A Guide for Prioritizing Marketing Communications by Nick Scarpino (Marketing strategy , Marketing learning)

A Guide for Prioritizing Marketing Communications by Nick Scarpino (Marketing strategy , Marketing learning)

Nick Scarpino is a Senior Account Planner at Google, where he works with data to uncover consumer insights within the travel industry. He has an undergraduate degree in Marketing from the University of Notre Dame and a Master's degree in Integrated Marketing Communications from Northwestern University. 

Guide Marketing strategy , Marketing learning by Nick Scarpino 

I am here today to talk to you about a

topic that I love marketing

communications now that is probably

something you don't hear every day but

it's true I love marketing

communications but what does that mean

well there are many different aspects to

marketing you got things like pricing

distribution that type of thing

the communication side of marketing

really deals with all the different ways

that you can get the word out about

something right it's just a fancy way of

saying that so by show of hands how many

of you have ever played the game whirly

ball alright okay so yesterday in

rehearsal nobody raised their hand I

thought am I the crazy one or are they

the crazy ones so TEDx organizers go

play whirly ball right okay so for those

of you who don't know what whirly ball

is it's a fantastic game it involved you

play with your friends and family it

involves bumper cars it involves banana

scoop or wiffle ball basically I'm just

telling you to google it after this

because it's awesome and you should all

play I say Google a lot so two friends

of mine actually like whirly ball so

much that they left their jobs in

Chicago and they moved to the Twin

Cities in Minnesota to start a whirly

ball there because they don't have on

there and as they're getting ready to

open the doors for the first time

they've started receiving phone calls on

a near daily basis with different

advertising opportunities that makes

sense and so as you as they consider

each advertising opportunity

individually they actually all seem like

great ideas but they don't have all the

time and the money in the world to make

everything happen so they'll get local

questions like hey are you interested in

advertising in our marketing our

community marketing calendar that goes

out to all the local we printed out it

goes to all the local homes in your area

that sounds like a good idea they get

questions like are you interested in

putting an ad on a placemat in the diner

that's across the street from your

worldy ball location sounds like a good

idea to write but then like I said they

don't have all the time in the money in

the world and those are just the

opportunities that they're being

presented with they also have all their

own market

in communication ideas as well right so

they've created a website they've built

a Facebook page the opportunities are

seemingly endless in marketing

communications and they're constantly

changing so 20 years ago every

advertiser out there wanted to put an ad

in a local newspaper in order to reach

their target market six or seven years

ago every single person every company

out there wanted to go out to myspace

and reach their customers how many of

you have ever had a myspace account okay

that's good but things change right

things change so how do businesses

prioritize marketing communications when

everything is changing all the time

that's what I'm really passionate about

that's the challenge that every business

today is facing and it's really

difficult in particular for small

businesses and nonprofits that probably

have very little to no marketing

resources at all noted psychologist

Barry Schwartz wrote a book called the

paradox of choice he gave a TED talk of

the same name it's one of my favorites

out there and in that talk he does he

describes how when human beings are

faced with an endless amount of choice

it actually damages that the human

psyche it paralyzes us it renders us

incapable of making decisions at least

to a certain extent so he says that in

order for us to make the best decisions

possible we need to narrow down that

endless list of opportunities and we

based on a certain set of criteria and

then we can really feel good about our

decisions as we go forward so that's why

I'm here that's why I'm passionate about

I am passionate about helping businesses

in particular small businesses and

nonprofit organizations narrow down with

a certain set of criteria that I've

created all the different marketing

communications opportunities that are

out there so if you're thinking about

starting your own business if you're

thinking about starting your own

nonprofit organization perhaps you're

looking to ignite a little change of

your own that was a theme for today yeah

I got that in there maybe this will help

you but if you're just maybe thinking

about one day maybe you're already

working at a great company maybe you

just want to get the word out about

something that else that you're

passionate about I hope what I'm going

to present to you today

we'll help you so I brought today with

me two different lists of this criteria

that we're going to look at and the

first list is called the five marketing

communication must-haves there are five

marketing communication tactics that are

so important you have to do all of these

before you do anything else in fact if

you have limited time and money which

everybody does I want you to start with

number one and I want you to go through

as far as you can through number five

and hopefully you can get through all

five right so without further ado what

is the most important thing you can do

in marketing communications it's that

you can utilize your physical physical

location if you have one so if you have

a store or any place that you interact

with customers on a near-daily basis it

is likely your most expensive asset that

you have so you really need to squeeze

all of as much value out of that asset

as you can what does this mean in

practical purposes it means putting a

great sign out front of your building

that's kind of an easy one it just tells

people who you are and what you do it

means if you have foot traffic by actual

people walking by driving boating

whatever you do whatever they do it

means putting out signs that say things

like what your specials are and things

like that or giving away free samples

things like that now a great example of

this is the Chinese restaurant that's

just down the street from my house they

do a great job of utilizing their

physical location even when disaster

struck this is a little hard to see but

a car drove through the front window and

walls of this Chinese restaurant it's

very hard to see but they boarded up the

walls right here and they spray-painted

a big thing that said open on top of it


that's a great way right but that's not

even the coolest thing watch for the

coolest thing the coolest thing is they

put this sign on the front door we are

open come in and enjoy delicious Chinese

food food was so good that a car had to

come in as well in you

good right that is an awesome way to

utilize your physical location so I want

you to do as my local Chinese restaurant

does and utilize your physical location

all right the number two marketing

communication must have or number one if

you don't have a physical location is

that you need to build and maintain a

website a recent study by Google came

out and said that 60% almost 60% of

small businesses do not have a website

which is really a shame because when you

think about it a website is one of the

least expensive marketing communication

tactics you can possibly implement it

gives you 24-hour access to customers

and prospective customers and you can

control the entire message on the site

so everybody needs to have a website now

right next to that Chinese restaurant is

my local dry cleaner and super low cost

dry cleaner of Naperville Illinois it

has a website it is literally a mom and

pop shop a mom and pop on the place

there are only two of them but they have

a great website it lists their location

it lists all the services they offer

their prices how to contact them etc so

if they can do it you can too so I want

you to do as my local dry cleaner does

and build and maintain a website number

three this one's easy

you need to offer a way to speak to

somebody at your business the most

obvious way is with a phone a phone line

right you can also do advanced things

like have a video chat or have just a

regular chat feature on your website

because nothing will ever replace you

the importance of human to human

interaction when dealing with business

as a business you can offer your

customers empathy you can upsell them on

something if that's appropriate you can

just answer their questions and tell

them where you are that that's what they

need to do so the best example I've ever

seen of this is mo the bartender from

The Simpsons now mo is a sole proprietor

he's a one-man band he owns that bar and

he manages that bar he serves all the

drinks and even he has a customer

service line and no matter how many

times Bart Simpson will prank his

customer service line he answers that

phone every single time and he tries to

give the best customer service possible

right he always goes and looks for the

person who ever starts asking

Seymour butts you know that so I want

you to do as mo for the Simpsons does

and offer your customers a way to speak

to somebody at your business number four

you need to be found by your target

markets right now all around this

country and around this world somebody

out there is looking for whatever it is

that you're selling or whatever cause

you're supporting if you're a nonprofit

organization and it's really important

to get in front of those people at the

right time in the right place now if

this is happening online and it's

happening online I work at Google I'm

telling you this that means that you

need to get in front of people if you

sell something it means you need to show

up on Google and on Bing it means that

you need to be on Amazon and on eBay if

those are relevant to your business

right you got to show up where people

are looking for you a great example of

this that I hope will resonate with

college students as most of you are is

that I just recently did this Google


I need pizza now all right and look at

the first result this is I did it for my

house again I use a lot of local

examples so RP knows pizza delivery

right that gives me the address it gives

me the store information the pizza menu

of the locations it gives me everything

I could possibly want to know about

satisfying my need for pizza right now

so I want you to do as sarpy knows pizza

delivery does and be found by your

target markets number five of five the

last one the last thing that you must

implement is you need to engage

customers within one community so what

does that mean it means giving your best

customers a way to interact with you and

all your staff and your company and

things like that and a way to engage

with each other this can happen in a

variety of different ways but the most

obvious one the easiest one to give you

would be something like a Facebook page

right I can interact with this brand

they can answer my questions I can put

it out socially things like that but it

doesn't have to be online

and the key thing is is that you don't

have to do everything when it is online

you don't have to be on Pinterest and on

Twitter and on Google+ or you should be

on Google+ but you don't have to be

I don't have to have a youtube account

and all these kinds of things right you

don't have to do everything you just

have to do one really well that's the

key word up there just one and like I

said it doesn't have to be online my

local library has a wonderful kids

program that my son attends quite

frequently in which anybody from the

community can go and they can bring

their children and the children get to

interact with the library staff they

build a community right they get to

interact with other children it's

wonderful so I want you to do as my

local library does and engage customers

within one community all right so we

talked about the five marketing

communication must-haves right that

answered questions like what should I do

right now but then there's all these

other opportunities out there in

marketing communication kind of like I

was telling you with my Worley ball

friends so how do we make decisions how

do we set marketing communication

priorities when we know that five years

from now everything is going to change

what do we do now and how do we plan for

the future

well I've created a second list that I

brought with me today and this is the

list that I call three factors for

setting marketing communication

priorities there are three factors by

which you can measure every single

marketing communication tactic idea out

there and these three tactics these

three factors can actually be summarized

in just seven words now it's getting

late so I'm going to go through these

but then I'm going to ask for a little

audience participation so just start

getting mentally prepared all right so

the three factors for setting marketing

communication priorities can be

summarized in just seven words and they

are target markets shareable experiences

and return on investment now I need help

here I want you to say these with me

we're not going to say the numbers we're

just going to say those seven words all

right I need to get hear it loud they

got to hear you at home a lot of friends

that are watching the live stream we

need they need to hear you okay so let's

do it together on the count of three one

two three target markets shareable

experiences return on investment now

here's a crazy thing in rehearsal I

thought nobody's going to say anything

I'm gonna have to do this again I'm

gonna have to chastise people and say

this is TEDx to me

millions of people are watching around

the world and they're going to watch

this effort that was really good but I

still want to do it one more time

because you know this is all time done

this is scripted right okay so let's do

it one more time so that everybody

around the world can hear it I want to

count of three one two three target

markets shareable experiences return on

investment you have no idea as a

marketer how happy this makes it's just

a beautiful this is beautiful people

chanting about marketing this is great

this is great okay so to illustrate that

I want to give you an example I want to

give an example that brings all three of

those things together and the example

comes from a job that I used to work at

before I came to Google I used to work

for a wonderful nonprofit organization

called IES abroad that's actually based

here in Chicago and I've actually talked

to a few of you how many of you studied

abroad with IES this is lye hands that's

good great did you like it

good all right all right so for five and

a half years I worked in the marketing

department there and it was a wonderful

experience and so we had a very small

but mighty marketing team that we took

on the challenge in my last year there

of we really wanted to come out with

like a new branding campaign our goal

was always to increase the number of

students at local colleges who are

studying abroad right so is abroad

functions a lot like a college we send

us college students on study abroad

programs as many of you know so we

thought to ourselves how can we appeal

to our target market of current college

students who had not yet studied abroad

that was our target market okay

so what we came up with was a message or

Letten that we called your world

redefined so to a potential student a

student just like many of you who are in

college right here the idea was that

this message would show you that if you

studied abroad your world would be

redefined but then we wanted to go about

activating this message how do we get

the word out how do we tell people this

in an open and honest way well what we

did was we came up with this idea we

printed on eight and a half by eleven

white pieces of paper plain as day blank

redefined and we sent this to all of our

current students who are studying abroad

all around the

world thousands of students are studying

abroad we just printed this on a flyer

sent this to him and we said would you

please tell us something that has been

redefined by your study abroad

experience and if you want to would you

please share that with your friends and

family the reaction and the the

creativity that came out of this was

truly inspirational college students are

really creative so I want to show you a

few examples of how people started

sharing this on their social media

accounts they started creating photos

they created videos they took our

message off those pieces of paper I'm

going to show you a few examples here's

one this is a student in Spain she is at

a soccer game and she is showing you

that football has been redefined to her

by studying abroad

this student little hard to see is in

Morocco and riding on a camel she is

showing you that transportation has been

redefined by studying abroad these

students man I'm telling you in

marketing it is like the greatest thing

in the world when somebody takes your

slogan and does something else with it

these students put this on their

t-shirts after they had run a race in

Spain and they were saying that working

out had been redefined by their study

abroad experience these students are on

the Galapagos Islands off the coast of

Ecuador they are having a class there

and it's hard to see but that student in

the Middle's sign says that for her

class has been redefined by studying

abroad this student is near the Berlin

Wall and she has shown you how freedom

has been redefined for her by studying

abroad read it

college students are really creative

it's hard to get there that's not the

Machu Picchu overlook in Peru that's

hard to get to getting high has been

redefined by studying abroad I can't end

with that my mom's in the audience all

right so last but not least again it's

really cool when people put it take that

off of your sign and they stick it on

sand for example these students have

written holiday redefined they even used

are brackets that is so cool so for

their vacation their holiday had been

redefined so now let's think back to

what we talked about target markets

shareable experiences return on

investment our target market was current

u.s. college students who had not yet

studied abroad

this tactic had clearly reached those

people because they were their friends

who are already studying abroad were

sharing all their stuff with them right

they were sharing these pictures with

them in videos and things like that it

was awesome speaking of sharing

shareable experiences that was number

two right clearly we had created a

shareable experience and we had

encouraged our current students to share

that message and that experience with

their peers so it was great

lastly return on investment I'm not

going to go into specific details but

the campaign was very successful this

launched about four years ago it still

continues today it was very very

successful our small but mighty

marketing team won several awards when

it came out and it was great everybody

loved it they still continue to use it

today so it was obviously very

successful so that's really it I've gone

with over you the five marketing

communication must-haves we've talked

about the three factors for setting

marketing communication priorities and

so I hope that if you're looking to go

start your own business or nonprofit

someday again igniting a little change

of your own I hope we remember these but

if the only thing I've done for you

today is convince you that you need to

check out Worley ball or that you need

to study abroad if there's still time

left I think I'd be okay with that too

thank you very much


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