humorous or high quality photos relating to your business will help exposure yourself in a non-obvious way. Words can be overrated and too obvious, where as images can speak a thousand words.
So how many times should this be updated? The trick is to update anywhere between 1-4 times per week, depending on the nature of your business. Too much frequency and exposure will have a negative effect, and customers will be drowned out by your messages, which may become ‘white noise’. Bombarding them with messages in any medium becomes repetitive and the message is essentially lost. So choosing what to post and when, is key. For example, 37% of smartphone users check their social media in the mornings and 53% after work in the evening and 42% will use it before they go to bed. So, choose the high frequent times may work as a way of gaining exposure and getting your message out there.
Create, monitor and maintain an online profile for your company in the online world to create a digital platform to communicate to your consumers. This is a way of directly choosing exactly what you want to say to your audience, and building your brand identity. Try it, it’s free.
Style guides are vital for companies and graphic designers as a tool to create a level of consistency between the marketing materials a company has internally and externally.
We create these for our clients when we develop a logo and brand mark on their behalf, to set the standard and style of the design that is the identity of their company.
A style guide is created and closely aligned with a company’s logo, which is of course the identity and ‘face’ of their brand.
Consistency is key in communicating a message to clients and really developing your brand, ensuring you are creating a standard that needs to be met every time material is developed with a company’s logo.
Investing in a style guide is a fantastic way to save time, money and effort, as it eliminates the need for training in the ‘standards’ of how a company sets out their material.
These guidelines are used to provide designers and clients with core information regarding their branding, such as the font of their logo, email and text font and the SPOT and CMYK colours that make up their brand mark.
This sets the standards for graphic designers and employees who create forms, letters, send emails and create various marketing material on a company’s behalf.
Therefore, if utilised, a style guide will emphasise how professional a business is, which is a great way to enhance the image of a company, and inform all current and future employees and stakeholders of the company’s standards.
Above all else, it is ensuring that a brand is marketed consistently and in an appropriate manner.
Services are the main driver of employment in Australia, making up 80% jobs, including ours at BrightBlue C. Services are intangible; perishable; inseparable and variable, meaning they cannot be delivered exactly the same every time and they cannot be stored in your pocket. Naturally, there can be tangible elements to services, however once consumed the service experience has ended. We understand the importance of building long term, mutually beneficial relationships with clients, and are also aware that 80% of a company’s profits are from 20% of their customers. Hence, retaining clients is vital to the success of any company.
Moreover, given the intangibility of services, we need to show customers the value of utilising our services and the impact it will have on their business. For example, if we are designing a HTML campaign for your company, we will send you the statistics report outlining the success and reach of your campaign. With access to over 150 years of expertise, we have the ability to offer a high quality service and a range of services, from copywriting to website development and strategic planning. These services allow us to be a one-stop shop and give our clients access to a range of services, without having to source different people for a vast range of requirements. So if you require a brochure to be written, designed and printed, we can offer you all of these services, and much more, in line with your corporate identity.
At BrightBlue C, we use only the best computer and graphic design software to design for your needs. Call us today to see how we can make a difference to your business.
There is no doubt that we are living in turbulent times, with the economic impacts of other countries directly affecting the stability and growth of our own economy. The challenge is for companies to adapt to the external environment and understand how consumers are reacting to the changes. Consequently, this has an impact on what we buy, namely household items. A main trend emerging is the increase in introduction of lower priced items on supermarket shelves, with consumers shying away from higher priced alternatives.
If the GFC taught consumers anything, it was that spending had to be evaluated, and consumers have listened. Now, brands are offering lower priced variations of their products to adhere to the change in consumer trends. For example, household brand Tide has released a lower priced laundry detergent ‘Tide Basic’ to offer consumers a lower price point for their basic household items.
Coles and Woolworths home brands have created a marry of effective branding and low prices, to increase perceived value with prices to match. Their branding has seen a new perception of lower priced items, a far cry from the Black and Gold home brands that were typically associated with being home brand.
Premium brands valued highly in the minds of the consumers; the value for money with lower priced alternatives are flooding our shelves. In order to differentiate, they need to offer consumers incentives and benefits that the lower priced items are not offering. The challenge for companies is to create a product that offers value and a price point to match. The perceived value must match the perceived price, which is why setting price is so critical. To achieve this, surveys are a good form of research, which will allow companies to understand consumer purchasing behaviour and motivations based on lower and higher priced products. In these turbulent times, premium brands need to advertise benefit-driven messages to emphasise the quality and superiority of their products. Until then, the lower priced alternatives are the winners.
There are many benefits when a company decides to sell their product in the international market, and also many risks associated with the move.
Firstly, in the production of goods, expanding the customer base internationally gives companies an opportunity to optimise economies of scale. This is the increase in production, resulting in the unit price of the good to decrease, overall increasing total revenue and profitability for your business. This can be financially rewarding if a company takes into account the following:
The first step in the strategy is deciding how much to invest. Expanding your product into the market is an opportunity to build and create a new consumer and target market group, creating global awareness for your brand.
In order for this global recognition to occur, a company must be willing to financially back the move and research into the market is the most fundamental part of going global.
To create and build brand awareness in an international market, a company must have a 3-5 year plan minimum.
As brand awareness is key to expanding the target market, this time invested will increase the exposure the consumer has to your brand.
Well-established brands gain trust from consumers and the target market are more likely to shop with your brand once they are familiar with it.
Research is key
In order to expand and sell a desired product to the overseas market, research is key, as understanding and researching the market will determine the likelihood of success.
Research will determine which countries to enter, the decision to add, delete or modify products in an international market and deciding the best way to distribute the products to the consumers in the international market.
Understanding the target market is the key to providing them with a product that they want at the ‘right’ price.
Research will determine this price that the consumers are willing to pay and will also give insight into the demand curve that links the price and quantity.
Political and economic factors
The political and economic situation of the country must be understood before entry is decided, as this will make or break the company and the particular type of product they want to sell in the international market.
The country and their policies, regulations and technical norms can significantly impact your chances of exporting your products to a foreign country. This is one of the most important parts to research when looking at the global strategy.
What you leave out is as important as what you put in. Less is indeed more sometimes…
It is tempting, when you’re paying for room to get your message across, to try and cram as much information as possible about the product or service that you love and believe in into your expensive little piece of space as possible.
Good visual communication is about gaining interest, and keeping it long enough to get information across in a way that is pleasurable for the punter.
It’s often about initially attracting the eye, and if it is visually engaging, the chances of the eye looking for more than a millisecond increase, and then the chances of the brain engaging go up and if the viewer is still interested at this point they will consider the content and will look for where to go for further, more detailed information.
But, first and foremost they need to look long enough to see what it is you have to say…. And they will not give you all day.
In a world where we are constantly visually and mentally bombarded with massive amounts of information a bit of space can be a momentary relief for the eye and a chance to catch your visual breath. White space can also be used to create pathways to lead the eye to the information you are wanting to emphasise.
So when your designer next suggests ‘less is more’, consider the possibility that perhaps they have your interests at heart, and their advice to streamlining is worth considering.
Consider what it is that is vital to be got across and what can be left to be filled in later.
Don’t treat your audience as if they are stupid. You don’t need to cross every single ‘t’ and dot every ‘i’. Leave room for the viewer to fill in a few gaps, make their own connections and interpret the message in a way that makes it relevant to them. If they can make it theirs in their mind they will want it!
Designing for print is not as easy as it seems and has its challenges. Effective printing results rely solely on the graphic design process and file preparation.
Many clients think jumping onto Microsoft Office suite can be used to knock together a design that can be used for a business card, flyer or poster etc. In reality there are many factors that need to be taken into account in order to produce a print ready design file.
Unfortunately computer monitors and screens do not accurately reflect the colour in which material will be printed out. To ensure that the printed end result is not a surprise to the designer and the client, Pantone books (http://au.pantone.com/pages/pantone/index.aspx) must be used to choose colours. These books can cost upwards from $300 and must be updated regularly as they can tend to fade.
Using images with incorrect resolution in a print file will often cause disappointing results with the final print product looking pixilated and blurry. All files used must be converted to the correct resolution, and if supplied in low quality the appropriate file must be sourced.
Sizing of Document and Content
Choosing the correct size of the finished product can be a challenge. Clients will often specify what size they would like their finished product. Fitting in all the content must be done with careful selection of image and font size. Again looking at these designs on screen, will not always show a true reflection of the type size.
The final part in this design process is probably the most important. PDF export settings need to be correctly set in order to preserve the colours, image resolution and sizing for print. Colour profiles are often needed to be installed and these usually have to be obtained directly from the printer. Printer marks have to be turned on as well as the correct amount of bleed to be set to ensure a clean edge when finished by the printer.
Choosing The Right Printer
Once all the design files have been correctly outputted for print, they need to be sent off to a printer who will produce the best result for the project. There are several different forms of printing, and each one has their strengths and weaknesses. The main ones used at BrightBlue C are offset and digital. Offset printing uses ink and plates to create the prints, and due to this amount of preparation larger volume orders are usually required and turnaround time can be a few days. Benefits of offset printing is that colour matching is very effective and pricing on large volumes of printing is lower than digital. In comparison, digital prints are almost instant, and the turnaround time is very quick. Printing runs can be of small volume and cost effective, but colours may not be as accurate.
Selecting the correct stocks to print on and finishing methods make a huge difference with how the prints look once complete. Choosing stocks can often be a time consuming task as many different factors need to be taken into consideration. Printers will usually have a library of paper and other material stocks to browse, and these are literally never-ending. The many different types of stocks can only be used in certain printers and come in many different finishes - gloss, matte, textured and recycled to name a few. The different types of finishes on the stocks will create different results for example a gloss finish will be shiny, matte finish will create a dull look and so on.
Hopefully you now have some insight into the design/print process. Designing for print, is not simply a matter of putting some text and images on a page and hoping for the best.
At BrightBlue C, our highly talented and creative designers use the most recent design software on sophisticated equipment. We have developed collaborative, professional and trusted relationships with a large number of Perth’s most respected printers, so that, as a client, you do not have to worry about the technicalities of the design and print processes.
BrightBlue C specialises in the design of advertising material, brochures, annual reports, corporate newsletters, calendars, stationery and signage.
Consumer behaviour is the study of the way people seek, purchase, use, evaluate and dispose of products and services. It is the phycology of marketing, and it is used to determine why consumers seek one product alternative from the other.
But why do consumers seek and purchase products? This is linked to the ideology of needs and wants. Needs and wants exist if a consumer is unsatisfied, consumers seek and purchase the products that can provide them with maximum satisfaction.
Consumer behaviour can be used by marketers to create the marketing strategy; targeting each consumer effectively once they understand their needs and wants through the research of consumer behaviour.
What is the marketing strategy?
It is a strategy used to maximise limited resources of an organisation to increase its opportunities in sales and achieve a sustainable competitive advantage.
A marketing strategy is created by market research, which the needs, attitudes and competitors products are evaluated, as well as the packaging, sales and distribution of a product.
How to research the consumer
Use primary and secondary research. Marketers must analyse their consumers, as well as using secondary information to make decisions to target their market. They may do this through: surveys, focus groups, observation, interviews and secondary methods such as online researching.
Marketers may also make decisions for their marketing strategy based on the consumers demographic information. This information includes the consumers: income, educational level, occupation, age, and location. This is known as segmenting the market.
This information is used to predict purchasing habits of the consumer and make key decisions in the product they are selling, such as pricing. For example, marketers targeting consumers will a low income in a low socio-economic area will have to be particularly price conscious when pricing their items.
Marketers must also understand the values of the consumer; this will provide them with more success in their marketing campaigns. An example of this is quality; when targeting consumers who value quality, marketers must sell them products that deliver and re-enforce their values.
Marketers will be unsuccessful in any marketing campaign that doesn’t take into account and reflect the values of the consumer.
Values impacting consumer choices are their knowledge, beliefs, morals and customs, it has a significant impact on the products consumers seek and purchase.
Benefits for an organisation
When the marketing strategy and consumer behaviour are intervened, marketers can expect success in their sales, higher profit margins and competitive sustainability in the market place.
The benefits of using consumer behaviour to create a marketing strategy are the knowledge marketer’s gain about the needs and values of their target market. Once marketers understand this, it is most likely their message will be delivered to the correct target market, resulting in an end sale.
Overall, consumer behaviour is the study of people that is used the market place as a marketing tool to reach out to target segments. Where would we be without it?
Generation Y, the subculture who has just hit 30 are the cause of much attention to the workplace, for employers in particular.These 20-something individuals are innovative, tech-savvy, value flexibility and are the most likely subculture to ask for a pay rise.
Employers are now adapting to their values in order to keep their Gen Y employees for longer periods of time. Bosses are now going as far as re-decorating their entire offices to suit the trends of Gen Y, along introducing a range of workplace activities to create a workplace worthy of the subculture.
Adapting to different techniques are a must in the workplace, notice boards are now being replaced with viral text messages, as this is the only way to ensure everyone will read the message.
Their faded line between work and home will call on employees to change their office habits for good.Working from home, and introducing fun office activities are a few adaptations that need to be made.
What can employers do? Adapt, one size does not fit all in the workplace environment and there must be a flexible approach to this new generation.
Understand the values of this generation and focus what they can give back to your company.
Overall, speak to them in a language they can understand, they will value you for it and will flourish in their workplace.
When embarking upon new web projects with clients we always endevour to design and build their sites with future proofing in mind.
Essentially this means making sure everything we can do at the start of the project will last and be relevant as long as possible.
With the rapid pace in the development of technology across many different areas this is no easy feat and needs to be carefully considered.
Some of the main areas we focus on are:
By keeping the design and layout of sites simple yet effective, we attempt to avoid the look of the site rapidly dating.
Avoiding trends and heavily stylised aesthetics is paramount in helping us achieve this.
A site that is heavily stylised may look great today, but how will that same design look 1 year down the track when the client still expects their site to engage visitors?
Web standards is basically “the trend of endorsing a set of standardized best practices for building web sites, and a philosophy of web design and development that includes those methods”.
When we develop the code of our sites we attempt to adhere to web standards wherever possible. This ensures that the technology used is available to as many visitors as possible and we can easily adapt it to keep up with any developments.
We are currently utilising the latest in technology, that adheres to web standards, with HTML 5 and CSS 3. We also use these new technologies in such a way that visitors on older computers or browsers will have the site degrade gracefully, and still have as much functionality as possible available to them.
Content Management Systems
For many of our clients with websites that require regular updates to content, we build their sites upon a robust and world renowned Content Management System.
This enables us to separate the content from the form. By doing this if the client turns to us 5 or 10 years down the track (with potentially thousands of pieces of content) and wants their site redesigned, we have the ability to simply redesign the core pages or style files and the content is automatically pulled into the new design. This can save a significant amount of money when compared to a total site rebuild.
Due to the nature of our industry we always endeavour to build lasting relationships with our clients. By creating products that stand the test of time, we feel it benefits both our business and the client.
A logo is to a business as your face is to you.
It is how you are recognised. It reflects your personality, or in case of your business, your values and principles. It is also the most powerful marketing tool known.
Logo design establishes your identity.
It is very hard to establish yourself in the marketing world without a logo. In layman’s terms, a logo is like a mental shortcut to a product or company. Just how often do you recognize a car from its make, rather than the ever present logo on the bumper or in front?
The power of the logo lies in its visual nature. Studies have shown that people recognize and relate to images faster then text. In today’s world of multimedia, this rings more true then ever.
Having just any logo, however, is not enough to create a brand identity for you. A badly thought up logo can very easily destroy the image of your company. On the other hand, a carefully designed logo can reach the buying public and communicate to them the worth of your company or product. Therefore, everything depends on the design of your logo.
Your logo creates your image
In the corporate world, “Image” is everything. A marketing company may like their Logo to be bold, so as to reflect aggressiveness, which is often what a client wants in such companies. On the other hand, an Insurance company’s logo would in all probably reflect solidity and dependability, and use that to draw in customers.
However, the market is flooded with Logos, from the corner of a news paper to the moving scroll bar at the bottom of your television screen. It is absolutely necessary, therefore, for a logo to have a meaning, to present something specific and unique to the subconscious mind of the consumer, to set it apart from the rest of the competition.
Your logo solidifies consumer loyalty.
The work of a Logo goes on even after your Identity and Image has been established. Part of a logo’s effectiveness comes from repetition. As it is known in the business community, familiarity is
the key to growing your business. In corporate world, it’s called consumer loyalty or brand loyalty.
Once your logo has established consumer loyalty, your next step will be see it repeated as often as possible. Each time your company or any product or service of your company, is mentioned anywhere, your logo should accompany it. Soon, even a glimpse of a part of that logo will be sufficient for your client to relate to your company.
Your logo is your most powerful marketing tool
With careful marketing, a Logo can become the main reason for sale of a company’s product. For instance, the brand Nike has a tremendous loyalty. It has become a status symbol of sorts, cashing on the image “the best money can buy”. Nike’s marketing strategy has been to associate popular and successful sport persons with the brand, establishing the company as
makers of top quality professional sports gear.
Your logo establishes ownership
A logo is like a signature. It proves your legal ownership and is a legal safe guard against fakes and forgeries. Cheap forgeries of branded product are flooding the markets in the third world countries. For instance, you can get a cheap sneaker with a logo somewhat similar to Nike’s logo, which can boost the sale of that fake. However, is a company reproduces your logo to the
tee, you can sue the company is consumer court.
So invest the time in developing a GREAT logo…
and look after it – you (and your business) will reap the rewards!
A fantastic tool for all types of business is Google Places. Place Pages connect people to information from across the web via results displayed within a Google Map. This allows users to narrow down their search to within a certain geographical area.
For business owners this is a very powerful way of directing traffic to your website or to display their business contact details to a specific local audience.
We have implemented optimized Google Business Listings for many of our clients and have had great results. One of the main benefits has been the access to in depth reporting statistics.
Get in touch with BrightBlue C today to find out more.