Social Media Marketing Builds Excitement

The Hunger Games

I’m very excited to say that I’m seeing The Hunger Games tonight! I read and really enjoyed the books, so I can’t wait to see how they are brought to life on the big screen! Clearly I’m not the only one who is or was excited to see the movie – it had one of the biggest opening weekends on record.

Now, the book upon which the film is based is extremely popular, having spent over 100 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller List and sold over 1 million copies on Kindle. That gave the movie an automatic fan base, but I also think that Lionsgate, the studio that released the film, did an excellent job of building anticipation prior to the movie’s release, particularly via its social media marketing campaign.

Lionsgate utilized various social media platforms to drive buzz for The Hunger Games. There was a Twitter account that tweeted in character as The Capitol to its followers and, as with any Twitter account, followers were able to tweet back and interact. The studio also used Facebook to its advantage – creating 13 different pages, which represented the different districts of the nation of Panem. This allowed fans to delve deeper into the districts’ distinct styles to see with which they identified most closely: they could even become “virtual citizens” of the nation! My favorite social media strategy that the studio used was its blog Capitol Couture, which highlights the fabulous costumes created for the feature film. You can click around to see the fanciful eyelashes, crazy shoes, and even some wacky facial hair. Frankly, the story is quite violent, so the blog appeals to those who are more interested in the visuals and the fashion aspect of the movie – enticing them to buy a ticket too!

I would have paid my $12 to see The Hunger Games even without the social media marketing campaign that Lionsgate launched, but I’ve greatly enjoyed interacting with the movie in a new and novel way. And, yes, it has succeeded in making me even more excited to hurry out of the Gossett Marketing office and get to the theater!

Marketing in the Kitchen

Magnets on refrigerator I am not ashamed to admit that I am an avid watcher of HGTV – you know, the cable network that is all about home and garden projects and whatnot. My favorite show on HGTV is definitely House Hunters International. It follows people as they look for a new home in a different country, and I find it to be a fascinating glimpse into other cultures. For instance, in South Korea bedrooms do not necessarily have what we Americans might consider to be “normal” ceiling heights: they’re often around 4 feet high! It’s interesting to see how people live in other parts of the world, so I really enjoy it.

Having watched my fair share of House Hunters International, I’ve learned that, like the US, most countries are all about the kitchen. It is almost always the center of the home, so it is an important aspect for both buyers and renters to consider. Once they commit to their new house, they’re going to be spending a lot of time there! Knowing that and being a member of the Gossett Marketing team, I’d say that the kitchen is an ideal place for any company to advertise. How? By giving out promotional marketing products for that room, of course!

Now, because people spend a good chunk of time in their kitchens, they’re generally quite picky about décor. That being said, I do not necessarily recommend giving out promotional items that might not be the recipient’s taste, but do give them something that is useful. Here are some ideas:

  • Chip Clips – Personally, I can never have too many chip clips – they’re currently holding at least 5 packages closed in both my refrigerator and my pantry. They come in various sizes and colors, so you’re sure to find one that suits your company’s logo. And believe me, they will get used so your logo will be exposed repeatedly to your customer, reminding them to call you first when they need the type of services that you provide.
  • Refrigerator Magnets – It’s nice to have a calendar in the kitchen, so that is the first type of magnet that I recommend to my customers. People need them, they look at them frequently, and they won’t lose them if they are stuck to their appliances.
  • Non-Magnetized ClipNewer refrigerators might not necessarily be magnet-friendly, so I love non-magnetized clips that will adhere to them. They stick to any smooth surface (including stainless steel) but they do not leave any residue behind when they are removed. I have one on the front of my refrigerator right now that I use to hold schedules or recipes – and it has my preferred appliance repair company’s information on it, so I see their name a lot too!
  • Cups – As I’ve said before, cups are some of my favorite promotional marketing products. You get a large imprint area, they are very inexpensive, and they last forever. I still drink from the cups that I got at Zoo Miami years ago and when I do, I always want to go back and see the animals. I’m picky about my kitchen décor, but having cups that don’t match doesn’t bother me – I do have nice ones that I use for company, these are just bigger so I love them post-run!

When you want to use promotional marketing effectively, don’t forget the kitchen!

And if you’ve never seen House Hunters International, here’s a clip on YouTube:

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How Turn Any Event into a Networking Opportunity

Women at beauty salon

As a businessperson, chances are that you attend networking events of some ilk. Perhaps you like to attend a chamber of commerce breakfast, maybe you are an after work cocktail reception type of person. No matter what you prefer, I’ll bet that you go, hand out your business card, follow up, and hopefully make new business relationships. These sanctioned networking events are great, not to mention plentiful, but any event can pose as a networking opportunity if you choose to treat it as such.

Think about the number of people with whom you interact on a day-to-day basis, even when you’re doing the most mundane things. I know that I’ve had long conversations with fellow patrons at my salon, I am quite chummy with the ladies at my exercise class, and I often find myself chit-chatting at the grocery store. Any of these interactions can potentially lead to new business. I know that sounds strange – how can a quick chat about beef at Publix possibly lead to business? Well, you all know about six degrees of separation, the idea that we are all six steps away from any other person on Earth, we just need to meet the right first “step” to start the chain of introductions that will lead us to our desired person (or customer). Therefore, when you meet more people, you are a step closer to their friends, their friends-of-friends, etc. It’s a networking numbers game and it’s all about quantity.

If you’re in a situation that involves small talk, turn that talk away from the weather and towards business. Ask the other person what he or she does for a living – everyone loves to talk about themselves, plus I can all but guarantee that he or she will, in turn, ask you what you do. From there you can treat the interaction as a typical networking event. Give your business card, get theirs, and follow up afterwards. You’ll be easy to remember because you’ll have met at an atypical “networking event” that you created, and hopefully your business relationship will springboard from there. Heck, it’s worth a shot – if nothing else, it’s more entertaining than talking about the weather while you wait for your car to get washed!

Upscale Giveaways Make a Lasting Impression

Sony Ericsson Open Key Biscayne I’m attending the evening session of the Sony Ericsson Open this evening, and even though I’m not a huge tennis person I’m still excited to go. Don’t get me wrong, I am happy to watch a few matches – but what I really love is the atmosphere outside of the grandstands. The plazas around the Tennis Center at Crandon Park are filled with food options, bars, interactive displays, and (my personal favorite) sponsors’ booths.

If you’re reading this blog then you’re probably aware of the fact that I am a part of the Gossett Marketing team – we’re a promotional marketing company, meaning that we provide our customers with logoed merchandise, much of which is given away at events like the tennis tournament. Well, clearly I like what I do because I love visiting the sponsors’ booths at the Sony Ericsson Open because I adore getting their giveaways! Frankly, the tennis set is a pretty upscale crowd, so the sponsors cater to that and give away great promotional products. In the past I’ve received an embroidered gym bag from Lan Airlines, a Nike polo shirt from Baptist Health South Florida, and a great cooler from Bacardi: all things that I still use to this day. And when I do, I’m marketing all of those sponsors’ brands for them, meaning that just by giving out, say, a duffel bag, they’re literally getting years’ worth of logo exposure. Not bad for a few bucks!

Rolex is a sponsor this year…maybe this year they’ll be giving out watches! I’d be happy to do their marketing for them! (hey, a girl can dream!)

Springtime Promotional Marketing Product

New Orleans Jazz Fest

Yesterday marked the arrival of Spring in the Northern Hemisphere, and while that doesn’t mean a whole lot temperature-wise down here at Gossett Marketing’s offices in Miami, Florida, it is definitely significant in other parts of the country! I went to college in Nashville, Tennessee and I remember that when springtime rolled around it was as if someone flipped a switch and it went from being gray and drizzly all day every day to being sunny and perfect for weeks at a time. My fellow coeds and I loved that time of year and celebrated it by doing practically everything outside!

One thing that we did in college that I still do now during this time of year is attend as many outdoor festivals and concerts as possible. A personal favorite of mine is Jazz Fest in New Orleans, which I’ve attended a number of times. If you haven’t been, Jazz Fest is a blast that involves beer, bands, and delicious food. It also gets a little bit dirty because there are no seats, just grassy fields that can make for some very dirty pants by day’s end. Well, as you know, I live in Miami so I fly to New Orleans to go to the festival – meaning that I can’t pack a chair. So what’s a girl to do? Well, I love to bring a picnic blanket whenever I go.

My picnic blanket isn’t just granny’s old quilt, it’s way better than that! The one that I use has a soft fleece exterior and a water-repellent shell so that it stays dry and comfortable all day. One year I attended the event the day after a rain storm and I learned that the shell is mud-repellent as well – my blanket was an oasis of clean in a sea of filth! The best part is that it folds small and has a carrying handle for easy transportation.

Oh, and did I mention that my blanket has a University of Miami “U” logo on the fleecy interior? That way, when it’s spread out all of the people who walk by can see that I am a ‘Canes fan! They’re not all happy about it, but they notice it, which means that I am helping the University do its marketing all over the country – wherever I attend an outdoor festival, concert, or tailgate. It’s all about the U…and my well-used picnic blanket: one of my all-time favorite Spring promotional marketing products.

Picnic Blanket

Business Tip: Stop Talking & Typing

Multitasking at work I spend a lot of time on the phone every day, and I’ve found that one thing that drives me crazy is hearing a keyboard clacking on the other end of the line and telltale “mmhmm’s” instead of actual answers to my questions. It makes it obvious that I’m not getting the undivided attention that I feel like I deserve: I’m on the phone a lot during the day, but never for very long with one particular individual, so I’d hope that they’d pay attention to me for 3-5 minutes!

However, I get it. If your office is laid out anything like mine, then when you look straight ahead you are gazing at your computer monitor. And if you are anything like me, then that computer always has its e-mail open. That’s a dangerous combination – your default position literally has you staring at your computer screen as e-mails pour in all day, every day. Personally, I have a hard time ignoring e-mail inquiries as they stream in because if I do so, then I know I will have more work to complete later.

While I understand the temptation to answer e-mails while I’m on the telephone, I try my hardest to avoid doing so. I do this for a variety of reasons, one of which is the good, old-fashioned Golden Rule – do unto others as you’d have them do unto you. If it bothers me so much to hear other people typing and talking, then I sure shouldn’t do the same to them! Aside from that, I spend a lot of time forming relationships with the people that I call. Maybe I’ve met them at a chamber of commerce event and we’re trying to start doing business together, or perhaps they’re an old customer who has purchased promotional marketing items from Gossett Marketing for years – people who could potentially spend money with our company definitely deserve my full attention because without them, I’d be out of a job! Not to mention the fact that if I’ve spent weeks, months, or even years building a relationship, then I don’t want to screw it up by showing poor telephone etiquette – doing so would be a waste of my time and that of my customer or associate.

So what do I do to avoid the siren song of my e-mail when I’m on the phone? It’s so simple that you’re going to think it’s dumb, but I promise you it really works. Ready for it? I give my full and undivided attention when I’m on the phone by simply turning my chair around! Having my back to the computer takes my mind off of my e-mail, lets me look at the pretty Coconut Grove foliage that I’d otherwise ignore, and have a better, more productive telephone call! I’ve stopped multitasking when I’m on the phone and you know what? My e-mail doesn’t take me all that long to read once I hang up.

Check out this YouTube video, showing you exactly what not to do while on the phone!

Miami Marlins: An Un-Marketing Approach

Miami Marlins new Logo Baseball spring training is in full swing (no pun intended) and it’s an especially exciting time for Miamians because the Florida Marlins are now the Miami Marlins, complete with a new stadium downtown. I’m an avid baseball fan and I am so happy that the drive to watch a game will be minutes versus hours!

The move to Miami hasn’t been the smoothest one for the Marlins. There was controversy over the stadium’s financing. People in Ft. Lauderdale were upset that the team was being taken away from them. Parking is going to be difficult at the new ballpark. The logo was frowned upon. The home run feature was snubbed. No one had anything nice to say, but they didn’t bite their tongues like ladies and gentlemen; in fact, tongues were wagging all over town!

So what did the Marlins do? Well, they were committed to the new park, so they had to keep building it. And as far as the other complaints? They addressed them – the team’s president David Samson does community outreach events all over town (not always successfully, I might add), as well as appearing on several radio and television shows regularly. However, just because they talked to the community about the perceived “issues,” they really didn’t change anything. The financing happened as planned, the team has moved to Miami, parking doesn’t seem like it will be as terrible as feared, and the logo and home run feature are still just the same!

Other than sending an emissary out to talk to the masses, how has the team gotten away with this “hated” re-branding? Well, for one thing they spent a heck of a lot of money bringing in new a new star manager and excellent players. Otherwise, I think that their patience has been the key to their success. They took sort of an un-marketing approach and rolled with the punches when they were criticized and, frankly, they let the perceived “problems” grow on the people of Miami. I, for one, started off as a Miami Marlins logo hater. Now I love it – I waited for an hour to buy caps at the “Marlins en Miami” store at Christmas time! Others have obviously embraced it too, as I saw no fewer than 6 people wearing logoed Marlins apparel at the mall last weekend.

Waiting out the criticism has also allowed excitement to build about the new stadium. When it was just a shell of a building it wasn’t terribly impressive. Now anyone who is driving down I-95 can see it sparkling in the distance. It makes us want to see what the best ballpark in Major League Baseball will be all about!

I realize that the strategies employed by a professional sports team probably will not work for every company – I doubt that Gossett Marketing would want to ignore our potential customers to give our logo a chance to grow on them – but I find it interesting nonetheless. What do you think about how the Marlins handled a tricky situation? Let me know in the comments below.

OK, so the hideous home run feature might never grow on us… Click on this YouTube video to check it out:

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Facebook Networking

Facebook Logo

As the business world has become increasingly social online, Facebook has become a valuable networking tool. However, there is a right way and a wrong way to use it professionally. First and foremost, each individual needs to decide how he or she will utilize Facebook. I keep my own account personal and I severely limit access to what I post – my friends’ friends don’t need to see pictures of me looking goofy on vacation! Gossett Marketing, on the other hand, has a Facebook page that we use to connect with past customers, share information, and hopefully gain new fans. A business profile serves more as a platform for social media marketing than as a networking tool, but you can certainly use your own personal profile to build your professional network. Here are my tips to help you do just that.

  • Keep it professional! If you want your Facebook friends to take you seriously as a business person, then by all means act like a serious business person online. Do not make inappropriate comments on friends’ walls, and certainly keep the links and photos that you post clean and relevant.
  • Don’t post too much. Many Facebook users receive “push” notifications when their friends are active on the site – it’s annoying to get 23 e-mails because you’ve spent the afternoon commenting on photos! So annoying, in fact, that your contacts might “unfriend” you, which completely defeats the purpose of using Facebook to enhance your professional network. A better idea would be to use the site’s messaging service to send private notes to other members without disturbing all of your friends.
  • Provide valuable content. Act like an expert in your field and populate your Facebook page with relevant articles from news sites or, better yet, from your own well-written blog. That way when someone searches for information about your line of work, they will find you. If your content is compelling enough, then chances are that they will reach out and “friend” you.
  • Edit your friends. Remember that your friends can often see each other’s posts, and if you are using Facebook as a professional tool, it’s probably not ideal if your business contacts see pictures of your fraternity brothers funneling beer. Although that questionable friend might share amusing things on the site, let him go and connect with him elsewhere.

It all boils down to the idea that if you’re going to use Facebook for business networking, make sure that your profile makes other business people want to interact with you.

Promoting The Lorax

Dr Seuss The Lorax MovieI haven’t seen the new movie The Lorax, but I understand that it’s doing very well at the box office. Now, I know that there is some controversy surrounding the animated film, but I am not going to explore that in this blog post – it’s a Doctor Seuss cartoon, how is that controversial?!

Anyhow, what I do want to mention is that, while I haven’t seen the movie, I have seen a commercial for IHOP promoting the restaurant chain’s Lorax-inspired meals. These include “Truffula Chip Pancakes” and a “Rooty Tooty Bar-Ba-Looty Blueberry Cone Cake.” I’m sure that kids who have seen The Lorax will love to try these wacky sounding breakfast treats, and if they are between ages 3 and 12 and they visit IHOP, not only will they be able to sample them, they will also get a free Lorax bookmark.

The bookmark is a great promotional marketing product for IHOP to give to kids, as it obviously encourages reading. But this particular bookmark goes beyond promoting literacy because it has a special seed paper attachment that can be planted to grow Engelmann Spruce trees, meaning that it enables children to help the environment.

Whether or not you think that The Lorax is controversial, I think we can all agree that IHOP’s promotional marketing tie-in is a good thing – maybe not for kids’ waist lines, but at least for their minds and our environment.

In case you haven’t seen it, click on this YouTube video to watch a clip from The Lorax.

Promos Keep Your Customers & Employees Fresh

Lululemon store I exercise a lot. Probably more than most people. I run in the mornings, then I do a class called The Bar Method most afternoons. I enjoy both activities, they keep my weight in check and my cardiovascular system strong, plus they are great ways to relieve stress (particularly running – it’s a group therapy session!). The one drawback to my prolific exercise is the amount of laundry that I generate. It’s actually quite amazing – I wear one outfit to run, one for work, one for Bar Method, then when I get home from that class I change into non-sweaty clothes! That’s four outfits a day, not even counting pj’s!

I don’t always have time to wash all of my laundry, so occasionally sweaty things sit at the bottom of my hamper for a while and, well, let’s just say that they don’t get fresher as they linger in there! This is one of the reasons that I’ve started to wear Lululemon Athletica clothes for my many, many workouts – a good number of their items utilize their “silverescent” technology, which is “anti-stink.” Let me tell you, this fabric, woven with silver yarns, works! It is anti-bacterial, so it manages to prevent sweat from leaving an odor on clothes – even if they sit in the bottom of a hamper for a while!

At this point in this post, you’re undoubtedly wondering why I’m telling you this. Well, many of Gossett Marketing’s apparel vendors have recently begun to carry shirts made with anti-bacterial fabrics that function just like those Lululemon tops that I love! They are ideal promotional giveaways for golf tournaments and the like, but they’re also perfect uniforms for any company’s employees. For any trade show I recommend staffing your booth with professionals outfitted in logoed apparel, such as an embroidered shirt. Well, the various shows and events down here in Miami are outside (i.e. the Miami Boat Show or South Beach Wine and Food Festival), so an anti-bacterial polo would be the perfect way to keep the individuals working the booths fresh all day. And if you own a restaurant, surely you want your wait staff to stay odor-free as they run in and out of the hot kitchen – why not outfit them in logoed stink-preventing shirts?

No brand wants to be affiliated with body odor, so the next time you distribute logoed apparel, consider an anti-bacterial option. Your customers, employees, and hamper will thank you!

For more about silverescent technology, check out this YouTube video:


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