Monday, February 25, 2013

A Few of Our Favorite Things

February is the month of love. With all this love in the air, all of us here at BBG&G want to share with you what we love. Our team - Debbe, Gen, Peggy, Krista, Shannon and I have passion for what we do and there are things that we absolutely LOVE about our industry.
Across the board, most of us here would say Pinterest is our favorite form of social media. Looks like 15% of Americans agree. Yup, 15% of the U.S population uses Pinterest! Debbe likes Pinterest because it is fun to see all the creative activities and projects, as well as exploring places to go. Shannon, being such a visual person, says she loves Pinterest due to its form and function. It is a great way to organize all the great things you find online. “I never bookmark sites anymore, I just pin it," says Shannon. 

Coming in at a close second is Facebook. Peggy loves Facebook for the ads; they are targeted and you can really reach your market. Many small businesses can reach their target audience through Facebook Ads. They are not just for big corporations. They are for small businesses too. And there is no reason why you should not capitalize on them as an additional way to use Facebook in your marketing and advertising efforts. Personally, I love Facebook for the simple fact that it provides me a way to keep in touch and stay current with my family and friends who I don't get to see on a regular basis.

Some of us love web-based marketing methods and some love more traditional marketing methods. Both Krista and I love using social media to reach consumers. I am a people person and social media provides an avenue to show who you really are – the people behind the company. Krista loves the idea of e-marketing in particular. She loves spreading ideas and being the storyteller of those ideas through blogging and e-newsletters. Looks like consumers love reading blogs as much as she loves writing them considering 128 million people in the US are blog readers. And they are worth writing too! 57% of companies with an active blog have acquired a customer from their blog. Knowing that the online world is the place most people are, Peggy loves web development. She believes it is where people receive our client’s messages. 

Gen and Deb both agree that logo design is their favorite. Gen loves all kinds of typography and incorporates hand-drawn letterforms into her designs whenever she can. Shannon is passionate about photography and believes it can be an essential element of great design.  She likes any type of print design and you can catch her collecting well-designed brochures, hangtags from clothing and cool coasters from bars for inspiration. When you are talking about small business marketing logos, design matters VERY much. I’m glad my team loves the design aspect so much! 

Logos may be small in size, yet they are an extremely important element that contributes to the success of any social media campaign. Think about it – your customers see your Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc. on a daily basis. Your logo is on display with anything you post. They will form a perception of your company that will stay with them forever. The design of your logo is crucial.
Debbe, Gen, Peggy, Krista, Shannon and I each have our favorite things about marketing and in the end all the parts matter, and as a team we come together to create cohesive strategies for our clients.
So, what is your favorite type of social media or marketing? How does your favorite compare to ours or the crowds?

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Shake and Bake: Appreciating Traditional Media

When strategizing marketing techniques for the future, we find ourselves often looking to the past.  Elements of marketing methods from the past may often inspire us.

Today we look to Shake and Bake for some inspiration. Why was the marketing for this product so successful?

1: They really knew their market
2: They knew what their audience was looking for

Today, it is very common for husbands and wives to share responsibilities around the house when it comes to cooking and cleaning; however at the time of Shake and Bake, things were much different. It was the responsibility of the woman to prepare meals for the family and also take care of household duties. They spent most of their time in the kitchen and with the children. Knowing that moms were their audience, Shake and Bake came up with a campaign that would grab the attention of women, specifically mothers, by incorporating children and a happy husband into the equation. The product allows mothers to not only cook an amazing meal, but to do so while spending some quality time with their children and providing their hard-working husbands with a hot meal.

How can Shake and Bake make an impact on today's market? Well, things have changed drastically since the products inception. In today's market, most mothers are working just as hard as their counterparts and bringing more than just a hot meal to the table. Quick, easy and tasty should really be what they are driving home in their message. The baking aspect will also win this product points in the eyes of the consumer as people are trying to add some healthier elements to their diets. Busy people don't have time to spend hours slaving away in the kitchen, and it is hard to make a quick meal that is low in trans-fats and calories.

As times have changed, so has the market. If marketers want to stay ahead of the curve and not get left in the dust, they must constantly analyze the changing environment and all of its moving components.  Refocusing your message and re-branding your product to the changing times will likely result in the success of your product and long life of your product.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Power of Women

In recent years, women have held the buying power in the market, and make the majority of purchasing decisions. So, who is leading the companies that make the products women are buying for themselves and their families? Very often, it’s women. Women business leaders are at an all-time high and continued growth is expected.

As of July 2012, there were twenty Fortune 500 companies with women CEOs. Women are leading some of the largest companies in the world! This is incredible — and so empowering for small business owners like Debbe and I.

But, we should have seen it coming. In the 2008 recession, men lost their jobs in greater numbers than women because women’s skills were more flexible. In general, men tended to wait for their old jobs to come back while women have adapted to make the most of new opportunities — even going back to school. In 2012 there were 8.3 million women-owned businesses in the US. Recent blockbuster films and best-selling novels have women front and center as the heroines. These leading roles, typically played by men, are providing the cultural context and empowerment for women to take leading roles in the business world.  

Now that we have talked about all the numbers, let us look into certain characteristics that are helping women become such important leaders. 

The business world is now relying more on feminine traits; relationships and passion. We live in a very technology-driven world, but consumers still crave that human touch from companies. They want a relationship with businesses, and women are more adept at relationship building. Science proves women are more natural communicators and engagers, the key foundation of relationship building. 

Having a strong emotional drive can be very powerful in leading a business. When women are excited and passionate about a product, a service, or company, they become extremely driven from that emotion. Men strive to hide their emotions. I am not saying that men cannot be passionate (hey, I married an Italian!), but men tend to downplay the positive benefits of emotion and passion as a force to drive innovation and growth.

The bottom line is that diversity has always been a powerful force in any company — including male-female diversity. It leads to better solutions, allows faster problem-solving, and enables companies to better identify opportunities. I think we will see the number of female business leaders continue to increase, because we need a balance of men and women leading together in business.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Social Media and Healthcare: Together They Can Rule the World

Let us first talk about social media and its growing importance; Facebook has more than 1 billion users, Twitter has 500 million, and platforms like Pinterest and Instagram are growing just as rapidly. In fact, we will be starting a BBG&G Pinterest page soon!

Social is here to stay and is where consumers are increasingly spending their time interacting, learning and being influenced. Healthcare marketing should generate vibrant, engaging and real-time online identities to benefit from these new behaviors. 

Now we can focus on the new breed of patients. Consumers are seeking to take a more active role in their own healthcare.  As frustrating as it often is to physicians and other healthcare professionals, patients are no longer content with handing over their complete trust. Before they walk into a medical office, they want to be certain they know everything — including the illness they are sure they have. This is where social media sites can really come into play. Creating pages for your medical practice or associating with social sites that are dedicated to illnesses, treatments, and healthy living is a great idea. Patients are doing their research, so it’s important to have complete and correct information online for them!

Understanding this new breed of empowered patients plus understanding the rise of digital, social, and mobile marketing is becoming a necessity. People want the information and they want it to be easily accessible and even customized to their own preferences and needs. 

Our job at BBG&G is to ensure that our work is not simply innovative, but relevant and compelling enough to produce changes in awareness, behavior, and sales. We understand the changing healthcare market and do our best to provide you with results to positively impact your bottom line.