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 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.

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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 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 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.

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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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Word of Mouth – October 6, 2011 – Trick or Tweet Guide to Twitter

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

Trick or Tweet Guide to Twitter

 
Trick or Tweet! No, we’re not suffering from a writing impediment. We’re excited that it’s October and the time for vanquishing our scary monsters. As defined in marketing terms, that is.
 
Scary marketing monster #1: Branding. Are you wearing the appropriate costume to ensure treats? Or is your image frightening your customers away?
 
Scary marketing monster #2: Silence. Do your clients shiver with delight at your magic words and messages? Or are you playing a nasty trick by saying nothing to them at all?
 
Scary marketing monster #3: Same house, same candy. Some marketing tools are like candy to portions of your customer base, and like poison to others. Are you up to date on the benefits and drawbacks of each of the marketing tools at your disposal? Are you afraid of a simple, quick and exciting option like Twitter?
 
Hamptons Creative Group is here to tell you that you don’t have to be afraid of using Twitter (or any marketing tool) for your business. And if you’d like to know how to apply the rules of Trick or Tweeting to your own marketing, there’s no better time or place than now because we’ve got a guide that shows you what to do quickly, simply and easily.
 

Now click here to fill in your information and your free Guide to Twitter for Marketing Managers and Small Businesses will land in your inbox like the sweetest Halloween treat of all!

And be sure to follow Hamptons Creative Group on Twitter @HamptonsCG

 

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October 2011 Newsletter – Creative Thought Matters

October 4, 2011 at 6:00 am | Posted in Newsletter | Leave a comment
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Creative Thought Matters - the Monthly Newsletter from Hamptons Creative Group


October ’11 Newsletter – Creative Thought Matters

 

Message from the Alchemist

 

If you needed any more proof that social media is here to stay, here it is. A few weeks ago, Linda and 111 of her closest friends from 45 years ago gathered at a house in Southampton for a reunion.

So what, you say? The reunion was coordinated over Facebook! The group also discovered through social media that, unbeknownst to them, two of them had been living just 5 doors apart – for 24 years!
 
Linda loves to say that there are only 4 people in the world, and they all know each other. That’s definitely something this reunion brought home, courtesy of Facebook. Almost everyone at the gathering brought their smart phones, iPads or other devices, and started connecting even more with each other.

Not only was it amazing to see people from way back when, but it also raised everyone’s awareness of their surroundings.

The moral of the story? It’s not too complicated to find anyone these days, including Hamptons Creative Group. In fact, we love making it easy to get to us, and get to know us. Just follow the links…

Back to top

 

Heard Around the Cooler


The retooling of the Hamptons Water Cooler is right on track for the first of the year.

So get your membership now before the expanded functions are live (and the membership fee is implemented).

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IN THIS ISSUE


  Message from the Alchemist
  Around the Cooler
  Beach Booty

  Success Stories

  On the Horizon

  Announcements

OTHER NEWS

The first chilly breezes have started as fall begins this year. We see people from our window over Main Street starting to bundle up. We’re starting to bundle up, too, but not because it’s getting cool outside. In fact, we’re bundling because things are heating up!

Hamptons Creative Group will soon announce successive service bundles — groupings of individual marketing efforts that work effectively together. We’ve identified what works best, and coupled with requests from clients, these bundles will be available to everyone later this year. Hopefully that should help you shake off the cold!   

EMAIL THIS TO A FRIEND

Read the Sept.  ’11 Newsletter

Full Archives

Our Website

 

    
   

Beach Booty: Tips from Hamptons Creative Group

 

How do you say it? It takes only 7 seconds for people to make 11 assumptions about you, and you may be completely serious, passionate, and confident about what you have to say, but your body language and clothing may be sending a different message. Image matters.

Need help polishing your image to match your passion? Let Hamptons Creative Group help you match the image to the passion of your brand.

Back to top

 

Success Stories

 

James Whittall, a successful mortgage broker in the Hamptons, wanted to take his business to the next level. He needed a trusted advisor to help create suitable marketing messages. He also wanted to explore the most appropriate and effective channels for his messages. That’s where we came in.

Hamptons Creative Group, as a trusted advisor, helped James discover his unique qualities – the ones that make him stand out in the mortgage industry. Like the careful and methodical person James is, he’s created many products and services, but hasn’t fully executed their delivery through social media, email and his website.

HCG has the marketing expertise to drive all makes and models of marketing vehicles, and to teach our clients to do the same. In this buyers’ economy, it’s important to attract the right customers, whatever your industry.

Back to top

On the Horizon

 

Is Twitter (or even the idea of Twitter) playing tricks on you?
 
As we enter the season of Goblins, Monsters, and Ghouls, Hamptons Creative Group is here to tell you that you don’t have to be afraid of using Twitter for your business. Whether you are a Twitter novice or are looking to get the most from the service, our Guide to Twitter will help you. Get your copy at no charge instantly right here.
 
So, what’s on the horizon? Let us know your challenges and we’ll help you make the changes toward your own success story
. Click here to start now.

Back to top

 

Announcements

 

Linda’s headed to San Francisco in her quest to further develop tools and techniques to help clients. She’s attending a spiritual marketing conference. No, not marketing to ghosts, but marketing for heart-based and spiritual entrepreneurs! Thanks to Marie Guthrie for the invitation.

Hamptons Creative Group always looks for opportunities for joint venture partners. These partners leverage our own reach and combine with another’s network for the client’s benefit. Ask us what that means for you!

Back to top

Hamptons Creative Group Blog

 

Did you see the 7 tips for marketing on a shoestring budget? You did if you read Word of Mouth. Each week, we’re keeping the conversation flowing and staying connected with the things, people, places and happenings that spark our creativity. Stay connected.
Back to top

 

        

  (631) 283-2776 | http://www.hamptonscreative.com | info@hamptonscreative.com
Copyright © 2011 Hamptons Creative Group. All Rights Reserved.

Word of Mouth – September 29, 2011 – Guest Blogger Sharon Wolf

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

Guest Blogger Sharon Wolf

 

This month’s guest blogger is Sharon Wolf, Managing Director of QualiData Research, Inc. Sharon has shared so much valuable advice that it’s going to take two posts to cover it all!

Here’s Part One of her generous contribution.


Seven Tips for Marketing on a Shoestring Budget – Part 1
 

Getting Started
It is a mistake to invest any time or money in marketing before you have created a strong brand image that separates your products and/or services from your competition. Your brand image combines all of these elements:

  • Your product or services offering – its features and benefits
  • The company’s unique selling proposition
  • The firm’s logo design and all print and online marketing materials
  • Customer experiences with every aspect of your product or service – from product performance, to solving customers’ problems, to billing procedures, to follow-up customer communications, etc

Marketing on a Shoestring Budget
Once you have clearly defined and created a written description of the brand image you want customers to think of when they see your logo, marketing materials and when they visit your website, for example, you are ready to plan marketing activities.

Here are the first three low-cost but high impact ideas:

1. Write articles for a trade press and volunteer for speaking engagements at professional conferences and seminars. These activities position you and your company or firm as experts and leaders in your profession or industry. The only cost is the time you’ll need to invest in preparing articles and conference presentations. If you publish articles, post them for downloading on your website, send them to clients and prospects and also post these publications on your business’ Facebook page. (see #3)

2. Review all of your marketing materials to be sure that they all communicate a consistent and strong brand image for your company. Invite a graphic designer to evaluate your existing logo, business cards, website, brochures and all other marketing materials against your brand positioning statement. Under the guidance of a professional graphic designer, revise and update marketing materials and graphics, as needed. For advice about graphic designers, contact Hampton Creative Group’s Mission Controller Matthew Iscoe.

This is the only step of the seven steps described here that is likely to involve a financial investment. This investment, however, is critical to the updating of your brand image and is one that typically offers a great deal of value-added to your marketing efforts.

3. Consider setting-up a business Facebook page so that you can invite your customers and important prospects to become “friends” of your company. One caveat – don’t waste your time setting up a Facebook page unless you have the time and people resources to post useful content on a consistent basis or work with a company that can do it for you.

Meaningful Facebook content can include postings of such information as:

  • Industry trend tidbits
  • Brief case studies about ways you helped customers or clients
  • “How-to” advice of interest to your customers – for example, restaurateurs can post recipes, attorneys can discuss popular legal issues, physicians can offer health advice, etc.

The goal of a Facebook presence is to keep your customers and prospects involved with your brand and your company – it’s a relationship-building and relationship maintenance strategy. The same rules for meaningful content apply to the use of Twitter for brand-building.
 


Look for Part Two of Sharon’s Tips for Marketing on a Shoestring Budget in next month’s Word Of Mouth Guest Blog post.

Sharon Wolf, M.A., M.S. is a brand and product innovation consultant at QualiData Research Inc., a consultancy that provides growing companies with business-building advice grounded in marketing research findings. Sharon and her partner, Hy Mariampolski, Ph.D., operate QualiData from East Hampton, San Francisco and Park Slope. QualiData and Hamptons Creative Group often collaborate on behalf of mutual clients.

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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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