Earned Media from calendar events

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Earned media from calendar events
Is it too late for an April Fools Day Joke?

We often look to the calendar when brainstorming – after all it’s kind of a no-brainer you want to be part of the zeitgeist and what better way than focussing on pre-scheduled events that everyone is aware of.

It’s all well and good to design a social post with a bunny and a Happy Easter plastered on top OR create an advertising campaign around Christmas. It doesn’t have to be a well established holiday if you noticed last month was Pride Month in the US and brands were all quick to jump on the bandwagon.

But to really set yourself apart from the crowd you may want to focus your brain power on creating something a little out of the ordinary to get you noticed.

This classic (which had mixed reactions) is from a few of years ago

We are often inundated with tongue in cheek campaigns on April Fools or Halloween but the truly inventive ones get themselves shared and mentioned around the water coolers and on numerous media types.


Earned media: Any positive mention of my brand, created by someone other than me, published somewhere other than my site.

One of my favourite pranks (intentional or not) is the War of the Worlds (WotW) radio play by Orson Welles. As far as pranks go – it’s a doozy. Now, it wasn’t thought up by the marketing department nor was it intended to create the uproar that it did… But it did just that… and the earned media was amazing:

 

 

Imagine all that coverage – One might argue… what a waste – there was really no strategy as to how to best take advantage of the prank. But in all reality, we are still talking about it today and perhaps we don’t know that it was the Mercury Theatre but indeed we remember Orson Welles (Citizen Kane not withstanding) is so synonymous with WotW that one has to ask whether we you are talking about HG or Orson when talking Welles/Wells in relation to WotW. The full and rather interesting story on WotW can be found here.

Another great way to inspire people is to let them in on the joke NPR for their April Fool’s joke was:

Source: NPR

 

It inspired over 2000k comments and lots of goodwill to NPR for those in on the joke.

 

 

And of course, Google always does a great effort here is a list, but this is pretty cool

It’s not all April Fools obviously; Easter and Anzac Day have just passed by with their share of earned media attempts from (not always successfully)

Our series on Super Bowl advertising here and here whilst paid for, often turns into earned media that keeps on giving.

Other sporting events are a great for earned media not least of which the world cup.

Focussing on the calendar doesn’t have to mean yearly events you can also glom on to major events in general like the upcoming election or sticking with the political theme the same sex marriage vote caused a lot of companies to take sides leading up to the event and even after.

You might be thinking is this a task for PR or for your marketing team to be honest it’s both I think Alex Honeysett hit the nail on the head over at The Muse


 

“The truth is, you can’t market without doing a little PR, and you can’t do PR without a little marketing. The end goals—selling products and making people love a company—are too intertwined: If your products are terrible, your company probably won’t be viewed favourably by the public, and if people aren’t connecting with your overall brand, they’re probably not going to buy your products.”


So the key really is to have fun with it, it helps keep your brand front and centre in your audience’s mind – it doesn’t have to be big budget just a cool little nugget of an idea can grow and catch on. If you need help with the nuggets give us a bell.

 

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Are your Marketing plans stalled?

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Why haven’t you started your marketing plans yet?
Or kept it going?

It’s a common occurrence that around new year’s or the end of financial year you start thinking about your business and marketing plans for the coming period. But you also know that it is quite a daunting prospect trying to get things in order. We discussed this very topic recently on our podcast – listen to the Procrastination ep here)

The fact that things aren’t in order right now makes the problem seem bigger than it actually is and can cause undue worry and anxiety.

Not having your marketing plans in place means you are losing opportunities and ground on your competitors. I know, I know I just started talking about worry and anxiety and then I follow up with even more doom and gloom – sorry.

And I will grant that you that anxiety about a task can lead to procrastination – in which case you need to take a holistic view and create a strategy that will give lead to success but also breaks your tasks down into manageable portions.

Don’t leave your marketing till it’s too late

A previous client had 6 months to prepare for one of the biggest annual events for their industry and whilst the physical attributes of their production were being seen too they continually pushed back the efforts on the digital front thinking that it is the easiest.

We ended up having to do a rush job for them and they still got a result but not the result they would have gotten if the thought and approvals had been there in a timely manner.

If it’s not the daunting nature of starting that has got you dragging your heels then there are usually three main reasons why you haven’t started:

No money

No time

No belief that it will work

To which I say:

Marketing Budgets

Having an appropriate marketing budget is key and by that, I mean a considered look at the finances but also how much X leads or Y conversions would mean to your business’s bottom line.

When you see a political party taking money from education to put somewhere else – you think to yourself “no, we need that shit” – well, marketing is the same you need that shit.

If you don’t have the budget for marketing or not factoring it in to your sale price then your business won’t last long. If it’s not – don’t buy that new car or other luxury item until it is – because getting your messaging out to your potential clients is more important.

No time to run marketing campaigns

Practice what you preach – when we were just starting out we actually had very little time on our hands – so much so, we would be making recommendations to clients that we hadn’t taken on board ourselves. For example, there was a good year or so where we were practically insisting that clients needed to update to a responsive website (one that scales for different size screens – PC, tablet or mobile). But we sucked it up and made the adjustment as soon as we could.

Marketing is a waste of money and resources

It’s not a waste of money – when done correctly marketing will make more sales if that’s the goal. Marketing, even carried out with a modicum of effort and strategy, is still not a waste. You will get knowledge and insight into the market place, your customers, what worked what didn’t; you will raise awareness, gain trust/credibility and build your brand;

Perhaps you have had a bad experience marketing previously, well if you have a bad meal at a restaurant then don’t go back to that restaurant as opposed to never eating again. Sticking with the same analogy of food as marketing – you might be a good cook yourself and by all means keep cooking but if you run out of time to cook and need a restaurant or if you don’t have time to shop or not sure what to cook speak to one of our expert team.

The proof is in the pudding – Marketing may be hard but It’s worth it – It is like Henry Ward Beacher said:

“It’s easier to go down a hill than up it but the view is much better at the top.”

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D-Day Marketing – Time to make a stand?

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D-Day Marketing – Time to make a stand?

So why is it that small business really struggles to market themselves?
And what can you do about it?

I deal with small businesses on a daily basis, and one of the things that I can tell you is that almost 90% of them have grown organically. They’ve done so via word of mouth, or with very little marketing foundation, in order to promote their product.

This leads to a significant challenge, when the time comes to try and grow beyond where they are – beyond word of mouth. It happens across two key levels of the business.

The first level is that any growth is going to require, in most cases, an investment in resources: personnel, equipment, product or whatever it might be and that is going to cost the business money. The second attribute is an area that most businesses have never accounted for, of course I speak of, marketing. And the margins in small business are often very compromised especially when they’re being eaten away by a new influence, such as an investment in marketing.

For businesses that have no platform, and have never marketed before, one of the key challenges that they face is the idea that they need to build momentum. And let’s face it, whether it’s running up the hill, or losing weight or achieving any goal the most difficult part is often just getting started. Once you have momentum, it is far easier to maintain it. Much like a cold room takes a lot longer to heat up than it is to maintain once the fire is roaring.

So the investment to make that momentum is often upfront. And that can be a scary proposition for business who don’t know whether the marketing that they are about to undertake will work.

And there is always some risk that your marketing approach might fail, however there is likely greater risk by not marketing at all. I think it was Stuart H Britt that said something along the lines of Doing business without advertising is like smiling at that girl you like in the dark. You know you smiled but nobody else does. So we have to get the message about your business out there and having dealt with so many businesses over a really long time, we can use the experience and insights we have learned to help design a plan that should make that smile shine.

And like most things, be it exercise or a diet the hardest part is often just starting. People procrastinate endlessly waiting for the perfect moment but you just have to get in there and have a go. Now, if you’re a large business with a large budget, it is often easier to forecast what the genuine return on investment will be because you are able to generate momentum immediately through volume of communication all of which builds a certain gravity around the investment that you make, but for small to medium businesses who haven’t got, the platform in place, or the momentum, often we need to pick a Normandy.

For those that aren’t familiar with this concept, Normandy was where the Allied troops struck the German army at the end of World War Two, the idea was that the allies would concentrate as much of their resources into a targeted attack in order to break through what was a significantly robust German defense.

Planning the assault – Marketing Strategy to make noise

And in marketing terms, we must identify a similar scenario seeking out a way to, despite the noise of the “market”, find cut through.

Our approach is to build an integrated strategy that identifies some core channels and some key messaging that we amplify to deliver a sales result. One of these core channels is
social media.

Social media has created a genuine opportunity to cost effectively reach an audience, and more importantly, to build a fan base or tribe. When you think about traditional marketing options, that really wasn’t the case. In fact, even large businesses that had built a fan base found they were often disparate and with no considered centralised connection. Social has changed that, which is why it has been a revolution for small to medium businesses.

Moreover, the digital environment has for the first time allowed us to accurately track and report on the engagement of “fans” and link that to sales and performance data.

This is an enormously powerful situation. But there are some rules to make this happen:

You need a plan
You need great content, written and visual
You need to be dynamic and respond to the audience to fully exploit “Your Normandy”
And, you need a proper budget that is aligned to your desired outcome.

And so one of our greatest challenges is actually educating SME’s in particular on making an appropriate investment in their marketing, because we often find people’s budget simply does not match their ambition. And they need to make a two to three year plan that allows us to build momentum, build the audience, and then mine that audience for sales.

And it is important to recognize that when I am talking about budget I am not just talking MONEY to deliver great marketing outcomes your commitment includes time to help bring this to life and one of the major flaws that we see, and this is not scale dependent, is that your agency is not someone that you just tell what you want to do. It is a partnership, it is a marriage, and you both need to be going in the same direction for a smooth and effective outcome. So what we would recommend is having some clear goals and objectives have a realistic view in terms of both what your team can invest in actively delivering the initiatives as well as having a proper and considered financial budget to match. If $5,000 could turn into $1 million on 3 months then everybody in the world would be doing it.

You would be shocked by the amount of times that I hear businesses say we’d like to make a million dollar sales. And we are we thinking $5 to $10K investment that is simply absurd.

But a 100K to 200K investment over 12 to 18 months might just deliver you results like this.

At the end of the day marketing is a gamble, but for the most part when you partner with an agency like us we have seen what works for many businesses, across many industries. You pay for that knowledge and experience and in the end it will SAVE you both TIME and MONEY.

So, the real question – is are you ready to grow your business???

If so please get in touch and speak to one of our expert team.

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Written By: Michael Menzies

Can we LEARN anything from the political marketing machine?

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POLITICAL MARKETING… BORING!
BUT CAN WE LEARN ANYTHING FROM THEM?

This weekend we head to the polls to choose which pol gets pole position for the next few years.

Is there anything more annoying than political ads? We are lucky in this nation that we are only subjected to a month or two leading up to the national elections. In America, their election campaigns start years in advance with their two major parties having their primaries and whatnot. Although, it does make for some truly great/cringey watching over there:

 

It can be over powering the amount of ads you are subjected to especially seeing as the majority have made up their minds.

And, we are all usually in our own bubbles when it comes to news, you watch one news program, get you news from the same few sites and follow the type of publishers on social media that you already have an affinity for.

So, it often turns out that you may not know what others know and vice versa.

I have been inundated with advertising over the past few weeks not least of which from Clive Palmer’s Party – I don’t know why, perhaps I fit a certain demographic or the fact that I searched Clive Palmer Party banana for this pic (you might remember from last month that still makes me laugh:

Make Australia Eat Bananas from r/australia

The political parties fight wars on many different fronts. They see each other at work every day, they duke it out in the press and at debates and they PR and Market the hell out of themselves. So, what can we learn from the politicians campaigns – not about their policies but about marketing. We have identified three areas that they do well:

GO BIG OR GO HOME – MARKETING BUDGETS

Clive Palmer reportedly budgeted 80 million dollars in advertising. When deciding on your marketing budget it is important to be realistic about what you will need to spend you might know that you will never have a spare 80 million lying around like the mining billionaire but figuring out a % of revenue versus your budget is extremely important. It is crucial to follow up after a campaign and make sure your ROI matched your expectations and adjust accordingly.


 

Are your marketing schedules and plans always getting pushed further back by life? Listen to our podcast episode on budgeting here

 


 

DON’T PUT YOUR EGGS IN ONE BASKET – MULTI-CHANNEL MARKETING

Nowadays, omni-channel marketing is everywhere (figuratively and literally), another essential ingredient is of the budgeting process is where you distribute your marketing funds. You will notice that the political parties are across multiple touchpoints from the traditional media of TV, Radio, Press and Billboards to the text messages and digital streams of social, display ads and emails. Let’s not forget the rallying of your base – be it social shares or volunteers doing phone calls, receiving multiple letterbox drops or the tradition of putting a politician’s face in your front yard. We will probably never achieve that level of multi-channel advertising but nether-the-less it’s important to have the touchpoints that fit your strategy and budget. Plus, it will help you get into someone’s digital bubble that may have previously been out of reach.

WHAT MAKES YOU – YOU! USP

Not only do candidates have to differentiate themselves from each other but they need to humanise themselves from the ambivalent and downright anti-political punters – the oft-quoted derisive view of pollies “their all a pack of bastards” comes to mind. Politicians spend countless resources on extolling their differences. Be it focussing on policies of their own or going the ever-tenuous negative route.

It’s important to find your unique selling proposition.

Even though the campaign will be over in a few days’ time it’s worth noting that the outcome may have ramifications for years to come just like any marketing campaign so it’s worth the effort. If you want to discuss your next campaign political or otherwise drop us a line.

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Written By: Rob

LISTEN: Social Media – What is it good for?

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Welcome to the Remember Podcast

Social Media | What is it good for?

Today, we get down to basics and discuss social media – the good, the bad and the ugly of it. How it can be a tough sell but also something that can be quite transformative for a brand.

Put your ear phones in – sit back, relax and hit play…

 

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Are ROBOCALLS Good Marketing?

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Robocalls – Should you consider them?

 

Annoying; aggravating; infuriating however you describe robocalls they have become part of our lives unfortunately.

I was watching John Oliver’s segment on robocalls a few weeks back and it got me thinking (you can view it here).

Just so you know, I am not writing this article from the perspective of we should do this but I am interested in the theatrics of it.

Do robocalls work? Are they all scams? Could they even be considered a marketing technique?

Well, it may surprise you to learn that I was a telemarketer when I was much younger – after coming back from a backpacking trip and needed some quick income (ahh the early 20s – a magical and depressing time; equal parts delightful and sobering when I wasn’t drinking, that is).

I was working for a charitable fund selling lottery tickets, being a charity did soften the blow a bit to whoever answered, but still copped my fair share of verbal assaults from the homeowner. I would put my average fail rate at about 95% which in industry averages is about standard.

It wasn’t a complete robocall because last time I checked I am still human; but there was a computer making all the calls and I and the other 100 people in the room had roughly about 5 seconds in between calls.

Surely, being non-robot must have helped the equation, as I took a quick (and rather unscientific) sample of friends and family and found that no one would respond to a robocall. In fact, as the technology to make the calls advances, so do the devices we use to answer them. Most people automatically screen a call that isn’t in their contacts but our phones more often than not now tell us the country of origin and/or whether it is a suspected spam caller which make it doubly hard to get through.

Most salespeople and marketers alike know that it’s a numbers game at the end of the day and if you throw enough mud at the call wall some will stick hence the preponderance of calls being made.

In the same John Oliver story, it was predicted that 45% of mobile calls in 2019 in the US will be robocalls – a staggering amount and with any numbers game someone is bound to lose and someone is bound to win.

So, is being annoying a viable option?


Stop the presses

I literally just received a spam call as I was writing this – I thought I would have a laugh and answer anyway – it was a tele-survey for the upcoming election – no harm no foul right besides everyone knows who I am voting for…

Make Australia Eat Bananas from r/australia


Now on with the show

When I look at it, there are two ways to being annoying – either being present at an inopportune place and time or doing something that antagonises.

The robocall more often than not does both perfectly, you know they are going to call you when you have just sat down for dinner and they are proffering things you do not want or and more likely still suggesting you will go to jail or worse if action is not taken (I’m pretty sure I paid my tax bill).

The sheer volume, zero human resources, relatively cheap software and calls make it a viable option for many scammers but on the whole, it doesn’t work for a reputable brand as trust and connection are two of the most important facets when making purchasing decisions for punters and companies alike. (These two facets are actually why social media is quite a great economical marketing solution – check out our latest podcast which deals with social).

And the flipside to this is of course, talking to a robot when you make the call yourself – like calling a telco, for example, trying to meander through the often-ambiguous automated questions that will hopefully lead you to the right department but invariably does not.

This causes immense annoyance to the average joe or jane and can lead to lost customers. Companies spend millions trying to figure this out. Recently, a friend called up a car insurance and was greeted by a human and then put into the automate call which softened the blow a lot and increased his happiness with the call.

At the end of the day as you might of guessed it letting a robot do the work in what is traditionally a human to human interaction hasn’t really found traction yet but as technology gets better and the robots get more human-like you can bet your bottom dollar that they will be able to get your bottom dollar.

On a side note, and because you’ve made it this far, annoying isn’t just relegated to the domain of our cyborg overlords some of the most annoying marketing techniques are the ads themselves – enjoy….

Coles Down Down camopaign

 

Sometimes people get so annoyed at the annoying ads they take it upon themselves to rally against them

Chevy Malibu

 

Mentos Nipples

 

There’s also jingles that are just so damn catchy that are annoying I am thinking banana make those bodies sing; banana boat and cottees my dad picks the fruit.
And this absolute gem:

Ashley madison

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LISTEN: Perfectionism | The fly in the ointment

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Welcome to the Remember Podcast

Perfectionism | a blemish on your record

In this episode, we discuss perfectionism and how it’s not a positive attribute but can cause negative outcomes.

Hit play and enjoy…

 

 

And speaking of perfectionism, what magic made this:

 

via Gfycat

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3 EPIC Digital Marketing Podcasts that everyone involved in Marketing should listen to!

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3 EPIC Digital Marketing Podcasts that everyone involved in Marketing should listen to!

Staying in the know when it comes to digital marketing is hard. If you are looking for some great marketing podcasts to listen to at work or when you are on the go – look no further we have our top 3:

 

MARKETING OVER COFFEE

Marketing Over Coffee is an awesome podcast to keep up with. Every week, hosts John J. Wall and Christopher S. Penn record the show, which is 20 minutes long and is shared every Friday. This podcast is designed to be casual, conversational, and not “newsy”. They share tips on social media, SEO, search marketing, copywriting, affiliate marketing, and more – and they take listener questions.

https://www.marketingovercoffee.com/

SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING PODCAST

Social Media Examiner’s weekly Social Media Marketing podcast is hosted by Michael Stelzner and other members of the Social Media Examiner team. Each podcast focuses on new social media features and strategies, which provides listeners with helpful tips that they can use to improve their social media results. The Social Media Marketing podcast is 45 minutes long and is shared once weekly, on a Friday.

https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/shows/

ONLINE MARKETING MADE EASY

Amy Porterfield’s Online Marketing Made Easy was created with small business owners in mind! Most marketing strategies can seem very overwhelming to small businesses first starting out, and it can be difficult to know where to start and how to apply vague strategies like “create an online course.” Sounds much easier said than done! Online Marketing Made Easy breaks down these big strategies into small, manageable step-by-step pieces so that everyone can execute them to get awesome results. Amy shares what will work, and what doesn’t work, in the world of digital marketing.

https://www.amyporterfield.com/amy-porterfield-podcast/

 

There it is – get listening. If you have any favourites let us know here.

 

 

 

 

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Written By: Claudia

Maintaining a tight data cycle

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The ins, outs and roundabouts of the Data Cycle

The Data Cycle in marketing is closely linked to campaign cycle and social strategy but it is a bit more refined in scope in that it only focuses on the data and information gleaned.

PREPARE

You are starting a new campaign, it either started with the boss saying

  1. we need more sales or
  2. why aren’t we getting more sales or
  3. we hit our sales targets but let’s do double this month or
  4. we’ve had a good year so far why don’t you take a week off

Wait… What?… OK – just checking if you were paying attention that last one normally doesn’t happen but if it is usual for your boss to say that sort of stuff I can send you my CV or you can make an introduction… you know what, let’s just play by ear, we’ll figure it out, but seriously don’t forget.

So at this stage you have to prepare your marketing strategy whether it’s print or online, social or search yada yada yada. Then we have to make sure we know what success looks like how we measure it and most importantly for the data cycle – how we collect that data.

PRESS PLAY

Now it’s time to start, press the button – if you have ever run a marketing campaign through mailchimp you’ll know that this gif sums up the trepidation nicely.

 

Let’s make some noise.

INTERPRET

You may think the hard work is over – and ideation and creation is important don’t get me wrong but for a numbers geek like me the fun starts right about… now! It’s time to crunch the numbers.

Collect all your data

Look for meaning in the data

Turn it into information for others to understand

REACT

Some think that the reaction part is at the end of the campaign and inputting your learnings in the next campaign but having fast reactions is good. Seriously, your campaigns are like kids you may have set them up for success but you never know what can happen if you aren’t watching.

 

So, it’s wise to schedule in review times during the marketing campaign itself – it can be the key to a successful strategy.

Once you have obtained the information from the interpretation phase it’s time to implement it on the fly. Be it, finding out that one particular social stream is taking a liking to the campaign and putting money behind that or by tweaking your messaging to generate more action. It can save a campaign.

There you have it the data cycle in four* simple steps.

 

*There can be a fifth step and that is storage – store your data in a well collated way can be the key to saving hours looking for a piece of information or being able to aggregate the data so you can see trends emerging. Luckily in this day and age most of us use analytic programs (google, adobe etc.) that keep the history saved and accessible.

 

 

image credits from giphy except A serious man and hero image from unsplash

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LISTEN: Procrastination

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Welcome to the Remember Podcast

Why haven’t you started your marketing yet?

In this episode, we discuss not having enough time on your hands and why it is actually hard for some of us to start marketing and stick to the plan.

Hit play and enjoy…

 

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