Category Archives: Stray Media Group

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.

Traditional VS Digital Marketing

Marketing Smack Down: Traditional vs. Digital

When it comes to your marketing strategy, how do you know where your efforts and budget will be best spent? With countless options available in both the traditional and digital marketing worlds, it’s best to weigh the pros and cons of each to determine what will be best for your unique business and budget.

Traditional Marketing

What is it?

Traditional marketing’ – also referred to as ‘outbound marketing’ – is the oldest form of marketing. This method relies on one-way communication to share a message with an audience.

Examples include:

  • Print – print ads, magazines, newsletters, brochures
  • Direct mail – post cards, catalogs, fliers
  • Broadcast – radio, TV

Pros and Cons

Pros of traditional marketing: Traditional marketing allows you to reach a high number of people with your specific message or promotion. This can be an extremely efficient way to blanket an intended area or audience with what you have to offer.

This method of marketing also provides you with the opportunity to give potential customers something tangible to touch and feel, physically connecting them with your brand. When done well, these materials can give them a great impression of your brand that will have a long-lasting effect.

Cons of traditional marketing: Because it relies on one-way communication, this method of marketing is more direct and less personable, lacking the ability to establish a trusting relationship or an open dialogue with potential customers.

Generally speaking, traditional marketing tends to be more expensive overall than digital alternatives, and the platforms on which many of these materials are featured – such as newspaper and cable TV – have seen a steady decline over the years.

 Digital Marketing

What is it?

Digital marketing’ is the newer kid in town. This umbrella term encompasses all of your online marketing efforts and is heavily focused on fostering two-way, open communication with existing and prospective customers.

Examples include:

Pros and Cons

Pros of digital marketing: An online presence is a must in today’s world. Everything from the way people shop to how they work has shifted to the digital side. Digital marketing allows you to take advantage of this by connecting with people where they are. Plus, with digital you are able to better target your audiences and drill down to people’s likes, dislikes, online searches, demographics, location and more.

Digital marketing is an extremely cost-effective method because it does not rely on the production of tangible pieces, such as magazines or brochures. In addition to the cost to produce and promote digital content being substantially less than traditional methods, the results generated from your digital spending and efforts are more quantifiable.

Cons of digital marketing: The extremely rapid pace at which digital marketing methods and best practices evolve is enough to make one’s head spin; what was hot at 1 p.m. may not be so hot at 2 p.m. This fast-paced flow requires businesses and marketers to continuously and diligently research, test, and implement the latest and greatest to stay relevant.

Because digital marketing focuses on two-way communication, building trust and relationships with people, businesses have to be immensely attentive and cautious. Solid customer service has always been essential to the well-being of a brand, but with today’s digital world one disgruntled customer can publicly shake up your brand’s world in seconds flat. Authentic and helpful responses in a timely manner are essential.

 

Balancing the Two
Overall, the whole point of marketing is to connect with people at the right time and place. These two methods do exactly that, each in their own uniquely effective way.

An important and still relevant component to a well-rounded overall strategy, traditional marketing will always continue to serve an important purpose for businesses. The key to success here is to ensure you’re using these tried-and-true methods to the best of their ability – know what mediums your audience uses and craft your message appropriately for the platform on which it is shared.

On the flip side, it has become evident in recent years that your marketing strategy must include a digital/online presence to stay relevant and ensure that potential customers can easily find you. Meeting people where they are, helping them easily find you, and being a useful resource will prove beneficial to your business, regardless of your target market or industry.

 

Looking for some guidance as to what your marketing strategy should include? We recognize that every company has its own services, audience, and goals, and that it is essential to understand that what’s best for one business won’t always be right for another. Our team is here to help you craft the perfect plan of action. Get hold of us today to discuss how we can help you build and implement it.

 

Fish jumping in CMYK colored fish bowls.

The Print Effect

Your business’s printed materials have an effect on anyone who comes in contact with them, and whether that effect is good or bad is entirely up to you. Printing that is on point can make all the difference in the world when you’re trying to be a step above the rest for your customers and prospective customers. Learn how your brand can stand out from the crowd with these tips and guidelines for epic printed marketing materials.

 

How printing can attract new customers.

With a sea of companies out there selling similar products and services, attracting new customers can be a challenge. So how can you stand out from the competition and position yourself as a memorable resource? A good marketing strategy is essential, and within that strategy should be a solid direction for outbound marketing – which includes all of your tangible, printed pieces.

We cannot stress enough the importance of having high-quality, attractive printed materials. A combination of professional, creative designs that capture your target audience’s attention and quality material that offers a look and feel beyond the normal expectations helps you make a lasting impression.

Image of printed booklet and postcards.
Improve customer loyalty with high-quality printing.

When it comes to retaining customers and improving their loyalty to your brand, many contributing factors are at play. The expectations of today’s intelligent, informed customers are at an all-time high, from customer service and website ease of use to readily-available informative content and, of course, today’s hot blog topic: printed material that speaks volumes.

To truly set your brand apart, build trust in customers and keep them coming back for more, don’t just meet those expectations – exceed them by having marketing materials that evoke a feeling in and of themselves. The right printed pieces will induce them to see, touch and feel the value that represents how you present your brand to the world. This includes the important component of content that answers customers’ questions and offers valuable information.

If people place a higher value on your business cards or sales sheets, they’re likely to place a higher value on the products and services you offer. Take this opportunity to blow them away and begin their journey to being your loyal customer.

 

How professionally printed pieces can help drive sales.

Last but certainly not least is sales. Sales and revenue make your brand’s world go ’round and keep you in the business of doing what it is you do best. Let your printed marketing material take some of that weight off your shoulders and help you sell your products and services.

With stats like “63% of people throw the business card away because they don’t need service” or “88% of business cards handed out get thrown away in less than a week”, we understand the question, “why spend the money?” Answer: “the number of sales increases by 2.5% for every 2000 cards that get passed out.”

On top of that, colored cards typically stick around in people’s pockets or desks 10x longer than the average plain white card. Now imagine if you have a card so cool, vibrant and memorable that the recipient just can’t throw it away! Chances are they’ll keep it around for a while, and they may need your services during that time. Give them an unforgettable leave-behind that will keep selling for you for a long time to come.

 

Not familiar with the best of the best printing materials, methods and options? No worries; we’ve got your back. Give us a call to get together and discuss the wants, needs and goals for your brand, and learn how we can put our industry knowledge and experience to work for you.

 

Comapny Culture

The What, How, & Why of Cultivating Positive Company Culture

Culture seems to be the latest business buzzword and “must-have” in companies today. But what exactly is culture? How can you have a great one that recruits and retains an excellent workforce? How can a healthy, thriving culture impact your bottom line? We’ll cover the basics of cultivating an excellent company culture this month on ‘Powered by Creativity.’

What is company culture

Every company has a distinct culture, no matter if they have one employee or hundreds of thousands. Company culture involves what employees see, feel, and think about your business – it is a set of visions, values, norms, beliefs, habits, and assumptions that make up your company’s identity; in essence, it is your company’s personality. Cultures are not something employees bring with them; they are ingrained in the genetic code of your company and will exist before and after employees come and go, although they can change over time.

 

Company Culture

 

To evaluate your company’s current culture, you may want to ask yourself these questions: “What are common behaviors of employees while they are on the job – good or bad? How meaningful is the job to my employees – would they go elsewhere if given the opportunity?” While not your actual culture, the answers to these questions signify either a healthy or unhealthy culture. Company culture is important to employees and employers alike – employees want to enjoy their time in the workplace and feel that their work has meaning for both themselves and the company, while employers benefit when they have employees who fit in with the company culture, which usually makes them happier and more productive, as well as wanting to work for the company longer.

How to cultivate company culture

The good news is that, if you have discovered aspects of your culture that you would like to improve upon, they are fluid and changeable. Putting a focus on culture within your company gives your team guiding principles. It is up to the leaders of the company to set the precedent for the culture you want to achieve. According to companyculture.com, 80% of company members are potentially very flexible – if the culture asks for employees to be engaged, responsible, pleasant, and highly productive, they will be; however, in unhealthy culture environments, employees may be closed, unengaged, irresponsible, unpleasant, and unproductive.

 

Company Culture

 

If you cultivate a great culture, people will know you for it, your team will live by it and work together towards the same company mission, and it will get you through the bumps in the road. Here are a few key areas you can get started with right away to get the ball rolling on creating a dynamic company culture.

Purpose: In order for your purpose to be effective and resonate with your team, they not only have to be told what it is, they have to buy into it as well. Employees as a whole typically want to feel like what they do matters – showing them their measurable impact on the success of the company makes them invested in what they do and want to do better.

Engagement: Purpose’s cousin, engagement, is all about preparation – specifically how prepared your employees feel to fulfill their purpose. If there are distractions or inefficiencies, or people don’t feel like they can fulfill their role to the best of their ability, there is an engagement problem.

Trust: A critical aspect in life that transfers into the workplace, trust needs to be an important company value, period. If there is mistrust about your employees, whether it comes to personal effects or getting the job done, the issue needs to be addressed and rectified as soon as possible.

Evolve: Continuous learning = continuous improvement of your company. Processes and the way things are done change and evolve over time, and so should your workforce. It is the responsibility of the business owner to make sure employees feel empowered to seek their own continuing education, and if they don’t, you need to dig a little deeper into finding out why.

Why company culture matters

Culture matters – a healthy culture creates enthusiasm and happiness, which means more productivity. Job satisfaction starts with job creators caring about their employees. When an employer hires that perfect candidate, they definitely want the best return on their dollar, but if you ask the reverse question ‘besides a paycheck, what are your employees getting out of their job?’ it may help you understand how to engage and motivate employees to their full potential. Improving company culture may seem like it takes a lot of effort, but once you have a healthy one, the benefits are countless; from getting more work done faster to higher retention rates of valuable members of the team, as well as eventually being able to recruit the most competitive employees to keep your company moving forward. The best and brightest employees in any given field want it all; competitive salary and benefits, work/life balance, and a great company culture that makes them look forward to going to work every day. In turn, they’ll give you their best and be invested in your company’s success as much as you are.

 

If you’re reading this and feel like you don’t know where to begin with changing your company culture for the better, you’re not alone. Company culture is unique to each business and can sometimes be a complicated aspect of your company to change. If you’re ready to make that leap, our culture experts are here to help with solid advice and business development plans. We have the unique perspective of being on the outside looking in, and may be able to pinpoint certain pain points in your culture that are easy to overlook when you are busy running your day-to-day operations. Give us a shout out today – we’d love to talk to you!