Press "Enter" to skip to content

Posts published in “Featured”

This is used to get the article into the hero spot on the homepage

Case Study – Empowerment

Here is a campaign that I am especially proud of. As part of an overall effort to stem a rapid decline in enrollments at Cape Cod Community College, through discovery, we found that that a major obstacle CCCC was facing was a poor reputation among high school graduates. Most community colleges are viewed as a fallback, last resort or “plan B” choice. One of the objectives of our ad campaign was to reposition CCCC as a first choice (plan A) option for those who are seeking a quality education at a great price. In fact, current and prospective students should be proud to choose CCCC as it is was often a very wise choice.

 

Of course, the Cape is shaped like an elbow, and one unique behavior I observed is that people would lift an arm (similar to “making a muscle” action) to represent the Cape and then point to a spot on their arm that would correspond with a location on the Cape when describing where that location was. I had my creative department use that as a visual way to demonstrate a sense of empowerment that students were making a positive and powerful decision to go to CCCC and start their future. I also instructed them to feature a silhouette of the Cape acting as the shadow of the arm in order to help seat the idea that the bent arm was in fact a representation of a map of the Cape. We developed the slogan – “Powerful futures start here” to support the message and serve to prompt the elbow visual with a student pointing to where CCCC would be located on the Cape.

 

What a terrific self-empowerment message and one that was completely unique to residents of the Cape. We carried the campaign through al tactics including radio, web site and online video. We created an “anthemic” video with various students making muscles and pointing as they energetically walk through campus. Even the President of CCCC got into the act and made the gesture.

 

 

Results

The campaign was a great success, helping to galvanize a real sense of pride that was missing from the campus and helped invigorate not only students (boosting retention), but also faculty, administrators, alumni and the local communities. Over the course of the next few years, enrollment did indeed turn around. So all in all, a great experience with CCCC.

Steven Salloway

Steve is a seasoned Brand Strategist and serves a strategic advisory role for many existing agency accounts at Davis Advertising, located in Worcester, MA. From market research, to brand positioning and account planning, he’s recently completed naming projects for Cornerstone Bank and Coastal Heritage Bank, brand positioning projects for Service Credit Union, the Yesway Convenience Store chain and the Wayback Burgers franchise.

Over the past 13 years at Davis Advertising, he was the Account Supervisor on the Charter Communications account – a Fortune 500 company, and has worked on a wide array of brands from the higher education, franchising, business-to-business, telecommunications, healthcare, financial and retail categories.

Having worked at RDW Group and Donovan Group Integrated Marketing, he has an extensive background in marketing, branding, advertising, public relations, and media. While there he managed such notable accounts as Fallon Community Health Plan, UMass Memorial Healthcare, HealthAlliance, HarborONE Bank (formerly Brockton Credit Union/HarborONE Credit Union), Markem, Stratus Computer and Simplex Manufacturing.

Steve holds a Bachelor’s Degree with Individual Concentration in Advertising/PR from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Important Martech Tool – Node-RED – Flow-based programming for the Internet of Things

This is interesting, Node-RED looks easy to use and should give us the ability to do a whole lot of interesting data amalgams that can provide next generation results for our clients. What’s it got to do with MarTech? It provides us an easy, fast way to do data mashups and more.  This will be an important tool in your arsenal.

The basics from their about page:

Node-RED is a flow-based programming tool, original developed by IBM’s Emerging Technology Services team and now a part of the JS Foundation.

Flow-based Programming

Invented by J. Paul Morrison in the 1970s, flow-based programming is a way of describing an application’s behavior as a network of black-boxes, or “nodes” as they are called in Node-RED. Each node has a well-defined purpose; it is given some data, it does something with that data and then it passes that data on. The network is responsible for the flow of data between the nodes.

It is a model that lends itself very well to a visual representation and makes it more accessible to a wider range of users. If someone can break down a problem into discrete steps they can look at a flow and get a sense of what it is doing; without having to understand the individual lines of code within each node.

Okay, this is basically for the gear heads in the audience.  For the rest of you, let me sum it up: this is a simple way to connect data nodes, then do “stuff” with them in new and interesting ways, using a graphical interface.  Hence it obscures much of the code.

Here’s a great video in which they import, store, and “do” stuff with a twitter feed.  Keep in mind, this could be any feed…think Google News, or something special for a client.

This reminds me of a more highly functioning version of the old Yahoo Pipes, which I used for several interesting projects to manipulate content and data.  Also, the whole interface is reminiscent of IBM’s BusDev Server for those how remember it.  Personally, I never really got that running, but that is another story.

The down side here is the new rush to privacy in light of the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica Debacle.  Where we had previously envisioned free flowing information from sites/devices, etc. now there’s a rush to get data sources locked down.  So we may soon find that our toasters won’t be tweeting every time we decide to have a bagel. It also means a whole lot less data for us to work with.

The great news is, it’s open source, so download, set it up on a docker install and see what you can create.  They bill it as “Flow-based programming for the Internet of Things” but I think even that name may be too restrictive.  I can’t wait to hear about the cool things you guys will build with this.

Mark has built an impressive career engineering, managing and owning high volume websites, content management and eCommerce sites.

As Director of Software Development at Lycos Inc. he managed all Domain Sales and ran the WebPub development team, which managed Tripod.com and Angelfire.com,two of the top online publishing platforms in the world. {Prior to that he was  Senior Engineer for Afternic, an online multiple listing service for domain names, which was later sold to Godaddy for serious cash.

He has also worked as Senior Developer for Premium Websites  at NameMedia, Inc., and was previously the Corporate Webmaster for Atex, the primary supplier of software systems for the Newspaper Industry, and been in charge of Technology for Lenovo’s Online Marketing Department.

At NameMedia he built premium websites like Geek.com, cycling.com, hotcars.com, photography.com and more using WordPress as a content management and social networking platform.

He has previously written for the Worcester Telegram and Gazette, and in 2014 published his first novel, Blue Ice.

He started out on the net  in 1995 with Reel-Time, The Internet Journal of Saltwater Flyfishing, which he ran as Managing Editor, which was a combination of Lead/Only Developer and Lead/Only Editor.

Personas: Who Are You?

One of digital marketing’s latest buzzwords is “personas”.  But what are personas, how do you create them and what do they mean for your business?

Let’s take a step back in time, say to the beginning of the 20th century, and look at Webster’s definition of personaIt was (and, still is) “an individual’s social façade…that reflects the role in life the individual is playing; the personality that a person projects in public; also known as image, via a vivid or graphic representation or description”.  

Then, in 1998, Alan Cooper (father of the visual basic programming language) published his book “The Inmates are Running the Asylum and coined the term  “persona” as it applied towards “Goal Directed” computer software design. Rather than looking at real-word software users, he proposed personas, or “characters”, whose goals, rather than their actual tasks, would help generate the best software usage experiences. But, therein lies the rub.  Cooper did not come up with a detailed way to flesh out those personas…so someone else had to!

Fast-forward to 2005 and Hubspot came onto the scene. As the industry leaders in inbound marketing (they invented the term), Hubspot finally came up with some very specific ways to generate personas.  According to Hubspot, Personas are “fictional, generalized characters that encompass the various needs, goals, and observed behavior patterns among your real and potential customers. They help you understand your customers better.”

But in layman’s terms…what do personas really do?

Well, personas are supposed to allow you to market your product or service, all the way down to the individual level, by conducting research based on demographic, geographic, psychographic, and geographic elements.

Does this really differ from target marketing or market segmentation, tactics that have been used in traditional marketing for decades?

Essentially, personas do the same things, but they take “deeper dive” into the individual, by examining search behavior, current job, hobbies, wants and needs.  They also come up with a picture and name for each fictional person created. That used to be called market research!

So, how do you create a Persona?

Start by jotting down what you already know about your customers, existing research that can be gleaned from your sales team, focus groups or surveys. Then monitor their online and social media behavior. What your customers say they want or need may be different that what they really want or need.  Interact with them in real time.  Whether it’s a quick response from your customer service team to a negative Tweet or thanking someone for positive feedback via a Yelp! post, real time interaction is some of the best (and most cost-effective) research you can conduct.

Then create a fictitious version (or versions) of your customer base. Depending on the products or services you sell, you will likely have more than one.  

Start with a name, age, face and body and what they’re wearing. Move on to where they live and what’s in their immediate surroundings.

Do they live in an apartment or house, do they have pets? What kind and how many?

Create their job title, consider their education, figure out if they’re single, if they have kids or if they are trying to have kids; Are they on their second marriage, starting a new career, into fitness or gaming?  

Where do they spend their free time? Is it in the virtual world or the real world? Where do they spend their disposable income? Do they dine out or prefer to cook at home? Do they like to host intimate gatherings or do they prefer going out to bars?

Do they spend money on air travel and hotels or do they prefer local activities and staying with friends? What to they want and what are they willing to do to get what they want?  What are their challenges, problems and concerns? How do they feel about your product or service?

Here’s an example of a persona that could be used for an online dating app or offline Matchmaking service

Persona of Automotive Sales Guru Tara

© Hubspot / Ami B. Cadugan 2018

After you hunt and gather all of this data, you can begin to target your personas when and where they spend most of their time. It could be Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. But they could also be watching HGTV or a listening to a local radio station. Do they watch “The Today Show” in the morning while drinking their coffee, or do they read the news (online or a physical newspaper)? Or is it some combination of all of these?

So many things to think about!  By taking the time to engage in Persona creation, you can strategically direct your marketing budget to the proper channels.  The goal at the end of the day is to generate positive ROI – in whatever sense it applies to you and your company!

A Golden Age Of Marketing

As I assist my agency to migrate from a traditional one-stop-shop over to a viable digital player, I felt it important to commit to paper my take on what is at the heart of digital marketing, what we are trying to achieve with it and how it differs from our “traditional” marketing approach. Traditional marketing was always suppose to start with the target customer, digital appears to start with “data” – however, they are the same thing. Mind you, what follows is by no means new, the ideas have been around for years, but now the technology has developed so far that it is almost getting out of the way of implementation AND most importantly, our clients are finally now asking for this. So, once and for all, I sum up digital marketing like this…

All “digital” is data, and all data is people, so any digital marketing plan should be truly customer centric – which means we must base our marketing strategies, tactics/messaging around understanding our client’s customers as well as around understanding the unique consumer journeys they take when making their purchase decisions. Tactics should affect consumer behavior around certain points along their journeys ad our marketing goals should really be designed to fill gaps along the journey, encourage next steps through it and ultimately make sales (or attain other business goals) by being relevant and engaging. This is accomplished by seeding the purchase path with valuable, personalized content that is enriching, valuable to consumers, and “on-brand”.

Why is this important? Well, for the first time, we have incredible tools at our disposal to truly understand who our client’s customers are. By simply adding a bit of computer code onto our client’s websites, we can identify the actual target segments who are actively interested in learning more or buying their products and services. From this information we can build buyer persona profiles of their customers which we would then use to determine the context of our messages, understand their buyer journeys as well as design appropriate strategies and tactics to reach them. This ability is really a marketer’s dream come true. Once we know who we are trying to reach, we can build lists of actual site visitors, create “look-a-like” lists of potential customers who share their characteristics and even use this information to build custom lists of potential customers. Then we can reach them via targeted emails, ads across Google’s Ad Network of sites and even while they are on Facebook. Best of all, with every interaction these targets have with our client’s web site, landing pages and Facebook pages, we learn more and can modify our messages accordingly – increasing their relevancy and effectiveness.

This is truly a golden age of marketing.

Steven Salloway

Steve is a seasoned Brand Strategist and serves a strategic advisory role for many existing agency accounts at Davis Advertising, located in Worcester, MA. From market research, to brand positioning and account planning, he’s recently completed naming projects for Cornerstone Bank and Coastal Heritage Bank, brand positioning projects for Service Credit Union, the Yesway Convenience Store chain and the Wayback Burgers franchise.

Over the past 13 years at Davis Advertising, he was the Account Supervisor on the Charter Communications account – a Fortune 500 company, and has worked on a wide array of brands from the higher education, franchising, business-to-business, telecommunications, healthcare, financial and retail categories.

Having worked at RDW Group and Donovan Group Integrated Marketing, he has an extensive background in marketing, branding, advertising, public relations, and media. While there he managed such notable accounts as Fallon Community Health Plan, UMass Memorial Healthcare, HealthAlliance, HarborONE Bank (formerly Brockton Credit Union/HarborONE Credit Union), Markem, Stratus Computer and Simplex Manufacturing.

Steve holds a Bachelor’s Degree with Individual Concentration in Advertising/PR from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Site developed by Cahill Digital
css.php