GOOD THINGS TO DO FOR BETTER CONTENT

By , February 6, 2014 10:39 am

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Sometimes we need a checklist to remind us of what is important. In the new world of all things “Content,” let’s review:

➢ Emphasize what your products and services do to satisfy your customers’ wants and needs

➢ Don’t market based on YOUR own preferences and behaviors. Think / Be Consumer Centric! Develop and use the number one communications skill of –“I’m Listening,” which indicates that you care if you act on what you are hearing.

➢ Explore customer behaviors and lifestyles and shopper personas. How do customers self-define their personas?

➢ Have customer data that is not influenced by your mindset. This is the customer era – bottom up not top down.

➢ Rely on onsite research to deliver insights into content useful to customers. What will initiate their discovery that you/your brand can help them solve their wants and needs problems?

➢ Good marketing content begins in imitation and develops innovation. The innovation doesn’t have to benefit those who are not your target market. Create specific strategies to focus mainly on loyal customers.

➢ Create your ideas for interactions by engaged-with potential customers

➢ Plan to answer customer questions in Real-Time (or Close-time). Remember – “I’m Listening – hearing – and acting upon your requests.”

➢ Develop intriguing, fascinating, compelling content that draws consumers into your brand’s world. The sense of discovery will bring attention, interest, desire and action (AIDA still applies).

➢ Trust and transparency in content and actions are critical to maintaining a sustainable relationship with today’s customers

brand content Drawing by Art Winters

Drawing by Art Winters

What do we understand and what can we put to use from this review of some of the key elements of Content Marketing Communications?

Let us know what you think…

Arthur & Peggy Winters co-teach SXB 200 Brand Marketing Communications for Image & Meaning and SXR 050 Intro to Branding: The Art of Customer Bonding.

Super Bowl Sunday Fashion

By , February 2, 2014 10:16 am

By Jove: The Biz Buzz
Aha weekly tidbits for the HT Insider

Who says that football and Fashion don’t mix?  Isn’t fashion behavioral?  Fashion is defined as what is accepted by the majority at any given time.  So this weekend represents the official “unofficial” National Holiday- Super Bowl Sunday and it is the fashion to get involved, for sure.  Whether you are into the game, into the food, watch for the ads or put up with the play just to get to the half time show, join your fellow Americans and celebrate what has become a great tradition.

A few fashionista pointers:

Even if you don’t have any appreciation for the sport, the Broncos will be in orange, a really hot color this year.  That’s a good reason to root for them.

On the other hand, the Seahawks wear good old classic navy, a classic is always a winner. Right?

Peyton Manning says he’ll be wearing a Zegna suit on Sunday at some point, before? Or after?

WWD actually sent 2 reporters to the press conference held by the NFL and they almost did not get in, as the NFL was not familiar with WWD. Pretty funny?

Do you really care whose Super Bowl is it, N.J. or N.Y. as long as the temperature stays above 30 degrees and it doesn’t snow?

Be sure to hear Renee Fleming doing the National Anthem and don’t miss Bruno Mars at the half time.

And in between -sit back and enjoy the game!

Be sure to check out the 48 Designer-created helmets featured in Bloomingdale’s windows and you can vote for your favorite.  Fashion and football.  Why not?

http://media.bloomingdales.com/fashion-touchdown/index.aspx

NFL fashion helmets

3 Things Entrepreneurs should know about WordPress

By , February 1, 2014 8:53 am

Today’s blog is guest written by Stephanie Cockerl, a WordPress expert.
Stephanie owns nextSTEPH  a company that helps individuals, small businesses and companies take their websites to the next level.  She’s been doing this for over 16 years. nextSTEPH provides web development, search engine and social media services to clientele in the education, health, media, non-profit, and publishing industries.  For more information, visit http://www.nextsteph.com.

3 Things Entrepreneurs should know about WordPress

If you have been online for a while, hopefully you have heard the word “WordPress.”

WordPress has impacted the way people communicate and publish on the web.

Nearly 20% of the web operates on WordPress. (http://techland.time.com/2013/07/29/the-word-from-wordpress-catching-up-with-matt-mullenweg/). Many companies, media outlets, public figures, entertainers and non-profits run on WordPress. Here are some examples, http://wordpress.org/showcase/.

WordPress (http://www.wordpress.org)  is an open-source content management system or CMS for short.  “Open source” means that the software is non-proprietary. There is no additional cost for installing in on a website (other than web hosting.)

Anyone is free to contribute to the development of WordPress, from participating in the forums to attending and volunteering at WordPress conferences, or WordCamps. Developers contribute their support to the core software (http://wordpress.org/download/), themes (the templates), and plugins (mini- applications that extend beyond the WordPress core functionality.

Not long ago, if you didn’t know HTML, how to find web hosting, and create webpages, you were out of luck.  Now with WordPress, anyone can have a site within minutes.

One thing that entrepreneurs get confused about when getting started with WordPress is what version to use.  There are two versions of WordPress, www.wordpress.com  (hosted on WordPress ) and www.wordpress.org (self-hosted.)

WordPress.com

By using first method, www.wordpress.com. WordPress is hosting the website.

The benefit of having an account on WordPress.com is that you don’t have to contend with obtaining web hosting. You can also have multiple “blogs” or “websites” under one account.

When you sign up for a new account, you would be given a default web address like yoursite.wordpress.com. If you eventually obtain your own domain name, WordPress.com charges a yearly fee to attach it to your account. As the site grows, you may want to add more functionality. WordPress.com may not be able to accommodate it unless more space on the account is purchased. Also, if you don’t have your own domain, you are vulnerable if wordpress.com has hosting difficulties. If WordPress.com goes down, no one will be able to see your site.   That would be the point to consider self–hosting. When you establish your self-hosted website and you would like to forward your wordpress.com address to your own domain, there is also a fee for that.

WordPress.org

Most web hosts make it easy to install WordPress. WordPress is known for it’s “5 Minute Install.” Web hosts should also have a control panel in which WordPress is located.

Making your WordPress Site Yours

Once you install WordPress, it already comes with a default theme. If you want, you can start filling it up with content, or you can find a theme (http://wordpress.org/themes/) that better suits your website.

Once you find a theme you like and you have customized it to your liking, you may discover that the site needs a bit something extra. This is where plugins come in. Plugins extend the functionality of your site. If you want to install a form, or a place for banner ads, the plugin section of WordPress.org

(http://wordpress.org/plugins/) is where you would look.

WordPress has come a long way in under a decade. From what was once thought of as just another blogging platform to being the preferred CMS of not only the famous, but also those who want a flexible and manageable solution to make their mark on the web.

Stephanie M. Cockerl is the owner of nextSTEPH. The company has been helping individuals, small businesses and companies take their websites to the next level for over 16 years. nextSTEPH provides web development, search engine and social media services to clientele in the education, health, media, non-profit, and publishing industries.  For more information, visit http://www.nextsteph.com

 

 

Dover Street Market

By , January 27, 2014 2:03 pm

By Jove: The Biz Buzz
Aha weekly tidbits for the HT Insider

Opps!  Did I say Radio City Music Hall when lauding Saks’ Christmas effort last time?  Clearly I meant Rockefeller Center.

I said we would talk more about Dover Street Market (DSM) this week.  If you are holding out, because the thought of facing east and walking to Lex and 30th in tundra-esque conditions stopped you, you’re forgiven.  Even the heartiest of us “Check out the stores” types hibernated this past week. As soon as the temperature rises check out DSM.   This is an “Alice in Wonderland” located in a neighborhood best described as – no particular reason to go there.  So why go?  Because sometimes it is very hard to explain what avant garde is all about.  It really depends on what your eye is accustomed to.   Many young FIT undergrads (aside from Lady Gaga) will confuse couture for avant garde, i.e., fashion and or any art form presented at the most extreme expression.  DSM from the interior design, use of space and merchandise is a temple to avant garde conceived by Rei Kawakubu, her 3rd DMS project after Tokyo and London.

Most importantly, it is a curated assembly of items from a wide mix of leading experimental extremist designers, representing a global assortment of markets such as Junya Wantanabe and Thom Brown. 7 floors of crazy nooks that as a whole somehow give new meaning to urban anti-fashion chic that breeds trickle down looks at lesser price points. Take the core glass elevator to the top and work your way down.  Make sure you visit the bathroom(s). Seriously. The big challenge when I visited was that one after another mortified men and women came out apologizing that they could not figure out how to flush! Also, the seats, in true Japanese fashion are heated.  This alone might inspire you. Finally, plan to eat at the Rose (a Paris icon) Bakery. Coffee to die for, and a décor and menu to match  “Jabberwocky” surroundings.   http://ny.racked.com/tags/the-racked-38

Entrance to the Rose Bakery at Dover Street Market

Entrance to the Rose Bakery at Dover Street Market

Meanwhile, in effort to clarify the difference between couture level and avant garde:

While not in the same neighborhood, another absolutely must see new store is Balenciaga at 148 and 149 Mercer in Soho. What a contrast DSM.  Having taken over the Balenciaga creative director’s position a little over a year ago, Alexander Wang has spearheaded the building of a green marble and chrome modern temple to luxury that manages to stun and yet in no way dominate the merchandise.  Absolute elegance that will remind you of a museum, yet in no way stuffy.  What an accomplishment. http://blog.contentmode.com/2013/11/the-new-balenciaga-flagship-store-in-soho.html

Now for the question of the week – was Beyonce’s Grammy gown designed by Michael Costello, Avant garde? Couture? Stunning or Slutty? What do you think?

 

 

Christmas 2013 Recap

By , January 20, 2014 12:54 pm

By Jove: The Biz Buzz
Aha weekly tidbits for the HT Insider

Can you believe that Christmas is over and done with – kindly tell that to the people  who still are lighting up the house and have deflated inflatable Frosty ’s and Santa’s puddled on their lawns.  Don’t you always wonder how someone can come home over and over again and not notice the petrified wreath, the blown out bulbs, the downed deer, etc. as we approach Valentine’s Day.

Meanwhile back to the business of fashion- did you do “the windows?” You know you were supposed to… This is important fashionista holiday behavior, and a ritual that is so NYC.  How would you like to live out there in Shopping Mall America and have no holiday windows to visit?  This year, I did them twice, actually.

If for any reason – illness or a trip to a fabulous location prevented you from walking Bloomie’s to Barney’s, and down 5th, we have some pictures here for you to see.  A recap of Christmas just past.  I am going to give Saks the “This is what Christmas décor  and excitement should  be Award “ The light show on the outside of the building continues to amaze the crowds going to see  the tree right across the street at Radio City Music Hall.  The “Yeti” story that unfolded as one moved from window to window was enchanting for children and yet, sophisticated enough to amuse adults. I read a snarky snipe early in December that alluded to the fact that Saks was playing it politically correct by dodging mentioning Christmas. Oh please, d. if you do, d. if you don’t.  The interior was tastefully stunning, a winter wonderland of branches and ice white lights and all those fabulous accessories. A first class execution inside and out.

WP20140104001web

Also notable – Bendel’s crazy tea party and those fabulous Cartier cats, particularly the one perched on the side balcony.

http://mommypoppins.com/nyc-holiday-windows-2013-macys-saks-lord-taylor-bloomingdales-department-stores-kids

Another new concept– you could get your picture taken on the outside of the Lord & Taylor 5th Ave.  Flagship and have it sent back to you instantly as a text message.  The Christmas miracle is that as of New Year’s it was still working and had not broken down.  Hordes were lined up to do it.  A wonderful opportunity for customer engagement, and needless to say their windows are always so special and classic.  It was a great contrast of old and new and as we have told you before, do not sell L & T short.  Anyone out there a convert or L&T fan?

JOAN LT

The tourists were out in full force all over 5th and Madison by the way, and some of the tour books must recommend that it is important to be as rude as possible when in New York City, too bad about that….

For those of you who did view the windows share your experiences with us, better to think about the visual merchandising  aspects of Christmas 2013 then concentrate on  the business figures, particularly for brick and mortar stores.

Now that we are into the New Year, get yourself to Dover Street Market, Lexington and 30th St., 160 Lex. But don’t look for any signs, look for a great old building and enter on 30th St.  It is one of those too cool to advertise its presence places!  A Comme des Garcons temple to avant garde.  We will share more tidbits about Dover Street with you next week.

 

So what’s the connection between marketing and intellectual property?

By , January 18, 2014 8:41 am

Here’s a key connection:
Marketing, and branding are essential foundations for creating a successful business. That’s why it’s crucial to protect your intellectual property. Not just patents, but your name and your company’s name as well. That’s what goes into creating your company or your personal brand. It’s what tells your customers that everything that comes from your company can be counted on to deliver the same quality over and over, even if it’s a different product. You come to expect the same quality, service, and experience at every Starbucks you walk into no matter what city, state, or country. Can you imagine what Starbucks would have had to do to re-name, re-brand and essentially re-create itself if, say two years into the company, another company came along and said, “hey, we have that name. And we have it registered as a trademark three years ago.”  That’s exactly what happened to a client of mine. After we created a beautiful logo, corporate ID package, website, sales sheets, a brochure, and convention panels, (all of which takes time, costs the client money, and wound up getting serious recognition for their brand) another company came along and sent them a cease and desist letter claiming their trademark rights. It turned out that my client, fortunately, had filed for their trademark before the challenger. Thus, it was the challenger that had to go through that whole long process of rebranding.

It’s a lot more time, energy, and money consuming to have to stop using a name or title, etc. than to do a trademark search to begin with.

Here are some other points of connection between marketing and intellectual property offered by Sharon Toerek:
http://blog.traklight.com/why-marketers-should-care-about-intellectual-property

 

Sandra Holtzman teaches CEO 035: Licensing.
She is the author of Lies Startups Tell Themselves to Avoid Marketing.

City Source 2014

By , January 13, 2014 1:56 pm

Don’t forget to stop by the Great Hall tomorrow!

City Source January 2014

Business Startup Basics

By , January 11, 2014 8:24 am

Okay so it’s still January and below is a link to another list –  this one is good for all times.  The 20 points are all business startup basics. Great post.

I’ll add one point to the list:  21. Protect your intellectual property. Trademark, patent, copyright, trade dress and protect your trade secrets.  Make sure you own your name (Prince vs. the artist formerly known as Prince; Bistro Laurent Tourondal/BLT vs. Café Ruhlmann are just two examples of an artist and chef respectively who have had to fight to keep their name).

http://www.forbes.com/sites/theyec/2014/01/07/20-business-lessons-you-dont-want-to-learn-the-hard-way/#!

 

Sandra Holtzman teaches CEO 035: Licensing.
She is the author of Lies Startups Tell Themselves to Avoid Marketing.

Forget New Year’s Resolutions – it’s time to plan your marketing moves for 2014!

By , January 4, 2014 9:04 am

Actually you should have started in October but if you didn’t, then now’s the time.  No more procrastination.

The beauty of planning is that you know when opportunities (others or the ones you make for yourself) are coming up, you actually schedule them and you can prepare for them. If you can’t do this yourself, then find someone to work with who can.  It’s not that difficult.

Janet Falk will be giving tips on media planning (for non-profits but these tips will work for you as well) on the radio. If you miss her live, you can still hear the broadcast.

Check out her blog:
http://us6.campaign-archive1.com/?u=c87b80819a244b029786430f7&id=dd4f8da0fd

Connect to the broadcast:
http://tonymartignetti.com/2013/12/nonprofit-radio-january-3-2014-media-strategy-2014-social-sites-watch-2014/

Why you should have started planning in October:
http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/229642

 

Sandra Holtzman teaches CEO 035: Licensing.
She is the author of Lies Startups Tell Themselves to Avoid Marketing.

RELEASE the PRESS RELEASE? To Deliver SEO or Not to Deliver SEO? That is the Question…

By , December 26, 2013 9:44 am

Brandpsych logo

Up to this moment in “cyber news”, the press release has worked as a significant contributor to what we used to call journalism.  The press release was able to give reporters and editors at newspapers and magazines – print, and TV, radio — broadcast media an essential story.  Relevant information was the currency between news makers and news reporters.

Now, there are so many omni-media ways for the PR practitioners to reach their audiences:  blogs, tweets, social media, e-mail newsletters, webinars, et al.  And, in this cyber world, search engines provide another major tool for omni-information seekers.   The press release remains useful as always, if it is relevant in this new environment of Search Engine Optimization (SEO).  P.R. managers and marketing directors may possibly add “journalist” to their job descriptions, since at this time they manage many more operations and produce publishable content, which can directly reach their key audiences.

If there was a period when the preponderance of media might have been a problem for a public relations operation to continue using the press release, it’s no longer the case.  One of the reasons the release gained publishing power, is because it helps to deliver the coveted SEO.  As such, these optimized links have brought companies their most useful keywords, helping them to obtain more acceptance on the Internet.  This is now a successful strategy to aid brands and companies with their online presence and recognition.

However, these optimized links are being questioned.  Some industry voices have described these as “link devices,” warning that the anchor text in the news release will no longer build a company’s SEO and creating more links may even damage SEO.  Thus, brand content groups that produce readers to build “unnatural” links will be seriously stymied.

Point — Counter Point!!

by Art Winters Dec2013

 

As always, if the press agent dished out bad information, the media rejected it.  If they provided valid news of relevance to the media’s audience, the media appreciated the helpful, newsworthy information.  There are fewer gatekeepers to filter the news, aka content.  Then as now, high content stories provided in today’s press releases could still service market education and offer online discoveries through the omni-channels.

Therefore, we believe the press release is still a valid marketing strategy and tool, even if it is different from the past.  It needs to strive to be an effective communicator of authentic and timely content.

 

Arthur & Peggy Winters co-teach SXB 200 Brand Marketing Communications for Image & Meaning and SXR 050 Intro to Branding: The Art of Customer Bonding.

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