Thinking Outside The Gift Box – Holiday Marketing Ideas That Mean More

holiday marketing tips

’Tis the season – *groan* – for junk mail, needless promotional ads, spammy inboxes, and more! As consumers, the Holidays are a whirlwind of “too good to be true” offers and “hurry before it’s too late” pitches. With that and the absolute inundation of digital media with political pontification, advertising, and news (loosely used), “The Season of Giving” starts to feel a lot more like shore leave on Anything Goes Island. “Wear your rubbers, it’s getting nasty out there!” Ho Ho Ho? As marketing professionals, it’s our duty to not only help our clients promote and sell, but to engage

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Video Marketing and Digital Marketing Go Hand in Hand

digital video marketing company des moines iowa

Many marketing companies specialize in services. We get it. Video marketing companies steer their clients to channels like YouTube and Vimeo where views and shares can be measured and tracked. Digital or social media marketing companies focus on creating content that garners search engine love as well as likes and shares through similar channels like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, email programs, and more. But why do the two have to be siloed? Technology is no longer a barrier to good marketing and storytelling. Mobile devices now have photo and video capabilities that rival many prosumer model cameras. With a little forethought

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7 Ways to Stay Top-Of-Mind and Make Marketing Connections

top of mind marketing connections

What is your brand doing to maintain relevance to its audience?  If your / your company’s brand is dependent on continued exposure in a specific market, what are the steps you’re taking to maintain that contact and staying “top-of-mind?” Back in “the day” it was a combination of marketing, advertising, public relations and good ol’ fortitude and gumption.  But today, that model has been twisted a bit. The average consumer doesn’t have a lot of faith in “traditional” advertising (check out this Nielsen study – PDF Download: 4MB).  Even online advertising has fallen to the wayside as far as credibility

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TRUE Branding and Building a Stronger Association

public speaking branding andrew b clark

We had the pleasure of spending an afternoon with the members of the Iowa Society of Association Executives (ISAE) this week, discussing branding and building a stronger association community through our TRUE Branding process. The afternoon breakout session covered the concepts of brand and branding as it applies to marketing communications as well as how the TRUE Branding process can facilitate stronger, more targeted brand marketing and communications for associations, their boards, and the members they serve. The group was highly motivated to take in the action items provided in the presentation. With little encouragement (some strategically timed bribes –

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Businesses Stand Out Through Strategic Communications

strategig marketing communications

Well, thank you, Captain Obvious. Who would think otherwise? But did you catch the “Strategic” part? While the headline seems overly apparent, we’ve witnessed time and time again businesses from solo entrepreneurs to mega-conglomerate Fortune 500s miss the mark when truly strategic communications would have helped. Whether they miss an opportunity to speak up on a business-relevant event or their news feed is so full the brand focus and target of the message is lost, businesses need to make sure communications strategies are in place at all times. Much of this falls under Brand Communications and Public Relations Strategies. What

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5 Free Action Items for Better Digital Marketing in 2019

free digital marketing for 2019

Okay, 2018 is over and we can all look back and take a deep breath. Suffice it to say, 2018 was “Interesting.” Many cringe-worthy moments. Many upturned industries. Many marketing mistakes. At the same time there were some brilliant marketing events as well. All things considered, it’s time to set up the blocks that tumbled down in 2018 and start building for a more impactful 2019. To help us all get some traction in 2019, we’ve put together 5 action items you and your team (if you have one) can use to make sure you’re on the right track just

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The Value of Email Marketing

finding value in email marketing

Email marketing, for some, remains a mystery. From list procurement to communications strategies to drop schedules and more, the intricacies that go into an effective email marketing campaign make the channel somewhat difficult to grasp, let alone manage. But if done properly, and with purpose, an email campaign can not only raise brand awareness within your target audience, but increase actions that benefit your bottom line – whether that means taking action on a goal or mission, or clicking through to purchase a product or schedule a service. We recently sat in with a local marketing communications class where the

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Your Product Photography Deserves More Than The Instagram Treatment

photographer in des moines

We get it. An iPhone and Instagram is a heck of a lot quicker and cheaper than hiring a professional photographer and studio to handle your product shots. With today’s digital devices, resolutions are reaching and, in some cases, surpassing traditional print demands. On more advanced devices, internal photo settings can simulate depth of field effects or even stacked focus. Heck, pop a shot, open Instagram, and add a funky frame or over saturate it a bit and “Voila!” ART! Why pay for “professional” photography when the intern or office manager can zip out 20 to 30 new product shots

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Content Marketing Drives More Than Your Blog

content marketing drives more than your blog

Content Marketing? Blogging? Digital PR? Journaling? E-News? We’ve heard a number of terms for it, but whatever you call it, it’s important. Content Marketing (what we call it here at SPOKE) is a strategy that should be present in every aspect of your marketing plan. It builds brand narrative and reinforces market knowledge and authority all while being infinitely packageable and a valuable source of sales support. Bring Clients Closer By Building Your Brand Narrative: Brands need to communicate. It should be core to their nature. By telling stories (Content Marketing) Brands increase the ability to connect to their target audience

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How Leaders Can Mitigate “That’s Not My Job”

thats not my job service industry management

“That’s not my job” Where did that phrase even come from? Now, I may be a “man of a certain age,” but when a company is building a customer-centric workforce, the words “That’s not my job” should NEVER cross a team member’s lips. Is this a by-product of downsizing? Corporate America has lost its sense of loyalty to its employees, forcing a loss of loyalty and pride of job from its employees.  Workers are carried along on the wave of “each man for himself”, afraid to extend a hand for fear of having it bitten. Whatever happened to the “One

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