Our Blog Has Moved!

December 19, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Posted in Blog | Leave a comment

Hi! Our Word of Mouth blog and Creative Thought Matters newsletter have moved. Please read the latest at: http://www.hamptonscreative.com/interact

Word of Mouth – December 8, 2011 – Personal Branding

December 8, 2011 at 6:00 am | Posted in Blog | Leave a comment
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Word of Mouth – December 8, 2011

Personal Branding

On our recent whirlwind tour of the United States, we met with an established company to explore their marketing expansion needs. But they really needed our help more than a year ago – when they weren’t in the cross hairs of a takeover by a larger company looking to expand its own reach.
 
The smaller business, full of energy and entrepreneurialism, had grown beyond it’s two founding partners in ways neither had expected. Now in its 11th year, the company faced a crisis that should have been addressed months, if not years earlier. Ramping up outreach and marketing efforts now didn’t make any sense for them in the face of an attractive offer (aka: no other options) from an organization whose social media, traditional marketing and messaging machine is well oiled and steaming along.
 
They came to us too late. Perhaps our earlier assistance would have propelled them into the same league as their devourer. Perhaps we could have turned them into the ones doing the acquisition. Instead, a larger company with the foresight to turn its resources to expansion saw them as an attractive morsel. And despite everyone’s good intentions, no one can guarantee that vision of the two partners will survive the consolidation. Or whether the two partners and/or the staff will have a place in the new venture.
 
Marketing and branding isn’t just about growing your business. It’s about keeping your company on track and alive in the face of competition. It’s about bringing out the flavor of your personality to promote your service or product. It’s about enhancing your ability to, and creating strategies and channels for, facing and outpacing your competition.

Could your brand withstand a possible buy out by a larger company who sees your potential? How would you or your employees brand themselves when the business no longer exists or is swallowed up by a different one? Is your identity tied into a business that no longer exists? What have you done to separate yourself and your brand from the crowd?
 
Fortunately, Hamptons Creative Group is your co-creator in success. We recently saw a segment on 60 Minutes about how “alchemists” develop flavors that mimic, produce and promote products to a level that captures attention. That’s what we do in telling your personal and business story so that it resonates with your customers.

We explore and identify opportunities, then guide you through them systematically with strategy sessions, project management, full time marketing and branding guidance – just what you need to propel your business to success.
 
Let’s begin our co-creativeship today. You now have support from a planet-wide company of experts with your Marketing Partnership and Hamptons Creative Group.
 
Fill out our easy, no obligation enrollment form.


Read all this week’s blog posts:

Got a Book? Why Not? 
Are You Still Questioning Facebook?

SUBSCRIBE TO HAMPTONS CREATIVE GROUP BLOG HERE

 

Word of Mouth Daily – December 7, 2011 – Got a Book? Why Not?

December 7, 2011 at 6:00 am | Posted in Blog | Leave a comment
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Word of Mouth Daily – December 7, 2011

Got a Book? Why Not?

Want to turn the crisp pages of your freshly printed new book? You may be the only one. Not because people don’t want to read your writing…in fact, readership is up! However, printed paper books are being replaced by digital.

Many aspiring writers are simply unsure how to proceed in the digital publishing landscape.

That’s where Hamptons Creative Group can help you. In addition to our experience helping traditionally published authors, we’ve also helped authors realise their written efforts in other ways.

Whether it be Kindle or Nook, iPad or Android tablet, Hamptons Creative Group can get your book in the most popular digital devices.

Don’t let the term “self-published” lull you into the false belief that the process is easy to do by yourself. There are a lot of steps: proofing, formating for digital devices, copyright protections, securing an ISBN, and, oh yeah, marketing.

Unsure about what to write? You may benefit from a strategy session with a member of our extended collaborative community of experts.

When it comes to creating your book, you have no excuses! And remember, you don’t have to do it all yourself. Hamptons Creative Group is here to help. Start here

SUBSCRIBE TO HAMPTONS CREATIVE GROUP BLOG HERE

Word of Mouth Daily – December 5, 2011 – Are You Still Questioning Facebook?

December 5, 2011 at 6:00 am | Posted in Blog | Leave a comment
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Word of Mouth Daily – December 5, 2011

Are You Still Questioning Facebook?

There are still some businesses that ask, “Why should I be on Facebook?” The answer is short and sweet, so we hope this helps.

Facebook, aside from being a way to interact with your most passionate fans and customers, aside from being a way to hold contests, provide coupons, push promotions, and showcase your products/services, aside from being a platform to integrate your web-produced content like your blog, photos, and other social media (i.e. Tweets), aside from being a way to announce events and manage guest lists, and aside from being a way to feature your business’ team members, joint ventures, and partners, Facebook boosts your web search visibility.

It’s that straight-forward.

Facebook is an SEO machine for your business. Of course, you have to be using it correctly. That can be done by managing your content actively, optimizing your custom textual areas, interlinking your Facebook page, and utilizing your key word list.

You don’t have to do it all yourself. Hamptons Creative Group helps businesses get the most from Facebook with our Facebook marketing service and social media bundle package. Start here and Hamptons Creative Group will make Facebook work for you.

SUBSCRIBE TO HAMPTONS CREATIVE GROUP BLOG HERE

Word of Mouth – December 1, 2011 – Eye on Your Big Picture

December 1, 2011 at 6:00 am | Posted in Blog | Leave a comment
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Word of Mouth – December 1, 2011

Eye on Your Big Picture

Thanksgiving was last week in the United States (and in October for our Canadian friends). And though we’re the only two countries (that we know of) with official holidays that encourage reflection, many people around the world use the end of the calendar year to evaluate the year.
 
Which makes this the perfect time to reflect on what’s happened in the previous 11 months, and think about where you’re going in the next 12. And sometimes it takes a collaborative partner to figure out just what’s going on and what the future holds — someone who keeps the focus on the big picture. Someone who can help you figure out if you’re on the right path to realizing the dream for your business.
 
That’s where Hamptons Creative Group comes in. We strategize with clients by using co-creativeship. We hear their stories and help them communicate in ways that resonate with them AND their customers. There is nothing worse than feeling like your marketing doesn’t speak from the heart and soul – that it doesn’t represent who YOU are. No one wants a business that’s “work.” Why not aim for a joyful expression of your true essence and desire?
 
As we explore and identify opportunities, we then guide you through them step by step. This is co-creativeship. It’s beyond collaborative, beyond being partners. Nothing we do can be done without our clients’ feedback, ideas and desires.  It’s the culmination of understanding what makes your heart sing as an entrepreneur, and coupling it with the elements that make us shine: design, promotion and marketing.
 
So consider these four questions in this time of reflection:

  • What has your experience been marketing your business?
  • What would you change about your current business?
  • What are you doing to ensure your business grows in alignment with your goals?
  • How are you addressing your existing and future competition?

These are the questions we’re pondering as 2011 winds down. The most important question for you, of course, is: how can Hamptons Creative Group help you answer them? The answer: By joining us in co-creativeship.
 
Fill out our easy, no obligation enrollment form. Let’s begin our co-creativeship today, with access to and support from our planet-wide company of experts ready to sing along with you.


Read all this week’s blog posts:

Co-Creativeship Keeps You Moving
Sometimes It’s the Management
Facebook Proves Linda was Right

SUBSCRIBE TO HAMPTONS CREATIVE GROUP BLOG HERE

 

Word of Mouth Daily – November 30, 2011 – Co-Creativeship Keeps You Moving

November 30, 2011 at 6:00 am | Posted in Blog | Leave a comment
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Word of Mouth Daily – November 30, 2011

Co-Creativeship Keeps You Moving

With the current economic conditions, it’s important to look at the numbers and not just the headlines. What are companies spending on marketing? Well, the median number of companies spend up to 10% of revenue on marketing. This means for every $10 taken in, $1 goes back to marketing. Of course, when you’re selling something new or rebranding, the amount is more like $4-$6 of every $10 — at least to start.

It’s important to think of these figures because they take away the excuse of “we’re in a bad economy” when it comes to your marketing budget. It’s a simple percentages game.

We’re experiencing a new societal factor that affects your marketing: the expectation of targeting. There are very few people in our society that are unaware of the collection of information on their behaviors from Facebook to credit cards to movie watching. We expect from this, in turn, offers that relate to our preferences. A message that appeals to the masses is now trite. Society wants a marketing message individualized for each member.

Today’s technology is just right to satisfy demands. Email marketing, mobile & SMS marketing, social media dashboards, web conferencing and video chat, and supporting measurement tools enable businesses to confidently budget for their marketing and satisfy societal demands. The usefulness of readily accessible technologies can actually shape how you craft your custom messages and scale your marketing dollars.

A co-creativeship with Hamptons Creative Group can help put these economic, social, and technological components together for your business. Sound like something you could use? Start here and Hamptons Creative Group will get you moving toward success.

SUBSCRIBE TO HAMPTONS CREATIVE GROUP BLOG HERE

Word of Mouth Daily – November 29, 2011 – Sometimes It’s the Management

November 29, 2011 at 6:00 am | Posted in Blog | Leave a comment
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Word of Mouth Daily – November 29, 2011

Sometimes It’s the Management

When we start working with clients, especially in a co-creativeship, sometimes it is apparent (to us) that there’s a management concern in addition to a marketing need. Management and leadership are difficult skills. They require just as much thought, planning, and execution as any marketing plan.

While Hamptons Creative Group is not a management consulting firm in the traditional sense, we do provide aspects of such services to small businesses.

Some of these include marketing project management, competitor and market analysis, and working with other groups — like customer service specialists — to train employees.

When we think about leadership as it relates to marketing, it’s interesting how they each have the same core characteristics. In a recent New York Times interview with Electronic Arts’ CEO John Riccitiello, Riccitiello makes some key points about leadership that we make about marketing.

The CEO shares the following success factors to leadership (and Hamptons Creative Group shares the comparative elements in marketing success):

  • Paint a picture of the way it’s supposed to work (have a marketing vision and plan)
  • Be incredibly consistent (brand ubiquitously across all channels)
  • Really listen to the people (know the market and your customers through research & analytics)
  • Be absolutely genuine (heart-felt products and services resonate in a marketing message)
  • Be passionate about greatness in your products/services (have something worthy of marketing)

Can you think of any other similarities? Share them with us and Hamptons Creative Group can help fuse your leadership and marketing success.

SUBSCRIBE TO HAMPTONS CREATIVE GROUP BLOG HERE

Word of Mouth Daily – November 28, 2011 – Facebook Proves Linda was Right!

November 28, 2011 at 6:00 am | Posted in Blog | Leave a comment
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Word of Mouth Daily – November 28, 2011

Facebook Proves Linda was Right!

Linda, our CEO and Chief Brand Alchemist, has a saying: “There are only four people in the world.” She means that we’re all connected and serve a role in each other’s lives. Linda should know. Afterall, her natural strength is making connections.

But only four people? That seems like too few.

Well, leave it to Facebook to prove Linda correct. The Facebook Data Team posted a note on Facebook last week describing the results of two studies done in conjunction with the Università degli Studi di Milano. And the conclusion? According to their findings:

We found that six degrees actually overstates the number of links between typical pairs of users: While 99.6% of all pairs of users are connected by paths with 5 degrees (6 hops), 92% are connected by only four degrees (5 hops).

Image how this works for your business. You are 4 degrees away from making any connection you need. Read the full Facebook note here.

Intrigued by the power you wield? Talk to us about it and Hamptons Creative Group will start you off on making the right connections.

SUBSCRIBE TO HAMPTONS CREATIVE GROUP BLOG HERE

Word of Mouth Daily – November 23, 2011 – Thanking Your Customers

November 23, 2011 at 6:00 am | Posted in Blog | Leave a comment
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Word of Mouth Daily – November 22, 2011

Thanking Your Customers

Businesses thank their customers in many ways. Customers aren’t that grateful though, right? It’s ok. Many are, but you might not be listening for their “thank you’s.”

Some businesses that we’ve spoken with are fearful of social media because of the potentially ungracious comments that customers might share. This head-in-the-sand outlook isn’t helping much when it comes to accepting positive comments. But let’s put the virtual world aside for a moment and look at a physical act of gratitude.

One local business offers a “local worker” discount. This is a special card that, when shown at the register, entitles the bearer to a discount. It’s almost a super secret club for Hamptons locals. Those with the card hesitate to go to competitors. So, the discount card is the business saying “thank you.” How do customers respond?

According to the owner, repeat business is way up. The message: customers are grateful that they have a place that makes them feel special, so they keep coming back. It makes sense; in an area with a typical target market being those that DON’T live and work here, it’s the ultimate membership.

All it takes is a little wallet-sized card.

What are you doing to thank customers for their business? If nothing, ask us and Hamptons Creative Group will share some ideas with you.

SUBSCRIBE TO HAMPTONS CREATIVE GROUP BLOG HERE

Word of Mouth Daily – November 22, 2011 – Google+ Pages Redux

November 22, 2011 at 6:00 am | Posted in Blog | Leave a comment
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Word of Mouth Daily – November 22, 2011

Google+ Pages Redux

It’s a little weird to call something a redux when it hasn’t been around for more than a few months. But, as we tweeted a few weeks ago, Google+ now has pages for business. This option totally changes what Google+ can do, and who would be interested in using it.

Here are seven points that make Google+ pages interesting:

  1. Google+ pages do not provide notifications, not even in the Google bar. On Facebook, you receive notifications via email, text, and the header bar.
  2. Google+ pages can’t “+1” other pages or web content where as Facebook pages retain the “like” feature.
  3. Different types of groups, businesses, and organizations can have Google+ pages. Profiles are meant for individual persons. This is very similar to Facebook.
  4. An individual must add a Google+ page to his or her Circle before the page can add that individual.
  5. Google+ pages automatically unfollow those who unfollow the page.
  6. There is no administrative sharing of Google+ pages. This seems like a major flaw.
  7. Google+ pages have yet to reach their potential and are sure to undergo changes and upgrades over the next several months.

Curious about a Google+ page for you business? Talk to us first and Hamptons Creative Group will be there for you. Also, see that red g+ button below? Give it a click and add us to your circle.

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