Our mission statement calls for SA team members to “find a better way, always.” Whether it’s a process enhancement or turning something on its ear for a new perspective or solving a vexing issue that has caused consternation. Every organization has gremlins. Finding a better way is how we chase them out. It’s led us to innovate in the service to our clients.
“How do you do what you do?” can be a question that leads to a long, somewhat arcane, and often interesting response. It may test understanding, sales skills and the comprehension of the listener. Often, it helps to do what we have done for years. Draw it out. Tell a story. Make it relevant. If process becomes interesting, it is because of what happens in the process.
Today, things are moving so quickly, with such velocity, that brand management is more important than ever. Many clients are asking us to initiate account planning in order to assess their positioning related to competitive and market changes. Positioning, tagline development and category differentiators are components of a brand audit that SA conducts. In reputation management, mapping of key messages is extremely helpful to clients addressing advocacy or issues management.
Some people don’t know what PR people do. It’s not their fault. The idea of public relations is to get someone’s name, product, idea, etc. some love and attention. So you might not know my name or what I like to do on the weekends, but you better believe I’ve been working hard. Sometimes you might see our clients in the paper, hear some story on the news, attend a great event, find out about a sweet social media campaign, yadda yadda yadda.
If there’s an area of business that needs a fresh breath of innovation, it’s co-op advertising. Some retailers view it as easy, off-the-shelf ads that leverage a manufacturer’s brand, but don’t go far enough for them. Some don’t even view co-op as marketing, but as cost of goods sold. But, does co-op do what it was intended to do?
Every year April 1st comes around and you’d think people would learn to laugh at every “emergency” and second guess every happy announcement. But no. So, we’ll just continue pulling pranks and your blood pressure can rise until we say the phrase “April Fools!” Personally, I have a hard time doing it. Either I can’t keep a straight face or I just feel so bad that I apologize before delivering the punch line.
It started before 2000, then Y2K certainly accelerated it. Digital solutions. Now, digital apps bring value to businesses and consumers. Speed . . . efficiency . . . value . . . even fun . . . are the essential ingredients. In the field/channel marketing category, SA has developed a number of these apps. Back in 1998, we designed SMP®, an automated media planning and placement solution.
Field marketing is the space Strategic America often plays in . . . works in, actually. It is the place generally referred to as retail. Channel. Co-op. Distributive marketing. And, those descriptors only start the conversation. The common factor is: this is where sales occur. This is where cash registers ring. This is where your brand is presented against a competitive array of choices.
If you watch the news about the economic recovery, you see the impact of retail. Not just Big Box, but franchisees, entrepreneurs and businesses of all sorts. Many years ago, we learned about the power of retail in the banking arena. Our client at the time understood that banking was about making connections at their “stores” with associates who consultatively sold, resulting in the industry’s leading cross-sell ratio.
A month or so ago Jim Davis told me he wanted High Five Friday to be a thing. After a bit of research we discovered it is already a thing in Portland. Sort of. Mr. High Five Friday was doing his part to spread the joy. It wasn’t enough though. Under the charming leadership of Jim Davis, your beloved Couch Team was on the case.