Pepsi Marketing minority feedback

Diversity at the Creative Table

First, it was Pepsi, then Shea Moisture who’s going to be next? Who is going to venture into the space where they are marketing either to get the black dollar or expand the black dollar, without ever getting input from black marketers?

We have been talking for years about the lack of diversity at the table. But it didn’t matter too much of big business because the black community was not organized or powerful enough to move money with a simple product boycott. But things have changed. With things like the BLM movement, Shaun King’s efforts, the WeBuyBlack movement and the hilarious, unrelenting force of Black twitter the ability to organize has shifted.

According to Nielsen, black buying power has reached the tipping point. Last year the black dollar accounted for about $12 trillion in consumer spending. That would make Black America the 15 largest economies in the world according to World Bank data. For reference; that is comparable to the entire economy of Mexico.

So if mainstream business is smart, they will continue to try to reach Black America. But laying a trap beat behind your commercial is not going to do it. Black people, just like any other demographic are diverse in our interests, culture, and traditions. We are not all excited by or offended by the same things. But (for the most part) if you offend the majority, you offend us all, and we will stick together.

So as marketers how do you include this very big spending base into your marketing efforts without going all “Pepsi”?

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CEO Did You Cut Budgets Again

CEO’s;  Did You Cut Your Marketing Budget Again This Year?

I have worked for and with CEO’s and CMO’s for the better part of 20 years, and in the last five, I have begun to see a disturbing trend.

While marketing is getting better, more strategic and more measurable, the C-Suite is demanding less strategy and less dependence on data to make decisions. Then because your marketing efforts do not seem to be bearing as much fruit as expected, you cut marketing budgets and downsize your marketing teams to the point where they are ineffective.

You probably need to make a decision.  You either let your marketing team do their job or manage the ebbs and flows of your marketing needs through agencies or contractors.

By tightening your marketing belt, you’re not giving your team the breathing room to research, plan, execute and measure success.  You’ve also probably hired the best,  most experienced people so you are wasting a ton of money on an expert level experience that you are not taking advantage of.

You might as well go and hire a staff of interns.

This is what the typical mid-sized company marketing department looks like.

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Be Great At What You’re Great At And Hire For The Rest

I have had the opportunity to live in a few different cities. The change of scenery is exciting but it’s always challenging to re-establish the basic service relationships you need to live comfortably.

My hairdresser is a sacred relationship that I struggle to live without. So when I landed back in Houston, I went searching the web for a new one.

I wanted to see pictures of their work, what techniques do they specialize in, and if they were located nearby and their hours of operation, (could I make it in after work or early Saturday morning.)

The shop I landed on was a great choice, everything I wanted in a new salon.

I found her because she used google ads and retargeting. 

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Business partnerships

It Takes a Village – Building external partnerships

I contemplated starting a business for years. I started, and stopped and freelanced and bought domain names every year but never could really get it off the ground. Building a successful business is overwhelming, even more so if you feel like you have to go it alone. I suggest you don’t, I suggest you form partnerships.

Although I love and trust my partners, I know that our relationship is special. It is difficult to find people that you are willing to share your opinions, ideas, and profits.

What we’ve discovered is that while we count on each other so much, to get the work done, it’s our external partners that have really helped us to grow.

Our Partnership with The Black Women’s Guide

On November 9th, 2016 I was sitting alone at a conference. It was the day after that very significant election, and no one knew how to react.  Dominique Aubry stopped by my table and asked me to follow a hashtag. The hashtag leads to a meetup, the meet up resulted in a follow-up call.

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Finding Inspiration for Your Business

By: Wendy Dangerfield

I’m pretty sure the greatest of ideas come because something touched you beyond your bottom line. The thing that touches your heart and soul.

The best description I have for it is a bit of magic. The night I encountered this brave soul who reminded me that there’s absolutely more to business than money, clients and success as defined by Fortune magazine. 

Kays kettle corn business inspiration Owner and self-proclaimed “POP”prietor of Kay’s Kettle Corn, “Khadijah “Kay” Polly, said she had had enough and wanted to live out her dreams so she took a leap. It was a leap of faith from her 9-to-5 as a corporate recruiter into the air, literally. Yes, she went skydiving. An experience amongst the clouds and some food for thought inspired her to finally pursue her dreams. She exited corporate America and launched a full-fledged popcorn business.

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Project management tools small business

Simple Tools That Can Make Big Impact Business Progress 

Often we find that our clients have a great idea, but they don’t always leave themselves enough time to complete all of the tasks required to meet their goals within the timeline. Of course that sets the pace for everyone else to play catch-up right along with them.

This is the reason why Project Management is a core component of what we do. We would never be successful at delivering services to you guys without an easy way to document what’s needed and keep track of all of the steps required to get there.

We whittle down huge undertakings into bite-sized projects. Achieving incremental goals helps us to keep budgets manageable while delivering what our clients need in a reasonable timeframe. 

Our toolkit is compromised of some simple, free or inexpensive ninja apps that keep us on track. The essential tools generally fall into three categories. We share two of our favorites in each category so you can pick what is right for you.

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Your Marketing Goals Should Reflect Business Objectives

Do you remember that great fiscal year planning session that you hosted? All of your key people were in the room. You looked at last years’ numbers and came up with goals and plans and you walked out of the room satisfied that next year was going to be the best one ever.

But when you left that conference table did you remember to communicate those goals to your marketers, so that they could be translated into measurable KPI’s?  If everyone in your organization (especially your marketers) do not have your yearly KPI’s committed to memory you will fight harder than necessary to meet your business objectives.

The efforts of your sales team and marketers are the drivers behind your business sustainability and growth (I know you know this). You must empower them to measure progress and adjust strategy based on solid goals and data.

Today, can you look at your monthly marketing reports and determine if you are successful in reaching your business goals and objectives? If not, how do get there?

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Tools: Marketing an Event

A good friend of mine, a painter and art teacher has started hosting painting parties. She has partnered with local restaurants, where she brings canvas’ paints, smocks and easels and patron create their own art while enjoying their drinks and snacks.

But a few times every month she’s in the position where she needs to market a new location and draw in a new audience.

Marketing one off events is not an easy task. People have busy schedules and sometimes they are looking for something to do on a Saturday afternoon, but usually they are not. If they are it’s a special occasion, or they are looking on Saturday morning.

So how do you compete with your own customers and their schedules? You need to raise awareness of what your event/s are all about and give them as much time as possible to make you a part of their schedule. Remember your event must be worth more than their money, it must be worth their time.

  • Set the tone

Close your eyes and imagine what a successful event looks like for you? Who are the people attending your event? Why are they there, and how many of them are there?

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Make Friends, Not Leads

Making friends used to be much easier in third grade. We take the same school bus home, both like scratch and sniff stickers, and New Edition, so we are best friends.

As businesses, we don’t do a great job of establishing and maintaining friendships with our leads and customers. If we just thought about these relationships in the same way as we did in the third grade…

In marketing, we call it lead nurturing; but IRL it’s pretty much the same principles as third-grade friend making.

  1. Reach out to them after the initial meeting
    Email, phone call, social media… however, they like to communicate reach out and say hi. Not just with sales information but something that is beneficial to them.
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Data driven marketing

What’s Driving Your Marketing Decisions?

How do you decide what kind of car to buy? Do you just point to the shiny red one? Probably not, you probably google, and compare prices, and safety ratings, and features and make a decision based on what you think is best for you. You make the decision based on data.

So if I asked what is your cost per customer acquisition, or your customer lifetime value or your sales closing rate; do you know?

If you are not making marketing decisions by gut, or anecdotal, historical information instead of based on the data points you should be collecting through every customer transaction, you are essentially just pointing at the “shiny red one”.

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