Tag Archives: NPL

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

You should wait for the new iPad

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Image representing iPad as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

While observational research should be used to help make important research observations about changes in the market it can also be used to help make informed daily decisions.

We at Newman Partnership use a lot of Apple products. We have yet to find a use for the new iPad in our daily work life, but that doesn’t mean that you haven’t found a use for it in your company. And we wanted to chance to weigh in on how this product before next month. Many people are considering buying an iPad or waiting until a new version becomes available. It is my opinion that Apple will launch a new version with possible forward facing camera within the next two months.

This is not wishful thinking but using simple observational techniques to make an informed decision.

Simply looking at the store advertising at Apple, combined with the current offers that are being emailed, one can generate a strong hypothesis about what is coming soon from Apple.

Screen image of the Nano

Image of the Nano from the Apple store in Charleston

In these images you can see how the screens in Apple’s stores show a new diagonal light reflection technique on their existing in-store marketing pieces (you can almost see it in the examples). But this reflective technique is not used on the advertising on the iPad, which would seem to be either a mistake in the marketing of Apple products or that they are awaiting releasing new marketing material until a new product was released.

Image of the iPad from the Apple store in Charleston

Newman Partnership, Ltd. isn’t trying to say that Apple’s tablet is better than other tablet products on the market, or that you shouldn’t buy an iPad if you have dire need for one. But that this is simply an example of using observational techniques in other areas of daily decision-making and how it can benefit others.

If you have other examples of observational research then I encourage you to write or post your comments here at Newman Partnership, Ltd.

“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.

Conversations with a MA Marketing Class – Their take-away (part 1 of 2)

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The London Metropolitan UniversityLast week a member of the Newman Partnership, Ltd. spoke at London Metropolitan University. The topics included working in digital marketing and brand equity.

At the end of both of my lectures, one of my favorite professor’s noted some key things to take-away from the lectures.

For digital marketing my old professor reinforced my warning that digital marketing is a growing and developing field making it a very competitive work place. And how it is important to go online and begin using the tools and monitoring capabilities that are already available to students for free. These tools include: Wayback Machine, Google Analytics, Google Keywords, Google AdWords, LinkedIn, Xing.com and others. And how you need to not only know how to use these services but also to analyze the results. Secondly, that for many people it is truly important to find a field that they are passionate about. Because when it comes down to it we should at least enjoy and feel rewarded by the work that we are doing.

In the brand equity course, where I spoke about umbrella vs. individual branding, my professor friend summarized that there is no “easy answer” when choosing umbrella or individual branding. That each case is decided on an individual basis where the strengths and weaknesses of both options are weighed when looking to launch a new brand or product. Because sometimes brand equity can be hurt a firm if it is too closely related to it. And that individual branding can create safety for the firm if the products brand equity goes South, as it was with Sunny Delight.

Tomorrow we will post what the take-away was for the Newman Partnership, Ltd.

We have a singing Tweet, thanks to Orange.co.uk

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Last week the Newman Partnership, Ltd. turned a tweet into a song using Orange’s singing tweetagrams project. This is fun little service that Orange has provided to the entire twitter community.

Social media + Brand Demonization

Image by Intersection Consulting via Flickr

While this latest endeavor from Orange may not generate much in the way of brand loyalty of even brand awareness, it is a fun little tool. It is an indirect way to enrich the customer experience while expecting nothing in return, a gift (as Seth Godin describes it).

However, companies like Orange and other international brands must start looking at how to use Social Media more effectively.

With the ever evolving ability of globalization destroying barriers to market entry. Globalization does cause a larger amount of cannibalization in the already scarce mobile phone environment. Social media can be a way to win back and convert new mobile users to your side.

For instance, this morning we read an article stating that Orange has no Twitter presence, which is obviously not entirely accurate. But in the world of blogs and social media, it no longer matters if it’s true or not.

If enough people read a blog and believe that the author knows what he or she is talking about then they will happily jump on the band wagon and find problems with a company.

As companies to try to compete in an ever growing social network, it will become more difficult to get their messages across to their audiences. It could be in the near future that each country has it’s own successful social networks and companies will be able to target audiences using these methods.