Why We-Blog

blog6blog1The term “weblog” was devised by Jorn Barger on 17 December 1997 and the shortened form, “blog,” was then coined by Peter Merholz, who broke the word “weblog” into the phrase “we blog” in the sidebar of his blog in April or May 1999.

It is estimated that there are now over 175 million blogs active on the WWW and that 20,000 bloggers join those ranks every day! If you were hoping that blogging was just a fad, I’m afraid you are somewhat in denial. Blogging isn’t going away—it is only getting stronger and more important.

Why? Have you noticed that art mimicks reality or reality mimicks art? There are practically more reality TV shows than there are sitcoms in existence. As my son says 20 times a day (no lie), “It’s like they don’t know.” And people want to know. People want the details; they want to know what’s going on in people’s lives and their opinions.blog3

So, as a business, you can capitalize on that. You can connect people with your opinions and what matters to you in your business. The infographic below explains it: your blog gives a sense of activity and information of brand significance, probably some of the most important aspects of blogging.

I was talking with a colleague yesterday and he said a marketing company he had heard about had dissolved. So, guess where we went to check it out: to their website blog and their social media postings. They hadn’t posted since December, obviously not in action any longer since social media was one of the ways they connected with their client base. Dead, gone. I was even a little depressed thinking about it, and I didn’t even know these people! But it’s a sad day when a company goes by the wayside and when you see it exist, especially a marketing company, in their outdated blog.

blog4The upside to this blog is that there are differentiators between the company that went under and our company. We have not only survived in a downturned economy but thrived! Why? Not just because we blog but because we grow alongside our customers; we have an ROI attached to our services offered, and we have exceptional customer service—all and more that we blog about to not only our clients but anyone who will listen!

Get significant—get blogging.

What are your thoughts? Do you blog or have someone blogging for you? What ways have you connected with your audience through your blog? What response are you getting? Even more important, how have have seen an ROI on blogging and how have you grown your followers?

bethrose1blog5

SOTB (State of the Business) Address

Kroma SOTBNew. It is a word that excites some and causes others angst.  When I hear the word “new” it fills me with excitement. My mind immediately goes to possibilities to come. I look forward to new things, new seasons, a new year, a new perspective.

A business needs to have a new challenge brought to it each year. Sustainability is not to be celebrated as a goal; it is to be a marker along the journey of building a business. It is necessary to review our past, without allowing it to define our projections for the upcoming months and years. It is these perspectives to which I pause to have a look at Kroma.

My journey into marketing began in the 1990s.  I gave it up to make more dollars on the sales side of corporate America and was moderately successful. As I moved into deciding the next phase of my career goals, I felt led to quit my job, yes quit, and begin a new business. It is out of this decision that Kroma Marketing came into being.

A new business has many seasons of change. Some come and go quickly while other seasons last months and even years. Kroma was birthed out of hope… a hope of providing a “new” perspective to marketing and design. We want to come alongside our clients and partner with them. We feel our success is measured by our clients’ ongoing growth and success. We believe that each client deserves excellence in design and measured results of our marketing efforts. I firmly believe there is an ROI (return on investment) to every dollar spent. There is accountability to the client for each dollar they spend with Kroma.

With that, we are brought to our assessment of last year. It was a season of change once again.

  • We added staff as we saw others move on to other states, other jobs, and other seasons in their lives.
  • We increased our expertise in many services.
  • Originating in web design and traditional marketing, Kroma quickly became strategists in the last few years with online marketing.
  • Kroma increased our services to our clients by adding several acronyms to our expertise: SEO, PPC, SEM, along with the growing trend of social media.  This allowed our new team to bring excellence beyond design in traditional marketing, to excellence through research and development in the new frontier of online marketing.

Our corporate culture continues to morph. The employees we hire come with fresh and innovative ideas and design. They come ready to be pushed to excellence in what they do. It’s a win to see them begin pushing one another in concepts and executables to achieve excellence for the clients we serve. They get it.

Ordinary is not welcomed here.

Finally, we are becoming sustainable! We have growth projections that stretch our budget, but are worth investing towards the betterment of our client services. We were able to review our pricing and keep cost of services the same as last year. We are able to do this by keeping cost down and quarterly projections conservative. We are doing as our website says:  “Thriving in a down-turned economy”…we are honored to do that for the clients we serve.

If you are looking for something new, we’d love to partner with you in growing your business. Contact us @ KROMA.

Richard Rose, CEO/Owner, Kroma Marketing

Richard Rose, CEO, Kroma Marketing

STUPID

sunglassesSo… your difficult boss, customer, prospect is… probably not stupid–just uniformed. There’s a huge difference.

I have been on a Seth Godin kick recently, and he outlines the difference very well; so well, in fact, that I have to share it with you.

He states, “Every person makes decisions based on their worldview and the data at hand. If two people have the same worldview and the same data, they’ll make the same decision, every time (unless they’re stupid)”.

So, there are plenty of times where a lack of information leads to a bad decision; plenty of times where an out of sync worldview leads to an out of sync decision. Basic, eh?

When the board of directors embraces a fading old media model instead of embracing a strategy that leads to rapid growth, it’s probably because each of them started with a worldview about the way things worked and were going to work. Add to that little direct experience, and it’s no wonder they decided what they did. You would, too, if you were given the same resources to begin with.

Changing worldviews is very difficult and requires quite a bit of will. Changing the data at hand is a lot easier, and that’s where marketing can really help. If you, as a marketer, can package data in a way that people with a certain worldview can accept, you move the conversation forward far more quickly than if you merely dismiss the non-customers or the doubters as stupid.

In my experience, a closed-minded worldview is the most difficult hurdle to overcome. But a closed-minded worldview doesn’t mean you’re stupid; it means that you are selling yourself and your colleagues and your community short.

The easiest way to grow is to sell to people who share a worldview that endorses your position. The most effective way to grow bigger than that is to inform those that disagree with your position–more data in a palatable form. It turns out that the best way to change the world is to open the closed-minded.

I welcome your thoughts and insights—what do you think? Kroma Marketing

colespriggs

In Denial

“Delay is the deadliest form of denial.” —C. Northcote Parkinson 

De · ni · al:  a river in Egypt; refusal to admit the truth or reality. (Merriam-Webster)

Probably one of the biggest examples of denial in recent history is the tragedy in Benghazi, Libya, the denial of terrorism “poster child”. It’s denial at its worst, albeit. There isn’t any upside to denial at all other than blissful apathy until the realization of what the denial has wrought. It really is bad news all around.

In business, denial will most likely lead to financial failure. Yet businesses are still in denial regarding not only the need but the necessity of social media on a daily basis. Harvard Business Review Analytics Services report “The New Conversation: Taking Social Media from Talk to Action” [Report PDF; sponsored by SAS] discovered that most of the commitment to social is future-oriented. The report went on to say, “Although 79% of the 2,100 companies surveyed are either using or planning to use social media channels, a measly 12% of those firms feel that they are using them effectively.” Only 12%. Pitiful, when you think about how brands are being represented on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, to name a few.

But is it just the non-use of social media that makes business efforts ineffective or the fact that there is still not an “all in” belief in the necessity of social? Rob Ployhart, a professor of business administration at the University of South Carolina’s Darla Moore School of Business, believes there is a “skepticism” in social media because companies haven’t seen the data showing the return on investment from social media. Ployhart says the ROI data will most likely be available within the next three to five years, making social media more credible in the eyes of some businesses.

Until then, what does a company have to do to engage in the social impact of business? Believe. They have to put their faith in it and engage in it daily or they’ll be left standing on the sidelines in their cynicism.

The facts are all there. Businesses engaged in social media are investing in their own future. Ployhart says, “In today’s world, we are all interconnected. Companies that are thinking about this proactively are the ones that are probably going to have an advantage in leveraging this technology. I’d be surprised if the first few companies that get in there don’t have a lasting competitive advantage.”

The experts are all saying the same thing:  businesses that are engaging in social media have the upper hand.

It’s almost 2013. What’s on the horizon, then, for engaging in social media in business?

According to Simon Mainwaring, New York Times bestseller We First and social branding consultant to Fortune 100 brands, “Every company or institution must now function as a social brand due to the mass adoption and penetration of social media in our lives as citizen and customers (and by social brand I mean an organization that uses and engages in a real time dialogue with its customers using mobile, social and gaming technologies to build its reputation, profits and social impact.)”

So, if you are in business and you are in denial of the social media bull breathing down your neck, don’t turn around. Just get on the social media train and ride it all the way into the station. That’s where you’ll find relevant business being done. Welcome to the new world.

Are you in denial or are you using social media in business? We would love to hear from you. Kroma Marketing.

Happy Thanks-Giving!

What are you looking at!?

Ever get that feeling that the “Happy” in “Happy Thanksgiving” isn’t so happy? Think about the last few years. People have lost their jobs left and right. Gas prices couldn’t be higher (oh man, don’t jinx it!). Sandy. Obamacare.  Ke$ha. Let’s just stop there.

As we approach this holiday season, and I mean HOLIDAY (since we have 5 shopping weeks, not 4) since Black Friday seems to have taken over the calendar to become “Black Part of November and Most of December”, let’s take a moment to think about the things for which we are grateful, and let’s NOT include the YouTube video of that “It’s Thanksgiving” girl! I know this sounds very rudimentary but sometimes we need to go back to the basics and acknowledge the people who are a part of our business.

Customers or clients would be number one—without them, well, you know. What is it that makes them believe in you and your business to cause them to stick around? Look at the relationship you’ve created. What do you do that sets you apart from your competitors, those little differences, engagements and practices you need to repeat with future customers? Be grateful you still got it! How can you show them your thanks?

Direct reports,  the front liners, the doers and movers. Ok, not every one of them is your favorite but what does each employee bring that is unique to them and which only they can provide? Be grateful you’ve got these people! How can you thank them, every day? Sometimes we need to act like we have the greatest business in the world with the best employees and the most amazing clients. If we do, we may just raise the bar, and they may just jump high enough to clear it.

“If your treat an individual… as if he were what he ought to be and could be, he will BECOME what he ought to be and could be.”  Johann Wofgang von Geothe

It’s like the trainers at Sea World. I heard it asked how they train these giant mammals to jump in the air as if they are floating over the training pole. The trainer explained that they start with the bar under the water and of course reward them every time they go over it. They keep raising the bar until a 20 foot long, 4 ton Orca is jumping 20 feet over the water. If the trainer wasn’t holding fish to entice the whale, do you think that whale would jump? No!

Then why expect people working for us or with us to do their jobs without appreciation or thanks. It really isn’t rocket science, but we act like it’s the toughest thing in the world to stop what we’re doing and let people know we appreciate what they do.

Let’s just do it every day—say thanks for the small things and before you know it, they’ll be sailing high above the level they were.

How will you be thanking your clients, employees, coworkers for Thanksgiving? Here at Kroma Marketing, we’re having Thanksgiving Dinner together, with maybe a little “thanks giving” in the conversation!

Happy Thanks-Giving!

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

Taking Care of “Baby”

“Diaper backward spells repaid. Think about it.”
–Marshall McLuhan

As we Skyped with a client this week, we got to look into the eyes of reality for most business owners:  wide-eyed, blurry, confused, and scared spit-less. Like parents of a brand new baby for the first time, this client’s realization has become one of shock and “Awwwww”. I have this business, a precious commodity, that I must take care of but how in the world do I manage, let alone afford to feed it and keep it in diapers! Ok, maybe I was getting my analogies mixed up but, seriously, that is the agonizing question:  How do I keep this business going, growing, thriving and building in this economy? SOCIAL, that’s how!

Beverly Macy is co-author of The Power of Real-Time Social Media Marketing, who teaches Executive Global Marketing and Branding and Social Media Marketing for the UCLA Extension and is executive producer of Gravity Summit TV. She recently wrote an article for Huffington Post and in it she said “A corporate officer of a large multinational bank recently said to me, ‘It’s as if there is a red line drawn down the middle of the organization. On one side are those who ‘get’ social media and the importance of becoming a social enterprise. On the other side are those who simply don’t. And it’s starting to affect our productivity and business results.’ Bringing the ‘other side’ to the table is the next big wave inside Fortune 500 organizations. This is one of the biggest management undertakings ever — bigger than pay for performance; bigger than quality management; bigger than Six Sigma; certainly bigger than sustainability.”

Hey, those of you on the other side of the red line! Yeah, you! Wake up and smell the poopy diaper! It’s time for a change! We are already on the crest of the social media wave, and we all know what happens if you can’t ride the wave. Here’s how B2B’s are trying to ride the wave now:

Temple Stark in Keep Up With Marketing Trends The Smart Way says, “Keeping up with what’s going on in promoting your industry means you don’t fall behind. Keeping ahead means you make the competition look like they’re falling behind.” That means we need to go with the trend now because many won’t. We’ve got to get on board and make the journey, even if we’re kicking and screaming, because we will be left behind if we don’t. The trend: SOCIAL and CONTENT MANAGEMENT!

Ms. Macy concluded by saying: “2013 is going to be super exciting. The economy will eventually improve. When it does, the organizations that are social, mobile, in the cloud, and using big data will be on top. The rest of you will wonder what happened. It’s not a bubble, it’s a wave. And if you don’t know that, you’re not on it. Get social now!”

Bam, there you have it. How are you taking care of your “baby”? Tell us, we really want to know!

If you need more information on how to get SOCIAL then contact us at Kroma Marketing.

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