Defining Your Marketing Objectives

dartsBefore you launch a PR, social media or marketing campaign, you want to make sure that you’ve outlined your objectives.

What is it you want to achieve?

Do you want to:

Sell products?

Promote your service?

Grow your company?

Establish yourself as an expert in your field?

Attract clients, customers or patients?

Establish your brand via the media?

Each one of these objectives is valid and attainable, but you want to define precisely what your objectives are before you start to develop and launch your public relations campaign.

Why?

Your objectives will define your approach.

A PR campaign is not a one-size-fits-all process.  We’ve represented clients for over two decades and although there are parts of the process that remain constant, I quickly learned that each client is different, each client has different objectives and each client needs a tailor made campaign and approach.

If you’re not working with a PR company or PR consultant, a good way to help define your marketing needs is to get others involved.  One of the best ways to do this is to set up a marketing objective brainstorming session.

Before you start, I suggest making one hard and fast rule. Keep an open mind.  You might think you know your business inside and out, where in fact, you might be too close to see exactly what your business needs in order to grow.  You’ll probably come up with a list that includes a number of marketing objectives.  That’s fine, but come up with one, or at the most two primary objectives.

When you launch a marketing or PR campaign, what are the two most important objectives that you want to achieve?  During the brainstorming session let everyone participate, and explain why he or she thinks certain objectives are more important than others.

Once you’ve come up with a list of around ten write them down.

Next define them.

Now start a process of elimination until you’ve narrowed it down. Keep at it until you end up with two primary objectives.

Once you have them defined, take some time and write out exactly what your goals are, short term and long term.

Most businesses skip this crucial step and simply start to market.  They jump in and start swimming without any clearly defined map that guides them and makes sure they 1) know where they’re going and 2) keeps them on course.

Once you’ve defined where it is you want to go and have clearly defined why you want to market, you can then move on to how to most effectively market yourself and your business.

First define your objectives, then come up with your marketing plan – and then execute it.

Copyright © Anthony Mora Communications 2014

5 Holiday Marketing Tips & Happy Thanksgiving!

iStock_000018159844XSmallIt’s the holidays, so slow down, relax, breathe and be thankful for all you’ve been given.

Not that the holidays necessarily offers us time to slow down, relax and breathe, but we do have time to be thankful.

Below are some quick holiday marketing tips that you can utilize to help grow your business and boost sales, so your holidays can give you even more reasons to be thankful throughout the coming year.

Just about any business or service can utilize the holidays to boost sales. We generally think of the season boosting sales of clothing, jewelry or electronics, which is does, but those are just the obvious ones.

If you’re in the FBI or CIA, or a covert spy of some sort, the pitch might be a bit more troublesome, but overall, generally there is going to be a way that you can pitch your business, product or service during the holiday season.

1. Think about it, if you’re a florist, what better way to make the holidays cheerier. If you’re a psychotherapist, there is help for the holiday blues. If hairstylist, cosmetic surgeon or make-up artist, you can help create a new look for the New Year.

2. If you’re a restaurateur you can offer the perfect holiday meal. If you’re a marketer or business advisor, there is no better time to prepare for the New Year, you get the idea.

3. The last quarter of the year presents unique opportunities to get your story out to the media, your customers and your prospects. The holiday season is a time when people spend on others and themselves. It’s also a time when the media is looking for story ideas with holiday themed gift guides and a stories having to do with holiday gifts, gadgets and products.

4. What you need to do is drill down and develop story ideas that speak to the needs of the various media outlets. Remember during this time you need to tie your media angle and pitch to the holidays and you need to keep the needs of the various media outlets you’re pitching in mind. TV is a visual medium, so you want to pitch them a visual hook.

5. If you have a product that you can bring on and show, that helps, or if you do a quick makeover that that could work. Print publications need a strong story. If you can tie your product in with a cause, charity or local angle, that can give you a step up.

There is quite a bit of clever marketing and PR you can do during the holidays, which can pay off throughout the year.

But tomorrow, forget about marketing.

Focus on the day and being grateful.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Copyright © Anthony Mora Communications 2013

Film, Publishing, Music, Art & Marketing’s Brave New World

film_countdownFrom music to film, to publishing, to the world of fine art, the internet has forever changed the creative industry. This shift has been seismic and has turned what were thought of as set-in-stone business models on their collective heads.   Because the music world was the first to be rocked by the changing communication landscape, musicians were the first to learn how to take matters into their own hands and create successful careers utilizing PR, social media and various forms of guerilla marketing

The publishing world has also been turned upside down.  No longer do traditional publishing houses hold the keys to success.  Self-published authors are taking matters and marketing into their own hands.  Increasingly self-published authors are landing on the best sellers list and on Amazon’s top 20 list.  Amanda Hocking initially became a millionaire by self-publishing her work.  It was after she was established that she signed with St. Martin’s Press.

The film industry is seeing this same change.  For example as with self-published books, CreateSpace (http://www.createspace.com) serves entrepreneurs in the music, publishing, and film worlds. As an independent producer you can upload your film as part of a digital DVD along with cover art and information on the film.  Your film is then posted for sale.  The company which is owned by Amazon.com, takes and fulfills the orders and splits the profits with the filmmaker.  That is just one option.  There are several outlets online that help producers sell their films.  There are also new channels of distribution.  Films are now reaching the public by being shown at churches, organizations, schools, museums, etc.  Theatrical distribution is no longer the only name of the game.

The same inevitable change is happening in the art world where the hold art galleries once had on the sale and distribution of art is loosening.  The business of art is now transforming, just as the business of music, publishing and film worlds have.  Utilizing social media as well as traditional media and public relations, artists are now able to bypass the galleries and take their work straight to the public and collectors.

These avenues are not easy.  They involve a commitment of time and (at least some) money.  They can also be daunting because for years musicians, filmmakers, authors and fine artists were reluctant to rock the boat and alienate the powers that be by charting a path of their own.  But they can pay off in a big way.  More and more artists are realizing that the old models have shifted bringing different challenges as well as opportunities.  The upside?  With tenacity and creativity, artists can now carve out successful careers on their own terms.

Copyright © Anthony Mora 2013

 

The Secret to Marketing Benefits and Solutions

illuminativeWhen it comes to PR and marketing, the focus should not be on selling but on effectively communicating your solutions.  But even before that, before you get to your benefits and solutions, your prospects have to realize that they indeed have a problem that you can solve.

True, you want to focus on the benefits, not the features of your business.   But that’s not enough you can read a laundry list of benefits and leave a prospect bored and ready to walk.  Your prospects need to understand why they need the benefits your touting.  You have to speak in their language.  You need to explain why those benefits can be the solution to some of their biggest problems.

When we pitch the media, we have to look at our pitch from the editor’s or producer’s perspective.  If we don’t pitch towards their needs, the conversation is going to fall on deaf ears.  It’s the same with pitching a potential client.  Look at the situation from their perspective.  .

Your benefits and your features are important, but only if the person you’re talking to perceives that they are important to him or her.  If your prospects don’t perceive that you can solve their problems, you can give the most compelling pitch, but it will fall on deaf ears.

Keep in mind what they’re thinking and what their problems are.  Then illustrate how your service or product helps solve those problems.  Do that and, believe me, they’ll not only listen, they’ll take action.

Copyright © Anthony Mora 2013

Exposed: 4 Marketing Myths – Plus 3 Social Media Myths

marketing mythsThe trouble with marketing myths is that sometimes they are true, depending on the specific situation, but generally those rules that we fell are set in stone and hard and fast; don’t serve us well at all.  Then there are those myths that are completely erroneous.  For example

Doing Any Marketing Is Better Than Doing Nothing -.Wrong!  That’s like the old PR adage that all publicity is good publicity.  That’s nuts.  There are myriad examples of media coverage that was disastrous for a company or celebrity.  And when it comes to marketing, doing nothing at all is much better than doing very bad marketing.  Action for action’s sake can be useless or detrimental.  You need your marketing to be thought out.  You want it to be planned with your goals and objectives in mind

Marketing Is Strategic -  Sometimes.  Yes, strategic marketing can be important, but most of the time you’re not looking for strategic marketing, you’re looking for tactical marketing that is focused on specific objectives.

You Market By Selling – Again, wrong!  You’re objective isn’t to sell but to allow your customers and clients to buy.  It sounds like the same thing, but it’s not.  You want to create awareness, an emotional response and have an effective call to action.

I Don’t Need To Pay For Marketing; I Can Do It On My Own – Well you certainly can try and you can try to do surgery on yourself and your family as well, but I wouldn’t recommend it.

And continuing with marketing myths I recently came across some online marketing myths by Dan Zarrella, author of 6 Deadly Marketing Myths Busted.  I found the following myths to be on the mark:

Don’t Market on the Weekends – Fact: articles tend to be shared on Facebook far more on weekends than on weekdays

Social Media Is For Conversations, Not Broadcasting - Fact: There is no significant correlation between the number of comments a blog post received and the amount of traffic that blog post generated. In other words, conversation doesn’t necessarily drive traffic.

Myth: Don’t Call Yourself A “Guru.” -  Fact:  Looks like moniker guru works and drives more traffic.

So, when it comes to PR and marketing don’t just go by what you’ve heard or read.  Remember just because people believe something doesn’t make it true.  Do your homework.  Devise a marketing strategy for your own unique business and personality. And, yes, you do need to market.  That is definitely not a myth.

Copyright © Anthony Mora 2013

Be– Do–Have: Life’s Success Formula

success formulaYou might have heard of the be – do – have cycle.   According to this theory, who you are (being) leads you to do (doing) which then leads you to have (having).

Makes sense, yet, we’re conditioned to believe the exact opposite.

The general formula for how life works goes:

You need to have (power, money, fame, etc.)

So you can do (something),

So you can then be (important, successful, loved, etc.)

It’s a confusing phenomenon.

That inverted formula has become the norm, the accepted theory of how life works – but is a difficult way to lead your life.

We’re taught that unless we have there’s not much we can do, and certainly nothing we can be.

According to that way of thinking, intrinsically we’re not worth much.

In fact that’s really not how life works at all.

be do formulaSo, you wonder what does this have to do with PR or marketing?

Basically the thinking process is the same.

Many people feel that they can’t market until they have reached a certain plateau (have).

They can comfortably market (do),

So they can become successful (be).

As with just about everything else in this article, that thinking is completely backwards.

If you have a good product, a valuable service or have created some amazing work, then the time to market is now.

You already are intrinsically valuable and completely unique (being)

You can now let the world know about you and your company, business, service, product (doing)

Which in turn will bring you sales, clients, customers, wealth, etc. (having)

Give the formula a shot.  You might be surprised.

Copyright © Anthony Mora 2013

Preparing for the Media Interview: A Quick Drill

imagesSo the media responded to your first PR pitch.  They’re interested and you’ve landed that much sought after interview.  You’ve never been interviewed before.  You’ve never been media trained.  And you’re on tomorrow.

What now?

Don’t panic.

For starters, be you.

Do your homework.  Study the media.  Study the specific journalist who is going to interview you.

Don’t put on an act.  Make sure you stay true to who you are.  Don’t try and shift your personality for an interview.  For example, if you are basically shy and retiring, don’t try to come off like a rock star. That’s not going to work.

Your mission here is not to alter your personality, but to enhance it.

The main points to focus on are:  

Pick three main points that you want out there and practice weaving them into your answers.

Breath.  It sounds silly, but it’s not.

Sit erect, but let your body relax.

Keep your voice modulated.

Listen to the questions, don’t assume you know where the interviewer is going or try to anticipate the questions.

Give concise answers.  You don’t want to give a yes or no response, but you also don’t want to reply with a three page meandering monologue.

If you don’t know the answer to a question, it’s okay not to know something.

Also, if you don’t understand a question, it’s fine to ask the interviewer to rephrase it.  Don’t try and respond to a question you’re not sure about.

Have fun with it.

Enjoy the process.

Break a leg!

Copyright © Anthony Mora 2013

Fenn, Steve. “From left Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar, Sherri Shepherd, and Elizabeth Hasselbeck on the ABC Morning Show “The View” earlier this month.” Photo. 28 July 2007. 13 Mar 2013. <http://nyti.ms/HInNiz&gt;

PR Tip of the Day: Developing the Media Mindset

What makes a man tick?Once you’ve created a list of possible PR ideas and media pitches, it’s time to start thinking like the media.  Put yourself in the place of an editor or producer that you’d like to pitch.  Now study the story ideas you’ve come up with.  From the media’s perspective, which of the stories would be the most appealing?  Don’t look at it from your perspective.   Viewing your pitch as a journalist, how and why would your PR pitch work?  Now drill down even further, which of your ideas and pitches work for women’s magazines, men’s magazines, or general interest publications?  Which ideas work specifically as TV pitches?  Remember TV is a visual medium; you want to present stories that offer more than just a talking head.  When pitching TV, think in terms of the strongest visual stories you can present. Different pitches will interest different outlets.  Take the time to develop and then match your pitch to the appropriate media outlet.

Copyright © Anthony Mora 2013

 

The Art of Music Marketing

music marketingBack when I was still managing musicians you could take a cassette to an A&R rep, drag him or her down to see a band perform and if they struck the right chord (so to speak) the label could take over from there.  Times have changed.

Truth is even if a label does get excited about an act or a singer; now a days they’re as much in the dark about how to launch a new artist as anyone else.  Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating it a bit.  The labels still have some clout.  But you basically follow my drift.

The bad news is there is no longer that huge well oiled machine that can take a band, run them through the process, and pop out a potential mega star.  Although, truth be told that machine was not always a benevolent one and quite a few artists lost their sound, persona and soul while being run through the process.

The good news is more artists have a shot at getting their music out there.  Production costs are miniscule compared to what they used to cost.  More and more artists are able to control the process and more albums, CDs, Downloads (whatever) are being produced.

The really tricky part now is how, without the help of a label, artists can get their music heard.  It’s tricky but not impossible.  Musicians that realize that marketing is now a part of their job description can take their fate into their own hands.  Yes, the music is the thing, but musicians who focus on their look, image, PR, guerrilla marketing, social media outreach can still reach a formidable market.

It takes work time and dedication, but not that long ago this type of individualized outreach was not possible.  Without a label there was little chance of finding a real market.  Times have changed.  Chances are no A&R rep is going to make you into the next rock superstar, but you now have the control box in your hands.  Use it!

Copyright © Anthony Mora 2013

How To Successfully Present Your PR Pitch to the Media

TV-InterviewWhen pitching the media, or your target market, generally the harder you sell, the quicker you lose them.  I don’t know of an editor or producer who likes a hard sell.  When launching a PR campaign, or sending out a press release, the hard sales approach is never going to serve your purpose.  Sell and you lose.  You don’t want to come off sounding like a promotional brochure or an advertisement.  Talk about unique selling points and chances are you’ll hear the click of a phone as they hang up on you.  If you have features you want to get across, find a creative way to communicate them.  Whether the benefits you’re hoping to get across are reduced costs, better health, more efficiency, or increased wealth, you need to relate your message in a concise and interesting manner.  You’re not holding a fire sale, you’re telling a compelling story.

Before you tell your story, you need to understand who your story is aimed at; who you are telling it to and for and what action you want the reader to take when he or she reads your story. We live in the age of content marketing which when it comes down to it is basically marketing via effective storytelling.  It’s about creating compelling, persuasive and believable stories.  It’s about narratives that grab your reader’s attention.

First figure out how you’re going to tell your story.  It could be a written press release, a whitepaper, a video, images with infographics, a teleseminar or webinars, etc.  Once you’ve figured out how you’re going to tell your story and tailored it toward your particular market, focus on the story itself.  Create the content.

If you’re launching a public relations campaign and are pitching an editor or producer the action you want them to take is to do an article or segment on you, your company or your product.  If you’re going directly to consumers, your aim could be to raise awareness, educate, inform or change perception.  Here, depending on your needs, you’ll have a different call to action. Your goal could be to get your reader to purchase your product, or to share your content.  Regardless of the call to action, the intent remains the same, to build trust and relationships by offering relevant and useful, compelling information.   In other words, you succeed by telling a concise and compelling story.  So, forget the hard sell.

Copyright © Anthony Mora 2013

The Daily Muse. “Talk Show/ PR Image.” Photo. Mashable. 19, Dec. 2012. 28, Feb. 2013. <http://mashable.com/2012/12/19/tips-for-hiring-pr-agency/>

PR Tip of the Day: Let The Media Be Your Guide

Room with a wall of tv screens
Let The Media Be Your Guide:
 You don’t want to be completely reactive when launching a public relations campaign, but you do want to know what stories the media is covering and if there are any topics that you can address.  Study the media on a regular basis to see what stories they are covering.  If you can address any topics that are currently in the news, that gives you a great PR opportunity to present yourself as an expert.  In the cases of breaking media stories, you need to move quickly since the window of opportunity will be short lived, but this type of approach does offer you a way to position yourself as an expert.  For example if you are an attorney and a lawsuit is garnering media coverage, pitch yourself as an expert who can address and explain different aspects of the case.

This is also an opportunity to utilize social media and see which new stories are trending on the various social networks. Especially if you utilize social media analytics and you are engaged with your target market online. You can see what news is news that you want to be a part of. How can you weigh in? How can your company add value and understanding to the topics within your market’s culture. Brainstorm and consider all ideas.  Lots to think about. Get out there and get in the media!

Copyright © Anthony Mora 2013

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