The Importance of a Logo and Marketing Materials

The initial lack of customers and cash flow often causes new small business owners to put off designing a logo and marketing materials professionally "until they get a few clients" or "until they get started." Unfortunately, designing their own marketing materials when they launch their businesses instead of having them professionally created will make getting those initial clients more difficult and may result in a business that will not succeed.

Many entrepreneurs choose to design their own marketing materials when they launch their businesses, especially by creating their first business card. Sometimes they will have an amateur designer, friend or relative create the design. There are several reasons why this is not the best idea. An amateur logo design and business card can make your business more likely to fail for a number of reasons:

Your business will not look stable.  It will appear to be more likely to fold or to fail. Clients will not have confidence in doing business with you. Would you do business with someone who seems to be on an unstable footing and who might not be in business by the end of your project or after you have purchased an item?

You will look like a very small business.  Large, successful businesses would never consider doing business without professional, originally designed marketing materials. Using materials that are not professionally designed (i.e., Microsoft or Vistaprint templates) makes your business appear even smaller and could possibly indicate that you cannot perform to or meet the standards required.

You will look unpolished and rough.  Not having a professional "look and feel" could make it appear as though your business does not matter to you. Customers may get the impression that you do not care about the way your business presents itself, which might indicate that you would not care about the quality of your work or the way that your work reflects upon their business.

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Innovative Pocket Media Solutions

The Z card has been around for a long time, but we have innovatived the idea to create a printing method to give marketers an effective solution to reach their target market. The printed media can be of any size or shape with as many folded pages as you want inside it. The size can be as small as a business card and as large as A5 or larger, with an A2 page folded to fit into the card.

The folded page contains a host of information for the reader. When folded, it's small enough to fit into a pocket. A most convenient way to have all the information at the your reader's finger tips.

The advantages of this media are: Generates interest Exceptional postal mailer with personal address and tear off section to reveal the pocket sheet twhich opens up. Effective brand awareness promotion Position your brand in the market Motivate a store visit Close a sale A pleasant surprise with all relevant information Launch a new product Excellent for travel agencies for their cities and countries they promote And many more!

There are many different ways we can design and create the media solution. Star fold that has 4 folds and folds into itself Pop Up: the booklet pops up when open. Flipper booklet with flip pages as you pull out the tab Changer - the image changes as you pull out the tab Custom design to your liking Slider box which slides open to reveal the information sheet Jumping Jax envelope: when open a calendar cube pops open The folded sheet can be in folded in any format

There are numerous combinations of ways of designing the card to promote your product or service.

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Why Sales Promotion Increases Sales

Sales promotion is a blend of marketing activities and promotional items to intensify the efforts of your sales force, induce your intermediaries to stock and sell your products, and to persuade your customers to purchase the offering within a specified, limited time period.

Why customers respond to sales promotions* They have a positive feeling about your brand which is linked to an unconditional stimulus such as a discount* Reinforced reward - in-pack discount voucher and once tried they keep coming back.* Their attitude changes after trial - repeat purchase.* Foot in the door' technique - sample is tried to gain a larger order.* Sales force promoting benefits to alter customers perception of the offering.* Price perception - perceived benchmark by customers. Used by quoting the reference price and sales price to assist the customer to calculate the savings.* Decision making process - end of isle items trigger recognition to purchase or seeing a machine in a magazine and it reminds you to place an order for a service or part..

Type Of Sales Promotion Objectives* Encourages sales force to move slow moving items* Challenges sales force to locate and qualify new prospects* Set up more store displays* Train more distributor sales people* Induce wholesalers to carry a new product line* Persuade distributors to promote (push) a brand in their promotional activities* Persuade retailers to give a particular brand shelf space* Encourage retailers to support sales promotion campaign by carrying more inventory

Sales promotion is one of 6 elements in the marketing mix and should thus be used against the background of the firms overall marketing communication strategy.A firm selling expensive machines would not get involved in a sweepstake but would rather create a quality image through their distribution network by advertising in trade magazines and include personal selling in the mix.

How sale promotion affect sales* Brand switching - does not only occur with price promotions. Customers might also buy the brand most readily available, or the brand on display. This is why there is rivalry amongst marketers for the end of isle locations.* Repeat purchasing -* To create a habit of purchasing the offer* Product extension - to purchase same brand of microwave after a refrigerator was bought* Purchase acceleration -* Purchase larger volumes - bulk buying* Load customer to beat competitors promotion - two for the price of one

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Product Labels your 'silent salesperson'

Reds Communications design labels or tags that will give buyers the relevant information to make the decision to purchase your product. If the label jumps out with an attractive look it will grab your attention and with clear and concise information it makes the decision to buy your product that much easier.

Labels also help to build the brand and position the product in to the market. The design of the label can materially affect its level of preference by offering cues to the consumer such as the quality of the product.

A strong company name will often transfer powerful associations to new products such as 3M, Sony and Kellogg's.

The label should make a spontaneous response to words that come to mind when shown.

Consumers interpret scenes in which a brand plays a role. The culture conveyed by the brand core, it's personality and its self-projection all comes into play when the consumer looks at your label.

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Outdoor Advertising & Signage

Outdoor is often part of a brand’s multi-media communication strategy, incorporating most candidate media. Outdoor is able to play an integral role in the media plan, by using the following: • Banners and flags • Billboards • Vehicle curtains • Vehicle signage from small decals to full vehicle graphics • Building wraps • Construction wraps

The Role of Outdoor Advertising The rationale for the use of the medium ranges from cost-effectiveness to optimal reach to unparalleled frequency. It is able to draw huge audiences, at a fraction of the cost of other media. The reach of Outdoor advertising compares favourably with other media (Billboards last 4 -8 months). Fashion advertising on billboards is used very effectively to create awareness and increase sales. On average, a person travelling on the road will see your billboard for about three seconds. The message should be short and to the point with more on images than on text. Text must be written on the billboard large enough to be read easily. The latest technology now available is such that one can create incredibly eye-catching advertisements. Placement is extremely crucial to your success of the campaign. The human eye will rapidly fixate on an outdoor ad sign to help pass time and avoid boredom. Thus said, positioning ads at bus stops, busy intersections and/or along highways prone to high volume can be ingenious. This can be a big advantage when you have a business you want to draw traffic to right off a particular highway exit, or you have a showroom just down the road. You can also use billboards in areas where reaching people is difficult. Another added benefit is that many people travel the same route repeatedly, as they commute to work each day. This means that they see your billboard regularly, which makes it more likely to stick in their minds.

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Creativity Importance in Advertising

There are many reason why creativity is important in advertising. With good visual effects it will attract the target audience attention that creates interest by establishing feelings of desire to bring about an action to purchase.

It is a pillar to build the marketing mix - personal selling, sales promotion, direct marketing, public relations and sponsorship.It differentiates the 'me too' products by influencing attitudes and feelings to position the brand in preference above a competitors brand.It provides knowledge thereby stimulates thinkingIt can persuade, be relevant and meaningfulIt facilitates purchase and trialIt creates loyal customersIt transforms boring ads to interesting adsCreative ads achieve objectives

The use of colour in your advert adds to production and placement cost, and has been found to be well-worth the increased costs because of:

Attention - holding power of the ad increases when colour is usedPeople are conditioned to colour stimuliProducts look better - especially foodCreates moodsCreates an image of prestigeGreater message recall

Selecting Colour connotations

Red Passion, action, fire, heat, danger, angerBlue Cool, truth, purity, formality, sadnessGreen Calm, youth, nature, wet, ignorance, immaturityBlack Mystery, mourning, death, elegance, heavinessYellow Light, optimism, cheerfulness, dishonestyOrange Fire, heat, action, harvest, fallWhite Cleanliness, purity, virginitySilver Diffusive, gentle, touching, softBrown Earth, dirty, dull, boring, worthy ,unexciting, uncompromising

Some tips on visuals

Great illustration is vital - only 4 ads per magazine are readPut story appeal into the illustrationIllustration should portray rewardTo attract woman - show woman and babiesTo attract men - show menAvoid historical illustrationsUse photographs rather than drawingsDo not deface illustrationsUse spoken style captionsDon't use too many illustrationsDo not crop important elements

Visual elements of designThe visualisation of the basic theme is extremely important and vital to the success of the advert.

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PR - public relations and using press-releases for free advertising and publicity

Brief your staff - have a policy, especially for crisis situations.

If you court press attention make sure your staff are aware of your positions and policies. Make someone in charge of press contact ideally, so that other staff are not forced to comment.

All newspapers need press releases to help fill their pages.Local papers particularly need news submitted by the local community or they have to pay more for journalists to go out and get news. Look through your local papers and magazines to spot the PR material submitted by commercial organisations. This will encourage you as to how easy it is to provide 'news' stories for the press.

Local TV and radio are also amenable to PR, but they're a bit more choosy. Nevertheless bear TV, and certainly radio, in mind for anything going on in your business of local interest or 'novelty value'.

Get the local editorial contact names and numbers.

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New product development process

Most companies today are structuring their new product development process to accelerate results and control costs.

Step 1Corporate strategy and innovationA corporate plan should make provision for research and development of new ideas. The innovation will be orchestrated by senior management and will dictate the resources made available to new development.

Step 2New product ideasLots an lots of ideas are needed. After 50 new ideas maybe number 51 will be the winner. Many innovations are small improvements and line extensions and not complete breakthroughs. The team should focus on projects that are consistent with overall strategy.

New ideas can originate from:* Employees - front line people are the closest to the customer. Toyota receives 2 million suggestions per annum.* Customers - innovative customers are opinion leaders are generally willing to talk their requirements.* Research and Development - scientists play a pivotal roll in hi-tech business.* Competitors - systematic comparison of products and a search for best practice.* Distributors - They know the end user and competition which can be valuable ally.* Psychologists and market researchers - to find new gaps in the market* Outside sources - ideas are bought

Step 3ScreeningTo select the maximum available number of ideas that are compatible with the firms objectives.

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Why Exhibitions Are The Most Cost Effective Medium

In the modern age of technology, marketers have been able to utilise completely new mediums of communications, but the value of face to face communication cannot be under estimated. Successful marketers need not only harness technology in order to effectively reach their markets, but also make use of exhibitions. Its a showcase in the hub of business areas, where like-minded people can meet with their peers to share knowledge, discuss new ideas and trends in person with other professionals, and create a forum where buyers can see and feel their products.

A rise in more impersonal forms of marketing, such as internet based approaches, exhibitions become more important than ever as human interaction is what exhibitions deliver more cost effectively than any other marketing medium.Exhibitions are a powerful medium because it specifically targets an audience in one convenient place in which it will attract national and international buyers. It empowers the visitor with the current and future technology trends. Technological convergence and economical necessity, is one of the drivers that dictate time-deprived decision makers who want solutions immediately.

Tips for The ExhibitorTwo factors decisive for exhibition success, a coherent overall concept and the competent implementation of established objectives. The criteria for an effective exhibition stand are;* to stand out from the crowd* to make a statement* to be remembered* to maximise visibility through creative and imaginative exploitation can maximise exposure and awareness for optimal return on the investment.

Specific objectives could include;* To forge new links with buyers and opinion leaders* To create enquires* To demonstrate* To reinforce, enhance or alter brand image* To strengthen image* To create the opportunity for product sampling and trial* To increase and maintain market share* To open new channels of distribution* To gain competitive advantage* To launch new service or product

There are four main steps to create a successful exhibit. The four steps are interrelated with each other and they are;Step 1 ConsultationEstablish objectives for the exhibition and how to implement a strategic plan for the most relevant position and configuration. To propel your company forward through progressive and effective use of all the disciplines in the marketing mix. ( personal sales, sales promotion, advertising, public relations and direct marketing)

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Why Sales Promotion Increases Sales

Sales promotion is a blend of marketing activities and promotional items to intensify the efforts of your sales force, induce your intermediaries to stock and sell your products, and to persuade your customers to purchase the offering within a specified, limited time period.

Why customers respond to sales promotions* They have a positive feeling about your brand which is linked to an unconditional stimulus such as a discount* Reinforced reward - in-pack discount voucher and once tried they keep coming back.* Their attitude changes after trial - repeat purchase.* Foot in the door' technique - sample is tried to gain a larger order.* Sales force promoting benefits to alter customers perception of the offering.* Price perception - perceived benchmark by customers. Used by quoting the reference price and sales price to assist the customer to calculate the savings.* Decision making process - end of isle items trigger recognition to purchase or seeing a machine in a magazine and it reminds you to place an order for a service or part..

Type Of Sales Promotion Objectives* Encourages sales force to move slow moving items* Challenges sales force to locate and qualify new prospects* Set up more store displays* Train more distributor sales people* Induce wholesalers to carry a new product line* Persuade distributors to promote (push) a brand in their promotional activities* Persuade retailers to give a particular brand shelf space* Encourage retailers to support sales promotion campaign by carrying more inventory

Sales promotion is one of 6 elements in the marketing mix and should thus be used against the background of the firms overall marketing communication strategy.A firm selling expensive machines would not get involved in a sweepstake but would rather create a quality image through their distribution network by advertising in trade magazines and include personal selling in the mix.

How sale promotion affect sales* Brand switching - does not only occur with price promotions. Customers might also buy the brand most readily available, or the brand on display. This is why there is rivalry amongst marketers for the end of isle locations.* Repeat purchasing -* To create a habit of purchasing the offer* Product extension - to purchase same brand of microwave after a refrigerator was bought* Purchase acceleration -* Purchase larger volumes - bulk buying* Load customer to beat competitors promotion - two for the price of one

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Organizing for Innovation

To counteract new product failure, one needs to develop different and special organizational arrangements for innovation. There are six areas to focus on;

1. Vision and Objectives.Top management should provide a vision for innovation that is placed alongside the goals for the company. The vision should have top priority as any new product is the future growth for any company.The firm should compare its own innovation record to its competitors and other leading businesses and identify the obstacles to innovation. A course of action should be recommended with objectives set and quantified before pursuing a number of new product alternatives with urgency and vigor.

2. People SkillsInnovation is based on knowledge. Firms that stand out in their field are those that know;* more about their competitors* what their customers want* available technological solutions* making companies information easily available to all personnel* staff incentives to innovate

3. Customer Focus InnovationThe objective for any innovation is to delight the customer. Customer involvement and feedback should be top priority throughout the project. Often they create markets that did not exist previously.

4. Autonomous Teams, Parallel ProcessingInnovation should take place outside the firm. The objectives and tasks of the operation are very different from those of running the organization itself. Ongoing operations are simply too slow and unfocused.This occurs because the organization works in series and not in parallel. Traditionally, products start in R&D or marketing departments. They are eventually handed over to the engineering for design. Manufacturing takes over to make the product and finally to sales where its sold - by then it's too late because it offers no new benefits to the customer.A way to create innovation is to use a dedicated team to steer the project to completion. The team should consist of people in R&D, marketing, engineering, production and sales with each having the responsibility to the success of the project.

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Business Influence Through Marketing Communications

Communications is the unique tool that marketers use to persuade consumers to act in a desired way. It can be verbal, either written or spoken, it can be visual or a combination of the two. Communication is the bridge between marketers and consumers, and between consumers and their sociological environments.

Communication is defined as the transmission of a message from a sender to a receiver by means of a signal of some sort sent through a channel of some sort.

How the communication message is receivedThe mass audience as individual receivers: A mass audience is simply a great number of individual receiver's, each with his or her own interest, experiences, needs, wants, desires.

Market segmentation strategies divide the total audience into smaller audiences, each of which is homogenous in relation to characteristics relevant to the product. Specific advertising messages can be designed for each segment, and run in the media that appeals to that segment. Each individual thus feels that the message is specifically addressed to his interest and needs.

Multiple audiences: The ultimate success of an organization depends on its ability to persuade many different audiences as the nature of their products or services. Companies with diverse audiences develop an overall communication message to all of their audiences, from which they spin off a series of related messages targeted directly at the specific interest of each individual audience. i.e. The BP opposite advert - winter, summer - black, white - beyond petroleum, BP.

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How to become a "Customer-Led Company"

The core idea of the customer-led company is to focus on needs and not products. The central idea of marketing is that customers want to meet a need or solve a problem and not to buy a product.

The concept and why the different mind setWhat is your operation now - Questions to ask yourselfDo you manufacture products and supply a service to a target market?Do you supply a variety of products?Do you sell your services so your clients buy from you?Once your client gives you a job, do you work to that job?

“Selling tries to get the customer to want what the company has”The whole focus is job / product orientated you only work on the job with out asking about the customer needs. For example you are manufacturing a automotive part and the client needs 100 units with in 3 days. The order is large and you have to assign a whole line to fulfill the order which you regularly do because he is an important client. A customer led company would spend a bit of time to ascertain the client specific need and find out that he requires 20 units a day to fulfill his overseas orders. With a bit of research the company could introduce a "Just in Time" order programme that would provide a solution to everyone's needs.

Business that are good at satisfying customer needs can grow and satisfy all concernedShareholders - value in company Managers - pro-active instead of reactiveCustomers - satisfactionEmployees - securityCreditors - high credit rating

A Customer-led CompanyMarketing-led is to build a relationship to meet the customer needs.

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Sponsorship - an existing event versus creating your own event

The difference between a mediocre and successful sponsorship lies in the leverage of sponsorship. Maximizing visibility through creative and imaginative exploitation can maximize coverage and awareness and optimize return of investment.

An Existing EventThe success of an existing event depends on the skills and experience of the organizer.

The following questions should be asked;* Who is responsible for event promotion?* Will it draw spectators?* How can attendance be maximized?* Are rights-fees and admin costs understood?* What budget is set for sponsorship leverage?

Their are a few strategic considerations in selecting an existing event.* Will there be any other sponsors besides yourself and at what level of involvement?* What are the rights allocated to other sponsors and how does it differ from yours?* Did the other sponsors gain rights proportionate with their payments?* How was the price determined?* Are the other sponsor's businesses compatible with yours?* Ensure visibility of your brand if the event is cluttered.* Identify the opportunities of hospitality.* Can the brand association dilute and overpower brand association developed by a previous sponsor?

Creating your own eventCareful control is needed when creating your own event.Some areas to consider;* Positioning statement that is branding the image* Hospitality - how your customers and VIP guests are treated* Number and type of sponsors* Event quality

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Promotional items: an exceptional sales tool

Promotional products work well because the same people see them repeatedly and new people are always coming into contact with the products. They deliver a lower cost per impression than any other media.

Out of 2000 respondents, 90% confirmed that they own promotional products. On average they use them and contact the advertiser once a day.

Pens, pencils, USB sticks and key rings are the items most likely to be carried around in briefcase, work folder or hand bag. Writing instruments are still the most frequently used item.

Research has shown that many people have more positive views of companies after they have received promotional items. The majority of people, 61%, also report that they are encouraged to look into products of the company after receiving promotional items. Receiving a gift has a positive effect on recruiting new customers.

Many receivers keep their products for up to 2 years! Businessgifts are the palpable “thank you” for your clients and employees. People appreciate the gesture. This is confirmedtime and time again as a result of research. It’s not about the price tag on the product, it’s about the gesture and the message communicated.

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Why Direct Marketing is Accountable Advertising

Direct marketing is an interactive system of marketing designed to create and keep customers by developing long term, personal relationship with each other through increasingly relevant products or services.

Direct marketing is designed to:* solicit and close a sale* to generate interest* and to motivate a store visit.

Methods of coding and tracking can lead you back to the advertising source. Final return can be calculated to the last cent. No other activity with the exception of personal selling can be measured this thoroughly.

The advantages of direct marketing are:* Accountable advertising - each rand is accountable for* Added-value advertising - increases sales, creates awareness and builds brands* Answer back advertising - feedback* Allegiance advertising - communication builds loyalty* Appropriate advertising - relevant* Action advertising - provokes an action* Automated advertising - personal or direct

The most cost effective type of direct marketing activities are:Mail shot - personalized to the client with specific items that will create a desire for the need to purchase.Statement stuffers -DL leaflets inserted with the clients statement.Inserts - effective in magazines that have a specific target audience.Telemarketing - effective but the most expensive form of direct marketing.Internet - effective and getting better all the time as the security for credit card purchases improves.

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The 8 Step Personal Selling Process

Personal selling is the most expensive form of advertising and to be effective one should use a step by step process to gain the most benefit. Personal selling can adjust the manner in which facts are communicated and can consider factors such as culture and behaviour in the approach. They can ask questions to discover the specific need of the customer and can get feedback and adjust the presentation as it progresses.

The Personal Selling ProcessThe personal selling process is a consecutive series of activities conducted by the salesperson, the lead to a prospect taking the desired action of buying a product or service and finish with a follow-up contact to ensure purchase satisfaction.

Step OneProspecting - the first step in the personal selling processThe process of looking for and checking leads is called prospecting or determining which firms or individuals could become customers.Up to 20% of a firm's customer base can be lost for reasons such as transfer, death, retirement, takeovers, dissatisfaction with the company and competition. A steadily growing list of qualified prospects is important for reaching the sales targets.Qualifying a prospect: A lead is a name on a list. It only becomes a prospect if it is determined that the person or company can benefit from the service or product offered. A qualified prospect has a need, can benefit from the product and has the authority to make the decision.

Step TwoThe Pre-approachThis stage involves the collecting of as much relevant information as possible prior to the sales presentation. The pre-approach investigation is carried out on new customers but also on regular customers. Systematic collection of information requires a decision about applicability, usefulness and how to organise the information for easy access and effective use.

Step ThreeThe ApproachThe salesperson should always focus on the benefits for the customer. This is done by using the product's features and advantages. This is known as the FAB technique (Features, Advantages and Benefits).* Features : Refers to the physical characteristics such as size, taste etc.* Advantages : Refers to the performance provided by the physical characteristics eg it does not stain.* Benefits : Refers to the benefits for the prospect. Eg. Saves you 20% on replacement cost.

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