Labor Day

How to Keep Your Marketing Fresh As The Year Wanes On

Labor Day has passed. Summer vacations are over. And a nap sounds really good. That string of thoughts is playing on repeat in the minds of many office workers this time of year, as summer reaches an end, and no one is ready to tackle the busy fall season.
But now is the time to shake things up, try something different, and set yourself up for a successful Q4. If you’re a marketer, it’s the perfect time to up your competitive edge while your competitors or still mourning the end of summer.
Here’s five easy ways to keep yourself and your marketing fresh, effective and on track.
1. Measure (real) engagement
You’ve heard it before – smartphones and tablets are changing everything when it comes to consumer behavior. The average consumer uses two to three devices within the cycle of making a single purchase. If you’re not tracking engagement across all devices and channels (both online and offline), you’re not getting the full picture. Multichannel attribution lets you measure performance, see what’s working and calculate ROI. It helps you spot trends and problems so you can make a change and finally end the cycle. No more bad investments and useless optimizations.
2. Keep an updated content calendar
You’re probably tracking a lot of activities, from deadlines to blog assets to your coworker’s vacation. Organizing your content assets by date will make your life easier. The goal is to create a calendar that is simple, visible to the rest of your team, and flexible. Being able to easily swap topics and due dates is key in an agile marketing atmosphere. My personal piece of advice – don’t use excel spreadsheets, which tend to be hard to scan and even harder to edit. Try cloud a cloud-based solution instead.
3. A/B test everything
It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking you know what works. You can make your best bet, but the only way to build a truly successful landing page is to test it — whether it’s the ad copy, images, videos, or headlines. Make sure to test small, isolated elements so you know exactly what works best. You never know when that one small change will be the knockout punch.
4. Create a unique strategy for mobile
We all know mobile is changing everything, and Google brought home the message when it announced it favor mobile-enabled sites in search, AKA Mobilegeddon. Having a one-size-fits-all mobile site is not even close to a mobile strategy; you need to really understand your mobile audience, their unique goals and expectations. When building your strategy, always have a picture in the back of your mind of your target customer searching for your product. They need a mobile solution, meaning you do, too.
5. It’s time to get social
If your marketing strategy doesn’t include social media, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity — and I’m not just talking to B2C marketers. Social media is not only a great communication channel between businesses and their audiences, and also proving to be a successful ad platform. According to CMO.com, 54 percent of B2B marketers say they’ve generated leads from social media. Your customers expect you to be online as much as they are.
I’m not telling you to sacrifice fun to sit under the AC and work on your marketing tactics. But by following these few easy tips, you can maximize your efforts without getting burnt out.

Toasty Tips For Keeping Warm This Winter

No one wants summer to be over, but the truth is that we are past Labor Day and it’s time to get ready for cooler weather. Winter can be a great season if you keep warm and find plenty of fun things to do. 2015 opened with a spike in deaths due to hypothermia, and […]

Reality TV Show Unveils Life as a Trainer of Animal Actors

LOS ANGELES — For years, Bill Berloni has taught his dogs to play make believe. Now, he’s making it real.
The trainer teaches rescue dogs to beg, bark and bow or sit, stand and shake for movies, TV and the Broadway stage. Once the animal actors retire, he brings them home to join his 30 dogs, one cat, farm animals and singing macaw that swears like a sailor.
He is bringing the motley crew to reality TV in “From Wags to Riches with Bill Berloni,” the Discovery Family Channel’s first original series, debuting next week.
MORE:Do Animals Feel Pain Like We Do?
Berloni’s stable of stars — all found from shelters — have appeared in Broadway shows, touring companies, special events, the New York City Ballet, movies, television and commercials. He estimates he’s rescued 150 dogs since 1977.
Berloni, 58, who was recognized by the Tony Awards for excellence in the theater, has been approached about a reality series before. He says he gave this one the green light because “there aren’t many shows about good people doing good things.”
Some animal-welfare groups denounce animals in entertainment, but Berloni believes dogs were made for show business. He says he would never train a wild animal, but he does transform rough-and-tumble pooches into top actors.
He rescued a Chihuahua named Chico, who went on to play Bruiser in “Legally Blonde: The Musical,” when he was prone to biting and about to be euthanized at the pound. Berloni worked with Chico until he could bark on cue and run into his carrier whenever an actress says, “White shoes after Labor Day.”
Now, the tiny pooch that sleeps in the crook of his arm.
“Chico lives for me, and you can’t help but respond to that. It is a huge responsibility,” the self-taught trainer said.
Dogs are hardest to train for the stage, Berloni said. Unlike TV and film, there is no editing button, and it’s impossible to mask distractions from audiences and actors.
The dog he trained to play Sandy in the original stage production of “Annie” in 1977 eyeballed the audience as theatergoers in the front row were munching on fried chicken. But Sandy didn’t leave the stage, Berloni said.
“Annie” was a huge hit, and Sandy became the longest-running dog actor on Broadway — she didn’t miss a performance in seven years.
Sandy gave Berloni his start training celebrity dogs. He was working at an opera house in Connecticut, where he and his family live on a farm in Higganum, when a producer asked him to find and train the dog for “Annie.”
Things are a bit less glamorous on the reality show, which is wrapping up its first four episodes.
At home, Berloni’s salty macaw rules the roost. The bird named Kevin turns the kitchen sink into his stage, belting out tunes such as “Tomorrow” and “It’s Raining Men.” Despite his outrageous personality, Kevin has never acted, unlike his fellow pets.
“He is only a star in our living room,” Berloni said.
Co-executive producer Sarah T. Davies says the show stands out for its simple moments: A group of dogs playing in the snow; a massive St. Bernard getting a bath; his wife and daughter competing to bake the best dog biscuits.
“I do regard him as a real-life Dr. Doolittle,” Davies said.
Berloni says he’s focused on improving animals’ lives rather than the camera crews, but fame is nothing new. He had to confront it even at his daughter’s preschool about a decade ago.
“They called us in and said our daughter had a vivid imagination. They said she told them I was at ‘Sesame Street’ playing with Elmo. I told them I was,” Berloni said.