I love what I do. I always have. And, given my personality and that the creative wheels are always turning, I believe I always will. For as long as I can remember, I have been fascinated with what makes people tick. Since college, I have been curious about different cultures, and the world around us. I was drawn to classes in sociology, psychology and, was, in fact, a political science minor. When I took my first marketing class, it was as if bells went off in my head. I had found what made complete sense to me.
As a marketing person, I am fascinated with what makes people jump to action. I understand why specific groups of people choose to do what they do. I have always looked at packaging and tried to envision better styles. I have always enjoyed slogans and words. And, aside from correcting the grammar (Apple’s Think Different is in fact grammatically incorrect), I understand the power of words and design. Merely looking at the FedEx logo will open your eyes to - literally - what I mean. I know I am in the right field. Marketing is all of this wrapped up into one neat package.
Why do consistency and frequency matter?
Understanding a company's image and how it is perceived is imperative to effective branding. And, if a company wants to develop and support it's brand, it is vital that the messaging be loud and clear across all marketing collateral and advertising channels. Is the voice the same? Is It should be. Is the design the same? It should be! This explains why every two-year-old knows the golden arches equal a Happy Meal and a toy. The consistency of messaging matters to tell a story.
Let's talk about frequency. Yes, the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Right? Right! Regarding more traditional advertising vehicles, we are sold on the frequency of delivery as a means to gain top of mind recognition. More so than ever, frequency and consistency are pivotal to brand recognition across social platforms. When a potential client tells us they post once or twice a week on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, I cringe inside. You see, the benefits of social media are undeniable. But, if you are not going to dedicate 100% of energy to these incredibly strong platforms impacting your bottom line, then don’t waste your valuable time. But, remember this….your competition will bother. Your competition will reach out to their social communities and capture not only their attention but their dollars.
Social platforms offer the potential to drive traffic to your website and support brand. They provide the possibility of conversation with those who like or follow your brand. Social platforms offer the exchange of photos, and an opportunity to tell your unique story. They provide a forum for discussion, and the ability to educate your customers. With direct messaging features, customers can privately ask you questions about your products and services. Not only that, but the marketing mechanisms available within social platforms are superior. There is boosting. There are ads. There are contests. There is the ability to promote your business locally. There are giveaways. You can access thousands of new customers with look-a-like audiences. It is pretty spectacular.
But, none of this matters if you are not going to work the platforms to your advantage - this means you have to have a social strategy posting regularly engaging your community while enhancing your story. Frequency and consistency of messaging matter. Without this commitment, it's like running an ad without a phone number or logo. You know how that would work.
Want to know more? Reach out to us on Facebook or Instagram. You can also email MRPR at email@example.com.
The Shoemaker's Kids - we all know the story about the Shoemaker who works 24/7 crafting shoes for everyone else's children in his village. Yes - his children are barefoot most of the time. They go without their father's attention until the elves step in to save the day.
If you are a business owner, you know what I mean - it is hard to wear the many required hats of your day to day obligations. The list of a business owner's responsibilities goes on and on and includes but is not limited to the following: inventory, management, receivables, shipping, payroll, and vendors. - As such, the marketing for your business might not get the attention it deserves. As a matter of fact, your marketing might not get any attention at all.
The good news is that there is another way. Just consider those of us at MRPR little elves.
Realizing one's limitations takes courage. Delegating is not an easy thing to do. It is a skill that is learned and requires practice. That said, reaching out when you need help to achieve a goal is a smart decision, Your expertise might be in widgets and not copy writing. You might be well versed in management, but not radio production or social media. Working with a creative group brings fresh eyes and perspective to your front door. This is a good thing.
Yes - you will have to be involved. Yes, you will have to watch budgets. But, by working with another company whose expertise is branding, marketing, and advertising, you can focus on the day to day of running your business. You can rest easy knowing that your print, radio or social campaigns have been thoughtfully developed, approved and are running smoothly. You can depend on the fact that your brand is being fully supported with every marketing effort. You can count on a plan of action that provides results. And, isn't this what keeps your business moving forward? We say YES!
Reach out to MRPR with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your marketing strategy, and how to move your profits forward. Simply email us through our website or message us on Facebook at business.facebook.com/maryraupublicrelations We look forward to hearing from you.
FACEBOOK is constantly changing. We see this all the time and, frankly, it is annoying. It seems as though you get going in the game and they change the rules. As a social media strategist and manager for small businesses, MARY RAU PUBLIC RELATIONS is not immune to this frustration. We feel your pain!
Here is the obvious – change happens and it affect brands and your company’s overall marketing plan. So, how might your business adjust you ask? Short of being on your toes 24/7 to figure it all out….. it is best to roll with the punches. That said, how does your company keep up? What systems do you have in place to keep your marketing efforts moving forward in a sea of change?
Here is one tip to help you get started:
Keep the overly promotional post limited – and here is why: FACEBOOK has done their homework. They have asked users - yes – you and me - what we want to see in our newsfeeds. The user has spoken! Hands down - the user would like to see, read and share more stories.
But what does this mean for your marketing? It means that it is best to keep the overly promotional product stuff limited. (There are ways to get that information out – but I will address that later in this BLOG.)
Keeping the overly promotional and sales oriented posts limited makes sense to those of us at MRPR. We have always felt that Facebook is the perfect platform for branding and telling stories. Yes, we do talk “business”, but more importantly, we talk about what is behind the business. What makes the business tick and what is the business’s story. In short, we like to add meat to the bone. By doing this, we create loyalty from the user and honestly represent what the BRAND is all about.
What about Ads on FACEBOOK? (I told you we would discuss how to get the promotional posts out.) At MRPR, we like FACEBOOK ads. They are targeted, specific and when you are choosing to be “promotional” ads are the way to go. You see, FACEBOOK needs to make money too. By changing the game in regard to organic reach and what the user sees in their newsfeed, Facebook is encouraging ad sales. Yes, it cost you money. But, with a FACEBOOK ad, you can target specific groups reaching more users that matter. It is very focused ad dollars and a marketers dream. This seems fair to those of us at MRPR in order to get the same engagement on organic reach when promoting your product. Afterall, aren’t we all looking for the best bang for our buck? Contact MARY RAU PUBLIC RELATIONS – small shop, big voice - for your marketing, public relations, advertising and social media concerns and questions. Email to firstname.lastname@example.org
All rights reserved: Mary Rau Public Relations, 2015. Photo: Purple Clover
Is print dead? Newspapers? Magazines? Books? Have we trained generations to respond and engage solely with pretty pictures, snippets of information filtered by hash tags? After all, our middle school aged son has not one textbook while our high school daughter has just 2. One could ague that reading everything online is “green” and is the wave of the future. But are books, newspapers and magazine passé? I don’t think so. As a matter of fact, many publications and publishers are seeing an increase in readership. Maybe I am just old-school. I do believe all media outlets have value. YUP! Old School! Guilty as charged.
Do not get me wrong. I can appreciate a good APP and definitely find value in brand driven content. After all, I make a living integrating and managing social media for small businesses and professionals. My work in social media and digital marketing reminds me of one very basic fact every day. Through the years, the principles of marketing have not changed – just the vehicles have.
Don Draper would be so proud. As a culture, technology has conditioned us to seek information electronically 24/7. And roughly 75% of the time, this information is viewed in the palm of one’s hand. Adweek calls this the “catch-as-catch-can” approach to absorbing the world via any screen visible: smart phones, TV’s, computers – you get the drift. Because I am a marketing junkie – who knew I was such a geek – I can appreciate this and find changes to the habits of our culture fascinating.
Applying this to idea to social media and digital marketing is simple. Marketing is all about getting your product or services in front of the right consumer. Advertising works to entice the consumer into taking action. Technology has provided marketers with access to incredible information. Information is power! And, it is an aphrodisiac. Every time you LIKE, SHARE, LINK or BUY, you are providing information about your interests and habits to marketers for interpretation through Google analytics. Think about it. The ads that appear in your feed or email are directed to you on purpose. These ads are defined by your age, occupation, lifestyle and just about anything else you divulge as you engage in cyberspace. To younger generations, having everyone know your story is commonplace. The young feel everything is up for grabs and there is no need for privacy settings or boundaries. While the over 50 set, feels quite the opposite.
If you are in business today, both a social media and a digital presence are imperative. But social media cannot do the job alone. Remember – the basics of marketing have not changed but the delivery systems have. Consumers still want great information that is relevant and important to them. But this gets tricky as not every platform is right for every business. Print, TV, radio, digital online platforms will have different target audiences. Pick and choose wisely in order to create a comprehensive well thought our plan of action that supports your company’s mission.
What is your business doing to enhance its digital personality? How will your business reach your customers effectively? The team at Mary Rau Public Relations offers marketing services to small business. For more information, email Mary directly at email@example.com
All rights reserved: Mary Rau Public Relations, 2015. Photo credit to Purple Clover.
Every year at this time, I get excited at the prospect of a fresh start. Out with the old and in with the new. Oh what the future holds! But with the prospect of great possibilities in the new year, arrives reflection and contemplation on events past. What will the new year bring? How will I approach this year differently – or the same? What are my personal and professional goals? Where do I want to improve? What is it that I want or need?
Interestingly enough, for some less is more while for others more is more. What? What do I mean and is this true across the board? Simply stated, it very well could be. As a marketing strategist working closely with small businesses, my team and I have found that less is more AND more is more.
Let me explain: Less is more – If you own a business today, your marketing strategy should include a social media and internet presence. But, you already knew that because social media is a powerful marketing tool connecting you with your target community. But, not every platform is the right fit for every business. Just like not every news publication targets the same demographic. Your target audience and demographic will point your company to the appropriate social media platform and guide your content for optimum reach and conversion. If that means one or two platforms are used, so be it. Less is more. Work them well and regularly encouraging engagement and activity. You are better off spending time, energy and money on marketing with 1 or 2 platforms than spreading yourself thin across multiple fields. Again, less is more.
Now, what about the concept of more is more? If your business model and budget allow, a fully comprehensive marketing strategy integrating a social and internet presence can only benefit your brand. If your team decides that multiple platforms are the best means to round out and solidify your strategy then more is more. But, wait. If you establish a presence on a platform and do not maintain regular activity encouraging engagement with thoughtful content, you are wasting your time, effort and most likely money. All websites and platforms need attention. More is more but you must be willing to commit to linking, posting, sharing, commenting, liking, tweeting, checking in, leaving tips, blogging, etc…….you know the drill. Whatever approach you choose, create a plan of action that is manageable and will enable you to reach goals and see results.
So, less is more and more is more. Which is right for your business? Mary Rau Public Relations offers all things marketing – consulting, social media integration, coaching and management. For free consultation, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our society has rules. Rules are not a bad thing. Dictated by what society considers acceptable behavior, rules offer guidelines and boundaries. And, it is good that they do. Unless, of course, you are 16!
At the tender age of 16, rules are just annoying and in the way. I remember being 16. Oh, the intense freedom of not having a care in the world. Staying up late and sleeping late were a way of life. Having friends over for parties big and small. YUP! We had a ton of those when our parents weren’t looking. Like every teenager, I felt obnoxiously empowered and indestructible. And, of course, I was never wrong in my many opinions. Oh, my many opinions!
Well, things have changed. We have 2 teenagers of our own. I see so much of myself in both of them. For this reason, I laugh and I cry with gratitude. There is no doubt I am the sum of many parts. Today, I fully understand my own parents and other key players. I am grateful for how they shaped my world with every ounce of their beings. Today, I fully respect and appreciate EVERYTHING they did for all 8 of us. But, what does this have to do with Social Media Marketing? Not a darn thing! I just wanted to express my gratitude and appreciation. Their influence has made everyday a little easier. Thanks Mom, Dad, Nana, Stewart, and of course, Miss Emma.
Happy Thanksgiving to all.
Do you remember when we were kids? Yup! Way back when you left the house on a summer's morning to hang out with your buddies in the neighborhood - or as I remember it - the alley. Your parents had very little concern for where you were all day. And, if they were "worried," they never let you know it. You showed up back at your house when you were hungry. If dinner was ready and you weren't home, your mom would ring "the bell." At least that is what I remember about Martha Jane.
They were hot, summer days and firefly nights. It was trips to the pool combined with a visit from the Good Humor truck. It was the occasional crab feast or barbeque in the backyard with family and friends. It was trips to Cape May for weeks on end of ski ball and visits to Morrow's Nut House. It was long before cell phones and video games and well before social media became an acceptable means of communication. It was before advertising and marketing became supercharged by the information highway. Can you remember back that far? I can. Are there memories that are any sweeter?
Now, years later, we are bombarded with information 24/7. We are connected to everyone all the time. There is no escaping. We are all familiar with the "ping" when you receive a text, a Facebook notification, an email or a voice mail. I will be the first one to admit these notices are annoying!
That said, technology is not a bad thing - it is just a very different part of childhood and our lives today. As a result, kids miss out on the simple things: climbing trees, building forts, scraping knees or simply holding open a lemonade stand - and all of this without parental supervision. But it is not just the fault of technology.
As a culture, we are afraid something bad is going to happen to our families. We have denied generations the space and freedom to grow, to make mistakes and to learn from those mistakes. Being a hovering parent is no one's fault directly - it can be a big bad world out there. We are all designed to protect our loved ones. It is the momma bear theory.
But, how do we help our kids "Kick It Old School"? I think this is a great question and is up for discussion. As the parent of two teenagers and the owner of Mary Rau Public Relations specializing in marketing, advertising, public relations and social media, this is a burning question.
Where is the balance? What are the limitations? I believe this to be a personal or family decision. Don't misunderstand, technology is a wonderful tool. But it should not be the end all. Parents, it is okay to limit access and moderate exposure. Turn off the TV and the computer. Limit the video games. Having just had the honor of hearing Temple Grandin speak, I agree with her suggestion to engage your kids in new activities. Introduce them to the bigger world - a world outside of their box and yours. Go for a walk, a bike ride, or a picnic. I understand that sometimes this works - sometimes it doesn't. Bottom line - we do the best we can.
For the record, I am in favor of the lemonade stand.
Everyday, I get up, get dressed, walk the hall to my home office and get to work. Everyday, I create, plan, phone, email, post, tweet and share. Blah! Blah! Blah! Not really - I love what I do!
Having worked in Public Relations, Marketing, Advertising and now Social Media Management for about 30 Years (how is that possible since my writing style seems like that of someone 29?) I have had the good fortune of working in just about every realm of the MAD MEN’S industry. Whether slinging ads, writing copy, producing TV and radio commercials, media buying, developing and implementing creative campaigns or pitching new clients, I have had an amazing career for which I am very grateful.
Lately, I have been reflecting on what I enjoy most about my work. It is time to turn these thoughts loose and embrace what I love best. The day-to-day interaction with my clients is absolutely, hands down, no question about it, what I love best about what I do. Taking this a step further, my work is very personal. I have to believe in what my clients are doing and what they represent in order to help them walk the path to success. If I don’t feel the love, I can’t do my best work.
Being connected allows me to slip into their shoes and fully experience what their strategy can offer. I like to think I become more of a partner and friend than a hired hand. And for me, it is not just a job. Sitting across a table and discussing an idea is how dreams are made and success stories are written. One-on-one interaction is the greatest part of what I do and affords me the opportunity to understand a business from the ground up. Over time, I meet the spouses, kids, grandkids and the golden retriever. I fully engage in the “WHY” that makes the business owner tick. It is a gift that I will always cherish and value.
MARY RAU PUBLIC RELATIONS’ niche is marketing, advertising, public relations and social media management for the small business owner and I LOVE what I do.
Sir Richard Branson recently stated that “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” I wholeheartedly agree.
Sir Richard Branson offers an interesting perspective and I believe that most entrepreneurs would agree with his point. This seems no different than trying to squeeze a square peg into a round hole. Struggling to fit one’s life in what might appear to be another’s world, and not the other way around, encourages great thought, concepts and ideas out of necessity.
Thinking outside the box to solve problems lends itself to producing solid innovation. Therefore, the “unreasonable man” – (I know he also meant women) - presumably lends himself to being a great problem solver bringing progress, change and foresight to the world around him.
If we were to briefly examine Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg as examples of thinking outside of the box, Branson’s theory is better supported. Society tells us that in order to achieve some level of success, one must stay in school, get a degree and a profession. But, neither Gates, Jobs, nor Zuckerberg officially finished college. These brilliant minds used their own version of reason to take risks and make decisions that worked for them and billions of others. After all, where would Mary Rau Public Relations be without these great minds?
Applying Branson’s theory of the “unreasonable man”, these gentlemen were and still are success stories based on fitting the world into their version of what LIFE is and should be. They have taken chances making situations work for them. One can assume that they might see the world for its opportunities and possibilities not its limitations. They see hope not despair. What is wrong with this? Not a darn thing!
As a social media moderator for small businesses, I've had the pleasure of hearing different views on social media's significance and it's place in our modern world. After listening to older clients discuss "THE TWITTER", "THE GOOGLE" and "THE BOOK OF FACES" - yes, these comments are for real - I am reassured of one thing pertaining to marketing
and generation gaps. The basic principles of neither have changed. That said, a level of acceptance must exist between the two for successful marketing.
Marketing, Public Relations, Advertising and Social Media enables getting goods/services to buyers who will open their wallets to purchase wares. Marketing encompasses image, branding, packaging and presentation. This age old concept is the core of how it works and applies in today's world.
In this regard, the generation gap is the same as it has always been. Older generations shake their heads at the young wondering why their music is so loud, why their hair is so long or why their jeans are worn so low. "Back in my day" is a mainstay of many conversations. And, let's not forget the over 50 crowd were once teenagers sending shock waves to generations before with the use of what was hip or cool at the time. (Who is this ELVIS person anyway?)
Let's think about how this applies to social media. Seniors don't understand why anyone would make their personal information public on the internet. Younger folks make public their secrets for the universe to see. Now the irony arises because older folks have realized social media is a great way to communicate with their younger family members. Just because they don't understand it, doesn't mean they won't use it.
The end result is that the gap is still open while a "social media" bridge has been built allowing the free flow of communication. If social media can allow the generation gap to narrow - even slightly - a business owner best pay attention. Using social media as a part of a marketing plan sounds pretty significant to me.