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A Successful Marketing Mix

As any good chef knows, it takes more than one ingredient to create a truly delicious dish. It’s often the combination of flavors and textures that make the recipe work. Such is the case in marketing. To build a successful – and growing – business, you must have the right marketing mix for your company.

What is Your Marketing Mix?

Your company’s marketing mix refers to the tactics you use to promote your brand, products and services to your audiences. The 4Ps of marketing – product (or service), price, place and promotion are key factors to consider. Foster Marketing has long been an advocate of the fifth P, people, because we’ve seen time and again that people are often a company’s most valuable resource.

7Ps of Marketing

7Ps of Marketing

As the tools available to marketers have expanded, so too has the level of competition for your audience’s attention. Today’s marketers now have to focus on the 7Ps of marketing – product, price, place, promotion, people, physical environment and process.

  • PRODUCT: Your audience needs to know the significance of your offerings, whether it is advanced technology that brings efficiencies or superior service that can help move their business ahead.
     
  • PRICE: It is important to show the value of what you are offering, be it a service or product, so the cost your customer will pay is easily justified. Even if your product costs more than what customers have previously paid, they should clearly see they are getting more for their money.
     
  • PLACE (OR PLACEMENT): Are you being seen in the right place? This can refer to physical geography of your operations, but Foster Marketing advises our marketing partners to focus on where you are placing ads, billboards and participating in industry events to maximize your chances of getting in front of your specific potential buyers.
     
  • PROMOTION (OR PRESENTATION): How are you presenting yourself in the marketplace? And are you using the right tactics to reach your audiences? Foster advises having the right recipe in place for marketing success by sprinkling in a dash of several marketing tactics that work together to create a successful mix. For one company, the right mix could mean lead generation efforts through trade shows and brand awareness through print/digital advertising, public relations and social media; while another company’s mix may focus on thought leadership via content generation, speaking events and articles and lead generation through product-focused online events and a search-engine optimized website to ensure they are found first.
     
  • PEOPLE: As we said, people are your most valuable asset due to the knowledge, experience and reputation in the industry, but consider who you should be presenting in the market as thought leaders via speaking events, articles, webinars and white papers, and how you can connect with prospective clients and partners using tools such as social media.
     
  • PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT: How are you perceived in the market? As the field of competitors expands, you want to be seen as an established company who can be trusted to deliver. This could include how your crews appear when they show up at a jobsite – professionals who proudly wear your brand and demonstrate your core company values, and also how long you’ve been active in an industry sector and the results you deliver. For Foster Marketing, a key part of who we are is that we have a successful track record of helping energy clients achieve results for nearly four decades.
     
  • PROCESS: This can refer to how your services are delivered and used; but with the wealth of marketing tools available, savvy marketers have a firm grasp on what happens next in their efforts. For example, what happens after a prospective customer completes an online form requesting a bid; when someone sees your advertisement in an industry publication or clicks an ad online, how do you deliver the next level of information; or when someone shows interest at a trade show, what is the plan for following up? There should always be a path for every marketing effort that takes a prospective customer from casual interest and research to a signed and paying client.

Add Some Flavor

As you factor in all of the above and filter through how to efficiently stretch your marketing spend to maximize your potential reach using multiple tactics, the overall impression and feel you present matters. Effective branding adds flavor to your total marketing mix. The messaging, core values, colors and images you use in every campaign should make prospective customers know you are the right choice to meet their needs and make them want to work with you.

Building Your Recipe

We help clients find the recipe that works for them by creating an integrated strategic marketing plan — the complete action plan for their marketing mix. We consider how they are currently positioned and perceived in the market, competitors in the sector, what they’d like to achieve and the key value they offer before selecting which ingredients to use in the mix. The right recipe factors in brand awareness, lead generation and thought leadership using efforts that fit their specific industry sector and could include news releases and articles, website optimization and social media, event marketing and email promotion, just to name a few likely possibilities to be included in the marketing mix.

As you build your recipe and add a dash of this or that to season your marketing mix, Foster Marketing wishes you much success; and as always, we’re here to help create the perfect flavor for marketing success. Contact us today.

The Marketing Mix

MORE TOOLS FROM FOSTER

Foster Marketing Names Lindsay Brown Account Executive and Event Coordinator

HOUSTON – Foster Marketing, a full-service marketing communications firm serving the worldwide energy industry, has promoted Lindsay Brown to account executive and event coordinator, president Tiffany Harris announced.

Brown will manage the strategic development and execution of client trade shows and events including event recommendations, logistics, lead generation and exhibit management.
Additionally, Brown will focus on the development and implementation of unique and strategic marketing plans and coordinate the firm’s new business development program.

“Lindsay has made her mark in event management and trade show coordination, providing exceptional service, energy and enthusiasm in support of our clients,” said Harris. “Her work in event marketing will continue and her involvement in additional marketing efforts on behalf of our clients will expand.”

Brown, originally from Yorba Linda, Calif., is a former intern at Foster Marketing. Brown transitioned into an associate position and then trade show coordinator at Foster Marketing.
She graduated from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette with a bachelor of arts in marketing and was named 2011 Outstanding Graduate for the Department of Marketing and Hospitality.

Put Some Power Into Your Media Picks

Use Media Analysis to Prove the Value Of What You’re Getting with Media Buys

Marketing managers have long felt the burden of demonstrating return for their marketing efforts, but in today’s market, showing results is even more important when you have a limited budget.
 
“Nothing except the mint can make money without advertising.” – Thomas Babington Macaulay
 
Seasoned marketers know that it is crucial to keep a brand in front of the market, especially in volatile times when some companies go silent and others are closing their doors. But, when times get tough, marketing budgets seem to shrink and it becomes increasingly difficult to convince company leadership that this could be the best time to put its best foot forward and step up public relations and marketing efforts.

When marketing moves to the top of the list of potential budgetary cutbacks, proven data becomes a marketer’s best defense to show how efforts are impacting today’s buyer, as well as the sales pipeline for months to come.

This is where media analysis reporting can come in handy, especially for advertising. A media analysis report provides a clear picture of who your ad will reach, how many potential customers will see your ad and how much it will cost to reach these potential buyers. Budget-conscious executives appreciate having an easy-to-decipher tool that allows them to make informed buying decisions.
 

What Should a Media Analysis Report Include?

One common media planning mistake is only looking at a publication’s editorial calendar and making all your placement decisions solely from this limited information. Sure, editorial content is what helps attract a specific audience, but there are other factors you can consider.

For example, consider geography. If you are only active in the United States, should you be buying ads in a publication with 75 percent international circulation? Probably not.

Additionally, publications know you are looking for specific audiences, so they usually can provide in-depth demographic information showing their readers by job title, location, industry segment, decision-making power, etc.

If you have a clear picture of the target audience you want to reach, this should be factored into your analysis and can be ranked based on how closely a publication’s reach matches your ideal customer.

Once you have determined how each publication is used by your target audience, you can take a look at how many potential prospects receive each publication. Most major trade publications provide a Business Publication Audit (BPA) statement showing total circulation. The BPA statement can reliably be used to determine the potential reach of each placement opportunity.

Some publications will even sweeten the deal with the promise of extra eyeballs on your ad via bonus circulation at a trade show, pass-along readership stats and the promise of online viewers; however, make sure you are using comparable numbers for each publication. Sticking with the BPA reported circulation can help ensure consistency in your analysis.

Next, consider cost. Using the total reported circulation and the cost of each placement, a cost per 1,000 (CPM) viewers can be calculated to make comparing the placement cost of multiple publications much easier to evaluate. Even better would be to develop a CPM for those readers by geography or title.

When building a media analysis:

  • Make sure you are measuring apples to apples – evaluate all contenders using the same methodology.
  • Consider each factor important to you separately, such as percentage of offshore market, and give it a separate rank. Once you are done, you can decide which factors are most important to you now or next quarter.
  • Calculate cost per impression using the same reported number such as BPA statement circulation.

 

Creating a media analysis report can be a very beneficial tool for evaluating media placement opportunities. While market conditions are difficult, it is important to use all the tools available to best reach your clients and prospects. Additionally, having data that supports your marketing spend is essential and helps prove that efforts align with your company’s overall business goals.

Foster intern Chandler Coffing contributed to this article.

Foster Marketing develops media plans and strategically places ads to help our clients reach their customers, build awareness for their products and services and turn prospective customers into buyers. Contact us today to discuss your advertising goals!

Foster Marketing Appoints Ambika Kashi Singh as Digital Content Coordinator

HOUSTON (Feb 23, 2017) –  Foster Marketing, a full-service marketing communications firm serving the worldwide energy industry, has named Ambika Kashi Singh as digital content coordinator, president Tiffany Harris announced.

Ambika Singh

Ambika Singh

Singh will be focused on digital content creation including articles, blogs, social media campaigns, infographics and video presentations to be leveraged across multiple platforms.

Singh has four years of experience in public relations and digital marketing and comes to Foster Marketing from Pura Vida Spirits, where she was involved in a broad spectrum of marketing communications efforts including public relations, event planning and social media. Singh previously worked for several firms in New York.

“Ambika brings a varied background in both public relations and digital marketing, which is a successful combination in today’s marketing environment,” said Harris. “She will be a great asset to our digital team.”

She graduated from Baylor University with a bachelor of arts degree in journalism/public relations in 2012.

Sell Your Digital Success to Get Buy-In

Are you banging your head against a brick wall trying to get your company involved in social media? Or, as the person in charge of business development, are you tired of getting line items for digital marketing slashed from your annual budget?

You know the value of digital marketing; your problem is a lack of buy-in. But, you can change perceptions by showing real results and soon have your team singing the praises of digital marketing efforts.

Digital marketing tactics offer a wealth of avenues to showcase the gains you are making to get your company on board the digital bandwagon. Here are some helpful ways to dazzle them with data to sell your digital success and get buy-in.  

Win Them Over

Share the Top 5 List

Show the Top 5 liked/commented on/shared social posts from the previous month. When your team sees how many people they’ve helped or reached by snapping a photo from a job site, they’ll remember to keep the photos coming.

Dig Into the Data

If your new business/sales team is actively targeting a specific geographic region through trade shows/industry events and setting up meetings, show them the impact. Using Google Analytics, you can show the number of users from a specific geographic region who have viewed your site in the past month versus previous months. Helping quantify new business efforts is a great way to show the value of digital.

Show Them the Leads

If you have a request-a-bid form on your website, share a snapshot of all the actionable leads that have come into the website in the past month. Your sales team may get emails to follow up on from your website but showing that multiple leads come in directly through your website each month can have a greater impact and highlight the importance of your ongoing online efforts to keep the leads coming.

Ask Google

If you’re actively working on optimizing your site, keep track of your SEO progress. If you started out ranked number 30 in the search results for a key term and you now claim one of the top three positions, tell your team where you started but show them what prospects find now when they search for that term … your company! And they are just one click away from connecting with you and your products and services.

Send, Receive, Repeat

Managing an email list of customers and prospects can be daunting as it is ever changing because of job moves, cutbacks and restructuring. Sending out a monthly or quarterly e-newsletter can help keep you informed of changes – even before a salesperson shows up at the door and finds their contact has left the company. When you get email kickbacks saying Bob Smith is no longer with Company ABC, share these with your sales team. This can be a useful heads-up that it is time for them to show up at the company with a box of doughnuts to find out who their new contact is.

Web-event Windfall

If you have a new technology or product you are trying to garner interest in, consider hosting a web event. Whether you do it in-house or via an industry publication, you can set it up to capture a list of warm leads that your sales team can follow up on. If a potential customer has viewed the online event on your new product, it may be a perfect time for a sales person to set up a lunch meeting to answer their questions on how your product could help their company.

Go for Social Gold

Share a comment or endorsement from a customer that was posted on LinkedIn noting your good work and recommending your products and services. Everyone loves to get good reviews!

Partner Up to Show Wins

Marketing departments sometimes don’t know what happens once a lead gets turned over to the sales team. Team up with sales to show the online leads that turn into sales – with a dollar amount, if possible. Showing that one web lead turned into a $10,000 sale is definitely worth noting.

Once your team sees that digital marketing is having a real impact on getting them closer to a sale and changing the way your company is viewed in the marketplace, the social content ideas will come pouring in and you’ll have a much better chance of keeping your digital marketing spend in your next budget meeting.
Foster Marketing develops digital strategies to help our clients engage with their customers, build awareness for their products and services and turn prospective customers into buyers. Contact us today to discuss your digital goals!