Small Screen Marketing is Smart Screen Marketing

28 Aug

mobile marketing  

Better enable your sales message for mobile

There’s no argument about it: customers are using mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets at growing rates. Mobile devices are surpassing computers in sales, connecting customers and prospects to your business, and helping salespeople close deals. In short, mobile is becoming the first screen while personal computers are becoming the second screen. As people are increasingly utilizing their mobile devices for information on the go, the small screen is proving that bigger is not necessarily better when it comes to delivering your sales message to your audience.

Consider these stats:

These stats show an important trend: people are making decisions while using mobile devices to look for products, services, and your business information. Below are five insights for what your customers want on the small screen.

  1. Your website must be mobile friendly: This is the point people miss the most when they say they are not ready to invest in a new website. At ER Marketing, we recommend at least creating a simple mobile-friendly website landing page that has key information about your services and includes contact information. Whatever the case, make sure you incorporate a mobile-friendly website in your sales and marketing strategy.
  2. Make sure your email is easy to read on mobile devices: Mobile-friendly email is a key business communication tool. Whether you’re marketing or simply communicating with your customers, you need to think about the small screen. Keep your message’s subject line short. Your brand name and call to action should be high enough on the screen so viewers easily know what you’re asking them to do.
  3. Customers want to find you: Your customers and prospects want to find you and contact you. Make it easy for them by including these key items: a readily available contact page with your address and a map that links to Google Maps, click-to-call enabled phone numbers, easily accessible email addresses, and social media links—if you’re not using it, you should be.
  4. Content is king: Content should come first in any marketing and sales strategy. Your website should easily describe what you do—but not only what you do; it should also convey the benefit of this service to the customer. When a customer is looking at your website or email on a smartphone, the content needs to be refined. Less space to get your message across can be a challenge, but it’s one worth facing. Consider using a content specialist to help you format your story and your message to fit across multiple screens. Lastly, note that forms and downloads should be mobile friendly as well if you’re looking to include them on your mobile website.
  5. Mobile devices and sales: Your sales teams are using mobile tools to help sell your products and services. If they’re not, just know that your competitors are using them. These tools can include tablets loaded with online demos, PowerPoint presentations, documents and online brochures—or they can include apps such as sales management software or even email to help them close business. This should be part of your strategy to grow your business. It will help make you communicate more efficiently and connect you to your customers.

To summarize, focus on your website, but make sure that you’re optimizing your mobile message. We believe this to be the center of your business operations, no matter the industry you’re in. Serve up a mobile-friendly website experience that allows customers to find you and contact you. As the smartphone becomes the computer of choice, companies that enable their message for the small screen will be poised to attract new business and strengthen their brand awareness. Small screen marketing has become smart screen marketing.

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10 Steps to Enable Your Building Products Event Experience (Part 2)

15 Jul

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Put a Name to Your Face With Well-Planned Trade Show Events

Not everyone is good with names, but most people can easily recall a face. That’s why events and tradeshows are such an excellent way to grow your audience and customer-base. With noteworthy information, exciting content, and a unique experience, you can make sure your building products customers know and remember not only your name, but also your face.

Events like these are a vital opportunity to present current and potential customers with the facts about your business; but more than that, it’s also an excellent way to humanize your company. With personal interactions, you put a face to the name of your company, and in doing so, are presented with a chance to secure real leads and increase relations with current customers—hopefully increasing your sales in the process.

The only problem? Creating an engaging trade show event isn’t always as easy as it seems. Luckily, we have your back. Last week, we discussed five key tips to enable your customer’s event experience. This week, we’re bringing you the final five:

  1. Connect the Dots: It’s amazing how many companies don’t have a strong pre- and post-show marketing program that goes beyond a blast email. Segmentation will easily improve the experience people have with your company.
  2. Mobilize your exhibit: Does your target base use smartphones and tablets? If they do, then they most likely have these devices with them during the event. Create ways for attendees to download content, images, or demonstrations that they can view on their own time. Are your attendees using text messaging? Think about collecting cell numbers to send links and messages throughout the show with updates and important news.
  3. Giveaways, freebies, tchotchkes: These are all items that cost money and, to most companies, are not well thought out or connected in any obvious way to your marketing and sales objectives. Think critically about the giveaway and work with a company that can help you choose the right item that represents your brand.
  4. Launch/Re-Launch: Even if you don’t have a new product to show off, promote a desired feature on an existing product. If you only have a prototype, create buzz with animations and allow attendees to interact with the product.
  5. Create a fun experience: Prospects and customers are drawn to a happy, fun place. I recently worked with a company that manufactured only one thing: fans. They could have chosen to simply put them on display and hope that people would come by and talk to them; instead they chose to be different. This company had strong interactive displays, music and a photo booth with wind blowing at attendees while their photo was taken. This company maximized their customer experience and created a very memorable trade show exhibit.

As you can see, planning an awesome event experience is no easy task, and it’s one that requires creativity and careful attention to detail. But with the combined tips from last week and this week, you’re guaranteed to make an impression and ensure that your customers and leads won’t forget your name or your face.

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10 Steps to Enable Your Building Products Event Experience (Part 1)

26 Jun

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Engage Your Audience With Well-Planned Trade Show Events

Building products companies are looking for ways to engage their prospects and customers at events and tradeshows. The return companies are experiencing on events is pushing marketers to find new ways to attract the right leads at the right time.

Many of the companies we work with now used to run into roadblocks regarding their events, so we asked them about these frustrations and how they could be resolved: Did you launch your event with your new logo? Did you utilize updated branding messages and a large screen with your scrolling presentation? Do you still feel like you look like everyone else? What customer experience do you want to portray?

Think of the ways to increase the experience that people have with your company, your products and your service. Are they memorable? Are they different? Will leads share the experience with their network? These are just a few questions you need to ask as you begin to plan out ways to improve the connection with your audience at your next event and trade show.

Here are the first five ways to maximize your customer experience. Check back next week for the last five in this series:

  1. Make your exhibit unique:Design your exhibit and event space with unique materials. Think beetle kill wood, reclaimed barn wood or recyclable materials. Whatever the case, think outside the box while also staying true to your brand.
  2. Create a theme: Connect your audience to your brand and to the problem they are trying to solve. Can your exhibit or event look like a gas station, a store, a ski shop or something unique to your brand? If so, take the idea and run with it to create a powerful customer experience.
  3. Enable technology: Marketers must look through the sales lens to understand what is a perfect qualified lead and develop the sales enablement tools to help this process. Make sure not to overlook the importance of sales enablement technology both at your event and in preparation for your event.
  4. Engage employees: The #1 item people usually remember about your exhibit is your staff.  Make sure your staff agrees with the trade show objectives, clearly understands the product and the customers’ and prospects’ needs. And hey, bringing out your best, brightest and most charismatic folks certainly won’t hurt things.
  5. Let people play: Create a reason for customers and prospects to engage your event and trade show exhibit. A top item has been adding a photo booth to your exhibit and creating an opportunity for a branded message that the prospect takes home with them, as well as the connections through social channels they engage while sharing the images. People like to touch, learn and experience. Consider utilizing large touch screens people can pick up and engage with—you’re guaranteed to stand out more than the booths that use three or four iPads for this purpose. Another idea: Create a touchscreen map with nearby restaurants so attendees can create a reservation while printing out a branded map. This is very memorable and sticks out in someone’s memory.

These are just a few ways to maximize your customer experience at trade shows and events. If you are looking for ideas on ways to improve your trade show booth or upcoming event, give ER Marketing a call and discuss how to make your event marketing memorable.

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Plan Towards Innovation

3 Jun

 Stand out from the crowd

Create a New Future with Innovation-Focused Strategy

As most marketers navigating the building supply channel know, strategy and innovation go hand in hand. I’ve discussed in past articles how creativity can play an important role in innovation, but often overlooked is the strategy that goes into actually implementing the changes necessary to make a creative innovation a reality.

A recent article by Vijay Govindarajan describes this dynamic between innovation and strategy – specifically, how innovation should always inform strategy-making.

Govindarajan suggests that there are four key factors to consider with innovative strategy-making:

  • Know Your Industry – It’s not enough to assume that the same strategies that innovated faster-paced, larger industry will work in a smaller, slower one. Some innovations can take a decade, while others can take ten decades. Don’t confuse the two.
  • Innovation Is Complex – Innovation can be linear or non-linear, which is to say: in line with current business practices or deviating slightly from current business practices. But as Govindarajan points out, these linear or non-linear business practices can also unfold into even more complex layers with incremental or radical innovation: happening over time or overhauling a pre-established system in a sudden, disruptive manner. Whatever the innovation you’re considering, make sure to know the implications.
  • Just Do It – If an idea gets pushed down the table time and time again, it’s a money drain. Plus, the more times it gets pushed down the table, the greater the likelihood that it will eventually fall off the table entirely. You can talk about an idea or even set strategy all you want, but there’s something to be said for actually making it happen.
  • Innovation Isn’t Top Down – Folks at the bottom tend to know customers better – use their knowledge to set strategy that disrupts the status quo. In fact, Govindarajan argues that senior-level employees have often played such a key role in the setting status quo, which makes it difficult for them to consider an innovation that could disrupt past ways of doing things.

For more information, give Govindarajan’s article a read.

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Google Glass – Did We Forget to Look at the Channel?

26 May

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How Google Glass Could Change the Face of the Building Industry

With all the chatter surrounding Google Glass, I’ve often found myself wondering how such a unique piece of technology could become integrated into real world, practical situations. Most of what we hear about Google Glass—whether good or bad—involves its use as a consumer product. But what about its capabilities for users in business settings? Have we been forgetting to look at the Channel in all our talk of Google Glass? A recent New York Times article seeks to address this issue by pointing out that a much more likely use for Google Glass will be professional settings: medical, technical support, and yes, maybe even the building products industry.

To recap the article, just a few of the many industries the New York Times outlines as having the potential to be impacted by Google Glass:

  • Engineering
  • Car repair
  • Architecture
  • Lumberjacking
  • Construction

What does a builder in the Channel do when he or she runs into an issue while installing a product? Today, he might make a call, consult a handbook or even search for a solution on a mobile device. But with wearable devices like Google Glass, new solutions are right in front of our eyes…literally. Imagine a builder being able to watch an instructional clip as they attempt to troubleshoot a tricky product or installation – or better yet, imagine that same builder is able to use his Google Glass to video conference with a room of experts who can offer their assistance. Is it as flashy as getting walking directions to the nearest Starbucks? Probably not, but it seems a much more likely scenario to me.

While it’s impossible to look into a crystal ball and see the future of this technology for consumers (though that might be a good idea for an app in the Google Play store), one thing is clear for Google Glass: it has the capability to change the way we look at the building industry.

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