Tag: Agency

27 May 2016
brd-moody-graphic

Twitter Character Count: Much A-Twitter About Nothing?

Wiser words were never said.
Wiser words were never said.

Make no mistake, Twitter is my favorite social network. Facebook feels like a guilty pleasure (why am I stalking friends while they’re on vacation?). LinkedIn is, frankly, a snooze. And I’m not enough of a shutterbug to get a lot of use out of Instagram or Snapchat. Twitter is just more … useful.

I get news, traffic, jokes, updates from organizations I’m involved with and little glimpses into (but not full-on photo essays on) the lives of friends. I find it’s the first place I go for breaking news nationally or locally. I’m just more likely to find what’s really going on, in real time, on Twitter than from a news outlet. When a temblor hits Irving, the first place I look to is my “Irving Earthquake” search term newsfeed to see if it was really a quake and verify the magnitude.

So you’d think I’d be more excited about the changes coming to the character limit than I am.

To catch you up – in a recent blog, Twitter announced the following:

“In the coming months we’ll make changes to simplify Tweets including what counts toward your 140 characters, so for instance, @names in replies and media attachments (like photos, GIFs, videos, and polls) will no longer “use up” valuable characters. Here’s what will change:

  • Replies: When replying to a Tweet, @names will no longer count toward the 140-character count. This will make having conversations on Twitter easier and more straightforward, no more penny-pinching your words to ensure they reach the whole group.
  • Media attachments: When you add attachments like photos, GIFs, videos, polls, or Quote Tweets, that media will no longer count as characters within your Tweet. More room for words!
  • Retweet and Quote Tweet yourself: We’ll be enabling the Retweet button on your own Tweets, so you can easily Retweet or Quote Tweet yourself when you want to share a new reflection or feel like a really good one went unnoticed.
  • Goodbye, .@: These changes will help simplify the rules around Tweets that start with a username. New Tweets that begin with a username will reach all your followers. (That means you’ll no longer have to use the “.@” convention, which people currently use to broadcast Tweets broadly.) If you want a reply to be seen by all your followers, you will be able to Retweet it to signal that you intend for it to be viewed more broadly.”

The big news here is the fact that attachments like images, videos, GIFs, polls and quote tweets no longer count as 24 characters. This is all well and good, and I’m happy to have the additional real estate to compose my thoughts. It seems more straightforward than trying to do math when planning to insert an image or video (ask anyone – nothing causes a dark cloud to creep over my face more than math).

But it’s not a game changer. I think individuals trying to compose a clever thought or update will get the most use out of the extra characters. But for companies who have been building their audience and engagement and adhering to best practices, this should have little impact.

Basically it boils down to brevity. The goal has always been to keep Tweets as short as possible. According to Twitter’s own research (via Buddy Media) Tweets shorter than 100 characters get a 17% higher engagement rate, so why would you want to go longer? Just because you have the extra space isn’t a reason to make your Tweets longer.

This change will only be a boon to the longwinded individual user who can now use the full 140 characters and still share the cat GIF they found on Reddit.

As they’ve done in the past with changes to the platform, Twitter may release a corresponding paid promotional feature that takes advantage of the new character count. That will certainly be something that bloomfield knoble will be watching out for, to consider for brands doing paid advertising. For now though, don’t look for brands to start telling you to buy their product or service using 24 additional characters.

 


 About The Author

jeff-carrington-headshot

Thanks to the shortening of attention spans and his inability to finish a novel (phenomena that are unrelated, he assures us), Jeff Carrington has found the perfect job for himself as director of communications and social media at bloomfield knoble. When he’s not developing social strategies for clients in 140 characters or less, he’s tweeting about dive bars and dog parks, both of which he frequents with his Spitz-Terrier mix buddy, Ben, and other random humans.
Connect With Jeff Carrington
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# # #

Who is bloomfield knoble?

bloomfield knoble is a full-service, premier strategic marketing and advertising agency based in Dallas, Texas. Our clients include top 50 Fortune companies and unique businesses that seek a strategic partner to empower their offerings and growth. Whether developing an integrated advertising campaign, a direct marketing tactical approach, brand framework and positioning exercise, or daily creative, technical and consulting support, bloomfield knoble provides a one-to-one approach. Call Eric Hirschhorn to learn more at 214-254-3805, or eric@bloomweb.com.

27 Oct 2015
flipboard

Using data to enhance ad targeting

I was at a family gathering this weekend and was watching my son and my nieces and nephews (aged from 8  – 14) avoid social interaction with adults by spending all of their time on iPads or iPhones when I noticed something interesting. They were all on the same platform (Instagram) and sharing a verbal conversation about what they were looking at, but they were all processing the information differently. One kid would find a funny picture and tell the other kids. All the kids would go to that picture and laugh or comment, but even though they were at the same starting point, they would go different directions on their own mobile device until another funny picture was found and then the process would repeat itself.

Watching them reinforced that relevancy is a vital plank of any advertising plan – that even though we at bloomfield knoble, or any advertising agency, think we know what people are going to do – we don’t. It is because of this uncertainty that you find more and more advertising campaigns offering additional information across a wide variety of social media platforms. It wasn’t that many years ago that the only action we thought people would take would be to call a phone number. Then it became the only action we thought people would take would be to go to the website. Now an agency has to prepare for, well, everything. So I am always pleased when platforms make life easier for us here at bloomfield knoble.

I was quite excited to read that Flipboard opened up its data to enhance ad targeting on its platform. If you’re not familiar with them, Flipboard gives people a single place to follow all of their interests. People use Flipboard to enjoy their favorite sources from around the world and then save stories, images, and videos into their own Flipboard magazines—sharing items that reflect their interests, express their perspectives, or are simply things they want to read later.

Curation, reader behavior and social data together with Flipboard’s powerful Topic Engine, which understands the content of articles, are the key elements of the social magazine’s new Interest Graph Targeting. Interest Graph Targeting combines the best of two worlds: contextual advertising and behavioral targeting, without their downsides. Instead of targeting individuals based on cookies and tracking them across the Internet, which is not a viable option on mobile devices, Flipboard’s Interest Graph lets brands reach people based on billions of stories per month across thousands of publishers including the top premium publishers that users are reading, sharing, curating, liking, and discussing.

This launch signifies a next phase in Flipboard’s advertising business as advertisers can now increase the relevancy of their full-page adds, Promoted Stories or Videos and Brand Magazines by placing them near related stories and by reaching people who are interested in this content. “Flipboard is well known for beauty and design, which is reflected in the presentation of content as well as advertising. We combine this beauty with ‘brains’: our deep understanding of the intricate connections between people, content and interests through our Interest Graph,” said Mike McCue, Flipboard’s co-founder and CEO. “The Interest Graph powers content discovery on Flipboard and now, we’re opening it up to our brand partners who want to get their messages in front of their audience in the right context as well as in the right mindset.”

Interest Graph Targeting also ensures that ads appear in proximity to and in related content, making them interesting and relevant to the topic a person is reading about on Flipboard. Flipboard’s ad data has historically shown strong performance when brand ads and branded content were aligned with relevant interest channels. Interest Graph Targeting further enhances this contextual targeting by giving advertisers access to all 34,000 Flipboard topics and using the billions of user data points. High-end brands, that place a premium on the placement of ads, can use Interest Graph targeting to ensure their ads appear in the appropriate context.For instance, a retirement fund can target financial topics, and an airline can target different travel destinations; Flipboard’s Interest Graph automatically knows all the related relevant topics omitting hours of research into keywords. “We can go beyond the keyword to find like-minded people in broader contexts that will resonate with an advertiser’s brand narrative,” said Dave Huynh, head of ad product at Flipboard. As Flipboard’s audience grows—recently reaching 80 million monthly active users—advertisers increasingly seek out the platform to reach their audiences. To meet the growing interest from brands, the company has made advertising a key focus this year, expanding its ad formats and targeting capabilities.Using tools like Flipboard’s Interest Graph can be of great benefit to both advertising agencies like bloomfield knoble, but more importantly, provide a better (more relevant) experience to the reader – and at the end of the day, that’s really what we want to accomplish.

 


 About The Author

thomas-thompson-headshot

A STEM (Science / Technology / Engineering / Math) graduate and COO of bloomfield knoble, Thomas exemplifies the view that advertising is becoming an engineering discipline. He leads the integrated insights and strategic planning group in a way consistent with bloomfield knoble’s goal of bringing a strong analytical foundation to uncover fresh and innovative insights and business opportunities.
Connect With Thomas J Thompson
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# # #

Who is bloomfield knoble?

bloomfield knoble is a full-service, premier strategic marketing and advertising agency based in Dallas, Texas. Our clients include top 50 Fortune companies and unique businesses that seek a strategic partner to empower their offerings and growth. Whether developing an integrated advertising campaign, a direct marketing tactical approach, brand framework and positioning exercise, or daily creative, technical and consulting support, bloomfield knoble provides a one-to-one approach. Call Eric Hirschhorn to learn more at 214-254-3805, or eric@bloomweb.com.

 

07 Jul 2015
birthday_cake

Maybe you don't have to spend as much as you think.

birthday_cakeEveryone at bloomfield knoble knows not to ask me STEM (science, technology, engineering, math)-related questions, because I will not give a simple answer. I seize the opportunity to fill an entire whiteboard with formulas and computations as if I were giving a lecture at MIT. In my defense, I don’t try to be like that, it’s just so many STEM-related answers are based on knowing the answers to a bunch of other questions. For example, Chi square (calculating the relationship between two variables to determine if they are related) is pretty common in marketing. However, calculating Chi square means constructing the observed values table using the original dataset; using the f^e formula to construct the expected values table; using the Chi square former to calculate the Chi square value; using the df formula and the Chi square table to discover if that x^2 value is significant; and drawing a conclusion about the relationship between the two variables. So, yeah, ask me a question and I’m going to walk through the entire process to deliver the answer.

Sorry – got a bit off topic. See! I just used a paragraph to explain why people don’t ask me STEM-related questions.

Anyway, it turns out that Clark (associate creative director here at bloomfield knoble) and I have the same birthdate. One of the interns, who doesn’t know better, asked what the chances are that two people in a relatively-small office would have the same birthday, and the topic for this week’s blog was born. Let the whiteboard explanation (followed by the reason it matters in advertising/marketing) commence:

Let’s exclude February 29th because those people, like Gingers, are born without souls, so that a year has 365 days. Let’s also assume that all days are equally likely birthdays for a randomly chosen person. So how many people do you need to ask to be at least 50% certain that at least two of them have the same birthday? What’s your guess? Many people answer 183, which is about half of 365. This is a fairly well-known problem, so you might already know the answer is 23.

We arrive at the answer by computing the probability that everyone has a different birthday and then subtract this from 1. Start with just two people. The first can have any birthday and the second person must avoid this day, which has a probability of 364/365. The probability that two people share a birthday is thus 1 – 364/365 or about 0.003. Add another person. His or her birthday must avoid both previously taken birthdays, which has probability of 363/365. The probability that all three people have different birthday is 364/365 x 363/365 and the probability that there is some common birthday in a group of three is P(some common birthday) = 1 – 364/365 x 363/365 about 0.01. We keep doing this over and over. At 10 people, the the probability already exceeds 0.1 and at 22 people it is 0.48 and at 23 people the probability of some common birthday is 0.51. Thus, only 23 people are needed to be at least 50% certain that there is some common birthday.

Remember, this isn’t the same as the probability that somebody shares a particular birthday, which is how I’m going to spin this math lesson back to marketing and advertising.

There are, generally, two types of campaigns. There is the campaign where you are trying to reach a very specific audience and influence them all; and there is the type of campaign where you are trying to reach everyone and then influence some. The first campaign is like two people sharing a particular birthday – you have very specific criteria in mind and you determine the reach and frequency based on those criteria. These are, in my opinion, the best kind of campaigns and thanks to the willingness of people to give up their private information in return for cat pictures, very easy to accomplish. The second campaign is a bit trickier. This is the “maybe I should get a billboard” campaign. It’s become quite popular to dismiss these kinds of campaigns, simply because we – as ad people – don’t feel like we’ll reach the target audience or that they are simply too expensive to have an effective return on investment. But much of that “feeling” isn’t always based in true numbers.

Like the birthday problem, the number that seems correct (183 to hit 50%) isn’t actually the number. The same is true in different types of campaigns. It is easy to dismiss campaign elements like Digital Out of Home, or billboards, etc. as a “waste of money” because the length of time required to be seen by enough people may seem like too low of an ROI. However, a little statistical analysis may reveal that we don’t have to spend as much as we thought to be effective. I could show you the math behind that thinking, but I’ve run out of space on the whiteboard.


 About The Author

thomas-thompson-headshot

A STEM (Science / Technology / Engineering / Math) graduate and COO of bloomfield knoble, Thomas exemplifies the view that advertising is becoming an engineering discipline. He leads the integrated insights and strategic planning group in a way consistent with bloomfield knoble’s goal of bringing a strong analytical foundation to uncover fresh and innovative insights and business opportunities.
Connect With Thomas J Thompson
twitter
facebooklinkedin_25x25youtube_25X25

# # #

Who is bloomfield knoble?

bloomfield knoble is a full-service, premier strategic marketing and advertising agency based in Dallas, Texas. Our clients include top 50 Fortune companies and unique businesses that seek a strategic partner to empower their offerings and growth. Whether developing an integrated advertising campaign, a direct marketing tactical approach, brand framework and positioning exercise, or daily creative, technical and consulting support, bloomfield knoble provides a one-to-one approach. Call Eric Hirschhorn to learn more at 214-254-3805, or eric@bloomweb.com.

 

07 Jul 2015
birthday_cake

Maybe you don’t have to spend as much as you think.

birthday_cakeEveryone at bloomfield knoble knows not to ask me STEM (science, technology, engineering, math)-related questions, because I will not give a simple answer. I seize the opportunity to fill an entire whiteboard with formulas and computations as if I were giving a lecture at MIT. In my defense, I don’t try to be like that, it’s just so many STEM-related answers are based on knowing the answers to a bunch of other questions. For example, Chi square (calculating the relationship between two variables to determine if they are related) is pretty common in marketing. However, calculating Chi square means constructing the observed values table using the original dataset; using the f^e formula to construct the expected values table; using the Chi square former to calculate the Chi square value; using the df formula and the Chi square table to discover if that x^2 value is significant; and drawing a conclusion about the relationship between the two variables. So, yeah, ask me a question and I’m going to walk through the entire process to deliver the answer.

Sorry – got a bit off topic. See! I just used a paragraph to explain why people don’t ask me STEM-related questions.

Anyway, it turns out that Clark (associate creative director here at bloomfield knoble) and I have the same birthdate. One of the interns, who doesn’t know better, asked what the chances are that two people in a relatively-small office would have the same birthday, and the topic for this week’s blog was born. Let the whiteboard explanation (followed by the reason it matters in advertising/marketing) commence:

Let’s exclude February 29th because those people, like Gingers, are born without souls, so that a year has 365 days. Let’s also assume that all days are equally likely birthdays for a randomly chosen person. So how many people do you need to ask to be at least 50% certain that at least two of them have the same birthday? What’s your guess? Many people answer 183, which is about half of 365. This is a fairly well-known problem, so you might already know the answer is 23.

We arrive at the answer by computing the probability that everyone has a different birthday and then subtract this from 1. Start with just two people. The first can have any birthday and the second person must avoid this day, which has a probability of 364/365. The probability that two people share a birthday is thus 1 – 364/365 or about 0.003. Add another person. His or her birthday must avoid both previously taken birthdays, which has probability of 363/365. The probability that all three people have different birthday is 364/365 x 363/365 and the probability that there is some common birthday in a group of three is P(some common birthday) = 1 – 364/365 x 363/365 about 0.01. We keep doing this over and over. At 10 people, the the probability already exceeds 0.1 and at 22 people it is 0.48 and at 23 people the probability of some common birthday is 0.51. Thus, only 23 people are needed to be at least 50% certain that there is some common birthday.

Remember, this isn’t the same as the probability that somebody shares a particular birthday, which is how I’m going to spin this math lesson back to marketing and advertising.

There are, generally, two types of campaigns. There is the campaign where you are trying to reach a very specific audience and influence them all; and there is the type of campaign where you are trying to reach everyone and then influence some. The first campaign is like two people sharing a particular birthday – you have very specific criteria in mind and you determine the reach and frequency based on those criteria. These are, in my opinion, the best kind of campaigns and thanks to the willingness of people to give up their private information in return for cat pictures, very easy to accomplish. The second campaign is a bit trickier. This is the “maybe I should get a billboard” campaign. It’s become quite popular to dismiss these kinds of campaigns, simply because we – as ad people – don’t feel like we’ll reach the target audience or that they are simply too expensive to have an effective return on investment. But much of that “feeling” isn’t always based in true numbers.

Like the birthday problem, the number that seems correct (183 to hit 50%) isn’t actually the number. The same is true in different types of campaigns. It is easy to dismiss campaign elements like Digital Out of Home, or billboards, etc. as a “waste of money” because the length of time required to be seen by enough people may seem like too low of an ROI. However, a little statistical analysis may reveal that we don’t have to spend as much as we thought to be effective. I could show you the math behind that thinking, but I’ve run out of space on the whiteboard.


 About The Author

thomas-thompson-headshot

A STEM (Science / Technology / Engineering / Math) graduate and COO of bloomfield knoble, Thomas exemplifies the view that advertising is becoming an engineering discipline. He leads the integrated insights and strategic planning group in a way consistent with bloomfield knoble’s goal of bringing a strong analytical foundation to uncover fresh and innovative insights and business opportunities.
Connect With Thomas J Thompson
twitter
facebooklinkedin_25x25youtube_25X25

# # #

Who is bloomfield knoble?

bloomfield knoble is a full-service, premier strategic marketing and advertising agency based in Dallas, Texas. Our clients include top 50 Fortune companies and unique businesses that seek a strategic partner to empower their offerings and growth. Whether developing an integrated advertising campaign, a direct marketing tactical approach, brand framework and positioning exercise, or daily creative, technical and consulting support, bloomfield knoble provides a one-to-one approach. Call Eric Hirschhorn to learn more at 214-254-3805, or eric@bloomweb.com.

 

21 Jul 2014
RWE

Why do new products fail?

RWEI’m not much on poetry. I’ve seen Dead Poets Society several times, but I don’t think that qualifies me as an expert. Nevertheless, I did know that Ralph Waldo Emerson didn’t actually say, “make a better mousetrap and the world will make a beaten path to your door.” What he actually said was, “If a man has good corn or wood, or boards, or pigs, to sell, or can make better chairs or knives, crucibles or church organs, than anybody else, you will find a broad hard-beaten road to his house, though it be in the woods.”

The concept is pretty much the same – if you have a better product, then people will want to buy it. Here’s the thing – it’s just not true. It’s not about making a better mouse trap, it’s about making a better mouse trap and having a good marketing and distribution plan!

As a full-service premier advertising agency, people often ask bloomfield knoble to help us market their product. We diligently go through our RUDE process and come up with a sound marketing and distribution plan only to be told that it’s too expensive, or not necessary, because everyone will want their product because they do it differently . . . better . . . and it’s NEW! I get why firms do it – typically 25% of all firm revenues come from products that are less than three years old. Furthermore, new products account for 33% of all growth. It is apparent that any firm that does not invest in new products will suffer in terms of both profit and growth. However, new product development entails uncertainty and even experienced marketers (like bloomfield knoble) can not completely and accurately predict the fate of products. It depends on what market a company is in, but a safe rule of thumb is that 25% of new products will fail.

Many products fail because the strategic plan by which they were introduced to the market wasn’t sufficiently well-executed. You can have a better mousetrap but fail, because you don’t actually go to market in the right way. When people come to us with their new products, they’re really saying they have something better than what’s out there in the marketplace. People believe that “better”  is a relative advantage and they’ll win in the marketplace, but it’s just not the case. Relative advantage alone will not generate adoption. A marketing strategy cannot rely solely on the inherent superiority of the product.

I’m proud to say that bloomfield knoble has been a part of quite a few product launches. I’m also a little embarrassed to say that not all of the products we helped launch were successful. I can say, with complete confidence, that it’s not because of the marketing plan. What experience has taught us is not so much “how to do it right” as much as an understanding of why new products fail:

Poor market definition or wrong target market – not everyone wants your product or service. A strategy that is too broad, or focuses on the wrong target market, is sure to fail.

Insufficient or poor market research – if you don’t understand wants or needs then there is little chance that your product will appeal to the target market.

Price set too high or too low – price too high is obvious, but a price that is too low is often misinterpreted as being of low quality.

Poor advertising placement – similar to target market – if you’re telling a story to the wrong people, then you’re missing out.

Wrong distribution strategy – it’s important to pay attention to the entire pipeline of businesses and organizations that a product travels to reach the consumer. Choose poorly and product is sure to fail.

Wrong physical placement in store – I’ve seen this one first hand – if your product isn’t in the right place, then it’s likely not to be noticed (or considered too much of an effort to find).

Poor marketing mix execution – if product, price, place and promotion do not work well together, it can undermine the entire marketing strategy.

Poor timing of launch – this really has two meanings – don’t launch something wrong time of year (ice cold soda in winter, for example) and don’t launch a product if it’s not ready for market.

Relative advantage alone will not generate adoption. A marketing strategy cannot rely solely on the inherent superiority of the product. Coming to a deep understanding of your product, and especially how customers use your product, will help bloomfield knoble help you develop the right marketing strategy.


 About The Author

thomas-thompson-headshot

A STEM (Science / Technology / Engineering / Math) graduate and COO of bloomfield knoble, Thomas exemplifies the view that advertising is becoming an engineering discipline. He leads the integrated insights and strategic planning group in a way consistent with bloomfield knoble’s goal of bringing a strong analytical foundation to uncover fresh and innovative insights and business opportunities.
Connect With Thomas J Thompson
twitter
facebooklinkedin_25x25youtube_25X25

# # # Who is bloomfield knoble? bloomfield knoble is a full-service, premier strategic marketing and advertising agency based in Dallas, Texas. Our clients include top 50 Fortune companies and unique businesses that seek a strategic partner to empower their offerings and growth. Whether developing an integrated advertising campaign, a direct marketing tactical approach, brand framework and positioning exercise, or daily creative, technical and consulting support, bloomfield knoble provides a one-to-one approach. Call Eric Hirschhorn to learn more at 214-254-3805, or eric@bloomweb.com.

08 Apr 2014
bloomfield knoble is not a life coach.

I Just Can't Trust A Life Coach

I’m not into self-help stuff. Seems like the older I get, the more I get told by complete strangers that I need to follow their advice in my daily life to achieve “happiness.” Apparently I can’t possibly be happy, they say, with all the pressures of being a business owner, ongoing client demands, family responsibilities, etc. They want me to believe that I just can’t manage it without their “guiding principles.” Of course, these “guiding principles” come in every form you can imagine: books/DVDs, networking groups that run $1200/month, online life coaching videos and courses, or even some jerk sitting at a bar that wants to save me from “Me.”

Two words to those folks: “Put an egg in your shoe and beat it.”

bloomfield knoble is not a life coach.
My favorite form of life coaching. (Click image to order, if you like it.)

That said, I am not against self improvement. In fact, I live by the saying “I don’t know,” which makes me always thirst for knowledge and understanding, especially of myself. I just don’t believe a life coach or self help “expert” has anything to teach me. At least not until I get to understand them, know them, agree with them and watch in real time that they stay true to their principles while being assaulted by the same things I face daily. I like to term this, “earned trust.” You know, the same feeling you get from sitting with someone in a foxhole.

Not many life coaches are willing to put in the time or effort to get to that “earned trust“ part. They just want you to buy their books, booklets, DVDs, join their network and hear other sob stories by logging in to their website. What really cracks me up is that so many give away the punch line before the joke even starts.

I remember one guy trying to get me to read this book called, “Hope Is Not A Strategy.” I totally agreed with that title. Makes so much sense, it’s obvious. So why would I buy that book? The title said it all. I don’t need to read anecdotes to prove an already Captain Obvious-level point. This recent article on LinkedIn is a prime example. Under the guise of self improvement, this guy is marketing a book to help me be “very successful,” not just “successful?” Reminds me of some story about an emperor and a couple of failed Project Runway contestants.

(Are you getting a good insight in to the depth of my anti-false prophet mindset?)

So, how does this tie into advertising? You haven’t made the correlation yet? . . . Ah, there you go. Now you get it. Just had to hit you in the head a couple of times.

If you still don’t get it, you might need a “coach” of some kind. The simple fact is, so many agencies read from a book they wrote years before and want you to buy. Even if you have already read it! The truth is, in many cases, it’s the same “book” with a new, snappier title. Buyer beware if your advertising or marketing agency already has the answers before they understand your problem, much less have earned your trust through real-life engagement.

In growing this agency, we built it by establishing trust. Even today, 17 years on, when the opportunity arrives to first prove ourselves worthy, we welcome that approach. It builds a great bond for long-term trust on both sides. It usually sounds like this: “Why don’t we just do a small project first, like redesigning an email template, and see how we work together? If we still like each other after the project is complete, we can take on bigger challenges together.”

That is a near literal repeat of a past conversation to win a major client that is still with us 8+ years later. Proof that earning trust works.

In fact, this philosophy has worked so well, I recommend it to friends or peers seeking to open a business. (Not that I’m life coaching or anything! No. Never!) No matter what your business provides, a product or a service, this approach can really build earned trust. To use a baseball analogy, it’s not about hitting home runs, it’s about turning singles into runs to win the game. (Casey Stengel?)

For you life coaches I have lambasted metaphorically, many of you are probably pretty good at what you do. What you offer may be valuable to the right person in need. But, when you see me walking down the street, do us both a favor and ignore me. We will both experience even greater success and find happiness by choosing that path.


 About The Author

eric-hirschhorn-headshotEric J. Hirschhorn is a principal at bloomfield knoble. For 17 years he has helped lead the agency from start up to becoming a premier, full-service agency whose clients include some of the most influential companies in America. Eric lives to spend time with his family, to work and to travel the world in search of unique fishing adventures.

Connect With Eric Hirschhorn
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# # #

Who is bloomfield knoble?

bloomfield knoble is a full-service, premier strategic marketing and advertising agency based in Dallas, Texas. Our clients include top 50 Fortune companies and unique businesses that seek a strategic partner to empower their offerings and growth. Whether developing an integrated advertising campaign, a direct marketing tactical approach, brand framework and positioning exercise, or daily creative, technical and consulting support, bloomfield knoble provides a one-to-one approach. Call Eric Hirschhorn to learn more at 214-254-3805, or eric@bloomweb.com.

 

08 Apr 2014
bloomfield knoble is not a life coach.

I Just Can’t Trust A Life Coach

I’m not into self-help stuff. Seems like the older I get, the more I get told by complete strangers that I need to follow their advice in my daily life to achieve “happiness.” Apparently I can’t possibly be happy, they say, with all the pressures of being a business owner, ongoing client demands, family responsibilities, etc. They want me to believe that I just can’t manage it without their “guiding principles.” Of course, these “guiding principles” come in every form you can imagine: books/DVDs, networking groups that run $1200/month, online life coaching videos and courses, or even some jerk sitting at a bar that wants to save me from “Me.”

Two words to those folks: “Put an egg in your shoe and beat it.”

bloomfield knoble is not a life coach.
My favorite form of life coaching. (Click image to order, if you like it.)

That said, I am not against self improvement. In fact, I live by the saying “I don’t know,” which makes me always thirst for knowledge and understanding, especially of myself. I just don’t believe a life coach or self help “expert” has anything to teach me. At least not until I get to understand them, know them, agree with them and watch in real time that they stay true to their principles while being assaulted by the same things I face daily. I like to term this, “earned trust.” You know, the same feeling you get from sitting with someone in a foxhole.

Not many life coaches are willing to put in the time or effort to get to that “earned trust“ part. They just want you to buy their books, booklets, DVDs, join their network and hear other sob stories by logging in to their website. What really cracks me up is that so many give away the punch line before the joke even starts.

I remember one guy trying to get me to read this book called, “Hope Is Not A Strategy.” I totally agreed with that title. Makes so much sense, it’s obvious. So why would I buy that book? The title said it all. I don’t need to read anecdotes to prove an already Captain Obvious-level point. This recent article on LinkedIn is a prime example. Under the guise of self improvement, this guy is marketing a book to help me be “very successful,” not just “successful?” Reminds me of some story about an emperor and a couple of failed Project Runway contestants.

(Are you getting a good insight in to the depth of my anti-false prophet mindset?)

So, how does this tie into advertising? You haven’t made the correlation yet? . . . Ah, there you go. Now you get it. Just had to hit you in the head a couple of times.

If you still don’t get it, you might need a “coach” of some kind. The simple fact is, so many agencies read from a book they wrote years before and want you to buy. Even if you have already read it! The truth is, in many cases, it’s the same “book” with a new, snappier title. Buyer beware if your advertising or marketing agency already has the answers before they understand your problem, much less have earned your trust through real-life engagement.

In growing this agency, we built it by establishing trust. Even today, 17 years on, when the opportunity arrives to first prove ourselves worthy, we welcome that approach. It builds a great bond for long-term trust on both sides. It usually sounds like this: “Why don’t we just do a small project first, like redesigning an email template, and see how we work together? If we still like each other after the project is complete, we can take on bigger challenges together.”

That is a near literal repeat of a past conversation to win a major client that is still with us 8+ years later. Proof that earning trust works.

In fact, this philosophy has worked so well, I recommend it to friends or peers seeking to open a business. (Not that I’m life coaching or anything! No. Never!) No matter what your business provides, a product or a service, this approach can really build earned trust. To use a baseball analogy, it’s not about hitting home runs, it’s about turning singles into runs to win the game. (Casey Stengel?)

For you life coaches I have lambasted metaphorically, many of you are probably pretty good at what you do. What you offer may be valuable to the right person in need. But, when you see me walking down the street, do us both a favor and ignore me. We will both experience even greater success and find happiness by choosing that path.


 About The Author

eric-hirschhorn-headshotEric J. Hirschhorn is a principal at bloomfield knoble. For 17 years he has helped lead the agency from start up to becoming a premier, full-service agency whose clients include some of the most influential companies in America. Eric lives to spend time with his family, to work and to travel the world in search of unique fishing adventures.

Connect With Eric Hirschhorn
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Who is bloomfield knoble?

bloomfield knoble is a full-service, premier strategic marketing and advertising agency based in Dallas, Texas. Our clients include top 50 Fortune companies and unique businesses that seek a strategic partner to empower their offerings and growth. Whether developing an integrated advertising campaign, a direct marketing tactical approach, brand framework and positioning exercise, or daily creative, technical and consulting support, bloomfield knoble provides a one-to-one approach. Call Eric Hirschhorn to learn more at 214-254-3805, or eric@bloomweb.com.

 

25 Feb 2014
Social Hour

Social Media Cocktail Hour

Clients and coworkers often ask me if they should use social media to build their business. The answer is pretty simple. The Internet is throwing a cocktail party and everyone’s invited. If you’re not there, the other attendees are going to notice. Why wouldn’t you go?

Most importantly, everyone you want to talk to is probably already there. Your competitor is there wearing his best tux, and he’s already talking to your potential customers, so put on your nicest duds and head on over.

Social Hour
These handsome couples are enjoying a nice evening of cocktails sometime in the 1950s. In 60 years, if they apply the same standards of social behavior to their Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn interactions, they’ll enjoy a new level of social media success.

Seriously – social media really is like a cocktail party. Follow the same rules and you’ll find social media success. At bloomfield knoble, we guide clients in the proper etiquette and strategies to use social media to grow their business.

Dress nice

You wouldn’t show up at a cocktail party in sweat pants and a ratty T-shirt. Likewise, make sure you’ve spent some time grooming your profile before you waltz into the social media soiree.

Dress up your profile with a smiling head shot (or company logo/product if you’re posting from a company page), a detailed, well-written summary that tells users who you are and what to expect from you, and – depending on the social platform – a creative, informative cover image.

These five optimization tips from Search Engine Watch can help you make the most of your social media profiles.

Be friendly

When you walk into a cocktail party, you look for people you know or who at least have similar interests as you. This is even easier on social media. Use the search features and reach out to like-minded users. Friend/follow them, or start a conversation. Be friendly and sincere. They’re more likely to respond and find out more about you and your company. It works at cocktail parties, and it works on social media.

Don’t dominate the conversation

No one likes a chatterbox. If you don’t let anyone else get a word in edge-wise in person, they’re going to look for someone else to talk to. Online, if someone logs on and your updates are dominating their newsfeed, they’re going to click unfollow faster than Facebook buys up potential competitors.

Each platform, like each different cocktail party venue, has a different culture, as explained in this post from Social Media Today, so vary your posting frequency accordingly.

Don’t only talk about yourself

On a related note, if all you do over drinks is talk about yourself, how great you and your company are, or all you do is show baby pictures, the other attendees will find a new conversation fast. There’s not much of a metaphor here because it applies exactly the same on social media:

Don’t talk only about yourself, your company or your kids. Talk about them, but also show you’re well-rounded and have interests. If all I ever did was talk about bloomfield knoble, my followers would get pretty tired of me pretty fast. To vary it up, from a professional standpoint, it helps to share and talk about articles or news in your industry.

Provide interesting insight

When you’re talking about industry news, no one at a cocktail party wants to listen to you simply recite what you saw on the news or to have you hand them a newspaper clipping (that would just be weird). If you’re sharing an article or news piece, always provide your own insight – why you found it interesting, and why your friends and followers should be interested.

Don’t try to sell to everyone you meet

Nothing’s worse than going to a party and having an obnoxious sales guy corner you to talk about his products and why you should buy from him. You just want to get away. Nothing’s worse on social media too.

Don’t think that because you’re posting from a company page that people expect you to sell to them. They don’t. Even on LinkedIn, it might seem as if you’re at a virtual business conference, but even at a business conference, if someone walks up to you and immediately starts trying to sell something to you, it’s a big turnoff.

Just like in a real-life social setting, it’s OK to ask for someone’s business, but build a relationship first. For every 10 posts, it’s OK if one post is a straight-ahead sales post promoting your business. The other posts should be industry news, professional insight or (on an individual page) appropriate personal posts.

This post from Social Media Examiner goes into more detail about converting leads into sales using social media.

If someone talks to you, talk back

What do you do at a cocktail party when someone walks up to you and compliments your tie? If you just stare back blankly, they might think that tie is cutting off circulation to your brain.

Always respond to posts – questions, comments, updates, mentions and friend/follower/link requests. It’s just the nice, social thing to do. It helps to have some stock responses ready (but vary up your wording), especially for friend and link requests. Use these to tell users a little about yourself and your business. Otherwise, it’s not just rude, but a wasted opportunity.

Be mindful of your goals

When you walk into the room at a social function, whether you know it consciously or not, you have a goal. It might be purely social (finding a date) or business (making a sale). Everything you do in that room should support that goal. But you’ve got to be smart and socially adept about it.

The point is, on social media, first and foremost, you should be social. But from the get-go, you definitely need to know what your business goals are.

What are the insights you want to share? What news are you going to comment on? Who are the friends and followers you want to foster relationships with?

The answer to all of these questions should build toward your ultimate business goals – increasing sales, driving traffic to your website and building and maintaining relationships.

You should never expect money to exchange hands at a cocktail party. Similarly, you’re not going to literally make a sale on social media. But attending the party, building relationships and providing a friendly, honest face and voice for your brand will go a long way toward influencing your customers’ decisions to do business with you.

At bloomfield knoble, we help clients of all sizes navigate all types of social media situations. From developing strategies and best practices and providing custom tools for their accounts, to managing the day-to-day operations of Forbes 100 companies’ social media, we’ve chaperoned plenty of social media cocktail parties.

 


 About The Author

jeff-carrington-headshot

Thanks to the shortening of attention spans and his inability to finish a novel (phenomena that are unrelated, he assures us), Jeff Carrington has found the perfect job for himself as director of communications and social media at bloomfield knoble. When he’s not developing social strategies for clients in 140 characters or less, he’s tweeting about dive bars and dog parks, both of which he frequents with his Spitz-Terrier mix buddy, Ben, and other random humans.
Connect With Jeff Carrington
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# # #

Who is bloomfield knoble?

bloomfield knoble is a full-service, premier strategic marketing and advertising agency based in Dallas, Texas. Our clients include top 50 Fortune companies and unique businesses that seek a strategic partner to empower their offerings and growth. Whether developing an integrated advertising campaign, a direct marketing tactical approach, brand framework and positioning exercise, or daily creative, technical and consulting support, bloomfield knoble provides a one-to-one approach. Call Eric Hirschhorn to learn more at 214-254-3805, or eric@bloomweb.com.

 

 

10 Jan 2012

Google+'s Much Needed Shot in the Arm

bloomfield knoble has been watching Google+ with a skeptical eye since its launch last summer. As we stated at the time, where do people have room in their lives for another social network? We still stand behind that statement. It’s not like Facebook is doing anything wrong. They’re not driving away the masses, making them clamor for another outlet on which to post their Farmville needs. In fact, Facebook just launched their most popular overhaul yet, the Timeline. So gaining a foothold has been hard for Google+.

(more…)

10 Jan 2012

Google+’s Much Needed Shot in the Arm

bloomfield knoble has been watching Google+ with a skeptical eye since its launch last summer. As we stated at the time, where do people have room in their lives for another social network? We still stand behind that statement. It’s not like Facebook is doing anything wrong. They’re not driving away the masses, making them clamor for another outlet on which to post their Farmville needs. In fact, Facebook just launched their most popular overhaul yet, the Timeline. So gaining a foothold has been hard for Google+.

(more…)