Internet Marketing Services, Wilmington NC

Archive for the ‘Marketing’ Category

Celebrate Take Your Dog To Work Day at Talk on June 26

Thursday, June 18th, 2009

I’m sure you’ve had those days where, as you’re heading out the door in the morning and your pooch looks at you with those big doggy eyes, you think, “Man, I wish I could take her to work with me.” Well, next Friday, June 26, is your lucky day. It’s the 11th annual National Take Your Dog To Work Day.

More than 10,000 companies are expected to participate this year. And Talk is no exception. Camden works hard everyday so we’re holding a special open house from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. to celebrate all she does for us and our clients. Drop by for scrumptious “pupcakes”, organic dog treats and, of course, Camden kisses.

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Looking for more ways to participate? Check out TYDTWD’s 10 Ways to Celebrate!

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Slow Economy is Best Time to Market Your Company

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009

images1“Studies of the last six recessions have demonstrated that companies which do not cut back their advertising budgets achieve greater increases in profit than companies which do cut back,” Ogilvy on Advertising, 1983

In today’s economy, few of us have the opportunity to be complacent about our marketing and public relations. The competition is fierce and we’re all clamoring for the same piece of the pie. So how do we differentiate ourselves from the competitors? Take a good, hard look at your company’s reputation and image. Could it use some burnishing?

Waiting until the economy picks up to focus on your marketing is a rookie mistake. History shows us that the companies that spend the time and resources to market their company during the down times come out on top when the economy turns. Dell stepped up its marketing by 346% over two years during the economic slump of the early 1990s. Its competitors cut back their expenditures by 25 to 40% The effect? By 1993, Dell had become one of the top five computer system makers in the world.

The best time to market is when everyone else is holding back. Your marketing dollars bring even greater ROI during a downturn because there are fewer voices clamoring to be heard by your customers. Whether it’s media relations, Internet marketing or advertising, now is the time to promote your company.

You don’t have to spend a lot of money to market wisely. You just have to be a wise marketer.

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Talk Seeks New Communications Director

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009

imagesIf you’re a PR pro with 10 or more years experience, give us a call. Or better yet, email me a cover letter that will knock my socks off (debbie@talkinc.com). Talk is seeking a seasoned pro as our new Communications Director. Someone who can adeptly handle a PR crisis, write an award-winning press release and consistently generate great ideas.

The ideal candidate should have a sense of humor, tireless work ethic and a thick skin. PR isn’t for pansies. Yes, editors will screech at you if you waste their time and clients may demand more than you can deliver. And your boss will expect you to handle everything the job throws at you with grace, professionalism and a smile.

We need a seasoned pro with agency experience. If you haven’t worked at an agency, convince me that you’re OK with constant deadlines, a blazing pace, daily timesheets, and serving as many bosses as you have clients.

Talk is a fun, creative agency with a great team of communications, design and Internet marketing professionals. If you’re a team player and a great leader, please apply. We look forward to hearing from you.

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Talk on the Street: May 11-17

Monday, May 11th, 2009

social media and business events wilmington ncWelcome to our first edition of Talk on the Street. Every Monday we’ll be posting events, seminars and meetings you can’t miss if you live in Southeastern North Carolina. So, if you’re interested in business, marketing, advertising, public relations, social media, networking and much more, check back here weekly. Send any events for our consideration to kirsty@talkinc.com.

Thursday, May 14 | Coastal Entrepreneur Awards

Join our favorite business journal and hundreds of the region’s most inspiring entrepreneurs for breakfast at the UNC Wilmington Burney Center. Co-presented by the UNCW Cameron School of Business, the event will honor the “Cape Fear region’s next generation of business stars.” Register online here.

Saturday, May 16 | Wilmington Bloggers Meetup

This is the 7th meeting of a new group in Wilmington, who informally gets together the third Saturday of every month at Connections Internet Cafe on Racine Drive, to talk about blogging, Internet marketing and social media. Whether you are a novice or an expert, you will fit right in with this group of journalists, small business owners, Realtors, business coaches, marketing mavens and much more. You can RSVP through Facebook.

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Mad Men 2.0

Thursday, May 7th, 2009

Mad MenFrom martinis with a twist to Twitter feeds, the ad industry of the present can learn a lot from the ad industry of the past. So as (what I think is) the best drama on television starts filming its third season this week for an August premier, here’s some insight into industry best practices we should should consider resucitating after 40 years.

Client relationships: There’s nothing like networking over a 2-martini lunch and while mixed drinks don’t mix much with good business today, client stewardship certainly does. In the hey day of the ad industry, they knew how to keep a client happy. The personal relationship was as important as the work that was produced. Forty years later, sometimes we get too bogged down in the work to come up for air and offer some good old-fashioned client service. There’s a lot we can learn from the Mad Men client service approach today.

AE as God: Account Executives played a much larger role 40 years ago than they do in the industry today. Now,  in many agencies everything is so compartmentalized, you have a PR specialist who handles publicity on the account, a media buyer who purchased the ads and an art director who spearheads the creative. In the Mad Men era, the AE was so much more important because he knew his client inside and out. He managed the PR, negotiated the ad buys and worked hand in hand with creative to develop concepts. I think this (partially) accounts for a stronger sense of client loyalty than we see today.

The Pitch: Oh how I long to have worked in the days of “the pitch.” When an entire agency, or at the least a department, had one, singular collaborative focus - to pitch and win a hot new account. There were no strategic plans, marketing proposals or requests for qualifications. Agencies directed pitches worth of Academy Awards, with staff who would stay up all night tweaking concepts and polishing applications. And clients responded to agencies’ delivery of spec creative with letters of agreement! The days of spec creative, even in this poor economy, are essentially over. But agencies can still learn from the hunger and creativity behind the Mad Men’s new business pitches.


Photo by: Dyna Moe

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Things We Love 5/6

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009

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Debbie loves Cracker Barrel – I made my first pilgrimage to the Mecca of southern cooking last week. I was concerned it wouldn’t live up to the hype. But it actually surpassed it. The veggie platter was yummy and the service friendly. When they learned it was my first visit, they gave me a beautifully wrapped map detailing all 579 locations across the country. The map (and enclosed Chix Stix candy) kept the Talk team well entertained on the way back from a business meeting in Winston Salem. I got a great lesson on my state capitals. And a delicious reminder on how excellent customer service and smart marketing is the best way to bring your customers back for seconds.

Jennifer loves organization tips – Those who know me know I am an obsessive straightener and organizer.  I continue to be fascinated by those who can live and work amongst clutter.  So, I was delighted to come across an articled titled “10 Ways to Let Go of Your Stuff - Confessions of a Clutterer” in the March issue of Real Simple magazine.  The author, Erin Rooney Doland, makes some wonderful points for those who are trying to recover from this condition.  You can read more at Unclutterer.com or RealSimple.com.

Kirsty loves my Share This button – I installed this plugin on my FireFox browser to help me more easily share great content I come across online. With the click of a single green button, I can email, IM, Text or post what I read to more than 30 social networking and bookmarking sites. Now, I never have to worry about looking for a post’s sharing button, or fret if they don’t have a button for my favorite sites.

Nathan loves Twitback – I wrote about a number of elements that really make Twitter better for businesses a few weeks ago, and one of these elements was creating extended profiles, or what some call “twitter backgrounds”. These custom twitter backgrounds work great for branding your twitter profile more, or giving that little bit of extra information that the normal twitter profile just doesn’t provide. It used to be that in order to create this extended twitter profile, you had to have some photoshop skills, or access to someone who did. Well, Twitback handles all that for you!

Shawn loves Birds Of A Feather, Letterpressed Together – Yes, this is another letterpress blog. But this time with a twist. Color. And lots of it. Bright colors have really been catching my eye lately. Perhaps it’s because I am redesigning our Talk business cards and Web site with a fresh new palette, or maybe I’m just feeling it this spring. Whatever the reason, the letterpress experts over at Studio On Fire really hit the ball out of the park with a colorful peacock themed wedding invitation set.

Susan loves periodic table of typefaces – I’m a self-proclaimed font dork. I can spend hours looking through sites like dafont.com and myfonts.com checking out the latest and greatest fonts. And the periodic table of typefaces make finding classic fonts I like (and even ones I don’t) that much easier. Though it only shows one or two letters, that’s usually enough for me to know if the style fits what I’m working on.

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Anatomy of a good ad campaign

Sunday, May 3rd, 2009

Have you ever been watching TV or flipping through a magazine and wondered what the ad agency was thinking creating an ad that stupid/ugly/confusing/etc? It happens all the time. And as a marketing girl, I have to wonder what they said to their client to make them agree to pay for an ad campaign that will only get their company laughed at.

Then there are times when you come across an advertisement that is so spot on in every aspect that you kinda want to tell someone about how cool/beautiful/moving etc it was. For these types of ads it all comes down to good advertising anatomy. If you follow these five cannons of advertising, your campaign will get noticed for all the right reasons.

Clever copy is king. When you use words to their fullest advantage, whether through deliberate word choice or creating a play on words, you make the copy inherently easy for the reader/listener. But beware of being too clever. Live with your word choice for a few days to make sure it still makes sense when the copywriting high wears off.

Make each word count. You don’t have much space on a one-page ad or in a :30 commercial, so choose your words wisely. Don’t use ten words when five will do. Don’t restate one idea multiple ways. Choose the best, most effective statement and cut the extraneous ones.

Show don’t tell. Great, well-written copy can only take the message so far. You also need strong visuals to convey the idea fully. Everyone reacts to verbal and visual differently, so an effective combination of the two will attract the most attention.

Don’t be coy. The point of any ad is to make people want to do something in relation to your company. An ad that is clever and visually stunning means little without a clear call to action. It can be as simple as “call to find out more” or as specific as “visit our website to register to win a free vacation.” Whatever your end goal is, make sure to state it clearly.

Give them what they need. When it comes to contacting your company, keep it simple. Make your contact information easy to find, easy to read, and most importantly, easily accessible. The more avenues you offer (phone number, website, physical address) the easier it will be for them to find you.

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Things We Love 4/29

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

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Debbie loves great customer service – One positive outcome of the recession may be a return to southern hospitality and good, old fashioned customer service. In today’s economy, few have the luxury to take their job for granted. The result? Service providers seem to be trying a little harder to keep customers happy. So smile and remember the customer is always right, even when they aren’t.

Jennifer loves helpful news stories – I saw an interesting segment on Dateline the other night.  The story was about people who had unclaimed money or property that was rightfully theirs.  Their tearful joy prompted me to get online and find out if I might have money owed to me that I was unaware of.  Unfortunately, nothing came up under my name.  You can read about this and check out a few different search vehicles for yourself at msnbc.com.

Kirsty loves People’s Voice Webby Awards – Have your say about the very best of the Net by voting online.

Nathan loves Facebook – For all the hype that Twitter is receiving, and it is a great service, I still like Facebook more. The content and conversations that are shared there are of a much higher value than on Twitter. Not to mention Facebook Connect, like Kirsty mentioned last week. It’s only a matter of time until Facebook figures out how to open up some of its more “private” data (like mini-feeds and wall posts) to outside sources. That’s when Facebook will really become an invaluable asset to companies. Plus I always enjoy catching a good fish with some buddies using Fish Wrangler.

Shawn loves crayons – Where would I be if I hadn’t had Crayons as part of my childhood? I remember how excited I was when I finally got a 64 pack with the built in sharpener. Such a big responsibility. I took care of my crayons. Never breaking them. Carefully peeling the fuzzy labels away to prevent rough edges. Rotating them in my hand as I used them so I didn’t wear away one side more than the other. I didn’t just color inside the lines. I took crayons to a whole new level spending hours on just one page. Mixing layers and layers of colors with lots of shading. I would use a butter knife to scrape away unwanted color or use my little fingernail to chip away wax giving the illusion of highlights. As you can see I wasn’t your normal kid coloring with Crayons. Colour Lover’s post on “120 Crayon Names, Color Codes and Fun Facts” brought all those memories back to me with a little more. There are fun facts, photos, Crayon inspired color palettes, Hex values and RGB equivalents for all my favorite Crayola colors.
Susan loves 1-800-Flowers.com’s Mother’s Day contest – The flower giant’s latest promotion asks entrants to go to Spotlightamom.com and write a short personal story about a mother-figure who has touched their lives. Then people can go online, read the entries and easily share their favorite stories on various social networks. Now there’s a company that knows how to tug on the heartstrings and conquer the Internet at the same time.

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Things We Love 4/22

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009

Debbie loves Spring in Wilmington – This week is absolutely glorious and a wonderful reminder of why we choose to live in Wilmington. The simplest act of taking the dog out for a quick walk around our office building becomes a joyous event. The azaleas are blooming, the cherry trees are full of pink puffs and the grass and air smells heavenly. I have Spring Fever, which translates into bursts of creativity at Talk. Take time to smell the flowers everyone.

Jennifer loves e-Newsletters from the vet – Our vet shares a great e-Newsletter with helpful information to care better for our beloved pets.  The “Pet Portal” also allows us to go online to see when our dogs and cat are due for vaccines, check-ups, or meds.  You can also schedule appointments or ask questions via email. Very convenient for busy people!

Kirsty loves Facebook Connect – This feature for commenting systems on blogs like Mashable.com allows you to sign in with your Facebook information to contribute to online conversations. And when you do so, you can integrate the option with your Facebook account so your friends can read about what you’re saying online.

Nathan loves Google Reader – With at least 300 blogs in my reader, I’ve been addicted to getting a constant stream of information pulled to me, all in one location via RSS feeds so that I don’t have to visit 300 different sites to get the same content. On top of that, gReader lets you star the articles you like the most for future reference, allows you to search through all the articles in your reader, share the articles you choose with friends, and even make comments to have discussions going on them within your reader. Google Reader is an awesome tool for keeping up with whatever you choose, and if you use Firefox’s Grease Monkey plugin, it only makes greader cooler.

Susan loves Twibes – This group-oriented Twitter feature helps you find more people to follow who are interested in the same things as you. By joining a Twibe you can talk with other Twitterers about the things you love, share tips and get questions answered. And you can also expand your following through an instant list of people who may think you’re cool.

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Things We Love 4/15

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009

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Kirsty loves TravelPortland on Twitter: I’ve never been to Portland. But that’s precisely what piqued my interest in the Portland, Ore. Twisitor Center. The virtual visitors center allows you to post questions about your Portland visit and when you add the hashtag #inpdx, someone from Travel Portland will get back to you promptly with an answer. I think this promotion is so innovative and I’m sure it won’t be long before other travel and tourism entities explore similar ways of conversing with visitors through social mediums.

Nathan loves Wordpress – Wordpress is a great blogging platform that can double as a content management system, and it’s free for anyone to use! It’s a fantastic tool that allows individuals or companies to easily put their thoughts online and be heard, no matter the topic, through a blog. Not to mention it has all sorts of great plugins like All-In-One-SEO that helps improve Wordpress‘ already great SEO benefit. Then there’s all the awesome looking themes that are available for free. Wordpress has a fantastic community of designers, programmers, and creatives supporting it. We like it so much, we use it here at Talk, and I use it for my personal blog.

Shawn loves business card humor – I am in the middle of redesigning our own Talk business cards. So, when I stumbled upon this hilarious spoof video it gave me quite a chuckle. Its a $4 per piece business card that took 25 years to design. The owner claims its so good that “even if they don’t like you they won’t throw it out”.

Susan loves Save One Show – Each year I go through the internal debate whether to pick up a new show and risk losing it prematurely (RIP Pushing Daisies!) or simply turn off the Television and open a book. Watch With Kristen at E! online is determined to help out TV fans like me who want to save their favorite show from cancellation. Not only can fans tell the networks what shows they are passionate about, Save One Show offers a great way for advertisers to gauge what shows have a very loyal following, so if the shows come back for another season they may want to throw some advertising dollars that way.

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