Freddy Guitron's blog

Put Your Brand Up In Lights In Times Square For Only $600!

May
15
A highly effective marketing technique that many MarCom pros may not be aware of is the ability to place your company or clients' names up in lights on a huge electronic billboard in New York City's Times Square for only a few hundred dollars.   <a href="http://www.prnewswire.com/products-services/">PR Newswire</a> provides a service that will guarantee your photo is placed on their huge electronic billboard during rush hour for $595 and then provide you with a photo of it that you can use for marketing purposes. You have to be a member, which costs a couple hundred a year, and pay for a copy of the photo, another couple hundred, but for around $1,000 you get a very powerful marketing tool.   We have used this service a couple times very successfully for our client the Brand Activation Association. The first time was a few weeks ago when the 102-year old association changed its name from the Promotion Marketing Association (PMA) to the Brand Activation Association (BAA). The announcement was being made at their annual Marketing Conference in Chicago to several hundred members and attendees. We arranged for the Times Square photo shown here congratulating them on their new name to also be shown on the huge screens in the meeting in Chicago. The attendees were very impressed. At the same time, we distributed a news release and photo about the name change to the key trade and business media and received great coverage among thousands of their target audiences.   The second time we used it was to congratulate the winners of the BAA Super REGGIE Award. BAA sponsors one of the most prestigious and sought after awards in the marketing industry and they promote the fact that the winner of the top award will be featured on the Times Square billboard. It is another effective incentive to get agencies and brands to enter. This year's winner, Leo Burnett/Arc Worldwide was thrilled that the picture of them receiving the award was on the Times Square billboard. They helped BAA develop a great case history that BAA will use to promote next year's winners and attract new members.   These are just two of the many ways companies are using this marketing tool to promote their brands. We'd be happy to discuss how this works with you, and we are interested in hearing if you have used this service.   Happy Marketing.
Posted By Freddy Guitron read more
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Posted By Freddy Guitron read more
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Let The Games Begin – Introducing The 2012 Marketing Olympics

Jul
25
I recently heard a very interesting interview on NPR about sports that are constantly being added or dropped from the Olympic Games.  It seems that women’s boxing is the only new sport added to this year’s Summer Olympics, although BMX (bicycle motocross) will make its second appearance and baseball and softball have been dropped. I also learned that the once very popular sports of tug-of-war and bicycle polo were eliminated years ago after much discussion and angst.   It got me thinking about what ‘sports’ might be included in a “2012 Marketing Olympics“ and how these ‘sports’ have changed over the years.    <ul><li> <strong>World’s Fastest Tweeter </strong>- Competition to see who could send the most 140 character Tweets in 5 minutes. There would be no age limits, as it no doubt would be won by a 12-year old girl (OMG).  However, there is a rumor that a 100-year old, three-thumbed Chinese man may be a dark-horse challenger. </li> </ul><ul><li> <strong>Location Marketing Triathlon -</strong> Competition to see who can find the Olympic Mascots Wenlock and Mandeville at different locations in London. All the competitors meet for a Tweet-Up at the last location - of course, no talking allowed. </li> </ul><ul><li> <strong>Measurement Marathon -</strong> Competitors make long, boring presentations of how you can measure marketing ROI. Several points are awarded for good measurement methods and techniques but no medals are presented as the judges decide there is no empirical proof that you can measure marketing’s contribution to bottom line ROI - although they all agree it is extremely valuable. </li> </ul><ul><li> <strong>Target Marketing</strong> - This would be a combined event with the archery competitors whereby a team of international marketing gurus write dastardly clever and strategic MarCom messages that would be attached to the arrows. The team with the most bull’s eyes would win and receive exclusive rights to use the image in their marketing campaigns until the next Olympics - a real prize considering marketers love to use images of arrows going into targets in their various presentations. </li> </ul><ul><li> <strong>Campaign Wrestling Match </strong>- Teams made up of clients and their agencies wrestle over the best strategies and techniques for a marketing campaign. Points are awarded based on best ideas and strategies and competitors are allowed to switch from the clients’ to the agencies’ side during the match. No hair pulling is allowed but mudslinging is permitted. </li> </ul><ul><li> <strong>PR Prowess Pentathlon</strong> - This competition is based on how much PR agencies can generate for their clients in five areas - print, broadcast, digital, social media, and experiential. However, the medals are presented several months after the Olympics when all the results can be measured. </li> </ul><ul><li> <strong>‘Big Idea‘ Ping Pong - </strong>Competitors keep bouncing ‘Big Ideas‘ back and forth until someone finally gives in. </li> </ul><ul><li> <strong>Synchronized Sniffling – </strong>This is where a two-person team made up of a client and agency executive explain to a panel of judges, playing the role of the company CEO, why the campaign was a disaster. Extra points are awarded for creative groveling. </li> </ul><ul><li> <strong>Copywriting Clash - </strong>Copywriters create as many wickedly ingenious headlines and copy blocks as they can in an hour’s time. A panel of judges then presents medals based on points awarded. All competitors except the winners then complain that the judges just aren’t cool enough to “get it” and then adjourn to the closest pub where they talk about how clever they are and how dense everyone else is. </li> </ul> What are some other ‘sports’ you would like to see included in the Marketing Olympics?  While you are thinking about that, here are some ‘sports’ that have been eliminated from the Marketing Olympics: <ul><li> <strong>Faxing Follies </strong>- Does anyone besides doctor’s offices and travel companies offering special deals still use faxes? </li> </ul><ul><li> <strong>Keyliner Competition </strong>- If you are under 40 you probably don’t know that before desktop computing you had to order type from a typesetting house and then lay it out manually with an Exacto knife. These people were called keyliners and have gone the way of the buggy whip. </li> </ul><ul><li> <strong>Direct Mail Decathlon </strong>- Although direct mail can still be a very effective marketing tool, digital marketing and increasing postal rates have relegated direct mail marketing to the “stepson” category for many marketers.  </li> </ul><ul><li> <strong>Typing Sprint </strong>- Before there was spell check and even before self-correcting word processors, fast and accurate typing was considered a valuable skill. Intuitive, automatic self-correcting software has made this a moot skill.  </li> </ul><ul><li> <strong>Flash Mob Frolic </strong>- Flash mobs are becoming so passé. Now it’s “<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=316AzLYfAzw">Drama</a>” experiential marketing. </li> </ul> I’d love to hear your ideas. Let’s make the 2012 Marketing Olympics the best ever.
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Are You “Pretotyping It”?

Jul
18
I’m participating in a client’s Global Communications meeting later this week where MarCom pros from around the world will come together in Chicago for two days to discuss all the latest MarCom trends and technologies and share ideas for enhancing our marketing programs.   In preparation for the meeting, the VP of Global Communications sent everyone a new book entitled “Pretotype It”, by Alberto Savoia.  I don’t know if you have had a chance to read it yet, or if you are familiar with the concept of Pretotyping? If not, it’s worth a read.    I can’t do the book or the concept justice in this brief blog but basically, Pretotyping is a way to test an idea or concept quickly and inexpensively by creating extremely simplified, mocked-up, or virtual versions to help validate the premise that “if we create it, they will use it”. An even simpler definition is ”fake it before you make it.”   The process can be used to test almost any idea or concept without the cost of doing expensive research or building a protype. Savoia provides many interesting examples of how this can be accomplished, as well as how ignoring it can lead to expensive failures. In essence, it is a very brief and succinct guide (only 70 pages) on how you can change the way you think about introducing new ideas and products. Savio also presents seminars on the concept.   One of the many interesting stories is how the inventor of the widely successful Palm Pilot built a mock-up of it on a block of wood in his basement and then carried it around in his shirt pocket for several days pushing painted-on buttons to test the concept. There are also some good examples of how to use the Internet to quickly and inexpensively do some solid fact gathering.   If you are interested in learning more about the book or the Pretotyping concept, visit <a href="http://www.pretotyping.org/">http://www.pretotyping.org/</a> or <a href="http://pretotyping.blogspot.com/">http://pretotyping.blogspot.com/</a>.
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What’s Your Biggest Marketing Challenge?

Jul
11
I just read an interesting article about marketers' biggest challenges that was based on a recent IBM survey of <a href="http://www.emarketer.com/Article.aspx?R=1009167&amp;ecid=a6506033675d47f881651943c21c5ed4">MarCom professionals worldwide</a>.   Not surprisingly, the growth of channel and device choices (aka - social media and mobile marketing) was ranked #1 by 41% of the respondents.  We certainly find this is true of our clients' marketing options as well. With so many different social media channels to consider and so many different mobile marketing strategies and apps to pursue, it is often difficult to determine how and when to use these new marketing tools.   The H+A Team was talking about this survey after our Monday morning staff meeting and we started chatting about the various characteristics of companies when it comes to adopting new technologies. Do any of these sound familiar to you?   <strong>The Firebrand: </strong>This is the company that always wants to be at the forefront of adopting new marketing technologies and techniques. They are the ‘early adoptors’ and are anxious to incorporate whatever new ‘thing‘ comes down the pike. However, many of these Firebrands are so anxious to be the first and the fastest that they don’t always use the best long-term strategies and/or fully integrate the new techniques into their existing MarCom programs. The results are often less than they hoped for and pretty soon they are off chasing the next “bright &amp; shiny” thing.    <strong>The Ostrich: </strong>We’ve all dealt with these companies - they stick their head in the sand and say that the new technology or technique is not proven and could just be a fad. Moreover, it may not be right for their company for a variety of reasons that they pull out of the vault and dust-off for any new thing that is suggested.  They search for negative publicity about the new ‘thing’ and are quick to point out that it appears this new ‘thing’ may not be as great as everyone thinks it is.   <strong>The Procrastinator: </strong>They recognize that the new technology may have some potential but they can’t seem to move it to the top of their priorities and/or get the bosses' attention. These folks usually morph into “The Ostrich”.   <strong>The Tom Brady: </strong>This is the company that has its act together. Like the All Pro quarterback Tom Brady, they work well with all their key teammates to develop an integrated game plan and then use it to pick apart the competition. They aren’t afraid to try new things but their game plan is based on carefully researching the competition, always integrating the new ‘things’ as part of the tried-and-true game plan and constantly adapting the game plan as conditions change.   It also doesn’t hurt that he’s a multi-millionaire, married to a super-model and is cover-boy handsome.  
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And The Award Goes To.... You!

Jun
27
Everywhere you look these days there seems to be an abundance of awards programs.  On television alone there's the Oscars, Golden Globes, MTV Awards, Grammy Awards, Country Music Awards, People's Choice Awards, BET Awards and what seems like an endless list of many others.   Likewise, awards programs are even more ubiquitous on the B2B side of things. It seems like every one of the thousands of associations, magazines and trade shows in existence sponsor an industry award. As I'm sure most of us would agree, some of these awards are very valuable in gaining recognition for our products, technologies, services and/or people.  Winning a prestigious industry award can be a very valuable marketing tool, as was discussed in a previous <a href="http://h-a-intl.com/?q=blog/2011/08/maximizing-the-true-value-of-an-industry-award">blog</a>.   However, even awards programs you don't or can't enter can also be very valuable to a company.  How so?  Well, many awards programs publish mini-case histories and/or produce videos detailing how the winners won their awards. These 'winner case histories' often provide some great insights and techniques that MarCom pros have used to achieve best-of-class results.  We have used several tips and techniques from these 'winner case histories' to improve our clients' and our own MarCom programs over the years.   There are a couple <a href="http://www.t-awards.com/">awards</a> <a href="http://www.theexpogroup.com/smoty/history.asp">programs</a> that I have found very helpful in this regard. Both are in the trade show industry, but the information often applies to most industries - plus, don't we all participate in trade shows?     So regardless of whether you are entering the awards programs or not, the best practices tips you can gain from the winning entries make you a winner as well.
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Imagine Salsa Without Cilantro!

Jun
20
Imagine making a cake without baking soda, or doing the Tango without the proper frame (<em>Dancing with the Stars </em>judge Len Goodman would not be happy).     Skipping important steps is a recipe for disappointing results no matter what activity you are engaged in.  That's why I found a recent study about how many marketers are leaving key steps out of their social marketing programs to be an interesting read.   According to the White Paper,  "<a href="http://www.comscore.com/Press_Events/Presentations_Whitepapers/2012/The_Power_of_Like_2-How_Social_Marketing_Works">The Power of Like 2: How Social Marketing Works</a>", some brand marketers are skipping important steps in their social media programs and are then wondering why just measuring "likes" isn't an effective measure of marketing success. Per the middle section of the chart above, some marketers aren't considering the all-important value of Fan Reach, Engagement and Amplification when measuring results.   As those of us who implement a variety of social media programs for ourselves and our clients know, there are a variety of methods and tools for measuring social media success.  Unfortunately, not all things can be measured as accurately as C-level execs would like.  However, that doesn't mean these efforts aren't effective or provide valuable marketing intelligence.   I'd be interested in your thoughts about this White Paper.
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