Tag Archives: business tools

Awareness is a Half-measure

As a small business owner you undoubtedly know about some areas of your business or marketing strategy that need improvement.  Awareness is half the battle.  We cannot change something unless we are aware of it.  However, if we stop with awareness nothing will change. Action is a key element for change.

Time is a major factor.  We all wish we had more time in the day to complete everything we feel we have to complete. Still, putting off changes that need to be made to help your business grow may not be the wisest move one could make. 

Here are five steps you can take to turn awareness into action:

  1. Write down what you are aware of that needs to change (just make a list)
  2. Identify who can help you make those changes (spouse, staff, outside consultant, marketing coach, etc.)
  3. Give them the power to help you (ask them, engage their services, etc.)
  4. Create a plan of action to make the changes (prioritize them)
  5. Take the action!

These may sound simplistic but sometimes we overlook the simple actions we take to make a significant impact in our lives or our business.

Taking the action…

-KK

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Great Analytics Tool Discovery

I just read about an awesome analytics tool to track social media campaigns.  I cannot wait to try it.  It is created by RowFeeder and is built on Microsoft Excel. A tool many are familiar with.  Below is an excerpt from the Mashable article:

The product is built on Excel, so instead of simply exporting data, RowFeeder generates native Excel files with pre-populated charts, visualizations and pivot tables all based around a company’s raw social media data. The idea behind the service is to bring sophisticated social media data crunching to marketers in a format that they’re familiar with.

RowFeeder tracks and aggregates data around any word, phrase, hashtag or username on Facebook and Twitter. Automated report types include velocity analysis to chart keyword activity on social sites, location analysis to find out where conversations are happening, and influencer and people analysis.

If you use RowFeeder let me know what you think about it (post a comment). I am signing up one of my clients up for the free version today!

Never underestimate the need for, and power of, good analytics!

-KK


You’re not My Type…

About a year ago my pastor asked for help in learning how to Twitter (and blog but that’s a post for another day).  He wanted to better engage with his congregation. I wrote him a basic “how to” guide and am in the process of modifying it for business.  I thought I’d share that guide with you.  If you would like a copy, please email me at kd_1689@comcast.net and I’ll be sure you to send one once the revision is complete.

This basic Twitter strategy guide talks about the purpose of Twittering, types of Twitter users (as defined by me), what to Tweet about, how often to do it, list of some resources to learn more, an overview of Twitter tools and steps to get started.

Today I thought I would share my take on the types of Twitter users.

Types Twitter Users

There are four basic types of Twitter Users (as defined by Kerri Karel compiled from multiple articles) –

  1. Leaders – Those who post their content on Twitter (generally these people are followed by others but may not follow many people themselves).  Their content consists of tidbits from their teachings, web sites, blogs, etc. and also some personal Tweets that give the reader a glimpse into who they are and what they care about (family, church, friends, passions, etc.)
  2. Social Butterflies – Those who want to be social with people (these people tend to follow people and get followed in return).  They twitter about everything from the latest tech gadget or application to where they are going to what they are doing.
  3. Observers (Stalkers) – Those who follow a large number of people, have very few followers and very few posts of their own. They want to see what others are talking about but do not wish to join in the conversation. They do not contribute anything.
  4. Cheeseballs – Those who use Twitter (and other social media) only to push their own products/services or agenda.  They miss the purpose, and therefore the power, of social networking. They are only focused on what followers can do for them (buy my product, read my stuff, answer my questions, etc.) and not interested in making a meaningful contribution.

As I mentioned yesterday my Twitter handle is @kkarel.

Catch you on Twitter.  Maybe we can Tweetup.

-KK


Marketing Plan – Make Your Outline

OK, so you are ready to put pen to paper and begin writing your formal marketing plan. Now is not the time to get “wishy-washy” and skip a step.  They are all important.  After you finish writing your plan you will have a better understanding of your products, you company and where it fits within your industry.  This understanding will help you to plan and execute successful marketing strategies and campaigns.

On August 3 I talked about approaches to writing a marketing plan.  When I was first writing them I preferred a more structured approach created by someone else.  I was afraid I would leave out an important section of my plan. Today, I definitely use the freestyle approach when writing my own plans or plans for someone else.  However, this statement could be a little misleading because I still have a structure.  I have a base outline that I usually start with and then customize it to fit the situation.

The key elements I use when writing a formal marketing plan are listed below.  Many of us have a natural inclination to move right into planning the marketing strategies or campaigns. However, skipping other sections of the plan can lead to poorly planned strategies because you are not looking at the whole picture.

  1. Executive Summary
  2. Situation Analysis  
    1. Company Analysis
    2. Customer Analysis
    3. Competitor Analysis
    4. Collaborators
    5. SWOT
    6. PEST
  3. Product Mix
    1. Description of your products
  4. Target Market / Market Segmentation
    1. Detailed description of target market and market segmenttion for each product
  5. Marketing Strategy / Marketing Mix
    1. Marketing Mix (Product, Price, Placement, Promotion)
    2. Campaign Strategy (Promotion)
      1. Here is where I detail advertsing, PR, promotions, etc.
  6. Success Metrics
    1. How will you measure success of this plan? Review and revise, review and revise!
  7. Forecasts / Financial Analysis
    1. Sales Forecast
    2. Budget Forecast
    3. Breakeven Analysis
    4. Etc.
  8. Conclusion

There are many different resources, both offline and online, that can provide you with a marketing plan outline (two are listed below). I encourage to you to look at several and take the best elements from each. 

Don’t forget, even if you are writing the plan yourself investing a couple hours in a coach who can review the plan and point out key elements that may be missing could be an invaluable investment.

Happy Planning!

-KK

Sources: QuickMBA  WebSite Marketing Plan

Uh…I don’t have a Marketing Plan

So you have a small business built on your hard work, expertise and contacts you have made through the years. But… you have a reached a plateau – your company is not growing and you have no idea how to market yourself. A realistic marketing plan is a key element.

There is a multitude of ways to approach a marketing strategy. If you are a beginner it can get very overwhelming. I am a planner so I always start with a plan. For some, the thought of writing a marketing plan is intimidating or cumbersome. It does not have to be.

I came across an article titled 3 Approaches to Marketing Planning by Bobette Kyle. It is a good read for someone with no experience in writing a marketing plan. It explains three approaches and then provides the pros and cons to each. I would, however, add a fourth approach to her list (see below).

Approaches:

  1. The Freestyle Approach
    1. a broad view approach which involved internet research and then writing a plan based on what you have learned
  2. The “I Need a Structured Starting Place” Approach
    1. a more structured approach using purchased packet of planning tools
  3. The “Take Me Through It Step By Step” Approach
    1. purchase a software package that guides you through a start-to-finish process
  4. The Hire a Marketing Coach/Consultant Approach (my addition) 
    1. engage a marketing professional who know you and your business. The can write the plan for you or assist in writing it. This way you can spend your time doing what you do best – running your business.

Over the next few days I will share some of the strategies I have learned in writing marketing plans. Please join the conversation if there is something you want to read about. Post a comment!

Scale the mountain one step at a time.

-KK


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