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?

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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

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Word of Mouth – September 1, 2011 – Back to School Redux

September 1, 2011 at 10:50 am | Posted in Blog | Leave a comment
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Word of Mouth – September 1, 2011


Back to School Redux

It’s time for Back to School! Got your supplies and backpack ready?

Everyone else is studiously planning their marketing efforts for the fall and even 2012. What, your business doesn’t have its backpack stuffed with great marketing ideas and tools?
 
Perhaps you’re stuck in last year’s messaging rut. Would your business get an A for effort but a C+ for results?

Maybe it’s time for a makeover?
 
Let everyone else go “back to school” this season. Hamptons Creative Group skips you grades ahead, like Marketing Makeover recipient Julia R., who told us, “After going page by page through my Marketing Makeover I was able to take my social media and my traditional marketing to new places I hadn’t even considered.”
 
Julia skipped to the head of the class with her Marketing Makeover Ultimate. It contained all the tools she needed to be the BMOC – Business Magnate on Campus! This makeover is perfect for any grade in business, from concept kindergarten to graduate school for the established, and ensures your business, branding, and message are properly positioned and strategically aligned to meet growth objectives, making a difference to the bottom line.
 
With the Hamptons Creative Group Marketing Makeover Ultimate, you’ll graduate to a better marketing plan this fall and into 2012. The first 50 enrollees this month will receive a $550 credit toward a new Marketing Makeover Ultimate!

Don’t be late, or you’ll be sent to detention where lost sales, unhappy customers and delinquent opportunities spend their time.

Register now before classes are full!
 

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Word of Mouth – August 25, 2011 – Guest Blogger Neil Brownlee

August 25, 2011 at 6:00 am | Posted in Blog | Leave a comment
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Word of Mouth – August 25, 2011


Guest Blogger Neil Brownlee

This week’s guest blogger is Neil Brownlee, an advertising copywriter and creative director who had made a successful career by branding new businesses and re-branding existing products and services. He has received a Telly, Clio and other advertising awards.


“In This Economy?”

Being a Creative Director for an advertising agency, I regularly make advertising and marketing presentations to clients so they can ignite their sales, make customers happy, get rich, and retire early. Sounds like fun, huh?

So what can go wrong?

Sometimes I’m asked: what’s the key to a successful presentation? First, you have to believe in what you are presenting. Nothing falls on its face faster than a tepid, your-heart-ain’t-in-it pitch.  If you don’t get a client all pepped up then you’re dead in the water because clients get cold from 

snow jobs mighty fast.

So what does this have to do with the economy? Just think about what is going on daily. The stock market plummets, then climbs, and people can’t decide whether to take a Xanax or hide in the closet.

Unemployment sits and stagnates and no one has a clue how to get things moving again. One statistic I recently read made me stop and think – 75% of American consumers make 95% of the purchases. So you have a huge audience. But here’s the catch: That 75% either doesn’t have any spending money or they’re just afraid to spend it, preferring to hide their cash under the mattress, save it or, if they have real chutzpah and like roller coasters, invest it in the stock market.

So along comes Mr. Creative Director with his plans to storm the market and seize market share with the ferocity of Viking pillagers and plunderers. You stand there and pour your heart into the pitch. You generate so much energy that the air in the conference room tingles with electricity. Your client starts to sweat and just can’t wait to get your creative efforts on TV, the internet, the radio, in the newspapers or in magazines. The client even starts preparing his bragging speech for his golf course buddies.

You stand there knowing that you’ve just knocked ‘em dead and the deal is done. Then the client asks the dreaded question, “Great work. Terrific. So how much will all this genius cost me?”  

You take a deep breath and give the client the dollar amount. The client takes a deep breath, looks at you and says, “You expect me to spend that in this economy?”

Today, more than ever, advertising and marketing people have to be conscious of budgets and more creative than ever in how that money is spent. With less dollars being spent that means the selling message has to be more provocative and persuasive than ever.

What advice do I give to clients and marketing people? They have to think of each and every marketing message as a one-time proposition. You have one shot at making a sale and it had better be good. So do your homework, find the need that the target market craves to have satisfied and show them how your product or service satisfies it.

Getting someone to open their wallet and spend money is the #1 challenge facing businesses today. In order to be up to it you have to know the market, the product, and the media where the message is appearing and make sure that message is more than just some catchy, cutesy phrase.  

Do that and the electricity will flow from the presentation right to the customer.



Neil Brownlee is the Creative Director at Avalanche Creative Services as well as an Adjunct Professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology. He oversees the development of strategy and creation, in addition to the writing and production of advertising materials in all media formats — TV, radio, print, and online. Neil works with clients on a daily basis to ensure the highest quality and most effective creative product. His mantra is: I believe in results for clients. Anything else is simply conversation.
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There are only a few days remaining in the month. After that, our Comprehensive Guide to LinkedIn will no longer be available without cost. In “this economy” why not get yours now?

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Word of Mouth June 9, 2011 – Then and Now

June 9, 2011 at 6:00 am | Posted in Blog | Leave a comment
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Word of Mouth – June 9, 2011


Then and Now

Over Memorial Day Weekend, Linda went up to the Woodstock New Paltz Arts & Crafts Fair. Here are her thoughts about then and now.



In 1969, I was in the wedding of a dear friend, and missed the big event in Woodstock. We still joke that if we had known what a cultural phenomenon that weekend would be, no one would have come to her wedding. Not even her!

More than 40 years later, the spirit of the 1960s lingered. There were vendors selling spices and oils and all kinds of granola handicrafts – including granola. Believe it or not, the first people I approached at the fair were from the Hamptons! I saw the name on a vendor’s chef’s jacket, and realized that he was my friend on Facebook.

My experience confirmed that I’m still talking to people who were relevant to me 40 years ago, just doing it differently.

There was no Facebook, no cell phones, and no Internet when Woodstock happened in 1969. There were computers, but the idea that today we’d have handheld telephones that could do more than a room-sized machine could, was inconceivable. Look how far we’ve come.

When I started Hamptons Creative Group, I noticed that businesses, especially small businesses, weren’t using social media effectively – if at all. And while it has become more and more prolific and the number of “experts” has arisen even more so, it’s easy to get distracted and overwhelmed. Some businesses have no social media involvement at all, but might be curious how to get started. Others are tech-geeks that have become very good at using it in their personal lives.

Whatever your skill level, be assured that social media is important for your business. If you put using social media off any longer, or delay making improvements to what you’ve got, if you think you’ll just wait until after the summer calms down, or wait until “the next big thing” arrives, you’re going to miss the boat. And along with that, you’re going to miss out on spending customers, today, tomorrow, and even years from now.

I’ve seen how Hamptons Creative Group’s social media efforts from months ago prompt sales calls today, how relationships are formed in a virtual environment, and why this phenomena, this distinct era in commerce, is reshaping what it means to be a business.

We’ve help so many business go from “then” to “now” and it all started with completing the no obligation Goal Focus Sheet here.

SUBSCRIBE TO HAMPTONS CREATIVE GROUP BLOG HERE

 

Hamptons Creative Group

 

 

Word of Mouth May 26 – Kelly Koepke Guest Blog

May 26, 2011 at 6:00 am | Posted in Blog | Leave a comment
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Word of Mouth – May 26, 2011

Kelly Koepke Guest Blog

This month’s guest blogger is Kelly Koepke, our Sorceress of Syntax who helps us put together our own materials and those of our clients. The topic of her post this month about sharing and collaboration, and how it all works for her. (We missed her during her two weeks in South America.)


How It Works for Me – Sharing Leads to Collaboration
I write stuff for a living — like blogs — as well as newsletters, press releases and websites.

Stuff that other people take credit for. I have zero problem with that. That’s why I write stuff. I use my ability to put words together to connect my need to eat with other people’s need to communicate. Sometimes I write stories for magazines and newspapers, too. Those stories have my name on them.

That’s how it works for me.

I’m writing this as I’m about to leave for a trip to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands. You’re reading it after I’m back. Because, I write stuff on a flexible schedule that meets the needs of my clients. I’m away, and they’re still sending their blogs, newsletters and press releases on their schedule.

That’s how it works for them.You can read more about this trip to see the giant tortoises, blue-footed boobies and marine iguanas in a national newspaper soon. See, I turned down a writing assignment that would have been due during my time away. When I shared with the editors why I couldn’t do the work for them this time, they connected the dots between me, my trip and their audience.

Now I have the good fortune to tell their readers about my experiences, and show them the pictures. That’s how it works for them.

How does it work for you?
Do your customers know the good stuff happening with you and your business? Your success stories may not seem exciting to you because you lived them. To your customers, they are the foundation of your communication with them – sharing, collaboration, and knowing how it all works for you.


Kelly Koepke is a writer, public relations and communications consultant based in Albuquerque, NM. She helps solo-preneurs and small businesses better communicate with their potential and current customers and the media.

Visit kellykoepke.com. She’s also on Facebook.


Plan on Learning More

Hamptons Creative Group is presenting “Making Social Media Digestible” at the North Fork Chamber of Commerce Early Bird Marketing Breakfast on June 2nd. Please plan to join us!

Find full details and reserve space for you and members of your business here.

SUBSCRIBE TO HAMPTONS CREATIVE GROUP BLOG HERE

Hamptons Creative Group

 

Word of Mouth Feb 3, 2011 Video as a Vehicle

February 3, 2011 at 11:36 am | Posted in Blog | Leave a comment
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Word of Mouth – February 3, 2011

Road Trip Month, Week 2
We began our Road Trip Month with the questions where are you going? and why are you going there? Without a road map to your destination, its easy to be sidetracked by interesting detours. It’s also easy to wander off the highway without a concrete reason to be going somewhere. Marketing your brand works exactly the same way.

Video as the Vehicle
One road to reaching your ideal audience is video. Video works in multiple eco-chic platforms, such as video blogging, emails with video embedded in them, and using video on your website. Video works to grab people as soon as they enter your site, open your email, or read your blog.

What Others Have To Say
Social Media Examiner said it perfectly when they introduced their how to get started in video blog last year: In the age where online reality is replacing actual reality in every facet of our lives, having virtual real estate is paramount for people to feel close(er) to you.

Video Horsepower
Using video, as SME so aptly puts it, is about humanizing your presence. People buy from people, not companies. And all things begin equal (and unequal), people buy from people they like and know. Video that captures your picture, voice, tone, sense of humor and personality brings your ideal customer closer to knowing, and thus, liking you.

Flooring It

At Hamptons Creative Group, we’re taking the first steps in driving video into our garage of transportation delivery methods – the ways we deliver our message (and those of our clients) to our customers (and theirs). We’re working with Lou Bortone, a Branding Coach and Online Visibility Expert with over two decades of experience with national brands like Fox, E! Entertainment Television, The Family Channel and NBC. Lou’s helping us turn the key and point us in the right direct on the road of video – blogging, testimonials and other message delivery methods.

 Watch us as we get up to speed in no time flat.

Word of Mouth Jan 27, 2011 Road Trip Recap

January 27, 2011 at 11:01 am | Posted in Blog | 1 Comment
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Word of Mouth- January 27, 2011

Jump in and buckle up, we are embarking on a month long Road Trip!
Where are you going and Why are you going there?
Those two questions hold the key, not only to the month ahead but to your overall marketing clarity. It is essential to have a clear vision of why you are getting on the road, where the road is leading you and the tactics required to get you there.
Linda vs. the Snownami 

Look at Linda’s Road Trip to Florida in late December. As you’ll recall, she and her dear friend Roberta left two days behind schedule because of the East Coast snownami. The reason for the trip was to transport Roberta’s red rocket south for the winter.  She had been commissioned to design accessories for the shoe line, Juno Shoe Girl in Jupiter, Florida. Linda had several clients to see along the way, so she was thrilled with the idea of mixing “Thelma and Louise” bonding time

with interstate client connecting. Join us as we recap how they found their way…


“The roads getting out of Long Island were still laden with mountains of snow and debris. In fact, the Belt Parkway was down to one lane with piles of snow taking up the other. Roberta and I laughed as we Queens Girls passed ‘the old country’ — Bayside and Forest Hills — where we like-minded, fun-loving future entrepreneurs met!

Determined to get to Jupiter, FL on New Year’s Eve, we did. In at 5 pm, we were out the door again by 5:20 dressed in our frilly finest (a way better look than car clothes), to meet Nina of Juno Shoe Girl and
friends for dinner. After making a wish over traditional black-eyed peas and greens, it was time for revelry. We were celebrating the end of another great year plus the success of Nina’s neat new shoe business.

Share the Vision

We put our best feet forward starting on New Year’s Day. At the Juno Shoe Girl studio, the party really got started. Taking my show on the road, I shared marketing and branding advice. It was just another example of Hamptons Creative Group working its magic planet-wide.”


Delivering the Message

Between strategy sessions and vitamin D absorption, everyone obviously had a great time. And when Linda was down south, the rest of the team was delivering customized New Year Marketing Makeovers to clients  throughout Long Island.

Our Map or Yours

When you work with Hamptons Creative Group, it’s like being on your own road trip with us. You’re in the driver’s seat, and we’re completely engaged as navigator – directing you down the right marketing path
that’ll bring you to your ideal customers. With our roadmap, we’ll guide you to your destination.

Venture Virtuoso Due South

Linda’s engine is already revving to provide driving assistance to her brother Jim, Hamptons Creative Group’s Venture Virtuoso. He’s off to Florida for the months of February and March. The route they’ll take allows them to visit colleagues and connections missed because of the
December weather delay.

We’ll be telling you about that in the coming weeks during Road Trip Month!

 

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Hamptons Creative Group

 

Word of Mouth Jan 6, 2011 – Digital Trends for 2011

January 6, 2011 at 11:01 am | Posted in Blog, Featured, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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WORD OF MOUTH FROM HAMPTONS CREATIVE

Digital Marketing Trends & Predictions for 2011
We at Hamptons Creative Group don’t claim to be the complete experts on electronic marketing, but we do know quite a lot, including some important things that will happen in the digital landscape in 2011. And we know that these trends will have a big impact on our business and yours in the coming year. Here’s a recap of a great article we found examining these trends, and some ideas to capitalize on them.

1- Costs-Per-Click Rising

As dollars continue to flood into online marketing, cost per click is becoming more expensive. The way to lower costs? Testing and optimizing both by marketers and keyword software. Conversion from click to purchase is the goal.

2- Mobile & Social Platforms Dominate

Ever-increasing mobile and social platform users (that’s you, Mr. Smartphone and you Miss Facebook), translates to marketing on many more sites, in more formats and more contexts. As this shift occurs, marketers need to build a diverse customer base NOW. Look past your own website toward investments in Facebook pages, Twitter feeds and even sites like Groupon or Google Places.

3. Google Gets Social, Facebook Gets Serious

Google’s search rankings will begin to respond to feedback, not just hits, allowing users to rate search results or even websites, and have user “likes” factored into ranking algorithms. And at the same time, Facebook wiGoogle Analyticsll get more serious by extend its ads beyond Facebook to participating non-Facebook sites. What does this mean? A di rect targeting of messages based on demographic and placement characteristics, offering the first true challenge to Google.

4. Come Back, Little Sheba

What is the value of getting back someone you already acquired? In 2011, look for this question to be answered. “Remarketing” tools will become better at telling marketers the true cost-of-acquisition. Watch for better Google Analytics metrics and for other remarketing vendors to get into the act.

So How Do You Leverage These Trends? 1.Plan for an increasingly competitive marketplace. Consumers are always looking for a better deal, so focus on the basics: message testing, landing page optimization and high rankings in search engines.

2.Use Bing, too. Bing’s an up and comer. Use it like you would Google.

3. Go mobile. Start testing mobile as a way to reach people. Scan Me with Your Smart Phone -QR 2D Code

4.Put your eggs in many baskets. Using Facebook ads? Try other social networking sites like Groupon,Foursquare and Google Places, too.

Don’t know where to start in marketing your message or how to take advantage of 2011’s trends? Our Marketing Makeover provides you with a customized blueprint to stay on top of it all. Already have a plan, but want help from the pros to execute it? Hamptons Creative Group gets your message to the places and people you want it to – your ideal customers, wherever they are, planetwide.

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WordPress 2010 Report Card for Hamptons Creative Group

January 6, 2011 at 6:13 am | Posted in Blog, Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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Hamptons Creative Group

Wordpress Report Card for Hamptons Creative

Happy New Year Hamptons Creative Group from WordPress.com! To kick off the year, we’d like to share with you data on how your blog has been doing.

Here’s a high level summary of your overall blog health. The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Crunchy numbers

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 2,200 times in 2010. That’s about 5 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 41 new posts, not bad for the first year! There were 91 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 90mb. That’s about 2 pictures per week.
The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ readsFresher than ever!

Healthy blog!

Attractions in 2010-

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

How do you create a success story? May 2010 About May 2010

How Do You Devirtualize Virtual Relationships? June 20

We’ve Got The Right People On the Bus. Do You? June 2010

Word of Mouth Oct 28, 2010 – Move It! October 2010

Thanks for flying with WordPress.com in 2010. We look forward to serving you again in 2011! Happy New Year!

Hamptons Creative Group

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