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."