How A Marketer Runs for President

online marketing                       As someone who is in marketing, it is quite entertaining to watch various candidates enter in to the hotly contested race for the president in 2016. As a result, I want to throw my hat into the ring because I understand the secret sauce related to becoming a presidential candidate. That secret sauce is both offline and online marketing (including social media). I am not a rich like Donald Trump, so I will delay my candidacy for president and instead blog about others marketing efforts. Sorry voters. Giggle.  In this blog post, I am going to outline marketing in politics, so you can run for president if you chose to do so. There are about 5 key aspects to being successful, which are the following: communication/PR= social media, data=marketing analytics, marketing=messaging, engaging your base=customer engagement, and social media marketing=24/7 news cycle.

Communication/PR=Digital/Social Media

If you notice, I describe things in terms of old and new media. Social Media has gained a place in politics per recent studies. Previously, candidates would have utilized expensive hard to get third party channels to communicate with the voting public. They had to hope that citizens saw or heard their message when it was sent out during a very small window of time. The campaign of President Barack Obama taught us that you can break that paradigm. His team at the time leveraged social media and digital technology to communicate their message directly to consumers. Social media allowed him to control the look, feel, and flow of that message to his potential voters. It created an easy way for it be shared, spread, and for voter participation. Additionally, mobile messaging technology allowed him to geo-locate and communicate with potential voters in a new real-time. This assisted him in being able to communicate a personalized message to voters gaining their attention outside of the normal news cycle.

Data=Marketing Analytics

Campaigns run on adrenaline and data. Political candidates similar to large healthcare companies have an intimate knowledge about you along with others in your community. Data assists political campaigns in their ability to develop a strategy and target the best voters aligned with their message. Data is used to drive strategy along with understanding what is looked upon favorably by the public on a real time a basis. For example, candidates can understand how their performance on a debate was received and adjust strategy immediately after the fact. Data when used thoughtful and strategically can be ensure a candidate’s success. Messaging=Marketing You hear the saying that candidates are “staying on message”. The message becomes about creating imagery that is tied to their campaign and embodies the candidate’s brand. Nike is a perfect example ie “Just Do It!”. The messages coming from candidates can be subtle or overt. In the case of the image below, Jeb Bush has made a decision to be very vague regarding his last name. In the upper left corner, he made sure to have in red letters just  “JeB!”. Let’s unpack that, it is in the upper left where most users focus their gaze on a website. It is stands out because of its red coloring. Additionally, he is not using his surname, which means he is trying to separate himself from his family. As you see the messaging, its color, and placement are important to candidates when branding themselves to the public.   online marketing Engaging your base=customer engagement  

As it stands now at the time of writing this, Donald Trump is leading the way with engaging his base. There are a couple of metrics and reasons supporting his success. One key reason is that he is a polarizing and provocative personality that has tapped into some social & psycho-graphic issues of the Republican voting bloc.  Many Americans are very frustrated about the economy, immigration, and the societal social change, which he hits upon in stump speeches thereby connecting with them. Currently, he has a tremendous lead on the other republican leaders vying for the Republican nomination for president. Additionally, voters are turning out to see Donald Trump make speeches and connect with him. Potential voters are connecting online, offline, and reflecting that in their tentative polling supporting him. He is a great marketer really tapping in the emotional and intellectual motivations of his voting bloc.

Social Media/Online Marketing=24/7 news cycle  

Online as well as social media has become such an integral part of political campaigns. President Barack Obama’s success was partially do his integrated grassroot efforts both offline and online marketing circumventing the 24/7 media outlets. The republicans really ignored that aspect of marketing, which may have assisted in contributing to their lack of success in the last president election. This time around both parties seem to understand the importance of leveraging social media. One candidate in particular seems to be winning the social media vote via many experts and that is Senator Bernie Sanders. He proves that President Obama success can be replicated on social media. Honorable digital mention goes to Senator Lindsey Graham who made a phone upgrade and got a iPhone, sadly because of Donald Trump. Senator Lindsay Graham don’t be afraid to use your phone for email. J  Senator Bernie Sanders is definitely successfully leveraging social tools to be connected 24/7 with those social savvy voters, while controlling his message.

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Well, I think I have identified the top marketing tends in politics. Are you ready to announce your candidacy for presidency? I will vote for you and handle your marketing.

Have a great day.

Lisa

The Marketing of Beyonce and the Bachelorette

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As someone who works in marketing and digital/social world, my view of pop-culture is very analytical. The new season of The Bachelorette (BacheloretteABC) and Beyonce’s upset (Twitter @TheBeyHiveTeam) Beyhive has inspired me to blog. Both of these pop-culture phenomenons share a few similar elements worth exploring.

1) Primarily female fan base

Both shows have primarily female bases that are passionate advocates and ambassador for these two brands. Women, it is well known are obtaining both post secondary degrees as well as the accompanying salaries to facilitate a growing purchasing power. Most big household purchases are made by women, so you want to get in front of this powerful consumer group with both buying power and disposable income.

2) Drama and romance

The public loves drama and romance. Beyonce and Jay-Z as a couple are the pop culture embodiment of the power couple along with the occasional Solange elevator drama. Beyonce leverages that drama for album releases or for their On the Run tour. Similarly, the Bachelorette packs a room full of the nation’s sexiest fitness instructors along with lots of alcohol as a recipe that attracts millions of viewers. The premise of the Bachelorette is to find “everlasting love” for the contestants that has yet to be determined. For those of you who watched the Lifetime show Unreal will get that reference. Smile.

3) Consumer Behavior and social media

The offline world is very similar to the online word because people seek communities to connect with. Both Bey and Bachelorette provide that to the public. Several of the contestants on the Bachelorette were many times fans of the show. Beyonce has created a passionate engaged fan base on social media called the Beyhive. This Beyhive was so engaged that they woke up early for the launch of her new food product line. Bachelorette fans complained loud and passionately about slut shaming during the current season. Feedback from this highly engaged fan base has created a bi-directional communication between the brand and the community.

FYI, Ladies you can follow all those sexy bachelors on social media or LinkedIn.

4) Consumer engagement

Beyonce is the best example of this with millions of fans on various social media channels. As I mentioned before millions of fans woke early for her “special announcement”. She gives the fans that up close and personal connection that keeps them coming back for more via social media. A change in her hair color can blow up twitter. Bachelorette still has an engaged real time audience when other content creators struggles to get eyeballs in Hulu/DVR/Netflix age.

5) Revenue

Here is the bottom-line. Beyonce nor The Bachelorette franchise would spend all this time and energy, if revenue was not being generated. Both are bankable brands that are delivering via fans and in dollars. Beyonce was able to sell an album straight to iTunes. She gets it that girls rule the world!!

 How do you feel about these brands and their connection with their consumers/audience?

The Best Digital Stuff of 2014

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Hello All,

Usually, I am watching and listening a great deal of the time on social media. However, since it is the end of the year, I wanted to reflect, applaud, and say thank you to some great people working online.  Some of my favorite thought leaders in healthcare, social media/digital, and general news will be highlighted. All of these individuals have taught me a great day as well as made me think.

Part 1: News

NPR Pop Culture Happy Hour is a great weekly podcast headed by Linda Holmes. They talk about all things pop culture books, television, movies, podcasts, music, and more. This podcast has something for everyone and every type of nerd. The podcast allows me to keep up with everything that is happening in pop culture along with providing stimulating intelligent analysis of it. You can find them on Twitter @nprmonkeysee. I hope to see you guys live sometime.

This Week In Blackness is a reasonable political minded podcast that covers the topics of the day. I enjoy hearing the crew discuss the topics of the day with a funny spin to it. Regardless of Imani’s and Aaron’s love/hate for salads, I still enjoy the podcast. LOL. Imani and Aaron, you have inspired an upcoming blog post from me about how to build a salad that is filling. (Imani and Aaron, I hope to encourage you two to show a little more love to salads. Giggle.)  Elon and crew please keep up the good work! TWIB’s social justice work and focus on issues related to African American culture is needed. Additionally, please support independent media via a subscription to their podcast or use the amazon.twib.me link when shopping on Amazon.  Please catch them on social media @ANSFreeman @TWiBnation @ElonJames @AngryBlackLady.

Citizens Radio is another wonderful podcast that is funny and informative. They have cats, which are cute and the hosts are vegans.  I am striving to be a committed vegan just like the hosts of the show. Also they love coffee along with keeping the public informed about issues not covered by the mainstream media. Allison and Jaime play off each other really well. Please support their podcast and new book called #NewsFail. You can catch them at @CitizenRadio @JamieKilstein

The Bugle has two well known and funny guys hosting the podcast. John Oliver and Andy Zaltzman really bring the funny to the weekly news. Give these guys some credit for making the torture reports sound funny, while being informative. I enjoy their podcast. Also buy some of their funny merchandise to support them. You can follow them on twitter @hellobuglers

RadioTimes from Whyy and Washington Week Podcast are two great news podcasts that bring well-researched news and interesting stories to the public each week. Gwen Ifill is the moderator of Washington Week and Co-Anchor of the PBS Newshour as well as an award winning author. You can follow her at @gwenifill. RadioTimes covers regional, national, and international issues in a thought provoking way. Marty the show’s host is always willing to discuss the tough topics of the day. You can follow Marty Moss Coane at @martymosscoane.

 

Part 2: Social Media Thought Leaders

Jeff Bullas has taught me so much about social media marketing from his posts. His content is informative and spot on. Also I have learned a great deal by just observing his interactions along with the way he markets his content. Thank you Jeff for all that you do! Please check him out on twitter along with his blog. Jeff Bullas can be found @JeffBullas.

Pam Moore is fun, informative, and provides helpful insights into marketing and social media. Additionally, she provides inspirational quotes and actionable information. I loved the Christmas hat by the way, Pam, it looks great on you. Smile. You can follow her @PamMktNut

SocialPros is a podcast created by Jay Baer a very successful professional in social media and marketing. The podcast is very informative providing lots of tips, tricks, and insight, while being fun. Also I enjoy his emails from Convince and Convert which give timely and forward thinking insight for professionals working in the trenches doing social media. I think you may notice that I only read information that improves my ability to add value to my clients or my own work. Time is important and a limited resource. SocialPros and Convince and Convert are worth your time to exploring because of quality content created by Jay. Please check out his podcast SocialPros and Jay Baer on Twitter @JayBaer

Alex Harris was one of the first podcasts that I found when I was trying to learn about social media/digital marketing. His podcast Marketing Optimization covers emerging trends in digital/online marketing. He is very well read, highly experienced digital/online marketer, and seems like a good dude. His podcast is about results, covering all the current topics, forward thinking, while interviewing top professionals in online marketing. His CROMastermind seems like an opportunity worth exploring for any marketing professional. Please download his podcast Marketing Optimization and find him on Twitter @AlexDesigns

 

Part 3: Health and Wellness

Mynameisjessamyn is creating an amazing movement related to yoga on social media. She is bringing yoga to the masses in a teachable and approachable way for all body types. The Mynameisjessamyn social media platform is a great resource for where ever one may be on their yoga journey. Please check her out on tumblr and twitter @JessNotJazz. Keep creating great content to make yoga accessible to everyone!

On Tumblr there is a great blog that is called Vegan-Yums. The food on this blog looks awesome and many of the recipes are ones that the average person can reproduce at home. I don’t know if anyone can create the beautiful food captured in the blog, but I try. Smile. The tumblr blog really interacts well with its readers and provides great support to them on their healthy eating journey. It inspires me to create my own platform to support those seeking a better way to eat. Kudos to Vegan-Yums. Keep up the great work!!

Dr. Nina Cherie is an awesome healthcare professional who provides informative implementable advice to improve one’s health. She looks awesome which is equally as inspiring as the advice provided. Her advice will help you make your new year’s resolution for health a reality. Please check her out on Twitter @NinaCheriePhD and on her Google+ website. Thanks for the tips, Dr. Cherie. You look awesome!

NutritionFacts.org has a vibrant, informative, and helpful website along with social media presence. The nutritional information provided is well researched science backed insight coming from trained medical professionals.  Please support this informative website that is providing scientific information about nutrition that appears to be unbiased to the public. NutritionFacts.org produces tons of easy to view educational videos in easy to understand terms about nutrition. You can check Dr. Greger out on Twitter at @nutrition_facts.

One last thank you to everyone mentioned above as well as to the many others that are providing great content. There may be a part two to this post.  Smile.

That is who inspired and informed me in 2014. Who inspired and informed you in 2014? Who do you recommend for keeping an eye on in 2015? Let me know. Happy New Year to Everyone!

 

Digital Best/Worst of Ebola

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In some sense, I see digital health when communicated via online or real time television as a version of marketing. Healthcare systems have a message to communicate to the masses in an efficient and understandable way. Additionally, the goal is to inform, which is the goal of marketing. Both marketing and healthcare are regulated, but ultimately have the same goal of getting consumers to act. Healthcare the goal is action related to person or public health outcomes. Marketing the focus being consumption of a product or service. So it is through the lense of marketing aka mass communication, that I looked at the best and worse of the Ebola crisis from a digital perspective.

Best Part

NIH and CDC both have been very active on social media engaging with the public regarding Ebola. This really assists the public in being able to get quality scientific based information about the disease. Additionally, they didn’t delay in discussing on social media what was happening even before the disease was brought to the US. Dr. Friedman from NIH has been very active on Twitter. His Twitter account is @DrFriedenCDC.

mHero is a mobile healthcare technology platform that assists healthcare workers in communicating across West Africa’s fragmented healthcare system. The mHero system can capture critical data and permits for better patient care coordination. The best part is that all this is happening in real time which is critical in the ever changing Ebola pandemic.

Cell phone digital data could stem the tide of Ebola. The digital health information gathered from the cell phones can assist health officials in understanding about the density of the area and the potential number infected. The digital health data captured from cell phones can assist with predicting where a virus outbreak might occur next.  Cell phone digital health data provides an excellent source of information about transportation patterns of populations when used in aggregate. This digital data when applied to historical data can give scientists’ a sense of where people may travel next, therefore permits them to proactively manage site of new Ebola outbreaks.

What’s App the social media app is forging into mhealth terrain via assisting with educating the public about Ebola along with ways to protect themselves. The information is distributed three times a day via the app. The information is presented in both French and English. Most importantly the information is accessible to those with or without a smartphone. One can just listen to the small downloadable digital data packets. The convergence of social media, digital, and public health being used to connect the community with timely life changing information is exciting. Kudo’s to Whats App!

Worst Part

American arrogance related to the US health system compared to other countries’ healthcare. America is a great place however we are human, so there are some short comings as can be expected with all healthcare systems. The US healthcare system market itself as providing world class healthcare superior to other countries. This is sadly another time that reveals not just the short comings in African countries healthcare system but ours as well. Many scientists have made comments about the nature of fragmentation and subpar system in Africa. However, we have had a few snafus in our management of patients and healthcare workers that treated the patient in Dallas that died.

I am a news junkie, but sadly, the news is one entity along with politicians contributing to most misinformation and bad approaches to managing the Ebola pandemic. The US news cycle is 24 hours/7 days a week, so there has been a great deal of stroking of the fears of the public regarding Ebola. The entire news media is the blame CNN, FoxNews, MSNBC, etc. Politicians used the 24/7 news cycle to scare and inflame fears of the public via various tweets seen below. The flu and the growing obesity epidemic cause greater harm to Americans each year but are not very sexy to discuss.

dangerousEBOLA

The last part that has me concerned is the American public’s approach to dealing with this disease. I understand that parents and adults are very concerned, which the American public should be, since Eboloa is a very serious disease. However, we have to be reasonable about how we treat others and potential patients. A woman from Africa in the Philadelphia Metro area was treated horribly because a health professional thought she might be an Ebola patient because of her ethnicity. We have to improve our health literacy and cultural sensitivity as a country.

Honorable mention to Facebook and Google, they are both focusing on assisting in providing the much needed funds to West African countries for Ebola. If you have the financial resources available, please contribute to either Facebook’s or Google’s initiative to support West Africa.

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/fightebola

Google https://onetoday.google.com/fightebola

What good or bad have you seen come out of the Ebola epidemic from a digital perspective?

 

How To Hire A Marketing Consultant

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This post was created because of some interactions with potential clients and viewing posts for work by employers seeking marketing assistance. It is my goal to assist employers seeking either consultants or freelancers to feel a little more prepared for working with them via this post.

Preparation is important

You must really understand why and what you are hiring a consultant to perform. If you only need someone to post on social media i.e. put pictures on Pinterest, which is a very narrow skill set and require only a few hours a week. Conversely, if you need someone to manage the development and execution of a marketing plan, then that is very different. A person needs to work with you mid-long term effort to perform such a job. Will this be a long term or short term engagement? Social media marketing and digital strategy are ongoing long term initiatives that require a great deal of work as well as regular maintenance.

A Business Plan

As wacky as this may sound, you need a business plan to effectively market either a product or a service. You should live and breathe your product, its competitors, and primary customer target. The business plan should outline the dreaded financials, which are needed. I say dreaded because numbers along with ghosts, taxes, and bad hair days are equally feared by most. The financials determine how to price your product, when you cover fixed costs, determine the break-even point, and determine your marketing budget. Simply put marketing costs money. The ads that you see online in Facebook and Twitter cost, therefore financial resources need to be allocated to it.

A Product/Service

Having a defined product or service developed, prototyped, tested, and if possible viewed by focus group is critical. Please don’t contact a marketing consultant digital or otherwise, if you have not resolved what the product is, how it works, and tested it thoroughly. Many businesses are so hyper focused on their website and social media presence yet there is no product/service fully developed to market. Customers don’t want to buy a service/product that has been poorly produced. This means you will be creating a bad reputation for yourself. First impressions matter with customers. Marketing consultant needs a finalized product or service to be effective.

Manage Your Ego

Once you have done all of the above, then you are ready to connect with a consultant. Manage your ego is a critical part of being successful when working with a consultant/freelancer. You have to work with them and let then consultant you on best practices and approaches. In the beginning, the consultant should outline their scope of work, deadlines, and milestones that you both agree upon. You should have a weekly call at a minimum to understand work being performed. Also managing online/offline marketing is a lot of work. Large companies like US Air, Ford, etc. have a whole dept dedicated to social media. Similarly, a company would have separate dedicated departments to each of the following: content management, digital marketing, mobile marketing, search marketing, and digital analytics.  Therefore, it is easier to let the marketing professional take the lead, since marketing is quite complicated. I would never say that business owner doesn’t need to know marketing, but your knowledge is extremely limited compared to that list of departments full of experts. Conversely, the marketer should respect and appreciate your expertise.

Realistic Expectations

This may be my most important piece of advice. Have realistic expectations and only believe consultants that provide as such. On the employer side, it is not a realistic to expect a marketing consultant to deliver 5,000 twitter followers in one week. Similarly, a college student can be a great on campus representative selling your product, blogging in a supervised way, or creating beautiful marketing materials; however there are limits to what a college student with limited experience can assist with. However, there are extremely talented college students, but be cautious. The consultant should be able to provide you a previous work sample, have marketing field experience, outline of their proposed work products, and tentative dates for deliverables.

 

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Embrace the Process

Marketing is similar to most things in life, it is a process. The creation of marketing plan will not create immediate customers for you. Marketing is part science and part art. Science part is trial and error in a systematic way to create results with the goal of impacting your business’ bottom line. There are definitely some best practices related to marketing. The consultant should outline a plan, meet with you weekly, and provide weekly reports related to their efforts. The results will not always be upward or bring immediate revenue to your business; however there should be an explanation along with next steps, if a problem occurs.

It is a Relationship

People market to people. People hire other people. Try to pick someone with good credentials, previous success, and most importantly it should be someone that you can have a good working relationship with. This is especially important because marketing is a process. You need to feel confident and comfortable in that person’s ability to work with you through the marketing process. It is my hope that the points listed above are helpful for those seeking any type of marketing consultant.

 

What advice do you think employers need when hiring a consultant?

Have a Happy Tuesday!