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Posts Tagged "marketing"

Communications Planning

on March 21 in Creative Partnering, Foundations | 0 comments

At Arthur Andersen, communications planning was part of my day-to-day activities. And I was trained to plan communications. Our marketing department had a distinct way of doing this. (In fact, it was at Arthur Andersen that I received training on The 7 Habits.) To this day, I apply communications planning to strategic communications for service-based clients.  But I’ve learned not everyone has the patience–or ability or framework–to PLAN their communications efforts. For example, fast thinkers sometimes don’t plan their communications effectively. They expect everyone to be operating at their speed. They forget to paint the picture and bring an audience along step-by-step. They have a tendency to gloss over things or leave out elements as they discuss their vision. (I admit, I fall prey to this, too, but mostly when speaking.) They might also be overlooking opportunities to make their materials work for them. In other words, create trust or drive buyer action. Or, they attempt to achieve too much in a single communications piece. You can only move a prospect along 2 steps at a time with any given piece. And you must align communications so that you have the right materials for every stage. This is at the heart of communications planning. And avoiding the other pitfalls. We all forget sometimes that the purpose of written communications is in fact communication! That means we must step outside ourselves and see our writing as our audience would. (If this is difficult, outside perspective is a big help.) It’s not just about the writing but about the structuring of the material and information so that it is palatable and powerful. People need guidance on how to read things and what is important. Not everyone can do this visually.  That is, lay it out in a way that makes absorption of information seamless. This is part of the value that a strategic marketing communications consultant provides. It’s not just about semicolons and em dashes. Even people who are expert communicators–especially in the realm of speaking–or marketers themselves may be missing out on opportunities to really communicate and engage their audiences in ways the audiences need when crafting written materials. As a strategic marketing communications consultant, I find the blind spots that you have and...

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Providing Logos and Images for Print Projects

on February 14 in Content Marketing | 0 comments

When providing logos and images for print projects, there are a few things to keep in mind. Not all logos are created equally. We are looking for Vector files or HIGH-RES images only. Here’s a brief rundown so we can efficiently move forward with design for you, and meet your deadline. Logos and Images for Print Projects That Will Definitely Work (aka the Ideal): Vector files, which can be scaled. These are created with mathematical formulas vs. raster files, which have a fixed number of pixels on a grid. Vector files will have clean lines, even when blown up, and will not lose their image quality. Look for the following file types that signal a vector file: .ai .eps .PDF* *Not all logos derived from PDF files are ideal; for example, PDF logos created from JPGs or GIFs – low resolution images inside PDFs are simply using the file as a “container document” which does not change their image quality. Other ways to tell if you might have a vector file: You can’t open it. Zooming in very high (>500%) on the PDF file does not seem to change the logo image quality (logo does not look blurry or pixelate) Note: It is best to screen for what will definitely work vs. try to assess what might work based on the criteria below. When in doubt, request an .ai or .eps file from the designer who created the image or the company’s marketing department and/or download from your partner portal or branding site. We are happy to obtain logos that are readily available on the web for you; many of the logos that indicate a status and are granted to certain channel partners only must be provided. Logos and Images for Print Projects That Might Work: Raster images that are at least 300 dpi. This is especially important for printing, as 300 dpi is ideal for most printers. Lower DPIs will result in lower quality prints, and sometimes, unintentional shrinking. To be a possible candidate for print, look for your image/logo to meet the following criteria: Has a .psd file extension OR Has a .jpeg, .jpg, .png, .bmp, or .tiff file extension WITH a file size greater than 1MB...

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Leadership vs. Management: Why It Matters to Marketing

on December 4 in Creative Partnering | 0 comments

For some reason, I woke up this morning with an awful memory of the most negative, hard to please, fast-paced-without-logic-or-specialized-marketing-knowledge-or-metrics boss I’ve ever had. My pervasive thought was: “You, sir, are the antithesis of a leader.” The internal dialogue continued. “Although you may be deemed by some as a good manager, mostly from the ability to be hard-driving and cost-conscious (aka cheap), to me that’s not management at the level of leadership.” With that said, I brushed off the negative feeling and got on with my day. Next up: the cursory morning email check. I usually stick to opening the emails that will most impact my schedule but today’s SmartBrief on Leadership caught my eye. Oddly enough, two posts’ headlines, “Generosity is the real marker of a good boss” and “Sometimes slowing down is the best way to reach your goals,” seemed to summarize to my beef with the former boss perfectly. Essentially, when you care about connecting with people (a requirement for generosity and extraordinary leadership according to Dan Rockwell, The Leadership Freak) and are mindful about your speed and the unnecessary pressure you create as a result (especially when you’re operating with the “Ready-Fire-Aim” approach Allan Milham advises against), you can lead more effectively. Why do I care about leadership? Why am I even writing this post? I’m a strategist first, marketing person second. You can’t have effective strategy execution without the kind of capable leaders defined in these articles. Drilling down, all the marketing effectiveness and external brand strength in the world won’t help (it will actually be a waste of money) if the culture (as defined by leadership) does not support it. Finally, a culture can retain competitive advantages–one of which can be leadership!–by being generous with people and calculating about its efforts (thanks to the power of that pause). This is why I look holistically at businesses, to help them maximize all their efforts–through aligning all these aspects. And why I advocate having executive teams that are committed to building brand and culture at...

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Talking Turkey: Content Marketing with Jasmine Holmes

on September 8 in Content Marketing | 0 comments

Ever wondered why we love Thanksgiving so much? It has to be the leftovers. Let’s face it, on any other day, a turkey sandwich is nothing to get excited about. But the day after Thanksgiving, it’s sublime.Like Thanksgiving turkey, content is more delicious when served in small portions the next day. Traditionally when creating content, we start with smaller pieces (a blog post or newsletter) that we hope to someday string into something larger (an e-book or white paper). It’s a little like throwing left overs into a pot hoping they make a stew. Sometimes it comes together and sometimes you end up ordering pizza.Treat your content like a Thanksgiving turkey instead. Create the larger piece first hand, then carve it into smaller, bite sized pieces. I’m amazed how much content can be generated from a short e-book—blog posts, newsletter articles and infographics—all of which can be broken into smaller pieces and shared on social media. –Jasmine Holmes, 910 West Check out the latest news from our friends at 910 West. Related posts from TDZ: How to Create Content Out of Thin Air Do You Need Technology (aka Marketing Automation) for Content Marketing? Reasons You Might Start with Content Marketing vs. Social Media...

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Why Hire a Strategic Marketing Consultant?

on January 25 in Foundations | 0 comments

Business owners, internal marketing stakeholders, and entrepreneurs might benefit from hiring a strategic marketing consultant, but often aren’t aware of the circumstances that would prompt such a decision. Also, there is a lack of understanding about the problems a marketing strategist and consultant can solve, resulting in leaders asking “Why hire a strategic marketing consultant?” To answer this question, consider the following with respect to your organization: Are you creating enough demand for your offering? Are you attracting the right clientele and prospects? Are you confident you are investing (both time and money) in the right marketing activities? Do you have the appropriate levels of marketing expertise on board to succeed? (Do you have both strategic marketing and tactical execution covered?) Are you able to measure and respond to market changes and/or trends in your client and prospect bases? Is your marketing activity providing the results you expect? Does your culture mirror your brand so that no matter who interacts with your company or staff they have a consistent experience? Are your online and off-line marketing activities coordinated and well-designed to work in tandem to achieve your sales goals? Do you have clearly defined, compelling differentiators that result in prospects choosing your services over the competition? If you answered “No” to any of these questions, you might consider making strategic marketing a priority in your organization.  If you are an action- and growth-oriented leader who recognizes that turning those “No’s” into “Yeses” will make a big difference in your marketing effectiveness, let’s discuss the plan of attack.  Unfortunately, too many leaders believe they must “go it alone,” when it comes to marketing strategy and feel isolated in their roles, but when they hire a consultant, they reap the benefits of collaboration and innovation. Want more? Sign up for our...

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