Q: What is marketing research, and how is it most effective?
A: Simply stated, marketing research is gathering, analyzing and recording information about your target audience, your business, your competition, and any other demographics that will help you market efficiently. For example, begin with analyzing the overall market and identify who you wish to target. Competition research comes next because you have to know what you’re up against. Once marketing research is complete, then you can proceed with forming and implementing your marketing plan.
Q: How do you build a successful marketing strategy?
A: Building a marketing strategy requires a great deal of research, planning and analysis. Successful marketing strategies begin with defining objectives, redefining goals (personal and professional), detailing plans and programs, analyzing market research, and staying within your budget. Once you’ve tightened up your goals, evaluate which mediums (i.e.- print, internet, social media, etc.) will most effectively help your business. Don’t forget to analyze your performance with proper tracking programs to ensure that your dollars are being spent effectively.
Q: What kind of result can I expect from implementing a marketing plan?
A: McCauley Marketing Services is a results centered company. While every marketing plan will identify goals specific to their respective business, our constant communication with you will keep you abreast of what progress is being made and what results are reasonable to expect. Our company’s mission is to manage and grow the relationship you have with your clients and to manage and foster the relationships we have with our customers- YOU. Our success is merely a reflection of your business’ success.
Q: With all this digital marketing, do I really still need to have business cards printed?
A: Yes! Printed materials are integral to any marketing strategy. Even if the bulk of your customers come from your website, chances are customers won’t remember that website, or tell a friend about your amazing business without having a written reminder of who you are. The survival of the magazine industry, despite the economy, is further proof that there is power in print!
Q: I often hear that print advertising is dead. Why do people still waste money on it?
A: If people are spending money on print advertising, it’s probably safe to say it isn’t dead. A general rule at McCauley is “don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” If you spend all your advertising money in one area, you’re probably only reaching one type of audience. Instead, consider spreading the money out over multiple outlets to reach more people. Print advertising done well is not dead; however, it’s important to do your research, finding outlets and creating ads that target your specific audience.
Q: I created a website for my company, isn’t that enough?
A: Creating your company’s own website is a great start, but it’s only the beginning. There’s no point in creating a website if no one can find it or ever sees it. Web building is an ongoing process. You have to get your brand and your website out there to get traffic on your site. Blog writing, social media, webpage content updates, business cards, flyers, etc. are all great ways to get people on your site. Buying advertisements on other websites and submitting information to online directories will also help direct traffic to your site.
Q: I thought marketing and public relations were only things “big” businesses use?
A: Marketing and public relations are useful to ALL businesses. As the famous adage states, “A business with no sign is a sign of no business.” You can’t increase the amount of customers you have if nobody knows who you are or what you do. The beauty of marketing and PR is its adaptability and reach. With all of the media outlets McCauley Marketing Service professionals have access to, we CAN reach your business’ demographic.
Q: If I get someone else to do my marketing, won’t my business lose its “personality?”
A: You might have heard that about larger corporate centered marketing firms, but the opposite is true of McCauley Marketing Services. Our initial objective with any client is to identify what makes your business unique. Understanding your business’ “personality” helps us construct your one-of-a-kind brand. We foster that image throughout the marketing process to help you gain the consumer attention you need. Also, as a McCauley Marketing Services client, we are in constant communication with you regarding your marketing plan implementation and adjust our actions in conjunction with your feedback and the evolution of your business.
Q: How do I convey my business’ brand effectively in marketing?
A: As we stated earlier, your company’s brand should be a direct reflection of your company’s mission, goals, and services. If your brand and marketing plan are well thought out and true to your company’s values and personality, you should have no trouble conveying it effectively. Unclear branding= ineffective, potentially confusing marketing.
Q: Can I text business communication?
A: Texting for business communication should be limited to those individuals you are particularly close with, or those whom you are communicating casually. Detail is limited with texting, so you should most assuredly exclude this method for questions whose responses are very complex or need to convey emotion.
Q: I don’t regularly use Facebook or Twitter, can it still be part of my marketing plan?
A: Absolutely! We understand that the world of Social Media, Facebook, and blogging is a little foreign to some. Our on-staff copy writers and computer programmers are extremely well versed in the usage of Social Media Outlets, and understand how to integrate your business’ brand identity as well as your personality so that you are shown in positive light that is attractive to new customers.
Q: I tweet and Facebook, why do I need to blog?
A: While it’s true that Twitter and Facebook have become the information sharing mainstays for individuals, blogs are vital to businesses. People who know each other personally can effectively communicate in 140 characters or less, but consumers better value businesses that take the time to explain their views, summarize industry news, and thoughtfully respond to customer questions. Blogs allow businesses to establish relationships and brands better than mass amounts of FB messaging or tweet squawking.
Q: I’m a social media pro with over 700 Facebook friends, do I still need to network in person?
A: Absolutely! While you may feel “connected” to all your social media “friends,” they are all so inundated by digital messages they probably don’t remember you as well as they should. By meeting a contact in person; you have a bigger opportunity to leave a lasting, human impression. If you run into a potential contact, ask them to coffee or take them to lunch- they’ll remember the time you took to care about their needs by later helping you.
Q: Is LinkedIn as important for social media marketing as Facebook or Twitter?
A: Yes, LinkedIn is another valuable social media marketing tool for small business. The difference among the sites is the audience. While social media is an ever-changing industry, overall, LinkedIn has professionally minded individuals and companies networking to further their careers and businesses. Therefore, the tones of LinkedIn posts tend to be a bit more formal with more selective networks (i.e. – those you would actually work with/ have worked with).
Q: Is it rude to correspond with someone over Facebook, instead of email, for business matters?
A: Email, while hard to imagine, is the more formal of the two communication methods. Most professionals answer Facebook messages faster than email as it is usually seen as a quick, instant response, but shouldn’t be used unless you personally know the person you are in communication with or the tone of the message is distinctly casual. Additionally, if you choose to correspond via Facebook make sure you are using the correct messaging feature so your correspondence isn’t broadcast unnecessarily.
Q: Is Twitter a reputable “news” source?
A: Just like any other digital content, Twitter reputation is best determined using sound personal judgment. Daily news organizations, entertainment publications, and industry-specific associations can be particularly helpful.
Q: Everyone talks about the importance of social media in building a business, but there are some people who have requested to be my “friends” on Facebook and connect with me on LinkedIn that I don’t know. Is it unprofessional to not approve a “friend” or “follow” request?
A: No, it speaks a lot more highly of your professional reputation to screen who you are connected with than having to go back and perform damage control on spam or unprofessional material posted by a little known connection. You must exercise good judgment when approving connection requests: the more “friends” and “followers” you have, the further your message reaches, but it may not be worth the time and effort of patrolling these connections if you think they are likely to become trouble.
Q: I’m really big into networking through social media for business. Is that a bad thing?
A: No, it’s not a bad thing to network through social media. That’s the whole point of social media, and it can be very powerful. The only thing that can make it counterproductive is losing the personal connection. Being remembered as a profile picture or a Twitter name is not as effective as being remembered as the client who sent the “nice to meet you” letter (hand written, not emailed). Get out there, meet new (real) people, and educate them on what makes your business so wonderful.