Business Networking is a Contact Sport
Open Body Language
When you arrive, you may be greeted by a host before being released into the wild. While scanning, you may see someone that looks friendly to talk to, so you walk up and speak with them. Typically, we are drawn toward people that appear open and friendly. So SMILE! Keeping your arms uncrossed makes you more approachable. When speaking in a group, leave room for another person to join in.
Sounds like a no brainer, right? Well, how about meeting everyone in the first 30 minutes? This may seem challenging, but it’s a piece of cake. When you enter the mixer, don’t hesitate and walk up and start talking to someone. Introduce yourself, have a brief conversation, then move on to meet others.
This will allow you to get a little info on everyone at the beginning of the event, so that you can narrow down the people YOU want to talk to. Of course, if you really hit it off with someone continue to talk with them. This tip isn’t a formula, it’s more of a guideline. Go with the flow!
The Follow up
So, you met an individual that you could see yourself working with. Congratulations!… now what? Now you follow up with an email. Mention something you discussed at the mixer. If you are confident in your joke making abilities, by all means throw one in there. If you are not funny, this could backfire. It’s best to take the safe approach in this case. Make the email personable and don’t try to sell anything. Mention you would like to get together again and make the appointment.
Boom. You now have successfully gone to a networking mixer, worked the room, and got an appointment out of it.
A Jacksonville Derby? Why not!
Our city's potential lies in our location, climate, and venues. We have music festivals, sure… But nothing like Chicago or Austin (and not for lack of space either). However; we do try, and we take advantage of every opportunity that is brought our way – or at least I think we do. There is one venue in particular that I believe is being severely underutilized that could potentially be a great draw for the city and the greater Jacksonville area.
Did you know there are fewer than 100 Greyhound racing tracks in America? I know first hand how fantastic these animals are, having adopted a retired racer myself when I was younger… her name was Lola, and she was quite darling… but I digress. Watching them run is mesmerizing, and even more so when it's a race! Wouldn't it be fantastic if we could utilize that space to its full potential? It has everything: food, drinks, entertainment… all amidst the wonder of the dogs, and the thrill of the gamble. We could use this allure to create an event that people would not only talk about, but plan their calendars around!
This is where I propose bringing the Derby to Jacksonville. Having an annual dog derby to bring the venue back to its former glory – while raising awareness about the dogs and the opportunities for adoption during promotional events. It has the potential to grow into a once a year city-wide party, with endless possibilities. Invoking the spirit of the Kentucky Derby, they could let people into the infields, serve up mint juleps, and give our ladies the chance dress up and wear those fantastically overgrown hats! I'd go, wouldn't you?
Think about it… Juleps and Jacksonville, Hats and Hounds – The event would sell itself! I think this would be a great way for the city, and its residents, to get back into a deeply rooted tradition that sprung up during Jacksonville's early years; but, I'm not looking to only revive it, I want to revitalize it! Greyhound racing was a happening pastime back in the day, so why not give our generation a chance to experience its wonder?! And if we would recreate the same type of atmosphere the Kentucky Derby brings (or even a fraction it) that could still be a great time. This event has the promise to remind people that we have options here in Jacksonville, and fun ones at that! It would also give us something to look forward to, beyond Florida/Georgia and TPC. We could give our city a triple crown of events that would last us through the year. TPC, the Dog Derby, and Florida/Georgia… I think this would bring more attention to the city (in a good way) while also engaging our community to participate in more local events, all the while, adding a little extra excitement to the town we call home.
So what do you think? Should we bring the Derby to Jacksonville?!
Creative Messages and Creative Media Buys…PLANNING!
I recently had a run in with a potential client that was focusing all of his/her advertising on buying leads. I asked what the number one source of advertising was, and they responded that the leads they were buying are the #1 advertising source. I thought to myself for just a minute, why does this person think that buy leads is advertising. Then I asked what was the next biggest advertising source…after a minute of thinking….they said, probably our website.
This posed a big issue for me, one being that your website is not advertising, and two, buying leads should not be something you consider advertising from a budgetary stand point. It should be it's own line item. Forget for just a second that this person is in need help badly of agency, but let's examine what advertising planning is. In short, it is understanding the consumer and understanding the most efficient want to reach them. How do we do this? I can promise you it is not magic, but logic!
We do a great deal of research, and spend a lot of time understanding the market and how consumers choose particular channels to consume media. I have said in the past that now more than ever the consumer is in control of how they ingest media. Did you know that the most efficient way to reach a mass audience is broadcast television? But if you have a very limited budget you can hone in on your audience in a more cost effective way through cable television? Did you even know that broadcast and cable are completely different? Some do. Some don't. So don't laugh there.
The biggest problem I run in to is that companies do not want to spend the time and effort to go with an agency, or they are under the impression it is too expensive. Don't give in to that misconception of the advertising agency world. We are here to help you 100% of the time! You have to really understand the market and the consumer before you plan out your advertising. I will conclude this segment later this week with an “understanding the market and the consumer” in just a few days. Check back later this week for the nuts and bolts of advertising planning.
interact, don’t interrupt
If you do not know already, we are focused on a consumer-driven brand – “interact, don't interrupt”. Why is that important? I have said in the past that you can connect in entirely new ways through a consumer-driven approach. But let's think about it for a minute by examining the Mad Men Marketing brand statement.
When I developed “interact, don't interrupt”, it was with one thought in mind – I needed to convey a message to clients that would help them understand what we at Mad Men Marketing are trying to accomplish, and that is to run advertising that isn't just the normal interruptive campaigns. How can we create an interactive approach that engages the consumer? For example, don't just run price point ads, drive someone to an offer that requires them to interact with the brand, rather than just be force fed the brand through traditional means. This is a question we pose to our clients on a daily basis, and our brand “interact, don't interrupt” really pushes that home. It in essence is our lead off to every pitch to every client, current and potential. It is something that allows our clients (who are consumers by the way) to connect to our brand and that is the ultimate goal in our branding efforts.
Our one-sheets, mailers, video, website and on and on are all about “interact, don't interrupt”. When we present to a client it helps us to drive home our efforts, and is something clients have come to expect. We would love to help develop a brand that brands your customers and not your business – sounds crazy right? Give us a shot to show you something new and it may surprise you.
Psychology in Advertising
Being a psychology major has provided me with significant insight into human behavior and what makes us tick. I know why we can't see well in the dark, why sense of smell is most strongly linked to memory, and I know why certain words, or lack thereof, trigger different reactions from consumers.
We can get into the fun science of things later… Or set up an appointment, I used to teach neuro-science. What I'm here to talk about is the latter of my examples. Writing and placing commercials is not as simple as stating the latest price figure or buying time during the “most watched” shows. There is MUCH more to it than that! Having the knowledge of what the consumer wants to hear, and having an awareness of what they are already saturated on, provides insight into what they no longer believe.
What are the three things every business tries to enforce with their marketing plan? Price, Service and Selection. “We have the lowest Prices guaranteed!” – “Our Service is second to none!” – “We have the largest Selection in town!”- Ring a bell? Our minds have only so much information we can store at any given time, and if we've already heard something one hundred plus times before… chances are, we are going to disregard it at some point. Now, there is something to be said about repetition and frequency, but that is for a NEW message you want introduce to the market, like a new brand or product. But, when it comes to the same old sayings and tricks, we become numb to them.
A great example of this from a sensory perspective would be when you put on a Band-Aid or wear a watch. Something you put on and keep on, in the same position, for a long period of time. You notice its presence at first, but after a while, as long as the object doesn't move, the sensors in your skin begin to disregard the item's presence as important information for the brain to register, so your nerve endings cease to deliver the message to your brain that the item is still there. Therefore, you no longer feel the Band-Aid on your finger or the watch on your wrist… at least, not until you take it off. Then it feels like something is missing, doesn't it? As though your arm is lighter, or your finger less protected?
So, what do we do with this information? We put it into practice. To be effective, we need to change the message (watch). Change it just enough, so that you don't get used to it being there, but we leave it long enough so that you notice when it's gone. This way, you leave a lasting impression without rendering yourself “unimportant” to the mind.
Want more? Stay tuned, and I will continue to share on psychology in advertising – or like I said before, give us a call and I'll be happy to “teach” you more.