What is a Marketing Audit

A marketing audit is a comprehensive review of a company’s marketing including its goals, objectives and strategies.

The goal of a marketing audit is to see what’s working, what isn’t and to find out what is missing. We evaluate the performance of your existing marketing and find out what your business wants out of its marketing strategy so we can determine a plan of action. We help you understand your marketing strengths and weaknesses, so you can make solid decisions about where to put your resources in the future. A marketing audit should be performed by someone outside of your company. They will be able to look at your marketing objectively and provide inside from a different prospective.

Reasons to Have a Marketing Audit 

1.  Make Sure Your Marketing Aligns With Your Goals

Like a business plan, your marketing plan needs to change to stay current with your changing needs. You should perform a marketing audit every few years to make sure your marketing is staying in line with the goals you set and to make any necessary adjustments.

2. To See What is Working, What is Not Working and What is Missing

Looking at all of your marketing will allow you to see what is working, how you can adjust what is not working and once you know what is missing, you can add that to your marketing arsenal.

3. Get Insight Into Your Competition 

A marketing audit will look the current market, your target market and your competition. Looking into your competition will give you the opportunity to see how you compare. This insight can help you level the playing field or rise above.

4.  New Strategies and Ideas

Once your weakness are identified, you can find new ways to achieve your goals and make your marketing budget go further. You will look at your products or services to see how they solve your customers challenges and what makes you different from your competitors. You may also find new ideas to from something your competition is doing that you can change and make your own.

5. Saves you Time and Money

You may find you were wasting money on marketing that was not producing results. The audit will help refocus to make sure you are spending your marketing dollars on things that provide  a return on your investment.

Remember, if you need help…we do that! We would be happy to help you grow your business!

Etiquette For Online Meetings

You may think this is not marketing, but it absolutely is part of your marketing, your branding and your reputation. Everything you do or say in a business situation reflects on your company. A video meeting is a business meeting!

We all know how to behave and be professional in meetings, but with people working from home and attending video meetings everything is different. Do you know how to behave or what is expected of you in this situation?

Here are 5 things you need to know:

1. Look Good. Yes, you are working from home so you don’t need to wear a suit, but you should at least wear business casual (at least your shirt). No one will see what you have on from the waist down (unless you stand up!), but they will see you from the waist up. Dress appropriately. Comb your hair and put on your makeup (if you usually wear makeup). Try to look like you would normally look in a business situation.

2. Your background. Before you start the video, look behind you to see what the person on the other side of the camera will see. You may be working from home or at your dining room table, but try to make what they can see presentable. Make sure there are no stacks of mess behind you (just move them for the meeting – you can put them back after it is over!) Make sure there is nothing offensive showing, check the lighting. We are all in the same position with working from home, but try to keep the kids out of the room and the dog quiet when you are on a video call. If your child runs across the room or the dog starts barking, there is nothing you can do about it. If it happens…it happens, people understand, they are in the same position, but try to control it if you can.

3. Camera or no camera. That is the question! The general rule is, if the other person or people have their camera on, yours should be on too. If it isn’t, instead of listening to you people may be thinking there is something you are hiding- they don’t pay as close of attention when they can’t see who they are talking or listening to. Make sure you look directly into the camera lens, it is like looking them in the eye. It shows you are paying attention to what they are saying and that you care.

4. Schedule. If you are hosting the meeting, have a schedule and keep to the timeframe. Remember always be respectful of other people’s time, but especially in times like this when people are trying to juggle so many things at once. If you are not the host, try not to go off the topic – it can make the meeting run long which may interfere with other meetings scheduled. You can’t “sneak out” of a video meeting that is running long when you have another meeting scheduled!

5. Mic and Camera. This is the most important rule to follow! Remember that the mic and camera are on. Be very careful of what you say and do! If you need to say or do something that you don’t want everyone else to hear or see, turn off your mic and camera – then remember to turn it back on for the remainder of the meeting. When the meeting is over – remember to TURN OFF THE CAMERA.

To recap, If you wouldn’t do it or wear it in a face to face meeting, you shouldn’t do it or wear it in an online meeting!

What Color Do You Need?

If you are designing a file or getting ready to send your artwork to be printed, you should understand the basic definitions of the colors being used and what the differences are. There are 4 basic color types: CMYK, RGB, PMS and HEX.

CMYK is also know as Full Color, Four Color, Four Color Process and Process Color. CMYK refers to the four inks used in printing full color… Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black.  

Each process color is comprised of percentages of cyan, magenta, yellow, and black inks that are printed in transparent dots of ink that blend together to make a color. CMYK printing will produce high quality results, but there is a chance of color variation across different printers and in different print runs. CMYK are the colors used when you send a file to your desktop printer or when you send a file to a printing company to be printed. CMYK cannot be used on a screen or online.

The best file formats for CMYK colors are: PDF, AI, EPS, orTIF; but a JPEG file can also be CMYK.

The RGB color model is an “additive color model” in which red, green, and blue light are added together in various ways to reproduce a broad array of colors.

RGB colors work great on websites and on-screen, but it is not a good choice for printing. RGB colors should be used for website logos or graphic images, social media, video, photographs online, apps, etc. You will notice that RGB colors appear more vibrant than CMYK colors because they are illuminated on a screen and the screen provides a larger range of color.

The best file formats for RGB colors are: JPEG, PNG and GIF.

A spot color is a special premixed ink that is used instead of, or in addition to, process inks (CMYK).

Spot colors are solid colors of ink. A spot color requires its own printing plate on a printing press which adds to the cost of the printing job. You would use spot color when color accuracy is critical. There are several spot color systems to choose from, but the most widely used is the Pantone Matching System (PMS).

Pantone Matching System (PMS) is a printing industry color matching system used to print spot colors – also called Pantone colors.

Pantone uses 18 base colors to create a range of Pantone colors. The swatches are indicated by a three- or four-digit number followed by the letter C or U. (example PMS 320C) The C stands for Coated and the U for Uncoated and refers to the finish of the paper it is being printed on. Coated are used for printing on glossy surfaces and Uncoated for printing on matte surfaces like letterhead. When you print on a coated surface it adds a sheen to the ink and the uncoated inks are not as vibrant. If you look at the same PMS number in coated and uncoated, there is a noticeable difference.

Hex Colors are Hexadecimal numbers are used on web pages to set colors.

Hex colors are a mix of red, green and blue (RGB) with some conversions. The color is shown by the number sign (#) followed by six letters, numbers or a combination (ex. #66ccc). Hex colors are only used on web pages and should not be used in designing for print.

Most likely, you will never need to use hex color codes, but, you can find free conversion tools online if you need to convert RGB files to HEX by searching, “RGB to HEX” .