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Zodiac Marketer: Capricorn

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by Nikki Devereux, Director of Account Management

Our next zodiac sign is Capricorn: birthdays between December 22 – January 19.

Capricorn is an earth sign with the strengths of responsibility and discipline. A couple of Capricorn’s weaknesses are speaking in a condescending manner and being a know-it-all. We’ll explore ways these positive and negative traits can be applied or avoided in marketing and business practices.

Responsibility in Marketing

One of the tenets of marketing is that you are speaking to an audience of some kind or another. When you have this type of reach, the message you send will affect many lives, some of them who haven’t even seen your message. It goes without saying that you have a certain amount of responsibility to communicate a message that does no harm. Communicating honestly and with integrity will ensure that you are publishing a responsible message to your audience. Always consider the consequences of your campaigns and messaging.

Discipline in Marketing

Discipline comes in many forms and can be applied to so many aspects of business and marketing. We are going to focus on just a couple, including discipline in file organization and discipline in checking your work.

Discipline in file organization, you ask? YES! This seems like one of those obvious working items that no one even needs to think about. It is this assumption that creates filing and organization disasters. Even the most well-meaning, organized person can end up on a dark path of procrastination and neglect in filing, which leads to the dissolution of your filing system.

Start a system with intention and strategy and stick to it. In marketing, this is important because you will have a lot of creative files, including design, video and written content. It all needs to stay organized so you can access it when someone needs it.

We still receive calls from clients that we did creative work for a decade ago. They are requesting design files that were misplaced or accidentally deleted. Good thing we’re organized. Part of our service is to make sure that our file system is backed up by the cloud and easy to access.

Checking your work requires patience and discipline as well. This applies not only to project work, but emails you are sending to your colleagues and clients. Review what you’ve written once or twice for punctuation, spelling, and any other errors. People notice when you send something with spelling errors, no punctuation, or no closing. This could be seen as a reflection of your work and/or work ethic. As far as checking your creative work on projects, this should simply be part of your workflow.

Avoid: Condescension in Marketing

This one is so obvious that I almost didn’t include it, but I thought it worthwhile mentioning. Condescension can be an insidious act, one that you don’t even know that you’re committing. Be careful with your marketing messaging; ensure that you are not alienating a group of people with subtle condescension or other offensive content that was not intended to be received that way. We live in a diverse world with people of many different backgrounds—be sensitive and thoughtful with your messaging to avoid losing segments of your audience.

Avoid: Being a Know-it-All

No one likes a know-it-all. But, aside from being unlikable by virtue of thinking they know everything, know-it-alls keep themselves from learning new things and skills. In marketing, this can be detrimental, if not a downright fatal mistake. Learning something new is key to understanding your  industry, business and goals. If you resist learning new information because you’re a know-it-all, you are missing out on all that knowledge that can help elevate your marketing campaigns to new levels. This goes for your clients as well. There is no better way to get to know your client and their industry than listening and learning.

Have you ever experienced any of the above traits in your marketing campaigns or business? We’d love to hear your stories, the good, the bad, and the ugly!

Quick Tips to Stay on Track with Your Marketing Resolutions for 2020

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by Michael Premo, Content Strategist

It’s so easy to lose motivation on those marketing resolutions made in January. Problem is that so many things are working against us that we just can’t keep up. This year, you can change that by using a few tips we’ve learned over the years.

Start by Keeping It Simple

Because resolutions are goals, you have to treat them as such. Small, incremental steps are easier to achieve than big ones. Plus, it’s easier to monitor your progress. Smaller objectives lead to big changes, so plot out each milestone.

TIP: To make your resolution easier to achieve, break it down into objectives and milestones.

Let’s say that your resolution is to improve your digital marketing. Just remember that major changes to any marketing plan or process will take more time, energy and resources. That’s why smaller, more manageable steps will help you stick to your resolution throughout the year.

TIP: Take the time to reflect upon each milestone, so you can make adjustments.

This is simple enough, and you may be doing this already. But, what we fail to do is reflect upon each milestone. How did you get there? What’s next? What needs to change?

Deadlines Are Important to Keep

We all need a little motivation to keep our resolutions. One of the best ways to do that is by setting a deadline and sticking to it. No one likes the word—deadline—but it makes your resolution a priority. Any task, goal, or change without a deadline will get ignored or pushed away for other, more important tasks. Add these deadlines to your calendar.

TIP: Set a deadline to keep yourself motivated.

These are small changes, so the deadline shouldn’t feel like a weight around your neck. A deadline makes it important. Be realistic with your deadlines. If it needs to be adjusted, don’t beat yourself up over it. That just causes more anxiety.

TIP: Be realistic about your deadlines and adjust them when necessary.

Ask for Help

Your support network is critical to your success. Be open and honest with your coworkers and supervisors. This also works as motivation to follow through with your plan because you’ve made it public.

TIP: Let your coworkers and supervisors know about your resolutions.

Letting them know about your resolutions will allow them to serve as a support group, plus it gives you someone to reach out to for help or mentoring. Too often, we feel like we are on our own, which leads to apathy and even anxiety. When you share your struggles and successes, you make the journey that much easier.

TIP: Ask for help when you need it.

This will strengthen your relationships at work and build up resilience within your network. Following through on your resolutions for 2020 will build your confidence and strengthen your skill sets.

At Pinstripe, we strive to improve ourselves every year. That’s what keeps us creative—thinking of new and exciting projects for our clients. Our creative team consists of listeners and discoverers that have an innate ability to help you achieve your vision. We are part of your support network, so feel free to reach out to us with any help you need to keep those resolutions.

Zodiac Marketer: Sagittarius

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by Nikki Devereux, Director of Account Management

Our next zodiac sign is Sagittarius: birthdays between November 22 – December 22.

Sagittarius is a fire sign with the strengths: deep, honest and smart. A couple of their weaknesses are impatience and boastfulness. We’ll explore ways these positive and negative traits can be applied or avoided in marketing and business practices.

Depth in Marketing

Depth can take on many meanings. But, let’s take depth in this case to mean emotional depth. Why is that important in marketing and business? Since when do we bring emotion into our work lives?

Emotional intelligence is a language you will be speaking about more and more in the workplace. And, when it comes to creative areas of business like marketing, emotion can play a huge role in reaching your audience and converting them into clients. For example, those Hallmark commercials that bring a little tear to your eye every time? That timeless tactic and its success is the reason they are still using that same approach. The brand pulls at your heartstrings and has for decades. It works! We’re not saying go the super cheesy route, but consider using emotion to your advantage in your marketing campaigns.

Honesty in Marketing

Honesty is the best policy in your marketing campaigns. From professional services to household cleaning products, people crave truth and authenticity in their favorite brands—and rightfully so. Transparency has been withheld for long enough, so give people what they want and what they need.

The best way to use honesty to your advantage is to start with a great product that is worth bragging about. That way when you market that product, you’re not lying! It’s pretty simple, and you won’t have the unethical act of false advertising weigh on your conscience.

Wildness in Marketing

Being wild in marketing and business means taking risks. It could mean choosing to run a new campaign that is outside your normal style or redesigning your website using some of the latest trends in web design. What it doesn’t mean is getting drunk at a holiday social and doing a keg stand or filming yourself doing a stunt to get attention on social media. Wild can be tempered, mature, and professional. Think of wild as a creative stunt rather than a goofy, immature one.

Avoid: Impatience in Marketing

Business leaders and marketers alike should know that patience is a keystone of business. Marketing campaigns take time for the results to come in. Like that Google Ads campaign you just started. You’ll need to give it some time before it starts converting sales. Just started your business? You may not see a substantial profit for a couple of years.

Impatience during the creative process can be a mistake, as well. Creativity takes time. If you want the best from your artists, don’t rush them! Being impatient during these times, at the very least, will make your life miserable. But, worse than that, it could lead to making rash decisions that could be detrimental to your business or campaign.

Avoid: Boasting in Marketing

Okay, so there’s probably a fine line when it comes to boasting in marketing. After all, the very definition of marketing involves touting the highlights of your product or service and demonstrating to the world how awesome you are. But be careful not to go overboard. Try to toe the line between being humble and outright bragging.

If you’re unsure, put yourself in your audience’s shoes. If you were reading, hearing, or seeing the ad, social post, or a promotional piece, would you be rolling your eyes in annoyance? If so, tone it down a bit.

Have you ever experienced any of the above traits in your marketing campaigns or business? We’d love to hear your stories, the good, the bad, and the ugly!

How to Address the Creativity Squashers in Your Organization

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Being creative is not a “luxury that you can’t afford.” It’s not just something for the dreamers, the wanderers, the artists. As a matter of fact, creative marketing is a differentiator, especially with all of the messaging that’s out there. It is essential to the lifeline of your business, and anyone who thinks creativity is a waste of time is certain to fail at business.

 

The Internal Tension

Creative marketing strategies and strategic implementation may create a lot of internal tension during the early stages of development. So many different opinions collide when concepts are presented. These opinions often reflect the internal views of the firm. Any of these sound familiar?

  • We’ve never done it that way!
  • That won’t work.
  • The boss will hate it.
  • Don’t rock the boat.

These opinions are what we call “Creativity Squashers,” and they often hold back the true potential of a great marketing campaign. Unfortunately, none of them address the real problem, and that’s how to stand out in a crowded marketplace.

There are also some preconceived notions about what creative marketing is and how it needs to be handled. Here are some good ones that we hear all the time:

  • We don’t have the budget for it.
  • Let’s sleep on it.
  • It’s not in the plan.
  • There isn’t enough time.

These fail to recognize the need for eye-catching designs and unique concepts that gain more traction with the target market. Plus, you don’t have to spend more money when being creative. You just need to be more aware of what your competition isn’t doing and how you can capitalize on that.

 

Recognize “My” Organization

Creative marketing doesn’t change your firm’s identity, and it won’t require more work. It simply needs readjustment to standard ways of thinking—to step outside the box. To help your firm adjust to new ways of looking at things, you can respond quickly to this negative feedback by using the following techniques.

  1. Ask Open-Ended Questions

You need more information on why their opinion is the way it is. Yes or no answers won’t cut it, so learn how to ask open-ended questions to be more engaging and less adversarial.

  1. Listen Carefully

For this process to work, you need to be in the moment. Don’t let your mind wander and never look at your phone. Details matter, and you’ll need these details to reframe their negative opinions.

  1. Don’t Get Defensive

It’s their opinion, not yours, so don’t get defensive or attack. Most people will see this as a sign of conflict that they want no part of. The moment you get defensive is the moment you lose your opportunity.

  1. Reframe Negative Comments

You’ve listened to their opinions and exactly how they feel. Now, it’s time to transform their thinking and reconsider things in a positive light. Positive reframing is a skill that’s learned, and it will become invaluable to overcoming adversity.

  1. Use Data

It’s time to really drive your point home—to really convince them to change. There’s no better way than pointing to data that supports your argument. Using data is a great way to show changes in the market or consumer attitudes.

  1. Gather Consensus

Having more than one person’s opinion is more substantial and credible. It also shows organizational support. Take the time to bring others in on your side and use their opinions to show consensus.

Respecting everyone’s opinion is important, especially when you believe it’s misplaced.

 

Creativity: A Calculated Risk

Most creative ideas are never implemented. They typically end up on the cutting-room floor because our preconceived notions often get in the way. Creativity takes some risk, but it’s often a calculated risk when you rely on data and trends. Plus, you’re not losing or changing your brand identity to gain more attention. You’re simply trying to stand out from the competition in a crowded market.

At Pinstripe, we have some of the most creative people working for our clients. Our creative team consists of listeners and discoverers that have an innate ability to help you achieve your vision. 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 in creative ways. Contact us to tell us more about what a creative campaign would look like for you, and we’ll help you get there.

Video Interview Tips

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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.