Tags: Business

Marketing Symposium Series: Marketing and Communications Planning

Posted 06.08.16 by Miranda

Another Wednesday in Downtown Tempe = another insightful Marketing Symposium from one of the best in the biz. Last week's topic -- Marketing and Communications Planning. Not gonna lie...I've missed a few of the Marketing Symposiums for various reasons, but I knew this was one I absolutely had to attend because this is my job, all day every day! The presenter was Jenn Maggiore with Red Balloon, who I had previously met on a video project with Bright Brothers

First, we went over some of the marketing basics:

  • Know Your Audience - If there's one thing that's been reiterated throughout the series by various speakers, it's that you have to know WHO your audience is and WHY they make the decisions they do. In other words, what motivates them -- is it having the best products, getting a discount, or buying local? These might seem insignificant, but they're really the foundation for all things marketing. 
  • Know Your Value - If we aren't providing content that's valuable, what's the point? We should be aiming to provide valuable content that is either informative or entertaining to our desired audiences. Check out redballooninc.com's Facebook page for instance -- Jenn and her colleagues get paid to provide marketing services to their clients, but also make it a point to share useful marketing tips and insights on their social media profiles that will be valuable for anyone interested in that type of content. 
  • Know Your Offer - Sometimes we might need to develop special offers. Offers can range from being price leaders, to referral incentives, other special incentives, and much more. Whatever your offer is, know it and utilize it in your marketing efforts. 
  • Know Where to Be - This is super important and often overlooked. A lot of companies think that they need to be everywhere -- on television, in magazines, on every social media platform and even on the radio. Your audience will largely determine where you should use your marketing resources. If you are trying to sell a product to men and women that are 65+ years in age, it probably doesn't make sense for your company to have an Instagram or Snapchat account. Are you with me? 

Now for the meat and potatoes of the class -- the PROCESS! It goes a little something like this:

1. Differentiate - I loved the way Jenn described the concept on content marketing as a pull, not a push. We are essentially trying to influence a customer's behavior and can do this by collecting and/or creating content that is interesting, informative or entertaining...NOT trying to sell something by shoving it down throats. It's 2016 and we don't have time or tolerance for that! *insert side eye emoji here*

2. Plan - For those small business owners and entrepreneurs who are posting social media content on a daily basis, what's your planning look like...or do you even have time to plan? Jenn went through how she plans for her clients on a monthly basis. Her editorial calendar blew my mind. Even though we use one here with our @DowntownTempe social media profiles, it can always be improved. Her editorial calendar went beyond social content and included marketing objectives, emails and events, and used different tabs for each of the different platforms...brilliant! And guess what...she shared the editorial calendar with us...as in sent us a file with the template. Boom! If you're interested and think you could use something like this, just shoot me an email

3. Develop - If you don't already use a social media post planner, I highly recommend it. It works wonders for us because we can always see what will be and what has been posted without ever logging on to our social accounts (not that I recommend that), but you get the point. It's also super simple for multiple people to create and schedule content and make quick edits. BTW, Jenn let us know that the easiest thing to do when creating content for multiple platforms is to develop the content for Facebook and then adjust it for other platforms, and that we should try to avoid the whole posting to Instagram and pushing that through to both Facebook, Twitter, etc. 

4. Schedule - 2 words, Hootsuite or Sprout...that is all. 

5. Refine - We can always tweak things to make our social media better and more effective for our overall marketing objectives, but we've got to tune into the reporting and really take a look at our metrics -- are we gaining followers, reaching our desired audiences and producing engaging content? The numbers don't lie, so start paying attention and tracking -- we're actually beginning to work on this ourselves. 

Some other random notes I jotted down:

  • It's ok to butt into conversations on Twitter, but don't be a Facebook troll.
  • We should always "Like" or acknowledge comments in some way.
  • We should read "Hug Your Haters" by Jay Bear. 
  • We should know what's going on in the news and how our content may or may not be related.

Shout out to APS for making this Marketing Symposium Series possible -- #ThanksAPS. And a huge THANK YOU to Jenn Maggiore for a super informative and inspiring class. I'll leave you with some words of wisdom from Jenn's class -- "you're only as good as your last tweet".

We hope you check out the remainder of the classes in the series and find yourself interested enough to attend one or a few. Meeting small business owners, entrepreneurs and other professionals that are all trying to achieve the same goals is not only fun, but it gives us a chance to expand our networks and make connections that we might not otherwise make. Hope to see you soon! 

Check out future classes HERE