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b2b branding

B2B Branding Tips For The New Buyer

Over the past few years, B2B business has seen a dramatic shift in the decision makers involved in purchasing. Now more than ever before Millennials are at the forefront of the company decisions especially when it comes to purchasing. According to a survey conducted by Google 2015 was the first year that nearly half of all B2B purchase influencers were Millennials. This shift impacts not only the B2B branding message but where that message is displayed as well since most Millennials spend a majority of their day online.

One of the biggest differences between Millennials and decision makers in the past is how they evaluate and research potential purchases. The same traditional advertising that worked on baby boomers is not going to work on Millennials and chances are they’re much further down in the purchase funnel before they even contact you. Thanks to the Internet and social media, decision makers do their own research on what they need, want, and whom they want to work with.

With more than 87 percent of online Millennials using Facebook and other social media sites, it’s imperative that your business has a strong social media and online presence however it’s not as simple as setting up pages and scheduling out posts. Millennials are looking for brands that are approachable, easy to navigate and as odd as this sounds more human.  Even in this hyper-connected world people still want to be connected with real people, especially in B2B transactions. The most successful B2B companies have utilized their social media pages to reach out directly to their customers and build a sense of community with their brand and customers. It’s extremely important to assure your audience that you or your team of people will be there for them and that you can solve some of their pain points.

Read more on Using Your Brand Story To Reach Millennials In Business.

So, how does a brand convey all of this to their audience? Here are 4 things you should be talking about in your B2B branding:

Have a Purpose

Many argue that this is more geared to B2C businesses but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Showing your company culture and your core values, or the reason why you do what you do is just as important in B2B marketing. Millennials more than any other audience are looking to work with companies that leave a positive impact on the world or those that have a great story about how they started.  Your brand values such as your mission statement and communication style will help create a personality and purpose behind your brand.

Read more on improving your B2B customer experience.

Knowledge

Potential customers are looking to solve a problem and they need to be confident that you will be able to solve it for them. Showing that you’re an authoritative source is one of the most important parts of your B2B branding.

Service

B2B buyers want someone that’s going to still make them feel that they have a 1 to 1 relationship even if they never communicate with you directly. Show them that you’re a company with real people who are willing to go the extra mile to get the job done.

Dependability

Showing that you can be depended on will take your brand messaging far. B2B buyers need to know that they can depend on you to get the job done so they can focus on other parts of their business. They don’t want to feel that they need to micromanage your work.

This generation is looking to be proud of who they purchase from. Today’s world is so much more transparent and connected and Millennials are not only used to that they expect you to be as well. It’s important that they are proud of who they buy from. By using ‘story branding’ companies can set a tone and feel for who they are and why they do what they do. With buyers getting inundated with so many screens and messages, stories help keep your B2B branding clear to your audience. The story with the strongest messaging that delivers an authentic feeling will stand out from the crowd. At the end of the day, B2B buyers are still, in fact, people and people love a good story.

  25 Website Must Haves For Driving Traffic, Leads & Sales

brand marketing

5 Reasons of Proof that Brand Marketing Works

I hear these three words every month, DOES MARKETING WORK? I can give you five reasons that support the answer of “absolutely”. Brand Marketing is as powerful as being number one or number three.

1) If you are a woman, what lipstick do you wear? What Shampoo do you use? What brand Jeans do you own? Women spend an average of $15,000 on makeup in their lifetimes. Beauty manufacturers spent $2.2 billion on advertising last year. Marketers allocated most of their ad spend to TV (42%) and print (54%). So what makes you buy the brand you purchased? Whatever your answer, it stems from marketing. The formula to penetrate into your mind is a complex one. But you have been brainwashed whether you accept it or not.

2) Typically, if you are of age, you are driving your car. Why are you a BMW or Volkswagen driver? Does not every brand have some sort of emotional and intellectual connection with you? What are your thoughts on a Mercedes Benz driver? The reason you have these thoughts are because of this fact:

  • General Motors spent 3.5 billion on advertising last year
  • Ford Motors spent 2.7 billion on advertising last year
  • Fiat Chrysler Automobiles spent 2.2 billion on advertising last year

Automakers sold almost 18 million vehicles. Do you think they would do all this advertising if it didn’t work? Marketing is the driving force to give you a lasting impression when it comes time to purchase your next car. You probably already know what vehicle represents who you are. Brand loyalty is also a big piece of the advertising puzzle and they spend millions to keep you coming back.

3) You’re hooked on some television shows? Why is that? How did you find out about them? The advertising to capture an audience of a certain demographics has become easier with all the analytical data thats accessible. You may of picked a show just because you liked that actor or actress. They too are a brand. I want to focus on one show and one show only, NFL Programming. NFL are branding machines. They encourage Fantasy Football, they can charge up to $600,000 for a .30 spot on Sunday Night Football, they have begun to market to women and they have the best branded show in the history of shows, the Super Bowl. Why then are they losing shares at the end of 2016?

Factors for decline:

  • The Chicago Cubs win
  • Donald Trumps Election (this took shares away from everyone)
  • Deflate-gate debacle
  • Stand on Domestic Violence
  • The respect of the American Flag

Americans are standing up for what they believe in. Colin Kaepernicks kneeling at the American Flag has still left Colin a free agent who is not signed. He is not liked and this is linked to the NFL. The NFL needed to take a stance and speak out on the issues pertaining to this behavior. They remained quiet and seeing how that impacted them must be painful. How smart proof is your company? New factors always pop up and how you address them might mean your brand lives on, or dies over time. Don’t get me wrong, the NFL will bounce back since they have a great cash surplus. They just signed a deal with Amazon for the rights to Thursday Night Football. Now that is re-inventing yourself while keeping your brand.

They do have the strictest guidelines when it comes to using their brand. I respect them for protecting their assets, for making counterfeiters go to jail, and great product placement with partnerships. Who else could have every football team on a BudLight can? But always remember your demographics. NFL might just have lost that reality when they don’t take a stand on players actions. Never take your eye off the ball.

Learn more on Defining Your True Brand Story and Bringing it to Life Online.

4)  The grocery store is a subject of brands. I want to focus on just beer. How is it that Bud Light leads the beer division. If you drink beer, you have a favorite. The reason might be image or taste. But you tried other beers because of marketing. If you say no to this idea, how did you hear about the other beers in the first place? If your answer is friends, that is also marketing. Word of mouth marketing is still the most powerful marketing this century. And your friends received the marketing somehow. Alcohol ads have increased 400% over the last 40 years. The industry spends around 89% of its advertising dollars on television, according to research done by Citigroup. Bud Light spent 85 million dollars on TV ad placements in 2014. Today Anheuser-Busch spends 1.68 billion in all advertising spends. They have averaged 1.4 billion over the last decade. It’s the reason they have 48% of the beer market. How else would a company stay above the rest in the highly competitive beer category?

5)  Fast Food. McDonalds has a value of 88 billion and next on the list is Starbucks with 43 billion. To understand this slightly better, Burger King has a value of 3.6 billion. A huge wide difference. So why the separation you may ask? McDonalds spent 5.9 billion on advertising in the United States alone. Burger King spent 255 million on advertising, which has contributed to the separation of these two brands. Marketing obviously works or McDonalds would not continue this spending trend for over a decade. I do wonder, if Burger King had good marketing and spent what McDonalds spends, if they would jump over Starbucks? Product is still king. There is a connection of why Coca-Cola and Bud Light are both the most valuable soft drink and beer brands in the World. Marketing, and marketing dollars allocated.

Those are five samples of how creative marketing builds brands to lead a nation. Marketing + Strategy + Creative + Execution = A powerful formula for elevating your product or brand. I will agree that all samples above have unlimited budgets. My point to this blog was to simply support the concept that you are a victim of marketing and strong marketers seem to rise above the competition. What is your company doing to rise above?

Learn The StoryBranding Process

https google

Why HTTPS Google?

The world is settling in the digital age, privacy and security are the growing concern to most of us. Businesses and individuals are questioning the web on the security of the websites we use to send sensitive information like bank details and credit card information. We have been using different methods of informing the users that the connection that they are using, is secure. One of the methods used was an icon that looks like a lock next to the website address. This is all about to change.

Google launched that HTTPS that would be used as a factor in ranking websites. HTTPS symbolizes HyperText Transfer Protocol. This communication protocol is a safer upgrade from the HTTP that we have been using over the last 30 years. This upgrade enables your websites to transfer information safely and faster. The HTTPS protocol was efficient but was limited in its security functions. It was vulnerable to hackers and interference from third party sites.

How it works

HTTPS Google is an upgraded version of the HTTP that we have gotten used to. Blanketed in protective layers of SSL. The SSL, standing for Secure Sockets Layer that encrypts information sent over the Internet. The function of the SSL serves the purpose of confirming that you are speaking with the right person. It also encrypts and decrypts information being carried out in between two points.

The most intriguing part of this Protocol is that anyone who is trying to intercept your messages will be unable to get the actual information that you send over. So whenever your website is protected, your information is as safe as can be.

What are the benefits for you?

You are not the only one unsure about registering your websites. Most of us are unaware of the benefits that are in store for our websites. Let us look at some of them:

  • It offers you end-to-end encryption to secure private information.
  • It increases trust and confidence in web related transactions
  • It eliminates the need of browser warnings on insecure websites.
  • It keeps your sensitive information from leaking to the wrong hands.
  • HTTPS Google secures rankings for websites that register SSL certificates.
  • It eliminates costs you incur by registering multiple sites under one SSL certificate
  • It increases conversion rates for your website giving you better rankings.

Google HTTPS identification

Google is pushing for you to get your SSL certificates. The websites still under the HTTP protocol will be labeled as not secure. As opposed to remaining neutral or showing a lock, Google has adapted that strategy to be executed in stages. Eventually, Google will change the “circle i” to a red triangle for broken web links to notify the user of the danger. That is effective as of January 31st.

What does this mean for SEO?

A lot of websites are shy from switching to HTTPS because it will affect the SEO rankings attached to your business. This is not true. HTTPS Google is transparently assuring you of its safety.  As a website owner you should take steps to ensure that your website traffic is not affected.

Learn more on how you can increase your wesite traffic through SEO.

You need to communicate with the Google team that you are moving from HTTP to HTTPS. They will direct you on the steps you need to take. HTTPS Google has offered this tips to ensure you are covered.

  • Get certificates according to your needs. Single, wild card or multi- domain certificate
  • Use the same URLs contained in secure domains
  • The bit key certificates you use should be around 2048 bits
  • Use protocol related URLs in al domains
  • Avoid blocking your HTTPS website from crawling through robots.txt.
  • Ensure to avoid non-index Meta tags being issued.
  • Use the https Google tips on Google Webmaster to figure your way around and track your migration to the last detail.

Migrating from HTTP to HTTPS will secure your website a place in this world that is constantly under pressure to develop and advance.

  25 Website Must Haves For Driving Traffic, Leads & Sales

Closed Loop Marketing

How Closed-Loop Marketing Helps Convert Leads To Customers

Closed-loop marketing sounds like a fancy way to reel in customers, but it’s far from being the new-fangled way of doing business and attracting new customers to your brand. In fact closed-loop online marketing has been used and refined for over a decade by some of the world’s top companies. But what makes it so different?

Read more