Greg Magnus

AIM Custom Media Websites Blogs Glen Allen, VA 23059

Month: May 2006

The single most important component of marketing?

During the holiday weekend, I participated in a local Sprint Triathlon on Sunday and I also volunteered to help with the kids event on Saturday. I met dozens of people, but two people really made an impression on me. Not only did I remember their names a day after the event, I can also tell you exactly what their companies do. Why do these two people stand out?

Think about the companies you hire repeatedly and the people you refer with enthusiasm. What do they have in common? It’s likely these people love what they do and they are passionate about their product and services. They can’t wait to tell everyone they meet about their company. Any they do.

Monday morning I checked the company websites for the two people I met and I read their marketing materials. Unfortunately, their enthusiasm was totally absent in the company marketing materials and both websites had outdated and stale content. In addition, although both were involved with marketing their companies, there wasn’t any contact information for the individuals on the websites – just bland “contact us” forms delivered to the dreaded black hole email address,

Is this your company? Maintaining a consistent message across platforms and reflecting your passion for your services is a key aspect of marketing in today’s environment. You don’t control where your clients and prospects will go to learn more about you and your company – they have the power to choose. Managing multiple marketing outlets in real-time can be a challenge.

Yes, we can and we want to help you when the need arises. We truly love what we do at We have a passion for custom publishing, communications, and helping our client’s develop and manage marketing plans. We don’t hesitate to tell everyone we meet you can reach us directly by phone at 804-915-7379; and, you’ll get a personal response from an email inquiry: Greg Magnus.

[tags] marketing, enthusiasm, multiple platforms, marketing channels, project management,, eoecho. [/tags]

PS: Hat tip to Robert Middleton for sharing his experience with an enthusiastic condo sales rep while in Mexico.

Great Marketing by Mercedes – Latest Mixed Tape Release

Mercedes-Benz – Mixed Tape Current Release

Another 15 free MP3 files from Mercedes-Benz; great music for those with a high-speed connection. The complete set takes a while to download, but it’s well worth it and you can download individual songs.

Interesting marketing strategy for a car company, but I think it works.

The Demand for Quick Fixes, Something New, and Make It Creative

Our friend and fellow blogger, David Maister, has an interesting post with respect to the demand for quick fixes, something new, and creative marketing solutions. Here’s a few of my thoughts that I added to the conversation.

I think the quest for quick fixes and something new is partially due to a lack of inherent creativity in many companies. They hire marketing managers that look great on paper (i.e., MBA from an impressive school, worked with big name corporations, etc.), but they infrequently look for creative talents and hands-on experience implementing creative ideas. Companies then must fill their “creative void” using outside consultants and contractors; hence, the demand for “something creative.”

More importantly, the instant access to information and the increase in media choices has placed the “consumer” in solid control, not the marketer as in the past. Is it possible that marketing directors want a quick fix to regain control? It won’t happen, persistence still pays.

There are now more opportunities to capture business and the challenge lies in “message management” as I frequently noted in this blog. Given so many channels, marketing departments face a lot more work that requires:

  • A greater focus on operational planning,
  • Coordination of staff in multiple departments (multi-tasking skills), and
  • Better than average project management skills.

I do believe the increase in the number of marketing outlets has shortened the fuse and results can be achieved sooner, but only for those that orchestrate consistent messaging across all marketing channels. And do so persistently.

Here’s the link to David’s post: David Maister > Passion, People and Principles

[tags] Marketing strategy, creative marketing solutions, message management,, eoecho [/tags]

Should You Turn Your Website Into A Blog?

Do you need to call a web developer every time you want to change your website content or add a link? Is your annual website maintenance fees slowly raising month after month? Or worse, you website still says, "Coming Soon." We have a solution for you.

Consider a content management system. Check out Tom Kane's post on his Legal Marketing Blog as a follow-up to my previous post, Blogs Merging With Websites – Imminent?

Here's the link: Legal Marketing Blog: Should You Turn Your Website Into A Blog? Tom adds a few parenthetical comments to the discussion that you may find of interest.

Blog Traffic Tactics – Autoresponders

Go to almost any popular blog and you’ll find an offer to receive more info: e-books, newsletters, white-papers, podcasts, and other creative marketing media. So, what do they all have in common?

They drive traffic and build relationships with your target-audience. I won’t go into the strategies or list all of the benefits since numerous blogs already do, but I did notice a large majority of the best blogs I frequent all use the same delivery, or autoresponder software. So I had to check out why?

It looked good and it was inexpensive, and there weren’t any annoying monthly fees.So I purchased the software.

A side note: if you use email delivery software such as Constant Contact, you should at least take a look at switching. You’ll likely better results. I switched and I’m glad I did.

To learn more about autoresponders, go to the source – the company that developed the software. You can test-drive one of their demos.

Repeat exposure is a proven advertising method. You need to be in front of your client or prospect when the need arises. The use of “autoresponders” is a good way to stay in front of your target audience; it also helps you improve readership numbers and builds stronger relationships with your clients.

I’m producing a series of brief articles on custom publishing (one of the services I offer to my clients). We’ll see how it goes.

Are you using autoresponders? Is it working? If so, please leave a comment so I can visit your blog and check out your offers. Thanks!

[tags] autoresponders, email delivery software, custom publishing, custom magazines, marketing strategy, enewsletter tips,, eoecho [/tags]

Integrated Marketing Leads Mercedes Resurgence

Clients are more frequently interested in the integration of their offline marketing materials (print ads, brochures, handouts, presentations, TV ads, etc.) with online marketing opportunities (email, e-newsletters, websites, blogs, etc.). For good reason:

  • Consumers are using the web in mass numbers,
  • Print materials almost always drive traffic to the web, and
  • Inconsistent messaging across channels results in the loss of business.

Keeping up with real-time integration across marketing channels is challenging marketing departments. Marketing directors know “its not about the media, its the message that matters.” And, the landscape has changed.
Technology has shifted control from the “marketer” to the “consumer.” They have more choices and they are exposed to multiple media. If you message isn’t consistent, your sending mixed signals.

How do large companies use multiple media outlets to spread their message? Here’s an article for your perusal: Integrated Marketing leads Mercedes resurgence.

General Observations This Week
With the proliferation of WOM (word of mouth) marketing techniques, offline/online marketing integration, practically unlimited PR opportunities, and endless requests for corporate communications; channels are overlapping more now than ever. All three have unique aspects and orchestrating consistent content across multiple channels is getting harder and harder to manage on a real-time basis. Is your marketing department keeping up with the demands?

Companies are now eager to contract outside project managers, communication consultants, and publishing consultants to provide that much needed helping hand – the benefits far exceed the costs of adding permanent staff.

Within the past month, I’ve heard a few corporate managers comment on their “competitors” magazine – custom publications used to promote a company, communicate with customers (retention initiatives), and promote the services of non-competing vendors. The next statement is always, “we should do that.” Well, why not?

Custom publications work and they practically pay for themselves when managed by experienced publishers. Their effectiveness is reflected in the growth of custom publishing, which is now a $45 billion industry growing by 15 percent per year. A Roper study commissioned by the Custom Publishing Council concluded that,

Consumers would rather learn about a company from a custom magazine than an ad.

If you need help integrating your marketing or if you are interested in developing a custom magazine, please give me a call: 804-915-7379. In case I forgot to tell you, that’s what I do for a living.

[tags] custom publishing, magazine publisher, integrated marketing, cross-channel,, eoecho [/tags]

Do Online Budgets Now Equal or Exceed Offline Initiatives?

Whether its a local restaurant review, a professional service, or this week’s weather forecast, everyone now turns to the Internet and it’s use has long since exceeded critical mass (see Pew Internet Project, Who’s Online for stats). For business owners and associations, a dynamic online marketing presence is no longer an option – it’s mandatory.

So, how do you manage your online and offline marketing initiatives? Is your webmaster still in your IT department, but spends most of his or her time editing text and basic html code related to marketing? Does your marketing content flow seamlessly from your printed materials onto your website and into your email communications or is it more of an after thought with long time delays?

Online marketing expenditures are growing as fast as the use of the Internet itself and many online budgets now equal or exceed offline initiatives. Marketing managers are spending a significant amount of time managing WOM related marketing tasks, although few have developed a comprehensive strategy, let alone a management plan that includes the company’s webmaster.

Online and offline marketing components need to be interlaced – shared goals, resources, agendas, and content; however, few actually are. Take a quick look at your marketing and website management plans for 2006. Should they be merged into one comprehensive plan?

[tags] Marketing, Management Plans, WOM,, eoecho [/tags]

Top Ten Excuses For Not Evaluating PR and Marketing

Although you rarely encounter resistence for measuring your results in today’s business environment, we still hear the excuses for not doing so. Our friends over at the Intelligent Measurement blog provide their top ten and reasons why the excuses don’t hold up.

intelligent measurement » Top Ten Excuses for not Evaluating

[tags] PR Measurement, public relations, eoecho, [/tags]

Let Go and Thrive in the New World of Customer-to-Customer Conversations

Consumer generated content is slowly being accepted by main stream marketing gurus and I’m finding case studies on blogs more commonly. It took awhile to work the strategies through the halls of the ivory towers, but many are now on the right page. Unfortunately, many marketing managers working at mid-size companies have yet to open the book.

When I discuss these strategies with potential customers I usually lose them after the second or third sentence. And when I hear “we need more new media ideas,” I just cringe. New media is old folks. Today’s reality is a marcomm strategy you need to digest slowly. It requires a variance from the norm that you don’t expect and it takes time to understand the implementation techniques.

It’s probably time for me to write up an article or two outlining the strategy with examples. I’ll see what I can put together during my flight to Chicago. I’ll send it out to my clients and post a summary here on my blog later in the week.

In the interim, if you have a subscription to Advertising Age magazine or their online content, you can read Scott Donaton’s article, How to Thrive in New World of User-Created Content: Let Go. I don’t have a current subscritpion and AdAge tells me, “Greg, the article you have chosen costs 1 credit. You currently have 0 credits in your account.” It is likely you don’t subscribe either so just Google GM and Chevy’s consumer generated ads and you’ll find plenty of free content on the subject.

It is refreshing to read about Chevy’s consumer generated ads and GM’s willingness to air uncomfortable, yet effective, commercials astray of the norm. They get it.

Thanks again to Katie Paine for pointing out the article above.

[tags] Customer-to-customer, marketing strategy, Advertising Age, WOM, User-created, content, word of mouth, eoecho,, Greg Magnus [/tags]

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