Oh So Pinteresting!

First off, if you don’t know what Pinterest is, I have a Sparknotes description at the bottom.

So, for the rest of us who are familiar with the site… what are the first few things that come to mind when you think of Pinterest? Wedding dresses, baking tips, and “thin-spiration” images? Yaaaaaa, me too.

What initially sparked the public’s interest about the new social network, was its exclusivity. What the hell is this new ‘Pinterest’ thing?? No one knew what it was, and you  had to apply and be accepted to use it… so obviously everyone wanted ‘in.’

My personal experience with Pinterest began last year as a new college grad. All of my close friends were very active social media users, even more so than I was (crazy, I know). Anyway, they all seemed to be getting accounts and I wasn’t going to miss out! To my surprise, it took close to three weeks after applying for me to get an account. For the next few months, my activity consisted of finding awesome new recipes, DIY projects for the young and poor, and looking at the “thin-spirational” photos that Nike has created a movement with. My boards are awesome, I will admit, mainly because I have zero wedding themed images on them (I am part of the 1%)! But with all of this, I honestly never thought that it would turn into something useful for businesses.

Where my viewpoint began to change though, was once we started talking about it in the agency as a marketing tool. Surprisingly enough, this site is becoming the Mecca of information on target groups (well, mainly women right now). Who needs to pay for a focus group or survey when you can hop on Pinterest for free! Just check out the pages of those who fit the criteria of what you are looking for and see what else they are interested in. Easy as pie! It is going to be very interesting to see how Pinterest not only continues to become an obsession for many females, but also a vital research tool for many agencies.

In addition to creeping on other people’s profiles, a business must create their own. That is what our team is currently working on. What the heck do you put on there? If you chose to only post photos of your own work, then you seem like a narcissistic company. So what boards do you create? What pics do you pin? That is what we are experimenting with. It has been a fun process approaching Pinterest from a professional side. I’ve attached the link to our page, so take a peek and let me know how you think we’re doing! …And ya, I added the link for mine too.

Opus Creative’s Pinterest

Fine… My Pinterest

Those are all my thoughts for now. Hope everyone had a great first day of Summer!

**For those unfamiliar with the new social site, Pinterest is an online bulletin board. A user can have as many themed “boards” as their hearts desire and to those boards, they post images that they like. You can “follow” other users, “repin” their images, and “like” or comment on other’s pictures as well.

“Re-Intro”

I know, I know… almost six months since my last post. Sorry to all of my dedicated readers! But I am glad to report that those days of unemployment and interning are now behind me, and I am well on my way to a wonderful career in the marketing industry. I snagged a job at a medium sized creative agency in Portland last December and I have enjoyed every minute of it.

My strategy from the beginning had been to start off in a small/medium sized agency, allowing me to dabble in different departments, and ultimately help me to choose a path. Well, that plan was a success! I’ve learned a ton thus far and see no end in sight. Still unsure of which direction I want to go, but I definitely have enough time to figure it out. There are so many interesting areas to this industry, maybe I won’t even have to pick and will become a ‘Jack of All Trades.’

Anyway, this is just a ‘re-intro’ post, the first of many more to come (without another six month gap). I have learned so much and am excited to share with you.

As always, love your feedback!

-K

Cubicle Etiquette

In my work experience thus far, I have been fortunate enough to work in fairly open environments, generally with very few walls separating my coworkers and I. Communication flows employees and there are no feeling of being “trapped” at your desk. Amen for creative agencies! A few of my peers however, have not been as fortunate as I. And as bad as I feel for them, the comments and descriptions regarding their experiences leave me on the floor dying of laughter. (Sorry guys!)

No, this post really has nothing to do with marketing or advertisements as I am sure you have figured out, but I just felt it was too funny to keep to myself.  

The following is a list, verbatim, of things to do, not do, or be aware of while in your cubicle. All have been generously given by my dear friend Kelli who has been recently restricted to a cubicle after breaking her foot.

1. No eating smelly foods.

2. Don’t talk on the phone. Ever. Go outside.

3. Try to face the entrance of your cube or people will scare you (my favorite).

4. Even though it is YOUR cubicle, there is still no sense of personal space. (Example: people fixing the central air and the controller happens to be above your cubicle. “What is that white stuff falling on my head?”)

5. Be careful because your boss will be secretly watching you as you are slyly chatting (or you thought) on Google+ to your friend when you should be working.

6. Also, people judge your cubicle, so be ready for that. Is it messy? What are your photos of? Why don’t you have any photos???

7. When your sick stay home… not because I don’t want to catch your infectious disease, but i just can’t stand you coughing and blowing your nose every 2 minutes.

I am sure there are many other guidelines and “do nots” for cubicle etiquette. Please feel free to leave a comment and tell us what else have you found to be important when working/living in such a confined space.

A Day in the Life of an Intern/Recent Graduate

As I have been brainstorming posts for the We the Media company blog, my coworker gave me the great idea to do a post about “A Day in the Life of…” Ideally I want to have these posts to be about the lives of the designers, project managers, and other major players in the company. However as an example to show the office, I wrote one about myself. It is short and sweet, but somewhat funny and “witty,” as described by one of my bosses. Therefore, I figured why not share it with my readers. It is also glimpse into my new life here in Portland.

7:30 am: Alarm goes off. Eyes open. First thought of the day: “Need coffee, lots of coffee.”

7:35am: Make full pot of coffee, drink full pot of coffee.

8:15am: Hop in the wonderful Passat wagon and begin driving to work, all the while listening to an awful mix of music on the radio.

8:45am: Crossing my fingers and praying to the Heavens above for place to park.

9am: Walk in the office and say good morning to Kate and Ollie, the only two that get there before 9 am.

9am-12pm: Do really important work stuff:

  • Check emails, Facebook, Twitter, etc. because our internet at home is as unreliable as… well, something REALLY unreliable.
  • Read blogs about cool new social media trends.
  • Read and research the updates of projects that WTM is working on via Opal.
  • Laugh at coworkers’ comments posted on Opal.
  • Attempt to come up with witty tweets to impress my fellow employees.

12pm-1pm:

  • Sadly deny the invite by coworkers to go to Sheridan’s market for lunch, because I have no money and brought a Cup-a-Noodle.
  • Eat Cup-a-Noodle while chatting with Kate about weekend activities, life, and how sad I am that I cannot attend the WTM Christmas party.

1pm-2:30pm:

  • Try really hard to be decent at foosball if challenged. However, have yet to succeed.
  • Be entertained/distracted by:
    • Gorman singing
    • Erynn (our Community Manager) came up for the day from Eugene
    • Harlow, George’s baby
  • Keep doing really important work stuff.

2:30pm: Go home

3-7pm: Watch excess amounts of The Office, Friends, Family Guy, and Law and Order until roommates come home.

  • Attempt to catch up on worldly news online (when internet chooses to cooperate)
  • Write a new blog post

4pm: Ponder going to the gym. Wait. Is it raining? It is? Ok, I’ll go tomorrow.

7pm: Make dinner, usually rice and vegetables with some type of Asian sauce. It takes about six minutes total to make.

7pm-11pm: Spend time with roommates, usually by watching excess amounts of The Office, Friends, Family Guy, and Law and Order.

11pm: Lights out.

11pm-7:30am: dreaming about work and marketing and WTM (George, the WTM President, made me add that of course).

Branding…

The branding industry is thought to actually be quite new to the scene. Branding, as we know it now, began to evolve around the 1950’s with the creation of the television, because businesses were able to mass market their products. (Thanks Wikipedia!)

Personally, I think branding is one of the coolest and most interesting aspects of the marketing industry. You are given the ability to control the message that a business chooses to communicate to the public, how they communicate it, and thus, how the public views that company. The product in some cases may actually have no impact on the image of a company if they choose to invest heavily in marketing and advertising. Yes, it affects who the target market would be, but how you choose to reach them and which message you choose to send is entirely up to you.

I came into my current position, as a marketing intern, with virtually no given direction for a marketing plan. We the Media, a young Portland based web/app design company who had mainly relied on word-of-mouth marketing for business thus far, basically gave me free reign to try different marketing tactics. As I began to brainstorm different strategies I would want to try, I realized the opportunity that I had at hand. Because WTM hadn’t done any marketing or advertising thus far, I was working with a blank canvas. Based on the different marketing strategies that I chose to implement would not only increase their brand recognition, but also publicize their company culture and how the public received them… all of which was basically in my hands. I don’t know about you, but to having an opportunity like this as a recent graduate that is so exciting that gives me goosebumps. (Guess I chose the right major!)

I am still finalizing the marketing plan, but stay tuned because I will post it on my ‘Portfolio’ page and as always love feedback.

The Holiday Cups!

Finally, the day that we all have been waiting for! No, the budget crisis has not been solved yet… but the red, festive Starbucks holiday cups have made their annual debut into stores!

For it is not the holiday decorations now being sold, the Christmas lights that are slowly being put up on houses, or the even the chilly weather that triggers in us the sense of the coming Holidays, it is the Starbucks holiday cups.

If you don’t believe me, check out your Facebook newsfeed. Now that updates are grouped together based on different keywords, you can see how many people are publicizing their excitement regarding the cups. Just in the past 5 minutes, I can look at 9 different statuses including the word Starbucks.

Among the countless strategies that have helped this Seattle based coffee company take over not only in the United States, but the world; the annual red, holiday cup promotion has now also become a staple in our Holiday culture. Creating a sense of the holidays surrounding a flimsy paper cup is genius! Why would you get your coffee at a place that doesn’t give you a nutcracker or snowflakes on your cup? The answer is that you wouldn’t.

In addition, the stores also offer specific holiday syrup flavors as well, which are only featured for a limited time. So why would you just get a plain cup of coffee in this beautiful cup, when you can get a “Venti, peppermint mocha, with whipped cream, and blah, blah, blah,” which is 3x the price of a normal order! Cheers to you Starbucks.

Happy Wednesday!

As A Business Owner, Would You Give Out Your Home Number?

I recently went into a small coffee shop here in Portland and while waiting in line, I perused through the shop’s pamphlets that were atop the pastry counter. The pamphlet included the menu, a little history of the shop and a note on the back from the proprietors. Within this note to their customers, the owners also included their home phone number. The note went on to say that if there was anything unsatisfying about their experience, to please call them on their home line and let them know.

This isn’t the first time that I have seen business owners offer up their personal lines for their customers. My health club in California would send out monthly newsletters to the members and on the bottom of each letter was home phone number to the owners.

Whats the point of this? Do people actually call the owners when something goes awry? Or is this just a marketing tactic to make the customers believe that the management is extremely involved and therefore is better than the competition?

Here is my take. By including the personal contact info for the owners, the customers feel more comfortable shelling out their dough knowing that if there is a problem, it will be taken care of at once by the highest level of the company’s management. Plus, it ensures that they employees remain on their best behavior!

Anywho, I thought it was interesting. Have a great Thursday! Go Ducks this weekend!

So Who Do You Know?

“It’s not about WHAT you know, it’s about WHO you know.”

If I had a nickel for every time I heard this, I probably wouldn’t even need to find a job.

But what exactly does this mean?

  • What if you don’t know “anyone?” Are you hopeless to find a job?
  • What if you know a ton of well connected people and land a job, but have no skills or experience?

From my experience and the advice that I have received from professionals have included that landing the interview is usually the hardest part. Especially in our current job market with so many fighting for the few open positions, it seems more likely that a company will trust a recommendation from a friend or employee, rather than based on what is on the resume of a stranger. Having great job experience is very important, but it sadly can take a backseat to a verbal recommendation from a trusted source.

So in the end, is it may be more beneficial to focus on networking rather than adding to your resume?

“Old World Marketing” Still Exists

Each year, my family and I take a vacation to a small town in Montana for a week to visit Grandma and enjoy some relaxation. Growing up, I always understood that the “Big Sky Country” enjoyed the simpler things in life and a much slower pace.

This year however, having the marketing mind that I do, I made a conscious effort to look at the advertisements and marketing methods used by the local businesses. Talk about non-existent. The few signs that I saw were painted on wooden boards or banners and placed in front of the corresponding shop usually saying something along the lines of, “SALE: 1/2 Off”. The ads in the newspaper were no more included a phone number… and that was about it. I felt like I was being sent back in time to the world prior to the introduction of the internet, let alone Social Media. Granted, I barely remember those days, but that is how I imagine it to be. I wanted to run into some of these stores and ask the owners if they even had a company website, or Twitter and Facebook address, but I already felt a bit like a fish out of water.

I understand that companies, especially national ones such as Wal-Mart, tailor their advertisements and products to different regions throughout the U.S. in order to successfully reach all demographics. This strategy was also was evident in the small town of Polson, Montana. I doubt the store in Napa, CA would have sold one days’ inventory of fishing poles that the Polson store had in stock.

But in the end, I’ll be honest… I’d give up my Twitter screen for this view.