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 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.

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Word of Mouth – October 20, 2011 – Preparation

October 20, 2011 at 6:00 am | Posted in Blog | Leave a comment
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Word of Mouth – October 20, 2011

Preparation

Last week, we talked about Linda’s trip to San Francisco for a spiritual marketing seminar. That seminar was another milestone in a fall season filled with exciting happenings in store for Hamptons Creative Group (and you). As we look back at that the plans we made, we begin to marvel at how everything we’ve planned is coming together.
 
It hasn’t been without effort. In fact, we’ve augmented our already terrific team in order to make new elements coalesce, and prepare ourselves to meet our clients’ needs as we grow and as they grow.

Meet Judi Cogen, our newest Social Media Strategist who works with us virtually (as several ofJudi Cogen, Social Media Strategist our team members do). She’s helping us provide top-level service to our clients on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and more. Some businesses relied on their summer interns to handle their social media marketing efforts. Once those interns transitioned back to school, business were stuck asking now what?

Because we have pr ofessionals on our team focused on helping your business grow (not on getting college credit) Hamptons Creative Group helps take what you might have thought of as a time-drain and turn it into a business booster. Donna Amos, our Inspirer of Possibilities, identified Judi as just the right person to help our clients. 

When we explore bringing new people in, we first identify the role we want them to play, and the unique expertise they need to do the job right. That’s part of the preparation to ensure they are successful, so that we can be successful as a team.
 
What are you doing to prepare for your next big happening? Are you adding staff for an event or promotion? Bringing in experts for a quick consult? When you spend time planning, your rewards are that much sweeter because you’ve laid the groundwork for success.
 
If your next big thing is still floating around your head, talk with us. We’re prepared to help you with things like custom Facebook and LinkedIn pages, marketing plans, and in-depth relationships through our Marketing Partnership

Don’t let the opportunity to prepare for success pass you by.
 

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Drastic Facebook Changes You Must Know About – Special Tuesday Word of Mouth – September 27, 2011

September 27, 2011 at 6:00 am | Posted in Blog | Leave a comment
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Special Tuesday Word of Mouth – September 27, 2011

Drastic Facebook Changes You Must Know About

Phew! The recent changes to Facebook came fast and furious. This might be the most radical overhaul of the social site since it expanded beyond the Harvard campus community.

While many in the marketing field knew changes like this were scheduled, no one outside of Facebook would have predicted such a monumental shift all at once.

In fact, the biggest change is scheduled to start appearing for some on Thursday, September 29th, with the rollout of Facebook’s new “Timeline” now in beta. In addition to the new “Ticker,” Wall feed, verb options, 3rd party application protocols, and privacy setting options, Facebook has adjusted the rules on Business Page interactions. If there was ever a better time to have a professional provider manage your business and brand on Facebook it’s not coming to mind.

The new changes will force businesses to interact, target, and service people who may not even “Like” you on Facebook. Businesses and brands will have to be more diligent about monitoring for spam, negative comments, requests for customer service, and feedback – even the positive stuff! Furthermore, the new Facebook changes will enable more outside content to be consumed through (aka inside) the Facebook interface, making it difficult for businesses and brands to standout or drive visitors to other sites such as squeeze pages, online shopping carts, and company web sites.

It’s important to mention that these changes have been made with two intentions: 1) return Facebook to a “profile” driven site opposed to a constantly updating wall stream, and 2)encourage more 3rd party applications, which will increase the amount of data Facebook can collect from users about behaviors, trends, location, and more.

This brings about a slew of privacy concerns, but it’s nothing new. Facebook has tried to get ahead of this issue (finally) by adding more upfront sharing controls. However, these do not prevent Facebook from tracking your movement and activity on the site. The reason Facebook has made so many changes is to attempt to thwart off the growth of Google+, which is another new social media site now available to the public.

However, with less the 50 million Google+ users, Facebook is still king. The fraction of defectors away from Facebook (and there are some) is pithy compared to its remaining 700 million strong. (You may not like the government, but you haven’t left the country. Same applies to Facebook, where the cost to uproot and seek new beginnings – while abandoning your followers – is much too high.)

In summary, the Facebook changes are going to affect your business and brand whether you are a Facebook novice, elite user, or not even a member. Because so much of what goes on online happens in the space of Facebook (80% of web use in the US is for social media and blogs) it’s impossible to escape it.

The best move now is to accept its value in doing business, and in lieu of becoming an expert on the ins and outs of how it works, trust a professional to navigate your business through the Facebook landscape. You’d want a plumber to fix your pipes, a carpenter to build your deck, and a mechanic to tune your car’s motor.

Why would you want fate to manage your business on Facebook?

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Word of Mouth – September 22, 2011 – Intentions

September 21, 2011 at 6:00 am | Posted in Blog | Leave a comment
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Word of Mouth – September 22, 2011

Intentions

We all get up every morning with the best of intentions. Earlier this week, we had the intention of greeting a full day of client consultations, in office marketing magic, and networking fun. To keep us on track and on time, we even set the alarm on our phone to ring minutes before we had to leave for the next event on the schedule.
 
But you know what they say about good intentions, right? Man makes plans and the universe laughs. We’d created a strategy for ourselves and Murphy’s law took over. One of our cell phone screens smashed, another alarm failed, a meeting ran long, and people who normally would be in a certain place and at a certain time just didn’t happen to be that day.
 
As a result, we arrived at a new client meeting just as the town church bells were ringing us tardy. Our preparation was for naught because we missed the meeting. We’re human, and we messed up.
 
So we learn, right? We create back up plans for the back up plans. We now carry a watch and a phone alarm. We brainstorm strategies to ensure we meet our client expectations and our own, too. We’re present in the moment while keeping an eye on the future and remaining flexible enough to seize opportunities when they arise.
 
Take, for example, the recent changes to Facebook. How will you approach the service now that it has changed? One thing is for sure: the new changes will mean more businesses will need help making Facebook an effective marketing tool.
 

Because, when it comes down to it, we only have the present to think about our business and set our intentions. It’s the plans we make now that influence the future months and years. But with all the hype (Christmas displays in September, anyone?) that has us always thinking 3 to 4 months ahead, it’s sometimes hard to focus now to plan for those future months.
 
That’s where our Marketing Makeover Ultimate comes in. It helps you focus NOW, on where you’d like to be in the months and year ahead. It sets your intentions NOW, and gives you concrete action steps to implement NOW that will take you into future.

So don’t let the universe laugh at your good intentions – make them real. Here’s how


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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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Special Tuesday Word of Mouth – What I Did on Summer Vacation – August 9, 2011

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


What I Did on Summer Vacation

 

Ok, summer is nowhere near over. But, it’s always fun to share stories – especially ones that have surprises. The first part of my story certainly came as a surprise right away. I was walking out of a local grocery store and noticed a large truck parked near my vehicle and a man standing close by, clearly waiting for someone.

It turned out he was waiting for me. 

I had never met this person and it was apparent from his face he wasn’t in the best of moods.

“Excuse me,” he directed toward me as I approached. “Is this your vehicle?” He pointed toward my SUV – the Hamptons Creative roaming office and doggie mascots Scout and Lulu’s taxi I call Lady Liberty.
 
“It is,” I said.
 
“Well,” the man began to confess, “I backed into it with the hitch on my truck.”
 
Sure enough, Lady Liberty had sustained quite a thwack. This man, however, is the surprise. He had waited quite a while in that parking lot for me to come out. Not only did he apologize profusely, he gave me all the information for a great local auto-body shop and said he’d pay for the whole repair.
 
The auto-body shop has been in the area for years and has remained family owned the entire time. Not only did they restore Lady Liberty’s outside damage, they took it to a car wash to clean up the mascot’s left behind fur from earlier in the day! The shop also tuned my radio to 88.3 WPPB-FM – my favorite AND their favorite station. (Hamptons Creative Group coincidently underwrote WPPB’s Facebook page, which led to a great conversation on how even old, established local businesses are using Facebook and other social networking sites to reach customers.)
 
We typically hear stories of coming out to the parking lot to find damages with no one takingLady Liberty restored to glory. responsibility and auto-body shops making a bad condition worse. Responsibility and going a step beyond make quite an impression.
 
It’s important to make those impressions both in the physical world and in virtual settings such an your online presence. It’s the best way to turn surprises into success stories.

Ask me how I can help you tell your success story.
 
Look for the part two of my story later this month to find out what I mean by “hail storms and top-secret tomatoes.”

Linda Miller, CEO
Hamptons Creative Group


Remember to sign up this month to receive our special Comprehensive Guide to LinkedIn!

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Word of Mouth July 28, 2011 – Guest Blogger Christine Aylward of Charly’s Web

July 28, 2011 at 6:00 am | Posted in Blog | 3 Comments
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Word of Mouth – July 28, 2011


Guest Blogger Christine Aylward


This month’s guest blogger is Christine Aylward of Charley’s Web. Charly’s Web is a children’s clothier specializing in high quality, unique children’s items. All items are handmade and custom designed for the customer. What makes Christine’s success story so amazing (and practical) is that she isn’t focused on the technical social media side of her business. Rather, Charley’s Web is foremost about the (satisfied) experience of the customer.


 

Baby Jaime Photography - Charly's Web clothing

As a former teacher, busy mother-of-three, and stay at home Mom, I felt guilty for not bringing home a paycheck. I am extremely grateful to my husband Matt for providing for our family, but disliked buying his birthday and Father’s Day gifts with his money.

I wondered what could I do?

In May 2010, I put pictures on Facebook of pillowcase dresses that I made for my daughter. Friends asked to buy them almost immediately! Just like that, I had started my own business, and called it Charly’s Web after my daughter. 

One year later, I expanded Charly’s Web beyond pillowcase dresses by offering a variety of handmade dresses, custom embroidered clothes, unique and creative baby gifts, and the favorite of famous and modern mothers alike, bandana blankets and bandana bibs. 

I operate my business the old fashioned way while in the modern arena of Facebook, which allows me to keep overhead costs down and prices low. Carissa Donarummo Photography - Charly's Web clothing

Customer service is paramount. I want the customer to feel welcome and involved. When ordering through Charly’s Web, you are dealing directly with me every step of the way. I help each person customize their unique items and specifically tailor those items to guarantee they get exactly what they want. This customer-first interaction creates a unique garment that will be cherished.

Being driven and focusing on customers’ preferences are still the standard fabric for making a successful business. But using Facebook as a store front connects my business, my fans, and my customers in a way that was never possible just a few years ago. This combination has proven quite valuable, as Charly’s Web recently participated in its first photo shoot with the very talented pair Carissa Donarummo Photography and Baby Jaime Photography. 

What started as a simple Facebook page has enabled me to earn extra income for my family by doing something that I love. I am now able to take them out to the Hamptons each Father’s Day weekend to show how much I appreciate them, thanks to Charly’s Web and my repeat customer base. It has given me the ability to feel valued in a way that only bringing home a paycheck can. 


If you would like to see Charly’s Web’s unique items in person and meet Christine, she will be at the Southampton Summer Fair and Festival on Sunday, July 31st. The Fair will be located on the Elk’s Club grounds on Montauk Highway from 10am-6pm in Southampton. In the meantime, visit Charly’s Web website and ‘like’ Charly’s Web on Facebook!

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Hamptons Creative Group

 

 

Word of Mouth July 21, 2011 – David White Webinar Preview

July 21, 2011 at 6:00 am | Posted in Blog | Leave a comment
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Word of Mouth – July 21, 2011


David White Webinar Preview

 

We’re two weeks into our Conversations with the Experts webinars series about how to turn real word of mouth experiences into client and relationship building actions. Learn more about this week’s Conversation here.

Next Thursday, we wrap up the series with David White, founder and CEO of Weboptimiser, as he shares how to chisel on-line conversations into revenue. David’s a former rocket scientist who has been successfully providing online and digital marketing services since 1996.

He’s at the forefront of the Internet marketing industry and social media optimization, working with big corporations to one-man bands. We’re excited to share with you why Search Engine Optimization matters to your online efforts and how using SEO can draw new, high value customers to your business.

Don’t forget that if you can’t be on the live webinar, or you miss one of the three weeks, you still have access to ALL the recorded sessions. Even if you’ve missed the first two sessions, there’s no excuse not to register now by calling us at 631-283-2776 or visiting www.hamptonscreative.com.

This webinar series is filing up fast. Don’t miss out!

Our own Matthew Iscoe, Mission Controller and Donna Amos, Inspirer of Possibilities (our resident business coach), moderate the series.

Register now by calling us at 631-283-2776 or visit this page. Once you register, you’ll receive instructions on how to access the webinar from virtually anywhere in the world.

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Hamptons Creative Group

 

 

Word of Mouth June 23, 2011 – Conversations with the Experts

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


Conversations with the Experts


Last night we enjoyed a spectacular evening at Bedell Cellars to support the Parrish Art Museum. As you can imagine, there were plenty of conversations with influential business leaders.

Whether we were talking with old friends or networking with new acquaintances, the conversations — real word of mouth in action — helped build better relationships and share new ideas.

With that spirit in mind, CEO Linda A.B. Miller took a quick break from shaking hands to record this special invitation for you to join us on our upcoming webinar series, Conversations with the Experts. (Click the video image below to watch.)

 (Yes, that was a live steel drum band playing in the background!) 

You’ll find all the information on how to sign up starting July 1st.

What’s a webinar? It’s like going to a workshop or seminar, only you hear, see and interact with the facilitators and other attendees on your computer or other internet and camera-enabled device.

The webinar series will be held on the last three Thursdays in July with a different topic and expert guest each time. We’re bringing outside marketing, SEO and social media leaders from different parts of the U.S. and overseas to discuss key ways to boost business.

This incredible webinar series has already generated a sizable buzz because businesses are looking for ways to grow without shattering the budget.

Our own Matthew Iscoe, Mission Controller and Donna Amos, Inspirer of Possibilities (our resident business coach), will moderate the series, which will cover:

 • How to turn typical conversations into new high-paying clients
 • How to transform spoken conversations into sparkling written pieces
 • How to chisel on-line conversations into revenue
 
Participation in the webinar series includes access to the recorded sessions, too.

Want to secure your place on the webinar series? Learn how to preregister by calling us at 631-283-2776 before June 28th! As a bonus for those who register early, we’ll give you one-time access to our client-only webinar next week.

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Hamptons Creative Group

 

 

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