Thursday, December 31, 2009

Thoughts on a Decade- What goes around keeps Evolving back Around

Wow 2010 is Here!

As we approach a new decade, it seems like we are back where we started...We keeping evolving and what goes around keeps coming back around..

2000- 2001
The Internet is booming and businesses are scrambling to be online

As the decade nears closing... 2009, the economy is a bust and unemployment is at an all time high. The old methods of advertising and marketing are becoming obsolete and print newspapers are dwindling, laying off and losing readers, ad dollars- etc.

People are now officially ONLINE... content is king and everyone out there with an opinion, knowledge or an interesting take on the world are writing about it.

Advertising has drastically changed in the past ten years, corporations down to small businesses have changed the way they market their companies and it all leads back to the internet.

It really makes you wonder where will we be in 2020? What will change or will anything change?

It seems like we keep evolving back to where we were, but more improved, with better technology and enhanced features.

Communities are getting closer, relationships are easier to maintain. To think we used to think IM'ing and chatting was the coolest thing 10 - 12 years ago. Now its just a small part of the entire social networking scheme of things.

The world is seriously at our fingertips. How will you keep it within your reach for the next decade on and there after?

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Its Not What you Know, But WHO you know...

Popularity Post High School....

Ok, we are all familiar with the saying it's not what you know, but rather WHO you know. This saying is so very true in our business and in almost every business/industry out there.

Q: How do you become popular in business?

A: Maintaining relationships and making new ones!

So, how do you maintain relationships and or make new ones in this volatile economy? I was talking with a colleague of mine last week and with so many people changing positions, whether because of a lay off, and or a better opportunity. How do clients know where do go for resources or planning if their go to gal/guy has changed their job to a different business offering?

I know it may be hard to pass up an opportunity because it will change what you are known for, but how do you do it strategically? The only advice I can offer, inform all your connections of your new move in the industry, keep them in the loop of your new business, promotions and how it can benefit their business. As long as they are completely informed of what you do, hopefully some of your previous clients will need you for your new offerings. And if those clients can't use you, Hey, make NEW CONNECTIONS!

I broke down the top 3 ways to maintain relationships and make new ones that make your professional stock rise, because as we know, its not what you know, but who you know!

-Face to Face Networking

Yes, be active in your local industry associations, attend monthly meetings, you have to show face and be out there. Being in front of people definitely maintains top of mind of awareness. Another networking technique is attend association meetings outside your industry. Start attending association meetings of industries that your target clients belong too.

-Online Networking

Being online is VERY time consuming, but if done right can be totally worth it. Online networking is all about your message and you have to position yourself very carefully both professionally and personally to really benefit from it. Friend and connect with all professional colleagues and clients on Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin, But keep in mind, you always have to think of your audience, is your message and or updates interesting and not too intruding? Always keep it light, fun and relevant to your business, items that are considered new and worthy of being mentioned. And for those who can really juggle their time online in the midst of being on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter, start a blog and talk about what you are passionate about in your business, blogging totally increases your online visibility.

The Washington Post did a great article that summed up Online networking perfectly! It covers the same concept but yet for those of us who are not necessarily seeking clients but seeking jobs- Online Guerrilla marketing for job seekers-

-Getting Together

Inviting clients, colleagues and associates out for coffee, lunch or drinks is always a great personal touch and builds relationships even stronger. Having one on one time is usually hard to come by but it allows you the time to really pick each other's minds on their needs, likes, dislikes and will help you better shape your approach with that person.

All these approaches are really powerful and I look forward to touching on them further in depth in future blog posts, stay tuned!

Monday, December 14, 2009

It's All about the HYPE!

When it comes to marketing and promoting your business it is truly ALL ABOUT THE HYPE! As you may notice a huge trend in the industry that so many small businesses are appearing larger than they are and are also landing the large corporate clients. But how are these businesses achieving this notoriety and getting these brand name clients?

They are Positioning themselves wisely by being out there! So how do you get out there?

Its all about strategy and in the business of events it is all about....

Q: How do you or your business become famous?

A: By being on the top of every one's mind, creating your own celebrity in the business.

Before you run out and try to be famous, there is another MAJOR step you have to take- FIRST and FOREMOST- Your business, service or product, has to be a QUALITY service and or product and you have to first PROVE your worth and create a track record of delivering success to your clients. VERY IMPORTANT- ***You first have to know what you are doing before you start marketing your self and business with this approach. This is another reason why client testimonials are so powerful nowadays.

Although as I mentioned HYPE plays another important role in rookie business people landing big clients with no previous experience, if you have the gift of gab and are an amazing sales person you will be able to sell any client anything, just like a talented actor can act themselves out of any situation.

But, be warned, in these scenarios, selling themselves on a wish, can either set them up to crash and burn or to flourish, succeed and expand as one client took that initial chance on them. EVERYONE has to start somewhere right?

So how do you HYPE up your business and get this FAME?

-Promoting your businesses where your clients are- Trade Shows, Events, Online

-Speaking engagements - Speaking on how you/ your company are the experts in the business, offering tips, tricks and benefits to their clients.

-Editorial coverage- Trade magazines, consumer magazines- creating stories that show the fun side of your business, Soft selling...

These are just some examples of positioning yourself and company to gain more exposure and top of mind awareness.

This is why Public Relations and Promotions are such a crucial part of the new marketing mix.

Successful corporate brands approach on HYPE is from commercials, advertisements even down to emails, marketers and advertising gurus create this hype to entice clients to buy their product, service and come to their stores...

In this struggle for top of mind awareness, all these brands are constantly competing to be innovative and original and stand out in consumers heads.

Its our job as marketers to maintain this hype and present our products as the best thing since sliced bread!

Whether you are a small company with no budget or a large company with a substantial budget it is always to whole heartily believe in your product or service and hype it up as much as possible.

One company I admire so much because they have come so far, from a small company to a huge player in the game now.. APPLE.. I was one of the first to own a Apple back in the day when the screens were all black with its green text, no graphics just typing and basic pong game along with its floppy disks. I had a Apple IIe, the year was 1986 or 1987, my dad got for us and we were thrilled!

Apple is a prime example of company who had a great creative vision and they are still surprising and hitting consumers in the head with its GREAT products. Down to their 1984 commercial

which was nothing but the ultimate hype to their present commercials, for the i-Shuffle-

Apple iPod Shuffle: Clip-- which was ranked one of the best spots in 2006 by Adweek.

This commercial most definitely caught my attention and reminded me of the Micheal Jackson's Black and White Video.

Yet the two are similar in some ways and different. Although the concept the same.

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Ability to Adapt...

"Adapt or perish, now as ever, is nature's inexorable imperative. "
-H. G. Wells

Why is it that so many prolific science fiction enthusiasts and writers, such as Herbert George Wells as an example, are able to really touch upon in quotes and in movies- e.g. War of the Worlds - what is so relevant, thought provoking and true more than a century later?


The quote above really reminds me of how many individuals and businesses, are so hesitate of adapting to this new world of social media and integrating their lives and companies into the web...

This whole social media influx of need to know now, how, what, when, who is really mind blowing, so I really do understand why many businesses or individuals may fear it. It can be sort of overwhelming if you are taking it in on one big gulp.

I just attended an interesting Social Media Rewind webinar, it was so interesting because it confirmed many of my wonders, thoughts and questions that have been running through my mind about this social media craze going on. 3 of the top marketing consultants served on this online panel and discussed what is going on in B2B and B2C businesses regarding social media.

They brought up some great points which ignited much talk on the live message board, one point in particular, as many companies are trying and making the attempt to integrate their businesses into the web 2.0 social media model, how are they keeping up with the time commitment? One online user mentioned companies should just hire a dedicated person to keep up with their businesses social networks, but many of us disagreed... Companies can't just hire any $12- $15 writer as their marketing liaison to set up their facebook, twitter and blog pages, they need an expert in their industry, one that knows their product, an expert who knows how to position their business and speak to their consumer, one who can report what is going on from operations, to sales, to shipping and receiving. The experience has to be real, the relationship has to be made in a trustworthy approach. Its all about educating them about YOU and "YOUR COMPANY". Social Media and Marketing are now working hand in hand more as a customer service and Public Relations arm now more than ever...

The world wide web has really grown in leaps and bounds over the past 10 - 15 years and with the advancement of social media, relationships are becoming so much easier to rekindle, restart and literally at our finger tips. With the popularity of these social networks it has now become mandatory for companies to adapt, customers are now more savvy than ever and need information- So start connecting!!!

The real deal statistics on say it all for all those more number and factual orientated people out there...

Social Media, Email top investment areas: Survey

Proving the point of the matter.. BUSINESSES ARE ADAPTING...

"As businesses are developing their marketing plans for 2010, this survey reveals a strong focus on high ROI channels like email and emerging ones like social media," said Bill Wagner, executive vice president of business operations at StrongMail, in a statement. “While an unprecedented number of companies look to integrate e-mail and social media in 2010, the data shows that companies need to adopt new tools and strategies to properly measure and monetize their efforts."


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Follow the Leader

They say imitation is the biggest form of flattery. In that case is your competition copying your every move or do you feel two steps behind your competition? Who is following who?

Every company out there should be on their toes and on top of their game and know what their competitors are up to. I repeatedly mention,  its all about your company's PERCEPTION and POSITION in the marketplace. How are you differentiating your services so people are buying from you or using your services. SO what is your competition doing? What are they doing that you could be doing or what can you offer that they can't. It is vital that you familiarize yourself with what your competition is doing, befriend them, attend their events, hang with them, we all know the saying- Keep your friends close, but keep your enemies, I mean COMPETITION closer.... 

In today's digital age of documenting your every move online and the importance of having a online presence, you can now can really put together some GREAT competitive intel! What me spy? As long as you can read between the lines you will be in the know as to what your competition is doing, and if they are not online, well then guess who will be following who?

Pepsi and Coke is a prime example of competitor rivalry. Who is the leader and who is the follower? How did they differentiate their products to gain more profit share?

The Message in your "Music"

What is the message in your music? The music of your company's brand, the perception of what your company is about, what exactly do you do?

Is your message clear?

Can you sum up what you do or what you sell in simply one sentence?

If not, you may want to rethink and reconfigure how you are selling your company.

People hate reading.. WHY? We are now used to getting information FAST! So conveying your message straight to the point is so very important.

Can you keep your target audience engaged?

Give your clients a reason to be interested. Is your message talking to the right audience? Is the content and information you are putting out there relevant to their business? Can it help them increase their bottom line?

Your reasons can range from..

-New Products or Services (also include new features and or advantages of using your products and services)
-Dynamic Applications of how your service or products are being executed.

With such a touch economic climate nowadays we can't be so SALESY... we have to be consultative and understand our clients and how to help them. We are experts in our business and our clients rely on our expertise.

Sammy Caban, an event designer, utilized his creativity in an event where he transformed an exhibition hall into a virtual rain forest for a tourism client of his... He incorporated a personal hand crafted 10 feet tall trees as centerpieces along with a hand painted muslin rain forest backdrop in this closing luncheon event... This photo captures a true environment and experience. A simply dynamic, creative and a great way of presenting his capabilities and unique qualities in a visually appealing format...

Friday, November 6, 2009

Setting the Record Straight

As we all might know the easiest part of any event is after it is deemed a success is taking credit and claiming it as their own idea and event. Egos and self proclaimtion always seem to get in the way! Whether the event was a success according to the number of attendees, media exposure, the vibe or overall experience, the co-hoarts I have dealt with in my past claim the credit and usually run with it to go off and do their own thing, most of the time tried and failed and very few instances prevail and succeeded.

I have this unusual tendency of helping people and making them look good. In the interim, I usually get lost in the background and typically never get credit for the behind the scenes work from project initiation, to creative development, sponsorship acquisition, media recognition, to promotion, onto execution followed by post-event.

I am too nice? Naive? I do see the best in many people, identify their talents and see how it can benefit the project. Although  nowadays, I feel LOYALTY is dead, people are after the fame and fortune and not the longevity. So I am taking this opportunity to set the record straight and lay it down, event by event, and show you what this Event Marketing Maven is all about! 

I am in it for the long run, so I will be here for a while!

Launch party for VIP Escapes travel company debuting their sponsored Bora Bora getaway on Kathy Griffin's Bravo Program- My Life on the "D" List. Event Marketing consisted of:

-Creative Development & Direction of invitations, flyers and advertising 
-Sponsorship Acquisition 
-Event Production assistance 
-Public Relations & Media Recognition- event featured on Central Florida News 13 and in Orlando Weekly.  

Gay Days Orlando 2008 kick off event and fashion show. Starred Christian Siriano of Project Runway, featured models from Oxygen's Janice Dickenson modeling agency. The event benefitted the Human Rights Campaign and the Hope & Help Center of Central Florida. Event Marketing included:

-Venue Selection and Negoiatation
-Creative Development & Direction of invitations, flyers and advertising
-Sponsorship Acquisition 
-Public Relations and Media Recognition-event featured in Orlando Weekly, Orlando Sentinel and Biz Bash Florida. 
-Promotional Event Strategy 

Gay Days 2007 Orlando, 1st kick off event that sparked the kick off events that followed in the later years. The event featured world renown, DJ, Producer & Remixer Junior Vasquez. Event Marketing included:

-Venue Selection and Negoiatation
-Creative Development & Direction of invitations, flyers and advertising
-Entertainment booking
-Sponsorship Acquisition 
-Public Relations and Media Recognition-event featured in Orlando Weekly, Orlando Sentinel and Watermark
-Promotional Event Strategy, transportation scheduling and coordination. 

Club/Lounge events. The below events were intimate evening events that featured, art, music and mingling. All inclusive of venue selection, negiotating, creative development, promotion strategy, sponsor and partner acquisition, media recognition and entertainment booking. 

Buddha Lounge, Winter Park, FL 
Featured in Orlando Weekly August 2005

Watch Out Wednesdays, 3 Part Event Series
@ Swim, Lower East Side, Manhattan, NYC
Fall 2002
Featured in Time Out NYC