Strategy Sparks Joy and So Much More

strategic communications

Sometimes I get so laser-focused on the “day-to-day” that I forget the joy in what I do. Outside graphic design, outside web development and maintenance, outside content writing, outside video, outside all of the “tasks,” I love (pronounced “luuuuuuuv”) strategy. As Marie Kondo says, “It sparks Joy.” I love the why. I especially love the how. There’s little more exciting to me than a blank slate laid out in front of me with a goal on one end and a deadline on the other. So, Andy, how do we make the two connect? Today I set aside the “day-to-day” and

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A Frightening Marketing Case Study: Telemarketing is Still Marketing, Right?

telemarketing marketing company in des moines iowa

Telemarketing is not dead. I have proof. Well, at least I have proof people are still trying. Of course there are still common sense uses for telemarketing, but with the onset of digital messaging, I see its use and utility becoming a little like that of the FAX machine. I rid my business card of even having a FAX number at least 5 years ago. So, that brings me to today’s little marketing case study. While I was at lunch with some close friends, I saw a call come in on my cell phone that I didn’t recognize. Generally, and

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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 Basics: A Content Marketing Strategy Checklist

content marketing strategy checklist

Would you expect to walk into an interview without prepared questions? What about teaching a class – wouldn’t you expect the instructor to have a lesson plan? Then why do so many companies embark on content marketing without a strategy? We see it all the time. “We have a newsletter. We send it out every quarter.” Nothing more… No targeted information… No actionable items… No measurement… No strategy? And generally, that’s the extent of it. How do people do business like that?!? Your content marketing HAS to come with a strategy. If there isn’t thought behind the effort what is

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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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