Category Archives: marketing

Team SMG a Year in Review

Team SMG – A Year in Review

With Christmas and the end

of chapter 2017 so near,

 

Team SMG reflects on the year’s

events we hold so dear:

 

A growing team full of

creativity, laughter and life.

 

Led by the dynamic duo, Dave and Heather,

who happen to be husband and wife.

 

2017 brought to us Tim’s friendly service

with a smile, coupled with his analytical mind.

 

The year also gifted us with Alexa,

a creative brain as talented as she is kind.

 

We were thrilled to celebrate our first anniversary of working

with Keely, our top risk manager and graphic design guru.

 

And we took a journey with Jen to Montana,

as she set up her wordsmith shop in a land anew.

 

The past year has been filled with creative ideas

and hard work for customers new and old.

 

We look forward to 2018 and continuing to do

what we love, in ways that are fresh and bold.

 

Our little family of marketers is gearing up with ideas and ready to shine,

with the help of our beloved office dog, Reagan, who will surely keep us in line.

 

Doberman office dog at Stray Media Group

Target Audiences

Target Audience – 3 Need-to-Knows

Marketing is all about connecting with people – you must listen to what they want or what problems they face that need solving, and be the business to provide the solution they’ve been pining for. Before you can swoop in and save the day, your business must first know who your target audience is, what they are saying, and how to reach them with your solution.

 

What a Target Audience Is

Target Audience – the demographic of people most likely to want your product or service. Essentially, these are the people with a problem that your product or service can help them with. When you think about it, we’ve all been doing this for ages. Back in your young days, did you ever ask your dad for permission to do something because you knew that your mom would say no? Classic case of targeting your message to the right audience for the best result.

Definition of Target Audience

The scope of target audiences varies greatly from wide to narrow. For example, let’s say you own a specialty dog boutique with high-end supplies for the die-hard pooch enthusiast. Your audience is going to be narrower than that of a general pet supplies store that is geared towards a wider audience of pet owners, from cats and dogs to parakeets and gerbils.

Or perhaps you own a car dealership that specializes in expensive luxury sports cars. This product will need to target a sliver of the consumer population that can afford that price tag, such as business men in their 40s or 50s that make over $250,000 a year, vs. your local pre-owned car dealership.

Regardless of what your company does or produces, every business needs a target audience and a strategy for how to reach them.

 

Why your business needs a target audience

Why are target audiences vital to the success of your business? To market or advertise your business, you first need to know who you want to reach and where to find them.

If you’re thinking to yourself “Why would I limit my audience to a small group of people instead of sharing what my business has to offer with the entire world?” you are not alone. While on the surface that may sound like the more logical explanation – to include everyone – when you have a defined marketing budget that isn’t labeled “sky’s the limit” (psst…none of them are) you need to work smarter, not harder, to reach people.

Work smarter, not harder, to reach your target audience

By defining your target audience and marketing to the people you already know would potentially be interested in buying (or at least learning more about) your product or service, you are able to:

  1. Craft your message to speak to them directly
  2. Make a relevant connection between a potential consumer and your brand
  3. Focus budget dollars on mediums you know are more likely to reach your audience

 

How to find your target audience

You know what a target audience is, and understand the importance of defining it for your business. What now? Go out and get it! Thorough market research is key here, whether that means hitting the pavement to do your own legwork or gathering data from research companies or resources.

Ideas for market research include:

  1. Experiments or trials
  2. Focus groups
  3. Interviews
  4. Observation
  5. Product pricing
  6. Social media insights
  7. Surveys
  8. Website analytics

The goal here is to get to know your potential consumers, what problems they experience, what they do about them now, and how your product or service can make their life easier. Learn the ins and outs of where they get their information and outline game plans for how to best reach them.

Is your product an online project management program for small businesses? Chances are your audience is more likely to be reached through digital marketing – website, blogs, online ads, email marketing, etc. – vs. more traditional methods that may be more fitting for targeting a specific area with offers for your local supermarket – print ads, direct mail, TV commercials.

Need a helping hand to define your target audience and develop a marketing plan for how to best reach them? That’s what we’re here for. Our team at Stray Media Group would be happy to meet with you to determine where your business is and what we can do to help you grow. Learn more about our work and how we can take your marketing to new heights by contacting us today!

 

 

#RunHogWild

#RunHogWild with Team SMG!

It’s that time of year, when we invite you to #RunHogWild with our crew! Join us on September 22nd and 23rd for the Stray Media Group 10K at the 6th annual Grand Forks Marathon. It’s shaping up to be the best year yet, with the great swag they’re known for; fast, fun, flat courses; and local hospitality that can’t be beat. Whether you are with a group of friends or pounding the pavement solo, our 10K distance is the perfect course for runners of all levels, ages, shapes and sizes.

Register for the Stray Media Group 10K Now!

Don’t miss our booth at the SCHEELS Health & Fitness Expo and packet pickup on Friday, September 22nd, from 10AM-7PM. We have some awesome prize drawings and sweet photo ops awaiting your arrival!

#RunHogWild with Stray Media Group!

We’re pumped to see you out on the course, so register today or at the Expo! Looking for the latest news for the race weekend? We’ve got you covered here.

Why 'Good Enough' is Never Good Enough

Good Enough Syndrome

Ahh yes, the ever-present ‘good enough syndrome’ as we like to call it. What exactly is it, and why should your business steer clear? We’re going to take on the subject head-first in this installment of ‘Powered By Creativity’.

Good Enough Syndrome

When people say “it’s good enough,” to us marketers it’s like nails on a chalkboard. Why? Because we see the potential in businesses and where they could be if they would ditch this attitude and begin settling for nothing less than excellence. When we all explore possibilities outside of what we’ve always done and strive for excellence – that’s when great things happen.

BRAND IDENTITY

Made up of every component your business has, from your name and logo to your tagline, “brand identity is how that business wants to be perceived by consumers,” (Investopedia). Just like how you decide to present yourself to the world in your day-to-day life, businesses must also step into their metaphorical closet and decide what they want to be perceived as by those who encounter them on a daily basis.

Here is where it can be extremely dangerous to come down with a case of the ‘good enoughs’. Compromising how your brand is represented to the world – whether it’s a poorly designed website that doesn’t work or a print ad that lacks a call to action – is a missed opportunity to connect and engage with potential customers.

While solidifying brand identity is no easy feat, it is essential to define who you are as a business and what you want people to identify with regarding your brand. Is your business more of the sleek suit and tie variety? Or perhaps a more fun, happy-go-lucky vibe? Pick a lane and stick to it, all the while ensuring your entire marketing strategy presents your unique identity to the world in a professional, well-thought-out manner.

CONSISTENCY

How do you ensure your brand is represented as it should be at all times? Consistency, consistency, consistency. Quality control is huge here – every single item, from your business card to your storefront sign, needs to exude the look and feel of your brand. Regardless of what material or medium it is, it needs to be made clear to any person who sees it that it’s your business – without making them think twice.

Consistency and quality control are essentials to a solid marketing strategy

We often see people develop the ‘good enough syndrome’ when it comes to consistency. Perhaps you are on a tight deadline and choose to go with the “free” graphic design services that tabloid offered you, even though they don’t know anything about your brand (learn why this service is never actually “free”). Or maybe you’re trying to save some budget dollars and have your niece build you a website for free (seriously, never actually “free”).

Whatever the case may be, it all comes down to this – is it serving the brand you’ve worked so hard to build in the right way? Is it up to the brand standards you’ve worked so hard to set up from the beginning? If it’s anything short of excellent, it’s NOT good enough.

USER EXPERIENCE

Why is all of this such an important part of your brand? It all comes down to the relationships and engagements you make with your audience. After all, that’s what marketing is all about – connecting with people and communicating what you have to offer that will improve, simplify or enhance their lives.

Marketing is all about connecting with people at the right time and place.

If nothing on your website works, your billboard has a fuzzy picture with no call to action, or your logo hasn’t been updated in 10 years – this all affects the way a user experiences your brand. Consumers are smarter than ever these days. When you say, “ahhh, I guess that’s going to have to be good enough,” people notice that and their perception of your brand gets knocked down a couple of pegs.

Opt to have marketing pieces so undeniably excellent – on par with brand identity, consistent messages, beautiful design – that they can’t help but see your dedication to the brand and consider you a trustworthy source that deserves their business.

Find yourself in these predicaments from time to time, but not sure where to begin? No sweat; that’s what we’re here for. We love this stuff and have an eye for where your business can be. All it takes is some T.L.C. for your brand and a dedication to striving for nothing short of excellent. Give us a call to discuss your marketing strategy and how we can help.

Inbound Marketing

Inbound Marketing 101

What is inbound marketing, and why should you care about it? Inbound is the new, shiny tool in the marketing shed when it comes to sharing with others what your company is all about and why they should care about you. In the digital world we live in, businesses can’t afford to give inbound marketing the side eye; rather, you should opt to embrace this immensely powerful tool to give your company’s marketing strategy a boost.

The 2-Way Difference

This form of marketing focuses on a two-way communication system, engaging and informing consumers about your products or services while simultaneously receiving information from said audience. Inbound is all about establishing and maintaining connections with customers, rather than trying to give them a hard sell like the traditional methods (although both have their place in your strategy).

Customers want solutions to their problems. Inbound marketing strategies give the people what they want by providing answers to questions, innovative solutions to problems, and rich content that engages an audience and leaves them with a delectable taste in their mind’s mouth when it comes to your business.

The Mediums

Inbound is chock-full of digital mediums to explore in your marketing strategy. A few of our key favorites we like to get people started with are:

Websites are an absolute must if you want to make it in today’s marketplaces. Without a dependable online hub for your audience to visit, your company will quickly be forgotten and consumers will travel to the next competitor that has what they’re looking for.

Blogs are an exceptional way to help engage customers, build your credibility, and do some essential SEO in the background to boot. Providing rich content that solves problems positions you as a credible, go-to source and leaves an audience coming back to you for more. Plus, blogs are great for building a strong SEO foundation to help you stand out and be more easily found by potential customers.

Social Media presence is a vital ingredient in the well-rounded marketing cocktail, too. It offers wonderful platforms to receive customer feedback and to showcase what you have to offer, and even allows you to share that hilarious meme your followers will get a kick out of.

Use It or Lose It

What makes inbound marketing even more wonderful? Analytics. These digital avenues provide exceptional data on who is coming to your material, what they’re doing during visits, and so much more. Wielding this information to your benefit is made easier than ever before with fabulous tools like Google Analytics and Facebook Insights. The more you know about your audience, the better you are able to give them what they want. It’s a win-win.

Ready to get your inbound marketing strategy up to snuff? Our team can help get you started in the right direction. Give us a call today for more information, and to set up a time to chat about implementing these innovative solutions into your marketing strategy today.