Bud Light (and the Browns) Finally Won

As a lifelong Cleveland Browns fan, seeing their winless drought end last night was a relief. I must admit that I’ve been embarrassed for the last few years to even claim them as my favorite team. Our hero-in-waiting, Baker Mayfield, came into the came and put an end to a 19-game losing streak that spanned 635 days (yes, we were counting).

And what did Mayfield say to reporters after bringing this big victory to the city of Cleveland? “Dilly Dilly to the Cleveland fans!”

That’s right, Bud Light won the game too.

As a Cleveland native and Browns fan, I was happy to feel the joy of victory again. As a marketing consultant, I had to salute Bud Light for their marketing genius. If you aren’t familiar with the Bud Light promotion that I’m referring to, this may be the first of many times you will hear about it today and in the days to come.

Knowing that a Cleveland Browns victory would come at some point (hopefully this season!), Bud Light offered to give free beer to Browns fans to celebrate after the next win. Dozens of coolers were placed around the city of Cleveland and state of Ohio with 200 cans of beer locked inside each. Once the victory was official, the coolers were automatically opened.

Brilliant, right? Bud Light knew this win would be big news – not just sports news – but a big national (maybe international) story. You know, one of those underdog, come from behind, feel good news stories. And what will each of those stories include? Free Bud Light for the fans. I bow to the creatives who concocted this plan.

Of course social media is a buzz about the free beer giveaway. Even the Cleveland Police got into the act, tweeting, “We WON!!! — Wait…oh God. The free beer thing…Ok Cleveland. Stay calm. GO BROWNS!!!! @Browns @Budlight #CLE.”

So, what’s the marketing moral of this story?

Be prepared to take advantage of a big event that connects with your brand in some way. Sure Bud Light is a huge brand with a big budget and they are able to go really big with their version of this promotion, but that doesn’t mean that other brands or even a small local business can’t get creative and find a connection. Don’t be afraid to have some fun with your marketing. Surprise and delight your customers every once in a while. They’ll remember it.

Go Browns! Dilly Dilly.

About the Author:  Mark Cipolletti is a fractional Chief Marketing Officer and the founder of Pinch Hit Partners. If you’d like to chat about the Browns (or marketing) you can contact him at mark@pinchhitpartners.com.

Is Your Marketing Working? See How Your Results Compare with These Digital Marketing Stats

By Hillary Bressler, Travel and Hospitality Marketing Lead, Pinch Hit Partners

Digital Marketing Stats for Marketers Who Keep Ahead of the Game

Stats are the lifeblood of good marketers.

The funny thing is that many marketers got into marketing because they thought they had a lack of solid math skills in school and thus went the route of the non-math related careers in school.  This is a bad joke as we come to find out that the marketer’s entire career revolves around math.  Budgets, column inch, pixels, impressions, conversions, percentages and the good old statistic.

Marketers have come to have a love hate relationship with math, except that of the statistic. The statistic drives us and gives us ideas.  Marketers love statistics.

There are many statistics out there that are completely useless to marketers whose main goal is to increase sales or drive recognition of a brand.  For example, global mobile ad spending is expected to reach 247.4 billion U.S. dollars by 2020.  This stat is interesting to marketers, but it does not help us drive traffic to businesses or our clients. Yes, it tells us that the mobile industry is not going away, and we keep an eye on it to watch for major shifts, but it doesn’t fuel us.

I have compiled stats that fuel marketers and engage the thinking process.  Each one can spark an idea or help marketers convince key stakeholders to move budgets around to support this ever changing digital landscape.

If these stats are not a wake-up call, I don’t know what is.

The times in digital marketing are changing….rapidly.

So fast I would consider many strategies, like mobile, to be considered an emergency. With mobile now representing 69% of digital media time spent (comScore, 2017) the time to shift to mobile was yesterday.

In addition, 37% of all online spending in the United States and Europe is now made through Amazon. This figure is 57% for US consumers (Salmon 2017).

You may hate stats or love them, but you can’t leave them. Here are some of the most worthwhile.

Local Search

  • 72% of consumers who did a local search visited a store within five miles. (WordStream, 2016)
  • 28% of searches for something nearby result in a purchase. (Google, 2016)
  • 18% of local searches done on mobile devices lead to a sale within a day (Junto 2017)
  • Leads from search engines have a 14.6% close rate, while outbound leads (ex. cold-calling, direct mail, etc.) have a 1.7% close rate. (Junto 2017)

Lead Generation

  • Both desktop and mobile ads deliver branding effectiveness but mobile ads perform better – particularly at the bottom of the funnel (comScore, The Global Mobile report 2017)
  • Nearly 80% of companies not meeting their revenue goals attract 10,000 monthly website visitors or less. Those exceeding their revenue goals, 70% report attracting more than 10,000 visitors per month. (HubSpot, 2015)
  • The  less companies know about their KPIs, the less likely they are to meet their revenue goals. 74% of companies that weren’t exceeding revenue goals did not know their visitor, lead, MQL, or sales opportunities. (HubSpot, 2015)
  • 24% of marketers don’t know whether their efforts resulted in closed-won deals. (BrightTALK, 2015)
  • 72% of organizations that calculate ROI say their marketing strategy is effective. (HubSpot, 2016)


  • Bounce rates increase by 50% if your website takes 2 seconds extra to load. (Junto 2017)
  • Conversions fall by 12% for every extra second that it takes your website to load. (Junto 2017)
  • Average e-commerce conversion rates are 1% – 2%. Even if you are doing everything right, you can still expect to win the sale around 2% of the time (BigCommerce 2017)
  • Advertisers that implemented Influencer Marketing in 2016 received $11.69 in Earned Media Value (EMV) on average for every $1.00 they spent (RhythmOne)
  • For the majority of online transactions, the path from awareness to conversion is very short — 71% of consumers make their purchase within a week of awareness or desire  (KPMG Global Survey – the truth about consumers 2017)
  • Users who have a bad mobile user experience are 60% less likely to revisit and purchase from that brand in the future (Smart Insights 2017)
  • 53% of marketers say blog content creation is their top inbound marketing priority. (HubSpot, 2017)
  • 64% of consumers say that watching a video on social media influenced them to make a purchase (Animoto, 2017)
  • Average page load speed on mobile sites is 22 seconds. A 10 second page load time has a 123% higher bounce rate than a 1 second page load time (Think With Google, 2017)
  • Mobile loading times are way behind the 2-second target. (Marketing Charts, Google)

  • Global cart abandonment rates have increased 1.3% (up on the previous quarter) to 76.9% (SalesCycle, The re-marketing report)
  • Titles with 6-13 words attract the highest and most consistent amount of traffic. (HubSpot, 2016)

Content Strategy

  • 47% of buyers viewed 3-5 pieces of content before engaging with a sales rep. (Demand Gen Report, 2016)
  • B2C companies that blogged 11+ times per month got more than 4X as many leads than those that blog only 4-5 times per month. (HubSpot, 2015)
  • B2B companies that blogged 11+ times per month had almost 3X more traffic than those blogging 0-1 times per month. (HubSpot, 2015) 62 percent of B2C content marketers outsource at least one part of their company’s content marketing activity. (Content Marketing Institute)
  • Companies that published 16+ blog posts per month got about 4.5X more leads than companies that published 0-4 monthly posts. (HubSpot, 2015)
  • 78% of B2B buyers use case studies when researching purchases – DemandGen
  • The average blog post is now 1,142 words (up 41% since 2014) – Orbit Media
  • User-generated content has a 4.5% higher conversion rate (Sprout Soical, 2017)


  • 85% of Facebook users watch videos with the sound off.   (Social Sprout)
  • Captioned video ads can increase video view time by an average of 12% (Social Sprout)
  • The Average CPC for Facebook Ads Is $1.72 and $0.63 for travel & hospitality (Wordstream)

  • The average click-through rate in Facebook ads across all industries is .90% and is .90% for travel and hospitality. (WordStream 2017)
  • People Aged 18-29 Are the Most Prevalent Facebook Users (65+ Is the Least)
  • 82% of Facebook Users Have Attended at Least Some College

  • Facebook posts with images see 2.3X more engagement than those without images. (Buzzsumo, 2015)
  • Facebook sends 82% of social media traffic to longer stories and 84% of social traffic to shorter news articles. (Pew Research Center, 2016)
  • The most effective length for an ad title on Facebook is four words, and 15 words for a link description. (Social Sprout)
  • 39% of users like or follow a Facebook page to receive a special offer. (Socialsprout)
  • 19% of Time Spent on Mobile Devices Is on Facebook (Social Sprout)


  • LinkedIn is the only major social media platform for which usage rates are higher among 30- to 49-year-olds than among 18- to 29-year-olds.  (Pew Research Center, 2015)
  • 70% of Linkedin users are from Outside of US. After US, India, Brazil, Great Britain and Canada has the highest number of Linkedin users.(Omnicore)
  • 59% of Linkedin members have never worked at a company with more than 200 employees. (Omnicore)


  • 71% of Pinterest’s users are women. (Search Engine Land, 2015)
  • Pinners are just as likely to purchase as users from other social channels, but spend 50% more on average compared to other social channels. (Hub Spot)
  • 45% of people on Pinterest use the app while watching TV. (Pinterest, 2016)
  • 36% of Pinterest users fall between the ages of 18 and 29. In a close second, Gen Xers make-up 34% of Pinterest’s audience.  (Pinterest 2016)


  • 52% of Snapchat users are under the age of 25. (Statista, 2016)
  • 79% of US teens (13-18) use Snapchat.  (Snap Chat)

  • 30% of U.S. millennial internet users use Snapchat regularly. (eMarketer, 2015)
  • 80% of Snapchat users use the app at a restaurant.  (eMarketer, 2015)
  • 66% of Snapchat users use the app while shopping  (eMarketer, 2015)
  • 50% of Snapchat users use the app at gyms (eMarketer, 2015)
  • 49%  of Snapchat users use the app at airports (eMarketer, 2015)


  • 30% of online adults under 50 use Twitter, compared with 11% of online adults ages 50 and older. (Pew Research Center, 2015)
  • Twitter has nearly 4X as many users internationally as in the U.S. (Pew Research Center, 2016)


  • 70% of teenage YouTube subscribers trust influencer opinions over traditional celebrities (Google, 2016)
  • On mobile alone in an average week, YouTube reaches more 18+ year-olds during prime time TV hours than any cable TV network. (Google, 2016)
  • Two-thirds of YouTube users watch YouTube on a second screen while watching TV at home. (Google, 2016)
  • YouTube is more commonly used by larger businesses. For example, 71% of businesses with 100+ employees use YouTube, compared to 38% of the self-employed. (Social Media Examiner, 2015)
  • YouTube has over a billion users, almost one-third of all people on the Internet. (YouTube, 2016) In an average month, 8 out of 10 18- to 49-year-olds watch YouTube. (Google, 2016)
  • Among millennials, YouTube accounts for two-thirds of the premium online video watched across devices. (Google, 2016)
  • The time people spend watching YouTube on their TV has more than doubled year over year. (Google, 2016)

Social Media Management

  • By spending as little as six hours per week, 66% of marketers see lead generation benefits with social media. (Social Media Examiner, 2015)
  • At least 61% of those investing a minimum of six hours per week in social media marketing saw improvements in search engine rankings. (Social Media Examiner, 2015)

Visual Content

  • Visual content is 40X more likely to get shared on social media than other types of content. (Buffer, 2014)
  • Articles with an image once every 75-100 words got double the number of social shares than articles with fewer images. (Buzzsumo, 2015)
  • Research has shown that when people hear information, they are likely to remember only 10% of that information three days later. However, if a relevant image is paired with that same information, people retained 65% of the information three days later. (LifeLearn, 2015)
  • Infographics are liked and shared on social media 3X more than any other type of content. (Mass Planner, 2015)

Video Content

  • 47% of the Value of Facebook Video Ads Happens in the First 3 Seconds (Social Sprout)
  • 4X as many customers would rather watch a video about a product than read about it. (Animoto, 2015)
  • Almost 50% of internet users look for videos related to a product or service before visiting a store. (Google, 2016)
  • 53% of smartphone users feel more favorable towards companies whose mobile sites or apps provide instructional video content. (Google, 2015)
  • 4 in 5 consumers believe that demo videos are helpful. Shoppers who view video are 1.81X more likely to purchase than non-viewers. (Animoto, 2015)
  • 55% of people consume video content thoroughly. (HubSpot, 2016)
  • 43% of people want to see more video content from marketers. (HubSpot, 2016)
  • Marketers who use video grow revenue 49% faster than non-video users. (Aberdeen, 2015)
  • Nearly two-thirds of consumers prefer video under 60 seconds. (Animoto, 2015)
  • 51.9% of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the type of content with the best ROI. (Adobe, 2015)

Email Conversion

  • The best time of day to send emails is between 4pm and 8pm. (Experian, Marketing Charts)
  • Email notifications about abandoned carts have a 40.5% open rate. (eMarketer, 2015)
  • As the number of images in an email increases, the clickthrough rate of the email tends to decrease. (HubSpot, 2014)
  • PC and tablet users have unique click rates of 3.8%, a 40% increase over the 2.7% mobile click rate (MailChimp, Impact of Mobile use on Email 2017)
  • Open rate has increased from 35% to 58%, unique open rate has increased from 15% to 25%, click rate has decreased from 10.8% to 3.8%, unique click rate has increased from 2.1% to 2.5% (SendGrid, 2017 Global Email Benchmark Report)
  • Open rates are 14.31% higher in segmented campaigns than in non-segmented campaigns (MailChimp, 2017)

Email Copy

  • 64% of people prefer rich text emails. (HubSpot, 2014)
  • Email subject lines that include the words “thank you” have the highest above-average engagement levels. (Adestra, 2015)
  • Emails that included the first name of the recipient in their subject line had higher clickthrough rates than emails that did not. (HubSpot, 2014)
  • The open rate for emails with a personalized message was 17.6%, compared to 11.4% without personalization. (Statista, 2014)
  • 66% of unsubscribes occur between 5 and 10 p.m. (Tomasz Tunguz, 2015)

Mobile Email

  • Outside of work, Americans most commonly check their email while watching TV (70%), from bed (52%), on vacation (50%), while on the phone (43%), from the bathroom (42%), and even while driving (18%). (Adobe, 2015)
  • 75% of Gmail users access their accounts on mobile devices. (TechCrunch, 2015)
  • 48% of emails are opened on a smartphone. (Movable Ink, 2015)

Display Advertising

  • Across all ad formats and placements Ad CTR is just 0.05% (Smart Insights 2018)
  • Rich media Ad CTR is 0.1% (Smart Media 2018)
  • 91% of people say ads are more intrusive today than two years ago. (HubSpot, 2016)
  • 73% of people dislike pop-up ads. (HubSpot, 2016)
  • 72% of consumers say they would have a lower opinion of a brand if they subjected the consumer to a pop-up ad. (HubSpot, 2016)
  • 81% of consumers have closed a browser or exited a webpage because of a pop-up ad. (HubSpot, 2016)

Pay-Per-Click (PPC)

  • Across the Bing and Yahoo search networks, search spend bounced up 32 percent year over year, while click volume growth increased from just 1 percent in Q3 to 14 percent in Q4. CPCs were up 15 percent year over year in Q4 compared to just 5 percent in Q3. (Search Engine Land 2018)
  • Businesses make an average of $2 in revenue for every $1 they spend on AdWords. (Google Economic Impact Report)
  • Giant retailers can spend up to $50 million per year on paid search in AdWords. The average small business using AdWords spends between $9,000 and $10,000 per month on their Google paid search campaigns. That’s $100,000 to $120,000 per year. (May 21, 2015)
  • 64.6% of people click on Google ads when they are looking to buy an item online. (WordStream, 2016)
  • Mobile devices produced 55% of Google search ad clicks in Q4 2017, but just 14% of Bing ads clicks. (Wordstream 2017)

  • The average cost-per-click (CPA) in AdWords across all industries is $2.32 on the search network and $0.58 on the display network. (WordStream, 2016)
  • When it comes to paid social media ads, the overwhelming majority use Facebook ads (84%), followed by Google ads (41%) and LinkedIn ads (18%). (Social Media Examiner, 2015)
  • Which marketing trend will be most important to you and your business in 2018?

Here Are My Takeaways..

Mobile will continue to be a major area of focus for advertisers on both search and display. As the price increases, ensure that your landing pages are optimized for load time and experience on mobile.

We see content marketing as the ‘engagement’ fuel that powers all digital communications from search to social to email marketing to creating website experiences which convert.

Speaking of major areas of focus…how ‘bout that Bing?! The unfortunately oft-forgotten search engine clearly became a bigger factor for many advertisers in Q4 2018; as you look to diversify your marketing channels in 2018, be sure to give Bing some serious consideration, particularly if you’ve had success advertising on mobile devices in the past.

I feel fortunate to have followed some of the amazing major changes in digital marketing and technology over the last 20 years. I am a firm believer that it is the companies that are 18 months ahead of the curve that will always be the winners and get the benefit like low CPC before the competition finds out.  Looking back, we’ve seen a phenomenal growth in the importance of organic, then paid search, then social media and more recently, incredible worldwide growth in mobile and particularly smart phone usage. I always encourage companies to take a percentage of their budget and throw it to new and emerging marketing and see what sticks.

Reprinted from the Hotel Business Review with permission from www.HotelExecutive.com.


Still confused? Request a free consultation with a Pinch Hit Partners consultant.

Case Study: Virginia Council of CEOs Embraces Marketing Automation to Grow Beyond Richmond Base


Virginia Council of CEOs

The Situation:

The Virginia Council of CEOs has more than 200 members, mostly from the Richmond area. When the Council’s Board of Directors decided to expand its membership to the Charlottesville area, the organization’s Executive Director turned to Pinch Hit Partners.

The Challenge:

The Council’s brand awareness was limited to the Richmond area. They needed an efficient way to connect with busy executives in a new market. The Council’s Executive Director also doubles as their primary salesperson, so frequent travel to another city would be limited. The Council also relied on three separate programs to manage membership, sales and communications. These programs lacked new capabilities like marketing automation and demanded abundant staff time to manage.

“Pinch Hit Partners has transformed the way we market our organization.”   

                                 – Scot McRoberts, Executive Director, Virginia Council of CEOs

The Solution:

Pinch Hit Partners consultant Mark Cipolletti implemented a LinkedIn campaign targeted at Charlottesville CEOs and business owners. Sponsored posts would only be seen by the target audience in the target market – no waste, no extra cost. The campaign’s call-to-action was an invitation to a series of informational lunches and cocktail parties. These group sessions allowed the Executive Director to consolidate his time in the new market and to demonstrate the Council’s skill for hosting excellent programming.

Cipolletti also identified a single marketing technology, Hatchbuck, to replace the Council’s three legacy tools. Hatchbuck collects online leads and automates emails, campaigns and sales tasks that would have been done manually in the past. These efficiencies will become even more important as the organization expands to additional markets in the future.

Virginia Council of CEOs LinkedIn post

The Result:

As a result of Pinch Hit Partners’ work, the Virginia Council of CEOs has successfully gained about two-dozen new members from the Charlottesville area. The tools and processes that were developed for this market expansion are now being considered as the organization looks at additional Virginia cities for membership growth.

The Reaction:

“Pinch Hit Partners has transformed the way we market our organization. Now our sales, marketing and communications are nicely integrated and we have a single platform like Hatchbuck to manage everything. We’re so glad we followed Mark’s recommendations. It’s been a game-changer for the Virginia Council of CEOs.”   – Scot McRoberts, Executive Director, Virginia Council of CEOs


About Pinch Hit Partners

Pinch Hit Partners is a Richmond, VA-based company that’s disrupting how marketing gets done for small and medium-sized companies by providing them with a cost-effective alternative to hiring their own marketing team or contracting with an expensive full-service creative agency. Learn more at www.pinchhitpartners.com. Contact Mark Cipolletti at mark@pinchhitpartners.com.

A conversation doesn’t cost you a thing. Contact us today to learn more about how Pinch Hit Partners can transform your marketing and sales.



Home Plate: Audi Selects Richmond as Backdrop for new A4 Promo Video

The newly designed Audi A4 sedan may be the star of this show but Richmond, Virginia, subs for New York or San Francisco as the perfect backdrop for the Audi luxury brand.

“This content will run on our social channels, on Audiusa.com, in our dealerships, and in our internal communications,” said Tara Dyer, Manager of brand content and marketing innovation for Audi America (as told to RVA News). Dyer also said that those at Audi were “thrilled with the outcome” of the video and that the shots of Richmond were “stunning locations.”

Pinch Hit Partners may be a little biased, but we think that Richmond is definitely a stunning location and we’re proud to call RVA our home.

Pinch Hit Partners

Need the experience of a Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) but can only afford a minor-leaguer? Call in a Pinch Hitter. Our flexible and affordable fractional marketing solutions provide your business with an experienced executive to oversee existing programs, vendors and employees. Turn to Pinch Hit Partners to grow your company through customer experience management, digital marketing, social media and sales lead development. For more information, visit pinchhitpartners.com  and follow us on Twitter @pinchhitCX.

CEO Playbook: 18 Resources for Getting up to Speed on Marketing, Fast

It would be a huge understatement to say that marketing is changing at a rapid pace. Keeping up with all of the trends and technologies can seem like a full time job. Just when you’ve figured out that SEO and SEM aren’t the same thing, something new comes along leaving you scratching your head.

If you are a CEO or business owner who does double-duty as your company’s primary marketer, you may not know where to turn for useful marketing information. Fortunately, there’s a ton of marketing content just a mouse click away. To save you valuable time finding the best resources, I’ve compiled some of my favorites. Most are free (but not all) so this may be the most economical degree in marketing that you can get. You can thank me later.

Websites are my #1 source for marketing information. These website are some of my favorites and also a good place for you to get started. And don’t forget to sign-up to receive their emails. That way you’ll receive their content without having to remember to visit on a daily or weekly basis.

  1. MarketingProfs
  2. CMO.com
  3. Content Marketing Institute
  4. OpenView Partners
  5. Inc.
  6. Entrepreneur

Many of the biggest brands spend millions with consulting firms like Gartner and McKinsey, but did you know that these high-power firms also give away a ton of free research on their websites? Now you do.

  1. Gartner
  2. McKinsey

I’m a huge fan of Flipboard. The Flipboard website and mobile app can be customized to display “magazines” on very specific topics such as customer experience and content marketing. The content is curated by other users who take the time to select the best articles.

  1. Flipboard

You may have already signed up to receive Google Alerts to find out when you or your company have been mentioned in the news or on a website, but why not set-up alerts for marketing topics that you’d like to learn about. Tweak the settings to tell Google how frequently you want to receive your Alerts email.

  1. Google Alerts

There has been an explosion of marketing technologies in the last few years. According to Chiefmartec.com’s Marketing Technology Landscape Supergraphic 2015 (and it is super) there are 1,876 marketing technologies in 43 categories (think social media, marketing automation, etc.) – that’s double the number of technologies found in 2014. Here are four marketing technology resources I turn to when I want to get my geek on.

  1. ClickZ
  2. Hubspot blog
  3. ChiefMarTec
  4. Venture Beat

Your local university is always an option for continuing education but with online options available through providers like Coursera you can take classes from Wharton, University of Virginia, Northwestern and other top schools right at your desk. LinkedIn’s recent acquisition of Lynda.com is another online resource to consider with over 100 marketing classes available.

  1. Coursera
  2. Lynda.com

Most mid-sized and large cities have a chapter of the American Marketing Association that you should considering joining. While each chapter is different, almost all provide educational programs to help marketers like you. Memberships to AMA will run you about $300 (dues vary by chapter) but you can also participate in most programs at a non-member price. My local chapter in Richmond, Virginia, also offers smaller special interest groups for members interested in marketing strategy, content marketing and social media.

  1. American Marketing Association
  2. LinkedIn Groups

So there you have it, my not-so-secret list of 18 indispensable resources for getting up to speed on marketing, fast. I’m sure that, as you explore my favorites, you’ll discover some of your own. I hope that you’ll report back when you identify your top picks.

Pinch Hit Partners

Need the experience of a Chief Marketing Officer but can only afford a minor-leaguer? Call in a Pinch Hitter. Our flexible and affordable solutions provide your business with an experienced executive to oversee existing programs, vendors and employees. Turn to Pinch Hit Partners to grow your company through customer experience management, digital marketing, social media and sales lead development. For more information, visit pinchhitpartners.com  and follow us on Twitter @pinchhitCX.

What marketing challenges are keeping RVA execs up at night?

Top Marketing Challenges

Richmond is filled with successful companies. River City has everything from blue-chip, multinational behemoths in gleaming skyscrapers to cutting-edge internet start-ups with rented desks at Gather. I was a little surprised to find out that, despite their diversity, RVA’s top brands face many of the same marketing challenges. I recently asked several executives to share their top marketing challenge for 2016 and here’s what they said:

Scot McRoberts, VA Council of CEOs

Everyone is fully on the content bandwagon. That just means there is more noise than ever! Our challenge is to create content for our members and potential members that will stand out amidst the cacophony. We have to create content that draws them to the VA Council of CEOs and creates an affinity or a desire to connect. I want them to respond “Hey, those are my kind of people!” or “I want to be more like that.”

Our first strategy is to increase frequency and volume — more blogs, more emails, more videos. Our people just don’t see it unless we run it by them several times. And, secondly, we will focus on stories about our members — CEOs of small companies — and the things they care about the most.

Mark A. Smith, Midas of Central Virginia

Creating messages and content that are compelling enough to put Midas of Richmond into a choice set they weren’t previously a part of.  For any of us, acquisition is the most expensive, and the most difficult, growth hurdle, yet it is critically important.

As to what I am going to do about it…religiously track the metrics around it. We track total traffic, acquisition traffic and retention traffic – have for years – when both raw acquisition numbers AND retention numbers are growing, the mojo is good!

Oliver Way, Fulton Bank

We have a unique challenge building a brand across Virginia without the awareness created by a traditional branch network or a significant advertising investment. We plan to reach our target customers through strategic sponsorships including educational sessions.

Brandon Anderson, Tenant Turner

My #1 marketing challenge for this year is to figure out how to best leverage new channel partnerships to fill the top end of our sales funnel and help us grow monthly revenue to meet our aggressive goals.

Mark Pounders, WINN Transportation

Our #1 marketing challenge in 2016 is going to be staying on top of social media and using it to its full potential. The way we plan to address it is to hire someone part-time to do nothing but social media. Since it is not something that consumes an entire day’s worth of work, we have found that there are folks out there who only want to work and hour or two a day doing something that they can easily do from home. Since we can’t pay someone to do it full-time, this is a “Winn”-win situation. Things are moving so rapidly that it is hard for us to keep up with all of the changes and advantages that social media brings. If we have someone who thinks about nothing but social media, our time can be devoted to what we have always done best…customer service!

Shawn Ryan, SNL Knowledge Center

I believe the number one issue for my team is having our marketing efforts stand out – to rise above the noise. With email as our number one driver of sales, we must continuously fight to be seen and heard. We do this through better prospect targeting and greater use of content marketing, in addition to creative. In addition, we must expand our marketing channels – improve our SEO rank, stay current and relevant in social channels, and make effective use of online advertising. Add working toward a fully, mobile responsive website and you have the major components of our strategy to help our marketing stand out in a competitive market.

Troy M. Bell, Capital Region Airport Commission

Creating awareness for new service offerings like routes to Denver, Jacksonville and Orlando. Their success will provide a big lift for the airlines, the airport and the community.

Peter Larsen, Cobb Technologies

Our #1 marketing challenge is brand awareness.  We are known for our creative radio ads and as a great place to lease a copier but we need to get the word out about all of the services that Cobb provides.  Recently, we’ve been emphasizing our IT Services division on the radio ads.  We plan to increase the promotion of our other services to increase awareness of our “complete offering.”  We are utilizing social media and our website to promote Cobb Technologies as the Richmond-based and family-owned Office Technology Integrator – everything from the office equipment, to document management software solutions, to content management software solutions, to managed IT Services.

What is your biggest marketing challenge this year? Leave a comment and become a part of our marketing community. And don’t forget to follow our blog and interact with us on LinkedIn and Twitter.


Pinch Hit Partners

Need the experience of a Chief Marketing Officer but can only afford a minor-leaguer? Call in a Pinch Hitter. Our flexible and affordable solutions provide your business with an experienced executive to oversee existing programs, vendors and employees. Turn to Pinch Hit Partners to grow your company through customer experience management, digital marketing, social media and sales lead development. For more information, visit pinchhitpartners.com  and follow us on Twitter @pinchhitCX.