May 9, 2013 | 2:36 pm
Yes, that includes moms. But it also includes sisters, nieces, aunts, godparents…surrogate moms of every shape, size, age, gender. Because let’s face it, families sure don’t fit the stereotypical mold anymore.
And I love that. My daughter teaches special-needs-children in a local school. One of her charges is a five-year-old boy whose two dads adopted him, his older sister and two additional children to make their family complete. To me, they’re a perfect picture of a non-traditional family in 2013.
I never paid much attention to Mother’s Day when I was growing up. My parents said it was a “Hallmark” holiday, designed to sell cards and gifts. But as I got older, I softened that view and saw Mother’s Day as a day to say “thanks” to all the women I know—and have known—with or without offspring. Many of them broke through barriers and paved the way for working moms like me. I hope I’m doing the same for the next gen.
Fun Facts this Mother’s Day
Total spent on Mother’s Day Cards annually—$671 million.
Total spent on flowers for mothers on Mother’s Day—$1.9 billion.
Women-owned businesses are one of the fastest growing segments of our economy.
Women-owned businesses provide 15.5 million jobs, employing 35% more people in the U.S. than Fortune 500 companies worldwide.
46% of women between the ages of 35–55 and 64% of women ages 18–34 want to become business owners.
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July 23, 2012 | 2:06 pm
I sit on the Board of Directors of a group called Leadership Montgomery and a couple of years ago I took over as chairperson of the recruitment committee. A natural fit, right? I make a living by helping event producers recruit attendees and exhibitors to participate in their trade shows and events. At my first recruitment meeting, I dared to state the unthinkable: “Guys, there are lots of people and businesses in Montgomery County who have never even heard of Leadership Montgomery.” After the gasps of disbelief quieted, I stated that one of my goals on behalf of LM was to expand the reach of the organization. We would be successful when we started seeing applications from companies that were brand new to LM. It took two years, working with tiny (mostly pro-bono) marketing budgets and lots of true grassroots word-of-mouth marketing. This year the “pool” of applications grew to the 2nd highest ever in the 23 year history of the group. Yes, we saw apps from companies previously unknown to LM and/or from companies that hadn’t participated in a decade or more. The success of the recruitment efforts is also apparent in the quality of the applications (read: senior management and owners). And yes, there were excellent applications that were turned away for this class simply because space is limited and the competition was too tough! And now we crank it up again to recruit a Class of 2014. We’ll keep spreading the word
- Everyone doesn’t know about you.
- Grassroots marketing on shoestring budgets does work, but it takes time.
- Be clear on your goals and get your marketing messages crystal clear (and make sure everyone is saying them, over and over.).
- Marketing budgets help speed up your success by getting the word out faster and to a larger audience, but Rules 1-3 still apply.
April 15, 2011 | 11:33 am
Timely, clear & relevant information is what your members want and being able to provide it to them shows your value as an association. But with websites, e-mail, social networks and all of the other channels the web now has, what’s the best way to reach who with what info? Unfortunately, there is no one right answer because everyone uses the web their own way. But there are some tips you can follow to be as effective as possible. Why just 9? See tip #1.
- Be aware of information overload. Be sure what you are providing is helpful and necessary, and don’t overwhelm your members.
- Make your website a timely information resource, not just brochure-ware. Build an RSS, blog roll, or Twitter feed into your homepage, so the relevant industry news of the day is always right there.
- Regular e-newsletters, with short, relevant topics that link to more in-depth information let you deliver information to those not actively seeking it. Plus, it’s a great way to keep your e-mail list/CRM scrubbed.
- Make sure your website is designed for mobile screens. Big graphics, wide horizontal navigations and the like don’t allow convenient communication with mobile users. Be sure to have a mobile friendly or mobile site.
- If you’re going to have a Twitter account, tweet regularly. Twitter users want to know what’s happening, daily. Product trends, governmental regulations, and trade show happenings are just a few of the things you can tweet about.
- If you have a blog, be sure to post at least three to five times a week to keep your audience engaged. The posts can—and should—be more informal and personal than your main website. Entries should encourage discussion through comments.
- Re-tweet and use hash (#) tags.
- If you have a Facebook page, the more people who’ve friended you, the better. Host a contest that exchanges trade show sponsorship points for friend acceptances. Whichever company drives the most friends gets a free sponsorship. Post regularly with all sorts of information.
- Keep Facebook and Twitter separate. Do not repost the same info to both as they each serve different audiences. Facebook is to people who have opted in by “liking” you. Twitter is mostly public and can be searched or followed by anyone with hash (#) tags.
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November 24, 2010 | 3:31 pm
On this eve of Thanksgiving 2010, marketing guru Seth Godin gave me this list to ponder of REASONS WHY WE WORK:
- For the money
- To be challenged
- For the pleasure/calling of doing the work
- For the impact it makes on the world
- For the reputation you build in the community
- To solve interesting problems
- To be part of a group and to experience the mission
- To be appreciated
Godin challenges us to consider how really important #1 is when what really ignites the passion in our souls are #2-8. Which brings me to more reasons why I’m thankful. (Of course family and friends, good health, pets I adore and a really nice little life…are all things for which I am ever grateful.) But I own this small company—Fixation Marketing—and I know how fortunate I am to have it and share it with a dedicated and caring staff. We are continually challenged to learn more and do better work. We solve interesting problems each day. I’d like to think we’ve built a nice reputation in the community. It is a priority for the company to give back to the community and we do so through our volunteer and pro bono work. We appreciate our clients and we love to be appreciated. And for all that, I am happy to come to work every morning. And I know that’s a gift. Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving everybody.
Categories: Fixation in the Community
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November 2, 2010 | 9:03 am
The recession is slowly ebbing. How do I know this? Because in the past few weeks, two of our favorite clients announced they are moving to new jobs and a long-time employee of Fixation shared his decision to follow his heart and move to the Big Apple. The news was stunning as I realized how long it’s been since I’ve heard much about anyone leaving jobs (of their own volition).
Like most people, I’m not crazy about change. When things shake up in a client’s organization, for example, it can, at least for awhile, make things a little shaky for the marketing firm. And, on a personal note, I really hate losing touch with someone I care about and is beloved by our clients. But at times like this, I try to embrace change for all the good that it can bring: new opportunities, new perspectives, new energy, new relationships. I recognize that an organization can become stagnant with no staff turnover, and movement, from time to time, is a positive thing. But breaking up is hard to do, even if it’s healthy for all of us in the end.
June 15, 2010 | 6:59 pm
Fixation proudly continues with our sponsorship of Sam Lippman’s Large Show Roundtable (LSR). The latest event was held in St. Louis and included cocktails with the Budweiser Clydesdales. As promised, we’re sharing the second installment of our 10 for ’10 marketing tips (distributed as a handout to the St. Louis LSR participants).
We’ve offered some sound advice and tactics in response to the anxiety-producing trend of prospective attendees waiting to register until only a few weeks out from the event. Fear not! End-of-campaign strategies can boost both exhibit and attendance numbers in the final weeks before your show.
Categories: Marketing, Tradeshows
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June 14, 2010 | 2:54 pm
This week as we were brainstorming ideas for IAAPA Asian Attractions Expo 2011′s creative look and tagline, we were pleased to see CEO Charlie Bray and the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions receive some well-deserved recognition for having established a truly global presence.
As Charlie points out, many associations are "International" in name only. When it comes to branding their tradeshows, they haven’t really decided whether they will be a U.S. tradeshow with some international attendance, or an international tradeshow that happens to take place in the U.S.-and be able to back up the claim. A few years ago, IAAPA told us they wanted to be unequivocally the latter. It has been our challenge to help them strategize and enact a series of tactics to boost their international attendance without breaking the bank on international marketing.
The first step-as always!-has to be researching and targeting the right mailing lists. Another thing IAAPA gets right, and that’s tantamount to going global, is a good relationship with a good translation company. They use the same team of translators year after year so those folks are very familiar with the industry’s terminology and with the IAAPA Attractions Expo. A separate challenge is deciding what to translate. In recent years, focusing on digital initiatives (like targeted emails to unique international communities and a digital conference brochure that is web accessible) has really helped expand IAAPA’s reach. Last year’s show, in fact, saw record international attendance.
Categories: International Marketing
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April 6, 2010 | 10:26 am
From time to time, business owners are asked to throw their proverbial hat into the ring for various graphic design awards, Best Places to Work lists, Smart CEO honors and the like. So, it was no big deal when earlier this year we received a Top Agency nomination from BtoB, the magazine for marketing strategists, and were asked to complete a survey. All in a day’s work; answer their questions and move on.
Imagine our surprise a few weeks ago when we learned that Fixation had been named to BtoB’s (www.btobonline.com) 150 Leading Agencies list in their March 2010 issue. This particular honor stands out because a) it’s a national recognition that finds us listed among some of the nation’s biggest and best “name brand” agencies; and b) the questions took into consideration not just our personality or number of employees, but some deeper questions about year-over-year growth and how we were helping our clients deal with a fragile economy.
Look, we know this business is not all about awards. But as a small agency, we rarely get consideration in the rarefied company of the “big boys” like BBDO and Ogilvy & Mather North America. Let’s hear it for the little guy! And let me take this opportunity to first thank a great small-and-smart staff here at Fixation who work hard and produce terrific stuff that is sometimes unheralded. Second, let me honor our clients—many of them long-standing—who hire us to provide creative strategy, design and interactive marketing solutions that help keep them successful and help keep us on top of our game.
Congratulations to all. I’m so proud of this company.
March 24, 2010 | 1:05 pm
Fixation Marketing was a sponsor of Sam Lippman’s Large Show Roundtable (LSR) in Anaheim, California on January 22, 2010. Not content just slapping our name on this industry-leading executive forum and sitting on the sidelines, we produced an informative value-added leave behind for all LSR participants called 10 for ’10-10 marketing tips to enhance their 2010 events. Now, we’d like to share it with you! This first installment focuses on fresh ideas to attract returning and new attendees and exhibitors, from direct mail database management to utilizing Smartphones effectively.
Stay tuned for the next 10 for ’10, which will offer tips on how to boost registration numbers eight weeks out from the big event!
Categories: Marketing, Tradeshows
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January 6, 2010 | 10:19 am
If you know me well, then you probably know that both my parents passed away in 2009. For years leading up to their rather sudden passing, my brothers and I tried without success to get them to embrace the age of technology and get a computer. They wouldn’t. We wanted them to send and receive email. They wouldn’t. But here’s something I learned as I recently sorted through their things: my old-fashioned, tech-resistent parents still wrote letters. And because they wrote letters, they received letters back. I read things about my parents after their deaths that I would never have known if they had communicated, like the rest of us, through email. Don’t get me wrong; I love email as much as the next girl. But there is something fleeting about it that was all the more apparent as I read letters from friends and family to my parents. Fixation’s holiday gift this year is a set of custom-designed greeting cards we’re calling “Not The Usual Holidays Holiday Cards.” They’re greetings for holidays that were never elevated to celebrated card-giving occasions. Our hope is to prompt one-to-one communication at times this year when no one particularly expects it. Like Groundhog Day or Arbor Day for example. Write a note, throw on a stamp and surprise someone. We promise that no one will hit “delete.”
Happy New Year!
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