ClearVerve Marketing, LLC

Promise Marketing Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Market Research’

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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A good list goes a long way in marketing


Thanks to some terrific customer relationship management (CRM) software, I’ve learned that patriotic, World War II era-theme American Girl doll, Molly McIntire® and her best friend, Emily, are moving to the American Girl ArchivesTM.

Though Molly has been around since 1986, she’s only been part of our family for about six years. Somewhere along the line, we splurged and bought her a party dress and a pair of pajamas. A girl needs more than the same blue skirt and sweater in which she arrived, after all. Then, finally, about three years ago, we made a trip to the AG salon in downtown Chicago to get Molly’s hair re-braided.

And now, we’re in the American Girl CRM database.

CMR is a model for managing a company’s interactions with current (and future) customers. It involves using technology to organize, automate, and synchronize sales, marketing, customer service and technical support. And to American Girl’s credit, they’re doing a great job of using their collected information wisely and correctly.

Somewhat sadly, we haven’t played with Molly (or her bitty baby sisters) for years. Yet after receiving the letter from American Girl telling us of Molly’s departure from the period dolls line, we were quick to hop on and snap up a few other items from the Molly collection that were also biting the dust.

The American Girl brand does it right when it comes to marketing. Not only are the dolls and the dolls’ stories well-researched, they know a lot about their customers, even after just three encounters with the company.

As we bid Molly a fond farewell we’re reminded (in the letter) that her story lives on and that we can continue to find books about Molly’s adventures online and at booksellers nationwide. Now that’s good marketing.

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

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Tell us how you use content for marketing


Clear Verve Marketing today launched its third original research project looking at how businesses in a variety of industries across Southeast Wisconsin use content marketing.


Click here to take survey



The Marketing Reality Show


AMC’s new reality show The Pitch is a reality show about ad agencies competing for major accounts. Although it focuses on ad agencies, it shows one of the biggest challenges people who sell ideas face – how to get the client to understand what you can do for them without giving your ideas away.

We’re asked all the time to share our ideas when we meet with prospective clients and we hate doing it. It’s not because we want to charge for these ideas – although it is important to remember that we get paid to generate ideas – that’s how we make our living. And it’s not because we expect our clients to hire us blindly, we know they need to understand what we’re capable of. It’s because when we provide ideas without proper context, it’s really easy to provide bad ideas.

When you go to see your doctor, you don’t stand in front of him or her, fully clothed and ask, “Doc, what should I do to feel better?” Your doctor wouldn’t know what to say. He or she would probably be forced to come back with some general recommendations about taking vitamins, exercising, and eating right. He or she would never be able to treat your ongoing stomach pain without knowing about it.

That’s what happens to us. We can’t make accurate recommendations without learning about your organization. A five (or fifty) minute review of your website won’t cut it. We want to meet your employees, learn about what you’ve done in the past, examine your competition, talk about your goals, and figure out what will realistically fit into your budget.

In marketing, like in medicine, there is no magic bullet. Growing a service-based business (or any business for that matter) is hard work. Help us out. Let us learn about you. Tell us what you’re thinking about and what you want for your business’ future. Then, we might have some good ideas and we can work with you to make them happen.

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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How ethnography can fit into your business

Walk in your client’s shoes : How ethnography can fit into your business


I recently attended a meeting of the American Marketing Society where the speaker, Jeanne Meyer, presented how GE Healthcare uses ethnography to help develop and market the company’s products. Ethnography is research in which a company immerses itself in their buyer’s culture. At GE Healthcare, this meant that the company spent four months studying the education needs of nurses in order to develop effective training solutions. The result, of course, was an extremely well thought out set of solutions that are likely to be well received in the healthcare industry.

Unfortunately, most businesses we know believe they don’t have the time or the money to do this type of extensive research, think it is not necessary, or that it couldn’t possibly apply to their business. None of those things are true. Need proof? The following challenges shouldn’t hold you back.

“I don’t have the time or the money.”
Ethnography doesn’t have to involve expensive research. One of Jeanne’s examples of ethnography in use occurs at Harley Davidson. All executives at Harley are required to attend motorcycle rallies. Spending time at rallies helps them relate to their customers and see their products in use. Try to see how you can spend time observing how your services are used in the real world.

“I don’t see how this applies to my business.
This is an easy one, especially for companies like the ones we work with. Most service providers offer something that is either technical, government-regulated, or part of a lengthy process. If you’ve ever tried to explain what you do and had the person you’re talking to look at you like you’re speaking a foreign language, maybe you could benefit from spending some time with your clients.  An ethnography mindset, even if you aren’t doing a formal study, can help you communicate without the jargon and gobbeldygook that consultants can easily end up relying on.

The next time you have a communications challenge or need guidance to help make a business development decision, try asking yourself, “How can I put myself in my client’s shoes?”

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.