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Posts Tagged ‘marketing tips’

Contributed by Charles Lamb, Director of Marketing, Central Bancorp

Whether you ar130327-pope-4a.380;380;7;70;0e or Catholic or not, following the election of Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio to the papacy has been nothing short of mesmerizing ever since he became Pope Francis I on March 13.

“Seriously, it’s Jorge Bergoglio,” said the new pontiff to the owner of a newspaper kiosk in his home country of Argentina as he called to cancel an old newspaper subscription. “I’m calling you from Rome.”  From personally paying his hotel bill, greeting some familiar priests before a Sunday audience, and foregoing the traditional papal red Prada shoes and throne, Pope Francis has so far—in just a few short weeks—put a new, more personable face on the Catholic Church. And, we could take from him many great public speaking cues that might help us better connect with our audiences.

If the Red Prada Shoes Don’t Fit, Don’t Wear Them: Pomp and circumstance are at the core of all things papal—and almost every second of a pope’s life is scripted right down to the color of his robes and, until now, the shoes he wore. However, Pope Francis has so far opted for a simple habit and his regular old pair of black shoes, instead of the more elaborate costuming and red Prada shoes popes traditionally wear.

The Lesson: Whether you are delivering a speech, responding publicly to an issue, or addressing a simple gathering, never put yourself in a situation that doesn’t suit you. If you are uncomfortable, your audience is going to be uncomfortable for you—and this is a huge barrier to overcome in being able to connect with your audience.

“Pray for Me:” Before the new Pope said anything substantive at all on the night of his election, he said a prayer, thanked his predecessor, and then broke with tradition and bowed to the 150,000 in Saint Peter’s Square and asked them to pray for him.

The Lesson: When Pope Francis stepped out onto the balcony, he approached the audience with the mindset that these were his people. They weren’t strangers, but family and friends. And, in a simple act of humility, he made his speech about them, not about him. Every public speaker who makes their speech or public address all about them, without providing a connection to the audience, is doomed to fail. When writing your speech, “good afternoon” should immediately be followed with a sentence that begins with “you” and not “me or I.”

Forget the Throne: Pope Francis has quickly become famous for setting his papal throne aside and addressing cardinals, bishops, priests, and the faithful down at their level. This other act of humility has enabled him to say, “We are brothers and sisters, standing on the same ground” in a very illustrative way, while increasing his stance greatly as leader of over 1 billion Catholics.

The Lesson: Don’t get lost in the intrigue of your title. You’ve certainly heard the idiom “We all put on our pants the same way each morning,” meaning that our similarities outweigh our differences. In order to connect with your audience and build the power and credibility you want, you first have to meet them at their level. Step from behind the podium, go out to your audience, and say hello, we are in this together. Then, your speech—and getting through it painlessly—becomes everyone’s job, not just yours.

Any of us who have stepped in front of an audience to speak know how difficult that task can be, especially when you’re in a position of power and have to persuade an audience to follow your directive. Before you deliver your next big speech, think about how the staging looks (is the podium way too big and elaborate to suit your style?), where the audience will be situated (close to you versus a football field away), know if you’ll have an opportunity to meet the audience and gain any knowledge or stories that you can begin with, and—most importantly—don’t think of your delivery as  “from me to them out there…” but, rather “we are all here together, and I am one of them.” Following these steps—as done so well by Pope Francis—will do you great service in tempering your fear and raising your credibility. Not to mention, you’ll be yourself and that will work wonders in making your delivery fun and not torturous.

Here’s the link to the night Pope Francis was elected.

If you’re interested in watching a few great speeches in American history, here are a few links to some of my favorites (always great to watch a few speeches before writing one to get you in the right mindset):

King Henry V

FDR Pearl Harbor Address to the Nation

Reagan “Evil Empire” (begins at about 1:30..great intro example)

A Beautiful Mind (John Nash Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech)

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By Charles Lamb, Marketing Director, Central Bancorp

ImageAn article in the Colorado Springs Business Journal last month (Most Small Business Owners are Marketing Online) reminded local small business owners of key challenges they face in creating the right marketing mix to establish—and keep—their customer base, create awareness, and differentiate their product in the marketplace.

A marketing program to do all of the above is tough work, assuming most small business owners do not have their own marketing directors, graphic designers, web developers, and social media experts on hand to do the work it requires to bring in customers and build their business. So, most small business owners—as the article states—resort to marketing online. The reputation of online marketing is it’s inexpensive and easy, and that’s why small business owners rely on the internet and social media to market themselves. I have some thoughts on why this should not be your only strategy outlined below, but first there are several points within the article on which I agree:

Small businesses need to go where their audience is. This is especially important if you have just one location and where your e-presence can benefit your growth.

Participating, networking, and being found online is extremely important. How customers interact with you electronically is critical and could be a prospect’s first point of contact with you due to the growing utilization of mobile and electronic devices.

A majority of consumers use the internet to research products and services in their local area. A user-friendly and attractive website or mobile application will drive customers to your business.

What made me stop and think a minute while reading Monica Mendoza’s article—who is, by the way, a great local writer for the journal—is the second paragraph, which says that of the small business owners surveyed by Manta—an online site for small businesses—74 percent find networking online just as, if not more, important than networking in person. Yikes!

Sure, you might need a Facebook presence. And, you need a decent website. But, as a small business owner, it’s to your advantage to also invest in developing strategic alliances and partnerships out in the community. You can do this by networking and getting involved in the Colorado Springs non-profit and business communities—creating ambassadors for your brand, which will drive business through referrals. And, the good news is that you don’t need a dedicated marketing department to create decent volume of word-of-mouth marketing.

Online marketing would be your mass approach and building strategic alliances and networking would be your grassroots approach to building your customer base—and it could most definitely take both efforts to do the job of building your business. But, my point is that you cannot put all of your marketing eggs in one basket and ignore the other. All effective marketing programs have a mix of both.

For further discussion or questions, feel free to contact Charles Lamb at 719.228.1143 or Charles.Lamb@CentralBancorp.com.

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Contributed by Jill Johnson, Director of Marketing, Central Bancorp

I recently got on the bus — and what a ride!

As one of the newest board members of Community Partnership for Child Development, the local non-profit organization administering the Head Start program, I was excited to attend a Get on the Bus Tour with the staff of CPCD. A one-hour tour along with several other local business people, philanthropists and community members is designed to help attendees better understand the mission and programs of CPCD in a highly-engaging way. 

The experience solidified for me all the reasons I decided to join the board of CPCD, and it also got me thinking about the marketing applications of a Get on The Bus Tour.

The concept is simple and powerful — provide a way for potential clients to experience what you do and why it matters to them.

For Central Bancorp, our “bus tour” is a modified lunch and learn concept where we gather our top professionals to meet with the owners and executives of a business to learn more about them and help develop and drive solutions to their challenges. Acting as an informal board of directors during an hour and half lunch meeting has helped our clients and prospective clients experience what doing business with the Central Bancorp family feels like.

So, a few good questions to ask yourself:

  • What is the bus tour for my business? or How do I feature the best qualities of my business to my potential clients?
  • How do I help potential clients experience what doing business with me is like?
  • And how can I make that experience unique and compelling?

If you need inspiration I would highly recommend that you Get on The Bus with CPCD, click here for more information!

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Contributed By:  Jill Johnson, Director of Marketing, Central Bancorp
Goat Treats?

“Can I help you?” he asked her.

“Well, I’m actually looking for goat treats,” she said. Kind of sheepishly.

“Um, goat treats?” he stuttered. He wasn’t used to being stumped. “What do goats eat?”

“Well, the Internet said they like vegetables!” she was sure that would impress him. She HAD done her homework.

Eventually he and the high-heel clad, goat-treat seeking businesswoman found an appropriate treat for the lucky goat. He then stocked her basket with delectable dog and cat treats upon her request and dropped her off at the checkout, strangely sad that she would be leaving.

He = the worker at PetSmart one unsuspecting day

She = the fearless Jill Webb, our business development director, who is so in touch with her clients and their interests that when assembling novelty packages of pet treats for them, she let no goat go unnoticed

Here’s to marketing!

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Contributed By:  Jill Johnson, Director of Marketing, Central Bancorp

Because our company often collaborates with other businesses for seminars and presentations, I get the unique opportunity to review scores of power point presentations to ensure brand compliance.  Yes, I know, you are all very jealous of my job now!

While building a solid power point presentation can be complicated, it doesn’t have to be.  Whether you have a fancy template or not, here are 6 very simple principles you can observe.  If you do, I promise you your presentation will be more refined than most.

  1. THERE IS NEVER A GOOD REASON FOR EXCESSIVE USE OF CAPS, BOLD, THE COLOR RED AND EXCLAMATION POINTS!!!!!!!!!!!!! You may be passionate about your topic, but let that come through your personality, and use restraint in your actual presentation.
  2. The use of bullet points:
    –  When a bullet is a complete sentence, include a period at the end of it.
    –  No period here
    –  And though I’m breaking my own rule here – Be consistent in a set of bullet points by making them all complete sentences or all phrases.
    –  Use CAPS consistently in your bullets as well – especially in a list of bullets with several, short phrases.  Either capitalize the first word of each phrase and none of the others, or capitalize all proper words in each phrase.
  3. Small, the new big. For some reason, many users fall prey to the temptation of making fonts as large as physically possible.  Don’t do it.  White space has value and makes for a more clean read for your viewers.  Especially if you will be projecting the presentation on to a large screen, stick with a reasonable font size.
    –  If using a Times font, larger than 48 pt isn’t necessary. Somewhere between 24-40 is about right for headers/titles, and then between 16-24 for your text.
    –  Don’t go too small either or you run into another visual challenge.  If you are forced to go below a 14 or 16pt Times-style font, break that slide into two. (more…)

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