Bonnie Harris Tag

If you've been following the Wax blog you know that during the month of December I posted one step per day to help build your 2015 Marketing Plan. marketing ebookEach step was meant to require no more than 15 minutes. I also recently wrote about why February is also a good month to write your marketing plan so don't feel bad if you don't have time in January. Some of you emailed me asking if I could put these steps together in an easier format. I'm announcing the How to Write a Marketing Plan in 15 Minutes a Day eBook, available for free now. This eBook contains all the steps you'll need to write a sound marketing plan in 15 minutes a day, over the course of 20 days. In less than a month you'll have a plan and concrete tactics that will guide your marketing efforts for the next year. The eBook covers not just strategy and tactics, but also explains:
  • Ways to identify and communicate with your BEST customer

Lots of people bemoan the fact that February often rolls around before their business marketing plan is complete. I'm here to stop the guilt once and for all. In my mind, February is the BEST month to write a marketing plan. Here's why:
  1. Most operational plans are not completed until the end of January. In order to create a successful marketing plan, you've got to have measurable goals or objectives that align with the overall organization's goals. This is impossible to do UNTIL you are thoroughly educated on the company's plans for the coming year. Taking time to review the overall goals is important to building a marketing plan with the correct focus. 
  2. Your competitors often jump out of the starting gate too fast. In other words, it's not a bad thing to wait and see what your next best competitor is doing in terms of new promotions or launches. Watching and waiting can help you fine tune your own marketing strategies to best the competition after their direction is already set.
  3. Just as your business creates new goals, so do your target customers. If you're creating personas as I think you should, January is a great time to trend watch, particularly if you're a consumer brand. Some things come into fashion and others go out, and you can spend your time doing surveys, re-engaging in social media and really understanding the personal goals of your target audience. Knowing your best customer really, really well might mean understanding how they're "turning over a new leaf" and incorporating into their plans. (By the way, if you want a good primer for finding your best customer, here's a SlideShare presentation I did last fall on the topic.)

InstagramWe are constantly bombarded with images. TV advertisements, social media content, email messages or print articles—we're constantly having words and images thrown at us. But using the right images on the right platform can help your visual marketing strategy work.

Fast Facts

If you aren't using visual content consider this:
  • According to WishPond, 90 percent of information transmitted to the brain is visual and visuals are processed 60,000 times faster in the human brain than text.
  • WishPond studies have shown that posts with visuals have 94 percent more page visits than those which don’t.
  • Studies conducted in June of 2014 have shown that 23 percent of young people cite Instagram as their favorite social media platform, according to AdWeek.
  • There are 300 million accounts on the photo sharing app, according to Instagram.

Getting Started

James J. Hill CenterThis morning I gave a presentation at the venerable James J. Hill Center in downtown St. Paul. Beautiful place!  The Center has created a new business program based on a similar, quite successful program in London. My talk was one of a series of free lectures open to the public. I am passionate that businesses understand and know their customers  really, really well. It's not enough to be personal with your customers. These days you have to get intimate in order to find them and keep them. I've embedded the slideshare below, but here are the main points I hope my audience walked away with this morning.

IMCI'm always amazed at the ability of PR people to accomplish things in about a third of the time it would take the rest of us. But I think it's a necessity. News moves practically at the speed of light these days. Trying to stay ahead of that cycle (which is what public relations professionals have to do) takes a giant amount of energy, alacrity and mojo. I was incredibly honored to be asked to speak at the PRSA International Conference yesterday. True to form, the staff asked me to present an overview of Integrated Marketing Communications, or IMC. In an hour. I did a webinar version of this talk in August, and the general consensus after that session was they wanted less "what and why" and more "how to." Makes sense right? There's very little time to look at the pretty train and enjoy the comfortable seats. No my friends. The train has left the station and PR people are leaping on the roof, dashing into the cars and at times hanging onto the caboose with their fingertips.  I love that energy! I'm not entirely sure I delivered what they needed yesterday. Technology was not on my side and I probably tried to present way too much information. (Here it is on Slideshare if you're interested) It's hard to say. Here's what I'm really hoping they took away from all my mumbo jumbo:

By Kate Connors, Senior Account Manager & Social Media Strategist at Media & Communications Strategies

Although I was born in the 80's I consider myself to be a full-blown 90's child. The TV show Wishbone™ was where I first developed a love of history. If someone uses the word “bop,” my mind immediately goes to my first Bop It™ game and I want to yell back “Twist it – Pull it – Flick it!” When parents complain about their kids having too many stuffed animals, I cringe and think about the multiple boxes of Beanie Babies™ living in my attic that I continue to hope will be worth something one day.  But the 90’s weren’t just about all the must-have tows and wonderful TV shows. They were also a time when future PR professionals like me had the opportunity to learn a thing or two about bringing clients success. Here are a few  PR tips we learned from 90's culture and icons.

  1.  Giving a Face to Your Brand is Crucial . We fell in love with the Olsen twins on Full House, but in reality that was only the beginning of their success. They truly owned their brand and developed movies and products that fit their target audience. In today’s world, where most interactions take place online and not in-person, personalizing and humanizing your brand is crucial to success.

I was on the phone with a friend of mine this week who was frustrated because one of her clients was pulling all their money out of one medium, to sink it into another.  I wonder when businesses will finally get it that there isn't a silver bullet, single item that will market them to success. What works is the mix...and although it's frustrating to realize that you have to juggle several balls at once these days for marketing to stick, it's what you have to do. It's really not that hard, and it doesn't take as much time as you think. People often ask me how I can come up with a good blend of marketing channels so quickly. Well, part of it is just experience . But another part is a quick rundown I do when I'm working with, or pitching a client. You can do the same thing if you're educated about your business. 1. First, I find out about the target audience. After they tell me "It's everyone aged 8-80! Everyone loves our product/service/etc"   I remind them that reaching this target market would probably require a billion gajillion dollars. So...who buys their product most often? Where do they live? Boil it down into a quick description of a couple of target segments, something like this: "Moms, aged 28-45, who live in the Minnetonka area, work part-time or stay at home and like crafts. They like Facebook, Pinterest and 50 Shades of Grey (or is it Gray?)"