Media Wednesday Amped Up!

It’s Media Wednesday! We usually like to do a Ted video, but today we wanted to give your eyes a break. Look out the window, enjoy the weather, and listen to some of these brilliant podcasts. Download a few or subscribe to some of their websites so you’re never without a bit of enlightenment!

Today is brought to you by the zany brilliance of a podcast called MarketingOverCoffee:

 

Be Heard! Here’s How!

What does it mean to be heard? Too often– especially this time of year with the presidential debates–the idea of “being heard” means being the loudest one out there or the most insistent.

Let’s be clear: being insistent is different than being persistent. Persistence is not giving up in the face of adversity and finding new ways to achieve your goal. Being insistent is stubbornly sticking to your own opinions, ideas, or plans without trying to adapt. An insistent person will shout and argue and talk over everyone else. A persistent person tries again and again to come out on top, but even if they don’t, they’ll consent to change.

Marketing is all about being heard. It’s communication in essence. Zingy slogans, eye-catching ads, enticing campaigns are all ways that companies use to be heard by consumers. And there are several ways that you can communicate with your target market. Since communication is a two-way street, you have to be willing to not only put your ideas out there, but to listen to the feedback. The most successful businesses out there are the ones who have a strong working relationship with their customers. They send emails, they have “Members” discounts, they put out surveys and offer perks and sales to those who provide that all-too important information.

Think of it as two people trying to communicate from opposite sides of a football field. The only way they have to communicate with each other is by writing notes on the same football and then throwing it to the other person. They have to keep passing the ball with new questions, answers, comments, and responses in order to come to any agreement. Neither can make the next move until the other has handed over communication. If one person holds onto the ball and refuses to pass it, the communication has broken down and nobody is being heard anymore.

The best way to get communication going between a company and the market is to make it fun for the people! Here are a few great interactive campaigns we’ve seen over the years.

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Change the Way You Use Social Media

Wael Ghonim wants to change the way we act and think on social media platforms. No longer just a base for posting funny pictures or the latest craze in food, social media is a political and economic minefield. By approaching social media behavior, Ghonim wonders if we can change the way we interact with others and conduct business.

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Get That Green! Benefits of Eco-Friendly Businesses

Trends: they buzz, they tweet, they’re viral! Trends are living entities in the social media world, and savvy businesses know who to harness their power for the good of a company. One of the strongest trends in the Western world over recent years has been environmental awareness. Consumers are naturally drawn to companies that care about the environment…no pun intended!

Day in and day out, customers are surrounded by ads and campaigns. They’re sick of the slick and fast slogans and visuals. They’ve learned to tune out the commercials and most people just fast forward ads altogether to get back to their TV shows. It’s a gift and a curse in the business world, giving consumers the power to resist you.

The simple solution is to be too irresistible! Advertising yourself as an eco-friendly company benefits you in several ways. First, think like the consumer: they hate waste. They don’t want to waste their money and they won’t waste their time if they’re not going to feel like they are a significant individual among the landscape of customers your business works with daily. So how do you combat this? If they know that your business will donate a portion of proceeds to an environmental cause or will plant a tree for every ream of paper you sell, they will know that they are a part of the bigger picture. Then they’ll be motivated! They’ll want a piece of that organic pie!

Advertising your environmental impact also puts you a head above your competition. Would you rather work with someone who offers benefits or someone who doesn’t? Obviously, you want to work with the group that offers more! Making yourself look better in comparison makes you harder to ignore and a much more attractive prospect for customers. They’ll appreciate that you’re doing more than your competitors and that kind of customer loyalty is worth its weight in gold!

Being “green” also keeps your organization relevant. So many companies have fallen into the black abyss of failure simply because they weren’t staying up to date on the latest technology, weren’t utilizing social media or simply weren’t connecting with the locals well. Staying out front and in the social spotlight will keep the world looking at you!

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The Single Biggest Reason Startups SUCCEED!

We see it every day: “Grand Opening” signs and flags and promotions in vibrant colors splashed across the front page of the local news website. For a few months, they do amazing business and the future looks bright. But then something happens and suddenly, the Little Business That Could closes its doors. Across town, another startup is chugging along, turning a profit and thinking about expanding. What does one business have that the other lacks? What’s the secret? Bill Gross looked into the world of successful startups and what he found was surprising!

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The Good, the Bad, and the Guerrilla

Guerrillas are taking over. No, not the big, hairy mammals: guerrilla advertisers. Guerrilla marketing and advertising has taken off in the past few years, but what is it? No doubt you’d know it when you see it. Guerrilla advertising is a strategy that is low-cost, creative, and above all, unconventional!

The name comes from a war term meaning an irregular tactic used by individuals or small groups that often involved surprise attacks. The marketing industry has since taken the term to new heights by not attacking target audiences physically, but psychologically. Buying air time or ad space for your company is expensive, so guerrilla tactics are developed by small business looking to spare their bottom line. Key elements of guerrilla marketing are high-energy and imagination! It has to make an impact and leave an impression on the masses. And these days, people are as distractable as Labrador Retrievers with a tennis ball. The best way to win their attention?

Be the tennis ball.

Guerrilla marketing needs to shock or appeal to a person’s sensibilities, making it memorable and personal. They should feel like the target of the campaign. They should know that you are talking to them.

Drew Neisser, CEO of Renegade Marketing, says that guerrilla marketing needs to be “newsworthy” and that it’s a “state of mind” more than a statement in itself. Brett Zaccardi of “Street Attack” claims the best tactics are “unauthorized.”

But there are certain DO’s and DON’T's of guerrilla marketing to keep in mind. It’s alright to challenge your target audience, like what security company 3M did with a five foot high wall of impenetrable security glass. $500 in real money was installed between two panes of glass and installed on a city sidewalk. 3M challenged pedestrians to break the glass to win the money inside! They also took care to install a security guard by the display to not only incite challengers but to discourage people from using more than their hands and feet. With the combination of a cash prize and the legal permission to break something, people were drawn to the challenge and impressed by 3M’s proven product.

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A good example of a bad campaign idea was Vodafone’s infamous “Streaker” episode. Vodafone hired two men to streak through an Australian rugby match wearing naught but the Vodafone logo painted on their backs.

While daring, a good guerrilla campaign shouldn’t get the target audience in trouble with the law and definitely shouldn’t seek to make anyone uncomfortable or angry. The streakers were slapped (not literally!) with a fine and rugby fans were very upset over the incident. The teams were also, reputedly, distracted enough to miss important plays. While Vodafone certainly won the free advertising, they loss respect.

Another major DON’T of guerrilla marketing is Don’t be Something You’re Not! Keep your target audience, your team and your mission in mind. If you’re a Fortune 500 company, don’t advertise yourself as a down-home-mom-and-pop shop. If you’re a grassroots organization, don’t alienate your target by making lofty and bourgeois demands of them.

Successful guerrilla campaigns use what they have at their disposal including stairs, escalators, the ground, and trees! Calgary Farmer’s Market hung ripe red apples from trees with stickers on the apples advertising the market’s dates, times, and locations. Cheap advertising for the market, and free apples for the target consumers!

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In the bottom left corner of the picture below, Folgers used giant stickers and manhole covers to advertise their coffee, knowing full well that most people tend to look down while walking on the sidewalk.

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HBO knows that shock value is attention-grabbing (have you seen the shows they air?) and they used this knowledge to their advantage with this campaign for hit series, “The Sopranos.”

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Guerrilla ads make you look twice and whip out your camera phone. They stand out from the rest of the ad space that surrounds them. When consumers see something truly guerrilla, they share it! Who wouldn’t want that kind of loyalty?

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