So, where were we?

Marketing Comments Off on So, where were we?

Is a year too long between blog posts? Some would say, for this blog, it’s not long enough. Either way, if we don’t post another blog soon no one will take “the view from Airport Road” seriously. Our promise of bringing street-level perspective to marketing issues will be as worthless as the digital ether it was not printed on. Potential followers will follow someone else. So here is another post, written for your benefit and, of course, also for ours. Because that’s how it works, right? Your comments are welcome.

What are we seeing from Airport Road?
Businesses getting back to marketing; businesses valuing a dollar well-spent on marketing (i.e. tight budgets, high expectations); confidence with a lower-case “c”; motivated bankers – one calling us with attractive refinancing options, another visiting our office to drop off marketing literature and wanting to provide a competitive quote of services, another bank running radio spots telling businesses it’s time to invest in the future; lots of property needing paint and repairs- ours included-lasting signs of the recession’s toll. We are optimistic about 2011. Our blog is up and running again. If you would provide a comment, we would be honored. If you decided to follow “the view from Airport Road” we may even throw a party. We’ll have to check with our banker first.

Trust Content to Content People

Marketing Comments Off on Trust Content to Content People

We were thinking and talking (simultaneously) the other day about what it takes to build a meaningful web presence. What I heard then and have consistently heard for many years is this: good content. Said one friend with 11 years of site-building experience, “The content, especially the copy, is always the problem… always holding things up.” Kind of like, “the dinner wasn’t very good until the food was served.” Sounds obvious enough, until you witness what must really be happening in the site development process. The functional, designed shell of a web site is in the control of the designer and his/her many guides and helpers, including clients, strategic thinkers and just about anyone else. How the site looks and links and engages and interacts with the visitor is the designer/programmer’s responsibility. Their work is critical. But deciding and delivering on what a site actually needs to say or present to the visitor is the bothersome “content” part. Regarding copy, designers rightfully advise to “keep it brief,” because no one likes to read a lot, especially designers. SEO experts advise how to write for the search engines. Never mind that the search engines aren’t your customer – they know what your customer wants – the search engines work for your customer, delivering just what your helplessly searching customer wants and needs. But eventually something meaningful needs to be said or otherwise conveyed with lasting value to someone else – the search engines’ boss – the customer. Fortunately there are forward thinking, talented, technologically advanced people working on ways to convey messages through combinations of words, images, video, audio design, music, graphic design and more, all mashed up together in unique and very appealing ways that home videos and phone cameras cannot match. This is where online and web site “content” are going — fast. Hardware and bandwidth technologies are accommodating it, swinging open the doors on what will constitute and perform commercially as great content. One group we know who is doing this is a start-up based here in Cincinnati – Today Cincinnati Productions, LLC. The core partnership is a team of CCM (UC College Conservatory of Music) graduates with degrees in Electronic Media. They describe themselves as “a multi-faceted company that specializes in the production and distribution of electronic media, formed to assist local artists by hosting original content and creating a new outlet for distributing art.” This art will soon be making its way, very far and wide, online. Paying respect to their company’s namesake community, and what great things it offers right now – today – the group wrote, performed and produced this musical video, entitled “Today,” utilizing scenic park settings throughout Greater Cincinnati.


Marketing Comments Off on Engagement

There is much talk of the value of “engagement” in communications, particularly online, where marketers are finding they can influence their prime audiences – interactively, communally, in real time – in ways other media can’t. My son’s participation in the Cincinnati Regional Science Olympiad, a science project competition among Greater Cincinnati high schools, showed me a form of engagement – interactively, communally, in real time – which I hadn’t seen before. It was interesting to me because most, if not all, enthusiastic gatherings of high school students are centered on athletic competition. But this was science… the proverbial slide-rule and pocket-protector crowd.

On a warm, sunny Saturday in early March, 2009, from 7:00AM until 5:00PM, dozens or maybe hundred of teenagers gathered in teams at Raymond Walter College to present, demonstrate and explain the demanding science projects which they had completed (engaged in) together over months of work, learning and discovery. Corporate sponsorships, though key to the event, were discrete. No media topspin. No marketing agenda. The event was not online or networked around the world in 27 languages (yet). Yet engagement there was. At the awards ceremony culminating the day’s accomplishments, when the winners and runners-up for each category were announced, there was raucous cheering, hooting, hollering – respectful, brand-neutral engagement. Real team spirit – but no TV cameras in front of which to act ridiculous. Award winning participants raced to the stage to accept gold, bronze or silver medals and have their picture taken. You could see the happiness on the faces of these kids. They are one’s who may never make a touchdown, or score a goal, or toss in a 3. These kids, our future, offer us more than a glimpse of understanding in matters of science. They exemplify the spirit and the potential that will keep our nation and the world moving forward despite the many challenges we all face – collaborative engagement in meaningful pursuits and achievements that will benefit the world in truly valuable ways.

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