Category Archives: Corporate Communications

Planet Fitness Drops Dumbbell with Gym Member Communication

It’s not only what you say, but sometimes what you don’t say, that irritates your customers.

Similar to poor communication, a lack of communication can also be damaging if you’re trying to maximize positive customer engagement.  Case in point:   my gym, Planet Fitness, just dropped a dumbbell and they didn’t say excuse me.

Here’s what happened.

Photo: Planet Fitness Facebook.

Photo: Planet Fitness Facebook.

When I signed-up for membership a little more than one year ago, automatic monthly billing was set-up via card credit.  I haven’t had any problems.  The process has worked fine.

Last week, my credit card on file with the gym was deactivated due to fraud concerns.  Once I received the new card, I made a special trip to give the gym my new card number.  I figured it would be easier and faster to handle it in person rather than calling by phone.

It was neither.  To my surprise, I was informed that Planet Fitness no longer offers billing by credit card.  I was told that, based on a recent change, payment is now only allowed via checking account direct withdrawal or debit card (seems the same to me). Continue reading

Duke Libraries Tell Stories to Raise Funds. Plus 3 Tips for Your Marketing Team.

How do you motivate alumni to give money to libraries?

Or, more generally put, how do you persuade someone to do something that’s not top of mind?

You tell meaningful stories.

Storytelling has been a powerful marketing communications tool for a long time.  Today, it’s often talked about in association with content marketing.

And while it’s not a new tactic, when used effectively, it can produce important business results.

Duke Magazine - Special Issue 2013

Duke Magazine – Special Issue 2013

Take this ad for Duke University Libraries, for example.

The photo caught my attention and led me to read about how Duke assigns a librarian to every first-year dorm.

To me, that’s an interesting story I’d like to know more about.  The eye-catching visual, along with the text, quickly dimensionalizes an abstract concept and makes it easy to understand and relate to.  There’s a URL to get more info.

The result:  Duke has a greater chance to raise funds earmarked to its libraries. Continue reading

Norfolk Southern Taps Consumer Marketing Playbook for B2B Success

Even industrial marketers can utilize consumer marketing tactics to get their message out.

The latest example is transportation company Norfolk Southern.  If you’ve watched any television during the past two months, you still might be humming their song “What’s Your Function?”

Since being hired in 2010, the marketing challenge for Norfolk Southern’s agency RP3 has been to turn an industrial brand into a magnet brand.  Previous work was built off the tagline:  “One line, infinite possibilities.”

The overarching message this year is that “trains connect us all.”

Specifically, the new ad is designed to “remind everyone how Norfolk Southern connects businesses, creates jobs, and keeps the economy moving.”  That’s bold. Continue reading

Engage Customers with “Content Marketing”

Imagine this:  Your marketing mission, if you choose to accept it, is to convince Global 2000 CIOs (Chief Information Officers) to use Serena Software’s orchestrated IT solutions.  The company’s “core purpose is to advance the business value of IT.”

Photo: Serena Software Website

Photo: Serena Software Website

Tough one!  I’m not a CIO and I don’t speak the language of “orchestrated IT solutions,” but I can share a clever way to solve the problem.  Let’s talk about the smart marketing Serena Software developed and implemented to bring a rather dry product/service to life with its prospects and customers.

Perhaps you know something about “content marketing” and “inbound marketing” and maybe you’re applying these marketing techniques today.  Basically, content marketing is leveraging “owned assets” (and “earned assets” too) such as websites, social media pages, and a variety of custom produced material to further your sales and marketing objectives.  Inbound marketing, according to Hubspot, “is a set of marketing strategies and techniques focused on pulling relevant prospects and customers towards a business and its products.”

If you’re not leveraging some form of content and inbound marketing today, you’re missing the boat.  In particular, video offers excellent opportunities to engage, inform and persuade customers.  Serena Software created an excellent five-part video episode series called “Doug Serena, CIO” to  bring the benefits of its orchestrated IT solutions to life with its CIO targets.   Continue reading