Creating, Curating and Communicating

Social and digital media are a vast wonderland of communications. We are all now empowered to publish anything, say anything and be anything online.

The way your business or organization communicates on the internet will have a profound effect on the way your brand is perceived. Simply jumping on the bandwagon of the latest trend might score you a marginal uptick in interested prospects, but people respond most passionately to leadership.

Leaders create content, followers curate content.

How will your brand communicate?


Put “List Maintenance” On Your 2012 To-Do List

You’ve devised the right strategy, crafted the right message and followed all the best practices for generating high response rates for your direct mail campaign. But if you don’t focus the same amount of attention to your mailing list, all that hard work (and a lot of money) can be wasted. With the January USPS postage increase, make 2012 the year you place extra effort to List Maintenance.

The Weinstein Organization offers many List Maintenance services to help ensure your list data is accurate, meets USPS mailing standards, improves deliverability and ultimately increases the effectiveness of your campaign:

  • Data Standardization: Includes address standardization, ZIP correction, ZIP+4 coding, delivery point coding, carrier route coding
  • NCOA (The National Change of Address) Process: Updates old addresses to new addresses when consumers or businesses move.
  • Data Appends and Enhancements: Adds phone numbers, demographic criteria (age, HH income, Home Value, ethnicity, etc.), and Customer Profiles (buyer behavior codes) to your data so you can better understand who your customers are, and target your message more effectively.
  • CASS (Coding Accuracy Support System): Improves accuracy of 5-digit ZIPS, Zip+4, carrier routes and delivery point bar codes, and helps achieve the lowest possible postage rates.
  • Merge/Purge: Combines multiple data files and removes duplicate data, which saves you money in print production and postage.
  • List Hygiene: This process “cleans” your list by correcting addresses, spelling of names, punctuation, and removes any extraneous information that can hinder the deliverability of your mail piece.

Make your list as accurate and efficient as possible to ensure that you don’t waste money, time and resources. Effective list management should be an ongoing process throughout the year. With 20% of the U.S. population moving each year, a “good” list from 6 months ago may not now have the most accurate and up-to-date information. Contact your TWO Account Executive for more information on our List Maintenance services.


Think Before You Leap: Making Social Media Marketing Work For Your Business

Many marketers say, “We know we need to do social media marketing” without actually taking a good, hard, analytical look at how. So we’ve provided a list of considerations to determine how social media can be an effective marketing strategy for your business.

  1. Know Your Goals: What do you want to accomplish, and why? Do you want to increase awareness? Build customer loyalty? Acquire new customers? Mine your audience for new demographic and psychographic insights? When you have concrete goals, you’ll have a better idea of how to use social media more effectively.
  2. Make Sure You Can Measure: Anyone can count likes, shares, follows, re-Tweets and video views. But think about measuring specific actions beyond social media engagement that can have more of a direct impact on your business. Can you move the audience from your Facebook page to a landing page where you can capture their email address? Or consider a specific call to action at the end of a YouTube video that encourages the viewer to visit your website to download a coupon. Think about what kind of user activity you can measure beyond your social media pages.
  3. Post With Purpose: Whether addressing Facebook fans, Twitter followers or YouTube subscribers, make them a compelling offer that can only be acquired through social media. That takes mere customer engagement up to another level and strengthens loyalty and retention. Social media shouldn’t be thought of as just a web portal—make it an interactive ecommerce solution.

At The Weinstein Organization we consider social media to be an effective direct response marketing channel with many opportunities. Contact us to find out how we can help you turn “likes” into trackable, measureable responses.


Behavioral Targeting and Ad Preferences

You may or may not have noticed it, but online ads are watching you.

If you've ever seen an online display ad for a website you previously visited, then you have experienced Behavioral Targeting. This amazing technology is pretty simple: your browser receives a cookie from a website when you visit it, and the cookie monitors whether or not you took a specific action on the site. Depending on your action or inaction, you may see an ad for the company that owns the site when you are viewing another site.

For advertisers this is a wonderful way to refine your message, extend the sales funnel, and get another shot at converting a web visitor to a customer. And in theory, this should be a welcome form of advertising. In this overly-cluttered media landscape, a highly-targeted ad should break through because the prospect is not being randomly selected. They are being targeted by their actions.

Imagine if you changed the channel when a TV commercial came on, then later saw a commercial that addressed the fact that you didn't watch it the first time it ran. Would you be more inclined to view it because it specifically targeted you based on your action? Or would you feel as though your privacy was invaded and your preferences were ignored?

Follow The Weinstein Organization on Twitter (@twochicago) and let us know what you think of Behavioral Targeting using the hashtag #ourTWOsense.


#ChicagoSnow and Market Over-Sharing

Today there was as much social media activity about the snow in Chicago as there were snowflakes falling from the sky over The Loop. Not that there's anything wrong with that. It's perfectly cool for people to take to the social networks and express themselves, because presumably by now the people who we consider our online friends have become accustomed to how we communicate and act online. We all know plenty of "over-sharers" who benignly share whatever pops inside their heads. No editing, and no holding back.

Many posts are pointless, some are entertaining and informative, a few are outright hilarious, and occasionally one or two will give you a new perspective on life. But all of them are personal. "If you don't like my posts, then de-friend me" has become a motto of online individualism.

If you are a marketer you can't dare people to stop following you. Consider the marketing value of your social media posts as if they were interruptive forms of advertising. Quality vs. quantity in the age of earned media is a delicate balance because you don't want to be noticed for being the marketer that over-shares all the time.

You need to have an online presence because that's where peoples' attentions are found, but how much content can you reasonably share online to be effective without being guilty of Market Over-Sharing? How many tweets can you post on behalf of your brand before you are tuned out? How much of a presence do you need to have in order to be noticed? And what's the point of having a huge audience of followers and fans and people who are willing to click the like button if you don't give them anything of value?

Engagement is important, but it can be more effective to engage your audience with something tangible they will respond to like a special offer or a free trial or an exclusive opportunity on an advance purchase of a hotly anticipated item. Even a game or an app that dramatizes the value proposition of your marketing message is a more effective way of engaging your audience than Market Over-Sharing to the audience you are working so hard to cultivate and keep.

For marketers, sharing is selling. Your audience is always just one click away from either going to your website, checking out your competition, or ignoring you altogether. If you over-share without offering value, your audience will drift and blow away like Chicago Snow.