Categories
Product Reviews

BlueMaestro Tempo Environmental Monitor

This summer my A/C went out, I had no fans and essentially no air circulation in my home. It was more than miserable! Yes, I know….first world problems. There were environmental issues going on around too. The former University of Colorado Medical center is being torn down across the street from me right now, so take the heat, humidity, dust and crap in the air and I was a toxic, sweaty mess.
After chatting with Kirstin Hancock, co-founder of BlueMaestro, she mailed me a Tempo Environmental Monitor in the mail to try out.
The Tempo monitors your environment in your home or office. Have pets, kids, family members or collectables that are temperature sensitive? The Tempo can help you monitor your environment to keep it healthy and safe for your those around you. Many families and businesses that are in need of environmental management have found Tempo to be highly effective for monitoring. I was thrilled to get a Tempo to try out as I suffer from migraines and headaches and overheating has a huge impact on the intensity of my headaches. Now I can monitor my environment and take the care needed for my health.

Guess what?! I received it today! I was so excited when I got it. BlueMaestro is just about to drop their new bluetooth pacifier in the US market. I am thrilled about all the innovative products that they are putting out into the marketplace.

Packaging:

I love good packaging. When you first get the Tempo, it’s packed in a bubble envelope to protect it, then it’s got another layer of bubble wrap protection before you get to the tempo box. The Tempo Box design is simple and classy.

When you open you’re new Tempo box, right inside the lid are the step by step quick instructions to get started.
IMAG1624

Don’t forget about the Quick start guide tucked in safely underneath the foam that holds the Tempo safely in place.
Inside-blue-tempo-box

Set up:

Follow the first 3 steps on the inside of the lid of your Tempo box and then go through the Quick Start guide. It took me less than 5 minutes to set up. Just make sure (like the instructions say) to have your bluetooth turned on on your smartphone.
Once I downloaded the app, I was able to play around with the settings. I changed the name of my device and set up a temperature alert. As soon as the app registered the device (which happens automatically) it picked up the temperature, humidity and barometric pressure.All in all it was super simple to setup and customize to my parameters.
I can’t wait to have more than a few hours worth of data to check out. If you have any issues with your setup you can go to the company’s website or in settings on the app click on the Tempo logo in the top left hand corner and it will navigate you to an information page where you can select to send an email.
For iPhone users you can setup the iBeacon in settings as well.
[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_3″ last=”no” class=”” id=””]Screenshot_2015-06-30-15-52-24This is what your Device Options look like once your device is found by the app[/fusion_builder_column]
[fusion_builder_column type=”1_3″ last=”no” class=”” id=””]Screenshot_2015-06-30-15-53-45You can customize your settings here[/fusion_builder_column]
[fusion_builder_column type=”1_3″ last=”yes” class=”” id=””]Screenshot_2015-06-30-15-53-52All done![/fusion_builder_column]

Design:

The Tempo has a super sleek design and you can leave it out in your home or office (it won’t clash with your decor) or you can tuck it in a corner Me, I’m gonna leave it out. It’s lightweight and fits into the palm of your hand.
Tempo

Compatability:

Tempo works with both iPhone and Android. Yay! I am an Android user, so devices and apps that work for Android make me happy!

Get your Tempo or other Blue Maestro products here.


Disclosure: I received the Tempo Environmental Monitor for free from BlueMaestro. I was not compensated for this review nor am I an affiliate of BlueMaestro.[/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

Categories
Business

Defining Brand Influencers

To take a line from Jay Baer and his post that he recently shared: Influencer Marketing just hit the big time.
Coming from a Digital/Experiential Marketing background, this is NOT a new thing. We’ve been using Brand Ambassadors (known as Influencers online) for years to connect with consumers and expand a brand’s message.
We need to change our vernacular. Influencers online and what brands consider influencers are two very different things.
There is huge value in brand ambassadors, which is why brands hire them. Brand ambassadors help create an experience for the end user. They meet you, the consumer, where you are. Brand ambassadors don’t create ROI, they create an experience. They bring awareness to a brand and make the interaction memorable.

Making It Relevant And Memorable

Here is a perfect example of what brands are doing:

The young lady highlighted was a brand ambassador for Clean & Clear. She represented the brand in a specifically targeted space and the brand achieved legitimate ROI from this single event.
Additional campaigns where brands used brand ambassadors:
Snuggle: http://www.eventmarketer.com/article/snuggle-snugmobile-new-york/
Johnsonville Sausage: http://www.eventmarketer.com/article/guerrilla-sampling-atlanta-johnsonville-sausage/
Acura: http://www.eventmarketer.com/article/acura-sundance-experiences-park-city/
Most influencers will NEVER bring this level of awareness or ROI back to a brand because they are not given specific enough messaging that will drive action or increase reach.
Do you know what a brand ambassador cares about? MONEY. Plain and simple. Once the campaign is over, they move on and get hired by the next brand or agency that will pay them to promote.

defining influencer

Social media “marketers” have egos that are way over-inflated and their sense of self importance is off the charts. I just want to say…
Sorry sweetheart…you’re not that big of a deal to a brand or to the people you think you influence.
Here’s the thing: If an influencer thinks they are going to gain any publicity or notoriety for being a brand ambassador, they are fooling themselves. Being a real brand ambassador is a lot of work and requires following brand guidelines for promotion. There is huge value in brand ambassadors which is why brands do hire them. Brand ambassadors help create an experience for the end user. They meet you, the consumer, where you are.
[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][bctt tweet=”Brand ambassadors don’t create ROI, they create an experience. They bring awareness to a brand and make the interaction memorable.”]

Measurable Reach

ROI for brand ambassadors is nearly impossible to calculate. Most agencies “create” ROI out of thin air with no real metrics to back the numbers.
If you set up specific campaigns with specific tools for specific conversions (and yes, I said specific three times on purpose to make my point) then you can begin to track those conversions. However, most brands are not doing this because the cost is exponentially higher than to simply create brand awareness or a customer experience. Brands only have an increased reach if there is a conversion: actual metrics such as new followers, new subscribers, increased sales, etc.
The brand’s measurable reach will not be impacted by using a brand ambassador unless they do a targeted promotion that drives the consumer back to take an action. They get major buzz at launch, which is what most companies are driving for with new products. Unfortunately, the buzz fizzles because they don’t maintain the promotion. Many brands would love for the fizzle to not happen, but they miss the mark on keeping the campaigns going. Soon enough they are on to the next product launch and the next major buzz that they can create.
KPI’s, ROI’s and metrics skyrocket when a campaign is implemented correctly.

The Brand Influencers Conversation

My issue with this influencer/brand conversation is that it is NOT new at all. We are conditioned on social media to think that being an influencer is almighty and powerful when in reality, all an influencer is when it comes to brand marketing and messaging is a brand ambassador or brand advocate. Brands have been spending HUGE marketing dollars for years on brand awareness and influencer type programs.
I’ve personally run, managed and staffed campaigns for these companies: Jeep, Winter X Games, E!, Cadbury, Pepsi, Disney XD, Dentyne, Irish Springs, Crystal Light, NBC, 20th Century Fox, Boost Mobile, Disney, PlayStation, Deutsch, HBO, Wall Street Journal, Yunker Energy, ADK America, Yakult, Famima, Dreyer’s Ice Cream, Manzanita Sol/Pepsi (Multi Cultural), T-Mobile (Multi Cultural), American Airlines, Aids Health Foundation, Greyhound Bolt Bus, Air New Zealand, US Cellular, Lifetime, Kraft Foods and many more.
You’ll notice some brands in that list that have huge recognition just by their logo. These brands who are widely recognized have been using influencer programs for the last 10 years (or more).
Bring someone on your team with experience. A person who can actually talk about this line of marketing. It will help your own personal brand to make sure that you are putting out the right information.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

Categories
Business

Is Your Promotional Merchandise Being Trashed?

How many times have you gone to an event such as a concert, conference, or expo and walked away with tons of cool samples and gadgets, and also a load of useless crap? Let’s talk about the useless crap.

Is It Useless Crap?

I just went to an expo with my brothers. Fortunately, I walked away with absolutely nothing. They, however, came home with loads of what I perceived as crap. Yes, I said it…crap, garbage, bunk and a waste of good resources for the companies that gave it away. They didn’t gain a customer or even an advocate from their giveaways. What I’ve found is these items get passed down to the kids in the house who don’t make buying decisions, have a car, bank account or job.

Promotional Merchandise Smarts

Be smart about where and how you spend your marketing dollars when it comes to events where you exhibit at or participate in. Here are some things to think about when buying promotional merchandise:

  • Is It Cost Effective? Price, Price, Price!

For the amount of money you spend on each promotional piece, do you see your customers keeping the item? You do not want to spend money on promo material just because you are “supposed” to. You need to spend wisely on this just like everything else in your business.

  • What’s My End Game?

Promotional merchandise can differ based on what your end game is. Do you simply want your business contact info on the swag? Do you want to create an experience? Both? Asking yourself these questions can help you sort it out and get the most bang for your promotional buck.

  • Do You Have Brand Recognition? Yes?

If you have brand recognition, putting your contact info on your promotional merchandise is unnecessary. People know you! Great job! But don’t stop here.

  • Do You Have Brand Recognition? No?

“I don’t have brand recognition,” you say. Then be smart about it. Use the promotional materials as an opportunity to create brand recognition, even if it’s only in your local market. Depending on the merchandise you order, you can put your contact info, logo and even a tagline on your item.

  • Do It Right

Make it catchy, fun, quirky. Basically, make it memorable. If you are not creative with words, find someone around you who is, or hire a branding expert to help you in this area. It’s worth the money to do it right the first time. Walking by the garbage can at the event and seeing your hard-earned money in it can be completely demoralizing. Give this some real thought, planning, and effort.

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Promotional Merchandise
Catchy enough? Maybe?

Will Your Customers Love It or Leave It?

Of all the giveaways my brothers brought home from this event, their favorite was a stack of bumper stickers that were relevant to what they like. They didn’t fight over them, but there were definitely some snake eyes thrown around about who was going to get which bumper stickers.
You want people to WANT what you have. People love free crap; really, they do. If it’s free, even if it’s a condom, they want it. So find something worth wanting. Over the years of working with large brands, I’ve had a lot of fun ordering promotional material. There is some crazy stuff you can order! It can be challenging to come up with the right promotional merchandise for your brand at the right price, but done right, it’s worth every penny.

#LanySaidSo

My favorite resource for promotional merchandise is Bamko. I have worked with the owner personally  for over five years. Not only do they provide exceptional service and competitive pricing, but they give back to their community. To me, corporate social responsibility is important in addition to pricing and service. Bamko does a wonderful job with all three.
Got questions regarding promotional merchandise for your upcoming event? I can help you sift through the innumerable possibilities that are available to you, so your swag doesn’t end up in the trash.

Promotional Merchandise

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Categories
Business

Increasing Local Market Visibility

One of the first tasks a business owner needs to define is where their sales are going to come from. Where do we get leads? How do we find new customers? The current resources a primarly comprised of lead generation programs, CRMs, referrals, brand advocates, affiliates, local events, networking events. How do you decide what works best for your business? 
Large businesses with big budgets have expenses that typically far exceed a small business owner’s reach. These corporations can spend thousands on their CRM platforms. Their ad spends are off the charts. They can outsource and hire agencies to manage their marketing, social presence and more.
How do you, as a small business owner, compete with this?

Answer: You Don’t!

 

Increasing Local Market Visibility: Your Presence Is Required

Increasing local market visibility is possible with both digital businesses and traditional brick and mortar locations. Your local presence is where you call home; where you live, eat, sleep, shop, work and play. You are a business owner and member of a community. Many small businesses are missing huge opportunities to participate in their local marketplace and increase their visibility. I recently discussed this with a panel on Google Plus, but let’s dive even deeper and discuss your day-to-day local presence and brand experience.

Creating a Brand Experience For Your Clients and Potential Clients

increasing local market visibilityA great place to begin building on this strategy is your city’s local event page. Every city has an event calendar, and is normally quite easy to find. For example: I went to Google searched for “Seattle events.” The first link in results was visitseattle.org, and the link took me directly to the event page. I could choose the type of events and location I was looking for.  I want to see every event happening in and around me to find the best fit for my business to participate in or attend, so I selected “all.” Here is what my search provided me with:  2015 Seattle Events
 
This took me all of two minutes to do. I don’t live in Seattle, but there seem to be no shortage of events that any business could take advantage of and increase their visibility in their local communities.

How To Leverage Local Events

Here are a few ways you can leverage local events to increase your business’ exposure in the local market.

  1. Get a booth at a local event.
  2. Don’t have money for a booth? Be your own brand ambassador, bring some swag or product and pass it out as you walk around and enjoy the event yourself.
  3. Partner with another local business and do product testing or tutorials with them.
  4. Create a free or cheap event for local residents to come try out products, food, etc, to have a hands-on experience.
  5. Sponsor events that are put on by other local businesses.
  6. Is there a new business opening? Can you participate in their opening and help them drive traffic?
  7. I saved the best for last: Large Regional Events. Is the rodeo in town? X-Games? Olympics? Food & Wine? Any big Expos? Tradeshows? Marathons? Cultural Events? These are the best events to involve yourself in, but they are only once a year. These events are a fun way to get creative with your brand experience and provide a unique opportunity to piggyback off of larger brands like Disney, McDonalds, Chevrolet, etc. These companies pour hundreds of thousands of dollars into sponsorship and booths to create a brand experience.

There are a myriad of ways for you to incorporate experiential marketing into your business and not all of it has to cost you an arm and a leg. As a business owner, be prepared to spend money on marketing and finding creative, memorable ways to engage your audience will create a lifelong customer provided you continue to provide excellent service.
 

Gaining a Broader Impact

In conjunction with the utilizing local events, here are a few things to consider incorporating to gain a broader impact.

    1. Hire Brand Ambassadors:Brand Ambassadors can staff event booths for you.
    2. Giveaways: Have branded swag or product samples to give away.
    3. Contests: Run a contest for a big ticket item and collect email addresses for your mailing list.
    4. Beware of the raffle: Do not do raffle UNLESS you are giving away a very big ticket item, such as a car. There are legal hoops to jump through associated with raffles. Tread carefully.
    5. Make It Fun: Create a fun experience for your audience.

increasing local market visibility
The key to building a local presence is to get customers in the door, create brand recognition and provide an experience that people won’t forget. Once you have them in the door, it’s time to cultivate those relationships and those experiences. Deepen them with good service and quality products.
Have I lost you in this crazy world of event/experiential marketing? Are you trying to figure out the best place to start? Reach out to me and we can discuss your marketing strategy and get you on the right path to increasing local market visibility for you. I have connections with nationwide event staffing agencies that provide fantastic, professional Brand Ambassadors, experience with larger brands such as Jeep and Disney, and will build your marketing plan around thinking big.

Categories
Business

Local Event Marketing Catapults Your Business Visibility

It doesn’t matter if you are a small business or a massive corporation. If you’re not giving your customers an experience they can actively participate in, you’re behind in the game. You’re missing out on a slew of opportunities to get people talking about your business in person and online, and bringing real, actual people into your shop. Think like a customer. Which would you rather have? Something you read on the side of a bus, or something you get to participate in?

Local Event Marketing: The Key To Getting Your Name Out There

Let’s talk about Experiential Marketing. Experiential Marketing, or Participation Marketing, is the strategy of actively engaging your consumers in the growth of your brand. You’re inviting your customers to work WITH you. If you’re a smaller business, you might be thinking right this second, “how on EARTH do I accomplish that?” Allow me to explain:
local event marketing

You Gotta Know Yourself

What kind of business are you? Big, small? Brick and mortar? Once you have a sense of your own business identity, you can start to build a digital plan around it.

You Gotta Know Your Region and What Events Are Happening

If you are a smaller local business looking to get your name on people’s minds, this is huge. Find out what kind of events are going on in your area. Look at your local chamber of commerce website and check out what’s happening throughout the year. What brands are coming to town? Can you piggyback on their event? Can you partner with them?

 You Gotta Have a Plan

You can’t just start to post on social media platforms willy-nilly and magically expect any kind of engagement, following, sales, or growth. Potential customers are going to glance over and then keep right on going. What’s in it for them? What can you PUT in it for them? What platforms can help you with that? (Hint: Twitter is number one for this)

You Gotta Start Early

Start planning as soon as you know about the event. Your crunch time for maximizing effectiveness is three to six months in advance. Brand ambassadors, swag, giveaways, tweets, promotional material, and marketing materials should be ordered and ready to go.

You Gotta Be Willing To Unclench a Little And Give Stuff Away

Giveaways and freebies are going to add value to the customer’s experience. They walk away with something from the event you gave them, and they will be reminded of it and YOU.

You Gotta Go For It

When I worked at an agency, we did a large event at X-Games geared toward children with a very well-known brand during a huge event. We had to reach out to local vendors and businesses to support our event and make it happen. We created an adventure for customers with freebies, treats, and fun. They walked away from the brand experience with memories they will never forget. THAT’S what you want.
Big brands are building their big experiential marketing events up to a year in advance. They decide on venue, promos, prizes, and hashtags. They have teams in the field getting things set up and looking for local brand partners. Brands and agencies are often looking for smaller local businesses to hook up with. Say yes. It drives traffic to your location.
To maximize the potential for you, reach out. It’s harder, sure. But hit the streets of town and ask. Hotels are a great place to start because you want your business in front of their customers while they are attending the big event.

Learn More Here:

I recently was interviewed by Debi Davis of the Plus Your Business Academy on G+. You can watch it below to get a better idea of how you can begin your plan for local event marketing and your business visibility today.

I know. You want it to be easy and it doesn’t sound easy. But if it’s worth having, it’s worth working for, right? You can do it. I can help. With my background in speaking big brand language, I can help you get the right people seeing you at the right events.