Archive for the 'Green Marketing' Category

Five Smart Green Marketing Strategies

Posted on June 7, 2010

1. Be sincere

The green market is estimated to reach $1 trillion in the next five years. To get noticed in this highly competitive field, you have to understand your audience and appeal to their desire for facts, figures and data. Dressing it up with overblown claims or flowery text is not going to impress the green crowd, in fact, they find it a turn off.

2. Highlight your green practices

Since the field is so competitive for emerging green technologies, it is crucial to employ multiple avenues to generate the right kind of interest in your product or service. If you have a commitment to green practices in your factory or office, be sure to document and highlight your efforts to reduce waste and align with ecologically sound policies. If your company contributes goods or services to disaster victims or participates in community programs, find ways to work such information into your website copy, press releases and advertisements. It can make the difference in a consumer’s mind when he is faced with a close decision.

3. Design ads that create desire

As advertising expert Leo Burnett once noted, “Good advertising does not just circulate information. It penetrates the public mind with desires and belief.” To create an effective ad campaign, you need develop a strategy that creates a desire to have the product or service that you have to offer. Determine an unique aspect of your green product or service to set it apart from similar items and craft your presentation to make that aspect desirable to the consumer.

4. Create campaigns — not ads

If you notice, most successful long-playing ad campaigns have a theme or story line that connects them, like Geiko’s talking gecko or the lonely Mayflower appliance repairman. Green consumers are just as susceptible to a well thought out storyline, so don’t make the mistake of designing ads one at a time, develop a long range strategy that builds anticipation in the consumer and makes your product or service develop a new dimension of desirability.

5. Tell the truth

The bottom line in dealing with the savvy green consumer of the 21st century is to be honest, which means you don’t want to use hard sell techniques or extravagant claims. As advertising genius William Bernbach pointed out, “The most powerful element in advertising is the truth.”

The Art of the Apology…

Posted on June 4, 2010

Let’s face it, we all make mistakes.  Even pretty big ones can be recovered from…take a lesson from this week’s most talked about mistake…Jim Joyce’s wrong call that was heard around the globe.  If you make mistakes with your customers, the best approach is always to ‘fess up to it and apologize.  A personalized promotional gift with an “I’m sorry” card will soften the hearts of even the most angry.

Five Common Green Marketing Mistakes

Posted on June 2, 2010

In the green world, knowing your audience is important. Miscommunication can cause a host of backlash, so it is important to be very specific and understand that consumers are wise to ‘come-ons’ and suspicious of extravagant claims. When you design material to communicate with this demographic, keep the following tips in mind so you don’t lose business before it ever gets to your door.

1. Underestimating the intelligence of the audience

According to the New York Times, the green consumer tends to be inquisitive, suspicious, more open to new ideas and better informed than any other group of consumers in the marketplace. They have value standards to uphold that are considered for every purchase, and they do their research before deciding on what product to buy. It is important to provide verifiable facts and figures for them to use in their decision-making process and appeal to their heads as well as their hearts.

2. Making and disseminating vague or misleading environmental statements

When Ford launched its “Kermit the Frog” advertising campaign for their Ford Escape Hybrid, they ran ads that said, “Green vehicles. Cleaner factories. It’s the right road for our company, and we’re well underway.”

Meanwhile, Ford only produced 20,000 ‘green’ Hybrid SUV’s per year, while continuing to produce almost 80,000 gas guzzling F-series trucks per month. Needless to say, smart consumers caught on to the hypocrisy quickly and the campaign backfired so severely that the term “Greenwashing” became synonymous with Ford. Greenwashing is a derogatory term that consumers pin on misleading claims in green-targeted advertising. A company once accused of greenwashing has to do serious damage control to attract environmentally conscious consumers back to their company.

3. Use sweeping generalities to define the green consumer

The green demographic is not one single entity that reacts uniformly to all environmental criteria . A green consumer can range from 19 percent deep greens (who are totally committed to basing all purchases on green standards) to 33 percent medium greens (who are willing to make moderate sacrifices and pay a bit more for green products and services) to 16 percent light greens (who make green choices only if it makes economical as well as ecological sense). Make sure you know which demographic of this audience you want to address with your message and craft it accordingly.

4. Committing sins of omission

Transparency is everything in the information rich green market. When Horizon Organic Dairy advertised happy cows, it didn’t take green consumer’s long to investigate and discover that their cows weren’t so happy after all and were subjected to harsh factory conditions. Consequently, a protest was organized against the dairy that damaged their credibility and allowed a host of other products with higher standards to rush in and fill the gap. All the great PR in the world can’t correct a ’sin of omission’ marketing blunder.

5. Underestimating the power of the Internet

The internet has changed the way consumers shop, and the word-of-mouth network can spread bad news like a virus through blogs, social networking sites and comments on posted stories. In a flash, millions of consumers are alerted to misdeeds or extravagant product claims, and the green community has extensive, sophisticated internet networks and they know how to them effectively. This is why advertisers targeting the green market have to display a sense of integrity that leaves the flashy sales techniques and come-ons behind. All it takes is a click of the mouse for word to spread like wildfire, so make sure the gossip about your product or service gets the right kind of reviews by forgoing hype and maintaining integrity.

Get Your Website to Generate Leads

Posted on May 24, 2010

In the world of internet commerce, content is king. By using key word formulas strategies, professional marketers (like Create-A-Card, Inc.) can cultivate casual readers into fresh leads for your ground transportation business. Effective promotions can be designed to collect specific core information from visitors to your websites and affiliates by incorporating well written forms and surveys that determine interest levels and can target which factors influence customers to use your service.

To design effective lead generating programs, you need to study current trends and determine what ‘hot buttons’ topics are related to the ground transportation industry. Promotional campaigns are then developed to show how these topics are being addressed by your limousine service. Related key words are skillfully incorporated into all the material so it will link to similar topics on internet search engines and come to the attention of consumers who have interest in such issues.

By incorporating these topics into press releases, blog articles and social network pages, potential customers are driven to your website. Once you have the readers attention, the next step is to encourage them to sign up. Common techniques include promoting subscriptions to newsletters, RSS feeds, Twitter alerts and blogs by providing fresh, relevant copy on a regular basis. These connections can be used to develop your corporate image and show potential customers that you share their concern about issues related to ground transportation services.

Another strategy is to design exciting promotions that offer contests for free services, coupon books or deep discounts that will encourage potential customers to fill out forms to collect targeted data, including contact information. These strategies can provide a wealth of statistical information that can be analyzed and used to cultivate new customers. Databases made from the contact information can be incorporated into email promotions and direct mail campaigns.

The same strategy can be applied to surveys and feedback forms that can be integrated into your website, blogs and social network site design. Side bar questionnaires can collect valuable information even if they do not record specific contact information. By inviting readers to leave their opinions of hot topic issues, a media consultant can analyze the data and calculate formulas to track the effectiveness of various strategies. To maximize the effectiveness of lead generation campaigns, media consultants can incorporate the results from polls in print, radio and television copy to generate interest and direct consumers to your website or establishment for further information.

A successful promotional campaign will help you develop a reputation as a ground transportation company that is actively involved with issues such as the environmental impact of ground transportation and the concerns surrounding the importation of oil and gas. Consequently, as your limo company establishes an activist image, new opportunities open up to interact with your existing and potential customers. This extends your capacity to gather information on the decision making process that guides consumer choices.

A good media campaign will skillfully blend a high-profile event that relates directly to identified hot button topics. For example, a contest offering free group transportation in a green fleet to a popular venue like a sporting event or concert can emphasize lowering the group’s carbon footprint, which can generate fresh interest in your limo services. Handled correctly, you can generate free media coverage that will expose your company name to an even wider audience. When you provide the right tools to collect valuable consumer information, your ability to turn leads into sales increases.

Give us a call and let us show you how we can help you get more sales!

Friday Funny: If Your Sales Are Like This…Call Us…We Can Help!

Posted on May 21, 2010

Are your sales down?  Maybe you can relate to the frustration on both sides of this week’s video.  If so, we can help you attract new customers AND retain current ones.  Give us a call today and we can help you avoid this type of frustration.

Friday Funny…

Posted on May 14, 2010

This week’s video is all about having a bad day at the office.  We here at Create-A-Card, Inc. strive to help your marketing experience NOT like this one…call us to see how we can ease your marketing efforts into profits!

Online vs. Offline – What is the difference?

Posted on May 13, 2010

To stay competitive in today’s ground transportation business, it is crucial to have professional help designing a marketing strategy that seamlessly incorporates your traditional media outlets and your printed material with your web presence. By coordinating and focusing all your advertising, marketing kits and press releases into a cohesive unit, you can make the most of both your online and offline campaigns instead of expecting them to function independently.

Remember, your basic goal is to keep your existing client base from being lured away by other limo companies while attracting the interest of potential customers. So you need to devise a campaign that succinctly explains why your limousine service is superior. By keeping your initial message direct and simple, it is easier to tie together all aspects of your media campaigns. The ultimate aim is to get interested clients to your website where they can access a wealth of details and services to get their questions answered quickly so they will place orders with your limousine service first.

To accomplish this, all of your offline print media — from business cards to brochures to full color glossy ads — should be designed to have a consistent look, feel and message so your audience can establish brand identification at a glance. These days it is not necessary to burden your print advertising with too much detailed information. Instead, concentrate on eye-catching images and quick, easy to remember messages that attract attention and prompt action. Each piece of printed material should, of course, prominently display your website address. Whenever possible, use special promotions to direct readers to your website for more details.

This same strategy should be carried over to any television and radio advertisements, especially the consistent branding and internet references. Of course you will want to develop audio and video presentations that will tie neatly into your pubic image. When you post these videos on your website, You Tube channel and company blog, you can significantly maximize the exposure of your productions.

The key point of this strategy is to peak your customer’s interest enough so they will visit your website for more information. It is much easier to track the success of your advertising campaigns on your website and to get feedback on what works — as well as what doesn’t — using online marketing resources.

Advertising on the internet does not mean just having a dynamite website, either, although that is extremely important. You need to establish many other tendrils throughout the world wide web that link back to your webpage. Social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter are invaluable for connections. But blogs, articles, press releases and comments on related stories can also be used to spread your message. Of course, it is crucial to set up proper key words and develop concise Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategies to keep your business ranked high on services like Google.

It is not realistic to expect your regular staff to coordinate and implement such ongoing and complicated tasks. Missed steps in the process can put your business at risk of losing customers to multimedia savvy competitors. Consulting with professional advertising consultants who have cutting edge skills and a good knowledge of your business can help you determine strategies to set your limo company apart from all the others. We at Create-A-Card, Inc. can help you with all your social media marketing needs also–just call or email us today to get started.

Friday Funny…

Posted on May 7, 2010

This is a hilarious video about always having that extra skill or service that your competition doesn’t have…sometimes it’s the difference in your survival as a business!  Making sure your marketing materials are standouts from your competitor is one way to survive and thrive while your competition doesn’t…call us today and we’ll show you how!