“marketing strategy”

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Many businesses are figuring out how to capitalize using all the social media avenues open to them. Honda created a very cool Pinterest campaign for one of it’s models that had a great twist to engage consumers and build their brand. Check out the full article by Marketing Magazine.

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As I have been helping my soon-to-be college freshman explore the incredible breadth of college majors focusing on marketing and public relations available to her, I have seen firsthand how diversified this industry is in the digital age we now operate in. Just 10 years ago, Public Relations was more of an add-on to the main strategy but now has top billing in any solid tactical plan with the inclusion of all forms of social media and search engine opportunities.

Managing communications between a business and its audience is the traditional definition of Public Relations. And that perfectly describes how social media and SEO function in this brave new world of marketing.

The  drawback however, is content-overload; sometimes companies are more focused on having constant ‘marketing touches’ to their audience and they ignore whether that message is relevant.  And that is where the ‘old school’ teaching of Public Relations comes back into play – evaluate the message, rank its relevance to the audience, decide which media channel is appropriate, and examine if it even has any positive impact on the organization’s marketing presence.

Content is king” has always been and will continue to be true, but managing all that content in a memorable, actionable and meaningful way is an art form in itself, and puts Public Relations smack in the driver’s seat.

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David Ogilvy In His Day

David Ogilvy was known for saying he was not a good copywriter. But he clearly understood the elements of how to communicate and get results. He promoted the concept of writing naturally, not using pretentious words, or relying on clever cliches to make the easy sell to clients. His idea #4 is about “Big Ideas”, not small ones. Read on:

“#4. Big Ideas: Unless our advertising is built on a BIG IDEA it will pass like a ship in the night. It takes  a BIG IDEA to jolt the consumer out of his indifference – to make him notice your advertising, remember it and take action. Big ideas are usually simple ideas… BIG SIMPLE IDEAS are not easy to come by.”

The Takeaway: Nothing could be clearer than Ogilvy’s own words, but if you have found these few tidbits we have shared have piqued your interest in learning more, you can read the full article of all 38 “tips” from David Ogilvy at: http://smartonlinesuccess.com/david-ogilvy-advertising-tips/

For more good reading, I recommend the following books by David Ogilvy: Ogilvy on advertising and Confessions of an Advertising  Man.

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Capturing Information

This is a provocative video presenting a different view of the impact of the ‘filter bubble’. With all the changes in search engines happening at lightening speed, it begs the question of whether we are really understanding the full scope – good and bad.  Is anyone bothered by having searches filtered based on algorithms about where you are, what computer you’re using or what browser you use, or do you think this just makes marketing more effective? Watch the video and let us know what you think.

Eli Pariser: Beware online \”filter bubbles\”

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A few weeks ago, Social Commerce Today published an article about Taco Bell’s struggles to effectively utilize Facebook with their social media tactics to drive traffic to their stores. Their offer for free tacos for 6 million fans only reaped a 3% response rate. So much for the old adage that anything with “FREE” in the offer motivates buyers.

On the other  hand, P&G sold 1000 diapers in less than 60 minutes on Facebook. Free vs fee, and fee wins? What gives?

The author hit it on the head when they noted two major obstacles:

1) The Taco Bell offer lacked the offer of convenience. One had to actually get in their car and drive to Taco Bell to get it. Apparently in our increasingly couch potato society this constitutes hardship, and whether you agree with it or not, that’s the reality.

2) There was nothing exclusive about the offer. Taco Bell’s free taco was the same product one could get for 99¢. Not a big price differential especially since one had to print off the coupon to get the free taco. P&G’s diaper offer, on the other hand, was introducing a new product that could not be purchased anywhere else.

Social media is just as much about being exclusive (in terms of info and offers) as it is about being inclusive (dialogue with the public).

The takeaway? To use social media such as Facebook to motivate consumer behavior, make it easy, make it quick and make it exclusive.

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I have noticed an uptick in some of the marketing forums I review, where debates about defining  social media are taking main-stage.  What’s interesting is how long we seem to have been talking about this “new trend”, although I would propose that this does not really qualify as a “trend” any longer; it’s part of our daily experience.

Consider it was only a few decades (and several questionable fashion trends) ago that there was no such thing as TV advertising. Today, TV advertising is not discussed as separate from marketing, it is discussed and evaluated, (along with all other promotional options), as one part in the potential marketing mix for a client. It seems time to make social media more like that.

Rather than create entire plans around only social media, or talk about it as an add-on, it would seem more beneficial to clients if  we simply treat social media as one more marketing tool, evaluated for how it can help the client along with every other marketing tactic. Social media, broadcast  tv and cable advertising, radio, outdoor, direct mail, e-blasts, websites, blogs, tweets, facebook, interactive, display – the list grows, the opportunities increase. The challenge is selecting what works best for clients, not just relying on the latest trend, which in the end, may very well be the right tool.

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A friend sent these to me and they feature European product bags. I love how these are made to just be fun, attention-getting, but also used for cause-marketing. To whomever created these – great concept!

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These were the wise words from a respected boss years ago. He was speaking to the issue of improving sales, but as Omni advises clients on marketing integration WITHIN the workplace as well as outside of it, we find this maxim to hold true as a leadership goal. When leaders can keep ‘their face in the place’ and engage their team, it can reap big rewards.

A recent article in the Harvard Business Review supports this, and explains that it is not just about in-person, all-staff meetings, but reaching out in a variety of ways to help keep the connection between leadership and staff strong. Some ideas include regular emails to staff from senior team members,  a leader’s blog or tweets, and just being present in the place and acknowledging the team. Maximize those marketing moments, and remember, those moments can be small but mighty!

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I read an interesting article this past week by Matthew Boyle in Business Week (“The Accidental Hero“) about a Subway franchise stumbling upon a great sales idea and the process they undertook to take the idea to upper management for use in a national launch.

The intriguing aspect was the guerilla-style marketing approach of the franchisee to handle the challenge of a sagging economy and slow sales by simply reducing their footlong sub cost to $5…  For his insight, he and other franchisees who followed suit achieved record sales, increased profits, productive staff. Sounds good, right? An easy sell? For the public, yes. Long lines at the stores to get the sandwich.

It took a little more convincing of the franchise leadership before being rolled out nationally. Certainly the process defied many standard marketing protocols – no research to back up the program rationale, advertising campaigns that came after the launch of the sales promotion in many locations, not one that coincided with them. And yet, it has propelled the chains’ sales into the stratosphere. Partly because the franchisee was willing to take a risk, and while he did not conduct exhaustive studies first, he did comply with the first golden rule of marketing – KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE. He knew that an inexpensive sandwich you could share with a friend or save half for dinner later was a novel but realistic way that consumers are saving money in a slumping economy.

Sometimes a good idea is just that – a good idea. While I am the first to promote marketing as a tool to grow business, and spending time making a strategy, you have to have a good product AND a good strategy to make it work. And no amount of scientific analysis will make a bad product sellable. No amount of creative, ground-breaking advertising will make a bad product succeed over time, especially if the ad concept is more intriguing than the product. (Think of most Superbowl ads — memorable ads, but what were they selling again?)

Kudos to Subway for coming up with a winner, despite the novel approach to getting there. And uber-kudos to the franchise owner (Stuart Frankel of Florida) who followed his marketing instincts without all the hoopla.

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