Bright Ideas: Showcase Your Best

“I don’t like to toot my own horn…” or “We’re not ones to talk about ourselves…” Our question is, why not? Today, organizations must be able to showcase what they do best. We think it starts with an elevator pitch, which we’ve detailed in the past. Once one can succinctly detail the value of what one brings to the table, then it’s time to place one’s best foot forward. (That’s a lot of ones in one sentence!) Now what?

The Showcase
This is where past examples come into the picture. Did one of your campaigns bring big-time dollars to the bottom line? Share how many. So, last year’s marketing campaign resulted in a huge new following in a brand-new market? Tell that story. Often, it’s the “happily ever after” we forget to quantify and qualify. It’s time for a showcase show and tell.

What does that mean? Whether it’s actual client reviews, statistical results worth sharing, or simply a gallery of work, we recommend making this plainly visible.

Client Reviews
Whether you have a strict Net Promoter Score (NPS) discipline happening or a more informal testimonial process, it’s key to ask your clients to share what went well. Often, people are happy to share the results of a beautiful relationship.

Example A: some actual words from some of our amazing clients:

"Shan has completely taken over external communications for Castaways, including our website, blog, email marketing, and social media. I’m impressed with the way she creatively tells our story within these channels, which has made my day-to-day easier.” - Anthony Consiglio, Director of Communications, Castaways Resale Store

And Example B—note the statistics:

“We partnered with Shan to improve our marketing strategy and streamline our messaging. In a short period of time, our social media channels saw a 30% increase in engagement, and we still use the content strategy she created…” - Dawn Heaney, Partner, Couture Bride

Gallery of Work
When you do something noteworthy, do you share via your communication channels? “Hey, we just did something brilliant, but we don’t want to share…” said no one ever. But are you sharing? This is where a gallery or snippets of successful past projects can serve as a great portfolio of future work.

Sample 1: Did you know we often create mini-campaigns for our clients, like Castaways Resale Store? Perhaps not, because we haven’t told you. Click here to read the blog which coincided with a full-scale marketing campaign. And go figure… after this digital strategy was executed across multiple channels, donations are up.

And sample 2: Let’s say you contribute to a successful outcome, yet your name is not on it. You could still share it via appropriate channels (and then refer to the previous step and share a positive client review). For example, we consult with a high-end luxury real estate company; one of our contributions involves writing for their quarterly publication. While it’s not our organization’s name on the masthead, we are a part of the editorial team. And we should share, as it showcases our talent of strategic storytelling. Here’s the latest edition.

Third Party Tools
Maybe you’re not a fan of an appropriate (read: appropriate) level of self-promotion. Consider finding other ways to engage potential clients through third party channels. Yelp, Facebook, and Google all have review mechanisms, as well as big industry parties like JD Powers and Angie’s List. A colleague in the luxury hospitality industry shares, “These results are very credible in the eyes of the consumer; there are a multitude of ways to turn around and publish those results.”

What’s the Big Idea?
Bottom line, the best thing an organization can do is highlight things it does well and what sets them apart in the digital world. We have a lot of big ideas that can help you shine a bright, big spotlight on your value proposition and tell your story in a huge way to your target audience. Contact us today if we can help you showcase your best.

Marketing: An Elevator Pitch

"What do you do?” It’s a question that is casually asked in Ubers, at cocktail parties, and in elevators around the globe. There’s even a term for it—“the elevator pitch”: a succinct reiteration of the solutions or a sales pitch. When I tell people that I own my own marketing firm and work with organizations to help them meet their communication goals, there is typically a blank stare. Then realization hits, eyes light up, and the response: “You do PR!”

Back to the drawing board to perfect my own one-liner about my business, I’ve done a lot of pondering about exactly what I offer my clients. Henceforth, I came up with the golden trifecta of marketing communications, planning and content development, and strategic storytelling. This has really clarified my offer to small- to medium-sized businesses and the non-profit organizations I support.

But then, the dreaded “You do graphic design?” or “Does that mean social media?” pops up again and again. So, to set the record straight, what is marketing? The better question to me is, “What does marketing include?”

A good strategic marketing communications plan includes sections on brand. “Oh, a brand is my logo, right?” A company’s brand certainly includes a logo, but in addition to visual cues of design and colors, it’s the essence of what the organization does, its competencies, and its values. Brand includes the personality of the group—what is the voice/tone, language, key messages, and how the organization meets the needs of key audiences.

Once the foundation of brand is set, then an overall marketing strategy can be determined. This includes deciding on the best tactics—like leveraging advertising campaigns and public relations—to market the brand. While a paid social media push is a fantastic idea for product company with incredible imagery, it may not be the best option for a professional services organization. This is where strategy comes into play. And crafting the right story—via this strategic storytelling I keep mentioning—is crucial.

We think content strategy should be at the center of any strategic marketing plan, feeding channels such as website, public relations, social media, blog posts, etc. The goal is to showcase our clients’ expertise in their fields, and strategic storytelling and sharing client’s unique value proposition is at the cornerstone of our communication efforts.

Public relations: absolutely essential—with the correct messaging. Graphic design, snazzy infographics, and catching imagery…yasss! Carefully planned events and orchestrated launches can be excellent parts of a larger marketing strategy. Newsletters…even handwritten thank you notes can be a more traditional tactical arm used well with other components.

I think you get the point—all of the above are encompassed in the bigger grouping of “marketing”. And we do a lot of it…it’s in our DNA and part of our everyday work. Cue the elevator music…and please contact us if we can help you on any of your strategic marketing and communications objectives.