Marketing Awards Blog

How to Craft Your Marketing Plan for 2014

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Wed, Oct 30, 2013 @ 04:07 PM

Ruwena Healy, CEO of Marketing 24/7, Inc., in Trussville, Alabama, USA chaired the final judging committee for the Communications and Marketing Awards categories in the 2013 Stevie Awards for Women in Business, the world's top honors for women executive, entrepreneurs, and the organizations they run. Her company won the Gold Stevie for Low Budget Communications Campaign of the Year in the 2012 Stevies for women. Here she applies her own award-winning marketing expertise to provide some tips for marketers on planning for 2014.

Like many companies, you are probably in the midst of preparing your strategic plans for 2014. Successful business leaders understand that in order to anticipate a profitable upcoming year, you have to plan.

Ruwena HealyIf you are struggling with the planning process for your marketing and social media, or need a few ideas about how to implement a plan going forward, here are a few important tips to keep in mind:

1. Figure out where you stand.

It may seem obvious, but in order for you to move forward, you have to figure out where you are right now. This means taking a serious look at the inner workings of your marketing and social media plan. Conducting an internal and external audit of where your business really is—and not where you think it is—will give you a true picture of where you stand. Now would also be a good time to examine the strengths and weaknesses of your business. What are you doing right and what have you done that hasn’t worked?

2. What are you trying to accomplish?

Too often, businesses think that if they advertise everywhere and post everything on social media, they will magically receive countless leads, gain more loyal customers, and increase their bottom line. In order to craft the right message to get concerted results, you must identify what outcome you are looking for and then proceed to target the right market with the right message through the right medium.

3. Identify your target market and plan how to reach them.

The best way to identify your target market is by investing the time to create a buyer persona. A buyer persona is an example of a real person you need to influence crafted from information you retrieve from interviews you conduct with customers or potential customers, or from website and social media analytics you collect from your website or social media business page. For example, you can gather the analytics from your Facebook page to find out the exact age group, demographics, and gender of the individuals who visit your page the most. From this information, create a persona of an individual within that median group and make a plan that targets your message toward him/her to gain more engagement and interest in your business. Understanding who your clients are will help you serve their needs and keep them coming back.

4. Have clear objectives and goals and research, research, research.

Be specific about your own objectives and goals. Do they align with your business’ mission and priorities? How will you get there? Which team members will be accountable for implementation? What are your competitors doing? Research is a critical component that too often is left out of the planning process. Research is a continual part of the process that you have to take time to achieve if you want your overall plan to be succinct and, most of all, successful.

5. Evaluate.

You’re not done: You must evaluate! Put benchmarks in place (i.e. quarterly) to review what you’ve done, measure your success, research some more, and evaluate your successes and failures.

Conclusion
Strategic planning is a vital part of any business and if you want to use marketing and social media to help brand your business, you need to take the time to think things through and get the most out of your time and resources. Remember the old saying: “Plan your work and work your plan!”

About Ruwena Healy
Ruwena Healy is the CEO of Marketing 24/7, Inc., a full-service marketing, branding, and public relations firm, which she founded 8 years ago. Marketing 24/7 has a diverse client list and is one of Birmingham, Alabama’s Top 10 PR firms. Marketing 24/7 and Ruwena have garnered numerous international, national, state, and local business awards. In addition to recently being awarded “Honorable Mention” in the international Enterprising Women of the Year Award by Enterprising Women magazine, Ruwena won a Gold Stevie in the 2012 Stevie Awards for Women In Business. Ruwena was recently named 1st runner up in the Birmingham Business Journal’s Social Madness competition that showcased a company’s social media savvy by gaining new followers and encouraging follower engagement. 

Ruwena continues to gain popularity as a LinkedIn expert and trainer (her LinkedIn profile was among the Top 1% of the Most Viewed profiles in 2012). She is a sought-after speaker, trainer, and lecturer, and has also presented numerous programs on branding, social media, public relations, and how to successfully get the word out about your business. Ruwena maintains a marketing blog at MasterMarketing247.com and her articles have appeared in PR News’ 2011 Crisis Management Guidebook, Birmingham Business Journal, The Birmingham News, Alabama Business News, and al.com. Ruwena is an active member of the Birmingham, Alabama community:  she is a member of The Women’s Network; a member of the Board of Directors of the Public Relations Council of Alabama’s Birmingham Chapter; a former Board member and currently a member of the Public Relations Society of America Alabama Chapter; and a current member of Alabama Women In Business.

Ruwena has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing from the University of Florida and a Masters in Business Administration from Florida State University. Today, with twin boys that are seven years old, Ruwena gives her time to fundraisers for their school and as a leader in the Cub Scouts.

About Marketing 24/7
Marketing 24/7, Inc. works with a diverse client list of companies, entrepreneurs, and professionals to offer unique expertise in personal branding and company branding. The firm has proven itself with marketing and business development effectiveness for the purpose of increasing revenue and profits.  For more information go to: www.marketing247.net

Tags: communications awards, business awards, marketing awards, stevie awards, women awards, women in business awards, Ruwena Healy

How Stevie Awards Winner MAC Presents Used Social Media for AT&T and Samsung

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Wed, Aug 21, 2013 @ 03:39 PM

MAC Presents of New York, New York USA won the Gold Stevie® Award for Small-Budget Marketing Campaign of the Year in the communications and marketing awards categories of the 2012 Stevie Awards for Women in Business, the world's top honors for women entrepreneurs, executives, and the organizations they run.  (Another MAC Presents campaign also won a Gold Stevie for Small-Budget Marketing Campaign of the Year in The 2013 American Business Awards.) The entry deadline for the 2013 Stevie Awards for Women in Business is August 28 - get the entry kit here.)

Here we look at the highly successful AT&T/Samsung sponsorship that MAC Presents put together with the New York fashion label rag & bone.

For the launch of the Samsung Galaxy Note, AT&T and Samsung wanted to target the creative, fashion-forward mobile consumer, who would not only want the latest in advanced technology but would also view the device as a fashion accessory.

A custom promotion solution was needed that would establish a Galaxy Note social community within the fashion world during New York’s Fashion Week. Ideally, this social platform would integrate the phone into the daily life both of a fashion designer partner and of respected fashion bloggers.

The Ideal Collaboration

MAC Presents worked with AT&T and Samsung's marketing teams to select the ideal designers for them to collaborate with, and to create the unique marketing that would effectively reach the Galaxy Note's target audience.

MAC Presents developed a custom program that enabled AT&T/Samsung to partner with rag & bone, one of today's leading fashion brands based in New York City. To help reach the Galaxy Note’s influential target audience, MAC Presents worked with rag & bone to create an exclusive case for the Galaxy Note device.

The Galaxy Note was integrated into rag & bone’s 2012 fashion show during New York Fashion Week with signage and an exclusive, branded VIP area backstage. Additionally, influential fashion bloggers such as Bryan Boy, Leandra Medine, and Susie Bubble were given Galaxy Note devices to use for posting to their blogs and tweets during New York Fashion Week.

Comprehensive Media Plan
MAC Presents developed a comprehensive media plan that included print, outdoor, and online advertising as well as social media and public relations outreach. Bus shelter advertising was utilized to promote the partnership in key locations around New York City.

All creative featured the still photography of New York-based photographer Danny Clinch. Danny also shot a :30 commercial for the Galaxy Note featuring rag & bone's designers Marcus Wainwright and David Neville. The pair also hosted a private Galaxy Note launch party in New York City that included a performance from Band of Horses. With many celebrities in attendance, the event attracted millions of press impressions.

MAC Presents’ combined media outreach efforts garnered over 114,000,000 million consumer impressions.

Online Campaign

An extensive online campaign was implemented to increase awareness of the collaboration between AT&T/Samsung and rag & bone. MAC Presents partnered with fashion publications Front Row Daily and WWD to create rich, online advertising opportunities. Additionally, MAC Presents partnered with Billboard.com to reach the fashion, music oriented consumer.

Facebook Advertising

A daily Facebook advertising plan was put into effect to launch the campaign and build awareness of the Samsung Galaxy Note.

In total, over 4 billion consumer impressions were garnered through online efforts.

Marcie AllenThe Value of Social Media

Marcie Allen, president of MAC Presents, comments: “Social media has opened up brand involvement beyond tour sponsorships.” Allen points to MAC Presents' launching of Nokia Music with AT&T through a sponsorship with Green Day that has garnered more than 165 million social media impressions, as well as a Gold Stevie in the 2013 American Business Awards. “All the programs we put together in 2012 were heavily based in social media,” she says. “There has to be value. You have to be able to measure and track sales. You can do that with social media.”

Inspiring Women

“As a woman in the music industry, recognition in the Stevie Awards has proved an effective tool for me to encourage more women to enter this industry,” continued Allen. “As someone who has been in the music industry for 18 years, I want to inspire women and show them that anything is possible.  All power to the Stevie Awards for Women on its 10th Anniversary!”

About Marcie Allen
Marcie Allen is President of New York City-based sponsorship and fulfillment agency MAC Presents. Allen leverages her eighteen years of music industry experience to negotiate high profile sponsorships between the world’s leading brands and artists. Allen has executed partnerships on behalf of brands including Jeep, Microsoft, Samsung, CITI, AT&T, and Nokia.  She is a seven-time nominee and two-time winner of Billboard Magazine's Concert Marketing and Promotion Award. Allen was named to Billboard’s Women in Music in 2010, 2011, and 2012 and Billboard’s 40 under 40 in 2013.

In April 2013, The White House honored Allen as one of their Hurricane Sandy "Champions of Change." The event highlighted people and organizations directly involved in response and recovery efforts following Hurricane Sandy. Allen directed a documentary short, “Beach 119,” about her efforts in Rockaways, New York, after the storm.

Prior to starting MAC, Allen owned and operated MAD Booking & Events, which booked and produced music festivals across the country including On the Bricks in Atlanta, GA. Allen is on the board of directors for Musicians on Call and the TJ Martell Foundation.

About MAC Presents
MAC Presents is an award-winning sponsorship and fulfillment agency based in New York City that executes partnerships between the world’s leading brands and artists. With expertise in the music industry, MAC creates authentic brand connections that produce unique experiences and ignite consumer passion.

Tags: communications awards, marketing awards, stevie awards, women awards, women in business awards, women executive awards, samsung, mac presents, at&T