Archive for the Articles Category

Marketing to the Medium – As featured in the MNAMA blog

Posted in Articles, social media with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 15, 2009 by mediapirate

Featured in the MNAMA blog here.

So many people these days associate marketing in the world of social media with getting a business Twitter account or a Facebook page and advertising from those portals. Unfortunately this will get you about as far in social media as yelling about yourself to a group of people that don’t know you. The actual applications (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.) are nothing but tools that allow you to connect much in the same way the post office allows you to send and receive letters. The real potential of social media is within the plan that you develop to engage with your audience.

Marketing has always played a crucial element in print, online and telephone communications. It is present in social media but in most cases it hasn’t been modified for the medium. In order to truly engage an audience, the marketing has to be designed to remain non-obtrusive. What this means is that you have to increase the potential for people to like or want to follow you by talking about things other than your business. This is the first crucial change that needs to occur in social media marketing mentality.

The second change that needs to occur is the actual engagement of your audience. Most businesses are used to sending out their message and crossing their fingers, but with social media this all changes. You now have the opportunity to listen to your target audience and what they like, want and need. Equally important are the things they don’t like. So take advantage of this opportunity because if you aren’t listening your competitors may be.

What I’m saying is that for the first time in quite a long time, you now have the opportunity to be ground level with your audience truly improving your business and product. I would just hate to see this medium wasted by companies only interested in the sound of their own voices. If we all take a moment to listen, just imagine the potential.

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Curing Brand Schizophrenia

Posted in Articles, Media with tags , , , , , , , , on September 12, 2008 by mediapirate

and keeping your business on the same page

Like most small business owners you deal with multiple tasks throughout the day, not the least of which is how to present a positive marketing image for your company. The question is, how do you present your company in multiple mediums effectively and consistently while maintaining the other aspects of your company?

For years businesses have hired separate companies each specializing in their own medium of communication; print, web, marketing, public relations, video and audio. These specialists may be the ideal solution for a company with internal brand management but what about the small business? Not every organization has the resources necessary to support the cost of independent services or the time required to manage multiple companies to achieve a cohesive package.

The answer is integrated services! Integrated services means that one company (Your chosen Integrated Media Provider) contains the knowledge to bring all of your media resources together maximizing the power of your marketing and the price you pay for it.

A common thread

The power of a consistent campaign is not unknown, but if you are like many small companies there is no one dedicated to ensure the sanctity of your brand. This can mean varied colors between web and print, skewed logos, inconsistent brand message and many other variables. It also usually means that the relationship between mixed media has not been successfully exploited.

A website is a powerful entity. However, if the relationship between it and the other media such as public relations, print, video, audio, etc. is not properly integrated there is wasted possibility for success. For example a PR event is great but it would be ideal if the PR event could be updated into the website which in turn would feed this information via RSS (Really Simple Syndication) directly to existing subscribers.

Depending on the business, this type of thinking can translate into increased confidence in the company, jump start sales of a new product, and many other possibilities. Granted, this is only a very simple scenario involving only two of the many mediums. So imagine the possibilities of fully integrated services.

Divide and conquer

So the question is, how can one company know everything about everything? And the honest truth is that one company can’t.

In today’s market one of the most effective ways to ensure consistency of brand and mission is through successful strategic partnerships. These partnerships maintained by your IMP (Integrated Media Provider) ensure that each individual aspect of your company’s media is being driven by the greatest depth of knowledge.

By counting on the quality control, account management and ROI awareness from a recognized IMP and its chosen vendors, you can experience an environment devoid of project pipeline delays, explaining and re-explaining your brand and the constant search for the most effective vendor for each media solution. In turn your mediums are thoughtfully planned out to feed off of one another and like a drop into water, generating a reach that is continually expanding and delivering you a calculated ROI.

This relationship between the IMP and their vendors also works to serve the end client in terms of cost as well.As each IMP maintains multiple vendors specializing in many medium, your project will be internally bid out to ensure the most cost effective resolution is reached within a group of proven and trusted partners. This internal competition for the work ensures that prices always remain at a fair market value.

A needle in a haystack

What do you look for in an IMP? Well, for starters, the experience and qualifications of the team core. These are the people responsible for the outcome of your project, so in order to pull off a true integrated media plan they will need a foundation in everything that their outside vendors offer. These elements include PR, media relations, creative direction, print media, web interactivity, video/audio production, new technologies (eg. wikis, podcasts, subsites, wireless technology, etc.) and the understanding of the limitations within each of these markets.

This might sound like a lot. However, in order to utilize the momentum from one medium to feed another, a foundation in all of these areas is crucial in integrated media. The easiest way to find this out is through online research, business to business networking or if all else fails, just ask to see some portfolio examples.

Consistently diverse

Understand this is not the only way, just the most effective way! For the small business owner this option can end up saving invaluable time in your busy schedule, save you money, and ensure that you end up with a consistent campaign generating the greatest amount of exposure. So in closing, one company can’t know everything about everything but then again, no one knows this better than your local Integrated Media Provider.

4 Questions to ask a potential Integrated Media Provider

What is your in-house knowledge?
How many vendors do you utilize and how long have you been with them?
How have you integrated campaigns previously? Who were the clients? And to what effect?
What is my potential ROI and what steps do you take to ensure this?

EXECUTIVE READ – “Meatball Sundae” by Seth Godin

Posted in Articles, social media with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 16, 2008 by mediapirate

Here is my executive read that was originally featured in the Pioneer Press here. This article was released on 05/10/2008 and very out of marketing fashion I didn’t post it online. Since then, I have been heckled in a friendly way by my peers (Thanks Mykl 🙂 )and to that end. Dun Dun Dun…Here is the article!

What: “Meatball Sundae” by Seth Godin

Why: In the words of Seth Godin, the Internet has delivered the fourth revolution and this incarnation has deemed that traditional media rules are no longer as effective as they once were — a worrisome tale indeed for a world that is so deeply rooted in traditional advertising and marketing. However, Godin warns, converting from traditional media into an online arena isn’t as simple as tossing a few tech-based gadgets on your Web site. It requires a more holistic approach to your company. This means changing the way you operate from the ground up to maximize the effect of this new medium.

It’s not just about having a brochure Web site or blogging, it’s about revisiting your company to redefine fulfillment and utilize online tools to cater more effectively to smaller niche market segments. In truth, it’s about common sense. It’s about using the tools available on more than just a basic level and ensuring that these tools are a part of your company’s larger picture.

One of the most common statements from marketing and advertising clients is, “I need a blog,” and yet when you ask them why, the response is typically, “Well, because my competitor has one,” or even “because everyone is talking about them.” Godin’s book is all about justification. Do you have a reason for implementing this technology? Is your company’s current structure set up to maximize the benefits of this technology? Who will be responsible for this new technology?

What “Meatball Sundae” so strongly points out is there is massive potential in new media tools but if you are incorporating them without a strategic marketing plan, they can just as easily hurt more than help.