Blog RSS feed for this section

Five Holiday Marketing Ideas for Your Business (On a Budget)

Holiday marketing is vital for many businesses, but developing new ways to promote and advertise can be expensive and time consuming.  Here are five holiday marketing ideas for your business that are cost-effective, creative ways to boost business:

Tis’ the Season for Giving

Gift certificates are the backbone for many businesses during the holidays. Making sure gift cards/certificates are readily available can serve a host of shoppers who need to grab a gift fast!  Highlighting these certificates via your website and social media, as well as during in-store purchases, is a perfect way to boost holiday sales.  Getting involved in local charity events can be another great way to give back with face-to-face interaction.  Bringing a small gift or coupon voucher to distribute can help drive business while spreading the warm holiday spirit.  Share a calendar of events with your customers that updates them on what’s happening in your area, while letting them know which events you’ll be participating in!

Offer Great Savings!

There’s no better time to offer great deals to consumers than the holidays.  Whether you offer a
holidaysalediscounted deal through providers such as Groupon or Living Social, online promotions, or social media deals, consumers are much more likely to jump on exclusive, limited offers.  The fast-paced hustle and bustle of the season creates a sense of urgency to shoppers who are ready to take advantage of time sensitive bargains.  Promoting a limited ‘gift-with-purchase’ is a fun way to get into the holiday spirit as shoppers are often scrambling for extra little gift items.

Host a Holiday Party

Shoppers love to be invited to special events during the holidays. Start off the season by throwing an open house or holiday party. Whether you are a restaurant or a retail store, having an open house is a fun way to invite customers to stop by.  Encourage guests to bring a friend, consider serving a tasty holiday beverage, or offer a giveaway, contest or sale.  Create a warm and welcoming atmosphere and promote the event to customers in-store, via email and through social media.  Get creative and have fun with it – make it unique to your business!

Promote! Promote! Promote!

Most shoppers will go online for a large part of their shopping.  Running online promotions can be extremely effective during gift-giving season.  Advertise these hot promotions on social media before and during the season. This is the time to utilize each avenue of communication you have with your customers.  Offer in-store shoppers a promo-code that they can use online for specific products or services.  You may not need to offer a long list of deals and promotions.  Simply decide what is best for your business and share it via every avenue you have!

12 Days of Gifting

Take after the well-loved Christmas carol and create something special for each of the “12 days of Christmas.” This could mean a unique savings discount that customers can benefit from on each day of the week.  You could also offer a reduced-price item, available with limited purchase. Perhaps provide a unique service or voucher, or even a special giveaway, to the first 100 customers on an advertised day.

The team here at La Voz Marketing wishes you lots of success in your holiday marketing efforts this season.  If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us.  Happy Holidays!

The Importance of Showing Gratitude

thankyouWhen the overplayed holiday commercials sweep across every screen this time of year, are we reminded to be “thankful” and show gratitude to those around us?  More importantly, are we taking the time to do so? Thanking someone can be such a simple act, yet it is often forgotten in the business world.  Of course, when a successful business deal or proposal takes place, both parties will often thank one another. However, when a proposal is refused or when a situation is less than successful for all, a thank you can easily be forgotten. Acknowledging the work that has been delivered and the relationship that has been formed is a vital part of any interaction. Thanking someone for an opportunity can mean a great deal, and moreover it could translate into future business.

Why is this so important?

Most will agree that saying thank you is a very simple gesture that can go a long way. Making the effort to do this in our personal lives can be very influential as well. When people are recognized for their efforts and kindness, they are rewarded in a way that is heartfelt and unique. An article written by Robert A. Eckert, former CEO of Mattel, for the Harvard Business Review highlights his tips for showing thanks and the importance of showing gratitude. He felt that when he said thank you more often, the effects were obvious: people showed up to work aiming to do a good job. Eckert summarized his advice for showing gratitude (in the business world in particular) into five important points:

– Set aside time every week to acknowledge people’s good work.

– Hand-write thank-you notes whenever you can. The personal touch matters in the digital age.

– Punish in private; praise in public. Make the public praise timely and specific.

– Remember to cc: people’s supervisors. “Don’t tell me. Tell my boss.”

– Foster a culture of gratitude. It’s a game changer for sustainably better performance.

While thoughtful gestures are truly the reason of this season, many forget to stop their busy lives to genuinely show gratitude where it is due.  So to that point, on behalf of the team here La Voz Marketing, we would like to express our sincere appreciation to our loyal clients, our dedicated co-workers and for the opportunity to do what we love on a daily basis.  Thank you for your continued support!  Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday!

 

 

Waze – The Latest Mapping, Traffic and Navigation App

waze2Built specifically for the iPhone and iPad, Waze is a fun, community based mapping, traffic and navigation app.  It is designed in a way that allows users to connect with other drivers nearby to outsmart traffic, save time and money, and improve everyone’s daily commute. What makes this app unique from others is the collaboration aspect – it helps drivers avoid frustrating traffic or sneaky police traps and allows them to share new routes.

How does it work?  After typing in your destination address, you just drive with the app open on your phone and it passively contributes traffic and other road data. Drivers may also take a more active role by sharing road reports on accidents, police traps, or any other hazards along the way (helping to give other users in the area a ‘heads-up’ about what’s to come). In addition to the local communities of drivers using the app, Waze is also home to an active community of online map editors who ensure that the data in their areas is as up-to-date as possible.

The most recent version (3.7.6) has been released offering voice-based search for addresses and places in 45 different languages, as well as improved settings and enhanced support for iOS7. Being very user friendly, Waze seems to be making an impact in the GPS world by offering a more cohesive navigation system all together.

We are excited to see how this new app performs and grows in popularity!  Thanks to our good friend Julie at Waze for giving us the run-down.

 

Determining your Social Media Strategy – What Will Work for your Business?

socialmedia4Social Media is a part of everyday life. Utilizing it for your business can be extremely worthwhile; yet deciding which network can benefit your business or organization, and how to use it most effectively, can be daunting. It is important to choose carefully.

An article published by the International Association of Business Communication, (IABC), clearly lays out the four major social networks and how they are best used. These general guidelines are a great resource for businesses seeking ways to improve their online presence.

Facebook – Being the most widely used social network, Facebook is an ideal platform for most businesses. The main factor in how businesses leverage Facebook is content. A B2B company should focus on becoming a resource for both professionals in their field and current and prospective customers. This involves posting timely and useful articles that pertain to target markets and topics that will interest and engage employees within the targeted fields. Smaller, local companies and B2C companies can do well by posting coupons, new products, or tips for using their products on Facebook.

Twitter – The micro-blogging platform, that entails much more frequent posting, is usually a better resource for B2C and B2B companies that aren’t strictly local. Maintaining a company Twitter account requires assigning an employee (or group of employees, for larger organizations) to monitor what users are tweeting about the brand. Those responsible must also be actively answering questions, providing customer support, and sharing content and information about an organization’s products and services. The main objective is to continuously participate in discussions about one’s given industry.

LinkedIn – Primarily a personal networking tool, utilizing LinkedIn as a company is more about leveraging individual employee profiles than continuously working on your organization’s page. It is important to update the company’s profile and to have employees share company blog posts, new product or service announcements, and occasional articles relevant to the industry on their personal pages. Generally, employees should be left to manage their own LinkedIn accounts, while of course keeping in mind that they represent the company.

Pinterest – Pinterest, a photo-sharing network, has experienced explosive growth since its start. However, the sector of organizations that should have a Pinterest profile remains relatively small. As a general rule, e-commerce companies will benefit greatly from having a Pinterest profile and “pinning” their products onto separate but relevant boards. Many B2B companies and blogs find this strategy successful as well. The main goal is to find balance between pinning company products, while also being a creative inspiration to others.

At La Voz Marketing, Social Media is one of our specialties! Let us enable your company to authentically participate in the social conversation by developing a customized social media strategy for you and developing a meaningful, social relationship with your target audience.

 

OC Public Relations Society of America Receives 2013 Diversity Award

The Orange County Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) has been recognized for embodying and demonstrating key values in diversity with the 2013 Chapter Diversity Award.

OCPRSA_logoThe award, presented at the PRSA 2013 International Conference Diversity Mixer in Philadelphia, is given to individual PRSA Chapters that exhibit diversity and represent movement to the betterment of diversity. By recognizing efforts of the Chapter, the award also contributes to advancing diversity.

Contributing to the OC Chapter’s success was this years 9th Annual Diversity Forum, which took place this past September. The event was titled “Don’t Get Lost in Translation: How to Decipher Cultural and Generational Shifts” and acted as a development resource to educate both student and professional PR specialists regarding diversity initiatives and best practices.  The event was moderated by Los Angeles Times reporter Anh Do, known for her coverage of multicultural communities. Other speakers included executives and business leaders in their field who spoke of their involvement in the outreach of growing cultural diversity.

La Voz Marketing proudly congratulates its local chapter OCPRSA on this important recognition!  PRSA is the largest professional organization serving the U.S. public relations community. Their mission is to “advance the profession and the professional” by providing news and information, continuing education and networking opportunities.  At La Voz Marketing, we strongly believe in the business value of Public Relations, advocate for greater diversity among our fellow professionals, and support our clients in developing and executing diversity initiatives through our multicultural marketing expertise.

Apple Succeeds with ‘Backwards’ Bussiness Strategy

In a recent Mashable article, author Chris Taylor highlights how Apple succeeds using a unique business model to sell its products.

The iconic retail strategy, followed by most businesses in the 20th century, has been to ‘give away the razor handles and make money on the razor blades’.  The idea behind this is that you get consumers hooked on an affordable product (razor handles) and then make money on the essential accessories and add-ons (razor blades) to that product.  In 2001, Apple defied this business model with the launch of their groundbreaking iPod product.  Prior to the iPod, MP3 players resembled bulky, over sized compact disc players.  The iPod came with significantly less storage, a much higher price point (at $399), and yet consumers went crazy over them.  Two years following, Steve Jobs launched the Apple iTunes Store where songs were sold for 99 cents (a price that barely covered costs for each song sold).  People questioned the low price, to which Jobs responded: “The dirty little secret of all this is there’s no way to make money on these stores.” When asked why he would keep the price so low, when most of the profit goes back to the music company and the rest barely covers production costs, he replied: “Because we’re selling iPods.”

How is Apple taking this model to the next level?  At the iPad Air Launch event on Oct. 22, Apple announced that Mac OS X Mavericks and iWork would be Apple Unveils iPad Airfree.  This means that once consumers purchase their shiny new Apple product, the rest is free. All the coveted add-ons, apps, and now the OS itself, will be complementary with purchase.  Most business consulting management advises against such practice, predicting failure for companies who go against the well practiced “razor blade” business model.  However, Apple has proven itself unarguably successful in its unconventional strategy.  The next big question: how will Apple’s competitors compete?

 

Big-Name Brands Focus Marketing Efforts Toward Hispanic Consumers

As the Latino community grows and the demographic increases in spending power and population, big brands are targeting the community through redefined marketing efforts.

An article in USA TODAY Hispanic Living magazine, written by Michael D. Hernandez, highlights a key player in the Hispanic marketing world. Fred Diaz, who joined Nissan Automotive in April 2013 to lead the company’s day-to-day operations in the U.S., was pleased by the automaker’s budget devoted to Hispanic marketing.

“There was no need for me to do any arm-twisting or insisting that we needed to do more,” said Diaz, who had previously served as CEO of Chrysler’s Ram Truck division, and is credited with helping build the truck into a popular brand with Hispanic consumers.

Walmart and McDonald’s are among other brands following Nissan’s lead, stretching their budgets to reach the $1.2 trillion Hispanic consumer market. According to Advertising Age magazine, Hispanic media spending in the U.S. grew to $7.9 billion in 2012, a statistic that justifies Walmart’s strategy in setting out to double its multicultural marketing in hopes enhance outreach. According to research, these companies have the right idea; the Selig Center for Economic Growth reports that this demographic will account for about 11 percent of all purchasing power by 2017.

“It’s a pretty excmcdonalds13iting time, and the (Latino) community is coming into its own by embracing, like never before, these cultural elements such as music, food and novelas,” saids Jorge Plasencia, chairman and CEO of República ad agency in Miami. Audiences can expect to continue seeing more dual-language advertising campaigns in the media, as big-name brands focus marketing efforts toward Hispanic Consumers.

Here at La Voz we offer special expertise in the Latino market, providing unparalleled insight into reaching and positively impacting this community. Led by experienced bi-cultural and bilingual marketing professionals, we connect our clients with this diverse, dynamic and brand-loyal audience through innovative campaigns.

Social Media Marketing for Prescription Drug Companies

At a time when nearly every company can be found promoting their product or service on at least one social platform, there are a few industries that are cautiously engaging in this marketing practice due to a lack of precedent.  In particular, we would like to call attention to the pharmaceutical industry and its social media efforts over the past few years.  An informal survey of seven multinational pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies was recently conducted to gain insight into how these companies are utilizing social media.  The investigation and associated report, produced by Joy J. Liu and Kellie B. Combs of Ropes & Gray and published via Bloomberg BNA Insights, also brings to light some of the issues presented by these platforms in the absence of regulations or guidelines by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The FDA has issued marketing guidelines that broadly apply to all online mediums; however they were written and published at a time when companies had much less direct contact to users and potential users of their product.  Also, these regulations are not social media specific.  The social media environment allows companies to intimately interact with consumers like never before. Likewise, consumers have unparalleled access to information via other users or the actual manufacturers.  Prescription drug and biomedical companies are left to address issues presented by social media marketing – such as monitoring and correcting content posted on their pages – on their own.  The industry has long awaited the arrival of guidelines, which were first formally discussed by representatives in the field in 1996. The matters discussed at that time included communication of product information on websites, chat rooms and other news groups. Since then, however, technology platforms have increased in quantity and provide more exposure, leaving many aspects of modern-day social media still untouched.

SocialMediaAs evidenced in the report’s interviews, Facebook emerged as the most extensively used social media tool by all seven companies.  Each company’s Facebook presence was established prior to an important change that Facebook made to its policy in 2011. Before this change, companies could prohibit users from commenting on their company page. This practice was dubbed as “whitelisting,” and offered a much more low-risk option for social media management.  Since the elimination of this setting, such companies have decreased their Facebook use due to the need for increased monitoring. Also, many companies claimed that the volume of work required to properly maintain and manage their Facebook pages was not worth it (as it relates to revenue).

The use of Twitter was found to be inefficient for many companies due to the 140-character limitation on each post. Twitter accounts also require correction about product information, which creates an endless labor of online monitoring for the companies.  Other social media platforms, such as YouTube, Pinterest, SlideShare and Tumblr, are also employed by some companies and must be monitored on a case-by-case basis using best practices as they see fit.

Overall, Ropes & Gray’s report found that there is a general sense of hesitancy towards engaging in social media marketing and that advocates within the companies are tasked with presenting a strong strategy and related return on investment that must be approved before launch.

For more information on strategic ways to leverage social media within this specialized sector, contact La Voz marketing.  We can recommend useful and risk-adverse ways to build an influential online presence and drive revenue back to your company.

Decline of Women in the Workforce Detrimental to Businesses

womenCEONot only are the majority of educational degrees in the U.S. earned by women, they are considered the most promising assets entering the workforce, according to a recent article by James daSilva of Switch & Shift, a company that focuses on the human side of business.

According to daSilva, “One could argue that women have been and will be a majority of the best.”  While this is seen throughout the business world, statistics still show that an alarmingly low percentage of women will rise to executive level positions.  This will become a serious problem over time, if this tendency continues. I s there hope?  The answer is yes.  The primary strategy to bring about change is to bring awareness to the key target audience: skeptical executives.  In order to change the direction of this trend and sustain it, solid, strategic efforts must begin with today’s youth.  By educating young people on the opportunities that “working life” presents, a new perspective will develop for the next generation.  Mentorship programs, that offer sponsorship to those who have the potential to make a difference, can open up new possibilities and will combat preconceived notions against women (and others) in the working world.

Patti Johnson explains what the potential long-term effects will be on businesses if they do not take action, and why this issue should not be taken lightly.  The decline of women in the workforce is a concerning issue; she states that one frustrating aspect is that this knowledge is not new.  The research she refers to is more than a year old and not exactly shocking.  General awareness has grown to the point where companies or executives must at least make half-hearted attempts at bringing women into executive ranks rather than ignoring or belittling the problem.  Actually turning said awareness into tangible change is proving to be difficult.

La Voz Marketing is proud to have female executives leading the organization and tackling all facets of the business, from client relations and marketing strategy to corporate planning and business development.

Iconic American Companies Founded By Immigrants

While U.S. lawmakers argue over the economic effects of immigration on the country, they should consider that many of America’s most well-known and profitable companies were founded by people born elsewhere.

attIn fact, according to the ‘Partnership For A New American Economy’, immigrant-founded Fortune 500 companies employed  3.6 million workers around the world in 2011 and were responsible for more than $1.7 trillion in revenues in 2010.  A 2012 report also found that immigrants as a whole are more than twice as likely to start a business as someone born in America. With that comes job creation: as of 2011, immigrant-run businesses employed one in 10 American workers.

A recent article published on huffingtonpost.com pointed out several iconic American companies founded by immigrants:

  1. Google – Country Of Origin: Russia
  2. AT&T – Country Of Origin: Scotland
  3. Goldman Sachs – Country Of Origin: Germany
  4. eBay – Country Of Origin: France
  5. RadioShack – Country Of Origin: England
  6. Kohl’s – Country Of Origin: Poland
  7. Comcast – Country Of Origin: Germany
  8. Big Lots! – Country Of Origin: Russia
  9. Yahoo! – Country Of Origin: Taiwan
  10. Nordstrom – Country Of Origin: Sweden
  11. Colgate – Country Of Origin: England
  12. Sara Lee – Country Of Origin: Canada
  13. Dupont – Country Of Origin: France
  14. Kraft Foods – Country Of Origin: Canada
  15. Pfizer – Country Of Origin: Germany
  16. Procter & Gamble – Countries Of Origin: England, Ireland