Pokémon Go marketing lessons: You gotta catch ‘em all

Pokémon Go is less than a month old, and there’s almost no chance you haven’t heard about it.

The game became an overnight sensation, quickly topping Twitter’s daily users and grabbing at Facebook’s engagement. Some millennials have been calling it their “second childhood.”

Brands and companies haven’t been far behind, using the game as a point to launch themselves into the conversation. And it’s not surprising. The game is loaded with lessons for the PR and marketing worlds. Here are a few we see:

Don’t underestimate the power of pop culture.

We saw it with the dress. We’re seeing it with Pokémon Go now. We just can’t always predict what will capture the attention of the nation. If brands want to make the most of the opportunity, it’s important to act and act fast.

Many business have been doing just that with Pokémon Go, looking to see if they are a spot gamers will want to visit or taking matters into their own hands and setting up lures to get more Pokémon to come to them. There’s even a startup, LureDeals, dedicated to attracting gamers to businesses. Knowledge on pop culture phenomena is power, and in this case, money.

Have a little fun on social media.

Pokémon Go is a game, after all, and it should be fun. Social media is the perfect place to take advantage of that. Many brands have put up clever posts that tie into the game and promote their services or products.

Best Buy Pokemon

Even police departments are using Pokémon Go humor to talk about safety issues.

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See more examples at PR Week.

Don’t try to force it.

But while social media can be a fun place to tap into the craze, media pitches aren’t always the best way to do it. If your company has news related to the trend, sure. But don’t force it. Grasping at straws can have the opposite effect, angering journalists.

Know that new technology won’t be perfect at first.

You’ve probably already heard some of the concerns about Pokémon Go. Gamers have caused accidents driving while hunting for Pokémon. Girlfriends have broken up with boyfriends. People have targeted and robbed players.

There are probably other issues that will arise, as well. But that doesn’t mean you can’t use the game to help your business. All new technologies have some unexpected bugs. Just keep up to date with the news and use your judgement.

Be ready for more.

Pokémon Go is the first taste of what augmented reality can do in the gaming world, but with its meteoric rise, it won’t be the last. Brands and companies should be ready to use the lessons learned from Pokémon Go in the future. If the game proves anything, it’s that marketing and PR strategies are always evolving.

Using consistency to break through to your target audiences

When you communicate what you do and how you do it, how consistent is your messaging?

When you describe your business – and the benefits you provide your customers – do you say the same thing every time? Is your message loud and clear? Is what you say understandable at a glance?

The competition for attention

Pause for a moment and think, “What do I really remember from everything I have seen this morning?”megaphone-150254_1280

In all likelihood, what you recall is a jumble of images, headlines, and thoughts.

That’s because from the moment you wake up to the time you go to bed, you (and everyone else) are subjected to a never-ending barrage of emails, telephone calls, tweets, news reports, commercials, ads and face-to-face communications.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of aiming and distributing your message toward your target audience without the context of what surrounds your message.

The fact is that your message – what you say about yourself and your product or service – competes with everything else in the world, not just within a bracketed marketing segment.

The value of staying on message

We encourage simplicity in communications. And one manifestation of simplicity is remaining consistent.

We believe that you need to say the same thing over and over to gain attention and be understood. Simplicity helps to cut through the clutter. And consistency helps to make your message understandable.

What needs to be consistent in communications?

Everything.

What you say. How you say it. How you visualize it. When you time your communications. Where you place your message. How you place your message. What materials you employ to project your message.

Won’t my target audiences get tired of “same old, same old?”

You may get tired of saying the same thing over and over again, but you can bet that your target audiences will not. In a kaleidoscopic world in which communications overload has fragmented attention spans, your message, delivered consistently and in an easy to understand format, will seem like an old friend; comforting, reliable, and approachable.

We subscribe to the notion of establishing a unique “voice.” Once you establish it, keep using the same voice. Your customers will come to expect a consistent voice in every marketing communication piece you deliver.  And when you achieve that kind of relationship with your customer, you have successfully crossed that bridge that separates “noise” from effective communications.

So how do I develop a consistent and effective messaging?

That’s where Wellons Communications comes into the picture.

We provide an independent, marketing-minded point of view that examines and analyzes what you are currently communicating and provides candid, forthright feedback that positively identifies opportunities.

Allow Wellons Communications to respond with simple, consistent and affordable solutions that will help you cut through all the noise and positively impact sales.

In the spirit of simplicity and consistency, all you have to do is give me a call at 407-339-0879 or email me at will@wellonscommunications.com.

The value of keeping it simple

It has never been more challenging to be a consumer than it is in 2016.

Today’s channels of communications are so numerous and pervasive that they have become annoying. Your content now competes with about 30 trillion other indexed pages on the Internet. Throw in e-mail, social media, robo-calls, and more cable channels than one can remember (all supported by more television commercials than one can absorb) and you get the picture.

The sheer volume of communications has reached point of communications overkill.KISS maze

Which brings us to simplicity.

KISS still works

We’ve all heard the “Keep It Simple, Stupid” rule throughout our business careers.

That we remember KISS is a direct reflection of its simplicity. In fact, it may work even better today because of the multiplicity of communications messages that bombard us daily.

It takes seven impressions before your message begins to stick

Marketing research studies underscore the importance of redundancy. A general rule of thumb is that it requires seven impressions before your message actually begins to make an impression on a consumer.

With that in mind, one of our tenets at Wellons Communications is “tell ’em what you are going to tell ’em … and tell ’em again and again.”

That’s not necessarily an original idea (there are scant few original ideas). It’s an idea borrowed from one of the pioneers of modern marketing, William Wrigley Jr., who built one of the most successful enterprises in American business history by adhering to the maxim “Tell ’em quick and tell ’em often.”

So, what happens when you combine simplicity with consistency?

When you keep your message simple and consistent, you can break through the clutter. It’s an approach that has been effective for our clients. And it’s a simple approach that can work for your business, as well.

How simple?

Simply give me a call at 407-339-0879 or e-mail me at will@wellonscommunications.com. Share what kind of marketing challenge you are facing and allow us to come up with an affordable, simple solution that can help you sell your product or service.

Online reading: Changing the way we think

In today’s society, it’s getting easier and easier to reach for our phones and tablets to read the latest news story, article or book. Businesses and classrooms are turning away from mail-outs and textbooks in favor of marketing emails and ebooks. But what does that mean for the way we take in information?

Digital reading Apparently, a lot. According to The Washington Post, your brain doesn’t comprehend the information you read online the same way it does in print. Digital screens seem to cause people to focus on the information they are reading at the time instead of how it fits in a broader context.

Researchers from Dartmouth College and Carnegie Mellon came up with different experiments that could compare the effects of reading on different platforms. In one experiment, a group of participants read a short story online and another group read a printout of the story. A pop quiz was given to the participants once they were done reading, and it revealed that the physical-copy readers scored better on questions requiring participants to make inferences, while digital-copy readers scored better on concrete questions about the text.

According to the researchers, the results of the experiments show that our reading comprehension is changing as it is becoming more typical to read information on a digital platform. Our thought processes may slowly be evolving so that we will have to make an effort to look at the bigger picture.

So what does that mean for PR? Even though communications professionals will likely still make use of digital tools, the study shows the key is to try and make digital audiences think more abstractly. When writing an article that is going to be consumed via screen, try to challenge yourself to put in context which will help readers think critically along with the facts of the story.

Advice for new PR and communications graduates

It’s almost unavoidable on social media this month. Tons of photos happy college graduates in caps and gowns are filling your feed.

But what kind of future awaits these new job seekers, especially those new grads looking to go into PR?PR graduates

In 2013, PR Daily published this advice for PR and communications graduates, and while much of it is still sound, we at Wellons Communications wanted to provide an update.

Here’s our take on what today’s PR graduates should know.

Writing is key.

In today’s media landscape, it’s easy to discount the old-fashioned pen and paper and chase the next social media craze. And while social media is certainly an important tool today, we agree with PR Daily here: Writing skills are essential.

Whether you’re crafting a news release, media pitch, award application, email—or yes, even web copy, a Facebook post or tweet—it’s all about being able to effectively put your ideas into words.

Agency life is a great way to gain experience.

Again, this is solid advice from PR Daily. Working in an agency gives you the opportunity to build skills in a way working for a client doesn’t always. You get to be a jack of all trades, becoming a pro at working with media, crafting social posts, planning and running events and communicating with clients.

You also have to learn to be organized and to juggle multiple projects on varied topics—all skills that will transfer to a variety of fields and positions.

Your online presence matters.

When employers look at your résumé, you want to jump off the page. One way to add depth to your job applications is to build an online portfolio. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but this is one way to share more about your style and personality with employers. Be sure to include a short summary of your work and professional interests, a link to your résumé and links to work you’ve done in internships or classes. Also, don’t forget to update this so you can be ready when the next opportunity comes.

And while you’re working on your online persona, now is a great time to give yourself a social media makeover. As fun as it is for you to live tweet The Bachelor or the NBA finals, employers might not be as interested. Have fun, but add your voice to industry topics. Also, check to make sure your privacy settings are where you want them to be—or just remove any materials you wouldn’t want a potential employer to see.

You don’t know everything.

You’re young, you’re excited and you have so many ideas. It’s hard not to get cocky about your job prospects. But just like when you went from being a senior in high school to a freshman in college, you’re the low man on the totem pole again.

Don’t expect to be in your dream position right away. Nearly everyone has to start from the bottom and work their way up. Also, the job world might be different than your college classes. The best way to overcome it is to stay positive, work hard and try to soak in as much as possible. You might not know everything now, but you can learn more each day.

Good luck out there, graduates!

Communication Checkup 2016

As business owners, many of us assume that our customers and potential customers know what we do. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Only a small fraction of clients fully comprehend the scope of the services that your company can provide. In fact, if you polled your own family members, only a small percentage understand what your business does.

What does this mean?

You have to keep telling your story. You have to tell it so many times you’re probably almost sick of it yourself. It’s an uphill battle – it takes multiple engagements with your audience before they grasp the message. communicate

As we start a new year, it’s the perfect time for a simple checkup on your company message:

  • Does the “about us” section on your website actually reflect what the company does?
  • Are your services up-to-date?
  • Are you actively engaged in your social media or blog?
  • Do you have news that you think everybody should know, but nobody does?

In 2016, be committed to telling your story. Toot your own horn. Communication leads to sales. Most businesses grow best by word-of-mouth, but after you get that positive referral, people hustle to your website or your Facebook page to confirm what someone told them and find out more.

If you’re looking to get your communications in top form, we’d love an opportunity to help.

Council of 101 Hosts Festival of Trees Media Preview

The 29th Annual Festival of Trees took place at the Orlando Museum of Art. We have had the pleasure of working with Council of 101 for several years, and it was an honor to organize their media preview kicking off the 2015 Festival of Trees event.

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A media preview is beneficial to any business. It can offer a promotional boost in advance of an event opening or product launch, and it gives you the opportunity to spotlight your unique angles for an audience that is equipped to spread the word far and wide.

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Media events rely on having not only the proper contacts, but the right approach. A specific structure is expected for a successful media event as well. We pride ourselves on our ability to help you put your best foot forward for the most appropriate audience.

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Many thanks to the media guests in attendance, and kudos to Council of 101 for another enchanting display! The organization has raised over $6.5 million dollars benefiting the arts, children’s programs, and the museum.

Why You Need Reviews

In an age where consumers turn to social media and the internet for so much of their buying needs, reviews are more popular than ever. Reviews bring credibility to your business. Whether it’s a book, a product or a restaurant, consumers want to buy something they can trust. According to Marketing Land, when customers see positive recommendations, they’re more likely to buy it. Reviews can help erase any doubts of potential customers, and bring peace of mind with a purchase.

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Source: Business 2 Community

Besides the obvious benefit to consumers, reviews can help improve social media for a business by generating content.

Perhaps most importantly, from a business perspective, the word of mouth marketing effort will increase sales. As the graph above shows, reading reviews influences buyer decision. Many consumers read reviews before making purchasing decision. Reviews lead to more sales.

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Source: Marketing Land

Turn to a team that knows how to get reviews in digital and traditional media, Wellons Communications.

Have a Laugh: Use Humor on Social Media

Dr. Seuss once said “From there to here, and here to there, funny things are everywhere.” This couldn’t be more true for social media. When brands get in on the humor, social media is even more fun. Here are 3 reasons why your brand should consider using humor on social media:

Attention Grabber: We all mindlessly scroll through our social feeds during the day, sometimes it’s the same information, over and over again. When a funny video, picture or post pops up on the screen, you can bet we’re going to stop, read it and like it.

Old Spice TweetRelatable: Humor shows that brands have a human side. They don’t always take themselves too seriously, and can laugh. Relating to your audience is a guaranteed way to increase engagement.

Taco Bell Tweet

Memorable: When your audience sees a funny post, they’re more likely to share it and remember it when it comes to making a purchasing decision. Take advantage of this by creating memorable content. Take this Virgin America post from Thanksgiving 2014, for example:

Virgin America Tweet

Binge Watching: A Sign of Changing Media Times

We’ve all done it. Watched hours on end of a show discovered on Netflix that we’re obsessed with and we need to know what happens next.

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Mornings turn into evenings, which turning into mornings again. Another day spent streaming.

Ah yes, this is now the modern-day practice for the younger crowd who typically don’t work full time and have varying schedules with classes.

Now that summer is over, will people stop their streaming habits?

Not likely.

This trend in streaming and quickly digesting television shows and movies also points to our cultural demand to have information at our fingertips at all times. Is this a new challenge for marketers across all channels?

Most definitely.

American teens spend 55% of their viewing time on tablets, laptops and smartphones. In contrast, adults age 45 and over spend half their time viewing via regular TVs.Viewing

Video on demand subscription services are growing too, with 87% of people subscribing to Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO Go or HBO Now.

Streaming is now the norm, over traditional show viewing such as cable television, because people don’t have to wait a week or a season to find out what happened to a beloved character on their favorite show.

And when you’re done with one show, you can immediately start with the next.

All you have to do is click “play” or let the countdown end.

With every form of entertainment at our disposal 24/7, individuals have become their own editors for entertainment and news. It’s not likely to end anytime soon.

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