Archive for the ‘Marketing’ Category

Recent research has shown that 83% of the most successful companies at a range of exhibitions (in terms of business generated and leads collected) were the ones that took the trouble to undertake pre trade show marketing such as mailing their prospects and customers before the show. (Source:CEIR – (Center for Exhibition Industry Research)

There are multiple ways to communicate with your target market.  Some methods of communication are much more effective, appropriate and cost efficient than others. Your budget will dictate how many touch points you can have with your target market. Also you should be trying to find ways to drive the right people to your exhibit at the lowest cost per qualified lead.

Remember, you need to let your prospects know where your booth is located on the showroom floor. Use tag lines such as “see us at Booth 1635 at the such and such Trade Show” in news releases and other communications such as direct mail leading up to the show.

Don’t make your customers and prospects hunt you down.

Recent research has shown that 83% of the most successful companies at a range of exhibitions (in terms of business generated and leads collected) were the ones that took the trouble to undertake pre trade show marketing such as mailing their prospects and customers before the show.

You can increase your ROI by integrating various pre trade show marketing tools to direct qualified buyers to your expensive booth. Diversity in your pre trade show marketing strategy will yield greater results and you will record a much higher success rate, with increases in both target visitor attraction and sales lead conversion.

Do not take a one-dimensional approach to your pre trade show marketing.

Trade show promotions are designed to engage your potential customers through a personalized, multi-step marketing strategy that facilitates your ability to reach your trade show objectives.

This includes pre-selling attendees through phone calls, personalized invitations, direct mail or email, to introduce your products and encourage them to visit your booth.

By knowing your target audience, you should target prospective trade show buyers for your products and/or services, prior to the trade show commencing, by creating a positive image and brand awareness.

To maximize your trade show effort tailor your messages to the concerns, needs and interests of your prospects.

Take the time to really determine your target audience!

And, don’t underestimate the power of a pre-trade show marketing campaign. An effective pre-trade show marketing promotion can deliver increases of 50% in conversions to qualified leads.

Always build a portfolio of activity that will drive the lowest cost per qualified lead and map out your timeline so that you give reasonable notice to your prospects.  It’s always a good idea to segment your list for better results and have a contextually relevant and compelling offer.


Despite the last few years’ challenging fundraising environment, we’ve been helping nonprofits meet their donation targets by boosting the efficiency and effectiveness of their fundraising campaigns with personalized URLs (PURLs) and dynamic landing pages.

When used in conjunction with traditional direct marketing channels such as personalized email or direct mail, personalized URLs lure donors back and help recruit new donors, as well. Our nonprofit marketers use personalized URLs and dynamic landing pages along with our advanced database-profiling system, which utilizes variables such as donation amounts and frequency, to drive highly targeted marketing communications. This ensures that your appeal reaches the right donors at the right time with the right message, increasing your chances of fundraising success.

Using Personalized URLs (PURLs) and Dynamic Landing Pages for Nonprofits

So how exactly are nonprofits getting results?

By printing a Personalized URL (PURL) on any communication (postcards, brochures, thank-you notes, and more), marketers can lead new or returning donors to personalized, dynamic landing pages whose web addresses feature the names of both your recipient and your organization. By making prospective and returning donors feel as if they are being addressed directly, nonprofit marketers can hold effective 1:1 conversations — and drive repeat donations.

The Call to Donate: Landing Pages for Fundraising Campaigns

Each custom PURL or QR code in your fundraising campaign brings potential and repeat donors to dynamic landing pages that act as customized “donor portals.” This PURL-landing page combination maximizes your chances of successfully recruiting donors by cultivating a sense of loyalty.

For example, messaging can be customized based on the recency and magnitude of the donor‘s past giving. Major donors could consider higher donation ranges for impact, while minor or infrequent donors may be asked more often for smaller donations.

Plus, the outcomes of your multi-channel PURL campaign are available in real-time from a unified reports dashboard, allowing you to keep a close eye on giving trends down to the level of the individual so that you can get a complete view of your results — adjust your fundraising efforts accordingly.

Permanent PURLS and Marketing Automation for Nonprofits

Nonprofits can also elect the option of “permanent” PURLs — personalized URLs that last for the lifetime of a client or donor. When used in conjunction with marketing automation in the nonprofit sector, permanent PURLs can work marketing miracles for your nonprofit organization.

For example, nonprofits can use the reports dashboard that presents a lifelong view of an individual’s giving trends. But, what if, in the course of a few clicks, you could program your nonprofit-marketing activities to intuitively respond to twists and turns in donor activity?

By utilizing our marketing automation and establishing set communication outcomes to predetermined triggers (such as logging into the PURL portal, reading an email, or making a donation of a set amount), nonprofits can create highly targeted donor communications, maximizing marketing efficiency and achieving more potent donor-recruitment results.


Creative Marketing Services is a next-generation promotional marketing firm based in Southwest Florida. We design creative, targeted, and cost effective promotional marketing solutions to help our clients build their brand, acquire & retain customers, increase sales & profits and recruit & motivate employees. To  discover how you can make your marketing more effective, visit

Do you have a color strategy? Today we explore the world of color and share our insight from a branding perspective.

I was having a cup of java in a restaurant last week and noticed that the sugar dispenser had pink, blue, yellow, and for the first time ever – green sweetener packets. Well, I know that the pink is Sweet N ‘Low, the blue is Equal, the yellow is Splenda, but what was the green? Turns out it is Equal with stevia.

Clearly, then, Equal has a color coding strategy. In fact, we determine color in less than three seconds and we often remember the color before the brand name. I’ve heard many consumers tell me that they take a blue or orange pill or that they buy the blue oatmeal, but don’t remember the flavor name. So, how can you brand by color?

 1. Deploy consistently. Don’t change your logo, your envelope color or even your signature wardrobe color willly nilly. If your colors are red and black, stick with it! Even though the Starbucks logo has morphed, it has kept the forest green color. It’s brilliant the way publicity photos of author Sachi Parker are in pink–just like the cover of her new tell-all book on her mom, Shirley MacLaine.

 2. Be bold. Golf-club maker TaylorMade credits painting its R11 drivers white as the key to boosting its market share to eight percent. What can you do?

3. Look at the psychology of color. Color communicates emotion. Red and orange are high energy, frenetic colors which is why they adorn virtually every fast feeder from Taco Bell to Wendy’s to McDonald’s. If you’re looking to instill a calming feeling, head over to the soothing world of blue. By the way, red and brown houses are the least likely to sell.

 4. Consider utility. Although brown is not my fave color, it works for the UPS folks who are schlepping packages. White shirts certainly wouldn’t work.

5. Review your competitors. If all of the competitors in your space are projecting the same colors, it’s time to shake up the market and stand out. When it comes to bottled water, for example, it’s an ocean of blue from Dasani to Aquafina. But, then there’s Evian–a dose of pink and it stands out!

Creative Marketing Services is a next-generation promotional marketing agency based in Southwest Florida. We design creative, targeted, and cost effective promotional marketing solutions to help our clients build their brand, acquire & retain customers, increase sales & profits and recruit & motivate employees. To  discover how you can make your marketing more effective, visit


Abbey Carpet Recruits New Members

Member recruiting campaign for Abbey Carpet & Floor.

Fifth Third Rewards with BrandFUEL!

Parting gift for attendees to the 2012 Fifth Third Bank Economic Outlook.

So how do you start? Drip marketing for new accounts involves four steps:

Plan – Developing a good plan is the very first step to ensuring that you have effective drip marketing for the whole year. Not only that. You should also have a plan of action for each month.  As with any good marketing, planning your drip marketing involves a careful and in depth understanding of your target market. Who are your potential clients? Where can you yield the most impact?

This means that your efforts should concentrate on those who have the most potential to switch from just a possible client to a definite buyer of your product or service.  Nevertheless, you should also drip market to the less productive fields as this will also gain you possible clients. You can utilize a lower-cost campaign or less frequent marketing. Just so you cover all possible areas for your drip marketing campaign.

Strategize – The second step is to implement your plan for your new account strategy. Not just to execute, but to do it strategically. Drip marketing works best if you “drip” your message consistently and at the right time. You need to have a plan of action throughout the whole year.  This means drip marketing every month. And sticking to it. For an easier time, you can develop simple yet effective systems that you can implement anytime.

You will not have to put extra effort for the next step every time you begin your campaign for the month. This would also help you re-strategize or fine-tune your plan if a system is not working after a few months.

Diversify – Repeated marketing campaigns over time become boring and unattractive. Make sure that you do not do it to your marketing campaign. Instead, change your approach- your offer and your message- as the season changes. You can also vary your segment or sequence.

Nonetheless, make sure you provide value to your drip marketing, as well as in your message. Your target audience will not even look at it if they do not find any use to your offer, even if you come out that often.

Keep Track – Finally, your drip marketing will not be effective if you do not have a strong and solid tracking system to measure your results. Make sure that you have the right systems in place to report on the outcome of your marketing campaign.

Drip marketing is all about having a plan of action. With the economy limping along, including drip marketing to your best new prospects can help you a great deal in making sure that you have an effective marketing campaign to capture all that you can.

Writing Benefit-Driven Copy

Posted: July 25, 2011 in Marketing

You’ve identified the benefits you offer your customers, but how do you turn a list of benefits into engaging copy?

As a copy writer, many of the projects we’ve undertake are for completely new products. The client has some general ideas about what they’d like to convey, but they need someone who can fine-tune their message, and create copy which engages their readers. As a result, over the years I’ve developed a process for doing this effectively. There are four main steps:

  1. Identify benefits
  2. Identify how you deliver these benefits
  3. Prioritize your benefits
  4. Write the content

STEP 1 – Identify your benefits

Branding aside, most new product introductions are about selling. Customers don’t want to know what you can do; they want to know what you can do for THEM. That means the first question you should ask is, “What benefits do I offer my customers?” This is usually the first step toward identifying the key message to be conveyed. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t describe your products and services. You just need to make sure it describes them in terms of benefits to your customer.

STEP 2 – Identify how you deliver these benefits

Of course, you can’t just claim to deliver benefits and stop at that. You need to support that claim. You’re going to need to convince your audience that you actually do deliver these benefits. Anyone can say they deliver benefits, but few can say it persuasively.

From step 1 you’ll have a list of benefits. Now you need to think about how you deliver each benefit in that list. This is where you start talking about features – price, product highlights, distribution channel, competitor weaknesses, external factors, USP’s, etc. It’s helpful if you draw up a table with one column for benefits and one for the features which deliver those benefits.

You’ll probably find this process much easier than identifying benefits. In fact, you’ve probably got most of this information written down already… somewhere. If not, chances are you uncovered a good portion of it when you were brainstorming for benefits.

TIP: If you’re having trouble identifying supporting features, before filling out the table, try listing everything you can think of which relates to what you do and how you do it. Don’t worry about the order. Just brain dump onto a piece of paper, a whiteboard, a Word document, anywhere… Don’t leave anything out, even if it seems unimportant. If you start getting lost, think back to the question you’re trying to answer: How do you deliver your list of benefits to your customer? Once you’ve done your brain dump, read through it and decide which specific benefit each feature delivers.

STEP 3 – Prioritize your benefits

Now that you’ve identified all the things you COULD say, it’s time to figure out what you SHOULD say and where you should say it. This is where your benefits-features table comes into play. Read through your list of benefits and prioritize them according to how compelling they will be to your reader.

The reason for this? Priority determines prominence. The most compelling benefits will need to be prominent.

TIP: Be aware that your list may include some benefits which everyone in your business category could claim. In other words, they’re not just specific to your company, but apply to the type of service you offer. For example, if you sell a Content Management System (CMS) for website creation, you may list “Greater control for marketing managers” and “Less expense updating content” as benefits. Every CMS vendor could claim these benefits, so you’ll need to question their importance. Will they differentiate you from your competitors? Generic benefits can be useful if none of your competitors are using them, or if you feel you need to educate your market a bit before launching into company-specific benefits.

STEP 4 – Write your content

So now you know what you’d like to say, it’s time to decide how to say it. This is about three things:

  • Subject – What is the subject of your site; features or benefits?
  • Structure – How do you structure your site such that your customers will read your most compelling benefits?
  • Words – What words should you use to best engage your audience (and the search engines)?


What is the subject of your marketing piece; features or benefits? The answer to this question lies in audience identification. If your audience knows a bit about the type of product or service you’re selling, lead with features (e.g. processor speed, turnaround time, uptime, expertise, educational qualifications, wide product range, etc.). But make sure you talk about their benefits, and make sure the features offering the most important benefits are the most prominent.

Here’s a simplified example…

Cool Widgets offers:

  • Standard Operating Environment – Significantly reducing the complexity of your IT infrastructure
  • System upgrades which are less expensive to license – Providing excellent TCO reductions

In cases where you’re selling to an audience who knows very little about your product or service, lead with benefits (e.g. if you’re selling something technical to a non-technical audience).

Here’s the same simplified example, reversed for a novice audience…

Cool Widgets offers:

  • Reduced complexity of IT infrastructure – We can implement a Standard Operating Environment for your organization
  • Reduced TCO – We can upgrade your IT to systems which are less expensive to license


How do you structure your piece such that your customers will be sure to read your most compelling benefits? The answer is, keep it short ‘n sweet. And make it scannable. This doesn’t mean you have to cut features or benefits. You just have to structure your piece to accommodate your message.

While every piece is different, as a rule of thumb it’s a good idea to introduce your main features and benefits on your early on. Summarize them – preferably using bullet points, but at the very least, clearly highlight them so that your audience can scan-read (e.g. bold, underline, color, link).


Effective marketing communication is about far more than just clever words. It’s essential that you identify the benefits you offer your customer, and that you can convince your customer you actually deliver those benefits.

I hope that the guidance and tools provided in this article will help you on your way to engaging copy which converts to sales.