Let’s get started! If you’ve never worked with a creative agency before, here’s an overview of things to consider, the types of marketing you may need, why you need them, and what we can do for you. Jump in for information for new businesses or existing businesses.
Starting a new business?
We can help you launch a new business on the right foot. Our clients tell us that we can make a brand new business look like it’s been open for ten years. If you’re just starting out, these are the basics that we recommend:
First Steps and Must-Haves
- A Solid Plan
A successful business starts with a solid business plan. Have you thought about who your target audience or customers are? Have you done your research on your competitors and your market? How will you differentiate yourself? Locally, Emporia Main Street and the Kansas Small Business Development Center are fantastic resources if you need some guidance with business planning.
Why do you need it? This is the face of your company, and should be done first. You’ll need a logo for practically everything you do as your business grows. Can you buy a cheap logo on the internet for $99? Yep! However, you get what you pay for, and you may end up settling for something that’s not exactly what you wanted or can’t be adapted to different situations. Your logo will be used for years on business cards, signs, envelopes, websites, company vehicles, any everything else in between. A logo has value and deserves an appropriate amount of thought and creativity. It is your lasting identity and a worthwhile investment.
- Business Cards
Before your business opens it’s doors, you’ll likely need to do some networking. Make sure you have professional business cards.
Having a presence on the web is a requirement in this century. Make sure you think about, budget for, and allow appropriate time to develop your website. It’s one of the most critical pieces of your marketing plan. Nearly all consumers research products and services online before making a purchase decision. If you don’t have a website, you’re missing out.
- Facebook or Other Social Media
While not appropriate for all business types, social media is an important way to connect with customers and generate good word of mouth. To be visible, you should be posting at least 1-2 times per day.
- Exterior Signage
If you have a physical storefront, you’re going to need signage. This can mean anything from awnings to vinyl to window decals. Don’t forget door vinyls with your business hours and website address.
- Interior Signage and Aesthetics
While we’re not interior decorators, we are artists and we’re happy to consult with you about paint colors and other interior choices that can enhance your brand. We can provide interior signage and wall decals, as well as large scale photo prints and displays.
- Car Vinyls/Vehicle Wraps
If you have a business where you’ll be out and about in vehicle (i.e., delivery services, lawn care, carpet cleaning, etc), car vinyls are an excellent way to promote your business because they are essentially a moving billboard.
Don’t wait until after your business has opened it’s doors to start advertising! Make sure you’re connecting with customers before opening day via social media, networking, traditional print collateral, news, radio, or television outlets.
Need help with an existing business?
Whether you’ve been open for 2 weeks or 20 years, marketing your business to the right customers should be a top priority. Here’s just a few examples of what your existing business may need to get ahead:
The phrase “if you build it, they will come” isn’t really true. You need to advertise–whether it’s newspaper or magazine ads, billboards, direct mail, banners, brochures, radio, TV, online, or social media However, you don’t have to throw out a pile a money and hope something sticks. We can help you determine which types of advertising and platforms are right for your business, and help you gage their effectiveness.
- Branding or Re-Branding
A brand is much more than a logo. It encompasses everything people see, hear, think and feel about your business. Maybe you’ve never had a clear idea of what your brand is, or maybe your business needs to evolve in order to reach new markets. How do you know what your brand is or should be? LISTEN to your customers. Your customers are the ones who create, own, invest in, and ultimately love your brand. We work with our partner, Guts Branding, to conduct scientific consumer opinion research. Through this research, we gain valuable insights into exactly what your customers want. Developing a rock solid brand position allows us to zero in on the marketing strategies that resonate and build loyalty with your customers.
- Web and SEO
If you don’t already have a website or your website is behind the times, this is a critically important investment to make. Not only do you need a website, you need a website that is MOBILE. In April of 2015, Google started de-ranking websites that aren’t mobile-ready. IM Design Group has taken a mobile-first approach to all of our web work since 2013. We can also help you become more visible online with search engine optimization (SEO) or pay-per-click advertising (PPC). Learn more about our web development.
- Something different
We specialize in out-of-the box solutions. We’re creative people and can tackle just about any request that our clients can dream up. Contact us and let us know what we can do you for!