Categories

Recent Posts

Spotlight On: Nikki Devereux, Project Manager at Pinstripe Marketing

spotlight nikki devereux marketing design Nikki became an invaluable asset to the Pinstripe team the day she started at the agency. Her skills match the project management role – intelligent, organized, friendly, insightful – but we hit the jackpot with her numerous talents, not the least of which include photography and videography. She sees challenges from different angles and opportunities from an artist’s perspective. Clients love her and so do we. Read her spotlight and you will too!

Nikki Devereux

Project Manager

Pinstripe Marketing

St. Petersburg

www.pinstripemarketing.com | www.nikkidevereux.com

What inspired you to pursue a career in a creative field?

I grew up an artist and that natural inclination has always been a huge force in my career choices and everything I do.

What do you like most about marketing?

I love that my work in marketing, especially at Pinstripe Marketing, allows me to use my wide variety of skills. As an artist, I like to be very creative and use my mind in that way, but I am also very analytical and love problem solving – I studied engineering for a few years in college and I actually enjoy math, so I still like to exercise that part of my brain as well. Working in marketing gives me the variety and freedom to do it all. I shoot and edit video, write articles and other content, and manage web design projects. So many creative outlets plus analytics all wrapped up in one position!

What challenges does your industry face?

People are inundated with advertising and marketing every day. Recently I attended an event about inbound marketing and the speaker was talking about how we’ve “been bad” as advertisers and marketers. We’ve interrupted people’s lives, family time, and relaxation time to sell products. Now it’s time to give back and stop “being bad.” People are tired of us, but it’s not too late to change that. Inbound/content marketing is one way to start being better.

How do you measure your success?

As long as I’m learning, I feel like I’m successful. I don’t set monetary goals or goals of status – I always want to keep moving forward in everything I do, and the best way to do that is to devour information. I am constantly learning new things about video, photography, artistic techniques, design, and marketing. As long as I can continue to learn and improve my craft, I feel that I am successful in my work. My education is passed on to my clients and informs my art – I do a better job at everything when I keep up with it.

What do you think is the biggest mistake companies make when working on marketing projects?

I think that it’s a huge mistake to think “I need new printed collateral” or “I need a new website” without thinking about the larger picture. When you “need something new” take a look at your entire marketing campaign. Each piece is a part of a symbiosis, and if they’re not working together, you’re wasting your time and money. We always try to steer clients in the direction of thinking about the whole rather than just individual pieces. We want our work to be effective, not just a one and done deal that has no lasting effects on the brand.

What is the most interesting trend you see in marketing?

The current trend is and has been inbound marketing. It’s interesting to me because it really fits my style of relating to people. I am not an in-your-face, salesy kind of person – I like to give. Whether it’s lending an ear, teaching, informing, or helping, that is my preferred way of interacting with people. Inbound marketing allows me to do this in an organic way, and in this way we gain people’s trust.

How has technology helped/hindered your work?

I’m not sure that I can say technology has hindered my work – definitely there are applications and software that have helped make many things quicker, easier and more automated. The thing that I always try to keep in mind is never to resist technology. That means you’re losing your game, getting rusty. A new technology comes on the market, embrace it and learn it as quickly as you can. It may or may not remain viable, but you will be as long as you’re not afraid of change. With technology, and many facets of life, you have to flow like water. When you resist like a rock, you break things, other people, yourself, and your flow.

How do you stay on top of your field?

I love learning, so I am constantly reading industry news, books, and taking courses related to marketing, art, photography, design, and video. I am the Director of Communications on the board of the Society of Marketing Professional Services Tampa Bay (SMPS), and they offer webinars and other educational events that can be pretty enlightening. I take courses in design, art history, and project management on Coursera – there is a wealth of coursework from top-notch universities on the site. I’ve taken some really interesting courses there.

What marketing resources do you recommend? (Books, magazines, web, etc.)

Fast Company is great for just about anything cutting edge, whether it be art, music, design, film, environmentally friendly design, architecture, and even infrastructure. It’s a great resource for anyone in a creative field. American Advertising Federation’s newsletter is full of good advertising industry stuff. Joining local marketing organizations or your local small business association is a great way to keep up with people and learning. St. Petersburg has the St. Pete Greenhouse, which is a wealth of info and education for small businesses and entrepreneurs in the area.

What are your hobbies?

I go to the beach, I cook, do yoga, go to the gym, run with my dog, travel, road trips, I like to go to salvage yards and make stuff with the materials I find, hike, kayak, outdoor activities, river trips, badminton with friends, concerts, art museums and galleries.

Favorite food?

I LOVE FOOD. But I guess if I have to choose – Vietnamese and Indian

Last book you read?

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series and The Hours – all SO GOOD

How to Speak to Your Ideal Customers

ideal customer relationship
Earlier this year, we shared our thoughts on how to identify your ideal client. This month, we’re going to consider what to say to them once you know who they are.

Speak to their concerns – Whether from surveys, conducting focus groups, or simply talking with a sizable portion of your client base, you’ll have developed a fair understanding of what the majority of your customers have in common. Most importantly, this intelligence should include understanding problems that you can help them solve, or goals that you can help them accomplish. Your messaging needs to speak to these concerns at the very outset of a communication in order to get their attention quickly. Then once a prospect is paying attention, don’t beat around the bush in stating how your business can meet their demands.

Impress them with your expertise – If you’re conducting a business-to-business campaign, you want to show that you understand your client’s livelihood. Therefore, in the course of explaining how your own company will meet their needs, throw in some terminology or phrases that are specific to their industry. Don’t overdo it (and for heaven’s sake, verify that you’re using your ‘key words’ correctly!) but demonstrating familiarity with your customer’s industry will increase their confidence in you. Additionally, and for any sort of customer, be sure to mention any awards, designations, or professional qualifications that you have as an aside to your main message.

Recognize their individuality – You’ll be assuming members of your target audience have many things in common, but don’t forget what folks say about the word ‘assume.’ Craft your mass-audience message to acknowledge that no person or organization is exactly like any other. One of the easiest and least obtrusive ways to do this is by using the word ‘you’ in your advertising copy. (FYI, the individuality-vs.-mass-appeal conundrum is why you often see phrases like “if you …” or “whether you …” in marketing copy.) And anytime you can easily customize communications with a client’s actual name, do so.

Acknowledge (and defend against) objections – If you’ve spent any time at all your business, you already know why a good portion of your prospects are hesitant to become customers. There’s no use pretending these objections don’t exist, so the best course is to meet them head on. (This will also reinforce that you understand their interests.) Be first to cite their concerns. and explain how much better off—overall—they will be once they decide to do business with you.

Offer proof of your value – As one excellent way to defend against objections—as well as show that understand your customers—is to provide them with real-life examples of your success. This could be as simple as brief customer quotes, or as detailed as a lengthy case study. And while you may not want to prominently include this element in all of your communications, we do recommend letting prospects know that such testimonials are easily available for their review.

Presume a long-term relationship is in the making – This is not something that you should necessarily spell out in your marketing communications. Rather it’s a thought that you should always keep in the back of your mind. That is, speak to your customers as if you both want and expect to serve their needs for years and years to come. Maintaining the mindset of an enduring relationship is a very good way to witness a happy self-fulfilling prophecy.

Below are some more resources on building client relationships:

 5 Tips for Building Strong Relationships with Clients

10 Steps for Growing Your Keys Accounts Infographic

Et Cultura Announces Art, Music & Film Festival Participants

et-cultura-array-art-music-festivalEt Cultura, a brand new four day art, music, film and interactive festival, plans to announce some of the music headliners, film presenters, pop up art show presenters, featured makers, and interactive sessions at Station House St. Pete in downtown St. Petersburg, FL on Friday, September 16, 2016 from 7:15pm to 10pm.

“We are excited for Et Cultura and want to share that excitement with the community. Events like “Array” allow us all to celebrate together – the artists, the attendees, the volunteers who are working on the event. It’s all about community and sharing,” says Joel Malizia, co-founder of Et Cultura.

For more information, visit the “Array” Facebook event page at https://www.facebook.com/events/1759044234338323/

About Et Cultura

Et Cultura is a festival of creative culture, bringing film, music, art, makers and innovators together for five days of cultural activities in the heart of St. Petersburg, FL. For more information on the festival and how to attend or participate, visit www.etcultura.com.

Pinstripe Marketing Project Manager Nikki Devereux Named Director of Communications for Society of Marketing Professional Services (SMPS)

smps-press-release_news

St. Petersburg, Fla. – (September 14, 2016) – Pinstripe Marketing project manager, Nikki Devereux, has joined the Board of Directors as Director of Communications for the Society of Marketing Professional Services (SMPS) Tampa Bay. Her role will include working with the board to promote and plan educational events and networking events, as well as promote the overall organization through marketing and communications strategy.

“The new board has already made great strides in working together and the previous board members have helped make the transition smooth,” said Devereux after the Strategic Planning meeting. “We have a lot of great ideas and creativity happening during our meetings, so this is an exciting time for us.”

SMPS provides members in architecture, engineering and construction industries with opportunities for education, networking and career development. The organization’s work with and for these industries aligns perfectly with Pinstripe Marketing’s mission to provide a full suite of marketing services to professional services organizations.

Devereux brings a variety of skills to the table, including photography, videography, content writing, and public relations knowledge, which she will be putting to use during her tenure at SMPS Tampa Bay as Director of Communications. 

About Pinstripe Marketing

Pinstripe Marketing, Inc. is a full-service advertising, marketing and communications agency specializing in service-based organizations including law, healthcare, education, architecture, construction, engineering, non-profits and more. Services include marketing plan development and implementation, advertising, collateral design, event planning, media buying, web design, video production and public relations. For details about Pinstripe, please visit www.pinstripemarketing.com.

About SMPS Tampa Bay

The Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS) Tampa Bay is the only organization in the Tampa Bay area devoted to providing members in professional services industries with opportunities for education, networking with other A/E/C professionals, and career development. By organizing presentations, panel discussions, socials, coffee meet-ups, and educational webinars, SMPS Tampa Bay hopes to serve the best interests of its members. Learn more at www.smpstampabay.com.

 

Five Pitfalls to Avoid when Naming a Product or a Service

naming products branding From time to time, even small-to-midsize business owners may get the opportunity to name a new product or service. It could be a resalable white-label offering from a vendor, or something developed entirely in-house. Regardless of origins, entrepreneurs should invest considerable care in coming up with a worthy moniker, otherwise the new offering may never get a fair reception from potential consumers. There are a number of errors marketers sometimes make when naming the things they want to sell. Here are five whoppers to avoid, as demonstrated by companies that were big enough to know better:

Enamored of a concept. Consider a couple of naming failures from the haircare product manufacturer, Clairol, in the early 80s. First came, ‘Look of Buttermilk’ shampoo. Quite understandably, consumers didn’t know what buttermilk hair should look like, and weren’t willing to find out. Not to be deterred, three years later Clairol gave us ‘Touch of Yogurt’ shampoo with equally disastrous results. Fortunately, the company abandoned the sensory-appeal concept before potentially presenting the buying public with the ‘Smell of Cheese.’

Key takeaway – We’ve all been guilty of coming up with creative ideas that we love like children—expecting others to love them as well. Unfortunately, sometimes the baby is ugly, and when it comes to our creative concepts we may have to listen and accept the bitter truth.

Poorly represents the product – If you had told someone, “I just ordered Qwikster,” would he or she have clue what you meant? Probably not. Nor would it have helped had you said, “Netflix Qwikster,” especially since that name referred to the much, much slower DVD-by-mail movie-rental service rather than the company’s streaming video.

Key takeaway – While people expect a little exaggeration in marketing, they won’t tolerate outright lying, so be sure to avoid misleading or misrepresentative names.

Tiresomely ‘clever’ – Have you ever known someone who has a favorite joke, quip or pun … and they never miss an opportunity to throw it into a conversation? In reality, the half-life on “being clever” is pretty short. Consider, for example, Ralston-Purina’s Freakies cereal (1972 – 76). The commercials were chuckle-worthy (once), but would you want to admit actually eating the cereal … and how many times could you have stood hearing your kid sing the theme song at breakfast?

Ginger's favorite joke

Ginger’s favorite joke

Key takeaway – You want to give your offerings a name that will last a lifetime. So unless silliness is part of your brand identity, don’t sacrifice a descriptive or allusive title in favor of a novelty name that your customers can’t take seriously.

Ego-driven – A brand is about a company, but a product or service should be about promising to satisfy the consumer. Therefore, it’s generally best not to name it after the business owner or family member, as that comes across as a bit egotistical and provides no clue as to the product’s value proposition. For our example, look at (probably) the most famous product failure of all time: The Edsel. Named after Henry Ford’s son, this automobile had a lot of problems—starting with a high price and not particularly well-made—but such shortcomings have never been a problem for Italian sports cars. So instead, ask yourself, who would want to drive an Edsel?

Key takeaway –Names that are meaningful to you may carry no significance at all to your customers, and they may even be a bit put off ordering the ‘Bobby Jr. Special’ when they are with their own little Michael.

Clueless (What were they thinking!?!) – Back around 2001, Bosch Siemens Hausgeraete, a subsidiary of global conglomerate Siemens AG, filed applications with the US Patent & Trademark Office to use the name, Zyklon, across a range of home products, including gas ovens. If that name rings a bell, perhaps you recognize Zyklon B as the poison gas used on Holocaust victims in Nazi concentration camps. Making matters worse, Siemens is widely alleged to have taken advantage of slave labor supplied by the evil German regime during WWII. Siemens said they wanted the name in conjunction with their line of vacuum cleaners which uses cyclonic technology. (Zyklon is German for cyclone.) Honest mistake or not, the company wisely gave up the idea.

Key takeaway – Step outside your inner circle—whether that’s the people you work with or friends and family—and consult thoughtful, knowledgeable people at large about your potential naming ideas. Or at least do a Google search! Note that in terms of product quality, the aforementioned products weren’t especially terrible. And if the product is good enough, it may even survive a bad name. (For example, Nad’s for Men—a hair removal cream—has been around quite a while.) But why bring your new product or service into this world saddled with an inherent disadvantage? Remember, a rose by any other name may indeed smell as sweet. But if it’s called a farkenglart, chances are that no one will go near it to find out.

Page 5 of 49« First...34567...102030...Last »