Happy Freakin’ Monday Ep 38 – Marketing VS Taxes

It's almost December and I was thinking about the dreaded Tax season because with year end coming, how can I not? However, I hesitate to even mention the "T" word because I know a lot of business owners hate to hear it. Which is funny to me, but understandable. I used to hate the word too until I got a bookkeeper and an accountant. Now there's not much to stress about.

That got me thinking tough how Marketing is probably an equally dreadful word as well. There are a lot of similarities between the two but at the end of the day, just like your taxes, the stress and anxiety that the "M" word causes is really easy to avoid.

Here's how your Taxes and Marketing are similar:

1. Both are scary words that we like to avoid

We tend to not like hearing the words because they remind us that we should be doing more. that is understandable because if you're doing them yourself, it can be stressful, time consuming and worst of all, ineffective.  Instead of doing more, and getting better, we often just continue to procrastinate and avoid until the very last minute. 

2. Both are constantly changing

Just like the rules and regulations for your taxes change year to year, so do effective marketing tactics. People are fairly predictable creatures but the variables include consumer interests, new technologies, new media, just to name a few. Staying on top of what's new and what works can be a full time job... I should know, it is my full time job.  Which brings me to my third point:

3. You need to hire a Professional for both

Why have an accountant for your business but not a marketing agency or professional? Just like an accountant brings years of experience and insight along with up to date knowledge, so does a marketing agency. Not to mention creativity! that is just something, I'm sorry to say, many business owners struggle with. 

So struggle and stress no more. It's as simple as that. Hire a marketing professional who can work with your business to develop campaigns that will provide results and ultimately pay for themselves. Taking that weight off your back will help you to focus on what you do best, managing and growing your business. 

Have A Great Week!

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Happy Freakin’ Monday Ep 37 – Black Friday Marketing PSA

You probably don't need to be reminded but I'm going to remind you anyway... Black Friday is coming and it's a great time to offer a sale or promotion to your customers both new and returning who are probably looking for a deal this time of year.

It's really not hard to do, all you need is a compelling offer and start promoting it. This week is usually the time that everyone promotes their Black Friday deals too so you're not late, even if you start promoting your sale on Thursday. 

I did the same actually. I realized that I too could offer a promotion and so I'm offering 20% off all Product Photography orders this week only. See? it's easy.

So don't wait, get your promotion out soon and share share share.

That's it for me this week, just a friendly reminder... in case you were wondering, PSA stands for Public Service Announcement. now you know.

Happy Freakin' Monday!

Have A Great Week!

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Happy Freakin’ Monday Ep 36 – Endangered Syndrome Generating Buzz

The Canadian Down Syndrome Society has launched a campaign to apply for endangered species status with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). I didn’t intend on talking about buzzworthy advertising again this week but I really want to talk about this controversial move from a charity that knows how to get people’s attention.

In full disclosure, I happen to know the Executive Chair of the society. I am in a networking group with her and so I’ve had the chance to get a little bit of insight and hear what it’s like to live through that tornado of a media frenzy which is fascinating to me. That being said, these are 100% my own thoughts and feelings on this campaign.

*CORRECTION THE AGENCY IS FCB CANADA... NOT WHATEVER I SAID.

In my previous videos about generating buzz, I mentioned that doing something controversial is one way to get people talking but that I don’t recommend it because it can be a fine line to walk. Plus if you’re not prepared to deal with the fallout, it can be devastating to your brand. The Down Syndrome Society's new campaign falls into the category of controversial but it is generating conversation, has been viewed over hundreds of thousands of times (and counting) and has been covered by most of the major Canadian Media outlets so in a lot of ways, it’s working.

Before we talk about why the new campaign is controversial, here is a little background. The new campaign, launched at the beginning of this month to kick off Canadian Down Syndrome week. The video features Men and Women with Down Syndrome dressed as endangered species to announce their very real application to be the first humans to apply to be on the endangered species list.

The entire campaign was produced by their agency FCB Canada and it was done pro bono. That’s right, the agency has done multiple campaigns for the Canadian Down Syndrome Society completely free of charge which is really amazing to me.

You may remember their very popular “anything but sorry” campaign from last year that featured a similar cast providing suggestions for what to say to a someone giving birth to a new baby with the syndrome. The point was that you should be happy for them, and say anything except “sorry”. It went viral because it made an excellent point and the suggestions included a lot of swearing which made it funny but I think really challenged a general perception as well. That is that people with intellectual disabilities are seen as sweet and innocent and not capable of such language, which is obviously wrong. Here is that spot for your viewing pleasure:

Here is the Endangered Syndrome Video:

With the new campaign, the controversy is obviously around this perceived comparison of people with Down Syndrome to animals. This is what the media has latched onto, and what some people feel when they watch the video. I say “perceived comparison” because there is a lot of context around the campaign that I think most are missing. Here is what I think that the  Society and their agency did right to get ahead of that negative controversy for a successful campaign.

  1. They launched a website www.EndangeredSyndrome.com that provides more context and rationale for this campaign. They share a variety of facts to support their position that their population is shrinking and therefore so is their support. You can sign the petition and read their full application to the IUCN.
  2. They have taken the media head on doing a variety of interviews since the launch. I was told that they also intend to respond to CBC for what the Society felt was “unfair coverage” of the story. So instead of staying out of the spotlight they are using this opportunity to have that discussion and try to educate people about their cause.

So if you intend on going the controversial route with your marketing campaign, you better be prepared. 2 weeks ago I shared the example of the video game company who offered to buy ad space on peoples tombstones. That failed miserably because there was no rationale other than a cheap ploy to get attention. However, In the case of the Canadian Down Syndrome Society they actually have a point to make and they have done their homework. While it may be a controversial point, they are willing to fight for it and I for one think they will come out on top.

Have A Great Week!

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Happy Freakin’ Monday Ep 35 – Generating Buzz Pt2

Last week I dressed up as a really lame bee for halloween to talk about generating buzz with your marketing. I shared 2 ways to appeal to your audience in a way that will get people talking about your brand and you can find that post here: How To Generate Buzz Pt 1. This week I am sharing 2 more ways to generate buzz.

The first one I shared was do something controversial, one that I don’t always recommend because it can be effective if it is strategically aligned to your brand and your audience. The second was do something extraordinary. This is one that can be more costly or difficult to pull off but with some creativity, anything is possible.

The point of buzz marketing is to do something that not only gets people talking about your brand but that is newsworthy where that word of mouth is amplified by the media. The key to buzz marketing is that people love telling good stories so you need to create a story worth telling.

Here are two more ways to do that and generate a whole lot of buzz:

  1. Do Something Secret or Exclusive

When most social media platforms first launch, they try to get people talking by making it exclusive. People want what they can’t have. By only allowing subscription by invite only, it makes people want it more and talk about it, especially when they do get in and others have not. Being in the know is social currency and that is what makes great buzz.

A great example is a speakeasy in New York called Please don’t tell. It’s actually a hidden bar that you find through a phone booth that you step into and dial 1 to reach the operator who lets you in.  Even though it’s out of plain sight, it’s not really hidden. By creating such a fun secret experience, it’s bound to get people talking. Also bonus points if your business concept itself is buzzworthy like Please Don’t Tell.  

  1. Do Something Absurd  

Absurd, hilarious, completely off the wall and unexpected. That’s what gets people talking. It’s also at the core of many viral videos. When doing something absurd and unexpected, guerrilla tactics are often best. Take for example this campaign from Goldtoe breiefs who dressed the charging bull statue in New York in a giant pair of boxer briefs. As you can imagine it was quite a spectacle and definitely buzz worthy.

The best thing about doing something public like this is that it gives people who witness it the opportunity to be a social media star. Again it comes down to social currency and allowing your audience to capture something no one has seen before. When people want to take photos and videos and share your campaign with their networks, that is the sign of a buzz campaign done well.

Have A Great Week!

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