Add Some Physical to your Marketing Mix

On their cross-Canada tour, industry experts are stopping in Calgary to share insights and stories around their – and quite possibly your – customers’ demographic preferences, emotional triggers and shopping behaviours.

Direct Mail (DM) is an efficient, highly targeted and very effective way to reach your target market. DM also allows you to accurately measure your response rate and make adjustments throughout your campaign.

If you have questions or have ever been curious about adding physical mail to your marketing mix, now is your chance to explore your options…

Register while you still can…

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Giving a 1 Man Firm Credibility from Day 1

Roger Grant will be speaking at our next Luncheon on April 22. As a seasoned professional in the Name Game, Roger has amassed case studies of his and his clients’ successes. below is one of them:

Launching a New Venture

A seasoned corporate executive was launching a new solo venture.  Brian Hamilton was setting up a management consulting firm to serve small and mid size businesses throughout western Canada.

Big Name Competitors
As the former CFO of a high tech success story, Brian had both the knowledge and experience to counsel clients on succession planning, financing, mergers and acquisitions.  But his new firm would be an unknown entity competing against the big name accounting firms: Deloitte, Ernst & Young, KPMG and PriceWaterhouseCoopers…read more

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Navigating the Global Landscape: Tips for International Marketing

A Great Read By Denver Based Stella Peterson:

In order to get products, ideas and campaigns noticed on a global level, companies have to change their marketing strategies. It has also become necessary for both consumers and marketers to adapt to a different way of thinking. Here are tips on how to stay present and successful in the newly globalized marketing environment:

1. Utilize social media

Social media has become the universal language and both brands and consumers are responding. Popular platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr and Snapchat now feature “sponsored” posts in which companies can pay to advertise in the form of a tweet, photo, or status. Social media is playing a big role in newly developed communication tactics for global advertising. Eva Lahuerta Otero, an international marketing professor at the University of Salamanca in Spain, notes: “Firms cannot leave social media aside as it is a fundamental part of their relationship strategies.” Consumers are connected now more than ever with their technological lives and tapping into this new landscape is an important way for firms seeking international recognition to connect with potential buyers on a more direct, modern level.

2. Glocalize your product

Glocalization” is an emerging term “used to describe a product or service that is developed and distributed globally, but is also fashioned to accommodate the user or consumer in a local market.” Glocalization allows marketers to expand on an international level while also appealing to specific cultures. According to Professor Otero, “Firms are finally trying to assess cultural values and [country-specific] characteristics” in order to adapt their products accordingly. Starbucks, for example, has effectively “glocalized” its branding, products, and store layouts throughout the world. With the help of its “glocalization” strategy, the company has had huge international success on a PR, marketing, and sales level, with 21,536 stores in 64 countries. According to Arthur Rubinfeld, Starbucks’ President of Global Development, “The company has managed to incorporate sustainable and local elements” from countries in which stores are located by contributing to the local economy and appealing to cultural norms “without losing the essence of the Starbucks brand.”

3. Maintain efficiency and transparency

Access to an international audience also means that firms must remain responsible and accessible to even more potential buyers. “[Firms] need to carefully listen, understand, and respond to consumers,” regardless of whether or not their clients are satisfied, according to Professor Otero. Social media aids in maintaining a level of connectivity and openness, as many companies have already set up accounts on platforms such as Twitter that respond directly to customer questions, complaints, and positive feedback. Despite the movement towards global marketing and expansion, it is important to maintain a human element in present-day interactions rather than switching completely to a technological approach.

4. Develop a unique strategy

It is critical for companies to encourage brand loyalty as more competitors are entering the market. Joint ventures and new communication platforms are disrupting the traditional methods of marketing and forcing companies to think in unique ways about how to reach consumers. In a world where it seems as though everything has already been done, unconventional advertising ideas are garnering the biggest response from consumers. Whether it is through connectivity, innovative products and campaigns, or simply by encouraging a new way of thinking, getting noticed globally through inventive methods is one key for success. For example, Zara, a Spain-based clothing company, has been able to successfully navigate the international market through an “exclusive logistics processing system” that allows the company to put new clothing collections in store worldwide within 15 days. This distribution system has become part of Zara’s marketing campaign and buyers have responded in a loyal, positive way that has yet to be replicated in the retail market.

Businesses must create strategies to keep up with the ever-changing international market. That’s why it’s important to stay in touch with cultural norms and know who your target audience is as it may vary from place to place!


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The Communications Evolution: Access & Shareability

The evolution of the Internet and social media has fundamentally changed the landscape in which public relations, marketing, IR, advertising and other media professionals operate. While social platforms like Facebook and Twitter have certainly contributed to that change, it’s mobile and SmartPhones that are responsible for the seismic shift we’ve seen in recent years.

“It comes down to one thing and that’s access,” says Michael Pranikoff, Global Director, Emerging Media, PR Newswire. “People have more access to content now at their fingertips at any time of day than at any point in the history of mankind.”

REGISTER NOW for CNW Presents: The Communications Evolution 

events in Calgary 

What does this mean for communications professionals? Taking an integrated, multi-channel approach to campaigns that leverage PR, IR, marketing, advertising and social tactics to gain the greatest advantage. But with more content and more platforms available than ever before, communications professionals need to be considering shareability.

“Why is this piece of content, why is this news, going to be interesting to your audience?” asks Pranikoff. Asking a few key questions up front such as why does our audience need to know this newswhy will they chose to click and most importantly,why will they chose to share will go a long way to reaching goals and objectives.

And don’t forget about media. When pitching a journalist or editor it’s now essential to demonstrate the social velocity of a story.

“According to the Edelman Trust Barometer, 76% of journalists feel pressure to consider whether their story will get shared on social media,” Pranikoff says. This means thinking beyond just the text-only news release. Include visual story telling elements like photos, videos, or infographics and any relevant social aspects of a campaign like hashtags.

So what’s the secret to getting your content shared?

“Give your audience something to act on,” says Pranikoff. “If you want your audience to share, ask them to share it on Facebook or retweet a Tweet.”

Including a call to action, even if it’s simply please retweet, can yield big results.HubSpot recently demonstrated that tweets that include a simple ask to retweet  receive 51% more retweets than those that don’t!

Coming up later this month CNW Presents: The Communications Evolution – an inspiring professional development event featuring speakers drawn from media, IR, communications, marketing and PR. You will learn how to integrate communications channels for maximum results.


During the events we’ll discuss

  • How to win the fight for time and attention and find clarity with your audience
  • Tactics to take hold of your online reputation before it takes hold of you
  • New PR tips for today and tomorrow
  • And bring our Canadian Content We Love panel to life with integrated, transmedia campaigns from WestJet, TalkShop PR, and ARC Resources!

As the landscape continues to evolve, communications professionals will need to find new ways to tell their stories. Download our article New Opportunities to Earn Media & Attention for Your Brand to learn more!

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A professional naming consultant reveals proven strategies for creating brand calibre names for companies, products and processes

Roger_GrantJust weeks before his presentation to Calgary Marketing Association members, naming and brand Strategist Roger Grant spoke with Sue Blanchard, MBA, about his April 22 luncheon presentation for the Calgary Marketing Association. In an interview, Grant reveals his expertise in naming nouns ranging from products and companies to processes and events.

Tell me about your upcoming presentation for the Calgary Marketing Association?

Names play a surprisingly pivotal role in the success of companies, products, and processes. A name is the most repeated marketing message ever attached to a brand. Even in the case of small companies, their names are seen, heard, and read millions of times.
A great message repeated a million times will lead to much better sales results than a weak or problematic message repeated a million times. The success of a name comes down to the name’s quality.

What are some of the problems companies encounter when naming products, processes and companies?

Some names are way too long, easy to forget and hard to take in. They don’t engage the customer’s mind. Companies with poor or lackluster names don’t get talked about or tweeted.

Names can position products at the commodity level. If nothing special about a company or its products is presented to the customer, then the customer is more price conscious. If the name comes across as higher level, as representing something of value, then it will support a higher price point and customers are less apt to grind away at the price.

A lot of names suffer from a lack of distinctiveness, where it’s easy to confuse one product with the name of another.

How did you become a naming or branding expert?

My career has been all about story telling. It started when I was a broadcast journalist in radio.

My involvement in naming started 20 plus years ago when a client had a product that needed a name. Based on that experience I decided to specialize in naming. So I started devouring all the books and articles I could find and then developed and refined a strategy for the naming process.

Part of my educational background is extremely helpful in naming. During university I studied both French and ancient Greek. Understanding word structure and how vocal sounds fit together is very important in creating product and company names.

Naming has a creative process different than the strategic process for a creating a website, brochures and other marketing communication projects. The thought process for naming is different.

There’s a lot more involved in naming than what people expect. When I walk a client through the steps involved in a project, the client will often remark, “I had no idea there were so many factors in the process.

I suspect there will be lots of light bulbs going on at the CMA event, since naming is an area of huge opportunity. Names can help or hurt. Plus I’ll give examples of lots of names.

How important are slogans?

Slogans are one of the most important branding tools. After the name, the slogan is the most repeated brand message. Slogans are especially important when launching a new product name that has a low level of direct meaning.

Lexus is a good example. When it was unveiled back in the 80s it sounded great, but it didn’t mean anything. No one knew what a Lexus was. The original tagline for the brand, “The Relentless Pursuit of Perfection” gave the name a context of excellence.

Please describe your career path.

I worked for several years in the radio newsroom covering municipal, provincial and federal politics. My degree in Canadian History from the University of Toronto was a helpful background for those assignments.

Eventually, I moved into special event management. I joined the Canadian Ski Instructors Alliance as General Manager of Interski, which is an international ski congress that takes place every 4 years and attracts the world’s best ski instructors.

After Interski, I joined Canadian Pacific Hotels and Resorts as Director of Sales at Chateau Lake Louise and later moved to the Palliser in Calgary. I’ve worked as a marketing consultant since the early 90s.

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