Archive for August, 2010

MRIA BC – September Granville Island Member, Family & Student Social Event

Friday, August 27th, 2010

FYI – I thought you might be interested in the following event if you live in the Lower Mainland Area.

Social Event… Come one and all!

Come friends, families and students to enjoy lunch, socialize and a hang around Granville Island, before we say goodbye to the summer. Feel free to bring additional food to BBQ (BBQ’s to be provided)

Event Details:
September 25, 2010
Lunch & Fun: 12:00 – 3:00

The Picnic Pavillion, Granville Island, Vancouver
The Picnic Pavilion is located next to Cats Socialhouse just behind the Waterpark and near to the duck pond)

Parking & Maps: Public parking is available at Granville Island. The nearest Canada Line Station is Broadway and from there the 50 bus stops outside Granville Island.

Registration Fees:
All $1 per person (includes a hamburger, veggie burger and cold drink)

This event was made possible in part by the generosity of our friends at Research Now!

Just a reminder, event registration has moved online! Please pre-register by Wednesday September 22, 2010 through the MRIA Portal.

Questions regarding event registration?

Marketing Power

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010
Most businesses usually cut back on spending during a recession or economic downturn.  However, Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Harvard professor and the author of Confidence and SuperCorp, argues that this is exactly the time when companies should take advantage of the power of marketing.

Here are a few of her suggestions:

1. Increase customer contact and communication. Customers will know you care, you will be better informed, staff will feel more involved, and unexpected opportunities might arise.

2. Start looking for new markets now. Companies dependent on a few large customers are particularly vulnerable to changes in their customers’ fortunes, but all companies need the flexibility to move quickly into promising markets. In uncertain times, managers should increase efforts to identify additional uses for company products and additional sources of customers for the future.

3. Stick with your values. There is always a temptation to cut corners when times are tough. Reminders about company values can reinforce solidarity and increase the confidence that customers have in the company.

Effective Marketing

Friday, August 20th, 2010
I was reading an article the other day that mentioned some important considerations for developing an effective strategy, and I just thought I’d quickly share them.

Determine the level of marketing you need. This can depend on:

  • The size of your company.
  • Where your company is in its life cycle (for example, starting up, growing, maturing, declining).
  • Whether you are making strategic decisions about the company’s entire product portfolio, a particular product line, or just one product.
  • How much marketing strategy formulation you have done in the past.

Use a structured process:

  • Do some front-end preparation to save you time and money.
  • Develop a clear, structured, well-thought-out process to keep the focus, ensure the consistent use of information, and streamline decision-making.

It also important to remember that your marketing strategy formulation is not the beginning of the process, it’s the end. That’s why it’s important to do your research:

  • Draft an outline of your plan.
  • Collect comprehensive, accurate, and current information about your market, customers, competitors, and partners.

Finally, avoid common marketing mistakes by:

  • Collecting ample marketing information before you begin formulating a strategy.
  • Not involving too many people in the process of formulating a strategy. Focus on decision-makers and knowledge experts.
  • Referring to your completed marketing strategy often, and update it as necessary. It needs to be a living document.

Problem Based Marketing

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010

The need to establish a “Unique Selling Proposition,” or USP, has become an important marketing concept. It answers the question: “Why should I do business with your company instead of your competitors?,” and differentiates your business in the eyes of your current and potential customers or clients.

It also establishes what your product or service can do for them.

Does it make life easier? Does it save them time? Does your business offer something that your competitors do not?

In other words, your USP is the reason that your customers choose to do business with you.

One common approach is to present your USP as a solution to a problem. Problem based marketing helps you to identify your target customers and understand the issues and problems they deal with, which then allows you to demonstrate how your product or service solves those problems.

Targeting the specific needs of your customer and connecting with them personally not only improves the chance of increased ROI, it also makes for a happier and more productive business relationship.

One Week Job Street Team Video

Monday, August 9th, 2010

Ian McKenzie just posted the one week  job street team video

It turned out really good!  Fee free to share/tweet etc…

How to Penetrate New Markets in Hard Times

Friday, August 6th, 2010
Recessions are tough times for all businesses, big and small. This doesn’t mean, however,
that there isn’t room for growth.
Here are three marketing tactics that John Quelch, a professor at Harvard Business
School, suggests for companies facing a challenging business environment:
1) Research the customer.
Instead of cutting the market research budget, you need to know more than ever how
consumers are redefining value and responding to the recession. Price elasticity curves
are changing. Consumers take more time searching for durable goods and negotiate
harder at the point of sale. They are more willing to postpone purchases, trade down, or
buy less. Must-have features of yesterday are today’s can-live-withouts. Trusted brands
are especially valued and they can still launch new products successfully but interest in
new brands and new categories fades. Conspicuous consumption becomes less prevalent.
2) Maintain marketing spending.
This is not the time to cut advertising. It is well documented that brands that increase
advertising during a recession, when competitors are cutting back, can improve
market share and return on investment at lower cost than during good economic times.
Uncertain consumers need the reassurance of known brands–and more consumers at
home watching television can deliver higher than expected audiences at lower cost-per-
thousand impressions. Brands with deep pockets may be able to negotiate favourable
advertising rates and lock them in for several years. If you have to cut marketing
spending, try to maintain the frequency of advertisements by shifting from 30-to-15
second advertisements, substituting radio for television advertising, or increasing the use
of direct marketing, which gives more immediate sales impact.
3) Emphasize core values.
Although most companies are making employees redundant, chief executives can
cement the loyalty of those who remain by assuring employees that the company has
survived difficult times before, maintaining quality rather than cutting corners and
servicing existing customers rather than trying to be all things to all people. CEOs
must spend more time with customers and employees. Economic recession can elevate
the importance of the finance director’s balance sheet over the marketing manager’s
income statement. Managing working capital can easily dominate managing customer
relationships. CEOs must counter this. Successful companies do not abandon their
marketing strategies in a recession; they adapt them.

Social Media: What you might be missing out on

Thursday, August 5th, 2010
Social media have become highly accessible and highly effective e-marketing tools, and, nowadays, it pays to take advantage of these powerful and multifaceted resources.
Social media marketing should be a part of any effective integrated marketing communications plan as it has the potential to bring a huge amount of traffic and attention to your business,products, and services.
Here are 5 reasons why:
1. Access to a huge pool of potential customers.
The Internet has become the global meeting place and more people than ever are going online to access information and services, and to communicate. Facebook alone has over 500 million users. Social media has made it possible to connect with those users.
2. It’s Easy
Social media resource are usually designed to be user friendly, which means that sites and applications can be easily maintained and updated. It also means that almost anyone, whether they are 18 or 80 from Vancouver or Vienna, can have access to your business.
3. It involves low costs and high rewards.
Most sites are free and can help increase your revenues. Enough said!
4. Diversity
A great feature about many social media resources is that they can be linked together so that the same message can be presented through a variety of platforms. This can not only save you time, but it also ensures a consistent message. Your Twitter account, for example, can be connected to your Facebook page so that all you tweets will automatically be posted on your
message board. In addition, many sites also allow for the use of videos and photos, which makes for a truly multimedia marketing approach.
5. Real time market research
Sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and personal blogs are all about communicating and, as a result, they allow companies to conduct their own free market research by tapping into discussions about specific market places, products, services. On the flip side, it’s also possible to see who is having those discussions.

Amanda Lowe’s first OWJ Street Team Event was a complete success!

Wednesday, August 4th, 2010
For her week as an Event Planner, Amanda decided to stage a pop-up event to help promote awareness of One Week Job. On Friday, July 30, her and the Reframe Team staked out a spot in Robson Square in downtown Vancouver, set up a table, and started spreading the news by handing out brochures and talking to people on the street. To help get the word out, Reframe also contacted media outlets and emailed her business list.
Here are some insights that she gained from her experience:
Good Things:
  • Table was good as a central location and place to talk to passerby – had a good number of people come up to the booth and ask us about what we were doing
  • The signage helped attract attention, ie: “I am Passionate About…” sign. We signed up (approx.) 10 new people to receive One Week Job emails, and win an autographed book/coffee-meeting with Sean!
  • A couple business people approached Sean and exchanged business cards – wanted to talk more about possibly working together
  • We handed out all 100 of our fliers
  • Had 5 volunteers show up to help!! Amazing!
  • Not everyone is on social media, so it was a good way to share the program face-to-face with those who might not have found it online.
Ways to Improve:
  • Been more coordinated with our branding – we wore yellow, but there could always be more yellow!
  • Had an activity/game to attract people
  • More volunteers
  • Hit more street corners, moved around more
  • More time – Started earlier and gone longer
  • More/larger signage, put them up around where we were located, at cross walks, etc.
  • Giveaways – something immediate other than the brochures that we could have given out. ie: candy, OWJ branded toy gun
In the end, Amanda learned the basics of how to pull an event together and discovered a fundamental lesson about event planning: It’s TOUGH BUT EFFECTIVE!
Here’s the link to her blog:
Good job, Amanda! And good luck!