Brand Strategy Marketing


Brand Strategy Marketing

Stay One Step Ahead by Developing New Solutions

Market leadership cannot be disguised, but it can be manifested using imagination. The road to achieving that position is paved by offering the best solutions that no one elsebranding and marketing can offer then inviting the world to follow your proven path. Once you become a market leader you can stay there if you think several moves ahead like a seasoned chess player. By anticipating where the market is headed and what it needs based on customer feedback, you will be able to envision and construct new solutions.

Embracing Innovation

The first step to staying a step ahead of the competition is to treat innovation as a necessity, not as a novelty. The most intelligent and successful visionaries of the new century, which clearly have included Steve Jobs of Apple, Larry Page of Google and Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, think outside of the box and ahead of the curve.

 Industry pioneers do not settle on being a one trick pony and put all their eggs in one basket. Out of the box thinking is not so much something that can be taught as it is a determined creative mindset that can ultimately synergize the best ideas from a talent pool of multiple sources.

The traditional business world and schools that shape careers have taught us many outdated principles and fables that no longer apply in today’s world. “Don’t reinvent the wheel” is a common saying that has many flaws. True, our universe is already composed of circles and orbits, but it doesn’t mean you can’t envision new ways to apply cycles and rotations. “The more things change, the more they stay the same” is another way of saying “some things never change” or “you can’t change the world.” Some people have in fact changed the world by thinking beyond these limitations, simply by using imagination. As Albert Einstein once said, “imagination is more important than knowledge.”

The New Economy

Themes of the new economy in the 21st century that help shape modern brand marketing strategy are consumer choice, permission, trust, authority and transparency. Themes that help shape modern products are niche, efficiency, effectiveness, flexibility and credibility. Use these components to broaden your thinking to push imagination to further levels. The more your online resource becomes a time machine for your industry that connects past, present and future, the more resonance you will enjoy with loyal followers.

One key fundamental to remember in the age of digital decision-making is that hard selling and interruptive advertising are becoming overshadowed by the more consumer-friendly approach of inbound marketing. This permission-based approach points to developing long term relationships instead of hit and miss sales resulting from a mass media numbers game. While you can still use outbound marketing as a component of your brand marketing strategy, your brand’s future depends more on developing an online community that expects you to stay up to date and a step ahead of competitors.

The Anatomy of Innovation

Your quest to be innovative should break down the barriers of caution and encompass an element of fun adventure. Separate this mindset from your actual decision-making process so that you do not randomly change your business model for the sake of change, in which results can be unpredictable. Use brainstorming with colleagues as a tool for capturing exciting ideas, but don’t jump at changing your business model until you have tested or refined your new ideas to be effective solutions.

Create a library of ideas for future reference so that your business can move in multiple directions as new solutions become practical. Your long-term brand marketing strategy should be to aim high.

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Ian ConklinIan Conklin is the President of OTR Web Solutions a web development company building marketing websites since 2000 with offices in Canada, USA, Europe and South America.

OTR Web is a Value Added Partner with HubSpot.

For all your Inbound Marketing and Website requirements Contact OTR Web.


Social Media Branding


Social Media Branding

Let Feedback Strengthen Your Brand

Social media has become the most powerful extension of small business because of its immediacy, interactivity and popularity. The key to combining social media and branding is to blend information with entertainment, which essentially is the same dynamic for developing a successful blog. Through audience feedback you will learn which social media strategies work and which ones don’t.

Feedback Indicators

The number of likes you get on Facebook and +1s you get on Google+ are strong indicators. However, do not be sidetracked by these statistics as final judgements of yourSocial Media Branding posts. Look for consistency over time, since any given post can be missed by lots of people either because they weren’t online that hour or they became caught up in news stories. Although likes and +1s can be easily manipulated at any given time to distort reality, if you look for patterns over time you will see the bigger picture as to how people respond to different types of posts.

Social media can also be a haven for studying consumer reviews. Facebook and Twitter are set up more for quick one liner reviews while Google + is more designed for deeper analysis. Use each social network with its limitations in mind, such as character limitations and how feeds are delivered. You can have a thousand friends on Facebook, for example, but if you don’t engage with them on a regular basis, they might not see your posts in their feeds. When you do come across customer reviews on social networks, respond to them by adding information in a friendly way. Never over-react in a defensive manner to negative posts.

Learning From Feedback

The reason for engaging with customers in social media is not to put them in their place if they “don’t get it” or are simply “off-base.” Every interaction you have with them should have the goal of strengthening your relationship with them. One way you can do that is by acknowledging their comments. Social media and branding work together because it’s a two way conversation that does not occur in traditional one way media. While traditional media relies on lengthy studies over time to gauge audience response, new media creates research of feedback in real time.

You can learn a lot from social media because it can tell you flaws in your product for certain people in certain situations that you may not have considered. By clicking an individual’s name and studying their profile and personality, you can gain deeper insight into their mindset than a traditional research study. You can also learn from positive comments about brand strengths that you may not have been aware of. Furthermore, you can learn what friends of friends think about your brand.

Quantifying Feedback

Different businesses have different priorities for monitoring customer feedback. Social media and branding as a combined process is not an exact science, but it’s a useful tool for refining your business model. Several metrics will provide insight about how your followers perceive and respond to your brand. The most important metric for most businesses is return on investment. You may not be able to easily measure the thinking of your followers, but you certainly can measure to the penny the amount of money you spend on marketing campaigns and the amount of revenue you earn from those efforts.

Some of the other ways to measure user response are to calculate percentages of users that become buyers, the percentage of clickthroughs to product pages that become sales, the number of visitors who engage with you about your products and the number of people who inquire about your products.

Take the Lead – Download a free eBook on Attracting Customers With Twitter

Ian ConklinIan Conklin is the President of OTR Web Solutions a web development company building marketing websites since 2000 with offices in Canada, USA, Europe and South America.

OTR Web is a Value Added Partner with HubSpot.

For all your Inbound Marketing and Website requirements Contact OTR Web.


Social Networking will Market Your Business


Social Networking to Market Your Business

If you are in business and want to be successful,  then you cannot afford to ignore social networking via social media. With more and more people engaging in social media everyday, it is vital that you create, and be active on, accounts for your business. Properly run social media accounts can capture the attention of the people and businesses looking for your services on Facebook,  Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and so forth, and bring those people to your website. More qualified traffic to your website! Who doesn’t want that?

Not convinced that social media can help your business? Here are a few statistics:

  • 27% of total U.S. internet time and 15% of total U.S. mobile internet time is spent on social networking sites. (Experian)
  • Approximately 46% of online users count on social media when making a purchase decision.  (Nielsen)
  • Companies that generate over 1000 Facebook Likes also receive nearly 1400 website visitors a day. (Hubspot)
  • Twitter has 288 million monthly active users. (Global Web Index Study)
  • Facebook has 665 million daily active users and 751 million mobile users every month. (Global Web Index Study)
  • Google+ has 359 million active users monthly. (Global Web Index Study)

You May be Surprised at Who’s Using Social Networking

There are hundreds of millions of people logged on to social networks daily and they are not all under 30 as is a common misconception.  In fact, the fastest growing demographic on Facebook and Google+ is with people between the ages of 45 and 54. Facebook has grown 46% and Google+ 56%, according to a Global Web Index Study. The same study shows that Twitter is currently the fastest growing social network showing 44% growth from June 2012 to March 2013. The fastest growing demographic on Twitter you ask? 55 to 64-year-olds with a 79%  increase in active users over the same time period.

Social Networking is growing and expanding over all age demographics, which means that your target market is undoubtedly actively engaged on a social network.  They are searching for information on products and services that you could be providing for them. You can start by looking at the statistics and finding the social network most likely to contain the target market that uses your product. Start posting relevant, informative content and show your readers that you are an expert and are the natural choice. Social networking provides such a massive marketing opportunity. Where else can you pour out your knowledge, ideas, and personality to your target market?

What’s Your Best Plan of Attack?

Using social media to market your business is time consuming, but the potential ROI is too big to ignore. If you have the time and desire to do it yourself then great, go for it and have fun! If not, you may want to budget for hiring someone in-house. You never know, you may have a someone on your team who is an active blogger. If this is the case, count your blessings and change their job description. If you do not have someone like this on your team yet you understand that you need to get on the social networking train, but you don’t have the time then you may want to consider hiring a firm that specializes in online marketing – including social media. I bet you could find one entirely suitable on a social network! 😉


As always your comments and opinions are valued and desired.

Colin is the Social Media and Content Marketing guru at OTR Social Media is a ConversationWeb Solutions a web development & content marketing company since 2000, with offices in Canada, USA, Europe and South America.