Marketing Tag

Urban Outfitters' Kent State FiascoLast week we talked about DiGiorno's careless Twitter mistake. This week in faux pas news was Urban Outfitters, who sold a "vintage Kent State sweatshirt" dyed with what appeared to be patterns of blood splatters and bullet holes. (I doubt anybody a reminder why this displayed incredibly poor taste, but just in case, the reason millions took offense was the 1970 Kent State massacre.) Of course, Urban Outfitters said the resemblance to blood and bullet holes was due to the unique dyeing process and natural wear of the fabric, but backlash was swift and severe nonetheless. Pictures of the garment and angry comments poured across social media and the story made headlines just about everywhere. You know the saying "there's no such thing as bad publicity"? It's a lie. In the world of new media, publicity isn't about how many people are talking about you, it's about how people feel about you. And people aren't feeling warm fuzzies about Urban Outfitters right now.

Book CoverAs someone who has become adjusted to digital marketing, having grown up with the web, it feels out of place when I begin to look around my physical settings and engage with marketing efforts since so few of them seem to reach me on the same level as I’d expect online. As someone who has applied digital marketing strategies for various projects, it was easy to become wrapped up in the methods frequently used by others. It was equally easy to dismiss traditional marketing methods (namely… print) compared to what was possible online (thanks to flexibility, features, and tracking) until I began to realize that much of what is done in the physical space actually applies to much of what happens online (in a complimentary way). I think of it similar to how we say “don’t judge a book by its cover." We are quick to dismiss traditional marketing methods if we have been conditioned to the online method because of cost and efficiency. What can traditional advertising teach us about online advertising?

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.

While the terms brand and logo are often used interchangeably, your logo is just a small part of your overall brand. Your brand is anything that represents your company and your logo is the single image that customers identify you by.  If you take time to design an effective logo your customers can identify your company in minutes just by seeing the image.  Some great examples of effective logo designs are  McDonald's golden arches,  Nike's Swoosh and Amazon's smiley face. While you cannot expect your logo to imprint your brand in just a few days,  the design you choose could be sending the wrong messages to the right customers. Here are five of the worst messages your logo could be sending your customers:

Legacy seems to be a very popular name for marketing firms, or so I found out when I googled "marketing legacy" to try to get ideas for this blog post. Lyric Marketing's blog tells me in order to leave a good legacy I have to be authentic, provide valuable content, show my personality..I'm sure all these things are true but they really don't help me understand what that legacy thing actually is. The legal guys say it's a gift of personal property. The dictionary guys say it's anything handed down from the past. Christians seem to write a lot about leaving a good legacy for their children. Environmentalists talk about leaving a legacy that includes a healthier planet. eHow even has an article about leaving a good legacy through your writing. I once wrote about how marketing karma could help or hinder your business. I think I'm going to have to solve this "legacy" question by giving you a list of questions to ask yourself about your product or service. (And to be fair, I've answered them as well)