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Integrated Digital Marketing & PR Consulting from Brown Ltd.
August 3, 2013 • 9:05 am 0
May 25, 2012 • 2:32 pm 0
They need to let go.
Gone is the time when you could rely on your business doing a simple advertising and PR mix, based on placing ads, sending press releases, and working with reporters to get your message out. It used to be that customers would find your information in traditional media and then make purchase decisions based on your ads, your media stories, and your sales person’s recommendations.
They might have even checked out your website. Customers want more information than that now. They want to feel safe in their decisions. They want recommendations from other customers. And they want it instantly.
A dramatic shift toward one-to-one communication is happening. The net makes it possible. Now it’s digital first. Businesses must be in the publishing business to survive.
Click the Link Below to Download the Brown Ltd. Marketing and PR 2.1 Executive Summary to learn more (PDF: 3.6 MB)
Marketing and PR 2.1 Exec Summary
October 16, 2011 • 3:03 pm 0
“The Network” [newsroom.cisco.com] is Cisco’s new brand journalism site. Does it work? Are they getting more traffic?
If the number of views are any indication, their “news” site is working. Examples:
The article titled: “HP and Cisco Deliver Cisco Nexus Fabric Extenders for HP BladeSystem” has received 2,278 views so far. It was published on October 14, two days prior to me posting this item. Over 2,000 views in 2 days about a subject that I define mere mortals to know what they are talking about from the title.
Another titled: “Incheon Nam-Gu Office Collaborates with Cisco to Realize ‘Smart Nam-Gu’ Vision” has received 847 views, again, the total within 2 days of publishing.
Their most popular article: “A Silicon Valley in the Heart of London?” has over 2,668 views. It was published October 11.
The brand journalism site includes video, links to product and blogs, and all the social media and RSS sites. Cisco has clearly learned that being a publisher is a solid strategy for marketing and public relations.
February 19, 2011 • 11:48 am 1
I was recently asked to speak at a trade association conference being held at The Breakers in the Town of Palm Beach.
It was a great group and it gave me the chance to explain:
Click below to see the presentation. Let me know what you think! Did I miss something? Anything to add?
February 5, 2011 • 12:29 pm 0
A great “Brand Journalism” strategy is to create a brand blog to promote your offerings. You can create one for free using WordPress.com
A recent example is one I just launched for one of my clients in the Town of Palm Beach: The French Wine Merchant.
Maurice Amiel, the owner, decided to promote a “Wine of the Week” to help launch his new business.
Newspaper advertising wasn’t working. Free events were barely getting him business. So I suggested a brand blog.
It’s a way to quickly offer promotions, publish stories about his high-profile events in this exclusive luxury town, and get customers and others to comment.
Launching it with the right social media mix (see my social network sites: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, ActiveRain) got him #3 on the first page of Google in the first week. Check the site here:
The French Wine Merchant
If you want some help creating a site, it takes me about 6-10 hours, contact me today!
January 9, 2011 • 12:21 pm 0
I’ve always found that the cost of an in-house agency is about 1/3 of the cost of using an outside agency. I operate exactly like an outside agency, having a core group of hands-on managers and creatives and using the top freelancers and sub-contractors just like an outside agency does.
Cost is Important – And Other Reasons Too
In an in-house agency, our time to produce and roll out content and campaigns is much shorter. We know the customers and their hot-buttons, subject matter, the benefits of our products and services, have the internal and customer contacts, can get teams together faster, get approvals quicker, etc.
We don’t have to constantly get an agency(s) up to speed and arrange formal approval sessions. Often, we just quickly, and many times informally, meet the division president or principle that needs the content for a quick one-on-one, and approval is done. No outside agency has that kind of access or speed.
I built an in-house TV & Multimedia Studio at Motorola (Business & Government Division) and the cost to run that became 10% of what it costs to go outside. In fact, we spent $5 million to build the studio and equip it and paid it off with savings in less than 2 years. It would be shorter now because of the lower cost and higher quality of broadcast quality equipment and software. I’ve replaced a post-production system with less than $1,000 in software on my laptop.
See the Quick Case Study below for an integrated in-house agency example.
No Such Thing as a Free Lunch
As a CEO or marketing executive, you may like those lunches and perks that the outside agencies provide; but, you’re the one paying for them with your own budget.
Bottom line, in-house agency cost per customer acquisition is much smaller than using outside agencies. Our cycle time is shorter. And our brand awareness and equity expands much faster.
I understand that not everyone can afford a full-blown agency or a TV studio for his or her business. However, hiring 2-3 key hands-on marketing and PR folks, with agency experience – and that also produce content for you in-house – will help you get the benefits for about 1/3 the cost of using a strictly external agency.
In-house works especially well when you use an integrated marketing strategy that includes brand journalism, social media, and measurement systems.
Brand journalism is one of the best methods for getting believable content to stakeholders, prospects, and customers. Producing that content from the inside makes more sense. There are so many moving parts and interactions, it’s hard to get a great story from multiple sources using an external agency.
When you concept, create, distribute, and measure in-house, your results are more believable. I’m not saying every external agency is like this, but they have a financial interest in getting you to buy more media. They make more money. I’ve seen campaign measurement results from outside agencies that were spun to recommend a larger media buy. The goal of an in-house agency is to CUT cost. The goal of an outside agency is to MAKE MORE MONEY for the outside agency.
Quick Case Study
As an example: When I took over DiVosta Homes and then eventually Pulte Homes and Del Webb in Florida, we had 80 actively selling communities in the state. We needed to sell over 4,000 homes a year for over a billion dollars in sales.
The annual marketing and PR budget for Florida, broken up in 7 divisions around the state, was over $20 million. There were a dozen external agencies involved with the local divisions. I moved all the marketing and PR in-house and had 7 people total: graphic designers, writers (including me), traffic manager, and media buyer (me) to produce and place content.
We did web, email marketing, newspaper, magazine, radio, TV, outdoor, pitched stories to the press, events, etc., all in-house with some outside freelancers. We produced hundreds of ads and stories every week… placed thousands every month.
The first year we cut $9.8 million from the marketing and PR budget, almost half. We went from $3,000-$7,000 in marketing expense per home sale to less than $1,200 per home sale. Our cycle time was much shorter to concept, produce, approve, and place. All done with 7 great in-house people – and sales continued without skipping a beat.
In fact, when I took over they had 70,000 qualified contacts in their prospect system. After the first year, we had over 300,000. That’s results.
Think about it… those 7 people replaced a dozen expensive agencies.
In today’s world, it’s all about content marketing. Getting out your honest and clear message by creating once, and publishing everywhere – and doing it for the lowest cost is the formula for success.
Contact me if you want to learn more: MikeBrown@BrownLtd.com
I've had a lot of titles [Director of Marketing, Communications Director, Advertising Director, Multimedia Producer, Managing Editor, Reporter, Copywriter]; but, I approach every project as a digital producer... what does the audience need and how can I deliver it most effectively and for the lowest cost?
Sometimes I write with pictures or video, sometimes with words. I always keep the goal in mind: sales, leads, traffic, a better brand image or awareness, or just a really good story, etc.
Yeah I create content for money. But you'll see from my background that I'm way better at making money for others than I am for myself.
I wish I had 1%. I'd be surfing with my kids all the time now.
Contact me and I'll make some for you.
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R. Michael Brown
Marketing Consultant, Public Relations Consultant, Freelance Writer: West Palm Beach, Florida
"I help organizations increase sales, and pump up the value of their brand, using media, for the lowest cost per customer."
Digital Marketing and Public Relations consultant, writer, and producer with over 20 years experience launching brands like DiVosta Homes, IBM Multimedia, Nextel, Motorola business and government sector, and SunFest Jazz Festival.