marketing consultant, online advertising, social media, Uncategorized

Invigorating Opportunities

As I write this last blog post of 2015, I feel so very energized. While it was a tough year personally for me — I lost my beautiful mom to Alzheimers — on the professional front, the past year has been a very educational and exciting one! As the number of online advertising opportunities continued to expand this past year, and along with them, greater opportunities for reaching very refined target audiences, we enjoyed learning about and testing out the various new tools, so that we could advise our clients on which ones might make sense for them based on their particular marketing objectives. And, of course, we enjoyed implementing results-achieving campaigns on a broad variety of online advertising platforms.

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Results Communications and Research became recertified as a Google AdWords Certified Specialist at the end of 2015. The need to renew our AdWords certification by studying for and passing an “advanced search” exam provided another welcome educational opportunity and refresher on the many tools and techniques available to optimize search campaigns and associated budgets. And, it positions us well to very effectively and efficiently manage clients’ 2016 search and display campaigns.

As it did in 2015, we expect that digital/online marketing will continue to reign as king of marketing activities for most brands and organizations. Sure, we’ll still see very large consumer packaged goods companies, financial service organizations, insurance companies, and cell and cable service providers running extensive broadcast and print campaigns — think General Mills, Capital One, Geico, and Xfinity TV and magazine ads. But, we believe smaller and mid-sized organizations should and will continue to put most of their marketing $$ and energies into digital marketing activities, such as search and display (pay-per-click) campaigns and their presence on a variety of social media platforms.

On the social media front, Facebook is expected to maintain its lead in 2016 as far as far as capturing the largest percentage of advertisers’ social media advertising dollars. Yes, the younger generation (25 & under) is primarily staying away from Facebook and mostly using it as a way to stay in touch with their parents, aunts, and uncles who have made Facebook theirs, but advertisers are still able to reach an extremely large, diverse audience on Facebook. And, the people they can reach, including baby boomers, have the greatest buying power.

During the last 5 years or so, Twitter has experienced popularity ups and downs, and the demographics of individuals whom it has attracted have varied greatly, but as we enter 2016, the platform seems to be embraced by quite a diverse group — both young and old appear very engaged. Pinterest remains very popular among women of all ages  who love to cook, follow style, love interior design, etc., and while a much smaller group than women, men are enjoying Pinterest’s benefits of being able to find and file items of interest. Snapchat and Instagram should remain great ways to reach younger generations, and two new video platforms, Periscope and Meerkat, are expected to be used very effectively by advertisers in 2016, as both platforms significantly grow their followers in the coming year.

With all of the current and expanding opportunities for marketing consultants like me to help clients meet their awareness and sales marketing objectives, there’s so much to be excited about as a new year gets underway. We look forward to working with and helping both existing and new clients with their marketing opportunities and challenges in 2016, so let’s get started!

 

marketing consultant, Uncategorized

Getting More Bang From Your Marketing Buck

As the number of marketing opportunities and vehicles has multiplied drastically in the last 20 years — due to the many and diverse tactics available online — marketing professionals have found themselves having to spread their thin marketing budgets even more thinly. While the number of opportunities for product and service promotion and awareness-generation has grown, most marketers have found their budgets haven’t, and therefore, they need to constantly be thinking about how to maximize marketing dollars.

I’ve recently been involved with and/or had the good fortune of learning from a couple of strategies employed by prospective or current clients that I believe very much maximize marketing budgets, and I wanted to share those below.

Co-marketing/Co-branding

An effective way of both achieving marketing objectives and maximizing marketing spend is to partner up with another organization to jointly achieve respective marketing objectives — sales and/or awareness. Whether it be through a product or service offering that bears both organizations’ names, a rebate or instant redemption when different products offered by two distinct organizations are simultaneously purchased, or simply through a promotion such as a contest, sweepstakes, or giveaway, joint or co-marketing by organizations can go a long way in minimizing dollars spent while maximizing awareness. After all, doesn’t it make good mathematical sense that if ABC company has brand recognition among a certain percentage or slice of the population, and XYZ company among another slice, that both companies will grow awareness, and hopefully sales, of their company’s products among loyal consumers of the other company’s products. In addition, one of the companies may specialize and have great success in resonating with a desired target audience with which the other company hopes to resonate.

Fan Sharing

While fame-seeking individuals who try to ride the coattails of celebrities in hopes of gaining fame for themselves are often recognized or criticized for doing so, in the world of marketing products and services, not trying to piggyback on appropriate individuals’ or organizations’ success likely means a missed opportunity. And, while there are many ways to incorporate people who are well-known and well-respected into a marketing campaign — for example, those people could be used as spokespeople for your brand or appear in your advertising — because of all the focus on online/digital marketing these days, the opportunity I will discuss here pertains to employing both bloggers and vloggers in your marketing.

Whether an external party publishes regular posts to their online blog on topics relevant to your line of business, or they appear in and produce relevant-topic videos that they host on platforms like YouTube, if that external party has a large fan following, you should give strong thought to how you might involve them in the promotion of your product or service. While the compensation vloggers and bloggers (talents) expect varies greatly, if you’re willing to take the time to do an extensive search, you’re likely to identify talents who are willing to talk or write about your product or service and/or show it in use at a rate that’s acceptable to you. And, both your organization and the talents will benefit from being able to share whatever post or video you jointly create among each of your sets of fans and followers.

I welcome your thoughts on the two marketing opportunities I’ve discussed above for getting more bang from your marketing buck, and I’d love to hear other ideas from you on how to maximize marketing dollars during this unique time of endless opportunities.

diversity, marketing consultant, staying current, Target Marketing, Uncategorized, Understanding Your Environment

The Many Wins Of Speaking To Your Many Target Audiences

I have found the fact that more brands are acknowledging and presenting same-sex couples and parents in their advertising quite refreshing, and hopeful. Kudos to Chobani for having the courage — and great wisdom — to create advertisements that speak to a demo that doesn’t get a lot of speaking to — women in relationships with other women. Sure, as you’d expect, there’s a variety of groups up in arms about it, but Chobani, I believe you are doing the right thing. You are keeping pace with the, thank-goodness, open times and making a target audience feel very welcomed by a well-known, and well-loved brand — something that hasn’t happened too often in the past, but is starting to happen with much more frequency. So, I say, “keep up the great work!”

And, I’m giving equal kudos to Cheerios, Honey Maid, and State Farm for recognizing there’s all types of families in this world — many are mixed race, are made up of adopted children and adoptive parents, and many have two parents of the same gender.

Let’s face it. If you’re a consumer goods company, in general, it’s likely that your product is used by individuals of all ages, races, religions, sexual orientation, and the list goes on. Don’t all your loyal and prospective customers have a right to view advertising that represents them and their lifestyle? Imagine how good it must feel to those populations who have been over-looked up until recently to have large well-known and well-loved brands acknowledge their lifestyles, and even just their existence. Not only are the brands that are creating advertising that represents over-looked audiences creating good will with those audiences, they are creating good will with the friends and family members who love those over-looked audiences and believe they have a right to be represented in and acknowledged in advertising.

Keep it going, you aforementioned great brands!  Despite the naysayers, I believe you’ve got it right on so many levels.

brand promise, marketing consultant, Memorability, Passion, Strong Ad Creative, taglines, Uncategorized

Make Them Laugh

When I look back at TV commercials that have aired throughout my career that were among my favorites, I realize that most of them were funny. They stuck in my head and I didn’t mind seeing them repeatedly because they put a smile on my face. Colleagues who know me well know there’s nothing I love more than writing some fun, punchy copy.  Often, the cornier the better, because as I’ve blogged before, if advertising is entertaining, and therefore likely memorable, it should create increased brand awareness and likeability.

Maybe they drive some of you nuts, but I really enjoy a lot of the Geico ads in the “It’s What You Do” series, such as this one.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h7D0FVpfU1g.  It’s fun and effective.

I also like Geico’s “Did You Know” series of ads, including this favorite.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kCysb4_-4jU.

Of course, depending on the nature of the product you are promoting and your brand promise, humorous advertising may not be appropriate.  But, when and where humor can be used, why not tickle your customers’ and prospective customers’ funny bones at the same time you provide information about your brand, product or service? Your customers and prospective customers are sure to appreciate and love you for it.

 

Enjoying What You Do, marketing consultant, online advertising, Passion, social media, Uncategorized

A Year In The Making

It’s so hard to believe that Results Communications and Research is about to celebrate its one-year anniversary. One of my favorite and common responses to challenges has always been “onwards and upwards.” And upwards it truly has been the past year, and for that, I’m both extremely grateful and thrilled. As I look back at all the posts I’ve drafted and published during Results Communications and Research’s first year of business — we’ll have officially been in business a full year around mid-April — I realize that I’ve followed a lot of the marketing and outreach advice I’ve shared in past blog posts, particularly the ones below. They’ve proven to be quite effective!

  1. https://allintheresults.com/2015/01/05/and-they-told-two-friends-and-so-on-and-so-on/
  2. https://allintheresults.com/2014/11/19/oh-yes-im-the-great-connector/
  3. https://allintheresults.com/2014/10/15/while-you-wait-educate/https://allintheresults.com/2014/09/24/the-perks-of-networking/
  4. https://allintheresults.com/2014/06/23/attitude-truly-is-everything/
  5. https://allintheresults.com/2014/05/30/why-it-literally-pays-to-be-different/
  6. https://allintheresults.com/2014/05/13/my-hands-on-refresher-course/
  7. https://allintheresults.com/2014/05/07/keeping-up-the-fight/
  8. https://allintheresults.com/2014/04/23/why-i-love-the-marketing-term-shoe-leather/
  9. https://allintheresults.com/2014/04/16/why-goodwill-is-well-good/
  10. https://allintheresults.com/2014/04/12/the-power-of-passion/

I want to thank the many friends, acquaintances, prospective clients, and clients who provided an opportunity for a great marketing strategy discussion and/or the chance to submit a proposal for ongoing or project work, or who engaged me and my firm to oversee and execute ongoing or project marketing or research work. I’ve truly enjoyed our conversations regarding marketing challenges and opportunities, as well as primary and secondary research, and the actual work I’ve done for some of you in these areas.

I also feel so fortunate and honored to have been able to work with such a diverse group of clients on such diverse work. To-date, Results has been engaged by two large non-profit organizations for both marketing and development work. We’ve also worked with many service-industry organizations, including ones in financial services and insurance/benefits, private investigation, and commercial real estate, as well as consumer goods and entertainment industry clients. In addition, we’ve served as a sub-contractor to a fellow marketing agency on public health marketing and communications work. And, I feel blessed to have had the privilege of holding discussions with prospective clients with a variety of organizational missions.

We’ve enjoyed serving as outsourced marketing department or outsourced marketing professional for a couple of terrific organizations — helping with both traditional and online marketing needs, including web site, online advertising, and social media oversight. We’ve also appreciated overseeing important project work for clients including competitor/marketplace research and analysis, online advertising (Google AdWords Display and Search/Pay-per-click), web site development and launch, and creation of strategic marketing and media plans that included traditional media such as broadcast (T.V. and radio), transit, and print advertising, as well as digital media.

I can’t close this post without thanking my wonderful husband and friends who let me brainstorm with them on a variety of topics, and without thanking sub-contractors who have helped me with a variety of work — particularly research-related — when my plate was very full. You know who you are, I couldn’t have done it without you, and I look forward to continuing to work with you as we begin our second year. You are a critical part of the Results team.

We can’t wait to see what this next year holds for us, but we have a feeling with all the interesting opportunities and challenges that the world of marketing holds for organizations of all sizes, industries, and profit status, it’s going to be another exciting year for Results.

marketing consultant, Memorability, Passion, Strong Ad Creative, taglines, Uncategorized

And, They Told Two Friends, and So On and So On

Long before I knew I was going to devote my career to being a marketing and communications strategist, I was regularly exposed to a marketing campaign so impactful that I remember it and the product it promoted all these years later.  This was the ad for Faberge Organics hair products that used the tagline shown in my header.

I believe this tagline was effective in selling hair products because it was memorable (I talked about the importance of memorability in marketing campaigns in this 2014 post).  Also, what woman, regardless of her age, wouldn’t want to make the very small investment in a hair product that women find so effective, they are all talking about it!

But, the memorability and effectiveness of this campaign’s slogan is not the true purpose of my post.  The purpose of my post is to reinforce, as we all begin a new year, the importance of testimonials and word of mouth, in growing your business.  There’s no stronger and more cost-effective of a marketing tool than a job well done in the eye’s of a client or customer.  A happy and satisfied customer is more likely to proactively make referrals or agree, when asked, to make referrals to other potential clients on your behalf.

After almost nine months in business, I’ve found the best source of client work is former colleagues and co-workers who witnessed first-hand the quality of my work and work ethic, and referrals by these individuals to other individuals.  So, make sure that, regardless of the size or profitability associated with a particular customer project or service, you always put your best foot forward and bring your best work to any situation.  And, don’t hesitate to ask your clients who express great satisfaction with your work to make referrals on your behalf.  I think you’ll find, as I have, that a customer who is pleased with your work will always be glad to help you make connections.

 

keeping a balance, marketing consultant, Passion, Uncategorized

Gifts and Gratitude – Part II

Since many of my clients have currently gone into what I call “holiday hibernation” mode (really, it’s a combination of year-end and holiday demands, and I totally understand both of these), I have the wonderful “gift of time” — a phrase we used a lot at my last job — that allows me to write two consecutive posts.

While part I of this two-post series focused on gifts, this one focuses on gratitude. As the calendar year comes to a close, and a new year is just around the bend, I think it’s important for me, and for all of us, to look back at 2014, and find blessings wherever we can. I can easily identify mine.  One is  a positive resolution to a handful of health issues that continue to plague me from past cancer treatment. While, from a health perspective, 2014 was almost as equally challenging for me as 2013 (the year in which I endured two major emergency surgeries), I am ever so grateful to be closing the year feeling significantly better.

Other blessings include:  the continued love and support of a large and diverse group of friends and family members related to both my health and to launching my marketing consulting/agency business, the fact that most of my family members and friends continue to enjoy decent health, and the willingness for various friends, former colleagues, and connections to engage me and my firm, Results Communications, to oversee a variety of marketing and marketing research activities on their behalf.

I feel so fortunate on so many fronts.  As I shared recently with family members, and I want to share with you, “The Boston Globe” has recently published two great pieces that remind all of us of the importance of gratitude — that no matter how dire our circumstances seem, how we can all find and count blessings, if we choose to do so.  I hope you’ll enjoy the two pieces below.

http://www.bostonglobe.com/magazine/2014/12/12/mother-glass-isn-half-full-overflowing/4Hoesz8hsYZ3qyMdDJ9wtO/story.html

http://www.bostonglobe.com/magazine/2014/11/30/why-have-all-forgotten-say-thank-you/lm8SiwHcu1cX8T4uaKlflO/story.html

I’d love to hear what you are most grateful for this year.  I know I’m also grateful for all of my readers — a group that includes many family members, friends, clients and prospective clients.  I wish you peaceful, safe holidays filled with gratitude.

Enjoying What You Do, keeping a balance, marketing consultant, Passion, Uncategorized

Gifts and Gratitude – Part I

As you might expect from any blogger, I feel compelled to share some thoughts from the heart and soul during this holiday season.  From my title, you’ll see it’s important to me to share my thoughts about both gifts and gratitude.  In fact, after another year of both great blessings on various fronts and more health trials and tribulations, there’s so much I’ve learned and want to share, this is going to be a two-parter.

Let’s start with gifts.  And, I’m not talking about the tangible ones you give friends and family, like baseball cards, the new Taylor Swift CD, or Godiva chocolates.  I’m talking about the two gifts that I think are the greatest gifts of all — love and good health.  I thought about it a bit, and while I think good health is one of the most important gifts that is both bestowed upon us — and that we can cause in ourselves and others through the right actions — I believe the most important gift is love.

You can live many years, even a lifetime, with certain types of poor health. It may not be easy, but it’s doable depending on the health challenge, but I don’t think any living creature can survive without love. I’ve always loved this line from “Nature Boy”, “the greatest gift you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return“.  Not just during the holiday season, but all year long, I hope you’ll remember, as I try my hardest to do, to share a smile and reach out to those who are most in need of it. It only takes a second of your time to speak to a stranger who appears down-on-their-luck or to reach out to a close or distant acquaintance who you know may be lonely and/or hurting in some way.

Now, on to good health.  Some of us, like me, were fortunate to be born with good health.  When I see children struggling with any kind of mental or physical health challenge, it breaks my heart that they have to be so courageous and fight so much at an early age. Also like me, some of us have known major health issues in adulthood, such as cancer, MS, diabetes, COPD, and heart disease.  While in certain cases, we can’t prevent the arrival of our illness, there are certain steps we can take to manage or minimize our symptoms or disease progression.  In addition, we can give the gift of good health to others by making sure we aren’t encouraging unhealthy behaviors through our actions.

I’ve shared information with family and friends about this great book I bought at the beginning of 2014.  Reading it was a wonderful way to start the year committed to taking actions that support good health. This book, http://www.amazon.com/Eat-Move-Sleep-Choices-Changes/dp/1939714001, by Tom Rath, was a good reminder that in addition to guarding your own health, you can help others guard theirs.  By taking the lead by ordering first at a restaurant and making healthy selections, or by refusing to bring unhealthy food into the office or to get-togethers with family and friends, you can be a help instead of a hindrance to supporting good health in your family and friends.

I hope during this holiday season you will be both the giver and recipient of both love and behaviors that encourage good health.

 

brand promise, differentiation, good will creation, marketing consultant, Memorability, Understanding Your Environment

Branding At Its Finest

Any marketing professional worth their weight in salt is both in awe and envious of the successful branding run of the Morton Salt Girl. The Girl is celebrating 100 years and never looked so young and hip!  Kudos to all the internal and external marketing and advertising folk who kept her looking fresh and current throughout the years. She’s had some great stylists!

Who doesn’t love the Morton Salt Girl? I mean what’s not to love? Despite the fact that the Morton Salt Girl is wearing clothes de jour, if you’re an adult, she still takes you back to your days of youth when you enjoyed being out in the rain with your umbrella, splashing in puddles, and getting your shoes as wet as possible.  And, if you are a child, there’s an immediate connection because of the clothes, and the fact that she, like you, knows the joys of “singing and dancing in the rain”.

The Girl still looks down-to-earth, and similar enough to the Girl we’ve seen throughout the decades in various styling stages, that she continues to support Morton’s brand promise to us that the Salt she promotes will bring all good things — like old-fashioned cooking, low-key suppers with family and friends, folks gathered around the kitchen and dining room table. Just general togetherness and slowing down for baking and cooking activities, i.e., more traditional activities, and the ability to step away from the fast-paced high-technology world for a minute. That’s a lot for one GIRL to convey, but she does it just wonderfully by her simplicity and her commitment to obliviously enjoying her day in the rain — with no desire or interest in being the sun or spotlight.

What memories does she conjure up for you?

Learn more about the Morton Salt Girl here: http://www.mortonsaltgirl100.com/.

Making Connections and Introductions, marketing consultant, Networking

Oh Yes, I’m The Great Connector…

ID-10056679 (2)

Photo Courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

 

Okay, maybe I’m stretching the Connector and Pretender rhyme a bit, but I’ve had so many reminders recently of the power of connecting individuals to each other that I wanted a punchy phrase and tune to kick off this discussion.

One of the best characteristics I inherited from my mom, Terry Snow — through observation and/or genes — is recognizing the value and importance of connecting people to each other, and taking the initiative to do so.  My mom is one of the classiest, kindest people I know, and while being a mother of six children didn’t allow for a corporate life, she always introduced individuals from one social or community/volunteer organization circle to people in another circle.  She didn’t care how different the people she introduced were.  She wanted everyone to feel included, loved, and supported, and she saw great value in ensuring that people with diverse backgrounds got to know each other.

Probably because of the above, I’ve always been a connector on the romance front.  Two of my closest friends can attest to my introducing them to their husbands.  My love of playing matchmaker dates back to my early 20’s and I continue that practice to this day; however, as my career and professional life grew after college and graduate school, I’ve also enjoyed and saw the great importance of connecting individuals on the professional front.

I’ve shared many a headhunter/recruiter name with fellow job searchers, and am always passing contract and permanent job leads on to individuals who might be interested in them.  I’ve passed many a friend’s or colleague’s resume on to another friend or colleague in a hiring mode/capacity, and friends have landed jobs or interviews that way.  I also regularly share information about someone else’s services with others who might benefit from that service and/or who might be in a position to take advantage of that service.  My belief is that there’s always plenty of work, and permanent and contract job opportunities to go around, so why not help facilitate some discussions in situations where both parties might benefit?  My other belief — and I’ve experienced this many times over — is that when you help someone out, they are likely to return the favor, and what you put out there in the universe is returned to you.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me if I can make a “connection” on your behalf — I’m glad to do so.  While I’m well-situated on the romance front — in fact, a lovely friend match-made me and my wonderful husband over 15 years ago — I hope you’ll consider “connecting” me on the professional front, as appropriate.

I’d love to hear your great stories about how the personal and professional connections you’ve made changed someone’s lives or how someone “connecting” you to the right person changed your life. During this holiday season, don’t forget the importance of connecting individuals who could really benefit from some new personal and/or professional connections.