In February 2015, the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce chose me to be one of their honorees, along with Assembly Member Annette Robinson; Michael Pugh, President & CEO of Carver Bank; and Maxine Stephenson, Co-Founder of Zeen, Incorporated, for their Black History Month celebration. Not only did the Chamber honor me, I also received an official proclamation from the Office of the Public Advocate of the City of New York.
Check out photos from the celebration below.
When it comes to marketing many people are not clear about what exactly it is and encompasses. It is often used interchangeably with the word “advertising”, which is incorrect. Simply put, Marketing encompasses certain type of activities that ultimately make people aware of a product or service to result in a variety of end goals, such as increased sales or brand loyalty. The best way to think about marketing is to think of a pie. In its totality, a pie is typically a large round dessert, but when it’s time for it to be served, it’s cut up into several slices.
Some of marketing’s “slices” include:
- Social Media
- Email Marketing
- Public Relations
- Brand Management
When it comes to your own marketing pie, you may have a couple of slices or several slices, but it is important to cut your marketing pie into the most effective slices.
For example, if you have a bakery, having brand awareness and brand loyalty are probably integral to being successful. Therefore some of the most effective tools may be social media (so you can speak directly to your customers and get feedback), email marketing (so you can share updates and promotions with targeted lists), and strategic partnerships (to ensure you keep growing your potential customer base by leveraging your partner’s network).
So, now it’s time for you to figure out how your marketing pie will be divided. Start by thinking about your audience and who you are trying to reach (your target market). Next think about the best way to reach them (ex. are they active on social media? Are they newspaper readers?, etc.) Then look at your competitors and industry, and see what tactics appear to be the most effective in terms of increasing customers and sales. Once you analyze these three main areas, you will be able to decide what core marketing activities will make up the slices of your marketing pie.
For more tips or if you would like to see how Sunny Day Marketing can help you, contact us here.
New small businesses and entrepreneurs can all use some more capital for their businesses, but outside of loans, crowdfunding, or asking family or friends (usually not the best move), they often are at a lost how best to obtain capital. That’s why this article from Black Enterprise comes right on time with their all-inclusive list of startup competitions.
Some of the start-up competitions include:
For more information and to access links to the competition, visit: http://www.blackenterprise.com/small-business/16-startup-competitions-entrepreneurs-capital/
Looking to create an effective Marketing Plan? Make sure you cover these areas!
- Executive Summary: An overview of your entire plan and a quick summary of what is to come in your Marketing Plan. This part is usually done last.
- Marketing Strategy: Decide what your marketing goals are and how, when, where, and why you are going to reach them in this section.
- Target Customers: This section is where you will clearly identify who your customers will be, demographics, their income, and other general information that can help you understand their needs
- Unique Selling Position (USP): What makes you stand out from your competition? Why should potential customers buy from you and not your competitors? Once you identify your USP, make sure to reinforce it all times when promoting your business.
- Pricing: Making sure that you are fairly priced within your market, not too low or high so that you are in aligned in the position you want to be. : Give thought to how you can increase your transaction sales. Should you increase prices or try selling bundles?
- Distribution Plan: How will you be selling your product or service? Outline if you are online based, a retailer, sell directly and so forth.
- Promotions Strategy: In this section you will need to elaborate on how exactly you will promote your products or services to your target customer. By reviewing past successes and failures, you can determine which is useful and which is less effective
- Online Marketing Strategy: The world has become extremely digital, so in order to stay ahead of the game you must be sure to advertise where people are looking. Have your website optimized, use keywords and ensure that you have a good social media presence. It is not just social media, it is also reputation management
- Marketing Materials: What materials will you use to get the word out about your business or campaign? Be sure to account for business cards, flyers, banners, etc.
- Conversion Strategy: What exactly will be your strategy to convert leads into sales? This section is dedicated to talking about how you will need to pitch your business in order to heighten sales
- Joint Ventures and Partnerships: By cultivating relationships with other companies you will allow yourself a bigger reach. Elaborate more on how you will team up with establishments to grow your business
- Referrals: Referrals are wonderful. By coming up with a strategy to draw in referrals your company can experience constant growth. Establish what incentives you will offer
- Retention Strategy: You want to keep the customers you have so by offering discounts, free beneficial information etc. you can keep customers coming back.
- Financial Projection: This is more of a ‘goal’ oriented section. Include your expenses, sales and profits so you can analyze and keep on track with your company’s growth
- Analytics: Without tracking your results, you will not be able to determine how successful you truly were when it comes to hitting the goals you set in your marketing strategy. Be sure to put benchmarks in place and review your results regularly.
Doing Market Research is usually one of the very first steps that needs to be done when creating business strategies. This helps you set prices; pave the way for all of the services you decide to offer and figure out the best way to provide them, among other things. Research is one of the most critical phases of the process to fully understand your company and meet needs in the market. As there are many different methods to research, it can be quite a varied process. Some companies can invest more time than others, while others can invest more money. These include the deciding factors as to how in-depth it goes. As Market Research comes with tons of very detailed questions as a way to dig into exactly who you are as a company and other related areas, it often leaves many business owners baffled. The good news is that there is a simple way to get to the root of what you are trying to achieve.
A few questions that one may ask when doing a evaluation of their business would be:
- What will I be offering?
- To whom will I offer it?
- What problem am I trying to address?
- What price would someone pay to acquire my product or service?
- Is my product new or an improvement upon one that already exists?
- Where will I promote my product or service?
- How will get this information to my prospective clients?
- Where are my prospective clients or customers located?
Knowing if you can supply a certain demand is necessary. Here are three ways you can get some good feedback from your target audience:
- Focus Groups
After you have decided which route you will like to go, be sure to pay close attention to the analytics. The feedback you receive from your survey, poll or focus group will be your window into what your target market really wants. A few questions you may want to ask to get insight on what others think about your competitors and the industry itself may be:
- What do you like most about (add your competitor’s name here)?
- How valuable is their product or service to you?
- What keeps you loyal to their brand?
- As a customer, what else would you like to be offered in terms of services and products?
By asking simple, yet effective questions such as these, you are enabling yourself to gain insight on what others candidly think of the industry and your competitors, ultimately giving you a head start on how to bridge the gap. This information would be your ticket to the top.
Let Sunny Day Marketing help take your business to the heights of success we know you can achieve. Contact us today to schedule your consultation.
Developing a Marketing Strategy- How to Reach Your Business Goals
For all business owners, the ultimate goal behind creating a marketing strategy is simple: achieving business success. Increasing your bottom line, building brand awareness, generating new leads, or creating an air of trust between existing and prospective clients are amongst the top motivators. Within your marketing strategy, you will want to be very clear in expressing who you are, what you do, what you offer, how qualified you are and of course, why prospects should use your services or buy your products. The reason for coming up with a strategy is to effectively communicate why customers should work or form a relationship with you.
There are many companies that have mastered the art of successfully marketing their businesses. Companies such as Chick-fil-A, with their widely known ‘Cow Campaign’ took the world by storm and after years of being in business and marketing consistently, Chick-fil-A is wildly successful franchise. With dedication, sticking to what you believe in and offering quality service, the sky is the limit. Of course, arriving at your success level of choice is no easy task. It takes a well-thought out plan and dedicated implementation of that plan.
For your strategy to work, it has to be properly executed and configured. In this case, for a business owner looking to climb the golden ladder of greatness, you have to be multi-faceted and consistent. Marketing is a constant job and requires dedication as well as flexibility. It is the very source of how your business thrives so ensuring that the right message is being generated and heard, you must invest in the proper resources. Short cuts are never recommended.
As we stated, in every marketing plan, your strategy should be clearly articulated. Here are a few suggestions as to the direction it should take and what it should contain:
- Define your product or service
- Determine your goal
- Establish who your target market will be
- Study your competition and business trends
- Figure out what sets you apart from your competition
- Be flexible enough to know that change will come with time and be okay with modifying your plan
- Determine best platforms to promote your product or service
- Create a timeline
These are just some of the main points that every business should include in their marketing strategy in order to be successful. We here at Sunny Day Marketing are always excited in seeing our clients shine. We’d love to see how we could help your business grow- call us today at 347-460-8179 or visit us at http://sunnydaymktg.com.
Compete for a share of $50,000 in small business grants.
The FedEx Small Business Grant Contest will be accepting entries January 6, 2014 through February 9, 2014.
*Description from the FedEx website:
Register for the FedEx Small Business Grant Contest, and tell us what separates your business from the rest. You could win:
- Grand prize grant of $25,000
- Four first-place grants of $5,000
- Five second-place grants of $1,000
Entering is simple. Click the contest registration button below and submit your business story and photos by February 9. Once your application is approved and the voting period begins, you can vote for your business once a day – and get your friends, customers, and associates to vote for your business every day. Voting period is January 16 through February 23.
The number of votes you receive will boost your visibility in the contest and is one factor that FedEx will consider when selecting the top 100 finalists and the winners. We will review every submission to identify the most compelling business stories. So tell us your story today, and you could walk away with one of ten grants to invest in your business.
For more information on the grant and to enter the contest, visit their website at https://smallbusiness.fedex.com/grant-contest
REPETITION- do you truly understand the force behind the word when it comes to your business?
Many times people tend to focus on the end result and miss out on the process that it took to achieve it. As a business owner, it’s almost automatic to evaluate other establishments, purposefully or not. The simple question as to ‘what makes a particular company so successful?’ is one that is muttered more often than average. The answer is simple, repetition. It’s not about where that business is now; it’s more so about where they came from. The mistakes and failures they have had to endure and overcome to be where they are today. Mistakes are teachers and learning from them is a key piece to the puzzle.
For all businesses, start-ups and established companies, it requires the motivation to continue on through good and bad. Repetition allows you to build your brand and become the household name you’ve wanted to be. As we say here at Sunny Day Marketing, marketing never stops! It’s constant. If you stop marketing that means you have no business, and let’s face it, without customers and leads you have nothing. It’s the way of the world and as a business owner it’s your duty to stay ahead of the game. Through trial and error, greatness is born. It takes making many mistakes for you to become the business that you want to. According to Abraham Lincoln, “My great concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with your failure.” How content are you?
We’ve come up with a few ways that you can take your mistakes and make them great. Begin by getting more organized; it’s the best way to ignite motivation within your business.
- Create short term and long-term marketing goals. Explore the Who, Where, What, Why, When and How’s of your business
- When you have your goals down pact, brainstorm the outlets in which you would like to promote your company
- By establishing where you will be promoting you can now create content calendars of appropriate messages that speaks volumes for your business and touch base with your target market
- Be sure to highlight the benefits of your services and not oversell your products
- Give consumers something to believe in. What do you stand for? When you firmly believe in something, people tend to follow.
Stay consistent in setting goals and evaluating your company’s success. Doing this helps build momentum and stimulates you to achieve greater things. Being repetitive has never been for a better cause.
For more marketing tips, contact Sunny Day Marketing today and schedule your consultation at 347-460-8179.
We’ve all heard it before, the holidays are here, and it’s a slow time for business. It is almost expected that the end of the year marks less profit-more expense. We’re ready to break that tradition, how about you? Ushering in the New Year on a high note is but a few key moves away and if done correctly, you won’t feel like Santa has purposefully dropped coal in your stocking. Some of the best marketing strategies are free, less time consuming than you think and you won’t have to miss a beat with your family during this holiday season. With your help, we are re-branding what the end of the year is known for; we are revolutionizing marketing to make it more dynamic and less costly for you.
What sells? Repetition does. Before you set out to market your business this holiday, keep in mind that others are probably gearing up to doing the same. Your goal should be to remain consistent, in a non-spammy way of course. By always positioning yourself in front of your customers, you become memorable and that is exactly what you want. Create a plan that would be effective for your business and stick with it. By having a focal point you will no longer waste time trying to figure out what to do next, your plan would save you time and energy, being your road map to greatness. Below we’ve listed a few ways to jump-start your marketing campaign on a small budget.
- Create Time Limited Offers to encourage customers to ACT NOW
- Seek to find what your competitors are not offering and offer it
- Send Emails, Newsletters, or Direct Mailers to stay in front of your customers
- Send ‘Thank You’ Cards. Remember that every customer wants to feel as though they’re your only customer
- Introduce ‘End of Year’ Incentives. Offer attractive discounts and/or Prizes
- Keep your Social Media Platforms up to date. It is not only ‘social’ it is also reputation management
- Give away a few branded items with your company’s logo on it. Magnets, pens, T-shirts are amongst some of the popular ones
- Have a customer appreciation/holiday party, give away favors with a discount card, your business card and of course a small token from your store
- Blog like crazy. Keeping your website up-to-date with fresh content allows you the luxury of being easily found on the search engines
- Be sure that every customer between now and the new year has copies of your store’s fliers and business cards
All of your marketing should be measured so that you can see your ROI (Return On Investment). Not all investments are financial but that does not make it less important. By knowing what works and what does not, it will help you determine what actually motivates your customers to buy and create new leads.
As a small business owner the holiday season can be a time that can make or break your business. Over the years the concept of “Black Friday” has been popularized and swarms of consumers can be seen rushing to the big chain stores following their Thanksgiving day. The concept of “Cyber Monday” may be fairly new, but according to an IBM report, total sales reached $1.98 billion on Cyber Monday in 2012, a 17% increase from 2011. These statistics may be daunting for a small business owner, but there is something that can place small businesses on a similar playing field as the big chain stores and online outlets. “Small Business Saturday” is a concept popularized in 2010 by American Express during an advertising campaign. According to American Express consumers spent an estimated $5.5 billion at small business retailers and restaurants in 2012.
All businesses should begin to reach out to their email contacts by sending out one email a week mentioning whatever promotions and sales your business will have on that Saturday. To build your email list it is important to obtain the email addresses from all the consumers that shop at your store. It is important to keep in mind that this is time consuming so expediting the email collection process can be advantageous. Make it enticing for a consumer to give their email address by offering a discount at the register. Aside from email your business should take full advantage of its social media networks and schedule tweets and Facebook posts regarding your Saturday specials. Another way to spark interest would be to run a Facebook contest where user activity is rewarded. Businesses can visit https://www.americanexpress.com/us/small-business/Shop-Small/marketing-materials for customizable banners that they can add to their social media sites that will let users know that the business is participating in this year’s Small Business Saturday event. You can also encourage consumers to shop at your establishment by re-investing a portion of the sales to a local need.
Make sure whatever promotional route you take is posted on all your social media networks and sent to consumers via an email blast. Utilize fliers and banners outside your storefront as well; it is important to let consumers passing by know about your sale as well as your participation in Small Business Saturday. If your business hasn’t already you can register for discounts and get additional information about Small Business Saturday here: http://www1.nyc.gov/nyc-resources/service/2473/small-business-saturday