doGooD Musings

I love new beginnings.

I love the end of the week, and the start of a new one; quarters of the year - and the best of all - I love the new year.

I say new year, you think resolution, right?

The new year is associated with personal goal-setting, and it seems everyone is eager to share their resolutions. We support New Year’s resolutions because they are usually made to improve our lifestyle.

Let’s work on improving your work-style in 2018. As a marketing consultant for small businesses, I have provided a simple checklist to help make one very important decision that is often overlooked every year, your marketing budget.

Make a resolution this year to do GooD business in 2018, start here:

10. Get a calendar in front of you ASAP.

9. Take time with your team to talk about the past year.

8. Know how you earned revenue in 2017 by actual percentages.

7. Search for every opportunity lost in 2017 to discover growth opportunities in 2018.

6.  Discuss the competition openly, and write down what makes you different.

5. Choose a local charity that aligns with your company values.

4. Do a brand check.

3. Take note of your current database.

2. Write down your revenue goals for 2018.

1. Dedicate 4-10% of your projected revenue as your marketing budget.

Having a marketing budget will help you plan. It is a simple solution to a big problem that rears its ugly head when you are not seeing your financial goals met. Each step you take from the list above will help clear a path to plan your marketing strategy.

If you need some help through this process, send me an email.

doGooD in our community

It is easy to allow life’s burdens to drift away when your toes are covered in velvet sand, and Florida sunshine brightens your view of our Gulf’s emerald green water. Our beach community is primarily portrayed as perfect. Simply the all-American beach vacation destination; Presenting a life void of real people living and working among visitors. On the contrary, we too have families to support. We have real-life burdens like any other community. We are not ‘extras on the set’ of the Truman Show filmed at our beloved Seaside holiday town.

You might be entranced by sky-rocketing home values in South Walton and wonder how it’s possible an estimated 23% of Walton County children are barely surviving in homes below poverty level. Stretching beyond Walton County is Okaloosa County, where adjacent beach communities of Destin and Fort Walton have an even higher percentage of families living in poverty conditions. 

Thankfully, there is something special about our community – beyond our preserved land and pristine beach – we are a society that chooses to do good. You may be a do-gooder; you may also be a beneficiary of our desire to do good. Regardless, it is almost impossible to not find yourself doing good in our community each time you attend an event. From school events, community races, eating at local restaurants or shopping at local merchants; almost every dollar you spend has a beneficiary in our, and neighboring counties. 

In this issue of Thirty A Review we mark our debut of recognizing a doGooD Society in Northwest Florida. With each issue, you will be introduced to organizations or individuals who find their life purpose in doing good for our community.

Children’s Volunteer Health Network (CVHN) works tirelessly to improve the health and well-being of children in need in Walton and Okaloosa County. CVHN has a network of nearly one hundred providers who volunteer their time to provide medical, dental, vision and specialist care to local children in need. Their mission is solely dependent upon the private sector for funding. At the time of writing this article budgets dependent on state and national funding are under circumstances that can instantly wipeout their organizations because they are dependent on government funding. CVHN has aligned their financial strategy with those who have the innate desire to do good as a society.

In 2005, one caring adult recognized a child in pain, and she took her first step to help him. Step by step that child received the care he deserved, and from that life-altering process, CVHN was established. A faith based organization, their mission is to ensure that all children in Walton and Okaloosa County envision their future as limitless; a never-ending mission to do good.

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Due to the overwhelming dental need in our community… CVHN operates a dental bus and dental office which are staffed with full time dental and client care professionals who work year round to make sure our kids have the care they need and deserve. 94 cents of each dollar of the funds raised each year directly supports CVHN’s programs. The do-gooders in our community allow CVHN to provide this essential care at no cost to our local kids in need.

Among an army of volunteers who relentlessly recruit throughout our community are also those who serve as board members. The board and staff at CVHN are held to the highest ethical principles as they strive to be pillars of moral character. 

CVHN has numerous supporters, from individuals, small businesses, to one of the most influential charities in the region, Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation (DCWAF). Major community developments such as Alys Beach and St. Joe have humbly contributed to the success of CVHN fundraising events as major event sponsors, year after year.

In September of 2017, Bud & Alley’s in Seaside hosted the 13th Annual Hurricane Party raising over $62,000 in one night. 

“We are excited to host our newest fundraiser – our 2nd annual Smile Mile and 5K Run on May 12th, 2018 at WaterColor,” says board president Mike Gavigan. “This year we are focusing on rallying the community to competitively raise money through team fundraising.”

The CVHN race committee will soon announce a “Team Captain Kick Off Party” where they hope to inspire doing good for CVHN while emphasizing the ‘FUN’ in fundraising through friendly competition.

“We would love to see real estate brokerages, rental management companies, restaurants, merchants, schools, and churches engage in the event, raising money and doing good for children in need in Walton and Okaloosa County,” says Gavigan.

To learn more about volunteering, donating or about the Team Captain Kick Off Party, please visit contact us.

Photography Changed the World.

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Have you ever considered how photography changed the world?

Even in my lifetime, from film to digital, photography has transformed our world. In the late 1800’s photography emerged through what is known as the camera obscura. It was widely used for painters as a tool to capture exact perspective in their paintings. It was a fascinating scientific discovery that included upside and backward analytical thinking for painters. The camera obscura was a historical milestone that spurred a major change in our ability to visually communicate.

In my humble opinion, what changed the world the most in the last century was the ability to share imagery. We use imagery as evidence, as memorabilia, as an art form.

How do you use imagery in your marketing to connect with the people you want to do business with? A great image will captivate your audience. Words become a blur, and the white noise quietly fades away.

Imagery is a significant marketing tool often overlooked until someone with an understanding of its impact is empowered to take the lead. I encourage you to review your website. Look at your collateral. Think like your consumer. If your imagery does not have emotive qualities, you are likely relying too much on logic, rather than the magic. There is an art to building the right ratio of magic versus logic. It starts with great imagery, and ends with results.

What Motivates You?

Many, many years ago, I was once a young actress. Some folks are afraid to call themselves artists or actors because sadly it seems a subjective term. I am not one of those people. I was once an actress. I am an artist, and I love to encourage everyone to embrace their gifts.

It was Mr. B who taught me to consider my motivation. He wouldn’t ask me to speak my lines, he would demand I understood exactly what my character wanted every moment I was on stage, and especially off stage – to improve the depth of my character.

What a debt I owe that man. He helped mold my critical thinking skills, as a humanist, and of course, as a marketing professional.

 Playing Jennie Mae in  The Diviners

Playing Jennie Mae in The Diviners

Creating a call to action is like writing a script; certain subtleties work with only certain people – actors and audience members alike.

When reviewing your marketing collateral, compare your motivation and your call to action. Does the presentation clearly define the very next step you want your audience to take?  

Motivation and call to actions are synonymous. Creating great work should be held to the same measure Mr. B demanded of his ensemble of actors. Be clear and concise, with emotional depth.

There are some stage terms that are coming back to me as I write this post. You wait ‘in the wings’ for your cue to enter the stage. I certainly believe that the best 'performers' are not waiting at all – they are the folks who are dissecting exactly how they will enter, and how they will exit, to get exactly what they want from the scene – and especially from the audience. I trust this is the same of great marketing collateral.

 

Spinning Wheel

My high school graduation present from my parents was a CD player.

Accompanying this new treasure, my father gave me a Blood Sweat & Tears CD. This was odd, because I am from The Cure Era (I believe there is such a thing).

Spinning Wheel is still my favorite song from that CD.

The first lyrical phrase, “what goes up must come down,” can be categorized as basic physics.

Apply the same concept to your marketing strategy, and then consider your awareness tactics.

Your awareness tactics are the things you do to gain consumer interest about your business. These tactics have a reciprocating effect.

You could rephrase the concept in marketing speak:

Awareness is the motion phase of marketing. Your ability to sell is everything that happens on the way down. The next step should bounce back to you again, if you are GooD.

A lot less lyrical, but I warned you, I am bringing the unsexy back to marketing.

How many times have you tried to bring awareness to your business, and then felt deflated by your return on investment? Instead of spinning wheels, doGooD.

 

 

The Value of a Quarter

 

If you have felt marketing has been an emergency, you are not alone.

Creating a strategic marketing plan takes time and a commitment to milestones.

Training yourself to think of the year ahead in quarters is a valuable tactic to help stay on purpose, and realize success.

 

A strategic marketing plan values the year ahead, and the year behind equally.

 

The year behind you should have given insight into opportunities you might have missed; a roadmap where you succeeded and why. The year ahead of you is like luscious low-hanging fruit waiting to be plucked, but you must plan.

 

Do you have the collateral in place to help bring awareness to your business? Do your marketing tactics have clear call to actions that support your purpose? How will you nurture your current clients? How will you end this first quarter of the year so that you are prepared and fruitful in the next?

 

Take time this week to plan. Value the date today. Recognize we are closing in on the end of the first quarter of a significant year. doGooD. 


Bringing UnSexy Back

I recently told my husband that I am bringing the unsexy back to marketing. He cocked his head to one side, but I knew he completely got me.

There are times I find myself in a conversation with a business owner who believes marketing is about making things look pretty. Actually, a large percentage of the people who ask me to help them – begin with that paradigm, until we have a more formal conversation about their business.

Having had the great pleasure of meeting many small business owners over the past several years, I often notice they are wearing so many different hats they find little time to dedicate to marketing strategy. It is similar to being caught in rip current; their reactionary marketing often leads to panic, or worse.

By unsexy I mean bringing back the logic.  

When was the last time you and your team created Key Performance Indicators (KPI’S) and followed through with their purpose? Do you know what your Google Analytics say about your website? Is your database relevant? Did you wake up today with a full pipeline to nurture?

It genuinely excites me to be bringing the unsexy back. Maybe it is quite the contrary; maybe getting past the superficial nonsense is sexy.