Develop A Marketing And Marketing Communications Strategy And Plan For Small Or Midsized Companies

Planning for the year ahead is never an easy task. Lack of resources (people, time, budget), keeping up to date on what’s going on in your market, obtaining quality leads and improving brand awareness and reputation have become increasingly difficult for all organizations – for profit companies as well as nonprofits. This has become especially true among US CEO’s who are concerned with not just domestic but also international uncertainties.Developing A Marketing And Marketing Communications Strategy Is CriticalThis should be your priority. Without a strategy for a plan there are way too many opportunities to get off track and chew up your investment. Your ROI will suffer. Consider the following to focus your efforts when developing your strategy and plan:1. Determining, understanding and verifying your target customers and prospects should be at the top of your agenda. To improve profitability and ROI you must know what your audience wants and needs, how they perceive your brand and how it stands up to competition.Be sure to avoid industry and company “myths” and internal “opinions”. Employ primary and secondary research to understand your audience. With so much information available about companies and brands, it is truly the Age Of The Consumer and will be for a very long time.2. Additionally, as part of your knowledge of your audience, determine the size and scope of various sub-segments that exist today and will tomorrow. For example, does your audience include women, or Asians, or Hispanics? If so, look at the dramatic growth of these segments of the populations and determine if your brand needs to pay particular attention to them.Also, recognize that millennials (23% of the US population) are not a homogenous group. At the younger end (20 – 28 years), 40 percent t are currently living rent free with family, while at the older end (29 – 35 years), 43 percent have already purchased a home. With that in mind, how should your strategy differ if you’re targeting adults 55 years and older (21% of US population)?3. Once you clearly understand your audience, develop your unique brand position. To do this, create a brand positioning statement. The statement is a succinct description of the core target audience to whom the brand is directed and a compelling picture of how you want your audience to view the brand. Sound simple? Take a few minutes and try to answer the four components of your positioning:· The target audience, in very specific detail· The category in which you complete and its relevance to customers· The brand’s benefit and point of difference· A reason for the customer to believe – the most compelling proofAll marketing and marketing communications should flow from this positioning, and it should be fully understood and embraced by all employees, sales reps, partners and management.4. Improving brand awareness is very important but only the first step. You also need to create great customer experiences with each touch point of your brand. And that means creating brand advocacy at all levels of contact. Develop brand champions at every level of purchase and repurchase to improve ROI.Be sure these influencers completely understand, believe and can articulate your brand premise. And provide them with the training and tools to convey their trust-worthiness in a believable manner.Developing A Focused Marketing And Marketing Communications Plan And BudgetAfter the hard work of developing a meaningful strategy, recognize it’s equally important to develop a specific plan and budget. The following should be taken into consideration:1. You must be media neutral and open minded in developing your plan and budget. It is extremely important to understand the difference between “efficiency” and “effectiveness”, and not get caught up with the latest trendy new tactic.Regardless of the specific marketing tactic, or type of digital or traditional media, you’re evaluating, keep in mind that cost efficiency does not necessarily lead to effective results. Also, and most importantly, the best source of marketing communications leverage is the quality of the message, not the marketing tactic.2. The scope and diversity of marketing and marketing communications tactics has grown faster than the ability to measure some of them. Marketers now are actually spending money without knowing how it impacts their profitability and ROI! Consider the variety of ways in which nearly $450 billion is expected to be spent in the US in 2018:· Sales promotion ($83 billion), telemarketing ($60 billion), direct mail (($46 billion) and events ($40 billion) highlight projected 2018 US Marketing Services expenditures;· The internet ($78 billion), television ($68 billion) and the combination of radio, newspapers and magazines ($47 billion) are projected to be at the top of the 2018 US Major Media spending categories.Source: Zenith Total US SpendingAnd while it may surprise you, 90 percent of consumers (and 94 percent of millennials) still use coupons. The coupons come from a variety of on-line and traditional mediums, but mail is most popular. Why do marketers still use coupons? The simple answer is because they’re effective in guiding purchase. In developing your own plan and budget, determine and recognize the effectiveness of all marketing tactics, not just their efficiency.ROI Focused Marketing And Marketing Communications ConsultantsIf you’re like most small and midsized companies, you and your team may not have the expertise or time to develop an ROI focused marketing and marketing communications strategy, plan or budget.Even major global brands are seeking outside advisors. In my May article, I discussed the dramatic growth of management and accounting consulting practices (33% increase in US revenue) at the expense of traditional global advertising agencies (0.3% increase in US revenue). One reason for this 2017 growth of consultants is their focus – not on trends or what’s in the news – but on marketing and marketing communications effectiveness, profitably and ROI.While you may not be able to afford the large global consultants, you should consider hiring a marketing and/or marketing communications consultant. The type of people you should hire should:· Have a focus on ROI, with significant experience across industries, b2b and b2c brands, both large and small, as well as for profit and nonprofit organizations· Be media neutral, apolitical, down to earth, be willing to be part of a team and “tell it like it is” so candor will flourish· Have flexibility to bring in other professional specialists when and as needed so that overhead isn’t an ongoing expense· Have strong convictions to measure what has been done and measure what will be done to improve ROI, perhaps including a marketing communications auditIn today’s challenging environment, a greater focus on strategy, planning and budgeting can go a long way toward leapfrogging competition and improving brand profitability. And the fresh eyes of a consultant can go a long way to building a meaningful future for your brand.

Effects Of Technology And High-Tech Gadgets In Our Lives

Technology is the energy that drives our lives. It runs in the veins of society. Technology is related with innovation and creativity. It transforms ideas and thoughts into reality and into something that is helpful to society and human life. It has brought luxury and benefit to an average person’s life. The level of automation that technology has brought about has saved time and human effort to a great extent. It has simplified the access to information and brought distant places closer.Technology has automated crucial industrial as well as household processes. The gadgets have penetrated into our homes and have saved us from household chores. Now machines are executing various mundane jobs that once were carried out by human workers. Technology has evolved to such an extent that the machines can do tasks that are physically unapproachable by man.Comparing the current ways of carrying out tasks with the ways they were performed in the past, we recognize how much the world has changed because of the technology revolution. Technology has enabled us to perform the same tasks with spending less time allowing us to do various other things. It is simply impossible to point out a specific technology for these drastic changes in a person’s life. The level of technological advancement helps measure the economic growth of a nation.The most remarkable technological gadget is a mobile phone. Cellular communication has revolutionized the telecommunication industry. The conventional phone, also a piece of technology, was one of the earliest technological developments. Now, smartphones have broadened the scope of communication which is not just limited to making long distance calls. Due to the changes in technology, the reliance upon technological gadgets has increased. The capability to transform carbon dioxide into energy is a remarkable development which once established will change our dependence on limited and nonrenewable resources.The computer technology has altered the face of the world. The internet that seeded from the concepts of computer networking has enhanced the mode of communication and increased the education standards. The use of this internet technology is increasing rapidly. It is one of the most effective platforms for communication and the largest base of information existing today. Due to the technological advancements, a person can gain access to information on any topic, from any place, at any time. Innovations in the present tech-world can enable us to find solutions to urgent and difficult problems. Furthermore, internet has brought a significant positive change to the advertising and entertainment industry. Marketers can reach out to the masses over the internet within seconds and carry out interactive and effective advertising campaigns.The technology revolution has led to an increase in chat rooms, online databases and personalized web pages. The information technology sector has entirely transformed the outlook of communication with instant messaging, video conferencing and e-mails. With the dawn of technology, individuals are bridging gaps and decreasing the distances in their minds. However, the basic downside of technological advancement is that people have become too much machine dependent and thus are getting lethargic. Robotics, computerization and automation are changing our lives by increasing efficiency and inexpensive labor, thus increasing the rate of unemployment. It is curbing our capability to pay attention.Technology has no doubt improved our lives and will keep on improving it if streamlined in right direction. It is our responsibility to structure it such that it benefits the society and environment rather than doing harming it. It is due the improvised technology that atomic and nuclear wars have taken place. This has also directed to an increase in corruption as well as pollution. For this reason, a balance between automation and manpower should be maintained.

Long Term Drug Rehab – 7 Things You Need to Remember

Long term drug rehab can seem hopeless. But if you are someone who has just been released from a drug rehab program, there are some things you need to do to make sure your recovery stays on track.Here are some things you need to do to continue to be successful in long term drug rehab:

Your Counselor is Your Friend

By engaging in outpatient counseling treatment, you increase your chances that your recovery will be permanent. Listen to your therapist or counselor: they are there to help you stay focused on long term drug rehab success.

Take Your Time

Long term drug rehab means that your recovery doesn’t happen overnight. You will have plenty of thoughts about alcohol and drugs. You simply must recognize and accept that you have to take each day — each hour — as it comes. There are no shortcuts. Think of long term drug rehab as a process that is time-consuming but rewarding.

Stay Busy

Many former addicts find that it is all too easy to slip back into old habits. So fight that urge and stay physically active. Get yourself out of the old way of doing things. Find new activities and interests. Seek out new acquaintances who are positive and successful. Stay busy and avoid getting bored. Try not to be alone a lot of the time.

Progress is Measured One Step at a Time

It’s true that success is defined as steady progress toward a worthy goal. Long term drug rehab works the same way. You may find that if you can stay focused on recovery one day — or half day — at a time, you can be successful. Sometimes it might even be one-quarter of a day, or even one hour, at a time. Be aware of your frustration level and fight it one minute at a time if necessary. Staying sober is hard but you can make it one inch at a time if necessary.

Develop New Habits

Long term drug rehab involves examining at all your behaviors, including the ones that make it easy to abuse drugs. What this means is that one set of habits reinforces another. When you remove one habit (drugs) you find that others are displaced as well (associating with certain friends, for example). What will you do now if you are no longer hanging with the same old crowd, doing drugs? If you can find new friends, new activities to engage in, you will find that your long term drug rehab will be more successful.

Build Yourself a Support System

You might think that you cannot tell your family or close friends about your long term drug rehab challenges. But the opposite is true: you must rely on them to give you the emotional support you need to successfully recover.

Be Persistent

You’ll have plenty of temptation to give up and throw in the towel. But don’t give in and don’t give up. It really works when you are faced with long term drug rehab. Don’t beat yourself up for making the mistake. Simply move on and keep going. No matter how frustrated you get, you don’t want to ever give up or give in. The difference between winning and losing is sometimes simply being the last one standing.

Hopefully, these suggestions will help you get through long term drug rehab successfully. Surround yourself with positive role models and stay with it. You will find that you will be successful in the long run.