22 Feb / 2018
If you read our earlier post about why market research matters, you may now be asking yourself how to use market research in YOUR business. Here is a quick checklist to get you started.
• Make sure you have a clear brand
Use what you learn from market research to better define who you are as a brand and to clearly articulate what you do/produce/sell better than anyone else.
• Clarify the benefits you provide
Emphasize benefits instead of features in your advertising, your content creation, and in your collateral materials. This will increase the perceived value of your product or service.
• Look at how you compare to the competition
Determine what they excel at and how you can keep your unique product or service while taking away some of their edge.
• Create a profile of your ideal customer
When you can identify their needs, what causes them pain (or frustration or anger or a loss of something they value like time or money), or what stirs their emotions, you can then offer a specific solution.
• Continue to collect data from multiple sources
Once you know your ideal customers, you also know where they spend their time. Go there (blogs, networking and other events, social media) and listen to their concerns. Ask yourself “how can I help?” without jumping into the conversation and selling to the audience just yet.
• Use the information you gather sooner rather than later
Too many people gather information and then do nothing with it. Act on what you learn so you are serving the right market for your product/service.
• Decide where to grow
Use the solid data you collect to make smart decisions. You’ll know where to
– Expand your product line or services
– Pursue new opportunities
– Follow trends
– Improve or modernize
– Take a completely different direction
• Communicate effectively
Once you have identified your client, listened to his/her needs, made evident your ability to meet those needs better than the competition with clearly defined benefits, and decided to take action and grow your company, you need to communicate often and well. Your message—whether advertising, blog, e-mail newsletter, packaging, promotional material, or website —must touch your audience. With your market research, you will know how to make it all about them and answer the ever-present question: “what’s in it for me?”
• Always ask questions
– What are my objectives for collecting this piece of market research?
– Where is my business growing?
– What is changing?
– What solutions can I match to new needs?
– What is my competition up to?
– What feedback can my employees provide?
• Continue to monitor your data and make adjustments
We at Tate Design can help with analytics monitoring and market research. Give us a call at 610.725.0702 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
25 Jan / 2018
You and your business need market research. Market research provides information about your audience, your competition, and how your product or service will do in the marketplace. It allows you to study your market—and how open your intended customers will be to your product or service—so you can make informed business decisions with less trial-and-error and less risk. Here are 7 reasons why market research should matter to you.
1. Market research clearly defines your customer demographics
You need to know who your customers are (or who they will be, if you are bringing a new product to market), what they like and dislike, where they spend time, what matters to them, what motivates them, how much they spend, etc. With this information, you can be strategic with your content marketing.
2. It helps you target your marketing
With a clear picture of your demographics, you no longer have to market to the masses. You can appeal to a very specific group of people, which will save you time and money in the long run.
3. It enables you to focus on customer needs
Market research not only reveals your customers’ wants and needs, it provides you an opportunity to meet those needs with a superior product or service and/or excellent consumer support.
4. It shows you where to spend your time and money
You will spend less time and money on useless advertising, meaningless content, cold calls, and products without much of a future when you rely on your market research and focus on what your clients need.
5. It helps you spot trends and anticipate future opportunities
You may have a great product or service but you will need to grow your brand in order for your business to survive. Market research shows you where those opportunities may lie.
6. It reduces your risk when making decisions
Market research removes some of the risk of decision-making by clearly identifying the options ahead of time. It helps you launch better products at the right time.
7. It keeps you ahead of the competition
Understanding your market helps you develop your unique selling proposition. Without this, you don’t stand out from your competitors.
If you need up-to-date market research, contact Tate Design at 610.725.0702 or e-mail email@example.com.
11 Jan / 2018
We at Tate Design hope 2017 was a successful year for you. If so, you may have been so busy you missed some of our blog posts intended to help you and your business with
• Email Marketing – Meet Mobile Reality
• The Top Graphic Design Trends Of The Year
• Marketing Messages We Love
• Mobile Trends And Tactics To Get Your Business Noticed
• Branding101: Corporate Identity
• Corporate Identity Checklist
• How To Get More Word-Of-Mouth Marketing
• Online Marketing 101
• Online Marketing Checklist
• Print Or Perish–Why Printed Material Still Matters
• Making Print Come Alive
At Tate Design, we are focused on propelling your business forward with strategic marketing, web development, and graphic design. Our services include
• Brand development and corporate identities
logos, name development, tagline creation, a uniform corporate identity
• Graphic design
ad campaigns, brochures, catalogs, direct mail, newsletters, packaging, stationery
• Copy writing
articles, blog (WordPress) content and posting, direct response, editing and proofreading, e-mail marketing, print collateral, SEO
• Website design and development
animation, content management systems, custom web design, e-commerce, hosting, mobile-friendly and responsive web design, search engine optimization, site management, video, website revitalization, WordPress websites
• Internet marketing
AdWords campaigns, banner ads, blogs, e-newsletters and e-mail campaigns, e-zines, online video marketing, social media, web analytics, WordPress customization
• Social media marketing
account setup services, branded images, complete social media marketing campaigns, content that provided organic search engine results, customized pages, latest knowledge about updates to social media sites, strategies to leverage social media to best fit your goals and objectives
• Strategic marketing campaigns
• Materials for trade shows and events
backwall exhibit systems, post-show materials, pre-show notifications, tabletop displays
In which of these areas can Tate Design assist you? Call us at 610.725.0702 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
07 Dec / 2017
Tate Design continues to faithfully report on Pantone’s Color of the Year so you can incorporate these trending colors into your marketing materials. For instance, you may have added
• 2017’s Greenery in photos with a potted plant or a woodland location
• 2016’s dual winners of Rose Quartz and Serenity in team shirts for a company event
• 2015’s Marsala as an accent color in an advertising campaign
• 2014’s Radiant Orchid in background displays of your products
• 2013’s Emerald as part of a new product or its packaging
Pantone’s Color Of The Year for 2018 is Ultra Violet. This vivid purple combines the two rather plain and opposing colors of red and blue (and too reminiscent of politics) to create something new and brilliant. In the words of Pantone Color Institute’s Leatrice Eiseman, Ultra Violet “communicates originality, ingenuity and visionary thinking.”
At Tate Design, we want to help you fit this latest color trend into your brand and business strategy. Adding just a touch of the Color of the Year to your brand colors will keep your brand recognizable yet fresh. Consider refreshing your
• Marketing materials
• Social media profiles
• Trade show giveaways
with hints of Ultra Violet, the Color Of The Year, instead of redoing them completely.
If you are looking for graphic design updates or if you are uncertain about how best to use Ultra Violet with your brand, give Tate Design a call at 610.725.0702 or e-mail email@example.com. We’ll work with you to use Ultra Violet to give your marketing materials a fresh new look.
09 Nov / 2017
Despite predictions of print media’s demise due to the ready availability of online content, print is doing well. Readers love it because it feels familiar, credible, easy to navigate, relaxing, understandable, and sharable (and 19 other attributes listed in our post “Print Or Perish—Why Printed Material Still Matters.” If you and your readers agree, now is the time to make your printed content even more alive. Here is how.
Pay close attention to function. Conveying quarterly information to your shareholders will require different printed collateral than engaging the casual reader who picks up your product review at a trade show. Both, however, need good branding.
Start with a template or form that contains your company branding. If possible, also include all the components of your company’s typical written piece. For an article, I would suggest placeholders for title, subtitle, author byline and/or biographical blurb, headings, text, illustration blocks, captions, and a call to action. For a blog post, I would also add space for reading recommendations and suggested categories and tags. All of these should already be spelled out in the desired font and in the layout you choose (see Flow below), locking it into your form with text boxes.
Remember that, for those who read from left to right, our eyes travel in an F or Z pattern most often for print. Use text, illustrations, and white space to establish a similar pattern on your page.
The font you choose can add or detract from the story you are trying to tell in print. If it is too difficult to read, your audience may give up after a couple of paragraphs. If you choose a somber font for a lighthearted piece or comic font for a heartbreaking tale, readers will be confused by your message.
Facts and opinions make up the majority of text, and this can be quite dry and boring. You can make your facts come alive by adding infographics, photos, quotes, statistics, survey results, and clever captioning for all them. Double check your facts unless your intent is to create a firestorm of feedback about shoddy journalism.
Images of any kind—behind-the-scene or before-and-after photos, charts, diagrams, doodles, graphs, maps, quotes on a scenic background, sketches, and links to breaking news or how-to videos—can add valuable information and increase reader enjoyment and engagement. However, they can also detract from your message and cause your reader to get sidetracked so place them strategically throughout your text.
Let us at Tate Design work out the graphic design and the logistics—function, form, flow, fonts, facts, and photos—for your next print campaign so that your text and images come alive for your audience. Get started with a call to Tate Design at 610.725.0702 or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
30 Oct / 2017
Social media and the rapid rise of mobile usage—mentioned in our post “Mobile Trends And Tactics To Get Your Business Noticed”—has led some marketers to focus solely on digital marketing and wrongly assume that print no longer matters. Your business still needs printed collateral and here are 25 reasons why. Compared to online information, a majority of readers across all age groups consider print material to be
3. Perusing long documents—because the reader can move forward/backward easily and because s/he knows exactly where the manuscript ends
4. Careful reading, when more than skimming or scanning is required for retention
5. Highlighting key passages
6. Taking notes in the margins
7. Turning down page corners to mark important information
9. Archiving and storage
10. Teaching—learning (understanding, use, and retention) “takes” better from paper than a screen
11. Retaining information—this is especially true for visual learners and those with photographic memories who recall material based on where it resides on a physical page
12. Understanding presentations—print adds another dimension to audio and visual learning
13. An aging population to read
15. Relaxing to actually read
17. Credible—readers don’t believe everything they read online
18. Personal, especially when the reader’s name is included
19. Environmentally friendly because most print is on recycled or partially recycled paper and only requires an energy source to read in the dark—which can’t be said for many devices
20. Pleasing to the senses—the feel and smell of the paper/pages do matter
21. Mentally and physically challenging to navigate because no scrolling is involved
22. Likely to be lost
23. Distracting than a device that interrupts the reader with messages and alarms
24. Demanding of a power source to charge/recharge before reading
25. Detrimental to the reader’s health—print causes less back pain, eye strain, headaches, and sleep disturbances than electronic devices
Many members of your target demographic spend significant time on PCs, smartphones, and tablets and yet they gravitate toward print. Give them the best of both worlds. Direct readers to your website where they can choose from a print copy or an online version of your article, book, podcast transcript, survey, white paper, or other marketing content that promotes your brand and meets your audience’s needs.
Make your printed content pop with these services from Tate Design:
• Brand Development & Corporate Identity — the name, logo, and tagline you will want to appear on all your printed material
• Graphic Design – the printed collateral itself, which includes ads, brochures, catalogs, direct mail, manuals, newsletters, packaging, and stationery
• Copy Development – copy for the materials mentioned above
Print is not dead and your marketing campaign doesn’t have to be either. Call Tate Design at 610.725.0702 or e-mail email@example.com to create print materials to promote your business.
02 Oct / 2017
Google wants to see HTTPS everywhere. Websites beginning with https:// already rank higher in Google search results than their http:// counterparts. Starting in October 2017, the stakes are even higher. Google has cautioned that Chrome will display a “Not Secure” warning “when users enter data on an HTTP page, and on all HTTP pages visited in Incognito mode.” (Incognito Mode is a form of anonymous web browsing, where user searches are not recorded in Browsing History.) This means that all HTTP sites containing
• Login fields
will be marked “Not secure” when a website visitor begins to type. An entire site will be marked as unsecure if the viewer is in Incognito mode.
Like mobile phone use, the use of HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) and Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificates are expected to skyrocket in the coming years. Like Google, users will demand secure connections. They will look for the padlock or green browser bar—both signs of encryption—before entering personal information, making a purchase, or even browsing websites.
Without the HTTPS designation, you and your website may lose trust, business, and Google ranking. Take action now to prevent this.
You get the HTTPS label when you apply encryption. To begin, you need to decide which SSL certificate you want your website to have. An online store with hundreds of products may prompt you to select a different option than a simple blog. Choose a DV or domain-validated SSL certificate and you get the basic green padlock symbol. Select the EV or extended-validation certificate and your company name appears beside the padlock. We explained the possibilities for preparing for heightened security needs in our earlier post “What Is SSL And Why Do I Need A Certificate Now?” so use this as a guide.
Unfortunately, switching from HTTP to HTTPS is not a one-step process. Selecting your SSL certificate and desired level of obvious security are just the first step. Fortunately, Tate Design can assist you every step of the way with securing your website with HTTPS.
Don’t wait! Get started with a call to Tate Design at 610.725.0702 or an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: What is a micro-moment and how do I use it for my business?
A: According to Google, a micro-moment is when you—the consumer—have access to the Internet through your smartphone or other device and intend to take immediate action of some sort. Most likely, you want to complete a task correctly, find information, make a purchase, or navigate to somewhere else.
The business that can take advantage of these moments of readiness—also termed “moments that matter” (as opposed to a graduation, a wedding, finding a fulfilling job, the birth of a child, a dream vacation, getting a promotion, making a difference in someone else’s life…)—is going to attract more customers, build a loyal following, and close more sales. It all begins with an understanding of Internet usage.
As a society, we spend a considerable amount of time online. Many check their smartphones the moment they wake up and then continue this behavior throughout the day. According to Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends 2017 report for Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers, adults (18+ years) in the United States spend 3.1 hours per day on their smartphones and tablets, 2.2 hours per day on their desktop and laptop computers, and .4 hours per day on other connected devices including gaming consoles. (This data includes both work and home usage.)
You, as a business owner, will need to look at your desired demographic and choose how to be part of their online time. Ads, apps, e-mails, social media, and a mobile-friendly website can all engage customers and keep your products or services in front of them. While this technique may not work for everyone, Ms. Meeker sited SoFi CEO Mike Cagney’s invitation to members to “tell him about your experience, what we’re doing well, and what we can improve” as an example of helping customers understand how things work.
According to Meeker, brands that generated a special offer (an ad) based on location, destination, route, and/or time of day did especially well in capturing moments where people were seeking information, were already en route, and were willing to buy something. Ads targeted to “nearby” searches also performed well. User-generated content on social media also provides brands with micro-moments, often requiring accountability and better customer service in return. Ads and e-mails combine to produce a new kind of storefront where you, the business owner, select specific products/services to showcase and then make it easy for your customers to purchase at that moment with a simple click of a button or a voice command. Future searches are going to be more about pictures and less about keywords according to Ben Silbermann, Founder/CEO of Pinterest.
To take advantage of these micro-moments, you need to quickly show up on your prospect’s device with useful information. At Tate Design, we can help you achieve that goal. Start with a mobile-friendly website, Internet marketing, and social media marketing to make the most of those micro-moments. Give us a call at Tate Design at 610.725.0702 or e-mail email@example.com.
07 Sep / 2017
We addressed the issue of how often to redesign your website in our post “Signs Your Website Is Outdated.” Now we’ll show you what was important as we refreshed the Tate Design website.
We positioned our brand at the top
Current clients will recognize our logo and new customers will see “Strategic Marketing ● Web Development ● Graphic Design” and know exactly what we can do for them.
We kept the website mobile-friendly and responsive
When redesigning your own website, choose a website template that displays well on mobile devices and adjusts to varying screen sizes—smartphones, tablets, and PCs all manufactured by multiple companies—without looking contrived or ugly.
We immediately addressed the needs of prospective clients
We accomplished this with a carousel of 5 images and their corresponding “I need…” statements and call-to-action buttons.
• I need my website to stand out. Learn more
• I need mobile-optimization assistance. Get help
• I need to show well in search results. Begin here
• I need consistent compelling branding. Get started
• I need a marketing strategy that pays for itself. Here’s how
We included multiple ways to contact us and engage with our brand
We know some people dislike talking on the telephone so we included an e-mail address, a mailing address, and ways to communicate on social media, too.
We painted a big picture of what we do
How we can propel your business forward is our focus. Our blog provides marketing insights—and we make it easy for you to get it delivered right to your inbox. Graphics and keywords concisely depict our services.
We built for trust
We included awards, our firm’s signature of commitment since its founding in 1994, a photograph of our office, professional memberships, testimonials, and verification that our website is secure.
Now it’s your turn. If your website needs refreshing or major redesigning or you are looking for one of these services
• Internet Marketing
• Social Media Marketing
• Graphic Design
• Brand Development & Corporate Identity
• Strategic Marketing Campaigns
• Trade Shows & Events
• Copy Development
call Tate Design at 610.725.0702 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for marketing communications that get results.
31 Jul / 2017
Online marketing, otherwise known as digital marketing, requires careful planning if you want to get the best results for your marketing dollars. We outlined 10 best practices for online marketing in our post “Online Marketing 101.” This checklist will help you remember what you need to do to succeed with your online marketing.
Set a specific, measurable goal for each piece of online marketing material
Have goals for both content you create and content you hire someone to create for you
Remember to include multiple kinds of digital marketing: banner ads, pay-per-click ads, blog posts, e-mail newsletters, social media posts, videos, and web pages
Decide on the best goal for each—earnings, engagement, good will, and growth are all important
Determine your online marketing budget
If you have a small budget, find areas—like social media —where the cost is largely your time
With a larger budget, look at both free and paid opportunities to market your business online
Spend money where your ideal clients spend time (mobile, social media, your website, etc.)
Invest in a quality website or blog
Get to know your customers
Use analytics to discover what your customers are searching for
Ask questions and encourage comments on your blog, in your e-mail newsletter, through videos
Track views and purchases so you know more about your customers and who they really are
Create something of value to offer clients
Use FAQs from e-mails and your website to determine what online content will truly help people
Create information pieces: “best of” or “worst of” lists, the easiest or fastest way to do something, how-to guides, product reviews, new uses for familiar products
Make sure to include branding and digital marketing information like your company name and website URL
Post content that will entertain your audience—if it is original, brand it and add your online marketing information as mentioned above; if you are sharing someone else’s content, give them credit and add your own commentary, which can then include your branding
Make it easy for mobile users
Create a mobile-friendly, responsive template for your e-mail newsletter
Make sure your blog and website are mobile-friendly and responsive
Go for organic search results
Use clear, concise copy
Avoid keyword stuffing and the search engine penalties that may come with that practice
Create each piece of online content with one specific topic or keyword/keyword phrase in mind
Keep your writing/speaking as natural sounding as possible to keep visitors coming back for more
Be quick to respond to comments and complaints because these generate organic search results
Give it time, whether using social media or SEO on your website
Measure your ROI and evaluate what you want to change
Determine budget changes
Decide on future content
Expand or retarget demographic
Focus on a specific platform or decide to explore new territory
You don’t have to do it all yourself. Here at Tate Design, we help you identify the best places for your digital marketing and then deliver effective, trackable campaigns.
Call Tate Design at 610.725.0702 or e-mail email@example.com to get started.