IMC Intuition

Thinking out loud about all things IMC

In Praise of Direct Mail

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Direct Mail Word CloudDirect Mail has never been a more important tool in your marketing mix. In these days of overflowing inboxes and spam filters, personalized direct mail is an effective method to help you meet your sales goals, drive traffic to your storefront or website while gaining valuable customer insights because direct mail is 100% measurable.

According to the Direct Marketing Ass. 2016 statistics, “Where online is generally low-cost, low impact, print is higher-cost, higher impact. Where online marketing is passive, direct mail is active.” (https://thedma.org/knowledge-center/marketing-statistics/direct-mail-statistics/)

Highly successful direct mail campaigns follow a simple formula:

40% Targeted List + 40% Offer with Call-to-Action + 20% Creative=Success

To do it right, invest in an accurate list. Start with your end goal in mind and develop a compelling offer, something that gets your reader’s attention.   Invest in a good graphic designer to make that offer come alive visually. Talk to your printer, they will have lots of suggestions.

If you need help developing your list, integrating your direct mail with your digital marketing strategy or copywriting, I can help.

Direct Marketing Association website – https://thedma.org

 

 

Written by Beth Ryan

August 15, 2016 at 3:33 pm

Why CSR?

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ASM_Camp_16

2016 ASM Materials Camp volunteers, faculty and students @ Allegheny College

One of many activities under the Public Relations umbrella is CSR or Corporate Social Responsibility. There are many definitions, here’s my favorite, “Corporate Social Responsibility is the continuing commitment by business to behave ethically and contribute to economic development while improving the quality of life of the workforce and their families as well as of the local community and society at large.”*

A perfect example of CSR in action this summer is the combined effort of the ASM Educational Foundation, Allegheny College, Channellock, Universal Wells, SECO/WARWICK, Associated Spring, Peters Heat Treat and Crawford Central School District representative to present Materials Camp – a STEM summer camp for college-bound high school students. This camp is free of charge due to the generosity of these companies, educational organizations and volunteers. Students entering college with a passion for STEM disciplines – Priceless.

CSR programs have a proven record of building brand recognition, improving employee and customer relations and increasing profitability.  Contact me to discover the many benefits of the public relations approach to business; your consultation is free.

Beth Ryan Integrated Marketing & Communications
Public Relations, Content Marketing and Training

info@bethryanimc.com | www.bethryanimc.com

*mallon bakers respectful business blog, http://mallenbaker.net/article/clear-reflection/definitions-of-corporate-social-responsibility-what-is-csr

 

 

Written by Beth Ryan

July 15, 2016 at 1:27 pm

The Trouble with Twitter…

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Twitter_logo_blue…Is that so many businesses, particularly in rural areas do not take advantage of the world’s leading micro-blogging platform.  Twitter is a fast-paced, free tool for news sharing, gossip & culture, politics, coupons, special deals and foodies.

Busy people love Twitter.

Twitter is more like talk radio or cable TV, only very mobile.  Hash tags (#) signal conversations in Twitter that can now be extended into Instagram and Facebook.  Many companies, for example Fitbit, use Twitter for customer service.  All you need is a simple profile, then you are ready to “tweet” – write a great headline with 140 characters.  Add a photo to draw more interest.  You follow your interests, and people follow you. Once you have a strategy in place, it’s not complicated.

Twitter’s new advertising platform gives you an effective, affordable method to target your audience for a price that won’t break your budget.  It’s a super option if your audience loves Twitter as much as I do🙂

Please contact me for a free consultation, there’s no better time to get started.  Better yet, follow me on Twitter, @BethRyan or twitter.com/BethRyan and send me a message.

Written by Beth Ryan

May 15, 2016 at 10:06 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Where is Your Sunshine?  Understanding Public Relations & Brand Journalism

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Beth Ryan IMCPublic relations is defined as a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships. My specialty, integrated marketing communications (IMC) recognizes that in our advertising saturated world, public relations is equally, if not more important as companies can now self-publish in both print and online.  Typical PR tools include news releases, special events, newsletters, public service announcements (PSA’s), editorials, special websites and social media, however, most PR campaigns begin with a news release.

The humble news release, well written with a compelling headline is a business owner’s most effective tool that requires little to no investment other than time and imagination.  To build a meaningful relationship with your audience and the media, you need to think and write like a journalist – this is called “brand journalism.”  In brand journalism, instead of saying, “buy my stuff,” you are telling your brand story by sharing news and information relevant to your business and the industry that you serve.  These stories position you and your company as a thought leader and influencer in your community.

A great press release can be repurposed as a blog, expanded into a white paper, posted to your website, linked to social media, or wherever your customers go for news and information.  If you boost your editorial with an ad, you will get amazing results.  Marketing guru Al Reis famously said, “PR is the sun and advertising is the wind.”*  Find your sunshine today and make it more effective with a burst of wind.

Are you new to public relations practice for internal and external communications?  I can help.  Contact me for your free consultation.

*Reis, Al and Laura (2002) The Fall of Advertising and the Rise of PR; Harper Business

Mastering the Facebook Admin Page

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– It’s easier than you think

Image #1.BRIMC.png

When many business people look at the admin version of their Facebook page, they oftentimes find it to be overwhelming, but the truth is that Facebook has done an outstanding job of building in robust marketing tools and features that not only enhance your presence in Facebook but aid in SEO as well.

Here is a brief checklist of enhancements you can add or adjust that will have immediate results at no cost:

  1. Be sure to set the “Call to Action” button – see blue box above. Click and follow the instructions.
  2. To the right of “Timeline” click on “About” be sure add your information to this page, it is how Facebook will index your content. Click and follow the instructions.
  3. To the right of “About” is “Services” a quick and easy page to use. Click and follow the instructions.

Image #2.BRIMC

One last item, go to your “Settings”, Click on “Messaging” and set up your response time, take a minute to create an automated response. Click and follow the instructions.

Spend some time this week on Facebook and explore the great new tools, you’ll be glad that you did. Remember to use the “Follow us on Facebook” icon or phrase in all of your print advertising and website.

Written by Beth Ryan

March 21, 2016 at 1:13 pm

Are you Linked In?

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LinkedInWhile many local businesses have a presence on Facebook, I am regularly surprised at how few take advantage of the networking potential on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network with over 400 million members worldwide.  LinkedIn is much more than a talent solution; there are many marketing and direct sales tools as well as a publishing platform available for free, or at a very low cost compared to other types of media.

Whether you business serves direct-to-consumer (B-to-C) or business-to-business (B-to-B), be sure that you have a complete, up-to-date profile and company page, then get to work building your network.  Take a minute to connect with me atwww.linkedin.com/in/bethryanimc.

LinkedIn is your online networking tool.  Like a conference, LinkedIn is a place to connect with  current and potential customers, discover new markets and learn about new business trends.  As Chamber members, we all know how critical networking is to the success of our businesses – so make sure that LinkedIn is part of your marketing strategy.  Is keeping up with your marketing tasks slowing you down?  I can help with an individualized LinkedIn set-up or in house workshop.

The Truth About Trade Shows is That They Work – Is Your Plan Ready?

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SECO/WARWICK Corp. Booth at the 2015 ASM Heat Treat EXPO in Detroit

Trade show exhibitions always beg the management question – where is the return on investment?  Particularly when that investment grows into the 4, 5 and 6 figure category, trade show costs can be a considerable drain on company resources.

Here’s the bottom line:  People buy from people they know, like and trust and the best way to gain that trust is by meeting in person.  Your digital and direct marketing lay the foundation, but particularly with high dollar purchases, trust and credibility are the values that matter most.

I found a New York Times article by American Express Small Business that says it best: “according to the Center for Exhibit Industry Research, it costs 62% less to close a lead generated from a trade show than one originated in the field.”[1]

When trade shows are included in your overall business strategy, they can make a powerful addition to your bottom line.  Statistica[2] has published data that says that approx. 49% of trade show attendees plan on making purchases.  Is this an audience you can ignore?

Done well, trade shows are a priceless asset.  Trade shows with no plan, on the other hand, are hit and miss.  Can anyone afford that?  This is a perfect time to make sure your plan is in place.  Be sure your plan includes pre-show promotion and post show follow up.  If you have any questions about “how to”, let’s talk.

Links in this post:

[1] New York Times (includes a how-to on effective trade show planning) -https://www.nytimes.com/ref/open/finance/OPEN-TRADE-SHOW-PLAN.html, retrieved 12/8/2015

[2] Statistica http://www.statista.com/topics/1498/trade-show-marketing/, retreieved 12/8/2015

Written by Beth Ryan

December 31, 2015 at 9:32 pm

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