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emfluence And Then Some 2018 Recap

I attended the And Then Some conference hosted by emfluence on August 24. It was a day full of ways to improve your email marketing. After the conference they sent a list of “10 things to do post-conference.” Not only is this a great example of email marketing, but it makes my job recapping the conference easier, so I really appreciated it.   #1 GDPR – The GDPR deadline came and went a couple months ago. The biggest thing that has come from it so far is that no one was truly prepared for the requirements. No more checking permission boxes automatically. Tell people exactly what information you will be collecting from them. Don’t collect more information than you need. If you can make these changes right away that will help a lot. These regulations are coming to the US, so it would be smart to get ahead of it. #2 Post-Sale Series – If you make a sale, add a new subscriber, or anything similar add that address to a workflow to send them a series of emails explaining…


Increase Your Relevance and Success Though Personas

Recently, I attended a KCIABC breakfast presented by Tricia McKim covering audience personas. You may be asking, “What’s a persona?” or “What’s the difference between a persona and a buyer profile?”   McKim provided several definitions of personas for the audience. “Fake real people” was my favorite. Buyer profiles are based on information gleaned from third-party sources. Audience personas use this information, but also go a step further by gathering buyer insights from conversations with your target audience, along with internal and external influencers. Personas truly help you get to know your audience. They represent a person you are actually marketing to rather than just general information. “People buy from people they like. People like businesses they feel they can trust.” –Quinn Tempest Consumers trust businesses that educate them. Personas can help you answer questions and educate your audience, because you know them on a deeper level. Personas provide: Clear understanding of your audience Consistency – personas guide your marketing messages Marketing ammunition – back up your strategies and tactics from persona research. Now that we know what a persona…

Episode 9

We are back on the road at the VMC Show in Kansas City this month. If you weren’t there we did our best to recap some of what you missed. Linda Cosgrove breaks down StoreFront (1:26). Then Brian Stanley talks Cough & Cold and trends in US healthcare (10:46). Kevin Cleary tells us how to win with vitamins (19:40). Kimberly Dressler adds to the vitamin conversation (27:08). Ralph Koscheka brings another perspective on Cold & Flu (33:10). Mary McCaul discusses trends in oral care (39:13). Finally, Maurice Henry explains the Supermarket Lifecycle (45:32).  

Tale of the Tape

In the excitement of dreaming up and launching campaigns, sometimes determining how to measure it gets lost in the mix. Yet, as Tara Saylor expressed to the room full of marketers at the Kansas City International Business Communicators lunch, the only way to pop the champagne and enjoy the successes is to know where you’re going at the beginning. This means asking questions, using data, deciding what to measure, making a plan, and telling everyone about what you did. Good solutions start with good questions. Question 1. Who are you trying to reach? Are they loyal customers, new ones, or potential ones? What do you want them to do with the information provided? Question 2. What’s your timeline? Working backwards from the final date sometimes helps build out the steps. Once you have those steps, put them on a calendar. Question 3. How are you going to measure success? It’s best to document the answers to the questions so you can think through the way they contribute to success, otherwise you might end up having to use HIPPO (highest paid…

Creative Mornings talk on Commitment

Commitment – Creative Mornings recap

Having visited over 75 countries, Creative Mornings speaker Tania Carriere has discovered new possibilities through travel. She has learned to step outside her comfort zone and have a passion for change. Her adventures have led to life lessons and commitments that guide and shape her life and her career. The definition of commitment is “the things we say yes to, wholeheartedly, the principles that guide our lives”. It is different than rules. Rules are given to us by someone else with an expectation to follow them. Commitments are something we choose. Are we intentional about the things we choose to be committed to? Everything is a choice. We can choose who we will be and what we will leave behind. What changes do we need to make in what we are we doing? Be open to change. Be that person to step out and make a difference. “There is a difference between ‘the way’ and ‘the way I know’. There is always another right answer.” What is the one thing you can do today that will make a difference?

Comfort kills. Are you doing something on a daily basis that pushes you a little? by Elise Russell

Creative Mornings Inspirational Quotes

I occasionally attend the monthly meetup with a group called Creative Mornings. After spending some time networking over a cup of coffee and a bite of breakfast, we sit down for a short presentation. Each month the presentation revolves around a theme, such as courage, commitment, broken. Each theme is meant to spark inspiration within ourselves and conversation amongst each other. I have taken some quotes shared by Creative Mornings. I like quotes not only because they can be inspiring but also because often times we want to only read small bits of information. Enjoy! “Anxiety brings with it massive energy and it is what we do with that energy which separates us.” — Laurie-Beth Robbins “The future is crafted by those who do work they don’t have to.” — Scott Belsky “Humility is actually an act of strength. You have to have a really solid core to expose yourself to the discomfort, and to some degree, the suffering, of not being good at something.” — Amy Sandman “Startups don’t die because they run out of money, they die because…

Before you even think about blogging.

What is Your Website Missing?

Travis Pflanz, co-organizer of WordPress KC meetup group and part of the WordCamp Kansas City organizing team, presented at WordCamp 2018 in a session titled, “Before You Blog: Everything Your WordPress Business Website is Missing”. Because the target audience for WordCamp is users of WordPress, a common platform for blogging, Travis uses the term, “blog”, but these tips apply to any website. It is important to keep the content on a website fresh and up to date. This will keep people coming back to visit your site. Update often, write new text, post new articles. Use calls to action. I thought about what calls of action we could use on grocery store websites. How about a link to listen to a related podcast or video? If appropriate, provide a link to “get more information” or “buy now”. Put the store’s location and phone number in the footer in addition to the Contact page. This way it is visible on every page of the website. State the purpose of your business. As much as people don’t like to read, an in-depth…

Sweet Content Hacks: A practical approach for writing that sizzles

Sweet Content Hacks

As I was looking through the sessions offered at WordCamp this year, a session titled, “Sweet Content Hacks: A Practical Approach for Writing That Sizzles” by Greta K Perel, PhD caught my attention. I was hoping to get some inspirational writing tips for our Sales Services blog and perhaps some ideas on what to write about. I really like writing. The problem I struggle with is coming up with a topic I think my audience will be interested in. In our session, Greta asks the questions, “How do we break through writer’s block?” and “How can we improve our writing that will engage an audience?” When you write, have one purpose or one point you want to get across. Keep in mind what you learned in school about sentence and paragraph structure but don’t be too formal. You should sound like a real person talking to real people. It’s ok to start a sentence with a preposition or use contractions. Because people have become lazy about reading and want to consume a lot of information at one time, it is…

KCDMA 2018 Symposium Logo: Now & Later

Lessons for Now & Later

Earlier this year, I attended the KCDMA 2018 Direct Marketing Symposium. This full-day conference was an interactive event stacked with presentations from some of marketing’s best. The theme was Now & Later – Planning for the Future. Throughout the symposium, presenters shared current case studies (the now) and how to use these lessons for future campaigns (the later). After reflecting on the event and trying to gather all of the lessons I learned into one blog post, here are the top nuggets that I wanted to share with you. Ian Baer’s “Focusing on the One” presentation: Data unlocks everything – use data to find and address your customers’ pain points. Speed and ease or not enough anymore in the wake of Amazon. Discover what quality makes your store unique because Amazon has already perfected speed and easy. Vocab word: Webroom – researching prices online, then purchasing them in store (opposite of showrooming). This new trend is causing online brands like Amazon to fight back with brick & mortar stores.   Quinn Tempest’s “Content Marketing: To the Future and Beyond!” presentation:…

How To Create Shareable Content

“Make it go viral.” Every social media professional probably cringes whenever they hear this phrase from their not-so-socially savvy client or boss. Although we can’t always guarantee or predict which piece of marketing content will go viral, we can follow a framework that will make it shareable and interesting. Justin Watkins, founder of Native Digital, presented his ideas for making content sharable at a recent SMCKC breakfast. It’s a balance between science and art. The science aspect is the data side of marketing – the analytics and strategic planning. It helps us find out who our audience is and where they are spending their time. The art is the creative side of marketing – the intuition and emotion that grabs your audience’s attention. How do marketers find the balance that will make their content stand out and possibly go viral? Watkins shared Native Digital’s Content Creation Checklist: Does it open strong? Is it digestible? (People only open the homeruns. Just show them the highlights instead of the whole game.) What emotion does it bring out? Does this help our audience?…