Begin the Year with a BANG!

Begin the Year with a BANG! 2023 is a new year with new challenges which requires some newer ideas to make your business more profitable. If your business is like the countless other small businesses across the country, the last few years may have been difficult. To say the least. No time to sit around. No dillydallying. And definitely no “I’ll do it tomorrows.” Time to kick it into gear and start 2023 off strong!

Begin the Year with a BANG! An image of the 77 Design Co orange and gray business card logo with the words marketing repeating in the background.
Get Social

Facebook. LinkedIn. Instagram. Even Tik Tok and Twitter. Yea, that’s right, Twitter. Regardless of all of the politics involving these platforms they can be incredibly beneficial to your business. If you want to begin the year with a bang, and your company is not on social, it’s time to change that. It’s 2023 for crying out loud! Don’t let the idea of not knowing how these channels work scare you into not taking advantage of them.

Many, MANY businesses have been taking advantage of social media for years. In our experience, several even rely solely on social media as their main #1 marketing source. That is to say, social is where they get most, if not all, of their new customers. All in all, most companies can definitely utilize these platforms to their advantage. There are industry specific groups in almost every field you should be sharing information with, or just making connections through. “We don’t think social media is for us.” WRONG! Use it, but use it to its full potential the right way.

Make Rockin’ Videos

Video is still at the top of the mountain for promotion. There’s a ton of different ways to utilize them. So, let’s discuss this. In general video can be used anywhere (other than print marketing) as a great source of marketing. For the most part, almost every marketing expert out in web-land is predicting short video as the go-to marketing resource. Likewise, they may not be wrong.

Short impactful videos can promote your company as, caring, knowledgeable, industry experts, humorous, or just generally fun to work with. So, each one of these traits are helpful in attracting customers. Start a YouTube channel. Create YouTube shorts and do paid promos there. Share short video links through email marketing, social media channels, or even on digital billboards. Make them. Use them. Benefit from those videos.

In short, there are likely other ways you can “Begin the New Year with a BANG” in regards to marketing. These are just a few. So, let us know what you need help with and we’ll make it happen for you and your business!

Begin the New Year with a BANG! Marketing Scrabble tiles and a 77 Design Co business card.
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Year-End Marketing Ideas

Year-End Marketing Ideas discusses some useful ideas to better market your business at the end of the year, and into the next. Small businesses all over the world have had some hard times the last few years. It’s difficult to keep up marketing and advertising alongside the major corporations that seemingly have endless pockets. We’ll list some inexpensive (or free) ideas that can make an impact for your business.

Year-End Marketing Ideas. Computer keyboard and 77 Design Co notepad.
Helpful.

Market to be helpful. Not many things are as annoying as being infinitely bombed with sales, sales, sales. As we have said in the past, make your company helpful. Some of these Year-End Marketing Ideas will help your company in the long run. If your company has the ability to assist people with problems share those. This takes us to…

Share Info or Solutions.

Share info and solutions. Is there a big change in your industry? Do you offer something that can truly help others save money, improve health, wealth, or their future? What information at your disposal backs that up?

At this point, it is also important to ensure that your sources are credible and reliable. Try not to use opinion based sources in your marketing message. If you do, on the other hand, make sure they come from reliable industry leaders or news organizations.

What’s the Offer?

Finally, what’s the offer? At the same time as sharing info and being helpful, offer something you truly believe in. For example, is your offer a huge discount? Likewise does it truly benefit the customer? Society? Don’t throw offers out there (especially during the holidays) that are obviously self-centered for business growth. There is a fine line. Marketing is in a sense, self-centered. Its whole purpose is to create growth, attention, and eventually wealth for your business. However, you can market selflessly. Perhaps, you take a little hit on a great customer offer to help growth in the long term. Creating long-lasting customers that trust you will pay off in the end.

Alternate Ideas.

Equally as important as the above categories, establish visually creative messages. If the offer is spectacular and the information is extremely important, none of it will likely matter if there isn’t something great to see. In the past we’ve shared research and statistics about how visuals affect marketing messages. Read more about visual perception, communication, customer psychology, and more from Patrick Mutabazi and LinkedIn here: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/how-important-visuals-marketing-patrick-mutabazi?trk=articles_directory. There’s a ton of factors involved.

Need a helping marketing hand heading into 2023? Drop us a message: https://77designco.com/contact-us-2/

Have a wonderful Christmas & New Years when you get to it!

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What Marketing Doesn’t Do

What marketing doesn’t do is an article that discusses some things not to expect when hiring a team. There are many wonderful things that marketing brings to the table for your business. Without a doubt! Potential new customers. An identifiable brand. Increased potential business. Or, simply just presenting your company as a creative reliable source. Just to name a few.

What Marketing Doesn't Do. An image of the 77 Design Co business card, a stapler, and scrabble pieces that spell marketing.
Marketing is definitely a benefit to your business. But, don’t expect everything to be the responsibility of marketing.

However, there are also things that are occasionally expected that are not responsibilities of a marketing team. On occasion, a business owner may believe that marketing will solve all of their problems. This may not be the case. We have turned down several contracts over the years due to this inaccurate belief. Let’s get to it.

PR Problems

Marketing MAY be able to assist in some public relations issues. It is not the entire fix though.

A few moons ago we met with a general contractor that believed he needed marketing help. We sat down and discussed their business thoroughly. One of the things he said was, ” I can get all the business we need. I just can’t get my guys to show up on time or stay and finish the job quickly.” “Customers get mad at that.” All of a sudden, things became clearer!

As I have noted, we talked pretty thoroughly about his business for about an hour up to this point. We chatted about the direction of their website, social media, and a few other aspects of promotion. We were there to help narrow down the problem, after all. The main issue was his crews that were on the jobs. They felt that good marketing could quell the negativity they were receiving. While that could help, it’s not the total fix.

At this point we discussed resolving the issues with the crews first. He was ready to pay us whatever in the belief this would help. Not how we operate. We certainly didn’t want to take on an impossible task of building a plan that would inevitably fall flat. In short, please don’t expect that marketing alone will solve an issue such as this.

Closing Sales

Want eyes on your business? Good solid marketing. Looking to increase leads and calls? Ok, same thing. Trying to show the world who your company is? Yep, you guessed the answer.

Need to close that sales deal? Uh, not what marketing does. That is the job of a sales team. Creative and informative promotional marketing will put you on the fish. Now, it’s time for sales to bait the hook and reel them in. Analogous to the PR issues above, not part of the advertising or marketing job. A good way to improve sales and the content messaging is to get both teams together to come up with new ideas.

A Few Other Things

Below are a few other things that should not be expected. Or, at least these should be discussed right out of the gate.

  • Business management (making decisions on sales, hiring/firing, and more)
  • Guaranteed new sales (this depends on the effectiveness of the sales team)
  • Answering calls or messages. At times a general response can be included in a plan or contract. However, (at least in our case) we refer interested customers to the business owner or manager directly. A marketing team may not have the answers to very specific industry related questions or concerns.

In conclusion, we’ll (marketers in general) always do the absolute best we can to ensure your marketing is effective and creative. We always want the company we are working for to thrive even in a down economy. However, there are certain things that may require alternate assistance. If your company is looking to meet new customers, get new eyeballs on your product or service, or just needs brand identifiability drop us a line anytime here: https://77designco.com/contact-us-2/

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Let’s Talk Marketing & Strategy

Begin the Year with a BANG! An image of the 77 Design Co orange and gray business card logo with the words marketing repeating in the background.

Let’s Talk Marketing & Strategy is a blog about exactly what marketing is. We’ll also cover some simple strategies you can take to improve the marketing of your business.

Firstly, let’s use the definition from a HubSpot blog and Dictionary.com, “the action or business of promoting and selling products or services, including market research and advertising.” It and more can be read here: https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/what-is-marketing

Let's Talk Marketing & Strategy. An image of the 77 Design Co orange and gray business card logo with the words marketing repeating in the background.

There it is. Consequently, the definition is a little broad. We create content, images, video, and do design work. We also do market research and a little advertising. The initial definition is a bit blurry in our opinion though. Thats marketing for you. For example, there is no mention of brand, creativity, or messaging. These are essential pieces of marketing too. However, the description does get a bit more detailed further in the read.

Purpose.

So, let’s move along. As you can see in the HubSpot link above, they describe the purpose of marketing thoroughly. There’s not a whole lot that we would add.

However, our idea about marketing is much more primitive…”get more eyes on your product or service.” Truly we believe this is the main purpose. Yes, <caveman grunt> our views can sometimes be uncouth. We can assure you though that your marketing will never be. Also, if done correctly, marketing will substantially increase leads, referrals, and visibility.

Let's Talk Marketing & Strategy is a blog about exactly what marketing is. An image of the 77 Design Co card with money in the background.
Marketing’s main purpose, we believe, is to get more eyes on your product or service.
What next?

Next, now that we’ve got an idea about the definition and purpose of marketing, we can turn to the strategy. HubSpot has an extensive list of the forms of marketing. They are all in the article above. Some of these are, blogging, social media, SEO, video, and more. Additionally, there’s newer forms of marketing popping up yearly. Influencer, VR (Virtual Reality,) text, and alternate forms of digital marketing are some of the most recent types.

Traditional forms like print and social media also still make HUGE impacts. Of course, all of this depends on the style of message(s) your company puts out. Tags, links, images, designs, offers, and much more all are relevant to the strategy success. More than we could explain here.

Simple strategies we’d recommend include:

Keep the website simple. Update it regularly. Of course, make sure it’s mobile/SEO friendly. Change content and images often. Additionally, ensure there are no broken links or inaccurate info.

Images for the site and all social media posts should look and feel professional. Eye catching photos and designs attract more clicks. They also increase the length of time a reader views the page. Don’t believe us? You don’t have to. There are so many studies that back up this claim. Google it.

Hire a professional photographer. That is, hire one with experience in product or commercial photography. A wedding photographer, for example, will shoot things in a completely different manner. Likewise, with graphic designers. One that routinely creates bright elegant invitations will have a different style than one who works with industrial clients. Many in these fields won’t admit that they aren’t jack-of-all trades, but the final work will showcase the varying differences. Ask for examples of work.

Social media channels should be posted on regularly. Find the ideal post times. Or, hire an individual or team capable of making excellent social media posts. Create a buzz! Make posts that are interesting and informative. Use these channels to be a help. Highlight your team. Highlight your company’s product or service. Show off customers. These are just a few ideas.

Need some help developing a successful marketing strategy? Drop us a line https://77designco.com/contact-us-2/ for a free consultation. We are always excited to learn about your business!

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Spring Cleaning Your Business Marketing

Spring Cleaning Your Business Marketing focuses on how to clean up your business marketing to make it more efficient. Spring is here! Usually this means more cleaning and getting rid of some unwanted items. For the most part, this is also applicable for a business.

Spring cleaning your business marketing. An image of the 77 Design Co gray and orange business card and notepad along with a yellow and green sponge.
Spring Cleaning Your Business Marketing

If you want to make the most of your marketing, occasionally you need to do a little clean up. Likewise, you’ll have to consistently monitor all of it. Think of it as caring for a pet. Websites, social media, printed materials, and even your company image should be reviewed yearly. Yearly isn’t that bad! Not quite as much as pet care.

A little cleaning or updating is likely necessary. This keeps things fresh. So, let’s get into Spring Cleaning Your Business Marketing a little deeper.

Website Updates

You have a business website. Maybe it’s new or just a few years old. No need to make drastic changes. You like what you have. Ok, great! As much as you are happy with it, there’s always ways to improve!

Therefore, small changes can make a BIG difference. If there isn’t anybody updating the site regularly, plug-ins probably are out of date. New keywords can be added. You can update the images on it. Add new employee bio’s or products. Additionally, what about revising the menu and content? Taking time for these changes will keep it fresh and Google happy. However, there’s also a lot more to it than can be thoroughly explained here.

Spring Cleaning Your Business Marketing. Computer keyboard photograph
Social, Social, Social

Further, let’s get into social media. This type of marketing typically can be fruitful. That is to say, IF it’s being used properly and consistently.

Time to spring clean. For example, ask yourself, “when is the last time you invited new contacts to follow or like your page?” Have you acquired any new products or equipment? Heck, when is the last time you even posted to the page? By the same token, it’s time to clean these social media pages up. Below is a list of new and improved items you can start doing on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, or whatever pages you have:

  • New photography
  • Add videos
  • Update any new services or products
  • Do a “History of your company” post or series
  • Highlight wonderful recent projects
  • Employee bios
  • Spotlight new or long time customers. The list can go on…

In fact, the uses for social media are endless. Perhaps we will create a future blog on this topic alone.

Conclusion

Finally, along with the above mentioned, analyze what worked in the last year. At this point you can figure out where leads, messages, and calls came from.

Perhaps you are just looking to create brand recognition. Just being visible and not intentionally seeking out leads is fine too. For example, during the pandemic you just wanted your company to be helpful. Admirable. Many company’s did just that.

If leads and referrals are what you want though, time to clean. Subsequently, whatever isn’t working you may want to drop. Or, at least change. Some marketing avenues don’t work for all. Print direct mail may be better for a home improvement company than, say, a niche manufacturer. Likewise, social media may produce more for a restaurant than an auto repair shop. Drop the useless marketing or make some necessary changes after trying a while.

All of this is sort of like cleaning out the gutters. It doesn’t happen often. But, when it does things flow much smoother.

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Nothing To Do With Business

Nothing To Do With Business is an article different from any of our other blogs. We’ve been writing marketing blogs (hopefully insightful ones) for years now. Additionally, almost every blog we’ve done centers around better marketing and business.

So, we’ve decided to change it up this time around. At any rate, with baseball season (hopefully) around the corner, we’ve decided to do a baseball card style info blog. As a result, we’ll have a little fun with this particular article and share a few fun facts about the characters of 77 Design Co.

Nothing To Do With Business. An image of the orange and gray 77 Design Co business cards on a textured orange background.
Rob Hoffman-Founder/Owner

Position: Head coffee maker

Bats: Doesn’t

Throws: Left

Wins: Some

Losses: Some

Competitiveness level: Not

Western Astrological Sign: Leo, the Lion

Chinese Astrological Sign: Snake

Favorite food: Yes, all of the foods

Favorite drink: Coffee, followed by whiskey

Favorite movie: Back to the Future or Ghostbusters. (Note: TV and movies aren’t a real big deal. He tends to read more or do something else)

Favorite movie genre: Comedies, thrillers, or crime

Favorite TV series: Whatever series he is binge watching at the time. He usually reads over TV or watches how to YouTube videos

Favorite actor/actress: None

Favorite album: Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd or Abbey Road by the Beatles

Hobbies/Interests: Playing music/guitar, writing music, recording music, shooting, antiques, and refinishing old furniture

Favorite sport: Doesn’t care, may watch some college football

Office pet(s): Elsa (cat,) Starla (cat,) and Molly (dog)

Dislikes: Red Hot Chili Peppers

Bobby Drakulic-Co Owner

Position: 3rd Base

Bats: Right and Left (ambidextrous)

Throws: Right

Wins: As much as possible

Losses: As least as possible

Competitiveness level: Ultra high

Western Astrological Sign: Aries, the Ram

Chinese Astrological Sign: Dragon

Favorite food: Crab legs

Favorite drink: Coors Original or Jefferson’s Bourbon (depending on the mood)

Favorite movie: Empire Strikes Back

Favorite movie genre: Spaghetti westerns or sci-fi (depending on the mood)

Favorite TV series: Cheers

Favorite actor/actress: Clint Eastwood

Favorite album: L.A. Woman by the Doors

Hobbies/Interests: Fishing/hunting, martial arts, watching Red Sox baseball, Corvettes & muscle cars, relaxing, gardening, art, and playing catch or coaching baseball with his son

Favorite sport: Baseball and martial arts

Office pet(s): Voodoo (lab/Pitt Bull mix) and Maya (Bearded Dragon)

Dislikes: Pretentious people, mushrooms, the Yankees, and Tom Brady

Nothing to do with business. 77 Design Co gray and orange logo

We hope you enjoyed this goofy blog, Nothing To Do With Business. After all, fun and humor is a major part of our personalities. Even though it’s important to talk business, its also important have fun too. Additionally, we’d love to see your comments or thoughts. At last, if you don’t enjoy what you do…why do it?

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