Author: Andy Seibert

Journey Map Challenge: Transitioning to Work from Home

Journey Map Challenge: Transitioning to Work from Home

Here is Imprint’s…what is yours?

So many businesses — large and small — have had to migrate to a work from home (WFH) situation.

And it’s a journey! Bumps, laughs, mistakes, frustration—and, through it all, a lot of great work for our clients. Here’s my take on Imprint’s journey to date. I want to know what yours has been—I’m hoping you’ll share! (See how, below.)

Imprint’s Journey

We officially went to WFH status on March 12. While we made a “dry run” a few weeks earlier, we still had to deal with the reality of a new situation. It was a new experience for all of us—that meant lots of confusion and anxiety in an already anxious time.

Week one: Being remote is new, but we fundamentally know how to work this way. We’re getting into the groove of our daily 8:45 a.m. team video check-in, and half the guys are starting to grow facial hair. By week’s end kids and pets in the background are no longer the least bit distracting. The team is settling in.

Week two: Too many video calls! If we don’t have the commuting time, why are we working longer hours? Am I really needed for all these calls and meetings? Internal swirling ensues.

Week three: We establish “rules” for the length of meeting times, and further refine how our remote communications work. We’re enjoying our daily quiz game competition and hold our weekly Thirsty Thursday happy hour via video. We settle in, once again.

Week four: We might have fine-tuned our internal work process, but clients haven’t hit their strides yet. Alert: Clients swirling! Most are much bigger organizations than Imprint, and they’re understandably having trouble communicating with all their team members. We scramble to help them put the pieces together. By Friday, calmer waters prevail.

Week five: We’ve launched seven key initiatives since going to WFH, and we’re making significant progress on all. Some focus on improving our internal work flow. But most important, we’ve started to meet with clients and present our thinking on content their customers need when they reach the “recovery” phase. This means creating journey maps for key audience segments and mapping out the information and education they might need over the coming months.

Where will weeks six and beyond take us? That we’ll discover together. But what we do know is that it’s all about journey maps. What’s yours?

Email me your sketch, drawing or photo at aseibert@imprintcontent.com.

3 Things We’re Focused On During The COVID-19 Crisis

3 Things We’re Focused On During The COVID-19 Crisis

Like most of you, the Imprint team has begun working remotely. Luckily, two weeks prior we did a “dry run” for a day to test our technology and communications with everyone working from home. This helped make our move to remote pretty seamless.

The other thing we did at the outset was clearly define our focus and make sure all our team members know our priorities. As the news swirls around us, having a shared sense of purpose gives us all some much-needed stability:

1. Family first. The health and safety of the Imprint team and our families is our most important priority. Plus, if we’re not healthy, we can’t fulfill our obligations to our clients.

2. Clients. We’re focused on being both proactive and protective. Imprint’s core strength isn’t creating content during a crisis—it’s strategic, ongoing communications. So as a valuable partner we’re busy creating journey maps, walking in the shoes of our clients’ customers. By understanding and anticipating what these customers need and want, we’re helping our clients think two steps ahead in creating the right content, in the right format, to protect the valuable relationships they’ve built with their customers.

3. Morale. In the time of confusion, when your work family is suddenly not around, it’s incredibly important to be there for each other. To keep spirits up and keep our team moving forward together, we’ve established a morning video huddle. Starting each day at 8:45 a.m. checking in, listening and sharing has helped everyone maintain a routine—which we know is crucial in times of dramatic change. We have a “know your role” policy, which helps for effective and efficient meetings. And now we’re encouraging “know your role, plus.” Bring a story, a joke, an insight into how you and your family are coping. It helps bring some fun and much-needed humanity to each encounter.

Find your points and be laser-focused on them. They’ll help your team, your clients and your business push through this challenge.

Stay safe, stay healthy – and stay home.

We’re here to help, and to listen. Please always feel free to reach out to me at aseibert@imprintcontent.com.

New Team Members Join IMPRINT

New Team Members Join IMPRINT

We are excited to welcome Scot Maitland and Julissa Ortiz to the Imprint team.  They each bring something special to the agency, whether it be for clients in an emerging category or one where we have unmatched expertise.

Scot expands Imprint’s reach into health and wellness.  He has more than a decade of experience in sales and marketing in the space, and he has a track record maximizing the effectiveness of the programs he brings to clients by helping them collaborate and share across disciplines.  Healthcare has been a major part of his career:  He created the largest pharmacy industry publication dedicated to their members’ sales and marketing needs, and he has been an international speaker on the subject.

Julissa brings deep experience in financial services and especially within large matrixed organizations.  She joins Imprint from JPMorgan Chase & Co. where she spent the last 15 years of her career. Most recently, she was a Marketing Manager within the Commercial Bank, leading the development and execution of strategic marketing initiatives for the Corporate Client Banking business. In this role she was responsible for establishing the businesses’ national marketing strategy and developing its first metrics reporting framework.   She also served as a strategy executive within Consumer & Community Banking and as a finance executive within the Asset Management and Corporate businesses.

IMPRINT Expands Strategy Team

IMPRINT Expands Strategy Team

Michele Radcliffe has joined the Imprint team. As a senior marketer, Michele’s arrival reflects Imprint’s continued deepening acumen in the financial services industry as well as a deliberate expansion into additional categories.

 

As a Senior Director, strategy, Michele offers financial services clients new ideas and perspectives. Her career spans over two decades specializing in product marketing, content and campaign development, and partnership programs. She has worked with leading brands such as Charles Schwab, VISA International, and Morgan Stanley.

 

Of course, Michele’s personal interests will add to her impact at Imprint. When not immersed in an assignment, for example, Michele is passionate about creating purpose-driven campaigns and community-building experiences for non-profit organizations near her home in San Francisco.

Imprint Continues to Build Core Team

Imprint Continues to Build Core Team

We recently welcomed two new members to the Imprint Team. Berta Garcia Bustamante has joined as Executive Editor, and Molly O’Keefe has joined as a Managing Director, New Business.

Berta brings 20 years’ experience helping financial brands distill their value to their most important audiences and articulate what sets them apart. She has a dynamic mix of creative agency experience and in-house work, most recently working as the director of institutional intermediary marketing at MainStay/New York Life Investment Management. She has also worked as a contributing editor and trade journalist covering the policy, regulatory and legislative landscape across healthcare, tech and education verticals.

Molly has joined to expand Imprint’s footprint in new categories. She is an accomplished sales and marketing professional with 25 years selling custom content marketing solutions to leading footwear, health and wellness brands; specifically, running, outdoor, sporting goods and action.

Molly’s most recent role was Publisher at Runner’s World. She has been associate publisher of Sporting Goods Business Magazine, where she was responsible for the sales and marketing for print, online and conferences. She served as director of sales/associate publisher for Outdoor Retailer magazine, specializing in print & expo sponsorships and worked as an account executive at Action Sports Retailer serving the surf, skate and snow B2B market.

A big welcome to Molly and Berta—the Imprint Team is all the stronger with you two on board!

How to Become Agency of the Year

How to Become Agency of the Year

 

2017 was an amazing year for Imprint. We had been nominated as Small Content Marketing Agency of the Year by CMA three times, and winning last September on our fourth consecutive nomination put a real spring in our step. Among other accolades, we were just named to Gramercy Institute’s Top 12 Financial Agencies for 2018.

To date, there have been over 50 awards for our clients and ourselves, and we haven’t yet reached our fifth year anniversary!

What’s the thread to creating the winning work? Some Imprint team members weigh in with six tips:

 

  • Tap the best of others

I think one of the strong suits of the team here is collaboration. There’s a real team effort in strategy and optimization, not the traditional silos that you see in other agencies.

– Brendan Burke, strategy @Imprint_Brendan

 

  • Don’t settle for cookie cutter

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to our work. Our content programs are strategic and highly tailored to the needs to our clients and their audiences. From scheduling and process, to editorial and creative, everything we do is customized to deliver the best end results for our clients. We push our clients out of their comfort zones and encourage them to try new formats and approaches that we believe can strategically help them reach their goals.

– Kim Papa, editorial @Imprint_KimP

 

  • Get your hands dirty

We combine strategy and creativity with roll-up-your-sleeves-and-get-it-done delivery.

– Meg Staknis, strategy 

 

  • Look outwards, not inwards

We’re laser-focused on our clients and on their business. We’re focused on their markets, their challenges, their audiences and the opportunities that content provides to create relationships and deliver results. We’re always looking at the bigger picture, the trends and technologies that will make our work as resonant, effective and innovative as possible.

– Duncan Milne, strategy @ContentDuncan

 

  • Be audience-first

Our work embodies the perspective of the audience. Always.

– Ashley Brenner, design @Imprint_AshleyB

 

  • Speak up!

The Imprint team is not afraid to question the norm, to voice an opinion.

– Ken Williams, business development @Imprint_KenW

5 Essential Content Marketing Ideas for 2018

5 Essential Content Marketing Ideas for 2018

A New Year can be a new beginning. Some people make resolutions, while others just reflect on the past. The Imprint team is all about looking ahead, and we’ve compiled five ideas to incorporate into your fresh thinking for 2018.

1. Stay nimble, stay ahead

Make 2018 all about testing, reading results and switching up your approach based on what you find. For example, when it comes to social, don’t just rely on organic engagement. Make sure you are testing paid promotion and leveraging influencers. You can be tactical using A/B testing on the fundamentals, and strategic by testing on new platforms, if your audiences are there.

2. Break the B2B mold

For years we’ve been moving our clients away from traditional B2B company talk and toward having a conversation with the audience that’s true to who they are: people.

3. Make it real

To exhibit expertise, brands create white papers. To drive engagement? Brands should tell stories, create a narrative and make their content relatable.

4. Use data wisely

In the age of Big Data, content marketers need to be thoughtful about the use of data in their programs. The key question to ask: what is the desired outcome of the use of data? Look at a customer’s journey through the sales funnel, and use data to serve up relevant content to increase engagement, if possible, at every interaction. In terms of showing personalization, we recommend layering that on more as the client moves deeper in the funnel.

5. Choose quality over quantity

Content marketing continues to become more complex, sophisticated and messy. Make sure that you are not creating new content just for the sake of creating it. Refresh and reimagine wherever possible and focus new content creation efforts on what you need to engage your key targeted audiences.

We’re starting the New Year off with renewed energy and ready to kick 2018 into high gear!

What You Can Learn from Russia’s Content Marketing

What You Can Learn from Russia’s Content Marketing

If you’re on Facebook, there is a good chance you’ve been exposed to a post produced by Russian-backed agents. Exploring Russian’s influence on the 2016 U.S. Presidential elections, Facebook has reported that the Russians reached 126 million Americans on its network.

You might be angry, you may need to see more evidence. But one thing is clear—it’s a classic case study of content marketing.

Let’s review the five steps Russia took to master content marketing:

  1. Know your audience and segments. Russia was able to read the divide that was happening between major political parties, and within the parties.
  2. Understand the message that needs to be told in order to resonate. What are the issues that were motivating segments? From feeling the Bern to being with Her, there was much emotion to navigate.
  3. Create content that drives action. In this case, the messages were overwhelmingly controversial and hateful―and unfortunately well done for the strategy.
  4. Be smart and strategic with targeted distribution. The Russians were able to use social platforms to target specific states, groups and individuals.
  5. Effectively spend and measure. While the budget wasn’t large, it showed just how much impact a $100,000 toward media can have.

The Russians may have influenced our elections, but they definitely stole content marketing.

Content Marketing Agency of the Year: Thank You

Content Marketing Agency of the Year: Thank You

It was our fourth nomination, and it turns out this was our year.  At the 2017 Content Marketing World conference, run by the Content Marketing Institute, Imprint was named “Content Marketing Agency of the Year” (<100 employees).  It was truly a surprise!  We were in great company, as the five other nominees seem to do really interesting work.

Our clients are amazing, and they are the thread to why we were honored with this award.

  • They push us to think differently. Our clients want us to respect the past, but not be hindered by legacy.  We make sure their brand is clearly infused in the work so even the most common of concepts stand out and can be owned.
  • We relentlessly focus on a client’s audience.  It’s not just asking the why that is important, but really the for who.  Because when you concentrate on what audiences need and want, you don’t really need to justify why content is created.
  • They trust us. We value quality over quantity and are measurement obsessed.

We’re committed to bringing our clients excellence and drive for results.  But at this moment, we’re taking a breath and saying, thank you!

Print isn’t dead, only patience

Print isn’t dead, only patience

In the Campaign Live piece below, I offer my thoughts in regard to print media–the death of which has been greatly exaggerated.

 

Click-through rates, opens, impressions, downloads and…dog-eared pages? Developments in analytic capabilities have allowed marketers to understand the ROI of each initiative, and in an increasingly digital world, these results begin to pour in almost immediately after pressing go.

Read More at www.campaignlive.com

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