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Brandstorm

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Ever see a new product in a store and say, wow, I wish I would have thought of that, or how a product got its name? What does it really take to create a great marketing campaign, or why do some companies just do things better than others? Sure, there are times when all the stars align to create an overnight sensation, but typically nothing takes the market by storm without research, planning, and professionals with a road map to making it all happen. So, let’s Brandstorm.

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Ever see a new product in a store and say, wow, I wish I would have thought of that, or how a product got its name? What does it really take to create a great marketing campaign, or why do some companies just do things better than others? Sure, there are times when all the stars align to create an overnight sensation, but typically nothing takes the market by storm without research, planning, and professionals with a road map to making it all happen. So, let’s Brandstorm.

iTunes Ratings

11 Ratings
Average Ratings
9
1
0
0
1

Awesome

By DoubleAx2 - Apr 02 2019
Read more
Every angle you can think of in growing your brand or learning from a pro before you take a new approach—this podcast is an appointment on my calendar!

Great Bosses

By Bob Men - Jan 08 2019
Read more
Great perspective from female leader.

iTunes Ratings

11 Ratings
Average Ratings
9
1
0
0
1

Awesome

By DoubleAx2 - Apr 02 2019
Read more
Every angle you can think of in growing your brand or learning from a pro before you take a new approach—this podcast is an appointment on my calendar!

Great Bosses

By Bob Men - Jan 08 2019
Read more
Great perspective from female leader.
Cover image of Brandstorm

Brandstorm

Latest release on Mar 02, 2020

Read more

Ever see a new product in a store and say, wow, I wish I would have thought of that, or how a product got its name? What does it really take to create a great marketing campaign, or why do some companies just do things better than others? Sure, there are times when all the stars align to create an overnight sensation, but typically nothing takes the market by storm without research, planning, and professionals with a road map to making it all happen. So, let’s Brandstorm.

Rank #1: Episode 67: Navigating the Trade Show Maze with the Booth Mom

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Exhibiting at trade shows is a great way to build your brand, meet new customers and strengthen the relationships you’ve already made. Unfortunately, small businesses often avoid trade shows because they cost too much. Maybe you’re a startup business that has never exhibited before, or maybe you’ve managed a show before, but it didn’t produce the results you expected. In the first of two parts, on this episode, we talk to Candy Adams about best practices for putting on a profitable show. Candy is so experienced at producing trade shows, she affectionately known as the Booth Mom.

Candy Adams

Candy was affectionately nicknamed the Booth Mom by a booth staffer in the early ‘90s for her nurturing personality and knowledge of the trade show industry. First and foremost, she thinks of herself as a mama bear, protecting her clients against unscrupulous individuals at trade shows who prey on rookies. Always looking for value for her clients, Candy never spends a penny where she doesn’t have to. When she began freelancing in 1996, she realized her nickname was actually her brand, so she officially registered her nickname as the Booth Mom.

Duties of the Booth Mom

Candy says her primary duty is leading clients through the trade show maze. Do they understand their target market? What is the brand they want to project? What trade shows are where their customers are? What kind of exhibit will be the client’s face and how will they display the brand? What is the key message to people who come to the show? What will the staff to say, and what will be the company’s return when the show is over?

Candy believes the biggest mistake companies make at shows is in the pre-planning. It starts with what is the return-on-investment (ROI), the return-on-objectives (ROO) and the return-on-relationships (ROR)?

ROI is the company’s goal at a trade show. Is the goal to sell product and if so, how much and is it worth it? Most companies go to shows to build relationships.

ROO refers to a company’s marketing objectives. Are you at the show to educate, do you have a new product or are you trying to get to the press because you have a great story to tell?

ROR is what you need to do to get to the people with whom you already have a relationship with or want to create a relationship with.

According to Candy, if you haven’t solidified the ROI, ROO and ROR in your mind, and prioritized them, you shouldn’t spend a dime on a trade show.

Another duty of Candy’s is acting as the exhibit manager on behalf of a client at the show and auditing the bills after the show. Most people don’t know what goes on at a trade show. Candy is there to not only get the exhibit up, but to work with and understand union rules so she can coordinate with all of them and make sure the laborers are at your booth at the right time. It’s pricey to have labor hanging around your booth at $130 to $250/hour. She also watches the labor force, keeps track of the paperwork on site and signs off on tasks. Candy says 75 percent of the bills given to her at a show are erroneous.

Booth Mom’s Secret Weapon

Candy learned early on that having candy bars to hand out at a trade show isn’t enough to get people to do what you want. Homemade cookies are her “friend-maker.” Candy makes 40-dozen cookies before a show, including oatmeal, peanut blossoms and chocolate chip cookies, with or without chips. She also makes turtle brownies, peanut butter brownies and soft, buttermilk sugar cookies and then packages them in small plastic snack bags to bring to the show. It is not surprising her exhibits are up and running smoothly before other exhibitors.

Trade Show Training

Candy orchestrates two types of training at a trade show. The orientation involves getting the staff ready for a show and making sure they know where everything is and how they work.

The other training is boothmanship. To Candy, every show is a play with a script. The company has built a stage, the staff are the actors and the props are the videos, graphics and other tools onsite.

Training involves knowing:

* What to say when people come to the booth

* Why the company is there

* Icebreakers

* The company elevator speech

* The what’s new elevator speech

* The qualifying questions

* The 3-minute presentation

* The recap

* The close, which involves saying just enough to get people to schedule a follow-up meeting.

* Entering and prioritizing leads

Training is necessary because the booth staff’s biggest competition is time.

Available Resources

Candy is someone who will tell you everything she knows. Her website has an exhibitor’s resources page with everything from surveys and checklists to templates and show plans.

Fees

Candy charges $140/hour, with a 4-hour minimum of $280/hour. Most of her clients save more than her fee when outsourcing her services.

Final Advice

Candy has two words: Strategize and Prioritize. Why are you going to the trade show? Keep focused on the ROI, ROO and ROR and then prioritize spending. Know what is going to happen at the trade show before you go to see an exhibitor company. If you don’t, the exhibitor is likely to sell you something that is aesthetically pleasing, but functionally awful.

Connect with Candy

Phone: 760.271.0366

Email: candyadams@boothmom.com

LinkedIn: @candyadamstheboothmom

Twitter: @theboothmom

Website: www.boothmom.com

Feb 20 2019

28mins

Play

Rank #2: Episode 79: What the Secret Sauce to Chick-fil-A’s Success?

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You may already know that Chick-fil-A is the third largest fast-food restaurant chain in the U. S. and that it ranks #1 in customer satisfaction. But did you know this year, the fast-food restaurant chain entered the ranks of the country’s most respected and revered companies at #51, ahead of Amazon at #54?  This according to the Reputation Institute, a reputation measurement and management services firm. Kyle Bartz is one of the newest owners of a local Chick fil-A in Pewaukee, Wis. He joins #Brandstorm to talk about this great brand story.

About Kyle Bartz

Kyle didn’t even know what a Chick-fil-A was when he walked into one of the restaurants on the East Coast 11 years ago. But, when the local owner told him to come work for her and he might have the opportunity to own his own restaurant in a few years, he was intrigued with the possibilities. Kyle worked for two local owners before going to work for Corporate helping owners to open new restaurants. He spent nearly three years learning everything he could about the business and what you needed to know to be an owner and leader. He then became part of an extensive selection process to determine which restaurant location would be a good fit. That took another year and a half. In April 2019, Kyle opened a Chick-fil-A in Pewaukee, Wis.

About Chick-fil-A

Chick-fil-A’s founder was S. Truett Cathy.  Cathy started the business in 1946, when he and his brother, Ben, opened an Atlanta diner known as The Dwarf Grill (later renamed The Dwarf House®). Through the years, that restaurant prospered and led Cathy to further the success of his business. In 1967, Cathy founded and opened the first Chick-fil-A restaurant in Atlanta's Greenbriar Shopping Center. Today, Chick-fil-A has the highest same-store sales and is the largest quick-service chicken restaurant chain in the United States based on annual system-wide sales.

A quick fun fact about Chick-fil-A is how it got its name. Cathy called the first part Chick, because chicken was the primary food on the menu. The second part, “fil,” is about the cut of meat used, the filet, and the “A” stands for Grade A quality meats and produce that always come from the very best sources.

Opening the Chick-fil-A Way

Kyle said every Chick-fil-A opening is different for every new restaurant. Openings are tailored to the local community and what resonates with them, but Corporate always provides a lot of support for the owner. In Kyle’s case, his “opening” started on a Monday night with a Premiere Night. More than 100 residents were selected from a Facebook promotion and invited to sample the food and get a preview of what’s to come. On Tuesday night, Kyle had a Dedication Dinner, which was a private, catered event for his team in Pewaukee. Wednesday was the “First 100 Camp Out.” The first 100 to camp out that night were given a year’s worth of Chick-fil-A, or one meal a week. On Thursday, Kyle officially opened the doors to his new restaurant.

Finding & Training Talent

When you have a great brand story like Chick-fil-A finding talent is a little easier than it is for other fast-food restaurants. Kyle says he received about 1200 applications in the first, four months. Retail is a people business, so Kyle was looking for friendly people who weren’t just looking for a job.  He was interested in finding people looking for a pathway to success, maybe even future ownership, like him.

Originating in the southeast in the 1940s, Chick-fil-A is somewhat new to the Midwest, and Wisconsin, in particular. Most of Kyle’s employees didn’t know much about Chick-fil-A and for many, this was their first job.

Kyle believes with his team, it is more about setting an example than it is training. The company has a what is called “Two Mile Service.” The first mile is the guest’s expectation. The second mile is what Kyle and his team do to go above and beyond a guest’s expectations. If the guest’s expectation is faster service, how do they make it faster? If politeness is the expectation, Kyle’s team makes sure they are doing everything possible to please their guests, carrying meal orders to their cars, keeping tables clean and refreshing drinks, as examples.

Kyle also says he has two buckets of “care.” The first bucket is for his guests and the second is for his employees. He gives stuffed plush cows and coupons to his employees and asks them to hand them to people who look like they are having a bad day or to make a child smile. He leads by example with his team, because if Kyle doesn’t care for his employees, how can he expect them to care about the guests.

Long Drive-thru Lines

Anyone who has driven by a Chick-fil-A knows that there are often long lines in the drive-thru lanes. While you might say this is a good problem to have, Kyle is trying to combat this issue by taking orders while the customer is in line, so their food will be ready when they get to the window. Chick-fil-A now has a mobile app people can use to order food before they get to the restaurant. And coming soon, the app will include tableside ordering inside the restaurant.

Closed on Sundays

Chick-fil-A has received a lot of bad press recently over being closed on Sunday. Some believe it is because its management is part of the religious right and are trying to politicize the company’s policy. The truth is when Cathy opened their grill in the 1940s, he and his brother kept it open 24/7. Out of exhaustion, they decided to close the grill on Sundays, and that tradition has been a part of the company ever since.

Kyle likes to think it’s good for a person’s mental health to have one day of the week where not one employee must think about the restaurant. And for some reason, the chicken always tastes better after being closed on Sunday.

Connect with Chick-fil-A and Kyle

Facebook:       @CFAPewaukee

Hiring:            nowhiring.com/cfapewaukee

Stop by the restaurant anytime and ask for Kyle.

Aug 06 2019

21mins

Play

Rank #3: Episode 76: Call for Content with Michael Greenberg

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Being this first, the only, the most unique is obviously a great advantage for brands trying to get the attention of its customers. It’s also easier said than done. Michael Greenberg, is the CEO of Call For Content and author of the Authority Marketing Playbook. He says he uses strategies to develop unique, niche-specific, quality content that is engaging and delivers new customers.

Call for Content

Call for Content is a podcasting agency primarily focused on creating B2B content market for use in lead generation. Over the years, Michael says podcasting has proven to be the most effective tactic for lead gen, resulting in his company moving to podcast-based strategies for the company’s clients.

Developing Content

Michael believes it’s critical to develop a strategy that connects with the client’s customers from the start. He uses direct customer research that is both qualitative and quantitative and combines both to develop ideal customer personas. Call for Content will audit the client’s current materials and conduct one-on-one interviews with up to five of the client’s customers to find out what they want to know.  The interviews are typically followed by a survey and additional talks with people who fit the client’s ideal customer personas but are not customers. This research typically costs $2,500 and takes about six weeks. For clients interested in making an investment in lead generation using content, keeping the price low initially is good because it gives the client time to get to know Call for Content before the content creation begins.

Too many companies make content for use in SEO or sharing it in newsletters, but what they should really be looking at is who they should be creating content with to bring in new customers. The content should help open the door to new relationships and partnerships that will attract new customers. As an example, Michael says you might consider positioning your podcast by interviewing ideal clients for your business or creating a series with tech leaders who serve the same industry.

Podcasting is an effective way to generate content even if it isn’t part of a podcast show. And if the client’s target demo includes millennials, Gen Zs, tech-savvy or highly educated individuals, there is a good chance there are not enough listeners for a podcast series to make sense. The audio content created from the podcast, however, can be used to create written content and be re-purposed for use in blogs, videos, newsletters, social media and other vehicles...all in the voice of the client’s authority figure – the person who speaks to your target audiences as an authority.

Authority Marketing

The size of a company plays a big role in determining who will be its authority figure. If the company is small, say 20 to 30 employees, the authority must be the owner or founder. Companies with 150 or more employers might be able to use division heads or a VP of sales and marketing. If the company has 1,000-plus employees, there may be an entire team working full-time on the podcast.

Michael has three labels for authority figures. Best-in-Class includes the person who has a proven track record in his or her field of interest. The Simplifier is the person who uses a podcast to make things simpler for everyone and the Innovator does things by going against the grain. This person has become successful using unconventional tactics.

Michael talks about authority marketing in two ways: specialization and relativity. The more you can niche-down or specialize in an industry, the easier it is to build authority. Michael points out that it is difficult to build authority if you are trying to be an expert in digital marketing. However, if you are trying to be an authority in lead generation using Facebook ads for dental practices in middle market cities, you can become an expert in just a few months.

Authority is also relative. The only people you need to be an authority for are the people who will actually buy your product or service.

Useful Tools in Creating Content

There are many, but Michael likes using Google Docs because it lets you collaborate with others in real time and get instant feedback. He also likes using Otter.ai for transcriptions. For about $70 - $80 per year, you can record phone calls and have conversations transcribed.

Connect with Michael

The best way to connect is to go the website, callforcontent.com, and look for the chat widget in the righthand corner. Select “office hours” and schedule a time to talk with Michael.

Jun 27 2019

21mins

Play

Rank #4: Episode 8: Brandstorm Talks with Craig Kuper of ShoreCrest Mortgage Company

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Brandstorm would like to welcome Craig Kuper to the show. Craig is the owner/mortgage broker, of ShoreCrest Mortgage Company, and is here today to talk about marketing brands in a crowded space.

Craig Kuper Craig has been a David against Goliath for most of his career, having created standout marketing campaigns with companies like Concept Coach Builders, National Telecom, Red Carpet Leisure, Silverbird Lanes, and the Grand Milwaukee Hotel. He founded ShoreCrest Mortgage Company just over 14 years ago, and has used his marketing prowess to leave a lasting impression clients and secure strong bonds with his clients. 

Marketing in a Crowded Space Craig shares some of his fun and wildly successful marketing campaigns from past careers. He also talks about standing out in the mortgage world. He emphasizes the importance of the customer experience, being able to walk clients through every step of the mortgage process, and leaving a lasting impression that brings repeat business from his clients.

Keeping Happy Employees Craig also talks about the importance of having employees that thrive in the company culture. He describes a couple of the employee incentive programs he used in the past to build a fun, positive culture that kept employees excited to be at their jobs.

Key Takeaways

  • • Never be afraid to fail
  • • Be willing to try off-the-wall techniques
  • • Customer experience is key

Contact Craig Kuper:Website: http://www.shorecrestmortgage.com Phone: (262) 241-4300

Nov 08 2017

28mins

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Rank #5: Episode 6: Brandstorm Talks With Healthcare Leaders at WHPRMS

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In this episode, we speak with leaders in healthcare at the 2017 Wisconsin Healthcare Public Relations & Marketing Society Conference (WHPRMS) in Sheboygan, Wis. about why they attend WHPRMS, what they’ve learned at the event and what they plan on incorporating into their marketing efforts in 2018.

While each attendee has their own, individual takeaways from the conference, there were some collective thoughts from each healthcare professional we spoke with. All of the conference reviews were extremely positive. The attendees raved about this year’s keynote speaker, Dr. Jerry Teplitz, and value the networking opportunities and educational breakout sessions.

Kathleen SchultzKathy is the WHPRMS President Senior Marketing Consultant | UW Health, Madison, Wis.

Jackson SohnWHPRMS Board member and Southeast District Representative Director of Business Development | UW Health Rehab Hospital, Madison, Wis.

Tami BarberMarketing & Communications Specialist | Aspirus Riverview Hospital & Clinics, Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.

Kathy BehnkeDirector of Public Relations | Mile Bluff Medical Center, Mauston, Wis.

Liz KoplingDirector of Marketing & Communications | Agrace Hospice & Palliative Care, Madison, Wis.

Cara WaltersDirector of Public Relations | Spooner Health, Spooner, Wis.

Kate DeeringMarketing & Communications Specialist | Memorial Medical Center, Ashland, Wis.

WHPMRS Membership

  • Affordable
  • Continuing education
  • Learning, networking, and collaborating with like-minded colleagues
  • Annual Conference
  • Online Application

Podcasting Contact for Platypus Advertising + Design:Dan Trzinski on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dantrzinski/Email:dan@platypus-ad.com Phone: (262) 522-8181 Website: http://www.platypus-ad.com/brandstorm/

Oct 25 2017

15mins

Play

Rank #6: Episode 65: Using Geofencing in Advertising with Rob Brennan & Tyler Schmidt

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On this episode of Brandstorm, Co-hosts Dan Trzinski and Nancy Christopher are joined by Rob Brennan and Tyler Schmidt, two digital marketing specialists at Platypus Advertising + Design, to talk about geofencing and OTT. We’ll find out the benefits to marketers and how it is used in advertising.

What is Geofencing and OTT?

Geofencing uses location-based technology, like GPS or WiFi, with mobile devices like your smart phone to serve messages to consumers within a targeted geography or area of high relevance. A geofence is a virtual perimeter around a real-world geography. It could be one or more physical locations like a store, a zip code or even the addresses of those on an email list. When someone with a mobile device enters that targeted location, the geofence acts as a trigger to serve an ad. Its uses in advertising are endless...from promoting a product or service with special discounts or offers and  encouraging visitors to go to a special attraction to inviting people to your booth at a trade show or pampering your fans with loyalty rewards, for example.

OTT stands for “over-the-top,” the term used for the delivery of film and TV content via the internet, without requiring users to subscribe to a traditional cable or satellite pay-TV service like a Comcast or Time Warner Cable. OTT and Geofencing work well together. You can set up fences within homes with streaming devices like Roku, Apple TV or Amazon Fire. Advertisers can follow consumers based on specific demographics and criteria no matter what they are watching.

Benefits of Geofencing

Relevancy and value are the biggest benefits of geofencing, according to Rob. If you have done your homework and know your target audience, it is possible to serve the right message to the right person at the right time. The more defined your target audience is, the more relevant your message will be to them.

Value is also significant. Geofencing allows marketers to deliver massive amounts of impressions to targeted audiences at a fraction of cost of traditional media. In the Milwaukee area, the cost is typically between $7 to $10 per thousand, but it will vary in other markets.

Targeting Audiences

While advertisers can target customers using demographics like age, gender and household incomes, Tyler says geofencing enables you to dive deeper using contextual search, interests and purchasing, browsing and behavioral history. With this criterion, advertisers can get specific. For instance, if you are in a car wreck, you might receive messages from a rental car company, a car dealer, an auto shop, or a personal injury attorney.

Privacy Issues

Your phone is a GPS unit. While you can limit the number of in-phone apps you are using, you can never be completely off the radar. Smart phones can still be tracked even if all location services and GPS have been turned off. If you want complete privacy, Rob suggests that you buy a burner phone.

Questions to Ask Your Geofencing Vendors

There are a lot of media outlets, including television stations, radio stations, billboard companies and newspapers, getting into geofencing as an extra revenue stream. There is nothing wrong with this, however you may be spending more for your services going through second, third and fourth parties who are reselling the service. Ad agencies, like Platypus, have direct access to data providers.

Secondly, digital marketing in general is not the primary service these media outlets provide. Ad agencies, like Platypus, have digital marketing specialists like Rob and Tyler, whose sole responsibilities are working with you to develop campaign strategies and manage your ad accounts every day.

So, here are two important questions to ask your potential vendor:

  1. What is your company’s core business?
  2. What is your access to the data provider’s inventory? Are there any limits or competitive disadvantages when bidding on the inventory?

ROI

Geofencing can be easily tracked based on what you need to measure success, be it the number of impressions, click-thru-rates or number of conversions. The real exciting point is that it answers an advertiser’s question of whether a consumer has seen an ad and responded. It can actually track a potential customer going into your business and making a transaction. And geofencing works no matter what size your company is. For as little as $2,000/month, you can achieve amazing results.

Connect with Rob and Tyler

Rob Brennan:

Email: rob@platypus-ad.com

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/robertpbrennan/

Tyler Schmidt:

Email: tyler@platypus-ad.com

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tyler-schmidt-18306a28/

Feb 06 2019

20mins

Play

Rank #7: Episode 73: Creating an Experiential Brand with Punch Bowl Social’s Scott Sibley

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Work is supposed to be fun and games at Punch Bowl Social. The company calls its experiential food and beverage brand a “delectable collection of unequaled music, food, games, and beverages.” While in Milwaukee for the grand opening of Punch Bowl’s 16th location in the U.S., the V.P. of Marketing, Scott Sibley, chatted with #Brandstorm about its unique concept.

What is Punch Bunch Social?

Punch Bowl Social is an unusual name, but it harkens back to the Victorian era when people gathered around the punch bowl to socialize. It has everything fun…food, arcades, karaoke, beverages, old school gaming and a 360-degree bar. There’s really nothing out there with the scale, size and diversity of Punch Bowl Social. Its 20,000+ sq. ft. facilities are eclectic in design – kind of a combo of holiday lodge, Victorian mid-century, modern and industrial design.  However, each location is also different with references and connections to its community. In Milwaukee, for example, its love of lakes, beer and German heritage can be felt throughout the space. The private Karaoke rooms have Liberace, Cheese and Space Cowboy (Steve Miller Band) themes that are all definitely hometown Milwaukee. Each location has old school gaming, but some of the games can be unique to the town. While most people call the game “Yard Yahtzee,” in Milwaukee, it’s called “Farkle.”

Punch Bowl is also about positivity and good luck. The number 9 is a positive number, so its founder, Robert Thompson, wanted a name with nine letters. All of his kids have names with nine letters, too.

Marketing Punch Bowl Social

Punch Bowl Social is corporately-owned and its primary targets are millennials and Gen Z. It's signature event when it enters a new market is to organize a big kick-off party. The company typically engages the help of a local PR in each market to help them connect with the community several months in advance of the opening and to handle publicity for the opening. Its unique concept, scale and size make it newsworthy in every market it enters, but the company also uses paid media to generate awareness.  

Punch Bowl Social also begins hiring and training staff at least six weeks to two months out from the opening. It has a corporate training team that works with new hires to learn its zone service concept.

In addition to Milwaukee, Punch Bowl Social has openings in Dallas, Ft. Worth, Washington, D.C., Salt Lake City, Phoenix, Miami and Austin this year. In 2020, it is planning to open in Pittsburgh and St. Louis.

Connect with Scott:

LinkedIn:https://www.linkedin.com/in/scott-sibley-5915284

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/punchbowlsocial

Website: punchbowlsocial.com

Apr 24 2019

13mins

Play

Rank #8: Episode 64: Influencer Marketing with Mercury Marine

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About Gary Lancina

Gary Lancina is no stranger to marketing. Prior to joining Mercury Marine in 2016, Gary worked for SC Johnson’s marketing department. Gary promoted personal care brands using a strategy known as influencer marketing. Influencer marketing involves a forming a relationship with an influential person to strengthen a brand’s identity on social media or in-person. Gary has established a wealth of these relationships, from connections in the automotive field to minor league hockey teams and the NFL. Gary currently serves as senior director of Global Brand and Influencer Marketing Strategy at Mercury Marine.

Authentic Agendas 

Gary says that influencer marketing is all about creating productive, mutually beneficial relationships with potential customers. Utilizing well-vetted influencers within an industry has proven to be an ethical and successful way to increase awareness and product sales. Finding appropriate influencers are both an art and a science. Gary explains that when scouring social media for new relationships, individuals with a big following aren’t always the most sought-after trait. While finding someone who emits a trustworthy, authentic perspective is crucial, you also have to carefully look at their audience’s characteristics. Having an overly bloated or broad follower base can lead to weaker engagements or an inappropriate demographic altogether.

Connecting with Influencers 

When Gary first began utilizing influencer marketing, he created relationships through the use of agencies who helped broker introductions. The influencers many of these agencies brought in weren’t always in tune with the demographics Mercury Marine was looking for. Gary says in marine sporting, history or legacy in an activity or industry is the key to reaching the audience you are catering to.

The smaller population of advocates and enthusiasts with marine interests isn’t as cutthroat as other fields, making it feasible to introduce relationships and opportunities to specific people without the use of an agency. Gary says that once a strong relationship is formed with an influencer, other leads follow in the form of referrals.

Local Influencers

Mercury Marine’s reputation and legacy helps reach everyday people who fit the profile of the company’s influencers. Whether it be fishing guide services or pro fisherman, most enthusiasts are familiar with the Mercury brand. Creating relationships with these earnest, local aficionados can be tremendously successful in stimulating awareness, loyalty and purchases in many regions. The person-to-person contact initiated by on-the-ground advocacy is just as important as positioning a brand alongside a popular online influencer.

Maintaining Relationships 

The nature of influencer marketing requires establishing and maintaining relationships. Gary says keeping open and clear channels of communication is crucial. Hearing the perspective of an influencer and keeping an open dialogue about the relationship also helps prolong and strengthen a relationship. Gary says the longevity of relationships is extremely important, and at Mercury Marine some of these connections have lasted for decades.

Success Metrics 

Social platforms allow for content-creators to access a bounty of valuable statistics and data. Analytics like click-throughs, views, screen-time, sources of traffic, activation methods and location data help determine the effectiveness of the relationship. Tools like Crimson Hexagon also give detailed insights into demographics and audiences. Location analytics allow a detailed look into how word-of-mouth and social posting alone can generate buzz in a region. In all cases, building trust and evoking feelings for your brand without diluting the integrity of your brand is certainly considered a measurement for success.

Connect With Gary

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/glancina/

Jan 31 2019

24mins

Play

Rank #9: Episode 63: Making the most of a Seasonal Business with Mosquito Joe’s David Lepak

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How do you keep a business going, when your service or product is seasonal? David Lepak owns a pest control service called Mosquito Joe of Waukesha County.  He shares his journey to buying a franchise and building a customer base of 600 in the first year.

About Dave and Lynn Lepak

Lynn is a registered nurse and Dave is a recovering politician. After downsizing their home, the couple wanted to get into a business where they could help people. The idea for getting into the Mosquito business came after throwing a party on their new outdoor deck. As the sun started to go down, the mosquitos came out, forcing everyone to go inside their smaller home. After that experience, the Lepak’s learned the mosquito was a dangerous predator, causing the most deaths in the world.  They also discovered mosquito control was a “thing.” They originally worked with a pest control franchisor that proved to be non-responsive to their needs. Then, they discovered Mosquito Joe and became the first Mosquito Joe franchise in Wisconsin in 2018.

Mosquito Joe

Mosquito Joe has just under 300 franchisees in the U.S. and they all treat only mosquitos. The company has a Barrier Spray Program that uses three products. The first product is sprayed around the property’s problem areas to deter flying pests. A second product is sprayed on foliage to kill mosquitos, followed by a third spray that inhibits reproduction. The first treatment eliminates 75 to 80 percent of all mosquitos, and more than 90 percent by the third treatment. Treatments typically last three weeks, so having a regular treatment program is best. All Mosquito Joe products are low toxicity, but there are also all-natural products available made from garlic extract or rosemary and peppermint that have no toxicity but are not as effective.

The Mosquito Joe Difference

David says the real difference in his pest control service from competitors is customer service. The company spends lots of time with its customers finding out how they use their backyard so that they can be effective. Mosquitos are the only thing Dave’s company treats, so they strive to be the best at mosquito control.

Running a Seasonal Service

Mosquito season in Wisconsin may only be 5 months max, but according to Dave, it’s a year-round business.  During the off-season, David spends the time evaluating the last season and making improvements, maintaining vans and equipment, restocking products and marketing materials, and updating customer lists. While profit margins take a hit in the off-season, Dave keeps revenues coming by offering attractive deals for customers who renew and new customers who sign up for the next season in advance. Staffing is also a challenge in a seasonal business, although David typically targets college students and places a heavy emphasis on training.

Advice for Franchise Seekers

If you’re looking into purchasing a franchise business of your own, David has this advice:

  • Call as many franchisees as you can and make sure you get answers to all of your questions
  • Do some vetting of your own regarding the leadership team, finding out how long the organization has been in business, how much turnover there has been within the company and what kind of operations and marketing support it provides the franchisee
  • Get to know the franchisor and support staff by visiting the headquarters
  • Understand the franchise contract in totality because you can’t change it
  • Be passionate about your business. Don’t just dial it in.

Connect with David Lepak

Phone: 262-232-7570

Email:  waukeshacounty@mosquitojoe.com

Facebook: @MosquitoJoeofWaukeshaCounty

Website: https://waukeshacounty.mosquitojoe.com/ 

Jan 23 2019

22mins

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Rank #10: Episode 10: Brandstorm Talks With John Morrissett From Erin Hills Golf Course

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Brandstorm would like to welcome John Morrissett to the show. John is the Competitions and Marketing Director at Erin Hills Golf Course. He is here to talk about his experience with the 2017 US Open, which was hosted at Erin Hills this past June.

John Morrissett For more than 7 years John has been the Competitions and Marketing Director at Erin Hills Golf Course. His role entails overseeing printed and digital marketing materials, social media, the website, and media relations. John has a strong background in the area of golf, as he was the Rules of Golf Director with the United States Golf Association (USGA) for 17 years.

2017 US Open John shares his experience with being a part of the 2017 US Open; the first US Open to be held in the state of Wisconsin. He discusses some of the planning details for the event, which actually started prior to the opening of Erin Hills.

Brand Exposure Erin Hills received a tremendous amount of exposure from hosting the US Open which boosted their brand. However, John notes the importance of being mindful to not take anything for granted, or opportunities could be missed.

Tips When Considering Hosting Large Events

  • • Give yourself and your venue a brutally honest self-assessment
  • • Determine your strengths and what you/your venue have to offer
  • • Attend and evaluate the specific events you’d like to host
  • • Start conversations with pertinent people

Contact John Morrisett: John on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/john-morrissett-3b279a64/ Erin Hills on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/erin-hills-golf-course/ Website: https://erinhills.com/ Erin Hills Gift Cards: https://shoperinhills.com/collections/gift-cards

Nov 29 2017

20mins

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Rank #11: Episode #44: Brandstorm Talks to North America's Leading Augmented and Virtual Reality Expert

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Ready for a reality check? This week’s episode of Brandstorm features XR Futurist Alan Smithson. Alan talks about the differences between Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), Mixed Reality (MR) and Extended (XR), what they can do, what you will need to participate, and how it is changing how companies market brands.

Alan Smithson

Alan is an XR futurist, inventor, author of DJ Prophets, mentor for Techstars, and CEO of MetaVRse, North America’s largest VR and AR consultancy. More than 20 years ago, Alan started his interest in technology while working as a DJ. The convergence of his love for music and technology led him to invent the Emulator, the world’s first, multi-touch application for Windows that let musicians create music using a giant, see-through touch screen. Alan began working with huge brands and musicians like Lincoln Park, Infected Mushroom and Armin Van Buuren.

In 2014, Alan saw VR for the first time and realized this was the start of everything, in his mind. He learned everything he could about 360 videos, AR apps and VR training. He invented the first VR Photo Booth and is currently working with the Museum of the Future, in Dubai, and the Ontario Science Center to develop the XR Learning Center.

MetaVRse

North America’s largest Virtual and Augmented Reality consultancy, the mission of Alan’s company is to inspire and educate the next generation of young entrepreneurs to think and act in a way that is socially, economically and environmentally sustainable. With that in mind, MetaVRse is working on two initiatives, XR for Education and the XR Learning Center.

Reality 101

What is the difference between VR, AR, MR and XR? Alan says virtual reality is when you put on headsets and it transports you to a whole other destination or world. The technology takes over your hearing and vision senses and immerses you into where you are. Augmented Reality is when you can take your phone and hold it over something and you can see data overlaid on it. Google Maps is a good example of AR. Mixed Reality takes elements from both VR and AR. Extended Reality covers all of the immersive technologies and puts them under one umbrella.

Is Immersive Technology for Real?

Alan believes we are in the third phase of adopting these technologies. The first was making sure the technology works. The second was when marketers started using the technology to create gimmickry the drew attention to their brands. Now in the third, or utilitarian phase, we are just scratching the surface of what immersive technology can do. For example, IKEA has an application called “Place” that lets you place their furniture in your home in real sizes, so you can see how everything fits. Cases like this will allow consumers to make better purchasing decisions and help brands to better connect with consumers.

Alan says we are currently seeing a shift to 3-D everything. Facebook recently announced 3-D assets that let you turn your shoes, sunglasses or other products into 3-D. Snap Chat has millions of viewers under the age of 30, and is pushing the limits of what you can do with mobile phones.

AR/VR Uses

In the next three to five years, Alan believes there will be a significant uptick in using VR in marketing and sales, as well as training. He also sees great potential in mobile-based AR. By the end of 2018, more than 1.6 billion mobile devices will by AR-enabled. Alan thinks this is an untapped market. While the U.S. has been slow to adopt, China has invested trillions of dollars in mobile e-commerce. Amazon and Wal-Mart are also making great strides in mobile e-commerce. Alan has coined the term “v-commerce,” intersecting VR with AR in e-commerce for retailers.

AR and VR Costs

Creating an AR or VR experience doesn’t have to be expensive. 360 videos are relatively cheap. Car companies are using what is called “3 Degrees of Freedom” to allow the customer to look left, right, up and down and see what it’s like to be in their car. Not enough of an immersive experience, there is now “6 Degrees of Freedom,” where customers can move left, right, up and down to feel more of what it is like to drive the car. From something as simple as placing a camera in the car while you are driving, the cost can be as little as $10,000 to $100,000. Creating a full-on motion-simulated experience can be anywhere from $500,000 to several million dollars.

In AR, companies are spending anywhere from $10,000 to $20,000 to do things like bringing a label to life. A company in Australia, makes a wine called 19 Criminals. Each of the 19 people on the bottle have committed a crime and if you hold your phone over the label, their stories are told.

AR/VR Devices

A VR experience can be as simple as having a computer or phone to pan around 360 videos. The next step up is Google Cardboard, which costs about $10 - $20. It is a cardboard box with a pair of lenses that you put your phone in and use the phone’s onboard technology. For mobile phone-based VR, there a what is called a Google Daydream. Alan says it’s just a nicer cardboard box made of material. The next step up in investment are VR headsets like the Focus, Pico Neo and Oculus Go. With the Vibe, Oculus Rift and PlayStation headsets, you can actually move around in a VR space. The various headsets run anywhere from $100 to several thousand dollars.

When will XR become Commonplace?

Apple is very quietly working on XR technology with its Apple Glasses, but Alan feels it will be some time before the company can create glasses that are small and comfortable enough to wear for extended periods of time, possibly five to seven years. In the meantime, both Apple and Google have released its developer’s kits, putting all of the technology in an AR-enabled mobile phone to help developers begin to think in 3-D and eventually create this technology.

AI or Artificial Intelligence

AI is a broad term for computer vision and machine learning, which is vital to Mixed Reality, or MR. Headsets with 3-D scanners collect point cloud data and convert the data into 3-D objects. It maps the world around you in real time. AI needs to be able to distinguish a cat from a dog, or a car, or a person. Once AI can do that, there will be no delineation between AR, VR, 5G, MR, IOT, or Quantum Computing. Everything will just be computing.

L’oreal recently purchased technology from Modiface that uses AR-enabled phones to map a customer’s face in real time and allow an individual try on makeup. The company has seen a 60 percent increase in mobile shopping, just another example of the potential in v-commerce, according to Alan.

AR/VR Education and Expertise

Unfortunately, schools lag way behind in teaching XR technology to marketing students. Alan knows of no other university that does so. It’s one of the main reasons Alan and his company are working on XR for Education and developing the XR Learning Center. As a consultancy, MetaVRse is always looking for the best and brightest in this field. If you have an idea and don’t know how to execute it, Alan's team can help you find someone who can. Or, Alan recommends that you reach out to a local chapter of the AR/VR Association, to help find experts in your market.

Contact:

Email: alan@metavrse.com (Y) to make public

Website: http://metavrse.com/

Social Media:

@MetaVRse

#MetaVRse 

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/alansmithson/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/metavrse

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/metavrse 

Aug 22 2018

19mins

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Rank #12: Episode 84: Building a Brand Through Reinvestment with Derek Collins, Co-owner of Milwaukee’s Pedal Tavern

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By bike or by boat, it is the best pub crawl in town. The Milwaukee Pedal & Paddle Tavern has become the #1 tour in town in just a few, short years. Our guest, Derek Collins shares the ups and downs of a start-up business and how he and his partner, Ryan Lloyd have expanded their bike and boat bars.

Pedal Tavern Origins

When Derek’s partner, Ryan, called him to tell him about a bike bar up in Minneapolis they needed to have in Milwaukee, Derek thought his friend had gone nuts. Ryan replied, “it’s super fun and people will pay to do it.” So, in 2010, Derek and Ryan invested in their first bike bar and began operating the Pedal Tavern.

The Pedal Tavern is a 16-seat, BYOB bike bar that is powered by riders who must pedal. The two-hour tours take riders to three to four pubs and restaurants of their choice in the Third Ward and Walker’s Point. Derek says they have partnerships with about 20 places that offer drink and food discounts to Pedal Tavern visitors.

In the beginning, Derek operated every tour and business boomed, so the partners put all that money into a second bike tavern and kept reinvesting until they had five.

Controversy Threatens Business

When the Pedal Tavern applied for their fifth liquor license in 2012, the City of Milwaukee took notice and pulled the company’s liquor license. According to Derek, they were in a gray area that allowed the company to fall under the category of a “green limo.” The city argued since the bikes were not motor operated, they could not be considered a limo.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel printed this news on the front page with the headline, “Tapped Out.”

The news was devastating to the company. People wanted to be able to drink on the Pedal Tavern tours. In 2013, business dropped by 50 percent. At the same time, Derek and Ryan were buying drink tokens from the bars to attract ridership. With minimal profit margins, they were not going to able to operate much longer.

A compromise with the City of Milwaukee saved the fate of the Pedal Tavern. It was agreed to limit the number of drinks to three per person and no hard liquor. With their liquor license reinstate, the Journal Sentinel ran another front-page story and by 2014, ridership was back up and the company was back doing business better than before.

Reinvestment Ignites Growth

Last year, the company expanded to have boat tours as well. They added Paddle Taverns that, like the bikes, were BYOB and took riders on tours down the Milwaukee River, originating at a local bar, called the Harp. Each boat is manned with a captain and first mate. Riders are encouraged to pedal the boats; however, the boats also have a motor. Fifteen to 20 minutes into the tour, the riders typically stop pedaling, turn up the music and enjoy the tour and each other.

Derek says they continue to invest back into the company. They’ve started an electric, Duffy boat company that individuals can rent and take out on the water. They also offer kayak rentals and have entered into another partnership with John Revord, owner of the Boone & Crockett bar and Mitch Ciohon, owner of Taco Moto, to purchase the Cooperage at 820 S. Water St. The building has three floors. The first floor has 11,000 sq. ft., and includes the Boone & Crockett Bar, a commercial kitchen and event space for weddings and concerts. The second and third floors are both 5,000 sq. ft. The second floor has an Air BnB, personal office space an art studio. The third floor is currently vacant, but Derek says they plan on creating a co-working share space.

Marketing Strategy

One of the beauties of having such a unique business is the buzz it creates. The controversy over the loss of the liquor license may have hurt at first; however once reinstated, it also created a lot of awareness for the company. Derek says they started their company with on Groupon offer in 2010, when Groupon was new and very popular. These days, word-of-mouth, visibility on the street and water and user-generated content on Facebook and Instagram. The company does advertise on Google AdWords and Yelp, and more recently radio ads within radio auctions.

Entrepreneurial Opportunities

Derek says investing in the bike and boat tour business isn’t cheap. The pedal taverns are about $45,000 each and the boats are roughly $120,000, plus an additional $20,000 in operating expenses for each business. If you are interested in doing this in other markets, he says there are some requirements you need to consider. The first is city approval for a liquor license. This concept doesn’t work without alcohol on board, even when the tours take you to neighboring pubs. The second is street access. In Chicago, the pedal tavern would not be allowed because the streets are too busy. And third, you must have the participation by the neighboring bars, restaurants and residents.

Connect with Derek:

Twitter: @mkederek

Website:  https://www.pedaltavern.com

https://www.Paddletavern.com

Oct 23 2019

22mins

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Rank #13: Episode 83: Centralizing all Brand Communications with Online Newsrooms

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Online newsrooms are becoming very popular, thanks to companies like TEKGroup International Inc., an internet software and services firm that helps PR and corporate communications professionals save time and money, while providing a platform to help increase coverage in the mainstream and social media. Companies like Starbucks, Toyota, Dunkin Donuts and Walgreen’s and many others are using these newsrooms to centralize all their communications content. On this episode of #Brandstorm, Steve Momorella, owner and founder of TEKGroup talks about the online newsroom and why companies should be considering them.  

What is an Online Newsroom?

TekGroup has been creating newsroom for brands since 1998. Back then, they were called Press Rooms. They were a placeholder on your website for press release, news coverage, logos and imagery. The focus of the Press Room was for journalists. With the advent of social media, in the last 5 years or so, these Press Rooms have changed to Online Newsrooms or Brand Journalism Newsrooms where the focus is on the brand’s audiences. It is now a hub for all communications content – media assets, stories, imagery, video, audio, pdfs, social media, etc. While press releases are still used, companies have switched their focus to stories about the brand -- how the brand was created and how it is being used by customers, as an example. The articles are often written by people in different departments within the company, and not just PR professionals. Companies like Sprint are using the online newsroom as Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) site or as Investor Relations sites.

Steve says the other big difference is that online newsrooms now make it possible to upload content and distribute all your communications to journalists, employees, customers and any other target audiences with a few clicks and its delivered.

The Online Newsroom Advantage

With social media and distribution integrated into one platform, PR and Communications professionals save time and money. They don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on wire releases because more than 4000 journalists are already in the dashboard and can be targeted by industry. TekGroup even offers a Twitter feed for journalists that can also be targeted by industry. You also can save money by not having to pay contact database companies to send out emails.

In the past, PR professionals had to write the content, pay a wire service so they could upload the photos and press release for distribution. Now PR professionals can save valuable time because the platform integrates distribution and all your social assets.  You can choose which social media account to use, who you want to send the content to, while sending out consistent messaging, all from one dashboard.

TekGroup Technical Support

The online newsroom is technically a standalone site from the company’s website, however from a visual and SEO perspective, it is integrated with the website. Visitors never know they are going to another site when they click on the newsroom icon. TekGroup build the site based on the client’s needs, and then become the IT department, hosting and managing the site. The platform also has an embedded analytics system that can integrate with a company’s Google Analytics for tracking and SEO purposes.

The Way of the Future

Steve says research has been conducted the last 15 years to measure the trends and expectations of both journalists and consumers when it comes to an online newsroom. In the past, it was used 100 percent of the time by journalists. Now, the numbers are 70 percent consumers; 30 percent journalists.

Pricing

According to Steve, there are two pricing tiers – professional and enterprise tiers. For large companies with lots of personnel, locations, products and services, it can be expensive. For small companies, the cost $10,000 annually. Steve likes to say, for less than $1000 per month, you get a fully-hosted website management system with unlimited use. Plus, no more costs for wire services or email contact companies. The savings can be huge depending on how much content a company sends out.

Connect with Steve

Email:     steve@tekgroup.com

Phone:     734-945-7790

Website:  tekgroup.com

Twitter: @tekgroup

Oct 16 2019

24mins

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Rank #14: Episode 61: Creating Great Experiences with Hard Rock's Joe Bravo

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To be relevant in business, it’s all about the customer experience. On this episode of Brandstorm, Dan and Nancy talk to a man who makes a living keeping people happy. Joe Bravo is the Bars and Entertainment Director at the Hard Rock Hotel in San Diego and is responsible for creating memorable experiences for guests.

About Joe Bravo

Prior to coming to San Diego a few months ago, Joe worked at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas, where he oversaw the iconic Rehab Beach Club. Joe started his career working at Studio 54 in Vegas at the height of the nightclub boom. He went on to work for Pure Management Group in Vegas and the MGM Grand in Detroit, before joining Hard Rock.

Creating a Memorable Experience

Every Hark Rock Hotel has its own personality. Las Vegas is a gunfight because of the extreme competition. There is literally gigantic entertainment on every corner. San Diego is more laid back; however, Joe is hoping to bring some of that high-octane entertainment to the city with beach parties, pool concerts and parties that encompass the entire hotel. According to Joe, creating a memorable experience starts with boots on the ground and hiring a great line level staff. It’s Hard Rock’s best recruitment tool, best advertising and best road to success. Second, that line level staff must be trained and given the knowledge to let guests know what’s going on at the property. There’s nothing more frustrating to Joe than creating these great experiences and not having the information channel down to the line level. If you don’t have a good line level staff, you will never be successful.

Hard Rock Hotel Customer Personas

Joe says Hard Rock is the fourth strongest brand in the world, especially in Europe. The organization has five types of customers: people who come to buy Hard Rock pins, t-shirts and other memorabilia; people who are loyal to the brand; people who remember the Hard Rock of their youth; people who recognize Hard Rock as a trendy brand that always has something going on; and more recently, people who enjoy the nightlife, pool concerts and parties. Joe is currently focusing on San Diego’s beach club, called Sunburn. Sunburn attracts 1,500 to 2,000 people every Saturday with a pool party featuring world-class DJs.

Ideation

Those great experiences and parties at Hard Rock are typically initiated by internal staff, however sometimes they do get help from two companies in San Diego, called RMD and Party Naked. Joe says most events are planned four months in advance and start with determining what kind of guests they want to attract, then circling in on the talent and figuring out how to get people there.

Capturing Great Images

To capture the energy and excitement at Hard Rock events, Joe always has a great photographer onsite. When staged events are needed, they go for the best lighting, atmosphere and weather available. Nothing is ever contrived or overproduced. Images must look organic. Lastly, you have to have talent. You need the best people onboard planning and taking the images.

Customer Feedback

Customer feedback is Joe’s life’s blood. After all, people only remember the very special and bad experiences. Joe focuses on the bad experiences because it is his opportunity to turn a customer into a longtime fan. While the customer is not always right, you can never tell the customer he or she is wrong. The key is to pivot and turn a bad experience into a positive one. Ninety percent of all complaints are fixable and controllable, so this is the cornerstone of Joe’s management style. What frustrates him the most is not knowing about a problem until it’s too late to do anything. His mantra for room managers is too never let any complaint get off the deck. Deal with complaints in the rooms, because if they get to the front desk, it’s over. At Hard Rock, the mission is to have every guest leave with a great story to tell back home.

It has been said that 80 percent of CEOs believe they deliver a superior customer experience, but only 8 percent of customers agree. To combat this problem, Joe says upper management needs to spend more time on the floor engaging with guests and employees. Inspect what you expect is another Joe Bravo mantra.

Secret shopping, sometimes using outside services or planting friends on the property, is another way to find out if employees are following policies. However, employees can often sniff out a secret shopper, so it is still recommended for management to spend more time on the floor.

Taking the Good with the Bad

As you can imagine, Joe loves his job. Who wouldn’t enjoy making people happy, right? The hardest part of his job, though, is time management. Sometimes there is just not enough time in a day to plan, create and execute great experiences, while carrying on the day-to-day responsibilities. And when any event is over, Joe says its critical to be a “Monday morning quarterback” to determine what went well, what didn’t and how things can be improved. His staff typically meets four days after an event, so they have time to rest, digest what happened and come up with fresh ideas.

People want to be entertained and that can happen anywhere. Joe says people will flock to the out of the way and unexpected places if once they get there, they enjoy their experience. You just need to know and then deliver what people are looking for in any market. To quote the movie Field of Dreams, “if you build it, they will come.

Connect with Joe

Email: joe.bravo@hardrock@hardrockhotelsd.com

Phone: 702-810-8996

Facebook

LinkedIn

Twitter

Hard Rock San Diego

Jan 10 2019

25mins

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Rank #15: Episode 48: Betting on Sports with Dan Kustelski

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This past May, the U.S. Supreme overturned the key federal anti-sports betting law. Today’s guest on Brandstorm, Dan Kustelski, is a leading authority on sports wagering and the CEO of Chalkline Sports. He’s talking about what this decision will mean to sports betting in the U.S.

Chalkline Sports

Dan’s company is a data company focused on customer acquisition and retention for casinos, race tracks, media companies and anyone else who wants to engage with sports betters. Chalkline Sports offers free-to-play games to capture names, as well as to educate and engage individuals in sports betting.

Supreme Court Ruling

Last year, about $150 billion was spent on sports wagering in the U.S., and most of it was illegal. The ruling helps states create a framework for managing it just like other legal forms of gambling. It also protects players by legalizing gambling and creates a new source of revenue for states. This decision will likely make the U.S. the largest, legal gambling jurisdiction in the world within three to five years.

Generating Tax Revenue

Although states will have varying tax requirements, the taxes collected will typically be on the net revenue earned by the sports books. For sports betters, it will be no different than players at a casino. Individuals will have to include their earnings on their tax return.

Sports Wagering in the U.S. vs. Other Countries

Dan says the difference is two-part. First, the sports events are different in the U.S. In a controlled environment, like Nevada where sports gambling has been legal, about 38 percent of all bets placed are on American football, 30 percent on basketball and 25 percent on baseball. In Europe and Africa, soccer is about 50 percent of the sports book. The second difference is education. Most Americans do not know enough about sports wagering to place bets. Casinos and tracks will need to educate its customers as a free service and that’s where Chalkline Sports’ free-to-play games come into play. The company is also helping the casinos acquire names through its database, so that when sports gambling becomes legal in their state, they will already have customers.

Demographics

Casino gamers skew older with an average age of 45, 46 and 47. Dan says sports gamblers are younger, typically 25 to 45 years. This is exciting for casinos and tracks that want to attract a younger audience. Much like fantasy football, sports wagering is more a form of entertainment than it is gambling.  

Online and Inline Betting

Dan believes online and inline betting will be where the growth happens in the next three to five years. Some states are already including online, mobile sports books, while others are more cautious and starting with retail sports gambling at least initially.

Inline betting is a more advanced way of betting. It would allow betters to bet on who will win a football game at halftime or put a wager on the points spread. Dan says this is where the future will be as inline and mobile betting are already trending in Europe.

Changing the Media Landscape

The current media landscape is going to change quickly. ESPN “Game Day” already has someone on the show talking about the odds and is planning to roll out a very specific type of gambling show. So is Fox. While odds-making used to be taboo, people will need them to help with wagering. There is also data to suggest that people will become more engaged with a sports program knowing they have placed a bet on something in the show. This is also going to attract new brands that will want to advertise on sports programming.

Contact:

Email: daniel@chalklinesports.com

Website: www.chalklinesports.com

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/danielkustelski/

Twitter: @djkustelski

Sep 19 2018

19mins

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Rank #16: Episode 47: Brandstorm Talks to Erik Olsen about his Whirly Board Invention

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People who enjoy board sports like skateboarding, snowboarding or wakeboarding are always looking for ways to up their game. Bored with the limitations of most balance boards, our guest on this episode of Brandstorm, Erik Olsen, invented the Whirly Board out of his garage.  

Giving the Whirly Board a Spin

Using PVC pipe, a piece of wood, a bowling ball and two pool balls was able to create a versatile balance training board with three balance points that make it possible to spin and walk it around.  Erik’s invention opened the door to markets beyond board sports. Whirly Board is a new way to get fit, using the board for push-ups, squats, agility training, cardio and even yoga. It’s a new accessory for the office. Employees with standing desks can use the Whirly Board in conjunction with a standing desk to stay active, stretching the legs and improving overall balance. The balance boards can even be customized with company logos to give out employees with standing desks or as a corporate gift.

The Power of Word-of-Mouth Referrals

The Whirly Board is distributed through Erik’s website, Amazon and The Grommet, an online marketplace and product discovery platform for small businesses. It was the Grommet that discovered the Whirly Board and reached out Erik last Christmas. While not expecting much, the site sold more than 150 boards in the first hour.

Sales are currently up 400 percent year over year, primarily through word-of-mouth referrals and 5 Star reviews from satisfied customers. Erik is hoping that brand satisfaction will generate more customer reviews and YouTube videos of customers using the Whirly Board in creative ways.

Contact:

Email: erik@whirlyboard.com

Website: www.whirlyboard.com

LinkedIn: @erik-olsen

Sep 12 2018

12mins

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Rank #17: Episode 45: Chris Jacke Talks about his Company, Packer Alumni Resources

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Placekicker Chris Jacke shares what he's been up to since he left the Green Bay Packers and the NFL on this episode of Brandstorm.  Jacke talks about his company, Packers Alumni Resources, his new team of players and how to sign up a Packers legend for your next event.

Chris Jacke

Chris Jacke is a former football placekicker best known for playing for the Green Bay Packers in the National Football League. Jacke was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the sixth round of the 1989 NFL Draft. He went on to play eight seasons with the Packers from 1989 to 1996. In his last year with the Packers, he assisted the Packers to a 13-3 record and a win in Super Bowl XXXI, defeating the New England Patriots. When he left the NFL, Jacke took a few years off to be with his family. He became a licensed financial planner, and in 2013, was inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame, the same year he founded his company, Packer Alumni Resources.

Packer Alumni Resources

Jacke’s induction into the Packers Hall of Fame inspired numerous offers for him to speak at corporate events, play in golf outings, and assist in fund-raisers. His wife, Terry, who is also a business consultant, felt Jacke would have a lot more fun doing these types of engagements than financial planning and he agreed. While Jacke intended to promote himself in the beginning, after talking to other football players who were making appearances, like Gilbert Brown, Frank Winters and William Henderson, he realized most of them did not have an Internet presence or website. With their permission, Jacke put their photos on his website and offered to help set up any events that came in.

Today, Packer Alumni Resources has any impressive roster of former Packers players in addition to the previous players mentioned, including Jerry Kramer, Lynn Dickey, George Koonce, Ahman Green and Kabeer Gbala-Biamila (KGB).

Currently, Jacke only works with former Packers players, but is considering expanding and working with other football franchises.

Greatest Packers Memories

Jacke’s greatest memories of his time in the NFL are his first field goal, the year the Packers were called the “Cardiac Pack” in 1989, and the Monday Night Football game when the Packers went into overtime against the San Francisco 49ers and Jacke kicked a long field goal to win the game.

Jacke was also with the Packers during their transformation from the Lindy Infante era to the Mike Holmgren era. In 1989, after a terrific 10-6 season, Jacke was sure the team would be contenders the following year with players like Don Majkowski, Sterling Sharpe and Brian Noble returning to play. The Packers would go on to 4-12 season the next two years. Through it all, Jacke loved the game, had fun and was proud to be a part of it all.

Promotional Opportunities

Jacke’s team is available for almost any type of event, including church fund-raisers, corporate meetings, employee training, golf outings, and hunting and fishing expeditions. Jacke and his wife do their best to match the stories of former football players with the needs of the organizations inquiring.  George Koonce, for instance, likes to talk about perseverance, growing up in tiny shack on a dirt road and rising to become a Super Bowl Champion and later earning his PhD. Jacke often talks about transformation, citing the moves of Bob Harlan bringing in Ron Wolfe, and the domino effect of having a new coaching staff and players. The team was so different, Jacke says when the Packers won the Super Bowl in 1997, he and LeRoy Butler were the only players remaining from the Infante team. The Packers changed everything behind-the-scenes, too…the training rooms and weight rooms and recruiting Reggie White, who would become an ambassador for bringing in other players who wanted to play for the Packers.

Jacke ties this story in with leadership and corporate America. You have to put the right people in place to successfully lead.

Marketing His Company

Jacke uses social media and the personal contacts he and his wife know to market his company. In the early days, he would invite Packers sponsors and others for coffee to get their feedback about what he wanted to do with his company. It has helped shaped the company he has now, five years later.

Benefits of Celebrity Appearances

Jacke and his team get a lot of great feedback from their speeches. When companies conduct day-long meetings, it is helpful to break up the day with an appearance by a former Green Bay Packer who can share a story that is relevant to the goals the company is trying to achieve. Jacke also likes to help causes raise money by posting on his social media sites and helping to raise funds for charities at golf outings. Costs vary for celebrity appearances, depending on the player and the budget of the company.

Contacting Chris Jacke

The best way to reach Jacke is through his website, which also has his email and phone number. He is also available through social media. Jacke says he makes a point to respond to inquiries within 24 to 48 hours, depending on if it’s a weekend or a sunny day in Wisconsin. 😊

Website: www.packerresources.com

Email: chris@playeralumni.com

LinkedIn:

Facebook:

  • Chris Jacke: @chris.jacke.13
  • Player Alumni Resources: @playeralumniresources13

Twitter:

  • Chris Jacke: @jacke_chris
  • Player Alumni Resources: @PlayerAlumni13

Aug 29 2018

16mins

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Rank #18: Episode 41: How Becoming An Author Can Enhance Your Brand with David Konkol

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On today’s episode of Brandstorm, we welcome David Konkol, president of Konkol Custom Homes & Remodeling, LLC. As the author of the book Building Your Dream Home: What You Need To Know, David provides tips on how becoming a published author can enhance your brand.

About David Konkol

David is a licensed building contractor and has been crafting luxury custom homes, starting at $1 million, for over three decades in Central Florida. He became an author about 10 years ago, when a friend in the publishing world (and owner of a home David’s company built) asked David if he had ever considered writing a book. While David originally dismissed the idea, he was reminded that many people who write books aren’t writers themselves, such as presidents, CEO’s and athletes. His friend encouraged David to share his wealth of knowledge with the home building and home buying public, and even created a book outline from the list of his original questions he had when David built his home. David was then convinced that the book would save both his time in answering questions from customers and prospects, as well as his clients’ time, giving them added value. What David didn’t know was just how much business would be generated from the process, and how far apart his book would set him from his competition.

He points to two things his book does well: building trust and alleviating fears. He takes time within the pages to introduce himself and his background (including how long he has been married and how many children he has) as a way to present himself as an average person trying to do an exceptional job. As no other builder in his market has written a book, Building Your Dream Home showcases David as an expert in his field, spotlights his competence and strengthens his brand.

How Long Does It Take to Write a Book?

David explains that from start to finish, the process took approximately 14 months (working 10 hours per week) and that the only downside to writing the book was the family time he had to give up temporarily. 

His process included carrying a three-ring binder wherever he went, with chapter titles listed on each page. This way, he could write down ideas as bullet points on the spot, whether he was on a job or working in his office. Those bullet points would then be dictated into a tape recorder, and the physical writing of the book would come from that content. He recommends this method because he found that the more he wrote, the more ideas he came up with and the more value and knowledge he could include within the book.

Working with a publisher would’ve added about six months to the entire process, David states. He equates about 35% of his time, from beginning to end, was spent writing the first draft, and that the key to self-publishing is to make the final product look as if it was produced by a publisher. Otherwise, a poor product can hurt your reputation and sales. 

Book Distribution

David says he was never interested in selling books, but instead, securing more homes to build for those he wouldn’t normally get in front of. He feels that the book provided him a reason to reach out to potential, current and former clients, and that it also gave people a reason to start or revisit their relationship with David. After printing the first edition of the book, David’s company couriered a copy to their top prospects. Within a matter of weeks, he had already gotten calls back from a few of these prospects to start the home building process.

He had also mailed copies to each home owner he had built for, asking them to forward the book on to anyone they know who could benefit from it. This spawned multiple unsolicited personal endorsements for David and his company. Though David does not make it a prerequisite for someone to read his book before working with him, he does mention to potential clients that the best homes and best processes of his career have come from projects requested by those who took the time to read the book.

He also sent copies of Building Your Dream Home to the top 35 competitors in his area. David mentions that he wasn’t worried about potential theft of ideas or methods. Instead, he feels the book sets up for people how the home building process should go, and if customers hear something different from another builder, they know to be skeptical.

Targeted book drops have also helped David’s company. Any homes marked for a major renovation or teardown near some of Orlando's nicest lakes were provided a book. This process alone turned into a $4.3 million build eventually.

On top of these methods of distribution, David credits his well-trained staff with always asking callers or those taking home tours whether they’ve read David's book. Over the phone, his staff arranges for a book to be dropped off the same day of their initial call, and in person, David is usually available on site to sign copies and meet new potential clients. 

How Much Does It Cost to Self-Publish a Book?

David says his investment was about $8,000 — including jacket design, editing and proofing — on the first copy. Every copy afterwards was at a cost of about $7, which David says is still less than a nice brochure. With every new edition, David changes out the cover art, updates home photos and modifies the content. This allows him to circle back with the owners he’s built for, as well as others that can help leverage him in his market.

With all of his success, David has already published a second book, In House: Designing Your Dream Home Room By Room, and he is on his way to writing his third soon.

Contact David

Email: david@konkolcustom.com

Facebook: facebook.com/konkolcustom

Jul 18 2018

22mins

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Rank #19: Episode 34: How to Recruit Top Talent with JP Burkwald of Element6

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On today's episode of Brandstorm, we welcome JP Burkwald, co-founder and vice president of business development at Element6 Talent. JP discusses how their team finds great employment candidates in a currently shallow talent pool, and what companies can do to create an attractive culture for its future hires.

Element6 TalentJP states that Element6's proactive approach to recruitment services is quite different than other headhunting agencies. Element6 has the capabilities to round out all the areas that a Human Resources leader needs to build an effective recruitment strategy, onboarding process or succession plan. Instead of charging companies based on a percentage of the new employee’s first-year salary, Element6 works on a monthly retainer.

With the U.S. unemployment rate currently under 3.9% during a robust economy, businesses are struggling to find good people. Element6 educates their clients on how to get everyone on their team involved in the recruitment process. Much like how the Element6 team interacts with clients and potential job seekers, JP encourages employees and employers to reach out to others in the industry that they see as successful, and promote their culture and growth as a way to attract potential hires.

Element6's ProcessJP says his team begins any partnership with a road map or "architectural drawing," of their client's year. While things may change or move around, having a blueprint of that organization's needs assists in recruiting talent for multiple positions. Element6's retainer fees are also based on these numbers and the year-long outlook, then annualized and fixed so there are no surprises for the client. It can also result in recruitment costs that are considerably less than Element6's competitors.

Recruitment StrategyThough specifics vary based on the organization, Element6's recruitment strategy is industry-agnostic and involves everyone from customer service all the way up to an organization's CEO. Element6 employees are all subject matter experts in a variety of industries.

JP says that specific strategies are determined by the level of technical expertise and requirements of certain roles, and while they always create a job posting for a position, this isn't how they typically get most of their candidates. Element6 also works with outsourced partners in India who, based on search criteria, aggregate data on potential candidate options. Another method they implement is LinkedIn, which JP says Element6 lives on. He feels it’s a great tool and environment to get a look at someone's professional experience and abilities. Other social media channels like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram aren’t necessarily swimming with employment opportunities.

Instead of pitching job requirements to a potential hire, Element6 asks questions about a person's career goals and what they're looking to do beyond today. JP defines an active candidate as someone who is seeking employment elsewhere for a good reason, such as a salary bump or to climb the ladder, and a passive candidate as someone with a wealth of experience who has possibly has indicated on LinkedIn that they aren't looking for a job change. But these are the people Element6 wants most, as they likely excel in their current positions. JP and his team are interested in why they’re doing so well, and how they can recruit that candidate.

How to Improve Company CultureCreating a culture may be easy when hiring new employees, but what about improving or overhauling your company culture for those who have been serving you for many years? JP believes it boils down to what the company is striving for and examining your current state versus your future goals.

Significant and truly impactful cultural change comes from the top, and those leaders need to define and distill down what makes their business so special. Asking employees why they have stayed for 15 to 20 years is key. When asking questions such as "What defines you?" or "What are your core values?", Element6 always compares whether a CEO's answers differ from that of an employee. It’s extremely important to know whether a company is living their cultural message or not.

Best Times to Recruit?When asked if there are preferred seasons for better recruitment, JP points to the holidays and summer breaks as being two good opportunities. During family gatherings around Thanksgiving or Christmas, JP says conversations between family members about job satisfaction or looking for a different job often sparks a change. And when school lets out, Element6 notices an uptick in availability, and usually gains traction in placements.

Record Numbers of RetireesJP explains that over 10,000 Baby Boomers are retiring every day in America, and a vast amount of knowledge and experience is walking right out the door of today’s corporations. But retirement does not prohibit Element6 from reaching out. Retirees may still be seeking ways to stay busy, and Element6 engages with these successful individuals for potential short-term assignments or work that requires 1-2 days per week in the office. JP says it's incredible to see someone with great world knowledge filling a gap or providing a different perspective within an organization.

Advice for Getting the Best TalentJP's recommendation for companies who want to be more attractive to the best potential talent is for organizations to empower their employees to speak openly about their culture. He says it's important to have their culture defined and for everyone to be on the same page, using the same lingo, on social media, at a networking event or during a friend's BBQ.

He also says that although what you do may be clear, the "why" may be lost. It's important to speak to that as well. For example, a manufacturing company that works on components for medical equipment should be focused on the fact that they're changing and saving lives every day, not just making widgets. He encourages companies to get outside of the four walls of what they do, take ownership, and be the best recruiters they can be, because they are. Even creating a strategy for senior management to use LinkedIn to reach out to talented people for a cup of coffee is a great step. It’s a simple act, but also time consuming, and that’s why a company like Element6 exists.

Contact JP: Web: www.element6talent.com LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/joseph-jp-burkwald-13366617/

May 22 2018

25mins

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Rank #20: Episode 46: Minocqua's Krystal Westfahl Talks About Beef-A-Rama

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Where’s the beef? On the last Saturday in September, it’s in Minocqua, Wis. On this episode of Brandstorm, Co-hosts Dan Trzinski and Nancy Christopher talk to Krystal Westfahl, executive director of the Minocqua Area Chamber of Commerce, about Beef-a-Rama and the event’s impact on the local economy. The signature Northwoods event attracts four times the town’s normal population. 

Krystal Westfahl

As the executive director of the Minocqua Area Chamber of Commerce, Krystal has long history working in the leisure, travel and tourism industry. Earlier this year, she was nominated for the Governor’s “Rising Star” award at the Wisconsin Governor’s Conference on Tourism.

Beef-A-Rama

What started out as a Fish-A-Rama about 54 years ago as a way to thank tourists, the festival had to change its name to Beef-A-Rama, when the fishing industry realized a seafood event would not be sustainable. So, each year on Sept. 29, the smell of beef fills the air, attracting thousands to the streets of downtown Minocqua for this quirky Northwoods festival. For over 50 years, Beef-a-Rama™ has been a premiere event with roasters cooking their signature beefs before dawn and herds of creative festival goers dressed in cow-themed costumes packing the streets to consume 1200 pounds of beef and enjoy live music, a Beef Eating Contest, Cow Pie Plop, and of course the famous Roaster Parade.

A Population Explosion

Minoqua is a town of about 7,000 residents. During the summer months, there’s about 20,000 people, including the tourists. At Beef-A-Rama, more than 40,000 people attend this one-day event. Lodging reservations need to be made months, sometimes even a year, out for those who like to repeatedly come back. Minocqua is basically an island with two bridges that lead people in and out of the town. The organizers have about 15 buses running all day to transport festival goers as far away as 15 to 20 miles. The very scope of this event is a big challenge, so there is a Beef-A-Rama app that has been developed to help people navigate through the town and let them know everything that is going on that day.

Organizing a Signature Event

Krystal says if you’re looking to create a signature event, it has to be well-defined and the quirkier, the better. You have to capture the imagination of the people with your events. More than a gathering of meat lovers, Beef-A-Rama has different activities that make this festival a grand celebration of beef.

Minocqua’s Attraction

Voted by Midwest Living as one of the top 25 coolest Midwest lake vacation spots, Minocqua attracts visitors for lots of reasons. People have been coming because it’s a family tradition. Others come for mountain biking, trail riding and to enjoy the area’s 2300 lakes, rivers and streams in any vehicle of choice. The locals call the waters “gin clear” because it’s almost like looking into a giant fishbowl to see the fish. Every community around Minocqua has its own personality and that includes Lake Tomahawk, Woodruff, Arbor Vitae – all within 10 minutes of the festival.

Getting There

Beef-A-Rama is always the last Saturday in September, and this year it is Sept. 29. The fastest route to Minocqua for out-of-state travelers is from Chicago, up I-94 to Hwy. 39 to Hwy. 51. There’s only one stoplight on this route once you are in Wisconsin, and that is in Minocqua. Hwy. 51 takes you right into town, and when the road no longer goes any further (it shuts down for the festival), you are there.

Contact

Email: Krystal@minocqua.org

Website: www.minocqua.org

General Information: 1-800-44-NORTH

LinkedIn: @krystalwestfahl

Sep 05 2018

15mins

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Episode 92: Enhancing Your Online Visibility with SEMrush

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If you are an online marketer and want to know how to increase your visibility online, you should take a listen. don’t go away. Our guest on this episode is from the world's leading competitive research service for online marketing. Fernando Angulo, head of communications at SEMrush talks about its tools and strategies for getting its clients noticed online.

About SEMRush

SEMrush was a startup in 2008 with about 12 software and a great idea. Headquartered in the Czech Republic, its first product was a called SEOquake, a free toolbar to use in a browser that measures metrics like website traffic, domain authority, website owner, number of external links and other KPIs for SEO. Today, SEMrush is global with 1,000 employees in four countries and three offices in the U.S., one in Russia and one in Cypress.

According to Fernando, anyone who has a website and wants to earn an exposure online needs tools like SEOquake and the services at SEMrush. The company can help marketing agencies, corporations, brands, small businesses, even freelancers, in developing four strategies: SEO, Social Media Channels, Content Marketing, and knowledge about competitors using the business intelligence that SEMrush offers. Its tools provide added value with more information, easier reporting tools and the ability to implement more campaigns and strategies at the same time daily. Its newest platform, Traffic Analytics, can provide intelligence about a competitor’s every move on every search engine, including traffic sources, social media, paid traffic and more.

While keyword research is still important, it has gotten much more complex. As a leader in competitive research services, SEMrush has a large database of more than 60 billion keywords in 150 countries.

Understanding How People Search Online

If you are just getting started online, Fernando recommends that you look at what topics are more popular in your industry. SEMrush can help by giving you insights into how people are searching for your products or services. For instance, today people are conducting more longtail searches. They are using longer phrases and sentences to find what they want. So, once you’ve picked your topic, choose those longtail keywords and create content for it.

Fernando says Google changed its search features and the way it is working with results two years ago. If you are looking for nearby gas stations, for example, you will usually get a Google map and a list of gas stations.

Google’s search results sometimes show listings where the snippet describing a page comes before a link to a page, not after. Results displayed this way are called "featured snippets."

Featured snippets are triggered by keywords used with a question, or comparisons like “what is a betters, this or that?” This is, again, because of the popularity of voice search and longtail searches. The third way to trigger a featured snippet is by using prepositions, such as, “like,” “for,” “with” and “without.”

About 80% of the featured snippets typically use Google products, so brands are seeing a dramatic reduction in the number of clicks coming to their websites. Fernando says you can change this by creating original content that follows guidelines. Google is looking for descriptions that are either 42 words or 262 characters in length. There can be an image or video with it or not. Also, adding lists to content can help you in Google search. Booker.com has been successful using lists with content that includes “the top 10 vacations in Spain” or “the most beautiful beaches in Greece.

SEMrush has recently added Content Marketplace, where brands can order content with all the structures required for a featured snippet.

SEMrush Pricing

Semrush offers three pricing tiers:

  • Pro Package for $99.95/mo. It includes full access to the database and SEMRush tools with the exception of the Traffic Analytics tool.
  • Guru Package for $199.95/mo. It includes everything in the Pro Package, plus seven years of historical data of your competitors’ PPC, prices, types of ads, positioning and more.
  • Business Package for $399/mo. Full access to the above and the Traffic Analytics tool.

Connect with SEMrush

A very transparent company, SEMRush connects with people on almost every platform. It has Groups for Support, open discussions every week in Chats and offers certification programs with its SEMrush Academy

Email: f.angulo@semrush.com

Website: www.semrush.com

Mar 02 2020

33mins

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Episode 91: Enhancing Your Visibility Online with Global Leader SEMRush

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It’s a new decade and a new year, but some things remain constant. Content is still king, and its followers are growing. What’s changing is the way we consume content. In the past, content creation has been primarily text-based. Thanks to smartphones, however, more and more people prefer different ways to learn about brands. We’ve seen an explosion in podcasting and video is likely to be the next boom as it becomes more affordable and easier to do.

Companies like Vidyard have seen the trends. They’ve developed a platform to help your videos do much more. On this episode, Vidyard’s Customer Outcomes Manager, Jacob Fernandes, talks about its capabilities and features.

About Vidyard

Vidyard is a video hosting platform that identifies, scores and tracks engagement with viewers. It specializes in identifying who is watching your video. Vidyard can track engagements manually with custom forms that have to be filled out before you can watch a video. Or, the platform can integrate your data with Hubspot, a CRM or any other marketing automation.

Using the platform to upload and distribute videos is free. Hosting your video requires a monthly subscription. It can be as low as $20 per month or cost literally thousands of dollars depending on your brand’s needs.

With a paid subscription, brands can also empower its video content using several features, including:

  • Call-to-Actions
  • Annotations
  • Thumbnails that transcribe videos for accessibility and to aid in SEO
  • Choose your own adventure guides that enable viewers to watch a video on a website’s homepage, and then pinpoint where they want to go on a website for more insight about a topic they saw in the video.

Brands can also create video content using Vidyard’s free Chrome extension. The Vidyard Pro feature lets you record a selfie-style video and or take a screenshot from a web page and then email it to prospects or customers.

Getting Started

Jacob says there is very little to invest to get started with video. Most cell phones can shoot in 4k. All you need to buy is a wireless microphone and a basic lighting kit.

Lots of videos can be done in-house. These videos can be used for education purposes, as tutorials, invitations or even as a marketing tool for a brand’s sales team and any other customer-facing employee. In fact, Jacob says there are 6 must-have videos that brands should consider.

  • Explainer video content with information about the brand, the products or services offered and the benefits of those products or services.
  • How-to video assets to educate clients or customers on how to use your products or services.
  • Thought Leadership video using executives who have expertise in a certain area and empowering them to create video content that can promoted online and on social media.
  • Webinars for prospecting.
  • Case studies on how your others are winning using your products or services.
  • Demo Content

Jacob says brands that use video extraordinarily well include Hubspot and Marketo. And if you are a Hubspot listener, you can get an entire video suite right now for free.

Connect with Jacob

Email:        Jacob.fernandes@vidyard.com

Website:     https://www.vidyard.com

Twitter:      @jacobsaidthings

LinkedIn:    @jacobfernandes93

Feb 20 2020

19mins

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Episode 90: Is Influencer Marketing Right for Your Brand with Kerry Perse

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What is influencer marketing? It’s basically a type of social media marketing that uses endorsements and product mentions from people with influence – they have a large social media following or they are viewed as experts in their industry. Our guest today is an expert on this very topic. Kerry Perse is the founder of Influence & Inspire Consulting. She’s here to tell us how to get started in Influencer Marketing.

About Kerry Perse

Kerry has a diverse background in advertising and marketing. She started her career in advertising here at Platypus, before moving to New York to work with other ad agencies in web design, creative, media buying, social media and technology. Her interest in influencer marketing came about while working in social media. In her newest venture as the founder of Influence & Inspire Consulting, Kerry helps brands identify what role influencers can play in their marketing mix, how to find influencers and set up a partnership, develop KPIs, create content and execute programs.

Getting Started

The first step in planning an influencer marketing program is determining a brand’s key messages. What does the brand want to communicate? Can the company communicate the messages alone? Could an influencer help enhance what the brand is communicating, or can the influencer handle the brand’s communications?

Next, who does the brand need to communicate to? How are they influenced? What are their interests and how do they consume their content? And who are the influencers in this niche that the brand would like to work with?

Kerry says there are tools available that can help brands find these influencers. There are influencer networks that provide managed services with technology dashboards that help brands streamline their communications with influencers. With these dashboards, companies can negotiate specific terms and help streamline the review and approval of content. Kerry has worked with Influential, a company that partners with IBM Watson to provide AI and machine learning, Captivate and FameBit, a company owned by Google which includes YouTube influencers.

Another way to find influencers is through Search Engine-only providers like Tagger. With Tagger, you can input the criteria for what kind of influencer you are looking for or you can also search using hashtags.

Connecting with influencers can be done using the managed service providers, going through the agents of celebrities or by direct messaging the influencers on their platforms.

Risky Business

Kerry says influencer marketing can be risky, but that you can mitigate those risks with careful planning on the front end and by using technology to help you on the back end.

It’s important to have a solid vetting process during the planning process to determine if there is a good brand fit, to get to know the influencer’s personality, visual style, tonality, language, subject matter and expertise. Some of the managed service providers also have historical performance data in their dashboards so you can tell if the influencer has a high engagement rate, what brands the influencer has worked with, and acquisition patterns with followers to make sure there are no artificial spikes that show the influencer is paying for robots.

And once your influencer is live, Kerry says you can use companies like Sylo, a third-party verification company to make sure your reporting data is accurate. The managed service providers can also help brands by having the influencers submit content in advance for approval.

Influencer Expectations

Most influencers do expect to be paid and the amount is typically mentioned in their profiles. They also are required to disclose they are being paid. Some influencers also accept product seeding. They will talk about your product, but you must also be prepared for the fact that if they don’t like your product, they will talk about that as well.

From the brand’s side, it is important to do your homework, pick the influencers you know you want to work with first. Communicate with your top choices and then let your budget determine how many influencers you can work with.

ROI

Your return-on-investment is always a big challenge when it comes to influencer marketing. If you don’t have a big budget, your can measure reach, engagement and even the number of visits to your website.

Brands with larger budgets also use paid media to measure ROI. You can either boost posts on platforms like Facebook or Instagram or use managed service providers to put real money behind an influencer’s post and serve the content to your target audiences.

Want to be an Influencer?

Knowing that you can make good doing what you like to do is attractive to individuals who want to be successful in this space. Kerry says influencers need to know what their personal brand is and their unique point-of-view.  What kind of content do they want to create and on which platform? Instagram and YouTube are currently the favorites, but Tik Tok is gaining in popularity. Also, you need to take pride in your content. Some influencers will spend an entire week creating one piece of content. And lastly, you are going to need to gain a lot of followers by discovering, following and engaging with others.

Connect with Kerry

E-mail:      kerry@influenceandinspire.com

Website:   www.influenceandinspire.com

LinkedIn:  @kerryperse

Twitter: @KerryPerse

Phone:      917.282.3365

Feb 12 2020

27mins

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Episode 89: Making TV Media Buying Easier with Michael Beach at Cross Screen Media

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With so many ways to watch video content these days, it’s a great time for the consumer, but it has also become an increasingly difficult time for the local media buyer. On this episode of Brandstorm, Michael Beach, CEO at Cross Screen Media, talks about his video advertising platform, which helps media buyers take some of the challenges out of buying broadcast, cable, connected TV, desktop mobile and social video content.

About Cross Screen Media

Cross Screen Media is a spinoff of a political agency called Target to Victory that Michael worked at in Washington, D.C. Frustrated by their own efforts to do audience targeting with video content, Michael and his team began investing in set top boxes from cable and satellite TV providers and other data sources, including media consumption habits from MRI and Scarborough, and even more recently, Automatic Content Recognition (ACR) from the data that is captured from Smart TVs. It was now possible to buy video content based on audience attributions and impressions, which is the same way advertisers currently buy digital advertising. By putting television and digital in the same audience-based currency, it was easier to compare and buy video content. Focusing only on video content, they launched their first television advertising platform in 2013. By 2016, they knew they had a platform that catered to media buyers’ needs and could be sold in local television markets. They closed the agency’s doors and created Cross Screen Media in 2017.

The Challenges for Local Advertisers Buying TV

Most TV stations sell their inventory based on ratings points. In smaller markets, however, about 70 percent of the video content doesn’t have a big enough audience sample to get a rating point. The ratings are so low for some programs, the ratings look like no one is watching.

Buying on impressions, however, allows advertisers to buy against digital and do some audience targeting.  Michael believes the future for the ad seller will be to make impressions more valuable by tailoring them to the audience. Advertisers who know their target audience will be more willing buy programming that can deliver the audience they want. That’s good news for TV providers. They will be able to, at least in the short term, sell more inventory. Television will be more affordable for the advertiser who wants to by those programs with lower viewership because they deliver the right audience target.

Another challenge is that the way things are trending, there will be fewer impressions on average to sell. Video content has grown by more than 300 percent over the last 10 years. Back then, there were about 200 scripted shows on television. This past year, there were more than 600 shows and this trend isn’t expected to change. There will be more programming in 2020 than 2019. In fact, while social media and digital has seen substantial growth the past 10 years, Michael says video content is about to explode.

Right now, TV has low targeting, but high attention. Digital is the opposite, high targeting, low attention. Connected TV is really exciting to Michael because it has the potential to be both.

All this will change over the next 5 years, according to Michael, and it will happen in three phases. In Phase 1, which is where we are now, about 50 percent of the video content is bought using age and gender demos. along with some audience targeting. In about three years, in Phase 2, there will be more audience targeting and audience attributions will grow in importance. By Phase 3, in 5 years, audience attribution will be the key component of the video spend and will be driven by how much foot traffic is generated or how many transactions are made.

How Cross Screen Media Makes Media Buying Easier

Michael says pricing for the Cross Screen platform varies and is primarily based on the number of markets bought. Onboarding is pretty quick for ad agencies, and usually takes less than two weeks. Cross Screen takes an advertiser’s customer data or information from a CRM and uses its national consumer file with more than 1500 attributes. The attributes can be used to build out a strategic audience. The platform provides different buying options and allows for cross-screen comparisons in broadcast, cable, connected TV, desktop mobile and social video content.

Buyers can then target consumer content and figure how to balance it across the various screens. With one place to bring everything together buyers can figure out who the target is, how that target consumes video content, what it will cost and then tweak the buy from there.

It will take some time for buyers to become screen-agnostic, where they won’t care about what content they are watching and only buy content that delivers their audience.

Mike believes eventually impression-based selling will make it easier for TV media buyers to buy more digital and vice versa, but it will also come in phases. Right now, the ad agency may still have a TV media buying team and a digital buying team planning and buying separately. Eventually, those two teams will work together, and ultimately the same team will understand both video and digital content.

Connect with Michael

Website: https:///www.crossscreen.media

Newsletter: https://www.stateofthescreens.com

Email:  mbeach@crossscreen.media

Feb 05 2020

23mins

Play

Episode 88: Drone Photography Considerations with Frank Datzer

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Could your brand benefit from getting some spectacular aerial footage? If the answer is yes, what exactly do you need to know about drone photography? On this episode, Frank Datzer, director of photography and licensed drone pilot for DCP Video, shares his expertise.

About Frank Datzer

Frank has been involved in videography and video production for 35 years. He spent most of his career at U.S. Bank and later G.E. Medical. He owned a DVD Duplication Service before getting back into video shooting and production with his own company, DCP Video. He’s also done two, feature-length, independent films on Amazon called “Mister Scrooge to See You” and “The Return.”

Commercial Drone Photography Requirements

A drone license is required for anyone interested in making any money shooting drone footage. According to Frank, the test is not as easy as you would think. It is not about your skill as a drone pilot, but rather your knowledge of weather, how to read a Tack Chart and how airport traffic is handled. In the U.S, the test is a standardized FAA test, which is basically a junior pilot’s license consisting of 600 questions. You only need to answer 60 of the 600 questions, but you never know what those 60 questions will be. You must have knowledge of everything on the test, if you hope to pass. Frank says there are some background pieces available online that can help you prepare for the test. Internationally, licensing varies greatly, so you need to do your homework before doing anything outside the U.S.

Drone hobbyists do not need a license, but there are still some rules to follow. There can be no monetization of any kind without a license and if caught, fines can be as high as $10,000.

Things to Consider Before Scheduling Drone Photography

  • Ask for credentials from drone pilots
  • Every location is different so do your homework before setting anything up
  • Get permission wherever you are shooting
  • Allow two weeks’ notice for permissions
  • Make allowances for inclement weather conditions
  • Drones are typically not allowed to fly near airports
  • Drones can’t fly above 400 ft. (Frank says low-level drone shots at 20-to-25-ft. can be very dramatic and beautiful, especially in a warehouse)
  • Drones must be kept in your line of sight
  • Night flying can be done one hour before sunrise and one hour after sunset
  • Flying over people, sporting events, emergency response teams and stadiums are prohibited
  • No drugs or alcohol are allowed while flying

Why Hire Pros?

Four reasons:  safety, quality, experience at getting the best shots and ultimately, the end product.

If you are concerned about price, drone photography is less than hiring a helicopter. And, you may want to consider hiring someone like Frank who uses drone photography as a value-add. His drone camera is just another tool he uses like lighting or a second camera.

If you are considering getting into drone photography, Frank recommends purchasing a DJI Mavic Mini at around $300. Cheaper models typically don’t handle as well. Then, go to a park with no trees, start by flying low and keep practicing.

Connect with Frank

Email: frank@dcpvideo.com

LinkedIn: @frankdatzer

Instagram: DCP_Video

Jan 15 2020

24mins

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Episode 87: How Milwaukee Got the DNC with Megan Suardini at Visit Milwaukee

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It was a long campaign with intense competition, but in the end, Milwaukee beat out Miami and Houston to be the host city of the Democratic National Convention (DNC),  July 13 – 16, 2020. Megan Suardini, vice president of Marketing & Communications for Visit Milwaukee talks about how the festival city did it and how we are preparing for a deluge of Democratic delegates and national media coming to Milwaukee. 

About Visit Milwaukee

Visit Milwaukee is an accredited destination marketing organization (DMO) that has been promoting the city for more than 50 years. Its role is to attract business and leisure visitors to the city and its marketing communications efforts are all done outside the city.

Landing the DNC

Even though Wisconsin is considered an important battleground state for the 2020 Presidential election, it was still considered an underdog when it received an RFP from the DNC in March 2018. There were eight cities in the running, including New York, Atlanta, Denver, Houston, Miami, and San Francisco.  By June, the DNC had narrowed the competition down to Milwaukee, Miami and Houston. The DNC conducted a site survey that summer as the city rolled out the “blue” carpet for the organizers. There were several additional visits to work on logistics before Milwaukee was chosen as the host city on March 11, 2019. With an economic impact of at least $200 million for the city, the event is expected to put Milwaukee on the world stage with its welcoming, warm, Midwest charm. Megan says we made it clear to the DNC selection committee that they were a big deal and we wanted them. The city sees this not as a red or blue win, but as a green one.  It is estimated about $114 million will come from direct spending, such as restaurants, hotels and rental cars, and another $85 million-plus coming from indirect (wages paid to workers) and induced (money spent in other cities by travelers to Milwaukee) spending. 

For Visit Milwaukee’s part in all this, the DMO has been focused on hotel rooms and all the logistics of housing. In July 2020, the city will host 6000 delegates and another 15,000 to 20,000 media personnel. There will also be about 1500 events during those four days. Visit Milwaukee has found lots of support from communities within a 45-minute to one-hour commute from the city, even in northern Illinois.

Megan says the exposure for Milwaukee will be tremendous. Her staff is already looking for and pitching stories to the media related to technology, innovation, neighborhoods, education, manufacturing, urban development, green initiatives, unique individuals and community groups and they are open to hearing more ideas from the public. 

The Milwaukee Brand

In addition to the DNC, the Ryder Cup, the Society of American Travel Writers, the USA Triathlon and U.S. Gymnastics Championships are among the organizations that have chosen to hold their event in Milwaukee in 2020. They are attracted by the Milwaukee brand which is considered to be warm, friendly, inviting and accessible with big city amenities. The city is also quirky, extraverted, unexpected, lively and clean. In Megan’s words, “Milwaukee is hot, and we are ready. We really want to host your event.”

Connect with Visit Milwaukee

Website:        www.visitmilwaukee.org/DNC

Phone:           +1 (800)-231-0903+1 (414)-273-3950

PR Team:      https://www.visitmilwaukee.org/media/public-relations-staff/

Corporate Venues, Sponsors & Volunteers:  https://www.milwaukee2020.com/

Jan 07 2020

30mins

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Episode 86: Training, Retaining & Attracting Talent to SE Wisconsin with Susan Koehn, VP, Industry & Talent Partnerships

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A report by the Wisconsin Policy Forum indicates that more retirees and fewer young people could create a workforce dilemma for the state in the coming years. The Milwaukee Metropolitan Association of Commerce, or MMAC, has partnered with the Milwaukee 7 to help companies in the region attract, retain and train workers in jobs that offer growth potential. In this episode of Brandstorm, Susan Koehn, vice president of the Talent & Industry Partnership and point person for this initiative, tells us more about the workforce issues facing southeastern Wisconsin and what is being done to help businesses now and in the future.

Background

According to Susan, Wisconsin’s economic development and workforce development organizations have historically operated as two, independent silos. Economic development focused on corporate attraction projects, brick and mortar projects and building infrastructure.  Workforce development was involved in talent and training. Neither side was talking to each other, while the skills gap was growing larger in southeastern Wisconsin. Industry was blaming education for not producing the right kinds of worker’s skills to fill the jobs that were needed, and education blamed industry for not saying what skills were needed.

The recognition that talent was a key driver of economic growth sparked the first attempt to break down the walls between economic and workforce development around 2007/08.  The goal was to get the two sides talking to change the narrative.

MMAC/Milwaukee 7 Partnership

The MMAC is a membership-based Chamber of Commerce. The Milwaukee 7 is a regional economic development organization for the seven counties in southeastern Wisconsin: Kenosha, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, Walworth, Washington and Waukesha.

When the Milwaukee 7 was formed in 2005, there was a realization that industry was involved in a zero-sum gain by poaching talent from each other. Collaboration was needed to bring in new businesses, expand existing companies and create new investments. The MMAC played a critical role in bringing the two organizations together and forming the Talent & Industry Partnership. Today, they share office space and staff and are working together to address the shortage of talent in the region.

Wisconsin Policy Forum Report Takeaways

Susan says the demographics are undeniable. The now-retiring Baby Boomers were followed by two million fewer Gen Xers and this trend has continued in birth rates. There are just fewer young people coming into the workforce. The recession may have also masked the talent shortage because there were fewer job openings. When the recession ended, companies that used to post jobs and receive hundreds of qualified applicants were now seeing three or four applications from people who did not qualify for the jobs.

So, while the report wasn’t surprising to people like Susan, it did confirm what businesses were seeing on the ground.

Analyzing Southeastern Wisconsin’s Labor Supply

Working with Manpower Group, research was conduction that indicates the workforce gap in the region’s seven counties will hit 38,000 in job openings by 2021.  Where are we going to find the people to fill them?

According to the Manpower research, there are pockets in the region where there are lots of potential workers who are on the sidelines and not working because they are no longer looking for jobs, are underemployed or ineligible. In fact, there are about 300,000 workers with a high school diploma, but no post-secondary degrees or credentials. Susan believes we could leverage of larger talent pool by taking a closer look at the job openings and determining if a college degree is really needed, or if an individual can come on board and be trained while on the job. She says, according to one of the tenets of sales, it costs far less to retain customers than acquire new ones. The same holds true for employees. Businesses can upskill the employees while on the job for far less and backfill some of the other jobs with higher education requirements with fresh talent.

Filling the Future Skills Gap

Southeastern Wisconsin is in a great position to improve the workforce dilemma through education and training. We have many excellent higher education institutions and a good K12 education system.  And, there is an openness now for industry and education to collaborate.

The industry can assist by providing real-world, learning opportunities, such as sponsoring classroom projects, job shadowing, internships, and guest business speakers. About 68-75 percent of college internships convert to direct hires.

Susan says legacy companies and industries in the region, like manufacturing, need to show innovation potential through more experiential learning opportunities. In fact, 67 percent of Americans believe more internships for young people would increase interest in manufacturing.

In Wisconsin, schools are mandated to provide academic as well as career planning, starting at the 6th-grade level through high school. MMAC has a program called “Be the Spark” that takes 7th graders from Milwaukee Public Schools on business tours. There is a push to increase the number of schools offering computer science classes and technical education for trades like plumbing, electrical and construction is making a comeback.

And finally, Susan says the Wisconsin Economic Development Committee (WEDC) has a program called “Think-Make-Happen that is targeting the likeliest candidates to attract and relocate to Wisconsin.  For instance, Wisconsin provides one of the most generous packages to provide support, incentives and free education to service members in the country.  The organization is also targeting alumni of Wisconsin institutions to come back and Midwest millennials who already live in colder climates to relocate to our state’s booming economy and great quality of life.

Opportunities for Growth

Industries with the greatest potential for growth in southeastern Wisconsin are financial services, healthcare systems and manufacturing companies that are intersecting with smart technology.  There is also an effort to build technology ecosystems like Milwaukee’s Water District.

Susan says while the challenge to fill the skills gap in our region is urgent, it is giving way to new ideas and ways to innovate and collaborate.  The Industry & Talent Partnership can help businesses, individuals and schools by connecting them with the right organizations and resources they need.

Connect with Susan:

Email:             skoehn@mke7.com

Website:         https://www.mmac.org

Twitter:          @mke7talent

Nov 13 2019

31mins

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Episode 85: A Corporate Gift Idea to Remember with Shahnoza Saadati

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The holidays are just about here, so all of us at #Brandstorm thought it would be fun to talk about a sweet, corporate gift idea. This office gift could also be a clever way of saying, “I’m sorry,” when you really mess up. The name of the franchise is Woops! Its bakeshops and kiosks serve artisanal, French macarons, pastries and coffee all around the country. Milwaukee owner Shahnoza Saadati talks about this relatively new franchise and its delicate creations.

What is a French Macaron?

Shahnoza likes to say there are three macarons: the flourless American cookie that is typically made with coconut (macaroon), the French pastry (macaron) and the French President Macron. While they may all sound alike, there is only one macaron.  The delicate, French pastry is very difficult to make. The first step is making the crust, which is made with almond, four and fresh, whipped egg whites. The second step is the filling, a chocolate ganache with white chocolate from Belgium.  The macaron is then infused with flavors like pistachio, blueberry cheesecake and lemon tart.

There are 20 flavors in all. Some are seasonal like the strawberry milkshake and orange cream sickle in the summer, apple cinnamon in the fall, red velvet dressed up in confetti at Christmas. Valentine’s Day is always a surprise, but last year was a strawberry passion fruit. Some are American flavors that include cookies and cream, Nutella, red velvet and cotton candy. But the classics are always available – pistachio, dark chocolate, vanilla, raspberry, lemon tart and salted caramel.

The last step to making the macaron is freezing them in a special container so that no humidity gets in to spoil the colors and meringue crust.

A Corporate Gift to Remember

Shahnoza says she was attracted to the Woops! franchise because of its B2B approach to gifting. The French macarons are memorable because they are handmade, handprinted and hand-delivered. They come in a variety of beautiful packaging as small as a flavor pack with two macarons for $6, gift boxes from $13 to $26, combinations of boxes at $50, $100 and $200, and even large pyramids that are typically made for weddings. Both the macarons and packaging sleeves can be imprinted with corporate logos.

The macarons are made in New York, frozen and shipped in protective boxes to Shahnoza, who keeps the macarons in her storefront kiosk at Brookfield Square. While she has a retail presence, most orders are taken online and hand-delivered using Grub Hub and Door Dash. Orders can be fulfilled and delivered in less than 30 minutes, if needed.

Building Corporate Relationships

Shahnoza says doing in business in Wisconsin is all about relationships and referrals. She networks with the local Chamber of Commerce and Visit Milwaukee. She takes a pop-up kiosk to shows like Marketplace Wisconsin and uses LinkedIn to connect with businesses and deliver samples to interested parties.

About Woops!

Woops! started in New York with four friends and previous franchise owners who wanted to create something of their own. Their startups with the French Macarons grossed a quarter-million dollars in just 5 weeks. In no time, they realized “woops” we have a business, and just one year later, “woops” we have a franchise…or so the story goes.

There are about 50 Woops! locations and 30 franchisees in the U.S. Started in 2012, the company supplies franchisees with all the resources to connect with local businesses in addition to making the delicate and delicious macarons, custom printing and packaging. They have materials to say thanks, appreciate clients, even real estate closings, and support franchisees with weekly phone calls. While the cost of a business is always more than you anticipate, Shahnoza says the investment in a Woops! franchise is about $80,000 to $100,000.

Connect with Shahnoza

Email: brookfieldsquare@bywoops.com

Website:   https://www.bywoops.com/

Nov 06 2019

23mins

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Episode 84: Building a Brand Through Reinvestment with Derek Collins, Co-owner of Milwaukee’s Pedal Tavern

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By bike or by boat, it is the best pub crawl in town. The Milwaukee Pedal & Paddle Tavern has become the #1 tour in town in just a few, short years. Our guest, Derek Collins shares the ups and downs of a start-up business and how he and his partner, Ryan Lloyd have expanded their bike and boat bars.

Pedal Tavern Origins

When Derek’s partner, Ryan, called him to tell him about a bike bar up in Minneapolis they needed to have in Milwaukee, Derek thought his friend had gone nuts. Ryan replied, “it’s super fun and people will pay to do it.” So, in 2010, Derek and Ryan invested in their first bike bar and began operating the Pedal Tavern.

The Pedal Tavern is a 16-seat, BYOB bike bar that is powered by riders who must pedal. The two-hour tours take riders to three to four pubs and restaurants of their choice in the Third Ward and Walker’s Point. Derek says they have partnerships with about 20 places that offer drink and food discounts to Pedal Tavern visitors.

In the beginning, Derek operated every tour and business boomed, so the partners put all that money into a second bike tavern and kept reinvesting until they had five.

Controversy Threatens Business

When the Pedal Tavern applied for their fifth liquor license in 2012, the City of Milwaukee took notice and pulled the company’s liquor license. According to Derek, they were in a gray area that allowed the company to fall under the category of a “green limo.” The city argued since the bikes were not motor operated, they could not be considered a limo.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel printed this news on the front page with the headline, “Tapped Out.”

The news was devastating to the company. People wanted to be able to drink on the Pedal Tavern tours. In 2013, business dropped by 50 percent. At the same time, Derek and Ryan were buying drink tokens from the bars to attract ridership. With minimal profit margins, they were not going to able to operate much longer.

A compromise with the City of Milwaukee saved the fate of the Pedal Tavern. It was agreed to limit the number of drinks to three per person and no hard liquor. With their liquor license reinstate, the Journal Sentinel ran another front-page story and by 2014, ridership was back up and the company was back doing business better than before.

Reinvestment Ignites Growth

Last year, the company expanded to have boat tours as well. They added Paddle Taverns that, like the bikes, were BYOB and took riders on tours down the Milwaukee River, originating at a local bar, called the Harp. Each boat is manned with a captain and first mate. Riders are encouraged to pedal the boats; however, the boats also have a motor. Fifteen to 20 minutes into the tour, the riders typically stop pedaling, turn up the music and enjoy the tour and each other.

Derek says they continue to invest back into the company. They’ve started an electric, Duffy boat company that individuals can rent and take out on the water. They also offer kayak rentals and have entered into another partnership with John Revord, owner of the Boone & Crockett bar and Mitch Ciohon, owner of Taco Moto, to purchase the Cooperage at 820 S. Water St. The building has three floors. The first floor has 11,000 sq. ft., and includes the Boone & Crockett Bar, a commercial kitchen and event space for weddings and concerts. The second and third floors are both 5,000 sq. ft. The second floor has an Air BnB, personal office space an art studio. The third floor is currently vacant, but Derek says they plan on creating a co-working share space.

Marketing Strategy

One of the beauties of having such a unique business is the buzz it creates. The controversy over the loss of the liquor license may have hurt at first; however once reinstated, it also created a lot of awareness for the company. Derek says they started their company with on Groupon offer in 2010, when Groupon was new and very popular. These days, word-of-mouth, visibility on the street and water and user-generated content on Facebook and Instagram. The company does advertise on Google AdWords and Yelp, and more recently radio ads within radio auctions.

Entrepreneurial Opportunities

Derek says investing in the bike and boat tour business isn’t cheap. The pedal taverns are about $45,000 each and the boats are roughly $120,000, plus an additional $20,000 in operating expenses for each business. If you are interested in doing this in other markets, he says there are some requirements you need to consider. The first is city approval for a liquor license. This concept doesn’t work without alcohol on board, even when the tours take you to neighboring pubs. The second is street access. In Chicago, the pedal tavern would not be allowed because the streets are too busy. And third, you must have the participation by the neighboring bars, restaurants and residents.

Connect with Derek:

Twitter: @mkederek

Website:  https://www.pedaltavern.com

https://www.Paddletavern.com

Oct 23 2019

22mins

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Episode 83: Centralizing all Brand Communications with Online Newsrooms

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Online newsrooms are becoming very popular, thanks to companies like TEKGroup International Inc., an internet software and services firm that helps PR and corporate communications professionals save time and money, while providing a platform to help increase coverage in the mainstream and social media. Companies like Starbucks, Toyota, Dunkin Donuts and Walgreen’s and many others are using these newsrooms to centralize all their communications content. On this episode of #Brandstorm, Steve Momorella, owner and founder of TEKGroup talks about the online newsroom and why companies should be considering them.  

What is an Online Newsroom?

TekGroup has been creating newsroom for brands since 1998. Back then, they were called Press Rooms. They were a placeholder on your website for press release, news coverage, logos and imagery. The focus of the Press Room was for journalists. With the advent of social media, in the last 5 years or so, these Press Rooms have changed to Online Newsrooms or Brand Journalism Newsrooms where the focus is on the brand’s audiences. It is now a hub for all communications content – media assets, stories, imagery, video, audio, pdfs, social media, etc. While press releases are still used, companies have switched their focus to stories about the brand -- how the brand was created and how it is being used by customers, as an example. The articles are often written by people in different departments within the company, and not just PR professionals. Companies like Sprint are using the online newsroom as Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) site or as Investor Relations sites.

Steve says the other big difference is that online newsrooms now make it possible to upload content and distribute all your communications to journalists, employees, customers and any other target audiences with a few clicks and its delivered.

The Online Newsroom Advantage

With social media and distribution integrated into one platform, PR and Communications professionals save time and money. They don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on wire releases because more than 4000 journalists are already in the dashboard and can be targeted by industry. TekGroup even offers a Twitter feed for journalists that can also be targeted by industry. You also can save money by not having to pay contact database companies to send out emails.

In the past, PR professionals had to write the content, pay a wire service so they could upload the photos and press release for distribution. Now PR professionals can save valuable time because the platform integrates distribution and all your social assets.  You can choose which social media account to use, who you want to send the content to, while sending out consistent messaging, all from one dashboard.

TekGroup Technical Support

The online newsroom is technically a standalone site from the company’s website, however from a visual and SEO perspective, it is integrated with the website. Visitors never know they are going to another site when they click on the newsroom icon. TekGroup build the site based on the client’s needs, and then become the IT department, hosting and managing the site. The platform also has an embedded analytics system that can integrate with a company’s Google Analytics for tracking and SEO purposes.

The Way of the Future

Steve says research has been conducted the last 15 years to measure the trends and expectations of both journalists and consumers when it comes to an online newsroom. In the past, it was used 100 percent of the time by journalists. Now, the numbers are 70 percent consumers; 30 percent journalists.

Pricing

According to Steve, there are two pricing tiers – professional and enterprise tiers. For large companies with lots of personnel, locations, products and services, it can be expensive. For small companies, the cost $10,000 annually. Steve likes to say, for less than $1000 per month, you get a fully-hosted website management system with unlimited use. Plus, no more costs for wire services or email contact companies. The savings can be huge depending on how much content a company sends out.

Connect with Steve

Email:     steve@tekgroup.com

Phone:     734-945-7790

Website:  tekgroup.com

Twitter: @tekgroup

Oct 16 2019

24mins

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Episode 82: Meet the Master of Direct Response Marketing, Rick Cesari

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On this episode, our guest has a few ideas to help you use video marketing to increase sales. Rick Cesari has been a pioneer in the Direct Response advertising industry since the early ‘90s and has used Brand Response strategies to help build many iconic brands from scratch, including Juiceman, Sonicare, The George Foreman Grill, OxiClean, Clarisonic, Rug Doctor, Momentus Golf and many others. Rick has helped take companies like GoPro from a start-up to over a billion dollars in sales in just a few short years.

About Rick Cesari

Rick studied biology and was going to be a dentist, but he got tired of school. He moved to Florida, read lots of books about real estate, and went to a seminar to learn how to invest in distressed properties and make a profit. He made $12,000 in a few days. He was so excited about his investment, he went to the editors of Florida Trend, a business magazine, and told them about the seminar. The article about the speaker was instrumental in growing his seminar business, so Rick was asked to help with his marketing. It was the beginning of his highly successful marketing career.

Brand Response Strategies

Rick says the key to being good at direct response marketing is understanding what makes the consumer respond. He uses a formula from Dale Carnegie’s book, “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” Tell the audience what you are going to say, say it and then tell them what you said.   Rick adds that making videos is a lot like making speeches.  You must capture the audience’s attention at the start, or they will continue clicking through the channels.

Another formula that Rick uses is called AIDA.  The acronym stands for

  • A - capture the person’s Attention
  • I - build Interest
  • D - arouse Desire
  • A - motivate the person to take Action

Infomercials often seem repetitive and they are. Using Dale Carnegie’s formula, you say what you are going to say, say it and tell the audience again what you said. They must also solve a problem. Rick says if you cast a wide net with video that visually demonstrates different ways to solve the problem with your product, you will hook the consumer who has that problem in. Your product should have a unique selling proposition and a history of past product sales before considering direct response marketing. You also need a call-to-action at the end so the consumer can respond.

Video Persuasion

All of these tips and much more are included in Rick’s new book, Video Persuasion,” which is being released on Amazon on Oct. 15, 2019. At the end of each chapter, Rick includes interviews with industry experts that include great insights about video and video marketing. Here are just a few:

  • The messaging is more important than the technical look or quality of a video.
  • Apps like Rev.com allow you to inexpensively transcribe interviews, which is very helpful in the editing process.
  • Make video tutorials for every product or service you sell.
  • Add infographics with pictures listing all the benefits of your product.
  • Have good audio. You can buy a good mic for less than $100.
  • Lighting is also important. It will take your video to the next step.
  • Authenticity is more critical than slickly-produced videos on social platforms.

Rick also includes about 10 apps in his book that will save you money and help you with video production. Apps like Lumen 5 and Content Samurai are just a couple examples of Apps that can help you create video.

As a bonus, if you visit Rick’s website, you can download information about the three most engaging types of video content.

Speaking Engagements

Rick also makes appearances and has a range o topics from how to build a $100 million business using direct marketing to brand building. He should know. Four of his clients made billions in sales, including Sonicare, the George Foreman Grill, OxyClean and GoPro. During this podcast, he shared two great stories about George Foreman and GoPro.

Connect with Rick:

Website: www.rickcesari.com

YouTube: RickCesari.tv

Oct 09 2019

28mins

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Episode 81: Fuel Your Business Using Testimonials with Michael Gass

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Our guest says if you aren’t using testimonials, you’re missing out on a simple, but great tool for new business. Michael Gass is the founder of Fuel Lines Business Development, a firm which provides business development resources, training and consulting services to businesses like Platypus Advertising + Design. His blog, “Fuel Lines” has been rated among the top 100 marketing blogs in the world, according to Ad Age’s Power 150, and he is considered one of our country’s foremost authorities on social media.

Testimonials Should be a Priority

We may procrastinate or feel awkward about asking clients for testimonials, but according to Michael, a testimonial is as good as a referral for most prospects, and small-to-mid-sized companies depend on referrals. Michael is a business development consultant to advertising, digital and PR agencies. He says most agencies are missing the boat when they do not use testimonials, especially on their websites.

A website is an online brochure for your capabilities and services. Testimonials add credibility to what you do and validates your expertise. Testimonials are what clients are going to research and look for in advance of engaging with you.

You can also use testimonials as an endorsement on LinkedIn and on social media. Pictures and video work very well, as well as links back to your client. Michael says links are not only good for SEO, they make it that much easier for prospects to get references about you before they ask you for them.

If you are using celebrity endorsements, make sure the use of the celebrity is relevant to your brand and not just name-dropping.

Asking for Testimonials

Michael says timing is important when asking clients for testimonials. The best time is after you have completed a project and have seen positive results. You should also make the process easy for your client. If you are uncomfortable with writing a testimonial for the client to approve, ask them for a couple of sentences about you to make the reference more personal. You can edit those sentences, add a few thoughts and go back to the client for final approval.

The Battleground for New Business is Online

Michael got into social media before it was even called that. Web.O was a term that was batted around, and the geeks involved in social media were resistant to helping outsiders like Michael, who had an intuition about its future success. He tested everything, identified his target audience and started building a community around his audience. He created content of value to them and eventually became a thought leader in the marketing industry. Today, Michael has more than 100,000 Twitter followers, 40,000 subscribers to his newsletter and a tremendous amount of traffic that follows his niche blog, Fuel Lines.

As a consultant, Michael is using his experience to help agencies re-learn business development. The old way of prospecting was chasing new business. Today it is about being found. He advises agencies to identify a target audience, build a community and create a niche blog that will provide valuable content for their audience. In Michael’s 11 years as a consultant, he has never had to make a cold call. People come to him because prospects feel they know him from his blog, newsletter, website and social media posts. And, using testimonials has helped sell his services before prospects have even met him.

Connect with Michael

Phone: (205) 370-7750

Email: michael@michaelgass.com

Blog: https://www.fuelingnewbusiness.com/

Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook: @michaelgass

Sep 25 2019

17mins

Play

Episode 80: Finding the Right Exhibit House with the Booth Mom

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Candy Adams, aka the Booth Mom, was on our show earlier this year to talk about best practices for putting on a profitable trade show. On this episode, she is back to talk about exhibit houses and what they need from you, the exhibitor, to create and build your display the way you want it and within budget. 

About Candy Adams

Candy is an award-winning, freelance exhibit project manager and journalist. Earlier this year, she won an international Gold Tabbie for “Regular Column” from the Trade Association Business Publications International (TABPI) for her Exhibitor’s 101 column for Exhibitors Magazine. This brings her total number of awards to 19 various bronze, silver and gold writing awards in her 22 years of penning the column.

Candy was affectionately nicknamed the Booth Mom by a booth staffer in the early ‘90s for her nurturing personality and knowledge of the trade show industry. First and foremost, she thinks of herself as a mama bear, protecting her clients against unscrupulous individuals at trade shows who prey on rookies. Always looking for value for her clients, Candy never spends a penny where she doesn’t have to. When she began freelancing in 1996, she realized her nickname was actually her brand, so she officially registered her nickname as the Booth Mom.

Types of Exhibit Displays

There are varying types of displays from the simple Tier 4, which is basically table tops with table drapes and a monitor, to Tier 3, which include table tops and banner stand pullups and the larger Tier 1 and 2 displays, which feature Linears and Islands.

Pitching the Exhibit House

The very first thing an Exhibitor should decide is whether they will want to handle the program management themselves or outsource it to someone like Candy. From there, the Exhibitor should write out what it needs in a Request-for-Information, or RFI. The RFI is sent to a variety of exhibit houses to determine their capabilities and ability to fulfill the needs of the exhibitor. It will include questions about the Exhibitor’s show services, storage needs, technological knowledge, financial management, corporate philosophy, goals and values, creativity and experiential experiences, its network of support services, who they work with, etc. The responses help the Exhibitor to narrow the list down to three to four Exhibit Houses that they would like to have pitch the business.

It is an industry standard for exhibit houses to be asked to design on spec. This can cost them up to tens of thousands in design time, so it is important for the Exhibitor to have a clear vision of what it needs in a Request-for-Proposal. It should start with a marketing brief of how the trade show will fit into the company’s marketing mix and include the Exhibitor’s expectations when it comes to design, ROI (what they are spending to make a sale), what will be considered a success, marketing objectives, client relationships, experiences and memorability. Exhibitors should have a realistic budget as to what is needed to accomplish the project. Candy says most displays cost about $165/sq.-ft. Candy also recommends giving the Exhibit House 90% of what’s expected, and then hold back 10% for things they might want to add. Complex displays are often a mish-mash of what needs to be built, rented from the Exhibit House and rented by the show house. The information will allow the Exhibit House to determine if it wants to pitch the account.

Communication is Key

The people within Exhibit Houses have various core competencies. If you want to build a solid relationship with the Exhibit House, meet with the executive team to talk strategy, responsibilities and execution. Candy says no show goes perfectly, so always have a backup plan. If there is a fail on the part of any vendor, that vendor should get the bill, not the Exhibitor.

Final Thoughts

Candy’s big takeaway is do your homework when selecting an Exhibit House. Do the RFI to as many Exhibit Houses as you like, but don’t send the RFP to many. Keep it down to three or four. An Exhibit House is much more likely to pitch your business if it knows it has a 25 or 33% chance of winning it.

Connect with Candy

Email: candyadams@boothmom.com

Website: https://www.boothmom.com

Social Media: @TheBoothMom

Sep 18 2019

30mins

Play

Episode 79: What the Secret Sauce to Chick-fil-A’s Success?

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You may already know that Chick-fil-A is the third largest fast-food restaurant chain in the U. S. and that it ranks #1 in customer satisfaction. But did you know this year, the fast-food restaurant chain entered the ranks of the country’s most respected and revered companies at #51, ahead of Amazon at #54?  This according to the Reputation Institute, a reputation measurement and management services firm. Kyle Bartz is one of the newest owners of a local Chick fil-A in Pewaukee, Wis. He joins #Brandstorm to talk about this great brand story.

About Kyle Bartz

Kyle didn’t even know what a Chick-fil-A was when he walked into one of the restaurants on the East Coast 11 years ago. But, when the local owner told him to come work for her and he might have the opportunity to own his own restaurant in a few years, he was intrigued with the possibilities. Kyle worked for two local owners before going to work for Corporate helping owners to open new restaurants. He spent nearly three years learning everything he could about the business and what you needed to know to be an owner and leader. He then became part of an extensive selection process to determine which restaurant location would be a good fit. That took another year and a half. In April 2019, Kyle opened a Chick-fil-A in Pewaukee, Wis.

About Chick-fil-A

Chick-fil-A’s founder was S. Truett Cathy.  Cathy started the business in 1946, when he and his brother, Ben, opened an Atlanta diner known as The Dwarf Grill (later renamed The Dwarf House®). Through the years, that restaurant prospered and led Cathy to further the success of his business. In 1967, Cathy founded and opened the first Chick-fil-A restaurant in Atlanta's Greenbriar Shopping Center. Today, Chick-fil-A has the highest same-store sales and is the largest quick-service chicken restaurant chain in the United States based on annual system-wide sales.

A quick fun fact about Chick-fil-A is how it got its name. Cathy called the first part Chick, because chicken was the primary food on the menu. The second part, “fil,” is about the cut of meat used, the filet, and the “A” stands for Grade A quality meats and produce that always come from the very best sources.

Opening the Chick-fil-A Way

Kyle said every Chick-fil-A opening is different for every new restaurant. Openings are tailored to the local community and what resonates with them, but Corporate always provides a lot of support for the owner. In Kyle’s case, his “opening” started on a Monday night with a Premiere Night. More than 100 residents were selected from a Facebook promotion and invited to sample the food and get a preview of what’s to come. On Tuesday night, Kyle had a Dedication Dinner, which was a private, catered event for his team in Pewaukee. Wednesday was the “First 100 Camp Out.” The first 100 to camp out that night were given a year’s worth of Chick-fil-A, or one meal a week. On Thursday, Kyle officially opened the doors to his new restaurant.

Finding & Training Talent

When you have a great brand story like Chick-fil-A finding talent is a little easier than it is for other fast-food restaurants. Kyle says he received about 1200 applications in the first, four months. Retail is a people business, so Kyle was looking for friendly people who weren’t just looking for a job.  He was interested in finding people looking for a pathway to success, maybe even future ownership, like him.

Originating in the southeast in the 1940s, Chick-fil-A is somewhat new to the Midwest, and Wisconsin, in particular. Most of Kyle’s employees didn’t know much about Chick-fil-A and for many, this was their first job.

Kyle believes with his team, it is more about setting an example than it is training. The company has a what is called “Two Mile Service.” The first mile is the guest’s expectation. The second mile is what Kyle and his team do to go above and beyond a guest’s expectations. If the guest’s expectation is faster service, how do they make it faster? If politeness is the expectation, Kyle’s team makes sure they are doing everything possible to please their guests, carrying meal orders to their cars, keeping tables clean and refreshing drinks, as examples.

Kyle also says he has two buckets of “care.” The first bucket is for his guests and the second is for his employees. He gives stuffed plush cows and coupons to his employees and asks them to hand them to people who look like they are having a bad day or to make a child smile. He leads by example with his team, because if Kyle doesn’t care for his employees, how can he expect them to care about the guests.

Long Drive-thru Lines

Anyone who has driven by a Chick-fil-A knows that there are often long lines in the drive-thru lanes. While you might say this is a good problem to have, Kyle is trying to combat this issue by taking orders while the customer is in line, so their food will be ready when they get to the window. Chick-fil-A now has a mobile app people can use to order food before they get to the restaurant. And coming soon, the app will include tableside ordering inside the restaurant.

Closed on Sundays

Chick-fil-A has received a lot of bad press recently over being closed on Sunday. Some believe it is because its management is part of the religious right and are trying to politicize the company’s policy. The truth is when Cathy opened their grill in the 1940s, he and his brother kept it open 24/7. Out of exhaustion, they decided to close the grill on Sundays, and that tradition has been a part of the company ever since.

Kyle likes to think it’s good for a person’s mental health to have one day of the week where not one employee must think about the restaurant. And for some reason, the chicken always tastes better after being closed on Sunday.

Connect with Chick-fil-A and Kyle

Facebook:       @CFAPewaukee

Hiring:            nowhiring.com/cfapewaukee

Stop by the restaurant anytime and ask for Kyle.

Aug 06 2019

21mins

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Episode 78: Tourism Destinations Use Podcasting for Rich, Digital Content

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Today’s guests today have been podcasting with Platypus for nearly two years. Mary Motiff is the Director of Tourism for Bayfield County, which is located in Northern Wisconsin along the southern shore of Lake Superior, and Pam King is the executive director of the Grafton Area Chamber of Commerce, located just 20 miles north of Milwaukee. Both destination marketers have been using podcasting to share digital content about the goings-on in their communities.

About the Grafton Community

Grafton is the smallest county in Wisconsin, but Pam King says its location on the I-43 eastern corridor of the state makes it a convenient destination for people visiting Milwaukee or looking to stop somewhere while traveling to other parts of the state. It is located about halfway between Chicago and Green Bay, Wis. 

Grafton is considered a retail hub for many. The first Costco and the first Meijer in Wisconsin are here, attracting residents and visitors on the weekends. The Inner Urban Trail, which is used for hiking, biking, and cross country skiing, traverses through the entire county and connects with Milwaukee and Sheboygan County trails. 

Grafton is home to Blues Recording, where many Blues greats would come from Chicago to record their music in the 1920s. A lot of the architecture in the Village of Grafton reflects this history, including the Paramount Plaza, which is shaped like a grand piano and keys that are a walking “hall of fame” for Blues artists. The community is also part of the Mississippi Blues Trail. For these reasons and many more, Grafton’s podcast is called “Getaway to Grafton.”

About Bayfield County

Just the opposite of Grafton, Bayfield County is one of the largest counties in Wisconsin with about half of its land in public ownership. Its bounty of amazing natural resources include seven destinations listed as national designations. In fact, the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, which consists of 21 islands and the southern shore of Lake Superior, attracts visitor from around to world to see its sea caves that turn to ice in the winter. Located at the top of Wisconsin, Bayfield County has some difficulty getting large populations of visitors to come to the area, but once visitors are here, they come back repeatedly for tranquility and rejuvenation from the hectic pace of big city life. It is a great area to connect with nature Its podcast is appropriately named “Bayfield County Wild.”

The Benefits of Destination Podcasting

Both Pam and Mary agree that their foray into podcasting has been well-received and the envy of their industry peers. In both communities, educating people about podcasting is important, because unless you are a millennial, most people don’t understand what it is. Pam likes to describe podcasting as a talk or radio show when people ask about it.  Mary says it also helps to have her guests share the content on their websites and social media outlets once it has been uploaded to platforms like Stitcher and Google Play. She really likes the fact that she can dive deep into topics with podcasting. You can never get the same amount of information in a print, radio or TV ad and the cost is far less.

The people who listen to each podcast are invested in the content. Not everyone is interested in every topic, but they are interested in knowing more about the areas. Both women are building libraries of information that can be used and re-used as long as it remains relevant. Mary has had her marketing intern go through all of the podcast’s show notes to find and list all of the various topics so visitors can just scan the website for the topic they want to learn more about.

Another point that Mary makes is that destination marketing helps economic development. Communicating quality of life in the detail that podcasting can do is huge. 

Using Professional Services for Podcasting

Wi-Fi can be spotty in Bayfield County, so with the help of Platypus, Mary has invested in equipment that allows her to record her interviews separately yet at the same time with her co-host Nancy Christopher at Platypus. The equipment lets her record tracks without using Wi-Fi, go on remote interviews off-site, and send the files to Platypus to be edited.

Pam uses the Platypus Studio for her guests. The facilities are comfortable and state-of-the-art, which makes a great impression on the guests. The staff is friendly and helps put the guests at ease. Retakes are allowed if someone makes a mistake and editing takes care of all the “ums” and “you knows.” 

Quality, time and technology are the primary reasons both Pam and Mary use Platypus. Neither of these women have time to record, edit, upload and distribute the podcast. They also don’t have time to learn the technology nor the skill to produce quality podcasts. Platypus also provides clients with analytic reports to track and measure how each podcast is doing.

Challenges with Podcasting 

While the benefits of podcasting outweigh the challenges, both women have struggled with some issues.

Pam says she needs to think big about topics. As the smallest county in the state, there are a finite number of topics she can do that are podcast-worthy. She and Platypus are solving this problem by going to neighbors outside the county and owning what’s going around Grafton. Summerfest may be 20 miles away on Milwaukee’s lakefront, but Grafton fills up every hotel room during the 11-day festival. Harley-Davidson events always draw scores of visitors from everywhere. And the Milwaukee Bucks and Brewers are close enough attractions to talk about in Grafton.

Mary says coordinating and scheduling her guests is always a challenge and sometimes technology issues can be frustrating. Mary keeps a spreadsheet or content calendar for all of her shows to help keep her organized.

Connect with Mary and Pam

Mary Motiff

Go to the Bayfield County website at www.travelbayfieldcounty.com. Her contact information is available in the right-hand corner. 

LinkedIn: @mary-d-motiff

Pam King

Email: pam@grafton-wi.org

Website: Grafton-wi.org

Jul 31 2019

27mins

Play

Episode 77: Uncovering, Expressing & Amplifying Your Brand’s Personality Traits with Prentice Howe

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How can you get noticed when your brand is in a crowded space and you are just a small fish in a really big pond? Our guest today says you can play that to your advantage. Prentice Howe is the owner and CEO of Door Number 3, an Austin ad agency and author of the Empowered Challenger Playbook, a book that looks at how brands can change the game, steal market share and topple giants.

5 Brand Personality Traits

Most people are drawn to products that bring good things into the world through innovation or better business practices. Prentice says there are five personality traits that inspire the voice and tone of a brand.

  • The Lightning Rod. These brands are super authentic and even polarizing to some consumers. Like a lightning rod, they are in tune with what’s going on in our culture.
  • These are the brands that have the ability to look out over the horizon and bring to market what people need ahead of others.
  • Fostering Rejection. Brands in this category aren’t out to please everyone. They have a specific, cult-like following around a singular passion that make the consumers ardent fans.
  • Compulsive Servitude. These brands overdeliver. In fact, over-delivery is the very essence of the brand. Prentice says FedEx and Ritz Carlton are great examples of compulsive servitude. FedEx changed shipping overnight and Ritz Carlton knew what we wanted to have in our hotel rooms before we even asked for it.
  • Constant Evolution. These brands are able to transcend product categories because they are trusted and respected by consumers. Prentice says Shinola is a great example of a brand in constant evolution. The company started in 2011 making beautiful watches. Today, they are a luxury goods company, making leather goods and bicycles.

Operating with a Challenger Spirit

Of course, not every brand can be an empowered challenger. You have to be honest about who you are. What do you offer that others don’t and can you deliver that experience? You also need a solid strategy with a road map of how to get there and how to zig when the competition zags.

The Empowered Challenger Playbook

Prentice believes anyone who is a founder or CEO, a chief marketing officer or just someone involved in marketing a brand would enjoy his book, The Empowered Challenger Playbook. He calls it a positioning book and includes interviews and case studies of companies that mirror the five personality traits discussed. The book is available on Amazon and at the Book People store in Austin, Texas.

Connect with Prentice How

Website: DN3Austin.com

LinkedIn: @PrenticeHowe

Instagram: @Prenticehowe

Jul 18 2019

14mins

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Episode 76: Call for Content with Michael Greenberg

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Being this first, the only, the most unique is obviously a great advantage for brands trying to get the attention of its customers. It’s also easier said than done. Michael Greenberg, is the CEO of Call For Content and author of the Authority Marketing Playbook. He says he uses strategies to develop unique, niche-specific, quality content that is engaging and delivers new customers.

Call for Content

Call for Content is a podcasting agency primarily focused on creating B2B content market for use in lead generation. Over the years, Michael says podcasting has proven to be the most effective tactic for lead gen, resulting in his company moving to podcast-based strategies for the company’s clients.

Developing Content

Michael believes it’s critical to develop a strategy that connects with the client’s customers from the start. He uses direct customer research that is both qualitative and quantitative and combines both to develop ideal customer personas. Call for Content will audit the client’s current materials and conduct one-on-one interviews with up to five of the client’s customers to find out what they want to know.  The interviews are typically followed by a survey and additional talks with people who fit the client’s ideal customer personas but are not customers. This research typically costs $2,500 and takes about six weeks. For clients interested in making an investment in lead generation using content, keeping the price low initially is good because it gives the client time to get to know Call for Content before the content creation begins.

Too many companies make content for use in SEO or sharing it in newsletters, but what they should really be looking at is who they should be creating content with to bring in new customers. The content should help open the door to new relationships and partnerships that will attract new customers. As an example, Michael says you might consider positioning your podcast by interviewing ideal clients for your business or creating a series with tech leaders who serve the same industry.

Podcasting is an effective way to generate content even if it isn’t part of a podcast show. And if the client’s target demo includes millennials, Gen Zs, tech-savvy or highly educated individuals, there is a good chance there are not enough listeners for a podcast series to make sense. The audio content created from the podcast, however, can be used to create written content and be re-purposed for use in blogs, videos, newsletters, social media and other vehicles...all in the voice of the client’s authority figure – the person who speaks to your target audiences as an authority.

Authority Marketing

The size of a company plays a big role in determining who will be its authority figure. If the company is small, say 20 to 30 employees, the authority must be the owner or founder. Companies with 150 or more employers might be able to use division heads or a VP of sales and marketing. If the company has 1,000-plus employees, there may be an entire team working full-time on the podcast.

Michael has three labels for authority figures. Best-in-Class includes the person who has a proven track record in his or her field of interest. The Simplifier is the person who uses a podcast to make things simpler for everyone and the Innovator does things by going against the grain. This person has become successful using unconventional tactics.

Michael talks about authority marketing in two ways: specialization and relativity. The more you can niche-down or specialize in an industry, the easier it is to build authority. Michael points out that it is difficult to build authority if you are trying to be an expert in digital marketing. However, if you are trying to be an authority in lead generation using Facebook ads for dental practices in middle market cities, you can become an expert in just a few months.

Authority is also relative. The only people you need to be an authority for are the people who will actually buy your product or service.

Useful Tools in Creating Content

There are many, but Michael likes using Google Docs because it lets you collaborate with others in real time and get instant feedback. He also likes using Otter.ai for transcriptions. For about $70 - $80 per year, you can record phone calls and have conversations transcribed.

Connect with Michael

The best way to connect is to go the website, callforcontent.com, and look for the chat widget in the righthand corner. Select “office hours” and schedule a time to talk with Michael.

Jun 27 2019

21mins

Play

Episode 75: Creating Valuable Niche Audiences for Advertisers with Industry Dive

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In a time when trade or business news publications are struggling to survive, one company is killing it. Industry Dive publishes business news and analysis for executives through dedicated sites and email newsletters. What Industry Dive does may not sound sexy, but its revenue stream is turning heads. On this episode of Brandstorm, Industry Dive’s Robin Re, VP of Marketing, talks about Industry Dive’s successful business model.

Industry Dive’s Story

After years of working together in digital media, Industry Dive’s founders Sean Griffey, Ryan Willumson and Eli Dickinson began to notice a consistent trend. They saw that, while mobile devices were changing the way people worked and consumed information, traditional business media content models, user interfaces and marketing programs were slow to adapt.

In 2012, they launched Industry Dive to meet the needs of busy industry executives: providing insights and analysis to help them do their jobs. Its first five publications included Construction Dive, Education Dive, Marketing Dive, Utility Dive and Waste Dive.

Five years ago, today’s guest, Robin Re, joined the company to contribute to its growth. Today, there are 16 publications with another two planned to launch this year, its reach has expanded to eight million professionals and its revenues have grown to more than $20 million.

Competitive Differentiators

As Industry Dive’s name implies, the journalists dive deep into the business news headlines to not only report the story, but to provide insight and analysis of what the information means to its readers. Its editorial is 100 percent independent with a staff of 66 full-time journalists.

Robin cites competition, change and capital as its formula for deciding which vertical markets to enter. The industry must already be covered by a niche media group, be subject to continual change because of technology and regulations, and have a large, capital spend.

Revenue Generation

Industry Dive’s newsletters are free to its readers and 100 percent ad-supported. Banner ads are less than 10 percent of its revenues. They don’t use programmatic ads, but sell directly to its advertisers using lead generation campaigns and direct response vehicles that include email platforms and high-end content like playbooks and webinars. Its sales force are more like consultants who sell “sponsorships” based on the goals of its advertising partners and craft campaigns that speak to its valuable niche audiences. Results are also evaluated primarily on the number of leads or downloads generated and not impressions.

The company expects to reach $29 million in revenues in 2019 and will employ about 150 by the end of the year.

Connect with Industry Dive:

The best way to communicate with Robin is to subscribe to one of its publications at: https://www.industrydive.com/industries/ She responds to everyone who writes to the publication.

Robin's LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/robinselvy/

IndustryDive's LinkedIn:https://www.linkedin.com/company/industry-dive

IndustryDive's Twitter: https://twitter.com/industrydive

Robin's Twitter: https://twitter.com/robinselvy

IndustryDive's Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/IndustryDive/

Jun 18 2019

10mins

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Episode 74: Tanya Abreu on Healthcare Marketing to Women

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Our guest today is a healthcare evangelist and international healthcare industry expert. Tanya Abreu pioneered the planning of the first network of freestanding breast health centers in the greater Pittsburgh area and the establishment of more than 75 model women’s health education and primary care clinics around the world. As a healthcare marketing innovator, Tanya is also a successful speaker, author and workshop leader.

Tanya’s Background

Tanya began her career in education as a business communications professor in the Graduate School of Industrial Management at Carnegie Mellon University. She went to Russia to teach American English at Moscow State University. While there, Tanya got excited about being able to change a healthcare system with terrifying technology into something more humane. She came back to the U.S. to partner with Magee-Womens Hospital in Pittsburgh, where she took part in the transformation of women’s health through branding and outreach.

The CEO at Magee, Irma Goertzen, believed women feared coming to the hospital in the inner city for a breast image knowing there was a possibility that she might have cancer. Goertzen believed the hospital’s responsibility was to care for women.  She spent millions setting up freestanding breast care clinics within the communities where the women lived. The clinics eventually expanded to provide pelvic health and heart disease prevention.

When Tanya left Magee, she started her own company called Spirit of Women. In this role, Tanya worked with C-suite executives to help them reevaluate how they presented healthcare to women. She is now involved in the Lipstick Alliance movement and is the national director of the Women’s Choice Award.

Creating Successful Healthcare Brands for Women

According to Tanya, there are distinct differences between men and women when it comes to healthcare. Men are more action-driven. They want to know what they have and what to do. Women often shun wellness care because it takes them away from their families’ needs. It’s not that women fear the disease, they just don’t want to have it now because they must stop what they are doing.

Women make more than 85 percent of all healthcare decisions for their family. Tanya says for hospitals and health groups to grow its brand with women, they need to capture the “heart” share of women before the money.

The biggest mistakes that healthcare providers make is trying to fix women. Women don’t want to be fixed. They want to be listened to and encouraged. They want to know about the experiences and quality of life other women have had. Taking a grassroots approach to healthcare marketing is paramount. Patient testimonials, community events and social media are more important to women than advertisements and billboards. It’s all about patient and community experience communications.

With 30 years in this industry, Tanya has always believed hospitals that support and encourage women are the ones that will have their loyalty and generate revenue. After her own experience with cancer, she realized there was more. She realized that much of what she had been doing was lip service to women wanted to hear. She didn’t want to be controlled, she wanted to be encouraged. She wanted hope, not more medication.

The Lipstick Alliance

These days, Tanya is working with hospitals to form the Lipstick Alliance. Statistics show that 83 percent of women put on lipstick daily to make them feel good. The Lipstick Alliance is about wellness every day for women.

Tanya wants it to be a movement that gets women thinking about doing something healthy every time they put on lipstick, lip gloss or chapstick. She hopes that one day the lipstick icon will be as recognizable as the red dress is for heart health and the pink ribbon is for breast cancer awareness. The Lipstick Alliance is about wellness every day for women. The national program is market exclusive, so there can only be one hospital per market in the U.S. Hospitals don’t have to apply, but they must be focused on wellness. They must also agree to use the organization’s 1-4-12 strategy which includes templates, education materials, content and a national awards program for organizations that build relationships with women that result in increased revenues.

Tanya says they are reducing the fee for the first 20 hospitals and that the program is typically less than $3,000/month.

The Patient Experience

Two things are pivotal in healthcare branding for women. She must feel she is being listened to and heard, and not just filling out a bunch of paperwork. She also needs to feel more encouraged when she leaves the hospital or clinic than when she came in. And the experience must be positive.

As an example, Tanya says heart disease is the number one killer of women, yet one in five women in their 50s have had a baseline heart evaluation.  Why?  She says it is because women fear the results. Healthcare groups and hospitals need to find ways to educate and motivate women in a fun way.  Among her many ideas, Tanya says to invite women to a heart day event at a hospital where women can get a free echo-cardiogram. If the hospital is part of the Lipstick Alliance, they can hand out free lipstick when they are done.

Wellness Care is in Vogue

Hospitals can’t continue to be acute-care facilities. Tanya says they need to start focusing on wellness, incentivizing doctors and providing telemedicine, but only if it is part of a total wellness experience. People have a tendency not to tell everything to a healthcare provider online. Without complete records of the patient, diagnosis can be risky and often incorrect.

Women’s Choice Awards

Tanya’s newest role is as the national director of the Women’s Choice Awards. The award is third-party verified and 100 percent objective about a company or hospital’s quality measures in patient care and service lines. The seal says the organization has been approved by women and has the objective standards of quality and healthcare capabilities for patient satisfaction.

Connect with Tanya

Phone: 561-358-5230

Email: tanya@optimisticmedicinegroup.com

LinkendIn: @tanyaabreu

Facebook: Lipstick Alliance

Website: www.womenschoiceaward.com

May 08 2019

23mins

Play

Episode 73: Creating an Experiential Brand with Punch Bowl Social’s Scott Sibley

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Work is supposed to be fun and games at Punch Bowl Social. The company calls its experiential food and beverage brand a “delectable collection of unequaled music, food, games, and beverages.” While in Milwaukee for the grand opening of Punch Bowl’s 16th location in the U.S., the V.P. of Marketing, Scott Sibley, chatted with #Brandstorm about its unique concept.

What is Punch Bunch Social?

Punch Bowl Social is an unusual name, but it harkens back to the Victorian era when people gathered around the punch bowl to socialize. It has everything fun…food, arcades, karaoke, beverages, old school gaming and a 360-degree bar. There’s really nothing out there with the scale, size and diversity of Punch Bowl Social. Its 20,000+ sq. ft. facilities are eclectic in design – kind of a combo of holiday lodge, Victorian mid-century, modern and industrial design.  However, each location is also different with references and connections to its community. In Milwaukee, for example, its love of lakes, beer and German heritage can be felt throughout the space. The private Karaoke rooms have Liberace, Cheese and Space Cowboy (Steve Miller Band) themes that are all definitely hometown Milwaukee. Each location has old school gaming, but some of the games can be unique to the town. While most people call the game “Yard Yahtzee,” in Milwaukee, it’s called “Farkle.”

Punch Bowl is also about positivity and good luck. The number 9 is a positive number, so its founder, Robert Thompson, wanted a name with nine letters. All of his kids have names with nine letters, too.

Marketing Punch Bowl Social

Punch Bowl Social is corporately-owned and its primary targets are millennials and Gen Z. It's signature event when it enters a new market is to organize a big kick-off party. The company typically engages the help of a local PR in each market to help them connect with the community several months in advance of the opening and to handle publicity for the opening. Its unique concept, scale and size make it newsworthy in every market it enters, but the company also uses paid media to generate awareness.  

Punch Bowl Social also begins hiring and training staff at least six weeks to two months out from the opening. It has a corporate training team that works with new hires to learn its zone service concept.

In addition to Milwaukee, Punch Bowl Social has openings in Dallas, Ft. Worth, Washington, D.C., Salt Lake City, Phoenix, Miami and Austin this year. In 2020, it is planning to open in Pittsburgh and St. Louis.

Connect with Scott:

LinkedIn:https://www.linkedin.com/in/scott-sibley-5915284

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/punchbowlsocial

Website: punchbowlsocial.com

Apr 24 2019

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