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Compass with needle pointing to core values

WordCamp recap – Voice Your Values

At WordCamp this year there was a lot of talk about ADA and SEO. I’ll talk about ADA in another recap soon. As for SEO, we have written articles recently, such as Content Marketing & SEO and How SEO Can Strengthen Your Digital Store Brand Identity. While you do need good SEO to drive traffic to your website, values are important too. Actually, in today’s world, it is kind of unique. Having core values to define your brand can make you stand out from your competition. In the WordCamp session, Voice Your Values, Andrea Garcia, Chief Mind Officer at mind+matter, says to let others know who you are and who you are not. Define your brand. Voice your values and you will connect with customers who are looking for the same values. That makes sense, right? When you hang out with friends, don’t you have the best time when you are with those who share the same values and the same interests? We at AWG manage social media pages for many of our members. One thing we must keep in…

The Future of Typography - Dan Rhatigan - Adobe Type

The Future of Typography (KCDesignCore Recap)

In this blog post I won’t be sharing information on how to get customers to your store or how to increase your sales, but for those graphic designers out there, this may spark your interest. I occasionally visit the monthly Adobe users group meetup here in Kansas City, called KCDesignCore. This month Dan Rhatigan, manager of Adobe’s in-house type foundry, presented some new cool stuff Adobe has been working on in typography. Dan took us back in history to when type was set and printed on a page. Certain fonts were considered “good typography” and were more legible than others when printed. But we don’t engage in text the way we used to. We now read on digital screens. We have adapted to moving objects and 3 dimensions. Even in the early days of web design, there were limitations on fonts. When I first started designing websites, we had only 5 or 6 fonts available for use. Verdana was suggested to be most legible on computer screens so we were pretty much locked into using Verdana for everything. Well, at…

Feedback

A Case Study for Customer Surveys

Have you ever considered conducting a customer survey for business? You might think it would be a waste of your time but consider this statistic from Zendesk: “96% of consumers don’t bother to complain, making consumer surveys an excellent way for organizations to better understand their customers’ problems.” Instead of making assumptions or viewing your business from the owner or management perspective, go directly to the people who affect your bottom line: your customers. I’ve worked with several stores on crafting and maintaining customers service surveys for both their overall customer service and specifically for their online shopping programs. I used my experience working with these stores to develop a case study of how and why to create a customer service survey. To read the full case study, click HERE. Here is a quick summary of what I cover in the case study: When to Use Customer Surveys Consider running an ongoing general customer service survey so your customers always have the option to provide feedback. I highly recommend running a separate customer service survey for your online shopping program,…

Curious Co-branding

Ever see a product’s advertising that infuses another brand and think, “that makes so much sense”? Things like Taco Bell and Doritos, BMW & Louis Vuitton, Apple Pay & Master Card, Boulevard Beer & Tech N9ne, wait…what?? Craft beer and hip-hop? Oh…that’s right, I forgot to mention co-branding doesn’t have to make total sense on the surface. Sure it doesn’t hurt to mesh Yum brands with bold delicious snacks or high end luxury with glam products, but if you eat Taco Bell you probably already eat Doritos and if you can afford a BMW likewise you know about or purchase Louis Vuitton luggage. However, it’s the outside the box brand collaborations that gain exposure to markets that previously might not have been available. For the content purpose of this blog I’m going to use the combo mentioned previously, Boulevard Beer & Tech N9ne (mostly true accounts from a speaking event hosted by KCDMA featuring Pat Mullin of Boulevard). Now I understand that some people reading this will not know one, if not either of these brands, so I’ll provide a…

Measuring Value

7 Ways to Use Social Analytics to Maximize Brand Impact (Webinar Recap)

So your store has a Facebook business page, and maybe an Instagram and/or Twitter profile…but are you regularly monitoring the analytics for those profiles? Do you use a monitoring tool to “listen” to what customers are saying online about your store(s) outside of your social media profiles? If not, you’re missing out on a key component of your digital marketing strategy. I recently watched an AdWeek webinar called “7 Ways to Use Social Analytics to Maximize Brand Impacts.” It was sponsored by NetBase, a social media analytics platform, and hosted by Paige Leidig, CMO of NetBase, and Mike Baglietto, Director of Product Marketing at NetBase. Leidig and Baglietto emphasized that monitoring social media analytics is not something you can do on your own. As a small business, you might be able to manage and monitor your own social platforms easily enough. But once you start looking into analytics and trends that will help you take your digital marketing to the next level, you will need to consider looking into a tool that can help. Depending on your budget, you might…

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…