Tag Archive for Strategy

Mobile marketing

Among the vast array of technologies that have changed the way companies handle marketing, one of the most prominent innovations are smartphones. Just think about how often you check your smartphone everyday.

Mobile marketing is a multi-channel strategy which includes a wide range of activities that connect advertisers to a broader customer base through mobile devices and networks.

This is excellent for marketers since it increases the value of the advertising that gets through.

When done right, this type of marketing provides customers with personalized information so they can get what they need exactly when they need it.  Basically, it is a win-win!

Being early adopters of this marketing trend gave many renewed brands a tremendous advantage over their competitors.

Below, an infographic created by App Geeks about the advantages of  using mobile marketing.

Source:  appgeeks.org

 

5 tips to bring your global brand to a local audience

If your market is becoming increasingly saturated you might consider growing your business further afield. Take care though, what works in your native country might not always work in a foreign market.

Here are 5 tips to localise your global marketing campaigns.

  1. Think global – act human:
    A global company like Coca-Cola have their marketing campaigns revolve around people enjoying their products. The universal message used to frame this perceived emotion was ‘Always Coca-Cola’ which was then translated into different languages but the core message wasn’t the same. A more recent campaign was the ‘Share a Coke’ campaign which was first trialled in Australia and New Zealand in 2011 and saw a 7% increase in sales. This campaign was then subsequently rolled out globally. The message is simple and couldn’t possibly offend anyone.
  2. Research: When Proctor & Gamble first launched Pamper nappies in Japan it had a stork delivering a baby on the packaging. This packaging was effective in the U.S. but sales struggled in Japan as parents became confused by the image of the stork. It is recommended that you review your marketing collateral before launching your products in a foreign country.

    global

  1. Streamline content:
    To ensure your brand is visually consistent globally it is worth putting effort in creating assets, campaign resources and brand guidelines that can be used everywhere.
  2. Adapt to local marketing expectations:
    Expectations will vary per culture, for instance in the U.S. delivery is a key performance indicator and they prefer their goods to be delivered quickly, whereas France is much more focused on quality and delivery isn’t as much of an issue. Highlight these aspects in your communication.
  3. Global world: With social media messages spreading across the world much quicker – your cousin in the U.S., for instance, might complain about his level of service and you maybe based in the UK and this will still pop up on your time line. Customer service should be key and a global effort.

If you are looking to launch your campaign on a global level get in touch with your Comvort local agency partner today.

Professional Guest post by OWB-UK. (Agency Comvort Member since 2009).

International trade opens a world of opportunities and offers companies access to new customers, revenue and ideas

Interview with Teresa Gualtieri, UK Trade & Investment Manager who gives us an insight of the current state of the digital landscape and her advice for any businesses looking to maximise their digital outreach.

Teresa Gualtieri

Teresa Gualtieri, UK Trade & Investment Manager.

 

What advice would you give to companies looking to trade internationally?
International trade opens a world of opportunities and offers companies access to new customers, revenue and ideas that can boost a company’s profile, credibility and bottom line. Like any other major business project, research and planning are absolutely crucial to success, as well as pulling together the essential know-how, resources and team of professionals. The experience and expertise gained in the domestic market is also invaluable and the passionate belief in your product or service is no less important.

Is there anything you need to bear in mind with cross-border e-commerce?
Every country has its own tax system, covering issues such as sales tax. As you export, it’s critical that you understand these rules and comply. Similarly, you need to know what your legal obligations will be in the new market you’re entering. This includes local laws, product standards and regulations. For example in some countries you may need to modify your product, packaging or even get your goods inspected and approved before they can be sold there.

Also, it’s critical that you have an understanding of how Intellectual Property Rights vary across your markets to protect your brand and ideas.

Have there been any recent developments that you’ve been made aware of?
Yes of course, regulations change quite often, especially in the e-commerce sector. For example, the US has recently expanded the dollar limit under which shipments can be admitted to the US with no duty, fee or tax and with a bare minimum of customs formalities.

The limit had been set at $200 for over twenty years but the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 was signed into law by President Obama last February.  The most comprehensive customs legislation in over twenty years, the Act sets a new limit at $800. Another example is the ‘positive’ list for 1,142 commodities permissible to be sold through cross border e-commerce in China which was released last month. The list partially or completely prohibits importation of infant formula milk, health foods, food for special medical benefits, fresh foods, and others. Or – always regarding the Chinese cross border e-commerce – the new duty rates for items sent directly through the postal system and through free trade zones have been in place since April 8th 2016.

What are your expectations for future digital trading?
The combination of technology and the services it enables is stimulating consumer activity as society spends more and more time online. Mobile devices have driven this change with sales of smartphones and tablets surpassing laptops and desktops in recent years. Activity on social media platforms reflect this transition to an “always-on” culture and for many brands mobile is the strategic growth channel amongst the range of channels they operate. If mobile devices have already changed the way consumers shop, wearable technology will reinforce the ability of consumers to buy anywhere and do so when and how it suits them. When the consumer is “always on” and the market consists of multiple touch points for display and others for sell-through, the market is literally everywhere. Brands will need to stand out and be destinations that consumers want to spend time with during and outside of the buying cycle. Without this they will be lost as more and more companies of all types compete for screen time with consumers. Brand owners will need to adopt the mentality of media companies, invest strategically in content and understand the best channels to distribute it, by optimising the mix of owned media, earned media and paid‐for media.

How can you optimise your website for an international audience?
I would start from planning an international domain strategy and decide whether to use a Top Level Domain or a country code Top Level Domain. There is an interesting article by MOZ that I always recommend my clients to read because it sheds light on some important technical elements that not all businesses are aware of – The Guide to International Website Expansion.

Keyword Analysis is vital. If you create one keyword list and assume it will serve your SEO purposes across all the countries you target, you definitely won’t be targeting your audience in those countries effectively. Different keywords may cater to different audiences depending on location, so you need to identify which keywords are most popular in each country you’re targeting, and optimize the pages on that country’s website accordingly. In addition, remember that even a correct and accurate translation of a keyword or term may not be what people actually use to search for a product or service locally.

Speaking of translations, they are also a key element if you target markets where English is not the first language spoken. Definitely stay away from machine translations. They often sound robotic, unnatural, and sometimes, completely nonsensical to anyone who speaks the language natively. Publishing poor quality content on your website can undermine your company’s credibility to an international audience. Get help instead from someone who is fluent in the language you’re creating content for, ideally someone who is not just a translator but also a copywriter, or someone with some technical knowledge who understands your products or services clearly.

Localise content to each market. Currency, contact details, sizes, measurements, visual elements (images and what’s pictured in them), characters accepted in contact forms, tone of voice (formal vs. informal), page layout (some languages take 25% more space than English), dates and times, payment and shipping options, customer service in the local language…this list could go on and on!

If you’re going to export successfully – whether it is through your website or not – you need to understand the language, traditions and ways of doing business in your new market. Then your website should reflect these. By making this a central part of your strategic approach to exporting, you can help to build your new customers’ trust and confidence in your company.

What are the benefits of being part of an international marketing network like Comvort?
Easy access to key information and contacts are definitely the top two advantages of being part of an international network like Comvort. If you are looking to export to the UK please get in touch with UK Trade and Investment as there are professional advisers in more than 100 countries.

Professional Guest post by OWB-UK. (Agency Comvort Member since 2009).

*On behalf the Comvort Group, many thanks OWB and UKTI for the time in giving our members and readers all these interesting tips.

How Corporate Gifts can be used to Promote Your Business

Corporate gift business

How Corporate Gifts can be used to Promote Your Business

Business gifts have been used for many years as a way to say “thank you” and either build new relationships or solidify existing relationships. Gifts are usually given to suppliers, customers and even to employees. Alongside their role in improving relationships they can also serve as an additional way of advertising your business. The following steps should be adhered to; this will maximize the promotional prospects of your gifts:

Understand the gift

Everyone loves to get something for nothing and business gifts are especially good as people will never know what is going to be offered. There is a huge array of choices; from pens to clothing or even furniture! Your decision as to what gift to provide must be based upon your budget and what will most appeal to your target customer.

Promotional gifts

A gift can include a discount in respect of a specific purchase on your website. It can even be a generalized discount. Customers will be thrilled to get the gift and will visit your site when they may not otherwise have done so. This can be an excellent ploy to increase sales without pushing your business.

Excitement

The business gift has become a common place item and it can be difficult to come up with a new idea which gets potential customers excited. It is worth spending some time thinking of a new idea or concept. The promotional value and interest which can be generated by a simple campaign for a quality gift will provide better returns than thousands of dollars worth of advertising.

Have a budget in mind

It is important to view money spent on promotional gifts as investment and not money thrown away. With this in mind you need to set a budget for promotional gifts across the year. You will then be able to get your gifts to suppliers and customers at all times of the year; don’t just wait for the big holidays. This is an excellent tool for keeping your company in their thoughts at all times.

corporte gift

Focus on promotional value

Never underestimate the value of giving away small gifts at exhibitions and invents. The amount of people that you will expose to your products is phenomenal. Every visitor who takes a gift will have several contacts who they share the gift or news of the gift with. There are also many people who visit exhibitions simply to collect the gifts. This may appear to be a waste of materials but every one of these can be an additional sale and will know others who will be introduced to your company name and brand.

Loyalty

It is essential to ensure that your loyal customers receive the free gift on offer, or, if possible, a better gift. This is simply good business sense. They will become aware of the promotional gifts you are offering and if you have not included them already they will consider what value you are placing on the relationship. This may be enough for them to take their business elsewhere! Always ensure they receive the gift first, they have a presence in your industry and word of mouth is a very powerful force. Their recommendation to others can increase your sales.

The gift

Finally, it is essential, and surprisingly often overlooked, to provide your business name and contact details on the gift. Without this the gift has a lot less value! Potential customers need to be able to contact you. It is always advisable to have the contact email or phone number fairly large with a one line caption that will ensure they know what you are selling. Your company name is actually slightly less important! Of course, if you have a recognized logo this can provide most of this information in one go!

corporte gift

Corporate gifts are good marketing. They’re ideal for companies that want to boost sales, grab attention and make people curious. If your goal is to promote your business, than using gifts is a smart advertising strategy. Conventional items such as mugs, pens, shirts, hats, and notebooks may seem boring; but they have the greatest impact. An employee who chooses to wear a t-shirt with your company logo imprinted will instantly make viewers want to know more; the more people wear that t-shirt the better chances you have to help your start-up thrive.

Professional guest post by John Smith (VeritasGifts.co.uk!)

5 Tips to Get Your Salary Back up to Market Value

It is a sad fact of life than many employers will not offer a salary increase unless you ask for it. Larger firms may offer regular, inflationary increases but this will not be the significant gesture that your hard work deserves. Provided you have been consistently working hard and have been with the company for a while then the following tips should help you achieve the raise you deserve.

Negotiating a pay rise Comvort Blog

  1. Know the right time to ask for a raise

Once you have worked at a company for a while you will come to understand your boss’s moods and when might be the best time to approach regarding this sensitive subject. Provided you have not recently messed up and the company is doing well you should request a meeting with your boss to discuss your current work and pay. Never spring this subject on them.

If you’re planning to negotiate, make sure to do it properly. Assess your options and don’t go overboard; negotiate for what’s rightfully yours. For example, if you’re been with the company for 3 years, then you are entitled to a raise. Start the negotiation with an emphasis on the main reasons you deserve to receive more money. Provided that have the right arguments you have the best chances of getting that 3% raise. Show them that you’re valuable and they won’t risk losing you.

  1. Focus on your industry

It is essential to know how much other people within your industry are being paid. It is not likely that your boss will dramatically increase your salary if you are already being paid the going rate for your position. Your HR department may be able to assist with this or one of the many websites which offer pay comparisons.

Knowing how much similar positions are worth across the industry is a good starting point. From there you need to look at what you do which is above and beyond the normal call of duty. These factors should be listed so that you can refer to them in a meeting. If you have been with the company for a long time or it has been a long time since you had a raise it is essential to make a note of this information and use it in your meeting. Keep copies of your research to support where you are getting your figures from. It is also imperative to collect information together regarding specific projects and have this to hand for your meeting.

  1. Never threaten and always have a back-up

The worst thing you can do when asking for a raise is threaten to leave. This looks unprofessional and may also leave you in a position. If you really need to use this approach you should ensure you have a new job offer lined up first. It is essential to consider your boss’s response and reasoning and then to prepare a back-up plan to fight this contingency. One scenario may simply involve your boss saying no to a raise. It is perfectly acceptable to ask why this is and when a more appropriate time would be. Whatever your boss’s response you will be able to take a note of his words and document proof in order to call a new meeting in another two or three months.

  1. Stick to the truth

It is imperative to have solid facts and to tell the truth when negotiating a raise. If you do not you will be caught out and the raise refused or your boss will find out later. Either way this will not make for a comfortable working relationship.

Equally if you feel you are worth an extra $5,000 but are not sure the company will go that high you still need to ask and back up your request with evidence. If you as for less you may get it but you will never know if you could have got what you are worth and you will remain with the feeling of being underpaid.

No guns Comvort Blog

  1. Value and emotional connection

It can be very beneficial when requesting a raise to point out to your boss the value which you bring to the company. Your value will be in your knowledge of the work processes and can even be a reflection of the cost of extensively training a replacement. Facts are essential to back up any claim. You need your boss to have empathy for your request and this means they should relate to you. Any request meeting should start with how grateful you are for the employment and what the company has done for you so far. It can also be useful to hint at your excitement regarding the future of the company and you within that future.

Professional Guest post by Jason Phillips and TheGapPartnership.com!