Messaging: It matters more than the means!

So when we venture out to share the messaging about what we do with the B2B and tech communities we love, we are bombarded with questions about how we achieve marketing success for our clients. And inevitably, people jump to asking questions like:

  • Do you do social?
  • Can you do a drip email campaign for us?
  • Can you do a press release and get us in the news?
  • Will you automate our digital outreach?
  • Do you make videos?

 

And while all of these are perfectly valid questions, we want to cry “Hey, you’re putting the cart before the horse there! Before you talk about the means to get to them — have you even figured out to which customers you’re messaging and what your messaging should tell them about you?”

 

And we have to poke our engineer and tech-savvy clients a bit.

 

Actually, not poke. We just have to say it bluntly.

 

You’re the worst!

 

Before digital marketing was pretty much everything anyone talked about in marketing, you’d at least listen to us tell you about the importance of brand, taglines, imagery, perception, creative campaigns, promotions, event outreach, press strategy and customer & public relations — all forms of messaging!

 

Now — someone has convinced you that all marketing takes place at this keyboard and that you NEVER have to leave your dark engineering corners which makes you oh, so happy!

 

My goodness, what have we wrought?

 

So we’re going to say this and keep repeating it until it sticks. The messaging still matters. The messaging still matters.  Stop focusing on the means until you get it in your head that the messaging still matters.

 

And let us also say — it’s not your fault. It’s an industry problem that marketers have so convinced you that if they get you half-a-second of a view of half your ad, they’ve done their job. Well, thankfully, market leaders like Proctor & Gamble’s Mark Pritchard are calling out the industry on digital return sleight-of-hand, and demanding more from the people who run the “means” side of the industry.

 

Which means maybe, just maybe, we can make a case for focusing first on messaging, then how to maximize the message across delivery vehicles (like digital ads, press releases, promotions and all the many forms your messaging can take) and lastly the MANY means of delivery: organic digital content, digital ads, social, sponsored content, digital video distribution, print, broadcast, and other offline means.

 

Think about it — what makes you respond to or remember the sponsored content that smacks you in the face on Twitter, Facebook or a Google search? It’s what the content says that is important to you.

 

And messaging has to be first strategic, then creative. The strategy finds the best ways to connect with your customer on a visceral and emotional level. The creative makes that connection memorable.

 

So, want marketing that works? Remember, it’s first about the messaging — the strategic and creative messaging!

 

 

 

TBT: Dancing hamsters – creative & tech DO mix!

We’re at the Florida Venture Forum, and at yesterday’s Women in Venture Capital event we were reminded how often technology companies forget that creative campaigns work! So with a nod to Throwback Thursdays, we wanted to share a story of how the unexpected brought unexpected success.

A few years back, we had an amazing client who had a skincare product. Based on tech developed to help burn victims, this small company had begun to move into the beauty market. And we were launching a press initiative for them.

So — a quick note about beauty editors. They get swag. They get serious swag. And they get invitations to spectacular events like Paris Fashion Week. So, how were we going to stand out in the midst of ALL that “stuff?” And how were we going to explain the tech behind the product in a way that editors could easily share with their readers?

Enter Carly, the Dancing Hamster. Carly wore a business suit, carried a cell phone in one hand, a briefcase in the other and sang, in her squeaky hamster voice, “She Works Hard for the Money.” We donned Carly with a custom banner, added a great promo card complete with a limerick which hinted at the advanced tech in the client’s products and supported all the fun pieces with a detailed press backgrounder and online “quiz.” (You can find more details here!)

BUT — the reason we got traction wasn’t because of the detailed tech explanation. It was Carly. With follow-up calls to our targeted editors we simply had to say “We sent you the hamster.” And no matter the reaction (usually laughter) there was a REACTION!

This simply gave us the hook to get our clients product on the radar cost-effectively in an industry where $1000s of dollars are spent per editor just to get a 10-line-mention in a beauty favorites page.

Why is this important? Because we see so many technology companies who forget to bring the creative — which means they forget to connect to emotions. They so busy selling the features of their next-generation, earth-changing tech, they forget their audience is made up of HUMANS who laugh, cry and love.

The approach changes for every customer you target, but never forget to tap your creative side (or let us help you tap it!) to connect to their emotions. That’s what gets your next-generation technology noticed and makes it memorable!

 

Spark Rocket Has Babies! — A social marketing experiment

We just gave birth at Mission Command! Well, sort of. We’ve had “babies” as a social marketing experiment. Yes, egg babies.

 

Remember that low-tech teaching tool of giving adolescents eggs to carry around to teach them responsibility?

 

Well, we’ve decided to have a similar social marketing experiment at Spark Rocket. You see, we’re great at advocating for our own technology and start-up clients. We’re all about creating engaging content for games, security, real estate, prosthetics, cosmeceuticals, aeronautics and other technology markets and teaching clients how to share it via social marketing to build a following.

 

But it’s giving ourselves the same social marketing love that we kind of really stink at. We forget to pay attention to our own needs and, as a result, neglect to share via social networks some really valuable marketing information. This not only reduces our own self-promotion, it keeps us from engaging with the start-ups and entrepreneurs we adore helping! And it’s pretty hard to stand by our teachings if we’re not following them (that “the cobblers children have no shoes” saying wears thin after a while!)

 

Oh — and we want to be better stewards of our personal health too. After all happy, healthy Spark Rocketeers means better service for our clients!!!

 

So in that vein — our core team had babies. Raw egg babies. (Uhm, as an aside, we are amazed that the first question people ask are if they are raw? I promise, we have NO plans to eat our babies at the end of the experiment. Just sayin’.) Two of them. Each. And each baby has a series of “feeding times” and we have to keep them with us at all times as a physical reminder that taking care of ourselves is important.

Social Marketing Progress: How are the babies?

Thus far, in three days of our social marketing experiment, no one has killed cracked their baby. So that’s good. And at “feeding time” we have done things like:

  • Written several blogs
  • Updated our social accounts
  • Done training in new social media best practices and analytics management
  • Added a REALLY NEAT software script to our Twitter account to boost engagement!
  • Cleaned up our emails
  • Practiced self-care: stopped to mediate for ten minutes, drink an extra bottle of water, chat with co-working office members (who are really enjoying seeing how this experiment is going!) or take a walk around

So, we’ll let you know how on this blog and via our social channels how things go (of course, if we don’t — you’ll pretty much know the results!).

 

Meanwhile — wish us luck with our babies. Feel free to ask us YOUR questions about them (and tell us they are the cutest raw egg babies you have ever seen), and feel free to share what crazy practices YOU use at your office to stay on top of “entrepreneurial self care.”

 

Happy entrepreneurial technology marketing from the gang at Mission Command!

 

 

ROCKET-FUELED READ: Online is nothing without offline

We believe that in B2B marketing, elements of offline marketing like corporate social responsibility, speaking engagements, events, promotional items and even old-fashioned direct mail give your online campaigns depth, soul & dimension. We call it integrated marketing, meaning that each campaign we craft strategically taps the right mix of channels. We think offline and online , not just relying on digital!

We think this read from Clair Jones at Relevance, who says:

“In a perfect marketing world, online and offline marketing should work hand in hand, each driving traffic to the other symbiotically.”

does a great job showcasing campaigns from companies who garner specific benefits using offline marketing tactics. We couldn’t have said it better, so we won’t try!

Enjoy!

 

A toast to resolutions!

It seems to have become fashionable to eschew resolution-making. Provocative headlines citing studies of how often resolutions fail are filling my Facebook feed.

But we’d like to raise a toast to resolutions! (BTW- we’ll admit it’s a slightly self-serving toast — it seems that greater temperance in one form or another is a collective resolution for 2016 among Spark Rocket’s team and clients, so we have to get in all the martini toasts we can, NOW!)

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