Great Content Is A Godsend

A client recently offered those words at the close of a conference call. And right then it dawned on me: Our clients tend to be experts in their particular field – not experienced multi-media communicators like we are. That’s in our DNA and we sometimes take it for granted. It’s our secret weapon.

Content Marketing is an oft-overused term originally conjured up to describe paid print editorial. In a platform agnostic marketing environment of 2012, truly great content must be deployed across multiple platforms, where consumers want, and how they want.

Any organization can leverage its expertise to create compelling media content – especially if it enjoys a thought-leadership position in the marketplace. An experienced and quality content creator can help these brands literally evolve into media properties that can engage followers with a myriad of specific interests and motivations.

North America’s largest trade association and the leading producer of housing market data had several goals. It sought a way to deliver information on buying, selling, and owning a home as well as other housing market information directly to consumers.

NAR previously relied almost exclusively on the national media to interpret their releases and present the information through their varying lenses. The Association also wanted to create and disseminate credible and timely messages that represented the immense collective expertise and professional acumen of their 1.1 million REALTOR® membership.

With the help of media marketing experts, Real Estate Today was born and within 24 months the weekly 2-hour audio program, hosted by award-winning talent Gil Gross, and its associated web-deployed and social media-driven content became America’s #1 real estate program.

Real Estate Today is now available on on-air, on satellite, on-line, via mobile, and is consumed by over 1 million consumers every month. www.RETradio.com

Example: The National Association of REALTORS® – Real Estate Today

The winning formula for producing great content starts with a comprehensive brand strategy and is fulfilled with highly produced and informative, engaging content that can activate the target audience in a natural and powerful way.

No tactic can rival the successful deployment of superior multi-platform content marketing delivered by a credible organization by proven and professional content creators. It truly is a godsend.

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What Happened To Kashi Could Happen To Your Brand

…if it stands for something you can’t stand behind.

The image appearing on social feeds across the globe is one that is still hard to erase.

The shock is still palpable to masses of Kashi cereal lovers, including myself, who woke up over the past few months to the fact that the all “natural” breakfast food they loved and trusted was found by the USDA to contain genetically modified soy, and that certain grains contained pesticides that are known carcinogens and hormone disruptors.

Undoubtedly consumers everywhere need to wake up to how our food is grown and processed and to take responsibility for what we put on our family’s tables. That’s a matter for another article.

But, from a marketing perspective, why was there such a massive consumer backlash on social media?

Kelloggs – the corporate parent of Kashi – maintained it did nothing wrong. Finally, on Facebook, they blamed food supply and then the USDA for not regulating the term “natural.”

Kashi clearly missed the point. They did not understand and value the true connection they had enjoyed with consumers all this time.

Consumers felt betrayed because they believed Kashi shared their values. The products were being marketed as “natural” at a premium price point ($5-$8.00) through reputable health food and organic retailers. Health professionals touted the benefits of switching to Kashi cereals to their patients. Friends told their friends, and so on. Kashi was a company you could trust to help you live a healthier life.

Instead of understanding the power of this connection with their followers, Kashi remained silent for days. When they did speak, Kashi went on the defensive and denied wrongdoing instead of taking responsibility in a head-on approach crisis as a “partner in nutrition.”

Kashi missed a priceless opportunity to share the values – even in a time of crisis- with the one group of people with whom they had an opportunity to build consensus; people who are relatively aware of and are concerned about the presence of unhealthy ingredients in the food chain; people who were already putting money where their mouths are.

What can be learned: It is so important to take stock in what makes your brand tick. Are you fortunate enough to share certain beliefs with those who use your product? Do you fully appreciate how your consumers view your brand? Does your brand live up to its actual or perceived brand promise? Have you reviewed every aspect of your operation to ensure all the elements are in alignment and you can stand behind what you stand for? And are you prepared with a proper social media crisis plan when the unthinkable happens?

If you answered “no” to any of the afore mentioned questions, you had better get ready or risk getting “Kashi-ed!”

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The Future of Marketing

The future of marketing is technology. It’s a future that is materializing before our very eyes, driven by a new breed of marketers. They are individuals who leverage highly targetable and measurable technologies to reach buyers wherever they are via whatever platforms they’re using.

They’re marketing technologists. Our marketing agency has them in spades and their influence can be felt on virtually every campaign we mount for our clients.

Marketing Technologists are passionate about staying up-to-the-minute on rapidly evolving platforms, whether it’s Google, Facebook, or digital outlets. They’re also problem solvers who are keen to apply best-of-breed techniques – whether old (like totally 2012) or new – to achieve the campaign goals.

They question status quo and they break through tech barriers as necessary to create a conversion path and generate measurable return on investment for their clients.

The marketing technologist is also a geek about testing multiple conversion paths and refining those paths based on results to deliver the desired efficiency.



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And lastly but not finally, the marketing technologist studies the industry in which they’re working and applies the correct tools for that vertical.

In the case of our client Budget Brake & Muffler, our MTs employed Google Local to help the auto service provider facilitate online discovery and harness the power of consumer generated content (reviews) in a way that the Yellow Pages never could.

When challenged by the client’s desire to distribute content to their brokers and consumers, our MTs created an embedded player for Prudential Real Estate to deliver weekly podcasts that have resulted in over 1 million plays (2015 is the Year of the Podcast!).

Marketing technologists have essentially become the backbone of the digital marketing agency and regardless of the challenges or opportunities they are presented with, they’ll chart a highly customized digital strategy that will deliver results for your brand.

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Let’s customize a digital strategy that will deliver results for your brand.

Why Tourism & Travel Should Pay for Facebook Advertising

With gas prices on the decline and the American dollar travelling further than ever (especially in Canada) the tourism and travel season is shaping up to be a great one.

If you couple this with the ultra low cost of Facebook advertising at the moment, virtually every tourism and travel oriented business can reach their exact target market.

You should be paying for Facebook advertising. Here’s why…

The free ride for brands on Facebook is over.

As the social giant transforms into a media company and not simply another social platform, the hard reality is coming to light with regard to organic (unpaid) posting placement, specifically posting to brand pages, and the depth of which users will now see brand posts.

The organic reach of posts is in serious decline. (Organic reach being how often the post will be seen without the assistance of Facebook’s algorithm or via paid placement.) Although no one can provide definitive numbers in terms of the current reach of unpaid posting, the majority of online sources report numbers as low as 6% and declining. This is no accident.

Facebook derives all of its current revenue from paid placement. This is their model and this is how the platform will further shape itself into being the most powerful ad spend any organization can harness today. The reach of Facebook’s advertising model is far more powerful than any other platform currently available on the marketplace. It’s a fact. Advertisers have never had the power to harness deep seeded demographic information at the scale now provided by Facebook – all with a very limited ad spend. The type of data now available to the advertiser, within the platform, not only drives granular campaigns but also provides statistical information that allows reactive changes in strategy based on those metrics. This data illuminates the most effective conversion paths allowing marketers to quickly abandon those paths that are not showing returns.




At present, the cost to the advertiser is the lowest it has been in the history of the platform. The average cost per 1000 people (CPM) reached can be as low as $0.25. This type of cost is well below all other platforms, both digital and traditional. With a minimum spend of $1.00 per day there is essentially no excuse to not be paying for advertising on a platform that will provide, at the very least, brand exposure, at a scale that most businesses would have only hoped to achieve just 3 years ago. Many organizations will find themselves wrapped up in the ROI debate. But in all seriousness, 30 dollars a month for simple brand exposure is unheard of. Wrapping your brand into a well conceived and well tracked campaign will provide effective lead generation, deep seeded brand awareness, and put your organization far ahead of your competitors. All with very minimal financial commitment.

If you are still spending the lions share of your advertising budget in television, radio, and print, the following infographic should be all the impetus you need to carve out a healthy portion from traditional to digital, for Facebook, today.

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It was a wild and free ride. But it’s time to pay the piper his paltry sum. And do it while its still the best kept secret in marketing. Your digital marketing agency will help your local business or large-scale organization design the correct Facebook strategies and campaigns for your brand.

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