Scott Greggory, Chief Creative Officer
Do you require your staff to use a standardized email signature, or is your company being represented by as many different signatures as it has employees? Different sizes and fonts? Different contact info? Different icons?
Does your news release contain real news? Or will the producers and assignment editors who receive it discard it as PR fluff? Tom Waniewski has 30 years of news and media relations experience under his belt. He’s now the principal of Waniewski Associates. He says, “If you're doing PR or coming from an advertising agency, the media's skeptical eye is always looking for what's in it for the ‘pitcher.’ They can spot a good story from a publicity stunt a mile away.”
For many marketers, defining their company’s Unique Selling Proposition can be tough. But what can prove even tougher is living up to that USP. Your Unique Selling Proposition is your promise to the marketplace.
In their Sept. 28, 2006 online issue, AdAge notes that, last year, Americans under 25 chose the Internet more often than traditional entertainment channels, like TV, radio and movie theatres. Podcasts are a favorite format for that younger demo. The medium is enjoying “15 to 30% year-over-year growth” according to Murgesh Navar, founder of Podbridge. There are several attractive aspects of Podcasting for marketers as well, including low production cost, flexibility and immediacy. While the 25 and under crowd often seeks out premium content (network TV shows, for instance), companies can create audio or video Podcasts for their target audiences - customers and prospects.
Want to build credibility with prospective customers? Use testimonials. If you know of current customers who would be willing to boast about your company in writing, put them to work: ask each of them for a testimonial letter. In most cases, people are more than willing to vouch for companies they enjoy working with, so don’t be afraid to reap a little of the goodwill you’ve been sowing.
It’s one of the many great lines from the movie The Godfather: “Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.” While “enemies” may be too strong a word to describe your competitors, keeping track of what they’re doing makes good business sense. Subscribe to their newsletters. Collect their collateral and print ads. Monitor their websites and broadcast advertising. Doing so will give you insight into their sales and marketing strategies, and keep you up-to-date on their product offerings.
Once you’ve finalized your marketing pieces - whether it’s a direct mail or post card campaign, a brochure or series of print ads, TV spots, emails or materials in any other format - share them with all of your employees.
A classic example is the music industry. Record companies give CDs to radio stations in hopes they’ll play certain tracks, generating interest in - and sales of - their music. Radio benefits from the free programming and giveaways.
What would you rather read about in this space: our company’s most recent accomplishments, that shiny new plaque I just accepted at our industry’s annual conference, and the new headquarters we just built? Or would you prefer to spend your valuable time reading something that’s about you and your needs; an article that will help you get ahead or improve your company’s marketing?
With the advent of satellite radio, web-based programming and, of course, the iPod, consumers no longer need to rely on traditional radio alone for news and music. There’s still a big audience to reach via the AM and FM bands, but listenership is shrinking so if you decide to advertise on radio your spots need to be even more effective.