This season has been a busy one for IMC; event planning, social media campaigns, and taking on new clients. As we head into Q2, we decided to take the time to reflect on some highlights from the past three months: IMC’s Top Three! Here’s a look at events from January through March that we thought deserved an honorable mention in our blog.
We kicked off the new year by adding a new client to our list: The Carlton Group! From social media to graphic design, we have been fortunate enough to work with this retail real estate company and contribute to their growth through campaigns and digital media strategy. We’ve been getting a jump on social media advertising and event coordinating for one of their shopping plazas in Secaucus, NJ: The Plaza at Harmon Meadow!
Almost every company has a website today. In fact, if a company doesn’t have a website, many potential customers wonder why it is so behind the times and may even consider passing them up in favor of a more contemporary firm—one that realizes we’re living in the Twenty-First century.
And then, of course, there are those companies that have a website simply because they have to have a website—but do very little to maintain or update it. Okay, so they’re in the Twenty-First Century—but wish they weren’t. As much as they may like to, they can’t have it both ways.
Sometimes the problem is that these leaders don’t know the first thing about websites and don’t want to spend the funds necessary to have someone on staff who does. Other times it’s because they haven’t taken the time to read up on the value of effective website marketing.
What company leaders need to realize is that this new century is populated by many marketing communications firms that know exactly what to do when a website isn’t doing its job. And you know what? That way, these same leaders can have it both ways.
When do you know you need a new website or need to completely update the one you’ve got?
When you can’t remember the last time anyone worked on it.
When you look at it and realize that it no longer accurately reflects your brand.
When you check with your customers and discover that your site long ago stopped being useful to them.
With the recovery comes opportunity. So, companies are focused on marketing. Some will be rebranding to reach new kinds of customers and clients. Some will be launching new products and services. And some will be trying to sell more and/or at a higher price than before. The rub is that marketing costs can be expensive. How can you cut yours? Image Marketing Consultants has these 3 tips.
Partner. To get its initiatives in the digital wallet off the ground American Express has found partners such as Wal-Mart. They pool resources, ranging from know-how to distribution channels. That not only saves money and spreads the risk but also increases the odds for success.
Place small bets. With so much turbulence in the economy it’s downright reckless to bet the ranch. Try out a number of strategies and tactics in small ways. JC Penney bet the ranch on its anti-discounting strategy and lost out big time.
Reward. Both research and experience show that customers and clients want to be thanked for doing business with you. Companies such as Discover which structure their loyalty rewards programs right are growing faster than those with no or ham-handed programs. Rewards don’t have to cost much and, since they reduce churn, they can save on marketing costs.
Kate Sirignano, founder of Image Marketing Consultants, invites you to a complimentary consultation for your marketing, public relations, partnership, special events, and social media needs firstname.lastname@example.org, 203-404-4868.
A few weeks ago a successful upscale restaurant leveraged a push selling tactic which probably was counterproductive to its brandingand long-term business. For a week it promoted a special of two meals for $25, including any choice of its award-winning made-on-the-premise designer desserts. Although in the depth of the economic downturn this restaurant had struggled, for the past 18 months it had been thriving.
From marketing experience, Image Marketing Consultants knows that such steep discounting will bring in business but those who try the restaurant out are unlikely to return as regulars. They can’t afford the standard premium prices. In addition, the regulars get to thinking if they want to be associated with a bargain basement. Some might not return if their dining experience had been marred by crowds who didn’t know how to comport themselves in an elegant setting.
Admittedly, many enterprises had to discount during hard times. But as the economy shifts from recessionary to growth, they have to be mapping out strategies and tactics to transition from push selling to those based on a differentiated product or service. The risk is losing the bottom feeders, which might not be a bad thing. To keep the doors open during The Great Recession, all business might have been welcome. Now, it’s wise to remember the 80/20 rule. That is, that 80 percent of profits usually come from 20 percent of the business and 80 percent of the headaches come from customers and clients who are probably contributing least to the bottom line.
Pricing sends a powerful signal. Make sure it’s sending the right one about your brand.
Kate Sirignano, founder of Image Marketing Consultants, welcomes you to a complimentary consultation about your marketing, partnership, public relations, special events, and social media needs email@example.com, 203-404-4868,
“Passion.” That’s exactly what a growing number of young women and men have for animals.
Therefore, as THE NEW YORK TIMES reports, they work very hard to prepare for veterinary school, which is difficult to get into. Those who are admitted take on six-figure student loan debt. At the end of three years not many are the lucky ones to be hired for the few jobs out there. And, most of those few jobs hardly pay enough to justify the loan debt.
Professional tragedies like that one as well as those happening among the passionate in journalism and law schools have more and more people considering what “passion” means. Could it simply denote love of something and that’s about all? Passion doesn’t necessarily translate into professional career success.
More importantly, what does “passion” indicate about the professional? Would you dare have your wedding dress produced by someone who ad reads “Passionate About Your Special Day” or the one whose ad reads “Produced 200 wedding dresses for Brides Whose Testimonials Are Framed In Our Shop?”
In short, what message are you sending when you use the term “passion?” Not a clear one. Therefore, businesses and nonprofits might rethink leveraging “passion” in marketing communications and public relations. In addition to not really meaning much as a message about your product or service, it is overused.
Kate Sirignano, founder of Image Marketing Consultants, invites you for a complimentary consultation on your marketing, public relations, partnership, special events, and social media needs firstname.lastname@example.org, 203-404-4868.
Technology has made The Sharing Economy Possible. For example, smartphones facilitate finding out about a room to rent for two nights in an apartment in Stamford, Connecticut. However, at its core and where businesses can profit and nonprofits can enhance their brandnames and fundraising, The Sharing Economy is a mindset.
In its cover story on The Sharing Economy, THE ECONOMIST (subscription required) hammers that this way of conducting transactions gives access to just about everything to just about everyone. On a commercial level, Zipcar brought that maintream in college towns. Students had access to cars to run errands or take day trips without the resources or responsibility of owning a car. More recently Airbnb gives tourists access to great lodging at a much cheaper rate than traditional hotels do.
How can you leverage the sharing mindset to generate better outcomes for your enterprise or nonprofit? Here are three tips:
Collaborate. You have down cold how students get admitted to elite educational institutions. The neighbor’s public relations firm has the resources to prepare the application materials and coach the interview process. Put that together and you both can be more successful, without having to “own” any additional lines of business. The additional payoff is the partnership can expand the brand identities of both.
Be more opportunistic than strategic. You might not have planned to lease the back of your hair salon to the psychic whose space flooded. But you do. Soon enough you’re passing on customers to each other. The local paper covers this match. Eventually, you both need more square footage.
Parachute in and help. Networks often are built on the pooling of different assets. At the top of the list are information, skills, and contacts. The new solo lawyer can’t attract clients. You tutor her on how to market, re-do her website for organic search (SEO), and bring in your friend who was busted for a DUI as her first case. As her practice flourishes, she refers business to you and others on your network.
How much you can gain and give through The Sharing Economy depends on how much of a shift you can make from the status quo to out of the box ways of approaching individual and organizational success.
Kate Sirignano invites you to a complimentary consultation for your “Sharing Economy” inititiaves, partnerships, marketing, public relations, special events, and social media. Please contact email@example.com, 203-404-4868.