Marketing yourself or your business – what you need to know

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marketing

 

Here are 5 W’s of Marketing yourself or your business:

1) Who – Identify customer groups
2) What – What are their needs
3) Why- Why should they buy from you?
4) Where – Where can I catch them to sell to them
5) What – Identify the media

There is also an H…
How – measurement of KPI’s that give you the ROI

Lets run through the 5 W’s first…

1) Who – before Identifying who you think your ideal customer is or what broad appeal your product or service has you should do some research.
Many businesses have failed because they relied on a whim of someone who liked a particular food or type of clothing only discover that it was a subjective need or taste.
A fashion brand once invested a lot of money in the early eighties is a pair of trousers that had a wide rubber inner waistband so that people could wear the trousers round their stomach without it falling down to their waist .. yes you got got it,most people wear their trousers at their waist! and yes; it did fail!
So do some research first search Google , that is a good starting point, look at your competitors, conduct a survey in your local area or if you have the money contract a Marketing Research company – this will tell you the “Who” and maybe answer the next question…

2) What are their needs, You need to market a product to your customers needs, hopefully you have recognised a real need for what you are marketing but you can actually create a need…Hagen Dasz created a market for ice cream in the winter by marketing  it as an appealing and indulgent.

3) Why – the reason why they should buy from you is because you or your product is unique – this is your USP – unique Selling point.
A good exercise in working out your USP is by creating a tagline or strap-line or in Networking terms your 30 second introduction.

4) Where  - see example in my previous post in June http://vmal.co.uk/?p=2445

5) What – What method will I reach my client:

TV or Billboard campaign – Both these types of advertising are for businesses with big budget who want to raise awareness of their product.

Email campaign – if you use an email service such as Mailchimp, Aweber or others  - An Email campaign has an added benefit of being easy to track who has opened your email.

Do I do a leaflet drop – This is a relativity low cost marketing method but not as cheap as email!

Social media or Google Adwords campaign – you pay per click but can bring good and targeted ROI

A Website is both an online shopfront and if created with marketing in mind can capture leads for a targeted campaign.

 

VMAL is invited to the DBA ( Design Business Association)

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VMAL joins the DBA

 

We are pleased to announce that we have recently been approved to become a member of the Design Business Association (DBA) – the trade organisation for the UK design industry.

 

The purpose of the DBA is promote professional excellence. As a multi-faceted design agency with a focus on creating brands and formulating complex web solutions VMAL is always looking to understand the clients business  goals and work together with the client to use branding, marketing and design to improve their image with a particular focus on improving customer loyalty.

 

Our membership of the DBA is to reinforce our commitment to providing excellence in all aspects of our service  including confidentiality and professionalism in line with the DBA guidelines.

 

John Scarrott, Membership Director of the DBA says:

 

We are pleased to welcome VMAL Ltd to the Design Business Association. A particular focus for the DBA is to be useful to those design agencies that have an ambition to grow and develop both themselves and their business relationships with their clients.
Part of this is a commitment to a set of professional values and we look forward to supporting VMAL on their journey.”

 

For further information on the Design Business Association please visit www.dba.org.uk.

 

You are a brand!

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yourbrand
Your brand is not only your logo,
its also about you!

A senior Coca-Cola executive once said “If Coca-Cola were to lose all of its production-related assets in a disaster, the company would survive. By contrast, if all consumers were to have a sudden lapse of memory and forget everything related to Coca-Cola, the company would go out of business”

Even the Coca Cola brand which is arguably the biggest global brand, is not a brand simply because of the style of the font they use in their logo…

Branding is not all about your logo colours and your business card it is just as much about you and are just as much a brand as Coca-Cola, Pepsi or Apple.

Try and imagine yourself as your own brand manager.
Stumped? don’t know where to start?

Let me start you off … What makes your service or you different from your competition?

If you can’t think of anything, think what you have done to make yourself stand out.
How do you differ from your direct competition?
What would your clients, co-workers or colleges think of you as your greatest strength?
Are you efficient in getting back to the client and keeping them up to date of progress?
Can you offer a personal caring service to the client?
If anything stands out try it in your marketing – it will ring more true!
Maybe avoid a clichéd oft use “ we are big enough to cope and small enough to care”! but a good copywriter can help you out on that front.

Once you have the right wording in place and that reflects you and your company make sure the branding matches that and you will have a winning package.

“I want that one” – a short story about Brand Positioning

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iwantthatone
Ok so you are starting a new venture and need branding, packaging and promotional marketing plan.
You have the finances in place to do it properly so you contact a professional company ( such as VMAL :) .
The first thing you have to consider is your target market. Who is this aimed at? School children? Over 50′s? Working Mums, Young Professionals?
Lets take a product for School children – a new fad that you have brought over from the Far East. Ok the target market is easy enough – it is a relatively expensive item so that will influence where and how you brand it as well the packaging and how you promote it .
How about this – children nag their parents to buy things – so lets target young mums – where do young affluent mums shop? in Waitrose or Marks and Spencers( for example)
Possible Solution : You can advertise on shopping trolleys at Waitrose.
Got you thinking? speak to us and we can have a chat…

Clear your brain for Passover

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3 things you can do to clear your brain for work

Are you on the lookout to buy a house? if you are; buy one from someone Jewish – it will be more germ and dust free; having gone through an intensive cleaning process once a year, each year!
Passover is a time of frantic cleaning of all nooks and crannies in the house and workplace.
This is in commemoration of Jews leaving Egypt over 2000 years ago where they were enslaved and had to eat “Matzoh” or water crackers.

The cleaning is ostensibly of all bread but it has extended in more recent times to a complete and very thorough Spring clean.
This brings us onto clearing our minds to prepare us for Work:

1) Keep a clean desk:
Countless studies have shown that a cleared desk and clean environment allows us to be more productive and focus on the job at hand.
Steve Jobs on his return to apple went around getting all the walls painted white so as to eliminate distractions.

There are another 2 important things to take note of: Your emails and your browser window.

2) If you are the type of guy that works of his email list (- its better you don’t but that is the subject of another article) Start off by deleting the unnecessary emails.

3) As for your browser window – try Evernote to clip things you want to take note of and close the tab rather then leave many open tabs on your computer.

Now get to Work! :)

Whats in the name?

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I am starting out a new business venture, do I  need a recognisable name and logo.
My name is Bert and I have developed a new fish tank so why don’t I call my company ABC Fish Tanks and my name will appear top of most listings?
Do I need a specially designed logo
Would the name in a nice font not do?
The answer in short the answer is that every service and every product is a brand.
A brand is the way people will perceive the product or service.
The service you offer or the quality of the product is very possibly more important but the brand will reinforce those attributes. A product or service with a well thought out name and commercial and up to date logo can make your product or service stand out against the competition.
Even established high store chains such as Marks and Spencer do not just rest on their laurels they adapt and invent new sub brands to appeal to different audiences.

 

Do you want to appeal cheap and chearful if your service is a budget service where the selling point is cost but if you want to add value to your service and increase the price you are charging then take your idea to a design agency such as VMAL and they will kit you out with a new persona – instead of ABC fish tanks we will call you Berts Fish Tank Company for instance or just Berts and instead of using a cartoon styled goldfish mascot we might design an abstract looking fish bowl and cool muted colours and a contemporary font that matches the style we have just created.

You walk out with a smartly designed business card, an interactive website and a liveried vans to match – now you are talking to a different class of client and your brand speaks for you.

Good luck!

Start a new business!

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Ever thought of turning a hobby into a business?
Many enterprising entrepreneurs have taken the plunge and have moved away from their monotonous office job and built up successful business doing the things they like.
Hobbies could include Stamp collections, hand made crochet items, or home baked items.
Research shows that people are more successful when doing what they have a passion for.
So how do you do this. The answer is you build a website.
The web is full of people with different interests and you are bound to find other people with similar needs and interests.
The website could be an e commerce site selling a product or products locally or overseas.
It could be an advice site and the money could made on chargeable listings or advertising.
Engage them with a dynamic site a discussion forum, a blog with ideas from the expert ( you!)and useful hints.
All successful businesses started small.
Some of the best known high street brands started off small.
Marks and spencer started as a market cart.
Your website can be the market cart that will one day bring in millions.

The Local Web

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Who do you trust with your website creation? “Oh I use Jack, he’s my brother-in-laws second cousin by marriage” – The chances are the answer is you would choose someone you know or have been recommended to.
Why is this? Firstly because there are millions of web companies out there, why would I choose one over the other, secondly I will need them to be available to maintain, fix or update the website in the future. For that reason the company you have chosen is likely to be someone local to you or your company so that you are reassured that he is contactable when you need him or her. There is one important ingredient not to be overlooked and that is track record. How can you be sure that Jack will still be there in a couple of years from now to fix a bug or virus in your site. So rather than use Jack use VMAL! VMAL is a company based in North West London and covers nearby areas of Hendon NW4, Golders Green NW11, Hampstead, St Johns Wood and the rest of London, we even create sites overseas. We have been around for a decade and most of our business is recommendation.

Flash or no Flash

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It used to be the case that all sites had a Flash intro, then they introduced the skip intro button! The natural succession to that was to skip having flash intros.
The “Google generation” nowadays have a very low attention span and need to get to what they are looking for within a couple of seconds. A “flashy” Flash intro will really have to impress to be of any value.
If you have to have Flash, a good compromise is to have Flash embedded in your site so that the user can navigate your site if they choose not to view your mind blowing Flash creation. The upside to that is that rather than just impressing the user you might get some business from the site if they find your contact us page…