Tag Archives: advertising

Finessed, Powered by TBeats – A New Venue In St. Louis

rendering-small-webRecently, Syl Wilson Marketing was chosen to assist with marketing and advertising for Tony Thompson, current CEO of Kwame Building Group and TBeats Studios, with his new business venture called “Finessed Powered by TBeats.” The new company will host a wide variety of events from its first floor location in the heart of Downtown St. Louis. With gated patio seating and live performances from string quartets, jazz musicians and spoken word performers, the venue is SURE to be a SHOW STOPPER and cause St. Louisans to stop, pause and learn more about the exciting new venue.

Finessed Powered by TBeats is located at 1204 Washington Avenue at the entrance to the busiest corner in the downtown district. The new venue will be used for Continue reading

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Young kid needs marketing help from you!

I had a call the other day asking me to help out a friend’s son to promote their blog. It’s actually a beautiful site. I was super impressed. Sure I said. You need me to help with your keywords? Your meta tags? What’cha need buddy? But, nope, he didn’t want that. He wanted to know how I could help get him advertisers on his site. Hmmm…interesting. So, I asked him what his site was about. He said it was a site about Continue reading

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When is the right time to get a website?

I have spoken with many people about when the right time to have a website built is. Well, if you ask me, I think the best time to get a site is early on. The reason I say this is because in order to be found by clients, you need to reach a wide variety of people. The best way to do this is over the world wide web of course. So who do you hire to make one if you don’t know HTML? Well, I have a few places I know of that are referred to as CMS systems (content management systems) where you don’t need to have any knowledge of HTML code.  All you need is a pc to be able to upload your content. Now, when you do this, you might want to have someone set up the initial design (shameless plug for meJ) Or you can attempt it on your own.  There is a site called coffecup.com or you can look for others. I have about 10 different suppliers I refer clients to (another shameless plug), so just email me if you need help.

The most important thing, is to get your site up and running.  If you still don’t have the cash to get it started, consider a blog. WordPress, Blogger, and others are free. A blog is intended to be used to be a platform to alert others that you are an expert in your industry, so if you start it, be prepared to post a new article at least once a week. To be a great blogger, you should really do it more often. You can have multiple authors of your article posts though and that will alleviate some of the burden on you.

Good luck, and remember, a website is a description of who you are and what services you can provide. Make sure your content is accurate and use good keywords so that you will be found by search engines.  Examples of your work should be posted as well. You can do it though, because lets face it, if you are in business then its probably because you are passionate about what you do. You will probably become addicted to the writing of your content…or else you will be passionate about your agency that you hire (another shameless plug)!


Filed under Internet Marketing, Marketing

Twitter backgrounds…how is everyone getting these?

I love making Twitter backgrounds and you can too! If you follow me on twitter then you know that I frequently change my background. It’s really fairly easy as long as you have Photoshop or some other type of paint type of software.  I think its really important to have one so that when people visit your Twitter page they can instantly know what you are all about at a glance. If you are into painting maybe create a background with some of your artwork along with a photo of yourself and then create a longer bio than what Twitter allows on the left hand side. You would be surprised how many more people will follow you once you do this.

When you make your background you’ll notice that it looks different on different screens. That is because people have different resolutions.  What I typically will do is start with my document layout as 1280×800 pixels and then check it on different screens.  If you don’t have the convenience of having different screens available to look at it ask someone with a different screen how it looks and where things are cutting off. As an FYI, Twitters screen is 736 and the logo for Twitter is 71 pixels (roughly). The Twitter logo is going to be at the top left side of your design so remember that as you make your design.

To get the design into your profile, go to settings, design and choose browse to get to your file. Click save and voila! Below are a few designs I have made (click to enlarge). I usually create the right side as a double column for the different screen sizes or you can use one large image.

Of course if you can’t figure this out, you can always email me at sylwilsonmarketing@yahoo.com and I can help ya or send me a tweet @sylwilson. I don’t mind helping you (or designing one for you).

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Has Generation Y Changed the Advertising Game?

I just read an excellent article in “Marketing Management” magazine about the new media multitasking frenzy.  What is media multitasking you ask? (I sure did). Well, it’s how they say the younger generation processes information.  You see, they are a generation (Generation Y) of consumers that is apparently more willing or likely to watch several different media’s at once. So the days of watching a television program and nothing else – that is foreign to them. Instead, they will watch t.v., talk on the phone, sit on their laptops with different social networks going as well as shopping experiences, reading blogs, surfing the net, etc. and they do this all at the SAME TIME!
So the question is, how do we as marketers reach this audience? The article I read took a study of Generation Y’rs, and found that in order to reach them we must follow these rules:

  1. Believe that this Generation Y really does process information differently than those of yesterday
  2. Find ways to bring this behavior as a positive not a negative. In their words “Leverage the behavior.”
  3. New multitasking media strategies will need to be made in order to address this behavior change. Find ways for your marketing communications to engage the consumer with your products online. Gen Y’rs need the back and forth communication. They don’t want to feel like its all one sided. They want to be able to give feedback and receive it instantly. This can be done with games, widgets, etc.

These new challenges are not so unusual to some of us in advertising who are used to social networking, but may come as a shock to others. Understanding the complexity of media multitasking is the first step. Then realizing that there are still many unturned stones in your marketing strategy that probably haven’t begun to touch all the new methods in cyber-space. Remember, as related to media multitasking the internet can give you limitless potential!


Filed under Internet Marketing, Marketing

The biggest marketing flop I have ever witnessed…they should’a used a PURL!

The other day at my job, every single one of the sales engineers, and everyone in management was shipped the most beautiful stainless steel mug.  When I say stainless steel, that doesn’t really do this mug justice.  I am not really describing it correctly.  I just don’t know what to call it! But trust me, these mugs are unbelievable! The company that sent them to us even personalized the mugs with each of our names. Everyone was shipped a mug in a separate box.  The box was made of the most unique wood.  It smelled good, it was heavy, I actually have it sitting on my shelf in my office because its so pretty!  Inside the box was the mug and a piece of paper that had the company name on it where the mug came from….

So…what did they do wrong? Well, first, they spelled the presidents name wrong. That’s a BIG mistake. Second, they shipped all of these mugs out in the regular postal mail.  So, how were they planning to know when we received them? I mean, what was their plan to follow up if we actually opened the box? A guesstimate? Third, there was NO contact information inside. No phone number, no website…We were absolutely amazed. Someone spent a lot of money on this nifty campaign, but let me tell ya, this doesn’t top it…The biggest whoops was that NO ONE EVER CALLED ANY OF US EVER!! Not that we’d have used their services, but I mean, wouldn’t you want to follow up? Also, they sent the mugs to some people that were probably or possibly not their targets. I was confused why so many people in our organization received them anyway.

If it were me who was sending these out, I would have sent them via FedEx so that I could track the packages and allow the sales people to immediately call and ask the customer if they could come out for a 10 minute meeting.  I would also use a PURL on the letter inside the box directing the recipient to a microsite to tell them who I was and what it was that I wanted to tell them about if I couldn’t do it in the letter (but you know me, I like to always use a PURL and microsite so we can offer more substance and a chance to capture more data from the customer!).

Something else to note, this company DID use personalization on the mugs which was clever! Making sure spelling is right is fairly important, I personally hate when someone spells my name with an “I” as in “Sylvia” and it’s my one personal pet peeve. I have learned that I need to just get over it and people make mistakes, but some people really get offended. Also, I just want to clarify, personalization DOES work. We all use our mugs daily. Honestly, if the company that sent these called to this day, I would talk to them and pick their brain on their method of their madness..because…surely there is some right?

So, if you ever want to send a nice expensive marketing campaign out..please make sure you at least have a way to track it and that you’ve got the president’s name spelled right! LOL!

P.S. I do still keep the box and the mug that has the presidents name misspelled in my office just so I can be reminded what NOT to do when thinking of new ideas.  I call it my “Idea Box.” Ha!


Filed under Internet Marketing, Marketing

Testimonials sell your brand better than any other marketing technique

Testimonials sell your brand better than anything else you probably have in your bag of tricks. In my findings when I use PURLS (personalized URLS) on my magazine ads, email campaigns, and direct mail pieces, and then link to a “microsite” if I put a Testimonial section on the Microsite that customers can click on and read actual stories about the product we are trying to sell, it is the highest clicked on section of the site.

So when thinking about developing your microsites, your direct mail pieces, or any media for that matter, always remember a key element we learned in basic marketing 101 which is that customers believe what others say about your own brand!

Life Experience
On a recent magazine ad I did, we actually put a photo of a customer who was able to get 85% ROI using our product and to hear the entire story, you had to visit the “microsite.” Once at the microsite, customers were able to read the full testimonial and see a video of the customer talking about his experience with the product at his place of business in action! The impact was great and the PURL (personalized URL) allowed for the entire campaign to be tracked instantly. The campaign had one of the highest response rates I have seen so far.

How do you obtain these testimonials?
What one client I work with does, is every time they sell one of their items (they sell $100K capital equipment) they immediately ask for a survey to be filled out and at the same time ask if the customer is willing to answer 12 questions about their buying experience.  They then ask if it’s okay if they turn that questionnaire into a testimonial using their name and company name. In most cases the customer says yes, especially if you tell them “And we’ll put a link back to your website from this of course.” That is marketing for them and you! Also, tell them you’ll add their phone number and contact info in case anyone wants to call them as a way to entice them. They just may get a referral from your testimonial! Now that’s smart marketing!

Social Media concerning Testimonials
If you’re concerned about the usage of a testimonial in social media, Andy Sernovitz has it all broken down on his blog. It’s not complicated at all! So, get moving with your testimonials!

Hope this helps you to keep the clients rolling in and to remember, getting back to the basics can be fun!

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Filed under Marketing, PURL, Uncategorized

Getting smart with your PURLs

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It’s best for your PURL call to action to be more of a tease. I will give you an example of a piece that I mailed recently with the theme based on the NBC game show “Deal or No Deal.”

On the mailer which was a postcard, I used a picture of a briefcase that said “Please go to visit your PURL (Personalized URL) for a chance to win the contents of case No. 13” This is a good call to action one might think – but you can’t stop here. You’ve got to put even more. So next I say “When you get to your personalized URL you’ll see what’s inside case #13” This will create enough interest and a buzz to get the client to visit their PURL and find out what the heck is in case #13?

So what did I do next? Well once they arrived at the “Microsite” they saw the contents of the case with a very creative microsite I designed that had the music from deal or no deal along with the banker in the background and I even had the whole stage as my layout. But I didn’t stop there. That really wasn’t the important part – THIS IS, so pay attention please! I only sent these mailers to people in my list that I knew were interested in what was in the case. The contents of the case was a hunting trip in the Texas area. The list went to people that lived in Texas and that were avid hunters. We also made sure that they were clients that were in the 80% range of making a purchase of the capital equipment that we were attempting to sell. So on the microsite there was an offer that read “Joe, please come to our office for an open house and purchase a particular machine at a very attractive price and also register for the contents of the case by filling out the form on the microsite.” The personalization doesn’t stop with the mailer – it continues on the microsite all the way down to the particular piece of equipment that we already know they are interested in. Whether it’s a widget “A” “B” or “C” we can switch out the widget with variable printing an variable data on the microsite as well.

The only way to win the contents of the case is to actually show up at the office and attend the open house. Once they come to the open house, our goal is to sell them the high dollar capital piece of equipment.

Tracking back to the PURL is simple, as soon as a client clicks on their PURL an alert is sent to both the salesperson and the sales assistant so that the sales person can immediately contact the client and make communication to get them more interested in the product. My research has shown that if you contact a client while they are on your website within the first 5 minutes, you have an 80% chance of having good communication. However, if you wait 20 minutes those chances go down to 5%.

So what do we do with all the data? Well, its very cool actually, we can learn how often they visit the site, whether they forward the site on to someone else, or if they move from page to page if we’ve built a microsite that has multiple pages. So we can tell their interests very easily. PURLS can help you determine in a short matter of time what your clients needs and wants are without being invasive.

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Filed under Direct Mail, Internet Marketing, Marketing, PURL, Uncategorized

Picking your PURL for your Direct Mail Campaign

I remember the first direct mail campaign I ever did involving a PURL.  It was for a machine tool that I wanted to show with a great price.  In order to sell machine tools, we tend to not ever show “pricing” on our campaigns and it also just happens to be one of the hardest things to make an ad “sexy”. So we decided to make this particular campaign the campaign that was “Setting Sail” and you didn’t want to miss the boat…What? It was catchy!

The fun part of this campaign was that we put the machines on a boat in the ocean and it looked like they were really setting sail…but we had very low response rate on these mailers.  We also put pricing on these mailers because we decided that perhaps this one time…it could work.  What we found was instead of leading with price, we just needed to lead with what customers really wanted to know about. In our case the audience wants to know why these high dollar capital pieces of equipment were worthy of their almighty dollar in a tight economy.

In another campaign for the same company we chose a waterjet machine (these machines cut steel, titanium, anything with water – very cool stuff – you should learn about this. Click here to watch a short video. Anyway, back to the direct mail piece. What we did was concentrate on the audience more this time. The audience of this machine happens to be into Harley motorcycles and the machine that we were selling just so happens to cut a lot of the parts on the motorcycle “Harley Davidson”. So we did an entire campaign around this and the PURL reflected this. The mailer had a Harley motorcycle on the front of the postcard and so did the landing page that PURL directed the customer to.

Everything is personalized once the cusotmer gets to their site and that’s the beauty of the PURL. They feel like you know them. If you have a good database, you can do this. If you know your audience, which 9 times out of 10 you do, you just need to organize your information into one place, then you can target your customers in a way that makes you seem like you understand your customer and care about them more than your competetion ever could. And in this day and age, that my friends is exactly what we all MUST do!

Hope this is helping someone!

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Filed under Direct Mail, Internet Marketing, Marketing, PURL, Uncategorized