Tag Archives: Marketing Ideas

The One Rule Every Marketing Pro Needs to Know

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It’s no wonder we’re all suffering from information overload.

Emails, instant messages, likes, tweets and texts clog our mailboxes, mind and memory.

So what’s a marketer with a message to do? How do we break through the clutter, capture consumer attention and build business for our clients and customers?

Stick to the rule of one.

Engage one audience, deliver one message and craft one call to action.

One Audience

Marketers often cast too wide a net when choosing their target market. If you want your message to resonate–narrowcast (spreading an advertising message to a select demographic). Choose one audience, (the more focused the better), know their pain points and speak their language. Don’t just speak to teachers; speak to 5th grade history teachers from the Midwest.

One Message

In his seminal book, The New Positioning, Jack Trout notes that minds hate complexity. So what’s the best way to enter minds that hate complexity? Oversimplify the message. No need to tell your entire story. As Mr. Trout says, “focus on one powerful attribute and drive it into the minds of your audience.”

One Call to Action

Whether you’re crafting an email marketing campaign, designing a print ad, or producing a video, you want your target audience to make one decision. Otherwise, they become confused and we all know how minds feel about complexity and confusion. Stick with one call to action (one simple command). And make sure its easy to find and easy to comprehend.

The bottom line, resist the temptation to overcomplicate your messaging. Trust in the simplicity and power of one and your marketing campaigns will prove much more successful.

One more thing…if you have any questions shoot me an email at sean@prguyonline.com

Cheers,

Sean
PR Guy

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Filed under Branding, Marketing

Moving Targets-A Review of Teriffic & Terrible Transit Ads

 

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I’m not huge fan of taking the subway. It’s an incubator for germs, there’s a lack of personal space, and it always seems to be breaking down when I’m running late.

Being a lifelong marketing geek, I really enjoy checking out the interior card ads and judging which ones nail it…and which ones miss the mark. It helps pass the time and makes for excellent blog fodder.

I judge the effectiveness of an ad on a few simple criteria. Did it capture my attention? Is the messaging clear and simple? Is the design bold and compelling? Do I know where to focus my eyes? And is the copy readable?

I like to think of a transit car ad as a walking billboard. Prospects are breezing by, or thinking about their 10 o’clock meeting with their boss, what to make for dinner, or how to get away from the guy sitting next to them with the unusual body odor. So simplicity rules here.

A good transit ad should include the following three elements:

  • A compelling image / photo
  • A unique, benefit laden, emotionally charged headline
  • Your name / logo / contact info

I was taking the train the other day and found some perfect examples of ads that work as well as ads that need to be improved. Forgive my photography, I was taking these on a moving train with bad lighting.

Honk

Honk

I love this ad. The photo and font immediately grab my attention. Both communicate the energy and enthusiasm of the event. And without ever having attended Honk, I want to go. The dates and URL are clearly listed and easy to find.

Boston Book Festival

Boston Book Festival

The first thing I noticed about this ad is that I don’t know where to focus my attention. Too many competing messages. And some of the copy is just too small to read.

Suffolk University

Suffolk University

This ad is at the head of the class. The copy summons my attention. It’s bold, daring, and speaks directly to commuters. The call to action is clear and concise. The colors and font compliment each other nicely.

Horizons for Homeless Children

Horizons

The photo certainly captures my attention, but there’s way too much copy. Most people won’t take the time to read the fine print. It’s way too much work.

The Freedom Trail

Freedom Trail

I love everything about this ad. Bright colors and contemporary design make this Boston staple seem new and exciting. The photo tells the story. I’m intrigued to learn more.

What say you? What are your favorite transit ads? I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas.

Peace, love and powerful press!

PR Guy

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Filed under advertising, Branding, Honk, Marketing, Nonprofit Marketing, outdoor ads, Public Relations, transit ads

Ice Ice Baby-How ALS Can Capitalize on the Ice Bucket Craze

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The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is hot.

In just a few short weeks, the campaign has taken the social media world by storm. The idea is simple. Take a bucket of ice water, dump it over your head, and share the video via social media. Participants then challenge others to do the same.

Just this past weekend, Kennedy clan leader and matriarch Ethel Kennedy doused herself in cold water at her Hyannis Port home. Then nominated President Obama to take the challenge during his Vineyard vacay. Other notable participants include Martha Stewart (I bet her cold water is infused with a hint of lemon), Matt Lauer, and former golfing great Greg Norman.

As a marketing guy, I’m fascinated by the viral nature of this contagious campaign. So, I went to the ALS website to learn more. Much to my surprise, there was no mention of the campaign on the ALS homepage.

This got me thinking… how can this amazing organization continue to build momentum and raise some serious scratch for their great cause? I had a few ideas and I bet you do too. So here goes …

Prominently Feature the Campaign on the Homepage: (NOTE-This post was published on 8/11. ALS began featuring the Ice Bucket Challenge on it’s homepage on 8/12)

This campaign is just about everywhere except the ALS homepage. This is truly a missed opportunity. People don’t like jumping through hoops to learn how to participate or donate. The homepage should feature an Ice Bucket Challenge banner that takes viewers to a dedicated Ice Bucket Challenge webpage.

Create a Dedicated Webpage:

A dedicated Ice Bucket Challenge webpage would serve as home base for those looking to get involved and learn more. Some ideas on what the page may include:
A series of step-by-step instructional videos:

o How to shoot your Ice Bucket Challenge video

o How to share your video via social media

o How to raise funds for ALS with your video. Provide participants with ideas and inspiration on how to raise funds for ALS with their video.

For example, encourage ice bucket participants to forward their video to friends and family via text and email and ask each recipient to give $5 to ALS (make it micro-donation–if they want to give more they’ll have the option to do so on the website).

A Prominent Donate Now Button:

Not everyone is going to want to pour a bucket of cold water over their head. Make it easy for those who just want to give with a big “donate now” button.

Gallery of Participant Videos:

People love attention. Make it easy for participants to upload their Ice Bucket video to the Ice Bucket Challenge page. Chances are, once they’re video is uploaded and their story is featured, they’ll direct their friends and family to the page. The Red Cross does a great job of this with the “Tell Your Story” campaign. The webpage features unscripted stories created and filmed by real people who’ve been helped by the Red Cross.

Create a Weekly Video Montage:

Each week the folks at ALS could create a montage of the best Ice Bucket Challenge videos. And each week, the PR team could submit the video montage, along with stories of the participants, to the media. I bet this would get a lot of play. Include a few celebs in the video and your golden.

A Thank You From a Big Wig at ALS:

People love to be involved in something big, and they love to be recognized for their efforts. A video from ALS staff member thanking participants and donors will help build trust and encourage people to continue their involvement.

A Description of How the Donations will be Used:

People want to know how their donations will be specifically used to support the organization’s efforts. And this is the perfect time to share that story. This is also a great opportunity to educate the public on ALS and the research being conducted to combat the disease.

In closing, this is just the tip of the iceberg (and yes, I realize my ideas aren’t earth shattering). But this campaign has better legs than Tina Turner-and that lady has some great gams. What say you? I’d love to hear your ideas and suggestions. How can ALS capitalize on this campaign and continue to build momentum? Let’s brainstorm.

Until next time, peace, love and powerful press.

Sean

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Six Steps to Add Some Gaga to Your Marketing Mix

Lady Gaga is a force of nature.  One billion plus views on YouTube, 6.4 million fans on Facebook, and 3.8 million followers on Twitter. The most Googled image of 2009, Time Magazine’s 2010 artist of the year, and Fast Company’s most creative business person of 2010. She’s a marketing maven, a social media strategist, and a worldwide phenomenon.

Love her or leave her, the girl’s got it going on! So let your freak flag fly! Check out these six steps to add a little Gaga to your marketing mix.

Embrace social media: Create a content rich website that shows your personality and engages your audience.

Gaga is a social climber of epic proportions. Her home turf (www.ladygaga.com) is a robust site, chock full of chat rooms, photos, exclusive videos, merchandise, tour information, and downloadable music.

Limit your social network & keep it consistent: Choose two or three social networking sites that you’ll update on a regular basis and stick with them.

Fans can get their daily dose of Lady G on Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace. As for consistency, Gaga tweets about once a day, sometimes every few hours.

Be authentic: Think of social networking as a cocktail party. Make friends and play nice. People do business with people they like.

Gaga keeps it real by engaging fans as though they’re her best buds. During a NYC performance, Gaga tweeted “The team of doctors and nurses who saved my dad’s life came to the monsterball, one of the best nights of my life performing for u. Rejoice NY.”

Establish a tribe: People join tribes, ancient and contemporary, to feel connected and part of something bigger than themselves. Harley Davidson and Apple have built their empires by cultivating tribes.

Gaga’s tribe has been described as cult-like in their devotion. She refers to her tribe, affectionately, as “ little monsters” and has adopted her own internal sign language known as the ‘monster claw.’

Focus your marketing on a particular audience:  If you’re everything to everyone, then you’re nothing to anyone. Create a narrow focus and infiltrate.

Gaga refers to her target audience as “An army of outsiders – All of the weird kids, the artistic kids, all the bad ones. And I love that, because that’s who I was. It’s our own little world.”

Tap into the power of PR: A wise man once said, you pay for advertising but you pray for PR. PR gives a business or person the credibility of a third party endorsement.

Face it, Gaga knows how to make heads turn. She wears outrageous clothes, makes controversial comments, and buys pizza for her little monsters while they wait in line to pay homage to ‘the Lady’. While her counterparts make news for bad behavior, Gaga makes press for partnering with Polaroid and Virgin Mobile.

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The Joan Rivers’ Guide to Better Branding

 

Can we talk? Whether you love Joan Rivers or worship the quick sand she walks on, you’ve got to give her credit —she’s a survivor.

I first saw Joan doing stand up at a Boston comedy club about ten years ago. I laughed so hard that by the end of the night my cheeks hurt. While I had a lot of laughs that night, I hadn’t thought much about Joan, until recently, when a friend recommended I watch Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work. The documentary captures a year in the life of the comedienne while looking back on the highs and lows of a career that spans four decades.

The film made me realize that Joan is much more than a comedienne. She’s a marketing maven. In fact, Joan can teach us all a thing or two about marketing, perseverance, and the power of laughter. So here goes, the Joan Rivers’ guide to better branding.

Be Unique: Joan has a personality all her own. She says what she wants, when she wants.  She’s earned a reputation, for better or worse, as a loose cannon. But that’s what people love about her. She’s one of a kind. How would you describe your brand’s personality? Understanding your brand’s core personality traits will help guide all creative and strategic marketing decisions. It will also help you develop a clear and consistent voice for social networking. If you don’t know your brand’s personality, start surveying your customers, clients or donors.

Target a Specific Audience:  Joan loves the gays. “Gays were the first ones who found me, in the Village so I feel very akin to them and very connected,” says Rivers.  Today, Joan starts every live show by asking, “Where are my gays? In return, Joan has a gaggle of gays at every show.  So what’s the lesson here? Know thy audience.  Whether your targeting soccer moms, stock brokers or evangelical ministers is irrelevant.  What matters is that you choose an audience and study them like a book. Learn their nuances. What are their common bonds? What inspires them? What keeps them up at night? Learn to speak the native language and spend time wherever they congregate.

Be Ubiquitous: Joan is omnipresent. Recent sightings have included a new TV series for Oxygen, hawking jewelry on the Home Shopping Channel and a Super Bowl spot for Go Daddy. Did I miss anything? The point is, Joan doesn’t rely on one marketing method to reach her audience— and neither should you. Adopt a strategic marketing approach that incorporates multiple touch points. Think PR, social media, word of mouth, print, web advertising and direct mail.

Experiment: Joan Rivers is like an inflatable punching bag. You knock her down and she bounces back up. She’s had her share of success and failure, just like the rest of us. But what’s admirable about Joan is that she’s not afraid to try something new. There is no magic formula to executing a successful marketing/PR campaign. The trick is to take chances and dare to be different. Need some inspiration? Check out this PR pitch from the CEO and COO of CodeWeaver to New York Times technology columnist David Pogue. Pogue said it was one of the best pitches he’s ever received. I think it’s genius.

And last but not least, keep on laughing because as Joan say’s “If you don’t laugh you die.”

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Filed under Branding, Marketing, Public Relations