The Sandblog: Where we share the toys of inspiring thoughts, ideas and insights - all in one place
Get Marketing Fit in 2017
Created on January 2, 2017

Get Marketing Fit in 2017

by Teyden Haycroft, Marketing Account Manager, Sandbox Brand Marketing

Happy New Year! January is all about starting fresh: reflecting on the past year, taking stock of your goals and reassessing priorities for the New Year.  Fitness and health are often the priority for most this time of year, but what about your business resolutions?

If shaping up your marketing strategy is high on your list, here are some tips to help you flex some brand muscle while helping to keep your marketing budget focused and fit.

1.     Understand your “why”.  It’s important to explore the reason for the specific goals that you have set for your business. There is a bigger inspiration that drives your vision for your company, and it needs to be uncovered and well articulated throughout all your content. It serves as the foundation to your marketing strategy and also helps to create a deeper connection with your audience than just talking about your product/service benefits. 

2.     Get clear on your goals and how to achieve them. Define what you want to achieve for your business in 2017, but keep in mind the impact that longer term goals can have on your business as well. Building brand awareness and name recognition within your marketplace can take years or even decades. Focusing some of your efforts on achieving those long-term goals should be critical to your marketing resolution this year.

3.     Make a plan that will gradually move you toward your final goal. Without a plan to move you from point A to B, your ability to reach your marketing goals will understandably be greatly diminished. But similar to many resolutions that start out strong, too ambitious of a goal and/or timeline to achieve it will result in unrealistic expectations of results. A “go big or go home” mentality often results in disappointment, when in truth it’s not about making one big, extraordinary marketing move to accomplish extraordinary things. To get amazing results, it’s about doing ordinary things on a daily basis. So instead, break down the tactics required to get to that goal, and stay focused on these behaviours and tactics rather than quick results or a flashy campaign.

4.     Set your milestones. Breaking up your marketing goals into smaller, incremental successes will help keep you focused on the marketing tactics and help illustrate the successes that add up to the big picture. Success doesn’t happen overnight; but setting attainable, measurable milestones on the road to your ultimate goal can serve as critical indicators of the success of your marketing strategy.

5.     Measure and optimize. It is critical to determine how best to measure your marketing efforts to ultimately determine if they are succeeding. What you measure and how often you measure it should be directly correlated to your primary goal. Website hits, conversion rates, organic search traffic, customer surveys, click through rates, ad impressions and video view lengths are just some of the key performance indicators to consider. Consistent reporting on the relevant factors in your campaign is necessary to understanding what’s working, what’s not, and how to make changes to your marketing tactics if necessary. What gets monitored, gets improved.

6.     Brace yourself for temptation. If your marketing strategy is sound and your tactics are well thought out, but you don’t see a spike in results in those first early days, don’t give up just yet. Just as with a fitness resolution, many lose motivation when results are not immediate. Instead, look to make small adjustments in your tactics and optimize based on the results you are measuring. Many factors can determine how much time you will need to gain traction in your marketplace: how competitive is the landscape, how integrated is your campaign with multiple channels, how targeted is your audience, how appropriate is the allocated budget, how long is your customer’s path to purchase? Consider these questions when determining how long to measure your marketing efforts before pulling the plug. 

7.     Start with baby steps: To get amazing results, it’s about doing ordinary things on a daily basis. What does that mean for your business? For starters, consider whether you are actively engaged on the social channels where your target customer lives. Are you posting high quality and relevant content on a consistent basis? Perhaps your first marketing resolution includes spending a small amount of time every other day to engage and build your community on these platforms. What about the content that lives on your website? When was the last time that it was updated? Does it speak to the needs of your customers, the questions they have, the information they are looking for when they look for your products/services? Does it contain the search terms that reflect the words your customers would enter into Google? Even without a big budget, starting with small changes and consistent execution can often yield those first critical results.

8.    Get help. Know when it’s time to call in the experts. Crafting a successful marketing strategy takes skill and understanding. Aligning yourself with the right brand marketing partner can help you answer many of the questions that businesses need to be able to answer in order to successfully achieve their marketing goals. Investing in the expertise of an experienced marketing firm who will determine the appropriate steps to take in order to execute that strategy; which specific tactics and mediums to activate with; and generate reporting and insights, is the best way to help inform your marketing decisions in the new year.

 

With a little patience, the above tips will help you turn your marketing dreams into this year’s realities. If you are ready to take your marketing fitness to the next level in 2017, consider Sandbox Brand Marketing to help craft your business’ roadmap to success this year.
Marketing
The Day You Find Out Why You Were Born
Created on December 5, 2016

The Day You Find Out Why You Were Born

by Rod Anderson, President, Sandbox Brand Marketing

 

What does this mean and why is it important to people and companies?

At some stage in our lives most of us probably ponder just what the hell we were put here to do, or at the very least, why are we doing what we do and what it is we like about what we are doing.

While I am not a philosopher, probably far from it, I do feel we have a purpose while we’re here. That being said, some of us go through life never really knowing why we are here or figuring out what we are truly great at. I believe those that figure the answers to these questions out early on in life, are the ones that are able to deliver significant impact to the world and those around them.

I believe the same is true for companies and leaders of those companies. Some companies start out with this understanding of goals and their core purpose is clearly identified and communicated to all. Other companies scale without a clear identification of their core purpose and they can sometimes grow to be very good companies, but fail to ever reach the type of impact they could have had, if they had done the heavy lifting to determine what their company’s true purpose is. 

The Zappos core purpose is to be the “online service leader”. By focusing on being the online service leader as their purpose and differentiator, they are able to make significant growth decisions like partnering with Amazon, and moving beyond selling shoes into other categories of goods like watches and eyewear. An identified purpose allows for these decisions to be made more easily if they align and support the purpose you have set out to fulfill.

Once a company understands its core purpose, formalizes it into a statement, communicates it to its team, and allows the team to embrace and own the purpose, all decisions start to become easier to make. A core purpose also allows the company to develop and define a clear vision. It is powerful to work in a company that has a clear purpose that drives the business and it’s decisions. From a customer and brand perspective it is easy to see and understand what makes that company different, be it in a hyper competitive market like Procter and Gamble and the consumer packaged good world, or Apple in the technology sector. Customers know what these companies stand for and the brands they develop are all driven by a customer focused core purpose.


Does every person or company have a purpose?

I find that many companies are “me-too” types of companies, created and built to compete in an industry and provide a living for its owners and employees while servicing customers in whatever it is they do. These companies are modeled after others already in the sector with no real intention of being significantly different in the market, or to deliver significant change or impact in the world. 

Then there are those companies and brands we meet with that have been built with a purpose by a visionary, but they have never been able to, or have yet to try to uncover what it is that really drives them and their cultures everyday. These companies do have a magic that exists inside but require a little help defining what their purpose is. These businesses are designed to have significant growth and impact if they can align to an authentic purpose and start making more decisions based on that purpose.

Maybe the same can be said for people. Those that figure out their purpose or feel they have one seem to go through life finding it easy to get involved with the things they are driven by, while not being distracted by things that they are not. They have a flow in how they approach their lives and careers and seem effortless in work. They are happier than most and deliver impact in whatever they care about. They are typically very interesting and energizing to be around and know.


So what about Sandbox?

We have invested time to understand what it is that we are good at and what it is that we love to do: our purpose. The statement that best captured why we are here is “To Reveal True Greatness”. This statement stands true for our team and our ecosystem partners, as well as for the clients and brands we are honoured to serve. 

The statement has special impact to us in that “revealing” has two meanings:

  1. to uncover through a deep dive an understanding what it is that makes a leader, company, and brand authentically different and great.
  2. to help tie this greatness into a meaningful message that can be communicated internally and externally in a way that creates impact for all of our clients.

Sandbox is exploring the process of “Revealing True Greatness” for more people, more companies, and in more significant ways. To hear more about what we’re up to, and for the opportunity to reveal the greatness within your company, contact us directly at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. today.

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