The Principles of Marketing Haven’t Changed – But the Vehicles Have

Is print dead? Newspapers? Magazines? Books? Have we trained generations to respond and engage solely with pretty pictures, snippets of information filtered by hash tags? After all, our middle school aged son has not one textbook while our high school daughter has just 2. One could ague that reading everything online is “green” and is the wave of the future. But are books, newspapers and magazine passé?  I don’t think so. As a matter of fact, many publications and publishers  are seeing an increase in readership. Maybe I am just old-school. I do believe all media outlets have value. YUP! Old School! Guilty as charged.

Do not get me wrong. I can appreciate a good APP and definitely find value in brand driven content. After all, I make a living integrating and managing social media for small businesses and professionals.  My work in social media and digital marketing reminds me of one very basic fact every day. Through the years, the principles of marketing have not changed – just the vehicles have.

Don Draper would be so proud. As a culture, technology has conditioned us to seek information electronically 24/7. And roughly 75% of the time, this information is viewed in the palm of one’s hand. Adweek calls this the “catch-as-catch-can” approach to absorbing the world via any screen visible: smart phones, TV’s, computers  – you get the drift. Because I am a marketing junkie – who knew I was such a geek –  I can appreciate this and find changes to the habits of our culture fascinating.

Applying this to idea to social media and digital marketing is simple. Marketing is all about getting your product or services in front of the right consumer. Advertising works to entice the consumer into taking action. Technology has provided marketers with access to incredible information. Information is power! And, it is an aphrodisiac. Every time you LIKE, SHARE, LINK or BUY, you are  providing information about your interests and habits to marketers for interpretation through Google analytics. Think about it. The ads that appear in your feed or email are directed to you on purpose. These ads are defined by your age, occupation, lifestyle and just about anything else you divulge as you engage in cyberspace. To younger generations, having everyone know your story is commonplace. The young feel everything is up for grabs and there is no need for privacy settings or boundaries. While the over 50 set, feels quite the opposite.

If you are in business today, both a social media and a digital presence are imperative. But social media cannot do the job alone. Remember – the basics of marketing have not changed but the delivery systems have. Consumers still want great information that is relevant and important to them. But this gets tricky as not every platform is right for every business. Print, TV, radio, digital online platforms will have different target audiences. Pick and choose wisely in order to create a comprehensive well thought our plan of action that supports your company’s mission.

What is your business doing to enhance its digital personality? How will your business reach your customers effectively? The team st Mary Rau Public Relations offers marketing services to small business. For more information, email Mary directly at maryrau@cox.net.

All rights reserved: Mary Rau Public Relations, 2015. Photo credit to Purple Clover.

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Out with the OLD!! In with the NEW!!

Every year at this time, I get excited at the prospect of a fresh start. Out with the old and in with the new. Oh what the future holds!  But with the prospect of great possibilities in the new year, arrives reflection and contemplation on events past. What will the new year bring? How will I approach this year differently – or the same?  What are my personal and professional  goals? Where do I want to improve? What is it that I want or need?

Interestingly enough, for some less is more while for others more is more. What? What do I mean and is this true across the board? Simply stated, it very well could be. As a marketing strategist working closely with small businesses, my team and I have found that less is more AND more is more.

Let me explain: Less is more – If you own a business today, your marketing strategy should include a social media and internet presence. But, you already knew that because social media is a powerful marketing tool connecting you with your target community.  But, not every platform is the right fit for every business. Just like not every news publication targets the same demographic. Your target audience and demographic will point your company to the appropriate social media platform and guide your content for optimum reach and conversion. If that means one or two platforms are used, so be it. Less is more. Work them well and regularly encouraging engagement and activity. You are better off spending time, energy and money on marketing with 1 or 2 platforms than spreading yourself thin across multiple fields. Again, less is more.

Now, what about the concept of more is more?  If your business model and budget allow, a fully comprehensive marketing strategy integrating a social and internet presence can only benefit your brand. If your team decides that multiple platforms are the best means to round out and solidify your strategy then more is more. But, wait. If you establish a presence on a platform and do not maintain regular activity encouraging engagement with thoughtful content, you are wasting your time, effort and most likely money. All websites and platforms need attention. More is more but you must be willing to commit to linking, posting, sharing, commenting, liking, tweeting, checking in, leaving tips, blogging, etc…….you know the drill.  Whatever approach you choose, create a plan of action that is manageable and will enable you to reach goals and see results.

So, less is more and more is more. Which is right for your business? Mary Rau Public Relations offers all things marketing –  consulting, social media integration, coaching and management. maryrau@cox.net

A Lot of Gratitude

Our society has rules. Rules are not a bad thing. Dictated by what society considers acceptable behavior, rules offer guidelines and boundaries. And, it is good that they do. Unless, of course, you are 16!

At the tender age of 16, rules are just annoying and in the way. I remember being 16. Oh, the intense freedom of not having a care in the world. Staying up late and sleeping late were a way of life. Having friends over for parties big and small. YUP! We had a ton of those when our parents weren’t looking. Like every teenager, I felt obnoxiously empowered and indestructible. And, of course, I was never wrong in my opinions. And, I had a lot of those!

Well, things have changed. We have 2 teenagers of our own. I see so much of myself in both of them. For this reason, I laugh and I cry. There is no doubt I am the sum of many parts. Today, I fully understand my own parents and how they shaped my world with every ounce of their being. Today, I fully respect and appreciate EVERYTHING they did for all 8 of us. But, what does this have to do with Social Media Marketing? Nothing! Not a darn thing! I just wanted to express my gratitude and appreciation. Thanks Mom and Dad.

Happy Thanksgiving to all.

The “WHY” behind Mary Rau Public Relations

Everyday, I get up, get dressed, walk the hall to my home office and get to work. Everyday, I create, plan, strategize, phone, email, post, tweet and share.  Blah! Blah! Blah!  Not really –  I love what I do!
 
Having worked in PR, Marketing and Advertising for about 30 Years (how is that possible since my writing style seems like that of someone 29?) I have had the good fortune of working in just about every realm of the MAD MEN’S industry. Whether slinging ads, writing copy, producing TV and radio commercials, media buying, developing and implementing creative campaigns or pitching new clients, I have had an amazing career for which I am very grateful. Lately, I have been reflecting on what I enjoy most about my work. It is time to turn these thoughts loose and embrace what I love best.  
 
The day-to-day interaction with my clients is absolutely, hands down, no question about it, what I love best about what I do. Taking this a step further, my work is very personal. I have to believe in what my clients are doing and what they represent in order to help them walk the path to success. If I don’t feel the love, I can’t do my best work. Being connected allows me to slip into their shoes and fully experience what their strategy can offer. I like to think I become more of a partner and friend than a hired hand. And for me, it is not just a job. Sitting across a table and discussing an idea is how dreams are made and success stories are written. One-on-one interaction is the greatest part of what I do and affords me the opportunity to understand a business from the ground up. Over time, I meet the spouses, kids, grandkids and the golden retriever.  I fully engage in the “WHY” that makes the business owner tick. It is a gift that I will always cherish and value.  
 
MARY RAU PUBLIC RELATIONS’ niche is the small business owner and

Rau Wallerstein family2I love what I do. www.maryraupublicrelations.com

 

The “Reason” Behind Innovative Thinking

Sir Richard Branson recently stated that “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”  I wholeheartedly agree.

Sir Richard Branson offers an interesting perspective and I believe that most entrepreneurs would agree with his point. This seems no different than trying to squeeze a square peg into a round hole. Struggling to fit one’s life in what might appear to be another’s world, and not the other way around, encourages great thought, concepts and ideas out of necessity.

Thinking outside the box to solve problems lends itself to producing solid innovation. Therefore, the “unreasonable man” – (I know he also meant women) – presumably lends himself to being a great problem solver bringing progress, change and foresight to the world around him.

If we were to briefly examine Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg as examples of thinking outside of the box, Branson’s theory is better supported. Society tells us that in order to achieve some level of success, one must stay in school, get a degree and a profession. But, neither Gates, Jobs, nor Zuckerberg officially finished college. These brilliant minds used their own version of reason to take risks and make decisions that worked for them and billions of others. After all, where would Mary Rau Public Relations be without these great thinkers?

Applying Branson’s theory of the “unreasonable man”, these gentlemen were and still are success stories based on fitting the world into their version of what LIFE is and should be.  They have taken chances making situations work for them.  One can assume that they might see the world for its opportunities and possibilities not its limitations. They see hope not despair. What is wrong with this? Not a darn thing!

The Generation Gap and Social Media

As a social media moderator  for small businesses, I’ve had the pleasure of hearing different views on social media’s significance and it’s place in our modern world.  After listening to older clients discuss “THE TWITTER”, “THE GOOGLE” and “THE BOOK OF FACES” –  yes, these comments are for real – I am reassured of one thing pertaining to marketing and  generation gaps.  The basic principles of neither have changed. That said, a level of acceptance must exist between the two for successful marketing.

Marketing is getting goods/services to buyers who will open their wallets to purchase wares. Marketing encompasses  image, branding, packaging and presentation. This age old concept is the core of how it works and  applies in today’s world.

In this regard, the generation gap is the same as it has always been. Older generations shake their heads at the young wondering why their music is so loud, why their hair is so long or why their jeans are worn so low. “Back in my day” is a mainstay of many conversations. And, let’s not forget the over 50 crowd were once teenagers sending shockwaves to generations before with the use of what was hip or cool at the time.  (Who is this ELVIS person anyway?)

Let’s think about how this applies to social media. Seniors don’t understand why anyone would make their personal information public on the internet. Younger folks make public their secrets for the universe to see.  Now the irony arises because older folks have realized social media is a great way to communicate with their younger counterparts.  Just because they don’t understand it, doesn’t mean they won’t use it.

The end result is that the gap is still open while a “social media” bridge has been built allowing the free flow of communication.  If social media can allow the generation gap to narrow – even slightly –  a business owner best pay attention.  Using social media as a pert of a marketing plan sounds pretty significant to me.

SOCIAL MEDIA: What Does It All Mean?

Advertising and marketing strategies are changing at lightening speed. There is no question about that. Everyday, there is a new social media site launched, a print publication goes under or is merged and revamped. As far as the major networks are concerned….well, let’s just say they are scrambling to keep viewers connected to their shows and to their advertisers. Hello NETFLIX!

What does it all mean? Being in this industry for many years, it means what it always has meant….the more things change, the more things change! It is a full-time job staying on top of trends, gadgets, technology and platforms.  I know this from experience. Try as you may, it is not possible to read ALL the articles on a particular topic.

What is the answer? I am sure there are many. My advice is to pick an area and educate yourself. Try not to get overwhelmed with all the details from the super information highway that can clog your brain. With regard to social media, create clear-cut goals that target your primary audience. Start slowly. Read. Use trial and error. Ask for help.  Starting slowly and working your way up through the clutter will pay off.  After all, we are only as good as our foundation.