Keep Blogging with These Seven Steps

Posted on August 13, 2007 by Kevin G.

Sometimes we all feel like blogging, but we hit a road block.  Sometimes we want to write about a subject but we have a tough time solidifying a position.  Other times, we write a great blog and then are stumped as to what could be written next round.

I found some great tips on how to develop, manage and communicate your blogging topics.  In addition, Advice is also given on how to create and track your objectives.  Enjoy.

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August 13, 2007 in Blog Outsourcing, blog publish, Blogging Tools, Blogs, build credibility, Building B2B Relationships, company blog, Corporate Blogging, publish, publish a journal, publish a rss, publish company, publish online, publish writing, publishing outsourcing, publishing solution, sample newsletter, self publish, Strategic Internet Marketing, Thought leadership newsletter, web publish, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Keep Your Company On Target: Top 3 Lessons Learned from the Target Corporation

Posted on May 31, 2007 by Kathryn Regina.

The Target Corporation has a loyal customer base whose enthusiasm has become somewhat of a cultural phenomenon. From the pet name Tarzhay (a “French” pronunciation of Target) to the scores of shoppers professing their love for the red bull’s-eye, Target is a force to be reckoned with in the discount retail industry.

In her book On Target: How the World’s Hottest Retailer Hit a Bull’s-eye, author Laura Rowley expounds on Target’s business and marketing strategies. And although the book is retail-centric (and at times a bit promotional), I think it offers some valuable insight into what makes a business—any business—successful. The following are my top three lessons learned from the Target Corporation.

Lesson One: Take the best of both worlds

Die-hard Target shoppers will adamantly dispute the idea that Target is “just another discount store” like Walmart or Kmart. How has Target so effectively differentiated itself from its competitors? They did it by taking the best elements of a high-end department store--a clean well-lit sales floor, stylish products and friendly customer service--and tailoring those elements to fit a discount store.

“’Before I was a professor, I worked at a housewares distribution company which sold to Target,’ said Michael Levy, a professor of retailing at Babson College in Massachusetts and co-editor of the Journal of Retailing. ‘They always paid a lot of attention to detail. Their stores always looked a lot better than the discount store competition. Even though the shelves were stacked a little higher and the displays were not as slick as department stores, they looked more like department stores in those days than the sort of dark, dingy look of a discount store (On Target, p11).’”

Consider your chief competitors, and companies that provide high-end services in your industry. What are the most attractive elements of their offers, and how can you integrate those elements into your business in a realistic, manageable way? Take the best of both worlds and you’ll make your customers feel like they’ve hit the jackpot.

Lesson Two: Design is king

From the basics of product selection to larger decisions about its marketing campaigns, Target takes design very seriously.

Tupperware chairman and CEO Rick Goings: “I think they are looking for brands that really draw people into Target stores.  If you compare them to some other retailers, they have a fairly narrow product line that they show in any category in Target, but it’s usually brands or product categories where there’s a panache to it, or a design element (On Target, p23).”

Following the iMac model of “show, don’t tell” Target ads and commercials are visually compelling, with very little text. The bulls-eye logo is so strongly branded that the Target name is usually not even included in advertisements.

“This is the ultimate emotional connection,” says Mark Gobe, founder of the branding and design firm Desgrippes Gobe Group, “when your message is so powerful and so unique that visual expressions can stand alone (On Target, p58).”

Lesson Three: Partner with people who are experts in their fields

The “do-it-yourself” method seems like a frugal choice for home owners, but it isn’t always the best financial decision for a business. So when Target decided to join the e-commerce market, it turned over its Web operations to Amazon.com.

“’I think [the Amazon deal] gives them an edge,’ said Cynthia Cohen of Strategic Mindshare. ‘You can create your own infrastructure for e-commerce, hire people, teach them—but that is expensive and time-consuming, versus going to somebody whose core competency is e-commerce. Amazon already has this knowledge—so [Target is] buying the knowledge—their dollars versus their time frame, their risk. This isn’t entirely risk-free, but Target is reducing risk by using knowledge from a company whose core competency is e-commerce (On Target, p76).’”

Whether you’re trying to break into e-commerce or start a custom publication, partnering with an expert can increase efficiency, reduce risk and optimize results while sparing your company the cost of internal time and resources.

Visit Laura Rowley.com


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May 31, 2007 in award winning blog, award winning design, blog publish, Blogs, Brand enhancement, build credibility, Building Customer Community, Building Customer Intuition, business credibility, Business Marketing, Business relationships, Corporate Blogging, Customer Intuition, customer retention, E-Marketing, Email Marketing, email marketing solution, grow relationships, Marketing Communication, marketing solutions, nurturing relationships, online marketing, publish, Strategic Internet Marketing | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Personalized Greetings

Posted on May 22, 2007 by Kathryn Regina.

When it comes to email, does "Dear Bob" personalization really work?

The short answer: It's a start, but customization is more than just a personalized greeting.

Read the whole article.

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May 22, 2007 in Newsletter content, newsletter creation, Newsletter Marketing, newsletter publishing, Newsletter ROI, Newsletter solution, newsletter solutions, nurturing relationships, online marketing, online newsletter, online publishing, publications management, publish, publish company, publish online, publish writing, publishing solution, Strategic Internet Marketing, web publish, Weblogs, Writing a Newsletter, writing magazine, writing newsletter | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Reinforcement and Challenge: The Components of Strong Branding

Posted on May 16, 2007 by Kevin G.

I have been thinking a lot about branding lately and came up with a couple ideas about it.  Branding is all about the relationship a consumer has to a company and its products.  This relationship is enhanced through new experiences, better quality, and improved reputation.

Often a relationship is strengthened by reinforcing the positive qualities.  This is found in reward points for a certain amount of purchases, excellent customer service around trusted products, or improved stores or website to better serve customers.

Brands are also strengthened when they challenge their consumers into thinking differently about their product, service or company.  Apple did it with computers and Starbucks did it with coffee.  By challenging the consumers, they learn to refocus their view of a brand in an effort to improve the relationship.

These two commercials for BMW seem to do just that.  Watch both and see which is more effective for you and how you see BMW as a brand.

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May 16, 2007 in award winning design, Blogging Tools, Building B2B Relationships, Building Customer Community, bulk email marketing, business credibility, business magazine, Business relationships, CMO, Company publication, Corporate Blogging, Corporate newsletter, creating company newsletter, Creative emails, Custom publisher, Customer Intuition, Educating Clients, Educating Prospects, forbes magazine, grow relationships, magazine design, Strategic Internet Marketing | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Brand Origins

Posted on May 02, 2007 by Kevin G.

Have you ever been curious about the origins of some of the most recognizable companies worldwide?  I found a great site that explains the history of brands like Mercedes, NASA, Red Bull, or FedEx.  Feed your curiosity.

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May 2, 2007 in Brand enhancement, build credibility, Building B2B Relationships, business credibility, Business relationships, E-Marketing, Email Marketing, grow relationships, Interactive Marketing, newsletter, newsletter article, nurturing relationships, online marketing, Outsourcing publication, prospect newsletter, Strategic Internet Marketing, Thought leadership newsletter | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The Latest Strategy for Spam: Hijacking

Posted on April 25, 2007 by Kevin G.

Spam messages infest our inboxes and inundate filters on a daily basis.  It seems to be a continuous war of programmers vs. spammers. 

According to Commtouch’s 2007 Spam Trend Report, 85-90 percent of all emails are sneaky spam messages.  According to the report, the newest and most prominent form of spam aims to hijack the likeness of a legitimate email message.

The early forms of spam were easy to spot from subject lines using the seven words never to use in email marketing.  Now they carry the likeness of a normal message with a mixture of images and text.  Since most email service providers track an opened message from images populating, the average spam will now have an image at the top to fool spam filters.

When the newest methods of filtering are developed and integrated, they are already outdated by the continuous cycle of spam sophistication.  It seems like an endless rat race to stay on top.  You can read more about the newest trend in spam messages here.

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April 25, 2007 in build credibility, Building B2B Relationships, bulk email marketing, Business relationships, create newsletter, Creative emails, direct email marketing, E-Marketing, e-newsletter, Educating Clients, Email blast, email marketing campaign, email marketing solution, grow relationships, How to do a Newsletter, html email newsletter, Interactive Marketing, opt-in email, Opt-in Email Marketing, Strategic Internet Marketing | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Measuring ROI, What a Pain

Posted on April 04, 2007 by Kevin G.

It seems like it gets harder and harder to measure ROI with marketing campaigns.  John Federman explains the pains and potential with measuring ROI.  It may be easier than you think, just think beyond convention and more customer-centric.

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April 4, 2007 in Blogging Tools, build credibility, Building B2B Relationships, bulk email marketing, Business Marketing, Business publications, Company publication, E-Marketing, e-newsletter, Email Marketing, email marketing campaign, email tracking, How to do a Newsletter, marketing solutions, Newsletter Marketing, Newsletter ROI, newsletter solutions, online marketing, Strategic Internet Marketing, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

What Women Watch

Posted on April 02, 2007 by Kathryn Regina.

A recent eMarketer post reveals that though women comprise the majority of internet users, they make up a minority of online video watchers. Why don't ladies like YouTube? While the blog post doesn't speculate on reasons (I can think of a few...) it does provide a breakdown of the content that both men and women say they are most likely to watch.

His Tube?

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April 2, 2007 in Building B2B Relationships, Building Customer Community, Building Customer Intuition, Business Marketing, Corporate publications, E-Marketing, Marketing Communication, marketing solutions, nurturing relationships, online marketing, Strategic Internet Marketing, web publish | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack