Company culture distinguishes the values, goals, and attitudes of the employees that make up a company. When individual and company-wide values align, workers feel more appreciated and valued for the work they do in furthering company objectives. Productivity, profitability, and professionalism trend upwards when company culture is strong and healthy, as their image of success shines amongst competitors, creating a competitive advantage. Company culture has a snowball effect on the health and well-being of a company. As company culture improves,
As times change and technology advances, millennials are brought into companies to keep up with the everchanging and updated technology incorporated in company operations. Millennials are the driving force powering the future of the workplace. The discussion of strong, compelling culture within a company can either attract or deter the millennial audience. In this day and age, millennials want to feel like their work matters, like the time they spent accomplishing even the most mundane tasks are furthering the greater good in the world surrounding them. A strong company culture allows them to better recognize the values and goals of the company, drawing the connections to the outward impact it carries into society.
“There’s no magic formula for great company culture. The key is just to treat your staff how you would like to be treated.”
– Richard Branson
The importance of company culture resounds in a business’ success. Company culture weighs tremendously on the productivity, profitability, and professionalism of employees and the company as an ensemble. If the culture is unhealthy or lagging, employees prioritize duties that will meet their own needs, such as moving up the corporate ladder or improving their salary and benefits. This is due to the fact that the workforce does not feel like they or their efforts are valued by management. Appreciating and valuing employee efforts, no matter how big or small they are, in a client project can contribute to the establishment of healthy company culture practices. By focusing efforts on culture, you are establishing a differentiating factor from competitors who foster poor or nonexistent company culture as they focus too much on the success of the business as a whole, not leaving time to motivate or admire the efforts of those within the company. Creating a foundation of positive company culture, one in which employee engagement organically promotes productivity, can make or break the success of your company.
There are many well-known companies who excel in promotion of their company culture. Zappos has become almost as reputable for their company culture as it is for product and customer service. Ten key core values are instilled in each employee as they are hired and trained. Amidst the fast-moving operations of their business, Zappos takes time to budget and plan specifically for team building as well as internal culture promotion. This is done to encourage their employee and assure them of the impact their efforts make on the success of the company. Another well-known example is Google. Not only do they offer employees a fun working environment and substantial benefits to being a part of their team, they prioritize a strong culture of leadership and mentorship to help their employees succeed. By creating a workspace where people can and want to grow, they attract some of the best talent in the industry and express the worth of their efforts. In terms of strong company culture, both Zappos and Google have taken the initiative to hire people with company culture fit in mind.
How will you shift your focus to promote a healthy company culture?
In today’s world, you have undoubtedly heard of SEO and PPC. The terms are unavoidable in our digitally, Internet-focused world. Everywhere you turn, there’s a new article detailing new SEO strategies and exploring how PPC will enhance your overall web strategy. We won’t lie: it can be confusing. Step one to successfully using SEO and PPC in your marketing efforts is to understand the similarities and differences between the two.
There are strategic reasons to utilize PPC and SEO practices. Both PPC and SEO are part of SEM (search engine marketing), which is one of the tools used for online advertising. Although different methodologies, each of their goals is to generate more traffic and ultimately lead to an increase in conversions (phone call, form submission, etc.).
First, let’s look at each of their definitions. PPC, meaning Pay Per Click, is a form of advertising that involves bidding on targeted keywords through an ad platform in order for your ad to show up at the top of the search engine results page. SEO, meaning Search Engine Optimization, is optimizing your website in order to make it more relevant to natural or organic search terms.
Now, let’s examine the benefits to each practice. PPC can yield instant results and connects you with people who are looking for what you are offering. PPC offers targeting to reach specific groups of people, perhaps with specific interests and/or in geographical areas — ultimately a demographic that may be more likely to purchase. Finally, PPC guarantees a steady stream of visitors and allows you to promote a specific deal, product or service. Alternatively, SEO has multiple benefits. For example, SEO’s return on investment will continue to rise over time and is, therefore, better in the long run. SEO relies on organic searches which consumers tend to trust more than sponsored advertisements. In addition, SEO helps your website show up more often in relevant organic searches.
Knowing the benefits to both PPC and SEO, it is also important to understand the limitations to each. For example, PPC does not improve organic search rankings. PPC requires testing campaign variables to improve conversions and overall ROI. In addition, PPC requires continual monitoring to optimize performance. Some of the limitations to SEO are that it requires more time in order to generate results. SEO also requires ongoing upkeep, and a lot of factors are simply out of your control. Finally, SEO requires dedicated time to monitor through various tools and make content adjustments or add additional content.
The decision to utilize PPC or SEO is contingent on your business’ goals and which practice makes the most sense to fulfill those goals. In an ideal world, the use of both marketing practices would be beneficial for accomplishing short- and long-term goals. However, each practice on its own offers respective costs and benefits for a business’ search marketing capabilities.
The Internet has dramatically changed the way businesses communicate with their target audiences. As new social networks continue to pop up, businesses must actively stay on top of their game to not be left in the dust. With this considered, businesses must recognize that the Internet is not a cover-all strategy; it is just as important to include a variety of other marketing tactics into the marketing mix.
I define generational marketing as crafting a marketing strategy to ensure that it incorporates the preferred communication methods and preferences of the specific targeted product. Businesses must always determine whothis target audience is, considering the four generations: Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Gen X, and Gen Y.
With their ease and availability, almost everyone today has access to a personal computer, a smart phone, and of course, an email address. However, not all individuals are using these tools in the same manner. Traditionalists and Baby Boomer’s share many similarities in terms of their preferred methods of communication. Keeping in mind the generational brackets are general trends (not to be interpreted in black and white), members of these two generations are universally much less tech savvy than younger generations. Moreover, Traditionalists and Baby Boomers both tend to prefer personal communication and relationship building in their purchasing experiences, especially with larger purchases, such as buying a car. They would rather shake hands with a sales representative, align themselves with a brand or company, and return to the same company for future purchases.
On the contrary, the Gen X and Gen Y demographics see it differently. These generations are actually quite different from one another in their consumer behavior. However, traits they share are increased skepticism and decreased brand loyalty. For both generations, especially Gen Y, it is all about convenience. Whether it is browsing mobile shopping sites, waiting for a Groupon for 50% off, or utilizing the nearly instantaneous purchasing experience of Amazon Prime, younger generations are quite comfortable switching retailers. Younger generations have no problem bypassing an actual storefront and salesperson in favor of an online shopping experience. As long as these individuals know they are getting a great price from a reliable company, they are on board.
For businesses and marketers, it is important to know who is buying the product. For instance, if one is selling a product intended for use by younger generations, then the strategy must focus on reaching these individuals where they spend most of their time: online. If a business is selling a product and their target audience includes older generations, they must recognize the importance of traditional marketing strategies, such as meeting in-person, telephone communication, marketing collateral, etc.
Despite how the Internet has taken over many aspects of our daily lives (for better or for worse), it is important to use a mix of personal communication and internet marketing to reach your generational marketing goals. As I mentioned, generational groups are by no means black and white, and there are typically going to be exceptions to the rule. One thing is certain, older generations are not spending nearly as much time online shopping, browsing e-blasts, or building their new car with the click of their mouse. That kind of new-age amusement is usually saved for those in younger generations.
In late June, Google announced that it would begin providing domain name registration services. This doesn’t seem like a big deal, but it will impact the big players like GoDaddy, Network Solutions and 1&1, to name a few. How so?
- Private registration will be included with the domain name registration fee. Big players currently charge extra for this feature.
- Google will provide branded email services with their registration fee ([email protected]). Some of the big players include email with their packages, but many use email service as an “add on” and charge for it.
- Google has developed relationships with several web-based, drag and drop website building engines that plug in to their domain services. [Note: Just because this tool is available doesn’t mean everyone should be developing their business website. Believe it or not, there is significant thought and expertise put into successful websites.]
You can read more about the features of Google Domains by visiting https://domains.google.com/about/features.html#resource-records.
Google Domains is currently in beta (by invite only) and not being made available to the masses just yet. Stay tuned; I am sure this will create a buzz in the online community very soon.
Every single day, we in the marketing and public relations field are inundated with “the next best thing,” the new opportunity, the new platform, the new service, the new best way to do whatever. Our job is to keep up with all the opportunities, educate and train ourselves to their potential benefits, drawbacks and costs, and then ultimately match opportunities to our clients’ needs—their business needs, their sales goals, their brand models, etc., all while doing so in the context of each client’s specific strategic plan and budget.
We always start by developing the strategic aspects of their right-fit approach. There may be dozens of “opportunities,” but far fewer that will maximize ROI and ultimate results.
Some camps attempt to place all the options in several categories, sometimes called “traditional” marketing approaches (print advertising, radio/TV, direct mail, etc.) vs. “new marketing” categories, which include social media exposure and online advertising. Some might go as far as to throw away “the old” and get on the bandwagon of only investing in the newest of options. It’s likely that some mix of both will be appropriate. Each client and client business need is different, and by making the upfront commitment to analyze the options and strategize an effective plan, we are able to cut through the clutter of the new daily opportunities and focus on the marketing and public relations initiatives that should be implemented.
Your marketing and public relations professional should take the time to meet with you regularly to analyze the options, review the budget, review the successes of ongoing marketing efforts, and then discuss where to stay the course and where to adjust along the way. Be open to considering all options, but don’t be swayed to jump on what’s new just because it’s new.