Your Audience Is Online Waiting. But Where Will You Find Them?

Shawn Maher

Your Audience Is Online Waiting. But Where Will You Find Them?

It’s a simple fact right now: whether it’s business or play, we’re going to be doing it online. So where on social media is your audience social distancing? Other than online video conferencing services, of course, because that’s a no-brainer to businesses at this point. 

But when it comes to reaching your target audience, consistent and transparent communication is an essential tool for brands to survive the crisis and thrive when it is over. 

A recent study from Marketing Charts discovered where to find some difficult-to-reach audiences. Here are the key takeaways:

Snapchat for the Affluent Crowd?

It seems that Snapchat has not-so-slowly moved on from being solely an app for teens to send photos with funny filters and slice-of-life videos. If that wasn’t apparent already, this viral video of a priest conducting an online mass with Snapchat filters proved it to the world.

When Marketing Charts performed their study, they discovered that LinkedIn was the most-used social network for households earning over $100k. If that shocked you, then welcome to the digital age!

However, what really is surprising is that the second-most-used network for those affluent households is Snapchat. Turns out, Snapchat’s easy-to-use messaging and visually oriented updates resonate with anyone. Good design is good design no matter who you are, and so it’s spread shouldn’t be surprising. Although, to be honest…we were surprised. 

While we don’t think Snapchat is the be-all, end-all solution for every brand out there, this does illustrate a good point. Keep an open mind when it comes to your content marketing strategy. It may take you to unexpected places and lead to pleasant surprises. 

Radio Has Reach

Another interesting finding? Radio has always provided reach, but internet radio can reach further than traditional broadcasts. And it also is reaching the ears of a traditionally very-difficult-to-reach demographic: the Hispanic population. 

The Marketing Charts study determined that Hispanic people are 21% more likely to listen to internet radio in a given month than the rest of people online. 

Considering that Hispanic people are under-indexed in any other media channel, this is quite interesting. Especially since we are all spending extra time tuning in to our preferred entertainment channels these days. 

Newspapers and Magazines Still Matter to the Middle Aged

While many people may be following their social media feeds for updates, middle aged people are still spending a lot of time reading the websites of their favorite print publications. In fact, the 35-44 age bracket is 30% more likely than any online adults in other age brackets to visit a website for a newspaper or magazine in a given month. This is up from 18% in 2018. 

(And I guess my digital subscription to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch really dates me, huh?) 

Additionally, the 45-54-year-old age bracket is 18% more likely than other demographics to visit newspaper and magazine websites, as well. 

Your messaging really matters in times like these. Now more than ever we need to Make It Mean Something. But what you say only matters if you manage to get it in front of the people who need to hear it. Get in touch and we can help you find the best way to deploy your messaging. 

What next? Let your customers and employees know your plans moving forward.

Tim Leon
President/Brand Strategist

What next? Let your customers and employees know your plans moving forward.

As organizations are navigating how to operate in this new environment, it’s critical to let their internal and external audiences know what to expect. In these uncertain times, employees and customers want to know there is a plan in place to deal with unexpected business disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Geile/Leon Marketing Communications is helping clients address these challenges. Questions and issues our clients are dealing with include:


• What happens if a co-worker tests positive to Covid-19?  

• What is the company doing to keep us safe? This is especially important for organizations deemed “essential,” where employees are continuing to come to work.

• How will the company be communicating with me and how often will they be providing me updates?

• What will change while working from home? What solutions will be implemented? Will you be using Skype or Teams to communicate? Read More about making this change here.


• Will your company’s supply chain be interrupted, and will I still be able to get product?

• Does your company have contingency plans in place to remain operating through this crisis?

• Are you changing hours of operation, ordering procedures, etc. over the next few weeks?

These are just a few of the communication challenges our clients have experienced. Being out front and more proactive in your communications is important, as well as delivering clear and concise messaging. G/L can help you determine a strategy and appropriate communications channels for your audiences, taking into consideration media relations, video, email communications, town hall meeting, video-conferencing, etc.

As we see crisis communications ramping up for our clients, we at G/L are ramping up our service offering to meet their needs. We are partnering with our former client, Tom Lange, who brings a wealth of crisis communications experience from his previous positions as Head of Communications for Union Pacific Railroad (a Fortune 150 company) and as Director-Public Affairs and Communications for Smurfit-Stone (formerly a Fortune 500 packaging company headquartered in St. Louis).  

We are thrilled to have Tom consulting with our PR team and helping us bring proven crisis communications strategy, messaging and plans for clients that will move their businesses forward in the challenging weeks ahead. Just email me at [email protected], and we can set up a phone call or video conference to discuss your communication challenges.

The New Normal: Empathy

Tim Leon
President/Brand Strategist

The New Normal: Empathy

Let’s get this out of the way: this is a blog concerning the COVID-19 outbreak. But I’m hoping it provides marketers a simple solution to how to address your marketing and messaging for the next few months. It may not be a cure-all, but there is a way to move forward – a way to adapt your marketing to the new normal and connecting your brand to customers in a way like never before.

It boils down to one word: empathy. 

Now is the time for brands to be empathetic to their stakeholders, their prospects, their long-time customers and their employees. I believe brands can get out in front with a marketing strategy that is right for the times. What do I mean?  Here’s a couple of great examples.

A local magazine Time Out New York is transitioning to Time In New York as their name temporarily to address New Yorkers who are not out on the town, but are hunkering down and staying indoors. Time Out New York’s website is currently emphasizing stories such as “The best takeout and delivery restaurants in New York” and “The 40 best movies on Netflix right now,” as well as “The latest canceled events and closures over coronavirus in NYC.

On an international level, Guinness sent its loyal fans a special St. Patrick’s Day message in response to the coronavirus pandemic. It was a powerful video and my favorite line was “Let’s not forget that on St. Patrick’s Day, we are all Irish…. But every day, we are all human.” The message being that we have a responsibility to be there for each other during these times. And while this new video was being unveiled, an announcement confirmed that Guinness made a major charitable donation to the on-going efforts to tack coronavirus in the U.S.

So, empathy always wins and we find the best way to express it in our brands by listening to our customers…not just in times of crisis but every day. There’s no great compliment when someone says about a brand, “They really get me.”

So, for the next few weeks, I would ask that you consider a new marketing metric…ROE. Return on Empathy. The brands that will stand out over the next few months with be those brands than can connect with the needs of their customers. And that empathy will result in maintaining/growing market share, increasing customer loyalty, generating high employee satisfaction, and much more. The brands that can lift their customers and their employees up during this pandemic will be remembered for a long, long, time. As the Guinness video so aptly stated, “When we lift a pint of Guinness, let’s remember to lift each other up.” 

Now is the time for brands to rise to the challenge and truly deliver on the ROE. Being an empathetic brand will help you win the hearts and minds of your employees, customers, and the world. And those brands that empathize and show it won’t be forgotten. At G/L, we can help you find the best way to generate ROE for your brand. We’ve done it for many brands and would be happy to share our insights.

Is Ad Tech Overrated?

Tim Leon
President/Brand Strategist

Is Ad Tech Overrated?

It seems like every day there’s a new marketing technology that is the new biggest and best thing. And some really are great. At the same time, we marketers are overloaded with new technologies hyped as a “must-have” if we want to survive in the industry. In fact, added more than 200 new solutions to their list in 2020.

The result? A recent survey found that 18% of respondents said their biggest challenge was simply trying to figure out all of these “must-have” technologies.

It should be no surprise that, according to Marketing Charts, 68% of marketers and brand professionals expect to increase the number of marketing technology providers their brand uses this year. Unsurprisingly, many marketing professionals found quite a few of these technologies riding the wave of ad tech to be wholly overrated.

The article is spot on in identifying that the biggest challenges that these marketing are becoming more and more technology-oriented. However, the biggest problem may just be the skill gaps in their marketing teams. As technology develops so rapidly, that has led to a high demand for those who can skillfully utilize and integrate ad tech. That’s led CMOs to cite data and analytics as not only one of the most needed skill sets, but also one of the most difficult to find.

But let’s look at the big picture. Yes, we should be making full use of the technology available to marketers. Not everything can be solved through technology, but it’s an incredibly useful tool for finding these solutions. No matter what, finding effective solutions for marketing challenges requires tried-and-true thinking, creativity, critical thinking and problem-solving skills…from humans.

The bottom line is that marketing technology can be amazing. It helps us make decisions and understand data. However, there’s only so much that it can do. If you believe that it’s the end-all, be-all to solving your marketing challenges, then prepare to be disappointed.

That’s what we’re here for. Get in touch and we will find the right solutions and the right technology for your unique marketing challenges.

2 Seconds to Engagement

Shawn Maher

2 Seconds to Engagement

At the advent of online video, many marketers realized that viewer engagement was difficult. So we began thinking differently than we would for a medium, like television, where the viewer had to pay attention…until DVR came along, that is. 

But the thing about evolution is that, well, it keeps evolving. Now we have skippable ads, a loose definition of “broadcast” television, and an increasing amount of online video viewers on mobile devices. So how do brands engage viewers? 

It’s easy. All you have to do is make sure you get your CTA, branding and engaging content out in front of the viewers…sometimes in two seconds or less

Funnily enough, this goes back to the 2009 Super Bowl when Miller High Life ran a series of 2-second ads. When this guerilla ad buy worked out splendidly for our beer brewing brethren to the north, marketers of all stripes took note. 

Now we’ve taken these lessons we learned and applied them to another medium where we have to capture viewers’ attention quickly: online video. Whether you’re waiting for the “skip video” button to pop up or scrolling through your feed, that video has to capture your attention immediately to have fighting chance. 

No more saving the CTA for the closing credits. Less mystery. Less intrigue. Fewer slow burns, more quick hits. You’ve got two seconds to accomplish your campaign’s goals. 

Of course, it’s not as much of a desperate plea for attention as it sounds. All it takes is an understanding of how visual storytelling and copywriting work together. How to make your CTA feel fun, not forced. How to deserve attention, not demand it.

And that’s what we do at G/L Content Studios. Do you need to get viewers’ attention? We can do it…quickly. Get in touch and let’s see how we can do it. 

The Coronavirus Makes Corona Viral

Shawn Maher

The Coronavirus Makes Corona Viral

By now, it’s hard to be a person alive in the world and be unaware of the Coronavirus. We’re not here to talk about illnesses and pandemics. There are scientists, doctors and experts who know far, far, FAR more about…you guessed it…science than we do. However, Coronavirus has spilled into our area of expertise, and that’s what we’re talking about at the G/L offices lately. 

We’ve been seeing all the jokes about Coronavirus and Corona beer on Twitter. A personal favorite: “I prefer my Coronavirus with a twist of Lyme disease.” However, turns out that it’s not all jokes. Some people are quite serious. In fact, according to a survey of American beer drinkers conducted by PR firm 5WPR, 38% said they would not buy Corona beer under any circumstances due to the spread of Coronavirus. 

If you’re reading this, then there’s probably no need to explain this to you. But it is our professional obligation to point out that Corona beer is ONLY a tasty beach beverage. NOT a highly transmissible virus. 

In an even more telling statistic, only 4% of regular Corona drinkers said that they would stop drinking Corona. But there is a not-insignificant 14% of Corona drinkers who will no longer order it in public. Meaning they know better…but they are still too ashamed to be caught with a Corona! 

It makes sense. Sometimes you want to enjoy a frosty beer and not wade into a controversial topic. In fact, most people most of the time would like to keep beer and controversy separate. They’re on two opposite ends of the spectrum as far as we’re concerned. For evidence, joins us at beer:30 every Friday afternoon. 

Which brings us to the heart of our discussion. Just because a brand is only very, very loosely connected to an adverse event or news story (or perhaps not even involved in the least) doesn’t mean that they can’t get swept up in it. That’s why we provide extensive PR and crisis management services to our clients through professionals who have been, seen that and weathered the storm. Get in touch and we can talk about how we can guide your brand through any storm. 

Ryan Reynolds and Aviation Gin Strike Again

Tim Leon
President/Brand Strategist

Ryan Reynolds and Aviation Gin Strike Again

Ryan Reynolds just can’t stay out of our trend discussions.

Leave it to the actor-turned-ad-mogul to find a clever and timely way to create an online video for his Aviation Gin brand. Online video that truly taps into the zeitgeist can provide a lesson on what online video and content marketing should be. 

Since 2020 is a leap year, that means those who have a February 29 birthday are celebrating their true birthday for the first time in four years. And so Arlene Manko, who is 84 years old as far as Uncle Sam is concerned, is technically only celebrating her 21st

Enter Aviation Gin: 

This Aviation video follows in the footsteps of their Peloton parody and their cross-promotion-within-a-cross-promotion video with Deadpool and Samsung. In it, the 84-year-old Arlene has her first “legal” drink, an Aviation Gin and tonic. It’s a great example of putting the viewer first and finding a natural opportunity to tie in the brand. 

Many content marketers struggle to find that fine line between entertainment and branding. It’s a tough one to walk. If that struggle sounds a little bit too familiar to you, then get in touch and let’s talk about content marketing opportunities of your brand. 

Our Public Library Campaign Comes from the Heart

Geile/Leon Marketing Communications

Our Public Library Campaign Comes from the Heart

It’s an exciting time for St. Louis and for G/L. Our advertisement for the Saint Louis Public Library is airing on all the local broadcast television networks. And the “Overdue? Get a do-over.” messaging is on billboards, busses and signage. We are really excited to see the results of the campaign. Of course, we want every client’s campaign to be successful, but this one really hits close to home.

For those of us in working in a creative capacity, it should be no surprise that our public libraries played a big part in our lives growing up. And it’s not only reading, video or learning opportunities. Not just the boundless possibilities to develop your creativity, imagination and critical thinking, all of which are essential to our day-to-day work here at G/L.

As we look forward to seeing how the SLPL going fine free entices our neighbors to use the local library (in fact, many of us signed up for library cards in the course of this work), we reflected on how the library shaped our future.

Anne-Marie, The Leader of the Readers

I’ve just always really liked to read. We didn’t have much money growing up, so my family didn’t have cable TV or video games. 

I do remember that one of the first adult novels I read as a kid was All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot. I was probably in the first grade I think. 

When ebooks started getting popular, I honestly didn’t think I’d like them at all…but now I can’t imagine going back to paper books. That’s what I love about being able to check out ebooks from the library. As a compulsive reader, it just wouldn’t be feasible for me to purchase all the books that I read. The library helps me feed my habit instantly— as soon as I finish one, I can check out and download another. Plus, I can read anywhere without carrying around a physical book.

I read about 55 books last year and about 75 the year before. According to my Kindle app, I’ve read for 575 days in a row. Not exactly sure what happened on July 30, 2018, but it doesn’t actually look like the data goes back any further than that. So it’s probably just when they started tracking it.

Ben Schwab, Senior Art Director and Videographer for G/L Content Studios

I do have a soft spot for memories of my mom bringing myself and my younger brothers to the Festus Public Library as kids.

I must have checked out Old Yeller half a dozen times… and not specifically for the movie itself, although I did run through it numerous times, but because it was one of those early VHS tapes that had a behind the scenes feature on it that explained how the film was cut and how the foley artists created the sounds in the film. Which is my earliest memory of realizing that movies are a thing that is created by people with an idea in their heads… making decisions/deceptions to tell a story. It’s something constructed. 

That is probably the earliest spark I can recall experiencing for my interest in the work I do now. Not specifically video, but creation of things in such a way as to service story telling. It made me want to make things. 

Grace Cohen, Junior Art Director

I remember going to the library in elementary school to check out books for my class projects. I loved searching the isles of books for the perfect resource to match my research project needs, but would always get sidetracked by the picture books and the various comfy places to cuddle up with my finds. No matter how rainy or dreary the weather was outside, the library was like a bright oasis. 

Shawn Maher, Copywriter

As a child, my mom would always take my sister and me to the library at least once a week. The librarians would always make jokes about how many books we would check out (usually a few large grocery bags full of them) but we would always plow through them all. I would stay up late during the summer break reading every night and always carry a book with me wherever I went. It should be no surprise that the two children would become writers, with my sister’s first book coming out in May.

I fell in love with the written word and how it the slightest inflection, word choice and turn of phrase could have such a great impact on a reader. How storytelling is not so much about what you say, but what you don’t say and let the reader figure out for themselves.

Were it not for the library, I wouldn’t have felt as free to explore any book that caught my eye and would not discovered many styles of writing or subject matter. I wouldn’t have gained the thirst for discovering new subjects and finding new things to learn. And that is an essential part of being a copywriter: learning about new industries, new clients, new brands and volumes of new information.

The library is a great place to inspire creativity and lifelong learning. We are excited to help bring new generations into this invaluable public resource. If you don’t have library card, go get one! And if you do, then stop in and see what’s new at the library!