Editor’s Note: The relative lack of attention and investment that some market research companies make in marketing themselves reminds me of the old saying about the shoemaker’s son going without shoes. There is more than a little irony in this situation. Recently, GreenBook co-sponsored an event featuring some of the better minds involved with marketing for market research companies. Speakers focused on several key areas – strategies, communication tactics and how to optimize (or at least improve) both. There are lessons here that many on the research company side of the business need to chew on.
Sad you missed Insights Marketing Day Denver? Check out Insights Marketing Day London, January 30th and transform your marketing strategy.
Insights Marketing Day in Denver, CO, put on by Little Bird Marketing, FieldWork and Greenbook, featured 7 speakers who are ahead of the curve in market research marketing. In one day of packed back-to-back power sessions, participants were able to add great tricks to their marketing tool bag.
1. Priscilla McKinney, CEO and Momma Bird, Little Bird Marketing
Priscilla focused on customer personas and the importance of knowing your ideal clients. She stressed the necessity behind knowing their unique pain points and tailoring your marketing to address those problems as they exist in the real world. Understand the motivators behind your clients; what gets them in the morning? What keeps them up at night? Continuing to give them value only you can provide will keep them adding to your revenue.
2. Simon Dunn, Director, Keen As Mustard Marketing
Simon focused solely on graphic design, and the 7 principles behind great composition in deliverables and advertisements:
- Hierarchy: Where do your eyes first travel when viewers see a piece of marketing? Using bold sizes and colors can draw eyes to the most important parts of your messaging.
- Alignment – With advertising, it is important that materials are easy to scan and digest. Aligning content on one axis and organizing with charts allow for a simple viewing experience for the best chance at information retention.
- Balance – The key to good composition is balancing object and text weight. This will make your marketing symmetrical and pleasurable to look at.
- Proximity – Objects in a design can be close, touching, overlapping or combined, adding different effects to relatability and the idea of parts contributing to a whole.
- Consistency – Keeping colors, fonts and other elements consistent across materials are crucial for strong branding.
- Contrast – Placing items of contrasting size and color next to or on top of each other can make important pieces in your design truly stand out. Closely related to hierarchy, contrast can direct the eye.
- White Space – Setting aside parts of the design to letting the elements breathe with white space is important to relax the viewer. This adds a clean, modern and crisp feel to the design when used correctly.
3. Tim Hughes, CEO & Co-Founder, Digital Leadership Associates
Tim’s presentation focused on the importance of social selling, and how to achieve high inbound traffic without spending a dime on ads. He explained how the traditional sell cycle is changing; by the time a prospect talks to a salesperson, they are 57% through the sales cycle. Customers are doing their due diligence, making it very important for salespeople to have strong social media presence/profiles, as well as contribute to conversations as a topic thought leader. Shifting the sales mindset to prospecting with content is essential in this social media-first climate.
4. Andy Crestodina, Co-founder & Chief Marketing Officer, Orbit Media
Andy broke down the difference between consumers who have commercial vs. informational intent. Users with informational intent are looking to be educated and rarely contribute to direct sales leads. Instead, the route to turning informational users into buyers includes a path: write good content that will become an information leader, be linked on other sites, and circle users back to the sales page after you have developed information authority. He further reviews tips on creating good content that will gain viewership:
- Create Original Content – Write authoritative, opinion-forming and well-researched content, making you the primary source of the information. Think outside of the box; what has been frequently said but lacks the data to support it?
- Collaborate with Influencers – Co-writing or getting quotes from other market leaders, bloggers, journalists or podcasters in your articles increases your credibility and searchability. It also expands the promotional network and encourages a community of content creation.
- Publish Everywhere – Don’t just stick to one platform; publish content anywhere your customers are or could be.
- Update Older Content – Updating the keywords and expanding on previous articles can revitalize them, increasing searchability and traffic. Improving on where those articles are already linked can increase viewership up to 400%
- Analyze Keyword Rankings – Making the best website on the internet for your topic requires research on what keywords users are searching in an attempt to find that content. Make a list and be sure to include each one as you are writing content.
5. Jamin Brazil, Host, Happy Market Research Podcast
Founder of the Happy Market Research Podcast, Jamin discussed the steps it takes to launch your own podcast:
- Design For Your Audience, And Yourself – Create podcasts with topics your audience wants to hear and find value in, but also things you yourself are passionate about.
- Analyze Top Podcasts – Take a closer look at your favorite podcasts and identify elements you like about each one to help craft your own unique podcast. Strike a balance between human interest and market value, working hard to win the precious time of your audience. Remember that audiences are consuming content passively, so create the best value for the time in which you have their attention.
- Cut Your Production Goals in Half – Be realistic. If you start with the goal of producing one podcast per month, truly aim for one every two months. Do what is right for you and the best fit for your business.
6. Patricia Houston, Founder & CEO, MMR Live
While most of the other presenters focused on digital strategies, Patricia focused on experiential strategy. As daunting as it sounds, marketing isn’t just a blog post, it is everything your business does and how they do it. It is a company mindset and not just a checkbox on the marketing to-do list. She focused on the eight principals of experience design:
- Employee Onboarding and Training – Culture starts with your employees. Do right by them, and they’ll do right for your customers.
- Basic Need Consideration – Be upfront with what is available for people, especially at events. Restrooms, WiFi and food/beverages are essentials but make time for other considerations such as a nursing room for mothers or ramps for wheelchairs.
- Context and Problems – Always be thinking ahead, and think through things that might happen
- Addressing All Five Senses – Consider sensory things, such as decibel levels for speakers
- Providing Value – Create meaningful events and items such as swag bags to where your employees and clients do not feel like they wasted their time.
- Creating a Feedback Loop – Use surveys to gather the opinions of both your employees and your clients, and take that feedback into consideration for changes.
- Respecting Customer Attention – Customers are busy, so respect their time and be upfront with expectations. Don’t say you will email them a monthly newsletter, but then start sending daily blasts
- Shifting the Burden – Take responsibility and place the burden to create meaningful experiences on the entire team. Marketing is anything and everything the company does.
7. Kristin Luck, Founder & Managing Partner, ScaleHouse
Kristin presented simply: how to clean the shit out of your business, and what cleansing things you can do to improve revenue and efficiency:
- Market Position – Evaluate where you fall in the market and really narrow in on your product defensibility. Do a more accurate competitive analysis to see where to really target marketing dollars.
- Sales Can Poison Marketing Performance – If marketing is bringing in leads but the sales process is not equipped for developing them, there is a big problem. Use a CRM system or other organizing method to ensure no possible revenue is falling to the wayside.
- Make Sure Leads Aren’t Ending Up in the Toilet – It takes about 20 points of contact for a lead to convert, so make sure you are working them hard and have the process clearly laid out.
- Don’t Crap on Existing Clients – Don’t be so hyper-focused on getting new customers that you disregard the ones you have. Focus on the bigger customer relationships, not just individual projects. Ensure that your churn is no more than 20%, or you need to do a better job of maintaining clients
- Watch Out for the Wrong Players – The wrong kind of players can cause the wrong kind of business disruption. Growth is hard, and sometimes the earliest employees or clients can experience the most amount of change. Always ensure you are making the best business decisions for the company.
This article was originally published by PureSpectrum.