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10 Reasons Brand Reputation Protection Is More Important Than Ever in 2019

The sentiment around your company is a precious and precarious thing, and customer experience has never been a bigger driver of purchasing decisions. Consumers want to feel good about the company they are doing business with. Not only can a strong positive association increase the likelihood of someone becoming a new or repeat customer, but it will also increase customer referrals and afford a level of forgiveness if mistakes are made or something goes wrong. Unfortunately, the inverse is also true, and because humans are fickle, this positive sentiment can change on a dime, making brand reputation protection of paramount importance.

10 Reasons Brand Reputation Protection Is More Important Than Ever in 2020

Social Media Is a Wildfire

There are thousands of people working for companies like Facebook and Twitter whose only goal is to increase the likelihood of something being shared and going viral. While this can be to your benefit if the event going viral is positive for your company, if something negative or controversial around your company happens, the exponential spread of information can quickly devastate your brand’s reputation and be difficult to contain. Knowing ahead of time how to address a potentially negative viral incident is crucial.

Reviews Are Essential to Potential Consumers

Before the Internet, people relied on opinions of family and friends, consumer review type publications and magazines, and company-provided customer testimonials when making purchasing decisions. When Amazon began to democratize product reviews on a massive scale, and allow anyone to share their opinion on anything, the influence of product reviews from strangers grew. Now, it’s reported that 92% of customers read product reviews before purchasing.

While this trend has generally been great for consumers, it comes with a few pitfalls. Unless the purchase can be verified, people can write negative reviews for products or services they’ve never used. Negative reviews can also be written as jokes or because of something completely unrelated to the product. This low barrier to entry for publishing reviews, and the growing number of review-centric sites like Yelp, Google, and TrustPilot, means that you must be diligent in monitoring the Internet for opinions about your company and its offerings, and responding appropriately.

Additionally, a lack of reviews can be just as harmful as a negative review. As mentioned in a related article, motivating customers to leave positive reviews should be an important part of your plan to manage and improve your brand’s reputation.  

Brand Hijacking Is Real

It has never been easier for offenders to digitally spoof emails, websites, or social media accounts and make it look like they’ve come from you.  All they need is your logo or profile photo and a little internet know-how, and they can set up social media accounts and websites that are exact replicas of your own and spread any message they want.

Of course, this is illegal, but you should absolutely have your company name, logo, and digital assets trademarked and continually monitor social media websites and internet searches for copycats or lookalikes so you can report them to the proper authorities.

Brand hijacking is not only limited to the digital world, however. People can create counterfeit lookalikes of your physical products too, which will have lower quality or fewer safety considerations than the ones you’re selling. This can potentially damage your brand’s reputation, and you should keep track of sites like Amazon, eBay, and other places that permit third-party sellers and report any counterfeits to the authorities.

Technology Is Pervasive and Permanent

Every employee in your company is a brand ambassador, and every customer carries in their pocket the power of the internet. You should assume that everything your customers and employees say to each other, either in person or online, may be broadcast and publicly posted.

And once something is posted to the Internet, it can never be truly removed. Any missteps by your employees or mishandled exchange can damage your brand’s reputation and be a permanent reference for potential customers.

Website Security Is Crucial

We mentioned spoofing and phishing through copying your logo and website design, but making sure someone can’t actually hack into and take over your digital properties is also important. If someone can break into your website or email systems, this could have devastating effects on your brand and your relationships with current and potential customers. It’s wise to engage a web development or web security firm for regular security audits to prevent this from happening.

Response Is Everything

How and when your company responds to sensitive events or crises is a high-stakes balancing act. A compassionate and empathetic approach can help build positive sentiment around your brand, but a harsh or tone-deaf message, or a response that comes too late, can devastate your brand’s reputation in moments. You must decide if, when, and how to respond to events with great care and consideration.

Personal and Professional Opinions Are Blurred

As mentioned before, people want to feel good about the products and companies they give their money to and associate with. They are more likely to want to build those relationships with companies whose values align with their own.

You and your employees are clearly entitled to your own personal opinions, but if you are a publicly outspoken advocate on social media for something controversial, there is a risk that your customers may not differentiate between your personal opinions and the company you represent. If they don’t agree with you, there could be damage done to your brand’s reputation.

Sentiment Around Your Customers and Partners Can Affect You, Too

People also pay attention to who your customers are. If you are a proud supplier for a company whose brand reputation has been damaged badly enough, there is a chance that this could bleed onto your own company’s brand. If you include other company’s logos on your site or in your marketing campaigns, or if you are publicly partnering with other companies, it’s important to monitor public sentiment around them too.

Your Brand’s Reputation Affects More Than Just Your Sales

Not only do your customers want to feel good about who they do business with, but the sentiment around your brand also affects who applies to your job openings. Potential employees want to be proud of where they work and give their expertise and effort to a company they can stand behind. You can be sure that potential employees are doing their homework and researching your company. If you want to attract top talent, protecting your brand is paramount.

And as mentioned before, sentiment around your company can affect who decides to partner with you. A positive brand reputation will afford many more partnership, sponsorship, investment, and local community engagement opportunities, and people will be more apt to promote those relationships to potential customers.

People Expect Better

It’s no longer acceptable to adopt the “oh, boys will be boys” attitudes around bad behavior or politically insensitive and inappropriate remarks. Your consumer base demands higher expectations for quality, and empathetic values. The threshold for simply looking the other way or forgiving mistakes has never been higher. Customers won’t easily forget a company’s missteps.

Your brand’s reputation is the most precious asset you own. You can produce the highest quality product, but if public sentiment around your company is negative, it won’t matter much. It takes years to develop a positive opinion about your brand, and it can be destroyed in moments. Monitoring and protecting your brand is a full-time endeavor, one which should be left to the experts. Reach out to Digital Marketing Collective for a free online business presence audit and let us help with your brand reputation protection.

5 Reasons to Hire an Edmonton Marketing Agency

Whenever you need an additional employee, you know which recruiting professional to use. When you need some marketing done, why not adopt the same approach and use a marketing agency? However, not every marketing firm can guarantee you the results you need, and hiring a local Edmonton marketing agency is beneficial in several ways.

Five Reasons to Hire an Edmonton Marketing Agency 

Marketing is an all-encompassing word that describes various methods of brand awareness, sales, and business growth. So, you might find it complicated to design and launch a successful campaign if you lack the expertise, time, and resources for such an undertaking. That’s why it makes sense to engage a digital marketing agency to set you off in the right direction. Here are a few reasons why you should consider hiring a marketing agency in Edmonton:

You Can Focus on Other Aspects of Your Business

Usually, marketing involves engaging new talent in running campaigns. Plus, it needs much of your attention to ensure that your in-house team is doing everything right. Do not forget that such an approach requires time and resources.

In most cases, you will leave the other important aspects of your business unattended. Hiring a marketing agency can get this burden off your shoulder. Engaging the right Edmonton marketing agency allows you to spend the time you would take training a new team running and growing your business.

With a marketing agency, all you need is to share the timeframe and goals. You do not have to onboard, train, or manage anybody. The agency handles all the marketing activities, giving you the freedom to concentrate on running your business.

Work With a Team that Knows the Local Customers

Marketing is about matching the tastes and preferences of your prospects with your product offering. There is no better way to do this than when you know the different trends and behaviors of your target audience.

The big national marketing agencies can turn up all types of customers who do not need your products or services. You’ll have inquiries from people outside of your target audience or even individuals who have distinct tastes and needs from the ones you target. National agencies may take quite a long time to understand the needs of the local customers, wasting your time and money. If you engage a marketing agency outside Edmonton, you will have a team advising you on how to position your business, yet they know little about how customers behave in your area.

Working with a local marketing company not only makes the entire process easy but also successful. When you hire a marketing agency in Edmonton, you’re bringing in a team that knows the local customers, the regional landscape, and how to find and attract prospects and customers within your target market description.

Work With Marketing Experts

The marketing landscape is highly competitive, and there are a lot of agencies and individuals who will promise more than they can achieve. If you do not have your finger on the pulse of the market, you might lose qualified customers to your competitors.

There is more to marketing than creating posts and sharing them on different online platforms. You need someone who understands how to profile customers, set and run marketing campaigns, and use the right strategies to convert leads to loyal customers. Such a process is both time-consuming and expensive, especially if you plan to use an in-house team.

Engaging a digital marketing agency gives you access to a qualified team of experts to handle all your business’s marketing activities. Besides saving on the cost of hiring and training an in-house team, you benefit from engaging experts with experience in similar projects, and this guarantees that they will achieve your marketing objectives.

Cut Down Your Marketing Costs

You have a variety of options when it comes to choosing who does your marketing. You can hire an international or national digital marketing agency or a local one, or even go for an in-house team. Whichever option you consider has to be informed by the overall marketing costs, perceived margins, and the probability of achieving the set goals.

A local marketing agency is much less costly in the long run compared to a national firm or an in-house operation. An Edmonton agency is best suited to handle your marketing budget as they know which strategies, neighborhood, or cities are worth investing in, depending on the local trends and customer purchase behaviors.

Find It Easier to Attract New Leads 

Any business needs leads, but attracting and converting them to sales can be a challenging task. A customer’s decision to use a given brand is based on the value they get and its ability to address individual needs and problems. You will need someone with the right experience and expertise on how to position a brand such that it aligns with the needs, tastes, and preferences of your target customers. A local marketing agency will get you the leads you want and help you convert them to sales.

Compared to international marketing firms, an Edmonton-based marketing agency is best situated to find you qualified leads easier because it knows where and how to reach the locals. Such agencies leverage the understanding of the living standards, income distribution, purchase behaviors, and trends to develop and use marketing approaches that convey your message effectively to reach and convince a large number of the targeted group.

Benefits of Engaging a Local Marketing Agency 

Are you contemplating hiring an Edmonton marketing agency or going international? The success of any marketing effort depends on how well the campaign aligns with the needs, tastes, and preferences of the target audience. A local firm is positioned to deliver the best results while ensuring that your marketing budget is used effectively. If you are still not convinced that a local agency is the best fit for you, here are some benefits that you can enjoy by working with a marketing firm that operates in your area:

  • They know how customers in Edmonton think, behave, and what they need
  • They know why people buy certain products or why they use various services (and why they don’t)
  • They know how and where to reach local customers with ease and affordably
  • They understand the pain points, needs, tastes and preferences of customers in your area
  • They have knowledge of the cultural intangibles that inform the suitability of a brand for a particular group of consumers

Choose the Right Edmonton Marketing Agency Today! 

A local marketing agency is your best choice when you are targeting local customers, and even more so if you engage the team at Digital Marketing Collective. We specialize in lead generation, so we help you get fresh business opportunities. With unmatched sales and marketing experience, we know what advertising strategy to use to generate leads and make sales. Get in touch with the team at Digital Marketing Collective today and learn how to land new customers quickly while adding value to your business through brand exposure.