Should You Still be Advertising on Facebook?

 

I’m not completely bothered by the fact that after scrolling through sandals on Nordstrom’s website I immediately find that there is a native ad in my Facebook feed for sandals from Nordstrom. Why? Because it’s relevant to me (albeit a little bit stalker-ish).

But what about today, when I was scrolling through and came across a suggested post by NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) for a post about ending drunk driving? Or a suggested post by StraightFix for their gimmicky hair brush that straightens hair? These suggested posts show up in my feed because I fit their target market. My gender and age probably played the largest role, but other factors such as liked posts and pages, shopping habits and education all play a factor in what ads I see.

Is it worth it? Do these filters on Facebook do a good enough job to reach the right people? Are people even interacting with the ads?

I think the real question is should you still be advertising on Facebook? The answer is YES. But why?

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First of all, Facebook is still relevant, with 1.71 billion monthly active users, 823 million of which are mobile only users, making it the most used social media network. Lots of brands have recognized this fact, and of all the brands on Facebook, 75% pay to promote posts. So, are you going to be a part of that 75%? I’m going to tell you that you should, and why you should. Facebook advertising allows for:

  1. Highly Targeted Ads
  2. Budget Control
  3. Real-time Analytics

Facebook Advertising is Highly Targeted

The power of a highly targeted campaign means that your brand can reach exactly the kind of customer you want to, limiting the impacts of advertising to a groups who don’t fit your target market.

Facebook allows advertisers to target their audience by:

  • Location
  • Demographics
  • Likes & Interests
  • Education & Work
  • Shopping Habits

This narrow and highly targeted info is extremely useful. Not only is it useful, it is also right at your fingertips because of Facebook users’ profiles, which gives you access to all of the things you want to know. Since the information is user generated, it represents a fairly accurate representation of the person, and the validity of the information. When you fill out all of the relevant targeting information, Facebook gives you an estimated reach, meaning the estimated number of people you can advertise to.

As brands and products are increasingly becoming more niche, it becomes equally important to advertise to niche markets, and this means being specific and precise.

For example, did you know that there is a group on Facebook organized and dedicated for women who enjoy planning, decorating their agendas and talking about all things to do with planners? Well guess what, there isn’t just one, there are hundreds. If I were a specialty planner store I would target people in these groups, because they are my niche market for my niche product. Without Facebook it would be hard to narrow in on people who have a passion for planners, but this social network makes it so easy. Again, it is all about the ease of highly targeting that makes Facebook effective for advertising.

Budget Control

Another major benefit of using Facebook as an adverting medium is the ability to tightly control the budget. Facebook automatically chooses efficiency over speed when choosing how to deliver ads within your budget. This means that Facebook is showing your ad set to your target audience, which may not be as fast of a delivery as if it is not shown to your target market. If time is an issue, you can choose an accelerated delivery option, which shows your ads to people similar to your target market of even in your target market, but not as exactly as is possible with more time.

Having a preset budget with a specific target market is a major benefit, in addition to being able to choose how you prioritize your ad delivery.

Real-Time Analytics

As soon as you get your ad campaign rolling you can check your results instantly. There might not be any results to see, depending on the size of your ad campaign, but the ability to see results is there. Facebook has built in features to customize your results data, making it easy to access exactly what you want to know, when you want to know it. This feature is especially helpful for small businesses who may not have the extended resources to analyze their advertising campaigns.

Bonus Feature: A/B Testing

Another analytics tool that is useful is A/B testing on Facebook ads. This method of testing is useful for other things such as website landing pages and online promotional offers. A/B testing on Facebook pages allows you to show different versions of your ad copy, allowing you to see what works better with your target audience. Read more about Facebook A/B testing here.

Key Takeaways

Facebook isn’t a new social media medium by any means, but it is so widely used that it is still relevant. Companies should care about reaching their target market on Facebook. With many benefits of advertising on Facebook, it is easy for large and small companies to utilize the ad features. Have you used Facebook advertising? Leave me a comment below with your experiences, and any tips you have for advertising on Facebook. You can also Tweet me @akannakeefe with the hashtag #MyMktgStory.

 

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Marketing Challenges for Cause-Based Organizations

 

What happens when your product is a message, and the goal of that message is to get the community, investors and the media to believe in your cause and ultimately support you? Whether the product is gathering donations, collecting signatures or signing volunteers up there is just as much of a need for marketing as any good or service. Just as any product it must have value to the consumer, but what if the value is not tangible or has no guarantee of being accrued? How do we get people to believe in what we are trying to do? (Hint: Start a conversation, and read why it’s important here)

These are the challenges that nonprofits, coalitions, government programs and other cause –based entities face. Challenges surrounding business strategy, brand positioning, market research and other marketing dilemmas are constrained by factors such as limited budgets and resources, public opinion, uncertain sustainability and unique marketing success measures.

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Limited Resources and Unique Success Measures

Cause-based organizations often have very limited budgets, which can tend to mean that marketing initiatives get pushed to the bottom of the list. One factor contributing to this trend is that marketing efforts cannot typically be measured by traditional means such as ROI. Marketers in nonprofits, for example, might have to get creative about how they measure their success. They might monitor their website and social media traffic during a campaign, or inspect sign-up rates on petitions and volunteer lists. These can be good indicators internally, but what happens when the organization reaches out to investors or the government for an increase in budget or resources? Proving that marketing initiatives have been successful in order to secure more capital for marketing efforts can be hard to sell based on these unique measures, particularly in a new or start-up organization.

Public Opinion

Success among many cause-based organizations is rooted in positive public opinion and public support. The Common Core State Standards Initiative, for example, is a program developed for voluntary adaptation into state school curriculum. Public support for this program was imperative in making it possible, as government, teachers and parents had to show their support in order for it to be initiated at state level. Common Core has somewhat of an image problem, with negative views from many parties, some who don’t even know exactly what it is. This negative publicity creates a complete barrier between supporting and opposing parties, leaving out room for compromises.

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This effect of public opinion plagues many cause-based organizations, and leads to solutions derived from questions like: How does the messaging sound to multiple parties? What are areas of our cause that matter to society at large? How can negative opinions be prompted into effective discussion to better the cause and message? While public opinion and constructive criticism or praise can be very different things, the message that a cause-based organization takes to deal with it is very important. The role of marketing in this situation should be to act as a middleman between the organization and the community to sculpt effective and brand cohesive messaging.

Unsustainability

The sustainability of cause-based entities is often either unknown or pre-determined. The unknown time frame makes marketing efforts difficult. For example, a political candidate during the primaries does not have a definite time-frame on how long their campaign efforts will last for. In this event, the politician and the starting campaign team don’t know how long they will actually have to work for, since it is all determined by the voters. So the problem then becomes how does the marketing team create a plan when they don’t know how long they will be planning for? Short term objectives are often guided by long term objectives, so not knowing the exact long term goal can mean that marketers have to improvise and plan as they go. While this isn’t exactly a textbook strategy, it is real life marketing. One thing that helps guide marketers in this situation is determining the overall brand identity and message and sticking to it, crafting messages around it along the way.What's our long-term timeline-.png

Key Takeaways

Marketing for nonprofits, coalitions, government programs and other cause-based organizations can result in marketing headaches. Funds are tied up or dwindling, success measures aren’t cookie-cutter, public opinion is tearing down your carefully crafted message and you aren’t sure if anyone will even care about your cause in two years. It’s not all bad news though, because cause-based organizations are important to many groups of people, and can have a real effect on society and major social, political and environmental change. The work matters, even if it comes at a higher cost for marketing.

Have you ever worked on a marketing strategy for a cause-based marketing? If you have, what are some issues you have experienced in the marketing department? Or if you have not, are these issues something you have dealt with? Leave me a comment and let’s start a discussion. You can also Tweet me your experiences with the hashtag #MyMktgStory at @akannakeefe.

 

The Role of Convergence in Digital Marketing

To converge is to come together from many places, effectively meeting in on common area.

Digital marketing thrives on many platforms, but what makes the difference is how a marketer can successfully bring them together. When convergence through a digital marketing strategy is done successfully, it ensures that the consumer has a seamless brand experience.

So, how might one achieve convergence?

Step One: Keep the Consumer in the Center

Consumers are becoming giants, and I mean that in the best way possible. They are empowered, informed, active and connected. This means that every step of the way in your digital campaign they are playing a role. Convergence in a digital campaign demands that the consumer interacts in a consistent manner, effectively getting your message out there.

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How are we going to bring multiple digital platforms together under one campaign? Think about where you want the consumer to end up, what you want them to do along the way, how you want them to effortlessly go from one platform to the other and what you want the experience to mean to the consumer. Keep the consumer at the center, because anticipating and planning their journey can help you determine how you’ll bring together all of the different digital platforms.

Step Two: Use Your Data

What do you want or need to know about your consumer for your campaign to effectively work? What do you know about consumers who perform certain actions on digital platforms? How are you going to connect different platforms together in a meaningful and successful way?

Data is a powerful resource that can help you answer the above questions. When you are aiming to converge your digital campaign it is important to know how your consumers interact online. Different measures can give you different results, depending on what you need to know.

You might be looking at engagement analytics on various social platforms, event tracking on your website, remarketing efforts, audience demographics or even consumer e-commerce behavior. All of the data you collect throughout the campaign can tell you who your audience is, what they are doing and how well your campaign is doing.

Step Three: Maintain One Campaign, and Merge Your Media

Consistency in tactics is key. Once you have your campaign message you don’t want to go changing it up on every platform. However, it is important to note that on each of your media platforms you might have a slightly different audience that receives things differently. They have different sets of needs, so it is beneficial to appeal to them in an effective way, while still maintaining a consistent campaign message.

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Digital marketing strategies should be integrated, just as any marketing strategy should be. Your database, social media, email, website and any other digital marketing platforms in one campaign should be unified and used to enhance each other and the overall campaign message. It is also important that you get consumers to engage with you on several digital media platforms. For instance you might want consumers interacting with you on Facebook for a certain campaign to go to your website, where an action can be taken.

Key Takeaways

Digital media platforms are a powerful tool for accelerating your campaign, and it is important to connect them and unify the campaign message through them. With so many options to reach consumers under this umbrella of digital marketing it is important to remember that while there are different audiences, the main goal is for them to take action. Converging your digital media and driving engagement, hopefully with the end goal of sales in mind, should be an important piece to any digital marketing strategy.

Leave me a comment telling me how you converge your digital media, or how you have seen it done successfully. Feel free to Tweet me @akannakeefe with the hashtag #MyMktgStory telling me your thoughts!

Community and Conversation, a Success for Marketing

When you Tweet out a brand hashtag, attend a brand event or interact with a brand in other ways for the latest, coolest campaign you are adding to a brand conversation, and you are participating with a community around a brand. It’s all part of a marketing strategy, but it doesn’t feel pushy or promotional. Why? Because the consumer is willingly participating in the conversation and the community, which ultimately makes the entire experience more authentic. Check out this blog article for some examples of what community marketing can include.

Community marketing focuses on existing consumers, and engaging them in your brand.

This leads us to community marketing and why it matters.

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First, Let’s Talk About Community.

A community is a group of people that share common beliefs, interests and goals. Communities are also social organizations, and can share similar cultures. As humans, we naturally gather into communities, and we thrive in them as social beings. This is good news to marketing, and may be interesting especially if you enjoy the psychology behind marketing.

Communities Share

Communities share among themselves, and this is where word-of-mouth marketing and active consumer interaction come into play. If you can engage your current customers, you can continue to build relationships with them. This is an entirely different approach than marketing to potential consumers.

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Communities become brand advocates, and typically we also see the innovators and early adopters in communities. An overplayed, but valuable example is Apple enthusiasts. Apple has built one of the strongest communities surrounding their brand. This community is rooted in the fact that they believe in the vision of Apple, and they support it 100%. This is why people line up for hours for new releases, and why people will argue undoubtedly why Apple is better than any other personal device brand. The Apple community will share why they love Apple with friends, family and even strangers, creating a network of Apple advocates around the world.

Communities Support

To discuss and illustrate this point let’s start with an example.

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Fitbit, the smart fitness device has created a community to help people support one another through their fitness goals. Fitbit uses a game-type setup through their app and website to get users to compete with friends and family. This creates a culture of support, and a little bit of healthy competition, among users. The seamless integration of the software with the fitness device is a great selling point, and the competition that users have with one another gets them talking about the Fitbit and spreading the word.

Why Should You Create a Conversation?

Conversations are one way to create authenticity and trust with your consumers. While social media is the one platform we may think of when creating and sustaining conversations with consumers, there are other ways to do it. Community marketing can happen wherever the community is, and the conversation should be something the community is interested in.

Authentic Conversations

One of the struggles that marketers have when trying to have a conversation with a consumer is how to make it seem authentic. One of the best examples of where these authentic and real-life conversations take place is on Snapchat. This Hubspot article goes into depth about it, and brings up some great points. Two of the points that the article makes are that Snapchat “enables realness” and “puts social media back into these personal, organic moments”. This one-to-one type interaction enables conversation from a brand to the consumer in a more authentic and down-to-earth kind of way. While Snapshat is just one example, the important thing to keep in mind is that it’s all about authenticity and being real with consumers.

Key Takeaways

Marketing is trending towards more authentic experiences and interactions and building and sustaining communities. Real life, down to earth brands are characteristics that consumers are looking for and willing to support. Having a brand community and participating in conversations with consumers are two ways to enhance a brand. Are you involved in any brand communities? Do you participate in brand conversations? Tell me below and Tweet me @akannakeefe with the hashtag #mymktgstory.

 

How Does Graphic Design Enhance Marketing Efforts?

More and more, marketing and graphic design are becoming one. While there has always been a need for graphic design for any good marketing campaign, the lines are blurring between strictly a marketer and a graphic designer.

Why is that? Well think about how many posts you’ve seen about content marketing and it’s absolute importance in a marketing strategy’s execution. A big portion (in fact, almost all) of successful content marketing revolves around some great graphic design.

Does that mean that a marketer should be technically skilled in everything graphic design? I don’t think so. I also don’t think it hurts to have a little knowledge about programs such as Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, or know some key graphic design terms (this is a great article to check out for some of those terms-plus it’s an info-graphic!).

So, what does graphic design do for marketing? These are two that I have had experience with, but there are tons!

  1. Creates and enforces a brand image
  2. Makes for seamless ease of use, particularly with mobile

 

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Creating a Brand Image with Graphic Design

The combination of text and images that a brand composes and uses says a lot about who they are. Graphic design makes up the logo/brand mark, design of advertisements, company websites, etc. The design of any of these factors is the first impression to a consumer, so it should accurately represent the company/brand.

This means that your brand image should match your target market, be consistent and be refined. All of these things are accomplished through the use of graphic design.

Match your Target Market

In order to have a successful and likable brand image among your target market you must take into consideration several factors. You should know the intentions, needs, desires, likes/dislikes and behaviors of your target market. All of those factors play a role in the colors used, graphics, format and text of everything you produce.

What does your target market respond to? What appeals to your target market most? What does your target market consider when they judge the look and overall aesthetic of something?

These are all questions that must be answered in order to have effective graphic design that will ultimately elevate your marketing strategy and move your marketing goals forward.

Consistency

Once you know what your target market wants and is most effected by you can craft your brand image. It is important to keep your brand image consistent in everything that you do, because like I mentioned earlier, this is how first impressions are made.

Your brand image has the power to build brand awareness and brand loyalty, but only if consumers can recognize it easily. Keep the colors, font, image styles and overall aesthetic consistent on everything from a banner ad, to an e-commerce site to the employee training books.

Your brand is made up of many things, like values, a vision and a mission, but it is also important to remember that how you present all of those things also matters.

Refine your Successes

Now that your overall graphic design matches with your target market and is consistent, it is time to refine it. Just like every process there must be feedback and measurement. Since we might not get everything right the first time, it is important to go back and see how your brand image and your overall graphic design is being received. Do people like it? Is it truly representing the company in the best and most accurate way?

Figure out what works and what doesn’t work, then make changes. Keep on refining your graphic design elements, but don’t lose the brand image you’ve built. Sure, you can re-brand, but I think it is better to refine.

Seamless Ease of Use

Graphic designers have this knack for understanding how to make something look good. And sometimes when something looks good, it has the opportunity to work well too. What do I mean by that?

Perhaps an example would be a good place to start. Let’s talk about Instagram.

Most of you probably have an Instagram account, and most of you probably would agree that it is user friendly. The overall layout of the app is clean and simple, and the icons that indicate different functions are representative and also have a clean appearance.

So, how does graphic design come into play?

Graphic designers can take the concept of functionality and display of information and make it user friendly, coherent and logical to the viewer/user.

Digital Marketing Benefits from This

I think that it is more apparent in the mobile application of marketing efforts that we can really see how important it is to work with a graphic designer to display your information. In such a small space how can we make the most of it? How can we make it easy for users to find what they are looking for? Is the experience on the mobile platform easy and enjoyable?

These are the things you must consider when taking your company to the web, specifically for mobile use. Graphic designers can create a look that will help users find what they want, represent your brand and get all the information you want in an aesthetically pleasing manner.

Key Takeaways

Marketing and graphic design are two areas that are becoming closely integrated and dependent on each other. Not only do marketing materials, advertisements and website have to look good, they also have to work. Graphic designers can create things that users want to clock on, for example. And that helps marketing and the bottom line.

What does graphic design do your your marketing? Or, what does marketing do for your graphic design? Leave me a comment, or Tweet me at @akannakeefe with the hashtag #mymktgstory to let me know!

From Marketing Student to Marketing Graduate

After three years of hard work, occasional tears and many challenging (but rewarding) projects I am proud to say that I graduated with my B.S. Business Marketing from the University of Northern Colorado. I took this journey on full-force because I knew it was going to make me into the person I wanted to be.

You find your passion, you learn as much as you can and you keep working at it, day in and day out.

I graduated not very long ago, so what can I share with you? What did I learn that can help you?

Lessons Learned blog

Lessons Learned:

I learned many things throughout my undergraduate career and I am going to share them with you. These are things that if I would have known them sooner would have made life a little easier, but going through the tough times to learn these lessons has given me the knowledge, experience and strength to be better at what I do.

Lesson 1: Find your people.

Picture this: Your professor (or boss) tells you that you will be working in a group on a new project. You are really excited about the project because you know that you’ve got what it takes to make it amazing. Then you meet your fellow group members and you sink a little inside because you’ve worked with two of them before and had a bad experience. Maybe they didn’t pull their weight, or maybe they like to wait until the very last minute to get things done even though you have pressures to get it done early.

What do you do?

You can’t change group members and you can’t just quit the project. You find your people. You know who these people are, most likely because you’ve worked with them before. Ask for their help throughout the project, get their insight on things and keep their outside perspective close.

These are the people who will pull through for you, who will answer your questions and offer up their well-meaning advice. Take it all, and don’t forget to say thank you.

This street goes both ways, folks. They are your people, so you better be theirs. When they need help or they come to you, be there for them. Give them your advice, answer their questions and help them wherever you can. It’s about collaboration and partnerships.

Lesson 2: Make time for what matters.

This is one of those lessons that we all know, but won’t really do until we see the real results. So what am I talking about?

I’m talking about staying up the extra hour to get more work done instead of going to bed. I’m talking about using 15 minutes between tasks to do something productive. I’m talking about saying no to the concert on Saturday night to get ahead on work for the week.

What I’m not saying is to not live life, or have fun or make some awesome memories.

It’s about making the tough choices that define you as a hustler and the success story.

Hard work pays off in big ways, and I learned that through the experiences I made myself have but not want to have.

It’s hard to be at school for 10 hours working on projects, meeting with groups and studying. It’s even harder to stay for 11 or 12 when all you want to do is go home and sleep, telling yourself that you’ll wake up early and do it in the morning. But once you tell yourself you’ll push it off and it will be fine you’ve lost. Push through the work for just a little bit longer, don’t go to bed with work hanging over your head.

I know it’s hard to make time for work when you already dedicate so much already, but trust me when I say it is always, always worth it.

Lesson 3: Use your planner.

I don’t care if your planner is on your phone, on a different sticky-note everyday or in a traditional planner. It doesn’t matter how you choose to plan, it just matters that you actively do.

Life and work comes at you all of the time, and there are so many things going on that you’re bound to forget some of them. This is there the handy dandy planner comes in. Now I know, I know, you’ve been told to use a planner since 4th grade, but I’m telling you again!

Getting all of your work down in one place allows you to visualize what you have to do, how much you have to do, and how it all fits in a time frame. Deadlines can creep up on you, so writing everything down and seeing where work falls can help you plan how to tackle it most efficiently and effectively. You can even use a planner for social media, which you can read about here.

Use your planner, that’s all.

Conclusion

My undergraduate career taught me many things, and the few I shared with you today are things I will carry with me into the next chapter of my life. Learning from experiences and developing skills that enhance our work is an important part of going through life.

What are some important life lessons you have learned that make you better? Leave a comment below or Tweet me @akannakeefe with the hashtag #mymktgstory with your lessons!

Tools I Use for Social Media Management

Social media requires management. Yes, you read that right, you have to manage your social media.

Trying to keep up with social media can be overwhelming and stressful. There is so much to post and so much content to try and keep up with. There are many tools and techniques that you can use to keep up with social media and make the most of your time and efforts.

Some of my favorite tools include Hootsuite and Feedly.

SocialMedia Management

Scheduling and Organizing with Hootsuite

Hootsuite is a social media management tool that allows you to manage several social networks by scheduling posts, listening to social sharing, looking at social network analytics, organizing work into teams and supporting collaboration. If you are interested in using Hootsuite I recommend getting certified; you will become advanced in the many uses of Hootsuite. Check out my Hootsuite Professional Certification here.

I use Hootsuite to:

Schedule posts

Monitor topics

Analyze my posts

Scheduling posts

One of the primary uses of Hootsuite is to schedule my social posts. Since social media is always ongoing I can’t always be on it. Scheduling posts allows you to look through your content collection and social media posts at one time, collect what you want to share, schedule it out on any of your social media networks and post when you are busy doing other things. Another benefit to using Hootsuite to schedule posts is the auto schedule function, which essentially uses data about the content you are posting and the audience who looks at that content to post at an optimal time when your audience is most likely to see your post. This function helps increase engagement and social growth. Read more about how to schedule posts on the Hootsuite blog here. 

 

Monitor topics

Monitoring topics on social media is a tool that I use to see what people are posting about within a certain topic. One example is that I monitor the hashtags #content and #contentmarketing on Twitter through Hootsuite. This is a topic that I am interested in and like to be updated on. This tool is also useful if you are monitoring competitors on social media and are looking to keep tabs on what they are posting.

Analyze posts

One of the hot topics with every social media network is analytics. Analytics is data, and data is power (check out my blog post about why I love data in marketing). Analytics that I regularly check include click summaries of Hootlet links, retweets, likes and follower activity. When I am looking at my social media data I am concerned with one thing: engagement. I look to see what kind of posts and topics get most activity so I know what my audience is interested in. I also monitor my follower activity to see who is following me and who is unfollowing me. Analysing your followers and who they are is important to understanding your audience.

Gathering and Organizing with Feedly

Since social media is ongoing, like we all know, how do you find quality content to share with your audience? The main source that I turn to is Feedly. Now, it is important to note that the quality of your Feedly is dependent on what you put into it. If you have organized your Feedly account into useful topics and filled them with quality blogs and websites, then you will have a great source to turn to in order to find content that is relevant to your posting focus.

I use Feedly to:

Organize content into meaningful and focused folders

Continue your personal learning network

Organize folders into your posting topics

My social media posting topics include social media marketing, content marketing, blogging and data in marketing. These topics guide the folders that I organize my Feedly folders into. I populate these folders with quality blogs and websites that have relevant articles. This helps keep me organized and makes finding content to post more time efficient and focused.

Continued learning with Feedly

It is always important to continue to learn, and one great way to do that is through posting on social media. Your content collection can act as a personal learning network for continued learning. Even though you won’t post everything you read there are a ton of opportunities to read about things you are interested in, and to continue to develop your knowledge in whatever area you are passionate about.

Key Takeaways

Social media management is a thing, and you need to be doing it. Hootsuite is how I manage my social media networks, and while it is a great tool there are others that do similar things. Also, continue your learning through a content organization tool such as Feedly.

How do you manage your social media? Do you have any favorite tools to manage your social media? Comment below or Tweet me @akannakeefe with the hashtag #mymktgstory.

Why I Love Marketing: Part 2

As promised last week here is the second installment of why I love marketing. In my last blog post, click here if you haven’t read it, I talked about the first reason I like marketing. The first thing I like is that it is data-driven. For me the data-driven aspect is important because it gives all the work marketers do some solid ground to stand on. On the flip side are some more intangible aspects of marketing that I love, which include the ability to be creative and personal.

Why I love marketing:

Data-driven.

Creative.

Personal

Creative

So, What’s The Deal With Creativity?

As I start thinking about all of the things that go into the marketing work that I do it isn’t all glamorous. Most of the hard work is crunching numbers, brainstorming ideas countless times, researching your market, industry, and consumer, staying in budget, and getting your idea to be supported by the data. These are all important aspects that must be accomplished in order for the creativity to happen.

The final product of a kick-ass marketing campaign relies on all aspects working together. It is like a three-legged stool; without one aspect it won’t work, all must be present.

Creativity Connects & Inspires

I love the creative aspect of marketing because it allows all the hard work you’ve done behind the scenes to come out and shine. It has the chance to connect with consumers, make an impression, and be memorable. Think about some of your favorite commercials, what made them so special? For me, a standout piece of marketing work involves a presentation that connects things I haven’t thought of or is innovative and exciting. Creativity is memorable. Creativity is powerful. Creativity can drive the message home.

Let’s Get Personal

Marketing has the ability to tell a brand story – to connect and influence. Marketing can also reach an emotional truth that speaks to the brand story and to the consumers own experiences.

Marketing gets personal, and when a company allows marketing to do just that it can be a huge advantage.

Personal Touches

A great example of this is birthday promotions. It was recently my birthday and during the few weeks leading up to it I had gotten several emails personally addressed to me, wishing me a happy birthday and offering some kind of promotion. This personal touch, made possible via databases (check out my previous article about data and marketing), made me happy. These companies remembered, or rather programmed, my birthday! They wanted to celebrate with me, and that is the personal touch that matters.

Having marketing that feels personal doesn’t have to be directed at a single person, it can be broader, such as targeting a niche and filling their needs and wants, essentially speaking to an emotional truth that the group may collectively feel.

Key Takeaways

I love marketing because it has power to shape consumers and the way we think about certain products, services, and ideas. The creativity behind marketing allows us to see things in a new way, and can influence the work we continue to see for years to come. The other major influence on why I love marketing is that it is personal. Being personal in a world where we are seemingly connected all of the time yet distanced by technology is the bridge between being seen and being remembered. Get personal with your audience – make your time count.

Leave me a comment telling my why you love marketing, or your thoughts on marketing that is creative and/or personal. Also, Tweet me @akannakeefe with the hashtag #mymktgstory.

Why I Love Marketing: Part 1

Ever since I was a kid my dad always said that the most important thing about a job is that you should do what you love. I grew up hearing that when you do what you love it won’t feel like work, and the money will come – don’t worry about it, and don’t make money your first priority, ever. So with this constantly in my ear I was always worried that I wouldn’t find what I was passionate about, until I found marketing. So, what do I love about marketing?

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I love that marketing is:

Data driven.

Creative.

Personal.

These marketing elements are what draw me to the discipline. Business is business, but the business of marketing is so much more fun in my opinion.

Today I’ll cover the data driven aspect, and next week I will talk about the creative and personal aspects of why I love marketing (second blog post here)

Marketing is data driven: What data do I like?

To start any marketing plan you must start with discovery. This discovery comes through research about the industry, competitors, your own company and customers, and consumer trends. All of this data will drive your decisions from here on out – because money won’t be spent unless you have a solid reason as to why, and how it will affect the bottom line.

Social Media Data

One of my favorite places to gather data is through social media. The data that social media provides is typically very recent, it is personal to what the consumer is interested in, and is extensive in content. With social media I can know an abundance of things, such as what my consumers are saying about me and in what context, what posts of mine get the most engagement, what my consumers are interested in, and when my consumers are on social media most often. This level of detailed data is incredible, and has the power to make the work that marketers do that much more effective and insightful.

Solid Secondary Research

There’s no such thing as a free lunch, but when you come across secondary research that is valid, reliable, fits your needs, and is recent it kind of feels like you’ve just scored a free lunch. Sure, secondary research doesn’t always check off every box or answer every question you may have, but it gives you a starting point. Use this data to make your primary data more specific and focused, allowing you to utilize your resources in a more effective fashion.

Database Data

If you are online then you better have a database! Data from a database that has information about your customers is gold to marketers because it comes directly from the source that you care most about – your customers!

Key Takeaways About Data-driven Marketing

Marketing comes from data, and there are many ways to get the data. Regardless of where the data comes from it is important to use it. Marketing is all about creating value for the consumer, and having solid data to back up every decision along the way up until the point of consumer interaction.

What do you love about marketing? Leave me a comment telling me below, and tweet me @akannakeefe with the hashtag #mymktgstory