Categories

Recent Posts

Video Interview Tips

video interview_featured

More and more companies are placing video interviews on their websites. So, chances are sooner or later you may end up on the interview side of a video, especially if you are a thought leader or executive in your company.

If this sounds like the last thing you want to be doing, you are not alone. Many people, even great public speakers, hate being recorded on video. Being on video is awkward for everyone.

It’s frustrating when you stumble over sentences and phrases that you’ve repeated effortlessly in speeches, elevators, and at events countless times. You’ll eventually ask yourself, “What’s wrong with me? I should know this.” Absolutely nothing is wrong with you.

Below are a few tips to prepare yourself for your next video interview. These will help you get over any frustrations and the anxiety of being on camera.

  • Prepare your notes, but don’t over-prepare – You’ll end up making yourself nervous. Don’t try to recite word for word the answers you’ve typed up on a sheet of paper. It will sound unnatural. Instead review the questions and get a general idea of what you’d like to discuss, but let it flow naturally during the interview.
  • Videos can be cut and edited – Don’t think that you have to get it right on the first take.
  • Remember that you can also return to a question later, once you’ve warmed up – Sometimes the first questions need to be revisited because you were still getting the hang of it.
  • Keep it conversational – Talk to the interviewer as if you were chatting at a networking event or even talking to a close colleague/friend.
  • Sometimes you need to take a deep breath and grab a glass of water – Do this when you feel stuck with an answer, or you start to get caught up with overthinking what you’d like to say.
  • Leave the paper on the table, don’t use it as a crutch – It’s not going to look good if you keep looking down at your answers on a sheet of paper and the sound of the paper crinkling may be picked up by the microphone.
  • Dress comfortably – Wear what you would normally wear in a professional setting. Make sure to confirm with the video team if you will be filmed torso only or if you need to make sure your pants or skirt are pressed.
  • Patterns are ok as long as they aren’t too tiny – Consult your video team for styling tips.
  • Wear normal makeup + 10%

These tips should help you become more comfortable and relaxed in front of the camera. If you’re interested in creating a series of videos, Pinstripe can help you. We’re experienced with professional, high-quality production to make you look good enough to rise above the competition. Get in touch with us.

Some Things to Know About Marketing Automation

marketing-automation_featured

by Michael Premo, Content Strategist

Marketing automation has been around for a while. There are a lot of platforms available, and it’s become more affordable for small to midsized businesses. And, we have seen a growing interest in these amazing marketing tools because they work really well, especially when you’re looking for more data on what your customers want.

This is not a review of automation platforms because there are so many available and each one has its unique characteristics at a wide range of price points. I want to focus on what you should expect when using marketing automation.

 

Believe the Hype

You’ve probably seen the numbers on marketing automation already, but here are a few important statistics if you haven’t.

  • When using 3 or more channels, marketing campaigns increased engagement and purchasing by 250% while earning a 90% customer retention rate.
  • Targeted campaigns have a 35% higher open rate.
  • Dynamic sign-up forms have a 25% success rate on landing pages.
  • Over 60% of companies outgrowing their competitors are using automation.

What this means is that using one channel of marketing is good, but coordinating 3 together is great. For example, a 3 channel campaign would use text messaging, email, and social media.

Channels also involve data collection so that a good B2B campaign would look like this: email, social media, and behavioral tracking. There are many more combinations and activities to have in a campaign. I think the biggest takeaway is that successful marketing is targeted-frequency.

 

Understanding Expectations

Naturally, you’re going to want to set your marketing on auto-pilot. That’s one of the reasons why automation is so attractive—it drives itself. Though this may be true, it’s also a bit misleading. Automation takes resources to strategically develop and implement a campaign.

Here’s a list of things you need to be aware of:

  • People – You’ll need someone to be in charge of managing automation. This can be a part-time or full-time job for one person or several, depending upon the workload. Or, you can hire an outside firm to handle it, which can save you money. Regardless, these people will be coordinating all activities and in direct communication with management and sales.
  • Content – Automation runs on messaging. Without content, there’s no message. A range of content is needed for a successful campaign: promotions, photos, video, thought leadership, etc. You get the idea. Plus, it has to be fresh and new. Of course, you can repurpose old content, and that should be done after a couple of years.
  • Segmentation – Targeting the right message to the right person is far more successful than throwing it to the wind and hoping they catch it. You should already have your customer segments, so the message should fit their needs. If not, they might get annoyed with your lack of knowing who they are and what they want.
  • Patience – Automation is not like a grand opening. It doesn’t start with a “Bang!” It’s more like a drip. The biggest thing to avoid is being spammy. It’s easy for your audience to opt-out, so decide what the frequency should be by looking at some averages for your industry and market.
  • Data – A huge benefit of automation is the data it can gather about customer behavior. The numbers can be granular, specific and complex. You’ll need to know how to analyze them and then interpret what that means for your future campaigns. Statistical analysis is not easy, but it will improve your lead generation and conversion rates.
  • Feedback – Automation is a great tool for gathering feedback through follow up surveys and reviews. But, when you ask for feedback, your customers will want to hear authentic responses. This requires a set of rules for responding:
    • Timely responses matter
    • Apologize when necessary
    • Be open to criticism
    • Don’t argue
    • Offer solutions

 

Test Through Trial and Error

Successful automation campaigns don’t just appear because they’re automated. The statistics I listed earlier come from an average of robust and informed programs. A lot of testing is involved in optimizing the performance of each campaign. To get there, you’ll be going through a lot of trial and error.

Pinstripe understands what it takes to run an automation team. We have helped local and nationally-based businesses with their marketing needs for over two decades. We specialize in discovering your traits—your corporate character—and putting them on display. Our creative team consists of listeners and discoverers that have an innate ability to help you achieve your vision. Contact us to tell us more about what a successful automation campaign looks like to you, and we’ll help you get there.

Marketing Checklist for 2020

marketing-plan-checklist-2020

by Nikki Devereux, Director of Account Management

Have you started thinking about your business in the new year, particularly from a marketing perspective? It’s definitely not too early to start doing so, because if you wait until December, it will be too late.

Now is a good time to come up with fresh, new ideas to promote your business. Planning ahead will allow you to seamlessly incorporate these ideas into your daily business activities. We’ve come up with a checklist to get the ideas flowing and get your 2020 marketing off to the right start!

  • Revisit your marketing plan – If you haven’t in a while, you’ll need to dust off that old marketing plan. Review the initiatives, goals, mission, vision, audience and strategy to see what’s changed and what’s stayed the same.
    • Audience – Consider how your audience may have changed and grown since the last time you really thought about them. What do they need now? What new technology has changed their lives? How can you better communicate with them? Are there any new audiences you would like to reach? Ask a lot of questions and add to your notes.
    • Goals – Consider some goals for 2020 and compare them to the original goals. Are they similar? Have they changed as the audience has aged? Take more notes!
    • Mission and Vision – Do these need to be rewritten? Who can you loop in to help you rewrite or reimagine?

During this process, gather colleagues and stakeholders and bring in your team . They all have something valuable to share and creative ideas you need. Remember to take lots of notes during your review and brainstorming.

  • Consider adding digital or social media advertising – If you haven’t already incorporated Google Ads or social media advertising, consider adding it to your marketing plan to supplement (or replace) print advertising. It’s measurable, inexpensive, and you can set and track goals easily.
  • Revamp your content marketing – Chances are you’ve been blogging and posting to social media as part of your content marketing. Rethink your strategy for the new year and bring video or even a podcast into your repertoire. Make sure you keep your clients and prospects in mind when creating any content. Give them useful information, tips and resources that they can actually use and apply. This infographic brilliantly demonstrates different types of content and where/how they affect your prospects on their buying journey.
  • Consider new giveaways – When was the last time you selected items to gift to your clients and prospects? There are so many creative, fun giveaways out there—be memorable in 2020! Check out some ideas like these sporty backpacks or this adorable foldable fan.

These are just a few ideas to get your creativity flowing for your 2020 marketing strategy. Get in touch with our creative team if you want Pinstripe to help rejuvenate your marketing plan for the new year!

Try This Quick Time Saving Tip for Busy Professionals

time saving tips_featured

Usually, around six o’clock, I am amazed at how fast the day went by. And it always seems like I’m rushing to get out of the office for a meeting or dinner with my family.

But, did you know that if we took 15 minutes at the end of our day, we can be more prepared for tomorrow? Recently, I started to take just 15 minutes at the end of my day to get organized and it works. Here’s how.

 

Prioritize Those 15 Minutes

What better time to review your day than at the end? It allows you to do three very important things:

  • Review
  • Reflect
  • Prepare

You can briefly review what happened throughout your day by jotting a few notes, which will strengthen your  memory and recall. It’s also a good time to check off the items on your agenda and make sure that you’ve logged your time correctly. Research has shown that taking account of completed tasks lowers your anxiety and stress levels.

Simply taking a minute or two to review your day will also help you organize your evening. Figure out dinner or check in with loved ones. Are you picking something up? Need gas for the car? These things often get forgotten and make tomorrow a little more hectic. Plus, it gives you time to organize the work you are taking home with you.

 

To-Do List or Not To-Do List?

Reflecting upon your day will help you restructure your to-do lists. Priorities are always shifting. Some tasks gain a higher level of urgency.

As for to-do lists, I have seen a lot of opinions on them. Lots of consultants don’t like them and one in particular simply believes that to-do lists don’t work. However, research, lots of research, says otherwise. I’m a proponent of them, but with this caveat—I don’t put everything on it.

One major complaint of the to-do list is that it causes more anxiety, usually because there’s a list a mile long with things on there that should have been done weeks or months ago. Too many trivial things on it will cause anxiety.

One novel idea is to move the important things off your to-do list and placing them on your calendar. This raises their priority, while reduces the clutter of your list. Here are some other ways you can create a more effective to-do list:

  • Shorten the list to three things,
  • Use small Post-It Notes or index cards,
  • Organize your list into smaller lists (calls to make, things to delegate, to purchase, etc.)
  • Prioritize tasks in order of importance,
  • View one task at a time.

You need to be faithful to the idea of ending your day thinking about tomorrow. This lets you get organized before you even step foot in the office, tomorrow.

 

Better Planning of Your Time

Time is the most important asset we have, yet we don’t value it enough. Meetings and late lunches can get in the way. There’s also the occasional drive-by meeting—”impromptu” for the visitor—but an inconvenience for you.

Taking a few minutes to prepare for your day, tomorrow,  may get you out of a meeting or conference call that really isn’t important. With these final moments at work, you can also follow up with your employees regarding important projects. Even better, you can delegate tasks from your list to them.

 

Better Organization = Less Stress

Let’s face it, you’re only given so much time in a day. Organization doesn’t give you more time, but it does allow you to spend more time on the things that are truly important. Typically, these are the things that affect the bottom line.

You won’t regret using this time-saving tip. It will help you be more productive and less stressed about work and home. Give it a try for a month. If it works, pass it on to a friend or coworker of yours that could use it.

Zodiac Marketer: Gemini

zodiac marketer gemini_featured

Our next zodiac sign is Gemini: birthdays between May 21 – June 20.

Gemini is an air sign with the following strengths: gentle, affectionate, curious, adaptable, quick learner, loves to exchange ideas. Some of these are traits that creatives, especially in the marketing world, possess in plenty. On the other hand, Gemini’s weaknesses of being nervous, inconsistent, and indecisive—things many of us face occasionally. We’ll tell you how and why to avoid these in your professional and maybe even personal life.

Curiosity in Marketing

Curiosity is a natural part of creativity. Some might say that it is the very foundation of creative endeavors. Artists and designers explore their medium, their world, and their own minds in order to create their work. Experimentation is curiosity. Artists use experimentation to create new techniques, new colors, and new themes every day. This curiosity that drives innovation in both process and outcome are essential to marketing. Without curiosity, marketing and advertising campaigns would be limp and lifeless, and designs would fail to attract, define and guide.

Adaptability in Marketing

Adaptability is a powerful trait in every aspect of life. In fact, it’s what helps species survive. Animals and plants adapt over time to environmental conditions, and humans have created such a technical world that we have to adapt to new technologies seemingly on a daily basis. One signature of adaptability is

Free Flow/Exchange of Ideas in Marketing

How many marketing campaigns have started with a brain storming session? SO MANY. This is part of what makes marketing enjoyable, creative, and innovative. A brainstorming session may have one goal, like renaming a company, but sometimes these sessions, if everyone feels comfortable with letting their ideas flow freely, can yield answers to so many other questions, or ideas for other projects! Free flow of ideas is a cornerstone of marketing and advertising.

Avoid Inconsistency in Marketing

Inconsistency may be one of the most fatal acts for any brand. In fact, part of the definition of the word brand from a marketing perspective is CONSISTENCY. This is what we strive for when we create brand style guides, some of them so extensive and specific that they read more like design books than guides. Designers put countless hours into creating these guides to avoid inconsistency as if it were the devil! And we all should, in all areas of marketing. In fact, a well-rounded marketing strategy will carry a consistent message across all channels and activities, from PR to sales calls to social media posting. We are always telling the brand’s complete story.

Avoid Indecision in Marketing

Indecision can kill any project, particularly creative projects. This happens when you can’t choose between one logo design and the other. Or you are so torn that you make tweaks, trying to combine designs, again and again. You simply continue to suffer the inability to decide what you want. If this happens, you will end up extending your timeline and paying way more than you originally bargained.

If you need a logo, make sure that you give examples of what you want and lots of detail about your company, your mission, and a whole slew of other information about your company that a design firm should be using to sketch a series of initial designs. A good agency will take this time up front to get a solid sense of your company, rather than spend the time on the backend trying to tweak a design that did not hit the mark.

At Pinstripe Marketing, we sit down with our clients and complete a creative brief, plus we listen to your stories and review samples to start building your design story.

We love you Gemini! You have so many special traits that make our marketing lives interesting.