We believe in getting things right. The first time.
And – what we seek to get right that first time matters more than just about anything else. Like what’s really important.
Really important like…
Creating a product or a service you are truly proud of
Addressing a workable business plan that meets a real need
Hiring a team that cares about the dream and the details
Building shrewd creative marketing around your business model that will speak to your mission and your audience
About that last bullet point…
FocalPoint creates marketing strategy with an end point in mind. The tag line won’t simply be ‘catchy.’ It will support that business plan you lost sleep over.
We understand that there will be endless details to get right before you launch your web site and your social media plan. That’s the ground point where we work best together. Before you have something that you’re truly proud of. That’s an ideal place for us to be. So together we can create, double check, test, and launch with more than just a hunch.
We want to get things launched right— right alongside you and your team. Greeting success together after hard work ironing out what’s most important.
Your competitor is not your enemy. He’s an educational opportunity just waiting to broaden your horizons.
Chances are great that your competitors do all kinds of things you can learn from. If your competitor frequently hires staff out from under you, for example, find out why. What benefits do they offer that you don’t? Ditto for the people that you’ve tried to hire away from them. Ask why they chose to stay, even if you offered them more.
What does your competition do they do better than you? And how do they get it right?
How and where do they market their services?
What are the best decisions your competitor or your predecessor made recently?
What do they do or make that you could produce better?
It’s always a good idea to pay attention to your competition in an open minded way. It’s easy to get in a rut with insider thinking. Looking at the way your competition does things can unlock new ways of thinking and open doors to biases you didn’t even know you had.
Steve Jobs was famous for entrepreneurial marketing. He created gadgets we didn’t even know we needed, and then marketed them so effectively, we knew we craved whatever he blessed – asap.
At FocalPoint, we’re quick to give Jobs his due, but we also appreciate that he’s not the only one to market entrepreneurially. There are many great examples of reading the marketplace correctly and capturing consumers’ attention, from hot movie franchises to new cars, popular political slogans to toy manufacturers.
According to Adrian Slywotzky, author of Demand: Creating What People Love Before they Know they Want it, “Demand creators figure out how to solve the big and little hassles we all face.” They tell a story about how their product will make our days more convenient, more productive and more fun. Then, they market that hassle-relief instead of the product itself.
It’s a great strategy, but not a new one. That theory used to be called “selling the sizzle, not the steak.” And it’s still a very effective way to market new products and new ideas because it relies on human emotion.
But it’s not always the first entrepreneur that succeeds in a big way. It’s the first to market to the emotional business or marketplace. Effective entrepreneurs and marketers have the uncanny ability to turn “fence-sitters” into customers by correctly pinpointing and marketing to buying triggers.
How can we help you use this marketing philosophy to help you with your business?
How important is building and maintaining solid connections with your customers and the people you work with?
Both are invaluable, according to Michael Ray Hopkin, popular blogger and author of Lead on Purpose.
Hopkin believes that to be a truly effective manager or company president and attract and keep clients, you need to continuously improve your business relationships with your employees and your clients.
Here are three ways to do this:
Let others talk more than you do. Pay attention to what they’re saying.
Appreciate what your clients and your employees do. Take the time to understand where they are truly coming from.
Be quick to give credit to others for their successes. Celebrate achievements of your employees and delight in the accomplishments of your customers.
At FocalPoint, we agree, and put this goal into daily practice. We have seen that if you do this every day and make it a priority, you’ll learn about what inspires and motivates your employees. That will make you a better manager (and will keep employee morale strong).
Additionally, listening, understanding and acknowledging what your customers are saying, how they are reacting to your company, and what is really important to them – will put you in position to provide the services they really need in a way they will appreciate. And that translates into increased sales and customer dedication.
FocalPoint asks: What are you doing to build effective, solid relationships inside and out of your workplace? Got a great example? We’d love to hear about it.
Networking or word of mouth is still among the most powerful things you can do to expand your sphere of influence, increase your base of potential clients, and grow your business.
This is why at FocalPoint, we encourage networking. Our best tip? Ask the most influential friends and powerful business associates you know to introduce you to the people they think you should get to know to expand your business. Be sure you ask for a warm introduction – a shared business card followed up with an email to both you and the new contact.
I know what you’re thinking. People often agree to network with one another and don’t follow up. It happens to me as well. So make sure you agree to do network for them first. Then do it. Chances are good you will receive the same treatment in return.
Then what? Reach out. Get to know them those contacts. Emails are great for that first introduction. But a 30 minute coffee first thing in the morning is even better. Especially if you buy. Talk about your company and what makes it tick. Tell them what your perfect client looks like. And your next product launch. The best thing you can do is ask for their advice. People love to offer advice. They feel good offering it and you build a bond. You’ll now have a new contact who is going to look out for you and send new business your way. And maybe provide you with a new business idea or two you hadn’t considered.
Someone ultimately knows someone that can help you out and even better, will want to.
Networking. The incredibly powerful, original marketing tool that still works wonders. It’s personal. It’s effective. And the best part? Other than your time, it’s free.
If you’re still marketing your message the same way you always have, chances are good you’re missing out on motivating top potential customers, the Millennials. This is true even if you are taking advantage of new social media forms of communication. You need to make sure you are using them in a way that aligns with how Millennials think and behave.
The young adult generation born between 1980 and 2000, Millennials are rapidly increasing their spendable income. Along with Gen-Xers, they are the future – and they need to be communicated with in a way that resonates well with them.
A marketing message that speaks to the older generation is going to come off tired and boring to Millennials. That said, some marketing truths are still solid. These truths include telling a compelling story and offering an appealing, honest and humorous take on your product or service. Allow me to offer up 6 quick things to think about before planning your next online marketing campaign…
6 Things To Consider Before Spending Your Next Marketing Dollar
Boredom is the kiss of death. Millennials thrive on edgy.
They are multi-taskers, used to balancing many activities. They look for flexibility in hours, products and usage.
Millennials crave individuality and identity. They want to be heard and understood. When you provide a micro-narratives (small unique stories that rely on human experience) rather than meta-narratives (generalizations), you picque their interest.
They research, absorb and analyze new information far more quickly than Boomers.
They love humor in unexpected places (including at your expense).
They want to give back and will seek out organizations that do the same.
That’s asking a lot of your marketing. But the good news is that in today’s market, you can put smaller, more individualized marketing programs together in a variety of different places to target the Millennial market. That’s where we come into the picture.
Focal Point Understands Millennial Marketing
At Focal Point, we know Millennials will research the organizations that interest them. We can help you build a solid online presence in a variety of mediums. We’ll make sure you are found in the right places with the right message.
Once you’re found, you will need to be memorable. So, we’ll help create a brand identity that will look good on small screens like cell phones and large screens like High def TV in interesting colors that say something subtle or brash about what you are all about. (Tall order, we know.)
We also consider using humor because it works so well with the Millennial crowd. That is, provided it is self-effacing, or sly, or edgy or pokes fun at something they can relate to.
Lastly, we’ll show you how to talk about your flexibility in a way that is approachable. And share what you’re doing in the community, too. Millennials are not as selfish as advertised. They get that giving back thing. Big time.
If you ask me, this is a great time of year to be a marketer. The countdown to the Super Bowl XLIX is in full swing. The best of the best are getting ready to showcase their talent on the field. And the best of the best in the marketing industry are ready to see what they can do off the field. It’s one of those rare times when it seems the whole world is actually paying attention to commercials and marketing campaigns in general. This means it’s the perfect opportunity for digital marketers and small business owners to take note of the strategies used by the big boys and taking note of how people react.
Today, I’m here to give you a break from all this #Deflategate chatter (we all need it) to share some of my favorite Super Bowl commercials from previous years and offer some Marketing 101 reminders that we often overlook. So without further ado, let’s stop talking about air pressure in footballs and start looking at some fun commercials…
Original Budweiser Frogs Commercial
We have to go all the way back to 1995 for this commercial, yet I still remember it like it was yesterday. This ad is great because it is incredibly simple. Three frogs sounding out Bud-weis-er and that’s it. As marketers we often times try to say too much when something as simple as this will do the trick. There’s nothing about how great Budweiser beer tastes. Heck, you don’t even see the Budwesier logo until the end. But the goal of name recognition and branding is absolutely achieved.
The Force: Volkswagen Commercial
Kids, pets, cool parents and Star Wars come together for a funny commercial. What’s not to love about this one? The use of the Star Wars music is perfect. The whole concept of using the Force and capturing imagination is something every kid and parent can relate to. By the end of the commercial, not much even needs to be said about the Volkswagen 2012 Passat because the audience has been captured and the message is clear.
Pepsi- Coke Guy Caught on Camera
How about this gem from Pepsi back in 1996? The Coke guy is restocking some cans and can’t help but reach for a Pepsi in the cooler next to him. Next thing you know Pepsi cans fall all over the floor and he’s caught. It’s an ad that includes a direct competitor but does so without any words and in a humorous way. This one still makes me chuckle nearly 20 years later.
Just watching the game, having a Bud. One thing is for sure, Budweiser puts out some great Super Bowl ads and this one is another classic. Once again, simple, funny and effective. Here there’s some more branding and product placement going on, but in a natural and unforced way.
Doritos Crash The Super Bowl Contest
There have been too many great Super Bowl ads from Doritos throughout the years to pick just one. The main thing to observe here from a marketing strategy standpoint is the way that Doritos empowers its audience through the use of social media to create the Super Bowl commercial and then rely on votes to pick the winner. It’s a brilliant marketing move that has been going on for 8 years now. The winner this year gets 1 million dollars, a job with Universal Studios and gets to see their ad during the Super Bowl. How’s that for some nice incentive! View the 10 finalists and vote here.
Super Bowl Commercials – A Marketing 101 Reminder
In a lot of ways, I feel like Super Bowl commercials remind all marketers of some basic lessons that we often overlook…
It’s less about the product and more about the story
Simple is always better
People just want to be entertained
Babies, pets, & sex sell
If you look at Super Bowl ads as a collective whole, the most memorable ads are incredibly simple. There’s very little, if any dialogue or narration in a lot of them. Many don’t even mention the product until the end and for maybe 1 second. ALL of them are entertaining and most of the time humor is involved. Including babies, animals and sex (if appropriate) in marketing still and always will work (Danica & GoDaddy).
Now, several of the commercials I included above were before the social media age we are living in. The one HUGE THING I would advise to any marketer creating a video/commercial is to think about how that campaign can live beyond just the Super Bowl by creating a new hashtag or encouraging social shares. With social media listening, marketers can now know immediately how an ad is being perceived, react and interact with their customers instantly. That’s something that definitely needs to be used to your advantage.
As of late, I have really been making it a point to focus on the content marketing strategy for my business. Having been in the marketing industry for over 25 years, it only seems natural to begin to share some of my thoughts, opinions and stories via my company blog. You see, for a long time I have been known to my network as the “video guy” and while video production is definitely one of our core services here at Focal Point, there’s so much more to the story. It has always been my passion to build an Digital Marketing Agency that is truly engaged in the success of each client.
Have you ever noticed how some HD video production looks a lot like film? They’ve got a softness or smoothness to them, a different depth of field and well, they’ve just plain got a high-end look.
Digital Cinema is the buzz of this video industry these days. It used to be that clients who wanted the best quality products would turn to film – which is both time-consuming and expensive to shoot, edit and produce. But now, with digital cinema, you can get similar results for a fraction of the cost.
When it comes to video production, there are varying levels of quality – everything from home-grown look to high end and well produced – and now, there’s digital cinema. Digital cinema refers to the use of digital technology to produce high-resolution, cinema quality motion images, but without the use of conventional film.
You may have heard of the HDSLR or the RED cameras – those are a few of the biggies in digital cinema, with marketing materials that include words like “revolutionary” and “game changing.” It’s a whole different approach to video production – some even say it’s the true “high definition” where HDTV is the really “low definition.”
The biggest difference is the depth of field. When shooting with digital cinema, cinematographers have a much greater control over the depth of field – producing images with soft backgrounds like what you’ll see in a movie theatre. It’s all about the sensor. 35mm has a much larger sensor than a standard video camera, and digital cinema utilizes the same size sensor as 35mm film.
The work flow is different, too. Video cameras allows us to zoom in and out, pan left to right and other things. Digital cinema is different in that there’s no zoom. The camera is physically moved either by hand held or using a dolly, jib or steadi-cam to create this effect. Dolly, Jib and Steadi-cam moves help create stylish, cinematic images and add an instant level of class to the production…giving the production that WOW factor. Plus, the audio and video are recorded separately with most digital cinema style cameras. Video is captured by the camera and audio is captured separately, then they’re synced up during the post production process. This allows for better audio quality and more flexibility in capturing sound – for example, the camera can be 50 feet away from a subject and the audio technician is up close to the action to capture the best sound. More flexibility makes for a better end result.
All in all, digital cinema provides clients with another option. It’s not the answer for every scenario – every project and budget is different and many require different approaches. Most quality production companies have a variety of camera packages to meet each client’s own need. Digital cinema is the latest and greatest on the market and is becoming more widely used. Hence, the buzz.