Tag Archives: strategic

Never Say Never?

9 Jul

Never say never. Well, sometimes say never. Strong COEs make decisions. They don’t get stuck in an almost decision or suffer from that ongoing task force to address every possible issue pertaining to the decision that should’ve already been made. Sometimes you have to make a firm decision. Draw a line in the sand. Sometimes you have to forget the popular choice, do what’s right and press ahead with clear focus. As a strong communicator, you must listen carefully to make educated decisions and then – scary as it may be – you must make that decision and stick with it. Do what’s ultimately good for the end goal. Making the decision is only part of the success story. Communication (both listening and presenting) will get the ball the rest of the way to the goal. You’ll be a better decision maker when you’re listening well and you’ll be a better communicator when you are passionate about the decision and resulting outcomes. Be confident in your daily marketing and overall operations decisions – even the far-reaching, occasional claims for “never” and “always”. Knowing when to say never is a skill, so study other decision makers, leaders and wildly successful individuals, teams and organizations. Learn from others’ strengths and mistakes. Let that inspiration feed you as you snowball it all up – your own powerful instincts, the leading of your creator, all the input you can gather about the decision before you and the provided circumstances – snowball it all up into one big, giant, good mix of nevers, sometimeses, maybes and alwayses you believe in and communicate well. People will join you.

Master, Pro, Guru, Expert, Opinion Leader…

7 Jul

“Strive for mastery, big or small. Your audience will be impressed.” That’s the closing line of this quick video, narrated by Beacon PR’s strategist Rebecca Henley (and we think she says niche funny. Don’t you? Ha!) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J3XmzpBRNbg Well, what do you think about that statement and the idea that being THE pro will matter to your target audience?

Example one for your consideration: Do you think most preachers know Dr. Moeller’s general position on hot topics today? Just take a preview of the topics highlighted on the left pane of his blog http://www.albertmohler.com/. He’s taking a stance and staying in the content marketing arena regularly. If you’re a prospective seminary student or a pastor looking for the next book to read, do you see how it’s easy to respect Dr. Moeller’s level of notoriety and industry-recognized expertise? Do you think professors and other leaders are eager to be part of his administration at Southern Seminary?

Example two: When a colleague expressed interest in adding another monitor to our office for presentations, why do you think I was so quick to mention a client who can advise us from concept to installation? Aspen Custom Electronics knows the latest in digital signage, beyond just a conference room style TV set up. They’ll mount it and I can stay focused on doing what I do – not putting screws in the wrong place or investing in last year’s technology instead of the modern versions. I trust them with that decision and want to rely on their expertise.

I could go on! Look to the global marketing for your industry, the regional habits of your subject area and your local perspectives. Do you see gurus? The go-to person?

While every campaign Beacon touches is completely customized and no one size fits all, my bet is that your audience will care about your level of expertise, at least to some degree.

Strive for mastery, big or small. Your audience will be impressed. In today’s information age, content is king. Your ability to create meaningful material for the web-scouring potential customers out there will be crucial to your success. Harvesting success stories from existing customers and turning them into branding ambassadors and/or additional content creators will be another key aspect of your marketing programming. Gone are the days when marketing plans consist of direct mail, enews, media hits, signage, ads and a few special events. Regular content blitzing into every channel viewers may be peeking is the name of the game. Content marketing is the game changer and your marketing budgets and plans need to be keeping up. Your website is the hub, so ensure that it’s built on the best platform with the greatest security for the future – all centered around a content manager that empowers dynamic updates and customization. Gone are the days when “experts” had to have PhDs and spent each waking moment in research and teaching. Some still do, but you can add a megaphone to your brand through positioning yourself or others on your team as the guru, expert and go-to pro. Find your niche (neesh, as Rebecca would say 🙂 ) and build your level of expertise to such a fluent level, you have information and content pouring – oozing – out of you with confidence and clarity. Package that in a meaningful, relevant, powerful, professional yet real and fast manner. Your audience will stand up and take notice while competitors look on and wonder how you’re churning it out. Building momentum from the expertise you can portray through effective marketing systems will help add fuel to the fire when editors take notice, stories are placed, and visitors pour in. Be THAT GUY. Be the guru. Make it happen. LOVE IT every step of the way!

:: Need help? Beacon can explain content marketing more and help you find your voice and prioritize the right channels. Here’s to your mastery! ::

ABCs of Marketing – C is for Creative and Comprehensive

27 Sep

No matter how creative your designs are and ingenious your strategies may be, they aren’t going to work unless YOU’RE WORKING THEM! You have to have the entire comprehensive picture coming together for any creativity to really count. So, they (creative & comprehensive) go hand-in-hand.

Getting creative :: Sometimes getting creative means a fresh start, breaking loose, taking the lid off of what IS to think about what COULD BE. Break the status quo. Try something new. Start by reaching out far and wide. Make sure no “norms” are holding the creative spirit back. Then, we challenge you to go back to the basics. Think function and clarity. Creative designs that are cutesy and make the brand’s owner all thrilled because it “looks so snazzy,” can be failures if people can’t see them, remember them and act on them. Get creative, funky and totally jiggy with it. Then jump back into reality and see if your creative solution still works to press ahead. If so, WINNER!

Keeping focused on a comprehensive plan :: An awesome, clear and catchy brand that goes on some business cards – great. If it’s carried out into a look & feel for the online presence and other communications tools – now you’re talking! Creative solutions must be used, pumped out into the world, put into action. Comprehensive operational plans that work cohesively with strategic communications will always be more successful. PR and marketing efforts must intertwine with operational goals and the organization’s current and future direction. Creative deliverables and a series of completed tasks aren’t going to work unless YOU work THEM. “Working” them involves employing an intentional, comprehensive plan of action and tracking your results.  The best “strategic plan” will take you nowhere if it never moves past the binder of wish list documents and into a workable, achievable action plan about which your team is passionate.

Take Creativity and Comprehensive Marketing mentality to an organization-wide discussion. :: Your team’s commitment and your clear leadership will be crucial to the success of a creative, comprehensive, effective, efficient way of marketing. Having an opportunity for creative expression is helpful for every personality style and job description. Accountants and programmers need an opportunity to invest in the creative messaging, so don’t leave everything in the laps of your graphic designers and/or marketing reps. A team approach will not only create greater commitment but offer your normal “creative team” invaluable insights to keep the campaign grounded in the daily operational realities of the organization. Giving your team an opportunity to know where you’re headed with operational  contribute to creative direction will increase effectiveness in an overwhelmingly positive way.

 

 

Meet Beacon Designer Kylie Vincent & hear her take on Beacon’s “C is for Creative and Comprehensive” approach: http://youtu.be/jKM_U5mOTQU