December Craft Marketing Event

If there’s one word that describes 2020 for marketers, it’s PIVOT! That term frequently came up at December’s virtual Craft Marketing session. Ideas flew throughout the virtual space as attendees reflected on their year of change during the open forum.

Steve Mintz, CLM Prescriptives, noted marketing trends listed by session registrants:

  • Explosive growth of video and social media
  • More paid media on a variety of social media channels
  • Reliance on online events and networking

In the “what didn’t work category,” Greg Mischio, Winbound, revealed that his company lost a client because of their insistence on a diluted message. Because of this approach, the client’s project didn’t succeed.

He encouraged attendees to “stick to your guns” and focus on a niche. Winbound, a content marketing firm, concentrates on marketing for manufacturers. His team improved the company’s pipeline by 230 percent this year.

“We hit conversion goals in a pandemic,” Greg said.

Whitney Atkins of IDDBA emphasized the need for honest communication during the pandemic. COVID-19 impacted every part of the food industry. The Thanksgiving holiday helped the sector with some normal shopping patterns.

“Share positive stories,” she said. “They’re out there.”

Stay Flexible

Karin Swanson, Clean Lakes Alliance, emphasized the importance of talking to your audience and taking actions that offer value to them. She noted that fundraising is challenging for nonprofits that used in-person events to build revenue before the pandemic hit.

“Flexibility is the name of the game,” she said. The organization couldn’t plan big group volunteer days. But they could suggest other ways for volunteers to help clean up parks and waterways.

Grow Your Social Presence

Both Spencer X. Smith and Nick Myers noted that the cancellation of in-person events resulted in a focus on social media to make connections.

In the financial services world, many gained a new understanding of the digital space. Instead of meeting in person, Spencer said these professionals had to figure out how to get in front of prospects and clients.

Return on investment for the sales process became more important. Spencer, AmpliPhi, understands this topic. He wrote a book with D.P. Knudten on the subject: “ROTOMA: The ROI of Social Media ‘Top of Mind.’”

Nick, RedFox AI, focused on growing a robust digital presence in 2020. He obtained a lot of connections and business from LinkedIn. That approach worked for him. “I’m still learning about running a business,” he said.

Nick referred to the Dunning-Kruger Effect to explain his experiences. At the start of his business, Nick said he enjoyed quick wins. But he later realized that he was on Mount Stupid and is now climbing up a valley into the “Normal” Mastery Curve.

Many others chimed in that they’ve experienced the “Mount Stupid” effect. Individuals who enjoy early success may not realize that they’ve been overconfident.

Focus on Your Preferred Social Media Channel

Mitch Nelles, a content creator, runs ThunderMKE, a daily Facebook Live show. He invites a wide variety of guests and has found meaning in this community-building effort.

Nick praised Mitch for standing out on a specific platform. “That’s an incredibly good strategy,” Nick said.

In 2021, both Mitch and Nick are going to consider posting on Tik Tok.

Follow Proven Process

Eagan Heath, Get Found Madison, encouraged Craft Marketing attendees to take advantage of direct response marketing to build their brand. He reviewed a proven strategy:

  • Offer 20 percent off a first purchase
  • Follow up with a series of offers prompting respondents to take the action you want
  • Send targeted emails based on their responses

Eagan also debunked comments that webinars are dead. He doesn’t charge for webinars. However, he sells courses at the end of them to help him cover the cost of ads that direct viewers to his webinar landing pages. In the past, Eagan has paid $8 – $20 per webinar sign up.

As a result of this process, Eagan grows his email list, and the courses help pay for lead generation.

Tony Veroeven, Association Management Partners & Executive Directors, and Michol Banes, Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, agreed mail is alive and well. They said direct mail could be an effective way to connect with your market.

Michol said she’s found more success mailing packages instead of flat mail.

When considering marketing initiatives, “The basics still hold true,” Michol said. “What does your audience need?”

Employment Trends

Attendees turned to Martha Carrigan, Big Shoes Network, for advice about employment opportunities. She offered the following insights:

  • No one is posting internships
  • Entry-level positions are coming back
  • Some high-level professionals are leaving because of increased workload and less pay

Firms are posting openings in small- and medium-sized communities. Prospects will take less pay for stability. Martha also observed that contract work is growing in popularity.

Contract work provides “a huge opportunity” for many businesses, said James Roloff, Powderkeg. He also observed that high-level executives are now getting involved in decisions that used to be handled by personnel at lower levels.

AMA Madison Scholarship Winner

AMA Madison presented its fourth $1,000 scholarship to Claire Frick, a senior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She will graduate in 2021. Claire served as president of the college AMA chapter for the past two years and increased membership and leadership opportunities by 200 percent.

Claire told Craft Marketing attendees that participation in AMA was “the best part of my college experience.” She said she made many personal and professional connections that were “just priceless .”

Tony Veroeven, AMA Madison president, announced that the Madison chapter will give $250 to support Cook It Forward. This local Madison charity provides meals for those in need.

See You Online for January’s AMA Madison Events

Thanks to everyone who contributed to the open forum plus attendees and volunteers. Craft Marketing also appreciates Winbound, our December sponsor.

Don’t miss our Jan. 12 AMA Madison noontime event: “Level up Your Website SEO and Digital Marketing -Tools and Tips.”  Vince Rose, Earthling Interactive, will walk through where to start and where you can go with your SEO, digital marketing and CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system, using free and paid tools.

Register here for the online event that starts at 12 p.m.

Craft Marketing invites you to its next virtual event at 4 p.m. on Jan. 26, 2021. Edessa Polzin of Web Courseworks will present “Getting SaaSy: The One (Wo)Man Marketing Team Survival Guide.”

Register here for the online event.




Leslie Blaize, the owner of Blaize Communications, is a certified case study specialist. She crafts B2B content with a focus on the Architecture/Engineering/Construction industry.


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