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Making or Breaking Your Marketing Plan

A successful marketing plan focuses on gaining and retaining customers. It spells out all the tools and tactics needed to achieve your sales goals. So, what exactly are the elements you need to create your business’ marketing plan? Here’s a short and sweet list of the essentials to keep in mind:  

  1. Align your content objectives and KPIs with your business goals. 
  2. You must know whom you are targeting. Determining the demographics and psychographics of your target audience is a great place to start. You’ll also want to create a buyer’s persona. How do they behave? What kind of interests do they have?   
  3. Communicate the value of your product or service to your customers. What makes your company so unique and different from the competition? Do your research and create a SWOT analysis.  
  4. Ask yourself: What do you want your marketing plan to achieve? And through what effective marketing channels will you achieve them? Write down a short list of goals and make them measurable so that you’ll know when you have accomplished them.   
  5. Keep track of your data. Google Analytics is a free marketing data tool, so there’s no excuse for not keeping a close eye on your data. 
  6. The heart and soul of your marketing plan targets prospects at ALL stages of your sales cycle – both cold and warm prospects.    

Does the Jingle and Digital Media Mix?

The jingle is best known for mastering the art of brand recognition, where consumers recognize a short, catchy tune and associate it with the corresponding brand. It was a perfect fit for radio and television in past generations when those were the primary sources of news and advertising. However, times have changed, and so has the way consumers absorb information. These days, with the ability to fast forward commercials on YouTube and the existence of media-service providers like Netflix, consumers watch few commercials, if any at all. On social media, a large percentage of consumers watch videos without sound. With these modern types of media channels marketers are advertising on today, I don’t believe producing a jingle would the best strategy to increase brand recognition. Why not create a short, catchy slogan instead? A jingle only lasts so long, but a slogan is forever. 

Do Your Marketing Research

To develop a successful marketing plan, it is imperative that you find accurate and specific information about both your customers and your competition. Research is a critical component that will provide you with the details you need to make better business decisions.  Who will buy your product? And what do these people need and expect? The more you know about and understand your customers, the more successful you will be at connecting with them and targeting their needs. You also need to know who are your competitors and what’s their strategy? You should keep track of your own company’s progress as well as the growth of your competitors. Researching your competitors will help you gain insights about their marketing accomplishments and failures, thus, giving you the advantage of creating an effective strategy for your own company.  

What’s the Story on Storytelling?

Storytelling in marketing enables you to create a deeper relationship with your customers by connecting to people’s memories, associations, and stories. By telling your brand story successfully, you have the power to increase the value of your product or service.  It gives your customers an entirely different entry to your brand that flows and stays memorable. With so many platforms available and different ways to share your company’s story, you should make it a priority to connect with your customers, make your brand a thought leader, and build customer relationships through exciting, emotionally stimulating, and focused narratives. 

Video Advertising: Get with It

It’s no surprise that video advertising is dominating the world of digital marketing. Studies have shown that online consumers would rather watch a video than read a product explanation. Emotions play a significant role in customers’ purchase decisions, and video ads can generate far more emotional cues than a static ad can. You can make a greater and more personalized impact when you advertise through sight and sound, connecting your viewer’s emotions to your product or service. If your video ad is creative and effective enough to grab the attention of your target market, the possibility of your video being shared increases. Over 700 videos are being shared on Twitter every minute, so imagine how this action can increase your video’s exposure. Also, video ads do well among mobile users, and the amount of people watching videos on their mobile devices continues to increase.  

The Art of Branding: A Shark Story

connections, loyalty and a sense of community. Working as a Social Media Professional at Miami Dade College, we are continually seeking the best way to brand the college in a way that will reach and connect with our students. “Finn” is our college mascot who’s a “friendly, social, proud, and fun” Shark – just like our students. We have taken the image of Finn who was primarily represented at important events such as sports games, commencement, and celebrations and transformed him into a regular, friendly “student” figure who represents the same characteristics that our students do. By slightly rebranding his image, we have been able to create a connection with our everyday students and form a community of “MDC Sharks.” 

My Social Media Life: Professional and Personal

When I was a Sophomore in high school, I remember when LiveJournal first appeared in my life. In case you don’t know what I’m talking about, LiveJournal was an online diary where you would post about your personal life and photos of you and your friends. Sound familiar? It was basically the “old school” Facebook. I was captivated by this platform and logged on every day after school and on the weekends. Since then, I progressed to MySpace, then to Facebook, and so on. As I got older and began working after right after college, I started to realize that social media isn’t just a place for friends and photos. It’s a place for business. A place for discovery. A place to be seen and heard. I can’t tell you the number of brands I have found and purchases I have made all because of social media. As a result of these realizations, I decided that I wanted to immerse myself into the world of social media – for business. I am currently the Social Media Coordinator at Miami Dade College and have about 7 years’ experience in managing social media accounts for various companies and industries, and about 15 years running my own personal accounts. Through trial and error, I have learned so much about the specifications needed to have a successful post and campaign. This is my specialty, and I love using it personally, just as much as I love using it professionally.  

Keep it Engaging

We all know the lifestyle, culture, and trend of each generation changes drastically. For example, the message you would portray to a student ten years ago is not the same message you would portray to a student today. We now live in a digital world where we are overwhelmed with information and the constant disruption of ads while scrolling through photos of our friends. So, how can we reach these students and get our message across to them successfully on social media? Millennials are busy and they want to get their information quickly. If you have too much text in your posts, they won’t read them. If the photos are not engaging, they won’t acknowledge them. Keeping it simple and to the point is key. In these posts, you need to ENGAGE. Ask questions, create polls, make it fun and interactive. Have you ever posted a photo on social media and had a relevant brand repost it? It feels pretty good, and it makes you want to post and tag that brand again in order to get the recognition. User-generated posts not only help you engage with your audience but also provide you with more content, help build a community and encourage other followers to interact as well.