This past week Ray Harvey, muralist and owner of Ray Harvey Art in St. Louis got started working on his latest mural on the building just North of our office at 108 N 3rd Street in Hannibal. Ray is one of the artists who has been painting murals all around Hannibal. You can pick out his bold colorful style when you drive around town to visit some of these pieces of art.

I love Hannibal
6/7/2021 Hannibal Mural progression

His closest mural to this new project is the mural located on the East side of Hannibal's city hall. Ray Harvey did his first ever Go Fund Me page to fully fund the mural project through donations. It was amazing to see the people from all over the country who donated to the mural. No city funds were used to create or fund the project.

This project will honor all the people who immigrated to Hannibal to work at Continental Cement. We all love Hannibal and how it has been a place of inclusion and acceptance.

Ray Harvey
Ray Harvey working on his latest mural in Hannibal. He really does love Hannibal.

The next photo is of the mural close to being finalized. Ray has been a delight to be around. Look for him in your neighborhood and offer him a cup of coffee or lunch. He is good company and a talented artist making a living at something he loves. Look for the dedication and unveiling coming soon.

©2021 Poole Communications.

You’re doing digital advertising. You have a website, use some cool graphics, email customer lists, post regularly to social channels, and run some paid online ad campaigns. 

Great, can you confidently answer the next four questions? 

  1. Do you know about SEO, SEM, SERP, PPC, CTA, CTR, Google Analytics, and AdWords? Uncertain?  
  2. Is your digital dossier integrated to impact your overall lead and sales return on investment (ROI)? Yes, and no? 
  3. Do you think your ROI is on par in your industry? Maybe so?  
  4. Are you paying too much per click or lead? How do I know? 

If your answers are like the ones provided, then what the digital are you doing with your valuable time and hard-earned ad budget? 

Deep down, many small business owners feel the same way. They are all “doing the digital things,” but do not have the time to plan and connect the dots to see what is going well and what could improve. 

The good news? You can remove some digital doubts with a little more time and organization. 

Here are three tips to clear some doubts and maximize digital dollars: 

  1. Review and update your website to ensure pages have good Search Engine Optimization (SEO).  This means many things, and all are about playing nice with Google. If you want the complicated details, check out the 200-plus ranking signals.  Make sure that: 

2. Set up and check Google Analytics. If you are not sure how to start, Google can help.  

3. Combine your Google Analytics and Google Ad Words. Not doing Ad Words or want to check your skills? Yep, Google can help with that too.  

Love the tips, but still spinning from all the data, analysis, and acronyms? Here’s some more good news – you can call your digital expert friends at Poole Communications to help. Ask them to look at your website and Google game. They can access or create the necessary Google and web accounts to streamline your strategy:  800-900-3635.

Source/Reference links: 

Google’s 200 Ranking Factors: The Complete List (2021)

© 2021 PooleCommunications.com

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Businesses can track when customers vote with their feet but may struggle to find the why behind the walk away. One reason that once-loyal customers disappear is more likely about a conscious choice than fickle buying habits.

These Conscious Consumers make buying decisions based on the positive social, economic, and environmental impact of a product or service.

From Gen Z to Baby Boomers, many consumers care more about the why and how a product is made than the number on the price tag. If a brand doesn’t intentionally connect with followers’ values, it’s likely sales may drop as much as forty percent according to a study by IBM Institute for Business Value.

Conversely, conscious companies that communicate their authentic focus on natural, organic, or sustainable products and practices have opportunities to build revenue. Nielsen findings show the trend in eye-opening numbers:

To communicate to this conscious crowd, share early and often the following about your product or service:

Local companies are at a distinct advantage to sync with these seekers of sustainability. Here are 10 ways to make the conscious connection:

  1. Share your founding story and the relationships within the community.
  2. Show how you give back to the community — its schools, non-profit organizations, and employees.
  3. Watch for a shift in community need or focus for a certain purpose such as poverty, pollution, school supplies, or mental health, and direct additional resources to help in the effort.
  4. Highlight your quick and mindful distribution of products.
  5. Ask customers how they would like to see your company give back.
  6. Promote a give-back connection. For each $5 spent, your business gives a percentage to a local organization.
  7. Seek input from loyal customers on new products in which they have gained interest. Sell those products or highlight how yours connect with the same value.
  8. Highlight your people, their values, and why they support your business.
  9. Serve on community boards that serve a wide range and age of people and purposes.
  10. Actively and consistently promote the how, why, where, who and what of your company.

Another tip to attract local, regional and global-minded group from the IBM study:

Conscious consumers shop when and where the mood strikes them, in what are called “micro-moments” while performing other tasks when they may discover a “micro-need”.

Let Poole Communications help connect your company to these mico-needs at the right micro-moment to achieve macro results! We can help you maintain and grow your relevance with the rising opportunities among conscious consumers.

©2021 Poole Communications

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Sustained survival mode can shift anyone’s creativity and drive into neutral. To flip off fatigue and move forward when others are stagnant, tune into purpose and realistic goal setting.  Here's how to make the S.W.I.T.C.H out of survival mode:

S - See what is working. Moving from a day-to-day approach to our next normal is daunting. Instead of allowing the enormity of tasks paralyze you, observe what is working right now.  Write down some small tweaks that can be made to expand and improve those processes, products, and services that are moving in a positive direction.

W – Wonder about the greatest possible outcome of each task. Juliet Funt calls this approach laddering up. When confronted with something you aren’t wild about doing, ask yourself, “What is the best possible outcome of that?”   

I – Insert Incremental goals. For those small tweaks to the processes, products, and services that are working – set one or two small goals to put incremental changes into action. How can you gain one more customer? What is one step you can take to deliver a service just a little better? Consider what new markets or customer options have developed while we have been in our "survival setting."  What is one way to build on those markets or options for future benefit?

T – Take stock. Take the time to write down what has been accomplished and overcome in the last several months. The list will be long and is guaranteed to switch your team from stagnation to inspiration. 

C - Connect with others.  When possible, find your way out of zoom rooms and make a connection with a colleague or trusted mentor - in person. You'll find strength and energy in strategizing with others who understand our challenges and view things from a different perspective. 

H - Hurry. When setting realistic, incremental goals, set a quick timeline so you can experience immediate results. Then set more short goals and claim your victory by achieving sustained success. 

Switching out of survival mode may be easier than you think.  

 "Start by doing what is necessary; then do what is possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible." - St. Francis of Assisi

Visit our Insights and pick up some quick tips for your business. Subscribe to our newsletter to be sent regular tools and tips.

©2021 PooleCommunications.com

As the Zoom Brady Bunch squares pop up one-by-one on screen, the vibe of any virtual meeting hangs in the balance. To make sure your next online gathering becomes an oasis of energy instead of black and white name tag portal of doom, observe the following 10 Do's of Zoom: 

Turn on your camera.  Your meeting mates deserve to see your reactions and contributions.  Appearing on screen shows that you are ready to contribute and your colleagues matter to you.  They can visit an art gallery if they want to see portraits, avatars, or sunset landscapes. If there are legitimate or technical reasons for not using your camera, consider catching up later or share the reason why your video is off through the chat or an email prior to the meeting.  

Show up early. Make time to log in to the Zoom at least five minutes early in case of technical glitches. If you are the first one in the meeting or placed in a waiting room, it shows you are eager and prepared.   

Avoid distractions behind you. Your spouse scanning the fridge or curious child peeking around your shoulder are unwanted distractions.  Others joined the meeting to see you, not random surprises in the background.   

Keep it short. The average zoom meeting lasts 31 to 60 minutes and today business people spend about 23 hours a week in virtual meetings. Shoot for meetings that are 30 minutes or less, action-focused, and packed with value. 

Get into work mode. Perhaps your top half is dressed for business and your bottom half looks ready for bed, but your demeanor, tone, and topics of conversation should be focused on work, not on what is happening at home. 

Mute yourself. No one can predict who or what noise may pop up during a meeting. Focus on the speaker, raise your hand through an icon, post a question in the chat, or patiently wait your turn to talk.  (Pro tip – hit the space bar to unmute yourself for a quick response.)

Stay put. Resist the urge to rock back and forth in your chair, get up to grab a drink, and no matter what, don't take your laptop or phone with you to a bathroom break. 

Be engaged. Virtual does not give anyone permission to be void of energy. Be engaged in the conversation even if it is through non-verbal reactions.  Look at the speaker (not yourself in the camera), ask questions, and prepare points to share with the group. Be the reason someone was glad they joined the meeting. Plus, being plugged in means you'll never be serenaded with a chorus of, "You're on Mute!"

Avoid eating. Meetings are not lunch dates.  No one wants to see you munching on a muffin or chomping on chips, and they certainly don’t want to hear you doing either. 

Forget Fido. We all love our four-legged friends, but they weren’t invited to the meeting, so don’t show up with a plus one.  

Put on a pleasant face. I know this sounds odd, however how many meetings have you been to and it looks like folks are just mad... or sleeping? Put on a pleasant face and pay attention. There just may be something you learn and you want to portray a pleasant, professional image.

Follow these 10 Zoom Do's and save as many colleagues and clients as you can from the black and white name tag portal of doom.

Visit our Insights and pick up some quick tips for your business. Subscribe to our newsletter to be sent regular tools and tips.

© 2021 Poole Communications

For more reading:

https://www.wsj.com/articles/seven-rules-of-zoom-meeting-etiquette-from-the-pros-11594551601

https://hbr.org/2017/07/stop-the-meeting-madness

If you really want to get to know your customers, walk a mile in their shoes. Not ready to lace up your sneakers for that tall task? Consider penning a persona instead. Before you start this process, please make sure the time you are spending will result in REAL value to your company or your project. We have seen an over use of personas that end up being more busy work that real research. If you are going to do this, do it right and realize that it will take some time. 

Businesses can mine existing data to craft a short story about a customer to unlock new ways to present messages, products, and services to gain better leads and increased sales. Research shows that 71% of companies who have personas exceed prospect and revenue goals and 36% of companies reported shorter sales cycles. Again, exploring and using the data you’ve found is critical. We’ve seen quite a few companies go through the work of building personas and take the additional time to think the process through and apply the data to real customers.

Persona Defined
A persona is a summary or fictional story of someone who represents your target audience. It documents the specific characteristics of your best customers beyond their buying history.

How to create a persona
Using customer and product data, write a few sentences describing key aspects of a model customer’s lifestyle that add personal context to the basic demographics of age, income, education, and location.

Here are seven key components of a customer’s persona and examples for each:

  1. Roles- Single-mom, teacher, accountant, uncle, kid chauffeur, student, volunteer, salesperson, manager, retiree, or go-to co-worker.
  2. Goals — A better job, more time with family, more confidence, financial security, service to the community.
  3. Challenges — Making ends meet, juggling responsibilities, health concerns, getting kids through college.
  4. Frustrations — Has trouble finding affordable products and services that she can access after she works all day and runs the kids.
  5. Interests — Children’s activities, reading, sports, art, family time, binging Netflix, volunteering.
  6. News — Local news (traditional TV, radio, or newspaper), national online news sites, social media, news digests like The Morning Brew or The Skimm.
  7. Communication preference/use — Email, direct mail, text, phone, in-person, social media.

How to find the data to build persona components:

After gathering the data for a customer persona, add a catchy name, brief description, and a stock photo to bring the story to life. Here’s an example using basic demographics and sample data components from above:

Mama Michelle
A single mom on the move personally and professionally.

Michelle is 38, has an estimated income between $40,000 and $55,000, has completed some college, and lives in a rural area. She is a single mom, works at a medical office, and hopes to get a promotion to gain confidence and be an example for her two kids who she transports to and from soccer and school activities. In her limited free time, Michelle checks Twitter for news; Instagram and Facebook to catch up with friends and family; and Pinterest for dinner recipes. She watches Netflix late at night while checking emails after the kids go to sleep.

The power of a persona is using the information to drive marketing and product decisions from “Mama Michelle’s” perspective. Before launching a new campaign, ad, or product line, businesses might ask:

“What would Michelle need?”

“Would Michelle see this?”

“What image or message would resonate with Michelle?”

“Will this product be accessible to Michelle at the time she needs it?”

“Could Michelle afford this?”

Poole Communications can help you dive into the data and develop personas to connect with your customers’ perspectives to make more impact with your marketing.

Visit our Insights and pick up some quick tips for your business. Subscribe to our newsletter to be sent regular tools and tips.

Research

Research: http://www.itsma.com/importance-of-developing-effective-personas/Buyer Personas - 33 Mind-Blowing Stats - Boardview
Buyer Personas drive sales. Early adopters of Personas are showing a significant boost in ROI, and we've collected a…boardview.io

© 2021 Poole Communications

Poole Communications
108 North Third St, Suite 100
Hannibal, MO 63401
573.221.3635
info@poolecommunications.com
 ©2021 Poole Advertising, LLC DBA Poole Communications
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