You Will Be Judged . . . Or Ignored

Judge-and-JuryAs marketers, we are inclined to take risks. We have to step out of the routine and ordinary in order to help our brand become extraordinary.

Simple right?

…A concept that has been taught, written, and lectured about in our digital marketing age…

But, we forget about the risk that we take so we pursue the safe and comfortable marketing rout. We are afraid we will be judged… or ignored.

Those are pretty much the only two choices.Jim's Plumbing

Being judged is uncomfortable. Snap judgments, prejudices, misinformation… all of these, combined with not enough time (how could there be) to truly know you, means that you will inevitably be misjudged, underestimated (or overestimated) and unfairly rejected if you take bold marketing approaches.

The alternative, of course, is much safer. To be ignored.

Up to you.

Tell us what has worked for your business. We want your comments at Kroma Marketing.

colespriggs

Stuck in a Rut

stuck5In talking to my daughter, 17, the other night after one of the biggest snow storms we remember in Kansas history and facing another foot in a few days, I eluded that I was coming up short on a topic for our blog for the week. She quickly surmised the immediate situation and said, “How about ‘Stuck in a Rut’; like, you know, if your business is stuck and needs help, use social media.” If I had been wearing a shirt with buttons they would probably have popped off from the pride I had at that moment. My daughter had been paying attention the business Kroma is in—social media!

We had just watched my husband and boys try to get through our subdivision for two stuck4hours, inching their way a few feet at a time, my husband driving and the boys pushing and digging, sometimes even standing on the back bumper for traction. At times, they would get going and then my husband would get in a rut of snow, pulling our SUV right into the snow bank. You would think this heavy machinery could handle the snow but it was virtually rendered inept, slipping sideways and sometimes backwards.

I thought about how some business owners really are stuck in the way they market their business, inching along, intent on their old standards, ways that used to work but now only stall their business. In fact, the rut can get deeper because things are moving so fast around them, they hunker down to what they know and hope it turns out.

Like snow, frozen in 20 degree weather, the social media storm isn’t going away; in fact, it’s going to get bigger and bigger, just like the storm we should be having in 24 hours from now. If you are “stuck in the rut” of your old ways, don’t bet on social media “melting” and disappearing. It’s just going to get bigger. If you are stuck now, we may not find you in the blizzard to come.

Let us help you find your way out! Tell us how you are stuck on marketing your business! And if you are trying new ways out of the rut, let us know—we’d love to hear about it. Contact us or, better yet, come see us at Kroma Marketing.

bethrose11

Super Bowl Commercials—What Can We Learn From This Social Experiment?

beyoncehttp://abcnews.go.com/blogs/business/2013/02/3-super-bowl-commercials-to-watch-out-for/

Overheard “water cooler conversation”:  “So, you excited about the big game on Sunday?” “My team isn’t playing, so, no. How about you?” “Nah, I’m really looking more forward to the commercials.”

You may have heard this kind of conversation before or even been in one like it. Statistics show that “nine in 10 viewers are as interested in the commercials as the game.” (Bruce Horovitz, USA Today) So for more than 100 million people watching the Super Bowl this year, that’s a lot of advertising and advertising dollars. That means the ads for the Super Bowl are considered the “Super Bowl of advertising”. What makes them so great and what can we learn from their social experiments?

betty whiteFor 15 years, Charles Tomkovick, a marketing professor at the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire, has tracked companies who advertise in the Super Bowl. He says popular ads use dramatic sound, motion, celebrities as well as humor and surprise endings to get the audience’s attention quickly. “You also want to throw in some animals, if you can find a way to tie in animals with your brand,” Tomkovick says. “About 20 to 25 percent of Super Bowl commercials have animals. It’s like going to the zoo.”  http://youtu.be/RP9dmF7WFl8 (Denny’s screaming chickens, 2012) Tomkovick also says to avoid too much discussion of the product or service advertised.

“The more you talk about your product, the less people like it.” (Tomkovick)

There are controversial perspectives about the ads for the Super Bowl as well.  Bruce baby and dogstronautHorovitz of USA Today says, “The commercials for Super Bowl 2013 are so overloaded with eye candy — sexy models, too-cute kids, wacky animals, magical happenings and effects — that by the time folks take them all in, many viewers will feel like they just swallowed the entire bag of Halloween candy in one sitting. No room for the chips and dip.”

doritosIn fact, some of the ads have been more and more controversial as the years go on. This year, one particular ad was pulled from the lineup, namely, Sodastream, for using competitor branding without permission (http://youtu.be/68al-o2XSpE), which continues to show the ad online, instigating more interest and attention than if there hadn’t been the controversy. So, the question is:  with social media and online marketing at our finger tips, is it worth it to push the envelope, riding that thin line between interest and offensiveness?

“The debates have prompted millions of online views, thousands of social media comments and headlines questioning whether the pitches were offensive – all this before the full audience of 100 million viewers who will watch the San Francisco 49ers play the Baltimore Ravens have seen the ads,” according to Lisa Richwine and Sue Zeidler of etradeReuters. “That degree of attention can boost the value for ads beyond the $4 million-plus that agencies pay for some of the 30-second spots. Advance buzz gets people talking and, better yet from a marketer’s perspective, searching for the promotions online.”

Mae Anderson of the Associated Press reported that “Last year, Super Bowl ads released early were watched 600 percent more times — with 9.1 million average views,” clearly outweighing the skeptics who believe in a purist perspective, revealing the ads only on game day.

So what can we learn from the Super Bowl advertisers and their marketing maneuvers? Mix dashes of excitement and surprise with a few splashes of kids, animals, and celebrities and throw in some humor without talking about your product, possibly with some controversy, and you have the magic. Now, somebody pass me the buffalo wings, I’m ready for some Super Bowl commercials! By the way, we’d love to hear which ones are your favorites @ Kroma Marketing.

bethrose11

Save the Fonts! Save the World!

Header-image-for-blog

Most people won’t notice a good typeface when they see one, but, most of the time, THAT IS THE POINT! If a website is designed well, the font will portray a feeling to the site that gives your entire site the vibe it deserves. First off, there is no perfect font. Every designer has their favorites, but no designer uses their favorite on even half of their work. So how do we pick the right one? Well, start with not picking a bad one!

Sure there are tons of “fun looking” looking fonts out there that you may think fit exactly what you want to say, but, more often than not, it really is just “fun looking”. The question is: will someone actually read it? In today’s world, it is much too easy to add any font you want to any medium that calls for it.

Here is what to stay away from and why you should stay away from them.

comic-sans

Even though you might love it, this font is bad, bad, bad, bad, baaaad for your site. The appeal is the hand-drawn nature of the font, which may give it that “fun” aspect you are going for. In reality, this font was designed to do just that. Unfortunately, on today’s web, hand written fonts don’t fit in the clean cut digital world. This font is over used and is unappealing to every audience older than 5 years old. What is easier to read: a hand-written three page paper or a typed three page paper with Times New Roman?

Copperplate--Gothic

This font was a poor attempt of modernizing a block print typeface. Lesson on modern typefaces: they are made to be “modern” and we all know “modern” things always expire. This font was created in 1901. Needless to say, it is outdated. Please refrain from old, “modern” fonts.

Brush-Script

NO, NO, NO, NO . . . it does not look like a brush stroke. Once again this is another font that was created to mimic a handwritten feel but with a “50’s large letter” effect. Dated? Yes.

Arial

Maybe Arial is not that bad of a font, but only in a few scenarios. Let’s say you own a sleep therapy company, this is the font for you. Maybe you only want the viewers to look at pictures instead of reading your important information. Either way, this font is BORING. People WILL be uninterested in most everything you have to say, because this font generates no interest at all for your important information.

Papyrus

Ah yes, we almost left out the worst font in the world. This is the third replica of a hand-generated font, and once again, it is over used, hard to read, and just doesn’t look right. Nearly every designer will name this font as one of the top five fonts in the entire world. This font is not only hated, it is loathed entirely.

Do your end user a favor and don’t choose these fonts for paragraph text. They are all very hard to read and are unappealing for your over-all website. Every decision is important for your site. However, if it’s amazing but nobody can read it then what is the point of having a site in the first place? A recent statistic shows that any site that has these five fonts anywhere on it, Google then deletes the site from its search results . . . ok maybe that’s not a real statistic, but it is funny. Don’t get me wrong, any font can be used correctly, but do the web world a favor and use a good font. Save the fonts, save the world!

What are your thoughts on fonts? We would love to know! Kroma Marketing

lukecoselmon

Epitaph

George Lewis – When The Saints Go Marching In

Yesterday I went to a funeral. I know you must be thinking, “Why in the world do I want to read a blog about going to a funeral?” But it wasn’t just any funeral. It was a celebration of a man my family has known for many years, who has impacted his world, who has made an impression so great, people from all over the world wrote epitaphs of love, honor, and respect. If you had been sitting there and hadn’t known him, you would be able to walk out of that church with a great admiration for the man.

It got me thinking, what do I want people saying about me when I’m gone? And what about you–what do you want people to say about you when you are gone?

But why plan for the end of life when you could plan for now; so what do you want people saying about you tomorrow? And what about your business–what do you want people saying about your business tomorrow?

It doesn’t have to take a funeral to put things in perspective. Or does it?

I think by now you’ve read the statements regarding the importance of social media. If you aren’t using social media for business, you could be playing your own funeral dirge . . . soon.

Jeremy Blanton in The Social Revolution says,“The ROI of Social Media is your business will still exist in 5 years,”and he said that in June of 2011.  Eric Qualman said in May 2010, “Social Media isn’t a fad, it’s a fundamental shift in the way we communicate.” He also said, “We don’t have a choice on whether we DO social media, the question is how well we DO it.” We are almost in 2013. Watch this:  http://youtu.be/QUCfFcchw1w

It’s not too late but you’ve got to jump on board now or you could be hearing this soon:

Magnificent Sevenths – Funeral Procession: In the Sweet Bye and Bye

Talk to us . . . does social media make you feel impending doom or celebration? We can help you celebrate and embrace the future instead of dread it. www.kromamarketing.com

POWER TO THE PEOPLE!

Who has the power? In a consumer driven society, it would be nice to think that the people who control business decision making—the CEO, the CFO, the COO, or even the CSO—would be the power dealers in business. Ah . . . you would be wrong. In fact, you couldn’t be more wrong. Now, more than ever before, business must bow down to the power-brokers:  the people. And social media is their weapon.

We’ve seen multiple examples of the social media impact on politics, especially lately, on this “eve” of one of the most important elections to date. We’ve seen the immediacy of social media impact on entire countries and their dictators (see the infographic below). An example of social media in the everyday workings of government was recently presented by Odysseus Bostick, educator, social media believer and speaker for TedX  conference in Santa Monica on “Collaborative Governing Through Social Media” when he talked about Cory Booker, Mayor of New York/New Jersey.

“He’s like a dynamo. He just never stops. He has over a million people following him on Twitter; a lot of them living in the city. They use it because he responds. And they’ll ask him [something] . . . because they know Mayor Booker will answer it. He actually answers them which builds a relationship between him and his constituents. And it’s every day and it’s real and it’s in real time and it’s instantaneous. And so that’s kind of a mutually beneficial relationship because he always knows what’s wrong, when it goes down, and who’s complaining. With other social media tools, he can actually aggregate all the tweets that come to him geographically and pin point series of problems.”

And so it is in business. It’s the people the business serves that have the power. If the business owners, C-levels, management, or front liners don’t have people, they don’t have a business. If they don’t have a buyer, they don’t have an income. If they don’t have anyone listening, they don’t have an audience. It’s really pretty simple, isn’t it? Yet, do we really get it? Those in business may keep taking the baton back, as if they had in the first place, because, frankly, BUSINESSES WANT THE POWER! Right?

Consider this . . . If the people have the power, what do businesses do differently that hasn’t been working for them up until this moment? That is the million dollar question, isn’t it? Because, if a business can answer that, they might just do business right.

What do you think needs to be done differently in “business” (yes, I’ll let you act like it’s hypothetical)? We would love to hear from you! www.kromamarketing.com

Social Media’s Crib Sheet

“To business that we love we rise betime, And go to’t with delight.”
Antony and Cleopatra, IV.iv

Remember in school when you were told you had to read a Shakespearean work and you had that pit in your stomach because you knew when you actually sat down to try and read it you would have no idea what they were talking about. What was the first thing you did? You went for the crib sheet or “Shakespeare for Dummies,” the days before there were “SparkNotes” websites.

The social media layman probably feels the same way when it comes to navigating through the throngs of various types of networking sites and media share possibilities! IT’S TOO MUCH INFORMATION! Not only that, sometimes it’s in a @completely #different #language!

In talking to a client the other day about the state of their social media assets, I realized they really didn’t have a clue about what we were doing as their marketing firm. They sort of knew we were “posting” and “blogging”, linking and connecting but they really didn’t understand the “why” or the “how” of what we did and how that impacted their business (even with analytic reports every month). It was amazing to watch the client’s face when she began to get it. In fact, it really kind of scared her a little. We were bringing in business!

Those of us in the throes of this business every day lose touch with our clients’ level of understanding. So if you are a little “social media illiterate” here’s a “cheat sheet” breakdown of the top tier in social media. Or in the spirit of Shakespeare, “Hither thou to thine crib sheet (below) and make haste, pray thee, to possess thine social media wisdom!”

What’s got you scratching your head in the social media world? We would love to hear from you! www.kromamarketing.com

Emotional Investment . . . Emotional Capital

Upon sending our daughter off to her first school homecoming dance with a boy we hardly know, I realized the emotional investment it took to prepare her and us for this giant leap and to making sure she was safe and in good hands. Of course, my husband made sure to grip the boy’s hand, make eye contact with him, pull him in a little and say “Make sure my daughter gets home safe, son.” All the while, my husband was grinning a little evil grin to remind the babbling boy that he knew where to find him should anything happen to her.

Emotional investment . . . emotional capital. In the age of social media becoming one of the greatest influences on how we do business and how we market business, we need to pay attention to the things we do to invest emotionally in making our business a success so that the emotional capital that is gained is positive. Since social media has come into play, it’s more important than ever to realize the immediacy of what we do to invest in connecting with the customer.

First coined by Coca-Cola president Steven J. Heyer, “emotional capital” is the value of the feelings and perceptions held by the customer towards your business.  I can think of nothing that will influence that value more in today’s business than social media. Our investment in connecting with our audience through the social arms of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or blogging through Reddit, Tumblr, Blogger, or sharing media through Instagram, Youtube, or Flickr will say everything about how our business values knowing our customers and what they want.

In “The Key to Social Media Success Within Organizations” Huy and Shipilov explain the study they did to see what resonated with organizations internally that builds emotional capital. They found that there are four components that make the difference to the internal customer:

  • Authenticity
  • Pride
  • Attachment
  • Fun

What if we marketed our business the same way to our external customer and used social media to do it? What would that look like?

1. We would create connection with the customer through our blogging or posts that reveal the authenticity of who we are as a business and what we really want them to know and to feel as a customer.

2. We would show our pride in the quality of what we produce as a business by displaying it through our social networks and how we interact with and treat the customer in going above and beyond their expectations.

3. We would connect with the customer on a more personal level to show that we as a business are committed to attachment with them for the longer term.

4. We would show the fun side of the company through Youtube or Facebook and how we as a company are just people too through celebrations and achievements we have made along the way.

Emotional capital can be a positive or negative value. If we are to make it positive, we need to invest in social media to make it happen. The customer is watching to see if you are committed to connecting with them. If you don’t show up on the social media scene, that will be their answer.

Let us help you make that connection. www.kromamarketing.com

Tweets, Posts, Blogs … and Our Election!

I know we are taught to never mix politics and business, but the impact of social media on this election is worth taking a look at.

“More tweets were sent during the first two days Republicans gathered in Tampa this week than in the entire 2008 election campaign,” according to chron.com. Yes, social media is abuzz these days in southern Florida. If it’s good enough for the GOP, and the Dems next week in Atlanta, it’s definitely a medium good enough for the rest of us.

Katie Harbath, Facebook’s chief liaison with political campaigns, says “Romney’s digital team deserves credit for its high level of engagement with its core audience. You’ve got to have good content that’s compelling,” she said. “The Romney campaign does a great job with this.”

Google spokeswoman, Samantha Smith, says the goal for Republican and Democratic conventions is for online connection between candidates and voters. “Even when they’re watching the conventions [on TV], voters are usually doing so with their mobile device in their hand or their laptop within reach,” she said.

However, connection is one thing but what really matters is engagement. “It really doesn’t matter how many people you have following you,” said Zac Moffatt, digital director of the Romney campaign. “It’s how many people you engage.” A candidate can boast about their “likes” or followers but are they “buying in” to the candidate?

According to chron.com, “Moffatt dismisses such numbers as ‘vanity metrics’ and says his campaign has been more effective at using social media to shape the campaign debate. As evidence, he points to the ongoing effort to embarrass President Obama after his ‘you didn’t build this’ comment about American business. The story generated little buzz in the mainstream media, Moffatt said, but Romney supporters ‘kept a narrative going that wouldn’t have happened without social media.’”

So how does this translate to doing business? When companies engage social media for their day to day business the hub bub usually surrounds the numbers. Social media specialists are now saying the numbers really don’t matter unless the people are paying attention to your product or service. It’s the quantity versus quality issue.

Kipp Bodnar, an inbound marketing strategist at HubSpot and the author, along with Jeffrey Cohen, of The B2B Social Media Book, says the companies need to ask some very key questions:
“Am I creating content at a consistent frequency that works for my business and is the content that I’m publishing…interesting to my audience? Are people actually finding it? Are people actually reading it?” Kipp says we should be focusing on “educating, entertaining, and informing my target audience, and in doing so I’m going to be able to convert a portion of those people into customers.”
The official GOP hashtag is #GOP2012; the Democratic hashtag is #DNC2012.

So what do you think about this all? How much will social media play a role in this election compared to those in the past?

Kroma Marketing – Thanks for your time and interest in our article!

Super Bowl 2012 Commercials: Which Was Your Favorite?

With the average 30 second ad slot costing $3.5 million, many companies strove to make that 30 seconds count. We chose a few of our favorite commercials from the game on Sunday, now we’d like you to help us narrow it down! Let us know which Superbowl ad is most memorable to you!

Did we forget your favorite one? Comment below and let us know which one was most memorable to you! For all things marketing, contact Kroma Marketing.