10 Years after Y2K Is A Good Time to Start Using Video

9 12 2009

-Martin Moleski
mmoleski@igpr.com

The end of one year and start of another always gives us time to simultaneously reflect and look forward. I’ve always found it to be a good time. Did I accomplish what I wanted in 2009? How can I be more successful in 2010? Wow…I’m coming up on my 10-year high school reunion (don’t despise me because I’m still under 30). The year 2000 was supposed to usher in flying cars, new technologies and almost limitless possibilities from the Internet.  And in just 10 short years so much has happened that it’s easy for even a young guy like me to get behind the curve every once in awhile. Before 2000, we never used Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, iTunes or this little search engine program called Google. Think about that. No Google before 2000. How was I even able to find information for my high school research papers?

And as these technologies grew so did our reliance on online video.  That’s right, I said “reliance” because these days the news is becoming more and more about what we can see and hear and less about what an anonymous source said. Don’t believe me. Try to think of the White House crashers story without the accompanying video of Mr. and Mrs. Salahi walking around the White House posing for pictures with the president and vice-president. Or maybe how protesters in Iran can only show what is happening to them by posting cell phone videos on their Twitter accounts. Still not convinced, I have two words for you: Balloon Boy.

Today’s technology is forcing you and your company into a video-centered world…whether you like it or not. If you still don’t have video on your Web site, you’re competition probably does. If you’re still going to sales call with a PowerPoint presentation, your audience has probably seen it before. As you start to both reflect and look forward, ask yourself, “How did I stand out in 2009?” More importantly, “How can video help me stand out in 2010?” If you can’t answer either question, now might be a good time for you to call The Impact Group.





Embassy Suites – Impressed

23 01 2009

I’m staying at the Embassy Suites in Albuquerque, NM, and wanted to share an impressive letter to their guests that I found on the desk…

To Our Guests

In ancient times there was a prayer for

“The Stranger within our Gates”

Because this hotel is a human institution to serve people, and not solely a money making organization, we hope that God will grant you peace and rest while you are under our roof.

May this room and hotel be your “second” home. May those you love be near you in thoughts and dreams. Even though we may not get to know you, we hope that you will be comfortable and happy as if you were in your own house.

May the business that brought you our way prosper. May every call you make and every message you receive add to your joy. When you leave, may your journey be safe.

We are all travelers. From “birth till death” we travel between the eternities. May these days be pleasant for you, profitable for society, helpful for those you meet, and a joy to those who know and love you best.

…Impressive! I now have a preferred hotel choice for whenever I travel!

Matt
mwhite@igpr.com





Another Funny Beer Commercial….

19 01 2009

Now that the holidays are behind us, I am getting in the spirit of SuperBowl weekend and great commercials! I love this commercial for Heineken beer. If anyone has ever had the challenge of writing a memorable, 30 second tv commercial, you understand how hard this task actually is – even though at times it appears easy. I think this commercial is ingenius! It is well thought out and definitely delivers the message in a very short time. I always love when humor is used also. I think that adds to us remembering it.

I love football, but I really can’t wait to see what the commercials have in store for us!

Please click below:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S1ZZreXEqSY

 Krista Rodriguez





10 Ways to impact growth in 2009

15 12 2008

I can’t imagine a single educated person in a position of influence that hasn’t been affected by the negative news of late. Market volatility, political changes, bailouts and an overall uneasiness of stability has defined 2008. How will YOU prepare for a better 2009?

Things are no different here at The Impact Group. We are a full service marketing communications agency in Hudson, Ohio. We are experiencing clients and prospects that are taking a longer time to make decisions, shrinking budgets, disappearing cash flow.

The time is now to create a better growth strategy. Exclusively using the same marketing methods of the past and not incorporating “new media” will be a major mistake for organizations trying to thrive in this time of survival.

Understanding the shifts in the way people obtain and share information will be a critical component of marketing success in 2009. Being able to quickly apply that understanding into marketing outreach campaigns (social media marketing, online publicity, online marketing) that complement past / current methods (print materials, web, advertising, direct mail) is THE challenge for marketers in 2009.

The Impact Group has come up with 10 points to think about for a solid growth strategy in 2009.

1. Redesign your brand. What does a new car, new outfit, new haircut or a new coat of paint do to the psyche? The same thing a fresh corporate identity make-over can do to an organization. Even a modest change to an organization’s look can provide new energy to employees, media opportunities, excitement to current customers and new business opportunities. Check out some samples: Portfolio of work

2. Video Video Video!!! With the advances of video compression technology, video has never been easier to use for marketing purposes. Video is 5 times more effective than print for someone to remember your message, so throw away the print and replace it with video wherever possible. Use a video spokesperson to explain your website as people visit your homepage. (Sample: www.igpr.com) Incorporate video email for your sales and marketing outreach. Post video explanations and commercials of your products and services on your website (podcasts) and on sources like youtube. (Sample: www.trinitypension.com) 2009 will be the year direct mail will take a back seat to video email campaigns in cost efficiency and effectiveness. Get started before your competitors figure it out! More info on the effectiveness of video – http://www.vidpro.org/videomkt.htm

3. Listen to your customers. I can’t think of a better way to recalibrate your marketing message for 2009 than the recommendations from the customers buying your product in 2008. Do you have a simple print survey that can go in your invoices? How about an online survey that when completed, provides a coupon? We encourage gathering satisfaction data and recommendations year round. There are more comprehensive methods like focus groups, surveys, polls that can provide statistical certainty to strategic directions. I recommend starting with getting into your car to visit a few of your best customers, wish them a happy holiday, tell them why you appreciate their business and ask them for advice on how you might be able to grow into next year. Free marketing advice from the people that already buy your product can give you some good ideas for your 2009 growth strategy.

4. Social media marketing! The major trend in successful marketing is moving from the high impression factors of the past (one Super Bowl commercial brings 50 million + impressions on a broad audience for a 1 outreach : 50,000,000 target ratio) to the PERSONAL impression factor (1 personal trusted message : one target). This trend of one to one marketing can be most effectively done through online social networks. With the rapidly growing use of MySpace and Facebook and the ability to publicly follow a person or organization on Twitter, one to one marketing is ready for the savvy marketer to make an immediate and powerful impact. Read more on Social media marketing – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_media_marketing and Social Media Marketing

5. Blog. 2008 was a year of exploring how blogging could impact an organization’s marketing efforts. Blogging (if done effectively) showed a powerful marketing ability to drive relevant traffic on a website, influence credibility for a product or service, grab mainstream media attention, and shape consumer behaviors. Blogging is providing the ability for the smaller company to have a louder voice. Read more on Blogging – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blog

6. Online publicity. The web has provided small and large organizations alike a wonderful medium for disseminating news. Public relations, which used to be reserved for mainstream media, is now more effective when implemented through online channels – called Online Publicity. Not only do the major media receive notice of your news, but individuals and organizations can receive info directly to their inbox through things like GoogleAlerts and RSS feeds. Getting your news online – through your website, blogs, news sites, social media, and others – can make a huge impact in 2009.

7. Hire experts. Most organizations trust a CPA for their tax filings, attorneys for legal issues and doctors for medical matters. The problem with “expert” marketers is that there isn’t a universal accepted and measured accreditation like the previously mentioned professions. Most marketing firms are a few folks that took a couple design courses and now lay claim to most marketing capabilities. On the other end of the spectrum are the extremely expensive large agencies that need their invoices to match their high rent and huge payrolls. Check out this article on small vs large agencies for some thoughts. http://adage.com/smallagency/post?article_id=111233  Marketing techniques have gotten very complex due to the reliance of new technology and the critical timing of delivery. The right marketing group will help you create and implement a growth strategy for your organization and allow you to streamline resources. How to select an agency – www.ehow.com/how_2052377_select-right-marketing-firm.html  Start your agency search – www.igpr.com

8. Redefine your marketing message. Is your marketing message brief, simple to understand, interesting and able to distinguish you from your competition? Is it easy for someone interested in your product or service to get information in order to make a buying decision? What are the sound bytes? Everyone is too busy and you are competing against a world of information being thrown at your potential next customer. Your message must be able to cut through and motivate specific action.

9. Rebuild your web site. Most web sites are now outdated in information, technology and appearance. With the low costs of web technologies and the high value a good site brings to an organization, your website has to be a top priority in 2009. The ability for your products and services to show up on the top of the search engines is so important for growth. Your website appearance and relevance will be one of the main factors of establishing credibility in your future customers. Your website should be the centerpiece of the way you market.

10. Get your story told in the news. I’ve already talked about getting your news on the web. But, print and broadcast PR opportunities still exist in a big way. There are niche magazines for just about every industry in the world. And, while most news in a down economy is doom and gloom, media outlets are looking for positive, uplifting stories to tell. Getting the word out about that new client you landed, the product launching or the new hire…all these things are welcomed good news to the media, AND your prospects, clients and employees!

2009 has the potential to be a banner year, if you approach it with enthusiasm and knowledge. Take these points to heart. And, let us know how we can help. www.igpr.com

Don
dpolyak@igpr.com





My Advertising Inspiration

10 12 2008

I think it is always interesting to find out why people choose the fields they are in. In my case, I knew my entire life I would go into advertising. My main inspiration was my father, who had a very successful agency for almost 20 years. But there was a specific campaign that always caught my eye growing up and that was with Benetton (I actually ended up working in a store on my college breaks!) Benetton has always “pushed the envelope”. Going on the slogan “The United Colors of Benetton” it was the first ad campaign that I remember that the print ads had nothing to do with the product actually sold.  Their campaign was recognized by how controversial they could appear. These 2 examples show what I am saying:

The first refers to The Cycle of Difference

In this cycle, the word “different” became a close cousin of “controversial.” Benetton learned that dealing with the issue of difference within the process of advertising is not an easy task.  These ads depicted religious and sexual conflict (a priest kissing a nun), and yet another portrayed moral conflict (the stereotypes of good and evil, symbolized by an angel and the devil):

 campaign_history_92 campaign_history_102                                 

By acknowledging these differences and prohibitions, the brand appeared more involved. It took sides, rather than presenting a simple “objective” portrayal of the world. Benetton had a plan: to integrate opposites, to unite differences under a single flag, the flag of its own logo. In this phase, the “product” gradually disappeared from the advertisements.

The second is the Cycle of Reality

In 1991, during the Gulf War, this image was created, a photo of a war cemetery: also

campaign_history_112   campaign_history_121

The photo of the newborn baby girl, Giusy, was intended as an anthem to life, but was one of the most censured visuals in the history of Benetton ads. In the realm of advertising, traditionally occupied by pretense, the eruption of real life caused a scandal. As you can guess, many publications refused to print these. Which raises another question – is all publicity good publicity? Maybe I will save that issue for next time…

-Krista Rodriguez





Talk About Being a Hypocrite!

13 11 2008

Ok, maybe that is not what you were talking about.

I watched this video on YouTube about a branding agency called mono that is moving to uptown Minneapolis, and people are trying to prevent it from moving there. They are picketing and trying to get signatures because the agency is using kids in ads (for Sesame Street, mind you), and the people
feel mono is brainwashing consumers into buying things they don’t want.

First of all, when you watch this, where is the punch line at the end? There has to be a joke – somewhere??

Second, aren’t they essentially also brainwashing people into their strange methodology? Look at how many people sign their petition just because they ask them to. I applaud the people that didn’t fall for it!

And my third and final point, who has the time to petition something like this? They really should put all their “spare” time into something more meaningful, such as a charity.

While advertising may sway your decisions on purchases, it is also because of advertising that we can get all the facts on big purchases so we can shop as educated consumers.  Can you imagine the bland existence we would be living in without advertising?  Thanks to advertising, we can see that there are choices to make, and we make them based on the education we garner from such agencies.

Krista
krodriguez@igpr.com





Annoying, Negative Political Campaigns

31 10 2008

Right now, you can’t turn on the TV or pick up the phone without expecting some sort of political advertising. Don’t get me wrong. I have always loved advertising, especially political advertising because it’s intense but it’s only around for a brief period of time.

The candidate’s first step of advertising, which is usually issue-based, is refreshing. Then we get into the image-based advertising. I don’t mind a candidate giving themselves a positive image, but they spend most of their time giving their opponent such a negative one. The “mudslinging” has become dominant on television. In between shows, there can be three to four negative campaign commercials in a row… and I can’t stand it. Never in my career did I think I would not look forward to the commercials, but I can’t wait until November 5 so I can enjoy my advertising career again.

I cannot find any conclusive research that shows negative campaigning works. There has not been much tracking on this. Why not advertise the wonderful things about choosing you instead of the nasty, horrible things your opponent believes in? It makes me feel like my only choice is to just pick the “lesser-of-two-evils.”

Certainly you can mudsling or do whatever negative advertising you want, but the question is, SHOULD you? Do you feel ethical doing it, and will people look at you different once you are elected?

I just think there needs to be more research on the effectiveness of negative, ads as well as the ethical issues.

Krista Rodriguez
krodriguez@igpr.com