cell phones in use

Digital marketing is now marketing in a digital world

If we live in a digital world, then our marketing must be digital … simple.

98 Percent of Marketers Say Online and Offline Marketing Are Merging, Gartner Study Finds

Digital marketing is now mainstream, and digital commerce is a top priority for marketers, according to a survey of marketing executives by IT research and advisory firm Gartner. The survey also found that marketing budgets increased 10 percent in 2015, with 61 percent of respondents saying they expect budgets to increase again in 2016. “Marketers no longer make a clear distinction between offline and online marketing disciplines,” said Yvonne Genovese, group vice president at Gartner. “As customers opt for digitally led experiences, digital marketing stops being a discrete discipline and instead becomes the context for all marketing.

“The rise in digital commerce is an opportunity for marketers,” said Jake Sorofman, research vice president at Gartner.

“There was a time when marketing and selling were two distinct disciplines. In many cases, digital merges these two into a single, continuous activity from initial awareness, through engagement, conversion, transaction and repeat purchase. Marketers can now tie spend to revenue. In fact, it’s becoming a mandate.”

Two main factors are driving marketers’ interest in digital commerce: the need to point to tangible results from marketing investments, and the recognition that companies need more than a commerce platform to sell. In the past, we’ve seen digital commerce operations wholly disconnected from the marketing engine. Today, we’re seeing integration between marketing and digital commerce as two parts of a single discipline, where marketers bring everything from content marketing and brand storytelling to advanced analytics and multichannel campaign management to optimize digital commerce across channels.

As CMOs face the digital transition, the survey showed that overall marketing budgets are on the rise. This year, 61 percent of respondents said that marketing spending will be, on average, 11 percent of company revenue, up from 10 percent of company revenue last year. That one percentage point change represents a sizable increase—10 percent, year over year—in marketing spend.

“Bigger budgets, however, come with sizable expectations,” said Sorofman. “Marketing is expected to drive profitable growth through the acquisition, retention and expansion of the most valuable customer relationships. As customer buying journeys and customer expectations expand, so, too, does marketing’s scope of responsibility.

As a result, the marketing remit now often includes driving broad-mandate customer experience, digital commerce and innovation initiatives.”

Thanks to Richard Carufel who edited this for Bulldog Reporter

gift boxes

‘Tis The Season of Luxury

With thanks to Bulldog Reporter’s Daily Dog and Deloitte, here is well written and researched report on the changing habits of luxury consumers.


Luxury PR: Brands Must Navigate a “Decade of Change” Driven by Technology and Consumer Forces to Remain Competitive


Deloitte Report Analyzes Factors Changing Habits of Luxury Consumers

Global luxury brands should take advantage of evolving technological and consumer demands to help boost profits and remain competitive, according to the second annual Global Powers of Luxury Goods report recently issued by Deloitte.

The report provides an outlook on the global economy, an analysis of merger and acquisition activity in the luxury sector; and a forward-looking perspective on the changing nature of the luxury consumer—notably through the impact of technology. The world’s 100 largest luxury goods companies generated sales of $214.2 billion through the end of the last fiscal year (fiscal years ended through June 2014) despite currency headwinds and intense technological disruption.

“Several key aspects of the luxury sector will be unrecognizable in the next few years,” said Patrizia Arienti, Deloitte fashion and luxury leader, in a news release. “The traveling luxury consumer will change the concept of national boundaries; Millennial consumers will represent a significant percentage of sales volume in luxury; and the competitive forces driven by technology will continue to disrupt at a faster pace. As such, global luxury brands must overcome significant challenges in order to maximize engagement with their digitally-savvy, time-sensitive and socially-aware consumers or risk being left behind.”

Key findings from the report include:

  • Adoption of technology as a competitive advantage: Luxury brands must keep up with evolving technology and refine their products, but without detracting from their unique core product offering and expertise. Industry executives identified reputational risk from social media as one of the highest risks in online marketing and distribution, according to Deloitte’s 2014 Swiss Watch report. “The luxury sector needs to continue to forge a strong relationship with an ever-increasing array of technologies, as it continues to influence the value chain. The legitimate concern about diluting a brand’s exclusivity in the broadly accessible online world requires brands to move carefully to ensure sustainable, long-term value creation,” said Arienti.
  • Engaging the millennial shopper: Fifty-eight percent of millennials currently go online to search for information  on luxury items and 31 percent use social media for gathering information around discounts and promotions, compared with 10 percent for older luxury consumers. In order to effectively target millennials, (who are already emerging as leaders in technology and other industries and are expected to comprise 75 percent of the global workforce by 2025) luxury brands can benefit by fully understanding their buying habits and influencers.
  • The global make up of luxury demand is changing: “The channels on which luxury consumers shop is constantly evolving, making it critical for companies to understand the changing desires, buying behaviors and channels of luxury consumers,” said Arienti. Results from Deloitte’s Luxury Consumption among European High Earners 2014 survey of over 1,000 high-income earners across Europe illustrate that while traditional marketing channels such as magazines and store browsing continue to be relevant for consumers gathering information on new luxury brands, 45 percent of participants indicated that they search online for information.

“The global economy in 2015 has provided ups and downs for luxury purveyors,” said Ira Kalish, Deloitte’s chief global economist, in the release. “On the positive, some key markets are continuing to show signs of greater strength. The U.S. economy has accelerated and will likely grow faster in 2015 than at any time since 2005.  In Europe and Japan, more aggressive monetary policies are boosting growth as well as asset prices. Comparatively, China’s economy continues to decelerate, even as the government takes steps to boost credit activity.  Looking ahead to the second half of 2015, we expect to see increased growth in India, slow growth in China, and recession in Russiaand Brazil which may have an impact on the luxury sector more broadly.”

Source: PR Newswire; edited by Richard Carufel

Originally published June 2015 on Bulldog Reporter

PR quote from Bill Gates

What Happens When Your News Lands On A Newspaper’s Front Page? Great Things!

PR leading the band Nov 2015Usually we think of bad news landing on the front pages of our daily newspapers – and usually you are right.  However every once in a while a story makes its way to right editor on the perfect news day and even though it is good news – lands on the front page.

If your news is in the upper right hand location of a print page, you are in the best possible place for readership.

Anywhere on the front page, above the fold is your second best location.  Why?  Most of us are right handed and we tend to look at that location at least once when we scan the page for articles of interest, and then once more as we move to turn the page – it’s all about placement and getting noticed.

Very often, when your news lands on the front page, it is sent out on the newspaper.s syndicate wire so other newspapers in their system can pull stories of interest.  A front page article absolutely puts your news in other markets and at the top of search engines for a long time to come.

Naples Bay Resort Announces Agreement With Chef Art Smith F Oct 30 2015PR quote from Bill Gates

Case study – today I was happy to see one of my news announcements for a client made the upper right hand corner of the FRONT PAGE of the daily newspaper.  Wow that made my day because I knew what it meant going forward …. but I needed to explain to my client why a positive piece on the front page of his local paper should matter to him too.

Not only is the front page, and the upper right of the front page a big deal, but the fact that you can’t buy an ad on most front pages gives it even more value – more readers will read your story.

Did you know?  Editorial material gets 500% more readership than material that is obviously advertising?

Public relations is one of the most valuable tools any organization can have – it’s all about communication and the more people you reach the better your communication.PR is money

It is a great day here for my agency and my client, thank you for letting me share the reason for my “PR Joy!”.

Snoopy the writer

A Behind the Scenes Look at How Newswires Distribute News Releases


Best Use of the next 2 minutes:  A Behind the Scenes Look at How Newswires Distribute News Releases

Good morning – take a look at this fast moving video with music on this Business Wire blog I am sharing with you – it is superbly well done – might be a tool for us to learn and share with our team and our clients.  Laura Bennett

Sometimes the best way to learn how something works is by watching it in action. Business Wire wants people to know exactly how news is made and have captured the process in an exciting new video.

WATCH THIS:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_jtEn2M5cZQ

ks6016What starts off as an announcement goes through a process of editing and enhancement before entering a hub. Think of it as a digital metro station that leads to stops around the world where your information travels to journalists, bloggers, reporters, and other media professionals and publications.

Key takeaways from the video about the news making process:

  • A news release should go through several drafts to ensure maximum readability and accuracy
  • Know (and write for) your target audience
  • Include multimedia such as photographs, graphics, and if possible, videos to increase release views
  • Measure the results to gauge impact of your news

In order to make the news it’s important to know how news is made. Learn the exact steps and make sure to maximize the impact of your next announcement.

Source: A Behind the Scenes Look at How Newswires Distribute News Releases


Go Where The Money Is .. And 70% of It Is In One Place

Marketers exist to build reputations and brands, support initiatives and impact the bottom line. Thankfully all bottom lines are not solely about money – but even non-profits have to have operating capital and marketing is often what makes the difference.

So because I know you have a limited budget, and an equally limited amount of time to market … let me tell you that you will never-ever go wrong if you go where the money is.

You may be asking – Is there one large group that I could really focus on that would make a big difference in the bottom line of my organization?

The answer is “Yes” – the money is in the wallets of people over the age of 50. Simple, verified and waiting for you.

You will read many articles about how Boomers are being misrepresented – and from where I sit that is true and has been for a very long time.


So let’s skip all that negativity and move right to you the marketer being smart and successful by being positive and going after this audience with a passion that will make you the one who understands the most basic and important question in all of marketing – who is buying?

Let’s start with some facts:

FACT #1 – People over age 50, right now, buy twice as much online as those younger than age 50.

FACT #2 – People over age 50, buy 5 times as many cars, 41% of all Apple products and other big ticket items than all the people aged 18 to 34 years old.

FACT #3 – People over age 50 control nearly 70% of the disposable income in the USA and will for at least the next decade or more.

So smart marketers, love the Boomer customer, embrace the fact that they are online and eager to try new things and know that when you approach this with a positive outlook you will indeed reap the positive rewards.

If you need more, there is a ton of data out there – but I bet these 3 facts are enough to get you going – so let’s go – Go Where The Money Is.

happiness 1

Are Your News Releases Making Business Editors Happy?  One AP News Editor Explains …

Happiness is a big subject these days, but not one usually affiliated with editors and publicists.  But why not?  Our jobs are intertwined and the better job we do of supporting journalists, as well as our clients, the happier, we all will be.happiness 2

My favorite information source, BusinessWire, held a webinar, featuring Philana Patterson, AP’s Small Business and Breaking News Editor, who gave her tips on “How to Make a Business Editor Happy” – here are 5 tips that I hope you find helpful.

  • Reduce industry jargon and use clear, crisp writing. Make sure your releases don’t get counted in the annual SHIFT Communications Top 50 Most Overused Words in Press Releases Stick to the basics and make sure your release could be easily understood by any reader.
  • Use subheads throughout your releases to organize news. Breaking up your release into easily-digestible chunks, clearly labeled with explanatory subheads, makes it easy for editors to locate the topics most relevant to their beats or areas of interest.
  • Consider using bullets to highlight key items. Much like subheads, bullets make it easy to see at a glance what the key takeaways from your news are.
  • Include a phone number on your release. If it’s important enough to send out, it’s important enough to get asked about. Make sure interested media can get in touch with you. Business Wire makes sure your contact info is available to all of our receiving media points.
  • Make sure the contact person is working all day the day your news moves. If your usual contact person isn’t going to be in the office, make sure there’s an alternate contact available. Nothing’s more frustrating for editors than trying to do follow-up only to be told the contact isn’t in that day.

Tip #6 – Patterson also offered one very important tip for making sure your news gets noticed in the first place:  Include a photo.  According to Patterson, many of their subscribers tell the AP that they mostly use stories that carry photos.  Visual elements are particularly important for mobile and online users who gravitate towards visual-based reporting.

happiness 3Bennett notes: I hope this kind of dialogue will help some corporate PR departments to understand the old AP style of no images, no subheads, just plain facts in black and white might not be what works today.  And if we could convince CEO’s that their industry jargon is not making for useful copy … now that would make me very happy too.

With thanks to Phil Dennison, Business Wire for making this information available.



headline blog imageheadline image 2Headlines are bait to capture the attention of a journalist and the reader/viewer.  On newspapers, magazines, blogs, social media, and, of course, press releases, this is what you see first.

According to a recent survey by Copyblogger, 80% of readers don’t read beyond the headline. Thus, your headline better be a catchy one if you want your audience to remember you. Can you get that Meghan Trainor song, ‘It’s All About That Bass’ out of your head?  You can tell I can’t!

So with big thanks to Agnes Deleuse, Senior Marketing Specialist, Business Wire Paris, here are a few tips from her column on Business Wire to help you craft the perfect headline.

1/ Provide real information
No jargon.  Your headline should imply an interesting and relevant question.  You can include figures/data.

2/ Opt for short phrasing
It is a necessity.  Today, titles must be short. Think social media. Write headlines like a tweet or a post. Also, remember that if your release is going to be translated into foreign languages, English is one third shorter than French, for instance!

3/ Write your release first and finish by crafting the headline
It will help you focus on the main message you want to highlight.  You want to target the brain of your reader.  Don’t focus on news release discovery at this stage. To do this, integrate the keywords your audiences use to find your company information in the sub-headline or the first paragraph.

4/ Write at least three headlines, adjusting the order of the words and see which one has more impact.
Work like a sculptor. Add words, remove them, change them, move them around.  You can test the headlines on your colleagues.

5/ Think like a journalist! 
If you want your news to catch a journalist’s attention, write a headline that is snappy, informative.  To think like a journalist is also a way to approach a subject the way a journalist would.  Journalists like it when they sometimes just have to copy and paste headlines and body texts directly from a press release!

headlines breaking news 3Quality content, including well-written headlines, contributes to the entire process of delivering information to your right audience.

For additional information on how to craft an effective news release, click here: