Tuesday, March 19, 2013

A Lesson on What Not to Do...if You Have a Mission

Have you ever heard the saying you learn more from your mistakes? Boy that always used to annoy me when I would get 1 wrong on a spelling test... yet I always remembered how to spell "miscellaneous" from that day forward. 

Using this same concept, I often share my experiences and case studies of how an event or marketing campaign could have gone better, looking back. 

About a year ago, I was asked to work on a marketing campaign for a client that involved a Point of Purchase promotion strategy at a large retailer at several locations all over town. A POP strategy was developed and thousands of dollars worth of promotional materials were created. Essentially it entailed a coupon upon purchase of the product and a contest where about 1/4 of the purchases won movie tickets. There were a lot more logistics involved...I'll spare the details because you'd be bored. 

What was in place was a very one-dimensional campaign. Everything seemed pretty straight forward until I was asked to work on creating some buzz and PR for the campaign. Unfortunately, the one-sided strategy had already been set before I came into the equation and we had a week and limited budget/resources. 

As a mission-based brander, I ask the lead agency if we can tie in a social responsibility aspect, such as donating free movie tickets to underpriveleged kids and having a night out to the movies. No, that was going to cost more money, not going to happen. Okay, scratch that idea. 

How about a free community event, with music and food and other fun activities for the public to participate in? Well, we were sort of doing some of that, just not really that big in any one location.  

A couple more ideas, knocked down. Plus their social media channels had little engagement, so there was no substantial way to engage the community of followers in such a short period of time with limited resources given to me. By the time I got involved, it was too late to create a multi-platform or multi-dimensional strategy. 

So there was no cool event, no social responsibility, essentially no compelling news angle or "story," and there were two corporate brands involved. For media outlets, this scenario spells: A.D.V.E.R.T.I.S.I.N.G. $$...the life blood of media outlets.

No wonder the campaign received little media coverage, and every publication asked me to fork up money. What we did get was based on my relationships and begging! Even though most of it was out of my control, I feel partially responsible for the campaign not being as successful as it could have been.

The point is with so much clutter these days it's more difficult for your message to be heard, so you have to be more creative in how you position your brand and marketing strategies. 

Had I been brought in sooner as a brand strategist, I would have created something much larger by co-branding a social responsibility strategy, adding an event in the mix and integrating a multi-platform social media strategy. Truth is, for just a couple thousand dollars more, the exposure and PR coverage would have been exponentially greater. 

The beauty of these experiences is learning from them and applying your learnings to your next experience. This is why I'm so passionate about helping brands early on to create a strong mission, both within their core competency and with a social/community aspect. It really does determine the success or not of your brand.

So, what's your mission?

I'm On A Mission and want to hear from you... what would you have done differently in this scenario? 

Alexandra Figueredo is founder of Mission Based Branding Institute a full-service integrated marketing communications company that helps mission-driven businesses and brands to create exposure and awareness for their mission and story. Alexandra has helped businesses create Corporate Social Responsibility programs, as well as helped entrepreneurs and small businesses launch their brands. She can be found on Twitter at @OnAMissionAlex, and MBBI can be found at its new handle @MissionBranding.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Trump and Els are On A Mission!

It's that time of year again here in Miami...the WGC Cadillac Championship at the all new Doral Resort & Spa owned by the Trump Hotels magnate. This week I've been educating myself on golf, the PGA and the WGC (let's face it, I was pretty clueless about golf other than Tiger and Mickelson) and attended with my friends at SocialBuzzTV to help cover the tournament.  

 My top Mission this week: to find brands that have a strong mission!  

At the first press conference we attended, pro golfer Ernie Els and Donald Trump announced the Trump involvement and sponsorship of Els for Autism, a charity geared toward autism education and awareness. 

Photo Credit: SocialBuzzTV
Autism affects an astounding one in 86 children in the U.S., including Ernie Els' son--the motivation for his foundation. His mission is to help bring awareness and educate the public on the signs of autism in kids

Els is partnering with the PGA to create golf challenge events to raise funds for the charity. The charity has already raised over $4 million in the last few years and plans have already begun to build a community center for autism education as well as a public sports complex in Jupiter, FL. 

The charity provides education pamphlets informing the public of the signs of autism, and allows supporters to wear a cute little blue pin in support of the charity. 

Photo Credit: A. Figueredo
Several Trump golf resorts will host golf challenge events throughout the year. With Trump's support, the next golf challenge in the Doral Resort & Spa (soon to be Trump Doral), will be held April 29, 2013. For a listing of play dates, click here. Participate and play, or donate online.