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Stop and See the Big Picture

marketing strategy

It seems lately that the world is spinning a little faster because every day is filled with more to do. Who has Time to see the Bigger Picture stuff? And, after a banner year, isn’t the Big Picture more of the same? We think so, but that may not be enough to meet future challenges.

Over the past month, we have met some really interesting leaders in our local and state business community. It’s such an honor because we get to exchange ideas on what’s next for our respective industries. There’s always a discussion about technology and how it continues to accelerate so fast that it’s getting more difficult to keep up with it. We also talk about changes in the legislative environment, as well as governmental agencies. Yet it’s rare for us to sit down and put it all on paper. As leaders, we need to write it down in order to see the Big Picture and prepare for “what’s next” in our industry.

According to a recent study, 96% of company managers and leaders lacked the time to create strategic plans. The main reason cited was getting bogged down with minutia, enough that they rarely took time for strategic thinking.

Minutia: (mi·nu·tia \ mə-ˈnü-sh(ē-)ə) noun.

A small or trivial detail.

 

To avoid this trap, it’s suggested that we block off small, manageable chunks of time on our calendar. Then, take the time to understand industry events that may cause problems in the future.

One of the talented business leaders that we met let us in on her secret to building a strategic plan. They leaned on internal and external resources for help.

Resource: (ree-sawrs) noun.

a source of supply, support, or aid, especially one that can be readily drawn upon when needed.

 

She noticed her employees liked helping her step away to deal with big picture items. She also knew hiring a consultant can be expensive, but they turned out to be very effective. There was no alternative for her, because she just didn’t have the time to do all the research and analyses.

Analysis: {uh-nal-uh-sis) noun.

A method of studying the nature of something, determining its essential features and their relations.

 

She counted on this new big picture to save the company money and offer several new revenue streams. Her only caveat was for everything new that you want to do, you’ll have to stop doing something else. This is especially true amid tighter budgets and growing competition.

It’s important to stop and take the time to think strategically about the future of your industry. There may be small changes happening right now that can affect the course of events for years to come. And, as the old saying goes, luck favors the prepared.

Join the Social Media Party

twitter_news

There are several reasons social media attracts the enthusiastic interest of marketing professionals. First and foremost, its where you find huge audiences—literally billions of people. Additionally, you can target populations based on demographics as well as individual interests. Social media campaigns aren’t difficult to carry out, either; tweeting or posting a Facebook message doesn’t require tons of technical expertise. It’s also relatively inexpensive; you won’t need a giant marketing budget to effectively promote your messaging.

Interactivity and immediacy of social media also makes it a very attractive marketing option for businesses. You’ll know when a message has been received by your audience and you can also get a feel for the reaction through “likes” and shares or comments. Best of all, when you succeed in getting consumers to carry your message for you, it becomes highly credible in the estimation of their friends and family.

So, social media marketing makes sense … but what specifically do you want to accomplish? Think of it as going to a party.

Mingle (brand awareness) – You’ve seen wallflowers at a party—maybe you’re one of them—who stands off alone or at best interacts with a very few people. They arrive and leave with barely a ripple. Social media is an easy way for your company to stand apart from the background.

Make a good impression (public relations) – You’re telling people about yourself—getting them to enjoy your company (pun intended). But just as importantly, you’re showing interest in the other guests and letting them know you share their thoughts and concerns.

Let others show you around (create advocates) – If you’re an interesting party guest, others will want to introduce you as someone who can help them with an issue or who is simply a fun person to meet. Be the in-demand guest!

Get a real feel for the room (market research) – If there’s one thing you can say about social media, it’s unfiltered; people have no hesitancy about saying what they think. Such market research is invaluable in helping you develop and position new products, solutions or services.

Meet people you’ll be glad to know (lead generation) – It’s always great to turn strangers into friends—especially the lifelong variety. That doesn’t happen by sitting alone, at home. Think of every person you meet on social media as a potential customer, and the value of marketing here becomes obvious.

Ginger Reichl Presents at FSU Women in Leadership Conference

Ginger Reichl presents at FSU Women in Leadership Conference

On International Women’s Day, Pinstripe president, Ginger Reichl, had the honor of returning to her alma mater to speak at the Florida State University Women in Leadership Conference. More than 600 community members and students attended the event at the Turnbull Conference Center on the FSU campus.

Ginger’s presentation focused on the power of building a network – both personally and professionally. Topics included developing a personal brand, leveraging social media as a professional, and tips for making the process more comfortable.

Ginger Reichl presents at FSU Women in Leadership Conference“It was a thrill to be back on campus for something other than a football game,” she said.  “So much was familiar but there were several new surprises. I was humbled to be included among so many accomplished and inspiring women and enjoyed meeting the attendees, including many FSU students, some of whom are planning careers in advertising and PR. The future in the hands of the next generation looks bright!”

Connor Storch Wins Ad 2’s 2017 Pinstripe Service Excellence Award

Connor Storch Wins Pinstripe Service Excellence Award
Ad 2 Tampa Bay’s immediate past president, Connor Storch, received the 2017 Pinstripe Service Excellence Award at the American Advertising Federation – Tampa Bay Chapter’s ADDY Awards held on February 15 at Nova 535. Presented annually by past recipients, the award recognizes the young professional who demonstrates the most outstanding contributions to Ad 2 Tampa Bay, the advertising industry, and the community.

Ad 2 Tampa Bay Pinstripe Service Excellence Award Alumni 2017

During his tenure, the organization experienced one of the most rapid and energizing periods of growth, including increasing membership 334%. Known for his positive energy, he led the charge to reenergize club committees, recruit more volunteers, and to keep the organization in good health with fundraising. He also revived the Ad 2 Liaison position in the 4th District to help bridge the gap between Ad 2 and AAF so both organizations can work more harmoniously toward their shared goals. His leadership was recognized by AAF in 2017 when he earned District Club and President of the Year, and National Club and President of the Year honors.

“Connor’s enthusiasm and passion for Ad 2 were the common thread in each of his nominations,” said Ginger Reichl, president of Pinstripe Marketing and former Ad 2 president. “He is clearly a connector and his desire to make the organization diverse and inclusive are what drove the remarkable membership growth last year.”

Connor is a marketing communications specialist at Triad Retail Media in St. Petersburg.

Online Reputation Management Refresher

For many years, we have helped brands build and maintain their online reputations. The key has been consistency and doing a few things well, as opposed to trying to do everything poorly. Taking control of your online reputation is more important today than it has ever been. The amount of people relying on the internet for research and reviews continues to grow every year.

It’s no longer acceptable for your business to have no reviews or testimonials. If your company is having problems getting online reviews, just ask clients. And keep asking because 90% of the people in a large survey use the internet for research on products and services and 88% of them trust positive online reviews, treating them like personal recommendations.

The Bad Review

In 2014, over 2/3 of the people in a large survey said that they base their purchasing decisions on online reviews. Negative reviews can turn away 22% to 70% of a company’s potential business, depending upon how many bad reviews show up in the search results.

The process to address bad reviews has not changed. All negative comments should be addressed quickly and directly. Communicate with the reviewer, if possible, to rectify the situation or find some common ground. Then, write a blog about how these problems were addressed.

Dealing with Social Media

Social media faux pas still top the list for most frequent and destructive actions to reputations. Last year, the recently fallen YouTube vlogger, Kian Lawley, made racist comments which forced Fox and other companies to pull the plug on all of his film and television projects. The same thing can happen to small and midsize companies, which is why protocols need to be in place for all social media marketing.

Once the News Hears About It…

Over the years, news and entertainment media have increased their coverage of social media activity—from the President’s quixotic tweets to sports and television stars. Social media has become newsworthy, especially when it’s negative.

No one is immune to this trend. Even worse is when mistakes go viral, like the epic social media fail for a store in northern Minnesota, because local media outlets cover local businesses and someone, anyone can pick the story up and share it.

Everything Contributes, Not Just Social Media

Reputation management has a good mix of everything. Social media is a large part of that reputation, but it isn’t the only thing that matters. Keeping content fresh and up-to-date is also important. Businesses can go back and erase negative or outdated posts. This includes website content, like blogs, articles and case studies.

It’s also important to follow websites that post client and customer reviews. Many will have a policy for retracting negative reviews. All of this is part of a reputation maintenance plan, because an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

In some cases, you may need a bit more help with smoothing over your bad review or a publicly smeared reputation. In these situations, Pinstripe Marketing can help! Contact us for assistance.

 

 

 

 

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