Caffeinated Marketing

Gettting through all the noise, one cup at a time

My First Client: Cobalt Off Road Center December 28, 2010

Filed under: Free Ideas,Tip of the Day — jenharris @ 10:44 am
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This is going to be a series of how I am going to assist Cobalt with their Marketing as a whole – not just radio.  Some people here at Citadel have told me not to waste my time or get sucked in to the “social media thing”.  Really? I don’t plan on doing it for them, rather teach them the reasons WHY they should be engaging, HOW that works with their strategy and WHERE it integrates with their radio campaign.  Follow along and you can do this too.  This post is mainly about STRATEGY & our first steps.
I am going to use the POST method – brilliant, precise and it works. Buy the book, you won’t be sorry.

Background:

  • Cobalt doesn’t have a social presence – perfect! I don’t have to undo terrible practices. (mainly a business can NOT be a “friend” – you will eventually get shut down from FB & loose ALL THAT DATA).
  • Cobalt has opened up a retail Off Road Center that is on the same lot to their customized Truck Equipment shop in Nampa on Karcher Road.

P-People:
Who do we want to know about us?
Jeff (their offroad specialist) wants the customer who is going to be a long term, year long customer. They spend money every month on accessories for their vehicle. The lift kit guy is great, but after spending $4,000 in one shot – he might not come back for a while.

O-Objective:
What do we want to accomplish?
We want to build a data base of new customers – to build a fire, you must first start with kindling.-thank you Greg Stielstra.

S-Strategy:
How will the relationship with the customer change?
We want people to talk about the Cobalt  Off Road Center when they think of truck accessories in the Treasure Valley.

T-Tools:
Which technology tools will get us to the objective?
Since I AM in radio – we will use that medium in prime areas (Bob & Tom on The Eagle) as well as Traffic spots and very targeted day & times on both country stations: Kissin’ 92 & KQFC.  We are going to direct people to the station websites with the keyword COBALT where listeners will sign up to be on Cobalt’s monthly eNewsletter list. Jeff is going to use MailChimp – keeping those that opt in “in the know” for sales, new products & company news.  Increase awareness and stay in front of the customer.

Future:
FaceBook business page presence with objective to interact and create community with the off-road & accessory enthusiasts.
Open House in April to celebrate Off Road Center
Possible affiliation with The Eagle’s broadcast of BSU Football games for 2011/2012

 

Marketing Dollars (not) Well Spent: Boise PD & ISP October 12, 2010

Filed under: Free Ideas,Tip of the Day — jenharris @ 10:54 am

If I was a Marketing Director for the Boise Police Department or the Idaho State Police, I would not spend my budget on warning people when, where & what we are going to pull “you” over for.

Ummm, didn’t we all take the test when we are 15/16 years old…shouldn’t we KNOW not to drink and drive, or speed in a school zone or tailgate/drive crazy?

The PR side of story telling and what happens when people drink & drive etc. is differernt – those are almost scare tactics, you know: Oprah-esque stories that scare us into doing the right thing.

My thinking is that if you don’t warn the public where you are going to pull them over (like in the major construction area,  on the very well posted 55 MPH freeway) you might just make some more money by getting those that are not “in the know” of the rules that we learned at 15.  Wouldn’t that increase the number of tickets and hence the budget for the Police Department where it could be used on training, hiring more officers to catch bad guys and better PR stories?

My first PR/Marketing campaign would be reminding people how to use a 4-way stop sign when there are 4 cars. (BTW: the person that is going straight HAS THE RIGHT AWAY, not the person turning)….and when there are only two cars next to each other: yes, the first car to arrive goes first.

Takeaway & Question to you: Do you think the Boise Police Department is using their marketing dollars in a responsible way where we are getting the most use & information from it?  What would you suggest?

 

Publishing Your Blog with a Plan February 24, 2010

Filed under: Free Ideas,social media — jenharris @ 11:17 pm

Because of this social media frenzie we are all experiencing, there seems to be a flood of info out there – if you and I were editors of a magazine, we might be fired for our disorganization and lack of flow from page to page.

I admit, I don’t have a personal social media plan (other than getting hired somewhere) but if you are a business and have publishing rights (blog, FaceBook, Twitter, yadda yadda yadda) you should know what is going to be published and where it’s going to be published (because it doesn’t belong everywhere) for the next two to three months.
Here is how I have done it for multiple clients:

I do a POST strategy that solely belongs to the authors of Groundswell: Charlene Li & Josh Bernoff.

It takes about 2 hours and my clients have come out with blog topics for 2-3 times a week for about 8-10 weeks.

After you have organized your blog posts that correlate with your industry, put them where it is appropriate.  Please, please, please: don’t put it everywhere – it doesn’t belong everywhere.  If you haven’t figured out WHERE you belong or WHERE your customers are at – I can help with that too.

How do you come up with your blog posts? If you had a schedule, would it be easier?

 

Social Media Snake Oil January 11, 2010

Filed under: Free Ideas,Tip of the Day — jenharris @ 8:41 pm
Tags:

Dear Mr and Mrs business owner,

If someone comes to your business and tells you that they can get you involved in social media and pitches FaceBook and Twitter juuuuuust a little bit too much….
Do this: just say No!

If they tell you that they themselves have a large “following” that can help you…
Do this: just say No!

If they tell you that they can run these accounts for you…
Do this: just say No!

Please don’t be intimidated by these new online tools. They really are not that difficult to understand ONCE you have gone through a STRATEGY that outlines what they can help you with, what the potential ROI is and why you belong there (if at all!!!!!). Don’t be bullied, do your homework and ask around about this persons reputation and ROI with other clients.

And I will say it again, DO NOT outsource this to someone that you would not want to represent YOU in a board meeting with investors and/or potential clients.

Good luck.

 

Jen’s New Marketing Plan December 14, 2009

Filed under: Cool News (to me),Free Ideas — jenharris @ 10:59 am
Tags: ,

Dear Santa:
All I want for Christmas (in my chosen *crazy* profession of course) is a job.  Maybe start out part-time, 2 or 3 days a week (M-W-F or T-Th is best for the twins, so that they can be enrolled at Challenger…you know, to start their brilliance) and do for a company “that social media thing”.  Strategy, implementation and education is what I am good at and I know if I could just get my foot in the door, I can and will make a difference.
All My Love,
-jen
@jenharris09

This wish got me thinking…why can’t I be the Santa that grants wishes?  And here is where Jen’s New Marketing Plan could be filled with pixie dust or flat-out brilliance.

I am giving it away.

I have no desire at this point in my life to run my own business.  I have no desire to stress over the tax man.  I do have the desire to help others – so I am just going to do that & believe that Karma will take care of things.  No need to buy the cow, the milk is now free.

Here is how it will work:
You need to know how this “social media stuff” works beyond how to get on FaceBook and Twitter.  An actual social media strategy with goals & objectives that go beyond getting tons of  people to be your friend – I can help you.
You want to start a blog (or have the capability to do so) but have writers block – I can help you.
You need to know WHY you should be creating content over buying ads & offering coupons (or why/how to integrate that into a…..STRATEGY!) – I can help you.
You need to know where all these customers are “at” and how to get them engaged with your company – I can help you.
You just need the basics of how to work the tools – I can help you.

How I get P-A-I-D
Buy me coffee, lunch for myself and the twins and possible admission to Rafiki.  Another good location is The Merc at Hidden Springs.  Since I am turning over my knowledge to you for caffeine and chicken nuggets, I am guessing an occasional interruption from a 3-year-old will be worth it.  Let’s plan on 2-3 hours.

What’s in it for Jen?
Karma my friend.  That and a good recommendation or two or three or ten.  My goal is to get that job with-in a marketing department of a larger company that understands a social media marketing person is just as important as the media buyer.
I am enjoying being a mom-at-home with the kids, but I miss “it”- I miss being in the thick of things.  If this Karma job doesn’t come around for a year, so be it…but if I can help people in the meantime (and get me some free coffee) I will be satisfied and I will quit having marketing dreams about your business.

Be my Santa…give me a call, leave a message here, send smoke signals…just get a hold of me – I can help you.
xoxo
-jen

 

IT Guys are Great, But Hire a Specialist September 8, 2009

Filed under: Free Ideas,social media — jenharris @ 1:45 pm
Tags: ,

While at Planet Kid on Saturday for the beginning of what we call “birthday season”, I was talking to a parent & what they are doing in their local (large) multi-location, retail store in social media.  A typical I.T guy gets it, but doesn’t know exactly how to sell it (and I mean typical in a very loving sense…I love my IT guys – they are just not typically sales/marketing guys – but just really smart guys in the back who get overlooked a whole lot).

We laughed about how all the crotchety old marketing guys don’t “get it”, yet don’t take the time to sit and listen, watch, observe or engage on why they should “get it”.  His advice: get on Facebook and just try connecting with friends & family.  Honestly, a great start, lets just hope they don’t use this New Media stuff as a venue to take the place of the bus bench advertising.  *sigh*

So what should this VERY established, local, ranching & farming multi-location retail store do?

1. Educate themselves on what social media is and is not!
(Answer: it’s a listening device that will tell you what the public and your customers think of you instead of you trying to guess or predict what they want to hear – and it is NOT a fad…not anymore than that tele thing that came about a few years ago!).

2.  Hire someone part-time to evaluate where you are at & what you should be accomplishing in 3, 6 & 9 months…and have THEM be the person who executes, guides & manages all of it.
(Answer: hire someone INSIDE! When you hire someone on the inside, they are taking stock and ownership of YOU and your company)

3.  Be open to change! Think about it…the kind of marketing you have been doing…was it the same type of marketing that was done 30 years ago?  Do you still have cash registers from 1979 too?  Didn’t think so.  Evolve with all parts of your business – you will be rewarded.

The first steps in change are always the most difficult.  Take a deep breath & get educated.  Change is good!

 

Shop208 Beta to Release This Friday August 6, 2009

shop208For those that haven’t heard the buzz about Shop208, here is the simple low-down of why it is one of the smartest business sites to come around for a LONG time.

First, you should know that there is a limited amount of Beta users that will be able to be the first on board to give feedback & help with tweaks etc…all that good stuff that comes along with being a Beta user! Click HERE to sign up!

Why Should We Try Shop208?
Shop208 is a place for businesses to keep have an online presence with a plethora of marketing options on a platform that is built by a VERY smart, local, group.

If you don’t have a site, you need Shop208 to CREATE CONTENT! (Content is what makes you be found on the web & it lives FOREVER on the web.  The more content you provide, the better your ranking).

If you have a site, but it is a “brochure site”, you need Shop208.  Most likely, your site is just a presence where your clients can find out info that would normally be printed on a brochure.  If you have to call a “web master” to change your content, you need Shop208.

If you have a site, but have control of the backend (CMS: Content Management System) but want to get more out of your site (web analytics, form building, email marketing) all in one site for an AMAZINGLY Cheep price, you need Shop208.

What Does Shop208 Cost?
$0 – $60 a month. Amazingly cheep if you were to go with the  Premium Business package.  You could easily pay 3x this amount to get the features & quality that is expected by the end user (aka: your current & potential clients!).  You can’t afford not to do this.

What’s Your Role, Jen?
I met Nathan Barry just over a week ago & grilled him on why people should take advantage of Shop208. There have been at least 3 local developers try to make this sort of site (all of them not successful) in the past 3 years, but this is the first one that I have seen that I would support.
And since we all know content is what makes the web go around, I am here for Nathan and all Shop208 members to help them develop that web content in the form of blogs and a blog calendar of what they should write about.  This is an additional service, but one that people are finally catching onto that is extremely important, but not required.

Again, I have seen at least three similar type ideas formed the past few years, but not as well designed, thought out & released in such a smart forward thinking way. It starts out at FREE, so what do you have to loose?