ClearVerve Marketing, LLC

Promise Marketing Blog

What dog-watching and marketing have in common

Friday, July 25, 2014 — 


It’s the dog days of summer, (well, July and August are supposed to offer the most sultry, high temp days of the year, anyway) and for me, recently, it’s been more like dog daze.

One cute, furry hamster aside, we don’t have pets. No dogs, cats, fish. Nada. So our schedule was in a bit of a tailspin last weekend when our neighbor asked us to watch his visiting son’s 5-year-old, blind-in-one-eye, American bulldog, Bianca, while they spent three days at an out-of-town golf outing.

Our experience with Bianca ended well and with a big bag of thank-you chocolate truffles. But here’s what three days of dog sitting reminded me about marketing.

Take time to learn your brand.  It was important for us to get to know Bianca before we started rubbing her ears and scratching her back. The same is true for your brand. Do your research. Get to know your brand’s personality. When you do that, you’ll know if your marketing fits appropriately.

Cheap, fast and mediocre doesn’t cut it.  Our sweet, placid bully deserved a good weekend too. One quick 10 minute walk wouldn’t do. We needed to spend quality time with her. Clients expect the same. There isn’t one in the world who wants fast, low quality results. So put your hours in and be awesome every time.

Be social.  It’s amazing what a dog on leash can do for your social life. We were out there pounding the pavement and ended up having conversations with neighbors we thought were afraid of daylight. It’s just about the same with social media. You have something to talk about; you have a story to tell (ours was no, we didn’t get a pet), so get out there and start talking.

Jackie Costa is the director of content marketing at Clear Verve. She works with clients to communication more clearly and create smarter, better, channel-appropriate content. Listen for her on Twitter as @JackieMCosta.

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Dedupe, Relax & Repeat

Wednesday, July 23, 2014 — 


Because of what we do (promise marketing), we probably monitor our incoming postal mail more than others. In the past few months I have been added to a promotional mailing list for an internet provider that just so happens to be our current provider.  Obviously this provider is not scrubbing its mailing list on a regular basis to dedupe it with its current customers.  This provider is a big company so I was very surprised it didn’t take this step.  This just shows that even the “big guys” miss important direct marketing steps.

If you are wondering how often to deduplicate your list, keep this rule of thumb in mind: dedupe your list every time you send a mailing. There are many software/sales lead programs you can use to automatically do this. Or go old school and manually go through the list yourself (if the list doesn’t have a million names of course).  Take the time to dedupe. Now I’m going to see if our provider will hook us up with this sweet offer they pitched to us to switch.

Susan Schoultz is Design Director at Clear Verve Marketing and works with clients to create and execute marketing campaigns. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram as @susanschoultz

Be brave – get noticed!


Check out this PSA from the Thai Health Promotion Foundation. Don’t worry, the subtitles will help it make sense in English. Be sure to watch all the way to the end. You’ll learn how this video went viral, lit up social media around the world, and caused a 40% increase in contacts to the agency that sponsored the ad.

What amazing results!

Can you imagine what would have happened if the Health Promotion Foundation had taken the typical safe approach? What if they had thrown up the typical roadblocks? What if they had said…

  • “How can we show children holding cigarettes? It will send the wrong message.”
  • “Wait! Nobody mentioned our mission statement!”
  • “You didn’t quote our president, executive director, or CEO.”
  • “That doesn’t sound like what our competitors do. We can’t do that!”
  • “Thanks for the idea but it’s too expensive to hire a crew to film this. We’ll  just shoot it with our iPhones.”

Luckily, if the Thai Health Promotion Foundation did say those things, some persuasive person talked them into trying something new. So the message is noticeable, differentiating, to the point, and you can hear and see what is happening.

They may have spent a little more money to put this ad together, but because they were brave, they got RESULTS.

Christina Steder is the President of Clear Verve Marketing and works with clients to plan, create and execute marketing campaigns.

Why it’s important to keep your marketing up to date

Thursday, July 3, 2014 — 


In the last few weeks, I’ve helped two people attempt to find businesses that were supposedly tenants in Village Court, where the Clear Verve offices are located. In one case, an elderly gentleman was looking for a physician that he thought was somehow hidden in my office. The poor guy was about 80 years old (literally) and of course did not have a cell phone. I tried to help him by looking up the name of his doctor online, but it still took three phone calls before we found the office of the physician he’d been referred to. In another case, a lady with a cell phone was calling a disconnected number from the courtyard of our complex while trying to find a medical imaging center using the address she had on a brochure that was obviously out of date.

Most businesses don’t like to reprint their marketing materials when they move. I get it. The expense of a brochure reprint can feel like the straw that broke the camel’s back when added on top of all the other moving expenses. Other businesses have out of date websites because they can’t figure out how to make changes or the nephew/niece/neighbor who was only too happy to help them set up the original site is now MIA when it’s time to update the darn thing.

Updating your marketing materials is important though. If your customers can’t find you, it’s tough to conduct business. In addition, I often remind clients that people judge things they can’t understand based upon the things they can understand. When a potential patient can’t find a physician’s office because a brochure or website is out of date, it can lead to a lower level of confidence in the provider’s ability to provide treatment. Of course, the quality of a doctor’s brochure and the quality of medical are not necessarily related. But if it is the only thing you know about the provider, how confident will you be?

Keep your marketing up to date. It’s one of the simplest things you can do to build and maintain trust.

Christina Steder is the President of Clear Verve Marketing and works with clients to plan, create and execute marketing campaigns. Follow her on Twitter as @clearverve.

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Where does your content marketing go?


Last week, I made a presentation at Social Media University Milwaukee, speaking about how to determine the best way to mix online and offline marketing tactics. As part of the presentation, I shared this graphic from our Content Marketing Survey:

What does this graphic show us? First of all, more people post content to their Facebook page than they do to their own websites. I can’t give you a scientific answer that explains why this happens, but anecdotally, I can tell you that many people have websites that are fairly difficult to maintain. If that sounds a lot like you, look for a better solution when you update your website. Be sure to ask every  provider  consider  to show you how the content management system you’ll be using will work. Make sure it is flexible and easy to use.

What else do we see? Email is not dead. Direct mail is not dead. Print newsletters are not dead! Don’t give up on more traditional marketing tactics. Yes, I know it’s a lot of work to publish both a print newsletter and an enewsletter, but it can be done. Many people receive so much email that sending something on paper is actually a very simple way to break through all the clutter. In fact, the Content Marketing Institute reports that many marketers say that live, in person events are still among the most successful content marketing tactics.

Want to see what else we learned? Get the whole ebook here.

Christina Steder is the President of Clear Verve Marketing and works with clients to plan, create and execute marketing campaigns. Follow her on Twitter as @clearverve.

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