Magnolia…a few years ago it was just a flower, now it’s a trending brand that has reached far beyond its Texan origin. The creators of this brand, Joanna and Chip Gaines have social media followers from around the world. Tourists book stays at their Magnolia House rental property and visit their business headquarters named the Silos, in Waco, Texas. It’s now a tourist destination with a bakery, garden shop and retail store. The fourth season of their HGTV home improvement reality show, Fixer Upper, premieres this month. Each show profiles the home renovation process from purchase to completion in a one-hour segment. Joanna designs home improvements and decorates. Her husband and partner, Chip, constructs the renovations and the featured homeowners are presented with their on-budget dream home at the end of each episode. The hype for this show has been marketed with a quarterly journal publication and a newly released book about the couple’s story. Magnolia has complimented their brand with traditional marketing mediums and qualified it with social media. The book has just reached #1 on the New York Time best seller list,1 and this achievement is promoted on their website. Magnolia has also introduced a furniture, paint, rug and accessory line available nationally in the US and at three Canadian retailers. An online “Market” shop with all of their products is featured on their website. Magnolia has embraced social media to further increase its brand awareness. The company also benefits from Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter activity and has millions of followers. Magnolia has truly saturated the home design, renovation and décor market through both traditional and social media marketing.
In April 2013 Lowe’s launched their extremely successful “Fix in Six” campaign on Vine. With Lowe’s being the second largest home improvement retailer in the world it seems appropriate that their Vine campaign is a variety of six second videos that gives tips for home improvement. Since the campaign began in 2013, Lowe’s has created and shared 115 vines that have generated over 65 million views.
Over the last ten years, the marketing world has changed drastically with the ever evolving world of social media. As a result, marketing plans featuring television or print advertising as a primary mode of promotion have given way to marketing plans that integrate customer engagement, branding and more targeted promotion through social media. Some businesses may certainly survive clinging to old school marketing practices but for those in the computer and technology field, it is essential not only to market through social media but to do so effectively in order to gain an edge on the competition. Bluespark, has truly found their niche in social media marketing while at the same time not appearing to be marketing their services at all. In addition to social media metrics, with clients that include big names like Ralph Lauren, Roomify and Trip Advisor, it’s a sure sign that you’re doing something right.
In our age of digital marketing where there are so many social media options to choose from, one community library is finding success through their development and use of videos. In addition to using Snapchat, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram, the Pickering Public Library is including short, in-house created videos in their Facebook Page, YouTube channel and website to communicate upcoming events, new programs and services, fun facts and promote client engagement. These videos have become quite popular in their community and beyond. Donna Moritz of Social Media Examiner attributes the rise in popularity of short video social media content to how “snackable” they are, as a quick visual method that grabs our attention, “Short videos suit our busy lives, brief attention spans and the need to consume content easily and quickly. Because fans are consuming content via their mobile devices while they’re on the go, the shorter the content is, the better.”
In 1872, long before the invention of social media, Mildmay’s Commercial Hotel began it’s first days of operation. It has since welcomed thousands of visitors to the small town located in Southwestern Ontario with its country charm and welcoming flare. In 1919 the the business was bought by the Schmalz family and has remained with them ever since. In 2006 the business was bought by Nicole Wise (Schmalz) and became Harleys Pub and Perk. Harleys Pub and Perk has proven that some things will just never get old with it’s almost century old charm, Grandma Schmalz’s Ribs and Kraut, and even with a few of the regulars; however, the functionality of the pub and it’s marketing tactics have had to be changed with their times.
Social Media Metrics can be used to benefit virtually any business, but are even more beneficial for small businesses and those in the early stages of growth and establishing themselves. Metrics help to illustrate and clarify which aspects of the business are gathering the best response and most traffic over various social media platforms. This allows marketers to select and focus more attention on the platforms that are getting the best response rate, to keep doing what’s working, and to improve upon what’s not.
New Trends in Marketing Some people today will tell you that traditional marketing is dead – killed off by social media and the redistribution of power from marketers to the consumers. With technology we are able to find out for ourselves which brands are superior; we don’t need to be bombarded by ads to be persuaded we can simply read online reviews, blog posts, feeds etc. or ask our friends and family. We are even able to block digital ads from reaching us as we peruse our favourite sites. Consumers are literally outcompeting marketers for each other’s attention – according to Forrester Research 70% of people trust brand recommendations from friends and only 10% trust advertising. Personally, I agree. This is the end of marketing as we have known it; ads full of purely self-serving content merely get overlooked these days. Enter Content Marketing. This is when companies provide valuable and interesting information to their target audience and the consumers can’t help but to read or watch and take notice. The strategy behind it is to produce useful and relevant information to buyers who will then reward the company with business and loyalty. It’s no longer about marketing your brand but rather marketing an experience with your brand and reaching people on an emotional level before they make their purchasing decisions. This isn’t exactly a new marketing technique but a growing trend with 92% of marketers using it to increase brand awareness according to the Content Marketing Institute. One company that has this marketing tactic down pat is Huggies the maker of diapers, wipes, swim pants and training pants. Their target market is huge and they do a fantastic job of connecting with them and keeping them engaged. They even have a large following from women who don’t need their products yet – moms to be! Here’s how they do it…
All I hear is “Heads Up!!!” and out of the corner of my eye, I see a white blur coming at me. My right hand is busy carrying a grocery bag, the dog is barking and I’m mid sentence encouraging drinking glass use as opposed to directly from the faucet or milk carton. I caught that baseball seconds before it hit my forehead and earned a “Wow, good catch Ma! You didn’t even stop talking when you caught that!” No doubt these new found reflexes are a result of over a year of working out at Fergus Kickboxing.
It’s no fluke how Little Mushroom Catering has become one of the premier full service catering companies in the Waterloo Region. Hard work, determination, a great staff and a strong leader with a passion for food, people and success. Little Mushroom Catering was created in 2010 by Stephanie Soulis who is President and CEO. She started LMC as a natural extension of her love for food and quality service. The one thing that has made Stephanie so successful in such a short time, other than her work ethic, is the way she uses social media as a marketing tool for her business.
Coca-Cola has found a way to stay relevant in a market that is slowly turning away from sugary drinks like soda. Coke’s integrated marketing strategies utilize both traditional and new media to create unique ads that tell a brand story across multiple channels. Coke employs social media as a way to invite consumers to be a part of their story. Using social media as a marketing tool allows Coke to onboard younger generations and creates a call to action. Personalized content and an innovative delivery system are what make Coke so popular. No matter which way you slice it, Coke is winning the social media ad game. Because after watching these videos, you’re probably going to be thinking about having a Coke.
When someone says the words “social media” often the first thing that comes to mind are sites like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. While these social networking services are definitely an extremely popular— and important—part of social media, the true definition of encompasses much more than just social networking. “Social Media is the future of communication, a countless array of internet based tools and platforms that increase and enhance the sharing of information.“ – SocialMediaDefined.com It is undeniable then that as social media continues to grow and adapt, it increasingly presents new opportunities for businesses to engage with their customers. Companies are always looking for new ways to market their products and sometimes the opportunity exists to reach to consumers in a way that puts them in control of the interaction.
We’ve all seen one of those Canadian Tire flyers waiting for us at our doorstep… Did you know the retailer stopped distributing them two years ago? Yet, the company’s marketing team is busier than ever with digital advertisement. Facebook has become the company’s second biggest advertising platform after Google. Why did Canadian Tire decided to invest in digital advertising?
Namaste! One retail brand that is great at inspiring and educating people around the world is non-other than Lululemon Athletica! Lululemon lives, breathes, and encourages healthier and happier lifestyles. This clothing brand was founded by Chip Wilson, whose passion lays in technical athletic fabrics. After taking his first commercial yoga class, he came to a realization that the post-yoga feeling was quite close to the exhilaration he would get while surfing, skating, or snowboarding. From this, a design studio was created that doubled as a yoga studio in the evening to pay for rent. This started an underground yoga movement where yogis could purchase exclusive yoga wear, and yoga teachers would wear the products to market and provide feedback. Eventually, in 1998 the very first Lululemon store was opened in the Kitsilano beach area of Vancouver, BC. The goal for Lululemon was to hire and train their staff to live and breathe Lululemon culture so that they could positively influence those around them. The positivity the company spreads, and the quality and popularity of their product has created a success story out of this Athletic wear brand, where it has now opened 354 stores world-wide.
Acquisitions, mergers and takeovers are far too familiar in today’s marketplace. In fact, in the past decade, I have worked for 3 Canadian companies that have either merged or been been acquired by a US firm. As businesses evolve and grow from these complex transactions it is critical how they position themselves in the eyes of all their stakeholders. These changes can be both exciting and can create uncertainty for consumers, investors and employees alike. Marketing, plays a crucial role the way the newly formed entity will be portrayed. It is the heroic efforts of marketing teams to rescue brand identities from getting misconstrued in the market. Fortunately, marketers are armed with Social Media tools to aid them though the all stages of an an A&M. Pre-Merger Due Diligence- Do You Really Know What You’re Acquiring? Prior to an acquisition Marketers can gather valuable Intel about companies they wish to align themselves usually by Social Media tools like LinkedIn and Facebook. Social media profiles, if set up correctly can be assets for Entrepreneurs looking for an exit. International business law and litigation firm Fasken Martineau conducted a survey on the Role Social Media Plays in Mergers & Acquisitions. Their key findings “Our survey revealed that senior M&A executives are certainly using social media, and some are using it to research and communicate deals. Interestingly, social platforms are currently viewed by M&A professionals as having less value than other sources of information, and most don’t currently see great value in social media’s application outside of post-merger integration. It will be very interesting to see if the SEC guidance will impact this perception and if in fact we will see an increased acceptance of these tools in the M&A and general finance community.” – Kareen Zimmer, a partner in Fasken Martineau’s corporate and M&A practice groups  To see results of their survey click here Fasken Martineau 2013 M&A Social Media Survey Research through Social Media, can bring wealth of information about your M&A target. According to Iris Vermeren at Brandwatch you are able investigate the company’s health and reputation, its products, its customers, the market and even competitors. “Mergers and acquisitions create uncertainty for consumers, so post-merger marketing messages and initiatives should focus on providing a sense of security. Brand confusion is the number one brand killer, and mergers and acquisitions create a great deal of brand confusion in the minds of consumers. The marketer’s job is to clear up… Read more »
Do you have a favourite advertisement on TV that just grabs your attention every time its on? Or perhaps a campaign run on Twitter, Facebook or another social media platform that lights a fire within you and inspires you to share it along. Businesses have sure changed the way they market products or services to us. In the past marketing campaigns were solely focused on selling their products to us post production, now companies are turning to social media from the inception of a product all the way to its delivery on store shelves. However the challenge has now become how to use social media platforms to reach customers in new and exciting ways while providing real time experiences for them to comment on and share, thus making companies more likeable and trustworthy in the eyes of their customers. I asked Ed Rush, Global Marketing Executive at Elemica to share his thoughts on this subject, “There is an old saying – “you have two ears and one mouth, listen twice as much as you speak.” In my experience in business to business, it seems most forget that rule when it comes to social. Too many marketers are eager to post their message and speak to the market and attract likes, comments, and follows. However, so much more can be learned when you refocus your attention from social “speaking” to social “listening” across your networks. When the primary objective is to learn about the challenges, priorities, and/or objectives of others in your community, you can then approach your outreach with a much more strategic and tailored communication. Ultimately, facilitating a buyer’s journey is more about understanding where they are at and expertly facilitating them through the process. You can’t do that if your speaking twice as much as listening.” There is one company that I am excited to share about which is taking its social media marketing campaigns to new heights, and that is HP. Keeping in trend with the latest platforms, HP launched the #BendTheRules campaign that blew customers away and resulted in much success socially. So what is Social Media Marketing and what are its the benefits? How are businesses currently working with it and what are the new trends that companies should embrace? Let me begin by answering the first two questions. According to Wikipedia, “Social Media Marketing is the process of gaining website traffic or attention through social media sites.” In… Read more »
How the Communitech incubator in Waterloo ON, is leveraging social media to market its services to Silicon Valley North start-ups in need of just the right guidance to get their big idea off the ground.
With the intentions of partying like it’s 1999, the Hamilton bar scene is leaning heavily on social media to pop-off their next hit event, in addition to gaining some insight into what the local competition might be spinning up.
Organization name: Facebook Website: https://www.facebook.com/ Industry: Social Media. Advertise Your Cause, Attract Supporters, Accrue Donations, and Align Graphics to Show Goal Progression. In 2013, the developers at Facebook began testing tools for non-profits and charities to raise funds on their platform and allow for easy sharing of content. The popularity of social media for both business and consumers is no… Read more »
Organization Name: Oracle Corporation Industry: Software Name of contacts: Greg Robinson, Solutions Consultant Manager Web references: imediaconnection.com – 5 Predictions For the Future of Social Media go-mashmobile.com – What is the Future of Social Media Marketing? youtube.com video – The Future of Social Media? youtube.com video – The Future of Social Media Intelligence – An Interview with Greg Robinson business2community.com – The… Read more »
Company: UNC School of Media and Journalism Industry: Education Contact: Gary Kayye, Adjunct Professor Web references: UNC, YouTube, Adobe Digital Marketing blog, ello, Tinder, Buzzfeed, Entrepreneur What WAS life like before we all were engaged almost 24/7 with our smartphones? Entrepreneur’s staff writer, Laura Entis’ column “Life with Smarphones” suggests that while the devices have only been around for a decade,… Read more »
Organization Name: Christie Industry: AudioVisual, Manufacturing Contact: Kathryn Cress, Vice President, Global & Corporate Marketing Web References: Christie,B2B Social Media, Social Media for Business Performance; Social Marketing About Christie “Share the Experience” is Christie’s tag line, used extensively to promote the primary benefit of Christie’s products and solutions. The company provides visual display solutions, including content and services, that allow people to view visuals in a… Read more »
Title of Post: The Future of Pharma and Social Media is Beyond the Pill Industry: Pharmaceuticals Name of Contact: Ray Chepesiuk CEO Pharmaceutical Advertising Advisory Board Web references: Health Works Collective , Eye for Pharma, FiercePharma, Drug Store News, Healthcare Informatics, iMedicalApps, Wall Street Journal , Proteus Digital Health, PubMed Central, Medical Marketing and Media, Wikipedia, Dictionary Reference.com, Free Dictionary , CDC, IBM Research, FDA, Executive Insights via Slide… Read more »
Organization Name: Toms Industry: Retail References: Toms, Social Media Breakdown, How Toms Creates Customers for Life, A Case Study in Profitable Cause Marketing, Social Media Analytics for Social Good As the shift between having a social media marketing strategy and needing one lurches towards the latter, online marketing intelligence will glean much from the examples and experiences of sustainable enterprises like… Read more »
Title of Post: Santa Flies WestJet to Grant Real-time Christmas Wishes Organization Name: WestJet Industry: Airline Web references: CBC.ca, The WestJet blog, Shorty Awards, Globacore Description So often I hear people say “We want to make a viral video,” but a viral video cannot just be created. A video becomes viral, and for that to happen, you must first create something… Read more »
Organization name: Family & Children’s Services of Waterloo Region Foundation Industry: Non-profit (registered charity) Name of contact: Valerie Beyer, Donor Relations Coordinator Web references: The Globe and Mail: Canada’s Top 100 Non-Profit Organizations (Registered Charities) Bufferapp: Social Media for Non-Profits: High-Impact Tips and the Best Free Tools HubSpot: The “Three A’s” of Nonprofit Social Media Engagement SlideShare: Online Fundraising with Social Media… Read more »