Converting marketing into emergency communications

by: Charles Gaiennie on

Convert marketing tools into emergency response tools.

Website - if you have one of our content management based websites, use the News/Announcement tool to post updates on whether you are open, services you may have relating to the emergency, etc.  

If you have a secure section of one of our sites, use it to post employee advisories, whether to report to work, special assignments, etc

If you use Constant Contact, use it to post advisories and updates and be sure to re post to your web and to Facebook. 

Call us if you need help on any of these techniques

Consistency

by: Charles Gaiennie on

Consistency


How do you like our use of different colors in the title of this week's Marketing Minute? Annoying, isn't it? Possibly even bordering on obnoxious. But in true Marketing Minute style we are using eleven different colors to draw your attention to the absolutely essential requirement of consistency in your branding, marketing and advertising.

Here's why...

In marketing, you are constantly competing for space in the minds and hearts of your market. This is true whether you are Coca-Cola or Slop-E-Joe's Barbecue Shack. (we just made that name up so apologies is there really is a Slop-E-Joe's out there somewhere) Success in gaining ground in that mind and heart space starts by making it ridiculously simple for someone to recognize you immediately whenever and wherever they encounter your brand.

Here are three rules to guide you.

Rule 1 - create a brand that is clear, simple and recognizable.
Rule 2 - don't allow your latest flight of creative fancy to mess up a perfectly good brand.
Rule 3 - use the un-messed-up brand with perfect consistency as to colors, font styles, images and tag phrases every time, all the time.

By following these three important rules, you are avoiding creating confusion about your brand in a marketplace where confusion is already the norm.

So whatever you do, when it comes to your marketing, advertising and branding,

Stay Consistent! :)


Why A Website is NOT an IT Project

by: Charles Gaiennie on

Let me start with apologies to our wonderful friends and colleagues who are experts in the underlying technologies of websites.  We love these folks and couldn't do what we do without them however...

Look.  Here's the deal.  Although it is clearly technology that enables us to reach the world through our websites, emails, cell phones and Facebook pages, who really do you think the customer wants to hear from?  You, or your IT guy?  Again, no disrespect intended to the IT folks, however if someone is talking to you, it’s because they are interested in the flowers you sell, or your creative lunch menu or your one day guaranteed car repairs or whatever you do and could generally care less about whether you are using XML or HTML.  You are infinitely more interesting.  You are the holder of the information they desperately seek and you are the reason they are at your website to begin with.  What this means is that (there's a pattern here) YOU are the one that should be in direct control of your website with little or no barrier or filtering by anyone with IT in their job description.

The great news is that this is very do-able these days.  When we select technologies for our web projects, one of our top criteria is that the technology be powerful, impactful and have low to no technical barriers.   What we are describing is what is known as content management system that is accessed by simply logging onto your own website.  Properly done, a content management website allows you to; change text with no more effort than using a word processor like Microsoft Word, add new images to a page by simply clicking a browse button similar to the way you attach something to an email or adding or deleting pages and having the results automatically reflected in the menu structure – and all without one call or email to the IT guy.  Not only can it be done, it is being done and is the only way we develop and manage websites.

Interested in knowing more?  Why not give us a call at 985-446-6088 or go onto our content-management-driven website at www.wlgaiennie.com to learn more.  DISCLAIMER.  Our site is under revision as we speak so bear with us as we tweak some things out. 

Until next time…

 

 

 

Get Out of the Board Room and Into the Chat Room

by: Charles Gaiennie on

This week's marketing minute goes out to all of the big shots - you know who you are - who have pretty much written off this social media thing as a passing fad, not worthy of their attention, the realm of their teenage daughter whose main focus is growing virtual crops and creating polls about which "Twilight" vampire she's most like. But alas, oh Great Ones, be cautious in your judgments since the truth is that social media, in the right hands, is a very powerful and relevant business tool that even grownups like yourself can learn to use.

We made the statement in last week’s Marketing Minute that success in social media is all about quality content. So the question becomes then, from whence doth quality content come? To answer that question, let’s visualize a scenario that we think will make the point.

Let’s all go to an imaginary meeting of some board of directors. In your mind’s eye, scan the boardroom table and who do you see? Is it the administrative assistants? No. (Even though we all know that without the AAs no one at the table could have found anything they needed to get ready for the meeting.) Is it the delivery drivers? No. (They’re out making money for the company right now.) It’s the big cheeses, the CEO, top managers, key investors, owners and founders of the company, and so on. And why, we playfully ask, are these particular people at the table? It’s because it is these people who have the insights and knowledge that is most relevant to the company, and, by extension, to the market in which they operate. Stated differently, it is these people who are the owners of QUALITY CONTENT.

These people are also often the public face of your company, and are the persons customers most want a relationship with. Why not consider giving them a voice through a company blog? A blog that is written with true personality makes readers feel like they know and trust you. It is, after all, these people who are assumed to have the greatest knowledge and the credibility. For example, when you get sick, whose advice do you seek, the doctor or the receptionist?

But don't just assign the blog to the secretary or the student intern. In many cases it should be the CEO writing the blog. Yes, we know the CEO's time is valuable, but so is that of your readers so don't waste it with insights that are just veneer. An enthusiastic and personable CEO bursting with insights into your industry is better advertising than you can buy.

When the CEO Shouldn't Blog
Not every CEO should have a blog. A good blog is based on candor, urgency, timeliness, pithiness and controversy. If your CEO can't commit to regular blogs that include at least four of those items, try another medium or choose another employee, or, better yet, hire an insightful and innovative PR firm. (We just happen to know of a great one right here in town.) The point is casual interaction with customers/readers, so your blog must be written in your voice and not in that of a press release or annual report!

Make sure your competition never finds out about this

by: Charles Gaiennie on

All effective marketing is based on research. Anything else is just a guess. Sorry, but that's just the way it works.

So you say that you don't know how to do research on things like the size of the market, what people are spending money on, the average education level, what most people do for a living and other key facts that help you determine what to market, when and to whom.



Well, fear not! Research help is on the way.

We'd love to take credit for bringing you some secret source of market research, but kudos really have to go to the South Louisiana Economic Council and their partner in economic development, Entergy Louisiana. Together these folks make it a snap to get some really great information about the market your company serves.

It's all part of the Bayou Region Site Selection website, a site designed primarily to attract new business into the region but absolutely packed with great information under the Parish and Community Profiles section. 

Here's a list of the cool things that await your mouseclick.

A great map view of the region that is clickable to go to any of the four parishes of Assumption, Lafourche, St. Mary or Terrebonne.
  • Profiles of each of the parishes or individual communities with each parish
  • Population details
  • Workplace data, and
  • Spending patterns.
If that's not enough, the site even gives you the option to create a custom report and view it as a graph or export it in Excel.

Very cool stuff and absolutely free. Check it out now!

Getting recognition for getting it right

by: Charles Gaiennie on

In this week's Marketing Minute, we are going to break from our normal focus on you to a momentary focus on us. We almost never talk about ourselves but we just have to share with you some very exciting news! 

As you may know, our firm is a certified partner with Constant Contact, one of the original email marketing companies in the world and an undisputed leader in that industry. We use Constant Contact to create the Marketing Minute you are now reading.

Well, apparently someone up there noticed what we have been doing on behalf of our clients with Constant Contact and awarded us their prestigious All Star Award. It’s not like we won the Oscars of email marketing or anything like that but in the field of consistently adhering to best practices in email marketing to get tangible results for clients, we stand pretty tall.

Here's what they said about us...

Kudos to you! As a Constant Contact Business Partner, you helped your clients do email marketing the way it's supposed to be done in 2009. You helped them stay in touch with their customers or members with regular email communications. You made sure their contact list was up to date and that everyone on it gave permission to receive emails. Finally, you helped them deliver engaging information that their audience was eager to receive, open, and read.

It goes without saying that we are both proud and excited to have been recognized with this award. What's really important, however, is not that we received the award but rather that we received a solid affirmation that what we are doing with email marketing is effective for our clients.

So, congratulations to us, but more importantly, congratulations to the 50-plus companies that we’ve helped tie into the affordable and effective world of email marketing with Constant Contact.

Whoohooo!

May we have your permission, please?

by: Charles Gaiennie on

In this week’s Marketing Minute, we address the issue of permission-based marketing and why it is so important to gain permission from your customers and prospects before you communicate with them. It is an important process since permission is often the difference between growing a relationship or abruptly and permanently closing that relationship off.

Let’s start with a definition of permission. For marketing purposes it means that someone has either explicitly asked you to communicate with them or it can be reasonably presumed that they are open to communicating with you.

Explicit permission comes in many forms but here are a few of the more common ones. A customer completes a satisfaction survey, signs up for your newsletter on your website or calls or emails you directly for a brochure, a quote or for information about your products or services. The common thread here is that they have initiated the contact from their side with the expectation that you will follow up. The second form of permission is where it can be reasonably implied that contact is OK. This also comes in many forms, such as someone hands you their business card at a meeting or trade show, the person has done business with you in the past or is actively using your products or services now, there is some established relationship between you and the person such as you serve on committee together or know each other in a way where they clearly know you and what you do. Basically, this is a group of permission givers that while they have not explicitly asked for you to send them information, they at least know who you are and can easily identify who you are when you reach out to them.

With this understanding of permission in hand, let’s move on to why this permission thing is so important.

Many people assume that marketing seems to be all about them, what they sell and do. In reality, however, marketing done well is all about someone else – your customers and prospects and what they want and what they need. When you’ve grasped this concept, you begin to understand where this permission thing fits in. In gaining permission before you communicate, you immediately make the statement that your message, and by extension your products and services, are all about fulfilling someone else’s need, not just your own. And, WOW, what a powerful message that can be. In fact, marketing that does not follow these rules is generally tagged by the market with phrases such as “junk mail” or “spam,” not descriptions you want applied to your message, we’d guess.

The Marketing Minute is actually an example of permission-based marketing. Everyone who receives this fits into at least one of the two categories we mentioned. But even with the permission in place, we still respect the right of all our contacts to not receive this message by immediately presenting the option to unsubscribe.

If you are interested in learning more about permission-based marketing, give us a call at 985.446.6088 or complete our contact form now. There is also a great summary of permission-based marketing you can download now free from our email technology partner, Constant Contact. Oh, and by the way, when you call or complete the form, we’d like to thank you for giving us permission to contact you.

© Copyright The W.L. Gaiennie Company 2016