Monday, October 30, 2017

The Tale of Marketing and PR Integration

Jamie Ward, a public relations professor at EMU, will be bringing her unique perspective of the evolving field of public relations as she speaks on a "Developing a Local Brand" panel at the Digital Marketing Workshop on November 17.

When Ward first entered the field of public relations over a decade ago she says that marketing and public relations were distinct from each other and typically stuck to their own area of study. Today, Ward says that there is so much integration between the two that is crucial for students of both fields to understand each other. She works to bridge the gap between public relations and marketing for her students.

"From a public relations stand point, the universities I have taught at are emphasizing strategic communication and the importance of maintaining social media much more," says Ward.

One example of how the teaching of public relations has changed in the classroom is the way students are taught the PESO model (an acronym for paid, earned, shared, and owned). Ward says it has been altered since the rise of digital marketing. "Before paid was predominantly the focus of this model, but now shared is the most important and is looked at first," says Ward.

She attributes this focus shirt of the PESO model to how influential and powerful sharing information on social media outlets has become. In fact, following social media accounts and blogs that are related to her field of study is one of the ways Ward stays current on trending topics. Additionally, she continuously attends innovative conferences, reads publications, and conducts research.

"This idea of understanding each other will only help students and build relationships. Public relations and marketing students are now working alongside each other, not independently," says Ward.

Those who work in marketing and public relations have watched their fields begin to blend together over recent years. Professors who teach these fields of study have had to reevaluate and adjust their coursework to accommodate for the integration among fields that is happening.

To hear Ward further discuss this topic, be sure to get your tickets to the Digital Marketing Workshop on November 17 today!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Thriving From Digital Success

With so many exciting events and innovation, Washtenaw County generates millions of dollars in tax revenue every year from tourism.

Those tourism tax dollars are made possible from the help of the Ann Arbor Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. Their Vice President of Integrated Marketing and Communications, Chad Wiebesick, works hard to incorporate digital and social media efforts into their marketing plans to see continous increases in tourism for the county. 

Wiebesick has a long history of working in the digital marketing world, where being able to maintain a strong, recognizable social media presence is important. In 2015, Wiebesick was among the nation's Top 5 Government Social Media Leaders, and his past efforts on the Pure Michigan campaign with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation led Michigan to be among the world's Top 10 destinations on social media. 

How does Wiebesick continue to excel in the world of digital marketing and social media? "Learning by reading books and websites, networking with professionals, and going to regular conference events throughout the year," he says. 

He also attributes his social media success on building relationships with his audience and among themselves. "There's a lot of distrust in society today, and people don't trust government brands and corporations. People only trust themselves and people like them," says Wiebesick. He stresses that the online community tourists build with each other by sharing their photos and memories on social media is what inspires them to keep coming back or visit a destination much more than government advertising does. 

With digital marketing jobs continuing to be on the rise, Wiebesick believes that jobs in digital and social media are the ones to go after. "Many organizations, both large and small, are looking for digital and social media talent to hire to accommodate the changes in consumer behavior," he says.

Wiebesick's recent efforts in his current role helped create a partnership between the Washtenaw County Convention and Visitors Bureau and Eastern. Together, they created a Youtube video for the college's #YouAreWelcomeHere campaign that highlights the accepting and diverse culture the city of Ypsilanti has to offer. 

On November 17, Wiebesick will further discuss his efforts and success with multiple digital marketing campaigns at the Digital Marketing Workshop. Only a few tickets remain so be sure to get yours today

Monday, October 9, 2017

Zingerman's National Success in a Digital World

Zingerman's is a community of businesses that has taken over the Ann Arbor and Metro Detroit area, becoming a household name. As a local brand, staying loyal to only having locations in Ann Arbor, most would be surprised that Zingerman's is a nationally recognizable brand. Over half their revenue comes from online sales through their Mail Order services.

Jenn Hayman, director of marketing for Zingerman's service network, believes that the brand's success is possible through frequent and effective communication. Even though each Zingerman's business is individually owned and operated, Hayman believes all the businesses thrive from communicating with each other. 

"Making sure you're talking and listening, and getting together to make sure all their information is shared are both really critical. Each business is each other's biggest customer. When anything changes they all need to know it," says Hayman. 

Before Zingerman's, Hayman's background consisted primarily of the higher education sector, but when she stumbled upon this opportunity she thought it was perfect for her. Being an Ann Arbor local, Zingerman's was a brand that she had known and admired, making her eager to jump into her position there.

"It was a welcomed departure. Being able to break branding rules that typically existed and being able to have something playful, not having to take ourselves so seriously, and inject humor in it and be creative is what caught my eye," says Hayman when comparing how different her position at Zingerman's is to her previous positions. 

Hayman believes that Zingerman's success will only continue to grow because of the high level of personal passions that their employees bring to the table. Upon accepting her position with the company, Hayman was happy to see how much the brand invests and develops their managers to not only know the in's and out's of the brand, but to also be leaders that their employees respect and look up to. 

On November 17, Hayman will be the keynote speaker at the Digital Marketing Workshop, further discussing how she markets Zingerman's local community of businesses as a national brand through digital channels. Few tickets remain so be sure to get yours now. 

Thursday, October 5, 2017

ContentOro Revolutionizes Book Content

"We want to help our customers effectively use content to be better advertisers and marketers," said Bob Chunn, founder of ContentOro, who will be speaking about his innovative digital company as the second installment of the Digital Marketing Summit Fall 2017 Series at Ann Arbor Spark on Friday, October 13.

For Chunn, ContentOro came to light in 2014, after realizing that there was a need for content on websites to gain organic searches. With the help of his background as a director of digital at Border's before they closed their doors, he knew there were many books with a lot of content that could help companies get recognized online.

To get this content to companies, Chunn and his team developed a software that could help break a book down into individual articles to be used online. By the end of 2015 this software was live. They obtained their first customer at the beginning of 2016, and since then, have been able to help provide content for some of the biggest brands in the world.

When asked how ContentOro measures their success, Chunn said that they do so by "...getting our customers to believe they are in the right place."

Their customers so far have seen an increase in pageviews and longer visits. This is a critical statistic for the company to measure their success with because it demonstrates that their content leads to an increase in customers. Due to ContentOro's success so far, the company has been able to gain the attention from larger agencies as well.

Chunn and his company are very pleased to continue to work with EMU's Center for Digital Engagement and have seen great results from interns they have obtained through it.

"We have had a great stream of EMU people come in. They are willing to work hard, are very excited about what we are doing, and are talented enough to keep up with us to learn new things,"  said Candace Chapman, the VP of Marketing and Sales for ContentOro.

Chunn is, "Happy to be able to come and speak to the Center for Digital Engagement and think it is a good audience!" Tickets for this event are available at Eventbrite.