Marketers: Be Mindful of Mother’s Day

By Marketing, Social Media

There’s an opportunity to earn respect and brand recognition through offering NOT to contact customers and truly, it’s refreshing. The latest marketing bandwagon has brands reaching out offering to allow customers to opt out of Mother’s Day marketing. 

Why is this a good idea?

First of all, Mother’s Day is a tough, sensitive holiday, invented by the greeting card companies and fraught with grief and pain. Mother’s Day, more than many other commercial holidays, really seems to hit a lot of people in a particularly tender spot. Also, after two years of a deadly pandemic, many of us are grieving and a reminder of that isn’t helpful. By allowing consumers to take a pass on the flowers and breakfast-in-bed marketing content brand are demonstrating listening to consumer needs and registering an attitude of caring.

Now, for some cynicism.

If you decide to opt out, know that you’re providing data to these companies, letting them know whether Mother’s Day content is even worth the budget. Perhaps it’s not. Or, they will repackage the content or special offers in another way, on another date, just to make sure they haven’t lost your attention.

Do it anyway.

Consumers like it when brands care, and will remember the first few that ask and offer this opt out option. If an opt-out outreach doesn’t fit your marketing model and you’re moving ahead with Mother’s Day-related content, think about an acknowledgement that this holiday is difficult for some, and be sensitive to how your content will be received before launching it.

What will you do? Will you adjust your marketing plans or social media posts? Will you launch an opt-out campaign?

When Should Your Organization Conduct a Marketing Audit?

By Marketing

There are a few key stages in which a marketing audit can best benefit your organization.

  1. If you’ve never conducted an audit before, and are unsure how effective your marketing and outreach efforts are, then now is clearly the time to do so.
  2. Are you making a change in marketing and communications staff? If you’re thinking about restructuring, or are at a stage in which you need to hire a new director of marketing, a thorough look at what’s been working and how it aligns with the organization’s goals are in order. It can, as it did in one case recently, inform at what level your new hire should enter the company.
  3. It’s been three years since you last made any changes to your marketing and communications strategy. Every business changes over a three-year period, and the three-year mark is an excellent time to benchmark and set new goals.

But what does a marketing audit include?

This is the process Jaggers Communications employs:

LEARN: We will learn about the organization’s business goals and objectives and the marketing goals and objectives that support the broader goals. We will ask a lot of questions to learn about your customer profile, donors, grant sources, and any other audiences. We’re interested in your long-term relationships, what creates loyalty, and what audiences represent your most recent growth.

GATHER: We will ask for descriptions of all products and services, including information about what has been the marketing focus or prioritization of each over the past three years.

We will ask for access to all available analytics and marketing data for the past three years, your business plan, your milestone tracking sheet, and other benchmark or tracking documentation you have used. We will look at examples of all marketing assets and collateral, including any press releases and earned media.  We will review newsletters, social media accounts, examples of members-only content, and any other forms of communication that were used in the past three years.

REVIEW AND ANALYZE: We will review all of your data and materials, draw conclusions from what we observe, and provide a report that analyzes strengths and weaknesses of your marketing efforts.

If you’re interested in learning more, please get in touch.

Fourth Quarter Marketing in a Pandemic

By Marketing

We’ve made it to fall and the pandemic rages on. Your business has adapted and now it’s time to start fourth quarter marketing, and a look into 2021.

  1. Look at the numbers. I know it’s hard, and it’s not pretty, but take a look at where you are so you are clear on your goals for the last three months of this year.
  2. Your business has changed. What have you learned? What is working? What isn’t? Decide what other changes you need to make before the start of the new year.
  3. What will you spend to support the marketing and communications of your business. 5% of your operating budget is the absolute minimum. 15% is recommended.
  4. Appreciate your customers. The people who stuck with you through this difficult time should hear from you. It’s not too early to make your holiday list and a plan for gifts and cards. Read how to note the holidays professionally.
  5. Ask your staff and customers what THEY would like to see from you next year. Their answers may be surprising.

— Marijean

COVID-19: Time for Pull, Not Push Marketing

By Crisis Communications, Marketing

Like me, you have gotten dozens if not hundreds of emails that start, “Out of an abundance of caution,” and go on to tell you about closings, changes in operation, care for employees, etc.  all in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Please stop email marketing. Now is not the time for push marketing.

As people all over the world are adjusting to stressful work-from-home situations, adapting to kids who are out of school and daycare, coping with potential unemployment, it’s critical for their email communication to have space for them to see the most important updates about, for example, local news, their healthcare, their employment, or other basic needs being met.

It is not the time for a luxury shoe brand to let me know how they are adapting to COVID-19.

What do to instead

Naturally, your business still needs to let people know what’s going on, especially in the case of changes, and that’s when we recommend changing to a PULL vs. a PUSH method of marketing. That is, publish your message very clearly on your own website and your social media platforms so that your audience can FIND the information when they need it. Use keywords so the content is searchable.

Please stay in your lane, focus on how you can continue doing what you do best, allowing people to quickly get the information they need the most, and find yours when they’re curious.

How to Note the Holidays Professionally

By Marketing

Happy holidays! I know it seems a tad early, but it’s the right time to get rolling on any plans you may have as a business, to celebrate the season. If you send out a card or purchase gifts for clients, there’s limited time to update your list and make sure all your names and addresses are correct.

Our favorite end-of-year mail comes from clients, vendors, and partners with a personalized touch. Cards that reflect the company’s brand are delightful. Handwritten notes are extra-special. Work with a design partner to get the look of your holiday message just right. While we like a whimsical approach, don’t stray too far from a professional look, or from your brand. The recipient should be able to recognize pretty quickly who has sent a holiday greeting!

Gifts can be expensive, so we get it if you skip the gift altogether. Some clients, however, certainly rate a gift of food or other thoughtful treat. Remember if you’re going the food route, there should be enough to spread around to all employees. (A client told me about the dozens of fruit baskets they receive from their various clients and vendors and invited me to make off with one when I visit in December. It’s worth noting: maybe fruit baskets are too often given. If you’re considering that this year, take a more creative approach.)

Do you have a typical plan for tackling the holidays? We hope you do.