CompuKol Connection » Blog http://www.compukol.com When you need results, our expertise eclipses the competition! Fri, 23 Jan 2015 13:29:13 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1 Optimizing YouTube for Your Business http://www.compukol.com/blog/optimizing-youtube-for-your-business/ http://www.compukol.com/blog/optimizing-youtube-for-your-business/#comments Thu, 22 Jan 2015 10:00:24 +0000 http://www.compukol.com/?p=6857 There are many different ways that you can reach your target audience online. You may choose to interact on several social media channels. Only you can decide which ones work the most effectively for you. You can also choose to use YouTube to post compelling videos. Videos will satisfy those target audience members who are visual. Continue reading ]]>

There are many different ways that you can reach your target audience online. You may choose to interact on several social media channels. Only you can decide which ones work the most effectively for you. You can also choose to use YouTube to post compelling videos. Videos will satisfy those target audience members who are visual.

Why YouTube?

You may not be aware that YouTube is an extraordinarily popular social media channel and billions of people go to the YouTube website regularly (around the world). Of course, it is understood that making a video comes with its own set of challenges. That is especially true if you have never made a video or have very limited experience in that area. If that is the case, you will need to establish your comfort zone when it comes to making videos for business. There are several step that you will most likely find helpful when it comes to creating videos for business and evoking the sort of reaction that you are looking for.

  • Choose your keywords and key phrases carefully: Before you do anything else at all, you will need to choose your keywords. Make sure that you choose them very carefully. You can make use of the YouTube Keyword Tool, which will make choosing  your keywords and key phrases relatively easy. That tool allows you to track the number of queries you have received (related to searches) in any given month. The way that it works is that you type in a keyword or key phrase and select “exact” to find out the number of people who are looking for your exact keyword or key phrase. That will give you a strong sense of whether you are hitting the mark the way that you should be.

  • Know your competitors: As is the case with any social media channel, it is very important that you understand who your competition is and what they are doing or what they have that can trump you. Whichever number of results appears is basically the number of competitors that you have. It is an easy way to gauge. Of course, that means that you wand as small a number of videos as possible to show up! The keyword search tool is very effective and once you have performed the initial search, you can go back and hone your searches.

  • Create the shell for your video: You are now at the stage where you can name your video file and create a thumbnail image. As always, you should consider content king. It truly is that. When it comes to how content is received (and viewed) by the search engines, they don’t recognize images. They only recognize and rank text. That is extremely important to remember. With that in mind, you need to understand that a keyword in your video file name is extremely important for search engine optimization (SEO). It is very easy to make that happen with a video that you post on YouTube. As far as your thumbnail is concerned, you should strive to make it as enticing as possible. You will be happy with the results if you can manage to do that. Of course, it is critical that you don’t only share an enticing thumbnail and then disappoint your target audience because your video has fallen short.

  • Don’t forget the meta tags, video description, and video title: When it comes to creating the most effective title possible, you should strive to have your title no more than 100 characters. The writing should be short and clear. It is also important that you remember to include a keyword in your title. When it comes to the specifications of your video description, it has been proven to be most effective if you place a keyword or key phrase in the first and last sentence. Those two places are where the keywords/key phrases will get the most attention. That may earn you higher search engine rankings. Now onto the meta tags. With YouTube, you can tag your video with the most effective keywords/key phrases.

  • Use closed captioning: You might have seen closed captioning on television programs (or at least the option of it). It is a good thing to include with your video because it allows more of your target audience members to have the opportunity to view what you are sharing. It also is an effective way to get the search engines to pick up your content. It is an easy and effective way to increase your visibility online.

  • Use calls-to-action: Of course, it goes without saying that you don’t have total control over how many people actually view your video and whether those people choose to interact with you. However, you can provide them with the opportunity to interact with you. You can do that by providing a call-to-action that will make it as easy for them to interact with you as possible. In your call-to-action, you should either ask them for what you want or give them something that will enhance their interactions with  you. You can use similar calls-to-action as you would in a written article. You can ask a thought-provoking question, leave an insightful comment, etc. People will probably be more than willing to share their opinions with you.

  • Once your video is complete, embed it: It is very important for you to embed your video on your website for maximum exposure and buzz. You will need to optimize the page on your website where you have chosen to embed the video and that is an excellent way to build your credibility. Your video is showing instead of telling people about your business and demonstrating what you can do and what you are capable of doing for them.

Conclusion

If you follow the steps that have been outlined here, you will create and share a successful video that will get a lot of positive attention. YouTube is an excellent social media channel and you owe it to your business to take full advantage of it to bring your business to the next level. From the beginning, it is critical that you have a video content strategy outlined and you should make sure to stick with it on a permanent basis. Of course, it is also very important to remember that you are not in a world by yourself and without other people, you will not have a successful business. With that in mind, you must remember that if other people have been instrumental in your success, you should make sure to acknowledge their contribution in some way.

We are pleased to provide you with the insightful comments contained herein. For a complimentary assessment of your online presence, let’s have coffee.

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Combining Forces: How Marketing and PR Can Work Together http://www.compukol.com/blog/combining-forces-how-marketing-and-pr-can-work-together/ http://www.compukol.com/blog/combining-forces-how-marketing-and-pr-can-work-together/#comments Mon, 19 Jan 2015 10:00:11 +0000 http://www.compukol.com/?p=7022 In a time where 50 hour work weeks, working from home, and working with multiple screens have become commonplace, needless to say, many job positions and careers are transforming. With societal trends and changes in the economy, expectations and responsibilities in the workplace change as well, and the fields of marketing and public relations are shifting too. Continue reading ]]>

In a time where 50 hour work weeks, working from home, and working with multiple screens have become commonplace, needless to say, many job positions and careers are transforming. With societal trends and changes in the economy, expectations and responsibilities in the workplace change as well, and the fields of marketing and public relations are shifting too.

Due to advances in the fields of technology and communication, it’s not surprising that roles in areas that rely heavily on B2B and B2C communication have shifted and grown as a result. Marketing and public relations are two overlapping areas that have responded to these changes.

Dual roles

So, what’s the difference between marketing and public relations? Though the two are separate departments, job roles in these areas both usually deal with customers, client studies, and customer satisfaction. Due to the close relationships PR and marketing foster with clients, the two areas could be thought of as one unit centering on the same customer information, each covering their different specialties.

Not only is it possible to share tasks and goals between marketing and PR departments, it may be becoming increasingly necessary. Because many of the functions of each are similar or at least highly interrelated, some data may become lost or be unaccounted for without communication between departments. Joint meetings and task lists may be other ways for PR and marketing to work together.

It’s important that marketing and PR not only account for gaps in communication inside the company but it’s also recommended that these two departments present a united front to customers. Because their end goals are so related, both departments need to be on the same page in order to optimize the business’s relationship to current clients as well as initiatives intended for the overall client base.

Many Hats

Many marketing and public relations professionals are finding themselves taking on amorphous roles with diverse daily tasks. Marketers take on customer service and public relations. Public relations specialists are finding themselves becoming marketing mavens and strategizing on ways to increase sales.

It’s true that for these areas, the lines of responsibility have become blurred, and in some places, they have disappeared altogether. Due to the nature of each, marketing and public relations are often the same department in some companies, wherein marketers compile and send out news, press releases, product updates and so on. Public relations professionals may find themselves conducting customer service calls or collecting testimonials in a manner that primes future clients for retention or advocacy.

Office Synergy

Marketing and PR can certainly work together to better reach an intended audience. Marketers analyze data corresponding to weekly events. Public relations specialists speak directly to customers. The former has information on client reactions, while the latter initiates contact or interactions.

In a sense, marketing and PR form two halves of a whole when it comes to customer information. Marketers have access to information like analytics, weekly web leads, click-through-rate and the like, while public relations employees craft communications via email blasts. Both groups are assigned to monitoring and using social media platforms.

Because marketers and PR professionals already work in many of the same areas, it makes sense that their work could be done cooperatively. In the age of information where technology and opinion are often intertwined, marketing and PR need to share data and coordinate on team vision to speak to clients and potential customers.

Conclusion

Marketing and PR each have a separate, valuable use and function as well as working in tandem. In some cases, they must function separately and in other cases, the outcome in a particular situation will be much more successful if those two areas work together.

We are pleased to provide you with the insightful comments contained herein. For a complimentary assessment of your online presence, let’s have coffee.

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Making People Like You http://www.compukol.com/blog/making-people-like-you/ http://www.compukol.com/blog/making-people-like-you/#comments Thu, 15 Jan 2015 10:00:05 +0000 http://www.compukol.com/?p=6868 When it comes to your business dealings and the relationships that you have been able to build with other people, both online and in person, there are qualities that stand out. Those are qualities that make the other person like you (and eventually trust you) and that make you like the other person. Continue reading ]]>

When it comes to your business dealings and the relationships that you have been able to build with other people, both online and in person, there are qualities that stand out. Those are qualities that make the other person like you (and eventually trust you) and that make you like the other person.

Your “likeability” factor

In life and in business, people will not be willing to interact with you if they don’t find you pleasant to deal with. That is not to say that you need to be best friends; however, you do need to establish a compatibility with each other that will allow you to understand each other and create some sort of synergy between you. You may think that it is very easy to do but sometimes it may be more challenging than you think. At the very beginning of the relationship (before you have even had a chance to really get to know the other person on any level), you need to like the person enough to want to pursue any sort of relationship with him or her. The only way that you can get people to like you is if you are reliable, you are driven by your integrity, and you are able to empathize with the other person (you can put yourself in that person’s shoes). If you don’t possess those three traits, it just won’t work out.

Reliability: One of the qualities that you must possess as a business owner is reliability. Your clients (and potential clients) must know without a doubt that they can rely on you. If they need you, you must be there for them. If you are able to establish that type of relationship, the next time (and every time) that the person needs that particular thing, you will be the one that will come to mind. That is exactly what you want to happen. Along with reliability, of course, comes dependability and consistency. Your clients must always be able to count on the fact that they can expect the exact quality from you each and every time.

Empathy: Sympathy is good but it isn’t critical in the way that empathy is. You must have the ability to wrap your mind around what the other person is thinking, feeling, and experiencing. If you are empathetic, those people will connect with you on a deep, emotional level and the bond that you share will be indestructible. If you connect with the other person as two human beings who have shared the same experience, you will be golden.

Integrity: Integrity is a critical quality in every aspect of life. Everywhere you turn, integrity is driving people to make the right decisions personally and professionally. Without integrity, the success that you are reaching for will be empty and meaningless. If you allow your decent values to drive everything that you do and everything that you are, you can’t go wrong. Undoubtedly, there will be times when you find it difficult to do that right thing if doing the easy thing is more appealing. However, the result may not be what you hope for if you choose that path. When it comes to integrity, the more you choose to make the right, decent choices, the easier it will be to keep making those choices. Test it out. You will see.

Conclusion

If you can manage to be reliable, empathetic, and allow yourself to be driven by integrity, the more appealing you and your business will be to other people and the more those other people will want to be a part of your inner circle. Another important way to establish that deep connection is to truly listen to what the other person is saying and what they want. If you show them that they are important to you, they will stick with you. If you show the other person that you are genuine and that you are motivated by solving their problems, they will like you and they will want to do business with you.

We are pleased to provide you with the insightful comments contained herein. For a complimentary assessment of your online presence, let’s have coffee.

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Getting the Most From Hashtags http://www.compukol.com/blog/getting-the-most-from-hashtags/ http://www.compukol.com/blog/getting-the-most-from-hashtags/#comments Mon, 12 Jan 2015 10:00:15 +0000 http://www.compukol.com/?p=6720 Chances are, hashtags are a very important part of your online activities. Hashtags originated with Twitter but their use has expanded and they are now being used far more extensively and quite effectively. It is apparent that hashtags are here to stay so your only choice (if you haven't yet jumped on the hashtag bandwagon) is to embrace them and to learn how to use them most effectively for your business. Continue reading ]]>

Chances are, hashtags are a very important part of your online activities. Hashtags originated with Twitter but their use has expanded and they are now being used far more extensively and quite effectively. It  is apparent that hashtags are here to stay so your only choice (if you haven’t yet jumped on the hashtag bandwagon) is to embrace them and to learn how to use them most effectively for your business.

The way that you use hashtags

The way in which you use hashtags is very important and you will see favorable results if you do it right. First of all, the last thing that you want to do is to become the person who annoys everyone with an avalanche of hashtags that other people find useless. There are many different ways that you can use hashtags effectively for your business.

  • Reach out in a much broader way using hashtags: If you take a close look at the marketing efforts of the majority of other companies, you will see that they are all involved with some sort of traditional marketing. Embedded in the content of those companies traditional marketing, you will see hashtags (in most cases). All of those other companies have realized that using hashtags is worthwhile and the results that they produce are a slew of new online connections. The reason that they are using hashtags and continue to use hashtags is because they work and they work extremely well.

  • Engage your online connections using hashtags: A part of why hashtags are so effective is that they are potent little pieces of advertising. They are concise and meaningful and that is exactly what readers want. Nobody has time to spend on reading a large amount of content, especially not the marketing content of other businesses. If you take a look at all of the popular social media channels (and even some of the not-so-popular social media channels), you will see that they are all using them. Hashtags are no longer just a “Twitterism.” It has been proven that they pack a powerful punch. If you are not feeling secure about which hashtags you should be using, bear in mind that each business is unique and that means that each one will use a different set of hashtags. It only makes sense.

  • Unify your social media profiles and join them with hashtags: As important and effective as hashtags are for your business, you must still exercise caution when it comes to making sure that you don’t overdo it. If you use too many hashtags at once, your marketing message will not be as powerful as you want it to be and, subsequently, you won’t get the results that you are looking for. It is extremely important to understand what the right amount is to use.

  • Present your message effectively: Whether you realize it or not, people are really paying attention to what you are saying and what you are sharing. It is a wonderful way to communicate with a large number of people very quickly and effectively. It is important for you to not underestimate the power of hashtags and the effect that they have on other people as well as the results that you can achieve for your business.

  • Collect the data: Your hashtags provide a great deal of benefit to your and your business. They are an independent means of communication. You can ask questions and get answers and you can have discussions. They are a wonderful way to engage your online connections. Leverage those hashtags for your business whenever possible.

Conclusion

Hashtags are an extremely effective way of communicating with your online connections. If you learn to use them properly and effectively (it will require minimal effort on your part to make this happen), you will be surprised at what positive results you can achieve. If you haven’t integrated hashtags into your marketing materials in any major way up to now, it is definitely time that you start doing so. Hashtags can be used for many things, including research, which can prove to be very useful. Hashtags can also be instrumental in solidifying your online communities. It is a great idea for you to take advantage of all that hashtags can give you.

We are pleased to provide you with the insightful comments contained herein. For a complimentary assessment of your online presence, let’s have coffee.

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Writing Concise and Compelling Social Media Content http://www.compukol.com/blog/writing-concise-and-compelling-social-media-content/ http://www.compukol.com/blog/writing-concise-and-compelling-social-media-content/#comments Thu, 08 Jan 2015 10:00:51 +0000 http://www.compukol.com/?p=6824 When it comes to your social media efforts for your business, it is very important that you understand how critical social media is to your marketing efforts and how those efforts will impact your business's success. Of course, most likely, you are an extremely busy person and there are so many things on any given day (and any given week) that are above your social media efforts on your priority list. Continue reading ]]>

When it comes to your social media efforts for your business, it is very important that you understand how critical social media is to your marketing efforts and how those efforts will impact your business’s success. Of course, most likely, you are an extremely busy person and there are so many things on any given day (and any given week) that are above your social media efforts on your priority list.

Keeping up with your social media efforts

There are several different types of content that you can share and that will serve to really attract the attention of your online connections. The first (and perhaps, easiest) way to begin is by posing a thought-provoking question that will not only get people thinking but that will compel them to want to share their two cents. That is exactly how wonderful, valuable discussions begin and that type of discussion may be turn out to be an amazing launching off point. Of course, it is probably obvious to you that your question must really carry a lot of weight. It must be a really effective question that gets the other person thinking and feeling. Your question should be short and to the point. At the same time, it should also be truly compelling and insightful.

Share some of who you are

Each person has a story to tell and you may not believe it but your story will be very interesting to many other people. Try not to sell yourself (or your story) short. With that in mind, you should choose a topic that you feel is really going to grab the attention of the other person. Whether you realize it or not, you happen to have something really big in common. You are both human beings, which means that you both react emotionally. That doesn’t mean that you overreact emotionally. It only means that you have feelings that are touched when you hear another human being’s story. That is a good thing! If you are genuine and sincere, the other person will know it and will react to what you are sharing. On the other hand, if you are not genuine or sincere, the other person will know that too. Just be yourself and choose a topic that you are passionate about. You will see how well it works.

Use Frequently Asked Questions as a content tool

The concept of FAQs is an excellent tool that will get other people online to pay attention to you and your business. You will establish an automatic connection with the other person because there is no doubt that that other person has thought of at least some of the questions that you are presenting. That will establish an automatic bond right there and then. Within this particular tool, you can also include helpful tips and tricks. Your online connections will appreciate it and there is no doubt that they will find the information valuable.

Express your appreciation to other people

It is very important to remember that you are not in a silo. Your business would not be successful without other people. If not for those other people (as well as people who interact with you and buy from you in the future), where would you and your business be? The answer is, “nowhere.” You need them to survive. If you think about it in that way, you should understand how important it is to acknowledge the important role that the other people play. You need to let them know and you need to acknowledge them to other people as well. One hand truly does wash the other. It is all part of building solid relationships with other people. The more you think of the other person and less about yourself, the stronger and more enduring your relationship with that person will be.  It is so worth the effort that you are going to make.

Write about emerging trends

People love to read about trends and it will help your business if you can identify those trends that are appropriate for what you are doing. There is always that possibility that the other person is not aware of a particular trend yet that trend might help the other person’s business a great deal. It is your responsibility to inform the other person as much as you can. Tell them everything that you know about that particular thing. If the information is interesting enough, your online connections will tell their people and you will get credit as the source of the information. Everyone wins!

Use an insightful quote as a launching off point

Quotations are wonderful and so versatile. There are so many around and you will inevitably find some that will fit your story like a glove. Hopefully, you won’t have to work too hard to find the perfect quotation and then you can share an interesting discussion that relates to that quotation. Other people will find it fascinating. The more inspiring you are to the other people, the more excited they will be about the topic and the more interested they will be to continue to interact with you and before you know it, they will hardly be able to contain their excitement when it comes to your future content.

Conclusion

There are so many topics about which you can write and as long as you choose the appropriate target audience and your content is presented well, you will be golden. Your online connections will be more than happy to interact with you and to offer you the benefit of their knowledge and expertise. Make sure that your writing is clear, concise, and meaningful at the same time. Once you have created content that will captivate other people online, you can enjoy all of the positive feelings that it will invoke.

We are pleased to provide you with the insightful comments contained herein. For a complimentary assessment of your online presence, let’s have coffee.

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Understanding Perception for Marketing http://www.compukol.com/blog/understanding-perception-for-marketing/ http://www.compukol.com/blog/understanding-perception-for-marketing/#comments Mon, 05 Jan 2015 10:00:02 +0000 http://www.compukol.com/?p=6946 One thing that is true in life and in business is that perception is reality. If a perception has been created, whether it is actually true at the core, it is perceived as true and; therefore, everyone believes it to be what they perceive. Continue reading ]]>

One thing that is true in life and in business is that perception is reality. If a perception has been created, whether it is actually true at the core, it is perceived as true and; therefore, everyone believes it to be what they perceive.

Sensation and Perception

Sensation is the immediate response of our sensory receptors (e.g., eyes, ears, nose, mouth, ringers) to such basic stimuli as light, color, and sound. Perception is the process by which these stimuli are selected, organized, and interpreted.  Like a computer, we process raw data (sensation).  However, the study of perception focuses on what we add to or take away from these sensations as we assign meaning to them.

The subjective nature of perception is demonstrated by a controversial advertisement developed for Benetton by a French agency.  The ad features a black man and a white man handcuffed together.  This ad was the target of many complaints about racism after it appeared in magazines and on billboards around the United States, even though the company has a reputation for promoting racial tolerance.  People interpreted it to depict a black man who had been arrested by a white man.’ Even though both men are dressed the same, people’s prior assumptions distorted the ad’s meaning.

Such interpretations or assumptions stem from the schemas, or organized collections of beliefs and feelings, that a person has.  That is, we tend to group in our memories the objects we see as having similar characteristics, and the schema to which an object is assigned is a crucial determinant of how we choose to evaluate this object at a later time.

The Perceptual process can be broken down into the following stages:

 

  1. Primitive categorization, in which the basic characteristics of a stimulus are isolated.
  2. Cue check, in which the characteristics are analyzed in preparation for the selection of a schema.
  3. Confirmation check, in which the schema is selected.
  4. Confirmation completion, in which a decision is made as to what the stimulus is.

 

Sensory Systems

External stimuli, or sensory inputs, can be received on a number of channels.  We may see a billboard, hear a jingle, feel the softness of a cashmere sweater, taste a new flavor of ice cream, or smell a leather jacket.

The inputs picked up by our five senses constitute the raw data that generates many types of responses.  For example, sensory data emanating from the external environment (e.g., hearing a song on the radio) can generate internal sensory experiences when the song on the radio triggers a young man’s memory of his first dance and brings to mind the smell of his date’s perfume or the feel of her hair on his cheek.

Sensory inputs evoke historic imagery, in which events that actually occurred are recalled.  Fantasy imagery is the result when an entirely new, imaginary experience is the response to sensory data.  These responses are an important part of hedonic consumption-the multisensory, fantasy, and emotional aspects of consumers’ interactions with products.’ The data that we receive from our sensory systems determine how we respond to products.

Colors

Colors are rich in symbolic value and have powerful cultural meanings.

The powerful cultural meanings attached to colors make them a central aspect of many marketing strategies.  Color choices are made carefully with regard to packaging, advertising, and even store decor.

The expectations created by colors can actually affect consumers’ experience of products.  Consumers ascribe a sweeter taste to orange drinks as the orange shade of the bottle is darkened.

Package Design

The choice of color is frequently a key issue in package design.

Some color combinations come to be so strongly associated with corporations that these companies are granted exclusive use of these colors through a legal device known as trade dress or livery. As a rule, however, trade dress protection is granted only when consumers might be confused about what they are buying because of similar coloration of a competitor’s packages.

Since the number of competing brands has proliferated for many types of products, the color of a package can be a crucial spur to sales.

Marketers know that consumers tend to associate certain qualities with colors.  The makers of Microsoft software revamped the old forest green package to red and royal blue after it found that consumers associated green with frozen vegetables and chewing gum but not software. The color black connotes quality and elegance, and is used by Johnnie Walker Scotch to convey a sophisticated image.

Theories about Color

Despite the almost mystical effects that colors seem to have on people, little is known about the degree to which these effects are due to the colors themselves or to the cultural meanings that become attached to them. While it is premature to draw any firm conclusions, some evidence indicates that colors can actually affect us regardless of their cultural connotations.

In one experiment, for example, a phone company painted some of its phone booths yellow and found that people making calls from these booths on the average finished their conversations faster.” Exposure to “warm” hues such as red, orange, and yellow appears to raise blood pressure, heart rate, and perspiration, while blue exerts an opposite, caring effect.  Researchers have also claimed that rooms painted all pink appear to calm down delinquents and prison inmates, and a Canadian dental clinic used a blue room to relax anxious patients.  Some fast-food chains rely on the color orange to stimulate customers’ hunger.

Personality and Individual Preferences

Some people believe that people’s preferences for colors are somehow indicative of their personalities.  While there is little evidence to support this claim, there are clear differences among consumers in terms of their color preferences.  Some of these preferences vary by sex, region, social class, or culture.  For example, 25 percent of college women say that their favorite color is purple, but less than 10 percent of college men state this preference.

Some product designers believe that lower-income consumers prefer simple colors-those that can be described in two words, such as “grass green” or “sky blue”-and that these people find complex colors dirty or dull.  In contrast, higher-income people are thought to like complex colors such as “grey-green with a hint of blue.” Simple colors are said to “declassify” or extend a product’s appeal, while others “classify” a product by elevating its perceived status.

Sound

Music is an important part of many people’s lives.  In one survey, respondents were asked what experiences gave them thrills.  Musical passages were cited by 96 percent of the respondents, as compared to 70 percent who cited sexual activity and 26 percent who named parades (respondents could list more than one item).

Music and sound are also important to marketers.  Consumers buy millions of dollars worth of sound recordings each year, advertising jingles maintain brand awareness, and background music creates desired moods.”

Many aspects of sound may affect people’s feelings and behaviors.  Two areas of research that have widespread applications in consumer contexts are the effects of background music on mood and the influence of speaking rate on attitude change and message comprehension.

Time Compression and Sound Perception

Time compression is a technique used by broadcasters to manipulate perceptions of sound.  It is a way to pack more information into a limited time by speeding up an announcer’s voice in commercials.  The speaking rate is typically accelerated to about 120 percent to 130 percent of normal.  This effect is not detectable by most people; in fact, some tests indicate that consumers prefer a rate of transmission that is slightly faster than the normal speaking rate.

The evidence for the effectiveness of time compression is mixed.  It has been shown to increase persuasion in some situations and to reduce it in others.  One explanation for a positive effect is that the listener uses a person’s speaking rate to infer whether the speaker is confident; people seem to think that fast talkers must know what they are talking about.”

Another, more plausible, explanation is that the listener is given less time to elaborate in his or her mind on the assertions made in the commercial.  This acceleration disrupts normal cognitive responses to the ad and changes the cues used to form judgments about its content.  As change can either binder or facilitate attitude change, depending on other conditions.”

Touch

Although relatively little research has been done on the effects of tactile stimulation on consumer behavior, common observation tells us that this sensory channel is important.  Moods are stimulated or relaxed on the basis of sensations of the skin, whether from a luxurious massage or the bite of a winter wind.  Tactile sensations also influence our behavior via the physical messages that products send us.  We use tactile sensations to evaluate cars in terms of how they “feel” on the road, and detergents brag about how “baby soft” they will get our clothes.

Tactile Clues

People associate the textures of fabrics with underlying product qualities.  The perceived richness or quality of the material in clothing, bedding, or upholstery is linked to its “feel,” whether it is rough or smooth, flexible or inflexible.  Silk is equated with luxury, while denim is considered practical and durable.

Fabrics that are composed of scarce materials or that require a high degree of processing to achieve their smoothness or fineness tend to be more expensive, and thus are seen as being higher-class.  Similarly, lighter, more delicate textures are assumed to be feminine: Roughness is often positively valued for men, while smoothness is sought by women.  When was the last nine you saw a commercial in which a man was fretting about “dish pan hands?”

Taste

Our taste receptors obviously contribute to our experience of many products.  Specialized companies called “flavor houses” keep busy trying to develop new tastes to please the changing palates of consumers.  Their work has been especially important as consumers continue to demand good-tasting foods that are also low in calories and fat.

Taste testing

Food companies go to great lengths to ensure that their products taste as they should.

Blind Taste Tests

Are blind taste tests worth their salt? While taste tests often provide valuable information, their results can be misleading when it is forgotten that objective taste is only one component of product evaluation.

Conclusion

The concept of perception is just as important in business as it is in life. In both cases, relationships are at the core of your success. When it comes to perception in marketing, you create an idea and other people react emotionally to that idea and you begin to build your connection with those people until you get to the point where they trust you enough to buy what you are selling.

We are pleased to provide you with the insightful comments contained herein. For a complimentary assessment of your online presence, let’s have coffee.

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Using Your Facebook Page Cover Photo to Get Noticed http://www.compukol.com/blog/using-your-facebook-page-cover-photo-to-get-noticed/ http://www.compukol.com/blog/using-your-facebook-page-cover-photo-to-get-noticed/#comments Thu, 25 Dec 2014 10:00:39 +0000 http://www.compukol.com/?p=6723 Social media is here to stay and if you don't do everything possible (and then some), you will not get noticed by other people online. If you are not noticed, other people will not interact with you and you won't have the opportunity to interact with them. No interaction equals no eventual selling. It is that simple! If you have effective Facebook Page Cover photos, you can get a great deal of mileage out of it. Continue reading ]]>

Social media is here to stay and if you don’t do everything possible (and then some), you will not get noticed by other people online. If you are not noticed, other people will not interact with you and you won’t have the opportunity to interact with them. No interaction equals no eventual selling. It is that simple! If you have effective Facebook Page Cover photos, you can get a great deal of mileage out of it.

The importance of your interactions with your online connections

In this day and age of social media and technology, it is critical that you understand the importance of the relationships that you share with people online. The reality is that when people interact with you, your opinion will be very important to them and their opinions will be very important to you. You will look to each other for recommendations of all kinds. This is all part of building a relationship together. Part of the foundation of your relationships is the presence of our social media profiles, which include your biography and your photo. Because of the fact that many people are visual, your photos will will have a very positive effect on those people if you choose a really appropriate Facebook cover photos. The difficult thing is creating Facebook page cover photos that really entices your online connections. What you are after is getting those people to “Like” your page. That will not happen without some degree of effort on your part. The question is, how do you get other people to “Like” your page?

  • Become well acquainted with the Facebook guidelines (again): Before you do anything else, it is very important for you to understand what Facebook expects of you. Of course, it goes without saying that you need to pay close attention to the rules. Breaking Facebook’s rules is not an option. If you do that, you will run a big risk of being banned by Facebook.  When it comes to your Facebook cover photos, the guidelines will provide the exact specifications as well as giving you good ideas about actually setting up your Facebook cover page.

  • Bridge your Facebook cover to your website: It is important for you to understand clearly that your Facebook cover is an important part of your brand and of your web presence. With that being said, that means that your “look” needs to be solidified in the minds of your online connections and when they see your Facebook cover, they will immediately associate it with your products and/or services. This concept is becoming more and more common and an increasing number of business owners are starting to recognize the importance of marrying your Facebook cover page and your website under your branding umbrella.

  • The look and feel of your Facebook cover page: The look and feel of your Facebook cover should have a unique look and feel and it is uniquely yours. Along with that, the selection that you make of your photos must be the best that it can be. When it comes to the visual appeal of your Facebook cover page, you should be as creative as you like. Of course, that doesn’t mean that you should knock your online connections over the head with your look and feel. You will definitely know what works for you. You definitely will not want to deviate too much from your branding colors. After all, those have already been established and people are used to seeing them. Your photos should be a reflection of how wonderful your products are.

  • Connect your Facebook cover photos with your profile photo: You should not think (in any way) that it is inappropriate for you to do this. You have the tools in front of you. You should definitely take advantage of the opportunity. The way in which your profile picture connects with your Facebook cover page photos is very important. It will establish a human/emotional connection with the other people.

  • Make sure to include a call-to-action on your Facebook cover page:  In the past, you would not have been allowed to include a call-to-action but now, it is different. It is perfectly acceptable. It is the only way that your online connections will be able to start interacting with you. That is how you will start to build a relationship with the other person.

Conclusion

One of your objectives is to get people to “Like” your Facebook cover page. The next logical step will then be to get people to want to interact with you. Your Facebook cover page consists of a lot of different elements that work together to touch your online connections emotionally. If you succeed at that, you will be on your way to building long-lasting, meaningful relationships. In addition to your written content, there is no doubt that your photo images will get noticed in a big way. Your photos will make a lasting impression and you will see that the reaction of the other people will be very positive.

We are pleased to provide you with the insightful comments contained herein. For a complimentary assessment of your online presence, let’s have coffee.

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Making Yourself Heard Above the Social Media Buzz http://www.compukol.com/blog/making-yourself-heard-above-the-social-media-buzz/ http://www.compukol.com/blog/making-yourself-heard-above-the-social-media-buzz/#comments Mon, 22 Dec 2014 10:00:58 +0000 http://www.compukol.com/?p=6780 Social media is buzzing all over the place and it isn't buzzing quietly. It is making a great deal of noise and it has been making a lot of noise pretty much since the beginning. Noise can be good but you need to find a way to make yourself and your business heard above all of that noise. Continue reading ]]>

Social media is buzzing all over the place and it isn’t buzzing quietly. It is making a great deal of noise and it has been making a lot of noise pretty much since the beginning. Noise can be good but you need to find a way to make yourself and your business heard above all of that noise.

What can you do to make that happen?

In a climate that is fraught with many business people doing what you do and saying what you say, you need to find a way to make you and your business stand above the rest and really capture the attention of people who are in need of the products and/or services that you offer. If you can accomplish that, the sky’s the limit for you and your business. In fact, the door will open for you to reach a much larger number of people and those people will be prequalified and prescreened for you. What could be better than that? However, it is definitely safe to say that your social media marketing campaign must make as much noise as the noise that is being generated around you. However, your noise will be different noise than what other people are making. The question is, how do you go about making yourself and your business heard above all of that buzz?

  • Identify relevant discussion threads and join in as quickly as you can: When it comes to discussions on social media channels, it is often easier to join in than it would be if you were attempting to have a discussion in person. People seem more inviting and more welcoming online in a lot of cases. So, put your shyness aside and start interacting. If you have something interesting and relevant to contribute to the conversation, people will usually really want to hear what you have to say.

  • Offer an incentive to people for following an event of which you are a part: There are so many ways in which you can get people excited about what you are excited about. If you offer them something for getting involved, you will definitely get a positive response from some, if not all, of them. The incentive may be in the form of a white paper, newsletter, discount coupon, or prize. In any case, people will be interested.

  • Customize the content to fit your target audience: There is nothing more valuable than making the other person feel that you value their thoughts and opinions. You will want them to feel that you can’t progress without their input. It is that important. The time and effort that you put into that will definitely pay off because the other person will respond to you and you will get what you need from them as well as their getting what they need and want from you. With that in mind, it is very important for you to remember to ensure that your content is as appropriate for that particular audience as you can make it. The more relevant it is, the more positive responses you will receive.

  • Really give the impression that you are here to stay and here to serve: Remember that it is so important for you to create a perception of indefinite presence and express clearly that your main goal is to solve the other person’s problems. Your needs and wants will have to come second. Of course, if the other person has the same goal in mind, you will both end up having your needs and wants fulfilled and everyone will be happy.

Conclusion

It is true that social media has created, continues to create, and will create (well into the future) a great deal of buzz. If you can figure out a way to stand out and be heard over the buzz, you will be able to achieve tremendous success for your business and your business will advance to the next level. Keep working those relationships and keep offering amazing things to other people. If your brand is truly amazing, people will want to hear what you have to say and they will want to be a part of what you are offering. Finding your edge and letting people know about it will empower you and make your professional presence even stronger than it was before.

We are pleased to provide you with the insightful comments contained herein. For a complimentary assessment of your online presence, let’s have coffee.

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Effective Search Engine Optimization on a Global Level http://www.compukol.com/blog/effective-search-engine-optimization-on-a-global-level/ http://www.compukol.com/blog/effective-search-engine-optimization-on-a-global-level/#comments Thu, 18 Dec 2014 10:00:17 +0000 http://www.compukol.com/?p=6758 You may have started your SEO efforts on a local level initially; however, lately, you may have been thinking that it is time to expand and go global. If your business is at a point where you have done all that you can do on a relatively small scale, it is time to tap into other markets. There is literally a whole world out there for you to explore. Continue reading ]]>

You may have started your SEO efforts on a local level initially; however, lately, you may have been thinking that it is time to expand and go global. If your business is at a point where you have done all that you can do on a relatively small scale, it is time to tap into other markets. There is literally a whole world out there for you to explore.

How do you get started?

SEO has been important in the past, it is important now, and it will be important for many years to come. When it comes to the technology, small shifts are constantly occurring and new tools and technologies are being introduced on a regular basis. As they are coming at you, only you can decide which ones work for your particular business. Those are the ones that you should leverage. You will want to do certain things that will help you to expand your efforts to meet global needs for your business and for your clients and potential clients. It is very possible that you will need to come up with a different, customized strategy for your global efforts. That won’t be a problem as long is you approach it correctly and cautiously. In fact, each country that you target should probably have a different marketing strategy. You will discover (if you haven’t already) that the way that people think in one country will be different than how they think in another country. Of course, it goes without saying that those differences are bound to affect your search engine rankings as well.

  • Understand your clients well: This may seem very obvious to you (to the point of ridiculousness). However, sometimes, the simplest, most apparent things are the things that are overlooked most frequently. In order for you to understand your customers well, that means that you can empathize with them. You will need to have the ability to put yourself in their shoes and to think the way that they think. You will probably find it less challenging to accomplish this with your local customers but you will also need to make this happen for your international clients. It is critical to your success. Because you will be dealing with cultural differences (potentially) when you are interacting with your global market, it is imperative that you are sensitive to those differences. That fact makes ability to embrace the diverse cultures even more important. If your content can reflect those differences and blend them with what you represent, the search engines will pick up on that as well.

  • Do your homework: Discussions about keywords have been happening for a very long time. You may think that coming up with the appropriate keywords and key phrases is so simple for you at this point that you don’t have to exert any effort in that direction. However, that is one concept that you should not be taking for granted. Don’t forget to incorporate the cultural differences into those keywords and key phrases as well. They will be very important for your global marketing efforts. The SEO may be slightly (or very) different in each country so it is very important that you make everything work. You want to make sure that the efforts of the people who are searching for your products and/or services have as easy a time as possible.

  • Customize your content for your global customers: One thing that is universal is that if your content is top-quality, the people who are reading it will recognize the quality and it will grab their attention. Always remember to give your audience what they want and need. Once you start to interact with your online connections, they will reveal what they want and need from you. If you manage to successfully solve their problems, the results of your efforts will be very positive and you will start to develop a relationship together. No matter where those people live, human relationships are the same in one respect. They are all based on emotional connections. Humans are humans.

  • Monitor your content: It is very important to have a good sense and a good understanding of how your social media marketing efforts are doing. You can capture a variety of analytics and if you see that some of your efforts are not paying off, you can redirect those efforts and do things that work more effectively for your business.

  • The different versions of Google in different countries: It is important to keep in mind that Google has different versions of itself in different countries. The search results that you capture will be appropriate for that particular country but different than you might be used to seeing. In fact, the look and feel may be different entirely. You can start by registering and creating profiles on various social media channels from that country. They will get to know you and you can get to know them.

  • Rankings across the globe: Your interactions in countries other than the United States will be important to your business; however, they won’t be as significant as your interactions in the U.S. It is important that you recognize the positive attributes in each country and make the best use of those attributes for your business.

  • Using international search engines: You will discover that although it would be easy and convenient if Google were the only search engine that anyone used across the world, that is not necessarily going to be the case. In many countries, people will prefer to use local search engines and they feel that their needs are satisfied by taking that approach.

Conclusion

Now that you have made the decision to expand your social media marketing efforts to benefit your global clients and potential clients, you need to remember to embrace the cultural differences that are a definite reality in that situation. You may find that you need to approach your marketing differently than you would in the U.S. Your foundation will stay the same and you will have to make adjustments to fit those particular countries, which should not require a huge amount of effort, if you do it right. You may find yourself needing to make some language adjustments as well. Your efforts will undoubtedly be appreciated and they will go a long way.

We are pleased to provide you with the insightful comments contained herein. For a complimentary assessment of your online presence, let’s have coffee.

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Is Marketing the Same as Selling? http://www.compukol.com/blog/is-marketing-the-same-as-selling/ http://www.compukol.com/blog/is-marketing-the-same-as-selling/#comments Mon, 15 Dec 2014 10:00:28 +0000 http://www.compukol.com/?p=6915 Many people think that marketing and selling are interchangeable, that it is just a different way to say the same thing. In fact, in many ways, marketing and selling are very different and require different skills and a very different approach. Of course they lead to the same end but the way that each approach progresses can be very different. Continue reading ]]>

Many people think that marketing and selling are interchangeable, that it is just a different way to say the same thing. In fact, in many ways, marketing and selling are very different and require different skills and a very different approach. Of course they lead to the same end but the way that each approach progresses can be very different.

Is Marketing the Same as Selling?

Only is a broad, somewhat simplistic concept, where “selling” is thought of as the exchange activity. Marketing is an overall Organisational activity (the planning, pricing, promotion, packaging, advertising and selling of any Value Offer (Product. Selling is therefore only a part of the overall Marketing of any Product and therein lies the difference.

Are Marketing and Sales Different?

This is a perenial topic in forums and will get lots of responses – particularly I have found from sales folk.  Their basic message is that Sales and Marketing are different.  Marketers don’t understand Selling.  Sales people are important and underappreciated.

The basic problem with the topic and discussion is that very few participants understand or use the terms correctly.  They only think of “sales” and “marketing” as organisational departments, not as functions.

It is difficult to have a useful discussion if the key terms are not understood and agreed

So here are a few useful definitions to help (I hope) the discussions

 

Marketing

The process of exchange of value between Provider (Seller) and Customer (Buyer).  Involves creating and providing what customers want in return for something they are willing to give (money, time, or membership)

The systematic planning, implementation and control of a mix (see Marketing Mix Strategy) of business activities intended to bring together buyers and sellers for the mutually advantageous exchange or transfer of products (Sale, Hire, Acquisition) for some form of Payment. The process of planning and executing the conception, Product Pricing, Promotion and Place (Distribution) of offers (ideas, goods and services) to create exchanges that satisfy individual and organisational objectives.

(1) The management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements while achieving organisational objectives (including profitably).

(2) Fundamental policy-forming activity devoted to selecting and developing suitable products for sale – promoting and distributing these products in a manner providing the optimum return on capital employed. (Teach Yourself Marketing, John Stapleton, 1975.)

(3) Marketing starts in the market place with the identification of the customers’ needs and wants. It then moves on to determining a means of satisfying these needs and of promoting, selling and supplying a satisfaction. The principal marketing functions might be defined as Marketing Information and Research, Product Planning, Advertising and Promotion, and Distribution.

Marketing is generally thought of as one of the three or four basic activities of all organisations.  Thus – Marketing; Finance and Operations (or Production and HR)

Marketing Department

A division within a company with responsibility for the planning and coordination of all marketing activities

Marketing Department Orientation

A term used to refer to the orientation of an organisation which has established a separate department to look after its marketing activities, but which is not totally imbued with the marketing philosophy. An orientation in which all marketing activities are brought under the control of one department to improve short-run policy planning and to try to integrate the firm’s activities.

Sale

A sale relates to someone or some organisation buying something. Sales are often confused with the process of Selling. Result – or pinnacle activity involved in selling products (goods and services) in return for payment (money or some other compensation of value to the seller).

The amount of Products (both goods and services) sold in a given period of time. Sales are operating revenues earned by a company when it sells its products.

Sales

The amount of Products(all forms) sold in a given period of time

The simplistic term to mean the “Sales Department.  This is OK except where it confuses the overall activity of the organisation in the Marketing function

Sales Department

Sales department is the division of a business or an organization accountable for selling services or products. The department responsible for planning, organising, controlling and evaluating the activities of the sales force.

Selling

Process of persuasion leading to an exchange or trading arrangement.

Personal Selling

One of the possible activities of the Promotional Mix.

The process of making oral commercial representations during a buyer/seller interview situation. Direct, face-to-face communication between buyer and seller. Personal selling is a basic activity and is old as marketing itself . Colloquially referred to as face-to-face selling. Sometimes known as buyer/seller interface.

Conclusion

Marketing and selling are not the same although they are both extremely important parts of the entire process. Each one requires a detailed level of expertise and an approach that is effective and compelling. One cannot exist without the other if you expect to be successful at selling your offerings and your brand to other people who are made to feel that they can’t live without them.

We are pleased to provide you with the insightful comments contained herein. For a complimentary assessment of your online presence, let’s have coffee.

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