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What’s Your Go-To Marketing Recipe?

So, I decided to make some soup one day, and while I was doing so, I realized that a lot of the requirements to pull off a good soup recipe, are the same ones that are needed to make a great marketing campaign happen.

Here is a not so quick recap of what I realized…
(If you don’t have time to watch, read below):


 

  1. Your Why…
    Identify why you want to create a marketing campaign in the first place, so that if it gets complicated and overwhelming, you remember why you started this campaign in the first place. Is it because the cash register isn’t ringing? Is your business in a lull? All to often, business owners get caught up in the frenzy of running a business, that it can be hard to make time to market your business, even though it is an essential part of growing your business.
  2. Setting SMART Goals
    Specific
    Measurable
    Attainable
    Risky
    Timely
    This is important so that you can assess whether or not you hit your goal once your campaign is over.
  3. Plan!
    The most important part of the recipe that often gets overlooked… the plan. Make sure that you set yourself up for success to accomplish your goal and complete the campaign. Outline who is responsible for what, figure out what specifically you need, and make sure that you set aside time and/or money to bring the campaign to fruition.
  4. Tools
    Marketing tools are an essential component of executing a campaign. They can help you save money, time, and make replication easier. Don’t get overwhelmed if you are looking into new tools, and you see a number of options out there. Refocus on what you need, and think of future campaigns before re-evaluating your options. Ask for help if need be.
  5. EXECUTE
    Make the campaign happen!
  6. Assess/Measure
    It’s always important to reassess what worked and what didn’t, after ALL marketing campaigns. What was your ROI? Did you hit you goal? What would you do different next time to make this recipe/campaign better, or is it best to not do this again, and try something new? Whatever the answer is, don’t get discouraged if you get less than stellar results. What you learned during the process of the campaign is really important for future campaigns. And, whatever you do, don’t give up on marketing your business if it has been a struggle. It takes practice, and it’s harder to make an impact on your business when you are reactive vs. proactive. People can smell the desperation a mile a way, so try to do something consistently every month until it becomes your go-to recipe (strategy) for success.

 

Live Q&A: Overcoming Overwhelm

overwhelm-blog

Catch me on Periscope tonight at 6:00pm PST for my live Q&A addressing the questions that I posed to my personal Facebook audience last week. My goal is to figure out how best we can support entrepreneurs, so I asked some questions to figure out what challenges were plaguing my entrepreneur friends and getting in the way of their success.

So… tonight I’m going to address some of my findings, more specifically, OVERCOMING OVERWHELM. Some of the responses were:

  • I have so much to do… where do I find help?
  • I work a full-time job, and I want to be an entrepreneur… where do I start?
  • What should I be doing to get more customers when I have a business to run?

If this sounds like you or someone that you know, I hope that you can join me for our Q&A. This will be a high level conversation, and my hope is that we close the session feeling more empowered to get through the rest of the week with a solid plan of action and the confidence to do so with reduced stress.

If you’ve never used Periscope, here is a step-by-step easy for you to read through: http://bit.ly/2ckDW2b

All you have to do is follow me on Twitter @amarareps to receive the notification when I’m LIVE.

See you this evening!

PS. I encourage you to answer the questions that I presented to my group before the call. If you’d like to answer the questions click here to fill out the survey!

Announcing Our Partnership with Innovatory Solutions and WE Labs

We are happy to announce that today is our first day in partnership with Innovatory Solutions at WE Labs in Downtown Long Beach. This endeavor brings together Amara Omoregie, Lincoln Bauer and Ted Sieving as managing partners of a creative marketing and business development agency that will draw on the talent and experience at the WE Labs coworking location on Broadway. By providing Long Beach’s businesses, government, established and aspiring entrepreneurs with access to local artists and creative services, Innovatory Solutions will bring authenticity and originality back to Downtown and Greater Long Beach. Amara put it best, saying “Long Beach has so much talent and is capable of so much, all with its own unique and amazing identity. It’s time to start believing it by building businesses and campaigns that speak to and about our community in authentic ways. Local is authentic. Long Beach is authentic.”

 
Lincoln goes on to explain the efforts to champion local business and emerging brands from this area, stating “we don’t sit around and wait for opportunity and change, we actively seek both out.” To this end, Innovatory Solutions will offer two monthly sessions to develop the entrepreneurial culture in Long Beach and will be participating in I Week this October. In addition, Lincoln Bauer hopes to develop a strong brand incubation program to select businesses this year. All brands that work with Innovatory Solutions will benefit from the over 30 combined years of experience that these three managing partners brings to the table and the support of dozens of working professionals that Innovatory Solutions will partner with. The sky is the limit for this collaborative agency and we are proud to be joining the journey.

Tinder’s Three Prong PR Problem

On Tuesday, August 11, someone in the Tinder company utilized the company Twitter account to go on a “Twitterstorm” in response to a Vanity Fair article that uncovered some pretty unsavory uses of mobile dating apps like Tinder, Happn, Hinge, OkCupid, and more by members of the Millennial group. Without making predictions of how well Tinder will perform in the next five years, I have noticed that they have a pretty serious problem; their public relations. At Chapman University, I took a course in public relations where I learned a simple perspective on who is served by a company or brand’s efforts in public relations. My professor, Allen Levy, taught us that to be successful in PR, you have to nurture your relationships with three groups: your workforce, your customers, and potential customers (aka the world community at large). So, for instance, when it comes to your labor force, if you make sure that they are trained and equipped to do a job that they are proud of they become a word of mouth ambassador for your brand (and the opposite being very much true as well). As for your customers, keeping them happy by being accessible and providing them with solutions for their problems is the most important thing you can do to keep their loyalty and business. Finally, by maintaining a reputation of quality and esteem with the world at large, over time you may gain their dollars, but more importantly they won’t have a reason to question your value.

In the wake of the Twitterstorm, early on  August 13, Tinder announced that CEO Chris Payne (hired in March, with experience at eBay, Microsoft, Amazon and many others) was being replaced. So, who is being placed at the helm in these uncertain times? Former CEO and founder, Sean Rad. I repeat, former CEO and founder, Sean Rad, is taking his job back from Chris Payne after being demoted to president in November 2014 on the heels of a sexual harassment lawsuit that ended his friend’s career as CMO at the company. So, this may seem like old school, reaction-based management (and it is) but it may be more indicative of a lack of genuine leadership that can poison a company. High levels of turnover are not unusual at tech companies (ahem, Amazon), but this type of hire-fire-hire environment has led to some volatile conditions that affect loyalty and brand sentiment in the top tiers of the labor force and can make it difficult to attract a replacement squad further down the line. Maybe it’s NBD for the majority shareholders at InterActiveCorp (IAC), who in June announced plans to take their Match Group (containing Match.com, Tinder and OkCupid) public with an IPO, because Tinder is only a little fragment of their total investments in internet services and is becoming a bit of a black sheep.

I don’t doubt that there is talent at Tinder and a future for their app; I doubt they have a strategy for approaching their public relations proactively. That might sound harsh, so I’ll back it up a little. Their off-the-cuff “Twitterstorm” (which you can read in its entirety) started with a brief tweet eerily similar to the hyper-sexual communications that those interviewed in the Vanity Fair article reported as typical in their experience:

Littleknown

The message changes about 13 tweets later, but not the inflammatory tone:

Itsabout

Then 20 posts later this melodramatic martyr remark surfaces:

Sowearegoing

Dealing with negative press is difficult, but a professional public relations department works on their reputation consistently to ensure that they keep their customers happy and to gain consumer trust. In order to do that in this case, they would be better served to follow up in a manner that would discover to what extent this environment may exist and then act on it if it is not in line with the environment that they want to provide to the Tinder community. Why didn’t they point out that their users are able to report members of the community that send “harassing or offensive messages” along with the other safety issues that they may be exposed to on the platform? Afterall, educating the consumer is the responsibility of the brand and this could have been seized as an opportunity to strengthen a perceived weakness. Why didn’t they ask people to reach out directly to them via a feedback link to show that they are listening? This would give them an opportunity to highlight positive feedback and control the narrative. What they did instead was demonstrate an attitude of arrogance and insouciance towards critics who believe their product to nurture unfulfilling social experiences.

This reaction may not be damaging to their current members, who will probably come and go naturally, but could be a turn off to the world at large. This is the third, and equally important demographic, that good PR practitioners address in their strategy to maintain a good reputation and strong presence in the market. If it is true, as GlobalWedIndex has reported, that “about 62% of all location-based dating app users are male” and Tinder wants to increase their female presence on the app to better serve and retain their male membership, it’s important to pay attention to what they can do to draw in the ladies. This could even present an opportunity for them to explore the possibility of horizontal growth. If they do their due diligence and discover that there is a group that is being underserved due to the environment that their users are creating on their app, they could begin targeting a whole new segment of users that need a solution to mobile dating with a different purpose in mind. Given their access to innovators in technological development, and the billions they could raise when they go public, they could truly be sitting on a goldmine. The emergence of dating sites that target people looking for a particular result in mobile dating (such as J Date, Christian Mingle, Farmers Only, heck even Ashley Madison) hints at how specific people are when it comes to their expectations from service providers. No matter what their findings, once they do the data collection and analysis, they will have a convincing argument for their investors and a clear path for their evolution that will attract new users.

Was Vanity Fair unfair? What would you have done differently if you were on the Tinder team? Does this sound like a publicity stunt to you? Do you second the reactions that fans of Nancy Jo Sales are putting out there on Twitter? What do you think the future holds for the mobile dating industry? There are a lot of different ways to interpret the leadership changes Tinder is going through, their approach to understanding the market, and their public reaction (labeled a meltdown on AdWeek online) to Vanity Fair. Our job, is to practice the type of PR that we are confident in and encourage other entrepreneurs to do the same.

 

Next Monday, August 24, Join Us For a FREE Strategic Marketing Planning Workshop

Our mission, since the inception of our company, has always been to give back to entrepreneurs, and we accomplish this in a number of ways. One of which is to host educational events on a regular basis to support businesses with their sales and marketing objectives. This month, we are proud to partner with WE Labs for an evening of hands-on training for business owners and/or startups who are looking for support with creating a strategic marketing and communications plan, retooling their existing plan to address changing marketing needs, or ask questions about what they can do next to support their growing brand.
This event is FREE when you RSVP! You will walk away with invaluable insight and a plan of action to help you get to the next major milestone in your business. If you are available on Monday, August 24th from 7-9pm, please click the link to reserve your spot. Space is limited, so do not delay. We look forward to seeing you there!

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