#Secret Spice

I don’t know about you, but for me, I’m always looking for that secret spice––that special something that takes ordinary and makes it extraordinary! Just exactly what is that secret spice? I am convinced that a workable marketing plan, empowering technology, and a tight fisted team provide a great platform to stand on. Why then, is Marketing in 2012 where technology has given us exponential growth opportunities experiencing such uncertainty? Why?

The evolution of Advertising, Marketing, PR, and Promotional Items as it relates to the phenomenon of  “ Social Networking” is your chance to build human contacts and real relationships. The difference in spending $5,000 for a print ad, or producing a Video to engage your audience with knowledge and new ideas, seems an easy choice. You can then bring Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Linkedin to a personal and in person experience.  Also to be considered, the emerging presence of Pinterest, Tumbler, and Instagram?

According to a survey of Advertising Age subscribers conducted in conjunction with Citigroup, which appeared in the July 9, 2012, edition of the Advertising Age Newspaper, entitled “Ad Age Survey: Awareness trumps ‘likes’ on Facebook.”  “ Of the 500 respondents, 45.9% said that to ‘build awareness and sentiment for my brand’ was their most primary goal in Facebook advertising. ‘Drive traffic to my website’ was second, followed by ‘build fans or “likes,” ’ ‘stay in touch with my customers,’ ‘generate sales leads’ and ‘social commerce.’ ”   This is in itself quite a shift from the “Like me” original Facebook strategy.

Which brings to mind the theory of Social Media.  Delivering an outstanding marketing experience really means a back to basic sharing of a handshake, or a bow, or however you interpret a face-to-face introduction, or in Marketing 101 your “Brand” face:

• What is your Brand?

• What can you do for me?

• Why should I like you on Face book?

• Do you stand behind your product and/or service?

• Can you be accountable and measurable to your ROI?

Steve Jobs might have been a prick in real-time but, his innovation, burning desire to provide a user-friendly experience bar none, gave us technology that exemplifies a quality of life. One that pits social at the pinnacle of existence––against a watch and wait marketing stance-bordering absurd.  Embracing a tech savvy existence, which begs the question, “Are we all headed for Geekdom?”   After all, technology by its very nature encourages a mind-expanding experience and a need to know more about how to get the most out of this.

As an affiliate of Promotional Consultant TODAY (PCT), I am kept in the loop of information and strategies that allow me to provide my professional expertise to a platform of high-quality promotional products, reliable inventory and customer care that goes beyond expectations.

On July 9th, compiled by Cassandra Johnson, for PCT, “Apple Sets the Stage” provided a comparison of the Apple hosted 23rd World Wide Developers Conference, to the lessons we can learn for our own businesses. “ Tim Cook, CEO of Apple took the stage and shared some amazing numbers, including the fact that more than 650,000 apps have been developed for the App Store to date.”  He then engaged his audience with a video presentation.

“When the video begins, you see the back of a man’s head as he’s walking through a beautiful forest. He says that without Apple, he wouldn’t be able to make his way out of the forest. The man is blind and relies on a special app with GPS designed for the blind.”  Another example, “ A teacher in India then talks about how he’s increased the retention level of his elementary-age students to 94 percent by using 3D apps to teach the anatomy of the body.”

“These videos were genius testimonials to what makes Apple’s marketing as innovative as its products.  As cook said in his speech, ‘Apple provides the platform and the store to help you realize your dreams.’  “ They provide a technology platform, and they let the developers and users use their creativity to determine ways to use that platform.  Apple lets us determine what we value most, instead of telling us what we should value most.  As a result we all discover that personal value and connection that we want to retain.”

How does this relate to the promotional products marketplace? As Cook says, “it’s our job to provide the tools to take those ideas further.”

Getting back to delivering an outstanding marketing experience, and the drivers that determine it, do we really mean “managing peoples expectations and leveraging customers behavior to drive revenue?”  If you’re ready for more, whatever that more may be to your brand, really ready, do something about it!  Deliver excellence and harness the power of technology.  And above all, find your secret spice.