Author: Bonnie Harris

I'd rather work with millennialsI suppose it's rather trendy for people my age (I'm right on the cusp of Gen X and Baby Boomers, if you're being generous) to complain about the millennials, or GenY. In fact, I even promoted a book about that once.  They're narcissistic, they're not loyal, they can't grow up, they won't leave home blah blah blah. Frankly, that hasn't been my experience. Since I can't afford super "seasoned" workers I've worked mainly with this generation since I started my business. Many of my clients are in their thirties and I've had a few in their late twenties. Given the choice,  I actually would rather work with millennials. I'm not saying that I've done extensive studies, or that my comments here are anything but empirical observation. OR that I don't have some really fun people I work with who are in the 40's, 50's, 60's or even 70's. I even had a 92-year old client  who was a total blast. HOWEVER,   if you let me stretch the age range just a tiny bit further into the mid-thirties, I would say IN GENERAL these are my favorite people to work with. Here's why:

A business's online presence has never been more paramount to its success in gaining and retaining customers. Consumers search for and share, post, pin and Tweet every interest and action online on a daily basis. It’s important for your business to  be present on all those online marketing channels and also maintain a cohesive image across all platforms.

By Jenny Martel Last week I talked about how moms DON'T want to be marketed to. This week I'll be positive (I promise) and tell you that I prefer two tactics, education and humor when firms market to moms. I want varied portraits of different child-focused families and I want to know how to get there. I want to see a child-prioritized domestic universe featuring an intelligent mother making good, information-based decisions. Use a unique format to educate me about your product and how it will assist me as a mother. I’ve seen very few educational commercials that capture my interest. Perhaps this is because we are "multi-minders" as Stephanie Holland mentions  in a post at she-conomy.com  Holland says that we  “multi-minders” are unlikely to be ever pay full attention to just one thing. In fact, we're quite likely to be concurrently engaged in several other things. According to Holland, the best place to reach a mother’s full attention in online with interactive, informative marketing on websites. I love what Joy Geduza says  in her post on PPC Performance in the Wax blog. Basically, Geduza thinks intelligent and educational marketing starts with an intelligent marketer. I think this is really important when you market to moms. We're smart, not frazzled! (Okay, we're smart AND frazzled.) She suggests starting by placing your product in the right place with the right keywords. Then continue building with the right sort of evidence at the right moments, especially with trust-building information like convincing data and testimonials.   What's a good example of a great commercial, in my humble opinion?

By Jenny Martel

You and Your Family Will Be Infested With Scary Germs and Die (unless you buy this product.)

Companies love to market to moms with this theme. The Bounty Duratowel is the commercial that first comes to my mind. The ubiquitous innocent baby is devouring spaghetti in the messiest way possible off the vulnerable surface of her high chair. Vulnerable, people, that surface is being invaded by the enemy. This is one of my least favorite  tactics used to market to moms and I'm sure other mothers share this opinion. Or there's another popular tactic to market to moms I call the “Octopus Mom". She needs eight arms to keep all her balls in the air. This is the mom tearing down her suburban staircase in a business suit while carrying a laundry basket. She has an iPhone plastered to her ear and there is a pot boiling over on the stove. Children, one of whom has just ridden his muddy bike across the cream-colored Tibetan rug, are yelling and running about the house. Insert product that is going to help you, Octopus Mom, deal with your chaotic, multi-tasking life. (Personally, I think that ancient ad from Calgon "Take Me Away" started this whole thing.)   Fear-based advertising reacts urgently on the mom psyche. The fear of not getting everything done, not protecting your family from bad things,  the fear of having your sweet domestic solace invaded by the greatest foe of all, THE GERM. So why are these themes such a mainstay when advertisers market to moms? 

I was browsing through MarketingProfs' extensive content looking for some blog ideas when I read a comment by the very smart Ann Handley who said a certain book was the one that "changed the way I approach marketing—from mostly outbound to mostly inbound—and shifted my thinking about the nature of the buyer-seller relationship." I've always had a certain amount of frustration with my industry for believing so fervently in the power of commercials and outbound marketing tactics to actually sell something. I've always believed that commercials and outbound campaigns work because they either start, support or accelerate an ongoing conversation. I also believe that the customer we all want - the one that not only comes back time and again, but recommends us to others - typically believes they've made a decision about selecting our product or service. In other words, they haven't been sold.  New marketers believe in the power of attraction rather than promotion. And this isn't a new idea. There's an organization that has never competed, never spent a dime on public relations, never had a sales campaign and sells all of its products at cost. Nearly all members remain anonymous. Despite all this, it has become one of the most influential organizations in the world in the fight against alcoholism and drug addiction. [caption id="attachment_5368" align="alignright" width="150"]Even the AA Big Book cover is devoid of message. Even the AA Big Book cover is devoid of message.[/caption]

I admit, it's been a while since I had to create career pages in LinkedIn and generate job postings.  When I went to do so for a client recently, I was shocked by the hoops LinkedIn has created to try to get paying customers. It's one thing to generate revenue, I've got no issue with that. It's quite another to generate hours of mickey mouse work for someone trying to create a career page. Here's how my story goes.

Note: This does not apply to any of my Wax clients so if you're reading, don't get paranoid, K?  wax marketingI was talking to a PR colleague of mine about client management yesterday. There are many, many things that can screw up a marketing/communications campaign but lack of trust is probably one of the biggest obstacles to good results. You might think an intangible like trust wouldn't have such a strong impact, but it does. Perhaps it's due to some new age universal energy factor, or maybe it's The Secret, but if you don't trust your marketing or PR person you're going to get terrible results. Every time. I promise. Here are five non-new agey ways in which trust plays a part in your campaign results.
  • Lack of trust often results in micromanaging. When I'm nervous about a project, I tend to micromanage my staff. Business owners often think they "know marketing" because they see it all day long. But micromanaging your marketing person has a huge negative impact. Your marketing or PR person loses confidence when constantly questioned. And without confidence, it's impossible for them to be at their creative best or pitch your story with enthusiasm. The best people are always second-guessing themselves all the time anyway. Add your own partly-uneducated helicoptering and you will circumvent many of the things you hired them for in the first place;  experience, passion for the project and organizational skills. 
  • Lack of trust often results in impatience.