ENOUGH

Have you seen this spot from Nissan? I love it. It’s funny and it’s simple. They’re taking their new innovative feature and making you think how effective it would be in other situations, and they do so in a very comedic manner. It gets the point across and brings it home in a way that is relevant for many people. Enjoy!

Agency: TBWA/Chiat/Day Los Angeles

Did you enjoy this commercial? Why or why not?

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“One team, one dream:” Marketing & Creative

Image via BreakThroughRetreats.com

I’ve spent time on both the marketing side as a product manager and on the creative side as a copywriter, and I must say that the pull between creative and marketing usually ends up on the side of marketing. I get it – marketing knows the objectives, the sales numbers, the competition, they know the industry data and they know the product or service being marketed. I think in most marketers’ eyes, the job of the creative team (the copywriters, the photographers, the graphic designers and art directors, etc.) is to understand the creative execution that the marketing team is thinking of and then to deliver it. This is not only false, but it’s also a slap in the face to a creative who has taken years to go to school and develop their craft.

Developing creative pieces should be a truly collaborative effort. First of all, anyone that you hire -especially your creative team- should be given a thorough understanding of your brand and your brand’s values. Any meeting that is held discussing brand goals and updates should include your creative team. They should be integrated enough into the business side of things so that they get it. This is fundamental to a better working relationship between your marketing team and your creative team.

Now for working on projects. Have a conversation with your creative team the goals of the piece that you are are developing. Show them what the competition is doing and present them with any other relevant data that may increase their total understanding of the project’s purpose. Discuss your must-haves and then hand them the baton and allow them to take all of the nuggets of information that you have provided to produce the creative. You should never just tell the creative team what to do and leave it at that. Having a true exchange will allow the creative team to express their thoughts, ideas, opinions, concerns, etc. And if for no other reason but to get the opinion of another person, I think you’ll find this exchange to be very helpful.

Creative people tend to see the world through a different lens. You’ll never know the levels to which you can take your marketing materials if you don’t allow your creative team to be well, creative. Of course you know what the ultimate goal is for the brand, but help them to understand that, too. The marketing team should also take the time to understand the creative process. This will help work flow tremendously so that marketing can understand how last-minute requests affect the creative team and make the necessary adjustments in their system. Once everyone is onboard and adopts the “one team, one dream attitude” the quality and innovation in work will improve and the work flow and project management will improve as well. The result will be better for the brand all around.

Do you ever notice a disconnect between the marketing and creative teams? How do you think it affects the brand?

Is your marketing season-appropriate?

Image via singanewsongmusic.blogspot.com

Autumn is just around the corner and companies are gearing up to implement their fall strategy – but what does that strategy entail? It shouldn’t be just a switch to warmer color tones. I think most larger companies get how to adjust their strategy from season to season, but it may be something that startups and smaller companies don’t realize the importance of.

Changing your strategy from season to season means changing your messaging. Consumers’ way of thinking change from season to season, and that is completely understandable since we as people are presented with different issues and concerns from month to month. And that’s what you and your brand or product is here for – to solve a problem for the consumer.

When planning your strategy for fall months (or any season, since your fall plan should’ve been done at the beginning of summer), ask yourself, “How is John Smith’s behavior going to change during the fall from what it was during the summer?” A big part of catering to your target audience is anticipating their needs, factors that may change those needs and what their needs will become. Once you understand this, you’ll have a better understanding of what it is that you should be saying to your audience.

Use your new understanding of your consumers’ needs in the new season to drive your marketing strategy (which includes content, social media, PR, advertising, etc. etc). Figure out how you can clearly and effectively communicate the benefits that your product or service offers during that particular timeframe, without straying from the brand’s identity. This type of season-relevant, benefit-driven messaging strategy paired with tasteful, season-driven graphic and merchandising updates should help prepare your brand for a successful season.

How does your marketing change from season to season?

To auto DM on Twitter or not to auto DM? That is the question.

Twitter offers a helpful tool that allows you to automatically send new followers a DM. Most people use this service as an opportunity to say “Hello” and “Thanks for following” and others use it as a chance to enlighten people about other platforms on which they are present like Facebook or a website. And then there are others who use the auto DM as a chance to make you get, do or buy something. It is this last use of auto DMs that I find to be counterproductive for the opportunity that Twitter presents to engage with your consumers.

Many people question whether or not you should even send auto DMs to new followers. Some find it impersonal and annoying, while others see it as a great way to start a conversation, and as a common courtesy. I agree with both sides; however, so long as you’re not using it to MAKE people do something, I don’t see too much harm in it. So, I won’t say yes, send auto-DMs and I won’t say, no, don’t send them. It could always be something that your brand tests for a while to see if it has an impact one way or another. If you do choose to send them, here are some things to consider.

Set goals for what you want your DM to accomplish
You only have 140 characters to say what you have to say, so decide before you start crafting your message, what it is that you want to accomplish.

Be conversational
Twitter is a laid-back, social atmosphere and your message should be crafted in a way that fits that atmosphere.

Be grateful and reciprocate
That new follower did not have to follow you. Let them know you appreciate the opportunity to engage with them. And if you follow back all of your followers, let them know that it will be an info exchange and not just you pushing tweets out AT them; moreover, let them know that you’re excited to hear what they’ve got to say.

Be subtle
If one of the goals of your DM is to get users to like your Facebook page as well, don’t force it on them. Make a subtle suggestion or help them out by letting them know that they can also join the conversation on Facebook.  Do not make your brand sound gimmicky or make the person immediately regret following you by trying to get a sale or by sounding too pushy. Remember, social marketing is not push-push-sell; it is an opportunity for true relationship building.

Don’t be redundant
Again, you only have 140 characters for this touch point. Don’t repeat information that the follower can find in your bio. If your website is already in your bio, then let them know that they can also feel free to join you on Facebook, YouTube, or wherever else you have a presence. Don’t say, “We love rainbows and want to share pictures of them with you” if your bio says, “Lover of rainbows.” People already know that Twitter is for sharing. Make sure you’re making the most out of this opportunity.

At the moment, I don’t send auto DMs on behalf of my blog. Ironically, I find them to be impersonal and at the moment, I don’t have any other information to provide in a DM. I choose to say “thank you” to my new followers via one general tweet after I’ve accumulated a few.

Do you send an auto DM to new users? Do you think they’re helpful at all?

Why you shouldn’t post just to post…and how to avoid it

Image via First Novelists Club

I’ve dropped the ball. I went a week and didn’t arrange for a peep to be heard from Red Gal’s. My apologies. Life just gets in the way sometimes. Certainly I could have just posted something – anything to say I posted and to draw traffic. However, I’d never misuse my readers’ time that way and I hope that you all wouldn’t either. That’s why I’d like to take this opportunity to tell you why you shouldn’t post just to post, even though we’re all telling you how important it is to post regularly (life is full of contradictions and hypocrites, ain’t it) and then I’d like to share some tips on how to avoid this no-no.

  • Chances are if you’re not even interested in writing it, no one is going to be interested in reading it. I get it – ideas are running low, but traffic is, too OR ideas are running low and traffic is pouring through and you HAVE to keep up the momentum. It’s not worth it! Always, always, always remember quality over quantity.
  • Your audience has a life. Don’t waste precious minutes of your readers’ time by posting and pushing un-enthused content. Writing a ‘I-just-need-to-get-something-up’ post could make a very bad first impression for new traffic or could deter repeat visitors from returning.
  • Content isn’t something you do for the sake of doing it. If this is your mentality, then it is likely that people are just scrolling over it and not getting anything from it. If you don’t have the passion to write, don’t.

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I am a firm believer in posting new content regularly, so here are a few tips to consider when you hit a wall or life gets in the way and you can’t find real time to craft copy that your readers can appreciate.

  • Share content from another site. Either reblog or write a blurb on your site and direct them to a visit-worthy read elsewhere. It’s nice to give others some shine every now and then and who knows, they may even return the favor one day.
  • Enlist guest writers. A new presence and voice on your blog can be refreshing for readers and your site.
  • Share something fun (and at least semi-relevant) like an image or video that only requires a simple caption. This can show your readers that you’re not “all-work and no-play” and free you up for a day or two.
  • Don’t forget the magic in sharing old posts. While it would be nice, everyone doesn’t have time to post new content every single day. On your off days, take to social media and push out old posts that are still relevant.

What benefit does it serve the reader/engager? – Is the post really necessary?
Are the cows coming home?
– Is this a rewrite of yesterday’s post?
Will the reader/engager understand it? – People tend to talk/write in circles when they don’t have much to say

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