Top 5 Signs Your Business Might Need a New Logo

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Have you ever watched a film from the 1920s and found yourself thinking about how odd everyone looks? Whether it’s the Great Gatsby look men sported (club cut, flat hair with a clean-shaven face), or for women it was overly plucked eyebrows and bow lips, which gave otherwise attractive movie stars – dated faces.

That’s what an outdated logo can do to your brand. Your logo is one of your brand’s most important assets, and it was probably designed with longevity in mind. But just like facial hair, things like type, color, and graphic elements go in and out of style. Here are some signs that indicate integrated marketers may want to think about refreshing their logos.

It Uses a Jokey or Gimmicky Font

Comic Sans, Lemonade, I’m looking at you, and Fajita. Designers love to rip on these fonts, and there’s a reason why: they look silly. It’s like putting a big red clown nose on your business.

It Uses a Generic Font

A logo should communicate what’s special about your business; if yours uses a generic font like Helvetica or Arial, what your customers see is that your business is indistinguishable from others.

Your Graphic or Mark is Just There for Looks

If your logo includes a mark, it should mean something or say something about your brand. For example, the Nike “swoosh” is supposed to represent a speed blur. Though it isn’t quite a graphic, per se, the FedEx type logo smuggles in an arrow that indicates movement.

It Only Works in Certain Layouts

Logo lockups that are oriented in one direction or another—either a long name that stretches out on a horizontal line, or elements stacked on top of one another—limit a logo’s utility. You should be able to place your logo on a website, signs, direct mailers or promotional products, and it should still be crisp with all of the elements easily readable.

Does It Really Reflect Your Brand, as it is Today?

Brand change over time—and if your company has changed substantially, maybe it’s time for your logo to do the same. Perhaps your business has grown, or you’ve added new products and services to your mix. Or maybe you had the logo designed when you just started out, and now your business is a market leader.

The antidote to all of these potential pitfalls is, of course, for integrated marketers to choose a graphic designer with a good portfolio who can talk through how business decisions influence their artistic choices. For best results, avoid those services that promise logo design for $50. Good design makes a measurable difference to your business, and you get what you pay for.

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Five Tips for Enhancing Mobile Engagement

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Clearly, we’re all spending more time on our phones these days. How much time? Well, someone at Digital Trends, actually took the time to tally up all the minutes people spend on over a billion active mobile devices. Here’s the total they came up with:

The average person spends 4.7 hours a day on their smartphone and they check their social media accounts on average of 17 times a day.

By now, it should be clear to businesses that mobile should be an integral part of your marketing plan. So to help you create a more engaging mobile experience for customers, Kristen Bush of Rhythm Interactive recommends taking these five steps:

1. Be Responsive
By now you’re probably familiar with the concept of responsive web design for mobile customers. The idea is to help mobile users get the specific information they need quickly, by adapting web content to fit the format of mobile devices. A mobile-friendly site will lead to lower bounce rates while increasing traffic as well as the length of time spent on your site.

2. Create Mobile-Friendly Emails
Be brief, both in content and design. Whenever possible, leverage customer data to include dynamic content using visuals based on your readers’ preferences. Remember to include a simple, clear call to action. And be sure to make the text clear and legible.

3. Text Message Campaigns
If your business hosts regular events, special promotions, schedules appointments, or needs to send payment reminders, then text message campaigns may work for you. Talk to someone with prior experience to make sure you’re successful and don’t make rookie SMS marketing mistakes. You’ll want to know about the optimum frequency for sending messages, content, and scheduling, for starters.

4. Is There An App For That?
People are using more mobile apps than ever, according to Flurry. “We believe that with consumers continuing to try so many new apps, the app market is still in early stages and there remains room for innovation as well as breakthrough new applications,” Flurry says. The competition is stiff, so if you decide to go forward and make your own mobile app, you need to tell prospects why your app deserves a place on their phone.

5. Location-based Messaging
Location-based apps and new technologies allow brands to reach prospects based on their location. Take care to provide customers with something of value and not to wear out your welcome too quickly.

For success with social media, consider this: It’s not all about you.

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When we think about putting our best foot forward with marketing, it’s natural to focus on ourselves, and what we can do for the customer. But social media has flipped that idea on its head. Or, as Scott D. Cook, Founder of Intuit was quoted recently, “A brand is no longer what we tell consumers it is — it is what consumers tell each other it is.”

Wow. And here’s another head-turning quote from best-selling author and online marketing authority Bryan Eisenberg: “Our job is to help the customer become the hero of their own journey.” In a recent presentation, Creating Legendary Brands, Mr. Eisenberg set the table for a thought-provoking discussion about a customer-centric focus for your social media campaigns.

Seeing things through your customer’s eyes. A lot’s been written about the value of storytelling. But once you believe storytelling is compelling, the question is, whose story are you going to tell? Sure, it’s interesting to share a true story about how your company solved a gnarly problem for a customer. But how about you go one better: Tell that story from your customer’s perspective. Better yet, let your customer tell his or her own success story in the form of a video testimonial posted to your social media channel.

The enduring value of referral marketing. This blog post from Shopify puts things succinctly: “Study after study has proven that referral marketing is one of the best forms of marketing when it comes to sales and conversions. Simply put, referral marketing, sometimes also called word-of-mouth marketing, is just people purchasing products based on someone else’s opinion or influence. It’s a powerful marketing channel because people trust the opinions of other people in their lives and people they respect, whether that be family, friends, social media influencers or big stars.” So, if a brand “is what consumers tell each other it is,” then encouraging consumers to share their positive experiences with your company on your social media channels is a winning strategy.

Put a human face on your social media posts. Don’t speak at your followers — speak with them. When you are working on posts, remember that there are real, living, breathing human beings who have taken the time to log onto your social media channel to see if you have anything worth saying…to them.

Seek out opportunities to engage. Sure, we’re all busy. Still, your social media posts must offer something of value — or the consumer will change the channel and may never come back. So, when working on posts, stress strategies that encourage interaction. Assign someone on your team to keep an eye on your social media channels, always on the lookout for opportunities to start a conversation — or solve a problem.

Pull back the curtain. Naturally, you’ll want to promote new products and services with social media. But what if you revealed a thing or two about the process your company uses to develop products or services? Or perhaps provide an insight into how your company’s mission and vision reflects itself in the way you approach customer service. In other words, dig deeper and share from the heart.

Remember, the future of your brand is in your customers’ hands. If it’s true that your brand is what consumers tell each other, maybe we can all be a little more thoughtful about what we are saying on social — and what consumers might think, and possibly share with their friends. So choose your posts wisely. Help the consumer become the hero of their journey. And keep this final nugget of wisdom from Bryan Eisenberg in front of you: “The magic secret to all of our successful companies is that they learned how to tell stories about their customer’s perspective.” And that makes it all a lot more shareable, doesn’t it?

Creating Value (and Sales) With Passive Marketing

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When you get to understand the true value of passive marketing, ‘good things come to those who wait’ might just become your new business mantra. Both active and passive marketing have a place in every integrated marketer’s strategy, but passive marketing is a way to create lasting value for your company. Take the time to learn more about these two distinct phases and how they work together.

Active Marketing in Action

Active marketing is just what it sounds like: actively pursuing leads through cold-calling, networking, running targeted customer acquisition campaigns, and even gifts and swag.

These activities can be important for generating leads, but they require substantial effort and you’re creating assets with limited use for your company. Active selling can have more active costs, as well: consider all the costs that go into a direct mail campaign.

But once you’ve done the work, it’s time to switch gears and focus your attention on passive marketing.

Passive Marketing Basics

Passive marketing doesn’t mean you’re not doing anything: it just means that you’re anticipating a customer need, as opposed to going out and trying to provoke one. It’s “being there” to answer a customer’s questions, before they even have one.

Examples of passive marketing include customer service, a listing in a directory, engaging with customers and prospects on social media, and blog posts. None of these things are as flashy as an advertising campaign, but they quietly build the success of your company—and some of the more creative ideas cost next to nothing. Like changing the signature line in your email, or mentioning your web URL in your voicemail message, which actually cost zero dollars but can leave a substantial impression on prospects.

Passive Selling Has a Longer Lifespan

One of the most beneficial aspects of passive selling, versus active selling, is that you’re creating assets that can be used at every step of the selling stage. For example, an interactive video brochure that lives on your website can benefit both prospects and existing customers. Because of this, you get a significantly better ROI.

A Good Strategy Should Have Both

If you’ve started to think that passive marketing is a good complement to your more proactive efforts, congratulations for thinking like a smart integrated marketer. Don’t wait to start beefing up your passive marketing efforts and let your present and future customers know you’re there for them.

Four Tips to Make Lead Nurturing Second Nature

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Implementing lead nurturing in your marketing is a bit like being a Sherpa on Mount Everest: your job is to anticipate every potential obstacle in the customer journey and provide your prospects what they need to feel comfortable taking those next steps up the mountain. But unlike being a Sherpa who risks life and limb, there’s only an upside to lead nurturing: integrated marketers who do it well can generate 50% more sales at 1/3 of the cost, and nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases compared to those who fumbled through the funnel on their own.

Lead nurturing is easier if you’re on a marketing automation platform such as Eloqua, Pardot or Marketo, but you can still lead your customers up Conversion Mountain by looking at your data and rolling up your sleeves.

Use Your Data to Discover Your Most Worthwhile Prospects

Not all leads are equal. Assess a prospect’s overall value and readiness by looking at behaviors such as time spent on your website and browsing behavior, and social media interaction. Use what you learn about these prospects to shape your overall strategy.

Plan for 10 High-Quality Touches

That’s what it takes on average, from the time a customer enters the funnel until a sale is made. At each one of these touches, add value to the interaction: have targeted content on your website, offer your leads access to a whitepaper or info about a webinar, and keep the conversation going.

Think Outside of the Inbox

Even the best email list will limit your ability to make sales. Supplement email marketing with social media, solid Web content, and even direct sales outreach. Coordinate the efforts of your sales and marketing teams so there’s no overlap.

The Right Email at the Right Time

It’s a given that you’re not sending out emails addressing “To Whom It May Concern.” But what’s really going to boost their effectiveness is when they are triggered by a specific event—say, if your prospects download something on your site or try to access guarded content. These well-timed emails generate up to six times the revenue, compared to the blanket approach.

Keep Exploring

Good lead nurturing is equal parts high-tech and high-touch, and it requires every part of an integrated marketer’s sales and marketing department to work like a well-oiled machine. Even if you can’t put a coordinated campaign into place immediately, you can still reap rewards from well-crafted efforts.

5 Promo Products That Will Wow Executives

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Integrated marketers know that recipients “want, love and keep” promo products, but how do you make executive gifts stand out and stand the test of time?

There are literally thousands of options available online, through hundreds of promotional product distributors and consultants. To help integrated marketers determine what is truly hot in the executive gift arena, we’ve looked beyond perennial favorites like golf accessories and high-end pens to curate a list of our five favorite executive gifts that combine practicality and luxury.

Custom Leather Travel Kit
Handmade by Borlino, this high-quality leather case drew raves at this year’s Promotional Products Association International (PPAI) show. Full of pockets and straps, the case easily organizes keys, headphones, a mobile phone, and charger in one tasteful bundle. It’s even customizable by color and pattern.

Tailgate in a Box
Another standout from the PPAI show was EcoEasy’s Tailgate in a Box. More than a product, the Tailgate box offers recipients an immersive experience. The seamless, hassle-free and creative package holds everything a tailgater needs for a memorable day including the grill, tools, charcoal, utensils and more.

Tumi Packable Jacket/Neck Pillow Combo
A warm and lightweight down-filled puffer jacket, the Tumi Pax is perfect for your VIPs. It also features a special surprise: the packable jacket converts to a travel pillow for long flights, camping or other outdoor adventures.

HYDROHEAT™ Flameless Cooking System
The HYDROHEAT™ cooker is a lightweight, compact system for creating hot meals and drinks without the use of power, fuel or a flame. Water activates the heat pack for no-fuss food preparation. Ideal for camping trips, hiking, and corporate getaways, the units can be customized with your brand.

Numo’s SUEDE’ish Collection
Bringing together the rich look of suede and the practicality of neoprene is the SUEDE’ish collection from Numo. The collection runs the gamut from a wrist strap keychain and tech taco cord wrangler, to an iPad case and different size lunch bags. With its handmade look, the SUEDE’ish collection has the appearance of a costly executive gift but is actually very affordable.

Custom-Imprinted Kenneth Cole Canvas Duffel Bags
An exclusive design from Kenneth Cole, this duffel bag is functional whether the recipient is a hardened business traveler, or will only use it for occasional weekend getaways. The stylish duffel is made of premium canvas and features vinyl accents, a large main compartment, interior zippered compartments, and accessible front pockets. Custom embroidery is available.

And because technology promotional items dominate the field in 2017, honorable mention goes to sought-after tech-savvy products like Bluetooth speakers, true wireless ear buds, and customizable power banks.

PIP Triad Stepping Up to Help Others!

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The staff from PIP Triad and Triad Signs has given back throughout the months of May and June by participating in the PTI, American Heart Association’s, and Legs for Lungs 5K races!

The Heart Walk
The American Heart Association’s premiere event raised funds to save lives from this country’s No. 1 and No. 5 killers – heart disease and stroke.

The Walk to Win Against Hunger
The PTI walk, which was an untimed walk/run, was held on the airport runway. The 2017 beneficiaries were Second Harvest Food Bank, High Point Open Door Ministry, and Greensboro Urban Ministry.

Legs for Lungs Race
We teamed up with the DMF Foundation of Elon and hosted a 5k to support a family friend of PIP Triad who was facing a double lung transplant after battling cancer for 15 years. That morning, Matthew received the transplant at the very time the race started. Success for all!