17 episodes

Checkerboard is an award-winning design and marketing agency serving clients for more than 20 years. While we specialize in web design, we have a broad portfolio and experience working with clients of all sizes on a variety of graphic design projects. We create solutions that focus on your goals of driving awareness and sales of your product or service.

The Checkerboard Design and Marketing Podcast Checkerboard Strategic Web Development

    • Business

Checkerboard is an award-winning design and marketing agency serving clients for more than 20 years. While we specialize in web design, we have a broad portfolio and experience working with clients of all sizes on a variety of graphic design projects. We create solutions that focus on your goals of driving awareness and sales of your product or service.

    Marketing to Go: Company Vision

    Marketing to Go: Company Vision

    The following audio is from a blog post and video in our Marketing-to-Go series. Marketing to Go: Company Vision

    Oh, hi. I'm just planning a route for a secret road trip I'm about to take. I've been looking forward to it for a while now. I've never been to this place, but thanks to GPS and smartphones, I can just put in the address and it will guide me right there.

    All of this trip planning actually segues quite nicely into Company Vision. Let’s get into it!

    All companies should have a plan for where they want to be in the future. A landmark on the horizon to aim towards. This is what is called a "company vision". This is typically created by the company founder or leader and communicated to the rest of the company. That's kind of like the destination for my road trip.

    The first thing to keep in mind with a company vision is that it is what the company one day INTENDS TO BE, not what it CURRENTLY IS! It’s purpose after all is to be a goal for the company. Otherwise, that would be like me asking my mapping app for directions to my current location.

    (Speaking to smartphone) Give me directions to work.

    (Siri) Proceed zero feet. You have already arrived at your destination. Travel time was zero seconds.

    Also, you want your company vision statement to be short. That way people will be able to remember, understand, and recall it. If it's too long, it not as valuable. In a similar way, when I tell my GPS my destination, I use an address – which is relatively short and specific, not a long description of the place I want to go.

    (Speaking to smartphone) Give me directions to that place I went to last week. You know, the place with the tall green building next to the stop sign?

    (Siri) Oh, thank you for that very vague destination. Let me just read your mind to fill in the rest and take you right to the exact location. That was sarcasm. I’m told my voice doesn't express that very well. So I'm telling you.

    Finally, reference your company vision periodically to make sure all activities are in line with that vision. At a high level, all company activities should be in line with the course that is set by the company vision. If they’re not, then a refocusing may be in order. Like, if I went off-course during my trip, my GPS would recalculate my route to ensure I arrive at my destination.

    (Speaking to smartphone) Hey, isn't the world's largest chocolate waterfall around here? Let’s go there!

    (Siri) Recalculating ... Well, the world’s largest chocolate waterfall is in Alaska. That is WAY off course.

    (Speaking to smartphone) You’re right Siri. We can’t waste any time getting to my secret destination! After all, it closes at 4:30.

    Hopefully this helps you understand "company vision" a bit better. Now of course, once you achieve your vision, it's time to create a new one. That helps you avoid stagnation and keeps your company moving forward.

    (From off-camera) Hey Shawn, I hear you are going on a trip. Where are you going?

    Oh, nowhere in particular.

    (Siri) Route calculated. Leila's Hair Museum in Independence, Missouri is 425 mi away and you will arrive in approximately 6 hrs.

    Thanks Siri.

    Ready for more? Watch our videos for more tips that you can put to use immediately. Be sure to subscribe!

    • 3 min
    Marketing to Go: Marketing Segmentation Strategies

    Marketing to Go: Marketing Segmentation Strategies

    The following audio is from a blog post and video in our Marketing-to-Go series. Marketing to Go: Marketing Segmentation Strategies

    Oh hey, you caught me about to eat lunch. Y’know pizza is a pretty cool thing. Not only is it delicious, but it’s also very versatile. For instance, if i’m sharing a pizza with a vegetarian, I can get meat on my section and only veggies on theirs. Or to take it further, I could split up this pizza into many smaller slices each with their own toppings so that each piece would appeal to a smaller set of people. What I’ve described here is actually very similar to a marketing concept called Market Segmentation. Let’s talk about that!

    So, marketers sometimes divide their audience into similar groups called submarkets. But how many submarkets should you market to? Three? Eight? Fifty? None at all?

    Let’s review the four basic Marketing Segmentation Strategies.

    Undifferentiated
    Concentrated
    Multi-segmented
    Micro-segmented
    First, the undifferentiated strategy.

    The undifferentiated strategy means that there is no market segmentation. The entire market is treated as one group. Everyone in your market gets the same message, or with the pizza example - the same toppings. Your promotions treat your entire market as one persona.

    The Concentrated strategy.

    With a concentrated segmentation strategy, you isolate one, two or three primary market segments that have the most potential value. It’s like only offering three types of toppings for your pizza, appealing to three types of people.

    Next, the multi-segmented strategy.

    A multi-segmented strategy creates separate marketing messages for four or more different market segments. Now we’re adding more toppings to appeal to even more people.

    Finally, a micro-segmented.

    A micro-segmented strategy targets marketing to a very small group of people, perhaps even all the way down to the individual level. This is like offering so many different slices of pizza that have various topping changes, like anchovies and black olives or blue cheese and hamburger meat, slices that probably only a few people have an appetite for but we want to appeal to them nonetheless.

    The market segmentation strategy that is right for you depends entirely on the needs of your organization and product. The best strategy for one company may not be good for another company. Choosing a segmentation strategy, however, will help give you the discipline to commit your resources to the most valuable market segments.

    Now that you now about market segmentation, I’m about to segment this pizza into my mouth. Mmm … segmentation…

    Ready for more? Watch our videos for more tips that you can put to use immediately. Be sure to subscribe!

    • 2 min
    Marketing to Go: Market Segmentation Variables

    Marketing to Go: Market Segmentation Variables

    The following audio is from a blog post and video in our Marketing-to-Go series. Marketing to Go: Market Segmentation Variables

    Conceptualizing and building a profile of a target customer can help you more effectively market to them. Market Segmentation Variables are characteristics you can use to build that customer profile or persona. Begin by thinking of your customer as a stick person. From there, add characteristics until you build a comprehensive individual.

    Here are some of elements you can use:

    Demographics

    These include age, gender, income, ethnicity, or family life cycle.

    Geographics

    These can include a geographic location such as a city, state or region.

    Psychographics

    These are how people think, such as rock stars thinking differently than librarians.

    Geodemographics

    This category combines the psychographic and geographic categories. For example, New York business people think differently than Montana ranchers.

    Benefit Sought

    Such as low price, high quality, quick delivery or best color.

    Usage Rate

    Is your consumer a frequent buyer, one-time buyer, sporadic buyer, or possibly a moderate buyer?

    You can also use Market Segmentation Variables to create compelling examples in your marketing. For example, if you determine the average age of your typical customer and know whether your product appeals more to a male or female, you can research common names for people of that age and gender. Using those names will help you build believable characters with whom your customers in that market segment can more easily identify. Moms who were born in the late 1970s may identify with other women named Amy or Jennifer, whereas their grandmothers may relate to women named Estelle or Dorothy.

    Ready for more? Watch our videos for more tips that you can put to use immediately. Be sure to subscribe!

    • 2 min
    Marketing to Go: Product Mix

    Marketing to Go: Product Mix

    The following audio is from a blog post and video in our Marketing-to-Go series. Marketing to Go: Product Mix

    The product mix is a table that categorizes a company’s products into “product lines.” Large companies with many products may have groups of lines called silos or platforms. If a company doesn’t categorize its products and consider its product mix, confusion can result. Having a methodical system of organizing products is much more efficient and easier to work with. In addition, once a company has organized its product mix and come up with a written system of categorization for its products, this categorization can be used across the company.

    A product mix table can provide a nice overview and also identify opportunities as well as problems. For example, a chain of trendy women’s clothing stores may offer a huge variety of merchandise to its customers. The people who manage the chain’s new offerings need to keep track of all the merchandise by category, to make sure that each season they offer casual clothing, professional clothing, activewear and accessories. If management assembles a product mix table for the new season and notices that there are no new activewear styles, they can put more effort into that area.

    Ready for more? Watch our videos for more tips that you can put to use immediately. Be sure to subscribe!

    • 1 min
    Social media trends you need to know

    Social media trends you need to know

    The following is an audio version of the blog post Social media trends you need to know.
    You’re a marketing pro. You’re on top of seasonal trends and upcoming challenges as well as your competition. And of course you understand your products better than anyone else. With all that swimming around in your head, I realize you may not be following the latest social media trends. Thankfully, we have a team here that does!
    Here’s what you need to know to make the most of this ever-changing promotional platform.
    Number One: It’s all about stories.
    Facebook recently introduced Facebook Stories for its mobile users. It’s nearly identical to Instagram Stories which debuted last August. Both use the format made famous by Snapchat: personal videos or photos (and of course, filters) which disappear after 24 hours. Similar to Instagram, Facebook stories appear on the top of your news feed. Keep in mind that Facebook has a much broader audience, so many of its users may be unfamiliar with this communication style. That doesn’t mean you should ignore this trend. It’s a smart way to share a limited-time offer on your personal account (Stories aren’t available for business pages yet) without overpopulating your page with promotional posts.
    Number Two: Social posts have a small window of opportunity.
    The lifespan of a social post is probably shorter than you think. The majority of Facebook engagement occurs within the first few hours after your post. And a Tweet gets cold in less than 20 minutes. Chances are, you’re not posting enough. We suggest most businesses increase their number of weekly posts to reach a greater percentage of their audiences. According to LinkedIn1, you need 20 posts per month to reach 60 percent of your audience.
    Number Three: Personal sharing is down.
    Your Facebook page looks different than it did a few years ago. Fewer people are posting personal updates2. Instead, Facebook users are sharing links and stories they find on other websites. While this makes it harder to stay connected with your high school friends, it makes it easier to market your business. Make sure you are creating plenty of content that can be shared by your followers. Pro tip: The lifespan of these blogs, graphics or videos is much longer than a simple post – think months rather than minutes – so invest in quality content that has a viral bent.
    Number Four: Mobile is driving the bus.
    It’s clear that most consumers are using their mobile phones to access social media. We see it in our clients’ analytics and in every data nugget revealed, such as Facebook announcing it now has more than one billion mobile users3. Some data indicate that nearly 80 percent of all social media time is spent on mobile devices. So what does that mean for marketers? You better make sure that the action you want your followers to take is mobile-friendly. Nix any long forms and make sure your website is device-agnostic.
    Meet with me and my social media team. We’ll work together to develop a no-nonsense strategy and implementation plan. We’ll take care of those tasks that cause you headaches – such as creating quality content or managing digital ad campaigns – while you can keep doing what brings you joy.
    Consider us your social media helping hand. Let’s talk. Call us at 952-697-5269 or requesting a free consultation.
    Sources
    1Reference 1
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    3Reference 3

    • 4 min
    Marketing to Go: Brand Statement

    Marketing to Go: Brand Statement

    The following audio is from a blog post and video in our Marketing-to-Go series. Marketing to Go: Brand Statement

    Imagine this: It’s Saturday morning and your neighbor stops by with their dog. The neighbor begins to talk about the new dog food they just bought. The neighbor says: I bought this new dog food and my dog just loves it. He was always a picky eater but not anymore. XYZ company came up with flavors based on the popular meals people eat — like leftover turkey dinner and day old lasagna. Another thing I like about it is the food comes packaged in individual serving sizes based on the dog’s weight. You should try it for your dog.

    This is what you would call a brand statement.

    A brand statement is a short paragraph written in the words a customer would use if you overheard them describing your product to another person, and they got it exactly right.

    Every marketer needs to construct a brand statement for their product. It will help you create the messages you need to accomplish your goal. Remember, the goal of marketing is to create an audience that thinks of, and describes your product exactly how you would wish.

    Ready for more? Watch our videos for more tips that you can put to use immediately. Be sure to subscribe!

    • 1 min

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