Mindy Meyer’s Pink Campaign – 3 Lessons in Marketing
A gimmick.  A stunt. It will ruin her career as a lawyer.  That’s what some are saying about Mindy Meyer’s “pink” campaign as a conservative candidate for the New York state Senate. Here is her pink website http://mindymeyer4senate.com/?tw_p=twt   The critics may be right.  However, Image Marketing Consultants recommends you not not miss the marketing lessons embedded here.  Out of nowhere, this 22-year-old New York law student is getting national media attention, including from the influential POLITICO http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0712/78871.html With statements like “The Senate’s not just a bunch of old people” – Meyer can become the under-30 Sarah Palin – the voice of a new generation of conservatives.   The lessons?  Here are 3:  
  • Positioning and packaging are everything.  Most leaders, causes, products, and services are essentially similar.  The best marketing communications win the day.
 
  • Take smart risks.  At her age, Meyer has nothing to lose and everything to gain.
 
  • Look, talk, walk youthful.  That has nothing to do with age.  No one thinks of Hillary Clinton as old.
  Kate Sirignano, founder of Image Marketing Consultants, provides complimentary consultations in marketing, public relations, media buys, social media, and special events 203-404-4868Kate@imagemarketingconsultants.com.  
Holmes, Paterno, Mayer – Power of Symbols

Media, hungry for readers, frame the big stories in terms of symbolism.  For James Holmes, it was the need for gun control.  For Joe Paterno, the neglect of duty. And for Marissa Meyer, women’s choices.  Reporters and editors know that we human beings experience the world through symbols.

Your customers are no different.  They see your products and services in terms of symbols.  That’s why all your marketing, public relations, social media, and special events have to be built around a symbol.  Job number-one is creating the right symbol and reinforcing it.

 

Examples:

 

Ø Your restaurant broadcasts the message that the cuisine, ambiance and service restore the soul.

 

Ø Your women’s discount store represents no-mistake professional attire at affordable prices.

 

Ø Your landscaping shop stands for taking pride in one’s property.

 

Kate Sirignano, founder of Image Marketing Consultants, provides complimentary consultations on your marketing, public relations, media buying, social media, and special events 203-404-4868kate@imagemarketingconsultants.com

 

Social Media: Conversions, Not Likes, Matter

Social media is confusing.  “Kate,” clients ask me over and over again, “my Facebook fan page and blogging are bringing in sales.  However, there aren’t many “likes” on the content.  Should I be worried?”


 

 

If your business is B2C, that is targeted at consumers, all that matters is converting the content of your social media into sales.  Therefore, if the right prospects see your posts and respond to them by opening their pocketbook, you are hitting homeruns.  Likes, comments, retweets indicate popularity.  Remember the most popular kids in high school? Most of them are no where today.

 

Kate Sirignano, founder of Image Marketing Consultants, provides complimentary consultations on social media, marketing, media buying, public relations, and special events 203-404-4868kate@imagemarketingconsultants.com.

 

Consumer Shift – 3 Tips from Image Marketing Consultants

Retailers have to market differently to consumers as well as do more of what is working.  THE ECONOMIST reports that the U.S. economy is shifting from a consumer to an export one http://www.economist.com/node/21558591. The Federal Reserve attributes much of this to consumers paying off debt.  They are spending less.

Image Marketing Consultants has these 3 tips:

 

  • Listen to the marketplace through special events and social media.  Consumers will tell you what should stay the same and what else they want.

 

  • Experiment with some price points.  Often lowering those on popular items will make consumers feel safe shopping with you.

 

  • Entertain.  That could be as simple as background music or as exotic as having drama students putting on skits in your store.

 

Kate Sirignano, founder of Image Marketing Consultants, welcomes your questions on marketing in a shifting economy Kate@imagemarketingconsultants.com.

 

 

Contrarian Marketing – 3 Tips from Image Marketing Consultants

“Contrarians,” as they are called, get attention because they think out of the box.  For example, on Wall Street, when everyone is buying Apple stock, contrarian analysts recommend selling or going short.  Investors are all ears.  Here are 3 tips from Image Marketing Consultants on how you can leverage contrarian marketing for your business here in the Northeast Corridor, especially New England.

 

§ Upside Down Piggybacks. The trend is healthy everything.  You feature sinful or indulgent products and services. Example: 430-calorie double-frosted cupcakes to eat instead of going to the gym.

§ Unconventional Slogans/Taglines. When businesses gush about their excellent customer service, position yours as built on DIY or Do It Yourself.  Example: “Because we’re lazy, you serve yourself – and save lots of $.’

§ Humor. Being funny involves risk but it’s a grabber because most businesses present themselves as serious.  Post on YouTube videos of your products talking back to customers.  Example: The tomato says it wants to be part of a salad, not a sauce.

 

Kate Sirignano, founder of Image Marketing Consultants, provides complimentary consultants on marketing, public relations, media buying, social media, and special events, 203-404-4868Kate@imagemarketingconsultants.com.

 

 

Branding: What Chris Christie Is Teaching Us

Branding is the unique space your product or service owns in the minds and hearts of your customers.  It’s the foundation for everything you will do in marketing.  So, yes, do it right the first time.  That is take the time to create the right identity.  While you’re doing that, here is what you might learn from one of the strongest current political brands. That’s Chris Christie, Governor of New Jersey.

 

The latest Quinnipiac poll found that 54 percent of voters in his state approve of his performance.  That means that he has been able to gain and keep the majority on his side.  Yet, at the same time he has been able to develop a brand identity that sets him apart from all the other political leaders on the radar screen.

 

In terms of your own branding, here are the takeaway lessons:

 

  • Your brand can’t be all things to all people.  It simply has to align with the constituencies or demographics which count.  If Christie tried to appeal to everyone, his identity would be too diluted to stand out.

 

  • Your brand must be out there.  Christie is constantly engaged in some public function and seems to make it his business to promote those.

 

  • Your brand becomes stronger by managing criticism and controversy.  Each public relations battle Christie manages, his brand becomes more embedded in the global consciousness.

 

Please contact Kate Sirignano, 203-404-4868, kate@imagemarketingconsultants.com for a complimentary review of your branding.

Easy DIY projects for your 4th of July party!

Preparing for a 4th of July party this week? Check out some of our favorite DIY projects that will surely spice up any star-spangled event!

These white chocolate covered strawberries dipped in blue sprinkles make for a patriotic and refreshing treat. (Kate made these for a BBQ last weekend- they were a hit!)

How great are these red, white and blue mason jar luminaries? Jar + hodge podge + tissue paper + candle = gorgeous outdoor 4th of July decoration.

Paper flowers add a whimsical touch to any event, and may be one of the easiest things to make! (I’m thinking of making some for my own BBQ on Saturday.)

At IMC, we can’t deny that we love a good signature cocktail…WITH a clever name…surely you remember our Christmas party! Consider hollowing out a watermelon and filling it with a punch or homemade sangria.

There are so many ways to get creative when the holidays roll around! However you end up spending your 4th of July, be sure that you’re surrounded by friends and loved ones- that’s the best part of any party.

Have a Happy & Safe 4th- God Bless the USA!

Tips to Improve your Social Media Strategy

Navigating Social Media as a business owner can sometimes feel like a daunting dask. You know that Social Media can be used as a powerful marketing tool; but between Twitter, Facebook posts, Foursquare check-ins, and YouTube videos, it can be difficult to determine where to begin. If you feel lost inside the overwhelming world of Social Media, take a look at these tips to help you navigate your way.

 

1) Determine your Social Media Match

When embarking on this social media journey, you might be tempted to create an account for each social media site available. But before you spread your time and money across multiple Social Media avenues, there are quite a few things to consider. Research each avenue you’re interested in to determine where your audience is located. Each Social Media site offers something unique and it’s important to decide which is most relevant to you. For example Pinterest is a great tool for B2C companies whose target customers are women, but it may not be a good fit for a B2B company.  Once you’ve thought about why you’d like to use Social Media, who you are targeting, and where they are already interacting, you can begin to narrow down your options.

 

2) Develop your Voice

Social Media is an excellent way to show the voice and personality of your brand, allowing customers to develop trust and faith in your company. It’s important to develop a voice that is consistent with your product and message. Think about the culture of your business and what you represent and allow this to be portrayed in your Social Media posts. For example if you are a B2C company who appeals to a young audience, you might develop posts that are light hearted or humorous. Once you’ve developed this voice keep it consistent across all of your Social Media accounts.

 

3) Create Valuable Content

Use Social Media as an avenue to create conversation rather than bombarding customers with ‘Buy my product’ messages. Provide your audience with information that they will find value in. Let’s say you own a small coffee shop where your customers spend time reading & working. You might try posting a latte recipe, a book suggestion, or an interesting article related to your industry. Or perhaps you own a dog-walking business. You might try posting how-to videos on dog training, or tips on selecting the right dog food. By establishing a place where followers can depend on you for credible news and messages, you will create a relationship that keeps them coming to you as the expert source in your industry.

 

4) Practice Makes Perfect

As with any new marketing strategy, it’s possible that you’ll encounter some mishaps. Allow these mistakes to happen and learn from them. If one message appears to have no effect, reevaluate that message and research new tactics. Your next post will surely be better. Create quality content, remain consistent, and interact with your audience, and you will soon reap the benefits of your Social Media campaign.

 

PR Skills to Use in Your Everyday Life

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have your very own publicist? Someone who would do whatever it took to make you look like the star you truly are? They’d have all the tools to make your best qualities shine. They’d be able to help you land that promotion, help you score a date with that special someone you’ve been eyeing, and know exactly how to handle your embarassing social mishap from last weekend.

An excellent pubicist can work wonders. But if you don’t see yourself hiring one anytime soon, you can still steal a few of their valuable skills to help you learn how to present yourself in the best light possible. We’ve outlined 4 tools from the Public Relations world that you can use to improve your every day life!

Develop your Brand:

 

When marketing a company, it is essential to create a strong sense of identity through the process of developing a brand. Create your own “self-brand” to highlight your most outstanding qualities. Take a moment to think about the goals you are aiming to achieve and what type of impression you’d like to set. Brainstorm the characteristics you are most proud of; identify those that you’d like to highlight and those that you’d like to downplay. Begin to allign your actions, words, wardrobe, etc with this new self-brand.

 

 

Create a Press Kit:

This might include your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media accounts; along with resumes, business cards, headshots etc. Sift through your social media accounts and be sure that the tone of your pictures and posts are in line with the image you are seeking to present. You never know who might be looking at your accounts so it’s essential that they display you positively!

Learn to Pitch:

The ability to pitch is one of the most valuable skills to have in the Public Relations field. A successful pitch will pique attention and generate a buzz. Use the qualities of a great pitch next time you are networking or interviewing. Speak in a straight-forward and confident manner. Listen carefully and respond to questions quickly and succinctly. Understand your audience – learn about what motivates them and make points that are relevant and interesting to them.

Handle Bad Publicity with Grace:

Every brand will encounter negative publicity at some point. The best in Public Relations understand how to ride out the waves of bad publicity and how to recover once they’ve subsided. If you encounter negative attention, learn to handle it with grace. Hold your head high and know that in time, the buzz will pass. Make sincere apologies wherever necessary. Be sure to learn from your mistakes – evaluate what generated the negative attention and use it as an opportunity for growth.

These are just a few tools that those in Public Relations use to promote their products and clients. Try them out for yourself to help improve your image and advance towards your goals!

 

How to Plan an Event on a Budget
How to Plan an Event on a Budget

The idea that a great party has to cost a lot of money is simply false! Don’t let a tight budget keep you from hosting an excellent event this year. There are tons of ways to execute the perfect event while sticking within your budget. In the event-planning industry, we’re always discovering tricks to make our parties look like a million bucks, without actually needing to spend it. Check out some of our favorite tips to throw a bash on a budget!

Plan Ahead

Planning your event far in advance will help you stick within your budget and avoid impulse buys and unnecessary expenses. Start by determining a budget you feel comfortable with. Then begin to create a roadmap for your event. Write a list of the different areas you’ll need to allocate your budget towards – such as food, liquor, décor, and invitations. Determine areas that might deserve an extra investment, such as food. Compare prices at multiple stores and websites to find the best deals. With a little planning and time you can often find products online for a fraction of the price you might pay in a local party store.

Pick a Theme

Now that you’ve allocated your expenses, you can let the planning begin! Start by creating a theme. Picking a theme is an inexpensive and simple way to bring fun and life to your next event. The right theme will add virtually nothing to your expenses. Choose a theme that guests can participate in such as a crazy hat party, or a masquerade party. You can also try a more subtle theme by drawing inspiration from a specific color or flavor and incorporating it throughout your event. A theme will give your party flair without adding to your budget.

Drink Up

Ask guests to bring their favorite wine or beer and provide them with one or two signature cocktails rather than a full bar. Signature drinks are inexpensive and easy and can be made in bulk prior to the party. Serve in pitchers or punch bowls and allow guests to help themselves. For a fun twist, tie your cocktail recipes in with your theme. If you’re throwing a valentine’s day party, find a red colored cocktail and label it, “love potion”. Or for an 80’s party, serve a popular drink from that era.

Chow Down

Save tons of money on food cost by skipping the sit down dinner and throwing an extended cocktail party with simple hors d’oeuvres. A great hors d’oeuvres menu doesn’t mean that each recipe has to be time-consuming or difficult. Your menu can consist of five simple hors d’oeuvres. Be creative! Almost any dish can be turned into party fare. Try serving your favorite soup in shot glasses, or your famous macaroni and cheese in bite sized portions.

Set the Mood

Simple modifications to music and lighting cost little to nothing and can change the atmosphere entirely. With the right touches you’ll be able to get your guests in the party mood. Avoid bright over-head lights, which are often unflattering, and stick to floor and table lamps. Put clusters of candles together and decorate candle holders with bright or patterned papers that match your theme. For music, create a unique playlist on your ipod or take advantage of programs like Pandora which will provide excellent mixes at no cost. Always be sure to check that your stereo and speakers are in working order before the party begins.

Try these tips out the next time you’re planning on a budget! And keep in mind that no matter the size of your budget, the best elements of a successful party are good company, laughter, fun, and memories – all of which are free!