How Brands Can Do Better on Pinterest

22 Jul

Pinterest “is a place to discover ideas for all your projects and interests, hand-picked by people like you.”

With more than 75 million active users and a largely female audience, Pinterest is attracting more attention from advertisers. Hence, the question: What is the best way for marketers to utilize Pinterest?

Lisa Hoover McGreevy — a professional writer specializing in corporate messaging, a data journalist in the Visually Marketplace, and a regular contributor to the Visually blog, highlights 5 ways that can enhance the business use of Pinterest:

  1. Create unusual pinboards“Don’t limit yourself to the standard buzzwords for your industry when coming up with new pinboards. A bakery naturally needs pinboards for cupcakes, wedding cakes, and other baked goods. But more unusual topics, like the world’s oldest pastry recipes, campground baking, or ways to dress up products your customers purchase help you stand out from the crowd.”
  2. Develop visuals in languages other than English – “Recreate your most popular visual content in Spanish, German, or another predominant foreign language to embrace non-US or UK-based customers. Inspiring quotes, brief tutorials, and advertising taglines all make great pins that let your international customers know you care. Before pinning anything, run it past a native speaker of the language to make sure the wording is accurate. Online translation technology is still too buggy to be trusted with something as important as your branding.
  3. Ask people to show you things – “People love to talk about themselves, so ask customers to pin images of something related to your industry. A fitness club may ask followers to post pictures of favorite workout gear, while an office supply company might invite followers to share photos of their work spaces.”
  4. Tell a story – “Use a dedicated storyboard to unfold a tale over several days or weeks. Send your mascot on a journey around the major landmarks of your town or share a series of pins that demonstrate how a customer used your product to solve a problem.”
  5. Tell your story – “Is your whole office is helping build a Habitat for Humanity home? Are your developers engaged in a weekend hackathon ahead of your next software version release? Take and pin pictures along the way so customers can follow your progress and get a peek behind the curtain. Pinterest is a perfect format for telling captivating stories that keep followers coming back to see how those stories turns out.”

Click the image for some examples.
 

 

Business Career Tips and Resources

21 Jul

In the slideshow presented below, learn about many of the opportunities and challenges facing those interested in a field of business.

The latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics are included.
 

 

Global Advertising Is Booming

20 Jul

As part of its research on worldwide advertising trends, eMarketer examined the per-capita ad spending for several countries around the globe.

From this research, a few conclusions may be drawn: (1) From 2012 to 2018, advertising is expected to rise sharply in many of the countries eMarketer examined. (2) The United States and 7 other countries will see per-capita ad spending exceed annually by 2018. (3) Even though ad spending will rise substantially in the world’s two most populous countries — China and India, per-capita ad spending through 2018 will remain low compared with other nations. (4) Most of the increases will be driven by a shift to digital media.

Click the chart to learn more.
 

 

The Changing Constants of Marketing (No, This Is Not an Oxymoron)

18 Jul

We’ve written a lot about the rapidly changing world of marketing — with the advances in social media, technology, big data, etc. So, sometimes, we need to pause and reflect on things that are the constants in marketing.

In 1966, McKinsey published an article by John D. Louth on “The Changing Face of Marketing”: “This article from the McKinsey Quarterly archive analyzes six major changes that promised to transform future marketing efforts. These forces have largely proved to be as influential as predicted and continue to shape today’s challenges.”

The six major changes — which are really marketing constants — are as relevant today as they were nearly 50 years ago:

  1. The dominance of the customer — “It is nearly a truism that the needs and wants of the consumer are the critical issues today in creating new products and services, and developing the accompanying plans to merchandise them at a profit.”
  2. The spread of marketing research — “The second trend is the increased use of marketing research — in terms of both quantity and scope. To an important degree, of course, this trend is a response to the first. If knowledge about future customers is essential, and if the quality of the marketing output is materially affected by the caliber of the informational input, then marketing research is bound to increase in use and contribution as the interest in more scientific marketing grows.”
  3. The rise of the computer — “The third major trend marketing must consider is the emergence of electronic data-processing equipment as a major tool of scientific marketing not only for reporting data but also, more importantly, for planning and control by management.”
  4. Expanded use of test marketing — “A fourth important trend, in my opinion, will be toward more controlled experimentation to narrow the odds of an error in making marketing changes. Two major influences emphasize the need for further expansion of test marketing. The first is the rising cost of marketing changes: the costs, for example, of introducing new products and packaging, of developing new advertising and promotional programs, and of retraining salespeople. The second influence is the mounting investment in product research and development. About half of all corporate research-and-development activity in the United States today is concerned with the creation of new commercial products.”
  5. Metamorphosis of field selling — “The fifth trend I foresee is a shift in the nature of the field-selling job toward a more integrated, profit-oriented marketing effort. Key-account selling is becoming an increasingly crucial feature of the field-sales job—a trend with important implications. In many companies, a key-account selling program may entail special analysis of present and potential customers, and the establishment of related control reports to measure profit results with particular accounts.”
  6. Global market planning — “An ever-broadening application of the marketing concept to worldwide markets is the last of the six broad trends that I believe will change the face of marketing in the next few years. Over the past decade, the marketing concept has become widely accepted in the United States—perhaps, in some situations, too enthusiastically accepted and too indiscriminately applied. Nevertheless, I believe the concept of a completely integrated marketing effort is valid and will be increasingly adopted. In many companies operating worldwide, it will stimulate the development of global market planning.”

Click the image to read the full classic article.
 

 

An Interview with Fashion Legend Diane Von Furstenberg

17 Jul

Diane Von Furstenberg has been a prominent, trend-setting fashion designer for decades. Take a look at the Web site of her company to see what she’s doing now.

Here’s a brief bio of Von Furstenberg by Liz Welch of Inc.:

“Designer Diane von Furstenberg was 27 when she made the first wrap dress in 1974. The iconic design landed her on the cover of Newsweek — and millions of women snapped up her dresses. But when demand faded, von Furstenberg ended up selling most of her licenses to avoid bankruptcy. In 1997, von Furstenberg relaunched her company, which now has annual sales of more than $200 million. The wrap dress, too, made a comeback, and recently celebrated its 40th anniversary with ‘The Journey of the Dress’ exhibition, which traveled the globe. And, as the 68-year-old designer recently shared with Inc. contributing editor Liz Welch, she is focused on building a company to outlast any fad.”

Click Von Furstenberg’s photo to read her recent interview with Liz Welch for Inc.
 

 

Resources for Women and Minority Business Owners

16 Jul

Although these observations by the National Women’s Business Council refer specifically to female business owners, they are equally applicable to minority business owners:

“Like all entrepreneurs, women business owners face many challenges in making their entrepreneurship dreams a reality.  Some of the challenges faced by women may be specific to women, due to the historical and cultural context within which they do their work.  Women have the challenge of confronting and overcoming the historical barriers of being kept out of business and capital markets until the late 1980s.  Even today, women’s access to information (or lack thereof) about financing strategies and opportunities may be limited due to a lack of access to the social networks where many key decision makers and capital players make deals.  A lack of information about financing a business may result in more women raising lower levels of capital or pursuing only debt financing, which can limit their growth potential. ”

Click the image to read more from the NWBC.
 

 
With the above in mind, Tom Shaw (a Visible Systems Specialist for Magnatag) has published an excellent series of links to resources for women and minority business owners. Shaw provides links to 45 resources!! Click here to access Shaw’s “Women and Minority-Owned Business Resources.”
 

Are Social Media Living Up to the Hype?

15 Jul

There have been numerous reports about how effective paid social media can be in driving companies’ business. But a new study by Gallup puts some of these assumptions into question. Its conclusion? Paid messages on social media are not very driving a lot of business. [Nonpaid social media reviews, stories, etc. are impactful, though.]

As Jeff Elder reports for the Wall Street Journal:

“Gallup says 62% of the more than 18,000 U.S. consumers it polled said social media had no influence on their buying decisions. Another 30% said it had some influence. U.S. companies spent $5.1 billion on social-media advertising in 2013, but Gallup says ‘consumers are highly adept at tuning out brand-related Facebook and Twitter content.’ (Gallup’s survey was conducted via the Web and mail from December 2012 to January 2013. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 1 percentage point.)”

“In a study last year, Nielsen Holdings NV found that global consumers trusted ads on television, print, radio, billboards and movie trailers more than social-media ads.”

Click the chart to read more.
 

 

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