Listen Up! M/C/C’s Moms Connection Leverages Influencers To Talk Headphones This Holiday

Animalz by Retrak Kids Headphones Monkey DesignOver the holidays, M/C/C and ReTrak brought the technology accessory manufacturer’s Animalz children’s headphones to the masses, just in time for the busiest shopping season of the year. Available in six loveable, soft fabric animal designs with a volume-limiter for lil’ techies, these headphones were ready to fly off the shelves. To help build awareness and interest to ignite sales with moms, the target audience, M/C/C recommended a comprehensive public relations campaign, including blogger and media relations.

Why target moms through blogger and media outreach to increase awareness and interest while driving sales? M/C/C understands their significant influence in decision-making. According to Technorati’s Media & Digital Influence report, blogs are the third most influential digital resource when making purchases, trailing behind only retail sites and brand sites. In fact, the report went on to say that consumers believe smaller communities have greater influence than larger ones. Therefore, M/C/C was sure to engage with moms on blogs of all sizes, since one in four moms reported purchasing kids’ products based on an online recommendation.

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How To Use Outreach and Content Marketing for Buzz-Worthy Campaigns

Content and Outreach MarketingWhen considering how to tell brand stories, there are many differences when it comes to marketing, public relations, advertising and branding.

But two more recent buzzphrases have been cropping up lately: outreach marketing and content marketing.

Similar to public relations, these communications methods create and maintain relationships with an organization’s key audience. Also, these two phrases can oftentimes be public-relations strategies. Here’s how to decode them:

Outreach marketing

This tactic focuses primarily on bloggers and key social media influencers who already advocate for your brand. Similar to what is used in media relations, a brand’s contact reaches out to these advocates and finds ways to incorporate the brand into the advocates’ everyday lives. These are not just people who can talk about the brand, they are extensions of the brand.

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A Few Lessons in Integrated Marketing

IMG_3275Here at M/C/C, we’re no stranger to integrated marketing for clients and have experienced great results from converging digital marketing with IRL experiences for clients like FairLease and the promotion of the company’s “Random Acts of Fairness.”

FairLease is not your average car dealer. They’re more interested in helping people which is why M/C/C helped them launch a “Random Acts of Fairness” campaign around Dallas offering free food to the masses. For this campaign, we utilized several tactics that include: spreading the word through FairLease’s social media accounts that we built and managed, teasing the events to influential news sources and nearby businesses, providing event management and onsite support, generating real-time event updates, leveraging popular Twitter users and hashtags, capturing social photos and producing videos from the events. For many, it was their first interaction with FairLease, and thanks to M/C/C it wouldn’t be their last. As a result, more than 1,600 new friends engaged with FairLease like never before, and FairLease received almost 20 leads directly from this successful campaign.

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1. Over-Promise and Over-Deliver
Listen to customer feedback and decide what works, what doesn’t and how you can improve what you offer. Depending on your businesses, you can use various social media and review sites like Yelp to hear from customers. Focus on customer service above all; constantly surprise customers with how far above and beyond you’ll go for them.

2. Mix Your Energy with Commitment
Look at the big picture by taking a few minutes to write down what your goals are for the next year. Think about the skills and support you’ll need to attain them and then a few small ways to start working on achieving your goals. Don’t let a little success distract you from working hard on your business.

3. Be Open, Real and Flawed
When it comes to social media and customer reviews, don’t delete what your customers have to say. No company is perfect or has a 100-percent satisfaction rate, so don’t hide the few unhappy customers. Admit your mistakes when they happen, and in general, conduct your company’s dealings with honesty and candor. Your customers will notice and love you for it.

4. Care About the Little Things
Focus on the little things your company can do to surprise and serve your customers. Don’t take an immediate ROI or bottom-line look at this one. Happy customers will lead to gains in the long-term.

5. Stand Out and Find Your Niche
Think about your target market, look at what your competitors are doing and embrace your uniqueness! There’s only one of your company in the world.

Now that you know what others are doing as well as what we can accomplish for you, get up and give us a call! Remember, we’re experts in everything integrated.

A Little Less Content and A Lot More Marketing

Content is KingI’m sure you’re as tired as I am of hearing that, “Content is king.” I’ve talked about it in a previous blog, and the phrase has been around for several years with companies continuing to invest more time and money into content marketing. Many times what I see from companies upon implementing a content marketing program is putting too many resources towards the content development but not enough towards the marketing of that finished product. Jonathan Perelman, VP of agency strategy at BuzzFeed, has said numerous times including in a feature with Forbes, “Content is king; distribution is queen, and she wears the pants.” I love this statement because it is so true. Companies are building out large teams focused on executing content – articles, white papers, video, graphics, etc. – but fail to put the similar investment into circulation of that content.

When considering content distribution, my tip for you is to identify “homes” for your content that will contribute value towards reaching your marketing and business goals. You can categorize these homes in a few different ways: owned, earned and paid. Continue reading

Knowing the Differences Between Marketing, Public Relations, Advertising and Branding

Marketing and Advertising DifferencesBusiness owners often hear different promotional buzzwords — marketing, advertising, public relations and branding — passed around when it comes to selling a service or product. Each of these facets has its own unique identity and will produce different results.

Depending on what is being sold, the business may only need one of these strategies to target the right audience, but more often than not, it’s an integrated approach that leads to the best results.

Marketing
The action of promoting or selling products or services. This involves market research. Marketing involves anything from choosing the right location of the business, to knowing how much it costs to produce each product/service, deciding where to advertise and deciding who to advertise to. This also includes all marketing material, or “owned media,” such as brochures, websites and pamphlets. Think of someone named Brandon telling you, “I’m a wonderful fisherman.”

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Should Marketers Engage in Reddit?

Most people have heard of Reddit. The platform has become a hot topic during major news events such as the Boston Marathon bombings. In the hours and days that followed, Reddit users acted as citizen journalists to report breaking news on the spot and working to identify the suspects. But when compared to other social media sites, it seems that most people don’t really understand how the Reddit community works or how their company could engage with it.

What is Reddit?

Original fan art by M/C/C

Original fan art by M/C/C

To start with the basics, Reddit is a completely user-driven social platform. By its own definition, “users provide all of the content and decide, through voting, what’s good and what’s junk. Links that receive community approval bubble up towards #1, so the front page is constantly in motion and (hopefully) filled with fresh, interesting links.”

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Haters Gonna Hate: How Brands Should React

In today’s world where blogging and social media provide multiple platforms for activists and customers to voice their opinions, businesses (big and small) are continually feeling pressure and hearing overwhelming amounts of criticism not for anything the company has necessarily “done” but for who they are or what they believe. It makes me think about these three important questions:

  1. Should brands correct their haters or let the criticism fizzle out?
  2. How can brands not get consumed by the negativity and survive the heat?
  3. What are some real-world responses from brands under attack?

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Trans-Media Storytelling: Make Sure Your Audience Hears You

Remember in school when teachers said there were three types of learning styles? You probably took a test or quiz to figure out if you were primarily a visual, auditory or kinesthetic learner. The visual learners do best with the use of visual objects such as graphs, charts or pictures and can learn by just watching lectures. Auditory learners retain information through hearing and speaking. Then there are the kinesthetic learners who need a hands-on approach to learn new material.

The same learning styles can be applied to how people view ads or consume the news. This is where trans-media storytelling comes into play. Don’t worry – it sounds complicated, but it’s actually really easy to understand! It means that we, as marketers, need to be using multiple media platforms to tell a story.Transmedia Storytelling photo

Why do we have to use multiple platforms? Think about it this way – you have your target demographic, let’s say females ages 25-34, but how are you going to reach them? Some might be stay-at-home moms who like to watch or listen to the morning news as they get their kids ready for school. Others may be working professionals who might consume the news on their way to work, whether that’s listening to the radio in the car or reading, either via the paper or their phone, while on the subway. Therefore, if you were just trying to get your story covered on morning television, you could be missing an entire section of your targeted audience. You must meet your audience where they hang out to tell your story, and more than likely that means different platforms. Now, which platforms are best for each type of learner?

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How the Importance of the Flack-Hack Relationship Has Shifted – Or Not?

Through the years, the relationship between PR pros and the media has had some significant changes. Gone are the days of the “three martini lunch” to sell a story idea. Today, journalists and PR people are working off a newly established set of ethics. Both have a common goal of sharing interesting content – which can sometimes lead to tension. Generally, there is a push and pull between the two entities that ideally results in the placement of well-developed content. Although there have been many ups and downs over time, there’s one thing that continues to hold true – the relationship between PR professionals and journalists is a crucial component to success and remains important.

The Numbers

With ongoing staff cuts and complete eliminations of newspapers around the country, there are by far fewer journalists employed by traditional media companies when compared to five, 10 and even 15 years ago. With staff cuts, the ratio of PR professionals to journalists has significantly changed.  To put things into perspective, fewer journalists mean that there are fewer opportunities to share story ideas. The competition to get articles placed continues to be fierce, growing as more newspapers fold.

On the other hand, reduced staffs can be beneficial for PR people. Journalists are crunched for time and are more likely to use PR-suggested copy or story ideas to fill content for the 24-hour news cycle. Even though this is true, PR pros must still establish a good relationship with the media. When a better relationship is built, the chances of an email ending up in the Trash or Spam box go down significantly.

The Lines of Communication

Traditionally, the best way to contact someone, including reporters, used to be picking up the phone and making a call. Today, most interactions between PR people and the media occur through email. Even though PR pros can share pitches via Twitter they should think twice. According to the Vocus State of the Media Report 2014, “the majority of journalists still don’t care to be pitched by social media and an overwhelming 90.7 percent of respondents chose email as their preferred method of contact.”MCC-Blog-PreferredMethodGraph

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Paid Versus Earned Media: No Competition, Marketers Need Both

For many years I have heard the phrase “free media coverage.” While I’m all about getting coverage for clients, nothing in business is free. There are two ways to get your name in front of your audience – you earn it or you buy it.

Smart marketers do both.

Earned media is any form of coverage or content about your company generated by a third party through their own volition. That includes broadcast news reports or features, blog posts, magazine articles, Web news stories and bylined online or print articles, to name a few.

Earned Media - Bylined Article

Everyone wants earned media but few really understand what it takes to get it. Earned media involves pitching the right people, creating and presenting your story in many different and compelling ways. Even still, coverage is not guaranteed on any given day. If it is so hard, why do it? Because it is so tough to get, it carries a lot of weight with prospective customers and gives your company, product or service credibility. And often, credibility is a fast route to a sale.

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