Trained at Toronto’s legendary Second City, Ron was named one of the “Top 10 Creative Canadians” by Marketing Magazine. His work has been recognized by organizations from The London International Advertising Awards to The Advertising & Design Club of Canada.
He is founder and CEO of The Tite Group and Executive Producer & Host of the Canadian Comedy Award-winning show Monkey Toast. He has written for a number of other television series, penned a children’s book, and wrote, performed, and produced the play, The Canadian Baby Bonus.
His new book, Everyone’s An Artist (Or At Least They Should Be), was recently published.
Oh, he’s also a big Blue Jays fan just like me!
Music by Afraaz Mulji.
Marketing guru Seth Godin once said, “Marketing is no longer about the stuff you make, but about the stories you tell.”
As a marketing professional, telling stories that resonate with our audience is key. It’s the Holy Grail really. Yet, as someone who has never been formally educated in marketing I have had to learn on the job. And any success I may have had or will have is directly as a result of the things I’ve learned while doing and the people I’ve learned from directly. Through articles, blog posts, books, coffee meetings and events, these people have inspired me and woken me up to the potential available.
The folks behind The Art Of productions have an amazing pillar event called The Art Of Marketing. I’ve been to a few. And each time I’ve learned something I’ve been able to apply.
That’s why I’m excited to be attending this summer’s edition of The Art Of Marketing. And you can join me too (and SAVE $50-$100 per ticket!!)
It’s as easy at going to the following website: http://info.theartof.com/mt16/social22
For more information on this summer’s event visit The Art of Marketing website.
Did Air Canada just take a page out of WestJet’s playbook and try to create it’s own Christmas Miracle campaign? I’ll let you decide.
My latest article for the Catalyst blog is all about how brands are using their packaging in fun and innovative ways. Packaging? Yup. You know, the stuff that holds the other stuff we bought.
You can read about how brands are thinking ON the outside of the box here.
I have my hands full these days working with some really interesting brands on their digital content. Many times I find inspiration from what I see other brands doing. And many of my friends can tell you how HUGE of a fan I am of what RedBull has been consistently doing to raise the bar when it comes to storytelling.
Recently, another beverage company, Coca-Cola, embarked on their own journey of sorts. They recently launched their new website and I wrote about it on the Catalyst blog.
Let me know what you think in the comments section. Thanks!
Just over 3 years ago I was the Toronto Community Manager for Techvibes.com. During that time I was fortunate to interview the (then new) COO of Syncapse, Kerry Munroe. He was one of hundreds of people I interviewed during my time with Techvibes. Some I captured on camera. Others became part of articles I wrote.
Syncapse was in the news yesterday as it announced a massive wave of layoffs in the midst of a restructuring move aimed at improving their financial state. With this in mind let’s take a look back as Kerry discusses the future of Syncapse.
Note: Syncapse builds and delivers social media marketing software for enterprises.
The latest incarnation of The Art of Marketing hit Toronto earlier this month. Here are some of the highlights (from my notebook):
Creativity is breaking the rules of the real world to create something new and different.
Creativity doesn’t happen in the “real” world.
Do you roll over right after your “a ha!” moment?
Structural process helps deliver creativity.
Remember WHY people talk and share. Psychology > Technology.
Craft contagious content.
People communicate desired identities.
Make people feel like insiders.
Find the inner remark-ability.
Top of mind means tip of tongue.
If its built to show, it’s built to grow.
Really good stories are like Trojan Horses.
Be willing to get hit.
All media is now optional because the user is in charge.
The edges are where the growth is and happens.
Does your work matter?
Connection economy is where the value is created.
You can get a coffee anywhere. But you can only get a double double from Tim Hortons.
Jobs have been replaced by Art.
Without generosity there is no art.
You can’t predict virality because people are different.
Don’t be afraid to fail big.
Creativity is a renewable resource.
Twitter is a triumph of humanity not a triumph of technology.
I was never a fan of the cocktail party-variety networking scene. I will never be one to dart around a room shoving business cards into people’s hands. I prefer meaningful conversations with people, getting to know them and vice versa.
But social media networking? That’s something different altogether. Done right, it’s never a hit-and-run. Rather, it consists of building relationships over months and even years by sharing information – both professional and personal – through posts, comments and responding to questions in various online communities.
What’s the return on investment, the ROI, for putting that kind of time into social media? Actually, it’s called the RON – the “return on networking.”
And for me, it’s huge.
I’ve been on Facebook for five years; I also have Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn accounts, among others. All totaled, I’m now approaching 100,000 friends, followers and connections. Those followers expose my name and message to their audiences every time they “like” one of my posts or share one of my links. Recently, someone re-tweeted something I’d shared on Twitter – he had 130,000 followers! That’s a potential audience of 130,000 people I likely would have never reached otherwise.
Talk about exposure!
Who knows how many of those people may someday become my clients? Who cares? I’ll still consider the exposure a good return on networking. Here’s why.
The RON of social media isn’t always tangible, not immediately, anyway. By establishing a continued presence online through regularly sharing content of use to my followers, I’m building my platform and my reputation as an expert. That grows in surprising ways – and it lives in surprising places.
A recent case in point: Late last year, I got a call from a prominent New York City hair stylist, the director of a salon in one of that city’s premier department stores. He wanted to talk about some publicity needs and what my company could do to help him.
When I asked how he got my name, he explained he’d written some books over the years with a co-author, and she’d heard me at a speaking engagement.
Well, that made sense. Speaking at conferences is still a great way to get your name out while also building credibility.
But the next thing he said came as a complete surprise.
“So, then I contacted the corporate office (of the department store chain) and asked what PR agency they would recommend.” And they recommended me and my company!
I don’t know a soul in the corporate offices of that high-end retail chain. I can only guess they learned of me through social media.
Just being on Twitter or Google+ isn’t enough, of course. You have to make a diligent effort to regularly post content that people find valuable, including links to informative articles, tips relevant to your topic, and/or informed insights on topics in the news.
You also have to “be a human,” as our lead social media strategist, Jeni Hinojosa, likes to say. She and our other social media producers encourage clients to send photos when they go on vacation, celebrate milestones or engage in hobbies. Posting those photos with a comment adds a personal touch that allows followers to connect on a more emotional level.
Our social media producers also make sure clients’ personalities shine in their posts, showing their sense of humor and letting followers in on the other things they care about, whether it’s victims of a natural disaster or a favorite charity.
Interaction is equally important. Strive to respond to every comment or question posted on your networking sites. Interacting is engaging, and people who are engaged tend to be happy followers. The more you take part in conversations via comments and responses, the more lively and visible your presence becomes.
The RON includes increased traffic to your website; increased trust in your brand and what you’re selling; and greater word of mouth than you could ever hope for by attending a cocktail party or even a speaking engagement.
About Marsha Friedman
Marsha Friedman is a 23-year veteran of the public relations industry. She is the CEO of EMSI Public Relations (www.emsincorporated.com), a national firm that provides PR strategy and publicity services to corporations, entertainers, authors and professional firms. Marsha is the author of Celebritize Yourself and she can also be heard weekly on her Blog Talk Radio Show, EMSI’s PR Insider every Thursday at 3:00 PM EST. Follow her on Twitter:@marshafriedman.
One of the questions I most get asked is how can professionals and small businesses use social media effectively. After a while I began to understand is they were really asking, “How can I use social media for marketing and sales?”
Great question. The easy answer is to listen to a need and fill it.
Here’s some tactics that I’ve employed on social media to help me market myself and our digital communications agency.
Listen. What are people asking for? What are they complaining about? What are potential customers saying and how can I help them?
Provide value. Are you filling the needs that you’ve identified while listening? Share with these people tips, best practices, and content they can use to enrich their own lives.
Lead them to the promised land. After you;ve provided value based on needs (over time) you will begin to earn trust with them. And this is where you can then suggest to your online community the actual products and services that you have available to them.
And how does HootSuite help us execute these simple steps: Simple. The HootSuite tool and dashboard allows me to listen to conversations on various social media channels and helps me to publish (provide value) content to these channels and accounts. I can also use the easy-to-use reporting and analytics tools to measure how effective we’ve been on social.