Is Your Marketing Working?

Is your marketing working for your business? This blog we take a look at measuring the success of your marketing strategy. Equally important, the connection you currently have (or don’t) with your marketing firm.

You undoubtedly put hard earned money and trust into whomever you chose to work with. Subsequently, you’d like to see some return. We’ll focus on some things that you should be getting when hiring a marketing firm to do the work.

Is your marketing working. Image of the orange and grey 77 Design co business card on white paper with a pen.
Measuring Success

At the time of this writing, we just left a long time clients office. What did we do there? We discussed analytics and future strategy together. For the most part, we chatted and caught up on things both personal and professional. This matters. Why? Because it builds trust and strengthens both relationships.

It’s a good idea to find a firm that will evaluate all of the strategy with you. This morning we discussed our clients SEO, website analytics, social media numbers, and goals for the coming months. When Client X had questions, we had answers.

Not everything was hunky dory. Our client had fallen in a few SEO rankings and wanted to know why. For this reason, we explained the lack of communication during their busy season had altered what we were doing regularly. To clarify, we didn’t make any moves without their approval. Their approval was never granted. Communication ceased for a bit and it hurt them in rankings.

Regardless, they understood. We then moved along to what we can do to improve together. Measuring success doesn’t always involve leads, calls, and tracking numbers. Sometimes, it’s simply just discussing how to improve what ultimately leads to those higher numbers and ranking.

Connection

We asked, “is your marketing working?” as a lead in title to this blog. The connection between client and marketing firm should be something truly special. You’ll want to know someone is working with you to better your business. Also, to help make you more money and improve leads. As a matter of fact, the marketing firm should learn as much about your business as possible. This is the only way to create content that works. Connecting with clients on a regular basis will undoubtedly improve the marketing.

Is your marketing working for you? Image of dollar bills and coins laying on glass with the 77 Design Co business card.

What new products or services do you have? Your marketing company needs to know.

Is there something you don’t offer anymore, or don’t really want to promote? Your marketing company needs to know.

Have there been any changes to your personal life that may affect your business? Your marketing company needs to know.

At any rate, you get the point. The marketing company has to be involved in some day to day at least. We’d even argue that the marketing company should immerse themselves in your business.

Posting canned social media posts…ain’t gonna cut it!

Building a website with all irrelevant stock imagery…ain’t gonna cut it!

Creating a logo and other branding without input from the owner or decision maker, you guessed it…ain’t gonna cut it!

Where’s the personality? How can customers identify with the business? The connection between the marketing firm and client needs to be deep. It also needs to be coupled with some creativity and innovation.

Marketing + Connection = Success.

Finally, as we mentioned above, build a strong connection with your marketer(s). Look to build the relationship and look to make sure they care as much about your business as you. Working together will help everyone thrive simultaneously!

Is your marketing working?

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Analyze. Create. Achieve.

Make Your Business More Marketable

Hola! Our double 7’s blog this week focuses on how to make your business more marketable. Likewise, more profitable.

We’ll share a few strategies you can implement. These will help increase reach, engagement, attention, and ultimately profit. Whether you are a small sole proprietor with little marketing budget, or a large corporation with dollars to spend, there are ways of easily making your business more marketable.

Make your business more marketable. Image of dollar bills and coins laying on glass with the 77 Design Co business card.

Let’s get to it:

Avoid confusing industry jargon or babble.

First thing to remember, not everyone will understand your business. Avoid using acronyms that may be confusing to others outside your industry. That is to say, keep marketing simple.

If you have to use them, give a brief description. Marketing promotes and helps sell a product or service best when illustrated creatively and the content is minimal. Too much info or too many choices will create consumer confusion. Read more from Wikipedia below: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consumer_confusion

Create stories.

By all means, create stories! Another key to make your business more marketable is by sharing interesting stories. So, why did you get started in your profession? Is there a long history of your profession or the business? Talk about employees or customers. Make a good story and the marketing will take care of itself.

One of our clients has been around since the early 1900’s. We discussed this with them. There’s undoubtedly great stories to share there! Lots of stories, in fact. Customers love longevity in business. They wouldn’t be around still if they weren’t doing things right. Share that!

Humor always wins.
Make your business more marketable. Image of a coffee mug turned into a smiling face.

Humor is so underrated in the marketing world. Customers resonate with a brand that has fun. Likewise, we’re positive somewhere in the internet world there are statistics to back that claim up.

We don’t take ourselves too seriously at 77, unless the situation calls for it. So, it’s always a good idea to show personality and humor. As long as it’s in good taste. Stay away from sticky subjects like politics, race, or offensive material, but have fun.

Make funny posts. Take jabs at yourself or your industry. Share funny projects or situations. Humor’s especially effective for social media marketing.

Talk success.

No. Don’t brag. However, share success stories (see create stories above) about how you helped a customer. Let people know how you help. Why does your product/service stand out from a competitors?

Make your business more marketable by showing others what you can do. This can come in the form of photos, written content, videos, or even design. For example, if you own an auto repair shop, make a short video about what you repaired. Show how you repaired it. Interview the customer. Share it with the world.

Conclusion.

In conclusion, there are many other ways you can think of that will make your business more marketable. The above are just to get the ball rolling and give you some ideas.

Marketing is so vast and has so many different layers. Utilize your social media channels, brochures, signage, website, and/or printed materials to show some personality for the business. We’re sure you’ll see gains in leads, calls, brand recognition, and eventually income.

Marketing. White 77 Design Co logo

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Using Creativity in Marketing

It’s no secret that using creativity in marketing translates into success. Whether it’s a T.V commercial or a direct mailer design, customers love ingenuity and originality. This blog will explore some creative measures you can take to up your company’s marketing game.

What is creativity…really?
Using creativity in marketing. Photograph of multi colored paint brushes and records.
Creativity is essential in marketing

Creativity is subjective. For example, what one may think is aesthetic another may not. At this point, let’s look at the actual definition. Merriam-Webster defines creativity as: “1: the ability to create //her artistic creativity 2: the quality of being creative” —–> https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/creativity

Pretty vague. You get the point though. Creativity can be minimal or complex. Much like the definition. One of the things we learn in grade school art class is that nothing can be wrong as long as some imagination is applied. The same is true even in college art classes. Instructors look for imagination and passion in a work. When they see lackluster effort the grade slips.

The same is applicable in marketing. Slogans, logos, photography, websites, and more all should be creative. Further, the first thing we hear from a new client is, what? Take a guess. Yep. You guessed it, “I want it to be creative.” At any rate that’s the point!

If our creativity is lacking that customer will not want to work with us. Consumers think the same way. They just aren’t aware of it in many cases. If the creativity lacks, the message is lost. Likewise, the grade slips. So, when something catches their eye, it resonates.

Creativity isn’t always easy.

It’s important to realize that creativity doesn’t come naturally to everyone. After all even the world’s greatest artists historically struggled from time to time. You know the saying, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” Similarly, it took Michelangelo roughly 4-5 years to paint the Sistine Chapel. He undoubtedly hit creative blocks during that process.

Here are a few things to think about when creating materials for your business:
  • Photography. Does the image tell a story? Is it perfectly focused, exposed, and composed? Ask yourself these questions before using an image in marketing. Don’t know what those photographic elements above mean? Google them! Include pattern, texture, or a pop in color. Make the photo(s) as creative as possible.
  • Graphic Design. Likewise as above. Does the design use complementary colors to the brand? Is the logo properly placed? Additionally, it should tell a story. Customers will notice. Any design work for brochures, signage, and other print will need to match your company’s brand image. Including alternate colors or fonts/typefaces will send mixed signals. Stay cohesive.
  • Website. The site needs to function properly. It should also look like your business cards and other marketing materials. Be creative but also simple. We’ve found simplicity over complexity for sites is better. It keeps a clean look. Many customers will want to stay on a site that’s easier to use too. Of course, mobile friendly as well.
  • Social Media. All social media pages will need to match the brand. This includes the messaging content of posts too. These pages are reflective of the company. Equally important, be sure to keep the logo visible. Social media is social. That’s what it’s meant for. However, it is also a great way to create brand identifiability. Make creative and interesting posts for others to engage with.
Screen shot image of the 77 Design Co Facebook page with orange logo. Using creativity in marketing.
Final Thoughts.

Creativity is one of the most useful tools you can apply to your marketing. The uses of color, line, composition etc are all powerful tools in art. These elements take a “meh” marketing piece and can turn it into a “WOW!” Finally, a brand that shows creativity in all aspects of marketing will stand out.

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Running a Marketing Company

Running a marketing company has its ups and downs. Like any other business. All things considered though, there are more ups than downs. We can’t complain. This blog we will take a look at some of the behind the scenes things involved in owning and running a marketing company.

Marketing spelled out with Scrabble pieces and colored markers with a 77 Design Co business card.
Ups

Firstly, let’s talk about the fun and positive aspects of running a marketing company. It is an interesting job and dynamic here at 77. We’ve worked for others in the past and developed a sense of what we want/don’t want our company to be like.

10 Fun Things:
  • You get to work mainly from home. At least in our case. There are times of running around to meetings or commercial photography shoots, but the majority of the time is home at the computer.
  • Watching a company grow. It’s fun to start working with a business that is not doing any marketing and then seeing them grow where they want to be.
  • Meeting new “friends.” We understand business is business and work is work. However, there are instances in which our clients also become our friends and closest allies. Being that it’s relatively evident from the start that we only have their best interests and success in mind, great relationships form from this.
  • When you want to take a break, you can. Just go. Unless there are pressing urgent issues it’s easy to duck out and stretch your feet or back. Believe us, stretching out the back or neck is a necessity!
  • Seeing family more than working away from home. This is great, unless your kid nags you to play with them.
  • It’s fun…most of the time. You get to be creative in many cases. Creating new things to utilize in marketing campaigns is fun.
  • The money isn’t bad. It all depends on the work. Everyone always wishes for more but we won’t complain especially in this current economic environment.
  • Getting to meet new people and learning more about different industries. As a marketer (at least one that really immerses themselves into their clients’ business) it’s cool to find out new interesting things about other businesses.
  • Work schedule. We run a tight ship here at 77, but we also allow for time off when possible.
  • Not having to pay (much) for coffee. We still buy our own, but it’s much less and more accessible than working in an office.
Running a Marketing Company. Pen, keyboard, and flash drive image in inverted black and white color.
Things That Suck

We’ll use the term suck loosely. As stated above, there are more positives than negatives. However, to be realistic, here are a few things that aren’t fun.

  • The workload…sometimes. There are times when things get to be extremely overwhelming. We understand that we are the face for many companies that we work with, but too many projects at once can get stressful.
  • Clients that don’t pay, or don’t pay on time. Like any business 77 Design Co also has bills to pay both professionally and personally. This makes it difficult at times.
  • Back and neck pain. <see bullet point 4 above> Working from a computer all day can be a pain in the neck…literally!
  • Deadlines. Deadlines that are agreed upon must be met. We’ll work with the client to create a feasible deadline on a project. This also means working late late late from time to time.

That’s it. These lists could probably grow a little more but for the sake of keeping this blog to a minimum and not boring you we’ll end here. In conclusion, We have fun with our business and still get the work completed accurately. If you are looking for a marketing company that isn’t a bother to you, or just to put things out there for the sake of it, we probably aren’t your company. Thanks for reading!

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Some Benefits to Blogging

77 Design Co business card, keyboard, and flash drive.

What are some benefits to blogging? You undoubtedly hear this all the time from marketers, “you should blog for your business.” Well, there’s good reasons for it!

By all means, don’t just take our word for it. Look it up for yourself. Here is an article from The Atlantic that discusses blogs and blogging in more depth and what it is: https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2008/11/why-i-blog/307060/

77 Design Co business card, keyboard, and flash drive.

Certainly, a blog should be used accordingly. It is a way to communicate to your legion of customers. Don’t have a legion of customers? Start blogging. Blogs are a great way to build a following.

Some reasons why to blog:

First, it WILL help your business. Blogs need to be consistent though. They need to be written and posted consistently. Create a calendar. Whether that is day to day or month to month. Be consistent in writing and posting blogs.

One of the first reasons is that a well written and informative blog will help your business tell a story. Telling stories is everything in marketing. Any marketer will tell you that. It is a means to explain what you do. You’ll be able to write about how something is made. Share stories of your team. Hell, detail the history of your company if it’s interesting. The possibilities are endless. Go weave a story, or hire someone to write it.

More:

Also, some benefits to blogging additionally include adding a little creativity. Photographs, designs, and/or videos always catch the eye. A bit of creativity can go a long way. Want your audience to continue reading? Break it up with imagery. As we’ve stated in the past, a readers eyes will always go to an image faster than just text.

For example, next time you catch yourself reading an article or blog make a note to yourself how it is broken up by one of the above. Further, while writing your own blog think of ways to bring in creative images or graphics to make the point.

Some benefits to blogging. Image of scrabble pieces spelling marketing.
Next:

Lastly, let’s briefly discuss SEO. If done correctly blogs will help Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for your website. In short, this means increased Google rankings. This section could go on for pages explaining how, so we will keep it short.

Focus on using keywords. Do your research to find the best keywords. Add alt text to the images you post. Size or compress these images accordingly. This will help the speed and loading times. Utilize headings in your blog posts. Write a meta description for the post. The list goes on and on for what Google is looking for. Accurately following these guidelines though will reward your site/blog post.

Most importantly, write a well thought out and planned blog. It’s better to pass along great content and info than worry too much about the SEO side of things. So, there you have it…start a blog today!

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Marketing Stats to Ponder

Marketing stats to ponder! Yes, we get it statistics can be boring unless you are a numbers type of person. As a creative marketing agency we are more about the visual and content stuff. However, statistics are important too. That’s the point of the blog this month.

We found these stats to be quite interesting https://www.marketingcharts.com/featured-112414 and if you own a business you may want to take a gander.

Marketing Stats to Ponder. Computer keyboard and shadows.

Typically we discuss things like image quality, design work, color, or the overall look and feel of websites and marketing materials. Branding itself is quite important. On the other hand stats tell their own story.

If you haven’t yet clicked the link above and are still reading we encourage you to do so. Obviously you have some interest in the subject. Although the article was from August 2020 many of these numbers we expect to be the same or higher rolling into 2021. Nevertheless we’ll break down a few things here.

Breaking it Down

Firstly, let’s tackle the “36% US ad spending” in local and regional markets. This is a significant number. Why? Because even large companies realize local and regional customers are a necessity. Belonging to a community and positioning your business locally can lead to huge gains. It will undoubtedly generate many leads as well. All of this of course is pending how you are marketing, what the good or service is, what marketing avenues are being used, and the story it is telling through its marketing strategy.

We’ve found through our work with several local companies that people want to know who the business is. They want to see the owners, employees, and products. Customers feel a connection when the content isn’t always sell sell sell. Custom videos and imagery are a few ways to connect locally. Written stories about these people and products/services also help. The companies we’ve been working with are seeing tremendous results too! If you’d like to know more or want to speak to them yourself just drop us a line. We’ll put you in touch.

Correspondingly, helping neighbors is more important now than in the pre-Corona days. Offering a quality service or product that people can trust and rely on locally are what many are looking for nowadays. If you are using a large national or international marketing firm, you may want to look locally. There are options 🙂 Some marketing stats to ponder!

Options for marketing. Orange 77 Design Co business card and shadow pointing to option button. Marketing stats to ponder.
Options.
Breaking Down More

Next, we have the 75% “using paid social” and display. Our take on this number is that it’s probably not 75%. It’s more likely that 75% said they would be using social. Does posting a few times every month or year count? How often would they be posting? What platforms are they using? What is the content? There are variables here. All of that makes a difference.

Absolutely social matters in todays marketing. And we love that 75% find it worthy to note. However, how it is done, the message being conveyed, and images or videos being used are going to determine its success. That is not to mention tags and times of day when posts are being made along with much more. All of this is relevant. Some more marketing stats to ponder!

Even More

Needless to say these statistics are very in depth. The source did a fantastic job laying out charts, graphs, and information to make them understandable.

Let’s scroll down more to the section “Coronavirus’ Growing Impact on Advertising Efforts.” Next we look at the second bullet point under Marketers. “Ad messages that address the coronavirus pandemic are resonating with consumers. Ace Metrix found that COVID-19 ads are scoring higher on Relevance (+18%), Likability (+11%) and Information (+12%) than the all-industry norm.”

This is important to remember. Not only are customers seemingly interested in corona messages but it also helps the relevance and likability. Sticking your head in the sand and not tackling important issues doesn’t help. Doing nothing is just as bad. With that being said, your business message should steer clear from controversial messages. If your business can help others through this pandemic mess marketing that message needs to be concise. Content is king. It’s super important how you present your company.

There’s a lot more marketing stats to ponder in the given link. As has been noted, take a look at them. See what you can do for your business.

Need more help? Other questions on what your business can do? Our FREE marketing consultation is offered to any business looking to get on the right track. https://77designco.com/services-2/

Analyze. Create. Achieve.

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