BullHorn Media: A Glance at an Integrated Marketing Communications Plan

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Note: The following company analysis and blog post example is taken from an Integrated Marketing Communications plan, created for BullHorn Media, as a graduate level project.

Company Analysis

Evaluation

BullHorn Media is a spinoff company from Pro One Video, owned and operated by Mark and Lisa LeGrand out of Orlando. Mark and Lisa have an extensive professional videography background, having been in video production since 1993 and starting with small wedding videography. They have recently begun to work with larger corporate clients and, as a result, created BullHorn Media, so the two types of clients could better be differentiated.

The target audience for BullHorn Media would be corporate clients, small or large, looking for a video production company for either short term or long term needs. Clients do not necessarily need to live in the Orlando area, as they could be travelling in for a trade expo, convention, etc.

Steven Jolly, owner of SRJ Marketing Communications, explains the importance of an Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) strategy with 6 important steps to keep in mind (detailed further in Steven’s article):

content 1

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Blog Post

The following is suggested blog content to be used in the 4th quarter of 2014 – to promote the BullHorn Media tag-line, “Amplify”:

Amplify Your Brand

Exactly how beneficial is it to amplify your image with quality videos that engage your viewers or consumers? Maybe we’re biased, but check the facts:

Forbes revealed that 75% of business executives watch business-related videos each week, and of those, 50% went on to make a purchase for their business, after viewing.

Whether you are looking for high-quality video to capture a corporate event or are a small non-profit organization in need of a professional video to enhance your mission, video can speak volumes to help your organization amplify their message.

Video can capture an audience and keep their interest, if captured in the right way. Because of this, it is important to consider a few things before meeting with your videographer:

  1. What is the purpose of your video? Consider your audience, whether it be internal employees or consumers.
  2. What message are you trying to send? Perhaps your organization is celebrating its 50th anniversary at their annual nation-wide convention – this would be reason to celebrate! Alternatively, your non-profit organization could be in need of an inspirational message, providing a mission in the Orlando community – this might be a more serious mood, as a call to action for viewers.
  3. Get more for your money: maybe your organization could use video footage to make two separate videos that have different purposes. Talk with your videographer about ideas and plans for each so that accurate footage is captured.

These are just a few items to begin thinking about, before discussing your organization’s video needs with a videographer (although they will be prepared with all of these questions for you, as well).

Amplify your image by providing your viewers with captivating videos. Establish a long-term relationship with your videographer in order to consistently promote the same message and professional style.

We maintain a long-time relationship with The Florida Nursery Growers and Landscape Association (FNGLA) and, as a result, consistently provide fresh video content for publishing across FNGLA’s multiple social media channels and website. Check out our recap of the 2014 (FNGLA) Landscape Show:

Tags for blog post: Amplify, Videography, Corporate Image, Event, Videographer, Non-Profit, Video Production, Orlando, Florida, Brand

 

 

Reputation Management: No More Misconceptions

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There has been a misconception that companies should ignore negative feedback or reviews that are posted online and doing so will make it “go away”.  If companies still believe this today, their naivete will soon get the best of them…

While responding to both positive and negative feedback is important, negative feedback will often provide the best learning opportunities for your organization – especially if there are a large number of them…(it might then be time to re-evaluate some areas of your organization.) It has been said that unhappy customers are much more likely to write a review than happy customers.

From our lecture this week, and a few supplemental articles I have read recently, I’ve created a list of a few items to take into consideration, when crafting your response to unhappy customers:

1. Cool your lid – No matter your role in the organization, you have played an important part in its success and, therefore, might get upset by some particularly catty reviews. Take this time to step away and cool off.

2. Take a walk in their shoes – Consider the customer…something about your organization has let them down; but they do care enough to let you know so that this may be improved upon in the future.

3. Be Empathetic – Try to understand where the customer is coming from: they have most likely spent time and money with your organization, and deserve a positive, understanding response.

4. Act Promptly: Respond to negative feedback quickly. This will show customers that you truly care to make things right, and not responding can quickly turn into additional negative reviews.

5. Make a Plan: Let the customer know that there is a definite plan to make things right. Suggest that you swap information in a private message or email, to reach the customer for resolving the issue(s).

The following are two examples that have been provided for us to answer as if we are Social Media Managers of the Hyatt and Hilton hotel brands.

*Disclaimer: The following sample reviews and responses are for educational purposes only, and do not reflect the actual hotel brands.

 

Review #1: Posted on TripAdvisor for Hilton

Hilton-example-2014

On July 3, 2014 Hilton Ft. Lauderdale wrote: 

“Hi luv2travelwithhubby,

We are truly sorry for the incidences during your recent experience with us. What you have described about our housekeeping services does not fit our customer service model we strive to maintain everyday, and we apologize for not meeting the high standards that Hilton properties holds themselves to.

We would like an opportunity to have you stay with us again. (We’ve replaced the metal keypad with rubberized keys per your feedback, so no more burned fingers!) Please contact me directly so that we can begin to correct these issues for you.

Paige Laurie
Social Media Manager, Hilton Ft. Lauderdale
954-555-5555″

Review #2: Posted on TripAdvisor for Hyatt

Hyatt-example2014

On July 5, 2014 Hyatt Regency wrote: 

“Hi Travelwith3kiddos,

We are pleased to hear you enjoyed your recent stay with us. Our new pool area was an exciting addition, so we are glad to hear you and your children enjoyed it! It is our goal to offer a relaxing stay for both business trips and family fun.

We apologize for the additional wait at Fiorenzo, and suggest checking out the The Bar at Fiorenzo during your next stay for a full drink and food menu if there happens to be a wait. We understand that transportation can be costly, especially if taking a family to and from Orlando’s wonderful theme parks. Check out our transportation options here: maybe the I-Ride Trolley would be a cost-efficient alternative during your next stay.

Thanks again for your feedback, and we look forward to accommodating you and your family again soon!

Paige Laurie
Social Media Manager, Hyatt Regency
407-444-4444″

An Email from a Budding Social Media Professional: My Personal, City-Driven “Brand”

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My assignment this week is to create an email blast that promotes my personal “brand.” This intimidated me, at first. I’ve been so consumed with work, school, and moving to a new apartment lately that I had briefly forgotten where my passions lie. But after some self-reflection and thinking, “What are my passions…what describes me?”, it quickly came back to me. I’ll let my email blast do the rest of the talking…   Where I Come From “(We Don’t) Bluff City”…”Home of the Blues”…”The 901”…”M-town”…however you want to call it, Memphians can’t help but show pride in the city that’s on the rise. What if you had asked us about 8 years ago? We probably would have rattled off a lackluster list of those famous tourist destinations that everyone knows about (but many Memphians haven’t even been). Yes, we had pride (and we always have soul), but we lacked spirit, gumption, and the passion that we show so strongly now. Holly says it best in her I Love Memphis blog article, but the pride and energy that Memphis radiates can’t help but be contagious. Being born and raised in Memphis has instilled in me a love for the city’s neighborhoods and that sense of community feeling you can’t quite replicate anywhere else. After moving away for work last year, I’ve been fortunate to see how a larger city “lives,” and compare it to the city I know so well. Naturally, I was looking for that sense of community and comfort that Memphis boasts. It wasn’t quite the same. This has reassured me of my passion: creating or increasing a sense of community through lifestyle blogs and publications. So Why Does It Matter? We live in a world where we can get almost any kind of information we need, fast. We can just whip out our smartphones, which are probably already glued in our hands anyway, and search away. So many of us have our daily routines that we hardly stray from, but we still need that gentle reminder to just Live. Local living is extremely important to me: whether it be supporting local farmers and artisans at the Farmer’s Market, local entrepreneurs when dining out, or volunteering in park beautification efforts. I constantly make an effort to “live local”. These videos, from Choose901TV and SAM: Socially Advanced Marketing, show a glimpse into how others are living local in Memphis: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lz5CfT3yUBc http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HypxuXTCPCA

I created the video below from my experience as Memphis’ first Dishcrawl Ambassador. Dishcrawl is a startup company out of California where Ambassadors plan food tour events and market them via social media to local foodies (Think: Pubcrawl, but with food.) To learn more about Dishcrawl, check out their website and the Dishcrawl Memphis Facebook page.

Blog Study: Kevin and Amanda

KevinandAmanda
Type of blog: Semi-Professional

KevinandAmanda was a blog started about ten years ago, when a newlywed woman was given a website domain as a birthday gift from her husband. What started out as a scrapbooking and new homeowner tip blog has gradually turned into the ultimate lifestyle blog with big brand giveaways, free fonts, and recipe testing posts. Her website is like Disney for the creative and food-oriented, woman. In 2008, Amanda posted a survey, asking where her readers came from: she was surprised to find that in only 4 months, her number of readers had doubled. At that point, Amanda’s blog began to receive much more attention. Today, Amanda’s full time job is to travel to Blogging conventions; go on brand-sponsored trips to lavish destinations like Italy, Sweden, and Los Angeles; and review free products with fancy giveaways for her readers…it’s pretty safe to say she has most women’s dream job!

Like many lifestyle blogs, Amanda brings in a certain quirky personality that is easy for her audience to relate to. While she is not advertising anything directly, she does an excellent job with her product reviews, and therefore confirms many brand’s decisions to give her free items to review. But what makes her unique, in my opinion, is her “Fonts for Peas” section within her blog’s site. I stumbled upon this section of her blog about 5 years ago (I must admit: I’m a bit of a font nerd), and have had it bookmarked on my laptops ever since. Readers can send in their handwriting style to Amanda, and she turns them into digital fonts for her readers to download: all for free.

AMANDA fonts for peas 2

AMANDA fonts for peas

KevinandAmanda promotes her personal brand through her various blog posts on photography tutorials, home improvement, organization, travel tips, recipe reviews, and home/kitchen product reviews. Not only does she provide interesting content regularly, she also has a great eye for photography, and includes gorgeous pictures with each post.

While many readers are regular subscribers to her blog, Amanda reaches new readers based on her social media platforms. She utilizes Pinterest heavily to post pictures of recipes, photography tutorials she has made in the past, etc. Her various social media platforms (see Facebook below) contain interesting images to draw readers to click through to read more. (Plus, ensuring that her site remains in the first spot on Google definitely helps)

amanda facebook

Per our Lecture notes: “What Makes a Successful Blog”, Amanda encompasses all of the following components of a successful blog:
New posts are published daily, and sometimes multiple times per day.
Amanda is an active Twitter user, and accurately utilizes hashtags to direct readers to her blog.
Readers can contact KevinandAmanda in various ways:
amanda social media

Amanda creates original content that is not specific to one category of interests: her passion for cooking, photogtraphy, travel and her two cute Boston Terriers transfers very easily into her posts.

In my opinion, Amanda’s website is not missing anything. It contains interesting content, a search feature, archives of old posts, contact information, a detailed “About” section, and more. The one suggestion I would make is to create a simpler homepage – I can get distracted so easily, especially on a website of interest to me. At first glance, there are so many pictures and links to previous posts that I miss the reason I came to her website in the first place. On the contrary, this could be her intention to lengthen reader’s time on her blog. Regardless, it results in an overwhelming first impression for readers like me.

Advertisements on Kevin and Amanda are targeted ads, all based on my recent website usage: Moosejaw, University of Florida, Amazon.com. A few home improvement products are also advertised in the smaller real-estate at the bottom of the website.

 

 

Blog Study: “Whole Story” (Whole Foods)

Whole Story

Type of Blog: Professional

“Whole Story” is Whole Foods’ healthy eating blog, staffed by a team of Whole Foods writers, and contains recipes, healthy-eating tips, and interesting behind-the-scenes information about Whole Foods products. Its purpose is to engage their customers and potential customers through engaging content to better their health and daily life.

whole story about

Whole Foods prides themselves on being GMO free, and promotes a natural, healthy lifestyle by providing local, organic products. Whole Story solidifies these beliefs by stimulating conversation from readers about their healthy-eating lifestyles. What makes Whole Story unique is its variety of content. Post subjects range from wine tastings and DIY body mist to healthy lunch ideas for your child’s summer camp. Whole Foods does an excellent job of maintaining a balance of store-related product promotional content with content that is merely published as interesting and helpful for their consumers.

whole story hack your grill

Some posts even share others’ blogs for additional lifestyle tips, outside of their direct knowledge:

whole story outside blogger

When first navigating to the Whole Foods website (which appears at the top of search engines), the Whole Story Blog is conveniently located in an easy to see spot on the left-hand side. This is a great pull technique to bring curious readers to the blog postings. Whole Foods’ active presence on social media platforms also directs additional consumers to their blog by posting enticing pictures and teasers on their various platforms. At the same time, consumers who may have reached their blog first are subtly encouraged to engage with Whole Foods via social media by the buttons at the bottom of the blog.

whole story social media

In my opinion, Whole Foods is extremely successful with their blog. They actively post relevant and interesting content and engage their audience outside of their blog via multiple social media platforms and email subscriptions.

Rightfully so, Whole Story was named one of the Top 5 Brand Blogs – from their beautiful visuals to well-written content, I do not believe anything is missing from this blog.

There are currently no advertisers on the Whole Story blog. If advertisers were to be included, I would think Whole Foods would choose to add their own, such as their in-house brand “365”. Other relevant advertisers would be for local children’s activities or museums, parks, etc.

Blog Study: ASPCA

ASPCA

Type of Blog: Professional

The ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals) blog exists to inform the public of news regarding the safety and health of animals in America, and how readers can take a stand and help the organization fight animal cruelty. It acts as a supporting voice to the website, and to elaborate on their current efforts or spotlight other local organizations’ efforts. What I enjoy about this blog is that it also includes the positive efforts being made in communities to help suffering animals. For many, this is a tough subject to read about, as many Americans have a soft spot in their hearts for helpless animals being neglected. However, one can only take so much negativity – this is why it is so important for the ASPCA blog and others similar to post uplifting and positive news, as well (of which the ASPCA does an excellent job)

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While the blog does not appear in the first page of search engine results, it does appear at the top of the ASPCA main website. In addition to this, the ASCPA heavily uses their social media platforms to promote their blog posts with an interesting subject line and image with a link to the blog.

aspca main homepage

aspca tweet blog

While it can sometimes be difficult for a non-profit, ASPCA is successful with their blog. The amount of relevant content that is posted receives responses and shares from their audience. They have a passionate and unique audience due to their “brand”/service that they provide, so it could be difficult to grow their audience. However, the ASPCA is not hindered by this. They provide uplifting stories of real community efforts to remove animals from their neglectful situations and place them into animal sanctuaries or, even better, new homes. This can generate a lot of shares across their heavily-used social media platforms, thus returning more readers to their blog.

While I believe nothing is missing from the ASPCA’s blog, I do want to note one thing that I found was different from my the two blogs featured below: each post has its own social media link buttons – no matter where the reader is on the website, the links to the ASPCA’s Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and email are all within eyesight at any time.

The ASPCA’s blog does not display any advertisers, and rightfully so. For an organization that solely relies on donations and fundraisers, advertisers could take away from their sole focus.

Moosejaw: Continuing the Madness

After further analyzing Moosejaw’s website and various social media platforms, I found that they use both push and pull marketing techniques, but could stand to use more.

On the Moosejaw website, push and pull techniques are used in various ways. A Live Chat window pops-up (push) as you browse their products, asking if you have questions or need help finding something. A carousel of coupon deals (push) rotates on the home page, offering special deals and free shipping on orders over $49. Moosejaw seems to have multiple deals going on at any given time, and will offer buy one get one free (push) on certain Moosejaw brand items, as well. After browsing their site, I added an item to my cart. They provided a link to a YouTube video, with a product review by the the Moosejaw staff (pull) as well as customer reviews (pull). After leaving the website with an unpurchased item in my cart, I received an email the following day urging me to go back to their website to complete my purchase (push).

moosejaw push pull email cart

Knowing that Twitter is mainly a large pull technique in and of itself, Moosejaw does very little to “push” consumers to their website via Twitter. Su Butcher explains the pull marketing technique within Twitter: “With apparent ease you can go and find people who are talking about the things you want to talk about, listen in, and then join in when you’re ready. In that way it is similar to a huge cocktail party, happening 24/7, all around the clock, all around the world.” In the past few weeks that I have been following them, I have not received direct messages or tweets, and have not seen the Moosejaw twitter account actively reaching out to their followers to purchase items. They simply engage in everyday, usually humorous, conversations with them or discuss related outdoor events going on in their surrounding community.

moosejaw push pull twitter 2moosejaw push pull twitter

Moosejaw’s Facebook is used in a similar method to Twitter (mainly pull techniques), where the company engages their fans/followers through their humorous posts, pictures, and videos. The deals and coupons that appear on the company’s main page are also posted periodically on their Facebook account. The Moosejaw Pinterest account shows product images, with hashtags and links to their website (pull). I noticed that many of the Moosejaw employees have their own Pinterest board on the account, with the freedom to pin and post their interests and likes, as it relates to outdoor equipment – therefore, creating relatable personalities behind the brand (pull).

Fresh content seems to be posted periodically. It appears that Moosejaw posts on their social media platforms about once or twice a day, and posts similar content across all platforms. For example, if they are offering a special deal, the consumer might see it posted in various ways, across all platforms. (See example images below)

moosejaw tent promo 3moosejaw tent promo 2moosejaw tent promo 1

Moosejaw does have fresh content on their blog, however it is hidden in their website, making it difficult to find. In addition to linking their blog from their main website home page and advertising new posts on social media platforms, I believe Moosejaw could still develop more fresh content to engage additional customers, and grow their audience (most of their posts are promotions or cater to a specific age, thus hindering chances of expanding to an audience outside of this realm). According to Ian Mills, Co-founder and CEO of Magicdust, “Think about what your customers are interested in. While current events or popular TV shows may seem off topic to your business, social media is a great way to show your customers that you are in touch with their interests.”

Just recently, I took a survey from Moosejaw (to earn $10 off an online purchase), with questions pertaining to the effectiveness of their mobile site. When accessing the Moosejaw website from a mobile device, it appeared to be a simple and clean page, with many of the traditional webite’s features taken out of it. It has an easy to navigate appearance, with the ability to call headquarters, create a live-chat with someone, shop & view your cart, etc. The main page of the mobile site, like the website, has social media link/share buttons across the bottom of the page. They could take this one step further, and provide a “Share” button after purchase, to urge consumers to share their new purchase with their friends.

As mentioned above, Moosejaw should not bury their blog in the “Moosejaw Madness” section of their website, especially since this has fresh content that viewers will probably not have seen on their various social media platforms. I would recommend that they add a “Share” button to the end of the purchasing process, allowing customers the opportunity to share and promote their new purchase with their friends on social media. Another recommendation would be to move the “Top Searches” function to the top of the webpage. It is currently at the bottom of the webpage in small print (making it very difficult to find). Even though the brand contains a search bar at the top of the page, this “Top Searches” feature could help those consumers who are not sure of what they want, and are looking to narrow their browsing a bit more.

moosejaw top searches

Our lecture mentioned that it was good practice to provide a live feed of Facebook from the brand’s website. Moosejaw currently has button links, urging you to follow or “Like” them, and a Twitter feed but should consider adding a Facebook feed to their website. Last, I recommend that their website be more compatible with all devices: many of their promotional images were not displayed as vector images, therefore making for blurry or grainy images.

Overall, Moosejaw maintains their brand ‘s image well, especially with being on the smaller scale, in regards to outdoor equipment companies. Not only do they offer great deals on outdoor equipment, they manage to successfully sell their own line of outdoor gear, and have some fun with their advertising, while at it. They have maintained a special following of outdoor enthusiasts who engage with them on social media, and are pleased to see real people behind the brand.

Butcher, S. (2010, May31). Using Pull Marketing on Twitter (and how Push marketing won’t work). . Retrieved June 7, 2014, from http://www.justprofessionals.net/2010/05/using-pull-marketing-on-twitter-and-how-pull-marketing-wont-work/

Mills, I. (2014, June 3). 5 Social Media Marketing Tips for Your E-commerce Website. . Retrieved June 7, 2014, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ian-mills/5-social-media-marketing-_b_5416086.html