Author Archives: strategicguru

About strategicguru

Strategic Guru is a marketing agency that does just one thing—grows your business. From strategic planning to brand development, from lead generation to sales promotion, we get you to your goals. If you’re ready to take your business to the next level, we’re ready to help.

We’ve moved!

Check this blog out at it’s new home.  http://strategicguru.com/category/think-tank/blog/

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Important Information on Haiti Relief

Local Collection for Supplies

C3 Church in Clayton has partnered with other local churches to collect supplies and money for Haiti. As little as a box of band aids or bottle of aspirin will make a difference. Supplies may be dropped off at the church until January 25th.

Drop-off location:

C3 Church
8246 Cleveland Road
Clayton, NC 27520

Collections will be accepted from 6am to 9pm daily until Monday, Jan 25th at 9pm.
Call 919. 934-3551 or email haitirelief@c3church.com with questions.

Where Your Cash Donation Will Help Most

Online Donations:
A complete list of quick links to Haiti relief organizations is here:

http://www.networkforgood.org

To find out if a charity is a trusted nonprofit, visit  http://greatnonprofits.org

Text Message Donations:
Texting “Haiti” to 90999 will provide a $10 donation to the American Red Cross (www.redcross.org).

Be aware that it could take up to three months for your $10 to get to the organization — but that may not be a bad thing. While donations are pouring in now, the country will need aid for months to come and your text donation will be badly needed then. Any time lapse will in no way delay the aid being provided to Haiti by the disaster relief organization.

How Much Will Help?

Here is an idea of what your donation amount will provide:

$  25 – provides food for a day
$  45 – provides a survival kit for a family
$100 – provides temporary shelter

Matching Donations

Discover is matching cardholder donations, up to $1 million. They have announced an immediate commitment of $100,000 to the American Red Cross for earthquake relief efforts in Haiti, and are pledging up to $1 million more through the cardmember matching program.

Many American corporations have also set up employee matching funds — check with your employer to see if your donation can be matched.

Do You Know About More?

Add your comment on additional relief efforts that are being organized around the Triangle here.

PLEASE HELP US SPREAD THE WORD!


Strategic Guru is not affiliated in any way with the organizations in this blog post.

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Filed under Non Profit, north carolina, triangle business

Don’t Kill Direct Mail in the Name of Social Media

A couple of mentions around the marketing world by NextDayFlyers blog and MarketingPilgrim regarding the effectiveness of direct mail have got us thinking about the integration of print and social media campaigns. Some companies have reviewed the cost savings offered by digital communications compared to cost to print, mail and design mailers, letters and postcards and have begun shifting marketing dollars for those projects. E-mail, Twitter, Facebook and other channels can be cost-effective ways to build an online presence and connect with customers and prospects. But, let’s face it, social media ROI can be difficult to measure. For some businesses, an online-only strategy might be a shortsighted approach.

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Are your prospects and customers online? It’s easy to assume that everyone is “plugged in” these days. Despite the meteoric rise in popularity of Twitter and Facebook, some people are not using them regularly and some not at all. Understand your audience and how they want to interact. Social media isn’t the best fit for all companies.
  • Consumers are digitally saturated. The quantity of e-mails, tweets, blog posts and news articles the average consumer must sort through can be overwhelming. Relying only on communicating through these channels is taking a risk that your messages are glossed over or worse, sent directly to the trash file.
  • Coordinate messages across mediums. Direct mail and social media can work in concert – extend your online messaging to coordinate with mail. Use direct mail to drive traffic to your Facebook fan page or Twitter account.
  • No matter the method, the goal is to inspire action! The point made in the NextDayFlyers blog is well-taken. Using direct mail to solicit feedback is a great idea. Many companies are getting noticed for using Twitter for customer service purposes (notably among several is @comcastcares and @jetblue), but why not direct mail?

A marketing strategy should coordinate several channels.  Here at SG, we blog, tweet, email and connect with prospects via snail mail.  Oh, and in person, too!  What is your company doing to create an integrated strategy?

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Filed under Direct Mail, Facebook, Marketing strategy, social media, twitter

Social Media and the Military – A Success Story

NavyForMoms.comCompanies large and small are dipping their toes into the waters of social media. Some blog, Tweet and manage corporate Facebook pages. Others have cannonballed into social media by creating their own social networking communities. Branches of the U.S. military have embraces social media, particularly the Army and Navy. Social networking site NAVYformoms.com counts over 28,000 registered members.

Developed on Ning , a platform which allows groups or individuals start and manage social networks on any topic, NAVYForMoms.com offers everything from blogs, videos, discussion forums, and allows users to upload photos. Most content on the site is member-driven, contributed by users and managed by reps for the Navy.

Building community is at the core of a solid social media strategy and the Navy has created a place for moms and other loved ones to interact with one another, share stories, and express concerns or fears regarding military service. It is also a strategic marketing tool for the Navy. By empowering families to connect and create support networks, the Navy has truly embraced the power of social media.

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Educating A New Generation

“Things have changed since I was in school.” Sounds like something your parents said to you growing up, huh? That statement still holds true. Kids are a part of a whole new learning generation; interaction is mostly via instant message, text message, Twitter and Facebook and the internet is the first place they turn for research. The shift in marketing is taking place as we speak, but are Marketing and Public Relations instructors and professors educating their students about the phenomenon that is social media?

Back in the day, marketing majors were required to learn the 4 P’s (Product, Price, Promotion, Place) and that is still relevant, but along with the 4 P’s they need to have a basic understand of HTML, design software, e-mail marketing campaigns, search engine optimization, and knowledge of social media (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube,etc). However, are recent grads receiving said education?

We’ve all read that many companies are struggling to understand social media and how it can be used in their industry. With this occurring, companies are looking to hire recent grads with degrees in Marketing and Public Relations to fill the social media gap. But, are colleges and universities integrating the new trends in marketing into their curriculum – such courses as Internet Marketing, Digital Media and New-Media Marketing? Another challenge: are college professors and faculty on top of the changing trends in the marketing world? If not, they need to be. How can you teach it, if you don’t fully understand it yourself? As the old adage states, “lead by example.”

Here’s a questions for all our Marketing & PR majors out there –Are NC State, Duke and UNC teaching courses on new-media and internet marketing? Or are you educating the professors on social media?

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Filed under Email Marketing, Facebook, marketing basics, north carolina, social media, twitter

Twitter Lists 101 – What are they and why should you care?

Twitter launched the “Lists” feature a few weeks ago; here’s a quick and easy over view of the feature. Twitter Lists is a great way to organize your followers or find new ones on Twitter. It is very similar to creating groups in e-mail; it allows you to group Tweeps by family, location, industry, or whatever category you prefer.

Creating a list is easy. When logged into your Twitter account, the “Lists” feature appears below the search box, click on it to create a new list. You can make lists public or private. If public, you can recommend the list for other Tweeps to follow; they can either follow the list or people on it and it can be seen by anyone. If private, you and only you can see this list – perfect for keeping an eye on what competitors are doing. Next, hit “Create List” and you can begin to add users. The maximum number of users is currently 500 and the max number of lists is 20.

Following lists is another great tool to keep track of the happenings on Twitter. These lists won’t show up in your main stream, but can be easily seen by clicking on the “lists” link on the right side of your Twitter homepage. Some great sites that maintain categorized “suggested” lists to follow are:

Listorious – a 3rd party directory that categorizes the most “awesome” lists on Twitter. The site is user-friendly and allows users to browse or search for lists by category.
TweetMeme Lists – find the most tweeted about Twitter Lists.

Check out lists following us and that we follow here and more on how organizations are using Twitter lists.

Happy Listing!

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A Few Quick Tips to Overcome the Social Media Hurdle

hurdleMany companies are using social media to build their brand and gain recognition in the marketplace, and others want to start integrating social media into their marketing mix but aren’t sure where to start.

Here are a few thoughts on launching a campaign:

• Embrace failure and learn from the mistakes – Look at Skittles – they launched a Twitter campaign by turning their homepage into a Twitter feed. When that failed Skittles tried another approach, but didn’t take into consideration what happened the first time! They didn’t learn from their first mistake and what happened – Strike 2! Their ego-centric approach didn’t work the 1st time, why would it work the 2nd time? Learn from the mistakes made and correct them on the 2nd approach to achieve the goal you sought out in the first place.

• Engage with your audience – listen to their ideas and thoughts; don’t make the social media effort all about YOU.

• There is no “I” in team – collaborate with team members to get their feedback and insight on the initiative.

• When launching a social media campaign have a clear, focused goal in mind and follow the necessary steps to achieve it. Is it driving visits to the website? Is it signing up for a webinar? Consider your goal and how you will measure the results of your effort. But recall, sometimes social media ROI can be fuzzy.

• Create something of value for your audience. Give them a reason to care.

• Know your audience before implementing a campaign and be prepared for the worst before it occurs.

• Be up front and honest with your intentions – it establishes trust and credibility.

Plan for success, prepare for failure!

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