Using Colors That Attract Your Ideal Clients

What Do Your Color Choices Say To Your Visitors?

The choice and combination of colors you select for your website (banner, call to action, or campaign) makes a nonverbal statement about your brand/business. The color palette is an essential and important element of your design. color

More importantly, color theory studies have shown that effectively leveraging the attention that is drawn by unique color can dramatically affect your conversion rates. Your choice of colors can attract your ideal client or customer and can motivate engagement by taking their attention to your site’s most important section or your call to action. The right colors have the power to evoke response that spurs the emotions you would like your visitor to experience. 

As a society, we’ve been studying colors and the associations behind them for a long time. There have been sociological and psychological studies performed, history studied, and more. No matter what is behind how we perceive colors, there is no denying certain colors evoke certain emotions. What are the colors of your website saying to your customers? The colors you choose should look good together, but they should also evoke the right emotions. pocketguide

I have compiled a handy Pocket Guide To Picking The Right Colors that you can Download FREE to use as a point of reference when considering specific desired responses. Our guide includes a list of emotions assigned to colors and combines the symbolism derived from mostly Western and North American cultural traditions. Keep in mind that these are general guidelines, and that each website and customer set is different. Different cultures, genders and classes have dissimilar preferences and attitudes. Emotional response from color also varies with age and sex. It's important to determine the target audience before choosing the right colors. MDCG also provides a customized color research service for your specific niche market in Custom Report format, or as an in-person consulting series. Contact us to learn more.

Making Color Convert

The key to making all of these color theories work is to determine what your visitors want, not necessarily what you want to sell them, and helping them to find and act on it. In other words, figure out what they are looking for and make it easy to find using a bold and contrasting color.

Ask yourself to start… “What responses will my ideal client will find most appealing? Which colors reflect my brand/business style and personality?”

Consider your colors…

RED is associated with love, passion, danger, warning, excitement, food, impulse, action, adventure.

PINK signifies femininity, affection, feeling good, well-being, softness. It is associated with sweetness, innocence, youthfulness, tenderness.

PURPLE indicates spirituality, dignity, royalty, authority, inspiration, power. It is associated with justice, luxury, fantasy, dreams.

BLUE is associated with trustworthiness, success, seriousness, calmness, power, professionalism.

GREEN denotes nature, health, growth, freshness, freedom, wealth, stability. healing, life, harmony.

YELLOW denotes happiness, intellect, activity, alertness, communication. It is associated with curiosity, playfulness, cheerfulness, amusement.

ORANGE denotes vitality, creativity, activity, sunshine, warmth, focused energy, endurance. It is associated with comfort, creativity, celebration, fun, youth, affordability.

WHITE denotes purity, spiritual strength, unity, harmony, perfection. It is associated with innocence, cleanliness, simplicity.

BLACK denotes power, elegance, protection, strength, impenetrability. It is associated with seriousness, mystery, secrecy and sophistication.

GREY is associated with neutralality, indifference, reserved.

BROWN denotes earth, simplicity, security. It is associated with grounded-ness, nature, tribal, simplicity.

GOLD denotes radiance, attractiveness, wealth, expansiveness.

SILVER denotes charm, mystique, understanding.

What Do Your Color Choices Say To Your Visitors?

If you want to use color theory to your advantage, step away from arbitrary choices. Choose your colors based on the two main criteria of readability and psychological association. This one little trick will help to reduce your bounce rate and make your landing pages far more engaging. Download our FREE Color Pocket Guide here. And contact us to learn more about how we can help you make good color choices for your brand and business.

A life that we need to celebrate

mandela“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.” ― Nelson Mandela

Our prayers are with you Mr. President.

Making It Meaningful

Recognition is a transformative force for good in helping businesses reach strategic objectives.

An article in Incentive Mag from expert Roy Saunderson, a nice list of trends to be aware of when thinking about what's really going on in the employee mindset in regards to incentive engagement. He says: "Recognition, done right, allows people to express authentically how they feel about their peers and the contributions they make. Vendors and practitioners must now learn to reinvent themselves and the way recognition will look and is managed in order to lead out into the future." These top 10 trends are thoughtful insights for taking us into an exciting new year in 2013.rewards

1. Expect a flood of immediate mobile recognition. 
As recognition apps increase we’ll see recognition becoming more prolific as employees using their mobile devices to acknowledge and praise peers near and far.

2. Social recognition supplants reward platforms. 
The use of social media type recognition given via à la Facebook-like platforms is expected to race ahead of using traditional recognition portal programs which have a strong rewards component embedded in them.

3. No excuses — more people will get recognition right. 
Educating on the why and how of meaningful recognition giving will come alive through mobile access for learning via online courses, written content and video modules to develop employees at all levels.

4. Recognition will become even more interactive. 
Face-to-face video capture and the spoken word will likely be explored as the next medium for sending personal messages of praise and acknowledgement besides the tried and true written and graphic formats.

5. A little more personal, please. 
Personalization of recognition will be front and center as a strategy for giving more meaningful appreciation in the workplace. Employers will capture recognition preferences with onboarding new employees and expect more manager interaction to do the same.

6. Give me the cards I want. 
Employees will no longer be satisfied with mainstay gift cards from big box stores and established suppliers. Employees will demand to receive customized cards from meaningful places they prefer and not just what the employer deems everyone should get.

7. Greater transparency with greening of recognition. 
Employees have little trust for corporations’ claims of supposed eco-friendly practices with gifts and packaging. Best to provide simple and clear proof of “green” efforts and keep educating everyone regularly on what you are doing.

8. Employers want better linkage of recognition to results. 
Technology enables improved tracking and recording, not just of recognition actions, but also results achieved. Visualize leader boards online with movement tracked of progress on strategic initiatives along with recognition given.

9. Need for better data not just big data. 
Good data is useful recognition metrics for greater employee insight and employer decision making to enhance employee loyalty and engagement. Imagine data with personalized information promoting preferred rewards that will help increase point redemption from programs.

10. Putting recognition into employees’ hands. 
It’s happening already with demand for increased peer-to-peer recognition tools. By giving more recognition power to employees you remove the barriers of management and their myths that have inhibited recognition giving for too many years.

Incentive columnist Roy Saunderson is the author of Giving the Real Recognition Way and is the Chief Learning Officer for Rideau’s Recognition Management Institute, www.rideau.com, which consults with and educates companies on how to get recognition right. He can be reached at RoySaunderson@Rideau.com. Tune in every Tuesday to hear him on Real Recognition Radio.

 

To Keep Your Customers, Keep It Simple

Complexity has its place in the world, but in most cases, simplicity is far more effective. This is never more true than it is in marketing.

Marketers see today’s consumers as web-savvy, mobile-enabled data sifters who pounce on whichever brand or store offers the best deal. Brand loyalty, it seems, is vanishing. In response, companies have ramped up their messaging, expecting that the more interaction and information they provide, the better the chances of holding on to these increasingly distracted and disloyal customers. But for many consumers, the rising volume of marketing messages isn’t empowering—it’s overwhelming. simple

Maybe it was “Gangnam Style” that pushed us over the edge of overstimulation, but the overwhelming feeling among consumers is one of exhaustion. There is a sense that from the hyper-connectivity of our highly-digitized lives to the bright, flashy, complicated sensory input we’re fed everyday, there is no way to continue at this pace. Rather than pulling customers into the fold, marketers are pushing them away with relentless and ill-conceived efforts to engage.

Simplicity will reign supreme.

Some of the more successful advertising campaigns you have seen over the years, most of them are simple, so as to not take away from the focus of the message. Burger King once ran an ad that consisted of a single French fry over a white background. This ad was meant to announce a new flavor of fries, and it was effective because the viewer only saw the one item. There was nothing else to steal their attention. People are tired of the hype and frenzy of the internet. 

2013 is likely to be a year where the most successful marketing strategies will be ones that are not only simple in nature, but promote goods and services that serve to simplify the consumer’s life, or even just their customer experience.

This minimalist concept can be applied to virtually any arena of marketing and advertising, including audio messaging. Ensure your business proposals are focused and easy to understand. Do not expect your client to do additional research to figure out your product. It’s the simplicity and clarity of message as the bedrock of your unique value proposition that interests us.

The Easy Path to Persuasion

Make it LOOK Easy. The notion of simplicity relates to the concept of Cognitive Fluency, which is the feeling of ease or difficulty when deciding on something. Companies that take this approach can go a long way toward improving the success of their engagement, and perhaps regaining loyalty.

 

Good Morning!

beach

The Year of the First Impression

B2B Social Media Comes of Age

For marketers, advances in social media are simultaneously forcing and enabling us to look beneath the surface of our businesses. A recent eConsultancy survey found that 67% of marketing decision makers agreed that social media is integral to their marketing mix (and only 11% disagreed). But when I speak to B2B marketing and PR leaders, the received opinion is that social media is a “consumer thing.” Why is this?b2b

2013 is the year that B2B social media will start to see its potential. But to do so, we need to overcome a few objection points. Here are the top three: 

“Hardly anyone watches/reads my content.”
First up, with B2B social media you have to get over the numbers barrier because the universe is smaller. We’re not trying to make a “Gangnam Style” viral effect with B2B content. And that’s not a bad thing. Success in B2B looks different—if it helps to create a lead, it’s worth more than getting a bucketful of views. The key is not to create content for the sake of it and (it has to tie in to the marketing mix) measure its effectiveness.

“The purchasing lifecycles are too long for social media.”
Yes, you’re going to spend a longer time selecting a new piece of accounting software to roll out in 50 countries than you are to buy a new digital camera. But to me, that means that an organization needs to spend more time building up trust. You can’t spend all that time face-to-face with your prospects, but social is an excellent way of building on the relationship that you begin offline. And as the lines between personal and professional lives blur, social media can add to the client relationship.

“People aren’t using social media for business.”
Why would business people only want to get their news in print or via traditional broadcast channels? The answer is, they don’t. And why are videos, blogs, infographics and podcasts increasingly popular? Because they’re interesting (ok, maybe not in all cases) and easily consumed in bite-sized portions.

Social is Getting Infused in the Business World

"Smart organizations will start taking a close, hard look at their existing cultures and begin considering some different ideas of what ‘leadership’ means."

We’re in a transitional period in which companies are struggling to integrate social into their business processes, and it goes way beyond marketing. Those that confine social activity to specific sales or marketing “channels” will soon be at a huge disadvantage to those that can incorporate the human-powered principles of social media throughout their organization.

Employees expect more transparency, more change, more experimentation, and more clarity. Smart organizations should start taking a close, hard look at their existing cultures and begin considering some different (less hierarchical) ideas of what “leadership” means if they are going to successfully adapt to this disruption. So why is this important for marketers? Because marketers understand story. Infusing social media into an organization requires communicating those core value messages and the authentic brand story throughout the organization—which is a challenge for traditional leaders, as evidenced by their hesitance around social media.

Marketers know how to tell the stories—and they also know how to experiment, test, and learn from different kinds of messaging. It’s time we started applying those skills to building leadership capacity, rather than just marketing. For leadership to spread through an organization—as social media demands—we need to change our culture, and marketing can play a vital role. 

This article was taken from a collection of predictions from ExactTarget clients, partners, employees, and friends. Download the full report "Inspired Predictions for SOCIAL 2013" 

Related articles
Twitter Seen Outpacing Facebook, LinkedIn for B2B Lead Generation

More Small Biz Owners Say They Find LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube Effective

B2B Marketing Budget Outlook Improves

 

Embracing the Community Conversation

The conversations that drive and define Social Media require an authentic and participatory approach. Social Media is about sociology not technology.
The future of communications introduces sociology into the marketing strategy. Technology is just that, technology. The tools will change. The networks will evolve. Mediums for distributing content will grow. The tools will change, but in most cases, people don't.

This new conversation is about the transformation of business and communities through ideas, design, technology, integrated media.

Right now there seems to be a lot of confusion between social media and the definition of community.

Community as data hub, the new pulse of conversation.

Communities have the following characteristics:
- They are continuous, not temporal - this is not to say that people don't drop in and out but there is a core membership that interacts together over a long period of time.
- Communities gather around a concept or common goal not around a collection of content (although content does plays a major role, it is not the impetus for the community).

Social Media is driving the communication evolution with VERY active global participation that needs to be LISTENED to.

The difference is that by listening, reading, and participating, corporate marketing will be smarter and more approachable than ever before. In this listening economy, the lines disappear.
By listening we humanize brands and form communities, create loyalty, and earn customer’s trust and business. To build a dynamic and conversational community that increases participation and response, make results open to the community, and cross platform.

To engage in community, you have to move in, not just visit. You don’t build your community; you need to find your community. Community built around consumption is fairly transitory. This is about person to-person activity. Not about speaking as “the company”, but as a person. Most companies don’t know how to do this, and it takes a lot of practice and experimentation to find that voice and feel comfortable with it. MAKE IT PERSONAL, community centric and multi- channel.

In the era of the attention deficit and social network fatigue, it is critical that we step back to realize that we are the communication bridge between companies and people.

However, we also must realize that in the era of social media, people also have amplified voices and are now a powerful channel of peer-to-peer influence. Transforming a company might take one person at a time.

Be collaborative. It’s time to shift from a mindset of monitoring and mining to one of collaboration, leadership, and justified adaptation.

And especially…give them something to talk about…"It's not what you say that matters… it's what they say that counts."

 

 

Conversation Starter or a Broadcaster?

Keeping the dialogue free and open for both sides.
With any circle of friends, (or customers, clients) online or offline, time and effort are keys to building positive relationships. Steadily increase your network, following, and exposure while communicating and building relationships with your current customers. And make it a 2-way conversation.

Especially in today’s social networks, Brands need to show that they truly care and spend the time getting to know consumers. Focusing on the amount of effort they put into these  relationships will give them more credibility within a community and help grow their networks. Brands using social networking often mistake using live web as a broadcasting platform, to spit out anything and everything instead of adhering to the culture of getting the conversation started and then waiting to hear back from consumers.

In a study delivered by Forrester beginning of 2008, 84% of all global CMO’s said social media marketing was their #1 priority at their marketing agenda’s for 2008-09.  Why is it important to start conversations? Because all brands have learned that they should listen to consumers to be able to ignite mutual beneficial relationships.

Social media is fundamentally changing the lives of consumers, of all of us. Communication is changing. This change is very different – it’s a fundamental shift both in style and direction. And it is happening faster than ever before. So how to keep-up, and intermingled with all this social dialogue, and with a list of web technology that goes on and on…blogging and micro-blogging platforms, RSS reading/filtering/mixing, podcasting, vodcasting? You don’t need to become a tech geek. But you do need to become a curiosity geek. You have to be eager to learn, willing to leave your zone of confidence and try new communication styles and new tools. And at the same time, stay transparent with a personal voice, in all your actions and messaging.

Being curious will get you a long way, and most of all – it will get you started.
Start your story with a bang! The classic approach to a great speech, concert, movie, book…applies to conversation as well. It’s about the Power Opening. Captivate and create an emotional bond with the audience. What is the one idea you want the audience/customer to hear, remember, and act on? This isn’t about broadcasting your brand and it’s benefits or a collection of facts, this is about a story. Stories make your talk come alive. Storytelling is a powerful way to drill your message into the listener’s mind. Stories engage the audience and raise their levels of motivation, acceptance, and approval. No matter how dry the topic, a personal story will build trust with the audience since you’ll come across as human. Make the audience/customer the hero of the story. Turn the ‘I’/’Brand’ in your story into the ‘we’. Use metaphors and analogies to help explain new concepts. And analogies are best taken from common experiences that everyone shares, so ground the story in the context of the moment. Fitting the climate, culture and mission of the audience without losing the spirit of your message.

Follow to Seek

Exploring the New Consumer Moments
Tapping into their Power-Reach
Shifting Mindset and Strategy for Social Promotion and PR

The networked consumer knows more than companies do about their own products. And whether the news is good or bad, they tell everyone. There is a new class of consumer, a population that is in constant contact with friends and peers and trusts them more than branded messages. And you can’t ask them to follow YOU…yet. This about ways to tap into THEIR power and reach.


Real-Time P.O.V. and Reviews
The live-dispatch from the influencer. The instant seal of approval. Interest in things sanctioned by someone they follow.


Mass-Mingling
Social media and mobile communications are fueling a Mass-Mingling that defies virtually every cliche about diminished human interaction in our 'online era'.

More people than ever will be living large parts of their lives online in 2010-11. Yet, those same people will also mingle, meet up, and congregate more often with other ‘warm bodies’ in the offline world.

Ironically the same technology that was once seen to be—and condemned for—turning entire generations into homebound gaming zombies is now deployed to get people out of their homes. Basically, the more people can get their hands on the right info, at home and on the go; the more they date and network and twitter and socialize online, the more likely they are to eventually meet up with friends and followers in the real world.

Why? Because people actually enjoy interacting with other warm bodies, and will do so forever. Social media is all about other people to begin with. via Twittersearch: "the coolest places to hang are the ones your friends tell you about.."

Turquoise, hosts monthly meet-ups at choice design shops around town. Playstation GameMeetups.

We will be seeing even more impromptu, temporary meet-ups of strangers, mobs and crowds with similar interests, tastes, hobbies, causes and grievances. Many of these (temporary) meet-ups will revolve around generating public attention, or getting something done. And here too, Twitter will lead the way.

The opportunity is obvious: Anyone/Brand/Venue involved with anything that helps people get and stay in touch; that aligns with similar cause/interest; or that accommodates those people before, during or after meeting-up with others, should not only rejoice in Mass Mingling, but make it even easier for customers to meet up in any possible way too. via Twittersearch: "Nothing alienates communities more than businesses that alienate them and try to exploit them. If local community groups want to hold their meetings in your bar, don’t charge them for a private room; if the football team wants you to be a sponsor, do everything you can to oblige, you will most probably be the center of any celebrations for the fans and team afterwards. Donate to local causes within reason and your business will be held in high esteem locally."

Tracking/Alerting
Tracking is the new searching, saving consumers time, making it impossible to forget, or miss out, and thus ultimately giving them another level of control. Count on everything being tracked and alerted on.

Sharing, Collective Intelligence.

2010 will mark the end of the Age of the Individual and the emergence of a new form of collective thought – a Global Brain.

With people sharing, in real time, everything they do, buy, listen to, watch, eat, drink, attend, wear and so on, and with even more search engines and tracking services making it easy to find and group these ‘live dispatches’ by theme, topic or brand, this year will see ready-to-buy consumers tapping into a live stream of (first-hand) experiences from fellow consumers. Instantly.