My Brain Trust Weekly: Differentiation Through Interaction and Old-Fashioned Marketing

Conventional wisdom tells us that with the explosion of digital marketing, the old-fashioned or traditional ways of marketing your business are no longer viable. In fact, in 2012 Sergio Zyman, former Chief Marketing Officer of Coca Cola famously Old-Fashioned Marketingdeclared, “Traditional marketing is not dying – it’s dead!” He believes, “The era of marketing as we have known it is over, dead, kaput – and most marketers don’t realize it.”

So include me in the “most marketers” category then, because with all due respect to Mr. Zyman, I believe that there are traditional tactics that not only still work, but can actually work better than some of the newer marketing “fads.” Why do I believe this? Because I have seen them work first-hand – both in my own business and in my work with clients. Now, please don’t misunderstand me.. I’m all about strategy and integration, so I’m not saying that these tactics should be used in a vacuum. Rather, they should be part of an overall strategy and integrated into an entire campaign that most likely does include digital and online components. Continue reading

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Event Follow-Up is Best Under the Glow

by Leslie A.Larson

So you have spent tens, if not hundreds, of hours strategizing and planning your customer event… let’s face it, events are HARD. When done well, they require attention to detail that would make a mere mortal blush. From invitation design, to venue selection, to catering, to program planning, the amount of resources spent from a time and money standpoint are much higher than many other marketing activities.

Reports vary as to the number, but at the high end data shows as many as 75% of companies fail to effectively follow-up with their guests following a company event. Why? Perhaps because the work involved has been so strenuous and time-consuming, it’s easy to just think, “They had a great time, and so my job is done.”

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My Brain Trust Weekly: Twitter Etiquette, Round 2

Twitter EtiquetteAbout a year ago I posted my first Brain Trust Weekly on Twitter Etiquette, and unfortunately, all of the points I made there about improper activities continue to be relevant. Given there are some other bad behaviors that have emerged, I have updated my original post to discuss them here.

In his excellent Forbes article, “How to Build a Winning Twitter Strategy in 2014,” Jayson DeMers says, “Twitter continues to be a social media powerhouse. In 2014, though, it’s critical that marketers take their thinking through an evolutionary process that focuses on strategy, leverages visual media, builds their brands, and cultivates opportunities to make personal connections.”

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Don’t Get Blindsided: The Importance of Visionary Leadership

visionary leadership

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of articles outlining how critical an organizational vision is to your overall business strategy. In Strategic Planning Framework: The Importance of Vision, Scott Regan, CEO of AchieveIt, puts it this way:

What you are doing when creating a vision statement is articulating your dreams and hopes for your company, as well as establishing a strong foundation for your strategic planning framework. It reminds you of what you are trying to build and the time frame in which you are trying to build it.

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My Brain Trust Weekly: Branding for Small Business

Brand for Small BusinessIn my practice, I find myself counseling small businesses on the importance of establishing a brand for their company. They are typically so busy just getting the business up and running that they haven’t had a chance to consider a strategic branding approach in which they determine a company voice, market position and message. This is a critical part of a business’s strategy and should be a priority. They always nod in agreement, but then exhibit signs of confusion (“what exactly is a brand?”) and anxiety (“how much is this going to cost me?”) as we continue the discussion. Invariably, it becomes clear that they think their brand is just a logo when of course, it is much much more. Continue reading

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