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AR/VR Creative & Production Motion Graphics Video Production

As a part of BIGEYE, an Orlando video production company, we are very proud to have the Arnold Palmer Hospital For Children as one of our notable clients. They are viewed as the leader in pediatric care in Central Florida. In 2006, the Arnold Palmer Hospital decided to specialize its care for women and children by opening up the Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies. In 2012, we ran a campaign that highlighted one athlete’s intimate experience with the Winnie Palmer Hospital.
In our society, it’s difficult to imagine superstars facing real life struggles. They lead very public lives and most of the time are viewed as almost superhuman. It’s important to remember that even though they might not face day-to-day struggles like you and me, they are still human beings. The athlete highlighted in this campaign is Annika Sorenstam, one of the LPGA tours most legendary golfers. In this video, Annika opens up about the complications she faced during her second pregnancy.

The video begins by highlighting some of Annika’s biggest achievements on the golf course. Shortly after, the film cuts to Annika and her husband, Mike, discussing that no matter how accomplished she has been on the golf course, starting a family has been her ultimate proudest moment. She then discusses how one Sunday night during her second trimester, everything changed. She woke up in the middle of the night to bloody sheets, which she later learned was caused by placenta abruption. Mike raced her to the hospital where she had an emergency C-section. Annika thoughtfully remembers that amidst the chaos that night, the nurses and doctors of the Winnie Palmer hospital remained calm and reassuring. Once their premature son was born, they recalled how strong and determined he was to fight for his life. They fittingly named him Will, because he had the will to get better. Neonatologist Dr. Michael McMahan was interviewed explaining how 95% of the babies that are born that severely premature end up living a normal and healthy life. Towards the end of the video, Annika, Mike and their two children were interviewed with Arnold Palmer, who is the benefactor of Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children and Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies. Annika explains how the Winnie Palmer staff were so incredibly caring and thoughtful. Mike calls the staff their “angels, because all they do is save lives.” Arnold Palmer then reflects on the Winnie Palmer Hospital staff and discusses how many lives have been changed for the better.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G3PUUfu7zZE

William Nicholas McGee was born via c-section on March 21, 2011 after Annika suffered a placenta abruption at just 27 weeks along. He arrived weighing 2.12 lbs and measuring 15 inches long. He was born 13 weeks early. Placenta abruption is the separation of the placenta from the uterine lining. The placenta is part of a baby’s life support. It transfers oxygen and nutrients to the baby. When the placenta separates, it can interrupt the transportation of oxygen and nutrients to your baby. Only about 1% of all pregnant women will experience placenta abruption and most cases can be successfully treated.

The video shoot was very complex. The camera used is known as a ‘red camera’. It has the ability to shoot ‘4 K raw footage’ which allows the film to obtain double the amount of pixels. In a way, it’s almost like using two cameras. This camera is extremely high end and our video team describes the style of the type of footage captured “similar to the footage in The Hobbit.”

We hope you enjoy the video!

 

Categories
Creative & Production Video Production

With social media, individuals and small businesses have the power to reach thousands of people in mere seconds.  Our smartphones and computers allow us to reach anyone in almost any part of the world in less time than it takes to warm a microwave burrito.  Business contacts, colleagues, associates, consumers – they’re all right there at the tips of our fingertips.
So that leaves some members of our Florida marketing agency wondering, what’s the point of your sales team if you can broker sales through effective use of social media?  The “push” sales strategy may be losing its place in a “pull” culture, where people go online to seek out only the information that they need in order to formulate an opinion as to the products or services that they find valuable.  [quote]Through social media, people can buy items with just a few clicks, which in some cases could virtually eliminate the need for a costly sales team.

Like us. Follow Us. Tweet Us. Pin Us. Watch Us.

While it may seem tempting to save thousands of dollars each year by pink-slipping your entire sales team, I’d instead argue that the role of the salesman has changed.  Individuals have been very successful in pushing their products through online sales, so perhaps for companies such as cell phone retailers, the benefit to a so-called sales team is to offer potential consumers opportunities to demo products and explain services, and to provide customer service when people have issues.

Sales teams will almost always remain important in fields where connecting online may not be the best or most practical option.  Perhaps your desired audience may not be tech savvy, or isn’t as plugged in as most of the world.  Though it seems as though everyone you know has a smartphone, as of a year ago, only ½ of the United States’ mobile phone owners had one.

Your sales team can be beneficial if you arm them with the tools to properly use social media to their advantage.  Video programs are offered by executive training companies such as McKinsey, as well as online courses from top continuing education institutes on how people can properly use social media in either a B to B or B to C sales capacity.  These classes can teach about the benefits of using Facebook and Twitter to connect with people who may provide valuable resources for your company, and can teach your employees to seek out potential buyers and distributors through LinkedIn.

Returning to the original question, does your company still need a sales team?  Maybe not!  Certainly, it’s contingent upon your industry.  But, for those of you in fields reliant upon tech, it may be beneficial to hire a social media expert to help you master the art of sales through social media.  Additionally, offering opportunities and incentives for social sharing may help drive your company’s bottom line through active use of social media.

While our Florida advertising agency doesn’t suggest that you immediately get rid of your entire sales team, we do suggest that you teach them strategies to use social media in a professional capacity to help build sales and increase revenue through social media.  We imagine a future where all business sales come from the relationships established and maintained through the use of social media.

What does your sales team look like?

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Creative & Production Video Production

When you’re three, you don’t know much.  The world around you is an amazing stimulus of glittery, shiny and bright things, just waiting for you to touch them and explore them.  As adults, when people are subject to advertisements and promotions, they experience marketing in the same way.  Good marketing makes people impulsively want to reach out for things, try new products and seek new experiences.
Like a good parent, the marketer’s goal is then to push the person in the right direction.  We make hundreds of choices each day about where to eat, what fabric softener to use, and what type of chair looks best in the dining room.  Though we may not realize it, it’s marketing exposure that allows us to make informed choices.

But children are unpredictable sometimes, as are consumers.  Ask a group of well-educated adults what they want in a smart phone, and you’ll get a host of complicated features.  Apple’s Steve Jobs took it upon himself to dismiss focus groups and instead to create the features that people didn’t know they wanted yet… applications, web browsing features, music, video and, most importantly, efficient design.

Around age three, a child learns how to identify with a group.  While this tendency is most pronounced in young children, the fundamental learnings they take home during that time stay true well into adulthood.  These attitudes are the same ones we fall back upon when we identify with groups as adults.  Nike capitalizes on the people who identify as athletes, designing products suited toward athletic lifestyles and even engaging in content marketing directed toward that group.  Throughout our lives, we’re constantly evolving and identifying with our favorite brands, purchasing Apple products or showing a preference for Pepsi over Coke.  Our perceptions of our own identities evolve as we grow to learn more about the world around us.  Advertisers can latch on to this concept to sell us their products at every stage of our lives.

Parenting is hard, and in the way that children trust their parents, consumers trust advertisers and marketers to point them into the right direction.  [quote]Marketers strive to make that meaningful connection to their consumers, much in the way that parents strive to see the world in the way that a child can understand.  [/quote]Consumers reciprocate when they find brands reliable and trustworthy.

For advertisers and marketers, the realization that our client base may not fully understand the science behind the marketing of the good or service means that we have the ability to teach them.  We can also grow with them, and can learn from their mistakes.  But, in any case, the brand is the guide – at our Florida advertising agency, we believe that a successful brand will teach consumers to comprehend new products or ways of thinking, or to experience existing products or services in an emotionally-connected way.

The team at our Florida marketing agency wants to remind you that the next time you receive criticism from a client, or you experience surprising or even erratic behavior from consumers, it’s important to step back from your consumers and instead view them from a parental perspective.  They trust you, and they’ll lash out against you, but if you’re able to build trust and respect within the relationship, you’re able to nurture a healthy, long-lasting relationship.

To learn more about our advertising and marketing services, please contact BIGEYE today at 407-839-8599.

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Content Marketing Creative & Production Video Production

The marketing and advertising industries are notorious for making up their own buzzwords, in order to emphasize and, in some cases, glamorize trends and ideas as they come into the public space.  (I once received an email from a media company encouraging me to “techcessorize” my iPad – how’s THAT for corny PR language?)  Here are a few definitions intended to flush out fresh trends from Orlando advertising agencies, and what they could mean for you.

Advocacy: A new phase in the traditional marketing cycle, where fans of a brand encourage active engagement by sharing, via their own social media platforms.

Aggregator: An aggregator collects content from a number of sites around the web, and allows people to search the aggregated content to find links that they may find of interest.  Popular aggregators include Reddit and Google Reader RSS Feeds.

Agile Marketing: A marketing technique that involves the use of agile tactics, such as real-time response to marketing opportunities, brief stand-up meetings and investing resources in production and project execution (as opposed to planning).

API: Application Programming Interface.  Companies such as Facebook and Foursquare allow third-party applications to access their systems in order to create innovative uses for such platforms.

App: Short for application.  Though mostly associated with smartphones and iPads, browser-based applications may connect to Facebook or other social networks, such as Facebook games like The Sims Social or Words with Friends.

Content Marketing:  Based on the theory that good content creates reader and viewer interest and encourages engagement and social sharing, content marketing describes the consistent generation of branded content to create and sustain search engine traffic, and to keep people returning to a company’s website or social platforms.  (Content marketing = keeping your blog up to date.)

eCommerce:  All commerce activities that occur on the internet.  While people commonly think of companies such as eBay and Amazon, newer power players in the eCommece industry include companies such as Groupon and Fab.

Engagement:   The process by which readers and viewers interact with your content, generally by commenting, “liking,” up-voting, mentioning and sharing.

Frictionless Design: The development of intuitive, painless digital interfaces that reduce bounce, increase conversion and increase user satisfaction.

Gamification:  This technological function makes digital behavior into a game.  Though Foursquare didn’t create this type of tactic, which encourages repetitious behaviors that presumably lead to more points, the company made it popular by including “badges” in its platforms, allowing people to earn various badges (and therefore, social capital) for their check-ins.

Hybrid:  A hybrid delineates a person who has a broad skill set applicable to a number of technological disciplines, though that person typically also has one or two areas of true expertise.

Infographic:  A visual representation of a data set.  Sometimes funny or downright hilarious.

Meme:  You know those funny cat pictures, or those sarcastic eCards that always pop up in your Facebook feed?  As people share those photos and images, and continue to alter them in ways that are humorous and make sense within the context of the original content, they becomes Internet memes.  (It’s pronounced like “theme.”)

Native Speakers (of Technology):  This term is used to describe a generation that is growing up with smartphones, tablets and computers as the norm.  These children are learning through interactive games as opposed to books and notebook paper.

Pivoting:  When a company realizes it’s not meeting its goals, it may pivot to set a new trajectory.  This may occur in a single marketing campaign, or may apply to an entire business strategy.

SEM:  Search engine marketing.  SEM may involve paid search, search engine optimized content, or both.

Social Capital:  Many people believe that social capital is at the core of most individuals’ content creation and sharing behaviors.  The theory is that people share content with the hope or idea that it will elevate or retain one’s status within their online community.  Put simply, the idea is that people share content because it makes them “look cool.”

Social Listening: Monitoring digital media to assess what’s being said about a company, brand, product, or person on the internet in real time. Listening provides opportunities for quick response to customers, get ahead of public relations issues, and trending topics.

Social TV:  This describes technologies and behaviors that combine television and social media content.  For instance, when brand marketers encourage fans to live Tweet sporting events, this is a form of social TV.

Trendjacking: Leveraging a trending topic to generate buzz around a brand. Like most marketing tactics – there are smart, creative ways to do this right, and also terrible, clunky attempts that get this all wrong.

Viral Video:  No one can create a viral video; rather, they can aim to create a video that “goes viral.”  Though many viral videos have well over 1,000,000 views, a video can be said to have achieved some level of virality at views as low as 100,000.

We sometimes throw these words around at our Orlando marketing agency, but we’ll never leave you in the dark about what they mean, and the implications for your company.  (And we’ll never ask you to techcessorize ANYTHING.)

Contact us and we’ll help fill you in on the fancy lingo.

Categories
Creative & Production Motion Graphics Video Production

Fewer than two weeks ago, Korean recording artist Psy was virtually unheard of in America.  But now, the video for his song “Gangnam Style” has more than 335,000,000 views, and the song itself holds the number two spot on the Billboard charts – and the song isn’t even in English!  That type of crossover language success would be impossible without the Internet, as well as a video that adequately captures Psy’s concept and personality through a montage of humorous visuals.
While not every video is guaranteed to reach 335,000,000 views, Psy’s story touches on the massive impact that a visual presentation can add to a product or service.  People are visual beings, and when a video goes viral, it’s typically because it triggers a powerful emotion, which makes people feel the need to share.

If you’re feeling jazzed about a new product or service from your company, or you want to circulate important news about future projects or concepts, you may want to consider bringing on an agency to help you create a video to help spread the word.  A video is a terrific way to tell a brand’s story, which is becoming more and more essential in today’s world of high-impact, compelling digital content.  A well-executed video can help humanize a brand, and can bring product features to life in a way that, even just five years ago, was only possible through expensive production budgets and television airtime.

Don’t get us wrong… at our Orlando advertising firm, we find other digital content such as blogs, photographs and infographics extremely valuable, as they tend to be cheaper and easier to produce.  But when was the last time you heard of a piece of written content being shared 300,000,000 times?  While each format serves its purposes (i.e., our blog a better forum for our Florida marketing agency to tout the benefits of digital video in a format that you can print out for easy reference), a video can leave a long lasting impact with a higher potential to go viral.

[quote]While a company can benefit from all types of content, many people actively seek out branded video content.[/quote]  Brand fanatics regularly check to see what companies such as Nike and Pepsi are up to behind the scenes.  Brands are essentially now media companies, ones that people look to in order to stay up to date with current trends, ideas and innovations.

According to a recent report from searchenginewatch.com, video content can drive social currency.  Social currency can heighten your brand’s profile within your digital community, especially if such content is informative, funny, or both.  And, while a cheap smartphone photo can offer fun insights into your company, a professional video offers credibility, which helps establish trust and rapport amongst your audience.

Ideally, a company should target the content portals where their target community already exists, integrating text, video and social content into the digital marketing strategy that reaches potential customers across platforms.  But, where the concept and budget permits, a video may be the most effective way to tell a story and allow it to reach across numerous fronts.

Our Orlando advertising agency can help you create a targeted video to help tell your company’s story in an effort to help grow your business to its fullest potential. Contact us today!

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Adaptable Creative Content Marketing Copywriting Creative & Production Healthcare Healthcare Devices Photography Video Production

I never thought when making the switch from nursing school student to an advertising major in college that I would have the opportunity to witness an open-heart surgery on a small child. But that is exactly the experience I had last month. BIGEYE had the honor to be asked by our client, Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children, to produce a video about their cardiology program. As part of that video, our crew was graciously allowed in the operating room to witness an amazing surgical team, lead by Dr. William DeCampli, repair little 3-year-old Emily Stone’s heart.
We literally got to participate in history being made. The hospital broke ground by trying something relatively unheard of in healthcare: using social media to share a live surgical operation with the entire world. The hospital posted images and updates of the surgery every 10 minutes through the photo sharing application Instagram, pushing the updates out via their Twitter and Facebook profiles, as well as their blog. For me, it definitely brought new meaning to a photo app that I primarily use to apply artistic filters to pictures of my food.

The response was overwhelming as the world watched and cheered on little Emily with amazing words of encouragement. It was awesome, in the truest sense of the word, to be so openly allowed into a world that is usually very closed off to the public. Pushing the envelope will always bring on a slew of questions: Why did they do this? Does social media go too far? What role can social media play in healthcare? The very nature of social media encourages debate and provides a portal for honest discussions.

Mike Schmidt, director of digital media at Arnold Palmer Hospital, said it best: “Healthcare is behind the rest of the world in being able to tell stories well through social media. There are thousands of amazing things that happen here at the hospital each and every day, and we want to share that with our community.”

Advertising, taglines, slogans and pictures of happy patients all have their place in healthcare. They play a role in communicating to the public a hospital’s message: who they are and what they stand for. But what about showing, not just telling, what really goes on? There may not be anything “pretty” about surgical procedures, but they are real, raw, and honest. We’re talking about humans saving other human’s lives. Arnold Palmer Hospital and Emily’s family were ready to take that leap by sharing this life-saving procedure with the world. The fact is, surgeons and healthcare professionals alike live and breathe this every day, and that’s what has a true impact on their patient’s lives.

Social media is here to stay and will continue to evolve and change. Yes, seeing pictures of a beating heart on your Facebook timeline may not be for everyone, but I do commend the hospital on using a tool that we are all familiar with in a new and interesting way in order to keep people informed of what’s going on behind the curtain. It breaks down barriers and can remove the mystery of the “unknown” for families that may be going through something very scary, hearing their child has  congenital heart disease.

On a very important side note, Emily is doing well. It was a joy to get to know her and her family throughout this process. She’s a brave little girl!

You can see how the story unfolded on the hospitals blog, Illuminate.  Warning: some of the pictures are graphic in nature.

Written by, Laura Adams, BIGEYE Creative Account Manager

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Audience Consumer Insights Content Marketing Creative & Production Motion Graphics Video Production

Illuminate the way you connect with your audience. Create a short and fun video, aka “splainer,” to engage and inform your viewers. Here’s a splainer we created for Illuminate – a children’s health and wellness blog by Arnold Palmer Hospital. Check out the blog for more of our handiwork!

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Branding Campaign Creation & Development Creative & Production Identity Video Production Website Development

A lot of people are enjoying a well-deserved summer vacation. The vacation you are enjoying probably started with the simple question: Where to go? Do you want an adventure experience or a more relaxing getaway? After a little location research, most of us dust off the calculator to match our budget to a location. Then we start to plan our vacation experience, making tour arrangements or restaurant reservations.
The bigger the vacation, the more planning it requires.

While we all want to get to the fun part (really, who doesn’t love an umbrella drink poolside?), it’s all the work you’ve done before departure that makes the vacation so much fun.

Much like a summer vacation, the creative process is a whole lot of fun. But behind every logo, video, website or marketing campaign is a thoughtful creative process. This process digs into the weeds of your marketing needs, and it is what turns a great design into a powerful marketing tool.

For example, a logo advances your company by supporting desired perceptions. Brand identity expresses itself in every touch point of the brand, and becomes intrinsic to your company’s culture and a constant symbol.

Wow! That brings into perspective why branding requires a disciplined process. Admittedly, it does take some patience to complete a logo design questionnaire (yes, every question) and spend time in conversation about the nuances of your product/company. Clarifying brand strategy through a full discovery makes it possible to design a logo that frequently appears in a space of about 1 ½” x ½” to represent your brand.

Sometimes the excitement of the creative process can overwhelm one’s patience for the process. It really is important for you to compile all your logo design feedback into one document. This step brings your focus away from the individual elements and back to the big picture. Your feedback written down into one document also gives your team a chance to make sure everyone is on the same page. Our designers will use your specific direction to move your logo through several rounds of revisions until the final concept is achieved.

With this perspective, you can see this outcome, your company logo, is worthy of a thoughtful and intentional creative journey.

We love bringing our clients into the artistic world to explore colors, style, fonts, etc. But just like the roadmap to your summer vacation destination, it is our creative process that gets us to our destination — the right idea and design to meet your marketing needs.

Thanks to all our clients for the awesome road trips we have experienced together to market your brand.

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Audience Consumer Journey Mapping Creative & Production Media & Analytics Search Engine Optimization Video Production Website Development

In the advertising industry, we are now seeing a divide between traditional and digital agencies. And the people searching for creative advertising agencies are left feeling like they need to pick a side. Do you stick with the conservative, traditional agency or try something different with a trendy, digital agency? This definite division between agencies and marketing philosophies leaves consumers stuck between two extremes.
On one side of the spectrum, you have traditional agencies that cling to what is safe and commonplace in marketing, such as print, billboards, radio, newspaper, TV and direct mail. Some traditional agencies think along the lines of, “print isn’t going anywhere,” and “social media is just a phase.” Although overhead costs may be a bit of a burden, the vast visibility of these marketing mediums has been proven reliable and successful.

On the other side of the spectrum, you’ve got modern-day digital agencies pushing Web, video, mobile apps, social media, QR codes, SEO and other non-traditional forms of advertising. These agencies live by the latest and greatest trends and stick with edgy, innovative marketing concepts. With a “print is dead” mentality, these agencies tend to focus on the next big thing on the marketing horizon.

Like most things in life, the truth lies somewhere in the middle. Print is not dead and social media is not just a phase. It’s not about utilizing one or the other. It’s about integrating these mediums together. Weave your social media platforms into your print pieces, and vice versa. Your billboard’s call to action can be to visit your robust website for more information. And your business cards can don a QR code that links to an innovative video explaining your company’s philosophy. These types of collaborative marketing initiatives can work together to provide greater brand awareness and, ultimately, ROI.

When shopping for an agency, make sure you find one that sees the big marketing picture. You shouldn’t have to pick a side. Instead, pick an agency that is on yours. BIGEYE seamlessly integrates digital and traditional marketing initiatives into one big picture, your big picture. Give us a call at 407.839.8599 or contact us here to get started.

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Content Marketing Creative & Production Digital Targeting Services Insights Integrated Media Media & Analytics Media Planning and Buying Paid Search Paid Social Video Production

If 2010 was up for a marketing superlative, it would definitely be voted “Most Likely to Succeed.” This past year, we saw the launch of the iPad, the expansion of the Facebook “Like” button to other popular websites and the rise of singer-songwriter Justin Bieber, who can thank YouTube for the fact that he can now retire at age 16. But while 2010 focused on finding new, bigger and better vehicles to market products and services, 2011 will focus on tying them all together. Gunning for the “Best-All-Around” title, 2011 will be the year that we see businesses weave online, print, broadcast, mobile, and social media initiatives together into a greater marketing plan to achieve bigger goals. And the leaders of the pack will be those who recognize this need to take a step back and see the bigger picture. Read on to find out more about Covenant’s projections for 2011, and how big-picture thinking could lead to a big ROI.

1. Video

In the next three years, 90 percent of the Internet will be video, according to Cisco Systems. Video has become a powerful way to talk directly to your target audience and build upon or strengthen the relationship they’ve already established with your brand. Video can also be repurposed on multiple platforms, from your company’s website to its Facebook Fan page. Your customers can even share the videos with their friends and family by reposting links or by embedding the video itself onto other Web pages. And the unique thing about video is that it can still be viewed years after it is initially posted.

There are many ways that video can be utilized on the Web to not only promote your brand, but also to establish it as the go-to resource in your industry. If you’re a healthcare facility, add a five-minute tutorial on tips to avoid the flu before cold season (such as washing your hands, just like Mom always said). If you’re a homebuilder, show short clips of a remodeled cabinet you did, with before and after shots. The idea is to think of a topic that will interest your customers, and then hire a professional to do the work. While flip cameras are great for taping your grandma doing the electric slide at your cousin’s wedding, they won’t deliver the same professional look and feel that a production company can. In order to effectively position your products and services in your marketplace, it’s crucial to get the right message, sound and light in place before you start rolling.

2. Digital Marketing

The last time someone in our office used a phone book was to get to the last Sweet’N Low packet on a hard-to-reach shelf. And we would venture to say the same is true for many of our clients (unless they prefer Splenda). More often than not, consumers are looking online to gather information and pricing for the products or services they need. Therefore, companies will need to move their rates, discount packages, services, and offerings where their customers are looking for it: online.

In addition to making it easier for your customers to include you in their budget for the upcoming year, it’s also more important now than ever to include digital media in your own. With new channels and capabilities being developed daily on the Internet, websites are becoming far more complex than the five-page, static HTML pages they once were. They’re incorporating instant messaging, applications, video, podcasting, gaming, blogs, social networking, and dynamically generated content pulled by an RSS feed from other sites. All of these separate initiatives are great to keep your audience coming back for more, but this year, business leaders will need to develop an overall digital marketing plan to play out how each initiative will work together to achieve their company’s greater goals.

3. Social Media

By now, even old-school business executives that were once hesitant about jumping into the social media pool are taking the plunge. It’s no longer a question of whether or not you have social media, but rather how you decide to utilize it, and whether or not those initiatives have resulted in an ROI. Offering free giveaways or coupons to people who “Like” you on Facebook is a great way to build your audience in the beginning stages. But after you get their attention, it’s just as important to keep it there. This will happen by engaging your customer through relevant—and frequent—posts, messages, photos, videos, and other offerings. It’s also important to include a call-to-action in order to drive traffic where you want it to go, such as sharing a link to a new product or service featured on your company website. This year, expect to see more in the realm of Social Listening Research and Influencer Marketing, which allow you to analyze your target audience members to better understand your customers and their needs.

LinkedIn, a professional networking website, will also continue to be a social media platform to watch in 2011, with more than 12 million small-business leaders on its site, according to its blog last year. It’s become a huge resource for finding a job, finding a job candidate or making a connection with a potential business partner.

4. Multi-channel and Integrated Marketing

It’s great to market your company across different mediums, from online, print and broadcast to mobile applications and social media platforms. But if the vehicles you’re using to promote your brand don’t cross promote one another, you’re missing out on a lot of business opportunities you could have had if they did. For example, this can take the form of a billboard with a QR code (barcode readable by dedicated QR barcode readers and camera phones), print advertising with a mobile phone SMS call to action, or a link on a company website that redirects to its Facebook page to “Like” them. It should always come full circle. You want to engage your audience to interact with you and your brand, not just hit them once with a well-designed piece that leaves them thinking, “OK great, but now what?”

It simply isn’t enough to just do a newspaper advertisement or buy a radio spot anymore. It must be integrated into multiple platforms and, consequentially, be strongly branded to your company on those platforms. This will change the role of your audience members from recipients to participants.

5. Personalized Marketing

You may have already noticed this on Facebook, but in 2011, expect to see more websites with personalization capabilities. This means that if you frequently visit a website, it will track the keywords you search for and post and store this information in its database to customize what’s displayed on the site the next time you visit. It not only determines what’s displayed based on the keywords you search, but also by the pages you visit within the site and, for first time visitors, even the referring URL that linked you to the site.

With the astronomical growth of Groupon and LivingSocial in the past two years, smart startup companies are starting to use geo-location capabilities to drive foot traffic to their local businesses. This acceleration would largely be driven by discovery via location-based social experience sharing. The explosive growth of Instagram is also an early sign of this experience-sharing trend, and we will witness a whole lot more in the coming year.

6. Print

This just in: print is not dead. Print has reinvented itself more times than Cher and Madonna combined and, like their careers, it thrives by changing its look to stay relevant. In an “all-about-me” marketplace, printers have learned that in order to stay in touch with consumers, they have to get personal. Literally. Data-driven print (also known as 1:1 printing, variable data or personalized printing) is continuously growing in popularity and often involves strategically placing a customer’s name onto an already printed piece.

For example, vacation timeshares may put a customer’s name on the back of a white robe hanging in the closet of a bedroom. A sports clothing brand might put a customer’s name on the back of a football jersey. The options are endless, and it’s a great way to get creative and grab your audience members’ attention by reaching out to them by name.

7. SEO

Ah, the ever-elusive concept of Search Engine Optimization. In recent years, the most common question we get from clients is hands down, “What can we do to become No. 1 in Google’s search results?” This isn’t surprising to us since your customers, like you, are probably using search engines as their primary means to find the information they are looking for. But the answer is much more complex than the reason behind the question. Although there are definitely ways that marketing professionals can help improve your SEO through keywords, tags and content, there is no silver bullet for getting the No. 1 spot. With the introduction of new search engines such as Bing in the U.S., Baidu in China and Yandex in Russia, Google’s not the only player in the search engine game anymore. In addition, social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter are also becoming popular resources for searching, making it even more difficult to solve the equation to get to the No. 1 spot. In 2011, look for things to get even more complex as search engines advance, mobile phone searches get thrown into the mix and geo-location searches also become a factor in where you fall in search result listings.

Even if there isn’t a foolproof formula to guarantee your ranking, there are certainly ways to improve your SEO. Marketing experts have conducted plenty of research in this realm and can advise you of small things you can do to make a big impact in the long run.

In conclusion, the key to a successful year in marketing will be to engage your audience, be strategic in your initiatives, customize your offerings and keep your overall goal in mind. But if all else fails, post a really funny video of your cat sneezing on YouTube and watch the TV interviews, book deals, magazine covers, and sports drink sponsorships just roll in.

In need of a little guidance in order to continue on the right foot? Contact our team of marketing experts today to develop the perfect approach for your brand in 2011 – and beyond!