Hampton Roads Learning Consultants invites you to Master the 3Cs! Build a Better Workplace

Are you wondering what resources are available for coaching and training with local learning professionals? Do you find out-of-town consultants put strains on your organization’s budget and never include any follow up resources? We hope to inspire you with increased awareness of local resources and introduce you to techniques to positively impact your efforts to engage and collaborate with your employees and increase productivity! Two other incredible learning consultants are presenting with Susan Long-Molnar on the 3Cs…Communications, Conflict, Coaching. Check out the flyer, and then call or email for your advance registration pricing. Save-the-Date for Friday, October 27, 8:30am-12:30pm in Virginia Beach!

Download the Flyer: Master the 3Cs! Build a Better Workplace

Sign Up Now!

 

Communications is NOT a Soft Skill

Managers learn how to communicate from their previous experiences. If you
have not defined how your company should communicate within and made that a
daily experience, managers will always revert to their own experiences, as an
employee or to how their former bosses communicated. Sometimes that’s great,
but not always.

Have you ever had a manager or supervisor who clearly shared the mission of
the organization in daily interactions. who could clearly communicate your role in
the big picture, and who could somehow engage your team to collaborate, stay
positive even during the worst times, and willingly acknowledge when you have
succeeded in your work? If so, you probably have picked up on some of those
traits in your own personal development.

Unfortunately, communications skills are like technology. It's easy to pick up bad
habits or not stay up-to- date as demographics, economic conditions, competition
changes.

If you would like to be reminded of the value of communications training and
what are some considerations within your own organization, I hope you will read
this recently published article I authored in one of our local business magazines,
Inside Business.

Inside Business Expert Column

Micro Target Market for New Target Acquisition

Micro marketing is a strategy used to target a small population of consumers with clearly defined needs for products in the market. All advertising efforts are focused on a highly targeted group of consumers.  If you are a business owner or marketer, you should focus closely on defining the target group by its distinctive characteristics.

You keep up with social media. You advertise and sponsor in local events. You buy radio spots. You go to networking events for the masses.

Are you getting the ROI you need to grow your business?

Micro marketing features four main aspects including product, placement, promotion and price. With these features, micro marketing will become your most powerful tool businesses of all sizes can use to capture customers matched to your products and eventually turn these customers into devoted clients to the business. The research done in micro marketing takes a look at a wide range of demographics including lifestyles, spending habits, attributes and attitudes of the target group. The standard data concerns gender, location, education, occupation and marital status. It delves deep into lifestyle, from spending habits to values. A business will use the data to match against a specific set of product or service attribute.

Come learn how to be more strategic, whether you are a small business owner or a sales representative for your company!

Join our free seminar “ Micro Target Market for New Target Acquisition” hosted by Veteran Integrated Solutions  on Thursday, July 13th from 7:45-8:30AM at Town Point Club in Norfolk. You will learn how micro targeting can make a difference.

To sign up, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/micro-target-market-for-new-target-acquisition-tickets-35413531827

What’s Good Enough? Do a Marketing Audit Now to Reach 2017 Goals

What is good enough? How do you know your marketing strategies are working? Why did a marketing campaign fail? Conducting a marketing audit is just as important as conducting the required financial audit most organizations make a priority. Unfortunately, for small businesses, and maybe even larger marketing departments, the marketing audit gets erased off the list after the busy holidays.

Marketing campaigns will fail. Events will fail. We know this yet a serious evaluation of all marketing strategies will help improve your efforts next time around. For that matter, a failure is often the only way an organization focuses on the improvement needed to stay competitive.

I recently conducted an audit on a company’s website content. the CEO expressed a need to promote the company because they were going to be hiring additional staff as well as hoping to grow the staffing placement they do for clients. Although there was plenty of information on a variety of services, there was very little on the website to let interested candidates know what the culture was like or how employees felt about their work or for that matter, what kind of work offered opportunities for employment. From content to visuals to simplicity in architecture, the firm had been missing out compared to their competitors.

How such tools support your business goals is just one piece of a thorough marketing audit which should evaluate and document key areas such as strategic and tactical planning, program development and implementation, budgeting and resource allocation, market, customer and competitive analysis, measurement and reporting. Deciding how deep you want your marketing audit to be is the first step. Here are some questions to help you decide:

1. How closely does your marketing plan align to your 2017 business goals?

2. Do you have effective strategies to reach each targeted market and marketing segment? How well is your

organization communicating the services which provide the most revenue or meet other goals?

3. How up-to- date is your market research and competitive analysis?

4. Do you have adequate infrastructure to collect marketing data with tools and processes for analysis?

5. What people skills and time are being used for marketing? What do they need to improve performance in 2017?

These are just a few of the questions you or someone on your staff should be asking. If you are in Hampton Roads, we are actually conducting our first Communicate BIZ Roundtable for 2017 on this topic! Check out the details on the Communicate BIZ Feb 2017 flyer!

 

Part I: Branding Emotion, Consistency and Frequency

We buy stuff from people we like, right? We also buy from people who we trust, who build our self-esteem, who validate us, and satisfy a multitude of other needs. So why do we go to stores we hate or use vendors we don’t trust? You probably have numerous reasons but most boil down to having a strong relationship with the brand, even when we have become disenchanted. Understanding what emotions are tied to a brand is not something most businesses think about, yet we should. Every product or service that is truly branded involves some emotion, either in its use, people who represent it, our memories or solutions that work.

I got my first car in the early 70s. For $50 down and $125 a month, I graduated from college and stepped into my bright yellow Volkswagon. For decades, Volkswagon has been the fun but affordable brand, from the flower on the dash to the “Drivers wanted” days of the Passat and beyond. What is that commitment like Volkswagon’s fun yet affordable makes our own brand perform as promised? You probably have a brand truth, the words which often play out in a tagline, a slogan, or some other key message. Are your customers and potential customers aware of your brand truth? People buy based on personal motivations derived from some set of values they hold. These are emotional.

Just do it. Got milk? You can think of a dozen brands in a few seconds. What makes these brands gain remarkable awareness may be that they represent great products, but usually an element of branding cuts through the rest of the clutter we are exposed to every day. A word of caution when you think of your own business though: short doesn’t always mean memorable, clear, or effective. I “periodically hear financial advisors, consultants, and other service-oriented professionals say in describing their business, “I help people increase their revenue.” This may insult the intelligence of their listeners. Messages should come from an analysis of what specifically differentiates how to increase revenue.

Understanding the emotion your brand offers is just one exercise to work through during a weakened economy. You should also review your strategies for brand’s consistency and frequency. It takes more than seven exposures within a short period of time for your brand to make a lasting impression on your market targets. During the recession, if you maintain consistency in branding your brand, your market targets will be that much more aware that others in your industry have cut back or disappeared. It’s like “whatever happened to ….”. It is critical to maintain consistency in everything from brand truth to commitment long after the excitement of a new marketing campaign or promotion dissipates. Too often, businesses change a campaign before they need to or even worse, just never complete the strategies to make an impact on potential customers.

The old saying “don’t start something you can’t finish” doesn’t apply today. Engage everyone to implement the branding plan and understand that it should never be finished. The strategies should have depth and longevity in mind unless something just isn’t working. Start the e-news campaign, the newsletter or the blog with the commitment to maintain it.