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AMA - The Power to Imagine Better

The Power to Imagine Better

As you define your brand, are you pushing beyond the status quo to discover its full potential? What is your level of effort to connect with your customers? At Kansas City’s latest American Marketing Association luncheon Phil Bressler challenged us to answer these questions and then provided some thoughts and examples from other companies. Phil is a marketing/branding consultant and the founder and president of Latch – An Idea Company. Studies prove companies with creative marketing do better than those who consider marketing a low priority. I am a creative person. I have worked in graphic design in one way or another since my career began. However, I, among others run into barriers that get in the way of being creative. I find I have too much administrative work to do or too many deadlines that take priority. Other barriers people shared at the presentation include ideas becoming bottle necked somewhere else within the organization, no one to bounce ideas off of, lack of meaningful customer insight, lack of leadership support, and unproductive brainstorming sessions. One thing we do with…

Content Marketing Demystified

Content Marketing Demystified (IABC Summit Keynote Address Recap)

If you work with me or any other AWG digital specialist on your digital marketing, you’ve probably heard us discuss content marketing. But what exactly is content marketing? It’s not just about the content we post on your social media profiles, your website or your blog. It’s the strategy behind the content that’s being posted. I recently attended the 2018 Business Communicators Summit for the KC chapter of IABC. The keynote speaker was Quinn Tempest, a digital marketing strategist and graphic designer from Phoenix. Her presentation was titled “Content Marketing Demystified” and she covered the myths of content marketing and the lessons she’s learned about content marketing throughout her career working with various companies and individuals. Quinn describes content marketing as “the art of providing relevant, useful content to your prospects without selling or interrupting them.” She asserts that instead of pitching your products or services, you are delivering information that makes your audience more informed before they buy. The goal is to deliver consistent, ongoing, valuable information your customers/prospects so that they will ultimately reward you with their business…

Blog Spelled With Scrabble Tiles

Blogging For Your Business

Blogging isn’t just a hobby for parents sharing meal prep ideas or dedicated fans giving their insights on the latest YA fantasy novel. Some people have turned blogging into a lucrative business. Additionally, already-established businesses can use blogging as another digital marketing platform to share their story and connect with customers. Even small businesses can use this platform and see the benefits of it if they put the work into creating and maintaining it. Getting Started Decide on a platform Talk to your website developer or designer about how to integrate a blog platform onto your store’s website. Find your voice Your blog voice will tie into the overall brand voice you have for your store. It’s the same voice you use in other forms of digital marketing like social media, website and email. Ultimately people like doing business with other people so find a voice that captures your business and shows the personality of your brand. Set a schedule Decide how often you’re going to publish blog posts. Do your best to stick to that schedule so your readers…

KCDMA - Flipping the Funnel

“Flipping the Funnel” – KCDMA Luncheon Recap

Account Based Marketing Strategies for Niche Audiences Selling a product or service in a highly competitive marketplace can be a challenge, especially if you are trying to reach a unique audience. Having a small marketing budget makes the challenge even greater. Angela Ridpath, Vice President of Marketing at MCH Strategic Data, spoke at this month’s KCDMA Luncheon. She shared how MCH breaks away from the traditional marketing strategy by flipping the funnel. With the traditional conversion funnel, you market to a large audience of potential customers but only a small percentage of that audience takes action and becomes your customers. What happens when you first identify who your customers are and market only to them? This is what a flipped funnel would look like. After identifying your audience, dedicate a lot of time creating high quality content. At the presentation, Angela passed around an example of a direct marketing piece that was mailed to their target audience. It was similar to one of those greeting cards that plays an audio clip when the card is opened. In this example a…

Woman with bullhorn

Engaging Influencers on Behalf of Your Brand

Fewer than 6% of millennials believe online ads are credible. In the digital marketing world, that’s a tough pill to swallow. Consumers are skeptical about brands and the stories they tell, that much is known. That’s why the money spent on influencers has gone up so much in recent years. Traditional influencers told their friends and family about great products and services over the dinner table or at gatherings. The digital equivalent of that is an influencer having a robust social following for whatever reason, whether it be she is good at taking pictures, he has a unique flair for food prep, or she just happens to be a social butterfly. These influencers are the ones you want on your side because they help elevate conversion rates 3x-10x. But, it isn’t easy. Liz Hawks of FleishmanHillard and Amy Merchant of Hallmark went through some tips for engaging influencers at a recent American Marketing Association Kansas City lunch. Find a Good Fit When thinking about using influencers, you have to work to find a good fit. For Hallmark, they were focusing…

Google My Business logo.

Claiming Your Google Places Listing

How often do you Google a local business in your area? Your customers are doing the same thing with your grocery store on a regular basis, so it’s important for you to be able to control what they see when they Google your store. But how do you do that? How do you manage the information that comes up on the most popular online search engine? The answer is: Google Places. Google Places allows you to list the exact location and address of your store on a map in Google, with all relevant store information to help your customers find you when they are not only looking specifically for your store but also when they are looking for specific services your business provides. According to Google, “simply being listed gives you a boost in rankings for your main website and therefore leads to more traffic.” Google gives you the option to include as much or as little about your business as you want on your Google Places listing. This includes coupons, special offers, videos, images, opening hours and preferred payment…

Photo of man talking to people while sitting at a table.

Marketing To The Middle

As Associated Wholesale Grocers, this community of more than 3,800 grocery stores in the “middle” of America, I would wager that over the years, many of us have had a good pulse on who our customers were. Many of us still know very well who our customers are, but not everyone truly gets the essence of what motivates their customers and what they’re looking for in a shopping experience. Given the current political climate and the election results, it has many questioning if we really know what we’re dealing with in our country. AdWeek has recently published a cover story (http://www.adweek.com/agencies/marketers-everywhere-are-rethinking-middle-america-post-trump-inside-one-effort-to-help-them/) about marketers rethinking their strategy for middle America and it’s a fascinating look at how companies, their agencies, and marketers are trying to figure out who middle America truly is and how they can deliver their message to consumers. It’s a tricky subject and there’s not one easy answer. But let’s take a quick look at some of the themes of the article. Brands don’t understand the middle American shopper. The article tells of tours of the midwest by those…

Graphic of film projector and film

Recap: Use Video Storytelling to Connect to Your Authentic Message (KC IABC BCS Summit Breakout Session)

Did you know that your brain acts the same when hearing a story as it does if the actions in that story were actually happening to you? It’s true. Storytelling has been a part of human culture dating back before the written word. However we’re only recently learning how stories affect the human brain. We use stories to convey many different types of information — from facts being taught in a classroom, to products and services being advertised on television. Jolean Olson, director of development for Scenic Road Productions, gave a presentation at the recent Business Communicators Summit for the KC chapter of IABC about using video storytelling to connect to customers in an authentic way. And before you think this was some ploy to get people to hire her production company, she cited that 92% of people say they want brands to present their advertisements as a story. It makes sense that if just hearing a story activates our brains as if we were experiencing it, that seeing a story would increase that feeling even more. Not to mention…

clementine oranges with "Be Authentic"
InCara

Ditching the Script [AMA Recap]

From creating Facebook posts, to writing a radio spot, to knowing what to share on Instagram – our world is demanding constant content with sparks of creativity. But what happens when you hit a writers’ block? When you’re just not sure what to share or what your consumers will be interested in reading or watching? At a recent American Marketing Association luncheon, Jolean Olson, Director of Development for Scenic Road (a marketing agency focused on creating powerful content through video and other visual methods), shared fourteen tips to answer those questions. Her goal is to help those creating content to dig deeper into strategy and storytelling, which results in a better connection with consumers. These tips help us promote our brands’ authentic message. Olsen noted that according to a recent Nielsen study, 92% of consumers want advertising that feels like stories. Here are Olsen’s tips for making that happen: Give the converting stage its due. Ideation is the hard part of storytelling. As Olsen put it, “You sometimes feel like you can’t swim when you once knew how.” Be patient;…

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