Vice President of Marketing & Creative

What's Trending 6

What's Trending 6

Well, here we go again. Time to take a look at what's trending according to the world of Yahoo! Yahoooooo:

1. Cheryl Burke. Who? I must confess, I hadn't a clue. Well it looks like this Dancing with the Stars "pro" has become a blogger for People. And today's topic is her observation of Rob Kardashian's (her Dancing with the Stars partner) weight loss. OK.

2. Sherri Shepherd. Well, again, not all that familiar with Ms. Shepherd. I guess Barbara Walters dropped the "N" word on The View and Sherri didn't like it. There's a lot more to it than that, but I'm not going to take it any further.

3. Elizabeth Hurley. OK, well I do know who she is! Apparently, the 46-year-old stunner is engaged to Australian cricket star Shane Warne. The happy couple tweeted the news over the weekend.

OK, well here we go. What does any of this have to do with building an integrated marketing communications campaign? What do you think? I can tell you that as a key contributor to a top direct marketing agency, it helps me to understand what's going on around me. And, apparently, I'm not doing too well because I didn't even know who 2 of the 3 people were. But I do now!

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Coming Down the Home Stretch

Coming Down the Home Stretch

There are a lot of sayings about this topic. It's not how you run the race, it's that you finish the race (something like that). It's important to get off to a good/quick start. Its important to finish strong. You don't win or lose the World Series in April. You don't win or lose the World Series in September. Winning is everything. Nobody remembers who came in 2nd. It's not winning or losing, it's how you play the game.

Wow. I could go on. So which is it? The Red Sox have proven and will disprove them all in one season. And if my marketing communication strategies are anything like this baseball season, we'd be in for quite a ride. What do you call an integrated marketing communications campaign that stumbles out of the gate, recovers, corrects itself and hits maximum stride only to stumble again and, at the 11th hour, you're not sure if you'll even finish let alone reach your goal? I don't know.

Well I guess no matter how pretty or ugly it is, getting to the finish line and achieving your goal is what you strive for. After all, if you do win it all, no one will remember the stumbles at any part of the process. And as any top baseball franchise, or top direct marketing agency for that matter, will tell you, you're only as good as your last success.

So we're 2 up with 8 to go. What's your bet?

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What's Trending 5

What's Trending 5

End of the month, beginning of the month...whatever. Regardless, it's time to take a look at what's going on in the world according to Yahoo. Here goes:

Christina Applegate: Looks like a new NBC sitcom is in store for Ms. Bundy. I guess she's transformed into a TV producer who's just returned to work after having a baby. I guess everyone grows up at some point.

Alexa Flutie: The daughter of ex-NFL'er Doug Flutie is now a Patriots cheerleader. Talented family I guess.

New Star Wars: The complete Star Wars re-release box set hits stores September 16th. I really don't know much about Star Wars, but I guess a few tweaks & edits warrant another release!

Like always, what does this have to do with business development professional services? Well, maybe nothing directly. But, as I've said in the past, I've learned that understanding what's going on in the world around us (even if it's pop culture) helps to stir the creative pot and come up with lead generation methods that could be quite effective.

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If a Tree Falls in the Woods...

If a Tree Falls in the Woods...

Well who cares if it falls in the woods! I guess what we mean is that the "act" itself doesn't matter as much as the audience. As the "storm-of-the-century" leaves behind sunny New England skies and power lines down throughout this area, one thing is sure: it had a captive audience.

Texts, alerts, blog posts, tweets, Facebook posts etc...you name it! If you're selling corporate marketing communications services, are you paying attention? If you're running a business and are looking for lead generation methods that work, are you paying attention? Does it really take a brand new Jeep to get ruined to get our attention?

It illustrates the importance of building an integrated marketing communications program to ensure that your message is broadcast as effectively as it can be.

In these stormy times, people are still listening. And, based on what I saw over the last few days, they are taking action when the call-to-action is compelling. Psychologically, I'm seeing a lot of fundamentals too. Here are a few: Reciprocity - people are helping people, and, in turn, those people are helping other people. Scarcity - when it becomes clear that something you need will be in limited supply, people will move! Consensus - when people are not sure what to do, they follow the actions of those around them. Authority - people rely on those with superior knowledge or wisdom to guide them.

Maybe the biggest recommendation I could make is simple - observe! Look at what's going on around you. Look at your friends, neighbors, colleagues and classmates. Effective marketing communication strategies are rooted in the basics. The fundamentals of how people communicate, interact and engage. It IS part science, but not of the rocket variety!

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A Visionary Steps Down!

To be included in a conversation with names like Henry Ford, Thomas Edison and Walt Disney would certainly tell you that you've accomplished something. And I don't think there would be much debate that Steve Jobs belongs in that conversation.

Mr. Jobs stepped down from Apple August 24th, 2011 with a brand worth $184 billion—the worlds leading brand (Google is 2nd). And I don't really want to get into a ranking battle of where he would fit in the pantheon of iconic characters (listed above) but, for me, he tops the list. Why? Because he's us. He's all of us. It's tough for me to relate to Henry Ford or Tomas Edison because they're not from my time. Does that make them less significant? Not at all. But harder to relate to.

I've been using Apple products sine 1982. I was 11. I've never owned a PC. And going on to a career in creative design marketing, I've been fortunate enough to carry that preference right through my professional development. And at this stage in my career, I don't see that changing.

I'm sure every generation feels that the technological advancements made in their generation are the best and most significant. But I truly feel that the progression of technology over the last 25 years is simply the best ever. And the majority of it starts with Steve Jobs and the vision he had and started in his garage over 30 years ago. We redesign websites. We build stealth programs in marketing for higher education. And we do it all with a lot of the tools that he built.

I'll put it the best way I can...even my parents have iPhones!

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I Can See September From Here

And I'm pretty sure you can probably see it from your house too. Can you believe it? I don't want to say summer is over (because September has been known to produce some nice hot days), but needless to say, we all tend to "wake up" a bit and kick it back in to gear when September hits.

So what does this all mean? Here are 5 things to think about as you sip down a few energy drinks, put the pool toys away and shut off the air conditioners in favor of some good old fashioned fresh air:

1. This IS the 4th quarter. I know it isn't technically/literally, but, let's face it—this is the home stretch! Put your lead generation methods to the test and make your 2011 goals.

2. Quit goofing around. Time to make some tough decisions and "act" on those decisions. If you're considering an integrated marketing communications program, do it! Now's the time while your team is fresh, ready to get moving and motivated to make an impact on 2011.

3. There is still time! I just bought you an extra month. No, this isn't the 4th quarter, but if you treat it as though it is, you still have time to implement a personalized direct marketing program and get some results by the end of the year.

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What's Trending 4

So I guess we are doing this on a monthly basis (roughly) because it seems that must be the exact timing between "fixes" I need of pop culture. So what's going on in the world according to Yahoo right now? here goes:

 

1. Metallica. Has it really been 20 years since the release of the infamous "Black" album? Yup.

 

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The Dog Days...

As temperatures hover in the mid-nineties throughout the country, we tend to lose that spring in our step and the overall pace seems to slow to a crawl. And while I'm just as susceptible as the next, in the back of my mind I realize that there is a really opportunity here that, if capitalized upon, could be the key to your year.

What is it? If we can muster up the energy to give that needed jolt to our corporate marketing communications plan and get our lead generation methods kicked into high gear, we might actually put together and August that gets us into a nice position for the upcoming fall months and right into the holiday season.

At the beginning of the year, when we put our plans in place, we often plan for slow months in July in August. And I'm not recommending that we skip the vacations and cook-outs and plant ourselves at our desks while everyone else is enjoying themselves. But, if we can just throw a few ice cubes in the water bowl and get Fido from under the shady tree, we might be able to get our direct marketing postcards out the door and get a little boost in our integrated marketing communications campaign.

It really isn't going to take much and the reward will far outweigh the extra effort. You'll thank yourself December 31st. Look for The Allied summer newsletter in the coming weeks. Larry Rondeau, part of our business development team, has the lead article and he addresses this very issue. Stay cool!

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Facebook vs. Google+...and the War is on!

Or is it? I guess it technically started June 28th. But I haven't really heard too much of an uproar or witnessed too many battles. Google reports that Google+ is up to 18+ million users so far...after just under 1 month. Also reporting to be adding an average of about 750,000 users per day (with a peak of about 2 million per day 2 weeks ago). So, before we can start thinking about corporate marketing services and how to use/leverage Google+ for local lead generation for example, should we sit back and see where it's going to go first?

 

 

If anyone knows me, they've heard me say many times that "Google rules the world". And right now they do. They won't forever. But Facebook, with 750+ million users, certainly rules the social networking world and has blossomed into a legitimate corporate marketing communications tool/medium. But in a recent survey of 700,000 US consumers, Facebook is the least popular social media site with regard to user satisfaction. So could you say that for the past couple of years, they were kind of the only game in town and even though people have griped a bit about their user experience, it hasn't really prohibited them from adopting it?

 

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Is the NFL Lockout Good for Anyone?

Is the NFL Lockout Good for Anyone?

I suppose I have to preface this by stating that I'm coming at this strictly from the perspective of a fan. I haven't really studied the case...only exposed to what I hear on talk radio and ESPN etc... But I also have to say that I don't fall into that group that throws it all into the "billionaires fighting with millionaires...they're all just spoiled brats" category that some certainly seem to. To me, there has to be some legitimacy to the whole situation and fair labor negotiation is probably something that has served us all well at some point.

Maybe I'm short-sighted, but I just don't see how this is good for anyone. As a New England marketing organization, we're in a great part of the country to leverage the success or our 4 major sport franchises for marketing purposes. Whether we're marketing to college students, or developing marketing communication strategies for a regional manufacturer, there is always a way to create a strong campaign centered around these franchises and/or these individual professional athletes.

So what happens now? What if this thing drags on and on? What if there is no season? Again, strictly from a fans perspective, I would think the impact of that would be somewhat drastic. For everyone! How can owners afford to have these stadiums and facilities sit idly? Even if you make $5 million a year as a player, how can you afford to go a year without getting paid? We all pretty much live to our standards and the income we make—if you make $50,000 a year, could you go a year without getting paid? What about all the other employees, vendors and associated businesses that depend on the NFL for their livelihood?

As a top direct marketing agency in New England, The Allied Group relies on the Patriots and Patriot players for marketing and sales support initiatives. They have been/are/will be the center of an integrated marketing communications program. As season ticket holders, the Patriots have been a great business development and relationship tool for existing customers and prospecting efforts for us.

So I guess for now all we can do is wait and see. But for everyone's sake, I hope this gets resolved soon so we can look forward to Sunday afternoons in the Fall with big screen TV's, chips & dip, cold beverages and way too many friends stuffed in a small living room spilling things on the carpet and couch! Now on to the NBA...

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