12.03.10

I’m back!

Posted in Marketing at 12:05 pm by Administrator

I’m sure you’ve been wondering why there were only a couple of posts during November.  In addition to working, I took a 10-day vacation to visit family in Japan over the Thanksgiving holiday.  Tokyo is a beautiful, amazing place, and there is a lot for marketers to learn.  Watch for my next post about my trip!

Are you ready to “Go International”? – Part 1

Posted in Foreign Language at 12:02 pm by Administrator

Translating your Marketing Materials

Depending on your target audience, having your marketing materials translated into a language other than English can be a blessing or a curse. Let’s take a look at some of the issues behind working globally.

Reaching your Intended Audience: Most people won’t buy a product if they can’t understand what it does.  If you can’t be sure of {what’s in a box}, would you buy it?  Substitute {what the brochure says}, or {what the features/benefits are} and you’ll get the picture.  In a 2006 survey, Common Sense Advisory asked business people eight non-native English speaking countries about their software purchases.  More than 80% of respondents said that having marketing materials in their native language make them more likely to purchase software.  Would language affect your purchase decisions?

Making Sure They Understand: Once the purchase is made, does your product require instructions?  From owner’s manuals, installation instructions, guaranty/warranty information, safety warnings and the like, it’s better to give the end-user information they can use in their native language.  These inserts that get packaged with your products may be the most important things you create, giving the end-user the impression that the you care whether the item purchased is used correctly and safely.

Assuring the Quality of the Translation: If you’re in a specialty field you want to make sure you get the nuances of that field, with the proper industry terms, acronyms, etc.  In some fields words cannot be translated literally.  Some of the classic missteps in naming are related to the Chevy Nova (“no va” means “it won’t go” in Spanish) and Coca-Cola (“ko ka ko la” means “bite the wax tadpole” in Chinese).  Make sure your translation service knows your industry.

Making Sure Users Get What They Need: Once your product is boxed and shipped, can you be sure that the items wth the Spanish-language owner’s manual will only be sold in Spanish-speaking countries?  Making inserts containing multiple languages allow you to maximize your efforts by being end-user friendly. Consumers are more likely to make a purchase of a localized product – that is, in their native language and reflecting local requirements.

Challenges in the Global Marketplace: Everyone wants to decrease costs, shorten production time, and get the biggest bang for their bucks.  Translating, printing and shipping all cost money, and you’re better off bundling what you can. By creating regional groupings for your marketing materials – North America, Central America, South America, Europe, Asia, etc. – and knowing which languages are spoken in each region may get you out of the gate faster than your competition.

Next:
More challenges!

11.17.10

For some, English is Another Language – Part 1

Posted in Foreign Language at 2:33 pm by Administrator

Talking in a Language Other Than Your Own

For some wild reason, people in different areas of the world decided to create their own language, their own alphabet, and their own syntax. Fast forward to the third millennium – we’re still looking for ways to talk to each other in ways everyone understands. Converting one language to another needs to be done by people – not machines – who are fluent in both the original language and the intended language.

Many people use the terms “translate” and “interpret” interchangeably, but there is a difference.  Translating is what is done with the printed word, like a brochure or a website.  Interpreting is done with the spoken word, such as in the U.N. or a court proceeding; dictionary.com gives the antonym explainTransliterate is what is done to written languages that do not share an alphabet.  English and French share the alphabet, but both need to be transliterated to Greek or Japanese; dictionary.com gives the related word transcribe.

Next:
Are you ready to “go international”?

11.02.10

Developing Effective Marketing Materials – Part 5

Posted in Marketing at 2:05 pm by Administrator

Other Ways to Market Your Business

Advertising Venues: magazines; newspapers; newsletters if you’re a member of a professional or trade organization; either advertise in or have a stand-alone flyer created and inserted

Make a Presentation: to the public or through your professional or trade organization.  Make sure plenty of publicity is out before the event, and a follow-up story, with pictures, is sent out afterwards. No one knows you’re an expert on any topic unless you tell them!

Network Network Network: Make use of networking opportunities through your Chamber or other professional organizations.  Always have business cards with you -you never know who you’ll run into.

Still have questions?  Click the link below to ask me!

10.25.10

Developing Effective Marketing Materials – Part 4

Posted in Marketing at 2:44 pm by Administrator

Buying Creative Services

Would you have the guy next door do your dentistry? Ok, what if he’s NOT a dentist? Just because you have a design package on your computer, it doesn’t make you a designer!! Find someone you’re comfortable with, ask to see samples similar to what you’re looking for, and get a quote. The quote should spell out what is expected of you, what the designer will do (and won’t do) and the cost of the project. Expect the quote to include terms such as: outside expenses will cost extra, payment terms [+/- 10% of quoted amount, 15 days payment, overdue charges], contact names. Some printers (but not all) have designers on staff, so if you’re comfortable with using them, do! If you’re comfortable bartering for services – do it!

When looking for creative services, find out from others who they’ve used for projects. I’m glad to tell potential clients the names of other designers in the area. I’m that confident in my abilities – and my competitiveness in pricing. If a creative professional gets upset that you’re talking to others, question (in your mind) the professional part. Be consistent in what you ask for: write it down and give a copy to every person you talk to.

Please be realistic: Services – creative, printing, etc. – costs money. We all expect to be paid fairly for what we do. I once quoted on a large project that included my sourcing a photographer and printing. I gave him a fair quote, then I was told he wanted to spend 1/4 of what I quoted. If he had told me that from the start I might not have given him a quote at all.

Be available to your creative services provider. There’s nothing worse than rushing to meet a deadline and then the client is suddenly gone for a few days. If you can’t be there, either empower someone to give approvals or let the designer know that the deadline has been moved. Either way, good communication from both sides is critical to a good end product.

YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES: content (direction, copy, graphics), organization, timely and relevant feedback (including letting your vendor know about changes as soon as you know about them) and making payment when due.

MY RESPONSIBILITIES: meeting agreed-to deadlines, handling your materials carefully and returning them when done, keeping costs in line with job specs, and anything else I’ve said I’ll do.

Next Steps – Part 5:
Alternative Ways to Promote Your Business

10.20.10

Developing Effective Marketing Materials – Part 3

Posted in Marketing at 11:20 am by Administrator

Planning & Organizing Your Marketing Materials

The keys to good marketing materials – be organized!  You know what you want to say, you have the pictures and graphics you want to use, so make sure they tell the same story.  Decide whether you want to show your business in words (it’s okay to run long on copy) or in pictures/graphics (be concise)?

When writing copy, keep in mind that if you’re too wordy, you risk lose the audience.  You don’t want to talk down to them, but you don’t want to use industry terms (jargon) they may not understand.  If you need to use industry-specific terms, and someone in your target audience might not understand them, consider including a short list of definitions.

Make sure the graphics you choose are appropriate.  If you’re talking about heart surgery and show a liver, what’s the point?  Your logo and photos are standard, but make sure clip art goes together too.

Next Steps – Part 4:
Buying Creative Services

10.14.10

Wired mag says “The Web is Dead”

Posted in Internet/Web at 10:41 am by Administrator

Wired Magazine reports in a cover story (18.09, Sept. 2010) that “The Web is Dead”. They follow up with two articles assigning blame to “Us” (by Chris Anderson) and “Them” (by Michael Holff).  It’s an interesting read, from a description of the differences between the Web and the Internet (and I’ll bet you didn’t know they are two different things!), to the way they have changed since their inception, to the future of networked computing.

See article: http://www.wired.com/magazine/2010/08/ff_webrip/all/1

Are you one of “Us” or one of “Them”?

10.08.10

Developing Effective Marketing Materials – Part 2

Posted in Marketing at 1:50 pm by Administrator

Using  Available Marketing Venues:

Advertising: Strive for consistency in look and tone in your advertising, and regularity is KEY!  People need to see your name on a regular basis to get it imprinted into their minds.  Always use the same logo, typestyle, writing style, and a similar layout each time you have an ad designed.  Ask to get put in the same section of the newspaper (if you sell sporting goods ask for the sports section, right-hand page, above the fold).  You might have to pay extra for special positioning, but it’s worth it in the long run.

Public Relations: Sending out press releases to announce changes in your business, like carrying a new product or adding new services, is good when used with consistent advertising, and it’s usually free.  You should strive for consistency in look and tone in your press/news releases too.  Don’t forget to send a picture of your event (such as a grand opening) to the newspaper after it happens.  That’s more FREE publicity.

Mailings and Mailing Lists: You want a list of current customers and another list of prospective customers so you can send out targeted messages.  You can compile your own lists by asking current customers to ‘sign up’ for your mailing list, and ask them for names and addresses of friends who might like to become customers.  You can use rosters of local business groups, industry listings, or buy lists from a service.

On-Site Marketing: Again, a consistent look (logo, colors, type, graphics) makes all your display materials YOURS.  I could blindfold you and take you into any of those big stores with a “bulls-eye” logo in the country, and you’ll know where you are.

Word of Mouth: This has to be the most important marketing effort of all to a small business!  If you like someone you’ve done business with, tell others; I hope they’ll tell you, too.  Some companies give referral awards (an on-line brokerage gives current customers a free trade for each referral)  Don’t be afraid to ask for referrals or permission to leave cards/brochures behind, etc.

Tracking: Be sure you have a way to keep track of successes and failures/ opportunities.  Mailings or ads with a coupon is a great way to tell if your efforts are working.  Asking how each customer heard about you at the cash register is another; have a for with check boxes for your cashiers to mark. Knowing where your customers come from will help your business.

Next Steps – Part 3:
Planning & Organizing

10.05.10

Developing Effective Marketing Materials – Part 1

Posted in Marketing at 2:13 pm by Administrator

What Are Marketing Materials?

Marketing is defined by Webster’s as the act or process of selling or purchasing in a market; an aggregate of functions involved in moving goods from producer to consumer.  A few examples of marketing materials are: advertisement; brochure; catalog; logo and corporate identity program; newsletter; packaging; point-of-purchase display; on-product graphics; promotional items; stationery; web site.  Anything with your name, logo, or message on it is a marketing tool!

Your Marketing Plan – Getting Customers:

Before you start marketing to attract customers, know what you do: Are you selling a product or a service?  What are your hours of operation?  Are you a “walk-in” place or a “phone call/appointment” business?  Are you trying to market your wares or be known as a resource for information gatherers?

Take a look at your intended audience (in marketing parlance, your Target Market):  Who are your current customers?  What do you know about them?  What type of customer do you want to attract?  Which of the above will you be aiming the materials toward?  At this point, you might want to do some research through a mailing, in-store survey, or a phone survey.

When developing your survey, first decide what you want your customers (or potential customers) to know.  Find out what your current and potential customers DO know about you, then ask them what do they WANT to know about you? Be sure to ask the right questions – make them specific to your business, but flexible enough for real feedback.  A thoughtful note (“You never have size 8 shoes…”) is a better reply than an x-ed box (“On a scale of 1-10, rate our size choices” X Poor).

Next Steps – Part 2
A discussion about Marketing Venues


09.24.10

About

Posted in About at 11:35 am by Administrator

Louise Cote is a graphic designer, and the owner / design director of Katmandu Studio. She has over 30 years experience in a wide variety of industries, from retail drug to banking, medical products to home electronics, and jewelry to automotive.

Katmandu Studio At Your Service™ brings her experience into your creative department – without the addition of full-time personnel – at a time when you need it most.

Katmandu Studio Parlez Vous…?™ offers professional multi-language design services to meet the needs of any size company looking to do business in multiple countries and in many languages.

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