Build a Stand Out Brand with Blended Marketing

Building market awareness of your brand's product or service is more challenging than ever.

New marketing tools and techniques seem to appear every week to allow marketers to reach out to customers, but the low barriers to entry and relative affordability of these platforms means that everyone is trying them out.

All of this boils down to a simple question, and one that is especially apt for small business owners or small marketing departments: "How do we stand out?"

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Ask the Right Marketing Questions

Drill down into the question and you'll discover questions unique to your industry and expertise. Every business sector presents its own specific challenges.

On the other hand, some guiding principles do apply to raising and maintaining awareness, regardless of industry. Here are some to consider:

  • Know Where Your People Go: As simple as it sounds, this idea should prompt some deep, time-consuming research for your business. Simply answering Facebook or Twitter to this question is insufficient in 2013, when audiences are spread across potentially hundreds of platforms that could be advantageous to your business. Learn where and when your potential customers spend time online and work on getting in front of them there (without selling or spamming, of course!) .
  • Tell Your Unique Story: As on an individual level, the story of how you got where you are and why you do what you do is far more memorable than stale sales copy. Review your marketing materials and online presence to understand what story (if any) you're currently telling potential customers, and where you can inject more elements that are unique to your business.
  • Help Before You Sell: Especially true online, but applicable also to telephone conversations and in-person interactions with customers, being useful without demanding a sale is a sure-fire way to stay top of mind. Answer questions, offer 'how-to' content via your online channels, and be there when your target market is in a jam. They'll not only remember you when ready to buy, they'll tell friends and family about you as well.
  • Synchronize Online and Offline Marketing: A consistent message and brand is at the core of raising long term market awareness for your business. Regularly used brand assets such as your logo, color palette, website address and telephone number must be memorable and blended together seamlessly, building an unconscious recognition that sparks familiarity when a potential customer encounters them repeatedly.
  • Personalize Your Business: One of the biggest advantages that small and medium-sized businesses have over the larger players in an industry is the ability to offer closer, more personal customer service. Emphasizing the personality of your business across all of your marketing channels is an excellent way to have people remember their experiences with you. Allowing employees freedom to blog about relevant business topics of their choosing, share interesting industry articles that they come across, and have input into your marketing strategy can dramatically increase awareness levels.

The opportunities presented by blended marketing are there to be taken advantage of, but they require a clear strategy and commitment to delivering on the principles described above.

Where can you start to work on building your market awareness?

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