Chef Daniel Myers is battle tested in the field of catering and upscale cuisine, having received numerous awards and commendations. Not one to beat his own drum, he did acknowledge that, when it came to marketing, his presentation was a little under-cooked. Chef Daniel struck out on his own, opening Elite Cafe and Catering.
When he teamed up with Complete Media, Chef Daniel was minus an online presence and was looking to spice things up. In just under a year, we developed a sleek and appetizing website, rebranded the business with a new logo, and provided hands-on consultation to help Dan increase the business’s visibility. “Complete Media have helped me understand marketing is more than just logos and jingles,” Chef Daniel said. “It’s about building my business.”
Now, Chef Daniel is reaching a whole new demographic of catering clients, and the cafe business is rapidly increasing.
Remember that people are far more likely to execute a strategy wholeheartedly — even if they disagree with it —if they understand the “why.” To paraphrase Nietzsche: “People can handle almost any What, if they understand the Why.”
If you weren’t involved in the decision, i.e. mid-level manager, do your homework so you thoroughly understand the rationale. Get feedback on whether your explanation makes sense. Explain the reason for the initiative to someone not in your company and see if they understand it and can see its validity. Tweak your message until it makes sense to someone without your background knowledge of the situation.
Also, don’t assume explaining it one time will suffice. Often when people are shocked by news, their brains lose their ability to process information.
2. Anticipate objections and generate valid answers.
If you are part of the senior team that made the decision, this should be straightforward. If you weren’t and don’t have enough information to answer some of the potential objections and questions that might be raised, seek out the answers.
Here’s an example of how you can frame your request: “I want to make sure I present a compelling message to the team, so part of what I’ve been doing is making a list of potential questions and objections. There were four that I couldn’t answer because I don’t have the information. Can I get your take on them?”
3. Present a compelling “future story.”
Describe what this new approach will do for them, their customers, and the company. Describe what you envision things being like 6-12 months in the future.
Think in terms of telling “future stories” such as: “So, for instance…with this new approach…when an existing client does X, instead of Y happening, we’ll now respond by doing Z…which will enable you to new, desired response and the customers to get whatever increased value the new employee response will deliver.” Notice how asking this makes you look like the nothing-short-of-excellence person you are.
4. Make sure you address the WII-FM for all parties.
As you describe the future story, make sure you describe how this will benefit them (the WII-FM, or the “what’s in it for me?”), their customers, and the company (and therefore their job security).
5. Don’t BS.
While you want to explicitly state the good that this change will produce, you don’t want to be dishonest. As you know from being on the receiving end of “company spin,” all it takes is one dishonest message from a leader to irrevocably damage trust.
You also don’t want to be that kind of leader, right?
So, don’t try to pretend certain outcomes or changes are a great thing when they actually are a net loss for your team. Also, don’t try to hide from the downside realities. Honestly acknowledge them.
6. Relate human-to-human, not role-to-role.
Often, I see leaders putting on their “game face” and relating as “The Leader,” rather than being a genuine human being.
This alienates employees. Don’t be afraid to be real, to be authentic. Judiciously share the concerns you have about its effect on your people and how you took that into consideration. Interviews with employees at client companies going through downsizings have repeatedly shown me how powerfully it affects employees when they can see — and hear — how much their leader cares about them and the impact their decisions will have on them.
The more real you are, the more “bondable” you become, and therefore…the more your people will want to do their best for you.
Lamfers & Maas is your key to tax planning. Their team of CPAs and accountant business advisors is based in Sioux Falls, SD, and is ready to listen to your goals and provide you with the options you need to solve issues and simplify your life. Trust Lamfers & Maas for consistency and accuracy — their guarantee — to provide you with peace of mind, knowing your tax and accounting matters are under control.
Lamfers & Maas partnered with Complete Media to gain an edge over their competition. Our team enhanced their website, making sure it looked professional and eye-catching. We also helped rank their website at the top of search engines, allowing their potential clients to find them at the top of the page. In addition, we developed their logo, corporate materials, and tagline that focuses on the value they bring to their clients.
We equipped their team with blogging and email tools as well as syncing financial plug-ins into their website to make it a valuable resource to their clients. Since our partnership, Lamfers & Maas has been able to expand their business and take on their ideal clients.
What’s my target market? What should it be? How would I know? Here’s a list of five things that will help you figure it out.
1. Don’t try to please everybody.
Strategy is focus. Say you’re running a restaurant; which of these three options is easier?
Pleasing customers 40 to 75 years old, wealthy, much more concerned with healthy eating than cheap eating, appreciating seafood and poultry, liking a quiet atmosphere.
Pleasing customers 15 to 30 years old, with limited budgets, who like a loud place with low prices and fast food.
I really hope you chose one of the first two, and not the third. Because this is the essence of target marketing—divide and conquer.
U.S. census data divides into demographic segments.
2. Learn market segmentation.
It’s about segments, like pie segments or orange segments, except that in this case it’s segments of a total market. In my “divide and conquer” thought above in the first point, those are segments. In the illustration above, U.S. census data divides into demographic segments. Demographics are the old standards like age, gender, and so on.
3. Use segmentation creatively.
Don’t just settle for age, gender, and economic level. When I was consulting for Apple Computer, we divided the market into user groups:
I also liked a shopping center segmentation that divided its market into so-called psychographic segmentation:
Kids and cul-de-sacs were affluent upscale suburban families, “a noisy medley of bikes, dogs, carpools, rock music and sports.”
Winner’s circle were wealthy suburban executives, “well-educated, mobile executives and professionals with teen-aged families. Big producers, prolific spenders, and global travelers.”
Gen X and babies were upper-middle income young white-collar suburbanites.
County squires were wealthy elite ex-urbanites, “where the wealthy have escaped urban stress to live in rustic luxury. Affluence, big bucks in the boondocks.”
I knew a business that segmented its business customers into decision-process types as well:
Decision by committee
Decision by functional manager
Decision by owner
Any of these creative segmentations can help you set a target market.
4. Consider your own unique identity too.
Your business probably reflects who you are and what you like to do, as well as what you do best. Marketing to people you like is an advantage. If you like the feel of small business better than the big corporate giants, then you’re probably better off setting the small business as a target market.
As this business—Palo Alto Software, the host of Bplans—grew up, with business plan software, its founder (that would be me) was more comfortable with the do-it-yourself entrepreneur and business owner than the high end consultants, so we ended up targeting the do-it-yourselfers in business.
So, somebody who loves fine food, tastefully prepared and served, is probably more comfortable with an upscale target market than with price-sensitive young families.
5. Use strategic segment intersections.
For example, in the diagram here, the social media services that Have Presence offers are targeted to small business owners who:
Want outside help with their social media; and
Value business social media; and
Have budget to pay for the service.
Defining target markets makes your life easier. Do it well as soon as you can, and keep reviewing and refreshing as you go along.
The right target market increases your chances of success because you can communicate better with a well-defined group, and that holds expenses down and makes results better.
AAA Storage is one of the premier storage facilities serving Sioux Falls and the surrounding communities. Owner Darrell Thomas took over operation of the facility in 2013 and has made significant improvements, providing top-notch storage solutions. The facilities are clean, secure, and are available in a variety of sizes, including storage for RV campers and trailers.
AAA Storage partnered with our advertising agency at the start of their business. They received a full corporate ID package which included a logo, business cards, and a website. This allowed AAA Storage to have a consistent brand throughout their materials.
AAA Storage has also partnered with us to execute search engine optimization strategies, providing more leads and business for their company. The website is easy to navigate, giving potential clients effortless access to the information they are looking for. Through their partnership with Complete Media, they are able to remain at capacity in their storage facilities.
To build a solid foundation for your business, you must first identify your typical customer and tailor your marketing pitch accordingly.
Given the current state of the economy, having a well-defined target market is more important than ever. No one can afford to target everyone. Small businesses can effectively compete with large companies by targeting a niche market.
Many businesses say they target “anyone interested in my services.” Some say they target small-business owners, homeowners, or stay-at-home moms. All of these targets are too general.
Targeting a specific market does not mean that you are excluding people who do not fit your criteria. Rather, target marketing allows you to focus your marketing dollars and brand message on a specific market that is more likely to buy from you than other markets. This is a much more affordable, efficient, and effective way to reach potential clients and generate business.
For example, an interior design company could choose to market to homeowners between the ages of 35 and 65 with incomes of $150,000-plus in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. To define the market even further, the company could choose to target only those interested in kitchen and bath remodeling and traditional styles. This market could be broken down into two niches: parents on the go and retiring baby boomers.
With a clearly defined target audience, it is much easier to determine where and how to market your company. Here are some tips to help you define your target market.
Look at your current customer base.
Who are your current customers, and why do they buy from you? Look for common characteristics and interests. Which ones bring in the most business? It is very likely that other people like them could also benefit from your product/service.
Check out your competition.
Who are your competitors targeting? Who are their current customers? Don’t go after the same market. You may find a niche market that they are overlooking.
Analyze your product/service.
Write out a list of each feature of your product or service. Next to each feature, list the benefits it provides (and the benefits of those benefits). For example, a graphic designer offers high-quality design services. The benefit is a professional company image. A professional image will attract more customers because they see the company as professional and trustworthy. So ultimately, the benefit of high-quality design is gaining more customers and making more money.
Once you have your benefits listed, make a list of people who have a need that your benefit fulfills. For example, a graphic designer could choose to target businesses interested in increasing their client base. While this is still too general, you now have a base to start from.
Choose specific demographics to target.
Figure out not only who has a need for your product or service, but also who is most likely to buy it. Think about the following factors:
• Age • Location • Gender • Income level • Education level • Marital or family status • Occupation • Ethnic background
Consider the psychographics of your target.
Psychographics are the more personal characteristics of a person, including:
Determine how your product or service will fit into your target’s lifestyle. How and when will your target use the product? What features are most appealing to your target? What media does your target turn to for information? Does your target read the newspaper, search online, or attend particular events?
Evaluate your decision.
Once you’ve decided on a target market, be sure to consider these questions:
• Are there enough people who fit my criteria? • Will my target really benefit from my product/service? Will they see a need for it? • Do I understand what drives my target to make decisions? • Can they afford my product/service? • Can I reach them with my message? Are they easily accessible?
Don’t break down your target too far! Remember, you can have more than one niche market. Consider if your marketing message should be different for each niche. If you can reach both niches effectively with the same message, then maybe you have broken down your market too far. Also, if you find there are only 50 people that fit all of your criteria, maybe you should reevaluate your target. The trick is to find that perfect balance.
You may be asking, “How do I find all this information?” Try searching online for research others have done on your target. Search for magazine articles and blogs that talk about or to your target market. Search for blogs and forums where people in your target market communicate their opinions. Look for survey results, or consider conducting a survey of your own. Ask your current customers for feedback.
Defining your target market is the hard part. Once you know who you are targeting, it is much easier to figure out which media you can use to reach them and what marketing messages will resonate with them. Instead of sending direct mail to everyone in your ZIP code, you can send it only to those who fit your criteria. Save money and get a better return on investment by defining your target audience.
Marketing Objectives are defined as the group of goals set by a business when promoting its products or services to potential consumers that should be achieved within a given time frame. A company’s marketing objectives for a particular product might include increasing product awareness among targeted consumers and providing information about product features. Specifically, common marketing objectives include:
Introducing new products or services
Cross-selling more products or services to existing customers
Expanding into a new geographic market
Seeking out and securing new customers
Improving customer services
Increasing the average size of an order
Once the Marketing Objectives have been defined, you can create a focused Marketing Strategy for each one. Marketing Strategies have many potential tactics that can be utilized. Below are examples of Strategies with their corresponding tactics:
Market Share & Expansion Strategy: Develop aggressive sales & marketing tactics to expand your market. Examples of tactics include:
Positioning Strategy: Designed to affect how people think and feel (perceive) about your product or service. Examples of tactics include:
Advertising and public relations campaigns
Attending, exhibiting or presenting at trade shows
Enhancing and/or developing corporate communication and marketing materials (e.g. brochures, website, flyers, social media profiles, etc…)
Reminder Strategy: Reminds customers to make a purchase. Tactics include:
Postcards via direct mail with coupons
Free premium items with company’s information
Disseminate monthly newsletters
Communicate newsworthy information via social media
Determining which Marketing Strategies are necessary and important based on your business goals is critical to the success of growing your company. If done incorrectly, you will only end up wasting a lot of time and money on implementing the wrong strategies. Needless to say, my advice is to seek out a qualified Marketing Consultant who can assist you through this process.
Safety Solutions of Sioux Falls offers professional on-site and off-site training, regulatory compliance, site inspections, and written safety program management. Owner Tony Drovdal is a former Captain with Sioux Falls Fire Rescue with over twenty years’ experience in public and private occupational safety management. In 2016, he partnered with Complete Media, Inc. seeking marketing solutions.
“One of the things I stress in my classes is to know your own limitations,” Safety Solutions owner, Tony Drovdal, said. “I took my own advice and looked for help marketing and branding my business. The team at Complete Media is proactive and looks for new avenues to get that done, and for a smaller investment than I anticipated. I couldn’t be more satisfied.”
Complete Media developed from the ground up Tony’s entire branding strategy including company logo, new website, collateral materials, and public relations. His new business is gaining traction and visibility, thanks, in part, to the online strategies executed by the Complete Media team, including everything from SEO and keyword management to social media. We even facilitated some client-to-client connections resulting in new business; before he officially opened his training facility, Tony was already busy making workplaces safer.
A carefully crafted vision statement is at the heart of every successful business. This statement clearly and concisely communicates your business’s overall goals, and can serve as a tool for strategic decision-making across the company.
A vision statement can be as simple as a single sentence or can span a short paragraph. Regardless of the individual details and nuances, all effective vision statements define the core ideals that give a business shape and direction. These statements also provide a powerful way to motivate and guide employees, said Addam Marcotte, vice president of operations and organization development with executive coaching and organizational change firm FMG Leading.
Why does this matter? Research shows that employees who find their company’s vision meaningful have engagement levels of 68 percent, which is 19 points above average. More-engaged employees are often more productive, and can be more effective corporate ambassadors in the larger community.
Given the impact that a vision statement can have on a company’s long-term success and even its bottom line, it’s worth taking the time to craft a statement that synthesizes your ambition and mobilizes your staff.
Vision Statement Versus Mission Statement
Before determining what your vision statement is going to be, you need to understand what it is not. It should not be confused with a mission statement. Those statements are present-based and designed to convey a sense of why the company exists, to both members of the company and the external community. Vision statements are future-based and are meant to inspire and give direction to the employees of the company, rather than to customers. A mission statement answers the question, “Why does my business exist?” while a vision statement answers the question, “Where do I see my business going?” Jamie Falkowski, vice president of creative and experience at the marketing communications firm Day One Agency, said, “a vision is aspiration. A mission is actionable.”
Who will shape your vision, and how will it be used?
The first step in writing a vision statement is determining who will play a role in crafting it. Brandon Shockley of consumer insights agency Plannerzone, Inc. recommends developing a vision statement through a series of workshops with key stakeholders who represent a cross section of your organization. Teams of people can craft alternate versions of the statement and receive feedback from the rest of the group.
“Think of it as ‘Shark Tank’ for your vision statement,” Shockley said
Falkowski added that individual stakeholder interviews offer another effective way to get real and honest feedback in which people won’t hold back on how they feel.
Additionally, a business should determine early in the process where its vision statement will appear and what role it will serve in the organization. This will prevent the process from becoming merely an intellectual exercise, said Shockley. “The vision business statement should be thought of as part of your strategic plan,” he said. “It is an internal communications tool that helps align and inspire your team to reach the company’s goals.” As such, vision statements should be viewed as living documents that will be revisited and revised.
How To Write A Vision Statement
Writing your vision statement is a time for creativity, ambition and fun, but the task should be approached seriously.
“There is a process to this, and it’s not usually quick or simple,” said Linsi Brownson, founder and creative director of business strategy group Spark Collaborative. “The best way to begin is to reflect on some of the most significant events or ideas that have impacted the company.”
A vision statement should also be concise, no longer than a sentence or a few paragraphs. You want your entire team and organization to be able to quickly repeat it back and more importantly understand it, said Falkowski. But a vision statement should be more than a catchy tagline, he said.
“[It] can be smart and memorable, but this is for your team and culture, not for selling a specific product,” Falkowski said.
To begin, Brownson advised first identifying core values of the organization when drafting your vision statement. Then, ask yourself, “What do we do right now that aligns with these values? Where are we not aligned with these values? How can we stay aligned with these values as we grow over the next five years, 10 years?” Those questions address your current situation and help identify the bigger-picture vision, Brownson said.
Next, ask yourself what problems your company hopes to solve in the next few years. What does your company hope to achieve? Who is your target customer base, and what do you want to do for them?
“Based on your responses to these questions, ask yourself what success will look like if you accomplish those things,” said Jené Kapela, owner and founder of Jené Kapela Leadership Solutions. “This answer should shape your vision statement.”
When you’re crafting your vision statement, dream big. Don’t worry about practicality for now — what initially looks impossible could be achieved down the road with the right team and technologies. Work on shaping a vision statement that reflects the specific nature of your business.
Shockley noted that there is nothing wrong with a vision statement being a little daring, distinct or even disagreeable.
“If a vision statement sets out a generic goal that anyone can agree with, it is likely to produce mediocre results,” he said. “A goal like ‘delivering an exceptional experience’ applies equally to a hospital, a bank or a fitness club.”
Tips For Crafting Your Vision Statement
Vision statements should stretch the imagination while providing direction and clarity. A good vision statement will help inform direction and set priorities while challenging employees to grow. The vision statement should be compelling not just to the high-level execs of your company, but also to all employees.
Based on our expert sources’ advice, here are some tips to keep in mind: • Project five to 10 years in the future. • Dream big, and focus on success. • Use the present tense. • Use clear, concise language. • Infuse your vision statement with passion and emotion. • Paint a graphic mental picture of the business you want. • Have a plan to communicate your vision statement to your employees. • Be prepared to commit time and resources to the vision you establish.
Your completed vision statement will give your employees a clear idea of your company’s path forward. Then, it’s up to you to nurture and support that vision and to inspire your employees to do the same.
Climate Systems is a regional leader in HVAC design and installation. In addition to HVAC sales and installation, Climate Systems services Schneider Electric Automatic Temperature Controls. Technological changes have revolutionized remote monitoring and energy management control in today’s buildings. Climate Systems’ job has been to stay up to date on these new developments. With a vast array of knowledge and years of practical experience, they’ve been responsible for the building automation systems of hospitals, educational buildings and campuses, recreational facilities, churches, government buildings, office buildings, laboratories and manufacturing facilities.
Climate Systems partnered with Complete Media Inc. several years ago to enhance their brand and name recognition. We have helped them go through a complete rebranding, including logo updates, all-new marketing materials, signage, vehicle graphics, website, and much more. Through our marketing planning and placement, we have helped Climate Systems keep in touch with key clients and prospects using online strategies, e-marketing, social media, and print campaigns. Working with Climate Systems has been a great experience, and we truly value their partnership.