Creating Appeal: How to Promote a Product People Don’t Search For

The essence of marketing has everything to do with getting the right information out there and for your target audience to consume. In particular, it is all about creating effective messages that respond with your ideal clients through the use of all available channels.

But that’s just the tip of it. In lead generation and appointment setting, you need to understand what makes buyers tick and how they respond to every content they encounter online.

Basically, people search for something they urgently need because certain circumstances require them to. But what if you have a product that does not meet this urgency but can still be useful in the future?

Promoting a product that people don’t actually search for can be bit tricky even for major B2B brands. Despite this, there are still countless ways these companies can apply in order to provide their products a boost in their appeal.

Highlight audience needs.

For most marketers, it is always important to talk a lot about the service or product. But what they don’t get is that client needs still remain the top priority in content marketing. Even if there is no sense of urgency, you will never know when a prospect will need your product. Even if there is an absence of urgency, you will never really know when a client needs to purchase your product or service. So, it is best to base your marketing messages on potential issues that may arise.


Go outbound.

Outbound marketing has become the lifeblood of any B2B company. Efforts through trade show participations, telemarketing and cold-calling, and E-mail campaigns allows for reaching out to your target audience and C-Level decision makers even if they don’t need your product or service at the moment.  

More importantly, Social media presence is everything if you consider increasing your brand’s online clout a priority. You can count on Facebook and Twitter to spread your messaging and let your audience know that you have a product which can help them out in the long run. All it takes is knowing what type of content to post in your feed as well as the ideal times and dates for when to post.

Related: The Naked Truth: Outbound Marketing is still Important

Participate in forums.

Forums are where your audience gets most of their information. Whether they are looking for specific information about a certain issue they want to address, they are still open to other topics as an aside. In this case, try to get your voice heard in important industry forums. Create a thread and see where it would take you.

Related: 5 Reasons Why Forum Participation is Beneficial for Lead Generation

Discuss about a problem.

As much as we can admit it, basically anything can go wrong within a business. As an entrepreneur, you will have preemptive measures to make sure such problems are well addressed. Use this perspective to create content that discusses about a future problem or even a prevailing need. That way, potential clients may add you up in their list of go-to solutions when things get a bit sticky.

Related: What to Tell Clients Who Say “You’re too expensive.”

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How to Market Your Made-in-America Business [GUEST POST]

If a product falls in a forest, would anyone hear it? That’s a roundabout way of asking about marketing strategy. Just because a company is making a great widget doesn’t automatically guarantee success. The buying public needs to know about that widget. They need to think their life will be unfulfilled unless they can get their own widget. Soon, everyone will have the widget and the company will be looking for the next great widget. At least, that’s the plan.

One of the most effective marketing tools could come down to three simple words: “Made in America.” If a company goes through the trouble to make their products in America, they should be promoting that fact. Here’s how to market your Made-in-America business:

Say It Loud and Say It Proud

Slapping a “Made in America” label means all or most of that product was manufactured in the United States. From a legal standpoint, you can’t just say something is made in America — you have to be able to back that up. There’s a pedigree with that type of product that separates it from everything else on the shelf. If it was made in America, you should let your customers know right from the start of their shopping experience.

It helps if you can work “America” into the title of your company. The All-American Clothing Co. leaves no doubt about the provenance of its products. “USA Made” is part of its company logo. It also helps that a lot of their designs incorporate a patriotic theme involving flags and eagles, but there’s no doubt where this company’s products are manufactured. It puts the label front and center.

Related: Better Business Decisions by Enhanced Customer Data Analysis

Put Jobs Front and Center

Obviously, if you’re making a product in America, you’re employing American workers. That’s a fact that can be reinforced through your marketing materials. Last year, AngelList tracked 79,166 startups in the United States. That’s an amazing amount of homegrown companies. It really doesn’t matter how many employees are part of a company — the mere fact that these are jobs for Americans, and will in turn stimulate the domestic economy,is enough.

Igloo is the leading brand for all kinds of coolers. Their company history proudly boosts of the 1,200 working employees and their manufacturing facility in Katy, Texas. An “our history” page like the one on Igloo’s website is a must for any Made-in-America company.

Share Worker Stories

One of the ways you can reinforce the jobs angle is by sharing the stories of your workers. This goes beyond the “Employee of the Month” photo. You could delve into how the workers are not only supporting their families through their gainful employment, but also how they’re giving back to the community.

Darn Tough Vermont makes socks. Perhaps not the most thrilling of products. However, if you were to visit their website, you would not only be treated to a cool sock catalogue, but you’d also come away with the idea that Vermont is the only place these socks can be made. This a company with deep roots in the community, and they wouldn’t want it any other way.

It reinforces the brand by conjuring up that “small town” vibe. That’s not a bad thing to associate with your company.

Related: How NOT to Market your Product: 9 of the Worst Branding Failures

Promote a Better Product

Everyone knows that if you’re buying a foreign-made product, it should be less expensive. Yes, we can even call it “cheap.” On the other hand, a Made-in-America product could be of higher quality with better materials. That’s something that should be shared with the client.

There’s also the convenience that comes along with an American-made product. Hamilton Shirts, based out of Houston, has been making custom dress shirts since 1883. That’s a great company history story! They’re also able to promote a fast turnaround for a shirt order. Customers can get their product in days, as opposed to the weeks or months it would take if it was coming from overseas.

Related: Inbound and Outbound Strategies is a Match Made in Marketing Heaven

Get Listed

The holidays are an especially good time to promote American-made products. Everyone will be looking for items to add to their shopping list, and if they can support local businesses, then all the better. You’ll find that many news outlets trip over themselves to promote Made-in-America products. That’s a good thing, but you have to get on those lists. There are also numerous websites that are clearinghouses for American-made products. This will mean a little homework, but one Google search will get you started.

Of course, the usual caveats about social media marketing apply with company promotion. Every worker story, company anniversary and product placement mention should be blasted across all social platforms. You might even want to fire up Snapchat with your workers while they’re “snapping” things together.

Made-in-America marketing is all about positioning, and these products are in a very good position.



Lexie Lu

About the Author
Lexie Lu is a freelance designer and blogger. She enjoys researching the latest design trends and always has a cup of coffee in close proximity. She manages Design Roast and can be followed on Twitter@lexieludesigner



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How to Conduct Effective Market Research to Construct Better Marketing Strategies

B2B marketing is more of a science than it is a simple act of selling products and services. And much like a science, it is concerned with systems and relations.

B2B lead generation and appointment setting activities are interconnected. Then again, they function in specific ways, with the former identifying good prospects that the latter can direct towards making a purchase.

But such processes are subject to conditions that act randomly and independently beyond the control of marketers. For instance, market behaviors are arbitrary because people decide differently in terms of finding apt solutions to specific problems. It is this problem that makes generalizing the B2B landscape as difficult as predicting an earthquake.

It is in this sense that marketers need to conduct research. At least, with market research, businesses can develop appropriate actions to market uncertainties.

It is no doubt difficult to provide an accurate summary of audience behaviors, but market research helps identify weaknesses, assess current market situations and ultimately aid in forming better decisions.

Just as we want to effectively satisfy our curiosities toward the natural world, it is also important for marketers to arrive at better marketing conclusions through potent market research methods.

Listen to what the market says

What better way to know trending topics than through social listening. Focusing on what the market is talking about, businesses can gain knowledge about specific needs, or at least common needs within a specific demographic. This is possible through participating in online forums, industry discussions and events.

Find out ranking keywords

In terms of what specific products a particular audience wants, keyword research enables businesses to dissect preferences based on what people type in the search boxes. Knowing which keywords rank the most not only helps develop one’s SEO strategy; it also helps in determining new marketing niches that can be tapped.

Curate for content

The information you need to optimize your strategies can be sourced from other institutions not necessarily concerned with business. There are thousands of nifty blogs that feature a great wealth of marketing information online. It is then essential to explore relevant platforms and keep your eyes and ears open to new information worth noting.

Survey your audience

Concrete facts are needed in gauging market preferences. A business can only get them through effective market survey activities. For the B2B industry, phone surveys are excellent methods. They allow a business to get to the heart of their audience, i.e. to know how the audience perceives the brand. Such market research services are offered by a competent B2B telemarketing company that places evidence above anything else.

Can’t decide whether to outsource or not? Let this be a guide for your decision making.


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Marketing Lesson: The Life and Death of Flappy Bird [INFOGRAPHIC]

Everyone knows how this addictive game broke smartphones around the world. The hearsays were everywhere spreading like virus on social media platforms telling that flappy bird has lousy graphics and that the concept was just borrowed from an existing game.

But behind all these rumors, there are statistics that are based on facts and away from personal opinion. Here is an infographic that will show the life span of Flappy Bird from May 2013 until its shutdown this last Feb. 8, 2014 that was announced by its Developer Dong Nguyen on twitter.

Marketing Lesson - The Life and Death of Flappy Bird

It was said that Nguyen wasn’t able to handle the fame and criticism that he shutdown the game.

So what marketing lesson does this implies?

It basically tells us that to build brand or a name in business you have to be ready and prepare yourself from the sudden popularity as well as the bashing activity on your streams. The wheels are turning and it won’t always be up but what’s important is that we know when to stop. Success in marketing campaign isn’t always about taking risk rather of strategic and well-planned approach in your campaign.

Lovely Marketing Tips for Small Businesses on Valentine’s Day

These huge B2B companies don’t really engage into occasion-themed activities to boost their physical or online presence. It’s more of a small business thing.

A smaller scale industry needs to capitalize more on events that can capture the attention of a great number of people. It’s a way to show your target market how approachable and friendly your business is, especially to those who really haven’t spent time getting to know your products or services. A public event is a perfect avenue to build prospect rapport.

As Valentine’s Day approaches, businesses are juicing up their brains to come up with a complementary gig to suit the occasion. What should your business do on February 14?


Use Social Media to Promote Specials

Every customer likes a good deal and today’s consumers are more tech savvy than ever. Announce sales on Facebook and Twitter and any other social media accounts your business has.  Offer discounts to your fans or to consumers who will post a holiday-themed hashtag that will benefit you.  This makes it a win for all.  Don’t forget to offer deals through text messages too.

Write Blogs and Newsletters with a Holiday Theme

Focus your blogs and newsletter on Valentine’s Day trends.  Hone in on do-it-yourself ideas – they’re trending due to the economy. Make sure your blog specifically references Valentine’s Day.  Include calls to action, words that inspire confidence in blog readers and other promotional information. Customers will like to learn about ways to celebrate, holiday-themed stories, and ideas.  To best resonate with customers, write content that’s useful, entertaining, light, and informative.

Have a Contest

Social media is a great place to hold a Valentines contest.  Think of creative ideas that require consumers to get involved – they could take photographs with a product they purchased from you and post them on your page in exchange for a coupon or their name in a drawing for a prize.  Make sure to have all rules in place prior to starting the contest.

Holidays are always a time when Americans are in the mood to shop.  Utilize social media and other small business marketing tips to maximize your sales this Valentine’s Day and all other holidays to come.

How do you increase your profit around the holidays? What ways work best to engage your customers and encourage them to shop?

The Role of Color Psychology in Marketing


In building a brand, the visual impact of a business logo or website design is as important as the value of the product or service being offered. And one important aspect of that imagery is the color.

For some marketers, a color is just something that could be picked off the top of the head and doesn’t really signify something. But for those who really invest a lot of brainwork in their business image, colors are something that helps define a brand’s reputation.

Brandon Gaille, CEO of the internet marketing company, which specializes in SEO, social media, reputation management, video production, and web design, shared his thoughts on how colors can influence people to support (or not support) a brand:


How Do Colors Affect Us Mentally?

Think about the psychological effects of colors before using them. A short list of the meaning behind colors is listed below.

Red: Shows excitement and stimulation.
Blue: Creates a feeling of trust and security.
Green: Associated with environmental products and promotes feelings of health and tranquility. It is also associated with money.
Purple: Often used in beauty products, purple is used to resemble wise, creative, luxury, or imaginative brands.
Yellow and Orange: These colors are cheerful but are used to much can also lead to a feeling of anxiousness.
White, Gray, and Black: These are associated with a color splash but not to be used too much. White is associated with purity, black is associated with power and strength, while gray is associated with staying power.

Schemes, Contrasts, and Choosing Colors

When designing a webpage, contrast is very important. Use contrasting colors to make easy-to-read text areas, and to make your product pop-out from the page. You always want the background to contrast from the product, if possible. Usually, backgrounds are of lighter colors, with the product being a darker color. For sites with lots of information, go for neutral color schemes. Choose bright colors to create a sense of vibrant energy. Monochromatic, complimentary, and triple color schemes are all appropriate. Monochrome looks sleek. Complimentary schemes appear pleasing to the eye for a large audience. Triple color schemes are the most popular.

A very beautiful and insightful infographic, as well as the entire article, can be found at Color Psychology in Marketing 

Have you been Naughty or Nice? Let Santa teach you about Marketing


What’s so clever about a big-bellied old man with white flowing beard and wearing red all over? It’s certainly not just the suspicious “ho ho ho” laugh or his secret affair with Mommy that makes him one of the most beloved characters in pop culture.

It’s his appeal with both children and adults alike that makes him a timeless figure that represents a season everyone loves.

Here are some of Santa-characteristics that we can apply to the world of marketing.

1.  Santa is the personification of reliability. Santa never let us down. As kids we would always find our most-awaited Christmas gifts under the tree or inside the sock we hung on the wall. It’s a tradition that no one expects to miss. Is your business letting your customers down? For your business to be as well-loved by everyone, it has to deliver what is expected of it – all the time.

2.  Santa aims to delight and surprise. The mere thought of an old man sneaking into our homes to leave gifts is already a pleasant thing to cherish. But it gets even better as soon as we open the neatly-wrapped presents and discover that Santa gave us exactly what we wished for – sometimes even more. Marketers are sometimes too focused on ‘getting’ attention and are missing out on ‘giving’ its target market what they want in ways that can leave a lasting smile.

3.  Santa encourages us to write.  When kids get a little picky about what they want as gifts (most of them are), they write letters addressed to Santa. Imagine if our customers had the same comfort to let you know what they really want. Normally, they wouldn’t do such a thing – ah, grownups – but as a business the least you can do is encourage them through comments sections, social media and feedback forms.

4.  Santa rewards good behavior.  Of course, we would always tell Santa that we’ve been ‘nice’ so we would get good presents. What does your business give to those who have been loyal fans? Fostering a relationship often involves getting small perks out of it, and when people have been there for your business all this time, you have to give back: offer freebies, discounts, and privileges.

5.  Santa promotes teamwork. Santa has elves and 8 reindeers.  He knows he couldn’t manufacture and deliver all his goods without the help of his team. And it’s not always just about him – pop culture has always given recognition to everyone in Santa’s household (Rudolph became the most famous one, of course).  For your business to excel and be appreciated by people, marketers alone should not carry the load. It’s all about teamwork, and when the big moment comes, everybody gets to get some credit.


Business Lessons from the Life of a Hero, Nelson Mandela

Business Lessons from the Life of a Hero, Nelson Mandela

On December 5, 2013, the world mourns the loss of one of the greatest gifts humanity has ever endowed to itself: Nelson Mandela. Father of a nation. Nobel Peace Prize winner. Anti-apartheid pioneer. Merchant of peace. Philanthropist. Modern hero.

In the wake of his passing, people all over the world have nothing but good words for the former South African leader and his legacy that will be forever engraved in history.

Many people call Mandela as a true “sales person” because he embodied the traits of someone who not only stands true to the things he believed in, but also has the influence and perseverance to move others around him to do the same thing.

“When people are determined, they can overcome anything.”

Determination in business is a rare value to come by. A lot of business owners tend to expect instant gratification not realizing that most of the time, success comes with a great deal of patience and perseverance. Mandela never abandoned his campaign against racial discrimination up until his dying days. That’s why the impact of his deeds are long-lasting; it’s because he put a lot of work into it.

“Difficulties break some men but make others.”

After being imprisoned for 27 years, most of us wouldn’t even dare to repeat the same things we got imprisoned for. That didn’t stop Mandela from continuing his fight as if nothing happened. The measure of a business’s success is not always about winning; more often it’s about how many times it was able to pick itself up after a fall.

 “A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination. But when you add to that a literate tongue or pen, then you have something very special.”

An idea will remain an idea if not shared with the world. Marketers have the crucial task of developing a business message and packaging it for the world to behold.

“One cannot be prepared for something while secretly believing it will not happen.” 

A little bit of optimism goes a long way. If Mandela didn’t believe he was fighting for something that’s worthy of his sacrifices, he wouldn’t have went on. You have to believe in what you do to be able to see it through the end.

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” 

The thing that cripples most businesses is the lack of ambition. A business that refuses to take risks and venture into new prospects can easily be left behind. Without guts, there would be no glory – and  Mandela is the epitome of guts.

Autumn is here! Is your business ready for the holidays?


The final stretch of the year has just presented itself, and this is a crucial time for businesses everywhere to prep up and get their game faces on. What’s great about the holidays is that even though small to mid-sized businesses have had a rough time during the first 3 quarters, they are still given the chance to make up for it for 3 more months. For them, it’s “make or break” time.

Okay, so there’s Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Whether or not you personally observe these occasions, you cannot deny the fact that as a business, you have to ride with the hype of the seasons. What are the things you need to do?

It’s time to face your customers

Not necessarily in a literal sense, though. What it means is that it’s the perfect time for you to reach out to your audience. The holidays are a great opportunity to initiate or maintain business relationships with prospects. It’s not just about the usual holiday discounts and promotions; engagement should be encouraged on a more personal level. Send out personal email newsletters (make sure it’s non-marketing in nature; for once, talk about them and the holidays). Don’t forget to thank loyal customers for sticking with you through the years. The bottom line is that you have to let them know that you are “with them” in celebrating these occasions.

Decorate your cyber presence

When it comes to special events, nothing is as flashy and colorful as social media. It’s the ultimate avenue for letting people know how your business would align itself with what’s going on in the community. First, look back at the activities you did during the same time last year, and identify which ones deserve to be retained or ditched. It is also important to start early on if you’re planning to host holiday campaigns on giant sites like Facebook or Twitter. Your prospects will not see how your colleagues would decorate your office for the holidays, but they could definitely see your website and social media profiles – and that’s where you need to work on.

Be careful with holiday messages

The worst thing a business could do is to tarnish the spirit of the holidays by pulling off a cheap, insensitive marketing tactic that aims to rake in money rather than to observe an occasion. People hate it when brands take advantage of them during these times, and although these gimmicks do increase your current sales, the damage is inflicted in the long-term reputation of your company. Show your heart to the people, and you’ll never need to exert so much effort in marketing.

Crowning Glory: Beauty pageants can teach us how to market effectively


If you think about it, the very concept of beauty pageants is rather odd; first of all, beauty is relative, and there should be no universal standard in judging whether one person is more beautiful than another. But then, that’s the tricky part: pageants don’t necessarily decide on beauty itself, but on the way beauty is presented.

In other words, it’s about “marketing” the beauty of a person.

That’s the reason why pageants usually include talent showcases, interviews and seemingly endless exhibitions of various clothing: swimwear, evening gowns and national costumes. People need to see different ways that beauty is featured. If it’s really just about beauty itself, then judges could just look at their faces and the show would be done in a matter of minutes.

It’s not entirely about physical beauty

Most marketers think that the appearance of a product is the basis of consumer appreciation. While it does help in drawing buyers into the hype, it can never be more important than the actual function of the product. Steve Jobs wanted Apple products to look nice, but he didn’t want to compromise quality. For him, functionality is part of the design.

Charm and appeal can move mountains

Not all beauty queens are beautiful in a strict sense. Some of them just had enough charm and appeal to wow the judges and carry themselves through the end. People call it the “x” factor, and there’s no science behind it; in fact, you can’t even describe it in plain words. Products don’t need to strive for perfection, as long as it can capture the hearts of the masses. Does your brand have the “x” factor?

You’ve got to have brains, too

Why do question-and-answer rounds come last in pageants? Simple. The ultimate test for a woman’s beauty is her brains. If you’re beautiful and you say something stupid, people will mock you. But those who speak intelligently are respected, no matter how ugly they could be. The same goes for brands; people will never learn to appreciate a product or service that looks good on the outside but fails to deliver.

Reputation is wealth

You’ve probably heard of beauty queens who have been stripped of their titles because of their scandalous behavior behind the public eye. Society is as critical and unforgiving as ever. One wrong mistake has the potential to destroy everything your company had worked for. As a marketer, you should make sure that everything you do – publicly or otherwise – will not blemish the name and image of your brand.