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Marketing Insight to Grow your Business

Integrated Marketing Summit Lacked Realistic Takeaways November 18, 2008

I attended the Integrated Marketing Summit last Thursday. I signed up for the same reason every company decides to go to a conference- to learn some applicable tips from the big dogs and to get my networking on. I mingled and made some solid connections during the networking mixer but I must admit I was a little disappointed in the content of the conference.

The Summit website said that we should expect to hear “the latest thinking on integrated marketing, presented by high profile dynamic gurus, with great examples and stories to share from a national and international perspective.” The speakers were impressive, no doubt- VP of Communications at Mars, VP of Marketing at Coca-Cola, along with Creative Directors from The Martin Agency (masterminds behind the UPS whiteboard campaign) and Gigante Vaz Partners. However, these companies’ marketing budgets are no noubt impressive as well. Sure, it’s interesting to hear how a company like Mars built buzz through TV interviews and social media for a campaign that involved building a giant Statue of Liberty M&M and sailing it in the NY Harbor. But, what about that story is applicable for a start-up, boutique marketing agency like mine? It seems that I wasn’t the only one who shared this sentiment. By the time the third presenter stepped down from the podium, everyone at my table was discussing how jealous they were of the speakers’ budgets. Rather than vigorously scribbling down new, exciting ideas of how to incorporate integreated marketing in their businesses, people actually started to look a little deflated. I realize that the speakers intended to inspire us with success stories but they failed to inject their tales of marketing grandeur with some good old-fashioned, realistic takeaways. And, that’s why the Summit missed the mark for me. It was a classic example of neglecting the needs of a market. At least the sushi and the conversations I shared with fellow Atlanta professionals were memorable!

 

When Your Writer Can Spot a Dangling Participle Blindfolded but Doesn’t Know What SEO is- You Have a Problem December 7, 2007

Every company knows that they must keep an eye on the competition. Before starting my business, I surfed around a good bit to check out some established freelancers’ websites. Upon visiting my competitors’ sites, I was shocked at what I saw and I came to one surprising (yet delightful, since it sets me apart) conclusion- most writers don’t know a damn thing about marketing.

I gasped at home pages that read like endless sales letters, filled with 8 syllable words only their geeky, grammar-obsessed friends would find engaging. One page I visited literally required 2 minutes of scrolling to reach the bottom. Who has the time for that? No one. And that’s the key issue I noticed with many writers’ approach. They get lost in a literary fever, eager to dazzle with their impressive vocabulary, but they forget about the reader’s need for quick, informative copy that points toward a clear solution and, thus, they lose the sale.

If they somehow manage to maintain your attention through 2 minutes of scrolling and you decide to give them a shot, expect more of the same when they write copy for your company. After all, if they don’t even know how to market themselves efficiently, how are they going to market your business?

It doesn’t matter how many books they have published or how many awards they have won for creativity from their local writer’s circle- if a writer doesn’t understand how to get into the heads of your target market and speak to them in a way that encourages them to act, they will not be able to help you grow your business. Plain and simple. (Yes, fellow writers, I know that was a sentence fragment but it helped illustrate my point. Now go back to conjugating verbs.)