So remember a few weeks ago when I told you all about how great AMA is because of all the opportunities it provides to students and professionals? Like the conferences and networking sessions? Well guess where I am right now…

New Orleans!!!

I’m currently attending AMA’s international collegiate conference down in Louisiana with 5 other members of TCNJ’s chapter of the American Marketing Association, and we couldn’t be having a better time.

The trip began at 4am on Wednesday morning (what is it with these early wake-ups and AMA?!) when I got a ride to Newark airport for my flight to NOLA. After about an hour’s worth of delays, we finally made it up in the air for the 3 hour trip. Just as any other co-ed, I fully intended to be extremely productive on the plane. I figured I could get a good amount of work done and be able to enjoy my time away from classes…sounds nice right? Yeah…I tried that whole “be super efficient with your time so you don’t regret it later” thing, but at the end of the day, a girl’s gotta sleep!

We arrived at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport around 11:30 central time, collected our baggage, hailed a cab, and made our way over to the hotel. Then it was time to explore! We had the rest if the day to soak in the city! Lucky us, right?

Gumbo was had. Pictures were taken (you’ll be seeing those soon). The French Quarter was walked. The Mississippi River was enjoyed. New Orleans, or phonetically, N’awlins, has been nothing but wonderful since the start!

Tonight we begin the conference with a parade of chapters and a few words from a keynote speaker which I’ll tell you all about shortly! I can’t wait! But until then…

Cheers!
Liz

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A good advertisement is one which sells the product without drawing attention to itself.

David Ogilvy changed the world of advertising. This 20th century advertising executive understood the importance of both research and creativity when bringing a product to market. He employed unique marketing techniques and made sure to break the rules every once in a while.

During his first few months in advertising, a client looking to promote the opening of his hotel walked into Ogilvy’s office and gave him the job. The client’s budget was $500, and he would accept nothing less than a full house on opening night. Ogilvy took the money, bought $500 worth of postcards, then sent one to everyone he could find in the local telephone directory. On opening night, the hotel was packed! I’ll never underestimate the power of direct marketing!

So I thought I should pay homage to the master of marketing and advertising himself: David Ogilvy. His words can be found at the beginning of this post, and have been used by marketers and advertisers for years. My understanding of this quote is that the best advertisements make an impact and leave an impression without corrupting the value of the brand. I hope that in my future career I am able to put his wise words of wisdom to good use!

Show Your Expertise

Chances are you know a lot more about your company, product, or service than your customers do…show them that! Offer information to papers and media outlets. Don’t worry about being quoted at first, if you build a good rapport with news stations and noteworthy reporters, eventually your business will become a go-to source of information for other experts in your field.

Tweet, Tweet!

Twitter is cheap. Tweeting is easy. What else is there to say? Build your base of followers by offering promotions in weekly tweets. Keep your customers involved by asking questions and tweeting multiple times a day. The more interactive your tweets, the more interested consumers will be. All small business owners repeat after me: “Twitter is marketing gold!!”

Perfect Your Pitch

What is your company best known for? Are your advertisements hilarious? Do you throw an annual party for your regular customers? How about a loyalty program with special perks? Find what works for your company and run with it. If you perfect your schtick, your customers won’t have any trouble remembering what your company is all about.

Calling All Celebrities!

Fact: Customers flock to celebrity endorsements. Build a trustworthy name for yourself and then work on contacting local, well-liked celebrities. After all, if someone famous likes your product it must be great, right? Right.

Get Back To Your Roots

Sales dropping? Losing customers? Take another look at your product. Are the people you’re targeting the people buying your product? Take the time, effort, and money (yes, money) for thorough market research. Combine focus groups and surveys to get the qualitative and quantitative data necessary to better market your services.

These are my 5 top recommended ways for small businesses to market themselves. If you’re looking for a more thorough list, take a look at this fantastic Forbes.com article!

Until next time,

Liz

Hello again!

I know it’s been a while since my last post, but I’ll do my best to make my next few posts worth the wait!

Today is my first day back from a quick trip to the beautiful…warm…and sunny San Diego, California! The weather was perfect, the company was great, and the trip was a blast. I couldn’t have asked for a better start to my spring break.

So when I say “quick trip” I mean: “seriously, super fast trip.” We left from Newark Airport on Saturday night, got to San Diego, went to the zoo, drove up to Disneyland, and came back on Tuesday. Just enough time to get a bit of sunburn and a few great pictures!

Like this one! This was Sunday morning's sunrise. Totally worth the early wake up!

Like this one! This was Sunday morning’s sunrise. Totally worth the early wake up!

On Monday we spent the day at the one, the only: Disneyland! It was during my trip there, however, when I started to think about how on earth Disney can keep park attendance up even in the midst of the economic recession. Tickets are getting more expensive by the day, it seems, and yet Disney parks are always packed! How could this be? The answer I came up with is related entirely to their brilliant marketing strategy. Disney bases their advertising on the idea that memories begin within their parks. Take a look at this video and think about what they’re realllly selling:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=zVKOSaBGPQE

Cute, aye? Disney knows that too. They have taken the stance that a lifetime of fun and memories begins with a family trip to Disney. The rides, the characters, the atmosphere. They all add up to childhood memories. That being said, when parents watch this great commercial with its home video footage and genuine kiddie-sized smiles, they get the sense that no childhood is complete without a trip to Disneyland: The place where dreams come true.

That being said, next time you find yourself with a strong urge for Mickey Mouse shaped anything (glasses, oven mitts, ice cream bars) think about where that urge is coming from. Could it be that Disney’s advertising campaign has worked again? Is it the idea of creating lasting memories that strikes your fancy? No matter what it may be, let’s give a big round of applause to the folks at Disney and their consistent imagination and creativity for bringing in customers no matter what the economy looks like.

 

While flipping through the pages of Food Network Magazine’s latest issue, I couldn’t help but notice the wide variety of advertisements filling its pages. I was getting hungry just looking at the ads alone…

So, my friends, I present to you (in no particular order) the 4 most interesting ads in this month’s issue of Food Network Magazine:

Delicious looking fro-yo and a hilariously Greek anecdote. Classic Ben & Jerry's.

Delicious looking fro-yo and a hilariously Greek anecdote. Classic Ben & Jerry’s.

Fresh, clean, and creative. I wouldn't have my green beans any other way.

Fresh, clean, and creative. I wouldn’t have my green beans any other way.

As if Lindt truffles didn't look good enough already...let's show them overflowing with chocolate. All other chocolate ads will now be compared to this.

As if Lindt truffles didn’t look good enough already…let’s show them overflowing with chocolate. All other chocolate ads will now be compared to this.

I never imagined I would see iguanas in an ad for a commuter-friendly coffee cup. On second thought, I never imagined I would see iguanas in an ad, ever...I stand corrected.

I never imagined I would see iguanas in an ad for a commuter-friendly coffee cup. On second thought, I never imagined I would see iguanas in an ad, ever…

Now that I’ve shown you some interesting ads from my magazine reading experiences, I would love to see what you’ve come across! Comment below with any ads that have struck your fancy recently!

Bon appetit!

I know I told you alllll about the AMA conference I attended last weekend in my last post, but there was one takeaway that I just had to share. Peter Stern, president of Strategic Agency, was full of useful information on entering the marketing industry and what it really takes to become successful. He emphasized creativity and innovation as the way to win over clients and build a strong following for the future.

The most intriguing part of the conference (for me, at least) was when Stern showed us a case that his company has been working on lately to bring the infamous athletic Starter jackets back into popularity. Stern and the rest of Strategic Agency started pitching ideas to Starter and eventually  decided to bring the jackets to the Super Bowl: the ultimate athletic stage.

The creativity comes in when they decided to open up an ice cream shop on Bourbon Street in New Orleans and dub it “The Starter Parlor.” They represented every NFL team with its own flavor of ice cream: positively brilliant!! Coffee ice cream with java chips for the Seattle Seahawks. Gaga for Ghirardelli for the San Francisco 49ers. The combinations were endless.

And thus began the Starter jacket promotion. Celebrities, athletes, and Super Bowl fans lined up to have a scoop of their favorite team’s flavor. The jackets filled the parlor and models walked the runway wearing the latest designs.

Everything about this pop-up shop was great, but the metaphorical cherry-on-top (forgive me for the ice cream pun, I simply couldn’t resist) was when Mr. and Mrs. Harbaugh, the parents of the coaches in the Super Bowl, came to The Starter Parlor for a scoop or two of ice cream. What flavor would they pick? San Francisco or Baltimore? ESPN and other media outlets around the country waited for the answer. The idea of bringing in the mom and dad of the coaches facing each other in the biggest televised athletic event of the year is marketing genius. Starter gets its promotion and Strategic Agency looks really, really good.

This kind of creativity is what I aspire to. All it will take is a little persistence, a dash of luck, and a whole lot of hard work. I think I’m ready for it. How about you?

This Saturday I was lucky enough to attend AMA’s Northeast Regional conference at Pace University with a few other members of TCNJ’s chapter of the American Marketing Association. This annual conference is a great opportunity for students from all over the Northeast to come together and learn from leaders in the industry about the latest marketing trends and to gain valuable professional experience.

The day was set to begin at 6:20 in the morning. Rise and shine! Funny thing is…I didn’t wake up to the alarm that I set for 5 o’clock and instead was jolted awake at 6:40 when our chapter’s vice president called asking where I was. Who needs coffee when you can run on adrenaline, right?! Right. So in 17 minutes I went from pajamas to professional…that has to be a record!

So at 7:00am we started our trip into Manhattan. From TCNJ to Harrison by car, from Harrison to 33rd Street by Path train, from 33rd Street to Cortlandt Station by Subway, and from Cortlandt Station to Pace University by foot…in the rain. But we made it!

Just a bit of fog!

Just a bit of fog!

 

When we arrived at Pace, we were welcomed by the President and Vice President of Pace University Marketing Association, more commonly referred to as PUMA. Very clever. They handed us raffle tickets and showed us to our seats for a nice breakfast and introduction. The theme for this year’s conference was Entertainment Marketing, perhaps because it was held the day before the entertainment industry’s most favorite event of the entire year: The Oscars.

Next up were the keynote speakers. First was Peter Stern, President of Strategic Agency, a marketing firm based in New York City with a focus on finding the newest ways of bringing brands into the 21st century and beyond. He introduced the group to the idea of constant innovation in the workplace. Brainstorm. Be creative. Learn from your mistakes. It isn’t about how much experience you have, it’s about how well you can adapt to the situation you’ve been given.

The final speaker of the day was Howard Homonoff, lawyer, managing consultant, media/communications/entertainment executive. The list goes on. His takeaway for us was that the way to be successful is through effective communication. Now this means Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, blogs (like this one!) and whatever else it takes to get your message out there to as many people as possible. The more we communicate, the more likely we are to succeed. He makes a great point!

To wrap up the day we had a friendly marketing case competition. We were handed an object to sell to the room in a 30 to 60 second pitch. Too easy, right? What’s the catch? You had to sell the item without saying what it was. This increased the difficulty by, oh I don’t know, 1,000%!!! Our team had to sell AMC Movie Theater Tickets…so naturally we decided to act out a film! I think the judges liked our production of The Karate Kid, because we received first place in the conference! Definitely a fun way to end a productive and educational day!

WE GOT TROPHIES!

WE GOT TROPHIES!

 

So that was my Pace Conference experience! An awesome way to get together with other marketing students and learn all about the industry.

Later this week I’ll tell you all about Peter Stern’s latest business venture in New Orleans! But until then…

Cheers,

Liz

In September of last year, I promised myself I would find a way to become more involved in one of The College of New Jersey’s professional organizations. I wasn’t sure which club I would join, but I went into my college’s Student Activities Fair with an open mind, hoping something would call out to me. Luckily enough, I stumbled across the table for the American Marketing Association. I started attending meetings regularly and became involved in as many of the organization’s productions as possible. In November, the e-board held interviews for the position of sub-committee leader for TCNJ School of Business events. Long story short, I didn’t get the position…instead, the executive board decided I should be Vice President of Communications! Works for me!

So I thought that given my luck so far with AMA, I should share my excitement and give you my top 3 reasons AMA is an organization to write home about.

Professionalism

AMA is a career-oriented organization. It is a great foundation for not only marketing- minded people, but also anyone looking to learn a little bit more about the business world. With a great group of alumni linked to AMA, career opportunities are endless. Many corporate executives got their start with AMA, and many more are sure to as well!

Conferences

One of the ways AMA is able to thrive as a professional organization is through the many national events the organization sponsors. Its regional and national conferences are great networking opportunities for students looking for internships and full-time employment. Tomorrow, February 23rd, is the northeast regional conference at Pace University in New York City. I will be attending with a few other members of TCNJ’s chapter of AMA. It should be a great experience! I’ll be sure to post pictures!

Community Service

Along with the many professional opportunities provided to members through conferences and alumni, AMA remains focused on the community as well. Community service is an important part of what AMA stands for. Recently, TCNJ’s AMA worked with the Community Food Bank of New Jersey to help families devastated by Hurricane Sandy. We have also partnered with a sorority on campus and a local organization called Homefront to help advertise their philanthropic mission of helping the homeless community in Trenton.

Now that I’ve given you my top 3 reasons to like AMA, I hope you go out and try to find your own! I’ll keep you all posted with pictures from the northeast regional conference in Manhattan tomorrow!

Check out the official AMA website here: http://www.marketingpower.com/Pages/default.aspx

Cheers,
Liz

The 4 P's

Here’s the situation:

You’re a freshman in college and it’s your first day of classes. It’s 8am, you have all your books lined up on one of the miniature desktops in the Business Building, and your Marketing professor walks through the door practically giddy with excitement just thinking about the infamous “4 P’s of Marketing.”

Sound familiar? I’m pretty sure every Marketing student in the history of higher education has a similar story.

But in the midst of the excitement you forgot to listen to what the 4 P’s actually are…so how about a re-cap?

Product

The term product is a kind of umbrella term for all products and services offered by a company for sale. It can be tangible, like a pair of shoes, or intangible, like the time spent by your contractor to spruce up your humble abode. Product decisions include everything from design and styling to packaging and warranty options. What do consumers think of when they think of a particular product…that’s what’s important to keep in mind when you, as head marketing executive, are leading your company’s brainstorming session to bring those cool, new running shoes to market.

Price

The American economy is based on the exchange of currency for goods. Perhaps the most crucial part of this system, however, is determining the appropriate price for the goods being sold. Is the value of the product reflected in the price it’s being offered for? Is there flexibility in the price at which it can be sold? Is the practice of price discrimination, one that has been so effective in determining the prices airlines and movie theaters charge for tickets, applicable to this particular product? Or is bundling a better option? Will the customer be inclined to buy more of this product during the Summer? Is there a surplus in the Winter that will lend itself to reduced prices? The list of questions and possible answers is endless. What is important, however, is that these questions are proposed before the price of a product is officially determined and advertised. Which brings us to the next P…

Promotion

Marketing is all about having consumers think highly of the product you’ve brought to the market. The way to do this is successfully promoting the product by way of memorable advertisements, favorable publicity, sales promotions, and countless other promotional activities. Public relations and marketing communications are crucial for the successful launch of a new product. What does the consumer know about the product? What are their thoughts on it after watching commercials, looking at advertisements, and receiving coupons in the mail? It all comes down to your consumers’ reactions.

Place

Finally we must think about logistics. Where will your product be sold? How will it get there? In what stores will it be displayed? What about warehouses? Will you ship via plane, train, or automobile? Will you have brick and mortar stores or will you be an online retailer? These final questions are all about how you get your product to your customer. Let’s say the price is right, your ads were catchy, and the product is riveting…how will those great running shoes make their way onto your customers feet? All is lost without a solid distribution channel, so be thoughtful when considering place.

I hope this post hasn’t brought back too many bad memories of that first semester Marketing course…almost as much as I hope a quick review of the 4 P’s will be a useful reminder of what marketing is all about!

Take a look at this awesome site I used for reference, it really breaks each layer down into its most basic elements.

http://www.netmba.com/marketing/mix/

Cheers,
Liz

As an aspiring marketing executive, I find myself looking for new organizations and newsletters and websites to give me a little more information about the industry. In one of my more recent Internet searches, I found myself deeply entranced by the articles one website had to offer. Anything and everything marketing or advertising related has its own category, neatly organized and up-to-date.

This marketing gem is known in the industry as INMA, a website made possible by the International News Media Association. INMA is “the world’s leading provider of global best practices and marketing ideas for news media companies looking to grow amid profound market change.” In other words, INMA is a leader in providing companies and individuals with the marketing and advertising knowledge to promote positive organizational growth even in these tumultuous times.

This site brings all the best marketing blogs into one, convenient location. Looking for the latest market research trends? INMA is for you! Or maybe you’re more interested in viewing a timeline of online advertising, its progression through the years with the advent of mobile phones and other advancing technologies…INMA is still for you! I have found that looking through various sources of reliable information is the best way to develop thoughts on a topic, and the way INMA brings together a wide variety of blogs into one convenient location is really exceptional.

So go ahead…you know you want to take a look at this fantastic marketing and advertising resource! And it’s all right there in one place. Could it be made any simpler? I seriously doubt it…

http://www.inma.org/

Enjoy all that INMA has to offer and stay current on the latest news in this dynamic field!

Cheers,
Liz