Top Reasons to Use Stickers and Decals As a Marketing Tool

Use Stickers and Decals As a Marketing ToolOne thing all business owners will tell you is that marketing is key. You need to promote your business and build you brand through a variety of marketing outlets. Custom stickers are a fun, easy, and cost effective way to promote your business. Here are the top reasons why we think stickers are a great marketing tool:

Affordability

Most printing companies will give you a bulk ordering discount (not that stickers aren’t one of the cheapest items to print anyways). Chances are if you’re ordering over 100 of them, you’ll be able to get each one for 10-25 cents each, sometimes less! On top of that once you do your first round of printing the company will have you images ready to go meaning you avoid set up costs and they often give repeat customer discounts as well!

Flexibility

Stickers can be printed in so many shapes and sizes which makes them extremely versatile. When people say stickers they tend to think of those multicolored animal or smiley face stickers you used to get when you were a kid on your homework, but “stickers” can be used in a variety of applications. Product labels, name badges, warning signs, bumper stickers, or simple decorations, the possibility for using stickers are pretty limitless. Most companies now days also print on different materials rather than the simple paper stickers we may be used to. Vinyl prints are great for outdoor use or areas that get a lot of wear and tear and they tend to be more durable as well as easier to remove when that time comes.

Brand Awareness

With the amount of advertisements that bombard people every day, it is important to make sure your company sticks out from the crowd. Stickers can be printed in a variety of bright colors and interesting shapes that are sure to grab the attention of your customers increasing your brand awareness. Also, people put stickers EVERYWHERE, from cars and laptops to walls and tool boxes, chances are someone somewhere will pass your sticker in an unexpected place and become more aware of your brand than they would have had your advertisement been placed on a flyer or other material that would likely be stuck in a drawer somewhere or thrown away.

There are plenty of other benefits we could list but think this should be enough to convince you. Be sure to check out your local print shop to see if they offer sticker printing and you’ll be heading towards the beginning of a great marketing plan!

Mobile App Marketing 5 Success Stories to Draw Inspiration From

flappyBy 2018, less than 0.01% of all mobile apps out there will be commercially successful. That’s what Gartner says – and we’ve got no reason to doubt the forecast. With the proliferation of mobile app development tools & the rise of “citizen developer” initiative, building mobile software has never been easier. Code quality & application performance aside, the main reason why companies fail to crack the App Store and Google Play charts is poor marketing. If you have a brilliant idea for an app, you’d better forget about Rovio’s overnight success and spend some time (and dough!) on marketing.

Top Earners (iOS developers who generate at least $ 50 thousand in revenues – 12% of the App Store’s registered publishers) have $30 thousand as an average marketing budget and devote 14% of project time to promoting their project. In case you’re a startup & barely raised funding through Kickstarter, your app can still be a hit – as long as you choose the right marketing strategy. Here are some app marketing success stories that prove you can do more with less.

Marketing done right: top 5 app success stories

    • Stay.com. Although building an application for Android first is not a major trend yet, that’s what the guys from Cutehacks did. Stay.com enables users to create personalized travel guides, store them on a smartphone and use the data offline. The app uses first-hand information provided by best baristas, chefs and media personalities from all over the world, so you can feel at home no matter what city you stay in – and save some money on roaming. Cutehacks spent nearly 6 months simultaneously developing the Android and iOS versions of Stay.com, and here’s what they learnt. First, you can’t ignore the Android look of an application. iOS-inspired layouts will probably alienate Android users – after all, the App Store and Google Play have totally different UX/UI policies. Although Cutehacks delivered a good-looking app that easily handled different Android resolutions, they received tons of negative reviews from devoted Androiders. Second, there’s memory and performance. Back in 2012 (and that’s when the Stay.com app was launched), the size of an Android application was device-dependent, so Cutehacks had to do some major re-coding. Finally, they found out Facebook APIs were unstable and poorly documented and spent quite a lot of time searching for developer tips on Quora and Stack Overflow. It sounds like everything Cutehacks did went wrong, but it’s far from being true. The guys successfully implemented the ACRA tool, enabling users to send failure reports every time the Stay.com crashed. They also used Trello to enhance project management (and poor management is the reason why approximately 30% of all IT projects fail). But what makes their story worth citing is the timely changes they made to Stay.com once they discovered users weren’t happy with the current Android version. If you want to succeed, you should pay attention to user feedback – and follow the App Store/Google Play developer guidelines, of course;

    • Languages. Jeremy Olson, a tech-savvy college student from North California, launched the Languages translation app back in 2013. He was no stranger to mobile software development: his Grades app (enables students to track their grades throughout a semester) generated favorable reviews from both tech experts and general public. However, Grades didn’t bring any money, so Jeremy went for a more commercial project. The demand for translation application was – and still is! – really huge, so it was an easy option. Besides, there was no affordable translation application that worked offline on the market back then (takeaway #1: consider timing & demand for your product). Jeremy’s team went a long way to validate the app idea, determine desirable functionality and create great UX. However, the very first thing they did was define customer personas. Jeremy and his confederates were quite familiar with the translation experience, so they didn’t have to talk to potential users in person (although that’s how Zappos’ founder validated his business idea). A customer (or buyer) persona is a purely fictional character who possesses characteristics of your target audience. Olson chose several factors that influenced a person’s decision to purchase the program, including his age, occupation, language proficiency and the environment where Languages would come in handy. The team created three detailed personas, thus covering the majority of key characteristics of their target market. Creating a buyer’s persona is a key success factor to launching & promoting a mobile app – and most marketers still keep personas in a closet for whatever reason or simply don’t know how to use them;

    • Flappy Bird. The viral game hit iTunes in 2013, but it wasn’t until early 2014 when the app gained immense popularity. Dong Nguyen, a Vietnam-based independent developer who built Flappy Bird over a couple of days, said he managed to achieve the so-called virality through addictive gameplay. However, some tech experts (including Michael Silverwood of VentureBeat) believe it wasn’t the case. In order to understand how the game topped the App Store chart in the first place, we need to get a better insight into Apple’s ranking algorithms. There are several factors that influence an application’s chart position, including the number of installs received for the past few days/hours, reviews and retention. Instead of spending huge money on user acquisition, GEARS Studios decided to focus on reviews. By the time Flappy Birds reached #1 on iTunes, it was getting over 400 reviews per day. It went on to receive 700 thousand reviews in a couple of months, and that’s almost 200% more than Candy Crush got after a year. It looks like GEARS implemented a “dark pattern” – a rate button displayed every time a user ended a game session and wanted to start anew. The button was located a place where the play button would normally be; users tapped it by chance and were transferred to the App Store rate page instead. Pretty soon writing reviews of Flappy Birds became a trend, so GEARS Studios simply removed the button with another application update. We do not encourage you to trick app users. The lesson to be learnt here is that application chart performance is not always determined by the number of downloads;

    • Clash of Clans. Coming up with a great & 100% unique idea for an app surely increases your chances of success – but there’s nothing wrong with being a little cliché, too! There are hundreds of strategy games out there – with heroes, monsters, fairies and precious stones. Supercell, a previously unknown mobile software development company from Finland, decided not to reinvent the wheel and… simply built another one. In 2013 Clash of Clans was reportedly generating $ 4 million in daily revenues through in-app purchases – a lot more than an average freemium has ever earned. Supercell surely did their best to create beautiful layouts and addictive gameplay. Yet, it’s the right choice of app monetization tools that made Clash of Clans an instant hit. Basically, the game is all about monetization, but Supercell tactfully keeps it under the pushy line, so users who cannot (or don’t want to) spare a few bucks on virtual currency can still enjoy the game – they simply wait for another level-up a little longer. Once you download the game, you enter the tutorial stage and receive tons of gems for free. You spend the gems on upgrades, gold and magic elixir that protects you against goblins’ attacks. Everything is really cheap, so you keep on spending and go broke pretty soon. As the gameplay evolves, the prices skyrocket, and your buying behavior has already been formed! There were Clash of Clans users who spend up to $ 20 thousand on precious stones when the game was in its prime. The viral application maintained its top-grossing status throughout 2015 and beyond; in the ever-changing world of mobile applications, longevity is hard to achieve. In case you want to replicate Supercell’s success, make sure to develop a solid and well-thought-out monetization strategy;

  • CheckPoints and List Bliss. Todd and Mark DiPaola, the founders of inMarket, believe building a mobile app is similar to building a house: before you start, you should “put some time into thinking about what the rooms are going to look like”. The CheckPoints shopping app enables users to check in in almost any store nationwide and get instant rewards like digital coupons and discounts. The inMarket network now has over 46 million users; back in 00’s when the CheckPoints was at an early development stage Todd and Mark were struggling to decide on the app’s functionality. With List Bliss, they kept it simple. The app allows users to easily create shopping lists by scanning barcodes for different products and share the list with family and friends to check nothing’s missing. InMarket kept the set of application features focused and easily fixed the bugs at launch. We all know Feature Creep kills an app’s performance; you’ll be surprised to learn it has similar effect on marketing. A good marketing campaign should clearly (but briefly) outline the benefits of a product and deliver the message to target audience using as few words as possible. After all, a “fresh” smartphone holder doesn’t even know he needs a better shopping list. How on earth are you going to market your arguably cool & sexy app stuffed with features when you basically have 10 seconds to win users’ attention? Avoiding Feature Creep is a key factor to planning (and launching) a successful marketing campaign.

 

Top 5 Effective Marketing Ideas For Businesses Within a Limited Budget

Marketing Ideas For Businesses Within a Limited BudgetMarketing is very important for the growth of your business. This is the only way to come to know amongst your customer for promoting or selling products or services. There are so many marketing tools out in the market that help you to advertise your products and services to gain the attention of a buyer. However, it actually requires investment in terms of time and money as well. This is the major reason why some small businesses try to avoid it. But it is actually the main ingredient for the growth of your business. What’s more, if you get some marketing ideas within your stipulated budget? Don’t be surprised. Here is a list of top 5 effective marketing ideas, which you should include in your strategy and give you the guarantee results.

Facebook Campaign: Nowadays, almost every person is on Facebook, and it is one of the best and highly effective ways to reach new audiences without spending a lot. For this, you can take the help of Facebook campaigns and post something about your products and services that can seem interesting to your readers. It will provide outstanding results for very little investments.

Killer content: Another effective way to advertise your business within a small investment is by creating a killer content. You can submit articles, blogs on different high ranked sites for free that help to promote your business and quickly catch by the web spiders, which in result help to increase your website ranking.

Guest Post: An old marketing tactic that is still stronger than any other techniques is guest blogging. It allows you to post a blog on another website with the permission of its owner that helps to increase your readers and also attract large clients to your website.

Video production: Another effective and affordable way to promote your business is video production. For this, you just need to create a quality video related to your products and service, which easily capture the attention of your visitors. This is the best way to promote your business even with low-cost.

Email marketing: Last but not the least method of marketing ideas for businesses is the use of email marketing. It allows you to connect with a wider audience in an efficient and economical way. It not only help in the promotion of your business but also make your customers up-to-date from your recent offers, discounts or added products and services that pull them to visit your site again and again.

No doubt, all above points will clear your doubts that marketing is possible even in the budget of a shoestring, you just need to know how to do it.

Strategy Beats Tactical Executions Every Time

Strategy Beats Tactical Executions Every TimeThe brilliant Chinese military strategist, Sun Tzu (544 – 496 BC), said two things that have always resonated with me:

  • “Every battle is won before it is fought”, and
  • “Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat”.

These thoughts also apply to marketing today, in fact, more than they ever have. Too many small and midsized companies (as well as nonprofits) are paying too little attention to developing a meaningful marketing strategy because they’re just having too much “fun” playing with the exciting new digital tools that seem to be multiplying every day. This doesn’t seem to make much sense to me, and it certainly isn’t the best way to improve ROI.

Marketing and Marketing Communications Strategy

Developing a marketing strategy takes hard work, but it provides a focus, direction and real thought on how to grow a profitable brand. Whether it’s a B2C or B2B product or service, strategy development should employ research (primary or secondary), financial and logistical evaluations, and input from all constituents, with emphasis on:

  • Defining the market you’re in;
  • Determining which audience segment to pursue;
  • Understanding competition, seasonality and real budgets;
  • Positioning the brand for success;
  • Establishing clear objectives for each target segment;
  • Developing a process for measurement and evaluation;
  • Getting professional help when needed.

Only then – once strategy development has been completed, and perhaps even tested – should tactical solutions be created, evaluated and selected. Over the past decade, a plethora of new marketing communications tools and techniques have created a digital tsunami; so now, more than ever, isn’t it time to place strategic thinking and planning ahead of executional tactics?

In 2015, over $400 billion in major media and marketing services bombarded consumers, the most in history. The issue is not Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn versus television, radio, direct mail and events; it’s about a rock solid strategy to understand what the message should be and which tactics should be employed.

In the recent CMO Digital Benchmark Study, 97 percent of marketing leaders said social media spending made only an “average” or “below average” contribution to their company’s performance. Does that mean that social media shouldn’t be used? Of course not. But selecting any media, be it traditional or new, without a well defined and clear cut strategy to employ these tactics just doesn’t make sense. Look before you leap.

A Positioning Statement Will Help

Many small businesses don’t know about the importance of a positioning statement and/or how to create one. After you gather the information you need to develop a marketing strategy, a 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. It consists for four key elements:

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

Or simply, try to fill in the blanks in this sentence: “Convince _______ to buy _______ instead of _______ because _______.” The positioning statement is a credo for the brand to live by.

All marketing and marketing communications tactics and executions should flow from this statement, and it should be understood by employees and agents. Further it will help you evaluate whether you have a well defined strategy – if you can’t easily write your positioning statement, perhaps your strategy needs to be better defined.

Once you’ve completed this important task, only now is it time for tactical solutions.

Marketing Consultants Are Valuable Assets

As an owner or senior executive at a small or midsized company, you may not have the time or marketing expertise to accomplish the development of a meaningful strategy. You should seriously consider bringing a marketing and marketing communications consultant on board to help – someone who will work with you, provide fresh eyes, promote candor and have an apolitical view of your brand.

Look for established professionals with extensive experience across industries and brands, in B2B, B2C and nonprofit organizations small and large. Don’t settle for someone with expertise in only your niche or industry – go for someone who can think outside the box. Also, make sure any consultant you consider is media neutral and wants to focus on analytics to measure the ROI of your efforts. Their understanding and ability to develop marketing communications plans employing new and/or traditional tools and techniques is key to implementing your strategy, successfully and efficiently.

With all of the changes coming in the months and years ahead (political, economic, global), the dramatic age disparity among consumers (baby boomers versus millennials) and the “always on” media environment, now is the time to make sure you develop a meaningful strategy that works with the appropriate tactical executions. But, as Mark Twain said, “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”