Visualize the Results

September 3, 2014 by

In my last post I talked about a few changes we’ve made to our IMC plans in order to help with staff buy-in and evaluation.  One of the things we’ve recently finalized was an infograph showing the results of our marketing plans.  As I mentioned in that post, we stopped calling the goals “marketing goals” because we wanted to reinforce that this was a combined effort between the departments and the marketing department.  We learned that “marketing” was the responsibility of the marketing department, and we wanted a way to better illustrate how these are business goals that marketing helps accomplish.

We used the infograph below as a tool to showcase everything we achieved as an organization.  It was a great way to quickly and visually show the hard work that went into creating, maintaining, and finalizing our integrated marketing communications plans.  The finalization of these plans was a result of a combined effort of students and professional staff.  You’ll notice that, again, we tried to take the emphasis off of marketing, but still have people understand and realize that these goals were achieved as a result of marketing.

The staff appreciated seeing the goals illustrated.  Often, we are so focused internally in our department that we forget the importance of looking at what other departments are doing.  After viewing the infograph, the staff had a much greater understanding of all of the different areas that were were focusing on within our organization.  Again, it was a great way for everyone to easily see all we had accomplished and get departments excited to implement their new plans.

As we continue or efforts this fiscal year we will look at how we can use this as a tool and expand upon it for future use.  Have you tried a similar approach?  What has worked well and what suggestions or recommendations do you have? Care to share an infograph you created?

 

 

Infograph design by Haley Cox.

How to Use Your IMC Skills to Change the World, While Getting the Experience of a Lifetime

September 2, 2014 by

This is a guest blog post by IMC graduate, Angie McCrone.

After graduating from the IMC master’s program at WVU in December 2013, I was determined to embark on a new adventure. I had spent five years running a nonprofit that helps artists with developmental disabilities sell their work, and although my work was rewarding, I was ready to pursue something on a global scale. I wanted to make a difference in the world of global health.

My reasons for being passionate about global health are pretty intuitive; I grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa and have several family members in the medical field there. My whole life, I heard people refer to my home as the lost cause of Africa, a place they refer to like it is a county, not a continent. They would explain that there were too many problems, and pouring US dollars into it wouldn’t help.

Fortunately, they were very wrong. The more you learn about global health the more you realize that calculated and researched strategies make big differences! Consider the eradication of polio in India or Botswana’s achievement of bringing HIV transfer from mother to child down to just 4%. These are incredible and measured results of global health initiatives that save millions of lives.

So it is obvious why I have a vested interest in global health, but I would argue that all marketing and communications professionals should care deeply about global health efforts. Communications professionals have the talent and know-how to change the world! More than any other profession, marketers have an incredible ability to change behavior. This is such an incredible skill that the global health field desperately needs. Think of your impact if your communications expertise were used to change risky sexual behavior or drug use in areas with a high HIV prevalence. These actions can be linked directly to lives saved.

Not sure you believe me? Consider the opportunity from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation that offers marketers an opportunity to make a difference each year at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. Their Cannes Chimera Initiative asks marketing and communications agencies (see the video below) to design campaigns that solve global problems.

After realizing my strong desire to be a change-maker, I applied for a Global Health Corps (GHC) fellowship. In April, I was offered an opportunity and adventure of a lifetime, working as a Global Health Corps fellow and Marketing and Development Associate at the Global Health Delivery Project at Harvard University.

GHC pairs young professionals with global health organizations that are looking for innovative solutions for solving some of the world’s most difficult health challenges. Our class of 128 fellows is placed in Burundi, Malawi, Rwanda, Uganda, Zambia and the United States.

GHC fellows come from varied backgrounds and are placed in a wide range of positions and organizations. To help them navigate the new landscape, GHC partners local fellows with an international fellow. As communications professionals, we know how important having a local perspective is to developing genuine communications plans.

Global Health Corps fellows have an incredible opportunity to get valuable experience working in international markets. Since most of the organizations have limited resources, fellows also have a chance to take on large projects that they may not be able to do otherwise. It would be extremely difficult to get this level of real world training at most entry to mid-level positions.

Also, there is no need to have training or global health education to apply to GHC. The paid fellowship includes a two week global health training institute at Yale University, quarterly professional and personal development retreats, and a closing retreat in East Africa.  Fellows can also opt-in to have an advisor in their field of choice, and the GHC alumni and staff are dedicated to our current and future success.

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My Nepalese co-fellow, Sudip Bhandari (right) and me at a cocktail party for GHC supporters at Chelsea Piers in NYC

Do you want to contribute to a better world? Are you thinking of joining the movement toward global health equity?  Consider applying for a Global Health Corps fellowship, or working for a global health organization. Even if you’re not willing to dedicate your career to global health, communications volunteers are always needed at nonprofits, and pro-bono work from a marketing firm on a single communications campaign can save millions.

So go on, marketers! Go change the world. Isn’t it great to know you can?

About the author:

Angie McCrone is the Marketing and Development Associate for the Global Health Delivery Project at Harvard University and a 2014-2015 Global Health Corps fellow. Previously, she managed the marketing and sales of a nonprofit that promotes the creative work of artists with developmental disabilities. She completed her undergraduate degree at the University of California: Santa Cruz, majoring in studio art and minoring in literature and received her master’s degree in integrated marketing communications at West Virginia University.

L: www.linkedin.com/in/angiemccrone/

T: https://twitter.com/AngKMc

Global Health Corps is building a community of change-makers who share the common belief that health is a human right. Their mission is to mobilize a global community of emerging leaders to build the movement for health equity.

The Global Health Delivery Project at Harvard University is an interdisciplinary collaboration between Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Business School. Launched in 2007 under the guidance of Dr. Jim Y. Kim, Dr. Paul Farmer, and Professor Michael Porter, GHD is a response to the knowledge gap that occurs between medical discovery and clinical application in low resource settings. Their mission is to build a network of professionals dedicated to improving the delivery of value-based health care globally. To join one of their professional virtual communities visit: ghdonline.org

Breaking Down the Tao of Social Media Marketing with Mark Schaefer

August 20, 2014 by

Two years ago, I was a first year graduate student looking to find a sense of professional purpose. With four classes completed, I decided to make the journey to Morgantown, WV to attend the annual INTEGRATE conference. Any obstacles that stood out in my mind to get there were outweighed by the knowledge I gained when I departed. One presentation, in particular, still stands out in my mind as being a pivotal moment in my journey to finding my professional return on influence.

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WVU Alum, Mark Schaefer took to the stage at INTEGRATE on June 2, 2012  to present key points from his book Return On Influence. With a Klout score of 75, Mark knows more than a thing or two about social media, blogging, and marketing. In addition to his successful Businesses Grow blog, Mark is an accomplished author. His widely popular book The Tao of Twitter has received high praise as being a  #1 Best Selling Book On Twitter.  In the past two years since the book was first released Twitter has drastically changed so much so that Mark revised and expanded The Tao of Twitter. 

If you have not seen Mark’s presentation, I highly suggest watching it before reading the questions and answers presented below.

Mark was gracious enough to answer a few questions I had in regards to what has changed in the Twitterverse, best practices for live tweeting along with the realities of social media marketing.

Return On Influence: The New Realities of Power and Marketing on the Internet

Long: At the WVU INTEGRATE 2012 conference, you highlighted key points from your book Return On Influence. Two years later, have the realities of power and marketing on the internet changed, or have they stayed the same?

Schaefer: I would say that everything I talked about indeed has come true, perhaps even more rapidly than I could have imagined. Big agencies and small are creating influence marketing departments. Being an influencer is becoming increasingly lucrative (even I am starting to make some money in this area!). And new measurement platforms are emerging.

I think the dynamics of acquiring power that I talked about in my book and my speech are the same. Yes. I called that one correctly! : )

Long: For graduate students starting to provide social media consultation services, what advice can you offer?

Schaefer: The biggest mistake I see is the people enter this space without any real marketing experience. Before you go out on your own, get a marketing job and learn about the broad spectrum of activities before focusing on social media. If you are a social media “hammer” and everything is a nail, you would be doing a disservice to both youself and your customers.

I also think an exposure to statistics is a must. You don’t have to be an expert, but increasingly, marketing insight is coming from big data and math. You need to know enough about it to ask the right questions.

If you are going to go out on your own, be prepared to be broke for two years. Build your personal brand through blogging, videos and public speaking.

Long: With the rise of live event tweeting, what best practices should both presenters and attendees be putting into practice?
Schaefer: For presenters, be sure to include your Twitter handle and the event hashtag on all your slides. Embed tweetable moments [– short key points — on slides to make it easy for the reporters. Don’t go too fast and make your slides available after the event.

For reporters, don’t get so involved in the tweeting that you miss the presentation. Proof read everything before you tweet. Remember that a tweet has the same legal weight as a blog post or other online article so you need to be fair and accurate. If the speaker says something controversial or inflammatory, remember that you might be held legally accountable as the person sending out the tweet.

Long: If you could only follow ten people on Twitter who would make it onto your feed?

Schaefer: If I could only follow 10 people, they would all be my customers. Twitter is an amazing opportunity for marketing insight, and I would not want to miss a thing!

Long: You recently revised your widely popular book The Tao of Twitter. How has Twitter changed in the 2 years since the book was first released? 

Schaefer: So much has changed in the Twitterverse since I wrote the first edition. In fact, I really had to consider whether Twitter is still the hub of human connection it was when I fell in love with it many years ago. Does Twitter still have a heart or is it just another broadcast channel?

Specifically, there have been four powerful new developments driving Twitter:

• Twitter has experienced explosive growth, finding new audiences among younger and older users as well as new fans globally and corporations. Twitter is being used in so many creative new ways we could not have imagined just a few years ago.

• It has matured into a public company with a responsibility to shareholders. This has altered its strategy and how it relates to its customers and fans.

• Twitter has developed innovative advertising programs that are accessible to businesses with nearly any budget. But many businesses don’t understand the unique features of these programs.

• Twitter has become the de facto “second screen” for television, providing the channel of interactivity for live programming. This is a role that is now driving many of its strategies. It has also driven the hashtag (#) into our everyday culture!

Make sure to follow Mark to keep up with his latest endeavors in the social media field.

Blog
Linked In
Twitter

If you have read one of his books, let me know what was the biggest lesson that you were able to realize out in the social media field?

 

Adding a Little Something Extra to the IMC Plan

August 7, 2014 by

Shortly after I finished the intro. class I began putting together a plan so that departments at work could create marketing plans and start measuring results. I thought it would be a great way to help justify departmental money spent on marketing, help jusitfy the overall budget for the Graphics & Marketing office, and be a great learning experience for the students. It all sounds great, right?

The back-story

I should clarify that the department I’m in works with 10 marketing plans on a yearly basis and that marketing plans stemmed from the branding project, which was a very challenging experience for our staff. I wanted to use the marketing plans as a way to get buy-in and have departments feel like they owned their marketing efforts. The office I’m in did a lot of marketing “on behalf of departments” but not a lot was being done to measure those efforts.

The process was a year in the making. The staff and I spent countless hours teaching and working with departments so they would understand marketing and how to measure it. The roadblock that I ran into (and is one of the most challenging areas for many marketing professionals) was how to get people invested. As I said, countless hours went into education and preparation so the staff felt like these were goals they wanted to achieve, but we were still having trouble with buy-in.

An attempt at buy-in

What I failed to realize is that I continually called the goals “marketing goals.” I had spent years getting departments to use the graphics & marketing office, so “marketing goals” meant “the marketing department.” It was challenging to get ownership and help departments keep track of their goals. I often heard, “Just tell me what you want me to write so we can finish this.”

As a result, we’ve made many changes to the marketing plans.

  1. We don’t call them “marketing goals.” We talk to departments and say that we want to work with them on their departmental goals that marketing helps them achieve. It’s a small change, but it helps them feel ownership of the goals they select. They’re not just thinking about Web site traffic, but sales and attendance numbers.
  2. We’ve added a small chart to the marketing plans that allows departments to keep track of their progress throughout the semester. This way, departments know where they stand and how close they are to achieving their goals. There are four check-in meetings a year and departments will bring their numbers to the meetings with them. Again, a small change, but putting their progress into the plan helped them keep track of everything.   We noticed that spreadsheets were created to monitor the goals, but after the first check in or two they were missing in action. Additionally, they didn’t have to contact us to get progress updates.
  3. This year we’re only updating the plans once. In the first year of implementation there were a lot of changes to the marketing plans (and because I want to make sure they’re pretty, we create them in InDesign, which means only the marketing department can update them). However, with a full year of putting the plans together and a full year of implementation, the plans are designed as fillable .pdf documents that departments will have and be able to update four times a year.

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These three tips are small, but have made a difference in our organization. What we are doing is always a work in progress, but each year we make changes and get closer to finding what will work for our organization. In a few weeks we will have an infograph of the goals we’ve achieved and I will share it when it’s ready. If you’re interested in seeing how this was developed for a student union on a college campus, check out the materials on my Web site.

Have you added anything to your marketing plans to keep you on track? What has worked well?

Realize Your Dream Year by Turning Your Passion into Profit

August 4, 2014 by

You should focus at least an hour a day on the gift that you were put on this earth to fulfill.

Stop waiting for the moment.

Nobody is going to care about your dream unless you care more.

Establish you voice.

Partner with key influencers.

Ask for help.

Hire a professional designer.

Start marketing your dream.

Grow your business.

Turn your passion into profit.

Repeat steps if necessary. 

_______________________________________________________________________________

 

book-cover

After reading Ben Arment’s book Dream Year, I have concluded that only ten steps are separating you from realizing your dream.

What is separating you from your dream is your excuse list.

Do not let fear take up precious space in your mind.

Put down the remote.

Trim down your social calendar.

Take the shot that will transform your life.

Wayne Gretzky famously stated, “You Miss 100% of The Shots You Don’t Take.”

To kickstart your dream year, I am going to be moderating a Tweet chat on August 5th at 1PM EST. Please use the hashtag #dreamyear to join the conversation.

If you are looking for a tangible resource that will help you take the first step forward, I highly recommend picking up a copy of Ben Arment’s Dream Year. To learn more, visit http://dreamyear.net.

Origami Storks.

August 4, 2014 by

Johnson & Johnson wants millennial moms- and all parents- to know the company promises to remove controversial ingredients from its products.

To be shared primarily through social media, the message first took flight in Johnson & Johnson’s “Our Promise” video. In the video, the company responds to consumer concern by showing company employees writing their promises on small pieces of paper to be folded into origami storks. A Japanese legend holding that origami birds signify “a hope granted and a promise fulfilled” is what inspired the approach.

Johnson & Johnson’s origami birds represent the company’s new promise to consumers.

As part of the campaign, expect the release of more than 40 videos featuring educational messaging as well as humorous content.

Johnson & Johnson’s storks carry a message. The question is, will the target market receive it?

-R

 

Is being a verb a good thing?

July 28, 2014 by

Fifteen years ago you couldn’t “google” anything, you used facial tissue and lip balm, you photocopied your paperwork, you put a bandage on your boo boos, and you digitally altered photos to reduce red eye and crop out your exes.  You definitely didn’t use Kleenex and Chapstick, Xerox anything, wear a Band-Aid, and Photoshop your new headshot.

So, when did these products become (what some are calling) verbified or treated as common nouns and is it a good thing?

I want you to think, as a marketer, do you want your company name to become a verb or common noun?  Some think that is the highest honor bestowed on a brand.  Why wouldn’t they? Your company name is so integrated into the social culture that it is synonymous with the product you are selling.  Millions of people say your company name everyday.  Great marketing, right?  Well…it might not be everything it’s cracked up to be.  For example, it pushes a company to be a bit more strategic with their efforts.  Imagine your company is synonymous with a certain product and then you want to expand your product offerings.  You must now decide if you would like to utilize the current brand image of the products you’ve been selling in order to push the new product, or create a new product line under a different name.  When Clorox picked up Hidden Valley they didn’t want their company associated with ranch dressing, so they kept the name Hidden Valley.  Can you imagine the public reaction with an ad campaign selling “New Ranch Dressing by Clorox.” Yikes.

When product names become common nouns or verbs it leads to genericide, which is a nightmare for the legal department.  Essentially, it puts your product name into a position where it no longer has any legal or trademark protection.  Now, the product concept, imaging, and name that you’ve worked so hard to develop has no legal standing.  Trademark expert at Georgetown University, Rebecca Tushnet, said the risk of genericide is so low, the benefits outweigh the risk.  Is that a risk that you are willing to take?

Perhaps one of the most apparent verbified companies is Google.  How do they feel about it?  They might not be in love with the idea of Google becoming synonymous with searching the internet.  According to the New York Times, they have created wording on their policy page that says “Google” is not to be used as a noun or verb, only as a adjective.  They prefer you say “Google Search Engine.”  However, dictionary.com defines Google as “searching the internet for information.” So you can google without using Google.

What do you think?  Is it in a company’s best interest to become a common noun or become verbified?  Is it the highest honor, or a detriment to a company’s brand image?

Build Your Influence With Micro-Content

July 14, 2014 by

I finally joined the Twittersphere (@Julie_Long_)! In my short time on the platform, I have complained to a brand, participated in my first tweet session, and most importantly followed others. As I continue to learn and navigate the intricacies of tweeting, I am reminded by the fleeting nature of communication. With just 140 characters at your disposal you have to tweet succinctly. Less is truly more. What I have found to be both an opportunity and a curse is that Twitter forces you to think differently about how to construct a call to action. The idea of finite content is not a new idea by an means. The gray area surrounds the integration of content across channels. Everyone can tweet and tell a story, but only those who truly understand integration will be able to realize a return.

One person that seems to understand finite content is Gary Vaynerchuk, CEO of Vaynermedia, who is a proponent of “micro-content.” The micro-content revolution might just be around the corner. Thankfully, I joined Twitter, which affords me the opportunity to “micro-blog.”  Being able to build campaigns around the “micro” and the “macro” point of view will help to make me a diversified IMC practitioner.

Not only do you need the writing and strategic mind to master the art of micro-content, but you also need the confidence. Fortunately, thanks to Twitter, I learned about a free webinar that will help you build your online confidence.

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Make sure that you sign up! Gary Vaynerchuk just happens to be one of the presenters and you will be a first hand witness to his dynamic presentation style!

Absolut Advertising.

July 7, 2014 by

Yet another book calls my coffee table home. Welcome to the family, Absolut Book.

Ever since Bill Oechsler mentioned the rich history behind the award-winning Absolut Vodka advertising campaign during his “Creative Strategist | Strategic Creative” session at Integrate 2014, I’ve been tempted to add the book to my Amazon cart.

I finally caved. And I’m glad I did.

Absolut Book. is a visual reminder of how well-executed, simple ideas can endure. The campaign’s nods to cities and film are just some of many creative Absolut applications. Cultural references communicated through an essentially three-formula ad consisting of bottle+Absolut+[other term] seem endless.

rome

I appreciate brands that consider their audiences smart enough to connect the dots in ads- i.e., a Vespa-disguised vodka bottle…

chicago

This one took a few seconds to grasp- something the Absolut Vodka creative team worried about when they designed the ad.

rosebud

Citizen Kane fans, rejoice.

 

Want a look at some of the ads that never hit print? This book has some of those “Absolut rejects,” too. As the author explains, there are a variety of reasons such ads haven’t received approval.*

When do campaigns reach the point when they become cultural fixtures in their own right? And does anyone else miss Integrate?!

-R

*I’ll let you discover those when you read the book!

On a World Stage

July 3, 2014 by

My siblings and I grew up playing soccer. For us, every weekend was packed with tournaments and practices.  I was probably the least athletically inclined one out of the three of us, but I always found immense joy watching or playing soccer.  For me, the 2014 FIFA World Cup is no different.

The FIFA World Cup is a totally unique experience, especially for Americans. First, the United States is an underdog, which provides a new perspective. Second, with the exception of the Olympics, where else can you find an event that caters to the world’s population? Soccer players leave their club teams behind and compete against team members to honor their country. It is simply an amazing event.

The 2014 World Cup has garnered a great deal of social media popularity, with CNN saying that it is becoming the biggest social media event in history.  So far, 90% of the world has been engaged in these social media conversations.  Soccer superstars have taken to Twitter to promote the event and garner media attention.  Cristiano Ronaldo, the second highest paid athlete in the world, comes in at number one in The Top 15 Social Networking Superstars of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. It doesn’t stop with just athletes.  Teams are creating hashtags for individual games so those that cannot watch the event live can be kept update on the action.  The United States Men’s National Team coach, Jurgen Klinsmann, wrote fans a “get out of work” note to show support for the USMNT, which has appeared on Facebook and other social sites.  (In my opinion it was well deserved after the comments he made about the team prior to their first game.)  The USMNT is taking a page from the marketing playbook and has gone to great lengths to unite the US fans by telling stores of all 23 USMNT players on their YouTube channel.  So far, the use of  social media has spread far and wide, but the strategies of each platform have (so far) been very thought out.  The graphics and storylines for each area fit the medium, but are always reinforcing the overall message of  “One Nation. One Team”.  I always find it disappointing when you see regurgitated information across multiple platforms that doesn’t fit the language or context of the platform.  So far, IMC plan for the 2014 FIFA World Cup has appeared effective and very well thought out.

Media and social media presence around the World Cup has been amazing, but the World Cup provides unique challenges for marketers.  The first issue lies with the very thing that makes the World Cup so successful.  The World Cup is a world event, which makes advertising space much for valuable.  Additionally, there are no commercial breaks during the halves.  Each half is 45 minutes of continual play, which means there is only ad time before the event, after the event, and during half time.  With the events in Brazil this year, there have been water breaks added to games at the discretion of the referee when it is warmer than 86 degrees F.  The trouble with banking on ad space during this time is that it is not guaranteed.  So, much of the advertising time is eaten up by official sponsors and companies with a budget large enough to get in the game.

Even with limited ad space in the World Cup and a small advertising budget, Puma has figured out how to get attention without sacrificing their entire ad budget.  If you’ve watched the World Cup you may have seen several players with mismatched, surprisingly colored shoes.  Puma has released Tricks – a pair of one pink and one blue shoe.  They’re very noticeable on the feet of several world-level athletes such as Mario Balotelli and Yaya Touré.  The shoes have many advantages, but the largest one being the media attention they’re getting during the World Cup without paying for the ad space.  Viewers can look at the shoes for a minimum of 90 minutes and Puma’s ad budget is saved for advertising after the World Cup, closer to the back-to-school time frame.

The infographic below was released in early June, but provides a great starting point for an analytic look at the World Cup so far.

Offerpop’s World Cup Infographic:

World Cup Infographic

A sporting event at this level has many advantages and disadvantages for marketers.  The world attention placed on the games have provided viewers with a rich and diverse social media and advertising experience without sacrificing the integrity of the sport.  Even if you’re a marketer, but not a soccer fan you can appreciate the experience.

What have been some of your favorite 2014 FIFA World Cup tournament moments on or off the field?


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