Monthly Archives

February 2010

2010 Resolution follow-up #3 – Get out of the one or two channel rut

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One-channel marketing is dead. If you are stuck on using only one or two channels, you are missing opportunities in today’s market. Marketing strategies to incorporate and maximize all of the new channels are moving at the speed of light. So it’s time to get educated and get on board.

Ask yourself, how do your customers really prefer to be communicated to? What are they comfortable with? This is ever changing because you can’t count on any group to be completely homogeneous anymore – the baby boomers have changed that forever. But what you can count on is people will select the ways they want to be communicated with if you allow them to.

So, if you are thinking of adding a new medium to the mix, choose one and start learning. Let’s take Facebook as an example. There are some interesting insights into Facebook demographics that you may not know. In a 2009 survey by iStrategy Labs (http://bit.ly/jvY0G) it showed:

  • With a 276.4% growth rate over 6 months, the 35-54 year old demographic group is growing fastest.
  • The 55+ segment grew at a rate of 194% over 6 months.
  • Although the largest group is still 18-24, they only represent 40.8% of the users now (down from 53.8% the previous 6 months).

So, even if you specialize in something geared toward the older demographic, it would be good for your company to have a presence on Facebook. Engaging customers and starting a conversation is going to be the focus of new marketing. Consumers are educated users of media and they want to manage where brands go. Brands are no longer defining themselves without input from customers. If they are, they run the risk of alienating their best customers who want to be more engaged with the brands they like.

Setting up a Facebook page does take time, planning and dedication. You can’t go on social media and scream your product promotions or company line. You need to make the site a place where people want to go and congregate, where they can get content that’s interesting, informative and fun – and share ideas. There are many good sites out there to look at. Here are a few:

http://www.facebook.com/frye

http://www.facebook.com/target

http://www.facebook.com/BuffaloWildWings

The best way to learn is by getting out there and doing it. Check out our Facebook page – join in and tell us how you’re doing!

http://www.facebook.com/dtrio

2010 Resolution follow up #2 – Try something new

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Does your marketing plan looking like it did 2 years ago, or have you added some new strategies? Is the year 2010 the year you embrace change? There are so many exciting, new things happening with new media. If you don’t understand what is out there (and why), then first you need to educate yourself. Fortunately, there are many great sources of information available.

Blogs and white papers are full of information and instruction. Social media sites are a great way to keep in touch with friends, trends and attitudes – hear directly what people are saying, thinking and feeling. It takes some time, so set aside a half hour every day and soon you’ll be feeling more connected, engaged and gain an understanding of the what’s happening.

Get on Twitter and try following a few people.  You can start with me (I’ll follow you back): @megand3 and dtrio is @dtrio. This link also has a lot of good, topical information: http://twitter.com/mashable

This one has an ad agency bent but it offers a lot of links and ideas on new business generation: http://twitter.com/michaelgass

If you want to keep up with breaking news try: http://twitter.com/nytimes

Don’t throw out a medium or new idea because you think it doesn’t work for you or you personally don’t see the value. As they say, you are an “audience of one” and if you are not exactly like the consumer or business you are after then your personal beliefs are irrelevant. You can get in the way of your own great marketing opportunities.

As before, here are some Web site resources to help you: For new marketing media – http://www.marketingsherpa.com/ and for a mix of traditional and new media – http://www.the-dma.org/index.php

Try something new this week. We love this stuff so let us know what you’ve learned.  And join our Facebook page for more food for thought: http://www.facebook.com/dtrio

2010 Resolution follow up #1 – Stop Hiding

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You’re really going to have to make things happen for your company, and for job security this year. The depression may be over but the recession is slow to move. So things are not back to normal (whatever that is or will be) – it’s not as scary as it sounds, but you do have to act.

Visibility rocks
Have you made your marketing plan for 2010 yet? We’re more than a month in and your plans should be shaping up. I hope everyone has stopped hiding because that’s the first step. Don’t try to be invisible this year, plan to stand out.  And that means you will have to take some risks. Nothing’s accomplished – besides mediocrity – without taking risks. And, mediocrity does not sell products and/or serve your customers well. Plan to take smaller steps on a regular basis; it makes big challenges seem smaller.

So look at your company and see what differentiates it and start talking. Whether you choose new media (social media, blogging, email, etc.) or traditional media (TV, Radio, Direct Marketing, print, etc.) as your vehicle, you have to get out there and make some noise. If you haven’t changed your marketing creative in 2 years, it’s time to create a challenger. If you don’t have a budget, it’s time be an advocate for one.

Do you have a niche product or service? Those are perfect for the direct contact media such as email and direct marketing (not to mention social).

  • Build your opt-in email list on your Web site so you can communicate with people who are interested in your company.
  • Create a helpful white paper or
  • Develop offers for popular products and services to drive traffic to your Web site or store location.
  • Buy a specialty list and send some postcards or mini-catalogs out that showcase your unique products or services to people who are interested.

Here are some resources to help you: For new media – http://www.marketingsherpa.com/ and for a mix of old media and new – http://www.the-dma.org/index.php

2010 holds opportunities for all of us. We just have to go after them! And, please share with us what you’ve decided to do.

How to job-search in a hostile economy

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Lately I’ve been asked for advice on what to do to find a job in marketing in a down economy. I too graduated in a recession where too many people were vying for too few jobs. I’m one of the lucky ones – eventually I found what I love to do. I have the benefit of hindsight on what can be a frustrating job search and situation. So, I’ve reflected on some key things that I think make a difference when you are starting out (or out of a job) during a recession.

Learn something. It’s a recession. There are very few jobs out there – much less dream jobs waiting for you to arrive on the scene. So you may have to just find a job that will help pay the bills (or work for free at an internship). Even a job you don’t like can help you develop skills and understand your strengths and weaknesses.

Volunteer. There is a lot of need out there for volunteers at various levels in different organizations. This is also a great way to build business skills and network. Never underestimate the power of a great network.

Stand out. What makes you different and better than the next candidate? Show your stuff, but be yourself. If you are inauthentic it will show.

Be resilient. Sure it can be depressing to be in a job that is no longer working for you or to be out of a job altogether, but if you are early in your career, it won’t be the last time you encounter adversity. People who bounce back are the most successful in the long run.  You don’t have to be Pollyanna but keeping a positive attitude and sense of humor helps.

Embrace change. Everything changes. Period. Personal computers weren’t even used in business when I started out (ouch) and now I don’t know what I’d do without one.

Ask for help. People, even busy people like to help. Identify companies you would like to work for and ask a top executive or someone who is in the type of job you want if they will talk to you for a half hour. You’ll build your network and learn something in the process.

Ask “what’s in it for them.” Position your skills for the position you want. For example, don’t just put “writing skills” on your resume, but tell what kind of writing skills – proposals, blogs, copy, technical, research, etc.

I know it’s hard out there, but you have to have faith. Because of a recession, I took a job as a sales clerk at a department store to pay the bills out of college. I made some great friends, learned a lot about business by helping my manager and fell in love with downtown Minneapolis. Now I’m lucky enough to have my own company in the city I love!