The 5 Top Channel Instincts Posts Of 2014 – As Chosen By You

Street Smart Guy.emfAs 2014 draws to a close, so does the second year that Channel Instincts has been blogging.

Thank you for your continued interest, readership and comments.

But not all of you have been with us for the entire journey and while we have our own favorites, your clicks have let us know which posts struck a chord and were your favorites.

#5: 5 Tips to Succeed with Big Boxes

How to Sell Lowe's and Home DepotMaybe you already sell either Lowe’s or The Home Depot or both. Maybe you eat channel conflict for breakfast. But it’s been my experience that the continuous competitive clash between orange and blue is something that is tough for many manufacturers’ to figure out.

Selling one or both of the home center big boxes is a great way to drive volume. Each, however, works hard to differentiate themselves from one another. That makes it had to sell both of them when you have a commodity category. But it’s still possible to do this without being a major consumer brand.

#4: 4 Steps to Building an Internal Communication Plan

Effective internal communication is critical to your manufacturing successCommunication is critical within any business setting, but most importantly within a manufacturing facilities − where the right communication can really impact change and translate into business success.

What’s the best way to communicate?  How much should you communicate? How do you make sure your messages are heard? This guide will take you step-by-step through the communication process. It has simple, practical, easy-to-follow information you can put to use immediately.

#3: 8 Steps to Building a Customer-Focused Commercialization Strategy

8 Steps to a Commercialization StrategyBefore a commercialization plan can be developed and implemented, it must be driven by an overall commercialization strategy. By taking a strategic approach to your commercialization strategy, you will be better positioned to be successful with your new product launch.

The commercialization strategy should not contain a lot of financial detail or “how to,” but it must be consumer focused and customer centered and not technology focused. A key issue in a commercialization strategy is to set the direction to explore and understand the market. The commercialization strategy must focus on what satisfies the needs of the customer.

#2: Are You Using a 30-60-90 Day Marketing Plan?

Hired candidate had an action planAre you joining a company with big problems?  It may be too cliché, but it probably depends on if you see the glass half empty or half full.

It’s easy to get caught up in the hiring process and your ego can get in the way of asking the right questions.  You may never uncover or, worse, miss the warning signs that would prove that you cannot gain the commitments you’d need to succeed – especially with those critical quick wins that will help you gain credibility and traction with a new employer’s organization.

If you see the opportunity, the alignment and the financial backing, then you should accept that new position but only if you have a plan for success.  If any of those pieces of missing, there’s a good chance that you will fail.

#1: 7 Steps to Writing an Internal Communications Plan

Communication-PlanCommunication is critical within any business setting, but most importantly within a manufacturing facilities − where the right communication can really impact change and translate into business success.

What’s the best way to communicate? How much should you communicate? How do you make sure your messages are heard? This guide will take you step-by-step through the communication process. It has simple, practical, easy-to-follow information you can put to use immediately.

There you are, our top-5 list for 2014.  We hope you’ve enjoyed the posts over the past year, and we invite you to stay in touch in 2015 by following me on TwitterLinkedInSlideshare or Google+.

Good Selling!

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Creating an Effective Facebook Brand Marketing Strategy

Facebook marketing strategies chalk talkIf it seems like no one’s visiting your Facebook page, there’s probably a simple reason.

Brand pages that gain viewers and likes have provided a reason for folks to stop in – again and again. There is fresh content, informative videos and conversations with others who are passionate about the brand or its category. Many times they are sharing tips and suggestions that draw in others to the conversation.

In short, these brands have created conversations and a relationship with their audience. Some followers have even become brand advocates who help spread the brand message to others.

Gaining brand traction on Facebook

Facebook brand page frustrationBut what if you have just created your Facebook page? How do you overcome the sheer brand awareness that FMCG companies have? Plus, you probably don’t have much money or content to put up on a Facebook page. Which is why so many pages get started but then fizzle out – a lack of time to create interesting, relevant contact.

Here are several tips that will get you started on building a Facebook page, creating conversations, and over time, building relationships and brand advocates to help you share your story

How you communicate is as important as what you communicate on Facebook

Getting heard on FacebookYour initial Facebook strategy is all about building your foundation:

  • What is your product?
  • How is your product used?
  • What does your company believe in and stand for?

These pillars — Product, Purpose, and Education – actually will make your job easier. They provide the framework to focus your content and keep you from posting silly or irrelevant topics that do nothing to build your brand.

Follow these 8 simple steps to build your online brand marketing strategy on Facebook

  1. Facebook marketing strategy tipsPost often – even if it seems like no one is listening. Build the base that will define your brand, educate and establish your purpose. You want your followers to keep coming back to your page, so make sure that they always have something new to look at.
  2. Use third party content to make your job easier. Mix in videos and articles that are of interest to your audience and fits your brand’s category. The goal is to have variety so that every post is not the same.
  3. Mix in real product education. You can post pictures or video or other materials you may have created to sell your customers. A little goes a long way.
  4. Like other non-competitive brands that are in your category. This could be your customers, for example.
  5. Create excitement. Can you give away your product in a quick promo? Use or celebrate a goal to create a reason or add urgency. Using Likes is popular tool to drive engagement.
  6. Promote a post. If there’s a post that you think deserves a broader audience, then for a minimal amount of money it can be promoted. This maybe a good idea when you run a promotion.
  7. Be topical. With the holidays being around the corner, you can post messages and create graphics that celebrate the holidays or New Year.
  8. Don’t just talk. Listen and respond when others make comments.

The bottom line on creating your Facebook marketing strategy?

Like buttonHaving a specific vision of what you want to achieve with your Facebook marketing strategy will help you make the most progress towards meeting your goals. If you only have a vague idea of what you hope to accomplish, you will find it hard to know whether your strategy is working. Have measurable benchmarks that you can use to evaluate your success.

Not surprisingly, many companies don’t see quick results from their Facebook page marketing efforts – and certainly not sales. It’s easy to say it’s not worth it.

Remember: you are helping someone solve a problem where your product is a possible solution. You are not selling them why your product is the best solution. Keep this in mind and over time, you will see real and measurable results.

Good Selling!