Maple Marketing Blog

Marketing planning for the new year

Have you written a marketing plan for 2015 yet? Don't overcomplicate it. It can start as simply as this, a grid for some notes I created while waiting for a meeting to start.

There are two ways you can start your plan.

1. Looking forward

Jot down ideas you have for each month ahead.

Begin by writing down the externally set dates or events that you have no control over (for example, tradeshows, publication themes, seasonality, etc).

2. Looking back

Write down the activity that you did last year that worked.

Are there marketing campaigns that worked really well for your business that you want to repeat again?

Once you make this start, the ideas will flow. 

If you need some help with your planning for the new year so you can attract more of your ideal clients and generate more revenue with marketing that works, then please get in touch.

What are you planning? Do you create topics or themes for each month? We'd love to hear how you go about your planning, so get in touch on info@MapleMarketing.co.nz or post your comments below.

Posted 14 December 2014 | 1 comments

Demystifying Marketing

Marketing often gets a bad rap. From a customer's point of view, it is often perceived as something manipulative that sneaky marketers do to coerce us into buying things we don't need. From a business owner's perspective, marketing can be expensive, intangible and hard to measure for success or return on investment. Often I hear business owners say, “Oh, we tried some marketing, but it didn’t work”.

Many owners of small- and medium-sized enterprises view marketing as a function they can do themselves instead of hiring a marketing manager (either in-house or outsourced). Or they view it as a cost they don't want to incur because of the assumption that it involves costly advertising campaigns.

Marketing doesn't have to be any of these things. Read the full article here.

Posted 21 August 2014 | 0 comments

Is Writing a Marketing Plan on your to-do list?

Marketing Plan Workshop

Have you been meaning to write a marketing plan but haven’t had the time? Or don’t know where to start?

This workshop is perfect for you if you:
• own or manage a small to medium sized business
• have been meaning to get around to writing a marketing plan but haven’t found the time
• want to walk away from the workshop with an easy-to-use marketing plan that you can start using straight away
• enjoy the benefits of group interaction and brainstorming

For more information, head on over to Facebook or Contact Us.
......

 

Posted 17 June 2014 | 0 comments

Content marketing - what is it and why you should be using it

If you enter the phrase “top marketing trends” into a search engine, what you’ll find come up in several of the top results is “content marketing”. We’ve been saying it for years – content is king.

Good content will get you more searches, more followers, more customers. But what exactly is content marketing? It is a form of marketing where you communicate with prospects and customers using relevant, valuable, enticing content to attract and engage them.

Where? On your website, social media pages, emails, newsletters, articles, blogs, videos – anywhere you communicate with your prospects and clients.

Why? Because people don’t want to be sold to. Before they spend their money, they want to like you and your business, trust you, receive credible and useful material to help inform their purchasing decision.

How? Read more ...

Posted 7 June 2014 | 0 comments

Are bikini-clad girls in advertising ever appropriate (if you’re not selling bikinis)?

Air New Zealand’s latest in-flight safety video has sparked some interesting controversy.

If you haven’t seen it yet you can view it on the Maple Marketing Facebook page.

Some people believe that the humourous approach used, featuring bikini-clad Sports Illustrated swimsuit models to coincide with the magazine’s 50th anniversary issue, is an unnecessary sexualisation of women. (Not many people are complaining about the part showing the shirtless pool boy, I see.)

Others applaud the airline for taking an original approach to what used to be a dry and boring subject.

Admit it, you probably watch the Air New Zealand safety videos more now, looking for famous celebrities, professional athletes, or even the gratuitous shot of a scantily clad fit body.

Personally, I was more distracted (and I suppose impressed) by how Christie Brinkley looks in the video.

Whatever your stance on it, Air New Zealand has succeeded in generating a great amount of publicity and getting people talking about the brand. Whether any of us now know the correct brace position is another matter.

Posted 16 February 2014 | 0 comments

An easy way to write your Marketing Plan for the new year

Have you written down your marketing plans for the new year yet?

If not, don't stress about it and don't over-complicate it. Writing a marketing plan should be fun, not a chore.

If you've got some quiet time at the beginning of the year, start writing down some ideas that you want to try this year.

For a few tips on how to get started, read the full length article here.

Posted 2 January 2014 | 0 comments

Marketing – is it an art or a science?

Both, really. There are elements of art and creativity to it, of course – knowing how to put a creative campaign together; being able to write compelling copy; knowing what design and text elements will cut through the clutter; finding unique market opportunities for a product or service.

But there is also a great amount of science to it – analysis that goes beyond a subjective opinion. The Latin word scientia has many meanings, mainly knowledge, science, skill. Science can be defined as the knowledge of something acquired by study.

Much of marketing is based on science – knowledge acquired by study. When we run a marketing campaign, we study the results. We compare results with a previous state, we analyse responses, we use benchmarks to identify changes. Market research is based on statistics and quantitative analysis. Marketing plans are driven by return on investment (ROI) and making sure that efforts help drive revenue and, in most cases, profit. Reading the marketplace involves looking at sales strategies, consumer trends, and the economy.

So a good marketing director is someone who has solid business experience and an ability to understand the numbers. Save the artistic work for the creative directors and designers.

Posted 26 June 2013 | 0 comments

How to make your POD more interesting

Identifying your point of difference (POD) is a fundamental marketing practice. Can you clearly tell prospects what makes your product or service different?

The trouble with talking about your difference is that this approach focuses on how you compare to your competitors. Shouldn't you instead be focussing on customers? Shouldn't you be talking to your clients about your points of interest?

What makes you interesting? What makes you relevant? What makes prospects engage with you?

Have you ever been told “oh, that’s different” about a new haircut or outfit? Have you ever described someone by saying “well, she’s different”? If so, you know that different isn’t always good.

So don’t strive just to be different. Don’t focus just on competitors. Think first about your prospects and customers and how you can interest and excite them. Focus on your point of interest (POI).

Posted 26 September 2012 | 0 comments

Infographics – the latest, greatest marketing tool

They’re popping up everywhere – those colourful, quirky, cartoon-like things that everyone from insurance companies and telcos to funky creative agencies are using to get their info across.

Perhaps it's a sign of the times. We’re now so busy (or impatient) that we don’t want to read through plain text. Instead, the visual appeal of an infographic captures our attention and makes it much easier to read through and comprehend large volumes of data, statistics or instructions.

In some ways, they’re a visual executive summary. From a marketing perspective, they’re also an opportunity for a brand to portray its personality.

Here are a few infographics we particularly like:

Pinterest infographic        Hubspot infographic       Mashable infographic

Thanks to the clever folks at:

http://www.marketingprofs.com/chirp/2012/8776/10-things-we-love-and-hate-about-pinterest-infographic

http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/32700/The-10-Best-Marketing-Infographics-of-2012-So-Far.aspx

http://mashable.com/2012/07/09/how-to-create-an-infographic/

Posted 29 August 2012 | 0 comments

The best business advice ever shared

I’ll get straight to the point here. The best advice I’ve ever come across is this: when you write things down you significantly improve – in fact you almost guarantee – the chances that they’ll get done.

I’ve always been a list maker. It’s genetic. My sisters and I used to tease my mom for always having lists. Turns out, she was onto something.

This message has been reinforced over and over again in my business career.

The Buried Life

Most recently I heard it from the guys from the Buried Life. If you don’t know who they are, check them out at www.theburiedlife.com or read about them at www.fourhourblog.com, the blog of Tim Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour Work Week.

Basically, they’re a group of four university friends who set about accomplishing their list of 100 things to do before they die – before the concept of having a bucket list was on everyone’s bucket list.

So back to the advice... As soon as you write an idea down, something amazing happens. It becomes a project. A project! It takes on a different sense of importance, doesn’t it? All of a sudden you give it more time, more energy, more organisation, and therefore, more chance of success. As the guys say, “Dreams have a funny way of staying dreams. But a project is something that needs to be done.”

And the same is true for your business marketing. We all have ideas. But they don’t get done until first we write them down and, second, we plan how they’re going to get done, when and by whom.

Plans lead to actions; actions lead to results.

So if you don't yet have a written marketing plan, start with a list. Marketing is all about ideas. So write them down and start improving the chances those ideas will get turned into results.

 

Posted 30 July 2012 | 0 comments

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