Marketing Monday

Tech Thursday: Why You Should Showcase

Do people ever ask to see examples of your work? Or, maybe they just wonder what you do in general.

Having a case study, or example of past work, ready for them makes everyone’s lives easier (if done correctly). In this video, we explain the What, Why, and How of showcasing.



Don’t just tell people, when you can show them! And then, you can make it rain.

Tech Thursday: Being Pun-ny Online

Warning: Terrible jokes ahead.

Have you seen those businesses on Facebook or Twitter that just seem hilarious? How do they do it, anyway? 

We have a few ways you can showcase your sense of humor online, and they’re pretty punny. As a disclaimer, Nicole only knows one joke (which you’ll see in the video), and Kassie can’t get through telling her jokes without laughing pre-punchline, but in terms of online marketing, we can tell you what’s going to be good for business!




As a bonus, here is a chart that demonstrates our take on approaching humor:

 

Nicole's Chart of Funny

Nicole’s Chart of Funny

Photoshop: A Love/Hate Relationship

Last week, Nicole and I took an online course on Photoshop. After five hours, we absorbed a ton of new info, but it was clear that we’d just scratched the surface of this program. During the course, it became clear that Photoshop is an amazing tool, when used correctly. It’s also fun to work with.

After the course, I feel like I know about maybe 10% of Photoshop’s potential. Because I understand how difficult working in Photoshop can be, I have a bit more empathy toward those who work with it as a full time gig. All those “photoshop fails” make sense to me now. It’s a tricky and involved process, and after staring at an image for a long period of time, weird things start looking pretty normal (and vice versa). At the same time, though, someone probably should be double-checking manipulated images for error. Below are a few favorites that I’ve seen over the years:

1. Russian model Natasha Poly’s Missing Arm. Or, a spontaneous hand growth on the back of her head. This particular incident of photoshop disaster received a lot of attention in 2012 because it happened in Vogue, not some low budget tabloid. With larger, “high-end” companies that use image editing software, the key is subtlety. Vogue and it’s companions want you to believe in the images they show you- that these are what things actually look like- and Natasha’s missing arm puts a gaping hole in that illusion. …Get it?

armless_vogue

http://perezhilton.com/cocoperez/2012-07-17-natasha-poly-vogue-russia-arm-photoshopped-off

Along those lines, Victoria’s Secret has also encountered some issues with editing its models. There’s this example of a thigh gap gone horribly wrong. So, the next time you’re looking at one of their catalogues and feeling a bit self-conscious, wondering “Why don’t look like that?”, remember this image and be thankful.

2. The Floating Mom of Toys ‘R’ Us: This is either another example of too much erasing or a poor cropping job. The mom and kid in the pool obviously don’t match the background, which is made even more apparent when you look at the mom’s lower body (or lack thereof). Now, it just looks like Mom is propping up her legless body to get a better vantage point of her young daughter enjoying the kiddie pool. Thanks for the memories, Toys ‘R’ Us! It’s enough to melt the heart.

http://www.toysrus.com/graphics/product_images/pTRU1-11679891dt.png

http://www.toysrus.com/graphics/product_images/pTRU1-11679891dt.png



3. Carrie Underwood’s Franken-Hand: There isn’t a need for explanation here. Just look at Carrie’s poor arm. It looks like it belongs to an alien.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/jessicamisener/23-cringeworthy-magazine-cover-photoshop-fails

http://www.buzzfeed.com/jessicamisener/23-cringeworthy-magazine-cover-photoshop-fails

4. Ralph Lauren’s Tragically Mal-proportioned Model. Sure, I understand what they were trying to accomplish here- a thin model who also has an hourglass figure. Unfortunately, the end result just looks like Keira Knightley stepped into a Funhouse Mirror.

http://psdpics.s3.amazonaws.com/GreatestHits/ralphbloodylauren.jpg

http://psdpics.s3.amazonaws.com/GreatestHits/ralphbloodylauren.jpg

 5. Wal-Mart’s Disappearing Table. I find this one particularly amusing, mainly because it’s so blatant. It’s as if the person editing just got lazy or bored and said “Eh, close enough.” If you’re going to use Photoshop, especially for business purposes, at least try to finish the job.

 

 

 

http://www.buzzfeed.com/jessicamisener/the-worst-photoshop-fails-of-2013

http://www.buzzfeed.com/jessicamisener/the-worst-photoshop-fails-of-2013

While these disasters show the comic side of photo manipulation, there is of course the darker side. Many of these images are doctored with the intention of enhancing appeal, often in a way that gives us with unrealistic expectations. When men and women are constantly presented with these manufactured images and ideals, the danger of self-image issues will usually follow. 

Photoshop and programs like it are incredible. However, there’s a line between using it for enhancements vs. trying to construct an unattainable reality (c’mon, In-Style, in what world will I ever have a wrist that looks like Carrie’s? Stop shoving this stuff in my face, mmmkay?). 

Also, this video is pretty impressive. It runs through a photo shoot and how the image gets manipulated. Moral of the story: Photoshop is a powerful tool. Use it wisely.

Tech Thursday: Why E-mail Marketing is Cool

Yeah, that’s right. E-mail Marketing IS cool.

Unfortunately, not many people want to utilize this form of marketing, because they’d rather spend their time and energy in places like Facebook and Twitter.

In this video, we explain a few things e-mail marketing can do for you. Just because it’s not as flashy or popular as social media marketing doesn’t mean you should ignore it!



Tech Thursday: Timing Is Everything

…in social media. You may have noticed that some of your business Facebook, Twitter, or other posts get more attention than others. You may wonder, why did this get more likes than that?

Well, it may be a matter of timing. In this video, we discuss a few ways you can experiment with the timing of your social media updates and build stronger connections with your audience.

Hopefully, this will help you avoid the tragedy that can accompany bad timing (like, for instance, having to break up with a stuffed animal…). Enjoy!



Marketing Monday: Morton’s Moo

So let’s say you identified the major hurdles with people trying your product:

1) It’s high end and
2) people aren’t sure they’ll like it.

And let’s say you’ve identified a major fiscal challenge: you are crazy busy six months of the year and no so much the other half of the year.

So Morton’s Moo is our local award winning ice cream place. It’s more expensive then, say, the local Tastee Freeze but it’s also made with high end ingredients and in small batches by people like this:

This is my friend Jenny making ice cream. She also makes jewelry here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/beadjenny

This is my friend Jenny making ice cream. She also makes jewelry here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/beadjenny

When most people try Morton’s Moo ice cream, they love it and are happy to pay a higher price point. So how do they get the public to try their stuff?

Through the off season, twice a month (Friday nights), they had ‘sample’ nights, allowing customers to pay a fee to eat as much ice cream as they wanted.

mortonsmoorecordholders Kassie and I went to one of these nights… and not only was it a fun Friday night thing to do that didn’t involve a hangover the next day, it also was a great way for Morton’s Moo to get their product in front of a new audience (I brought a pint of my favorite flavor home for Derrick. I might have had some of it during the week, shhhh.)

While Morton’s Moo suspends their bi-weekly all you can eat ice cream nights in the summer, I have no doubt that people who have come to the events (like myself) will continue to come in anyway.



So what can we take away from this example?

1) Letting people try your product or service is worth it.
2) Having a regular event is a good way to reach new people and keep your current customers interested in your new offerings.
3) Involving other people in your business (especially record breakers or other VIPs) strengthens your brand and gives people new ways to relate to you.
4) If you have a problem, rather than ignore it, address it creatively.
5) If you are going to sell something, it should probably be delicious ice cream.

Cheers to Morton’s Moo for doing something different… and something that is excellent for their business bottom line.