Strategic Marketing Using Digital Channels The Right Way

If you are looking to implement marketing from a strategic perspective in your company or business endeavour by making use of digital channels then it may well serve you to seek out some advice first. That’s some of what we set out to do here as we look to highlight some of the ins and outs of executing marketing in the digital age. There is more to digital marketing that ordinarily meets the eye as found in our consulting, devising and executing search engine and social media marketing campaigns.

When a company is looking to [via its marketing personnel or use of third party agencies] market its products and services use the available digital marketing channels such as…

  • Video Marketing
  • Email Marketing
  • Search Engine Marketing
  • Podcasting
  • Blogging
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Micro Blogging

… all of the activities will need to be carried out via specific digital marketing channels with a view to getting engagement from chosen target market sector clients.

As an example of the statement made above; the decision could be made to use the social media marketing and to connect with clients using an associated advertising platform through which to serve up ads. Going through the process of crafting and executing specific ads necessitates that one understands who the target audience is that the business is concerned with so that time is not wasted running ads that will be ultimately shown up to people that are not interested in the related products or services that the company has to offer. Going through the targeting process will determine where one’s audience ‘hangs out’ so that when the message is seen it is relatively easier to consume [or be interacted with].

When running ads within the social media marketing channel alongside that of publishing engaging and compelling content, connect, following and republishing others content. It is important to make sure that the ads are in fact related to target clients likes, interests and aspirations as this will affect click through rate, engagement and other factors that lead to the actual cost of running the ad itself.

The content aspect of digital marketing is indeed a critical and foundational one as one piece of content can effectively be repurposed for use in various formats and on differing platforms and digital marketing channels. E.g. a well written article can be used as a blog post, then used as the basis for a podcast, this same piece of content can be developed into a video and then used to create multiple micro blogging content pieces. Each piece of content should be used within planned digital marketing channels in order to deliver the marketing message through to the intended market segments.

With the world in which we live in becoming increasingly technology enabled; this is continuing to open up opportunities for marketers and business owners to present their message to clients found the world over. However it is important to execute correctly and to start with the right messages, next the most appropriate digital marketing channel [some of which are listed above] are used in order to put the marketing message in front of the right audience. In other words a targeted approach should used as opposed to a shotgun spray and hope approach.

At the end of the day digital marketing is still a subset of marketing and it itself has its own set of sub digital marketing channels. The strategic digital marketing approach is strongly recommended as when adhered to and the results start coming in, one will understand why it’s important to continue to adopt this approach to business promotion.

Market Research – Why It Should Be Considered Before/During Prior Art Search

An invention is a set of ideas and thoughts to ease the way people perform their daily tasks. An Inventor can be a business or an individual who has an objective behind the invention. A lot of money is required to present the invention to the world, thus, investors who find it interesting fund the R & D operations.

The invention process is very wide. There is no fix time when an invention is converted into useful products. It can take 5, 10 years or even more. The R & D department performs a series of operations one after another – describing the business vision, creating strategies, describing the R & D processes, identifying resources, and drafting designs. The R & D teams comprehensively study all areas of the invention, collect different ideas, which are then combined to build products and services. Thus, the research to development of invention comprises a wide range of processes, which need thousands or millions of dollars.

Patenting an invention

An invention is patented to prevent it from being theft by others. The inventor can restrict individuals and companies from using his/her invention for making or selling products during its life. When filing a patent application, the inventor needs to mention a set of claims, which he/she should choose carefully. So, it is recommended to know the market trends, new technologies, applications, etc. at the time of performing the R & D operations, which will help in getting great claims.

An invention can only be patented if it doesn’t contain any part of the previously patented technology and meet certain uniqueness standards. To find if your invention is already known or not, prior art search is conducted. The innovator can do prior art search on his/her own, or hire an expert for this purpose.

What is prior art search?

Prior art search can be defined as collecting information about the technologies associated with the invention. It’s main objective is to know whether the invention is patentable or not. Sources of prior art search include previous patents, filed patents, scientific reports, research papers, textbooks, newspapers, journals, and internet publications. There are many inventions that are never used in products and services, and these should also be considered during the patent filing process. On the internet, a wide range of tools are available that can help you conduct an efficient prior art search.

Prior art search can provide details about previous inventions in the field, new products and services, etc. It prevents reinventing the already existing inventions. With this, the R & D department can know the already existing technologies, and focus the activities, processes, and tasks to innovate them or research the new ones.

Know the market well before conducting prior art search

The main objective is to get the invention patented with broadest possible claims. Prior art search collects existing knowledge in the fields that belong to the invention. But, this is not enough. One should know the market and companies that are already working on the technologies the invention is based, which will help in choosing the right areas for R & D.

Patent filing is a broad process, and a little wrong move can convert into a big mistake. Thus, from planning to execution, every step should be put wisely. Before going for prior art search, it is important to know the markets in which the invention can bring revolution in, current market trends to focus on, activities of competitors, etc. All these details can be obtained through market research. Thus, it is recommended to conduct a market research first to know the technologies trending in the market.

Why market research?

Market research can help in proper utilization of all the elements of an invention. It provides comprehensive analysis of different markets associated with the invention, patent environment, and existing and future products. Thus, market research can add value to the research and development operations, making them more advanced.

There are many reasons why the inventor should consider market research before starting R & D operations and prior art search. Please have a look at them –

Detailed information about the markets:

Market research reports not only provide information about different markets that belong to the area of invention, but also tell the top active markets. Suppose, an invention can be used in manufacturing products in 10 different industries, out of which 7 are in the growing phase. Thus, there is need to spend extra time and money to obtain patents in these 7 industries to get maximum ROI. Thus, market research reports can suggest you the right industries to continue research and build products.

Competitor analysis:

To emerge as a leading player in the market, it is necessary to know the activities of competitors. With market research reports, the inventor can get in-depth understanding of his/her competitors, technologies they are working on, and their existing and upcoming products and services. Thus, the R & D department can broaden their research to the areas untouched by the competitors.

Helps in patent drafting:

Patent drafter is the person who can help you get a patent with great claims. With extensive knowledge of market trends, active industries, and customer needs, he can write broadest patent claims possible. Thus, with market research reports, your patent drafter can prepare a clear, accurate patent application, and your get a patent, which will have great market value, and you can earn a lot from it.

Top players:

Market research reports provide information about the top companies using the technologies similar to that of the invention. This makes easy to know how advanced the invention is, the technologies that can be innovated, and how to plan R & D processes. After obtaining the patent with significant claims, the inventor can contact the top companies for business partnerships or licensing.

Small Company Marketing Consultants – Why You Need One And How To Select One

Having spent many years working with small and midsized B2B and B2C organizations on their marketing and marketing communications strategies and plans, I believe I’ve got a good sense of the issues facing them. Generally, at the top of the list, is the lack of a real marketing plan. How is it possible that something so basic is missing? My conclusion is that, despite possessing the skill sets that drive their organization’s success, founders and/or management simply do not have:

  • Time to think about marketing at all, because there is always something “more important or urgent” that needs their attention;
  • A real understanding of the power of marketing and how it can significantly improve profits and return on investment (ROI);
  • The resources, budgets and people available – marketing and marketing communications is “unfamiliar and scary”, and there are always other areas that need support first;
  • The knowledge of how to seek out and evaluate professional marketing help.

These are concerns regardless of the type of organization – start up, early stage or established companies, and even nonprofits for that matter. And, without real planning upfront, many brands are operating with a “Ready, Fire, Aim” reaction to the marketplace.

What Will Hiring A Marketing Or Marketing Communications Professional Do For You?

In order to accomplish short and long-term objectives you need to develop a meaningful marketing strategy and an integrated marketing communications plan and tactics. At its core, having a professional marketing program will improve a brand’s profitability and ROI. This task is often outsourced, frequently with a part-time Chief Marketing Officer.

The process starts with the outside consultant learning about the brand – its strengths and weaknesses, competition, distribution, business plan objectives, existing communication materials, employee involvement. During this learning period, the consultant also avails himself of any pertinent primary or secondary research. Most important, this period is also the time for establishing trust between the organization and the consultant.

While some tasks may be completed directly during this learning period, an outside professional would use this knowledge to prepare:

1. A marketing and marketing communications strategy, along with a positioning statement. The positioning statement is a succinct description of the core target audience to whom the brand is directed, and a compelling picture of how the marketer wants the audience to view the brand.

Sound simple? Take a minute and answer these four questions about your brand:

  • The target audience, in very specific detail?
  • The category in which the brand competes, and its relevance to customers?
  • The brand’s benefit and point of difference?
  • A reason for the customer to believe – the most compelling proof?

The positioning statement is the credo for the brand to live by. All marketing and marketing communications should flow from this positioning and be understood by all employees, agents, partners and management.

2. An integrated and holistic plan with tactical expressions – media programs; creative executions, including new and/or traditional advertising; public relations; content marketing (social media, articles, blogs, white papers, video); packaging; point of purchase; employee engagement; and, events.

The use of internal or external staff to create the above will be directed and evaluated by the consultant or, if necessary, specialists may be recommended.

3. Recommendations for primary or secondary research when clear cut answers don’t exist on specific subjects. Marketing depends on a complete understanding of the customers’ “wants and needs” as well as how they relate to your brand and competition. Not just what your staff thinks; rather, information. Facts beat opinion every time.

4. A procedure of measurement and evaluation of the objectives of the agreed upon plan, as well as the established objectives to be accomplished with each target audience and marketing communication task. Benchmarking and on-going analysis is key to successful marketing programs, allowing for change or refinement as you proceed.

5. A format for informing and discussing the reasoning behind the marketing planning, so that everyone in the organization understands why the specific strategies, plans and tactics were developed and implemented. The consultant becomes a “teacher” and the entire organization becomes brand advocates.

Marketing consultants have increasingly become members of the C-Suite because of today’s turbulent and rapidly changing environment.

What Talents Should A Marketing Consultant Have?

Look for a consultant, full or part-time, who is:

1. Willing to learn your business from the ground up and doesn’t have a “one size fits all” mentality;

2. An established professional, with extensive experience across industries and brands in B2B, B2C and nonprofit organizations, large and small. Expand your horizons and don’t settle for experience in only your niche or industry;

3. Media neutral and willing to embrace analytics to develop a variety of programs as well as to measure them. In today’s complicated marketplace, a consultant must understand new and traditional media, the difference between efficiency and effectiveness, “likes” vs. “sales”, the dangers of digital ad fraud, etc., etc.;

4. Apolitical and willing to tell it like it is, so candor will flourish in your relationship. Having your consultant free to demonstrate the discipline of marketing and marketing communications will build trust and a meaningful partnership;

5. Has an established network of marketing communications specialists who can be called in to provide solutions when necessary.

The marketing and marketing communications strategic and tactical challenges of today are growing exponentially. But, as with our uncertain economic and political environment, putting your head in the sand isn’t a viable response. As Will Rogers said, “Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.”