Everyone markets themselves every day; from the clothes we wear to the way we interact with the world around us, we make conscious choices as to how we want the outside world to perceive us.
If you manage a company, the challenges associated with marketing yourself are ratcheted up by 1,000 percent.
To create a positive corporate image, and market your product or services in a way that outperforms the competition, you need every tool you can get in your marketing arsenal.
After more than five years helping companies reach customers and inspire purchasing decisions, here are five simple strategies I recommend for anyone’s marketing tool box.
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Include Photos and Add Some Color
Xerox released the results of a study that showed “Color increases readers’ attentions spans and recall by 82 percent.” When you add photos to backup your points made in your content, retention rates climb even higher.
Humans see faces in everything, even the moon! Take advantage of human instincts and mental patterns by choosing vibrant colors and pictures that captivate your audience. But, remember, colors can clash. Use a color wheel, like the one below, to balance the colors your company chooses for web content, packaging and marketing materials.
Focus on Fast
When do customers want products or services? Yeah, like yesterday! The faster you can fulfill orders, and the more effectively you communicate how fast and simple your service is, the stronger your value propositions become. It’s what Shep Hyken calls “Delivering Value with Time”. As the speed of your service improves, and the long-term relationship with your customer matures, time becomes your greatest weapon in maintaining customer loyalty.
Stanford found that selling a customer on time (faster, more enjoyable and fun) was more effective than selling customers on cost-savings. They point out that cheap beer companies focus on the good time drinkers enjoy. “It’s Miller Time.”
One project I worked on involved selling used mattresses. Nothing glorious, but it paid the bills and I learned something valuable for future projects. Companies, like ChooseMattress, have figured out something incredibly valuable: for retailers of all shapes and sizes, cleanliness matters; especially if gently-used or refurbished products are being offered at discount prices.
They point out on their blog that selling a used mattress involves “…thoroughly cleaning and sanitizing so that your prospective buyers are not scared to make the purchase.” Pictures posted online should show items that are wrinkle-free, dust-free and stain-free. I know, it sounds obvious, but a quick scroll through Craigslist will tell you that this lesson hasn’t been digested by enough people (both corporate and private) trying to hawk their goods online.
For physical spaces, having a showroom free from dust is an absolute must. Don’t let dirt tarnish your reputation for quality and attention-to-detail.
Reduce Clutter and Noise
Selection is important, but how that selection is presented is even more important. Our eyes love order and logic. When you visit a website, you’ll notice that sections are relegated to individual boxes or “thought areas”. Walking through the grocery store, aisles are marked with signs that explain what’s available on that aisle; products are neatly stacked and arranged to be both visually appealing and accessible.
Communicating your brand’s values and your product’s USP’s is often easiest with an infographic. According to the CMO Council, “65 percent of senior marketing executives believe that visual assets (photos, video, illustrations, and infographics) are core to how their brand story is communicated.” Visually appealing, logically sorted information is key to making an impression that will convert into a sale.
The reason is pretty simple; our eyes stay glued to attractive displays which allow our mind to digest information more thoroughly, increasing recall and perceived value. An image, strategically combined with text, appeals to every visual cue in our mind. We study, digest and analyze the content we’re looking at in real-time, and images give the text a fighting chance at making an impact.
Strategically Staggered Pricing
When companies list the items available for sale, you’ll notice that price points for different sized items are kept within a close range. For example, Ad Week reported that there’s a trend in marketing called “decoy pricing”. The premise is simple, and based on my last trip to the grocery store, it definitely works.
When you offer an item for sale on our website or in your store, make sure that you take advantage of the psychology behind offering a lot more, for just a couple bucks more. For example, as the article mentions, when movie theaters sell drinks, they purposely offer a medium-sized drink that is in a middle price-point between small and large drinks. Looking at an $8 drink might seem expensive when presented by itself, but next to a $7 medium drink, just a buck more for a whole lot more doesn’t seem like a bad deal.
Make sure your price-points are offered in a range format that provides increasing value for small bumps in total cost. You’ll increase revenues and average basket size.
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You Can Sell Virtually Anything When It’s Presented Properly
Think about the last time you ordered fast-food using a drive-thru. It’s easy to access, attractively presented and requires minimal effort. Your marketing needs to drive sales by capitalizing on the traffic already visiting your website and physical location. Focusing on presentation, perceived value, and actual quality will allow you to reach the next level in your business.
Are you leaving money on the table by ignoring these five strategies?