Missed Media Opportunities: Industry Trade Shows

The Blog

Mary Sawyer
Vice President of Public Relations

Missed Media Opportunities: Industry Trade Shows

Think about it: Doesn’t it make sense to make an effort to educate media similarly to the way you’d educate a prospective customer?

Industry trade shows offer the opportunity for companies to demo their latest and greatest products and personally interact with thousands of customers and prospective customers. However, they are a major investment in terms of time and resources, so you definitely want to take full advantage of any reasonable chance to promote your business.

We often see companies miss a very good opportunity that costs them very little extra in terms of time and money: They forget about media opportunities. Some do consider media, but they put time and money into a very minimal effort and just a small piece of the puzzle such as assemble product information in a document, call it a press release and assume that media will understand and appreciate its significance.

I get it…with the logistics of producing, shipping and assembling the booth, equipment and handouts, booking flights and hotel rooms, scheduling work shifts and meeting with clients, there often isn’t much time left to think about media. Having worked dozens of industry trade shows on behalf of clients, I can guarantee that having a trade show media relations strategy definitely pays off.

Influential reporters, editors, publishers, bloggers, advertising representatives and analysts all attend these trade shows. They appreciate the time and effort you take to help them learn aspects of the industry that are important to their audiences. You may or may not get immediate media coverage, but the payoff can go far beyond the walls and the timeframe of the show.

As media become more aware of you, and you hear about upcoming topics to be covered, you’re building good relationships and becoming well positioned for future coverage. You have to have an organized approach, though, and work the show. There is a lot of competition for media time.

How We Do It

We find out which media is attending and reach out to targeted individuals ahead of time. Then we explain why a meeting is worthwhile and we coordinate appointments. Of course, we make certain that the person they are meeting is prepared with key messages and a media kit that has news and relevant materials.

We run interference if the company spokesperson is tied up with a customer. We track people down if there are miscommunications or if there are individuals who have not responded. Most importantly, after the meetings we follow up to ensure that no opportunities slip away.

Don’t let media walk right by your booth on their way to hear some other company’s product news. 
As you go over your planning checklist for your next big show, ask yourself if you are maximizing your potential for getting media coverage.

If not, let’s talk about it. Fill out the form below and we can set up a conversation.

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Trending from G/L: Media Planning and House of Cards

The Blog

Ben Schwab
Art Director

Trending from G/L: Media Planning and House of Cards

Having that Big Idea is the backbone behind most impactful and memorable advertising campaigns. But, without the ability to properly expand that core concept across available modern media planning in a relevant and clever way, you are possibly squandering an opportunity to enter attention as part of the larger cultural conversation.

Case-in-point would be the work done over this last year promoting the return of the Netflix original series House of Cards. If you’re unaware of it, this popular Netflix bing-watch focuses on scheming politician Frank Underwood, played by Kevin Spacey, who manages to weasel his way to becoming president of the United States through a series backstabbing and nefarious acts. The show recently dropped its fourth season in March.

The media planning was designed to capitalize on the growing media attention given to the real world presidential election cycle by targeting political events and using them as a springboard to promote the reelection of the show’s main protagonist, Frank Underwood. By weaving mock campaign style ads for Frank into commercial breaks during televised events such as CNN’s Republican presidential debate, the spots became more of a topic of discussion in the following weeks than the content of the debate itself.

https://youtu.be/Se44ed4KBMA

The initial ads, which trended across Facebook and Twitter, focused on targeting aired debates and political events leading up to the show’s March launch date. They even went as far as to establish a “campaign headquarters” for the character’s election campaign directly across the street from where the GOP debates were held, bringing the mock campaign style of the television spots to the real world.

When all was said and done, this unique campaign managed to gain 6.6 billion impressions, the most successful launch of a show for Netflix to date. That’s the kind of seamless, timely integration that inspires us at G/L.

Geile/Leon generates tons of unique and captivating ideas like this for our clients every day. Contact us today to learn how we can help your brand tell a compelling story. And if you have any cool examples you want to share with us, we’d be more than happy to see them and chat!

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Top G/L Tips: Tim Leon on Brand Refresh benefits

The Blog

Tim Leon
President/Brand Strategist

Top G/L Tips: Tim Leon on Brand Refresh benefits

How is your company’s brand perceived by your target audience? Is it full of life or is time to re-energize it?

In this video, Tim Leon, president of Geile/Leon, shares his 25+ years of experience in helping companies refresh their biggest asset: the brand. He’ll walk you through the key questions that need to be asked, including:

· Why do a brand refresh?
· When does it make the most sense for your brand?
· What are the steps needed to execute it effectively?

Watch the video here:

Have any further questions? Tim is passionate about branding and would be happy to have a conversation. Contact him by phone at 314-727-5850, ext 117, email at [email protected] or use the form below.

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Top G/L Tips: Mary Sawyer on Trade Shows

The Blog

Mary Sawyer
Vice President of Public Relations

Top G/L Tips: Mary Sawyer on Trade Shows

A Trade Show PR program is a terrific way to generate buzz beyond your booth that extends long past the trade show. And the best part: PR costs very little extra in terms of time and money!

Here are a few tips on how to make it happen. Mary Sawyer, VP of PR at Geile/Leon, shares what she has learned from years of experience helping clients maximize their trade show results.

Are you planning your next big show and looking for new ideas? Mary would love to hear about your plans and offer a few suggestions. Contact her by phone at 314-727-5850, ext 116, email at [email protected] or use the form below.

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Top G/L Tips: Randy Micheletti on New Product Launches

The Blog

Randy Micheletti
VP, Director of Brand Strategy

Top G/L Tips: Randy Micheletti on New Product Launches

New products launches are so exciting. But as the saying goes, you only have one chance to get it right!

Here are 6 key steps for successful product launches. Randy Micheletti, VP at Geile/Leon, shares his process to ensure every launch is successful:

Are you working on a product launch? Randy is happy to discuss your goals and make a few recommendations. Contact him by phone at 314-727-5850, ext 110, email at [email protected] or use the form below.

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Geile/Leon Wins Two Telly Awards for Union Pacific Safety Initiative

The Blog

Mary Sawyer
Vice President of Public Relations

Geile/Leon Wins Two Telly Awards for Union Pacific Safety Initiative

Geile/Leon Marketing Communications has won two 2016 Bronze Telly Awards for online videos produced for a Union Pacific Railroad initiative that raised awareness about the safety concerns and legal implications of taking high school senior photos on or near railroad tracks.

Playing on teens’ desire to look “cool” and not foolish in front of their peers, G/L created two videos that likened railroad tracks to busy thoroughfares (such as highways and busy downtown streets) and asked teens a simple question: “You wouldn’t get your senior photo taken here…so why would you do it on the tracks?”

The videos, shared socially and digitally by Union Pacific, greatly resonated with their audiences. The videos have been featured in articles on popular photography sites including SLR LoungeFstoppers, and PetaPixel, and were also included as part of a Nightline ABC story.

“Changing behavior and perceptions through a campaign is no easy task,” said G/L President and Brand Strategist Tim Leon. “We were able to use social media content and two online videos to connect with both the teen and photographer audience. By producing such creative content, we were able to get widespread viewership and impactful results with a minimal budget.”

Leon explains that G/L presented the two concepts to Union Pacific in a rough cut format, but the story was so engaging that the client decided that additional work wasn’t required. With solid strategy, good creative and proper execution, he says, a campaign can exceed expectations and more effectively compete against campaigns with bigger budgets.

The Telly Awards was founded in 1979 and is the premier award honoring outstanding local, regional, and cable TV commercials and programs, the finest video and film productions, and online commercials, video and films. There were more than 13,000 entries from all 50 states and five continents. More information can be found here.

The Value of a Strong Brand

The Blog

Dan Diveley
VP of Business Development

The Value of a Strong Brand

As we continually tell clients: Even the best products and services often get lost in a crowded marketplace. Trends come and go but a strong brand plays a vital role in a company’s long-term success.

But what is the value of a strong brand?

We who work in marketing already know that companies that work to build a distinct and strong brand enjoy many benefits. These include how customers feel about the organization, reasons why the company’s products/services are distinct from the competition, and even how it affects employee morale. But these are intangible benefits and their values are often hard to measure.

However, there are tangible values associated with a strong brand, according Trevor Hulett, Managing Director of Investment Banking for R.L. Hulett, a well-established financial services firm that offers a variety of services including assistance with mergers and acquisitions. Simply put, Trevor says a stronger brand leads to a higher gross margin on sales of products/services which equates to a higher valuation of an enterprise.

For example, to determine the value of a business to sell or purchase, Hulett considers the enterprise value. The enterprise value includes asset value (tangible values) plus working/current liabilities and all intangible goodwill, which may include its brand, a strong management team, unique technologies or innovations. A major aspect of goodwill comes from its brand.

Hulett says that a company’s enterprise value is increased through a strong brand, as well as its value in attracting potential investors or buyers. These investors and buyers are willing to pay more for a company with a strong brand because after all, a strong brand leads to: better name recognition that breaks through a cluttered market; “word of mouth” endorsements; better customer loyalty; and an engaged and excited workforce. These benefits add to a company’s success and therefore, the overall value.

Companies, regardless of size and industry, that have services or products that are perceived as being higher in the value chain in terms of strong brand, can charge more. That enhances the gross margin, according to Hulett. Strong brands are good for ongoing business, therefore, but they are also advantageous when it attracting and negotiating with investors, he explains.

Brand is a major aspect of the goodwill or “multiples” that can be assigned to company’s worth in addition to the EBITA (earnings before interest taxes depreciation amortization). A higher gross margin attracts more potential buyers, which will drive a higher multiple on the earnings and a higher purchase price.

Companies who can position themselves better than their competitors will benefit from better pricing leverage. And, as buyers conduct their due diligence with customers, good brand feedback can drive up the multiple on a higher EBITA.

While having a strong brand can add to a company’s value, it is important that be “institutionalized” and not too dependent on the founder or other individuals, so that it can be transferred to new owners with minimum interference.

Hulett cites the importance of companies partnering with strategic marketers who can help to create and shape their brands so that they can be leveraged to grow and enter new markets and new relationships. Successful brands should be clearly defined and well communicated, he says, but also should be “scalable” so that a local brand can grow nationally, or a national brand can become a global brand.

And, like tangible assets, brands must be continually monitored and maintained. They are dynamic, not static. If the opinions of industry leaders and customers change in a negative way, the value of a brand can be reduced.

If you are considering selling, purchasing or investing in a company, I’m sure Trevor Hulett could offer you some good advice. He can be reached at 314.721.0607.

And if your company has the best products and services but is lost in a crowded marketplace, we’d be happy to share our approach to building strong brands. Give me a call at 314.727-5850 or fill out the form below.

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REI stays true to brand despite Black Friday temptation

The Blog

Tim Leon
President/Brand Strategist

REI stays true to brand despite Black Friday temptation

Last week, outdoor and camping retailer REI announced it would be closed for Black Friday, one of the biggest retail shopping days of the year. This gutsy move will pay off in spades over the long-term, increasing both customer and employee loyalty. CEO Jerry Stritzke has decided to buck the traditional retail mentality of being open on the biggest shopping day of the year and put the brand and his employees first.

If you go to the REI website, you’ll see a countdown page to Black Friday and an open letter from REI CEO Jerry Stritzke which is simple and to the point. Here it is:

“You read that correctly. On November 27, we’ll be closing all 143 of our stores and paying our employees to head outside. Here’s why we’re doing it. For 76 years, our co-op has been dedicated to one thing and one thing only: a life outdoors. We believe that being outside makes our lives better. And Black Friday is the perfect time to remind ourselves of this essential truth. We’re a different kind of company—and while the rest of the world is fighting it out in the aisles, we’ll be spending our day a little differently. We’re choosing to opt outside, and want you to come with us. “We’re closing on Black Friday and going outside. Since 1938 we’ve been bringing you great gear and services to get you out there too. That’s our story.”

This is a brand that is not tempted by short-term gain. REI is more focused on long-term growth and, most importantly, staying true to the brand promise of embracing the outdoors and supplying outdoor enthusiast with the advice and gear they require to enjoy their passion. My guess is the national PR attention this has and will garner over the coming weeks will be more powerful in engraining the REI brand into our culture and life than any amount of paid advertising. And to boot, REI is making Black Friday a paid holiday for its employees.

Bravo to REI for being fearless and staying true to their brand. I plan to partake in the outdoors as well on Black Friday…and I plan to buy a few Christmas gifts from your store this holiday season.

If you’re a brand focused on thinking about the big-picture and about long-term success, let us know. We love hearing stories like this.

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Display Advertising on the Decline? Well, yes and no.

The Blog

Geile/Leon Marketing Communications

Display Advertising on the Decline? Well, yes and no.

As marketers, we have the occasional tendency to overreact. Whether it’s a particular news story, an emerging trend or a new platform to try, we want to immediately immerse ourselves in the new info. It’s in our curious nature.

In the excitement, though, that “next big thing” can overshadow what’s currently working. So instead of taking a previous approach and adapting it for the current landscape, we can end up opting for completely new solutions. And with so many digital marketing avenues to choose from, it’s definitely easy to feel overwhelmed.

So when a number of people make the claim that display advertising is dead, or at the very least, is sharply losing its effectiveness, it’s bound to grab some attention:

“The banner ad is now (two decades old). It has become a symbol of all that’s wrong with online advertising. It is more often than not devoid of creativity; it stands out as an intruder on webpages; and it is mostly ignored by readers.”

While it’s true that banner ads from the 90s probably wouldn’t be all that effective if they ran today, it doesn’t mean that display isn’t still incredibly effective:

“Even with these predictions of doom and gloom from some marketers the investment in display advertising continues to grow. Ad blocking software isn’t slowing that down. One of the reasons why is simple — targeting, retargeting, machine learning, and programmatic approaches to serving up ad units is creating a much more efficient system. This helps increase brands’ return on investment.”

At the same time, a number of marketers are diversifying their digital advertising with a combination of site-direct buys; programmatic opportunities, social media distribution as well as a strong push from sponsored content and native advertising.

This is even before considering different types of mediums, including images, video, infographics and other digital properties and how they plan to continue adapting to reach a wider, yet more targeted audience.

If you’re trying to figure out the best digital marketing mix for your brand, we’d be happy to chat and share what we know. Just drop us a line anytime.

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Trending from G/L: Why DraftKings and FanDuel are EVERYWHERE

The Blog

Geile/Leon Marketing Communications

Trending from G/L: Why DraftKings and FanDuel are EVERYWHERE

If you are living person in America who follows even the slightest bit of media, you’ve probably seen an advertisement for Draft Kings or Fan Duel. Well, “seen” is probably putting it lightly – more likely, you’ve probably been BOMBARDED with the chance to WIN LOTS OF MONEY RIGHT NOW AHHHHH LOUD NOISES!!!

FanDuel

Seriously though, oversaturation might be an understatement. Whether you’re watching ESPN, browsing through Twitter, checking your Instagram feed, DraftKings and FanDuel will be there, encouraging you to part ways with your money for the chance to win even more money. In fact, DraftKings spent a whopping $23.6 million on TV ads alone during the first week of September.

With football season here, don’t expect the ads to stop any time soon. Especially with the two companies bringing a combined $60 million in entry fees during the first week of the NFL season. And with a combined $800 million in investment funding, you’ll be seeing video testimonials of Average Joe’s striking it rich for the rest of the year, at the very least.


The problem is, the Average Joe’s aren’t actually the ones winning.

Saahil Sud is a fake-sports apex predator. He enters hundreds of daily contests in baseball and football under the name “maxdalury,” and he almost always trounces the field. He claims to risk an average of $140,000 per day with a return of about 8 percent. Sud studied math and economics at Amherst College and took a job in data science at a digital marketing firm before shifting to full-time fantasy. He’s now the top-ranked daily fantasy sports player, according to Rotogrinders, a stats site for daily fantasy players. He says he’s made more than $2 million so far this year. 

So many times a day does your every day *gambler* win? 13 times. Talk about unlucky.

The reason we put gambler in disclaimers is because fantasy sports isn’t technically gambling. While sports gambling is technically illegal in the United States (with the exception of certain areas), fantasy sports live in a grey area that will almost certainly be legally challenged at some point. None of this means anything to the NCAA, who is now saying that college athletes who use the sites would be committing a standards violation.

We’ve discussed the topic of ad viewability before when discussing the ad nauseum loop of Game of War ads last spring:

Really, we (marketers, advertisers, publishers) should be using targeting and tracking (since, let’s be honest, so much of our data usage is tracked anyways) and tailor to the right audience to provide more applicable ads. This seems obvious – don’t we all know this? Aren’t most people already doing this? Yes, yet we still see “Game of War” ads, well…EVERYWHERE!

The future for one-day fantasy is still up in the air, but the question is whether the actual product can continue to deliver revenue at the rate it’s currently going. Plus, any changes in the gambling industry could be a massive boon or blow to their market.

What do you think? Have you tried one-day fantasy yet? Or are you just waiting for ads to disappear already?

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