Five reasons your brand isn’t working any more – and what to do about it.

Like everything in life, business is about relationships, and branding does a lot of the talking for you to your customers. Your brand communicates your values to your customers – are you trying to sell fun, quality, reliability, familiarity, innovation, or something else? Does your brand say that? If your branding isn’t communicating what you want it to, it’s time to think about rebranding. A rebrand isn’t a decision to take lightly – but it can make all the difference for a company, and take it to new levels.

Some reasons an organization might need to rebrand are:

A bad reputation – less than stellar customer service relationships may have tarnished your image. You’re ready to start over – with a new identity that’s more focused on your customers.

Name change, or a merger/acquisition – New blood in the family or a new direction prompts a conversation.  Who are we? What do we do differently? How can we explain how the new organization is for the customer’s benefit?

Your brand no longer describes what you do – Along the way, your organization may have found a way to specialize or found new avenues of business. A rebrand helps solidify your place of relevance in today’s market.

Confusing – what is it you do again? If the customer has to ask this, they’ll probably use your competition instead.

You look like a competitor – You gotta stand out from the crowd.

Take rebranding as an opportunity to solidify colors, taglines, logos, and your look and feel to create a professional package that can be maintained across mediums. A brand isn’t just about the logos – it needs to be about your brand’s promise to customers too. A solid brand is a launch pad to fulfilling your customer’s expectations of you.

Branding & Strat_3

A few of our clients have had different reasons for rebranding. For Campbell County Health, located in Gillette, Wyoming, they needed to figure out a name that showed that they were a health system, not just a hospital. With clinics, a hospital, and a variety of specialties and facilities, they needed a name and brand that encompassed the whole organization. By rebranding to Campbell County Health, they were able to designate themselves as a health system, not only a hospital. For their patients, Campbell County Health is now a more comprehensive health system that can provide excellent care for a variety of needs.

 

Another client, Prowers Medical Center, had had the same logo for almost 20 years. They had an outdated logo that didn’t speak to their real expertise. As one of the Top 100 Rural and Community Hospitals in the nation, Prowers Medical Center needed to look like it and present a united front.  With a new brand, Prowers Medical Center extends the promise to their patients that they are contemporary and patient-centered. Branding & Strat_1

So – what kind of message are you trying to communicate to your customers, and is your brand doing that? If not – reach out to us. We’re great at helping you define your brand message. And from logos to materials, we’ll get you there.

Kirsten Queen, Project Manager at Jet Marketing

Among friends, family, and at the office, Kirsten is known as the cat lady – she’s starting to think it’s time for a personal rebrand! 

😹

 


The “always” in customer satisfaction

Being from Northern Colorado, I love the Human Bean coffee shop. Here’s why:

  • Their coffee drinks are consistently good
  • The staff is always friendly
  • They have drive-up service
  • I get a chocolate covered espresso bean on top, every time
  • They back up this goodness by donating generously to community causes

My Human Bean visits are a consistently positive experience. As marketers, we know that brand consistency builds brand loyalty. I’d add that brand sincerity does, too.

What do I mean by brand sincerity? They walk their talk. They don’t promise one thing and do another. They don’t fake a smile when they hand you your coffee to hide the stress they feel when cars are piling up behind you. They don’t give to various local causes simply to boost their marketing efforts. They don’t forget to make you feel special by placing that bonus bean on top.

Brand sincerity is a tricky thing, because you have to leave a positive impression every time you touch a customer, from the front door to the final transaction. The 17586583_1659281251047525_2502153972765163520_noutcome—that great cup of coffee—is most important, but customers decide who you are every step of the way. If you hit the mark each time, they’re yours to keep.

If you are in healthcare like many of our clients at Jet Marketing, you know consistency can be hard to achieve when a patient experiences 10 to 20 interactions in just one visit. Consider how many chances you have to be less than perfect: A patient sets an appointment, walks through the door, is greeted, sees a nurse or medical technician, sees a doctor, gets lab tests or imaging scans, gets a treatment plan, receives care instructions, checks out, receives a follow up call with results…and that’s all from one doctor visit. Imagine a hospital stay.

One grumpy interaction with staff or missed step along the way can result in a “usually” rather than an “always” on the HCAHPS patient satisfaction survey where healthcare customers rank their satisfaction on a scale of never, sometimes, usually and always. The only answer that generates full federal reimbursement from Medicaid and Medicare for hospitals and clinics is “always,” the most desired box to check on the survey—hence, hospitals thrive or nosedive by their Top Box results.

How can a hospital that has dozens of outlying clinics and a long list of services deliver top care consistently? How can they maintain brand sincerity when so many fingers are in the patient pie? Here are some ideas:

  1. Choose a motto and give it meaning with action.
    For example, our client Campbell County Health in Gillette, Wyoming chose “Excellence Every Day” which they’ve integrated into their daily team huddles and process improvement efforts.
    Provide scripting for front-end staff, technicians and nurses.
  2. Regardless of what facility your patients call, they get the same greeting and warm response. Some of our hospitals have employed the acronym AIDIT, which stands for Acknowledge (by looking in their eyes, calling them by name), Introduce (say your name and what you will be doing for them), Duration (if there is a wait, tell them how long), Explanation (explain the procedure) and Thank you (for choosing us, for calling).
  3. Enlist volunteers to greet your patients at the front door and offer to walk them to their destination.
    Our client Montrose Memorial Hospital did this with excellence on our first visit—complete with a charming older gentlemen who linked arms with us and walked us to the marketing director’s door.Always Blog graphic
  4. Educate patients they will be receiving a patient satisfaction survey and ask them to fill it out.
    While you can’t ask patients to respond with an “always,” you can let them know you want to hear their feedback, and that it helps you improve and makes a difference with federal funding. With that said, don’t let the HCAHPs survey be the end-all goal. Patients are savvy. They recognize when staff are insincerely nice just to get good scores. At the end of the day, an “always” is achieved by consistent, genuine and positive experiences that create loyal customers who are convinced you are great and expect nothing less. In other words, they trust you to deliver that delicious bean on top.

 

3Lynn Nichols, Copywriter, Publication Specialist

Around the office, our copywriter has earned the facetious nickname of “Dr. Lynn” for her off-the-cuff diagnoses of team ailments from her years of healthcare writing.


The Latest in Web Trends

webtrends

While recently researching the latest in web design for an upcoming project, we came across some surprising (and some not-so-surprising) trends and best practices for the new year and thought we’d share.

  1. Phase Out Sliders and Sidebars.

The slider (also known as a photo carousel) has been incredibly popular, but when looking for conversions and engaging your audience it’s best to steer clear. They are often a distraction that users skim right past. They don’t have the patience to wait for each message to appear, and even if they are interested, the message often automatically forwards to the next one before allowing the user to fully engage with the previous.

People think that if they cram as many messages as possible above the “fold”, they will maximize their impact. In reality, their message is diluted or ignored. Worse yet, people may click away from their site.

With mobile devices being the most widely used way users interact on the internet, a scrolling website is your best option. Users are accustomed to and actually expect to scroll through sites. Make the most impact by having a powerful image and succinct copy and a call to action as the first thing a user will see on your site. That will draw them in and encourage scrolling down to see more content.

Sidebars are similar to sliders –  often ignored.  You have extremely limited time to capture your audience’s attention, so don’t complicate it with more static  like a sidebar.

That’s not to say there isn’t a place for sliders and sidebars. Sliders are a great way to showcase your portfolio – but they certainly aren’t for every site, and they definitely don’t belong at the top of your homepage.

 

  1. Larger Fonts and Better Imagery.

This may seem like a no-brainer – but bigger fonts lead to bigger impact, especially when people are using mobile devices more and more. Readability is crucial. Keep the content succinct and to the point. A call to action is another helpful way to draw readers in and lead to conversions.

Having authentic, original imagery that occupies a large amount of real estate on your site is a great way to capture and hold attention. You don’t need  lots of images, just a few impactful ones. The human brain can process an image 60,000 times faster than text.* Having powerful imagery helps the viewer to understand much more quickly what you are trying to convey.

 

  1. Using Semi-Flat design vs. Flat design

Flat design is a style that has no glossy or three-dimensional visual effects. It became popular with the release of Microsoft’s Metro design language and Windows 8 in 2011, along with Apple’s homepage in 2013.** It focuses on minimalism in terms of design.

It used to be apparent to click when something was either blue, underlined, or had 3-D effects. With flat design, it became more difficult to detect linked elements. Therefore Semi-Flat design has evolved to correct these issues. It adds subtle depth and dimension with shadows and shading, which has helped to mitigate the issues of flat design.

While still maintaining the sharp and sophisticated look of a Flat design, Semi-Flat design can improve usability on your site, which in turn can lead to the all important conversion.

 

  1. Video is on the Rise.

While video has long been around, it is becoming more and more powerful as a tool for storytelling and marketing. It is compelling, instantly engaging and quickly draws in its audience. Including video on a landing page can increase conversion by 80%. *** And by 2020, video will be 82 percent of all consumer Internet traffic.****

Video needs to load and play quickly, because impact is lost if a viewer is waiting for it to load. All you need to create compelling video content is a smartphone so get started today!

 

  1. Simplify Your Navigation.

Complicated navigation systems create way too many options for people and can actually drive them away. Having clear, concise labels that allow readers to know what is in each category provides better usability. For example, don’t use adjectives, instead pick short, predictable words. The easier it is for a reader to navigate your site, the more likely they are to stay and click around.

 

These are just a few of the many trends happening in web design, but we think they’re some of the most important.  They’ll help get you going in the right direction with staying on top of the latest strategies in excellent web design and presence.

 

Sources:

* http://www.business2community.com/digital-marketing/visual-marketing-pictures-worth-60000-words-01126256

** https://www.nngroup.com/articles/flat-design/

*** https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/video-marketing-statistics#sm.000005pswuag36cweqpnrdp1zt26s

**** http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/solutions/collateral/service-provider/visual-networking-index-vni/complete-white-paper-c11-481360.html

ER headshot Erin Rogers, Creative Director at Jet Marketing

Erin enjoys a good, local coffee shop and family road trips.


Change Happens in Life and Marketing

It seems like change has been in the air, especially with the whirlwind of our recent presidential election. For me, being the newest member of Jet Marketing, change has been at the forefront of my most recent days. Starting a new job is filled with a tremendous amount of change. Every day presents me with new information and knowledge to internalize, analyze and sift through. For some, the changes that come with starting a new career can be rather intimidating. There is no denying that change comes with a certain amount of discomforts; however, if you remain steadfast in your pursuit and open to change, your extra effort will be sure to pay off.

Just as in life, change in business happens too. Because of this fact, your marketing should too. By remaining open and accepting of change, a company has a better chance of staying current and finding new opportunities. With the ever-changing times (and the high frequency in changing consumer tastes), it’s not a bad idea to evaluate your marketing strategy on an annual basis. Through consistent analysis you can effectively make adjustments needed to remain current and find new opportunities otherwise overlooked. You may find that there is a brand new resource or avenue that can help you better reach your target customer and ward off competitors. Maybe there is a new social media tool or B2B product that can boost your appeal?

A change in marketing strategy can also help you increase your product’s natural life cycle and respond to any outside factors that may arise. In an article in the small business section of The Houston Chronicle, entitled, “Why Is There a Constant Need for Change in Marketing?” it was suggested that small companies should change their marketing strategies during different stages of the product life cycle. For example, in some cases a company may be forced to lower the price of a product in order to stay competitive as the market expands. On the flip side a need for marketing change may arise from fluctuations in law, technologies, or reductions in resources. One example being the scarcity of cork in the wine industry.  Many wine producers are moving to alternate materials, such as, plastic and twist lids in order to combat the reduction and higher prices of cork.

In life and business change happens. Because change comes with a certain amount of discomforts it is a natural impulse to want to avoid it; however, it is imperative to remain steadfast in your pursuit and open to change. In the big picture, all of the discomforts due to change are only temporary and your extra effort will be sure to be rewarding.

Jet Staff photo_JHJenn Holm, Account Manager

Jenn has never been one to avoid the discomforts of change. She enjoys adventures both big and small and really, sometimes, what better adventure is there than challenge?


#Horsepower: How the Denver Broncos Play the Social Media Game

I may be biased, but some of my favorite social media accounts are run by the Denver Broncos.

The NFL and its teams are all spread out across social media platforms, utilizing Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and even Snapchat. Social media allows NFL teams to engage their fans on a daily basis, providing footage of practice that day, interviews with players, interviews with coaches, and more. More than ever, fans know what is going on with their favorite team in real time. Because the NFL teams use social media in this way, the fans feel involved and more invested in their team. They even have the opportunity to engage with their favorite players on a personal level.

All of this leads to increased engagement from their fans. Today, when people watch TV, they are often also on their smartphone, tablet, or computer. Being on social media allows the NFL to capture their attention outside of just the television.

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Facebook

Here’s what I love about the Broncos’ social media accounts.

 They know how to use their platforms correctly.

Often, social media users think platforms are interchangeable, but they really aren’t. People use different platforms for different reasons. Facebook is still king of social media, but Twitter and Instagram are growing in importance, and from a branding perspective, Snapchat can be pretty invaluable. While the Broncos sometimes share the same posts across different platforms, each platform also has unique content. This is important because having different content on different platforms ensures that your followers are following you everywhere. It provides different angles to your brand.

 

Screen Shot 2016-08-31 at 2.16.05 PM
Instagram

 They focus on their people.

Fans care about the players on the team, and the Broncos do a good job of focusing on their players through their various platforms. They share articles and photos about the players and coaches. And the Broncos don’t only focus on current players, but players from the Broncos’ rich history, like John Elway and Coach Kubiak back in his playing days. They share every aspect of the team – including the mascot and the cheerleaders.

IMG_8726
Snapchat

This area is where the Broncos’ Instagram and Snapchat shine. They show-off the unique personality of their players, like Von Miller’s unique style and Emmanuel Sanders’ dedication to the fans. It’s especially great when they feature the fans – making them a part of the Broncos team as well. Their Snapchat stories show off daily life for the Broncos. They snap the players at practice, and interview them and the coaches. They have players “take over” the platform, giving their feed a shot of personality. Both of these platforms are great ways to engage their audience, especially their younger fans.

They are all about their brand, and make updates where they’re needed.

Of course, if you look at the page, Broncos blue and orange is everywhere. They tout the history of the organization. But even more interesting now is their creation of a new hashtag. The Broncos used the #UnitedinOrange in 2015 and before that, but they have a new hashtag out – #Horsepower. To me, this hashtag suggests a reinvigorating of the brand. They already have unity with their fans – now they’re about moving into the future. With #UnitedinOrange, the Broncos were gathering strength. Now they’re on the move, and so the brand has to be as well. The Broncos demonstrate that it’s important to evaluate your messaging, and make sure it’s still what you want to be projecting.

Their content is regular and frequent.

Screen Shot 2016-09-02 at 8.36.53 AM
Twitter

The Broncos know how to give hungry fans what they want – more and more information about players, upcoming games, and strategies. Each account posts several times a day, and the content is relevant. They live-tweet/post during games, ensuring that fans who aren’t able to make it to a television can still participate and know what is going on. They also post a lot of video – showing incredible plays and what is going on in practice. Because they are posting frequently about what their fans care about, the Broncos are able to drive a lot of engagement on each post.

There’s a lot to learn from the Broncos and their social media accounts, especially regarding the specific use of social media platforms. Consider their social media playbook, run through a few plays, and you too can be a social media champion.

Go Broncos!
Kirsten Queen, Project Manager at Jet Marketing

Kirsten is proud to wear that #18 jersey, and has her fingers crossed for a great season for the Denver Broncos.


Heat things up with great headlines

Nothing cranks the heat up like being asked to write an ad headline, tagline or new campaign slogan. Essentially, you’re being asked to deliver your client’s brand message in 5 words or less—and make it something that motivates people to want to read on and take action, please. Just thinking about it makes my face flush.

Don’t get me wrong; I enjoy the challenge. But I don’t take the words of David Ogilvy, hailed as the “father of advertising,” lightly when he says: “On average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.”

Now you understand the rising blood pressure and red face. To make it easier, I follow a few rules and apply a trick or two. If my headline doesn’t fulfill at least one of these, I know my coffee break has to wait.

1. Does it make an instant impact?

The best headlines, slogans & taglines show personality. They’re clever and maybe even shock or surprise. Take the healthy, real fruit drink alternative, Bai. When launched in 2014 the ad agency went to town creating slogans that were so racy they even had articles written about them. Billboards in Time Square simply showed a picture of the bottle with the following slogan:

Tell your taste buds to stop sexting us

Screen Shot 2016-07-05 at 1.17.20 PM

Other headlines included:

Flavor that goes all the way on the first date,” and, “Wet. Juicy. Ready. But not in that way,” and, “Naturally sweet. Unlike most men.”

The one that survived the test of time and is on their products today, is:

“Flavor so fresh you want to slap it”.

Talk about instant impact.

2. Does it make your brain do a flip?

A great technique for writing clever headlines is to simply take a cliché and turn it on its head, or apply it to a new situation. The July 2016 issue of O Magazine has some good examples. In an article on no-cook summer recipes, they use the following subheads:

Grain and Simple

Sandwich Generation

Salad Swap Meet

Fit to a Tea

3. Does it make you want to read on?

Not all topics are easy to promote. For example, colonoscopies can be a hard sell. A good trick here is to play on words but also get across the expertise of your client, as in:

Our cardiologists never miss a beat

Or you can go for shock combined with a message of “we care” as the Gastroenterology Associates of Colorado Springs recently did with:

Up Yours, and we mean that sincerely”

Now maybe it’s your face that’s turning red.


3Lynn U. Nichols, Copywriter/Publications Specialist at Jet Marketing

In her spare time, Lynn enjoys reading, running, kayaking and staying young by hanging out with her teenage boys. 

 


Giving Back to Your Community is a Great Marketing Strategy

These days, it seems like everyone is participating in some kind of cause-based marketing campaign. Some pretty famous brands center on causes, like Livestrong and Product (RED). Box Tops for Education have long brightened our cereal boxes. Other brands like TOMS and Warby Parker have built a business around a cause. Even the NFL outfits their athletes in either pink or camo (depending on the month) for breast cancer awareness and their Salute to Service for veterans.

Cause-based marketing is a partnership between nonprofit and for-profit organizations for mutual benefit. It intends to bring awareness and fundraising to a good cause or nonprofit. This might sound like a lot of work, time, and money to spend on charity rather than on your own business, but there are a lot of good reasons why you might consider a cause-based marketing campaign. It’s an excellent way to build a reputation for your company and to create trust.

Your customers probably prefer a company that is associated with a cause. Almost a quarter of American shoppers usually buy one brand over another for this reason. Not only do customers care about causes, it’s also a lucrative field slated to continue growing. That’s a great big piece of market for you to get in on. And, despite the influx of cause-based campaigns, consumers remain very receptive to them.

Your employees also prefer to work for a company associated with a cause, especially one that relates to their community. It shows an investment from your company in your community – right where your employees live. People want their work to make a difference.

Cause-based marketing engages both your customers and employees, showing them that you care not only about them, but about the communities where they work and live. You’re not only doing good, you’re building a brand reputation.

So, how do you get involved in cause-based marketing? There are a couple things to consider, and it’s best to be strategic.

First, consider your company, your mission, your values, your audience. You want to be involved in a campaign that benefits you and the nonprofit or cause you partner with.

Any campaign you get involved in must feel true to your brand – consumers can see through gimmicks designed to pull their heartstrings and get their dollar. You want to keep and grow your customers’ trust. Don’t lose it by jumping aboard the cause-based train without careful thought.

Second, consider your range. Your company may be small and local, or vast and global.

For Jet Marketing, it makes sense for us to be involved locally.  We are involved with WomenGive, an organization that supports local single mothers with childcare scholarships as they go back to school. Our team members support WomenGive individually, but we participate as a team. As Jet is largely made up of women, this makes sense for us. It appeals to all of us working here, and we get to support our community by participating.

WomenGive
Jet hosted a table at the WomenGive luncheon, bringing together other women from our community to learn more about the program.

 

Far from just being trendy, cause-based marketing is a strategy that you can use to grow your brand and support your community. These type of campaigns promote your name, build trust around your brand, and motivate both your customers and employees. Making a difference in the world can also make the difference for your brand down the road.

Reach out to Jet whenever you’re ready to get started.

Sources: http://www.causemarketingforum.com/site/c.bkLUKcOTLkK4E/b.6448131/k.262B/Statistics_Every_Cause_Marketer_Should_Know.htmhttp://adage.com/article/agency-viewpoint/marketing-hot-pay-good/293537/
Kirsten Queen, Project Manager at Jet Marketing

Kirsten comes from a background in nonprofit work and is excited to learn more about the places where nonprofit work and marketing connect.


Finding Your Inspiration

Driving on an empty road at bright sunny day

On a recent road trip as we were coming up over the crest of a hill, it struck me how flat the land was ahead of us. It seemed like you could see forever, and the shapes on the horizon formed a distinct pattern against the blue, cloudless sky. There was no one ahead of us, no one behind us. Everything seemed so still and vivid, even hurtling down the road at 70mph. I captured the moment in my mind’s eye noting the pattern of color, light and texture it revealed to me.

You never know where design inspiration is going to strike, and sometimes it doesn’t even make sense in the moment. But later you reflect on that vision, and something sparks an idea. Maybe it’s not a direct correlation, but it’s the experience, the memory, and all of a sudden you can’t get your ideas out fast enough.

Designers often spend countless hours curled up behind their computer screens, cranking out ad after ad, poster after poster. When you have an established brand, with experience, it just becomes second nature to roll out different pieces of collateral for that client. But it’s different when all of a sudden you have to come up with a brand new look or idea. Where do you go for inspiration? Sometimes it’s other designs, or magazines, or even looking around online. But some of the best ideas come when you least expect it—the trick is being open to that moment, or inviting a recent memory to return when needed.

Here’s what helps: Getting away from the computer. Doing something totally different. Breaking out of your routine. That’s how you recharge and refresh. Whether it’s going to the bookstore, an art museum, taking a quick road trip, or just simply going for a walk outside, do something that shifts your perspective. In design it’s like everything else in life, you have to slow down and breathe it all in. . . or you may just miss it.

So when you’re hurtling down the road at 70mph, make sure to take in the moment, and hopefully flashing blue and red lights in the rearview mirror won’t interrupt your inspiration.

ER headshot  Erin Rogers, Creative Director at Jet Marketing

During her free time, Erin enjoys hiking and biking the local nature trails.


Organic Ways to Engage Your Customers via Instagram

Instagram Graphic 2

There is a lot of talk surrounding the changes that Instagram is making to their algorithms and advertising. We aren’t sure yet how those changes are going to affect how we use Instagram as a marketing tool, but for now, let’s get back to the basics of simply engaging your customers and perpetuating genuine interest in your brand.

The thing about Instagram that isn’t changing is that it is an opt-in marketing tool that isn’t perceived by users to be primarily marketing. Twice as many Instagram users regularly engage with brands than Facebook users. It is also one of the few social media platforms where it is possible to create awareness for free, for now.

Since 2012, Instagram has had a 115% increase in organic (without paid ads) marketing reach, while Facebook has had a 63% decrease. Instagram also has 58 times more engagement per follower than Facebook.

One last statistic – only 38% of marketers are using Instagram, while 93% use Facebook. So now is the time to jump on board.

1. Give them a reason.
Give your audience a reason to follow, like and share. There are a few ways to do this. To really generate activity – incentives are key. Prizes work wonders. It gives people a reason to follow your brand and share your posts.

As a user, having your post re-posted is like winning a gold medal. By reposting user photos, you are further engaging them and increasing brand loyalty as well as giving others reason to use your hashtag when posting.

2. Have relatable and creative content.
Humor and inspiration are two popular methods. Exceptionally beautiful or unique photos will generate shares as well. Users will tag their friends and will organically grow your following.

Have a consistent look when possible and of course use images that appeal to your audience. Find a way to make everyday content artsy – that is the fun part.

3. #hashtags.
Yes, they might be overused and somewhat obnoxious when there are 30 (this is the maximum) for one post. But they are important for being searchable and to drive engagement. Choose a unique hashtag to be your own that is as simple and as fitting as possible.

It is also important to use other relevant hashtags on your posts to make your post show up in searches – generating followers. Posts with 11 or more hashtags statistically get the most engagement.

4. Make the most of your posts.
Send your Instagram posts to your other social media platforms to get maximum engagement out of each photo. Be sure to post on the weekends – the most effective days to post are Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Lastly, be sure to have a link in your bio section to drive your audience to your target content.

These are just the basics – the possibilities are certainly endless on Instagram. Get creative and take advantage of this free platform while it is still free.

Source for statistics: https://selfstartr.com/why-brands-should-embrace-instagram-instead-of-facebook/

Katie O’Hara, Project Manager at Jet Marketing

Katie loves Instagram because of the creativity and art it has added to social media. She also enjoys using it to grab her favorite moments and put them in pretty little squares. @kokatieo


The Top 5 Reasons Training for a Half Marathon Made Me a Better Marketing Professional

We all have images in our heads of being a champion at something. For years I wanted to be a “runner.” I had these beautiful pictures in my head of what that would look like; tan skin, flowing hair, running like a gazelle through the mountains, or the crowd cheering wildly for me as I sprinted across the finish line to victory.  The problem is I am not a gazelle, and when I run, it looks more like that chubby neighborhood kid chasing down the ice cream truck, frantic and unsuccessful. Oh, and did I mention I also hate running?

Despite this strong dislike towards running, I started running casually as a commitment to a friend.  Since I am one of those people who like to jump in and overcommit right away, I proceeded to sign up for a half marathon.  Whoops! I immediately regretted this impulsive decision as I began to Google half marathon training programs.  I had thoughts like, “Who has time for this? How can I run and still have time to work?  What if I am not fast enough?  How could my legs possibly carry me that far?  Can I get a refund?  I hate running! ”  However, I still held on to that crazy mental image of me running across a finish line and I just couldn’t shake it.  I didn’t know it then, but I had been bitten by the running bug before I even took a step!

That’s how I came to write this blog on how training for half marathons has made me a better marketing professional.  Here’s what I learned:

1) Goal Setting Big and Small

The best way to get somewhere is to always know where you want to end up. Having a clear, definable goal with a deadline helps to keep you on track and stay focused when the path gets muddy.  Sign up for that race, schedule that client meeting!

It also helps to set lots of small goals that add up to a larger accomplishment.   When training or executing a marketing plan, I don’t look at the total number of tasks there are to complete in a project. Instead, I focus on the run- or tasks at hand- for that day and how they fit into my weekly schedule.  By focusing on these smaller more immediate tasks I am able to accomplish more without feeling overwhelmed. Achieving lots of small goals consistently over time always add up to a big win.
Where are you going?

2) Pick a Plan (and stick to it) 

Once you have a goal, you need to put a plan in place so you can be successful. Get a plan that maps out your routes every day so you get in the necessary miles and are ready on race day. Similarly, I love to write up a good marketing plan for a new project.  It helps get me motivated about the project ahead and sets up clear expectations for my team and myself.
What does your map look like?

3) Find your “people”

One of the ways to help keep you on a path to success is to have a support community in running and in business.  Find a mentor or go to coffee with a professional peer and bounce ideas off of each other. There are always people who have gone before us, so use their experience to give you an advantage.
Who are your people?

4) It’s Ok To Rest

Know when to take a break or walk! Believe it or not, your gut can tell you a lot more than just if you’re hungry.  Listen to your gut-if you need to step away from your desk or take a break, do it! When we are exhausted and frustrated we are more prone to getting injured or making mistakes. We do our best work when we feel energized and inspired.
How do you refuel?

5) Visualize crossing the finish line

I never lost the image of racing across the finish line and crowds cheering me on.  When training got tough or monotonous, I clung to that image. Why?  Because the goal was crystal clear to me. I knew what achieving that goal looked liked, sounded like and felt like. What does achieving that goal look like to you?  Can you visualize it?  Is it the perfect pitch to a new client?  Launching a new brand with great success?

Sometimes in the day to day of marketing we forget to visualize the finish line, we forget that we need support and the plan can go off track. When I run I have lots of time to think. I often reflect on the unexpected parallels between running and being a successful marketer. Training for a half marathon became one of the biggest opportunities for growth both, personally and professionally. I realized that I already had many of the necessary tools. I just needed to put them into action, literally one step at a time.

Lindsey Corcoran, Account Manager at Jet Marketing

During her free time, Lindsey enjoys long runs in the beautiful Colorado outdoors, followed by a good nap.