Saturday, 25 May 2013

The Importance Of Effective Publicity

Publicity is defined as information used to draw public attention to people, products, services, events and so on.

Publicity is an important part of an overall marketing campaign and needs to be managed to ensure that a consistent message or story is told.

Publicity can take many forms, it can include an event that you are running, sponsoring events or organisations, facilitating workshops or speaking, issuing statements related to your expertise, publishing testimonials of your product or service or providing testimonials to other businesses. You can distribute newsletters, media releases or conduct social media or viral campaigns.

Basically publicity is free – because of this you cannot control how your messages are printed or in fact where they are published.

With this in mind it may be worth considering using an experienced professional writer, or marketing consultant to guarantee more success with your publicity campaign.

Visionary recently worked with Clunes Booktown Festival to assist with management of their publicity for the 2012 event, our professional writer (an experienced journalist) was able to provide the correct messaging in language that media would connect with. In addition to telling the story of the fabulous event, great speakers, publishers and entertainment we were fortunate enough to be able to leverage of the announcement of Clunes receiving recognition as an International Book Town.

We managed interviews and messaging across local, state and national media, including radio, television, newspaper and social media –gaining coverage for Clunes as a Book Town and talking about the Festival – across the country!
In order to gain great publicity coverage you need to ensure that the original message is consistent and clear, and that it is integrated with the rest of your marketing. You need to be responsive and react quickly when media require interviews or photos – they are often reactionary given the nature of their business, you need to be organised and ready.

If you thought that mainstream media messaging was hard to control, social media is making it even harder to control messages, but sharing and re-tweeting should be encouraged in addition to tagging and people talking about the product, service or event. The more chatter, the more people will start to notice your messages through the clutter of communication they are bombarded with on a daily basis.

In order to measure the success of your campaign you can create ‘media alert’ portfolios that track mentions of keywords across the internet – you can also employ companies who watch newspapers and magazines looking for results. Measurement is an important aspect of any campaign.

Do you have a new product, new service or running an event? Maybe you are re-launching your brand or celebrating a partnership or joint venture?

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Traditional Marketing Explained Some

Opportunities to market and promote your products and services are expanding, as are the way that people respond to promotions. Sifting through all of the options can be confusing and overwhelming – not helped by the numerous advertising consultants making contact with you, almost daily!

Traditional marketing methods are fast being forgotten about or left behind, to be replaced by more cost effective and direct methods of promotion. The web and technological advances has seen the growth in these new methods as a very effective marketing tool for business.

Good marketing – is about utilising a variety of appropriate methods in order to put your message and brand in front of your target market. print advertising

Traditional marketing methods including print (newspapers and magazines); television and radio all still have a place in the world of promoting your business, but do not rely on only these mediums. With print (especially newspaper) you need to remember that a paper will only get read once by a person and it will be discarded 1-2 days later. When it comes to TV and radio you have your 15 or 30 second slot to be able to capture people.

The design of your ad is therefore very important and it is usually worthwhile to look at a graphic designer to do the work for you. You will need to have the following in your ad:
1.Headline that will attract the viewers attention
2. Short descriptive piece that will give a solution to a problem that your key target market may have.
3. Call to action – with a way of recording the responses from the ad, this could be a separate number, e-mail address, or sub-domain.
4. Consistent branding is critical. The way you present your logo, images you use, colours and fonts all need to be the same across all of your promotion and advertising.

This is where the traditional marketing will blend and work succinctly with newer methods of marketing. You can now use technology to measure and monitor your advertising, this may reveal things that will surprise you about consumer behaviour and also your target market.

So next time that consultant rings you and tells you that you absolutely ‘must’ advertise in their publication, what will your answer be? How will you be proactive about where and how you place your advertising? You need to be the person making the decision where and when to advertise and not being pushed into it. At the same time special publications or television premieres maybe worth investigating if they reach your target market.

You need to remember that advertising consultants are simply trying to meet their quota, after all it is the advertising that is paying for the publication or shows you watch on television. Next time you think of placing an advert in traditional media ask yourself some simple questions:
1. Is it part of your plan?
2. Are you placing it when and where you want or has the consultant talked you into it?
3. Is this simply to raise brand awareness of your product or service, or will it have the potential to convert to sales?
4. Can you accurately measure the success of your advertising and ROI?
If you answered no to either of these questions then you really should consider how you are advertising.
Ad hoc advertising also does not work and is not an effective use of your marketing dollars. Try considering the following:
· Smaller ads over a period of time rather than 1 big advertisement
· Multiple ads in the same publication
· Shorter ads over a shorter period of time (for radio & television)
· Leverage off events / activities / sponsorship that you are already committed to maximise exposure to your brand
· Be consistent in the way you present your brand / product / service

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

eCommerce Systems & Solutions

By Craig Allan
'In today's world of globalisation, even micro-businesses can profit from simple yet elegant eCommerce solutions - the challenge to business owners is the confusing options on offer!'

Visionary Group keeps you up-to-date on the most cost effective eCommerce solutions for businesses of all sizes - taking into account the issues of security, cost and development.

Typically, there are two distinct options:
  • A streamlined 3rd party eCommerce system, such as PayPal and Google's new Checkout, or
  • A fully integrated shopping cart, payment gateway and merchant facilities

Let have a look at these options deeper...

PayPal, Google Checkout etc: Essentially PayPal and it's competitors such as Google Checkout operate by sending the buyer of your product to a secure page within their site to carry out payments, a 'Buy Now' button is created and inserted into your product page and the buyer is transferred to PayPal (or Google Checkout), along with all the product details. Once the payment is made, both the buyer and seller recieve confirmation via email; the seller is then able to fulfill the order and the funds are kept in their eCommerce account to be transferred to a business bank account. There is also a shopping cart option within PayPal, however the buyer needs to go back to the sellers site to continue shopping.

  • Pros: No monthly service fees (you only pay for what you use), valuable credit card information is stored by the eCommerce provider (which is often the target of hackers.
  • Cons: Delays when transferring funds from eCommerce account to bank account, there can also be issues setting up accounts if you operate a trust or not-for-profit organisation
  • When to use: A good system for total transactions of less that $5000 per month

Shopping cart, payment gateway and merchant facilities: While development of these systems have been simplified over the years and many banks offer 'plug-in' solutions, generally there is some development time required to make a robust system. A shopping cart holds clients product selections in memory and displays items, ready for checkout. At the time of checkout the items are totalled, confirmed for purchase and then the buyer is requested to enter payment details (usually credit card); the transaction data is securely sent to the bank via the payment gateway. At the bank the credit card is processed and confirmation is returned to the shopping cart to issue a receipt to the buyer.
  • Pros: Good for volume transactions and the money goes directly into the seller's bank account
  • Cons: Monthly service fees (even if you don't use it) and there can be issues regarding the storage of private data such as credit card numbers
  • When to use: For a fully fledged eCommerce system with monthly sales over at least $5000

Want to know more? Contact the team at Visionary to discuss how we can assist you - Contact Visionary Here!