Richmond is filled with successful companies. River City has everything from blue-chip, multinational behemoths in gleaming skyscrapers to cutting-edge internet start-ups with rented desks at Gather. I was a little surprised to find out that, despite their diversity, RVA’s top brands face many of the same marketing challenges. I recently asked several executives to share their top marketing challenge for 2016 and here’s what they said:
Scot McRoberts, VA Council of CEOs
Everyone is fully on the content bandwagon. That just means there is more noise than ever! Our challenge is to create content for our members and potential members that will stand out amidst the cacophony. We have to create content that draws them to the VA Council of CEOs and creates an affinity or a desire to connect. I want them to respond “Hey, those are my kind of people!” or “I want to be more like that.”
Our first strategy is to increase frequency and volume — more blogs, more emails, more videos. Our people just don’t see it unless we run it by them several times. And, secondly, we will focus on stories about our members — CEOs of small companies — and the things they care about the most.
Mark A. Smith, Midas of Central Virginia
Creating messages and content that are compelling enough to put Midas of Richmond into a choice set they weren’t previously a part of. For any of us, acquisition is the most expensive, and the most difficult, growth hurdle, yet it is critically important.
As to what I am going to do about it…religiously track the metrics around it. We track total traffic, acquisition traffic and retention traffic – have for years – when both raw acquisition numbers AND retention numbers are growing, the mojo is good!
Oliver Way, Fulton Bank
We have a unique challenge building a brand across Virginia without the awareness created by a traditional branch network or a significant advertising investment. We plan to reach our target customers through strategic sponsorships including educational sessions.
Brandon Anderson, Tenant Turner
My #1 marketing challenge for this year is to figure out how to best leverage new channel partnerships to fill the top end of our sales funnel and help us grow monthly revenue to meet our aggressive goals.
Mark Pounders, WINN Transportation
Our #1 marketing challenge in 2016 is going to be staying on top of social media and using it to its full potential. The way we plan to address it is to hire someone part-time to do nothing but social media. Since it is not something that consumes an entire day’s worth of work, we have found that there are folks out there who only want to work and hour or two a day doing something that they can easily do from home. Since we can’t pay someone to do it full-time, this is a “Winn”-win situation. Things are moving so rapidly that it is hard for us to keep up with all of the changes and advantages that social media brings. If we have someone who thinks about nothing but social media, our time can be devoted to what we have always done best…customer service!
Shawn Ryan, SNL Knowledge Center
I believe the number one issue for my team is having our marketing efforts stand out – to rise above the noise. With email as our number one driver of sales, we must continuously fight to be seen and heard. We do this through better prospect targeting and greater use of content marketing, in addition to creative. In addition, we must expand our marketing channels – improve our SEO rank, stay current and relevant in social channels, and make effective use of online advertising. Add working toward a fully, mobile responsive website and you have the major components of our strategy to help our marketing stand out in a competitive market.
Troy M. Bell, Capital Region Airport Commission
Creating awareness for new service offerings like routes to Denver, Jacksonville and Orlando. Their success will provide a big lift for the airlines, the airport and the community.
Peter Larsen, Cobb Technologies
Our #1 marketing challenge is brand awareness. We are known for our creative radio ads and as a great place to lease a copier but we need to get the word out about all of the services that Cobb provides. Recently, we’ve been emphasizing our IT Services division on the radio ads. We plan to increase the promotion of our other services to increase awareness of our “complete offering.” We are utilizing social media and our website to promote Cobb Technologies as the Richmond-based and family-owned Office Technology Integrator – everything from the office equipment, to document management software solutions, to content management software solutions, to managed IT Services.
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