Tag Archives: Marketing

Tactics, Tactics…Strategy

Too Much Sex, Too Little Jesus
Image by Thomas Hawk via Flickr

The caveat about reading this entry and my blog, is that you’ll instantly see that I’m direct and honest. It’s because I’m passionate about what I do and because I care.

So, as a Social Media & Marketing consultant, it’s my job to understand my client’s business. As a 15+ year brand marketer, when I work on an assignment, I need to know what they want to accomplish and how it fits in with their overall business objectives. It’s just how I think and do business. I want to know the whole Megillah because I provide better value that way.

Having been on the client side for most of my career, I feel comfortable in being able to write this article from the context of a Client’s POV. When a client hires a consultant, a lot of the time, they  have a very specific initiative in mind. Ok, so I can take that and run with it, no problem. They know what they want to achieve and I’m the catalyst to get them there. Again, no problem.

However, when clients want to join the “Conversation”, or do any kind of marketing for that matter, I sometimes see a knee-jerk reaction to Just Do It. And, as a consultant, who knows to ask the right questions, sometimes the client just wants to enter the space because they can’t stand reading about it, or hearing about it at the water cooler or hearing about it from their boss (or from their kid for that matter). They come to me and say Savvy, I just want to be there. Make it happen.

Ok. You say you want to enter the space. You say you want to be on MySpace or LinkedIn, or Facebook and have a blog and go on Twitter. Or, you want to do this promotion, or a campaign, or a stunt. Ok. And so I ask…Why? What do you want to achieve? Who do you want to reach? What do you want to say? Do you know what people are saying about your brand?

Oh.

In any area of social media, or even marketing for that matter, looking at the particular project and how it maps back to your overall business objectives is the first thing to look at. As the consultant, I’m always going to want to ask my clients these questions. It’s my job to do that. It’s my job to tell you solutions that will work for you and your business.

The title of this entry was inspired by game Duck, Duck…Goose. Why? Because, and we’ve all been guilty of it, we get stuck in the tactical side of marketing. The cobbler’s children have no shoes…right? So, sometimes it’s difficult for us to take a look at our own business and we think very tactically. It’s Ok, you’re not alone. Whether you use a consultant or an advisor, make sure someone (besides your boss) holds you accountable for what you want to achieve with your marketing. Savvy has to do it too! So, my advice…when you have a great tactical idea, make sure you stop and ask yourself, “How will this initiative support my marketing objectives? What results do I want to achieve that will justify this spend?” You’ll be a better marketer for it. And a better client.

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Why Big Brands Struggle With Social Media

Compact Disc
Image via Wikipedia

While I was on Twitter today, I came across this article on Mashable a few times, Why Big Brands Struggle With Social Media. It’s great, you should read it. I always look to my friends on Twitter to expose me to new and better ways to use Social Media.

As a Marketer for over 15 years now (yes, 15 years), I have always been at the forefront of Marketing. I have worked for some major companies including MTV, VH1, USA Networks, Universal and Hearst. I’ve had clients like: HBO and AT&T. No, this article is not about name dropping. It’s about being enough of a pioneer and risk-taker to enter into new ways of marketing. To find new ways to talk to consumers. What frustrated me most about some companies, is how some of them live in a silo. I know, there are some of you right now from big brands nodding your heads. Frustrated sitting in your chairs. Half the reason I am a consultant is because I’m about moving forward quickly and finding new ways to communicate and learn from the consumer. To me, you don’t wait until something is tried and true. By the time you’re tried and true, time has passed you by. Someone else nabbed your audience, your customer. (I’m also someone who was on the waiting list for the iBook when it came out. I wasn’t waiting for the technology to be perfect. It served me well for 5 years by the way.)

We have been blessed by some brilliant minds in marketing and technology over the past 20 years. I was just speaking with a colleague the other day about how the transformation of marketing is completely parallel to the transformation of music formats. During my lifetime we’ve gone from the 33, to the 8-Track tape to the Cassette to the CD to the MP3. That’s like a lifetime for some people. Heck, my niece is younger than that and she can drive. Marketing has seen the same transformation.

So, I dare you. Be bold. Try new things. Get familiar with social media. Instantly you’ll see how it can benefit your brand. What’s the matter? Afraid the consumer might find you out?

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Business Development in Today’s Economy

View of Wall Street, Manhattan.
Image via Wikipedia

It’s no secret that budgets have tightened up, businesses are scaling down and that cash is king.

Business development efforts are becoming the lifeline of companies right now, but there are still some simple, strategic best practices to implement that can help you close more business.

There are 4 simple mantras, which I call the 4Cs. They are:

•    Connection
•    Collaboration
•    Clients
•    Criteria

There’s a 5th mantra, but I’ll save it for later.

Connection: It’s exactly what it means. It means finding new and different ways to connect with people and companies that creates awareness of your brand/company as well as driving leads. Connection means reaching out to your current clients who can direct you to other companies that may benefit from your product/service. It also means have a lot of conversations with people in an industry that can lead you to more people. It means being courageous to really put yourself out there. It also means having a refined position or elevator speech that can get someone’s wheels turning on how to help you right away. Offer to buy someone lunch or coffee. People always need to eat, right? Other ways to find new people are through social media (LinkedIn), industry organizations, networking events, your family and friends. Don’t know how to really leverage social media? More on that later.

Collaboration: Who could add a vertical channel to your business? Who could you be aligning yourself with strategically? You offer X to clients, and you know someone that offers Y, so how can you pool your resources and knowledge to win new business? Seek out partners that bring something to the table that you don’t, but have a shared sphere of influence where you can both reap the benefits. Be willing to share as opposed to keeping it all of yourself. 50% of something is better than 100% of nothing.

Clients: For god sakes, know whom you are talking to before you contact them. Research their vertical. Read their website. Google them. Find them on LinkedIn. Read the trades, WSJ, get on to Hoovers. But make sure you do your homework before you have a conversation. Your potential client wants to know you have an understanding of their business. It makes for a productive and intelligent conversation and believe it or not, many people don’t do this simple exercise. Clients want empathy and want to know you understand their challenges. Do the same when you’re networking with someone as well.

Criteria: Before you ever pursue a particular business vertical, establish clear criteria upfront on what would make a good client. I know, right now you’re thinking, jeez, anyone will do. No, they won’t. You still have to grow your business smartly and strategically. You want to have clients that you can bring value to, but they should bring value to fuel your growth. Are they a portfolio/client list builder? Is there a service you don’t get to offer often, but can with this particular client/vertical? Is it a good case study? Will it give you entrée into a new vertical you haven’t pursued, but are well positioned to capture? These are just a few things to look at, but you should determine what the exact criteria should be for your business.

Oh, so, I promised you a 5th mantra…It’s P, for Passion. Be excited, be motivated. You should be driven to pursue this client, business, vertical. It should inspire you. It will actually take you further – to work harder, later, smarter, faster. Clients can smell that. They want to know you’re excited. And during this difficult time, there’s something intangible but yet measurable about Passion.

Questions, comments? Please send them my way.

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