Category Archives: Digital Marketing

IABC Morning Managers Meeting

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Seattle IABCI found myself staring at the Cafe Ladro, the coffee bar at the bottom of the Bellevue Expedia building at 7:00am this past Tuesday morning and asking myself a number of questions. I asked, “Why did I leave my warm bed at 6:00am to come listen to someone speak about corporate identity?  Do I really care about corporate identity as a small business?” And most importantly, “Why would I bother to read the menu, when I know the answer this early is ALWAYS a 2 shot espresso!” The answer to all of these questions was that I had been invited to attend an IABC Morning Managers Meeting on Company Culture: How to define it, defend it and liberate it. I was excited, I had the chance to listen to Kristin Graham, vice president of engagement and communications at Expedia Inc.

If you haven’t yet had the opportunity to listen to Kristin Graham speak then I strongly suggest that you find her at the next KOL panel and take a seat. She is dynamic and excited about corporate culture, which is more than most professionals can say. She is also a natural public speaker who is very intelligent and sometimes gets a little over-excited: she may curse in the middle of a presentation. The latter is my personal favorite. But all of this is a reflection of how passionate she is about her work.

During her presentation she made two points that stood out to me. The first was that “the culture of an organization is embodied by the people working there.” When you are looking for a way to define the culture, you need only to look to your colleagues. This a point that many of us boutique agencies fail to grasp, and why so many of the creative agencies tend to go under or completely change after the founding partners retire or quit.   A statistic states that almost “90% (of businesses) are out of business at the end of five years.”  While this statistic applies to all business in general, it isn’t hard to imagine this happening for much the same reason across many industries- no one has defined the businesses culture. It is safe to say that any boutique agency that is interested in outliving  the senior management needs to be memorable to clients as an agency that has more than just the best people. It needs to develop a corporate identity that will not only interest future clients, but also entice and inspire new employees.

The second thing that Kristin discussed in her presentation that made me sit up and take notice was that culture is the set of behavioral patterns that is encouraged or accepted by leadership. In essence, it is what a company will hire or fire over, which means when you are defining what your corporate culture is, do not misrepresent yourself or your company.  When you begin to develop and define your company’s culture, start by asking yourself that key question.  And realize that corporate culture is something that evolves with time and it isn’t something that you always find on a poster.

In our next post we will provide some simple definitions about what corporate culture is and provide some examples of well-known cultures.

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What was I talking about? Oh right, global marketing.

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Newman Partnership, Limited has been hitting the lecture circuit with the new some experiences and concepts. We have been talking to CEO’s and directors of marketing all the way to new students.

Currently, we are on our way to Seattle to get away from all the work that we have been doing. But last week one of our team gave a speech, at the Capital City Club about what he has learned about global marketing, and how European marketplaces differ from US markets. Sloan Newman has worked in several areas of the marketing mix including; advertising, digital marketing, events and public relations, and he has a brain that never stops looking at marketing and how different cultures and products advertise to different audiences. He is going to share some of his thoughts and insights from his recent speech to a board of different senior marketers.

I am now on my way as a professional speaker, in all honesty, I laughed at my friends when they joined the Toast associations when we were in school. But I have been told that I have a decent voice, and I do like to engage with audiences. When I was asked to discuss what was going on in the digital market place in Europe, I thought that it would be a simple discussion about how Europe has different attitudes towards website design. However, when I walked into the designated hall I saw that my sign for my discussion said, “Global Marketing.” With four years abroad working in marketing, I am aware of different attitudes towards marketing and advertising, but I am not qualified speaker on Global Marketing. But if I have learned anything from the mentors in my life it is that if you aren’t fully aware of what is going on then you ask the audience and ask them to fill in the blanks.

In this case, I did try to reinforce some important differences that exist between England, France and Germany and how those differ between the US and each of these countries. However, I have included some of these differences below as well as the audio from the meeting. I would appreciate any insight that you guys could offer.

In the United Kingdom, the messaging is direct and is usually used with aspects of emotional appeals.  The United Kingdom is very stringent about how and what can be said in their advertising and at what times of the day certain messages can be carried on their televisions.  And with Ofcom, the independent regulator and competition authority for the UK communications industries, they can pull and fine companies who provide improper advertising.  English humor is very specific and can easily backfire if not done properly.  As of this week it is a growing place of opportunity for agencies that specialize in product placements in television. The integration of mobile phone marketing is also much more effective than in the US.

In France, visualization is a key aspect to French marketing. Much like Japan, advertising in France is more about the visual imagery more than the messaging.  This is truly a market where sex sells.  And creativity is growing in the digital community due to large investments in infrastructure.  While France was slow to embrace the possibilities of Internet, it is now ranked 24th in the world to be ready for the Networked World (Hutchinson, Harvard).

Germany is the market place that I have found that most reflects the United States.  They are English friendly and much of the print and above the line advertising marketing techniques do follow and mirror American techniques. That means that informational selling points and rational decision-making are a common technique for marketing in Germany.

I have also included the audio from the discussion, which you can download here. speech_08_03_11

Transmedia campaign concepts

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When I first began working in Europe, my first position was that of New Business Assistant at a global PR agency based in Kensington, London. One of my first projects was for a new new business pitch (as opposed to new organic) for a large alcoholic beverage conglomerate.

The problem was that one specific brand had become affectionately known as, “The wife beater of beers.” While compiling the background research for the pitch, I came across info that a sister agency had handled the advertising rise and fall of Sunny Delight.

Wanting to be an overachiever, I called up the head of new business and asked for the agencies notes and experiences. He told me that he had actually worked on this campaign, pitching and was one of the original team members.

We became friends and one day he gave me some of the most important and brilliant advice on creating new new business. He said, “When I stated off in this agency, we didn’t really have a strategy for generating new business leads or a worldwide name for ourselves yet. To get noticed, we made a list of companies that we really wanted to work with. Then we developed entire campaign ideas behind this notion and would send it to the contact with a letter stating, ‘Hey, we don’t work for you now. But this is the quality and level of creativity that you could expect from us if we did work for you.”

In that spirit of brilliance, I have created some ideas for companies that could use Transmedia marketing to audiences to generate bi- or multi-lateral communication and advertising.

Apple – “What does the Apple do for you?” concept

Concern – Apple is a market leader and an industry changer, but it has been met with a slew of bad press as of late. From how it handled the loss prototypes to recent student posting a supposed email conversation between her and Mr. Jobs.

IdeaAbove the line advertising campaign that asks the question – “What does the Apple do for you?” – This would be a 3 part advertising/response campaign – using YouTube, TV, Twitter and Facebook to promote the ad. Invite real people to respond about what Apple does for them. The second stage would be monitoring responses and messages on social networks. The third part would be to launch a response campaign, much like Old Spice, but better. Responses would be read from industry leaders and specialists in fields that people responded in, and then the professionals could provide some of their own personal insights. These would then be broadcast over YouTube, Twitter, Digg and Facebook.

Ladurée – Youth centric print campaign for London

HeavenConcern – Ladurée macaroons are some of the most expensive treats in the world, and worth every penny. A Paris based company, Ladurée has almost always focused on exclusivity, much like all the products in the Groupe Holder portfolio. But Ladurée macaroons are still not TOM (top of mind) for macaroons in the Great Britain, and especially not with young people. A key concern with most companies are how to infuse your product with your CLC (customer life cycle).

Pêché mignonIdea – An above the line print and digital advertising campaign.
Create a renewal of cool and luxury by aligning images of Ladurée with music lyrics or humor that, much like Ladurée, has stayed the test of time.  As an emotional appeals advertising concept, it should also play to humor. The transmedia aspect could include a digitally aggregated question, “What is your favorite macaroon?” Generating interactions with audiences and providing possible content for further advertising. It could also provide important material for deciding if Ladurée wanted to accept influence from audiences about what flavors to develop or bring back the following season.

“Put your money where your mouth is,” or “Shut-up and drive!”

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It seems unfair for an agency to tell people that they create digital marketing communications without having something of their own to show that. That is why we have tried to create a clean, direct website for clients to see who we are and what we do. Too often we see many of the large global agencies let their websites run wild with too much information and too little real content. That is why we have taken a simple mentality to creating the Newman Partnership, Ltd. site. It tells the simple truths; this is who we are and what we do.

Step 1: What do you stand for?

Audience, SWOT and Maslow

We began developing our layout by thinking about what defined the Newman Partnership, Ltd. We are a 10-year-old company that was created by Lloyd (Larry) N. Newman, a public relations pioneer in issues management and crisis management and was a former partner in a global public relations firm. Our primary focus is digital marketing communications and social media. Our other areas of specialty include market research and public relations crisis management.

As a boutique agency we rely on a large network of talented people that we can bring in on a per-project basis. This means having some of the best independent minds who know their specialty better than anyone and who work from different countries around the world. it also means world-class talent at a fraction of the cost for the client.

Nielsen Norman Group

the Nielsen Norman Group

To reflect this in our website we created a message that was youthful and a color scheme that is inviting. While the website has several fun aspects it still creates a professional cleanness for companies who want to work with us.  We also considered layout for effective content from the F-Shaped pattern for web users.

Step 2: Are you talking to me?

Once we had defined who we were, and how we wanted the rest of the world to see us, we needed to focus on our audience. Our target audiences include automotive, arts, technology, fashion and health-care/cosmetics groups looking to maximize their digital presence while trying to decrease their costs.

When we begin working on any project we start with the same question, “What is the core of your business? And how do you want to let people know that you are there and get them to notice you.” Because Newman Partnership, Ltd. is not only about getting noticed but also making a lasting impact.

Step 3: What are the rest of you thinking?

The Newman Partnership, Ltd. website

The Newman Partnership, Ltd. website

A smart director always buys his competitor’s products. When designing our website we also looked at what our competitors are using. We created an abridged version of the FCB model and how other boutique advertising and communications agencies defined themselves via their websites.

Agencies tend to define themselves using either emotional or rational reasons. Since we consider ourselves a highly creative agency, we chose to focus our website on a combination the emotional appeals of working with a smaller agency with the rational appeals of working with an agency that has a powerful professional history.

Newman Partnership, Ltd. website is now online, and we are available for projects and new clients.

Coming Soon!

Next time we will discuss the first 3 things that you need when you start creating your website.

Flash and HTML – Who will be using your website?

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Having looked at a very brief overview of Flash and HTML, we wanted to shift our focus to looking creating a website design for your needs. Starting next week we will post a series of step-by-step instructions showing how to use Flash templates to create a simple design for your website.

When creating a design strategy for a website, we always ask ourselves the same questions: “Who will be using your website?

  • Are they shopping?
  • Are they a younger generation looking for videos, music or animation?
  • Are you going to use large amounts of data space for Hi-res images?
  • Is your target audience under 30, or over 55?
  • Will people be accessing your website through multiple devices (as iPad and iPhone do not support Flash)?

What do you want your website to accomplish?

  • Are Clicks Per Page (topping Google’s search list) the most important thing?
  • Are you considering linking your website to a search engine for Pay Per Clicks? Especially because a 2009 comScore study showed, “total worldwide search market boasted more than 131 billion searches conducted by people age 15 or older from home and work locations in December 2009, representing a 46-percent increase in the past year.”
  • Are you looking for business or trade relationships?
  • Do you want your clients to return multiple times or do you want them to go from your site to another?
  • Does it need to reflect your company’s corporate or boutique identity?

What is it that you don’t want your website to do?

  • Would you allow third-party advertisements?
  • Is there a certain target audience or stigma that you would wish to distance your company from?
  • Are you planning on creating your website with an agency or a web developer?

Newman Partnership, Ltd. does tend to lean towards promoting the idea of development of a landing page that supports both Flash and HTML. But for most of us of us the cost of creating both websites isn’t worth investment.

Wix.com template

Flash Template from Wix.com

If you are a small company on a limited budget then you might think about buying a template package from someone like Wix.com (Flash) or Templatemonster.com (HTML, CMS, Silverlight, e-Commerce and Flash).

HTML Template from TemplateMonster.com

HTML Template from TemplateMonster.com

Flash users – Musicians, restaurants, creative and advertising agencies, clothing designers, movies, games, illustrators, performers, retailers, local small companies, multinational companies and IT specialists.

HTML users – Retailers, trade or business to business companies, local small companies, law firms, multinational companies, IT specialists, Musicians, creative and advertising agencies, clothing designers, illustrators and performers.

There is no one clear answer of who uses which format. It is a case-by-case basis for what best fits your needs. But if you start by answering the questions above it might make the choices simpler.

Continuing with this post, NP, Ltd. will be showing how to use a template to create a Flash website. We will be using a simple template from Wix.com with some tricks on how to get the most out of your website.

Flash and HTML – S and W of the SWOT

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We thought that with the ongoing debate over Flash and HTML websites that we would take a minute give a very quick look at the strengths and weakness of both Flash and HTML when deciding to develop a website.

It is important to note that many companies do have websites with a CMS platform, CoreMedia and others, which have extensive HTML programming that reflect aspects of Flash. That being said, we thought that it might be good to see what all the fuss is about.

When deciding on a website you need to ask yourself the same question that every marketing person with a brand or client asks themselves, “Who is our target audience?” Because that answer will give you a starting block for developing and creating a website that will get you noticed. And it will make you start thinking crictially about how to be accessible by your audience.

Newman Partnership, Ltd. has created a chart that shows some of the general strengths and weaknesses for both Flash and HTML. We have been infromed, by our creative designer, that in the HTML Strengths row it should state that you can also add video, sound and image expansions.

Strengths and Weaknesses: Flash vs HTML

Strengths and Weaknesses: Flash vs HTML

Newman Partnership, Ltd.’s experience is not strictly subject to programming and writing coding, but we are specilized in developing strategies that help with being the most impactful for targeted audiences online.

Newman Partnership, Ltd.’s next blog post will review questions that we ask when designing or updating a website. And who is using which format for creating websites.

Conversations with a MA Marketing Class – My take-away (part 2 of 2)

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Social Media Life - Workstation

In the spirit of what to take-away from a class, I thought that I would add what I took away from my opportunity. First, the students are smart, eager and interested in learning but students don’t just want to be spoken at, they want to be engaged. Both of my lectures began with questions, “What umbrella brands do you know?” “What individual brands do you know?” “How many of you engage in more than one type of social marketing a day?” It took a few more questions, but the students finally did begin to participate. Nothing was worse in school than sitting through an entire 60 -90 minutes of a professor going on and on about text that no one was going to remember. But once I got the class talking, we had a very interactive a lively discussion about branding and the same with working in digital marketing.

Secondly, I learned that students at University are not a connected as you would believe. At the beginning of my second  lecture I asked the students, “How many of you are using more than one social media network a daily basis?” No one raised their hand. This was a little upsetting because this is where real world experience comes into play. We can all work in a day job that we simply go to and then go home from. But if you really want to rise to the top of your peers, then you must be willing to go the extra distance. We all know this, but I think that at times it is easier for us to get stuck in a rut and forget that. We could think of a new opportunity to promote our clients better, but instead of having brainstorming seasons at the end of the day most of us would rather head-out to the pub at 5:15 pm. That isn’t how you win awards, unless you client is in InBev and you are doing some secondary/participatory market research. I know that I have been guilty of this in the past, and, in England, what I learned is that Stella Artois really is known as the ‘wife beater’ of beers.

But the most important thing that I have come to realize from my recent trip is that there are opportunities everywhere. That you never know whose help you might need in the future, and it is better to keep as many contacts as you possibly can. My second lecture was for a professor who was my advisor during my dissertation, and we never really got along. But I have since learned that if I want to find a way to conduct Market Research on Transmedia Advertising, then he will be a key player to making that happen. So much of the world is about making and keeping relationships that you obtain along the way.

I have been asked back to lecture again, so if anyone has any ideas of what to speak about then I am more than eager to hear from you.