Spark Rocket Marketing . . .a sparky little division of DKD

Officially launching today, Spark Rocket Marketing!

DKD_2013-03-27_Logo_SparkRocket

A division of DKD, Spark Rocket produces micro campaigns with major impact, like this one: AXIS COMMUNICATIONS GIVES ITS CSR CAMPAIGN A “SPARK”

Produced for AXIS Communications in 2012, this flash mob event gave AXIS Communications huge visibility at the security industry’s leading tradeshow, ISC West.  (It was so successful, we’re doing a campaign for them right now, as you’re reading this. You’ll see it soon!)

The team that is now Spark Rocket Marketing brought the concept of flash-mobbing the security industry to AXIS Communications. We encouraged them to marry this high-visibility production to their support of industry charity Mission 500, showcasing their corporate social responsibility efforts while breaking through the clutter of a tradeshow floor. The event made the show daily, post-show print and  blog articles. Garnering 200% more hits than any other on the AXIS’ You Tube channel, the video got continual play all year at Mission 500 events, adding to the exposure. And the custom “dance” version of the Mission 500 song is still used at Mission 500 events!

DKD has been doing more and more of these campaigns (ask us about our flying pigs and Zombies) so, the creative core behind these high-impact campaigns is being spun off into a separate divison. Not just event-based, these campaign can range from print, direct marketing, creative copywriting and visual media — not to mention songwriting, costuming, storyboarding, scriptwriting. Once an idea “sparks” the possibilities are out of this world.

DKD Marketing will still be available for your strategic marketing planning and implementation of those plans. But if you need a one-time, hugely visible, high impact campaign — we’re going to ignite our Spark Rocket team and let them launch that campaign for you (oh yes, are we having fun with the puns around here these days! We like to say “it only takes a spark to get a market going”).

Give Spark Rocket a call at +1.407.760.7360

or email Mission Commander, Angela Kendall-Dempsey: akendall_at_sparkrocketmarketing_dot_com

Spark Rocket Marketing. Micro campaigns. Major impact.

Get wet all over . . .

I get it, I do. You’re scared. The water looks really cold. It’s your first time without water wings. You just want to dip your toes in and see how the water feels before you really commit.

But you can’t just dip your toes in. You can’t..

You have got to make a cannonball-sized splash the first time you launch your company, product, services or combination of all. Or don’t bother.

Now I’m not saying that you’re to place ads everywhere from the primetime ads during Olympic coverage of Michael Phelps  to your child’s elementary school swim team Facebook page! But, once you’ve identified and narrowed your market to determine exactly where your “low-hanging fruit” is for potential sales, and once you plan to introduce yourself to that market, timid toe dips will simply not work. If you do, You’ll look small, afraid and timid and who wants to do business with someone like that? (Especially for most of my clients — whose job it is to present a confident, take no prisoners attitude to security and threat mitigation. . .now there’s a reason not to look timid, no?)

I get that the budget is limited, but look at all of the options and carve out a mix of places to be and then dive in using the best strategic and attention getting messages. Want to stand out in a tradeshow? Then don’t give away 10,000 pieces of junk that people leave in their hotel. How about giving away 250 of something people might really want, but only to targeted decision makers who commit to an appointment with you and have to come to your booth to pick it up! Or give them something that will surprise them and leave them laughing (ask DKD about our “Flying Pigs” campaign!).

Get testimonials (they’re free!). Let others speak for you. Hound the press with information on why you are unique (but realize that the message you need to give the media is NOT “come buy our stuff because it’s unique” but rather “people who are buying our stuff are better off because they bought our unique stuff and here’s why” – that’s a subtle but really important distinction if you want the press to continue to take your calls and write or talk about you).

Get the slickest, most skilled graphics designer you can find and invest in quality of design, not the fanciness of the brochure because an elegantly designed, simple, two page brochure has just as much impact as a die-cut, embossed, gilded, heavy-weight masterpiece of a brochure. Or consider going paperless and electronically provide everything because really . . . paper is so yesterday.

Be clear about who you are. Come up with three or four consistent, repeatable “go to” messages that permeate every web post, website, brochure, flyer, press release, social media site and ad that you touch. The message may be positioned differently depending on the audience, but there will be a few key phrases and descriptions that carry across all media lines.

And those are just a few pointers, but what I want to drive home is that just dipping your toes in to marketing will diminish your message power — especially if you are looking to make a first impression that will have “legs” as we call it in this industry.

So go. Make a splash! Get wet all over and you will see a better return on your marketing investment.

 

FRIDAY FUN: Underwear in my t-shirt drawer

As I work from home 90% of the time, on occasion, I find myself “multi-tasking” (she says, shuddering at the word). It’s rare, but I sometimes do a completely mindless task while I talk with a vendor or a partner firm. I could say that it enhances my brainstorming with them, but really, who’d buy that? The good news is, I now have proof that I really do give more focus to the person on the phone than to mindless task.. How do I know? Well, after one such 45 minute call today, I looked around my bedroom and realized that all my laundry was out of the basket, folded and in drawers and I had pretty much no recollection of having done it. You know that feeling you have when you get home from a drive and wonder where the last two miles went? Yep. That’s how it felt.

But the good news is, I ended the call with a mental to-do list about a mile long which I quickly typed up and shot out to my vendor-partner.

And that proof I mentioned? The reason I am certain I gave my vendor partner more attention than the laundry?

Well, when I went to take a shower later, I found a hand knitted red winter scarf that had been lingering at the bottom of the laundry basket for, I don’t know, months? (I live in Orlando, with maybe two days of winter, so you do the math.) It was no longer in the basket. Nope, it was hanging on the . . .wait for it . . .towel rack in my shower. How I plan to dry myself off with a red wool scarf, I’m not sure. Needless to say, I will probably be finding underwear in my t-shirt drawers for a few weeks. Oh well.

So tell me, fellow at-home workers, what’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done while on a conference call? Meanwhile, if you’re an at-home small business owner in Orlando, I recommend you check out my friend Michelle Stile’s new service Support-Small-Biz.Com. The value she gives for her services is IMMENSE and right-priced for up-and-coming companies.

How To Do Your Own Marketing

The other day, I received an email from a former colleague. He’s just taken on the directorship for business development for a new firm, and asked me – as people often  do – how DKD  “did the marketing” for the distributorship where we both worked as consultants.

Of course, my immediate thought was a snarky “well John Doe, I could plug a cable in between your brain and mine and download my abilties in identifying target markets, developing strategies and creative concepts . . .all intellectual property I have earned in my 20+ years doing this, but no such cable exists.”

But I realized John was just soliciting my professional advice, not looking for a freebie. I provided him a few tips on e-blasts to serve an immediate need, but then also provided a comprehensive list of the kinds of services DKD provides and a summary of the different questions and information we need to develop a comprehensive marketing plan for any company. Wisely, he put together a meeting between the two of us and his CEO and now we’re negotiating how DKD can help his new company. He looks good to his boss and keeps the marketing communications off his plate so he can focus on his priority, sales and business development. A win-win for all.

But it got me to thinking.

And I realized. I absolutely do have a one sentence, foolproof, absolutely easy way for a company to “do their own marketing” and I’m going to share it with you.

So go get a pen.

Ready?

Okay, here goes.

Hire an outside professional.

Yes, whether it’s a firm, a set of firms or a consultant . . .the way to “do your own marketing” successfully is to hire an outside professional.

Now I hear you saying to yourself “well, that’s NOT doing it myself,” but I look at it the same way I do when people ask me “is that your hair color?”  To which I reply, “Absolutely.” Because it is my hair color. I earned the money to pay for the colorist every 4-6 weeks to make sure it is absolutely, 100% my hair color.

It’s the same with your company. You’ve spent the money and time to invest in developing a product or service that you believe is of value to consumers or businesses, so go out, interview and hire the best outside professional you can find to market those products or services, cut them a check and boom . . you have done the marketing all by yourself.

And now I hear you saying “well, Angela, of course that’s what you’d say, after all, you own a marketing firm.

And you’re right. I am absolutely biased. I also know that I am absolutely right, and I can prove it using my own business as an example.

Do me a favor and look at the logo at the top of this post. Take a minute, examine it and tell me what you think the name of my company is.

Okay, now do you see “DKD Marketing” or do you see “iDKD Marketing”?

Yeah, me too. I now see the “i” right in front of the D which is not only NOT the name of my company, it is now the team joke that our name is “I don’t know d*** ” about marketing.

Hahahaha DKD team . . . you guys are soooooooo funny! (sob)

But it proves my point. It proves that even though I am a marketing professional who has done 1000s of successful campaigns for my clients, that when you are too close to your own product or service, you sometimes miss the obvious. When our artist created all of our logo options at the beginning of DKD, my fellow partner and I saw an icon of a strong powerful woman, with a resemblance to a classic game – the queen on a chess board, which we saw as promoting our strategic approach to marketing. While classic, it was also modern, showing that we service high tech and stay abreast of the most advanced marketing techniques. We used progressive colors, but masculine enough to be accepted by our security and energy technology-based targets that are run largely by men. The name DKD was very “traditional” – because we didn’t want to be known first as some girly-girl firm with a cute name. The list goes on and on of ways we can enumerate what is right about our logo.

But it all falls apart when you realize that I get at least one email a month in which someone calls my firm “IDKD Marketing” or worse, cuts the check to “IDKD Marketing” (loads of fun at the bank).

Again, sob.

If that’s not proof, I don’t know what is. Well, that, and the fact that my blog is sorely neglected, my website needs a refresher, my email marketing campaigns are sporadic . . . virtually everything I do for my clients, I neglect for my own firm because I am too busy providing the service and product that I offer to focus on marketing my own company (which means I probably have 20 typos in this post, but am not going to waste one of my copy editors’ time reviewing it, so don’t point them out in your comments, please).

So if you want the best “do it yourself marketing” you can possibly get there is simply one answer. Bite the bullet. Write the check. And make it out to the best outside professionals you can find and let them do the job using skills they’ve spent years honing to make your business more successful.

(now, to take my own advice . . .it’s time to call my favorite branding firm Soapbox Marketing Group and my favorite social media firm Geben Communications and get them to create a new logo and develop a campaign for DKD and then. . . what’s that? Really? A client’s product just won the top spot in the best 10 new products award at a major security show and we need to develop the promotions campaign around that? Ok, I’ll be right there.)