Save the Giblets This Thanksgiving

We already learned from Phil’s-osophy that Julia Childs always saved the giblets, and we touched on the fact that you should save them, too. After all, you can’t make giblet gravy without giblets, can you? Anyway, we’re not here to talk about turkey giblets, but rather the giblets of your brainstorming sessions. Not sure what we mean? Allow us to explain…

turkey and gravyBrainstorming for a marketing campaign is like prepping a turkey. You end up with one final product, but there are inevitably parts that are taken out, added in or thrown in the trash. Like the giblets! You take them out because they’re not necessary for the turkey, but they are necessary for the giblet gravy. If you throw away the giblets, you won’t have any gravy — and that’s a straight up travesty.

When your team gathers ‘round the conference table to brainstorm for a new campaign, don’t toss out ideas just because they’re not what you’re looking for. You may not need them for this campaign, but you should write them down and save them, because they might make some pretty good gravy later on.

But be careful not to save too many giblets… If your new social media intern suggests you use “Happy Twerky Day” in your Thanksgiving campaign, you can confidently throw that in the trash immediately.

So what do you think? Will you be saving any marketing giblets this year?

Q&A: Joy Pershing on Marketing With Local Numbers

Headshot of Joy Pershing
If your business targets a certain region or has multiple locations, marketing with local numbers is a must.

We could throw a bunch of stats at you to prove why, but instead we decided to have a little Q&A session with Joy Pershing, who knows local numbers like Bobby Flay knows cooking.

Joy gets her local number genius from being an account manager for StandardCall by Who’s Calling, which provides local numbers to businesses like Yellow Pages publishers and ad agencies. StandardCall customers then give the local numbers to their customers to use on advertisements. When people call the numbers in response to those ads, StandardCall customers are able to show their advertisers how profitable their ads are.

So without further ado, here’s what Joy has to say about marketing with local numbers.

Q: You work with a lot of ad agencies and publishers that use toll-free numbers to qualify the success of their clients’ ads. How are local numbers important to them?
A: My clients feel that if they print a local number in their publication or online, it'll give them an edge over other competitors using toll-free numbers, because callers want to know that they're calling a local business. If they see a toll-free number, they get nervous that the business is too far away from them.

Q: What types of businesses benefit most from using local tracking numbers?
A: Local tracking numbers are best used in rural areas where consumers want to know that they're calling a business down the street and not several cities away. They're also important for certain industries, such as multihousing. If you're searching for a new home or apartment, you're more likely to call a number local to the area you're wanting to move to rather than a toll-free number.

Q: Have you seen clients change their advertising strategies based on the response they get from local numbers?
A: Absolutely. If our clients use local tracking numbers, they can take advantage of the proximity reports that we provide them. They can see the area in which most of their leads are coming from and therefore adjust the location of their ads to get more bang for their buck.

Q: What’s the number-one misconception you hear about call tracking?
A: “Call tracking is just an extra expense to add to my advertising budget that I can’t afford.” However, call tracking is one of the most effective ways to save money. With call tracking, you're able to see what campaigns are working and what ones aren't driving leads. Then once you adjust your campaigns you'll be able to save money.

Q: Have you noticed that your perception of a business changes based on whether they use a toll-free number or local number? How so?
A: I think the perception of calling an 800 number is that the business is a faraway, global megacorporation. This turns off consumers that want to buy local and support local businesses. Even if local numbers are attached to the local branch of a multibillion dollar corporation like Walmart, they give customers the impression that they're supporting a neighborhood business.

Local numbers can also be used to track pay-per-click conversion rates and other marketing analytics, raising advertising effectiveness.

Have a question for Joy? Tweet it to us at @whoscalling or contact her on LinkedIn.

Marketing Lessons From Pinterest Fails

Ah, Pinterest.

Land of overachievers and professional photographers that make things look so easy.
Promoter of DIY projects that should really be labeled DEDIY (that’s "don’t ever do it yourself").

Instigator of baking projects that transform this:

Bunch of chocolate cake pops covered in colorful sprinkles

…into this:

Pile of cake balls covered in melted chocolate

Sadly, some of us just aren’t Pinterest pros. But there is a silver lining to our many Pinterest fails (other than plenty of good belly laughs, of course): They show that we want to be inspired and that we’re constantly seeking new ideas.

It's kind of like marketing in that way. Marketers always have to be thinking of new ideas.

How you implement those ideas makes all the difference.

To show you what we mean, let’s take a look at a few failed Pinterest projects.

Pinterest Fail: Melting Minion

The minions from the "Despicable Me" movies are everywhere these days: minion birthday parties, minion pumpkins, minion clothes, minion costumes, minion cakes… What could be cuter than a minion cake? Well, a lot of things if you cook it in the microwave and use watery frosting to attach burned, chunky fondant to the cake.

Minion cake inspiration and final product

Sources: Room 16 UHPS and Pintrosity

Marketing Lesson: Don’t Be Afraid to Turn Your Ideas Over to a Professional

Learning from successful businesses’ marketing campaigns is a great way to discover new ideas for your business, whether it’s a new pay-per-click (PPC) strategy or a phone training program that produces awesome phone agents.

But if you try to copy these ideas and don’t have the expertise (or time) to do so properly, the results could be a little, well… deflating. No matter how easy the idea looks and no matter how excited you are about it, don’t be afraid to let a professional take charge. For example, if you want to ramp up your PPC campaigns, you could hire an online marketing firm. Or if you want to make sure your phone service meshes with the brand image your marketing conveys, you could have a call evaluation specialist personally review your calls for training opportunities.

Pinterest Fail: No-Sew Pillow… Straitjacket?

If you’ve ever been pillow shopping, you know they’re expensive. So it’s easy to understand the appeal of taking a swath of fabric and twisting it into a fashionable pillow cover. But as one pinner found out, using a thick, neutral fabric for this project results in something that more closely resembles a straitjacket than home decor.

No-sew pillow cover before and after
Source: Craft Fail

Marketing Lesson: Use Tried-and-True Tools
Sometimes keeping up with the latest marketing tactics requires resources like marketing automation software, PPC management tools or call management technology. It might be tempting to piece together a solution using a combination of free programs or manual processes, but that can be both inefficient and ineffective (just ask our pal Byron). To get the professional results you want while tracking ROI, stick with a professional product that’s tried and true.

Pinterest Fail: Mini Caramel Apples Caramel Soup

Caramel apples are a staple fall treat. But consuming a whole apple covered in chewy caramel is a challenge, even for the most accomplished sweet tooths (and really, who wants to share?). Bite-sized caramel apples can help cut down on consumption time, but don’t make the mistake of thinking you can cut down on prep time by haphazardly chopping the apple into chunks and then dipping them in store-bought caramel sauce.

Mini caramel apples before and after
Sources: MyLitter and Pinterest Fail

Marketing Lesson: Don’t Cut Corners Where It Counts
Optimizing ROI is — and should be — every marketer’s goal. However, when you start skimping on marketing tools and nixing campaigns without careful evaluation, you can actually end up sabotaging your success.

For example, if your company’s sales are typically completed offline, you definitely want to track phone call conversions to determine which campaigns are most effective. By cutting corners on online-to-offline conversion tracking technology, you’re not doing yourself any favors. (By the way, we know Google AdWords’ free website call conversion tracking feature is really tempting. But there are a few reasons investing in a dynamic call tracking provider is worth it.)

Now here’s the moment of truth: What Pinterest projects have you destroyed?