The impact of the Covid-19 virus has been massive and widespread. Almost every single industry that you can imagine has felt the effects that the shockwave of the Coronavirus has left in its wake, and the marketing industry is no exception. With much of the population forced to self-isolate at home, digital marketing has become even more crucial than ever before as people have become increasingly reliant on technology in order to stay in contact with one another. Marketers and brands have had to make several adjustments as a result of the pandemic, and interestingly enough, many unexpected opportunities and consequences emerged as a result of the virus.
Not many industries can say that they have seen new opportunities arise as a result of Covid-19, but marketers have been lucky in that sense. In a field where connecting with your audience is key, marketers have found themselves in a time period where people are looking for some kind of connection more than ever. This has made the effort that marketers have out into their social media management worthwhile. Effective marketers have used this time period to take their brands social media and build relationships with their customers, providing them with a stable, dependable voice to look towards. This can be invaluable during a time like this, and can help to increase the loyalty that people feel towards a brand. If marketers are able to build that relationship, it can help to keep their company afloat during this time of great financial uncertainty. Marketers have also gained some unexpected hands-on experience of how they should respond in a crisis situation. In the future, if something tumultuous is to happen with their company again, they are better equipped now to handle the fallout.
On the flip side, the Covid-19 pandemic has also had many negative consequences for the marketing industry as a whole. For example, it has been a very difficult time for customer acquisition. With many people out of work, there is not much unnecessary purchasing or experimentation in regards to purchases happening. Customers are tending to stick with brands and companies that they are familiar with and are behaving in a more risk-averse manner. Additionally, the virus has put many campaigns and partnerships that had been planned on hold, perhaps permanently as many companies and industries are bleeding money every day. Marketers as a whole have had to hold steady in order to keep their collective heads above water, and thus not much experimentation has been occurring, stifling growth within the industry. Overall, Covid-19’s impact on the marketing industry has been undeniable. However, although this impact has come with its fair share of negative consequences, there have been many opportunities that have emerged as well, and it is important for marketers to adapt to the changes that have happened and face these opportunities head on if they wish to succeed.
By Ryan Gumb
Social media has become a regular part of everyday life for countless individuals around the world. When we wake up in the morning the first thing that we do is grab our phones to check our social media accounts. In fact, for many of us, the time spent sleeping is the longest period of time we go without checking our social media accounts. It is an undeniable fact that social media has made its way into our society in a variety of different aspects. One of the greatest ways that it has impacted society can be found in modern marketing and advertising.
Prior to the emergence and subsequent boom of social media, the faces of marketing and advertising were very different. What is now known as “traditional media,” was referred to simply as “media.” Television and radio ads, as well as print ads in newspapers and magazines, were often the direction that marketers opted to go in. Often times, press releases would need to be drafted and submitted to news publishers in order to get the word out about whatever it was that was being promoted. With the emergence of the internet, digital advertising began to blossom. Buying ad space on websites became commonplace, whether it be through side banners, videos, pop-ups, or even via blogs. While all of these methods of marketing and advertising still exist to this day, they have become less prevalent in the wake of social media marketing.
Social media has allowed companies to connect more directly with their customer base than ever before. Customers now have a tool at their disposal that will allow them to directly contact a company that they plan to do business with, allowing for customer service to take place at a rapid, and sometimes instantaneous pace. Social media also provides companies with an opportunity to promote themselves in a very cost effective manner. It may cost money to pay a social media manager or to run paid ads, but social media is still cheaper than many of the other methods of advertising that had previously been more popular.
Some companies even opt to utilize services such as Sendible and Hootsuite which allow them to streamline and queue social media posts in advance. Social media has also brought forth the emergence of “influencers.” Influencers are individuals with significant followings on social media who partner with brands in order to promote their products or services. They essentially act as thought leaders, influencing their followers to patronize the brands that they are working with. Many companies have found success by making use of social media influencers, and this has provided them with another method that they can utilize to connect with potential customers.
Additionally, social media gives companies an opportunity to establish a brand personality for themselves. Wendy’s is a prime example of this brand personality development. Wendy’s is famous for their Twitter account, which is snarky and sarcastic, often times making witty comments back at people who reach out to them on the platform. Often times, they will even throw a friendly jab at some of their biggest competitors, such as McDonalds and Burger King. This tongue-in-cheek approach has worked very well for Wendy’s, but brands must be careful, as social media can lead to offensive conversations and ruin the reputation of the company. The minute that something is put on the internet, especially on social media, it is there forever, and many companies have experienced severe backlash for things that they posted online.
In conclusion, social media has completely changed the landscape of the world of advertising and marketing. Brands now have direct access to customers, and customers now have direct access to brands. While this may mean that it is easier than ever to reach a customer base, it is not necessarily a completely positive thing, as brands are more under the microscope than ever before, and must now make sure that everything they say and do is being perceived positively by the general public. The use of targeted social media ads, influencers, and positive direct customer interaction can establish strong reputations and personas for companies who would have had a hard time growing a few years ago.
By Ryan Gumb
When developing a marketing strategy, age and generation are factors that need to be taken into account. We’ve all heard terms like “Millennials,” and “Baby Boomers,” thrown around, but what do they actually mean? And how do you figure out which generation that you’re a part of? Well, unfortunately… it’s not so simple. There is a lot of debate over the exact point of time in which one generation transitions into another. However, our behavior and media habits can give us a clearer explanation about which age bracket we truly belong in.
Baby Boomers (1946-1964)
Unlike the other categorized groups, “Baby Boomers”, are consistently defined as people who were born between the years 1946 and 1964. This generation began right after the end of World War 2; Baby Boomers grew up in the midst of the Cold War, the Vietnam War, and experienced the beginning of the civil rights movement. Many consider them to be hard working but old fashioned. Although they make use of traditional media more than any other generation, they tend to love Facebook!
Generation X (1965- Approximately 1979)
Generation Xers are somewhat caught between two different worlds. They are old enough to remember growing up in a time without technology, but young enough to witness the technology boom and its impact on their professional lives. They are typically avid television watchers, and have a stronger grasp on technology and social media than Baby Boomers.
Millennials (Approximately 1980- Late 1990’s)
The years that define Millennials are wildly unclear. Some say that the millennial generation ended in 1994. Others claim that it lasted until 1996 or even 2000. Millennials tend to be greatly misunderstood, and are often mocked for their reliance on technology and their obsession with social justice. Millennials tend to be very technologically savvy, and are proficient in managing social media accounts across various platforms. Although most still watch television, more and more are making the decision to cut the cord on traditional cable and opt for streaming services instead. Impactful events like the 2008 Recession and 9/11 have shaped this generation’s view of the world.
Generation Z (Late 1990’s- Present)
Some argue that Generation Z ended in 2015, while others claim that today’s newborns are still considered Gen Zers. This is a generation that has had access to technology from birth. From playing with their parents’ phones and tablets at an early age, to getting their own mobile devices, Generation Zers have never known a world without technology. They are the largest generation, making up approximately 25% of the population.They are extremely tech savvy, and nearly addicted to the world’s most popular social media platforms. Statistics show that they spend at least three hours a day on mobile devices.
For marketers, understanding the trends of these generations is very important. If we can understand their values and passions, we can deliver more relevant ads in the right places and at the right time.
Some industries are labeled with a bad reputation no matter how trustworthy the individual business entity is. Auto body shops and marketers are two such industries. So what happens when a well-known marketing agency teams up with Staten Island’s only environmentally friendly auto body shop to increase business? This week’s Vonsense podcast, “How to be a better client” can answer that question.
This week the Von Agency team spoke with Barry Crupi, Co-owner and operator of Barry’s Auto Body to get his opinion about why his various marketing campaigns have been successful.
The first point that Barry brought up was the need for the client to know what s/he expects to gain from the marketing campaign. There are many forms of marketing – from Facebook ads, to LinkedIn, to YouTube videos and podcasts. Each platform presents different creative opportunities. As a client it is important to communicate your goals to your marketer and to work with them to adjust the campaign to optimize performance.
Passariello brought up the importance of tracking. In his words, “If you can’t track it, don’t do it.”
The team discussed the importance of being realistic when it comes to expectations. Several of the campaigns Politika created for Barry’s Auto Body were a bit edgy and resulted in a few negative comments even though the overall campaign was successful. As Barry said, “Sometimes you have to ruffle a few feathers in order to get people’s attention.”
The group discussed involving family in marketing campaigns as was the case with the “I Gotta Guy” series in which Barry, his sister and partner, Michelle and his father appeared in the video. Barry said that it was extremely important because all of his family is involved in the community so people recognized them in the video and connected them to the business.
That led to the discussion about what role community involvement plays in marketing. Barry emphatically stated that volunteering in the community and donating to local non-profits was extremely important because that creates trust between the community and your business. When small business engages with charitable institutions, everyone wins.
The group all agreed that customer service is the best marketing opportunity a business has. When you provide a quality experience for your customer you establish a solid base for word of mouth business, especially in today’s competitive market when customers are not geographically restricted on where they can shop.
To learn more about how to be a better client when dealing with a marketing agency, listen to this week’s edition of Vonsense:
Why the Oscars’ #MeToo message failed
Any thinking human being would recognize the hypocrisy perpetrated on the public by those who produced and directed the 90th anniversary Oscars show. For those who would prefer that other do their thinking for them, I will explain.
The overt message the Oscar committee decided to send to the viewers was complete and utter support for the #MeToo movement. However, the message they actually sent was, “Do what I say, not what I do.” Here’s why:
They chose the wrong host! If they really wanted to send a message that they supported the #MeToo movement they should have chosen a woman of color as their host. Instead they chose Jimmy Kimmel, the former host of “The Man Show” that regularly objectified women by having them bounce on trampolines during the show.
For the record – I love Jimmy Kimmel and I totally appreciated the humor of “The Man Show” but having him give a speech about the #MeToo Movement when the success of his show was based upon exploiting women’s sexuality was absolutely hypocritical.
They provided cover and an assist to a sexual harasser! Not only did they allow Ryan Seacrest to up his celebrity by being an interviewer on the red carpet despite the fact that he has been accused of sexual harassment, they also allowed for the red carpet to be on a feed delay so that anyone who chose to say anything negative about Seacrest would be cut out.
They gave the spotlight to an artist who calls women “hoes”! Common and Andra Day sang “Stand Up For Something” and received applause when they sang these lyrics: “You can’t just talk the talk, you got to walk that walk, yes you do. It all means nothing, if you don’t stand up for something!”
That’s a great sentiment but are they really walking the walk? Let’s have a look at the lyrics to Common’s song “Sweet”:
Yeah, man, y’all niggas man, you soft muthfuckers
Yeah my man, muthafcker
Then come around my crib
You know where I’m from
Some hoes ass niggas
Singing all around me man, la la la
You aint muthafucking Frank Sinatra
Uh, lil bitch
Yeah, this the raw right here
Yeah this the raw right here nigga
Sweet ass bitch muthafucka
(insert mic drop here!)
I’m a marketer by trade so it’s my job to ensure brand consistency for my clients. Whoever was representing the 90th Oscar show that aired on March 4, 2017 and which was dedicated to the #MeToo Movement, clearly needs a lesson in brand consistency and messaging.
Hey Oscar – call me if you want Politika to help you out for show 91.
In this fast-moving, digital age, convenience is key – that’s why, after losing a ton of holiday sales to Amazon, Toys ‘R’ Us has decided to close an additional 200 stores. After all, shopping online from your living room couch is far more convenient than driving to the store, finding a parking spot, searching a 20,000 square-foot-building for the item you want to buy, then standing in a long line of frustrated parents and screaming children waiting to pay.
Even utilitarian tasks, such as checking the weather and turning on the lights, are being simplified with products like the Amazon Echo and Google Home.
But making things convenient isn’t enough to attract millennial shoppers. If you want this demographic to spend their money on your product, you have to give them content- and not just any content either. Millenials want valuable content that can be consumed effortlessly in a short period of time while they drive, work out, do laundry or tackle any other task that requires less than 100% of their attention. Podcasts are a perfect medium by which to deliver your message because they tick off both boxes.
Launching a podcast is one of the best ways to spread awareness about your business, cause, hobby or message. Approximately 24% of Americans (67 million people) above the age of 12 listen to podcasts monthly. That’s a staggeringly large number of potential disciples primed to receive your message. If that statement of fact didn’t sell you on the reach of podcasts, consider this- 21% of Americans practice Catholicism which means that podcasts are more common in this country than a 2,000 year-old religion.
So now that you’re convinced that podcasts are far reaching, you will need to establish a format that people will want to follow. Unfortunately, there is no “secret sauce” for building a successful podcast. However, there are a few tips and tricks that will increase your chances of engaging your audience and attaining steady growth.
Consistency is important when launching a podcast. Know how many hours you are able to dedicate to your podcast, then build a schedule for creating and posting your content and stick to it. Be realistic when determining the amount of high-quality content you are capable of producing and the number of hours you are willing to put in. Remember, if you want your audience to be loyal to you, you must be loyal to them.
Professional equipment and a suitable environment can make a good podcast great. Be sure to use state-of-the art equipment, and top-notch software to deliver the highest-possible sound quality to your audience. Each and every episode becomes an audible representation of you and your company so don’t cheap out.
Generating content that your target audience considers valuable is one of the most important steps in creating a successful podcast; do your research. Keep yourself open to suggestions and try to find interesting guests who can relate to your audience.
It is important that your content lives on a variety of different platforms to allow your audience an opportunity to listen, engage, and comment with ease. Remember, content and convenience are essential.
Hiring a professional to edit and distribute your podcast can increase the number of active listeners and keep them interested.
Lastly, it is important to give your podcast a title that will grab people’s attention and help them understand your goals.
The wealth of voice-activated technology available on the market today is making podcasts more accessible. You can take advantage of this valuable and cost effective medium to tell your story to the millions of people waiting to hear it.
Need help building or marketing your business podcast? Contact us on one of our social media pages or call at (718)-873-4004.
Politika will launch its company podcast, “Vonsense: Navigating the Digital Landscape”, on March 1st. We will be providing tips on digital marketing, public relations and the ever-changing world of social media. Don’t miss out!
By Joseph Corrado Quadara
If you’re an avid social media user (like 80% of the U.S population) you’ve probably noticed the frequent updates that take place on your favorite platforms. These changes happen so often that users are left confused and frustrated. Seems counter-intuitive since the purpose of the platform is to provide a positive user experience.
It seems like social media companies are spiraling deeper and deeper into a game of Monkey in the Middle. On one side are the billions of loyal users essential to a company’s success. On the other side are the millions of businesses/advertisers who pay the bills. With update suggestions from both sides, the company is regularly forced to make a choice between generating revenue and keeping its users happy. It’s a tough position to be in and the problem doesn’t end there.The executives of these companies must continually improve their platform to keep up with existing competitors.
With these constant pressures, the reputation and uniqueness of these platforms are at risk. Facebook users are becoming frustrated with the number of advertisements in their newsfeed. Unhappy customers? Time for another change.
” The first changes you’ll see will be in News Feed, where you can expect to see more from your friends, family and groups. As we roll this out, you’ll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media,” said Mark Zuckerberg in a recent post.
Good news for users but bad news for businesses who purchased Facebook advertising in order to be seen. It seems like Mr. Zuckerberg is focusing more on the user-experience and less on his bank account which has ballooned to a whopping $73 billion.
As a direct result of keeping up with the competition, the less wealthy, Twitter was forced to make some big changes. Since its inception, Twitter has been famous for its limiting the number of characters in its posts. This 140 character platform was once so popular that the act of creating a post, “tweeting,” was given a name by its users and included in the OED (Oxford English Dictionary). Caving to the pressure to assimilate, Twitter is now allowing users 280 characters in their Tweets, crushing the platforms only unique feature and leaving President Donald Trump’s entertaining tweets the only reason to sign on.
You don’t have to be psychic to know that social media platforms will continue to change. However, you do need to stay on top of these changes if you want to continue to use them as an effective marketing tool for your business. Unless your business is social media, the best way to capitalize on the platform would be to hire a professional. At Politika, our Social Media Managers remain up to speed on the newest platform updates. We analyze your business goals and create a plan to achieve them in an effective and measurable manner. As the line that separates one social media platform from another is becoming more and more blurred, the experts at Politika will focus on making your marketing campaign a complete success!
By Leticia Remauro
The world of marketing is changing because the largest generation inhabiting the Earth – the Millennials – are starting to call the shots.
If you haven’t noticed, Millennials look at marketing differently than the generations before them. For Millennials, the phrase “bigger and better” means that the product is wasteful, and “new and improved” means you didn’t get it right the first time. “Crazy Eddie” type commercials are a turn off to Millennials who prefer their marketing to be engaging rather than loud and over the top.
Millennials are the most educated generation so if you want them to buy your product, you have to be smart about it – and what smarter way to market to a Millennial than by speaking to them in a language they understand?
Millennials are visual. They photograph and videotape everything then post it to social media sites such as SnapChat, Facebook and Instagram. Contrary to popular belief, even though Millennials are the only generation to have been born with technology, when it comes to shopping they prefer to see and touch the product than to purchase on-line. They will use the internet to do their research, but when it comes to the actual purchase they want to hop on their bicycles and go somewhere to buy something rather than sit at home and wait for it to be delivered.
Now that I gave you a bit of background about how Millennials want to receive information, let me tell you how you can deliver your message to them in the way they want to receive it at no cost to you. That’s right – I said Free.
Facebook Live is a exactly what the name indicates – a live video broadcast from your page to your audience. It is simple to use and great for connecting with the generation that traded reading for video watching.
All you need to do is access your Facebook page via your smart phone, click the Live icon located just under the “What’s on your mind?” question then hold it up so that your whole face appears in the screen and start talking.
Everything you do from that point on will be broadcast to your viewers until you click the end button. Once your broadcast is finished you can upload your video to your Facebook page or download it to post on your website.
Facebook live is a powerful marketing tool because your audience is ready and waiting to receive your message. You don’t have to purchase air time on certain television shows and pray that the viewer doesn’t fast forward through your costly commercial. With Facebook Live, so long as your audience is on Facebook they will be able to see your live stream.
What’s even better is that the live stream is interactive so viewers can give you feedback as you are broadcasting so you will know whether or not they enjoyed your message and that interaction is recorded on the video once you upload it.
If you aren’t using Facebook Live, you are missing out on a serious marketing opportunity. If you do go live just remember these tips:
- Make sure that you and your product look good. Don’t broadcast unless the space around you looks neat and tidy;
- Keep your broadcast interesting. Long segments of silence and inactivity will put your viewer to sleep;
- Don’t forget to announce yourself and your product. Branding is important so make sure your product is in the shot;
- How to videos are the most watched. People like to learn so teach them something about your product and what it can do.
If you want to know more about Facebook Live or how to take full advantage of social media marketing, give me a call at 718 873-4004 or email me at [email protected].
Professional photography is a necessity that all businesses must invest in. The power of professional photography should never be underestimated or undervalued. It has immense value in attracting potential customers to your products or services. I’ll use food photography as it is the best example to show the importance of professional photography. Consider the fast food that you may have eaten at McDonald’s, at Burger King or at any fast food establishment. Order any burger from these establishments and it’s very likely that you’ll receive something that does not really look appetizing because the patty may be lopsided, the lettuce is half crushed, the tomato has discoloration, and the condiments are in a spray of disarray. Now let’s add in the known fact that fast food is detrimental to one’s health, we have to ask – why do people buy and consume fast food? Because they usually see an advertisement about the product before buying the product.
Fast food establishments use professional photography to turn their unappetizing food into five-star entrees. An advertisement of McDonald’s Big Mac is beautiful. Two juicy patties wedged between three fresh soft buns, all topped with perfect slices of lettuce, tomatoes, pickles and onions, and finished with a perfect amount of secret sauce which ensures a flavorful bite every time without fail. Why would you not want to buy one? But you know the Big Mac you order from the fast food chain does not even closely resemble the Big Mac you see on advertisements. McDonald’s uses professional photography so that they can depict a level of quality, even though it is never found in their actual products.
McDonald’s and other fast food establishments are capitalizing on first impressions through the use of professional photography. And it’s something that you should capitalize on as well. Whatever product or service you offer, you must think about how you are coming across to your customers. If the photography used to depict your business looks cheap, then customers will likely think that your business is cheap. And unless you want that, you should avoid cheap photography. Now if you want your business to look professional, then it’s obvious that professional photography is your calling. Though you may have to spend a decent amount of money in order to get fully finished professional photos, just remember that a picture is worth a thousand words. Choose what you want your photography to say about your business.
If you are not devoting any money towards advertising, you may as well pick a day to close your business.
All successful, long operating businesses have one thing in common: a marketing budget. Many business owners underestimate the importance of marketing and view it as wasted money or an unneeded expense. This is extremely far from the truth and a very short sighted way of thinking.
There are a variety of factors that go into what your marketing budget should be: your industry, your company size, your competition, growth stage, and location. All of these are main factors and one may carry more weight than others.
We recently sat down with a close friend who owned a business that was closing after being opened for over a decade. When we asked what his advertising budget was he said he never had one. Increasing rent on his location and declining sales were believed to be the primary factors he stated, however he did not know that not spending a dollar on marketing was really the cause.
Give your business, and your hard work, the recognition it deserves. Pick a suitable budget and stick with it. Tell people about it! Give them a coupon, give them some incentive to visit you! Have a sale and tell the world about it! Give things away! The more outlets your message is distributed on the better your chances are of getting a new customer, or increasing the frequency of a return visit from an existing customer.
What Do You Spend?
A good starting point is 7% of your average revenue. That number should be your annual marketing budget. From the annual budget divide it by two: one for branding and one for promotion.
When Do You Spend?
Will you be advertising weekly? Monthly? Quarterly?
Where Do You Spend?
Television / Local Cable Commercials – Discuss with your marketing representative ideal time slots for running your advertisement. Television commercials can be expensive to create and produce, so make sure they will be displayed when people are actually watching television. Less expensive time slots are less expensive for a reason: most likely no one is watching television at 4:00AM.
Radio (AM/FM/Satellite) Spots – Same logic with television spots. The commuting hours to and from work are ideal time slots.
Billboard – A well positioned billboard can receive hundreds of thousands of impressions.
Internet – Depending on who handles your web work, this could be your most powerful way of advertising.
Social Media – Social Media accounts are free, but the work that goes into your postings can be costly if you do not have a dedicated social media representative.
Print/Newspaper – Offering a discount on a flyer or newspaper advertisement is a great way to raise brand awareness.
Mailing – Bulk mailing in a locally distributed coupon or advertisement flyer.
E-mailing – Make connections with loyal customers and distribute promotional material to thousands of potential customers.
Don’t Blow Your Budget On One Media Spend
Unless you’re trying to reach one specific target audience, it’s generally unwise to spend your whole budget on one type of media. Diversify your media spends, just like your investment portfolio, for maximum results and exposure. Contact Go Social for a free consultation on what your marketing budget should be and the best avenues for distributing promotional materials.