Now more than ever people are searching for meaning, right down to what they buy and why. To connect with consumers in 2022, businesses must lead with values. Consider a plan and strategies to partner with like-minded organizations and individuals to show your customers how their buying power benefits the community and not just your bottom line.

First, make a partnership plan. Partnership by its nature is a win-win.  However, it is important to plan exactly how and why a partnership will benefit both sides. This builds clarity, goals, and authenticity into the partnership. Review your company's mission and values and identify a non-profit organization, event, and influencers or affiliates that mirror your aspirations. Take the time to sit down with the non-profit director, event organizer, or influencer to talk about their objectives and needs to plot a course for how your two entities can work together. This can provide a framework and goals for both entities to implement the following strategies: 

Intentionally choosing to put profits where your heart is will not only build business in 2022, but trust and community too. Poole Communications has built-in opportunities for any business to partner within the community.  Contact us today to put your values into action.

© 2022 PooleCommunications.com

“Never let a good crisis go to waste.”  – Sir Winston Churchill 

The COVID crisis will position every business for the "Next Normal". Will the position be positive, status quo, or negative? Visionary companies will use specific strategies to use any crisis to their advantage. According to research by global leaders like IBMDeloitte, and McKinsey & Company, businesses that turn COVID into a (non-virus) positive will approach the future in these five ways:  

1. Purposefully 

A crisis is a magnifying glass. The people, products, processes, and relationships that are  essential come into sharp focus. So do gaps in service and opportunities that may have been  overlooked before.  Businesses should enhance and elevate the “essentials” and find ways to:

2. Virtually

It’s no secret that COVID has accelerated the use of digital or virtual channels and products.  Companies positioned to advance will expand these opportunities, specifically after reviewing  data on how and when they can increase efficiency and links to customers. This analysis,  combined with anecdotal feedback will determine when to dial back on digital expediency and  when to tune in to more authentic, in-person methods.   

KEY FINDING 
Finding a balance between virtual and in-person operations may be the biggest way to succeed in the long term. According to April 2021 business findings by McKinsey Management company, 60% of companies said that remote sales operations were 30% more effective than traditional face-to-face methods. 

3. Urgently  

Companies that waste a crisis will slowly return to the status quo when it comes to operational pace and job descriptions. Businesses that refuse to return to life before COVID will: 

McKinsey found that many leaders will check in more often with their teams to learn what is working and what is not. In a matter of hours, they will solve problems, pivot, and create new ways to deliver better service and more valuable products.  

4. Nimbly 

Many traditional processes and organizational charts are far from nimble. Even how companies match talent with tasks should shift to ensure a competitive advantage in the future. Deloitte, a global consulting group, shared that organizations are learning to connect the right employees to the toughest challenges, regardless of where they fall on the employee chart. According to both McKinsey and Deloitte research, successful leaders will:

5. With a Distinct Human Touch

If COVID taught us anything it is that we need thoughtful human connection. McKinsey and Deloitte share that progressive companies will use this lesson to focus on employees and customers. They will take the time to ask, consider, and review how employees perform best. In fact, 61 percent of CEOs in a 2021  Deloitte survey said they will re-imagine how employees work compared to just 29 percent the year before. People-centered companies will:  

KEY FINDING 
An IBM study showed that 80% of CEOs and 46% of employees shared that supporting the emotional and physical health of the workforce was important. 

KEY FINDING 
74% of leaders indicated to the IBM Institute for Business Value that they will invest in employees to help them learn the skills needed for the future of work.  

To stay on the positive side of any crisis into the "Next Normal", it all comes down to perspective. Approaching the future in the five ways listed above will help any business turn any unforeseen circumstance into far-reaching and creative opportunities.

Need help planning for your future? Give Poole Communications a call. For less than 1 full time employee, we can handle all of your marketing needs. Let us be your Marketing Department and grow your business to the next level. 

©2021 PooleCommunications.com

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.

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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

If you’re reading this, you are clearly acquainted with blogs. What you may not know is how to park your expertise, personality, tips, and tricks into an online space where new and loyal customers stop by for advice they enjoy and trust. 

And, if you build this blog will it bring business or just bystanders?  

A blog will do both and is one of the most cost-effective ways to turn bystanders into customers. According to cbo.me, there are five key business benefits of blogging, they include: 

Perhaps the most relevant blogging statistic is that posting your expertise online can be more effective in promoting your company than investing in paid advertising.  

Statistics also point to the big-time benefits of blogs. The SEO Tribunal shares the following data on the booming blogosphere: 

It’s clear that opportunities abound in blogging, but where do you begin? 

How to start writing a blog: 

Where to post your blog and how: 

According to quicksprout.com, the best blog platforms are WIX, Medium, LinkedIn, and Facebook. BlogStarter.com also supplies a step-by-step guide to get you moving. 

So, what are you waiting for? Turn that blank page into a blog – it might be your business’s best friend.  Need a little help? We have writers who can provide you with blog material on a weekly, monthly or quarterly basis. Give us a call at 800-900-3635.

© 2020 Poole Communications

As our country grapples with social unrest, now is the time to remember that welcoming diverse points of view. Diversity is not only the right thing to do, it makes businesses more successful. So, keep in mind that open minds lead to opportunity, and here are a few ideas to make your business more diverse:
Diversity Drives Innovation, Efficiency, and Revenue

First, According to 2020 data from SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Businesses), companies with above-average diversity earned 45% of revenue from innovation. Those that had diverse management teams achieved 19% higher revenue based on their progressive leadership. 

Because diverse teams focus on facts, SCORE’s data found that such teams make decisions twice as fast in half the number of meetingsPlus, the decisions made in those meetings deliver 60% better results

Grow Diversity in Small Places

Second, the size of a company or its location may appear to be a roadblock to achieving a diversworkforce. However, planting the seed of creative thinking can yield new options, products, and results long term.

An article by Takeflyte.com asks businesses to consider age, race and ethnicity to encourage diversity. It also challenges companies to widen the definition to realize that existing differences among employees can bring value to the organization.

Consider the following ideas from Thrive Global and Takeflyte.com to open the doors of diversity for your business:

Find Diversity Within Current Staff

Third, many small businesses may not be able to hire a more diverse workforce right away.  However, diversity can always be found within your existing team, if you listen for it.  

Here are ways to find diversity from Inc.  and the Young Entrepreneur Council:

Finally, keep in mind that open minds lead to opportunity. Companies can choose to conduct business as usual or open the door to a more inclusive and diverse team. We hope you choose to step through that door to experience the growth and opportunities that diversity can bring.
When you're done go to our Insights and pick up some quick tips for your business. Subscribe to our newsletter to be sent regular tools and tips.

Tuning up your marketing should be like maintenance on your vehicle. Marketing is the fuel that keeps the customer engine running. The good news is that unlike vehicles, marketing inspections don’t have to come with a hefty price tag. Here are 5 tips to tune up your marketing:

Take a Test Drive

When was the last time you viewed your messaging, processes, discounts, service and overall company experience from a customer’s point of view? Click on your ads, sign up for offers, send a family member into your business, email a staff member and review the results. You may find some small tweaks to help you pick up more miles per gallon.

Employ Digital Diagnostics

Digital advertising campaigns pinpoint the customers most likely to connect with you based on their online behavior. Combined with relevant offers, creative ads and corresponding landing pages, digital advertising is the best way to diagnose if your campaigns are running smoothly or need some tinkering. Check to see if you are getting the impressions, clicks, website visits and leads you deserve.

Marketing is now more science-based, and while it's still also still an art, you can count on the numbers for truth and finding the best path to success for your company.

Street Race the Competition

Next, review your competition’s website or walk-in to see what gets their sales motors running. Compare price points, review their discount and take an inventory of where, when and what they are marketing. You are sure to find at least one idea to beat them to the finish line.

It's pretty simple to set up a search that flags you whenever your competitors name in mentioned in the news. Set one up today and start tracking.

Buff the Exterior

Look at your business’s exterior touch points. Do your ads, website and displays have a cohesive shine or are their a few chips in the paint? Maybe a quick run through the branding car wash is all you need, or perhaps you can buff a few images to freshen up your look.

Chips or dings? Address them immediately. Don't cover them up. Fix the trouble and polish out the finish.

Listen to the Engine

Finally, ask new and old customers some key questions.

Finally, listen and respond. Use their responses to inform new offers, events and products so they know you made all the right fixes.

Use this five-point inspection any time you need to tune up your marketing and keep your sales engines humming. Need 5 tips to tune up your marketing? Contact us today or call 800-900-3635.

When you're done go to our Insights and pick up some quick tips for your business. Subscribe to our newsletter to be sent regular tools and tips.

© 2019 Poole Communications

Today we're looking at the simplicity of six words. Can you write your company story in six to ten words? This isn't a new idea. Ernest Hemingway wrote a famous six word story.

"For Sale: New baby shoes. Never worn."

Too often we make things harder than they need to be. Use the simplicity of six words.

Carefully Define Your Business

First, implement this six word idea with your business: define your company and culture in six words or less.

For example: at Poole Communications, we are client-focused, ethical, creative, self-motivated and passionate. When hiring new employees we look for those same characteristics. Even when interviewing a potential new client, we look for those same qualities. (That's right, we don't accept all new clients; we really want a good fit.)

The result is that we have a better fit with ALL the people we work with, that means more enjoyment in our work - and lives - for everyone involved.

Whenever we deviate from this principle there's trouble: a unhappy client who doesn't fit, or a disgruntled, unproductive employee. I've learned over the years how important it is to let our values lead the way.

Next, Define How You Work

Next, six simple words can help us define our logos, our slogans, how we work - and even who we work with. Those same words help you in planning and creating work or providing service. We don't want to sell ourselves, our products or services; we want to educate in an ethical way. Let's make the world a better place. Everyone wants marketing material that are simple and easy to understand. The little amount of time each have makes it mandatory. Word choice and communication is extremely important. It's critical to be clear about who you are and how you work; and it's equally important to be quickly understood.

Simplify Your Life

Finally, the world is fast paced, and we all have a lot to do; work to simplify your job and make your company function better. The simplicity of six words is one small tool you can use. Define what your business is, and how your business works. Get your team involved and listen to their input. Empower them to help grow the company and help make it better.

Need help? We can help you with strategy, writing, planning, budgeting and media placement. Give us a call at 800-900-3635.

©2018 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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