For more than 20 years, I’ve crafted and delivered targeted messaging to consumers and customers across every conceivable medium–including the helmet of a drag racer and the side of a van! Consumers’ tastes, behaviors, and beliefs evolved–and media transformed. But my commitment to understanding the platforms that my clients’ audiences adopted and the moments in their lives when the messaging would be most relevant and resonant has remained as steadfast as it ever.
Marketing Communications, or “marcom”, is targeted interaction with customers and prospects using one or more media–social media, mobile, email, direct mail, print, television, radio, outdoor, telemarketing, and the Internet–to deliver a brand’s messages to the market.
Print, Radio, Television & Direct Mail
I began my career developing cooperative advertising campaigns and buying media for small businesses. My clients included business services firms, mechanic shops, chemical distributers, eateries, grocery stores, maid services, and hotels for whom I developed tag lines, messaging, branding, ad copy, newspapers, mailers, and scripts and storyboards for radio and TV ads. Small businesses that participated in my cooperative campaigns were able to afford more media impressions and reach more potential consumers at a more reasonable cost–making them more competitive with chains and big businesses.
Direct Marketing – Mail & Phone
Before I created a digital dashboard to target and manage my campaigns, I created binders filled with color-coded tabs and tables. I used the information therein to create multiple, unique versions of postcards, flyers, and other mailers and scripts for telemarketers and field sales representatives. With each version of the collateral, I targeted products and services to customers based on industry, account type, and recent/prior purchases. Collecting this info was a paper-intensive endeavor! But the results were reliably good–customers and prospects were less likely to toss it and sales grew after the targeted campaigns were implemented.
Back in <clearing throat>, the late 90’s, I sent my first press release via fax to a local country music station. It was about my awesome internet cafe with the first T1 line in the area (fastest internet in town, locally brewed coffee, and anime festivals before Comic-Con was a big deal). I faxed plenty more after that–to local news stations, reporters at local newspapers, and more radio stations.
When press releases migrated online, I used the PR services and email to get my clients’ messages and products in front of larger audiences. Today, I still write the occasional press release for clients’ company websites. But I’m also finding that my press releases have morphed into bite-sized bits of content that fit tidily into tweets and comment fields.
Sponsorships & Strategic Partnerships
Identifying partners with shared interests and audiences is one of my gifts. I have used that gift to match client’s with sponsors and partners to share costs, leverage one another’s platforms, and amplify one another’s messaging and reach. Clients have included motorsports teams, music event promoters, and nonprofit organizations.
Ode to the email list…Oh email list, oh…never mind. Long before I could A/B test and send beautifully designed HTML emails, I sent multiple versions of emails to owned and rented mailing lists in search of insights and sales. Over the past 15 years, I’ve developed targeted email campaigns to drive conference attendance, increase traffic to company websites, and grow sales. Clients have included RSA Conference (27% increase YOY) and Google AdWords and Small Business Solutions (13% click-through rate).
Search & Social
For more than 10 years, I’ve helped clients develop effective search engine marketing (SEM) and search engine optimization campaigns (SEO) using keywords, branded and unbranded terms, metadata, and branded and unbranded content. I’ve developed and A/B tested text, image, and video ads to drive traffic and conversions via company websites, landing pages, microsites and e-commerce sites. And, I’ve mastered AdWords (I literally created the videos Google uses to teach businesses to use Adwords in 19 countries) and Adsense (I was a successful affiliate marketer with 35 managed sites).
For clients in highly competitive spaces, I’ve created developed branded and unbranded content published on their own digital properties and those of influencers to drive preference and consideration, and ultimately sales. I’ve been particularly successful partnering with social influencers to create content and promote events and products. Clients have included UnitedHealth Care, American Chemistry Council (Plastic Makes It Possible), and Cord Blood Registry.
I’ve developed pre-roll, overlay, video and banner ads for mobile to drive impressions and traffic to mobile sites–creating content that appeared native to the content, drew the eye, and encouraged engagement with a just a glance.