Keyword Domination – Niche Market Branding

The slinky, wacky-clackers and hoola-hoop were all words we’d never heard of before the mid 1950’s. But now everyone recognizes the genius behind those winning crazes.

Those words were created and became an ingenious craze that struck the nation and overtook the world, but… they could just as easily have been long tailed keywords that meant something and led folks to some incredible opportunity too.

Any concept can fill a niche market if there’s a need.

Long tail keywords offer niche domination with identifying brand labels. When your brand identifies what you do using keywords, your recognition factor on the search engines becomes instantly greater. A craze that takes off online can bring you to the top of the Search Engine with Page One Recognition.

A new idea, a concept, or a precept created with a specific product in mind erupts with power when a niche market is found. A niche market assumes a paradigm relevant to a specific group of people expanding to broaden and envelop a market of consumers. If the idea includes a catchy title, a coined phrase, keywords, or a specific dynamic the consumer can grasp and share easily, the niche market is born.

The creator of a specific niche becomes a recognized guru. His product becomes the talk of the planet and the Internet waves with delight as another successful business is born.

Can you imagine sweeping the Internet with a craze such as the Hoola Hoop?

Do you need some help creating a long tail keyword brand for your business?

How Sales, Marketeing, Branding & Digital Dysfunction Are Dragging You Down

Getting sales and marketing to talk to each other may feel like torture, but it has never been more critical – especially for the more than 5 million mid-market industrial and B2B companies in the U.S.

The digital age and a host of technology developments have exposed four major flaws in traditional B2B marketing practices:

• Lack of coordination between brand, sales/marketing and digital activities

• Dedication to sales at the expense of marketing

• The slowness of firms to focus their online voice

• Failure to recognize that the internet has changed the sales dynamic

B2B companies are struggling to leverage the internet to sell and grow. Unlike consumer product companies, they’ve been slow off the mark in the digital race due a traditional but flawed rationale that branding and digital communications can’t really help their ‘relationship’ style of selling.

What’s become glaringly obvious is that three core marketing functions – brand, sales/marketing and digital communications – don’t behave as if they have anything in common. Worse, they don’t work together to build equity, share of mind, customer loyalty, or sales for B2B enterprises.

The open secret always was that sales and marketing were never really very integrated. In some firms, they didn’t even like or talk to each other. Not to mention that in many B2B firms, ‘sales and marketing’ actually means ‘sales.’

But because the internet has made company ‘walls’ ever more transparent, there are few secrets. Employees complain, whistle blowers whistle, bloggers gossip, e-mails get forwarded, the news media investigates, and your customers actually know all about you – your product benefits and even your prices – before you ever hit their door. So what are you actually selling?

When a company’s brand, its sales force, and its digital activity aren’t in lockstep, customers notice. At best, customers scratch their heads at this lack of coordination; at worst and more commonly, firms are losing credibility, customer satisfaction and opportunity because they can’t get their act together.

In 2014, Forbes Insights published, Breaking Down Marketing Silos: The Key to Consistently Achieving Customer Satisfaction and Improving Your Bottom Line.

Forbes noted that the challenges with marketing silos mean:

1. Each silo may have its own brand vision, creating a disjointed experience and message for the customer.

2. Team incentives may motivate some team members to exploit and damage the brand in order to boost short-term sales.

3. Poorly integrated teams suffer from inadequate cooperation.

4. Silo interests stand in the way of programs that require scaling.

5. Key growth areas such as digital are not scaled because they are dispersed across silos.

6. Success in one silo is leveraged slowly into others, or not at all.

And not listed, but in the mix: Inconsistent customer experience across divisions and functions.

The good news is that with the right market data, the marketing function is uniquely positioned to lead the charge for integration in the name of better service to the customer. Forbes pointed out why marketing is primed for a leadership role in integration:

1. Marketing brings an outside point of view.

2. Marketing can articulate the unique truth of the company and what differentiates it within the marketplace.

3. Marketing can communicate the product and value-why products are relevant to customers in different ways, identifying segmentation in the market.

4. Marketing creates compelling stories for rallying employees and making an emotional connection with customers.

5. Marketing is a strategic seat at the table; there is no other department that can see such a company panorama and bring those perspectives together.

To overcome the silo issue, the report concludes by offering best practices for CMO’s:

1. Replace competition and isolation among silos with communication and cooperation.

2. Consolidate when necessary.

3. Act as a facilitator, establishing frameworks, encouraging collaboration through teams and knowledge hubs, and upgrading marketing talent.

4. Think like a consultant: create company-wide insights, train marketing talent and participate in strategy development.

5. Secure access to the C-suite. Teradata found that marketers with executive responsibilities are almost twice as likely as others to believe that there are no barriers to interdepartmental integration.

6. Force integration. In Teradata’s study, marketers say the best way for marketing to become more intertwined with other functions is to set up integrated processes.

For some firms, these are lofty marketing ideals. But there are practical steps smaller companies can take to force different thinking and action. But there are practical steps smaller companies can take to encourage different thinking and action. One is to use research and market data strategically – know the customer better than anyone else. A second step is to stop planning functionally and start planning via a ‘communications & experience canvass.’ What does the customer need to feel, see and hear? How do we ‘behave the brand?’ Who is responsible for delivering that? What are the methods for delivery?

In short, turn the silos sideways. With this framework, suddenly a lot more people see and serve their responsibility to serve the customer – including functions such as accounting, help desk, order fulfillment and e-commerce managers, and the c-suite.

Holidays Are a Great Time to Market Brand You

Mentioning “the holidays” to people in business usually garners cringes and wrinkled noses. Why? It seems that unless you’re a retail establishment, the holidays become a difficult time to do business. Either everyone’s caught up in holiday mode and not wanting to make any decisions until the start of the New Year, or they’re nearing the end of their fiscal year, and they don’t want to make any major financial decisions, or maybe they’re just too caught up in all the holiday happenings from office parties and other scheduled holiday gatherings to even be able to have room in their calendar to do or think about anything else!

If you’re prepared, this time of the year is where you can shine.

And the keyword in that statement is “preparation.”

First, know what makes you unique and what strengths you possess. Craft a list of five of those attributes that really describe you.

Second, have a quick answer for “What do you do?” It’s one of the most-asked questions at any gathering and the one least listened to. It’s more of a courtesy to ask than it is a true question. So your answer needs to focus on one of your unique strengths, not a title, and you’ll stand out. Titles tend to box us into whatever that other person’s experience is with that title, and we want to remove any barriers to connection especially those from preconceived perceptions. For me, I would say, “I connect people online and offline.” The second part of that answer is to ask a question, “So what do you do” or “What do you enjoy doing?” It is a good thing to be seen as a good conversationalist or communicator. People value people who value them. And the best way to do that is to listen. Ask questions and listen. If they do most of the talking and you do most of the listening, then you will be considered a good conversationalist, and they’ll even tell other people that you are!

Third, you need to develop a good answer to “What’s up” or “How have you been doing?” These are the second most-asked questions, and “winging it” usually leaves us saying something like “Been busy,” “Nothing much,” “Good,” or “Can’t complain.” Spending the time to prepare this answer can make the difference between you being like everyone else or you shining in your 15 seconds of fame! Think of something that you recently did or are doing that really highlights one of your brand attributes. For example, I would say “I just wrote an article for the Personal Branding Magazine teaching people how to make profitable connections at holiday gatherings. And what’s been happening with you?”

Being ready with a good answer that shines on your personal brand and then engaging someone in conversation with a question is a great start to be visible at any gathering. Visibility is the first step to inspiring others to speak positively about you and garnering positive word-of-mouth!