The Ultimate Guide to a Holiday Marketing Campaign

Doesn’t every year seem to go by faster and faster? Suddenly, you look at the calendar and summer is behind you and the month of December is breathing down your neck. The holidays can be stressful for everyone, but for businesses that time of year requires EVEN MORE time and planning. Well luckily, we’re here to give you the ultimate marketing guide to the holiday season:

It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint

Here’s a friendly reminder - the holiday season is long (and seemingly getting longer every year). Therefore, you need to plan for not one post or email, but an entire campaign of different, but cohesive posts to constantly stay top-of-mind to your consumers during the busy and crowded holiday season. Remember, last year on Black Friday when you received approximately 2590385034 emails? This is a perfect example why you need to plan for much more than one email or social post.

It’s the Giving Season

Most brands have a natural fit for the giving season. This is the time of year to hone in on what you want your brand to be known for. It’s almost a given in this day and age for brands to have some tie-in to a charity, especially during the holiday season. However, it’s important that the charity chosen is an organic fit to the mission of your business. If you’re doing it “just for charity” your customers will realize and the buy-in will not be as beneficial to anyone involved. For example, if you’re in the restaurant industry it might be the perfect fit to form a partnership with a food back. Whereas, if you own a retail shop it could be the perfect tie-in to donate to a shelter that provides clothing to the less fortunate.

Back to the Basics  

The tides have turned and people LOVE getting mail again. Rather than being one of the hundreds of emails received on any given day, wouldn’t you love being one of the few things (not bill related) that an individual is getting in their mailbox? Although the amount of mail that is delivered during the holiday season does increase. If you create an amazing, on-brand holiday card it’s not only an additional way to ensure that your brand is top of mind but also a way to showcase your brand and wish your consumers a happy holiday season.

Where Your Campaign Should Live

Your business is firing on all different cylinders, so your holiday campaign should as well. Email, social, direct mail, digital, print, text, etc. Your holiday campaign should be carried out throughout these different mediums as well. Start by establishing what you want to accomplish (maybe this is a percentage off, a gift card promotion or a buy one, get one offer) and the look of the campaign and then bring that look to life so your consumers will see it over and over and be reminded of what you are trying to accomplish and what action you want them to take.

Including Movement  

Here’s a trick we’ve learned, people love gifs and animated social. It’s eye-catching and stands out among the millions of pictures and graphics that exist on timelines. Plus, it differentiates your creative. The holiday season is the perfect time to add some animation into your marketing strategy. If you don’t have the capabilities to bring your dreams to life, don’t worry – we do. Here’s one of our favorites:

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Because People Love Presents, Right?

Who doesn’t love to get a present? The holiday season is the perfect time of year to give your clients, prospective clients, friends and family a branded gift that they’ll want to keep, use and hopefully carry with them wherever they go, and can we say free advertising? Sometimes it takes a little time to find the perfect gift to give from your company, but if you nail it – everyone will be talking about it and your brand.

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Don’t Forget to Wish Them a Happy Holiday

This seems like a no-brainer but boy oh boy you’d be surprised how many people miss out on this final step of a holiday campaign. People like to feel special and a simple “Happy Holiday” from your business is another element of making your customers feel like you truly care about them and value them – this can even be through something as simple as a video on social media featuring your team wishing everyone a happy holiday season!

We understand just how valuable a holiday campaign can be for a business, but we also understand how much work and time goes into making a holiday campaign a success. There’s still time (barely) to execute a kickass campaign and we’re here to help. Contact us today to get started on your holiday marketing strategy.

Social Media: Which Platforms Are For You?

We get asked a lot of questions from our clients, but one of the most common is “What social media platform should my business be utilizing?” This is a loaded question and our answer varies depending on the specific client. To give a broad understanding of which platform is necessary for your company, we’ve created a list of quick questions to ask yourself before adding unnecessary stress and work to your life!

7 Questions to Think About Before You Start:

  1. Are you B2B or B2C? Majority of the time, B2B services do not need to have a presence on platforms like Instagram or Pinterest. Conversely, B2C businesses will find less luck on platforms such as LinkedIn. There are exceptions, but really think about what your offerings are and how they can be displayed to users.

  2. Who is your desired audience? Each social platform hosts a variety of demographics. Understanding what type of user is active on each platform will dictate which platforms you should be using.

  3. Are you selling a visual medium? If you aren’t, then there’s a possibility that platforms like Instagram and Pinterest aren’t for you since they’re more visually focused.

  4. What type of content is your business planning on posting? The type of content you have strongly dictates which platform you should be using. If what you’re sharing is predominantly visual, consider Instagram or Pinterest. There is one caveat, all posts should include visuals because it’s just the nature of the post. If it’s something more technical, focus on LinkedIn or Facebook.

  5. What social media platforms are other businesses in the industry using and how are they using it? Find out what platforms others in your field are using to get an idea of what could work well for your own business.

  6. What do you hope to achieve by using social media? If sales are your focus, you need to think about consumer behavior and which platforms will best show your products or services or help you grow leads. If you want to amass a following, then consider what content will help users connect with your brand.

  7. Are you prepared to spend a lot of time or money? Growing your social media either takes a lot of time, money, or both. If you don’t think you’ll have the time to invest or the financial capabilities, then you might want to pass on social media or pass those responsibilities off to someone who can do the dirty work for you.

These general questions should help you gauge your target market and determine which social platforms are best suited to your industry. We’ve broken out the most common social media platforms below to give you a more in-depth look at which one is right for your business.

Instagram:

The algorithm that Instagram currently has in place shows the most relevant content to the most people. For your content to do well, it needs to be something that users want to see. If you’re unsure about whether or not this platform would work well for your business, ask yourself these questions:

  • Does your content lend itself to engaging visuals? People want to see pictures of other people, behind the scenes pictures, pets, food, etc. If you are a dentist office or a law firm, you probably don’t need Instagram. If you really want to be a part of a visual platform, then keep things fun!

  • Will you have enough content to create a good rhythm? Posting once a week isn’t going to do you any good on this platform, and it isn’t going to help you gain a healthy following. It’s important to post at least 3 times a week to really see success.

  • Do you have the time to invest in increasing your follow to follower ratio? This is important because a good strategy takes time. If you don’t think you have the time, but still think Instagram is an important means for your business, that’s where we can come in and help.

  • Will you have the time to stay engaged with your followers? Everyone on social media wants quick responses and answers. If you have a platform for your brand, but never respond to requests or questions, you’re creating a bad user experience.

Facebook:

The most recent of Facebook’s ever-changing algorithms focuses on meaningful interactions between users. Meaning that conversations are now vital to having a successful Facebook presence. Therefore, your content needs to be something that will spark interest. When thinking about building out this platform for your business, ask these questions:

  • Are you planning on solely advertising, or are you planning on building & maintaining your presence? Users don’t want to see a sales pitch every time they see something from your page. You need to include content that allows you to build out your brand - show users what your business is all about.

  • Will you be able to build relationships with users? People want to know that your company is invested in its customers. If you can take the time to interact with them and get to know their wants and needs, you’ll be much better off.

  • Do you have the time to turn leads into loyal followers? Gaining followers and turning them into loyal brand advocates is much easier said than done. You can’t just invite people to like your page and expect them to do so and promote your product/services. This takes time and a decent amount of interaction, so if this is something that you don’t think will work well, then it might be best to skip it.

  • Will you have the time to engage with users? Interacting with your followers can take a lot of time. People want to know that you’re there to answer questions or requests. If you don’t think that this is something that your business can commit to, it might be best to pass on this option or hire someone to handle engagement.

Twitter:

Twitter displays content by timeliness and relevance of the post. This way, users are able to see what is most important to them in a timely fashion. This platform is a great way to stay up-to-date with the most current news. Twitter can be a very useful platform, but ask yourself these questions to ensure this tool is right for your business:

  • Do you have enough content to tweet regularly, and potentially several times throughout the day? This is a platform that requires a lot of content to be posted multiple times throughout the day. To do well, what is posted needs to be relevant to your followers, otherwise it will get left behind in the digital black hole.

  • Will you be able to interact with users on a consistent basis? If a user reaches out in some way, it’s important to get back to them quickly. If your business is unable to do this, then you’re not creating a good user experience.

  • Do you have both visual and written content? If there’s too much copy, users might start to pass by posts.It’s good to break up content with a visual component. Gifs also tend to perform well on this platform!

  • Will you incorporate hashtags and trending topics into your content? The use of hashtags on Twitter is very important. It helps show users what’s trending and if you’re not using them correctly, then you might be getting your content to the right people.

LinkedIn:

LinkedIn bases their feed off of engagement and the strength of connections between users so that the strongest business content is showcased. This is a true business platform, so you need to make sure that what you’re sharing is of interest to others in your field.

  • Are you trying to increase your number of leads? This can be a great place to find and grow leads! However, users only want to hear from people that could lead to something promising, so you can’t just send out invites and notes to just anyone. It takes time to find the right people to reach out to.

  • Is your focus on B2B interactions? This platform is much less focused on B2C interaction, so if this is your goal then I would suggest utilizing a different social tool.

  • Is your content engaging enough for people to interact? LinkedIn hosts a group of educated individuals who are trying to discover more about their field and the people within it. The content you post needs to be interesting enough for users to want to engage.

Pinterest:

This platform is a little different than the rest in terms of its algorithm. It bases what’s shown off of previous user interaction, so what people see will almost always be based on what they have searched for previously. This platform is a bit tricky, so be sure to ask yourself the following questions before you sign up.

  • Do you have visually engaging content? Pinterest is a visual platform. To do well, you need to have dynamic and engaging images. Otherwise, users will scroll right by without a thought.

  • Would visuals help promote your products or services? If your offerings can’t really be explained in a visual manner, then chances are you don’t need to be on Pinterest.

  • Do you have time to post multiple pieces of content throughout the day? Pinterest is unlike Instagram in the sense that users expect you to post multiple pieces throughout the day. If you have minimal imagery, then this platform is probably not for you.

Social media can be a very confusing area for many business owners. If these strategies seem daunting or confusing, give Elysium Marketing Group a call! We can help you determine which platform is best and what strategies to use to make sure your company is getting the most out of its social media. We can help with a wide range of services, whether it’s a consultation or the creation of a full-fledged social media campaign and implementation. And remember - this is fun stuff! Regardless of the platform, have fun with your content!

Why Your Business Needs Brand Guidelines

So what exactly are brand guidelines? Essentially, they are a set of rules that explain how your brand looks and feels at every touch point. They are a roadmap of information surrounding the personality and values of the brand. Brand guidelines incorporate the colors & fonts, logos, and other brand essentials that help define the brand’s identity. Now let’s dive into the importance of these bad boys!

Differentiation

To be successful, your brand needs to build awareness and develop trust and loyalty with customers. The best way to do this is to ensure that all creative pieces are cohesive. Nowadays, consumers are constantly being exposed to competing brands so now more than ever, these guidelines are crucial to help your business stand out amongst all of the noise.

The two best ways to differentiate your brand from competitors are by: 1) maintaining consistency within your own brand identity and 2) using a unique voice and look. The process of creating brand guidelines helps to bring up pivotal questions about the essence of your business.

Consistency

Consistency is key with anything, but especially with your brand identity - it should never be left up to interpretation. If something you put out doesn’t look like the rest of your brand, people WILL notice. These guidelines aren’t set up to stifle creativity and make everything look starkly similar, but to ensure that all creative is sending the proper messaging and is effective in achieving the goals that are set in place for the business.

Standards & Rules

Brand guidelines establish rules that ensure all elements of the brand are used consistently throughout all creative pieces. They support marketing strategies by ensuring that all messaging is relevant and related to brand goals. This creates a strong brand identity that resonates with consumers, which helps increase overall awareness. Take Coca-Cola for example - they’re a brand that focuses on building happiness. Everything about their brand evokes positive emotion  from their bright red cans to their classic font and personalized products. Consumers know who Coke is can clearly differentiate a marketing campaign for their brand versus another soft drink brand. This kind of consistency and recognition is exactly what brand guidelines are for.

Brand guidelines are also extremely helpful for designers. They allow them to understand what and how to use specific elements such as logos, colors & fonts, spacing, and imagery. Setting these rules also help new employees who don’t yet know the true identity of your brand and what all it encompasses. Obviously it’s helpful for them to look through previous pieces, but giving them a guide that explains how to properly use the elements of your brand will help stave off any issues and set them (and your brand) up for success!

Voice

Brand guidelines give your brand a voice and point of view. A great way to help distinguish this is to play a game we like to call “This or That.” We’ll suggest different describing words and our clients will tell us where on the spectrum they believe their brand lies.

Is your brand funny or serious?

Is your brand soft or bold?

Is your brand modern or classic?

Is your brand demure or edgy?

Now think about this: if you think your brand is funny, what kind of funny is it? Do you want a corny joke or pun involved in every creative piece or do you want your brand to focus on more intelligent humor? This might sound funny, but it really helps to distinguish the heart and soul of a brand. You’d be surprised how often we ask clients to name 5 adjectives about their brand and they can’t! Even when they can, the question is would your employees and customers name the same adjectives? This is a crucial step, so make sure to really think about the true essence of your brand!

Creating Brand Guidelines

Creating brand guidelines can be a massive undertaking. Besides establishing a voice for your business you need to consider a color palette, fonts, imagery, logo, and several other elements to create a truly useful set of guidelines for an impactful brand. It’s not impossible, but it is time consuming. Elysium Marketing Group has created several brand guidelines for various clients in very different fields, and each time it’s a journey deep into the heart of the brand to ensure the final product clearly defines the voice, essence, and identity of each brand. Whether you’re creating a new brand or re-branding an already established brand, we’ll ensure you have the tools you need for a strong brand that meets its business goals.

Contact us to see how we can help move the process along!

The Art of the Burn: Incorporating Twitter into Your Social Media Marketing Strategy

Welcome to 2018 - where social media is full of fun, outrageous takes and opinions and a whole lot of trolls. Trolling on Twitter has become such an epidemic that it’s made headline news a few times over the past few years (cough cough Kevin Durant…and do I dare say Bryan Colangelo?) However, I’d argue that when brands and organizations throw shade at one another it’s beneficial to their brands and, quite honestly, the engagement of their social media profiles. Here I’ll go into a few brands that are known for their “troll-game” and why exactly this became the way it is: 

Wendy’s

Okay, so is anyone surprised that they’re first on my list? Wendy’s has been trolling other fast food companies for a while now and no other restaurant is safe…. Let’s take a look at a few examples: 

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As you can see, no other restaurants are safe – and not even their own customers can escape the wrath and playfulness of Wendy’s. Now from a strictly marketing perspective, these are the types of the tweets that go viral. Don’t believe me? That burn targeted at McDonald’s had 12k retweets and 28k likes, the average on their four previous tweets that included messaging on their own branding and promotions, was only 1,692 retweets and 11,467 likes. You may not realize exactly what these numbers imply but here’s an easy breakdown. The more a tweet is retweeted and liked, the more it shows up in other people’s timelines. This means there are more people who are seeing Wendy’s logo, messaging and therefore subconsciously begin to crave their food. Wendy’s strategy is simple, go viral and get in front of as many people as possible. In my opinion their “burn” strategy is most definitely paying off!

Burn level = 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥 

The NBA

The NBA as a league does such an incredible job interacting with one another that I couldn’t bring myself to highlight just one team (and maybe partially because I’m a die-hard Sixers fan). But in all seriousness, NBA Twitter is the best example of an organization truly embracing what Twitter was created for: engagement & interaction. They utilize their team accounts, their players, highlights from the games and even their mascots to poke fun at other teams. The NBA season is long and now the off-season has become as integral to their social media strategies as their in-season. The individuals who run these accounts have a ton of time to push creative, unique content. All 30 NBA teams often “troll” other teams but here are a few of my favorites from recent history:

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Professional sports are a unique platform to market because not only does each team want to grow and engage their fan base, but the NBA benefits from people being engaged with teams outside of their “home team”. Therefore, when teams interact with one another they’re encouraging their fans to essentially get in on the action. The tweet above from the Raptors was not only retweeted and favorited more than their typical post, but had fans of both teams replying to the tweet “burning” each other. These rivalries lead to storylines, which leads to increased viewership on TV, ticket sales, etc. The NBA has captivated on social media and each team interacting with one another (often in burns) more than any other professional sports organization and it shows by looking at their official account. The NBA leads all other professional sports organization in followers with 27.9 MILLION! With the closest organization having 3 million less…let’s hope  they keep it up!

Burn Level = 🔥🔥🔥🔥

Hot Pockets

Hot Pockets does a phenomenal job utilizing their Twitter account to get in on breaking news, viral topics, and hashtags all while engaging their followers in a fun, “troll-y” type of way. They engage with polls, quote and retweet followers, they even poke fun at themselves and how petty their tone often is. Let’s take a look at a couple of our favorite examples:

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Hot Pocket’s strategy is to engage their current clientele, more so than it is to go viral. They have a smaller following than the previous accounts featured with 37k but every tweet they post is incredibly engaging. They talk to their fan base in the same ways in which you would communicate with a friend on social media. Here’s why this is so important – when a brand successfully makes their consumers feel important they become another asset to utilize in their marketing strategy. As Jay Baer said, “the goal of social media is to turn customers into a volunteer marketing army,” and in this regard, Hot Pocket’s has truly hit it out of the park.

Burn level = 🔥🔥🔥

We live in a society where it is almost impossible for businesses and organizations to not utilize, or even have a social media presence. It is called social media because at its core it is social and without the social aspect, it’s just noise to your consumers. So if your brand allows - make it fun! Social media cannot only impact the perception of your business but also help enhance overall growth and revenue. Don’t have the time that’s necessary for creating fun and captivating content that will continue to move your business forward? That’s what we’re here for! Contact us today for a free consultation.
 

The ROI of a Laugh: How to Use Humor in Marketing

A joke is never as funny if you have to spell it out, but in this case we're dissecting a couple of well thought out marketing campaigns that do a great job of using humor.

Purple Mattress

I know it sounds a little funny to use a mattress company as an example of humor in marketing, but it's seriously one of the first brands that comes to mind when this topic is presented. If you've never seen any of their commercials, I highly suggest doing so. They're clever and present some really interesting characterizations. They create a storyline within a short time frame while also providing all of the information needed regarding their products.

One of their more popular commercials is centered around Goldilocks, their expert bed tester. In three minutes she easily explains how the raw egg test simulates where pressure is distributed throughout the body during sleep all while providing hilarious commentary. The information sticks because her characterization is perfect for this skit and the information provided isn't too detailed. Another example of this is their commercial featuring a Sasquatch mother who is fed up with lower-quality mattress toppers. The entire commercial is one continuous joke that sprinkles an appropriate amount of information throughout. One of my favorite lines, which I'm sure others will love is "Other toppers turn your bed crinkly or stiff and they make your mattress noisy, hot, and uncomfortable. Like a Nickelback concert." One-liners like these are abundant and absolutely get the point across that Purple Mattress is unlike the competition. The company truly knows what will hit home for their consumers and uses that to their advantage. 

Denny's

Sometimes it can be difficult to produce content for platforms like Twitter. You only get so many characters and therefore you really need to hit home with the content quickly. Denny's is a fantastic example of a company that is using humor in social media effectively. If you've not read their Twitter feed then I implore you to do so. You will NOT be disappointed!

The majority of their content is quippy and entertaining with useful information divvied throughout. This brand is so successful because their tweets are so incredibly relatable. How many times have you thought about something - THOUGHT, not searched for or even talked about - and seen a targeted ad for it relatively soon thereafter? I can tell you it's happened to me on several occasions. Denny's caught on to this and replied with: "the reason you see our ads so often in because we can read your mind. You think about your ex and pancakes a lot." This is too funny, and way too real. It makes followers interested in their content, so as they follow along with the hilarity they wind up seeing deals being promoted. It seems so casual, but it works into consumers' feed perfectly. Bravo, Denny's!

Anheuser-Busch

Philly, Philly! Need I say more? This was one of the most prevalent marketing campaigns of the year - and for good reason. Anheuser-Busch listened to their consumers and played off of their interests. With Game of Thrones being one of the most popular shows on television right now, Bud Light created a campaign with a series of commercials that mimic the medieval setting found on the show and gave it a humorous undertone.

One example focuses on a man who escapes a treacherous dungeon to come back carrying a case of Bud Light. When another prisoner questions his decision to return, everyone else cries out in protest because they all want their favorite brew. The brand took it a step further when the Eagles not only made it into the Super Bowl, but won. The series continued with the king announcing that "The injury gods threw mud at you, but the perseverance gods wiped you off and patted your behind. So for you, I'll say it only once: Philly Philly." Playing off of the pride of Philadelphia fans shows that Anheuser-Busch understands their demographic and gives us another reason to love this fan favorite.

It can be difficult to use humor in marketing. Sometimes campaigns focus too much on trying to be funny and lose sight of the fact that they're still trying to sell something. It's a fine line, but the call to action and supporting information need to be present and highlighted. Take the lead of these brands and listen to your audience, be relatable, and do what's right for your brand.

Elysium Marketing Group Wins Top Marketing Consulting Agency!

We're excited and grateful that Elysium can now add award-winner to our portfolio!  

As you may know, Elysium Marketing Group has been providing high quality digital marketing services to clients in the greater Philadelphia area since 2015. However, today we’re excited to celebrate our designation as a Top Local Agency in Philadelphia by UpCity! We were selected as one of twenty-five companies in Philadelphia as a Top Marketing Consulting Firm. 

What Does This Mean?

UpCity’s Top Local Agency marketplace is a resource designed to connect small and medium sized local businesses with high-quality digital marketing service providers in their local area, allowing business owners to get the services they need quickly, from a service provider they can trust. The UpCity team independently reviews agencies across North America to determine the best service providers in each local market, ensuring that no matter where you are, great digital marketing services are never more than a click away.

To check out our profile and follow this link: https://upcity.com/local-marketing-agencies/profiles/elysium-marketing-group

We will continue to strive to bring our clients hands-on, strategic marketing creative and campaigns that move the needle and get real results. Thank you for being a part of Elysium's journey! 

What's Old is New Again - How to Use Nostalgia in Marketing

Nostalgia has always been an important tool for marketers to employ when they want to evoke emotions from their consumers. Especially now, with the craziness going on in the world these days, this tool has become even more significant. There is currently a strong resurgence of the theme, “what’s old is new again.” Below is a look at some examples of nostalgia in action, and how nostalgia is being used in different marketing strategies.

1.     Pokemon Go. Come on, you knew this was coming! Pikachu, Charmander and the other original starter Pokemon were a phenomenon in the 90’s, then more or less disappeared out of the limelight. Well boy, are they back with a vengeance! Their team figured out the best way to make them relevant again was to capitalize on the digital age. They are now dominating the news and the gaming world by using digital in a relatively new medium - augmented reality.

Marketing insight:  If your brand is feeling stale or worn-out, breathe new life into it by figuring out if there’s a way to capitalize on some of the available digital mediums. 

 

2.   Fuller House. Uncle Jesse - Have Mercy! So I’ll admit that I haven’t seen Fuller House yet, however, most people over the age of 15 have seen at least one episode of the original series Full House. We are seeing a serious resurgence of TV shows coming together again…Gilmore Girls, The X-Files, etc. The reason this concept works is because the generation that grew up loving Full House is eager to recall their younger, innocent and less stressful years when they watched the show, and even more so, they want to see how the characters have evolved in their lives just like the viewers have evolved in their own.

Marketing Insight: If your brand has been around for awhile, it’s fun to recognize and appreciate those earlier years. Bring back old packaging for a limited time, compare your old location to your new location in side-by-side pictures, etc. This shows consumers how much your brand/company has grown, but also brings them back to remembering “the good old days.”

 

3.     Ghostbusters. Who ya gonna call? The female version of Ghostbusters! The premise remains the same: Fight ghosts and get some laughs along the way. However, instead of casting younger male actors and adding a couple more digital features, the creators decided to have an all female cast. This may lose some nostalgic value for viewers who loved the original movie, but it’s very timely with the various initiatives for women’s empowerment occurring right now.

Marketing Insight: Now could be a good time to change up a piece of your company’s core marketing, while still keeping true to your brand. Always running the same promotions? Maybe it’s time to throw some new ones into the mix. Stay true to your company’s core values, but change it up a little every now and then to keep your marketing fresh and exciting.

 

4.     Major League Sports Teams. At one time or another, most major league sports teams have turned back the clock on their uniforms. Since the Phillies are my hometown team, I’ll use them as an example. Not only do they wear nostalgic uniforms, but they even host a themed night called ‘Retro Night.’

Marketing Insight: If there’s a family component to your company, it’s nice to allow parents to feel like they’re experiencing something they did when they were children before they had their own offspring. You don’t need throwback uniforms to make that happen, but it’s a nod to the past while embracing the future.

 

5.     Crystal Pepsi. Who remembers the clear cola Pepsi came out with? Welp, it’s coming back next month. With its retro packaging in all it’s glory.

Marketing Insight: Sometimes re-introducing something from the past brings consumers back to your brand. If I have been drinking Coke recently, but loved Crystal Pepsi, there’s a chance that when I buy Crystal Pepsi, I’ll get that warm and fuzzy feeling (halo effect) thinking about the times I used to drink Crystal Pepsi. This feeling may lead me to continue purchasing Pepsi even when Crystal’s re-release is over.

 

Even if your company is not a mature brand, it can still incorporate some nostalgia into its marketing or creative as long as it makes sense for the brand. Incorporate an old song that brings back good memories or use black and white pictures/vintage creative. Today, more so than ever, many of us are wishing for the good old days. Now’s the time to capitalize on this sentiment. 

3 Ways to Capitalize on Holidays in Your Marketing Plan

For consumers, holidays are an enjoyable time to celebrate special events and get together with friends and family. For companies, it is a great opportunity, to not only celebrate these holidays, but also to engage with your customers. Here are three ways maximize your marketing during holidays, especially with Memorial Day quickly approaching: 

1. Sale  - Instead of running a random sale at a random time, give your customers a reason to connect your sale to a holiday, especially if the holiday draws a natural connection to your product or service.

Here’s an example of a Mother’s Day sale we ran for a beauty client. Since most women love beauty products, it makes sense that Me & the Girls would run a sale encouraging consumers to pamper Mom with their products. 

2. Email – While sending too much email is a definite no-no, sending an on-brand email wishing someone a happy birthday or happy holidays is always a great way to keep your brand top-of-mind, and use the “halo effect” that occurs when people associate your brand with the positive feelings they have towards that holiday.

Here’s an example of a Thanksgiving email that Elysium Marketing Group sent to its clients and contacts. Simple and easy, but still showing that we care and we’re thankful for our friends and clients during this celebratory time.

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3. Social Media – The easiest way to celebrate the holidays with your clients/fans/patients, etc. is to post on your company pages on social media. The general rules of social media still apply here:

·      Make sure your post is on-brand (that it matches your brand identity)

·      When possible, include your logo and URL to ensure the creative ladders back to your brand

·      Hashtag the holiday (#HappyValentinesDay, #Happy4ofJuly, etc) especially on  Twitter & Instagram

·      Share the company post on your personal page to increase the reach and engagement

·      Use specific sizes for specific sites. Here are the correct sizes for social media from Hubspot.  

Here’s an example of a Happy Labor Day post we did for Eventions Productions. Since Eventions does high-end event lighting, we incorporated a spotlight and showcased our message in the light. Their brand colors are black and blue, so we made sure to adhere to that. And we included their URL in case someone wanted to check them out there. 

Memorial Day is a few days away, so now is the perfect time to design some holiday creative and try these tips out!  

And HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY from Elysium Marketing Group! 

5 Brands Who Nail Tangible Marketing

Two buzzwords in the marketing world today are DIGITAL and CONTENT. And while I whole-heartedly agree they are essential to a good marketing strategy, there’s still power and importance in tangible marketing.

Much to my husband’s dismay, I tend to keep creative direct mail pieces that stand out. I also keep catalogues, promo items, or anything else that’s branded and does a good job of relaying an important company message.

For the past couple of months, I kept 5 tangible marketing materials from companies that really understood the power of their brand being held in consumers' hands. 

 

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Celebrating Elysium Marketing Group's 1st Anniversary!

Hitting the one-year anniversary in business is somewhat like your real-life baby turning one. Thoughts like Where did the time go? and feelings of accomplishment swirl in your head. You also wonder, How did I get through this?  and What did I learn to help me continue on this journey ?

As I reflect on the past year at Elysium Marketing Group, I’m thankful for so many people, clients, and mentors. To share my gratitude, I’m going to pass along some words of wisdom I received when Elysium first started, plus I’ll throw in some of the lessons I learned over the past year for good measure.

 

1.     “Don’t leave your job without having a client or two, and don’t half-ass it. If you’re going to start your own company, really do it full throttle.”  - Jon Seitz, mentor and owner of MayoSeitz Media

Thank goodness I listened to this blunt advice!  I left my job with one client in hand, and another in tow. Elysium is now growing at a fast pace with new clients hiring us each month, and current clients growing their marketing plans and footprints.

Before ramping up my biz dev side of things, I made sure my website and business cards were branded and stayed true to the Elysium brand. I went “full-ass” into ensuring that people could learn more about the company on my website.

 

2.     “You can decide who to work with now. Choose to work with good people.”  - Marcia O’Connor, client, mentor, and President of The O’ Connor Group

This is where I feel so incredibly fortunate. I took this advice to heart both with people I work with internally and externally. At Elysium Marketing Group, I have a phenomenal team of designers, marketers, interns, and editors that are so gifted and dedicated to the business. Without their talent and commitment, Elysium would not be where it’s at today and providing the caliber of services that we do. 

I also feel fortunate that I have clients who are smart business people and just really good people who care about not only their businesses, but also about the greater community around them. I strive to teach my clients about best marketing practices, but they teach me everyday about business, life in general, and how to be a better person.

 

3.     “Always document your successes, and if you can get good pictures, do that too.” -  Brian Toner, client, mentor, and President of Eventions Productions

This has been such an important piece of advice. Elysium has gained new clients by showing what we accomplished by partnering with other clients. In the world of social media (here I go preaching about imagery AGAIN!) imagery is so important, so this piece of advice is spot on. When I can show a new website, logo, or sales piece we’ve created through social media, it’s WAY more impactful than if I just talk about it.

 

4.     “Once a job has first begun… do it right or not at all.”  - Steve Lupin, Dad, mentor, and Managing Partner of Hamburg, Rubin, Mullin, Maxwell, & Lupin

Ok, so to be honest, my Dad didn’t say this to me when I first started the business, he said it to me my entire life. Having a role model who is always on my side and also incredibly successful in business was one of the catalysts that gave me enough confidence to start the business in the first place. Being an entrepreneur is a scary thing, but it helps to have mentors and family members (he’s not the only one… my Mom and brother are fabulous editors, and my husband is the best sounding board for my new ideas).

Helping businesses reach their goals through strategic marketing, and creating beautiful creative that will help them grow their revenue is so rewarding and frankly exactly what I want to be doing.

Lastly, I want to scream a heartfelt THANK YOU from the rooftop next to Billy Penn at City Hall  to everyone who’s been a supporter of Elysium Marketing Group. We appreciate every piece of advice, like on Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn, comment on our work, referrals, or general positive vibe sent our way! Here’s to 2016…we wish you much marketing success in the New Year!

 

Elyse Lupin, President of Elysium Marketing Group

 

5 Ways Bette Midler's Concert Was Like A Good Brand

I went to the Bette Midler concert with my aunt last week. And I.loved.it.  I’ll even admit that I’ve seen her before, and this time was even better. She’s the original triple threat who can STILL sing, dance, and act (and curse;). After the concert, my aunt went on and on about how she still “has it!”

My marketing brain thought, yeah Bette’s like a good brand (we’re not on a first name basis, but one can pretend). Stay with me here. She’s been in the industry for a long time, yet she had a pretty packed house at the Wells Fargo Center last Tuesday. Here’s my reasoning:

 

1.     Bette Understood Anticipation – The concert was scheduled to start at 8pm with no opening act. The Divine Miss M didn’t grace us with her presence until 8:30. Like a good brand (Apple anyone?) Bette knew we’d want her even more if we had to wait, and then she delivered on all the hopes and desires we had for her show.

Apple is the master at this anticipation marketing principle. They leek information about their latest product and its features, and then they only make a certain amount of product available so consumers go crazy in anticipation and desire. Apple knows they can do this because their products payoff in the end. If people had to wait for a product that disappointed, that allure would fade quickly.

 

2.     Bette Stayed Consistent and True to Herself – Bette’s known for her humor, (sometimes raunchy) and for not just singing, but PERFORMING. She doesn’t stand on stage with a microphone and sway back and forth. She struts her stuff, dances, and paces back and forth quickly. She showcased the quick wit and perfect timing she’s known for. I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s seen her in concert before, and I’m also sure that if she decided to stand there and sing without all the fanfare, I would not be the only one disappointed.

Businesses have branding and logos to signal to customers that it’s them and not a competitor. The logo is a sign to trust that brand that you are familiar with. When you go to Disney World, you know that you are getting - family, fun, & entertainment. There are vibrant colors and happy people and little Micky ears everywhere ensuring you that you are at the happiest place on earth.

 

3.     Bette Showed Relevance – Yes, Bette was consistent, but that doesn’t mean she was boring and stale. She showed relevance and modernized herself by doing an entire bit on social media (complete with background stage set-up of all social media logos) and a hilarious bit on the Kardashians (complete with pictures of Bette in bed with random famous men…Dick Chaney, Richard Nixon, Vladimir Putin -to name a few) It was very entertaining and a play on the Kim Kardashian sex tape.

 Good brands know people like consistency in their products and services, but this doesn’t mean they don’t want them modernized or updated. When you buy that New Balance sneaker, you know you’re getting a shoe that will help you run, but that doesn’t mean you don’t want their new shoe with the latest technology to help you run even better.

 

4.      Bette Looked Like Bette – There were feathers, sequins, and costumes because it was a Bette Midler concert! Come on, we expect feathers, and we expect costumes and impersonations. Relating to the consistency in performance, Bette was consistent in appearance. If she came out on stage in a goth frock, there would be a good shock factor, but it just wouldn’t feel right. Instead she came out in a chicken costume, her Hocus Pocus witch outfit, and a pink sequined dress, amongst others. If you know Bette’s shtick, none of this should shock you.

People freak when their orange juice brand identity changes (Tropicana anyone?), so it’s a good thing that she’s still the same old Bette. (Not old old, you know what I mean). Just like when you walk into an Olive Garden, you know you’re getting Italian food, you want to go to a concert and know you’re seeing the performer you want to see.

 

5.     Bette Gave the Crowd What They Wanted – At the end of the night, when you thought Bette just couldn’t perform another dance routine or beautiful song, she sang her two most well-known songs and the crowd was loving every bit of it -Wind Beneath My Wings, and Buggy Woogy Bugle Boy. This falls under the “give them what they want” principle. At one point, Bette looked up in the stands and talked about the “main-liners” sitting in the boxes. And Philadelphians went wild because they LOVE references to their city.

Ecommerce brands should pay close attention to what’s selling and ensure the most popular items are in stock. GAP may have a huge initiative to sell the latest pair of skinny jeans, but if people are on their site to buy a white t-shirt, they better have the white t-shirt stocked, and stocked in all sizes. Brands want to keep evolving and acquiring new clients, but they should also put some effort into keeping their loyal base happy.  This will help retention rates and satisfied customers. (Like this concert go-er who plans to see Bette again and again while she’s still going strong!)

 

Ritz-Carlton: Integrating Customer Service On and Offline

Full disclosure- this blog is not about an experience that happened to me. But it’s so remarkable, that I asked my friend if I could blog about it. (She said yes.)

My friend Lisa was recently at a wedding at the Ritz-Carlton in Naples, FL. As you’d expect, she received the full-on pampered treatment: Fresh cucumber towels handed to her right at the end of her workout, perfect comfy beach chairs with umbrellas on the beach and yummy drinks with fruit hanging off the sides, etc etc.

As most people do, Lisa decided to post on Facebook about the amazing weather in Florida, her experience at the Ritz - Carlton, and her general satisfaction about her mini-vacation. She also “liked” The Ritz – Carlton Resorts of Naples Page on Facebook so she could tag her location.

At 6:23pm, she posted, “Room w/ a view & just chillaxin before the big wedding!!” with some cute palm tree, drink, and happy face emoticons to illustrate her mood. At 6:47pm (not even a half hour later), the Ritz-Carlton Resorts of Naples, responded by writing this on Lisa’s page “Dear Lisa - Welcome to The Ritz-Carlton Resorts of Naples! We are delighted you are enjoying yourself and we are also looking forward to celebrating this special occasion. Please let us know if there is anything we can do to make your stay even more enjoyable.”

Now, you may think ok that’s not so remarkable; they have a social media manager who responds when people tag them. To that, I’d say two things. 1. They did what all service brands know they should be doing, but most are not. And 2. Just wait, it gets even better.

In their response, the Ritz – Carlton Resorts of Naples did a couple of things well. They called Lisa by name to make the response feel more personal. They also acknowledged she was there for a wedding to once again make it personal. And finally they asked if there was anything else they could be doing. The Ritz - Carlton is known for customer service, so this reinforces one of their main value propositions.

When I was trolling Facebook that day, I thought: very smart Ritz – Carlton! Not only did you make Lisa feel even better than she already did by sitting on that beach, but you also showed all of Lisa’s friends how you service your patrons. (AND I might add, made all of Lisa’s Facebook friends insanely jealous).

The story could end here, and nice job Ritz – Carlton, everyone’s happy. But the next day, Lisa returned to her room after sitting on the beach for a few hours and enjoying their amenities to find two huge chocolate chip cookies, two bottles of water, and a note from the Ritz’s Communications Coordinator, saying “Thank you for following us on Facebook! Your photos of the resort are fantastic! We hope you enjoy the remainder of your stay.”

Immediately, Lisa posted a picture of the card and cookies on Facebook and raved that the Ritz - Carlton is the best. Everybody won in this scenario. Lisa won because she was being treated like a princess (who doesn’t love chocolate chip cookies?!?), she was at a fabulous resort enjoying the sun and spending time with her friends for a happy occasion, she received an unexpected gift, and overall life was good.

The Ritz –Carlton won because all of Lisa’s friends commented on her post about how wonderful it was that Lisa received the note and cookies, so it was - in essence -free positive publicity for the resort. Plus, the Ritz - Carlton got to once again reinforce their superior customer service by integrating on and offline experiences. And let’s call it what it is, I am now blogging about this because from a social media and marketing perspective, it was so well-done. So Kudos to the Ritz – Carlton for going above and beyond and executing their level of expertise in another dimension.

Other companies who are not known for this excellent customer service should still take note of this story for a couple of good learnings:

1.     If you’re not known for great customer service, this is an example of one way to start to improve that. Attention to details is important, but staffing a social media person to make these experiences happen is crucial.

2.     Listening to your customers is key. Lisa was extremely satisfied, so this was an easy one for the Ritz – Carlton to take advantage of, but if she was complaining, you better believe that the Ritz would have done something on and offline to try to rectify the situation as soon as possible.

3.     All of your marketing should be integrated and work to enhance the customer experience.

Marketing Consulting: 5 Things I've Learned

5 Things I’ve Learned Since Starting My Marketing Consulting Business

 

1.     There’s beauty in simplicity.

Trying to cram too many messages into your marketing creative, whether on or offline, just deters your consumers from reading further or taking any action. I’ve seen more websites and sales brochures that are so incredibly cluttered and trying to do too much at one time. Straightforward messaging and clean creative are the way to go.

 

2.     You have to budget money for social media.

Facebook’s algorithms keep changing, and Zuckerberg really knows what he’s doing. No matter how great your brand page is and how many “likes” you have, you are out of luck if you don’t boost posts or buy ads. People who like your page will rarely see it in their newsfeeds without you putting some money towards it.

 

3.     Editorial Calendars are underrated.

People love to talk about content marketing, but most don’t have a clue how to generate it and when to use it. I’d recommend sitting down and planning the entire year with content that relates to your business, but is also content people desire. If you’re ecommerce, American holidays are a good place to start. Make sure you’re touching on Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and the other major ones, but include important events during the year like the Superbowl and the Oscars as well.

 

4.     Having a marketing strategy is imperative, but so is being flexible.

A marketing strategy is your roadmap, but that doesn’t mean if there’s an interesting pit stop that you didn’t plan, you shouldn’t take advantage of it. Especially when it’s a relevant way to get your messaging into the hands of your prospects and consumers. Follow your marketing plan, but stay as flexible as you can to react to unexpected changes.

 

5.     There is not enough time in the world to read all the great marketing content out there.

However, I’m hoping that’s where I can help. I spend a lot of time reading marketing  & business blogs, articles, and posts. When I find something that I believe is very valuable, I post it on the Elysium Marketing Group Facebook page