Archive for the 'social media marketing' Category

10 Tips for Social Media Management

Posted on November 28, 2017

While having a regular posting schedule is important, many people think that social media management simply involves posting content regularly on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.  Management of your social media involves much more than that if you want to see results.  Here are 10 things you can and should be doing to truly manage your social media.


1. Develop a strategy

develop a social media strategy

Before engaging in a campaign, have a detailed social media strategy in place. This is an outline what you are hoping to achieve.  Is it brand awareness?  Is it driving additional traffic to your website?  Is it to actually increase sales?  Is it to engage readers?  What exactly are you trying to do?  Once you have made this determination, the rest of the planning will come easy.

2. Update your branding

Review your branding and make sure it is clear and consistent.  This includes logos, tag lines, mottos, colors, type style and “flavor”.  It must be the same everywhere you post as well as other areas such as letterhead, envelopes, printed marketing materials, traditional advertising etc.  Your logo should be your profile photo.

3. Create a monthly calendar

Instead of posting on a whim, add some structure to your postings by creating a monthly posting plan list. This can help you gather content in advance and plan for important dates in your company such as sale dates, special event dates, guaranteed sell-out dates and other dates that are important to share with your clients and audience.

4. Schedule posts in advance

While some social media sites allow you schedule in advance, if you use one that doesn’t, consider an automatic posting system such as Hootsuite.  It allows you to schedule posts weeks or even months in advance so even if you are on vacation, your messages will still be posted on schedule.

5. Respond to comments

Make sure you’re responding to all messages or comments from followers within a reasonable time frame. Even if it means simply “liking” a comment.  People want to feel that you are responsive.  You can even create a document with standard responses you can use to copy and paste.  For instance, a compliment response could be: “Thank you for taking the time to share your compliment.  We always appreciate when people take the time to recognize the great effort we put forth to make sure your experience is a positive one.”

6. Listen to conversations

In addition to scheduling posts, Hootsuite can be set up to search the internet for mentions of your company name.  It is important that you chime in to conversations involving your business or your industry that could result in landing a new client.

7. Paid Advertising

You can sit around and wait for people to come to your site or you can draw them to your site by paid advertising.  Facebook has a particularly robust advertising program that allows you to target exactly who you want to connect with.  You will pay for the click of an interested party but if they clicked through to your website, let’s face it, they are an interested party.  The more you pay, the more your ads will be served to others.

8. Run competitions

Although it may not be right for every business, competitions and prize draws are very popular on social media. They can help to increase engagement levels, get more followers and help you to develop an email database. Photo contests such as The Cutest Pet Costume can drive throngs of people to your social media site.

9. Create a monthly report

Check to make sure your strategy is working by creating a monthly tracking report. Look back at how your site as performed over the last month to identify how you can improve.

social media management

10. Stay up-to-date with social media developments

Social media is fast moving, so it’s important that you actively keep abreast of new tools, feature changes, best practices and even updates to social search algorithms.

Industry’s Powerhouse Marketing Company, Create-A-Card, Inc. becomes the largest full-service traditional and digital marketing company with its acquisition of Innovative Marketing Concepts

Posted on March 7, 2012

[March 7, 2012, St. James, NY] — Create-A-Card, Inc.’s Founder and President, Arthur Messina announced today that his company has acquired its long-time competitor, Innovative Marketing Concepts (IMC).  This acquisition enables Create-A-Card to further advance its position as the pinnacle of global marketing in the chauffeured transportation industry.

According to Mr. Messina, the acquisition will fuel what has already been exceptional business growth in revenue and market share. “This acquisition is just a part of Create-A-Card’s continuing expansion,” he said.  “With the technology and creative talent of our team, Create-A-Card, delivers the full spectrum of marketing services and support – from corporate identity development and public relations, to cutting edge digital projects and social media.

Already positioned to lead the industry in innovation, Create-A-Card will provide the companies’ combined customers a wider range of services and value.  Create-A-Card brings superior strengths and assets that you won’t find available at any other company.  According to Messina, “This is a great opportunity to leverage our market position to address customer needs in new service segments and technologies. By focusing purely on the delivery of marketing services to the chauffeured transportation industry and always delivering expert advice, this acquisition is a strategic move that we believe will position Create-A-Card for additional expansion and sustained growth.”

IMC brings world-class marketing people and an established client base to Create-A-Card, Inc. and the acquisition assures their clients that they are in excellent hands.  More importantly, Messina believes that combining the resources of both companies will provide an important strategic fit. “We are pleased to have reached an agreement with such a high quality organization. We look forward to the positive sales and earnings contributions that this acquisition affords now and in the years ahead,” said Messina.  IMC feels that that this acquisition is in the best interest of their clients and feels that they will have the opportunity to be working with a superb organization.

About Create-A-Card, Inc. Create-A-Card, Inc. has, under the leadership of Arthur Messina, evolved from a specialized printing company in 1986 into what is, today, the industry’s leading full-service marketing strategy and solutions provider. For over two decades, Mr. Messina has taken a leadership position in ground transportation and has built a reputation as an industry innovator and the preferred partner for market-leading transportation companies.

For more information, please visit the www.createacardinc.com company website, follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook, or contact Arthur Messina @ 631-584-2273.

Recent Statistics on Social Media Adoption

Posted on March 6, 2012

Here are a few reasons why you should invest heavily in social media:

Mass adoption of social media: Nearly 80% of all active U.S. Internet users regularly visit social media sites (Nielsen). And while consumers spend 25% of their Internet time on social sites, Facebook has become the most visited website in the world. Your customers are there.

Social media benefits businesses: Among marketers who include social media as part of their overall strategy, 97% agree that it provides benefits and value to their business (eMarketer).

Social media improves branding: In a survey of more than 700 marketers, 88% of respondents found that social media helps grow brand awareness. Social media also benefited marketers by allowing them to engage in dialogue (85%) and increase sales and partnerships (58%). An additional 41% of marketers said it helped reduce costs (Wildfire Interactive).

These stats are just a sample of the power of social media.

Holiday Marketing Tips

Posted on November 5, 2010

www.createacardinc.comWhat are your plans for the holidays? This is the same question that your customers are asking themselves. With questions like this on everyone’s mind now would be a good time to start some suggestive selling of your services for the holidays. You can start by promoting family holiday tours, trips to see the festive sites in NYC, light tours of homes from around your service area, transfers to the airport for holiday travel and don’t forget revenue generating gift certificates and gift cards.

So how do you do this you ask? The answer is simple. Start with your social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin. Start by posting holiday events in your area. Provide times and dates of tree lighting displays, holiday concerts and special events. If you have a blog start posting holiday happenings around your service area. Bring up the topic of transportation safety for holiday parties and keep your readers excited about the upcoming events they could attend. Send out a post card mailing or a email with holiday offers and specials that you currently are offering. You can also send out your holiday cards as early as Thanksgiving to stand out from all the other cards and include a business card or magnet to act as a reminder about the services you offer.

If you start your holiday marketing now and incorporate some of the seasonal holiday marketing tips into your year end marketing plan, you will notice an increase in sales during the last two months of the year. Aunt Sally needs a ride to and from the airport, Uncle Joe needs a gift for his nephew and the Johnson family would love to visit Rockerfeller Center this year in stretch limousine. All it takes is some suggestive selling, special holiday offers on your behalf to make the holiday season successful for your company.

Create-A-Card, Inc. CEO Arthur Messina’s Video Interview With MyPathBuilder

Posted on October 25, 2010

Create-A-Card, Inc. is Featured in Limo Digest: More than Meets the Eye

Posted on October 6, 2010

Below is a cover article that is in the current issue of Limo Digest, featuring Create-A-Card, Inc.  You can also download it here.

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More than Meets the Eye

 Create-A-Card Thrives on Strong Client Relationships

 By Liz Hunter

There seems to be no shortage of experts in the limousine industry. Operators have vast resources to tap when it comes to what software to implement or what insurance to purchase. But for one of the most important aspects of running a successful business—marketing—there are only a handful of suppliers that are truly familiar with our industry and getting the message out. One in particular has emerged as a go-to company for transportation marketing advice and materials.

For nearly 25 years, the name Create-A-Card has been synonymous with “marketing” in the limousine industry. Arthur ­Messina started Create-A-Card (CAC) to capitalize on a new trend: picture business cards. After attending college and graduating with a background in food and business, Messina worked for The Marriott Corporation, only to realize 18 months later that a career in hospitality wasn’t where he wanted to be.

He looked in magazines like Entrepreneur and picture business cards were something new and exciting. Messina was suddenly enthralled by the thought of working for himself and running his own business.

Setting up shop in his kitchen—like many limousine operators did themselves—Messina kept his filing cabinet in a closet and the fax machine on top. When it came to deciding what industry or business would benefit most from these picture business cards, Messina immediately thought of limousines. “It was the heyday of the industry, and people were spending lots of money for vehicles and they needed ways to market them,” he says. “One of the first business cards we did was for a limousine company down the street.”

Anyone who knows Messina will tell you that he is certainly not shy, even back then.  So, it should be no surprise that he simply walked to that limo business down the road from his house and asked to borrow a limousine to make sample business cards. “The owner, James Ficcarra, of Richard James Limousine, was open to it. We took the car to a park, shot photos, and that was one of the first samples I had,” Messina says. Even though CAC has branched out to other niches like restaurants and entertainment—one of his clients is the famed Peter Luger’s Steak House in New York City—CAC’s business is still concentrated in the limousine and transportation-related industries and his list of clients reads like a who’s who: Reston Limousine, Partners Executive Transportation, Broadway Elite Chauffeured Services Worldwide, The Limousine Connection, Worldwide Transportation, Overland Limousine, and more. One of its first five clients, All Star Limousine Service in Lindenhurst, New York, is still a customer today, something that both owners are proud of.  “We work together on a daily basis,” says Messina of All Star owner Jim Powers. “It’s nice to see some of us have survived together.” Powers, who started his business in the basement of his parents’ home, now has a 40,000-square-foot facility and operates 106 vehicles. “Create-A-Card has been a tremendous asset to All Star,” says Powers. “He has helped us with a successful direct mail program that gets us a 3 to 4 percent return on investment. We have a strong business partnership and friendship.”

CAC may have started with just business cards, which is why Messina chose its name, but the moniker stuck even as the company evolved its offerings into various types of marketing collateral including brochures, meet-and-greet signs, website design, and today, all kinds of digital media. “We are really Create-A-Card and more,” says Messina. “The name and brand are extremely strong and it’s one of those things, if it’s not broken, don’t fix it.” CAC operates based on the same philosophy it recommends to its clients. Messina believes that one of the most common mistakes that companies make involves brand identity. “Some companies have two or three different names that they use depending on what market they are trying to reach,” Messina says. “People are confused by that. I tell my clients to establish a single brand—which includes a logo, colors, tag line, etc.—and stick with it over a long period of time to promote the company. A key component of marketing is consistency. People have to see you over and over and over again before they start to remember you, much less begin to trust you.” On the branding front, CAC recently worked with the company we now know as Broadway Elite Chauffeured Services Worldwide based in New Jersey. The product of a merger, Broadway Elite needed its name and brand to reflect its level of service as well as its connection to the industry’s biggest market: the New York metropolitan area. COO Jason Sharenow says, “Arthur and his team have been instrumental in everything Broadway Elite has done from business cards to brochures to lapel pins. They have done everything possible to help us move the company to the next level.”

A great deal of CAC’s business comes from referrals. When he has a new client, Messina needs to know what the market is. “Sometimes people want to be everything to everyone. I look at the type of vehicle, location, how far it is from the airport, things like that,” he says. “People will often tell me they want to do a corporate brochure. Then I ask them about their fleet and find out that they have 16 stretches and 2 Town Cars. Corporate business just isn’t the right market for them, especially since I know who their competitors are. I try to point them in a different direction, like focusing on retail with some airport business mixed in.” Messina says operators often have their blinders on because they are so busy with their businesses.

CAC clients can count on Messina’s honesty. “I have no problem telling it like it is,” he says. “It’s their business but I am going to tell them what will work based on my experience. My goal isn’t just to sell my customers a brochure—if they aren’t targeting a viable market, exploiting a competitive advantage, and aren’t taking advantage of all the marketing techniques that are available to them today, they are probably going to fail. If they fail, I lose a customer. I want each and every one of my clients to be successful, so they can always count on me to tell them the truth.”

Messina is thankful for the success both he and his customers have had in business. “I have learned over the years that there is a lot of trust between CAC and our clients. When we get testimonials, it reinforces the fact that we’re not the company that does your business cards and then says ‘See ya later.’ For me, personally and professionally, that is really important.”

Beyond their business relationships, Messina and his clients are truly friendly with each other. “Maintaining friendships beyond business is really key to succeeding,” he says. “I make it a point to see clients outside of work. Actually, I go out of my way to make it happen. When we are in the office, we’re always ‘on’ and 9 times out of 10 we’re distracted. I like to get away from the day-to-day and just relax and hang out.” He enjoys attending baseball games with Alex Pope of LSA Worldwide Chauffeured Transportation in Washington, DC, or golfing with Sergio Sanchez of Partners Executive Transportation and, well, eating with just about everyone. “The truth is,” says Messina, “I really like my customers. I have known some of them for years and we have a good time together, respect each other, and are all pretty driven—we work hard and play hard—you really can’t ask to meet a better group of people.”

You’ve most likely spotted Messina at your local association meeting or seen pictures of him at various industry events in the pages of Limousine Digest. To the unknowing observer, Messina would seem to spend little time working—but that is in fact the opposite of reality. According to his wife Kathy, Messina is always working somehow, even on vacation when his kids often tease him for picking up countless travel brochures in hotels and on cruise ships. “I have my eyes open for new things wherever I go,” he says. “There are only so many ways to say the same thing for the limousine industry, so I’m constantly looking for new ways to get the message out.” And yes, Kathy also confirms that Messina suffers from the dreaded disease “iPhone-itis.” She says, “He goes absolutely nowhere without it, and does not hesitate to use it, whether we are at one of the kids’ games, in a restaurant, at an airport—with Arthur, he always finds a way to mix business with pleasure.”

When he is in the office, a typical day means spending at least five hours on the phone with clients, strategizing, planning, and consulting. “It’s almost like therapy,” says Messina. “We talk things over and figure out the best way to get the message to customers.” The rest of the day is spent on overseeing CAC’s own marketing efforts, including website maintenance and managing a growing presence in social media. CAC not only has active accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, but the CAC weekly blog has become a popular marketing read for many of the company’s followers and an important tool in keeping CAC’s website ranking high on the search engines. “Social networking and blogs are creating a real business structure we can all use,” he says.

Messina has embraced this new method of marketing and is encouraging his clients to do the same. “Some of my clients don’t quite believe in it yet,” he says. “But those who have are already seeing that there is value in it—if done correctly.” Messina doesn’t see the purpose of having a Facebook page that lets his clients know he just had coffee, for instance. “I use Facebook strictly for business information. If I see something interesting in the industry, I’ll post a picture. On our CAC Facebook page, we post marketing tips every day encouraging people in the industry to look at their marketing plans and reminding them to update their website content. It’s all worthwhile information,” he says.

Despite his enthusiasm about social media and digital marketing efforts, Messina says print collateral should still be the foundation of every marketing program. “Print must still be the linchpin of every campaign,” he says. “First of all, business cards are no longer optional. If you don’t have a business card, you are not serious about being in business and no one is going to take you seriously. Your business card is the first—and sometimes only—impression that a prospect will have of you. What’s the impression you want to leave with that person? Cheap suit or high-quality operation? We make sure all of our client business cards deliver the high quality impression they want portrayed.” 

In his experience, Messina has seen several companies attempt the transition of printed collaterals, including newsletters, postcards, and brochures to completely digital formats. “Those who are going completely digital or moving everything online are realizing it’s just not working. Why? You have to deliver information to your prospects and customers in the format that they want to receive it in. Some of your customers want to read a paper newsletter or brochure. Other customers don’t care if they ever see another piece of paper again.” Messina doesn’t believe you should lose the opportunity to reach any customer or potential customer just because of your own personal preferences. 

No matter which method of marketing works best for your company, Messina urges clients and all general industry members not to stop marketing during a tough economy. “The first thing companies want to cut from a budget is marketing,” he says. “But don’t assume that your customers or prospects are going to remember who you are or all the services you offer once the economy rebounds. People don’t retain information for long. You need to make sure that your current clients and prospective customers are repeatedly informed on all of your services, no matter how bad the economy. Of course we understand needing to cut spending, but maybe you should start an e-mail newsletter or social networking program or enhance your website. You can’t stop marketing completely or else people will forget who you are and move to your competitors who are making positive noise.”

After spending his days helping limousine companies market their services, one might think it would be an easy transition for Messina to think of strategies for CAC. “At the end of the day, it’s actually harder for me to sit down and come up with ways to promote my business,” Messina says. “I have many of the same marketing issues that my customers have only I don’t have me to call,” he jokes. “But there are a couple of us, almost like a ‘20 group’ of suppliers, that get together and brainstorm or reach out to each other for help. Pat Charla, president of LEAP, is a good friend and one of the best marketing strategists I know. When I am stuck on a concept or even just a word, I’ll call Pat, we’ll knock around an idea and before you know it we’ve come up with a new ad, or headline, or whatever.” His industry relationships are, just like his customer relationships, a two-way street. “I am always happy to do whatever I can to help Arthur and his team at Create-A-Card not only because they are friends, but because I know that I can always depend on them to go above and beyond the call of duty for me as well,” says Charla. “My customers, (and I) like many people, tend to do things at the very last minute. Arthur has never not pulled out all the stops and delivered; and, delivered without whining or complaining.”

Messina may be the face of CAC, but it is not a one-man show for sure. He has a core team of staff that he knows he can—and more importantly, his clients—can trust. Marian Abrilz, VP of customer relations, has been with CAC for 13 years. “Marian is, in a word, indispensable,” Messina says. “She has worked incredibly hard over the years to build her own client base, and her success has been a great help to CAC.” Messina adds that the fact that so many clients feel so comfortable with Marian allows him to spend as much time on the road as he does meeting customers and developing new sales opportunities. “I am only one person. When I am on the road, I know that the people who call the office are going to get the correct information and feel comfortable with my team.”

Jolanta Bak joined CAC 4 years ago as its art director. Despite coming in as a student right out of college, Bak was a quick learner, according to Messina. “She is extremely talented and has become an industry specialist in a short period of time. She has great ideas and designs and it’s amazing that she is just 27,” he says. “Jolanta is much more than our art director today, she is our lead designer, and most of the logos, brochure designs, and rebranding efforts we present to clients are based on her concepts.”

CAC is also a family business. Messina says that his wife Kathy provides him with balance, advice, and plays a big part in planning the strategic direction of the company. Their oldest son, Andrew, just finished his master’s in mathematics at Hofstra University and while looking for a job as a teacher, he is pitching in at CAC. “He is always willing to do whatever he can to help, is great with customers, and really knows the business after working so many summers in the office,” says Messina. “I could easily see Drew running the business one day if he decided that it was something that he would be happy doing.”

CAC clients have nothing but nice things to say about the staff. Alex Pope, owner of LSA Corporate Car Worldwide Transportation, has been a CAC client since 2003. “The customer service from Arthur’s team couldn’t be better,” Pope says. “They are committed to the point where you almost feel like you’re the only customer.”

With a solid team at the CAC office, Messina admits that he spends a lot more time out in the field meeting clients than he did in previous years, but he feels that the face time with existing and potential clients is invaluable. In the last few months Messina has traveled to meetings of the Long Island Limousine Association (LILA), Limousine Associations of New Jersey (LANJ), New England Livery Association (NELA), Limousine Association of Houston (LAH), Dallas/Fort Worth Limousine Association (DFWLA), Virginia Limousine Association (VLA), and the National Limousine Association (NLA) board meeting. Why the heavy association involvement you wonder? “I feel that contributing my expertise to association members is my chance to give back,” Messina says. “The industry has been great to me and my family, allowing us to build a livelihood. I can tell associations what is going on in other markets and what is working.” CAC client or not, Messina wants to help the industry. He is an NLA vendor board member and the time he dedicates there is on a volunteer basis.

The information sharing doesn’t stop there. Messina was one of the first editorial contributors to Limousine Digest when it began. “We’ve been a supporter of Limo Digest since day one. It’s amazing to see how far we both have come,” says Messina. He is currently a regular contributor to the magazine writing articles about various marketing topics. In another showing of support for Limo Digest and its annual Show, Messina made a generous contribution to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, bidding on the cover of the magazine. “I thought it was a great way to help out the organization,” he says. “I was truly touched by the video shown at the event and it made me very thankful that I have been fortunate that my kids are healthy. It was time to pay-it forward and help out others in need.”

When he’s not focusing on CAC or its clients, Messina spends a lot of time with his family. Besides Andrew, Messina also has a son Ryan and a daughter Kristin. Ryan will be entering the University of Tampa this fall and Messina spent several weeks this summer watching him play college baseball, including participating in the National Amateur Baseball Federation (NABF) College World Series in ­Toledo, Ohio. Kristin is a sophomore in high school and Messina attends her volleyball games and track meets while trying to figure out how to deal with a teenage daughter. For himself, he prefers golfing. “I enjoy playing it whether it’s in an association tournament or for fun. It’s very relaxing and I do play with many of my clients. You’re always working even when you’re not.” And don’t forget Messina’s best friend his loyal King Charles Cavalier Spaniel “Rookie Rose” who is now 6 years old.

The Messinas will be celebrating a major milestone soon: Arthur and Kathy will be married 25 years in September. The two will be sailing on a 12-day Mediterranean cruise to celebrate. For Kathy’s sake, we hope he leaves the iPhone at home.  LD

Marrying Offline and Online Marketing for Maximum Results

Posted on October 5, 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.
Here are some tips on integrating your offline and online marketing efforts:

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.

Keep 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.

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.

Don’t 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.
Make sure that each piece of printed material  prominently displays your website address. Whenever possible, use special promotions to direct readers to your website for more details.

What you need to concentrate on achieving 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.

Social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter are invaluable for connections–make sure your website makes it easy for customers to connect with you on all the social networking sites.  Remember the easier it is to find you, the more inclined they are to spend their money with you.

Integrate a blog into your website and write (or have written) blogs articles. which will increase your visitor traffic to your website. 
Articles, press releases and comments on related stories can also be used to spread your message. Make sure to set up proper key words and develop concise Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategies to keep your business ranked high on services like Google.

Thinking of Going Green? Here Are Some Green Marketing Strategies…

Posted on September 10, 2010

Green Marketing gives your company a fresh perspective that many of today’s consumers have grown up to understand as necessary. Companies that are new to green marketing, admittedly, need some time to adjust their own perspective. They often question the process all the way up until they see their bottom line. What green marketing does is expand that bottom line by adding a couple of factors that government and society have deemed important for the businesses in which they deal with. Green marketing takes nothing away from traditional marketing. The 4Ps of traditional marketing are still recognized: product, price, placement, and promotion. However, the bottom line is expanded into what is called by some people, the triple bottom line: people, planet, and profit.

The hallmark of green marketing is having a green product. Low energy use is crucial in some form, whether it be how the final product or service directly benefits the consumer or how the product or service is made or delivered before reaching the consumer. In the transportation industry, for example, focus is on how the transport is tied to efficient, low-pollution fuels and the use of non-toxic materials. Green marketing turns these factors into benefits for the customer in the form of health, low costs, and compliance with state and federal law.

Pricing has always been considered the factor most determinate of profitability. Pricing, however, is not limited to sticker amount. Green marketing looks at other strategies beside the hard exchange. Pricing is looked at as a mutually beneficial relationship where both parties see results and rewards. Creative pricing can take into account identity, credibility, and ongoing service. Green cost accounting takes into consideration the true or full cost and the benefits reaped from ecological and environmental aspects of business. Formulas have been developed to translate the benefits into financial terms.

Green marketing takes advantage of virtual placement in addition to physical placement. Today’s economy is largely driven by the internet today. No longer does placement mean the location of a retail store or a shelf in that store. Modern placement takes the community and global marketing into consideration. By making service available to the community and expanding it to the nation or world, green marketing can expand profit without impacting the environment.

One of the biggest tenets of green marketing is in promotion. Green marketing supports open, two-way, communication with everyone the company deals with, excluding vital information to competitors, of course. Green marketing communication includes reporting to investors on performance and future opportunities, informing employees about the company’s role in the well-being of the community, educating customers on additional services or products provided, and showing prospective clients how the company can provide solutions to their problems. Communication doesn’t stop there. It also leaves space for feedback and response.

Summers Over…Jump Start Your Marketing this Fall!

Posted on September 2, 2010

In many communities, fall events such as Halloween parties and craft fairs are often put together; usually inside a building because of the changing weather. Consider sponsoring one of these events, should the opportunity present itself. During the course of the event, take a car from your large selection and park it in a place where people will see it. Let them sit inside and look around, but do not let them drive; doing this in a place full of people is not the most safe idea. Should somebody express interest give them a card with contact information so that they can reach you at a later time. Make sure that the building that the event is being held in allows cars to be parked inside, if it is even possible.

Ask somebody, either a member of the staff or a person with great experience, to film a video that you can put on a video sharing site like Youtube. With attention grabbing music playing in the final production of the video, give people a tour of the inside of the limo or other vehicle. Some visitors have probably never seen the inside of a limo, and may be so fascinated that they will want to learn more.

Give out free pumpkins or special fall themed gift bags to your already established customer base. By showing them that you appreciate their business, they are sure to want to stay with you. On top of that, they will want to tell their friends and family. Include items such as fall recipes, stickers for the younger members of the family, note pads, and so on. Be sure to include at least one item that bears your company logo. This will make it easier for people to remember your name.

Join a social networking site like Facebook and Twitter. Not only will you show people that you can keep up with the times, but you will be able to interact with them on an immediate basis. They will not have to email you or make a phone call in order to ask questions or file complaints. All they need to do is leave a comment, and you can get back to them. Accounts are not difficult to set up, and anyone can maintain it with a little practice. Should you run into any trouble, we can help you manage your brand, both online and offline.

Top Five Common Mistakes in Green Marketing

Posted on August 11, 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 10 tips in mind so you don’t lose business before it ever gets to your door.

Five Common Mistakes

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.

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