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Why Insights Are Solid Gold

At this year’s KCDMA Marketing Symposium, attendees were given the opportunity to view a different side of the marketing industry in a light shined by some of the field’s brightest bulbs. From discovering how to build appropriate buyer personas to best practices for landing pages and the power of empathy, there were “aha” moments to be had throughout the event’s entirety. During a breakout session with the University of Kansas’ Angie Hendershot, a conversation about the value of insights in marketing was brought forth that offered paths and inspiration for understanding, forming and utilizing these golden marketing eggs. Hendershot began the discussion over insights by describing the difficulty of marketing to individuals who are, simply, not you. People are interested in things that relate to them. We laugh at stories about comical situations we’ve lived through and we empathize with the plight of others where we can find shared experience. This is where the connection between insights and marketing starts making sense. This is where we can begin to understand the necessity of context when representing a brand or other…

Survey's matter - what your customers are telling us online

Surveys Matter: What Your Customers Are Telling Us

What kind of content do your customers like to see in emails? Do they want more recipes or coupons? Do they follow you on social media? How often do they want to receive messages from you? These are all questions that should guide your content marketing strategy. Finding the answers to these questions is easy! Simply create a survey. That’s what I recently did for the Best Choice email subscribers. I do this annually in December to help guide my marketing strategy for the coming year. It’s easy, takes little time and the feedback is valuable. Plus, surveys provide you with unbiased information that also engages your customer base. This makes them feel like their opinions matter and you care about their needs. So what did I find out from the Best Choice customers (who are also our member retailers’ customers!)? Check out the infographic below for a summary of some of the results.

Why I social podcast

Why I Social

As we head into 2017, podcasts are becoming more and more popular. Topics are endless, but one that I have added to my rotation recently is Why I Social. Since its January 2015 launch, Christopher Barrows conducts candid interviews with a variety of people about how they are using social media. The tagline for the podcast is “from average Joe to CEO” and the guests reflect that. I have gone back and listened to past interviews to hold me over until new content is released. I enjoy hearing how a variety of different people are using social media. Barrows’ goal is for the audience to apply personal lessons for his guests. “There’s a lot of ways people are using social media and too many podcasts were focusing on only the marketing side of it,” Barrows said. “The hardest working folks in social media often aren’t given an outlet and I hoped to provide that outlet to inspire and inform.” Aside from the interview episodes, there are two other types of episodes Five Favorites and Sessions. Sessions is a more in-depth look…

Signs, Signs. Everywhere a Digital Sign

Menu boards and posters are so 1980s that they still go roller skating. Not to mention you have to keep updating the content on them and hope that you don’t misspell Worcestershire again, which will most assuredly garner some laughter from your employees. Why not use something more engaging that can be reviewed and edited, scheduled, even animated to cater to your specific audience? Digital signage is nothing new, but it keeps gaining momentum as it reaches new eyes in stores and at events around the world. If you’re considering adding this type of marketing tool to your store, there are a few things you should know before jumping in. Be Consistent The first thing people often overlook with digital signage and its content is consistency. There’s nothing more off-putting than an unreadable font with a bright, abrasive background that makes someone feel as though they’re going blind. Keeping a simple theme throughout your digital campaigns can help to keep the attention of those in your store and will also prevent them from screaming in pain as your neon-green banners…

How To: Effectively Manage Virtual Teams In Creative Industries

In addition to a visual communications class that I recently wrote about, this semester I also took a management class that specifically focused on media-based management such as news outlets, marketing and advertising agencies, and corporate communications. One subject that I studied in class and then decided to focus my research and final literature review on is virtual team management. Virtual in this context does not mean virtual reality, but instead refers to teams that communicate mostly through telecommunications or computer-mediated technology instead of face-to-face conversations. As a digital marketing team with retailers all over the country, our department works as a virtual team every single day in varying degrees. Virtual teams have many advantages such as flexibility, larger talent pool, and others (that I outline in my literature review below), but one thing is certain: they must be managed differently than traditional teams in order to be successful. My literature review explains the skills needed to effectively manage a virtual team, along with a list of best practices to help managers enhance productivity of virtual teams, especially in the…

Header photo. Loaf of bread - Plated. A Case Study

Pros & Cons of Meal Kit Delivery: What Retailers Should Know

Earlier this year, Jason shared a blog post introducing the phenomena of meal kits and the quick growth this market has experienced. I’ve heard a lot of hype about meal kits and finally decided to give one a try. Not only was I curious about their popularity, I also figured it would be great market research. By knowing the pros and cons of meal kit subscriptions, retailers can use this information to compete in this attractive market that’s taking dollars away from grocery stores. The Study The meal kit service I subscribed to is Plated. Pricing for this service is about $12 per serving and around $6 for shipping. Subscribers can choose to buy two to seven meals per week, each at two to three servings per meal. After filling out a quick survey on food preferences, Plated picks meals that it thinks you will like for the week; however, you can swap meals to match your personal flavor preferences from a choice of about seven to ten recipes. Pros Ingredients: I’ve cooked four meals so far, and everything I’ve…

Photo of trendy female riding a white kitten.

Picture perfect: Choosing images that get results

Last week Getty Images hosted a webinar by Creative Research Expert Jacqueline Bourke on how to select images what will increase engagement. In 2015, there were 1.5 trillion images were shot. That number will only continue to increase. The quality of those images keeps getting better and better. Consumers now expect high quality images in all their content. It is important that you select images that engage your audience’s emotions and senses. We are visual creatures. Ninety percent of information is transferred visually. Our audiences are being bombarded by an ever increasing amount messages. Visual images are processed 60,000 times faster than text.  A strong visual image will allow for our content to stand out from the crowd. Images are obviously crucial on platforms like Instagram and Snapchat, but tweets and Facebook posts with strong visual elements have more engagement than text only counterparts. Below are some trends and examples of how they have been used:   First person: This perspective pulls your audience in and makes them a part of the image. It is much easier for them to envision whatever you are pitching…

The future of a designer

Sometimes a birthday can serve more purposes than just celebrating. This one-day of the year can also make you question, “Where am I going?” I realize people often make predictions of the future that are way off. While some thought everyone would be flying to work by now instead, we have made leaps and bounds in other areas like communication. I’m not surprised really, what if someone invented a car but couldn’t tell someone else how to make it? Last week an article caught my eye, 5 Design Jobs That Won’t Exist In The Future, which seems like a real downer but the last half of the article was about “Design Jobs that will grow”. So with my slight breeze of optimism, I also read: The Most Important Design Jobs Of The Future and How Visual Designers Can Stay Relevant In A Post-Screen World. The days of being a one trick pony are over. Everyone must be a hybrid. “What are needed instead are designers who can not only come up with the look of an idea, but make it real, with actual programming and prototyping…

Photo of person texting and drinking coffee.

Text me, maybe?

Today, this post from My Edmonds News scrolled across my timeline asking why businesses “haven’t mastered text message marketing.” I was excited to read their theories. They lost me in the first few lines though: Quick quiz: Would you rather have a business send you a special offer or coupon: – Through email – where you have to wade through 100 daily messages to find it and then print it off and bring in to redeem OR -As a SMS text message (where you see it instantly and can redeem it simply by bringing in your mobile phone)? If a store can scan a coupon from my text messages why can’t it scan a coupon from inside my email? This obvious bias quickly distracted me from the rest of the post in which they didn’t actually provide any answers. Lucky for you readers, I am here to share my thoughts on SMS marketing. I like receiving coupons via text message. I feel like I often forget about things in my email. If I were to get a coupon from a restaurant…

Quote graphic: "All failure is failure to adapt, all success is successful adaptation." -Max Mckeown

Social 102 – Refining Your Strategy [KCDMA Recap 2]

By now, everyone knows the importance of having a social media presence. According to Pew Research Center, around two-thirds of American adults (aka: your customers) use social media. More money is shifting toward digital marketing, so using those dollars effectively is important. That’s where Jen Forrest comes into the picture. With years of social media, communication, PR and marketing experience, she shared her knowledge at the recent KCDMA Boot Camp I attended. (Click here for the first KCDMA recap). What follows are the lessons I learned from her. Let’s say you already have a social media presence (if you don’t, click here and let’s get you going!). You’ve seen success, but sometimes, you feel like you’ve hit a plateau. Engagement is stagnant, likes and followers haven’t increased much in a while, and you feel like there’s always a new platform or feature to learn. Have no fear; others feel this same way too! In fact, Instagram just introduced a new “stories” feature this week making this social media platform similar to Snapchat. You may be thinking, “Great, something new to…