brand

How to Fight it & Flourish

As spooky season approaches and Halloween is around the corner, we’re thinking a lot about our biggest fears. But today we’re not talking about ghosts or goblins or even Michael Myers. We’re talking about one of the scariest things of all to any workplace…complacency.

“Complacency is man’s biggest weakness. It creeps up on us when we least expect it.” – Jay Mullings

Even if you think your company isn’t anywhere near complacency, there’s still always room to evaluate and grow. And, you may be surprised by what’s lurking behind the door of contentment. Complacency is not only bad for your company, but good for your competition, which we’d assume will give you a bit of a fright. If employees aren’t challenged to improve, things are the way they are because it’s the “way they’ve always been”, and the company isn’t growing, it’s definitely affecting your revenue. But don’t worry – it’s never too late to change. In this blog, we’ll take a look at the best ways to avoid company complacency and ensure you’re periodically updating and enhancing your culture, practices, and marketing.

Complacency’s Cause

Complacency can sneak up on any company without warning, shielding it from growth and stifling creativity and innovation. Why? Because if companies are seemingly doing “fine” and meeting their goals on paper, they feel no “need” or urgency to change. That’s where the biggest mistake is made, because companies should always be looking to evolve and thinking about their vision for the future. If not, ideas become stale, talent becomes bored, and eventually, the company comes to a jarring halt without any clue of how they got there.

When everything seems to be going well, it can be difficult to disrupt successes. And it may feel like the right decision to let processes and practices take their course rather than think about next steps and development, but often “the riskiest thing we can do is just maintain the status quo.” Without urgency and consistency for change, employee performance shifts and can even decline. Statistics show that only 30% of employees in America are actually engaged in their work, and only 13% of employees worldwide are engaged in their office environment. With such low numbers already, it’s so important to keep employees excited, energized, and motivated for what they’re doing and what’s to come.

Combatting Complacency

With complacency being a bigger, scarier possibility than you may have assumed, it’s important to keep it top of mind and to make sure you’re doing your best to combat it. Start with communication of your company’s mission, vision, and values. Make sure they’re clear, known, and maybe most importantly – accurate and true. Know who you are. If you do – your employees will too, and in turn they’ll feel more connected with and motivated by your workplace. Allow employees to see their contributions to the bigger mission, and their worth as an asset to the overarching vision.

After all, having a good (and growing) company culture is key to combatting complacency and ensuring workplace satisfaction. How do you improve your culture? Many ways, but the most effective tools are company newsletters, employee highlights, group meetings, and employee appreciation. Again – make your employees feel valued, and they’ll more likely provide value.

Additionally, make sure team members feel important and part of the greater whole. Encourage managers and team members to communicate within their individual teams, and make sure responsibilities are delegated and well distributed. Employees are more likely to become bored when they’re doing the same tasks over and over, so give them room to be creative and explore new opportunities. You never know who may have the next best idea.

Lastly, be prepared for whatever may come your company’s way, and never be too afraid to challenge the status quo. If we’ve learned anything these past two years, it’s that anything can happen, and that the saying “it won’t happen to us” is just not realistic. It’s important to listen to the ideas of your employees and always be prepared for what’s to come with an open communication structure. Make sure you have multiple decision makers, not just one, and that employees feel comfortable enough to make some decisions without “permission” from a leader. Training your employees to make decisions on their own will be a key factor in combatting complacency.

Refreshing Without Fear

Almost as important as your workplace and its people is your brand and marketing. Without change and evolution, your marketing can quickly become out-of-date right under your nose (causing your employees to lack company pride and your audience to lose interest). But how do you know when it’s the right time to update your brand and marketing?

A sure sign (these days) of lack luster marketing is an absence of social platforms. Some would even say if you’re not online, you might as well not exist. And although we think that sounds a little spooky, we’ll admit that it holds some truth. If you’re hard to find and not posting relevant content and imagery, target customers may be choosing your competitors (who are more accessible and approachable) over you.

Also important to your brand and its relevance is your website. In this day and age, it’s very easy to tell when a website has been left alone so long that it’s developing cob-webs. If you’re finding that your website traffic is down and your customers aren’t interacting with it, it’s time for an upgrade. But, before any big changes, compile data and make purposeful decisions. What is your audience looking for? What do they respond well too? How can you quickly and easily get them to have interest in your company and purchase goods?

Additionally, make sure you keep your advertising and customer communication – whether digital or physical – energized and creative. Combine direct and digital marketing to reach specific audiences and keep your brand top of mind. Don’t settle for just one medium that “seems to be working” if multiple channels of communication could bring you more success.

Lastly, avoid complacency by focusing on helping the customer rather than selling to them. While the overall goal of most companies is to generate sales, it’s essential you show your customers that you care about their pain points and needs. To see all of these tactics in action, check out our recent blog on how to create successful marketing campaigns.

Company complacency can sneak up on you like a ghost in the night and lead to missed opportunities, poor customer service, and disengaged employees. Stay aware of the possibility of contentment and make sure you’re always exploring, evolving, and rising above the rest. Change is inevitable, but complacency doesn’t have to be.

For more information on what we do at Strata and how we can help you fight complacency with one of our marketing solutions, contact us today.

A Strata YouTube Channel Original

Choosing the right multichannel campaign mediums can be difficult if you don’t have a good starting foundation and the right tools. That’s why, in our most recent YouTube video, we walk you through the key things to keep in mind when making this decision, and how to pick channels that best fit your company’s marketing needs.

Evaluate Your Brand & Customers, First

Before you even look at where your audience is and what they want, look at your own brand, brand voice, offerings, and then your target audience. Once you have these nailed down, then you can think about your customers – because if you understand your customers, you can understand where it’s best to communicate with them. Get to know your customers on a deeper level through data and tracking so you can develop personas and demographics, and fully recognize their pain points, wants, and needs. Test and measure tactics, update and reaudit your customer experience, ask for customer feedback – whatever you need to do to truly know your audience and therefore get the most out of your multichannel campaign. After all, 86% of customers are willing to pay up to 25% more for products and services just to have a better customer experience. Once you know your audience, then, and only then, can you figure out exactly where to meet them on their multichannel journey.

If you want to know what comes next in choosing the right mediums of communication for your multichannel marketing campaign, click on the video below and hear more from our Marketing and Social Media Coordinator Bridget. Or, if you’d like to discuss this concept with one of our multichannel experts, contact us today to get your next (or maybe even your first) multichannel campaign started.

How to Attract Your Audience

Video ads aren’t anything new, but keeping up with the rise of their increasing online presence is. Most of us don’t even realize how often we come across video ads. With so many different apps and sites, it’s important to get your company’s video ads out there, in the right places, and noticed. The key is to look beyond traditional practices and dig deeper into the variety of different ways and places you can utilize them. Follow along as we take you through best practices for video ads.

Rise of Video

With the rise of social media and its many marketing uses; video advertisements have been more popular than ever before. So popular that, in the past 30 days, more video content has been uploaded than video created by major U.S. television networks in the past 30 years. Moreover, it’s estimated that the average person currently spends 100 minutes every day watching online videos. This is a 19% increase compared to daily viewing minutes in 2019, which stood at 84. What all of this means is that it’s not just that people are watching more video than ever before, but that competition for this space is on the rise. Stay on top of new trends and ways to engage your audience over your competitors with our five tips and tricks, below.

1. Choose the Right Video & Placement

The right video placement can be the determining factor for your video advertising success. Before anything else, make sure your company has a clear idea of where you want these ads to be – and where they’ll best meet your potential customers. Here are four highly successful video ad placements to keep in mind as you’re getting started.

Skippable in-Stream Ads: Skippable, in-stream ads play before, during, or after other videos. After five seconds, the viewer has the option to skip the ad.

Non-Skippable in-Stream Ads: Non-skippable in-stream ads are 15 seconds (or shorter) and play before, during, or after other videos. Viewers don’t have the option to skip the ad. 

Native Video Ads: This video ad format blends in with the website’s layout for a seamless interaction.

In-Banner Video Ads: In-banner video ads are videos built inside a banner ads.

Knowing these four placements can allow for your brand and message to be properly delivered the way you’d like it to be within your diverse video ads.

2. Captivate

When we say captivate, we mean make a good first impression. It’s best to keep your videos around 15-60 seconds, because most of your audience may drop off if your ad drags on too long. The message may begin to get drawn out and blurry, causing the viewer to forget it. Short and sweet is the rule of thumb, and grabbing their attention in those first 3-5 seconds is key. You really don’t have much time before the viewer may click “skip ad” or exit out completely. Keep users engaged by using upbeat music, compelling questions, humor and more, based on your brand voice. Once you have your general ad idea ready, figure out the best place to position the ad. 79% of the people say a video ad has convinced them to buy a product or software – so make sure its length and creative makes it memorable. Not sure where to start? Take a look at one of our personal video ads below for inspiration.

3. Personalize

Online video ads tend to differ heavily from traditional television ads. This is primarily due to the personalization of online ads. Using personalization tactics can give you an impactful advantage over your competitors, so take advantage of this and research and study your customer demographics to better understand their behavior and buying patterns to properly place your ads in the right places. For example, if one of your demographic audiences viewed your services and clicked through the contact us page, but didn’t submit any information, you can infer that they got the chance and had the time to go through your website (showing some interest) and look over your services, but weren’t ready to take any next steps. In this case, a video ad with personalization could be used to help them progress, reading something like, “Learn more and get in contact with xyz to see how x company can help you with…” This way, you’re serving as an outlet and solution to their unanswered questions, and gently pushing them make that next step, instead of placing an ad for them to see that doesn’t apply to their current situation. The same goes for the placement of the video ad. If you find that the majority of your audience is viewing your content on Facebook or Instagram, place an ad within these platforms. Similarly, if you’re communicating a lot through email with potential customers, place a video ad in an email. An initial email with a video ad can receive an increased click-through rate of 96%. And, using the word “video” in your email’s subject line can increase open rates by 19%, click through rates by 65%, and cut the number of unsubscribes by 26%.

4. Make it Relevant

Make sure your ads are relevant. Don’t just interrupt your viewer in the middle of their browsing or shopping – add value to their day. Make them do a double take when scrolling to keep your company top of mind for your high performing audiences. The best way to do this is by empathizing with their needs and pain points, especially right off the bat (like we said, in that first 3-5 second). It’s helpful to create different or slightly different versions of the same video ad to ensure they fit seamlessly into whatever page they are placed on.

5. Represent Your Brand

Be sure, possibly above anything else, that each video is a good representation of your brand. Add a logo into the corner of the ad, or place it strategically within the video on certain frames. 3X more people are engaged with an ad when a brand name and message is presented in the first 10 seconds. Also be sure to include a clear & concise call to action (CTA), and use ad copy space to provide additional information about your product or service that didn’t make it into the video. You can even try adding a short teaser phrase or question to the video that compels people to view longer or check out your website, blog, landing page, or other platforms.

Reach Your Target Audience

Lastly, partner with advertising creatives to get your video ads done efficiently and in a timely manner. Having captivating, personalized, relevant information that’s positioned correctly will ultimately put your company in the best position possible to reach your target audience. If you’re looking to learn more about video ads, feel free to contact our skilled creative marketing team, here.

From Tagline to Talk

Although Strata doesn’t specifically create and implement branding services, we work with and use brand standards to create marketing materials day in and day out. We’ve seen great (and not so great) brands, and know what makes a brand stand out among competitors. Branding isn’t just a buzz word – it’s important no matter how big or small your company. It isn’t simply a logo and consistent colors – although it is these things. It’s also the way you make your customers feel, the experiences you provide, and the language you use to describe your products and services. Whether it’s known or faintly and unknowingly distinct, you have a brand and an image you’re putting out there…but is it purposeful? And is it the right one? We’re bringing you some best practices to make sure your brand truly matches the product or service you offer.

What is Branding?

Today, in a vast plethora of options to choose from no matter what industry, using tools to distinguish your business, from your logo to your services, is more important than ever. A brand is what helps you set your company apart from other businesses. It’s “a feature or set of features that distinguish one organization from another…typically comprised of a name, tagline, logo or symbol, design, brand voice, and more.” But it isn’t just the visuals. It’s the feeling and experience the customer gets from interacting with your business, whether that’s in person, on the phone, on social media, on your website, or somewhere else. Branding, as an action, is setting up these features, from tagline to talk. It involves understanding your product, why customers love it, and catering to those current and future customers with a distinct and memorable experience. “It’s what transforms first-time buyers into lifetime customers and turns an indifferent audience into brand evangelists.”

Why is Branding so Important?

Even if you don’t think you do, you definitely have a brand. Maybe your customers say “I love that company. Every time I call their customer service is kind, and their products make me feel great. I also love their cute and simple logo. I’d definitely buy a t-shirt.” There’s your brand right there. Your customers perceive these brand elements, have reactions to them, and choose to give you additional business. Yet, the smallest of hiccups can ruin a brand. A few wrong moves or interactions with unpleasant employees can cause your business to be looked at a lot differently, and can change the experience for everyone. It’s important to know, understand, and nurture this brand to continue to grow – and not lose – your customer base. Branding can help you “establish the ways in which you’re different, special, and unique. And it shows your customers why they should work with you instead of your competitors.”

Visuals are of course just as important as feelings. Especially now, in 2021, brands are urged to reach further in their experimentation and uniqueness, creating eye-catching logos, websites, social media imagery, and merch. More and more, companies are expected to be “instagrammable” in their image. Kids, teens, and even adults are intrigued by the idea of getting a good photo for their social accounts. Not every store or business has to attempt this atmosphere, but there should still be some thought behind who you want to be and how you want to be seen.

Simply put, branding gives your company an identity, makes it memorable, helps you create and solidify marketing, and gives your employees and fans something to talk about and be proud of. It can increase the value of your company to give you more leverage in the industry, and thoroughly establishes trust (for partner brands and customers alike). Basically, you’ll look a lot more professional if your brand isn’t just an accident, but is planned, deliberate, and easily recognizable.

Does Your Brand Match Your Product/Service?

Now that you know its importance, take a minute to think about your brand. Does it match who your company is, your products and/or services, and the feeling you hope your customers get when they interact with your business? Does it portray the taste, the look, the feel, the scent, the sounds of whatever you sell? If your answer is “no” or even “I’m not sure,” it may be time to dig a bit deeper into what exactly you’re putting out there for the world to see, digest, and associate with your company.

Maybe you’d describe your company as traditional and authentic. The original idea for your product dates back to the mid 1900s. Don’t hesitate to promote and communicate this in the imagery and messaging of your marketing materials. Maybe use a traditional typeface, a nostalgia-inspired logo, and incorporate some authentic, vintage music into your videos. Oppositely, maybe you’d classify your company as new-age, experimental, unique, trendy, and fun. Use modern branding styles, popular music, and distinctive, trendy content to further create a stylish and hip experience that matches your product.

Psychologically, humans don’t like to think too hard. They like when things are easy to decide on, and when they make sense. Make their decision easy by providing great customer service with a great product or service. Combine multiple unified brand elements so their brain can relax and enjoy the environment. Humans are also terrified of missing out (hello FOMO) – so create a branded experience that’s too good to pass up (aka, inspires FOMO). Make sure your business has a distinguishing look and feel that makes customers (or even potential employees) want to talk about it and brag about it – whether by word of mouth or through a hashtag.

Before starting your next campaign, use this knowledge to think just a bit deeper into your products or services and the story you’re sharing with the world. Make sure your company’s identity is not only one that you’re proud of, but one that exemplifies your offerings and differentiation from competitors. If you’re looking to improve the reach of your brand, contact Strata today to set up an on-brand campaign that utilizes crafted messaging that will help capture and inspire new and returning customers.

Why We Decided to Refresh Our Brand

Over the last three decades, we’ve done a lot of amazing things for a lot of amazing clients. We’ve pioneered automated direct mailing processes, built custom correspondence management portals supplementing complex workflows, and we’ve moved mountains to ensure our customers could stay focused on what they do best. In Strata lingo: we’ve Made Smart Happen.

In fact, our services and solutions have evolved to the point where we felt they were being constrained by the visuals of our existing brand. As experts in removing roadblocks and bottlenecks, we recognized that this meant we needed to make a change. Think of it as a makeover, if you will. And yes, we know they say, “it’s what’s on the inside that matters,” but first impressions are lasting impressions and it never hurts to have a pretty, shiny exterior to match the high-caliber engine on the interior. 

So, we saw a huge opportunity to show the world (not just our clients) our true colors. We’re marketing enthusiasts dedicated to innovation, collaboration, and top-notch service – we just needed our branding to confirm that. 

To Rebrand or Refresh – That is the Question

If you’ve ever worked on a branding project before, then you know the first question that needs to be answered is, “do we rebrand or refresh?” A complete rebrand requires scrapping your current identify and starting with a fresh slate, where a refresh allows you to keep your main identity and strategy intact.

The answer for us wasn’t hard to find – our brand was strong with our current clients and we had a great reputation as problem solvers and solutions experts – so a refresh it was! I mean, just like you wouldn’t build a new house to change the color of a room, we didn’t need to start from the ground up to create a brand that mirrored our vision, our team, and our solutions.

Ready, Set, Go!

Fast forward to January 2020 and we’re in go mode. Ideas were flying, brainstorming was brewing, and I’ll be honest, it was a good couple week of chaos. Even as a group of marketing professionals, I don’t think any of us truly recognized the complexity and number of brains it would take to refresh our brand. In the end however, the initial chaos was beautifully orchestrated and the seeds of our new brand began to sprout.

True to the saying, the first step (the discovery phase) was definitely the hardest. It made us take a deep look at who we were so we could identify each conflicting detail between who we were at our core vs. who we were on paper. It involved a lot of long, honest conversations – but they’re conversations that needed to happen. 

Then came the fun stuff. After breaking down our brand into a million essential pieces, we finally started to put it all back together and our new brand started to emerge. Our voice, values, mission, logo and brand standards all began to meld together and tell a single, cohesive story that was both accurate and elegant. 

To Infinity, and Beyond

As you can tell, we’re pretty pumped about this new brand and it’s hard for us to picture ourselves any other way – it finally feels like were walking in the perfect pair of shoes.

The best part is, our new brand doesn’t really feel new to any of us. In fact, it’s exactly who we’ve always been – sleek, bold, and always moving forward. Although we don’t know exactly know where the future will take us, we know that we have the vision, mindset, solutions, and *now* the brand to mirror it all. 

So, I pose this question to you – what do you think of our new brand? We hope you feel the same as us and that you’re ready to Make Smart Happen and #StrideWithStrata.

Four Strategies for B2B Marketers to Consider

In our last post, we visited some of the ways COVID-19 has impacted marketing and which advertising channels are producing results in our strange new world (and which aren’t). 

We touched on some pretty simple concepts — customers are looking for greater value in their purchase, marketers need to lean into digital and direct mail in their omnichannel strategy, and COVID-19 is weird, but not the end of the world.

So how do we continue to get through it?

Here are four specific strategies B2B businesses can use to adapt in the current COVID climate.

1: Don’t Fade Away

Knee-jerk reactions are never good, particularly in the business world, and completely halting the presses may damage your brand visibility down the line.

If you need to take a break from promotional materials that simply don’t make sense during times of social distancing, by all means do so. Now might not be the time to buy a billboard or ad space at the airport.

That said, reinvesting some of those savings into techniques proven to be successful during the COVID crisis — like direct outreach via mailers, email campaigns or digital advertising — is paramount to coming out of this thing in a position of strength. 

2: Double Down on Customer Engagement

In times of crisis, your customers are looking for comfort and reassurance — on some level, we’re all looking for that right now.

Look at this as an opportunity to confirm what your customers already knew about your brand. Show them when the chips are down, your business values its customers above all else by engaging them via social media interactions, email or whichever way they reach out.

3: Approach Uncertainty with Confidence in Your Messaging

There are effective and ineffective approaches to crisis management. An ineffective way to manage a crisis is to project a specific outcome and bank on it, leaving you open to catastrophe if things don’t go as planned.

Kind of how we ended up here in the first place.

An effective approach is to focus less on specific outcomes, and more on the range of outcomes. This doesn’t mean giving doomsday predictions equal credence at more optimistic projections. Instead, it means acknowledging uncertainty in your messaging and reassuring customers that your business is prepared for both the good and the difficult.

4: Get Smarter with B2B Outreach

For B2B business, this strategy might be the most important.

You can’t just send your outreach to the office — with many employees working remotely, it could very easily be a waste of a direct mail campaign.

So how do you make sure your outreach lands where it needs to?

It’s been simple: we’ve been comparing our account information against available customer databases, finding where we have overlaps and sending B2B marketing materials to the homes of decision makers.

So, there you have it, four strategies for B2B businesses to consider going forward. These times are tough, but with a strong focus on adaptive marketing — particularly in messaging and outreach strategies — we’ll make it through.

For more on how Strata can help your business stay strong through COVID-19, contact us today.

The Important Trend that Today’s Successful Marketers are Embracing

Marketers are always looking for best practices to maximize their marketing efforts, and there may be no better strategy than that of an integrated marketing approach.

An integrated approach to marketing is one that aligns and coordinates all marketing efforts across multiple departments to deliver a brand-consistent, customer-focused content experience as seamlessly as possible across all channels.

In this blog, we’ll detail the four reasons why marketers need an integrated approach, while also touching on the important role MarTech solutions play in these coordinated efforts.

Let’s go.

Reason 1: Improve Operational Effectiveness

With time constantly at a premium and campaign launches always looming in the not-so-distant future, as marketers, time truly is money and there’s no greater waste than a loss of time due to inefficiency.

One of the greatest assets of an integrated approach to marketing has little to do with the customer, but rather how it encourages internal communication between departments. This is particularly true when it comes to the sharing of data to better understand your customer base.

In short, an integrated approach to marketing necessitates communication by default, giving you a better picture of the complete scope and results of your marketing efforts.

Reason 2: Brand Unification

Speaking of collaboration, integrated marketing is a great way to bring everyone on board to deliver one cohesive message, no matter what medium that message is delivered in.

An integrated approach to marketing encourages the breaking down of silos — the tendency to view marketing departments as self-contained islands, rather than collaborative partners — and often brings out the best in companies, encouraging collaboration.

This level of collaborative efforts ensures a fundamental internalization of your brand’s ethos across all marketing departments, resulting in a clearly defined message reaching your consumers.

Reason 3: Content as a Positionable Asset

An integrated approach to marketing has the unique ability to take generic content and work it into platform-specific content that will resonate best within its medium of delivery.

This means that your content becomes an asset, positionable like any other business IP and deliverable in different forms for different channels. It allows you to nail down your approach for blog content while positioning that same content differently for social media.

This flexibility allows you to take stock of all assets and tailor them to fit perfectly within an expansive, diverse campaign.

Reason 4: Creates a Seamless and Consistent Customer Experience

We all know that the name of the game is CX when it comes to modern marketing. We’re always looking to provide better, more convenient ways for our customers to interface with us in their chosen medium.

Whether that’s being more available via social media, sending direct mail with digital components, or simply reaching out with promotional emails, integrated marketing approaches all aspects of a diverse campaign with the same end goal — a fluid, intuitive customer experience facilitating communication and fostering brand/consumer relationships.

MarTech for Integrated Marketing

The right MarTech is important in making the most of an integrated approach to marketing, but it’s up to you to define your needs and select the appropriate technology to support your campaign.

There are many excellent automation platforms, which can be particularly helpful when it comes to MarTech for communications in a campaign utilizing an integrated marketing approach.

The Pay Off

So why shift to an integrated approach? The payoff is huge.

Amplifying a consistent message drives value. According to Kantar Millward Brown, integrated campaigns are 31 percent more effective at building brands than their single-channel counterparts, as it showcases a consistent brand over multiple channels, giving the audience a more complete view of the brand in different lights.

Even better? According to research by Gartner, integrated marketing campaigns that spread their efforts over four or more channels outperformed single or dual-channel campaigns by 300 percent.

Want to plan your integrated marketing campaign with the best tools available? Contact us to see what we can do for you.

Six More Marketing Tips to Help You Succeed in 2020

Welcome to Part 2 of our holiday marketing series, 12 Days of Smarter Marketing.

Let’s pick up where we left off with six more great tips to close out 2019 and start 2020 off on the right foot.

A/B Test Campaigns and Content

If you’re putting time and energy into the creation of campaigns and a steady stream of content, it’s crucial you’re getting the maximum return possible. This includes A/B testing different approaches to fine-tune your offerings for maximum effectiveness.

Take the opportunity to gather data on what’s working, what isn’t working and discovering why. It’s a simple strategy that will make a big impact on the overall performance of your future output.

Taking Control of Your Brand

The new year is a great time to implement new strategies and solidify standards when it comes to branding. Introducing style guides, for example, is a great way to ensure organization-wide consistency.

Creating a centralized marketing hub is another great way to maintain brand consistency. Housing resources like logos and content in one central location (along with other digital assets) is an excellent strategy to deliver a clear, on-brand message time and time again.

Try Something New

Try new things in the New Year. Exciting marketing options like dimensional mail may be the boost your marketing needs to stand out from the pack and get your message heard.

Similarly, new email campaign tactics — whether that’s formatting, tone, or core campaign concepts — can inspire creative evolution in tired, repetitive campaigns.

That said, it’s important to not lose sight of your brand. Make sure that the new move is a logical step for your brand and not a complete off-brand departure. Exploring a new direction while maintaining the crux of your brand is the ideal to strive for.

Educate (and Appreciate) Your Employees

There is little that’s more valuable to your business than the people who run it, and when those team members are happy, your business runs smoothly. Take time this holiday season to show appreciation to your employees.

Also be sure to take the New Year as an opportunity to go over clear goals, detail new missions, and run refreshers on standard operating procedures (or introduce new ones). This is an excellent time to brush up on training.

Keep Your Content Going Strong

Great content is the key to successful followings, and producing that content should be a priority for your business. Focusing on the quality of the content — the insight that it offers, the value it provides, and the way it reflects your brand.

The aspects above are what separates quality content from spam — the type of content put out for the sole purpose of putting something out or overly self-promotional purposes.

When you’re creating your next piece of content, make sure to ask yourself why you’re producing it and what value it provides for its end consumer. This type of questioning will ensure that your content is where it needs to be.

Continue to Evolve

The marketing world is ever-changing and “business as usual” is not a successful long-term business strategy. If you see something that isn’t working, change it, and don’t look back. Be fearless when it comes to taking thoughtful risks and deviating from the norm. It will pay dividends.

Get ahead of what your customers want in 2020 and give it to them before they ask. Embrace the change and watch your business continue to prosper.

At Strata, we wish you well going into the New Year and hope that your 2020 is full of innovation and prosperity.

To learn more about how we can help with your marketing solutions for 2020 and beyond, contact us.

Use Marketing Technology to Build Stronger Brands from Within

Marketers in healthcare systems juggle a myriad of brand assets across an array of media. From patient relations to internal signage to external communications, your logos, font and color systems, messaging, and content really are just that – an asset that holds and conveys the organization’s value.

As such, the way you manage your brand assets helps to build efficiencies across the organization. The right digital asset management system can streamline content production and delivery, build credibility with current and prospective consumers, and strengthen your organization’s culture from within.

Cost savings and culture building become especially important during a merger. Brand assets in transition require additional oversight; further, research has found that about 75 percent of M&A deals fail to deliver their expected value, often as a result of cultural onboarding issues. In addition, research by Adobe in 2017 found that 29 percent of healthcare organizations plan to prioritize content marketing in the next few years.

A digital asset management system offers numerous benefits to healthcare providers:

  • Safely store, tag, and organize content including text, image files, audio and video files
  • Design workflows to accommodate complex approvals processes and improve collaboration
  • Store and retrieve data to better evaluate campaign performance
  • Ensure HIPAA compliance and keep a clear audit trail for regulatory agencies

Clearly, finding and utilizing the best-fit brand asset management system can create a significant positive impact during a merger – even more so if you’re also ramping up content marketing efforts at the same time.

MRM: Digital Asset Management Pioneer

While digital asset management is a strong player in brand management, it often has limitations in the breadth of content management it offers. For instance, DAM systems don’t always tie to printed output or offer ecommerce for ordering warehoused inventory – capabilities that are critical to rebranding and mergers.

One early and still reliable form of digital asset management is marketing resource management (MRM), offering organizations a platform built on a centralized database from which assets can be created and managed in house. MRM systems can handle large amounts of content and a customized platform for the specific needs of a single organization. Such systems are particularly well suited to consolidating the diverse data and resources that come together in a merger.

Asset Management for Next-Gen Content and Workflows

The core advantage of marketing resource management is that it facilitates the comprehensive management of branded assets. Combined with a user-friendly interface, MRM allows content managers to maintain brand control, stay in compliance, increase production and distribution speed, and reduce waste.

Additional tools, such as MarCom On Demand, empower marketers throughout a given network to access content they need while still enabling managers to maintain brand quality and consistency. When you minimize miscommunications; reduce waste of time, effort, and money; and maximize transparency and freedom, you not only improve your marcom operation – you make a huge contribution to your merged brand’s credibility and culture.

CCM: Improving the Patient Experience with Customer Communications Management

Designed to support outbound patient communications, customer communications management (CCM) systems (such as the one Strata Company provides) enable healthcare organizations to automate the creation of brand-specific communications. Among its many capabilities, a CCM solution can, for instance, capture patient data, create unique profiles, and build one-to-one communications in real time. This allows you to streamline, simplify, and accelerate effective branded communications on a very large scale. Further, CCM enables you to meet deadlines more easily, minimize error, and ensure regulatory compliance.

The Next Step: Ensure Success in Your Brand Merger

Strata Company offers MarCom On Demand and Corspon to enable marketers to exceed expectations and overcome challenges involved in healthcare mergers and other complex transitions. We offer dynamic templates, 24/7 cloud-based secure access, tracking and reporting, and more. Contact us to learn more.